Friday, December 31, 2010

Roller Coasters

If you know me, you think I'm very conservative. How can this person have any fun? (OK, you probably don't think that but I've had employees tell me I'm mean.) But I do love a good roller coaster. Underneath this exterior lies a thrill seeker trying to get out. There is something about the wind whipping your hair, the need for speed, the feeling of weightlessness for just a second that makes me smile and want more.

On this trip we rode a few so here is my review of them. Please note that none of these are my photos. Thank goodness for the internet.

Sea World - Journey to Atlantis

This is a combination roller coaster/flume ride. It was fun and had a very unusual way to get the coaster to the top of the hill but we couldn't understand any of the speaking parts which was trying to get you into the theming of the coaster. I wouldn't ride this one again.

Matterhorn - Disneyland

This was the first roller coaster in Disneyland. You sit in these tiny cars (not comfortable for two adults) and there are very tight turns. It is very jerky and no real drops. Lines were very long and it wouldn't be worth the wait to do again.

Space Mountain - Disneyland

This was quite a bit different than the version at Disney World. First of all it sits like a regular roller coaster instead of the three person capsule. They have redone it with a rock music soundtrack. It is very dark inside and the space lights are good. It was very smooth and turned to the right quite a bit. No big drops. I think I liked this one better than the one in Florida. I would ride it again but you must use FastPass for it. The line is absolutely incredible (two hours when we were there) if you don't.

California Screamin - Disneyland

OK, this was a BIG winner. First of all, a great start with a fast take off. Then you add in lots of ups/downs and a loop with rock music blaring in the speakers behind your ears. This was really awesome. Of course on day two it got stuck on an uphill and we watched them rescue the people out of the cars. I highly recommend this ride if you go to Disneyland. Get a fastpass but also do the single rider line. We were able to ride it that way within 10-15 minutes.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fashion disaster update

OK, so I've spent two days at Disneyland and have no fashion disasters to post. How can this be you might ask? The answer is while at Disney, anything goes. If you have never been to the land of magic, you would not understand this. But there are so many different ear options (that is Mickey ears not people ears) and then hats with various characters (Chip/Dale/Goofy) that fashion disasters don't exist. Plus it has been so cold that jackets cover most fashion tops. Shoewear is always an issue, and I have seen some beauties but haven't gotten photos. My favorite was the old fashioned granny heels. That is how I describe the boots that the saloon girls might wear. It does seem to be mostly Asian women who are wearing these type of shoes. I guess they are just ahead of the curve in fashion. Should I be taking my cues from them?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The fashion disasters just keep coming

These were all taken at Universal Studios. As they say in Bull Durham, That seems a little excessive for the Carolina League.
This look seems excessive with the pleated skirt with tassles, tights and boots. The waistband is exceptionally loud.

Knee high boots with four inch heals and the ruffled top. Club wear for sure.
I'm sorry this photo isn't loading all the way. All of the shoes aren't showing. But these three lovely ladies were together in cheetah tights, pleather looking tights and then the one on the right looks most normal with regular tights.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What not to wear part 3

Another day, another set of fashion disasters

This look was at the Santa Monica pier. It was cold and windy. Which of course always means wear cordoruy shorts, tights, and old tennis shoes.

This unfortunate outfit was on Rodeo Drive. The woman walking away had on tight leggings that looked like blue and white swirled denim. Definately a big no-no.

What not to wear Part 2

Oh the fashion disasters that were running around the San Diego Zoo. I couldn't get all of them but here is a nice sampling.

This one seemed really inappropriate. Huge fishnet stockings, brown boots, ruffled skirt. Perhaps she was going to go to a club after the zoo?

These caught my eye simply because they aren't shoes...they are slippers. I didn't know that was appropriate footwear to go to the zoo. Cute for home perhaps.

And this was the absolute worst one of all. Unfortunately she was standing in line with us for the tour bus so I couldn't get the complete outfit. But picture this: a shirt dress with red and white candy stripes, plaid tights and leopard shoes. She had a red hat on too. And then she took out a carrot wrapped in foil to eat. She had to be late teens or early twenties. I'm not sure what she was going for, but I think FAIL was stamped all over it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

What not to wear

I love to watch the show What not to Wear on TLC. Sometimes I wish they would give me a credit card with $5,000 on it to buy clothes and tell me what to buy. But even without that show, I know certain things not to wear. Like yesterday we saw a woman in high heel boots walking down to the tide pools. How she thought she was going to climb down wet rocks I have no idea. But today at Sea World we saw a few. I took a picture of the woman wearing tights (not leggings) and a very short shirt with boots. This is not appropriate for an amusement park.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Easy Life

Today we saw harbor seals just hanging out on the beach. They seemed to understand the easy life. Just lay around, get your photo taken and hopefully catch some rays. There was one that was young and seemed to just like to rub himself.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Preparing for Vacation

Well the time has come for the family to get ready to fly away for our vacation. It's been awhile since we've taken one, so I have to get back in the right frame of mind to pack and get ready.

