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June 2010
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Thursday Thirteen the Vegas Edition

As you may have heard, I'm heading to Las Vegas in a couple weeks to hang out with some of my super amazing internet friends. I haven't been to Vegas in about a decade and there are a few things I'd like to do that I either didn't get a chance to do then, or would like to do again:

  1. One thing I'm definitely seeing this time is the Shark Reef Exhibit at the Mandalay Bay resort, and I might take in the Secret Garden/Dolphin reserve at the Mirage as well.
  2. I'd love to do a couple of the rides, like the Roller Coaster at New York New York or the any of the totally scary-looking rides at the Stratosphere!
  3. I would still like to get a tattoo, although I'm starting to drag my feet a bit on that. I haven't yet chosen a tattoo design or body location, nor have I done any research on Vegas tattoo parlors to find the cleanest place with the best artists. 
  4. I saw the awesome view of Vegas from the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel years ago when I was there with my friend DeeDee, but I might check it out again now that I have a better camera!
  5. Dinner with my friends at the awesome-looking Bouchon Bistro is already set for Saturday, but I'd like to try some another really cool, but not-as-expensive restaurant (that's NOT a buffet; I'm sure I'll be doing plenty of those!). Suggestions welcome!
  6. OMG, I totally have to stop by for a drink at Minus 5 Ice Lounge! How cool is that?!? (Pun intended)
  7. I'm not really planning to see any shows while I'm in Vegas, but if I had a sudden itch to do so, I'd probably go see a Cirque du Soleil show, like The Beatles Love, or something like that.
  8. Another carved-in-stone activity is Friday night at the Krave nightclub. I wish I had something super cool to wear, but so far I'm coming up really short and will probably end up just looking like a 40-something dweeb.
  9. I will definitely spend some time poolside! The Excalibur, where I'm staying, has a few different pools including an adult-only pool so we don't have to deal with any screaming, splashing kids! Oh, jeez, I hope I have a swim suit that fits!
  10. My chiropractor suggested the art gallery at the Bellagio. I didn't realize they had such a nice selection of art, so I might have to put that on the list, too!
  11. A little shopping might be "in the cards", so to speak, too. I seem to recall a fancy-pants mall in Caesar's Palace I believe, that might be fun to browse.
  12. Would going on the gondola ride at the Venetian be too corney? I mentioned the thrill rides above, but apparently the gondolas are considered "rides" as well. Certainly not thrilling, but perhaps relaxing. Then again, I"m not sure I'd be comfortable with all the people standing around watching me slowly be swooshed through the water by a guy ina striped shirt.
  13. Gambling. Honestly, I'm not really into it (well, I COULD be REALLY into it if I gave myself half a chance, which I won't! My addictive personality + gambling = not a really good idea!), but I might have to give myself $20.00 to play some nickel slots or something. Or maybe I'll just take all those bags of change to Vegas with me and periodically plop a coin into a slot. I don't know.

Clean Eating: Whole Wheat Oricchiette w/ Steak & Vegetables


This recipe from the July/August issue of Clean Eating magazine is super fast and easy to make and is really delicious! It worked out perfectly, too, as I had two zucchinis from last week I never had the chance to use, and got a huge summer squash from a generous gardener at work. This dish is one I will definitely cook again!

California Mid-State Fair

Last night I went to the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles with my friend DeeDee and her two girls. I hadn't been to the Fair in at least 10 years, but it really didn't look too different. There were a couple new things, like this statue and waterfall:


... and this Frontier Town set up:


But pretty much everything else was the same. DeeDee gave the girls some money to go away and leave us alone go have some fun, and the two of us headed out to see the displays. We never did find the giant fruits or veggies, but there were some amazingly decorated cakes and other delectable goodies, beautiful quilts and clothing, amazing wood sculptures and hand-made furniture, pretty (and ginormous!) flowers and landscaping, and amazing art and photography (which we didn't get to see all of because they shut down the art/photography building just before 10:30 p.m. - so annoying!)





