Monday, August 30, 2010

Hilton Head Part 2: I'm on a Bike

One of my favorite things about Hilton Head were the wonderful bike lanes: wide, often separate from the road, extensive, and passing through some beautiful scenery. Our condo was centrally located so we were able to bike to many places.

To the Piggly Wiggly.

To the beach.

To the pirate mini-golf.

To the cupcake shop.

The bike lanes had their own little stop signs. Adorable!

And the paths would cut through some woody spots which was the perfect amount of nature to experience at a time.

Adorable bike bridges helped to separate us from the alligators.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Week in Review: 8/27


Nom nom nom...tasty dessert from Redhead Recipes.

I really really really want to sew more but I haven't made the time. This is a tempting project.

Can I live here?

The big party is next weekend so I might have to try one of these fancy tea recipes.

I was kind of wanting to put a map in our office but I'm intrigued by this first idea.

Happy weekend! : )

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hilton Head Part 1: I'm on a Kayak

This is the first in a yet-unknown-number (more than 2, less than 7) series in which I share my vacation photos with you. If you're really really eager to see all the pictures right now, you can just go to my Flickr (Sounds  dirtier than it is.).

Let's start with our kayaking tour. This was a big step for me since:
A. I don't like nature very much. (I'm glad it's there, I just don't want to spend a lot of time with it. This is mostly due to my fears of bugs, snakes, bears and drowning. See item C.)
B. I have the upper body strength of a mouse. (Apparently this is more of a core exercise, not that I have much of a core either.)
C. I don't swim well (doggy paddle FTW) so being in the water in something other than a medium-to-large boat makes me a little nervous.

But Lee likes nature, is strong, and can swim, plus has previous kayaking experience, so kayaking we went!

We departed at 6 p.m. from Shelter Cover Harbour.

We were told not to wear flip-flops but that was all we packed, so we went to Walmart just to get some non-flip-flops. After spending $34 on shoes we don't really like, we gathered with the rest of the tour and most of them were wearing flip-flops. Bummer.

I was both nervous...

and excited. (And a little sad that Lee didn't take me up on my suggestion that we wear matching nautical-themed pashmina afghans.)

You might also notice that I'm sitting in what some people call "the princess seat", but I like to call it "the photographer seat". Someone has to get these sweet dolphin shots.

Yes, there were dolphins. And even though we only saw about 20% of their body, they were still cool.


There were also a lot of birds. They were nice, but no dolphin. This one is an anhinga and is sitting on a barge.

I'm sure you recognize the pelican from Finding Nemo.


In Broad Creek (where we kayaked, it cuts through the middle of Hilton Head Island) there are also oodles of oyster beds. We saw some young American Oystercathers which is rare and none of the pictures turned out but they were still cool. Apparently oyster knives are based on their beaks. And even though oysters seem pretty defenseless, if they sense an oystercatcher approaching, they can clamp down on their beaks and hold them until the tide rises and drowns them. Neato and creepy!

If you're traveling to HHI and/or care, we did a two-hour nature tour through Outside Hilton Head. They were lovely and are not paying me (unfortunately) to say this.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

TripTik Nostalgia

This weekend I picked up a TripTik for our vacation. The whole concept seemed kind of odd — picking up a paper map — but my aunt recommended it as a fun car hobby to mark progress. And it's very nostalgic for me. Every vacation growing up we always drove and there was always the trip to AAA to pick up the TripTik and guide books. That and at 26, it's time I learned how to read a map, other than Google mapping how to get downtown.

Plus, the nice AAA lady noted traffic (We're not going back through Asheville because apparently the backups from road construction heading west are horrendous.), construction and popular speed traps. Google doesn't do that for you.

In 26 hours we'll be on the road! (I hope.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Not To Get All Political, But...

I think I'm going to boycott Amazon. I kind of already have been. Especially when it comes to books. Since the Macmillan thing went down, I've only bought a dual-flush system which I could not find in any local store (A true, funny story: Me trying to explain to Lowe's and Home Depot employees that I was looking for the toilet attachment that lets you use less water to flush a #1 and more water to flush a #2.), a DVD that I couldn't find in any local store, and one used book that wasn't really through Amazon but through an independent seller so possibly doesn't even count.

Here's why I'm not buying books from Amazon:
Macmillan, a book publisher, asked for an e-Book price increase because Amazon was selling them for so little that the publishers were losing money. And if anyone is going to get rich in America, I pick the authors and their publishers, editors, agents, etc. But Amazon didn't want to raise the price of their e-Books so they just dropped all Macmillan books from their website immediately, which is pretty douche-y.

You can read more about the Macmillan mess here, because it's much more complex than what I just said. And I had kind of forgotten about how much I was inching toward the Amazon Hate Train until I read this recently. (Thanks Caitlin!) There are many of us on the Train.

Also, Amazon just isn't good for bookstores and I love love love bookstores. You know how Audrey feels about Tiffany's in Breakfast at Tiffany's? That's how I feel about bookstores (and Tiffany's too).
Holly: I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I'm not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It's like Tiffany's. 
Paul: Tiffany's? You mean the jewelry store. 
Holly: That's right. I'm just CRAZY about Tiffany's!   
So now you know why I'm not shopping at Amazon much in the future, in case you want to jump on the Hate Train too. If you sign up for Borders e-mails you get great coupons about once a week, so it hasn't been a hard transition. Also, I'm still offended by this, which popped up during my last Amazon purchase. For reals.
Picture 3

Monday, August 9, 2010

Art Car


Apparently there are Trolly Hops on the first Friday of the month here in Louisville and in August, the Trolly Hopping coincides with Art Car weekend. These are things I probably would know if I wasn't a slacker Louisvillian. I'm working on it. (But will despise UofL athletics for forever! It should be quadruple-clarified that any pro-Louisville sentiments I express refer to Louisville solely as a city with museums, tasty restaurants and fun culture and has absolutely nothing to do with it's Divisison I athletic team. Go Cats!) Anyways...Art Car was pretty cool.

