Wednesday, April 30, 2008



I said I would finish this in April, and here I am, 7:48 p.m. on April 30, and.....


And by one month I mean, lunch breaks, a little bit at night, a little bit on busy weekends (except that one weekend where I forgot it at work so I missed out reading it).


I will review it after my brain decides to 'unmelt'.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

That Just Happened!

That Just Happened! # 1

The scene: Me driving my Jeep on my way to the post office on my lunch break.

I am in Northbound traffic. North and Southbound traffic have the red light. There are two lanes for North & South traffic, not counting turning lanes. Same thing with east and west traffic. I am in the left lane waiting at the light, so I can get on the Westbound road.

East and West bound traffic have a green light and are a go.

I am talking to David on my cell, discussing cable stuff. I see a man riding a bike. He is heading southbound, so he is basically coming "at" me.

Me: So when is the cable going to be fixed?
David: We have an appointment tomo....
Me (interrupting): DUDE, ARE YOU INSANE??
David: Huh?
Me: There is a guy on a bike and he just crossed west-bound traffic to the middle concrete section, and the traffic has the right of way!!!!
David: Oh.
Me: That guy is going to get hit! What an idiot! I hope he stops! (guy on bike is now riding on the concrete median. East & west bound traffic is still going full speed.)

Guy on bike then gets OFF median and proceeds to cross the east bound traffic side......and rides INTO the rear of a car that just went by at 45 mph. Guy falls off bike, bike pieces go flying, other cars screech to a halt.

Me: HOLY CRAP! The idiot just pulled into traffic and got HIT!!

People are getting out of their cars. The bicyclist is already on his feet trying to pick up his bike which had its front wheel mangled, and find his lost flip flop.

The guy was TOTALLY at fault. On the way back, I see him standing in an empty lot, talking with the police, pointing at something. I was hoping he was NOT blaming the driver of the car. A couple of witnesses were pulled over with the cop as well, so I did not stop. That Just Happened!

That Just Happened! # 2

Driving on a toll road today, David says "Awe Man!" at something. I ask him what's up. He said he was being tailgated by a Toyota Forerunner, who then sped by him doing at least 95 m.p.h.(cause he was going 80 - lol). The Toyota then weaved in and out, in and out, driving like a maniac. David was hoping the guy did not get around a huge truck that was blocking everyone's way, but Speed Racer managed it.

About a mile later, right before our exit, we see a motorcycle cop (like CHiP's only......FHiP's. Ok, not as cool), taking off from his secret hidey hole, with his lights flashing.

Me: Oooooh, I wonder if he's going after speeding guy! Cause that would be awesome.
David: Man, we're at our exit!
Me: Go, go go! Follow that cop!
David: Seriously?
Me: Yea! What, we have to be somewhere? Go!

We ignore our exit, and keep driving. About a mile later....BOOOYAH! FHiP's just pulled over Toyota Forerunner Guy!!

Me (clapping): Now THERE'S a cop when you need one!!

That Just Happened!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wizard/Dumbledore Cake!

For those of you new my blog, I should tell you that I make cakes. Fancy Schmancy Cakes. Let me take you back through some of the ones I have made. These are on my old Friendster blog. Eventually, I am transferring everything to Blogger, but in the meantime, just keep hitting your back button to get back to this post.

It started with a book I bought.

After a few weeks of collecting the supplies, I tried my first one: A Pixie Teapot House. For a first ever attempt, I think it's T-rrific.

Next up is still my all-time favorite: The Grandfather Tree. He turned out amazing!

Third up, is a Booby Cake. LOL I never posted pictures, so if you click the link, you've been warned. It's not too bad, but still....boobies. I made it for my nephew's 21st birthday.

The next one was a Snow White Cake. Soooo cute (and notice there are no "back of the house" pictures. Not pretty. LOL)

I made a quick one for the neighbors-who-moved-away to thank them.

Then, I took a break (read: mortgage went up, spending went down. LOL)

So here I am in 2008, and here's the new cake. It's a Wizard Cake, but I want to call him Dumbledore cause I can. Nyah! As always, clicking on the pictures makes them bigger.

Buttery Goodness!

Bite Me, says the cake!

Yes, these towers of cake and butter cream are going to be really cool. Just wait!

