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Category: pix

05/29/07 12:26 - 67ºF - ID#39440

photo dump

A paul-style phone-purge gave these pix:


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A SWEETHEART of a stray dog that wandered in while I was getting my hair cut. He was the sweetest thing ever. Fortunately when I went back later, his owner had come and found him. Apparently he cried tears of relief when he finally found him. :)

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At work, lookin good!! haha. glasses and all. Ugh.

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Cutest. things. ever.

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I can't believe this tiny thing is 12GB. I remember my first powerbook, with it's blazing fast 33mhz processor, and after I filled up the 20mb hard drive, I got a little external 100mb hard drive, which I was sure was more space than I could EVER use. Oh, how times have changed.

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Drinking beer at the Malamute at about 930am on a wednesday, after a long night at work. KLASSY! I had to 'borrow' my glass though. It was like the old-style Canadian 'double label', and said "I'd rather be partying. Oh wait. I am partying."

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A wine tasting bar in the pittsburgh? philadelphia? (i forget) airport on my way to vacation. it was not open at 6am or whenever it was I was there. Good thinking.
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05/28/07 02:21 - 69ºF - ID#39436

how i spent my summer vacation

I feel like i'm 100 years old.
My whole body is sore, and I'm fucking TIRED.
I can't imagine being a farmer.

I spent my weekend helping a friend with a bunch of yardwork. putting up a little fence, transplanting a bunch of little trees then laying out about 3 miles of soaker hose to water them, several trips to lowe's for various necessities, and nearly catching on fire. And watching Saw 3.

apparently when you plant grass you are supposed to cover it with straw to keep moisture in, and birds out.

That is fine for a small area, but is slow-going and labor-intensive.

So there is a machine to help do this.

Straw is very flammable.

Tires burn for a long time.

It was scary/exciting/depressing/cool all at once.

And now i'm back at work, and am not happy about it.
No memorial day cookout or any of that for me.

But honestly, a full weekend of doing some real WORK kind of feels good... makes me feel... productive? And makes me think "I don't know how people do this ALL the time." One weekend is enough for me.

I dunno. We busted our butts, but got a lot done. Even if I did get whiny and cranky by the end. If I close my eyes, I can imagine the brown dirt turning into a lush green lawn. :)

I want a massage. My muscles ache and my hands are all torn up. Despite several showers I think I still have straw in my hair. ;)

oy. time for some caffeine to wake me up.

happy memorial day peeps. have a beer and burger for me!
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Location: Buffalo, NY


05/26/07 01:05 - 66ºF - ID#39416

Open House! Now!

ok this is a random PSA, but I just went downstairs to get my mail, and was greeted by the delicious smell of fresh-baked cookies-

there's an open house going on, in my house, right now.

So if anyone's interested- come on by!

Of course, I will not be here, and they're not showing my apt- but still. It looks good and they're nice ppl, and it's a great house. (and I'm a DREAM tenant, and I need good new owners who won't kick me out!)

(and to just cut to the chase, they're asking 179.)
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05/22/07 08:14 - 74ºF - ID#39380

peep sighting?

Ok I am at work and I just went to pick up dinner, and I was driving down maple, waiting at the light to turn on NF blvd, and I noticed the car 2 in front of me had an estrip sticker. maroon car, lots of other stickers, including IRL- who was it??

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Category: :)

05/20/07 05:25 - 53ºF - ID#39353

I just saved seven lives!

Well, I helped at least. :)

A pregnant momma dog was thrown out of a moving car in OH a while ago (aren't people just AWESOME?) and then went into labor and had 6 puppies. Animal control picked them up, but there was no room at the inn, and they probably would have been put to sleep, but a shelter in Mass agreed to take them. The only problem was how to get them from OH to MA.

So a bunch of people agreed to do different legs. I picked them up in Erie this AM, and brought them back to Buffalo, where someone was going to take them on to rochester...

And i have to say.... there is not much cuter than 10 day old puppies that don't even have their eyes open.

It was totally therapeutic. Impossible to be in a shitty mood after that. :) I of course HAD to play with them and they made little squeaky noises and nuzzled me and even sucked on my finger. OMG i wanted to steal them all. Not to mention mom was a super sweetheart....

What a win-win situation. I help them, they help me....
sigh... yay....

and (don't shoot me for saying this)- hockey season is over! yay!!!!!
yeah yeah yeah, it would have been "the best thing to ever happen to buffalo" [as a friend of mine said] if they won the cup, and yeah i'm sure it would have been cool. But for now, I'm just happy that everyone can shave off those ugly playoff beards!
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Category: :(

05/17/07 12:55 - 48ºF - ID#39323

no congrats are in order.

