Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"You're almost there!"

Oh, how many times Kelly looked into my eyes as sweat dripped from my hair and face on Monday repeating those three magical words ... "You're almost there."

As my legs shook and I felt as though I could no longer remain upright, she counted down. "Three ... two ... one!"

Over and over again. I didn't think it would ever end. I'm sure my eyes were pleading with her to make the seconds pass faster. But it didn't work.

My personal trainer is trying to kill me. And I'm paying her to do it.

But you know what? I'm proud of myself for finally going there. I've been in the best shape of my life for the past year or so. But I'm lacking that definition that I've always craved. Now, if all goes well, I'll be where I want to be within the year.

Bikini season, here I come!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Ladies Weekend 2010

Just look at these girls. We had such a fabulous time, and I'm missing them already! Most of my weekend was spent in snowy, cold Nashville — but what fun we had!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wherein I realize I've never had much style

I get fashion mags in the mail. I really do, and I really read them. But not the fashion parts. Really. I enjoy the book reviews and real-life stories of love and war, bad dates and how to decorate your apartment on a budget.

Fashion? It's something I think about only when I encounter a situation such as:
A) Going on a first date (code red fashion alert)
B) Going on vacation (code yellow)
C) Night out with the girls (code orange, simply because boys may be involved at some point)

So, right now, at this very moment I'm at code orange for the first time in a while. I go out with girlfriends fairly regularly, but the typical "girls night out" usually consists of going shopping and then swinging by the Cheesecake Factory for some incredibly fattening food and a strawberry martini.

What can I say? I'm 32, this is fun for me.

But, alas, I do have younger friends. Some of them are 25 and still very much into the whole let's go out and parrrrrrtaaaaaaaay! And by "parrrrrrrtaaaaaaay" I mean in a very mature way. But there's partying going on nonetheless.

So. This leads me to my latest fashion emergency. One that I've not encountered since I was much younger. One that has me a tad freaked out. ....

What does one wear to go dancing?!

I haven't been to a dance club since college. And I don't even want to tell you how long ago that was. I have no idea where to shop for going-out-dancing attire. My primary wardrobe sources are the Gap and Banana Republic. Something tells me wearing a cardigan and trousers won't fly at a club.

I'm lost. Totally and completely lost. And, to be honest, I'm going to feel a little silly anyway, so what the heck. I guess I may as well take a leap and get all primped. But where to start?

I need help. Lots and lots of help.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's a miracle ...

Eight months later, and we have a new post. Wow ...

I doubt anyone still has me in their RSS feeds or stops by every so often but if someone is reading this, I am back. More than likely I will be setting up a new blog elsewhere, but when that happens I will share the link here.

Until then, consider this blog officially revived.

Now, where to begin?

Here's a very brief recap of where I've been:

* I'm still enjoying the world of sports. News is my first love, but my move to sports has been a much-needed challenge in my professional life. I am still learning the ropes a year later, but I'm loving it (most days!).

* My father has had some health scares recently, but I think he may finally be on the road to recovery. He has his good days and bad days, of course, however the bad are becoming fewer. I feel for him and it breaks my heart to see my father so fragile, but I still have him in my life — and for that I couldn't be more grateful.

* I've fallen in love ... with being outdoors! I hike whenever humanly possible and road biking has become a part of my life, as well. I've made some wonderful friends who are such motivators, and I truly don't think I could have made it through this past year without them. Hiking been such a release. There's nothing like standing in the middle of the woods without a sound. No cars, no people, no worries. It's magical to me. Cycling has pushed me to take on more than I ever thought I could. Riding is a mental battle, more than physical, for me. And I'm still working on sticking with it even though I may not be as confident as I'd like to be on the roads.

I look forward to writing again. I fear I've regressed a bit, so I need to start reading more and get myself going again in that respect. But I'm definitely back, and I am excited to once again consider myself a blogger!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I know it's no replacement, but Twitter has sort-of taken the place of blogging for me these days. I'm so sad that I don't have enough time to maintain this site, and in all honesty, I'm seriously thinking about shutting it down altogether.

So much is going on in my world that I can't really blog about at the moment. Maybe not ever. I'm truly excited and happy and hopeful, so it's nothing to be concerned about. I just wish I could write more.

So, with that I'll direct you to my Twitter site. You can search for me under the name Tropicalwonder. Or, scroll down and click on the link at the bottom right of this page. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Francis and the Lights

I can't really pinpoint why I'm so in love with this song, but I am.

