Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Another fun change is that viewers got to vote on who would be the 7th roommate this time around. For the past three months, about 20,000 wanna-be-roommates submitted 90-second “confessional” videos to RealWorldCasting.com. 2.9 million total votes were cast throughout the contest and “Pretyboy” from Daytona Beach, Florida won. MTV's really mixing it up and keeping it fresh 20 seasons later, no wonder “The Real World” launched the modern reality television genre and is the longest- running reality series in history. Will you be watching?
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
This past weekend was rowing alumni weekend, and the current team raced at Lake Wheeler too. On Friday the alum had a dinner at Top O. It was a little bit awkward because I didn't know a ton of people, but my novice coach said I HAD to come, so I did. We had to wear name tags too haha. She sat next to me and we talked the whole time- we only see each other about once a year now so it was a good chance to catch up. And for the first time she could tell me lots of insider info, as she is no longer a coach and I am no longer a rower, wahoo. She lives in Asheville which is about 3 hours away from here. She has a beautiful daughter now too, Bella. Anyhow that was fun, lost of good food- crab dip, sweet potato fries etc. And then on Saturday morning Cali and I drove out to Lake Wheeler to watch the girls race. We got there a little late, around 9, as I walked her at home for an hour first. The girls took on GW, GM, and Duke- and the results were pretty stellar. They raced 8s, and 4s. It was fun because a ton of my friends are on the team, and a few old teammates came too. Unfortunately it started raining and got rather cold later on, so it could have been better. The races went from 8 to around 1. Then we had a barbecue lunch under the pavilion.
Friday, March 28, 2008
It's hot out! 82 and sunny sunny sunny today! It was even warm enough to walk around in a t-shirt and shorts already this morning.
Cali and I spent some time in the backyard. Her munching on her huge log of wood that she found on one of our walks and dragged home as her treasure, and me weed-wacking (my way of mowing the lawn). Weed wacking the lawn now takes about 40 minutes, if I had a mower it would be far more effective- but I don't. And I never have room in my car to bring my dad's spare one back. But it's definitely better than cutting the grass with scissors...which I actually sadly had to do twice. I was afraid the neighbors were going to complain because it had gotten so long, and I didn't have the free weed wacker yet. Cali tries to attack the weed wacker, thinking its a game, so it gets a little bit obnoxious, because it could really hurt her. So I have to keep my eye on her as she tries to sneak up.
I planted a whole bunch of grass seed back in August because the yard was pretty barren when I moved in. It has now filled in pretty well, although certain parts could use work; there are a few spots with no grass where Cali has dug in some 6 inch holes. Apparently its a husky thing, they love digging. The one time she has been to the beach she dug in the sand almost non-stop. She was also afraid of the waves ha. Anyhow here are some pictures of the little stinker frolicking in the backyard. Her hair has almost grown back in completely after her surgery, hoooray!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
At brunch last Sunday, I was in a bad mood and one of my friends asked, if she threw 5 cents on the ground, and I "found" it, would I be in a better mood- ha.
My most recent successful find was this past summer. I found a one dollar bill laying in the grass right along the curb on the main road that runs through Carrboro. Now that's definitely not a lot of money (I've heard of others finding $20s in the past, etc) but it was all it took to brighten up my entire day. I could have bought 50 tootsie rolls, not even, because of tax, but it was still a bit deal!
What's your best money find?
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
1.) When mom told Cali (the husky stinker) to "put it here girlfriend" and Cali gave her a high 5.
2.) The coconut cream eggs covered in dark chocolate.
3.) When Rachel went to Goodwill 2 days in a row and found even more things the second day.
4.) Buying huge stuffed animals for Cali at Goodwill for awesome prices.
5.) The "forced" hike in the woods, during which mom spent the entire time searching for round rocks that Oma could paint.
6.) Finding easter baskets 30 feet in the air, rigged up by a pulley in trees (the easter bunny must have taken flying lessons this year).
7.) Going to Rita's (hopefully a new tradition) and eating GM crab cakes!
8.) The smell of the purple hyacinths my aunt brought for Oma.
9.) Finally getting my hair cut, and for free at that!
It's been a good weekend- now back to reality.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Roving Reporter asks What is your favorite winter time activity?
