Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm No Siskel and Ebert...

...but this is a GREAT movie. Man, I love my Neflix!

And, in addition to turkey, all the fixin's, and the start of Christmas shopping, Thanksgiving break is also about blockbuster movie openings at the theater, right? The pickin's aren't too good so far this year -- in my humble opinion -- but I did manage to see this...gotta love Harry.

Back to work tomorrow for the last sprint to the end of fall semester....Christmas break is JUST around the corner....deep, deep sigh.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Favorite Veteran

Ok, so he might have only served four years. And, though a Navy-man, he might have never stepped foot on an actual ship. And, well, he might have learned to repair a type of airplane that tended to fall out of the sky on a regular basis.

But he's still my favorite veteran. And always will be.

Love you, Dad. Happy Veteran's Day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My New Modern Love

LOVE this show.

LOVE this episode.

'Nuf said.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tale of Two Cities -- Half Marathon, That Is! -- 2010

Hit another running milestone today -- only figuratively, thankfully! -- as I completed my first HALF MARATHON. That's 13.1

Ran the Two Cities Half Marathon in Fresno with Kim, her college friend, Laura, and Ann and Tim from Bridgeport. And, as we had at the Tioga Pass Run back in September, we had our own cheering section -- Missy, Lacey, and Mom also came over from Bridgeport.
The race started at 7:30 am, and Kim and I left the house to "run" there at 7:00.

But, of course, we couldn't take this TOO seriously...

...I mean, after all, a giant banana crossed the finish line before we did!

The course started on Friant in front of Woodward Park, turned up for a short out-and-back on Shepard, then went back out onto Friant to Willow before turning around, finishing in Woodward Park.

13.1 miles, and I was all smiles still, even once back in the park and almost to the finish.

Seriously, I felt great the entire time. Volunteers out on the course called out times at a lot of the mile markers, and I knew I was doing well when they called 9:30 at mile fastest training time has been about 9 minutes, 43 seconds a mile. Of course, I needed to be sure not to overdue it and bonk before the finish.

Besides having good friend Felicia Gomez at Pinnacle Training Systems coach me, I think running with so many people also helped, as I LOVE seeing people ahead, and trying to pick them off this guy near the end.

I don't know why it's so darned fun running ahead of men, but it is...kind of reminds me of Little League when some older boys told me, "You throw like a boy!" Makes me all misty-eyed!

I finished at about 1:59:14, which put me just over 9 minutes per mile, though I still need to confirm my actual time. Kim came in shortly after, and did awesome!

Tim got in before me, of course, and we all greeted Ann when she arrived. She WON her age division in a 10K in Bishop just the day before!

Couples who run together, stay together...well, not necessarily on the course, but everywhere else!

The Finish line!!!

Runnin' buds! So glad Kim came over to run this with me!

Gotta get a silly pic, too, of course.

When you know this is waiting at the end, why wouldn't you finish?!!!

A medal AND free beer at the end?! Now THIS is livin'! (Even if it is Lance's beer...eeewwww.)

With the race over, all that was left to do was swap war stories at the beer garden. The pay-off.

Lacey was a trooper, and hung out on Missy's shoes while the stories of all that had happened out on the course just got bigger and bigger.

So I finally found a place to rest and drink my beer. we gotta pick our next race...we hear there's a cool Half Marathon in Vegas in early December...!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Straight No Chaser

It's true...I went out on a school see these guys.

SUCH a great show! Discovered them last year when I saw this.

They performed tonight in Fresno at the Saroyan Theater...I was in the balcony...awesome.

Get their new album. You won't regret it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Halloween Alter-Ego -- Sookie Stackhouse

So, it's Halloween again, and as in previous years, there has been tremendous peer pressure in our department at work to dress up. It's Katie and Alma's fault, mostly, but after a couple years now, I'm actually starting to really enjoy it. This year, the theme required that we dress up as our favorite tv or movie character. I needed props...

Spittin' image of Sookie Stackhouse, don't you think? Ok, so I'm not exactly STACKED, I'm about 20 years too old, I don't have that gap between my front teeth, and, well, I haven't attracted a 150-year-old gorgeous vampire named Bill anytime recently...but other than that...spittin' image. And I apparently have retained quite a bit of "tray-toting-muscle-memory" from all those years of waiting tables, cocktailing, and bartending, as I can really flaunt a tray of Tru Blood -- by the bottle, in draft, or a shot. What's your pleasure, Vampire Man?!!!

Katie -- Dr. Dyer -- is one of the main instigators of the Halloween contest, so it's only fitting that she bring her entire family each year. Her girls love it, and are dressed up as Alice in Wonderland (Gabby), a dance hall girl (Ellie), mini-me Wonder Woman (Sophie), and the Goddess of Wisdom (Letty). The other person is one of our students, and I don't know her...great costume, though!

Gary, a lecturer in our department, shocked us all a bit with his tail...we're used to the bow tie.

Hey! Someone came dressed in a box! Randy wondered what would happen when you turned the handle on the side...

Have you ever seen a happier Jack-in-the-Box?!!! Alma is one of the most tender-hearted individuals you could meet, and she gives, and gives, and gives to others. And she is obviously pretty darned creative, too, though she did miss the memo about dressing as tv/movie characters -- likes to think outside the box, I guess...(ouch.)
She and her husband live in a Fresno neighborhood that is FAMOUS on Halloween, and they get HUNDREDS of trick-or-treaters. I love this picture because her love for Halloween -- and all the giving she does! -- is written all over her face here. Priceless.