1. The dog's hotel reservation is made. She gets to spend her time at the Top Dog Pet Resort where they treat her like royalty. Have to make sure she has her shots, her bed and most importantly, her squeaky.

2. Make sure all prescriptions are filled so we have enough medicine on the trip. This used to not be an issue but it seems as I age, I need more medicine to keep me in tip top shape.

3. Make sure all laundry is done. This is a given for anyone travelling, especially if you will be gone for more than a week.

4. Buy reading material. It is important to make sure you have enough to read on the plane to keep you entertained, but not too much to weigh you down walking through the airport.

5. Make lists. We all make our own list of what to pack and cross it off as everything gets piled on my bed.

6. Pack the suitcases. There are special ways to pack a suitcase. First you want to make sure that all of one person's clothes are not in just one suitcase. This prevents one person not having any clothes if the airline loses a piece of luggage.

7. Make sure all doors and windows are locked. This shouldn't be a big deal because the windows should be locked already with it cold outside, but always a good idea to check.

8. Clean out all trash from the house. You don't want any unwanted critters getting in and taking residence.

9. Notify the neighbors so they can use your trash can and make it look like someone still is at the house.

10. Cancel mail and newspaper. See number 9 above.

11. Sleep. This is not a step to be overlooked since we are about to spend 9 nights in beds that aren't ours.

12. Relax. This is a vacation. Stressing out about it sort of negates the reason for a vacation.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Spectacular

The church I attend, Journey Church, was holding a Christmas Spectacular this weekend. They were trying to make this be the big, exciting event while on Christmas Eve it would be more subdued and traditional. The promos promised light shows, professional choirs and aerial artists. Sounds pretty spectacular, doesn't it? They even added three services on Saturday because they knew it was going to be spectacular. We decided to go to the last one today, mainly because of Whitney's Christmas party, and when we got there the earlier service was just letting out. We walked up to see carriage rides and masses of people pouring out. I wanted to get to a seat quickly because I knew it would get full and I wanted a good seat to see everything.

After settling down, both Dan and Whitney went out to the lobby where they had cookies and hot chocolate. I was informed that there had to be 20 different kinds of cookies and what looked like hundreds of them. I avoided that caloric intake since I knew we would have our Christmas dinner later. The show started on time with a really good choir with a Hallejuah chorus. The laser light show started with a group of four women doing hand movements that made the lights seem like they came out of their hands. A Transiberian Orchestra rendition of Carols of the Bells followed. And then the spectacularness continued with a telling of the Christmas story, singing and then came the aerial artists. They weren't the greatest dancers but then they got on the red ribbons hanging from the ceiling. It got me thinking, where do you go to hire these kind of people? Where do you go to get a job in this kind of thing? Whitney said google it, but I haven't yet.

Before our pastor gave his sermon, we had a wonderful worship experience with singing of Christmas songs. The sermon was very nice and appropriate, especially if you did not attend our church. That is one of the things I like about Journey is that it isn't trying to cram anything down your throat except that God loves you.

It certainly was a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. I for one was very moved and felt the joy that Christmas represents.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Teenage Christmas Party

We let Whitney have a Christmas party this year. Now it has been a long time since I was a teenage girl, so I wasn't sure what was involved. I was sure that food would be a key factor. Whitney made a huge list of things she wanted: pizza, chocolate fountain, candy, chips/queso, cookies etc. You see a pattern here, lots of sugar and junk food. We tried to scale it back a little and gave up cookies simply because I don't do sugar cookies well at all. And instead of pizza we had pizza rolls since Dan and I were banned from the house. Well we have returned from our banishment to five girls playing Mario Kart on the Wii, lots of food eaten, and a good time had by all.

