Saturday, July 29, 2006

dizz knee land, pt. 4

today was a bit of a mixed bag. after staying out so late at the magic kingdom (my first two runs through the haunted mansion, among other things), we passed on the early trip to the animal kingdom (i wasn't exactly functional at 6am this morning), slept in, and arrived at epcot just in time for lunch.

while we'd contemplated going to morocco for our midday meal, we opted instead for mexico, home of a delightfully fruity frosty beverage called the...the....i can't remember what the thing is called, which clearly indicates that i'll have to have at least one more before we leave. (just thought of it- it's called a "conga", and it's a blend of pineapple, orange, and lime juices, yet it's sort of pinkish, so i suppose maybe some grenadine might be involved, too.) SO and i split a disappointing order of nachos, though there were a few folks wandering around looking hopeful that they might be able to have a dropped scrap or two.

on our way out of epcot, we stopped by the journey into imagination ride, which we'd previously been on twice. (yes, sibling, this means our beloved figment is back. in fact, to prove it, i'm going to put up this photo i actually took the other night, but was too lazy/tired to put up:)

and this one:

on our way out of the park, SO was dying to see spaceship earth, so (forgive me, sibling) it was the last ride we rode before heading over to the animal kingdom.

the first time we came to disneyworld, animal kingdom hadn't even been thought of yet, and the second time i came down here, i spent my extra day in the magic kingdom and epcot, instead of bothering with the animal kingdom, because, after all, i've been to zoos. after visiting yesterday, i can safey say that not only was my life complete before, but i really don't feel too great a need for another visit.

i'm probably a little biased, though. we were going to ride the new rollercoaster in the park, but they were out of fastpasses, and i didn't have the patience to wait in line for an hour, especially since i was already frustrated about not being able to reach anyone on the walkie talkies. so, we wandered over to the dinosaur area, were we rode on one rollercoaster (pretty cool), and got in line for the big dinosaur ride. half an hour later, we were almost at the front of that line, but then the ride suffered some "technical difficulties" and was shut down.

it was pretty hot outside, and SO needed a drink, so we went to mcdonald's, where it took 10 minutes to get a simple coke. after our soda, we wandered over to the train in africa, where our timing finally worked out right and dad and kathie stepped off the train as we were getting on. they rode around again with us, and we met the rest of my stepfamily on the other side. post-ride, i went on the whitewater rafting ride with my stepsiblings and their kids, while SO watched all of our bags and dad and kathie headed back to their room. discussion with the ride operators over whether or not shoes had to be worn during the ride ensued, and i found myself wishing i'd ridden with the odd rider out on another boat. (there's room for 12 on each boat, and we had 13.)

post-soaking, everyone headed back to our resort to get changed into drier clothes for dinner at the boma buffet at the animal kingdom lodge.

while we waited to be seated for dinner, we wandered around outside, taking pictures of several animals. after several photos (which blogger seems unwilling to allow me to upload) and a trip to the gift shop (i did pretty well, actually), we were summoned (via one of those pager thingies) to dinner.

for those down at disney without the disney dining plan, the buffet is thirtysomething dollars (i think) assured it was worth every single penny. SO and i had time for a couple of trips to the buffet (you know that weight you just gained mama? sorry about that.) before heading off to see cirque du soleil's la nouba.

half an hour should have been plenty of time to get from the animal kingdom lodge to downtown disney, where our show was.

should have.

we arrived almost halfway through the show, and while the woman who took our tickets was kind enough to offer to excahnge our tickets for another night, unfortunately those ights were all after we'd be back in columbia.

of course- i scored fifth row seats, and we missed half the show.


as a consolation, post show, SO bought the dvd of the show for me, as well as the varekai dvd (our first cirque show- we saw it for his dad's 60th birthday a couple of years ago.), and the soundtracks to the three shows we've seen (the two i already mentioned, plus delirium, which we caught in columbia a couple months ago- the soundtrack was unavailable at the time.)

whew. okay- i think that covers just about everything from yesterday,(no character encounters, sadly) and since i'm now caught up, i can head to the shower before we take off for the magic kingdom so i can stalk the seven dwarves and piglet.

dizz knee land, pt. 3

it's late, so i'm going to let today's pictures do all the work for me. we spent most of the day in disney/mgm (the rockin roller coaster was excellent, by the way), and then wandered over to the magic kingdom after the light show at mgm, because the magic kingdom was open until 2am for resort guests, which simply rocks.

with my new boyfriend, on the way to the muppet show.

this was right after i said, "have you taken the freaking picture yet?"

the stunt show was very cool, judging from all the pictures SO took.

Friday, July 28, 2006

dizz knee land, pt. 2

we got back to the room too late last night to post a lengthy review of our day at epcot.....and we'll be leaving here in a few minutes to head over to mgm studios (and back to epcot for lunch- i'm really excited about that part), but i think i have time to post a few quick photos from yesterday.

first off, you can find me with my new friends here.

our package includes the disney dining plan. SO and i shared this plate with the gnomes for lunch. this chicken/lamb plate in morocco is quite possibly one of the best deals at disney....and quite tasty, too. (left to right: paddy, packer, and f-stop)

here i am in norway (part of the world showcase at epcot). i know, i know- you're quite envious of my long, lustrous locks.

check out this kickass picture of an egret-sized blue heron that SO took with his fancy-pants camera.

it's good to have a little extra luck on your side. this belly patting was intended to bring me luck when it came to finding my favorite shrimp-flavored chips in japan. (yes- it worked.)

after our dinner at the coral reef restaurant, we headed into the living seas, where they have a new interactive show featuring crush from finding nemo. this was really, really cool. (picture coming as soon as blogger feels cooperative.)

