Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy Vacation

In just 8 hours, I will be on a plane to the WDW.  So excited!  This vacation is coming at the perfect time.  Work has been stressful, there's a lull in wedding planning, which means that there will soon be an upsurge.  I'm looking forward to a week of not thinking.  My brain hurts.
Plus, I want to read.  Things have been so busy that I'm not getting my reading in and I've been missing it, so tonight's plane ride will be paradise to me.  Right now I'm reading The Handmaid's Tale, but I think I will finish it on the plane.  So, I need a second book to download.  I'm thinking I need a nonfiction, like this one:
I watched the show The River on ABC this spring and it made me obsessed with the Amazon.  There's something about the Amazon that gets people obsessed, what is that about?

However, sometimes nonfiction can be hard to get through and I need something that will be a quick read.  This new release looks pretty good:
This is all about mental illness, which is topical for me since that's what I deal with many days at work.  Since it's a new release, though, it's more expensive.  So, then maybe I need something like this:
People have talked a lot about this book and the next one in the series comes out soon.  Usually I like to wait until all books in a series are out because I hate waiting for books when I need to know what happens.  I'm not a patient person.  

I need to decide by the end of the day so I can download it for the plane ride.  Hopefully this will be the only thinking that I have to do today.

When I'm in the WDW, I'm going to be gathering up lots of fun tidbits for the blog.  There are even a few new rides, plus I'm going to start gathering up information on restaurants because I'm close to being done reviewing rides.  My mom and I are also going on a behind the scenes animal trek at the Animal Kingdom, so I will have lots of good animal pics.  Can't wait to share it when I get back. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Avenge This

This past summer, Mike, myself and Mike's dad went to the fair city of Cleveland, Ohio.  We went there to watch a baseball game, Go Twins.  Mike and his dad love to go to baseball games in different cities and see all the different fields.  It was a fun mini-trip that had a lot of surprises for us.  The first being that after we arrived at our hotel in downtown Cleveland, we were walking to lunch and literally stumbled upon a real, live movie set!  How random and awesome is that?  

The Avengers was filming in Cleveland and had set up shop on a one-block street.  It was so weird to see a movie set like this.  It's apparently the scene of a great battle as is evidenced by the smashed car below.  Plus, I always thought a movie set would be swarming with security so that you could not get anywhere near close to it.  Not so in Cleveland!  You just stood at police tape and took as many pictures as you want.  I went back to the scene multiple times during our trip, but always missed filming...and Chris Hemsworth.  Bummer.

On our last day, the movie set was very altered.  They must have filmed a bunch of explosions the day before, look at that debris!  The cars were all real, but the rest of the large building pieces were foam.  It's amazing how real the pieces look in pictures because in person they were almost comically fake.

On a separate street, we found a lineup of NYPD cars and other cars that would probably be blown up the next day.  This reminded me of MGM Studios Lights! Motors! Action! stunt show.  

I actually can't wait to see The Avengers.  In the previews, there are a lot of scenes that look like they were filmed on this street in Cleveland, so I'm excited to see what the final product looks like.  It was so much fun to go into a random city and find something like this.  Yay Cleveland!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Things I Don't Understand: Diet Coke Lime

A really, really long time ago, I ordered everything with a lime.  Everyone else was all lemon this and lemon that, but I was revolutionizing the lime.  I still love limes more than lemons.  They just have a better taste, less bitter. 

When they came out with Diet Coke Lime, I thought it was the best invention EVER created.  Then I tasted it.  Meh, not so much.  My problem is that the lime flavor is so manufactured.  It tastes like what a computer would think lime juice would taste like if the flavor was described to it by a human.  No matter what, it tastes very off from what actual lime juice freshly squeezed into Diet Coke tastes like. 

I don't think it's horrible, but I much prefer plain Diet Coke to Diet Coke Lime.  Also, has anyone else noticed that the terrible Diet Coke aftertaste that lingers in your mouth hours after you've had a can is intensified with the lime flavoring.  It gives you worse Diet Coke breath, if that's even possible!

