Month: January 2009

Up All Night, Sleep All Day (YEAH!)

It really doesn’t take much for me to get into night owl mode. Here I am, at nearly 4am, wide awake and trying to decide what to do other than toss and turn. I even wrote in my paper journal HELLO. I didn’t quite finish the entry yet, but I will once I’m done here.

I do know that tomorrow (I guess that is actually today!), I need to make a grocery list, straighten up the living space (heehee, I said “space”), and possibly hit the library. I finished the books I took out last week, and I have a hold to pick up. Out of the five books I read, COPPER SUN by Sharon M. Draper is the one that absolutely blew me away. And guess what? I get to meet her next month at the same breakfast that I get to meet Meg Cabot. Squeee! So, I plan to hit the library and take out EVERY BOOK by Sharon M. Draper and DEVOUR them (and I am not returning Copper Sun just yet; I am reluctant to let that one go now). I also read Rumors, Lost Summer, How To Be Bad, and Bloom. There’s nothing like being all comfy and curled up with a good book.

I’m going to attempt to sleep now. In the middle of the night like normal people. You know, I always felt like I’d adjust better on the other side of the world. Except I’d probably flip flop over there too, and STILL be up all night.

Ah well. Here ends this entry of nonsense and blather. Good night. Er… morning.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Workin’ It Out

Today was the first time I turned on the Wii Fit in 56 days. And I know this because the Wii Fit makes sure to let me know exactly how it’s been since I’ve used the thing.

The first thing I did was the body test, and I was very happy to find that I’d lost 2.2 pounds, and that my Wii Fit age is 25. I apparently have very good balance, also.

I wonder if working out with We Cheer before popping in the Wii Fit helped. I played that before Wii Fit, and We Cheer is HARD. I’m having a hard time beating the one-star easy levels in the championship! I am not sure if it’s me or if it’s a lag in the system. I know for SURE there is a disconnect between the board and the Wii Fit when I do the advanced step aerobics. I also know that I was never a cheerleader, so it’s probably me. Well, whatever. I beat all my high scores tonight, and I worked out for a total of 90 minutes.

Yesterday, our enormous pile of laundry roared at Adam and told him to do something about it OR ELSE. So he lugged it all to the 24 Hour Coin laundry place on Elston and decided to do the laundry drop off service. It really was a LARGE amount of laundry. A few pieces were from BEFORE I moved here last year. Anyway, he dropped it off yesterday afternoon, and today, went to pick it up. It was all folded or on hangers, and wrapped in nice bags, and all fresh and clean and fluffy and soft and pressed and it smelled so yummy. It’s incredible. So now, for the first time since I’ve lived in Chicago, we are caught up on laundry! YAY. I said that when I am working, we’re going to do that ALL the time. It certainly beats dealing with the cruddy laundry room in the courtyard. Ick.

We’ve been cleaning. That’s the thing about becoming an HGTV addict. Yes, I have become ADDICTED to HGTV. I’m saying things like “eating space.” Just kidding. Sort of. Anyway, our place was getting seriously cluttered. But now, all of the rooms are clean except the guest room, which is a HOT mess. THAT room will be a team project, so one day soon Adam and I will tackle it together. There is no way I can do that room by myself. I want it to look more like a bedroom and less like a tornado moved in and set up a homestead. Adam actually put our place on Rate My Space. He says we’re getting bad reviews. HA. Well, our tastes aren’t exactly in line with theirs anyway, and we have too much stuff to ever be able to make this place as clutter-free and full of clean lines like they like. Our place has PERSONALITY. Yes, that’s it. Personality. ;) And it’s clean. YAY clean.

All right, then. I’m thirsty and hungry. Also in need of bathing. I should go take care of those shortly. ‘Til next time. :)

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Back To Life, Back To Reality (Picture)

Coming back to Chicago and to temperatures that didn’t get above 0 degrees Fahrenheit was quite a shock to the system. One day, the HIGH was -16 or something ridiculous like that. Hello, is this MINNESOTA? Ugh. I HATE winter, I HATE the cold, I HATE the snow, and I cannot wait for the temperatures to warm up. Unfortunately, Chicago likes to hold on to the cold as long as possible, so I know it won’t be tank top weather until mid-June at the earliest. Depressing.

