Monday, December 31, 2007

Pictures

I uploaded some pictures to my flickr page of my parents' visit to Prague way back in March. Once I take Christmas photos off my camera, I'll post them here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Chrismas has come and gone, but the hustle and bustle has not stopped. The road to the Willis family Christmas was a bumpy one (as usual), but smoothed out when it was important. We got together with my dad's extended family, my brother turned 20, and my family gathered together Tuesday to celebrate the birth of our Saviour.

My best friend and her husband ( check out their blog ) will arrive in Dayton today coming in from the wilds of Minnesota. I am so thankful that we will be able to spend time together, as we had limited time when she was in town for Thanksgiving.

I've added another link to a blog. ParadoxUganda is the blog of the Myhre family, missionaries through World Harvest in the Bundibugyo area of Uganda. The Myhres are doctors and have been ministering in Bundibugyo for a number of years. They are experiencing the Ebola outbreak there, although it seems to be running out of steam.

This was a very disjointed post. My mind is everywhere today

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tis the Season

To dress your pets up in crazy outfits! Enjoy two honorary reindeer, Andy and Toby :)




Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bday

Tonight we took my dad out to Thai 9 for his birthday. We had wonderful food--I had Chicken Thai Spicy. Yum, yum. On the way home, my dad stopped to get dog food and a frisbee for my frisbee-obsessed dog, Toby. He got a squeaky toy for our other dog, Andy, who loves it to bits. He taunted the neighbor dogs by laying down in the middle of the back yard and squeaking his toy while Toby chased his frisbee.








Wednesday, December 12, 2007

December 12 of 12

12 of 12 is Chad Darnell's baby. You take 12 pictures on the 12th day of the month, and post them to your blog, then give him the link! This is the 3rd month (not consecutive) that I've participated.

1. 6:30 am: My morning coffee on my way to work this morning. I had to go in early at 7 to support a meeting that ran from 7:30 to 8:30. It's been a while since I've had to get up at 5:30 in the am, so I definitely needed some coffee!




2. 7:00 am: Just parked at work. It's way too early to be working!




3. 7:00 am: The parking lot and housing development/mall across the way from my office. It's so dark out!




4. 9:00-ish am: On my back from a Starbucks run for my coworkers and myself. Caught this at a red light.




5. 1:15 pm: It's Wendy's for lunch today. I didn't have the time to pack this morning, so I had a chicken sandwich.




6. 1:30 pm: The Christmas van at work. It's even crazier and more festive from the back.




7. 2:00 pm: I'm wearing my fun leopard print shoes from Target today.




8. 3:00 pm: Trapped by paper in my cube. Aaaah!




9. 5:00 pm: The parking lot view in the evening. I usually work until 5:30, but since I came in early, I figured I was allowed to leave a bit early.




10. 5:08 (?) pm: Listening to a podcast from www.duckydoestv.com on my way home from work. This one was all about one of my new fave shows, Pushing Daisies.




11. 5:45 pm: Two of my dogs out front. Andy (black) and Toby (golden brown) being inquisitive. (Or just looking for a place to pee.)




12. 8:30 pm: What's left of my Smart Water after an hour of zumba. That class is so fun, you don't even notice that an hour has passed.




Bonus picture: "Believe" Our advent wreath. I believe in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is one way my family marks our belief. Unfortunately for us, we couldn't find the traditional purple and pink taper candles (or at least 3 of the same color purple!), so we went with red this year.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Home

This is definitely something I will always associate with home: a roaring fire in the fireplace during the winter.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

We've entered into the season of Ohio weather that starts out beautiful, and ends up gross and slushy--it's snow-time again. We had our first real snowfall of the season starting last night and continuing through this morning. All of the predictions have been for between 2-4 inches. You would think people had never experienced snow before. There were accidents and school closings reported on the radio this morning, and while on my way to work I saw a boy wearing shorts while standing at the bus stop!

I hope the snow lasts for a couple more days, or at least for the snow to stick around, because we have warmer weather in our forecast. Next Monday and Tuesday are going to be in the 60s!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Snagged from UnitedHollywood.blogspot.com

It's "Not the Daily Show, with the Writers"

This is an amazing video of a Georgian newscaster who continues to broadcast up until the moment the military takes over the independent news station. What courage he has. I know I would not be so calm while facing what he did.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007

New Link

The Office has shut down.

This is only one consequence of the WGA strike. For more info & updates, see the United Hollywood Blog.

Wandering Traveler

Rick Steves will be in Dayton today speaking about his travels. I wish I had known beforehand, as I would have like to attend. Bummer :(

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What?

