Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I'm a Mazda Miata!
You like to soak up the sun, but your tastes are down to earth. Everyone thinks you're cute. Life is a winding road, and you like to take the curves in stride. Let other people compete in the rat race - you're just here to enjoy the ride.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
~ Carly at 7:40 AM
Monday, August 28, 2006
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Tuesday morning I got up at 6 am and "snuck" out of my hotel room (this was prearranged so they wouldn't think I'd been kidnapped by the doorman, but I didn't want any kids to say "can I come too?" so I went quietly)
The sunrise was absolutely gorgeous. I was so happy I had my camera with me. With the sound of the waves, the nearly perfect air temperature, and plenty solitude, the whole experience could not have been better. There were only a few walkers and fishermen out (someone reeled in a stingray while I was walking by him).
We went to the hotel's breakfast buffet, which was excellent (I have been to some wretched ones). Then we made a reservation for PARASAILING!! I was thinking "Oh crap, I guess I really have to do this." Haha.
We found the spot, and R (my brother in law) and I paid. I was busting his chops a little bit because he didn't want to go up to the highest level. (They let the rope out either 400, 600, or 800 feet and he said "the middle one". Wuss. I of course, went for 800. If I'm doing this, I'm DOING it.) We also paid for a roll of film because the boat operators have a camera with a 300mm lens. I didn't manage to get that film developed yet.
The guys at O.C. Parasail were great. One guy was a college kid and not bad looking at all (for a child born AFTER I graduated from.... nevermind. He put on sunscreen right after the boat set out, so I tipped him $20 when the ride was over because it was a good show. Hey, us old broads deserve a little fun every now and then.) But seriously, there was a sign saying that the crew worked for tips, so R. and I figured we'd give them each $20 because we had such a good experience.
I had assumed that this would be something of an athletic adventure. Something like what I imagine skydiving to be. You know, jumping and being Whooooshed off the boat, buffeted by winds, and so on.
It just wasn't anything like that. The parachute lifted me off the boat as if I were a soap bubble rising into the air, and I rose so gently, I could barely tell that I was ascending. "Fantastic" doesn't even begin to describe it. It wasn't a "wind in my face so I can barely open my eyes" feeling at all. More like I was floating, drifiting along and I just happened to be some 650 feet up into the air. (Geometry. The rope is the big side of the triangle and it is 800 feet, so the height is... oh, who cares.) The view was incredible.
I felt one little shudder, and I think that was when the mechanism feeding the rope changed direction, and I started to return to the boat. Other than that, very placid.
Well, except for one tiny thing. The guys operating the boat had me almost down to the water level (they dip your feet for fun, if you're game) and some idiots came up fairly close in their boat, and started waving at me. That was fine, and I waved back. They became idiots when they turned and were going to cross in front of my boat.
My boat operator needed to speed up, slow down, etc pretty often to keep the parachute where he wants it. And little old me, of course....preferably up in the air. Both guys on my boat were screaming, whistling, and generally going crazy trying to wave off Idiots, and clue them in that they shouldn't cross in front of my boat. I was just getting a "Hmmm. At least I have a lifejacket on" feeling when the idiots finally got a clue and turned away. Finally I returned to the boat.
So all in all, considering they didn't actually let the idiots kill me, I felt they deserved the tip.
I'd write more about how I boogie boarded after lunch, and when I returned to my beach chair, my sister in law had a fresh strawberry daquiri waiting for me. Awesome. But I'm out of time.
~ Carly at 4:40 PM
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Day one was pretty much "ride down from NY to OC-MD in the car" with a little bit of fun at the end.
It was me, Mr C, his brother, his wife, and our total of 3 kids, so we took two cars. There are two types of drivers. Some people get on the highway, pick a spot, and pretty much use cruise control until they get off the highway. Others get on, and consider it a personal challenge to pass any obstacle they come across (such as large trucks, etc...) or change lanes 50,000 times because they are driven to insanity by said obstacles.
These two types of drivers should never travel together in a mini caravan, under any circumstances. It is not fun for the person following the "passer", because the passer will change lanes without worrying about whether the follower will be able to change too. The follower won't know if the passer is coming back, or if the follower needs to get into that lane too, to exit soon, terse cell phone conversations will take place, and everyone will end up cranky. Boys are stupid. 'Nuff said.
