Sunday, July 31, 2005

Spread 'em!

So, Will's little Subaru group organized this photo scavenger hunt. Each team pitched in $20. Top 4 finishers won $ back. There was a list of ~60 items that we had to bring back or photograph, each with varying points associated with. We had from 8 PM to midnight to complete this.

I think we were pretty efficient and had a good plan. Well, I had a good plan. Will played along. And I drove around the downtown areas. Much easier than him missing turns and us fighting. Lol.

Most of this involved humiliating Will. Which is always amusing for me.

Some highlights:
*Pic of Will in a fountain downtown (except then he had wet *Teva feet" and couldn't run very fast)
*Pic of Will on balcony (this bar I go to - I made Will run up there)
*Pic of Will on the light rail train (he jumped on, I snapped the pic, he jumped off)
*Pic of Subaru (Will's car) in front of Minute Maid park, Toyota Center (Rockets b'ball), and Reliant Stadium
*Pic of Will in a sombrero at a specific restaurant
*Pic of Will with a fish tank and bringing back chopsticks (ran into a sushi place, snapped a pic - which confused the staff and ppl eating there, grabbed some 'sticks and headed out the door)
*Pic inside this room at this one bar I used to frequent. Except there was an "engagement party" who had reserved the room. We barged in anyways, got our pic, and wished the couple congratulations on our way out.
*Job application (not from a restaurant). I tried 4 gas stations and NONE of them had paper applications, but REALLY wanted to know when I'd be back so they would have it for me. Ended up at CVS.
*Pic in front of a $80,000 car. Stopped at a mercedes dealership - they had some $97,000 porche out front. Bonus points for being in the car and driving it, but it was too late. And the car was locked (I tried the handle...)
* business cards from a tatto place and a bail bonds man
* 1959-1970 penny (we dug thru my wallet while we were stuck in traffic)
*hotel soap or shampoo. I had to get buzzed in by the front desk guy to get in the hotel. Then I asked for soap. He handed it to me, I walked out. Hee.
*happy meal toy
*candy from a restaurant with the restaraunt's name on it. This was a bit tricky, as we had to think of where to go. We called Melting Pot at 11:05 - a guy did pick up, but they were closed. He confirmed that they had the candies that we needed and left them on a window ledge by the front door. Nice!
* Pic of Suby on dirt road. We parked on the construction road in front of my office.

And my FAVORITE. Which is awesome. 100 points for partner in hand cuffs. 100 points for partner with a cop. 100 points for partner bent over squad car, as pictured above.

Will is *such* a good sport. As was the cop. We were one of the few teams who met a cop that would do this for us. And yes, the cop did place AND lock the cuffs on him. Very trusting on all our parts....

Some of the things we didn't get:
* Pic in a fireman helmet - bonus points for full gear on team-mate
* Pic of airplane on the ground
* Pic of dog in Suby (we don't know anyone with a dog)
* Pic on ferris wheel (I tried, but it was a PITA and we scrapped it)

Sadly, we didn't even place. Oh well, we had fun and I got a *really* good pic of Will on the squad car!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Update on Strip Club Parking Lot Activities

An update for my previous post....

I've been meaning give an update about the bbq'ing and other assorted activities at the strip club parking lot at 5 am. Mysteriously, no more activities have been observed. Coincidentally at about the time I blogged about them. Hmmmm. Behold, the power of the blog.

Now watch - tomorrow morning, they'll be back. Just to prove me wrong.

Frank Black

A Frank Black song was on XM Ethel on my way from swim practice to work this morning. Any Frank Black song instantly zaps be back to June 1993.

A few months earlier, we got this new guy at school - Adam. He was quiet, didn't talk to anyone. I prefer to think he was shy. I thought he was too cool for words. Not handsome, but good looking. Vans, funky t-shirts, sideburns. He was cool because he wasn't trying to be cool, you know? Just that classic Gen X/Alternative indifference-independence.

