Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween! Let the hilarity ensue!


Woo! Tonight we're gonna par-tay! And by "we," I mean me, Lobster, Cupcake, Happy Pants and my bestie, K (whom I shall forthwith refer to as Captain) and her husband C (whom shall be forever deemed Zoolander).

For the past several years, me, Cupcake and Captain have gone Halloween-ing together and hilarity always ensues. Last year, we added Lobster to the mix. More hilarity ensued. This year we add Happy Pants to the mix.

Hilarity is bound to ensue.

Let's flash back to last year's Halloween, shall we?


Cupcake and I striking a pose.


Where are we going, Lobster?


Captain and I getting silly in the car.


Captain and Zoolander had a little too much...


  Ooh, I'm so gangsta, yo. 

Yes, I'm confident that hilarity will ensue tonight indeed. And you better believe I'll have my camera at the ready!



Happy Halloween, y'all!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Holy Crazy Calendar, Batman!


Seriously, when did my life get so busy? And when was it determined that I was Superwoman and could (and must for the sake of the happiness of the world) do it all?

Cripes!

This weekend, of course, is Halloween. I am going as a pirate. Why? Because it was the first costume I saw that was the least slutty. Granted, there's still a whole lot of slutty to it, but not as much as all the rest. And besides, I've always wanted to walk around going, "Aarrg, matey!" Who doesn't? This is my cheesy costume:



No, I will not look like that girl in said costume. But if I did, I would totally be admiring my boobs all night. Damn, I wish I had boobs. Moving on...

Anyhoodle, so this weekend is booked with Halloween festivities on Friday night and my dad's birthday dinner on Saturday night. Of course, Lobster and I MUST carve pumpkins on Saturday or I'm going to cry like a little girl. Not really. Maybe.

Then, next weekend Lobster and I are going away to San Antonio. I am super excited about our little trip because it will be the first time we've taken a vacation together. It's only a mini-vacay, a little weekend getaway, but we are just excited to go somewhere fun together for no other reason than to enjoy each other's company. I'm really looking forward to that weekend.

THEN, the weekend after that, Lobster is moving in, my sister is having her birthday celebration, and one of my dear friends, V from *uncorked, is coming to town and having a celebratory dinner. THEN, there's Thanksgiving weekend where Lobster and I will be splitting our time between Austin and the DFW area.

AND, in case I didn't have enough to do, I have work/networking/friends parties and meetings and doctors appointments, etc. to go to during the evenings after work.

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I'm going to run away.

Anyone else suffering from Crazy Calendar Syndrome? I'm I the only one? Surely not...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

That Time I Went On a Cruise With 17 Women

Where to begin? Perhaps I'll begin at the beginning...

(Quick side note: I am not that vain to have taken only pictures featuring me, myself, and I. I just don't have permission from all the other girls to post their pics. Just so you know...I have a bit more depth than that. Maybe.)

Day 1, Thursday, 12:30 p.m.:
The plan was to meet at the port so that we could board the ship together and take pictures, eat, relax and toast the bride. I arrived to the port on time (shocker!) and yes, I did take this picture of the docked ship while driving. I am an excellent driver.


After standing in line to enter the building, we then stood in line to proceed to the next line in which we stood for two hours whereupon we proceeded to the next line where we stood for 20 minutes until we were ushered into the "waiting area." I now know what it feels like to be a part of a herd of cattle. Finally, after much waiting and lining up and ushering, we embarked upon the ship. As we were making our way across the "gangplank" it suddenly shifted down (where there was nothing but water) and I nearly peed my pants. Excellent start for a nervous girl who's never been on a big boat before.

We finally make it safely on the ship and we decide to check out our rooms and put our stuff away and then meet out by the pool for a drink. One of my roommates was already there (we were waiting on the other two) so we of course both claimed the bottom bunks. The room itself was really not that bad and I had great roommates. However, showering in a 4X4 box while swaying back and forth was...neat. Shaving was a fun trick.

We all meet on the Lido deck for drinks and to wait for the other girls who haven't yet arrived. Once everyone was there we were instructed to go to our rooms and bring back our life vests for a drill. My friend, C, and I look at each other with horror. We contemplate jumping ship and heading back for land while we still can.

