Friday, September 29, 2006

MEME time...

Seeing that I have been having a real BITCH of a time at work lately... I think I could use a light-hearted moment or two to take my mind off things, so I'm jumping in to participate :).

Beside, I can always use my next post for venting- yeah, I'm sure you all are going to look forward to that one. But for now, I'll stick to the meme :).

1. Do you still have tonsils?

2. Would you bungee jump?
Maybe... I can't say yes for sure, b/c it's easier to say that I would bungee jump than if I was actually high up on some platform looking down... so it's a definite maybe.

3. If You Could Do Anything In The World For A Living What Would It Be?
Something involving Diabetes- not sure exactly what... but I just really am interested in the disease and helping others cope with it.

How many tattoos do you have?
None. But lately I have been considering getting one... just a small one.

5. Your favorite fictional animal?
Eeyore. One of my friends once told me that I remind her of Eeyore. I guess that's not really a compliment, but I think she was just telling me that I sort of have a humdrum attitude at times.

6. One person that never fails to make you laugh?
My sister K.

7. Do you consider yourself well organized?
Umm.... No, not at all. It's something I know I need to work on.

8. Any Addictions?
Yup, drinking a disgusting amount of diet soda- it's a habit I'm still of yet to kick :(.

9. From what news source do you receive the bulk of your news?
Does People Magazine count? LOL.

10. Would you rather go to a carnival or circus?
Carnival... basically b/c they can turn any adult into a kid again... and, hey, they are fun :)

11. When you were twelve years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher, I think.

12. Best Movie You've Seen This Year?
Not sure I have a favorite movie- maybe Brokeback Mountain, is that from this year?

13.Favorite alcoholic drink?
Mudslide- yum.

14. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Groan about having to get up AND go to work and then gather my stuff to the bathroom where I wash up and get ready.

15. Siblings?
Two sisters... one older and one younger. I'm the middle- lucky me. No, I guess it's ok now, but growing up I wouldn't say it's the easiest place to be in a family.

16. What is the best thing about your job?
What a question! After the last few weeks I've had I'm so tempted to say nothing, nada, zipp-o!, but if I had to pick something I'd say that they are at least somewhat flexible about being punctual... another thing I need to work on.

17. Have you ever gone to therapy?
Yes. I've gone during some of my college years for various reasons- but I don't think I really took advantage of the sessions. Frankly, I think therapy could probably benefit most peoplein some way and I'd look into starting it again if I had the money.

18. If you could have one super power what would it be?
Either flying or having the power to see the future. But I'm not sure seeing the future would necessarily be a good thing, it might be pretty frightening.

19. Do you own any furniture from Ikea?

20. Have you ever gone camping?
No, I think I would not make for a good camper... too many bugs, too much discomfort, and no access to the necessities- tv, radio, computer, etc ;).

21. Gas prices! First thought?
At least they are on their way down and not up.

22. Your favorite cartoon character?
Ariel from the Little Mermaid

23. What was your first car?
My parents old, white Volvo station wagon.

24. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?
No, not at all..

25. The Cosby Show or the Simpsons?
The Cosby Show, I could never get into the Simpsons.

26. Do you go to church?
Not really.... usually only on holidays

27. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?
Hmmm, not sure about this one...

28. What errand/chore do you despise?
I'd have to say dishes or anything that involves a lot of scrubbing...oh, or maybe taking out the trash. :(

29. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?
It's only Friday today?

30. Last time you puked from drinking?
Never puked from drinking.

31. What is your heritage?
Half Ukranian and Half Irish.

32. Favorite flower?
Tulips- I think they remind me of Spring.

33. Disney or Warner Bros?

34. What is your best childhood memory?
The holidays with my family... there's nothing like waking up on Christmas morning when you are a kid. It's so exciting and happy.

