Sunday, April 29, 2007

So much to do...

So little time, alright, I have the time but you know how poorly motivated I am, LOL. I was prepared to post about how much I accomplished today and boast a little but that is not what happened, I know, what a surprise! The impetus for my grand plans was the realization that Lina will be here in a few days and my place looks exactly the same as when she visited in Nov. You know how when you first move you're super motivated to get things done and in place and then as you get settled things peter off, well with me things did not peter off they just stopped, LOL. I got to a certain spot and just left everything as is.

I did buy a couple of new plants since she was last here but I'm not sure if the fuschia will survive or not but hopefully it will still be alive by the time she gets here, LOL. I decided I had to buy a dresser this weekend. My closet was getting so full that I was starting to fold clothes and pile them on the floor and hello, I'm not a college student, LOL. So a trip to Ikea was in order today. I could look around on Craigslist and find some decently priced dressers but I don't have any way of moving it and with Ikea it'll come boxed up so I can fit it in my car. I also decided I needed new nightstands since I only had one and I wanted a matching pair. I also love Ikea for the little things you can buy there. I finally bought my own screwdriver set so I don't have to borrow from Franklin anymore. The dresser, while boxed was incredibly heavy. I had to roll it onto my cart and it wasn't pretty getting it into my car. I accosted Franklin to help me move it into the house.

You know figuring out the diagrams for putting together the furniture is like reading a foreign language so the first nightstand took awhile but luckily I breezed through the second one. I had dinner plans with some friends which was fun. We went for pizza. When I got home I attacked the dresser and that sucker took me well over an hour to put together, probably almost two. Of course I had problems with the fact I hammered something together backwards and it took me a half an hour to get it apart. I almost called the helpline, LOL. I was standing on it trying to pry it apart, I hammered, tried wedging in a screwdriver, it was so not pretty and incredibly frustraing but now my bedroom is looking so much better. I went through my closet and cleaned that while I was figuring out what I was going to put in my dresser and by the time I was done with all of that it was after 9pm.

There went my grand plans of vacuuming, mopping and cleaning the bathroom. I am just too tired and my body is sore from dealing with all of that. Good thing I still have a few days before she gets here. Nothing like having company come buy to help get your ass in gear. Tomorrow I will also tackle my office, there are boxes (I keep them because I mail so much stuff) and shoes (too lazy to put them back in their holders) strewn everywhere. For now, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the rest of the evening. I'm exhausted but if I go to bed too early I'll be awake at 1am and I don't want that.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I think I may be moving to China...

This story was recently published on yahoo:
"Women's town" to put men in their place on Yahoo! News: "Chinese tourism authorities are seeking investment to build a novel concept attraction -- the world's first 'women's town,' where men get punished for disobedience, an official said Thursday.

The 2.3-square-km Longshuihu village in the Shuangqiao district of Chongqing municipality, also known as 'women's town,' was based on the local traditional concept of 'women rule and men obey,' a tourism official told Reuters.

'Traditional women dominate and men have to be obedient in the areas of Sichuan province and Chongqing, and now we are using it as an idea to attract tourists and boost tourism,' the official, surname Li, said by telephone.

The tourism bureau planned to invest between 200 million yuan ($26 million) and 300 million yuan in infrastructure, roads and buildings, Li said.

'We welcome investors from overseas and nationwide to invest in our project,' he added.

The motto of the new town would be 'women never make mistakes, and men can never refuse women's requests,' Chinese media have reported.

When tour groups enter the town, female tourists would play the dominant role when shopping or choosing a place to stay, and a disobedient man would be punished by 'kneeling on an uneven board' or washing dishes in rest"

I think I would find other ways to discipline the men. Nothing wrong with a little spanking, LOL. I also think if it's going to be a woman's town then there need to be some man whores there too!

Friday, April 27, 2007

I was meant to be on stage!


Create Your Own PaloozaHead
Don't worry, I'll share the stage with my backup dancers so once you put together your paloozahead send me the code and I will add you to the band. Make sure you make it so that it doesn't autoplay so all the songs don't blend, LOL. I decided to do my own version of Nancy and Bo, EG!


Bo, I almost had you pop lock, LOL.


Is this perfectly Lina or what? She'll be teaching this class soon.


And here's Nes, I've seen her dance and this is pretty true to life, LOL.


I had to show Chez that not all of the good outfits were taken. She's lucky, I know Mich was really eyeballing those pants.


Rosie Roo part 2, apparently she didn't want to be twinsies with Chez, LOL. I am wondering why Ro didn't break out this outfit when we went to OGs, LOL.

Extra, extra read all about it!

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Let there be food!!!

Good news party people, I am on solid foods now. Actually, is soup considered solid food? Yesterday I decided I needed something more then bananas in my system. On Monday I ate a banana, on Tuesday I had 2 bananas and an apple and I must admit I was a little scared to eat more then that. I met with Karen for a bit and didn't eat my banana til I got home from meeting with her, I didn't want to have a repeat of the night before. After my nap I was hungry and Karen mentioned I should try the perfect cure all, chicken soup! I decided she was correct so off to the store I went. Plus, I was running out of bananas, LOL. I also picked up some saltines and 7up. I think getting the food was a good idea because I broke our into a sweat while I was in the check out at the grocery store and not because I was hot, LOL.

Breaking out into a sick sweat made me a little nervous about heating hot soup but I didn't want cold soup, LOL. I actually bought some Campbell's chicken and rice soup, it looked good and of course devoured the whole can. I was worried my stomach would have shrunk but nope, it wanted the food. I also devoured some crackers and guess what? It actually stayed inside my body for awhile, yay!

I'm not quite ready to go out and eat in public but you know I spent last night researching trying to figure out where I am going to eat and what. I think I've decided when I'm better I'm going to eat some fried chicken! I swear, I've never eaten so much fried chicken as when I moved here and I know it's horrendously bad for you but oh so good! Not the best thing for an upset stomach but as soon as I can, that will be my come back meal! So last night I was surfing trying to find where I'm going to eat my fried chicken, LOL. I'm definitely on the come back trail!

My kitchen sink blocked up on me again so I called the plumber and had them come out. They were supposed to be there between 6 and 8pm but they called and said they were running late so he got there after 9pm! Luckily I am a night owl. Anyway, he says the reason my sink backed up was because I was using my garbage disposal. I was like, what's the point of having one if you can't use it? And, why didn't the previous plumber tell me? He never mentioned the garbage disposal. So this plumber said the back up was my fault and that the warranty would be void next time if I used the disposal again and it backed up. I told him are you telling me I can't use my disposal? What's the point of having it? He said, I'm not telling you to not use it but it will back up if you do. I told him I would have to do some research because I was ticked. If they guarantee my work for 30 days I expect it to be guaranteed, especially if the previous plumber never mentioned the disposal. The plumber said because he was a nice guy he wouldn't void the warranty. The real reason is because he knew I would raise hell. I told him I paid enough money to get that damn sink fixed, LOL. Even sick, I'm not going to put up with any crap, only my own!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I'm just a hunk a hunk of burning love...

