Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Last Weekend in October

At the wee crack of dawn on Friday, I was already on the road by 6 a.m. This is that time of the year when daylight at 6 a.m. looks like 6 p.m. I felt like I was driving into the night when I was actually driving 300 miles West into daylight for a surprise birthday party.

The special occasion was for the secretary to the VP of Student Services where I attended junior college. That would be the day when she turned 60.

Her boss had cleverly sent Rosemary out on several errands to get her off campus so we would have the freedom to decorate for the event without fear of being discovered by Rosemary. Daly, Yasmin and Frankie When the time came and everyone had gathered in the dark room...Rosemary walked in the room followed by Yasmin and we all yelled SURPRISED!! And surprised she was. Especially to see me since I came from so far.

We started with coconut shrimp and crab cakes for appetizers followed by one of the best lunch I've had!

Karoake was the entertainment as someone sang, " " in the background.

I had so much fun. It was great to see the smile on Rosemary's face. She was truly touched by all the people who were there to celebrate her special day--especially when we sang her happy birthday. Rosemary, we love you and wish you 60 more happy birthdays!!

After the party, I cut my trip short and came back to Vegas. I have a test on Monday to study for, several homework assignments to complete and I honestly didn't want to be away from my husband--not even for one night.

Since Friday was Nevada Day and I had the day off, I would still have the whole weekend for more fun!

Every year, our friends throw a Halloween party and it's one party we definitely didn't want to miss. Last year, we went as Mr. and Mrs. Devil but we were out of ideas this year. I had a naughty school girl outfit but with the nights in Vegas getting colder and colder, I sure did not want to freeze my behinds off!John and Daly as tourist

So Johnny came up with the idea of being tourists though he thought it was cheesy and lacked creativity. We had fun with it anyway! I borrowed his shirt, shorts and socks then threw some leis from our wedding and topped my oufit off with Mickey Mouse ears (Johnny and I went to Disneyland on my birthday a couple years ago for what would be my first time and we each had mouse ears embroidered with our names).

I must admit I was way more comfortable with my tourist outfit than to try and balance in clear stripper shoes making sure my skirt doesn't flip up in the wind.

This year, Sean and Fawn really outdid themselves decorating their place. It's tough for me to describe since my mind is fuzzy from too many margaritas, you'll just have to check out the pics.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Could it be worse?

Having finished decorating for a surprise birthday party that was soon to start, I went to move my car parked nearby so the birthday girl wouldn't catch my Nevada license plates (which would definitely spoil the element of suprise).

As I backed out of the parking spot, I didn't see the yellow 4-foot pole behind me and smacked right into it with my Durango. My smiling face gave way to sheer horror as I jumped out of the car to investigate the damage, dreading the phone call I would soon make to Johnny to tell him of my avoidable fender bender.

We just got the car back from the shop less than 2 mos. ago after it was rear ended (twice) in August on my way to work!

Repair estimate: $1,000.53

I am SO bummed! That would have been money better spent while we're in Cabo in just a few weeks. That's A WHOLE LOT of margaritas!!

My fender bender is SO MINOR compared to the unfortunate incident my friend Annejelynn had to go through only a couple days later. To that, I gotta say HOLY CRAP!(Pictures here and here).

To answer my own question, it could have been worse for me.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

For A Limited Time

Hey...I'm on the front of my favorite bikini site,!! I had a woman e-mail me saying, 'for once, it was great to see another real woman with a figure instead of the all-too-perfect-stick-thin models on their website.' That makes me feel good that other women see themselves wearing a small bikini too.

I've started my friends on wearing MS bikinis with one who (has always worn a full bottom bikini despite her cute ass) said she's going for the g-string when we head to Cabo next month. Good for her!! (I guess it's time for me to hit the gym or I will be the one wearing the full bikini bottom this time...LOL).


This was Havi when I found her at the Henderson Animal Shelter waiting for adoption. She was meowing her little lungs out until I went up to her cage. She leaned against the cage and reached out her little paws wanting me to pet her. I just couldn't resist taking her home!

