Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Friday--Yay! I made it to Utah by a miracle!
Left work in a frazzled hurry, trying to battle traffic and make it to the airport during rush hour. Got to the airport early and had to wait forever at the gate. Met a freak who talked nonstop and invited me to join him on trips within the first 5 minutes of meeting. He gave me a star fruit from sunny Florida (as if I have never been there like 100000000 times) as a going away gift. I had almost given up getting on the plane, when the gate agent paged me right before they closed the doors to the plane. I was the last one allowed to board the plane.
Saturday--A day with the Grunt and Clyde.
I had the pleasure of meeting up with one of my awesome blog buddies, the Grunt and his beloved truck, Clyde. I was looking forward to meeting him since we always have so much to talk about. As it turns out, we have just as much to say in person and our meeting turned into a whole day event. We even had to eat twice! Clyde was pretty cool as well. He was lookin' GOOD! It had been a LONG time since I had taken a ride in a truck.
The Grunt is a very cool, fun (and cute) guy to hang with. I had called off my hotness plan for the weekend so I could indulge myself in good food. And it seems we have the same taste in food, so it was totally worth being un-hot for the weekend. We spent most of our time in the Ogden area. As many times as I have been in Ogden, I had never walked down the historic 25th Street nor paid a visit to Union Station. Grunt accompanied me to both places.
I was very happy at Union Station because I got to play on the trains. And I got to show off what a true dork I am. Oh and I got to play in the snow, too. This was very exciting for someone who hasn't played in snow for four years. I hit Grunt in the mouth with a snowball. That wasn't very nice of me, was it? Like I said, he was exposed to my true dorkiness. I just couldn't help myself!Inside the station was beautiful. He pointed out some very creepy areas that are haunted within the building. And I wish that I could have seen more.
The Ogden area is supposed to be full of the paranormal and that was a big reason why I wanted to check it out on foot. Unfortunately, we didn't get to do a true Scooby Doo ghost hunt as everything was closed and I didn't want to bring him down to my level of breaking and entering to ghost hunt. Plus, Grunt was just not cooperative playing Freddy and wearing the gay man scarf (Though it was totally his color!) We looked for the cemetery that is home to the "Green Lady" legend. I am not sure if we went into the right place, but at least we tried. I was quite fine settling on a chocolate shake and dinner. (It is a good thing I burned off all those calories the next day on the slopes!)
After our second meal, it was getting late and both of us had to get up early the next morning. It was a little sad to say goodbye, but not too much because I have the feeling Grunt is one of those friends that is the real deal and I know I will see him again.
Hey Grunt, maybe next time I'm in your neck of the woods it will be warmer and we can hit a trail! What do ya say? ;)
I'm still alive and I have no broken bones! Not only that (which is more than I expected) but I totally LOVED it! Now let me make it clear that I was by no means a natural, but I did learn how to snowboard!
My first remarks to Best Friend and Slot Canyon Boy when eyeing the slope was "I am NOT doing that!" I caved in to the peer pressure and, to my own dismay, found myself terrified at the top of the slope. Somehow I had managed to not fall when getting off the chair lift. In fact, I didn't fall by accident that much. I ate snow-face first only three times. But don't let that give you the impression that I didn't fall down much. Because I did. Mostly, I fell on purpose when I felt I was going way too fast. Best of all, that fear disappeared quickly and I was no longer afraid even when I went down steep areas or boarded down at a faster pace than I ever imagined I would. That initial push off the top was the hardest part.
My first run down the slope was slow. I couldn't figure out how to turn or control direction. Slot Canyon Boy helped me with that and I was much better on the next run down. I learned to control my direction finally. In fact, it wasn't too long before I was becoming decent. But then the fatigue had set in and I found myself having to stop (fall down on purpose) to rest. I was pissed because I wanted to keep it up and do more, but my legs said no--firmly.
I can't wait to do this again! When I grow up, I totally want to be a professional snowboarder and do sick tricks on the jumps.
Had to catch a plane back to Georgia. I've been home less than 24 hours. Okay, I've had enough! Time to go back! Grunt, have Clyde waiting for me at the airport!
