More Halloween Fun

Oct 29, 2007

These are some pictures my friend Mary took. She's the one that's dressed as a queen.

Mountain Biking is Fun

Oct 28, 2007

Here are some videos from Hans' mountain biking ride the other week.

Hans makes it, George falls.

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeen!!!

I LOVE Halloween. Basically, I love any excuse to wear a costume, but this is a whole holiday where everyone wears a costume! Luckily, we had a party to go to, so we actually had a reason to think about what we were going to wear.

I knew I wanted to go as Carmen Miranda for a while. I looked around at the costume shops, but the costumes they had were so cheesy and the hats were super fake looking. Then I remembered that I had the perfect dress, a tropical, samba-inspired number that I had gotten to wear to a wedding in Key West a couple years ago. All I had to do was make a hat. I ended up buying a bunch of plastic fruits and flowers and birds and stuff from a craft store and crazy gluing them onto a swim cap, then I wrapped some fabric around my head and voila!

Hubby had decided to go as Justin Timberlake from the SNL classic skit, Dick in a Box. We went to the thrift store and got the perfect jacket, shirt and tie, shaved his facial hair into an artful design and added on some cheesy glasses. Then we went to the sex shop and got a big plastic dildo and put it in a box... you get the idea...

Anyway... Rob was nice enough to offer his well-decorated (Thanks Audrey!) place for us to all congregate. He had the eerie sounds and old horror movies playing. He had ice cubes with gummy worms frozen in them and green jello shots. All in all, it was an evening well spent.

Without further ado, here are our costumes and some of my favorite costumes from the party.

Here's a close up of the fruit hat.

Bill went as a sun flower. I love his "scary hands" in this picture!

Here's the nasty perv with his little present and of course he's found a Japanese school girl to show it to... Actually, she's going as some character from the Kill Bill movies, but I don't know which one.

A pimp and a referee

An astronaut (with space diaper), a mouse, Mrs. Peacock (from Clue) and a guy with a "costume."

Raggedy Ann with Robert Smith in the background.

And, last but not least, a lady who's just trying to get some sleep, a doctor and a trekkie.

Mexico Here We Come

Oct 25, 2007

So after all that whining on my part, last night we sat down and planned a 15 day trip to Mexico to get stuff sorted out. We'll be down there the first couple weeks of December to look at apartments and try working from there. I have a feeling it might be easier than we expect. I'm really looking forward to being there and just doing the "same ol' same ol'" but in a beautiful place. Plus, I'm really looking forward to waking up and realizing that I just dreamed in Spanish!

The State of the Mexico Experience Part II

Oct 24, 2007

The one thing holding us up for moving to Mexico was this pesky software launch (that is also in a large way funding our ability to try this adventure). Well, it launched a couple weeks ago, but that doesn't really mean our jobs here are done. Hubby is still on site at least 4 of 5 days a week and sleeps over up there 2 to 3 nights so he can work mega hours (it's a 1.5 to 2 hour commute at rush hour, gotta love New York City).

Basically, we're still at the mercy of this job and time keep ticking away. It's funny, I went to the dentist last December and they like you to book your next appointment 6 months in advance, so I booked an appointment for June and thought, "Hah, I won't need this! I'll be in Mexico! Ole!" Well, June rolled around and we were still trapped here by "The Software" so I went to my appointment and made another appointment for December thinking, "Hah! I won't need this! I'll be in Mexico! Ole!" Well, I have a sneaky suspicion that I'll be here for that appointment, too, but seriously, I'm not going to be here in June!

We have already committed to flying to South Carolina to spend Thanksgiving at the beach with my family, and we have return flights to Jersey. Originally we thought we would drive to SC with all our crap and then head to Mexico, but it's not going to really work that way, it seems. So we're going to plan a two week trip to secure an apartment and set up internet, etc. I wanted to turn around right after our Thanksgiving trip and head down, but hubby is hard to pin down on this stuff. He's so burned out from working so hard that he just doesn't want to commit to anything unless it's cave diving (and he's not into combining a Mexico trip and a cave trip for whatever stupid reason).

So, what's holding us up now is properly finishing this project and then Thanksgiving and some caving trip to Florida. Then we'll go for 2 weeks to Mexico. I'd like to move before Christmas, but somehow I don't think this is going to happen. At best we might go for two weeks the first couple weeks of December and then move in January. Sucks that we missed the off season for getting good deals on apartments, but whatever.