35. Your favorite potato chip?
Baked Lays or Ruffles (I prefer Ruffles- the baked ones, of course)

36. What is your favorite candy?
plain and simple chocolate.

37. Do you burn or tan?
I burn, but I like to stay well lotioned in sun screen to prevent turning into a lobster.

38. Astrological sign?

39. Do you own a gun?
No, guns scare me.

40. What do you think of hot dogs?
I like them- can't lie- but only if they are grilled up on the barbeque...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Good and Bad news...

I'm not sure which I should start with ... I guess it doesn't really matter... so I'll just start with the good news. Well, maybe I should let the following pictures speak for themselves.

Yes, this is my brand new Honda Civic... & I LOVE it! :)

Still has dealer plates on it, but that should be changed soon... (hopefully)

I just hope I can keep it nice ;)

I really do love my new car... I get excited just thinking about driving it. Of course, I'm not as excited about making the payments every month, but I'll do my best to manage.

I wasn't counting on getting a new car this soon, but my Saturn was starting to worry me. Ever since I got lost, hit whatever it was on the side of the road, and damaged the car frame,(during my adventure driving home from the gym with a seriously low blood sugar last fall) my car started to rapidly deteriorate.

I ruined the alignment and, because of this, my tires were constantly wearing down on me (just recently had a flat tire-again!)... and from there, it was kind of like a domino effect. It caused me to have problems with driving straight in my lane... it would sort of veer off into the next lane if I didn't grasp the wheel tightly... Plus, it was hell on wheels whenever we had rainy weather. All of a sudden, it would hydroplane from one lane to the next. I felt like I had no control over my car! It scared me so much that I wasn't sure I would get safely home many nights... that is, without getting into an accident.

I decided that I had to do something about it, especially since cold weather is just around the corner. And the thought of driving in that car in the snow is very frightening. Eek! So yes, I opted to get this car. Ultimately, I think I made the right decision AND I really do love it... :)


Ok, I do have to get to the bad news... As much as I do love my new ride, obviously it doesn't fill all the voids in my life. Last night, out of the blue, I felt really down. I'm not sure exactly why it hit me like that, but it did and it took me off guard, to say the least. At first, I didn't understand why I was getting so emotional, but now thinking about it, I do have an inkling or two...

Do you ever think about how different your life is from how you pictured it to be? I'm not sure what I was really expecting, but I just expected my life to be different than it is-better, i many ways. And I can't help but wonder why things have turned out the way they have.

Don't get me wrong, I know I don't have it the worst of everyone. But, at the same time, I think life hasn't been all that easy for me either. It seems like nothing ever comes easy for me. Almost everything I experience in life seems like a struggle... which is not how I want my life to be, obviously. But, yet, that's how it feels.

I know, I know, some will say, well, why don't you do something about that? Well, fine, but I'm not even sure how to change things. Truthfully, sometimes I feel like I have very little control or power over the situations I find myself in. Maybe that sounds foolish or like an excuse, but it's what I have come to believe. Logically, I know that it's up to me to do something with my life- make the most of it. But that is a lot easier said than done.

Recently, someone brought up a really good question to me. He asked me what I am passionate about. I had a lot of difficulty answering that question, b/c I really had no answer. I never thought about that before and, needless to say, I wasn't prepared for that question.

I don't have an answer now either... and I think I need to find out why that is... I'd really like to feel that way about something. To feel that strongly and passionately about something could possibly help me tremendously and could, even, change my life. Perhaps it would give my life more meaning.

Many people I know have things that really motivates, moves, or drives him or her. It could be their career or just a personal interest... but whatever it is, it really excites that person. You can tell by how they describe what they love and how their eyes light up when they talk about it. And though I'm glad that he or she has something like that in life, I, at the same time, can't help but to feel a little envious.

I have a friend who is really interested in learning foreign languages. It is something that she becomes really excited about... Just hearing her talk about it, you can see how her much she loves it. She already knows Spanish, French, Italian, and is in the process of learning Chinese. In fact, she just started college and, in her course load, are several credits in language. I really admire her for following her heart and pursuing what she loves.... she's lucky that she has that interest and passion.

