Thursday, March 30, 2006

I've Been Tagged!

By Joanne. Here it goes:

5 Restaurants you never get tired of:
Cracker Barrel
Original House of Pancakes
Red Lobster

5 Places You’ve Lived:
Sterling Heights, MI
Bloomfield Hills, MI
Ann Arbor, MI
Los Angeles, CA
Hong Kong (a few months at a time over summer when I was younger)

5 Movies you could watch over and over again:
When Harry Met Sally
Shaun of the Dead
Any of the Harry Potter series
Shanghai Noon
Pride & Prejudice - the BBC version

5 Books on your Nightstand:
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, which I loved - I just finished it yesterday
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, which I read over the weekend - not as good as Virgin Suicides, but still pretty good
A Lilian Jackson Braun "Cat Who...." book - not sure which one but as always, it was good
Quentins by Maeve Binchy, which Lynn gave me, and I just started today

5 Websites you visit daily:

5 Places you like to shop:
Gap - which is lame, but the Modern Fit Flare cut ALWAYS fits
Anthropology (I never really buy anything in there b/c it's so overpriced, but I like to look around)
Rampage (embarassing, but good for picking up a few "trendier" pieces)

5 People you would have over for dinner:
George Clooney
Matthew McConaughey
Jude Law
Brad Pitt
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

And I would serve nothing but ALCOHOL - surely at least ONE of them would get drunk enough for me to take advantage of him, right? ;) My money's on JRM, who's Irish and would surely throw back a few.

5 Jobs you’ve had:
Counter girl at the Bakery department of Kroger's
Counter girl at a pastry store
Counter girl at a deli
Waitress at a comedy club
Telemarket researcher

5 Things you would do with a million dollars:
Invest some of it
Buy a house
Hire a cleaning lady
Get a new car

5 Things you would rather be doing than what you’re suppose to be doing right now:
Playing poker
Napping w/ Pig on the couch
Being out with friends during happy hour
Watching a Law & Order Criminal Intent marathon
Sitting in a hot tub

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hump Day

Well, as predicted, my short lived love for "Ace" on American Idol, which had started to wane over the last few weeks, completely crashed and died last night. I was feeling a bit queasy when he started to sing Drops of Jupiter, I grew nauseous when he pointed to his HAIR as he sang the words, "With drops of jupiter in her HAIR, hey hey" and then I threw up when he pulled his shirt collar to reveal his SCAR, as he sang, "Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star, One without a permanent SCAR..."

I am shuddering with revulsion just thinking about it. It's like Constantine, but somehow worse, because it so did not work.

I thought everyone sucked last night. Not one good performance, imo. And the styling was just awful. Yuck. I feel like everyone this season is super mediocre, and I just can't really get into the show.

In other news, Pig is fine - recovering. I've been having a bit of a hard time figuring out the best way to give the pills to her. I've been putting them in her food, but I noticed she can actually taste them (whenever she tastes something bad, she flicks her head to the right a few times, like she's trying to shake the taste out her mouth - it's so cute that if I were a meaner person I'd just give awful tasting food to her for fun - but of course, I'm not and I don't) and she only ate half her breakfast yesterday morning because of it. Wrapping it around some cheese doesn't seem to help, so I've just resorted to my Grandma's method - prying her mouth wide open, shoving the pills into the back of throat and holding her mouth closed until she swallows them. She is not a huge fan of this method, and I don't blame her.

We went out dancing last Saturday - and had a great time. While we were dancing, a friend of mine shouted to me "YOU LOOK SO HAPPY!!! I'VE NEVER SEEN YOU SO HAPPY!!!"

And you know what? I was and am really happy. It's sort of funny that it's not something you notice - I think I notice when I'm unhappy much more often. Sort of like the way you never notice how nice it feels when you're not sick or don't have a headache until you are sick and do have a headache.

Anyway, Pig doesn't have cancer, my friends and family are fine and healthy, I just came back from an awesome ski trip and have lots of cool things to look forward to - a whole bunch of birthdays (including my own), Ireland, and maybe Hawaii.

And, Max is moving back for good next weekend!!!!

Josh's Pics from Vail!

Courtney and me, getting on the plane to Denver.

AD on the plane - not sure what to make of the expression on his face...!

Have I mentioned I hate the airport in Denver? You have to take an underground train to go from your terminal to the baggage claim.

Our lodge. Look how adorable it is!! I want to decorate our apartment this way - snow shoes and all. Except everyone pointed out it'd look weird in LA.

Another shot of our lodge.

The view from the balcony of our lodge. We had a great location - super close to the chair lifts and gondola. You can see them in the distance.

Drawing for the rooms. Courtney, who was the official drawer, conveniently picked herself for the big room the first night. Hmmm....;)

Julia actually took this pic of Max and me. Not one of Max's best pics, but check out my hot pink snow pants!!

A pic of Colorado, taken on the way from Denver to Frisco

Another one. Look how dense the trees are!

Here we are in Frisco, waiting for a 10 person table outside The Butterhorn Bakery.

This pic just cracks me up. Amol, staring at Annie through a window...

Max's apartment. Lawn chairs as furniture...temporarily. You can see the view outside his apartment.

Max and me, doing what we do best - eating junk food.

Said junk food.

Josh at Red Lobster, drinking a Lobsterita bigger than his head...

