Friday, May 30, 2008
Did you know that for every two minutes a car is idling, it uses about the same amount of fuel it takes to go about one mile?
Contrary to ancient beliefs, the modern car engine doesn't use more gas when it has to be restarted.
Wow - a way to help the environment *and* save money! Me likey!!
So, the next time you're waiting to pick someone up, or sitting in the parking lot that is traffic, maybe you might consider shutting your engine off?
With the current cost of gas here in Illinois, the situation has definitely caused us to rethink frivolous errand running and to consider which car to take out (one is comfortable and less efficient, the other is not very comfortable and more efficient).
Check out the interactive gas prices heat map posted below. How much is gas near you?
|Illinois Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com|
|Click here to add this map to your website.|
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Well, Brian has been hard at work the past couple of weeks ensuring that our home has lots of curb appeal. (This is the only way we're willing to compete with the Joneses!) We'll save the trimming for later and further planting for next year. He moved a bunch of plants around, planted a slew of new ones, and topped it all off with fresh cedar mulch (that's supposed to repel bugs... fingers are crossed!). Now we'll need to get some patio furniture to enjoy our new outdoor area. I just had to show off what a good job he's done!!
I think we may end up replacing the azaleas with more lilacs next spring.
Hopefully these: Will turn into these:(Lupines)
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I bet if it played BluRay DVDs like the Playstation, we'd have a Wii already (Brian's been salivating over BluRay for some strange reason... like a big screen TV, I don't get it - a DVD player is a DVD player).
With the writers' strike this year, I decided to give it another try (plus it was on when nothing else was for a bit), and I have not been disappointed!
I imagine the Lost writers to be this club I'd want to be a part of - a bunch of people hanging out, creating this intricate storyline, giving us small glimpses each week like puzzle pieces, and discussing just how they're going to mess with our heads next!
This season they've started flashing forward to the lives of the Oceanic Six, since they've been rescued. The only problem is that they're flashing forward out of order, and each week, you're being given more of the puzzle, but it's up to you to assemble it. Which can be a tad confusing!
And then I found this goody online... whichever Lostie took the time to mash this, thank you!!!
Parts 1-3 of this season's finale air on ABC tomorrow night!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
I remember when I was a kid, I wanted to be a Navy pilot. I don't remember how long I held that ambition, or if it only coincided with seeing "Top Gun". At some point, I remember that it was dashed when I was told that they didn't allow women to be combat fighter pilots (this ban was lifted by Congress in the mid-1990s).
Regardless of our personal opinions on the war, I believe it still to be of utmost importance that we support our troops... especially those in harm's way.
Today I want to honor those that have served, those that are serving, and those who have fallen in service to our great country.
Memorial Day has been observed in some form or another in this country for over 140 years. Up until 1971, Memorial Day was traditionally on May 30, but was changed to coincide with the last Monday in May - so as to make it a more convenient three-day weekend. Did you know that for 50 years now, on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the 260,000+ gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery? Throughout the weekend, they patrol the cemetery 24 hours a day to ensure that each flag remains standing.
Thank you for your sacrifices. We wouldn't be where we are today without your efforts.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Apparently, American Airlines has decided that in order to recoup their costs due to high oil prices, they will begin charging $15 for the FIRST checked bag.
Don't they realize that this is only going to force people to abuse the carry-on policy even further? As a tall girl, I cannot sit in one of those seats with my bag under the seat in front of me. I could understand wanting to charge money for the SECOND checked bag, but nickel-and-diming for the first bag... if you go anywhere longer than a few days, you have to bring a bag that won't fit in the overhead compartments. Grrrr!
Isn't it bad enough that you cram too many people into uncomfortable seats, and virtually hold them hostage at your whim if there are delays? Haven't you already jacked up your fares this year? Aren't you overselling every single flight as it is?
So, if you lose my bag, will you refund my $15, and PAY ME for my troubles??
