Friday, April 30, 2010

Chuck Mystery Revealed

Okay, so maybe it wasn't so much a mystery. Erin and Jen were both able to figure out pretty quickly why I was excited about Chuck. Then again, Erin's known my brother since we were in junior high, so it probably wasn't too hard for her to pick him out of the trailer, even though he was only in it for a second. Literally. Even though he was only shown for a 1/60th of a minute, I've seriously watched that trailer like 15 times!

My brother keeps telling me to not get too excited about the show next week, because although he had a couple of lines during the shooting, he thinks it's very possible that his lines could get cut out of the final show completely. No matter--I still love seeing him on TV and am super proud. Plus, even if his lines end up on the cutting room floor (I guess that really doesn't make sense in these days of digital video, does it?), it was still a fun experience for him. On the morning of his Chuck shoot, he called me from his own personal trailer on the set. While we were on the phone, someone came and knocked on his door and told him to go to makeup in 5 minutes, which totally made it sound like he was a movie star. He got to hang out with one of the show's stars a bunch during the day and really enjoyed the company. He had a great time and he got paid for it. What more can you ask for?

Don't forget to watch Chuck vs. the Tooth on May 10! :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chuck vs. the Tooth

Last night we watched an all new episode of Chuck after a 3 week hiatus, and since it's one of the two shows I actually watch regularly, I was super excited it was back on the air. However, I was even more excited than I would have normally been (normally we don't even get around to watching it until later in the week) because new episodes mean we're one week closer to the one called Chuck vs. the Tooth, scheduled to air on May 10. Check out the trailer for multiple upcoming shows and see if you can pick out what I'm excited about.



Can anyone (who doesn't already know) guess why I'm especially excited to watch the May 10 episode? :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Great Golf

Last week the social committee at our office put together an event that was about as much fun as you can have while being at work. It was a 9 hole putt putt golf tournament, and almost every department got together and designed their own hole for the course. I agreed to design the hole for my department of us computer nerds, which I thought would be pretty easy since we have a whole graveyard full of super old printers, fax machines, scanners and other random equipment in a storage room on our floor that I planned to use. So on Wednesday, the day before the tournament, I spent about 1.5 hours pulling random junk out of storage, wheeling it to our hallway and putting it together into something that resembled a golfable hole. The guys in my department thought I was a little strange at first, but I was feeling inspired after having watched OK Go's recent video the night before (for about the 4th time). Once my fellow nerds saw the masterpiece I was creating, they got in on the act and we all started working together. It was a great team-building effort.

On Thursday, our office slowed it's productivity for about another 1.5 hours and broke into teams to play the course. It was so much fun and there were so many creative holes around the building! Check out a few of my favorites.

Baby Mangino at Memorial Stadium

A mini KUEA with likenesses of our administration

Several other campus buildings

The water hazard with a ramp that was a nearly impossible hole

While these were all pretty awesome, I must say that I thought the most fun hole to play was our own fabulous creation in the IS department. Check out the video of my coworker Scott testing it out the day before the tourney.



Do you like it? Let me just walk you through each obstacle since I know you all care so much.


First, you teed off at the mouse pad and ramped up some old cardboard packaging.


I didn't get a good picture of the old typewriter (which was so old I didn't even know it was a typewriter) but there was a piece of metal up the keyboard that you could also choose to ramp over if you really wanted to catch some air.


If you didn't go over the second ramp, you had to go under one of those computer stands. Note the Caddyshack gopher watching over this obstacle, who just happened to be sitting in my boss's office. Unfortunately he didn't dance and play music anymore.

An old CPU that you could choose to bank your ball off of, unless of course you bank it off my door to the right as Scott did in the video. I should have actually taken a picture of my door after the tourney, since there was a nice big golf ball sized dent in the wood. Oh, and the Santa pinata has been an icon at our office for longer than I've been there (11.5 years). His name is Chucky and he's generally used to scare people around the holidays.

Next you had to pass through a wall of binders.

A couple of old fax machines made for a perfect tunnel, but most of the time it was easier going around them.

The final ramp up to the hole was a huge wrist pad, and the hole itself was an old data tape full of old backups from an old database. My coworker Gene figured out how to rig up the "Yahoo-oo!" button at the bottom, which everyone thought was a nice touch.

