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March 31, 2005

Grandma Peggy!

Today is Grandma Peggy's 80th birthday. And she's here to celebrate it!

Yesterday, Mom and Grandma arrived. We went to dinner at Coral Cafe, but had an early night because they were still on Chicago time. Sleeeeeeeepy.

I took a personal day today to spend with Mom and Grandma. Caitlin and I met them at their hotel for breakfast (after we went to the gym... it's right across the street from the hotel), and then Mom, Grandma and I went down to the Grove and the Farmer's Market to wander around. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. We had freshly-made ice cream, watched a dancing fountain, and bought a few silly little things.

Then we drove out to Santa Monica for lunch and ate out on the Promenade where we could people-watch with the best of 'em. Enjoyable! So many interesting folks out today. Then we mosied over to the beach so Grandma could walk in the Pacific Ocean. Did I mention it was gorgeous out today? Clear and warm with a light breeze, and the hills were green and the sky and ocean were so, so blue, and it was the perfect California day.

Now we're headed to dinner with my roommates and my work friend to celebrate Grandma's birthday once more. So great to have them here!

March 29, 2005


If you have a chance, turn on "NCIS" tonight (8pm Eastern/7pm Central on CBS). Sarah is the Navy petty officer who gets murdered. Should be fun. ;)

March 26, 2005


What a GAME! Neck-in-neck during the first half, down by a handful through most of the second. Down by fifteen with two minutes to go, and they tied it by the end of regulation play, winning by one in overtime!

Man, I love this game! Drama! Nail-biting! EXCITEMENT!


Okay. I'm okay. Hee. I watched the first part of the first half, then went to the gym. I figured I could watch the second half there. Let me tell you, watching a game like that really makes for a good workout! I was on the elliptical next to a Kentucky fan rooting for Arizona (he's scared of an Illinois/Kentucky matchup... ha!), so we were cheering and grunting at opposite plays. And I burned 600 calories in 45 minutes. That's pretty much a record. I've only done 400 in 30 minutes twice before... usually I get tired and can't quite keep up that pace. Heh.

Then I tired of the elliptical and went over to the bikes, in front of a second TV, to finish out the game. All in all I did about 720 calories during the second half/OT. Not bad. If I hadn't had that scoop of ice cream earlier, I'd have burned off everything I ate today so far.

By the time the game was in overtime, a small crowd had formed around the TV I was in front of. It was like a little society of b-ball watchers, cheering and sighing and booing and whooping and clenching our fists and clapping. One guy congratulated me on my faith -- I'd said they'd pull it off when they were down by 7, and he didn't think it would happen.

Anyway, I think that was the most fun I've had at the gym yet!

March 25, 2005


I miss my friends.

March 24, 2005

Thursday Off

Had my second session with my trainer this morning, and she kicked my ass. Holy guacamole! I don't know what was different last time from this time, because last time, while it was a hard workout, I was fine. I was hurtin' afterwards, but it was good. This time, I could barely get through her sets. Either it was the headachey-ness I've been battling recently, or the fact that I kicked my own ass on Sunday. Maybe my muscles hadn't recovered from that.

Also, we did a lot more free weights. With the machines, you're kind of forced to stay in good form. With free weights, one little wobble and you're all off track. I think that got me a bit.

Aaaaaanywho. It is, yet again, a rather gloomy day in Southern California, weather-wise. Do you know that we're thisclose to breaking the all-time record for rainfall in Los Angeles? *takes a bow* That's all me, yo. I brought this weather with me.

What else? Sean's friends were in town this past weekend, so we did touristy stuff like Hollywood and the beaches. We drove up to Oxnard, which was super-cute, and walked all around. Mom and Grandma P are coming next week, which I'm totally and completely thrilled about. Yay! I can't WAIT to see them.

Other than that, work's fine. Same old, same old. The boys are good, and Caitlin's going to be a "featured extra" on Jack & Bobby in a few weeks. I'll let y'all know when that's happening. Oh! And Sarah is going to be the corpse on Navy: NCIS this Tuesday. CBS at 8pm Eastern & Pacific. Watch it!

March 20, 2005

Jessica's Visit

It has, once again, been eons since I've updated. What's happened since the last true post? My sister visited and Grandpa's doing much better. (How to say this without coming across sarcastic? This is truly not sarcasm...) Thanks for all your concern. It meant a lot. :) He's scheduled to go home anytime between March 29th and April 3rd. Of course, those are the dates of Grandma's trip out here, but my uncle will be staying with him that week.

So. Onto Jessica's visit. She and three of her friends (Hol, 'Manda and Kel) came out during their spring break a few weeks ago. They arrived Friday night, February 25th. I went down to LAX to fetch them and their many suitcases -- it was creative packing of the trunk, that's for sure! -- and brought them back here for Sushi & Game Night.

We made homemade sushi, which the girls sportingly tried. Then played Trivial Pursuit. They were troopers and stayed awake until the wee hours of the morning, which were wee-er hours of the morning in the timezones they were used to, while we played the game right in their bedroom (aka our livingroom).

