Saturday, February 28, 2009

Guest Blogger

Democrat, Republican or Independent, the 2009 inauguration marked a very historic event. BossLady was one of the millions of people who attended and I asked her to document her attendance.

If you would like to be a guest blogger in the future, please submit your entry and my Board of Directors will review and make a decision. And without further delay, I would like to introduce my very first guest blogger: BossLady!

I’m clearly an Obama supporter and proud of it.

On January 20, 2009, I had the wonderful opportunity to stand on the National Mall among friends and strangers as Obama was sworn in to become the 44th President. It was so amazing!! I still can’t believe I was there.

My journey to witness history began on Saturday, January 17 at 3 am. My husband and I packed into a rental van with a group of friends and headed to our nation’s capital. On our first night, we ate where Obama ate just weeks before us--the most famous place in DC -- Ben’s Chili Bowl. If you EVER go to DC…you MUST eat there. There’s even an American seal on the wall where Obama sat.

The next day we attended the first official Inauguration event, which was the opening ceremony/concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The concert featured big names like Stevie Wonder, U2 and Beyonce. They all looked like ants to us but it was still cool to be there; however, we did see them on the mega TV screens they had lined up all along and throughout the National Mall.

That day was the first day we started to realize what a major event this was going to be. There were droves of people everywhere. The ceremony didn’t even start until 2:30 pm but the entire Lincoln Memorial lawn was covered by that morning. Obama said only a few words … but it was great nonetheless.
During the rest of the trip, no matter where we were – our hotel, public bathrooms, restaurants, the streets, the metro, on the National Mall – people talked to us. I met people from across the country. Where are you from? How long have you been here? Isn’t this amazing? It was like being at a big family picnic – everybody was there for a good time.

Fast-forward to Inauguration day. It started at 2:30 am. My husband and I woke up, got ready and packed our winter coats with snacks and water for later (we knew it was going to be a long day). We met our group of 6 friends downstairs in the hotel. Oh, we also grabbed our hotel blankets (you know the extra ones they put in the closet). You’ll read later as to why we brought these.

By 3:30 am, we all hopped in the van and headed down to the Metro parking station. We had to take the Metro down to the Capitol because every street leading into the Capitol was blocked except for approved vehicles. About a mile before we arrive at the Metro, we were greeted with hundreds of cars and came to a complete stop. Turned out that each of the Metro stations only had 1 person taking the $4 cash each car had to pay to get into the lot. Ridiculous! We sat in the van for 2 hours. Once we got to the Metro, there was yet another line of people just to get onto the train. We had about 13 stops before we got near the Capitol. Fortunately we got seats but the train became so packed that I eventually lost sight of my husband. So I befriended some folks from Colorado; they actually had inauguration tickets (most people did not).
After being on the train for more than an hour, we arrive at our stop (I did find my husband BTW). OMG, the sight was incredible...well, more like scary. We literally pushed our way out of the train, and quickly found ourselves cheek to cheek with thousands of people. Eventually, we squeezed ourselves from the bottom of the escalator to the top of the street. Let me tell you, it was not for the claustrophobic types. We reached the street level and joined thousands more people … we all marched together on the cold, gray streets to the U.S. Capitol.

At 8 am … we finally reached the National Mall, which was filled with a few million people. Cheerful people. Diverse people. Young and old. Joy was permeating the air. I could just feel the energy (and the cold :) Don’t be fooled…it was freezing. But it didn’t matter to anybody. We were just happy to be out there in the presence of hope.

We ended up finding a spot directly halfway between the Capitol and Washington Monument. The Capitol was in sight but we didn’t exactly have front-row seats. For the next 3.5 hours, we stood…we laid down on those hotel blankets I mentioned early … we did jumping jacks (to try and warm up) … it didn’t work L I lost the feeling in my toes after about an hour. My fingers went numb. We did buy heat packs, which I now believe are the greatest invention ever. The $5 packs helped but there was no ignoring the fact that it was absolutely cold out there!

But don’t take my complaining as it not being worth every minute to be out there. I’ve never felt more patriotic in my life. I’ve never participated in anything political before so I’m glad to have that day as my first experience. I stood silent several times that day just to breathe the air of patriotism and stare in the eyes of strangers who were so friendly and compassionate.

