Friday, July 25, 2014

feelin' hot, hot, hot

whatever happened to buster poindexter, anyway?  heh.

the heat is most definitely on (why am i stuck on bad 80s songs today?).  summer always seems to hit us hard right around now - from mid-july through september, it's pretty much like the ninth circle of hell around here.  the craziest part is that the difference between here and, say, my folks' house down at the beach can be up to 30 degrees.  blech.

we're also getting to the tail end of summer school for the bean.  today's actually her last day of class, and then she has a few weeks before she starts the first grade (!!!).  and with a free morning, we decided to pack it up and head down to disneyland to ride a couple of rides and play in the splash pads at bug's land.

it was crazy hot down in anaheim.  when we arrived at 10am, it was already 85 degrees.  but still...we were at disneyland, and you can't be mad at disneyland.


when it's just me and the bean, we usually do all the stuff that the teen doesn't love (and vice-versa, when it's a trip sans bean).  and so after grabbing a fastpass for soarin' over california, one of our favorite rides, we headed to the pier to stand in line for toy story mania.  i actually really dig this ride, and so does everyone else - the line is usually a minimum of 45 minutes long.  the bean somehow possesses a ton of patience for standing in line when it's something she enjoys, and so we settled in for the long haul.  happily for us, the posted time of 30 minutes (already a gift in itself) was exaggerated as we got through the line and onto the ride in just over 20.  pretty sweet.

another way to stay cool at california adventure is to hop onto the little mermaid ride.  it's typically a pretty short wait, and today was no different.  we basically walked right onto it, and the air conditioning is magical.  magical, i tell you.

by then, it was time to head back to soarin' and sashay through the fastpass line.  i love when the printed time on fastpass tickets comes sooner than the wait in the standby line.  and when you're trying to avoid spending as much time outside as possible, this works wonderfully because the fastpass line gains you entrance to the building, for more of that magical air conditioning.  woohoo!

i'd promised her that she could visit the newly reopened redwood creek adventure trail, where she loves to take a ride on the tire swings.  except that they were closed, so she settled for a turn on the rock wall.


we were both sweating our faces off at that point, and it was starting to make me pretty stinking miserable.  perfect time to hit up bug's land and cool off.


talk about turning that frown upside-down.  and i had a great time sitting on a bench in the shade, catching some of the sprinkler overspray now and then, watching the bean and other bathing suit-clad kids squeal as they got soaked to the skin.





we stopped in at the animation academy to do a quick drawing (olaf from frozen, yay!), grabbed a turkey leg to go, and headed outta there.  and later, this is what we shared for dinner.


pretty sweet for a 104 degree day, huh?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

(not really) making a splash

i'm a sucker for a fun contest, especially since i've managed to get lucky a few times with them.  the most recent one was for the splash dash, a new 5K that promised a fun course with splash stations and "water gun gangs."  they'd posted a contest offering a free entry for you and your best friend, and all you had to do was leave a comment on their facebook page with the location you wanted to run, tagging your buddy in the post.  so i picked the teen, left my comment, and forgot all about it.

yup, you guessed it - we won!  except that when i compared schedules with the hub, it turned out he wasn't going to be around to hang out with the bean at home while we went down to irvine for the run.  i knew the bean wasn't going to be particularly excited about the idea of doing a 5K, so i signed her up for the kids' 1K run instead.  the teen was more than happy to skip out on 4 extra Ks, and with the kids' run scheduled to go first, the plan changed a little.  we'd all do the kids' race together, and then i'd run the 5K solo while the girls hung out at the finish line after-party.  good enough.

this is the funniest-looking course map i've seen yet, but it looked like it was going to be super fun:


we were a little bummed to find that the university was charging $10 per car to park for the run.  i mean, i guess they've gotta make money somehow, but a little heads-up would've been great.  what if we didn't have any cash?  that would've sucked to have to turn around and look for an ATM.  oh, well.  strike one.

at least it was a relatively short walk to the start line.



and we came upon our first photo op right away.


this looked like it could be fun - kind of like a mechanical bull, except that this one was a surfboard mounted inside a giant jumper.


with only 20 minutes till the start of the kids' run, people were scurrying around trying to assemble tents and tables and set up vendor booths and such.  it looked super unorganized and i was wondering what we'd gotten ourselves in for.  whatever, we can always kill time taking pictures.



finally, they got it together and started playing some music while an announcer told kids' run participants to head over to the start.  i asked her to show me her best running pose and this is what i got:


we all stood around for awhile longer, and it wasn't till after 9:30 that they finally got the party going. the bean was right in front and took off like a shot.


the first soak zone was just beyond the start.  it was cloudy and overcast but humid as all hell, and i think everyone was ready for a little cooling off.


