Monday, May 25, 2009

32 Years Ago, In a Galaxy Not So Far Away...

...Star Was premiered. I didn't even have to look at any "This Day in History" reports to know that - May 25, 1977 is one of those dates that I just know. Probably because I'm a huge geek. The funny thing is that, despite the fact that Star Wars premiered 3 days before my first birthday, I didn't see any of the movies until I was about 20. And I really didn't think I would like them. HA! Well, I am glad I was wrong, in any case. Two of my favorite characters from Star Wars are shown here on this Japanese Fan Club card.
Star Wars - Japanese Fan Club
Isn't that just awesome?? No offense to anyone else who has sent me a card, because I really do love them all (they're just like children), but this card from raincoat is one of the best cards I have ever received.
And for those of you who are deficient in Star Wars knowledge, the gold droid is C-3PO and the short, cute trash can-looking droid is R2-D2. I just love how expressive he was, even though his only sounds were beeps, squawks and whines. There were times I swear I could hear actual words in those sounds. I carved a stamp of R2 a few years ago:
It's definitely the most detailed stamp I ever carved, but I think it came out pretty good. May the force be with you! (Yeah, ok, not the most original ending. Whatever.) :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

%$&@#$^$% Cat!

I wasn't planning on posting tonight, but I can't go to bed right now, so I thought I might as well do something. The reason I can't go to bed is that one of my cats (see my profile picture) got sick all over my bed earlier, so I had to wash my sheets, blanket and comforter. And of course, the comforter WILL NOT GET DRY. Grrrr! Neither cat seems willing to take responsibility, either. Maybe I should do this to them:
USA US-375873 received 03-30-2009
Think that would make them stop getting sick all over everything? Yeah, me neither. The postcard came from Jessiebks in Illinois - a whole 40 miles away! :) I think it is strange how many cards I get from within 100 miles - until I remember that there are more people in the Chicago metro area than there are in the country of Finland (where a large number of my Postcards postcards come from). The picture on the postcard is from Stuff on My Cat (http://stuffonmycat.com/), a website that I find absolutely hilarious. There is Stuff on My Mutt for you dog lovers; I just don't think it is as funny because dogs are so much more...ummm....tolerant. Yeah, that's it. :)
Don't misunderstand me - I like dogs...as long as they belong to other people. There is just no way that I would want to take a dog for a walk when it is 10 degrees outside.....or 100 degrees, for that matter. Puppies are really cute though. See?
Japan JP-44445 received 11-05-2008
yuuna-harukaze in Japan sent that adorable puppy. Doesn't it just make you want to saw "Awwwww"? I still don't want one though. Maybe I would want a dog more if I found them useful. Like maybe it could carry my luggage for me....
Poland PL-23104 received 04-09-2009
Yeah, like that! :D I have karmelkaaa in Poland to thank for this really funny card.
I know there are some people that have both cats AND dogs. I always wonder if my cats would get along with a dog. Probably not as well as this cat:
Finland FI-277334 received 04-08-2008
Sirpa59 from Finland (hey, a card from Finland) sent that card to me. I seem to get a lot of cat and dog cards through Postcrossing. Probably because people have pets in every country, even though we don't all speak the same language. Oh geez, I'm on the verge of getting deep here. *shaking head* Quick, post another card, Kristin!
France FR-31829 received 08-26-2008
It's a cat in a hat! No, not the one by Dr. Seuss - it's a different anthropomorphized (my $10 word of the day) cat. Thank you to Isascully in - you guessed it - France for this one.
I just noticed that the dryer has shut off, so perhaps my stuff is dry and I can make my bed and go to sleep. *crossing fingers* I'll leave you with these parting words on a card from esko in Finland (yup, Finland again):
Finland FI-319532 received 07-06-2008
Yeah, I have no idea what it means either. But the cats are cute, right? I apologize for my rambling tonight. I'm going to bed now. Good night!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Amazing Race 14 - Finale

