Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Morning Reflections

Quick little note about this morning.

1)  If you are trying to flirt with a woman, do not tell her that her dog looks unfriendly.

2)  Most dogs dislike cats (and squirrels).  Therefore, barking at a cat, even if the dog is large, and pulling on the leash to GET to the cat, is not an indication of being "unfriendly".

This is a public service announcement by your local large-dog owner.

(I am beyond frustrated by the number of people that automatically express fear of my GSD.  She is one of the most loving creatures on the planet, but, yes, is frustratingly high in energy and STILL A PUPPY.  I do not want to hear from small dog owners about how I should "control" her, when I walk her 5 miles a day, she stops and turns on vocal command, and generally is very well behaved, while their stupid little fluff-ball is running around like a lunatic.  You know what?  YES, if she pulls, I have to exert more effort to control her.  This does not mean she's attacking anyone.  So get off your high horse and quit being so offensive.

I am more than capable of controlling my dog.  YES, she is 70 pounds, very strong, and very high energy.  This is why, beyond walking her so much, I run or swim on my own, lift weights, and do exercise videos in addition, almost every day.  If I didn't feel I could control her, should she ever snap, it would be irresponsible of me to own her.  By no means is this the case.  I would like to get the jumping/excitement a little more under control, and improve leash skills, but ya know what?  I think for an 8 month old puppy she's pretty incredible.  Oh, and just for reference?  She has breezed through 3 training classes, finishing at the top of her class, and knows more commands/words than the average kindergartner.  Breathing.  Rant over.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Last of the Honeymoon Pictures

I had to do one final post, because I hadn't mentioned Pearl Harbor.  In my mind, it is probably the most important memorial in our country, because it helps civilians connect to the realities of war.  Too often, as Americans, it is all too distant.  Of course, we think of the men and women serving, but not the country it ravages.  Thank you to everyone past and present who has served, or been affected by war. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Harper at Work

My poison ivy came about clearing all the brush from the back 1/3 of our lot.  We are getting a fence installed.  Yay!  Yay both because 1) We don't need to worry about Harper running, and 2) SOMEONE ELSE IS DOING IT.  Now, I am fully confident of our DIY abilities, but it's nice to get a break.  Here's Harper with some bush:

I will aim for the last honeymoon photos to be up tomorrow.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Sorry I'm a little late.  I was at the doctor getting steroids to run faster.  Just kidding.  To kick the butt of the crazy poison ivy I have for the THIRD TIME in 2010.  And then she wanted to x-ray my foot.  Because of the whole "pain for 3 weeks" thing.  Bah.  Anyway, I'm back.

And the winners by process of elimination are....Kat and Quynh.  Kat, you were right about Lost, the dock is where the sub was moored.  Quynh, well, you got the random prize.  Oh, and that other answer?  That was Chris.  And SO doesn't count.  See how easy that would have been?  Great odds if you would've just written something down...  Anyway, congrats!   

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Honeymoon Inspired Giveaway

The question is...what is the giveaway? And I can't answer that for you. Not yet. The prize is one of the movies filmed in one of the locations pictured below. All you have to do, is be the person who gives me the most correct answers OR the person I randomly select (giving away TWO). In the comment, be sure to mark which movie you'd want to receive! Sorry, I'm not going to do television box sets, but they do count toward your total, so write 'em down!  And no worries, I won't post any answer-containing comments until the deadline of FRIDAY, JUNE 25th at NOON.  Have fun!

To be the random winner, you do not have to have any correct answers, so guess away.  Also, for a 2nd or 3rd entry in the random drawing, tweet about the giveaway or write a post, and leave a link to your tweet or post!

** Movie/TV show must have been filmed AT these locations, not just in Hawaii.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Honeymoon: Oahu

Now we leave the big island of Hawaii, and travel to Oahu.  Oahu, honestly, wasn't really our cup of tea.  Yes, it was fabulous, and I'm sure it is plenty of people's first choice, but we're not into the city scene as much, so the trade-off of having lots of restaurants to go to (and bars if you want to go that route on your honeymoon) did not make up for the quiet relaxation we experienced on Hawaii.  On the topic of bars....I don't really get it on a honeymoon?  Maybe I'm missing something.  You can always drink in a restaurant, through room service, or frequently even on the beach.  I'm not sure why a bar holds appeal if you're wanting to spend time with you significant other?  Maybe if there's dancing.  I don't know, excuse the internal monologue.