Back in our room, we decide to skip the "save our asses in case we hit an iceburg" drill (because, really, who hits an iceburg in the Gulf of Mexico?) and we sit and chat. Suddenly we feel the boat start moving. At this point we determine that all those people who told us its-such-a-big-boat-you-won't-feel-it-moving were either a) lying to us, b) drunk or c) idiots. I am here to tell you: YOU'RE DARN SKIPPY YOU CAN FEEL IT! So C and I popped a Dramamine and prayed that the ocean gods would be kind and not make us sick or eat us.


Flash forward to dinner. We are waiting to enter the dining room. The boat is a-rockin'. People are a-hurlin' in the bathrooms. I was standing on the stairwell watching the masses sway back and forth and occasionally fall into each other. If they had lighters in the air we would have been at a groovy concert. I am feeling juuuust fine, being high on Dramamine and all. But I am a zombie because, for me, "less drowsy" formula only means "you won't fall asleep in your soup but you sure won't have the energy to do much but blink." Fabulous.

Despite my zombie-like state, I managed to laugh it up with the girls at the karaoke bar that evening. It was a good time.

Day 2, Friday, Day at Sea:
Because I was one of the first to go to bed in a Dramamine induced fog, I got up bright and early the next morning and attempted to run on the ship's jogging track. By attempted to run, I mean that I managed to run without plowing down another person when the ship would make sudden leans to the right or left. It's probably what I would look like if I were to run drunk. Which I don't. For the record.

After my run, I had a nice breakfast and then went back to the room to shower and change. I woke C up and we decided to grab our books, our floppy hats and a towel and go sun ourselves by the pool.

And we did. And it was lovely.

That afternoon when it started to get a little overcast and chilly, we packed it up and went shopping. There was not a whole lot to see, but it was a nice little diversion. Later, we went back to the room and got ready for "elegant dining" night. Once again, our waitstaff regaled us with their amazing entertainment talents right before dessert (I hope you note the sarcasm here. It was neither amazing nor entertaining. I kept wanting to say, "Just give me my dessert and be off with you!"). The evening was capped off by another trip to the karaoke bar and then the dance club. I called it a night early again because I was still doped up on Dramamine but also because we had to get up early the next day for our excursion to Cozumel.



Day 3, Saturday, Cozumel:
After meeting all the girls on the Atrium deck, we hastily made our way to get off the ship. Before we left, though, I took a detour to one of the top decks of the ship and got this picture of the shore:


Beautiful, no?

Anyway, we quickly found ourselves a taxi that could accommodate the lot of us and we had him drive us to the other side of the island to a little place called Mezcalito. It was gorgeous! Take a look:



Yes, I did find an island kitty. No, I did not get naked on Naked Beach.

While most of the girls stayed in the open-air bar and drank, I frolicked like an idiot on the beautiful beach and jumped around in the water like a lunatic. Yeah, I hit the beach 5-year-old style! It was awesome. Then C and I decided that the most important thing in the world to do was hang out in the hammocks. It was glorious. But just as we got comfy and were about to crack open our books to spend the afternoon reading, we heard this, "WE'RE LEAVING!"

Huh? What? We just got here! Clearly, the drinking girls didn't care for the beach as much as C and I did and decided it was time for shopping. While I LOVE to shop, I would have been giddy to have stayed at that beach all day. But I was not driving the bus, so I had to say adieu all too soon. Sniff.

So, we went to the center of town where there was a huge open air market with lots of tourist-y shops blah blah blah. I ended up buying a silver bracelet and some presents for Lobster and my family. It was very hot and there were very aggressive men offering to be my Mexican boyfriend for a dollar. At first I was shocked and appalled at the blatant remarks and catcalls and whistles. Then I was annoyed and insulted. Then I turned a deaf ear and ignored it all, but swore that if any of them laid a finger on me I'd make sure they sang an octave higher for the rest of their lives. Lucky for them, they knew better.