Here are things you must bring when you travel by car with children:
- small squishy beanbag pillows for dozing off on the NJ turnpike (it's BORING)
- a portable DVD player - also, make sure you have enough headphones for the little darlings. (Some players can accomodate more than one set of headphones. Buy splitters if you must, because you really DON"T want to listen to their movies. )
- Sirius radio (for the grownups- you don't need me to elaborate on that one, do you?)
- a case of bottled water in a cooler (do not pay $3 a bottle at a thruway rest stop)
- E-Z pass (to cruise through toll stations without stopping to pay a cranky toll attendant... very awesome)
- snacks - preferably something that will leave crumbs all over the floor of the car
- a small tote bag for each kid is helpful too - they can bring whatever they want, as long as it's not food, and it fits in the bag.
When we got to the hotel we jumped into our suits on ASAP (having them in a separate tote bag helped) and went in the water! It was my first time in the ocean and I have to say "yechhhh." It's gorgeous -- the waves are beautiful, and they sound divine, but they swirl a cloud of muck around you, and then they pull away and leave you coated with a scratchy film of sand and salt. Revolting, and quick to creep into every nook and cranny of your personage. The sound of the waves is fantastic, but LOUD. I actually had to unlock my daughter's iPod and raise the volume limit. (Poor baby, I know...)
My brother in law had a boogie board, so I tried it. Hahahaha. It was awesome but basically the ocean knocked me off it, because I had no idea what I was doing. Then the sea tried to drag me back into its depths, and then it spit me back up on the beach. I loved it, sand rash and all, and I did actually ride a few waves fairly well.
We ate dinner at the hotel's poolside patio/ deck bar. It was the only one that I saw with palm trees all around the seating area. They were beautiful, if a bit out of place in Maryland. We listened to someone named Danny Dolan, who was performing there with a band. Never heard of him. The CD is called Sax on the Beach - no lie. He's a good saxophone player, so we bought a CD for $10. This page has a picture of him (upper left) and he was nice to my kid, so I won't make fun of the picture. Didn't see the chick, or the guy in the upper right.
We got pillaged by the service staff. Seriously, $178 for grilled cheeses, chicken fingers, etc for a total of 7 people?? I had a strawberry daquiri (that was what I drank for the remainder of the vacation; they had plenty of whipped cream which is a dairy product, and strawberries are fruit... so it was good for me. They forgot the rum in the first one so they gave me a double the second time. Wheeee!) We had the crab balls appetizer (hehehe) and they were excellent.
From our room balcony (we stayed at the Clarion) we could look one way and see the ocean, and look the other way to see the bay, so we saw a nice sunset. It kind of set suddenly, almost disappearing with a "plink". Weird.
After that some of us went for a night walk on the beach. Again, two types of people. People who walk far outside the waves, being careful not to get wet, and people who deliberately walk within the path of the waves and laugh when one splashes up over their feet and up their legs. Guess which one is me.
~ Carly at 10:40 PM
Friday, August 25, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I know I've got bad karma because my daughter is making me sit throught the Teen Choice awards.
I'm off to the beach, and if I survive parasailing, I'll tell ya all about it. But if you see a small speck in the sky, which looks something like a multicolored parachute, flying over your house, I've broken free, and for the love of Pete, please shoot me down.
Just remember I love you all, and especially you . Bahaha!
~ Carly at 8:40 PM
Traces of the LOUD thunderstorm that required swapping places with my son at or before 2:31 a.m. (It's been a while since I woke up in a bed and had that momentary "where the hell am I?" feeling. It smells just a little like pee. Hmmm.)
A duck started waddling toward me. I crossed the street. Still determined, s/he veered toward me. Are you kidding? I'm not going to burst into flames today, but I'm going to be attacked by a deranged duck? Seriously?
A drop of sweat rolled down my forehead and into my eye. The high alcohol content temporarily blinded me.
And the iPod swings on...
~ Carly at 8:40 AM
Saturday, August 19, 2006
How does a match light? To find out, click here. Now could someone light one under my backside?
So yes, it's one of those days. I have packing, cleaning, and PTO duties to attend to.
