Monday, January 18, 2010

you're still a young man baby; don't waste your time

It's been a rough two+ weeks without the laptop. It's meant going in to use the work computer to get things done. That wouldn't have been so bad, if I hadn't still had that cold. Happily though, after 18 days of feeling like crap, I'm down to just some stuffy sinuses and an occasional cough -- which is pretty much status quo for me. Friday the tech came and set up the new hard drive, and I've spent some time over the weekend reinstalling all the software.

I'm still behind work-wise; in fact, I still haven't finished updating my syllabi for the new semester. I'm last-minute trying to write a letter of reference for a student who is graduating in the spring. And need to do some more grading for the internship students who have incompletes for fall...they need to be finished with their work by next week so they can start the second semester.

This last week I had another visit with the doc. I've been trying to eat better, and my bloodwork did show a drop in glucose, cholesterol, etc from last August. NOt where it needs to be, but on the way. I've only done Taco Bell and Papa John's once each this month, which is awesome for me. But I still have so far to go. He gave me a lecture about the exercise, which I haven't been working on at all. So, now I have to get my butt in gear there too...like I have nothing else to do with my time, grumble grumble.

I took the train upstate on Saturday and had a lovely dinner with "Wistful" and her soon-to-be husband. We had a great time catching up on things.

Yesterday was a cold rainy day, but I was going stir crazy and went to the movies. I did a triple tear-jerker: Invictus, Lovely Bones, and Blind Side. I popped into the Dallas BBQ next door afterward to get something to take home, and as I was sitting and waiting, a Journey song -- Don't Stop Believing -- came on their music system.

The two young customers and the employee sitting on the bench next to me recognized the song from commercials and were commenting about liking it. I said that I had seen the group in concert in 1980 -- which pretty much blew them all away. Hell, it was probably before the two younger ones were even born. And as I was thinking about it, it hit me -- that was 30 freaking years ago.

I'm having a much harder time over this impending 50th birthday than I thought I would. And when things come up in discussions like that, it hits hard. There's a whole angst thing going on that's driving me crazy. Ah, well...this too shall pass, I suppose.

Friday, January 01, 2010

helicopters and airboats and ziplines, oh my!

I came home from my vacation with a head cold, a crashed laptop (working in safe mode), and massive paperwork that I am woefully behind in completing. But the time there was freaking awesome, despite the unusual cold weather. I decided to combine a big 5-0 'thing' with my vacation, and do some things that I've wanted to do, considered, or were very afraid to do.

We stayed in a great resort hotel, thanks to priceline.com. Try them, I'm serious -- 50 bucks/night for this.



First, the rugrat treated me to Medieval Times for christmas dinner; it's a dinner theatre, and we had terrific food and some nicely performed knight competitions.

The next day, we took a helicopter tour of International Drive. I have some great aerial shots of the parks, and our hotel. This, for example, is Aquatica Park near Sea World and our hotel.



The next day, we went an hour south of Orlando to the Boggy Creek area, which apparently feeds into the everglades further south. We had a one-hour private tour of the area on a small airboat. While we didn't see any alligators (too cold) we saw bald eagles, blue herons, and several endangered waterfowl. It was terrific.

The next day we went a little further south of Orlando (1.5 miles) to a eco-safari location. It boasts something along the lines of 30,000 acres of well preserved land. We spent the morning on a one-hour private horseback tour, and the afternoon ziplining -- yes, ziplining! -- through the trees. The course included 7 ziplines (highest 55 ft., the longest 700 ft) and two aerial zip bridges. I was terrified with the first two, but learned to love it, and even learned to 'steer.' I'm looking for a ziplining place closer to home for the future. What a rush!




Of course, we had to do one of the parks, and with my motion sickness problems, the sedate Universal Studios it was. We stood in line, did a ride; stood in line, did a ride; stood in line, did a ride. Ate lunch. Stood in line, did a ride; stood in line, did a ride. Had a snack. Stood in line, did a ride. Shopped. Had dinner. Went back to the hotel exhausted.

And what trip would be complete without some shopping? We aren't into expensive designer outlets; our favorite store is Ross Dress for Less, but there aren't any in the NYC area. So of course we had to hit Ross. Then we also made a quick trip to Supercuts for trims, ate, etc.

Aside from the laptop crash that has me behind schedule, and the head cold, I'm a very happy camper right now.

More photos are coming as soon as the laptop issue is resolved.