Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Post-It Wisdom Wednesday

Back at work today, le sigh. Turns out the world keeps spinning despite your absence.

My friend OJ sent me an IM this morning. "New blog," it said. "".

I attribute my long list of Google Reader goodies to OJ. She's always sending me "new blogs" that change my life.

Anyways, this quote and this blog are both making me ask myself if I haven't short-changed myself in my already-created list of New Year's Eve resolutions for 2012.

Perhaps planning a little larger, pushing a little harder might be the way to go. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Last Night in Anchorage (and what a RICO experience!)

Lauren and I set out for our last night on the town. First stop, chocolate!

I was obsessed with this store. You'll see why in a few seconds.

Just us 3 little bears! (Yep, still wearing my signature Alaska gear.)


THIS is why I love this store. The chocolate bar. Zomg. (Please focus your attention on the choco-rista behind the counter there. He plays a starring role in the events of tonight.)

He forced us to try chocolate covered bacon. Not a fan. Nope.

Those Kokamakalekurumu (the pronunciation is debatable) caramels were my Alaskan obsesh. I ate my weight in these salted morsels. Yumm!

Having an Eyes Wide Shut experience with my caramels.

And now, my favorite moment in Alaska: the choco-rista, Rico G., TOTALLY slipped Lauren his number! Sham-on!

Tonight was the best way to end this perfect vacation. Lauren and I indulged in chocolates of all sorts, Lauren got some digits from an Alaskan stallion and then we consumed ridiculously delicious Thai food. All in all, I give this trip 8 out of 8 stars. Alaska, the Last Frontier, was everything I expected and wanted and needed and more.

Back to the airport so soon, le sigh. Twelve hours of travel and I'll be back home, tired and totally satisfied. Alaska siempre!

I've been obsessed with Zuzana and the other body rockers for quite a while now. These quick workouts are INTENSE, like, slapyomomma insane.

(It took me quite a while to find a picture where her "pecs" were at least this clothed.)
That's a little better.
Sometimes she looks like a femmebot.
Oh Zuzana...
 Anyways, as previously mentioned, marathon training has made me a little cushier than I like to be, so I am excited to knock those 26.2 miles out, and then get back to my regularly scheduled ass-kicking program. Bodyrocking and lots and lots of spinning to come.

Of course, in defiance of the pain and sweat to come, I've done a lot of this to celebrate my last day of vacation:

Falling prey to Cyber Monday deals. Destroying my Google Reader. Making nice with Dr. Andrew Weil.
Lauren had training today so Sophie and I have been blogging and going on snowy walks...and watching Bodyrock clips. Visualization is critical, you know! This afternoon we're gonna paint Anchorage red for one more night before I fly out.

I really can't wait to get my arms around these two little boys.

Old Toot and Mr. Stinks.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

This Book is Amazing.

Silly beard, serious message. This book is blowing my mind.

Spontaneous Happiness by Dr. Andrew Weil
Ever-interested in the power of thoughts and words, I am enchanted by the concept of mindsight.

Mindsight is, according to Dr. Dan Siegel, an empowering, action-oriented way of describing the power of the mind to actually change the structure and function of the brain.

Did you know you can actually alter the structure of your brain by your thoughts?

I was specifically struck by this example last night - two minorly different ways of thinking but two vastly different messages:

I am sad          vs.          I feel sad

One is declaring something intrinsic and inescapable about your nature. The other is noting a feeling, a sensation but allows room for change and flexibility of emotions.

Thanks for the insight, Dr. Weil, and your beard makes me really happy!

PS: This guy in general is super interesting. 

There Really is No Place Like Homer (AK)

Well, tomorrow is my last day in Alaska. Insert heavy sighs and frowny faces.

We made a beautiful trek to Anchorage today, and the views were truly breath-taking. If a jaunt to Alaska is not on your bucket list, please add it immediately (and I am very particular about bucket lists, so I would not lead you astray on this matter)!

Here are some random photos from the trip...

Sophiedog, mascot of my adventure!
Lauren and her furry love. A match made in doggy heaven!
Hahaha love it!
Have YOU ever been to a frozen beach?
I have. (Sidenote: before this trip I had full intentions of joining the polar bear club while here. See all my winter garb? That stayed on practically 24/7. There was no polar bear clubbin'.)
Love you, adventurous friend!
The trip was not without some unexpected excitement.

