To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The First Dance

It's been quite a while since the Shawnda wedding, and I haven't really posted much about it. Fine, some might think it is a lot, but for this happy newlywed girl I feel I was pretty quiet.  So for today's post I'm keeping it short and simple.

Our first dance!

This happened two weeks after the wedding, back home in Oregon. We spent some nights at home in a darkly lit living room practicing. Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum found it's way into my drinks as I worked on choreography.  MF even helped out with some of the ideas. Friends from my old dance lesson days would probably recognize some moves; girls from Stripper 101 in Las Vegas should see things they remember doing as part of the bachelorette party; and pop culture fans should find some things in their that they know as well!

The first part is cut off.... we started dancing to Let's Get It On and apparently my mom felt a need to interrupt and tell us to clean up our act, we had older family members and the doctor that delivered me present!

If you notice a lady in the background buckle over and almost spit her champagne out of her mouth ... that's my mom! And she clearly was just realizing what was going on!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"It All Starts Here"

If you are a huge Goonies fan like myself you'll recognize the title as a quote from Mikey Walsh, aka Sean Astin.  As a lifelong Oregonian (minus that stint of a few years in Florida) I'm pretty much obsessed with Goonies. I'm shocked it too so long for me to get up to Astoria, in my adult years, to visit and stalk film locations! If I was motivated I'd find a photo, from when I looked even more like my Cabbage Patch Kid, outside of one location PRE-Goonies, but I'm feeling lazy....

I was in Astoria to run the Great Columbia Crossing 10K, but the real motivation to even bother driving that far to race was so I could have my own real-life Goonie adventure. The day before Man Friend and I camped ourselves out on a couch watching Goonies on this tv that was so amazing I felt like I was there. Seriously, I've never seen this movie in such high quality! I was more than ready and excited to go see THE house with my own eyes!

We arrived in Astoria an hour and a half before the sun came up, so I couldn't really do too much stalking. I did, however, find this little funny gem as I was sneaking into a hotel to use the bathroom.

So of course I was even more excited. This town was acknowledging the obsessed fans like myself! During the 10K I joked that I was running .... to get to One-Eyed Willy's rich stuff! Once the finish line was crossed I had one mission: change clothes and get to the jail!

Earlier I had taken screen shots of movie locations, so with my iPad and phone in hand I directed us to the right part of town. We rounded a corner and I saw this impressive house/museum. "Yes!! Cool!!" From here on out I'm just going to assume you've seen the greatest film ever created by man.  This is where Mikey's dad is messing with the flag pole at the beginning of the movie during the police chase. This is also where my mom and I have a photo where I look like a cabbage patch and my mom looks like a girl barely old enough to drink!

It wouldn't be me to just take a photo and call it good. Oh no!  Of course I HAD to go to the flagpole and act out the scene!  3...2...1... Action!

Yes, I know - an Oscar is in my future!
Right after my photo shoot a nice man came from behind and offered to take photos for us!  So here we are, just being normal people for a change in normal, non-costume, non-running clothes (except for my post-race shoe choice)! It's the real MF and RR!

That was just an appetizer. I needed to get back to where we parked the car .... a few spots down from this ORV!  (Off-road vehicle. Sheesh, I thought you saw the movie?!?!) That would be THE ORV from the movie!! I touched it!!


I enjoyed that they even had a gas can in the back -- you know, from the Fratelli brothers, of course!

I took it upon myself to do a close inspection, just as Chunk did... what to you know .... ORV, Bullet holes ... Bullet holes!!!!?????!!!!!

Bullet holes the size of matzo balls!

All of this was right outside of THE JAIL from the beginning of the movie, an actual former jail! I was so excited to go in - and the first thing you see....

Too cool!! We took photos of everything. I won't put them all here, because I'm nice like that.  The entry room had cartoons of the main characters and random movie factoids. I couldn't resist reinacting the "don't I have a beautiful body?" scene.  From there we checked out the jail. The walls had information about the actual jail history as well as tons of Goonies info.  There were three cells in the hallway; one cell completely full of memorabilia like books, buttons, games, dolls, etc... The next cell was empty - we'll get to that in a second, and the third had Data's actual costume! 

What I really needed to do, however, was start out the movie on my own.... "You schmuck, do you really think I'd be stupid enough to kill myself?"

Honestly, propping myself up like that (on my tiptoes) and "hanging" is probably the best acting I've ever done ... although I can, at times, get so dramatic with my over the top acting that I can almost make myself cry! That's usually reserved for more intense things like Titanic, Steel Magnolias and Romeo and Juliet. Anyway..... 

