Drinks With The Girls

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Never Say “Goodbye” September 15, 2008

Filed under: Life,Rummy — Rummy @ 12:53 pm
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I never got to say goodbye to an old friend of mine.  She was hit on her motorcycle and was in a coma.  I visited her at the hospital but didn’t say goodbye on purpose.  I said “I’ll see you soon when you are fully recovered” since I thought she might come out of the coma and I wanted to be supportive.  Unfortunately it wasn’t going to happen and life support was ended and she passed away last week.  It really makes you think about your own mortality and what’s important in life.  We hadn’t spoken much in the past few years but I still had many fond memories of the times we shared together.  In the end I think connections with others is the most important thing in life.  I hope when its my turn to go, I will have many friends that will have fond memories of me and feel that I affected their life in a positive way.  It would seem from all the visitors at the hospital that my friend did indeed accomplish this in her 30 short years in this world.

 

She was an organ donor so several other people will be able to have better lives because of her.  What a nice final gift to give to the world.  I’ve never really thought much about being an organ donor until now.  It’s hard to think about an untimely end but if it did occur what use would I have for the organs….none.  And thinking someone who has been sick may get a second chance sounds wonderful.  I always feel good when I do something nice for someone else and donating organs could be my last good deed. 

 

We held a big celebration of life for her yesterday.  It was nice to take some time to reminisce about the good times we shared together with her other friends.  I have so many memories of us going on vacations, doing bike hashes and going out dancing.  If I had to pick one memory to share it would be when we went on a very difficult run hash together in Oregon.  One woman whose husband was making the run trail asked “are those two little girls going to be ok”.  She didn’t know how strong this petite woman was and not only were we ok we actually finished in the front ahead of all the boys!

 

Another fond memory I have is one of the compliments she gave me.  She told me once that she was always impressed at how friendly I was and how easy it was for me to approach people and make new friends.  Sincere compliments like that really mean a lot.  I try to admire the good qualities in others and point them out.  It makes me feel good and the person I’m complimenting too.  I do have to say that no matter how many new friends I make, I will never forget this one!

 

She will be missed but I hope as her boyfriend said “we all now have an angel watching over us now”.    

 

Rummy “I’ll Miss You My Friend” Runner

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Hookers and Hikers, Buttes and Bikers September 9, 2008

Filed under: Drinks with the girls,humor,Life,Rummy — Rummy @ 9:22 am
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Monument Valley

Monument Valley

I know you must be wondering what the strange title means.  Well it’s an intro to my latest vacation of course.  My boyfriend and I went on a 7-day epic journey covering 4 states and too many miles to count….even for an engineer. 

 

 

 

 

It all started in Las Vegas, which is where the hooker comes in.  I knew it was legal there but I was surprised at how much advertisement there was for it.  We past a guy in an orange shirt that said “Direct to your Door in 30 minutes”.  I decided it would be fun to take a picture with him since legally picking up a hook seemed so extreme due to my naïve upbringing.  Well I didn’t realize that I was wearing an orange shirt too and so the picture looks like I am one of his “employees”.  I better not let my mom see that picture!  We decided our $40 would be better spent on an all you can eat buffet so we went to the Bellagio hotel for their world famous buffet.  It was the best buffet I have ever had in both quantity and quality!  We stayed for TWO hours.  Six plates and eight desserts later we finally waddled out.  “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”?  Can someone please inform my hips of this!  At the time I decided we were “training” for day two of the journey, which involved a hike down Grand Canyon so the carbs were necessary to prep.  It sounded good at the time.