So, I noticed him. Decided he'd make a good challenge. I asked him out. Well, I asked him to a movie, the details of "friend or date" didn't come up at that moment.

We hung out all that spring and into the summer. Mostly as friends. Mostly. See, he came to Littleton from Phoenix. And had a long-term-girlfriend (as in years....) who still lived there. And silly me was convinced that I could convince him that *I* was much better for him to be dating. What the hell was I thinking?

Anyways, he took me to see Frank Black at the Gothic in Denver. We managed to score front row, which really consisted of standing (it was standing room only) and being squished into these metal bars guarding the stage by screaming fans (fun, right?). Reverend Horton Heat opened. It was a great night.

So, somewhere along the way of us hanging out during those months, we kissed. A wonderful kiss under the elm tree at night in my backyard. I was feeling victorious. I had suceeded in winning him over. He was talking about breaking up with his girlfriend in Phoenix. Yes!

Then, for whatever reason, he went back to Phoenix for 6 weeks. And predictably, they got back together (or continued to be together?) Then, for the rest of the summer and a few weeks of the school year, she stayed in Littleton with him. And me being the stupid girl that I was, I called him WAY too much for the first part of the summer that he was home. Bad form. I finally came to my senses and gave up and hung out with several other guys that summer.

Then school started and it was just awkward between Adam and I. I'm sure my incessant phone calls during a 2 week time-frame caused tension btwn him and his girlfriend. And my starring at her when he took her to school functions (she had her bellybutton pierced, which was a BIG deal in 1993). We signed up for a class together for the semester - back in May. So now we were stuck in this class, not really knowing anyone else in there. Poor guy. I did explain to him that yes, I was well, obsessive for a bit of the summer, but I'd accepted the fact of Phoenix-girl being around, and had moved on. He'd never really believed me. And I think I treated him a bit too much as an enigma after that for us to truly be "friends" in a casual and laid-back hang-out sense of the word. Which is sad, b/c he was a cool guy. So cool, that he's one of the few ppl from back then that I think about and wonder what they're up to. But I messed that up and he went back to Phoenix for college with Phoenix-girl and I'm sure they're married and all that crap by now.

But we'll always have Frank Black - and for that Adam, thanks.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The itsy bitsy spider

Decided to live inside my video cassette which contains my Amazing Race (TAR) application! You just know he's going to go squish when the tape is played.... Do spiders affect the quality of video when they're squished?? I seriously almost re-did our tape due to the spider factor...

This whole TAR application process has been much more stressful than it should be. Which makes me wonder if we (my hubby and I) should even be applying for the show. If we are fighting over the application process - what makes us think racing would be better?

Making the video has been nothing but a painfull process. We had to borrow our friend's video camera. Have had it in our possession for well over a month. I had all these cool ideas for our video - a montage of all the cool stuff we do. Will racing, me swimming, us biking on trails, maybe some footage from our skydiving video. Did we manage to actually do any of this on tape? No.

Our first attempt at making the video was the day before the 4th of July at Brazos Bend. Then I got the beginning of heat stroke (ok, exaggeration, but still - it was HOT) and didn't feel like talking into a camera.

Then the video came along with me to my swim meet. I really don't want ppl seeing me swim, so I had him record my races so I could evaluate my stroke - and not to use them for the application.

So, then its the week before the damn thing is due. All Will can come up with is to sit on the couch and explain why we'd be good on TAR. Why, how original. I come up with the concept of driving and taping eachother. You know, like a preview of what they can expect to see on the show, since so much time is spent in cars with a camera in your face. Pretty lame idea, but it was the best I could come up with, given our time and geographic constraints. Once I got Will to quit using the voice from the Seinfeld episode where he went "Heeeellllloooo!" and talk un-cheeseball-ish, it was ok. Some funny comments, good banter, race strategy. About 30 min of video.

We get back home to edit it down to 3 minutes. A few revelations:
1) I do not like my profile. At all.
2) I look fat.
3) I talk really, really, frigging s-l-o-w. Like crazy slow.