The stepping stones in this FFA display are actually water meter covers! How clever is THAT? And, also, there were a LOT of spirits interested in it. Check out all those orbs!



I intended to try some Fair fare this year - diet be damned! - but we all had a healthy dinner at Subway, so I was too full to get a corn dog, giant sausage, funnel cake, slice of pizza, deep fried Twinkie, dish of gelato or strip of chocolate covered bacon. I'm kinda bummed about that, but at the same time, my tummy is thanking me!




DeeDee and I did stop by the Cliffs Resort booth for margaritas. They came in these super fun glasses with flashing LED lights! (Trust me, the lights were flashing!)



All the people in the above photo are standing outside the Main Grandstand listening to the singing foetusJustin Bieber. I'm totally NOT kidding. And, no, just in case you're wondering, I did NOT go see him! Gah! Everyone and their DOG has been asking me that today! The only concert DeeDee and I were even interested in seeing was America, but we missed them. We didn't go on any rides, either, as they had all just been to Magic Mountain the day before, and were tired of rides, and we totally avoided the "carnival" part with all the games where you can win cheap, giant stuffed animals or goldfish in plastic baggies because all the games are stupid, way too expensive to play and we didn't feel like being yelled at by carnies. The overly-aggressive salesman in the commercial building who kept wanting to clean our rings when neither of us were wearing rings was bad enough. Unless "cleaning your rings" is a euphemism for something I'm not aware of.

Anyway, it was a gas to go to the Fair again after such a long time, and I'm so glad I was able to go with one of my BFFs! Who knows, maybe we'll meet up for the Fair again next year!

Teaser Tuesday: The Time Machine by H.G.Wells


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  1. Grab your current read

  2. Open to a random page

  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser this week comes from the classic The Time Machine by H.G.Wells. It's probably a book I should've read back in school but for whatever reason (being placed in remedial reading, for example) I didn't. My mom and I have been watching Bravo's Work of Artand LOVING it (except for the disgusting, repulsive, perverted, pornographic and nauseating "shock art" episode which nearly made me quit watching the show altogether), and on ce of their challenges was to create cover art for the reissue of a classic novel. The picture above show the winning design, and I was inspired to read the book because of it. Here then, are my teasers:

'As I stood there in the gathering dark I thought that in this simple explanation I had mastered the problem of the world - mastered the whole secret of these delicious people. Possibly the checks they had devised for the increase of population had succeeded too well, and their numbers had rather diminished than kept stationary. That would account for the abandoned ruins. Very simple was my explanation, and plausible enough - as most wrong theories are!'

Beach Weekend

My friend DeeDee is down visiting from Oregon with her two adorable, super-sweet foster daughters, and that's as good as an excuse as any to spend a couple days at the beach! Well, okay, we didn't really spend any time on the beach, per se, but we did settle outrselves down on the patios of a couple nice beach-front restaurants and enjoy each other's company.

Saturday we went to Pismo Beach, where the parking situation was pure, unadulterated HELL, but finally found a place (legal or not we never knew, but Pammie's car wasn't towed, so whatev) and hiked several blocks to the beach. The downtown area near the pier was PACKED with people and the line to get into Spash Cafe was around the corner and down the block. We showed the girls all the fun and funky places to shop, left them on their own, and headed to the Pierside Restaurant where we planted our bottoms at the patio "bar" and commenced drinking and visiting for about two hours.


The Valley Girl. I'm pretty sure it's just a fancy-pants Cosmo.


A margarita and a mojito. They had fancy names, but I don't remember them now.

We never made it onto the sand and we didn't even walk down the pier, but I did manage to get a little pink on the tip of my nose!

Sunday we headed to Avila Beach. Parking was once again horrific, and I ended up along the side of the highway the hiking into town. I had planned to take some pictures and relax on the beach for an hour or so before meeting up with DeeDee & Pammie Sue for dinner.


