Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nelson Tracker

Six years ago today my sister and I were in Florence, Italy. We spent three and a half months traveling around Europe. Every day I think about some where we have been and how much I want to go back.

Finally after 6 years of sitting on our thousands of photos, a travel blog, and other souvenirs, I decided to finally put together a book. Initially, this was supposed to be a surprise for my sister for Christmas. However, being that I can not keep a secret for the life of me. Well, the secret lasted for about three weeks. I'm kinda proud actually. That's a long time. If you consider my mother was involved in this's miraculous really!

I knew I was taking a chance bringing my mother in on this, but there were some serious decisions to be made. My first idea was to print out the blog that we updated as we traveled. It was the blog entries and the photos we posted. Then I started questioning if I should add in more photos. This was tough. I have thousands of images. Just me. Not including Lindsay's photos. I know I would love a big coffee table book of my favorite images from the trip. However, this is more like the scrap There were too many decisions though. How many photos should I add. Should I add in our train tickets and other maps. Should I add in emails. It started getting too much and I couldn't even decide what size to go with. 

So, I brought my mom in to it. I told her it was a surprise for Lindsay. But now she wanted a book too. So she wanted full photos, tickets, blog, etc. She wanted to feel like she was there. This meant my little book just got big. Because I kinda wanted the same thing. I was having a hard time. I want this to be good. I want to make sure this is what we both would love. Who would I ask for advise, but the other person who was there. 

After three weeks Lindsay knew. I asked if I should tell her my secret and she guessed on her second guess. She totally knew what I was up to. She knew I was already working on a project for my mom's family. Plus, I got excited about a cute little photo and sent it to her. She also knew that my mom was in on it, because apparently when my mom has a secret, she avoids my sister like the plague. Nice. We are horrible at this secret keeping shit.

So now I'm knee deep in this project. It started as a tiny little book and is now a huge coffee table book. For each city I have at least 20-50 favorite photos. There are 5-10 cities visited for each country. 6 countries. I'm  finished with France and only about half way through editing the photos for Germany. There are still a shitload left to edit. I haven't even started the book!

So in the mean time, here is a look at our travel blog. Just so you are prepared, I have made a fool of myself in other countries as well as the US. I am known worldwide for my ability to fall for no reason at all. I love looking back and reading what we were up to on any day. I only wish I had known what I know now, and had kept more detailed notes on what we were doing. It still totally takes me back though! 

Just a little warning, the blog starts from the end. So if you want to start at the beginning, go to page one and move on from there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Ok, I'm totally geeking out. I've joined a book club! I've wanted to for a long time. I have just been a little skeptical about actually joining a group. I have no idea what kinds of books they'll be reading. I want to read random fun books. I don't want to read gushy, eat pray love books. I don't want brainiac books. I want funny. I want different. I finally found a group that should fit.

After hearing my sister and her best friend joined a book club, I started looking around a bit. I looked at some of the postings at the library. I've kept my eyes open around town. I just haven't seen anything that has really felt like I'd fit in. When I asked my sister how she found her group, she told me that she found it on

I was using this site to try to get game players into the restaurant. So, I quickly signed myself up with my own profile and right off the bat, I found what sounds like the perfect book club. I am so excited! It's brand new, so everyone coming in will be getting to know eat other. I like the idea of not being the only new person in the club. The first book already sounds fun, "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter". I can't wait to get my hands on that book!

While I was on, I decided I wanted to look for some other clubs. I'd love to find a local group to walk with and get outside a little. I didn't find one that I I might have to start up my own group. I also found a group for young female business owners. I've pretty stinking excited about this one also! I love to talk to other business owners, bounce ideas around and feed off of everyone's excitement. It's really encouraging to hear about others struggles and accomplishments. It really something that has benefited my company in the past. I'd really hope this works out!

The last club I signed up for was the Burbank Ladies Social. Yup. I've joined a ladies club. No not it's not a purple hat ladies club. Just a get out and socialize club. I have some local girlfriends but we're kinda outnumbered by the boys. The rest of my friends live kinda far away, and sometimes you just want to hang out with someone. So, I'd like to find some more friends or even a fun group to go out to a movie with or an event. Plus, I read something about bottomless champagne brunch on the site somewhere... kinda sealed the deal for me. We'll see how this one goes. I just hope this isn't a high school popularity thing.

So far, these are the only clubs I've signed up for. I figure I should start off slow. I don't wan to become a club junky.

I have to admit there are a few clubs that have caught my eye...some for good reasons, some for bad. Swingers club...not so interested. But I do love how they describe themselves "safe place to explore our cuckold and hotwife fantasies" yeah. "Sexual Love feast" is another...funny.