There have been so many generations before me who have had the opportunity to be a part of American political history. I thought I would never get such a chance. But I did. I’m glad for it. I’ll look back 10 years from now and still be in awe of the experience. I’ll show my children the pictures. And I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to say that on the day America swore in its first black president, the day that millions of Americans stood together, cheering on a new era in our country ... I WAS THERE.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Trying to be a good (cough) Catholic girl

For the 3rd year in a row, I am giving up iced tea for Lent. You might think that's a cop-out going back to the same sacrifice year after year. But I assure you, it is really hard for me to go without my ice tea for 40 days! Like I may go into withdrawal from it. Good thing I love Jesus.

J loves his tea just as much. In fact, I am the one who got him hooked on it back in the day when we were dating and he would visit my apartment and I only had iced tea, cheese doodles and trail mix on hand. For the past 2 years, he also gave it up with me. This year, I pretty much forced him. I mean, I can't have a gallon of tea sitting in our fridge staring at me day after day. That would just be too hard ...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

These boots are made for walking ... in the snow

For those of you who know me, you know I HATE shopping. Mainly it's because I hate spending money and I like getting the most out of what I buy. Which is why I own clothing items from 1995. No seriously. I do.

Case in point. I got the boots below when I was a junior in high school. Wore them through college. Then, when I lived in Arizona from 2000-2004, they stayed tucked away in a closet in my parent's house. When I lived in Virginia, I did have them, but I think I used them maybe once when we got that 1 inch of snow.

I was elated when we decided to move to New Hampshire because I have boots already! I was excited to break them out. And they have served me well these past 1 1/2 winters. But, it was time to replace. 'Cause, did you know they make boots now that keep your feet WARM?? And dry??

I labored over my shopping decision. Since everyone in NH (okay, maybe the whole country) has a pair of Uggs, and they all rave about them, I figured that was the route to go. But, damn, even on sale, they are freakin expensive. Alas, I searched and found a better deal. According to Ugg owners, they do not keep your feet dry in snow. What?? Why would I buy boots that were NOT waterproof living in a place where I step in snow every day for at least 4 months??

So I bought these Ulu boots. I suppose they are a ripoff of Uggs, but I don't care because I found them online for $55! Marked down from $150! And they keep my feet dry! And warm! I kid you not! They feel like slippers! I don't want to take them off! Yeah for me!

Sorry I went overboard on the exclamation points, but I am clearly excited.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Beer & Tunes


We're still on our quest to hit all the breweries in VT, but we also don't want to miss the ones in NH. So this weekend, we ventured to Keene to the Elm City Brewery. The main reason we went to Keene, though, was to see a jam band Railroad Earth in concert. The lead singer, Todd, is an old friend of J's and he used to play in a band called From Good Homes. J saw FGH play about 200 times!!! It's funny because we've seen RRE play in Phoenix and Raleigh, and every time J shows up, Todd is like, "dude, you live HERE now?" We got home around 2ish and were supposed to leave at 7 this morning for a casino trip that J planned for his town. The bus company called around 4:30 (yes A.M.) to cancel because of an impending storm. So J had to call the 30 participants at 6 (yes A.M.) to tell them it was a no-go. And wouldn't you know it, the snow started later than the weatherpeople predicted, so we probably could have gone afterall. Oh well!

We are watching the Academy Awards, and for all those who care, we are still trying to make it through that lengthy list of Oscar winners, the very long-term goal we set last year. We've made progress, but I'm talking years. Maybe decades.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Size never mattered so much

After nearly 2 months, we got our refurbished TV back. Although we survived and proved our test for a life without TV, we are happy to have it back. It's only 27 inches, but it looks so DARN BIG. I guess that's what happens when you get used to squinting to see a 13-inch screen.


As for our opinion of Best Buy, it has certainly plummeted. I don't know which is worse, that they failed to call us with the updates or that their 17 different "managers" gave us 17 different quotes. All I know is we almost wish they were the ones going out of business instead of Circuit City!! But, such is life. It's really the only place you can go for electronic needs, so we excuse us as we moan and grumble.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I don't purposely try to embarrass myself

Last night, my kickboxing partner laughed and told me that I look like I am riding a pony while trying this one move. I can assure you, when I see other people doing the move, they certainly don't look like they are riding a pony.

I never had good coordination, especially for aerobics. But man, I need to practice my moves for the sake of less embarrassment on my part.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thank goodness we don't have children

McKinely has an appt. at the vet tomorrow to get his annual feline distemper vaccine and J said, "but why? His temper is fine!"