The Top (Music Video) from Francis and the Lights on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More of the same

I'm hoping my life will eventually settle down and I'll have more time to commit to this little space on the internet that I used to love so much.

Lately I've been filling every spare moment with design tutorials and literature. I simply must soak up as much knowledge as possible. I don't generally discuss my professional life here, but most of you know what industry I'm in. And unless you've been hiding under a rock lately, you are well-aware that said industry is not doing exceptionally well. Alhough my particular company seems to be beating the odds, I'm still a wee bit concerned. If worst comes to worst, I'd like to have something to fall back on. So this is where I'm at, plus it's actually helped me in my current position. Hooray!

In the mean time, check out a poster I did for my typography class. I kind of like it.

Friday, April 03, 2009

I'm alive ... and well!

Holy goodness, it's been a while. Although I've had so much to blog about, I just have not made the time to sit down and write about all the fun/crazy/amazing things I've done over the past few weeks. So, I'm going to attempt to condence a few down, and with the help of some photos, maybe give you the gist of what I've been up to!

First up, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Zakir Hussain perform at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., last weekend. You've never heard of them? It's OK, because now you have, and you'll be a better person for it. But seriously — check these amazing musicians out. I promise you will be glad you did.

I have had a CD of Zakir Hussain (left, playing the tabla drums) for years, thanks to my friend Mike. I've loved this CD. Listening to the him play the tablas is just spellbinding. But add to it Pandit Shivkumar Sharma playing the santoor, and you've got the most beautiful music I've ever heard. I was floored. I truly hope to have the opportunity to see these masters again. Wow.

On Sunday several of my friends in Atlanta ran in the ING half marathon. I give these awesome guys and girls mad props for their efforts. I, for one, am NOT a runner. I've always hated it, but they're trying their best to get me in some running shoes so I will pound the pavement next time with them. We shall see ...

Mike, John, Anna and Stacey rocked it. First across the finish line was Stacey, followed closely by Anna and John. Mike had a bit of an issue on mile 6. His knee pretty much gave out on him, so walking was the only way to go from there. But, he's training for the Peactree Road Race on July 4, so I'm sure redemption will come soon enough!

There were about 15,000 runners who participated in the marathon and half marathon this year. It was pretty cool to watch them all start the race at 7 a.m. in downtown Atlanta. Boy, was it cold, though!

One last picture — Here's the guy who won the half-marathon. 13.1 miles in just a few minutes over an hour. Amazing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hello. I am a bad blogger.

Motivation just isn't here at the moment. Hopefully it will return soon. Maybe it's because I'm now 32 and no longer feel cool enough to blog.

... Nah, I'm totally cool. That's why I'm guessing I'll be back soon. I think.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Super-amazing-perfect weekend

I've officially fallen in love with Atlanta.

Years of resistance have proved futile, as much as it pains me to admit. Spending too many hours in the burbs helped create a disdain for most things Atlanta, while loathing the notion of ever transplanting myself from Chattanooga to the city where many friends are found.

But, I have to say that in the last few months a fresh prospective — gleaned from time spent actually in the city — has taken hold. Shame on me for not taking the time to leave the suburbs sooner.

This past weekend was truly fantastic. It all began with lunch at La Fonda (chicken tacos = YUM!), then a stroll through Oakland Cemetery ... a truly beautiful historic site that is practically in downtown Atlanta. Margaret Mitchell is buried there, along with six Georgia governors and golf great Robert T. Jones. Next up was a quick stop into Young Blood Gallery & Boutique. An eclectic shop that features local emerging artists, I loved the idea when I noticed the sign as we drove past. I had to stop, turn around and go in. Lots of cool stuff; too bad I'm on a budget because I could go nuts there.

Next up was a quick rest at Mike's condo and then off to Loca Luna, a tapas restaurant. Every single thing we ordered was fantastic. Add a spectacular Salsa band to the de-lish food and powerful caipirinhas, and you've got a slice a heaven for this girl.

After crashing hard last night, we got up this morning and headed over to Babs, which is quickly becoming my favorite place for Sunday brunch. Besides the you've-died-and-gone-to-heaven menu, the service is better than excellent. They make you feel like you're an old friend coming by for a morning chat. Seriously, these guys know how to treat their customers. Love 'em.

Next up was a little Frisbee-throwing in the park. I haven't even mentioned how PERFECT the weather was. Holy goodness, it was like spring landed in our laps. A t-shirt and blue jeans was too hot, and I couldn't have been happier to break a sweat while running around chasing a Frisbee among lots of other folks who were enjoying the beautiful weather as much as we were.

