Sunday, May 31, 2009

I want to be a part of it, NEW YORK NEW YORK

I'm exhausted. Completely and in every way exhausted. I have walked more than I ever thought possible. And then I walked some more.

I'll get around to a better travel review when I get back to Utah this week. For now, a very quick recap.

On Friday, I actually went into our company offices, and got to meet my co-workers for the first time! I have worked for my company for 7 months now, and this was my first time to meet any of my co-workers in person. It was a lot of fun to actually put names with faces and get a better feel for the company personality.

My mom and sister took the train up from Virginia to join me in the city. On Friday night we went to go see WICKED on Broadway!! You may not all be aware of the fact that I'm a huge musicals FREAK! If you have ever seen my interior decorating style, you probably have some indication of how much I love musicals. (I have dozens of Broadway record albums on my walls.) I've seen dozens of musicals on many major stages. But I have never actually seen a Broadway musical on Broadway before. Getting to see Wicked as my first show was a dream come true! More on how it was one of the best shows ever later.

Saturday was our company party, and the primary reason I was brought out here. Our company has a strong Indian culture (being primarily an Indian company and all), and our company party was also our CEO's daughter's 1st birthday. This was a huge over the top Indian celebration. There was Indian music, dancing, and FOOD!

The entire party was just gorgeous and was held at one of the most beautiful private clubs on Long Island.
 
I'll load more pictures later this week. The club was gorgeous. I may have gone overboard taking pictures of flowers I want to find and plant in my yard.
Saturday night Mom and I went for a very very long walk! We started from the Empire State Building and walked up to Rockefeller Center, where I went to Magnolia Bakery, which totally lived up to the hype, and then walked back to Penn Plaza/Station. My legs are tired.
And then today we went to church, and then took a cab up to Central Park. We walked around the park for a while and ended up at the Zoo. And then went to Chinatown and Little Italy. Where I ate and shopped. 
And now I am tired. Very very tired.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Remember Me to Herald Square

Did I mention I'm in NYC? Because I am in NYC. I'm here for work, where I actually get to finally meet my bosses and my co-workers. I've worked here for 6 (almost 7) months, and I've never met any of my co-workers before! I'm excited to finally meet these people and feel a little bit more like part of the team.

Did you know Prince Harry is coming to NYC tomorrow? Is this Fate? I think so!

I've been Twittering my trip all day, and will continue to Twitter throughout the trip on my both my @erinannie personal account and my work account. My hotel room free internet connection pretty much sucks, so uploading pictures is just not an option. So instead of posting pics, I'm going to post links to my Twitpic account. And all my little Twitters from throughout the day.

6am Utah time

http://twitpic.com/641bz - TSA just stopped these micro thin flip flops and made me xray them. Seriously??

11 am Central time

Just landed for my layover. Have less than 20 mins to race across one of the largest airports in the US. No big deal!

11:45 Central time

Have mercy! Something stinks on this plane! Are you following my trip as I tweet from my @cheapoair alter ego?

4 pm Eastern time

Landed! Time to go start serenading tourists with my favorite broadway tunes!


4:30 Eastern time

Sitting in an NYC taxi, totally blocking traffic. I'm living the nyc cabbie stereotype!   

5 pm Eastern time

http://twitpic.com/64ygh - Empire State Bldg as seen from a cab!

6 pm Eastern time

http://twitpic.com/6512k - 5 day trip, 5 pairs of shoes. (What? Stop looking at me like that!)

6 pm Eastern time

Not in NYC a full 2 hrs and I'm already shopping at my favorite stores.

7 pm Eastern time

http://twitpic.com/658tj - Time for a slice and a coke- NY style!

May need to get another slice of pizza. That was too good and I'm still starving.

8 pm Eastern time

Gotta love west- east jet lag. Leaving hotel to go out and... Work in a starbucks?

9 pm Eastern time

http://twitpic.com/65iy3 - A what massage??

http://twitpic.com/65jmu - Bright lights, big city!

http://twitpic.com/65joc - Times Square!

