Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rollerpunks Are Badass

I'm still hoarse. What a game!

Thank goodness there were photographers there, because I suck at pictures as we all know.

Check it out!!

Jay Vollmar, the artist behind the awesome RMRG art, took this one.

That's The Kid, with the red pigtails. Isn't she fabulous?!

Dave Wood took these.

Doesn't she look so intense there?

Victory Lap! They won 31-30. Unbelievable.

The Kid only got to be in one jam... but she *was* the pivot. And she *did* block like a champ. And it *was* only 10 minutes long, so there ya go!

The rest of the weekend was lovely. TR came up Friday night to hang and play Life and eat Halloween candy.

It was so nice not to have to drag my butt out of bed at 5:30 AM, because Saturday was a lovely, cool grey morning. Perfect for a lie-in before being pummeled by my massage therapist again - she found a trigger from which I'm still recovering. Ow! I had planned on carving pumpkins but I was short a carving arm as a result of the massage. Instead The Kid did her own, start to finish. It's the first time she's ever done that, and I think she was really proud.

We still have a few to go...I think I'll put her in charge.

Saturday night, of course, was THE BOUT! I slacked as a parent, and The Kid had to do her own getting-ready. The massage really took it out of me and I ended up taking a 2 hour nap. She looked great though, and I probably would have fussed over her hair or makeup or something anyway, annoying us both. As it turned out, she did just fine without me (as you can see!) and all was well.

And she kicked ass!

Sunday, despite being wiped from the night before, was yet more Derby practice! She's still feelin' it, let me tell you. She got elbowed by some rotten kid on the other team Saturday night, and she's got the ow to prove it... thank goodness for Ibuprofen.

Last night, Monday, I had a math test.


Well, there's always the next one I suppose! This one, not so much.

I'm so glad I'm going for an English degree.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween Kraft Krazy

It's so good to know I'm not alone.

There are entire websites dedicated to others with the Kraft Krazy, and while normally they restrain themselves to useful things like sweaters and bags and such, sometimes the creativity really shines and you find something so awesome, so truly beyond what you might have thought of yourself, that you can't help but share.

One of my favorites is Craft, because they not only take the time to find really cool stuff, they also don't just stick with known designers. If someone posts a picture of their craft to the Flickr account, they will see it. If they think it's cool, and particularly if you have a website with a tutorial or some such thing, they'll put it up and everyone will get to enjoy, or participate in, your creativity. Cool, right?

Today, since it's only 10 or so days til' Halloween, I figured I'd share some of their latest Halloween finds, because I know not everyone obsessively looks at the blog daily looking for patterns they'll never make but lust after anyway... it's why I have an Evernote account.

I'm enjoying Halloween a little more this year. Last year I wasn't in a great place, very bummed all the time and kind of just... I don't know, out of sorts. I was broke a lot...truly I'm *still* broke a lot but I've evened things out a bit and am *less* broke, and less often. Anybody who thinks money can't buy happiness hasn't ever truly been broke, or had to decide between this or that in any real way. I'm *much* happier when I have enough to buy a couple of pumpkins at Halloween, or the occasional German pancake for my daughter on a Sunday morning, knowing that even though I indulge a few dollars like that there's no worry of not being able to afford gas or groceries, that I'll have to decide how to stretch $50 for 2 weeks of food. (It can be done, but it sucks.) These things may seem insignificant, but they are things that make The Kid's and my world go round, and while I'm not suddenly rolling in dough now, far from it, I do have a little breathing room. A little goes a long way.

Does that make *any* sense at all?


Though we did buy pumpkins this past Sunday, we have yet to carve them, which is okay because I sort of like them sitting on my kitchen table, being orange and Fall-y.

But I digress! Halloween KK ahead!

First, my favorite today... Zombie Barbies!

If only I'd thought of this; can you just imagine a gaggle of these on your front lawn, pushing their way out of the dirt?! Creepy, but funny, and I don't think Barbie would mind too much. It's just a costume after all... right? Anyway, a zombies attack could never really last long. Science proves it!

From creepy to cute we have these little things.

Cute, right? If I had time, and didn't know the pain and agony that making teeny tiny little amigurumi items could bring, I might try it this year, but.... no. Instead I will just admire.

Craft can entail more than fiber and glue, of course, and this is certainly an original:

Uh... yum?

Blood slide candy. Brilliant! And gross! There are actually a lot of grody (yet probably delicious, if you're brave enough to try them) foodstuffs out there, like disturbingly realistic bread organs and bloody brain cupcakes. Me, I like the cuter side of Halloween, like the blood bank cupcakes I made a couple of years ago, or the dead gingerbread men.

