Some parts of the vacation have been great (remembering all the stuff I did here with AJ) and some of it has been tedious (driving in Miami with my Zern).
To better articulate my Miami '05 experience, I'll call upon some pictures to so some of the talking for me. So I give to you my Miami 2005 photo album (taken with my sad sad picture phone). Enjoy it!
That's a pic of the sunset from Key West last night. One other difference is that it's not hurricane season this time around and we were able to watch the sun set. No key lime pie this time, though. Pity.
There was a bright spot in my day today. On the way out of the mall, I spotted a Lamborghini parked at the end of the row over from Zern. You know when you're barely paying attention to the game and then your favorite college football team wins 61 to 14? You know when you show up to class even though there's eight inches of snow on the ground because the University forgets that it still has classes on Saturday and you get extra credit? It's that little bit of elation that I feel when I see a truly beautiful car.
It's my 23rd birthday today. The last few weeks have been hectic for me: job interviews, school, the fall season starting on network TV, Don's dad being in the hospital, my aunt being diagnosed with breast cancer...
I hate those days where it all seems to hit the fan. Today, my dear friends, has been one of those days.
Last night AJ and I celebrated my birthday with a 0mg saturated fat party for him and 1/2 a gallon of 1% milk and organic chocolate chip cookies for me. He wished me a happy birthday as we wrapped things up after watching Prison Break.
I woke up this morning to the sound of my phone ringing. It was Don. It was also 5am, so I made the decision to answer the phone only if there was the possibility of emergency on the other end. There was. Don found his dad face down on the bedroom floor at 3am and he was pretty much nonresponsive. To any normal person, one would be tempted to dial 911 at this point, especially if the involved family member had just been released from the hospital on Saturday after a pacemaker/defibrilator device insertion and a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. Somehow the phone dialed another family member, a retired Detroit cop, who came over to assess the scene. Upon first glance, he immediately recommended dialing 911. After EMS showed up on the scene, I guess Don found out that his dad (who also has been having complications from diabetes) had a blood sugar in the 20s, where a regular reading was about 100. He was in diabetic shock. So after the ambulance left and Don's uncle drove Don's mom to the hospital, Don got ready for work and then got hysterical and called me.
I went the hell back to bed and woke up to the sound of my phone ringing. It was AJ with another crisis. As I zapped myself back into reality, wondering why the heck AJ would be calling me at 8 in the frick-frackin' morning, I realized as I pressed the "talk" button that today was his day off. Disaster averted--or so I thought. He called to tell me that there was a giant grasshopper outside his room. It was a bad sign, a bad omen. This past Saturday, my moms and I were on our way home from visiting her mother in Canada when, just as we pulled into customs, a grasshopper attacked my windshield. The customs officer just laughed while my mom and I were under attack. As we pulled into America, the grasshopper just clung onto the windshield. I thought "wipers" and hit the switch, but the blasted insect grabbed hold and clung tight for over thirty minutes, until I exited the expressway and used fluid to de-smudge a prominent smudge on the windshield. The fluid jarred the hopper from it's perch and we heard a cracking sound as the bug hit the windshield before disappearing into the wind. AJ thought he found the rogue hopper but he was mistaken. His house is not under attack by grasshoppers. I don't know what this thing is.
I had told my grandmother in Warren that I would visit her today, so I got out of bed and watched some TiVo. I helped my sister with a cocoa powder disaster in the kitchen before we headed out to see her. We made plans to lunch at the PFC. We were starving.
When we got to my grandmother's house, the bibo was sitting in the TV room, obviously in a bunch of back pain. She couldn't get up without pain and buried her face in her hands. She told me there were a bunch of bills she needed me to help her pay in the kitchen, so we relocated. She signs the checks but got confused: signing the plastic divider instead of the check, thinking the carbon copy paper was a check and not a copy... I asked her who I was writing it out for and she told me that my father's birthday was coming up and my uncle's anniversary was also coming up. I had to do a double take because today is the 27th and the tato's birthday is September 4th. My uncle's anniversary was September 9th. The babo kept saying that my dad's birthday was suppsed to be next week. She also thought today was Friday, not Tuesday. It really freaked me out when she couldn't understand her credit card statement. She kept saying that my dad usually helped her with it and her head was fuzzy and she didn't know what to do.