OK, I'm a hunk of burning something! So yesterday, while not ready to eat my stomach and insides felt much better. I didn't go to the bathroom most of the day, it was wonderful! Because I was having no problems I didn't take any pepto before I went out. I don't like to take anymore medicine then I have to. Big mistake!

So I dolled myself up to meet Dao, wore my magic dress, you know the one I'm talking about, the long black one with stripes that makes me look like an Amazon. I even put on makeup because I told Nancy I would. Originally we had plans to go to dinner before the show but I cancelled that. You know things are bad when I'm turning down dinner, LOL. I did debate whether to get popcorn but decided it was best I didn't but people all around me were eating it, me sad:( The theater is very close to the Varsity which is a landmark drive thru burger joint so Dao wanted us to go there after the show, I told her that was so not a good idea, LOL.

The show we went to see was All Shook Up, a musical set to the music of Elvis. I love Elvis. I grew up watching his movies on tv every weekend and come on, his music is fun. I thought it would be great to go to a show already knowing the songs. Too bad my tummy started rumbling almost immediately. I could not enjoy the show as fully as I wanted to. The big name on this show was Susan Anton, she can sing! The show was not as popular as Spamalot, there were emtpy seats, luckily, the ones directly in front of us were empty since I thought the guy 2 rows n front of us was too tall, so much for being an Amazon! Finally about half way thru the first act I told Dao I would have to leave at intermission. I felt bad because Dao didn't want to stay without me. It's a fun show and I would have like to stay to the end but that just wasn't going to happen.

I learned my lesson and today I popped a pepto as soon as I got up since my stomach was still upset this morning. I told Nancy that if I don't feel like I'm getting better by Friday I will go to the Dr's. Hopefully I'll soon be talking about things other then my intestinal problems! I hope the weather is great this weekend. I need to wear a bikini after all this since there won't be anything in my stomach but bananas and apples, LOL. No, I don't have a pool but I will find some reason to wear a bikini damn it!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting....

No, I didn't get into a fight, nor did I bring out a can of whoop ass. I have been listening to this song on my ipod and every time it comes on it just makes me happy. I love the huh! part of it, makes me want to go into a kung fu fighting position every time I hear it so I decided we need to make a kung fu fighting video featuring not only me but my mannions! I do believe most of you have digital cameras. So I want you to take several pics of you doing your best karate kid and we can have some fun. Now you know I can make this video full of pictures of me but it would be so much more fun to see you all as a part of it too. Since I know most of you who frequent here I will be nagging you, LOL. The more pics the better. I want lots and lots. I already have a idea on how I want to do it, if you all send in pictures it's going to be very cool. I know some of you prefer online anonymity when it comes to your face, Libby, so wear a mask, LOL.

My tummy is still not a happy camper. The last time I had food poisoning I didn't have an appetite for a week. I happened to be visiting my family at the time and they thought I had an eating disorder. Yeah, the disorder is how much I love to eat, LOL. I hope I feel better tomorrow. Dao and I are going to see a show tomorrow night and I want to eat popcorn! I'll tell you what show tomorrow:)

Tonight is a new episode of Heroes, I'm quite excited. Not as excited as Nancy since she and her co-workers spend the day obsessing and theorizing, LOL.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Finally!

It took me all day but my MySpace page is updated. I need to get more pics of my fam up. Not all of my pics transferred onto my new computer for some reason. I threatened my brother with naked baby pics but he said I didn't have them and unfortunately, he is correct. Blackmail works better if you're not bluffing, LOL. The song I posted doesn't really match the page but it was on Grey's Anatomy last Thursday and was so pretty. I'm such a sap! To see my new page click on the link on the right.

My super secret project should be posted tonight if all goes well. Those of you signed up for Karen's newsletter will be notified as soon as it's good to go. If you're not signed up for it then I'll let you know tomorrow *G*. All did not go well, keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Do not read if you haven't watched tonight's amazing Race. I can't believe they had 2 non-elimination episodes in a row. It sort of feels like a waste of an episode tonight. I know it's a part of the game but back to back? Come one! BTW Jenna, I had to look up the spoilers to see who won because I couldn't stand you knowing and me not, LOL.

My stomach feels better today. Still don't have much of an appetite. Now that's a weird feeling, LOL.

Wouldn't say I was sick...

I just lost my appetite, hmm, I must be sick, LOL! I spent the day in bed yesterday watching Nip/Tuck and not eating! OK, I also spent some time on the toilet, TMI? I think I ate something on Friday that didn't agree with me. I feel fine other then my stomach. All I ate yesterday was some ice cream (I know dairy was not the smartest thing for an upset stomach but the ice cream tasted great, LOL) and half of a grapefruit. OK, I don't make wise food choices when it comes to an upset tummy but you know my fridge is pretty limited. Nes recommended bananas, I have a couple of very overripe nanas on my counter, I think I'll toss those and buy some new ones. My stomach feels better but the appetite hasn't returned. I figure I might as well enjoy my diet while I can cause we all know my appetite will be coming back with a vengeance! The funny thing is how much eating is psychological. I so wanted to eat last night and it wasn't because I was hungry. But since I didn't want to eat anything in my house and was too lazy to leave my bed, let alone my apartment a grapefruit it was.

I'm working on updating my myspace page since I have new pics to add and figured I guess I should add pics of the fam since I give them shit for not having pics of me on their myspace page but myspace is acting up. How irritating. I have the slideshows ready to go but it's not letting me post it so I figured I would post it here first. Of course, now you will not feel the need to check out my myspace page when it's fixed but I'm not the most patient of people, LOL. Yes, you've prolly seen most of these pics but they're fun.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Not kid friendly...

but funny!

Oh the guilt, the guilt...

I think that has to be the reason I woke up at 5:40am is because I didn't blog last night. I've been so tired lately that I haven't even been able to read the last few nights. I've been crashing. Of course for me, going to bed early is midnight but still, I have been so tired and not been able to think about what to blog and not being able to write.

