My Muppet

October 9, 2006 at 7:21 pm (Travel)


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Originally uploaded by kinkylilblackdress.

Yup. She got high.

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Back From New Hampshire!

October 9, 2006 at 7:13 pm (Travel)

Em and I are back from our pre-wedding getaway! We took over 150 pics, so I’ll only share a few with you. You can check my flickr book for the pics.

We ended up going all over, including Saco Lake, Crawford Notch, Silver Cascade, Mt. Washington, Flume, The Basin, and Willey Pond. I’ll get into more details laterish.

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Much Needed Get-Away

October 6, 2006 at 10:24 am (Travel)

Em and I are going away this weekend, to a much needed break in New Hampshire. See you Tuesday!

http://www.highlandsinn-nh.com/

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Carry On Baggage Isn’t Needed

August 11, 2006 at 11:51 am (Travel)

I think I’ve done trans-atlantic travel more than a dozen times in my life. Even before Sept. 11th, I really was frustrated by the amount of carry-on baggage that some people try and bring into the cabin. I realize that there are impatient people out there that don’t like to wait the 10-20 mintes it takes go to and get your baggage from the claim area, so you just cram it all into a smallish suitcase and hope you can get it on the plane. I know I’ve had a few close connections where I had to bring my bags through customs before hopping on another plane, and it would have been easier just to avoid that whole mess with carry on. But really, it’s just not needed.

Seriously – why do you need shampoo on your carry on? I’ve tried to clean myself in those itty bitty sinks in the airplane lavs. You’re not going to get a decent rinse. Need contact lense solution? Wear your glasses. That’s what I do. You’re not going to get a sunburn on the plane, so pack the sunblock. I know that there is pressure to look your best as you leave the plane. No one can say that they want to have bed-head when you see your girlfriend for the first time in four months. I have this silly solution. If I look that bad, I stop by the lav after I get my baggage and sort myself out, or I wear a bandana on my head. No need to pack any gel or mousse.

Yes, I get as bored on 8 hour flights as anyone else. I can see the attraction to bring your iPod or portable DVD player. I praise the DVD gods for those little tvs that keep the kiddies on the plane quiet. But, as a teacher, I was introduced to these wonderful things called books. Coloring books, SuDoKu books, story books, crosswords, magazines, there are loads of non-battery powered items for your entertainment. This is the best time to “spoil” your son with those video game mags, skateboard catalogues, and comic books. Your teenie girl might like those baby-Vogue type mags. Break out those mini-tubs of Play-doh. (And you don’t have to clean the carpet!) A deck of cards goes far, too.

I know that some people use this time to catch up on work on their laptop – I’ve got no solution for that one, yet. Drinks are a toughie. I know I get pretty dried out when I fly, but that can all be solved by one thing: ask the stweards for some water. Yeah, my skin dries out too, but I honestly never thought of packing my $30 moisturizer in my carry on. I just load it on before I leave, and load in on when I land.

I have one of those old-fashioned train cases that I always use for my carry on. It’s about a foot across and six inches deep. It fits right under the seat in front of me. I carry my meds, a bottle of water, my wallet, passport and tickets, lip balm, gum, a skein of yarn and my fav crochet hook. I can deal with getting rid of most of that, to make the lines a bit smaller at the airports.

The day might come sooner than later that carry on bags are at a strict minimum. Keep the meds, the baby formula, the juice for the little ones. Get rid of the rest. I welcome that day.

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The Big One

August 10, 2006 at 10:24 am (Travel)

In case you haven’t heard, British authorities have thrawted a major plot to blow up trans-atlantic flights leaving the UK. According to MSNBC.com, it was supposed to take place close to the 5 year anniversary of September 11th. It involved 10 planes, and they were supposed to explode simuntaneously. The plot targeted flights on United, Continental, American, and British Airways. US officials are calling this the “Big One”.

Emma and her Grandmother are scheduled to fly one of those airlines, from England, to a major hub in the USA, on September 2nd.

