One New Thing Every Day

From the day I turned 29, I tried to do one new thing a day... it took a few extra months, but I did it! Now I'll post new things randomly as I try them.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

#225 - Roast Pig

*If you are an animal lover, please don't read this post. AW, this means you.*

Tonight our band played a gig at a private party, in a beautiful home with a catered dinner. They had an entire roast pig on display, then carved it up, and I tried a bite. I found it to be entirely too greasy for me, with not much flavor except the grease... and I had trouble getting past seeing the entire pig before dinner.

Friday, May 30, 2008

#224 - New Setting for Work Friends

I've got mostly segmented friends: those I see at work, those from my music groups, those from school. They don't mix often, usually just at special events, and I usually only see them in their designated locations. Since I've started my new job, I've been diligent about seeing some friends from my most recently vacated job often, but it's always for a workday lunch. So tonight, three of us got together for dinner and a movie (the opening night of Sex and the City!) to celebrate a girls night. OK, this is stretching it for a new thing... but it was exciting to see the movie today because the show was sold out and many people got dressed up to come to the theater (we saw boas, a tutu, and cans - yes, cans - of champagne).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

#223 - Little Boy Blue, Asleep in the Corn

Our little guy likes corn well enough out of a can, so tonight we tried him out on corn-on-the-cob. He ate it pretty well, considering it was so new to him. His daddy cooks it on the BBQ wrapped in foil, which was quite a feat tonight considering it was getting cold and windy at dinner time. But it was worth it to give this a whirl!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

#222 - Pinwheel

The little guy, to my knowledge, has never seen a pinwheel, so tonight I taught him how to use one. This seems like something they would do at the daycare, so I was pleased to see he didn't seem how to make it turn by blowing on it. I brought home a really cool plastic pinwheel, a gift from a former coworker, and TLG figured it out very quickly and brought it with him all evening (to the restaurant for dinner, and to band rehearsal!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

#221 - Greenies

A very good friend, a reader of this blog, brought me a box of Greenies dog treats to help me freshen our doggies' breath and clean their teeth. She has two very small dogs ("yippers") so the treats are a bit smaller than we would have bought for our very large dogs... but when I got home, I let them try a treat each. Ellie, our older dog, took a lot longer to chew hers up and I even had to close her in the in the office so she would have a chance to eat it without Penny stealing it away. (Penny ate hers really fast, as she eats everything.) I didn't notice a discernible difference in their breath right away, but maybe with a treat a day we'll see some results in a few days? One can hope.

Monday, May 26, 2008

#220 - Memorial Day concert

Our family attended a Memorial Day concert in Sacramento today, which featured the Sacramento Capitolaires (yay!), a 21-gun salute, and an Army dixieland jazz group. TLG got pretty distracted during the speeches but he enjoyed the presentation of the colors, the Star Spangled Banner, and the jazz group pretty well. As he continues to get older, we'll keep trying to show him different kinds of music to enjoy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

#219 - Fairytale Town

TLG and a bunch of his family went to see Fairytale Town in Sacramento today. I'd been there as a child, of course, and once in high school as a lark, but it's been a long time. I didn't remember much, except for the crooked mile (which I thought was called the yellow brick road), and Cinderella's carriage. TLG really enjoyed the crooked mile (that's us exiting the road in the photo), but really liked the slides and seeing the animals too. He also spent quite a bit of time exploring the "cheese stands alone". We had fun watching him play and discover all the new things to see! Thanks, family, for joining us for a fun day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

#218 - BIG Trains

My dad, my wonderful hubby and I took the little guy to the railroad museum in Sacramento this afternoon. TLG loves Thomas the Tank Engine and is happy whenever we get "stuck" at the train crossing near our house, so I was pretty sure he would like seeing them up close. And boy, did he ever! He could hardly get enough of going through the open cars, seeing the gears, bells and mechanics. Of course he also loved the Thomas display on the second floor. We also enjoyed seeing a jazz combo that was playing inside the museum too, it added to the overall excitement of our visit. The photo shows TLG listening to a pre-recorded museum display near one of the giant train cars.