Annie at Red Lobster, drinking a Lobsterita bigger than her head...(I actually split this with her tho)

Julia and Reggie, sharing a Lobsterita. See, they're not actually the size of someone's head, it's just a camera trick!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Denver Ski Trip - Day Three

So Max and I, much to my surprise, did not wake up Sunday morning to a white washing, despite our rather "Unfunny to the Lame-O's but Hysterical to the Cool Kids Snowball Ambush" the night. Had I been the victim of a snowball attack while I was sleeping, you can be sure someone would have woken up with a bucket of snow on their face. When I relayed the story to Thode she remarked that had it been her she would have sought revenge by laying a snowball gently near the offender's ass and letting it warm/melt while the person slept. Remind me to make sure she's in the Cool Kids crowd if the occasion ever arises again!

Anyway, as I was saying, I think Max and I were the first ones up again. Since Max was using the bathroom attached to the master bedroom (which we got that night), I tiptoed out into the hallway to use the other bathroom. The door was partly open, and when I tried to push open the door, there appeared to be a sleeping bag caught underneath it. Weird. Who left their sleeping bag in the bathroom? I pushed on it harder, heard someone mumble, and realized SOMEONE WAS SLEEPING IN THE BATHROOM!! Turns out it was AD, who felt guilty about 1.) sharing a room w/ Courtney and Josh since he's quite a snorer and 2.) Courtney's snowball injuries, which had apparently really hurt her. :(

Anyway, I noticed that Benjamin was awake too and told him maybe it was time to wake everyone else up. He replied that he was pretty scared of waking up the Lame-O's. Same with Max, who didn't quite feel comfortable waking up the very people we had tortured just hours before. But eventually the rest of the group slowly started to move and the Cool Kids had some 'splainin' to do.

Luckily the Lame-O's weren't that mad any more, although they were curious who exactly threw the snowballs. Here we were vague, although I did sneakily reply that "I didn't throw a snowball." And under my breath, "I just made them." Heheh. By the way, AD called me "The General" after the Snowball Ambush - since I was the one who came up with the idea, yet didn't actually take part in it. I did point out it still makes me an accomplice, so I'm still in trouble even if I technically didn't throw a snowball. This, I've learned from countless hours of People's Court -something about joint liability, according to Judge Marilyn Milian. Who is awesome. Yet another sign that I'm 27 going on 72.

I guess what happened to poor Courtney was since she and Josh were sharing a single bed, and since she happened to be closer to the door, she was the one who got hit in the face twice. Josh escaped with no injuries - and in fact wasn't even sure what happened. Poor Courtney - we all felt pretty bad about it.

We had to check out by 10:00 a.m., and had started talking about whether some would stay longer in Vail for a second day of skiing, when we got a phone call from Nick, who said according to weather reports, a huge snowstorm was on its way to Denver - and that airports might be closing and that there were already huge traffic jams from Vail to Denver as people fled the mountains. Well that settled it. Everyone had to head back to Denver and quickly, so we all moved our little asses, packed up, cleaned and moved the furniture back to its proper place.

Here's a pic of Amol, holding up a mysterious unclaimed black sock. Had I checked my luggage, I would have realized it was mine. Now my other black sock is lonely. :(

On our way back to Denver, we stopped at Frisco for breakfast at a place called The Butterhorn Bakery & Deli. We had wait a bit to be seated, since there were only about 8 tables in the little restaurant and there were 10 of us, but it was worth the wait. We seperated into two tables, had a great breakfast, and I even bought a loaf of banana bread and a loaf of cinnamon raspberry bread to bring back to LA.

Once we got to Max's place, and hauled our hundreds of bags of luggage into his apartment, most of us sat down to do some NCAA basketball watching. A few others - Reggie and Julia, Amol & Annie went off to do some exploring of Denver. I napped for awhile, and Max and AD went to the grocery store and came back with a smorgasbord of junk food - pizza, fritos, triscuits & easy cheese, Cadbury eggs, etc - which we feasted on until dinner time.

We had decided to go to Red Lobster since there was one relatively close by, and there are none in LA. The drive was a bit scary - it was definitely storming, and when we got to Red Lobster, there were only about 4 other patrons. Luckily, this meant we got pretty good service.

I think we all knew this would happen - after the meal, a snowball fight broke out in parking lot of the Red Lobster. There wasn't nearly as much snow as there was in Vail, but the snowball fight lasted for awhile and it was fun. My aim got worse and worse as my pitching arm started to hurt, and I was generally sore all over from skiing the day before, so after awhile I just handed my snowballs to Max and AD, who had much better aim. We finally called it quits after a while and then headed back to Max's apartment for a short night's sleep.

We had to get up super early in the morning (like 3:00 a.m. early) so it was painful to everyone. We made it to the airport fine, got on the plane fine, slept all the way on the plane, and made it back to LA - about 45 minutes late, since we spent a ton of time in the plane de-icing. Which I didn't notice, since I was passed out.

Once we got back to LA, the last hurdle was making it back to our cars. We had to wait for awhile for our shuttle, and when it never came, we took another shuttle to hotel close to Amol's (he lives in a very hotel-y district) and walked back to his place. We must have been quite the sight - seven people dragging luggage along gigantic LA roads. Sort of like the homeless - but with suitcases instead of shopping carts.

Here we are waiting for the shuttle.