Another person I, recently, met is a self-professed news junkie. He loves the news and current events. And what's great is that he found a way to bring that interest into his daily life- he makes his living working for a newspaper. Although he works crazy hours, he's doing what he enjoys. I don't know that many people can say that they are doing what they love for their career- I'm sure it's quite apparent that I'm not. He's, also, lucky to be so passionate about something.

Also, a person I was talking to in a chat room, a day or so ago, spoke about her career goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner. She absolutely loves and is excited about what she is learning and what she is striving for. Again, how wonderful is that, that she has something she feels so strongly about? She, as well, is extremely lucky.

Lastly, my sisters... both of them grew up dancing. Ballet was and is something that brings both a lot of joy. And, I think, if they could, both would pursue it professionally if given the opportunity... which tells you just how much they love it. I especially envy that they have something that gives them so much joy- and I hate that I don't have that for myself. Both of them, too, are lucky.

And me? I've got nothing... :( Why is it that I have absolutely no drive, no motivation, no PASSION?! Why??? I'm extremely jealous of people with passion.

There is so much joy and good things to be found in life and, frankly, I feel like life is just passing me by. I feel I'm, ultimately, wasting my life... which is a very sad thing. And this stirs up a numerous amount of emotions... including becoming agitated and aggravated with myself. :o(

I don't want to keep just floating along. Ok, floating along is ok for a little while, but the problem is, I don't see how or when it's going to end. What's going to change and make things different? I wish I knew the answer to that question. But, it's probably, obvious that again I don't have an answer and that I'm feeling a little lost right now, if you haven't guessed. Dammit, I don't like feeling this way. :(

For a minute there
I lost myself, I lost myself.
Phew, for a minute there,
I lost myself, I lost myself.

For a minute there
I lost myself, I lost myself.
Phew, for a minute there,
I lost myself, I lost myself...

Radiohead "Karma Police"

Friday, September 01, 2006

My Vacation Post...

(me on deck)

A couple of weeks ago, I was enjoying a much needed vacation on board Royal Caribbean's "Enchantment of the Seas". I really had a wonderful time... I'm a little sad that it's over, but I
know writing about it will bring back a lot of good memories and may even help me relive it a little bit.

(K. at the Airport-getting excited)

We started off bright and early on August 14th. Our flight into Fort Lauderdale, FL, was very early, so we got up at 5:15 am-yikes!- and off to the airport we went. With all of the security issues around that time, we knew we had better get there early just in case. But, luckily, there were no problems. I was pulled aside briefly, so that someone could go through my bag, but that was short and sweet. Soon, we up and away on our way to sunny FL. :)

We got to Tampa airport, collected our stuff, and took a taxi to Fort Everglades...where our boat was docked. After a brief wait, we were finally allowed onto the boat- WOO HOO :). Our vacation had officially begun :).

The boat was beautiful... they had recently refurbished and remodeled it and it looked in tip-top shape. Plus, it was spotless. My sister's traveling companion, and friend, B., even remarked how there was so much attention on keeping the ship nice- there was always someone keeping the boat in immaculate condition. It was very impressive.

(me & K - by the pool in the Solarium)

Not to mention that the staff on board were exceptionally friendly. They really went out of their way to make you happy. It wasn't unusual to walk down a hallway and have a room attendant, dining room waiter, or someone who worked on the ship greet you. And if you ordered a drink one time, in most cases, that person who waited on you would remember that drink and offer to get you the same one, if you should want. That is quite remarkable, seeing how they see many, many faces throughout the day and for them to remember your face and what you like, really says a lot.

Our dining room staff- Ali, head waiter, and Emile, assist. waiter, were especially wonderful. They were so friendly and so nice. As you can see from this picture, they also enjoyed entertaining us..

("Prince" Ali (Aladdin reference ;) as we nicknamed him- he's cute!)

Anyway, back to the first day, when they first let us on the boat... we took some pictures and then headed up for lunch at the Marketplace Buffet. I really have nothing bad to say about the food. It all was EXCELLENT. :) Everything was fresh and delicious and I especially enjoyed the meals in the dining room at dinner.

