Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day Two, Games Three and Four Miscellany

The day started with English Breakfast and Man U.

I had weird dreams last night.

Bases Loaded + No Outs = No Runs = Unhappy Brother.

Doubleheader with Game Two of Doubleheader going into EXTRA innings.

That is a lot of baseball.

First sunburn of the season.

Fresh air makes me tired.

Stressing for brother makes me tired.

What doesn't make me tired?

Finally, a victory in extra innings.

Hot in the sun, cold in the shade.

VERY clean bathrooms at the ballpark.  huh?

Dumb joke telling at dinner.

Why does someone have to lose?

Not a lot of parking at the UNC-Charlotte facility.

Chapped Lips.

Supportive parents travel weekly to see their kids play ball.

Lost kid in hotel hall yelling for her MOMMY. 

Margarita at dinner.

Feels good to be in bed.

One more game tomorrow.

Always makes me feel sad to leave.

Go Tigers.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day One

Greetings from Charlotte!

I come to you from room 518 of the Hampton Inn - University Place. We are winding up day one of the Charlotte road trip, wherein we watch four baseball games between the Missouri Tigers (yay!) and the UNC-Charlotte 49ers. 

As you all know, my brother, Tim, is the baseball coach at MU, and we like to follow him and support the Tigers.   On this trip, we've brought along some Taylor and her boyfriend, Damon.

I consider myself good with directions, but I was off my game today. But, we eventually found the stadium and enjoyed a nice afternoon of baseball.

I do enjoy sitting out in the sunshine, especially after such a long, cold, wet winter.  So many of the college kids were there in shorts and flip flops.  You could tell that everyone was so happy to get some outdoor time.  Unfortunately, the Tigers ended up on the short end of the score today.

One of my favorite things about college campuses is the beautiful buildings.  This is what I could see down the third base line:

After the games, we always meet up with Tim and have some dinner.  I try to make conversation.  Tim is thinking ahead to the next game.  Steven is reminding me that I talk too much.  I make everyone take pictures.  Notice my very humidity in the morning/wind in the afternoon affected hair:

So, now we're back at the hotel, and resting up for day two.  We will start the day at an English pub, watching ManU play Wigan at 10:00.  Then, we have a baseball doubleheader.  And, after that, who knows what craziness will happen??!!

Might it involve a lovely bottle of wine and some plastic cups?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Newest Project

I listen to the Rosie O'Donnell talk show daily, and recently she was talking about being on the show, "Who Do You Think You Are?"  The show traces a famous person's roots, and shows the steps along the way.  I had never watched the show before, but plan to make it a weekly must see.  (Here's the link to the show's website)

I was so intrigued by all that Rosie found on her journey, so, being a marketing person's dream, I immediately signed on to to take a look around.  I started my family tree, and began adding people to my tree.  At this point, Ancestry tells me I can have a free two week trial period, and after that I must pay for this information.  So, right now, I'm madly trying to peruse records to get as much information, as humanly possible, in this two week time period.

I think I'm addicted.  I'm a genealogy addict.  I'm addicted to genes.

Last night, I searched the site for hours.  Steven would speak to me and I didn't hear a word.  House Hunters was on, but I have no idea if they chose house #1, #2 or #3.  I didn't even drink the nice glass of red wine that I had poured as a treat for enduring a difficult Monday.  I was dialed in on my ancestors.

Now, I'm only on day 3 of my quest, but already, I've discovered that one of my grandfather's was a "lubricator" for Buick.  I found my other grandfather's border crossing papers circa 1924. This is the page containing his information--

And this next part shows Grandpa (Robert Jamieson), his mom, Jean, my great aunt Peg (Margaret) and my great uncle Syd.  Now, I'm just getting started and I'm finding this.  I'm psyched!!  Grandpa is originally from Scotland, and my maternal grandmother is from Poland, so there's a whole world of stuff out there to find!

Now, the real question--how in the world am I going to get this done in two weeks?  And, if  I don't get it done, am I going to fork up the bucks?

Who am I kidding.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The ABC's of Gongs, Birthdays and Exams

A is for appetizer.  Who doesn't love an appetizer?  Who doesn't love an appetizer that is accompanied by 7 pretty red dots?  Awesome.

B is for beer.  Steven doesn't eat any kind of food that would be considered ethnic.  So, he eats before we leave the house  (this night, double cheeseburger from McDonalds was the food of choice)  Thus, his only item ordered was beer.

