Friday, February 29, 2008

A short blog

Going to NYC, wish you could come.

Crutches are too exhausted from the UK Extravaganza; they're staying home.

Is there a word that looks like it should rhyme with come and home but doesn't with either? I must be overlooking something.

Happy Leap Day!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

For the Strength of You

Is it okay that today I just consider myself a survivor?

Crutching to the bus in 25 mile-per-hour wind while it's snowing...? It's a miracle I made it to work today; it's more exhausting than you can imagine to fight the elements and the incapacity of your own body. Regardless, as I crutch-crutch along, I feel pretty strong; even though I'm exhausted, have two-day hair, and a questionable color matching outfit. I'm lucky to be so mobile; crutches have been on my right hand and on my left for six-weeks now today.

2008 hasn't exactly been a banner year for me. You know, because you've read about some of the drama-rama; some of you have heard the other 75 percent of the small and simple tragedies that could ultimately lead to my complete unraveling. Slow and steady wins the race.

Through it all however, I've had these really great moments and reminders that the sky isn't really falling. Sometimes I just need a little reality check. Last weekend, when I was so ill, I'd call home seeking some comfort (isn't that what you do when you're ill?), and my mom would force me to tell her three nice, good, positive things before I could start telling her how SARS really feels like. At that stage, I had to stretch for positivity (1) I have nothing planned for this weekend so I can stay in bed and not feed obligated. 2) The screen porch is cold enough to keep my Diet Cokes cold and close for easy access. 3) I'm not the sickest of the UK travelers. [Wink.]). Now that I'm back on my feet (or foot and boot), it's a little easier to find the silver lining. So! The short list of great, good, and wonderful things in the last 24-hours of my life!
  • Went to the Celtics/Cavs game last night. It'd been just over a month since my last game, and it was super fun to be back. A win of course.
  • Had the best hamburger of my entire life at the Cheesecake before the game. Honestly, I'm still thinking about that burger. The company was also most exceptional--it's become kind of traditional on game nights.
  • My broken leg bone has healed. That's right. I'm to start weaning off the boot and switch to an air-cast somethin' or other. I'll still commute with the boot.
  • I've been walking the mile to and from the express bus and my house in the morning and after work. The uphill portion is the way home (of course!) so I'm typically exhausted when I get home, but it's a good tired. It's a feat that I'm kind of proud of.
  • American Idol. Ohhhhhhhhh. I'm so happy it's back. True lovers of AI know what I'm talking about. It's pretty geeky to be online gChatting with my friends about the performances and our reviews while the show is still airing, but it's just who we are.
  • Last night's Project Runway is waiting for me at home!
  • The bird flu is 89% gone.

Alright, I think that's it for now. This was going to be a short post. I've been accused of my inability to write a short blog. Sigh. I fear it may be so. (Confirmed. I did a word count of my front blog page. 16,000 words.) Long story long, be grateful you're not on crutches. And if you are, gather strength from all the pitying looks of the people you pass on the street, those staring from their cars, the sideways glances of commuters on the bus and prove how strong you can be. Keep crutchin.'

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ta Start

American Idol or not, I'm going to blog tonight. In fact, I'm staying at work late (off the clock mind you) to put forth some good blogging information about the trip. So much of last week's joy has been overshadowed by the bird flu still flitting around in each of us who made the trek. But no longer will I rejoice in sorrow, but will rather share the love. Because the Black Eyed Peas are still looking for it. I know. I heard them on the radio just yesterday.

So, I've plugged the external hard drive laden with photos of the Emerald Isle into my CPU, turned on some rocking Counting Crows, and taken Tron off. For the next 50 minutes I am yours. But then I got a bus to catch; and it's the last Express of the night. So like a true journalist, I now have a deadline. Bring on the sensationalism!

