Saturday, November 05, 2011

Halloween 2011

 So for Halloween this year Jasmine and I decided to be Betty and Veronica from the Archie comics. But we decided to be the versions with the Ben-Day Dots - the dots that always showed up on old comics. It was so fun! We won 'best costume' again (thank goodness - it took a long darn time to get ready!) Here is a picture of The Veronica Lodge, and then a pic of what I looked like dressed up as her. Fun right?

And here is a pic of the two of us together. Betty and Veronica. The unstoppable duo!
It was a great party, hosted by our friend Heidi again this year. She is such a great party thrower. Love that girl. I had a great time, as did everyone who went.

Other than that I have been keeping myself quite busy - so busy I haven't had time to write on my blog. Okay, I am not really that busy, but it sounds better than "I haven't written because I got distracted". Someday I will post full updates about everything - but today is not that day. I just wanted to do the Halloween update and say thanks for sticking with me!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Holy crap on a cracker! I am the worst blogger ever! Okay ... not ever, but I have been bad lately. I keep thinking "I should post" and then I get all busy doing nothing as usual and I don't do it. So, in no particular order of importance or chronologicality (I know its not a real word, just go with it) here is what I should have posted about but haven't.

1) Vancouver. Obviously I was allowed back into the country because had I not been you would have heard from me much much much sooner saying 'woe is me, I have to move back to Canada without a job!' Thank goodness that didn't happen - not because I don't want to move to Canada, but because I want that to be my choice if and when that ever happens. In fact, the border crossing this time was the easiest time I have had. They didn't hum and haw forever. They didn't make comments about 'how little they are paying me'. Nothing. We waited in line forever - 1.5 hours in the car and another 45 mins in the building (maybe I have those backwards - not that that really matters) - but that was the worst of it. We also stayed in the crappiest "Bed and Breakfast" known to mankind. Ugh. It was kinda scummy and gross. Oh well, that's what happens when you are poor and you wait too long to book a hotel I guess. Other than that it was fun - we went to a suspension bridge and we ate lots of fun junk food and basically just enjoyed ourselves.

2) The fourth of July was fun! Let me tell you about it! I ran a 5k for Cancer Awareness and Treatment in the morning. I was slow, but I ran almost the whole thing and I wasn't even too sore the next day! Then we went over to my friends sister's house to watch the parade and they fed us breakfast - waffles, bacon, eggs, sausage - perfect after race food! Then we watched a really long parade and then the same friends invited us to stay for BBQ lunch. It was soooooo good. Hamburgers, beef brisket, pulled pork, yummy cheesy potatoes .... *drools* Makes me hungry just thinking about it. Then we went home intending to nap but my other friend called and said he had free tix to the movies and did we want to go. We did want to go, so we showered quick and took a short short nap (only 30 mins - I wanted to sleep for like 5 times that!) and went to see Cars 2. It wasn't my fave Pixar movie ever, neither was the first Cars, but it was still fun. Then we went to St. Helens to watch the fireworks display there. Then we went home and slept. It was a great day. I love when those happen :D

3) Speaking of 5k's - I not only ran the one mentioned above, but I have now ran 3 so far! I did one in April for Earth Day, and then I did another one on June 21st for the Summer Solstice. It has been fun. The main thing being that since running them I have sorta (read: really!) slacked off on running regularly, so that is dumb of me. I should get back on that horse. But I do love the atmosphere and feel of a race. Good times!

4) My boss was in town a couple weeks ago. She said that we may have overspent our grant money (she wasn't sure but would know more after talking to the guy who deals with the finances more next week). That means worst case scenario is that if we have overspent and if we don't get our other grant funded then my job will essentially be over in like Nov or Dec. She assured me that I wouldn't be screwed - I could either move to Pitt with her or she would help me find something else either here or wherever because she thinks the world of me. I know that this has been a concern before, but it is so annoying. And it makes me feel like I can't ask for a raise even though I need and deserve one. My friend who used to work here recently contacted me and told me he knows of a job opening in Philly and I think I am going to apply for it. I may not take it, but I would rather get it and turn it down than always wonder whether I could have gotten it. Also, according to what he says it pays quite a bit more than I am making, so that'd be a huge plus.