C is for crab rangoon.    It could also be for the cream cheese in the crab rangoon.  Delish!  The waitress kept calling it a crab wonton.  Please don't confuse me.

D is for delicious. The food was so fresh and so tasty.  I think I could easily eat sushi on a daily basis.

E is for Edamame.  Now, call me a country gal, but I had never seen edamame inside the pod.  And, I had never seen them sucked out of the pod.  How interesting!

F is for friends and fun.  You can't really have one without the other. 

G is for gong.  Okay, you're going to have to trust me on this one.  You'll hear much more about this later.  I'm still hearing the noise in my head.  Note that it's all nice and pretty on the wall at this point.  As the evening wore on, the gong was removed from the wall numerous times (by the way, the price tag said $99.  Really?) and haphazardly replaced.  The mallet became a microphone, and a phallic symbol.

H is for head. This is really off topic, but I've got to say that I think my head is getting bigger and bigger.  I don't mean my ego, and I don't mean my brain is getting smarter, I mean my head is just getting bigger and bigger.  What is with that?  I'm starting to look like Jimmy Neutron or Tweety Bird.

I is for the inevitable banging of the gong.  As the night wore on, each important announcement was accompanied by the gong.  The happy birthday song had the happy birthday gong.  Each important speech was gonged.  But not like the Gong Show gonged.  Although, really, some of us should probably have been removed from the stage.

J is for JuJu.  The JuJu's big head barely fit at the table.

K is for Kelly.  And, Kelly was the birthday girl.  She was also the "just finished a week of really important exams toward her PhD" girl.  She was also the reason we were all gathered together and banging the gong.  Kelly has worked so hard, and it was nice to be out with her celebrating such a special time in her life.  (Please note the nipples on the cup!)

L is for the LOUD banging of the gong.  We had our own private dining room, but I'm pretty sure the entire restaurant enjoyed (?) the gong banging.

M is for the delicious chocolate martini I had to end the evening.  Dessert in a glass!  I felt especially honored that they drew an erotic picture with chocolate on my glass.  Please notice the big head and the claw-like hand holding said martini.

N is for the nipple on Kelly's bowl of drink.  (Refer to K for Kelly for photo)

O is for the obviously obligatory Oriental O entry. 

P is for the bottle of Pinot Noir that I enjoyed.  Burp.

Q is for how quiet it must have been when we all left.  And yes, we were the last ones to leave the restaurant.

R is for the rest I had today after drinking the Pinot Noir and the Chocolate Martini.  It is also for the rest required after carrying around this big head all the time.

S is for the Swedes. They were in attendance, and the Female Swede and I enjoyed the wine together.  Oh, and the xrated chocolate martini.  It is always sweet to hang with the Swedes.

T is for Toasts.  I do love when people give toasts.  Last night was no exception.  There were birthday toasts, PhD toasts, husband toasts, neighbor toasts, colleague toasts, big head toasts, and toasts to the gong.  Cheers!

U is for updated.  The restaurant is in a building that is an updated golf shop.  Luckily, there was no aroma of sweaty athletes to ruin the eating experience.  Prior to being a golf shop, it was a bank.  Unfortunately, no money was left behind.

V is for the valiant effort of the waitress.  The poor gal had to serve 14 people, all of whom wanted drinks, appetizers, sushi and entrees.  Sake!  Soy Sauce!  Forks!  She did all this on a sprained ankle, and her limp worsened as the night wore on.

W is for the weirdo who was hanging in the curtains.

X is for the excellent (come on, give me some leeway here!) time had by all.  It also applies to the people, the food, and the restaurant.  

Y is for my favorite thing, the YumYum Platter.  The name is indicative of the dish.  The dish makes me say the name of the dish.  This dish doesn't mind my big head.

And finally, Z is for Zen Asian Fusion, the name of the restaurant where all the toasting, singing, gonging, laughing, celebrating, eating and drinking took place.  A-Z, it was a FANTASTIC evening.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Wishes

Happy  Valentine's Day to one and all!  It's time to visit some of our friends from the past and see what it was like to celebrate love in days gone by.

I guess I'm used to corny puns, or sweet nothings written on a valentine.  I kind of think this one looks like a cry for help?  Man, that dude looks frustrated.

Here Kitty Kitty.  Come eat the little unsuspecting child.  Come eat the naked child sitting in the soup tureen.  Meow.

