Interstellar Adventures

June 30, 2006

Trivia & Other Funny Stuff

Filed under: Memes & Quizzes,The Ex Files — by InterstellarLass @ 10:16 am

Trivia: I was tagged by Keb for this meme. So here goes. Now you have no excuses for not throwing me a fabulous party for my birthday this year.

1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. One holiday or observance (if any).

1786 – Peter Leopold Joseph of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, promulgates a penal reform making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty. November 30 is therefore commemorated by 300 cities around the world as Cities for Life Day.
1872 – The first-ever international football match takes place at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, between Scotland and England.
1954 – In Sylacauga, Alabama, United States, an 8.5 lb (3.4 kg) sulfide meteorite crashes through a roof and hits Mrs. Elizabeth Hodges in her living room after bouncing off her radio, giving her a bad bruise, in the only unequivocally known case of a human being hit by a space rock.

1667 – Jonathan Swift, Irish writer and satirist (d.1745)
1930 – G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate operative

1900 – Oscar Wilde, Irish writer (b. 1854)

Official End of the Hurricane Season

Other Funny Stuff: I think I’ve speculated before as to Blondie’s (the Ex’s fiancée) age. I had originally guessed 23-25. Evidently, I gave her and him too much credit. You ready for this? The darling is 21. And just turned 21 in May. How do I know this? Let’s just say I know people who know people who know how to find stuff out. The Ex is 33. He’ll be 34 in September. I had to laugh. I knew his emotional maturity level was low, but I didn’t realize how low. I think I’m actually starting to feel sorry for him and his inability to act like a grown-up.

Nick overheard this conversation this morning while taking the kids to day-camp.

Zed: Blondie quit her job at dad’s work because they wouldn’t let her go to school to take her test.
Elle: Nuh uh Zed. She was fired because she couldn’t remember people’s drink orders.

I nearly peed myself when he called me. Now I don’t know what’s true, but, Zed will believe anything he’s told (including that Blondie is 31 like she told him). Elle on the other hand is like a wiretap in a room. You think she’s not listening, but she picks up everything. And she remembers everything. I don’t need a day planner. I have Elle.

June 29, 2006

The Hills

Filed under: Running Life — by InterstellarLass @ 9:41 am

The hills they are steep. Yes indeedy. But they’re even more steep in Colorado. In fact, there, they’re not even hills. They are mountains. If you recall last August 11 other crazy runners and I traveled to run the Wild West Relay. Well, we’re headed back. Bigger and better this time too. Well, bigger anyway. Last year we were a 12-person team. This year we have a 12-person, a 9-person and a 6-person team. Fewer people on a team means more runing for that team. I’m not stupid. I’m still on the 12-person team.

So last night I ran hills. At Arbor Hills. I love that place. But it was HOT. Damn HOT. So, I was running even slower than my usual snail’s pace. But I hit it on the hills. Head down, and don’t look up till you end up on a flat.

This morning, I ran again. A 1-mile warm-up, then the Nordstrom’s parking garage at the Galleria. It’s supposed to simulate long hills. 6 stories up. And then back down. Ouch! Tomorrow morning I meet with my trainer, and then I plan to try to get in some more hills on Friday night. I think that was the hardest part last year. Or maybe it was the lack of oxygen. Hmmm…can’t breathe versus long hills? Hmmm…

June 27, 2006

Best Trip Ever!

Filed under: Interstellar Travel — by InterstellarLass @ 1:14 pm

We even got to the airport on time! When we went to El Paso a few weeks ago, we were kind of pushing it, so I was glad Nick was relaxed when we got there early. Especially because we needed all that extra time to walk from the BFE parking lot to the BFE gate alllll the way at the end of the terminal at Love Field airport. See, there’s this thing called the Wright Amendment that limits Southwest Airlines from flying outside Texas without first stopping in a bordering state. Well, a Missouri Senator recently got the state of Missouri exempted as well, and now American Airlines is operating like three gates or something out of Love to steal business from Southwest. So, if you’ll remember, Nick and I got free tickets from AA to fly anywhere they do out of Love Field. Hey, free is free!

