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The sister had one day of fun before she had to head back home, so we went downtown to see the Alamo and the River Walk. She wanted to see the Alamo because, come on! It’s the Alamo! And the River Walk because of something about Cloak and Dagger. Which makes me wonder, why has she even seen that movie?? She was born in 1990. I’ve seen the movie about a thousand times because it was somebody’s favorite (maybe b2?), but I don’t even remember anything about it.

Even though my new home is in the boonies, we made it downtown and found a place to park in less than 30 minutes. Yay for 70 mile an hour speed limits through the heart of a city! Unless you don’t know where you’re going, then good luck to you. Just keep moving!

We wandered through the Alamo, and I recounted the story as best as I could remember. William B. Travis! Santa Anna! All the women and children hiding in one room! Nobody came to help! Everybody died! But, they slowed the Mexicans down long enough for Sam Houston to get into place and then he wiped out Santa Anna! Texas independence!!

It was early, so the river walk was pretty dead, but we found a place to eat lunch. The sister doesn’t like Mexican food, but I doubt whether she’s ever had Tex-mex. The parents were raised on Arizonan-mex, which is not the same kind of food you find in Texas at all. For one thing, Tex-mex isn’t ever a man-vs-food style heat challenge like Sonoran food often is. And another thing, Tex-mex includes chili! As someone who grew up with Sonoran-mex, that’s just blasphemous and silly. But, it is what it is. And, it’s yummy!

So, suffice it to say, we ate at the Rainforest Cafe. Because what says San Antonio like the Rainforest Cafe?! We were seated by the animatronic pandas, and decided to split the chicken parmesan. Which worked out well, as we are both tiny people with tiny appetites. Ok, so she’s a tiny person, I’m just a small one. 🙂 And I never get to split anything!

Given the fact that the Rainforest Cafe isn’t an Italian place, the chicken parmesan was surprisingly good. And we still didn’t clean our split plates! I was closer than the sister, as I’ve got 6 inches and 40 pounds on her, but it was still more food than I could eat. And I can put down an 8″ Deli like nobody’s business, so it was definitely a generous portion. No wonder America is fat.

After lunch, we hit the mall to do some shopping, and caught Batman at the IMAX theater. I had already seen it (duh), but the sister hadn’t, and she doesn’t live near any IMAX screens. So Batman it was! She liked it better than the husband did, but she, too, was bothered by the Ra’s al Ghul story not adding up. Because she reads comics. All of them. While I am conversant with many of the major characters in the major comics, she actually reads the things. It sure does make a geek girl proud. /sniff

We grabbed some Yummi Japanese on the way home, and the sister introduced me to Ramune. Which is just soda in a glass bottle. With a marble in it. And also tamago. Not only does my sister out-nerd me, she out-japaneses me, despite the fact that I have the Japanese name. Just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

After our gyoza and sushi, we slept in the new house on air mattresses that Amazon left on the front porch for us. Despite the fact that they are 4-in-1 mattresses, they clearly only have 3 configurations: 2 twins, 1 twin, or 1 king. I guess maybe math isn’t a requirement for marketing majors?

A few months back, the husband decided we should move to Texas. After some thought, I decided I was up to the adventure. I married a Texan; I knew the day would come when I, too, would become a Texan. I’m pretty sure it’s in the marriage vows.

And so ensued a whirlwind of activity: renting out our house, finding a rental home, finding jobs … I thought it was all supposed to be hard, but everything fell into place without too much effort. Moving is easy y’all! I think I’ll do it more often!

To get my car to our new home, we decided I’d drive down early and take care of logistics (internet and cable, really … the husband might just die without internet and cable). But I didn’t want to drive for 26 hours all by myself, so I flew my sister out. She couldn’t take a whole week off (ah, the shackles of adulthood), but she managed a long weekend for a ‘road trip’. Little did she know it was less a road trip and more just a whole lot of driving.

I quit my job early in the afternoon, hopped in the car, picked up my sister, and we were off! We managed to beat DC traffic and had ourselves a looooong drive through Virginia.

At the recommendation of a few coworkers, we stopped just shy of the Tennessee border, and called it a night. The Virginia side of the border is supposedly ‘nicer’ than the Tennessee side; I had to laugh when I looked out our hotel window and found a lumber yard. Admittedly, it was a clean and orderly lumber yard, but I was promised mansions and golf courses!