I had no idea I talked so slow! I think fast. I type fast. Why do I talk so slow???

So, editing this thing into 3 minutes, while retaining content, was NOT FUN. I hope what we ended up with was ok. Discussion on how we can both drive standard. Why we'd be good for the show. And discussion about what would break our "rules" for the game, what the rules were, and alliances.

Then we ran out of time and the tape merely ends. No finale or closing message. Just static.

Oh well. Like I said, given time constraints (and the fact that this was all done during the week after work) its the best we can do.

Then there's the photos and copying of our passports. Misery. Took me 3 hours to print 3 pics. Because we don't own any recent actual photos from film and I had to go all over town playing with various digital picture producing machines, buy inket printer paper, and then had to print them off the crappy laser printer at work. And when I was dashing to and fro from my desk to the printer (on opposite sides of the office), someone decided (unbenownst to me) to put my folder of photo paper (which was in a neat stack on the table by the printer) in the supply closet. So, I came running back from my computer to load paper into the printer - and everything was GONE. Just gone. This sucked b/c A) I needed the printer paper and b) our passports were in the folder WITH paper. I lost my mind for about 10 minutes until I found it. No idea who the hell did that, but I'd like to reclaim those 10 minutes back.

So yeah, wish us luck with the application. Because it sure as hell hasn't been easy so far!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Flippers Anyone?

So, we're at Smith and Woolensky's for Thursday-night-martini's. About 8 or 9 PM (I lost track...) we get hungry. But being girls, we can't decide where to go - until on of us is RAVENOUSLY hungry. We spy PF Changs across the street, and hop into my truck, as its the closest, and its raining and we don't want to get wet. Well, I keep my swim gear in my truck at all times (b/c I swim up to 4 times a week - its just easier to keep it all in there.) K sees my flippers and flips out (how punny of me). Immediately puts them on. Fortunately, I had my camera to document all of this, in our semi-drunken hilarity. So, its raining, but she rolls down the window, puts her feet outside. I've got another friend up front with me trying to talk on the phone while K is tapping the outside of her window with the flippers, and T & I are dying laughing. Oh yeah, and I'm trying to drive one block across the street while this is all happening.

So, we park and have to walk to the restaurant. K decides its funny to walk to the resturant with the flippers on - you know, b/c its raining and there's puddles. And they're FLIPPERS! Anyways, about 10 steps into it, we realize this is a pain in the ass, pose for one shot, and remove the flippers. Then we didnt' even eat at PF's b/c of the huge wait. But, we did get a really *good* laugh out of the deal, so it was more than worth it. Thanks K for the laugh!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Saturday Swim Practice

I actually got my ass out of bed at 6:15 this morning to attend a *voluntary* swim practice. This never happens. I specifically have a rule against getting up early on Saturdays - unless its absolutely necessary. I must be insane. Husband and the kitties think I am.

I only went b/c I've got this swim meet next weekend. And we're doing a team entry for relays. So the point was to practice relay starts and set up our relay lineup. Well, that only sort-of happened. No starts, but we did go out for breakfast (another benefit of Sat AM practice - b'fast with friends) and set up our relay order.

Dude, I am going to die.

This meet is outside (must remember to buy tinted goggles....) in a 50 meter olympic sized pool. I've never swam in a 50 meter pool before. I practice in a 25 yard pool. So, I'm guessing that psychologically, this will be pretty tough, b/c after 25 yards, I'll be expecting to hit a wall and do a turn, but in reality, I'm in the middle of the pool. This could be good or bad - I haven't decided yet. Then there's the fact that meters are longer than yards. Not much, but enough to make a difference. So that will kill me as well.