The Sashimi Tabernacle Choir even have their own website.
I was even suckered into getting art-ed myself. Nice.
I think my favorite thing, was finally visiting 21C and discovering this sweet spot by their elevators. The raining letters will land on you and make a poem. It's amazing. Especially if you're a bit of a word nerd.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Week in Review: 8/6

So this is where I would put a picture of something except Flickr updated their photo page this week and for reasons that probably involve science and therefore my brain can't really comprehend, I can't share pictures. Or really do anything with my pictures but view them. If I click on "Share This" the Internet's wheels turn and then...nothing. Nada. "Done" without accomplishing anything. Are you Flickr-dependent and experiencing similar issues? I know there are other ways to put images into blog posts but I have this freakish attachment to Flickr so until we're resolved our disagreement, you'll have to live without my poorly-lighted and focused pictures.

I baked the tastiest thing I have every baked last night. It was easy-peasy, tough to share, and if you use a mini-muffin pan it's ridiculous how many you can justify eating in a five-minute span. Ladies and gentlemen, Pioneer Woman's Individual Raspberry Cobblers. You're welcome.

Oh! Just visited Flickr's help page and I'm not alone in my troubles and they're working on it! Whew.

Peach slice wrapped in pancetta with basil and grilled? Yes please.

Affordable art

Our books are boxed up in the basement until we can get the hardwood floors and then new bookcases, so let's look at other people's pretty book storage.

If you've ever had to discuss "social media strategy", this is the best thing ever. (Rated PG-13 for language)

Happy weekend-ing!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dear Summer

Dear Summer,

I hear today is the hottest day of the year. I know some people are cursing you over this. Some people *gasp!* are publicly crying for winter.

But I want you to know that I still love you and you're still my favorite. I still smile when I step outside and feel your warmth. And I still hope you won't be leaving too soon. Because I still, very much, hate winter.

All my love,

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Disqualification for "Wife of the Year 2010" (There's always next year!)

Last night Lee returned home from ultimate frisbee with quite the limp. He had, in what I'm sure was a beautiful expression of frisbee skillz, twisted his ankle. Or sprained it. I don't know the difference because I've never (knock on wood) exerted myself enough to have one of these issues. His ankle was swollen, he was hopping a lot, and there were some ice packs involved, but he's fine.

Lee's post-frisbee ritual involves taking his disgustingly wet shirt and smelly cleats to the basement for a thorough Febreeze-ing. Me, still a contender for "Wife of the Year 2010", offered to take the smellies to the basement for him since hopping is not a good way to get down stairs, especially if you're carrying things. He said he could do it, but no, it's the duty of awesome wives to take the smellies to the basement when Lee's injured.

So I start to go down to the basement, but... there is a cricket on the bottom stair.

I don't like bugs. They're at the heart of why I avoid the outdoors, why I'm afraid to weed my garden (I've heard some creep-tastic ground bees stories that started with innocent gardening.), why I'm a little sad our house came with so many plants and trees, and why the creepy unfinished part of the basement is creepy.

There was this one nasty cricket incident when I was in middle school and trying to use this red liquid from my orthodontist that would help me see where I wasn't brushing well since I had just gotten braces that resulted in red goo on the walls and blood-curdling screams in the night.

So last night Lee used his arms and good leg to get down the stairs to kill the cricket and put away his smelly shirt and cleats. After that, I took excellent care of him, but apparently my fear of crickets trumps my wifely kindness. I don't think either of us are surprised by this.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Thoughts on Things

Was awesome and made more sense than I thought it would, which makes me think I'm missing something. You should see it so you can talk to everyone else about it. It was also very nice in the IMAX theater and I'm still bitter that I missed the first half of the Harry Potter trailer.

Worst. Movie. Ever. Except maybe Dunston Checks In. I don't like "end of world" movies as a genre; the less visual I have on that situation the happier I am. Watching billions of people die is never a good time, especially if it's horribly predictable, trite and ridiculous. If you want to see the best bad movie ever, I recommend Cabin Fever.

Eat Pray Love
I'm Catholic and I love being Catholic and I like Catholic things so I did not expect to like this book because I thought it would be too, for lack of anything more politically correct, "hippie-dippie spiritual". (Which is fine if that's what you believe in, but it's not something I want to read for 300 pages.) But I really really loved this book and can't wait for the movie. I actually related to a lot of her thoughts on God and faith and enjoyed flipping through all my underlined passages when I passed the book on to a friend this weekend. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one whom, in a moment of crisis, God tells to get some sleep.

Arrested Development
My new obsession. I'm trying to get everyone and their brother to watch it because I love it and do not have enough fellow fans in my life. If you love Arrested Development maybe we could start some kind of support group. If you don't love it yet, you can watch all the three seasons on Netflix Instant and you will thank me. IMDB says that there's a movie in pre-production which is both exciting and scary. (Please don't suck. Please don't suck.)

Also, IMDB says that there's a Hangover 2 in pre-production? Also exciting and scary. (Please don't suck. Please don't suck.)

Project Runway
A note to the contestants: You're surprised that you don't have enough time?! NO ONE has enough time!! (Except maybe that guy who did pants, a top and a cape. That was crazy.) That is the point of the show. You are given an impossible task and no time and then you cry for the judges. If I knew I was going on Project Runway, I would do sewing time trials at home and practice making pants from garbage bags. Maybe I should start a new career as coach for future Project Runway contestants.

image: Rob Inh00d