"My winter hobby is hiking in the Patapsco State Park. I wear multiple layers including cotton and wool socks, a neck warmer and wool sweater and a warm parka. I have reusable heat packs in my pockets that can be reactivated once more during a hike for another burst of warmth. I've seen a barred owl, foxes, a newly dug fox den and baby foxes, and deer. I love the blue heron that I see on the Patapsco River. Its wing span is amazing. I love winter hiking!"
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Michael Jackson's "pets" have been adopted by Voices of the Wild Foundation, a non-profit animal sanctuary in Page, Arizona. Lucky for them! No more sleepovers with Michael. The bundle includes enough animals for an entertaining parade: four giraffes, nine parrots and three giant pythons. Jackson’s two caymans and two anacondas will be joining the crew in coming months. What ever happened to just having a dog, you know, man's best friend?
VWG has been keeping the animals in a temporary set up but has announced plans to build a huge multimillion-dollar, 186-acre wildlife preserve.
The animals arrived “in good condition, with no signs of mistreatment” and VWG is letting Jackson visit his ex-pets whenever he’d like.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I'm very excited for Easter, it's coming up so fast. At my house, the bunny always leaves "poop" (little jelly beans) all around the house inside and out the day before easter- that way we know he is around and can expect him to be there the next day!
Monday, March 10, 2008
The view from the top of Liberty Mountain on the Buda side, overlooking the Danube. It was pretty chilly and overcast on the day we hiked up there. But it was a fun walk, and not too many touristy crowds. A bus pulled up just as we were leaving though.
Snapped one of Parliament on the way to Margarite Island.
Also took a few of the castle at night- these are of the backside.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
The next days were full of trips to the traditional market, to the top of the largest hill (with the freedom statue), to the outlet shopping mall, ice skating, to the movies, to Menza, to bars like Krazy Cafe and Beckette's, to the grocery store to get more fresh croissants, rolls, pasteries and pretzels. While ice skating we encountered a ton of Hungarian teens- many attempting to be "cool" and impress the girls. They were pretty good at skating though, they even put down coke cans and skated in between them all sorts of ways. They also formed a line, a sort of copy the leader line and did a whole bunch of backwards skating, jumping, etc. I was grappling with backwards skating, and ended up being quite successful.
My favorite food was the sport XL bars. I brought back a ton. They are rich chocolate bars with a tint of rum. They also had ice cream versions of the sport XL bar.
The place I stayed was comfy, clean and had the highest ceilings I've ever seen in an apartment. It also about as much security as the White House. Check out the picture of the front doors. I enjoyed the office there too, check out the view. It was nice to be able to handle all the work that came in over the night, before getting bombarded with new stuff (as I was 6 hours ahead of US time). Cool picture of the basilica right down the street from the office too.
Glad to be back to my normal routine, bed n dog. More pictures to come once I get around to uploading them.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Later he helped found, Not on Our Watch, which has given away more than $9 million. But now he is wondering if his critics are right, if his scheme to use celebrity to bring attention to the world's plights isn't, if not vanity, at least striving after wind. "I've been very depressed since I got back. I'm terrified that it isn't in any way helping. That bringing attention can cause more damage. You dig a well or build a health-care facility and they're a target for somebody," he says. "A lot more people know about Darfur, but absolutely nothing is different. Absolutely nothing."
So what is freecycle? "The Freecycle Network is made up of 4,260 groups with 4,565,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills." Just go to their site, type in your location, and they'll hook you up with a bunch of local people interested in getting or giving.
It works- I listed some boxes and someone came to pick them up! That helped de-clutter my closet, and it was easy and fast.
Now that I'm in Budapest I'm having a great time. There is so much fancy architecture to observe; I am enjoying walking everywhere. Here is a picture of a chain bridge at night. And another of vorosmarthy ter, which I walk through to get to the apartment I am staying in. The apartment has a high vaulted ceiling, and is right in the center of the city- above some of the coolest shops. Yesterday I tried out the famed cottage cheese stick (image to the right) it's covered with chocolate. Not bad, actually pretty good. For dinner I scrambled around to find anything, as all I really wanted to do was crash into bed. I ended up with what was described to me by a co-worker as "chicken in pancakes"- I was skeptical to say the least. Turns out it was some sort of ground meat with cheese in a sort of fried shell. I also added some orange and chocolate covered cookies, peach juice and sour cream and onion chips to top the meal off. Today I got some local currency and am off to work.
