Thursday, March 31, 2005

Commentathon for Breast Cancer Research

If you want to do something good, easy and totally worth it - visit California Hammonds sometime after midnight PST and before the end of the day. This website is amazing, it breaks my heart, it inspires, it is a true testament to love, life, family and the everlasting. Please stop by, browse, read the story of Greg & Cheryl and their family, look at the pictures and COMMENT - they are raising money and you can help!

Glow Posted by Hello

Weebles

I just saw an ad for Weebles....ha! I didn't even know they still made those.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

And another thing...

While I'm at it...can anyone tell me WHY it is that when we get a new haircut that we love and then the next day it's still all styled perfectly like the day before and then the next day DISASTER? I have no idea how to 'do' my hair. No clue. I think it's getting easier/better but it doesn't look like it DID and that makes me soo so so so sad. Cute trendy girl only lasted for today...but now I'm back to my dorky self. I'm getting frustrated!!

Oh forget it

I deleted ALL FIVE VERSIONS of that previous stupid post. If you missed it, so be it. If not, thanks, I already know I'm a huge dorkus loser. :P

Oh for Chrissake

Okay - the post before the post I just posted...well I didn't think it posted because Blogger got all weird on me last night and froze up and made me quit out of the post before I actually posted it...so now I sound like an ASS and have re-posted stuff I already posted about. In honor of my being a total loser, I will leave that up instead of just discreetly deleting it like I should.

*sigh*

I've Got a Secret

Okay - It's not really MY secret but it's a 'secret' I'm keeping. Actually come to think of it, I don't know if it's an ACTUAL secret or if I'm just assuming it is...anyway - I think it is...at least for a while. My best friend is pregnant! Now, knowing that noone that reads this knows who she is (except for her) I can say that...right? So, now I'm trying to come up with a suitable alias - because I am a big dork naturally....But for now I will call her Anne (with an 'e'). After Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables. That is fitting. Anyway - after a long haul, Anne is PG and I'm very excited!! So, more later - I'm hoping she starts a blog because already her emails are cracking me up, amusing me, making me think and making me want to bonk idiot co-workers (hers not mine) on the noggin. For now CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Before & After

I feel like I've lost 20 lbs. I went out and celebrated actually getting a tax refund this year by paying off some debt and getting a hairstyle with COLOR! Yipeee! You can see for yourself that this was absolutely necessary.

Before - scary scary nasty scraggmuffin Carrie.... Posted by Hello

Voila! Cute trendy hair - yipee! You can't quite tell in this picture but my hair was darkened to more of a brown and blonde & red highlights were added all over. Yay!! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Shrek 2

I forgot Shrek 2 from last week. Loved it. Simple as that. I loved the animation. I loved the story. I love Shrek. I love Donkey and MOSTLY I love PUSS IN BOOTS. *sigh* Love him. The hairball scene was worth the price of admission in itself.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Mini-Reviews, sort of

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 Mexico to watch this water. I’m glad I did! Shot on a PD-150 (my camera, btw) and a VX2000 this low-budget digital indie hit all the marks. It was intriguing, it was scary, it was a great character piece between two people stuck in the middle of the ocean with nothing but each other, their strength, their weakness and their fears. I found myself thinking – aside from the sharks, jellyfish, scuba diving aspect this would make a great play. I really enjoyed this film.

In America – I had wanted to see this film since it came out but never got a chance to in the theatre so I caught it on HBO. I really enjoy Samantha Morton’s performances – I think she is a solid, strong, no-nonsense kind of actress (check out Sweet and Low Down for example). This film though, it bored me. There was an immigrant family trying to make it in NYC in the early 80’s, there was a weird artist neighbor with AIDS, there were cute kids with awesome Irish accents but it was just dull. The actors were good the story was slooooow to say the least. *sigh* Maybe I just didn’t get it but I could’ve passed on this one.

Anchorman – Another film I was looking forward too as I think Will Ferrell is silly and I love him. However, after a couple glasses of wine with dinner – this movie was too slow for me and I slept through a great deal of it. I did see some very funny parts and still love Will Ferrell but I guess I wished this one was a bit funnier.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Music for the Soul

Busy weekend - reshoots, hanging out with friends that have moved away, etc.... But last night we saw a great show.

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

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I know, everyone's Irish today so so am I.

(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

Vacation vs. Reality

Well, my vacation to Mexico has been over for nearly a month. I still think about it daily and look at the pictures and remember what I was doing the Wednesday of that week at exactly this time (8:41) (I was in a van driving through the jungle heading towards Chichen Itza in case you’re wondering).

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

Blogrolling

Where the hell did my blogroll go??!?!?!?

The Last Day

Okay - to wrap up this incredibly long vacation wrap up - here goes....

