Friday, September 30, 2005

We Ain't No Ghetto Pig

So today was Pig's big visit to the dentist. It was actually quite nerve-wracking. On the outside, the hospital looked like a cute charming cottage with this beautiful hand painted sign. And a random cage of crows. Hmm.... On the inside - well, let's just say I didn't actually expect it to look like something from All Creatures Great and Small, but it did. It was pretty messy and old looking, with random surgical tools just hanging around everywhere. The Dentist was this great big hulking man who came out in scrubs with blood stains all over them. Yikes. Pig wasn't the only one cowering in the corner.

But the good news is, her teeth are fine. No need for gold crowns (incidentally when I told Max I was going to have gold crowns put on Pig's teeth he thought I was serious and was SO horrified). I guess there's something called a second dentin which means over time, the teeth enamel will grow over the pulp and seal it back up. So she's not in pain. Since the Dentist was also a general vet, I mentioned that she's been a little stiff lately so poor Pig had to get hip x-rays as well. After having this man thoroughly examine her teeth, and scrape off some tartar, she had to be put up on the x-ray table and rolled over on her back. Someone got lots of cookies today. Someone else got a big vet bill to pay off.

And more good news - her hips are fine. She has a little arthritis in her lower back, but not enough to put her on meds. The Dentist suggested I pick up some glucosamine for her, which I can get even at Trader Joe's. I guess that stuff lubricates joints and is good for people and dogs. Go figure. Pig and I could soon be on the same supplements.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pig & The Doggie Dentist

So I've made an appointment for Pig to go to the dentist. I've always been worried about her front teeth - the four bottom front center teeth are all broken in half and I *think* I can see the pulp/root of them all. The vet has told me that if she doesn't show signs of pain, she's probably fine, but lately I've noticed her licking her teeth a lot so she's off to the doggie dentist tomorrow morning.

The doggie dentist is in Beverly Hills, which is probably the first sign that it'll cost me an arm and a leg before this is all over. I'm hoping he'll tell me she's fine, and to just put some Anbesol on her teeth, but I have feeling he's going to suggest putting on crowns.

If he does, I'm going to tell him to put on gold crowns. I'd like to see Pig with crunk teeth.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

RV Rampage - Day 3

So we woke up on Day 3 and finally really saw the glory and beauty of Long Meadow. Also the glory and beauty of black bear poop. BLACK BEAR POOP IS APPROXIMATELY THE WIDTH OF A MEDIUM PIZZA AND THE HEIGHT OF 2 SODA CANS STACKED UP. See, I had looked up plenty of websites in doing research on black bear safety, but they never ever mentioned that BLACK BEAR POOP IS BIGGER THAN MY HEAD. Hopefully if anyone ever tries to do research on black bears, they'll google and come across my site and be warned about the horrors one might find deep in the woods.

Anyway, we had breakfast - I tried to cook scrambled eggs in foil and failed. So much for my camping cooking show. Thode however, managed to make a medium-"foiled" (haha I'm so clever) egg so next time I'll try that instead. We had already resolved to return the RV late so it was a pretty relaxed morning. However we couldn't dally too long so we soon packed up and headed back.

Max took the first shift again, through the windy roads. It's funny how the trees and mountainside looked so intimidating and awful at night, but so beautiful and scenic in the morning. He drove until we reached a gas station that served fried chicken and fried chicken gizzards. We all passed on the gizzards but a few of us (me, of course) decided to try the fried chicken. Not bad. Not good either. But not bad. Jake, Kate and Plumb fed the gas station stray dog (weird looking little thing) our food. Surprisingly (or maybe not) even the hungry skinny stray dog didn't want to eat the soy burger they threw at him.

I took the next shift and took us all the way back to Los Angeles. Things got crazy towards the end because we discovered that the RV rental company would only be open until 3:30 p.m., so there was a good chance we wouldn't make it in time so we had to haul ass - fast. Everyone pitched in to unload the RV as quickly as possible, and Max drove super fast to Montclair, while I cleaned the inside of the RV. That was pretty tricky since I get carsick and kept getting jostled around while trying to clean. I managed to do a decent enough job, but I'm sure we're going to get billed for not washing the outside of the RV ($150) , not emptying the two tanks ($90 altogether), and not cleaning the carpeted area of the slide out (we couldn't do it since the damn generator broke and we could get the damn slide out out to clean.

So, between the extra charges and the insurance deductible, the trip will be more expensive for everyone than I quoted. I feel bad about that. My fellow RV Rampagers have been really gracious and understanding about that and I think even felt bad for Max and me. When we got home we realized they had give us all the leftover food so now I have a gigantic bag of chips, cookies and 70 some sausages. Amol even called and said that he and Annie wanted to take us out to dinner.