I called it "Tasting Day At The Blood Bank". They were only a little gross, filled with raspberry jam so they "bled" when you bit them, but they were more funny than... well... bread hearts. Seriously if you haven't clicked the link up there, do it and tell me that's not severely realistic.

While looking for that picture, I came across the photos of what The Kid made last year. I still love these tiny pumpkins The Kid made, and the detail on the little bag. She's so creative! In fact, I decided to add the pumpkins to the Craft Halloween contest this year. Wish us luck!

CRAFT Halloween Contest

Be careful with your Kraft Krazy, though... much like the awful bag I made Elise for her birthday, the items on this page show that just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. Take, for example, the following actual pattern book that somebody really wrote and published.

Enjoy your nightmares of pie and stalkers!

Regretsy, a seriously funny website dedicated to finding the weirdest stuff on Etsy, dug up this gem and asked its followers to make ones of their own, because why not, right? Proving yet again that I'm not alone in my Kraft Krazy, the Regretsy folks ended up with more than they bargained for, which they are now selling in order to donate money to a young boy named Aidan, who's battling Leukemia. Nice, right?!

They're still creepy though.

I will grant you the following.
  • These look really hard to make, so props to the skilled knitter who pulled them off.
  • They look really warm, something I can certainly get behind, especially as my tolerance for cold gets lower and lower.
However, I say again. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should, unless it's for charity.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 18, 2010

That's A Mighty Long Post For A Lazy Weekend

The Kid and I had a fun weekend. We were very relaxed and lazy, and it was glorious.

I have found more and more that since my return from Planet Vacation, I have had a much more calm view of things. I'm a lot more willing to let stuff go and just kind of rearrange as needed. I know I go on about the whole vacation thing, I mean people go on vacation all the time right? They don't all come back with revelations about themselves, do they? I'll shut up about it soon (probably) but for now I'm kind of enjoying riding the wave of "eh, whatever - let's go for a drive" that has appeared as my new attitude about life. I'd like to keep it, actually. It's awesome!

Saturday morning we slept in a little bit, and I tried to contain my shock at the revelation that my Child appears to have gotten herself her first boyfriend. I don't entirely approve of him, but she said yes to his offer of a date because "he's funny". It's a good start. I told her to be sure not to let him talk her into anything stupid, but like I told TR, I have to trust that I've taught her well enough that she'll make good decisions.

I also told her not to agree to hold any sort of anything for him unless she has first visually verified that there are no police cars anywhere.

"Is this from personal experience?" she asked, illustrating that I've told too many tales of my misspent youth. If I can't be a good example, I can at least be a horrible warning, right? (In truth, it was a friend, but I had to run with said friend, and it was awful and a pain in the ass.)

After running the gamut of "OH MY GOD MY BABY" and "Do I want my kid dating a boy who listens to Insane Clown Posse?" (only for the music, she assures me, and not for any of the "juggalo" nonsense), I woke The Kid, gave her my lecture, made her pancakes and took her to the school fundraiser she had signed up to work.

Then I went home and watched a Karen Black movie while crocheting a bikini because the Kraft Krazy senses the Christmas Kraft Krazy approaching and must be vented somehow or else about 10 afghans will get started and I'll be a wreck. Know your strengths, I always say, but more importantly know your limits.

After picking up Child from the very boring fundraiser (ask me later about how disappointed I am with the whole Leadership Academy thing), she asked me "can we go to the craft fair?".

Old Me would have been able to find a million errands that had to be run (I need a new shower head and a furnace filter, among other things), would have gone on and on about laundry and vacuuming, but New Me (See? I had a point.) thought for a moment and decided sure, why not.

I did a few craft fairs way back when, after learning how to make wire-wrapped jewelry. I was very proud of what I made, it really was nice stuff, but what I found out is that craft fairs are horrible for vendors. You shell out many dollars for a booth you have to set up and stock, and then you sit and hope that people will do more than just touch all your stuff and rearrange your displays. They rarely do, and unless you have extraordinary luck, you will not only be one of 10 other vendors selling exactly the same thing, you'll probably be right next to them, because rare is the event coordinator that stops to consider the idea of variety. It's frustrating, and discouraging, and I decided after the 3rd one that I was going to stick to being an attendee. I just don't have the patience to sell my wares, and frankly because of it I ended up losing interest in jewelry making.

I don't even enjoy going to craft fairs anymore, really, because I feel for the poor crafters stuck behind their huge displays of fake flower arrangements and stuffed animals made from socks and Hobby Lobby fabric. I know their pain. I also have this really awful tendency to look at stuff and mentally figure out how to make it myself.

I'm a terrible person.

I did have fun with The Kid picking through the bargain bin at the card making stuff booth; we found some supplies for making our Christmas cards this year on the cheap and learned some new things, like did you know you can use a wood-burning tool on contact paper and make stick-on stencils for glass-etching? NOW YOU DO.