We landed in KC with no issues and despite waiting forever for my golf clubs to come off the baggage carousel (our suitcase was the 4th bag off, the golf bag was the second to last bag off), we got our rental car (a Ford Escape this time – I liked it but we’ll need more room in real life for bags and cargo) and got to Nick’s buddy’s house fairly quickly. Within five minutes we had beers in our hands and were sitting on the deck overlooking a huge, lushly green lawn and a creek. We spent the whole evening drinking beer, eating steak and yappin’. Nick’s friend that we stayed with used to be his boss way back when, and the two of them told story after story. Let’s just say the place they worked sounds like it was a little crazy.

Saturday morning was spent on the deck again, this time drinking coffee and recovering from the massive amount of beer drunk the previous evening. Eventually, we rolled off the lawn chairs and went and played golf. Well, Nick’s old boss and I did. Nick drove one of the carts and was the Pin Boy. Old Boss was a good golfer. But, besides going to the driving range once about a month ago, I haven’t played in close to 4 or 5 years. My short game was quite rusty, but I really surprised myself off the tees. I had a few drives that were well over 200 yards, one approaching 250. Anyone need a lady for a co-ed scramble?

We played about 13 or 14 holes (it was an 11-hold course…strange I know…part of the course had been sold off for development…green fees plus cart was $28 for all the holes you could play). Nick and Old Boss finished off a 12-pack of Miller High Life. I worked my way through 5 Sam Adams, and as we played, we watched the clouds roll in and the sky darken. I wanted to play one more hole, but Nick insisted we get off the course. It was a good thing, because right as we got in the car and pulled out of the parking lot, the skies opened and it poured down for a good couple of hours. We stopped off at a local restaurant/pub for a pint and some sandwiches before going home and showering. I slept off a couple of beers napped for about an hour, and then we went out on the town.

One of Nick’s old favorite stomping grounds was the Cigar Box. If you are ever in Kansas City, you have to go to the Cigar Box. When we walked in, I thought I had gone blind, but no, there were just no lights on in the place. Well, there were lights, but they were dimmed all the way to the setting next to “Off”. There were only a few people in the place at the time. There were a couple of bar tables right at the entrance, followed by a long bar. Immediately to the right as you walked in was a large closet-sized humidor of cigars. A raised area of the floor to the right had a single table, a sound machine, and a couple of couches. The rest of the narrow space was full of small four-top round tables. Besides the three of us, I think there were four other people at the bar. When you sit down at the bar, you can’t help but notice the painting hanging behind the bar. According to Nick, a guy offered up $10,000 for the painting, but the owner wouldn’t sell. We asked permission to take this picture of it. We’re 99.9% certain that the place is owned by some people that are ‘connected’. I ordered a Cosmo, and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. I watched her make the second one, and I saw her add in Chambord and Grand Marnier, on top of an orange-flavored Vodka. Mmmm good. After a bit, the guy a bar-stool away from me gets up and heads over to the music machine up on the ‘stage’. Turns out, this guy that I thought was just another drunk is actually Al Latta, regular entertainer at the Cigar Box, and somewhat of a minor local celebrity. He sings Sinatra, Martin, Elvis, Diamond and more, and is an absolute HOOT! He was dressed in black pants, a glitter-painted black t-shirt, a black sport coat and had a silver chain around his neck. The rug on his head looked like it’d been run over by a few drunks out on the street, but his performance was awesome. He’s well liked and evidently packs ’em in 5 nights a week.

After leaving the Cigar Box, we tried a place called The Quaff. According to Nick, it’d changed a lot. It now resembled a college bar, full of young kids, including a bachelorette party for a girl that looked about 12. Her party included a chick in a black bustier with a fuzzy whip in hand that was spanking just about everyone she walked by, and a girl with a whistle that I can only assume was calling ‘party foul’ penalties…constantly. I was ready to shove the whistle down her throat, and was very nearly to that point when Nick and Old Boss decided it was time to leave.

Sunday morning Nick and I had an awful, disguting breakfast at the Waffle House. Nick wanted to go there, not me. But I went along. I was doing OK until I saw the pile of dead fruit flies laying across the window sill. I stopped eating at that point.