Me and the Grunt at dinner.
Union Station in Ogden.
The waterfall in Ogden Canyon. I have a million pics of this waterfall but this is the first time I've seen it frozen.
Best Friend and me in gear and ready to board.
By George, I think I finally got it!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Okay, so I really wanted to post to ask all of you to say a prayer, light a candle, wish me well, rub Buddha's belly, or whatever you all do for someone who is going snowboarding (but really shouldn't go snowboarding since she is too clumsy) for my safe, in-one-piece return. I don't think y'all understand just how uncoordinated and clumsy I am! It still should be a blast.
I'll catch you up when I return. Hope everyone else has a great weekend. :)
Sunday, January 21, 2007
So I gave it a try and some of my creations look pretty cool. Pretty soon I was giving away matching hat and scarf sets to my family and friends and taking specific requests. I am in the process of completing some family orders as we speak. And since I am knitting in the new style using looms rather than needles, my production is much faster.
I think I should start taking orders and begin my own business on the side. I'll call it OG Designs. Besides what better way to keep warm on a hiking trail than a stylish beanie created by OG Designs? You pick the color and type of yarn (there are so many materials now that you wouldn't believe!) and I make your hat, scarf, or a set of both.
But OG Designs doesn't stop here! Oh no, we (I) also make purses, handbags, shawls, wraps, and mittens. And there is a special line for children here at OG Designs for kids of all ages including infants...or as we (I) call them here at OG Designs, hikers in training. We (I) can make baby beanies and (hiking) booties.
Sometime in the near future, we (I) will be adding blankets, throws, sweaters, and shrugs into the mix.
So take a look and place your orders today! Sorry, no CODs or personal checks accepted. ;)
This is my ultra hip 3 piece camo colored set of hat, scarf and purse. I tried to embellish it with a little something extra to make it cuter so I knitted and added flowers to the scarf and purse and instead of the usual fringe on the ends of the scarf, I made and attached pom-poms.
A closer look at the purse.
I made this shaggy, fuzzy hat for my crazy Aunt C.
A look at the hikers in training line. I made the blue hat and a matching pair of hiking booties for my friend's baby. :)
Here I'm modeling a fuzzy wrap I made using some soft brown yarn and mulitcolored Fun Fur. This one is extremely soft and my dear cat Lucy likes to cuddle up to it.
A closer look at the wrap. AKA Lucy's favorite creation of mine.
And speaking of Miss Lucy, here she is inspecting my yarns. Everything at OG Designs is Lucy approved!
So let's see...I have the old lady hobby and I have the cat. Guess I should just face the fact and buy an old wooden rocking chair and look into retirement.
Nah, just kidding! Remember that knitting is hip, folks! So get those orders in soon!
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
So I am officially back on my Hotness Plan. For those of you who may not be familiar with this, it is my personal diet and exercise program geared to change me into one hot mama. I have to say that after losing quite a bit of weight, the plan works. I haven't reached hotness status yet, but just you wait! I'll get there. And not to mention that the bubble baths right after a hard workout will feel well deserved!
I finally applied for my passport so hopefully this year I will be blogging about places outside of the States. One complaint, though...I looked like I was very angry and on drugs in my photo. Ugh. And I have to look at this thing for 10 years!
One thing I am really excited about is trying out snowboaring in a couple of weeks. I am going to try my luck with this in Utah and I am very pumped up about trying something new like this, especially since living in the Southeast offers no winter sports opportunites except year-round hiking (which is nice.) But I am still wondering how many bones I will break. Hopefully my double-jointedness and freakish flexibility will counteract my clusmy factor and I will simply tumble down the slope when my legs twist up rather than snap them in half. Either way, I am really looking forward to my first wintertime Utah trip as I've only been there in spring and summer. This should be a lot of fun, even though I'll probably come home very sore. Still, that's nothing a hot bath can't cure.
I think I might stop right here and jump on my Gazelle for a half-hour or so. That might just make me sweat enough to have an excuse to jump back in the tub.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
This photo was taken in the Sonoran Desert shortly after sunrise.
