Thursday, October 26, 2006

Non-tourist Touristy Attractions

My good friend, Francais, from high school hung in New York this weekend. She came with a group of young married mothers to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. Luckily, I rescued Francais from the cramped quarters of a 5 person hotel room. Instead she trekked up 4 flights of stairs and enjoyed a pull out couch and Cheerios in the morning. Now that's friendship!

Unfortunately for Francais she was dragged by her compatriots to all the touristy parts of NYC via the red double decker bus. I was her only salvation and held responsible for giving her an appreciation of the non-tourist touristy attractions here in NYC. These attractions generally involved food choices because any guest of mine is prohibited from tasting food from a chain restaurant like Olive Garden, Applebee's, or T.G.I.Fridays. We did indulge in a little sparkler appreciation by going to Tiffany & Co. Since I had never been there, it was considered a non-tourist touristy attraction.

This weekend will see the triumphant return of Doc and Shopping Queen to the city that never sleeps. The best thing about having these two fantastic people back is that I know there will be no trekking to Times Square or my other least favorite place in New York, Chinatown.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fruits of My Intelligence

Today is a special day. On this day the fruits of my intelligence brought me cold hard cash. I earned a $44 return on my $100 investment into this year's office football pool. I chose 10 of the 13 winners in this past week's poll to win. Yeah for me! I beat many enthusiastic and highly involved football fans currently in the pool. They asked me how I did it and assumed I had assistance in choosing the winners. Unfortunately the victory stemmed completely from my intelligence and intuition.

Needless to say, now my favorite professional sports team is the New York Giants. They demolished the Dallas Cowboys in Monday night football and sealed my victory. Love me some Tiki Barber. If possible I would take Tiki to a nice lunch at Haru in Midtown to show my appreciation. It's the least I can do for my $44 ROI.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Bad Hair Day

The telltale sign that I'm having a bad hair day is if my bangs are pinned back and my hair is in some kind of a messy bun or ponytail. A bad hair day starts with the time available to prep in the morning while not being late to work. I woke up almost an hour late so I washed my hair and then promptly braided it because there was no time for blow drying. This is another indication of a bad hair day...if my hair is braided when I enter the hallowed doors of my employer. Hence, right now my bangs are pinned back and the rest of my crimped hair from braiding is pulled back. A bad hair day echoes throughout all aspects of life and for the rest of your day.

Just thought I'd share with the masses that I am definitely having a bad hair day. Hopefully I can regroup tomorrow morning and come to work with the bangs bouncing and the rest of my hair sleek, straight and shining.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Was I Rude?

I bought lunch at the lovely deli down the street. I got the grilled chicken sandwich special which includes a soda. I also bought a 1/2 lb of potatoe salad. I didn't want the soda so when I got to the checkout I tried to negotiate a lower price on the salad if I forfeited my soda. The nice lady behind the register said, "No, baby." Then she told me, "You can choose any soda in the case, baby." My negotiations tactic didn't work, but I suddenly got really annoyed that she called me "baby" not once, but twice. I told her in a pleasant voice to please not call me "baby." She gave me a snotty look and said, "so sorry MISS."

My question it rude to ask people to refrain from calling me by an endearment? I know I look young and have a youngish voice; hence, most of my adult life has included strangers calling me either cookie, sweetie, hon, cutie, etc. I've learned to take this as complimentary. Today I snapped and couldn't handle being called "baby." The snapping could also stem from the fact that she didn't give me the discount on my potatoe salad.

Planning the Next One

It has been exactly six months since my return back to the US from a fantastic trip with Netter to Central Europe. We rambled through Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg and Prague. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. One of my favorite things we did was take a segway tour through Budapest at the suggestion of Shopping Queen. The Budapestians were very intrigued by our little machines.
As most of my friends know (especially Netter)...I'm a planner. I like to plan and know what is on deck for the future. Hence I have started to plan the next one - vacation that is. It has been established that Netter and I need some one-on-one time with the beautiful men of Italy. So earlier this week I checked my favorite
travel site to find the perfect trip to see Florence, Rome and Venice. Unfortunately the time frame Netter and I have chosen is not available for pricing and booking. Oh well, patience is supposedly a virtue. Right now I'm practicing it until I can plan the next vacation extraordinaire with Netter to the luscious beauty of Italy.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The DVD Recorder Saga

About 3 weeks ago I purchased a Sony DVD Recorder because my VCR went belly up when I tried to record the BYU v. TCU game for Big Lug's birthday. I waited another week or so before trying to set it up amongst my other electronic equipment. The good people at Sony had sent along a pretty picture of all the cords and plugs needed to hook up the recorder to your cable box and television. I used those trusty three prong cords because the pretty picture said that was what I needed. After about 25 minutes of trying to get the whole mess of electronics to work, I called Big Lug to talk me down from throwing the stupid machine out my 5th floor window.

