Wednesday, March 31, 2010
What do you think?
Monday, March 29, 2010
It was the love and support of friends, family, neighbors and co-workers who came together and truly made a difference over the past 8 months. It was nice to take some time to come together and honor Dale strength and courage.
My thanks to Barb, Jeannie, Toby, Nicole, Michelle and Matt for joining us.
However, the end is in sight as all that remains are the stairs. After far too many late nights, i am happy the report our house is finally starting to look like a home again. Below are some quick shots of the family room and kitchen, I took yesterday evening. I think the hardwood looks beautiful.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Aloha! When Dale and I were in Hawaii, we of course had to purchase something for the puppies, so what is better than Hawaiian themed matching collars. Our neighbor Nicole Krout said they look like Island Girls now. I liked that.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Whether you care or not, here are Dale and my thoughts on tonight’s show:
Lee DeWyze – I do not think it was the best song option when he could pick anything on the Hot 100 since 1958. It was not his best performance. Dale did not think it was either. Do not understand why three of the judges loved it. At least Simon agreed with us that it was a poor song choice.
Tim Urban – I think it was a bit karaoke, personally. Dale thought he entertained and tried awfully hard, but it was only okay.
Paige Miles – the power went out, so the DVR did not record her performance. We only got to see the 10 second recap at the end.
Aaron Kelly – Not horrible, especially considering he is sick. Dale thought he did better than Tim. He is still not a favorite.
Crystal Bowersox – I think the song was a perfect choice for her voice and style. She did an excellent job, but I want to see her do something outside her comfort zone to show she can make any song her song. Dale felt the same way.
Michael Lynch – A little predictable for song choice, but I think he did a solid job. Dale felt the same. We only got to see 1/2 his performance though because the power went out again.
Andrew Garcia – I thought it was one of his better performances. It was still not the greatest but an improvement. Dale felt he was not powerful enough for the song.
Katie Stevens – I little pitchy (I sound like Randy, I know) in a few places, but I think she did a great job. I feel like she completely connected with the song and showed she can do pop. Dale felt she sang it well too.
Casey James – I love Power of Love, but I love the 90s too. I think Casey did a good job. It was fun & light. He is a performer. Dale felt he was one of the best of the night and the band was great.
DiDi Benami – The singing was not bad, but her gestures felt like she was performing in a bad high school play and someone told her to be sexy. Dale took a little cat nap during this performance.
Siobhan Magnus – I did not love the hair, but I thought Siobhan was great. Each week she makes the songs her own and grows on me more and more. She was great with the heavy horns backing her up. Dale was still napping so no comments from him. He worked hard today and needed his rest, so I let him sleep.
Bottom three predictions: Paige Miles, Andrew Garcia and DiDi Benami with Paige Miles going home. I think all the 12 year old girls will rally around Tim Urban this week and keep him out of the bottom three.
The top performances were Crystal Bowersox, Katie Stevens and Siobhan Magnus.
What did you think? Who do you think is going home? Who did you like tonight?
Okay, I do not have love to give you…but I do have a great deal on appliances. Anyone looking to buy a used microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator and oven? $600 for all 4 appliances. They are all almond colored and in excellent condition. I will be listing on Craigslist.com this weekend, so act now! If you are interested, let me know. Make me an offer!
…all our carpet. Bastards! Maybe someone will break in and put in hardwood floors too.
No, just kidding. This week they are tearing up all our carpet and existing hardwood floors in our kitchen and putting in new, beautiful, hand scrapped fruitwood floors that are cherry in color. It will be beautiful once done, but in the meantime living in a construction zone is making me very cranky. Thankfully, they are done on the 2nd floor.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
I figured it made sense to just keep my gift wish list updated on my blog. I can just add cool things I come across like the Catcher in the Rye t-shirt above (available for $28 at www.outofprintclothing.com).
This way, if anyone wants to buy me anything for my birthday (which is June 22) it will be that much easier.
