What to do in the event of a terrorist attack

Mar 28, 2007

I recently saw this site again. Someone at my old job had sent it to me shortly after 9/11 and we all got a good laugh, but I forgot how funny it was (and still is). This particular piece of advice made me laugh:

To eliminate smallpox, wash with soap, water and at least one(1) armless hand under a faucet with no sink.

If you haven't seen these before, you should check them out.

I spent the weekend in Washington, DC with my parents. It was a really great trip! We did some touring and had an awesome time at the Improv seeing Flip Orley, a hypnotist that did a hilarious show.

Things that I did on this trip that I can check off my "done, don't need to do again" list include:

  • Visiting the Ford Theater where Lincoln was shot

  • Visiting the house across the street where Lincoln died as a result of his injury

  • Visiting the Washington National Cathedral

Things that I want to do on a subsequent trip include:

  • Stay in Alexandria Old Town again but bring a bike this time

  • Go biking around

  • Hang out in Georgetown (preferably not when their team is about to beat my team in overtime in the ACC)

  • Visit the spy museum

I highly recommend the Acela Express train between NYC and DC- it's quick and very nice.

I like to shag with my dad

Mar 22, 2007

Yeah, people always laugh when I tell them that. Could be because of the Austin Powers movies or it could be because I live north of the Mason Dixon line. Anyway, what I mean is that I like to do the Carolina Shag with my dad. Here's a little video clip to show you what I mean- it's not the best audio, but the dancing is smooth!

Where the Hell is Matt?

Mar 21, 2007

Could this be the meaning of life? This guy has been all over the world and he made this cool video.

Why I want to go to Japan

Mar 20, 2007

There are actually lots of reasons I want to go to Japan some day, this is just the latest: The Skycycle at Washuzan Highland Park in Okayama! Here's a link to the site that has been translated from Japanese into rather amusing "Engrish" by Google.

According to the Google translator:

Arriving here, when for the first time it views this form to, unintentionally, “in the line of the backbone cool ones run”, will see feeling is remembered.

I want to see what it feels like to have cool ones run in the line of my backbone!

Seriously, check this out- it is so cool!

It's a rollercoaster where you get into these bicycle type cars and pedal yourself around! Don't worry, they have seatbelts to hold you in.

I'm just hoping that that loop-di-loop that they show in the top picture is part of a rollercoaster that is machine powered (or maybe it's a Tour de France training facility, no?)

The scenery looks gorgeous.

And, because I know you're dying, here's a link to the site for the amusement park- it's Brazilian themed...

Amy Winehouse

Why has it taken me so long to hear of this woman! She's great! Her music is cool- 60's sounding but with very modern language. And... she's like the female Pete Doherty... I'm sure we're bound to see her drunk craziness in all the gossip rags in the US sooner or later. She just released her first album in the US (she released another one 3 years earlier but it wasn't officially released here). Check her out if you haven't!

Amy Winehouse Rocks!

Birthday Challenge!

Mar 16, 2007

I'm turning 30 in 90 days. That's enough notice for you all to start shopping for a really good present now (though I also accept presents year-round, so don't feel limited to my birthday)! ha ha.

I was thinking about doing a Birthday Challenge. Lots of people on that site do crazy birthday challenges like riding 30 miles on a bike, running 30 miles and swimming 3 miles or whatever. They usually add in some fun things like eating 30 candy bars or drinking three margaritas or whatever.

I'm thinking something like mountain biking 30 miles, doing 300 sit ups, 30 pull ups, eating 30 something or others, drinking 3 something or others and maybe dancing for three hours! I dunno. I gotta decide what I'm going to do. I have a countdown on my personalized Google page that reminds me exactly how many days I have left to figure it out! Stay tuned!


Mar 13, 2007

Dude... American Idol Rocked Tonight

Yeah... that means I made it a whopping two days without television. *sigh*

Actually, AI wasn't even that great, it was just AI. I also had 2 beers and ate a bunch of nuts... *sigh*

Anyway. I got my hair cut today. LOVE IT. It's a hip little shaggy ditty with bangs. I'm diggin' it. It's much more versatile- looks good up, down, partially up. So big shout out to Deanna at the Fusion Spa and Salon who did it. She rocks. Go get your hair done by her.

I'm going to see Maná tomorrow night with my friend Cat. Looking forward to it! I'm not too familiar with Maná's music, but it will be a fun night nonetheless.

Hubby went to a meditation night in NYC tonight led by the guy who wrote Dharma Punks. He said it was cool, though I haven't had a chance to talk to him much about it since he's still not home yet. I might check it out next Tuesday.

I laughed really hard at this: Matt Sears tells us how to find love now.

Japanese Weightlifting Cats

This is so weird. I love Japanese television...

Women's Retreat

Mar 12, 2007

I went on a women's retreat this weekend and it was exactly what I needed. I have been feeling negative and unmotivated lately and among other things, I discovered that it may have to do with television and news.