The weekend was pretty much perfect. These are the times I will always remember, and that makes me happy.

* The photo was taken at Oakland Cemetery.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Well worth a vacation day

No, this isn't a crime scene. Not a real one, at least. Poor Jerry Garcia's head kind of exploded, but luckily it was just filled with stuffing that resembled his hair and beard. No one was harmed in the explosion, either.

Friday night was spent watching a few crazy folks (attempting to) zoom through a course (pictured above) on tricycles. I had hoped to participate, but finding a used tricycle isn't as easy as one might think ... at the last minute, of course. So the Cockeyed Yak Gang resigned ourselves to being mere spectators. A bummer, indeed, but fun nonetheless!

I don't know this guy, but he wasn't playing. Check out that tongue ... that's concentration!

Mike, rather excited to be there, wanted his picture taken. So, Internets, meet Mike.

I, on the other hand, wasn't as happy about having my picture taken, but was having such a great time that I relinquished my camera for a more recent picture of me. I don't look like I'm about to turn 32, right? ... RIGHT?!?!?

And finally, here's a video ... I'm no professional, so I bear no responsibility for any medical conditions you may acquire due to the intense jostling of the camera. And this was by far the least exciting round, but that's just the way it works when I turn the camera on ... nothing terribly exciting happens.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On a quest

I need a new eyeliner. Sounds easy enough, but no. I'm picky. I don't like to look like I've got raccoon eyes. But I want to be able to notice an eyeliner's effects without looking as though I'm all painted up. Got it?

So, in the past month I've tried four eyeliners. Each make me mad in their own little way.

Here's a rundown:

1. Almay Intense I-Color: This one was my tried-and-true, never-fail liner. But the past three times I've purchased this product it has crumbled each time I apply it. I don't know if it's a new formula, or if my local stores are stocking out-of-date eyeliner. Regardless, this is what led me to the quest for a new product.

2. Maybelline Line Stylist: One word — OUCH! You have to press so hard to get the eyeliner to apply that it isn't comfortable. No thanks.

3. L'Oreal Pencil Perfect: Too thick. Even when sharpened.

4. L'Oreal 16-hour Infallible: Again, too thick. I looked like I'd used a Crayola as eyeliner.

So, tell me what you use. Or tell me what I'm doing wrong. It could totally be operator-error. At any rate, I need help!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Argh! I had to bump that still shot down. Horrible ... HORRIBLE!

I promise the next video blog I post will be more eventful — as in maybe out somewhere showing something other than my mug.

But for now I've got to go to sleep. Lots to do and see tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oooo ... a vlog!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The most difficult thing ever

I've touched on it here before. It's silly to most people who know, but very real to me. I want to get over it, but can't seem to make myself just do it.


For someone who loves to visit new places as much as I do, you'd think I'd have been on an airplane in the past 25 years.

You'd think ...

But it's been exactly that long: 1984. The year I returned from Japan with my mother after living in Okinawa for nearly two years. It wasn't a memorable flight. Leaving my doll at the Honolulu airport is really the only thing that sticks out at me about that long trip back to the States. I was pretty much devastated.

But I digress ...

The thing is, I've made a commitment of sorts. A good friend of mine moved to Portland, Oregon, a year or so ago. And I've promised to visit. I truly want to. I miss my friend and Portland looks like my kind of city.

The only problem is it's clear I'll need to fly to see her. Now is the time to book, considering flights are being slashed left and right. But I cannot seem to make myself do it. Flying across the country is petrifying to me. And flying across the country ALONE is just downright terrifying.

Besides the fear of crashing (my No. 1 fright) is the fact that I am completely clueless when it comes to check-ins, baggage requirements, security and the host of procedures that come as second nature to seasoned travelers. My fear is that I'd be THAT GIRL who holds up the line because I didn't know the secret handshake at the gate. Never mind the fact that I'd probably take my shoes off at the wrong moment.

Layovers are another thing. Waiting in airports is far worse than waiting in a doctor's office. Panic sets in and the hives pop up ... and that's just when I'm waiting for someone else to land. I can't imagine what I'd be like waiting for my own plane to get there.

(Legal) Drugs clearly are an option. But, flying alone while mildly sedated could only lead to bad things. Wandering around the airport talking mindlessly to complete strangers would make me look like a freak. Maybe. But I'm sure stranger things have happened.

I mentioned this to a few co-workers today only to hear about four or five horror stories involving faulty landing gear, the infamous Hudson River story and turbulence woes.

I'm scared to death, but I've got to face this. I just don't know if I'm ready — as much as I want to be.