Sunday, April 05, 2009

Germans, Phantom, Shrimp and Casio Keyboards.... only in New York!

Matt's school has an exchange program with a school in Germany (near Cologne). The American students went to visit them during the February break, and the German students are here in the US now. Among other things, such as going to classes and hanging out with students, they have been doing a lot of travel so that they could see as much as possible while they are here.

Yesterday was no exception. Matt was asked to chaperone the trip at the last minute and was luckily invited to have me come along as a "guest" chaperone as well. So we headed into the city for the day with 20 American students, 20 German students, 3 German teachers, the President (of the school) and his wife, and a partridge in a pear tree. ;)

Our first stop was Grant's Tomb. I hadn't been there in years! We weren't there long, but it was nice to see again. I wish we had been able to take the students to Riverside Church, which is right across the street. It is a beautiful place, and I've been in the belltower!! Unfortunately, people are no longer allowed in the Carillon. So sad.

Our next stop was to the USS Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. Again, I was there when I was very young, but it has been completely refurbished, even leaving New York Harbor in order to do so! We were there for only about an hour, but it has whetted our appetites to return, and so we will!

After that, we went into Times Square, where the kids were allowed to wander a little bit in order to see the sights and have a quick lunch before a matinee. Teachers all ended up eating at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company on a very tight schedule. It was a fun experience-type of place, and the food was pretty good, too. We sat by the window and were able to see the goings on in times square, which is always entertaining!!

After lunch, we all met the students in front of the Majestic Theater... to catch a matinee of The Phantom Of The Opera. It's not a personal favorite, but still - I take theater experiences when I can get them. The story is a bit creepy in my book, but I suppose that it's a "classic Broadway experience" for German students.

Once the show was over, we headed down to Chinatown for some quick shopping, then walked over to Little Italy (which is right around the corner, for those of you not as familiar with NYC) to eat in a place called Puglia Restaurant on Hester Street. It was amazingly crowded with other large groups but we feasted and sang along with Jorge, the resident musician. He is such a lounge lizard with a dinky Casio Keyboard... but it's all in good fun! Matt, Jens (one of the German teachers) and the school's president all got up on chairs and danced!

This is not our group, but it's a hint of what he gets people to do with his "Napkin Song" (which you can get on iTunes if you're interested!!)

Once our meal was finished, we all headed back to the bus and home again. It was a very full day, and I was appreciative of the opportunity to tag along. It was fun to play tourist for the day!

George in Italy

When I worked at the bank (during what seems like a lifetime ago!) I became a really big fan of "Where's George?" a website devoted to tagging and tracking currency. I saw lots of "Georges" come through the bank and would input them into the system as I got them, often exchanging bills that I had for those so that I could send them back into circulation myself.

It's not often that you get an email that informs you of another person inputting your bill.... but I got one this weekend. Take a look and see where it's been! I must say that I'm a bit jealous of Mr. Jackson (it was a twenty, of course!)

Where did George go?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ugh. Pass the Pepto... I have a bellyache.

Dear Trader Joe's,

Please don't let me buy your Baked Cheese Crunchies anymore. Despite the fact that they are "33% less fat than regular cheese crunchies," it is unhelpful when you place the serving size as 33 crunchies. They are all different sizes! Which is the size with which you compare the others? Cup sizes are a better choice - "Serving size: 1/2 cup" would be easier to understand than "33 crunchies."

...especially when a serving size is really more like the entire bag. At least for me.

So please - put my picture up or something and don't let me leave the store with any more, especially at your great low price of $1.59.

Miss President

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sailing away, four months from today...

(Oh, how cute! That rhymes!)

Yeah, so that means the HONEYMOON IS BOOKED!!! WOOOOO!
We're doing the cruise thing. Easy-peasy, fun-in-the-sun relax-fest. I know we'll both be fried, so it will be good to do as much or as little as we want, and I couldn't be happier.

So yeah, this means that the wedding is less than four months away. YIKES!
I'm excited, of course, but there is still so much to do.
Here's a list... if you see anything I need to add, please comment and let me know!

Church: check.
Officiant: check, I think. We need to re-confirm after our first choice wasn't able to do it. :(
Reception venue: check.
Sushi: check. :)

Florist: check. Soon will meet to see pretty samples!
Photographer: check.
Engagement photos w/Photog: Not yet. But soon. :)

Dress: check. Just need to have it bustled. All else is perfect!!
Shoes: check... maybe. Still looking, but have something in the running.
Veil: check, although I might be looking for a new tiara.
Hair: getting a haircut on Wednesday. Will talk to her then. (Cross fingers she or someone she works with is available!!)