These are the memories that last a lifetime so I'm glad she was able to do this.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Last day of work

It's the last day of work before two weeks off for the holidays. It is amazing how when you tell people you are going to be gone for two weeks, they all of a sudden need something. I had hoped for the day to be relaxing, but unfortunately I've had immigration issues, proposal issues, and just plain people issues. I will not look at my work email while I am gone and I will not answer any work phone calls. Your failure to do things in a timely manner does not make it my problem. I have been here all year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


So it is winter and the cold wind is a blowin'. One would expect that inside buildings to protect you from the cold. You would expect that a university could afford to heat buildings at a comfortable level since it is hard for cold children in gloves to take notes. Well you would be wrong. This new building is absolutely terrible about heat. I have almost floor to ceiling windows that face east. My desk is near the windows. The thermostat is near the door opposite the windows. Therefore when it says 72 degrees that means the place I sit is 10 degrees colder from the drafty windows. I have taken to wearing two layers of sweaters and even purchased some USB warming gloves to keep warm. Well Monday I had it. The boilers stopped working over the weekend and we had no heat. It was 30 degrees outside and my office registered 59. Which means that by the window probably 49. Why no one noticed over the weekend that the building was cold (it is open 24 hours) I have no idea. It took 24 hours for the office to warm up to a reasonably working temperature ( the kind that one thinner sweater over a shirt was warm). But my wonderful husband bought me a space heater last night so I would stay toasty all the time. Maybe even wear regular clothes at work. Space heaters aren't supposed to be used in our building, but if they aren't going to provide heat, I have to do it myself.

The fabulous hand warming gloves that plug into a USB port

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stupid statement of the day

We have the Weather Channel playing at work on all the tv's. So most of the time I just walk by and don't really care. But today as I came back from down the hall, the man in the street came up with this brilliant statement while talking about the snow and driving "You know the traction isn't as good as driving on dry asphalt."

I think he is getting a whole heck of a lot more money coming up with statements like that than I do making sure 150 people get paid.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Academic State Champs

Well our girls are smart. There is no denying that. Once again, they won academic state champs for having the highest gpa of all the teams in 6A. Six of them have a 4.0. Pretty impressive. So of course they have to be goofy for their photo and show off their "geek" factor. I love high schoolers.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Action Photography

I hadn't tried this for awhile, but figured I would take photos of Whitney's dance last night. I took video on one run through and then went for the still shots. One thing you can tell is the girls are pretty well in sync, which is really important. One thing that I think doesn't show is that the girls had never practiced in the costumes and let's just say there were some wardrobe malfunctions. Safety pins and booty shorts will be used to take care of that problem.
Competition is Saturday. This is the last one for Whitney with her pom squad. Sort of bittersweet.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Funny sign for the day

I was watching American Pickers last night. I know, I know, how can I watch so much reality tv. I swear it just sucks me in. Anyway, they were looking through an old amusement park, the kind that were like early 1900's. So there were these huge signs advertising the side shows painted on canvas that they could hang outside tents. And they ended up being worth a heck of a lot of money. The guys even felt bad that they had paid so little for it and made so much money that they went back to the park and gave the original owner half of the profits.

Anyway, I digress. The funny sign I saw was an advertisement for "Man Eating Fiji Mermaids". And it had a picture of a mermaid on it. I understand why people would want to see a mermaid, especially back in the early 1900's. But a man eating one? I guess sick humor worked even long ago.

Monday, December 6, 2010

One week update on being in control

OK, so it's one week after I said I felt in control. Is it still the case? For the most part, yes I still feel that way. I do have to plan hotel rooms for our vacation still (which won't be hard since we've somewhat finalized the driving plan). I still have a couple of little things to buy. I still need to decide what to cook this year. But other than that, I'm able to relax and enjoy my time.

Thank you internet and days off of work. You have saved me once again.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Attending church in the face of protest

My church has been "chosen" as a protest site by the Kansas church that likes to protest anything and everyone that doesn't see things their way. My church was founded on Ephesians 3:20, "God can do anything you know - far more than you can ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams. He does it by not pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." I'm not sure why this other church has decided that we need protesting. Maybe it is because my church does not judge people, includes all, and honors God. I was worried about attending church but decided that I can't let these people scare me. It is better to show a good example of faith and worship and love than it is to run scared. I choose to love.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December is upon us

So it is December 1. Are you ready for the month? I am. I have all the decorating done, most of the shopping (just waiting for the deliveries to show up) and have most of the cooking figured out. Perhaps it is because we are going on a vacation or maybe it is just that I'm organized, but I feel in control right now. Others in the household may be running around like a chicken with its head cut off (a festive visual I'm sure) but I'm pretty calm.

Check with me in a couple of weeks and I'll see if it still the same.