Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grand Canyon, Here I Come!

Confession time....

I've been wanting to get this off my chest for forever. Ok. Here goes:

I never took the Constitution test in high school!

Nor did I take Government or American History. It was a big mix up when I moved during my sophomore year. I knew the school was making a mistake and that I should alert them to this foible, but the oh-so-alluring distinction of being the only person in all of Illinois to graduate high school without taking the Constitution test was more than my sense of honesty and propriety could handle, so I never told.

Whew! So nice to get that off my chest.

Oh, wait. That wasn't really the confession I'm here to confess. This is:

I have lived in Arizona for 13 years and I have never been to the Grand Canyon.

I know! I know! But I have an excuse! The excuse is that a day trip to look over the edge just never seemed worthy. If I was going to the Grand Canyon, I wanted to hike it, to experience it and most importantly to go here:
However to go here, you have to drive to the north rim (6+ hours), hike 10 miles with your camping gear and most prohibitively, make a reservation! Now, I can plan a trip for 8 people to Brazil or Costa Rica, but making a reservation to go camping has always seemed to be too much for me. :)

Thankfully, Laura is not put off by such things as a measly phone call and thus a reservation was secured for this weekend. I've borrowed lots of gear from my personal REI-in-a-garage, Kristen, and tomorrow is the big day of travel. Thursday we hike down. Friday, Saturday and Sunday we explore waterfalls! Sunday we hike back up. "We" consists of a few of my friends and a whole lot of Laura's friends from Long Island. Welcome to Arizona, you easterners. Yes, it is 100+ degrees with humidity right now. What? That's too hot for hiking with a full pack? Pshaw. Now quit yer whinin' and move!

I'm looking forward to finally seeing that grandest of all canyons. I am not looking forward to four days of peanut butter and jelly on pita and banana chips. (Btw, I have had pizza for 10 days in a row, tomorrow will make 11. I'm going to be sad to end my streak!)

All this is to say that I'll be gone til Monday. Have a great 4th of July celebrating with your air conditioning, your vehicles, your electricity, your shelter from the rain and don't be too jealous of my great trip.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm Too Sexy For Your Party

I'm too sexy for your party...too sexy for your party...no way I'm disco dancing...

I may not disco, but I will do some Bollywood Dancing. And some Burlesque. And some Belly Dancing. Throw in some pole dancing and a hula class... and you have an Express MiE sampler day. It was a blast.

Express MiE is a dance studio in Tempe that offers classes for women. Saturday was a free day for people to come out and give them a try.

The Bollywood class was a hoot! Elaine, Irene, Grace and I participated. We learned a very goofy and fun dance.Nicole joined us for the Burlesque class. It was also a hoot. We learned a routine that incorporated taking off a pair of (imaginary) gloves. It was all very sexy, of course! Can't you tell from this picture?

Belly dancing sucked. It was rib isolations and shoulder isolations and hip isolations and chest isolations. Yeah, right. No part of my body does any sort of isolating from the other parts of my body. (This certainly isn't to say that my body parts work in conjunction with each other either...)

The pole dancing was really just one spin on a pole and then a demo of all the cool tricks and spins you would learn if you signed up for the six week class. The hula class was entertaining. Elaine took a hula hoop dancing class (not to be confused with my hawaiian hula class.) Irene took Zumba. They also offered a Yoga Booty Ballet class that I wish I had chosen instead of belly dancing.

If the studio weren't so far away from me I'd sign up for all the classes. Well, except for the belly dancing, of course!

Book Club Social Club

I heart my book club. Yes, it's true. They are smart, witty, charming and oh-so-social. If it wasn't for Sarah, our very own cruise director, I would never try new restaurants or go new places.

A couple weeks ago we went to Cheuvront for the May/June birthday celebration. We had yummy cheese and a waiter who was (a little too) fascinated by our conversation and Andrea's cleavage. He gave us free desserts. Yee haw!!