Now that I am out of the holiday haze and the kicking off my year in Disneyland phase, I’m settling into “real life” phase. Not all that willingly, mind you. I’m back to job hunting; sending out resumes like they’re going out of style and hearing nothing, learning of yet ANOTHER friend losing his or her job (I know more people out of work than with jobs now), freezing to death, mounting piles of laundry and wondering how I’m going to get my car out so I can DO laundry at a decent laundry place and not the icky laundry room in the courtyard, the looming emissions test and IL registration and city sticker acquisition for my car, cleaning the apartment, the possibility that the furnace is dysfunctional in the apartment (it’s rarely a comfortable room temperature; it’s usually blowing out acrid heat or blowing out semi lukewarm air), hoping what I have saved is enough to pay my bills until I have a steady income again, praying I don’t owe on taxes this year (a refund would be VERY helpful), and taking care of our cats plus Jonathon’s cats, who are still with us for the time being. I got to learn again what it’s like to have a cat choose me. Charlie barely gives Adam the time of day, but she always wants to follow me around and cuddle with me, and she purrs and purrs and purrs when I pet her. The last cat to choose me like that was Little Lucy.

It sounds a lot worse than it really is–you know how I start freaking out and worrying in the middle of the night (as evidenced by the time stamp of this post)–but I do think I am worrying about some valid things, right?

On the flip side, I’ve been lucky enough to catch up with a lot of OLD friends on Facebook. People from junior high who I NEVER thought I’d hear from again. Some of us have been posting old, embarrassing pictures which is too funny. Who needs when you have Facebook?

Speaking of embarrassing pictures:

Liek OMG
I was about 21 here, and I LOVED the movie Clueless. I wish I still had those shoes and socks. Knee socks are very helpful in -16 weather.

I’ve been reading like crazy. I’m back to keeping my book list on Google Docs. I fell off board with it last year in the middle of the move and reading a lot of OLD OLD books that I’d read when I was younger. But I’m back on it again. I’ve already read 11 new books this year, and I started my 12th 90 minutes ago. I’m a book addict. I’m also a House Hunters (and other assorted HGTV shows) addict. I’d better get my fix in now, though, because Adam and I are trying to figure out how to cut costs, and cable is on the short list of things to go. I’ve lived without cable plenty of times, so I know I’ll be OK, even though I know that Oxygen shows ANTM marathons every Sunday now. I just hope Adam will be OK.

Next month, I get to meet Meg Cabot! Adam was invited to Anderson’s 7th Annual Children’s Literature Breakfast (I got to attend #5 in 2007 and LOVED it), and he got me a ticket so I could see Meg! I’m so excited, and I don’t care HOW long the line is, I’m going to try to talk to her and get a picture with her. MEG CABOT, you guys! Oh yes. The author fangirl in me is alive and well. She is SUCH an inspiration. I ♥ her. :) And maybe one day, they’ll be inviting ME to speak at one of their breakfasts.

That’s all for now. I can’t sleep, so I guess I’ll go and try to read some more. Or I’ll take a Tylenol PM (if I can find the things) and hope for the best . ‘Til next time…

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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California Here We Come (Pictures)

I have to admit, visiting Los Angeles in the winter is the way to go. Well actually, it’s sort of bittersweet. Adam and I were there during an unseasonably warm weekend, and that made coming back to Chicago and its VERY COLD TEMPERATURES that much harder. But getting away from the cold was very nice.

We got into town Thursday night and apparently, while we were on the FlyAway Shuttle to Van Nuys, a 5.0 earthquake hit. Because we were on the bus, we didn’t feel it one bit. There were a lot of accidents, so the 30 minute trip from LAX to the drop off actually took 90. I was pretty hungry, but Melissa and Eli, who met us at the shuttle drop off, took us to In N Out Burger which made everything worth it. After dinner, we went to Amy’s place and stayed up pretty late talking. She’s awesome, just so you know. :)

Amy and Me!
Amy and me!

Friday morning, Amy went off to work, and Adam and I got ready to spend the day with Melissa. She took us sight seeing on Mulholland (there was smog, so the pics are just OK), and then we walked near the WB Studio lots. We had to get a picture of the Animaniacs water tower for Aidan, who LOVES that cartoon!

Where the Animaniacs Live!

The highlight, though, was touring the Disney Studios lot.