Monday, February 25, 2008
On the flight to Cali, I sat next to a man from Cali. We talked the whole time and I saw his computer work pictures. Upon arrival, I walked around the lake I remembered from my last trip, and the ducks and water birds are in the same places! I have not seen the shy white one yet. I have seen little red ones, blue, little yellow, green and heard lots of different bird sounds. One tree smells like jasmine, and I can not tell which one. Cali is full of lush growth with palm leaves and flowers of orange, yellow and magenta, bugs everywhere. The bugs don't bother some but they are in the room all around if you look closely...I am going to try not to look! I've had fresh fruit- pineapple, watermelon, star fruit, kiwi, avocado etc...and corn kernels everywhere- like in salad and eggs. I had empanado, ground meat in a fried dough pocket, last night for dinner. I swam in the long pool later that night. It's cool because I can do back stroke at night and seeing palm trees when looking up. This morning I went up on the mountain edge which is in the resort; it is a new bird trail. I heard so many different bird sounds. Suddenly I heard huge loud ugly sounds from what? big black birds!!! Even thin green "moss" on the paths in the mountain, such a moist climate. (Photo courtesy of Dan Brooke)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Anyhow, this weekend was her birthday. She turned 2 on Friday. Last year I made her an elaborate k9 friendly cake, but she didn't really like it. So this year we just had a bunch of people over again, and focused on good human food. I made a pasta dish, with homemade pasta, swiss cheese and caramelized onions. Others brought, a salad (with greens, walnuts, pears), chips n dip, pasta with pesto and veggies, fruit salad, and home baked oatmeal butterscotch cookies. Cali enjoyed the cookies the best- and did some counter surfing to get one. She was happy that people played tug of war with her huge stuffed animal elephant with her. We'll see how the terrible twos continue to unfold...
Friday, February 15, 2008
“Any opportunity to promote the environment and preserve our planet is a step in the right direction,” Nash said. “I’m very excited to be one of the first athletes to wear the Nike Trash Talk. I think people will love the shoe, and hopefully by wearing it I can inspire others to try it out as well.”
I'd have preferred Dwayne Wade- but I guess he's already committed w/ Nike through Converse. The best news is, the shoe doesn't look half bad.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
And that about sums up the Bush administration's stance at the Major Economies Meeting being held in Hawaii right now. But the good news is the US did recently pass the Energy Bill that mandates big increases in efficiency from cars and from appliances.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Quiksilver, is unveiling their eco-friendly outerwear line next week at SIA 08 as well as the inaugural Quiksilver Natural Selection (An All-Mountain Freestyle Invitational held on all natural terrain. The snowboarding event will take place from January 30 to February 5, 2008 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming). Champion rider Travis Rice designed a signature jacket and pant which are 55% hemp and 45% recycled PET (type of plastic), which will be part of Quiksilver's new line. (Tipped by loop.)
Quiksilver speaks: "As a company of boardriders, we've always challenged the power and grace of mother nature in a way that is perfectly in tune with the environment, said Dave Rosenberger, VP Sales Quiksilver Wintersports. This new outerwear line reflects this ideal, because it meets the essential performance requirements of riders, while introducing a new, earth-friendly approach to winter apparel."
I'll be the first in line. As a boarding fanatic and a dedicated Quiksilver junkie my closet will soon be expanding. When is the surf line coming?
Sunday, January 27, 2008
A brief description of the contest: "If you think you’re the green of the crop—tell us about it, get creative and let us know "What Makes You Eco-Fabulous." Show off your natural talent for environmental consciousness by sharing the everyday steps you take to lighten your carbon count in a photo, video or blog and you could win a luxurious trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming!" Check out the current entries here.
My thoughts: Not sure what's so cool about Jackson Hole- can anyone provide any insight as to why someone would want to win a trip there (other than that a paid trip anywhere is cool)? One of the other prizes includes 6 Grenada chocolate bars and that sounds pretty tasty- so I'm in. A 1000 word blog is pretty short- I have read a few entries (it mostly just gives you room to type a list of perfect things about your lifestyle...no personality). An interesting feature is that for each entry, a viral map is created- and you can see who has viewed the entry from different sites like on Facebook or Myspace. Overall it's great that the brand is helping to create a community of do-good-ers though. And it gives everyone an easy way to share their own story and pass along useful tips to others.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
If you would like to participate in Earth Hour, on the 29th of March at 8pm turn off the lights in your house. Last year the event only took place in Sydney but the originators are hoping people around the world will participate together this year. Last time I checked in 12,301 people had committed to doing it. Check out the fun site here.