Bridesmaids: check. :) Three awesome friends.
Bridesmaids "dress code": check. They have options, which what I wanted to do. I hate uncomfortable bridesmaids... been there, done that.
Mom's dress: Possible check. We have at least one option.

Transportation: NEED TO GET. I assigned it, but don't know if it is being dealt with. Grr.
Church music: NEED TO GET. Anyone know a good classical guitarist for cheap?
Reception Music: Possible check. Not sure.
Invites: picked out. Need to sit down and order.
Hotel room block: NEED TO RESERVE. Gotta get up there with mom ASAP.
Registry: One done (BB&B), one to go (Macy's).
Groom's Gift: NEED TO GET. Have an idea, though.
Bridesmaids gifts: NEED TO GET.

I'm sure I'm missing some big things here. Let me know what they are!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bring your straight jackets...

... 'cause we're gettin' married at the LOONEY BIN!

S E R I O U S L Y.
(you just can't make stuff like that up!!!)

So yeah. Our reception place? Very nice. People are great. Food was fantastic. The view? Beautiful. The buildings on the way in were very interesting, and in varying states of disrepair, which was intriguing for a curious and adventurous couple.

The sign at the exit lists a place called "Letchworth Village." I have now come to know that this is also referred to as "Letchworth Village for the Feeble-minded and Epileptics." So before we go further, I know that feeble-minds and epilepsy do not "looney" people make. But you get the gist.
It has not been active for over 10 years, and the pictures on the sites at the bottom are pretty amazing.

I'm itching to go with my camera... I got a teatnus shot less than a year ago...

Take a look:
Still Mirrors: Photography by Stephen Miller
Opacity: Letchworth Village
Hudson Valley Ruins: Photography by Rob Yasinac
Designed Breakdown

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I smelled a stuffed animal in line at the bank, because that's how I roll.

So I found this over on that little cultural phenomena called Facebook and decided to post it here instead. Basically, you take the fragments that correspond with different things and piece them together to make an exceptionally random sentence.

Pick the month you were born:
January-------I kicked
February------I loved
March--------I karate chopped
April----------I licked
May----------I jumped on
June----------I smelled
July-----------I did the Macarena With
August--------I had lunch with
September----I danced with
October-------I sang to
November-----I yelled at
December-----I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2-------a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a snowman
6-------a gangster
7-------my mobile phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friends' boyfriend
10-------my neighbour
11-------my science teacher
12-------a banana
13-------a fireman
14-------a stuffed animal
15-------a goat
16-------a pickle
17-------your mom
18-------a spoon
19------ - a smurf
20-------a baseball bat
21-------a ninja
22-------Chuck Norris
23-------a noodle
24-------a squirrel
25-------a football player
26-------my sister
27-------my brother
28-------an iPod
29-------a surfer
30-------a homeless guy
31-------a llama

What is the last number of the year you were born:
1--------- In my car
2 --------- On your car
3 ----------- In a hole
4 ----------- Under your bed
5 ----------- Riding a Motorcycle
6 --------- sliding down a hill
7 --------- in an elevator
8---------- at the dinner table
9 -------- In line at the bank
0 -------- in your bathroom

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White---------because I'm cool like that
Black---------because that's how I roll.
Pink-----------because I'm NOT crazy.
Red-----------because the voices told me to.
Blue-----------because I'm sexy and I do what I want
Green---------because I think I need some serious help.
Purple---------because I'm AWESOME!
Gray----------because Big Bird said to and he's my leader.
Yellow--------because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange--------because my family thinks I'm stupid anyway.
Brown---------because I can.
Other----------because I'm a Ninja!
None----------because I can't control myself!

I smelled a stuffed animal in line at the bank, because that's how I roll.

I'd be curious to see what you get stuck with!

