Friday, June 22, 2012

In which I break the "What happens in Vegas" rule

Also while I was away from you, we went to Las Vegas. For WORK. The Chef's work, not mine--although prepare yourself to be featured in a book sometime soon, Las Vegas. You've been warned!

We stayed here:
The Venetian. You have to sleep here. You may also want to dance in the lobby next to Thomas Keller's bakery with an Australian guy who hasn't slept in 48 hours because he just came from Kuwait.
You HAVE to eat here. "The menu, created by James Beard Award-winning Executive Chef Luciano Pellegrini, features an array of traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine that includes a variety of homemade pasta dishes, enticing entrees and decadent desserts." That's a fancy way of saying you want to put every morsel of food they make right in your face.

We also ate at the Mexican restaurant, right there on the right, which was weird as the gondoliers sang "O Solo Mio."
But the best part? Besides being there with The Chef?  This:

Obviously I didn't shoot that video, but we saw this one in real life, and can you say SUPER COOL? (I thought you could.) The best of the zillion fountain shows we saw. "Just one more!" I kept saying. The Chef is so kind to put up with my shenanigans.

We're so AWESOME!!! And we're definitely staying here next time!

I did realize during the trip that I may not be cool enough for Las Vegas. I was shocked--SHOCKED!--that in all the amazing shops in all the amazing hotels, I did not see one bookstore. NOT ONE! What the...?  Las Vegas, you've got some 'splainin to do.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Secret

I was debating whether or not to tell you this, but since we're such good friends, I figure I probably should.  You may have noticed the difference and I don't want you to think I've been captured by mild-mannered aliens or anything. Ready? Here goes.  ::deep breath::

I am uncaffeinated.

No, not in the "Holy crap, I forgot to go to the store and I may die" way.

The "I'm going to cut down on DC/soda/caffeine/Nutrasweet" way.

See? It still loves me, no matter what.

One Thursday a couple of months ago, I called The Chef and said, "I'm not going to have Diet Coke any more." Kind of like when a toddler spits out the binky and never wants it again.

Except not like that at all, because I still want it.  And I want it bad, man, real bad.  I still have half a can in the morning with breakfast, but I have gone days without that too.

I think in the beginning, The Chef was very very afraid for his life. He's okay now, though. I think.

I miss the taste and the bubbles and the awesome feeling of actually being alive and alert.  I don't miss the needing a fix and doing whatever needs to be done in order to get it.  I don't walk around whining "I miss soda" anymore. Aloud.  Much. I did have some with dinner last night and was awake until 2 a.m., but that may have been because The Chef was away and no one told me to go to bed. (Oh, look, and it's 12:21 am already! Whoops!)

And for you holier-than-thou-ers out there, I didn't do it because you obsessively sent me stupid undocumented "sciency" research about the dangers of soda/artificial sweeteners/things in cans/anything that tastes good/caffeine/anything that makes you happy/all words with the letter C. I made the decision because I was tired of the constant chase for more. Not only did I want the DC all the time, I wanted it exactly the way I wanted it. And it was starting to cost a fortune. A Large Diet Coke with extra ice (LDCEI) doesn't come cheap.* And it made me hungry all the time, which meant more eating and more soda and more eating and get the picture.

Do I still have it when we go out? Yes, sometimes. Sometimes not. And not usually 47 refills in one meal. And not close to a two-liter bottle (in varying forms) throughout the day. Every day.

My only worry? Not getting a birthday card from The Coca-Cola Company, like I usually do. By the way, six months and ten days until my birthday.  Shop early; shop often!

I would do this. In a heartbeat. No joke.
Sad that the Diet Coke post is over? Go read about A Social History of Diet Coke!!

*Except now it does, because McDonald's is running their any soda/any size $1 special again this summer.  ::shakes fist at the golden arches::

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Arch. She sways.

