Unpublished Opinion

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Highs and Lows


Low: there is a rain delay so they are showing us the white sox. they are on tv here every damn day.

Maybe I should have worn a hat

Yesterday it was four months to the wedding, which of course caused me to have another wedding dream. In this one, for some reason I forgot to get my hair done or get dressed, so my mom and sisters and I were in the back of a church putting on my dress. Then I tried to create my own up-do. I looked into the church and saw that the ceremony was going on without me! I didn't mind too much, though, because it looked like a long religious ceremony and I would have been bored.

After telling Prince E about the dream this morning, he assured me that the ceremony could not start without me. What a relief.

I also blame My Fair Brady, which I watched on TiVo last night, for the church part of the dream. In that episode they were looking for wedding locations and were in a pretty church. What is funny about the show is that they were planning the wedding in Joliet, Illinois and the reception site they picked is where a friend of mine got married. How many people can say they had their wedding reception the same place as Peter Brady?

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Many Adventures of Simba's Mom and the Prince

We had a busy weekend. I was just going to do a short summary, but this post ended up really long. Enjoy!

* Watched the series finale of Alias (finally). I am sad that it is over.
* Spent time reading Lost blogs and articles.
* We are party animals, what can I say?

* We decided on our new apartment. Starting July 28, I will be a suburbanite. We will have a lot more space, will be less than a mile from a forest preserve, and very close to IKEA. We checked out the actual unit we will be renting and it is very lovely. Brand new kitchen and bathrooms (2!!) Mr. Kitty will get his own room!

* We saw the Da Vinci Code. I managed to finish reading the book Friday night, just in time. I will do a review on my next podcast, but the short version is that I enjoyed it alot, but it is not as good as the book (as I knew it would not be).

* Finished the wedding invitations.

* Watched the DVD Palindromes. It was weird. It is by the writer/director of Welcome to the Dollhouse, which says a lot if you are familiar with his style.

* Participated in Bike the Drive, which takes place on Lake Shore Drive, which is a 45 mph, three lane, highway that hugs Lake Michigan. The city closes it to car traffic from 5AM to 10AM. Below is what it looked like from our window, after we had finished.

It was a lot of fun, although it got very hot by the end. Also, there were some very steep inclines, where the road goes up, so that another road can pass underneath it, allowing Lake access. We saw some people having to walk their bikes up the incline right before Randolph Street, but we made it through just fine. I was proud of us. One car lane perfectly fits two cyclists, so we were able to ride side-by-side the whole way. Except for the downhills, where Prince E was just a red blur. We did about 16 miles total. The north end of the route was right by our apartment, so we were able to just head home. Below is a photo that Prince E took from our apartment window. He got to go up to the air conditioned apartment, while I waited for my photo opp. That is me in the red and black.

* After a shower and some food, we headed to Wisconsin. Our first stop was Burlington, home of the Chocolate Fest. We somehow had come across the website for the event and thought it sounded magnificent. Go ahead, look at the website. It is beautiful. Watch the video. It makes it sound like a three day chocolate orgy. Um, yeah. It wasn't. I have more chocolate in my cupboards than we saw at this so-called chocolate fest. It was really just a small-time carnival, with rides and games. Oh and everyone got a MINIATURE Crunch Bar upon entry. They did have a chocolate carving contest, with only 8 participants, and a chocolate carousel. (see photo below). The carousel was very cool, but not, on its own, worth the hefty admission price. I was beyond disappointed in this event, made all the worse by the 90+ temps we had to deal with. One plus was that there was a Mackinac Island Fudge booth in among the cotton candy and beer vendors, so we were able to buy some fudge to snack on later. It was delicious, of course, because Michiganders know how to make fudge! We were able to get a ride back to the parking lot in a wagon being pulled by an authentic John Deere tractor, which the coolest part of the whole event.

* Our next stop was Milwaukee, which was were we would be spending the night. We stayed at a modest Best Western in downtown Milwaukee. The reason for our visit was to see the Milwaukee Art Museum. Prince E wanted to take photos of the beautiful architecture of the building, which was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. It was a gorgeous structure. My photos are below (Prince E's are better). I really liked the modern art in the museum, although they have extensive works from earlier eras as well. The museum is right on Lake Michigan, so there was a great lakefront breeze. Their lakefront path was just as busy with runners and cyclists as is the one in Chicago, although I saw a lot more men without shirts on (which was not a good thing). Not sure why.