Big Lug was driving on I-69 towards to Chicago when my frantic phone call came through. I figured if anyone was going to help it would be him since I was doing this whole project for his 30th birthday. In my frustrated voice I told him that the machines were not working and I couldn't figure out why since I had followed the pretty picture directions implicitedly. Big Lug, in his calm and patient voice, proceeded to direct me in the proper way to hookup the recorder. The most amazing part of this saga was that Big Lug had no pretty pictures, manuals or even the equipment itself with which to direct me. He did it all from his vast knowledge. Luckily we didn't get frustrated with each other while he directed my hands. This is a huge step for us because in the past we would have ended up throwing rocks at each other. Remember the badminton and ping pong, Big Lug?

The saga didn't end with the hookup. I finally had a spare 3 1/2 hours to record the football game yesterday. I changed the record mode based on the lenght of the game to insure that it would fit on one DVD. Well I had to leave about an hour into the recording and came back to no sound coming through the television. While I was trying to figure out why there was no sound, the recorder promptly stopped recording at the beginning of the 4th quarter because the DVD was full. WHAT?!? How could it be full? So what do I do? I called Big Lug while he was driving towards Detroit to help me figure out why there was no sound and if I should re-record the game so it fit on one disk. Again, the patience and wisdom of Big Lug helped me to record only the 4th quarter on another disk and figure out how to finalize both disks so they would work in a standard DVD player.

This birthday project saga is finally out of my hands as the FedEx package with the two DVDs (both with pure sound coming out) has left my office building. I must give props to Big Lug for talking me down from the ledge a couple of times in my quest to master the DVD recorder. Now I am ready to take on any BYU games I might be asked to record. The moral of the DVD Recorder saga comes from the timeless words of G.I. Joe..., "knowing is half the battle."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

On this day, many moons ago Big Lug and Liver entered into eternal wedded bliss. I remember the day like it was yesterday. A clear blue sky welcomed the newlyweds as they emerged as a marital unit from the Mount Timpanogus LDS Temple. It was slightly windy but not enough to ruin the beautiful effects of Liver's dress, hair and make-up. She was gorgeous and Big Lug was looking debonair and suave.

Happy Anniversary you crazy kids! I hope you have another year of marital joy because I'm counting on you to continue to be my standard for a 'good' marriage. Love you both!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Why is it such a shock...

It never ceases to amaze me that most men display shock when I join into a conversation about sports and actually have something to contribute. Why is it so rare for a woman to have intelligence about the sports world?

To be fair, I did work with retired NBA players for about 3 years. So for those years, I ate, drank and breathed basketball; especially "classic" basketball. Also, my childhood was full of watching games with my brothers and father on the family room couch. In order to be a part of the family sports enthusiast "team", I had to know the ins and outs of sports - lots and lots of sports. This training as well as attendance at professional games and actually playing the sports have developed my knowledge. I am not shy about sharing this knowledge even if it might emasculate the males around me.

I guess I will continue to read shock on the faces of men when I give a statistic or insight about sports. Luckily, most of the time that shock often transitions to admiration.

I must acknowledge and give gratitude to my family for helping increase my coolness level with men because they forced me to watch ESPN's SportsCenter over and over again just in case we missed something in the first viewing.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The NYC Irritation

I absolutley adore New York City and this past week has reinforced that feeling because of my time with Donny as Gaston in Beauty & the Beast, watching the Top Ten from So You Think You Can Dance? throw down serious dance moves, and enjoying the gorgeous Fall weather. Generally I have nothing but good things to say about this city that never sleeps. Today was not one of those days.