Robyn and Sarah:
Me and the birthday girls, Andrea and Elaine:
Kiri and Cathleen were there, too, but our group picture is not flattering for anyone, so I'll refrain from posting it.

This weekend we went to KazBar to celebrate Grace's second-to-last visit to Phoenix. KazBar is hard to find, hidden behind some other restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale. It's so trendy that it doesn't have a sign with its name anywhere.
I'm not opposed to trendy and they serve a plate full of sausages, so thumbs up from me!
They also serve a HUGE bowl of olives for only $4. Quite a bargain.

Grace enjoyed the wine flights.
Elaine enjoyed the chocolate fondue... a little too much - spilling it all over her shirt. Kiri broke her shoe. Good god, we're a mess. Usually we only embarrass ourselves by being extremely loud and having other guests request to be reseated. This time we outdid ourselves!Here they are channeling their inner-Jamie's. (I believe he's started a trend! The crotch point! It's sweeping the nation!) Really - we outdid ourselves!
Some random quotes from the evening:

"What the fuck: ponies!"
"Sarah Fenske! We should mate!" (This was shouted by one of the girls.)
"Everybody knows that you don't kill a white chick."
"I'd never been to a small town. I'll be a frontierswoman."

Yeah...we are fascinating.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ping Pong Part Two

After last month's Ping Pong Tournament, in which Jimmy narrowly beat Jamie for the championship, Kiri made this fancy, schmancy PING PONG MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE Championship Belt to glorify her husband's amazing...um...achievement. Doesn't it look a little...um...oh, never mind.
Jimmy brought the belt with him to defend his title at the 2nd Not-Annual Ping Pong Tournament.

Me with the male half of the Fabigs, our fabulous event hosts:It was also somewhat of a pot-luck event, which in this case means that the Fabigs' neighbor, Jennifer, brings over whatever leftovers she has from whatever prior event she was celebrating. Tonight's offering was some kind of salad with some really tasty chicken. Since veggies are yucky, Wayne and I picked out the chicken.

Grace and her boyfriend Jon were in town, so it was like a mini book club party. This picture is so very strange as I am the tallest person in it. This hasn't happened since I took my picture with a group of children! (Kiri and I are actually the same height so she must be more slouchy than me here!)
The competition was again fierce. Sadly, Jamie was not there to re-challenge the reigning champion, but Wayne and Brian gave him a run for his money. And since this tournament was free and no money was run for, that pretty much means that the competition was not at all fierce and that Jimmy won handily.

The imaginary championship dais:

And Jimmy dons the PING PONG MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE Championship Belt. I'm still thinking that it looks somewhat...um...oh, never mind.We can't forget the other prize that gets awarded at these Fabig functions. If you recall, at the Inaugural Ping Pong Tournament, I won the coveted Makes The Most People Shake Their Heads In Pity award. This time I lost my first two games just like last time, but I did it with more points than poor Miranda! So it was Miranda who won these wrist braces and the prestigious title!
Congratulations to all our winners!

My Little Tiny Life

I am feeling insignificant. As such, I've really got nothing worthy of talking about.

Well, except for the REALLY EXCITING news that I have eaten pizza 8 days in a row now.

Sauce:Carmine's? Little Carmine's? (it's something like that....I call it the '"pizza place below Paradise Bakery")

Yep. This blog post pretty much sums up how significant I am.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Two Frankies

Frankie - my multiple personality puppy. Wow!

On Saturday at the agility trial in Prescott, he was amazing! Four completely awesome runs and one kinda crappy one. He started the day with a Q in gamblers. He started out a little wild, but was able to control himself and pay attention by the time he had to do the gamble (which for you non-agility folks is a set of obstacles that you have to direct your dog through at a distance. There is a line you can't cross while you command the dog). He's never all that great with distance, but he was awesome on Saturday! After that, he Q'd in both of his standard runs and thus finally achieved all the Q's he needed to advance to Intern level. Yay! It only took us 3 years!

