Jan 2006
23

Things I Love

Aunt Heidi told me that my Things I Hate list was quite long, so I better have a Things I Love list that was longer. And she is right. I have lots of stuff in my life that I love.

In (mostly) random order:

– Declan & Bryan (they tie for 1st place)
– My family
– Rio & Finn
– Strawberries
– Crowded House
– Macs, especially my lovely new iMac
– Summer
– Photography
– Picasso
– Chick-Fil-A
– Pottery
– The way Declan dances (it is really quite distinctive)
– Palm Pilots
– Working somewhere I care about
– Gerber daisies
– The Sound of Music
– HGTV
– Maryland Blue Crabs
– My PIMs (Psycho Internet Moms)
– Laughing my ass off
– Big, big, big snowstorms
– Diet Sprite
– Eating out (although we have cut back, I promise!)
– Colin Firth
– Lefties
– Rouladen
– Sleep Number Beds
– Recycling
– Sarcasm
– Steaks with A-1 sauce
– Baked potatoes with shitloads of sour cream (to go with the steak and A-1 sauce)
– Germany
– Reading parenting books
– Photoshop
– Driving with the windows open on a warm day
– Jeff & Danielle
– Slurpees
– American Idol
– German Potato Salad (even better, being able to make German Potato Salad without calling my mom every 5 minutes)
– Singing Edelweiss to Declan every single night
– Corn on the cob, especially on the grill, in their husks
– London
– Lunesta
– Spirituality
– Gardening
– Cosmo Doogood’s Urban Almanac
– Eddie Izzard
– Singing my heart out in the car and realizing Simon would squash me like a bug
– Tudor and Spanish style homes
– Funny people
– Renewable energy
– Haribo gummy bears (there is no substitute, y’all!)
– Making fun of people on TV
– OK, making fun of people in general
– Matisse
– Organizing, planning, researching, obsessing… about everything
– Smell of freshly cut grass
– Living in Colorado
– Maintaining a close relationship with my mom and aunt even though we live in Colorado
– Thanksgiving (no presents, just food)
– Having a business partner who agrees with me 99% of the time
– Teapots (but not tea)
– Going to sleep listening to the rain (rare occurrence any more)
– That euphoric feeling after working out, especially when I had to drag my ass in there
– Jon Stewart
– Wikipedia
– Watching Declan play on the Oversized Food at the mall
– Living in a country where I can scream my head off about the current administration and only be mildly wiretapped
– Aunt Heidi’s squash (which I can never make as good as she does, even though there are only like 4 ingredients)
– Having popcorn & Snickers Popables (together.. as in, both in my mouth at the same time) at the movies (blame Danielle for that one, although she prefers M&Ms)
– Empathy
– The beach – any beach, but especially Florida beaches
– My post-reduction breasts
– Volkswagen
– Old friends… like Dana & Marabeth
– New friends… like Jenny & Cap’n
– Postsecret
– A clean house
– Trying to speak German and Spanish (and failing)
– Inventive advertising campaigns
– Margaritas, on the rocks with salt
– Jane Austen
– Maturity
– OK, immaturity too
– The fact that normal stores carry pants in long sizes now
– Rosenthal china
– 80’s music
– Puff’s Plus
– My glasses
– Arthouse flicks
– Chick flicks
– OK, stupid teenybopper flicks too
– Being more and more amazed by my son every day
– Aveda liquid exfoliant
– Green Apple Pucker
– Being content with having an only child
– Generosity
– Saturday Night Live (although I am never awake enough to watch anymore)
– Digital cameras
– Riviera Maya, Mexico (4 months to the day till take off!)
– Hardwood floors
– Stevie Wonder
– Doritos
– Burning mix CDs
– The cute things all our kids say
– My new paddle brush
– Celebrity gossip… the more obnoxious, the better
– Massages
– Concerts
– My therapist
– Sinus Rinse
– Watery beer
– iPods
– Watching my son form friendships
– Cursing
– Steve from work’s homemade toffee
– Netflix
– Having lunch with my hubby several times a week
– Properly plucked eyebrows (not too skinny, not too fat)
– Flagler College
– Thoughtful people
– Halloween
– Hugs

Did you notice all the shit on there I can’t eat anymore? So, my last fave:
– Living vicariously through this blog

Dec 2005
19

Movies 12/18/05

Here are the latest flicks we have seen:

BOMB THE SYSTEM: 2 Stars. Kind of interesting back story of graffiti artists and also really amazing camera/filming style – but overall too long and in the end, you really didn’t give a crap about any of the characters. Did have an interesting plot twist, though.

FANTASTIC FOUR. 4 Stars. Pretty much exactly what you would expect from a movie like this. Great effects, some silly dialogue, and characters who are appealing because they have always been appealing. We thought it was a fun ride.

MEET THE FLOCKERS. 1 Star. Not sure why we rented this since we hated Meet The Parents, presumably it stemmed from our great love for Ben Stiller. Yet, hated this one too – although Hoffman and Streisand were pretty hilarious. I just can’t stand movies with that “Three’s Company” comedy of errors shit.

BIGGER THAN THE SKY: 3 Stars. The lead guy pretty much sucked. But otherwise, it was a cute story without a stereotypical ending. John Corbett and Amy Smart were endearing as ever, even if they were just playing the same characters they always play.

THE BROTHERS GRIMM: 4 Stars. I watched this on PPV at the hotel while in New Mexico a few weeks ago. I loved how Heath Ledger played a character so different from anything he has played before, and played it well. I really think he is one of the most underrated actors… I wonder if Brokeback Mountain will change that. Also, Matt Damon continues to surprise me – he did especially well with a British accent in this film (although I was laughing at all the British accents for a film set in Germany and France). It was interesting how they wove all the pieces of Grimm stories into the film, but there were also times that I was rolling my eyes at the plot… which I why I held it back from 5 stars.