My favorite so far is "The Kickass Drinking Volunteer Benefactor's Society". Their tagline is "Schemes, Plots, and Sing-Alongs"....awesome. I'm still on the fence with this one but somehow it seems so perfect. Drinking, volunteering, and's the trifecta!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tis the Season

 Mario and I finally put up our first real Christmas tree. Oh we've had Christmas trees before. We've had a 5ft paper tree taped to the wall, we've had a small fake tree up, and we've had the ceramic tree. This year we went to the big fancy tree lot with the petting zoo. Looked at all the animals. Looked at all the beautiful trees. Then left and went to Lowe's for a way cheaper tree.

I didn't know it could be done. I really thought we'd pick up a cute skinny three or four footer for sure. However, somehow, we've squeezed a 6ft tree into our tiny apartment. We had to move stuff around to fit her in. Then to make sure we had walking room, I shaved down the back and one side. Then I shaved a little more off another side, to make sure it wasn't too too close to the heater.

I let Mario take the lead on the decorating. Since I mostly have taken over how the house should look every day, I totally handed over the reigns on the Christmas tree.

Lighting - One thing I inherited from my father, is my weight in Christmas tree lights. Seriously. Boxes of lights. Anything you could want. So, Mario had his choice of light colors and patterns. He took his decorating very seriously. Thought long and hard about the lighting situation. He ended up wanting to lay out a base of blue and green lights with a single strand of multi color lights to extra pizazz. While the blue lights move crazy and fast, the multi color strand moves slow. Like I said, lots of planning.

Christmas ornaments are a different story. I have some ornaments from my mom and some from my dad. Mom has boxes and boxes of ornaments. She's slowly been going through them and splitting them up. Last Christmas mom sent me home with a box of ornaments. There were those little ones that I had made when I was young. There was the old one with a baby photo of me. And then there were a whole bunch of ornaments that I don't remember ever seeing. My sister was nice enough to inform me that mom just pawned off her crappy ornaments on me, but threw a few good ones in to be nice. The thing is I totally believe it! I got suckered. Of course I totally used them...cause I am trying to avoid a series of animal ornaments my father bought from us while trying to raise money for a class trip...they are creepy and I just don't like them. But I will keep them. Hidden off in a Christmas box to look at each year and remember...then hide them again.

In the end, we were very happy with our Christmas tree...until we went to the restaurant and Mario say how many ornaments they had on their tree. Then he decided we needed way more ornaments on ours. We went and picked up a 76 pack of cute ornaments. He put every one of those little bastards on the tree and some bead garland that meticulously placed on the tree.

It does look great. He's obviously very serious about decorating our first tree...even if you can't see much tree under all the ornaments. Finally after almost a week, I was finally allowed to take a photo and show you all...I wasn't allowed to until he was finished with his work of art.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life on the Beach

I've been having weird dreams lately. A few days ago, I dreamt that I was on Bay Watch. Yup and I was a regular. However, no one realized it because I was on the more recent episodes...the episodes that no one watched towards the end of the series. Lucky for me, it turned out that Bay Watch was having a huge revival and the old episodes were now way popular again. They were going to bring back this gem of a series!

None of my family or friends knew that I was on it. They only realized it was true when I had to attend the Emmy's with the whole Bay Watch cast. The looks on people's faces when I started walking through in my fancy pants dress was funny. Of course true to a dream, I magically had a sparkly dress ready to change into at the pool. However, there were problems also. I couldn't find any shoes. I had also lost one of my huge diamond earrings in my purse and could only find the small inadequate pair. So annoying!

If the dream really weren't embarrassing enough, I actually woke up feeling pretty cocky. I was a famous actress on Bay Watch! Of course I'm totally hotter than Pam Anderson!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Match made in Potty Humor

Today was productive on many levels. We started off lazy and relaxed. Made a nice breakfast. Sold some items on Craigslist. Headed over to our storage to get out the ole Christmas decorations and maybe find some things to sell. We actually did very well at storage. We organized quite a bit and made some room in the locker.

When we finished up, we headed over to Mario's mother's place to drop off some things. On our way there Mario made a quick phone call to a friend. I couldn't stop myself from making fun of him...cause you know how mature I am.

Me - "So you couldn't drop off the speakers cause you got some last minute runs?"
Mario - "He knows what I mean. I gotta take this to mom and I have to run to Hilario's. However, I definitely got the last minute runs when we were at the storage unit though."
Me - "oh god"
Mario - "I had to stand like a flamenco dancer to make sure nothing came out while we were there"
I was crying laughing and trying to drive straight while picturing Mario standing like a flamenco dancer
Me - "That's gross. If I had known you had to go that bad, we had an empty box you could have pooped in"
Mario - "And what leave the box in storage for the next time?"
Me - "When you're do extreme things. Like stand like a flamenco dancer. I thought the box was a good option"
Mario- "Hey, the flamenco dancer stand kept the turtle head at bay"
Me - "You are gross! Oh man my butt cheek has an itch!"
Mario - "Ah crap, my phone called my cousin Dougie in Alabama!"
Me - "Are you kidding me! He heard us talking about you pooping in a box! And he heard me say my butt        itched! Oh my god"
Mario - "It's ok he's young. He understands."
Me - "No! I haven't ever met this part of the family, and this is what he hears! Oh my god! Oh my god!"
Mario - "Well look at the bright side, he might not have heard the whole thing. He might have only heard the end."
Me - "Are you kidding me! That was me saying how my butt itched!! That is not ok! You have to text him and apologize."
Mario - "No, that's admitting to it."
Me - "Oh my god!"