Puppy named Snickers(Dale already said, “It ain’t gonna happen.”)
- Dolce and Gobbana Light Blue cologne available at fine stores like Macy’s
- Blindside on DVD from Amazon or Target
Glee, Volume 1: The Road to Sectionals on DVD from Amazon or Target(Dale just reminded me that he bought me this for Valentine’s Day, oops!)
- Giftcard for Olive Garden
- Sony Sweet Little Earbuds in Blue from Target
- Help my friend Brent raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and make a donation in my name
- Help my friend Nell raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute and make a donation in my name
- Catcher in the Rye T-Shirt in XL from Outofprintclothing.com
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This week, I asked Dale what he wanted for his birthday. His birthday is March 26th and he will be 35 (he makes me say that). Anyhow, he does not want anything (no surprise). Dale is not one who wants things (unlike me).
I started thinking what if it was my birthday, what would I want. I figured I would make a list, just in case anyone wants to buy me something. At the very least I will be ready for my birthday in June, right? So here is my wish list, at this moment. It is subject to change, but I am never one to turn down a gift.
Puppy named Snickers(Dale already said, “It ain’t gonna happen.”)
- Dolce & Gobbana Light Blue cologne available at fine stores like Macy’s
- Blindside on DVD from Amazon or Target
Glee, Volume 1: The road to Sectionals on DVD from Amazon or Target(Dale just reminded me that he bought me this for Valentine’s Day, oops!)
- Giftcard for Olive Garden
- Sony Sweet Little Earbuds in Blue from Target
Remember, you do not need a special occasion to buy Tom gifts.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
We figured we would celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style with a trip to the O’Live Garden. Boy, we were shocked when their whole menu was pasta this and pasta that. However, Olive Garden was still delicious as always and surprisingly not very busy tonight.
Wouldn’t it be a funny campaign if Olive Garden made commercials announcing they would be known as O’Live Garden for the month of March and made a special St. Patrick's Day menu with green pasta? I think it would be a great marketing campaign.
We did go Irish after dinner with a trip to McDonalds for a Shamrock Shake because we are all about authentic Irish food.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Here are mine and Dale’s thoughts on tonight’s show:
Michael Lynche – The judges loved it a lot more than I did. I thought it was okay, but he sounded by 70’s easy listening than Rolling Stones to me. Dale thought it was okay too. He felt it was more early Michael Jackson than Mick Jagger. I would have to agree.
Didi Benami – Boring. Dale said it put him to sleep. Again, we disagree with the judges. Randy loved it, Ellen seemed to live it, Kara found it intense and Simon. Come on judges. This is the Stones. Dale is right, Didi is the new Brooke White (5th place, Season 7).
Casey James – I liked it. It was fun and bluesy. I think he made the song his own. Dale did not mind it, but did not love it either. He felt it lacked range, dog.
Lacey Brown – I thought the arrangement was interesting. I would not download it, so I guess that is a sign I did not love it. Dale was not thrilled either and felt it was a little boring.
Andrew Garcia – I think he peaked when he sang Paula Abdul’s Straight Up personally, however he was not horrible tonight…I think you could hear the same thing at any karaoke bar. He is not Dale’s favorite either. Again, not overwhelmed.
Katie Stevens – I liked it. Dale and I both think it was her best performance so far. I think she connected with the song and gave it a modern feel.
Okay, 6 performances down and so far, I think I would give the night to Casey James and Katie Stevens if I had to pick so far.
Tim Urban – OMG. He is from a family of 10. Poor guy probably never has had a minute alone. Girls age 12-14 are going to love this guy and he has a cool performer name. Anyhow, he sounded a bit Jason Mraz, which I did not mind. I felt like you would see him at a beach bar in Key West or something, which I again did not mind. Dale liked it, but felt it was not his best.
