Monday, January 31, 2011

The REAL city of lights

First day back from a weekend trip to Las Vegas. Doesn't it seem like the day after vacation always sucks? I'm spilling liquids on myself in the car, I hate my outfit, I can't tune the radio to my favorite station...the list of atrocities goes on. Maybe this week seems so terrible because the weekend was so very fantastic.

I always like to blog about our trips not so much because anything significant happened but because I will likely forget it in 6 months if I don't write this stuff down.
So the following is a list of highlights and lowlights from Vegas 2011:

  • Hotel room was nice; hotel (Excalibur) itself a little ghetto. But the price was crazy low so I guess I can't complain.

  • Weather was beautiful. Sunny and warm during the day, little chilly at night.

  • We saw two Vegas shows, which we never do (probably because we're super cheap and prefer free shows). We saw Zumanity by Cirque du Soleil and Penn & Teller. Both were amazing in their own ways. The first had a lot more nudity than the second, which is probably best.
    - extra highlight from Zumanity: the midget who flew around the room holding on to a curtain.

  • We ate at First Food and Bar, which is pricey but very tasty. We also ate at Bouchon, which is pricey and completely overrated. It sounds like it should be amazing, but I was even disappointed by the chocolate croissant. Seriously, how can a French restaurant screw that up?
    - extra highlight from Bouchon: the middle-aged couple seated next to us kept staring at us and listening to our conversation. The wife finally made up a reason to talk to us and proceeded to point out the "celebrity" at the next table, who was nobody famous and she was a little delusional.

  • We hit the buffet at the Rio and the Bellagio. Bellagio won, hands down. We tested the limits of human consumption and loved every minute of it.

  • We saw The King's Speech. Amazing. Highly recommend.

  • The worst part of the trip was our car trouble, wherein my Honda would not get into gear while we were driving down the Strip...MEGA scary. But even that wasn't a huge crisis. We drove to an auto parts store (entirely in second gear) and bought some brake fluid, which provided a temporary fix and meant that we were headache-free for the rest of the trip!
I'm facing several weeks of intense school and work commitments, so I'm very grateful we had this opportunity to get away. I'd love to make this an annual trip if possible; midgets will be optional.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Love Letter to Love Letters

The other day I came home in a huge funk. To cheer me up, Tony showed me something I wrote in his high school year book: a page-long love letter that was so VERY deep and serious. It also contained impeccable grammar. Guess I had the hots for him.

So I pulled out my ceramic turtle from Rocky Point that Tony got me several years ago. It holds a small collection of notes that Tony wrote to me in high school and college. Most of them are on "On-Star Auto Glass" stationery, and make references to finding his way around ASU campus, weird people in his drawing class and how much he missed me.

We would write these letters in school and give them to each other at the end of the day or between breaks. We don't do that now; it's mostly phone calls and text messages.

At the risk of sounding like a total curmudgeon, is this a lost art? Can't imagine any teenagers feel the need to write messages on ther Five Star notebooks when they can just send a text. I guess e-mail is a little more permanent, and for a long time we both saved our early e-mails to each other from our Hotmail accounts. Then Hotmail deleted them before we could print them out.

It was so fun to sit next to Tony, laughing at these notes and remembering how much I liked him, even then. Now, 12 years later, they are just as meaningful. Inspires me to start writing these letters again. I might need another ceramic turtle.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Home Remedies

I had the unfortunate honor of being sick over the holidays. It started on Christmas Eve and kept going for 12 DAYS. So it's sort of like the 12 days of Christmas from HELL. The sad part is that I always pride myself on never getting sick and never taking sick days at work. Well this one threw me for a loop. It had it all: coughing, sore throat, the never-ending headache, low energy...the works!

Throughout all of this, I began seeking home remedies. I found some pretty interesting stuff. No guarantees on whether any of it works, but worth a read I think:

Kickapoo Joy Juice: A favorite of my brother Dally. Drink 8 oz of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a dash of lemon juice and some honey to sweeten. Repeat way more than you can stomach. (Not exactly clear on the amounts in this recipe FYI.)

Salt Water: The New York Times recently posted a story about a study looking at the effects of gargling with salt water. The conclusion was that it prevented colds and made other colds shorter. I tried it a few times but had a hard time controlling my gag reflex.

Netti Pot: There is a cult-like following for this nasty business. Essentially, you pour a salt water mixture through one side of your nose and watch it cascade gracefully from the other. I did not buy a real one, but sort of jerry-rigged one that only kind of worked. It DID clear up my sinuses, and I've heard good things from people who use it regularly. My husband refused to be in the room while I did it; I think it preserved our marriage to keep this private. I might try it again if I got really sick.

Vicks on the feet: Rub Vicks Vapo-Rub on your feet and put on socks right before bed to cut down on nighttime coughing. I don't know how much this helped but I was already putting Vicks on my neck and face so why not the feet, right?

Definitely still open to ideas. I'm hoping that I am excused, jury-duty style, from another nasty cold like this. If not, I will totally Kickapoo.