Monday, December 22, 2008

My Trip to Best Friends - Part Three

The second full day of volunteering started with a Puppy Socialization class (!!) Best Friends was having problems with many new puppy adopters returning the dogs due to behavioral issues. They have implemented puppy socialization for 30 minutes each day. We were lucky enough to be in on the first day for this group of littermates found dumped in the desert. (To contrast that unhappy start, they were all given Beach names - mine was Virginia and Bonnie's was Vero). We spent our time in a bleached outdoor pen holding the puppies on their backs, teaching them to sit (simple to do when their nose follows the treat and their tushies end up on the ground) and even walking with them on a leash. It was amazing what quick learners we all were. The trainer told us that since they have added this program that zero puppies have been returned!

We then headed to Old Friends, my favorite spot. Things run a bit mellower at Old Friends where some dogs aren't necessarily advanced in age, but they need a slower pace and calmer roommates. I spent some time with Lake, a dog who had recently lost her vision. Of course, a special place in my heart is reserved for the blind (& fabulous!) dogs. Another fun girl was Stella. Or as I like to call her name "Stellllluhhhhh!!" She was a big pile of sweetness and fur.
I spent the afternoon volunteering with the kitties and realized once I was inside that I had left my camera in the car. I instantly had 3-5 cats sitting in my lap, rubbing up against me and meowing for attention. The cats are hooked up here: they have indoor-outdoor housing, zero cages, very clean litter boxes, many toys and cubbies and chairs with cushions to sleep on. It was so warm and toasty inside I almost took a nap.

I shall add some photos of other sweet dogs I met:

Me chatting with Tiki on the trail


Friday, December 19, 2008

My Trip to Best Friends - Part Two

Day 2: Before volunteering, we watched a brief safety video which was actually very informative about how to properly enter and unlatch various dog areas. It starred John Garcia, from the Dogtown show. We were in a conference room but unlike any work-related conference room I've ever been in: it had multiple dogs roaming in and out. One I especially liked was a grey, nearly-earless pitbull who was one of the staff member's dog. Before being resuced and spayed, the dog had probably birthed 70+ puppies. She was a sweetheart and a great example of a breed that often gets a bad rap. (I wish I had had my camera with me!)

The first full day of volunteering at Best Friends was met with cold, gray skies. We chose to stay inside and clean dog runs - as opposed to walking dogs in the windy mid-30 degree weather. Uh, I didn't take any photos of me sweeping, mopping or refilling water buckets. I met some friendly - yet very messy dogs, the red sand/dirt which is everywhere doesn't help keep fresly cleaned cement floors clear. Each dog run (indoor and outdoor space with raised beds, fleece blankets and toys) is well thought out: dogs are housed only with dogs of similar or agreeable temperament.

Lunch is available at Angels Village. It is always 100% vegetarian and 200% super yummy. There are amazing views from the open dining area and the open seating is a great way to meet fellow volunteers and staff. I saw Dr. Patti from the Dogtown show. They are like celebrities!

The afternoon was spent walking dogs from a different neighborhood than the one we cleaned - the dogs are not all kept one area, but spread out over the many acres of land, which must help keep the barking noise to a minimum. We got rained on a bit, but nothing too drastic. We picked out our second sleepover dog: Purdy. She is a 12year old girl and each time we told a staff member (whether they were near her living area or not) their faces wouldn't brighten and say how glad they were thatPurdy was getting a sleepover. She was a sweet, mellow (and a bit gassy) girl.

Happy Ending: I just found out that Karina, our first night sleepover dog was adopted and has moved to Colorado with her forever family!! Hooray!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Trip to Best Friends - Part One

I am already assuming my trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary will require multiple entries due to the amount of photos, the variety of things I did and my poor memory.

I first heard about Best Friends in the mid 1990's. I was living in San Diego and started sending donations. I loved the literature I received from BFAS in the mail. The letters weren't filled with photos of near-dead animals attempting to guilt you into sending money. The communications focused on the positive side of being kind to animals and what good can come from that. They do not ignore the sometimes horrible mistreatment, neglect and abuse of animals, it just isn't the main focus of their story. Hooray!