5) Harry Potter! I went to a midnight showing of Harry Potter (this is not really special - I feel like almost everyone in the world went to a midnight showing - but it was still fun!) It was awesome. I enjoyed so much about this movie. Pacing was great, the actors were great, they cut things out but did a good job of tying it all together and not confusing the crap out of the lay person (used in this instance to refer to those who didn't read the book). I have been wanting to re-read the series but I held off so that I wouldn't sit there during the whole movie and just compare it to the book like I did with movie 2 - such a good choice! I think this helped me really get the most from the movie. I wasn't smart enough to go to a double feature of 1 & 2 in a row (I actually didn't know they were doing them until after I bought my ticket) so I think I will go see this again some day when I can watch 7.1 right beforehand, just for fun.

6) Sunday, Aug 14th, I taught Relief Society. (For those who don't know I am LDS and Relief Society is a church meeting where all the women get together and learn together and help each other grow spiritually) Anyway, we only have one teacher right now and it happens to be my friend who is in charge of assigning people to teach so she just had me do it this one time. It was about Family Roles. Not my first choice to teach a lesson on, but I didn't really get to choose so whatever. It went well I think. I am not really the best teacher - in my opinion I am not really even a GOOD teacher - but we made it through and I think I did a good job about not repeating things we have all learned a bazillion times and I didn't dwell on depressing topics for a singles Ward, we had good comments and I didn't end up talking the entire time so I am satisfied.

7) Well, there isn't really a 7 ... so there you have it. My life for the last little while. I am basically happy and the same as always. What a surprise, NOT! (yeah I think I was channeling the early 90's for a minute there, sorry). Well, I guess I should go be productive. I will update sooner (I hope ;D)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

My Room

So, we moved into a new apartment. I think I mentioned this, but I haven't mentioned my new project in the house. I don't have a headboard, so I decided to do a 'faux headboard' of sorts. So I painted a tree branch on the wall ... kinda ... and then put some frames around it with the flowers on the frame and viola! Beautiful. I am going to post some pics of the process and the final results. It was fun. (Mom, aren't you happy I am finally posting these?)

This is the before shot. Ain't it boring?
 So I taped the tree branches on the wall. I wanted the branches to remain white and have the rest be a different colour so that is all blue painters tape.
 I painted it all. Golly I hope this works!
 It worked! What a shocker! (You didn't think I would post it if it hadn't worked did you? ... Well, okay, I would have, but I would have figured out what DID work before posting.)
 Then I painted flowers on the glass parts of some frames, put the frames on the wall and ta-da! Doesn't it look good? I am rather pleased with the results :D

Saturday, April 02, 2011

February 23rd: Costa Rica Day 10

Mom and I got up around 10 or so to make sure we had time to get ready, re-pack and check out by 11. Calgary was even colder when compared with the glorious heat that was Costa Rica. We had to take a picture of the coldness.

Then we had a bite to eat (mmmm, fries with gravy!) and then Mom dropped me off at the airport again so I could head back to Portland via SLC. The return trip went off without a hitch and my lovely roomies met me at the airport. I chattered at them about how great it was all the way back to the apartment where I then commenced to show them pictures of all the stuff we did and gave them the stuff I got for them.

Even Oregon was mad I was gone - this is the weather I woke up to the next morning when I was headed to work. Blech. Luckily that was all melted by about noon, but still, rude!

And that is it. Now I have been back for a while and I miss it terribly. It was a great vacation and it was amazing to spend some time with my Mom as well. Thanks for sticking with me over the slowness of this recap. And hey, now I can do posts about other things again. Aren't you excited?

February 22nd: Costa Rica Day 9

This was really only a half day, or less. We got up and had our last breakfast in Costa Rica and then we lounged by the pool for the last few minutes that we could. Soaked up the few remaining rays that were soakable. Took one last picture of the view.
 And then headed to the airport. We had a little food in the airport and then we had a long flight back. This is us all sad in the airport because we don't want to leave.
 But we did have a good time.
 This was taken in Panama - we were there for about an hour and a half, just sitting in the plane on the tarmac. That still counts right?
 For anyone interested the movies in the flight on the way back were "You Again" and "Going the Distance" which managed to keep me sufficiently entertained.

Then we got back to Calgary and took a shuttle back to the hotel and pretty much crashed! It was a long day.

February 21st: Costa Rica Day 8

Side note - these guys drove the little shuttle that went around the resort all the time and they were awesome!