About three months ago, or so, I decided that I "should" read the news everyday because I thought it was what an adult is supposed to do. How could I be so disconnected from the rest of the world, how could I not know what was going on. In the past I never watched or read the news and friends would ask me if I knew about the deadliness of iced tea at Arby's or whatever local fright news story there was out at the time and then act like I was completely disconnected when I wasn't aware that there was a problem with the iced tea at Arby's. I started to feel like maybe they were right, but instead of the fright stories I started reading the BBC news- mostly international stories that interested me.

What I learned this weekend is that much of what happens in the world- the stuff that makes the news anyway- is often negative. And, while it may not seem like it directly affects me, like a suicide bomber blowing up 100 people in Bagdad, for example, taking in the negative energy of that news does affect me.

In a similar vein- I watch way too much television. Reality tv shows are based on the human fascination with fear and humiliation. When we watch television indiscriminately we are filling our heads with negative energy. What's worse, if we fall asleep in front of the tv, we no longer have control over what we are filling our heads with.

I spend between 3 and 5 hours watching whatever is on tv most every day. I like watching American Idol and I watch Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report almost daily. All three of those shows are negative- Idol because it's the fear and humiliation, competition, etc. Jon and Colbert because they are so cynical- funny as hell, but it's all negative commentary on politics and other current events.

I have decided to remove television and news from my life for a little while to see if I start to feel better. Yesterday was my first day without television and it was a little difficult. I took a quiet nap on the couch (usually that would have been accompanied by whatever was playing on Discovery or whatever). Later, I dug out my half read copy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera and read. I worked out for a little over an hour, got in the bath with my book and finally spoke to my sister on the phone for about an hour before going to sleep with out the television as a companion.

I felt very calm and peaceful today. I'm not sure how much of that is related to the aftereffect of the retreat or removing media from my life, but I'm feeling better. So, if you don't see me making many nasty celebrity gossip comments it's because I'm not paying attention to that. I'm working on getting centered and being positive and letting go of all the negative influences that are working in my life consciously and subconsciously is a part of that.

40 Cuban Migrants Sneak Ashore During Coast Guard Training Drill

Mar 9, 2007

I was catching up on my news when I ran across this story on the BBC site.

For some reason, I thought people weren't leaving Cuba in such large groups anymore! It makes me want to move to Florida and work in some way assisting immigrants to adjust to the US or something. I am sure that most of the people who were found on two different beaches probably have family in Miami or New Jersey or wherever, and that adjusting won't be that hard for them, but it would be a rewarding job to have.

I remember hearing about when Jimmy Buffett found four Cubans on his dock. There were two men and two women and they had come over in a raft. Jimmy Buffett invited them in, gave them some Cokes and the women combed their hair and washed up while Jimmy Buffett called INS to report he had some Cubans at his house! Apparently, as long as they make it ashore, they're allowed to stay, it's if the get interceded while they're afloat that they have to go back to Cuba.

Immigration issues also make me think of that Indigo Girls song, "Shame on You," where the police stop her to search her car and tell her they're looking for illegal immigrants. She says, "Funny, I think we were on the same boat back in 1694!" Yeah, exactly. Here, check it out:

Help Keep Bears Out of NYC

Mar 8, 2007

How he did this with a straight face, I will never know...

This Just In... p90x Still Kicking My A$$

I'm into week 5 with p90x and lovin' it. There are 12 DVDs and you do them in various orders. For the first three weeks I did lots of push ups and pull ups and what not, then yoga and kenpo and plyometrics, etc. It's a very well rounded program. For the 4th week, you do lots of yoga, cardio and core exercises- it's a recovery week.

Well, now I'm into week 5 and there's a whole new set of DVDs that I haven't done yet. Last night I did Chest, Shoulders and Triceps. Holy cow. I'm going to be sore today. On an up note, I can see a difference in the mirror and I've lost almost 4 lbs.

Sunday is my sister-in-law's 30th birthday. She wanted to celebrate with two weeks in Spain, but the trip just couldn't get planned in time. I think we will still be going to Spain, but it might be in the summer. I hear it's pretty darn hot, but that's fine with me. She wanted to do three weeks and see Barcelona, Madrid, southern Spain and then go to Morrocco for a couple days. I can't do that long, but I would like to see Barcelona and Madrid.

If I can't go with her, I think Hans and I will go in the next year or two. He said he wants to go to France to see cathedrals, I told him there are cathedrals in Spain and at least I can speak the language! We'll see. For now, it's Mexico that's in the plans- I can't see us getting to Europe before leaving for Mexico... and once we're in Mexico, it might be more fun to go see Cuba and other countries that are closer.

Speaking of Mexico, I am going to see Maná next week at Madison Square Gardens! Cat got tickets and invited me! I'm not that familiar with their music, so I bought a disc of theirs from iTunes yesterday.

Jorge Drexler was the first concert I have been to that was in Spanish and it was awesome. Maná should be on the total other end of the spectrum. Jorge Drexler played in an intimate theater with an acoustic guitar, Maná will play in a friggin' huge stadium and I'm pretty sure they won't be acoustic...

Jorge Drexler fue maravilloso

Mar 7, 2007

Last night I saw the best concert I have ever seen. First of all, it was about 12 degrees outside with that artificial wind that is created in New York because of the tall buildings, but inside Town Hall, the mood was warm and intimate.