The UK Extravaganza will encompass more than just this post. I'm just warning you now. There's too many photos to lump them all together. And I only have 46 minutes! (No, it didn't take me 4 minutes to write the last two sentances, I've been deciding which photos to upload to Flickr and started uploading to Youtube and etc. etc. etc.... 45 minutes.... quit wasting time Nat.)

So we flew out of Boston Friday night at 7 o'clock on a very nice jet. The hugest jet I've ever flown on, that's for sure. Aer Lingus. Who knew? We started giggling the second the overhead announcer started talking--the accent! So great! We're going overseas! Did you know the flight is only five and a half hours? A shorter flight than flying home to Portland. Back up one second to the airport. No lie, seven tour busses were standing in the security line; at least 400 people (mostly foreign high schoolers); probably a 2+ hour wait. Oh don't worry, I hobbled past the right person and all four of us were escorted to the front of the line. First time Tron and the crutches came in handy. Forward two seconds. We land in Shannon, Ireland. Local time is 6am. Boston time is 1am. Are we tired? No! Did we sleep on the plane? No! We were too busy playing interactive trivia games and watching movies on our personalized screens.

But this blog shall not be a blow by blow of our entire trip! I'm bored already. You're falling asleep at the keyboard. And time is waning thin. Thirty-four minutes left! Let the parade of photos begin!

Our first photo in Limerick as the sun rose on the Shannon, a street we parked on to review the map, the main house at Adare Manor.

I don't think it would be a stretch to say, that all four of us thought our accomodations were the very best part of the trip. Our deal was amazingly cheap, and it was lovely to have our own car and fly on a great airline, but we were blown away by what we were given at the Adare Manor. We had a 2-bedroom townhouse with a full kitchen and living room. Each room had 2-queens and it's own bathroom. We prepared (well, I cleaned up) a Sunday feast in our home and ate local cheese, bread, grapes and apples most night in our own house. It was awesome. The grounds were gorgeous, the manor house was un-REAL, and the customer service of every staff member was unparalled to anywhere I have ever been. (Note: Bold, italics, and ALL-CAPS are not strong or varied enough to convey how fantastic this place was.) I should be writing a blog all about the Adare, and I'm trying, but it honest to blog will never be good enough.

The grounds--the town of Adare is relatively small. Adare Manor, and it's 5-star golf course is definitely the largest tourist draw.

The view over the driving range from our balcony, Esther dwarfed by some local shrubs, Sunday night cards and snacks

But really. Photos just don't do it justice. Photos won't do any of the trip justice. We discovered this early in our trip. Believe it or not, I didn't take nearly as many photos as I usually do, because I recognize the trip just can't be captured. The photos you'll see in this, and future posts are a collective pool of the four cameras on the trip.

Like my writing, you'll notice grammar, spelling errors, and unfunny in my impromptu speaking. Please don't point them out, I'm on edge enough about being a crappy newscaster. And yes, I know my voice gets high and my mouth moves in strange ways. Pressure to perform. It's who I am.

I recognize we made this video and I posted pictures anyway, and will post a million more... but I have to TRY to make you see how amazing it is, don't you see? And I hate to say it, but steel yourself for more videos now... we took some. Me and my lispy-stroke mouth (thanks Mal) will be back.

Oh my gosh! I have to put Tron on and get outta Dodge or I'm a gonna miss the bus. And I already walk a mile to the bus stop both ways on crutches... must leave! But I've started! A start! And if I never start I'll never finish!

My first deadline piece is no good. It's like I'm writing for the Daily Universe all over again... wah wah wah....

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jumping the Pond

Helllllllllllllllllllo friends. I've mustered what little strength is left within me to post the first of many photos and recollections from the great UK Extravaganza. We flew back into town on Friday--but the illness we'd held off the latter half of our trip struck with full force and I've been in bed 95% of the time since arriving home. (My mom told me I've blogged about little besides my health lately; sorry!) My bags are still fully packed and sitting on my floor where I dropped them, but I'm committed to sharing the joy that was our fabulous trip!