Here is a video of one of his Standard Q's. He still is reluctant about the weave poles, but since he did everything else I asked of him and most impressively, didn't run off like a spazz, I didn't mind so much. And we were still 9 seconds under time, even with all the time he wastes there.

He competed in his first Specialist level jumpers course. The 4-5-6 jumps were the hardest and he breezed right through with no trouble, so I was mentally already picking up my ribbons. Stupid. I was lazy on the end of the course and he missed the last serpentine. If I had more focus (gee, wonder where he gets his issues from??), we would have Q'd in jumpers too. After he went off-course, I got him right back and we finished well. Bummer. The last run of the day was Snakes and Ladders, which requires 3 sets of weave poles. Based on the video above, you can probably guess that we were WAY over time. :)

Then, on Sunday, the old Frankie was back...larger than life. He had the zoomies worse than he has ever had. We pissed off our trigility partner because she didn't Q. (Lady-Pat had to miss the trial because she had surgery so a random person was added to our group. Never a good thing with a dog like Frankie!). His second trigility run was the exact same. How embarrassing. I thought he was settled down during his Standard run. He stayed at the start line. He took the first 2 jumps, he entered the correct end of the tunnel and most shockingly he went right into the weaves and was doing great. I was thrilled! Until he hit the 6th of the 12 weaves. His eyes glazed over and he was gone. He zoomed around the edge of the ring faster than a greyhound. He's insane. Ergh. He actually did great in his Jumpers run - it seems that with no tunnels or contacts to entice him, he doesn't have the strong urge to spazz. Again though, he missed a serpentine. Looks like I know what to work on.

The last run of the day was Strategic Time Gamblers - where you make up your own course for 30 seconds, then make up your own course for another 15 seconds...with the goal of trying to rack up lots of points and finish the run in 42.5 to 45 seconds. Frankie obviously loves to make up his own course and I was a good judge of time, so we did get a Q in this one. I don't technically count it as a good run, though, since my dog was not under control at any point in the 44 seconds! So, Sunday sucked.

But overall, I'm pleased with the weekend. The Frankie that showed up on Saturday was so enjoyable that I was able to overlook the goofball Frankie that came to play on Sunday. I guess we'll stick with it!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Elaine

Happy Birthday, Elaine!

For your birthday photo montage, we're going back to Brazil, baby!
Here's to another year of singing... ...and dancing...
...and siding with those of us who are right (well...left maybe)......instead of with those who are wrong (or right, maybe)......and traveling with Travel Troupe!
(Don't you wish we really were going back to Brazil??)

This Is What Happened Last Night

And when the ball bounced off my face...as I was flying through the air...it landed in the net! However, there was no goal counted as the ref already whistled the play dead immediately at the sight of my head snapping back so far that all vertebra should have been broken.

A big thank you to Little Tom for the fabulous artwork!

Dear Stalker, Please Don't Kill Me

I stalked a guy on Monday night. Yep! It's true. I was leaving happy hour ($3 burger/fries at Maizie's- yum!) and I was in a bit of hurry because I had exactly 30 minutes to get home and get ready for and then get to my soccer game. I was walking briskly, in heels...click! click! click! I was walking behind one of the not-quite-part-of-your-ordinary-society men that you'll find in downtowns everywhere. He was wearing really big headphones and tilting a bit to the right.

I was walking faster than he was. Click!Click!Click! I was about to pass him when he announced very loudly, though rather calmly, "I am being stalked! I am going to dial NINE. And then ONE! And then ONE again!" He repeated this one more time before I reached my car. "I am being stalked! I am going to dial NINE. And then ONE! And then ONE again!"