It was seriously such a blast, and to top it off I tied for 3rd in the whole tourney! Hooray for ME, Billy! The next morning we had another mini-tournament with just this one hole in our department, and Gene tied the hole record (which was 3 strokes) and won a Judge Smails golf hat from our boss. What fun! I'm thankful to have such fun coworkers, a great boss and a laid back office!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wake Up Call

Almost every morning this week I've woken up before my alarm thanks to the crazy loud birds that have been chirping all over our neighborhood. Even with the windows closed, these suckers are so loud I can't sleep. Don't get me wrong--I love spring and I love chirping birdies. I just wish those little guys would at least wait until the sun is up before they start rejoicing about the morning. On Thursday morning when I took Celtic out front to go potty (we're trying to avoid the deck stairs as much as possible these days), this was the scene outside in front of our house. Beautiful, yes. Conducive to sleeping, no.

video


The funny thing is, this morning when I actually could sleep in until 7:30 or so, I didn't hear a single bird outside my window. Those birds need to check their calendar and learn about weekends!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Prodigies

There are so many things I'm dying to blog about, but I just can't seem to sit down and focus these days. My brain has about 12 different things it's constantly thinking about--one of them being my high school reunion that's coming up in just 6 weeks that I'm trying to plan. It seems like every free moment lately has been trying to work on the details, which means that blogging with any regularity has become a thing of the past!

Since I have no time for anything lengthy, I wanted to share a few Youtube videos that people have passed along in the last couple of weeks that I've absolutely loved. If you have time for a quick break from what you're doing, you have to check out these cuties!



I love this little guy! He's such a beautiful kid with amazing ukulele skills--along with hysterical facial expressions. I love that he clearly knows no English (the original poster says they are Japanese) but is just belting out that song like nobody's business. The nose scratches in the midst of his performance are just too adorable. There are several more videos of this talented little man on Youtube.



How precious is this tiny little guy? He is rocking out and I love that song! I love the laughing and smiling at the end too. I just want to take him home! This kid's name is apparently Howard Wong, and he's all over Youtube as well. There's one video of him playing drums in his dad's band and several of him playing as a 2 year old. He's pretty amazing!



This little guy isn't quite as amazing as the others, but there was just something about his head bobbing that killed me--too cute! He looked like such a shy little kid and then belted it out with such confidence I was extremely impressed. I certainly wouldn't have had the guts to sing that kind of solo when I was that age!


There were so many more videos of child prodigies that came up when I was watching these on Youtube I could probably have watched them all day. There are some amazingly talented kiddos out there!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hard Working Husband

Is it bad that it's 9:30 on a Saturday night and I'm already ready for bed? I'm so darn tired tonight. It's been very busy day, but I'm not sure why I'm so exhausted, since the most strenuous thing I did was spread out about 8 bags of mulch, which only took about an hour. My dear husband, on the other hand, has a much better excuse for being pooped. He spent several hours today leveling and laying out stepping stones to create a little patio at the bottom of the stairs off our deck. I wish I would have taken a "before" picture so you could have seen why this project was absolutely necessary. You can probably imagine, but after having about 160 pounds of dog run up and down those stairs for the last 8 months, and having about 125 of those pounds jump off the last few steps every day, the grass at the bottom of the stairs was completely trashed. Since our winter was such a wet one, the lack of grass there created a pretty nice mud pit right at the bottom of the stairs. It was a bit messy.

Thankfully, my husband fixed our little mud pit right up today and did a fantastic job! As you can see from the pictures it was quite a process!

He actually had to level with dirt first and then with sand right under the paving stones. Note the sod he rolled up so carefully that he's going to use to fix all the burn marks in the grass from Hope squatting in the same place every day.




There is another patio area on the other side of the stairs in a much more interesting pattern, we decided that plain squares were much easier.

He got brand new gloves for the project and wore a hole in them already!


Hope was so exhausted from the job she was falling asleep standing up!

The boys took it a little easier.




Putting town the last stone.

Adding more leveling sand to fill in the cracks.


All finished--I think it looks great! Thanks to my wonderful husband for his hard work!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!

In between our social engagements on Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon, Chad and I made a quick trip to Home Depot to pick up several items we needed around the homestead--pavers, edging, flowers, deck stain, mulch, etc. Then on Sunday, I proceeded to spend 5 hours out in the yard potting, planting and mulching. It was certainly tiring and my back was pretty sore the next morning, but I can't complain. I love planting flowers--especially the perennials I put out front that I can look forward to year after year. I love that our new house has so much empty space in the gardens that I eventually hope to fill up!

Not all of these pictures are from the weekend--some are just beautiful skies and sunsets from this beautiful spring. We've been so blessed with good weather in the last week! I love seeing all these beautiful sights of the new season!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Great Guests

My dad called me on Monday just to make sure everything was okay, and I didn't really understand why he asked the question until he mentioned that I hadn't blogged in several days. Life has been such a whirlwind in the last week I didn't even realize it had been so long! We've had things going on every day/night for the last 7 days straight, and I'm so thankful that tonight I finally have an evening to relax. This evening I actually enjoyed the hammock for a little while and still had time to make dinner!

