Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Just Another Manic Monday... I was all pumped after my relaxing weekend of doing nothing but watching movies and TV and man, did my Monday start off crazy. Is it a full moon or something? My work day has been insane!! I'm thinking if anyone else bothers me today, I should just pull a "Nolan Ryan" on them. For those not familiar with baseball, please go here to view the video (MLB won't let me embed it here). Trust me, it's worth it. If you are having a bad day, it might make you feel better!

Nolan had the right idea of what to do if someone messes with you!

Speaking of Nolan (yes, we are on a first name basis, he calls me Rachel...well, if he knew me he would call me Rachel), today is his birthday! HAPPY 64th BIRTHDAY NOLAN!! Even if you aren't a Rangers fan (and if you aren't, you really should reconsider), you have to love Nolan Ryan. He's just awesome. I could list all his achievements and stats, but since most of you aren't as into obsessed passionate about baseball as I am, you can just go here if you want to see them. :)

The birthday boy!

Like I mentioned earlier, I spent all weekend watching movies/TV. Hey, we all deserve a "me" weekend every now and then. I needed some "down" time. In fact, # 90 on my 101 in 1001 list was to spend a day in bed. And I pretty much did that on Saturday (with the exception of going out to get food at one point). So, that is one more item on my list I can mark off. Wahoo! 

I finally saw The Proposal on Friday (yes, I'm WAY behind in my movie watching) and just have this to say about it: "Hello Ryan Reynolds!" ;) I'm thinking my life would probably be complete if I could get C.J. Wilson and Ryan Reynolds to fight over me. ;) Um...oh sorry, moving on...

So, I decided to start another blog this weekend. Part of my 101 in 1001 is to write reviews on books that I read. And since I just joined the Book Lovers Group on For The Love of Blogs, I thought it might be easier to put my reviews on a separate blog (just so it's a little more organized). I decided to also include movie reviews as well. I'll only update that blog for reviews, my regular ramblings will still be found here, so don't think I'm giving up this blog!! :)

If you are interested in my opinions of books/movies, please check out Reviews by Rachel here (I'm still working on it so excuse the mess- it still looks a little cluttered). I actually wrote my first review the other day. I FINALLY saw the movie Inception. What did I think of it? Click here to find out. FYI, I didn't post any spoilers in the review! :)

Hope everyone has a great week. I knew that bragging out the 75 degree weather this weekend was a bad idea. There is ice, sleet, snow and wind chills near zero in the forecast this week in Dallas. EEK!!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Friday to all!

Oh so much to get to in this post. First of all, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you might notice that it got a makeover. Yeah, I got bored last night, so I decided to try a new look! I would like to thank my wonderful friends at For The Love of Blogs for the awesome tutorial on how to make a new header/title. If you are interested in learning for yourself, check out the post here. Also, if you are looking to meet new friends, head over there and sign up for Fab Friends Friday!

As I sit here typing this (it's after midnight- oh the joys of not being able to sleep), I'm realizing that today, January 28, 2011, marks the 25th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Last year I posted a story about that day, go here for that post. I didn't post any pictures or videos of the Challenger (but I did post the picture of my 2nd grade class- we were watching it live on TV when it exploded). I want to take a moment to remember the seven crew members who lost their lives that day. Rest in peace.

Okay, sorry to bring you down on a Friday, I'll try to make the rest of the post happier!

1. If you had a $1,000 to donate to a charity, which would you choose?
I've mentioned before that C.J. Wilson has a children's charity (and no, I'm not just picking it because of him). I would want to donate to any charity that helps children. For more on C.J.'s charity, go here. It really is for a good cause! Here is a video one of the local children's hospitals did on him.

2. Snow days: Do you welcome them happily or are they a pain in your butt?
We don't get many snow days here in my part of Texas, so when it does snow, I welcome it happily. If it snows a lot and sticks (or if there is more than half an inch of ice on the road), the town pretty much shuts down and we all get a snow/ice day. Yeah, we can't drive on ice here, don't even ask us to! Usually when it snows it won't be cold enough to stick (because our weather is constantly changing). For instance, here is our 7-day forecast. Please don't hate me because it will be 70 today and tomorrow. Another cold front is headed our way and they are saying sleet/snow on Tuesday night. Since it's been so warm, it probably won't do much damage (although those might be famous last words). But temperature wise, Wednesday will NOT be a good day for me! Brrr!! My poor Texas body can't handle that!!