(K & me in the Marketplace Buffet...yum, yum, yum! :) )

After we ate, we went to go see if our rooms were ready ( and they were). We set our luggage and bags down and then went to explore the ship a little bit. My younger sister, K., and me decided that we wanted to use the gym, before they had ship drills and the Bon Voyage party on the deck. Along the way, we explored some more, but we did eventually reach the gym and, basically, had it to ourselves at that moment.

The gym was beautiful too. Now, I've been on a few other cruises before and usually the gym is nothing to call home about, but basically, they served their purpose. This one, in contrast, was exceptional. It had a section for classes they held (my sister and her friend, B., took a pilates class) and another section that had weight machines, elliptical machines, and several treadmills. We both were glad to see a nicely equipped gym, b/c even though we were on vacation, we knew would be eating (a lot), and would probably work out each day in effort to burn off some calories.

(Me and K. ready for dinner)

After the gym, we headed to our room to shower and change and get ready for the drills. The drills weren't fun, but I guess they're necessary. And the party on the deck was nice, but the weather was a bit iffy so that was the only damper.

Soon it was dinner time in the "My Fair Lady" dining room... Dinner was good and we met our dining room staff, Ali and Emile, who I mentioned above. After a LONG day, it was nice to have a good dinner with everyone in the dining room. It also was nice to be able to order whatever we wanted from the menu- even multiple appetizers (which I did) or entrees if you should want more than one thing. Plus, there were delectable desserts- who could beat that?! :)

That about sums up the first day. We did go to the show after dinner which, unfortunately, wasn't the best, and even headed to the disco later that night. However, we did manage to turn in fairly early that night, which was good, seeing that the next day would be Key West and we wanted to feel rested and ready for the day.

(K & me- in Key West having FUN)

We only spent half a day at Key West, but I still enjoyed it. Basically, our boat was docked in an area directed to the tourist crowd with little shops and the such. My sister, K, and myself split up from my other sister, C., and her friend, B. to explore the shops and snap a few pictures. It was a lot of fun, but it was HOT! Just walking around leisurely, I was sweating... just a little bit. K. asked me, while we ducked in a store for a break from the sun (& the a/c ),why the back of my shirt was wet- and I had to laugh... Well, she's one of those who never seems to break a sweat.

We got back to the boat around 12:30 (the boat left that area at 1:30 to sail on to Cozumel, Mexico), had lunch, and then tried to plan what we were going to do the rest of the afternoon.

(Me on formal night)

We made the plan to go to the pool for a little while, head to the gym, and then get ready for formal night. That night there was a Captain's Cocktail, pictures, and dinner... and we had to fancy ourselves up just a bit. I think that was probably my favorite night... I don't get to dress up all that much, it was nice having the chance to do that.

Later on, we headed to the disco. I like to dance, ok- I admit it, but I usually prefer to people watch at those types of places. However, K., loves to dance and I wanted her to have fun, so we got on the dance floor pretty frequently with C. and B. And, yes, it was fun. Me and K ended up staying pretty late or early (I think til 2:30 am!).

(me and K getting our drink ON)

Wednesday, we docked in Cozumel pretty early. What was nice was that the boat docked right at shore. We didn't need tenders to take us to and fro the port. We decided to have breakfast, go do a little shopping since, again, the area we docked was in an area of lots of little shops, come back to the boat and have lunch, and then go take a taxi to a public beach.

Shopping was fun. It was hot, of course, but it was nice to be off the ship and get a taste of Cozumel. I do have to say the shop owners were a little insistent on everyone coming in and viewing their merchandise up for sale. My sisters and I were able to abstain from buying things we, ultimately, didn't need. But B. bought her share and then some- probably enough to make up for the rest of us. :) She found a little glass box, bought some alcohol, bought a sarong, among other things. She spent a lot, but seemed pretty pleased with her purchases.