One of the activities during the last week that kept us busy was hosting. On Friday, I went to the airport and picked up my friend Kati from college, who I hadn't seen since she was in our wedding almost 16 years ago! How sad is it that it's been so long! We had a great afternoon together, eating in downtown Lawrence and doing a little shopping and grabbing a drink with some other college friends. Although we had separate social engagements Friday evening, she came home and stayed with us that night and we went and had brunch the next morning at our friend Dre's house. It was so good to hang out--it was obviously long overdue!

On Monday, our friend Steve came for a visit. Steve and his wife Becky used to live in Lawrence before moving to the Denver area about 8 years ago, and I hadn't seen them since our visit to Colorado back in 2007. Steve had a business meeting in the area Tuesday morning, so he came and hung out with us for a couple of hours and borrowed our guest room. Although his visit was brief, we had such a nice time chatting a little and catching up!

Nothing beats seeing old friends! We're looking forward to more houseguests in May and hope any other of our out-of-town friends will come visit us soon as well!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Stormy Skies, Stormy Stomachs

If you read my last post from a few days ago, you will no doubt see the irony in this one. Last Friday, just hours after I was expressing my extreme elation (apparently I was too elated to actually be bothered with proofreading, since I just reread the post for the first time and found a ton of typos), an icky illness descended upon our household. Apparently, we managed to give ourselves food poisoning from the aforementioned homemade pizza. For my iron stomach, this just meant that I've been battling bouts of nausea for the last several days. For my poor hubby, who has a bit of a comprised intestinal tract, this has amounted to much, much more. I'll spare you the horrific details, but let's just say this was the first time he had a bout of barfing since his hospital stay over 8 years ago.

While we're not 100% sure this has been a food related illness, we're guessing that our pizza was the culprit because of the rapid onset of our stomach problems. After an incredibly enjoyable evening, we were getting ready to fall asleep when suddenly we both felt like we could yak. The weird thing is we can't figure out exactly what made us sick. Our pizza had no meat, so our best guess is that it was the fresh mushrooms or red peppers we put on top. Since I'd eaten a red pepper from that bag the previous day, and since our mushrooms were the topping that didn't get cooked completely, we're assuming it was the fungi that were tainted with some sort of bacteria or pesticide or something. They were the kind that are already "washed" and sliced, so we made the mistake of not washing them before eating and not sauteing them before they went into the oven. That's a mistake we won't make again, as those mushrooms made for a not too happy Easter weekend! Although Chad made it to church, he came home immediately after and wasn't able to go to brunch because he couldn't eat anything except for dry English muffins! Today was the first day he was relatively normal, although he still didn't make it an entire day at work.

Speaking of today, late this afternoon we had a fabulously intense thunderstorm with amazing torrents of rain so thick you couldn't see the cars in the parking lot from my office window. It must have been zero visibility because on my way home, after the downpours were over, the police were attending to a car that was sitting right in the middle of the median. There were rivers of water flowing through the streets and it didn't even rain that long. The worst of it was over by the time I got home, so I captured a shot of the post rain sun trying to peak through the clouds with my iPhone, and then used the free Photoshop app (that I'm totally addicted to) to make a few adjustments to the picture. I think it's pretty cool!

For you Facebook friends, I edited a bunch more pictures of cool cloud/sun combos that I took on the way to work this morning and loaded them onto FB with my iPhone. Check them out here if you're interested!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Good Friday

I can't really explain exactly why, but I have have had one of the most joy-filled days ever today. Even though I was at work from 8-5 minus lunch, I just couldn't contain my happiness. Maybe it's because a couple of nights ago I found out that the plans we had in KC tonight were changed--and now I'm looking forward to a relaxing evening with my wonderful husband making homemade pizza and catching up on Tivo, after a glass of wine and a little blogging on our sunny deck, complete with our three wonderful dogs and chirping birds and puffy white clouds in the sky. Maybe my joy came from the first spring thunderstorm we had this morning, followed by sunshine in the afternoon. Maybe it's because a few weeks ago it felt like spring would never get here, but now all of the grass is turning a beautiful green and flowers all over the city are blooming like mad. Maybe it's because yesterday I got my first bingo in my iPhone Words With Friends game (like Scrabble) and then got another bingo today. Maybe it's because the entire neighborhood is outside enjoying this beautiful weather, and I can hear sounds of happiness from almost every direction. Maybe it's because I listened to this song a bunch of times today and I think it's about the most uplifting song ever. Maybe because it's because it's a holiday, and as my childhood friend Keith exclaimed on Facebook, "Good Friday: The most horrific event in history was the only event that could bring about unfathomable good." Maybe I'm anticipating the joy of the holiday in two more days, looking forward to celebrating the miracle of the resurrection!!!

Speaking of Easter, today I found the most incredibly artistic and unusual depiction of the Passion play. You have to check this out--it's so incredible!



I hope this brings a little bit of joy to your day too!