27 August 2008

I Heart Seabiscuit!

I just need to make a quick comment on how much I still LOVE the movie Seabiscuit. I practically grew up at the racetrack, as my dad owned a few race horses when my sister and I were younger, and we'd always go to Canturbury, what seemed like every weekend, to watch our horses run and make bets. And I'd like to gloat a bit and say that I was DAMN good at picking horses! I always played it safe too, betting them to Show, so at least I'd make some money if they got first, second or third. Dad would place the bets for me though, as I was what... all of 12 years old? Hehe!

Anyway, I recall wining like, 50 bucks one day! Or maybe it was 10, and it just seemed like a lot of money to me at the time. Plus, one time when my best bud Margaret came with us to watch our horses run, he ended up wining! What a rush that was... I could barely see over the fence, but me, my sister and Margaret were standing right at the fence on the grounds, cheering on our horse! It was a wonderful feeling to watch him race across the finish line in first place... I can't remember exactly which horse that was (Pip Style, maybe?), but I do remember getting to be in the winner's circle many times for photos. Even though our horses didn't always win, they rather enjoyed when dad would take my sister and I back to the stables to visit... they'd nip at dad all the time, but when Manda and I walked up to them, they'd bow their heads low to check us out.

Ah... memory lane is so much fun to visit! :)

26 August 2008

America Has No Talent Anymore

I'll admit that I do watch some reality TV... one show (of two) is called America's Got Talent. I love seeing all the different contestants with their amazing abilities. However, in this third year, as I sit here and watch the top 10 contestants perform after missing a few of the pre-finale shows, I can't help but rush to my computer to blog about my absolute distaste for this year's participants. They passed through the most ridiculous acts, people with no talent, or talent that isn't worthy of having their own contract — nor a million dollars. I can't help but get the feeling that this show has inevitably, and finally, succumbed to the ratings conglomerate.

I was surprised to see who the finalists were after catching a few of the first episodes. Although I highly enjoy watching legitimate people sharing their gifts with this country, I can't stand the banter and pointless commentary of the three pitifully talentless judges, not to mention the useless host. I feel like the judges pass people through because the network pre-determines poor performers just for drama ratings, or people have mimicked other artists that are already out there, changing the style slightly, or they're either too embarrassed to tell little kids 'no' on TV. You can even tell, definitively, when one judge really doesn't like someone, but they were clearly told to pass them through!

Don't get me wrong, there are a couple really amazing people in the finale... but do you think one of them will win? Probably not... it'll either be the Stomp / Blue Man Group rip off, some weird creepy guy who thinks he's great at singing and performing, or the Britney Spears impersonator (he does really look like her, though!).

And if anyone is wondering what the other reality TV show I try to watch is, it's Last Comic Standing. It's like getting a huge, variety-filled comic show for free! :D

25 August 2008


Ooohhh, I used a big word in the title of this post... makes me seem smart, eh? Yeah, well, I cheated... it's called a Thesaurus (<-- holy crap, I spelled that word right the first time I typed it! That means I *AM* smart! Woo!).

Anyway, today is the end of day 1 of my sabbatical from work. I must say it was a great day! I slept in, then went to see my Chiro at 10:30 for an early adjustment. I figured if I'm going to start exercising like crazy again, I'd better have exemplary spinal alignment to start! Then I came home and ate healthy soup for lunch and constructed a huge, colorful fruit salad for the week.

I was going to start doing Pilates for Abs again, as part of my exercise routine. However, 5 minutes into the DVD, I remembered how much neck strain is involved, and it's extremely aggravating for my body. So, I put that to bed. I can work my abs in other ways...

Next was power-walking! I haven't done that in awhile, either... I literally dusted off my treadmill, and walked for my usual 45-minute ER episode.

BodyPump was at 5:15, so I bused up to the Y. Supposedly my MetroPass has to be put on hold while I'm on sabbatical, as it's deducted from my paycheck. So either I'll end up paying cash for rides or just biking to the gym when I can physically make it home after my legs become jello from class! :P

Then after dinner, I played WoW for awhile and got my new Druid up to level 15. Now I'm staying up past my normal 10 o'clock bedtime without hesitation! Oh, the agreeable freedom I have again! Love it. :D

21 August 2008

You Can't Escape It!