10 pm Eastern time

Exhausted. Jet lagged. Need to finish a report for my meeting tomorrow (the whole reason I am here), and GO TO BED!          

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 4 of Dog Ownership

Day 4 and I'm stilll loving my dog. She continues to be the perfect dog. She doesn't jump on the furniture, doesn't bark, doesn't chase the cats (birds are different- they have it coming!), etc. She's really perfect! I have discovered that if the dog thinks I'm asleep on the couch she will try and sneak up on the other couch. But she keeps a close on me while she does it. If I open just one eye and look at her, she quickly gets back down on the floor.
We walk, and we walk, and we walk! Right now our weather is perfect, so I'm enjoying the chance to take several walks a day with her. (I'm not enjoying walking around with dog poop in a baggy in my pocket though. I forgot how much I hate that.) I've even lost 1 whole pound with all the walking! We're averaging about 3 miles of walking a day. I'm thinking I need to get one of those little pedometer things so I can figure out how far I'm really going. I'll be in NYC later this week, and I'd love to measure how far I walk there too.
Kaya (the dog) did something funny on Monday. I took Kaya and Little out for a walk along the Jordan River Trail. It was a pretty long walk, but we had fun. Kaya is so good about staying right by me that we let her off the leash a time or two. The trail tends to be about 12-15 feet wide (and paved). Little would wander away from my side, putting some lateral space between us. Every time she did this, Kaya would walk on the other side of Little and slowly push her back over to me. I guess her "cattle herding" gene is alive and well.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Seriously, its like I don't even know you at all.

I'm going to be honest with you here. Sometimes I think people are too stupid to vote. Case in point? The good people of Washington, DC. I recently received my first Washington, DC "state" commemorative quarter. Now, let me explain, I love all the new state quarters coming out. I have a little map that sometimes I even remember to put my quarters in. And sometimes I steal the quarters back out of it, because I want a Coke. So please, understand, that as a native of our Nation's Capitol, I was excited to find out they were even getting a quarter. And then I saw it.
And seriously, people, DUKE ELLINGTON?
I have lived the majority of my 34 years on this planet within a stone's throw of the Potomac River. I was born in DC proper boundaries. My social security number starts with the 3 magic digits that say I am a DC native. I make a fuss when I'm asked what STATE I was born in. I'm a big fan of the whole Taxation Without Representation movement. I think DC deserves to be a real state. I love my hometown, and I love it both as a city, and as our Nation's Capitol.
I get that you want to have your own separate identity for the quarter that signifies you as a city, and not just as the home of freedom and democracy. Not to mention, most of the icons of the city already are taken and showcased on our money.
BUT DUKE ELLINGTON?
I have no freaking clue what Duke Ellington has to do with Washington, DC!
I know there's the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts in Georgetown. It has a big funky Adirondack chair outside of it. I have no idea why.
BUT DUKE ELLINGTON?
Seriously, what the crap does he have to do with DC?? I have spent nearly my entire life there. I consider you home. But I have no idea what what a jazz musician has to do with this city!!!
I'm going to assume he was born there. That's the only thing that makes sense.
All I can say is that I think the good people of DC may just be too stupid to vote on their own legal tender. I get that I'm about a year or two too late for this fight. But still. I just have to say it. But then, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised. This is the town that not only elected Marion Barry, but re-elected him AFTER he went to jail!
Duke Ellington was a really stupid choice!!
In a city with beautiful parks, historic landmarks (that aren't all about freedom and democracy), an incredible legacy, a famous river, fascinating neighborhoods, and even unique architecture, you had to go and pick a jazz musician?? HUH??
Personally, I would have liked to have seen a cherry blossom tree and the Potomac River, or maybe just the landscape view from McLean over the river of the Georgetown skyline. There were so many beautiful options.
BUT DUKE ELLINGTON??
SERIOUSLY??

And my life goes, FLIP, upside down!