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If you are unfamiliar with the Netflix rating system:
5 stars = loved it
4 stars = really liked it
3 stars = liked it
2 stars = didn’t like it
1 star = hated it

Legoland
Dec 2005
14

San Diego

Well, of course we had a blast. Every single photo of the nearly 250 will be up on my photo site soon.

But here are the highlights our trip.

THURSDAY
Arrived in at our hotel in Oceanside at around 11pm. Which was 12am Denver time. An all-time record for Declan (who is usually in bed strictly by 8pm!). But he was a trooper.

FRIDAY
Went to go get groceries. Car would not start. Coincidentally, the mileage on the Trailblazer they gave us was “666” when we picked it up Thursday. I was stupid enough to make a comment about it, which of course, doomed the car.

But the great part of the day was Sea World. Declan was a bit terrified of the whales at first, somehow he got it into his head that “whales bite.” (We then, um, glossed over the part about Shamu being a ferocious predator in the wild.) We walked, played, ate a bunch of unhealthy stuff. All the things you do when you go to a major “attraction.”

SATURDAY
Jeff & Danielle dropped us off at Legoland while they went and toured the Temecula Wine Country. Legoland rules! Perfect place for the 3-5 year old set. Declan was just big enough for most of the rides and only a few were overwhelming for him. One that was particularly overwhelming was where he piloted his own car (the smiley, happy photo below is before he had to actually drive the thing). He kept running other little kids down, which upset him to no end – and his feelings were hurt further by asshole dads who kept yelling at their kids to go faster, go around him, run him down, etc. I am NOT looking forward to any team sports with idiots like that on the sidelines. What is interesting to me is how Declan is becoming a little perfectionist just like me… Even when I try so hard not to put that kind of pressure on him.

One of the areas we really liked at Legoland was Miniland USA… Where they have reproductions of many major US cities. We particluarly liked their sense of humor, like when they included a call girl in the New York milieu (she’s the sassy one on the phone).

Of course, any Dora that is larger than life, is a good thing.

That evening, we had the most spectacular sunset. Jeff & Danielle were kind enough to hang out and listen for a sleeping Dex to wake up from his nap – and allowed Bryan and I to stroll down to the beach and watch the sunset. It was amazing. One of those evenings that make you believe in a higher power.

Sunsets on the ocean are totally foreign to us, having grown up on the east coast. All I can say is they are fucking cool.

Bryan played photographer for a while and he got some incredible colors in the shots – not to mention – hey, who is that cute chick???

SUNDAY
The lack of sleep was wearing on all of us, especially Declan. Three hard core days is about all he could stand and his nose started phlegming. Of course, a little thing like a cold would not keep him from the Pacific Ocean. So what started as a lazy day turned into Endless Summer – 3 Year Old Style. We gave up trying to keep him dry and stripped him down to his Spider-Man underwear. He just went NUTS. Which was a bit startling, since last year he was very afraid of the waves in Mexico. All 4 adults just looked at each other with glee as we realized we were in for an awesome time when we go back to Mexico next May!

So, since Declan was so into it, and the hotel pool was pleasantly warm (as opposed to the frigid ocean), we kept the water theme going for the rest of the day.

Sunday night, we decided to drive down the coast to La Jolla and had the most expensive dinner, ever. But as Danielle and I said many times yesterday – it was so worth it. That was the best meal I have had in a long time. And with lots of fish – since the seafood here in Denver is crap.

And the crazy thing is, we picked the restaurant from a magazine… and as we entered I realized I had been to that exact restaurant before on my business trip to San Diego a few years ago. Major deja vu. Of course, had I remembered it, we would have saved a bunch of time hemming and hawing about where we were going to eat. C’est la vie, I guess. 🙂

MONDAY
We packed up and checked out of the hotel. Drove down to San Diego, over the bridge to Coronado and then back to the Gaslamp Quarter for lunch. Walked around a bit and headed to the airport.

Surprisingly, there were no lines and we were at the gate nearly 2 hours before our flight. Crudballs. But then, the most amazing thing happened. I laid Danielle’s coat on the ground, asked Declan to lay down on it and he actually fell asleep. WHEN DOES THAT HAPPEN, EVER? When everyone is to the breaking point of exhaustion, that’s when. So we chilled for a while, hopped the plane and got home close to 10pm.

Another late night for Declan. But so worth it.

Dec 2005
05

Prepare The Barf Bags

I am not a big fan of flying. I mean, I like that it gets me from Point A to Point B quickly… but I get motion sickness, I have a mild fear of heights and then, of course, the long legs that get tangled up in the tiny spaces they make you sit in these days. (Yes, I am the wench who always has her legs hanging out in the aisle. There is no where else to put them, people!)

So, as I head to New Mexico this bleary morning (getting up at 5am when you are on a sleep aides is tres not fun), the one thing I make sure I have is Dramamine.

The funny thing is, the client in New Mexico has scheduled meetings on top of previously scheduled flights for the 3rd time in a row. Thus making me to do the bumpy, hellacious (but at least quick) ride along the Rockies down to Albuquerque plus another flight in the same week. This time, I get to fly again when we go to San Diego on Thursday. I am oozing with excitement.

Well, actually, I am oozing with excitement about the trip, just not the possible barf bag moments along the way.

Dec 2005
04

Startling Realization

I just woke up with a start, and realized I really need to finish my Xmas shopping NOW. I go to New Mexico on business on Monday and Tuesday, and then on Thursday, we leave for our trip to San Diego. Which puts us back in normal-life-mode on December 13th.

HOLY FUCK.

I am thinking that all the family in Maryland are getting packages with unwrapped gifts inside. A brown cardboard shell counts as wrapping, right?