So I called him but he failed to grasp the sense of urgency in my voice. This really was a situation for people who were more in charge that I was. So then my mom calls me and the tears start flowing and I panic a little bit. She calmed me down like only she and Dr. AJ can. She called my dad and he called a doctor and the nurse from the doctor's office told him to take her to ER. So he's been there all day while the Riz and I lunch at the PFC, shop at the Coach store, come home, realize the Riz paid $10 too much for a keychain, she goes to work while I pick up my moms, the moms and I shop Somerset and get a $10 refund at Coach, I splurge on a new cutting board from Crate & Barrel, my moms' new credit card is declined at Williams-Sonoma, I made her call the credit card company and there's $4,000 free on the card, we dine at Maggiano's for my birthday dinner, we fight over who gets to pay the bill, we come home and hear from the tato.
It turns out that they are going to keep the bibo over night. She had a UTI, which can make some older peeps act a little confused and fuzzy. They want her for observation because after a few X-rays, they found that her bones have deteriorated a bunch and they need her to see a specialist. The tato just got home and it's 1030p. I don't know what the plan is for tomorrow, but I hope a Lamborghini isn't the bright spot of my day.
I woke up this morning and checked the FedEx website, anxiously anticipating the arrival of my nano. FedEx finally got it right and left my package on the front step instead of leaving one of those hanging notices on my front door (this becomes increasingly annoying as every month for my wine club they require an in-person signature).
I took the picture of the nano packaging so soon as I ripped it out of the box. When you go to the Apple store in person (which I did this weekend), they also give you a custom bag for you to carry around, where the nano box fits in perfectly and the nano picture appears in full-color for other shoppers to drool over.
Of course I wasted almost no time with admiring the packaging, for what I was after was hidden inside the box. I soon found out that the iPod nano was pictured life-sized on the box, much like my last Mac purchase, the Mighty Mouse. I whisked away all the plastic protectors covering up my nano, eagerly searching for my custom inscription. Oh it's on there, but I'm keeping the seven word inscription a secret (and the metal didn't photograph well, so whatevs).
I was doin' the TWiT this morning while unpackaging and taking pictures of my new iPod. Of course, they mentioned the nano as did the Diggnation podcast. In fact, Kevin Rose spent a little over 7 minutes taking apart the nano in a new episode of Systm that I watched first thing this morning.
In the process of taking all the photos, I realized that I don't really enjoy my digital camera anymore and I miss Picasa (that I think you can only get on Windows) and need to find a better image editor than iPhoto.
When I finally hooked the nano up to my PowerBook, iTunes immediately recognized it and I got to work, setting up all my options. I noticed that on the reviews people mentioned that you can't get photos onto the nano, but I seamlessly imported my last roll from iPhoto. I wonder if maybe it's the Windows users who are having a rough time or if the lack of camera to nano cable is what's ruffling feathers.
I have not yet unplugged the nano from the PowerBook, but I did get the chance to take a look at the beautiful full-color screen (something that I have never experienced before because I never did take the plunge into an iPod photo). This inspired me to take an iPod family portrait. We start out on the right with my birthday present from AJ last year, the 4th generation click wheel iPod in 40gb. Next to that is the currently non-working 3g iPod in a 40gb capacity. This was the iPod I bought in January 2003 on the same day I bought my 12" PowerBook. After that, it's my christmas present to my moms last year (I gave it to her eeeearly because she was having surgery in early December and lucky that she had it because the cable went out for a few days at the hospital), a 4gb iPod mini in pink (this was literally a month before the new, bright-colored minis came out and I was pissed). Then I bought myself a 1gb iPod shuffle the day Steve Jobs announced them in I think it was Feb '05. Which brings us, finally, to my birthday present to myself, the brand-spankin' new iPod nano in the 2gb variety that handles music, podcasts, photos, contacts, and my iCal fiasco.
Happy labor day to one and all! On this very special holiday, AJ and I went down to Greek Street with Andy (AJ's co-worker) and Grace (his fiancee). We were originally slated to eat Thai food, but were rerouted downtown after the Thai place was closed for the holiday. We ended up at the Pizza Papalis on Monroe, watching people who were watching us and making fun of the girls with the glitter purses standing around in the no standing zone.