After that we headed home and were shocked (SHOCKED!) to see it was already 5PM! My shoulder was hurting, so I gave in and ordered pizza, which was pretty good - I had them overcook it, so the cheese was brown and perfect, and they included a deliciously fresh salad. I talked TR through a good chunk of Kansas, and The Kid played an awesome new online game, a sort of animal themed "university" where you earn degrees in various subjects by learning new things (and this is why I don't worry about her - that's her kind of fun). A little bit of Pushing Daisies on Netflix (a great show!) and it was off to bed for both of us.

Sunday, at about 8:30 AM, The Kid woke up with a craving.

"It's Sunday," she said.

"Dur," said I.

"It's before 10 AM..." she coaxed.

Silence from me. I knew what she wanted... I just like to make her work for it. So mean.


"Can we? Pleeeeeease?"

See, there's this restaurant, Aunt Alice's. It's a diner, the kind I've always loved and the only one around, really, at least in Longmont. It's totally un-updated with a counter and old booths and the same waitresses who have worked there for eons and have regulars they greet by name.

Sunday mornings, they make German Pancakes which are awesome & cheap, and a quick calculation in my brain told me we could afford it. (I may have mentioned their German Pancakes before, but who knows. This is post #348, can you believe it?)

But here's the thing...

Old Me would have made us get dressed, maybe thrown a load of laundry in first, vacuumed or something, and generally screwed around being obsessive about stuff for an hour. After all that, Old Me probably would have managed to rationalize herself out of spending the whopping $15 it would take to have a nice morning's breakfast with her Kid and ended up making eggs instead.

New Me said "can we wear our sweatpants, do you think?" and we were off in 5 minutes flat. Lucille's I would have nixed as too pricey, but a couple of pancakes seemed pretty do-able. Life is for living!

After breakfast, it being a gorgeous Fall morning, we decided rather than go home and hole up until it was time for Derby, we'd take a drive into Lyons and go to the quilt shop. It was closed, alas, but we had fun anyway, driving around and looking at little tucked-away houses. The views from some of them are amazing, but I imagine it sucks after a heavy snow.

On the way back, we noticed a pumpkin patch. Did Old Me take over and say "we don't need pumpkins, wait for next week," and drive by? Nope. New Me said "Awesome!" and pulled in. We walked a corn maze, stared at some really bored-looking goats, and picked out 4 perfect pumpkins, plus a few little ones.

I really like New Me a lot better. She's way more fun.

The afternoon was nice... I took The Kid to practice, and after grabbing our tickets for her BIG DEBUT this Saturday (I'm so excited for her!), I headed over to see TR. It had been a long time since leaving Florida (he was still there awhile, then in Nashville with his brother), and I was glad to see him! He was a bit cross-eyed, having only returned at 4AM after the rest of his very long drive through Kansas and points East, but glad to see me too, and I was able to relieve him of several bags of Disney goodness that were clogging his floor...my how those things multiplied!

The Kid loved her Mickey ears... I love mine too! TR got them for me after I left for home, because he's awesome like that. Mine are blue and sparkly, and have fireworks on the ears, and The Kid's are more traditional...black with gold stitching. We both agree we have the best ones.
She also loved her giant Eeyore (I saved it for last) and her awesome Japanese swag (Totoro cards and flip-flop-socks that are as she put it "like mittens for your feet!") and various other goodies.

I had fun going through everything, and realizing that although I remember being seriously hot the day I got my Germany beer stein, it's only in the vaguest of ways. What I really recall is how delightfully cold the beer was, the talk about German Christmas glass with the nice kid in the ornament shop, how much I laughed at the players getting slayed by the Chilean Ham, and how much fun I had with TR. That's why we get souvenirs, ya know? It might appear to just be a plastic beer stein with a Disney logo on it, but for me it's a fantastic memory.

After a dinner of almost-not-burnt brats and boiled potatoes with butter (oh yes), I settled down to some math homework, The Kid went to bed (we're trying a closed door now, since the cats are a nuisance, cute though they may be) and that was that.

It was lovely and relaxed weekend, and I didn't worry about anything, and you know what? I still got my laundry and cleaning done. Just... later.

And the world didn't explode or ANYTHING!

Today's a beautiful day, and I have no complaints.

I hope you have a lovely Monday!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


So remember when I managed to hurt myself at work, just sitting there making phone calls and scanning and stuff?

Well, things have gotten progressively better as time has worn on, thanks to the addition of a headset for my phone and moving stuff on my desk around for better access, but there's still some ick.

It should be noted that in Florida, my shoulder never hurt once. Not even on Space Mountain.

I'm just saying.

So the workers comp docs, after doing what they can, sent me to Be Well Body Works for a few sessions of deep tissue massage.