The "stone table" with the green tablecloth is prepared.

Then Dumbledore's body is shaped. His body is that tall tower of cake you saw above.
Side note: I tried a new fondant brand that I bought on line. LOVE IT!! WAY better tasting than the Wilton brand you can get at Wal-Fart and Michaels. I also bought a new Gum Paste brand, which I HATED!! I'll be sticking with the new fondant but the old gum paste. I had issues with it. Just check out the wizards hands and magic globe - more like a magic pancake - the paste would not set. Grrrr.

Say hello to Dumbledore. He has glitter all over him but it looks...dusty in the picture. The poop-looking thing on the pink sponge is his staff, BUT as I said the gum paste was bad the darned thing took long to set. Check out his flat hands. LOL Stupid gum paste.

Little mouse taking a nap on Dumbledore's books.
Some bags o' magic stuff.

Potion bottles.

Potion book and candle (and mushy ball.)
Isn't he swell!

Oh, I finished him up at midnight. Isabel and I hacked into the table today after dinner. :)

Kaaren Can't.....

In my post about fixing the kids' bathroom sink, my buddy Kelli commented :

"I am totally impressed! There's nothing you can't do Kaaren. :)"

..which I thought was funny. So to dispel the perfectness of me, here are

5 Things Kaaren Can't Do

Super Kaaren

  1. Swim. (uh huh. Born on an island no less)
  2. Juggle. Not balls, bowling pins or even geese.
  3. Lose this damned baby weight from Isabel. *sigh* Moving on......
  4. French braid my own hair. Always wanted to, but 1/3 of the way through and my arms are in PAIN so I stop.
  5. A cartwheel. They look so cool. Never learned.

There you have it! What are your 5 things? Feel free to comment and let me know!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Isabel Got Ahold of the Camera


Cause I am woman, hear me!

About a month ago, the kid's sink in their bathroom started acting up. It is a one-handled faucet that you turn either left or right to make hotter or colder. It started leaking and would not shut off completely.

While David's youngest brother was here, it would not turn off at all. I took it apart while he was here. He probably thought I was a nut. I ended up shutting off the hot water main under the sink, so that when you rotated the handle to the left, no water would come out. At least they could use the cold water for teeth brushing and hand washing. Just no hot.

I went on-line to research the brand and see what parts I would need. A trip to both Lowe's and Home Depot proved futile; they did not stock the parts I needed. I was NOT calling a plumber and paying him $60-$100 to fix something I thought I could fix.

I went back on-line and purchased the parts I thought I would need straight from their site.

The parts arrived last week and I finally got to it yesterday.

Old and new parts, side by side.

The mess
$10 later and BAM!!!
Plumbers? We don't need no stinkin' plumbers!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Very Bad Most Horrible Day

Poor poor Isabel. Poor poor poor poor baby.

We had an appointment at a new doctor's office. Our doctor of 13 plus years has some ..issues. No clue what happened, but after us going to the same place for 10 years, he closed his solo practice down and joined another practice in another building/city. Fine, we moved with him. After less than a year there....he moves again to another practice in another city. Then WE moved. By this time, it was over an hour drive to get to his new place. We decided to give him up, asked our cool neighbors who moved (wahhhhh) and went to their pediatrician's office.

Isabel was all bundles of cute happiness. I scheduled a "well check-up" or a physical, since she has not seen a doctor in over a year. She was so excited when they called her name, when they weighed and measured her and when they took her blood pressure. It was downhill from there.

They needed to check her crea-hemo-hexa-something, no clue. So they quickly prick her finger and drew blood. She's in shock! How dare the doctor do this! (It was a nurse, but to her, they were all doctors). Two seconds later, they stick a needle in her forearm to test for....I so can't remember. They make the skin puff up right under the skin. By this time, she's crying hard.

The doctor comes in. Nice young lady. She sees Isabel and says that when she read Isabel's chart, it told her that Isabel was on the heavy side.

This girl right here, heavy.

But then she said that Isabel looked "solid" to her. She checked her ears, told us there was a lot of wax, and sent in a nurse to clean out her ears with a warm water jet thingy. She cried bloody murder. It was not painful but she was so not happy. After about 20 minutes of trying, they only got a little bit out, and sent us home with ear drops.

