Monday, October 30, 2006

The City of New Orleans

(click on image to view album)

In honor of our 4th anniversary, Elliot and I went to New Orleans with our friends Jessica and Brandon. We spent last weekend enjoying Voodoo Fest (a two day concert that New Orleans hosts every fall) and sightseeing in the French Quarter.

The concert was held in City Park and it lasted all day Saturday and Sunday. Elliot and I saw performances by Drive-By Truckers, Yerba Buena, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Juvenile, and The Flaming Lips. All of the bands were outstanding.

This was Elliot's first trip to New Orleans. Fortunately, the French Quarter didn't seem to have been hit too badly by Hurricane Katrina. There were a few businesses that hadn't reopened and some signs of damage here and there, but the area that we stayed in seems to have mostly recovered. We had a wonderful weekend and can't wait to go back.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


This was Yoink's Halloween costume last year!

Yoink is our youngest cat- he's 1.5 years old and we got him when he was just a little kitten. Now he's a great big 16 lb cat who dominates our other two inside cats, Applesauce and Radar. Yoink loves water, and he especially enjoys watching the toilet flush. He's really friendly, too, and he's always the first to run and investigate a noise or meet a new person.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

We have finished the closet of our master bathroom

Here are some pics.

This is before.

These two are after.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


This is our kitty Applesauce. He's lived with me for about 6 years now. Applesauce was a stray cat that adopted me when I lived in Sarasota. He was living outside until he got really sick one day and I had to bring him inside. Well, I didn't HAVE to bring him inside, but once you invest a certain amount of money in an animal, it seems such a shame to let them run off or get hit by a car. He's basically my indentured servant now, required to pay me back with love and affection. But he'll never earn his freedom again because he is constantly running up a vet bill.

Poor Applesauce has been through a lot. He lost his kitty-cat friend Ruebella about a year and 1/2 ago, when we had to put her to sleep. Everyone was sad about that. Then this summer, Applesauce was diagnosed with diabetes. He's doing really well, though, and the vet says that he's their "best diabetic patient" because he's so stable and otherwise healthy.

Just yesterday, we found out that Applesauce has to have one of his teeth pulled. He goes in for surgery next Monday, October 30th. I'm sure he'll do just fine during the procedure, but please think good thoughts for him during the day.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Local Artist

I've been volunteering about 2 hours every week at a local preschool since February. I love it. The kids make me laugh non-stop. And whenever I walk in the door, they all yell "Miss Mary!" and run over to me and hug my legs. It makes me feel very special.

If I'm wearing my Batman t-shirt (which I make a point of wearing about once a month) then everyone spends the next 30 minutes telling me who their favorite superheroes are. We've all had the same conversation at least 5 or 6 times, but the kids are no less enthusiastic each time I wear the shirt. Eventually they start making up superheroes. At least, I'm pretty sure that there are no Mister Crazyhead comic books. I could be wrong, though.

Last week when I walked in, one of the little girls named Paxton ran over with a drawing she'd made and said "Miss Mary, I made this for you! It's me and my house." I can only assume that her house is the black box and that she herself is represented by the yellow outline of her hand. Very cute. So now it's hanging on my fridge. And posted on my blog. :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wii Pre-order secured!

For all of you that don't know, the Wii is the new videogame console from Nintendo. It comes out on Nov 19th. So, I had originally planned to camp out "all" night to get my Nintendo Wii preorder, which guarantees that I will get one as soon as possible. Then I thought better of it. Later I set my alarm for 5:30, just in case, and thought that if no-one was there then I would just go to work early. Well when I showed up at the EB Games store little before 6 there were already 24 people in line, some having been there since 1:00AM. "Oh no!" I thought. I quickly parked and got out my book, breakfast and folding stool and proceeded to sign the list as number 25. At this point I had no idea how many Wii would be available for preorder. Each store is only allowed to take a certain number of preorders. I did realize that I had stepped in pig poop on the way to the car though and began to stink the place up somthing fierce. I felt bad for the guy who was sleeping next to my feet. Everyone was college age or older. There were only 2 girls in line, though one guy's girlfriend did come by later. Two guys had trendy zip up Nintendo jackets: one plain Nintendo, one Zelda. Another had a 1up mushroom shirt. Rock on.