Oh well, back to the grindstone.

Burglars Move into Alabama Woman's House?

Oct 22, 2007

Packing up our house and leaving it may be more involved than we thought! This lady came home after an extended absence to find three people had moved into her home, one lady was wearing her clothing and they were sleeping in her bed! Hmm, this porridge is too hot, this one it too cold, THIS one is JUST RIGHT! Hopefully no one will move into our house while we're out!

Electrical Inspector.

Oct 17, 2007

When we bought our house a couple years ago, the people who had owned it before us had finished the basement themselves without getting the permits from the township. That's apparently not uncommon in New Jersey, in fact one time I saw a bumper sticker that said "If only it was as hard to get on welfare as it is to get a building permit."

So we didn't really think anything of it. You have to be sort of careful that someone from the township doesn't come in and see that it's all finished because it will cause your taxes to go up. As far as they know we only have 2 bedrooms and one bath. Our house doesn't look like it would have a full finished basement that walks out into the backyard from the front, it's an unassuming 1950's ranch.

Anyway, yesterday I was minding my own business, eating lunch and catching up on "What Not To Wear" (since the internet was down yesterday so I wasn't online) when the door bell rang. There was this little guy standing there with a ID card hanging from his shirt.

"Electrical Inspector," he says.

"Um, ok, hi," I say.

"Electrical Inspector, from XXX Township," he says.

I say, "Ok, so what do you need to do?"

"You guys did the work on the basement? I'm here to inspect it."

Now my heart is in my throat. I'm wondering, how could they possibly know that like 3 years or more ago someone did some work on the basement!?! So I say, "We didn't do any work on the basement." Which, technically, isn't a lie because we didn't actually do the work... um, yeah.

"You didn't? Is this 12 Wrong Street?" he asks.

"Nope, next block up."


It's the Hap-Hapiest Time of the Year!

Oct 15, 2007

I'm talking about Halloween, folks! You may know that they are releasing a 3-D version of The Nightmare Before Christmas this Friday, which is a must-see Halloween movie. I love Tim Burton's claymation movies. This one is just awesome, you should watch the regular version if you don't have access to the 3-D one, it's totally worth it.

So, a me and a couple friends were able to convince another friend that he should have a halloween party. I'm totally stoked. We've been brainstorming about costumes for a couple days. I really want to do something fun and witty.

Last year I had a Day of the Dead party (what? yes, I AM obsessed with Mexican culture. What's it to you?) Actually, it was sort of loosely based on the Mexican holiday. The theme of the party was Mexican, but everyone had to come dressed as someone who actually is dead. We had Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana (with tire marks and other car crash injuries), Al Capone, The Crocodile Hunter, Frida Kahlo, James Dean and others. I went as Joan of Arc by wearing a knight costume and tying a burning log to my back (it was made of styrofoam with tissue paper flames). That was about the best I've done in years.

This year I want to do something great... any ideas?

The End is Nigh

Oct 14, 2007

The software project that has been delaying our plan-making for going to Mexico for the last year or so has finally reached launch day! Tomorrow it goes live! That means that we'll still have to stick around here while we make sure it's stable and provide support, but we're that much closer to being able to get outta Dodge.

The hubster is going on site today and staying up there Sunday night and Monday night and as many nights next week as is necessary to get this thing really stable. It's nuts, but it means that maybe in a couple weeks he'll be able to work from home for more than one day! It's been a long, long time since we've worked a full week together from the house.

This project is huge. It basically controls all business operations for our client's 11 offices and their headquarters. The interesting (sad?) thing is that our software is so efficient that it has made about 1/3 of the jobs at the company obsolete. We even had key stake holders come and ask us to downgrade certain capabilities because it was going to make them obsolete. Isn't technology cool? But then again... what will all these people do? Ok- I'm not going to think about that for too long... better to think about what I need to accomplish so I can get outta here!

We have a friend who recently moved to Playa del Carmen who I've been emailing back and forth with. She's a great contact to have there because she's been there for a few months and is working as a dive master (she speaks like 4 languages, so oddly enough she's been doing her thing in French mostly). We had been sort of scared off of living in Playa by the shop owner of the dive shop we use in Cozumel. But the thing is, I am not sure that Coz has enough of the business amenities that we'll need. It's nice (even though it feels sort of like an American invasion) that Playa has a Sams Club and an Office Max or whatever. Plus, the idea of having to catch a ferry every time we want to go cave diving sounds like a pain. Anyway, we can always move once we're there if we don't like it in Playa.