Disney Water Tower
Disney Lot Water Tower

Me & The PartnersWalt Shows Us Something! Roy, Minnie, Adam & MeDisney Archives SignStreet Sign

Besides the obvious photo ops, there is so much to see and do on the lot. So much Disney history.

We ate lunch in the commissary and then toured the lot a bit more. I bought some stuff in the store that was only available at the theme parks which made me happy. I had a blast on the Disney Studios lot and would LOVE to work in such a place. Immersed in Disney culture, how wonderful, right?

After that, we went to the Griffith Observatory which was out of this world. It was free, which was amazing to me. They had so much cool stuff to look at. All sorts of neat instruments and exhibits (I found out that on Jupiter, I’d weigh 300 pounds), models and a giant telescope. It was extremely impressive.

Griffith Observatory
The entrance is not an entrance, huh? Adam is confused.

Griffith Observatory
Infrared Me.

Griffith Observatory
Einstein checks out my sunglasses.

We ate dessert at a place called Porto’s, which was inexpensive and delicious. Check out these pastries:

Food at Porto's

I had the strawberry shortcake. :) OK, I had THREE over the course of the weekend, but seriously, look at it. How could I resist?

Friday night, we had dinner with some friends of Melissa and Eli, and they were cool people. After dinner, we headed back to Amy’s, where Amy and I were hyper and stayed up talking forever. Adam kept telling me to go to sleep so I wouldn’t be tired the next day because we were going to DISNEYLAND!!!

Well, seeing as I’m a Disney nut, the adrenaline kept me going pretty well all day. I only had one crash in the afternoon, but once I got some food in me, I was good to go again. We got there before the park opened (the first time I’ve ever gone to a Disney park at opening), and it was good times from then on.

Brothers & Sisters
Adam, me, Melissa, and Eli

YAY!Adam, Me, and Goofy!Dare Me To Do It?Watch This!!Meeting Conductor Mickey!Princess Fantasy FaireTwo Thumbs Up!

Disneyland kicked butt. In a nutshell, we rode tons of rides, the weather was beautiful, the crowd level was low, and even though the character count was nothing like at Disney World, I GOT TO MEET PRINCESS MINNIE who I didn’t even know existed in the US parks! Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean WIN at Disneyland, and Indiana Jones is unlike anything I’ve ever ridden. Tower of Terror is just as nerve wracking and fun, but it IS different from the one at Disney World. I got to ride California Screamin’ this time around, and even though I enjoyed it, I would have liked it more if I hadn’t been getting a sick headache. (Fortunately, a cookie and some bread took care of that later). We watched the Pixar Play Parade, and later, Melissa and Eli treated Adam and me to dinner at the Blue Bayou which was yummy. We stayed until closing. I’d never stayed at a park from open until close before, but I will do it more often (because OH YES, I do plan to go back someday!). It was a great time.

Sunday, Melissa and I hopped on the Metro and went to Roscoe’s to meet Tasha for lunch. Tasha is sooo awesome. I’ve known her through the online world for nearly a decade now, and we finally got to meet in person. She’s fun to talk to and very, very cute. I had a great time with her–the time we spent was not long enough at all! I can’t wait to see her again soon!

Tasha and Me!
Tasha and me!

The food was good, too. Mmm, chicken and waffles.

After lunch, Melissa and I walked around Hollywood Blvd., and we popped into the Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store. That store was cool because it had some exclusive merchandise and the VAULT. Disney freaks surely know all about that blasted vault where our beloved animated features go after a certain amount of time.

The Vault!

It might not be the ACTUAL vault, but still.

Melissa got a picture of me in front of the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars are held. I’m trying to look “fierce.” I don’t think I pulled it off, though.

A-List Ronni

That evening, Dave and Angie came over to Melissa and Eli’s and we had pizza and hung out. That was fun. It’s always good to see Dave and Angie. :)

Angie & Dave

It was a great, great trip. If I ever got rich, I’d like to have a 2nd home in L.A. A place to escape during the winter, a place where I have plenty of friends and family. A place where I can get In N Out Burger all the time. And of course… Disneyland!

Want to see more pictures? You know you do! Just click here.

‘Til next time….

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Loving California

I love California! I’m having a great time, and even though I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and seeing my kitties, I’m NOT looking forward to leaving high 70 degree temps and sunny skies and returning to the TEENS and snow and ice. Ugh. Anyway, I will be posting a trip report and pictures soon. :)

‘Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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