But this is when the ridiculousness of the situation hits. I can only hope that Mario's family finds my lack of maturity and love of potty humor endearing. I didn't stop laughing for the entire drive to Mario's mom's house. The minute I'd get control over myself, I'd start thinking of Mario standing like a flamenco dancer and loose it again. I have to admit it, it's times like these that I realize that I married the perfect man for me....

Friday, December 10, 2010

Spring Cleaning Already

After looking around for a bigger apartment, we've resigned ourselves again to sticking it out in our tiny apartment. It would be a huge luxury to have a bigger apartment but it comes down to saving money and paying off bills.

What does this mean? Spring cleaning! This time Mario got the organizing bug up his butt. I'm all for it. We started the weekend before Thanksgiving. We started by deciding what furniture that would really help us. Figured out how much money we needed to make to get that furniture. Then photographed all the non essential doo-dads and furniture that just isn't working for us, put it all up online and waited. It's amazing how fast people jump on some things. We had calls within 10 minutes. We sold all the main pieces we needed to by Monday. Bought two of the four pieces of furniture we needed Tuesday night and ended up staying up most of the night organizing and shuffling things around.

We bought a mucho bigger entertainment center. It's almost a little on the too big side, but we seriously needed the storage. I'm not sure if I've told you how many dvds Mario owns... ridiculous. Now, all the dvds, books, and doo-dads have a home. They all have their spot and I love it.

The second piece of furniture we got was a pantry for the kitchen. Most of you have seen the state of our kitchen....tiny. We've spent most of the four years here trying to come up with more storage in the kitchen. We've added a big cute shelf for storage, a portable dishwasher for counter space and washing our dishes obviously. And now we've added a floor to ceiling pantry. It's a monster and yet dreamy at the same time. There are big drawers with all the canned goods. There are shelves for equipment storage. And my favorite are the wire basket drawers for fruits and those! We still want to get a second pantry for the other side of the fridge. They'll box in the fridge and hopefully look good. We just need to get doors for this one.

I figured that we'd be on a hold with the rest until after New Years. However, Mario came home last night wanting to get the fourth piece on our list. A cute shelf for the bedroom with lots of baskets. Plus he wanted to get a bunch of fabric baskets for our linen closet. So, again, we stayed up all night sorting, moving, and donating shit. There's still a ways to go for sure. But I'm excited by how much Mario is into the purging and organizing. There's lots of planning and really trying to figure out what will work for us.

The good news is, this year we'll have enough space for a real Christmas tree!!! I'm so excited! Not our little fakey guy. Real and actually a good sized. So, this weekend, we'll be buying our tree and decorating it up. After we hit our storage and find our Christmas shit! Maybe we'll even find some things to sell!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

New Recordings

Recently, I've started recording Mario sleeping again. He's just been talking too much in his sleep, I can't resist. So, far I have three nights recorded. One old night about a month ago and the last two nights.

There was a point when I realized that I watch too many ghost shows. Because when I started recording one night, I thought to myself, "Man, I hope I don't get any ghosts talking on here". That's just not what I want to hear. I don't need to hear some disembodied voice talking with Mario in his sleep. Too creepy!

So, tonight when I started listening to the last three recordings, the last thing I thought I might hear was a lady whispering over Mario's snore! Tell me it's a neighbor please! Plain as day there is a whisper "Turn out the lights"...and it's not me! Mario and I are much louder on the recorder. I'm not sure what to do with this. denial works. However, here I am telling you all.

At least I can take comfort in the fact that it's a considerate ghost...hey turn off the lights. I can probably live with that. However, it's what I heard next that scared the shit out of me! I heard snoring. No not Mario snoring. Not a ghost snore. It was me! Horrifying! All I can say is, hey, I just got over a cold! I'm still congested!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


There is one thing that has stuck with me since visiting my family at Thanksgiving. I've thought about it over and over again. I just haven't been able to figure it out really.

Friday afternoon after Thanksgiving and after our fruitless Black Friday morning shopping trip, I sat down at my mother's computer to send off some emails. As I waited for the computer to catch up, I was kind of looking at the desk for things to put away. It's a small desk with lots of pens and little pieces of paper across it. In the nest of clutter, one little piece of paper caught my eye. It was obviously written in my sister's messy handwriting. It was a list. A magical list. There were only two items, but I can't stop thinking about it.