(more to come- time to head to mgm.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

dizz knee land, pt. 1

just a quick dispatch from our room at the all star movies resort at walt disney world. (i know, i know- the title's incorrect, but the song wasn't called "dizz-knee-world", now was it?)

it took seven hours and a couple of wrong turns to get down here, but you know me- i love a good road trip.

of note:

we were passed in georgia by "tonya's twirling tornadoes". i wasn't fast enough with the camera, so i think all i captured was a blur.

upon our arrival in florida, i discovered that bodhi had somehow been left back in south carolina. this was not a good thing. then again, i'll be back down here in a couple of months, so i suppose i'll get over it. besides, this'll open up new creative options as far as bodhi's blog is concerned.

in the meantime (since it's getting late, and i have to get up early to be the first in line at the haunted mansion), this is the best i've got:

that's bodhi's brother, f-stop, in front of the welcome center.

i'll be back on tomorrow with more pictures, i'm sure.

Monday, July 24, 2006

another 48 hours.....

...and i'll be at "the happiest place on earth".

no, no- that was neither a reference to val kilmer's boudoir (yeah- wouldn't know about that one) or the inside of matthew mcconaughey's airstream trailer (ditto)- i'm talking about that 47-square mile mickeytropolis down in florida.

as you may have guessed by the mention of my favorite amusement park ride anywhere in yesterday's post, i'm getting a little excited about this latest vacation.....and only partially because it's already paid for and i didn't have to put any of it on my credit card*, thus freeing it up for the purchase of ridiculous amounts of souvenirs when i'm down there.

this'll be my third visit to disneyworld, the first being when i was seven and my sibling was 5, and the second being my third year of college, when my sibling was stationed down in pensacola, florida.

the first time we went to disneyworld was probably the best, and it'll probably remain my favorite visit, even after this upcoming trip. i remember we went down in february. i think it was during "energy conservation week", though we may have had to take a few days off from school for our trip. (some of the deatils get a little fuzzy after 20 years have passed.)

it took daddy, diana and i two days to drive from our home in woodlawn (near baltimore) maryland to the koa kampground outside of the park. i remember we spent the night somewhere in south carolina (off of I-95, i'm sure, though i'm uncertain as to exactly where), where we ate barbecue and daddy conversed with our neighbors at the campground. (i clearly recall him asking if i'd noticed that he spoke to her with a southern accent. just as clearly, i recall saying that no, i hadn't noticed any accent.) we left the campground relatively early the next morning, with a couple of additions to my wardrobe. it seems the southerners daddy had conversed with took a liking to us, and somehow i wound up with two slightly used short jumpsuits in good condition. (i'd offer up a photo or two, as i wore those outfits pretty much constantly for the year that followed, but quite frankly, sharing photographic evidence of my nerdy youth just isn't high on my list of things to do.)

i don't remember too much about the koa kampground, except that there was a pool, and my sibling and i spent a fair amount of time in it each night, after we left the park. each morning, we'd take a shuttle from the campground to disneyworld, which saved a fair bit of time and hassle....assuming we were ready when the shuttle came. (we usually were, mostly because we were too excited about being at disneyworld to sleep all that much.)

during the mid-80s, when we first visited the park, there were only two sections to disneyworld. there was the magic kingdom, of course, as well as epcot center, which was pretty new at the time. we liked the magic kingdom well enough (after all, that's where the haunted mansion was), but i think epcot held more appeal for us, at least at the time anyway. upon entering epcot center, you wind up passing underneath a giant sphere. inside that sphere was my sibling's favorite ride...i think it's called "spaceship:earth", but i'll have to double check for accuracy in a couple of days.

it's probably important to note that back in those days, my sister harbored dreams of becoming an astronaut, and i think she still would to this day, were it not for the math and science requirements.

aside from my sister's obsession with spaceship:earth, a couple other memories of epcot stand out:

~while we were in the world showcase area of the park, an older woman (probably in her 20s at the time) screamed out "morocco", and rolled her "r"s, a talent i've never been able to master, much to the dismay of every spanish teacher i've ever had. (rolling "r"s, not screaming out "morocco", which i can do on demand, though i'm afraid the occasion just doesn't arise very often.)

~also in the world showcase, daddy bought each of us a souvenir. my sister picked out a small italian flag (we're a quarter italian, thanks to mama), and i picked out a german flag (some undetermined fraction on daddy's side). to say we weren't overindulged would be an understatement, and that was (and still is) perfectly fine with us. in fact, the goal is to buy as few souvenirs as possible this time, unless of course, they have


we loved that purple dragon. he was in an exhibit on imagination in epcot. i was absolutely, completely, and totally heartbroken during my last visit to epcot, seven years ago, to find that the exhibit had been replaced by "honey, i shrunk the audience", which, in my opinion (which could have been affected by my broken heart, i suppose), sucked. in fact, i was so mad about the switch that after we exited the show, i went to the nearest gift shop and bought everything figmenty i could find.

which reminds me- sibling, if you're reading this- and i know you are, i have not forgotten about the kidnapping of my plush figment.

~finally, perhaps my fondest epcot memory, though it was terribly embarrassing at the time:
there we were, in the american section of the world showcase. there was a show involving a whole bunch of patriotic folks singing and dancing, and at one point, naming all the states in the union. i think we were supposed to clap or cheer when our state was mentioned, and everyone did, through the first 49 states. (at least i assume they went in alphabetical order, though i probably will be corrected by daddy and/or sibling on that one.)