Reuters has a great section of odd news, called "Oddly Enough." I have this feed on my google homepage, and today there is a story about a questionable German Advent Calendar. What makes this story, though, is the picture on the left of the story--Santa holding a crying baby, presumably scared by the serial killer featured on the Advent calendar.

Spy!Family

How cute is this picture of Jen Garner + Baby Violet post-lunch with Victor Garber? It's a Spy!Family reunion! Spy!Barbie, Spy!Baby, and Spy!Daddy all together again. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Technology hates me!

I seem to have entered a klutziness phase in my life, specifically when interacting with technological items that I own. Last week, my dog got caught up in the powercord to my laptop, knocking it off the table and to the floor. Then Friday, I dropped it on the floor as well! Fortunately, everything seems to be working fine now, but I'm being extra careful with it.

This morning I dropped my cell phone on the floor, and then proceeded to spill water on it. This isn't as bad as it could be, as it's actually a hand-me-down phone from my dad, and I'm eligible for an upgrade next week. I only wish it hadn't happened before my scheduled trip to Nashville this weekend! :/

Thursday, November 1, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance

Check out my recap of Tuesday night's tour stop in Columbus. It's up on Ducky Does TV!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Canned Heat

I am so excited for Tuesday night. I'm going to the So You Think You Can Dance Tour, and I'm going to be blogging for Ducky Does TV. For more tour experiences, check out the new link on my sidebar, Blogging So You Think You Can Dance.

MTV ran a marathon of Season 2 of SYTYCD last weekend, and it inspired me to add more dance to my life. My Mondays are already filled with irish step dance, and Sundays now are spent getting ready for our Midwest Regionals in Chicago next month. I've added zumba classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays, which adds some latin dance styles to the mix. I'm having issues with arm/foot coordination, as my arms are ornaments, not instruments (at least that's what my teacher says!).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We are made of stars

I think it may be due to my crazy day at work yesterday (as opposed to my mostly boring days at work), but I found this entry at Go Fug Yourself quite hilarious. Maybe it is the combo of strangeness that is Janet Jackson and John Ravolta. It could quite possibly be Zac Efron's self tanner addiction. I think, though, it all comes down to Jessica's imagined dialog between those three. It was just a wonderful capper to a crazy day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sports fan?

I'm really not much of a baseball fan, but as a hometown-ish team, the Cleveland Indians will go to the World Series if they beat the Red Sox tonight. It's the top of the 6th, with Boston up to bat. *crosses fingers*

If it happens, it'll be the first time Cleveland has gone to the Series in 10 years.

They call it spam for a reason, right?

I get the most interesting mail in my spam filter. Apparently, I've always harbored a secret desire to become a man. Well, at least that's what Orval G. Clemons thinks, as he sent me an email with this subject line:

"With the help of our system you could become the man you have always wanted to be"

Thanks, but no thanks!

Friday, October 12, 2007

October 12 of 12

It's been a few months since I've participated in 12 of 12, and my location has changed from Prague to Ohio, but I thought I'd give it a go:

This was around 7 this morning, as I had to throw the frisbee for Toby. He's a little OCD about it. Whenever anyone comes in the outside door, he frantically searches for the frisbee so that you can throw it for him.


7:15 am While outside with Toby, I really liked the picture the stained glass in the upstairs bathroom made in the dawn.


7:30 am My mom feeding the dogs pieces of her peanut butter toast breakfast. It's a ritual with them.


8:30-ish Driving to work. Photographing whilst driving was not my best idea.


6:15 pm Outside the Cheescake Factory at the Greene shopping center. I met up with some friends to celebrate a birthday. Girls Dinner Out :)


7:00 pm A shot of an empty bread plate at the table.


7:15 pm Part of the ceiling at the Cheesecake Factory. It's blurry, but when I used my flash, you weren't able to see the beautiful color of the glass.


7:45 My friend with her colorful drink. I think it's called a Georgia Peach.


8:00 pm Apparently we weren't the only ones there celebrating a birthday. I think that at least two other tables were serenaded by the servers, and I saw multiple parties with gifts.


8:30 pm The birthday girl. Her birthday cheesecake is of the Snickers variety.


8:30 pm My cheesecake was the Brownie one. It was very rich--I had to take most of it home in a box!


10:00 pm Home and off of my feet after a long day. There's Toby again, sitting on the couch with me.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

There is something wrong when it is October 6 and the high today is 90 Fahrenheit. And the high for the next 3 days is in the 90s.

It's October, for crying out loud! I am supposed to be wearing cooler weather clothes now, not shorts and t-shirts!