So we had to get up and go zip-lining which was postponed from the previous day. We didn't want to go on a huge long bus trip to get to any area really far away, so we did a nearby zip-line trip at this place called the Papagayo canopy and it was amazing. And we ended up going in a small group with only 6 people (Jess didn't want to come, and MaryJane was going to come but she had to pack and get ready to leave so she didn't come so it was just Mom and I from our group). We were with this other mother/daughter group and then a husband and wife duo - all of the others were from England. It was interesting to get to know them and it was amazing to go zip-lining. 

This is us 'suiting up' for the adventure. Don't we look excited? Mom looks cool as a cucumber! No nerves there! And I think I was trying to be sexy, but it more came across ... sad. Hehe.

I was always the first person to volunteer to do the crazy things - like going upside-down or doing the superman. I think my experience with crazy stunts helped in this area (after bungee jumping this really didn't scare me at all!)



Random Howler monkeys we saw right before the last line. Cheeky little buggers ;)

And the pic below is our entire zip-lining group and the two guides who went with us. So much fun!

After the zip-lining trip we got back to the resort just in time to leave again to go on a river boat tour. This was definitely the best trip for seeing wild-life. We were so close to so many different things.


"Jesus Christ" lizards - I am not just being sacriligeous, that is really what they call them because these little dudes can walk on water. The one on the right is the female and the left pic is the male.

Bats. Yes, those really are bats. During the day they sleep in the tree all lined up like that so that other animals think they are a snake and don't attack them. Smart eh?
Birds. A blue heron followed us down the river for a good chunk of time - we would pass him and then he would just get up and fly by us, and then we would pass him again and he would fly past again. It was so funny. We saw tons of other birds too, but I don't know their names - the bottom one is a King Fisher I think, but it is really blurry.
Crocodiles! We got so close to these guys that it would have been scary if the guide hadn't assured us that they don't attack anything bigger than them, and we were in a boat that was MUCHO bigger than they were. Also, they weren't even attacking little birds at the time so I think they were a bit sleepy? Full? I don't know. But it was still way cool. The top pic is one of my favourite pictures from the whole trip.
 We also saw more Howler monkeys. These guys are just everywhere!

Then we went back to the resort and tried to get all packed and ready to go. We had dinner, we hung out for a bit by the bar, we said our goodbyes for the most part, and mostly we tried to get some sleep.

February 20th: Costa Rica Day 7

So, originally we were planning to go zip-lining on this day, but there was an issue with the vehicles or something, so we had to postpone to the next day. That meant we were free so we decided to hire a cab to take us in to Coco beach so we could do some shopping and exploring. This was all decided after sleeping in quite a bit - which was very welcome (although I didn't sleep in as much as I would have liked - Mom doesn't really let that happen. Of course, it was good because I didn't want to sleep my whole trip away!)

We asked up at the lobby where we could get a cab and they hooked us up with this guy Carlos, who was really nice. On our way to Coco beach he stopped and showed us some great views of a a couple other beaches in the area that were less touristy and more locals were there, and that was way interesting. The below pics are us on each of those beaches (I don't remember which they were, but they were two different beaches, I swear! Can't you tell by the different backgrounds and the fact that we are in a different order?)

Then we went to Coco beach and we were hungry so we told him to take us a place that he would eat. We had these really good sandwiches at this little sandwich/burger stand thing. Then we just walked up and down the street looking at all the shops - and there are a ton! It makes it a bit touristy, but it was good shopping anyway. Then we stopped at this little bar called CocoNutz that was owned by a guy from Wisconsin. He came and chatted with us for a bit and said that he was on vacation for a few days a couple years previous, and he was totally drunk and the next thing he knew, he owned a bar! It was really a cool place - half covered and half open to the trees. And while we were sitting there, we looked up and right above us in the trees were some howler monkeys! Just chillin'. That was way fun.

 Then we walked down to this little place that is kinda like the Wal-Mart of Costa Rica (I don't remember the name of it) and bought a few more goodies. We saw this giant pac-man on the way so I had to take a photo. Seriously, it was HUGE! I think the mouth came up to my waist or something.

Then it was back to the hotel to make our 8 o'clock Italian restaurant dinner reservation. This is us with Carlos, our cab driver.

