Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Peaches!


Please welcome sweet Peaches to my brood - I adopted her from the Escondido Humane Society and brought her home on Christmas Eve. She is a friendly, loving girl who is settling in at the rustic cottage.

Peaches is 8 years young and 16 pounds (!!!) Needless to say, she is on a diet so soon there will be less of Peaches to love. She was at the shelter for nearly 7 months; even though she is currently confined to my bathroom, the square footage in which she can move around has greatly increased and the noise level has decreased.

She will slowly be introduced to Tess & Toby and I suspect neither of them will be thrilled. I am very happy and since I pay the bills, my opinion matters most.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and has a wonderful New Year!
-P

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The 8th Anniversary of my 29th Birthday...


Groovy Roller Boogie Disco Birthday Party!
*Snaps*
Hella Fun!
-P

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pre-Festivus Electronic Airing of Grievances

Chapped Lips
Expiration Dates
Drivers ignoring pedestrians
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo Loan Customer “Service”
Wells Fargo Equity Enhancement
Plunger implementation due to system-wide need
Dehydration
Bloating
Stubbing of toe
fibroids
People who talk out loud to themselves when not alone
Sewage-y smell
No MLB
…days when I put on my cranky pants*

*Counterbalancing positive influences that make grievances tolerable: my pets, friends, foods dipped in ranch dressing and 30 Rock episodes
----
"I find tinsel distracting." - Frank Costanza

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Toby's New Bed


"I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four." - Yogi Berra
*
"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book." ~Irish Proverb
*
“A nap, my friend, is a brief period of sleep which overtakes superannuated persons when they endeavor to entertain unwelcome visitors or to listen to scientific lectures” - George Bernard Shaw
*
"Consciousness: that annoying time between naps." ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Italian Men, Italian Wine, Italian Shoes, Belgian Beer?

German street, German beer, German confusion, American tourist asked for directions?
Canadian money, Canadian beer, Canadian Canadianess Caribbean festival?
US address, US news, US beer...(nope, can't do it), US blog, European daydreams....
-P
"Make no mistake about why these babies are here - they are here to replace us." - Jerry Seinfeld

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rustic Cottage

Today is my one year anniversary in my rustic cottage. This is the first time I have had my own four walls that I do not share with some other building dweller. My first year back in the land of renting has been a rather pleasant one: for example, I recently got my kitchen remodeled. New, spacious cabinets, a shiny, updated sink and even one of those vent/hood/light thingies over the stove. Storage galorage!

But blogging about the glorious space for my 3 skillets & 4 pots is not particularly riveting...not compared to tales of my new screen door - woo hoo! The glory of the screen door keeps revealing itself: fewer bugs in my home, less leaves blowing in and a rather cute impediment for my non-sighted doggie. Toby hears the outdoors and heads in that direction, yet butts his head against this metal device and is curious why he cannot proceed further. On second thought, not particularly riveting to anyone other than me.

One interesting factoid about my current domicile: Google has yet to map me. Take that Sergey and other-guy-who-isn't-Sergey!
-P
*
"You can call me on my cell phone
You can page me all night long
But you won't catch this free bird
I'll already be long gone"
- Sheryl Crow "Steve McQueen"

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Era of Darkness Begins...

134 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training 2008
183 days until opening day 2008
-P

Friday, October 26, 2007

My favorite quote from last night's 30 Rock...

Jack Donaghy to Liz Lemon: "Never go with a hippie to a second location."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wildfires

From the number of emails and calls I have received over the last 48 hours, it is apparent that the rest of the country and world (hello England & Bulgaria) is now very aware of the massive wildfires burning in Southern California. I am very fortunate that my rustic cottage and the homes of my friends are safe. I do know people who have been evacuated and are currently residing elsewhere.

My thoughts are with the people who must spend their days worrying about whether all their worldly possessions (however few or many they had as of last Sunday) are still intact or if they are ruined by the Santa-Ana-fires. I also think about the people who already know the sad fate of their homes. The local organization and evacuation efforts seem to be running very smoothly and successfully. Some evacuation centers were overwhelmed with volunteers & donations. Another positive coming out of so much destruction and sadness is that dogs, cats and even horses are being cared for when people must evacuate. One headline read "Regardless of Zip Code, We Are All in this Together".

The last few evenings I have gathered with friends for food, drinks and games - a great way to have fun and take our minds off of all the bad news. We are very fortunate that we have such an option. San Diego American Red Cross Donations-P

When I saw these fires break out on Sunday, I asked the network to send me. My job isn’t to man the fire lines, or help evacuate neighborhoods…it’s to tell the stories of those who do and to inform the public. But for me, it’s more than that. My wife and children have close friends here. I have friends here. I love this place.

So it’s at once heartbreaking, and awe inspiring to see a fire line roar up the side of a mountain slope, or race through bone dry brush. And when you’ve worked enough fires like this, you learn to spot the sign of a home erupting in flames beyond the next ridge line. A surge of black smoke billowing into the sky, the smell of nylon and household chemicals burning, another dream home…however humble or magnificent…lost.

This fire will eventually go out. The thousands who’ve lost their homes and businesses will rebuild and move on. But the memory of a fire like this lasts forever.
- Don Teague, NBC Correspondent

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sirius, I Seriously Need You

While at work clearing out and updating a retired emeritus' office, I knew I could use some noise to keep me entertained. I brought in a boombox the department had stored and tuned to some local stations. I went about my work and soon realized I was annoyed: nothing but commercials. I really don't care about the quality of girls at Deja Vu Gentleman's Club nor do I have a drinking problem, thus needing the Alcohol Rehabilitation business advertised. No music? I changed stations: more ads, more "wacky" disc jockeys with the lame gags. Finally, some 15 year old Sade tune. But after that, more ads. This got me missing my usual fix for talk radio or music, in the car or at home, always at my fingertips.

Back on January 8th, 2006 on a cold, dreary Sunday in Iowa City, I drove to my nearby Radio Shack and made a big purchase. I bought a Sirius Satellite boom box and car installation package along with a one year subscription. I spent the rest of the day unpacking the boxes, patiently waiting on hold to get my system set up. There was a backlog and I knew why. On Monday, January 9th Howard Stern would begin airing his show exclusively on Sirius Satellite radio. I had not been able to listen to Howard in over 5 years - since moving back to the Midwest and I missed him. Desperately. Seriously.

I got the hardware functioning Sunday night and set my clock for 4:58am. Why? Because Howard's east coast show would begin at 5 am my time and I wasn't going to miss a minute. I woke up that Monday morning and listened to the constantly pounding heartbeat sound that had been playing in anticipation of HS's show. And then finally! There it was! That low, semi-nasally voice! True to form, Howard was complaining about his staff and technical glitches in his studio within the first 10 minutes. Just like he did all those years earlier. I was happy and satisfied.

I pay roughly $13 a month for my Sirius Satellite subscription. (I would pay more - shhh!). In addition to Howard's two channels (his show does have some ads, so if they start, I just switch to the other Howard channel for that replay since they loop his daily show all day), I get access to over 150 music, news and comedy channels. There's First Wave the new wave music channel that I know almost every song on. There's Backspin playing some funk, the Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra-only channels. And then there's Sirius Love always good for a sappy love song and where I am most likely to hear my beloved Air Supply. To me, those channels are all free and I pay for my Howard fix - the serious Sirius addict that I am.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Milhouse has left Duff Stadium...

To quote 80's teen popstar and mall-touring chanteuse, Tiffany, my post-season baseball viewing "...could've been so beautiful, could've been so right..." but now that dream is over. The hope to drive six hours with my fluffy pooch on my lap heading toward a lifelong goal with a fun pal, eating overpriced trans-fatty foods and delicious micro-brewed beer, well, that could still in theory happen, but not while viewing baseball live and in person at Chase Field in Arizona. True to my Cubs fan status - there is always next year.