I've noticed, however, that lots of people drink the Diet Coke Lime.  At least enough for it to be sticking around.  I don't get it.  If you like the lime taste, wouldn't it be better to just cut a piece of lime and squeeze it in there?  Or do people actually like the generic computer lime taste?

All I can say is: "Keep my Diet Coke regular and often."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fro Yo, Yo

I like how pretty people on the coasts are pretending like frozen yogurt is a new invention. It's definitely not. Frozen Yogurt had a hey day back in the early 90's. Remember when TCBY was a huge thing. I miss TCBY. In those days, everyone was freaking because they found out that ice cream will make you fat, but frozen yogurt apparently won't. I don't know if that's a true statement, but if anyone tells me differently I will slay you. Frozen yogurt will not make me fat. That is fact.

Anyhow, I've been hearing about Pinkberry and 16 Handles for awhile and was dying for the day when a fro yo chain would hit up the TC. Like I said before, since the TCBY in West St. Paul closed many years ago, I have been craving soft serve frozen yogurt with sprinkles on top. Finally my dreams were answered when a Menchies opened up in Highland Park.

Michael and I took my mom there for her birthday dessert. We were like kids in candy stores. First, you grab this ridiculously big cup. Then you are faced with multiple different flavors of fro yo to choose. You can get as many as you like, feel free to fill up that big cup. They also health information next to the flavors; things like "no sugar added" or "fat free". I got banana, cake batter and chocolate. I'm pretty sure there was both sugar and fat in all of those flavors.

After you get your flavors, you are faced with the toppings. I'd say there were 50 different toppings. Everything from sprinkles to granola to different cereals to fresh fruit. They also had sweet sauces. I chose sprinkles, frozen cookie dough balls (giggle, giggle) and mochi. The mochi was terrible. The sprinkles and cookie dough bites were perfection.

Once you are finished filling your ginormous cup to the very top, you are faced with the "weigh station." You pay by ounce, which would have been helpful to know before we filled our cups to the brim. Whatever, it was a birthday celebration.

The fro yo is delicious. It's so much fun when you can build your own. While Menchies was no TCBY, it was still good and since I wasn't eating ice cream, I could feel good about myself. Even if my pants button popped on the drive home.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Doom Day

Last Friday was Friday the 13th. I had a really crappy day. First, I was working at one of our suburban locations. I won't name the suburb, but it's not my favorite place to be. However, the days problems didn't start until lunchtime. You see, I go home at lunch Monday through Thursday to be with the coonhound. Friday is my one day to have a nice, relaxing lunch period. I normally prefer to spend it at the fancy hotel restaurant that's a block away from my office, but on Friday the 13th, I wasn't at my normal office so I was forced into the fast food chain hell of the suburbs.

My closest option was Chipotle. However, when I pulled into the parking lot I found that the line was out the door. Chipotle is good, but it's also a burrito. I won't wait more than 15 minutes for that shit. Has anyone else noticed that at lunchtime if you don't get to Chipotle at 11:57, you have to wait at least 20 minutes to order? So, I decided to make my way to the Macy's Marketplace. When I got to the Marketplace, there was only one person working the counter and five golden oldies in line ahead of me. Old people are the worst at a fast food restaurant. They take all the convenience out of it. What you're left with is a slow food restaurant. I had no patience for these old-timers and left after the second one in line started asking for samples of the Baked Potato soup. She wanted to know what it tasted like; I'll give you a hint blue hair, it tastes like potatoes and bacon in a creamy broth. (P.S. please assist me on my use of the semicolon).

By the time I left Macy's, it was 12:25 p.m. and I thought the line at Chipotle would have to be more manageable, so I drove back. This time I actually parked my car in the lot. As I was walking towards the door, two men with multiple neck tattoos and face piercings passed me on their way to their car. Right as they passed me, I noticed that the burrito line was still out the door. Infuriated, I stomped back to my car. As I angrily turned the key in the ignition and backed out of my space, I realized that the tattooed men were also backing out of their space a few cars away from me. However, we were backing out in opposite directions and so were facing each other with no room to move. Technically, I was the first person fully backed out, so I thought the appropriate thing for Tattoos to do was move his car and allow me to pass him. However, Tattoos was not a giving person and we had a parking lot standoff. I finally threw my hands up in the air and rolled my eyes while pulling back into my space. Yes, it was snotty, but I was hungry and annoyed.

