Friday, May 30, 2008

Something fun for Friday

Saw this on Pea Soup who got it from Craftapalooza. Thought it would be something fun to do on my lunch break. And it was fun!

(Here it is on my flickr account - which includes links to the original photos.)

The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker).

The Questions:

1. What is your first name? (Tuli)
2. What is your favorite food? (Salad)
3. What high school did you go to? (DHS)
4. What is your favorite color? (Lavender)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (George Hincapie)
6. Favorite drink? (Iced tea - NO LEMON!)
7. Dream vacation? (Mountain Lake - this one is in New Zealand and I'm quite OK with that.)
8. Favorite dessert? (Coffee and cheesecake)
9. What you want to be when you grow up? (A good woman)
10. What do you love most in life? (A cool and sunny day)
11. One Word to describe you. (Reader)
12. Your flickr name (Tuli)

Have been spending time with my aunt which is helping me as much as it's helping her.

Running class #2 was last night. Was coughing a lot but, amazingly enough, I've not coughed a lot since then. Maybe the run was just what I needed to kick this sinus/allergy thing. We learned some strength training exercises which focus on the muscles runners use most: core, legs, and arms.

Have a car show on Sunday and it's supposed to be a beautiful day: cool and sunny.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Uncle J

My Uncle J, who had been fighting various types of cancer for the better part of a decade, lost his battle with bone cancer at 2:30 on Sunday morning.

He lived very close to me. About 3 miles or so. But I'd not been to visit him at all in the past two years and the guilt I've got right now because of that is enormous. Like I've got an elephant sitting on my conscience - and she has just settled in for a nice long visit.

I don't do well with illness. With watching people become sicker and sicker. But I should've sucked it up and gone to visit anyway. He was one of the good ones, ya know?

Even though I hadn't seen him, I knew he was there. I knew he still breathed, still walked, still ate really delicious pork ribs (he made the best sauce you've ever eaten). Knew he still WAS. And now he's not. He's other. I just hope he comes and visits me in my dreams.

God I'm gonna miss him.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Running 101 - Class #1

First running class was tonight. And it was beneficial! I learned a couple of techniques that made the running a bit easier.

I also learned that I need to do some leg strengthening exercises. Because right now my leg muscles don't like me. In fact, they're screaming quite loudly about how I'm awful to them and that they are going to punish me over the next few days for the 35 minutes of exercise I put them through tonight. But first they're going to pretend they're rubber and be all wobbly.

Fine, legs, fine. You be wobbly. I'm gonna have a glass of wine.

(What? It's red wine. It's GOOD FOR ME.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Everything

Today is a good day, people.

Today is my parent's 40th wedding anniversary. We (Brother, SIL, DB, and I) took them on a triple date on the Michigan Star Clipper dinner train.

We made reservations a couple weeks ago. We had to pre-order our lunches so they knew something was up when we asked them to pick a meal. But they had no clue where we were taking them. My mother is so very, very shy and is not one for surprises. Her question of "where are you taking us" didn't stop until I wizened up and assured her that she was not going to be embarrassed or have undue attention drawn to her. She would be able to blend in and sit back and enjoy herself.

Oh people. I LIED to my dear mother. But NOT ON PURPOSE!

In order to understand the embarrassment my poor mother went through today (it's OK, though...she forgives us. read on...) you should know just how shy she really is. She has a hard time asking store clerks for help and would rather walk around, sometimes aimlessly, looking for what she needs. Or, bless her heart, she'll make my dad ask someone. (My lack of shyness is based in having to ask countless store clerks questions when I was younger.)

Because I try to be a good daughter and know my mother would NOT appreciate having attention drawn to her, when I made the reservations for today's luncheon I did not order the balloons. Or the roses. Or the special little celebration cake.

But I didn't take into account the live entertainment.

When the trip began, the male singer asked if there were any anniversary celebrations today. Of course, being proud of our parents and knowing we're blessed that we've never had to live through our parents divorcing, my brother and I raised our hands and said "here!" The train car gave our folks much applause when we said "40" in response to the standard "how many years" question. Dad just kinda tossed up his hand in a little wave, gave a little nod, and went back to his salad. Mom did O.K. She blushed a bit but she was smiling.

Then, Mr. Entertainer (for the life of me, I can't remember his name) said something along the lines of how he felt comfortable singing this song on behalf of my dad, because, after 40 years it must all be true. He then proceeded to, while standing next to our table, serenade my mom with this song:

And he did a wonderful job of it. My mom was embarrassed by the attention but, I found out later, she LOVED the song. She said she almost cried halfway through it because it was so lovely and because she is so sentimental.

Next time I load songs onto her mp3 player, I'm going to have to sneak this song on there.

Oh, people, they had so much fun! And we had so much fun watching them enjoy themselves.