We watched England vs. Ecuador in the World Cup with Old Boss. I like soccer football, but Nick and Old Boss just went on and on and on making jokes and comments during the game. Why the hell did Old Boss have it on then if the two of them were just going to make fun? Of course Beckham scored a goal off a beautiful free-kick to bring the score to 1-0 somewhere in the 60th minute of play. Ecuador couldn’t get much off after that, and England won.

We left Old Boss behind, and headed over to meet Nick’s friend Cara and her boyfriend Ink at the Broadway Cafe. It’s a very cool coffee shop. Good atmosphere for artists and writers. When we pulled up, we lucked out and got a front-and-center street parking spot. Lined up outside the coffee shop under the front windows were a line of black-backed chairs. A couple of guys in punk-ish attire were smoking roll-your-owns out front, watching a white guy in a mowhawk and a black guy in a stocking cap play a game of chess. We ordered our coffees inside and waited briefly on Cara and Ink. Once they arrived, we chatted for a bit, then headed to Gates BBQ for lunch.

Kansas City BBQ at it’s finest. Their schtick is greeting yelling at their customers “Hi, May Help You”as soon as the patron walks in the door. OK, while standing in line. But definitely before you would expect to order. And if you’re not ready to order, be prepared to be assaulted with a progressively louder “Hi, May Help You’s” every 10 seconds until you do order. And just order your main item. “Pork on Bun” I yelled. But even though I’d ordered, I still got an earful of “Hi, May Help You’s” as the patrons in line behind me mulled over their order. Sides and drinks are ordered at the register as you receive your main item. Condiments, sauces, silverware, napkins and other items are located around the corner. Don’t ask, just order, keep your head down, pay and move through the line. BBQ Nazi, anyone? The BBQ was good. Different from Texas BBQ. According to Nick it’s the fact that they use Hickory instead of Mequite to roast their meats. The coolest part about the place was that their ceiling fans were on old-style pulley systems. Oh, and as we left, a bum asked me for change. Surprisingly, he was a very polite bum, but Nick had all the cash, and he’s not as nice as I am. As we got in the car, Nick told me they ask everyone for a quarter. Once they get 5 or 6 quarters, they go to 7-11 and purchase a very cheap bottle of gin that could double as rubbing alcohol.

After lunch, we went to tour Ink’s house. He has a very cool house, but the dude has a problem. He’s stuck in the 70’s. Everything in the house was retro. Some of it was kind of cool, but some of it was soooo 70’s. The saving grace of the house was the garden.

Then we went to the mall to find some souvenirs. Instead we found an Elvis shop and a pair of checkered Vans for Nick. He’d been asking for some for a while. I was on the “No” end of it. Checkered Vans? Yuck! Then again, they weren’t going to be on my feet. So, as part of his birthday gifts, I meant to get him some. Then forgot what size shoe he wore. I’m glad I waited, because he needed a bigger size. We had to order them. So we’re waiting on the shipping.

After the mall, we went to go meet another of Nick’s friends. Math Whiz and his wife and their darling baby girl. Math Whiz used to be neighbors with Nick. Their apartment balconies backed up to each other, and that’s how they got to be friends. Math Whiz is actually a math teacher at a private school and is super smart. He’s a really funny guy, if a bit talkative, and he and Nick have some funny schtick that they do together. We had a nice visit with them as well. We got pizza for dinner. On the way back, I wanted to get a picture of a cool car we’d seen in the neighborhood. Sadly, the guy was bringing out the trash, so I couldn’t stop and get a good picture. So I had to do a drive by. Yes, that’s a Buick with rims.

Monday we spent doing a bit of sight-seeing before our flight. We went drove around the Plaza area of Kansas City, but it’s just like a big outdoor mall with shops I can see anywhere. So, we went over to the Westport area and did some shopping at a thrift store. I found a cool pair of shades for $10 and Nick got a cool pair of Wingtips for $24. We walked up and down the block, looking at the bars and restaurants and shops. Then, we went back to the Cigar Box for lunch. Wimbeldon was on TV, but it was on rain delay, so they were showing the 2005 final. We left before it was over…I wonder who won?