I visited Best Friends in 2003 with my Mom and Aunt. We had a great visit and I vowed to return. Return I did with my friend Bonnie (and as a birthday present to myself). Best Friends has become well known lately thanks in part to the National Geographic show 'Dogtown' I highly recommend checking out this show.

This post will focus on Day 1. I flew into Las Vegas, met up with Bonnie at the airport, got our rental car and drove to Kanab, Utah, about 4 hours away. It is quite the contrast leaving bright, loud, brash Las Vegas and arriving in serene, beautiful, slow-moving Kanab. We checked into our cottage on the property and signed up for our sleepover dog. The sleepover dog program is a win-win situation: visitors get to keep a furry friend overnight and the dogs get to remember or learn what it is like to live in a home environment.

Since we got there late in the afternoon there wasn't time for volunteering, so we were assigned Karina and took her back home. She walked right into the cottage, jumped up on the bed closest to the door and made herself comfortable. We instantly sensed she had done this before! Karina is a very sweet girl (even if a bit gassy at times...lordy!!) She was actually featured on one of the Dogtown episodes, linked here. When we returned her to her run the next morning she turned into a bit of a spaz and acted like a crazy girl when returned to her 'pack'.

Karina, sleepover dog #1

Here are some scenic photos and few of the wonderful dogs I met.

shy Fallon

Rottie in his awesome coat



Thursday, December 4, 2008

9th Anniversary of My 29th Birthday!

My 38th Birthday - that number gives the impression like I am supposed to be an adult or something. Whatever.

I celebrated my pre-birthday at Stone Brewery in Escondido last weekend. I took the brewery tour with some friends and consumed many delicious deceptively-small glasses of the 11th Anniversary Ale. And the Mac'n'Cheese which is not your Kraft dinner macaroni & cheese. A lovely time.

I celebrated my actual birthday by going to work, eating Bronx Pizza, chocolate cake and then hitting the "K9s & Wine" happy hour at an establishment tucked in between the towering downtown hotels. It is a dog-friendly gathering on the patio and we snagged a great table with a mini fire pit to keep us warm: it was in the high 50s outside! The humanity!

The setting was great and the interaction with friends' and strangers' dogs is always entertaining. Toby stayed on my lap most of the time while his pals roamed about: Luna the mix-breed silver-wolfy girl, Dottie the docile Boxer, Olivia the sassy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and last but not least, Lafitte, the handsome debonair French Bulldog.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and I look forward to my upcoming trip: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in southern Utah & a spa day in Las Vegas!! My birthday present to myself!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My MLB Stadiums

It took me two years to update this blog post, but here are the results. Many a hot dog and beer were consumed during the diligent work for this ongoing project.

Arizona Diamondbacks – Chase Field – 2003
Atlanta Braves – Turner Field – September 2008
Baltimore Orioles – Camden Yards – NOT YET
Boston Red Sox – Fenway Park – August 2007
Chicago Cubs – Wrigley Field – most recent, September 2006
Chicago White Sox – US Cellular Field – 2006
Cincinnati Reds – Great American Ball Park - NOT YET
Cleveland Indians – Jacobs Field – April 2008
Colorado Rockies – Coors Field – NOT YET
Detroit Tigers – Comerica Park – NOT YET
Florida Marlins – Dolphin Stadium – NOT YET
Houston Astros – Minute Maid Park – NOT YET
Kansas City Royals – Kauffman Stadium – 2004
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Angel Stadium – NOT YET..HOW EMBARRASSING!!
Los Angeles Dodgers – Dodger Stadium – October 2008
Milwaukee Brewers – Miller Park – 2005
Minnesota Twins – Metrodome – 2004
New York Mets – Shea Stadium – 2003*
New York Yankees – Yankee Stadium – 2003*
Oakland Athletics – McAfee Coliseum – 2005
Philadelphia Phillies – Citizens Bank Park – 2005
Pittsburgh Pirates – PNC Park – NOT YET
San Diego Padres – Petco Park – most recent September 2006
San Francisco Giants – AT&T Park – 2005
St. Louis Cardinals – (New) Busch Stadium – NOT YET
Seattle Mariners – Safeco Field – NOT YET
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – Tropicana Field – NOT YET
Texas Rangers – Ameriquest Field – NOT YET
Toronto Blue Jays – Rogers Centre – August 2006
Washington Nationals – RFK Stadium – NOT YET