Our contest brings in celebrities from across campus, as evidenced here by the presence of our Associate Dean, Sandra Witte. It appears she's a bit skeptical about Alma's current attire...she must know Alma taught today.

Of course, students got in on the costume action, too -- after all, there were prizes to be had!

One of Lizhu's Fashion students even brought her son -- she was Betty Rubble, I think, and he was a dinosaur. He won "Best Non-Human." Too cute.

Of course, what's a little Halloween party without some candy on hand.

Ok...Ellie has apparently overdosed on candy. there anyone in a paramedic costume around here?!

And who better to give away the best costume awards than Wonder Woman and Alice? I received the prestigious "Most Scary" pumpkin, and though Katie's girls told me it was because of the vampire bite on my neck, I'm suspicious it was because of the cycling "tan" on my legs. Hmph.

Lizhu -- that would be Dr. Davis, the Coordinator of the Fashion Merchandising program in our department -- brought her class. Now, THAT'S an education I can get behind!

This is the whole CFCS gang who showed up decked out in their Halloween finest -- what a crew! There might be some FSN folks in here, too..I didn't know everyone.

Alas, the costume contest was over, and I actually had to return to work...I have a staff meeting at the Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center (where I'm Interim Director) every Friday afternoon. Of course, my staff work with young children, so they're fun-loving, too, and many of the teachers dressed up. This is Chamroeun, an excellent preschool teacher who I adore. Of course, I adore all my staff...but she's the only one who asked for a pic with me. And come to think of it, I think she's the only one who's ever saluted me, least, that I'm aware of. Hmmm...


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Celebrating Abbey's 10th at The Happiest Place on Earth

Abigail Lyn Reid turned 10 (yes, T-E-N!) on September 19...can't believe my oldest niece has been with us 10 years already! This year, my big brother Bill (her dad) and her mom, Cathy, have taken each of their three girls to Disneyland for their birthdays! So a couple weekends ago, it was Abbey's turn. She got to go to The Happiest Place on Earth with her mom and dad, and more importantly, without her little sisters. They were there all day Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. We're talking major Disney overload!

Perhaps most exciting to Abbey, though, was the fact that I was there with her, too, on Saturday! Ok, maybe that wasn't the highlight for her, but it was for me. Bill and his family are Disney junkies, and though I like Disneyland, I go about every, oh, 10 years or so. They would go each weekend if they could, I think, and they know EVERYTHING about the I got to experience what it's like to be a Disney fanatic. I drove down after work on Friday night, arrived just as Abbey was drifting off to sleep after spending her first day with Mickey and friends, and I then spent the day Saturday before driving back to Fresno on Saturday night. Exhausting? Yes. Worth it? Of course! After all, it's so close to Halloween that all the spooky decorations are already up.

Before we even made it into the park, we spotted this big A...for Abbey, of course. The birthday girl posed with her proud papa and mama...

...and with her proud aunt.

We then headed to Goofy's Kitchen to have breakfast with all the Disney characters. They take a professional picture of you as you enter the restaurant; no, this isn't Goofy (it's Pluto), and this isn't the professional pic. They took this with my camera, and obviously were trying to get us to buy the professional one. We didn't.

They gave Abbey a birthday card that all the characters had signed -- how cool is that?!! (Well, when you're 10...)

THIS is what I thought was pickin's from the buffet. I'm not much of a pancake eater, but I am pretty sure it's against some Disney law to go to Goofy's Kitchen and NOT get a Mickey pancake. I got one just to be safe, as I didn't want to miss any of the rides.

Characters came by the table periodically, and Abbey loved all the princesses -- she's always been a princess-girl.

Her dad liked Snow White and Mulan, it just me, or is he blushing here? Yeesh.

Just before we left, the chef came out to wish Abbey a happy birthday, too. You the man, Goofy!

Of course, there were many picture opportunities, and we captured Abbey posing with a variety of Mickeys...this bronze one...

...this colorful one...

...oops! Too late!

Abbey also posed under this star, and if you look closely, you'll see her first purchase of the day -- a baby Donald Duck. She's just recently decided she likes Donald, so she was on the alert for him all day.

We had to go on the Pirates of the Caribbean, of course...while waiting in line, Abbey and I tried on our pirate faces -- and pirate gun fingers.

We spent a lot of time in stores, as Abbey was very thoughtful about how she'd spend her money. This was her biggest purchase while I was there, and she adored it.

Of course, sometimes she couldn't see anything while wearing it, but she still adored it.

Mid-afternoon, we needed some good healthy food to keep us going the rest of the day, so we got -- what else? -- big, deep-fried, homemade corn dogs!!! They take awhile, so this is Bill and Abbey waiting...

...while Cathy stood in line to purchase them for us. Seriously...these were the best corn dogs EVER. That's why I don't have any pictures of them...we ate 'em too quickly!

After the corn dogs, Abbey and Bill traded hats for a bit. I think Abbey's gonna stick with her Jack-hat.

And what's a trip to Disneyland without going on the Jungle Cruise? WATCH OUT!!!

I hadn't been to Disney in so long that there were quite a few things I had never seen, and a Dia De Los Muertos display was one of them.

Abbey loves Autopia, and I was happy to let her drive me, which is what she's doing here. I've had one too many bad bumper car experiences to take any chances behind the toy wheel.

Bill and Cathy were all snuggled up in the car behind us. I was afraid they'd park somewhere and embarrass us.

Abbey's 10! And it was awesome spending a day at Disneyland with her!

Of course, I don't know how they spent FOUR days there, as I felt like I had a Disneyland hangover for two days after I got back...I wonder what you're supposed to take for a Disneyland hangover?....