Anyway, that was the trip - it was soo soo much fun!!! Except the skiing part. ;)

Julia also recapped the trip - hysterically - so check it out here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Denver Ski Trip - Day Two

Well, now that the whole Pig Fiasco is behind us, I'm going to continue recapping the Denver trip. Julia has kindly sent me her photos, so I will post them along with my recap. Josh still hasn't, although he did share the photos from our Goth Night this weekend, which I too will post about...

So, I think we were on Day 2.

Between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., my cell phone alarm, Max's cell phone alarm, and Benjamin's cell phone alarm must have gone off about 5 times. Each. Still, we didn't quite make it out of bed until 7:45 a.m. or so. The three of us were the first ones to get up, but Benjamin soon roused (is that a word) everyone else up with a rendition of Boys to Men's "I'll Make Love to You." That, and just going around shaking every one up.

I was feeling rather groggy from the limited sleep and moved like I was underwater. Which didn't help because I had a lot of getting readying to do. First,I had to brush my teeth and put on make up (Courtney exclaimed "You're wearing make-up to go skiing?" - Um, yes. side note - is that weird? It's not like I was going swimming. Which, even then I do wear make-up...but just a little bit.) And I had A LOT of clothes to put on. First I put on some tights. Then yoga pants over tights. Then the hot pink ski pants over the yoga pants. Then black tank-top, with black v-neck sweater over it. And a new multi-colored scarf my grandma knitted, which matched the ski pants because it had pink in it. A little gross with the matching, I know, but I liked the ensemble. Next came my teletubby purple fleece, and over that, Thode's white/gray winter jacket. I slipped on my sunglasses, donned a purple ski hat and pink gloves. Josh pointed out that I looked like an Olsen twin. Back when they were three years old.

And then I realized I had to pee again, so I had to undo everything and then put everything back on.

We finally made it out the door and headed towards the ski rentals shop. Man, those ski boots are heavy. I felt like I had robot feet - super friggin heavy robot feet. Next, I got skis. Now, I don't know how this ski rental guy knew that I'd suck at skiing, but he took one look at me and gave me the world's shortest skis, explaining that I'd have an easier time with them. They barely came up to my shoulder. I saw a bunch of kids with the same pair. At first, I thought my skis had a name - "Wendy" - but as it turns out, that was merely the name of the last person who rented them. The ski rental guy wiped "Wendy" off the sticker label and replaced it with "SC." Now my skis were named "SC." I preferred "Wendy."

By this time, I was sweating under the ridiculous layers of clothing and it had gotten very warm outside so AD and I hobbled our way over to the next store, and then down the stairs, where we rented a stupid storage bin for $5 to put our shoes and my teletubby fleece in. This was actually a huge pain in the ass b/c it was super hard to walk in my ski boots. I had orignally wanted to get rid of the tights too, but the thought of having to hobble upstairs to the changing room, take off the boots, ski pants, yoga pants, and then the tights, and then putting everything back on was just too awful.

Finally at last we hobbled over to the gondola. I had a terrible time trying to figure out how to hold my skis while walking - I guess the best way is to throw them on your shoulder, but I preferred to hold them in both arms like they were a baby. Or a big bag of groceries. Either way, despite the fact that they were the world's smallest skis, they were heavy enough to be bothersome. And I also had to keep dodging other people's skis which often came rather uncomfortably close to my head, and I had some worries about being sliced open at the neck.

We got to the gondola, which reminded me of the cable car ride at Cedar Pointe. Except the view was beautiful. Here are some pretty landscape shots - and by the way, it was a gorgeous day.

So, I made some uncontrollable roller coaster "whooooaaaa" noises while we went up the gondola. I also realized I was super hungry, having not eaten ANYTHING at all, but unfortunately, the vending machine at the top was broken so basically none of us ate until around 4 p.m. Luckily Courtney was kind enough to share half of her power bar with me, which I in turned shared half of with AD, so basically, I went on 1/4 power bar all day.

Anyway, looking back, I think my skiing problems began right away. When we got to the top, I put on my skis and started to get a feel for them. Unfortunately, I sort of felt my way to this area that had the slightest bit of a downward slope and since I hadn't had a chance to learn how to stop yet, I nearly slid off the mountain. Seriously. You can ask Max - I am not exagerrating - I nearly fell off the mountain within the first 45 seconds of putting on my skis. Max managed to grab me just in time.

Next came the problem of trying to get back up over this tiny downward slope. Going uphill is really really hard. You sort of slide in place over and over again, with the constant threat of just sliding backwards downhill again. You know what makes it even harder? When all of the sudden, sirens go off and a big gigantic Snow Cat (I guess the machine smoothes out the snow - it was huge, bigger than the ice smoother things at a hockey game) starts heading your way. I was smack dab in the middle of its path, and all I could do was just scissor my legs back and forth, like I was Scooby Doo on ice, not moving forward or backward. I screamed naturally, and luckily it didn't hit me, but man, those were some scary seconds there.

I'm not going to recap the rest of the actual skiing experience. I will say that even though I was on the mountain for nearly 6 hours, I actually skied for about 8 minutes. And that's a generous estimate. I fell about 30-40 times (not generous), cried about 3 times, slipped off my skis about 10 times, and walked for about two hours. I nearly hit 4 trees, maybe three rocks, and did in fact one time trip over a snowboarder. I probably elicted more "Are you okay?"s from passerby skiers than anyone else, I screamed going up and down the chair lift (fucking scary shit, I tell you), and I got the attention of an entire group of ski patrol people as I slide on my ass out of control down a hill, being dragged by very own skis, like someone who's fallen off a runaway horse, but whose foot is still caught in the footstraps.