Good Grief!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

You Tube

Hey Heroes fans--apparently Adrian Pasdar (Nathan Petrelli) has some vids up on You Tube. Search using "buckshotwon"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

SYTYCD

I've been fortunate enough to be able to watch season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance this year, and to get tickets to the tour when they hit Columbus OH at the end of October. That in of itself is super exciting for me, but to make it even more special (yes, Sunny, this is the big news) I'm going to be contributing my write-up of the experience to a fairly big tv blog, Ducky Does TV. How exciting is that!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

New Beginnings

Happy September, blogworld! There have been some developments in my life lately, and coincidentally the start date for both of them is tomorrow!

I start my new job tomorrow morning--I'll be working for a company doing some formatting and editing documents. I'm very excited about this new position, as I'll be working with a friend from my dance class, and I'll be receiving benefits. Yes, for the first time in my professional life, I will be working a full-time job that offers benefits--before all of my positions had been part-time or full-time without benefits, so this is very exciting! healthcare, paid leave, I can't wait :)

Secondly, tomorrow night begins another year of lessons (for adults, at least--youth classes started last week) at the Celtic Academy, and I'm teaching the new beginner class! I'm very excited about this prospect as well. Things are starting to fall into place for me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Voyage to Cape Canaveral

I believe I promised some pictures from my trip to Cape Canaveral, Florida earlier this month. Here they are!

My friend Marie (from Irish dancing) and I took a trip to visit another friend who had moved to Florida.


This is a view from the trip back to Orlando to fly back to hot, muggy, ocean-less Ohio.



One of the lifeguard stations on the beach. I never saw any lifeguards, though.



The Atlantic Ocean. How gorgeous!



We were fortunate enough to be at Cape Canaveral for the Shuttle Endeavor to launch. We were about 35 miles from the launch site, so we saw this instead of an up-close and personal view of the shuttle. Nevertheless, it was an experience I'll never forget.



Beach essentials: Sunblock, reading material, and Diet Coke. I reapplied several times and still got burnt! (I was the same shade as when I got burnt at the Prague Marathon!)

Binary Solo

You may have noticed that I have changed my blog title from my favorite line in A Wrinkle in Time, "Caught in a downdraft and blown off course" to Binary Solo. The reference is from one of my favorite shows I discovered this summer, Flight of the Conchords. It follows the efforts of New Zealand's 4th most popular Comedy Folk Duo. These guys are actually a comedy team who have been doing live performances around the world at comedy festivals. They also had a BBC radio series before they landed in the US at HBO. Watch this video they made about the distant future (it includes an actual binary solo!):

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yo Gabba Gabba

When it's too hot to sleep in my house with no air (as tonight is--76F/24C), I spend way too much time playing on the internet. Sometimes I find the craziest things, like this children's show that has clips on Youtube. It's called Yo Gabba Gabba, and features Biz Markie giving the kids a beat of the day:



In addition to this, it featured Elijah Wood demonstrating his favorite dance, "The Puppetmaster"



hmmmm

Today's daily puppy

So, I'm not at home where I can save the picture of today's daily puppy and repost it, but it is the cutest thing you've ever seen. A rat terrier (don't let the name scare you off!) named Rhubarb, this cutie has a white body with black markings and a black face. Too cute!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Now for something completely different

Last night my mom and I decided to have some girl time whilst giving ourselves pedicures. We soaked our feet in a minty foot bath, then painted our toenails.



The dogs decided that they wanted to have their own fun, if they couldn't join us. The flash gave them (Andy=big black dog, Toby=smaller brown dog) wicked eyes:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And that's why we leave things to the professionals . . .

We have had a clogged kitchen sink here at Casa de Willis since Sunday. It had been draining slowly for a while, but backed up completely this weekend. Apparently, my parents discussed calling the plumbers, but neither of them did so. My dad was under the assumption that I was going to call the plumbers, but failed to inform me that he had given this task to me. It was a comedy of errors in communication all around. This evening, my mom had the brilliant idea that we (meaning my dad) should take care of it ourselves instead of paying someone else to do so, as it was only 1 sink that was backed up.

Probably not her best idea to date.