Life is short. I can't sit around whining about how things didn't go my way. I must buck up, put on my jammy pants and watch other teams play post-season baseball - on television.

I am hoping for a Cleveland v. Colorado World Series now. The Rockies have the finely-tushed Tulowitzki and the Indians provide the fetching Grady Sizemore, who allows my eyes-more handsomeness than your typical Major Leaguer. I like to think I make the best of what life brings, but I'll always have my memories of the laser-printed, bar-coded post-season tickets I clutched in my happy hands that now must go into the emotionless recycling bin, but "...I'll never hold what could've been, on a cold and lonely night".
-P

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Everything's Coming Up Milhouse!!!

Hooray! I have a renter for my IC condo (after nearly 3 months of paying mortgage for...empty space and not much else) which allows me to re-activate my entertainment spending!! The timing of this could not be better: there are NLCS tickets still for sale in nearby Arizona! My love for travel and spontaneous adventures (8 days in advance can be considered spontaneous, yeah?) kicked right in when I put two and two together: entertainment spending + post-season baseball tickets available = FUN!!!

My pal Bonnie and I attended 3 Spring Training games earlier this year and now we will end the season with more baseball in the land of cactus and crazy gila monsters! I am going to see post-season baseball live and in person for the very first time!!!*

[*if game 6 of the NLCS is necessary] Hooray for me!! {and props to Katy}

NLCS GAME 6
19 OCT 2007 at 05:30pm
*CHASE FIELD*

Price Type Qty Price Fee Cost
------------------------------ --- -------- --------- ----------
ADULT WEB 2 $$.00 $.00 $$$.00

Seating:
Level Section Row Seat(s)
----- ------- ----- ----------
1 106 39 11-12


Oh yeah, the teams playing are the San Diego Padres-beating Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs(sob)-beating Arizona Diamondbacks!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Cubs 2007 RIP

I don't wanna blog about it. :(

Thursday, October 4, 2007

NLDS - Game 2 Cubs v. Diamondbacks

I have created/deleted many posts regarding last night's game. Nothing sounds or makes me feel better about the Cubs' 3-1 loss to Arizona. I choose to instead focus on tonight's game. Please, pretty please, WIN!!! Cubs in the post-season...hooray!
*
-P
"New Rule : The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one sweet-n'-Low, and one NutraSweet," ooh, you're a huge asshole." - George Carlin

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Best.News.Ever.Today

Most people who know me are aware that I enjoy all things Swayze-riffic (add Keanu to the mix and lookout!) Here is another golden nugget to add to my live theatre wish-list:

Point Break LIVE!, the absurdist stage adaptation of the 1992 Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze extreme-sports blockbuster, tells the story of former college football star Johnny Utah (Reeves in the film), as he pursues the surfing, bankrobbing, skydiving, bare-hand-fighting, adrenaline junkie cum Zen Master, Bodhi Sattva.

The Brechtian blockbuster, which garnered a "Seattle P-I Best of Seattle 2004" award during its run in the Northwest, features armed robbery, big-wave surfing, car chases, explosions, and no less than two extended skydiving sequences. Best of all, you could be the next Johnny Utah... the starring role of Keanu will be selected at random from the audience each night, and will read their entire script off of cue-cards.

This method manages to capture the rawness of a Keanu Reeves performance, even from those who generally think themselves incapable of acting.

"The worse it gets, the better it gets. Sensationally idiotic."
-- Seattle P-I Theatre Review
-P

Friday, September 21, 2007

Portland, Oregon (no Shanghai Tunnels here, keep moving)

Last weekend I visited the lovely city of Portland, Oregon. My pal Heidi recently moved there and my friend Katy's brother was getting married in coastal Astoria. We all converged and had a great time. With the promise of resurrecting Iowa City's exclusive "the girl djs", I got an invitation and carried out the dancing/party-starting end of the girl djs work at the reception. (Actually playing music? P'shah, I didn't do that.)

This was my second visit to Portland (both have been in the Fall) and I had a great time: delicious microbrews to drink, interesting sights to see and this thing called...rain. I love photographing funny, interesting, odd signs; Oregon had an especially high number of signs I needed to photograph. I'll post two of them here:



Astoria is a small, sleepy coastal town which provided a great trip-within-a-trip. Our hotel was along a very wide section of the Columbia River. We drove over the mammoth Astoria Bridge to the state of Washington and back because, if you see a crazy bridge like this one, you have to go over it.

The wedding in Astoria was a lovely, stylish affair. The rooftop dance party was a fun, if chilly, good time. I suspect "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy rarely booms at full volume after midnight in Astoria. (fist in air).
-P
"I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine." ~Caskie Stinnett

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Improving My Luminosity

I recently started a new job in a new department (same Universitarian Bureaucratic Conglomerate) and things are going well. Out with the hematology/oncology, in with the dermatology - so, some cancer is still on the radar. I don't blog much about work because; it's there, it pays the bills and I work-to-live, instead of live-to-work-and-blog-about-it.

There are some new fringe benefits to my current position: it is much closer to my home and allows me to walk a few blocks, catch a free bus up a massive hill, then walk several more blocks to-from work. No more $55/month parking fees. No more constantly filling up the gas tank. No more potentially dull times sitting in traffic. My commute wasn't too strenuous before, but my current arrangement is pretty sweet. Living in Southern California, the commute can be an issue. Ed Begley Jr., do I make you proud??

This location is very neighborhoody. Good neighborhoody. As in: restaurants, shops, places selling Aveda products and pet supplies. Walking to businesses easily is such a treat. Apparently this week 'treat' = chocolate shakes.

Another added bonus to the current gig is: product samples. Oh, glorious product samples! Hand lotion. SPF. Anti-wrinkle cream. Even the occasional hair product. {This girl dreams of the day lip balm tubes show up in a cardboard delivery box...} It sure is nice and it sure is plentiful. SPF is an important daily routine here in Sunny San Diego. It all makes sense now that I spend much more time facing the sun as I head home.

"Apply Truth liberally to the inflamed area. This is The Colbert Report!" - Stephen Tyrone Colbert

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One Year Anniversary

Today is my "anniversary" of returning to San Diego. I moved here originally in 1995 and stayed for nearly 6 years. I returned to Iowa - just prior to the "worst winter in 100 years" - as that seemed like a good idea at the time. I lived there for almost 6 years. I was restless for many of those years, not feeling particularly comfortable or settled in my life. I decided another big change was in order and high-tailed it back to SD and its wonderful climate, beauty and delicious burritos.

So this is the part where normally I would reflect on all the things I've experienced, learned and enjoyed during the past year...but I don't have to because I have this blog! Woo Hoo!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Boston - Day 6

I enjoyed one last delicious breakfast in Boston and confirmation that the University of Michigan did in fact lose to Appalachian State in college football the day before. (ha!)

I strolled around Boston along the river, enjoyed a delicious slice of pizza from Regina Pizzeria and completed some more spectacular clothes shopping. I took the T back to the airport, waited about 45 seconds in the security line and boarded my lovely, TV-filled, barf-free flight back to San Diego. Thanks JetBlue! Hooray for Boston! Hooray for travel! My next trip? Portland, Oregon!

"Yankees suck!" - Boston Red Sox fans, every 10 seconds

Boston - Day 5

Saturday in Boston. Post Fenway. What is a girl to do? Shop more, eat more and see more cool stuff! Katy and I headed to The Freedom Trail for our last full day in Boston. We wound around the narrow Boston streets seeing history up close and personal: Faneuil Hall, Old North Church and Paul Revere's house.

We dined at a wonderful restaurant in Boston's well-known North End: Taranta. Our meal lasted about 3 hours and consisted of 3 courses w/one fabulous bottle of wine (none of which I photographed due to the fact it was kind of a fancy place): antipasti, delicious spinach salad with an amazing fruity vinaigrette and freshly made pasta w/seafood. Katy had the incredible lobster ravioli w/shrimp. Sadly, we had zero room left for dessert!