What happened next shocked me. Tattoos drove behind my car and stopped, trapping me into my parking space. Then he got out of his car and screamed "What's your problem, stupid bitch." He didn't linger long, just kind of laughed and got back into his car.

My first reaction was to cry and call Mike. Upon later reflection I kept thinking how much I wanted to get out of my car and tell him off. I know a thing or two about being a bitch, and I was not being a bitch when I threw my hands in the air, rolled my eyes and pulled back into my parking space so that he could pass me. No sir, that isn't what bitches do.

The incident also reminded me of a valuable line in Tina Fey's Bossypants: “A coworker at SNL dropped an angry c-bomb on me and i had the weirdest reaction. To my surprise, I blurted, 'No. You don't get to call me that. My parents love me! I'm not some Adult Child of an Alcoholic that's going to take that shit.'" If only I had half the gumption of Tina Fey.

By the time I had calmed down, it was 12:45 p.m.. I was hungry and had to be back at work in 15 minutes. Mike suggested I go to the CVS right across the street. When I got there, the only things that looked good to me were Cheez-Its, Skittles and Sno-Caps. So, after 50 minutes of trying to get a lunch, the best I could come up with was empty calories. I'm hoping my next Friday the 13th isn't quite so terrible.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nosy Nelly

Does anyone else love spying on their neighbors? I use the word spy in a loose sense. What I'm talking about is fascination with neighbors that results in excessive curiosity. Does anyone else experience this?

When I was a kid, there was a family that lived behind us who did the weirdest things. My mom and I would creepily watch them out the windows and talk and talk about what they were up to. For instance, instead of walking their dog in the summer, they would let him out into the yard and then stand on the deck with a mirror so the dog could chase the sun's rays reflecting off the mirror. Or, they wouldn't cut their grass for 4-5 weeks in the summer and then the husband would come out on the hottest day of the year at 2:00 P.M. in sweatpants and a sweatshirt to cut it. It would take hours because the grass was so long and he looked like he was going to have a heart attack. They were strange.

Now that I'm in my own house, I've found my fascination with neighbors is still enthusiastic. Just a few weeks ago a neighbor sent out an email to the association asking for realtor recommendations because he was moving. That was all the email said. This is a guy who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and who was always out working in his yard. Since the email has come out, we haven't seen him once and his house isn't on the market yet. We haven't seen his dog either, which is weird because his dog is always outside. It's caused me great concern.

Also recently, there was a moving truck at another neighbor's home. We think that the couple split up and the woman moved out. The woman had an evil Siberian Husky with great rage in his heart for Kirby. Once, when Kirby was on a walk and the woman came to pet him, the husky actually pushed his way through the window screen and came running at Kirby. So, I'm not very sad that the husky is gone. I am, however, curious about what happened between the two people. The couple used to be really friendly with us, but in recent months the guy wouldn't even look in our direction when he was walking past. I kept thinking "What did we do?", but now I'm wondering if he was just in a dark place because of his relationship (and also probably the husky).

Snooping on your neighbors makes me feel like I'm living in the 1800's and am all "Why I do declare, Mr. Jones was drunk in his yard in his knickers last night looking for his cat." I love it. Does that make me a bad person?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Don't Call Me A Photographer

I had this really great, fun-filled weekend. But, it would be hard to share it with you now or even remember it all that well later because I didn't photograph it. Why do I do that? I really wanted to photograph the events that happened this weekend and even carried around a camera, but still didn't take photos. On Sunday, I felt really bummed about it. Then I went to my respective Easter celebrations and...didn't take any photos. Shitballs. I'm sure that's what Jesus would want me to say about my lack of photos.

