Sunday, January 29, 2006

My NHL Day

Saturday we woke up to pouring rain. So?, you may ask. Well, so, it hasn't rained since Halloween. Yeah, do the math. Oh okay we had like 15 drops hit the patio on one or two occasions, but seriously it hasn't RAINED since Halloween. That's a LOT of dry.

My Red Wings tattoo went easily on my left cheek. I had wanted to put it on the right, but it doesn't fly that way. We took some pictures. I thought it looked cool. The drive to the American Airlines center was very rainy and we took an umbrella, but miraculously, the rain stopped just before we got to the parking lot. We had VIP parking which was really nice. Basically we just had to cross the street and go in the door. And the door was right by our seats. Oh but before we went to our seats, My Sweetie took a picture of me with the Pink Panther. Some man grabbed my beer out of my hand, which was funny, because, you know, the Pink Panther can't have beer in his picture. We were five rows up from the ice, right behind the goal. They were great seats except they were in the middle of the row, and I get up a lot. We lost which sucked. The game was tied, but we lost in the "shootout," which is a new NHL rule. And we got lucky again, and it wasn't raining when we walked back to the car. It was odd how easy it was with all the VIP stuff. It was no more taxing than going to a movie. A couple of times I looked way up at the people in the very upper tier and it gave me vertigo. It seems they would have had a much better view if they had stayed home and watched it on TV. We were mostly surrounded by Stars fans but there were a lot of Red Wings fans there including the family of four sitting right in front of us. The vendor that gave My Sweetie the tickets gave the other two to an asshole. He shows up late with his gal and says to me (I was on that side) "Oh, I heard about you guys, I DID have all four of these seats and then he told me he knew a big Red Wings fan." I thought it was horribly rude to say that. Like WE were putting him out. It's not like we stole the tickets or anything. What an asshole. When I returned from getting another beer, I came in from the other end and told My Sweetie to "Move down!" I wasn't going to sit by Mr. "Oooh, you meanies stole my other two tickets." Later, the pretty blonde on my right, who was wearing a Stars jersey winked at me. On another note, it was finally cool enough to wear my kick ass Duke jacket thet Lolo gave me and then I ended up getting nacho cheese sauce all over it. I'm glad it's machine washable.

So we get home and about an hour later the Duke game came on. I had been drinking beer all day and decided to take a nap during halftime. Of course I woke up with only about 1 minute left in the game although we did win by 19 points. But I would have liked to have seen it.

Mini Movie Review: I mentioned in this_post back in November that I watched Die Hard for the first time. Well tonight we watched Die Hard 2. It was okay, but not as fun as Die Hard. It didn't seem to have as much as the Bruce Willis humor I love. It seemed, well, rather hastily assembled compared to the first one. Good action scenes though, and a few twists and turns that were nice.

Oh I took this test called something like "What sort of American English do you speak?" Mine turned out to be 55% General American, 30% Dixie, and 15% Yankee. I told My Sweetie about it, he took it, and his came out 65% General American, 15% Dixie, 10% Yankee, and 10% Upper Midwestern. I'm still trying to figure out how I ended up with that 5% more Yankee than he had. The test is here: if you want to take it.

Friday, January 27, 2006

MOW and Duke Won. Yay!

Looking down 5th ave. from the Gaslamp Plaza Suites
in San Diego

I wish I had taken that picture at a different time of day, since you can't see all the sidewalk seating areas because of the shadows. Oh well. If you've been there you know what it is. I liked our San Diego pictures with the exception that my hair looked hideous. I think it was some sort of karmic punishment for making fun of David Letterman's hair for 20 years. I used to always say that he looked like he had a dog turd on his forehead. Well when I got the pictures back, my first thought was, "It looks like I have a dog turd on my forehead." Payback is hell.

So finally Wednesday morning I was back in my Meals on Wheels groove. I got to the church to pick up the food and I had two new people and the were in apartments. I HATE apartments. I hit some of my regulars and was happy to see them then headed for the apartments. For the first one, my route sheet only gave information on how to get into the security gate. Nothing was working. Somehow, I ended up ringing some random person and just said, "Hi, I'm sorry, I'm trying to deliver for meals on wheels and can't figure this thing out." She said, "Okay, I'll let you in." The gate on my left opened and I drove around and around. Finally I saw a guy on a golf cart, flagged him down, and asked where building 26 was. He worked there and couldn't even explain it and told me to follow him. Ironically it was only one building away from what would have been the gate on my right. The next apartment complex instructions just said to park in an unnumebered spot and it was the first building on the right. Uhm, no. It was the first building on the LEFT! and the first unnumbered parking spot I found was NOT even close to it. So there I was hobbling around with my bad foot, but I FINALLY found the place. At least next time I will know where all this stuff is. And anyway next time, I'm going to pull into a numbered spot and put my emergency flashers on. I mean really. Anyway after that I was back to my normal people. It was great seeing everybody again. Then I went to Italianni's for lunch and Chris, the magician, did some new tricks for me. I watch him like a hawk and it drives me crazy that I can't catch what he's doing. Then I giggle and clap like a 4-year-old.

