Thursday, March 31, 2005
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Friday, March 25, 2005
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Monday, March 21, 2005
I suck at writing reviews but here goes…these are less reviews and more my open honest out there non-professional opinions.
Saved! – I found this movie to be perfectly funny and irreverent and enjoyable. I was skeptical going in. I’m not a big Mandy Moore fan or Mulcalhy Calkin for that matter but I do like Jenna Malone & Mary-Louise Parker so I gave it a shot! MM surprised me by being so perfect at playing the holier-than-thou type and I didn’t mind MC either. It was a nice glimpse at the hypocrisy surrounding anyone that’s so into something (in this case Christianity) and what happens when that raises you to the level of I-am-so-much-better-than-you-are. A great rental.
Open Water – I had to wait til I returned from vacationing in
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Michael Gulezian has been a favorite of the Boy's for a long time - over 10 years. I've gotten to know his music a little bit through CD's that the Boy has. Last night he and Justin Roth played at the Historic NorShor in Duluth. Both acoustic guitarists - both amazing. I am so happy that after a crappy, hectic day, The Boy said he wanted to see this show and we went. Not only was the music and talent that we witnessed phenomenal but the people were so genuine and wonderful to talk with. We had Michael sign both of the new CD's that the Boy bought and talked with him afterwards for quite a while. Next step is to try to get them booked in Austin at the Paramount Theatre (a perfect fit) and also to have him do some music possibly for NEWTON'S if not something else. What a wonderful evening. Go check out his music (he's on iTunes) and buy it! You won't be sorry. And if you ever get a chance to see them perform - go. The skill and creativity and passion they bring to their craft is awesome.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
(technially a smidge Scotch-Irish but I'm not sure if that counts)...
So later we will go eat cabbage & corned beef and drink green beer and wear silly hats and beads and things....maybe I'll get some more dorky pictures to post. We'll see.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Here are some differences I’ve noticed between the two:
Vacation: Didn’t watch TV News
Reality: Watch far too much news: local, national, read internet news sites (Yahoo, NYTimes, BBC, etc)
Vacation: Floated from activity to activity however I felt
Reality: Have to get up at a certain time to go to work; have to clean the house, scoop the cat poop, wash dishes, make dinner, etc.
Vacation: I laid on the beach.
Reality: I lay on the couch.
Vacation: I think of nothing but romance, fun, my sweetie, adventure, seeing new things, cervezas, tropical everything and where should we indulge our pallets tonight?
Reality: I think of paying bills, why people keep blowing themselves and other people up all over the world, idiot lawmakers, celebrity trials, crazy gunmen on the loose, paying bills.
Vacation: I am happy to be relaxed and free.
Reality: I am sad because every day I do something that is not ‘me;’ not creative, not what I went to college for, not what I want to do when I grow up.
Vacation: I think about where the next adventure should be.
Reality: I think about where the next escape from mundaness should be.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Our last day was spent on the island of Cozumel, a 45 minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen. The ferry was okay but I was a bit...naseaus and 'swimmy' from the previous night's tequila drinking so it wasn't all that fun. Once on Cozumel we headed for the Hard Rock Cafe. The smallest Hard Rock Cafe in the world...and yes, it was small. It was okay. I didn't really care about going there I just wanted food....fast and it was right there. Well, as soon as we got there it seemed to get more and more crowded and SUPER loud. They cranked the music (well, it is a rock-n-roll cafe after all) and it was generally annoying. My burger was pretty good though.
After that we decided it'd be fun to rent a scooter! Oh folly. It was terrifying...both for the Boy (driver) and me (passenger). Oh my god. Mexican traffic...no thanks! I won't be doing that again...ever. It was kinda fun once we got out of the city and headed south to the National Park (Chankanaab) but initially it was terrifying. Coming back into town wasn't so great either...but the Boy did a wonderful job piloting the bike and we arrived back safe and sound.
Chankanaab is a National Park that my sister & brother-in-law and told us about. We got there in the afternoon and checked out the 'ruins' (replicas from all over Mexico) and the botanical gardens. It was so beautiful. So many different plant species and lush greeness to marvel at. I think the Boy really enjoyed it a lot. I did too...although I had a nagging feeling that there were snakes very close to me at all times. *shudder* We then hit the beach and did some snorkeling. We probably snorkeled for 30 minutes to an hour. It was so relaxing and beautiful. Once again it took me some time to get used to it, but I managed to not freak out and it was fun. TB really enjoyed it too. His first time. :-)
After snorkeling we walked through more botanical gardens but by then everything was pretty much closing up so we hit the road.
That night we enjoyed one last dinner at Las Mañanitas and some quality time on the beach with the fire dancers & cervezas! It was lovely. It's always bittersweet to be at the end of a vacation.
The trip back was uneventful, which I guess is good. After a long day of travelling we arrived home in Duluth around 10pm on Saturday night - at which point we went to bed. :-)
Okay - enough vacation stories...on to something else, I promise!!!
Friday, March 11, 2005
Conversation overheard at work yesterday:
A: I have to annotate my paper…do you know what that means?
B: I have no idea.
C: Huh? Nope, I’ve never heard of that?