And I am fairly certain that I'm the only person who's ever accidentally skied backwards and crashed into the First Aid cabin.

I will say though, that Max wins the Best Boyfriend Ever award because not only did he stay with me the whole time, but he was completely patient and never was anything but totally nice to me. And, people, I put him through hell. If I were him, I'd have left me on the mountain. Right before I fell each time, I'd drop my poles, so Max spent much of his day sking UPHILL to get them. And carrying my poles while I was walking. He also tried to have me ski with my ski pressed up against the edge of his, which helped a bit, but that unfortunately also caused him to fall....when I dragged him down with me. More than once he had to lay down and help me knock the snow off my boots because I couldn't balance well enough to do it myself, and I basically could never get up after falling without him pulling me up and me trying to climb up him like a disabled child with no arms.

Not only that, but he put up with my proclamations of "I hate skiing!! I've never hated anything so much in my life!" "Skiing is the dumbest sport ever" "What kind of moron does this for fun??!!" "I'd rather get a 12 hour pap smear than this!!"

Others faired much better. Here's a great pic of Benjamin, taken by Amol.

I always figured that even if I didn't enjoy skiing, I'd enjoy having a nice cup of hot cocoa in the lodge. Unfortunately, since it took four of the worst hours of my life to make it to the lodge, the only thing I wanted was a beer.

Here are some pics of our travelling happy couples at the lodge. There aren't any of Max and me, because we were too busy throwing down a couple of beers and burgers, since it was close to 4:00 p.m. by the time we finally got to the lodge, and we hadn't eaten all day.

Amol & Annie

Josh & Courtney

Anyway, after scarfing down some food and taking a look at the map, Max and I both decided there was no way in hell I'd be able to ski/fall/walk/cry myself all the down the mountain, so Max arranged for me to take the chair lift down.

Here's a pic of the chair lift - I know that at this particular angle, going up, it doesn't look scary, but it is going down!

So at the end of the scariest chair lift ride down ever, I met Max, who skied down instead. We dropped off my rentals, and then went to a little restaurant/bar called Mezzaluna to wait for the others. This was probably my favorite part of the day - the "apres ski" according to the menu, and "apres" a couple glasses of wine and some pizza, I decided skiing wasn't so bad after all. :)

Julia and Reggie, who both have bad knees, opted to go fishing instead, but met us up at Mezzaluna as well. Look how cute they are here:

Anyway after Mezzaluna, we all headed back to our lodge/apartment/condo and rested and showered. Max's friend Lo came over and invited us back to his house for pizza and drinks. After that, the group split into two groups - the "Cool Kids" who wanted to go and check out the night life in Vail Village (me, Max, Julia, Reggie, AD, Benjamin), and the "Lame-O's" who needed to crash and sleep (Amol, Annie, Josh and Courtney.)

Here are a few pics of the Cool Kids on the bus to Vail Village.

We headed into a bar, having a few snowball fights on the way. While the streets of Vail Village were quiet, the bars were packed! We danced to some terrible music and got into some minor tiffs with some rude dancers who had no concept of personal space.

Afterwards, the Best Snow Ball Fight Ever broke out. I'm pretty sure Julia started it. Here she is, throwing, if not the first, at least one of many many many snowballs she threw that night.

Total chaos ensued. At first the fight was just amongst the Cool Kids, and there was no mercy to be had on anyone. Alliances were formed and then broken. I nearly got white washed by Max. Suddenly, a few girls joined in, announced their allegiance to Wisconsin, and then it became a fight for the Midwest - Wisconsin vs. Michigan.

After some more snowball throwing, we all made it the bus stop, when it became clear that Wisconsin and Michigan needed to join forces and heeding AD's rally cry, we had to "PROTECT THE BUS STOP!!!!" and hurl as many snowballs to the people trying to join us at the bus stop. That was probably the highlight of my trip. Here we are at the bus stop, getting our commands from Julia.

Most everyone fought back, and one guy even faked an arm injury, limped off, only to reappear on the ROOF of bus stop with a pile of snowballs. He nailed several us before laughing and running away. It was awesome. The bus eventually came and we all headed back to the lodge.

On our way in, we were laughing and giddy, and I will admit, I was the one who suggested it, although I did point out it was maybe a bad idea...but that it would be really funny to throw snowballs at the unsuspecting sleeping Lame-O's. In my defense, well... I don't really have any. The Cool Kids all sparked to the idea immediately, packed snowballs, and giggling, we crept into the lodge in a single file...

And then we AMBUSHED!!

Needless to say, the Lame-O's were pretty pissed. So pissed that by the time I was inside (I was at the end of the line), Courtney was swearing, Amol was up and walking around menancingly, and I chickened out and handed my snow ball to Max. Who had no problem chucking it at a Lame-O.

Max and I went to bed fully expecting to get white washed in our sleep, but nobody seeked revenge. In the morning, we'd learn that biggest victim of our sleep attack was poor Courtney got hit in the face twice.

Denver Ski Trip - Day One

Well, I've come to the conclusion that Josh will never post his pics (I'm a wonderfully patient person, aren't I?) so anyway, on with the recaps. You'll just have to imagine some of the places we were at...(this is me asssuming that you're even remotely interested...)

