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New York Trip Recap – Day Two

29 Jun

Previously on “Lisa goes to New York City”:

Day two of my New York trip began the complete opposite from which the first one started. Despite our good intentions to get moving and into the city early, it just didn’t quite work out that way.

We were still determined to see everything on our list for that day (Roy’s friend Jason joined us on this first full tour day, because Chad had to work):

  • Statue of Liberty
  • Ellis Island
  • Empire State Building

We took the bus into the city, walked past the New York Times


and took my first subway ride

Holiday weekend subway traffic

Holiday weekend subway traffic

to Battery Park, home of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry.


Before we bought our ferry tickets, we wandered through the park and took in the sights.

There was a statue on permanent display that had originally stood in one of the World Trade Center buildings. It somehow survived the collapse.

Sculpture with eternal flame

Sculpture with eternal flame

There were street performers playing steel drums,


living Statues of Liberty (which, when viewed up close, were actually kind of creepy),

The creepy side of street performing

The creepy side of street performing

pigeons (the feet of one clipped the top of my head as it flew by),


and a mysterious long line of people, stretching through the entire park.

What are these people waiting for?

What are these people waiting for?

Turns out the line was to get on the ferry.

So basically, everything we saw in the park before we got our tickets and stood in a 90-minute line to get on the ferry? Yeah, that could have all been seen while we were in line.

Oh well.

We ate our way through the line, as it was lunchtime, getting a hot dog at one stand, a pretzel at another. Finally we reached the ferry. Holy Mother of Pearl it was hot and sunny that day.

Jason and Roy on the ferry

Jason and Roy on the ferry

The view from the ferry leaving the dock and approaching the Statue of Liberty was awesome.

Goodbye, New York ...

Goodbye, New York ...






... Hello Statue of Liberty!

... Hello Statue of Liberty!

The only word I can think of to describe being that close to the Statue is cliche, but fitting:


It’s a very imposing, intimidating sight up close. We didn’t go inside the Statue, but the exterior view was more than enough to satisfy the tourist in me.

Roy, Lisa and Lady Liberty

Roy, Lisa and Lady Liberty



After a short walk around Liberty Island, we realized that there wasn’t going to be any time to see Ellis Island, because we were planning to see another show on Broadway that night. So we went back to Hoboken, having only crossed one tourist site off our list for the day.

We met Chad at a Mexican restaurant in Hoboken that makes the guacamole for you fresh at the table,

Avocado-y goodness

Avocado-y goodness

and enjoyed dinner and margaritas before going back into the city to see “9 to 5.”

I wasn’t too sure about seeing this particular show. I love the movie, but didn’t really know how it would translate to the stage, or if the “camp-factor” would be too over the top for me. Thankfully, I had a great time and we all really enjoyed the show.

What we did not enjoy so much, though, was the large woman in a salmon-colored track suit sitting in the row in front of us, who spent the time before the show and during the intermission practically shoving her salmon ass in our faces. Not a pretty sight.

I took a photo of her with my camera, then felt bad about it and deleted it. But not before Chad made me e-mail it to him. So somewhere out in cyberspace there is a photo of this woman’s tush.

And I hope I never have to see it again.



19 Jun

While I am not a psychic by any remote stretch of the imagination, there have been times where I’ve had “prophetic dreams,” mostly having to do with friends being pregnant.

I had a dream last night that my late uncle’s house (we lived next door to them for many, many years) had been put up for sale. We don’t really have much of a relationship with my Dad’s side of the family (what little there is left of it) so I hopped onto a local Realtor Web site to see if it was.

While I didn’t see his house listed, I saw another house that was very familiar to me. It belonged to my friend Diana and her family. She and I went to school together from kindergarten through fourth grade, until her family moved away.

We kept in touch all the way through high school, got back in touch after college, and then lost each other again. While I used to get a yearly Christmas card from her, even that hasn’t happened in a couple of years.

As I clicked on each of the pictures, little memories flooded back:

  • The kitchen where we “played mass” (we were Catholic school girls, what can I say?) and made her little brother be the altar boy;
  • The Barbie doll collection she kept in her bedroom (all in their boxes and perfectly maintained — can’t even imagine how much money those would be worth today)
  • The basement where we would play with her Dad’s enormous and elaborate train set, complete with little lakes, buildings and townspeople
  • The sidewalk in front of the house where we would rollerskate, back when rollerskates were rollerskates — four wheels and pompom laces

I wish she and I hadn’t lost touch. I would love to have been able to forward this link and share all my memories with her.