it seemed like the longest 1K EVER.



as much as she hates getting wet, even the teen was happy to run through the splash stations.


i have to say, this race really was incredibly unorganized.  there was zero signage to guide everyone through the course they'd mapped out, and the guy who was leading the kids had disappeared long ago.  granted, the bean was towards the back of the pack, but still...we had to guess as to where we were supposed to go.  and when we found ourselves within view of the start/finish line with still a ways to go, i split off from them to head up and get ready for my run.  meanwhile, photos from the teen showed the bean happily going down the giant slip 'n slide and posing at the finish.


the 5K was just slightly easier to navigate as it wound around the park and through the UCI campus, with volunteers stationed at the turns to guide us through the course.


there were more volunteers armed with hoses every so often, which helped to cool off the runners.


the "car wash" was fun with sprinklers aimed at us, bubbles at the exit, and more splashing as we continued on.


meanwhile, the bean was taking on the rock wall.



when i got to the slip 'n slide, i found the girls waiting for me on a bench.  they decided to go down to the bottom and wait for me to take my turn, and luckily the line wasn't very long yet.


except that the tarp wasn't wet at all.  the volunteers tried to douse it with their hoses after every turn, but when i plopped my ass down on it i literally didn't move.  there was no slipping, nor was there any sliding.  i gave up and rolled off to the side before running down to the bottom and heading back to the course to finish my run.

yay, all done!



sno-cone time!



and something savory.



woohoo!


the race director sent out an email to all participants last night, full of apologies and explanations about what had gone wrong with the run.  apparently, he'd received a mountain of emails and feedback, mostly negative.  one of the items that stood out to me was that people had been complaining that there hadn't been as many splash zones as expected, and had been asked by others if the severe drought we're experiencing here in sunny california was the reason (it was).  he explained that there had been some confusion amongst the university's event staff, which delayed their set-up, which in turn pushed everything back.

i mean, hey.  it was their first race in the area, we are indeed facing a drought, shit happens.  the girls and i still had fun, got a little wet, did our exercise, had our sno-cones.  the race director seems to be open to all feedback and trying to improve things for the next go-round.  i'd probably do it again, especially if they find a new venue for next year.

you know, maybe.  we'll see.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

we're gonna sco-o-ore tonight

i love scoring a great deal for stuff i would have had to pay full price for.  i mean, who doesn't, right?

a couple of weeks ago, i picked up my sunglasses and one of the little nose pad thingies snapped right off into my hand.


i was SO BUMMED.  i'd had those sunglasses for like three years - they had pink detailing on the arms and were by juicy couture (which, sadly, just shut down all of their retail stores and apparently will now only be found at kohl's).  i figured i was screwed and would have to suck it up and cough up the cash to finally upgrade to the ray ban aviators i'd been eyeing for months.

but then i happened to be browsing through nordstrom rack and whaddaya know...i passed by a full display of sunglasses at super deep discount prices.  the first pair that caught my eye happened to be the same pair of juicy sunnies i was still wearing despite the wire that pierced the top of my nose whenever i put 'em on.  except that they were really weird - they had clear lenses that didn't offer any kind of protection from the bright sun.  plus, i like to hide behind my sunglasses sometimes, like when there's some awesome peoplewatching around.

shut up, you know you do that shit too.

and then there they were.  the same exact pair as mine, pink arms and all - two shades, even.  and the best part?  only $30!  oh man, was i a happy camper.


you can't tell from that picture, but i was desperately in need of a cut and color.  and while i'm usually cool with covering my grays myself, i figured i could find a deal via groupon or living social to do both.  i mean, box color is fine and all, but it's always nice to sit back in a stylist's chair and let someone else do the work, am i right?

it didn't take a lot of searching to find an offering from a local salon that i was somewhat familiar with.  i wanted to go a little shorter, add a few more layers, and just freshen up the 'do a little.  and since i wasn't looking for anything super complicated, i was okay with going to whoever was available on the day i was open to do it.  i mean, if you've got enough experience to work in a fairly nice salon, you can't fuck up a basic bob cut.  at least, that's what i figure.

my stylist was friendly and bubbly and fun to talk to, which is always a good thing.  she examined my hair to pick out a color, and when she disappeared to mix it up i snapped a quick "before" shot.


while i would've been totally okay with going a little shorter, she seemed to be hesitant about it.  i wasn't exactly sure why, but i figure it's better to have a little extra length than chop off too much and end up being pissed off.  you can always cut off, but you can't put any back on, yes?  and so this is what i look like now:


those quasi-ombre highlights have grown out some, and i actually like how my color looks now.  at least, it'll last until the fall when i decide to go back to dark and dye over it again.
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