My dad and I took a trip to the nearest Lowes to pick up a snake among other various items (he has decided to build his own tarp shelter instead of buying a pop-up one--boggles my mind). We returned home, and started the home repair project around 8:30 ish. When I say we, I mean he started the project. I came into the picture later on. When the various snaking didn't get the job done (this time with Elizabeth-participation!), instead of wisely coming to the decision that this was a bigger job than we could handle and calling it a day, my dad decided to soldier on. He had a manic gleam in his eye--he was going to beat this clogged pipe or die trying.
I bet he regretted that decision when the stinky black gunk started coming out of the pipe in the basement that connects to the kitchen sink drain. Eventually, two hours from the start of this project, my dad had emerged victorious from his battle with the clogged drain/pipe. We didn't look like victors, as we were covered in stinky black gunk water--him more so than me.

And that, children, is why you should know when to leave things to the professionals.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Quick Post

I promise to update soon with pictures from my trip, but here is a quick video of the Atlantic Ocean I took on Friday morning while walking the beach. You can see my friend Marie walking in the sand :) (check my flickr page for more photos--it's on the sidebar!)

Monday, August 6, 2007

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N

I know my updates have been few and far between, but I do have some small excuses: the past 3 weekends have been chock-full of goodtimes. Between going to the Harry Potter launch and spending the weekend reading the book to the past two weekends full of Celtic Festival/Irish Festival craziness, I've been a little busy.

As for the title of this post, I'm heading out to Florida for a few days this week to catch up with friends. Hopefully I'll get some good pictures and will post them upon my return. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's official

I've been 26 for more than 24 hours. wahoo!

I've got to prep to teach Irish Ceili dancing tonight. double wahoo!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Daily Puppy fix

Look at today's Daily Puppy, Dory. How cute!





Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's getting hot in here . . .

Today I had the pleasure of chauffeuring my little sister around to various internship interviews in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. We took my 89 Volvo, "Vi," who is a great little car but lacking in the airconditioning department. Plus, she almost overheated and I had to turn on the heat to cool the engine--I don't think she's used to driving so much in one day!

I returned home this evening drenched in sweat with a raging headache. Dinner followed by a short walk with the dogs went a long way to helping take care of that. A Blue Moon Honey Moon Summer Ale (it's no Pilsner Urquell but it will do), some dark chocolate m&ms, and a shower finished it off.

Tomorrow I am lucky enough to be able to do it all again for her--she owes me!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Prayer Request

UPDATE:
I received an email from Zach, and he's fine. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers!



Monday morning in Kashiwazaki, Japan an earthquake hit. This city is about 180 miles from the city (Akita) where my little brother is studying abroad. We're pretty sure that he is fine, but we haven't heard anything from him, and my family is a little nervous. Prayer warriors, can you keep him in your prayers?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Riverwalk


Last night after my dad got home from work, we decided to take a walk down by the Stillwater River behind our house. Well, he decided that he wanted to fish for a little while, and I walked the dog. It was such a nice evening yesterday, that we couldn't resist. I happened to bring my camera with me, and caught a few shots of Andy walking around, and then him actually in the river with my dad. This is huge, because he hates to get wet, and usually stays out of the water. He was so cute in the river!

I managed to capture a video of them walking back to the bank when we were leaving. Evidently as they got closer to the bank, they disturbed some crawdads/crayfish/crawfish (think mini-Zoidberg).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Reunions

This past week has been a time of reunions. I've seen most of my family, my friends who live here in Dayton, but the reunion I really anticipated was seeing my best friend Amber.


We've known each other since we were 7 years old, and have been best friends for quite some time. She lives in Minnesota now with her husband, so our opportunities to see each other when I'm stateside are limited. Last week, she came into town with her husband Adam for her birthday on Friday. We spent most of the weekend together renewing our friendship and hanging out, shopping in various stores and spending good time together.

Here are Amber and Adam at my house this weekend playing on my brother's Wii. Well, Adam is playing Wii tennis & Amber is doing a Sudoku puzzle.

Monday, July 9, 2007

More links

I have added a link on the sidebar entitled: Zach's Japan Photos. This is my little brother's web photo album of his time spent studying abroad in Japan this summer. Check it out if you get a chance, it's really cool!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

sounds of summer

It is so nice to be back home. I had forgotten what it sounds like here at my parents' house in the summer. At night, I fall asleep to the sounds of crickets and the wind blowing through the trees, and in the mornings I hear the birds outside. (Ok, and also the dogs barking--between my house and our neighbors to either side, we have 8 dogs total. It's a little ridiculous.)

Today, there is a Salsa Festival (not really sure, but it is the style of music I'm hearing) at the Garden Center behind our house. I had forgotten that you can hear everything that happens down there from inside the house, even! When I was younger, the local playhouse would have outdoor performances in the summertime, and you could hear them as well. This is definitely a change from what I would be hearing in Prague. Evidently the weather is cool there as well--not so in Dayton. Today I spent some time with my friends Marie and Kat at a friend's house with a pool in the back. It was so relaxing and refreshing to spend time with my girls and to get some sun as well. I'm a little pink, but my 50 SPF sunscreen purchase from the Lekarna in Smichov was much appreciated today!

