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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. 🙂

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.

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!

Moving News, Holiday Weekend

5 Jul

I’ve finally made more progress on packing. I’ve pretty much finished everything I can do in the living room (TV obviously is still operational, and pics are still on the wall because I want to be able to move a few things that don’t have cat hair all over them). I’ve now moved onto the bedroom.

(Ginger is guarding the boxes from intruders.)

I have had a nice holiday weekend so far. My friend R and I went to South Shore Park in Bay View, which is about two blocks from his apartment, to watch Milwaukee’s lakefront fireworks. It was a beautiful night, though a little on the chilly side. I’d rather have that than be dripping with sweat. The lovely view gave me some opportunities to take photos.

(These are the rocks we sat on by the beach —
the comfort level after my training session of
20 minutes spent on a hard bike seat? About zero.)

R and I like taking “self portraits,” with him taking the pic because his arms are much longer than mine. So we spent our time before the fireworks doing just that.

Yes, the photos were nice at first, but everything pretty much went downhill from here.

(This is R’s “Crazy Serial Killer” face. It works for
him, yes?)

(I look terrible in this one, but it makes me laugh
because R looks like he wants to kill me. This
one made us almost pee our pants when we saw
how it turned out.)

Finally, the fireworks started. They were pretty good, although I was not too impressed by the finale (I guess the economy is hurting every sector, including fireworks displays). We were a ways away from the fireworks themselves, so the majority (well, all) of the pics I took didn’t really turn out too well, but this will give you an idea of what they looked like.

(Those really are fireworks. I swear.)

Friday I went over to my Dad’s house to do laundry and spend the day. We had a traditional midwestern Fourth of July holiday meal of brats, potato salad, and strawberry shortcake.

Today I went to the gym, packed a little (see above) and took a nap. I woke up to see Ginger laying across me on my side, from my shoulder to my hip. She started using my cheek like a scratching post (thank God she doesn’t have claws) and was licking my nose and forehead. I guess it’s no different than early in the morning, when she goes from one side of my bed to the other by walking over me, usually stepping on my boobs so hard I want to scream.

She’s lucky she’s cute.

Ginger, the Plus-sized Model

21 Jun

Apparently my cat Ginger is a budding model. My friend Jenna, one of the two who was looking in on G for me while I was out of town last week, snapped a few pictures to show me what a good girl G was being while I was away.

The one below that I took today reminded me how chubby she is (she was “a little chubby” when I adopted her about a month ago). It made me decide to give her a little bit less food and try and play with her more in the evenings, when she seems most active.

I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym next week. I see a personal trainer twice a week, and I haven’t seen her in about two weeks because of traveling for work. Unfortunately I won’t be able to work with her come the end of the month. She will either be let go because she hasn’t gotten enough new clients, or, if she gets the new clients they asked her to, she’ll be moved up a level and, therefore, too expensive for me to work with. I’m very disappointed, and don’t plan to work with a new trainer after she and I are done.

So far the weekend has been pretty tame. I did some shopping today, picked up three pairs of capris pants (on sale for $19.99!) for work, and got a badly-needed pedicure. It was a beautiful Saturday in Milwaukee. And then the sky turned wonky as the sun went down.

Thankfully it hasn’t rained yet. I like having the windows open, and we certainly have had our fill of rain for the summer.

Speaking of summer, I can’t believe Summerfest is less than a week away – where is the summer going so fast?! For those not familiar, Summerfest is a 10-day music and food festival held each year from the last Thursday in June through the first Sunday in July on Milwaukee’s lakefront. In addition to the food and music, it’s a great venue for people watching, as there are always many, many people who are wearing far too little clothing (definitely less than they should be wearing). I am not a fan of crowds, so I usually go once, eat a little, walk around, people watch, and then go home.

Very rarely is there a band I want to see at Summerfest, but this year They Might Be Giants will be playing one one of the free stages on the opening night of Summerfest, and I’m trying to talk my friend Roy into going with me. We’ll see if he’ll cave. :p