The good thing is I'm pretty sure everyone had a fun time. It was a really terrific group of people and definitely an interesting trip, between the RV, the scenery, and just the general goofiness of putting that many people in a small area for hours.

My only regret? Not getting a pic of the big-ass black bear poop.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Long Meadow - our 2nd campsite Posted by Picasa

Amol at the California Tunnel Tree in Mariposa Grove Posted by Picasa

Yosemite Valley Posted by Picasa

Grizzly Giant in Yosemite Posted by Picasa

RV Rampagers at the base of the Fallen Monarch (Sequoia Tree) Posted by Picasa

RV Rampage - Day 2

So as I had mentioned, Day 2 started with a crick in my neck and Plumb on the floor. Thode, apparently an early bird, had already laid out our CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST when I woke up. Fancy. We exchanged stories about how our sleep was that night (in general, not so great), brushed our teeth and had breakfast. I managed to remember to pencil in a few eyebrows so I didn't look all Whoopi Goldberg on this unsuspecting crew - sadly this was not the case for the rest of the trip. Anyway, breakfast was great - and while making a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich in a little hobo camper clamp thing, we decided that I should have my own camping cooking show. I discovered that the trick to making a delicious grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich is to have your sweet boyfriend hold the damn hobo camper clamp thing over the fire while you run around eating cheese and fresh fruit and chatting with everyone. Just a note should anyone decide to try to make one themselves some time.

We were all looking forward to showers and coffee, but sadly our generator was not working. Sigh. We needed the generator to work, so that we could retract the slide out, so that we could actually drive the RV. It took about two hours to figure out what was wrong (on account of us parking at an angle, the generator thought we didn't have enough gas to start it), and the whole ordeal gave me about seven new wrinkles from frowning for two hours straight. But, at last we were on our way.

Sadly, the route we chose, which LOOKED like a nice big freeway, turned out to be the world's windiest/steepest road ever. Poor Thode was the one stuck driving and I have to say, she did an excellent job. I probably would have just burst into tears, abandoned the RV, and sent smoke signals, hoping to be airlifted out of the mountains. I think it took us about 3-4 hours to get back to the Fresno area where we dropped off Jessie. We stopped several times along the way to buy things like gas, ice and coffee. There were a few missed turns, a couple of stops for direction, a few more stops for extra firewood and propane, and finally we were on the right path to Sequoia National Forest. Unfortunately, the right path turned out to be yet another curvey small road that took us ultimately to an elevation of 6100 feet. Poor Max was the one driving, in the dark (by then it was nearly 7 p.m.), with only the headlights of RV to guide him away from driving off the cliff and killing us all. I seriously was so scared that I think I left a sweaty palm grip print on the sofa seat.

By the time we got to the right general area, we still had to look for the actual campsite. We first tried Long Meadow - which turned out not to be the right campsite. This time Kate was stuck on "checking the campsite out" duty, which she was good sport about. After doing a U-turn on this smally windy (am I spelling that right? - wind-ey) road we turned into Redwood Meadow, which was the right campsite. Sadly, some ASSHOLE JERKS had taken our campsites and though Kate seriously looked like she might murder them, the fact that they were carrying shot guns dissuaded her. We decided instead to be ASSHOLE JERKS ourselves, and took over someone else's campsite. It was a pretty crappy site. Very slanted on the side of the mountain. I kept looking at the parked RV, thinking it'd overturn and crush us all while we ate smores.

Luckily, by some miracle, Julia and Reggie, who were supposed to meet us hours ago, managed to actually find us in the dark of the night. They had apparently set up camp back at Long Meadow, and had this awesome space. We decided to put out the fire we had just started, load up the RV and move to their campsite. At the time, I was all for staying as didn't think I could endure trying to back the RV up and out of the rutted roads of the campsite and back into more rutted roads at the second campsite but I'm really glad we moved.

Turns out the Long Meadow site was perfect and beautiful. Very flat with a nice campfire ring. We soon got a great campfire going, cooked up our food (I even got a chance to try those foil dinner things - not bad!) and sat around just chilling. The stars were so bright and beautiful - the thing about living in LA is that you see very few stars.

Anyway, it turned out to be a very nice ending to a day that was pretty stressful all and all.

Day 3 to come later...

Monday, September 26, 2005

RV Rampage - Day 1

So, now that I'm done with wasting time at the office planning the RV trip, I'll waste some time at the office recapping it.

Let me just say that I'm really glad I got to fulfill this lifelong dream of mine to drive around in a RV. I don't know if you guys remember that stupid thing that kids do where they list their three favorite cars, three numbers they like, three names of guys they know, etc., and then there's this weird formula that "predicts" that you will marry Bob and have 24 kids and drive a Ferrari when you grow up. Anyway, I ALWAYS had a RV in my top three favorite cars, so this was a pretty awesome experience for me.