Here's a lil preview of the trip in a photo essay entitled: Nat Attack Jumps Across the Pond.

Aren't you kind of amazed at the sweet hops I have?

Stay tuned! Much much much (overwhelmingly much on all fronts) more to come.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lucky Charms

Today is the day.

And it has been a dramatic twenty-four hours. T minus two hours until I leave work and meet up with my girlfriends at the airport. This trip has been a LONG time coming. With all the chaos in my life this last month it kind of snuck up on me!

I have a nasty habit of hating the wardrobe choices I make on vacation. Deciding to break the habit, it took me more than two hours to pack last night as I had to try everything on and piece my outfits together. Hopefully it will all pay off in the end. Many a frantic phone call was exchanged last night regarding wardrobe selection. What kind of bottoms are you taking? What about coats? Boots? Ireland and England are typically rainy places, right? Wrong. Our forecast is for partly cloudy skies and sun the whole week we're there. Mid 40's to low 50's. Perfection...

I finally got to use my backpack my parents got for my 24th birthday. Whoop. And for Europe to boot. Yay. We are trying to carry-on all our luggage; the jury's out on whether or not they'll let me carry it on. They *could*, but considering I'll also be carrying my LeSportsac and the dreaded crutches, I have a feeling I'll be a flashing red light that screams "trying to break every flight rule we have." Then again, I'm crippled; maybe they'll be nice to me.

Side note: going through airports on crutches is quite the ordeal. As if walking a million miles to the Southwest gates isn't enough (I don't really need a wheelchair, though people are pretty good about asking); going through security is a PAIN. I mean, does anyone really think a leg cast is a good place to put a bomb? I have to get the full swab down test when I go through the detectors--hands, boot, pants... I certainly look like a terrorist, and they make me feel like one. End side note.

So today has been a doozy of a day. I'm back in the office (day 2); I thought I should put some face time in before I jump the pond. I've frantically been trying to do all the server-based work I've stored up in the past 4 weeks. I'm waiting on my boss to send me something, so I had my first breather of the day. No time for lunch; instead I had some cashews and a 100-cal Chips Ahoy snack. Can't wait to hit the CVS on the way to the airport for my last real American meal.

So here's the big drama. I'm going overseas without a credit card. Before you get up on my cyberspace, it's not my fault. It's the moron who tried to do fraudulent activity on my account last week, causing the whole thing to get shut down. I really thought it would come in the mail before now. Ky has been home waiting for the mail to come -- as today was the last day for it's arrival to save my life. Sadly, no dice. Ahhhh! When it rains, it pours!

So. I'm going overseas in less than two hours. I'm SO excited. Really, it's finally hit me. Six months of waiting, and I'm practically on my way! So off I go.... Killer outfit on, some questionable 72-hour kit food inclusions, a ream of confirmation print-outs (flight, hotel, car, train, hostel, Wicked tix), three left shoes, two crutches, and no credit card.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Give 'Er the Boot

Now it's time....
......... to say good-bye.... all our company....

The big day finally came. Doctor's appointment numero tres. My wish came true! The doctor gave the go-ahead to remove my (2nd) hard cast.

Let's discuss the rotary saw here for a minute. Talk about scary. I'd already had one removed, but it's a little disconcerting to have a high-powered squealing saw that close to an oh-so-important appendage. The ankle part is the worst! It literally feels like the blade is going to cut right through. Ahhh! Scary. I really wanted to video the cast removal, but abstained....

Here's my Mary-Kate leg. Check out that sweet jaundice stain. Why don't people get tattoos that look like jaundice? Maybe I should start a trend...

For the record, I will not give you the gory details on how man-hairy my leg was, or the depth of unsloughed skin residing on 17% of my body surface area. Suffice it to say, the way bodies take care of themselves is pretty amazing. And cleanly.

