Sunday, February 28, 2010

brb


brb, originally uploaded by dumpstar_drummer.

Friday, February 26, 2010

No amount of wind could stop THIS family!

I just took a minute to catch up on all the Awkward Family Photos posts I've been letting pile up and I HAVE TO share two of them.

#1: The girl in this photo (I'm pretty sure that's a girl..."her" name is Kelly though so it could go either way, but that's partly why this is funny to me) is VERY reminiscent of me circa 5th grade.

Is it a boy? Is it a girl? WHO KNOWS?

I hope Kelly found hair product sooner than I did though.

And Dick Tracy wasn't my thing but BOY HOWDY, did I lust after those Banana Republic t-shirts with the safari images on the back. I had two, I think, and they were my MOST TREASURED posessions.

One of them was less cool because it had a large Banana Republic logo on the front, which wasn't what the Hoover Middle School fashionistas were wearing. The BEST BEST BEST one had a rhinos-in-the-sunrise image on the back and the sunrise was kinda purple-ish and it matched PERFECTLY with purple shorts and WHITE AND PINK FLOJOS!

#2: This one is your standard coordinating family photo but it's the caption that KILLS ME:

No amount of wind could stop this family.

OMG AFP, I lolled.

I am a heart rate MASTER!

I just woke up and thought HEY! Let's take my true resting heart rate!
Ignore the 1:03 because that's how long it took me to hit the stop
button but I am pleased to announce that my just-woke-up resting heart
rate is 66!

In other exciting news, my phone woke me up 14 minutes early and in
the middle of a dream where me and ALL of my friends went on a cruise
to New York and our safety instructor was that Beetlejuice'y (the
Howard Stern version) senior enlisted guy on that PBS mini series
"Carrier."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I am alive. I have proof.

1. A friend at work mentioned that she's going to the doctor because her resting heart rate has been really high -- well above 90 -- and I was SURE mine would be up there too because of my fat ass and all but I just checked my pulse and Googled for what it *should* be and I am VERY pleased to report that my resting heart rate (which I guess isn't even a true "resting" heart rate because I didn't take it right when I woke up in the morning) is 76, which is A) the year I was born and B) right smack dab in the middle of the healthy range of 70-80 for women.

And then I read that Lance Armstrong's resting heart rate is 32, but he can suck it.

2. My iPhone can do ANYTHING. For reals, there's an app for EVERYTHING...including tracking how deeply I'm sleeping (Sleep Cycle)! It uses the built-in whatchamabucket that senses movement so when you put it under your sheet and adjacent to your head, it can feel you move. It tracks your sleeping habits and ALLEGEDLY calculates the best time to wake you up (beginning up to 30 minutes before your set alarm time) so you wake up feeling refreshed and not just-jerked-out-of-REM-sleep. I'm not sure if it's THAT smart, but I love being able to see how deeply I've been sleeping.

For example, I woke up the next morning and TOTALLY felt like I'd had a restless night's sleep:



I KNEW I ate too late and that I wouldn't sleep well and BOY HOWDY, look at that! I didn't!

This one seems to be typical -- dead asleep, 2AM bathroom break and then dead asleep again:



This was last night:



No bathroom break! This is UNPRECEDENTED! But now that I think about it, yesterday was Wednesday which means it was my Weight Watchers weigh in day which means I limit myself to only 40 ounces of water up until my meeting so I know I'm drinking the same amount each Wednesday. So that plus the margarita I had at dinner meant I was a tad bit dehydrated (or less really well hydrated) and I slept through the night!

It looks like I woke up around 4AM though and I'll betcha that's because I finally did have to pee, but I held it until the alarm went off which is stupid because then CLEARLY I don't sleep very well as a result. I knew that, but it's fun to see on my little chart anyway!

I don't think I'll be so lucky tonight though...I'm already one grande latte, one Diet Dr Pepper and about 60 ounces of water into my day and it's only 2:30.

Isn't that exciting you guys?

I SLEEP!

I DRINK WATER!

I PEE!

I HAVE A HEART BEAT!

This blog is a PAGE TURNER!

3a. In other news, my paycheck and my federal tax refund hit my bank account on the same day! I'M RICH!

3b. Mom, you'll be glad to know I promptly transferred my riches into my savings account.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Very gourmet dessert:


Very gourmet dessert:, originally uploaded by dumpstar_drummer.

