Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Catching Up With the Times

So evidently I'm the last person to catch on to just about everything.
Okay, that's not true.
But I **JUST** started using Google Reader.
(If for some reason you are not using it, try it. It will revolutionize your life.)
I friggin LOVE not having to click through a long list of bookmarked pages to see who updated, and if someone did, having to look to see if I've read all the updates since last time I visited their page. This just POSTS them. It's amazing.
AND I can read my favorite blogs from ANY computer. LOVE that.
I started adding all the blogs I like and have actually found that I'm reading MORE blogs now because before I would not want to add to my ever-increasing list of pages to check daily. Now - it's all in one place and I can scroll through like there's no tomorrow.
AND you can share posts that might be of interest to other bloggers. It's rather entertaining to see what my friends share with their friends (and laugh at some of the blogs they read).
The only problem is that it's not *quite* advanced enough to let me read blogs that are password protected/private. Which my blog was.
SO...I did what I've been meaning to do for the last 2 months and switched to Wordpress (www.beckynoel.wordpress.com) because it will let me set posts to private, tag photos and change my privacy settings if I so chose.
So I won't update here anymore. Change your bookmarks/Google Reader. :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Picture Project (catch up)

I totally forgot that I was doing that Picture Project.
And I'm 3 weeks behind.
Whoops.
So here's what I should have been posting:
G = March 30 to April 12

G is for Great View
So I went on a date with a guy during this time (the guy that I mentioned went to the church that I started going to, but I coincidently haven't seen him since. Which I'm fine with.) and while I don't want to post a picture of HIM, I can post a picture of the GREAT VIEW we had from Kerry Park. (I'd never been there before, so I suggested throwing around a football up there. I'm so good at this game)

G is for Glasses (that I will never wear again!)

Okay this next one is a little "G is for Gross" (har har) - after Lasik, it's common to have burst blood vessels in your eye from the pressure/suction. But that doesn't make it "not-gross". And on top of gross eyes, a very flattering picture of myself. ;)

G is for Gorgeous Day - I snapped this with my camera phone from Courtney's In-Laws deck. The problem: I was taking the picture of the water and not ON the water.

G is for Gambling/Good Luck

Courtney and I had been going to play Bingo every Friday for a few weeks and had never won. Each week is only $20 (and it lasts about 3 hours) so it wasn't THAT bad, but then one night, Courtney won $200!!! (don't tell her I posted this pic. She doesn't read this and she would kill me) H = April 13 to April 26

H is for Happy Birthday

(cause sometimes people actually SEE when I send Happy Birthday greetings at ball parks.... oooh low blow...ha ha)

H is for Hoffmans!!

My family and I at Knotts Berry Farm on my brother's 29th Bday

(sister, mom, sister-in-law, me, dad, brother) I = April 27 to May 10

I is for Ice Cold Beer: I is for Iguanas

(from the St. Louis Zoo - they were fighting. It was hysterical. Bob that head!)

Now I'm onto J's, but those are "due" yet. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

r @ n D - m

So after that WONDERFULLY entertaining post yesterday, I had to think of something totally FASCINATING to post today?

Right?

Right?

**crickets**

Okay. Well. Anyway.

So here are some things I thought you may/may not know about me before today. You know, cause you’re curious and I’m here to answer all your questions. Okay not all. Anyway…

· I have only had a kiwi maybe 2-3 times in my life. I like them ( well, what I remember of them) but for some reason we never really had them growing up.

· I wear a size 11 shoe. (shut up)

· I had a 4.0 working towards my AA. That was ruined by Accounting.

· I only wear “MAC-up” (MAC make-up)

· I recently (as in, yesterday) set a goal for “50 by 50”. I want to visit all 50 states by the time I’m 50. I’ve been IN over 20 states in the past but couldn't decide what would constitute having "been to" a state. Like Illinois - I've driven through it, but never got out of the car. What counts? So my new criteria is that I have to get a souvenier deck of cards in the state. This will require me to re-visit some that I've already been to.
Right now I have one (Missouri) and need to get my Washington deck. ;)

· I don’t watch “The Office” and I shock people with that on a regular basis. I’m starting season one this weekend.

· My favorite store to shop in (for now) is NY & Co.

· I really really really want to go to London. I don’t feel I can completely explain how much I want to go. Especially in the London Eye.

· My favorite ride at amusement parks (other than coasters) is the ferris wheel.

· I purposely listened to a Dave Matthews Band cd for the first time the other day. More than once. (I was studying and wanted background noise that wouldn’t distract me and it seemed to work).

· When I go shopping, I tend to shop for the same color the whole time. Not sure why, but I come home with all red, or all green, or all purple, etc. It’s weird. I know.

· If I could lower the calories in any food (so I could eat it as much or as often as I wanted) I would pick fettucini alfredo.