We had to head out of town in a hurry, because as we were walking back to the hotel, we saw people setting up chairs to watch a parade! We didn't want to get stuck there, so we hurried to the car. Two blocks over we encountered the start of the parade, getting geared up to head out. I am guessing that another 10 minutes and the streets would have been closed and we would have been stuck.

* The final stop in our journey was Pleasant prairie, Wisconsin, home of the Jelly Belly Center! We donned paper hats and got on a little train for a FREE warehouse tour, where we learned how they make Jelly Belly candy. (short version: lots and lots of sugar). The tour was cheesy, of course, but I loved it. Where else can you see jelly beans dance? After the tour, we got a couple complimentary little bags of jelly belly candy! They also had a big store, where you could try samples of various flavors. I tasted a new sportbean flavor: fruit punch. It was yummy. Below is a picture that was made entirely out of Jelly Belly candy.

We then battled thunderstorms to check out the nearby outlet mall. Then it was time to head home. On the way, it got super dark and I told Prince E I would look out for funnel clouds. A few minutes later he said, "This is tornado weather." I said, "I know, that is why I am looking for funnel clouds." "Oh, I thought you said 'fun clouds.'" As you can tell, we both were tired from our long weekend.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Princess Has Lost Her Crown

Last night, the Prince and I were watching the Lost finale and I decided I would put some cookies in the oven for a nice snack. I scooped the pre-made batter onto the pan and then snuck a little bite of the dough. Then my tooth felt pokey on my tongue. I then realized that my crown was missing. The one that I just had installed less than two weeks ago!! I must have swallowed it. Pleasant thought.

Of course, I went back to watching Lost (how could I not), but I was fretting about it. I called and left a message on the "emergency" number of my dentist during another of the (many) commercial breaks. She never called back. Luckily, I was not in any pain, I just wanted to see if I could come in first thing in the morning to see her. But, still, why have an emergency number if you don't answer it or return the messages?

I had some trouble falling asleep, partly because of the adrenaline resulting from the whole fiasco and partly because I was worried that I might do something to the remaining part of the tooth while I slept (it was only a 3/4 crown). This morning I came to work as normal and proceeded to call the dentist office every 20 minutes until someone finally answered at about 7:45. The receptionist conferred with the dentist and said to come right over.

When I walked into the office, the entire staff (5 people) stared at me. My dentist said, "Simba's Mom! You're missing a body part???"

I didn't laugh. I think I was supposed to laugh. Truth is that I was pissed off. And tired. And hungry. (too afraid to eat anything)

She put in a new temporary crown and said they would order a replacement from the laboratory. When I was finished, I went to the desk to make an appointment for the return visit. The (other) receptionist apparently did not realize what had happened and thought I had lost the temporary crown. He stared at me (too long) with his mouth agape, so I snapped at him, "can we just make the appointment? I need to get back to work." I didn't realize that his computer wasn't booted up yet. Oops. He was still rude, anyway. And what do you except from a grouchy toothless woman?

As a result of this drama, I have had the Weird Al song "Toothless People" in my head all morning. It is off his "Polka Party" album, which, if I remember correctly, was the first ever cassette that I owned that was mine and mine alone!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Videocast: May 22

New videocast: get it here or download here.

Movie Review: High Tension

Reenactment of why Prince E and I didn't do our scheduled bike ride on Sunday.

To my oldest sister: due to a slightly violent portion of the movie review, you probably would also deem this one not nephew-friendly. Sorry! I will make another kid podcast for them soon.

Cutest Kitty in the World

Friday, May 19, 2006

New Podcast: Another Reenactment

Get the new video podcast here or download here.

On today's show:
I reenact the shocking discovery that Prince E made last night!

Here are a couple of hints as to what it was:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lots of topics not fitting under one title, 2nd Ed.

So my big work thing is over and it went pretty well. Sorry for the vagueness. I am glad that it is over and now I can start thinking about other more important things, like Lost. And vacuuming. I won't even tell you how long it has been since I vacuumed last (mostly because it was so long ago I can't even remember when it was!). The sound of the vacuum yesterday scared the kitty more than usual, just because it is such a rare occurrence these days. He probably thought that scary loud purple thing was gone and not coming back. (yes, my vacuum is purple)

When I went to do laundry last night, I noticed a sign that the laundry room will be closing in a few weeks for remodeling. It is going to be closed for 11 days! That means we are going to have to drive to a Laundromat, because there is no way I can go that long without doing the laundry. Maybe if it was just one person's clothes, but with two people, we would lose the cat under the mounds of dirty clothing.