Have you ever had this done?

It hurts, but in that "I know this is going to be good for something" kind of way.

So first of all, the house wherein the magic lies is this adorable blue confection in downtown Longmont. It's got a beachy sort of sunporch where clients wait and listen to the sounds of waves crashing on the shore (courtesy of a sound machine). Needless to say I let my mind wander awhile with that - I think I need one of those things.

When my turn arrived, Kelly (owner & operator & goddess) took me to a room filled with quiet and little bits of spiritual happiness from all walks of faith - feng shui gold coins, a buddha, a lovely wooden cross - and a candle that was scented so lightly as to be completely ignorable. She knows her stuff.

She had me lay down... and then got to work. "You're gonna hate me for this," she said.

I didn't. But I maybe cried a little.

Just a tear or two.

Next time will be better.

It's hard to wear a bra today, though. Ow.

Last but not least... I want to note that Kelly also has a website featuring "Massage and Merlot". I think this has to be explored.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Vote For Me! (There's Potential For A Giveaway...)

Don't ask questions, just vote for me!

You can't just go on faith? Fair enough, here's the details.

So there's this catalog I love, GaelSong. They have all kinds of celtic pretties and Ren Fair type things that would only collect dust in my house but STILL. I stay on their mailing list, despite having not ordered anything in probably 10 years, just so I can drool inappropriately from time to time.

WELL. Imagine my delight when I got their most recent email and it advertised... a writing contest! If I win, I get a $500 gift certificate...or a $100 one, which is just as lovely.

I hope you'll go vote for me, I don't think you even have to sign up for anything.

The goal... to describe the imagery on the Halloween catalog's cover, "spinning a tale" as they put it. I hope you like it!

Fall brings the simple pleasures of early twilight and the rustle of fall leaves underfoot as we walk beneath the watchful eye of the ravens that fly above.

What will we reap during our harvest-time, as we begin our trek into the dark from the balance of the Equinox? What will we gain as the dark comes on full-force, as we wait for the balance that Spring will bring us once again?

White-frosted grapes in the scrying ball seem to speak of good food and wine during the cold of the Winter months… and they will be long and snowy. The bare branches and drifting flakes of the smaller seeing-eye tell us that.

But what do our cards tell us? The Moon speaks to us of intense emotion, of cycles…what kind of emotion are we bringing with our red candles? Perhaps caution should be our friend. The Wheel turns ever onward, though, and we are reminded that the snows and dark – inside and out – won’t last long. All will pass with time. And what of the Princess? She is free of burdens… will Spring bring a freedom of our own?

Best to light our fires, check our stores, and guard against the dark…

Because here it comes!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Love Florida, But Oh You Kid!

I loved Florida. I miss Florida... those palm trees! The food! That ocean! And my SKIN... oh it felt like I had permanent lotion. "Ocean Lotion" as TR called it.


Mornings like this remind me of what I love about Colorado.

Dear Universe:

Please let me win the lottery so that I can quit my job, spend lots of time with TR & The Kid, pay off my house in Colorado, buy a house in Martin County, go to school full time and get a teaching certificate in Colorado and Florida. You know, for commuting purposes.

Thanks a bunch,

(My demands are few.)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I was thinking about how musical tastes change as we get older. Driving in to work this morning, Nine Inch Nails' Closer came on. I used to love that song, but it was, as I discovered, something I only loved in a particular context. I'm not a 20-something malcontent in fishnets anymore, for better or worse, and NIN no longer applies. I still think the music is genius, but I can't imagine a place for it in my life anymore. Same goes for most of the Gothier music I used to listen to; it was stuff I enjoyed at a particular time in my life, but very little of it stuck.

One can only listen to so much Joy Division.

I find that the music I still listen to tends to be more upbeat and warm-blankety, if that makes any sense?

Did you have a favorite band when you were growing up? Of course you did.

My first favorite... The Monkees.

I LOVED me some Davy Jones.

I would scour garage sales for their albums, listen to Pisces, Capricorn, Aquarius and Jones, Ltd. over and over (I LOVED Pleasant Valley Sunday), and fantasize about what I'd say if I ever got to meet them.

Would I ask for Micky's autograph? Scream and cry and wail at Davey? Crack jokes with Peter?

Ask to touch Mike's toque?

LOOK AT THAT THING. I wonder if this is why I like crochet.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the shows I'd been watching had been filmed before I was even born, and that in fact they'd been broken up for ages.

What!? I was like TEN. What concept of time periods did I have yet?

Time marched onward, though, and a love of one British cutie turned in a love of 5.

Duran Duran.