*Will need to visit NYC again for the new stadiums!!

For 2009, I am looking at you Anaheim, Seattle and maybe Colorado!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Era of Darkness

Congratulations Phillies
How many days until Spring Training????

Monday, October 6, 2008

Well, That Sucked or Check Dodger Stadium Off the List! or My First Post-Season Game! or My New Cubs-Loving Pals!

Hmmm, please feel free to choose your preferred title for this blog entry regarding my trip to see Game 3 of the NLDS Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. It may be best to separate it into parts.

Well, That Sucked
Um, The Chicago Cubs' post-season. 'Nuff said.

Check Dodger Stadium Off the List!
Usually, I am thrilled to report the activities and fun I experience at new stadiums, and will try to focus on the positive (meaning, I'll leave out the multiple verbal assaults from Dodgers "fans"/hoodlums/sore winners and the fact that the seats were not filled until the 3rd inning - not kidding on this one folks - it isn't an urban legend!)

I got there pretty early and enjoyed some food, the pre-game stuff and the introduction of each team. I didn't end up walking around as much as I usually do, I had an awesome seat/view and just enjoyed it. I sat next to an old-timer season ticket holder who was a kind, polite baseball fan - such a relief. I purchased my ticket for face value before the Cubs clinched their division, so on the plus side I didn't pay $150-200+ like some people did. Celebrities spotted: Tommy Lasorda, Vince Vaughn, Jim Belushi, fugly Steve Perry, but no Alyssa Milano.

My First Post-Season Game!

In my history of being a baseball fan I have never been able to see in-person a post-season game, so in that sense, the game was very exciting. I just wish the 97-game winning Cubs had shown up to play it!!

My New Cubs-Loving Pals!
Ever heard of It is a way to meet people online, then in person, in your city, who have similar interests: for example "Cubs Fans in San Diego" or "Nerdlinger Pomeranian People". Well, I got in touch with several Cubs fans from this site and 5 of us ended up carpooling from SD to LA. We enjoyed talking about baseball and the Cubs, saving money on transportation and then consoling each other on the

We got into LA several hours early and met up with more Meet Up people in a dark dive bar within walking distance to the stadium, The Short Stop. I happily report on the delicious Guinness ($4/ LA!!) Many of the Dodgers fans there were normal, well-behaved baseball fans - and at one point the place was half full of Cubs fans! We made even more friends and enjoyed the pre-game revelry full of hope. After the game though - since the car was parked nearby - our group did not dare enter as we all agreed we enjoy having our aortas intact.

All in all, it was a great experience, just with a crappy, crappy box score. CRAPPY, I tell you!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Check Atlanta off the List

Last week I spent 4 days in Atlanta and traveled virtually free of charge. I flew on frequent flier miles and stayed in my friend's hotel room while she toiled away in an over-air-conditioned windowless conference room hawking her educational television goods.

I was happy to explore the city on my own. I had been once when I was 7 or 8 on family trip, but that barely counts. I was able to choose what I wanted to do and when I wanted to do it - just the way I like to travel. My first day I ate one of the most delicious breakfasts ever at The Flying Biscuit, then ventured to the Center for Puppetry Arts, which I highly recommend if you are ever in Atlanta. It will soon have an entire wing dedicated to Jim Henson, his Muppets and all the other creative beings he imagined and made come to life. (Props to Statler & Waldorf!)

