Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saying Goodbye... And Hello

For a number of reasons (Google's sucky customer service being at the top of the list) I'm moving on from blogger. Well, not really. I'm still doing my wedding planning blog that gets loaded onto Weddingbee here on blogger.

But my personal blog is moving. I'm going to try wordpress. If only because their commenting is incredibly easier to navigate. We'll see. I may be back in two weeks. Don't know why I'm feeling so restless about this whole blogging thing.

After having this blog for not even a month and a half, I'm changing again. Perhaps this is reflective of my life and my tendency to feel stuck? Gotta change something you know...

That's not accurate. I honestly wouldn't change much about my life except my need for sleep. I need too much sleep. If I needed less sleep, everything would be better. Oh well. If you've been following me from blog to blog, come on and join me over at wordpress.

I'm not suggesting you leave blogger, I'm just suggesting you read my wordpress blog. Wish me luck!

New blog: Chicago Style Hot Girl

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Most Exciting Basketball Game I've Ever Been To

Are you a fan of basketball? I'm not. Well, not nearly as big a fan as I am of other sports like football, baseball, tennis, swimming, hockey, soccer, bowling, fly fishing, etc. I think you get my point.

But I recently went to a game that was thrilling. Everyone was screaming and jumping up and down. The winning team celebrated like they had just won a national championship.

It was a 6th grade girls' basketball game.

And oh yeah, it was at one of Easy's schools. He teaches music to elementary school students at three different schools. I've met a number of his kids and they are pretty amazing kids.

I took some photos during the game to try and convey the emotion, but it was hard because everyone was jumping around so much. But you all should've been there! These folks were screaming like it was a playoff game for the bulls in the 1990s!

The opposing team, having a huddle (or whatever basketball folks call it). Trying to regroup because they were getting their butts kicked.

This is what defense looks like. Half-raised arms and relaxed legs. Sarcastic face.

The team is green is the home team. They were dominating!

Yeah, this was pretty close to the final score. After all the running back and forth, fouls, shots taken, players in and out, this was the score. I was so tickled that people could be that excited about a 4 quarter game with this score. But it was still pretty exciting.

When the game was nearing the end, things started getting rough. A tiny girl who scored most of the points got run over like a wildebeest stampede (Lion King 3D shot out, what-what!).

The only one not standing and screaming. Letting the picture speak for itself...

The coach didn't sit down the whole time. I think it may have been her enthusiasm alone that carried her team to victory. That and the tiny girl's baskets.

Whooo! Celebration time! We are the champions! Oh wait, this is just the first game of the season...

De-briefing. I wonder if the fact that they scored only a couple baskets came up.
If you're looking for a thrilling time, go to an elementary school basketball game. You're gonna love it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Tuesday Date I Planned

Life didn't stand in the way last Tuesday. I've finally loaded the pictures off my camera and so I can share the lovely date I took Easy on. Remembering that date will hopefully make me feel better about how crappy everything has been since then.

I started with three handwritten notes that he was to open as the date went on. The first he opened right at midnight on Tuesday.

Envelope #1 front

Envelope #1 back

Envelope #2 front

Envelope #2 back

Envelope #3 front

Envelope #3 back
I also cooked dinner Monday night and prepared breakfast and lunch for Easy for him to warm up since I had to go to work. I made Italian sausage, spaghetti, biscuits, rice, greens, breakfast sausage, home-made blueberry syrup, and salad. Add in yogurt, an apple, and ranch dressing, and you have the sum total of all three meals.

I met him out at his parents' house because they lived closest to where he works. He got into my car and I drove off. He opened the second envelope while we were on our way. It was a sweet love note and offered hints about where we were going. He figured it out it had something to do with nature. I took him to...

The Morton Arboretum! It's a beautiful landscape with lots of amazing trees, bushes, etc. It has miles of trails. We went and had about 90 min or so before sunset, when they close. We were glad to have time just walking around, feeling romantic. It was amazing. We stayed until I got too cold, then we moved on. Here are some photos from the Arboretum.

This is Easy trying to re-enact that scene from The Holiday. He turned around to see I wasn't chasing, but photographing.

Thinking man...

This is amazing art. Just amazing.

This is one of my favorite shots of the day. I'm and air sign, so of course I love the sky.
Then we headed to dinner. He opened the third envelope that gave a hint inside and out about our destination. We ended up at a tapas restaurant called Meson Sabika in Naperville. If you've never been to a tapas restaurant, this is the one to try for a classic experience.

We ended the night on a happy note and headed home. This was one of our best dates ever, if I do say so myself. Looking forward to more time.