Siobhan Magnus – Okay, her glasses are horrible. I love the song Paint it Black and think she did a very good job but wish she got a bit more intense and rocked it even more. I wanted her to be the angry chick when she sang it, but I still think she was one of the better performances tonight. Dale did not like the boots with the dress and thought she walked funny throughout the whole performance. He also did not like her stage performance.
Lee Dewyze – I like this guy. He seems like an everyday guy who would be on my bus and I like that about him. I would actually download his version of Beast of Burden tonight. I thought he made his own and it was something you could easily hear on the radio today. He is Dale’s favorite too. We both think he has a unique voice.
Paige Miles – I liked that her song had a gospel feel to it and I think she did one of the better jobs performing on the larger stage. Dale thought it was okay, but felt she was trying a bit hard and did not her outfit. I am especially impressed she never got to rehearse it because she has laryngitis.
Aaron Kelly – I did not love it. Neither did Dale. Dale actually asked why is he singing it so high. I sort of had to agree…the whole song just sort of seemed off to me. Now, the judges of course thought otherwise and found it tender and enjoyable. I personally did not see it as a stand-out.
Crystal Bowersox – I liked it. I liked it a lot. I will say the cast of Glee did it better and I think she has done better, but it was a fun version of the song. Dale picked a song that fit her well and let her show personality.
Okay, so that is all 12. Not the best night, but not horrible. I think the first night on the big stage is always tough. If I had to pick a bottom 3 based on tonight, it would have to be: Didi Benami, Lacey Brown and Andrew Garcia. I think Andrew Garcia will be going home, mostly because he peaked in Hollywood Week and never really had a moment since then. Dale had the same bottom three.
My favorites tonight were Lee Dewyze, Siobhan Magnus and Crystal Bowersox.
So who do you think will be going home? Who is your favorite?
Today, we picked up a rental car to replace our damaged truck, since we cannot drive the truck until it is fixed. With no right taillight, it is illegal to drive. The insurance company for the tow truck that hit us, is paying for a rental while the truck in out of commission.
Our new vehicle is a Ford Flex…or as I like to call it the Silver Coffin. It is a hybrid SUV. Tell me this is not the ugliest car ever? It is like driving a giant silver box. It has to be the least aerodynamic vehicle ever! So funny. I can honestly say it would be the last vehicle I would ever buy, but at least we are not paying for it. We have the Mini Coopers, but figured why put miles on our vehicles.
Oh, if you own one…I am sorry I called it ugly.
Up until now, I have not been thrilled this season and so far unlike other years I do not have a clear favorite I am cheering on. Based on previous weeks, here is how I rank the Top 12 before tonight based on top, middle and bottom.
Top 4 - Casey James, Michael Lynch, Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze
Middle 4 - Siobhan Magnus, Tim Urban, Aaron Kelly and Dido Benami
Bottom 4 - Paige Miles, Lacey Brown, Katie Stevens and Andrew Garcia
The judges keep saying it is a woman's competition this year, but I think the women overall have been safe and very lackluster so far this year. If I had to pick a favorite overall at this point, I would probably say I like Lee Dewyze the most, but I think Michael Lynch and Casey James are better on the stage and are more consistent. I find
Crystal Bowersox interesting but wonder who she will hold up week after week.
What do you think? Who is your favorite? Who do you think should win? Will win?
Monday, March 15, 2010
Yes, we had Chef Boyardee Ravioli. It is really not Dale’s fault. I insisted on having it. He had mentioned the other day that he had never had the canned ravioli. Can you believe it? It is an American tradition. Or at least an American tradition if you are 1/2 Irish and 1/2 English like me. Growing up, I always thought ravioli came in a can. I didn’t know you could actually make a ravioli yourself. Since Dale has not experience the joy of the delicious ravioli in a can, I pushed for us to have it tonight. It did not disappoint and even Dale went against his Italian heritage and his Mom’s Italian cooking and said it was okay. It was a fun, simple dinner and a fun reminder of childhood. Next step for Dale will be SpaghettiO’s.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
No, we weren't drinking. We were sitting inside when we heard a crash outside. A tow truck hit our Dodge Ram 1500 parked in front of Becki and Brent's house. The tow truck hit it, pushed it 5 feet and kept going. Dale chased the tow truck down the street and made him come back. The driver said he planned to come back once he dropped off the car he was delivering. Yeah, right!