Anyway, including Max and me, we were a 10 person ski party, this weekend. The rest of the cast is as follows:

Julia and Reggie
Courtney and Josh
Amol and Annie
AD and Benjamin (who are not a couple, but just naturally got grouped together as a couple in my head)

So...first off, we left Friday afternoon, St. Patrick's Day. Friday started off a completely asshole of a day, and I encountered all sorts of obstacles in the morning, but luckily, since it's now Wednesday, I can't recall any of them. I think I tripped, and forgot things while I was packing, and couldn't find stuff, but whatever. All I remember is that I had a shitty morning. Finally at around 1:30, I pulled myself together, dropped Pig off with Thode, and headed to the mall. I had some time to kill before I was supposed to meet up with the rest of the group, so I darted, embarassingly, into a FOREVER 21 store to buy some cheapy big sunglasses. And to try on a bunch of tops that were way too small and young looking for me. I know the point of the name of the store is to make me feel like I can dress FOREVER 21, but really, I'm 27 (turning 28 next month), and I just can't pull that shit off any more.

Anyway, I made it to Amol's house by 4:05. The plan was to catch the free shuttle from a nearby hotel to LAX, which should have worked perfectly. Except like all scams (realistically, the hotel shuttle is for hotel guests, not for people who live near the hotel), eventually you get caught, and we got caught on our first try. Since we were still waiting for AD, we had to explain to the shuttle driver that our friend was coming, and since he was coming not from inside the hotel but across the street by Amol's apartment where he had parked his car, the hotel people got hip to the fact that we probably had not stayed at their hotel. The manager came in the shuttle and asked us which room we stayed in and we pretty much all sucked at lying. I opted for just staring at him blankly, hoping to pull of the Foreign Girl Who Doesn't Speak English look. Amol stammered repeatedly "Man, I don't remember, I was SO DRUNK all weekend..." (which made no sense since this was Friday) and finally Josh just said, "Room 263. Right guys?"

Unfortunately, there was no Room 263 in the hotel.

Luckily, the driver and manager were cool enough, and said that we all had to pay $5 for the ride, which was fine. AD finally showed up and graciously paid for everyone's fee, mainly to shut us up since it was all sort of his fault and we were on our way.

Here we are, waiting for AD, minutes before we got caught being Free Hotel Shuttle Scammers.

We made it to the airport with a good hour to spare, so we headed over to the Chili's in the airport. Since it was St. Patrick's day, most of us got margaritas. AD got talked into some fancy margarita that came in a sippy cup and a martini glass.

It was soon time to board and honestly, if I wasn't part of this group, I probably would have hated us. We sat as follows:

Row 15 - Julia and Reggie and some Random Guy who moved to a nearby empty seat once the plane started.

Row 16 - Me, Benjamin, and AD

Row 17 - Josh, Courtney and Amol

And...we were loud. And chatty. And laughing. A lot. You put a bunch of friends together, throw in some margaritas, and silliness ensues. Julia kept leaning back pointing out ridiculous items that you could buy from Sky Mall. Benjamin yelled out something about the meaning of "chortle" being "when you choke on the choad!" and after the plane kept driving around for awhile without taking off, someone started with "Complimentary Drinks! Complimentary Drinks! Complimentary Drinks!"

Normally, flights are fairly uneventful but this one certainly was not. On top of the experience of flying with 7 of my friends, there was also an "incident" that required the plane to drive back to the gate, and for security officers to board and then escort a passenger OFF the plane. Exciting. I actually recognized the guy who got taken off the plane from another flight I took to Denver - he was hardly inconspicious. Greasy chin length air, sunglasses, FULL LENGTH LEATHER JACKET, snake skin boots - the guy reeked of cologne, and small time drug dealer. We speculated that surely he'd been caught with drugs, or was jumping bail, or something illegal. Turns out...he had basically offended a stewardess, and then did not comply with flying regulations.

I found out when she came around with the drink cart. I asked her what had happened, and she leaned super close to me, and said, "He said he had a machine gun." Wow. I guess she wanted him to put his jacket away and he made some smart ass remark about having a gun and then she decided that was that. He had "messed with the wrong girl from Texas."

So "messing with the wrong girl from Texas" caused our flight to be delayed by about 45 minutes. Luckily, Annie's flight (she was coming from Salt Lake City) had also been delayed, so everyone was delayed all together. Annie and Amol got the rental van, and after eating at the Burger King in the airport, we spent about 25 minutes figuring out how to fit our 85 pieces of luggage into Max's Cougar and van, and then we were on our way to Vail. It was around 11:30 p.m. when we left, and we finally got there at about 2:00 a.m., stopping only once to stock up on water, hostess cupcakes, and combos. A very healthy eating weekend.

Max had booked an awesome place for us - a two bedroom, two bathroom condo/apartment. It was adorable and was decorated in a very lodgy/Northern Exposure style, with snow shoes and pictures of Eskimos hanging on the wall. We drew for the sleeping spaces - one bedroom had a double bed, the other had two single beds, and the couch in the living room turned out to be a pull out bed. Julia and Reggie brought aerobeds so we all slept pretty comfortably, except for AD who had to take the floor. Max and I got the one of the single beds and we fit surprisingly well. Either that, or I was too tired to notice.