3. What talent do you wish you had and why?
I wish I could sing. My sisters both got the musical talent in the family (one of my sisters even recorded a CD last year). I can't carry a tune in a bucket (part of it is probably because I'm deaf in one ear). But yeah, I would love to be able to sing and not cause people to wince in pain. :)

4. Are you a news, politics, or celebrity junkie?
I don't go out of my way to find "celebrity gossip" but if I come across it, I might read it (meaning if I find an article online, I don't buy any of the gossip magazines). If you know me at all, you know that I don't get involved in politics or political talks. I don't like to discuss it. I respect what your political beliefs are, just like I hope you will respect what mine are. So yeah, if you like talking politics, I'm not the person to go to! :) And I know this will be a big shock to you, but I'm really a sports junkie more than anything. I know, I know, big surprise. I listen to sports talk radio a lot. In the mornings I listen to the local ESPN radio (for anyone in the Dallas area, it's 103.3FM). There are these two guys named Ben and Skin that do the morning show. I love them! They make me laugh! :) If you ever want to listen, they stream their show online! 9am-noon, Texas time (Central Standard time).

5. What is your favorite "cocktail"? (Are you a beer person, a kiddie cocktail junkie, or perhaps you're more the Cosmo kind?) Anything flies...doesn't have to be alcoholic.
Well, I don't drink beer or cocktails, so I guess I would choose a Dr Pepper Slurpee (can that count as a "cocktail"?) Um...Slurpee. I haven't had one of those in a long time! Since it will be "warm" today I may get one on my way home! :)

For more 5 Question Friday answers, go here:

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I am looking forward to a little rest and relaxation. The past four weekends I've been busy from Friday afternoon until Sunday night. I'm looking forward to catching up on some DVR watching and renting some movie online from Netflix. I am going to do my best to finally watch Inception!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back When I Was Younger...

So, my sweet friend Shalyn over at Laugh Until Your Cheeks Hurt tagged her friends in the following post. The rules are to list 7 facts about you from when you were younger. So, I had to participate!! :) For long time readers, some of this might be a repeat. But the pictures are priceless, you will love them!

1. I am what you call a "bonus baby" (please refrain from using any other phrases. I prefer bonus baby).  :) Because of this, my siblings are, well, somewhat older than me (this is why I have nieces/nephews close to my age. And how I'm a 32 year old "great-aunt"). Here is an early sibling picture.

If you never hear from me again, it's because my siblings killed me for posting this. But hey, it means they read my blog! :) I love the "70s tint" to this picture!

This siblings picture was taken at Thanksgiving last year.

2. I was bald until I was 2 years old. My brother likes to joke that I was four or five, but I remind him that at least I have hair now (oh yeah, I throw the bald jokes back to him!) :)

Bald is beautiful.

3. When I finally got hair, it was platinum blonde (or as I call it, "Village of the Damned" blonde). Oh no, it really was! Here is proof.

Rocking out in my Strawberry Shortcake dress. I loved this dress. And look at my pretty nails!

4. Until age 5, I had a cat named Elvira, named after the Oak Ridge Boys' song "Elvira". She was a mean son of a gun (although she was sweet with me, but I think she only liked me). We lived out in the country when I was little and dogs would walk on the other side of the road to avoid our house. You could see them looking over their shoulder to make sure Elvira wasn't after them. Our favorite story of Elvira involves my aunt's poodle, Pierre. One time my aunt and uncle were visiting and Pierre walked up the front steps with a "swagger" that he was king of the castle. Elvira didn't like that and jumped down from where she was "perched" and on to the middle of Pierre's back. My aunt freaked out while my uncle laughed saying Pierre had it coming to him. When we moved to the city, we had to leave Elvira behind. Not to be mean, but she was a country cat, not a city cat. Also, one: my dad didn't want pets inside the house and two: Elvira wouldn't have stayed inside the house. She liked to roam free!

Me and Elvira.
5. I loved to sing into a curling iron and dance around my room (okay, so things haven't changed much since I was younger). ;)

American Idol: 1982. Good lord, what am I wearing? Look at that belly!

6. I obviously had no sense of style- with clothes or hair! Although back then I thought I was "hot stuff". ;)

Could my shorts be any higher?

WHAT? Perms were "cool" back then. Right, right?? I loved that perm. We won't even talk about what I'm wearing (I may, or may not, have had other outfits similar to it). BUT, I matched my Keds to whatever I was wearing! ;) Hot stuff!