We both agreed that heading back to the hotel to veg out would be best: what was on the TV? Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Bucholz throws a no-hitter!! A pretty exciting end to a wonderful day.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Boston - Day 4



Fenway! Fenway! Friday we headed to the ballpark area hours before the game to hang out, drink beer and enjoy the game day vibe. We eventually found a screen to watch the Cubs on...then they lost. The Red Sox had just been swept in a three-game series with the Yankees in New York. Our game was against the Baltimore Orioles. I was able to drink Guinness at a Major League ballpark - very exciting! Fenway holds a lot of history and is a beautiful park. Now I have been there - and it rained a little -hooray! But the Red Sox lost...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Boston - Day 3


Thursday brings a new hotel: Jurys Boston Hotel (thanks for the free wi-fi!) not too far from our first hotel. It is housed in a former police headquarters with an Irish influence...and Aveda amenities! Katy and I toured the Samuel Adams Brewery (multiple free samples!), checked out the Harvard campus in Cambridge and cooled off in a great restaurant/bar called Grendel's Den just in time for its "everything half price" happy hour! We later hit a local bar to watch the Brewers v Cubs game (not the easiest feat as it was the first pre-season game for (gag) the local NFL team). Cubs win! Cubs win! Dempster almost blew it, but Cubs win!! Day 4 (aka Fenway Day!) brings a Christmas-morning-as-a-kid-level excitement! Orioles v. Red Sox @ 7pm Friday! That is so wicked hawwdcore!

Boston - Day 2




Day 2 started very late...I slept until nearly 11am! Woo Hoo! My friend and I enjoyed a yummy lunch at a nearby restaurant. I had the smoked salmon potato pancake w/creamed corn & greens. I was able to stroll around a fancy pants neighborhood and take advantage of some sweet sales. I checked out the Boston Public Library (BPL) and its beautiful architecture. It had a display of miniature books which was great and also a collection of WWII-propaganda posters...very interesting documents!

I then traveled with a group to Boston's North End for the cannoli taste-off: Mike's Pastry vs. Modern Pastry. Which location has the more delicious cannoli? Hmmm, I still can't decide, but who really cares? Have both! We then enjoyed a delicious boiled lobster dinner. The poor Red Sox lost their second game in a row to the Yankees.

Boston - Day 1


After my five hour non-stop flight (3 hours of which I spent waiting to barf, barfing or recovering from barfing) I landed in Boston...a city I have wanted to visit for years! And finally I am here! After getting to my hotel, showering and sleeping for nearly six hours, I strolled around this very walking-friendly city. I checked out the Public Garden, a nearby farmers market and enjoyed some "chowdah & lobstah roll".

I normally do not suffer from motion sickness, I think I had food poisoning. It was an awful experience, but I recovered quickly and have been able to enjoy the delicious food Boston has to offer!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Take Toby Out To The Ball Game

Last week I took m'boy Toby to Petco Park for Petco's annual "Dog Days of Summer" event.

Long story short, it totally rocked! The festivities for the dogs were plenty: professional photographer, Frosty Pawz cool treats, goody bag, and the opportunity to walk around the entire field on the warning track. On the plus side of the walk, I was about 30 feet from future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux while he warmed up. On the down side, I had to listen to "Who Let the Dogs Out?" for 15 minutes straight. Stepping onto a Major League Baseball field was something I had never done before and really tried to soak it in for all it was worth. Fabulous!

A friend was gracious enough to offer to photograph the occasion, so please enjoy the pictures. Apparently, there was also a game being played against the Rockies (Pads won 8-0!)




-P

Friday, August 3, 2007

*Asterisk*

I realized this morning there is a chance I may watch Barry Bonds hit a homerun and make baseball history, in person. Several weeks ago, a friend invited me to a Giants v. Padres game on a Sunday afternoon in August, she had free tickets so of course I said yes. Separately, I am very aware of the fact that Barry Bonds is at 754 career homeruns. The press reports his every move in anticipation of 755, tying the great Hank Aaron for the MLB record. Upon hitting 756, Bonds will be known as the all-time leader in career home runs. Reading this headline, I finally put 2 & 2 together: I may be in Petco Park for the brouhaha (hey, so I can be a little slow...).

I have loved MLB since I was eleven years old when my parents got cable which provided me access to WGN and TBS. My favorite players were Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs and Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves. Both excellent ball players with positive, honest images and most certainly not cheaters.

Many people are aware of the allegations toward Bonds regarding the use of steroids and other 'performance enhancing' drugs. Some may agree that perhaps MLB looked the other way during the late 90s when the stadium seats were full of paying bodies/fans hell-bent on watching homerun after homerun from the suspiciously-inflated players.

I have always confidently denied that Bonds would make it near Hank Aaron's amazing, hard-won record of hitting 755 homeruns. So much for that. I have to face the facts about Bonds: an originally very good baseball player let competition, insecurity and selfishness supercede good sportsmanship and honesty. He is notorioiusly booed in every stadium but his own (a theory I call The Our-Asshole Theory: he may be an asshole, but "he's our asshole").

This Sunday, I may inadvertently be on hand for MLB history, but the question still remains: if it happens in front of me will I boo, cheer or stand quietly taking in the spectacle?
-P
*
"Shotgun Blast To Abdomen Just Pisses Wilfred Brimley Off More" - the Onion headline

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Favorite Song in the Whole Wide World

"For Once In My Life" performed by Stevie Wonder

The man who (co)wrote this song, Ron Miller has died. He wrote my most favoritest song AND he was a Cubs' fan - he sounds pretty cool to me.

Miller got his professional start in the music business in the 1960s, when Motown founder Berry Gordy saw him perform at a piano bar and invited him to Detroit as one of the label's first songwriters and record producers. His songs have been recorded by many leading artists, including Judy Garland, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Ray Charles.

"For Once in My Life," written with Orlando Murden, is one of the most recorded songs in history, with more than 270 versions, according to All Music Guide. A rendition by Tony Bennett and Wonder won a Grammy award this year.

Born in Chicago, Miller was a die-hard Cubs fan, who wrote his first sad song as a child about his beloved but hapless team, his daughter said.

"My father will be reborn every time someone sings one of his songs," Lisa Dawn Miller said. "When they feel joy or sadness or any emotion, that will be my dad and his words." Miller is survived by his wife, Aurora Miller, and six children.

-P
For once in my life I’ve got someone who needs me
Someone I’ve needed so long
For once unafraid I can go where life leads me
And somehow I know Ill be strong

For once I can touch what my heart used to dream of
Long before I knew
Someone warm like you
Could make my dreams come true

For once in my life
I wont let sorrow hurt me
Not like its hurt me before
For once I’ve got someone
I know wont desert me
And I’m not alone anymore

For once I can say: this is mine you cant take it
As long as I’ve got love I know I can make it
For once in my life
I’ve got someone who needs me

Monday, July 16, 2007

Los Angeles Non-Dodgers-Game Weekend

I traveled to the sprawling metropolis that is Los Angeles this past weekend with a friend. The main geographical focus of our trip was Venice, a little Marina Del Rey and wee bit of Santa Monica. LA is only ~120 miles from San Diego. It has been 7+ years since I've truly visited the city (head hung in shame that I haven't made it to Dodger Stadium-YET.) For all the negative images LA has (gangs, phoniness, excessive focus on wealth/material possessions) I choose to take the fun, beautiful, playful features of LA and run with them.


Cases in point:

The morphed 7-Eleven-Simpsons-Kwik-E-Mart - we love it!

Hot dudes at the beach - we love it!

Cute, minor celebrities spotted zoning out at coffee shops - we love it!

The Getty Museum - we love it!