One of my neighbors was the first to spot Olive and luckily he shared the secret with my grandma and I. But she is a secret and shall remain one- so that no one scares her away from us.
Anyhow, we had to see her for ourselves; so we headed down to the woods. First weaving our way through the tall grasses and then crossing into the dense wooded area, we began looking out for the owl. I spotted "her" (we actually don't even know if it's a girl) in her tall tree post after much scrutiny. Even though I knew where she was supposed to be it was difficult to see her, as she blended in so unbelievably well with her home. Using binoculars I could see all of her features. She was not frightened by us, or by my dog. She just sat there, maybe 30 feet in the air, majestically- staring right back at us. My grandma described the experience as "really cool" and I would have to second that. She gave Olive her name. Every time we go by we look for her. One of the neighbors managed to snap this great shot of her.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
This is a huge step in the right direction for one of the most packed in, grit-n-grimy cities in the country, following none too soon in the footsteps of concerned and earth-conscious San Fran. I guess on the concrete packed streets, amidst all the hustle and bustle it's easier to forget about being "green" (probably not able to even recall what grass looks like) all though it should be an everyday fixture in our minds if we want to be able to breath while chatting on our important iPhones, drinking our Starbucks, and taxiing to our all important meetings.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
For many years she has gone out of her way to obtain only the best fertilizer for her precious zuchinni. She takes weekend trips, clad out in her worst jeans, boots and gloves, to the local horse farm. She shovels up as much manure as possible into four large white buckets, and hauls it all home to spread throughout her 10x15 garden plot.
Her devotion doesn't just stop at horse manure. If you've ever eaten a banana in my house, thrown the peel away in the trash, and heard from my outraged mother- you know where I am going with this. A banana peel's correct home is in the compost bin, not the trash can. When the compost bin fills, the contents get dumped in to a huge pile at the bottom of the hill in our backyard- our very own compost heap.
At any given point this pile might contain fruit cores, seeds and peels, melon rinds, outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage, carrot tops, broccoli stems, corn cobs, egg shells, and leaves. And yes, sometimes rotten zuchinni. Other people include rarer items like dead deer but my mom's never gone that far. The contents are decomposed by earthworms, bacteria and time, leaving heaping piles of the best soil at the bottom of the pile. My mother uses this rich brown soil to grow her zuchinni- no artificial or chemical fertilizers.
Maybe my mom's heaping buckets of horse manure frightens you, but if you would like to be “greener” or love zuchinni, a giant brown compost pile is a totally do-able must. Not only will your vegetables be robust, but the process will get you outdoors and shrink the volume of your trash. Get Started.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I actually hadn't even considered factoring something like the amount of material used on the wrappers and containers for products I'm buying into my purchase decision at all. But after learning something like that, I've realized that in order to reduce my environmental footprint I had better scrutinize my purchases with a more wary eye.
I think we will see a greater trend towards "smaller" in our culture. Mini coopers are the first things that come to mind for some reason. We're trying to use less gas, weigh less pounds, have less stress, develop less trash- we should use a bottle that weighs less. Demand it- from Gatorade, from everyone.
Beyond Madison Avenue states, "with Saturn’s 5 new models, commitment to affordable hybrids, and a 100,000 mile (5 year powertrain) warranty, it may be worth giving this brand another look." And I would have to agree- especially if American cars are your jam. There is such a noticeable difference between this commercial and the kind that Chevy and Jeep are still airing. Saturn is so much more earth conscience, sophisticated, pushing for a change in the right direction, etc. Jeep is still using big trucks depicted off-roading, squashing all the wildlife in it's path. And we all know the gas guzzling that follows cars that are heavy "like a rock."
Monday, January 7, 2008
And I figured, if even Santa had jumped on the live green train, maybe I should really dedicate myself as well. Who could possibly object to making the world a better place for themselves, their kids, and Rudolph?
While the presents within my canvas bag were wrapped with beautiful paper- it did get recycled. The real kicker is that my stuffed bag was sitting under a tree; a six foot gorgeous pine that had been chopped down to celebrate the occasion. I love the smell of pine, and it screams of merry Christmas' spent around the fire laughing and sharing with the ones I love- so I'm not complaining. I just thought it was mildly amusing.