You might want to click on this one to enlarge. This was one of my favorite pieces in the Bird Cage Theater. This is a business license for one of Tombstone's popular prostitutes, Sadie Jo. The top line stating that the license "Must be placed in a conspicuous place above bed" cracked me up! It's signed by Deputy Marshall, Wyatt Earp. Come on! If Wyatt thinks it's ok, this must be a cool profession. And I was just thinking of what I want to be when I grow up! You know, I was just thinking about going into business for myself. But I guess I'd have to move to Nevada for a business license like that!
And here's the San Xavier Mission. As you can see, half of it was being restored. That was a little disappointing photo-wise.
Here you can see some of the detail. It was beautiful.
There was even more fine detail inside. The perpective from this photo isn't quite accurate. It is much larger than this in life.
The murals on the walls and ceilings were breathtaking. It is hard to believe that such craftmanship could be so old.
So last Friday night, I attended my first hockey game to see the Atlanta Thrashers and LOVED it. I feel as if I brought along a little bit of Arizona with me as the opposing team was the Phoenix Coyotes. This was a game we totally should have won...but didn't. Oh well, we only lost by one point and that was in overtime. Not too bad. I still loved it...even though I didn't even get to see a good fight! What was up with that!?
I went with Germaphobe, her super skinny friend, and a guy friend, T. Now T. was a real hockey fan and helped to fill me in on all the things I needed to know. Except for one thing...He informed me after the game that Wayne Gretzky is the Coyotes' coach. Now isn't that something I should have been told? I mean the one hockey figure that I actually know and I didn't even get a picture!
The real treat of the evening (and I mean this in the most sarcastic way possible) was the attendance of the real life Beavis and Butthead and we were lucky enough to sit directly in front of them! These dudes couldn't have been over 16 years old and I couldn't help but wonder just how obnoxious they would be once they were old enough to drink alcohol. Now, I am all for cheering on the home team and yelling insults to the opposition, but did they really have to yell at the top of their lungs while leaning in towards my seat sending their spittle down the back of my neck? Their favorite line (their only one) was yelling at the Coyotes' goalie, Curtis Joseph (apparantly nicknamed Cu Jo), and it went something like this...
(Yelling loudly) "Cuuuu Jo...." (Pumping up the volume even more) "Cuuuuuu Joooooooo" (Now loud enough to burst my eardrum) "CUUUUU JOOOOOOOOOOOO" (Now reaching decibels way beyond the normal pain threshold of hearing) "YOU SUCK!!!!"
After hearing this about 450 times, it wasn't so bad. Or maybe the ringing in my ear now drowned it out. Either way, I quite enjoyed the joke that Beavis told Butthead:
Beavis: "Duuuude. Did I tell you about my hockey team, man?"
Butthead: "No, man. What hockey team, dude?"
Beavis: "Well, they're, like, a gay hockey team from Florida. And I'm gonna name them the Citrus Fruits."
Butthead: "huh-huh-huh. The Citrus Fruits."
Beavis: "Yeah. They're gay. huh-huh-huh."
Inspired by Beavis and Butthead's maturity level, Germaphobe and I sent the giant scoreboard a text message during one of the breaks that said, "T. is with the 3 hottest girls in Atl." T., being totally inspired by our maturity level, stands up to let everyone in Philips Arena know that he was the lucky man with Atlanta's three hottest girls.
Dude, I totally love hockey! It's such an adult game! We even played a round of There's Your Baby Daddy on the way out of the arena.A packed night at Philips Arena.
An action shot of what appears to be Cu Jo blocking our attempt to score. Cuuuu Jooooo...You suck!
Looks like disco hockey!
Friday, January 05, 2007
Then with only two days left in the year, we discover that not only will it be raining in Savannah, but thunderstorms were predicted. We agreed that we couldn’t stumble along the cobblestone streets slightly intoxicated in heels with thunderstorms! Savannah was out. We began to throw out ideas and our conversation went something like this:
Me: “So now what? We gotta do something!”
BF: “We could fly to New York and see the apple drop.”
Me: “Times Square on New Year’s would be cool if it weren’t for all the people. You know we really don’t like people! What about Las Vegas?”