Now THIS is what you're supposed to be doing on a honeymoon, right?  Walking on a beach at sunset?  Much more my thing.

Just some scenery.  Taken from a VERY windy outlook point.

You can see our hotel in the background.

The beach by our hotel.  There was a break wall which made for calm swimming waters near the shore.

Hiking Diamond Head.  Chris wanted to kill me.  It was a 2.5 mile walk from our hotel to the base.  0.5 miles to the start of the trail.  0.7 up.  And then turn around and go back.  That may not sound TERRIBLE, but it was 2pm when we started (hot), and the 0.7 up was PAINFUL.  Literally hundreds of stairs to climb.  Although, we must be in ok shape because the sign said to allow at least 1.5 hours for the 0.7 up and back round trip, and we did it in 50 minutes.  And we spent a decent amount of time at the top.  It was beautiful, but I was amazed how many very young children and...people who seemed to be very out of shape were stopped to rest all the way up, but gosh darn it, were going to make it.

This is the state flower of Hawaii.  A yellow hibiscus.  And, yes, this was taken at a rest stop.

Amazingly, you see chickens roaming everywhere.  I did not expect that one.

Alright, it's going to take me another post.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Honeymoon Part 2: Finally!

What an appropriate day to finally be doing this post!  We have now officially be married 10 Hollywood years...or 1 month in regular-person time.  How's it going?  Well...pretty uneventfully, to be honest.  I haven't discovered any skeletons I didn't know about, no big fights, nutin scary to report.  We're the same boring old married couple we were...before we got married.

I decided to do one more post on the Big Island, since I loved it too much.  I only made one attempt to run on the honeymoon.  I did a lot of HIKING, but very little running.  Even this day, because I ended up on a VERY rocky trail, and ended up enjoying the scenery and taking pictures more than pounding the pavement.  But, I took a picture as proof that I tried.

Resting on the edge of a cliff

Ended up in an archeological dig site of a village that had been on the coast.

What scenery to "run" by!!!

AND, what a great way to END the run!

No turtles were approached, this was a zoom lens.  But we couldn't believe we were sharing a beach with this guy!

This was one of the palaces on the Hawaiian Islands...I must say our standards of living have certainly changed.  It was lovely, but just smaller than I'd assume a royal residence would be.

We watched some boat races, while sipping some local beers.  (Don't think we found any duds.)

And, believe it or not, this is the Kona airport.  REALLY, it is huts.  This shot is taken from the seating area at our gate.

Alright, hopefully I'll have Oahu up tomorrow, and then you're just going to be back to the regular life of Katy and Chris.  Sad, isn't it?  Happy 1 month, though!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Late Father's day...kinda?

So, I did not talk to my father on father's day.  I have not talked to him since then, either.  I have not sent a card, nor a present.'s not what you think.  My father is having the trip of a lifetime.  Currently, he and my mother are in Alaska.  Somewhere.  They started this little jaunt by going to Chicago and helping my brother move out of his apartment.  (Jim's moving to NYC, and he and Sara are currently gallivanting in China, but that's a story for another time.)  After the heavy labor, they boarded a train, went all the way across the top of the country, stopped in Seattle to visit my uncle, and then embarked on a cruise up north.  I'll have to catch him (and let him know there's an old post) when he gets back in a couple weeks.  Anyway, a few shots of my dad.