"wait a minute," you're saying, "aren't there fifty states?"

yes- there most certainly are. the last one alphabetically just happens to be.....

(oh, come on- you know this)

(really, you do- even if you might now necessarily be able to pick it out on a map)

".......west virginia.....wisconsin.....wyoming."

and with that last state, a voice in the crowd - mortifyingly, belonging to my dad- let out the loudest "YEE-HAW!" in the history of "yee-haw"s.

i'm rather shy by nature, anyway, but having several members of the cast of this patriotic little show afterwards was just.....well, i pretty much wished i could just blend in to the floor, or daddy's leg, or the nearest pillar- anything.

we skipped the show the last time we went to disneyworld, but if it's still in production this time around, i'm dragging daddy to it. we've discussed the "yeehaw"ing of twenty years ago, and he seems hesitant to repeat the outburst, though i'm still kind of hoping he'll do it....mostly because i'm not sure i have the guts to do it just yet. (i can, by right- after all, wyoming was the first state i lived in, and my social security number starts with a wyoming prefix.)

okay- enough of least for a couple of days, anyway. (yes, i'm planning on taking my laptop with me so i can upload pictures and perhaps bang out a post or two while i'm there.)

i don't remember nearly as much about my first trip to the magic kingdom as i do about epcot. the pirates of the caribbean ride was closed, but we spent time instead at the haunted mansion (have i mentioned how much i love that ride? just a little.), tom sawyer's island, and the swiss family robinson's tree house, which was memorable both because we wound up pretty far off the ground and there was a young (20ish) couple in line near us wearing these cutesy t-shirts printed with something to the effect of "i'm with him/her", with an arrow underneath the phrase. (for the record, one said "i'm with him", and the other said "i'm with her", they didn't both say "i'm with him/her" or anything like that. somehow i doubt there's too much of that sort of gender-bending fun in those parts- especially in the mid-80s, at least involving this particular couple.)

even back then, i swore i would never, ever, ever be caught dead in a shirt like that. (ever!)

i certainly don't have any memories quite like that about my trip in college. though i went with dad and his wife, i spent most of the time off doing my own thing, like going through the haunted mansion four or five times in a row (did i mention....?), finally riding on the pirates of the caribbean (lots of pirates and fire), avoiding the "it's a small world" ride like the plague (i swear, even reading the words gets that excruciatingly annoying song stuck in my head.)...sure, i remember lots of other stuff (like the overamorous piglet, who kept following me around. when i told sibling about it, she cracked that piglet must've been a lesbian, as that's what i tend to attract.), but nothing strongly enough to dull the memories of the earlier trip.

so, i suppose it'll be interesting to see what i come up with this time around. we're staying in far fancier digs than either of the previous visits (quite frankly, i'd be just as happy in a tent by the pool at the koa, but not everyone in our group is willing to "rough it", even if it'd save a ton of money), and we won't be sharing funnel cakes, like we did the first time. (one of sibling's, notsomuch, though i do enjoy the powdered sugar off the top.) most importantly, due to her recent decision to become a grownup and buy a house and whatnot, my sister won't be joining us, which i suppose would mean there's no need for funnel cake anyway, as:

1. i'm not sure how well they keep and travel
2. especially when someone (who, of course, shall remain nameless) has licked off all of the powdered sugar.

*except for my tickets to the cirque du soleil show, that is, but since SO's ticket takes care of one of those gift-giving occasions (flag day), it counts as "gift shopping", not "vacation expenses".

Sunday, July 23, 2006

baby...i can't wait

since i'm not fired up about anything at the moment, and therefore have nothing realy entertaining (or is it just bitchy?) to write about, i'm shamelessly stealing this idea from my dear friend jamie, whose myspace page i'd link to, except for the small problem of myspace being down right now, and therefore, i can't look up her url.

actually, i guess myspace's current login issues could lead to a vaguely amusing, highly ranty piece on my part, but i've been kind of cranky lately i guess, and i'd hate for you to chalk it up to pms (i swear it's not!) and attempt to mail large amounts of dark chocolate to me.*

anyway, back when myspace was behaving earlier this afternoon, jamie posted a list of things she was looking forward to. it's been a little while since i did a meme of any sort, so i figure i might as well join in:

i can't wait..... ride through the haunted mansion ten times a day for nearly a week. (three days to go!) knock hawaii off the list of states i've yet to visit. go sledding again. all i need is a big hill and some snow. oh- and a sled. get a couple more stamps on my national park passport. (oh come on- like you didn't already know i was a raging dork.) drop this last five pounds before the high school reunion. hear professions of undying love from former crushes at the aforementioned reunion. (no need to worry about my safety- i'm not going to hold my breath or anything.) see my little sister's new house, not to mention the muppets exhibit at the smithsonian through labor day. (guess i'd better get cracking on that one....) watch the special features on the dread pirate edition of the princess bride, which SO presented me with on my birthday. (he's getting pretty good at taking hints.) get my picture taken with various characters at disneyworld. (the seven dwarves, winnie the pooh and friends (especially piglet), nemo, stitch, and just about anyone else who's not a princess.) crawl under the comforter tonight- i'm wiped out.

so- what about you? what can't you wait for?

(leave a comment so i know to swing by and check out your list, okay?)