BF: “Again with the people.”
Me: “Oh yeah. Well, maybe somewhere tropical then?”
BF: “We could go to Cancun or Cozumel.”
Me: “Yeah, but that passport thing goes into effect in 2007 and I don’t have mine yet. I don’t want to get stuck and have to live in Mexico.”
BF: “You won’t have to live in Mexico. It’s not affecting border countries yet.”
Me: “Are you sure? I thought I read…”
BF: “Yes, I’m sure.”
Me: “I’m just sayin’!”
BF: “Fine. Let’s go to Key West. For sure, you won’t have to live there.”
(Best Friend now searches the internet for further information.)
BF: (sighing) “The flights look open enough to go and get back, but there’s no place to stay in the entire Keys…unless we camp.”
(We both contemplate this and remember the pain it was during the summer to try to get tent stakes through security on our Washington and California trips.)
Me: “Are you sure we can’t make it to Salt Lake? I really want to go there. We could go snowboarding that day and then into Salt Lake to a nice restaurant that night and still wear our dresses!”
BF: “All flights back to Atlanta are oversold on New Year’s. We couldn’t make it back that day.” (Types something else into the computer.) “I’m trying to route us through Phoenix and see how that looks.” (Pause.) “That’s not looking too great there for a return either…maybe in Tucson…”
We both look at one another and exclaim, “We should go to Tucson!”
BF: “Remember when we talked about that?”
Going back to a conversation we had in October when I called her on the phone after watching a very cool episode of Ghost Hunters in Tombstone, Arizona…
Me: “Girl, we are sooo going to Tombstone! They actually saw a full body apparition and they got a cool EVP of this old music at the Bird Cage Theater! I want to check this out! Plus I’ve always wanted to go to Tombstone anyway.”
BF: “You know our airline flies to Tucson, which is only an hour away from Tombstone!”
Me: “We are totally going!”
On December 31, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time, our plane landed in Tucson. As quick as a flash, we had located our rental car and except for the brief moment I freaked out in excitement over seeing the huge Saguaro Cactuses standing outside the airport, we were on our way to Tombstone without stopping.
Our first stop was along the way in Saguaro National Park. Saguaro is named for the giant cactus that I was so excited to see and I got my fill of them in this park as we drove along the Cactus Forest Drive. The park is divided into two sections on both the east and west sides of Tucson. Since the east side of the park was on our way to Tombstone, we knocked that section off our to-see list that day. I am totally intrigued by these huge cactuses. Some had arms bent around in loops. Some were fat. Some were extremely tall. They seemed to mimic people poses and we made up our own stories about them. (There was this one cactus that was very happy to see us…if you catch my drift, some were hugging, one looked like it had its hands on its hips, one was walking like an Egyptian, and one was yelling “I’m the king of the world!” with his arms over his head.)
We rolled into Tombstone just before sunset. We came across the famous and historic Boot Hill Graveyard first. We pulled into the parking lot and it was closed! Now let me just tell you, I did not come all the way from Atlanta to be turned around from Boot Hill! So we stepped over the fence and broke into the graveyard. It seems I have a knack for this type of thing. (Just don’t ask me about crawling through the windows of a historic church or trespassing in the Kennedy’s compound in Hyannis port.) It was great having this quiet, private tour of the cemetery. It made it was less touristy than I know it really is. Immediately, I stumbled across the graves I was searching for, which of course were Clanton and the McLaurys’ of the OK Corral shootout fame. It was so entertaining to read the markers on the graves. Many said “Shot” or “Shot by so-and-so”. Others said “Murdered,” “Stabbed,” “Hanged”, “Legally Hanged”, or “Lynched by the Bisbee Mob.” The grave of George Johnson is marked with these words: “Here lies George Johnson. Hanged by mistake 1882. He was right. We was wrong. We strung him up. Now he’s gone.” Yikes! These are not made-up Wild West stories, but true, historic facts. I checked. Tombstone, Arizona didn’t get its reputation by accident, I suppose.