I think everyone was in bed by around 3:00 a.m., which was good, because we had to get up at around 7:00 a.m. the next morning, to go skiing!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Pig Results


Apparently she has something called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is a lot like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or Chrohn's Disease in humans. It is very manageable, and not life threatening. She will probably have to stay on meds for a while and the vet will work with us to figure out what is the lowest dosage possible that will keep it in check. There is no real cause of it - it's just more of an immune system thing and just the way her body reacts, probably to certain foods, but not necessarily. Some dogs need meds daily, others skip a day, and some even go without except for when it flares up. She may have had it for awhile, or she may have just developed it.

Ironically, my grandpa has basically the same problem. I guess it's in the genes. Pig clearly was destined to be part of my family - she has a thyroid problem and a gastrointestinal problem, which both run in my family.

Thanks again to everyone who's been thinking of us. It means a lot to me. And Pig, of course. Pets are such an important part of our lives - I consider Pig to be family - she's my kid, and one of my best friends. She's so loving and always there for me, and wants so little in return - just mainly affection, cookies and exercise. I know part of being a pet owner is accepting the fact that unless your pet is a Galapagos tortoise, you're probably going to outlive it, but it's not something you like to think about very often, and when you are forced to deal with the possibility, it helps a great deal to know you have friends and family who care.

So give your pet a big hug (unless you do happen to have a Galapagos tortoise) from me and Pig! Thanks again!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

No News...

Well, the people at the animal hospital finally got around to telling me, on my third call to them today, that Pig's biopsy results won't be in until tomorrow, midday.


This waiting sucks big fat hairy ass.

Pig Update

You guys have all been so sweet. Really, Pig and I feel so loved.

I won't know the biopsy results until the earliest, this afternoon, and at the latest, tomorrow, but I will post as soon I as know anything.

Pig seems much better - I took her home yesterday and she was really hungry. She's still nauseous - she tries to eat grass and leaves on our walks but I've managed to keep most of it away from her. I don't want her to throw up her medicine. She's on four different prescriptions - anti-nausea, anti-inflammation, anti-biotic, and something like Pepto-Bismol. She got a lot of sleep which I take as a sign that she is in less pain and she is moving and wagging her tail again.

The vet said he really didn't think it was cancer - that he didn't see anything else that would make him think it was cancer, so that's good. He thinks it really probably is a food allergy or an intestinal problem like Chrohn's disease in humans, or maybe she just ate something really really awful that did not agree with her. I am hoping for the best.

Anyway, will post as soon as I hear anything. Thanks again to everyone for the phone calls, emails, comments, etc. They have made this whole process easier to deal with.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pig News

So Pig is in the animal hospital. :(

I actually had to take her into the emergency room last night at 11:00 p.m.. Right after our last walk, she started choking and gagging and threw up a few times. And the choking and gagging didn't stop so after 15 minutes of watching her heave, wheeze and cough, I decided to take her to the animal hospital. She threw up a few more times in the car, and in the process made some of the scariest human sounds I've ever heard come out of an animal. It seriously sounded like there was a 250 lb man dry heaving in the back of my car.

Anyway, the emergency vet was pretty useless. She took some X-Rays which didn't turn up anything hard, but she guessed maybe something soft like a leaf or fabric might be caught in her esophagus. She explained the only way to know what was in there and to get it out was to go in with a camera scope. Unfortunately, the camera scope is not available after hours (at which point I really wanted to give her the "then what the fuck kind of emergency animal hospital is this???" but I was too tired and worried to) so she told me take her home and just bring her back for the endoscopy (sp??? this is a total guess) tomorrow. Actually, at first she told me I should leave Pig with her, just in case she throws up whatever is bothering in her esophagus and inhales it - thereby blocking her windpipe - but an overnight stay would cost me a cool $200. No thanks.

So Pig got to sleep in my bed for the first time ever, although she obviously was in much pain. She cried the whole night (5 hours) and kept swallowing and drooling. My whole apartment is now covered with dog drool.

After calling a few vets this morning and getting a few referrals, I finally opted to go back to the same hospital I went to last night. My regular vet said he could do the endoscopy, but if that didn't turn up what was bothering her, I'd still have to take her to the animal hospital I took her to last night, which is better equipped and has a staff of surgeons. And that would cost me even more money, so better just to go to the animal hospital this morning. So we did.

The vet this morning was really nice. He disagreed with the emergency vet and said that the x-rays don't even show a soft object in her esophagus. Anyway, he is going to sedate Pig, and look into the upper part of her throat first, to see if he can spot what the problem is. If he doesn't find something wrong, then he's going in with the scope through esophagus. And he still doesn't find anything wrong, he's going to dig deeper to check for ulcers and other problems that might be the cause of the vomiting. And the he might even do some biopsys.

Poor Pig.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Digital Camera

Time for me to buy my own digital camera. I have pics from Amol of our ski trip this weekend, but am waiting for more from others before I post up my recaps. I think I've already annoyed Josh this morning by asking..

While I wait, patiently, does any one have any good recommendations for digital cameras? I have no idea what to get, so the liklihood of me walking into a Best Buy and finding the first person with a Best Buy blue polo t-shirt on (which will take at least 20 mins, and he will not be the right guy so I'll have to wait for him to find the right guy, who inevitably will be the guy flirting unsucessfully with the the token girl in the cd/dvd section...) to tell me what to get is really really high.

Friday, March 17, 2006

"I Wonder What Would Happen If...."