I've know this day was coming for several weeks now. And I've been preparing for it. And here we are, at bedtime, on the big day where my life went flip, upside down, and you know what? It's all good. No stress, no freak outs, nothing. Its all good. (Ask me again this time next week, and I may not be so positive.)

First, I woke up to this degree of cuteness-
And how can you not LOVE that?? Big Kitty (Stinky) has insisted since birth on sleeping cheek to cheek with me. And Tiny Kitten has insisted on doing everything that Big Kitty does, with the exception of actually touching me, since day 1. So Big Kitty snuggles with me, and Tiny Kitty snuggles with Big Kitty, and we're all happy.

I extricated myself from the cuteness and went to pick this up from the airport-

That would be my brother Scott, aka Mancub! He's moving in with me for the next few months while he finishes up Air Force training, and gets shuffled around the country a bit. This was my first time to see him in uniform. Isn't my brother handsome?? (He doesn't look so happy here because a) he doesn't smile much for pictures, and b) the airline lost his luggage, and he had to spend all day in uniform.

We went first to Curry in a Hurry, which is pretty much my most favorite place to eat in all of Utah. $8 for Indian chicken curry? Hello! It was love at first sight! (And Mancub agreed. He liked it too!)

Next we picked up Little.Little's approval was essential for the next activity.

And then we picked out and took home-
This is Kaya, the new love of my life. She's about 3 years old, and half Aussie Shepherd, and half Doberman. She's got a shepherd coat, but a dobey body and markings. She's very smart, and knows how to sit, stay, and for some reason when I say "shake" she rolls onto her back for a bellyrub. So far she's perfectly housebroken!! She doesn't even jump onto the furniture. I can't pretend that the cats love her as much as I do, but to her credit, Kaya couldn't care less about the cats. Tiny Kitten has not stopped growling in hours. Her growl sounds a LOT like a motorcycle. Its equal parts cute and annoying after 6 nonstop hours. Also, Kaya is GREAT with Little, and Little is enamored of Kaya. 
The only negative thing to say about my first day as a dog owner is that Kaya likes to walk on my left, and really, I would prefer if she were to walk on my right. If that is the worst thing you have to say about your dog, you're in good shape, I think!
And I took this picture at the shelter too. I thought it was so cute!


Its Camo Kitten!


Right now Mancub is out with his woman, Kaya is curled up beside my bed (because she's too good to jump up on it with me), Tiny is curled up and growling right next to me (this may be the closest she's ever come to touching me!), and Big Kitty is out impregnating the sluttier cats of the neighborhood. 
And I am sitting here in my bed, contemplating all the changes coming my way. I have a roommate for the first time in 2 years. I live with my brother (there's a 12 years difference between us. I left for college when he was 6. We're not exactly used to living together.) THERE IS A BOY LIVING IN MY HOUSE. I have to actually wear pajamas now. I have a dog that will most likely require some early morning walking. And other major changes that I will share as they come along. 
I predict that zen like moments like this-
will be far and few between for a while!
But I am one step closer to Erin's Home for Stray Children, Siblings, and Pets, right? Next, I need a foster child, and a goat.
Ready? Set? GO!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

At least we've been here before

Random aside from the girl that has to blog for work three times a day as it is-
Interesting that on blogspot, the "edit html" button is on the left, and compose is on the right. In both Typepad and Wordpress, its the other way around. Ergo, we know I blog way too many times a day.

Back to the real world, or at the very least, the world as I know it.

Let's talk about my love life, or lack thereof.

Here's the basic nutshell version.

That guy I was interested in for way too long? I'm over it. If anything, he suddenly annoys me. I'm tired of guys that never know how to step up the game. So very very tired of it.

Seriously, I think all of my dating experiences over thirty could be summed up this way. Either its a guy that comes on way too strong, in spite of my objections, or he's so freaking lazy that it takes forever just to get to know each other well enough to know we're not interested.

So then I've met another guy. He's great, he's funny, and he's interesting to me. The problem? He's just like all the other guys I know.