 

On day two we journeyed to the Grand Canyon and started our hike down.  We didn’t prep except for eating bunches in Vegas and we didn’t know if what we were doing was commonplace or not.  Being from Florida where the elevation is zero is sure seemed extreme.  At least gravity was on our side but it still took 4 ½ hours to get down.  Some of that was due to needing a picture every 10 feet.  It was beautiful and we wanted to document it all.  The best part was we didn’t finish the hike until after dark.  The last two miles were in complete darkness with just a little flashlight to help us not fall off the trail and into the Colorado River.  It worked and we made it to the ranch for the best dinner ever….or maybe I was just very hungry.  After dinner I went to the girls camp to sleep with a bunch of women I didn’t know.  I was a little nervous about this but my boyfriend informed me he did it all the time and it was easy.  He didn’t earn any girlfriend points with that little comment.  But I met the girls in the morning and they were awesome and we became instant friends.

 

Unfortunately what goes down must come up and on day three we journeyed up the canyon.  As the signs all stated getting to the bottom was optional but getting up was mandatory so we were on our own.  We were laughing in the morning how we made it through the heat and decent and the dark and the only thing missing was torrential rain.  It was a joke at the time since it was totally sunny but by lunchtime it started to downpour.  We just kept on hiking since there really wasn’t much else to do and as it turned out it probably helped us since it would have been too hot without the rain.  We ran into one of those odd people we meet on every trip.  You know the ones who like to act like they know it all and like to share their opinion even if you obviously aren’t interested.  When we mentioned we were from Florida he said “well congratulations, most of MY people from Florida can’t make it” in a very derogatory tone.  So I decided to mess with his head and said “really.  This was easy.  We have this ride at Disney World….except its air-conditioned”.  That seemed to put him in his place or at least confuse him enough so we could get away.  It really wasn’t too bad of a journey.  We just went slow and steady and a mere 8 ½ hours later we were up!  We had some soreness and blisters but we didn’t fall in the canyon so that makes it a total success in my mind.

 

The Buttes come into play on Day 4 when we went to monument valley Utah.  There are huge rock formations called buttes and mesas just jutting out of the ground.  It was spectacular to view.  I found a rock that had the best echo I’ve ever heard.  I could almost recite the preamble to the US Constitution and hear it all repeated back to me.  We took some pictures, did some yoga poses and had a small snack while we soaked it all in.  I only wish I could have done a full yoga class in that location. 

 

Day 5 brings us to the biker part of my title since we mountain biked down a mountain at a ski/snowboard resort.  I’ve done mountain biking before but usually you have to spend a lot of time biking up just to enjoy a quick downhill.  Most bikers like to say “you have to earn it” when talking about the downhill but I figure if I pay for the lift ticket then “I earned it”!  We used the ski lift to go up the mountain which felt odd without a board on my feet and then the bikes were hooked to the back of the next chairs.   So we spent all day chair lifting up and biking down.  All the fun without all the work and I am totally ok with that! 

 

These were just a few of the many highlights from our epic journey to the West.  I love vacations since they are a time of adventure and a time of living in the moment and they create lifelong memories.  I hope you enjoyed my vacation as much as I did and that you get a chance to travel soon and make many wonderful memories to last a lifetime!

 

Rummy “It’s a dry heat” Runner

 

Is Fay There? August 20, 2008

Filed under: humor,Life,Rummy — Rummy @ 11:23 am
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So I called up my parents and asked “is Fay there”.  My dad thought I had dialed the wrong number until I explained it’s my little way of checking on them and making sure they were ok with Tropical Storm Fay approaching.  The media must have been bored since they made a really big deal out of this tropical storm.  Any given summer afternoon in Central Florida can produce as much rain and wind as the menacing TS Fay.  But I did what a good prepared Floridian should do and I “hunkered down” for the storm.  My boyfriend and I grilled out and watched movies.  It was a nice chill evening and I didn’t feel like I was missing out since it was too rainy to do much else.   Toward the end of the night when I got antsy I went out in the storm and did my best weather woman impersonation.  You know how they stand out in the storm and show how windy and rainy it is for all to see.  Well that is what I did and it was fun.  It would have been even more fun if people were actually watching me from their hunkered down locations.  I think I picked the wrong career! 

