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May 09, 2007

Tooting my own horn

I've been busy at work lately developing my presentation for Educause Southeast. I'm presenting!

I've also decided to pursue my undergraduate degree. At last! I was joking with coworkers yesterday that I do things backwards in my life. First, have a kid and then get married. Second, develop a career and then pursue a college degree. I think after this I'll just start doing it the right way.

Heading down to the Florida Keys this summer on a vacation - ever been? If so, tell me what's good or not good to do!

Toot toot!

August 30, 2006

Deal or No Deal

While on my recent trip to California, my mother and sister and I had the fortune of getting free tickets to be audience members in a taping of the game show Deal or No Deal. It was neat seeing the models - especially when they did that walk up the stairs on the back side of the stage. Of course, we got to see Howie Mandel in all his bald headed glory as well. Quite nifty! During takes, he would hang out at the edge of our audience section, talking to some people a couple of rows up from us who he apparently knew. There were thirteen cameras around the studio that were recording, and in between we had an audience manager who kept us busy with stupid games and contests and guided us in our clapping, enthusiasm and laughter. It was quite an organized event.

In true geek fashion and to better describe where I was sitting relative to the stage and the models and the aisle where Howie entered the stage (and hung out during takes), I drew a diagram (in MS Paint, no less):

I am the little red dot with 'di' written in it.

We were there for almost 5 hours (quite longer than expected), and by the time we left we were more than ready not to be there anymore. Our faces hurt from smiling, our hands hurt from clapping, and we were long overdue for a bathroom break. We watched them tape the ending of one contestant's attempt to win $1million, and the beginning of another contestant's turn at the money. They couldn't give us a specific date when the shows would air, but they did say it would most likely be sometime during October. If you happen to watch and you see a cute Latino woman in black pants and a royal blue shirt or a black man in black pants and a light blue shirt as contestants, then look for me. I'm about five rows behind where the podium is on stage, and I was wearing a red top and black pants. I'm the one who looks like a dork!

April 20, 2005

Vegas Photos

Hey! It's me the slacker. I'm finally getting around to uploading my photos from my recent trip to Las Vegas, NV. I had a blast and enjoyed my alone time (if you call being in a city with a bunch of people "alone"). Anyway, enjoy the SLIDESHOW!

Blue Man at the Luxor

blueman1.jpg

February 05, 2005

Red Rock Canyon, Here I Come

One of the things I'm contemplating doing when I go to Las Vegas in April is go on a bicycle trip with a group up to Red Rock Canyon. Because of this desire, I decided to take Mother Nature up on the offer of good weather we had around here today and went biking for a short while.

It's been months since I last rode my bicycle and I can certainly feel the effects of exercising those muscles that have grown weak. I ache! So I guess it's a good thing that I've got a couple of months to get my legs in shape for my cycling excursion.

Yay me!

February 01, 2005

Diane Has Left The Building

I took a big leap yesterday and booked a flight to Las Vegas in June. I'm going solo this go-round. My parents went to Vegas last week, and it was their plan to return from that trip and immediately book another one for April. I asked if I could tag along since I have this unwavering desire to travel and just go somewhere, ANYWHERE, and Jon has made it pretty clear that he isn't one for travelling much, especially not to Vegas where it's just a pit to dump your money (hell, that's half the fun to me!). So my parents said sure, we'll set that all up when we return.

Well, they returned and their plans had changed. They decided they wanted to do Vegas again next January because of the weather being so incredibly pleasant and not at all like the previous July when we all went and it was miserably hot. But April?! Come on, April can't be that bad. But their minds were made up.

So last week I found myself in a bit of a funk about the whole lack of vacationing or travelling. I really just am ready to see things, go places, do something different than the daily grind. I need a change of scenery. Jon encouraged me to travel alone if I couldn't find someone to go, and I mulled over that idea most of the weekend. I realized that I was a bit fearful of taking a trip that far away from home alone, but hell, a lot of people do it and why the hell am I so fearful anyway? I think I also had to work past the "but you're my husband and you're SUPPOSED to go with me" thing. (Damn those SUPPOSED TOs - they will fuck you every time!) So I had some internal dialogue to realign and had to get to the place where I wasn't so pissed off about him not wanting to go. I mean, come on, I AM A FUN PERSON!

So anyway...

As it turns out, yesterday I received an email from Independent Air about a fare sale they were having. I checked the rates to Las Vegas, and lo and behold the roundtrip fare was cheap! I double-checked with Jon to make sure he'd be able to watch Casey if necessary and he said he would. So I booked the trip. I'm elated! I'm also very pleased at myself for taking this step towards independence, towards doing my own thing and not being so wrapped up in the supposed tos. All of this is very odd for me considering the fact that I'm married and just now trying this. But my life up to this point hasn't afforded the opportunity for me to just run off and do whatever I want - I've always been very grounded by my responsibilities as a parent and wife and have been tied tight to the supposed tos. But now that Casey is a bit older and Travis is out of the house entirely, and now that I have a husband who fully supports my need to up and go, I can do some of the things I've always wanted.