I also experienced the World of Coca-Cola with my friend (who opted to try every single offering & didn't vomit) which included the opportunity to taste Coca-Cola beverages from Asia, Europe and South America. We also experienced our first 4-D film in which we were lurched about in our seats, sprayed with water and finally poked in the back. Fortunately, I got all the Diet Coke (mixed with Vanilla Coke) I wanted after such rough housing. (Also no vomiting)

Another day I was able to swim in the hotel pool without having to share it and check out the Georgia Aquarium. It didn't smell fishy - hooray! I got to see cool beluga whales, many funky colored fish and these crazy dancing eel thingies. Oh, and I got to pet a sting ray (but not the piranha). We later enjoyed an authentic Southern meal at Colonnade (i.e. fried chicken, mashed potatoes/gravy and biscuits). I'd provide a link to their website, but they are so down home that they don't have one - or take them new-fangled credit cards. (Uh, sadly, almost vomited - see entry about GI issues during trip to New Orleans...)

The real motivator for my trip to Atlanta was being able to attend a ballgame at Turner Field, home of my childhood hero, Dale Murphy! I am getting closer in my quest to see a game in every MLB stadium and now I can check the Braves' home off my list. I was able to score a great seat for cheap, enjoy dollar hot dog night and have my photo taken with the less-than-stellar mascot, Homer. All in all, a success.

Peaches consumed = zero.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Day I Have Been Waiting For!!!

Some girls await the day they get that shiny new sports car with a big bow on top, many girls eagerly anticipate the day they get married, while other girls look forward to their parole date. A day I have been waiting for finally arrived: I GOT MY PICTURE TAKEN WITH THE SAN DIEGO FRIAR MASCOT!!!

True, this specific brother may not have been called to a life of poverty (the Stone IPA I was about to purchase when I spotted him cost 9 bones) but he was called to community service: entertaining me! (And probably some kids who were in the nearby play area, but I wasn't paying any attention to them.)

My love of mascots has a long history: sure there was the rather weak Fredbird in St. Louis, the much more impressive Mr. Met in New York, and the Milwaukee Sausage Race Crew but this tonsured dude was a long-awaited goal. Goal reached!!

But wait, there is still another mascot with which I dream to be photographed: The Philly Phanatic.

Thank goodness the Cubs are so fun they don't need a cartoonish mascot to create enthusiasm for the team -- unless you count Ron Santo.
Hooray for baseball!! (And my pal Melany for having a camera with her)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Something Sweet

I got to meet Matthew Sweet.
I got to meet Matthew Sweet.
His show certainly did rock.
It was not a pile of schlock.
A Monday night outing was a superb treat.
I got to meet Matthew Sweet.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Pa!!

Today my dad turns 75. SEVENTY-FIVE!! Congratulations and enjoy your day, Pa! And get back here to pose with more of my pints of Guinness at South Beach Bar & Grill!!!


(PS: Your gift will arrive, uh, "late".)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I finally returned to the land of my youth (& early 30s) and had a lovely visit. During my 6 full days in Iowa I was able to attain and surpass many of the goals I had set for the "vacation" in Iowa:

-Spend time with family & friends
-Enjoy state-mandated smoke-free restaurants and bars
-Enjoy illegal fireworks displays while drinking beer and holding infant...
-Meet & hog 3 month old Peyton (and view growth of them other two Kirby offspring)
-Meet & cuddle the adorable Persian Calico, Gertie
-Meet, smusch & hog 6 month old Daniel (and enjoy the magical effect of bubbles on toddlers)
-Eat: sweet potato fries, "Moroccan Eggs", delicious AE dips and multiple birthday cake slices
-Take my nieces out for breakfast (no car seats needed anymore, they grow so fast)
-Experience a torrential-to-the-quickly-reassimilated-San-Diegan-thunderstorm
-View some flood damage
-Shop til I did indeed drop at the Williamsburg outlets: The Gap, Calvin Klein and even The Dress Barn (damn you, Banana Republic! Oh wait...I LOVE YOU Banana Republic!!)
-Realize how different a perspective one can have from the childhood years to the adult years (e.g. my former bedroom, my former closet, my mom doing my laundry and making me a grilled cheese sandwich!)
-The fun of searching through my parents' basement for a few pieces of nostalgia, and finding a childhood favorite: CHUBBY CUB!!