So far today, I have done the following:
- talked to Suzy for 104 minutes
- showered (alone, sadly)
- killed a spider with the leg of a deck chair, because I had no shoes on (it took 4 tries).
- ate a Boboli pizza with left over steak added
- thought about doing some laundry
- pulled the sheets off my bed (but not washed them yet)
Hey, it's only 2:30, right?
~ Carly at 2:40 PM
Friday, August 18, 2006
One of my best friends has four kids. Every now and then we go to the mall after most of our kids are in bed. Tonight she brought the "good one" (her new baby).
We shopped for cute baby outfits and Baby was good. We lingered over dessert and gave Baby a bottle and chatted and chatted.
On the way out she said "you know what, walk me to my car and I'll drive you to yours." This was not like either of us. It's a large mall and I've never felt nervous walking to my car. SO many people around, you know? but it was around 11 PM so we did it.
We got the baby situated and drove over to my car. I flicked the unlock button on my keyfob to show her where I was parked(that makes the lights of my car come on). She pulled up right near my car, and left hers running. We talked and talked. She was turned in the driver's seat, facing me somewhat.
All of a sudden she looks off behind me to the right and screams the most bloodcurdling, "Aaaaaaaaaaah!" horror movie scream I have ever actually effing heard in person, in my entire life. The look on her face was total panic. She punches the gas pedal, and takes off hurtling through the mostly empty parking lot. I was yelling "what, what, what's the matter?" and she screamed "they're trying to get in the car!"
She drove clear around to the other side of the (huge) mall before I could could calm her down even a little.
She had looked out the passenger/back seat window (over the head of her sleeping baby) because she heard a noise, and someone was trying to open the back door of the car. Hearing this news did not help me. She was shaking like a leaf and I was trying to figure out what to do. Because now my unlocked car was left behind. Right there with Mr. Creepy carjacker/ kidnapper man.
So we drove to where we had seen a cop car by one entrance, and it was there but empty. Fabulous.
We called the police. We called husbands. "Not going back to Carly's car until it's checked by cops." You know, urband legends, people hiding in the back seat. Eff you if you think I'm a sissy. It wasn't YOUR car at 11:30 at night.
We circled the mall, and noticed a weird guy walking around the lot. Fun. Now a Durango was right by my car, all lit up. Great, that's the guy who knows how to hotwire a car. Weird guy must have called friends. Circling, circling, looking for cops, but now the cop cars were gone too.
FOREVER later, the cops met us at my car. He was confused and didn't really understand what we were saying, but he checked my car. I came home. I am NOT sleeeeepy.
Bananas Foster just is NOT worth all of this drama
~ Carly at 1:04 AM
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
My daughter got her braces this morning. She was a trooper - she was NOT happy to go, but went without a fight. I was actually the one crying since I had to hand over $1500 and that's just the down payment.
It was a two hour orthodontia session. (And you thought your day wasn't very much fun.) She is now calling them her "grillz" and saying Yo, a little bit too often. As she is whitey-white-white so this makes me wince because I'm afraid someone will overhear her and take it the wrong way.
We had to watch a video about how to brush your teeth with braces, and how to floss around them, and I'm tired already, and we haven't even done it yet since she ate lunch. We were misbehaving somewhat and making fun of the (very fine, informative) video because we watched it before the procedures began, so she was a bag of nerves. Caring for your teeth when you have orthodontics requires all sorts of extra doodads. Most boring goodie bag I ever got.
We don't have the FULL braces on top yet because I have to go pay another friendly dentist man to pull out four more of her baby teeth since none of them ever leave her body willingly. Then when the permanent teeth fill in we can get more wires and more insanely expensive cute colored bands.
The kids get to pick out the colors, and she chose hot pink and black for now. Yay. Four grand and change, and the only thing she's worried about is what colors to pick. How nice to be young. She goes back in October. Something tells me it will be orange and black then. I'm ok with that.
If you've never had braces, the thing on the bottom is a lip bumper. The muscles of your lips/face press against the bar, which is connected to the back teeth, and basically keep the bottom set of teeth from collapsing in on itself when she loses a couple of those baby teeth that still remain. Someday I'm going to bronze it. Or pound it with a sledgehammer in the back yard. I haven't decided yet.
