Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Viva Hurl Vegas

We arrived in Las Vegas on Saturday morning, picked up the rental car, and made a beeline for the outlet mall in Primm, just south of the Strip. After a successful trip (including picking up a gorgeous long black gown at the BCBG Max Azria outlet for 65% off), we headed back to the Strip and checked into the hotel--the Palazzo at the Venetian. I got ready to go out to a restaurant and a Cirque de Soleil show while Guy took a little nap on the luxurious fluffy bed. After we walked down to New York New York casino, Guy picked up our tickets...

...and turned pale.

We sold our tickets back to the box office and barely made it back to the hotel/resort/casino in time for Guy to succumb to the same stomach flu I had at the start of February.

Guy spent the next day and a half laying in the hotel room, subsisting on fruit juice, Gatorade, and water. He finally emerged to have some breakfast (a smoothie), one poker tournament, and dinner at Emeril's Table 10 restaurant in the Palazzo on Monday, the day of our 3rd anniversary. He didn't eat much, but we both found room for gelato--who couldn't, says I? He was still tired when we flew home Tuesday and stayed home from work today. (Somehow, he found energy to do some touch-up painting around the house, so Shorty is impressed.)

I dined alone for dinner twice, and nothing is as depressing as dining alone in Vegas when that wasn't the point. I felt like a widow: "What brings you to Vegas?" "My anniversary." "Oh, where's your husband." "He's not here..." "Oh..." However, my days were pretty fun--I got a stone massage, a body wrap, a manicure and pedicure, a rock wall-climbing lesson (I bruised my knee but I did pretty well, though nearly pissing my pants while doing so), and a fitness assessment. Interestingly, my body fat percentage increased (21.2% up from 18.8% in 2007), but so did my overall strength and performance. Evidently, I was overtraining last year and working way too hard. I wasn't giving my body enough of a rest to recover and get stronger.

With the addition of the Palazzo at the Venetian, they added a huge mall with had a lot of super-high-end stores, like Diane von Furstenburg, Coach, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Ferragamo, and a three-story Barney's of New York. I couldn't help but indulge my inner fashionista and even try on a few things, but my inner Go Fug Yourself girl had to make fun of some things as well. I'll post photos of the trip soon with appropriate heckles attached.

I returned to work this morning to get kidney-punched by Squidwort in a meeting, Zahara fervently apologizing: "He had all these questions yesterday and bombarded me with them! You were gone, cuz otherwise I would have warned you! I'm so sorry! He's such a fucking jerk!" Even my mild-mannered superintendent, Herman, muttered on the phone with me this afternoon, "What a tool." Squiddy sure knows how to welcome a girl home.

At least I got to have one lovely dinner with my smoochybear. I think we need a do-over. Maybe for our birthday? My work pal Ethel said, "I was thinking your do-over should be in April!" Not a bad idea.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Banana Bread Thieves, film at eleven

Evidently, the wet food we're giving Maddy and Hazel three times a week isn't enough.

I came home this afternoon to find that Someone and Someone Else had climbed up on the counter, dragged down the plastic bag with the somewhat-overcooked banana bread in it, and gnawgnawgnawed through the bag and into the loaf. Frankly, it was so overbaked that I'm surprised they didn't break a tooth on it.

Maddy, meanwhile, doesn't miss a crumb. And she says she has no idea who did this to my banana bread.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Operation Clean This Place Up, Part 1

As I ponder ways to post on MHRC without giving away too much, I'm itching to show you all about Operation Clean This Place Up. A major point of the renovation was the bed. Guy and I bought a new queen-sized mattress in 2001 when we moved in together in the condo, and not even six years later it was feeling cramped, lumpy, saggy, and uncomfortable. We debated getting a new mattress for a long-ass time, probably on and off for at least a year. In recent months, we'd finally decided that we needed a) a new mattress and b) it had to be a king. The two of us, plus any critter or critters, is just too much. Even without a pet on the bed, I often found myself rolling over at night searching for comfort, only to end up with Guy's knee planted squarely in my ass. He in turn often got one of my arms in his side or, worse, in his face. Plus, the motion of our mattress transferred from one side to the other, definitely not a good thing when we have different sleep schedules. I'm 9:30pm to 6am, while Guy is more like midnight to 7:30am.

We looked into our options and thought seriously about a Sleep Number bed. They're expensive, which made Guy pause, but they carried a nice, long warranty and seemed more able to live up to that guarantee. After all, they were made of inflatable air chambers--if things got saggy, you just pumped a little more air into it. Right? We also realized that if we got a king mattress, we would be in need of a new bed as well. My turn to pause: we still use the bedroom suit that my dad bought me when I was 13 and we moved into a new house, and I was more than hesitant to get rid of my headboard, or any part of my suite for that matter. It was time for research then. We (okay, moslty Guy) surfed the Web extensively to find deals on a Sleep Number king mattress as well as a king bed frame that was low profile, modern, and wouldn't clash with my pale burlwood Thomasville furniture from 1987.