People, my folks:

A Tuli Factoid: My parents don't drink. At all. Ever. So we bought them virgin strawberry daiquiris. I sat next to them and enjoyed every drop of my extra-dirty gin martini. I'm such a little brat.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Robin update

I tried to copy Eurolush's super-stealth picture taking technique this afternoon. I really think it works better on unsuspecting Germans...because my subject got PISSED.

About a second after the flash went off (dumb ass me forgot to turn it off!), she let out a chirp that was heard for blocks, I'm sure, and flew to the fence*.

Where she continued to chew me a new one for disturbing her in her nest. When I didn't move off the porch fast enough for her, she flew into the tree:

and chirped some more. (Can you see her? She's right in the middle of the picture.)

By then, my concern was that I'd scare her off her nest for good, so I went back inside. About half an hour later, I realized that I missed a prime opportunity to take a picture of what was in the nest (duh). So I TURNED THE FLASH OFF, went back outside, raised the camera...and watched robin fly away. I had hoped to get another of her on her nest - sans flash - but she saw the little silver box and flew. Chirping all the way, too.

This time, I took advantage of her departure:

I promised robin I'd not disturb her any more this evening and scuttled back inside to blog my bird adventure.

Instead of cleaning my house.

* Why this particular robin chose this half-dead asparagus fern is beyond me. The poor fern had been indoors all winter. First chance I had, I put it outside. And it made some progress...see the bits of green? But now with robin in residence, I'm fearful my poor plant shall perish.


Let me just say this...


Comic Sans


My hatred of this font is very severe and I see it everywhere. One of my favorite places to have drinks just added some advertisements to their front windows in that dumb font. I have to fight the urge to throw rocks.

I know it's a stupid, stupid thing to loathe. But there you have it.

Maybe I'll do a pictorial. I would entitle it "Places that use that damn font I hate so much." Oooh, project!

Sunday, May 18, is my parents 40th wedding anniversary. We're taking them on a dinner train. Since we had to pre-order our lunches, my mom has been driving my SIL and myself INSANE with "where are you taking us?" After assuring her that it would be no place where she'd be embarrassed or singled-out (my mom is VERY shy and low-key and loves to just blend in), we've refused to tell her anything. Why am I getting so much delight out of torturing my poor mother?

A Tuli factoid: Sunday, May 18, would've been my 12th wedding anniversary. My marriage lasted less than 4 years. Thank God that date has worked for my parents.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pittsburgh, Blokus, and red wine

Just about noon this past Friday, I hit 40 hours at work and was free to go. Whee!

DB and I hopped in the car and headed off to see our Pittsburgh Pals, Lady C and Sir C. We arrived about 6:30 because, in an effort to save fuel, we drove 60 the whole way. Our strategy worked! We got there and back on a tank of gas in DB's Volvo wagon. Yay us for thinking green.

Anyway. We went to this tiny little restaurant (name escapes me) for drinks and dinner. The food was good but the company was better.

Saturday we got up and hit a couple of estate sales looking for good crappe. Found nothing as good as Eurolush found when she went here, but did find 4 really cute cloth napkins:

Went to The Strip where I found salt and pepper shakers. Good thing, too as I was getting damned tired of looking for them.

Saturday evening we went and saw Reverend Horton Heat. I had never heard of them but quickly became a fan. They rawked - as a lot of those "we're from Texas and have been paying our dues for a long time" bands do. Rockabilly alert!

(They have a song called Bails of Cocaine which is fantastic but my youtube search produced no video worth posting.)

Sunday dawned overcast and chilly. Perfect weather for my first 5k - the Pittsburgh Race for the Cure. Ok, ok, I admit I walked most of it...but there were a TON of people there. DB ran it in just over 25 minutes (that is just over an 8-minute mile pace, people. yeah. for someone who doesn't run, he sure does it fast.) Took me 30 minutes longer. huh. Sir C said I should look on this as my starting point. Come October and the half marathon, I can look back at this event and say "look how far I've come!" I like that idea. My first running class begins a week from Thursday.

We spent the rest of the day shopping for dinner, drinking red wine, and playing Blokus. Dinner was salmon baked on a cedar board! The house smelled fantastic and the fish was delicious. Lady C really knows how to chef it up. Between the four of us, we finished three bottles of red wine. Which I didn't hate! Which is a new development! And Blokus? F.U.N. We had a terrific time playing it. The games are fast-paced and quick.

Yesterday, we drove home - again at 60 m.p.h. and arrived around 3:30.

And promptly wanted to turn around and head back to Pittsburgh.

Quick update

Have much to write about the great Pittsburgh weekend (no pics, though. I forgot my camera and while DB had his, he never once brought it out. Even with my reminders of "Get your camera!") but don't have time at the moment. Will fill in details soon.

As for the robin...I think I'm going to have to limit my front-porch usage for the next little while. There's a tiny little blue egg in the nest! I'm hoping for more eggs and I'll try to take pictures when momma and poppa are off worm hunting. I don't want to scare them away from their nest.

