Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TYPHOOOOOOOON!!!

So all day yesterday the only thing anyone could talk about was the incoming typhoon and when it would get here and how hard it would hit us. I left work around 4 p.m. to go grab just one essential item from the store:

For the two most important members of our household ;) I figured we probably had enough stuff in the kitchen to keep ourselves fed, so I didn't even bother to do any grocery shopping. When I left yesterday, I was told not to come in at all today (Tuesday) unless and until I got a phone call saying I should. So this morning I didn't get out of bed until about nine o'clock and then I made Lee breakfast:

Yummy blueberry muffins. In case you're interested, I like to jazz up the muffin mix a bit with some cinnamon (maybe about a teaspoon although I usually don't measure) and some frozen blueberries. Good stuff, dude.

And in this next photo you can really see how excited Lee is about the typhoon.

Yep, thrilled. But ain't he cute?

Couldn't resist putting this one up since he made Sadie wave to the camera ;) So all morning we just kinda sat around the house and relaxed and the weather wasn't even bad outside. It didn't even start raining until about 12:30 so I really felt like I was playing hookie from work--the best part is, I don't even have to make up the time! Rock on! When it finally did start raining a bit, I had Lee take a picture of me, I think this is hilarious:

Yes, I am totally thrilled that the typhoon is finally on its way here. Lee, however, is more interested in lunch.

For that matter, so are the kids.

Lee thinks I am totally goofy for taking pictures of random stuff today, but hey, I want to do SCRAPBOOK PAGES of my FIRST TYPHOON for which I need PHOTOS!! So I took a couple more of Vader and Sadie.

I think it's really funny that Sadie looks at the camera with such distrust.

I tried taking pictures from our front porch once it started getting a little more windy...

And I came to the conclusion that it is really hard to photograph a typhoon. 'Cause this just looks like the view from my front porch any ol' day of the week, not all typhoon-a-riffic.

So anyway, since I couldn't get any really good typhoony pictures, I retreated up to my craft room, cranked up the ol' iPod, and set about playing with my stamps. I'd actually started work on this first card a day or two ago; I made a bunch of them. "Love" is stamped with Real Red craft ink and then embossed with Iridescent Ice embossing powder (one of my favorite techniques).

And then I got to play in today's color challenge on Splitcoast. I have to admit, when I saw the colors my first thought was eeewwwww. I'm not a huge fan of More Mustard, and I kinda don't think that Melon Mambo and Baja Breeze belong together either. But here's what I came up with:

I have to admit, that sentiment stamp totally makes me giggle. A lot.

It's now about 7 p.m. and it's been raining pretty steadily for a while now. It's a bit windier than usual, but still not spectacularly so or anything. Nonetheless, I totally enjoyed my free day off work! The "worst" part of the typhoon is supposed to be from about now to 9 p.m. so I don't think we'll have any issues. We'll probably be back at work tomorrow and then we're off starting Friday for a 4-day weekend. Oh yeah, baby!!

One more thing...I am really proud of myself for uploading the photos for this post onto the Mac, editing them, and posting them all without any help from Lee. Sooner or later I'll figure out how to use this thing!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Warp Speed Ahead, Mr. Sulu!

Wow, Mom was faster that time than I was :) I said I wouldn't post again until she commented, and then she wrote back to me faster than I expected her to. Hehe!

At any rate, I'm back with some more China pictures; we're down to the last few posts now with these I think. Today I'll be sharing a lot of pictures from the Forbidden City, which were mostly taken while we were still moving because our terrible tour guide wouldn't let us stop for anything, not even to buy souvenirs (unless we wanted to buy the junk *he* was peddling!) We'd run through some parts and then stop and just stand for several minutes, which was weird...but it did let us get a few artsy pictures while people were taking potty breaks or whatever was going on to make us stop. Of course, You Don't Know Jack told us absolutely *nothing* about what we were looking at, so this post is pretty much going to be lots of pictures and little chatter from me. So let's get going.

Missy and Bennet in one of the gabillion courtyards you have to walk through before you even get to the Forbidden City.


We stayed in this courtyard for a long time (compared to the rest of the "tour") so Lee was able to take a few artsy shots. Pretty neat, huh? I love photos where you can see reflections in the water.


Proof that Lee and I were there :)

And that we walked a lot. Jack kept telling us that there's a problem with pickpockets so my backpack turned into a front-pack. Not that I had anything more valuable in there than our stash of TP.

We found a big green shishi dog!

And then Lee took a picture of our butts. When my parents visited us in 2008, Mom kept lagging behind and taking all these butt shots, so Lee figured he should get one of the rest of us in China. You can add this one to your collection, Mom! I think it's extra funny that our heads are cut off.


Another humongo courtyard.


Hm, this one came out a little too dark...



'Cause I like dragons.



Rooftop guardians!



Once we passed through most of the buildings and courtyards, we found ourselves in a small garden area, which is where the next few pictures were taken.




So there you have it, folks. You now know everything about the Forbidden City that I do, which is to say pretty much nothing other than it's huge and don't go there with a tour guide named Jack.

In other news, WE HAVE A TYPHOON ON THE WAY!!!!!! I'm so excited. I just want to say I've been through a typhoon is all, and I pretty much figured it wasn't going to happen given that we only have 23 more days left on the island. So yay!