I didn't mention this before but Duke lost their first game last weekend and it was HORRIBLE. But we played again tonight (our comeback game) against a conference team (Virginia Tech) and kicked butt, so I feel so much better. My daughter Kate came over tonight for my Chicken casserole. It's my Grandmother's recipe which I updated for modern convenience. Her recipe calls for boiling a whole chicken and de-boning it. I simmer chicken tenders in Swanson's chicken broth, some water, poultry seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and cinnamon. It was really good and then we watched several episodes of Buffy (we're now working thru season 4).

I'm so looking forward to the Red Wings/Stars game on Saturday and can't wait to post about it. That will be my next post.....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Just Tuesday

Nothing much has been happening lately, although the head of Meals on Wheels called me Friday morning to apologize. I thought that was really nice, but she called when I was asleep and I'm pretty sure I came across as a very slow moron. Everything should be back on track for me to resume my route in the morning. Finally! I really miss my people, although I noticed one neighborhhood is off my route now (when I went in last Wednesday, the route 4 sheet was there, and I noticed the lady from this_post was on it). I'm curious to see what my new route will be. Hopefully it won't be too different.

My temporary tattoos came in the mail. I'm not sure if I mentioned it before (I think I did), but we're going to the Red Wings/Stars game this Saturday and I'm going to put a Red Wing on my right cheek. On my face. I would wear a low cut shirt and put one on one of my boobs, but we may be sitting with someone My Sweetie does business with.

Hopefully tomorrow night I will have a good MOW story or two. Until then.......

Friday, January 20, 2006

MOW: What Happened Was

I got up early (again), showered, dressed, put on make-up (again), filled the ice chest with ice (again) and went to the church (again). There was a lady inside packing her hot food chest and saw me come in with mine and said (incredulously), "Are you here to pick up? Because there's nothing extra here except two meals." So I pick up the envelope and there is no route sheet. I told the lady to take the two extra meals and went back out to my truck to call MOW. I got the answering machine of the volunteer coordinator and left a long message. Then I went to Italianni's (again) for lunch. Around 1:00 I called to check my messages. What happened was, the Friday guy "gets confused sometimes and he thought it was Friday. He realized it was Thursday halfway through his route and called in. So that clears up that mystery." Then she apologized for my waste of time and gas. It wasn't the time or gas I missed. It was the extra sleep and the make-up free face. I hate to wear make-up. And I hate to get up early. I sent an e-mail to My Sweetie and told him to listen to the message. He e-mailed me back that it "Sounds like (he) needs to be receiving meals, not delivering them."

Yeah, no kidding. I may be getting to that point myself.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The MOW That Wasn't

This picture (New Orleans, 2003) has
nothing to do with this story.


So of course I was going to post about my first day back delivering Meals on Wheels. Well, here's what happened: My sister-in-law Lisa came to pick me up. We got to the church to pick up the food and I pulled out the client sheet. I said, "I don't know any of these people." I looked at the top of the page and it said, "route 4." Well I do route 3. I went back out to the truck and called MOW. The lady said, "Oh, we show Mr. and Mrs. Lundenburgenhofenstraten (or something like that) subbing route 3 today." I said, "Well that's odd because I called a couple of weeks ago and said I was starting back today. Am I supposed to do route 4?" She said "No. Oh, but can you sub for route 3 tomorrow?" So I said yes and a mini-van pulled up and I asked the lady if she was route 4. Well she responded like I had asked her where she had been on the night of September 10, 2001. She was very abrupt and suspicious (and this was in a church parking lot). So I tried to explain what had happened and she shoved the sheet back in my face (I nearly got a paper cut) and said, "You want it?" Oh I forgot to mention her teenage daughter was with her. Lisa was aghast at this weird turn of events and I simply said, "No, that's YOUR route and I'm going to sub in the morning." And we left.