· Today I set a goal for myself to jog/run a 10k at some point. It will count if I do it on the treadmill in the gym, but my real goal is to get to a point where I go for runs outside. I hate running. Passionately. Like I don’t know that I want to even try to jog a mile yet.

· This is my 6th blog. Since 2001.
· The new Jason Mraz cd came out today. I own it and have listened to the first 2 songs. So far, so good.
Okay, that's all.
And now back to your regularly scheduled life.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Trip to St. Louis (in review) and a new contest!

**Warning: Post contains about a million pictures. Or something.**
On May 2nd I headed out to St. Louis to visit my friend Brandon aka "Dizz" for a few days. I'd been itching to go somewhere to get away and have a good time and after being "delayed" then "re-invited" by Brandon (ha - you knew I'd mention that) the days worked and I booked my flight.
Ultimate goals of the trip: Get away. Prove to myself that I could do something spontaneous/independantly. Have fun going out with people on Cinco de Mayo (cause no one here that I know would have gone out. At all.). Have a great time hanging out with Dizz.
Mission: Accomplished.
Sidenote: If you're a friend of mine on Myspace/Facebook, you've seen most of these, but not without the captions, etc that I will say to the whopping 4 readers I have here but would not say to the world wide web. Also, a lot of these are camera phone pics because Brandon and I are addicts. :End Sidenote
So I arrived at 8:30 am in STL so first on the agenda was breakfast:
(not sure why I look so surprised)
Then it was off to find me some Cardinal apparel before going to the Cards/Cubs game with Brandon, his brother, and his sister-in-law.

Aww...friends! (I stole his shades....) :
The Cards weren't doing so hot, and contrary to Brandon's lame opinion, it was not my fault.

But he was not happy: So then we had to do a "we're not happy" pic. Ha:

The Cardinals get cool Bud Light cans with their logo on it. They had that in California too, when we went to the Mariners game there. How come Seattle is lame and doesn't have these?
We had ridiculously good seats, compliments of Brandon's dad's connections. (no zoom)
Am I the only one that finds this hysterical? Probably.
More Cardinal booze. Ha.
From our seats (with zoom, obs)
Coffee vendor with his coffee-pot backpack. Top 10 jobs I wouldn't want to have....ha ha
Their mascot was giving out cotton!!!!!!!!!!! Best. Stadium. Ever. ;)
LOU PINELLA!!! Of course the one game of the series I go to is the one game the Cubs were winning so Lou only went out to relieve the starting pitcher, but still...aww...Lou we miss you.
After the game we headed down to the Loop to have dinner with Dizz's bro and sis-in-law. They are so much fun!! Brandon showed me the lovely sites of St. Louis such as sketchy alleys (he says he was trying to avoid traffic...riiiiight... I just joke).

Later...hmmm...oh yeah. We saw "Baby Mama" (it was okay. They are funny, but still just okay)

Then we headed off to one of the casinos.
Where I won.

Okay, I broke even.

But it was good times. :)

Next morning - Six Flags STL!!!
Had to make a pit stop at Sonic first:

And I thought the 14 mph in Downtown Disney was ridonkulous (it is) but this takes the prize:

I didn't take my camera into Six Flags which was probably a good idea (to be explained later)

Dizz had mentioned that he'd never done photobooth pics before, so guess what I made him do (bwah ha ha)
(the curtain opened. Whoops)


Waiting in Line: We went on All KINDS of rides - fast, upside down, the Tony Hawk roller coaster (which we agreed was our favorite) and then we went on one called "The Boss" which is an old wooden one that just goes up and down steep slopes. No big thing right?

The Boss Ate Brandon's Blackberry.

His 3 day old blackberry. (new from an insurance claim on the old one).

It was very very sad. (now you see why I'm glad I didn't bring my camera?)

But it DID mean that he had a justifiable reason to buy the new Blackberry Pearl: It has Wi-fi. And Video. And a 2.0 mp camera (instead of the 1.0 on mine). And it's prettier.

I have "new-pearl-envy". ;)

We made a pit stop at Dizz's casa so he could sync the new phone (note to data phone users, don't just sync your phone with your computer, do the backup feature. It will save you MUCH time with settings, etc) then headed out to grab some dinner.

We ended up at a bar where I ordered a Diet Coke and was brought this:
A mini pitcher with a straw?!?! I love it. Fo Shiz.

Then we headed to our main event for the evening - seeing "IronMan" at the Moolah Theater.

The Moolah sounds pretty similar to Big Picture in Redmond, except you get to sit on leather couches!!! ROCK!!The next day it was time for the Cinco de Mayo festitivies!!

Oh, we kept passing this and I had to take a picture. (Hard to read, but it says "Bek hee Chinese Restaurant"): We were meeting some of Brandon's friends for lunch at Las Palmas and had some drinks:
And we got free Cinco beads! Yay!