:(
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05/15/07 03:16 - 66ºF - ID#39286

cross your fingers for me

Ok peeps. It's crunch time.

Tomorrow is Match Day, when I will find out if I was accepted to a plastic surgery fellowship (to follow my general surgery.)

Unfortunately, the chance I will make the cut is about one in a zillion. But, since it's not zero, it's enough to send my stomach in flips.

All the other matches are very well run, and they tell you exactly how it will work. E.g. 'we will send an email to all applicants at exactly 1200PST on X date'. So everyone sits in front of their computer, holding their breath, clicking "check mail" over and over, and then either rejoices, or cries. (And probably then drinks excessive quantities, either way.)

The plastic match however is a little more disorganized, and this is all I know:

Wed., May 16, 2007
Match Results    
Programs and Dean's Offices are emailed match results. Match applicants are generally contacted the same day.

Thurs., May 17, 2007    
All applicants who do not yet know their result may call our office to receive it directly. Dial xxx and press '0' at the opening menu to speak with a Match Representative (between 8am - 4pm PST).
Results are also mailed to all applicants and programs.



So basically, you may or may not hear, at any point during the day.
Fantastic...

Anyway, say a little prayer for me tonight... this is a big deal.

:)

J

p.s. Dad is getting out of the hospital today; thanks for all the well-wishes. (and no, he has no intention to stop riding. In fact now he "has to" go back and "beat" that turn, since it "beat" him last time.) (Though I did talk to a friend that was up there with them, and said dad was whooping all their little punk asses, and that he is a very good, very safe rider. Not sure that makes it any better, but it's nice to hear.)
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Category: oops

05/13/07 06:42 - 60ºF - ID#39260

Happy? Mother's Day

So I'm at work and should be working... but I'll get to that in a minute.

coupla quick things-

First- I just found out that my landlords bought a new house and are moving to williamsville. That means they are selling the house I live in. The question is, will the new owners kick me out.

This all just went down like 2 days ago, and the house isn't officially on the market, so I figured I'd post a heads up.
It's a double in the forest/elmwood neighborhood. Has a garage. Lots of windows and great light. W/D in the basement. Some nice woodwork inside... Anyone looking?

So now I don't know what to do... stick with the inertia and stay put since I like my place well enough and don't want to move? (but realize the fact that new owners won't be obligated to let me stay)

see this as my opportunity to move?

Just buy the house myself?

Hmm. I really hate moving.

Next topic...

So last night was a friend's birthday party. He was turning 30, and he rented out a room upstairs at Pearl Street. It was nice b/c it was not too crowded and there was open bar. Most of my friends bailed, but it was still fun. I had to work in the AM, so I had to keep it tame anyway.

But I had my phone in my purse, and at one point went to check messages... 5 texts and a missed call and voicemail from home. Calls from home usually make me nervous, but for some reason this one didn't, and it was super loud, so I didn't bother listening to voicemail. But then a little while later I found some quiet corner behind some artificial tree that was poking me in the ear the whole time, and managed to hear just enough 'Hey al... it's mom... [in an artificially cheery voice] Dad's been in a little accident" and then I couldn't hear any more.

So I called home, and found out that Dad and Bro had gone to a weekend motorcycle racing school. In New Hampshire. And dad wiped out. First I heard "no big deal just a cracked rib" but then I made some calls and started prying... well it's 6 ribs, broken in two places each, which is called flail chest, and can be pretty serious, and a collapsed lung. But fortunately, that's it. Could have been much much worse. In fact, one guy was killed on the track earlier that day. (I am not allowed to tell Mom that part.) So, he's got a chest tube, and lots of pain medicine. Pain control in the biggest issue here, because you have to breathe deeply so you don't get pneumonia and have to go on the ventilator.

So this morning I pulled the doctor card and made some calls to try to get the real deal from someone who knew what they were talking about, since dad tries to minimize things. He insists he's ok to go home. He is not. He is loopy on morphine, heh. He says his new pain medicine is good, because before he had hiccups and thought he was going to die. he said "now I can feel the ribs grinding every time I breathe [gross], but somehow it doesn't hurt". But they're going to give him an epidural, which means he has at least a few days in the hospital, which he is not happy about.

But, in typical fashion- what is everyone worried about? Dad pissed that he didn't win the race, and is worried that mom won't let him race anymore.
Mom is annoyed that she has to spend mother's day driving to new hampshire.

So, that was a great way to finish the evening. "hey, happy birthday dude! Sorry i can't stay... dad's in the hospital". What a debbie downer...