(Me., B., & K at the beautiful beach in Cozumel-ugh, bathing suit shot :()

We returned to the boat to eat and after lunch, we headed to the beach as planned. The beach was absolutely beautiful. The water was SO clear and blue and it was just awesome. It probably was my favorite of the ports we docked at. We spent couple hours there, swam, read, and just relaxed in the Mexico sun. My sister, K., even got a massage right on the beach. Anyway, when we felt we had enough sun we headed back.

For the most part, we seemed to do the same thing each evening ... worked out at the gym in the evening before dinner, showered, changed and got ready for dinner, had dinner, saw the evening show, and danced the night away in the disco. But it seemed to work out well and I think we liked the routine we had.

Thursday we were docked in Belize City, Belize. Belize is not what I expected. The area we were in was a somewhat poor area, but it was still an interesting place. We took a taxi to one of the man-made beaches there. Our taxi driver, Sherman, was extremely friendly and even gave us a mini tour and talk about the city. The drive there and back cost us $20... per person! and it was only a few miles away... but that should tell you about the state of the city there.

(C, the beautiful beach babe in Belize)

After the brief ride, we got to the beach. Honestly, it wasn't really a typical beach, but it was decent. We headed to an area of the beach where they had little chairs and tiki tree/umbrellas set up. It was actually kind of cute- it was warm (ok, hot!), and the water was warm, so it ended up being pretty relaxing.

When we were approaching the area, we noticed that in the middle of the water sat a water trampoline. Me, C, and B. decided to swim out to it and see if we could use up some energy bouncing on this thing. Of course, nothing is as easy as you might think. We reached the trampoline and realized that it was not going to be so simple to get up on it. First, the sides were kind of high to climb over. Second, it also was slippery-hey, it was in the water, after all. And, to further complicate and increase the challenge, there was no ladder! But, we figured we were up for the challenge... or so we thought.

C. was the first to take the challenge. She tried and tried with all her might, and even with a boost from B., was unable to boost herself onto the contraption. I'm sure this probably was pretty amusing to the bystanders situated around this area. C. is extremely fair skinned- she should be called "Snow White"- and it must have been funny to see her trying so hard to pull herself up with her little white butt up in the air. Yes, there was a little laughter at the sight of this all... and, heck, we had to laugh ourselves. But after C., tried, unsuccessfully, to make this slippery climb, me and B. decided to bow out. Speaking for myself, I know I would have made even more of a spectacle of myself than C. , so I didn't really even really want to give it a real go.

Later on we decided that the beach owner/staff must have put that there for their own personal enjoyment/entertainment- just to observe and laugh at the swimmers who ventured to climb this thing. But, surprisingly, others did manage to get on top of it later on. However, turns out the trampoline was a bit under inflated and didn't exactly bounce- which probably only proves our original theory, lol :) .

Anyway, we stayed there for a couple hours and then headed back to the ship. At this time, it was nearly 3, so we grabbed a quick bite at the buffet and then went to the pool for a bit. Later on we hit the gym (of course), showered and had dinner, and then also hit the disco as well.

The last day was a day "at sea", but it was nice. We relaxed most of the day... but also tried to make the most of it all too. We did a lot of the same things that we had done the past days on the boat. We swam, ate, worked out, hit a bingo game, packed, and various other things... Basically, we tried to cram in everything we wanted to do before it was time to draw the trip to a close. And I think we did manage to do just about everything we had hoped to. It ended well.

(me, C., and B. up at the disco, ready to party!)

Saturday came so quickly and before we knew it we were dis-embarking the ship. Sadly, Our trip was over and we soon were flying back into NYC to return to each or our own realities.

(Me, C., & K enjoying our last dinner in the dining room)

It was a very enjoyable vacation and one I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in taking a great cruise. Royal Caribbean did an outstanding job and I know that I will definitely look to them the next time I plan to cruise. I think most everyone would really love this vacation.

So that sums everything up, for the most part. And though I am a bit sad that it's over, at the same time, it's ALWAYS nice to come home. :)