I pondered my life in jail and decided that maybe I'll continue to be a law abiding citizen....

I'd say MF and I were pretty ridiculous and nearly like an 80s movie montage with our tons of mug shots with different poses. This was my favorite though!

The next thing we did was hit up the room with 3 green screens and act out some scenes. I did the Shining (Heeeeere's Johnny!!) and together we butchered a scene from Twilight, a movie I've never seen. The coolest part of that room was seeing real movie props from various Oregon films, but most notably from Goonies.  The photos I've put in here include the wallet of Chester Copperpot, a Lou Gehrig, the doubloon, and that nifty thing that looks like a skull that they used in one of the booty traps. You mean booby traps. That's what I said! I'm setting booby traps. Sheesh, some guys.  (Thank you, I call that acting!) Also the David statue is one used BEFORE his little boo-boo, clearly!

I was about to play the role of Mama Fratelli AND her sons during the big jail escape .... but a family came in and I wasn't brave enough to act out three parts in front of strangers.  They actually did have cameras and screens for you to read the script and other cues on! They are supposed to be e-mailed to us some time, but the acting is sooo bad I told MF it will never be shared!

Before exiting I hit up the gift shop, where you can buy a Baby Ruth! I left with a lot and I am not ashamed to admit it! In this photo you can see my new sweatshirt that I am constantly wearing during my housewife hours!

The jail was the main course.... time for dessert!!  Back in the car, we followed the map to the holy grail of Goonies fans...

Even seeing the sign gave me goose bumps!

THE house!!!! It was like stepping back in time to 1985. I expected to see the Walsh brothers fighting and Mouth coming in with some witty comeback. Sadly, they didn't appear - but they were their via ME as I acted out way too many scenes!
And it wouldn't be a trip to the house without playing the role of Mouth and forcing MF to do the Truffle Shuffle!! What a great sport!

I couldn't leave without a selfie of myself and the coolest house in the world!

So that was our trip .... a beautiful day of putting myself in my favorite movie and now forcing it upon all of you!

I'll back up to the jail and leave you with this.... Hey You Guys!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Great Columbia Crossing 10K

I was going to be in Portland for the Adam Carolla podcast on a Friday night. That left me two open weekend days, so why not find a race? While browsing I stumbled upon the Great Columbia Crossing 10K that would take me from Washington to Oregon, crossing the finish line in Astoria. *Astoria, named after John Jacob Astor who died on the Titanic. See? I can relate all things to Titanic. ALSO, Astoria is where they filmed my all-time favorite movie, Goonies! Clearly there was no question about whether or not to do this race!

We were up at 3:50 am in order get dressed and drive from St. Helens to Astoria. Not knowing the road we decided to leave a window just in case we got lost. Yeah, nobody was on the road except for the slow cars we kept getting stuck behind. It was pretty hard to stay awake, but eventually we were parking at the finish area just before 6am. Packet pick-up was so strange! We got to this table and they had us write our first and last name and city we live in on a card. Then they sent us to the next table where we gave the lady our card. She verified our name and then told us to move over to a side area and wait for our name to be called. Then yet another person gave us our bib, chip and COTTON long-sleeved t-shirt. Had I realized it was cotton I wouldn't have gotten it. It's so huge I think I can hide a small family of kittens inside of it without you noticing.

Okay, so back to the story.... we hit up a warm bathroom in a local hotel then sat in the car warming up, debating our clothing and attaching our bibs. We got on the shuttle to the start at 7am since they really stressed the need to get on them as early as possible to make it to the start on time.  The ride was basically doing the reverse of our race path and I just kept noticing the massive size of the bridge. I registered for this race to challenge myself on it since bridges tend to trigger Meniere's attacks and the size freaked me out!

Shortly after 7 we were at Dismal Nitch, the start area. Is that really the name you want to see before you start a race?? DISMAL??  BUT we were safe ... Homeland Security was there, including a dog!

The race started at 8:45am. 37º and we have close to 2 hours to wait next to a HUGE river!?! Wind, cold, sea smells and did I mention wind and cold?? I was bundled up in my jacket that I planned to check, and my pirate socks specifically chosen in honor of Goonies and One-Eyed Willy! I hovered near strangers and smashed against MF just to steal body heat from people. I wasn't the only one doing this!