Publishers Clearing House

What the hell is this list?! Is it a reminder or a to do list? All I know is it's fascinating! What does one have to do with the other? Is it a wish list? When I win the publisher's clearing house the first thing I will buy is a piñata. The only problem with that the Piñata was definitely first on the list. Maybe she wants a Piñata filled with Publisher's Clearing House forms?

I don't know. I haven't stopped thinking about it since I've gotten back. I know, I could simply ask, but I kind of like the mystery of this magical list. This might be my favorite list ever!

Sunday, December 05, 2010


I'm finally at the end of my head cold....yay! And it took me that long to realize that I was allergic to the cough drops I was using. Yup. 

I'd like to blame the medicine for my lack of analytical deduction when it came to figuring out what the hell was going on...but no. I'm just a bone head. 

First off I didn't suspect the cough drops because they were given to us by Mario's Aunt Meg from New Zealand and told that they were miracle cough drops. Best out there and all natural! Nothing works like these little babies. So they couldn't be the problem right?

All I know if that my mouth was really messed up. Itchy and felt a little swollen. I was super sensitive to food. I just assumed it was the cold. Everything tastes funny when you have a cold, right? I had the same thing happen to me the last time I had a cold. My mouth felt like it had a rash. So, maybe it's just a weird symptom of the cold.

I was at that stage at the end of my cold when you feel much better but still get those random coughing fits. They always happen in the most public of places. Like the minute you walk into a store. You get that tiny tickle in your throat and all of a sudden it takes you down. Red face, tears in your eyes, coughing for a good solid five minutes while everyone looks at you with looks of sympathy...or is that a look of disgust directed at you who is now contaminating everyone within a mile radius with your sickie sickiness.

Of course the only thing that can handle the rogue tickle is the miracle killer cough drop. So you take one cough drop. It calms the cough and allows you to shop for a minute. But then the cough comes back even worse because you are allergic to the drop...only you haven't realized this yet because you still believe Auntie Meg when she says it's a miracle. So to get through the shopping trip you keep popping those little bastards. Alas, you have made your purchases and leave the store. Finally...finally the tickle has stopped because it's no fun making you cough unless is includes public humiliation.

It's only later that night when you are on the phone with your sister that it finally clicks. Wow I just ate the cough drop and my mouth is so ichy!!! Wow, I must be allergic to these things. I'm glad I figured that out. Or was it actually your sister who said "hey idiot, you know you started complaining about your ichy mouth as soon as you popped that miracle cough drop of yours."

I guess I can thank her for saving my life. Thanks Lindz.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Home for the Holidays

I'm finally posting about Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving with my family was fun as usual. I always have a great time with them. Probably because they always get me drunk. There is always lots of food, drink, drunk people trying to play games and someone coming up with a ridiculous idea.

By 3 pm we had already emptied four bottles of champagne and had eaten all sorts of wonderful appetizers.  Dinner was mostly done...but not quite yet. So, we talked our cousin into trying on her wedding dress from 1986. She hated her dress then and doesn't love it much more now...although, we all agreed she looked just as good in it, if not better now. She even had her shoes...which we discovered fit Lindsay perfectly. They actually look super cute on my sister...hello something borrowed.

I know those shoes are up here somewhere...

This is my favorite feels very "the hills are alive with the sound of music"

This is how cute my cousin Jennifer fun and bubbly. Just like her mother!

Jennifer and Bob's 24th anniversary is December 6. Unfortunately Bob will be out of the country until she's going to email him the photos and video. I can't wait to hear what he says. I don't think he'll be too surprised knowing we were there cheering her on. 

Uncle Chet carving up the turkey...mmm

 The littles ladies setting the table...of course mom and me documenting with photos

Mario and Tim bonding over a nice nap before dinner

It was a little quieter than usual. Along with Bob, the other person missing was Allyn who got stuck on base in Tennessee...he wasn't about to make it. We missed Bob and Allyn. Especially Cabana Bob...who always keeps our glasses full of champagne. Mario really isn't a drinker, so he can't bartend worth a poop. However, we had a bartender in training Tiki Tim. He's not nearly as good as Cabana Bob yet, but a few more Thanksgivings and I think he'll be quite good! 

I wish I could see my family more often. Although, I know my Oregon family reading this will tell me to buck up...they are much farther away! If only we lived closer! 

The only downside was too much kissing on the family. With all the kissing and hugging, by the time I left...I was sick. One of those jerks gave me a cold. Personally I think it was Uncle Chet...he was coughing a lot. Who knows though. This is the reason I haven't posted this week. I have been hopped up on the cold medicine. I could barely talk, let alone typr. (I can't believe that actually happened...that's the cold medicine typing!)