I can only imagine what's in store for the future! In the meantime, I'm saving my pennies so I can dump them off in Nevada in April. Woohoo!

October 12, 2004

Warning: Contents Under Pressure

We had a fabulous time at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and I wish it was still the weekend so we could meander around like we did, tossing money about as if we were rich without a care in the world. We spent a lot of money, but what's more important is that we had a good time. So many freaks! So much food on a stick! It was truly amazing, as always.

We saw The Rogues perform a couple of times. When we first heard them a few years ago, I wasn't much into bagpipe bands. I mean, come on.. BAGPIPES. That was a hard sell to a girl who listens to alt rock most of the time. But this band has grown on me over the years as Jon has randomly played their music over and over, and I found myself looking forward to seeing them perform. They were awesome, as expected, and we bought their Made in Texas CD and companion DVD. Oddly enough, on the drive home I opened up their DVD only to find that there was no DVD inside. Today, I wrote them and explained the situation, so I'm hopeful that they'll send us another one soon. Whatever the case, they rock! Who ever thought bagpipes could rock?

To enhance the whole renaissance faire going experience, I splurged and bought an outfit! There's not a lot to it, really, but I feel much more like part of the crowd when I'm wearing renaissance garb. It's also sorta neat to have your boobs pushed up and out like they are supposed to be. Being the boob man that he is, Jon really enjoyed it, and when I asked him what he thought of my outfit as I emerged from the dressing room all dressed up, he replied with, "I'm erect." What a great response! How could I NOT buy the outfit then, you know?

Here's Jon showing his appreciation for my purchase:

jdi_boobs.jpg

The outfit itself is pretty simple, and I hope that when we go to the North Carolina Renaissance Faire in a couple of weeks that I can dress it up even more. Yay! More Boobs! More husbandly boob adoration!

As for the camping experience, the cabin at the KOA campground made it so it felt like we weren't camping at all, except for those times we had to trek across the campgrounds to use the bathroom. Other than that, it was nice to return to the cabin and fall onto the semi-comfortable mattress and relax after a long day of walking around. We will definitely do the whole cabin thing again!

More pictures of the Maryland faire can be found here.

On Sunday, we headed out of the Annapolis area and towards DC. We made our way without trouble to Union Square (thanks Kevin!) and took the Metro to the Smithsonian station. From there, we walked down the National Mall by the Washington Monument, by the World War II Memorial, by the Reflecting Pool and towards the Lincoln Memorial. Jon had never been there before, and the last time I was there was when I was a Girl Scout many, many years ago! So, we enjoyed being all touristy and taking lots of pictures. We made our way back to our car at Union Station within a couple of hours and headed south on 95 for the ride home.

Pictures of our Washington visit can be found here.

What a great weekend!

July 18, 2003

On The Road Again

jon's grandfather passed away this week, so we're heading to syracuse this weekend and then onto the albany area for the memorial service. we're leaving in a couple of hours and should be on the road for 11-12 hours. i actually don't mind the travel... i'm pretty much a travel whore and enjoy seeing any part of the united states i can see.. and besides, the mountains of pennsylvania are quite beautiful.

in less than two weeks, we're going back to new york for a family reunion and will be bringing casey with us. so i think i'll be pretty exhausted from the non-stop travel and will be glad to have a weekend off.

i have, however, already started thinking about next year's big vacation. right now it's a toss up between france/italy or an alaska cruise. pricing on the cruise has yet to be determined, but i think it's going to be a bit expensive for my wallet, so i may opt for another overseas adventure.

what i need is a job that takes me to all corners of the world and allows me to experience this type of stuff, mostly on someone else's budget. thoughts? suggestions? i figure i'll switch jobs once casey leaves home and i'm free to do whatever. i have considered writing as an alternate profession.. and all the traveling could be considered "research". the only problem with this is that i will need some deep pockets to get me going.

July 15, 2003

Back From Vegas

I have returned from Vegas. I lost $200. I saw a public taping of the Fear Factor which will be aired Sept. 29... I think I'll be visible in the background! I saw Ed McMahon walk by in the Bellagio. I saw Hoover Dam. I experienced 120 degree weather and survived. I ate a lot and slept very little.

Here are pictures.

I am glad to be home.

July 05, 2003

Need Cash, Will Travel

i'm heading out to las vegas on tuesday with my mother and step-father and sister, and because of that i've been wanting to make some extra money to carry with me so i can either gamble it away or enjoy some of the finer amenities like eating and sight-seeing. so this weekend, i'm at the beach working for my dad at his restaurant, slinging shrimpburgers and the like and basically being covered in grease. it's not a glamour job by any stretch of the imagination, but it gets me the desired result: cash.

jon is here with me, restoring my father's crapped-out computer yet again and setting up a new computer for him, too. so while i'm working 9-10 hour days over this glorious 4th of july weekend, he's busy sitting around in air-conditioning quarters mucking around with Windows and having a time of it himself.

next week, i relax.
next week, i gamble.

i must say, though... i'm looking forward to a weekend off.