Friday, May 23, 2008

#217 - A Game to Pass the Day

We had a potluck BBQ luncheon in my building today (despite the rain and gloomy weather), and after we ate, we played pictionary at work. This was a planned event (not spontaneous) and we had teams of 6 people - and man, it was fun! I have always loved games, especially Pictionary, though I haven't played in a long time. I was on the winning team in the end, but we all laughed so much it wouldn't have mattered much. It was a great way to break the ice with my new co-workers, and I hope we do it again before the summer is out.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

#216 - Pop Candy Hotline

This afternoon, I called and spoke with Whitney Matheson, author of my favorite pop culture blog on USA Today. Like today, Whitney occasionally hosts a call-in hotline for crazy pop culture junkies like myself to call and talk about any subject we like. It took about 15 minutes to get through being on hold, and she told me I was the last caller she was taking today. I was a little nervous, since I knew she'd be recording all her calls... but after thanking her for helping me achieve my new thing of the day (!) I asked her if she thought today's audiences would like the new Muppet movie or the new Fraggle Rock movie better. We chatted for a few moments about each franchise and decided no matter what the public decides, we'll probably both like the Muppet movie better.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

#215 - A New Alphabet Game

We had a rare mid-week date night tonight, with TLG staying home with Grandma and Grandpa, but we were having trouble choosing a place to go to dinner. So we invented a new alphabet game: open the phone book to the restaurant section, pick a letter of the alphabet and try to choose from that list. My hubby first chose the letter Q for quick, but there were only a handful of choices including Qdoba and Quiznos. Then he chose E for eat, but we didn't like any of those either (many of them were Mexican places that started with the word El, like El Adobe or El Borracho, and we weren't really in the mood). So then he chose H for hungry, and we ended up going to the steakhouse at Hobey's Casino. We went there last year for an official date night, and it was delicious then, so we gave it another try. They did not disappoint! I had one of the specials, which came with a small rib eye steak and three coconut shrimp, and my hubby tried the surf-and-turf with a lobster tail. We enjoyed every bite, and the alphabet game was a hit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

#214 - Don't Worry, It Will Come Off

Our little guy found a Mickey Mouse temporary tattoo on our kitchen counter today, so we had to try it on his arm. Having never applied one before, I had to read the directions on the back, but it was pretty easy. I told TLG it was like a sticker, so he kept trying to move it once it was on his arm. The directions said it will last up to a week, so we may have to remove it on purpose if he keeps trying to pick it off! But he did seem to enjoy having Mickey on his arm, anyways.

#213 - Planning for an Evolutionary Change

My new organization is just starting an environmental/recycling program, and today I attended my first committee meeting to help them on their way. I was surprised that, until the last three weeks, they didn't have any recycling bins in any of the office spaces. (Isn't that amazing for an organization the size of mine, with 3000+ workers?) It is exciting to think that my ideas could possibly help them to affect our planet in such a positive way.

Monday, May 19, 2008

#212 - Feng Shui

I've heard of Feng Shui before but never given it any thought for my own life. So today I researched Feng Shui and how it applies to my office and house. Apparently my hubby and I are both "Earth" and should be decorating our home in themes and colors that reflect that. Our house faces the wrong direction for my lucky numbers, so it's too late to change that. But in my office, the computer is in the correct corner to earn lots of money (!) and I do have a tall building outside my window behind me to help me stay strong. Interesting stuff.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

#211 - And Then There Were None

Our band played another performance today, this time in Reno, and for the first time ever, we stopped playing early because our entire audience had left. That's right, with 20 minutes left in our schedule performance time, we stopped to pack up and go home. After two gigs in as many days, we were mostly OK with that - but it did still feel awkward to have absolutely no audience to speak of.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

#210 - TLG's Adventure With Grandpa

While we were in Carson City for our performance, the little guy and Grandpa stayed at home. This "new thing" is actually TLG's: Grandpa took him on his first ride, a train at the Idlewild Park downtown. We're told that he was a little scared and hung on for dear life to the sides of the train, but having Grandpa on the ride also made it bearable. I'm glad that TLG and Grandpa enjoyed this new thing together and look forward to taking him on plenty more rides in the future.

#209 - Not a Governor In Sight

This evening, our band played at the Governor's Mansion in Carson City. I've only been to the mansion once before, and it was for a work event years ago, and I certainly was not part of the entertainment at that time. No, tonight, we played for a fundraiser for Operation First Response, a group recently formed to help fund programs for injured veterans. It was a much smaller audience than we had anticipated, and they didn't feed us dinner while we were there... but once the sun went down a little bit, the weather cooled off and it was a very nice outdoor venue to perform in. When it was over, my hubby, his mom, and I all headed to Denny's for a late-night breakfast (yum!) before heading home to Reno. All in all, it was a nice night.

#208 - Do I Detect a Hint of Minty Freshness?

During our weekly trip to the grocery store, the little guy saw the boxes of mints on the shelf near the registers and wanted to know what they were. So I explained, and then I took a box out of my purse and let him try his first mint. I made him promise to "chew, chew, chew!" and watched as he grimaced first and then seemed to enjoy it. And then he asked for a second one, then a third. I think the mints were a hit.