I got in my car hoping that he would feel some relief at this point, but sadly, my in-vehicle destination was the same as his on-foot destination - through the parking lot to the street. He walked directly in the middle of the parking lot, giving me no space to go around him. And so I continued stalking him in my car.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mini Updates

  • I have an agility trial in Prescott this weekend. I've practiced with Frankie twice in the past two weeks. The first time, he was 100% the best agility dog you have ever seen! Better than all the dogs on ESPN. He was a vision of athleticism and intelligence and willingness to please. This is the Frankie that no one gets to see....so depressing. The second practice, he was 100% Frankie. Jumped off some contacts, blew off the weave poles. The usual. I was pleased actually, because it gave me the opportunity to work on correcting some of these bad habits. (What am I talking about?? I don't know how to correct his bad habits...or it would have been accomplished by now!!) I wonder which dog I'll have this weekend?
  • Last Saturday Pat and I took the boat out to Bartlett. It was sort of last minute and as such, I couldn't wrangle up any of my friends to go with me. I keep telling myself that the "no" responses I received are actually not a true indication of people's feelings about me. Since the boat was going to be relatively empty, Pat allowed me to bring a dog (in his truck AND on the boat!! Wow!). Since he was being so generous, I let him pick which dog. He chose Georgie. She did great on the boat! She was a little nervous when we'd go really fast or hit a big wave - that caused her to dive under a chair for protection. But overall, she has the potential to be a good boat dog. We wakeboarded a little bit, but it was so windy that the lake was really choppy. It was an accomplishment just to stay upright!
  • My 20th high school reunion is coming up next month. I am not going. I am wondering how I got to be so damn old, though.
  • I am participating in 3 upcoming adventure races: Extreme Heat Coon Bluff, the Gilmore Adventure Race and for my birthday, the Oyster Race, which is Denver and is being attended by those of my friends who like me enough to travel with me!
  • I've been seeing LOTS of movies this year. Jamie and I regularly go to $1.50 night at the cheap-o movie theater. We've seen lots of horrible movies (Knowing- quite possibly the worst movie ever, Twilight, Bride Wars, Tom Cruise-in-an-Eyepatch) but the last movie we saw was awesome! If you have the opportunity to see Crank II, by all means, TAKE IT! It was great! Just don't bring all your brain cells with you...some of them might be put off a bit.
  • Something crazy is going on in Phoenix. It's June 18th and it has yet to get really hot. It's bizarre.
  • I'm spending the 4th of July weekend hiking the Grand Canyon and camping at the bottom. I'm guessing the full Arizona heat will finally hit that weekend!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hockey Troupe Reunion Tour

Many, many years ago (five? six? seven?) we played roller hockey at the Castle. It was before I started playing soccer (so maybe seven??) and way before I started playing ice hockey. A few months ago (three?), we were at dinner and the idea was raised to re-unite Hockey Troupe. The plan took shape and we were able to scrounge up seven of the original team!

NFBF, Brian, Richard, Pat, me, David, Irene

We have played two games so far. The first game was against the league champions from last session, which was probably not the best way to get back into a sport that none of our team has played for five, six or seven years. Not surprisingly, we lost. The score was 7-2.
But don't we look good?!The second game went quite a bit better. Well, for me it went WAY BETTER because... I SCORED A GOAL! Woo hoo! I'm pretty sure this was only the second real goal I've ever scored in hockey and that includes both roller and ice! Two goals in five years of playing really is kind of embarrassing to admit. But it was quite exciting last Thursday night! Then, right after I scored, I got a pretty assist to Pat. And then we won 3-2. Yippee!!

Right after that game, we played soccer and lost 20-3, so the hockey goal and victory were tempered a little bit by that sad thrashing.

Good news...bad news...interesting news for this week's game. The bad news is that the NFBF has a conflict and can't play goalie for us. The good news is that Jamie is a super-star (a slightly crazy super-star) and has agreed to play goalie for the games that the NFBF has to miss. Hurray! The interesting news is that Jamie has never played hockey before and thus, has never played hockey goalie before. Jamie doesn't even skate! Like I said, he's slightly crazy! The plan is to dress him up in NFBF's gear, push him out to the net and then play lots of defense!