 The Gateway Arch is known as the "Gateway to the West". It was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947 and built between 1963 and October 1965.
During my time away from you, I visited St. Louis and while there, The Chef and I went up in the Arch--and by the way, that's just a nickname for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial--because we thought we should. It's actually quite lovely, but before I go any further, I have to tell you a few things:
  • I don't like to be closed in.
  • I am not one of those people who sees a little kid and gets all mushy; in fact, I'm the opposite. I run away from them.*
  • I don't love heights.
  • I have wicked vertigo.
  • Not a fan of crowds.
 It stands 630 feet (192 m) tall and 630 feet (192 m) wide at its base. The legs are 54 feet (16.5 m) wide at the base, narrowing to 17 feet (5.2 m) at the arch.

Knowing we had to return the car by whatever o'clock or we owned it (or some other penalty), we sprinted from the parking lot to the Arch.**

 There is a unique tram system to carry passengers to the observation room at the top of the arch.

We beat the line by offering to go up in separate pods--like the single rider feature at any amusement park. A good idea, right? No, because:
  1. You do not want to ever get into anything called a "pod," especially with strangers.
  2. Children may be some of the strangers in your pod.
Lets take a tiny little look into some pod facts:
  • Eight small capsules, used in each of the two Arch trains.
  • Each train capsule has a 5-foot diameter barrel that is open on the front and closed on the back.
  • There are five seats in each barrel, so the weight of the passengers helps keep the capsule in an upright position.
  • Each capsule rotates approximately 155 degrees during the trip to the top of the Arch.
  • Each of the Arch trains carries 40 passengers and is capable of making a round trip with passengers in 9 minutes including loading and unloading passengers in both directions.
There is nothing in that list that gives the impression of, "Hmmm, that sure sounds like fun!" Nothing.
So we got to the top and as I rolled out of the capsule, I expected to see something glorious inside the Arch. I don't KNOW what, specifically, I expected to find. Maybe something in the tone of Disney. Instead, we got something in the key of crowded old doctor's office. And more kids. Gah!
Look beyond the handsome and blurry Chef for a minute.
See those tiny little windows?
Yeah, that's what you get on both sides.
And you have to lean over an angled, carpeted area to see out them.
Okay, now you can look at the handsome Chef
and please note that he's not that blurry in real life.
But, of course, I guess you could say that the glory of it all is the view.
Hello, vertigo, my old friend

Nothing personal, St. Louis, but your buildings aren't very big, especially for the largest metropolitan area in Missouri..

And then the Arch moved. Or swayed.  "Can you feel the movement?" The Chef asked his delicate flower of a girlfriend, who felt more woozy than after three-quarters of a margarita.
We took a few more pictures and vamoosed because we had to hurry to get to the airport nothing because our flight had been cancelled. Apparently someone coughed in Georgia or something and we were trapped until the next day. Trapped and tired and uncaffeinated and cranky. And that was just me! Poor Chef. He puts up with so much crazy.
I get just as dizzy looking at these pictures as I did when I took them.

But you've got to give me an A for effort, right?
Unless these are the ones The Chef took,
which would explain why they're clear and well-composed.
Apparently, there is more to St. Louis than the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, I wouldn't mind checking it out, which will probably happen in the near future because if you want to get to Columbia, MO, where my son lives, and not pay one gajillion dollars for a plane ticket, you visit "Rome of the West" / "Gateway to the West" / "Mound City." Heh heh. I said "mound."

*Except little kids who have proven themselves to be cool and worthy of being in the vicinity of my awesomeness. You parents who have children who have passed the test know who you are.

**Yes, by sprint I mean The Chef walked quickly and I went slower and slower as I looked around and then came to a full stop. The Arch is a VERY big, VERY shiny thing. Shiny sense overload.

PSSST! Unless otherwise noted, I swiped the info from Wikipedia, because I'm cool like that. Yay me!

Friday, June 8, 2012

It took a long time.

I knew my blog was missing something and it crippled me. I couldn't even stop in to say, "Hello," because something...not there.

I've missed you all very much while I've been enmeshed in school and running my Mary Kay business and thinking about writing but not actually putting many words on paper. Or screen. Whatevs.

I'll catch you up soon, but in the meantime, here it is, the very thing that all good blogs have and mine didn't but now that it does, we are back in session and ready to kick butt.

Hold on.


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A cute cat picture. You're welcome.