Cute dogs chillin' at the Santa Monica Pier - we love it!
Sushi-filled happy hours - we love it!
-P
"she had to leave

los angeles

she found it hard to say goodbye to her own best friend

she bought a clock on hollywood blvd the day she left

it felt sad she had to get out"

-"Los Angeles" - X

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Perhaps Someday I Will Be Married

Estonia dominates wife-carrying championship

SONKAJARVI, Finland - Estonians took gold and silver at the world wife-carrying championships in Finland yesterday, defying rain and exhaustion to stumble along a path with women clinging upside-down to their backs. They were among 44 couples from 12 countries competing in the annual event in Sonkajarvi, central Finland.

The race, held for the 12th time, is intended to evoke the spirit of a legendary Finnish brigand, Rosvo-Ronkainen, who made those who wanted to join his gang run through a forest carrying heavy sacks on their backs.

In the modern version, couples race along a 250-metre track, tackling a pool and several hurdles, with the men carrying the women on their backs.

Estonian Madis Uusorg finished first, in a time of 61.7 seconds, despite having Inga Klauson on his back upside-down with her legs around his neck. Uusorg, who holds the world record for the event of 56.9 seconds, is the brother of last year's winner, Margo Uusorg. "I'm feeling really great because we won," Madis said afterwards. "It was my fifth time here, second time to win this competition. And it was the first time to beat my brother!"

Margo won his fifth world championship in 2006 and said at the time it might be his last.
He could not resist turning up again this year, carrying a rather heavily built Julia Galvin from Ireland, but the pair could only manage 29th place. "I kept my promise, having won last year, of carrying Julia this year," he said.

John Keerie, a Briton living in Helsinki, ran the race dressed as convict. He carried his wife Aino Telaranta-Keerie into 19th place. "I drowned in that pool, but at least my wig is still in place. Now for beer," he said. The winning couple received plasma televisions and Klauson's weight, 49 kilograms, in beer.

"My goal was to have fun. But not only did we have fun, but so did our kids and the people here had fun," said American James Lafferty from Ohio, who carried his wife Susan into 33rd place.
The purpose of it all? So the town of Sonkajarvi can spread a little happiness, said organiser Veikko Tervonen, with a smile.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Live Free or Die Hard, M'er F'er!

Nearly 20 years ago, during my teen employment at a movie theatre, I was able to see every movie in town for free. I sometimes deviated from my usual genres of immature toilet humor & art-house avant garde. I encountered an action film that made me laugh, caused me to sit on the edge of my seat and had my heart pounding even as the credits finished rolling. This movie was called 'Die Hard'. Most people have seen this movie at least once, it was kind of a blockbuster (another genre I rarely spend time or money on - now that I have to pay.) Sure, there was a sequel, Die Hard 2: Electric Boogaloo and I saw it, once and thought 'eh'. There was a third Die-Hardy movie that I never bothered with and heard that was a wise move.

I recently started seeing ads for the 4th in the series: Live Free or Die Hard. I won't get in-depth with the plot details, but I will recommend it for some exciting, amusingly-violent, escapist summer fun!

Bruce Willis has kept himself in shape, many years have gone by and his character is no spring chicken. He still kicks butt, there are great fight scenes, car crashes and some lively characters that keep the viewer interested between explosions:

the "hot, leggy, Asian chick" who kicks some serious a** & gets a serious a** kicking
Lucy McClane's introduction - sassy & so like dad (and in need of her own Die-Hard movie!)
yet another FBI Agent Johnson who goes the way of previous Agents Johnson
the deliciously evil, maniacal villian, played by Timothy Olyphant (swoon!)
the wonderfully geeky, brainiac Warlock played by Kevin Smith

So wrapping up my movie review: Go see it!
Next up, Sicko. I suspect I'll be less jovial after this one.
-P
"You just killed a helicopter with a car" - Matthew Farrell
"I was outta bullets." - John McClane

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

DAWGZzzz

Dogs. Pooches. Canines. Pups. I love mine and I tend to love a lot of other people's - even if they bark early in the morning (the dogs) or leave poop behind (the humans, not the dogs, well the poop IS the dog's, but...you follow me). I went for a long walk last night along the ocean. While getting much-needed exercise and views of a fabulous sunset, I also was able to enjoy the wide variety of dogs who were lucky enough to be at the beach. Here are a few examples:

a good little corgi, diligently following it's person's steps

two portly bulldogs meeting each other, one sitting up high on his owner's property relentless barking at the one on the boardwalk, looking up at the barker like he's nuts (approximately 10 passersby stopped to laugh, including me)

the great dane and the pug that co-exist on their ocean-front deck (pug is usually vertical, great dane is usually horizontal)

various little dogs in baskets on their people's cruising bikes

the loud-barking pitbull on his second story balcony as the white fluffy poodle trots by

one lab on a device affixed to the back of its owner's bike (kind of like a sidecar) sticking his head out to get the full effect of the wind - while wearing sunglasses

All of these glorious pooches came from somewhere. They all live in various socio-economic situations. If you contemplate adding one to your household, please rescue!! Here is a link to one of the best places for rescued animals, for some happy reads, link here.

-P

"Happy SPCA Adopt-a-Cat Month, you jerk!" - Tess, my cat, to me

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sum-Sum-Summertime

Living in San Diego has altered this former Midwesterner's perspective on a lot of things: the near-constant pleasant weather (high-60s/low-70s & partly/mostly sunny), the lack of needing an ice scraper in the car, and the $4.50 it costs for a gallon of milk (hey, I like me some cereal). I know school is out, it's June and people are taking vacations, but it was soonafter a friend invited me to the beach to-actually-go-to-the-beach that I realized...it is summer!

I go to the beach often: to exercise, to get my favorite burrito, to purchase San Diego-imprinted gifts for people living elsewhere, but rarely do I actually GO to the beach in the sense that most people think of: packing a bag, laying down a towel and parking it. This is mostly influenced by the fair state of my skin, I learned a long time ago not to fight my pale exterior, but instead embrace it and cover it with SPF.

For me, summer is represented by going to baseball games, watching baseball games on TV and...er...uh...reading about baseball? This weekend is the first official weekend of summer - being on the West coast and the Cubs playing Noon games should allow me time to get my MLB fix early and plenty of time to enjoy the sun, the beach and the fun - all while covered in SPF & a hat.

-P

"TIMMAY!!!" - Timmy, South Park

Friday, June 15, 2007

100,000 miles!!!!!!!

This morning on my drive to work, my car's odometer hit a milestone: 100,000 miles. (Yes, I stopped to take the picture)
Oh sure, today is just like any other day, but for my Honda Civic EX coupe - it's monumental! This event got me a little nostalgic regarding my red, 2-door vehicle. I think of all the fun road trips I've taken in her (I pick the female gender since she's sassy red), the friends and loved ones who have shoved their various long limbs in the back seat and suitcases/bodies transported in the trunk.


Here are some fun facts about my car:

She's paid off! And has been since 2002.
She's never been in a crash (only damaged due to stupid Midwestern hail, poor baby)
She's hooked up for Sirius satellite radio

She was once stuck in a snow drift...in my driveway
Her driver sometimes runs over hazards/hits potholes too fast so she gets raised up at Sears and her tires changed fairly often
Up until a few months ago, she never required more than $20 to fill her tank. Now, it takes about $32.

Historically, I am not a cheater, but sometimes I do have a roving eye. The only other vehicles that entice me with their good looks and groovy shape are the Mini Cooper and the Audi TT. {sigh} Even when I win the lottery, I think I'll keep my sassy red girl. Thank you Japanese engineering!!
-P
*
Well behaved women seldom make history — Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Puppy alert!

My friend Bonnie is a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence - a non profit organization that enhances the lives of children & adults living with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs. She flew in from Arizona to pick up her fourth puppy (the first two did not make it through the additional training and now live happy lives as full-time pets, the third dog is currently still in "college" and may become an assistance dog in the next few months!).


This 8 week-old girl is named Payton. Isn't she a cutie?

