Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm a Guest!

Hey folks!  Not too long a post today, but I wanted to let you all know that I'm guest posting over at Travis' blog, I Like to Fish, today!  So you should stop by and check it out!  I didn't realize it's been almost a week since I posted... I'm really sorry about that.  I've got loads to write about too.  I better get on it!  I'll try to be more regular in my posting here soon.  (Do they make a blog laxative?)  But for now, pop on over and say hi to TravyG and check out my post!

Happy Hump Day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Olympic Escapades: Vancouver! Curling!

Alright!  Day two of our Olympic adventure, curling!  The curling was my favorite thing of the whole trip.  Really.
We started out the day having lunch at a little Japanese restaurant.  Hello sushi!  Then we headed out to find the Olympic Village and some souvenirs.  I wanted my red mittens!  It actually took the better part of the afternoon to find where we were going, and then to find the “Official Olympic Store” that was housed in the Hudson Bay Company.  The line for the store was ridiculous!  It went down the block, back up the block, and down the block again.  But really, for how long it was, we only waited about 45 minutes to get inside.  Once I got in it was like total sensory overload.  I didn’t know which way to go.  I did immediately try to find my mittens, but was told, much to my dismay, that they were SOLD OUT and only had the kids sizes.  Heart, broken.  So I did the rest of my shopping, and right as I was getting ready to get in the checkout line, I saw a girl walking by with an adult sized pair of mittens with the tags.  I stopped her and said, “Where did you find those?!?”  and she said, ‘They just brought them down!  They’re over there, RUN!”  So I darted off to mittens fresh of the truck, and grabbed like 7 pairs.  Mittens for everyone!  :D  I also bought this really cute sleek white winter jacket that I’m so totally excited about.  Right when I got home though the weather got nice again, go figure, lol.
After that truly Olympic shopping experience, we headed off to go watch our curling game!  The lines for the games was like being in line at the airport.  Ok, empty your pockets, take off your jacket, please step through the little metal detector, ok thank you, you’re good to go!  While waiting I started chatting with this really lovely couple who were actually from Vancouver and had curled together for 18 years.  They were telling me all about the game and how big a part it was in their lives.  I learned that it’s basically the Canadian equivalent of bowling.  Like instead of Friday night bowling leagues, there are Friday night curling leagues.  This couple’s regular Friday game was actually cancelled on account of the Olympics, lol. 
Once we got in, I wandered up to what I thought was my seat, which I found out later (over halfway through the match later) that I was in the wrong section.  But I settled in and started talking to the folks around me, and we had this little sort of community discussion, where the folks who were avid curling fans would explain the game and strategies to those of us who didn’t know.  It was really very cool.  What was also cool was that there were four matching going on at once, so we got to see eight teams play, one of whom was Canada.  The matches were: Canada-Denmark, China-Sweden, Great Britian-Japan, and Russia-Swiss.  And let me tell you, the Japanese were kickin’ butt and takin’ names.  Their game was over first, they didn’t even play the last frame.  The Canada-Denmark match wound up being a tie, so they went into overtime.  OH. MY. GOODNESS.  Never in my life have I witnessed such a crowd!  It was truly phenomenal.  And when it came down to the last throw of the game, which happened to be the Canadians, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.  The stone was let go, and as it got closer and closer to the center of the target, more and more people were slowly rising to their feet.  When it landed in the center there was an ERUPTION.  And eruption of epic proportions!  Cow bells, yelling, feet stomping….it was so joyous.  I’m so happy to have been a part of that moment.  :)

 A shot of all the teams getting ready to make their throws.

Some Canadian curling action!

Me with my new coat and snazzy mittens sporting some Canadian pride after the game!

I think that's all I got for this installment of Olympic Escapades.  There will probably be one more post about it, with some pictures of the city, and the torch of course!  Have a great day everyone!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Installment of "Dear Universe"

I'm not quite sure when all of a sudden I started doing this so frequently, but I always find myself making notes to the Universe nowadays.  So, here are a few that I've made recently.

Dear beer,
Thank you for being so amazingly tasty and enhancing the fun of my friends and I.  I do wish you'd work out a deal my intestines though, that would be lovely.  Plzkthx.

Dear Mother Nature,
I realize we all have our mood swings, but driving home in a blizzard I can't see through one night and then waking up to sunshine and 60 degrees the next day is a bit of a stretch isn't it?  I know it's a wishy-washy time for all of us right now, but all I'm asking is a little consistency.  I just want to know how to dress.

Dear weekend,
Thank you for letting me sleep in.  I really do appreciate it.  However, all that resting up kinda throws off my sleeping pattern, making Monday much more difficult than it really needs to be.  Let's work on this together ok?

Dear T-shirt with giant screen print on the front,
Please stop smelling like crayons.  I don't want to have to quarantine you.

Dear Nintendo,
Creating a shortage of Wiis on the EXACT DAY I get my tax refund is NOT NICE.  I would really love to give you money for a product, and there is not one store in this town that had one for me to buy, when they all had at least three the day before.  I repeat, NOT NICE.

Dear natural peanut butter,
I realize sometimes you separate and I need to give you a stir.  However attacking my good leather shoes with your extra oil will in fact only make me want to throw you across the kitchen instead.

That's all I got for today folks!  Have a lovely Tuesday!  Oh, and Minglers, I *will* be making the rounds this week.  Please be patient with me.  :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Monday Mingle! AND Memoir Monday!

It's that time again kids! Time for Monday Mingle, brought to you by Jen @ EightyMPHmom. Also, this weeks questions were submitted by Greg @ Telling Dad, and if you haven't gone to visit him yet, please do so. He's a fabulously funny guy. Password for the video is, as usual: misadventure. Enjoy!
Untitled from Lauren on Vimeo.