One change in the plans that we had is that we have once again decided to take the dog with us. Roberta, in Coz, told us that she got broken into a couple times but not since she got a dog, so we figure it'll be a good idea to have one, even if he would only lick a burglar to death. He's got a loud bark!

Ok, I'll post more about the where we are and what we're doing to get ready once we really start moving on it!

I'm seriously going to have to talk to my mom about this

Oct 11, 2007

My mom is in a wheelchair. This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen! It's this guy.

The Avon Two Day Walk for Breast Cancer

Oct 8, 2007

Well, this weekend I did the Avon 2 day walk for Breast Cancer in New York City with my pal Liza and our team, "The Grand Boobians." We started on Saturday morning and it was a nice, cool morning with lots of fog. That was nice for the temperature, but not great for the photos of the various bridges we had to cross that day.

We got to the opening ceremony a little late, so we were at the very back of the huge mass of women (there might have been about 2 men there, too) who were facing this stage that was at the end of pier 84 on West 43rd Street. That ended up being a good thing because when we all turned around to head out on the walk, we ended up being at the front of the pack.

First we walked through Times Square. It was very early and still dark, so the lights were still pretty bright. There was apparently a message on one of the marquees for us, but I didn't notice it.

Then we walked down to Washington Square Park. At this point, both Liza and I were feeling great and we were right on schedule to be able to finish the whole 26.2 miles before the sweep vehicles picked us up. The sweep vehicles were there to pick up any slow walkers and transport them to the next rest stop or to help people who couldn't walk any farther.

After Washington Square Park, we walked on down to the Manhattan Bridge. It was super foggy, so there wasn't much to see off the bridge and I didn't take any pictures of the gray. Instead, I took some pictures of the entrance to the bridge. Since I've always lived in Jersey and always thought it was silly that people payed extra to live in the other 5 boroughs (there's this weird snobby thing that New Yorkers have... they'd rather pay 5 times as much to say they don't live in Jersey while we have the same commute and cool community feeling but much more space and cheaper rent) so anyway, once we got across the Manhattan Bridge I was surprised to find that Queens was so nice! Then I realized later that it was Brooklyn... duh! So anyway, Brooklyn is sort of like Hoboken, same sort of cool vibe. Of course, it wouldn't be New York without massive piles of garbage on the sidewalk!

So we walked through this little park between the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge, which was very nice. The fog was sort of starting to lift, so I got some photos of the various bridges. Actually, I got lots of photos of the Brooklyn Bridge and a few of the Manhattan one.

The Brooklyn Bridge was really cool. One of the things I like the most about living near NYC is coming in and seeing all the real tourists. I really like to see international tourists because it reminds me that I live in a place that is famous the world over and that people really like to come and see it. I saw a group of Spanish tourists who had cameras and an English/Spanish dictionary, which is so cool. I told Liza that I wanted to go to Madrid with my English/Spanish dictionary and a camera! There was a particularly beautiful shot of the Manhattan Bridge from the Brooklyn Bridge that I think was enhanced by the foggy weather. Liza and I were still feeling good at this point and were still ahead of schedule to finish on time.

Lower Manhattan also looked very pretty with the fog.

So we crossed through Manhattan and were in Tribeca. At that point we started to walk uptown and began anticipating walking across the George Washington Bridge (my favorite of all the NYC bridges). We were still feeling pretty good at this point, although our legs were starting to be a little sore and our feet had started to hurt. We figured we had 150 blocks to go to get to the bridge because somewhere along the line we had determined that the bridge is at 150th street. I don't know what were were smoking when we decided it was that close... Anyway, we passed Lincoln Center on the way.

After Lincoln Center we started to feel quite tired and had to take a couple unofficial rest stops because our feet were starting to really hurt. We buckled under and kept walking. We walked along the outside of Central Park for the length of the park and then crossed over west so that we could head through Columbia University. On the way we passed some sort of Bolivia Day celebration and heard some Latin music and saw people dressed in traditional Bolivian costumes. We also passed a beautiful cathedral whose name I don't know, but right next to it was the gorgeous statue. Our feet were seriously hurting and I think we were starting to lose time.

Then we walked through Columbia University. That school is so beautiful and cool. I would love to have gone there. If I had gone to graduate school, I would have liked to apply there. If we have a kid who is very smart and we have the dinero I'm totally going to take them to go look at it. It's in the middle of crazy Manhattan but it has such a nice, calm, academic atmosphere. It really made me miss being in college. Too bad it only lasted for about two blocks.