B. You’ll just have to ask your teacher.
A: But I have to do it tonight.
B: Sorry Can’t help you.
A: D, do you know what annotate means?
D: *shrugs* Nope.
A: Where’s M---
B: Why don’t you just write a notation?
C: Yeah, that sounds like a good idea…just write the details in there.
A: Good idea.
*sigh*That is so depressing...
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Not much in the mood to write right now but wanted to upload this pic from our trip to Cozumel on our last day of the Mexican vacation. This was at Chankanaab National Park (I'm pretty sure I spelled that wrong) in the botanical gardens and I thought it was really cool. More later...
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
So Thursday on our vacation was one of those days…bittersweet in a way. On Tuesday it seemed like we had all the time in the world. We had figured out our activity level for the day; what time was perfect to be sitting on a beach under a palapa reading our books and sipping cervezas; what time was good for going to bed, making love, eating….we’d got it down. Wednesday went so fast due to our day trip and then WHAM it was Thursday. Only 2 days left!
Thursday we spent in our routine – sleep in but not too late, walk up 5th Avenue, eat something delicious, sit on the beach, read our books, eat a fabulous dinner and then go out for the evening. We switched hotels on Thursday…which was a welcome relief in some ways. We didn’t quite know what to expect but we knew it would be quieter regardless. We moved from the Costa del Mar to The Alejari. The Alejari was also on the beach, just down from the Costa. And this was key – it was QUIET. Our room was so charming. We had an upstairs room (it was unique in the fact that the upstairs rooms were all by themselves…we had no neighbors up there!) with a balcony overlooking a beautiful courtyard filled with hibiscus & palms. It was awesome. We had a huge king sized bed, a brand new air conditioner, a lovely pair of swans/towels welcoming us and a FRIDGE! (sadly there was no water pressure in the shower but this was the only downside). We were thrilled. Cold water, cold beer, quiet nights, total privacy!! A couple of happy campers for sure!!
I don’t remember too many details from that day – I just know that we enjoyed soaking up the sun (or the shade), swimming in the ocean, relaxing and just being. The Boy did a load of laundry. We went to a Laundromat that was saw down the street and started washing clothes when we realized it was the kind of place where they do the laundry for you. So he checked on that a few times as I lazily laid in the sun. He also walked down to check out some other areas while I continued to lay lazily in the sun. J I like that!!
That night was our night to ‘go out.’ Since we knew we could leave at any time and return to a QUIET hotel room we were pumped. We started the evening at the El Pirata…as usual…sipping cervezas and watching the water change color and the sky turn to orange and peach and gold as the sun set. Then we went to find something to eat. This took entirely too long but eventually we found a place. I forget the name but it was awesome. Upstairs under a HUGE and beautiful palapa roof – we didn’t even care that we were stuck back in a corner. Felipe was our waiter and he was so cool. We asked him where we could find a particular style of glass and he was more than willing to write down directions to a glass factory just north of town – he even offered to take us there himself! (which we declined). He also made the best margaritas I’ve ever had in my life. After getting the bill we found out why they were so good…ahem…but ah well…The Boy had fajitas and I had….chicken fingers and fries. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it. I just wanted something plain! Well, the margaritas did their trick. Woah…I think we were both loaded by time we left the place. Felipe was kind enough to explain this special recipe and even write it down for us. He made the margaritas right at our table which was kinda fun. There was also an awesome musical group there – not the usual mariachi but something a little mellower…3 guys and a little boy – a couple guitars, a harp and maracas…it was great.After that we headed over to El Pirata & The Blue Parrot – we had beers in our backpack from OXXO and stealthily enjoyed those (well, the Boy did…) as well. We danced and drank and had a great time. WE talked to one of the waiters from El Pirata for a long time – Ricardo from Oxaxca (Wuh-hawk-ka) which was cool. We enjoyed showing the locals pictures of us skiing in the frigid northland. They can’t imagine why we live here. I wonder that myself sometimes…..
Monday, March 07, 2005
Okay – so dinner after
We were worn out from the long day. We wanted something yummy and easy and quick. We also didn’t want to waste an hour trying to figure out where we should eat. So, we had scoped out a place the night before which looked cool, was close to our hotel and had decently priced pizza. We went there. I believe it was called Da Gabi or something like that.