 

The night did bring back fond memories of the hurricanes of 2004 when Central Florida was hit by 3 hurricanes in a matter of a few short months.  The worst one was Charlie, which made driving a car like navigating a maze since almost all streets were blocked by downed trees.  Even in that hurricane I was able to drive to a Publix in a new neighborhood that didn’t have any trees and had underground power lines.  It was like nothing had happened there and I was living in a totally devastated war zone just one mile away. 

 

I hope everyone was safe and had a good TS day even if we didn’t get the day off from work.  Feel free to share your hurricane and tropical storm stories!

 

Rummy “All this wind is messing up my hair” Runner

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now August 11, 2008

Filed under: humor,Life,Rummy — Rummy @ 7:30 pm
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I recently decided to end my lease at my upscale downtown high-rise apartment.  Ok, so it’s really just a dumpy little efficiency but I’ve lived here for 3 ½ years now and I consider it home.  I thought this place was the coolest when I first moved in.  It was my first time living on my own.  I know that’s probably odd since I was 37 years old at the time but it was exciting and my big adventure.  So now my apartment is a total mess while I decide what I absolutely can’t do without and what I would rather give away than have to carry down 3 flights of stairs and possibly up some stairs to wherever I move.  It’s funny that I’m usually very clean but I really don’t care that my apartment is a total mess right now since I look at it as a transition phase and I know it’s only temporary.  When I was deciding if I should stay or go there was no clear winner.  It wasn’t like I found a beautiful place for half the price.  That Sheryl Crow song just came to mind and I decided “a change would do me good”.   The sad part is I don’t even know where I’m going yet and its only 3 weeks away!  And instead of packing and looking I decided it was more important to blog tonight. 

 

I know I will miss a lot of things about this place like the “take it table” downstairs.  If you have something you don’t want anymore you can just leave it on the table for someone else.  I’ve gotten some really cool stuff from it.  Plus there was that time my friends walked me home after a night of drinking and my girl friend jumped on the table and her boyfriend “took” her.  Don’t worry it was only “G” rated but it was funny and one of many good memories.  Then there was the “happy birthday” time where we just decided to sing happy birthday to everyone who came downstairs.  Somehow that made everyone smile.  I also have to mention the time Cosmo, Tini and friends came over to party.  I think that was a record for the amount of people that could fit in the apartment and boy do we have some fun pictures from that night!  

 

I’m sure some things will be better at a new place like hopefully I won’t have to put up with kids partying on my fire escape at 3 am on a school night but I’m sure there will be some things worse in the new place.  The lesson I’ve learned lately is that everything seems to be tradeoffs.  Some things get better and others stay the same or get worse.  It’s all shades of grey.  So mostly I just decided to take a chance and not get too set in a rut.  As long as I am renting I want to move every year just so I can try different things and see what I like.  So I will be throwing out as much junk as I can and living like a minimalist so I can easily pick up and move again.  This is not exactly where I thought I would be at 40 years old but it’s not all bad.  I’m not worrying, I’m just taking it one day at a time.  I have to go now so I can get packing and plan my big moving out party!!!!

 

Rummy “Moving on Up” Runner

 

Celebrating 20 Years of Head Banging Music July 21, 2008

Filed under: humor,Life,Rummy — Rummy @ 6:45 pm
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The other day I was driving to work jamming to Judas Priest’s love song “Ram it Down” when I had a flashback to 20 years earlier.  It was 1988 and I was sitting in my truck in a parking lot at work.  There was a fire alarm so a friend and I sat in my truck and jammed the same Judas Priest tunes.  Here I was 20 years later still driving a little truck (not the same one but I have had this one for 15 years so it’s close), still listening to the same music, still being silly and singing along to all the words…I should know all the words by now after all its been 20 years!  I was thinking of how little has changed.  I think I look about the same except the big hair is gone and I still dress very casual and sporty but now my jeans sit a little lower so as to show off my thong and not the granny panties I used to wear.  It is simply amazing how fast time goes by.  I feel fortunate to have kept some of my youthful traits along my journey in life especially with the many life challenges I have faced along the way.  I do think my silliness and ability to laugh at life have kept me young and I am proud of that. 
 