I went to bed then Nancy called me. She knew I was sleeping but she knew I was waiting for her call so we could chat so she was forgiven, LOL. Lucky for her I wasn't in REM sleep, just drifting. While hanging up with her Barb T was calling in at 1:30AM!!!! Why in the world was Barb calling at that time?!?! It had totally slipped my mind that the gals were in Vegas for the Sleepover, wahhhhh!!!! It's so weird to be on the receiving end of that phone call. I have been to the last 6 sleepovers, it's weird to not be there. Anyway, they called because they were at the Peppermill and either Bo or Beaty had ordered the fruit platter. The infamous fruit platter, LOL. Barb wanted me to give hints on what to do with the banana.Since I wasn't there to give a visual they had to rely on the phone, yet for some reason Barb was afraid to put me on speaker phone, LOL. I just told them the key is using your hands and mouth (no deep throating coming your way with me, LOL) and a lot of spit, LMAO!

Anyway, they sound like they're having a wonderful time, which is just awful! How can they have a wonderful time without me? I mean, I'm so happy that they are having a wonderful time! Sure, that's what I meant to say. I know, I can't be jealous, I was just there with my own group of RBLs but it still feels weird not being there. Even my family knows about the Sleepover. I guess I, like many of you in the past, will have to rely on pictures and stories. I'd rather be the one telling the stories, LOL.

As for my sleeping habits, don't worry, I persevered and was able to eventually get back to sleep (2 hours later!). You know what this means? A long nap is in my future!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Have you seen this video yet?

It's freaking hilarious!

http://sjl.funnyordie.com/v1/view_video.php?viewkey=3efbc24c7d2583be6925

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The beginnings of Hardass Ha...

I was racking my brain trying to figure out what to blog about when Aimee says she wanted to hear about my Army days, you know when my Mannions ask I deliver. I can always tell stories from the good old days, LOL. Unfortnately, I have pictures in Los Angeles still and I have pics at Nancy's so I don't have many pics to correspond. Turns out most of my Army pictures were taken while I was partying, I don't know how that happened, LOL.

In the Army it's all about push-ups, sit-ups and the 2 mile run. I didn't decide to join the Army til late in my senior year mainly because I wanted out of the house, didn't have any job skills and didn't want to go to college. To prepare I sort of jogged and worked on my push-ups and I'd bike to the store (to buy ice cream, LOL). I didn't even think of working on my sit-ups, I mean, I hadn't done them in ages but girls can do sit-ups no problem. BIG MISTAKE! The first PT (physical training) test I could not do sit-ups for the life of me. I was wiggling all around trying to get my body to move upwards. It wasn't happening. Even with a BIG BLACK MUSCULAR drill sergeant leaning over me YELLING, "you better get up private, you better get up!". Talk about terrifying. I had just turned 18 and here I was being yelled at by this Amazon. Once she realized all of her yelling wasn't going to change the fact I wasn't getting up she moved on. I'm proud to say I did 6 sit ups in 2 minutes, LOL. Of course by the time basic was over I did over 60 in 2 minutes.

When you run in formation they line you up shortest to tallest with the shortest person setting the pace. Guess who that would be? Not only do I hate running but I'm slow, LOL. I found a way to get out of this by being a rear road guard. The road guards would run up to intersections to stop traffice for the formation. As a rear road guard I was behind people. When I went to AIT (advanced individual training) there was even more pressure because guys were running with us so I'm setting the pace for people who are over 6 feet tall! I hated it. I found that if you dropped out of formation as long as you kept running you wouldn't get yelled at. I hated running in formation (and at permanent duty stations they no longer do that) so after a few minutes I would fall out, the problem was, the formation was so long that my friends would keep pulling me back into formation trying to help me when all I wanted to do was get to the end, LOL. It would take me 20 minutes to get to the end of that damn formation!

As for push-ups, who knew, I ended up being great at them. I usually maxed my push-ups during the test. There are minimums that you have to meet for your age and if you do a certain amount you score a hundred. These big arms came in handy for something, LOL.

In AIT we were doing a role playing game and I was playing the First Sergeant. Someone was having some trouble with something and I was having none of it. I wouldn't take any excuses or bend turns out that was not the right course of action so the real commander stepped in but the First SGT then gave me the nickname of Hardass Ha and even though my name is now Mann, I will always be Hardass Ha in my heart and he was a badass. He literally had had his throat slit. He didn't play, LOL.

The first floor of AIT was women and the 2nd and 3rd were men. Of course we were not supposed to go on the others floors. Big no no! Have I been on the 2nd floor? Yes. It was fun leaving, the boys ran down the hallway humming the Mission Impossible theme song while I followed. Was a boy ever in my room, why yes. It was fun being surrounded by so many boys, LOL. I still have a teddy bear that was given to me by a Marine who liked my legs. I don't remember his name but I love Mr Beer Belly (I was 18 when I named him, LOL). I learned a lot about boys back then. We played a lot of cards and I would listen to them talk about other girls and say things like, did you see what she wore? She wore that at the last party. WTF? Needless to say, they never said that about me. One of the biggest things I learned about men was that they gossip worse then girls. I always got my good gossip from them, LOL. Lessons that last a lifetime.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I have a new addiction...

My name is Leiha and I am a blog addict! I have branched from blogs of my friends to reading blogs on food, LMAO, I know, not a big surprise. Since my friends don't choose to update every hour like I wish they would I've had to branch out. Now you know Rachael's blog is a food blog so I clicked on some of the links there and then just continued clicking. Yes, I've also found some Atlanta food blogs too and they're big fans of Korean and Vietnamese food, LOL. Here's what I learned, I need to work on taking better food pictures, LOL. Some of these people take absolutely gorgeous pictures.

I was so full when I went shopping with BAM that other then the crab legs I didn't buy any meat. So on Sunday I bought some sandwhich meat. I'm looking in my fridge tonight trying to figure out what in the heck to cook and basically cooked what had to be cooked. I bought spinach and asparagus last week that were days or minutes away from being tossed out. I had pasta and I had cheese so that's what I made. I also sliced up some of the deli ham.

I sauteed some garlic in olive oil then threw in the spinach and asparagus. Once that cooked down I used blue cheese to make it more saucy and added a little of the water I was cooking my spaghetti with. When the spaghetti (wheat) was done cooking I tossed it into the pan and then topped everything off with parmesan. It was totally delicious! I think the leftovers tomorrow will taste even better! And to think, I almost decided to microwave a frozen dinner tonight!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Meet on the street...

So Brenda told me that Fri morning just down the street from me one of the local radio shows hosted a meet (meat) on the street event where 94 men and 94 women held up signs with their number (1 - 94) and you called in with the person you were interested in. This was so close to me! I was bummed I didn't find out until the next day. Instead of driving by I would have done a walk by, LOL. I told Brenda I need to know about these things ahead of time from now on, LOL.