***UPDATE ... Mr. McKinley's temper is just fine following the vaccination.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lucky 13

I haven't had anything blog-worthy to say lately and I apologize to my THREE blog readers, LOL. But I will say, I love Friday the 13th. And we have one today and next month. Yippee skippee! I've also felt like I've always had a good day on Friday the 13th, so I'm certainly not superstitious about it. In fact, I think it's silly when hotels skip the 13th floor. Anyways, so far nothing monumental has happened today to make it a super day, but it's only half over. I'm still hopeful.

I will say I wasn't happy to wake up and hear about the plane crash overnight. Yikes. My heart goes out to the families of the people on the flight.

Not much planned for the weekend, but maybe, just maybe, we'll get our TV back. J and I do not do Valentine's Day, or the Hallmark holiday, as J calls it. We are eating the last of our Omaha Steaks Christmas package and may break open the massive bottle of Reisling J got me for Christmas. So let me rephrase that. Maybe we do do Vday afterall.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Deathcicles

Well, Sunday was WARM. By our standards. 46 degrees!!!! We still have most of our snow, but at least some of these badasses have disappeared.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday randomness

I owe my 5 blog readers some updates, so prepare for bullets on Friday!

• I got most of the feeling back in my lower lip/chin. I will see oral surgeon on Tuesday, but I’m going to venture to say that the rest of the feeling is not coming back. I talked to a few other people (from my numb support group … kidding) who said it never came back for them. Don’t worry about giving me any more sympathy, seriously. It’s just 10% of my lower lip/chin that is lacking feeling. And the drooling/biting lip has ceased.

• Our TV is still in the shop. J called last week sometime to check on the status and they said, “oh, no one called you to tell you it’s actually going to cost $450 to fix the TV.” To which he replied with some profanities. So on Tuesday, we went to look for a new TV and stopped at the repair counter so J could tell them they can shove our TV up their behind. But then the nice manager man redeemed his store’s reputation by saying, “we’ve been meaning to call you. We decided to eat the cost of the repair and stand by our original $200 estimate. It was our fault for giving you the quote prematurely.” A-W-E-S-O-M-E! See? J always gets his way. Of course, we still don’t know when we will have the TV in our hands ...

• J and I were watching “How I Met Your Mother” (on the computer) and it was about resumes and including silly accomplishments on it (like being the hot dog eating champ). I looked at my own and realized I was holding on dearly to these:
Additional Accomplishments
Holy Cross Associate post-graduation full-time volunteer
Director of High School Youth Ministry for St. Gregory’s Catholic Church
Assistant Cross Country Coach for Dan River High School
Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Crown

Could it be time to part with them? I tend to think it shows I try to do community service and like teenagers. I don't know. I would love some opinions!

• I was a child of the 80s, but this week I longed to be an adult of the 80s. You see, my company was bought (big cheer everyone! I can keep my job!) and we have to fill out all new benefit information and make choices that adults make. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve switched insurance between getting married and my company switching providers, and it just never gets easier. Yes, I do write about this crap, but it’s not the same as having to make the actual decisions. Anyways, my point is, I think it was much simpler to live as an adult in the 80s because you had no choices and insurance was just handed to you on a silver platter.

• It is supposed to de-freeze here this weekend and I am semi-excited because the simple tasks are just so difficult when it’s below zero. Like getting the mail. Taking out the trash. Pumping gas. I actually thought for a minute yesterday evening I might have frost bite when I was throwing dirt down on the driveway. Why was I throwing dirt down on the driveway, you may ask? To get little Fernando out onto the road and to get to my destination. In an effort to save on gas money, J tried to take Fernando to work earlier this week. After 4 attempts of trying to get out of the driveway, I heard him yell, “F this. I’m taking the truck.” Because of my dirt-throwing last night, he was able to get out of the driveway this morning (see proof below).

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A blast from the past

I had a great weekend down at my sister's and we decided to take my niece and nephew for a "drive" down to Jersey (no small feat) to visit my parents. With fresh snow on the ground, we thought we would take the kids sledding on the hills we used to go on as kids. Man, they looked so much bigger when we were young! I think the highlight was watching Short on Coffee wiz down the hills! Go Mom!













Then Sunday, we went roller skating. Apparently Yankee was formerly on the "skate guard," so he was excited to show off his moves. The kids loved it and it was a good trip down memory lane for the rest of us.













While my weekend can be summed up by "sledding and skating," J's weekend with theHoss can be described as "too little sleep, too much alcohol, poker and sports."