And I didn’t take a single picture!

Oh, Reno, how you love to take our money away.  It’s ok though, because we enjoy your biggest-little-city can-do attitude, complete with sprawling casinos and “European” gymnasiums (whatever that means).  Also, your lack of homeless people hired to shove little pictures of naked ladies at passers-by is non-Las-Vegasly refreshing, so Thank You, Reno, for that.

This year, it just happened that my birthday, Valentine’s Day and President’s Day (yes, President’s Day) fell reasonably close together to have a four-day weekend out of town.  Chris and I have stayed at the Peppermill Casino three times now, and it’s rather lovely – it’s all Italian-themed (except for their Chinese restaurant, Chi, which is Chinese-themed) and they have a fantastic spa, casino and restaurants (including Chi).  We arrived Thursday night and spent much of the weekend losing money, enjoying drinks (perhaps a little too much on Sunday night), and luxuriating in our ridiculously over-sized suite.  Well, the suite itself wasn’t over-sized, just the furniture.  But it was awesome!  Also, someone might have eaten the Famous Amos chocolate-chip cookies from the honor bar.  I’m not pointing any fingers, but that someone might have been me, or as Chris identified as the culprit, Snacky McSnackerton.

Anyway, here is a picture of the slot machine that ate all my money.  If you see it, I suggest walking in the opposite direction.  The tigers are tricksy and false…their fancy jewels flash and you hear them roar, but they just take without giving.  Damn you and your scatter bonuses, Siberian Storm!!!

Additional Reno places of interest that took our monies:  the spa (hello, facial and pedicure…I’m pleased to meet you!  Why yes, I’d also like to have one of those luxurious robes as well, thanks!), Romanza the Italian restaurant (so happy that we got in on Valentine’s night, although the lobster and shrimp and sea bass that we enjoyed might not have been so pleased), Atlantis casino (just a quick jaunt down the street and…why, I’m so happy to meet you, Sumo Kitty slot machine!  Here, take some more of my money!), and the Peppermill Poker Room (Chris can fill you in there, although I will say that the craps table was most uncraptacular.  Chris scored pretty well with the dice!).

We were having such a good time that I insisted upon staying another night in our suite instead of heading home late in the evening.  And it all worked out…the cats were even happy to see us home.  Happy birthday / Valentine’s Day / President’s Day to us all!

Where has time gone?

Well, I guess December really got away from me.  Before I knew it, it was the 20th already!  I haven’t been up to a lot though, so you needn’t feel like you’ve missed out on anything.  We had a great  Thanksgiving – my mom came up from San Diego and we had a really excellent time seeing her.  Here’s a picture of us at Kennedy School:

That’s all for now – I’ll be back next year!  Toodles!  :o)

Thanksgiving time already???

Well, I guess Halloween can’t last forever. But, just in case you’re sad about the season ending (like I am), here are a few pictures for you from our Halloween party!

Our terrifying living room.
We turned our basement into a spider den! Horrific!
Even more scary, I made my first attempt at wearing false eyelashes. It didn’t go too badly! Plus, they were purple.
Here’s my costume! I was going for Mad Hatter, but I’ll also accept Mimi from the Drew Carey Show (not really) or drag queen.
Christopher was the local reed dealer. You know, because he makes and sells reeds for oboe.
We had some amazing costumes at our party, including plenty of Star Wars characters. Rachael was the Death Star, her being pregnant and all.
Paul’s costume was clever – he went to the evite site and wrote all the party-goers names on name tags. His concept: identity thief.
Those eyeball cupcakes didn’t stand a chance!
Uh oh…looks like the party is getting started…
Indeed! We even had Elvis singing karaoke in the spider den!
Hey you two – no funny business! Just kidding, carry on with the funny business.
So scary! But fun! Looking forward to another good time next year!

Finally…A Sunny Weekend!

It seems that the weather has finally turned! Lately we’ve had more sun than rain, and the temperatures are getting to the point where I haven’t had to wear my coat to work (although I still wear my wrap sweater and use my space heater every day in my office). So, we took advantage of the sunny weather and headed out for a couple of nights at the coast over Memorial Day Weekend.

Our first task was wine tasting. We drove through Yamhill County, stopping at Penner-Ash (meh), and the Carlton Winemakers Studio (yum).

The view from the tasting room at Penner-Ash – it doesn’t look particularly sunny here, but it was gorgeous anyway!


We then made our way to Lincoln City, and drove south just a little way down the coast to Salishan Resort, where we stayed for two nights. It was actually a pretty nice place – our room had a view of the ocean, a fireplace, and the whole thing was kind of like an Ewok village because it was built in the forest with catwalks that connected all the buildings. It was almost like going to summer camp, but with much better food and a bar with a pool table. We even played a round of golf – 18 holes of putting greens (and I believe I won by 4 strokes).

The view from our room – we could even see the ocean.
Chris kind of kicked my butt at pool.
The putting course – it was very pretty, and was even registered as designated bird habitat by Audubon.
Chris may have beaten me at pool, but I triumphed at golf!

Over the course of two days we visited Chris’ friends Brad and Tyler, who were working on putting the finishing touches on a rental home they were helping to build in Lincoln City. The place was amazing. No drywall in the entire house – everything was wood. And, it was right on the coast – direct beach access, and lots of windows. We also met up with them at the casino those two nights – I didn’t do too terribly well at craps, and Chris did a little better at poker. But we didn’t lose our shorts, so I’ll consider it a success.

Coming back we had a marginally obscene breakfast at Lil’ Sambo’s (named after the beloved (?) racist children’s book), where there was some random old guy in the parking lot dressed as Captain America. I wanted to stop there because I remembered the story from when I was a kid, and liked the tiger in the front of the restaurant.

I finally remembered the story when I read it at their gift shop. Tigers turning into butter???
WTF??? And why isn’t his mask on correctly?

I look forward to more sunny weekends in the near future!

A 2010 Retrospective…Lamenting the Passing of the Best Year Ever!

Happy new year, everyone! It is with great sadness that I say goodbye to 2010, the Best Year Ever. Behold 2010, a year that sidled into my life without presumption or pretense, and now a year that has slipped away like grains of sand through an hourglass…these are the days of our lives…Wait – haven’t I heard that somewhere before? Dang, and I don’t even watch soaps!

But in all *seriousness* (because we all know how Serious I am), 2010 was a fantastic year. I’m left wondering how 2011 could possibly be any better, seeing as how so many crazy-rad things happened in the past 12 months. Like what, you ask? Well, how about the following:

So, can you now understand why I might be sad to say farewell to 2010? Yes? Oh, I know…your response is that 2011 will probably be even better. How is that even possible? Well, I’ll keep you posted on how that works out – be sure to check back soon!

P.S. – Did you notice how I kept last year’s resolution? I totally maintained this blog! I posted way more than in 2009…let’s see if I can keep it up in 2011!

That’s it???

Happy Halloween, y’all! Because I’ve been super busy this month with moving and everything, I didn’t have time to get a costume together or my residence decorated. And it’s a real shame, because I had a great costume all designed – I was actually standing in JoAnn’s with bolts of fabric in my arms, but I abandoned the plan last minute because I’m just too busy. So, you’ll have to see my costume next year.

Anywhooooo…I did manage to slowly transform my office into a spooktacular spider lair during the month of October. My costume would’ve played into that. Yes, I was the only one at work who decorated their office…I don’t care though! As far as I’m concerned, Halloween should be every month. Candy and costumes? It doesn’t get much better than that in terms of holidays!