Don't laugh- I loved this dress. I would still wear it. Okay, maybe not! :)

7. In 8th grade a friend convinced me to try out for Pep Squad officer. I didn't want to because I had never been in the Pep Squad (I was a band nerd), but I went along so she didn't have to try out by herself. Somehow I was picked (to this day I don't understand why). We had to make our own outfits and there was only one store that sold the right color fabric. It was a madhouse getting it. But when we finally got it, my sweet Aunt Beth made it for me!

Oh yes, I'm still wearing Keds, even then!

Okay friends, I'm tagging you! If you want to participate, I would love to see your answers so let me know!!

If you haven't already, PLEASE go check out my lovely friends at For The Love of Blogs.

Have a great day, we are almost to Friday!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Here are some pictures of my adorable great-nephews "C" and "E" at Christmas for my (almost) Wordless Wednesday! :) I know, I know, I'm a month late with these!



Be blessed friends! XOXO!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And the Oscar goes to...who?

Okay, am I the only one who reads the Oscar nomination list and says, "I've never even heard of that movie!" Now, I've mentioned before I'm not a big fan of award shows, and the Oscars are no exception (no, I don't watch the show- although I will Google or read a recap the next day to see who won). This morning, thanks to Twitter, I started seeing comments about the nominees so I went to Google to find the list.  Now, I wouldn't say that I saw a lot of movies in 2010, but I saw a fair amount in my opinion (okay, some of the ones I saw were just plain crap bad, but that's not the point). You would have thought I would have at least seen a preview for some of these movies nominated.
In case you haven't seen the list of the Best Picture nominees, here they are:

Black Swan- never heard of it
The Fighter- never heard of it
Inception- Okay, I've heard of this one. I've actually been wanting to see this one since it came out (I never got around to it, and have been too busy to rent it). I actually have plans to rent it this weekend. Thank you $1 rentals from Red Box!
The Kids Are Right- never heard of it
The King's Speech-never heard of it
127 Hours- never heard of it
The Social Network- I've heard of it, but never saw it. 
Toy Story 3-I FINALLY saw this one over Christmas. And yes, I teared up at the end.
True Grit- I've heard of it, but didn't have a strong desire to see it
Winter's Bone-never heard of it.

So, out of the 10 movies nominated, I've heard of four and seen one. THAT got me thinking, what  movies DID I see in 2010? Thanks to this website here, I was able to find a list of all the 2010 releases. Here are the movies I saw in 2010.

Extraordinary Measures- this wasn't great, but it wasn't awful. I like Harrison Ford, it could have been better though!
Frozen- my deepest apologies to my friend Monica for making her see this one. It was really bad. I don't recommend it. Especially if you love skiing. No matter how cute you think Shawn Ashmore is, just avoid it! For all you X-Men movie fans, he's "Iceman".
Valentine's Day- I had no intentions of seeing this movie, but a friend and I had free movie passes and this was the only thing available. It wasn't too bad. I'm not a big "chick flick" person, but it wasn't as mushy as a Nicholas Sparks movie, so I was able to stomach it. It had some funny moments.
Shutter Island- I really liked this movie. I didn't think I would, but I did. It ended a 12 year drought of not seeing a Leonardo DiCaprio movie (nothing against him, I just hadn't watched one since The Man in the Iron Mask).
Cop Out- I got a lot of free movie passes from Studio Movie Grill last year, this was another free one. If it hadn't been free, I wouldn't have watched it (despite liking Bruce Willis). I can't say I would watch it again.
Remember Me- It wasn't as bad as some people made it out to be. I totally predicted the ending though. I may or may not have a bootleg totally legit legal copy of it on my computer.
Hot Tub Time Machine- Another movie I had a free pass for or I wouldn't have seen it. I think most of the funny stuff was shown in the previews. I was disappointed.
How To Train Your Dragon- I really liked this one. I'm not a huge fan of 3D (the glasses hurt my eyes), but this was a fun movie to see in 3D! 
Back-Up Plan- I'm so embarrassed this is on the list. This was another one where we had free passes and this was the only movie not sold out (big surprise). The hot guy from the new Hawaii 5-0 couldn't even save this movie. I almost asked for my money back, but realized I had used a free pass. I should have asked for the free pass back!
The Losers- This movie was pretty good. But I'll confess that Chris Evans is the main reason I saw it! :)
A Nightmare on Elm Street- I know, remakes are never as good as the original, and this was no exception. I think since Robert Englund wasn't playing Freddy Krueger, it just wasn't the same. It lacked a lot. I saw this with a group of friends and we realized that most of the kids in the theater with us weren't even alive when the first one was released. We felt old!
Letters To Juliet- I'm about to cause a few heart attacks, BUT, I actually liked this movie. Yes, yes, Rachel liked a chick flick. Get over it! :)
Robin Hood- It wasn't terrible, but I didn't think it was all that great. I think it was too long, they should have cut some out and maybe it would have been better.
Shrek Forever After- I liked this one. I think of all the Shrek "sequels", this has been my favorite!
The A-Team- I definitely liked this one!! I love it when a plan comes together! :)
Toy Story 3- This might have been my favorite one from 2010.
Knight and Day- I was surprised that I liked this one (I'm not saying I loved it by any means, but it didn't pain me to watch it). I used to love Tom Cruise (before he went off the deep end) but lately I haven't been too impressed with some of his films. But I liked this one.
Twilight: Eclipse- for those new to my blog, yes, I watch the Twilight movies, BUT I'm not one of those obsessed fans (see my blog post here for the story behind me watching them). The movies are entertaining, the books were better in my opinion. I'm not Team Edward or Team Jacob (I prefer Jasper myself- he's a cutie!) ;)
Charlie St. Cloud- this actually wasn't a bad movie, I kinda liked it. Zac Efron finally made a movie where he didn't sing, dance or play basketball. I was impressed!
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World- I was forced to watch this by a friend of mine (let's call him "B" to protect his identity). Even Chris Evans' cameo didn't make me like this movie. Sorry B!
Takers- The preview had me at "starring Paul Walker". I don't care that he can't act his way out of a paper bag, I like him. This was actually an okay movie. It probably would have been better if they cut about 20 minutes from it. Some scenes seemed a little too long.
Secretariat- I really liked this movie. John Malkovich was funny! And I'm a sucker for those Disney movies that are based on a true life story! :)