So, it all started Thursday at noon, when Kate, Max and I took a long drive to Montclair to pick up the RV. The guy gave us a walk-through and showed us how to work this beautiful brand new RV, which we were doomed to lose our security deposit on (I'm foreshadowing here), since it was practically flawless. Anyway, Max drove it back, Kate and I went off to work, and that was that.

Friday morning I woke up at 3:45 a.m. Yep. That's a mighty early. I figured since I wouldn't be showering for a few days, I had to shower that morning. Max and I packed up the RV, Thode came by and dropped off Punk, who was staying with Pig with a babysitter at my place for the weekend. We headed over to Jake's and really, for me, this next part was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip - loading up the RV. First off, everyone was really excited. And, I got to see what everyone brought and everyone brought a TON of stuff. I think I duly proved to everyone on the trip that I'm the kind of girl who likes to eat, so seeing all this food was super exciting. Sad, I know. We had two cabinets dedicated to an assorted Costco pack of chips, one cabinet for cookies, one cabinet for hot dog buns, and so on. Everyone did a terrific and generous job of buying food and beverages and other necessities. There was a little chaos when the sprinklers came on right next to where everyone had set their stuff down to load, but we soon dried out.

Max took the first shift of driving, and took us up the 5, over the Tejon Pass/Grapevine area. We stopped at McDonald's for breakfast, even though we probably had over 100 lbs of food in the RV. I took the next shift of driving. It was fairly easy since we were on a flat highway, but my heart did beat a little faster every time I passed a big truck. The thing about an RV is that it seems to move really easily in the wind, so I was convinced I'd sway into the cars around.

We met up with Jessie (she had to leave early on Saturday so she drove up seperately) a few miles outside of Fresno and were making great time. Lypstykgirl took the next shift, and even though, poor thing, her feet could barely reach the pedals, she got us to Yosemite. We stopped at Wawona and took a shuttle bus to Mariposa Grove where we saw some really really beautiful trees. They were huge and amazing to look at. I will post pics later.

Max took the next shift through Yosemite Valley, which again was gorgeous. Unfortunately, on our way through the valley, a stupid piece of rock jutting out of the side of the mountain scraped our rear outside tire and we got a flat. As a result of the tire blowing out, the RV swerved into the side of the mountain and broke the rear view mirror. Yeah. That part sucked. There were also some trees that scratched the truck. Luckily after much hassle and stress, and some really really good driving by Max, we were able to get it fixed at a small auto store in the village area. Strangely, the mechanics there all had long braided pony tails and a beard. Made me think of Snow White and the 7 Dwarves, but that's just me.

We finally got to Hodgdon Meadows at around 7 p.m. It was dark when we got there and I was sent out of the car to find our sites, #90 & #92. I was pretty grumpy and slightly embarassed as I had managed to run straight into a pine tree and got needled in my scalp - and in a super clutsy move, had hit my head on the rear view mirror. But eventually I did find our sites, and they were pretty decent spots. It was surprisingly cold though so we quickly parked, made a fire and started cooking.

The sleeping arrangements for the first night were kind interesting. Another lifelong dream was fulfilled ;) - Plumb got to sleep in the same bed with Kate AND Thode, up on the cab. Me & Max on the queen bed (everyone was very nice about that). Lypstykgirl, by virtue of being the shortest one there, slept in the dinette/children's bed. Jake took the floor. Jessie took the sofa. And Amol & Annie decided to brave the great outdoors and pitched a tent.

And in the morning, we discovered that we had parked at an angle the whole night, which explained the crick in my neck (I had slid backwards up against the headboard), and the fact that Plumb had joined Jake on the floor, having more or less rolled off the cab (although there is some evidence that Kate shoved him off).

Day 2 to come later...

Things Heard More Than Once During the RV Rampage

"Did you touch the poop hose???" - Sareet

"(*whispered*) Have you tried the potato salad???" - Jake

"(*mentally*) Please don't make me drive. Please don't make me drive. Please don't make me drive. Please don't make me drive. " - Plumb

"Do you know if this place has a pay phone?" - Lypstykgirl

"We need another cooler. We need at least two coolers of beer". - Max

"Do you know the score of the Michigan game?" - Amol

"The toilets are gross. Really gross." - Annie

"Look, I reserved Site #8 and #10. My name is on the sign here. YOU'RE. ON. MY. SITE." - Kate

"Three people can sleep in this cab/bed/sofa/passenger seat" - Thode

"I could use some coffee." - Jessie (also wins the disinction of being the only one who could stomach sleeping in the back while the RV was moving)

"Reggie, you want another scotch & coke?" - Julia

"I think I'm intoxicated." - Reggie

Thursday, September 22, 2005


I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THE RV TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Camping Food

So, I finally bought all the food for the two dinners during our camping trip...and I fear I went overboard. Max laughed so hard when I told him what I had picked up, and told me that when he goes camping, he buys hot dogs, a few burgers, chips, and beer.

