Showing posts from January, 2015

More Like Pro "Bust"

My friend Crash got offered pre-sale tickets to the Pro Bowl which was held here in Glendale this year. Since we can't afford to go to the Super Bowl and it's not like we would ever travel to the Pro Bowl somewhere else, we decided to get tickets and take our sons to the game. Her son, Matt, was celebrating his birthday on game day and I gave Steven his ticket for a Christmas present.

We met up early at McFadden's in Westgate. Spoiler alert - this was the best part of the day. Our friend, Gloria, flew out from Atlanta to go to the game with Pabla and Jello Shot Prince was there with his two Cardinal game tailgate buddies. Chris was supposed to join us as well but being late to the party (as is his wont) got him denied entrance to the bar because of alleged fire marshall concerns.

Gloria and Pabla headed out to meet up with some other folks then Crash, Matt and Steven started over to the stadium. I stayed behind with JSP and his buddies for another pregame beer(s). I still …

New Frame Of Memories

I love photos. I love collage frames. I am almost out of wall space in my house for collage frames. :(
The frames that I do have up often stop me in my tracks as I pause to relive the experiences pictured. So fun to see 30 years of my life represented in my home!
My parents bought me this frame a few years ago (yes, years) and I had planned to hang it over the entertainment center but Steven surprised me with a Cubs picture that he hung where this was intended to go.
So, the frame sat unused but, as I was looking through pictures for my 2014 year in review, I was inspired to make some space and fill the frame with pictures that represent great memories.
Clockwise from the top left:
My Bestie Jim and me in BelizeScott, Phred and Russ at Last Man Standing in Las VegasJason Brown! and me (he likes it when I exclaim his name)Dawnie and her daughter Shelby from Dawnie's birthday weekend in Des MoinesThom and Paula from the same weekendMy favorite MOTM volunteers and all around great pe…

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - December 2014

Social Butterflies love parties! And, love going to lunch or dinner or breakfast or just connecting with anyone at any point. You know what December is filled with? Parties and social connection opportunities!

And, presents. December has lots of presents.

This Social Butterfly likes presents almost as much as parties.

I had a super fun filled social month in December. It started with a Festivus party at my friends the Shaws' home. Michelle puts up a crazy huge holiday village in their garage. So impressive. And, so much work but clearly a labor of love.

There were lots of wee ones at the party. Normally, their shrill little voices make me avoid children but they were cool at this gig. They had a playroom to hang out in and nicely interacted with each other. Michelle and James have two daughters, the practically perfect Kate and the, well, Southern folk might say, "Bless her heart" Claire. She's something but I think she's awesome fun.

St. Lucy's Day has becom…

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - November 2014

Looking back at November, I am reminded about how many times I got sick this past year with some sort of viral/flu infection. Dang, maybe it's true as you get older, your body has more trouble fighting off germs. I need to talk to someone about a flu shot alternative to the one with eggs in it. I'm allergic to eggs for those that don't know.

Because, oh yeah, I got sick again in November and had to miss our corporate Holiday party and an Arizona Cardinals game with my friends. Sucks.

The highlight of November, 2014, was the start of the holiday season in my mind. My friend Lori hosts a party for her birthday every year and she makes it a collection for Home Base Youth Services. We all clean out our closets then we drink a lot of wine at Lori's. Or, maybe I'm just the one who drinks a lot of wine.

It's a lovely evening. There are lots of current and former co-workers there and Lori's non-work friends have been very welcoming. I've spent several evenings …

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - October 2014

October is consistently two things - Jimmy Buffett in Vegas and the beginning of Meeting Of The Minds in Key West, Florida. Anything else is gravy.

I was privileged this year to be allowed to ride up to Vegas on Thursday with the Jello Shot Prince and Scooter. The caveat was that I had to follow their traveling rules and traditions and laugh at all of their jokes. Parts of that was easier than the other. ;)

I already knew the tradition from above because I've been the recipient of that picture for years via text message. It's not so fun to get when you're still stuck in the office. It was much better being on this end of the shot.

We had dinner at Margaritaville on Thursday then JSP and I worked on our attempt to maximize our weekend Blackjack playing time. The guys went golfing on Friday morning and I ended up back at the Blackjack table but joined by Tracy and Scott as they had arrived from California. So fun!

Friday night was the Last Man Standing Party hosted by the Ph…

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - September 2014

September summary - work, work, work, flu, work, work, PLAY! Guess which part I'm going to focus on?

It had been many years since I'd been to a San Diego Parrot Head Club Anniversary Party. They host a heck of a good time at Campland On The Bay. Everyone brings in their motorhomes and tents and settles in for a weekend of fun, food, drink, music and no driving. Well, no driving of cars. There were some golf carts and bikes going around.

Tracy got us hooked up with a motorhome service that drives the trailer in, parks it then comes to pick it up. Two of our AZ people had to work so they flew in but the rest of us drove. Thom and I went over in my bitchen' car and somehow ended up pulling into Campland within mere minutes of Tracy and Scott on Friday afternoon. Already there were a couple other groups from Arizona.

So many great things about this event! It attracts friends from all over so it's always a great reunion. They have a beer garden - unlimited beer and margarit…

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - August 2014

Unless I do something stupid like scheduling a trip the weekend before (which I've done, a lot), August is almost always just about Parrot Grande. Parrot Grande is the Arizona Parrot Head Club's main weekend event and fundraiser.

The weeks leading up to Parrot Grande are intense and busy and I feel like I can't be away from my email for more than an hour at a time. This may be surprising unless you know us, but Parrot Heads aren't so good with RSVPs and advance planning and then sticking with actual plans. Lots of changes up to and going into the weekend. Add in to that chaos, the hotel had to take a building of rooms out of service the day before we got there meant a scramble to reassign everyone.