I'm not sure what it was (besides John Taylor, second from the left there, who is still as cute as ever - I suspect dealings with the Devil), but I loved them to pieces. They were the first band whose images I cut from magazines, taping them to walls in my room, whose clothing style I wished to mimic (the cuffs were pushed up BELOW THE ELBOW, thanks very much). I had all their albums, and of course listened to them incessantly. I still love them... The Chauffeur and Save A Prayer still show up regularly on personal playlists.

I even "choreographed" a really bad dance routine with a friend for a sixth-grade gym assignment. It didn't go well, and it haunts me still!

Next up, just in time for junior high, was INXS. I went through a huge Australia phase, starting with Crocodile Dundee (don't mock me!) and Big Pig, who did one of my favorite nobody-knows-about-it albums ever. (Sidebar - TR does. This is one of many reasons I like him.) Somebody introduced me to Michael Hutchence's curly locks and Aussie accent, and there was no going back.


I obsessively collected all their tapes, all the way back to the very first one which nobody had but me. I had to get it imported, and that was BEFORE the internet...it took doing!

After Michael Hutchence died - my first experience with humanity in an idol - I threw all my tapes out. I regretted it later, but at the time I was sure I could never listen to them again. Fans of The Beatles might understand this, though I'm in no way comparing the two, merely the sentiment. I can enjoy their music again now, but then? Not so much.

During the wane of my INXS obsession came the advent of the band whose continued presence in my life has irritated some, amused others, but always given me comfort.

The Cure.

Not too long before high school, I had foot surgery. It was done on both feet, and I was laid up for a solid 6 weeks, watching Santa Barbara and hobbling around with a walker. To ease my pain, my mom brought me a couple tapes of music... I don't remember the others, but one was The Cure's Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, which remains one of my favorites.

What is it with me and accents?

True FANDOM set in with The Cure. There weren't just posters and concerts and tshirts and stickers, there was identification with and memorization of lyrics. Many Cure songs made it onto horrible mix tapes. I could assign a Cure song to any situation. I even used one song, How Beautiful You Are, as my public speaking assignment in my Freshman year drama class.

I drew fan art - some of it pretty good - and even showed some early Kraft Krazy by using fabric paints to make my *own* fan shirt. It got lots of compliments, and then it got stolen - a true testament to not only the cool art but also to the fact that I was not alone in my obsession.

The Cure was the first band where I found and participated in a community. Cure concerts are fun places to people-watch because of the diversity of that community! Young Goth kids who appear to have raided my 17-year-old self's closet, 60-year-olds in Hawaiian shirts who probably went to their first shows way back when the band first started, and my generation who find ourselves somewhere in between. We still want to pull off the raccoon eyed look, but we're becoming more and more aware that Hawaiian shirts and sneakers are just so much more comfortable than PVC and leather on a hot July day.

Those groups give each other the eye, the young kids wondering what the hell Grampa is doing there, the old folks wondering if the be-leathered whippersnappers have any concept of The Cure before Disintegration. All that goes away once they take the stage, though, and when everyone collectively freaks out and yells the lyrics to this song or that, we're all together and on the same page.

Overstating it a bit? Perhaps. But it's the truth.

I've experienced other concerts and music venues in much the same way, but The Cure will always be the first one, because I've been 2/3 of that crowd so far, and I'm well on my way to the last bit. The last show I went to, I brought The Kid. And I wore Crocs. And my back was hurting so I used my handi-tag.

I don't listen to The Cure very often these days, although sometimes I feel the need to bust out The Head on the Door or one of the other myriad bits of memory-filled music I own - and I have a LOT. Their music is so ingrained in me, it's almost like I don't have to listen anymore to hear them.

These days my musical tastes are all over the place. I mentioned the warm-blanket feeling, and that's really what drives my choices now. If I'm feeling content with the world, I gravitate toward mellow stuff like Dave Mathews, or some Beck if I want to drive a little faster than ol' Dave will take me. If I'm feeling blue, I try not to listen to the Smiths, but sometimes I want to wallow and only Morrissey will do. If I'm feeling the need to relax, I throw on TR's Black Rock City mix from last year and lose myself in there for awhile. If I need to be a badass for awhile, Garbage works almost every time - nothing like channeling Shirley Manson to really get that "don't mess with me" look on your face.

So what are you listening to these days?

What bands did you LIVE for way back when that you almost never put on anymore, but which still hold a place in your heart?

(Thanks go out to Wikipedia today...they provided all my links, and made my life easier.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Florida, Part the Third... and Derby Names

When we last left off, TR & I had finished up at Disney and were on our way south.

TR smartly planned a little sojourn afterward, I think knowing that we'd both need a little relaxing after the madness of Disney, and it ended up being my favorite part of the trip. Even more of a favorite than Space Mountain and drinking our way through Epcot. It was good to spend a couple of days doing nothing much.

After Kyle the Amazing Luggage Guy got all our stuff down to the car...