Today it was rainy and windy so of course I stayed in, big surprise! I stayed in bed all morning and read. It as heavenly. I started on Gennita Low's Virtually His (no it's not out yet, I just got it like that, EG). What a treat to just lay there snuggled under the covers reading my book. Then when I was tired I rolled over and took a nap. I think I finally really got up about 2is and hopped into the shower to get my lazy butt going and by going I mean moving from the bedroom to the living room. After Without a Trace tonight I'm heading back into my own virtual reality to see what happens with Hell and Hades.

I think team Cha Cha is going to win the Amazing Race, yay! I will be totally disgusted if Charla and Myrna win. I don't like the way they play the game, they think they're good people but they're so not and I hate Charla's fake accent, it drives me crazy!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I'm going to concentrate on the meat....

Those were Brenda's infamous words to me, yes, it warmed the cockles of my heart! Today Brenda (aka BAM) came up so we could eat and shop. For most of you a shopping adventure is for clothes or books for us, it was for food, LOL. As soon as BAM found out there was an all u can eat Korean restaurant up here she was on it! Sure, she had to twist my arm....NOT! So we met at Cho Wan and we were in heaven! This place not only had Korean food, it had Chinese (we didn't eat on that side much) and some sushi! Here's pics of the Chinese side of things.
Korean food is all about the side dishes, called pan chan. And of course, the meats that are barbecued at your table. We picked the meats (all beef for us) and the waitress grills it for us while we just eat.
I had a couple of pieces of sushi but I went there for the Korean.We just feasted. I got up to get more pan chan and asked BAM what she wanted and that's when she said those infamous words, LOL. Of course, my eyes were bigger then my stomach and we had some meat that was uncooked on our table and I was worried. We couldn't finish it, there was just no way. I was looking at her and she was looking at me both of us wishing we had ziploc bags, not because we were cheap but because we didn't want to waste the food. BAM suggested cooking it and wrapping it in lettuce leaves to sneak it out, LOL. But we fessed up when the waitress came by and she was totally cool. Did I mention I had reached the point of pain? Luckily it didn't last long.

The goal was to eat first so we wouldn't buy too much food at the market. You know Peeps get bought when you're hungry! Super H Mart on the weekend is a madhouse! Luckily, I had no problem working that shopping cart. BAM was having a field day there. We were impressed by the giant onions!Once we stocked up on produce we went to the seafood section.


I bought 3 king crab legs for $10! That will be my dinner tonight when I eventually get my appetite back. What I love about Brenda s her willingness to try everything. These are samples of the dried foods, such as the squid. I was too full to eat many samples, they had samples throughout the store but I was too full but I was pushing BAM to try them and she did. She bought kim chee, short ribs to make kalbi, rabbit, lamb and a marinade for her ribs, thank goodness I remembered to tell her not to eat the shell on the edamame, LOL. She bought a ton of other goodies too and we didn't even hit the whole store, LOL. It was a wonderful day full of food and friendship!

Friday, April 13, 2007

OK, I can't resist posting this...

I believe it was Tammy who told me about this song. We watched it in Jersey and spent the whole trip saying what what, in the butt? OK, only Su, Nancy and I were quoting it, LOL. Our favorite part is the look on his face. So innocent. So ladies, if the men in your life have this request, say, what what, in the butt? And send him this video, LOL.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I left the house tonight....

I know, alert the media, LOL. A friend of mine asked me to babysit tonight and considering the fact I don't do anything most nights I figured that I could pencil it in. Plus, she knew what a natural I was with chilldren, what can I say, I have a gift and every now and again I like to share it with the world. This little boy is totally precious with eyelashes I envied and such beautiful eyes soaking up everything. Jordan is 10 now so it's been awhile since I spent so much time with such innocence. It was wonderful. Of course I had to take a picture to share. It was difficult because he wanted the cam but I was able to get this quick shot. Of course he took to me like a duck to water, there was no doubt. I grew up with babies on my hips. Actually the school nurse thought that was why I had one hip slightly higher then the other, LOL. I was the one who woke up and took care of Kimberly when she was a baby. I loved it when that wench decided to sleep through the night! David is 21 and by the time Jordan came along it had been awhile since I had handled a baby on a regular basis. He's 10 now so there were a lot of years in between and during that time I realized how fragile children are and how precious life is so it was a whole different experience. If Jordan was sleeping with me that meant a sleepless night. Should he be on his side, his stomach or his back, the research kept changing its answer. So there was no way I was hitting REM, I needed to be able to hear every breath he took, LOL. Now there are baby monitors with video cams and baby wipe warmers and I'm just amazed and awed by it and of course, overwhelmed again. Luckily, I still have the gift of actually taking care of children so that part I had down pat. It was a fun night and I have made myself available in the future. They tried to pay me but I just couldn't get paid to babysit, I am out of high school. But I did accept them buying my dinner because you know I'm not turning down food!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Book talk....

I was on the phone with Christy the other day and she was lamenting over the fact that there is nothing good to read right now. She's so uninspired by what is out there that she's reading and re-reading her JR Wards. I gave her the recommends I had from friends: Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank, Gennita Low was the first person to recommend this book so Aimee bought it and in turn recommended it to me. I'm currently reading it. It's the beginning of the Nightwalker series. This first book is about Jacob who is a demon. So far I'm enjoying it.

Another recommend I gave her was Hell Kat by Vivi Anna. I have not read this one but Jill really liked it. She said Hell Kat is a futuristic erotic romance with a lot of action. The one thing I noticed on Amazon was the cover was anime. That and the fact it's a trade book would make me hesitant to buy it but it sounds wonderful and the reviews are great.

I want to know are there any new authors out there you're excited about or any other books that you have read lately?

Did you notice something a little different with my blog yet? It may not show up in some versions of IE but what you should be seeing is my face right next to my URL. That's right, I've figured out yet another place I could put my face, LOL. I've been wanting to add it for awhile but I had no idea what that little logo in the address window was called so I couldn't figure out HOW to put it there. Then last night I noticed that Patti O'Shea had one at her blog and immediately an email was sent and I got a quick response which was wonderful because I know she's barricaded under mountains of writing and is prctically snowed in. She's not happy about the snow, LOL. Anyway, it's called a favicon and now there is a favicon of me, yippee! And of course, since there is now a favicon of me there is also a favicon of Nes, my sister slut! Just another way to make my blog more enjoyable for you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where in the world is the time going?

