Sunday, September 21, 2008

Family Beach Weekend, 2008

This was the best weekend ever!

My brother John and his wife Hue brought their two kids, Emma and Sara, to Pensacola for the week. They live in San Diego, CA, so this was a big deal! They come over about once a year and stay at a condo on the beach, so this past weekend we went over to visit with the whole family. It was so great to see everyone at the same time in the same place. It was like Christmas in September. Oh, and no one threw a temper tantrum - a true Christmas miracle. Here are some pics

My snookie and me on the beach!

All the girls: Mom, Liz, me, Hue, Nikki, Valicia, and Maria
All the guys! Bill, Jodie, Andy, Dad, Hill, John, and Gavin.

The kiddies! Joseph, Katie, Emma, Sara, Rebecca, Connor, Anna, Ella, Chloe, Alex, Andrew, and Jackson.
Mom and Dad! Dad is a sandals man. Always has been.

This is Gavin with the twins, John (left) and Bill. We like to joke that Gavin is the missing third twin. Awww.

Also, Gavin and I finally got a chance to fly our kite! We took the kids out on the beach Saturday morning and had lots of fun with it. Here are some pics of that.

Gavin and Katie getting the kite airborne. Me helping Sara fly the kite - the wind was strong so she needed a little help holding the controls.
Me with my nieces Katie, Sara, Emma, and Chloe. Love those girls!

Anyway, it was such a great weekend. I even caught a fish! I was elated for about five seconds until I reeled it in and saw it flailing helplessly and realized what I had done. Committed murder. I immediately started begging my bro-in-law Jodie to save it. He tried, God love him. I really struggled with that. And yet I have no problem eating fish caught by others. A conundrum.

So I want to thank John and Hue for making the trip and my mom for putting it all together. I love you guys!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One more thing!

In other news, Stinky Lady from the gym is engaged!

One day recently, when she hopped onto the elliptical right next to mine, ignoring all the rows of empties, as usual, I noticed something glittery. I glanced down quickly and saw the ring!

Congratulations, Stinky Lady. You have managed to find a soul mate who can look past your inexplicable refusal to use even the most rudimentary form of body odor control, and love you anyway. The ring is nice too - platinum, nice sized rock. You go Stinks!

I rag on her, but you know, I think Stinky is probably a nice person. I'm also not worried about her reading the blog and recognizing herself because 1) total stranger; and 2) stinky people never actually realize they stink.

So Best wishes, Stinky Lady. This Bud's for you.

Chicago review and weekend recap

Ok, so the Auburn football post was a little self-indulgent. I mean, how dare I use my own blog to vent or demonstrate my wide array of interests and analytical skills when I have an audience to think about. My apologies to all 3 of you.

Now, let's see. My Chicago adventure began when my only friend in Chicago, Marcel the Cab Driver, picked me up from my hotel at about 5:30 p.m. to spirit me away to the downtown wonderland. I had to take cabs everywhere, so I just kept calling Marcel because he was so nice and I learned so much from him.

A few fun facts Marcel taught me during our travels:

1) He is from Cameroon, Africa.

2) Cameroon is a republic, even though many countries in Africa are dictatorships. It is 75% Christian, and the other 25% of the population are mostly Muslim.

3) There are more than 250 languages spoken in Cameroon, mostly tribal languages, although the primary languages are French and English. It is pretty hot there, and Marcel has trouble with the cold weather in Chicago during the winter.

4) Marcel speaks four languages! French, English, his mother's tribal language, and his father's tribal language. If Marcel wants to converse with a fellow Cameroonian, his best shot is French or English, because they will probably not speak the same tribal language.

5) Marcel feels that everyone in the world should speak English. Interesting.

6) He thinks Auburn is Harvard. I didn't correct him.

I also didn't fact-check Marcel, ok, so if you find out any of the above is incorrect, sorry to have misinformed you about Cameroon.

Anyway, Marcel dropped me off at the Navy Pier. He thought this was the safest place for me to hang, as an unaccompanied female, and I must say I appreciated that. The Navy Pier has restaurants, shopping, a ferris wheel, and swings (!!!), which gave me a great view of the skyline.

I ventured into town a little bit but retreated back to the Navy Pier when the crowds started to die down and called Marcel to come get me. He took me on a little tour of the parts of the city I didn't get to see, then took me home. He charged me a flat rate both ways, so no, it didn't cost me extra. That is the first thing people ask me when I tell this story, as though my friend Marcel would rip me off. Whatev.
When I got back to town, I realized quickly that Tallahassee had deteriorated into a gas crisis. People were panicking for no reason and filling up their tanks. I had a half-tank so I stayed above the fray, but still, 80% of the gas in Tallahassee is gone. People. There better be some gas on Friday when I head to Pensacola or I'm really going to be pissed off at the stupidity.

The highlight of my weekend was when my friend Mary came to town! We went to happy hour, then to the American Legion hall with some friends to hear a band. We danced with old guys. Well, I did. Mary got shot down. We're pretty sure that old guy was just intimidated by her radiant beauty. Awww.

So that's it - sorry it wasn't Adventures in Babysitting or Ferris Bueller. The museums were closed and I didn't sing at a Blues Club while fleeing bad guys. Maybe next time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A few thoughts.

Well. Last night I watched the most painfully ugly Auburn game I have ever witnessed in my life. The score. Are you ready for this? The score was Auburn 3, Mississippi State 2. Wow. MSU got the two points because our center held in the end zone. It was a penalty that resulted in a safety for the other team. Otherwise we would have shut them out, 3-0. Woo hoo!

I want to say right off that I am so super proud of the defense. With the exception of a couple pass interference issues, they played fantastic. I'll take a pass interference call over a touchdown anyday, so I've made my peace with that.