We headed over to Crown Plaza and did a bit more shopping. We played in the fountain outside for a bit, had a latte and then departed for the airport. Major bonus once we checked in. We’d been upgraded to first class! Woo Hoo! So, the trip back was extra comfy and we enjoyed a complimentary beverage as well. Smooth landing, short wait at baggage claim, loooong walk back to the BFE garage, and we were on our way home.

It was great to meet Nick’s friends and put faces with all the names I’d heard about for the last year. Nick and I travel well together I think. Except he wants to drive all the time. He’s a granny good driver. But he’s too cute for me to be peeved for more than a few seconds, so I was happy. We had a great time on our vacation. I love you Nick baby, I hope you had fun too.

June 23, 2006

Happy Birthday to my Superman

Filed under: Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 9:13 am

Today is my sweet Nick’s birthday. He’ll kill me for this. He’s not used to being acknowledged on his birthday. My idea of a good birthday is a rare steak, a cigar, a beer, a good book, and peace and quiet. I don’t want bells and whistles and hoopla and people singing to me. Or so he says. Granted, he’s been single for the prior years of his life. But, as a friend of his said, he now has family that loves him and wants to celebrate him and he should allow us to do so. Still, he doesn’t like a lot of attention.

So, I’m gradually breaking him in. I allowed him to open his gifts at home last night. I figured opening them at the restaurant would be uncomfortable.

Remember when we shopped for Zed’s birthday? There was a particular item Nick wanted to bring home. Well, he got it.

Along with a few other Superman gift items. I think he was well pleased. Then, Nick, the kids and I went to Outback for dinner. So, he got his steak. Rare of course. But then he went and ruined it with A1. But that’s his thing. The kids and I sang Happy Birthday to him and he smiled. He and Zed hugged too. Zed initiated it. That made me smile.

And, this weekend, we’re going to Kansas City. We’ll see some of Nick’s old friends and have lots of fun.

Happy Birthday Baby. Cake is the best thing. Your love is like cake. Mwah.

June 21, 2006

Chicken Dancers

Filed under: Elle & Zed — by InterstellarLass @ 9:38 am

On Saturday night, we dined at the Bavarian Grill, Plano’s homage to German food. My grandfather chose the restaurant for his Father’s Day dinner. I’d been once before, and it was OK. The owners and many of the waitstaff are German and turn out what seem to be pretty authentic dishes. Menu items are named in German with English descriptions, and their list of biers is extensive. The waiters wear Lederhosen and the waitresses wear dirndl dresses.

The problem was, we had to wait. And wait. And wait. You’d figure at 5:45 on a Saturday, a restaurant wouldn’t be on an hour plus wait. But you’d figure wrong. It was over an hour before we got a table. And then it was about an hour before our food came. Then the desserts were lackluster. The ice cream and fresh berries came sans berries, and when the berries arrived, they had been defrosted in the oven, and they weren’t fresh. The blueberries were downright chewy. And the apple strudel was something to be desired. The pastry wasn’t cooked all the way, and the apples were nearly raw. To top it off, our waiter had been in country for eight months, and his English was barely fair. Of course, I speak no German, so we were at an impasse.

The highlight of the evening was when Elle and Zed got up and danced to the Chicken Dance. Bavarian Grill features an Oom-pah Band and my kids can really shake a tail-feather.

June 19, 2006

Workout Divas

Filed under: Rants & Opinions,Training — by InterstellarLass @ 9:04 am

This morning I was at the gym, working with my trainer. I was pumping away on the elliptical, and my trainer was having fun periodically increasing and decreasing the resistance and the crossramp and I was dying. Then, in front of me at the stationary bikes, two women got up and walked away. I noticed that one of them was wearing a lacy pink bra under her navy workout tank. WTH???

Yesterday after the group long run, I was stretching and looked up to see a woman with full makeup, half-melted off her face. This is the second woman I’ve seen in this group that wears full make-up at 6 am on a Sunday while they run multiple miles. WTH???