I think it would have been a great conversation.

Weigh-in, Week 12

9 Apr

Apparently I’m a week behind, as I just weighed in today for Week 12.

Oh well, semantics.

10 percent ticker:

Overall ticker:

I’m pretty pleased with myself, having re-lost 1 pound of the 1.8 I gained last week. It still puts me at losing an average of more than one pound a week, which is in line with what Weight Watchers recommends for long-term weight maintenance.

I worked out quite a bit this week, but wasn’t as attentive to my eating. I really need to be more diligent with my tracking, because it will catch up with me eventually.

Our last at-work meeting is May 7, and according to our office manager (who herself has lost 30 pounds!) we are one person short for being able to re-up for another 15 weeks. I really hope we can either get one more person, or our company will agree to subsidize the cost of that final person. She sent out this great e-mail to the entire agency crowing about how much weight we’ve lost as a group, so hopefully that will spur people on to join us.

I wish I had more interesting things to share with you besides my weight, but I really don’t. This week is Easter, and my Dad is having my Mom’s family over to his condo (for those new to the blog, my Mom passed away in May 2007 at age 56). He’s making ham, I’m responsible for rolls and dessert, and various aunts are bringing the rest of the dishes (including two kinds of potatoes — no self-respecting Irish family has less than that at a family function).

Work is going fine. I’m still struggling with some apathy issues (having things to do, but not wanting to do them). I thought moving into a new position within the company would help, but so far it hasn’t. There’s still time, I guess.

The weekend of April 17 is Trivia 40, a 54-hour trivia contest held in Stevens Point, Wis. every year. I played a couple years while I was in college, and this is my second year playing as an alumnus. It’s run by the campus radio station, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s billed as ‘The World’s Largest Trivia Contest,’ and people from all over the world come to answer trivia questions from 6 p.m. Friday until Midnight Sunday. There was even a movie — creatively called ‘Triviatown’ — that documented the whole experience.

I have some other things I could write about, but the work day is almost over so I will save those things for another time.

So that’s my next couple of weeks in a nutshell. What are you all up to?

Halloween Recap

1 Nov

After having a couple of drinks at my place last night, my friends Roy, Jenn and I trekked out to the West Bend area to visit the Meadowbrook Market Haunted Cornfield. For $18, we wandered through about 3/4 of a mile of cornfield maze, filled with fog, live actors, animatronic monsters and lots, and lots of screaming (mostly by me and Roy).

Jenn was concerned that we would have a long wait (she’d waited more than two hours to get in before), but we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to go through right away. Maybe the fact that Halloween was on a Friday kept many revelers at house parties or bars. Either way, we were glad to not have a long wait, though it wasn’t terribly cold.

The “scares” were spaced out really well, allowing you to calm down sufficiently, only to get startled again. The animatronic stuff was actually really cool and was responsible for much of our screaming. I think our favorite live actor was a guy dressed as Beetlejuice, who followed us quite a long way through the corn maze (not really a maze, the path is very clearly laid out for you). Roy and I clutched each other the whole time, and those bastards made me go first! :p

Scattered throghout the corn were mini-haunted houses, including one shack that we were too scared to go into. At first we thought there was only an animatronic monster in there, but as we walked by we heard a menacing voice say, “dinnertime!” and that made us run, giggling and screaming at the same time. :p 

The path through the cornfield was nice and narrow, so whenever we’d brush against the corn, we wondered if it was an actor coming out to scare us. Another nice touch was that the security people wandering throughout the maze had on scary makeup and acted altogether weird, so it was fun to come upon them every once in awhile.

After leaving the maze we walked around the pumpkin patch, looked at the donkey and llama that live at the farm (along with rabbits and lots of other animals), and sat by the bonfire and listened to a predictable — but still entertaining — “real ghost story.” After a little more walking around, we headed home. Jenn had a long drive back to her house from my place so she said goodbye, but Roy stayed and I made him watch an episode of Paranormal State in which they conducted an exorcism.