I can't believe it's already the second week of April. You know when I was younger I remember the "OLD" people telling me how fast time would fly by and now I'm one of those old people. When I first moved here it was an adjustment. It felt like I had so many hours in the day to fill, thank goodness for naps, but now I'm barely finding the time for my naps and I have no idea why. I am just amazed how many hours my bum can be glued to my chair, LOL.

I've decided that it's either the climate or the water that is messing with my skin. While I was away on vacation my skin was great and now a few days after coming back home my cheeks feel like sandpaper again, wahhhhh! Lina says I should try something from Clinique, I think it's the turnaround cream. I made Dao touch my face (against her wishes, LOL) and she was disgusted, rightly so! So tomorrow I'm off to spend more money on my raggedy face to try to keep the skin peeling to a minimum. I'm open to other suggestions if you have any. This is what my skin looks like. Or at least what if feels like, LOL.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Leiha's rants and raves....

Yes my dear Mannions, it's that time again. Leiha would like to make this a monthly event but she realizes that she is a very lucky person and it's hard for her to have a rant every month but Leiha will try as she knows how much you all enjoy it.

Leiha likes to talk on the phone when she's driving. Nancy was not around so she called her brothers. Leiha talks to her sisters on a semi-regular basis but not her brothers. Leiha would like to change that. She talked to her youngest brother David who she hadn't talked to since Christmas, that was almost 4 months ago! She had so much fun talking to her brother and realizes she needs to be more of a presence in his life. He's 21 and Leiha moved out when he was 3 but moved back home when he was 8 but then moved away again when he was 12 so it's fun to get to know him as an adult, especially when he tells Leiha he is no longer smoking pot and just got back from church with his girlfriend. Who is this person? Leiha is ranting at herself for not being in his life more. Leiha is his maternal figure and whenever they chat they both always have a lot to talk about so Leiha is going to make an effort to talk to her siblings more. She thinks as adults we all get so caught up in our own lives that it's difficult to maintain those familial relationships, especially from a distance but Leiha will make the effort with her family that she does with her friends.

Leiha is not happy with this global warming thing. Leiha believes in global warming but if the world is getting warmer why is it so damn cold in April? Leiha is cold and a cold Leiha is not a happy Leiha.

Leiha is sick of the Anna Nicole craziness. Leiha loves the entertainment news shows, you know she loves the celebs and the gossip but she can no longer watch and enjoy them. ET dedicates full shows to her death. That is not what Leiha calls entertainment. What's worse is how many non-entertainment venues are covering her death. Leiha is disgusted by it all.

Leiha is also disgusted with herself. Every year Peeps are sold in stores everywhere for Easter and every year Leiha buys them and every year Leiha doesn't like them yet Leiha will continually buy them thinking that they will taste better it's puffy marshmallows covered in pretty pastel sugars and shaped like animals, what more could a girl ask for? Leiha guesses she could ask for it to taste better. Leiha almost got away with not eating them this holiday season but she made a big mistake, she went to Target today and they were 50% off. Leiha was hungry and weak and she could not resist and because she was so hungry she ate 3 of them, yes, Leiha has issues.

Leiha doesn't like to be all negative so she will end this post on a high note. Leiha has a big rave. Leiha is going to rave about girlfriends. She doesn't think you can ever be too thankful for the friends that you have in your life. They share their worlds with you, their highs and lows and let you do the same. The internet brought most of us together but our friendship is something that reaches beyond cyberspace and it is something very real and tangible to Leiha. She appreciates daily the people who are in her life in big ways and small.

Now Leiha wants to hear some of your rants and raves. She knows you're bursting to share.

Another guest Blog...

The Right Thing?

Why is doing the right thing so difficult? Sure, sometimes it is simple… The cashier gave wrong change, hand them back the twenty. At a cross walk? Stop the car and let the person cross. Your brother looses his temper with you so much it frightens you… what then?

I did the logical thing, pulled over and told him to get out of the car. The right thing, right? He had to walk home like 5 miles in the rain… I should feel good he is punished for his poor behavior… I just feel bad. That's the problem. Shouldn't you feel good when you do the right thing?

He's right; I swore first - he yelled first… does one justify the other? The thing that tipped the scales for me was that he got so mad and was scaring me.

I know that I would never let anyone else treat me that way, so why let my brother? But it's never that simple.

Family. I hate that it hurts him, I hate that it hurts my parents – especially my mom that probably won't sleep tonight. Our fights hurt them more than either Edgar or I. It was easy to stand on the outside, watch Edgar's bad behavior and say "I wouldn't let him treat ME that way." Now that I have drawn a line in the sand, all I do is worry about the repercussions, and wonder if it was the right thing. It would have been easier to just let him rage. Who it will hurt next? How long this will go on? I hope to god this is not some event we look back on and say "That was the time the family fell apart, if only…"

Memories. How can the little boy that followed me around wanting to play have turned into the angry man he is now. I remember the gullible little boy that believed a flee market was a place dogs went to buy flea's so they would fit in with the other dogs on the block. Every time he would jump out of bed and run for the front window when I would wake him up exclaiming it was snowing… even in the middle of July. I start to justify what he did… "He didn't really mean it." "He is not really like that." But he did and he is. Maybe not always, but you never know from minute to minute what you will get with him… it is a delicate balancing act… and I guess I fell off the high wire.

Fear. Maybe I am a scardey cat? I don't know what he is going to do now. He left some really expensive stuff in my car. I don't want them to be stolen so I put them in my house for safekeeping and I am scared. How angry is he still? Like I said you just don't know – He could be raging, he could be sorry, he could be feeling so bad about the fight and my reaction he is depressed and seriously in a bad place. I am worried he might break in to the house to "get what is his". I am worried he could still be mad enough to hurt me. That really hurt and embarrassed me to type. This angst could all be for naught… I am a worrier.

Did I do the right thing? Almost certainly. Does it feel good? Absolutely not, it is exactly the opposite, my guts are being ripped out. Will it have the ending I want? Only time will tell.

The right thing sucks.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I ate so much at brunch today...

that all I've eaten since was half a grapefruit. I couldn't even finish the second half, LOL. Dao and I went to this restaurant called Rainwater for brunch. I did some research online and lots of people recommended it for Easter brunch. Unfortunately, I have been spoiled by the wonder known was Bally's Sterling brunch and so far nothing has compared. Now don't get me wrong, I still had 3 plates of food, LOL but I've decided that I'm off the buffets for awhile. It's so anti-climatic.

What drew me to this place was they had a crab cake station set up and I have to say they were pretty good, very crab filled but I've had better. I think it lacked flavor.


I finally got all of my clothes folded and put away. Well except for the pile of clothes that need to be hung up. I put them on my bed so that I couldn't go to bed until I put them away, instead I just put them in the rack in my closet to be hung up another day.