I’ve never had any problems with extra security measures. Today, you can’t have any carry-on items, except perscription drugs, baby formula, and juice for small children. These items need to be carried onto the plane in a transparent plastic bag. No electronics at all, no beverages, no books or newspapers, no makeup or hair products, no toothpaste. All of these things need to go into your checked baggage, or the trash. It looks like that the lines are massive, but the folks seem to be understanding.

I’ve been flying for years now. Emma flew 3 weeks after September 11th. I think I’m more nervous now than I was then.

Just now, it came across the tv that there was an attempted hijacking of a Qatar Airways flight that has been foiled. Al Jazeera interviewed the people on the plane, and were told that the individual was mentally disabled, and that in fact, it might not have been an actual hijacking attempt. Just another thing to worry about on this chaotic day.

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Alphabet Mind Games.

August 7, 2006 at 7:17 pm (Travel)

I have this thing where I can’t sleep at night unless there is noise going on. While camping, I did not have the luxury of keeping a tv on all night to be sure that I get a good night’s sleep. But, I have found a game that for some reason, helped me from going insane with sleeplessness. I went through lists of things, making one for each letter of the alphabet. Letters in brackets are ones that I wasn’t able to come up with. I would appreciate anyone’s help on missing words.

Round 1: Animals of the Alphabet
ape, babboon, cow, dog, elephant, fawn, gibbon, hawk, iguana, jaguar, kangaroo, lemur, monkey, newt, orangutan, pig, quail, rat, snake, tiger, [u, v,] walrus, [x,] yeti, zebra

Round 2: Foods of the Alphabet
apple, banana, carrot, date, egg, fig, ginger, horseradish, ice cream, jello, ketchup, lemon, meatballs, orange, peas, quail, rice, spaghetti, tea, [u,] veal, watermelon, [x,] yam, zabaione

Those were from the first night. After that, I was only able to do one round a night before I fell asleep.

Round 3: Four syllable words of the Alphabet
architecture, biology, cantankerous, detrimental, elephantine, Floridian, geology, hypodermic, institution, juvenile, Kangamangus, labotomy, mechanical, narcissistic, obviously, pressurizing, quarentining, romanticize, sympathetic, tyrannical, uintended, varigated, [w,] xenophobic, [y,] zoology

Round 4: Five syllable words of the Alphabet
alienation, biological, creationism, demonology, ecological, fraternization, geological, hysterectomy, irrationally, juxtoposition, [k], luminocity, methodology, necrophelia, oligarcical, patriotism, quintessentialy, reciprocity, systematically, trigonometry, unbelievable, vigilantism, westernization, xenophobia, [y], zoological

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Back home from Camping

August 7, 2006 at 6:58 pm (Travel)

Hey all. I’m back from camping. Obviously, I wasn’t able to blog while I was gone. My tricky father “mistakenly” told me that there was internet, when, alas, there was not. It was a good get away, nothing too exciting happened, save the bear walking through out campsite. More on that later.

Wed., Day 1: Dad, Paige, and I (in the RV), Mom (in the truck), Abe and Rachel (in Rachel’s car) were the beginning convoy to the campsite. We stayed at the Lost River Campsite, in Woodstock, NH. I do recommend it to anyone. Aaron drove up later that night, and stayed with us. After we set up the site, we chilled out around the campground. I slept in the tent that Abe and Rachel had set up.

Thurs., Day 2: Aaron went home that morning. He had to work. Abe, Rachel, and I drove to the top of Mt. Washington. Little did we realize that it was going to cost $34 to get to the top. It was 98’F at the base, 56″F at the top. Although it was very foggy and misty, it was still a cool drive. I slept in the single tent that Aaron left behind.

Fri., Day 3: Abe and Rachel went home. Saul and Grandma drove up to spend the day with us. I spent the day with Paige at the RV while everyone else went exploring. I made dinner that night, good ole campfire style. Five packets of chicken, onions, and potatoes in foil packets. Two flavored with BBQ, two with Buffalo, and one plain one, and tossed onto coals to cook. Everyone said it came out perfectly. I was rather impresed. To top it off, I crafted a reflector oven out of a cardboard beer case, and tin foil, and baked up some chocolate chip cookies. I slept in the RV so that Saul could have the tent for himself. Tonight began the marathon alphabet games in my head. (More on those in my next blog post.)

