Yesterday we went to a very fun surprise birthday party for cousins of mine. Actually, Merny, the birthday girl, is my dad's cousin, which makes her my second cousin, and her daughter Tracy my third cousin. I think.
Anyway, we arrived at the party and went to the kitchen. Tracy started making introductions: "These are my mom's cousins, Ron and Shannon, this is so and so, this is so and so, and this is Shelby and Kevin, my mom's cousins. Wait a minute--are you related?" The four identified cousins shot each other that look that says "Have I ever seen you before? Are we related?" and we quickly did the "I'm Gary Rosiak's daughter--Ted Rosiak's granddaughter" "Oh! She's Uncle Ted's granddaughter! He's Norbert's son" "Oh, Uncle Norb!" Phew.
Of course I could have just waited a few minutes. My Aunt Sharon (Dad's sister) came in and she knows EVERYONE in the family and exactly how we're all related to each other. It's quite handy.
I also had a nagging feeling the whole night--where have I heard these names before. Did we invite them to our wedding?! I know for sure they weren't there, and I was fairly sure that we had invited them, but I didn't want to be involved in a "Didn't we invite you to our wedding?" "No" "oh, yeah, sorry." so I held my tongue. I was nervous that they might suddenly remember that we invited them and ask how we liked our gift--mmmmm, what did you send us again?
Once we got home last night I checked our invite list and sure enough, we had indeed invited them to the wedding. Luckily their recollection was as poor as mine.
The party itself was a lot of fun. It was a Las Vegas theme complete with a roulette wheel, blackjack table, and poker table. I played a little blackjack and after losing several hands I left it to Kevin. He kept winning and winning and winning--pretty good for someone who wasn't entirely up on the rules of the game. I keep telling him he needs to play for real money in Vegas but I'm not sure he's confident enough for the Big Leagues.
Expanding on our "Let's go to Disneyland--why? Because we can!" We decided to celebrate our 3rd anniversary with dinner at the Blue Bayou Restaurant. The Blue Bayou is one of those childhood "I've always wanted to eat there but was never allowed to" things for both of us. The seating area of the restaurant is actually inside the Pirates of the Carribbean ride so if you sit on the edges you actually get to see the boats go by. Unfortunately we weren't seated on the edge, but the atmosphere is very cute anyway. As for the dining experience, it was as expected--the food was mediocre and the cost high, but it was in Pirates of the Caribbean!
So speaking of the Pirates ride, we arrived a little early and decided to hop on that ride before dinner. The ride takes place in a boat and you cruise along a river (indoors) at a leisurely pace while animatronic pirates and skeletons engage in acting scenes around you. It's really a great ride. Cool attention to detail and you can ride dozens of times and notice something new each time (either that or they're actually PUTTING something new in each time--I'm not so sure). And then there's the hidden Mickey Mouse ears.
So anyway, we're cruising through the river being only slightly annoyed by a group of 4 teenaged girls we referred to as "Jenna and her friends" (Jenna had "JENNA" printed in large letters on the back of her sweatshirt). We were nearly done with the ride and were halfway up a small hill (tilting backwards, not quite comfortably) when the ride stopped. This happens every once in a while, usually when someone needs extra time boarding or exiting the boat. However this time, there was a booming voice over the loudspeaker, saying,
"Do not attempt to get back into the boat! Do not attempt to get back in the boat! A cast member will be with you shortly. Please remain seated."
In other words, somebody jumped. Of course I immediately looked around, but the two boats we could see behind us didn't have a person swimming alongside (swimming is probably not the right word--I believe the depth of the water is only around 3 feet). It was not possible that the person accidentally fell over. The boats are constructed in such a way that to get out, you have to do it willfully.
For some reason, people don't believe you when you say that practically every inch of Disneyland is covered with cameras. I don't know what the Boat Jumper thought he/she was doing but chances are pretty high they were summarily ejected from the park.
I hope you all have as much to be thankful for as I do.
Today is our 3-year anniversary. Wow. In some ways it's gone by really fast, while in others I can't even remember what my life was like without Kevin in it. If you'd like to reminisce (or see it the first time around) you can check out our old wedding website.
