Saturday, April 26, 2008

#73 - Renew My Passport

You know what sucks? Paying $75 + a $60 expedition fee to renew a passport, only to have to renew it yet again a year later. (Ok, I know there are worse things in the world to contend with but work with me, people!)

My last passport was issued in the summer of 2005. In the spring of 2006, I got married and changed my name, thus making my new/old passport (with fantastic picture - a rarity for me) obsolete. For two years I've been putting this off. I've been purchasing tickets and traveling under my maiden name, even though all other legal documentation clearly states my married name. It's been fine so far, but I'm always a bit nervous when I do it. And instead of pushing my luck even further, I've finally succumbed.

I mailed off my passport renewal with name change today. And I'm not even under a deadline. Progress!

The only thing I'm a little sad about - and this is sheer vanity so I'm sorry - is that this is going to be the picture on my passport book for the next ten years:

It's not so bad. What really bugs me though is that I'm about 10 pounds too heavy right now. And when I gain weight, I'm like a chipmunk. I get FAT cheeks. Do you see those fat cheeks in that picture?!? They're enormous! They just take up so much... space!

And now every time I travel the world, I'm going to look down and see this picture and think to myself My God, someone tell that poor girl to lay off the acorns!


#55 - Take a Multivitamin for a Month

Greg and I are getting old(er). And playing soccer isn't helping, especially in the creaky knee department.

We've recently started taking glucosamine tablets in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, these things actually work. To be quite honest, I'm more than a little skeptical - skeptical of the whole vitamin, nutritional supplement and herbal remedy industry that's flourishing today. Its not that I don't believe any of them actually work. Its just that the entire industry is completely unregulated in any way.

(I just erased the beginnings of a long, rambling tirade that I started typing, but I'll spare us all. You can find much better debates on this subject elsewhere...)

The bottom line is that no one really knows whether or not glucosamine (and others) work. And even if they are effective, the tablets we buy at the grocery store may not be in the right form or dosage to be effective. So I guess we're just taking a leap of faith on this one and sticking with the philosophy that it can't hurt to try and hoping for the best.

So since we're taking this horse-pill of a daily supplement, I thought we might as well take a horse-pill of a multivitamin as well. And that's what we're doing - glucosamine and Centrum every day for a month.

We've started about a week ago, but we missed a day so I'm being honest and zeroing out the tally.

As of today, we've taken them two days in a row. I'll try to keep us honest until May 22nd - a full four weeks - at the very least. (I have always been crap at daily anythings so this may be the longest "month" ever...)

#54 - No Fast Food for a Month

Greg and I just watched the movie Fast Food Nation tonight. It's absolutely horrifying. Greg actually read the book a few years ago and was completely traumatized by it. He would always stop and read passages to me because he was just so astounded by the atrocities from every angle of this story - animal cruelty, pollution, workers' rights, disease, contamination, urban sprawl, illegal immigrants, the list goes on and on...

After seeing this movie, now seems as good a time as any to start this task of shunning all fast food from my diet for a month.

In fact, maybe its time to think about that going-vegetarian one too... The slaughter house scenes in the movie are graphic and hard to stomach. Not to mention the implications of working conditions, health- and safety-wise. Yes, I think I've been scarred enough to forgo my assembly-line foods for a while.

If this is a topic that interests you, you may want to check out the Meatrix animations that accompanied the extra features too. I realize they're every bit the emotionally manipulative propaganda machines that any fast-food chain is, but they basically summarize the message of the movie.

(And this reminds me that I've always wanted to read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle too. I'll have to add both of these books to my very long list...)

#7 - Beat Greg at Darts

I'm not going to count this as accomplished, but it's definitely progress...

While in Mississippi visiting Karl & Terry, the whole huge group played a few rounds of "Killer", the dart game where you have to hit your number 3 times to become a "killer" and then you can start knocking points off of other people by hitting their number. If a killer hits a person's number so many times that they go to zero, then they've been killed.

I don't know how this happened, but I totally WON the first game. I killed EVERYONE. Mwaaaahaaahaaaha!

Check out my maniacal, evil smile...

See the dart board? As they bit the dust, I drew them each a picture signifying their untimely demise. Am I a cold-blooded killer or what?

Friday, April 25, 2008

#70 - Drive to State I've Never Visited

So we actually took that trip to Mississippi last month to surprise our friend Karl as a late birthday celebration. He had no idea. It was awesome.

Karl was scared awake but quickly recovered and started passing the beers around. A good time was had by all.