Then there's my events. I swam competitively in high school, then destroyed both shoulders swimming 100 butterfly (as my specialty) my senior year. Phys. therapist said it was either surgery or quit swimming. Since I really wasn't all that good of a swimmer (not good enough to qual for state or swim in college) and I was going to attend a small engineering college in Montana that fall (which didn't have a swim team), I opted to quit swimming. So, since college, I've tried a variety of land sports (running, hiking, biking) and well, my knees don't like land activities so much. In fact, so much that knee surgeon told me to quit running and start swimming again. Eeek. Fortuately, I've found a team with a GREAT coach who has tweaked my technique so much that I have zero shoulder pain.

So where was I? Oh yeah, my point was that I have not really swam competitvely in oh, 11 yrs. I entered a meet last December just to "see" Old Erin compared to Young Erin. Surprisingly, my times weren't all that far off my best JV times. I'll take that.

So for this meet, I'm kicking it up a notch. Swimming as many as 6 events in one day. Which doesn't sound like much, but trust me, it is. Swimming 100 breastroke (which I haven't swam in a meet in 12 yrs - this should be fascinating), 100 free, 50 back, and then 3 relays. Based on the lineup we set, I'm anchoring the 400 medley relay (swimming 100 free as the last leg - it was either this or frigging 100 butterfly, which violates the "no butterfly ever again rule"), starting the 200 free relay (meaning I dive off the blocks - no pressure!), and then who knows what I'll swim in the mixed (men and women) 200 medley relay (assuming I have the energy).

So, I've got my work cut out for me next week. Think good thoughts for me - and hope that I don't get too sunburned.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Do not feed or molest...

Yeah, the beloved husband took me to a state park last Sunday to go fishing. Which park? The Alligator Park. Where these signs are posted everywhere...

Now, all of this would have been fine and dandy - except it was ~100 degrees and (I'm assuming) nearly 100% humidity. So it was motherfucking HOT AS HADES out. And you couldn't actually SWIM in the lakes we were fishing in - because we'd get eaten by the alligators. Add to the mix that we chose this day to attempt to make our Amazing Race application video, and I got the beginnings of heat stroke, and it just wasn't a very fun fishing trip. We did shoot some video footage, but I'm not sure we'll use it.

And I'm not against fishing. I like fishing. Like for instance, last summer when I was fly fishing on the middle fork of the Flathead River in Montana. That was fun. Fishing in the heat with gators is really not as fun as it sounds. Tough to believe, I know, but you'll have to trust me.
And if you don't believe me about the 'gators - here's a small one that was 50 feet away from where we were fishing...

And no, we didn't catch anything, either.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Where is my camera phone today?

Wait, I'm too cheap to actually own a camera phone....

Normally, I don't really want/need a camera phone. Just those times when I see something really crazy (or need photographic evidence for something) and wish I could capture it in 0's and 1's.

So, I was returning from Pei Wei's (getting carry out to eat at my desk - lovely). So, as I was leaving the parking lot, this woman was walking to her car - wearing head to toe sky blue spandex. A spandex top, running shorts, and tights (leggings? no idea what the correct term is) that were all the same color and luster - metallic sky blue. Are leggings/tights still around? Not to mention that in the blast furnace that Houston is lately, those things would melt to your legs and cause severe burns.

So, further down the road - two more camera worthy scenes (though not as good at the Blue Spandex Queen). Two women were at a bus stop. One was head to toe in orange, head COVERED in white guaze. Other woman was arranging gauze to cover her entire head - including her face. Now I know its hot and all - but wouldn't covering your face just make you hotter and cause you to suffocate?

Then on a hill (not an actual hill made out of dirt - just an overpass. Houston doesn't have any *natural* hills) - there's some dude on a moped. But its a dead moped. And he's sitting on the seat "walking" the bike up the hill, only the seat is so tall, he's using his tip-toes. Now, why he didn't just get off the moped and WALK the thing up the hill like a normal person is beyond me. But wait - normal people don't actually own mopeds.... ok, that explains it.

Anyways, that was my entertainment on the way back from picking up my lunch. Now my day has peaked and I have nothing to look forward to. ;)