Then we drove into the town, parked the car, and took to the streets exploring all the sites. The town looks really cool, even though it is touristy. The structures that stood along the streets were original or restored buildings and that was the part of history that came alive to me. I could visualize everything pre-souvenir and tee shirt shops.
One of the two most disappointing things on this trip was that I didn’t make it over to the Tombstone/Cochise County Courthouse before sunset to get any decent pictures. I really wanted to get a few shots of the infamous gallows. The other was that the OK Corral was closed! I walked completely around the building looking for a way to get in. Believe me when I tell you there was no way of breaking and entering into that place without taking a personal trip to the courthouse and who knows? Maybe I’d face the gallows, too.
What made up for this ten-fold was locating the haunted Bird Cage Theater, which was, thanks to the Ghost Hunters show, a prime reason I wanted to go to Tombstone. Even better, it was still open and it was then dark outside! This place is awesome and I would recommend anyone in the greater Tombstone area to take the $8 tour through this wonderful museum of Tombstone and Wild West history. It’s the only all original building still standing in town just as it did in 1881. It was full of furniture, saloon and theater memorabilia, and photos. Certain objects such as the grand piano and mirror over the bar were noted to still be standing in the exact position as they did in 1881. One of my favorite things in the museum was the old horse-drawn hearse that was used to take all but 6 of the bodies lying in Boot Hill Graveyard to their burials.
Upon entering the Bird Cage, we were greeted by a very friendly cowboy who gave us a brief history of the theater. Then he began telling us of the Ghost Hunter’s visit. But it gets even better! He then tells us of his experience seeing the same apparition of lady that the Ghost Hunters saw. It was so eerie! Later, he was even kind enough to show us the stairs that the Ghost Hunters saw the ghost lady walk down and the bell on the wall that they had a camera cord wrapped around to hold it in place. The cord unwrapped itself and swung to the ground right before the camera on television. Now if only I could have heard the EVP of some of the old saloon music playing that turned up in the background of a conversation like they did! Alas, I saw no ghosts.
But I could envision the ladies dancing and actors of this bygone era performing on the stage nonetheless. My eyes scanned the opera-style box seats just in case some specter was checking us out. I saw a sign that told the story of a Russian nobleman who occupied this same box seat every night for 2 years at $25 per night. He was not an outlaw, but wanted to appear rough and tough so he stole a horse for which he was later hanged. For stealing a horse? Man, they just don’t do hangings like they used to. It seems nowadays you have to kill 148 Shiites and 180,000 Kurds to get a good hanging!
And thus ended our evening in the wild, infamous Tombstone, Arizona. Then we were on our way back to Tucson and it was there that we dined on best Mexican food I ever had in my life! We ate at a wonderful restaurant called La Parrilla Suiza. They won me over when they brought out not only one, but three salsas that are popular in Mexico City. The best thing is that this restaurant has won culinary awards, but was super cheap! My meal was $9 and it was more than even I could eat! And I can eat a lot!
As we were leaving the restaurant, the clock was striking midnight on the East Coast and some of my friends called me from “the future” to let me know how 2007 was looking so far. Best Friend and I, on the other hand, opted on skipping the countdown in Tucson and fell immediately asleep at the hotel. I totally missed 2007 sneaking in on the Mountain Time Zone, except for the few fireworks I heard that woke me up just long enough to grumble about it and complain that it’s still 2:00 a.m. on my clock! (Does this mean I am officially old and decrepit?)
It was an early rising for us the next morning so we could fit in a few more things before we headed to the airport. First thing on the agenda was a visit to Saguaro National Park--west side. (As I write this, I am flashing you the West Side Cactus Gang Sign.) Anyway, the cactuses were just as plentiful and beautiful on this side of the park. We took the very short trek up Signal Hill to see the Indian pictographs etched on the rocks at the top of the hill. I was quite proud of myself for walking through this area despite the fact that there was a rattlesnake area warning posted on a sign. It was like 30 degrees so I think I was safe.