In other news... this is my SIX HUNDREDTH POST. Woah. I have had an awful lot of nothing to say!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Matt's class pet

Meet Horacio. He's a bearded dragon that Matt has "adopted" as his classroom pet. To be honest, I didn't think I'd like him very much, but as a girl in one of Matt's classes mentioned, "He's cuddly!" He likes warm things and will snuggle into your hand when you hold him, and is very alert. I just hope he doesn't get big and ugly like the bearded dragon I saw at the Travel Show a few weeks ago (oh - need to post about that sometime... tres fun!) He is only 21 cm right now but will probably grow to be about 24 inches or so when he's full grown. Yikes! But at least he seems friendly and very laid back... good things for a classroom pet! :)

Why is he named Horacio? Well, two reasons... Matt chose this because of both Hamlet and CSI: Miami. Horacio in CSI was named after Horacio in Hamlet, who was the first CSI! (See if you can't figure it out!) Since Matt teaches Forensic Science, he thought it was a good choice. Let's just hope that Horacio doesn't turn out to be a girl!! :) (It's to hard to tell just yet!)
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Over my break, one of the things I got to do was take a quick little ride around the block to Massachusetts, to see the Woods! It was so good to get to see them, especially Becky, as she will be my Matron of Honor (and is one of my dearest friends!!) We hung out at home lot, being that she is quite pregnant (less than one week to go!), but we all went to dinner at Acapulcos on Monday night, then Becky, Catherine and I went for lunch at Panera on Tuesday before taking a spin around the Northshore Mall... which has gotten so shi-shi since I was there last!! It was tremendous fun and did me a lot of good to see them all. There is way too much time between visits and they are never long enough!!

I didn't take many pictures, but here are the few good ones... only two were taken by me! One by Becky, two by me and the first taken by Catherine herself!!

Catherine's view of her parents!

I brought my personal box of instruments... she was in love with the slide whistle (here) and harmonica, and was a little sad when they got packed up and brought back to my house! Too bad I didn't get a picture of her when she had a maraca in each hand and the whistle in her mouth!

Bored to death as she waits for us to finish eating at Panera...

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Painting - she is into painting in a BIG way, which I think is delightful! I was happy to paint with her... it's been a long time since I have used watercolors! :)

All in all it was a very good trip and goot to spend time with friends. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I guess I'm pretty needy!

I just did one of those Internet search things where you put in your first name and the word "needs" into a Google search to see what you come up with. You're supposed to choose ten of those responses. They are especiallyamusing, given the fact that several major Hollywood players have my name!! Here we go... and with my own commentary, to boot! (oh, the procrastination!)

I need a smack daddy. (!!!)

I need to play by the rules. (And whose rules might that be?)

I need to give birth in the next week. (um.... NO??!?!? But maybe Becky does!)

I need to accept that [I've] gained what looks like some major pounds. (Ouch!)

I need a shave. (perhaps I need TO shave?)

I need to take out the trash, but doesn't know where it is. (yes, I do!)

I need 2 1/2 cups of sugar to make cookies for 15 people. (or just one fiance???)

I need a muzzle. (Maybe some of you think so!)

I need your prayers for my Dad. (This one is sad, thank God mine isn't sick!!)

I need to date men [my] age. (um... no. I'm taken, thank you very much!)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What haven't I done?

I saw this on Facebook and decided to post it here. It's a good list of "life" things and you're supposed to comment on whether or not you've done something. The things I HAVE done I'll put in BOLD. The rest.... well, they go on my list of things I'll have to try to accomplish in life! Some are really good. I've a lot of work to do! :)

1. Started your own blog (DUH!! Where are you reading this???)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (nope... but I have been to WDW!)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (do herbs count?)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept in an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (unfortunately I don't remember it too much - I was two!)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (indoor)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (I think so - I've read a lot of it, anyway!)
86. Visited the White House (It was closed the day I was there - a Sunday!)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chicken pox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury (well, I sat in the box but the case got dismissed)
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Sunday, February 01, 2009


It's pretty funny that The Knot lets you play with this. It's like paper dolls for grown-ups! I personally like the fact that I could put sparkles everywhere. It makes "me" look shiny. :)

NOTE: My dress doesn't actually look like this. They only give you so many options as to what you can use. So don't worry about not being surprised or anything later.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Creativity on a Sick Day

As I sit here at home in my robe and slippers on a Thursday, I discovered this on my dear friend Alisa's blog - - and had to share.

Click here and be creative... be sure to click the mouse as you paint. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

2008 In Review

It's by no means extensive, but here a small smattering of things that happened in 2008. There was much fun to be had, many people to see, many important things to do. Enjoy. :)

Here's to hoping that 2009 will be wonderful and full of even better memories, more fun and much much joy!

My resolution: To post more frequently. Remind me to do it if I am getting lazy, will you?