I am rarely around puppies so spending time with her was a treat. All nine of her siblings are in puppy-raiser homes for the next 14-18 months, then move back to the facility for intense training to become an assistance dog for a person in need. Payton and Bonnie visited my home before their flight. Toby was not particularly thrilled to have a puppy nipping at and running into him with her uncoordinated enthusiasm - I found it hilarious. Toby fell asleep soon after she left. Oh, puppies.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Heidi!

My pal Heidi is turning 30. This is/was a milestone birthday for us all but it is especially monumental for her. She recently made her first cross-country move, which has brought a lot of changes, challenges and new experiences - like not having to pump her own gas! She's a smart, sassy, strong chick who has got it goin' on. Wish her well as she enters a new era...the 30s.



Please send her birthday greetings - even if you do not know her - by posting a comment here. She will enjoy the surprise and won't you take pleasure in brightening someone's day? DO IT.

You do not want to make The Gingers angry.

-P

Kyle: We... came to learn the facts about people with red hair, light skin and freckles.

Ginger Kids’ Father: [nervously] Ohhh, gingers, yes. Our cute little red-haired rascals.

Stan: I'm sorry, but I don't understand. You both have dark hair and brown eyes.

Father: Yes, we've learned that the ginger gene is recessive in both our families' DNA. Actually, the odds of us having a red-haired freckled child were only one in four. And still it happened. Three times. What are the odds? [breaks down and sobs into his hands]

Ginger Kids’ Mother: A lot of people carry the ginger gene and don't know. [her husband stops sobbing and raises his head] If your spouse is also a carrier, then your children can turn out like... them.
[they both look at the kids, who smile and grin]

Father: Each one of them's a blessing.

Mother: Oh yes, each one of them's a blessing.

Father: Huh Blesse-blessing full of love

Three Ginger Kids: [grinning] Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Kyle: But it's... it's not true they... have no souls. [somber music plays]

Father: No... no, I'm sure they do.











Friday, May 25, 2007

Go Cubs! Go Padres! Go Mascots!

Last night: the Cubs beat the Padres in some ninth-inning excitement. The Padres pitcher, Chris Young did an excellent job retiring the first 12 batters, striking out 10...oh, who cares?!?!?! I got my picture taken with the two Petco mascots!!! It was glorious!!

My friend and I were hanging out (okay, eating brats and drinking beer) near the very large "family area" of Petco Park: open lawn-seating area with a kids-size baseball park where they can run the bases...oh who cares?!?! I got my picture taken with the two Petco mascots!! The kitty is blue & sassy and the doggie is red & sassy. I am a bit disappointed in myself that I didn't think of this earlier: the mascots hang out where the highest concentration of kids are. Voila!

I suspect The Friar was attending to the upgraded, fancy areas, hobnobbing with the corporate fat-cats who pay premium for their baseball entertainment. Or, he was just getting his tonsure tidied up. Either way, he's still very high on my list. The list of mascots with whom I need to get my picture taken. Oh yeah, goals.




-P
Joe Reardon: "He walked 18. "
Larry: "New league record! "
Joe Reardon: "Struck out 18."
Larry: "Another new league record! In addition he hit the sportswriter, the public address announcer, the bull mascot twice..."
- Bull Durham

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Niece Zoe

My niece Zoe - The Artist. She was one of a small group of elementary students selected to have her painting matted, framed and put on public display in her hometown. My six year old niece had her first (and hopefully not last) art opening! Props to Zoe! The theme was fish. Enjoy.



-P

"Not every working girl dreams of clawing her way to the corner office. Instead, many of us fantasize about fleeing cubicle life for good. Despite our parents’ best intentions to steer us toward more traditional careers (podiatrist, anyone?), we long to start our own sweater-knitting empire, frolic in the land of freelancing, or help those in need halfway around the world. Nevertheless, we non-traditionalists do have our bills to pay. So we do what any sensible woman would do: We get a day job. Which is precisely when those lofty aspirations can begin to atrophy." - Michelle Goodman - The Anti 9-to-5 Guide - Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Probationary Periods - Contractual Agreements - Expiration Dates

This blog has been quiet. This does not necessarily reflect inactivity in my life, more like my inability to express the current situations and my reactions IN WORDS. Due to the fact that one of my favorite responses is “whatever” (usually prefaced with a sigh) and my tendency to condense stories with “yadda yadda yadda” or, of course "blah blah blah" – this does not reflect good self expression or promote prolific blogging. Consider my hand slapped.

59 days ago I was called into my then-supervisor’s office at 4pm and told that:
1) I was doing a good job
2) I was a pleasure to work with
3) As of 8am the next morning I would be placed into a different position, in a different area, working with brand new people and that would be that
4) Oh, and I wouldn’t get much training for this new position due to the fact that I would be switching positions with an individual who had official grievances and a restraining order filed against one of my future co-workers (!!!)
5) Plus, my probationary period would be extended another 60 days

At this point, I was two weeks shy of my six-month probationary period ending and had zero say in the matter. I was staying in the same classified position (I love me some University bureaucracy) and at the same pay grade, so I couldn’t complain on that topic. Turns out, I couldn’t complain on any topic to the powers that be. Work life, sucked. Fortunately, my personal life did not. My friends were especially supportive at this point; listening to me vent, whine and generally feel sorry for myself as I felt my life was kinda-sorta turned upside down just as I was getting settled after the quick, cross-country, everything-seemingly-brand-new-and-out-of-sorts move. {sigh}

Incredibly long story short, I have adapted well in my new position. On the plus side, I have my own office with big windows and a view. The hours are somewhat flexible. The people I work with are reasonable, moderately interesting and most importantly, I have yet to feel physically threatened – so yay for me. I am still not sure what the future holds for me, employment-wise but for now things are, you know yadda yadda yadda….whatever.

Foolishly, I signed an 18 month agreement with the DISH Network last November, during the MLB offseason, when I moved in my rustic cottage. What does this mean? It means I cannot watch San Diego Padres games at home. The games are televised only through the local cable provider, Cox. I signed up for a sports package addition but quickly got rid of it when I realized 90% of the games are blocked for my “area” via the satellite transmission. Grrrrr. So, it is May 16th and I have yet to watch one Padres game (not counting the last few innings I blurrily viewed at the British pub down the street post bar-crawl one night). Needless to say, this lack of access is quite frustrating. What kind of local baseball fan am I?

I am the kind of fan who goes to baseball games in person! Which I will be doing tonight and next week. I am very excited! Reds v Padres tonight. Cubs next week. I am also looking forward to the evening, due to the fact that I will be attending said game with a date: a handsome, funny, recently-met male. He’s this, he’s that. Yadda yadda yadda. Blah blah blah. I could ramble on but won’t. Why? He has an in-San Diego expiration date of July 2007 before he moves to….wait for it….The Middle East. {sigh} Whatever…

-P
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"Oh, yeah, what are you gonna do? Release the dogs? Or the bees? Or the dogs with bees in their mouth and when they bark, they shoot bees at you?" - Homer from the Simpsons

Monday, April 30, 2007

FluffyButts!!

This is the rescue group from which I adopted my sweet Toby. FluffyButts is having an online auction, so check out the goods and perhaps place a bid on an item or two - the funds raised help rescue doggies from evil puppy mills or unfortunate life situations (like Toby's) and provide the critters a safe, loving environment & any needed medical care.

Who doesn't love a FluffyButt?


Fluffy Butts auction site

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I watched PBS!!

Yes, this does qualify as blogworthy news. I haven't watched 90 consecutive minutes of PBS since my childhood. I am aware that this is sad. Of course, back then I only had 4 channels to choose from. Yes, I mostly enjoy the immature toilet humor, sports and crime shows, but sometimes I try to be intellekchoouhl.

Last night I committed 1 1/2 hours of my life to viewing Bill Moyers Journal. For those who didn't watch it, I highly recommend it. "Buying the War" asks: How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 go largely unreported?