Monday, June 16, 2008

My Own Private Flood "Waaahhhh!!!"

Let me just state the obvious: things could have been MUCH worse. I am aware of that. I am also aware that many people in the Midwest (and my native Iowa) are going through much more stressful, harrowing, life-altering experiences than I am. But since this is my blog, I get to whine about my flood'o'sewage in my bedroom/bathroom last Wednesday.

Rumor has it I may get to go home tonight. It seems so long ago that I walked into my rustic cottage, became curious about the awful non-Bath-&-Body-Works-scent and stepped in raw sewage. Hooray!
"Now leave me alone and get lost!!!"
Oscar the Grouch

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bob Brenly Haiku

Ex Giants Catcher
World Series Ring Manager
Broadcaster, Go Cubs!

One of the docs I work with has partial season tickets and he couldn't use them last night. He and I have had many baseball conversations and he gave me tickets for the seats he and his wife usually occupy - awesome! I won't ramble on about the game too much or our seats behind home plate (behind...and up about 150+ feet) our seats were in one single row with nothing but a brick wall behind us and the only thing in front of us is a 10-inch tall clear plexiglass "divider". Yes, a divider dividing me from a sure-bet vertigo-inducing deathfall, but free great-view seats nonetheless! Woo! Hoo!

After the game I was walking out with my friend (who just bought a Padres hat and was wearing it) when I spied Bob Brenly signing a couple autographs. I pulled out my BlackBerry and had my friend snap this picture. BB was a good sport when my silly friend said "Who is he???" I look a wee bit excited, don't I? Well, I had consumed two delicious Stone IPA's and a glorious chili'n'cheese hot dog in addition to the Cubs' win - a great night!!!

*June 3, 2008 - Post Cubs v. Padres game (9-6 Cubs win) Go Cubs indeed!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Me getting free tickets to tonight's Cubs v. Padres game definitely comes in second to this story: Kid Can Do It All On One Leg.

Go Adam!
Go Cubs!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


One of my favorite baseball players, Mike Piazza, announced his retirement today. I remember the day in the mid-90s when I was driving north to the Los Angeles area and had Howard Stern on my radio. The interview was already underway and I could tell he was grilling a professional athlete about women, parties and groupies. Oh, and then about baseball and business. I eventually figured out Mike Piazza was the guest and he was an excellent sport and pretty funny to listen to - after that I found him an interesting character.

He'll for sure go in to the Hall of Fame someday for his offensive numbers as a catcher, but also I hope he has a career in the near future as a color-man in broadcasting. Sans moustache or not.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I got my $600! I got my $600!

Yes, the day has finally arrived - and what a glorious day it is! Thank you United States Department of the Treasury!!

Here are some current possible ways to spend my "free money":

Write check to The Democratic Party
Place cash under my mattress
Gamble at local casino
Spend on lottery tickets
Wait for Escalades to pull into local gas station, offer to pay for premium fill-up
Tap dancing lessons
600 trips to Wendy's for $1 menu
Pay toward credit card debt
Purchase plane ticket to Iowa for 4th of July holiday
Professional bleaching of non-white teeth
8 Pedicures plus gratuity

Happy May 15th!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Um, Check Cleveland Off the List...?

I visited Cleveland last week, JEALOUS???

What originated as a training conference for work, morphed into an extended weekend including delicious pierogies, Yankees/Indians baseball, various pronounciations of "Carnegie" and viewing Mick Jagger's tiny pants at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. My pal Katy joined me and, to quote her, we "squeezed what fun we could" out of Cleveland.

Cleveland Rocks! Yes, for some. No Floydster sightings, though.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Check New Orleans Off the List!