At this point we had decided that we had to be at least at the 20 mile mark. We were really starting to have hurting feet. Liza's foot was getting this burn on the bottom of it, sort of like a blister, but the podiatrist at the wellness village at the end of day one told her it was really a friction burn. So we were starting to really slow down and were not really going to be able to make the whole 26.2 miles in the time we needed to finish it in. We rounded the corner and there was the rest stop and they were announcing that we were at mile 17, only 9 more to go!

We decided to press on. The George Washington Bridge was just there, I mean how far could it be? (It was at this point that we realized that the bridge is not at 150th street, but more like at 180th street). It was seriously like Vegas- the bridge is just over there, look how close we are, we'll be there in no time!

It was so close! We'll make it!

At this point we started to realize that there was no way we were going to make it to the bridge. It didn't seem to be getting any closer than it was in the photo above. Liza's foot was really starting to bother her and my feet were starting to really hurt, too. Luckily, neither of us had actual blisters. Some people had huge blisters- we saw one woman who had a blood blister on her heel that was the size of her whole heel. Yuck. So we walked to the 19 mile point and took the bus to the Wellness Village where we camped that night.

The Wellness Village was cool. They set up the tent for us and we took nice warm showers and ate dinner. Liza then headed off to bed and I walked around and took some pictures. They had a large tent set up for the evening entertainment and as a place to eat. They had these large inflatable dildos (that's what I was calling them) where you could write your message for the next group of walkers (in our case, Charlotte, NC- my home town!). I wrote a message from our team on there.

They had a band and a bunch of people got up and talked about their experiences with breast cancer. It turns out that this walk, the New York one, raised $10.2 million dollars, the most of any Avon Walk for Breast Cancer ever. Everyone was very excited. Some people were doing all 8 walks this year, so they were doing a walk every couple of weeks and had to raise the $1800 minimum to walk in each one.

So after the band played, I slept like a rock. When we got up, we both felt ready to tackle the day. Neither of us was sore, though both of us had feet that hurt a little. I hadn't brought a change of shoes, which was a big mistake. The other shoes that I have had given me blisters during training walks, so I didn't want to bring them to the actual walk. Now I realize that it would have been relief to at least have some shoes that hurt my feet in different places since my feet were already tired of wearing the shoes I had worn on the first day.

Anyway, so we headed out of Englewood, NJ and it was basically all up hill until we got the the George Washington Bridge. I love this bridge. I think it's one of the very prettiest ones that leads into Manhattan. I love the modern look and the view is amazing. I took an unbelievable amount of photos on it since I love it so much. I'll spare you some of them and just post a couple.

By the end of the GWB I was really starting to have foot problems. The outer part of my left foot, around the arch area but on the outside, was starting to cramp up and it felt like my shoe was pushing on it and bruising it. Because it was hurting so much I started to walk funny, I guess, because the pain extended up the side of my foot to my ankle, almost like a sprained feeling, but I hadn't rolled my ankle. The first rest stop was under the bridge at the little red lighthouse of children's book fame.

My feet were really hurting, but the next stop was lunch and I was determined to make it. Lunch was at the 8 mile mark, so we walked on... or rather limped on. Liza was doing pretty well as she had brought a change of shoes. By the time we got to lunch we were also lagging on the time. We needed to be out of lunch and on the road again by noon in order to make it on time and it was about 5 till noon when we got there.

We ate rather quickly and started to head out when I determined that I didn't think I could walk much further. We decided to make a stop at the medical tent to see if they could do something about my foot pain. The EMT looked at my feet and my shoes and determined that there wasn't really anything they could do about it, so Liza and I caught the bus to the next rest stop.

From that rest stop we had about 2 miles to go to the finish line. I limped in in fine style. It was a very long 2 miles, but we made it!

My thoughts on 39.3 mile walks for charity? I will never do this ever again. Marathons were not developed for walking. I swear that the time I ran a half marathon was nothing compared to walking one. It was for a great cause and I raised a good amount of money, but I will absolutely never ever do this again. As we kept saying all weekend, "Who's bright idea was this?"

Click here to view a slide show of all the photos I took.

Uncle Mike's Sculpture

My husband's uncle Mike is a sculptor and artist here in New York. He made this cool sculpture of a theater group. Check it out!