The next morning Karl and Terry took us on a tour of the University of Southern Mississippi campus. It's gorgeous and everything was in bloom.

Mike & Amy, Brianna & Mark, Karl, Greg & me

Karl's a chemistry professor there so he showed us around the labs too. Oh, the joys of geekdom...
Later that night we enjoyed dinner and darts a local pub. It was great fun, even when Brianna was almost accosted by the sloppy, drunken lesbian.

The next day, Karl impressed us with his mad barbq'ing skillz.

They were, in fact, delicious. For a Brit from Essex, he's done an amazing job embracing this whole deep, southern lifestyle. After dinner, it was philosophizing time around the fire pit.

The perplexed look on my face here because I had just been arguing (heatedly) with Karl about something with which I have zero personal experience. I do that when I've had a few too many to drink and someone antagonizes me. Karl was having great fun. He lives to rile people up.

The next morning we took our tylenols, ate a huge breakfast and said our sad goodbyes. :(

I miss them. Even if Karl's boarish, pig-headed declarations piss me off sometimes. :)

Since we drove to Mississippi in the middle of the night, we didn't get to take in any scenery. But on the ride back home, we caught what we missed the first time. The most surprising bit was to see the effects of Hurricane Katrina three years later. One second, we'd look out the window to views of fields and fields of trees.

A few seconds later, we'd pass an expanse that had been whipped and wripped to shreds.

Its pretty amazing to imagine the kind of force that could mow down a forest...

Thanks, Karl & Terry, for being amazing hosts! You handled the invasion beautifully. :)

Ridiculous Amount of Updating...

I've been neglecting this blog so I'm going to make a serious attempt to update this list. Please excuse all the posts at once. I'm a bad, bad blogger...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

#9 - Funkify Our Guest Bathroom - SINKS!

Is it ridiculous to design an entire bathroom around a sink? Maybe not. If the sink were cool enough...

I'm frustrated with research and procrastinating so I did a quick search of vessel sinks to occupy a few minutes between reading papers. I've planted the seed in Greg's head of installing one of these in our guest bathroom, and I think he'd be up for it.)

So here are a few that I found and dig:

The last 3 wouldn't go with my previous decor ideas at all, but the plans aren't set in stone and could easily change. I love the feel of the 3rd sink from bottom. How awesome would it be to have a bathroom with an exotic, Moroccan/Old World style. In fact, I'd love to do our entire house in that style... Ah, if only money were no object.

Potential problems:
  1. Would I necessarily have to do a wall-mount faucet with these? And how difficult/expensive would that change be?
  2. I'd have to redo the counter too = more $$$. But I was hoping to do that anyway.
  3. Am I going way over-the-top with this whole bathroom redesign?

Again, this was just a quick search. I'll definitely do more research before committing.

If you want to tease yourself, check out Porcher. My eye kept being drawn to their absolutely beautiful basins, but since those run at around $1,500+ each, I think I better put them out of my mind...

#74 - Extremely delayed...

So I've kinda cheated on this one. I actually first highlighted my virgin hair a few trips to the hairdressers ago. But I haven't fully documented it. The first time, I was a complete wuss and only did a few little pieces with a very subtle change. The next time I went, I was a little more bold in both bigger chunks of hair and color (BLONDER!).

I know a lot of people gasped at the prospects of me adding a touch of blonde to my hair - my mom, sister, husband, etc. But I've gotten a lot of compliments on it. SO THERE, butt-holes! And its not that far of a stretch for me. I was a tow-headed kids until I turned about, I don't know, three(?), four(?), five(?). Then the entire time I was a teenager, I had natural highlights from spending so much time out in the sun playing tennis. Bottom line: I like it so I'm keeping it.

I just made an appointment for tomorrow to have it done again. I promise to post pictures this time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

#92 - New restaurant

Ok, so this one probably shouldn't count, but its a new discovery and I enjoyed it and I really need to post something on this blog (slacker!) so I'm tallying it up.

My friend Beth and I just grabbed lunch at The Spicy Pickle near campus. Its a bit hidden and for someone who usually brown-bags it, I'd never noticed it. But Beth apparently loves this place. I had a super-thin crust pizza with a pesto sauce, mozzarella, tomato, artichoke hearts, and feta cheese. Mmmm, feta... And I totally at the whole thing (I'm kinda regretting that fact now). She had some panini that looked really yummy too.

If you're within walking distance, its totally worth the little hike. 4 down, 16 more to go.