Friday, August 19, 2011

Won't be posting as much here

Happy Friday everyone!

So, it turns out that keeping up with life, as well as two blogs, takes a lot of work. So until I have it mastered... haha... I'm going to work on keeping up with my other blog, Between the Bookends

So if you'd like to follow me there, that'd be super. It tends to be more about writing but there are definitely aspects to it that are just... well... me.

I'm sure I'll be back to this blog at some point.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tickle Me Tuesdays

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Crazy awesome weekend followed by a work golf outing yesterday. (In case you were wondering... yes I did pretty well. At least I didn't hit anyone.)

Have you ever kicked someone in the face because they tickled you? Well... I have. I was thinking about that when I came up with the idea for this series: Tickle Me Tuesdays. Essentially, I hope to make you laugh, or at least chuckle a little. Because I love to laugh and I think most people do. Just be warned... if you see me in person I would advise against tickling me.

Let's all thank my cousin Jess for today's post idea. These are HILARIOUS. To think people actually ask these questions...

These  were posted on an Australian tourism website, and the  answers are the actual responses by the website  officials, who obviously have a great sense of humor  (not to mention a low tolerance threshold for cretins!)

Q: Does  it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it  rain on TV, how do the plants grow?  ( UK). A: We  import all plants fully grown, and then just sit around  watching them die.

Q: Will  I be able to see kangaroos in the street?  (
A: Depends how  much you've been drinking.

Q: I  want to walk from   Perth to     Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks?  (
Sweden)A: Sure, it's  only three thousand miles.  Take lots of  water.

Q: Are  there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia ? Can you  send me a list of them in Brisbane , Cairns , Townsville  and Hervey Bay ? (
A: What did  your last slave die of?

Q: Can  you give me some information about hippo racing in   Australia ? (
A: A-fri-ca is  the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe  .
Aus-tra-lia is that big  island in the middle of the Pacific which does not  ...
Oh, forget  it.  Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night  in Kings Cross. Come  naked.

Q: Which  direction is North in Australia ?  (
A: Face south,  and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here  and we'll send the rest of the  directions.

Q: Can  I bring cutlery into Australia ?  (
A: Why? Just  use your fingers like we  do.

Q:  Can  you send me the   Vienna Boys' Choir schedule?  (
USA)A: Aus-tri-a is  that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is  ...
Oh, forget  it.  Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every  Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo  races. Come naked.

Q: Can  I wear high heels in Australia ?  (
A: You are a  British politician, right?

Q: Are  there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all  year round? (
A: No, we are a  peaceful civilization of vegan  hunter/gatherers.  Milk is  illegal.

Q:  Please  send a list of all doctors in   Australia who can  Dispense rattlesnake serum. (
A: Rattlesnakes  live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All  Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely  handled, and make good  pets.

Q: I  have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but  I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in  trees. (
A: It's called  a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of  gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking  underneath them.
You  can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine  before you go out walking.

Q: I  have developed a new product that is the fountain of  youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia  ? ( )
A: Anywhere  significant numbers of Americans  gather.

Q: Do  you celebrate Christmas in Australia ?  (
France) A: Only at  Christmas.

Q: Will  I be able to speak English most places I go?  (
USA) A: Yes, but  you'll have to learn it  first.  

Now you're ready for a trip to Australia! Who's with me? :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yes, I'm a writer. You want to read my work?

Hey everyone!

I'm not sure how many of you know, but I'm a writer. Nothing published yet, but that's the goal.

Over on this side of the blog is a link to my other blog, which is geared completely to my writing. Feel free to follow it if you'd like.

I've entered a contest on another writer's blog where we post the first 500 words of our story. I thought it might be kind of fun to see what you all thought so I have posted the first 500 words below. Feel free to say exactly what you feel. That's the only way I can get better. 

Sacrifice is my first fiction novel which will fall under the YA category.

Basically, would you want to keep reading after you read the first 500 words? Again, be perfectly honest.