Minnesota Construction Joy...

While trying to drive home last night - a trivial 7 miles - I ran into a rather frustrating experience. I was in Richfield, attending my mom’s Open House. I left their place at 10 pm, which is much later than I had anticipated, but I assumed traffic would be no issue - it being so late on a weeknight.

Well, having multiple 'getting home' options, I decided to take 494 West to the 35W North entrance. That was closed. So I got off on Penn Ave. and whipped around to try the south-facing, northbound entrance. (Someone else driving behind me had the same idea.) But alas, that was also closed. So now that I’m heading East, I figure I can take Hwy 77 north, then 62 west, and use that entrance. I just enter onto 62, when all of a sudden, there’s rush-hour-type traffic! We’re at a dead stop. A sign up ahead says the right lane is closed, so naturally, Minnesotans being ill-equipped to merge properly, it takes a good ten minutes before I’m at the 35W North entrance... BUT IT’S CLOSED! By now it has been a half hour since I left my mom’s place, and I’m getting irritable because it’s getting late.

So I end up heading south on 35W and think that maybe the 66th Street entrance is open. I get to the exit and decide that it most likely isn’t open, since none of them are, so I turn right and head towards France Ave. I now insist that the entrance on 62 east HAS to be open... how could it not? How could they close it all down at once without putting up proper detour signs? So I make it to 62 and start heading eastbound. Whaddya know... that entrance is also closed; but in this case, construction crews had placed cones all along the freeway, preventing anyone from merging onto 35W north. I now saw why they had it all closed down... they were hauling HUGE cement beams, carried by Wide-Load semi trucks. I can’t imagine trying to drive one of those through that bottleneck area at Crosstown! One taxi-cab, a few cars ahead of me, tried to disobey the cones and jump into line with all the Wide-Load assistant vehicles. About a moment later, he realized his decision was quite stupid.

So yet again, I’m heading East, and no closer to home than I was 20 minutes prior. I make my final decision now to get on Hwy 77 north, take that up to Lake Street, and get home five minutes later. It worked, and I opened my door at 11 pm, tired, and having to use the bathroom very badly! :P

14 August 2008

New Car!

Tomorrow, I will be buying my first official car! I found it on CarSoup a few days after my (usually) reliable '91 Cierra Oldsmobile muffler decided to crap out on me. I've had that thing for many years now, and put a lot of money into its new parts; but alas, it was time to get a real car that I could hand-pick myself.

Here she is!

She's a '01 Volkswagen Cabrio Convertible. $7,995 - 80,000 miles, manual top, automatic everything else, custom wind-screen for the back seat, new brakes and rotors, big trunk with a folding back-seat for extra space, 6-disc CD changer, heated seats, cloth upholstery, front-wheel drive, keyless entry, etc.! My dad checked the BlueBook website and it has a 4.1/5 user rating. Everyone at work says Volskwagen's are very reliable, too.

I always wanted a convertible... not sure why exactly. I used to drive home from college on summer nights, with all my windows rolled down, music blasting... it was very peaceful! Anyway, my story begins with a trip to CarSoup. I have no clue about car makes and models, but I had to find something to give my mum for her to bring to her car guy to have him find me a car I'll actually like. So after questioning my friends and family, I gave her a few options. But the pull to search for convertibles wouldn't let go, so I searched for fun, still within my price range.

I filtered through many convertible options, finding about 8 that were feasible, all the while, realizing that I could potentially get a decent one for a good price. Hope was rising! Eventually, I came across this Cabrio. Instantly I just knew that I had to have this car. I checked out all the specs and description information, and the price was right in the range I wanted. It only had 80,000 miles on it, and the owner described it as EXTREMELY CLEAN. That, as you can assume, caught my attention first. :)

So on Tuesday I gave the owner a call. A man answered and I asked if he was the one selling the vehicle. He said yes, and I said I'd love to come look at it soon! Long-story-short, after talking to his wife, trying to arrange a time/place to meet with not much luck, I called Jeffery back and asked him what his work schedule was like. Immediately he asked me if I was at City Center, as he probably recognized the phone number. I said yes! He said "oh, well, I work in the Plymouth building right next door... and I drove the car into work today, so do you want to come take a look at it now?" :D !!!!! I was stunned! The car of my dreams was sitting near me the whole week, one block away! It was meant to be...