Organic tangerines from the farmers market paired with artificially
sweetened whipped air from the freezer section.

LAZY Blogger! BAD Blogger!

1. Today is my dad's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

2. I've been asked to become a Yelp Elite! It doesn't really mean much other than a little "Yelp Elite '10" badge on my Yelp page, but I'm still crazy flattered. Cross your fingers they don't realize their mistake!!

3. I get angsty every time I hear my dad telling one of his buddies that he should read my blog. *He* thinks I'm entertaining because he's my dad but his peers aren't necessarily my target audience so I hate that they'd finally say OKAY ALREADY JOE, I'LL LOOK AT HER BLOG only to find a picture of me showing off my new shoes.

4. My friends Becky and Henry left on their world cruise today. Except actually, I guess they left a couple of days ago because they depart Singapore today.

When I think about whether or not I want to have a kid I think about how if I do have one, I'll NEVER EVER EVER be able to be all "Oh hey, how about we go on a world cruise next week?" I LOVE that Becky and Henry are the kind of people to do exactly that and the "Hey EZ, FYI, we're going on a world cruise 2/23-5/15 but we'll be available via AIM!" email I got from them a week or so ago wasn't that much of a shock.

If I do have a kid it won't be ANY TIME EVEN REMOTELY SOON so by the time it got old enough for me to leave it in charge of its own self for nearly three months, I'll be O-L-D. But okay, I'll betcha there will be plenty of senior citizens there (spending their kids' inheritances) so my fellow old people homies will be in the hiz-ouse and we can play Bridge to our hearts' content.

But then there's the money thing. If I had a kid, my senior citizen self wouldn't be able to afford to go on a last minute world cruise.

The inability to (theoretically) pick up and go wherever I want, whenever I want (even if it's just to the movies) seems chokingly limiting and I think it would be easier to just let my brothers continue populating the earth and giving me cute babies to love and then I can take myself home and everything will be where I left it and I can sleep for as long as I want.

This debate BUMS ME OUT LIKE YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW and it makes me feel like a Cathy cartoon with an "ACK!" in the thought bubble above my head. Except Cathy is ACK'ing about cookies and bathing suits. Cookies and bathing suits are ACK-worthy and all, but they're not PERMANENT decisions or anything, Cathy!

5. How 'bout them Niners?

6. On a completely unrelated note, I do not like the show Glee, but I love the soundtrack.

7. OMG I just got a text alerting me to a rumor that SOMEONE I KNOW will be on Intervention next season!! The person in question is a PIECE OF WORK and would make a really fascinating episode which, in reality, is pretty awful. She's the ex-wife of a friend's friend, which is close enough that I've witnessed some of her OH NO SHE DID NOT JUST DO THAT antics, but I'm far enough away that I haven't been personally impacted by her crap.

I'm not SO cold that I don't wish her well though.

8. But enough of all that. Look at how wonderful and perfect my sweet nephew is:

video

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Damn you, Danielle!

Danielle said this commercial made her cry and I was like "NOT COLD HEARTED BITCHES LIKE ME!!!!!!!! I AM IMMUNE!"

Uh-huh.

I dare you to last the whole 30 seconds without getting a little misty:

New Shoes!


New Shoes!, originally uploaded by dumpstar_drummer.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Billy, Elton & Baby

It's waaaaaaay past my bedtime but I've just arrived home from that Billy/Elton concert and my ears are still ringing so I'm going to take a moment and report the following:

1. I saw a lady I used to work with in the bathroom at the Arena but she entered her stall just as I was realizing that I knew her so my "OMG I KNOW YOU!" fell on deaf ears and I'm not really sure how this happened, but all of a sudden I was knocking on her stall door going "OMG I KNOW YOU! KATHI, RIGHT?! WHAT'S YOUR LAST NAME?!" and it was sooooooo weird but, I suppose, soooooooo me.

And I wasn't even drunk.

She's a kick in the pants from my PG&E days and even though I'm sure this was the first mid-stall hug she's ever given, she was a trooper.

And to clarify, I totally knew her first name but she's one of those people I NEEEEEEED to call by first and last name and I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO REST if she had not reminded me of her last name.

2. There was a lady ROCKING OUT to Elton and Billy down below us. She TOTALLY looked like she'd juuuuuust escaped her cubicle for the night and that first thing in the morning, she'd be right back at 'em, tackling her TPS reports but this was her night to let loose!

