Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The big adventure is about at an end...

What a fast long weekend! I can hardly remember where I left off with sharing about my trip but I think this might be where I was...

The last night in NYC we went to Little Italy. We had pizza at Lombardi’s which states that it is the first place in the US to serve pizza. The pizza was a little different. I expected the thin crust that you fold over since I was in NY but I didn’t expect such a small amount of cheese and so much sauce. The cheese was not the shredded variety that I am used to but rather looked like thin slices from a round of cheese. They didn’t overlap and there was a huge amount of sauce. It was good but not what I expected. I guess I’m more of a Chicago type pizza girl. Give me lots of dough and lots of cheese!! My dinner companions were the highlight of the evening as it should be!

After dinner we all went walking around Little Italy and stopped in at Ferraro’s Bakery for some gelato and cannolis. Now this was more my style!!! I had a pistachio gelato that was yummy-yummy and Tony gave me a taste of his lobster tail pastry which was also quite tasty. This part of NYC was colorful and lively and the people were great. I think this must be what people are talking about when they say how much they love NYC. I don’t think I could live there but it wasn’t a bad place to visit. It was small and the crowds were light. I even saw kids playing in the playgrounds! I took some pictures of some of the stranger sights I saw. One was of a several story building with a water tower on top. After I thought about it more I guess it makes sense since you really don’t have any open real estate to put the tower on. I sure hope that roof was strong! I also saw a little bitty church that was sitting on its own little bit of property with buildings rising up on each side. It seemed very strange – like the holdout homeowner in an old cartoon I remember from my childhood. They ended up building the freeway around the house. I can’t remember the cartoon but I do remember wondering how in the world they were going to get out to buy food – the strange things we remember from our childhood!

The next morning I braved a NY taxi to the Port Authority so I could catch my bus to go visit my family in PA for a long weekend. That was quite an experience!! There are some rough looking characters in the bus station! The bus ride was pretty good although I got in 40 minutes after they said I was supposed to (without acting like they were late at all) and I came into a bus station that was different than the one they said I would come at. Luckily it was just a stone’s throw between the 2 bus stations. I spent a wonderful weekend visiting family and friends and just generally relaxing. I played with kids and dogs and even did some crafting with my stepmother (that title sounds so evil but really she’s a great person so put all those Cinderella visions out of your head). All in all I can’t think of a better way to spend some down time.

Today is my travel home day and I’m about ½ way done. I’ve taken the bus back to NYC and now I am waiting for flight back to the wonderful Rocky Mountain region that I so love. Depending on when I get back home we might even go pick up our new family room furniture tonight! It will be so nice to be rid of that ratty old furniture down there! The newest piece we currently have in that room is 23 years old and was attacked by an aggressive puppy 20 years ago! All the rest are older and while they weren’t attacked by that fluffy bundle of joy, they have seen better days! Just doing my part to stimulate the economy! Stay tuned for pics…

(I'm having problems with the wireless access at the airport so I'll edit to post the pics of NYC later)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 3 in NYC

Today was great! Our opening keynote speaker was very interesting. He was talking about right brain thinking. He's written a book about the subject but I am more interested in his business comic book -- that I have got to see! The rest of the sessions ranged from good to fair. The highlight was seeing the girl from my church and the special treatment we got at the Empire State Building. I wish I had a better camera because these pictures do not do it any justice but here they are anyway...

We ate dinner at a great place but I can't for the life of me remember the name! It was several blocks from the ESB and I had a wonderful NY Steak (what else should you have when you are in NY?) -- although I must say I have yet to see one head of any kind of livestock so I'm not sure if the donor was actually from NY.

That brings me to some other things you hardly see in this city. A smile, a child playing, bright colors (other than the neon lights of Times Square), or clean streets. It amazes me how gray all the people look. I wonder if living so close to each other with so much car exhaust has altered their appearances or if it is the lack of sunshine or maybe both. A large majority tends to wear black so it's almost like a funeral march everywhere. People will not meet your eye when they pass you on the street and ignore you when you try to greet them. I wonder if they notice this absence of community or if it is just because it is so foreign to me, that I notice it so pointedly. There is much about this city that awes me and saddens me at the same time. I am confused with how I feel about this place. I will continue to write about it while I am here and see if I can figure it out.

Tomorrow is the last day of the conference and we are going out to Lombardi's for pizza tomorrow night.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Day 2 in NYC

This morning started by trying to find a place that served Chai Latte’s. I finally had to settle for Starbucks. I’m pretty sure this particular Starbucks is the reason they shut down for 4 hours last month to retrain all their employees. Unfortunately this staff did not pay attention during the training or else this training was to teach them better ways to not prepare the drinks to the customer’s request and then treat the customer like they were their worst enemy – if that was the training, then these employees all got A++ on their report cards. I think I’ll skip that torture tomorrow and just have a simple cup of orange pekoe! Come to think of it, I should probably go thank those special Starbucks employees for saving me so much money!

