Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sad Weekend

Meh. This weekend sucks on a multitude of levels. First of all, someone (who will be later hunted down and killed) gave me a head cold. Who knew a body could produce so much snot? Gross.

Thank God for my DVR. Currently, am watching old episodes of "You Are What You Eat" (featuring one Gillian McKeith, Britain's Fascist Foodie who not only berates the morbidly overweight people who get hijacked by her and her camera crew but then demands poo samples as well) but have tons of "The Office" (American, not British), travel shows, "Modern Family, "Parks and Recreation", "Vecinos" "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "Sherlock Holmes" (I want to see the new SH movie coming out Christmas Day with Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. but I'll be in Europe and probably have a million better things to do, so it will just have to wait).

But this isn't what's so sad. I just got off the phone with my parents (as well as having gotten busted by my Dad for not taking my vitamins which is why I'm currently in the situation I'm in). But they told me they had to put one of their dogs to sleep late last night. It's extra sad because my Dad's a veterinarian and had to do it himself. But as he wisely noted, it's better to have it done right.

Poor Jerry Lee had a lot of health problems his whole life, but he just recently started having uncontrollable seizures. There wasn't anything my parents could do and the seizures were really scaring Jerry Lee so they knew the right choice was to put him down. They live out on a horse farm in Michigan so they could bury him in the yard which was nice. Although it's starting to turn a bit into a pet cemetery. I think they're up to 3 dogs buried there and 2 horses. As they jokingly put it, "In 200 years, if someone digs this all up, they're going to think we were a cult of crazy Satanists!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sasquatch and Huckleberries...

So we returned unscathed from last weekend's trip to the Great Northwest (make that the Cold Northwest). We spent a few days in Spokane for a Navy conference and then rented a car to go to Coer d'Alene, Idaho; Wallace, Idaho and Missoula, Montana.

Having lived 3 years in sunny San Diego, I really have forgotten that other areas have actual seasons, replete with snow, rain and gale-force winds. Not too fun, but it can be easy to slip into a sun-induced coma down here and lose touch with the real world.

Spokane was ok, nothing great but nothing to write home about (literally). Coer d'Alene was a cute little town with an artsy type downtown. See pic below.

However, our favorite was Wallace. Population 960. More pics to come, but unfortunately Lil M ate the USB to the camera and when we took it to Best Buy to get another, they actually laughed at our ancient camera. I know technology moves fast, but come on, that camera is only a few years old. They told us to check Ebay for parts. Sigh. Time for a new camera apparently.

Wallace was picture-book cute and people were really friendly, but we definitely didn't go in the right season. Both the Bordello Museum and the Silver Mine I wanted to go to were closed for the season.

But I did learn what they mean when people say, "that pass over yonder, it pritner be closed for the season." They're really just saying it's too snowy to take the road through the mountain, so you're F'ed and have to stay where you're at. Sorry sucker.

We did, however, manage to make it through Lookout Pass into Montana, but I know now how the Sasquatch could be a real thing. First, let me say that when I used to teach English as a Second Language, we had this afternoon course about American culture (ie. all the really crap things, like Las Vegas and Lizzie Borden) and one of the topics was Bigfoot.

Because of the ridiculous way the material was written, I could never make it through that lesson without cracking up like a million times. They actually had one sentence in there about miners hiding under a bed in their cabin while a Bigfoot threw rocks at the roof of their cabin (see what I mean?)
Anyway, now seeing how many trees there are and how mountainous and rugged the landscape is, I see how that urban myth has persisted. It really is lonely country up there. Not to say I'm a convert, but it would be nice to actually believe in something :D Loch Ness, here I come.
Anyway, I'll depart with these two funny (at least to me) photos.

Hee, hee, hee. Outside our hotel room in Missoula. Who the heck says "pilfering" let alone writes it on a sign? I don't know, but I'm in love.

Missoula was great, BTW. A very booky college town. Much like Ann Arbor, Michigan where I grew up. We found a wonderful used book mega store, called Hastings that is open until 11 p.m. I bought Nick Hornsby's "A Long Way Down" and a collection of stories by Isable Allende. We had a great lunch (with a surprising amount of veggie options) at the Iron Horse Brew Pub.

Again, with the isolated lonely thing, but Missoula is only 1.5 hours away from Wallace and NOBODY could tell us what to do there, because they had never been there. One 18-year old girl said she had only left Wallace one time. Did I mention this town only has 960 people? Oh, and 11 bars? I guess I know where she's spending her time instead of traveling.

Hee, hee. This sign was outside a Dairy Queen where we had an ice-cream date in Coer d' Alene. Notice the last line. I told Leo he was going to get thrown out. Priceless....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why oh why did I teach my husband how to work this?

Let me start off by saying I LOVE Netflix--not only does it satisfy my lame desire to always be getting something fun and interesting in the mail, but they also carry all the Britcoms and other independent movies that the regular video chains don't carry.