If you look behind me in that photo you'll see the bridge. That bridge was 4.1 of the 6.2 miles we were running. I hemmed and hawed and thought about how cold it could be over all that water, but still I ditched my coat at what I thought was the last possible minute. I had myself warmed up, stretched and was feeling ready .... then nothing. The race was delayed until we were given clearance to go on the bridge. The delay felt like it was forever and by the time we started I was completely shivering and my feet had gone numb.

So there we go... Off in a flurry! I couldn't feel my toes at all and couldn't really feel how to run. Does that make sense?!? Before I felt my toes I felt my ankles and they were hurting from the cold and however my feet were hitting the ground. That pain traveled up my legs and settled in on my calves. Half of a mile in and I was almost in tears, but unable to find an open spot to try to walk it off or stretch it out. For three tenths of a mile I ran in pain until just before the bridge where I found an open lot to dive into. I was very disappointed because training had been awesome and I was ready for this race. 

It took half of the race to get rid of the tightness and excruciating pain. I didn't expect to be walking, but since I had to for quite a while I took advantage and got some photos:

Here we are, enjoying the non-rainy weather and pretty views of the Columbia River
Looking west on the Columbia River. This was our view for the whole race!
I gave myself one final stretch where I actually whimpered in audible pain and then I was ready to go. Finally I was feeling like a runner again! This time the only worries I had were 1) what if the bridge collapses and 2) how cold will that be? I promised Man Friend that I would let him float on my board with me if this race turned into the end of Titanic. *We survived, water free!

Speaking of water free, there were zero aid stations on the course, due to it being on a highway that would promptly reopen. They did, however, have a potty stop! 
A potty on a bridge!
I kept telling MF that I was shocked I couldn't see the bridge. I expected to look ahead and see it. But it was so foggy that I couldn't. I was sure the big steel structure would be visible. We just kept motoring along. I was looking off to the side watching little heads pop up out of the water before dipping back down. "Hey, there's the bridge!" MF said. I looked up, "Whoa! It's the people!!" I knew it was a big hill, but when he said "the bridge" I expected to see the structure .. but no.  This photo is completely unedited. This is what I saw when I looked forward:

Instead of scaring me, I got excited and did run a big portion of that hill. It was pretty cool to just go and disappear into the fog! Once at the top it felt like we were rewarded with the downhill and flat finish!

Our last mile, which actually was on land, was our fastest and at the pace I expected every mile to be. Oh well, there's always next time. And this is a race I think I would do again. The scenery was awesome and it was just a very unique experience. **I read on Wikipedia that this race is the ONLY time pedestrians are allowed on this bridge!

The finish area was pretty standard. We didn't linger, just grabbed some apple juice, string cheese and bananas before heading back to the car. The rest of the day was the REAL reason I was in Astoria ... time for my Goonies adventure!!

Before we part, here's a view of the bridge although I still couldn't get it all!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Warming Up My Fins

I'm sitting here on my mom's deck staring at the river. Hold on, I'll take a photo of my view...

Pretty lucky I am! I sound like Yoda. WTF? Anyway... My mom is cooking dinner so we could enjoy at least one more sunny afternoon on the deck. My cousin surprised us with a visit ...which leads to my fins!

Next weekend we will meet up with my cuz in fabulous Las Vegas and go to see Jimmy Buffett at the MGM Grand. For non Buffett fans, you move your fins to the left, find to the right....during one of his biggest hits!  I'm so excited!  Man Friend and I are also going to see the new Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show at Mandalay Bay. AND, because of my mom's demanding suggestion and forcing of cash into my hand, we are going to see Menopause the Musical at the Luxor. She said THE actual Belle, from Beauty and the Beast is in it! Cool!!

We are hopefully hitting up the Neon Museum to see the old Vegas lights as well! And then Fat Tuesday will be hit over and over. Their piña coladas are delicious! Naturally I'll be staying at the Flamingo Hilton to keep myself as close to Margaritaville as possible --- our waitress told us Jimmy frequents Margaritaville when he's in town for his concerts!

<-- Also delicious? Richard Rawlings on Fast 'n' Loud. I suggest watching for the eye candy!

Yummy, right?!?! We have the same middle name, so I'm pretty sure we are destined to be together - forget that I'm married. But hey, Man Friend thinks he's super cool, too! He's quite the guy when you think about it - men AND women both like him! MF joked that he was going to grow his hair out so he could look like him now ... I'll share photos if that ever happens!

After Vegas we are road tripping to see my Mama # Tew in Arizona. So I'll be south for my birthday and hopefully reunited at some point with most of Team Freedom (Jaime and Tara are there) and Pyrate Bob! Bob and I spent my 29th birthday party together down in Phoenix actually. He was quite the sport as I insisted on blasting MY kind of music out of his mini-van, (r.i.p. mini van).  Bob also joined us at our wedding in Las Vegas, so clearly he is cool and one that I'll try my best to see during our trip through the desert! 