Happy Anniversary honey. I love you!
So I just got back from one of my frequent trips to Torrance to see the chiropractor. For you non Southern Californians, Torrance is about 45 minutes in no traffic from Anaheim. It's a pretty straight shot from Torrance to Anaheim--the 110 North a few miles to the 91 East all the way there.
Well, there's this freeway called the 405 which is a major Orange County artery, and whose exit also appears off of the 110 just before the 91 exit. You can see where this is going...
So I'm cruising down the 110 in light traffic driving pretty much on Autopilot. Prior to moving to Anaheim, just about everywhere I went in Orange County I took the 405, so it was not completely unreasonable that I exited there this time too. Oops. I realized my mistake on the ramp, but thought "Okay, this is salvageable. I can just hop on the 710 North or 605 North and hook back up with the 91. No problem!"
And then I looked around, and it hit me. Not only was I on the wrong freeway, I was going the wrong direction. And the 405 was packed. And of course the first exit was a good 5 miles in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic. So I have to get off the freeway, wait for the light, cross under the freeway, wait for the light, go up the ramp, wait for the light, and skillfully merge into the 4,000 cars all trying to merge too.
I crept along on the 405 for a few minutes before I hit the 110, traffic, then the 91, traffic, where I should have been a good 15 minutes ago. And did I mention the traffic?
Then I thought you know, at least I'm in Southern California where I have a variety of options. Had this happened in Springfield, MO, I would have been stuck on the freeway for at least 10 miles before another exit with an onramp. But then again, if I were in Springfield there would only be one freeway so I couldn't be on the wrong one even if I tried. Okay, I'm not being entirely fair. There are two freeways in Springfield.
We have decided how we want to decorate our long living room wall--bookcases and cabinets. And since we still have the minivan from Corie's birthday, what better way to stock up on everything we need without worrying about car space? We had one bookcase from Ikea that we really liked, so we decided to go with that family of furniture. We're got two of these, two of these, and one of these to put in between them. These are all solid wood, not laminate, and should look really cool.
We also decided to get this sideboard for the kitchen. We have extremely limited kitchen storage, so the sideboard will come in very handy. Kevin is assembling it right now and it's quite complicated.
We met our next door neighbor tonight. Actually we met the 16 year old in the house who stopped by last week with a fundraiser for her computer club. I signed up for some peanut brittle but didn't have the $6.00 to pay her. She came back later and we scrounged up 4 ones, and offered the rest in quarters, which she turned down. So tonight I got some ones at In and Out and we went over to drop them off along with an invitation to our housewarming party (December 11th, send me an email if you don't get your invite in the next few days). Randy was very nice and chatty, invited us in and talked for a little. They're going to try to make the party which would be quite nice.
Today was my niece Corie's 9th birthday. What a great (but exhausting) day. I actually started yesterday, collecting my mom's minivan to help out with the driving. When I walked in the house, Seana immediately started crying, thinking I was there to babysit again. But once she got the idea that Mom and Dad weren't leaving, she was as happy as a clam.
At noon we started gathering our gaggle of eight 9 year olds for our trip to Build-A-Bear. For those of you who have never been, Build-A-Bear is simply the funnest, most darling stuffed animal store you've ever seen. You start out by picking a stuffed animal which is basically a shell. You then take it to the stuffing station where they blow stuffing into it. Then you get a red satin heart, make a wish, and stick it in there. They sew it up, and off you go to the grooming station where you can brush the fur and blow air on it. Then they really hit your pocketbook--there are about a million clothes and accessories for your animal, each one cuter (and more expensive) than the last. Once your animal is fully outfitted you go to the computer where you fill out a birth certificate, then you get a little cardboard house and off you go.
I couldn't resist the stuffed beagle, whom I named "Barkley," and then it got worse. I also couldn't resist the mini stuffed beagle (named "Junior") and of course I had to outfit Barkley in this fashionable dog coat. I then had to beat a hasty retreat, lest I cave into the urge to get a Rudolph.