*actually, the only reason i'm discouraging that practice is that i'm trying to drop a couple of pounds still....and with the current heatwave, the chocolate would be pretty much fondue by the time it made it out here anyway.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

isn't the check good enough?

i think i'm setting the record for the longest bout of writer's block, but we'll get to that in a minute.

while at work today, i finally bought my plane tickets for my high school reunion in kansas city next month. then, i called my dad to let him know i'll need to be retrieved and (hopefully) handed the keys to the miata.*

i've already formulated a back up plan, in case i get tired of dealing with my inebriated former classmates after the first hour of the reunion....and i've come up with a second back up plan, since i just found out the friend i was going to call after becoming tired of dealing with my inebriated former classmates after the first hour of the reunion will be out of town that weekend.

i've lost ten of the fifteen pounds i was hoping to drop before the reunion. unfortunately, five of them snuck back on this past week, thanks to taco bell. (that's it- no more crunchwrap supremes for me for at least a matter how delightful the spicy chicken ones might be.)

heck, my skin even cleared up. well, until i finally got my contacts in, that is.

however, despite all of my other preparations going relatively smoothly, i still haven't finished the "biography form". every time i try to sit down to fill out the remaining questions, i fiddle around for about a minute and a half, put pen to paper, and then come up with some sort of excuse to abandon the whole thing and spend the next hour on some sort of meaningful task, like obsessively checking myspace to see if anyone's professed their undying love to me, or picking my bellybutton lint or trying to think of something (hopefully) mildly entertaining to write about. if i had a pet, i'd take it for a walk as an excuse, though i'm afraid i'd probably run through a whole lot of goldfish that way.

i didn't have this much of a struggle with my senior paper, and i wrote that whole thing from start to finish the night before it was due.

with the rsvp deadline rapidly approaching, i'm almost to the point where i'm seriously contemplating sending in my payment and a note stating that i'd like to remain an enigma instead of trying to decide what my favorite place i've lived or traveled, my favorite high school memory, and my hobbies/interests/activities are.

and don't even get me started on "what's still on your to do list", because quite frankly, one line is not going to give me enough space to jot down my plans for the next 72 years.

actually, perhaps therein lies the solution.

what's still on your to do list?
figure out how to finish filling out this questionaire before our 20th reunion.

*actually, i may have forgotten to mention that last part, but i figure i can bring it up after buttering him up in disneyworld this next week.

what have i become?

i'm almost ashamed to admit this, but despite my dislike of jessica simpson, i really like this song:

you searched for what???

just when i think there's nothing to write about, you folks come to the rescue.

actually, that's a little white lie- i contemplated recounting my adventures during yesterday's bank run, complete with the large trucks moving at a glacial pace and the fool at the bank who needed three tried to figure out her deposit (or maybe she has three seperate transactions...i neither know or care) who totally deserved it when i gunned my engine at her after her 15 minute transaction....just like i deserved every mexican morsel purchased at taco bell after my transactions took less than five minutes.......

but really, i shouldn't bore you with the whole story.

instead, how about an overdue look at the more unusual searches that lead you folks here:

tom keifer updates

this query came from a curious cinderella fan in saskatchewan, canada. well, i assume they're a cinderella fan, anyway. (now on tour with poison, i believe....not that i pay attention to that sort of thing, of course.)

nope, not at all. how much are tickets to the charlotte show next month?

Heavenly hiraani tiger lily rapping?

what? let's see here- it's been 8 1/2 years since michael hutchence died, which would make her around nine....and somehow i doubt ....wait a minute. look what popped up ahead of me on the results page.

and finally, the piece de resistance, courtesy of a reader in the bustling metropolis of hugo, oklahoma:

photos of male bodybuilders getting a wedgie

i have no idea how i came up on this search. i scrolled througvh the first three pages, and didn't see random musings anywhere....for which i think i probably should be grateful.

surprisingly, i didn't see any of the requested pictures when i clicked yahoo's "images" link. imagine that.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

pass the paintbrush....and the pen

i'm way too lazy to fire up my laptop when i get home from work so i can bang out a post and update random photos, so i figure i might as well take the lazy way out and post from work. (don't worry- i'm off the clock.)

speaking of work, the bosses are out of town. while they're wandering around "the happiest place on earth", i've been left in charge of the pets, the house, and several gallons of paint. somehow, thus far, i've managed not to mix the pets and the paint, though there was a close call this evening involving one of the cats and some freshly oil-painted trim, but i'm pleased to report that her hearing is fine after all, and i may have even taught her a new word. (thank goodness my bosses don't have any of those talking birds, as the thought of one of them slipping and calling a random guest a "fuckwit"* is almost enough to make me blush....and we all know that's not easily done.)

the downside of all this painting, however, is that, well, currently i am working with oil-based paint, which i love dealing with almost as much as i love dealing with rabid monkeys.

yeah- notsomuch.

actually, after putting off this particular project for the past six months, i've found that i was really missing out on a great opportunity. the past two days, i've inadvertantly colored my hair, nearly gotten turpentine in my left eye while trying to un-color my hair, learned how to balance on the edge of the bathtub and the handle of the stepstool while painting the top edge of the window frame, and i swear i saw little men hiding in the bushes outside said window last night, but that could have been because i'd forgotten to open a window or turn on a fan or something to allow the paint fumes to dissipate.

since i'm only halfway through this little project, i'm thinking in another couple of days, i might have enough material for a chapter in a book sometime.

maybe if i'm really lucky, they'll stick me on a shelf next to bob vila. (better make it a low one, just in case the little men who hide in bushes like to read.)