"Four years after 'shock and awe,' the press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush administration to go to war on false pretenses," says Moyers in the documentary.
And he concludes: "The American number of troops killed in Iraq now exceeds the number of victims on 9/11. We have been fighting there longer than it took us to defeat the Nazis in World War II. The costs of the war are reckoned at one trillion dollars and counting."

It was very interesting and at times so upsetting that it made my tummy hurt. (Please do keep in mind that at one point I was shopping for new ring tones - I suspected that I was the only person on Earth who was simultaneously watching Bill Moyers Journal AND listening to the Verizon Wireless version of Air Supply's "All Out of Love".)

The show's regular time slot will be Friday evenings (Jon Stewart is the guest 4/27). I am not really good at describing things, so much like my review of the 2005 movie 'Roll Bounce'...just watch it!

-P

Naps: "Can I get a size 9 please? Now, ahora"
Bernard: "Hey, calm down 'fro magnum!"

-Roll Bounce, at the skate counter

PS: Is it possible this is the only blog entry on earth mentioning both Bill Moyers and a 1970s-esque roller-skate jam/competition coming-of-age comedy? Probably not.

Friday, April 20, 2007

HAPPY 45TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!!!


45 years ago today, my parents got married. 45 years! Wow, that's a long time. Go buy some sapphires. Congratulations to Ma'n'Pa!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Drinking for Charity

There are many reasons one drinks alcohol. It could be to relax, socialize, it mixes well with food, alter reality due to one's sorrows...and it can also be for charity!! In Iowa, I drank for the American Heart Association via John's Grocery's BeerFest. Here in California, I drank for a group of charities: Surfrider Foundation, Wounded Warriors and Friends of Scott via Stay Classy.

The site was Pacific Beach "PB" - the location for a lot of my twenty-something imbibing. I visit PB often now, but usually to exercise and eat at my favorite place: Taco Surf. {I can't believe I have not posted here about Taco Surf yet!!} It was a nice day to be around thousands of people wearing the same t-shirt (one's ticket in to the various bars taking part in the pub crawl) and a lot of money was raised, but a drunkard twentysomething I am no longer. Thank goodness!

What made the day memorable (besides seeing Pali in rare form) was the cover bands! First up was The Cured. They were pretty good, but I am not sure why the Robert Smith guy was wearing a hockey jersey (???). Then, Hollywood U2. They were fun as well and the alcohol had really kicked in for most by this point. Last, and certainly not least. The topper of the day. My new most-favorite cover band: the all-female AC/DC representin' ThundHERstruck!! They totally rocked! It was fun to watch guys look up at them in enthusiastic admiration. I really want to see them again. If they come to your city, please pay whatever they charge. My civic duty is done.
-P
*
Pam Beesley: "I don't think it would be the worst thing if they let me go. Because then I might..."
[pauses]
Pam Beesley: "Its just, I don't think it's many girls' dream to be a receptionist. "
-The Office

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Coastal California Trip!

Hooray!

I have always wanted to drive up the coast of California - and regretted that I did not do it the first time I lived in CA. One more life journey completed!!


My pal Ali ("Pali" as she loathes to be called) and I drove from San Diego and stayed our first night at her generous friends' lovely home in Tustin (aka, "The OC - we saw several plastic surgery failures out in the wild!).


We then drove to Santa Barbara and enjoyed the amazing scenery (mountains, ocean, boats/harbor and delicious food!). We asked the locals for info regarding Oprah's Oprah-sized mansion in nearby Montecito, but had no success finding it.


We then continued our drive up the coast - we did encounter some fog, but that's okay. As Southern Californians, you have embrace the "whatever" attitude.




We spent our next night in San Luis Obispo. We had an early wake up time to tour the Hearst Castle at San Simeon (if you ever get the chance to tour Hearst Castle....do it!!) The coastal fog that we hoped would burn off, did not but Baby Bing (our wheels) got us there safely. The tour bus took us up, up, up and we soon were above the fog that crept up just to the coast. Hearst Castle is incredible! We learned about the pretty amazing architect, Julia Morgan, who designed the "ranch" with WRH. What a woman! I'll post pictures from Hearst Castle later...don't sue me for copyright infringement, man!


After the fun tour, amazing views and purchased gift shop goodies, we continued north along the 101 and enjoyed what views Mother Nature would grant us. The picture below shows Ali's lack of vertigo-induced heebeejeebees that I experience:

We eventually arrived in Carmel, the town Clint Eastwood used mayorize. Carmel loves its canines! We had afternoon tea and treats, petted about 100 dogs and briefly checked out the beach (it kinda looked like what one might see in San Diego, so...) We continued on to Monterey and enjoyed the rather touristy (hey, that's what we were!) Cannery Row. Our next stop...San Francisco!! We were fairly sleep-deprived and road- warrior-dirty, but we soldiered on and ate delicious kobe beef sliders and fancy-pants carnitas tacos with the beautiful, stylish types in the city of Coopers and Prius(es?), while wearing hoodies. The next day we enjoyed a wonderful brunch of dim sum w/my pal Henry and Pali's kind-sleeper-sofa-generous friend Brian. Then it was time to return to San Diego, the route via 5 south was much less scenic, but it got the job done. $3.39 per gallon of gas be damned!!

One more amazing photo from a great trip!
-P





Ralphie: "I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!" Mrs. Parker: "No, you'll shoot your eye out. "- A Christmas Story


RIP, Robert Clark



Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cesar Chavez Day - March 31st

I had heard this name before, but knew very little about the man. So, I Google'd him. I figure, since I get a paid day off from my non-laborious work because of him (and will spend it doing something I have dreamed about for years - future blog entry tease!!) that I should learn something about Cesar Chavez.

Here is an informative blurb:

Senator Robert F. Kennedy noted, Cesar Chavez was "one of the heroic figures of our time." A true American hero, Cesar Chavez was a civil rights, Latino, farm worker, and labor leader; a religious and spiritual figure; a community servant and social entrepreneur; a crusader for nonviolent social change; and an environmentalist and consumer advocate.

For more than three decades Cesar led the first successful farm workers union in American history, achieving dignity, respect, fair wages, medical coverage, pension benefits, and humane living conditions, as well as countless other rights and protections for hundreds of thousands of farm workers. Against previously insurmountable odds, he led successful strikes and boycotts that resulted in the first industry-wide labor contracts in the history of American agriculture. His union's efforts brought about the passage of the groundbreaking 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act to protect farm workers. Today, it remains the only law in the nation that protects the farm workers' right to unionize.

A strong believer in the principles of nonviolence practiced by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar effectively employed peaceful tactics such as fasts, boycotts, strikes, and pilgrimages. In 1968 he fasted for 25 days to affirm his personal commitment and that of the farm labor movement to non-violence. He fasted again for 25 days in 1972, and in 1988, at the age of 61, he endured a 36-day "Fast for Life" to highlight the harmful impact of pesticides on farm workers and their children.

Cesar's life cannot be measured in material terms. He never earned more than $6,000 a year. He never owned a house. When Cesar passed, he had no savings to leave to his family.


-P
*
"If you think you have it tough, read history books."
- Bill Maher

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Excellent Causes

I am linking to some excellent causes near and dear to my heart. Feel free to check them out, support my peeps and maybe even make a tax-deductible donation:

Team Kenyon for the March of Dimes Walk America & link here: http://www.walkamerica.org/personal_page.asp?w=685947
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The National Multiple Sclerosis Walk
http://www.nationalmssociety.org/MS%20Walk.asp
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Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS - San Diego)
http://www.pawssdc.org/

PB Pub Crawl - Drinking for Charity!!
http://www.stayclassy.org/catalog/event_page.php?products_id=32


Thanks!
-P
*
"No one has ever become poor by giving." - Anne Frank




Monday, March 19, 2007

3/12 - Chicago Cubs v. San Francisco Giants


Yes, posting this one late. Believe me, I wish I could have posted it sooner.