When I travel, I usually just load up 2 or 3 movies that I know my husband will like and which, previously, I had just been bumping back down to the end of the "queue"(how is this British word gaining in acceptance nowadays--what, we're too posh to say the word "line" now)?
His pics tend to fall into 1 of 2 categories---war movies (any decade, any war) and car movies--he finally wore me down enough last year to see Smoky and the Bandit--yes that's right, Smokey and the Bandit from the 70's. Like Burt Reynolds when apparently he was hot. I wouldn't know. Sigh.

He does through in an occasional movie about Cuba or Miami, just to spice it up apparently.

However, when I went to Brazil earlier this year for 2 weeks, I decided to take pity on him and show him how he can log in and choose movies as well as how to put them in order.


I looked at my "queue" yesterday and now it's sprinkled throughout with movies such as "Cocaine Cowboy" which arrives Monday; Two-Lane Blacktop which features one of the members of the Beach Boys as a "drag racing drifter"; and Empire of the Sun, which is about the Japanese Army invading Shanghai during World War II. Now this movie won tons of Academy Awards and all that, but please--it was made in 1987 and is 2 and a half hours long!

Personally, I think it's all a subtle and rather cunning plot to torture me. All I can say is paybacks are a bitch :D

Although in all fairness, he has sat through some real stinkers that were "Kristin pics"....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


To the Snuggie! Not to be confused with the Slanket. For those not familiar with the blanket with sleeves/modern-day monk wear, here's a video to bring you up to speed.

I've seen this commercial for awhile, but never thought I would buy such a thing. Well, long story short, I have to lead a class discussion for my Management and Strategy class and part of that involves a Bingo game (yes I love Bingo and no, I'm not 100 years old--I just grew up WAY to close to Canada).

Anyway, after a few drinks the other weekend I thought it would be funny to have the Bingo prize be a Snuggie. Something everyone secretly wants, yet is ashamed to buy.

So I valiantly set off for Target and endured the shame of buying not only a Snuggie, but a leopard print "Wild Side" Snuggie.

I stored it on our dining room table, yet as the days passed my sense of wonder grew. Until one day, in a peak of curiosity I opened the cardboard box and broke the plastic seal to the Snuggie.

Thereby began my downfall. I couldn't resist the soft, velvety touch of the Snuggie, coupled with the ease of arm mobility. They're right. No blanket can compare. Once you go Snuggie, you can't go back.

Disgusted with myself (it is someone else's prize after all) I put away my secret shame. Only to return to it the next night. The horror.

The following night, I resisted (mostly because I had a meeting and went out afterwards) but tonight the old longing returned and I had to don it for a few minutes at least.

I'm not sure how this saga will end, but I do know what my European friends are getting from Christmas this year!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Words that are better in Spanish and words that are better in English

So, I've kind of been thinking about this post for awhile and I'm sure as soon as I post it (meaning tonight at 2 a.m.) I'll think of a ton more but an abridged list will have to do for now.

Here is my very unofficial and highly subjective list of words that are better in Spanish. And then my list of words that are better in English. As well as a list of words that are equally beautiful in both languages.

Better in Spanish

Leche meaning "milk". For some reason, I absolutely can not stand the sound of the word milk. It's those two consonants, the l and the k, somehow meshing that just sends the skin on the back of my neck crawling. Meh. This is the reason I refuse to see the Sean Penn movie, "Milk". I just couldn't bear hearing everyone keep saying that word.

Tiraste un pedo meaning "You farted". Ok, the secret's out. I'm over the age of 8 and yes, bathroom humor still cracks me up. I know it will until the day I die and I'm ok with that. Really.

However, the best part about the phrase tiraste un pedo, is that you're really not just saying you farted. Rather, you're saying, "You threw a fart." How awesome is that.

Todo el Mundo meaning "everyone". When I first leaned this particular turn of phrase, I was reading a dialogue about a 5 year old children's birthday party. And they said, "Todo el mundo came to the party". I remember going to Leo and being like, ok, this book is ridiculous. Obviously the whole world didn't go to this little kid's birthday party. Maybe his aunts and uncles, a few cousins possibly but certainly not the whole freaking world. And said spouse, was like, "Oh, that's just how we say everyone." Talk about an overstatement.

Better In English

Toes which in Spanish is "dedos de los pies" which translates to "fingers of the toes". This just sounds wrong (and quite scary, to be frank) on so many levels.

Peacock which, arguably, isn't the greatest word ever. Until you hear the Spanish. Which is pavo real which translates to royal turkey. Peacock's looking a bit nicer now, no?

Shorts in Spanish translates to pantalones cortos or "short pants". Now I didn't grow up in a British boys-only boarding school, but if I had I imagine I'd wear pantalones cortos and probably get my ass kicked 24/7.

Words that are Equally Beautiful (or Horrid) in Both

Butterfly= Mariposa

Pantano =Swamp (meh...)

Manteca= Lard (I found this one out the hard way halfway through a burrito at one of the more "traditional" burrito shops in town. I say gross in both languages!~