Oh wait, did I mention the car TR rented while his van was in the not-really-AAA "AAA Car Care Center" outside Disney?


Have you ever driven a Mustang convertible? I have, and yes I'm totally bragging. I loved that car.

Anyway we tucked our stuff in the bitchin' auto and headed south on the Florida Turnpike. TR had good memories of stopping at the way-stations along the road as a kid to collect information brochures (you know the ones, there in a tantalizing array, promising fun for years on end), and The Kid & I like looking at those as well (we always have a good pile when coming home from pretty much anywhere), so we stopped at one. They reminded me of the oasis that show up here and there in Illinois, straddling the highway with promises of bathrooms and Baskin Robbins. They were irresistable! While we were there we also grabbed a sandwich to share from Earl of Sandwich, which was really good! Grilled bread, some kind of yummy sauce or other, hot turkey and crispy bacon...I wish they were in Colorado! We had wanted to eat there while at Disney but hadn't gotten the change. So... kismet!

We kept on driving and finally made our way onto Hutchinson Island and the Atlantic Ocean. There were some tropical storms brewing out on the ocean, so although we had clear skies, there were strong winds and heavy surf, and it was gorgeous. The hotel was lovely, quiet and our room had an ocean view.

I love this picture

TR had planned it so that we would be in our room and on the balcony in time for the moon to rise over the ocean; he even brought the mead I bought him for Christmas, producing a couple of glasses as a surprise. Très romantique, non? I thought so.

We were hungry, so we used Trip Advisor (which is awesome) to find something to eat that didn't involve the hotel. I wanted something a bit local - Floribbean as it turns out - and we found just what we were looking for in Cap's Island Grille.

Cap's is awesome! The food is fantastic - the fish tacos alone are worth the trip - and the guys who own it (Craig & Paul) are really nice. They made TR & I feel right at home! We even left a record of our trip on a dollar for their wall-o-bills. It's like a time capsule waiting for the next time we go there.

Saturday we lazed about for a little while before heading out for breakfast at the hotel's restaurant. It was your standard buffet, but it had a ton of fruit, and TR made a fruit salad to end all fruit salads... it was so good we had it Sunday, too! After breakfast we took the 'stang out for a tour of the surrounding area. It's gorgeous there, did I mention this? Two things of note...
  • Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge. This place was awesome; we toured the museum, learning about some seriously horrific wrecks, and enjoyed the view from the porch, but the best part was talking with the two owners, who had chucked it all and moved to Florida some time before, and now run the place. They are truly livin' the life.
  • PP Cobb's General Store in Fort Pierce. We were looking for a coffee shop next door, but it was closed. Kismet again! We walked in and were immediately awash in kitsch and fantastic music. Truly a general store, the shelf by the register featured a jar of mayo (one jar, mind you) a few cans of cat food and some allspice, among other things. The owner also has a collection of pre-WWII music CDs he's put together. TR bought all 4 and we enjoyed them immensely the rest of the trip... at one point I thought I was going to bust something laughing at one of the songs in particular.
After touring around all day, we needed some time in the ocean. We stopped at one of the many, many parks set up along the way, getting our feet wet and admiring some Sand Pipers, which were being cute and probably eating sand fleas, which aren't actually fleas. Who knew?! Well, TR did...he knows stuff.

Deciding that it would be nice to actually go in the water (rather than just getting our feet wet) we decided to go back to the hotel and hang on their beach. We weren't able to go in too deep, because the undertow was really strong... we both ended up getting knocked around like defective Weebles just standing calf-deep, much to our own and others amusement. Thankfully, there are places to shower off and de-ocean, because there is, as I now know, nothing quite like getting a wedgie from the Atlantic when it's kicking up sand!

The regular pool, as it turned out, was warm as bathwater, and we spent some time there (we still wanted water, and the pool offered less danger, though only slightly less sand) before deciding it was definitely time to eat... it had been a long day.

After the moon-rise, it was time for dinner at Cap's again, much to our delight, and then it was back to the hotel to crash and sleep in Sunday morning.

Sunday... well, Sunday was a kind of a bummer, much as I tried not to let it get to me. I really didn't want to go home, and the car ride back to Orlando was quiet, at least until the GIANT F'ING BUG appeared. I'm still not sure what it was, but it was enormous, red and lived in the back. We could hear it buzzing. Why didn't we just put the top down and let it go on its merry way, you ask?


There had been a few flying around when we were in Disney, but the bit of rain at the end had really upped the population. They're harmless, but EVERYWHERE.

You can't linger at the airport drop-off, so it was a quick kiss, grab the luggage and then...

I was on my own again.

Want to know something really silly?