"11 legs, 9 countries and 40,000 miles," and another season of The Amazing Race comes to a conclusion. I am always sad when it comes to an end, but it is always great to finally see who won. I wasn't necessarily 100% happy with the results, but it is what it is. Congrats to all three teams who made it to the final leg. That final leg started with the racers leaving China and heading back to the good ol' USA. To Maui, Hawaii no less. Am I the only one who wonders about how long it takes for the racers to get through customs? They never show it and they never talk about it. I wonder if the producers make special arrangements for the racers and camera/sound crews so that they don't have to wait in line. It would really try my patience if I was trying to get to the location mentioned in the clue and I had to wait in a customs line for a hour. The consolation would be that the other teams would have to do it to. But enough about boring things like customs; let's get to beautiful Hawaii. And it is beautiful. I had the privilege of visiting Oahu, Hawaii and Maui when I was 15. Unfortunately, that was before I started buying postcards to supplement the pictures I took myself. So this is the only postcard that I have from Maui. It was a freebie from the hotel where we stayed. I remember we were there for the 4th of July (Independence Day in the USA, for those who live in other countries), and we sat on the beach to watch the fireworks.
Hawai'i - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, Lahaina
I do have two more cards from Hawaii, and when I say Hawaii, I mean The Big Island. It is a bit confusing having an island with the same name as the state. Could someone do something about that, please? ;) I received both of these as part of a trade with sandpainter, who is lucky enough to actually live in Hawaii. The first is Lilioukalani Gardens in Hilo. It is named after Queen Lili'oukalani, the last monarch of the kingdom of Hawai'i.

Hawaii - Lilioukalani Gardens, Hilo

Here is Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. No, the black sand was not caused by an oil spill, but rather by the tides breaking up volcanic rock. Volcanoes? In Hawaii?? Have you ever heard of such a thing?? I sure hope you have! :D

Hawaii - Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

Finally, I would like to say a HUGE congratulations to Phil Keoghan. On Friday, he finished a bicycle ride across the United States, which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Multiple Scleroris research. Way to go, Phil!!! For those of you who were not following Phil's adventures, SHAME on you! But you can still see all of his video blogs here: http://philridesacrossamerica.com/daily_blog.html
Phil was quite amusing, especially when he was tired - which he pretty much always was. Hey, he was riding a bicycle....across America! That sounds really, really tiring to me.
See you next season! Now back to our regularly scheduled (HA!) blogs. :D

Thursday, May 7, 2009

YEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!

So, I just got home after seeing the new Star Trek movie. I will admit I have been extremely skeptical and wary of this movie. I had no idea how such beloved characters could be woven into a completely new story that still remained true to what millions of people know so well. The thing that struck me as totally wrong before I even saw the movie was that the villain was a Romulan. Star Trek fans may remember that until the original series (TOS) episode Balance of Terror, no human (or Vulcan for that matter) knew what a Romulan looked like. The events in this movie take place before the events of TOS. The writers seemed to be blatantly ignoring Star Trek canon, and I was not happy about it. I got to the movie theater about 15 minutes before the movie was supposed to start, expecting to have a difficult time finding a seat. Instead, only about 1/4 of the seats were filled. What? Were all the die-hard Star Trek fans staying away because they were having the same thoughts about it that I was? By the time the film actually began, the theater was still only about 1/3 full. "That's just as well," I thought, "if the movie sucks, at least I will be comfortable." During the first half hour or so, I just kept shaking my head as more and more discrepancies popped up. And then...... *cue dramatic music* Then came the revelation, the explanation for everything that was happening. I allowed myself a small smile. By the final scene, with the Enterprise warping away to the swells of Alexander Courage's iconic theme, that small smile had turned into a huge grin. The movie was.... awesome. I could not be more pleased to be wrong about it. I laughed, I...well, I didn't cry, but I did tear up a bit. It has action, humor, even a little bit of unexpected romance. There are numerous references that will give true Trek fans big laughs, including McCoy's famous "I'm a doctor, not a...." routine and mention of Admiral Archer (see, even something for Enterprise fans). The references not overdone, nor are they included just for the sake of including them. Every one of them belongs right where it is. As for the characters themselves, none of the actors really look or sound like the people who originated the parts. I think the most glaring example of this is Karl Urban, who plays Dr. McCoy. He looks nothing like DeForest Kelley. And yet there is something familiar about all of them. On second thought, I take back part of what I said in the first sentence - the kid who plays Chekov (no idea what his name is), sounds EXACTLY like Chekov. I could have closed my eyes while he was talking and I would have seen Walter Koenig in my mind. To writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, I say "Well done, gentlemen." And to director J.J. Abrams, I apologize for doubting your genius. I have loved every show of yours that I have seen and I should have known that you would not disappoint this time either. Thank you for boldly going. Live long, and prosper!
USS Enterprise NCC-1701