Late in the afternoon we headed back to the area where we docked the ship. There was another open air market there and C and I took a quick look-see then headed back to the ship to relax by the pool. But not before taking these pics:


Finally back on the boat, we had just settled down to read our books when I looked up and saw a large storm cloud on the horizon. It was just one cloud pretty far off with blue sky all around. I could see dark sheets of rain coming down over the water and it was beautiful. And then I saw the tornado.

Oh, yes. A tornado. Also known and a "water spout."

And what do I do when I see terrifying acts of God before my very eyes? Why, I shoot pictures of course. Clearly.


Isn't that amazing?

It lasted for about 20 minutes, never touching down, and then it dissipated. After that one a few smaller, skinny ones popped up every now and then. It was very cool.

That night was a Halloween party so all the girls evidently brought costumes. I, apparently, was left out of that memo so I just wore a dress and went as "cruise ship girl." I am that clever. Most of the others went as 1920s style flappers. One girl wore a bed sheet as a toga and C dressed up as a vampire with fake blood and all. It was creepy. I insisted that she did not sit across the table from me at dinner. She was freaking me out.

After dinner, we went to--you guessed it--the karaoke bar. But we didn't stay long because there was a costume contest at the dance club and we were hoping that C would win. She didn't so we left and went to the piano bar...where we proceeded to get rowdy. That night was the most fun. By the end of the evening I was donning bits and pieces of the other girls costumes. Observe:


Day 4, Sunday, Day at Sea:
By the time I got up and ran (on the treadmill this time which was just as tricky), had breakfast, and parked my butt on a lounge chair for the day, I was ready to be off the ship. Not that I wasn't have a good time, but I just started to feel a little trapped being on a floating hotel in the middle of the ocean. But I made the most of the day by soaking up the sun and finishing my book and starting a new one. C was a tad hungover and despising the world so I tried to help her cheer up by feeding her greasy food.

That afternoon, after I was thoroughly exhausted from laying in the sun all day, C and I went back to our room to shower, change and take a cat-nap before dinner. This time, I did not take another dose of Dramamine because I did not want to be drowsy while driving home from Galveston the next day. So I was a bit nervous at dinner, but I think my body had gotten sufficiently used to the rocking and swaying of the boat so I was fine.

This time at dinner, the waitstaff sang us a fairwell song. C and I tried not to strangle them. We also wondered how they can do that night after night without wanting to strangle themselves. Anyhoo, I was planning on going out with the girls at least for a little while that evening but toward the end of dinner decided that there was nothing I'd rather do than lay in bed and watch a movie (in English with Spanish sub-titles, no less). And that's exactly what I did. It was very nice.

Day 5, Monday, Getting off the ship...eventually...maybe...
We made it back to Galveston without hitting an iceburg or capsizing in a storm. Praise the Lord! Of course, we were told that we would begin to disembark (is that a word?) the ship at 9:00 a.m. Evidently, they failed to tell us that they would be letting us off one floor at a time. I was on the poor-folk floor and was one of the last to leave. So C and I waited for a few hours until our floor was called, then we waited in line to "check out" of the ship, then we waited in line to enter the port terminal, then we waited in the customs line where I declared that I was a U.S. citizen and that I was not traveling with any livestock or foreign animals, fruits, vegetables, drugs, or communicable diseases. Then I waited in line for the shuttle to take me to my car.

Then, finally, I was in my car and on my way home. Exhausted. Happy to have taken the trip, but even happier to be home at last!

Ahh, paradise!

Aaaaaaaand I'm Back!

Wow. I'm super tired.

I will be posting about my trip to Cozumel just as soon as my little brain starts functioning again. But just to tease you a little bit, here's one picture:




I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sailing Away!


At this very moment, my ship is sailing out of Galveston and into the deep blue to take me and 17 other lovely ladies to Cozumel, Mexico to celebrate my friend's upcoming marriage. How am I posting this you ask? Ah, well, I am coming to you from the past and so I am just assuming that we are actually on time and sailing away right now. Regardless, I have a drink in my hand. I don't have to be clairvoyant to know that.

Rest assured, readers, I am already snapping pictures. I will post them next week when I return. I know you're super excited.

Bon voyage!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Alcoholics Anonymous?