She was QUITE THE DANCER. In her striped shirt and slacks and sensible haircut. Really -- QUITE THE DANCER. She was awesome. Walkera and I couldn't take our eyes off of her. She had her some MOVES!

And really, I'm not even being a smart ass. She was a really good dancer. Gogo dancer, actually. Except in her JC Penney cubicle ensemble.

3. While I was still waiting for Walkera to come over so we could go to the concert, I took Baby over to visit the lady across the street. She was old when I was a kid so I think she's in her 90's by now and she's known to enjoy her evening cocktails out on the porch. When I asked if I could take him over there my (other) brother was like "DO NOT LET HER HOLD HIM!" and I was like dude, duh, like I'm gonna give my precious baby nephew to ANYONE ELSE to hold much less the drunk 90-year-old?? Pscha.

So we go over there and she's oggling his adorableness and he's just STARING at her, probably wondering how we went from Grandma's house to BADA BING, visiting the drunk old lady across the street, but he held onto me and all was okay. She was telling him how lucky he is to belong to my family and how lucky he is to have so many people who love him so much and then telling me how I made her whole week by bringing him by and la de da and THEN she goes "And don't forget Baby...I'm the richest lady on this street!"

And it's true...she *is* the richest lady on the street and her family has a whole street named after them and all, but I'll tell you -- I didn't know what to say about that so I squeaked "BLESS YOU!" into Baby's ear to make him laugh (who knows why...but "BLESS YOU!" in a mouse voice gets him smile every time) and then took him home.

4. But back to Billy and Elton:

* They started out with some duets, then like an hour of Elton followed by an hour of Billy and then more duets. Read: It was LONG. We left after like the third encore because we are old have we have things to do tomorrow. If we were OLDER, like the retirees in the audience, this would not have been an issue.

* I have difficulty buying Elton John singing Uptown Girl. Really Elton?

* We noticed that Elton's band was all 60-ish and not at all sweaty (even the one wearing a satin shirt, which you'd think would show everything! On a drummer!) but that Billy's band was all in their mid to late 40's and they were allllll sweaty beasts. There's nothing WRONG with that or anything -- I like to see my musicians break a sweat, but it was just odd that the old guys in satin looked totally cool and comfortable.

And on that note, my dear Internet, I am going to bed.

Those two little lit up blobs are Billy Joel and Elton John

We're big fans but we're hoping they wrap this up by 930. It's a
school night and all...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Things I'm Thinking

1. I need to buy my ticket for my upcoming trip to Seattle and I'm approaching the 14 day advance purchase deadline but GRRRRRRRRRR the damn flights are like $100 more than I paid last time. Bing kept telling me that I should hold off and not buy my ticket because prices were expected to go down but GRUMBLE GRUMBLE, they went UP again today.

$250 to fly to Seattle?? REALLY? But at least on Southwest it's $250 with a free luggage allowance. Alaska is charging $250 plus the $30 RT baggage fees.

Related: The recent Kevin Smith vs Southwest Airlines thing makes me nervous! I've never been told I need to buy two plane seats to accomodate my fat ass but what if my good luck runs out?? OHHHHHHHHHH the horror.

2. My friend Walkera and I are going to see our boyfriends Billy Joel and Elton John in concert tomorrow night. The old guys got sick when they were originally scheduled to be in town so it was rescheduled to tomorrow so barring any new cases of the sniffles, we'll be enjoying our youngest-people-in-the-audience status TOMORROW!

3. Speaking of boyfriends, I wanted to mention that those flowers I got yesterday? Were a huge surprise because I thought I'd already opened my Valentine. The part that arrived in the mail on Friday was SO FREAKING SWEET but I can't tell you about it because some smart cookies will be able to put two and two together and figure out the identity of my secret-from-the-internet boyfriend and it's just not time to blab about that yet. He's not a celebrity or anything, so don't go thinking I finally wrangled myself up some Mike Rowe, but he's not just some guy I met at the grocery store either.


4. I've been stepping on the scale every morning to keep my motivation going and my weekend-o-eating resulted in a one pound gain and that's not the end of the world and I can deal with that but it occured to me that even my most bloated, eaten-too-much weight today is like a DREAM compared to this time last year. I've been slacking since just before Christmas and I need to step it up and drop another five pounds so I can officially say I am in unchartered territory.

5. I bought some chicken last week and the "use or freeze by" date was 2/12 but I didn't cook it until yesterday, 2/14. I haven't eaten it yet but if I die from salmonella after eating dinner tonight, that's why.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My friend Kari wrote a book!