This was taken off highway AK1. The whole trip was dreamy.
Thanks for hosting me, beautiful girl!
This vacation has been the least stressful, most relaxing trip I've taken all year. We've watched movies, slept no less than 10 hours each night, declared our loves for Seth Meyers (Lauren) and Kermit the Frog (Me) (booze may have been involved), tooled around a freezing cold town and eaten ridiculously amazing food. A girl could used to this! Save me a place on your couch, Lauren!

I'm flying out Tuesday at 1 am, back to my little boys, back to balmy Houston...

and then...


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Have I Mentioned I Love it Here?

Hi, it's beautiful here.
Can't chat, we're eating our homemade dinner and watching Varsity Blues.


Friday, November 25, 2011

A Down Homer Thanksgiving

What do you bring to Thanksgiving when you're in Alaska and don't have an oven? Truffles, DUH!

Lauren workin her magic, makin truffles!

Me workin my muscles, makin a mess!
These were the bomb. The Thanksgiving, chocolate-covered-oreo+cream cheese bomb.
Last night we had a blast at a Displaced Thanksgiving potluck, and Lauren made her most amazing Oreo truffles. I ate more than my fair share...a few times over.

Homer continues to blow my mind. Fortunately the internet is hella slow so I can't even upload all the pictures I've taken that would make everyone want to move up here stat. It's unreal, fo real. I love it!

Oops gotta go. Elf is on TV. Hey, Thanksgiving's over, and it gets dark at 5 pm here. Let the Christmas flicks roll!

Kindly remember:

1. Treat everyday like Christmas.

2. There's room for everyone on the nice list.

3. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I LOVE ALASKA (and Happy Thanksgiving, too!)

But seriously, I love Alaska. This place is wild and cold and beautiful and I love it!

Minneapolis Airport - new favorite airport... part because this ridiculous tiny little escalator totes made my day (um, actually, landing in Alaska made my day).

Next stop was Anchorage. Loved this airport too. Hot guys sans wedding rings abounded.
Final destination for the evening: Kenai, Alaska! "All America City"? Whatever, Alaskans have better things to do than worry about proper grammar.

This is how Lauren wipes snow off her car. ...because she has to do things like that now!!!
Lauren the Great! So, so ecstatic to be with LAUREN in the LAST FRONTIER!
We picked up Sofie from a little overnight Bed and...wait for it...Biscuit. Ah-ha! Ha! See? Hoo! Apparently some dogs LIKE the cold. Who knew? (Get a hint, Roger and Benny.)
Final picture of the day. Hallelujah! I'm in Alaska!
 So many things to be thanksful for this Thanksgiving. I am in LOVE with this state and am so thankful for friends who challenge and inspire me. Off to a Thanksgiving party with Lauren's Alaskan friends!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Alaska on my Mind

So, so ready to spend Thanksgiving with Lauren in Alaska!

Three flights stand in the way of this blissful adventure, however - Houston to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Anchorage, and Anchorage to Kenai.

Even though, normally, flying on a Wednesday would be ideal, this Wednesday just happens to be the day before the busiest travel day of the year. I'm already dreading the airport mania. I do some of my worst character judging based on things like how quickly people can remove their shoes before getting to security, who is talking just loud enough for everyone to hear about the extent of their travels (I beat you, I promise) and people wearing sunglasses inside. Airports!

To combat my inner crazies, I'm majorly stocking up on reading material. I also envision my six days in Alaska looking a lot like this:

Wake up
Make hot tea
Go for a FREEZING walk
Make hot chocolate
Watch a chick flick
Drink wine
Go for another FREEZING walk, this time tipsy
Eat dinner
Drink wine
Read/Watch another movie

(This looks strangely similar to my beach vacation schedule, only with sweaty walks instead of freezing.)

Clearly, my Kindle is going to be busting at the seams. I really, really, really love my Kindle.

Books to be read include but are not limited to...