Anyway – we’re sitting in this lovely open air restaurant, sipping coke light and deciding on our pizza. We went with ham, artichoke hearts & mushrooms (this was a kind already, we didn’t come up with it). It was delicious. The crust was excellent, the toppings great (well, The Boy didn’t care for the artichoke hearts…I thought they were okay but probably wouldn’t get them again…). We were waiting for some more ice and another coke light to share when all of a sudden….something was falling on me. At first I thought there was some crazy spices flying around. I looked down and I was being covered with something that looked like very long pieces of sage. I was sitting right under an area where two palapas (thatched roofs) met. When I looked up, startled I said – I think there’s a bird up there….at that point the entire table was covered with this roof material. The pizza, our newly received ice and coke light, everything. I was saying what the h*ll is going on….and got out of my chair just as a CAT fell from the ceiling!! It all happened so quickly and was so weird an unexpected. The Boy and I were startled and laughing and bummed that the rest of our pizza & pop were ruined. The waiter came over and exclaimed something in Spanish and then told us to leave everything and go sit at a different table. He then brought us new coke lights and said a new pizza was being made for us!! The cat was still on the ground and having some difficulty walking. There was a woman at the next table to us (the new table, that is) who was very concerned about this cat…which had apparently broken it’s leg. She knew the owner of the restaurant & attached condos and the staff got a hold of them, put the cat in a box and a vet was called. Weird. Weird. Weird. Apparently the wait staff was afraid of this particular cat because he likes to bite them. I’m just glad he didn’t land on my head!! Close call though!!So, we feasted on more pizza and laughed over our experience and ended our day in the usual manner – by sitting on the beach and drinking a cerveza at El Pirata. J It was fabulous.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
So where was I?
Ah yes, Wednesday…
After a night of hotel-walls-vibrating-non-sleep we got up bright and early for our tour of
Promptly at 7;15 our tour guide (whom we later learned was Juan Carlos) arrived and checked our tickets. We climbed in the van with 8 other eager (and sleepy) passengers to start our day. The Boy and I sat in the front of this van which was nice…I like being able to see out the front window and it gave us a little extra room for our bags. We were also right by the cooler filled with water and soft drinks.
We started by heading south to Tulum. This was odd to me as
We drove through a Mayan village which isn’t such a Mayan village any more. I can’t remember how many years ago – but within my lifetime the road that we were on was cut into the jungle. Before that this village was in the middle of no where! Women & children are everywhere selling their arts and crafts and tending to household duties. We saw a monkey chained up at one of the “stores.” Poor monkey. Apparently he has a pretty good life though and likes Doritos. J We did drive through a traditional Mayan village. The houses are amazing. They are huts! Made out of trees? (sticks?) from the jungle and with thatched roofs and dirt floors. It looks more like camping than real life and was very humbling and amazing to see. And they’re everywhere. We were told that if two houses were in one yard it usually meant that that was the son’s family and they didn’t go far from home to build their house. I guess not. In one little village we drove through, there were little boys sitting on the side of the road with their “souvenirs” for the tourists. As we drove by they flashed us a magazine that they were reading – naked pictures! I guess little boys are the same everywhere – even in the middle of the jungle.
Our first stop was at a “store” to shop for souvenirs and learn about the tequila plant (el Maguey). The tequila information was interesting but I passed on the free samples. Blech. And it was only 10:30 in the morning! The Boy had 2 samples….a good wake up call I guess. I found a table cloth that I absolutely loved – it was made from 50% maguey fiber and 50% cotton. Dyed the most beautiful bright colors with vegetable dies. It was $90 but I was supposed to barter. But I chickened out and didn’t. Now both Sweet Boy and I are KICKING ourselves for not getting it. It was gorgeous and would’ve been such a fun and lovely souvenir of our trip. Ack
Next up was
It was hot at
Next stop was at a buffet restaurant for traditional Yucatek food. It was really good – beans, rice, quesadillas, pork cooked in banana leaves, spaghetti noodles (!) and other yumminess. There were dancers there as well. The restaurant was very colorful and unique. I learned later that that is the same restaurant my folks went to as well on their tour to
After lunch we stopped at a cenote. This cenote was not as spectacular as I would’ve liked it to be but it was still pretty cool. The water was crystal clear and so inviting (especially after being so hot!). We didn’t swim however because the thought of sitting all the way back to Playa in wet bathing suits was just not too appealing. I’m glad we got to see one though as they are the ‘signature’ geological feature of the
We stopped at a colonial city after that. Vallodid (I think?). None of us were too into it and would’ve rather just gone back to Playa! We got out, stretched our legs and photographed the church there. The interesting thing about the church is that it was built with stones from Mayan ruins.
Then the long trip back to Playa – I tried to snooze but it was scary thinking about hurtling towards cars on the “highway” and not too peaceful. We arrived back in Playa at about 6:30pm.Then off to dinner…which is a story for next time….
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
I am SO motivated right now.
I want to:
Clean out the closets and organize them.
Work on my scrapbook.
Complete my movie ‘to-do’ list – get this thing DONE!
Work on the slideshow for my Grandma’s 80th Birthday.
Do my taxes.
Clean the house and get rid of more crap.
Sand & paint the white patches in the living room.
Caption the vacation pics and send out to family.
Hem up my black pants & The Boy’s pajama bottoms.
Finish my knitting project.
Get my crafts organized.
Make greeting cards.
Scrub EVERYTHING.Unfortunately I am here at work. It is spilling over…I’m doing all the crap projects that I put off til last. The REALLY mind-numbing stuff…but my desk is getting cleared off and that’s a good thing. Hopefully this will last until I get home and can get a few things done or gone through or something. I mean, I also want to finish the puzzle I’ve been working on for 2 months, read my book, make dinner, exercise (sit-ups, arms, stretches) so that’s fine….I’m just go-go-go right now. It’s a little frustrating to not be able to do the above mentioned things now but I’m hoping this will last. PLEASE last!!!!