This is what I picked up (bear in mind this is for 13 people, 2 of whom are vegetarians):

Hotdogs (50 some)
Spinach & Feta Sausages (14)
Chicken & Apple Sausages (14)
Louisiana Hot Links (12)
Sampler pack of mini cocktail sausages
Burger Meat (3 lbs - less than normal b/c it'll be hard to make burgers)
Hot dog and burger buns
Lettuce for burgers
Tomato for burgers
Cheese for burgers
Onions for burgers and/or foil dinner thing that Melissa posted about
Carrots for foil dinner thing
Steak sauce for foil dinner thing
Veggie dogs
Veggie burgers
Veggie fake-meat crumbles (for foil dinner)
2 big buckets of potato salad
3 bags of regular salad (fancy mix with feta and almonds and dried cherries)
1 5lb bag of potatoes (for baked potatoes)
sour cream (for baked potatoes)
bacon bits (for baked potatoes)
13 ears of corn
Butter for corn
sweet potatoes (4)
Baked beans (8 cans)
apples to make baked apples (6) per Melissa
bananas to make banana boats (6)
marshmallows (2)
chocolate for smores
graham cracker for smores

I thought it was a marvelous list, but in hindsight, I suppose it could probably feed a small army. Clearly, I'm not going to ask the rest of the people in my "food buying group" - Max, Jake and Grayling AJ - to chip in for my gross overestimation on what to buy - after all, I'm probably the only one who'll end up eating a baked apple, banana boat and sweet potato, so instead, I think I'm going to throw a bbq for the Michigan/Michigan State game the following weekend and use the leftovers then.

Max and I both agreed that the person who'd probably laugh the hardest at hearing about this list? His expert camper dad.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pig & Thunderstorms

I knew as soon as I saw the news last night reporting "Wacky Weather" in much of the LA area, that I was in for a Bad Night. And I was right.

For some reason, I had a hard time falling asleep and tossed and turned for most of the early part of the night. Then at around 4:00 a.m., I heard strange noises right next to my bed and in my sleepy haze, I got the vague impression that Pig had somehow gotten herself stuck under my nightstand. That in fact, was not the case. Rather, she was TRYING to fit her 60 lb body under my little 1 ft x 1 1/2 ft night stand. As soon as I turned to her and said, "Pig?" she leapt up over my face and landed right next to me.

She was terrified of the thunder outside, and just could not be calmed. She kept panting and shaking, and wouldn't sit or lay down, but would just stand there over me, dripping saliva on my head. I tried taking her out to the living room and sleeping with the lights and tv on, but that didn't help. So she spent most of the night clambering around the inside of my closet. I don't how she did it since my closet is jammed pack with stupid things like 80 pairs of shoes,20 handbags, and four suitcases but she'd just squeeze in there, and then squeeze out, and the squeeze back in, and then squeeze back out.

Best part of the night - I opened my eyes and saw her standing there, staring at me - with a big black purse dangling around her neck.

Busy Bee

So, I haven't had much of chance to blog lately, because I've actually been really busy. Had a great weekend, blah blah, went to Lobster Fest, which I highly recommend to everyone. Provided you get there early and don't get stuck eating the crappy lobsters (the local weird little ones) that they serve when they run out of the Maine lobsters.

First off the RV trip is this weekend! I'm so excited and can't wait for the actual trip. I had no idea that planning on a trip like this would take as much work as it did. I don't mind, but I'll be glad when I'm just sitting by the campfire in Yosemite, roasting marshmallows.

Yesterday I learned that our 10 person Jamboree is in New Orleans, but they're giving us a brand new 2006 8 sleeper instead. So of course this means all of us have to go back and change our binders from the insurance company. I've called Geico no less than 8 times in the last few weeks about it. The customer service people are really nice, but my binder came out wrong every single time. The worst was the time they sent me a binder for a 1904 Jamboree Civic DX. The second worst was the time they sent me a binder covering the wrong dates. And then there was the binder with the wrong VIN number. And the binder that had yet again, the wrong year of the vehicle. And the two binders that had nothing on them about the RV and just showed proof of insurance on my Civic. Anyway - thank god, that's finally over and taken care of.

Of course changing the RV from a 29 ft one to 31 ft one meant that Kate and I had to scramble and confirm our campsite reservations to make sure that we could actually fit in there. These campsites seem very strict about people declaring the length of their vehicles. Anyway, some annoying phone calls and internet research later, we're all set to go. Luckily, our Saturday campsite sounds really wonderful - it's right next a large grove of sequoias and is great for hiking.