I am still contemplating whether to sign up for the half-marathon in August. They said the course map should be posted on the website next week, and that will help me decide. They said it will be an "exciting, new downtown course." Last year's race was long, boring, and lonely, as it went from Grant Park south on the lakefront path and back up again.

I got my haircut this week. It had been way too long for that, too. I think December maybe? I might post a picture later. (just the back, though)

Have any of you ever been parasailing? Where? Do you think it was worth the money? What about zip lining?

I just noticed that each paragraph is shorter than the last.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Podcast: Movie Reenactment

The new podcast is up. It is video! It takes a bit of time to download, but I think it is funny. Download it here or visit the podcast page here.

On today's show:

My new (purple) wedding shoes!

Movie Review: Hostel
(I reenact the movie using stuffed animals!)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, especially my two favorites: my mom and my sister.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday Test

How much do you know about me?
Take this TEST to find out!

I totally stole this idea from Dawnie. I even stole some of her questions because I couldn't think up any good ones.


Lots of topics not fitting under one title

I wore my winter coat to work today. Not the full length sleeping bag coat, but the shorter winter coat. It has a snowflake on the zipper pull, so you know it is meant for the cold temps. My calendar must be broken because it says that today is May 12. Hmm. Then why did I have to wear a knit hat today to prevent my ears from turning red and becoming little ice blocks? Oh, and it is rainy too. And windy.

I have to go in this afternoon for the last (hopefully) step in my tooth repair. What a way to start the weekend. I also have a big work thing next week, which is looming over me, which I keep ignoring. If I pretend it isn't happening, then it will go away, right?

We got the wedding invitations the other week. They are really nice. Hee Hee. That is all I can say, because my family reads this and I want it to be a surprise when they get theirs in the mail.

I was walking by Sears on State Street this morning and saw what I thought was a running skirt in the window. I went in and was surprised to find it was actually a skort, although I am not sure if it was meant for running or perhaps some other aerobic activity. Tennis, perhaps? The sign said "40% off," so I went and tried it on. I liked that it looked cute like a skirt, but I didn't have to worry about the thigh chafing that wearing a skirt to run would likely cause me. It also had a nice little pocket. I decided to get it. When the clerk rang it up, though, we realized that it wasn't 40% off. It was on a rack with another brand of clothes and they were 40% off. So I couldn't get it. I really couldn't afford it at 40% off, either, so I guess it is okay.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Wanna be on a podcast?

Now is your chance to be a part of Unpublished Opinion: The Podcast!
Just send me an audio message HERE.
All you need is a couple of minutes and a microphone.
I will include messages in upcoming episodes of the show!

Also, check out the latest episode of the podcast here or download here.

On today's show:
Race report from the Burns Park 5k
Beverage review: Coca-cola blak
Contemplation of future races

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Family of Runners

I went to Ann Arbor this weekend to run with my mom and sister in a 5k. It was a lot of fun. I wished that I lived closer to them so that we could run together more often. It was a race with lots of children in it, since it benefited an elementary school. At one point, I saw a dad yelling at him 8 year old son to "move it, already" and "run faster." The child was obviously spent, but the father didn't seem to care. I was going to keep my mouth shut, but after the fourth or fifth one of these comments I said "He is doing the best that he can." The father than said "great job (name)" and patted his son on the back. I regretted my big mouth, but I was worried about the boy, so I guess I shouldn't regret it. All of the other parents that I saw were great and encouraged their children, trying to make the race fun. Shortly after we finished, I saw a very young boy finish. He was probably 5 or 6! I was very impressed and was happy to see a giant smile on his face as he crossed the finish line.

Due to the recent car problems we have been having, we rented a car for the weekend. Although the class we rented was labeled as "Toyota Corolla or other similar," we ended up with a Dodge Magnum. With leather seats. And a Hemi engine. We looked online and it is a $30,000+ car. It was lovely. It got pretty rotten gas mileage though, but was nice for the short time that we had it.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Glad I gave up swimming...