~ Carly at 1:40 PM
Today I hauled my lazy butt out of bed at 6:15. I don't have to go to work today, or I would have been up at least a half hour earlier. I have Wednesdays off, and on occasion I've "slept in" until 9, or even (gasp!) an hour later. It's nice when your kids can turn on the tv AND make their own breakfast. Really. Unless they start fighting. Then I have to put the smack down.
Anyway, I weighed myself in the last 24 hours, and the number was up by 3. Ouch. UP from one of my highest levels, which I have hung around at for far too long already. Of course, I firmly blame these people, who bought me far too many glasses of wine in Cleveland:
Just kidding - Danielle, Sarah, & John.... you guys are the best!!! Notice I am not posting the photos of myself getting drunk, drunker, and oh, my-god-did-I-really-do-that drunkest. It certainly couldn't be the GIANT piece of cheesecake I ate in my hotel bar in Cleveland that pushed me over the edge of my plateau.
So I got up bright and early this morning, and put my shirt and shorts and sneakers on, and stole the Princess' iPod. She gets a little annoyed when I swipe it while she's sleeping, and then we have to have the "I Bought You This, And Filled It With Music, Didn't I" chat.
I have a hilly neighborhood and I walked for about an hour, listening to Phil and Tim and other things like that. Ben Folds actually stopped by for a visit or two as well. The iPod was actually driving me crazy because I bought this case/lanyard so that I wouldn't have to hold it, and it has a cord that goes around your neck... and with every step it swung from side to side like that pendulum thing in the bottom of my grandfather clock. Dammit. I hate it when a good idea turns out to be useless. So instead of being able to, oh, I don't know, just walk, I had to hold my hand on my chest like I was saying the pledge of allegiance for 45 minutes straight. Arrrgh.
When I was nearing the final turn to head home I noticed something supremely discouraging. I had on a pair of khaki shorts which are pretty loose. Nevertheless, they were literally chafing my legs just above the kneecaps. No, scratch that. They were smouldering and about to burst into flames. From walking. I almost set myself on fire, walking around my neighborhood. Wouldn't I look fabulous, rolling around in the street (one hand holding the iPod still) and slapping furiously at my thighs, "ow ow ow ow" ??
Nothing to see here. Move along.
~ Carly at 8:40 AM
Sunday, August 13, 2006
This little combo did NOT go to the racetrack today, although I nearly herniated myself trying not to laugh in my little guy's face.
I bet on a horse that had my nephew's name. I think it's still running somewhere on the far turn.
The only reason we went was that someone gave us free tickets to a fundraiser event. The event was littered with NFL alumni, so Virgil would have loved it. (Haha. He knows zero about sports.)
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I am giving myself seven minutes to type.
I really have 10,000 things to do but I "miss" my blog.
The other day I was sitting with Suzy watching one of those shows about babies being born (on Lifetime or some channel like that). Suzy likes them. It was a caesarian delivery of twins. I was somewhat horrified at the abrupt way the doctor YANKED the baby out of the womb. The baby almost seemed to be stuck, and the tugging and twisting that ensued freaked me out.
I have felt that way. From time to time I carve out a few minutes for myself and then BLAM! A hand reaches into my quiet space and drags me kicking and screaming out into the blinding light of the "real" world.
Summer seems to already be accelerating towards the finish line. It makes me sad. The school year fills me with dread. New PTA responsibilites on top of the issues with my daughter's IEP needs, and the new braces that go on in FOUR days at an staggering cost.
But first I have a beach to go to, in about a week. I'm going to parasail! I'm going to FLY.
~ Carly at 9:40 AM
Sunday, August 06, 2006
'round here it's apparently cool to look at horses running during the month of August.
Several members of my family decided we needed to go see a polo match tonight.
Yeah... me, at a polo match. It went well. ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The view was mostly this:
It's kind of a scary sport when a group of riders DOES race right by you. We (being new at this) sat right up next to the piece of edging that demarcates the field of play but almost immediately we realized "Wait... this is a good way to get trampled" and moved back 10 feet. And do they have halves, or quarters, like a self-respecting manly sport where the guys wear shorts or at least tight pants*? No. They have chukkers. A chukker is 7 1/2 minutes long. Who made this up?