But other than that, it was a lovely weekend. had a great lunch friday and then went to a party, then a nice afternoon saturday and another party, so all in all I can't complain. :)

Happy mother's day everyone.
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Category: pix

05/06/07 02:20 - 56ºF - ID#39176

vacation photos

Well, I don't feel like being productive, so here are some pix. See previous post for words.

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The mighty mississippi... Mmm, nice and brown.

Some pix of the ship [I kept calling it a boat and getting corrected]:
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There's this atrium when we first walked in.

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There were these cheesy tile mosaics all over the place.

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Mini-golf on the 'roof'. (we were still at the dock in New Orleans, so that's the Crescent City Connector in the background).

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The main sun deck. Where we spent most of the daytime.

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My little room. Those beds are super comfy.

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Me and my five adoptive moms.

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The guys we met. They brought those suits with them, for the Formal Night dinner. I think people thought they worked for Carnival, because random people just kept walking up to them to pose for pictures.

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One night there was a "musical men" contest- like musical chairs- the girls got c-razy running around and jumping on the backs of these guys. (and as the number of people decreased, they went from sitting on their backs, like horses, to stradding them, and eventually the winner was the girl who could make the most body contact with the guy when time ran out.)

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The ship in port in Costa Maya. It's freaking huge. And apparently it's considered small by cruise ship standards. "Only" holds 2000 passengers.

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The beach right at the end of the cruise ship pier in Costa Maya.

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I wanted some of that pineapple so badly. They sell them roadside- 3 whole pineapples for $2. But even the guide warned us not to eat roadside food.

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The first temple at Chacchoban. Sort of what I expected when I heard "Mayan ruins tour".

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This big hill is apparently an un-excavated, un-restored temple in the city. The guide said that the Yucatan penninsula is totally flat, so ANY hill is a buried building until proven otherwise.

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A gum tree. The X's in the bark are slashes made with a machete to harvest the sap, which is made into Chicle (gum), and used for stucco and building. We also saw clove trees (they smell so yummy) and a tree with really soft wood used for most of the handicrafts you buy in the tourist shops. They said they call it a "tourist tree". I figured for that reason. But no- it's called a tourist tree because its bark is red and peeling. And he pointed out some tree, and told us about all these great medicinal properties, and then, almost like an afterthought, added "and the dried leaves have the same properties as cannabis sativa". I was surprised people didn't run back to scavenge the leaves off the ground. ;)

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Another temple. The little thatched roof covers a hole they made to find an inner temple, with tombs in it. The tombs had to be sealed over, b/c there was a real-life 'curse of the mummy'. They said they would use cinnabar to preserve the dead bodies, almost like makeup, too- since it's a red paste. But I guess it's some mercury/sulfur compound, and over the years, being sealed in a small chamber with decomposing bodies- it formed some horrible toxic gas, and as soon as they opened the tomb, the explorers were killed.

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I don't know if it shows up, but they pointed out a fine line you can see in the stonework- the archaeologists make a visible joint to separate the stuff they found, and the stuff they reconstructed on top.

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Some steps that lead to...

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Another temple. Unfortunately the tourists clogged up most of my pictures.

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A night out.

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A drugstore in the little duty free shopping land at the pier in Cozumel. I am fucking astonished at what is sold over the counter! These bottles are mostly antibiotics, but they sell diuretics (usually used for heart failure) and even freaking injectable steroids! (steroids like cortisone, not weight-lifter steroids.) According to the sign they sold viagra and stuff too, but I didn't go looking for it.

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My day in cozumel... peaceful and beautiful on 'Passion Island'

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Then I got back and found everyone in these palm frond hats... They were pretty funny. The next morning they went to save a bunch of chairs on the deck, and even joked "well it was easy. I just put one of these hats down, and everyone knew to stay FAR away from THOSE idiots."

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The guys I met with the B&B in Vermont.

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She is a gymnastics coach- probably 5'2"ish but a little powerhouse. All muscle. Very fun, too.

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The last night. I straightened my hair and everything. And I ran into one of the guys on his way to dinner- wearing a kilt. This was at about 8pm.

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The same night, at about 4am (you can see the clock.) This is after about 6 birthday shots, and a few hours on the deck in the new orleans humidity. My hair is no longer straight. I really didn't think I was that drunk, but this picture sure looks otherwise...

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And finally, for Paul, one of my favorite New Orleans treats: beignets and frozen cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde.

---FIN---
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Category: travel

05/06/07 11:18 - 51ºF - ID#39174

Reflections on a cruise... (very long)

Sigh... so I'm back. Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

So my trip was great. The cruise was just about what I imagined it to be- both the good and the bad.