All the kids at the party got to make a stuffed animal. Two girls made matching Monkeys, one girl made a frog, and one girl made a horse (creatively named "Horse"). They did cute, special things for the Birthday Girl too. They made a miniature recording of everyone saying, "Happy Birthday Corie!" (although one girl, for apparently complex reasons understandable only to nine year olds, said, "Happy Birthday Bacon!") and stuck it in Corie's Rudolph's paw. When it came time to insert the heart, everyone inserted a heart in Corie's. She also got a CD of the music they play in the store (ironically not containing a recording of "Teddy Bear's Picnic").
We then headed back home for some running and playing on the play structure in the back yard. Seana loved playing with the big girls. Seana even made the "Shelby face," a scrunchy-face smile that makes her look exactly like me (what an attractive, adorable kid!). Corie opened her presents (we got her a Barnes and Noble gift card and a special day out with Aunt Shelby to spend it). After that it was time for the Lizzie McGuire themed cake and ice cream.
After most of the girls went home, I followed suit and immediately fell into bed for a 3 hour nap. It was exhausting but a lot of fun. Happy Birthday Corie!
(oh, and I did take pictures until my camera battery died in Build-A-Bear. I'll try to get those up as soon as possible)
I've been spending a lot of time away from my computer lately. The lack of web access has played a big part in that, I must admit, but I've been doing a lot of reading and other activities.
One thing that's taking up a lot of my time is seeing a chiropractor (heh, whenever I word it that way it sounds to me like I'm having an affair--"Don't tell Kevin, I'm seeing a chiropractor"). I like him and he's really helping my neck, but he's in Torrance, which is now 45 minutes away (and add at least 1/2 an hour for traffic, usually on the way back), and I'm seeing him 3 times a week for intensive therapy. So between driving there, chiropracting, and driving back, a large part of my day is shot. That sucks.
Click below for more of my adventures.
The new house is great. We still have boxes everywhere but are slowly working through them. Our housewarming party is December 11th so that's an incentive to get things done. We've been on a major buying spree lately. We didn't spend as much on the house as we'd budgeting (hooray!) so that left us free to buy a few nice things we've always wanted. Like a couch that doesn't sink to the floor when you sit on it, and is actually in an attractive pattern (we ended up getting a sofa/loveseat/overstuffed chair set from Macy's at a reasonable price). We got a refrigerator to fill the gaping hole in the kitchen where a refrigerator goes. Much to my dismay, our gaping hole was one inch too small to get a full-sized fridge so we had to get the slightly smaller version. Still, it has water and ice in the door--something I've been lusting after.
We got a new stove too. See me shaking my fist? Grrr. First, the Sears people come by and drop it off and get ready to install it but they can't because it takes a different size hose than the one they had. So his recommendation was to call "some guy" (yes, that's a direct quote) to come and install it for us. That some guy turned out to be Kevin's grandfather, who just installed a gas stove in his cabin. So everything gets hooked up and we're all happy, but then we start noticing a gas smell. Hmmm. So we turn off the gas valve and the smell goes away. Hmmmm. So we call Grandpa back and sure enough, there's a small leak at a joint that apparently wasn't tightened properly or something. And here's your lesson for today--how do you detect a leak in the hose? Paint it with some dish soap and water and look for bubbles. Who knew?
So we get it all set and turn the gas back on and a little later--hmmm, what's that smell? It looks like the stove has a faulty joint that unfortunately is a part of the stove and probably the whole thing needs to be replaced. It's still under warranty (at less than one week old) but what a pain.
Last week I spent the day babysitting for my nieces Corie (9 tomorrow) and Seana (2). I was a little worried about it beforehand. Have my childcare skills gone rusty? Am I going to encounter a massive poopy diaper? As it turned out, no and no. We had a great time. Corie and I played games and she kicked my ass at Yahtzee 3 times in a row. I managed to rally to win the next 2 games, but man, that girl is good. Tomorrow is Corie's birthday and she's having a party at Build-a-Bear which should be a lot of fun.
Okay, I've got party invites to address so I'm off for now.
Hooray--we're back online. Phew! More updates to come.