After leaving the park, we visited the beautiful San Xavier Mission. It was a gorgeous Spanish Mission completed in 1797. Even though one of the spires was covered for either restoration or cleaning, it was a beautiful site both inside and out! We attended a portion of the mass that was already in progress when we arrived. But since you can’t take pictures during mass, we left for the chapel and lit a prayer candle. I am not Catholic, but for some reason I feel good about that prayer and lighting the candle in faith on the very first day of 2007. And then drove to the nearest Denny’s for breakfast until mass service was over. Then we came back when the cathedral was clear and got the pictures we wanted. It was such a beautiful cathedral and hard to believe it is so old.
Sadly, it was then time to return to the airport to wait around and see if we actually would get a seat on the plane. We did. After twenty four hours and twelve minutes, our day in Arizona was over and we were flying the friendly skies eastbound for Atlanta.
It was the best New Year ever!
Some of the outlaw's graves in Boot Hill. What would you have written on your tombstone?
Tombstone at sunset.
Still mad that I couldn't break and enter into here!
Outside the awesome Bird Cage Theater.
Inside the Bird Cage. I was standing next to the stage and looking into some of the box seats.
The original Boot Hill Hearse.
This is my cactus impression.
Here's the giant Saguaro we named "Octopus Cactus". It looked like a sea monster. I wasn't even as tall as its arms.
This is my favorite...The angry, flippin' cactus. Notice how he flips everyone the finger that drives by. If I could be a cactus, I think I would like to be him.
I will post few more pics, including the San Xavier Mission, soon. There are still some photos I need to load onto my computer. Unfortunately, none of them include me with a hot cowboy.
Monday, January 01, 2007
I decided to squeeze in one last great adventure with Best Friend in 2006 and to start out 2007 in a fun, unique way. So we left yesterday morning and took a daytrip to Tucson, Arizona. I just got home a few hours ago. And even though Arizona isn’t really a New Year’s Eve-ish type of destination, it was the best New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day I think I ever had! And there was adventure! What more could a girl like me ask for?
But you will just have to come back and read the post of trip later. I am so tired right now! I will be posting details in the couple of days. (Isn’t this a cool trick to have you all come back to my blog?)
For now, I just want to share my New Year’s resolution. I really don’t make typical (weight loss, new career path, buy a house, meet “the one”) resolutions as I feel that they are something that most people make up just to sound like they have real goals for the year, but break them before the month of January ends. Then they use the excuse that they have the rest of the year to meet their goal. And then if they don’t make it, they can use it again for the next year’s resolution. I tend to make a general rule of choosing a New Year’s goal of something fun so that I know I will achieve it.
This year I decided that I am going to celebrate life. I am going to enjoy every occasion. I am going to be contented in the simple things of life. For example, this last birthday of mine was the first one I had celebrated in many years and it was great! Usually, I just ignore it, feel depressed, and hope everyone else forgets it, too. This year I celebrated it. I celebrated my life. Also, this New Year’s is the only one I can remember starting the year out the way that I want to live my life for the year. It was wonderful. (But you still have to wait to read the details! Ha!)
This year I am going to celebrate milestones in my life and in my friends’ and family’s lives. I am going to savor the first snowflake that falls from the sky (because I believe it is going to finally snow here, damn it!). I am going to breathe in deeper the fragrance of spring flowers and cherish more the colors of the fall leaves. I am even going to complain less about the summer’s unbearable humidity and have more barbeques on the grill. If I have money, I might even go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans or to the St. Patty’s Day festival in Savannah. And I am even— friends who know me well, get ready for this!—going to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year! That’s right; I am going to ask some very lucky guy to a special outing even if it means catching another plane somewhere to do something awesome and out of the ordinary. I will (at least try) not to view Valentine’s Day as the day the devil trades in his pitchfork and dons cherub wings and calls himself Cupid and guilts us into spending money we don’t have to prove that we love/like one another and pushes us to try to top other couples’ gifts to one another. Oh shoot! That day is coming up next month, right? I better get busy selecting a nice gentleman to dine with. Can anyone out there help me out with a hook up? haha ;)
So there you have it…Outdoorsy Girl’s goal for 2007—to celebrate and appreciate! It may sound too simple or too cheesy, but my last year’s resolution was… No more Vodka for Outdoorsy Girl. As I see it, I’m doing better already. ;)