I can finally check New Orleans off the list of cities I want to visit. I traveled there last weekend for the annual French Quarter Festival. I got the opportunity to join a large group heading to the Crescent City and hopped aboard the madness. I had a great time, ate a lot of delicious food, enjoyed some wonderful weather & the Southern hospitality and friendliness. Here is a sampling of things I did, ate, saw & of course DRANK:

enjoyed many local bands on multiple stages throughout the French Quarter
ate powdered sugar (with some beignets attached)
viewed a guy wearing leather/thonged/assless chaps
drank a 'Sex on the Levee' (okay, two)
took a ferry across the Mississippi river to Algiers
ate shrimp bisque & seafood gumbo
ate sweet potato mash and okra
ate an Arby's Beef & Cheddar (I couldn't help it!!)
drank the local Abita brew
drank several vodka gimlets
drank those vodka gimlets TO GO, on the streets of New Orleans (!!!)
loved the beautiful balconies & hanging plants in the fabulous neighborhoods
experienced "Louisiana Tummy" & "Louisiana Hair"
watched 'Dog Whisperer' marathon during above-referenced GI situation
learned some New Orleans history, before & after Hurricane Katrina
rode the streetcar while only moderately tipsy
grabbed beads hanging from the trees (left over from Mardi Gras)
rejoiced that I wasn't flying American Airlines
ate the best red beans & rice
ate andouille sausage
saw huge horses with police officers riding them
did not comsume one drop of alcohol on Bourbon Street
forgot which day it was - several times
and much, much more!

If you haven't been lucky enough to visit New Orleans already, add it to your list!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Results Are In...

...yes, the DNA results for Toby's breed mix are back from the lab. And with a resounding THUD I inform you all that Toby is SIGNIFICANTLY POMERANIAN. And that's it. No trace amounts of Newfoundland, Keeshond or Poodle. Just Pomeranian, which I already knew. My vet said that whatever his ancestors were, his family's breeding included so many Pomeranians that no other breed's significance showed up in the results. No Chow Chow, no Schipperke, no Great Dane.

The "breed standard" for Poms is 3-7 pounds. Anyone who has seen (or held!) T-Bone knows he is, uh, larger than that. He's like a Pom on steroids. So, the build up led to a bit of a let down and the mystery will continue in which breeds many generations back made Toby what he is today. He's still my fun, goofy, smart, sometimes-stubborn sweet boy and that is what matters.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

MLB Opening Day 2008!

I woke up Monday morning like I do every other MLB Opening Day. Except yesterday ended quite differently than usual - when my head touched my pillow it would be with a smile on my face, happy knowing I finally attended an Opening Day game! A non-seat ticket to the Houston Astros v. San Diego Padres game became mine during the day by luck/chance/happenstance and I was ecstatic. Petco Park has a grassy hillside with a huge screen to watch the game on beyond the outfield walls. I could walk around the park like everyone else - and spend money - I just didn't have a formal seat - but I did receive a free, stylish promotional baseball cap.

Jake Peavy was nearly a one-man Astros-defeating machine! He pitched seven fabulous, shut-out innings AND had two RBI thanks to TWO hits! He was pitching against his friend and "huntin'" buddy, Roy Oswalt who had never lost at Petco Park...until last night!

Food consumed: big pretzel with spicy nacho cheese
Beer consumed: None - don't be concerned, I was too chilly for beer. I'll make up for that in a few weeks when I scratch The Jake/Progressive Field off my list of MLB stadiums to visit!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Doggie DNA

“Step right up and win a prize”, shouts the carnival worker. “Fool the guesser! If I can’t guess your weight within 2 pounds, your age within two years or the month of your birth within 2 months, you win a prize!”

Well, this isn't quite the same thing but I am offering some fun and the prize can be to gloat all you want. The question in need of an answer for the last 3+ years: What Breed Is Toby?

Feel free to post your guesses here. Pomeranian? Chow Chow? Schipperke? Great Dane? Who knows? Well, in a few weeks I will know thanks to The Wisdom Panel mixed breed analysis. It doesn't come cheap but dammit this girl wants to know. I get asked, on average 3 times per week what breeds make up my little, fluffy baby teddy bear and soon I will be able to provide a definitive answer. Please, comment with your own thoughts/guesses on the subject!