I had a chance to quickly browse the variety of art displayed along the sidewalk before meeting up with the girls back at the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort where DeeDee was staying. Yes, that means I had to hike back out to my car! DeeDee started having us (me, Pammie Sue & her hubby, and the girls) all hike up this hideous, steep hill, but Pammie Sue and I gave up halfway and went back down to sit and chat in the garden! Later, we had dinner at the famous Custom House Restaurant.



We opted for covered patio seating because it was starting to get cold, so we didn't have much of a view.


I started with a delicious Lemon Drop martini.


DeeDee had her first Cosmo EVER!


Then she later tried a Peach Paradise.


Delicious clam chowder. I personally think it's better than Splash Cafe's.


DeeDee's Coconut Jumbo Shrimp.


My New York strip steak. It was huge (and delicious!) and I ended up taking half of this dish home!


This demonstrates just how poor my vision really is. I couldn't even tell by looking at the back display screen of my camera how out of focus this glass of Opolo Mountian Zinfandel was. 

Thursday 13: 13 Possible Tattoo Designs

  • So, I'm planning to get a tattoo when I'm vacationing in Vegas next month, but I'm not sure what design I want or where I want it. Here's a few ideas I've been toying with:
    1. 215167_0382 If I were to do this it would be a Monarch butterfly, not a blue one, and maybe a tad smaller.
    2. Cherry_blossoms_tattoo_design I wouldn't have the script on it, just the cherry blossoms. Probably on an ankle.
    3. Tat7 My mother would KILL me, but I love the design!
    4. Wings_tattoo_by_xEvilDuckyx I love the angel wings on the back; not necessarily these, but they're a good shape and size.
    5. Evil_tink_by_Puku "Evil" Tink is kinda cute!
    6. Unzip_My_Soul_by_vipergts1011okaytousebyartist I bet this would be super pretty in colour!
    7. Heart-with-angel-wings-tattoo1 I was always going to get a lower back tattoo, but I don't know if I'd want somehting this elaborate.  
    8. Tat12 A temporary tattoo butterfly design I always thought was kinda cute and really different than most butterflies.
    9. Ink_2___Cherry_Blossoms_by_Goodbye_Tuesday A full back piece is probably not likely, but I love the design!
    10. Hand flower This is so pretty,but I doubt I'd have the guts to get anything quite so visible this time.
    11.  Theoneiwant I've heard foot tattoos are quite painful and it would be difficult to conceal for work, but it's still a possibility. I've been in love with this tat since seeing it in The Body Art Book by Jean-Chris Miller.
    12. White I love the idea of a white-ink-only tattoo like this one. My BFF & I are contemplating getting an angel or Jesus fish in white, but it's not for sure yet.
    13. Hearttattoo The back of the neck is a pretty good place to get inked - it's easy to conceal for work if I keep my hair long enough. Maybe even a white piece here would be nice!

  • SLO Lunch Tour: Mee Heng Low Noodle House

    Recently a couple of  my co-workers and I started going out to lunch every other Wednesday. Rather than just having the usual sandwich or salad, however, we decided,  just for fun, to try different kinds of foods. Today it occurred to me that I should have been blogging this from the beginning, but I guess now is as good a time as any to start. Therefore, I'm introducing a new category: SLO Lunch Tour. Pity I didn't think of it sooner, as we've already been to a dozen really awesome restaurants and tried several different types of food: gyros, sushi, curry, BBQ, Italian, Chinese ... you get the picture.  Hopefully I'll be able to convince the girls to revisit at least a couple of the previous restaurants!

    Anyway, today we dined at the Mee Heng Low Noodle House located at 815 Palm St in SLO. The place is tiny, but we found a comfy booth towards the back.



     One of my co-workers had the Chop Suey bowl with beef:


    And my other luncheon companion had the Soup Bowl with Sai Fun noodles and tofu:


    And I chose the Low Mein with Ginger Soy sauce and chicken:


    All of our lunches were delicious and reasonably priced, and the atmosphere and service were both great! Another bonus is that it's only a couple blocks from work, so it's an easy walk! We will probably return again some time.