*my current favorite insult, especially in traffic.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

sharon share alike

originally, this evening's post was going to be a letter to sharon stone infroming her that i'd be sending her a bill for the therapy i'm going to need after seeing her breasts in basic instinct 2 last night. do yourself a favor and don't see it. it's much better to spend your hour and a half rewatching the first film, because no one should have to see implants that appear to have fallen if they don't have to. furthermore, the abundance of british accents wasn't enough to make up for the crummy plot. i mean, i've seen pornos with more interesting plots than this film.
(aw, crap- hope daddy doesn't read that part. quick- someone get the smelling salts.)

anyway, it takes time for me to write a letter, especially one that needs to be properly phrased so as not to be too bitchy, and quite frankly, the combination of oil paint fumes and lack of sleep are leaving me a little too tired to devote an hour to pounding out a masterpiece. instead, i'll share with you a few random cinematic tidbits:

last three movies seen in the theater:

1. you, me, and dupree
2. pirates of the caribbean II
3. the devil wears prada (i swaer i'm not the one who picked this out.)

dupree and pirates both had quick bonus scenes after the credits. while they weren't life-changing or anything, they were cute....and besides, who wants to be part of the post-flick stampede exiting the theater?

last three videos i've watched lately:
1. basic instinct 2 (i finished it only because i kept thinking "surely, it'll get better", but nooooooooo. run- don't walk- away from this one if you come across it at the video store.)
2. leroy and stitch
3. kiss kiss bang bang

leroy and stitch was pretty good, though i missed the first few minutes of the film. guess that means it'll need to come into my life during the next gift-giving occasion.

kiss kiss bang bang, while not my favorite val kilmer film...and a spot in my top 5 is iffy as well, was really good. true, val's pretending to be gay, and he has gained an extra pound or two (sibling says i should move on), but i still wouldn't turn him away. no need to buy it for me- SO paid attention to strategically dropped hints and bestowed this upon me for my birthday.

speaking of my birthday i know i owe you the rest of my birthday post.....and you'll get it, just as soon as blogger decides to allow me to upload more photos.

and on that note, i need to try to replace the horrible naked sharon mental picture with something far more pleasing, like, well, anyone but sharon naked.

Monday, July 17, 2006

birthday, pt 1

i know you've all been waiting with bated breath to find out how i spent my day, but first, let's take a moment to recognize a few folks who share my "special" (sorry- flashbacks to that horrid light up gift i recently received) day:

phyllis diller: july 17, 1917

donald sutherland: july 17, 1934
(okay- i cheated, but quite frankly i've always liked his son better)

and, how could i possibly forget this guy:

yes, folks, david hasselhoff was born on july 17th 1952.

you know, it's really unfair of me to give you a video like that and not allow you adequate time to fully take it all in. so, to be fair, i'll tell you about my day (multiple serenades, wild rapids, and more meat than my sibling could eat) tomorrow....assuming blogger feels like allowing me to post my photos by then.

another year older, though not necessarily much wiser

it seems like i just wrote my last birthday post, but i suppose it really has been a year now. my, how time flies.....28 years down, 72 more to go. (i'm hoping to inherit whatever it is that's responsible for longevity in my family, as i'm going to need another 72 years to accomplish everything i want to before i croak.)

in honor of this special occassion, i pulled a few favorites out of the ol' photo album this morning.....

here i am at the tender age of 7 months old. i'm not quite sure what that is behind me. the orange, fuzzy guy hanging out with me is theodore the bear, who's currently somewhere in my apartment. (if that's not incentive to clean out my room, i'm not sure what is.)

here i am at a year old, trying to convince daddy that my feet smell like roses. 27 years later, i still don't think i've convinced him of this fact.

with mama, at 16 months old.

proof that i can totally take credit for starting the whole "talk to the hand" craze. september 1980

she's always been the cute one.
even at not quite a year and a half old, my sibling was more mature than i was....and almost as tall. march 1982

a few past milestones:

2 years ago: drove to beach after work. arrived at the isle of palms as a huge storm rolled in. didn't think to take a picture. (dammit) drove back to columbia and consumed roughly 5500 calories worth of fondue at the melting pot.

5 years ago: celebrated my birthday at the myrtle beach house of blues- at a cult concert. (yes folks, being a mere 20 feet away from ian astbury is my idea of a good time.)

6 years ago: arrived in columbia. i still haven't gotten sick of this place yet, though i seriously doubt i'll still be here in another 6 years.

7 years ago: went whale watching in boothbay harbor, maine, with mama.

10 years ago: please....i was still grounded after the infamous july 4th incident.

14 years ago: this was during the three week period between the move from baltimore and moving into our house in kansas city. daddy worked, and i spent the day hanging out by the pool at the motel 6. this was roughly when i went blonde, courtesy of a blowdryer and large amounts of sun-in. i think my hair was pretty much fried by the time school started.

28 years ago: take a wild guess.

last year, i set five goals for myself:

1. visit three new places. (i've got two planned- just need to work on a third.)
just three? over the past year, i hiked between waterfalls on the havasupai reservation in the grand canyon, took about a thousand photographs in yellowstone and grand teton national parks, set foot in two new states (montana and idaho), wandered around hopewell rocks (in the bay of fundy) at low tide.......

2. eat 100 tacos (no problem there)
if i didn't make it to 100, i must've gotten pretty close.

3. find an intact conch shell at the beach. (this seems to be the holy grail of shells for me....i can find broken ones, but an intact shell seems to be just out of my reach for some reason.)
this one continues to elude me, but the day is young, and maybe i can squeeze in a trip to the beach before midnight to see what i can come up with.

4. get in a position (financially) where i can afford to work less and play more. (actually, i may need a couple of years for that one.....)
i'm certainly not rich, and i'm not sure i work less, but i balance out my hours differently, and i have a far easier time getting my vacations approved. additionally, i'm in a far different position than i was last year, with better pay, less stress, and 100% less corporate bullshit.