Jamie did get one practice session, which was mostly to teach him how to put on all the gear. He was amazed by how much gear there is for a goalie. He's used to playing soccer, which is a very low-maintenance sport. :)It took almost the whole NFBF family to dress him.
And then we pushed him out to the net and practiced taking shots on him. He did great with the low ones, but when David shot them high...well....yeah...those all went in. Last I heard, his objective for Thursday's game is to do better than our soccer team did last week, which means he can let in 19 goals. Of course, that also means we have to score at least 3.
Wish us luck!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Battle of the Sexes

Book Club Game Night....Battle of the Sexes...whatever.

First we played Catch Phrase. The girls won the first round quite handily. I believe a girl may have commented something to the effect that boys should know better than to take on girls in word games. And thus, karma came and bit us on the ass. The girls then, very quickly, lost the next two rounds. How embarrassing. Next time we'll have to take Jimmy's advice and play a game that requires a little more skill than luck.

Oh wait... we did take that advice and played Pictionary. And we beat the boys. Wow! Did we beat the boys! It was almost sad. (Ok, no almost about it. It really was sad.) Happy *winning* girls:How could the boys have lost so badly? I wish I had a picture of the zebra Jimmy drew. No one guessed correctly, possibly because it didn't have a head! Jimmy claims he can't draw heads. What? C'mon...a circle. 2 dots for eyes. A "u" for a mouth. Done. After we gave him this lesson, his next word "Wolfman" was only a big head. A circle. 2 dots for eyes. A "u" for a mouth. And not surprisingly, none of the boys guessed what it was. It was about this time that Jimmy left the game and fell in love with my TV.I'll give you another example of how the game went. This was an All-Play round.

This is what the girls drew:
Ok...is it a fork? Yep. Fork is the second word? Yep. Umm...pitch fork? Salad fork? Salad fork! Yay!!

At the same time the boys drew this:
And the girls still beat the boys on this round. Sad!

Another example of why the boys lost. This drawing is of "Make-up". For those of you who know Jamie, you should know that he was honestly trying to draw make-up, but yeah...it's not surprising that what he came up looked a little...um...drrrty (click for a larger view):

And speaking of things looking a little drrrty. This? What's with the leash?
Ok...this was taken right before they leashed up Sarah's little pup Buckley to take him home. I didn't get any pictures of the little guy - probably because he spent most of the night hiding from my dogs on the top step of the pool. Smart little guy knew that no one was gonna get him there!!

I'll let you all make up your own story about this one:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Snake Charmer

Does this look like me?No?
Huh. It should...

I'm not going to talk about the situation with the Phoenix Coyotes and how sad I'll be if the bankruptcy hearing decides that they can move to Canada. I'm also not going to talk about the Red Wings leading the Penguins 3-2. Ugh. Instead, I'm going to talk about baseball. To take my mind off the sad state of hockey, I've been going to a lot of Diamondbacks baseball games. And whenever I go to the games, the Snakes always win (well, almost always).

Cuz I'm a snake charmer.

Last week I went to THREE baseball games in one week. (And 2 movies, too! It was a busy week!). On Tuesday, the NFBF scored us sweet suite tickets. There was free food and everything! This was my second game of the season and, because I was there, the Diamondbacks won!
Then Pat, Jamie and I went to the game on Friday. I'm gonna say that game doesn't count (they lost) since I wasn't really there. We got there late, we left early and even while I was there, I wasn't really there. I was sick again and I spent the majority of the time puking in the ladies room. Yeah, I know, I'm a fun date!

But I was well on Saturday and this time I got to enjoy the game. Jamie and I were pretty excited because it was Stephen Drew bobblehead day. Ok..ok...Jamie was pretty excited about it being bobblehead day. I'm still a newbie baseball fan and Stephen Drew is nobody to me. Sadly, we did not get to the game in time to be one of the first 25,000 fans to get a bobblehead. Poor Jamie was crushed.
I can't deal with a sad Jamie, so I created a sad-sounding story and convinced some poor schmuck to give me his bobblehead so I could give it to Jamie. And all was then right with the world. And then my presence caused the Diamondbacks to win again!!

Maybe I should go to a few more games and see if I can't get this team up above .500.