And then there’s the high-school/college girls that look so cute in their little ultra-short grey gym shorts, their little tiny-tees and tanks, their hair coiffed perfectly as if they were going on a date, and makeup. And they don’t look like they ever break a sweat. WTH???

I don’t get it. There are the Workout Divas, and then there’s me. They put effort into makeup and hair and are still pencil thin. I’m lucky to grab something to eat as I drag my behind out of bed and into my workout gear. My hair gets pulled back from my face and my eyes are half closed as I drive to the group runs. During the run, my hair goes all frizzy because of the humidity and I sweat like a proverbial pig. I remember last year on a really long run I feared I had lost control of my bladder and wet myself, but it turned out my workout shorts were completely saturated and I had rivulets of sweat running down my legs. How is it that these Workout Divas can get away with it and I look like I’ve been run over by a train??? It’s not fair.

June 15, 2006

I have great ovaries!

Filed under: Married Life,Mom Life — by InterstellarLass @ 3:16 pm

I started this post earlier, then deleted it, and now I’m writing it again. The sono tech at my OB/Gyn office this morning told me I have great ovaries. Now that’s not a compliment you hear every day! If you wanted to get pregnant, you wouldn’t have any problems! she chirped. I just laughed nervously as I lay there on the half-table, feet in stirrups, with a thin “blanket” over my lap for privacy. It would be a miracle. I replied. I had a tubal three years ago.

That’s when I thought I didn’t want any more children. One boy + one girl + job + tight finances = we’re done. See, I’m fertile like the Nile delta. I’ve often joked that if a guy even looked at me and thought about having relations, I’m sure I’d get knocked up. Both Zed and Elle were the result of a missed pill on the wrong day. I had both my kids before the age of 24. My mom had four before she was 30. With childcare prices what they are, it seemed to make sense to not have any more surprises. I never imagined I’d get divorced. And, when I did, I figured that I wouldn’t marry for some time. And if I did, he’d probably have kids too and we’d be just like the Brady Bunch.

See, when you try to predict life, it throws you some curve balls. I’ve now met and married a wonderful man that I love to the ends of the Earth. And I’m sad that I will never feel his baby growing inside me. I’m sad that we’ll never get to experience the joy of seeing our child come into this world. I’m sad that while we can share everything else in this world, there is that one thing that we will never share together. Elle loves him to pieces, and Zed thinks he’s cool. Despite his protesting and facade, Nick is a great step-dad. He comforts, corrects, plays, cares for and loves my children. But a baby of our own is out of the picture.

On one hand, I think that this is just an emotion that will eventually go away. Zed is 11, Elle will be 8 soon. Nick and I are talking and planning for the future. Where we’d like to go and what we’d like to do when the kids are grown up. Elle has, of course, insisted that she’s going to live with us forever. It doesn’t make sense for us to ‘start over’ again. My mom spent 30 years with kids in the house. She’s now all alone and doesn’t know what to do with herself. Kids were her life for the last 32 years. I don’t want that to be me.

On the other hand, I’ve been struggling with this for some time. On some days I think I’m done with it. On other days, the emotion is so overwhelming it brings me to tears. A girlfriend of mine is expecting, and when she told us, while I was happy for her, I felt a jealous twitch in my heart, and I cried. When I see babies, I want to pick them up and squish them and kiss them. I dream about them. But I don’t think it’s meant to be.

June 14, 2006


Filed under: Elle & Zed,The Ex Files — by InterstellarLass @ 9:08 am

My Mavericks lost last night. Just by 2 though. Dirk didn’t show up for the game until the 2nd half, and they let Wade score 42. Let’s hope Thursday’s game is better. I want a Championship!

On Monday I saw my personal trainer. She worked the hell out of me and I still hurt bad. I’m sore all over, but just enough where it feels like I’m sick rather than sore.