Greetings again from no-internetville. Now I'm at my parents catching up before my chiropractor appointment. It looks like our DSL ETA is Friday. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Last night we headed to Disneyland (less than 2 miles away) and bought our annual passes. They're pretty brutal about the blackout dates--no days in July or August, no Thanksgiving or Christmas, and no Saturdays at all. But then again, those are the days it's the most crowded and would we really want to go then anyway? Also, they get you on parking. It's an extra $50 so we decided we only needed one permit. Of course, the permit is on my id and is not transferable to Kevin. I have to be there to get the parking. So hopefully Kevin isn't planning on taking many solo trips longer than 3 hours (that's the free time limit at Downtown Disney).
It was very, very cool to casually waltz into Disneyland, look around, and ride the monorail back to Downtown Disney where we had dinner. Both Kevin and I grew up with strict Disneyland rules--we only went every couple of years or so, and each time was very special. So the idea of going as often as we want and only staying for short amounts of time is really exciting.
Sorry for the slow blogging. And in case you're a Kevin reader too, you'll be happy to know the hardware (which were all of the nuts and bolts that held it together) has been located and the bookshelf installed. And yes Sherri, it was as big a pain in the ass as it was the first time.
Coming to you live from the Anaheim Public Library--I've missed you, dear readers. We are completely moved in (note I said "moved in" and not "unpacked") but we lack internet access. Apparently we have to wait 3-5 days to get our estimated waiting time for our install. Which is weird because our install consists of them sending us a box. Why can't they just send the box now without all of this hoo-ha? Until then we're stuck at the library, and according to Kevin the connection here is not all that reliable.
I'm also down with a bad sore throat and a generalized icky feeling. I've had a mild cold for a while now, but was battling it pretty well until the drive up to San Jose Friday, the loading on Saturday (8 hours), the drive down Saturday night (7.5 hours) and the unloading on Sunday (which mercifully I had little to do with). Since then I've been completely wiped out.
So I'll continue my blog entry about packing and unpacking and all of that stuff when I get a chance. Kevin reports that we may be here (at the library) for a while as his work stuff downloads, so I may get a chance to add to it today.
Also, mark your calendars for our Holiday Housewarming party--Saturday, December 11th at 5:00 pm. The invites are all fancy and being printed up and everything and won't be here for another week or so. Hopefully they will get out before everyone makes party plans that weekend.
Here just for a quick update. Friday Kevin, my dad and I drove to San Jose to get our stuff. The trip up was leisurely and uneventful and we picked up our nearly-new Penske rental truck. We figured we'd get an early start Saturday and then head back. Ha.
We started loading the truck at 10:00 am. We realized right away that space was going to be very tight so Kevin and Dad went along with surgical precision. Well, almost. Close to the beginning we came across the toolbox and Dad said "will we need this?" Nah! Ha.
Just to whet your appetite, more details to come later. We don't have internet access at the new house yet so I'll have to update from my parent's house when I come back tomorrow. For now, it's off to Anaheim with the dog!
First of all, get out and VOTE! But what can you do once that's done? Do what I plan to do and drink yourself into a drunken stupor. If my candidate wins, I'll consider it a celebration. If my candidate loses, I'll need the alcohol to numb the horror of the next 4 years.
I found an Election Night Drinking Game and took it upon myself to improve it.
-"Too close to call"
-"Red State" or "Blue State"
- Every time a winner is declared in a state with less than 5% of precincts reporting
-"Hanging (or Pregnant) chad"
-Any reference to the fact that Jeb Bush is Florida's Governor
-Any reference to the fact that voters on the West Coast feel their votes don't count if the results come in before their polls are closed
-"Osama bin Laden"
-Anything about taxes
-"War on terror"
Finish what's in your glass
-Any reference to the fact that Nader was not on the ballot in every state
-Announcement of Ohio for Bush
-Announcement of Missouri for Kerry
-Announcement that any state has changed from what the network originally projected
-If your state's electoral college votes go to the candidate you voted for
Drink an entire keg of beer or large, full bottle of hard liquor
-If we actually have a clear cut winner by the end of the evening
Drink a bottle of champagne
-If the winner is your candidate