Even among authors, Jeffrey Eugenides possesses a rare talent for being able to inhabit his characters. In The Marriage Plot, his third novel and first in ten years (following the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex), Eugenides describes a year or so in the lives of three college seniors at Brown in the early 80s. There is Madeleine, a self-described “incurable romantic” who is slightly embarrassed at being so normal. There is Leonard, a brilliant, temperamental student from the Pacific Northwest. And completing the triangle is Mitchell, a Religious Studies major from Eugenides’ own Detroit. What follows is a book delivered in sincere and genuine prose, tracing the end of the students’ college days and continuing into those first, tentative steps toward true adulthood. This is a thoughtful and at times disarming novel about life, love, and discovery, set during a time when so much of life seems filled with deep portent.

Andre Agassi had his life mapped out for him before he left the crib. Groomed to be a tennis champion by his moody and demanding father, by the age of twenty-two Agassi had won the first of his eight grand slams and achieved wealth, celebrity, and the game’s highest honors. But as he reveals in this searching autobiography, off the court he was often unhappy and confused, unfulfilled by his great achievements in a sport he had come to resent. Agassi writes candidly about his early success and his uncomfortable relationship with fame, his marriage to Brooke Shields, his growing interest in philanthropy, and—described in haunting, point-by-point detail—the highs and lows of his celebrated career.

In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles—micro-robots—has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive.
It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour.
Every attempt to destroy it has failed.
And we are the prey.
(((I love Michael Crichton's books and I don't care what you think!)))

Dr. Andrew Weil has proven that the best way to maintain optimum physical health is to draw on both conventional and alternative medicine. Now, in Spontaneous Happiness, he gives us the foundation for attaining and sustaining optimum emotional health. Rooted in Dr. Weil's pioneering work in integrative medicine, the book suggests a reinterpretation of the notion of happiness, discusses the limitations of the biomedical model in treating depression, and elaborates on the inseparability of body and mind.
Dr. Andrew Weil is kind of the dark horse - I usually associate him with mushrooms (non-hallucinogenic, for the record) for some reason.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Ones I Love

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. W.J. Cameron

Yes, my mom always looks like this in pictures. No, she's not drunk (not that we knew of).

The Iguana Grill in Austin was amazing! So chill - a perfect place for a family Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Men vs. Boys

Thanksgiving #3 (the Family) was today. Post and pictures to come. Riding to and from Austin with my dad at the wheel allowed me to read this book in its entirety:

Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns)
It was a good way to pass the time, but it was no Bossypants. Love, love Tina.

Still, Mindy seemed genuinely down to earth, normal, and even boring. I like that in a woman. This excerpt below was the most poignant part of the book. I swear I heard an inspiring musical score slowly crescendo-ing(?) in the background...

"Until I was 30, I dated only boys. I’ll tell you why: Men scared the shit out of me. Men know what they want. Men own alarm clocks. Men sleep on a mattress that isn’t on the floor. Men buy new shampoo instead of adding water to a nearly empty bottle of shampoo. Men make reservations. Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you. Men wear clothes that have never been worn by anyone else before.

OK, maybe men aren’t exactly like this. But this is what I’ve cobbled together from the handful of men I know or know of, ranging from Heathcliff Huxtable to Theodore Roosevelt to my dad. The point: Men know what they want, and that is scary.

What I was used to was boys.

Boys are adorable. Boys trail off their sentences in an appealing way. Boys get haircuts from their roommate, who “totally knows how to cut hair.” Boys can pack up their whole life and move to Brooklyn for a gig if they need to. Boys have “gigs.” Boys are broke. And when they do have money, they spend it on a trip to Colorado to see a music festival.

Boys can talk for hours with you in a diner at three in the morning because they don’t have regular work hours. But they suck to date when you turn 30."

Wow. Hi. Where the men at?

Mahk Dahcy (otherwise casually known as Colin Firth)

Matthew Fox. Dear Matt, your little show, LOST, it changed my life. I love you.

Hi, you gorgeous man.

All you guys. Especially you, Schwartzman.

Because I love your movies, your music and your books.

And last but not least, because you're just perfectly off your rocker, Bill Effin' Murray.
Mmmmk, I know all these guys might just be boys in real life, but until MY man comes along, they sure are fun to look at. Kisses to you, Matthew Fox!