            The man without a name walked the dark hallway, cobwebs clinging to his pants. He didn’t need light. He had been here many times before.
            If he were any other man he would think about things, meaningful or insignificant, as he walked by himself answering the summons. But he was a man without his own name, his own thoughts, his own feelings. An outer shell that encased nothing because there was nothing inside.
            At the end of the hallway he reached for the door. With ease he placed the key in the lock and turned it. The scream hit him as soon as the door opened a crack.
He didn’t flinch.
The click of the door behind him sealed in the terror as the man followed the pleas of innocence. When he reached the cell at the end of the hall he stopped in the shadows and waited, watching.
The man called Terry wailed, desperately trying to pull himself away from the beating that was sure to end his life. He crawled to the wall and propped himself up, too weak to sit under his own strength. His face was covered in blood and as he cried it flew into the air in front of him. He continued to beg for mercy.
            His boss, Balach, stood up and placed his hands on his hips, surveying the damage he'd caused. His breathing heavy due to the passion he placed in every blow. He tossed a small blue stone as he walked around the man. After a few circles he squatted down so that he was face to face with the prisoner and in the most menacing tone, he inquired again.
            “Terry, where did you get this stone?”
            The man continued to cry. Through his sobs he managed a few words.
            “Like I said Advisor, sir, I found it.” He shook his head from side to side as he mumbled again. “I found it.”
            The sound of Balach’s strike was so loud that even he shut his eyes at the realization of the pain.
            “I don’t believe you!” Balach screamed revealing the face of a madman.
            Balach huffed and walked to the other side of the cell. He ran his huge hand down his face, transferring blood, making him seem like the devil himself. Balach rarely lost his cool. He wasn’t the King’s trusted Advisor by happenstance. He put a great mask of kindness and compassion over his heart of stone.

What do you think? Would you continue reading?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tickle Me Tuesdays

Have you every kicked someone in the face because they tickled you? Well... I have. I was thinking about that when I came up with the idea for this series: Tickle Me Tuesdays. Essentially, I hope to make you all laugh, or at least chuckle a little. Because I love to laugh and I think most people do. Just be warned...if you see me in person I would advise against tickling me.

I thought today we'd do some funny quotes. Hopefully they're funny enough to result in coffee coming out your nose (but you won't actually have coffee in your mouth at the time.) ;)

"If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Up button."

"Everyone has photographic memory; some just don't have the film."

"Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings."

"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together."

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekend Wisdom

Weekend Wisdom is a series that runs every Monday. We've had three days to make mistakes, come to realizations and learn new things. This series allows us to share those insights with others. Please leave your amusing, inspirational, useful and just plain hilarious 'weekend wisdom' in the comments section below.

Did you have a good weekend? I did. Full of reading, writing, friends, moving, Madison. (Okay... the moving part wasn't so much fun, but  ya gotta do what ya gotta do).

So here's my weekend wisdom! (and I'm not sure why blogger is doing this weird highlighting thing...)

Singing in the grocery store will get you weird looks. 

Do I care? Mmmm, not so much. But I just thought I would let you know ;) 

If you're looking for a way to get into, or stay in shape, I suggest joining a soccer team. I've played soccer since I was five but a number of people in my soccer club had never played before they joined. Soccer is very easy to learn and you have around twenty other people on your team, which makes for great camaraderie.  So if you're looking for something, I highly recommend checking out your local soccer club.

What's your wisdom from the weekend??

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wanna get away? Wisconsin Dells

As I alluded to in my "Tickle Me Tuesday" post, I spent last weekend with my family in the Wisconsin Dells celebrating my cousin Jessica's Birthday.

Now, those who live in Wisconsin have most definitely heard of 'The Waterpark Capital of the World'.

The rest of the world either hasn't heard of it, or wonders why they would put it in Wisconsin of all places...

No matter which boat you're in, the Wisconsin Dells is definitely a place you should check out. There is plenty to do and the whole town has a, 'walk around in your bare feet, everything is fairly inexpensive and 50% of the people have tattoos', kind of feel to it.

Aside from the plentiful indoor waterparks (we are talking about Wisconsin after all, there's got to be something to do for the other nine months out of the year) there are two major attractions in The Dells: Mt. Olympus and Noah's Ark 'America's Largest Waterpark'.

My cousin Loni happens to currently work for Noah's Ark, so she was able to get us in for free.

Loni is on the left and Jess is on the right.