Would have been Havi

I almost adopted this little kitty with puffy blonde and blue eyes...oh so adorable!! Alas, the long hair would eventually be a problem and there was not telling that this kitty would be as friendly as Havi was. I'm sure someone will snag this darling one since I didn't.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Meet Havi

I'm sorry to say that Little Bear didn't work out. After three weeks, she hasn't adjusted to her new home and we decided to take her back to the shelter on Saturday. I felt aweful but she wasn't becoming any friendlier despite the care and love we gave her. She didn't mind being around us but if we tried to pet her, she'd run off. Many times she's just jump away, puffed up and spooked. So what was the point of having a pet we can't even pet but yet we fed and scooped her litter day after day? Little Bear might be better off with another family but we wanted a pet who was deserving of our attention and TLC.

Finding Havi made it all worth it because had I not taken Little Bear back, I wouldn't have found her. She was all alone in her cage, reaching out for me. She cried the loudest out of all the kitties and when I approached her, she leaned and rubbed against the cage--begging to be petted. There was no doubt that this was teh friendly cat for us.

At 12 weeks old, Havi sort of reminded me of Winnie. She curiously scanned our house when I brought her home. She didn't run under the bed.

Except she is SO affectionate. Likes to be petted and held. She doesn't flinch when we reach out for her, she doesn't run away in fear.

Always follows us everywhere we go. She likes to be with us.

That's how I got all these pictures!

Sunday, we took our boat out on Lake Mead to test the GPS speed. It was clear that summer was over because it was SO COLD, especially with the wind chill factor. Luckily, Johnny brought my sweatshirt (he knows I freeze anytime the temperature dips below 90 degrees). (To be continued)

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It's hailing, it's pouring...

This past Saturday, we had some pretty severe weather pass through Henderson.
I also never thought I would ever see hail here!
It hailed enough to cover the ground like white snow. Kinda neat!

(The night before the storm was even worse with the loudest rumbling thunder, dramatic displays of lightning and nonstop pouring rain. I am just glad the storm passed as quickly as it came.)
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I never thought...

I never thought I'd see the day my laptop crashed. Thank God I had a CD to recover the data.
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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cockpits Compared

Our cockpit:

Their cockpit:

(The cockpit of the Budweiser Select 44' Race Boat we saw at the Offshore Super Series race on Lake Mead last weekend.) Of course, I'm comparing apples and oranges or more like hamburgers and a Double-Double In-N-Out burger...LOL!!

44' doesn't seem like much, but to give you a sense...I am not much taller than the number 11 on the front side of the boat. to my husband, this hunk makes me so hot!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Offshore Super Series on Lake Mead

OSS Race

This was the first year the event was held at Lake Mead. We didn't know what to expect so we decided not to launch our boat out there. The best seat indeed was on the beach because all of the boats were told to idle far away from the race course in case one of the race boats should lose control and go off tumbling.

All of the boats were being prepared to hit the waters so Johnny and I took the opportunity to check them out. The first boat we stopped by was Fury. The crew were very nice, they instantly said good morning and started chatting with us. We asked to take a picture and the lady who was had been working on top of the boat jumped down and asked if we wanted her to take our picture.

"Are you the driver?", Johnny asked. I think she was surprised but Johnny's pretty intuitive with these things.

"Well yes I am." She said and we told her we'd be looking out for her. She later went on to win 1st in her class of boats!

Watching the boats get lifted off their trailor and into the water was the neatest thing! Wouldn't it be nice if they did that for us instead of me fishtailing the truck and trailor down the water!

The rest of the afternoon was just great. Johnny's dad later joined us and he brought extra beer...LOL!! It was such a rush watching the boats zoom by closely followed by helicopters above. I can't wait to see the pictures they took because not only were there cameras in the air but on the ground too.

Take a look at our pictures:

Before we head home, Johnny had to take pictures of this Ford GT. Apparently these cars are very rare and one happened to be where we were.