We headed off to the Garden Bowl after lunch and played two games. AJ and I lost consistently between the two games (although I did have the highest score among all four players during the first match). In fact, we enjoyed ourselves so much that AJ and I are planning on buying our own bowling balls and shoes (if only to get to own our own cute bowling bags). We're going to train hard and we're going to start winning hard.
More updates soon!
I dragged AJ to the Arts, Beats, & Eats event in downtown Pontiac after getting a cold shoulder from the DJHens. I went because The Hard Lessons were performing on the alt/rock stage. I was excited because I'd been loosely following their career, mostly because I knew Augie/Gin in high school. I downloaded a few of their tracks a few years ago when they were posted on mp3.com, and instantly fell in love with "All Over This Town" and "I Can't Stand It." I'm not really a club/concert person, so when DJHens invited me out, I got all worked up about it. I'd been looking for the chance to buy the album (which I might just review on this blog in a few posts or so), but was scared away from their music label's non-automated website (I've been burned before, people). It was a blast. The sky was slightly cloudy but mostly sunny; it was only in the 70s.
In non-related news, I forgot to document that AJ and I have been playing Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy on weeknights alongside the TV players. AJ rules at the Wheel, I am queen of the Jeopardy. I am happy to announce that on Wednesday, I actually beat Ken Jennings at a $2000 Double Jeopardy clue! It was a personal victory that I will not soon forget. No one even tried to buzz in and I'm all like "ex parte" and AJ's all like "damn, Diano." And since it was the "Best of Ken Jennings" week, it would have been useless not to air the episode of his downfall, so they totally did last night. My favorite part was that AJ and I both guessed the Final Jeopardy answer! If AJ and I could tag-team Jeopardy, people would have no choice but to bow down.
DJHens and I are on the outs since Saturday, so that's fun. My aunt had a mastectomy Tuesday and I went over to my grandmother's house to help calm her down about it. On Wednesday, I showed up on the OU campus for my 8am class only to find out that classes did start on the 31st, only at 5pm. I was eeeeearly. On Thursday I tried to keep myself busy while obsessing over if I would be able to shake myself out of bed for a Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8am class at the University. There was no normal food in the house so all day I ate grapefruit juice and tomatoes.
Today, I am happy to announce, I made it to class on time. I'm doing the MWF schedule, something I have never attempted (I'm a Tuesday/Thursday kinda gal). It's pretty nice. After two semesters of two four hour classes twice a week, I'm handling these hour-longs pretty well.
My first professor is crazy in a fun way: she likes to babble. She's teaching us computer programming (an introduction), and I was surprised to see how many people were signed up for the class! My second professor is a PhD and apparently pretty assy. I don't know how all these psychologists can walk around and be angry all the time. She was pretty sarcastic and unapologetic for it. I don't think that she's going to be a prof I can't stand (ask my moms about our PSY250-Research Design prof--I still complain about her), but she certainly will be a challenge.
I'm sitting in South Foundaton Hall before my next class starts at noon. Once a week I've got a computer lab smacked into this slot, but I think it won't be as long (classes were like 1/2 speed on this first day).
The people sitting next to me are complaining about their major: history. They're all minoring in subjects where they can get "real jobs." ... And now they're complaining about their 8am classes and the cost of books and tuition!!! (Do you feel like you're in the room with me? It's all so familiar.)
The first day of classes is usually pretty busy. I had this two hour break between classes where I was hoping Don would come out and take me to lunch, but he's not answering the phone. Instead, I used the time to drive around the parking lot for 45 minutes before I gave up and decided to take a drive to a lot across campus and just walk. And then. I decided to check this tiny, secluded lot in the middle of campus, right next to the OC (Oakland Center, pictured). And I found a space!!! It was so exciting for me, as anyone who's tried to park at OU when the police barracades are up knows.
Well I'm off to do some accounting. More later.
Don and I hit Detroit today to run some errands before the school season starts. We ended up at this building, where we found Records and Registration on the fifth floor. But before we even stepped into the building, I looked up and saw this sign that says "Fallout Shelter."
I took a pic of the sign, and I wished that I had brought my Canon camera instead of my dinky camera phone (that won't post directly to my blog anymore). The Macabee Building is this old, huge 15 story building. When we walked in, there were mosiacs everywhere and vaulted, guilded ceiling.
If you're in the Detroit area, walking aoround downtown can be an eye opening experience. The architecture is amazing, both the old and the new. I'm going to have to charge up my battery and take a photo tour of the city one day.