I did give myself a pedi tonight. My toes look oh so pretty now. Aimee sent me her OPI pedi set since she doesn't use it so I soaked, scrubbed, masked and moisturized my feet before any polish went on them. Too bad Roland my cab driver isn't around to admire them.

My landlord called today, I didn't answer. His message was sort of rambly and he made some reference about if I wanted a landlord I would have to pay more. It was very confusing. Then he emailed me and he was like you did know my best friend was a plumber? Funny, why didn't he come fix the bathroom sink I complained about last month? Or why didn't he fix the toilet the last time it had a leak? Anyway, we're dealing with each other, he doesn't want me to move out and I apologized for losing my temper. I just told him that I won't be yelled or cussed at. He was also telling me how good I had it and I was getting a great deal. I let him know I know how much the last tenant paid, well when she paid the rent and it was CONSIDERABLY less then what I pay. I also let him know how she fleeced him and his other tenant screwed him so I let him know how good he has it with me as a tenant, LOL. He also said in his email I shouldn't expect things to get fixed the same day and I told him if it's the toilet, yes I expect it to get fixed the same day otherwise I'm pretty flexible. BTW, I had emailed him earlier in the week about getting something fixed and he didn't respond.

Remember what I said a few paragraphs ago about being off the buffet. I should clarify I'm off the american buffet. Last night I just discovered there is an all u can eat korean restaurant, ding ding ding! Can't wait to check that place out! My fave place to eat in LA was a Korean buffet, woot woot!

One more thing, anyone watch the Amazing Race tonight? What were Joyce and Uchenna thinking? An hour wasn't sufficient time for me to do a transfer in Ft Lauderdale and they thought they could do that on an international flight? I hate Charla and Mirna and am rooting for the boys, can't remember their names, LOL.

Oh no he didn't!!!

I live in a condo and my landlord lives in FL which is great if I wanted to throw wild parties and not worry about him getting in my business but not great when I want to get things fixed. He likes to try and have his cousin come around and half the time his cousin ignores his call. So yesterday my toilet breaks. The tank is not filling up and I'm not willing to wait to get it fixed. You all know how much water I drink. So I called roto rooter and since they were here I had them fix the kitchen sink which also started backing up and was disgusting. The price was not pretty but it needed to be done. Here are our emails.

Hey Andrew,
The toilet broke today, the water wasn't coming in so I called roto rooter. He had to replace something, which is good because he was almost going to suggest replacing the whole toilet. My kitchen sink was also plugged so I had him take care of that so the cost was $430. I didn't have him even look at the bathroom sink since that was already so much money, will do that another month. I will send the invoice when I send my deducted rent check at the end of the month.


His response:
Something just does not cost $430.00 dollars. Why would u not have called me on something like that? A brand new toilet is only a $120.00 That's f--cking crazy. I need a breakdown ASAP!

Mine back this morning:
I know you are not yelling at me. I have no clue how much a toilet cost, like I said, I have the invoice to send you. I also have no clue how much a plumber cost! All I know is I had a broken toilet and it needed to be fixed. I would not have called a plumber for the sink which had just gotten bad but since he was there anyway I had him fix it and it was a couple of hundred also (with a 25% deduction). When I moved in you told me if I had problems I should call whoever to get it fixed and take it out of the rent. This is the first time I had called anyone and you and I both know there are things that needed to be fixed that still aren't. If you lived here then I would have called you to come over and fix it but you don't and I'm sorry, I'm not
willing to wait for a toilet to be fixed.

I make do with a shower drain that clogs all the time, a bathrom faucet that leaks on the few times I turn it on, a broken fan in my office. I bought new stove plates when I moved in and most of the rooms didn't have light bulbs! Now you're giving me shit because the toilet was broken and I got it fixed? As it is, it's quite inconvenient for me to not have a landlord around. I had to do the initial layout of that money, do you think that was convenient to me? Did you know that one of the condos was broken into the other day? If we have a problem here then I can start looking for a place ASAP!


I should mention that the woman who lived her prior to me was crazy, lied and said she knew another tenant to move in, didn't pay the rent and moved out in the middle of the night and took the stove plates with her and the tenant prior to that used to make him pay for everything, including re-doing the closets. He wants to get huffy on me? I pay my rent and never bother him! The things I mentioned that were broken have been since I moved in. When I originally moved in he said he would come up one weekend to take care of everything and he never did. It took months before I got all of my electrical sockets to work, he wanted me to mess around with it, as if! I'm thinking about buying a place of my own when my lease is up since the real estate here makes it affordable for me. I have no problem stepping up my timeline. OK, I have a problem in that I'm lazy but other than that, LOL. I feel that people yell at the people they think they can get away with it. My landlord will realize that I am not one of those people. Do you guys think I over reacted to his em? I think he came across as yelling at me. It was sent at 1am. I knew he wasn't going to be happy, he's a tightwad but hey, such is life.

I hope that you all are having a wonderful Easter. I am going to be a total glutton today. The hell you say! Dao and I are going to a brunch buffet. I will have pics and stories later on tonight. If I wasn't so vain I would do a before and after on my belly, LOL. Dao's after will still look better then my before, damn it! Oh well, at least I'll eat good, LOL.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Adventures Down Under

I have always liked to travel. I like to see new places, and new people and learn about histories, geography, local culture, etc. For the most part I like road trips -- I especially like road tripping with very loose intineraries, and lots of maps so we can take odd turns and discover fun stuff, but still make it back to the main road. *g* I used to have no problems finding friends to road trip with me, but as we all get older and some of us get married and have kids, it's harder to find companions for my travels. Of course, the fact that I like to leave the country every once and a while is also an issue.

For the most part my group of friends here locally are still good for the shorter trips - sometimes we bring the DH's and boyfriends, and sometimes we leave them home (and in Rob's case, in charge of my honorary neice Princess Emma). Over the years as my circle of friends has grown, I have acquired several that are still single and childless (like me) and we go on the longer trips.

My friend Robin is one of those. Her job takes her to foreign countries for several years at a time, so our friendship is mostly through phone and e-mail, but we make it a point to meet up every 2 years or so and vacation somewhere we wouldn't normally go. In 2005 it was New Zealand, this year it was Australia. In 2009 it's going to be South Africa on safari. (the initial information I'm gathering all says to wear neutral colored clothing - do you think that means Lions get hungrier when they see bright pink or purple shirts?)