I really look forward to moving to New York. I know we'll be even busier there, but we will also have a likely easier time being able to spend time just us. No family and hardly any friends will be nearby. Not that I want to escape... No... I just want to spend more time alone with my fiance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This Week... I'd Like To Press Re-Set

I'm still feeling like hiding under a rock and not coming out until the wedding day. I wish someone else would make all the rest of the decisions and we could just be married already. But that is not reality and after a few more days of sulking, I'll get back on track.

To push myself in that direction, I did buy something to help with organization. Shopping always makes me feel better, you know?

My to-do list for the wedding

Belle is trying to help me wit the hammer and screw driver.
My Tuesday date with Easy never happened. My family has a lot going on right now, and it seems I'm the only grandchild who can help out. Even though I'm the only one who works nights and not the only one who has a car. But it is what it is.

After I got off work 8 am Tuesday (I hardly leave on time from work), I was headed to my parents' house to try and watch Dancing with the Stars on the DVR then get some sleep and be well rested by the time Easy got off work and we could have our Tuesday date.

Easy locked his keys in his apartment and needed me to come let him in. Before I got there, someone from our property management group let him in. This was after I'd already switched expressways. Nothing like driving an extra 30 min on an expressway during rush hour when you've been up for 20 hours.

Then my mother texted me to ask if I could take my grandmother to the hospital to see my great-aunt. Because no one else apparently could do it. Even though visiting hours are 9 am - 9 pm.

That text message was the last thing I saw before my phone conked out. My space button won't work so I can't e-mail or text. The speaker doesn't work so I can't hear phone calls. My poor phone is ruining my life.

So I headed to my grandmother's house to take her to the hospital. I couldn't call ahead because my phone wasn't working properly. My mother didn't tell her I might be coming, so she wasn't ready to go. We finally got to the hospital around 10:15 or so.

We stayed there for a couple hours. I ignored the television as all the ABC morning shows showed clips from the DWTS Monday episode.

After we left the hospital, my grandmother wanted to make a couple stops. We made a couple stops. I finally dropped her off and got back home by 1 pm. I hate being awake for more than 24 hours. I hate when people don't understand that I need sleep. I need sleep!

And who gets the short end of the stick usually? Poor lovely Easy. I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything, but even in my hazy upset-ness, I can tell he doing everything in his power to try and make things better for me.

He got home from work, armed with flowers, a great Tuesday gift, a card that had a love note inside, and wonderful plans. I still don't know what his plans were because when he heard I'd only been sleep for three hours, he told me to go back to sleep.

Beautiful roses!

Lovely tea candle holder!
I woke up at midnight, and the whole Tuesday was gone. I've got lots of days off for my birthday weekend starting Friday, hopefully things will improve by then.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

America's Next Top Model Episode 3

I was sad to see Sheena go because I love her personality and I think she would've done well with the prizes, but perhaps not the modeling ones. So she had to go.

In episode 3, Kristin Cavallari from The Hills stops by the house to talk to the girls about how things were going so far. Side note, she's also on Dancing With The Stars this season!

Image via MTV
So she's talking to the girls. Alexandria was taking notes because Kristin was seen as a bitch when she was on reality tv, so Alex wants to learn how to channel that towards overall positive opinions from fans. She told them about the things she's been doing outside of being in front of the camera, and gave them tips on how to make the success last.

Their challenge was to get interviewed by... Mario Lopez! They were split into two teams and interviewed as a team. The winning team was exempt from elimination after the photo shoot.

Team 1 Captain: Lisa D'Amato
Laura Kirkpatrick
Alexandria Everett
Isis King
Dominique Reighard
Angelea Preston

Team 2 Captain: Bianac Golden
Allison Harvard
Bre Scullark
Shannon Stewart
Camille McDonald
Kayla Ferrel

The interviews were fine. Lisa was irritating, as usual. It went well, nothing too amazing to report.

For their photo shoot, Sarah Silver was the photographer. They took photos on stilts in pairs. Each photo had one girls who was safe from the challenge and one who wasn't.

Image via Verenetta Warner
The pairs were: Dominique and Kayla (safe), Bianca (safe) and Lisa, Camille (safe) and Isis, Angelea and Allison (safe), Bre (safe) and Laura, Alexandria and Shannon (safe).

Side note: Camille is an asshole. She said that she needed to definitely do better than Isis. She said that she wasn't going to let "a transgender" do better than "a real woman". Bitch. Ignorant bitch.

At panel, the judges assessed the photos. Angelea asked Nigel a follow-up question about his comment to her about her interview with Mario Lopez. He clarified for her. Her ghetto self only associated "interview" with "professional". They were trying to get her to understand that there's more types of interviews than just job interviews. I think she got it.

There was also an introduction of a new ANTM phrase: Booty Tooch.

Image via WebNews
 The top photos were: Allison (safe), Bianca Golden (safe), Shannon Stewart (safe), Bre Scullark (safe), Kayla Ferrel (safe), Camille McDonald (safe). Camille would've been going home had she not been safe. I just know it. After the safe girls came the unsafe girls. Alexandria (unsafe), Lisa (unsafe), Laura (unsafe), Dominique (unsafe).

