Wednesday, May 30, 2007


During my daily reading of, I came across this link to the opening credits of Lidsville. Something about those Kroft Saturday morning shows from my childhood really delights me. I'm transported back to our living room in Eugene, Oregon, lying on the floor, wearing a Danskin top and pants, maybe eating leftovers from our traditional Friday night pizza...ahhh, those were the days!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Viva! Las Vegas

Note: Check out Karen's blog, i could do better, for a more entertaining rundown and great pictures on flick'r.

People talk about how much fun Las Vegas is, and I never really understood the draw. I don't drink, I'm not a nightowl, I don't gamble. How much fun could I possibly have there?

The opportunity arose to go to a neuroradiology conference in Vegas. Our original plan was for Rowdy and I to drive to the meeting from San Diego, spend a few nights at the Wynn, then continue on to Moab, where we would celebrate Rowdy's birthday by mountain biking and 4-wheeling with Rowdy's sister Tory, her husband Tyler, and their cute little baby girl Bradlee.

Of course, the situation changed when Rowdy left on his adventure. There was no point in me spending time alone in Las Vegas, so I sent out a general invitation to friends, encouraging them to join me. Sharon Soutter agreed to visit from Wednesday to Friday, and my sister Karen and MIL Lezlie were going to arrive Friday and leave on Sunday. Unfortunately, Lezlie has a severe flare-up of her ongoing back problems and couldn't come. Not only was she sore, but she was sorely missed!

On Wednesday night, Sharon picked me up at the airport, and we made our way to the Wynn, site of the conference and my home until Saturday. The Wynn is quite a place. To me, it seemed like it was decorated by Willy Wonka's factory designer. Las Vegas seems to be all about color and noise.

The conference was very good. I was actually excited to come back to work and read head and neck studies, which can be a bane. During our first morning break, I walked onto the terrace overlooking the pools. That's when it first occurred to me that it might be quite pleasant to visit Las Vegas and just sit by a nice pool in the sun, do a little shopping, then go out to a nice dinner and a show.

Sharon wandered around the Strip while I was in conference. On Thursday night, we went to Circo at the Bellagio for dinner. It was quite tasty. Then we made our way to the Venetian, where we saw Blue Man Group. Very entertaining! Sharon and I visited Venice in 1999, so it was funny to visit the ersatz Venice together.

On Friday, Karen arrived and Sharon went back to Utah. We had tickets to see Spamalot that night. I had wanted to see that show when I was in New York, but even going to the same gym as its stars didn't get me a ticket. It was very fun, and well-worth the expense. Dinner was at The Buffet at the Wynn. Yum! My friend, Tim, gave me a big list of very fancy places to eat in Las Vegas, but frankly, I'm not much of a fancy-restaurant kind of girl. I was very happy with the mildly-fancy places I ate while in LV.

I cut out of the conference a little early on Saturday so Karen and I could lay by the pool before checkout. It was quite relaxing and pleasant. Karen had the great idea to visit the Liberace Museum on Saturday afternoon. Talk about campy!!! It was hilarious! It was almost impossible to keep a straight face--uh--yeah. Lee would have understood.

Instead of paying the non-conference price for a room at the Wynn for Saturday night, I took the chance on getting a reservation through Hotwire. Bad idea. We ended up at the Planet Hollywood, until recently known as the Aladdin. It was supposed to be a four-star hotel, but...ugh. I had no need to pumice my heels after spending the night on the sandpaper they called sheets. And their pool was considerably less-swanky than the Wynn's. The only good point was that we could see the dancing waters at the Bellagio from our room. But overall, I don't recommend it. We took off to Henderson for dinner at Settebello. It's only one of 12 restaurants outside of Italy authorized to make pizza the real Neapolitan way. Heaven!!!! There is a second Settebello in Salt Lake somewhere. If you live in Salt Lake or are planning a trip there soon, check it out. It was highly recommended by Sharon, and it was well-worth the trip out to Henderson.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Watch This Space!

I've been very busy the past couple of weeks, including a trip to Vegas last week to attend a conference. I will post pictures and a story this week!

And Happy Birthday Rowdy!!! 35 today!! Yay!

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Ultimate Career

I was reading Maren's blog today, and came across a wonderful quote from C.S. Lewis: The home is the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career."

As you may know, Rowdy is in Iraq, working as a radiation safety officer. The point of him taking that job was to further his career prospects. It seemed like a good idea at the time--taking his nuclear medicine knowledge in a new direction, getting work and life experience, having adventures, making a packet of (mostly) non-taxable income. But the reality of it is that he's miserable. It's disorganized, his boss doesn't seem to know how to teach him the ropes, it's dirty, and there are obvious hazards (see Ultra Rowdy for pictures of the aftermath of a RPG attack). And mostly, he really, really misses home. Home, thankfully, equals me. My husband misses me. And I miss him.

Normally, Rowdy looks like this:

Well, he doesn't usually have a rubber lizard hanging out of his mouth, but he's usually very smiley. All of his pictures from Iraq look like this:

very grim, his brow furrowed, and in this one, he's holding a piece of shrapnel. I hate seeing my sweetheart like this.

So, I am happy to report that Rowdy is working out the 90-day probation period and then coming home. We both really feel that this job was something he needed to do, or he wouldn't have gone in the first place. Hopefully, he will have gained whatever experience or performed whatever tasks he was sent over there to gain or perform.

There were some things that I expected to do while I was here on my own that won't get done in the next two months and one week. Without the extra income, I don't feel justified in buying myself a drum set, for one thing. That will have to wait. The thing I really wanted to do is lose ten pounds. But I've only lost one in the last two weeks--don't say that I've gained muscle, because that really isn't happening. Oh well. Maybe I'll have lost five pounds by the time he comes home. I'll be happy with that.

So, when Rowdy gets back, he'll need to figure out what he is going to do for work, but he has definitely learned over the last month that home is indeed the ultimate career.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Bats in my attic

I have mentioned my addiction to BBCA's Cash in the Attic. A couple of weeks ago, I happened on the US version. Yuck! I much prefer the measured tones of the British auctioneers compared to the whooping and hollering of the American ones. And then there's the total crap that the US contestants have in their attics. The couple on the episode I watched had a bunch of beanie babies and Happy Meal toys.

The UK contestants always seem to have Clarice Cliff pottery. I had never heard of this stuff, but apparently it was all the rage in England in the 20's-40's. Some of it is attractive....

My Rad Life!