My parents are pretty darn active, though it's harder for my mom after the accident.  My dad's really stepped it up and taken on a lot of what she used to do.  Drives her nuts that she has to rely on someone else, but he was so protective when she couldn't walk.  She was THRILLED when he went to the Final Four tournament with my brother and flew me out to Ohio to take care of her.  I let her do crazy things like go to the grocery store and the mall.  Sorry, Dad, broke your rules.  ;)

My parents met when they were just starting college.  My mom and her roommates had a bet to see who could go on the most dates in one day.  My mother didn't win, but it IS how she met my dad.  She had agreed to go to the same dance with 2 guys on the floor of his dorm.  They figured it out, and she had to set up her roommate (who later won the bet with 8 dates in one day) with one of them.  My father met her because they wanted to see who the girls with the bet were.  He later helped move her stuff out of her sorority when it was on fire.  That finally "fanned the flames".  *gag*  (Bad pun in honor of you, Dad!)  Now, I know you're thinking the craziness sounds like me, but I get it from my Dad, too.  He was a college basketball player, and working as a bartender at the time, so don't think he was this sweet, naive guy that got manipulated by a tigress.  He can stand his own.

Livin it up with my aunt and cousins.  Gotta love Alex's hair.  Reason for the photo, really.  Anyway, something about my dad.  He is VERY focused when he starts a project.  It's a talent that I wish I shared!  Once he starts something, he will finish even the tiniest detail with precision before coming up for air.  This is not only work, but, for instance, he spent DAYS trying to get the doors in my house to shut properly.  THANK YOU!

This is after I had moved out.  They started going on vacations with family friends.  You may recognize the T's from the crazy dance shots at the wedding.  Jealous I missed out on the cruise!  Although Danielle said that this was one of the most horrifying experiences of her life because my parents participated in a "Newlywed Game" of sorts as the couple married 25 years (what, 8 years ago?).  They asked my father something about what he does naked, and showed that clip and his answer on the all-ship TV network repeatedly.  I don't know more about the clip, and I don't want to.  But I'm not surprised that my Dad was game for a laugh!

My Father/Daughter dance to "Delaney Talks to Statues".  My sweet Father apparently was so touched by the song that he drove my mother insane.  He played it multiple times a day, and changed his ring tone to play it on his phone.  LOVE YOU DAD!  Thanks for everything!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Marital Conflict

Now I understand that people may laugh at this "issue", but I assure you it is quite serious.  Chris is a football addict.  And I must frequently ask God to "give me the serenity."  This addiction is not a matter of Saturdays in the fall, but rather a 24/7, 365 all-consuming focus.  If there has been a tidbit of information published online, or spoken on the radio, Chris is aware of it.  Scouting reports?  Disciplinary violations?  Scheduling debates?  All on his radar.  Now.  I am not opposed to having a passion.  And as obsessed Chris is with football, his best friend is equally obsessed with beer-brewing, so it makes for a heck of a tailgate.

The problem?  Our diverging opinions.

I'd say the most frequent banter that exists in our house is OSU/Penn State, but seeing as we both went to TWO schools, sometimes Notre Dame and Villanova (with basketball) get thrown into the cage match, too.  ND would probably be a bigger concern if they'd been competitive of late.  We can hope that Coach Kelly can start to turn things around this year.  Neither of us were fans of Charlie the Tuna.  At all.  But...Brian Kelly began his career at the University that my Aunt Polly and Uncle John teach at, so we can hope.  In fact, Polly tells a story that he tried to call her to excuse a player from something, and she is so aware of football, that she didn't have a clue who he was.  She also has stated that as long as ND wants their former football coach, she'd be willing to come help with academics, too. 

With all the talk of Big 10 expansion, we are now looking at the possibility of THREE of our schools being in the same division.  Which I would be all in favor of with football, but for my sanity?  Could be trouble.  My opinion (the ever so informed one that it is), is that Notre Dame should quit being so egotistical and realize that the days of having its own contract with NBC may be past.  They have not been a dominant enough program in recent years.  Staying independent does not make sense for long term financial success.  Besides the financial concerns, the schools within the Big 10 are very respected academic institutions, are competitive athletically, have their own network, and have the ability to recruit across the country.  Many of the schools are already on ND's schedule, as well, so few contracts would need to be broken.

Back to the raging battle.  Chris even managed to ensure that I had blue and white nails when he proposed:

Alright, this hasn't proven to be much of a post about conflict.  We pretty much agree that this is a good way to spend our time.  However, now that we are PENN STATE season ticket holders...I must restate where my allegiance lies:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Break from the Action

So, the conclusion is that I'm not a nag.  I have no new photos.  So, I'll whine a bit and do some book reviews.