For photos of Toby, check out his Dogster page!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Arizona Spring Training Road Trip 2008!

I am happy to say it is that time of year again: when the days are longer, warmer and soon-to-be full of baseball! I traveled again to the lovely town of Scottsdale, Arizona, and stayed with my wonderful pal Bonnie to enjoy two Spring Training games, our dogs and beer.
First game: Saturday, March 8th at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. The Cubs beat the Diamondbacks 4-1 and I got to see all of the Cubs' starting position players throughout most of the game. This was my first time viewing their new right fielder from Japan: Kosuke Fukudome. I scribbled my attempts to spell his name phonetically in my program: "Foo Kah D'oh May" & Fook Uh Dome A". I really hope he has a productive year, otherwise...
One fun distraction from the game was Bonnie's CCI dog, Payton, who she will raise from age 8 weeks to approximately 18 months. Payton could attend the games with us because she is an in-training assistance dog. She was super sweet and slept through the one half inning that had any offensive excitement.
Concessions consumed: Super Dog, Nachos & bottled water (do not be alarmed! I had to save up my beer drinking for the charity brewfest later that afternoon near ASU's campus - adorable picture attached)
Game #2 - Seattle Mariners v. Milwaukee Brewers in Maryvale. Nice park, sunny skies, Brewers won. Now on to the rest of the details! We first consumed delicious fried chicken & waffles & red velvet cake from Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles, then enjoyed our kick-ass seats eight rows behind home plate, and then 7th inning stretch Sausage Race (the mascots even hung out and I got my picture taken with them!) Later that day we checked out the 50,000 square foot Whole Foods store - oh, the temptation.
To help burn off some of the calories consumed during my fabulous weekend road trip, I took a solo hike at Pinnacle Peak Park and that was a challenging Monday morning! Toby traveled with me on this journey and was a well-behaved, yet non-functioning navigator. I highly recommend the audio books I listened to on the drive: Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis & Oh, The Things I Know! A Guide to Success, or Failing That, Happiness by Al Franken. I purchased several Spring Training commemorative items including t-shirts, colorful magnets and the winner of the Sausage Race: The Chorizo!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fire Station Birthday Party!!

On a recent, warm Sunday afternoon I attended the birthday party of a very clever girl: at a charity auction she was the high bidder for the following prize: a birthday party at a fire station. Apparently this endeavor is usually geared toward children. Hey - what about the 3-digit-weighted 'kids' with investment portfolios and rent to worry about? Why can't we have some good, silly fun too?

Well, fun we did have: delicious adult-palate-friendly catered items such as bruschetta, shrimp cocktail and scrumptious desserts. Then the fire station fun started: several of us got to gear up and wear the big, firefighter boots, the big, firefighter pants and the big, firefighter coats. The professionals have mere seconds to get all of this on, it took me about 4 minutes (I had a lot of suspender issues). We posed for fun photos, sprayed various size hoses, witnessed The Jaws of Life and even went for an engine ride with sirens whirring! Hey, why don't more fire stations offer this as a fundraiser? Chicks dig it.
Granted, the professionals were ready to leave at any moment should a call come in, but fortunately that was not necessary. Many of those in attendance enjoyed fulfilling some long-awaited dreams of checking out a fire station with actual firefighters. And a memorable birthday party was had by all!

"Libertarian Reluctantly Calls Fire Department"
Headline from The Onion

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I Voted! (Make Every Tuesday a Super Tuesday!)

So states the sticker I shall proudly wear today. Or until it shrivels and falls off after being whacked by my hair one too many times.

I voted in the primary! I have voted before but never:

1) At someone's house in a residential area
2) In a garage
3) With an ocean view (!!!)

This was not my first time voting in California and this was not my first time voting for a candidate with a certain last name. Did I rock that vote? I think I did!