While I was in Portland, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted. Really. I was pretty sure I'd gain back the quick 10 I'd lost once back from the Christmas holiday. That was my full expectation anyway. Wrong. I'm down even mas. Too bad I'm not losing fat, I'm actually losing body mass. Well, it might be the only way I'll ever get a celebrity leg.

A few of you have commented to me about how good breaking your leg sounds. I do paint a pretty fun picture, don't I? Eat what you want, work from home, wear pajamas every day all day, snack on imported food, get chauffered around... Well, just remember this. I'll be taking crutches to Europe. Boo.

So here it is, the big 'ole boot. Do you miss my cute lil black cast? I admit... I kind of do. LOOK at that beast! Mary Kate became Rosie O! Put her on the Biggest Loser! TRON! ROBOCOP! DUCK-BILLED PLATYPUS!

My left foot just looks so little now, doesn't it?

So I've been slaving away on a presentation for a work blah-blah. My presentation was today (went well, yay!) but I was awake late into the night working on it. And when I say late into the night, I mean 4AM. Then, when my brain wouldn't shut off, I turned my computer back on at 4:30 to jot down some of the stuff my brain wouldn't let me purge. A few minutes later, the computer was off, but sleep still wasn't coming. I was adamant about not turning my computer back on, so I reached over in the dark and wrote "DVD/Collateral Distribution" so I wouldn't forget. No joke, I fell asleep with everything you see on this bed. (And by "fell asleep, I mean rolled around from 5-7:30am). Six pillows, Jason/Heidi's wedding announcement, an anke brace, a resistance band, a phone, two remote controls, health insurance paperwork, employment contract, my external harddrive, an empty waterbottle, and who knows what else. Good thing I never roll around in the night--I wake up in the same position I fall asleep. It's convenient.

This morning I learned what pouring rain in Boston looks like, that my walking boot is not waterproof, Staples doesn't make copies all that fast, and I need a nap.

Posts on little sleep are kind of worthless. Give them the boot. (And Blogger for not spell checking.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

