Posted By on November 2, 2014

I’m burnt out on posting already and it is only the second day. I’m going to blame it on daylight savings. Because it is now dark all the time and it feels like it should be midnight and it’s just after 8 PM.

This also might have to do with a really insane night of drinking on Friday night/Saturday morning (I should not be allowed in 4 AM bars), and then a fun weekend babysitting my niece Skyler and my nephew Noah, both who have not grown into sleeping in on the weekend. They nicely let me sleep in until 7:30 this morning, which yes, was really 8:30, except THAT IS STILL EARLY! It’s a good thing I love them so much.

Anyway, did you watch that dude walk across the tightrope between two Chicago buildings? It was anticlimactic, as all his walks are. Although, I will admit that I was nervous for him with the blindfolded walk. Only because all the drunk Chicagoans would yell louder when he asked them to be quiet.

(Um, you can’t ask a city of spectators to be quiet. Isn’t that part of the whole daredevilness of this feat you wanted to do? That it was outside, in a major city, with people WATCHING?)

I never heard of Nik with no C (h/t Ali) Wallenda until last year when he walked across the Grand Canyon. I was impressed because if you fall off there, you’re done for. And as my brother said, if he fell tonight, he fell into the river. While gross, is also probably a better landing than a canyon.

But then he was on one of our morning radio shows last week to promote this ridiculousness and he said he knows how to fall. He knows exactly how to fall and grab the wire and he can hang there for like 30 minutes. And his rescue team can get to him in 90 seconds. So, meh.

He’s also apparently has to tightrope walk outside in large spaces because his ego is so big, it will not fit anywhere else. And his ego and his cockiness are so annoying that it makes me want him to fall! Which is the worst! Because he has children! (ANOTHER REASON TO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN THESE SITUATIONS, YOU COCKY ASSHAT!)

Skyscraper Live

See? The worst! He makes me a bad person. So I would really like him to just stop. At the very least, don’t come back here.

(Please don’t tell me just not to watch/pay attention. We know that won’t happen.)

Soooo, how was your weekend?

Here We Go!

Posted By on November 1, 2014

I have decided, probably somewhat stupidly, to participate in NaBloPoMo. For those of you who don’t know, which is probably all of you since this goes back to the early days of blogging, is National Blog Posting Month. Basically, I need to post every day for the month of November.

I have done this a few other times. One time I succeeded, the other time I failed because I got drunk on Thanksgiving. Actually, Thanksgiving always is the hardest, since who is thinking about writing a blog post while in a food coma? No one. Someone remind me to do it the morning, before the mimosas start flowing.

Anyway, this here is Day 1. I was going to write this post earlier this week to let you know, but then I was like “why would I waste a post in OCTOBER???”

So that’s it! Stay tuned for 30 days of new posts! And I can finally finish telling you about my Europe trip. From last September!

Wish me luck!

nablopomo seal


Posted By on October 27, 2014

I went camping recently.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “wait, I know you haven’t posted regularly in years, but I seriously doubt you’ve changed THAT much that camping is now your thing.”

You would be right. I am not a camper. Nor will I ever be a camper. Nor could you really call what we did camping. But my friend Alli wanted to go camping for her birthday, so camping we did!

We stayed in cabins. And these cabins had heat. So the fact that it got below 32 on Saturday night and we woke up to frost didn’t really affect our sleeping. So as far as camping goes, that’s probably not considered camping.

But there was no running water in the cabins. It was just some beds and a heater and a door. And a lot of bugs. We had to use the bathrooms on-site at the campground. We cooked all our food over an open flame. I didn’t shower the whole time. So to me? That’s camping. People who choose to camp in tents and sleep on the ground are just dumb. Also, just because it was a “bed” should not imply that it was comfortable. In fact, the ground might have been comfier. So says my left hip that is still sore days later.

It was actually a lot of fun. The showering thing doesn’t really bother me, because if I’m being honest, I can easily go a whole weekend without showering. But usually in those situations, I’m not around anyone besides my cats and possibly a food delivery/drive-thru person.

We stayed out in lovely Utica, IL, which is close to Starved Rock State Park. We would have stayed at the park, but you can’t drink there and well, what is the point of camping with no booze, am I right?