Amazon delivered it today! Hot off the presses!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh yeah, by the way, I went to Canada



Vancouver, specifically. It was a couple weeks before the Olympics were due to start and LET ME TELL YOU, I highly recommend visiting an Olympic city immediately before the Olympics. Everything is shiny and clean and pretty (though I suspect this is probably always true of Vancouver) and people are starting to get excited.

It also helps if you stay at the same hotel as the International Olympic Committee:



The city was definitely all ramped up and ready to go but our hotel was ESPECIALLY psyched up and it was OLYMPICS OLYMPICS RAH RAH RAH everywhere you looked:



(And yeah, sometimes my posing backfires and I just look stupid.)

The view from the hotel was gorgeous.

To the right:



To the left:



Those lights at the top-middle of the harbor photo were on a ski run and they stayed on all night long. They were plenty far away that they weren't a nuisance or anything but every time I saw them I thought that someone was up there on the mountain burying a body under the cover of night.

Under the cover of night with the entire metro area of Vancouver watching on, that is.

The creepy factor was amplified by the fog in the air and the steam coming off the pool below my window.

The funny thing about Canada is that if you give people this Monopoly money, they GIVE YOU THINGS in return! Crazy Candadians.



We arrived on a Friday night and neither of us planned on being without our phones to guide us in this strange and foreign land but as soon as we crossed the border we got WARNING WARNING WARNING DATA IS $15 A MEGABYTE IN THIS EXOTIC LOCALE texts and I had no idea if using my Yelp app would cost me $6 or $46 so we had to rely on the hotel staff to point us in the right direction for everything (WHICH I HATE).

So Friday night we asked for dinner recommendations and it ended up being kind of a rigamarole but we eventually ended up in Yaletown, which they say is where all the bars and restaurants are. It did turn out to be a strip of bars and restaurants but the problem was twofold:

1. 9PM on a Friday night and it was D-E-A-D. We ended up settling for the restaurant with the most people in it. It turned out to be a perfectly fine choice and our waiter was nice (DID YOU KNOW THEY CAN'T SERVE MORE THAN SIX OUNCES OF ALCOHOL TO ANY ONE PERSON??) but it did take some effort.

2. The people who *were* out and about were douchebags. I had to explain to my traveling companion that THIS is why I do not like relying on concierge suggestions. We were at the WESTIN. The Westin concierge was gonna send us to a particular flavor of establishment, but I knew in advance it wasn't gonna be the corrrrrrect flavor and I was ANTSY that I couldn't just Yelp us up something perfect.

Grrr.

The next morning my glamorous ass went down to the lobby to ask for bakery and coffee suggestions:



I'm not as picky about that kind of thing because in the case of coffee and baked goods, I *do* kinda want the douchebag recommendations.

The gentlemen I was talking to were very helpful so I figured I'd also ask them for dim sum recommendations for later. They had a few safe-sounding suggestions but I finally twisted their arms into telling me where THEY'D go for dim sum and not where they'd send guests at the freaking WESTIN.

We ended up taking their suggestion and this is what we had for lunch:



I don't know what it all was, but I do know this:

We accidentally ordered enough food for five people.

The dim sum I've had in California tends to be three or four pieces of bite-sized dumplings per order. I knew we ordered more than we could probably eat, but I had NO IDEA each order was going to come out with dumplings three times the size of the ones in CA.

My dining companion gave up early but the thought of all those delicious shrimp dumplings going to waste HURT MY SOUL so I did my best to pack in as much as possible but alas, it was not meant to be. We left with a doggie bag that DWARFED the other doggie bags I saw leaving the restaurant and ended up not eating any of it.

So if you happened to be at Pelican Seafood that day and saw two gluttonous Americans, we didn't mean it. It was an accident. We were plenty embarrassed.

My dining companion was very smart to quit while he was ahead though because we had like five or six hours to speedily digest and prepare our stomachs for Tojo's.

What is Tojo's?

It's allegedly one of the finest Japanese restaurants in North America, the finest cuts of fish arrive on your plate mere hours after being caught, blah blah blah. Plus, it's on the list of 1,000 Things to Do Before You Die AND YOU KNOW I LOVE ME A LIST.