I tried to go to Costco on Sunday but apparently it closed at 6:00 p.m on Sundays. I got there at 6:15 p.m. (*sigh*) It takes me practically 1/2 an hour to get there, so I was definitely very unhappy about that. So I had to take a 3 hour lunch yesterday to buy about 90 hotdogs. I think I bought too much.

Well, that's all for now. Off to city hall to pick up permits for parking the RV in front of my apartment.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Adventures of Punk & Pig in West Hollywood

So, I am Punk-sitting this weekend. Thode dropped off the lil one last night and so far it's been really fun. Punk & Pig get along amazingly well - in fact, this morning I caught Punk sniffing Pig's whiskers, and Pig didn't even flinch. Had it been Boris, she would have eaten him.

Dogs are so funny. Thode had warned me that Punk would try to sleep in my bed, and lo and behold, when I came out of the bathroom after my pre-bedtime routine, there she was, standing on my bed, tail waggin'. I don't know how she knew it was time for bed. But she's a very polite dog, so when I asked her to kindly hop off the bed, she did.

The funniest and hardest thing by far is walking them. Thode's right - they have very different walking styles. Pig is a charge ahead kind of gal, while Punk prefers stop and smell the flowers. This makes for difficult walking. We're getting a ton of attention - it's like there's a big spotlight on us. Random people stop and point and smile - they do look really cute together. Every block or so, I have to stop and untangle the leashes but as Thode had suggested, somehow talking to them helps. If I talk to them, they're more likely to walk side-by-side and at the same pace. Bizarre.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hump Day

Damn, these hump days just keep coming, don't they?

A very busy "affairs" day today. As in, getting your "affairs" in order. I had to follow-up with Geico as I had not yet received the binder for driving the RV. Then I had to fill out the application for a Chinese visa and mail that to my Grandpa. Then I had to make an appointment with the DMV so that my car can get properly registered. Stuff like that totally gives me anxiety.

But now that my thoughts turn to something else - What should we do about food on the RV??? Now, we'll clearly be eating SEVERAL meals of fastfood while we're traveling, but there will be meals to be had at the campsite. Thode had suggested we divide up the meals, which is a good idea, except there are really only a few meals to worry about, so I guess some of us would double up on duty? And there might be a lot of doubling up on food that way - you figure bread that we'd use for toast in the morning could easily be used for sandwiches at lunch. We could each bring our own food, but that would result in 9 packages of hot dogs, and 5 bottles of ketchup. And it would be more expensive for everyone.

I dunno.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Happy Hygiene!!!

To my Aunt Marilyn aka Ning-Ah-Yee aka Boris' Mama.

Happy Birthday!!!

A Moment to Reflect

On Saturday night, at Johnny's Pastrami, a rather drunken friend of mine asked me if I ever felt like I was just wasting my life away. And then today, I checked NannyKate's blog, and she had done this neat thing, so I decided to do it too.

20 years ago I... (1985)
1. was in, crap - what grade was I in? I can't remember how it breaks down. I guess I was in 2nd grade? At a Montessori School? Sweeping rice with a little broom - that was one of my favorite actitivities...weird and oddly foreshadowing, I know.
2. probably made my teacher Miss Rosemary pull out my loose teeth - she was a pro at it
3. got glasses????

10 years ago I... (1995)
1. started senior year in high school
2. was late nearly every morning to AP English - I'd blame it on a train crossing
3. freaked out about college applications (I think...man, I have the worst memory)

5 years ago I... (2000)
1. was working at the same damn company I'm working for now
2. lived with kate - and bought furniture from Ikea with her
3. broke up with my boyfriend from college

3 years ago I... (2002)
1. had been dating Max for a year and a half
2. still lived with kate
3. still worked at the same damn company I'm working for now

1 year ago I... (2004)
1. I threw a lot of bbq/football parties with Max on the weekends at my current apartment
2. went to Hong Kong and Tokyo
3. started my blog

So far this year I... (2005)
1. visited Denver twice
2. went camping for the first time
3. took an evening class at UCLA

Yesterday I...
1. went to work for the same damn company I've been working for, for the past 6 years
2. took a nap with Pig on the couch
3. learned all sorts of nasty things about RV toilets

Today I...
1. slept in and skipped going to the gym this morning
2. made myself a nice breakfast
3. wrote up this post

Tomorrow I will...
1. go to work
2. mail my passport and passport picture to my grandpa, who will be taking it down to the Chinese Consulate so I can get a visa for my upcoming trip to Shanghai
3. go to my pilates class

In the next year I will...
1. find another friggin' job
2. be on a regular exercise routine
3. adopt another dog (maybe)

Incidentally, I had replied "no" to my drunken friend. Not sure what to conclude from this...but now I'm late for work.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Pox On...