After cruising through my favorite thrift store and snagging a few great reads, I head to the counter to pay. Of course, I have a list of things I need to do running through my mind, as usual, and it suddenly dawns on me that I am in need of some vodka for my trip. I ask my cashier if she knows if there are any liquor stores close by.

Pause.

Giving me the stinky eye over her bifocals, she finally replies, "Liquor store?" And looks pointedly at her watch. It's barely 1:00 in the afternoon.

Guessing that she probably thinks I'm looking to get lit on a weekday afternoon I try to quickly explain, "I don't have time to pick any up after work and I'm heading out of town."

"Uh-huh."  Pursing her thin lips, she finishes ringing me up. "Girlie, you couldn't throw a dead cat without hitting a liquor store around here."

I gape at her for a moment. I'm not quite sure how to respond. "That's very interesting." I finally say. "Unfortunately, I am fresh out of dead cat. Could you just tell me where the nearest one is?"

Lucky for me, it's right next door to the Bar-B-Q joint just down the way. I thank her for her help and she just watches me with her stinky eye as I scurry away.

A hop, skip and a jump later, I'm at a very seedy looking liquor store. I'm not sure why I expected anything more in this part of town but I'm just a tad afraid to get out of my car. Nevertheless, I need vodka. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I put on my best "don't-eff-with-me" face, stuff my purse securely under my arm, and hurry into the store. A very old Japanese man glances up at me and nods. I nod back. I find the vodka aisle without a problem, probably because there are only three very small, overstuffed aisles. I head for the Grey Goose and discover it is far more expensive than I had expected (I'm cheap and I hardly ever by liquor). I keep looking and discover a very large, rather inexpensive bottle of Dripping Springs Vodka. It's made in Texas in the very town where Lobster grew up. We have a winner.

For a moment I ponder whether I should get the smaller bottle or the very large bottle. I have a small argument with myself. It goes like this:

"Hmmm. I don't need that much."

"Yes, but vodka keeps for a while."

"But what if it sucks and I'm stuck with a ton of bad vodka?"

"It's vodka. Mix it with something sweet and you're golden. Can hardly taste it."

"It really isn't that much more for the bigger bottle. But it's so huge! What will people think?"

"People? What people? The old Japanese guy at the front is just going to be happy you weren't mugged while standing in his store arguing with yourself! Pick up the bottle and let's go!"

"FINE!"

Grabbing the ginormous bottle of vodka, I huff to the front of the store and set it on the counter to pay. The old Japanese guy pointedly looks from the large bottle to me and back again. He looks at his watch. He looks at me again with a look in his eye that says, "The first step is admitting you have a problem."

I glare at him.

He seems to understand that my withering stare means that I am not afraid to bite his head off. He must be married. He quickly proceeds to ring me up without more unspoken judgment. I practically run out of the store and hide my contraband in the back of my car, under the piles of reusable grocery bags, and drive away feeling like I just committed a mortal sin.

Moral of the story: avoid purchasing large quantities of liquor in the middle of the day lest you want people to start staging interventions with representatives of alcoholics anonymous.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ulcer, anyone?



I have so much to do before I leave for Houston tomorrow that I can hardly concentrate on what I should be doing (i.e., working). I think my head is going to explode. I am in desperate need of this vacation, but I have a feeling that I will need a vacation from my vacation when I get back.

Lobster is having a hell of a time right now too. Ever since he set his departure date in stone he has been worrying non-stop about finding a job here. He's so stressed out and starting to get really bummed. And to top it off, he just got a quote from the car repair guys that the work his car needs is going to cost him $1,500. Great. Wonderful timing, stupid car. That's just what he needs.

I know that the decision for him to move in with me was a huge life change and would bring some stress and a bit of chaos until we got settled, but good grief! I wish there was something I could do besides pray...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ack! Where did the time go?


Lord love a duck! Evidently, everyone in Christendom decided it would be a fantastic idea to go to the post office today. Sheesh. They should have a public warning system for days when it takes more than 10 minutes to mail a single envelope and buy a book of stamps.

Anyhoodle, moving right along...

Did anyone else notice that my countdown to my cruise will expire on Thursday? Yeah, I failed to notice that too until recently. I mean, I'm sure somewhere in the back of my scrambled brain I knew it was getting close, but I kinda forgot it was this close.