Location: Scottsdale Stadium
Seat Location: Along 3rd base line, near left field (important for amusing sights #1 & 2)
Beer consumed: IPA (sadly, half of one beer was lost to the combination of gravity and my clutziness, but like those seated around me at the game, I’ll just blame it on the Dodgers)
Temperature: 92 freakin’ degrees
Amusing Sights & Sounds: A plethora! Keep reading!

Starting pitchers were Matt Morris (knocked out early due to the Cubs’ 6-run 1st inning!) and Carlos Zambrano. Amusing sights #1 & 2: Multi-million dollar cheater/player Barry Bonds ducking and missing not one, but two pop flies in the first inning. TWO. One after the other. He may earn in a few hours what I earn all year, but I was smug as smug can be. Darn that sunshine – perhaps a side effect of “The Cream” is that it weakens the rods’n’cones functionality?

Amusing overheard quote #1 - Giants fan returning to his seat “Did Barry catch anything while I was gone?”

Alfonso Soriano looked svelte in his #12 jersey and hi-knee sox. Derrek Lee! Jacque Jones! Cliff Floyd! I got to see the entire batting order in the top of the first inning. Batting 9th: CZ, Carlos Zambrano. Which brings me to amusing sight #3: CZ got a nice hit to the outfield and tried to stretch it for a triple. I suspect it was his built-up enthusiasm, desire to win and joy of sticking it to the competition, but after rounding second his feet could not keep up with his will and he stumbled – all 250 lbs of him. It was one of those stumbles that seems to last 20 seconds..he’s up in the air…he’s still up in the air, legs kicking at nothing…wait, he’s eventually going to rain down, much like my beer did later….uh oh, here comes the big guy….the #1 pitcher cannot land on his arms/hands/wrists….now this isn’t so funny! [Crash!] {Thud} So he finally landed, the earth seemingly shook and I swear he crawled in the dirt to third base while the Cubs fans screamed, the Giants fans hesitantly guffawed (keep in mind their team was sucking righteously)…and he made it! Glorious Carlos! Glorious!

Amusing sight #4: Funky Bold Molina: Bengie variety

Amusing overheard quote #2 – from male voice in row behind me: “I am going to Hell. I know. It’s called Tucson.”

Amusing sight #5: Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers
Amusing sight #6: Felix Pie on the mini-jumbo-tron (view obstructed..stoopid Scottsdale Stadium)

The Scottsdale Stadium was by far my least favorite of this Spring Training trip. One cannot view the game once you depart your seat. It isn't conducive to walking around, getting snacks or using the facilities. Fancy-pants jerks and their $5 programs.

So the trip was great and I can't wait until next year! (And the 2007 regular season...)

Hooray for baseball!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

3/11 Oakland Athletics v. Angels

Okay, so I left off the incredibly long geographically dilemma'd title for the Angels. I bought their program and I could not find "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" anywhere within its pages. Good idea. Those fans of teams with red attire sure like to wear it with pride.

Location: Angels Diablo Stadium - Tempe, Arizona
Temperature: 87 degrees (our seats were entirely in the shade - hallelujah!)
Food and beer consumed: Jumbo dog (true to title) and Fat Tire x 2
Amusing sight: This was actually what I did not see: fistfights, pipe-wielding thugs or arrests

The A's beat the Angels 7-6 with a late-game drive carried out by players with high double-digits on the backs of their uniforms. This was possibly due to the fact that the Angels pitcher also had a high number on his back. Either way, I do not care because I have my new favorite player name. His first name is J.J. and his 8th-inning double put the A's in the lead and saddened all the red-shirt-wearing Angels fans.

A's player to watch: #66 J.J. Furmaniak-"ak-ak-ak-ak-ak...you oughta know by now". Gutsy, scrappy, and with an excellent baseball name.

Angels player to watch: #35 Casey Kotchman - he provided a double and a homerun, but unfortunately wears the long pants so there is still some room for improvement. Hopefully Terry Evans will influence his knee soxability.

Other notable sights at the game: Mike Piazza!!! That's correct, he is in the American League now as a DH and still getting hits. It just takes him awhile to huff it to base. Vladimir Guerrero appears to be in very good form with an excellent hairstyle. I almost bought a "Vlad!" shirt, but ultimately opted not to do so. As a special note, I have encountered many groups of glorious female fans at the Spring Training games and the Angels get props for having a female VP of Finance - booyah!!

Later today...Cubs v. Giants!

-P

Sunday, March 11, 2007

3/10 Colorado Rockies v. San Diego Padres



Hooray for baseball!!

The Padres beat the Rockies 11-3, of course they had most of their "pro" squad and the Rockies? Perhaps not so much.

Location: Peoria Sports Complex
Temperature: 85 degrees
Food and beer consumed: "Loaded" bratwurst, garlic fries and Black Butte Porter
Amusing sight: Vendors walking the stands selling chocolate-covered strawberries

Padres players to watch:
Terrmell Sledge - SD fans already know this - but he hit a homerun with his bat and with his kick-ass name.
Paul McAnulty. Why? Well, he's short, stocky and wears the high knee sox. A guy behind me referred to him as fat, but that seems a bit harsh. I also got a good read on "The Bard".

Rockies player to watch:
Geronimo Gil (pronounced "Heronimo Heeel") he batted .192 in 2006, swings like a pitcher and provided the fans in Peoria many, many souvenir foul balls. He's a giver and shouldn't that be rewarded?

Notes: There was a large bachelor party from San Diego seated near us briefly. The groom-to-be had an inside source with the Padres organization and was able to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and get his name on the mini-jumbo-tron. (Uh, totally awesome!) His friends suggested that I meet a guy in their group who loves baseball, has a trust fund and drives a Hummer. Two out of three ain't bad?

-P

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

$370,000,000!!!!!

Here are some things I will do (besides donating money to charities & hooking up my parents with a sweet retirement SD condo) when I win the $370 million dollar MegaMillions jackpot:

1) Immediately attempt to schedule lunch with Warren Buffett in greasy-spoon diner in Omaha, NE
2) Purchase ocean-front/ocean-view home in San Diego
3) Purchase convertible Mini Cooper-S (color to be determined)
4) Pay off credit card debt with loose change found in my 20-person theatre room sectional sofa 3 weeks after moving in to #2
5) Um, schedule “Dinner for 5” with: Clive Owen, George Clooney, John Cusack, Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert –
whoops, make that “Dinner for 6”
6) Employ: personal chef, personal trainer, driver, pedicurist & massage therapist
7) Twice-weekly psychotherapy treatments to delay the inevitable time when I go nuts - which leads me to #8...
8) The Patrick Swayze Appreciation Room (motion-activated room that plays the song “She’s Like the Wind” and the movie “Roadhouse” – upon entering, it picks up where it left off). Photographs of scenes from Point Break, Next of Kin and The Outsiders (no Ghost memorabilia allowed)
9) Helper Monkey (M-F dressed like bellman, weekend wear at his own discretion)
10) Pet Suite
(for Toby, Tess, my future 3-legged dogs & six-toed cats)
11) Travel country seeing a baseball game in every stadium, fancy seats and photographs with each team’s mascot
12) Costco membership – ha!

13) Personal Duran Duran performance (Hellooooo Qwwad Sitteeezzz!!!)
14) Blogger assistant to post details & pictures to show everyone - who still has to work - how much fun I am having!!!


What would you do?
-P
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"Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars. "
- Warren Buffett

Monday, March 5, 2007

78 degrees outside!!!

...and five days until I am at Spring Training!!!

-P

"Gary, you didn't kill your brother. Those gorillas did. "
- Lisa, Team America: World Police

Monday, February 26, 2007

Her Name Was Lola...