5. take a picture every day...and remember to post them on my new blog.
almost every day counts, right?

so, i suppose it's time for a new list for the next year:

1. visit 3 places i've never been before, including at least one new state and one new country.

2. post a picture a day over at random photos, even if the only thing i can photograph is my collection of bellybutton lint.

3. save up for the blue diamond earrings i saw last christmas in maine but couldn't afford.

4. continue to avoid acquiring jewelry of major significance. (i mean really- i'm only 28- still way too young for all that grown up stuff.)

5. write more....though not necessarily on here.
gotta start that best-selling autobiography sometime, you know?

after all, i've only got 72 years left to become rich and famous.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

photo happy

for the past year, i've tried to post a photo a day over at random photos. while i haven't always managed to keep up with that goal, at least i've made a pretty good effort. the pictures posted over there are mostly just quick snapshots- nothing really worth enlarging and framing above the bed, but the goal wasn't to cultivate my inner ansel adams as much as it was to keep a record of the past year. (well, technically, it'll be a year tomorrow, but i'll most likely be at work and won't have time to dig through old posts, as i do today.)

anyway, here are some of my favorites:

the picture that started it all. me at riverbanks zoo, 17 july 2005

one of the best birthday presents ever- catching duran duran in charlotte.
(we were in the 11th row.)  20 july 2005

bay of fundy, as seen from hopewell rocks, new brunswick, canada
29 july 2005

f stop and bodhi visit d.c. on our way back from visiting mama in maine.
31 july 2005

one of the tigers at riverbanks zoo- this turned out really well, considering the digital camera i use has no zoom.
14 august 2005

jake, one of my coworkers, busy guarding the yard from geese.
8 november 2005

christmas eve in maine

bar harbor, maine
29 december 2005

recognize this? it's the picture i tinkered with to create my myspace background.
5 january 2006

at the tender age of 27, i finally made it to the circus.
19 january 2006

i swear i'm not a dog person....yet somehow this one's gotten to me.
9 march 2006

from my first trip to congaree national park
16 march 2006

havasu falls, arizona
21 april 2006

mooney falls, arizona
22 april 2006

norris geyser basin, yellowstone national park
22 june 2006

sunset in yellowstone national park
22 june 2006

grand canyon of the yellowstone
23 june 2006

yellowstone lake
23 june 2006

jackson lake and the tetons, grand teton national park
24 june 2006

the tetons
24 june 2006

kayaking in montana with a few friends
26 june 2006


Saturday, July 15, 2006

this and that

a few random bits and pieces of thoughts i've had today (because i'm lazy and don't have enough time for a real post before i head out of the station and into the hundred degree heat.)

~dave gahan looks so much better with facial hair. i finally found my way over to youtube, and quite frankly, i would have certainly kicked the younger version of dave out of bed. the older one....not so much.

~which, in an odd sort of way, reminds me that i really need to find my list of most wanted cds. SO has been hounding me about possible birthday gifts. i suppose, if pressed, i could send him on a treasure hunt, as a couple of the titles i want are a little obscure.

~while i've got transportation for my next trip (disneyworld in a week and a half) covered, i really need to get on the ball this weekend and look into some tickets for the high school reunion next month. while i'm at it, i suppose i should finish filling out that questionnaire, and then i need to find a vaguely flattering picture from that era for some sort of slideshow. i wonder if photoshopping's allowed. (actually, since i look pretty much the same now as i did then, maybe i can just sneak in a current photograph without anyone noticing.)

~owen wilson is on the bigscreen again this weekend. therefore, i will be in the theater after work. perhaps, if i'm awake enough, i'll post a review later. it is far more likely, however, that i will go home, crawl into bed with a book, and (brace yourself) perhaps even fall asleep early. (can you tell i'm trying to avoid my "to do" list, which is currently as long as my arm and includes stimulating tasks, like "scrub out the shower", "shovel off desk", and "write 9 months worth of belated birthday cards"?)

~i need to get random photos caught up....and then decide if i'm going to make any changes for the next maybe actually remembering to take a photo a day.

~still need to come up with something memorable for my birthday. kayaking in charleston is out (dammit!), and somehow i doubt val is going to show up at my door....though i'll be at work for at least a few hours anyway. i'm in serious need of a plan b.

~got a great compliment in my email yesterday- someone i respect a great deal wrote:

"by the way, you really should look into writing for a living. you're quite good at it."

that totally made my weekend.

Friday, July 14, 2006


my four year old sidekick is always so helpful in the self-esteem department. as you may recall, a couple of months ago, she reacted to the sight of yours truly in a bikini in a way that, well, didn't exactly make me feel like the next tyra or gisele or even beyonce.

however, i'm proud to report that i've managed to drop about 10 lbs in the past month, and only have about 5 more to go before i'm back at my high school weight. (unfortunately, with my luck, the rest of it will all come out of my bra, necessitating the use of one of those spiffy water bras. heck, if it comes to that, i may go whole hog, buy a d-cup, stuff it, and see how long it takes someone at the 10-year reunion to get up the guts to ask if i've had a boob job. that could be pretty entertaining, actually......)

in fact, when we went to the pool earlier this week, said sidekick approved the wearing of the same blue swimsuit that she screamed about a couple of months ago, so i suppose a little of the weight must've come off of the right places.

however, sidekick has moved on to other things.

last night, while everyone else went to see pirates of the caribbean, she and i stayed home, parked on the couch in front of some animated flick i've never heard of. about halfway through the film, i was hit with this wicked headache. attributing it to the fact that i'd ben squinting too long in the dark, i grabbed my glasses out of my car and put them on.

now, bear in mind that i don't haul out my glasses often. i'm not nearly as self-conscious about them as i used to be, but i still would rather stubbornly squint than put them on 98% of the time. (i suppose i still haven't gotten over my former nerdiness and the associatedd popularity during my younger years, though that's a long story for another time...and probably not on this blog.)

in fact, were it not for a college boyfriend who told me he thought i looked sexy in glasses, i don't know that i'd even bother with owning a pair. (that aside, let me go on the record as saying that i have a certain fondness for guys in glasses.....)

anyway, last night, i was moved to retrieve my glasses from the car. when i got back into the living room and settled back into my spot on the couch, my sidekick noticed my glasses and couldn't resist the urge to comment.