I hadn't been to Noah's Ark for twelve years, which is crazy just to say. (God I'm getting old.) It was as much fun as I remembered but of course you have the crowds to deal with when the weather is beautiful and its a Saturday.

As I stated in my 'Weekend Wisdom', make sure you get there early and grab a spot in the shade for the times you need a respite from the heat.

The park doesn't allow you to bring food in, but they do have a number of picnic areas scattered throughout the parking lot. My Aunt Lynn is an amazing woman and managed to bring along a feast in honor of Jess's Birthday. (She included the Summer Salsa which will be in a later post because this thing is AMAZING). Noah's Ark is also really good about accommodating groups. For only $75 you can reserve an area for the whole day as long as you have more than 15 people.

Oh! And check out this grape! Yes, that's right, its a grape. Crazy heh?

It's really hard to do everything in one day, especially on a Saturday, but we were there from open to close. (9am to 8pm). It was so much fun.

We also explored other things that The Dells has to offer. The downtown part of The Dells is known for cute, inexpensive shops, yummy restaurants and stores which sell candy, fudge and cheese. Mmmm

Loni and I entertaining ourselves as we waited for our sister's fashion show.

We checked out Marley's for a bite to eat as well as taking a peek at there club. It switched locations a year or two ago and is super nice now.

You can eat inside or outside on there patio. They have live music most nights of the week. This guy was really, really good. And not too shabby to look at either... :)

The food was amazing! And there drink specials were wonderful. We'll definitely come back.

We popped our head in and took a look at there club. It opens at 9pm, but naturally the party doesn't get started until later. It looks pretty neat and they had flat screens on the wall which showed how busy they get later on in the evening. But we didn't want to wait around that long, so we headed downtown to shop. The stores stay open until Midnight!

The Wisconsin Dells is a great place to go for a weekend or a week. If you're not into waterparks and theme parks you can take it easy on Lake Delton or hike around the area. It makes for a wonderful, laid back vacation, except when you're fighting with a six-year-old over an inner tube for the lazy river...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ahem, Ahem. A wonderful poem about the frustrations of air travel.

Hello Milwaukee where down there.
It's me, Kelley, up here in the air.
I should have been home yesterday night.
But I couldn't due to the overbooked flight.

The trip went well, the customer's happy.
And getting home a day late only makes me a little crabby.
There's much to do, things don't stop when I'm gone.
But this happens all the time, I just chug on and on and on.

At least they gave me a nice hotel
Two free meals and wished me well.
The voucher will help me visit my friends.
So you see Milwaukee, how this story ends.

I'm home a day late
The work piles high
But the headache is worth it.
A free flight in the sky.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tickle Me Tuesdays

I'm off to Bloomington, IN for work. Should be fun. :) Anyone from the area or know it? Could use a suggestion on a good place to eat...

Have you ever kicked someone in the face because they tickled you? Well... I have. I was thinking about that and came up with the idea for the series: Tickle Me Tuesdays. Essentially, I hope to make you laugh or at least chuckle a little. Because... I love to laugh and I think most people do. Just be warned... if you see me in person, I would advise against tickling me. 

I got this one from my beautiful cousin Jess. It might have gone around a little, but as the weather is so frickin' warm lately, I thought (and so did she) that this was very fitting :)

This next one, we actually found when we were in the Wisconsin Dells (post coming later this week). If you look real close, you can see the sign for a driving school under this huge mug of beer. 

Not to mention the sign says, 'Wurst Bar in Town'. Hilarious.

Hope you were tickled :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Weekend Wisdom

Weekend Wisdom is a series that runs every Monday. We've had three days to make mistakes, come to realizations and learn new things. This series allows us to share those insights with others. Please leave your amusing, inspirational, useful and just plain hilarious 'weekend wisdom' in the comments section below.

Happy Monday!

Are you wiser now than you were on Friday?

I took my little sister (from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program) to see Cars 2 last week.

It was a really cute movie. I might have laughed more than she did... but that's not surprising as I laugh a lot.

Anyways... we got some popcorn to share. I hadn't eaten movie theater popcorn in... I don't know how long. When the movie was done I looked down and I had eaten half the large bucket. And I got so sick the next day.