Ultimately, all the stress is worth it because the payoff of fun and charity ($10K to ChildHelp AZ) is great.

This year, I don't know why but I regressed to my old Bob Karwin stalker ways. So far, none of the video I've seen is too embarrassing. It's just the int…

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - July 2014

July is always a special month and, an especially busy one. My son and my parents' birthdays and my parents' anniversary provide the basis for a lot of family time. It also seems to be the summer vacation month.

This year, it started out on a very high note. I completed my indentured service in Germany and got home on the 5th. I was on the road on the 6th to go get my new babies. Steven and I drove down to Tucson and the poor little ones cried most of the drive home. They appeared to settle in quickly which was good because I was back on the road again on the 10th.

The Parrot Head of Puget Sound have an annual event called Laid Back Attack. My intended traveling companion couldn't make it so I went solo. Fortunately, I knew a lot of people there and the ones I didn't know were very welcoming. It was a quick day tour of Seattle then a lot of time listening to some great Trop Rock music. They also raised $27K for the USO.

As an added bonus, I was able to hook up with a f…

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - June 2014

This was a rough month and I'm drained just remembering it.

It started with some fun in Amsterdam. That was certainly cool.

You MUST tour the Anne Frank house. It's such an important story. Go early, though, as the lines become ginormous as the day goes on.

Also, do a boat tour. The city is beautiful and they do a good job of giving you a history lesson while you're lounging about. You can bring adult beverages on board, too!

And, do some of the museums. I had a fantastic three hours at the Van Gogh Museum. But tickets online and reserve your time because the line gets long for that, too. I had an especially proud moment because I navigated a few buses on my own to get there!

Skip the Heineken Experience. They don't actually make beer there anymore and it was just a huge commercial for the brand.Yes, you got some "free" beer at the end but it was Heineken.

After the weekend in Amsterdam, it was back to Hamburg for the go-live of our project. I've tried to…

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - May 2014

May rocked it. So busy and so fun!

OK, there was one day that I try to avoid every year. My birthday. Seriously, the calendar and math are not my friends. There's just no way that calculation gives my age correctly. It's all I can do to force myself to go out for dinner with the family which is what we did the night before the "big" day.

However, this year the actual day was awesome. My friend, Sonja, put together a wine tasting trip to Southern Arizona and members from both the Phoenix and Tucson Parrot Head Club went on it. I even got Steve Pfister to go.

We all met at a hotel and took a chartered bus to the wineries then on to a party that the Tucson club was having that night. I really should have not felt committed to emptying out the bottle of Slivo...

Despite the fact that Sonja insisted on mentioning my age all over the place before, during and even after, it was a great celebration. And, hey, presents! I likes me the presents!

Then, it was back to Germany. T…

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - April 2014

Because anyone can do a Pub Crawl in their own home town...

My friends Tracy and Scott moved to Irvine, CA a while back. They're always trying to entice us to come over and visit. The lure of the San Diego Parrot Head Club Pub Crawl was too much for me to resist.

This trip was too dang fun! There was a string of bars that were each creating a free specialty drink for us and also providing much needed snacks. The club had chartered two double decker buses and staggered the arrival times between the two so the bars weren't overwhelmed. They also planned it so the tow buses overlapped at each place so we all got to spend time together.

Tracy, Scott and I started out at the host bar, Paradise Bar & Grill, around 9 AM with the plan to pace ourselves. One drink per bar, we said, decisively! Really, we mean it! We aren't going to bed early, no siree!

I think Tracy and I had two beers and the specialty drink before we got on the bus for the first crawl. So, there went our plan…

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - March 2014

March found my friend Mary having a milestone birthday and the Arizona Parrot Head Club hosting a Mom O'Malley Memorial Poker Tournament where we raised $530 for Hospice of the Valley. Good stuff!
But, the highlight was Germany and the discovery of my most favorite attraction, ever!
We started out trip business trip with a weekend in Frankfurt. It's OK but so much of it is rebuilt after WWII that it doesn't feel  historical like I expect Europe to feel. We did the usual tourist stuff - took a bus tour, roamed across the river, rode the subway, had some Apfelwein and came away with a "been there, done that, don't need to go back" attitude.

But, then we got to Hamburg and I talked my colleagues into going somewhere after work one night and found my nirvana. You can have your Disney adventures, I will happily go back again and again to Miniatur Wunderland!

Why is this my nirvana? Well, besides the intricate models and dioramas that I could stare at for hours, i…

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - February 2014

February sucked.

Yes, I went to Germany for the first time but it was only a Monday through Friday trip. That meant nearly 50 hours of travel time in five days which is just stupid.

Never again.

But, here's why it really sucked. It was the last time that I got to see this before I traveled:

Let me dry my tears and we'll move on to a happier month.

A Year In Review One Month At A Time - January 2014

Facebook rolled out another one of those year end reviews where they pick the pictures. I'm not sure of their algorithm but my pictures were pretty dumb and I had not patience nor desire to edit them. Besides, without the stories, what good are the pictures?

So, without much more ado, I decided to create my own look back at 2014 one month at a time and include some of the tales from the highlights. Hopefully, this makes up for my deplorable lack of consistency in blogging last year. :)

The Arizona Parrot Head Club worked our traditional water station for the PF Chang's Rock N Roll Marathon. We've been the last stop on the full marathon route for years and the athletes really like us for our energy. They would like us more if we would give them beer but we're not allowed. Sorry.

Our usual DJ was out of town so the event Chair asked me to put together a playlist...the day before the event.  I was up until the wee hours despite having to get up before dawn. Unbeknownst to…