Elle attempted to emotionally blackmail me on Monday night. After her bath, I was in her room, playing Mancala. She’s pretty good, and she beat me 2 games out of 3. I’m starting to pick up the strategy though, so I’ll be tougher in the end. Anyhooo…when we’d played our three games, it was time for bed. I hugged her, kissed her, told her that I loved her. She then proceeded to cling to me, and wouldn’t let go. Elle, I warned her, it’s time to go to bed. We’ve played, we’ve said our good-nights, now let go. She wouldn’t. She grabbed tighter and wouldn’t stop. I warned her again. Wouldn’t let go. Last time, I lightly swatted her behind and pulled my arm away from her. She proceed to pout and then said it.

Blondie is better than you.

Blondie being her dad’s fiance. I knew she said it to hurt and to make me feel guilty. Well, it did hurt, just to hear it come out of her mouth. Cut me deep. But I know she didn’t mean it. I just stood and looked at her and said I’m sorry you would say something so ugly to me and left her room.

I went back in later to tell her that I knew she didn’t mean it. She of course turned on the tears and was so sorry. I emphasized to her that saying things to hurt people’s feelings on purpose was a very bad thing and that I didn’t want her to do it again.

Then, last night, Elle told me that Zed told his dad that I’d said it was their dad’s fault they’d been sunburned so bad. Their dad’s response? “Well, we’ll just stay inside and read next time.” No accounting for his own responsibility, and turning it back on the kids and “punishing” them for his incompetence and saying “Well, if I can’t take you swimming without sunscreen then I’m not going to take you swimming at all.” What a buffoon. Can I scream now?

June 12, 2006

He’s at it again

Filed under: Elle & Zed,The Ex Files — by InterstellarLass @ 9:51 am

Being a brilliant father I mean. Yeah. As if not supervising his children and letting his dog chase our daughter wasn’t bad enough, I came home to this last night. I had a meeting with my relay team, so Nick was home to collect the kids from their dad. When I got home, Elle had just got out of the shower and Zed was just getting in.

They were burned. Not quite to a crisp, but damn close enough. I was LIVID. I called him to confirm that he let the kids be out in the pool all day with no sunscreen and he responded with “This is what you called me about?” Uh. YEAH. “They’re not burned that bad. They’ll live.” THEY’LL LIVE??? Well if that’s all he’s concerned about then he’s got it all covered. Oh, they lost a leg? They’ll live. Oh, their eye got poked out? They’ll live. Jeezus! You’re their father! You’re supposed to protect them and care for them and you allow this to happen??? MORON.

I want to kick his ass sooooo damn bad. Especially when Elle was crying because it burned and itched while I applied vinegar to her burns, followed by aloe gel, and a couple of Junior Motrin washed down for good measure. And this morning Zed complained that he couldn’t lift his arms because his shoulders hurt. What an ass of a father they have. The kids now know that they can’t swim without sunscreen. If they have to remind their father of this fact, it’ll be sad. But, at least they won’t be put in this kind of pain.

June 9, 2006

Best Laid Plans…

Filed under: Running Life,Training — by InterstellarLass @ 9:13 am

…don’t always go as you planned. Last year when I trained for my first marathon, I had the ‘no excuses’ attitude. After burning myself out trying to do too much too soon (a marathon, a half marathon, a 30K, and another marathon in 6 weeks) I started to make excuses again. So, I took some time off and then made excuses about getting started again.

Now I got into the NYC Marathon. Who ever gets in on the first year they apply? I mean really. My plan was to apply and get rejected. After three straight years of rejection, you’re an automatic entry. I had never been hoping for a rejection as much as I was hoping for this one.

But noooo. My lottery number had to come up. And of course, while I never win the monetary lottery, I manage to win this one. But, because I’m so good at making excuses, I’m not in good enough shape to be training like I need to train for that one.

So, my plan is to defer till next year. I can cancel my entry for this year and have guaranteed entry for next year. A second reason for cancelling this year is the date. The ‘thon is scheduled for November 5. My mom has a milestone birthday November 3. I can’t miss it. And it’d be a bit selfish of me to ask my family to give her a trip to New York with me so that I can run the marathon. Hey. I thought about it. But that’s really, really selfish.

So, now I’m in a pre-marathon training class. This class will roll straight into the White Rock marathon training class. I’ll run White Rock in December, and then another marathon in the spring next year. Then, New York will be in my sights. That’s the plan anyway.

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