So he came back and we called the police. Once the dispatcher heard it was a tow truck that hit me, she said she would immediately send the police as they are all hot heads and crazy. She suggested staying away from him until the police arrived, but he was actually a fairly apologetic 20 year old kid.
The police came and the tow truck driver was at least honest saying he didn't even see my truck or know he hit it. He was busy on his cell phone and trying to read street signs. The extension of the two truck bed was actually what hit our truck so he basically got too close, did not see my truck or misjudged the size of the tow truck. Either way he smashed it pretty bad.
Here is a photo of the damage:
In addition to the rear damage there is a lot of paint scraped on the side and the truck bed is all cracked and torn apart on the inside. We are guessing $5,000 - $7,000 of damage. Hopefully, the tow company's insurance is easy to deal with on the issue.
Becki and Brent felt bad but it was not their fault. In the meantime we cannot drive the truck as there is no taillight. At least nobody was hurt and we have to remember accidents happen (unfortunately).
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I apparently spoke too soon as this evening it is cloudy, grey and cold. It seems like Mother Nature heard me and decided it was still Winter. It looks like it may snow any minute.
Ugh! I am cannot psychologically handle anymore cold or snow.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
At the party last night it was amazing to see about 100 of Page's friends come together to celebrate her journey to 70 years young. It was especially impressive as several of her friends at the party had known her for over 50 years and many for more than 40 years. I felt like a newbie, as I have only been blessed to know Page for 7 years. It shows just how amazing of a woman Page is that she has so many friends for so long. I cannot think of many people who are so blessed at her age.
Even though we were exhausted from traveling back from Hawaii yesterday, I am so happy Dale and I made it to the party. I mean, how could we not honor someone as wonderful as Page and when someone makes it to 70, you show them the respect of attending.
At the party many of Page's friend's spoke and told wonderful and funny stories about Page through the years, but it was Page's closing words that stuck with me the most. When asked about how she made it to 70, she said, "Keep moving, don't stop because that is when you get into trouble."
Such wise words. I think as we get older, those who stay active both mentally and physically are the ones who live the longest. I hope I have the pleasure of attending many more of Page's birthdays because she is an inspiration to us all. Happy Birthday, Page!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I have been watching this one family for the past 15 minutes and their joy is infectious. It is a young couple in their late 20s and they have a baby boy probably at 18 months. They are having so much fun playing with him in the sand and water. It is hard not to stare and smile. I love when you see the excitement a parent feels when they are giving their child his or her first experience at something. The husband keeps taking pictures of his wife and son. You can just feel the pride and love. It is nice.
Maybe my paternal clock is ticking but I cannot help but look at all the families and be a little jealous. Part of me always wanted to be a father, but the other part of me likes the life Dale and I share. I do not know if I would have the energy or patience for a child at this stage of my life. I cannot imagine having a teenager when I am in my 50's.
However, it is hard not to watch all these parents and wonder what if. I think it is easier to think what if while on vacation and surrounded by families enjoying themselves. I imagine if I was home at the mall, post office or anywhere else listening to a screaming child or teenager arguing with his or her parent I would not be feeling my paternal clock ticking so loudly.
Besides I still feel like a kid myself. With that said, I think it is time for a shaved ice.
Friday, March 5, 2010
The place is very 50's and 60's looking....you know old school Hawai'ian with the thatch roof, dark woods and tiki torches everywhere. They were playing Elvis music and suddenly I found myself thinking of my Mom, who passed from cancer in 2003. She loved Elvis and looking around I knew she would have loved the restaurant. She would have found great joy in the beach, the culture and Hawai'i in general. It made me incredibly sad that she never had the opportunity to make it to Hawai'i. She died far too young an age at 53. The more and more I looked around the more as more emotional I became. I know it sounds weird.