We ran over to a resale shop I had driven by a trillion times and picked up a few items (I'm a sucker for green glass) and headed on over to Italianni's for lunch. The guys were so sweet and I felt terrible because I suck with names and told Lisa I wish I had read my old post about those guys before I came. I did remember the bartender's name (of course - that's where the beer comes from) and he discreetly reminded of the other guys' names. Chris, the magician did some new tricks and the food was excellent as usual.

Since I got home so early (2:00) I decided to test out my foot for driving since I would be doing MOW alone the next day and drove down to get my truck inspected. Oddly, I had been worried about pressing the gas pedal. That was nothing. However, the brake was another story. It wasn't a sharp horrible pain but it was unpleasant, so tomorrow I'm just going to pop 3 Advil about 30 minutes before I have to leave. Oh about the inspection: The car inspector guy came in and said, "This windshield wiper will have to be replaced, but the other one is fine."

A little backstory is needed here. We (those of us in this part of Texas) ended 2005 with 21" under normal rainfall. We've had devastating grassfires and ranchers are selling their cattle at a loss because of the water shortages. So I should have said "Why would I need a windshield wiper?" What I said was, "You know, I knew that windshield wiper was bad but I really haven't used it in so long, I completely forgot." Not to mention I haven't driven in two months. So anyway I took care of all of that, and now I have to go to bed early (for me) to try Meals on Wheels all over again.

So tomorrow I'll finally get to post about MOW.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Shoe and a Movie Review

I wore a shoe! On Saturday we went for haircuts and to the Home Depot and I actually got my foot into a shoe. I had to use a shoe horn, and seriously undo the laces, but, by golly, I wore a shoe. It was funny because on either side of the tongue of the shoe were two dark (unfaded or undusty) lines about 1/8 inch each. It actually felt pretty cozy in that shoe and I got around okay, with only a few stabbing pains here and there. I'm doing Meals on Wheels on Wednesday for the first time in two months. Actually, I think my sister-in-law is going to drive me, so it will be pretty easy. I'm looking forward to seeing my people again. I hope my route hasn't changed any.

I'm not crazy about my haircut although I never am at first. It does feel nice to be rid of the dead ends, though. I ordered some Detroit Red Wings temporary tattoos to wear on my face for the game on the 28th. That should be fun(ny). They will be here in the Metroplex to play the Stars. On Friday I de-Christmased the guest room, which had been the bow and wrapping room. Now it's just a guest room again. I also got our San Diego pictures developed and have Lolo's package ready for the post office on Wednesday. I guess this week is the beginning of getting back to normal. I'm really looking forward to it. Normal can seem boring until you CAN'T do it anymore. Then you miss it. A LOT.

The reason we went to Home Depot was that the main bathroom toilet wasn't flushing properly so I had to get a new fill valve. It pi**ed me off that the one I had just put in recently (in the last year or so) was in the store and had a 5 year warranty. Yeah right. Anyway I got something different and it's all fine again. I wish I had a dollar for every toilet part replacement I've ever done. I also wanted to get some cool wall plates (or light switch plates, whatever you want to call them) for the guest room, but they didn't have anything even remotely interesting. I'm going to check out the internet tonight for those.

Mini-movie review: We watched Four Brothers. I had read some bad reviews and didn't know quite what to expect. Well I liked it. It wasn't very realistic in some ways but it was a good joy ride. There were the typical bad cops/badder thugs and hot-headed hero, but it had some sweet moments and some good comedy. The ending was really cool. An idea that's been a long time coming. Something you always thought would work, but no one ever tried before. If you like action with some comedy and sentimentality thrown in, check this movie out. Also, if you are an Oukast fan Andre 3000 was really good in this, nothing at all like his character in Be Cool.

Now I think I'm going to surf the net for some cool wall plates.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

San Diego

Before I start on my San Diego trip, I have to mention the past two games of my team - DUKE. On Sunday we played Wake Forest. There was an awesome moment in the game I must mention. The game started out neck and neck and then we started pulling away. In the beginning of the second half, Wake started making a slow crawl forward. At a crucial moment when Wake Forest could have cut it to three, they got the ball, made a killer fast break with Strickland leading the pack by probably 25 feet or so. Instead of taking the easy lay up or dunk he tried a showboat spin to jam it behind his head. Well he smashed the ball against the backboard, it flew back to half-court, and was picked up by Duke. That took the crowd out of the game (it was at Wake Forest), we scored, and they never got that close again. I almost felt sorry for the guy. I bet Sportscenter has been showing that play all week. Also it was a big game as our two Seniors had never won a game in that building and our Freshmen were dead set on giving it to them. More on this later as we watched it in San Diego.