Friday night was interesting, as we tried to start a fire in the pitch dark and 40 mph winds. We gave it several valiant efforts before I went into the little store to buy lighter fluid. After that, the fires were easy to start! (I also love my use of “we” here, which could not be further from the truth. Besides bringing the lighter, buying the lighter fluid, and providing some really awful back seat driver fire-starting advice, I just sat and watched.)

On Saturday after I tried to sleep off my hangover, we went over to Starved Rock and took in the very pretty views. I have lived in Illinois almost my whole life and have never been to Starved Rock. It’s a shame, since it really is quite pretty. We caught it at almost a perfect time, with it being late fall and the leaves having changed almost completely.


We hiked for a bit, exploring a few of the canyons. I’m still amazed at how big the park is, and how beautiful it is.



After hiking, we grabbed lunch and headed over to do some horseback riding.

I haven’t been horseback riding in probably 25 years (man I’m old). We used to go regularly after my parents were first divorced, with my dad, who was a stereotypical divorced dad and just kind of threw money at us to make us happy.

This was fun, but the guy who owns the ranch is kind of a dick. We weren’t allowed to trot or canter or anything, just walk. And he would throw out these vague instructions, like I’ve been tending horses my entire life. Look, dude, I’m no Pioneer Woman!

I got called out A LOT. One, because my butt was too far to the right? He kept saying I was off-center and to move my butt to the left, and then it felt like I was falling off. Before we started, the really nice horse lady told me two things: one, don’t ever bump Lacey (my horse), and two, she will try to eat any chance she gets.

She was not lying about the eating. This poor horse was a pig! She ate anything she could get her mouth around. And then it made the mean horse man keep yelling at me to pull her head up. You know what? A horse’s head is really heavy! THEY NEVER MENTIONED THAT IN THE GODFATHER.

So then I got some extra-special attention from Haughty Horse Man because my stirrups were too low. The stirrups I was not allowed to touch or fix. The stirrups they fixed for me and my insanely long legs. Apparently this was why my butt was leaning to the left. Except this did nothing but make my knees bent and do exactly the opposite of what he told us in the beginning about the stirrups, which means, it was a damn good thing I didn’t fall off and get dragged by good ol’ Lacey.

I actually really liked Lacey. She didn’t care which way my butt was leaning. She was also too smart for her own good. She knew that she had a new rider every hour, and that her head was heavy as shit, and she used this to her advantage to eat all the things. I can’t deny a living creature food! She must have known this too.


This was fine until she saw something she HAD to eat, right near this creek we had to cross. So she got off the path, made a beeline for this weed, and we were precariously close to a small cliff that went into the water. I tried to turn her back, but again, she’s determined to eat and her head was heavy and we were kind of in a bit of a corner. So the Uptight Horse Man yelled at me to get her back and to “bump” her. And then I just did everything else BUT bump her. Because rule number one was “DO NOT BUMP HER”! So then he yelled that those instructions meant only unless HE told me to bump her. Which was contradicting as hell, and I’m just glad I stayed on the horse and we made it through the whole thing unscathed.

Shouldn’t horseback riding be peaceful? I was hoping for that. I mean, it was fun, but I definitely don’t think I’d go back to this guy. I understand horses are powerful and I respect that, but I also don’t think yelling and stressing us out does any good for the horses.

Overall, it was a really great weekend. And I really enjoyed it. But I think I’m good on camping for a while. At least until next year when Alli’s birthday rolls around again.

Sleep Cyclezzzzzzz

Posted By on June 10, 2014

Huh. So I haven’t posted in a while. And it feels even silly to mention that. Because, duh, is this thing on? I mean I never even finished my Europe posts. And that was because I still, nine months later, haven’t uploaded Germany photos to Flickr, so I just gave up. I will get to it, though. Maybe before September.

But Regan just posted something about being in a funk and it really resonated with me and I thought that maybe old school writing on my blog might help. It can’t hurt.

I read this thing back a few weeks ago about sleep cycles. It was in some health & fitness email, basically saying that sleep is the magic cure to all the things. It basically says that we sleep in 90 minute bursts. And if your alarm goes off in between one of those 90 min cycles, you’re going to be groggy and tired. The ideal number of hours of sleep is 6, 7.5, 9, 10.5 and 12.

