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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

101 things update

The rubber band ball is coming along nicely! It's already 5 lbs, which is halfway to my goal of 10.

I have started trying to learn to knit so I can knit something, but I'm still having trouble getting started. A few of my friends have offered to give me some assistance, so hopefully with practice and the advice of friends, I will be able to tackle this task.

One mission I did accomplish was getting my pic taken with a drag queen. I went to Pride in Houston this past weekend with some very good friends, and we found Miss Coffee who was perfectly willing and happy to have her photo taken with me and my daughter.

I'm not doing very well so far about watching new movies. I watched Jackass 3.5 and Knight and Day, and that's about it so far. I'm really hoping to view more of my IMDB's top 250 that I haven't seen, and the two movies I just mentioned are definitely NOT on that list!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Make a rubber band ball

I finally started working on a couple of my 101 in 1001 activities. The first was to start a pointless collection. I decided on shot glasses because there are so many neat ones to collect, they are readily available, cheap and they're pointless because I don't drink! You'll notice in all my videos, its my crazy friends who are providing all the drunk entertainment. I'm the sober one of the bunch! I will occasionally try alcohol, like the moonshine and absinthe (someday), but I am not a drinker.

The second thing I started was a rubber band ball. I bought about 5 bags of rubber bands thinking that would last me a week, but it ended up only lasting 2 hours or so. I didn't cheat and use a non-rubber band center. My rubber band ball is pure! Here are some pictures of it so far, but I only started yesterday.

I need to get it over 10 lbs in the next 2 1/2 years to check it off my 101 in 1001 list. It's already at almost 3, so I think I can definitely do it!

Eat a Bug

The first bug I ate was a plate of silkworms in China. I was nervous as heck, not knowing what to expect, but after taking the first trepidatious bite, I realized they just tasted like peanuts.

I became more and more brave after each bite, and soon I was seeking out more types of insect (and arthropod, as scorpions aren't insects) to try.

I even got so brave eventually, as to try a bug from my own backyard. Eating them prepared by a restaurant or street vendor in another country is one thing, but catching them alive and cooking them yourself is a whole different mindset. Here is a video of what happened when my husband told me he didn't think I had the guts to eat one of the june bugs buzzing around us one night.

Are you brave enough to eat a bug? Have you eaten one? If so, what kind?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Adopt a child

I'm going back to July 2006 for this post. Here is a journal entry I made after the adoption of our daughter Mia from Guangzhou, China -

Yesterday we left the hotel at 7am and headed to the airport. I'll skip the flight details and skip to around 11:30am where we were met by our guide Bob. We raced to a van outside and met another family though i am not sure who they were. Bob told me we'd go to the hotel and freshen up, grab some paperwork, the orphanage gifts and cameras then head to the Civil Affairs Building at 2pm to meet Mia. We got everything together and then waited downstairs for the St Johns. They were going to ride with us but the hotel bellhop misplaced their luggage so Bob took us on ahead of them and they followed after. It didnt matter because we waited awhile in the CAB and the St Johns weren't too far after. We waited in a very hot, stuffy room for what seemed like forever but was probably only about 10-15 minutes. Another woman had met her child on the elevator going up so they went ahead and brought that baby into the room for her. The rest of us waited. Soon, a lady came up to the couple next to me and said they were bringing her baby in. Bob told me they would bring Mia in about 3 minutes. I heard the baby belonging to the couple next to us screaming her head off as they walked her down the hall and laughed that Mia would be like that too. Then I looked up at the baby coming in. I jumped up and screamed "that one is MINE!!!!" and grabbed her. She cried and cried and cried....the whole time we were there. I gave the orphanage director and doctor who brought Mia the photo album I had made of the other Huazhou girls who had been adopted. They loved seeing the girls and remembered them all. I could not understand them but they would point and smile then say something to each other, and say things like they were remembering the child. She pointed to two of them and pantomimed her walking them and then pointed to the room we were in. Bob walked back in and she had him tell me she remembered bringing those two girls to this room personally. She told me one of the girls was hen piao liang, which is very beautiful. They gave the book back to me and I had Bob tell them it was for them to keep and they seemed very happy to take it with them. in exchange they gave me a photo album and camera I had sent Mia in Oct, and a photo album they had made for me with pictures of her. They also brought the list of questions I had sent and Bob translated them for me.

She would not stop screaming, crying, kicking and trying to get down when we held her. Finally we were able to leave, which was good because we were all dripping with sweat. At the elevator I asked Mason to hold her for me and when he grabbed her she turned around and reached for me. i grabbed her back and she hasn't cried since as long as i hold her. She still doesn't like Mason at all. At first she would let him touch her or even sit next to her. Now he can touch her and be by her but he cannot hold her or push the stroller when she is in it. Also I cannot leave the room, i have to be with her at all times.