I cried on the plane when it was taking off. It sounds really girly and dramatic, I know...and so unlike me! I analyzed it later and I think it was just like the day after any big event. The "hey wait, I wasn't done with that!" factor was HUGE.

I think it's proof that this vacation was more than just a fun trip when I realize that it really truly feels like it's been a month since we were there - in fact I keep telling TR that I'm looking forward to him coming back (he's in Florida still, and headed to Nashville shortly to help his brother move). I am looking forward to that, of course, but it's like I haven't seen him in ages; it's only been a week! He probably thinks I'm nuts. (No news there, but still.) I was so removed from my normal life that coming back felt like returning from another planet. I really needed that, I think... the removal of me from myself. I'm not sure I've ever had that before. It was just really different than anything I've ever done, and it was surprisingly affective.

The problem, of course, is that I want more. Not just more Disney, although that's a blast, and not just more beach and palm tree action, though the ocean is calling to me. What I want more of is...


Time to do jack shit if that's what I want to do. Time to look at things and SEE them, not just take cursory glances because I'm on my way somewhere else. I want time to stop and smell the roses. I fear going to my grave not having seen more than a sliver of what there is to see.

Or maybe I should just relax and enjoy my memories... I just wish they didn't seem so ancient already!

Anyway, back to the world...

It's Monday!

And I have exciting, non-Florida news!

The Kid? She passed her skills test. All the hard work she did paid off. Now we just have to come up with a good name for her... Daisy Mayhem, it seems, is taken. Even T-Lex (her other choice) seems to have been co-opted at least twice. I suggested Lexcessive Force, but she didn't like it... too many letters, I think. She wants something punchy!

I suggested she think of a name she'd like to be called, since your Derby name is how you'll be addressed, and she came up with Clementine and Jude. Clementine is taken, both as Clementine and Darlin' Clementine, but Jude only shows up once... as Jude O'Chop (which is hilarious). I had thought of Jude Betterwatchit, but it seems clunky.

We are open to any and all suggestions, got any?

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Disney Madness, Part Two

Let's see, where did we leave off.

Oh yeah, Epcot! Gorgeous, fun, best food ever, drank like a fish, I can't wait to go back! Etc!

So besides Epcot, we had a brief visit to Animal Kingdom. We didn't spend as much time as we would have liked, for sure, since it was pretty hot and we were both fairly pooped (and I had a bit of a headache). We got to see some wildlife, like flamingos and spoonbills and crested cranes and gorillas (which are just awe-inspiring), plus the Tree of Life. I would have liked to see it closer up but it was hard to get to... what I did see was unbelievable!

This guy was posing for me

There are so many animals carved in here, I wonder if anyone's every seen them all!

I loved Dinoland, U.S.A., a love-note written to the days of Route 66 and the American road trip, complete with cracked and repaired blacktop roads and a theme of the end of the Dinosaurs. They also had Motrin, so they get extra points.

We also rode Everest, which turned out to be another favorite roller coaster! It's scary, but...




TR has been to Nepal, and says you'd swear you were there with the design! Those Imagineers, I tell ya. I mean look!!

Does that look like an amusement park to you? There are all these little bits of decor all around the park, including things you'll only see if you explore them. Those are definitely some of my favorite things at Disney, like the Hidden Mickeys, things that you'll only see if you really look. Like most things in life, it is what you make of it. You can go to Disney and just ride rides, or go for the good food (hello Food & Wine Festival!), or go for your kids, or just to relax, but you can also explore and see all the little things that have been left for you to find.

I like that option. I'm a big fan of the behind-the-scenes tour. I like knowing the hows and whys.

I definitely want to visit Animal Kingdom more next time, to spend a full day there and go on one of the safaris, and have more of the awesome barbecue at Flame Tree.

We visited Magic Kingdom a couple of times, occasionally by boat which was awesome. I love being on the water. (Note to Elise...when we all go together, and we SO WILL, we're going to have to rent a pontoon boat and bring a cooler, seriously.)

Magic Kingdom is definitely the "classic Disney" spot. There's Main Street USA, which greets you when you arrive and has windows emblazoned with the names of significant members of Disney history.

There's lots of shopping of course, and everything smells so good! There's lots of shopping everywhere in Disney, actually... a trip to Downtown Disney proved that for good and all! It's like Disney's mall over there, with the added bonus of Cirque du Soleil and Ghirardelli Chocolates.

The first visit to Magic Kingdom was also right around lunch time, and TR was looking forward to get some more of one of his favorite spots to eat there, Columbia Harbour House, so off we went! They have awesome fish, fantastic sea-faring decor and a birds-eye view for people watching and checking out the little Disney touches that are everywhere, like Tom Sawyer's fence - only half white-washed, of course. Another one of those things that you won't see if you aren't looking!