The offense is a completely different story. They are trying to implement a "spread offense" and it's not going well. I mean, if having your pride decimated and spread all over the field for carrion to pick at is a spread offense, then we are killing it. Otherwise, we have some serious work to do.

Here is a list of things for Tommy Tuberville to accomplish before LSU completely destroys us next week.

1. Teach the QB to scramble. One of the nice things about a spread offense is that there are numerous vertical gaps to exploit, because the defense is spread thin around the field. He could have run the ball for several first downs but just kind of ran around confused. Work on that please. He has more options than just passing and handing off. Given his performance with these options, you'd think he'd want to explore the alternatives.

2. Teach the RBs to hang on to the ball!! I thought we were going to address this LAST WEEK after the FIVE fumbles against Southern Miss. Fumbling is never good, but Auburn fumbled last night at extremely crucial parts of the game. You people are trying to give me a heart attack.

3. Teach the offensive line when they are allowed to move on the line of scrimmage and when they are not. They clearly don't know. While you're at it, teach them the holding rule. They don't know that one either. WTF. Sugarbear knows those rules.

4. Find Al Borges and beg him to take us back.

5. There are oh so many more things to work on... play selection, kicking game, third down conversions, finding creative ways to get out of that contract with the new O.C., the list goes on.

Ok, I feel better after my diatribe. I just hate to see Auburn embarrass itself like that. If I didn't care, I wouldn't say anything. Hopefully they will work out a few kinks so we can at least get some touchdowns in future games, or at least make some kind of offensive showing.

On the bright side, a win is a win is a win, and we are 3-0, and 1-0 in SEC play. That sounds a lot better than the reality, though. Right now I am preparing myself for a long season. Sigh. Hey - at least I'm not in denial.

In other news, I'm back from Chicago safe and sound! I had such a great time wandering around the city Thursday night. I felt pretty safe too. As soon as the crowds started to dissipate, I packed it in and headed home. Chicago is a great city! I hope I get to go back soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Hello world. And when I say "world," I mean the smattering of family members that read this blog. They're a great smattering though, a loyal one. So I'm in Chicago! I'm here on a marketing trip and so far so good! When they first scheduled me to go on this trip I thought I'd be flying on 9/11, but I'm not - only 9/10 and 9/12, so that's kind of a relief. I know people say that 9/11 is probably the safest day of the year to fly, but I just feel like it would be kind of strange in the airports.

The client I'm here to see sent a shiny black Lincoln Town Car to the airport to pick me up! That was cool. I felt like Oprah for a hot second. Then I found out it's actually cheaper to use the car service than to pay for a cab, so I realized that wasn't because I'm special at all. Well, my mom still thinks I'm special, so take that.

So tomorrow evening, after my work day, I'm venturing out into the city by myself. I don't want to go by myself, because I hear Chicago can be a scary place. (Remember "Adventures in Babysitting" ??) BUT I'm the only one on this trip and I don't have a buddy here. I came all the way up here and who knows when I'll be back. Is it really windy? I have to know! So, come hell or high water, my ass is soaking in this city tomorrow night. I won't be too late - my meetings end around 5:00 so I'll even still have a little sunlight.

It's really nice weather here. 70-ish degrees, clear, and breezy. The Chicagoans I have met have told me this is rare and exotic weather for Chicago so I need to take advantage of it. I brought a sweater, so I should be just fine. They also told me which parts of the city to hit and which to avoid, which I appreciate, because I'm down with staying alive and keeping my money. I actually have an arsenal of personal weaponry at home: a stun gun (from Gavin), pepper spray (from Carol), and a thing that emits a super-loud and shrill siren when you pull the string - kind of like a sound grenade (from Mom). Unfortunately I can't bring any of that stuff on the plane so I only have my wits to protect me. My problem is I'm too nice to strangers. Gavin says that is going to land me in someone's trunk one day, kicking out the tail lights. Well, no talking to strangers tomorrow. Aloof.

Well that's about it. I have to be up ass early tomorrow so I should turn in soon. Big day! I'll include a recap of everything, as always, when I return. Ta!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Ike this better

YES. Go West, young man.

I hate to say that, because I don't want anyone to have to deal with a hurricane. But I'll be honest. When you've been through a few of these things, you just start to hope that when one hits the Gulf it's not your shat that gets wrecked.
Now let's just hope karma doesn't cause this thing to boomerang.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Don't Ike It.

Oh good. Here comes another hurricane. Yay. I really can't wait for this thing to hit the bathwater of the Gulf of Mexico and then slam into the Gulf Coast; that will be super duper. WTF is going on here? Upon reflection, I've decided that I'm annoyed with this whole natural disaster concept. It's inconvenient and counterproductive for everyone involved.

For example, let's start with me. I'm going to Chicago Wednesday for work, and I am supposed to return on Friday. This will not happen if a hurricane is hitting the Tallahassee area or anywhere close to it. I will once again be forced to languish in the Atlanta airport for hours on end. I can just see it now. I hate that effing place. Everyone please plan to feel very sorry for me starting around 2:00 p.m. through 4:00 a.m. and perhaps beyond, on Friday/Saturday.

Here is the thing. I completely understand why we can't fly in hurricanes, really I do. What I don't understand is why they can't just cancel the flight and let me leave the airport rather than pushing the departure time back 30 minutes at a time at frequent 30 minute intervals while I die inside a little more each time. This has happened to me numerous times. I am officially cursed.

Ok, I just realized that it's not all about me. Let's also all plan to feel sorry for the people who actually get hit by the hurricane. It is quite possible that this thing could take a swipe at New Orleans, and if that happens they could possibly have it worse than me, so there you have it. Let's all pray that the thing just weakens as much as possible, and brings some minimal wind and rain.
Hurricane Ike. Let's hope he doesn't rough us up like our name is Tina.