It got me thinking – I wake up every morning groggy. Granted, a lot of that is because I snooze 11 times for like 45 minutes. But I also think it is because I generally try to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night, or more. Generally it was probably 8.5 or 9.5. Something outside those magic windows.

(I know that seems like a lot for someone who is not an infant, but I love sleep. I can still easily knock out 12 hours of sleep on a weekend and not give two shits about the time I waste. And then I’d probably take a nap a few hours after getting up, if it was a perfect day. Sleep beats almost everything in my book.)

But after reading this article, I started to notice that on most mornings I’d wake up before the alarm and feel pretty good. And instead of my usual “sweet, I still have 2 more hours of sleep!” thought, I thought “huh, maybe I should get up now.” I have only ever thought that because a) getting up early is bad enough and b) getting up early and getting to work earlier is like my idea of hell on Earth.

It got me thinking, though, as I continue to get up every morning groggy as all hell. I used to think that meant I needed more sleep, but now I’m thinking I could feel way better on LESS sleep.

They have these sleep cycle apps. I’ve tried 2 different ones. You leave your phone on your bed and it basically tells you if you’re in deep sleep or not. And then you tell it you want to wake up at a certain time, and it will (hopefully) wake you up near that time when you’re in your cycle of lightest sleep, depending on your movements.

The one I tried woke me up at 5 AM for a 7:15 alarm clock. I deleted that app. I may have felt pretty good, but I try not to regularly get up before the sun.

The second one had a function to wake you within a half-hour of your desired wake-up time. That way they’ll find the time you’re sleeping lightest and wake you up then, as opposed to being in a deep sleep, which can just mess you right up. And supposedly, at the very worst, you’ll get up 30 minutes earlier. I tried that one last night and it woke me up at 5 AM, again.

With both of them, even at the butt-ass early time of 5 AM, I noticed that I felt rested. I didn’t feel groggy. I didn’t feel the need to slap the snooze button. But then because I love sleep and hate mornings as much as Garfield, I note it and then turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. Because my 10 year old brain will always turn into Homer Simpson and say “woo hoo! Two more hours of sleep!”

And both those mornings, after sleeping that extra few hours, hitting the snooze, I felt like a groggy mess when I got up. More sleep didn’t seem worth it.

I think there is something to it. And I realized, as I sat tired and groggy at my desk all day today, yawning through meetings, that maybe it would help me out of this funk to get good sleep, not just a lot of it. And instead of feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day, I could use those hours to knock out a run or a workout, or go in early to have more of my evenings to clean, watch TV, etc. And maybe, just maybe, I can become a for reals functioning adult.

But let’s be honest, I’m still probably going to hit snooze nine times out of 10.


Have you ever heard of these sleep cycles? Have you tried an app?

Na zdraví!

Posted By on December 3, 2013

I decided to maybe skip the rest of the trip seeing as I’ve been back over 2 months and still haven’t finished telling you about my trip. But I wanted to document it all for myself, so here we go. I only have like 3-4 more posts to write. I can do this.

Our only full day in Prague started with actually sleeping in a bit, partaking in the free breakfast in the hotel and then sightseeing.

I think I mentioned before that Alli had been to Prague before, so she had done the walking tour and seen all the sights. She had the day to herself while Melissa and I did all the touristy things. We did a Prague in a Nutshell tour, which showed us a lot of the city and then took us to Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge.

This tour was on a bus until we got to the castle. I would have preferred a walking tour and still, for the whole trip, I think my favorite tour was the free walking tour in Budapest. Do these tours anywhere you can!

After driving in rush hour traffic in Prague, we got to Prague Castle. From there the rest of the tour was on foot. Most of the group was leaving us after the castle. Melissa and I and two other women did the long tour, which included lunch and a boat ride.

Prague is so pretty. Hands down the prettiest city we went too. Prague Castle is huge and like 100 buildings set into a fortress. In the middle of it all is a very pretty church that was like a billion years old.

The only thing I remember from the tour about the church was that a) it was really old and b) there was a sculpture on the front of the front door with some dudes presenting a severed arm on a tray. I, of course, took a photo of it.