Earlier this month my last grandparent passed away. She was my paternal grandmother. She lived her entire life in Centerville, Iowa. I remember visiting her often as a child and always being mesmerized with the groovy stuff she had around her house and her booming laugh. She was creator of many delicious pies.

I was unable to return to Iowa for her funeral, but asked my parents to provide me with some additional photos of her. I was thrilled to see the selection and the variety of shots -especially the ones from her younger, less-Grandma-y days. For example...

I was very fortunate to have both grandmothers live to be 91. I hope that means I come from hearty lineage!

-P

"Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting." ~Author Unknown

"There's some drizzle in your future, maybe rain"

This is a headline in the San Diego Union-Tribune this morning. For real.

This past weekend as my visiting-from-Iowa parents & I enjoyed the 60+ degree sunny weather along the beach, it was raining ice, snowing and pretty much nasty back in the Midwest. Living in & visiting Southern California, one can easily assimilate to the pleasant weather very quickly: my dad, who normally watches weather news on television said "I haven't even checked The Weather Channel today." The weather here is hypnotizing, addictive and why San Diegans pay what we do to live here.

-P

"I'm Ron Burgundy. You stay classy, San Diego."
"I'm Ron Burgundy. Go f*ck yourselves, San Diego."
- Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in 'Anchorman'

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What is that sound?

It is the sound of footsteps!

Probably not cleats. It could be sneakers or sandals. Maybe a nice pair of Berluti's or John Lobb's? Regardless of the footwear selections, it is the sound of pitchers and catchers reporting for the 2007 MLB Spring Training!!!

I am planning my travels to Arizona for some Cactus League action. In a few weeks I will be sitting in a small ballpark, drinking a nice brew, eating a hot dog and watching (hopefully) starting players who are so close I can see them conversing about which hot brods in the stands they would pull a
"You're with me, leather".

Hooray for Baseball!!
-P
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"Uh, kid, uh, don't tell anyone we are back here, please??"

- Mel Hall/Lee Smith (Chicago Cubs) circa 1983/1984 at Sec Taylor Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. I was a kid and wandered behind a divider at an open, free autograph signing event. They were wearing two of the largest pinstriped suits I had ever seen and even though I was young, I totally knew their beverages were liquor and weren't supposed to be. I didn't tell anyone, but I did get both of their baseball cards autographed that day - fo sho!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

DDBs

Dating Deal Breakers

If you do not know what this term means, it is quite possibly due to the fact that you have not been single recently. Single for the last 36 years, I am very familiar with and knowledgeable of this phrase. Dating can be fun. Dating can be frustrating. Some even purport dating to be like warfare. Not dating at all totally sucks.

In business-speak, here is the definition of a deal-breaker (DB): Significant point that could terminate the negotiation.

Dating really is a negotiation isn’t it? Besides being a fancied up interview, w/food and drinks, dating is all about checking each other out. Assessing one’s DBs. What are we willing to put up with? The first round is usually the physical DBs (a guy 6 inches shorter than me). Next are the socio-economic DBs (lives with parents or has no friends). Then come the political DBs (views Tom DeLay favorably) and don’t get me started on all the various religion DBs. These are the easy ones to figure out, right outta the gate. Once the low-hanging potential DBs are successfully passed, one must investigate deeper to get to those flashing yellows/reds. If you do not know what these terms mean, it is quite possibly due to the fact that you have not been single recently. I certainly do not hold this against you, but I do ask that you read on.

For example, I recently had a date with a guy. (Note: I tried several different adjectives before “guy”, but ultimately went with none, which probably tells you that there will be no second date.) He was fine, polite, handsome, employed. He didn’t yawn, chew gum, exhibit poor grooming skills or smoke. There were positives yet there were negatives. Obviously, the negatives won out. And from his viewpoint, I know he felt the same way about me. And this is OK. I don’t know how many times I have stopped and asked myself this question: “Wait a minute, do I really care that (random guy) hasn’t called back?” (Are you curious about the negatives? In random order: told me how much money he makes, enjoys NASCAR, prefers expensive inanimate objects over pets, talked about his job 70% of the time we were together.)

First dates are a funny thing. There can be so much anticipation, excitement, and nervousness that I hear potential-DBs, semi-digest them and tell myself, “eh, I could put up with that”. But really, when I get home or at least out into the beautiful sunshine and really contemplate it, I resolve: “life is too short to put up with that b*llsh*t.”

So, I press on. Chin up. Lip balm in my cute purse. Stylish shoes on my feet.

Dating and pursuing relationships has changed immensely over the years that I have been an active participant. At first it was walking the hallways in high school, timing a stop at my locker just when I knew the handsome-senior-who-always-ignores-me will pass on his way from smoking at the QT to algebra class. [How many DBs did you spot in that sentence?? See, if you spotted 3 then you are learning something!]

Then there was college: we were technically adults and everyone was seemingly single, free of baggage, encumbrances and responsibilities. Oh, the salad days.

Finding myself in 2007, in my mid-30s and in a relatively large city; the playing field is completely different: people have weathered starter marriages, lived out in the real world and some have even procreated. The baggage, encumbrances and responsibilities are oh-so plentiful and oh-so teemed with potential DBs. Granted, these can now be acknowledged and 86d within a speed date or with a click of the mouse. Technology. I soldier on. If you do not know what some of these terms mean, it is quite possibly due to the fact that you have not been single recently. I will try to not hold this against you, you lucky happily-paired up b*st*rds.
-P
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“Life is short -- until you marry the wrong man and then it gets pretty goddamned long!!” - Madeline in “What Planet Are You From?”

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tess Haiku


Shy nervous feline



Chocolate caramel blend




Dislike of flashbulb


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"In order to maintain an untenable position, you have to be actively ignorant, ... One motto on the show is, 'Keep your facts, I'm going with the truth.'”
- Dr. Stephen T. Colbert D.F.A. of The Colbert Report

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"Is That a Dog???"


Yes, I was asked this question over the weekend. Please be aware that I was at Dog Beach in OB surrounded by many other dogs with my creature on a leash. This question was neither surprising nor insulting in the least bit. In fact, it has been asked before in various forms.


Toby provides me a lot of humor, fun and companionship. He also attracts people like you would not believe. "What breed is that?" "That puppy is going to be big!" "He looks like a little bear!"


In the picture: the little dog with the ball in its mouth, just entering the photo, cracked me up. Action-wise, he was the opposite of Toby's slow, plodding movements; sniffing the washed up seaweed, leaving paw prints in the sand. This post is for T-Bone's fans.

-P


"There's someone out there for everyone - even if you need a pickaxe, a compass, and night goggles to find them." - Harris K. Telemacher in LA Story

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kickin' It In The Chillout Tent


Actually, it was a cabana, but who cares?
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I was thrilled to have my first visitor to San Diego! My pal Katy, who has been here before, made the most of the partly-cloudy-one-day, sub-50-degree-evening weather and the Chargers loss to the Patriots. I was able to see more areas of San Diego (restaurants, bars, etc.) and had a really good time. Toby enjoyed the extra attention, of course. Viva La Lei Lounge!
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-P

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"It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend, one's present or future thirst, the excellence of the wine, or any other reason."

-Latin Proverb quote

Monday, January 8, 2007

Happy New Year!

I rang in 2007 at a James Bond/Casino Royale-themed dress up party that was quite fun. I enjoyed booze, snacks, gambling with play money and Dr. No on the big screen outside. It was all very dangerous, sexy and full of intrigue.


I was also fortunate to be offered a chance to go on a real sailboat - not just the kind in the kiddie section at the amusement park. The boat was in search of whales and dolphins about 4 miles from shore and when we found neither, that was just fine. Being on the water rules! That Christopher Cross wasn't so full of sh*t after all...
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-P
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Carrie: "Think about it. If you are single, after graduation there isn't one occasion where people celebrate you ... Hallmark doesn't make a "congratulations, you didn't marry the wrong guy" card. And where's the flatware for going on vacation alone? "
- Sex and The City