It gets somewhat annoying to have to carry everything you buy around this city. The good old days of stuffing purchases in your car are long gone. Today I really missed those days. I bought screens for my apartment windows to enable my windows to be open to diffuse the heat pouring out of my radiator. Screens are bulky and heavy. Of course, I also felt the need to purchase a hand mixer and cleaning supplies. This only caused the bulkiness to increase and for my fingers to start to lose circulation as I walked the 6 blocks and two Avenues to my apartment. Then it was up the four flights of stairs to my apartment. Needless to say, I was a tired, annoyed, and somewhat sweaty person when I got home.

Luckily two things saved me from keeping the annoyance around. The first happened when I got home with my massive amount of bags. I put the screens in the windows, rehung some curtains, then cleaned the bathroom and set-up my new DVD Recorder/VCR combo. Some of these activities would be drudgery, but for some reason they just reinforced my happiness that I have my own apartment. I enjoy everything about living on my own except for chatting with my former NYC roomies Doc, Choreographer and Yoga Master. Luckily, I can still keep the connection of good friends while enjoying a one bedroom apartment all to myself.

The second thing happened when I took a walk to pick up some DVDs for Big Lug's birthday project. On my way down the four flights of stairs, my good friend SueBelle called me to chat. She "walked" me all the way to Best Buy and back; which is a round trip of 22 blocks. It is so great to hear from friends that you haven't talked to in awhile. It made me feel connected in this vast world and often crazy city. Even though SueBelle doesn't live in NYC, she is still close to me through the joys of cell phones.

New York City can be hard to deal with sometimes. Thankfully, those times are few and far between. I know that my family, friends and independence make up for lack of a car to stuff groceries, window screens or new shoes into. Although, having a dog to come home to would make everything a little brighter here in this city that never sleeps...but I promised Joani to wait until I can offer a doggie room to roam. So until I can get a sheltie of my own, I will just have to look at pictures of my Macy.

Isn't my Macers pretty?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Donster Strikes Again

He's baaaaackk! Donny Osmond, the unofficial face of the worldwide Mormon community, is now playing Gaston in Disney's Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Netter and I decided to sneak a peek at the latest Mormon in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Somewhat to my surprise, Donny was fantastic as the narcissitic, evil doing Gaston. Props to you Donny and welcome to the Manhattan Mormon community. I hope you enjoy your stay with us.

If you happen to be in New York and want to enjoy an animated movie brought to life then stop by TKTS and pick up some discount tickets to watch the Donster strike the Broadway stage again.

Happy Birthday Big Lug!

It's belated but still heartfelt - Happy Birthday Big Lug! Growing up, October 4th has always been cause for celebration in our family because of the Big Lug's birthday. Unfortunately, I haven't been in the same state as Big Lug for his birthday in many a year. So here is my best wishes for another stellar year and many happy returns...except for the DVD I am recording for you of the BYU Cougars triumphant victory over the TCU Hornfrogs.

I think you're fantastic Big Lug and I'm grateful to be your sister. Hugs and kisses (the purely sisterly kind)!

Big Lug and Joani celebrating a BYU victory in October 2005

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Quintessential Disney

Today's the day that the quintessential Disney classic, the one that brought them back from animation obscurity, the one that taught young children to dream again, the one that had people hiding in theater bathrooms so they could sneak in and watch the movie again and again (okay, maybe that was just me) comes out on a Special Edition 2 Disc DVD set. To what movie do I refer you ask, it must be The Little Mermaid. I have had this date marked in my calendar for months because the Disney vault was finally opening to allow this timeless piece of cinematic magic back into the hands of its adoring public.

Could there be any other movie to bring the joy and laughter back into our souls? I don't think so.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Mormon Mets Curse

I attended three Mets games this season and each time the Mets lost. I'm beginning to believe that I am a bad luck charm for the Mets based on their record when I am in attendance at Shea Stadium. I was offered some postseason tickets to the Mets but for the good of the team decided to not take them. The sacrifices I make for professional athletes. :)

Last Friday was the latest opportunity to reverse the curse when I attended a game with a bunch of friends in a box suite at Shea. We had a great time eating the free food, taking pictures with the Mets mascot and overall cheering the Mets to another loss. I hope next year will be a clean slate for me and the Mormon Mets curse will be eradicated.

Pictures from our Suite on 9/22/06:

Artiste & CA Lady

EQP & RS Secretary

Netter, Me & Super Bowler