In addition to doing my Mingle this week, I am unusually on top of my game and am going to participate in Memoir Monday, which is hosted by Travis @ I Like to Fish. And without further ado, I bring to you...

Olympic Escapades: Vancouver Time! The Hockey Game.

Oh. My. Goodness. You know, it's been almost a month and I still can't believe I was actually there? It was all very surreal to me. And I know I'm never going to be able to remember everything for this one post, it would be forever long. So, for this post I'll just cover the hockey game.
First of all, Vancouver is GORGEOUS. I want to live there. And the people were so nice. What a great place to attend my first Olympics. (Yes, I say first, because I hope to go to more in the future. :D ) The events we had tickets for were a women's hockey game and a women's curling match.
The hockey game was between China and Russia. We wound up getting there right after the first period ended just due to the transportation. Oh, and by the way, the public transportation was amazing. They did a phenomenal job shuffling around so many people. It was actually really incredibly efficient, we were just the ones that were running a little late. Anybus, we get there and get in our seats to settle in for some hockey action. It was a really good game, which ended with a score of 2 to 1, Russia. Two Chinese girls got thrown down, one limped off the ice and the other had to be half carried....she hit the wall pretty hard. That said, checking is not allowed in women's hockey, news to me. (Checking = throwing yourself into your opponent, basically.) The Russian's weren't messing around though! Also noteworthy at the game, when they had the clock stopped and played music, at one point they played Lady Gaga, which made me totally happy. BUT the best part ever, when they played the YMCA at the break between the second and third period. The volunteers that were helping seat people were down in front of the stands demonstrating to those who might not understand what the heck was going on. It was...truly a hilarious and awesome time. So I got to do the YMCA with thousands of my closest friends. :D There were also some China fans who were chanting "CHINA!" to the tune of the Imperial Death March from Star Wars, which I of course thought was hilarious as well. In case you're unfamiliar, here is a little sound bite for you:

imperial death march sound bite

It went something like "Chi-chi-chi-chi...chi-chi-chi-chi-chi-NA!" Yeah, just imagine that if you can, lol.
Oh, and also, after the game when we were walking back to the bus, we were behind a Chinese mother and her little boy, probably about 6 or 7. The little boy was singing what I imagine to be some traditional Chinese song, it sounded very lullaby-esque. Whatever it was, it was SO cute. He was just singing quietly the entire time we were walking back, and I just had to smile.
I realize that I didn't say much about the actual game, but it was the whole experience that was great. I don't know a ton about hockey, just that it's fun to watch. The crowd was great and really supportive of both teams. And I think another cool thing too was actually being back at home and watching the USA/Canada game and going "I was RIGHT THERE a week ago! Wow..." Crazy. Just crazy I tell you.
Stay tuned for the curling match recap coming soon! (and by soon I mean this week...and not, you know, sometime in the indefinite future. Heh.)

Me at the arena after the game. You can see the flags they had hanging up showing the teams and the rings on the railing I'm standing by. :) Woot!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Monday Mingle!

Once again I will welcome another week with Jen@EightyMPHmom's Monday Mingle!  On time this time too, woot!  Oh, and please ignore my disheveled appearance, I had gone for a speed walk beforehand and didn't bother to pretty myself up before I recorded the video.  You'll still love me right?  ...right?
Anywho, the video password is, as always: misadventure.  Enjoy!

Monday Mingle March 8 from Lauren on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Olympic Escapes: Pre-Vancouver

So, before I get into my post today, I just want to say I give all of you props that hold full time jobs, have kids, or otherwise have real, busy lives and still blog daily.  I strive to be as awesome as you.  *hat tip*

Alrighty!  So.  My Olympic adventure began several months prior.  And also with a bit of misinformation.  So, as you all may know by now, they were last month.  Well, before I saw any advertisements, I had text and verbal confirmation that we were going in January.  I was all in a fluster because I had't gotten my passport yet, and I had gotten time off from work, yadda yadda yadda....  Three days before I thought we were leaving, I saw a commercial.  February?  Well....don't I feel like an over-eager idiot.

Fast forward a month.  NOW I am for real ready, and getting excited all over again.  This was such a much-needed break for me.  We wound up staying in Seattle for a couple days prior to heading up to Vancouver.  We happened to be there for Ash Wednesday, which was perfect, cause there's amazing seafood everywhere.  For those not familiar, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, where you fast and give up some luxury in order to re-examine your faith.  During this religious season, meat (excluding seafood) is not allowed on Ash Wednesday or throughout the Fridays until Lent is over.  So you can see where being in Seattle was beneficial lol.  We went to church at a beautiful cathedral in downtown, and ate at Ivar's along the pier.  I had some great halibut tacos (though, to be quite honest, I think mine are better.  Sorry Ivar's!), and we wandered around Pike's place for a while before heading back to the hotel.  We also did a visit to the Space Needle and IKEA (which really deserves it's own post, but for a very accurate representation of what IKEA is like, go read this post from Greg @ Telling Dad.  He's hit the nail on the head.).  I did purchase a little moose for my friend Allison at IKEA because I thought she'd appreciate it, and let me tell you, I think I win for smallest, cheapest purchase there ever.

We really just kind of puttered around the city, biding our time until we headed up to Vancouver.  Seattle, I love you, but little did I know what was waiting for me!

Some photos from our Seattle time:
Me getting in touch with my inner (and outer) child at IKEA

My little ducky (who always travels with me) at the top of the Space Needle

....the Space Needle

Post Alley at night.  This is where the infamous chewing gum wall is located.  :)

Me adding to the wall.  :)  If you guys have never heard of this, you should google it.  It's pretty cool.  Here's an article to start you out.

A Ninja Turtle made from chewing gum!  Props to you, person that made this!  This was awesome.