We could have waited in a huge crowd to see the changing of the guard, but our wise tour guide told us that it wasn’t worth it and that we could see them marching as we got further into the castle. It was pretty neat!

After walking through the Castle, we had lunch overlooking the whole city. Lunch was good and there was a salad, which was so lovely since we hadn’t had vegetables in a long time. And then my main course was goulash, because of course it was!

After lunch, we headed down to this garden. This was the prettiest. There was this giant pond with these giant koi in there. And also just hanging out are peacocks, including the famous albino peacock. They were just chillin’. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a peacock, not even at the zoo!

We walked around some more through the gardens and the grounds and made it to the Franz Kafka Museum. We didn’t tour the museum, but got to look around the gift shop, which was enough for me. I don’t know enough about Kafka, except for that book from Bridget Jones’ Diary, Kafka’s Motorbike. (One of the greatest books of our time! Well at least in the top 30.)

Outside the museum, though, is a statue of two guys peeing. They move and supposedly write out quotes in the water. Our guide told us it was supposed to be Stalin and Hitler peeing on the Czech Republic. (I cannot find anything online to support this.)

Then it was on to the famous Charles Bridge. The bridge is old and is only open to foot traffic. The biggest story I remember about the bridge is that back in the 1600s, 27 Protestant leaders were beheaded for not being Catholic and their heads were put on spikes at the entrance to the bridge, warning people who entered Prague that they did not mess around. (DULY NOTED, PRAGUE!)

After we crossed the bridge, it was on to our boat ride. It was just an hour cruise, taking in the sights of Prague from the Vltava River. The city is even prettier from the water and there were swans everywhere! All these zoo animals just hanging out in Prague!

We cut the tour short after this because it was going to Old Town Square and we had seen all of that the day before just walking around. We wanted to get in a nap and change before we headed out for the night on our ghost tours.

The first tour was an underground tour by lamplight. The guide freaked us out, telling us that it was pitch black and underground and that if you were at all claustrophobic, not to go on the tour. Melissa and Alli freaked out as soon as we walked into the pitch black hall. And at that point we were still above ground.

So they skipped it. I wasn’t going to miss out, so I stuck with it and it was pretty fascinating. I’m pretty sure the guide was being dramatic about all the paranormal activity and how it made her get winded and short of breath. I didn’t notice anything. It was dark and we seemed to go pretty far down, but it was fine. I’m just glad a boogey man didn’t jump out of the dark because I may have then murdered someone with my screams alone.

This building was the dungeon and torture chamber, back in the day, including back in the 1600s when there was that huge massacre. There was a room that served as a holding room before the prisoners went out to get executed. There are all sorts of carvings on the wall from these prisoners, which is creepy, but cool. It even includes things from the 1400s and 1500s and people who just etched symbols because they didn’t know words.

After this tour, we had an above ground ghosts and legends tour. This was really interesting about different myths and legends from around Old Town Square, but behind all the hustle and bustle. Our guide was from New Jersey and really loved his job. I really liked him, until halfway through the tour when he jumped out from behind something and grabbed me and made me almost shit my pants! (The worst part was I mentioned to him how I saw this happen with another tour and he was like “we don’t do that on our tours.” LIAR, LIAR, GHOSTY PANTS ON FIRE!)

He took us to an old hospital that is known to be haunted. It is also a place that has been known to have orbs photographed due to ghosts or whatnot, so we all stood around taking photos of this building looking for orbs. This was the best I got.

After the tour, it was still early, so we decided to check out the English pub right in the square to have some of Prague’s Budweiser. (It is so good!) (Actually, come to think of it, we only went in here because the bouncer told us how pretty we were and said we could get a free drink. Which was a thimble full of something.)

After that, we decided to check out what is supposedly the oldest pub in Prague, which someone had told us about. It was like a good old beer hall with Pilsner and pretzels, so we were happy as ghosts in a graveyard.

We then called it a night and headed back to the hotel. We had a long train ride the next day to Munich, and we knew we would not be so lucky to get a train car to ourselves on a train heading to the heart of Oktoberfest.

See the rest of my Prague photos here.