Anyone know how long it takes a robin to get from "egg" to "leave the nest"?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Clean cars, pissed of robins, and hommus

I just spent 2 hours detailing the car in preparation for tomorrow's road trip to Pittsburgh. Oh my god, people. The dog hair I vacuumed up would've knitted seat covers for the wagon's front bucket seats! The hair was so bad I had to take a rubber brush to the carpet to get it to come up. It was EMBEDDED in the carpet.

I wonder if Volvo makes a dog-hair proof cargo area. Kinda like a force-field against rogue dog hair, a Rhino Lining for station wagons, if you will. It would be wonderful. Haul our three shed-prone beasts around and once every couple of days, hose that bitch out! Maybe I'll write the Rhino people a letter.

It's warm enough now that I was able to hang my asparagus fern out on my front porch. A robin has decided to build his nest in my fern! While I'm happy to share my fern with him and his missus, he can't get pissed off at me when I walk up on my porch. He flies to the fence and chirps a scolding at me. Dude! So not my fault that you picked MY FERN to build your nest. I shall do my best to be quiet when I come up on the porch and I promise to leave you alone as you go about your birdy business, so LAY OFF THE PISSED OFF CHIRPING.

Had hommus and pita chips for dinner tonight. Not a well-balanced meal but it sure was delicious! And DB's dog got to lick the container which she loves very much.

Off to pack and furminate Scully - who gets to spend the weekend with my folks. (They have light carpet. She's a black dog in mid-shed. GAH!)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wing update

People, I conquered the hair wing today!

And I did it without a flat iron. Or a brush.

The key to my avoiding the wing? Just aim the hairdryer at my head!

Yes, my cut is THAT GOOD!



Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Busy day

Oh people! The hair wing was out in full-force today. Nothing I did could tame it. I think I have to get one of those flat iron things. My hair-cutting goddess used one when I was in the salon and I think it made all the difference.


Busy work week. So busy I'll hit 40 hours at noon on Friday. This is especially nice because DB and I are going to Pittsburgh to visit friends (C&C) this weekend and we'll get there in time for a nice dinner out. (Sometimes being an hourly employee is a good thing! Especially when my employer doesn't want to pay overtime.)

C&C signed us up for a 5k on Sunday morning. That'll be fun but I'm totally walking it. My last foray into running proved that I don't know the proper stretches for my shins and they killed me. All the time. (Did I tell you that running class starts on 5/22? And that I'm hoping they'll show me the proper shin stretches?)

I'm also hoping to get a manicure and a new hand bag while there. I hear PA has killer outlet malls.

My dad is letting us borrow his GPS thingy for the trip. I wonder if I can program it to alert me to those killer outlet malls.

Must go do laundry for tomorrow and the weekend. But should check Pittsburgh weather first...don't know what to pack!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Old hair / new hair

This first photo, "Old Hair", was taken last September at the Grand Canyon. I chalked up the awfulness of this picture to having just spent days hiking and camping in the Arizona heat. The benefit of this hair style (if it even qualifies as a style) was that I could wash it, dry it, and go. And in the summer, I would wash it, put it up in a bun, and go.

(Bad sunglasses, too. They were gas station cheapies because my other pair broke.)

Last Monday I happened to catch a glimpse - just a glimpse, mind you - of myself on TV. My hair was the same and it looked AWFUL! (Why, oh why, did no one tell me I had bad hair? And why did no one tell me that I had gotten HUGE? That is why there are traineo buttons on the left remind me to PUT THE COOKIE DOWN! And why running class begins later this month. And why there is HEALTHY FOOD in my fridge.)

It just so happened that I had a hair appointment on Friday. So I made a change and this is what I now have atop my head now. This is "new hair":

Shorter, thinner (people, you should've seen the hair flying off my head), and half the drying time. Yippee! When I left the salon, I didn't have that little wing-like thing on the side there. But I shall conquer the wing and it shall be good. I need to master the art of styling with a blow dryer.

So. That's me.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Song Lyric Saturday

If you will forgive me, I totally stole todays posting format/style/idea from Badger (whom I adore and want to drink vodka martinis with). It's just that last night I saw a movie that I need to tell you about. And this is the best way to do it. So - Thanks, Badger!

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I...

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I...

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

-Coldplay, "Fix You"

The movie was Young@Heart and it was fantastic. Inspiring, sad, funny, joyous ... to name a few. In a nut-shell: A group of seniors form a chorus and sing rock. And Punk (Their version of I Wanna Be Sedated is fantastic). And Soul. And Jazz. A man named Fred Knittle sang 'Fix You' to honor two of the Young@Heart chorus members who had recently passed away. When this movie comes to your town, go see it. (In the video, the bursts of hissing are caused by Fred's oxygen tank.)