Sitting there thinking about my Mom and looking at Dale of course made me think of his battle with cancer. I think for the first time I allowed myself to get emotional over Dale and admit just how scared I has been these past six months that I could have lost Dale to cancer too. Up until now I only allowed muself to focus on him gettig better as never let the idea of losing him come into my head. Sitting there I finally thought to myself that I almost lost Dale and it made me upset.
Early on in Dale's diagnosis, we promised each other we would go to Hawai'i to celebrate his remission and here we were sitting at a beach side restaurant doing just that - celebrating his life and our journey. I was hit with a wave of sadness of my Mom mixed with joy over having Dale survivr all at once. It is hard to explain but for some reason I think months of holding my emotions in, finally came to the surface. I got teary-eyed and that just brought on more emotion and I actually had to excuse myself from the table to pull myself together.
I came back to the table, explained to Dale what I was feeling and he of course said we could stay or leave, whatever I needed. We stayed and had a wonderful dinner in honor of Dale and his battle with cancer, not to mention my Mom and Dale's parents, who lost to cancer and never got to experience the joys of Hawai'i.
All I know is I am so glad that Dale beat the cancer and is in my life. This vacation is just another wonderful memory we are fortunate to share. I am blessed to have him as my best friend and love. I wish he and my Mom could have met.
After the Dole Plantation, we drove further north to the famous Northshore, where we checked out the waves and surfers. We decided to head southeast along the eastern coast of O'ahu. It was beautiful and very enjoyable to see the quaint coastal towns.
We even found a shrimp farm to stop and enjoy lunch, which was a fun adventure as Dale tends to no like to eat at roadside stands, but we were both very pleased. It was yum, yum, yummy.
Oh and we met a cute, pregnant cat at the shrimp stand that joined us for lunch. I named her Octo-Mom. She was sweet.
After lunch, we continued our journey south and found a tunnel through a mountain in the middle of the island, which was cool but felt like somewhat out of place like you would see on the TV show, Lost.
A fun afternoon.
After a few hours of shopping we headed to Duke's, which was recommended by several friends as Facebook and my boss, Tim Higgins. We had made a reservation early in tr week, so we were able to get a table on the beach. It was beautiful to watch surfers on long boards come to shore against the sunset. It was amazing. Thanks for the recommendations everyone.
I snapped a photo at dinner of Dale.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Dale and I are headed to Waikiki this afternoon, so we decided it make sense to stick around our resort this morning and enjoy the beautiful pools, bubbly hot tubs, steamy steam room and hot sauna. It was a nice time and we got to meet and chat (well mostly Dale chatted) with a bunch of other guests.
It made for a nice, relaxing morning for us and now we are thinking lunch and a short nap are on the agenda. Aloha!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
You would probably never guess it, but this is the same tree in each photo. It is just at two separate angles. Either angle, this true looks so amazing against the sunset lit skyline.
I took this photo tonight as the sun was setting and they all look like giants against the sky. So beautiful.
Okay, off the dinner along the beach. Later.
We saw three whales on the trip, two larger whales and one baby. I named them Bristol, Levi and baby Tripp since the larger whales were hogging all the surface and camera time from the baby. We also saw a beautiful green sea turtle floating on the surface, which I named Carl.
Best of all, I was able to snap some great shots of the O'ahu coastline, which is stunning.
We are now back at the hotel. We found some lawn chairs in the shade. Dale is sitting to my right with his iPod and Soduko puzzle book on hand. I have my iPod on too and I am listening to soft, soothing instrumental Hawaiian music, while blogging this on my iPhone. I snapped a photo of my current view.
We plan to relax this morning and at 1:30 PM we head out for a whale watch, so that should be fun. Until then, aloha my friends.