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tell All Thursday
1. Where is your cell phone? ............... downstairs
2. Your significant other? ............... hardworker
3. Your hair? ............... clean
4. Your mother? ............... selfless
5. Your father? ............... cerebral
6. Your favorite thing? ............... strawberries
7. Your dream last night? ............... intense
8. Your favorite drink ............... lemonade
9. Your dream/goal? ............... motherhood
10. The room you're in? ............... office
11. Your children? ............... unborn
12. Your fear? ............... spiders
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years ............... stay-at-home-mom
14. Where were you last night? ............... home
15. What you're not? ............... bored
16. Muffins ............... poppyseed
17. One of your wish list items? ............... washer/dryer
18. Where you grew up? ............... Houston
19. What you read last ............... CNN.com
20. What are you wearing? ............... pajamas
21. Your TV? ............... off
22. Your pets? ............... swimming
23. Your computer? ............... always on
24. Your life? ............... almost perfect
25. Your mood? ............... content
26. Missing something? ............... faraway friends
27. Your car? ............... Murano
28. Something you're not wearing? ............... socks
29. Favorite Store? ............... Crate & Barrel
30. Your summer? ............... not here yet
31. Like someone? ............... friends
32. Your favorite color? ............... varies
33. Last time you laughed ............... today
34. Last time you cried? ............... last week
Check out the following links for descriptions and a release schedule for this summer's blockbusters:
I dunno... might be funny for a couple of episodes, but I think the novelty will wear off. I find the foreign versions hysterical, but I think that's mostly because I have no idea what they're saying.
I previously posted the Japanese version... here are the Danish giving it a try:
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I was trying too hard to drown it in the sink and get it down the disposal to take a picture, but I swear the thing was GINORMOUS! (At least two inches long, and about an inch in diameter - seriously.)
I never used to be this jumpy around bugs. I grew up in the land of flying cockroaches, for goodness sakes! I think living in that nice apartment in Mesa, AZ for a year changed me. Crickets and scorpions coming out of your ceiling fan and appearing in your shower can do that to a person, I guess.
My least favorite part about flying is the other passengers - it doesn't take much to get under my skin. I'm not a huge gabber (thank goodness for iPods), because I can't really hear anyone all that well over the roar of the airplane anyway. But I've decided, that in general, my fellow travelers are completely inconsiderate of those around them. They are the businessman who knocks over the little girl and doesn't even pause while he's hustling to get on the jetway to sit on his butt for hours on the plane; the still-drunk (and quite smelly) dude next to you whose first words are to warn you that he's likely going to ralph; the cat-lady who just can't bear the thought of sedating her 2 very loud felines for the duration of the flight; the middle-aged couple who take cell phone calls and leisurely stroll down the aisle of the plane while 30 rows of people behind them wait to unboard the plane; the 22-yr old child who needs his beauty sleep and forces an altercation with you on the plane. Yep, I was lucky enough to encounter all 5 situations on my round-trip to Phoenix last week (plus many more not worthy of blog space)! The most entertaining of which was The Altercation...
Whenever I board a plane, I take notice of my fellow passenger seated directly behind me. This person determines whether or not I attempt to recline my seat. When I recline, I'm only talking by a few degrees, not all the way back. But really, it's not like reclining your airplane seat makes the thing any more comfortable.
Well, the 22-yr old child (I'm being generous here), we'll call him Dumas, didn't bother to notice 5'9" me, sitting directly behind him. Dumas was a young man, traveling with his non-English speaking Chinese girlfriend, to the Valley of the Sun - a short 3.5 hour flight from Chicago. Dumas was also about 5'4" tall and maybe 100 pounds dripping wet. As soon as the plane began to level off, Dumas decided that he wanted to LAY IN MY LAP. I decided to be a little forgiving and refrained from constantly kneeing his seatback, but he still received quite a bit because there was NOWHERE FOR ME TO GO. In fact, reading my magazine proved a little difficult because I find it hard to focus when the words are only 3 inches from the tip of my nose... and that's about how close the top back of his seat was to my face.
Within 3-5 minutes of having an uninvited lap buddy, I notice that the air from my vent is hitting the top of his cowlick and he doesn't seem to be liking it very much. That made me smile. See, I personally don't enjoy the prospect of other people's germs entering my respiratory system, therefore I keep my vent turned up high, but aimed toward my lap so I don't dry out my eyeballs. (The air on a plane is completely recirculated and replaced every 2-3 minutes, and I believe the best way to get fresh air is through your vent.) Watching Dumas feel around the top of his head where he was being hit by my vent was sheer pleasure for me. If he had been upright, or less reclined, he would have been completely out of drafty range.