Whoever left the half-eaten roasted chicken carcass on the sidewalk, which lead to quite a brutal fight and some hurt feelings between Pig and me.

May you grow a beak on your ass and feathers on your you-know-what.

Weekend Recap

Well Friday afternoon we had our office pool party. I ended up wearing the bikini, but opted to suck in my gut, and stay in water as much as possible, so I don't think I grossed anyone out too much. The party was fun and relaxing. It was at one of the owner's mansion up on Mulholland Drive. Amazing house. Anyway, there was food, booze, swimming, and a fairly well-known comic book writer came by too. I was in a great mood until I got home and heard from Max that the company he is working for in Denver has offered him more money, in exchange for a six month contract. Man that sucks. We talked about it for a long time, and are going to take the deal for all sorts of good, responsible, mature reasons, but that still didn't keep me from bawling like a baby.

Anyway. Saturday, I seem to recall I spent it playing online poker and watching tv. Oh that's right - I watched another Cheers Season 4 dvds from Netflix. Saturday night I went to Boardwalk 11 for Tony's birthday party. As usual, I didn't sing but Benjamin and I did turn wherever we were standing into a two person dance floor. Yup. Didn't matter that there was actually a dance floor by the stage - the real dance floor was anywhere we were standing. We tried out different moves and Kate even joined us occasionally (turning it into a 3 person dance floor) and did her Molly Ringwald and the Roger Rabbit (I kept trying and failing at both - cringing as I think about this...). After Boardwalk, we over to Johnny's Pastrami, an all night pastrami sandwich place. Yum. I'm getting hungry just thinking about a pastrami.

Sunday I just sat around again. Did some cleaning, some grocery shopping. Ad, Amol and Ben had called me on a conference call, inviting me over to bbq but I wasn't around to pick up the call so it went straight to voicemail. I was highly amused to discover, when I checked my messages, that they had somehow forgotten to hang up, and the entire rest of their conversation was recorded. So I of course listened eagerly, hoping to catch some juicy gossip, but sadly there was none. It was pretty funny though.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Happy Anniversary!!!

So wow - it's been officially one year since I first started this blog. I took a look at my very first post and reflected that it actually really set the tone for all the subsequent 404 posts (dang!) of this year. It was a post that 1.) talked about nothing in particular and 2.) mentioned body fluids.

So, in celebration of my one year anniversary (or I suppose you could say the 1st birthday of "Have You Tried the Corn?") I will send out a free bottle of pink nail polish and a pic of Pig to anyone who wants them. Shipping & handling included. Any takers? ;)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Will Power

Last night I saw online that there was a yoga class I could take this morning at the gym. I decided that I'd go there early, do some cardio, and then take the class. It'd be perfect start to a Thursday morning, and a good way to get back into the exercising routine. So I packed up my gym bag, charged my Ipod, laid out my gym clothes, set an early alarm, went to bed early, got up early, changed into my gym clothes, took Pig out for a walk, fed Pig....and then changed back into my pajamas, put on my bath robe, made coffee, started breakfast, and plopped my lazy ass in front of the computer. After doing my usual morning check of all my favorite blogs, I contemplated playing a quick game of online poker.

This, among many other reasons, is why I'll never look like Jessica Alba.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hump Day

Well, it's another hump day. Got back into town yesterday morning. There was a whole lot of shuttle nonsense, so between waiting for my bags, and waiting for Shuttle Bus C, it took an hour and a half for me to get to my car. I actually got so anxious about missing my stop in the long-term lot that I got out several stops earlier, thinking it'd be easier to make my way across the parking lot by foot. Of course, that was not so bright as the shuttle did make all the right stops, and I should have just stayed on. So then I had to hide behind large pick up trucks as I made my way to my car, so that the driver and the rest of the passengers who had smartly stayed on the shuttle wouldn't see me stupidly trek across the lot. Which probably just made me look even weirder.

On my way into the office, I swung by Thode's office to pick up Pig. Thode informed me that perhaps Pig just has an aversion to offices in general, as she had started to groan in Thode's office as well. But she told me a few cookies made it all better. Must be nice to be a dog - a few cookies make everything all better. She also told me that Pig excelled at finding all sorts of food on the streets and once even found a rib from a slab of baby back ribs. That's my girl - we love them ribs!

Right now, I am eating a snack of fresh figs and greek yogurt with honey. Not so sure about the greek yogurt - it's a lot like eating firm sour cream and cream cheese. Am feeling very ancient at the moment. As in, "In ancient Greece, people ate fresh figs and homemade yogurt topped with honey."