I have never waited outside very long for anything before and was fairly excited to do so. An industrious, slightly chubby dork had run an extension cord about 50 yards away to Publix and set up a TV, a GameCube and a dvd player, which was playing the classic Nintendo movie "Wizzard" as I walked up. I got there literaly just in time to hear the line, "It's so bad." That is a famous line that you can find a clip of on if you look. Somewhere between 8 and 12 people had brought their Nintendo DS's and I was sad that I hadn't brought mine. I had foolishly believed that I was going to be the only one there.

Two trips to the Publix bathroom to clean my shoe later, to no avail I might add, I overhear the guy whose sleeping head my feet were near say "Jeez those birds stink!" He wes referring to some pigeons that had landed about 20 feet away. It wasn't them it was me. "Yeah," I said. "P U."

Anyway, eventually the sun comes up and someone decides that we should probably get in an actual line, based on our sign up number. He calls out names and puts everyone in their place which is a gesture that I really appreciate. The question on everyone's mind is "how many preorders are available?" The one at the mall only has 14! Oh no! Someone mentions that this store should have "about thirty" cause those were the exact words that the manager had told them. Pheew. But wait! Someone else says, "yeah but employees are allowed to order 6 for themselves, I read it online." Oh no again! Anyway the manager comes out and says 32. Phew again! So then we all wait our turn patiently, preorder and leave. At least 12 people left the line because they couldn't get a secured pre-order. Then 15 more probably arrived after that. Some of those left, some stayed. A dad and his two young kids were urged to not waste their time. Boo hoo. An employee from my work showed up at 9:30. No one who showed up after sunrise was going to be able to get one so I waved and smiled at him. He left, eventually, after learning the truth. Some people drove by asking us what we were waiting for. "The nintendo Wii!" someone shouted, then they asked again while snickering and poeple stopped saying "Wii."

In the end I got my Wii preorder and Zelda TTP preorder, which I already had but now paid in full and one Wii-mote and nunchuck atachment. The total geek fest 2007 was "so bad."

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fun Friends

October 2006: Friends
Oct 9, 2006 - 15 Photos

Click on the image to view our photo album. You will see pictures from this past Saturday and Sunday when our friends Randy, Abbi, Chris, and Jen were all in town.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sandhill Cranes

(click to enlarge)

Elliot and I saw these sandhill cranes walking thorough a parking lot in Tampa, Florida in January 2005. Aren't they beautiful? Cranes are such elegant birds, and sadly, the sandhill crane is one of the only species of crane that is still common. I just looked on the Threatened and Endangered Species List and there are currently 8 species of crane that are classified as endangered. There are only 15 species of crane in the whole world!

According to the International Crane Foundation (click for link): "Because of development and habitat loss, many species that once thrived in much broader ranges... are now restricted to fragments of protected land in parks, sanctuaries, even demilitarized zones between hostile nations." Seeing sandhill cranes (birds that are suited to wetlands) walking through a parking lot seems to speak to that fact.

Did I mention that I plan to go into environmental law?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Over and Under

Well, as long as Elliot is sharing our pictures taken beneath Tennessee in the caverns, I might as well show you the pictures we took flying over Tennessee. While we were on vacation this June we took a helicopter ride and oh, man! It was fun!

(l-r: Laura, Mary, Elliot, Me)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Once upon a time, underneath the Smokies

Yes, underneath the beautiful Smoky Mountains in Tennessee there is at least one underground cavern. Mary and I visited one once in June of this year (2006). The one we visited is called Tuckaleechee Caverns and it was neat. The caverns are 58 Degrees farenheit all year round and the family that has owned the land for years employs humorous people to give amusing and educational tours. Also they sold very tasty fudge. Here are some pictures we took while inside the caverns.

A neat waterfall

From left to right: Ashley Mary's cousin, Laura Mary's Sister and Mary (yes another Mary) Mary's cousin