Meanwhile, I had received many sympathetic looks and quiet comments from my other fellow passengers, and even a moment of recognition from the Chinese girlfriend, that Dumas and his reclining seat were totally out of line. I leaned back into my fully upright seat and watched his Alfalfa cowlick blow in the wind. I was determined to make passive aggressive fun!
For awhile, I zoned out on my iPod and tried to ignore the fact that he was so close, I could smell his hair. About mid-flight, I noticed Dumas trying to get my attention, so I politely removed my earbuds.
Dumas: "Ma'am, I'm trying to sleep, and your air is bothering me."At this point I shrugged my shoulders, and he could tell I wasn't going to cave in. Apparently that was THE LAST STRAW, so Dumas proceeded to press his flight attendant call button.
Me: "Well, hmmm... maybe if you weren't so far reclined you wouldn't feel my air?" (posed as a true question to help him realize his rudeness)
Dumas: "But Ma'am, I'm trying to sleep."
Me: "And I'm trying to fit my knees behind your seat. See, you're so far reclined, you're laying in my lap, and that's the only reason you're able to feel my air."
Dumas: "But I'm trying to sleep!"
Me: (His need for beauty rest at noon affects me how??) "Like I said, you're laying in my lap. If you'd like to adjust your seat, I'd be willing to turn down my air."
Dumas: "I'm... I'm just trying to sleep."
I. Am. Not. Kidding.
I'm not big on scenes, but this was one situation where I refused to back down... I knew I was right, and I had even offered to compromise, but Dumas really needed his beauty sleep. The really annoying flight attendant comes our way to see what's going on (here comes the part where I fell in love with her)... at this point, everyone around us is paying attention.
Dumas: "Miss, this lady won't adjust her air... it's blowing on me, and I'M TRYING TO SLEEP."(Yeah, she was a "Miss" and I was a "Ma'am"... she had at least 20 years on me! Stupid child.)
Me: (I said not a word, but motioned at the sheer lack of space between my body and the back of his seat.)Begrudgingly, Dumas lifted his seat slightly, but by the end of the flight he was fully reclined again. Nevertheless, I held up my end of the bargain and adjusted my air (but only by a minuscule amount). I ended up watching his cowlick dance again. I should have told him I wasn't paying for any lap dances.
Flight Attendant: "Well, sir... you are laying in her lap." (and walked away!)
Fellow Passengers: (They were clapping! No joke!)
Somehow, when it was time to unboard the plane, I was hit in the head by the overhead bin door. I glanced up to see who the offender was... Dumas. I told him he'd better just hurry and get off the plane. He looked kinda scared. That made me smile, too.
I'm sure Dumas got off the plane and whined to his friends and family on his MySpace page about the inconsiderate beeyotch behind him, because that's what 22-yr old children do. I think he's lucky I didn't act like this guy.
So, the moral of this story is the next time I fly, I'm going to have to get me some of these!
So, Marisa & Scott - did you ask Lacey about her Cousin David, aka Ross Gellar?? I would have!! (Former SYTYCD contestants Lacey, her brother Benji, and her cousin Heidi are all related to one of my favorite Friends!) I wonder if he attends the family reunions...
Anywhooo, TV Squad describes the event:
"About a hundred Dance Dance Revolution mats were set-up outside of the theatre, which is across from the famous Staples Center. In the front of the mats, a large screen was set-up and hooked up to an X-Box. SYTYCD also had a leader of dance to make sure everyone knew the moves. After 111 dancers played DDR for five minutes, Fox gave away a video game console, a copy of Dance Dance Revolution, and a 23" LCD flat-screen TV."So, was my brother one of the record-breaking DDR Dancers?? He said:
"Did I move my feet to the corresponding arrows on the large TV screen? Yes.Well, I'm still gonna watch for you on Thursday night!
Would I call that dancing? No."
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
This past week, my brother won this contest. I'm still in shock that he chose his friend over his favorite sister to go with him to LA.
Apparently, SYTYCD hosted a dance-off on Monday to promote the new season. They were trying to break a World Record of the most people participating in a dancing game simultaneously. My brother will be the one person NOT dancing in the massive group. Because he's too cool for it.