"you look funny in glasses."

perhaps it's time to dig out the ol' contacts again.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

there's only room for one toys r us kid around here....

as i was on the phone with mama this morning (sibling beat me to the customary birthday morning phone call this year, but next year, i'm totally dialing at 6:01, since mama informed me that she's up by 6.), i came to a startling realization.

in ten days, i'll be exactly as old as mama was when she had me.

i brought this up mid-call, and pointed out that the mere thought of marriage makes me queasy (and i'm not talking about it being in one of those swooning, weak-in-the-knees kind of way) and asked her what that says about me.

"you're smart."

sounds a lot better than "yeah, kiddo- you're pretty much an old maid now", doesn't it?


i read somewhere a year or two ago about some sort of nationwide survey where folks were asked when they considered themselves "adults"*. as i recall, the majority of folks said they considered themselves adults when they had children.

what's this? why can't we all be simultaneously immature? how come i'm the one who's supposed to grow up? that doesn't seem fair.....

with that in mind, here are

ten reasons why i'm not ready to have kids yet

10. i'd have to share the coveted elmo sprinkler
9. it hasn't been nearly long enough since i last changed twenty diapers a day. in fact, i think i'll need another ten years to get over that.
8. while were on the subject of explosive things little people do, we might as well hit the other end. as i explained to someone earlier this week, i have never been good with puke. in fact, every time a kid hurled at school, i appointed myself the teacher who'd break the news to the parents. i'm not much better with my own barf, either......i would have made a horrible bulemic.
7. when we were younger, i guess we were a little bit of a handful. i clearly recall mama cursing us with twins. we haven't had any on either side of the family in a few generations, and it'd be just my luck to be the one stuck with twice the puke and twice the diaper duty. forgive me if i don't sprint to the front of the line to sign up for that.
6. go ahead and find me a couple with children who still have spontaneous sex in various rooms of the house on a semi-regular basis. (uh, i mean the parents, not the kids.) don't worry- i won't hold my breath on that one.
5. while we're on the subject of spontaneity, i'm very fond of being able to throw a couple of suitcases in the car and take off on a road trip. as i understand it, when you have kids, you have to pack clothing and stuff for them. no wonder so many folks wind up shuttling around in minivans and suvs***
4. competition for happy meal toys.
3. i don't get nearly enough sleep as it is.
2. that hot affair i'm going to have with val kilmer? i'm thinking having a kid wander into the room while i'm in a rather compromising position would pretty much scar everyone involved for life.
1. even at her newly advanced age, mama is still way too young to be a grandma.

*i'd offer up a link for you, but quite frankly, if i google "adult surveys", i'm thinking the results aren't exactly going to be the sort of thing that's appropriate for a nice, clean blog like this one**

**just kidding- i swear way too much for this blog to be considered clean.

***the majority of suvs, of course, are basically just minivans for people who can't admit they need minivans. i swear, i have to fight the urge to whip out my digital camera every time i come across an suv with large amounts of dirt on it, an indicator that it may have actually been taken off-road within the last month.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

take me out....

isn't that the name of the franz ferdinand song that was pretty big a few years ago? i should google that and check when i'm done banging out this post.......

i'm pleased to report that i did, in fact, get to see the pirates of the caribbean sequel last night. there's nothing quite like the joy of watching johnny depp and orlando bloom on the big screen for nearly two and a half hours, though i assure you i was only there for the plot, not the eye candy. (if i practice saying that enough, perhaps i'll be able to make it actually sound convincing by the tenth or so attempt.)

if you have not yet seen the sequel, i'd recommend rewatching the black pearl before you go. there are several references to the first film in the second, and i'm quite glad i'd seen the first film again a couple of weeks ago. oh, and when you go, sit through the credits.....five of us in the theater were treated to a brief little scene at the end. it wasn't exactly a huge plot point or anything (unlike the little surprise at the end of the latest installment in the x-men series), but it was still a cute little extra.

so far, the reports i've seen regarding the box office take for the flick are incomplete regarding the weekend, though the film took in $55.5 million on friday alone, setting a one-day record previously held by the last episode of star wars.

from the meaningless trivia department, does anyone know what movie keira knightley and one other major character from this film starred in together a few years back? i'll give you a hint or two if you need it, but i'm interested to see who can figure this out without them.....

Saturday, July 08, 2006

kal strikes again......

1. Which curse word do you use the most?
the most versatile one of them all.......

2. Do you own an iPod?

3. What time is your alarm clock set for?
depends upon the day. it went off at 5:30 this morning.....and then i hit snooze a few times.

4. How many suitcases do you own?
one. it has some serious issues (ragged corner, broken zipper), but it's been everywhere i've been since my trip to europe in high school.

5. Do you wear flip flops even when it's cold?
no, but i will go barefoot

6. Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?
probably take it. i haven't been photogenic since early in my college career.