My wisdom: DON'T get a huge tub of movie theater popcorn to share with an eight-year-old. She's only going to have a few handfuls in between her twizzlers and you'll mindlessly eat the rest, getting yourself sick. Just buy the small one :)

My other bit of wisdom:

Get to a water park really early and grab a spot that will have shade all day. You might think you want to get a really killer tan, and that shade is for suckers, but trust me, you'll want this place of respite during the day.

More to come on 'The Waterpark Capital of the World' later this week.

What is your weekend wisdom?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ireland Week!!! The "Must-Sees" of Ireland: Connemara and Bru Na Boinne

First things first. I get to announce the WINNER of my first blog contest!

It was super easy to enter, all you had to do was leave a comment on last Monday's post. (Extra points for facebook/tweeting and for following this blog).

And the winner of $30 to Amazon is:   Abbey Rymarczyk!!! Congrats girl!

I'll send you an email with your prize in it!

Thanks to everyone who participated. I promise there will be more contests so stay tuned :)

Okay, now that we've done that... on to...

Our last day for Ireland Week. The five previous posts were:

1. Dublin
2. Glendalough, Rock of Cashel, Ring of Kerry
3. Dingle
4. Sea Kayaking in Dingle

5. Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Aran Islands

On our way from Galway to Westport we stopped in the Connemara region. The region is known for its diverse landscape, especially the bogs, which are prevalent in this area. 

One of the most popular sites in the region is Kylemoore Abbey. (Otherwise known as Katie's house. It's so nice of her to let us tour it, isn't it? ;))

And this is Katie's view:

Ok, you're right, its not Katie's house. It actually used to be a school for girls until last year when they decided to close it off. It started out as a castle for Mitchell Henry who built a church for his wife after she died. The church is lovely.

He fell on hard times and it went into disrepair until the Benedictine Nuns who fled from Germany made it there home and later turned it into a school. They let you tour the inside of both the Abbey and the Church. It wasn't expensive and is worth a stop if you're in the area. The Victorian Gardens were okay, but they are currently doing a lot of repairs in the gardens so it might be better in the near future.

We went on to Connemara National Park. The skies were threatening rain while we ate lunch and contemplated on whether or not to do one of the three hikes in the park. We decided to try, as all three started and ended in the same place, they just differed in how high up Diamond Hill you wanted to go

And. Let me tell you my friends. Diamond Hill is a misnomer. This is not a hill. It is a mountain. 

And. Let me also tell you my friends. Beware of your conniving friends when they tell you that they only want to do the easy trail. When you get to, what I now call, "The Rock of Peer Pressure", they will be sneaky, and annoying and convince you that even though it is hailing and you are soaked from the rain, that it is a good idea to keep climbing up a mountain.

Don't tell me I didn't warn you... ;)
This is Katie and I after I gave in and said I would keep climbing the mountain...

And we climbed

And we climbed

And we climbed. This was the point where, "Are you kidding me!?!" escaped my lips every 100ft or so as I couldn't believe we weren't at the top yet. (It was a very deceiving mountain.) Everytime you got over a crest, and thought you were at the top, there was more to climb.

But finally we made it! And the views were some of the best on the trip.

Then we walked down the mountain to our car.

Do you see those little white patches, almost directly over my head? That is Kylemoore Abbey. When we were down there, looking up at the mountains Katie said, "If I lived here, I would climb those mountains." We all laughed. Turns out the joke was on us :)

We left Connemara and headed for Westport. Westport was a nice city, but in our opinion there's really no need to go there. If we did it again, we would have gone back to Galway after Connemara. 

But we did get to see this raindow, which we now dub, "The Rainbow of Abandonment" as we were able to convince Katie to get out of the car to take a picture, which allowed us to drive away without her. Hehehe.

After Westport we drove cross country to Trim. Another nice city and it really is a perfect place to stay the night before your flight leaves. (That way you don't have to deal with a whole lot of Dublin traffic.)

We visited Trim castle, which was where the movie Braveheart was shot. It was okay. They make you take a tour if you want to see the inside. I think it was worth it, even if it was a bit long.

The day before we left we visited one of the most talked about sites in Ireland Bru Na Boinne. They are one of the largest and most historic megalithic sites in Europe. Bascially a combination of Neolithic tombs, standing stones and henges.