SYTYCD premieres this Thursday evening on FOX!
Check it out, and maybe, just maybe you'll spot the one body not moving in the crowd... that'll be my brother.
Monday, May 19, 2008
(This photo was staged for Brian's benefit... when I walked in, she did a double take, and then wouldn't stop calling me a "liar" because I had previously told her I wasn't going to come.)
We had a lot of fun last week!
Details to be posted later...
They haven't posted a Two-Minute Replay yet, but in typical Office fashion, this season finale was hilarious! Above is just a clip from the episode. LOVED the sub-plot of the new girl thinking that Kevin was slow - had me laughing out loud!
Full episode can be seen here.
I enjoy television... and I'm not ashamed to admit it! What I don't enjoy is watching all of the endless commercials that you're forced to sit through when you watch TV live. In fact, I can't stand to watch live TV - drives me up the wall!
Watching a program already recorded on the DVR/Tivo makes me feel like I'm not wasting as much valuable time watching my programs. Every 30-minute program is reduced to 20 minutes; every hour-long program is reduced to 45 minutes - when you're able to fast-forward through the commercials on the DVR/Tivo. It's hard to imagine what TV-watching was like before Tivo - it really will change your life! :) (Trust me.)
Plus, setting the Tivo to record various programs is a lot simpler than it used to be with the VCR. Each week, your DVR machine automatically downloads the latest program guides, and you simply search or scroll through until you find what you want to record. You can also set up series recording schedules or season passes, so that your DVR will automatically record "The Office" each week.
Now we don't need to be home when our favorite shows are on, and if Brian is watching a documentary on the Mob and needs to leave, he can set it to record easily with one button. Also, if you need to take a potty break in the middle of the NBC Nightly News, all you have to do is push pause, and you can return to watching as soon as you're ready.
We don't own a Tivo, but we rent a DVR/Cable box from Comcast Cable - it's only a few bucks per month, but it's TOTALLY worth it! If you don't already have a DVR/Tivo in your home, look into one... you can thank me later.
List your favorite, must-see shows in the comments... maybe there's something out there I'm missing!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Supercook is a new recipe search engine that finds recipes you can make with the ingredients you have at home. To begin, simply start adding ingredients you have. The more ingredients you add, the better the results will be.Now this site might save me a trip or two to the grocery store! Check it out!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
(As seen on More Cowbell.)
Remember how much fun we had in 2006 when we went to the Coldplay concert at the United Center in Chicago? We had such a blast it didn't even matter that we were going to get home so late and have to go to work early the next day. Sure their opening act was beyond lame last time especially since he was drunk off his butt, but we let the excitement build for the main concert during every unintelligible minute of his set. We even enjoyed ourselves despite the loser in front of us who wouldn't stop playing with his phone and who smoked pot for the entire last half of the show... (maybe we enjoyed it more because of that??) Anyway, let's do it again... for your birthday!! Chris and the boys are coming back on August 4th. It'll be the perfect FHE activity for us, I promise!
TICKETS GO ON SALE JUNE 14th.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
"I was like, 'Hey girl, can I get your number...'"
I think they were more entertaining when they looked like this.
But, I couldn't stand them then, either!
Notice their wearing of pegged jeans, vest, and overalls... the epitome of COOL!
(For my mother, and similar readers of this blog who have fallen in love with this new single - the group is New Kids on the Block.)
Monday, May 12, 2008
Not sure how many of you know this, but they first met online.
See, Aimgrrl was tired and weary of the online dating scene at the time, so she made Brian72 talk to her on instant messenger and the phone for nearly two months before they would meet in person.
Pretty sure she was worth the wait! And, she's since forgiven him for being such a big spender on their first date - less than $9.
It was love at first sight, and they lived happily ever after...
I'm so grateful to Al Gore for inventing the internet - I just don't know what I would do without it!
Seriously, what did I do before the internet??
How did I travel, how did I learn new things, how did I find new recipes, how did I stay connected with faraway friends & family, how did I entertain myself?
(I know - I called a travel agent, went to the library, bought cookbooks, wrote letters on paper, and probably watched a lot of TV.)