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jamaican Time to Post

It was recently pointed out to me that I don't post to my blog enough. Well duh! :) I have a gabillion postcards (that might be a slight exaggeration) waiting to be posted. The problem is taking time to actually do it. So I'll have to see what I can do about that. I know I have tried before, and it hasn't really worked too well. But the current TV season is ending soon, so I will be spending my evenings sitting on my couch staring at the walls (another slight exaggeration). We'll see what happens then. :D Oh, and I didn't just pick this card at random or because I could make a punny title out of it. Christopher Columbus discovered Jamaica on May 4, 1494. This card was sent to my office by one of my coworkers who was in Jamaica for a conference. Companies that hold conferences in tropical locations are either stupid or brilliant. I haven't decided which. It's possible that I'm just jealous because I don't get to go. Whatever. ;)

Jamaica - Montego Bay

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Amazing Race 14 - Episodes 10 and 11

Tonight was the penultimate episode of The Amazing Race 14 (ooh, big word). As you may have noticed, I didn't post last week. Well, that is because last week's episode (the antepenultimate episode - hey, an even bigger word) ended with the three words most dreaded by TV viewers: TO BE CONTINUED. Whaaaaaaaat? So I figured since this week's episode was just a continuation of the previous leg, I could lump them both together. Yeah, that's what I am going with. :) As it turns out, I should have saved my two Beijing Olympics cards for this post because the racers spent both episodes in Beijing, and even ended tonight's leg outside the Bird's Nest. But oh well, not much I can do about that now. :D I'll start out with a postcard of Changqingchunkeer Temple. Now THAT is a really big word. Unfortunately, I don't know what it means. But pictures are supposed to be worth 1,000 words, so I'll just let the picture speak for itself. ;)




That card was sent to me by Postcrossing member renyi as part of a postcard trade. I also received this next card as part of a private trade, this time from viviangel. It is a lovely lake scene. I was trying to figure out what kind of boats are pictured. I was not successful in that quest, but I am fairly certain that they are not junks (which was my first guess).



I received the next card just a few weeks ago as an official Postcrossing card (ID number CN-65680). It shows the Local Earthen Tower in Yongding, Fujian, China. I'm not exactly sure what that means. Icihi sent the card to me, and was kind enough to write some words in Chinese. I now know the Chinese word for museum. :)



This beautiful view of the Changbai Mountains is a recent addition to my collection as well. It is also an official Postcrossing card (CN-62018), and it came from rainfield.



Talk about recent - I just received this next card yesterday! I'm not sure it actually shows a scene IN China, but the card was issued by the State Postal Bureau of China, so that counts, right? :) Postcrossing member adfdsf sent this to me as yet another official Postcrossing card (CN-71008). There seems to be a surge in Chinese and Taiwanese Postcrossers lately. But anyway, here are some cute penguins.



Finally, I think I would be remiss if I posted about China and I didn't include a panda. Fortunately, I have a postcard of a panda. :) It also came from renyi as part of the same trade as the Changqingchunkeer Temple. Isn't it cute? The panda, not the temple. ;)



So, that's it for tonight. Don't miss the finale of The Amazing Race next Sunday! Go Marjorie and Luke!!! :D