Like Epcot, there was a LOT to take in, but it was different in that it was more about classic Disney than innovative Disney. There were a lot of icons here, most notably Cinderella's Castle, which looks huge (a testament to those Imagineers), the statue of Walt & Mickey out in front of the castle, and rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan.

That crane on the left there was up and down all week, decorating

We explored a little bit that first day, riding Splash Mountain (no I didn't flash anyone) which was awesome and just thrilling enough at the end to elicit a good sold yelp. That drop is pretty steep! We also rode Pirates and Haunted Mansion a couple of times, though my eyes couldn't take it all in - the details are unbelievable! I loved the pirate ship sailing far off under the ghostly moon on Pirates, and the deeply creepy, almost unseen portraits of Gruesome Cousins of Yore that lined the walls of the Mansion.

We also went to see The Enchanted Tiki Room, something I've always wanted to see, and the Hall of Presidents, which made me want to stand up and cheer! There wasn't a dry eye in the house at the end of it all. I think all American kids need to see this at least once in their life, to remind them of who we are... or at least who we're supposed to be.

The best time, though, and really I can't believe how we lucked out, was the Halloween Party Thursday night. It's a special thing they're doing all month. There are jack-o-lanterns in all the windows, special fall/Halloween decor and gifts everywhere you look, and at night...

Oh, at night it's transformed!

We happened to go at just the right time. Thursday was a full moon, the Fall Equinox, and the weather was fantastic. TR & I both brought costumes with us, so I in my Pirate Garb and he in his Burner Fantasticness both got to run around and be admired (the kids LOVED his purple boots), and act like kids. Riding Pirates of the Caribbean, in pirate gear, with my brand new fancy shootin'-iron tucked decoratively away in my bodice, was definitely a highlight. I even got into character a bit, lightly threatening the loud girl behind us (she loved it, as evidenced by all the giggling).

We also rode Peter Pan, which charmed me utterly. As TR said, you could almost hear Uncle Walt telling the designers "no, make it FLY!".. and it does, over London, Nana, the Lost Boys, the Mermaids, Princess Tigerlilly... the whole 9 yards. We rode it twice in a row... the bonus of going to these after-hours things is there are practically no lines for anything!

The Haunted Mansion was, of course, totally done up for the occasion, with cast members dolled up and lurking, doing their best to give chills to those brave enough to venture inside... there was even a real live ghost hanging out and chatting on the front lawn! She was hysterical.

We attempted to take some professional pictures, though I'm not sure how they came out. Despite the nice weather it was still pretty swampy, and my hair was wet, so I'm sure I looked like a drowned rat; that's okay though... You'll notice a lack of photos, in fact, and this was on purpose. I took a few with my camera phone, of course, but I wanted to experience it all with my eyeballs, and avoid spending too much time on memorializing. I'll save that for next time.

There were special fireworks for the Halloween Party, too, and this is where they really went all out! The crane we saw all week working on the castle turned out to have been decorating and re-decorating every day just for this! Now THAT is dedication.

They managed to make Cinderella's confection of a castle into this evil-looking, acid-green monstrosity, a place you'd be afraid to visit even in the full light of day... and the fireworks were unbelievable. We watched from the circle in front of the castle, the moon full and riding high in the sky, grinning with delight. I know it's hokey, but that was when I truly felt Disney make magic for us... real magic, the kind that you can't explain or deny. I'm always one to rationalize myself out of true enjoyment; I can always see the seams on a costume, or the bolts on a ride, or the switch on the wall of a display. Disney makes it so that you not only don't see those things, you forget they might even be there.

Yeesh, I sound like a commercial. But so be it!

After the fireworks and some more rides, we found that once again, 5 hours had zipped by and we only had half an hour left! We raced across to Space Mountain, and let me tell you...


This was one of my favorite rides in the World. It's super fast, super fun, and though it's a bit awkward to get in and out of (especially when in a corset - yowza), it was unbelievably fun... and FAST.

Our last day in Disney we went to Magic Kingdom one last time. The weather was finally starting to get interesting, and we even managed a good solid downpour! I got to ride one more icon of Disney, the Jungle Cruise, which was hysterical and very Bob Hope. One more bit of fish from Columbia Harbour House, and one last go on Space Mountain...

And that was it!

It's kind of cool that the first ride of Disney was Spaceship Earth, and the last was Space Mountain... and our last Monorail ride was the green one, my favorite! I can't wait to go back.

Well that's enough for today I think... I have one more tale to tell, all about fast cars, palm trees, moonlight, music and fish tacos.

Next week!

Happy Friday, and I hope you had a wonderful week. Me, I'm aghast that a week ago right this minute I was riding Space Mountain. It feels so long ago already... I'm already back to my routine, although I seem to be more relaxed about it all.

I think this trip changed me.

Thank goodness!