Day two took us through Tennessee, with a quick stop in Nashville for lunch (and a t-shirt), and another stop in Memphis for another t-shirt. Both Nashville and Memphis seem like happenin’ places, I’d like to go back sometime and spend more than 30 minutes there.

We stopped just past Little Rock, and the sister decided to have a swim. I had forgotten a bathing suit, so she risked the dangers all by her lonesome, and managed to not get kidnapped by hill folk. The hill folk were a bit odd (“there was a guy in the hot tub … wearing a trucker hat “), but were apparently friendly enough. They told my sister they’d “see her later,” which left her hoping they meant at breakfast the next morning. And me hoping it was just an expression that they said without thinking of the meaning behind it.

We did manage to get out of town the next morning without incident, and made it to Texas. We drove through the husband’s home town and ate some really terrible barbecue because the good place was closed. Chicken Express would have been a much better choice.

Later that night we made it to our destination, and picked up some Rudy’s. This time the sister was impressed – brisket, sliced white bread, and cream corn – and decided that Texas barbecue doesn’t suck. Which is a good thing, otherwise the husband would have had to disown her. I’m pretty sure that was in the wedding vows, too.

freecyclin’

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So, what with the in-laws coming later this month and all, the husband and I decided to get the house in order. Which means we had no choice but to take notice of all the stuff we had managed to acquire. Stuff that was just sitting around and collecting dust.

The last time we did serious purging, we used Craigslist to give items away for free. Which turned out to be kind of a pain. There were all kinds of people who said they’d take stuff, only to never show up. Or to change their minds after haggling for a week about a pick up time. There were a few items that just ended up in the trash because that was so much easier than finding someone to take our perfectly good stuff.

So this time around, we tried Freecycle. Since it is a somewhat closed community (you have to get approved for membership) that is heavily moderated (you break the rules, you get kicked out), we figured we might have better luck. Also, it is local – you can only join your local Freecycle group – so we wouldn’t run into the problem of people deciding they didn’t feel like making an hour-long drive for something. At the most, if you hit all the lights, it might take you 15 minutes. Best case scenario, you’ll be within walking distance.

So we spent Friday night and Saturday posting items on Freecycle. And then we started watching our stuff head out the door! PS3 controllers, a camera bag, old video cards, a computer desk, a tv, a three hole punch, leftover thank you cards from our wedding – nothing is too big or too small for freecycling.

The husband just wanted to trash everything, to get it out of the house ASAP. But I, having grown up in Washington state, couldn’t bear the thought of filling up our landfills with stuff that still worked fine. Also, I have pretty serious hoarder genes that run in my family. Thankfully, I have little desire to keep stuff I don’t use; I just hate to see things go to waste.

And so our perfectly good stuff has found new homes where it will be loved before it ends up in a landfill. Not to mention all the people we made happy! The winner of the box of DVDs is set for family movie night till the end of the year. The video cards get a second life in a new machine. And somewhere, in the next block over, someone is rocking out on their new rock band guitar.

This iPad thing is pretty nice, I have to admit. The only reason I ever turn my laptop on now is when I need microsoft office. Or to print something. But the printing thing will someday turn into a thing of the past, when the husband lets me buy an iPad-friendly-color-network-laser printer. 🙂

But the thing I love the mostest about my iPad? It takes me to ravelry! Which is the best social networking site to be found on the innerwebz.

Now I can take (poor quality) pictures of yarn and projects with ease from my iPad and upload them to ravelry! And when I want to upload better pictures, I can take real pictures and plop the sd card into the handy-dandy card reader I bought.

I know laptops are portable, but the iPad is super duper portable. I don’t even think twice before taking it to my yarn room for a stash-recording session. Or to the neighborhood stitch night so I have access to my patterns. Or to the basement to organize my queue while we watch tv.

There are a few features that can’t be handled on the iPad, so I’m crossing my fingers for an iPad app. None of the drag and drop works, and scrolling in a pop-up window is cumbersome, to say the least. (Keep my thumb in contact with the screen and perfectly still while scrolling with my index finger … Once my thumb moves, I’m zooming in and out on the whole screen …)

So, just for ravelry, the iPad has totally been worth it. :-). Who needs Facebook when there’s so much fun to be had on ravelry?