So I was having some soup at the office and decided to share my crackers with Pig, since I couldn't very well share the soup. At first I fed a few to her, and then I gave her an open packet. She very quickly figured out how to pull out only the crackers and leave the wrapper on the floor.

I was so proud.

I knew she could open fortune cookie wrappers, and eat only the cookie, leaving the wrapper and fortune slip behind (usually), so I decided to give her a unopened packet of crackers to see if she could do the same with it.

She started out strong, tearing at it with her teeth. She used her left paw to secure the cracker packet, and then added her right paw, and I really thought she could do it. Then she put the whole packet, wrapper included, into her mouth and started chewing.

Stoopidly, I watched her, thinking that eventually the wrapper would tear. It didn't.

By the time I realized what was about to happen, it was too late. She ate the whole packet, wrapper and all.

My apologies to Thode, who will be taking care of Pig this weekend while I'm in Denver, and who will probably spot the cracker wrapper again...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Max's Tourney

(*sigh*) The first round has barely started and I'm already doing poorly...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Weekend Recap - San Francisco

Number of times Pig peed on the Chinese Costanzas' living room carpet: 1

Number of times Pig puked on the Chinese Costanzas' wooden floor (not the carpet, luckily): 9

Amount of paper towels it took to clean up all Pig disasters: 1 1/2 rolls

Number of times Boris (my aunt's dog) made off with my slippers and/or socks: 5

Number of different ways Grandpa mispronounced "fondue," which we had Saturday night, compliments of Chef "Theo": 3 - "fan-chew" "fun-jew" "fon-deux"

Bottles of wine consumed by myself, my brother, and my aunts during "cocktail hour" (which started everyday at 5 pm., and is something I'd like to try to implement into my life here in LA): 10-12 according to my Grandma's report to my mother; 5 in reality

Calories consumed: 10,000 - egads!

Calories burned: About 200

Amount of Chinese food my Grandma cooked and packed for me to take home: Enough to last two weeks - awesome!

Number of scarves and blankets handknitted by Grandma that I took home: 3 scarves, 1 blanket - so nice!

Other goodies I made off with: 1 leash for Pig and a whole bag of various Chinese dried foods for cooking - sweet!

Number of loads of laundry I did: 5

Audio books listened to on my drive: 2 - A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

It was a wonderful weekend. Except for the aforementioned Pig disasters.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bay to Breakers

So I was chatting with Aunt Marilyn a few days ago, working out my plans to go up to San Francisco this weekend, and she informed me that she was signing me up for the Bay to Breakers 12K race, which will take place the 3rd weekend in May, up in SF. She pointed out that training for it would be a good goal - it's just a little over seven miles so it's not totally impossible. I pointed out that the last time I, um, "trained" for a running event, I got up to doing 6 miles and thought - "Man, this is f#*%ing stupid" and got off the treadmill and headed home and drank a six pack. (okay, I had a beer or two, not six, but you get the point) But then she pointed out that this would be a good opportunity to lose my "muffin-top" right before bikini season so I acquiesced.

Of course, only after agreeing to register for the race did she inform me that people run NAKED during it. Wha??? I guess it's voluntary (thank god) but I'm not sure if this makes me want to do the run more or bail out entirely. It sounds like it could be fun, but I am going to be one unhappy girl if I end up tripping and falling on a sweaty naked guy.

Any fellow LA fitness members up for training with me? I promise I have no intention of doing the race nekkid.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Project Runway Trivia Quiz

Kate won the trivia quiz last night. I ordered the prizes a few days ago, so they should be on their way. One was a Santino magnet and the other, a Diana button.

Anyway, I had a really fun time making up the quiz, so I'm posting it up here as well.

Project Runway Trivia Quiz:
General Questions:
1.) What is the name of the apartment complex the designers stay at?

2.) What is the name of the fabric store where they generally buy their fabric?

3.) Besides Chloe, name one designer who owned a shop.

4.) What is the name of Chloe’s shop?

5.) What was the name of Daniel Franco’s lingerie line?

6.) What was Andrae’s inspiration for the Inspiration challenge?

7.) What is the name of Zulema’s alter-ego?

8.) What material did Nick use for Daniel V’s suit in the Make Over episode (which cost him the challenge)?

9.) What brand name is on the t-shirt that Kirsten turned into an ugly bib?

10.) Who lives in Apt #35D?

Identify the speaker:
1.) "This is the biggest bunch of bullshit I've heard in weeks.”

2.) "English, French, gay accent." – describing Andrae’s accent

3.) "It's about this woman that goes from being ugly to this like beautiful swan."

4.) "I just felt like, you know, a little Mexican kid in Tijuana, like, 'Buy my gum. Buy my chicle.' It's like, it's sort of pathetic."

5.) “Santino, sometimes you can be such a dick.”

Complete the following Santino quotes/lyrics:
1,.) “Lighten up, it’s just fashion. Take the __________ out of your asshole.”

2.) “You can’t polish a _____.”

3.) “I _____ on Chloe’s fabric.”

4.) “Eating my _______is the key to everything.”

Bonus Essay Question (up to 3 pts each)

What is wrong with Daniel Franco?

Of everyone who appeared from on Season 2 of Project Runway (from guest judges to designers) who would you most like to have sex with and why?

What the $(#&%(???

I'm sorry. I was really a fan of Chloe Dao's designs during all the challenges, but ugh, her runway show looked AWFUL. It was so 80's, and the fabrics she used were so...shiny. Yuck. The only piece I actually liked was the 13th look, the gold dress that basically Diana designed.