Then I thought a little harder and I realized how much had changed since 1988 just in a technology way.  I had a navigation system in my truck, I was listening to my music on an MP3 player and not a cassette tape, I had a cell phone and let’s not forget the minor things called computers and internet that may have affected our lives oh so slightly.  It’s amazing we were able to get by without all these gadgets but I do think they make life more interesting and easier.
 
Anyway, there is no real point to the blog.  I just wanted to share my flashback story and luckily it was not related to drugs since that would be the 70’s not the 80’s.  Take some time to reflect on your past and where you are now.  Would young you be proud of who you turned out to be?  Or do you look at young you and say “wow was I naïve and what the heck was I thinking wearing leg warmers in Florida”. 
 
Rummy “Class of 86” Runner

 

Karen, the GPS July 18, 2008

Filed under: Cars,Cosmo,funny,humor,Laughter,Life,Rummy,Travel — Cosmo @ 10:29 am
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A GPS is a wonderful thing. You can just hop in the car & take off without worrying about getting directions. Although, having one for about a year, I’ve noticed a few downsides to having this new hunk of technology.

My GPS, that I lovingly call Karen, is a life saver. She tells me exactly where to go, saves locations and has unending patience. Karen never yells or comments about what a complete idiot I am and that has no reason driving, when I’ve made a wrong turn for the 47th time. Of course this does not prevent me from cursing her. Karen has been called about every thing you can imagine. From Stupid machine, to a psycho crazy robotic piece of shit and those are a few of the tamer nicknames she has. As soon as these horrible things come out of my mouth, and shock my passenger (or person I am chatting with on the phone), I quickly apologize. You never know when Karen might take revenge.
In fact, I’m pretty sure Karen has already used her power for evil. Sometimes she will go on and on about how I’m in the middle of a lake, when it is quite obvious that there has NEVER been a lake at that location and the strip mall (where the lake is suppose to be) is obviously over 20 years old.
One downside when you own a GPS over an extended period of time, you forget how to get places. Street names are a thing of the past. Since I organize a lot of group events for an awesome meetup group, I often get asked, how do I get there (to a place I am already having a beer at). My response is…only Karen knows. Which leads to a conversation about why would I name my GPS…ect.
Another curious aspect of Karen is that she has a UK accent. I choose a female voice because I thought I wouldn’t yell at the GPS as much… that turned out to be a bogus theory, btw. No one likes “Recalculating”, or “Follow the highlighted route” 20 times in a row…thus the name calling.
Lately I’ve been saying a few things in a British accent. Small things, but it’s a little strange since I don’t hang out with anyone that has a UK accent. It was a really starting to get on my nerves. Driving to an event one night (paintball..ouch), I noticed that Karen had a UK accent as well. OMG that is where I was getting it from, I thought. I was mocking my GPS, how messed up is that? I immediately called a friend, so that we could laugh about it together. Issues like that are ALWAYS better when shared.
So there you have it. A GPS can be a godsend, but there are a few drawbacks. A word of advice, unless you want to sound like a British TV character, stick to the English voice on your GPS.

**Update**
Due to some encouragement on my part, a good friend (Rummy) purchased a GPS for her truck. Recently she informed me she really liked it, but it wasn’t very useful for directions.

I replied, with a confused look on my face “Then what is it good for?
Rummy said “Learning French”.

Apparently Rummy set her GPS to talk in French… Wonder if she will start having a French accent soon?