The bottom two were: Angelea and Isis. Tyra pointed out that they didn't have the two worst photos. Then the camera showed Kayla and Camille. Maybe Kayle would've actually gone home since she was in the bottom two last week as well. Isis went home because her photo wasn't as strong as Angelea's.

Isis went home. I'm sad to see her go. If only to give her a chance to put Camille's ass in her place. I'll admit it, I don't like Camille's personality as portrayed on this show. Maybe she's not such a fake ignorant bitch in person. Maybe.

And hopefully next week, Angelea can do a more balanced personality and a better photo. Or at least get on the safe team.

Date Night Continues

I still haven't done the post about the date I took Easy on. Once I get the pictures loaded onto my external hard drive, I swear I will.

He decided to take me on a date last Friday. It didn't go well. At all. Not even a little bit. I'm not going to get into the details, but let's say our whole weekend kind of sucked and that date really kicked it off perfectly. *Sarcastic face*.

My great-aunt is in the hospital and she's not doing well. We spent hours on Saturday and Sunday at the hospital. I love Easy so much knowing that even when in the middle of a fight, he'll be there for me and my family no matter what.

Well, we got past the weekend. We're still hoping my aunt gets better, but we're going to do a re-do of the date on our date day: Tuesday, i.e., later today.

I don't know what we're going to do, but Easy says he has something pretty great planned. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm surprised I am. But hopefully this will go well. And then I'll have two dates to talk about.

I'd much rather talk about our day-to-day stuff instead of the bigger stuff like wedding planning. I feel like sticking my head in the sand for the next four months. Sigh, well, it will be fine once we've picked a DOC and a florist and had our tasting and have our menu picked. Yikes, that's a lot.

Back to sticking my head in the sand and only coming up for date nights and dealing with family stuff.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

OMG There Are New Kindles Out!

I don't know how long Amazon has been working on their new Kindles, but I've just heard of them. Amazon sent me an e-mail today about it.

That e-mail was perfectly timed, since I was looking for a birthday gift to buy myself. Every year I get myself a nice birthday gift. Seeing as how this is my first gainfully-employed birthday with a real big-girl job, I want to get something really really nice.

The prices are also pretty amazing, so I'll be able to get this gift without breaking the bank. Yay! I bought my first Kindle over a year and a half ago. I loved it so much, but now I'm ready to upgrade.

Do you want to meet the new Kindles? Of course you do.

First up is the new Kindle. Tiny, e-ink, amazing price!

Click here to go to the website.
 This Kindle is the new version of the one you already know and love if you own a Kindle. No more keypad, this baby only has the 5-way touchpad. I have no idea how you type things into this Kindle (I used Google a lot on mine), but if you never used the keypad, it's no big loss.

It's his price that's so amazing. If you won't want "special offers and sponsored screensavers" displayed on your Kindle when you're not reading, you'll pay $109. But if you don't mind that extreme marketing, you can get this baby for $79. Yay for low demand!

Next up is the Kindle Touch. I hate touchscreens, but lately, there have been a couple that get me going, like The new Blackberry Bold 9900 that has both a touchscreen and a keyboard. Drool. But back to the Kindle Touch.

Click here to go to the website.
 This lovely do-dad is just the Kindle but with a touchscreen. Kindle catches up to nook with this one. The price for this guy is $99 with sponsored screensavers and $109 without. I'd say pay the extra $10 dolars. If you have $109 lying around, you can get the Kindle or the Kindle Touch without sponsored offers. How cool is that?

 Up next is the one I'm halfway considering pre-ordering.

Click here to go to the website.
This one has 3G. Unless you live in a magical place where Wi-fi is always available, this is the one for you. The 3G is free unless you're using it to upload certain documents to your Kindle, which you can easily avoid using a PC/Mac and the handy-dandy USB cord that comes with.

The other one I'm half considering is the last one. They certainly saved the best-- if by best I mean most flashy-- for last.

Click here to go to the website.
 This one is so shiny looking. That full color screen really draws you in, doesn't it?

I got the Kindle in the first place because I preferred the e-ink. But I've been talking to people who have nooks and iPads, and the backlight doesn't seem to cause as big as issue as I thought it would. Plus, with the light, I could read in bed, or watch streaming television/movies--assuming I could get Wi-fi.

There's that pesky Wi-fi problem. And do I want to stare a computer screen all day at work and then use my leisure time to stare at yet another backlit screen?

I have some thinking to do. Do you have an e-reader? Which of these four would you choose?

Disclaimer: I wasn't asked to do this post, I just really love the Kindles. I wish I were getting reimbursed for pubbing these...