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Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week

Friday, January 30, 2009

Super Bowl 43 - NFL Experience

The NFL football experience is the most exciting continuous event surrounding Superbowl® XLIII - an interactive theme park offering interactive games, displays and entertainment attractions.

Okay, that’s what they say about it. I went last night, more accurately, yesterday afternoon AND last night. A friend got free tickets (they cost $18.50 each) and she took me along. We had a good time even though it rained all afternoon and most of the evening on and off. Out of the 50 NFL superstars that are promised over the course of the event (it ran two days last weekend and from last night through Super Bowl Sunday), we met and got the autograph of exactly ONE. Brandon Jacobs of the NY Giants. That was in the State Farm Insurance tent and I won a tailgating chair that I had to lug around the rest of the night (it was worth it, it’s a nice chair). We also did this game where you threw the football and it measured how far it would have gone. Pathetic when I used to be able to make it sail......a whole 17 yards.

Getting Brandon's autograph was where we met this character.... half Tony Romo and half Jessica Simpson, or so the MC's kept calling him all night. Personally, I hope he makes a better man than a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader. *shudder*

Visited the traveling NFL Hall of Fame exhibit and that was amazing. REALLY AMAZING. Equipment and jerseys from HOFers from the beginning. Pictures of superstars, even the Income Tax Form from a player in 1938. He made $1375 and was required to pay for his own equipment, plus he had a ‘real’ job. All of the players did back then. How different it is today. Now I’ll have to visit the REAL NFL Hall of Fame! I’ve always been a football fan and it’s always, always been the Chicago Bears for me. I know, I know, you’re supposed to support your local team....but I just can’t seem to get behind the Buccaneers.

Got up close and personal with the Vince Lombardi trophy, had our picture taken with it and read about how it’s made. VERY cool to get that close to it.

At the National Dairy Council booth you could get you picture taken and they'd superimpose a player into the picture. So after standing in line eating free samples of Cabot cheese, I chose Roberto Garza of the Chicago Bears.....see I said I was a Bears fan!

Saw this fabulous video about the history of football that was fantastic, showing the greats of the game, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Brian Griese, the 1972 Miami Dolphins, and a host of others. Awesome video....and it was INSIDE where it wasn’t raining!

Then we hit the Topps Super Bowl Card Show, where there were dozens of vendors selling football and baseball cards, memorabilia, paintings and an auction place where you could bid on silent and live auction items. I wanted the autographed Gayle Sayers ball cap that was in the silent auction. The bid was already $60 and the auction wouldn’t end until midnight. That was at 5:30. Being unemployed SUCKS.

We visited the NFL official store and did a little shopping....very little, but I got myself a Super Bowl 43 pin and collected a couple things for a dear, dear friend that’s a Steelers fan. Belated 50th birthday gifts. LOL

Also collected autographs from ALL of the Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders. THAT collection is going in the mail to an old and good friend that lives in Arizona. He’ll enjoy it.

Oh and Channel 8 was broadcasting their 6 and 11 pm news from the NFLX and got our pictures taken behind the news desk.

The craziest part of the evening though was the wild and weird golf cart ride back to our car. Through mud puddles, over curbs, into the media parking lot, through narrow passages at breakneck speed (for a golf cart) and all the way to my car! Our driver was nice, entertaining and FUNNY, oh and revealed that he’s a nudist. Fifty four years old and is married to a woman that’s older and a second generation nudist. Her grandmother is 78 and is a newly converted nudist. Talk about a crazy conversation with that man! He dispelled some misconceptions I had about that whole lifestyle (no, the men do NOT walk around with constant boners) and yes, they require that if you’re in the pool, hot tub or playing games on the beach you MUST be naked. Anyway, as I said entertaining, enlightening and FUNNY!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Boredom and orchids

I have now officially been unemployed for two months and eleven days. The first month and a half were great, they fell over the holidays, I had time to bake and relax, wrap gifts and be festive. All the while job hunting on the side....the far side. I did the required inquiries and put in applications without any expectations of getting any of the jobs I applied for. And didn’t get any of them. For that month and a half, that was a good thing. I really didn’t want to be employed and be honest, who hires just before the holidays? Nobody, or nearly nobody. The woman I worked with that got laid off with me went back to work within two weeks. She isn’t thrilled with her new job, is bored silly to be frank, but as she said, she’s employed and in this economy, that’s a big deal.