Direction Impaired Cosmo

 

Gay Head, Gay Head!! July 11, 2008

Filed under: funny,humor,Laughter,Life,Rummy — Rummy @ 12:18 pm
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Now that I have your attention I have to let you know that Gay Head is a just a town on Martha’s Vineyard and was part of my latest travel destination and adventure.  Fortunately there was no truth in advertising but we did have a good time snickering about it.  We did see several Fairies… I mean Ferries but that’s not the same thing at all.  Yes I know I’m 40 now and shouldn’t still act so silly but who says I have to grow up.  Speaking of no truth in advertising I didn’t see a single vineyard on Martha’s Vineyard.  Maybe it’s a bad crop year or something.  We did see a cornfield when we were cruising around in our bright blue convertible rental car.   I would have thought the property there would be too expensive to grow corn but maybe this was special “vineyard corn” and sold for $10 an ear.  Who knows?  Martha’s ice cream shop would have been a better name for the place since there was an ice cream shop on practically every corner.  I felt bad for the poor overworked cows.  We quickly got bored of the ice cream so we took our unsuspecting rental car on some major off road trails.  These were jeep trails and not made for a sports car.  It was fun for us but probably not so much for the car.  No worries we returned it in one piece and still had some funny stories to tell and pictures to show. 

 

Our vacation was mostly to Boston but somehow that just didn’t make as good of a title for this blog.  We watched the fireworks down by the Charles River.  It was a great show until the smoke blocked out most of the fireworks and we were just listening to the booms and looking at smoke.  After the smoke show we had to cross over a 10 foot wide bridge to get out of the park with 599,998 of our closest friends.  The best thing about the event was the drunken partying people afterwards.  I ran into 3 women singing patriotic songs.  I convinced them to sing Neil Diamond’s America with me much to the dismay of my boyfriend since I had been teasing him all day with that song.  Out of nowhere I would sing a line or two or just shout “Today”.  It’s amazing he puts up with me

 

I also did some cone skating on the fourth.  As if just plain old inline skating isn’t hard enough, this group weaves through cones placed just a few feet apart downhill on their skates.  I call it rubber legs.  If you’ve ever seen it you would know what I mean.  I do ok but my legs just don’t seem to bend as well.  While I was skating my boyfriend went for a walk.  He returned with a pina colada in a coconut.  I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.  This wouldn’t have surprised me on our recent trip to the Bahamas but somehow it just didn’t seem to fit in with Boston on the fourth…kinda like combining hot dogs and a fine wine.  But we’ve determined that it is perhaps possible to get a drink in a coconut anywhere in the world and will be testing this theory at our future vacation destinations.   Yellowstone coconut coladas here we come!

 

Another fun activity on our vacation adventure was the Historic Pub Crawl.  It’s actually called the Freedom Trail and passes several historic sites but seems to pass a lot of bars along the way too so we made a few extra stops.  Supposedly a lot of the decisions made by our founding fathers were made over a pint or two of ale.  So I think from now on I will make all my decisions that way.  Should I take this new promotion?  Think I’ll get drunk and then decide.  This could get interesting.

 

To top off my vacation I got picked for the ‘random’ search at the airport for both my departing flights.  Apparently I am a major threat to national security…good to know.  The search on the departing flight from Orlando wasn’t bad.  It was faster than the normal line and I got felt up by a cute girl – could’ve been worse.  The way back was a different story.  It took close to 30 minutes.  They even checked my oh so suspicious skates for chemical residual. Other people getting the “special treatment” included a black girl in spandex pants (hard to hide anything in what she was wearing) and a very well dressed foreign looking man who said “I’m glad they are doing searches”.  I was thinking “yeah I’m glad they are searching you too but I think the spandex girl and I are pretty safe bets”.  I’m surprised they let the Girl Scouts go through without a strip search!  No telling what was in their cookie boxes.

 

It was a fun trip.  If it sounds at all like I’m complaining it’s just me trying to find humor and entertain you with some of the more colorful experiences.  I think it would be fun to live in Boston since I like big cities and there was so much to see and do.  But I think I would change my mind when the temperature dropped below 60 degrees.  I’m a warm weather Florida girl after all.

 

Rummy “Boston Haaabar” Runner