*Is it me, or does "Bob the hottie" bear a resemblance to Richard Rawlings?!?! Hmmm.

That's Pyrate Bob in the above photo ... the trusty friend to hook a bride up with rum during the official wedding photography session. It should be noted that Bob is also a Navy man like MF AND a Parrotthead like myself! I keep good company!

So yeah - I forgot I was typing this. I'll just publish.

Up next - my race report from a crazy 10K that was mostly all on one single bridge, and my adventure as a Goonie!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Adam Carolla For President?

Some say he's grumpy. Some say he complains a lot. Some say a lot. I say he is The Man! The Ace Man, to be exact. I pretty much agree with everything that comes out of his mouth - except one topic.... he's not a Jimmy Buffett fan.  HE is Adam Carolla!

I watched Loveline religiously, and even when to see Dr. Drew when they did the Loveline campus tour back in college. (*Adam missed his flight and didn't make it.) When he was on regular radio I would download it every day and listen to it. Hours of his "nasally drone" kept me a happy girl. His show was cancelled and he started his pirate ship ... his own podcast. I listen every single day during lunch, and pretty much ANY time I am at my computer. I love the man. He's a genius. Yep, I said it!

I was sitting on my couch last month and though, "You know, you love Adam. You should look up his tour schedule and see if he's going to be anywhere near you." Clearly my inner voice is brilliant - and there I was batting my eyelashes at Man Friend to convince him to join me for a night out in Portland to go a live taping of Adam's podcast.  This past weekend, that night was finally here!

The show was at 10:30 pm, doors opening at 10. Man Friend and I were there early to give us time to find a parking spot. To kill time I forced him to sit in the car and listen to me read aloud from Adam's latest book, Not Taco Bell Material. I'm such a great wife!  After touching up my make-up, we were on our way to the Aladdin Theater for what I knew would be a night to remember!

The line was wrapped around the building, although we didn't really have to go that far to find the end. While waiting in line some douchey looking guy in dress jeans and a blazer came walking by. His ego was rather large and I just rolled my eyes wondering why he felt superior to the rest.  A few minutes later this same guy, with his posse, came walking back by, strutting and smiling. Ugh, get over yourself! *We'll see him again later in this post....

Eventually the doors opened and we were in the warm building heading down to the fourth row. Oh yeah, R0nda splurged for the fancy seats! The theater says it holds approximately 600 people, and it sure did feel small. The stage was so close, and I quickly realized Mike Dawson, Adam's announcer and a very signature voice of the show, was right behind us at the sound board! I'm inserting a photo for you -- I got this on the way out after the show.

People watching was entertaining. I was commenting to Man Friend that it's a good thing I'm not a single girl in Portland because basically I find Portland guys to be disgusting.  Adam went on to say during the show how people in Portland that have money look homeless and the homeless people look clean!  Anyway!!!

When I heard the show music start I got super giddy and then there he was, Adam Carolla!!!! He was joined by Alison Rosen, love her!!, Bald Bryan ...and special guest Lars Larson ... the douche bag from outside in the jeans and sport coat! It was time to get it on, have to get it on. Mandate get it on!!!

For the next hour and a half, or so, I was one huge smile. The show started late, so we didn't even get out until after midnight - and I didn't care. It was freaking awesome!!!!!!  Some audience members were drunk, obnoxious assholes, but I think Adam and the gang did a good job of just ignoring them. 

He covered the usual topics and I still laughed just as hard as I always do when I'm home alone listening to him. I'm hoping the podcast hits iTunes soon - when it does you can listen to the show for yourself! The first show of the night is already on, and I'm listening to it right now - of course. Aww, Adam Carolla --- my favorite bigot!

When it ended Adam was going to the lobby for autographs and photos. I could have waited, but I was so tired and had another 45 minutes to drive that evening. But we were kind of stuck in the masses for a while, and just as we were about to leave MF pointed out that Adam was just behind us a few rows on his way out to the lobby. So I looked at him one last time and realized I'm too much of a chicken to wait for a photo with someone I adore so much. I didn't want to ruin my night by giving myself some embarrassing memory of how I turned into a pile of mush at the feet of Adam Carolla!

And so that was the night I finally got to see Adam Carolla! We both had so much fun at the show that we've already discussed that we WILL go see him again some day. Hurry back, Adam!! Mahalo!