Sunday, September 22, 2013

September Update

It's fall! Sad face that summer is over, but fall brings good things: winter squash, sweet potatoes, warm, snuggly clothes, cups of tea, extra blankets, apples.

September has been pretty quiet for me, though I did sign up for an art class through December. It's called Intro to Acrylic, and though I don't need an intro class, I hope that it will provide a time and space for me to be creative, and provide some direction. If I don't hate everything I paint, I may post here.

In August I spent a few hours at the Air and Water Show, my first time. It was so cool! There were a ton of people, but the views were pretty good and the stunts too cool not to show.


Smoke trails from plane stunts

Some family friends are visiting Chicago for the month of September, and it's fun having them here and showing them around, as well as visiting places that I haven't yet gotten to (Robie House). We went to the Cultural Center, which I've decided is my second favorite building in Chicago, after Trump Tower. Below are some pictures from one of the current exhibits.

Wall of changing colors
A floor mat that represented shadows in different colors
The view west from Lake Shore, crossing the river (from a double-decker tourist bus)

This week I leave for Salt Lake City to visit my cousin! I'm so excited for a holiday and to spend time with her! :-)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Eye Candy

Nick Jonas
That is all.

Punta Cana

The first week of July I went to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! In short, it was a really nice, relaxing break from work; the weather was beautiful: breezy and not too humid or hot; and I took an excursion and saw more of the country.

Resort beach

I was at first quite disappointed with the quality of the resort: my room smelled like mildew, my mini-fridge never worked, every time I showered the entire bathroom got soaked because there was no shower door or curtain (I guess they thought the water would just magically drain, given the half-centimeter slope to the shower floor?), and my room was not cold when I arrived and the clock wasn't set. Not huge things, overall, but enough to make me feel like I got a not-frequently-used room and they had to get it ready in a hurry for me. The food at the resort also wasn't great, which was a bigger deal as it was all-inclusive. I found plenty to eat, but nothing really good, and not much authentic cuisine.

Interior country-side
However, given all that, the alcohol was also all-inclusive, and I spent a lot of time at the beach and in the water, which was lovely. I watched a few thunder storms over the ocean, and sat on the beach every evening, rain or clear skies, under an umbrella, enjoying the waves and breeze. The men employees at the resort were great, and made me laugh with their (very) forthright flirtation, and I had an especially good night on my last evening, the 4th of July, and stayed up until three a.m. with some new friends.

Palm trees!
Now to plan next year's trip!

Natural beach (i.e. not a resort beach)

Resolution Update #8 (but really 6)

I've had an unintended hiatus from my blog, mostly due to laziness, but with a bit of too-much-summer-fun thrown in. But back to it: here's August.

Resolution #1: Be good to my body
Result: 225% (this might be the highest I've ever gotten)

A. Go to the gym once a week: 8/4 (200%!! I'm kind of a gym-whiz now)
B. Stretch once a week: 1/4 (25%; I'm less of a stretching-whiz, but though I do stretch a bit every time I go to the gym, it's not full-body, takes-forty-five-minutes stretching)
C. Drink a glass of green tea once a week: 18/4 (450%!)

Resolution #2: Be more mindful
Result: 50%

A. Write in my journal once a week: 4/4 (100%!)
B. Meditate twice a month: 0/4 (0%)

Resolution #3: See one movie a month in theater
Result: Success!!

I saw two movies in August: The World's End and Austenland. TWE was surprisingly good; I'm not a huge fan of the Simon Pegg-genre of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but TWE I enjoyed.

I was reeeeeeally hoping Austenland would be good, because what's not to love? Keri Russell as a charmingly addicted Jane Austen fan, who goes to a Jane Austen-land theme park. It should have been chick-flick at it's best, but it, alas, sucked. It hit every bad stereotype and trope, with no redeeming factors: the story and editing were bad, and was just too stereotypical to be cute. I was sad, it had looked so promising. I should have taken it as a sign that I missed the first movie time due to traffic, and had to wait around two hours until the next show.   

Resolution #4: Buy one piece of clothing per month
Result: Fail

Surprising! No clothes in August.

Resolution #5: Read three books a month
Result: Success

It Ends With Revelations by Dodie Smith, Tik-Tok of Oz by L. Frank Baum, and Stonewords and Zoe Rising by Pam Conrad.

Resolution #6: Keep track of my finances via Excel
Result: Success

It was a success, but grudgingly so: my poor pile of receipts grew and grew until the end of the month when I finally had to log them all for fear of losing my desk amid the paper. I ate out too much in August, well over $200, which I have been trying to keep as my limit.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Two Weeks

I don't think I've mentioned it yet, but in two weeks I'm off on vacation! One goal this year was to travel internationally, and after researching most of the islands in the Caribbean, most notably Jamaica, the Dominican Republic won out.

Yes: in two weeks, myself and a friend will be heading to a mystery resort in Punta Cana, to eat, drink, and be merry for five glorious nights! I'm beyond excited. The deal that I went with is the Six Golden Apple deal from Apple Vacations; essentially, for a lower price, you book a vacation with all details except the hotel, and Apple Vacations chooses one for you the day before you leave based on availability. Each hotel is at least a six-star quality resort--guaranteed--and after looking at all the possible options, I'm ok with not knowing, as they all look AMAZING. And, each resort is all-inclusive, so I can really relax knowing it's all been paid for.

And finally, to top it off, I received my travel documents last week and saw that we're flying FIRST CLASS for every leg. I was elated, then suspicious, wondering if I could have paid less, and wondering why my travel agent didn't ask me if I wanted first class. After emailing her, she said that the first class seats ended up being cheaper overall than coach. Go figure! I'm back to elated, and think it will be the perfect way to start the vacation.

But it's still two long weeks of work away. So, in the meantime, I will have to suffice with this picture to get me in the mood:


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Arrested Development

Have you watched the new season? I'm about half-way through, and I'm not impressed. I'll still finish the entire season, and there have been a few good moments, but nothing like the original. But, it's nice to see the effort.

While promoting the series, (my future husband) Jason Bateman and (my future husband) Will Arnett were in New York City giving away frozen bananas at the Bluth Frozen Banana Stand, and at one point pretended to be lovers sightseeing in the city. It's pretty much the best thing ever. 

Resolution Update #5

Resolution #1: Be good to my body
Result: 150% overall!

A. Go to the gym once a week: 6/4 (150%!!)
B. Stretch once a week: 0/4 (0%)
C. Drink a glass of green tea once a week: 12/4 (300%!)

Resolution #2: Be more mindful
Result: 87.5%

A. Write in my journal once a week: 5/4 (125%!)
B. Meditate twice a month: 1/2 (50%)

Resolution #3: See one movie a month in theater
Result: Fail

Resolution #4: Buy one piece of clothing a month
Result: Fail

Gasp! No clothes this month!

Resolution #5: Read three books a month
Result: Fail

This month I read Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, and am halfway through another.

Resolution #6: Keep track of my finances
Result: Pretty good

May Resolution: Go to the Green City Market
Result: Fail

I definitely did not do such a great job in May...hopefully June will be better.