In Haste

  • I'm a bad blogger. I keep promising things and then don't follow through. If you broke your leg, I think you'd understand where my lack of doing anything comes from.
  • Believe it or not, I actually feel bad about not blogging. I know how much I love reading blogs, and am always sad when my favorites aren't updated frequently.
  • This isn't to say that my blog is one of your favorites--it might be one you read just because, or feel obligated to read, or hate reading and can't stop... I cover all three of those categories in my own personal blog reading.
  • Did you know Monday's are statistically the highest read days?
  • I'm back in Boston. Portland is a 13 day memory now. I can't BELIEVE how fast it went.
  • When you're handicapped and going home to rest and recuperate, packing is a breeze. Here's what I took: one pair of jeans, one normal shirt, three t-shirts, three sweats/shorts, two shoes; both lefts.
  • I had to borrow all "normal" clothes from Mallory. This included a sweatshirt, a church shirt, and a normal shirt.
  • While I was in PDX, my parents went to Vegas for three days. Mallory and I enjoyed a fine dining experience while they were away--frozen pizza, Taco Bell, and Costco. And the most divine light mint cookies and cream ice cream (American Idol brand? Strange.) that we ate for lunch and afternoon and evening snacks. There was much sorrow when we finished it off.
  • The Pats lost, Mitt withdrew... last week was kind of a rough week for Boston.
  • On my flight home Saturday, the plane I started on eventually ended up in Manchester, New Hampshire. It stopped twice in Salt Lake (bittersweet to stop but not get off!) and Baltimore... but I never got off the plane. The flight crew and I became good friends.
  • Some old guy was experiencing heart attack like symptoms and of course the screaming toddler sat in front of me. The Salt Lake to Baltimore leg wasn't exactly my favorite. Sadly, it was also the longest portion.
  • The base of my toes (the front part you can see) are bruised. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to have my cast removed... I'm kind of excited to see the canvas of colored bruising going on below the surface.
  • There's a chance I'll get into a soft cast tomorrow. Shoot every good thought my way huh?
  • The Celtics beat the Spurs last night. Without KG. Ohhhhhhhhh I'm so happy. I MUST purchase a Rondo shirt. In fact, I'll consider it a Valetine's Day gift to myself.
  • I made some pretty sweet Valentines while I was home. In traditional fashion, I'll post them on the actual day for your viewing pleasure.
  • If you think your life is a disaster, check this: I have outstanding car insurance issues, health insurance issues, tax issues, work issues, presentation issues, overseas issues, stolen credit card issues, no credit card for an overseas trip, lost Celtics tickets, a whopper of a messy room, can't drive, and have a Mary-Kate leg. Seriously, I think it might snap when the cast comes off.
  • I'm kind of obsessed with the Paramore album "Riot!" right now. It's spunky.
  • I'm still sleeping with the burlap-wrapped cinderblock.
  • Wow, wouldn't that be an awesome nickname to give someone? I've created quite a few classic nicknames in my day (Billy Goat's Gruff, Translucent Brother, the Giver), but that might could take the cake. I'll try to meat someone to bestow the BWCB nickname to.
  • I finally joined the 21st century and am the proud owner of a laptop. Best $400 I ever spent.
  • My taxes are finished and e-filed. Waiting for the money to start raining my way....
  • Did I mention the Celtics beat both the Spurs and the Mavs without KG?
  • I have a tendency to be the relationship-carrier. I realized it doesn't have to be a burden I must be responsible for--maybe I just got tired of one-sided friendships. Just a head's up if you're feeling neglected.
  • It's supposed to be high-40's when we're in Ireland with LIMITED RAIN. It's looking mostly cloudy and even some sunny days! Talk about a miracle...
  • I guess it's like 7 degrees outside in Boston right now. I just wouldn't know. I'm still on my bed, in my jams, working from home.
  • I haven't been into the office in 3+ weeks. I'm hoping to go in on Thursday though... it will be the 4-week anniversary. Crazy!
  • When I was in ortland, I went to Mallory's first rugby game in the freezing pouring rain. Holy crap! Those girls are tough. There was face bleeding and tackling... I know a few of Mal's friends on the team and it just seems so backward; the girls (including Mal) are typically soft-spoken and polite... it's NUTS to see them out there bone crushing strangers.
  • If I had three wishes, I might could be convinced to use one wish on never having to go to the bathroom.
  • Watched the Grammy's last night. I can't help but love love love awards shows. Or the big four (Grammy's, Emmy's, Oscar's, GG's.). They're long and boring, but I love them. I love the fashion mostly... and some of the musical performances last night were awesome. Though I was super annoyed when the Beehived Boozer kept winning awards.
  • These bullets are steadily going downhill. I think it's because I have to go to the bathroom and I'm feeling rushed.
  • Blogger won't let me spell check. You're getting the original version. Lo siento.
  • Sorry to be so long between posts... I'll try to throw up more often.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Time to Give Back

I'm only kind of tired of not blogging. Are you tired of me not blogging? Are you casting a beam or striking a mote? Casting a stone or pillaring in salt? But that's neither here nor there and my biblical allusions are only sub-par.

I don't have anything of substance to write. Instead, I'm going to let you give back and entertain me. In 33 words or less, write me a paragraph, sentence, phrase, or story, that uses the words license, unfortunately, responsibility, and consciously. (If you remember, these are the words I can't spell.)

Once all entries are in, a vote will be conducted on this very blog. A fantastic prize will be mailed or delivered to the winner. Prize will vary based on the winner--but I do pay up. (Ask Stephanie, I mailed the $5 from my last interactive contest.) I may even come up with awards or prizes for any who play. Good thing I make the rules.

*You have until close of day Thursday.
**If you're feeling pressure to perform--just remember; I feel this every time I blog.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!