I'm having problems hooking into the wireless network at my house--I hope to have that fixed soon, and I will be able to post with pictures again. Happy July!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Home Again Home Again

Well, after much frantic packing on Friday (why do I always wait until the last minute?), the realization that I had more stuff than luggage to put it in, and a very nice evening with friends I ended my first sojourn in Prague. Saturday morning bright and early, I got into a taxi that took me to the airport. The interesting thing to note about this is that a film crew and an extraneousness tram were also on my street, waiting with the taxi. I actually think they may have been waiting for the taxi to get out of their shot, but what do I know?

I got to the airport, waited and waited some more, until my flight left for Poland. The airport in Warsaw is a little bit scary, I must say. It made me think of what a communist era airport may have looked like (minus the shops). The inflight movie was "Wild Hogs," but I wasn't up for watching it. I think the only John Travolta movie I'll watch this summer will be Hairspray, and he won't even look like himself in that one.

Getting to New York's JFK was uneventful. Getting out of New York was a little bit of a hassle. JFK is so big, that I got a little lost trying to find the ticketing counter for my next flight, after leaving customs without problems. I finally found the United ticketing counter, only to be told that my flight to Dulles had been delayed, and that I wouldn't make my connecting flight to Dayton. I had no intentions of spending the night in NYC or in Washington DC, so the manager was helpful enough to get me on a direct flight from New York to Cincinnati. This flight would land me into Ohio 2 hours earlier than scheduled, which was great. Except that it was departing from the Laguardia airport, not JFK. I ended up taking a cab to Laguardia (on United's dime, no less!) in Saturday late afternoon rush hour traffic. I thought that drivers in Prague were crazy, but they're nothing compared to drivers in NYC.

I got to Laguardia around 6:20ish, and my flight left at 7:15. I spent most of my time in line at the ticketing counter, trying to get my boarding pass. Apparently, New York had been experiencing massive thunderstorms that had necessitated the cancellation of a lot of flights since Thursday last week. People were trying to get out of NYC all over the place. Some nice ladies and a gentleman who were flying to Atlanta after a missions trip to the Ukraine kindly lent me their cellphones to call my mom, so that I could let her know about the change in my flight plans. Finally, I boarded my plane and flew to Cincinnati. I got my luggage, met my mom, and we picked up my sister from her apartment at the University of Cincinnati on our way home.

Nothing much happened yesterday--our city's fireworks were last night, which I attended with my mom and my cousin. Unfortunately for me, I fell asleep on our blanket halfway through, and missed the grand finale! Today I'm off to visit my kids and former co-workers at the pre-school I worked, then to the dentist, then to dance class to get ready for the Celtic Festival at the end of the month. I miss all of my Prague friends, but it is so good to be home!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday morning . . .

This is what I feel like doing today:


Saturday, June 23, 2007

United Islands of Prague Pt. 2

Here's a video of Jay & Alice dancing to a couple of songs by Skarface!

United Islands of Prague

Tonight, Jay, Alice, and I went to the United Islands of Prague Music Festival to hear some fun music.

I know what you are thinking: Isn't the Czech Republic a landlocked country? Doesn't it follow that Prague shouldn't have islands?

To answer your questions, the Czech Republic is landlocked, but Prague is fortunate enough to have the Vlatava river flowing through the center of the city, and there are quite a few islands on the river.

We saw quite a few things while at the festival, not all of them music, but entertaining nonetheless. One of the bands we caught is a ska band from France, "Skarface." I managed to take a quick video of part of their performance. Unfortunately, I didn't have the best vantage point, and a tall guy started to move into my line of sight, so the video is a little short. It was a fun evening all around!

More pictures from Glasgow

Here are some more pictures from my trip to Glasgow in April for the World Championships of Irish Dance. It was a wonderful trip!

This is an international street market that happens twice a year in Glasgow. I was lucky enough to be there when it was operating. I walked through this every time I went to the Royal Scottish Concert Hall (where the Worlds took place) from my hostel.

This is a French cheese booth. It all looked so delicious. Yum!

This is Kathleen and I at an Italian restaurant in Glasgow. Kathleen was one of my first Irish Step Dance teachers when I was in high school. It was great to see her and her family when I was in Glasgow. I'm really looking forward to seeing them again when I'm home in Ohio this summer.