May 19, 2003

Miami Trip

miami was great. i needed the break from my life in north carolina and the escape to sunny miami. i thoroughly enjoyed myself and had a great time relaxing... look at the pictures!


let's see... had the IVP done and they didn't find a stone afterall. so either i passed it a couple of weeks ago or i never had one to start with. my doctor now wants to send me to a urologist, but i don't think i'm going to do that. it just seems like i'm spending a lot of money lately on doctors who essentially tell me that nothing is wrong with me. maybe i should go to a shrink, eh? ;-)


i've enjoyed getting things done around my house, still. the lists are growing and i'm slowly getting things accomplished. this past weekend it was rearranging the living room. i'm having a time of it trying to make the house feel like me. that probably sounds weird, but the furniture i have isn't mine and there's very little on the walls and otherwise that make it feel like home. so i'm working on changing that and creating a different energy in my personal space.


work is good... slow. i should probably take advantage of the time and continue to work with PHP and learn all that i can. i'm slowly getting back into the swing of things.. the way it was at the beginning of my web development days when i couldn't get enough of this stuff. where did that enthusiasm go? my best guess is that it took a backseat to my personal life changes that have been taking place for the past 4-5 years.


speaking of which, things with jon are still not great. we still see each other from time to time, but he's in the middle of trying to figure out what he wants and if he can be what i need him to be if we are in a relationship together. i'm starting to believe that it's just not going to happen... so the past month or two have been spent feeling less and less optimistic about 'jdi' working out. i never really imagined it would come to this, and to some extent i still have a hard time believing that we may not end up together. my current philosophy is to take things as they come, and to just be present for whatever is happening. i've been making choices that feel right for me at any given moment, so hopefully i can continue to listen to my gut and trust that my instincts won't lead me down the wrong path.


life is difficult... and things change all the time..... so the only constant is change, and the only way to have a life is to go out there and live it.

November 29, 2002

Cornwall, England

Jon and I went to England November 15-22. Want to see pictures?

September 22, 2001

DC After 9/11

on thursday, i went to washington, d.c. for a class by the sans institute. it felt weird, honestly, to be in the city where tragedy struck just 11 days ago. i drove past the pentagon and was awestruck by the damage to the building. i was even more amazed at the surrounding area and how that plane must have had to barely fly over surrounding buildings at the right angle to reach its target.

signs of american pride could be found everywhere, however, and that felt good.

on thursday evening, i walked down the national mall towards the washington monument with the capitol building behind me. the president was going to speak that night, and security was everywhere. it felt good to be in my nation's capitol, and it was an awesome feeling when i reached the other side of the monument and walked a small distance towards the reflecting pool. as i turned to my right, there stood the white house in front of me. when i turned around, the jefferson memorial could be clearly seen. when i looked to my left, i saw the lincoln memorial in the distance. had a coworker not been with me, i probably would have laid down in the grass and just stared at the sky. i could feel myself being filled with the pride and love i feel for my country. it felt so incredible.

i'm glad i made the trip. i'm also glad to be home.

September 02, 2001

Weekender

returned today from the maryland renaissance faire with jon. had a great time... we camped in the back of his truck at a KOA campground friday and saturday nights and spent all day saturday at the faire. by the time it was over, his feet hurt and we were both tired and exhausted from walking around all day. we couldn't wait to get back to the campground and just chill.

we ended up getting settled in around 9, drinking a couple of beers, eating some pizza and falling unconscious pretty quickly. we got up and drove back this morning, pitstopping through D.C. to see if we could drive by the white house. instead, we went into downtown, and i got a picture of the library of congress and some other building... and then a few brownstones on the way back out of the area. it took us an extra 20 or so minutes... but was fun. i thanked jon for agreeing to taking the exit when i suggested it. spontaneity rocks! :)

what a great weekend! and to think, i don't have to work tomorrow either. woo!

at the end of september, i'm heading to new york with jon to meet his parents and go to niagara falls. i'm looking forward to it... this will be the first time i've been to new york!

is this what it feels like to be happy? no matter how it's classified, i'm having fun.

:)

August 30, 2001

Maryland, Here We Come

we go camping this weekend as we head north to the maryland renaissance faire. anticipation builds... i do plan on taking some pictures.

it's now thursday morning, and my computer is showing 5:08 p.m. i'm required to power down every night before leaving work, and apparently the battery in my computer is bad because it never moves with time while not powered on. i should probably reset it now when i finish this sentence because i'll be wondering why things are all screwed up and what time it really is.

this morning i took two extra strength sinus relief caplets.. the left side of my head has had a dull throbbing and occasionally pain will shoot through just to let me know something is going on up there. i'm increasing my dosage of water to aid the "pressure" along. hydration is key to most anything anyway.. so wtf. i just wish i wasn't so groggy now.

*yawn*

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