After the Starbucks debacle we took a walk to Times Square. Wow…I was really surprised to see so many people there on a Tuesday morning. The lights were just like they show on TV on New Year’s eve and even during the day. The cheapskate in me was wondering how much those electricity bills must be. Even the police department had neon lights! While there I stopped by the Hard Rock and got the boys some t-shirts. I can’t believe they can get away with charging $24 for a t-shirt!! Oh, well, as long as there are stupid tourists like myself to shell it out, I guess they’ll continue to charge those unbelievable prices. The price I pay to be such a great wife and mother! Oh, gosh, am I walking down that road I wrote about last week? Eeek…maybe I actually set myself up for the fall of the underappreciated – please, say it isn’t so…..

Tonight we went to “the village” – do I sound like a local or what?!? We walked around quite a while before we found a restaurant (Lupa Osteria Romana – www.luparestaurant.com) that was recommended by a really nice girl that we ran across on the street. While walking around we walked past a fire department and I just had to again prove what a tourist I am and have my pic taken with them. Being the snot I am, I e-mailed this pic to a friend who is a total firefighter fanatic. I'm sure she'll thank me profusely -- hehehehe!

Back to the restaurant...it was a great place but the only part I didn't like was that I couldn’t tell what was on the menu because it was nearly all in Italian. The place is owned by a guy who has a couple shows on the Food Network -- Mario Batali of Molto Mario and the Iron Chef. I don’t watch much on that channel so I’d never seen either of his shows but my dining mates thought it was a big deal. I had the Saltimbocca (flattened veal topped with prosciutto and sautéed in olive oil) and Carciofi alla Romana (a marinated artichoke appetizer). They were both pretty good but would I be uncivilized to say I would have preferred the Fettuccini Alfredo from Olive Garden? I guess you just can’t take the inbred taste for fake, chain created Italian food out of the girl!

To top the night off I stopped by Godiva and picked up some chocolate for the family. I got one piece for myself. I love coconut with milk chocolate and they had it there! It was wonderful!! There was this woman once at my WW meeting who said go ahead and have chocolate but make sure it’s really good chocolate. In my opinion, Godiva is about the best I’ve ever had so I think I had the kind of chocolate that was called for tonight! Good thing I only picked up one piece or else I could have really been in trouble!!

Tomorrow I’m off to see the Empire State Building and have dinner with a girl from my church who goes to school here in NYC. Maybe we’ll go to the Olive Garden!! Oh, perchance to dream!!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Well...I finally made it and it only took 42 years to get here! I'm in New York City! Hmmm...so far there's way too much noise and way too many people for me. It sure doesn't look like it did on Seinfeld or Sex in the City. Is there a part of this city where there is only 2% of the people there are here? I'm in midtown Manhattan if you are familiar with "the city". I'll try to blog about my experiences here this week. I'm going out in about 1/2 hour for dinner so we'll have to see how much trouble I can get into! Stay tuned...

Friday, April 11, 2008


Get ready…put on your hats…pick up your margaritas…blow up the balloons…I am having a full blown pity party today! It never ceases to amaze me that the wonderful, love of my life, most amazing thing that has ever happened to me, can make me feel so unappreciated. I’m speaking of my DS! He is getting ready to graduate from high school and I am spending tons of money on this event and everything that surrounds it. I know that when it’s all over I’ll be glad but right now he’s making me so angry I want to pitch it all (which I won’t but that doesn’t mean I can’t stomp my feet and hold my breath anyway). Here’s the whole ugly story told in 5,000 words or less – prom is coming up and so is an 8 day business trip/visit to daddy that I am taking. We need to get his tux ordered before I leave on Monday and the city I work in has a place that has tuxes for much less than the tux shop in our city. In order to save time I asked him to come to my office today at lunch (he’s on spring break) so we could go over there and get this taken care of. His response was snotty (“I have plans” and “it would have been nice for you to tell me this earlier”) and I told him so – all via that wonderful contraption, cell phone texting. If I find out his plans were to go shopping with his girlfriend or some other such unworthy activity, I think my head might actually separate from my shoulders and do an exorcist-type turn! A guy from work and my DH both told me to tell him when I am available and that if he can’t make himself available at that time, then he is on his own to get it ordered AND pay for it. I can’t bring myself to do that but I will tell him how he made me feel while I am inconveniencing myself to do it on his timeframe – like I always do! Although I have told him that we are leaving the house at 9am tomorrow to take care of this knowing full well that means he has to get up earlier than he wants to. It's partially because I don't want to have to wait forever for the fitting part but more so because I want him to suffer a little. I know, I know, he'll need hours and hours of therapy to deal with his passive agressive mother when he gets older!

Why do I do this to myself? I consistently put myself out for others and expect them to appreciate it. Sometimes they do but most of the time I don’t think they have any idea how put out I was. I highly doubt I am the only one who does this. DH says I spoil the kid but I don’t think it’s spoiling as much as it is wanting to make life harmonious.
I deal with conflict nearly all day at work and I just want my home life to be a smooth working machine. Is that asking too much? I want June Cleaver’s life! (of course, minus the heels, hose, and pearls - and cooking - and cleaning - well...maybe I don't want her life after all!)