I can’t even remember what I did last year on Halloween (probably nothing). This year will definitely become a great holiday memory for me. 🙂

Operation ‘New Me’

7 Oct

Events in my life over the last week have caused me to think about who I am as a person and where the life path I’ve chosen is taking me. I am referring to any action or reaction toward this re-evaluation as “Operation ‘New Lisa’.”

I at first thought this experiment started off in tepid fashion with a slight change of my hair color. I went from this

to this

I couldn’t get a good full-face shot of myself, so this will have to do. It’s a subtle change; it’s now more ginger or cinnamon than the bleached blonde I wanted to get rid of. The waviness will go away, my stylist decided to put in some gel and see exactly how much natural wave I have, which apparently is quite a bit.

Then it occurred to me that this experiment really began on Sept. 27, one week before I turned 35, in St. Petersburg, Fla. I went there to visit my very good friend Marnie, and little did I know that events were taking place back home in Milwaukee, Wis. that, less than one week later, would have an impact on my life.

While in Florida I did something that, surprisingly to me, many of my friends and family were shocked by.

The Catholic schoolgirl got a tattoo.

It’s on my right shoulder blade. A little larger than I had wanted, but any smaller and the artist said the inks would bleed together and it would look I simply was punched in the back.

Apparently the last time I was in St. Pete visiting Marnie, I had been drunk and talked about getting one. Marnie said she asked me the next morning if I wanted to do it and I said No. I don’t remember that, but I mentioned it again this time (I also was, once again, inebriated), but the next morning I still wanted to do it. So she got the name of the tattoo place her boss went to, and off we drove.

Turns out the artist was turning 35 four days after I was, so we bonded over being a couple of indecisive Libras. I was joking with him that there were a couple of people back home that probably wouldn’t have approved of me getting a tattoo (something about tattoos not making women more beautiful), and he said that was all the more reason to get one. 🙂

It didn’t hurt as much as I thought.

It was more like a burning sensation. And just when the pain got to the *really* uncomfortable stage, he would stop and either move onto something else or get more ink (not sure which, my friend took far fewer photos than I would have liked).

Eventually the Celtic knot, which I had chosen from the cover of a book I purchased from a used bookstore in St. Petersburg, began to take shape.

My skin is very sensitive. I'm a petite flower.

My skin is very sensitive. I'm a petite flower.

In retrospect, it’s interesting that I chose *this* particular weekend to do this. There are tons of tattoo parlors in Milwaukee, but any other chosen time would not have coincided with this small life change I have been thrust into.

I, for one, am anxious to see where this little experiment takes me.

Still a Kid in Some Ways

2 Sep

While I am an adult in many ways (I pay my bills, live alone, am responsible for the health and well-being of a cat), there’s one thing that is still somewhat childlike about me, in that I still get very excited for my birthday to arrive.

As of this post, it’s one month and two days until my 35th birthday (Oct. 4 – the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi for all you Catholics out there, as well as the birthday of the now-banished-from-my-bookcase Anne Rice). I never like to plan anything because I usually end up disappointed when no one shows, yet I always naively try to. So I think this year (especially since I’m not thrilled about the prospect of turning 35) I’m going to lay low and see if my friends/loved ones/others plan anything. If they don’t, no biggie. If they do, yay. It would be nice to do something, though, because my birthday falls on a Saturday this year, which it hasn’t since my 30th, I don’t think. And my 30th birthday sucked (if you want to know why, comment and I will tell you), so it would be nice to break a bad streak. :p

I think the best birthday was my 20th (or was it 19th?). My friend Roy and I were roommates at the time, and he threw me a surprise party. We went to Appleton, Wis. to the mall for the day (when you go to school in Stevens Point, Wis., going to Appleton is somewhat like going to Chicago for those of us who live in Milwaukee), then to a play on campus. We were driving back to our apartment, and as he was going to turn onto our street he swerved and kept going down the road we were currently on. I thought he had lost his mind. Turned out that some friends who were coming were walking up to the house, and the surprise would have been blown.

We finally got to the apartment, and I walked in first. The whole place had been trashed, like someone had broken in. I was freaking out, and walked into the living room to see if anything had been taken, and there our friends were, yelling surprise. It was pretty cool. Although I’m incredibly gullible, so it’s pretty easy to pull the wool over my eyes.

Thus concludes my boring post for the day.