And anyone else think Daniel V came off as a total bitch? I thought his stuff looked so conservative.

Poor Santino - his line was awesome!! If they think Santino was being "safe" how the hell can they like Daniel's collection - which is filled with stuff that I've seen at Ann Taylor, Talbots, and Lord & Taylor.

Grr. This makes me want to boycott the next season.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Project Runway Finale/Red Lobster Night at Sareet's!!

I'm so excited for tonight. A bunch of us are meeting at my place to watch the finale of Project Runway tonight. We wanted to take out Red Lobster (if you're a fan of the show, you'll know it's significance), but since the nearest one is in Torrance (20 miles away/2 hour drive in traffic), I asked everyone to bring something that they could ORDER from Red Lobster.

I'm going to make crab alfredo. I've never made it before, and decided last night that I will cheat by buying pre-made alfredo sauce, and just adding crab to it. Jessie is making cheddar garlic biscuits and shrimp gumbo. Kate and Plumb are on Lobsterita duty. I only wish I had done some planning in advance. I really would have loved to get those mardi gras beads with the lobster charm and these plates:

And...I made a Project Runway trivia quiz. So nerdy, I know. But it was really fun making it. I have a small prize for the winner.

I can't wait for tonight!!

New Phrase

So I was reading Fitness magazine and came across the PERFECT description for what's been happening to me now that my waistline has expanded, while my pants haven't...


Good god, I have a muffin-top.

Monday, March 06, 2006

March 1st - Progress Report on My 2006 Resolutions

It's a few days after March 1st, but I'm bored at the office and have already surfed the internet for hours, and even made up a Project Runway trivia quiz for the people who are coming over to watch the finale on Weds, so I figure it's a good time to reflect.

1.) Be healthier
Unfortunately, the gym-going has not been....um going. It's not to say I've completely stopped exercising - it's just that on a good week I make it there TWICE. That's on a good week. I really need to get back into the habit of going. Speaking of habits, I've also picked up another one - eating fastfood. This has to stop. I've read Fast Food Nation, I'm familiar with most of the nutritional information provided by various food chains (although had I known there are only 250 calories in breakfast burrito at Del Taco, compared to the 450 calories in the bacon, egg & cheese quesadilla, would have most definitely chosen the former this morning on my drive back from the airport) but I still find myself pulling up to the drive thru way too frequently. So, yeah, time to work on exercising and eating better.

The flossing has been less frequent than last month but I seem to have upped the vitamin taking. I'm like a SIMS character - I just can't seem to keep all the little bars/meters on "full." And Pig's teeth have been getting a brush only about once a week, so I need to get back to doing that.

However, I did finally install that water filter on the kitchen faucet, so I consider that to be a huge boost to my overall health.

2.) Do things besides playing poker online and watching TV
Well, this one's not so great. I've been watching a lot of tv lately. Tons and tons. But luckily, Max's mom and grandma sent me some books about Ireland, and mysteries set in Ireland so I plan to get back to reading. Thanks guys!

3.) Donate
Done. Just now.

4.) Work more efficiently
This has actually gone okay. I'm still wasting a lot of time (obviously) but I feel like it's been a pretty productive work month. So I guess I need to just keep at it.

Weekend Recap

So, this weekend was awesome because Max surprised me with a visit! I was sitting at AD's house Friday night, searching for recipes for chocolate martinis, when all of the sudden I heard a noise behind me, turned around, and there was Max!! I only wish that I didn't have to work so much this weekend. Saturday morning I had to do a Q&A panel at a local college about an hour away and didn't get back until around 3 p.m. At 4 p.m., I had to meet with a client, who's been really busy an unable to meet me during the work week. But at least Max and I got to spend Saturday night and Sunday together, which was great.

Saturday night we went to Chan Dara for Thai food. It was okay, not as good as before. Afterward, we watched Bandits, which while it has several funny moments, is altogether a lousy movie.

Sunday we headed out to Monterrey Park for dim sum. After dim sum, we went to Ranch 99 to pick up Chinese groceries. Now, I have a much higher tolerance for the chinese grocery store than Max does, but even I can only stand being in there for about 30 minutes. It's chaotic, and smells funny. Funny as in fishy, on account of the super fresh and varied seafood counter. Anyway, we got all our groceries and then went back home to prepare the food we were bringing to Lypstykgirl's Oscar party. We made cold pizza, and the CUTEST APPETIZERS I've ever seen. Max found the recipe online. This is not my pic, but you can see them here:

Cream Cheese Penguins

Aren't they the CUTEST!!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What a little bit of internet research will turn up...

Santino's blog!

Your Talent, Chloe Dao, where did it go???

Oh goodness grossness. What was that hideous rose-colored satin gigantic clown jacket thing on Chloe's rack???

I think after seeing glimpses of everyone's collection, and seeing a much more compassionate and humble Santino, I am rooting for Santino. Even tho he's been really mean, he seems regretful. So he's redeemed himself in my book. Plus, everyone else looks horrible. Daniel V's collection - three words - Lord and Taylor. Chloe's outfits looked completely random and the few pieces we actually saw looked fairly hideous. Santino's stuff looked pretty, and the colors seemed to go together really well.

I ate leftover Popeyes (from last night Project Runway gathering) for breakfast this morning. Nothing like fried shrimp and fried chicken to start the day!