I just got this e-mail from my old gym:

Dear Frequent Swimmers:

The pool will be closed for the remainder of the evening for cleaning and sanitation (vomit in pool).

We plan to re-open it tomorrow morning (Saturday) at 8:00 a.m.

We apologize for the inconvenience.


Campus Recreation

Thursday, May 04, 2006

More Weird Dreams

I had a dream last night that while I was having my wedding dress fitted, I was having a conversation with Brooke Shields on speakerphone.* We were discussing the implications of gender and wealth as it pertains to women in the workplace who have children. The discussion had something to do with the expectations of women as mothers and as employees. She said that she wished I had spoken up more in class about this topic. (Some residual guilt for not participating more in class discussion in college?)

Warning: The next part is about birds. Mom, you may want to stop reading now.

Two nights ago (actually it was in the hour of 5am-6am Wed morning, after I fell back asleep after Prince E went to go start working on the car), I had a dream that I saw a pony in the local grocery store parking lot. He asked me why I was running late. Then I was back in my apartment, which was filled with pigeons who started flying at me. I blame this part of the dream on Anne and her story about visiting the location where "The Birds" was filmed. There was also a nest with eggs up in the corner of the bedroom. I blame this on Runner Susan's posts about finding a bird nest.

* I just finished reading Brooke's book "Down Came the Rain," which explains why she was in my dream. I would recommend the book.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Evil Radiator Bypass Hose

I was on the way to work today (on the bus, about a 10 minute walk from home at that point), when Prince E phoned me and said he needed my help fixing the car. Specifically he needed me to bring him some supplies to help with the repair. Keep in mind his car was stranded many miles from our home. I went back home, gathered the supplies, and took a cab out to him. Since I had no idea how long the repair would take, I didn't want to get the I-go car, since they charge by the hour. When I arrived, he had determined that the hose that he had purchased the night before from Murray's was not going work. So began what I like to call the "Auto Parts Store Trail of Tears."

We started walking. We stopped at a tire shop/repair shop. It was 7:35. The store had opened at 7:30. We had to wait for someone to help us. Then he was rude. He said they didn't have the part we needed, which was fine, but if he starts his day that cranky I hate to see what he is like by the afternoon.

Then we went to Midas. They didn't have the part either, but the man who helped us there was very friendly. He told us what kind of hose we needed and suggested we check at Autozone. That was where we were headed, but had stopped at the two shops on the way, because we assumed the Autozone wasn't open that early.

When we arrived at Autozone, we were happy to find that it was already open. I thought it was very interesting that the two people that were working there were both female. Usually the testosterone is oozing out of a store like that. The woman that waited on us was very helpful and, although they didn't have the exact part we needed (a radiator bypass hose for a '95 Honda Civic), she let us look through the rows of hoses that they did have and we found something that was almost an exact replica. We bought it, but decided to go to one more store to see if they had the exact hose that we needed.

The other store, a Pepboys, was another two mile walk. Did I mention it was the hottest day of the year thus far? (about 80). We were tired and hot by the time we reached the last store. They had the part, so they said, but it actually looked less like the hose we were replacing than the hose we bought at the Autozone did. We bought it anyway, after asking about the return policy.

After lunch (it was 9:30am at this point), we began the walk back to the car (about 3.5 miles). Upon returning to the car, Prince E began the replacement. I sat around bored, except when I got to hold the clamp. Fun! He managed to get the hose replaced (using the first hose we bought today).

Below is the broken hose, in all its evilness.

After the repair, we went to test drive the Honda Fit. I am totally getting one, but probably not until the fall.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Late night.

I just got home from picking Prince E up at a Walgreens several miles from our apartment. His car broke down (again) on the way home from work. Thank goodness for I-go cars. And thank goodness I kept my membership even though I didn't need it anymore. It is now after 9pm. Too late for dinner, so I am going to have some ice cream. His car is parked on the street across from the Walgreens now so that they wouldn't sick the mean tow people on Mr. Car. I might stay home from work tomorrow to 1)help him fix the car or 2)take it to the Midas (again) and drive us back home in the i-go car. Or I might just go buy a new car instead.

New Podcast

Listen to the latest show here or download here.

My race report for the Run for Rett 5k.
Movie Review: United 93