Sunday, April 29, 2007

Again (Janet Jackson)

Once again, some of us groovy franken friends got together for a health conscious potluck at Trina & David's house. We brought a WW caesar salad & asparagus, Kim brought a yummy nacho appetizer of baked blue corn tortilla chips & lowfat cheese, beaners & tomatoes. Kat brought a whole wheat pasta salad. David & Katt brought a shrimp salad (not sure how this one was as I didn't have any. Shrimps = grody). The Warkinator showed us his mad BBQ skills on the grill with the ribs & steaks. Yumm-O! Last, but certainly not least, Trina made a delicious dessert using some No Pudge brownies, chocolate pudding, cool whip, strawberries & bananas. MMMMMMM....

I'm looking forward to the next potluck. I like to eat.

I went to Vancouver, BC for a Stampin' Up regional conference Thursday night & came home Friday evening. I wasn't sure what to expect at the border. Going in to Canada, it wasn't all that bad. The gal grilled us as to why we were there, but the wait itself was nothing. Coming home was another story. We left the Convention Center at 5:30 & it took 2 hours to get to the border from the Gastown region. Much of that was driving through the rush hour traffic & the other part of it was the line to get back into The States.

The conference itself was pretty okay. I was really super excited to be there in the morning & then after lunch, I just wanted to go home. I was tired (I had very little sleep the night before) & was just having troubles staying alert. I did get some great ideas & samples of projects. And let's not forget the best part: a free stamp set that will appear in the 2007-2008 catalog. Yay!

What's on the agenda next? Get myself (& Jeff) a passport. I think it's much easier to travel with a passport than having to get out the birth certificate/drivers license

Speaking of drivers licenses... sorta... I went to renew my tabs last week & saw in the licensing agency place a poster with a bunch of special license plates. I contemplated getting one & then decided against it thinking that's $40 I don't need to spend. Well, then I kept thinking about it & changed my mind. So, this is going to be my new license plate... Except it won't say, "SMPLE"; it'll have numbers on it.

Work is going okay. We're still in the middle of our merger. Our overtime has been eliminated until the wknd of the merger when we will be having mandatory overtime. Our department is at maximum occupancy for our space & we are getting one of the other CU employees & so what does this mean? We are moving to another area of the same floor & I will have a window as part of my cubicle. Yay! Not a terrific view or anything, but a window is a window

Funny story... I went to Jeff's cousin's bridal shower at Emerald Downs last weekend where one of the friends of the bride (I think she's also a bridesmaid) looked SO familiar to me. We didn't really get a chance to talk to figure it out, but as it turns out, we were in 3rd grade together. Yes, I looked through my old class photos until I found her

My March of Dimes walk is next Saturday. I hope the weather holds up. The last 3 years I've done it, the weather has been gorgeous (for that early in the a.m.). I'm really pleased with the amount of money I've raised so far this year. Thanks to everyone who has helped to support me in this very worthwhile cause.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Lasting friendships
2. Sunshine
3. Sunglasses
4. Aspirin
5. Waking up at the butt-crack-o-dawn

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Gambler (Kenny Rogers)

I'm back & finally blogging about my trip to Las Vegas. Overall, I had a good time & would love to go back before the end of the year to go check out Celine Dion. This is her last year performing, afterall.

So, in case anyone reading is interested, here's the trip in a nutshell:
Sunday - we arrive at the airport & have lunch at Qdoba while waiting for our take-off time. Not a bad wait. Not a bad lunch. I was even able to buy a new shower sponge thingy & shower gel as I had forgotten to pack my own. After landing, we picked up our checked luggage (we had to check luggage due to those darn fluid restrictions) & headed off to our hotel, The Excalibur. Kat & I unpacked & then it was off to the Rio for our 7pm showing of Tony & Tina's Wedding. T&TW was just okay. I'm glad I saw it because I had heard of it before & wanted to see it, but I wouldn't see it again. It was just... weird. Different. A bit too chaotic for me. It's an interactive dinner/theater where you're a guest at Tony & Tina's wedding. After T&TW, we caught a (free!!) shuttle back to Caesar's Palace, walked over to the Bellagio & took a few pictures & walked back to The Excalibur.