I didn't really make a NME resolution in April because I kind of forgot about it. Now, I'm making a 10 day delayed resolution. I am going to take photos. I'm going to hold onto the guilt and sadness that I had on Sunday morning and use that as a reminder for why taking photos is a good thing. I think I'll make this my monthly resolution until I actually do it. It really sucks having great times with your friends and family and not having any proof. I envy those who have a lot of proof.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Triceratop Spin

"WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE", can't you just hear that grandma pictured above saying that? I can hear it. These rides are a necessary evil in the parks. There are little humans (some call them toddlers) who go to Disneyworld and if not for rides like Triceratop Spin, they'd have nothing to do. Tragic.

These rides are pretty boring for most of us. You stand in line and, when it's your turn, are shown to your Triceratop. The ride begins, your dino car raises about 20 feet in the air and you spin in a circle for 2 minutes. After that time, you are safely returned to ground level where you disembark.

And that's it. No bells and whistles. Just pure little human fun. And grandmas. Grandmas love these kinds of rides.

3/5 or 6/10 stars. Boring, but necessary.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Quote of the Day

"I can't make it then, I have to be up on the hill. You know, I used to run the State of Minnesota."

-A MN State Senator, DFL, who is clearly not bitter at all about Republican's running the house

P.S. If you ask me in person, I'll tell you who it was.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden is one of those books that I've always wondered about, but never cared enough to read. Until it was free on kindle, then I'd read it at will. My first thought about this book was that being a rich kid in olden day England is awesome because all you have to do is wander around the house and play. I wish I could do that now.

So, in The Secret Garden, our hero Mary is an annoying, bratty child. Her parents die and she's shipped to live with some rich uncle in the English countryside. It's boring in England because all the servants have better shiz to do than entertain Mary, so she's left to her lonesome. It's clear, though, that Mary really needed this tough love and her behavior improves the longer she's left alone. Right, because that always happens with kids.

In Mary's lonesome time, she discovers a secret garden and, as luck would have it, stumbles upon the key to get into the garden. It's been locked up by her crazy, rich uncle who is mourning his dead wife. Mystery and intrigue abound when Mary hears crying in the house, but can't find the source of the tears. Boo hoo, Mary!

We all know that heroines tend to be plucky, so Mary will not be deterred from her mission of finding the whiny crier. I really wanted Mary to not find that little crap Colin because man was he a downer. Mary, however, does find the crier, Colin, and discovers he is her cousin who is house bound because he believes he is a cripple. Bollocks to that shiz Colin, have you been taking crazy pills, you're no cripple. Mary just thinks he's a whiny bitch and so starts taking him out to the garden where finally he's challenged to stand up on his own two legs. When he finally stands he realizes what the reader has known all along, that he's actually not a cripple, just really lazy and obnoxious.

The ending is pretty tame. I was hoping for Colin to get killed by a wild goat, but that doesn't happen. Colin is actually reunited with his crazy dad who is no longer sad about his dead wife because he can now run around with his annoying son. I hope these two are happy together.

The Secret Garden is light and happy and uplifting. Those kind of books actually put me in a funk. 3/5 or 6/10 stars. Read it to little kids to stop them from being whiny and lazy like dumb Colin.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kirby Day

Today is a national holiday in my house, it's the one-year anniversary of the day we brought home Kirby. I'm really hoping that he won't commemorate the event by re-enacting his first ten minutes of being part of our family. Those first ten minutes went as follows: Mike and I open the door to our house and put Kirby down setting him free in his new home; Kirby runs for a corner and pees all over; mid-pee, Mike picks him up and we take him outside so that he can finish his business; Kirby finishes peeing in the yard; Kirby comes back inside with Mike while I am cleaning up his previous mess; Kirby runs right back to the spot that I had just cleaned up and squats to crap; Mike and I scream "Kirby NO!" and go to take him outside which scares Kirby who then runs through his crap and to the back door making crappy puppy prints all through the house; Mike takes him outside and Kirby craps in the proper place; I begin cleaning up the mess; Kirby is let back into the house and runs for a different corner, but this time we catch him in time.

It was after these 10 minutes that I said to Mike "I don't think this was our greatest idea." Tonight, when Kirby cuddles up against me I'll think about how myself a year ago was so wrong and that Kirby was actually one of the best ideas Mike and I have had.

Happy Kirby Day!