Let's look on the bright side, life is back to normal. A great guy showed interest in me, and sparked my interest. And now that I'm interested in him, he's either not interested in me anymore, or willingly doing nothing about it.

So here we are back at the familiar crossroads of my love life. Do I stick it out and see if "just friends" goes to "more than friends" in time? Make it painfully more obvious I'm interested? Or just walk away now before I spend another six months going nowhere with yet another guy?

All hypothetical questions. No need to answer.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Welcome Interns

I'm interviewing potential interns this week. They have been challenged to show me that they have the skills required to do the job by searching on a few key terms I gave them to find my personal Twitter and blog. So Interns, if you are here, you found the right place. Leave me a comment below to get the credit!!

Green Thumb and a Big Red Blister

I wish I had had the forethought to take a before picture of my yard. Words cannot explain just how awful my yard really is/was. I've had multiple lawn care companies stop by to offer my estimates on what it would take to get rid of the weeds, and try and grow some grass. One estimate was that my yard is 80% weeds, 10% grass, and 10% dead. I've spent countless hours pulling weeds, spraying weedkiller, etc.

Here's the best picture I have of the yard. Please note the lack of lush green grass growing freely.


Okay, I have to admit it. I'm amazed by weedkiller. How it can kill just the weeds and not the grass is really cool. Sadly, at the same time, my yard is/was so full of weeds that now instead of being a big scary green weed field, it's a dead yellow and brown weed field.

My landlord said I can buy whatever I want for the yard and take it out of my rent. So I went a little crazy buying flowers and bushes for the yard. Particularly, I bought a lot of flowers for the front garden area. Here's what they looked like all nice and innocent at the store. Little did they know what their future held. Maybe they would have had the common sense to not look so pretty on the shelves if they had known I was coming to send them to an earthy grave.


And here's my little front garden plot. This is the part that it is unfortunate I didn't take a picture of first. The weeds were a good 12 inches high, and filled the entire plot. It took me several hours over several nights to pull all the weeds. Let's jut say I never ever want to do that again. But here's what it looked like before I actually put the flowers in. Please note, it doesn't look like fertile land. (I really miss Virginia.)


And here you have the garden plot after three hours of digging and planting. I have to admit, it was a little bit fun. I'm sore in all sorts of new ways. I have a genuine "redneck" sunburn, and a blister like you have never seen before in the middle of my right palm (making driving stick rather painful).


That would be about 30 different flowers in there. I'm most excited about the shasta daisies. (I LOVE DAISIES!!)  There's an azalea bush, marigolds, peonies, begonias, pansies, dia-synth-something-or-whatever, another breed of daisies, and some other pretty pink flowering bush thing. I have no doubt that I planted it all way too close together.

On the side of the house (not pictured) there are 2 boxwood bushes, a rose bush, strawberries, another azalea bush, and a tomato plant. 

And here is the sad part. In spite of doing everything I knew to do, and reading the instructions, and only disobeying the too close together rule, a lot of them are dead already. I can't believe I managed to kill $100 worth of flowers in under 24 hours. Who does that?? Seriously?? How is it even possible that they managed to live in little plastic containers, but I take them out, put them in the ground and water them and they DIE??

Tomorrow we're expecting lots of sun and heat here in Utah, so I'm hoping maybe my flowers will want to come back to life. Its possible, right????

Oh and then there was another Real Salt Lake game. So Little and I went (OBVIOUSLY) to watch our boys lose. Again. But we've already forgiven them and were ready for the next home game.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Cheap, and I'm Proud