Here I am with my super big head and my gun.  I am every gal's dream date.  I'm also sporting my Fedora and a super red nose which indicates I'm a heavy drinker.  And hey, if you won't be my valentine, no problem.  I'll just rob you blind.

Well, if you are the kind of gal or guy who likes the Aryan Nation/Nazi kind of Valentine, here's one for you.  And, apparently, he is a good little boy.  He is a good little boy who seems to be sporting some very heavy make up.

And here we have the perverted valentine baby.  With one pop of that safety pin, he's flashing you with the goods.

Is it just me, or is that a condom on his head?

What a lovely pick up line.  "You wear the craziest hats."    And then she rhymes it with bats.  ORIGINAL.

Listen gal, you aint gonna get anyone with that dead bird on your hat.  That dog can barely stand the smell of you.  And, I'm not trying to criticize, but it looks like your legs are akin to tree trunks.

And, finally, the one that I am having nightmares over.  All I can think of is the movie, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"

Is this man?  woman?  vegetable?  animal? 

Watch out Doc!

I hope you all have a very sweet Valentines Day, and that you don't run into any of these freaks!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Egypt is Free, and I Have My Camera Back

Yeah, really those two things have nothing to do with each other, but wow, both are really good, eh?
Thanks to this guy for babysitting my camera and returning it to me unscathed-----------------> 

And, I had a great moment to use my camera yesterday.  Our dear friend, Neil, turned 40.  So, a party was given in his honor, by his 22 week pregnant wife.  (BLESS HER)  So, I had plenty to take pictures of throughout the day.  Ahhhh, it felt so darn good.  Snap.  Snap.  Snap!

Here's the birthday boy and his lovely bride/baby mama:

I loved the decorations.  They were so fresh, and so green! 

And, of course, the food was marvelous.  There was BBQ, slaw and beans; a total Southern tradition.  And then there was ice cream cake and HoHo cake.    And, Neil's almost 90 year old grandmother was there, and what a treat she is!

The sun was shining, and for a couple hours it was warm enough to go without a coat.  We all needed that.  I don't know about you guys, but I was starting to have some of that seasonal affective disorder thing happening.  But, then I saw this in the sky---I found it to be just gorgeous.

And of course, with any 40th birthday, someone always ends up with Depends on their head.  Guess who it was this time?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bentley Beauty

(in the continuing saga of my missing camera, I'm forced to tell a tale from the year 2003)

Growing up, football was basically my entire life.  My dad was a coach, so our whole lives revolved around the sport.  I met many famous folks through the years, and that was a really cool part of it.  I think I probably took it for granted a little bit?

Now that I'm a grown up (well, in age only) football is still basically my entire life.  But, now it's English football, or what we here in the USA call it, soccer.  Steven loves Manchester United, and because I love Steven, I now love them as well.

We took a trip to England in 2003, and were fortunate enough to get to attend a Man United game at Old Trafford.  (their stadium)  It was such a wonderful experience.  We had free seats given to us from a friend of ours who played soccer with Steven while studying here in the states.  It was such a thrill to see these players I had watched for years on TV.  Watching the game IN England was indescribable.

And, at that time ladies, DAVID BECKHAM was on the team.  So, I was lucky enough to see him play in person.  And, let me tell you, he looked good, even from far away.

(Yes, that's him going into the locker room at half time.   This was the uber blonde phase)

It was a thrill to see them run, play and score.  That day, Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored a hat trick, and the Red Devils won 3-0.  I loved hearing the chanting and singing of the fans.  It was an experience I will never forget.

Nor will I ever forget what happened after the game.  
We were walking back to our car with our friend Richard and his little brother Ollie.   I think Ollie was about 12 at the time?  Ollie and I were walking together, and Steven and Richard were in front of us.  Ollie casually says to us, "there's David Beckham in his Bentley."  The key word was CASUALLY.

Luckily, I live with a man who always has a camera ready to go.  (thank you for these pics dear!)  So, he snapped a photo of the Bentley and the Beckham.  As you can see, he is stopped to speak to someone, presumably a fan.  I doubt he can do that anymore,anywhere on earth.  But, on this day, in Manchester, England, he could.  Let me tell you, that was the culmination of a perfect day for this American gal.

(Honest, if you squint, you can see him through the glass)

So, eight years later, I'm still thrilled to think I saw him play and was within 50 feet of the man.  Now, if only he'd been modeling his skivvies.....