During lunchtime, I walked across the skyway and met Jeffery at his jewelry repair shop. He was a very nice older man, and he brought me down to their building's parking garage. He showed me the car and told me about ALL its great attributes, and explained the history of it, as he knew. He showed me the paperwork he had for the 80,000-mile inspection he just got, and told me all the stuff that was replaced. It was rainy that day, so we didn't take it out for a test drive. Wednesday, we both had work things going on, but this morning I had time between meetings to finally take it out and play! I came to his office and he gave me the keys and let me go drive it on my own.

I was really nervous at first and had to adjust the seat a bit, along with the mirrors before driving off. I had the top up to start, to check out the wind-resistance and noise levels. No problems there! I shot down 35W south for a bit, testing the A/C as well, then I got off on 46th Street, parked and opened her up! It was wonderful to be able to breathe in fresh air while sitting at a stop light. I just loved it, and before I even got into the car, I KNEW it was mine. It's one of those things, ya know? Like when you're apartment/house searching and you walk into a place, and you just get that feeling... you just know.

So tomorrow is the official day! I'm so giddy with excitement... especially considering the shitty 6 weeks I've had. So tomorrow after work, I drive home with my NEW car!!! I'll have to clean out my old one tonight and move it out of my garage space. So, if anyone needs a ride anywhere, CALL ME! :D

Here's some extra pics!

11 August 2008

Rest in Peace, MacRaider

I was just informed recently, that my dear Australian e-mail friend has passed away. Her daughter sent out a message to everyone in her address book, saying Kerrie (aka MacRaider) had been sick with a viral infection for the past three weeks, and she suffered a heart attack in the end.

I met this woman many years ago, when I searched online for a Tomb Raider II walkthrough. Her site came up, promoting Tomb Raider gaming on Mac's, and we instantly started chatting about all things life-related! She was a sweet, wonderful person, and her detailed loyalty to the TR games amazed me. I'll miss her dearly!

So if you ever need walkthroughs for any TR game, here is her site: http://www.users.bigpond.com/macraider/

05 August 2008

World of Warcraft

I would like to take a moment out of my un-busy day here, at work, and tell everyone that I am an avid WoW player... I love it! I have been playing since March 2007, after my friend Mike bought me the game for my birthday. I expressed to him that I only really like Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, but haven’t played very much in the past year. Mike says “no, seriously... you will LOVE this game!” And thus, I became one of the 10 billion people who play Warcraft. :)

So, here are recent photos of my characters.

Tulum (Tuh-loom) is my pride-and-joy! She was my first character... a Night Elf Hunter, level 61 (70 is the highest). I love Elves in general, and have this strange, unexplainable lust for bow & arrow weapons. And as a Hunter, aside from her bow and daggers, Tulum has many pets to help her track and kill enemies! This white wolf is her main pet, Xoc (pronounced like the French name Jacque). Her other pet is a white tiger named Ikal (ee-call). She can tame any wild beasts she wants, and train them as they level with her, to have certain helpful abilities. Her outfit and weapons could use a little work, but as I explore this new area I’m in, it’ll be easy finding other great stuff!

Here Tulum is riding her Mount... a very helpful tool, to get to places quickly... the game “board” is HUGE!

This is Kanal (kah-nall). She’s my newest creation, and is a Draenei Frost Mage. Draenei are these hybrid goat-human things... but very pretty and elegant! She specializes in magic of the ice elements. She can also use Fire and Arcane spells, but I prefer Frost because it slows enemies down, thus, making them they hit me less. She’s currently level 24.

I thought sticking with Mayan-themed names with all my character’s would be very fun, and make it easy to name my people what I want (as there can only be one original name on an entire server).

And finally, this beauty’s name is Muertana! (Muertana is not Mayan... just an alteration of the Spanish word Muerta). She’s an Undead Frost Mage, currently level 36. The Undead just look so incredibly cool, I had to make one! She also deals in Frost magic, like Kanal; and she can also breathe underwater for nearly unlimited time (since she’s basically a zombie)... I hope to find a nice robe for her one day that compliments her features.

I'm on the Shadowsong server, so feel free to whisper me at any time! :)