We found the following:

This is a bedframe from West Elm. It's a king size platform bed, but you have to buy the wood slats shown here separately. Guy put the bedframe and slats together in under an hour. It would have been less than that, but I insisted on helping. It shipped to us in two boxes, I think: one for the bed and one for the slats. The slats were stapled together with canvas strips so that they rolled out in the frame. Total cost of frame and slats plus shipping and taxes: $336.

Here it is with the Sleep Number mattress on it (plus comforter and Maddy):

You can see my old headboard is still in place. It's a little short of each side, but not bad looking overall. We decided to go with the Sleep Number after a great deal of research. Guy's research showed that most people who were unhappy with the Sleep Number bed were overweight to the point of obesity, a description that fits neither of us. We spent a night at a Radisson Hotel, which has the Sleep Number beds in its rooms, so we tried it out and felt pretty satisfied with it. We managed to get a decent discount on it by a) not buying the box frame that the Select Comfort company sells, by b) buying the 3000 model, the lowest model, and by c) buying it in the store instead of online. The company way overcharges for a box spring, the only purpose of which is really to raise the mattress up off of the floor, and any model above the 3000 is charging you for extra padding on top of the mattress and for the pleasure of knowing you exact sleep number. We have two air chambers (one for each side), 1" of foam on top of the mattress, and we each have a controller that just says "softer" and "firmer". They charge you an extra $250 for digital controllers. Funnily enough, when we read that on the website, Guy and I said in unison, "Fuck that shit."

It's so nice to be on the same wavelength as your partner.

Also, we got an extra $100 off for buying it in the store, as they managed to have some promotion going on when we decided to buy. Often they'll have some deal like "no interest payments for a year", which is a great deal as long as you can be diligent and pay it off before the interest starts. So, cost of Sleep Number 3000 model king size mattress only, plus tax and shipping: $754.

The above photo also shows some brown sheets, which we bought new at Target the day we set up the bed. For some decently soft cotton sheets from Target, we spent about $50. We later bought two king-size pillows (about $26), a king comforter (middle of the road, three-season, down alternative fill, about $100), and a comforter/duvet cover that came with two fancy pillow shams (on clearance for about $40) at Bed Bath & Beyond. The comforter shown on the bed in the photo above is a queen-sized down alternative comforter by Scandia Down that Miss Kitty bought me back in 2000. We're keeping it for guests... Miss Kitty herself, who's coming to visit in two weeks. Prepare for Serious Tomfoolery.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Back in the land of the living

Lawd, y'all, Shorty was illin' this week. I spent all of Friday with amazing stomach pains that finally ended in seeing my dinner a second time, then laying at home on Monday while watching the Weather Channel. Of course, Princess Dumbass here just had to go to work for one hour on Monday to make sure her new intern had something to do and then even try to go to a meeting at MHRC (you know, the meeting where everyone was trying to keep CEO Plankton out of it). As soon as I got to work, I realized I couldn't do it, so I left Jann a message on her cell phone. Evidently, I was missed at the meeting, as Squidwort had to heckle me when I answered my phone the next day.

I spent the rest of the week dragging around, feeling low and heavy and just...bleh. I mean, there's no other word for it. As a mental health check, I met Vinnie--psychotherapist, antique furniture dealer, and my longtime pal--for drinks at McCormick's in LoDo. He bought me a pot of hot tea, which I didn't even know they had there. "Look," he said, adjusting his dark silk tie with one large hand, "the flu is in rare form in Colorado this year. Most of what I'm seeing in my office is about 24 hours of violent illness followed by a a couple of weeks of low energy, low affect. Everyone thinks they're depressed, and they're not--it's the flu. And February is the time to get the flu in Colorado."

Vinnie's advice was to take it easy for a few weeks, work out but don't push quite as hard as I usually do so I don't relapse. Fine and dandy. Today is being spent working on catching up around the house, especially laundry and basic housework. I can see a layer of cat hair and dust on the hardwood floor, and papers are piled up everywhere. I also have some new books from the library that need reading, so I'm looking forward to doing that.

Know what else I'm loking forward to? In two weeks, Guy and I will celebrate our 3rd wedding Vegas. Again. Does that make us lame? Then fine, we're lame. (No, seriously, I'm still a little lame--the ankle doesn't have full flexibility yet, but it's close. It's at about 90%.) But we fucking. love. Vegas. It's Disneyland for adults. We go and live and peoplewatch and get massages and seaweed wraps and kick people's asses in poker tournaments and dine and party like rock stars for three days. We're staying at the Venetian yet again, and Guy even managed to get us a room in the newly-completed Palazzo tower for about 2/3 the regular price. I give Guy a lot of shit for being cheap, but that man can sure find a bargain. So, in two weeks, it'll be off to the spa and yoga classes while Guy demolishes Joe Sixpack visiting from Des Moines in a poker tourney. Then, the weekend after that...

...Kitty's coming for a week. Oh, beware, Guy...beware.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I spent the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl throwing up with a stomach flu. At least the barbecue was as good the second time as it was the first. meanwhile, i'm trying to put out a PR for equipment on MHRC. I'll post later when I actually have energy.