Saturday, August 30, 2008

Me by the numbers

I'm making up my own meme, folks. Watch out!

1. Number of emails in your personal INBOX: 56 (but only 6 unread)

2. Number of degrees you set your summertime thermostat to: 78

3. Number of live plants in your home: 3

4. Number of clean dinner plates in your cupboard right now: 4

5. Number of loads of laundry you do in a typical week: 2 (white, colors)

6. Number of ceiling fans in your home: 2 (living room, bedroom)

7. Number of CD's in your car right now: 10 (only for when my iPod is dead)

8. Number of times you ate out in the past week: 0

9. Number of trips you've taken on an airplane in the past year: 9 (Vermont, NYC, Baltimore, Tallahassee, Philadelphia, Philadelphia again, Los Angeles, London, Chicago) (In the next 4 weeks I'll be flying to Mississippi, Denver, Mississippi again, and Oklahoma)

10. Number of pets you own: 1 (cat)

11. Number of magazines you subscribe to: 0 (but for some reason I get Self for free)

12. Number of dresses or skirts you wore last week: 0

13. Number of photographs you carry in your wallet or purse: 0 (unless you count the ones on my digital camera)

14. Number of gallons it usually takes to fill your vehicle: 15

15. Number of times you go to the movies in a typical month: 1

16. Number of times you hit the snooze button before getting up: 1

17. Number of minutes it takes you to get ready in the morning: 75

18. Number of sweetener packets you put in a regular cup of coffee: 4 (prefer Splenda, Equal, or Sweet & Low)

19. Number of remote controls you have in the living room: 3 (cable, TV, DVD/receiver)

20. Number of times you brush your teeth in a day: 2

21. Number of vitamins you take in a day: 4 (multi, C, 2 flax oil)

22. Number of ounces of water you drink in a day: about 50

23. Number of schools you've gone to: 6 (Pinecrest Elem, Arroyo Seco Jr. High, Saugus High, UCSD, Dartmouth, CSUN)

24. Number of states you've lived in: 3 (California, New Hampshire, North Carolina)

25. Number of times you've served jury duty: 1 (didn't make it onto a jury though)

26. Number of presidential elections you've voted in: 3 (Clinton, Gore, Kerry...and the 4th: Obama!)

27. Number of times you've been hospitalized: 1 (epiglotitis when I was four)

28. Number of blogs you read every day: 8 (unless I'm really busy, then I at least make sure to hit LOL Cats)

29. Number of weddings you've been to: 5

30. Number of Twitter updates as of right now: 204

Sunday, August 24, 2008

80th post

This will be my 80th post for 2008. Last year I had 116 posts. I need to average 9 posts a month for the rest of this year to reach that number. But in 2006 I had 172 posts!! I guess I had a lot to say!

Today was my friend and co-worker Kim's wedding shower. Or should I say, her first wedding shower. She's having another one in her hometown near Rochester, NY, and a third one in her fiance's hometown of Erie, PA. (Uh, spoiled bride?!) We had lots of fun. Here are some pics I took.

I bought her the pink hand vac she registered for.

Cool bread basket with a warming stone you place inside.

Kim's favorite: money.

Susan got the only humor gift: a "panic button" that has sounds of cartoon characters saying, "Stay Calm!" then screaming bloody murder.

Kim and Susan.

A group shot. Bottom row, L-R: Jenni, Lisa (maid of honor), Kim, Gracie (Kim's mom); Top row, L-R: Rebekah (works in communications dept at my office), Amanda, me, Susan (fellow trainer).

The scrumptious cake, shaped like a bridal gown.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jelly Belly Warehouse

In Kenosha, Wisconsin there is a Jelly Belly warehouse, and they give free tours. You're supposed to get to ride on this cute little Jelly Belly train, but the day I went it was in for repairs. So we walked. They wouldn't allow photos on the tour, but suffice it to say there were boxes and boxes of Jelly Bellys (Bellies?) as far as the eye could see, stacked up to the very, very tall ceiling. They had some cool Jelly Belly mosaics we could take pictures of. The tour guide said they can take up to several weeks to complete! I uploaded them full size so if you click on the photo you can see close up.

We got to see how Jelly Bellys are made (on a video--the factory is in CA, which you can tour as well, like Nicole did), as well as hear about the most popular flavor (of all time: Very Cherry; of late: Buttered Popcorn--if that doesn't speak to why America has an obesity epidemic, I don't know what does). After the tour we got to go to the store, which sold--wait for it--Jelly Belly products ranging from the beans to t-shirts to dispensers, etc. I contemplated buying a bag of "belly flops," the ones that don't pass inspection because they're too big, too small, stuck together, or what have you. Although it was a good price for Jelly Bellys, it was more than anyone should ever spend on a bag of jelly beans. One of the coolest parts of the store was the Sample Bar, where you can try any one of the 50 flavors for free.

They had the Harry Potter beans, which include such nasty flavors as black pepper and vomit. What I purchased, though, was the "Bean Boozled" box, where they have the icky flavors disguised among exact twins of good flavors--i.e. Booger looks just like Juicy Pear, and Pencil Shavings looks just like Top Banana. I haven't dared to try them yet...Rotten Egg, anyone? They are fun enough in theory.

There's even a Jelly Belly car parked outside, complete with Asian tourists posing in front of it.

Wannabe MAM

Is this not the fanciest Goodwill store you've ever seen? It reminds me of the Milwaukee Art Museum, with its cute little baby wings.

P.S. I went inside, and they didn't have anything I wanted. :( New rule: Coolness of Goodwill store on outside inversely correlates to coolness of stuff on inside.

Need I say more?