Until about 2 years ago, I would just up and go but as my mom's health is getting more & more fragile, I now find myself making detailed intineraries, so I can be contacted in the event of an emergency. The upside to this is that when I get home, the intinerary gives me a perfect way to tell people about my trip. Below is the Intinerary I left with the 'Rents (minus the contact info) and with some additional explanation and pictures of my trip to Australia.
--- Ann

Itinerary for Thelma & Louise's Australian Adventure:Wednesday, March 14th: Thelma’s Plane departs Dulles Airport at 7PM Thursday.

March 15th – lost in travel somewhere over the Pacific Ocean when we cross the Date Line.

March 16th: Thelma arrives in Sydney Australia at 7:00 AM where Louise picks her up; we go back to the Four Seasons where Thelma naps before setting off to explore Sydney with Louise. We took a very personalized 2.5 hour walking tour of Sydney at Twilight. Since I knew Leiha and several others of the BTS were thiking about coming to Sydney to watch Phlexie race in September, I thought I should take a few photos so they would know what to look for.....Everybody knows (I hope) that Australia was mainly settled by convicts. The walking tour took us around to show us the first governor's house, the botanical gardens, and a few interesting aspects of architecture:Yes, the bottom gargoyle is a Koala. This is the HQ of the regional healthcare system, so the top figures are supposed to represent Knights Templar. I'm not really sure what the connection between Knights Templar and Koalas are, but now I have a new quest for information as I surf the web.

Saturday, March 17th:Thelma & Louise get an early start on the 12 hour (calculated by km driven per hour) drive to Brisbane. They realize it will take MUCH longer then 12 hours as they will be stopping for Scenic Photo Ops, drinks/snacks and bathroom breaks. Eventually they will reach the destination of Brisbane, find their hotel and fall into bed. It actually took us 15 hours to get to the hotel in Brisbane -- not too bad, all things considered. *lol* We started out with Louise (my friend Robin) behind the wheel because she's been living in Wellington, NZ for the last 4 years and is used to driving a right hand drive car on the right side of the road. (I am Thelma because even though Louise's personality is more my style, Thelma sleeps with Brad Pitt. *EG*)I was very bummed to discover the car did not have a sun roof - although it was red. The sun roof makes it so much easier to take road trip photos. The passenger calls "Photo Op", the driver slows down while the passenger pops up through the sunroof, and snaps the picture. I was forced to snap through the windshield and side windows, but I made due. *g* I also have pictures of road signs for koala crossings, wombat crossings, camel and cassawary crossings.We took a few of the scenic detours that were marked on the road signs - after all were going 933KM, so we had time!
One of our stops was to take a picture of the pelicans, but they were not quite ready for their close up, and refused to smile for the camera. How Rude! And somethings have to be seen to be believed! I did some of the driving -- about 400KM of it -- but for some reason, Robin seemed to feel that she should resume driving the closer we got to Brisbane and the darker it got on the road. (maybe it was having to remind me 3 times "you really need to be on my side of the road, Ann" that did it?!)

Sunday March 18th: Sightsee in/around Brisbane. There's really not a lot to see IN Brisbane, so we spent Sunday shopping. This is the view from our hotel window. I have to tell you -- I don't buy things for other people when I'm on a trip - unless I see something that I think will be perfect for your birthday, or you are one of my friends that I exchange Christmas gifts with. This is because it's all about The Pronoun - if I am buying for YOU, then there is less money to buy things I like. (see how that works?) I found some stunning opals and picked up a pendant and earrings, as well as a freshwater pearl choker that I thought was cute, and I was very happy to find an artist with Dichroic glass in the darker colors I love. Dichroic glass is one of my favorite things to buy and wear, but so often the colors are pastels or they are shades I don't care to wear (olives, bronzes, oranges), so I was excited to find a pair of earings in a dark blue and green.

As we were leaving the shopping area, I had to stop one last time. There was a silver artist with a small booth where I found 2 pairs of freshwater pearl earrings to go with a necklace I bought when I went up to see Lina 2 Octobers ago (I can't believe it's been that long!) and a silver/sapphire pendant to complement some silver/amythest earrings I bought on that same Lina visit. (note to self - go visit Lina more often) Since I was so happy with those pieces, I also picked up a silver/multi-colored stone pendant and earrings. Do you think, as you are looking at your 5th item and the artist offers you a 20% discount, that it's a sign you're one of his bigger sales that morning?
Monday March 19th: Sight see around Brisbane - check out of hotel & arrange for hotel to hold luggage. Pick up luggage in late afternoon and get to train station to catch Train to Cairns.


We spent the day at the Australian Zoo - the one started by Steve Irwin's family. I did the cheesey tourist thing and got my picture taken holding a koala. You won't see it here because they put it on a disc with encryption software so that you can't change anything about the image. I've given it to one of my "spooks r us" friends and he is going to strip the encryption and then give it back to me so I can downsize it. (It's nice to know people isn't it? *lol*) But since I have always loved koalas, I have other (many other) pictures to show you in the meantime.
Tuesday March 20th: Thelma & Louise are on the train all day (it's a 25 hour trip) to Cairns arriving approximately 7:30 PM and take the resort transfer to Hibiscus Resort and Spa in Port Douglas.

The resort sent a car service to pick us up and take us to the resort - which is an hour north of Cairns. At first I thought our driver was just a nice chatty older gentleman. Fairly soon into the drive (and I use that word lightly) I decided he was talking to us to keep us from screaming in terror as he took the twisty, curvy, dark coastline road (with no guardrails) at 11o KM per hour (that's about 60 to 65 mph). Really, my first clue was when he complained about the $150 speeding ticket he had just had to pay - this tale was accompanied by the blaring horn of the other driver he had just cut off in the traffic roundabout. That's when I checked to be sure my seatbelt was fastened - which I never wear when I'm in the back seat.

I really can't tell you much more about the drive since my eyes were closed (I have always thought it best not to see my impending doom approach) and I was busy praying we wouldn't crash. I guess I could have kept my eyes open since the road had NO lights, it was pitch black with only the headlights for any illumination. One the positive side, I never got carsick since my stomach was constantly plastered to my ribs due to the g forces. *shudder* We arrived in Port Douglas 40 minutes after we were picked up at Cairns.

Wednesday March 21 through Friday March 23rd: Spending a day at the reef, a day in the rainforest, and a day doing whatever..... This is the Great Barrier Reef from the boat. We were 32 nautical miles away from shore at this point - which is pretty far out. The dark blue you can see in the distance is the ocean, the line of "surf" you see is the edge of the reef where the ocean is breaking as it hits the edge of the reef. The lighter blue is the water over the sandy portions of the reef and the brownish color is the coral reef itself under the water. ( the black dot in the midle is someone snorkeling - they wouldn't get out of the frame for me.) I kept thinking of the book CHAIN LIGHTENING by Elizabeth Lowell. *lol*

We went to the Spa Wednesday and had a lovely relaxing day - to settle the nerves left from the hair-raising car ride of Tuesday night. We also took time to book our diving/snorkeling reef trip and the tour of the Daintree Rainforest. I have let my diving certification lapse, so I just snorkeled. Purple Coral at the reef spot in the above picture. Since I was only snorkeling, I couldn't get close enough with my camera to get rid of the blue reflection, really when you are underwater it looks clearer.Baby Crocodile in the sun.