Tonight was the Duke/Maryland game - another big deal. Or so I thought. We blew them away! Shelden Williams had the third triple double in Duke's history and we forced Maryland to 29 turnovers. I really enjoyed this game. Oh! And we got to see JJ Redick's one and only dunk. After the game he said he was not going to do THAT again.

San Diego The trip started out easy. Kate took me to the airport, the bar was straight across from my gate, and both were near the security entrance. I sat in the bar and drank many beers, walked over to the gate, got right on the plane with my cane and cast boot. I had a nice seatmate and we had the only empty seat on the plane between us.

The San Diego airport sucked. I passed the first bar after I arrived thinking there would be another and there was not. My foot was killing me. It seemed to take forever and a day to get my suitcase and get to the cab stand. I finally reached the hotel and My Sweetie was already there and had beer in the fridge for me. I was SO thirsty! I probably drank 3 beers in less than an hour. We hit the downstairs bar, Dakota's, had some drinks and an appetizer and hit 5th Avenue. We spent some time in Maloney's, a well appointed Irish bar and hit a few other places then headed back to the room and watched TV and ordered some food. Sunday started out foggy and chilly. We went in search of a small purse that I could wear cross shoulder and finally found a really cute one at Horton Plaza, an outdoor multi-level mall type place. We caught a cab and went to The_San_Diego_Mueum_of_Art. They had free loaner wheelchairs. My feet were exhausted and I was able to take my time and enjoy all of the artwork. The painting above is "The Young Shepherdess" by William Bouguereau,1885. It was one of my favorites. I also enjoyed a Canaletto work of Venice from the 1700's and a Cotan from 1603. It was a nice museum, but I think I've been spoiled from going to the Kimbell so often and also having been to the Corcoran recently.

We were sort of spent when we got back to the room, so when Joy (see next paragraph) called, we were glad to make a change in plans. We decided to meet for an early happy hour on Monday. Later we did head back out to 5th for dinner at a "Mexican" restaurant (La Fiesta) then sat for some blues tunes at Patrick's. I've had Mexican food in many states, and trust me on this, some states should NOT have Mexican restaurants. Now most border states do have good Mexican food. I liked what I had in New Mexico (NewMex) and the food here is good (TexMex) and I'm sure most of California has good CalMex, but I was VERY disappointed in this place on 5th. I really judge a place by their salsa and this salsa was all bite and no bark. I like some salsa burn as well as the next person, but I also like some FLAVOR in my salsa. Also, My Sweetie ran over to some shop and bought season 3 of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" - our room had a DVD and VCR player. So we ended the night with some Buffy.

Now about Joy and Monday. Joy is my friend Kim's sister-in-law. I've mentioned Kim before. Well at the very wedding reception I mentioned in that earlier blog, I met Joy. I knew she lived in San Diego and we'd had such a good time at Kim's party we decided to get together. She's a very high-energy person, and that's what I had liked about her. I didn't realize at the time that she was being very restrained because she was at this wedding event with her parents and big brothers. So on Monday night, she was a VERY HIGH-ENERGY PERSON. But I'll start with early Monday. After wearing out my silly feet on Sunday, I wanted to take it easy on Monday, especially knowing we would be meeting Joy later and walking around. So after our lunch out Monday (killer lobster bisque with great big lobster chunks AND a shrimp cocktail) we took one short walk down 5th. We stopped at one bar and found the perfect souvenir shop. We headed back to our hotel. I haven't mentioned yet that our hotel had an open rooftop. We had only used it for smoking. Well I got a great idea. My Sweetie packed our ice bucket with 3 beers and ice and we made a little bag of things like camera, binoculars and stuff and sat at a table on the roof for an hour and played San Diego gin rummy. The reason we called it that was because neither of us could remember how to score gin rummy, so we made up rules that we both agreed on. I haven't looked up the real rules yet, but I'm SURE we had it all wrong. That was fun. Then we waited in our room for about half an hour for Joy.

Joy showed up and we sat in the room and talked for a bit and headed out to 5th. We went to Croce's (the R&B section - and both that and the jazz restaurant next door are owned by Jim Croce's wife and son). Well after just one glass of wine Joy was, well....., uhm..... Okay, I'll start here. My Sweetie went to the restroom and she grabbed me and said, "He reminds me of my husband, I LOVE men like that, (and on and on)" so I said, "Kim said your husband is very attractive." She totally dismissed that and wanted to keep gushing about MY husband. He was sitting between us and she was all touchy feely touching him everywhere as she talked. And she talked non-stop. When after two or three times I couldn't even enter her conversation (monologue?) I was starting to get a little irritated. Finally some time later - and she'd had two large glasses of wine - I said (after My Sweetie had gone to the restroom again), "I don't want you to drink anymore to drive home and you have company at home (yes she actually had people visiting) and it's our last night so we want to have a romantic dinner together." She took it well, but I could see she didn't want to leave. I felt kinda bad, but I was so relieved when we walked her to her parking lot. She exhausted us both. We had a great dinner at an Italian restaurant (I wish I had caught the name) and went back to our room to watch some more Buffy.