Driving from Chicago up to Wisconsin, shortly after you cross the state line, is Mars Cheese Castle. It's not a cheese hut, or a cheese shack, it's a cheese castle, people. And as you must all know by now, cheese is my crack cocaine. I am addicted to it bad, baby. So this? This is Mecca.

Well, not really. They have a lot of cheese, but I'd bet my Harris Teeter has the same amount or more, although granted, it's not direct from the udders of Wisconsin cows. They also have lots of gourmet type foods, like pickled things and homemade jams, etc.

I left with some smoked string cheese. Alas, it was too smoky for my palate. You couldn't taste the mozzarella for all the smoke flavor. Even though my choice was disappointing, the Cheese Castle legend lives on.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Quadracci Pavilion is unique to say the least. It begs to be photographed. It's designed with these giant "wings" that open and close several times a day. I went yesterday to watch, and got some good shots even though it was rainy. I went back today and got some better ones. The inside is just as spectacular as the outside. Or at least, the lobby is anyway. I did not pay to see the art. But my old friend Chihuly made an appearance. Seems he pops up everywhere I go. First Pittsburgh, then London (oops, I haven't blogged about that yet!), now Milwaukee. He gets around!

Monday, August 11, 2008


It was the perfect day for outdoor photos, and Watertown, WI has a beautiful lake surrounded by all types of trees, including some giant weeping willows, my favorite. I mean, come on! Even down to the white puffy clouds, people! It does not get better than this.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Some E-cards

Came across this e-card site last night called It's kind of harsh, but some of them are funny. Their motto is, "When you care enough to hit Send." Ha ha! Categories range from "Birthday," to "Congratulations," to "Holidays." This is one I liked from "Cry for Help:"

Here's one from "Sympathy":

This is so true, from "Work Related":

Meme time

Back in the day, I would come across memes I wanted to do all the time. Nowadays, not so much. I had to actively search for this meme. It came from here. It was kind of hard to complete. I tried not to cop out on too many questions. But like, #18, if someone can answer that I'd be very impressed.

1. My uncle once – flew out here for vacation and went to Washington, D.C. with us.

2. Never in my life – have I burped the alphabet.

3. When I was 5 – Reagan became president.

4. High school was – stressful.

5. I will never forget losing – and then finding my bag of souvenirs in Rome.

6. I once met – a guy in the Bahamas with a loogie on his shirt.

7. There's this person I know who – doesn’t like cheese. Oh, the horror!

8. Once at a bar – in London I saw Emma Jane Thommen perform.

9. By noon I'm usually – thinking about lunch.

10. Last night – I watched the season finale of The Next Food Network Star.

11. If only I had – endless patience, working with stupid customers would be so much easier.

12. Next time I go to church – will probably be for a wedding. Not mine though.

13. What worries me most – is that Obama will get elected and end up being a disappointment.

14. When I turn my head left, I see – a black and white Venice poster.

15. When I turn my head right, I see – a black and white Paris poster.

16. You know I'm bored when – I start cleaning.

17. What I miss most about the eighties – is the relative innocence of the world compared to now.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare, I'd be – I have no idea.

19. By this time next year – I will have watched 1,460 hours of television.

20. A better name for me would be – I like my name just fine, thanks.

21. I have a hard time understanding – why people don’t recycle more.

22. If I ever went back to school – I'd study zoology.

23. You know I like you if – I send you postcards.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I'd thank would be – my parents.

25. Take my advice, never – take a mega dose of niacin. You will feel like you’re on fire!

26. My ideal breakfast is – a breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese, beans, salsa, and avocado.

27. A song I love, but do not have, is – I pretty much have everything I want, thanks to iTunes.

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest – we go to In 'n' Out!

29. Why won't people – be a little more aware?

30. If you spend the night at my house – you can be the first to stay in my guest room!

31. I'd stop my wedding for – Stephen Colbert.

32. The world could do without – flies.

33. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than – live without A/C.

34. My favorite blonde is – my niece Cassidy.

35. Paper clips are more useful than – a gum wrapper.

36. If I do anything well, it's – pampering myself with pedicures and massages.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Passing along good info

Stop worrying about:

2. Your car’s planet-destroying A/C. No matter how guilty you feel about your carbon footprint, you don’t have to swelter on the highway to the beach. After doing tests at 65 miles per hour, the mileage experts at report that the aerodynamic drag from opening the windows cancels out any fuel savings from turning off the air-conditioner.

3. Forbidden fruits from afar. Do you dare to eat a kiwi? Sure, because more “food miles” do not equal more greenhouse emissions. Food from other countries is often produced and shipped much more efficiently than domestic food, particularly if the local producers are hauling their wares around in small trucks. One study showed that apples shipped from New Zealand to Britain had a smaller carbon footprint than apples grown and sold in Britain.

5. Evil plastic bags. Take it from the Environmental Protection Agency : paper bags are not better for the environment than plastic bags. If anything, the evidence from life-cycle analyses favors plastic bags. They require much less energy — and greenhouse emissions — to manufacture, ship and recycle. They generate less air and water pollution. And they take up much less space in landfills.

6. Toxic plastic bottles. For years panels of experts repeatedly approved the use of bisphenol-a, or BPA, which is used in polycarbonate bottles and many other plastic products. Yes, it could be harmful if given in huge doses to rodents, but so can the natural chemicals in countless foods we eat every day. Dose makes the poison.

But this year, after a campaign by a few researchers and activists, one federal panel expressed some concern about BPA in baby bottles. Panic ensued. Even though there was zero evidence of harm to humans, Wal-Mart pulled BPA-containing products from its shelves, and politicians began talking about BPA bans. Some experts fear product recalls that could make this the most expensive health scare in history.

From the NY Times.