7. What was the last movie you watched?
hopefully, by the time this gets posted, "pirates of the caribbean 2" will be an honest answer.

8. Do you or any of your friends have children?
you're kidding, right? i'm way too young and selfish for that kind of grown up stuff.

9. Has anyone ever called you lazy?
yes.....that doesn't mean i deserved it, though.

10. Do you ever take medication to help you sleep?

11. Which CD is currently in your CD player?
def leppard- i can't remember he name of this particular greatest hits album off the top of my head, though. i've been waking up to "two steps behind" lately.

17. Do you think people talk about you behind your back?
probably. bitches.

18. Did you watch cartoons as a child?

[question missing here]

20. Are you shy around the opposite sex?
*runs and hides in nearest dark corner*

21. Which movie(s) do you know every line to?
real genius

22. Do you own any band t-shirts?

23. What is your favorite salad dressing?
newman's light italian- i dig the extra pepper they throw in

24. Who was the last person to make you mad?
the guy clogging up the fast lane last night on my way back from charleston.....

25. Do you do your own dishes?
that's what SO is for

26. Ever cry in public?
i'm terrible with goodbyes. if i'm leaving SO, mama, or daddy and hopping on a plane, it will be messy for a few minutes.

27. Are you on a desktop computer or a laptop?
on? on? i'd break the keyboard for sure....

28. Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?

29. Would you ever date someone covered in tattoos?
i like a couple of tattoos here and there.....but if there are a whole bunch showing, his name had better be henry rollins or johnny depp.

30. What did you do before this?
got paid to talk in between songs for five hours.

31. When is the last time you slept on the floor?
does the floor of a tent count? if so, then within the last few weeks.

32. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
how well do you want me to function?

33. Do you eat breakfast daily?

34. Are your days full and fast-paced?

35. Do you pay attention to the calories on the package?
not generally....i'd rather spend the time thinking up ways to burn them off again.

36. Do you use sarcasm?
is there any other way? i think not.

37. How old will you be on your next birthday?
28 is creeping up on me rather quickly.

38. Are you picky about spelling and grammar?

39. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
yes- just the one in new jersey, though

40. Do you get along better with the same sex or the opposite sex?
opposite far.

i'm not going to tag anyone- have to get out of here for some personal time with johnny depp and orlando bloom.....take this if you want it, and let me know if you did, so i can check out your answers, okay?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


how do i love google, let me count the ways.....

1. google boosts my ego every time i type in my name and see my blog listed......however, i have nothing to do with the german porn site it also brings to my attention.

2. when i'm lying awake in bed after midnight with one line from a song in my head, and trying to figure out the title/artist/rest of the song is driving me nuts, i can type the lyric into google, and in less than fifteen seconds, the mystery is solved. ("what do you want from me?", by monaco*, was the culprit last night....)

*monaco, as i learned on wikipedia thanks to a link supplied by- you guessed it- google, was a side project of peter hook, of joy division/new order. armed with this knowledge, i think i could totally beat mark mcgrath in the event that rock n' roll jeopardy ever makes a comeback.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

pondering......flames and the 4th

two ideas for possible posts hit me this morning, and one about an hour ago. i actually found myself stopping and thinking about them during the drive home from my movie date, and came to the realization that the two thoughts were actually very much related.....and quite honestly, the whole thing made me a little uncomfortable, so i stopped thinking about it. (sometimes a short attention span and faulty short term memory can be good things.)

it's far easier for me to write the (at least mildly, i hope) amusing stuff than it is to let the mask slip and get all introspective and whatnot. besides, i try to devote only one day each year to introspection....perhaps that's why my birthday is always a little.....i don't know....uncomfortable, maybe?

so, instead, i'm going to devote this post to something mindless instead....

five things i've learned while using the most destructive of elements

1. there is such a thing as a grilled cheese sandwich that's been a little too burnt....and no amount of scraping will help. best to use the newly created charcoal to draw a portrait of yourself while you get someone else to make the sandwich for you.

2. lounging on the couch, less than sober, with someone else who is less than sober and holding a lit cigarette will probably result in a small hole being burned in your favorite shirt....if you're lucky, that's all that will burn.

3. if there's a flame involved, it's probably going to be hot. (i know, i know- hard to believe, but trust me on this one, ok?)

4. i didn't do this one personally (come on, i like to think i have a little common sense), but judging from the yelp i heard at a friend's house one evening back in high school, sometimes lighting one's flatulance on fire can have painful effects.

5. jimi did it first, but the chili peppers did it better.

with that, it's time to take care of some stuff i've been putting off, and then maybe, if i'm feeling up to it, i'll scribble in my journal for a change.....

happy fourth- try not to set anything on fire that shouldn't matter how impressive a flame you think those baked beans and/or chili dogs might produce.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

pardon the dust...

...that i seem to have been left in.

truthfully, i was going to write about something else this evening. i have the post maybe 75% finished...and then i totally lost where i was going with it.

hey- this stuff happens to the best of us....and certainly to those of us who are far from the i am. (not the best- far from it. i mean, i didn't come back from my vacation all conceited and stuff or anything.)

but i digress.

while my vacation gave me time to be completely irresponsible (i'll have proof of that on my next credit card statement, to be sure), other folks did more responsible, grown up things while i was gone. i missed not one, but two weddings (sorry about that- i'm sure they were lovely, though), and it seems my sibling has gotten it into her head to be all grown up and adult and whatnot, and now owns a house.

so, despite being older than all three folks who've recently taken on "adult" responsibilities, i'm the one still running away to the wilderness at regular intervals and photographing gnomes in public places.

you know what? i think i'm pretty okay with that.