Friday, May 16, 2008

#207 - Skateboard Park

After work today, our little family went to a nearby park to enjoy the evening weather, and we checked out a skateboard park. Being kind-of a nerd myself, I've never been to a skateboard park, but since this one was deserted we went running around and exploring. Some of the ramps were so steep we couldn't get up them (I was wearing flip-flops, and my hubby and TLG were in sneakers - but even so, the surface on the ramps was quite slick). Each ramp was black (covered in vinyl?) and had metal edges, so they were pretty hot to the touch. We did find a couple of short ones we could climb, but since we didn't have anything with wheels to use to roll up/down, it was a pretty tame outing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

#206 - A New Kind of Mix Tape

I used to make mix tapes all the time for my sister and friends, even mix CDs once I got to college and had my own computer. But today I discovered a new website that lets you post your own mix tapes and listen to other people's:
I spent practically all afternoon listening to a couple of great mixes I found there, and though I was at work so I couldn't make my own mix, I might have to try it if the mood strikes me. It was great to have some new tunes at work!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

#205 - An Almost-New Mall

There's a relatively new open-air mall south of town that I've been to, but only to visit the Old Navy, restaurants, and movie theater. And I've never been in the department store Dillard's at all. So for mother's day, TLG and I went shopping there with my fantastic mother-in-law. We hit Coldwater Creek, Talbot's, and Dillard's... and of course, ended up bringing home something Lightning McQueen related (a new swimsuit for TLG - see photo). Dillard's reminded me of Macy's only with less clothing in the store somehow. The other stores were a little out of my price range, but did seem to have some cute options if I'm ever feeling especially rich!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

#204 - A Very Rare Disease

The other new thing about tonight's event was the cause: Niemann Pick Type C, or children's Alzheimers. There are only about 500 children in the world with NPC, and there is no known cure. The twin 4-year-old girls for whom tonight's event was planned were both diagnosed with early signs of NPC last October. There were over 1,000 people in attendance at the event, so I'm hoping I wasn't the only one who learned something new. The two girls were recently featured on Good Morning America, and their doctors and parents are doing everything they can to find a cure. I wish them the very best of luck.

#203 - Reality Stars

This evening, I got dressed up and attended a special event where I saw two reality TV stars in person: Melinda Doolittle from American Idol, and Terry Fator, the ventriloquist from America's Got Talent. Having never watched these shows, I wasn't sure what I was getting into. Ms. Doolittle was a very good singer, and performed a few old standards like "My Funny Valentine" and "I Got Rhythm." I enjoyed her set a lot. Terry Fator was very funny and was a much better singer than I expected a ventriloquist to be - he won me over near the beginning of his act when he performed "The Rainbow Connection" using the voice of Kermit the Frog. (He must have known I was in the audience!)

Friday, May 9, 2008

#202 - Mom's Day Tea

I took my sister and mother-in-law to a tea at the daycare today. They had set out a bunch of fancy cookies, crackers with jam, and had o.j. and tea on hand. The little guy was pretty shy with all the other kids and parents around, and the three of us were probably the biggest "party" in the room... but it was nice to be there for TLG. I don't know that he'll ever remember this Mother's Day, but I will.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

#201 - Just Like Stanley Steemer Would Do

Today I learned how to use a carpet shampooer/wet vac. This being my first house (as an adult) with carpets I care about, I've never had the occasion to try this type of machine before. My hubby (who's a pro at this sort of thing) helped me mix the solution, pour it in, and hooked up the hand-held attachment so I could practice on the stairs before I go too crazy in our house. We had to clean the carpets because one of the doggies got sick in the living room yesterday (long story) and we're hosting a party this weekend... not to mention it's been two years since we steam cleaned them. (Has it really been two years since we moved here?!? Amazing!) Turns out, I'm not bad at using the attachment tool, the stairs look much better.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

#200 - Lightning Everywhere

I may have mentioned once or twice (!) that The Little Guy loves Lightning McQueen, the red car from Disney/Pixar's "Cars" movie. Today we went to buy him some new sandles, and also ended up buying some Crocs that look like that character, which unfortunately are too big for TLG. But for the first time, TLG put on his own shoes - even if they are too big! It takes a lot of effort to put things on your own feet until you get the hang of it, and with them being plenty big he actually just stepped into them. We went into the backyard, which was wet from the sprinklers yesterday, and he somehow managed to get out of one shoe, and was running around in the muddy grass with one shoe and one sock. That will be fun to clean! But he loves, loves, loves the new shoes, so score one for Mom.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

#199 - Live Chatting Adventures

I was chatting with one of my new soldier friends LIVE from Afghanistan today. Technology is amazing - it was almost midnight there, but he was on his computer and we had a real-time chat. I have, of course, talked with friends via chat before - but never out of the country and a bunch of time zones away! I was pleased when he also reported that he's coming home before too long... always good news, right?