Monday, September 05, 2005

Weekend in Denver - Wilderness Edition - Day 2

I woke up in what felt like 100 degree weather - man, that tent retained heat. I have to say, waking up outdoors is a seriously awesome feeling - I just laid there, listening to the river rushing below us. I felt inspired and alive and briefly fantasized about getting out and doing yoga in the quiet of the mountain, but soon remembered that I only knew 2 yoga positions, and besides, there were fire ants out there. Also, no mat. After a few minutes, I couldn't take the heat or the fact that I had no idea what time it was, and I finally got up.

It was around 9:00 a.m. Nick and Emily were already up and slowly beginning to pack up things. We finally got all our stuff together, and managed to get Nick's truck back onto the main road. Our plan was to head back to the Lodge and grab breakfast, and then go white water rafting. Okay, not really white water rafting, just regular rafting, but there were some Class 1 and Class 2 rapids. I had high hopes of not encountering the inept waitress we had last night - surely she wouldn't do a double shift. Sadly, we found ourself faced with an even more inept hippie trash whore waitress (sporting a scrunchy btw - yuck) who either forgot to place our order...or I don't know what. She seriously emanated Krissy Snow vibes from Three's Company but with a bad temper. After waiting an hour for our food, all it took was one sarcastic comment from Max for her to tell us we could leave. So we did.

Emily had heard of a bbq place not too far away up the river, so we rented two duckies (floatable canoe type things) and drove up to the bbq place, which was right next to where we would start our lazy float down the river. "KK's Barbecue" turned out not to be a restaurant, but rather, a small shanty/shack managed by KK herself - a strange old mountain woman who was probably in her 60's but looked about 80. Clearly, a woman who had never heard of the word sunscreen in her youth and every so often, we'd get an unfortunate flash of super wrinkly cleavage. There was hammock nearby, a couple picnic tables, and some crazy old guy playing the harmonica and guitar. When we first got there she told us she wouldn't be open until noon because she spent the whole night peeling peaches for her homemade palisades peach pie, oh my oh my. Seriously, every time she said the words "peach pie" they were followed by "oh my oh my." In her hair, she sported a scrunchy, two pens, and a flower mini-windmill. In one ear dangled a big daisy and heart earring - in the other ear dangled only a heart earring. Bizarre. More bizarre was her menu, which was pretty limited and had no prices listed. The thing is, the Lodge and KK's were the only two places serving food in the entire area. When she finally "opened" she rang a bunch of cowbells. She had a strict "1 napkin per customer rule" and made fun of me when I asked for a second piece of wax paper (not a napkin, which was what prompted me to ask) for my second rib. My first rib came on a piece of wax paper, and rather than giving me a second rib wrapped in wax paper, she just plopped my second rib on my first eaten rib and I didn't think it was a big deal to ask for another piece of wax paper but it came with a big lecture about "you city folks cutting into my profits..." and something about "back in the day you'd just lick your fingers and wipe em on yer pants" I'm sure she makes a hell of a profit considering the fact that our meal of two ribs, 3 burgers, 2 pieces of pie, 1 corn, and one beer came out to $47. Cash only. Profits my ass - just give me the damn piece of wax paper.

So, after finally eating food some five hours after we woke up, we got into our duckies and headed down the river. Max and I shared one - me in the front, Max in the back. I'd have to say he probably did nearly all of the paddling as I enjoyed our ride down the river. Once in a while, I'd "help out" and sort of haplessly fling my paddle around. The rapids were super fun and exciting, and I did my best to channel Meryl Streep in River Wild while we went through them. Actually, I just held on to my paddle and tried to keep my balance, per Max's suggestion, for every time I tried to paddle in the rapids, we'd get turned sideways and risked tipping over. It was so much fun! At one point, I announced to Max that now I was officially an "Outdoors Girl." No less than a minute later, I let out a shrill scream when a dragon fly landed on my arm.

We finally got back and changed into our dry clothes. I realized it was about 3 p.m. and I hadn't peed all day and finally had to brave a port-a-potty. So so so gross. I don't know how any one can use a port-a-potty without seriously feeling sick. Thank god for Purrell.

Anyway, we parted ways with Emily and Nick and headed back to Denver. We spent Sunday night just resting on the couch. I've always said that Max knows me really well and sometimes it really does scare me. After checking with the channel guide, I asked him, excited, "Hey, guess what's on tv tonight??" and he guessed "Rush Hour." It was Rush Hour 2.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Weekend in Denver - Wilderness Edition - Day 1

I did it!!! I went camping this weekend!! Whoo hoo!! Though I grew up in the midwest, I had somehow managed to never camp in my entire life so this was a super exciting weekend for me.

Max picked me up from the airport at around 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning. He was a really good sport about the fact that he had to wait an extra 25 minutes and drive in circles around the airport, as I was on a mission to find some Purell and had to stop at four different stores in the airport to find some. There was no way I was going to camp out in the wilderness and possibly brave a port-a-potty without at least a bottle of instant anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.