Yes, I know I'm crazy, and I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Photos from Tokyo

Mom already commented on my last post, so here's another one :) I won't post until my mommy says something! Hee!

Just thought I'd post a few random photos from our trip up to mainland Japan, whatever didn't fall into either the Mount Fuji or Disney categories. First up we have a silly picture of us eating McDonald's on the floor of the Haneda airport:

Because it's fun to make Lee eat at McDonald's in as many different countries as possible. Heh. And here are our intrepid menfolk puzzling out the Tokyo train system to get us to our hotel:

And a hand-drawn chalk sign at the Haneda Starbucks, just because I thought it was fun:

Our first evening in Tokyo we went to the teppanyaki restaurant in our hotel (teppanyaki is what you think of if you think Japanese steakhouse where they cook your dinner on the table in front of you). So here we are:

We have another picture sans bunny ears, but really, where's the fun in that? And since we were on vacation, we all had to get dessert. Here's what Missy got:

Lee got something with fruit and I got cheesecake. I forget what Bennet got, but no two of us got the same thing.

Speaking of Bennet, here's one of his more questionable sartorial choices:

Yep, rolling up the pant legs. Stylin'. This was at the bus station before we got on the bus to go to that stinky mountain. And here we are in the restaurant where we ate lunch before attempting to climb that stinky mountain:

Bennet and Missy look far more excited about the prospect...

I just noticed that most of these random photos involved the places we went to eat in Tokyo. Weird. Oh well, here's one more:

I wonder if this is the world's smallest Hard Rock Cafe. It was squished into a small building with a Tony Roma's on the ground floor and the Hard Rock on the second floor.

See? Not large. The place where they sold the shirts and stuff was actually in a separate building (behind and to the right of where we stood to take this picture). I did get a Hard Rock Tokyo shirt (I wore my Hard Rock Beijing shirt to go climb Mt. Fuji). They had several that featured Hello Kitty which I thought was SO Japanese (they do love their cartoon characters), but I went with the regular shirt because the design on the back is really neat. Of course, I didn't take a picture of that yet...oh well!

After Mom comments on this post I'll be back with some more China pictures. I *will* finish posting those before we leave here next month!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tokyo DisneySea: The Hottest Place on Earth?



After all the hard work of climbing (part of) Mount Fuji, we decided to go to Tokyo DisneySea. It's like Disneyland, only with more water. That's the theory, at any rate...to be honest, there seemed to be a dearth of attractions that involved getting soaking wet, which would have been nice since it was (as my mother would say) hotter than a two-dollar pistol out there. Believe it or not, this was Missy's very first experience in a Disney park, and Bennet went when he was little enough that he doesn't remember it so I don't think that counts.

We waited about an hour (in the heat) to buy tickets to get in the park, and this is what you see right at the entrance:

I kinda wanted to go swimming in the fountain like that lady on "Under the Tuscan Sun". But I didn't.

I did see some kimono butts, I know how you guys like the kimono butts! :) I don't think that a kimono was a really practical wardrobe decision for walking around a theme park in the heat all day (did I mention it was hot?) So pretty much the first thing we did was go eat something.

Missy got the kid's plate, and she was especially tickled at the Mickey-shaped carrot.

The centerpiece of the park isn't a castle, it's a volcano:

Which is related to the DisneySea theme because...volcanoes sometimes make islands? The volcano also occasionally spewed fire, but I couldn't get a picture of it. Anyway, that's what I wanted to go check out first, which we discovered was a Journey to the Center of the Earth ride. On the way, we had to stop and get Missy some Minnie Mouse ears:

And then we waited in line for over two and a half hours for a rollercoaster that only had one good drop.

Which made Lee crazy.

And crazy is apparently contagious.

Missy and Bennet had some friends of theirs meet us at the park; they used to be neighbors in California. So here's a group shot of all of us:

It's hotter than it looks, people. Really. Unfortunately we didn't find the *indoor* part of the park until it was almost dark:

K, so this is definitely sea-related! Missy just HAD to go on the DisneySea version of the teacups, and only Lee was brave enough to go with her:

And here's what it looked like from inside the ride...

It always amazes me how much work the Disney folks put into decorating pretty much every square inch of the theme park. It is truly astounding to consider.

At this point I was still looking for my own headgear since my Minnie Mouse ears are AWOL:

Ursula was fun, but who wants a giant octopus-squid monster perched on their noggin? So I went with something else. Oh, just for funsies, here's what the topside of Triton's Kingdom looks like:

I suppose this is the closest thing that DisneySea has to a princess castle. Pretty cool.

We never got on the boat, but thought it looked pretty cool. Not a bad picture for a little point and shoot camera, eh?

We were heading back to the Indiana Jones ride when we saw this perfect picture-taking opportunity:

Followed by this awesome picture on the ride itself:

Click to see it bigger...we're in the back row :D

And here we are at the end of the day right before we got on the train to go back to our hotel. One of these days I'll get to stay in one of the Disney hotels right at the park...but not this time. All in all, a pretty cool park (well, aside from the blistering heat of Tokyo in August!) but I have to admit, DisneyLand in California will always be my favorite. One last photo:

Here we are on the train, so you can see my new Minnie ears :)