Holy bikini, Batman! I'm not ready for this! I'm pale! I'm still sporting 10 pounds of unwanted weight that I've been desperately bootcamp-ing off to no avail! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Eh. Whatever.

Dear Oct. 22-26 Carnival Cruise Goers,

You will just have to deal with me in less than ideal preparedness. I know you were expecting perfection from me. So was I. Alas, we will both be disappointed. But I don't have time to worry about it anymore so que sera sera and all that.

Bon Voyage,
First Time Cruiser

Anyhoo, I am trying to get excited about the cruise. How can you not be excited, you may ask. Very valid question. I wish I had a good answer. I think it's a combination of things. I'm a little nervous that I will get seasick (I've never been on a big boat before). I'm less than thrilled that I will be sharing a cabin with three (yes, three) other women, two of which I have never met (remember, this is a bachelorette party). I am sure the ladies will be lovely, I am just not and have never been a fan of sharing bedrooms/bathrooms with anyone besides Lobster or my mom and sisters. I'm weird like that. And, just between you and me, I'm a little bummed I won't get to share this experience with Lobster. In fact, I'm a lot bummed about that. So, I'm having a hard time getting pumped up. I hope that changes because I don't want to be a downer for the group, you know?

Of course, I will be taking my trusty camera with me to capture all the (hopefully) good times. Now I just have to start packing just about all of my summer wardrobe because I can never decide what to wear so I just pack everything. Am I the only one who does that? Lobster just loves it when we go somewhere for the weekend and he's sporting a small, unstuffed dufflebag and I'm lugging a huge stuffed-to-bursting rolling suitcase...well, he's lugging. Because he's a true gentleman (who secretly curses me under his breath, I'm sure).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Giveaway on Busy Bookworm Reviews!


Today is your last chance to win a copy of the charming book, Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen. Head on over to my book blog, Busy Bookworm Reviews, to enter to win! Click here for more information and good luck!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Letters




Dear Dallas Drivers,

Once again I feel obliged to tell you how badly you suck. I know it won't do any good, but let me just elaborate a little. First, speed limit signs are there to indicate that you should accelerate to AT LEAST the speed level indicated on the sign. We are not out for a Sunday drive all the time, folks. There are no pretty sights to see on I-35E. Further, if you go AT LEAST the speed limit I will not be as likely to tailgate you. However, I do reserve the right to pass you doing AT LEAST 5 miles over the limit. Because that's how I roll.

Learn to drive,
Crazy Driver Lady and Proud of It

* * *

Dear Texas Weather,

I understand that you have a history of schizophrenia. I appreciate that you do not tolerate global warming very well. But if you could, for once, make up your mind, I would be forever grateful. And by "make up your mind" I mean "decide to be fall-like and chilly because it's the middle of October for PETE'S SAKE!"

Kisses,
Autumn Lover

* * *

Dear Job Market,

Stop screwing around and give my Lobster an awesome job here in the Dallas area. He is getting discouraged and I am praying so hard that it hurts. As the saying goes, Just Do It.

Don't Make Me Hurt You,
Grumble Girl

* * *

Dear Books,

I love you. T.V. has nothing on you.

Forever and always,
Busy Bookworm

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Priceless Pumpkins

What's more Halloween-y than carving a few pumpkins (and then having the naughty neighborhood hooligans smash it on the street)? Why, nothing of course! (Oh, well, except for gorging yourself silly on free candy and then bouncing off the walls for 4 hours on a sugar high only to crash later and fall asleep before the party...but I digress.)

I, personally, have never before carved a pumpkin. It's a damn shame, too. I think this year I am going to start a Great Pumpkin Carving Tradition in my house. Lobster and I will carve a pumpkin together on Halloween weekend! Nevermind the fact that he doesn't know about my plan yet. He will soon. And he'll love every messy minute of it!

Thus, I am in need of inspiration so I went a-googling. Look at these awesome pumpkins:



Aren't they great? I found these over at Country Living and Southern Living magazines. They have some templates you can download and instructions. Woo!

Anyone else have a pumpkin carving tradition? Do you enter any contests?

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