My love of coupon cutting has been well-documented on this blog. Today was one of those days where I actually took the time to research deals and cut coupons in an effort to save a few pennies. But I saved more than just a few pennies. I'll tell you how much I saved in a minute. First you have to read how I saved them.
On Sunday (while I was sleepwalking- I have almost no memory of going to the store. Its an odd dream.), I bought the 2 pack Sunday paper. (In Utah they sell both of the local major papers in a set on Sunday so you can get "double the deals.") This gave me 2 sets of all local coupons. I cut out all the coupons that were applicable to me.
Next, I reviewed all of the circulars for the local stores to see who had the best deals- Albertsons, Smiths, and Target. My research told me that Albertsons had the best deal on produce, but Target had a lot of non-food items on sale (cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.). Smiths Marketplace (which is like a Super Walmart or Super Target), however, had a lot of items on sale, including flip flops, gardening gloves, garden supplies, and frozen foods.
More importantly though was that I got my Smiths coupons in the mail. Smiths rewards members get coupons in the mail, specifically targeted for them, every great once in a while. My pack of coupons included $3 off produce (if $15 or more was spent), and several BOGO items. And I do love a good BOGO.
I checked my coupon items against items for sale at the various stores. I found that Smiths had provided me with a coupon for Tysons chicken, and I had coupons from the newspaper for Tysons, and on top of that, Tysons chicken was on sale at Smiths. Needless to say, I bought a lot of chicken. My freezer is packed!
My other favorite coupon I found was for Clear Care contact lens cleaner. It should come as no surprise to you that in addition to being allergic to all things that grow in Utah, wheat, corn, and air, I'm also allergic to most contact lens cleaners. The only kind I can use is Clear Care. The problem with this is that at some stores (and not all carry it) it can run as much as $12/bottle. (The generic brands are as cheap as $2! This is a great injustice I tell you!) So when I found a coupon for $3 (and actually had 2 coupons, since I had 2 sets), and that it was on sale at Target for $3 off, you had better believe I was happy. $6 off!!! YEAH!!!
I was a little irritated that I had a couple of coupons for items I couldn't find at either store. Some brand called "White Cloud" toilet paper and paper towels was not to be found anywhere.
I should also mention I did buy a few items without coupons, but were still on sale.
In other words, I didn't pay full price for one thing I bought today.

So how much did I save?

I'm going to let you guess. Below is how much I spent, and what I bought. Assume the quantity is 1, unless otherwise specified.

At Target I spent $50.55.
2 bottles Clear Care contact solution
Quaker Instant Oatmeal
Activia yogurt
garbage bags
DanActive
St Ives lotion
2 packs Dixie Ultra plates
body wash
ziploc bags
magic erase "sponges"
disposable razors
hair ties

At Smiths I spent $128.
Produce- apples, peppers, lettuce, nectarines, avocados, and tomatoes
toilet paper
paper towels
2 pairs flip flops
hand trowel
hand spade
weed puller thingy
2 pairs gardening gloves
3 boxes deli meats
3 things of cheeses
5 frozen dinners
6 Tyson chicken things
2 bistro dinners
12 pack Diet Dr Pepper
2 loaves bread
bag of salad
pie tin
shampoo and conditioner
cake mix and frosting
bagelfuls (I so do not recommend becoming addicted to these things!)
outdoor camp chair

(If you follow me on Twitter you are excluded from winning!)

But wait! There's a prize! I still have several more good coupons. I will mail the person who gets the closest answer more of my coupons.

Oh and bonus! Smiths Marketplace also has a gas station. The more you shop there the more you stock up on gas savings as well. So as I left the store I had more gas savings to redeem. I got 15 cents off per gallon, plus another $5 off. Bringing my full gas tank fill up to $11!

And then as I was leaving Smiths I saw on Twitter where a friend mentioned that Arbys was giving away free burgers today if you bought a drink. So I also managed to get a decent dinner for a mere $1.98.

So all in all I spent $180 roughly. Can you guess how much I saved just in coupons??

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I would if I could

I would do the singles week thing I wanted to do this week, but the truth is, I'm too tired tonight. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week.

For the last few weeks I've had a totally messed up schedule between going to Reno, working extra hours, watching the god-daughters, catching up on work hours, being sick with allergies, going to traffic courts, etc. But you know what tomorrow is? My first day back on my regular schedule in over 2 weeks. My cats and I are all looking very forward to that. It's not going to last for long, but I'm going to look forward to my 3 days of normal life while I can. Next week brings another trip to the courthouse, my brother moving in, getting new furniture, finally finishing the last of the foster care paperwork, a holiday, a wedding, and a trip to NYC.