Ford GT

I had to the chance to sit on and take pictures with the Budweiser Select boat, which has won these championship series multiple times, but I was too tired and hot from being out in the sun all day so we went home.

More articles:
TAKE FIVE: Offshore Powerboat Racing
Race Me To The Moon: 33 Boats In Las Vegas
Bitter Duels on Lake Mead: OSS National Champions Declared in Nevada

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Another Trip to Lake Havasu

This past weekend, Johnny and I decided to get away for a little while. Just us two as we drove down to Lake Havasu, AZ. We rented a friend's condo for a couple nights. As we entered the grounds, white-tailed rabbits were hopping across the lawn--so many of them!

As soon as we parked the boat, we went in search of a small Tex-Mex restaurant chain called Chuy's. Our friend's recommendation didn't steer us wrong as we entered the restaurant. We were immediately greeted by a loud bellowing, "Hey folks! How are you doing tonight?! There's chips and salsa at the bar and you can order your food and drinks over here (he pointed at the counter)".

I looked around and the interior was just wild! EVERY inch of the walls were covered with graffiti-like artwork, plastic chickens hanging from the ceiling and lots of interesting stuff. Even the headrest above seats were carved and painted into cartoonish characters. I loved the 11th commandment they displayed on the wall that said, "Thou shall eat chicken!" and chicken we ate.

Our dinner was absolutely fun and delicious! I had a mix of BBQ and hot shrimp. They are SO yummy and not breaded. Johnny had a sampler of their well-known BBQ, beef tri-tip, mesquite shrimp, rice and side of tortillas. Later, that same bellowing bartender came to chat with us. He even brought me a bunch of serrano peppers after Johnny mentioned I liked my food hot. We didn't even have to ask, he willingly offered.

Every time we're in Havasu, we noticed the customer service is always great. The friendliest people and not even pretentious!

The next day, we towed the boat right down to the water and launched. The day started out cool but warmed up later. Clusters of boats gathered around the Naked Turtle Bar...I guess it was an Advantage regatta.

We went further down the river and explored other parts of the river we had never seen before. Speeding across the surface of Lake Mead, ducks dove underwater to escape our turbulence as we flew past other boats. We stopped by Copper Canyon and checked out the houses along the California coast.

By afternoon, we headed towards the Sand Bar, our favorite spot on the lake, but the lake was 3-4 inches lower so we decided not to try and cross some of the shallow places to get through. We moored at the channel and chatted with some other nice folks who parked near us and watched other boats pass by.

The sun was near setting so we decided to pull the boat out of the water. I had to back the truck and trailer down for what would be my third time. The other two crash courses I had was during Labor Day weekend on Lake Mead. shouldn't seen the sight. It's not as easy at it looks! But this time, I backed the truck down no problem and after I pulled the boat out of the water, I was greeted by cheers and congratulations.

The night was still young and when we returned to the condo, we asked a neighbor where we should go for steak and seafood dinner. He suggested without hesitation Shugru at the Ramada Inn along the lake and to Shugru's we went.

We had a fantastic time at the bar with our drinks before we sat down for dinner. I had ahi tuna and Johnny had steak. We got so much food, we couldn't finish it all!!

As we left Shugru's, I heard, "Hey, good job on backing the boat down!" as I looked back. Apparantly one of the guys from the launch recognized me...and so did his buddies as they stepped outside the restaurant to congratulate me.

(To be continued...)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Silver Lining

Despite it being gloomy, rainy and, at times, drizzly, today was a much better day! It was helpful that I talked to my co-workers about why I was so sad and they listened with empathy. I am lucky to have a boss who cares about us as individuals. She comes in every morning and, without fail, we chat about what's happening with our personal lives.

When the business day was over, I went to my second class for the day, Real Estate Finance. My instructor, who's reminds me of Al Pacino the way his lectures are so explosive but yet funny, in his entertaining way made the class pass by quickly. FIN 432 was also my last class for the week so I was relieved to finally go home but then I noticed the beautiful clouds and night sky (Johnny would be going to Costco and then dinner with his dad so I wasn't too anxious to get home).