So once the holidays were over I cranked up the job hunting to more of a priority and still nada, zilch, zippo, nicht, nothing. I have a couple of real prospects out there... fingers crossed... but so far it’s been a whole pile of rejections. Now I know what it must feel like to be an author attempting to get published for the first time. Guess this is practice for that.

Anyway, boredom. I know I could be cleaning out the garage, quilting that Christmas gift that was supposed to be delivered a year ago, getting my income tax ready to send in or a multitude of other projects to take up the time that job hunting doesn’t. Thing is I have no motivation to do them. I’m bored with it. Bored with house cleaning and straightening, doing projects that used to be relegated to the weekends. Bored with being home. I want some adult business interaction. Something that challenges my mind and my abilities. Not humdrum, boring projects that fill time instead of my mind.

Although I could be writing on Amber or the other story that hasn’t progressed far enough that I want to start publishing it here. That’s an entirely different sort of mental stimulation. And one that I engage in nearly daily. That story isn’t one you’ll ever see online. It’s not fan fiction and some day my co-author and I hope it’ll be published.... or we’ll get one of those dreaded rejection letters.

So, since I’m bored and my other hobby besides writing FF and non-FF is raising orchids, I figured I’d tell you about them. Orchids belong to the most diverse family of plants known to man. There are over 880 genera, 28,000 species and well over 300,000 registered cultivars currently documented. Orchids are the most rapidly (genetically) changing group of plants on earth and more new species have been discovered over the last few thousand years than any other plant group known.

Orchids are also one of the most adaptable plant groups on earth. Some Australian orchids grow entirely underground, and many tropical jungle orchids grow in the upper branches of trees. Tundra, rainforest, mountain, grassy plain, desert and swamp environments contain numerous orchid species.

I currently only have about two dozen plants, which is down from what I had ten years ago. At the peak of my (and my late husband’s) hobby, there were 1,000 plants out back in my little greenhouse. You read that right. One Thousand orchids. All different. Now I’m down to a half dozen Vandaceous orchids (Vandas). One of which is currently in bloom and in the ‘My Other Hobby’ box > . One Phalaenopsis, one Schomburgkia, six Dendrobiums, 6-8 Brassavola digbyanas (all in sheath getting ready to bloom), one Oncidium sphacelatum, one Rhynchostylis gigantea (in bloom) and one Laelia – also in bloom. That doesn’t include my Florida native orchids that are among the few species of orchids that are terrestrial; most orchids are actually air plants, with some others semi-terrestrial.

Have your eyes glazed over with just the names of them? Yeah, mine did too when I first got into them. Then I discovered that the names just started rolling off the tip of my tongue as if I was saying hello. Now I can recite names without thinking....well, some of them. Others I have to think about before I say them. Like Rhynchostylis (rink ko stylis) gigantea, reading the word is harder than saying the name. Others like Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium and Brassavola digbyana have nicknames – Phals (fails), Dens and Digbyana (or as I like to call them Diggy).

That's a Rhynchostylis gigantea. The flowers are each about the size of a quarter.

That one's a Laelia - I don't remember the cultivar for it, but just know it's a Laelia.

And this one is a Vanda - I also don't remember the cultivar for it, but somewhere I have it written down, since knowing the varieties that are crossed to get a certain orchid are what makes each plant more valuable.


The generous Goddess Hathor has compiled a Directory of FF for all of us devoted to the genre.

If you have a story that's not listed, she'd be happy to add it!

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Welcome to my site.

Here you’ll find my musings on a number of topics. You’ll see everything from sports, to orchids, cats to daily grumblings and even some comments and reflections on life in general.

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