The husband and I have been planning a trip to Phoenix for months. We’ve carefully planned out our itinerary: a Star Trek Convention, an Easter Pageant, some theater (Nine), a Cowboy show, the Grand Canyon, the Phoenix Zoo,  the Arizona Science Center, and the Pueblo Grande Museum.  Do we know how to party or what?

We purchased the Star Trek tickets ages ago (priorities!), but I hadn’t booked the theater tickets or the cowboy dinner.  It was on the to-do list, but I just kept putting it off.

I signed up for the Phoenix Groupon and Living Social emails when I knew we were going to be in the area, as that strategy paid off for our trip to Vegas last year.  (Half-price Gameworks day passes and Atomic Museum tickets!)

So, what should appear in my email inbox but a Groupon for the Cowboy show!  Followed shortly by a Nine deal.  I’m still holding out for Grand Canyon, Zoo and Science center deals.  Here’s hoping I get lucky!

nom nom nom

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This is what happens to a squash when it comes up against a turtle who hasn’t eaten in six months. Poor thing never stood a chance.

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I’m blogging from my doctor’s office!

Thanks to the marvel that is iPad, I can take my computing just about anywhere! Unlike the husband, I didn’t opt for the 3G version, so I assume the blog won’t update until I get back home to the safety of my wifi network. But because I’ve got the handy-dandy wordpress iPad app, it doesn’t matter that I can’t reach the internet.

My hope is that my new iPad will replace the aging laptop. So far, there’s been one ie-only website, drag-and-drop website functionality, and office docs that I’m missing out on. But that’s what the work computer is for, right?

My 15 minutes is up, I haven’t died from my allergy shot. Time to go!

Is cat vomit on the granite kitchen countertop! Catchy jingle, no? Hmm, well one of the holy terrors sure thought so.

There are not enough clorox wipes in the world. Also, I think my pancake batter station will be on the other side of the stove now.

spring!

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Even though there are snow showers in this weekend’s forecast, spring has finally made it to my house! After months of moping around and ignoring her expertly prepared romaine and squash (presented on a paper plate! on top of a sheet of newspaper!), Tortellini has finally decided that it’s time to wake up.

She generally has a winter-time lull, where her eating slows down or even stops for a few weeks, but this time she took her hibernation seriously. She’s been ignoring her food for months! I was starting to get a little worried, but the google assured me that Russian tortoises can, indeed, hibernate for half the year if they set their minds to it.

As reassuring as that was, though, there’s just something creepy about hibernation. All that not eating! It defies logic.

So this morning, I plopped Tortellini down directly under her heat lamp. I put out a fresh plate of spring salad and lima beans within easy turtle reach. And then I left for work.

Much to my dismay, when I got home, she hadn’t eaten. All she had done was rotate herself 90 degrees, so that she was no longer looking directly at her food. And her head was tucked oh-so-tightly into her shell.

A short while later, though, the husband noticed that her head was out, so I made my move. I unzipped the terrarium, and held a lima bean in front of her face. After an agonizing wait, she finally snapped at the bean and almost snagged it. (Having eyes on the side of your head makes it hard to eat lima beans out of someone’s hand. Just sayin’.)

After another agonizing wait, she tried again and finally got it. While she worked on that bean, I made a call to refill a prescription, and then I fed her another one. I followed that up with a piece of romaine, but she wasn’t much interested, so I let her be. Since all she has to do is turn 90 degrees and take a step forward to, you know, eat a whole plateful of turtle yumminess all on her own.

So yeah. Spring! It’s here! Snow showers and all.

procrastination

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So I’ve got this project to do for the dad, that really won’t take terribly long, I just need to sit down and do it.

But instead of just doing it, I feel like I’m back in college.  Back in college and avoiding my homework …

So far, instead of coding up the dad’s POS (his acronym, not mine, I promise), I bought some pink shirts.  And then I bought some knitting books and yarn.  I’ve eaten some apple pie.

And now, I’m blogging!

After this, I’m thinking about maybe doing the dishes.  Or playing some Lego Harry Potter.  Or Rock Band.  Or doing my wow dailies.  Oh, and practicing my piano!  Oh, and then there’s still some banana cream pie with my name on it …

And THEN, I think I can get to work.

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