It was pretty neat, but this was our last out of ten days and I think we were all a little nutty as you can tell from the numerous crazy pictures we took while waiting for the tour... We might have appreciated it more at the beginning of the trip...

And that was our trip.

I'm sad its over... I so want to go back.

Just a word of advice for comfort sake. Pack really light. Not only are most rooms in Europe really small, but you're going to want a small vehicle so that you can manuever the 'one-lane' roads in Ireland. They are seriously skinny roads, people :)

This was our trusty steed: A Volkswagen Polo. It was a good car. Did the job.

Hope you enjoyed the Ireland recap. Be thinking about 'Weekend Wisdom' for the post on Monday. Last week's were wonderful!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ireland Week!!! The "Must-Sees" of Ireland: Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Aran Islands

I know you've all been dying for this series to continue. ;) As I explained in an earlier post, I have all our pictures on my sister's laptop which I didn't have access to so I couldn't finish this series last week. But... now I can :)

Quick recap: Myself and two wonderful ladies (Katie and Jen) spent 10 days on the Emerald Isle. I thought it might be helpful if there are some who are thinking about going, and if you're not, hopefully it will be entertaining and/or amusing :)

Post Recap (and links to them if you wish to check them out):
1. Dublin
2. Glendalough, Rock of Cashel, Ring of Kerry
3. Dingle
4. Sea Kayaking in Dingle

The first stop on today's post is The Cliffs of Moher (pronounced 'More'). Katie came up with a 'great' story as to why they are called that. If you see her, you should ask her sometime... :)

The Cliffs of Moher are on the way from Dingle to Galway, and are one of the places to see, so we decided to make a stop. At first, we weren't all that impressed. After you park and walk across the street you can take a look at the visitor's center, which we didn't think was a much.

Then you can walk up to a lookout tower (which no one recommends that you pay to go up in). We didn't pay, but as we looked out at the view pictured above we were like, 'Eh, its nice but....'

Before we left we walked a ways up another path and ran into this sign

Naturally, seeing something that says 'Please don't go beyond this point' made us do just that.

And then the party started!

The views from this side of the cliffs were much better. See that little thing sticking out the top of the cliff? That's the tower we were at.

Once we were on this side, we just kept going, to places only those that owned these little beauties ever went:

The views were amazing, and the rebel feeling we got helped too. So if you go to The Cliffs of Moher, walk on by the sign that says 'don't walk by this sign'. Its much better there :)

After the Cliffs of Moher we went on to Galway, which is tied for our most favorite place on the trip. (Dingle shares the #1 spot with it).

There are parts in Galway that are pedestrian only and have the most amazing shops, food and live music we saw on our whole trip.

And just in case you don't believe me, take a look at this.

We just walked right into a bar (no cover), batted our eyes at a few gents so we could grab there extra seats, and sat in the front row with our Guinness. We went in four different pubs that were like this, all with slightly different kinds of music, but all amazing.

The next day we spent in the Aran Islands. It was a great day trip. We drove from Galway to Rooseveel (about 40min) and hoped on a ferry. We spent the whole day on Inishmore (one of the three islands). We recommend renting bikes if you want to see a lot, but DON'T take the 'high road'. It's probably the toughest bike ride we've ever been on, and there is nothing to see that you can't see on the 'low road'. If you ever go, you'll know what we mean. :)

This is an example of why you shouldn't take a picture of yourself while riding a bike:

Ha. Jen. (She's gonna hate me for posting that...)

Anywho... as you ride around on your bikes singing the 'witch's theme song' from the Wizard of Oz, you can get off at various marked spots to see old Iron Age forts. Lots of climbing, but the views are quite nice.

The biggest attraction, and of course the one that is farthest away from where the ferry's drop you off, is Dun Aengus. It is known as the 'most magnificent barbaric momument in Europe.'

We were impressed with the actual structure, but the view blew it out of the water. The fort literally ends at the cliff.

We had lugged our lunch with us, which consisted of two chocolate cakes, trail mix and soda. Where we ate was by far the most beautiful place I have ever eaten.

All three of these places are ones I would do again.

The last post for 'Ireland Week' is tomorrow! Join us as we climb up a mountain.

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