I was surprized to learn that Australia has a rainforest to begin with, since I just always equate rainforest with Central & South America. Anyway, The Daintree is the largest primative rainforest -- the other rainforests are considered "advanced" and it has to do with the types of plants and animals found there. Find the Crocodile!Saturday March 24th: Check out, take transfer back to Cairns, catch Qantas flight to Ayers Rock. Pick up AATKings tour at Ayers Rock airport. We had a different driver going back to Cairns. Funny how it took an hour and 10 minutes for the return trip! We made our flight and landed at the Ayers Rock resort airport. The aboriginal people call Ayers Rock "Uluru" which is how you will see it referred to presently, rather then "Ayers Rock", in guide books.

Saturday March 24th through Tuesday March 27th: AATKings tour through Ayers Rock and Alice Springs. Transfer to Alice Springs as part of tour on Sunday afternoon. Tour ends Tuesday AM. Thelma and Louise catch the “Ghan” train south @ approximately 12:30 PM to Adelaide. The Ghan lets you travel through the edge of the Outback and gives you just a glimpse of the enormous country. Now despite NEITHER of us being "Morning People" we found ourselves on the tour for "Sunrise at Uluru". While I got some nice shots, I like my sunset pictures better, and really felt we could have skipped the sunrise. Although it was part of the tour, so we did it. Neither of us is big on large guided tours, but it turned out because Ayers Rock Resort and Alice Springs are so far apart and so isolated from anything else, the tour was more ecomonical, and less stress for us (well, except for that whole "sunrise" thing"). This is the rock formation known as Tkata Tjuta (the first T in each word is silent). It is about 40KM (20 miles -/+) from Uluru. I turned around as saw it while taking pictures of Uluru and liked this shot better, so I took this one, and a few others in between my Sunset pictures of Uluru. We had a 5 hour bus ride to get to the next town which was Alice Springs. I'm an East Coast baby -- we get from point A to point B pretty quickly. In 5 hours, I can go from DC almost all the way to Boston. So I had to take a picture of the stop we made for afternoon tea. It was pretty much the ONLY place to stop along the way. The first picture is the road behind us, and the next is the road ahead of us:
We discovered a VERY interesting thing while we were in Alice Springs. What was so interesting in a town that is approximately 20 blocks long, you ask? Well, our afternoon tour had some very good looking, nice, friendly men on it that had not been on the morning half. It seems they are LA Firefighters - who were in Adelaide, AU for the World Police and Fire Games. Yes, that would be the olympics for police and fire men. It seems that over 40,000 police and fire men come to compete in sporting events..... And then since they are in the country, they tend to stay and sightsee. We kept the 2 LA firefighters company for the afternoon, dinner and drinks. Unfortunately, they were leavng the next morning for 9 days of diving at the reef (note to self: get SCUBA certification renewed) and we were off to Adelaide.

Tuesday March 27th over night through mid-morning Wednesday, March 28th: Thelma and Louise ride the rails again and arrive in Adelaide mid-morning on Wednesday March 28th. We feel the urge to shop until time to leave for the Adelaide airport to catch flight to Sydney around 6:30 PM.

We really did just shop in Adelaide. *lol* Not to worry though, we found some more police and firemen so we weren't lonely or anything....

Wednesday, March 28th: Arrive in Sydney for 3 nights.
When we came back to Sydney, we spent one day touring the Blue Mountains. The are called the Blue Mountains because so many species of Gum trees (think Eucyliptus) grow there, and the leaves are very oily, and when the sunlight hits the leaves with the oil, it refracts as a blue haze.On our way to the Blue mountains we stopped at a wildlife preserve that allowed us to feed the kangaroos and have a breakfast cuddle with some koalas. In addition to the nice policemen from the Caymen Islands, and Italy, there was a family from France with 2 little girls, so I passed on my koala cuddle time so the little girls could have more time. I did however, feed the kangaroos.We also went through a National Park (which is part of the Blue Mountains) and while there, we got to wander through some trails and see wild kangaroos up close and personal. *g* They were resting because it was late afternoon, so pretty much they just looked at us as we went by as if to say "trying to sleep!". Of course, we had to use the restroom, and fortunately, the national park actually had very clean restrooms -- considering they were outhouses. *lol* Now, I grew up going on weekend family camping trips, so the outdoors doesn't bother me, and I have always hiked -- still do, but not so seriously now. I used to hike multiple miles at a time and sleep on the trail in a tent or dorm style cabin (during college and for a few years after). It was a lot of fun, and I ended up as part owner of a velvet Elvis painting one time many, many years ago. Robin, on the other hand, is not quite as familiar with the outdoors, and so as she exited the outhouse, she looked at me all wide-eyed and said, "watch out for the spider". OK, now, I'm not found of spiders, but seriously, this is an outhouse in a park -- I would have been surprised if there HADN'T been a spider or two. Yep -- I spent the entire time looking over my shoulder as I peed!

And of course, at the end of the day we had a last dinner in Sydney.Saturday, March 31st: Check out of hotel, return to real life *sigh*. Thelma's flight leaves approximately 2:30 PM back to U.S. Arrive at Washington Dulles Airport at 10:30 PM – still March 31st (that whole Date Line thing again). The flight home was not quite as smooth as I would have hoped. When I arrived in San Francisco (approximately 10:45 AM) to change to my East Coast flight, I was told the flight had been cancelled due to weather, and the next available seat was an 11:30 PM red-eye flight to Boston with a 2 hour lay-over and connection to DC Sunday morning. There are no pictures of this part of the trip because it realy wasnt very pretty! I believe the exact phrase out of my mouth was "you are fucking KIDDING me, right?". When the chick behind the counter just blinked, I dialed it back some and asked what my options were. She offered me the option to take a bus into the city and sightsee. My response: "I just got off a 17 hour flight, what's your next suggestion? " If I wanted to go standby, I could stay at the airport, and check back with the main desk every 30 to 45 minutes. Again, my response: "And door # 3?" They gave me a hotel voucher which I took it, went and slept for 8 hours, showered, ate dinner and returned to the airport. But I am finally home, and see who was anxiously waiting for me?