But still - the internet has brought ease to my life like nothing else (and I'll admit, possibly complicated it more too).
In about 10 seconds, I can find movie times and a friend's phone number online.
In about 8 seconds, I can locate where on the planet Myanmar is.
In about 6 seconds, I can scan the latest headlines (or not) and check the weather forecast.
In about 4 seconds, I can find a picture of the internet.
Without the internet, I might not have met my hubby...
Yep, the internet is a Must Have Monday item, indeed!!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
(I heart the new Blogger Scheduler feature! In fact, I've got quite a few posts already written and in the can for next week. Can't risk posting this one today, and ruining the surprise, on the off-chance Mom reads the blog over the weekend!)
By the time this posts on Sunday, I will have already walked through her door in Scottsdale and surprised my Mom with an unplanned house guest for a week! It's a good thing she loves me, and I've been told that I'm the easiest person to live with (Thanks, Andi - sorry, Darrin!), so it shouldn't be too bad!
Hence, my posts might be light next week... depends on how much the fam entertains me. Scott and Erik - you are on notice - you HAVE to hang out with your older sister while she's in town! I will also get to meet my new niece, Maddy (she's just about 4.5 weeks old), and spend time with my sister. Brian's told me to have an In-n-Out burger on his behalf... yessir!
On a related note, I'm grateful for the many hours Brian has suffered in airports and airplanes to make this trip possible... gotta love frequent flyer tickets!!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
I LOVE IT!!
See a cuter picture and better description here.
I plan on working on the goodies I'll be sending out the week after next... there's still a chance for you to get in on the fun here!
For the first weekend of every month during the next year, Bank of America is sponsoring "Museums on Us". This program allows any BofA cardholder one free admission to over 70 museums across the country. Read more here.
Brian, mark your calendar! We'll be checking out the Art Institute of Chicago for free on June 7th!
According to the Azalea Society of America:
Leaves that turn brown, die and drop off during the summer usually indicate a problem with the azalea. The problem may be too little water, too much water, or too much fertilizer. If the azalea was recently planted, dig it up and check the rootball for moisture, and for the general state of the roots, which should be firm and crisp. Brown and mushy roots may indicate too much water. They may also indicate one of several different fungal infections known collectively as root rot.Brian would like to blame these buggers:
I dunno... We've got way more brown leaves than we do missing leaves. I think we did something wrong! :(
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Obviously, by the timing of these posts, you can tell that I've had issues with INSOMNIA lately.
I think I nearly wore out poor Andi this weekend with our many late nights!
Like the Energizer Bunny, I just keep going and going...
Anyone got any helpful tips??
I had so much fun in Denver this past weekend!!
Andi & Darrin have the most adorable children!
Cade is a goofy little genius, Emma is a witty drama queen, and Dane is the most chill and content baby I've ever seen. There was a lot of crazy dress-up and sometimes no outfits at all (much to our surprise), so I've "clothed" the pics to protect from painful embarrassment later!
They're all growing up so fast!
A moment that still makes me chuckle:
While we were comparing notes late one night, Andi and I heard an out-of-her-bed-for-the-gazillionth-time Emma say, "You guys don't have to whisper, I'm right here!"
We also fit in a much needed hair appointment (courtesy of the Math Whiz of Von Curtis Academy), a mini-Windsor Park reunion with Old Mr. Hansen, a girls' night out with Dr. McDreamy (thanks, Darrin), some MAN-made, homemade whole wheat bread (a la Darrin), and the birth of a blog!
Thank you, Butterys, for a WONDERFUL time! :)
If that wasn't funny enough, the girl directly across the aisle from him in 16D pulls out her iPhone and proceeds to check the weather radar (see, we were all trapped in a metal tube in the middle of a very flat runway field while the worst storm of the year so far raged around us). Completely bewildered, the old guy turns to her and asks, "What's that?" Apparently he had never seen an iPhone before, and didn't understand what she was doing with it. As she explained her new-fangled technology, I noticed his eyes kinda glass over and brain fluid started seeping out his ear.
Or maybe he was just a skeevy old man hitting on a much younger woman?? I dunno. Regardless, it was a funny exchange! It was like an Atari meeting an Wii.