For once, travel went smoothly. And in the airport in New Orleans, I got in line to get a shuttle from the airport to the cruise ship dock, and noticed the two girls in front of me were going too, so I said hi, and right there I had new best friends. :) They were a group of 5 women there celebrating a friend's 40th birthday, and they were looking for a sixth, so I was adopted. Which was great luck, because first- they were totally fun, and second, it alleviated a lot of the 'on vacation alone' anxiety. I was the baby of the group by about ten years, but it totally didn't matter- some of these women were a lot wilder than I am! They were all 40ish, 4 had kids, 3 are married, and two are divorced. And, when I saw the alternatives for potential friends- it was a lot of Chippewa looking girls just hanging on the buff tan college dudes- not my scene.

But so I had a few hours to kill before boarding, and I was hoping to check out New Orleans a little bit, since I haven't been back since Katrina, but once the Carnival behemoth sucked me in, there was no going back.

We got on the bus from the airport, and the driver said that if no one minded, she wanted to take a little detour and show us where the 17th stree levee broke. God... it was very eye-opening and depressing. She drove us through lakeview, which is one of the neighborhoods that was flooded- but not nearly as badly as some of the other areas (that we didn't see). There are a LOT of gutted, trashed houses still standing. And, a lot NOT standing. And some new builds going up. Lots of lots for sale- dirt cheap, because no one will insure them any more. You could still see water lines, up at the second story windows sometimes. All the houses had a big X spray-painted on them, from when the military had to search all homes for bodies, etc. There was code on them about what they found. I didn't see any that had bodies- but a few had "one cat" painted on them. Lots of houses had these white FEMA trailers in the yard- families of 6 have been living in these trailers for almost 2 years now- many don't expect to ever move out. Apparently there's a FEMA trailer park in Biloxi of 40 THOUSAND trailers- and most of the people see it as their new permanent home. The city wants to tear down the abandoned houses if the owners don't come back. And some owners don't want to come back, so that's fine- but some DO, but just CAN'T. There are "houses demolished- CHEAP!" flyers on the telephone poles- a whole new industry has sprung up. And the break in the levee itself- you can see where it's being repaired- it's a MILE wide. Wow. So I'm really glad I got to see that. Because the tourists come to New Orleans, see the French Quarter, see that it's fine [it was never really hit], and assume the city is fine. Which it is not.

So then we got to the ship... Yeah... that's a big ol' boat. But within five minutes of boarding, I had a drink with an umbrella, and a deck chair. My entire goal for the trip, met within minutes. ;) Of course, I didn't have my bag yet, so I was in jeans, and didn't have any sunscreen. I think I was buzzed and sunburned within an hour of arriving. ;)

Later that night I guess the other women met this group of guys... I found them later, and they introduced me to two of them. One of whom thumb-wrestled me, and (I say) let me win, but the whole rest of the trip kept saying he couldn't believe I beat him.

Then the next day by the pool, I noticed a guy on a balcony wearing a Tulane tshirt, and thought he was kinda cute and looked nice... but I wasn't going to do anything about it... well next thing I knew he was sitting with us- apparently he was the third friend of the guys they'd met the night before. This guy, S, was a RIOT.

So, we spent our mornings in the sun trying to sleep off hangovers, then eating too much for lunch, then eventually getting ready for dinner, which was at the geriatric time of 5:45. Then we spent the nights drinking our faces off. Actually, I didn't drink all that much. I was pretty good.

During our days in port, we had all booked our excusions in advance, so we weren't together. The first day I went to the ruins of the Mayan city Chacchoben in Costa Maya... WOW. It was really fascinating. Made me realize I knew NOTHING about it. I just figured 'oh yeah, gotta see the mayan temple" and just had an image of those stepped pyramids. But the guide taught us so much stuff about their mythology etc- it's really amazing. For example- they don't just use archaeologists to find/restore the cities- they use archae-astronomers. Because apparently buildings in mayan cities are built according to constellations. So the city I was at- they found two, and then astronomers compared them to star charts, and realized the city was based on Orion, and then they found a bunch of other structures right where they should be. I mean, how cool is that?! And the temples are built so that on a certain important day (summer solstice, etc) the sun comes through a little hole and lights up in a way that the common people think is the gods giving them a sign- and it means plant/harvest your crops, etc. So amazing.

And the other day, at cozumel, I went to some little private island where they served us an awesome lunch and open bar... it was beautiful. And I met this great gay couple who run a bed and breakfast in Vermont and were there celebrating their 18th anniversary. They were adorable...