BUT BEFORE THAT, we kicked around Vancouver for a bit:





And then I changed into my "finest Japanese cuisine in North America outfit" -- AKA the same thing you already saw me wear out in Austin a few weeks ago, and after another rigamarole (this one admittedly self-induced) where OOPS I forgot to get the address of the restaurant and it's not in the market the book implied it was in and WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP DRIVING AIMLESSLY WHILE I FIGURE OUT WHERE WE ARE AND WHERE WE'RE GOING??

But whew! We found it! And we found easy parking! And we were only two minutes late! And I had a chill-the-fuck-out cocktail.

We sat at the very chic bar and had the omakase menu, which is code for "let the chef pick for you and say WHEN when you think you're gonna bust your belt or your wallet."

We lasted for NINE courses, which isn't as gluttonous as it sounds because each course was only two or three bites. It was a really, really, really good meal and I think we had different #1 favorites but we definitely agreed that two of the courses SUCKED. My problem is that I'm not a big fan of smoked food AT ALL so when you smoke sea urchin and put it in front of me, I'll eat a bite to say I did, but then I'm over it.

Also, it's not a good sign when your dining companion says "Hmm. Hey, have you ever had Beanie Weenies?"

Here's the run down of all that, which is 99% for my own record:

1. Tojo Salad with tuna, wasabi, crushed sesame seeds and soy sauce

2. Shitake mushroom over snapper and tempura'd with daikon and in fish broth

3. Crab salad with Japanese mustard and sweet pickle

4. Sea urchin with smoked sablefish (pretty in the sea urchin shell and all, but AVOID AVOID AVOID AVOID!!!!!)

5. Smoked then steamed sablefish with mushrooms and broth (very pretty with it's wrapping paper and raffia bow and not as gross and salty and Beanie Weenie-ish as the sea urchin, but ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...PASS!)

6. Hand roll with tempura'd prawn, avocado and spicy sauce

7. Shrimp, scallop and something else wrapped in an egg wrapper and topped with fish roe

8. Marinated albacore nigiri with green onions

9. Green tea creme brulee and pineapple ginger sorbet

We won't discuss how much all that cost, but it was a once in a lifetime Iron Chefy experience and was worth every penny. (But if I win the lottery and we go back, I'd rather have more sushi and less sea urchin and sablefish.)

The next day we were slightly less gourmet:



Sunday morning view:




ROWERS!



How healthy of them! Myself, I preferred to order room service and watch the Canadian Food Network. (They have different shows! Better shows! And Gordon Ramsey has a show where he's not an irrational, raving lunatic! And some rustic French Canadian chef who cooked outside twisted a chicken's neck RIGHT THERE on TV like it aint no thang and we were both like "OMG PETA WOULD FLIP THE HELL OUT OVER THAT!"

(Here's where I admit it's 11PM and I'm TIRED and I want to go to bed so I'm gonna wrap this up very unceremoniously.)

And then we drove back to the good ol' US of A where I could check my email 1,000 times if I wanted to.



The end.

Yay Canada.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My latest searches.


My latest searches., originally uploaded by dumpstar_drummer.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

These thoughts would be better as tweets but instead I'll consolidate them and call it a blog post

1. My mom had her 40th work anniversary lunch today. She said that January, 1970 was the month she moved to America, started at her hospital and met my dad. She also said that none of these were particularly calculated decisions, but they all worked out well.

Awwwwwwwwwwwl.

But seriously, she doesn't know how to pick something and stick with it, does she?

2. My nephew continues to be wonderful. Especially when he reaches for me when I come over to pick him up. HEART: MELTED.

3. I'm watching the Teen Mom reunion and OMG WHY IS DR DREW PUSHING MACI AND RYAN TO GET BACK TOGETHER!?!?!?

4. Safeway only had organic green onions and since I'd rather pay 50 cents than $1.99 I asked the guy where the regular green onions are and he said that they've been out for a while -- that they've been ordering them but that they're just not coming in.

A) How does that happen? and B) the world panics over an Eggo shortage but green onions don't make the news??

5. Exciting agenda for the weekend:

* Sleep without waking up to an alarm
* Return some shoes at DSW without allowing myself to walk past the cashier and into the sea of shoes
* Make something in my crock pot.
* Blog about last weekend's trip to Vancouver
* Help my friend Amy Lou with some tough love purging of stuff so she can fit into her new, smaller apartment

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The lady on this album cover...

...always reminds me of my mom from back in the pre-me days. Based on
the photos I've seen, anyway.

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