We did some paperwork at the hotel, which from what i read was some papers saying we agree to foster her until the adoption is complete. After that we met Marjorie, James, Sophie and Matthew St John, and Mark, Kari, Kam and Benjamin Ottenbrite for dinner at the Cow and Bridge Thai restaurant. The food was GREAT but there were some weird things on the menu to say the least, like goose feet, pig neck, ostrich livers and more. The St Johns and Ottenbrites are wonderful company and their children are super cute. Benjamin is so handsome that he is downright pretty and gets mistaken for a girl by everyone. Sophie has those huge cute cheeks but isnt as big as she looked in her pictures.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Art Car Parade

I've made a decision to start seeing more of what my city, Houston, has to offer. I've lived here for quite awhile and always took it for granted. So many places and things I'd never experienced! The Art Car Parade was one of those things I'd always wanted to see, but never actually gotten around to going to. I'm so glad I actually did! It was fun, free and fabulous!

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Try Something New" feature

If you look to the right you will see something that says Try Something New! Under it will be a random suggestion for something new you can try/do. I'm loading new suggestions into the generator all the time so you can get a new suggestion every time you read the blog. If you try the suggestions, let me know how it went! Just post a comment and let me know! If you don't like your suggestion or it doesn't apply to you, refresh the page and you will get a new one. If you have a "try something new" suggestion you'd like me to add, leave a comment.

Write a novel

Writing a novel and winning NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) were the two things on my list I wanted to accomplish the most. Back in 2009 I completed them. It's been slow going, but I have been working on editing that novel, which I titled Den Mother, ever since. I finally got it to the stage where I sent in the first chapter to a critique group to get the opinions of strangers. I've gotten 6 reviews yet and they're all great! It is such a relief to know it wasn't an utter piece of garbage. Yes it needs some work, which I knew it did, but the advice I got was wonderful. I'm very happy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Touch the Berlin Wall

Fortunately, (since I have no travel budget currently, or unfortunately since I really love travel), I didn't even have to leave my city for this one. I'd known for awhile there was a piece of the Berlin Wall here in Houston, but I wasn't sure where exactly to find it. A good friend of mine works at Rice University and offered me a tour of the campus. While we were there, he said, I could see the piece of the wall. Awesome! I wondered if, perhaps, the wall was behind glass, or roped off, but no, it was out in the open for anyone to touch or pose for pictures with. I had my two youngest children with me, who had no idea what the big deal was about the big piece of concrete, but I made them touch it and pose with me anyways. Someday, I told them, they would know how significant that wall was, and how amazing it was they got to touch it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

See a War/Battle Re-enactment

I lived in Deer Park for a long, long time and never once attended the San Jacinto Festival and Battle Re-Enactment celebrating the day Texas beat the Mexican army and won our freedom from them. After I moved away, suddenly I realized this would be a very cool thing to do. I guess we always take our own cities for granted. This was in April and was one of the first videos I made for the purposes of documenting my adventures.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Riding on a Motorcycle

My friend Roy brought his motorcycle to the party I mentioned in my moonshine post. He knew it was on my bucket list and surprised me with a ride. I've witnessed a deadly motorcycle accident in the past so I have always been skiddish about them, but I trusted Roy completely. It was a lot of fun! The best part though, I unfortunately did not get on video! After the ride was done, I was explaining in the backyard to the others that at one point in the ride Roy was saying something to me and I couldn't hear him. After about the 7th time I finally heard him shout LEAN! I demonstrated to everyone how I leaned over when he said it, and I fell completely out of my chair, drink and all. Ha!

Planting a tree

When I saw Houston Garden Center was having a %50 percent off sale for Memorial Weekend, I had Mason stop and take me there to look around. It was my birthday so it didn't take too much sweet talking to get him to agree to buy me two trees to plant.
When I was a kid, my grandmother had the most gorgeous Wisteria tree. I always loved how beautiful the blooms were in the Spring. I managed to locate a couple and brought them home. I planted one, and Mason planted the other. Here is the one I planted. Its going to be gorgeous at some point!

Drinking Moonshine

This past weekend was my birthday weekend. Yes, I am a girl so I get the entire weekend. Some friends of mine had a group birthday party for me and two other friends so we went out there for that. I brought my bucket list book along (which is much longer than the one I have up on here) because I knew one of my friends was bringing his motorcycle to take me for a ride on (post to come later when I get the video done) and I wanted to mark it off. As soon as I took the book out, everyone else had to see it, which I did not mind a bit. I love sharing my bucket list, because someone will be inspired to make their own and others will find ways to help me check things off of mine. One friend of a friend read that drinking moonshine was on my list, and lo and behold, he just happened to have some homemade moonshine in his truck! This is why you always share your list, guys!

More interesting commentary from friends, including some language. Don't listen at work!

See the Rocky Horror Picture Show at a theater

This is something I've wanted to do since I was a teenager, but never found anyone who wanted to go with me until recently. I am a huge fan of the movie and, heaven help me, I think Tim Curry is pretty sexy as Frank N. Furter. The experience was all I hoped for and more. I had a blast! We went on prom theme night, so at the beginning there was a prom queen contest. A man in drag won. I didn't record all of the movie, but I got in some snippets here and there when I remembered. This is something I will most definitely do again.

My friends showed up a little tipsy, shall we say haha. They always make for interesting commentary!

I had a little snafu with the video where I accidentally showed one clip twice, but whatever.