Then, a shot. Out of the blue.

Poor poor baby. It was a very bad, most horrible day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

There needs to be a manual....

for going to a theme park for tourists...foreign and domestic.

British you not have sun over there? The blinding whiteness that are your limbs are shocking...especially when they turn BEET RED from the Florida sun. One word: sunscreen. Another thing....I admire that you don't feel the need to color coordinate. I like that you are confident like that. Nothing goes with pasty white like bright yellow, purple....and orange...and a striped top.

Speaking of tops: Dear lady from England I saw today....for the love of William, Mary and all other kings and queens of yore.....WEAR. A. BRA!!!! You, my 5 foot one, 160+ pounds lady, do NOT need to be wearing a Lycra tank top, with NO BRA.....on a chilly day. It was frightening. Not only were they heading due south, but they were POINTING the way. It's like a bad car accident. I tried to avoid my eyes, but I couldn't turn away. My retinas hurt.

Someone riddle me this: why wear flip-flops or open-toed sandals to a theme park?
1. Your toes are going to get smashed by the crowds & crowds of people with strollers and...feet.
2. Your toes are going to pick up dirt, food, vomit (yup), spilled drinks, dirty water after it rains, etc.
3. Your toes....are ugly. Stop. Please. Now, I know I have jacked up toes, but you do not see me walking around exposing them for the world to see. It's a small world after all.

Also, cute young ladies of all countries, why are you wearing high heels? Read # 3 above. If you keep wearing them, you too will have jacked up toes like me. You are in a theme park. How comfortable are you anyway? Trying to pick up boys? What are you doing in those heels?

Dear American Family of Four on the Monorail: It is not cute that your four year old screamed at the top of his lungs as a joke, "WE'RE TRAPPED! WE'RE STUCK! AHHHHHHHH!" when the monorail had to stop before we got to the station. Your lack of effort to keep him quiet was not appreciated. Neither were your smiles and pats. His yelling this 3 times when we stopped 3 times was not cute.

In America, WE WALK ON THE RIGHT SIDE of the road/sidewalk/walkway. I know we are backwards from most of the world, but for the love of Mickey, why can't we stay on one side? Right, right, right, please.

Also, we have to walk defensively all day, because we have to navigate the roads while guessing what other people are going to do because they don't watch where they are going. All day long I skirted people walking looking backwards at their party. Then there are people who are walking nicely on the right side....and then STOP right there to discuss what to do next. You don't have brake lights. Please pull over so I don't rear end you.

Ahhhh, I loves me some Walt Disney World!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Arabesque & Random Songs

Above Jake is playing Arabesque, by Burgmuller.

These songs above are sections from Final Fantasy Songs. The first is "Aeris' Theme." The second is "To Zanarkand." Both are by Nobuo Uematsu.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mini-Vacation - Saturday & Sunday

Saturday was spent at lunch with my pal from BAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHston, who is down here for vacation. We met her at a local place in Lake Mary for lunch and then she came over to see our house.

Isabel had a ball hopping at the outdoor restaurant that a letterboxing pal introduced us to.

Saturday evening, the rain put a damper on things and we almost did not go to a Disney park....but decided very late to head down to Disney's Hollywood Studios. You may remember this as Disney MGM Studios. They've had a name change recently.

It was late, the temperature was cool and the park...was empty. It was AWESOME.
Sunday, the rain did not stop. We decided to forgo the parks on Jake's last day of Spring Break. Instead we headed to Barnes and Nobles, where I got my two favorite things EVER: Starbucks and books to look at.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Vay Cay Shun..Three

Friday and we went Walt Disney World!

Remember when I mentioned that my ex-father-in-law/Jake's grandpa Al met us at the Navy Exchange on Thursday? He was helping us buy our Disney Florida Residents Passes. As Florida residents, we get 365 days a year, plus free parking for LESS than an out-of-state person can buy a two week park-hopper, NOT including the free parking we get. As a relative of a military man, we get about a 10% discount and no tax. (If you buy a one-day park hopper, you are nuts, and are spending over $116 to do so. The more days you buy the cheaper it is, but really, who is going to buy a two-week consecutive park hopper. I digress).