Full disclosure:  I can no longer continuously run a 5k.  Oh, the horror!  I let all the merry-making and joy cut into my running, and became a blob.  Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration.  I ran 2 miles of the 5k this morning (and walked the rest).  We are not talking apocalypse here, but we are talking that anyone who can give me a kick in the butt to get moving again would be greatly appreciated.  I have ran a total of 3 times since the wedding.  Oof.

Step 1:  Find motivation.

Step 2:  Stop hurting myself.

The run this morning was PAINFUL.  And not a little bit.  A whole, freakin lot.  In the past week, I ran into the dog crate when the lights were out and bruised my thigh, dropped a heavy-duty salt grinder onto my foot and bruised it, and just have my old hip war-injury.  Oh, did I never tell you about that?  My freshman year of college, some drunk guy picked up my friend and I in each of his arms (we both were pushing 100-lbs), and then fell over.  All 3 of us landed on my left hip.  I now have the old-lady ability to sense rain.

Step 3:  Stop whining.

What I DID manage to do on the honeymoon is read.  A lot.  It was wonderful.  I would find my patch of shade next to Chris's patch of sun, and lay on the beach, reading and napping.  Heaven on earth.  4 books to sum up:

   A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire

Oh Gregory Maguire.  I usually REALLY love you.  Wicked set off a massive addiction and I've read pretty much everything you've written.  Some, yes, were better than others, but this book?  It took me over a year to get through.  I just was NOT feeling it.  There's nothing I can put my finger on.  The writing was fine, the plot seemingly had potential, but I just couldn't get into it.  Maybe I just don't share the cowardly lion's perspective?  Although I certainly relate to the idea of letting life happen to you rather than vice-versa.  I really wish I had enjoyed this more.

Grade: C  

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson

I have a habit of assuming that if a book is on the best seller list, that it rots.  Typically once everyone starts raving, I've decided that I will never read it.  I am VERY glad that I made an exception.  This is a long book, but I flew through it.  It is a murder mystery of sorts, but has fascinating characters that are deeper than the typical gumshoe you run across.

There was a funny coincidence involved with this book.  My sister-in-law had forgotten to pack a book for while they were in Ohio.  Knowing I am an avid reader, she approached me and asked if there was any chance I had "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" with me, was not reading it, and if she could borrow it.  Ironically enough, the answer was yes.  What a long shot!

Grade:  A

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

HOOO boy.  This is a WEIRD book.  I was 100 pages in and was still telling Chris that I couldn't figure out what is was about.  However, right around that point, the two plot lines that had been alternating every other chapter began to converge.  And the book began to entrance me.  By the end, I was thoroughly enthralled, did not want the story to end, and generally loved it.  All that being said, I'm not sure that if I had picked it up during my daily life where I don't get to read a few hundred pages at a pop, I would have given it enough of a chance.  My recommendation is to stick it out.  It really does get good.

What is it about?  Hard to say without giving it away.  There's a data processor who goes on a job, and then starts having thugs coming after him, mental issues, and just thoroughly confusing events surrounding him left and right.  He has to figure out how to both internally and externally get his life in order.  Vague enough?

Grade:  B (because of the SLOW start)

The Likeness - Tana French

This was an airport purchase as I had run out of books.  And, oh!  What a find!  The only problem is that it is the 2nd book in a series.  Apparently, In the Woods is the first time you meet Cassie Maddox, the female detective that the story revolves around.  I fear that I may know a little too much about what happened from bits and pieces in this book to go back and read the 1st.  I may still try.  The Likeness was good enough to run that risk. 

The plot is not just improbable, but impossible.  But, if you don't mind, and can get past that, it's a fascinating story about identity.  A woman is found murdered who not only looks identical to Cassie, but is using one of her former aliases from when she worked undercover.  Obviously, Cassie decides to pick up where the dead woman left off.  Read it.

Grade: A

I've moved on to The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.  It may be painful.  I usually am not at all intrigued by war books.  Chris loved it, though, so I'm giving it a shot.

What are you reading?  Is it any good?