View of the Strip from my office windowI went back to my office to take this picture and use the restroom before I hit the road (Not a great pic because of the lighting conditions and my window was dirty from the rain earlier today but I still think the scenery is still beautiful). As the rain was pouring down this afternoon, I had thought that one of the reasons why I LOVE living in Las Vegas is because it rains less than 30 days a year on average (compared to Seattle-Tacoma, WA (158 days) and New York, NY (110 days) just about triple Vegas' average. I have family living in both places, bless their hearts). Besides that, it's gloriously sunny...and dry (not humid). (I will go off on a tangent here about Vegas. I can eat at the finest restaurants and wander around one of the top destinations of the world one minute and then be out in the desert where there's little signs of life shooting targets or out on the peaceful lake, tanning my beautiful golden ass within 20 minutes! Or go skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, dirt bike riding--it's crazy. And I use to think Vegas was just a bunch of trailor homes. For those of you who've only visited the strips, there are surrounding areas of Vegas you should explore the next time you're here such as Summerlin, Henderson (where my husband and I live) and Boulder City. I LOVE this place!!)

So...on my way home, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some items and while I was getting some Hazelnut cream flavored decaf coffee beans (uhmmm...), I heard a small voice over the intercom. It was a little girl singing her dad a happy birthday song followed by someone (must've been her mom) who said, and many more! That just made my day! I think it's sweet that people still find creative ways to wish someone a happy birthday but the deeper meaning was that they were saying, 'I still love you'. (I think love has no shame)

Fall is not as noticeable in Las Vegas area, not like it is in Washington, but I did notice that there were a lot more variety of apples in season. I miss the times when I lived in Spokane, sister and I would visit the local orchards and pick fresh, ripe apples and peaches every year. applesThose fruits were much crunchier, jucier and bursting with more flavor than these store-bought produce but still...they are beautiful.

Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Gala and Jonagold...I picked up several of each--all for us to eat. I love that they're so juicy, sweet, crisp, and (my favorite) sweet-tarts.

After I got home, I made a myself a drink, gin and tonic--aahhh, just hits the spot. So thirst quenching. I use to not like gin because the juniper berries, primarily used to flavor it, tasted like Pine Sol to me but now I just love it! (Johnny came home right when I did and he helped me unload the groceries, then he unloaded the dishwasher and scooped the kitty litter box while chatting with me. I love it when he's seems we never have enough time together.)

After he settled down, drink in my hand, I hung around the kitchen and made Witchy Fingers from a recipe I found on Taste of Home. The recipe called for cinnamon sugar but because I don't have much of a sweet/sugar tooth (opposite of Johnny), I used garlic breadsticks instead of regular breadsticks and nixed the sugar sprinkles (I'll post the recipe soon but it's pretty easy to make). Daly's version of Witchy FingersInstead of jam (for the red area around the "nails"), I used ketchup and sliced almonds for the "nails". Here you can see the finished pieces (you can see our kitty in the background) but there wasn't much left after I did one too many taste testing :). They look bone dry and brittle but they're pretty damn good--especially when they're piping hot and dipped in warm pizza sauce...YUM!!

Every year, our friends invite us to their Halloween bash. Last year, I made Kitty Litter Cake, a recipe I got from my friend, Annejelynn. The cake was certainly the hit of the party and I think my Witchy Fingers will definitely be the center of attention again this year!

What Kind of Food Are You?

You Are Chinese Food

Exotic yet ordinary.

People think they've had enough of you, but they're back for more in an hour.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Today I am sad

SmileyCentral.comSometimes things happen around me that is out of my control and I try not to let it affect me because there is nothing I can do about it. I try to maintain a positive outlook but I am still affected by it. So today, I am the point where I'm choking back tears.

Then I realized that if I didn't care, I wouldn't be sad. It just means I love them enough to care and cry for them.