Parting thoughts... Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

If you ever wonder if Big Brothers Big Sisters actually has any influence or effect on the kids they work with, I offer you the following picture.


Yes, for better or worse, I'd say I'm starting to have an influence on her. Same hair, same glasses. That's my girl!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oops, a brain dump

Random thoughts and a little brain dump!

Along with half of the rest of the country, I saw Star Trek this weekend. I'm not a Trekkie. I am a movie buff. I loved it. I loved Chris Pine as Kirk, and Zachary Quinto as Sylar, I mean Spock. And JJ Abrams just plain rocks. It makes me want to see the old series now. And I really hope this is the beginning of a new set of Star Trek movies with this new cast.

I had fun with Misty and Shane at Lumpy's Saturday night watching the soccer game on the big screens. And now Misty and I are planning a soccer blog and website, where I will be able to go completely fangirl on my favorite players.

For what I believe is the first time in my life, I managed to sleep walk during a nap today! (My nocturnal sleepwalking has been well-documented on this blog.) I came home from church early with massive allergies. I took a benadryl, and expected to crash out. I have vague memories of sleeping in my actual bed, but also of going outside to sit in my lawn chair. I also recall dreaming that I was still sneezing, so I took 12 more benadryl. Later, when I woke up from a nearly comatose state on the couch, with no memory of how I got there, I remembered the dream and checked the benadryl. I can't tell how many I took, but its somewhere between 1-3 more than the original one I took. This is why I usually lock up all medications, and secure scissors, knives, markers, and other damaging items when I take sleep inducing drugs. All in all, I slept over 8 hours in the middle of the day, and still can't figure out how a dirty plate got out of the dishwasher and put on a pile of newspapers in the middle of my living room. I also can't figure out how it is I have 2 newspapers. I think I may have driven to the store in my benadryl comatose state. I'm trying not to think too much about that.

How obsessed have I become with soccer? I actually wrote about it on my work blog (Cheap Travel Blog) today too.

Anyone want to go camping in Yellowstone in June with me and Steph?

This is the week of being single on this blog! I am still looking for wonderful people to spotlight and talk about! Who do you nominate??

I'm jealous of my (sister's) horse. Baby Sister and (our) her horse, Streaker, have just moved to Roanoke with my parents. Check out his new digs and tell me that isn't the most beautiful place on earth? Layers and shades of green, red barns, rolling hills, and beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. I am seriously jealous of a horse.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I blogged on blogging

I blogged on blogging. How random is that?
Actually, I blogged on blogging for business. If you want to understand what it is I do and preach just a little bit better, check it out at Utah Pulse.

More on this Cupid thing

I've been thinking more about my playing Cupid idea. I've changed my mind about what I want to do. Rather than "set people up" on my blog, I've decided I want to write blog posts about some of my awesome single friends. I know some great single people. And they deserve to be noticed by more people. And maybe, just maybe, those people who notice the great single people will want to introduce them to other great single people. And while I have enough wonderful single friends to fill the phone book, I'd like your suggestions for other great single people we can share with others as well. So if you have a great single friend that you would like to say a few things about, send it to me! Male and female accepted!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Keeping It Real

It's time for a little soccer love and tutorial!
I'm going to guess that most of my friends don't know the following about major league soccer-
Games are actually called matches.
Matches are only 90 minutes. And unlike football or baseball, where 2 minutes of game time can literally stretch out over 40 minutes, the soccer clock never stops. The game is in constant motion. The exception to this rule is when someone gets injured on the field. If the game stops or slows for an injury, time is tacked on to the end of the half to make up for it.
Halves are 45 minutes with a 15 minute half-time.
Soccer rocks.

Tonight the Little and I went to the rare mid-week, school night game to see our beloved Real Salt Lake take on the LA Galaxy. Let's quickly learn to say "Real" the proper way. "Ray-al." Not "reel." Some people also pronounced it "Ree-al." I don't have a preference either way. Just don't call it "reel salt lake." That's just dumb.