We talked and talked about going for years. It's cheap considering the daily price, but it's expensive too when you have to plop out a chunk of change for 4 people. Jacob and I used to have them ourselves when it was just us two. Buying for four is a different story. But we saved and saved and saved, and took Isabel to her first visit ever!

(Hey Desi, what's Darren doing there? heehee. He reminded me of pictures I've seen of Darren out of the corner of my eye. But Darren's wife is way prettier. LOL)

Here she is, walking into the Magic Kingdom Park. It was HOT. Of course.

Here they are, watching a duck family walk out of the castle.

Her first ride HAD to be the carousel. She loves them. She did not quite understand "lines" and "having to wait in them." She whined and cried a few times, pushing me in the butt, trying to get me to move already. Poor thing. We did Aladdin's carpet ride, the Dumbo ride, she ran through a water play area, another kids play area, we walked the Swiss Family Tree House and watched a parade.

We were tired so we took a leisurely ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority ride. We caught a show at the castle, and then headed home.

The sign of a successful day.

Yay Jesus!

Jacob and I are upstairs. Isabel and David are downstairs bowling on the Wii. Suddenly, Jake and I hear a very vociferous "Yay Jesus!!!" coming from downstairs.

Curious, Jacob and I stop what we're doing and head downstairs.

On the Wii, when you are playing sports or games, you get to create your own character. If you are on-line, you can also share characters with anyone on the net also using a Wii. You can "Import" them. Jake loves to import funny ones.

Hence, "Yay Jesus!!!"

He'd just bowled a spare, but notice....Isabel was winning. He's so nice, letting her win.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Vay Cay Shun..Two

Thursday. We got up early and got ready to meet Jake's grandpa Al down at the Navy Exchange. He was doing us a favor (THANKS AL/POPPA!!!! You Rawk!) by taking time out of his day to meet us there. For what? I'll tell you tomorrow!

After that we headed to IHOP for brunch and then drove around the city of Orlando, I-4 and then hopped off into Winter Park. This is a shee-shee beautiful, rich city, with a wonderful downtown area. We found a spot on the main road, parked and walked through the park by the train station and down the busy streets full of beautiful shops and boutiques.

They are hosting this art project right now. Artists from all over got to paint on these "ArtyGators." The Gators were all over the place; on street corners, in the middle of sidewalks, down side streets. They were amazing. The artists are very talented. We went out sans camera, so here are some Gator-Shots taken with my camera phone.

(sorry: Was working on the blog on the old computer and it froze. Here are the pictures)

Here's a surfing one. Forgot what it was called, but you can see Isabel there. She loved them all.

This one's for you Heather. It's called LitiGator. :)

This one was beautiful. Something about Grapes.

And of course....GatorGator. GO GATORS!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lost in Translation

I've been reading a lot of classic books lately (Crime and Punishment, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dante's Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise,) and stating how good/bad they were for me.

I read an introduction to one of them and got to thinking about these works I have been reading lately. These books are all translated; respectively, from Russian, French and Italian. I am basing part of my opinion on the translator of these works. One book even had the person writing the introduction disagreeing with the translator on some turns of phrases.

Things do get lost in translation. I see it all the time between English and Spanish. Slang that does not translate, idioms and dialects can't be explained well in another language and get lost.

It's too bad that we don't become more learned in other languages like other countries do. It would be great to read a Classic in its original form.

By the way, my book posts are going to be a little slow in April:

I'm reading the Russian epic, "WAR AND PEACE."

Vay Cay Shun..One


Jake's on Spring Break this week, so back in January, I filed for vacation for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.

The vacation has started off with a BANG! *eye roll*

I took the Jeep to the dealership because they got in a part they had to order from the last service I got. The service was going to take forever and I was stuck in the waiting room because a certain someone was griping about the 40-minute one-way drive to the dealership to pick me up. I was disturbing his beauty sleep. Luckily, I had a book with me, but then Ben the repair guy comes in the waiting room and tells me that free car rentals are included with my Jeep as part of the contract when I bought the Jeep new from them. SWEET! Off I rode in a 2007 PT Cruiser.

(I change the blog color yet again. I cannot find "me" in the color schemes. I want it to be "me" ykwim?)

No plans for today, just NOT working is fun enough.