Sat., Day 4: Saul and Grandma went home. While cleaning up from lunch, a juvenile bear walked through our campsite. Mom saw it first, and screamed. She grabbed Paige and ran into the RV. Only once she was in did she let me know she saw a bear and told me to take cover. I ran into the RV with everyone. Paige started groweling. It was getting closer, and I remembered what I read in the pamphlet that the campsite owners gave us – make noise to scare it away. I clapped my hands, it crossed back over the river, and left us alone for the rest of our time there.

Sun., Day 5: For the first time in many years, it was just my Mom, Dad, and I on vacation. We packed up the truck, and headed to a local gorge to play in the water. I found a way to travel down about 100 meters on natural rock-waterslides, and the rest of the people who were at the same spot followed my lead. Paige got so excited, and wanted to go down too, but Dad thought it best that she not. I got some sun, which is rare for me.

Mon., Day 6: It poured the night before, so instead of going out like we had planned, we ended up watch my Lost dvd’s all morning, and packing up the site to go home. Dad did about 75mph the whole drive home, so we made pretty decent time.

I have pics. I’ll post them laters.

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Camping Trip!

August 1, 2006 at 10:11 am (Travel)

I’m going camping in New Hampshire tomorrow. It’s a big ole family thing. I’m going with the puppy Paige, Mom, Dad, three brothers, one soon-to-be-sisiter-in-law, Grandma, and possibly friends of said brothers. We got two camping sites, and my father rented a wicked RV.

I was a little upset that I wouldn’y be able to talk to Emma for a week (unless I used my cell phone – UBER charges), but then my father lets me know the good news. THE RV HAS INTERNET! Can you believe it? I thought these things barely had running water. I’m so psyched now. I’m bringing the laptop, and will be a fully functional blogger during this time.

Woot.

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Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

July 21, 2006 at 10:58 am (Travel, Weight Loss Updates)

I’m back at home now, in Tiverton. I got in last night, around 8pm after a delay of about four hours. I got to sleep right away, after my puppy Paige gave me a bath with her kisses.

I’ve decided on a few things since I was with Emma. One of them is that I’m going on a diet. A real one. I’ve never been all too fussed about my weight. I’ve always been fine with my apprearance. But, over vacation, I developed two serious stretch marks on my stomach. I no longer fit into any of Emma’s clothes, which we used to be able to share.

I went on eBay and got a Weight Watcher’s kit. I looked into joining Weight Watchers itself, but I’ve never been one to go to meetings and all that. I’d rather go it alone. We’ll see how it goes. According to the charts there, I should weigh 135lbs, which is about 50lbs less than I am. I did weight that much once, about 10 years ago. We’ll see how long it takes me to lose all that weight.

Just another thing to blog about, I suppose.

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UK Bloggin’ – Chestnut Centre

July 17, 2006 at 6:50 am (Travel)

Saturday, Girlfriend (who I will now use her real name, Emma) and I went to the Chestnut Centre, about an hours drive from the house. It’s a 50 acre nature reserve, with a focus on otters and owls. I saw an ad for it on the tv, and like any whiney girl would do, I begged and begged to go, so I could see the baby otters. Em was a little iffy when she found out there was a £6 entrance fee, but in the end, we both said it was well worth it.

After a nice stroll through the fields, talking about dreams, aspirations, and whatnot, we got to the otters! We took a total of 68 pictures, but I’ll share the nicer ones with you. Here are the best otter shots we got. All images are clickable, as ususal.


Second best to the otters were the owls. There was this one little fluffy baby that just loved Emma. They played hide-and-go-seek for a good while. We contemplated owl-napping it, although its Mom didn’t look too thrilled about us being there, playing with the little one.


They also had some random animals, like foxes, bunnies, and guinea pigs. Yeah, guinea pigs in a nature reserve…I thought it was odd, too. But, they looked much happier then they do at my local pet shop.

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