If you are a pop culture fan you may know that the LA Galaxy is David Beckham's team. He didn't play tonight. I believe he's still on loan to Italy. If you are a real soccer fan you may be groaning at my lack of interest in Beckham's whereabouts. He doesn't play for RSL, so I don't really care.

Tonight's game rocked, even if we didn't win. We were ahead, and came really close to winning. But anyone who was there will tell you the last 2 minutes of the game (after the clock had stopped at 90 minutes, as we went into injury make up time), were 2 of the most exciting minutes you could ever ask for in soccer. We tied, and that's better than losing, right?

On top of that, RSL was playing with some key players missing.Our amazing goalie Nick Rimando was out with a lacerated finger. Jamison Olave was out on a player suspension (which was truly just dumb). Javier Morales was missing from action. And our favorite player (and by our, I mean me and Little) Ian Joy is still out on the injured list. So that's 4 first string players (out of 8) that were missing tonight. So I'd say that staying ahead most of the game, and only tying it up in the last few seconds was actually really remarkable!

Here's the picture story of our night.

Little looking more grown up every day.

And here's me posing as well.
 
We had great seats in our second favorite section, in row 10. We still prefer to sit in section 13, row 13, seat 13 (for Ian Joy #13), but this isn't a bad second choice. We were close enough to see the player's faces and see them yell at the refs. We like that. 
Here's one of the obligatory goofy shots. I would attempt to take a self-portrait, and Little would pop her head in at the last second.


One of my favorite parts about the games is the opening ceremonies and the National Anthem. The two teams come out holding hands with little soccer players. For reasons I can't explain, this chokes me up, and I think it is adorable every time. One of my biggest goals in life right now is to find out how to get Little to be one of those kids. She supports me in this goal I might add, as one of her biggest goals is to get the autographs of Kyle Beckerman and Ian Joy.


Let the game begin! (These really are great seats, just above the goal, so our vision isn't obscured!)

One of the unapproved, but strongly held traditions in soccer is to throw stuff on to the field. Particularly to throw streamers at the goals. We've seen games where the players ended up running down the field with yards of streamers around their ankles. But usually the streamers are just thrown to distract the goalies. This picture was taken very early on in the game, and barely does the streamer throwing justice.


And then there was some soccer playing going on! I have a crappy camera, and for that I apologize. But you should be able to see that the guy in the bluish jersey in the goal box has dived on top of the ball to block it. He's the other team's goalie, so that actually sucked.

But happily, just before the half, RSL scored. There was much rejoicing. But I didn't take any pictures of that.

The game continued on with a fabulous header by Robbie Russell. Poor guy jumped up to get the header, just as a Galaxy player jumped and did the same. But the Galaxy player mistook Russell's chrome dome for the ball and headbutted him instead. I swear you could hear the heads cracking all the way up in our seats. I have never felt so bad for a player writhing around on the field like that before.

I am now going to do something I have never done before on this blog. I'm going to bad mouth the refs for this game. I'm normally not the kind of fan who yells at a ref. I figure they are just human too. But wow, I have never before seen such biased and bad ref-ing as I did tonight. Galaxy players could grab RSL players by the collar and throw them to the ground, and no one would get penalized. But an RSL player could barely breathe in the direction of a Galaxy player and suddenly the ball has to change hands. I will hold myself back from calling the ref the Blind Hobbit From Hell, and instead just say, wow, it is hard to believe those guys were professionals tonight.

So the game goes on, and the game was great. Lots of cheering, singing, etc. My sister always wants to know if they sing "Ole! Ole, ole, ole!" at RSL games. The answer is yes, tonight they did. But in SLC we sing it, "Ole!, Ole, Ole, Ole, Ray-al, Salt Lake!" And that's always fun.

The second half just flew by. No goals, nothing. And then, suddenly in the 90th minute, some seriously bad refereeing took place, and they called a hand ball on RSL, which means the Galaxy could take a dead on shot on goal. They scored. Crap.