On Saturday, we set out for Santa Monica to see the beach, but changed plans mid-route when Amanda's aunt called and asked if we'd like to meet them for dinner halfway between their San Diego home and here. We agreed, and drove down to Newport Beach and Irvine. We were early, as there wasn't enough time to go to Santa Monica and then make it down to Irvine, so we just went straight there. We landed ourselves on a state beach in Newport Beach, which was absolutely gorgeous! I didn't have a camera, but the girls took pictures. I'll have to get copies. Very nice. Then we went into Irvine, which is super-cute and exactly how I expected Orange County to look, and met the relatives for dinner.

Sunday morning we set off with the boys for a "quick hike" in Griffith Park and the Hollywood Hills. "Quick hike", to us, apparently meant no water, and no real hiking preparedness. "Quick hike" connotated a bit of a stroll through well-defined paths at average inclines, lasting perhaps a half-hour or so. "Quick hike" was not what we ended up on. Oh, no. What we went on was a mountain climbing expedition! The "path" had mostly been washed out by the rain and overgrown by foliage. The pollen was out in force, making it difficult to breathe for those of us with allergies. It was mid-day, under the beating sun, while we climbed up a path too steep to go back down for more than an hour before reaching the "top", and we were without water.

When we finally got the chance to enjoy the view, it was truly amazing. We were on the next hill over from the Hollywood sign, although, sadly, my picture didn't turn out. I have other pictures, however, down in the "More" section. Once we started traveling downward, it was a much more pleasant hike. We'd found a horse path that was not of an intense grade, and along it saw not only horses, but waterfalls and other pretty things, all with a view down over Los Angeles.

After the hike, we made homemade pizzas and settled in for some Oscars viewing (that's how long ago this was... Academy Awards weekend).

I worked on Monday, but the girls did make it to Santa Monica, and then to a filming of The Tonight Show.

Tuesday, too, I worked. They had tickets to The Price is Right, which, let me tell you, is an insane thing to do. They had to be in Hollywood at 6 am to get a number. At 8:00 they had to come back with their numbers to get tickets. Then, they had to return at 10:00 to get in line. The taping started at 2:30, and they were not allowed to leave the line once they were in it. To top things off, I had to work at a branch waaaaaaay out on the other end of the Valley, so I couldn't give them my car for the day. They had to take public transportation. I felt bad dropping them off at the Metro station at 5:15 in the morning, but they made it alright.

I had Wednesday off, so we went down to Hollywood to be touristy. We strolled along the Walk of Fame, stopped by Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and had our pictures "drawn" in a photobooth at the Hollywood Wax Museum. We browsed through a few tacky souvenir shops and then headed home. Did I mention it rained off and on all week? It hasn't been the best of weather this winter. This was a day it was drizzling nearly all day. Meh. Oh well.

I called in "sick" on Thursday, which wasn't a total lie because the rain had given me one awful headache that started Wednesday and basically lasted into Friday. But they'd switched my day off on Monday and we'd already had plans to do the Warner Bros. Studio Tour on Thursday.

So. We went to Warner Bros. for the tour. Our guide was a bit annoying, but it was really probably the best of the three WB tours I've been on. A lot of shows were filming that day (ER, What I Like About You, Joey, Two and a Half Men, and one more I'm forgetting) so we didn't get to go onto many of the sets, but we did get to peek in at the filming. The set we did get to go onto was for Gilmore Girls (which I have never seen, and probably should watch sometime). I'd been on the set during the last tour I went on, but we saw completely different portions of the set this time. And our guide picked up a water pitcher that was, unbeknownst to her, full of water, and dumped it all over herself, the kitchen set, and anyone who was standing close. Oops.

They also had portions of the Friends set displayed in the museum there, which was cool. The Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban display was also still set up, which I'd seen last time. This time I was sorted into Gryffindor (last time it was Hufflepuff).

After the tour, the girls and I went to an Italian place to meet a coworker of mine for dinner. It was very tasty and I ate way too much.

Hol had to leave on Friday, sadly. I went off to work, and the girls took her to the airport. They went back to Santa Monica and then to the Burbank mall. We ordered Indian in for dinner and had a quiet night.

And on Saturday, the remaining three left. I was really sad to see them go! I miss my sister. But I'm glad they came, and I think they had a really good time.

Only four, because I didn't take my camera with us most of the time. I do need to get copies from Jess. These are from our hike in Griffith Park, and I wish there was some kind of reference there, because we were SO high up!

That's Los Angeles you see way out there, covered in a blanket of fog. And yes, it was fog, not smog. It was very rainy most of the week, and that happened to be a sunny moment in between the rain.

The clouds starting to roll in again...

March 09, 2005

Grandpa update

Thought I'd pop in for a quickie post. Grandpa Jim's in a nursing home now, which is both encouraging and scary for my grandparents. To Grandma, "Nursing Home" is like a final sentencing, but it's really more for rehab purposes. He's off the IV and is able to eat much more than he could for a while. He'll be doing rehabilitation for at least a couple weeks, I expect. In some ways, he's doing much better, and in others, he's about the same.

This does mean, of course, that Grandma Peggy likely will not be coming to visit for her 80th birthday at the end of the month. I'm terribly disappointed, but I certainly understand. She can't leave Grandpa, even for a few days, if he's not himself yet. Mom says he gets this "lost little boy" look on his face when Grandma's not around, like he misses her more than anything. Their marriage is to be envied for sure. I hope I find that someday.

The other major happening was that Jessica visited last week! I have a whole write-up of her visit planned out in my head, but now I must sleep.