My “Green” Weekend

17 Aug

No, I didn’t spend the weekend recycling and pricing Priuses…I was celebrating half my heritage at Irish Fest, the “largest Irish cultural event in North America.” I try to go every year at least once, but I didn’t get there last year, so I went twice this time around. Friday night I went with a new friend and had a great time. Today (Sunday) I went with my best friend Roy (of Royalsyn’s Weblog).

It was a gorgeous day but hot as all get-out. I did browsing in the shopping sections on Friday night, so today was about finding shade, eating

Notice the rest of my meal is on the right waiting for him to finish it.

and getting in some culture. We saw most of a play about the very talented (and very gay) Oscar Wilde, but just missed a bunch of men in rugby-like gear playing tug-of-war in the mud (darn!). We also rode the SkyGlide, a ski-slope like contraption that takes you over the entire fairgrounds. I don’t go on it very often, because I’m afraid of heights, but I find if I look straight ahead and/or concentrate on taking pictures with my camera, I do okay.

"Taking off"

"Taking off"

One of the reasons I like the Skyglide is that you usually get a great view of the lake, because every so often it will come to a stop for a few minutes so people can enjoy said view. We didn’t get too much of a view, but it was still good.

Splash pool for the kids (smelled like chlorine, yum!)

Maier Festival Park (yes, it's directly under a busy freeway overpass)

Self-portrait (best friends all have a "thing" they have to do when they are together. This is our "thing.")

Once we got our feet firmly back on the ground, we ate some sweet corn and took some pictures by Lake Michigan (the festival grounds but up against the lake or, rather, the breakwaters that lead to the lake).

Discovery World and the famous Calatrava Art Museum brie soleil are in the background

Irish men rowing?

Isn't Milwaukee pretty in the summer? I think so.

And now Monday approaches, but with an interesting horoscope that makes me think this week could be interesting.

For the Week of Aug 18th, 2008 — Passionate Mars entering your sign this week puts you on the offensive for a change. Instead of quietly waiting to be noticed, you are ready to charge ahead to go after whatever and whomever you want. Yes, you may be more aggressive than usual, but it’s your time to take the lead in your relationship life.

Quote of the Day

16 Jul

My friend Myrna (his blog is here) is not a sports fan. He also doesn’t watch a whole lot of news. I was telling him how I’m becoming a little disillusioned certain things in my life and am wanting to be part of a worthwhile and meaningful cause.

I then mentioned that sometimes PR is part of the problem in the world, although, in Brett Favre’s case, he could use some good PR counsel. Myrna was strangely silent, and I rightly surmised that he had no idea what I was talking about. I suggested that he try once in awhile to watch or listen to some kind of news, and this was his response:

“I watch the news, but sports goes right through me. It’s like my fiber.”


Packers @ Bucs, 9/28/08, Here I Come!

14 Jul

I just booked a flight to Tampa to see my friend Marnie; we’re planning to go to the Packer/Buccaneers game and cheer on the new QB for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers (note: buy an A. Rodgers jersey before the game). We’ve wanted to do this ever since she moved to Tampa, and I’m so excited that we’re finally going to do it.

The best part of the trip? My plane ticket cost me $10.

God, I love frequent flyer miles.

Off to watch the Home Run Derby!

Procrastination is my middle name

13 Jul

It’s a positively gorgeous day outside, and I really have the best intentions with regard to packing, but I just flippin’ hate doing it so much. If I had more money, I’d hire someone to do it — that’s how much I despise it.

I think I will be okay though. The movers come on the 18th, but I am paid up with rent through the 31st, so all non-essentials that can be toted in my and my Dad’s cars can stay here, as far as I’m concerned. I did finally start going through my bedroom closets, and realized I have far more sets of sheets than I realized. It’s amazing the things you find when you pack.

My new landlord also said if he was finished cleaning the carpets and painting before the 18th, I could start moving some boxes in early. My main fear is running out of boxes. I’ve gotten by so far with taking empty boxes from work, and R has gotten me some boxes from his work as well. I just don’t want buy any if I don’t have to. The cost of the move is covered, but financially I am strapped pretty tightly, so unexpected expenses are not an option.

Tonight R and I are going to Bastille Days downtown. I’ve not been there in years, so it should be fun. It will be a nice little diversion from packing (and from listening to my new neighbor stomp around upstairs). So now, off to pack the bathroom!