Not to be defeated like that, RSL grabbed the ball and took it down field. It was total bedlam in the stadium. I love it like that. Streamers were flying everywhere! And then, suddenly, there was a Galaxy hand ball! Woot! Penalty kick on goal!!
Here's the cutie #8 Johnson kicking on goal!

And there's the ball shooting just passed the goalie's hands! We scored!


There was much rejoicing! Please note the streamers!


Thinking there was only a few seconds left, and we were ahead 2-1, Little rejoiced as well.

 
But then, disaster! The unthinkable happened, and the Galaxy scored again! Bummer.


So we tied 2-2 in the last few seconds of the game. Oh well. Like I said, considering we were playing on a second string, with the third string goalie, I'd say that is impressive.

Next we hung out and got some autographs!
 
And again, there was much rejoicing!
 

All in all, we love soccer. And we really love our Real Salt Lake!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Let's Play Cupid

I've yet again reached that point where I am about to throw in the towel on all dating forever (again). (Seriously, if I were at liberty to really tell you what goes on with me and certain men these days, you'd want to just give it up too!) But before I do just give up, I thought we could all have a little fun. But first, I need to gauge participation in my potential experiment.
I have so many wonderful friends that I think deserve to meet someone. A lot of them are in situations like mine, where its next to impossible to meet new people. And I want to give them a chance and some exposure to meet someone. How will this work? You can nominate yourself, or someone you think is great, to be "set up" on the blog. And by "set up" I mean we maybe post a picture and a short profile on them. And if you happen to know someone who would be great for them, or who likes their type, etc, you email and tell me. Or you tell your friend to check out the great person on the blog and encourage them to do something about it.
Make sense?
This is where you start thinking of your brothers, brother in law, that nice guy in your ward that you never talk to because he's single, your old guy friend you always thought would be perfect for someone else (just not you), etc. I'm convinced all you married people actually do know single people, you just forget you do sometimes. So its time to remember them, stalk them, take their picture, and submit it to my blog. Or not. And just keep them in the back of your head and wonder if maybe they would make a good date for someone.
Who's with me? Who would like to meet new men? Who would like to help me and my friends meet new men? Who is a man who wants to meet new women? (all both of you out there) Who will willingly let me interview them and put them on my blog and tell the world why they are so great?

Monday, May 04, 2009

How To Get the Swine Flu

Need a few days off of work this week? Need to lose a few pounds the not so fun way? Wondering where the swine flu came from? This is all you need to know.
 
A picture is worth a thousand words.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

My grandfather gives away 880 Books of Mormon

There's an interesting piece in MormonTimes.com this week about my grandfather, Vearl McBride. (Well, at least I think it is interesting!) He's nearly 90 years old and is still very much an active missionary for our church. He gives away a Book of Mormon almost daily. According to the article (written by a very credible source and "adopted" family member) he has given away 880 copies of the Book of Mormon!!

You won't read this in the article, but it is one of my favorite stories about my grandfather and his Book of Mormon sharing efforts. He really likes to eat out, particularly at the Waffle House. A while ago my dad joined him for breakfast at the Waffle House. My grandfather is getting to be an old man and doesn't move as fast as he used to, but when they got to the door to walk inside, he realized he didn't have a Book of Mormon on him, so he turned to go back to the car. My dad went inside to get a table. When Dad looked back outside he saw my grandfather giving a Book of Mormon to someone in the parking lot. So my grandfather then went back over to his car to get another book and bring it inside with him.

He's a well-known regular in the Waffle House apparently. He asked his waitress if he had already given her a copy, and she said yes. She then pointed out someone in the restaurant he hadn't yet met! So he went over and shared a copy with a new waitress. The old waitress then turned to my dad and said something to the effect of how the new girl had been waiting for Mr. McBride to come in so she could get her copy of the book.

(For those of you who read yesterday, and saw my disclaimer that I had to verify the facts, I did. And surprisingly, I had them right!)

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