Two things I didn't know about prior to this trip: The Aladdin is now (or is becoming) Planet Hollywood. The sign currently says, "Planet Hol". The Barbary Coast is now Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon. And, while we didn't stop for greasy late night breakfast "goodness", I did read the sign on the side of the building that read it's now $4.95. So much for cheap eats. Heh.

Monday began with breakfast at the Sherwood Cafe, the 24 hour diner at The Excalibur where I had a philly cheesesteak & fries. Yumm! Not the most conventional breakfast, but it was mighty tasty nonetheless. We then went over to The Luxor, Mandalay Bay & MGM Grand to check out the lion exhibit. After that, it was off to the M&M Factory & Coca-Cola Store. Yeah.... I just can't get excited about candy & coke like Joanna can. Man... Well, she didn't buy anything, but still... I could have gotten by on this trip without going to these two stores.

On the way back to our hotel room, we stopped and picked up 3 Yards of Margaritas. Mine was peachy & mighty tasty. It was right about this time that my head started pounding. I don't think I can blame the 'alcohol' because I really don't think there was much in it. But I was in pain pretty much the rest of the day from this point forward & we still had lots to do. We went to see Tournament of Kings at The Excalibur & afterwards, we caught the hour long $2 busride up to Fremont Street so Kat & Joanna could check out the Fremont Street Experience. I did muster enough energy to play some $5 craps.

Tuesday wasn't so bad. We started out with breakfast at America in the NYNY Hotel & Casino. I did have eggs, hashbrowns & toast here. I was, afterall, still not 100% from the day before. Well, that & all they had to offer was "breakfast" foods at the time we were there. From here, we walked to (& through) the Desert Passage at the Aladdin/Planet Hol where we each bought some aloe lotion stuffs. Next stop, Paris where Joanna had to have her pastries. By the time Kat sat down with her Creme Broule, Joanna had already downed her 4 pastries. This is a pic of Kat's creme broule. Very tasty, Kat. Thanks for sharing even if others didn't want to. Next, we were off to Caesar's Palace where we picked up our Elton John tickets. And, you can't go to Caesar's Palace without doing a little shopping in the Forum Shoppes. Joanna bought some opal earrings there. Ch-Ching! Let's just say, opals aren't cheap & leave it at that.

When Trina went to Vegas a couple weeks earlier, she mentioned eating at Emeril's restaurant at the MGM Grand. I couldn't imagine spending that much money on a meal & said we probably wouldn't do that. But then there was this seed planted in my head... it *would* be fun to eat at a fancy schmancy restaurant. So, that's what we did. We ate at Emeril's other restaurant, Delmonico, in The Venetian. It was remarkable! The service was extraordinary & the food was outstanding. Two thumbs up from me.
After Delmonico's, Joanna rushed off to the MGM Grand for her show, Cirque du Soleil's Ka while Kat & I headed back over to the Coliseum at Caesar's Palace for the Elton John concert. I'm glad we went albeit weird. He sounded fine, but he had random film playing in the background that made no sense to me. But what really made no sense was the inflatable fruit & other stuff on stage... like the banana with 2 cherries at it's base. The hotdog. The lipstick. The ice cream cone. The boobs hanging on the wall. It was just so random. Afterwards, Kat & I walked back to the hotel. It was a relatively early night for everyone since we were waking up at 6am the next morning.
And here we are... home again.
Today, I am thankful for:
1. Past & future vacations
2. Friends who don't drive me crazy after a day together
3. Ranch
4. Digital Cameras
5. Using my own bed & towels.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Fun Fun Fun (Beach Boys)

Two posts, back to back. Whoa!

We got home about an hour ago from Kim's place in Ballard. Lots of good eats shared among friends. My favorite was, by far, the artichoke dip. Yumm-O!

Next time we play Scene It, I want The Warkinator on my team!

Today, I'm thankful for:

1. Overtime
2. Roast beef
3. Edamame
4. Laughter
5. My husband (I love you!!)