Gosh…I really am in a foul mood today – I think I might be PMSing so somebody throw some chocolate over the top of the barbed wire for me!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nothing much

This has been a nothing much day. Ever have one of those? It seems like everything is just so normal it doesn't really rise to the level of remembering. I went through the day in a comfortable way. Isn't it amazing how many days we spend in the world of nothing much? I would hate to wake up one day and realize that my whole life had been spent in nothing much. The problem is I can't remember the nothing much days for long so how would I even know I had spent my life that way. I guess that's the beauty of nothing much days -- you don't spend much time remembering them and pondering their meaning. Ok...well...I think I'm done thinking about nothing much and will make my way to bed so I can dream some more dreams I won't remember when I wake up. Come to think of it this might have been a very strange day indeed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I know it’s probably some crazy insecurity I have but I love those little questionnaires that tell you what Muppet you are or what kind of flower you most resemble. I came across one such scientific tool in a blog just today that will tell you what punctuation mark you are! Of course, I had to immediately go and spill my innermost preferences to what I am sure is an entirely accurate predictor of what I should base my entire future on. And….lo and behold it pegged me as:

You Are An Exclamation Point

You are a bundle of... well, something.

You're often a bundle of joy, passion, or drama.

You're loud, brash, and outgoing. If you think it, you say it.

Definitely not the quiet type, you really don't keep a lot to yourself.

You're lively and inspiring. People love to be around your energy.

(But they do secretly worry that you'll spill their secrets without even realizing it.)

You excel in: Public speaking

You get along best with: the Dash

Now those who know me certainly know that I am most definitely a bundle of something but what it is they do not always want to find out. I’m going to have to get DH to answer these questions. It says I get along best with the dash – wow, I sure hope DH is a dash or I may have to consider kicking him to the curb!! ;-)~

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Taxes are done!

What a relief!! I finished the taxes!! We are getting a small refund but that's way better than having to send in money! It looks like we will get that rebate check in the beginning of May although we don't get the additional $300 for DS -- he's too old! How in the world did that happen!?!?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

He did it!!

DS got state cuts in 2 events today!! I'm so happy for him. I'm glad he got those because he got his relay team DQ for taking off too early off the blocks and he would have been in a really foul mood otherwise. Turned out he wasn't too upset so that's a good thing. He went under a minute in his 100 Fly so he was really excited about that!

I didn't make it to the gym at all today - after the meet we went to dinner. I was pretty good. I did have 2 of the rolls which I certainly did not need but otherwise I didn't make too bad of choices. I definitely need to go to the gym tomorrow. I'll ride the bike again and then go through the circuit machines twice. I really want to see a good loss next week because I'm really tired of giving money to WW and not seeing a good result! I know it's not the program - it's my inability to follow it correctly. I've done this before and lost nearly 50# so I know I can do it. I just wish I could put my finger on what I did then that made the difference. I was 8 years younger so I know that has something to do with it but that can't be the only thing.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In the right direction --- slightly

Weigh in today was going in the right direction but not very far - down .2 - so while I was happy it wasn't a gain, I did want a larger loss than that. I rode the stationary bike 8 miles this afternoon in 1/2 hour. I was really happy with that accomplishment. I've got to learn to be happy with each small accomplishment because they will add up to something great in the end. I think my problems are when I try to reach giant goals and then get discouraged when I can't reach them. I need to break them down into small little attainable goals. Gee...I sound like every time management course I've ever taken. Do you think that maybe something is starting to sink in to my little ole pea? I would surely hope so!

Tomorrow we have a swim meet so I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to get my workout in but I'm going to give that some very serious thought tonight as I drift off to sleep. Speaking of swimming the paper got a great shot of DS last week. I ordered a nice print off their website -- $19.95 for a 5x7 -- ouch! It's just such an amazing picture that I have to do it. What do you think?

DS is having a great week - he got a 95 on his AP Econ test that he thought he bombed on. I sure hope his good luck extends to tomorrow and he gets his state cuts in his events at the meet. I know that will really take a lot of stress off of him. He wants to do such great things his senior year -- I wonder where he gets that drive?!?! Surely not from his mother!! ;-)~

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Call me an ambulance!!

OMG -- that Zumba class kicked my hiney! It was fun but I have to admit I looked at the clock a couple times hoping it was almost over. I wasn't as klutzy as I expected to be. I actually was able to do most of the moves right away. Of course I didn't look as good doing them as the absolutely gorgeous instructor -- that girl is definitely blessed with the beauty gene! She was very attentive to everyone in the class. I watched her constantly scanning the group to make sure everyone was doing ok. She even showed how to make the moves a little easier without pointing out who the slacker was (i.e., ME) -- saved me a bit of embarassment I'll tell you! The class ended 1:15 ago and I am already feeling very sore. I guess I don't normally move my hips like that! ;-) My feet are hurting too -- guess it's time for some new shoes....oh, you know what that means.....SHOPPING!!! WOOHOO!!!!

My plan for tomorrow is to go over the gym right after work and ride the bike and do as many of the machines as I can before I have to get over to WW for weigh in. I'm not expecting much since the light bulb in my head seems to have just gone off 3 days ago. Not quite enough time to make up for the fun I had the other 3 days of the week!