But so both times I got back to the ship, only to find everyone else had had some sort of wild adventures on booze cruises and beach parties. At one of these, S's alter-ego, "Kevin" was invented. They had me going for a while... I thought Kevin was some friend they met b/c they kept saying how fun he was... Well Kevin was two eyes drawn on S's fist. That was all. Yet somehow Kevin was endlessly entertaining.

One other topic to address... when I told people I was going on this trip, many people's FIRST comment was 'I hope you're taking a lot of condoms!'. And my first thought was "what kind of girl do these people think I am?" and the next thought was "and is there something about cruises I'm missing?" Sure, I wondered if I would meet some amazing guy... but I certainly wasn't expecting it, and it wasn't the point of my trip. And I did meet people... and there were some chances to hook up... like one night, one of the [married] women (who was making out with 22 year-olds left and right) told me 'now is your chance! He's really drunk! Go for it already!" And it just made me realize- that is not what I want... some random makeout session with someone so drunk he won't remember it... I've realized lately that sex is just infinitely better when it's not random... when it's with someone you care about... that cares about you... and it's almost not worth it otherwise. So, even though I'm not (really) seeing anyone, and it wouldn't be a matter of 'cheating'- I just found I didn't want to.

Who knows... call me a prude... but I was pretty horrified to see these married women carrying on like this. But, who am I to judge, I guess.... Vegas rules applied. At first I was so naïve about it... this one woman was flirting with this guy all night, and I just kept thinking 'she's married! What is she doing?' I almost felt like I needed to tell the guy 'you know she's married, right?' Then it dawned on me that everyone knew exactly what they were doing, and I needed to just stay out of it. No one was hurting me... I'd just leave them alone. But I certainly never thought that I would be the conservative one of the group.... And I just think cheating is unacceptable. Period.

Then the last night we went to dinner then the bars, per the usual routine... But we had to pack our bags and set them out the night before, so we were living out of carry-ons. And we all thought we'd go to bed early since we had to get up early to leave in the morning... But then it was midnight and I had to do birthday shots... And I chose SoCo and lime- which everyone but me hated, apparently, so I felt bad that one guy bought this round of like 10 shots and no one was drinking them... so I think I had four... And since these guys were Texans, tequila shots were always inevitable. And they had the band sing me happy birthday... and their version had an added second verse, which went "we all hope you get some tonight." But so then finally things were winding down, and people started going to bed... and one of the guys asked if I wanted to go somewhere quiet to talk. I thought 'heh, I've heard that line before'- but we really did just go talk. On the bow of the boat, as we were pulling in to the Mississippi river and you could start to see lights coming up... And the wind in our hair... It really was pretty spectacular. And we just talked and talked about all sorts of stuff. (what? Me? talk?!) Really, an interesting, charming guy. But not at ALL in an "I want to get in your pants" kind of way- he really was just genuinely kind and liked getting to know people. So he walked me to my room and was a perfect gentleman and said goodnight and that was that. And it was 4am.

It was a nice way to end the trip... until, of course, two hours later when it was time to get up. Ouch.

So I got off the ship, got my bags through customs, and stashed them at a hotel. Made my way to the French Quarter, only to find that the only place I wanted to go has closed. So I had coffee and beignets at Café du Monde (mmmm), and wandered around. Got to the aiport, and made it to Chicago. Started making some phone calls, since I had been making such a big fuss about people going out for cinco de mayo... but then all of the sudden I started to feel crappy... And by the time I reached my house I was shivering and felt dizzy and had an earache and it was all I could do to get to bed. What a bummer! Fortunately I feel better this AM. I guess that just means I'll have to do a belated bday celebration.

Ok, since this post is already way too long, I will save pix for later.

Oh, but one take home message:
Two ways to go from HOT! to not hot in two seconds flat:
1: put a cigarette in your mouth
2: open your mouth and say something asinine- for example be a rude jackass to the staff.

I witnessed both of those things several times, and it was really amazing at how fast my mind was changed. By the end of the trip, the vast majority of the eye candy had proven themselves to be idiots, not worth two seconds of my time or energy.

Happy Sunday peeps!
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Permalink: Reflections_on_a_cruise_very_long_.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


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paul said to ladycroft
Nice to "see" you. I let the CPR ads stay because at least it was something lol...

ladycroft said to joe
Sorry.....my finger went spastic. ...

ladycroft said to joe
Happy Birthday! I had my 30th with two of those peeps as well :) Remember the failed (but awesome)...

ladycroft said to joe
Happy Birthday! I had my 30th with two of those peeps as well :) Remember the failed (but awesome)...