Tuesday was our last day so we checked out and checked our luggage and hit 5th. We had a nice lunch (and I didn't mention we ate most of our meals outdoors on the sidewalks). After lunch, we still had two hours to kill. I found a nice bar (Henry's Pub) and My Sweetie went off to browse at a bookstore. Well my bartender lives in San Diego because there is an Olympic training facility there. He is trying to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics in the long jump. His name is Bashir Ramzy, so if he wins a medal, remember, you heard it here first.

About our hotel I wasn't particularly looking forward to staying in a 3 star hotel, but then I was confused about how the ratings work. My guess is that it has a lower rating because it doesn't have any "extras" such as a pool, gym, or spa or real room service (although there were several delivery options). The location was excellent, the room was excellent. The view was excellent, and the people were very friendly and helpful. I did book it through Expedia so I'm going to send a glowing review. If you want to experience the Gaslamp District of San Diego, I highly recommend the Gaslamp Plaza Suites.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Another Year (and my truck just depreciated)

Wow! Another year has gone by. I saw the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey at the theater when I was 7. I didn't have a clue about what I was watching but I was enthralled by the whole idea of this fantastic future. I remember asking my big brother how old I would be and he said, "You'll be 40." Another concept beyond my grasp. Hell my parents were 30 and 32. And now 2001 was FIVE YEARS AGO!

I'm not a New Year's resolution type person, but I would like to exercise more. And after being "laid up" with this broken foot, I'm really looking forward to becoming more active this year. I also want to paint both hallways. With a COLOR. No more off-white for me. After all I did paint my bedroom mint, and the guest room grey with black trim. I'm thinking of something in a light golden-brown, or a rich light rust. I'll know it when I see it. I'm also really looking forward to getting back to my Meals on Wheels routine. I told them I would start back on the 18th. I hope I remember how to drive.

Our New Years weekend was fun and geeky. Friday night we watched more "Buffy," Saturday night I made homemade salsa, guacamole and chicken quesadillas and we had a "Nowhere Man" marathon. And although I guess this is trite, we had strawberries with our champagne. We did turn over at 11:00 to watch the ball drop. And we celebrated again for our own time zone. On Sunday I broke in my roasting pan that Mom gave me with a delicious pork roast. We had cabbage and mashed potatoes and I must say the best gravy I have ever made. And to cap off our geeky weekend, Sunday night we watched Serenity.

I've been trying to build up to being able to walk around for longer periods because Saturday is looming. My bad foot is still pretty swollen, but that is probably from disuse. And my back gets tired. I was up a lot today. We finally took our tree down and put away all the decorations. I had to take several breaks but I did spend a lot of time on my feet. Tomorrow night will be 7 weeks from the day I broke my foot. I'm really going to build up on walking time the next few days so getting through the airports on Saturday won't be overwhelming.

I'm actually finally looking forward to our trip. My Sweetie leaves Thursday from work, so I'll be home alone for two nights. The good news is my daughter has Thursday and Friday off. I think she will come by both days, but I told her I particularly need her to come by Friday night to help me cover the furniture. Our cats have their own bedroom and we put them in there at night and when we go out to eat or whatever, but we don't leave them in there for long periods, so I have to cover the couch and chairs when we go out of town. While they will not get on the furniture when we are in the house, they ALWAYS do when we are away. And if you're curious: it's not a bedroom in the human sense. It is a CAT room. It has cat trees and large boxes with holes cut in them and things to climb and jump on, nooks and crannies, pillows and and a bean bag. People may think I'm weird for having a cat room but my cats love it and it works for me.

The only time I was in San Diego, I stayed at the Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island, so this trip will be very different. We're staying in the Gaslamp_Quarter . It looks like a really cool area. I plan to take a LOT of bar breaks to rest my poor foot (snicker, snicker). I'm going to have every bartender take a picture of us. It's odd because the weather has been so unseasonably warm here, that it will actually be a lot cooler in San Diego (mid 60's) than here in North Texas (mid 70's and supposed to be 80 on Saturday - whoodathunkit?)

I hope I have time to post again before my trip, if not, the next post will be all about it. 2006. Wow.