We hung out and did nothing, really, (hey it was our vacation!!) until we met up with his friends again later for round 2.

Off to Chevy's (better than Azteca, but similar) Brandon's opinion of margaritas:
Chevy's was fun (crowded for the first few hours) and it was fun to meet more of Dizz's friends. After that, we headed to their local bar for some continued shenanigans.

The guys were VERY upset to find their bowling game replaced with Big Buck Hunter. But (of course) that didn't stop them from playing:

Beth (the only other girl to show up to the bar) and I played the touch screens. That was fun: And, yes, more drinking...
And the boys wrestling...
And that was the end of that day.

Tuesday it was time to crack down and go see the sites.

(caught this picture of Dizz and I before we left. Told you we were addicted)

Quick pit stop for Slurpees:Then off to a local favorite:

It's a total mom-and-pop type place that is ridiculously fun (and good!!)

They're known for their delicious malts:

Check out this tight building that changes colors. (weird!) video

Next on the agenda:

(since their walls invite us we HAVE to go to the Budweiser tour!)

HALF of the display of all the Anhauser-Busch beverages:

Oooh a Clydesdale!
Our lovely bus:
Sampling the merchandise:
And it was good. :)
(I swear we did way more than drink. These pictures are funny)

Next it was off to go up the Arch!!

You ride up in TINY little tram-things that squeeze 5 people into a sauna. No joke.

(shh...don't tell...you're not supposed to take pics on the tram, but we did and it's our favorite!)

Busch Stadium from the top of the Arch:

After that, we started driving back and got invited to meet MORE friends for dinner before we met up with people for a night of bowling (Brandon's ridiculously good and I was bound and determine to see "The Professional" bowl in person).

So where'd we go for dinner? :)

Then off to bowling!!

The must-take pic everytime I go bowling (shoes):

see he even owns his own shoes!! DANG. Not pictured the 3 bowling balls he brought (out of the 5 he owns!!!!!)

I didn't do too bad the first time. (Brandon's score was surprisingly low, but look at the last 4 frames - dang, skippy!)

When Dizz would get a strike he'd do this funny "yes" motion. I tried SO hard to get a picture of it, but this was all I got (sad, but I know what it is!): He saw me taking pictures of him so started taking pictures of me. :p

I did pretty decent for the 2nd game!
After bowling we went to Ted Drewes with his friends for frozen custard. This was another thing to do on the St. Louis "Top 100 Things to do" (which I also can check off Cards/Cubs game, the Arch, Six Flags and Wednesday's activity)
Tuesday night was sad for me, and I felt bad for being in a funk, but I was having so much fun and didn't want to leave. :(
Wednesday wasn't much easier, but Brandon did REALLY well making me enjoy my last few hours before my flight.
Off for the day!
Another stop at Sonic. (You can't really tell, but Brandon's window was stuck. I was laughing hysterically.)
Then to the St. Louis Zoo!!! The zoo is FREE (?!?!?) but is ridiculously cool!!
I took about a million pictures of the animals (shocker), but won't bore you with those.
I did however, get Brandon and his homeboy:
I identified with the giraffes:
Brandon identified with the jackasses. (ha)

About this time it started raining. And not like Seattle rain, where it drizzles for a few minutes and then you're fine.

It poured.

Luckily we made it pretty quickly to the Penguin House (we'd been looking forward to that!)

It was so much fun!! (wish this didn't come out so blurry)

We determined the penguins were our favorite for the day. :) We decided to try to wait out the rain for a bit and when it wasn't passing, we bit the bullet and bought umbrellas.

We didn't want zebra or tiger, so when we saw a black and white "penguin" one we were like "okay, that one will be more normal, right?" so we each bought one.

Not so much: But I'm the girl that wears candy necklaces and stuff at 25, so I was fine with it.

Brandon got mocked by 6 year olds. ;)

Totally wish I would have gotten a pic of him with his snazzy umbrella.

And of course when we saw another photobooth, we HAD to: Brandon's a Coke Zero guy and I'm a Diet Coke groupie, so this was perfect:


Aww...we're fun.

I seriously loved it there. Such a fun trip and so lucky to have gotten to go hang out with Brandon on his vacation.

Not gonna lie, miss it / him a lot. He's a great friend and his posse is full of good people.

Lucky for me, though, he's coming here in August for a concert. :)

AND NOW FOR THE NEW CONTEST....
We're both trying to get back into a healthy weight, so we decided to have a little competition of our own.

It started today with us weighing ourselves and when he comes here in August (15 weeks) we will see who has lost the highest % of their beginning body weight.

I think we decided that the prize for the winner is the loser buying them a fancy dinner out, but that may change (for some reason that doesn't seem like the right prize...) Suggestions?

So it's back to healthy living for me. Yay.

Oh and just because I spared Brandon the embarassing pics of him, here's this....ha...

video