So, with two bottles of Purell and a package of anti-bacterial moist wipes in hand, we set off for the Statebridge Lodge, which is about two hours outside of Denver. Our plan was to catch a concert and camp nearby over night. We met up first with Nick, and then went on to pick up his friend Emily, who actually went to my high school and graduated a year before I did, but who I never knew. She was also really cool and so I'm really glad I got to meet her, nearly 10 years later.

We finally got there and set up camp, after driving around a bit to find a decent spot. Since I'd never been camping before, I had no idea what to expect. I think I was actually kind of surprised that camping really did consist of sleeping in a tent in the middle of nowhere. I suppose I still thought that there'd be restrooms or at least a port-a-potty nearby, but there weren't any by where we were. It was a great camping site - it was very secluded and the Colorado River roared just down below in front of us. Anyway, I did my best to help set up our tent and not freak out about the fire ants crawling around. Once Max showed me how mouse-proof the tent would be, and promised he'd do a mouse check before we turned in for the night, I was happy.

Now, while I'm usually pretty detailed in these posts, I may have to gloss over some incidents - a few things happened and the request, or in some cases, the warning of "This is not to make the blog!" was given so I will now skip over what I privately dubbed "The Firewood Fiasco" which ensued after we set up our tents. All I'll say is that several hours of extra driving and 12 logs of Duraflame later, it was resolved.

So, after the Firewood Fiasco, we headed back into the Lodge, which was really just a small rustic bar/restaurant with an outdoor patio and a small stage. Our waitress was unusually attractive and unusually terrible. It took us nearly forever to get our burgers, but at least they were good. Afterwards, we headed back to camp.

I have to for a moment just note how strangely dark it was outside. Now, I don't even walk to my bathroom in the middle of the night without turning on the lights in my apartment, so it was really bizarre to me walking around in the middle of nowhere, in the pitch darkness. There was no moon and no stars, and except for our two flashlights, it was completely black. I clung on to Max and tried not to think of The Blair Witch Project. After a few bad starts, we managed to get the fire going and life was good again. We drank a few beers, a little whiskey, and butterscotch schnapps.

At around 11 p.m., we decided it was time to catch the main act of the concert - Karl Denson, who notoriously starts rather late. He's a great funky jazz saxophonist/flutist. However, before we started back down the hill to the Lodge, I realized I had to pee. Really really badly. I was all set to risk getting a bladder infection and just hold it but everyone told me I should just go and get it over with. And with no port-a-potty in sight, I had to do the inevitable - pee outside. So, I made Max come with me. Yes. I made my boyfriend stand guard while I peed in the great outdoors. I'm only noting this in the blog because I'd never really done that before. And Max was super nice about it and when my legs were about to give way from squatting for so long (I really really had to go), he told me to hold on to his belt loop for support.

Anyway, this was followed by another strange experience - running downhill in darkness. I'm not sure why we were running - I think we were afraid that we'd miss Karl Denson. Or maybe it was because were were following Nick, who was the only one with a flashlight, who was running. I can't really explain the feeling - here I was, slightly drunk, running downhill in the dark, trying to keep the beer and schnapps from sloshing upwards out of my stomach, trying not to trip, chasing after the jigging/dancing silhouette of Nick, with the only light in all the world coming from the bouncing beam of one small flashlight. It was strangely cinematic, and strangely eerie - I suppose he reminded me of Puck or maybe some mythology character leading me to hell.

But we didn't go to hell, just back to the Lodge, where the warm-up act was just wrapping up. So we danced and had a great time for the next three hours. It was awesome. There were a ton of hippies, some mountain-men looking types, and a lot of just regular campers like us. I was definitely the only Asian person in the whole place (there was about 200-300 people there) and the only other non-white people there were Karl Denson and his band members. Afterwards, we headed back up the hill. Max and I briefly lost Emily and Nick, and when we turned back for them, we found them at an impromptu dance party, dancing next to a car blasting a Janet Jackson song. Funny.

Once we got back to the camp, we started another fire, this time using toilet paper, paper towels and the Lodge menus that we had pocketed as kindling. I fell asleep in my folding chair, and just before I passed out, I saw that Emily had her head down - asleep as well, presumably. I think she may have woken up again, as I have this vague memory of her suddenly up and saying "I HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY NOW." Soon after, she went into her tent and fell asleep, I think.

After using all sorts of disgusting ways of putting out the fire (mainly peeing on it - ewwww) we all went back to bed. Max and I shared a one person tent but luckily it was pretty comfortable. I remember talking to Max about how cool it was to actually sleep on the ground - on Earth - and how I was sleeping the way prehistoric people did (except in a tent, in a newly purchased Eddie Bauer sleeping bag), and Max telling me I was sleeping like the cowboys and Clint Eastwood did...and then I out for the night.