Anyway, I prefer to hide behind that thick plexiglass shield at a hockey rink. Those balls are hard. (My son stole one.... just kidding, they let kids have the used balls... he dropped it in the car on the way home and when I heard the thunk I said "what was that?" and he said "just my balls Mom"....I am warped....)
I did make a good tailgate picnic. Grapes, cheese & crackers, sweet and sour chicken tenders, pasta salad with crabmeat and baby spinach, strawberries with chocolate, ... can't remember what else. And - newsflash - my kids ate it. Will wonders ever cease??
The players call out to each other in some variation of Spanish. They are apparently mostly from Spain and Portugal (at least these particular teams were) and some guy sitting near us said they speach Portunese and I died laughing. I think he got mad at me.
*I couldn't tell... the saddles, you know. But I don't speak Portunese, so does it matter?
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Friday, August 04, 2006
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I may not be able to look at a glass of wine for a while without my liver whimpering just a bit in terror.
The graduation party was terrific. As in, good food, friends, great weather (except for a short burst of rain.) I was there from 2 pm to past midnight and there was plenty of beer. Pretty nice to just walk across the street when it was over and crawl onto my pillow. The next day I got up early to walk it off (seriously NONE of my clothes fit and I have to get in gear. I walked for 3 days in a row for about 45 minutes each time. It's a start.) My neighbor kind of laughed at me when he saw me because I think I looked just a bit rough. To be fair, it wasn't even 8 am.
Then I headed out of town. I flow to our corporate HQ for some exciting training that I found out is now also going to be offered right at my own office. That's the way these things generally work for me.
I got to HQ-Land on Sunday afternoon and found out that with my hotel room key I had access to the concierge level. Sweet. They had appetizers - grilled veggies, cheese & crackers, fruit, and scallops wrapped in bacon. Oh, and I enjoyed one really big glass of wine.
After that it was only about 8:30 so I was bored and I went to the hotel bar. One more really big glass of wine later, I winked at the bartender (I was probably 20 when he was born so I bet it creeped him out a little) and I asked for a slice of cheesecake. "Oh, a sweet tooth, huh?" was the response he gave me. Yes, I still have more than one of my own teeth, kiddo. Just kidding, he was nice and he brought me an amazing dessert.
What I got could probably be more suitably called a slab. It was 5 or 6" high and about 4" wide on the back side, with pineapple sauce on one side, strawberry on the other cut edge, and chocolate dribbled down the back. This woman sitting a couple of seats away said "is that your dinner?" in a sarcastic voice and I thought "what's it to you, wench?" so I smiled one of those smiles and said "why yes....it is" and signalled for Junior to bring me another glass of wine.
Junior told me that one of the singers Sue knows was in town. Darn darn darn! If I'd known about 1 hour earlier I could probably have made it into the show. Oh well.
I finished the whole slice of cheesecake. Yes, I did.
I had contacted John (aka Shop Dungarees) when I made my travel plans so that I would know where I was going from the hotel to our offices, etc since he works there. Let me tell you that John is the best host in the world and I really hate him. (He kept in touch with me the whole time and took me to lunch both days with his friends, and in return I tampered with things in his office. Did you figure out what I did yet, John?)
How many people do I know that when I introduce a business acquaintance to him, he will mumble "Did you do him?" in a voice that only I could hear? He's one of a kind (and no, for the record, I did not. Really.)
John and Sarah and Danielle took me out to dinner Monday after a happy hour with Erik. Well, at least I vaguely recall a plate of food in front of me at some point, and about four glasses of wine. Then John playing the guitar and crawling on the floor and chasing a cat, and telling the bellman at my hotel that I was a hooker. It's all kind of murky. I'm afraid though, because John had his camera and we all took pictures of each other that will resurface just when my husband finally decides to run for public office. Dammit it was fun.
I didn't sleep well in the hotel because I was inebriated both nights and the noises of the city below me woke me up pretty often. I'm such a baby. Let me tell you that when a hot shower feels SO unbelievably good and so horribly bad all at same the time, it is a sign that you drank WAY too much the night before, you have a problem and it is going to be a long day. I did, I do, it was.
I am home now, and I'm going to hide in my house all day because it's supposed to be about 99* here today. Damn.
~ Carly at 10:40 AM