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Name: bdogg_mcgee

From: Big D, Texas, United States

About me: The observations and musings of a transplanted Houstonian, married to the love of my life and living on the plains of North Texas.

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1.27.2009,1/27/2009 08:06:00 PM
More New York Stories
So, the last time I recounted our New York trip, we had just gotten to the apartment after a hellacious time trying to get the car service to pick us up from the airport.

The apartment was okay - definitely not what we'd been led to believe from the photos. In fact, what we got was completely different than what was advertised. But, it was four walls, and we were in NEW YORK, so I rolled with it. And really, it was just the right size for us, and it was cheaper than a hotel room.

The next day, after getting a relatively late start (due to there being no light coming in through our bedroom window, we woke up at 11am that first day,) we hopped a bus uptown to the Museum of Natural History, where I stepped off the curb to cross the street and went into a slushy puddle right up to my ankle.

After cussing a little (well, okay, a lot, look who's writing this,) we walked into the museum. Luckily, my puddle jump wasn't as bad as it could have been since I was wearing waterproof boots, so my feet didn't freeze or anything. But, I think that kind of colored my view of the museum for me, because it just wasn't as cool as I remembered it. Although, the origami tree was pretty....

So, what does a girl do to cheer up after a day of so-so museum viewing?

She goes shopping!

The first place we hit was Nintendo World, because I had been looking for a particular DS game before our trip and it was nowhere to be found in Dallas, and DH bought a game too. Then, as we were wandering around Rockefeller Center, we happened upon this really cool Japanese bakery, and we bought a ton of little pastries and such.


Among the Christmas tree lights and hustle and bustle of the shops, I promptly forgot about stepping in that nasty puddle.
Of course, later that evening, just as we turned onto our block, I slipped on a patch of ice and ended up with two huge bruises on my knees, but that's okay. :)

In addition to the Nintendo store, we shopped at the Sephora in SoHo, the Macy's on 34th street where DH and I both bought pairs of shoes, and, of course, no trip to New York would be complete without a stop at Tiffany's.

Next up: the food!!!
posted by bdogg_mcgee
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1.16.2009,1/16/2009 08:16:00 AM
I Don't Think I've Ever Done this Before...
I've been reading a lot of books lately. I got some Barnes & Noble gift cards for Christmas and went nuts one Friday night, spending considerably more than the amount of the gift cards. Anyway, one of the books I picked up was The Hunger Games, a young-adult sci-fi novel about a world where, each year, two teenagers from each of the country's districts - a boy and a girl - are dropped into a vast arena where they have to go around killing each other until there's one left. Sounds kind of creepy, I know, but the story was so compelling, and the action in the book was so gripping, that every time I put the book down I was a little stunned to realize I was lying in my bed and not in the arena with the main characters.

I don't remember when I started it, exactly - probably this past Sunday or Monday - but I finished it at about 11 PM last night, and did something I don't think I've ever done before, or in my adult life, anyway. After I closed the book, I lay there for about 2 minutes, turned the book back to the front cover, and started reading again. Yes, it was that good.

If I'm not mistaken, the next book in the series should be out sometime this year, so I'll be impatiently waiting for that to come out.

In addition to reading lots of books lately, DH and I have seen quite a few movies, at least for us. We hardly ever go to the movie theater. On his birthday last month we went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I LOVED - say what you will about Brad Pitt and how awful that he cheated on Jennifer Aniston, blah blah blah - it's been like 4 years, people! - that man just keeps getting better looking the older he gets. And Cate Blanchett was simply luminous in that film. She is probably one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood right now.

We also saw Yes Man, with Jim Carrey, on New Year's Eve, and laughed our heads off. I haven't really liked Jim Carrey movie in a while, but this one wasn't over the top with his silly mannerisms that he made famous, and the plot was really good, too.

But, oh my gosh, I think the best movie I've seen in years was Gran Torino. DH and I saw that last Saturday, and that movie reached out, gripped my heart, and squeezed. Clint Eastwood played his character so well, and actually, all of the actors were very well cast for that movie. This movie stayed with me for a few days, which doesn't happen very often.

If you haven't seen any of these movies yet or read The Hunger Games, I highly recommend every single one of them. Not a bad way at all to spend a cold winter's day or night!

And I promise, more NYC stories are coming.....
posted by bdogg_mcgee
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1.07.2009,1/07/2009 08:21:00 AM
NYC Recap, Part I, or Why Carmel Car Service Sucks Monkey Balls
I love NYC. DH and I had the best time while we were there, and didn't want to leave.
However, it didn't start that way.

First of all, I didn't start packing until 8 PM the night before we left, which is highly unusual for me. Normally, I start packing the week before I leave, but with work being so crazy these days, I got a late start.

We had no problem getting to the airport Saturday - left in plenty of time to get through security(it wasn't as hectic as I thought it would be) and sat at our gate with a little over an hour to spare. I popped a Xanax and an anti-nausea pill so I would be fine and dandy when it was time to get on the plane.

Then our flight was delayed two hours.

We finally got on the plane around 4 PM, and I could barely keep my eyes open. As it was, I slept on DH's shoulder in the terminal for about 30 minutes before we boarded. And then after we took off, I slept for ANOTHER 30 minutes, until it was time for the flight attendants to serve the drinks. I have to say, Xanax and anti-nausea meds are awesome when taken in conjunction with one another. There was turbulence on the flight, which usually makes me a nervous wreck, but I was happy as a clam.

So we landed in Newark at around 9 PM that night, and it was snowing - so pretty! and I called Carmel Car Service, who I'd booked for our drive into NYC as well as back to the airport a week later.

I called, talked to a guy named Samuel, told him my voucher code, information, etc, and he told me to hold for dispatch. So I did. For TEN MINUTES. Then the phone was disconnected.

I called back, talked to Samuel again, gave him my info AGAIN, and he said, "Hold for dispatch." Waited on hold for another ten minutes, talked to a lady in dispatch, gave her my information and what I was wearing so the driver could identify us, and was put on hold. For another ten minutes.

Can you tell I wasn't happy?

Then, another guy picks up the phone in dispatch, I had to give my information and description to them AGAIN, and by this time I was pissed and kindly let the guy know that I'd been hung up on, passed around several times, and had to relay my information to umpteen people. Of course, he didn't give a crap, but I got him to give me a concrete window of time on when our car would be there. (5-7 minutes, it was actually over 10 - what is it with this company and ten-minute increments?)
So here we are, outside Newark airport, it's snowing, I'm getting irritated more and more, and the car pulls up. FINALLY. An hour after we initially called for it.

We get in the car, the guy asks us how we're paying and we say, "We have a voucher." Well, that throws another wrench into the mix, and he has to call dispatch, I have to talk to them AGAIN, give them my information AGAIN, and the driver takes the voucher.
At last, we pull up to the apartment we rented for the week (another post entirely,) at 10:45 PM, tired, hungry, cold, but finally in NYC. A dubious beginning, to say the least, but we didn't let that color our experiences at all. :)
More to come!
posted by bdogg_mcgee
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