The Italian place was really good food. And we saw Oscar for a brief moment - he was busy so didn't chat, but he was carrying wine or something and he was looking at us and he didn't notice a door open into his pathway and he ran into it. Poor guy. It was funny though.
 Then we hung out in the bar again for a while - we had to get pics with all our favourite bartenders (we just decided to do it all at one time!)
Then we went to bed. It was MaryJane's last night so she had to make sure to say a bunch of her goodbye's and whatnot, and Mom and I were prepping to go zip-lining in the morning so we had to be fresh and ready!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

February 19th: Costa Rica Day 6

So, I guess the name of this one is a bit of a misnomer, because we spent most of the day in Nicaragua, not Costa Rica.

We had to be up at the lobby to catch our bus at 530 in the morning - ugh. Let me tell you, that was an early day! On the way to Nicaragua we stopped at a little restaurant place for breakfast which was pretty tasty - I had the best orange juice I have ever had in my entire life! Now, I am not a huge orange juice fan usually, but if all orange juice tasted like that I would drink it 24/7. I was AMAZING! Anyway, then we hopped back on the bus and went to the border.

At the border we had to get off and we each had to get our passports stamped with an exit stamp on the Costa Rica side, but on the Nicaragua side the tour guide took all our passports and they could stamp them all together and then just verify that we were who we said we were when we got back on the bus. So the time in between we got to just kinda chill out at the border for a while which was odd. We perused the duty-free shops (I bought some yummy candies that were like Starburst, but so much better!) and then we just sat around chatting and getting to know some of the other people on the bus. There were a lot of Canadians and then there were also a lot of British people and a couple people from Ireland as well, so that was interesting. Also, there were a lot of Nicaraguans at the border trying to sell you stuff they made - and most of it was crap. I hate to say that, but it is true.
Our next stop was small little spot on a each with a great view of a couple volcanoes. While we were there we saw a bunch of little, hard, almost coconut looking things that had fallen off a bunch of trees. We asked about them and the guides told us that they were called ??? and that the people would often take the stuff out of the inside and grind it up and mix it with milk to make women more fertile, then they would use the shells as cups and stuff like that. It was beautiful there.
 The next stop was a volcano in Nicaragua that is still active called the Masaysa volcano. It was smoking and everything! It was so sulfury up there that you are only allowed to stay in the area off the bus for 20 mins. There was a giant cross at the top of this giant flight of stairs and they said that a lot of people get confused and think that the cross used to be involved in the human sacrifices they did, but that isn't the case. In fact, they did do human sacrifices in the area because they were placating the gods of the volcano so that it wouldn't erupt and kill them, but then this Christian guy came and said that actually the volcano was full of evil spirits, so he did an exorcism on it and then put up the cross to show that the volcano was 'clean'. And they always had a lot of gold in the area so later some other guys came and thought that the gold was actually what was in the volcano (basically they thought that when lava cooled it turned to gold) and they assumed there was a 'cooling room' somewhere in the area (there are a ton of little caves all around the outside) so they went exploring through all the caves to try to find this mythical 'cooling room'. It is so funny to me what people think sometimes.
Next was a quick stop to go shopping in Masaya square - that was great, I got lots of fun things there. :D Then we went to lunch in Grenada city in this little restaurant. Afterwards we took carriage rides all around Granada city. The guide was so knowledgeable about the area - he had been driving the carriage for like 7 years (since he was 15 years old!) and he told us lots of cool little facts about the things we drove past. It is the oldest city in Nicaragua and so there was a lot of history to tell us about.

After that we hopped back on the bus and headed back to Costa Rica. We went through the border again - same drill. Then we headed back to the resort. (I can't remember if we had dinner on the trip or not ... )

That night we went to the bar area and guess who was there? The waiter from the Mexican restaurant! (His name was Oscar just fyi) He was like "there you are! I haven't seen you in a while, I missed you" and we were just like "missed you too". We chatted a bit about what we had been doing and stuff. Then he says "You are really beautiful, do you have a boyfriend?" and I was like "no" and he was all surprised and then he asked "How old are you?" and I said "27" and he was like "me too! marry me?"
I, of course, said yes (jokingly of course - I would never agree to marry someone that I didn't know very well ... unless he could get me a green card! haha jk). This is our engagement pic.
We saw this kid we had met the previous night again named Pablo and chatted with him for a bit. He was interesting to talk to because he was from Costa Rica, just a different part, and he was there on vacay with his family. He had some great stories about snakes and other wildlife so that was pretty entertaining. Then it was off to bed because we were super tired.