I went with three friends to see Jorge Drexler. Two of my friends are in my Spanish group (one is actually Peruvian) so they were familiar with him and his music and could understand his lyrics. My other friend is just starting to learn Spanish, and by just starting I mean, she literally just started about a month or so ago.

After he played his first song, he covered his eyes and looked out into the audience and asked, "How many people here do not speak Spanish?" About 15 people raised their hands. He said he would make it a bilingual experience for us all and continued to speak in English between songs to explain what the songs were about. He was charming and funny and spoke with hardly any accent.

Town Hall is a smaller theater in the middle of the theater district. I was surprised to see that it was not sold out. When I saw the tickets go on sale I rushed out (to ticketmaster online) to make sure that I got seats, fearful that they would be gone in hours. Apparently I underestimated his popularity in the US. I'm just glad he came at all.

He played on stage all by himself- no band. It was amazing to see him create the various layers of his songs using a drum machine and some sort of echo machine that he was able to add various sounds to using one of those old style chrome microphones. Jorge Drexler is quite possibly the most creative performer I have ever seen, and we were about 40 feet from him!

The show was amazing, the crowd sang along with him in a mellow, beautiful way. He played a good mix of songs from 12 Segundos de Oscuridad and older songs including the one I was really hoping he would play, El Pianista del Gueto de Varsovia. He closed the night with Todo se transforma. Unbelievable evening, well worth fighting the insane temperatures and paying the $40 to see.

Jorge Drexler Tonight!

Mar 6, 2007

I'm going to see Jorge Drexler tonight at Town Hall in NYC. Can't wait! Seriously! I've been watching his site looking for a US tour and what do you know? He's coming here!!!

Now, España, please convince Jarabe de Palo to do a US tour. Woo Hoo! I can't wait!

Weekend Update

Mar 5, 2007

I had a lovely weekend here in Jersey. Yes, one can have a lovely weekend in Jersey! :) Friday night dear hubby and I grabbed some sushi and vegged. It was nice- we seem to often round out the week this way. He works out of town and stays out of town two nights a week, so when Friday comes we're usually really glad to see each other and also burnt out from working all week. We watched a couple episodes of What Not to Wear and called it a night.

Saturday I went to a permanent make-up party. It was totally cool. I got my upper eyelids tattooed with what is called "eyelash enhancement." It's really a thinly tattooed line that follows your lash line. I was seriously worried about doing it because I had looked up permanent make-up online and all the pictures were freaky! My friend Sheri went first and once I saw hers I was sold. I'm not a frou-frou person and I don't ALWAYS wear make-up, but this is very nice and subtle. Besides the pigments are designed to fade in a few years, so if I don't want to continue with it I can let it fade out. So far I am happy with it.

Sunday hubby invited me on a bike ride, but it was 34 degrees outside and supposed to snow and they were doing 25 miles on a course they plotted on a map, so they couldn't say how hilly it would be. I chose not to go. I like road riding OK, but doing a miserable ride is a sure way to make me hate it. Did I mention that I hate cold? I would be fine for it to be summer year round. I can go visit winter somewhere else.

Instead, I did my p90x videos and ate well and just did my own thing. It was nice.

Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy... Whatever

Mar 1, 2007

This guy is such an ass. Isn't it time for him to change his name again anyway? I think he should follow in the footsteps of such rap greats as Old Dirty Bastard and take a name like "Big Baby Jesus." You just don't get more gangsta than that.

Sean Combs can't use Diddy in the UK

Punctuality for Peruvians?

I was catching up on my global news this morning when I ran across this article on the BBC news website: Bidding Adios to 'Manana'.

Apparently the Peruvian government is going to ring a bunch of bells and alarms to remind people to set their clocks to the Naval clocks and to be punctual. I wonder if punctuality has really been such a problem there...

One of the things that I'm most worried about with going to Mexico is that hubby will not be able to adjust to the concept of manana. As a born and bread Jersian (though he grew up closer to the Empire State Building than the World Trade Center was, which is to say he basically lived in the 6th borough), he is used to getting what he wants now. There is no patience for waiting in line or for "incompetence."

When I read about what life can be like in Mexico, one of the things that is mentioned in the books is the fact that the office supply store may not have the printing paper that you need and when you ask them if they'll get it in stock any time soon they might say "Manana." Later, after visiting the store for several weeks asking about the paper you will learn that they do not intend to re-stock the paper, they just didn't want to hurt your feelings so they told you they would have it, what in English I guess would be, "soon."

The article also mentions that punctuality could be a Protestant thing. Those pesky Puritans really had it in for us! Our work ethic is strong, punctuality important, sex is a no no, and we're extremely prudish as a nation! Sheesh! It's really quite interesting and makes me want to read a book on the effects of Purtitan roots on our country, except that I would probably actually get bored and not be able to finish that one...

I wonder how much warm weather has to do with affecting punctuality, too. They say that Northern African and Middle Eastern nations do not hold punctuality in such high regard. Could be that there's a whole section of the earth that's not too punctual.

I guess those Malibu Rum commercials might not be that off!