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 MaƱanitas 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!!!

Chankanaab National Park on the island of Cozumel. Posted by Hello

Steve boards the scooter of death for the ride back into town (Cozumel). Posted by Hello

Fantastic Fire Dancers at the Blue Parrot Posted by Hello

Our last night on the beach. Posted by Hello

Friday, March 11, 2005

Annotations

Conversation overheard at work yesterday:

A: I have to annotate my paper…do you know what that means?

B: I have no idea.

A: You?

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... Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


The view from our lovely new room/balcony at the Hotel Alejari. Posted by Hello

Looking down a side street from 5th Avenue to the beautiful Carribbean. Posted by Hello

Felipe! Our awesome margarita-shaking-n-making waiter. He was so cool. Posted by Hello

Can you tell the tequila's flowing? Hmmmm? Posted by Hello

Hitting Our Stride

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

Dinner after Chichen Itza

Okay – so dinner after Chichen Itza.

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


Here I am at 7 months....I just thought I'd share.  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Our Yucatek meal after our visit to Chichen Itza. Posted by Hello

I'm not getting any closer to the edge!! Temple of the warrier and plaza of a thousand columns behind/below me... Posted by Hello

Looking up the pyramid before the climb. Posted by Hello

Free Samples! Posted by Hello

The Boy and the Maguey Plant (tequila!) Posted by Hello

Chichen Itza

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 Chichen Itza. First order of business – find a coffee shop. The Boy needs his morning coffee. Especially at ten to seven. Ugh. Right out of the entrance to our hotel we saw a lady walking with coffee. The Boy immediately pounced and asked where she got it. She told us and we were on our way to Java Joe’s. At Java Joe’s coffee & croissants were in hand. Then it was over to OXXO (which I like to call Mexican hugs-n-kisses but it’s really more like a 7-Eleven) for a few more breakfast-y items and a Coca-Cola Light (my addiction). A couple of fruit-n-cereal bars, water & banana later we were off to the Gran Porto Real. That’s where our tour was leaving from.

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 Chichen Itza is north – but mostly just west of Playa del Carmen. He explained to us that we were going this way because the other road was not very good. Ahem. Well, if the other road was not very good THANK GOD we weren’t on that one!! The road we took was frightening!! Well, the road to Tulum was fine…it’s a little weird because this Mexican autopista (I think it was an autopista…freeway…) has a lane and a half going each way…so if you want to pass you kinda have to go right out into the other lane…it’s weird and a bit nerve-wracking. The road through the jungle was far worse. Bumpy and NARROW. And we were flying!! And gravel. Ack. Coming up on big buses our semis (why the h*ll were semi’s driving on this road?!?!) was a bit scary.

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 Chichen Itza. It was awesome. The first part of our tour was guided past all the ruins. This was interesting and the Boy took lots of very beautiful pictures. I wish I had read up more on the site before visiting it as I love all the information and would’ve like to have known more. There was one hiccup – on the trail from the south to the north areas a bunch of people were stopped looking into the woods AT A SNAKE. Ack. I just kept going, kept talking to myself and scurried away. This girl don’t like snakes. L There were Mayans everywhere selling their wares…they’d say “one dollar, one dollar” and if you tried to buy something they’d then specify that it was really 5 dollars or one Mayan dollar. Sneaky. There was a little tiny boy selling embroidered hankies at the temple of the warriors for 2 pesos….but when The Boy tried to buy one, suddenly it was 10 pesos, or a dollar or more….

It was hot at Chichen Itza. We looked on weather.com when we got back and it stated that it was 99 degrees the day we were there!! That’s 12 degrees above the average high. It’s not supposed to be that warm until May!! Needless to say we were sweating our patooties off. We climbed the high pyramid – El Castillo or the Temple of Kucklakan. It was amazing. It is SO steep. Pictures do not do it justice. While climbing up the pyramid you can practically remain standing and put your hands out in front of you on the steps going up. Once you get up there, your heart kind of falls into your stomach as it is high up there and there is no railing or safety features to be found! You can walk around the top of the temple and see an amazing view of the surrounding jungle, and small town and of course of the other ruins. The way back down was the scariest part. I went down on my butt as the thought of my foot slipping and me tumbling into those climbing up sent shivers down my spine and turned my legs into rubber. Whew! Scary. Scary. Scary. No wonder they keep an ambulance in the woods behind the pyramid! But I’m so glad we did it. I could’ve used more time at the ruins to do more exploring and take more pictures but we had to meet up with our group…and I was beet red in the face from the heat. Ack.

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 Chichen Itza. It’s definitely a touring hotspot!

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 Yucatan peninsula.

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

Motivation

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!!!!