So what about you? Did you see any of the movies nominated for the Oscars? Am I crazy because I haven't heard of over half of them?? Have a great day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rangers FanFest 2011 Recap

I know y'all have been eagerly dreading anticipating waiting all weekend of my recap of Rangers FanFest 2011. :) Oh yeah, grab a cup of coffee (tea, Dr Pepper, adult beverage, whatever drink you fancy), sit back and enjoy my long post for the day! ;) **stretch**

Just to let you know, I posted a lot (and I mean A LOT) of pictures on my blog's Facebook page of Fanfest. Click here to view them all (even if you don't have a Facebook account, you should be able to view them). If you aren't a fan of my page already, go ahead and like it (you know you want to!) 

This year FanFest was a two day event at the Arlington Convention Center. The past few years it's been a one day event held at the Ballpark, but this year they tried something different. As much as I liked being inside where it was warm (instead of outside at the Ballpark in 30 degree temperatures), it did get a little crowded in there. But there were also 11,000 people there over the two days, which is three times as many people as last year. We gained some new fans going to the World Series- we welcome all fans! Just promise to stick with them from now on, through thick and thin! :)

My Saturday started at 7am (only my sweet Texas Rangers could get me up at 7am on a Saturday). The doors weren't scheduled to open until 9 and when I got there about 8, the line was already wrapped around the building. I can't even estimate how many people were ahead of me in line, but I wouldn't be surprised if you told me 1,000. We ran into people who got there at 1am and waited in their car until about 5am to get in line. Yeah, I'm a dedicated fan, but I don't need to get there at 5am! :)

This was the line in front of me. We were looping lines around in the parking lot. The line went around the corner (upper left corner of picture) towards the front door.

Last year it was in the 20s and snowing while I was waiting in line. This year it was maybe in the low to mid 30s, but it didn't seem as cold. Maybe it was because I knew we were eventually going to be inside where it was warm.

Looking adorable in my knit cap that my friend Monica made me!

This year they did the autograph system a little different. This year they handed out different  color wristbands for  each player. You could only have one wristband at a time (that prevented people from  "holding" spots in lines and having friends cut in). If you had a wristband, you were guaranteed an autograph from that player.  After you got the autograph, they would cut off the wristband and you could go get another one (if there were any available). Now, they only allow about 200-250 wristbands per player. I totally respect that. I wouldn't want to sign my name that many times. Unfortunately, those wristbands went fast. I heard that on Saturday  alone there were 6,000 people there (I totally believe that-it was like herding cattle). They gave out wristbands two hours before the autograph session started. Lines for the wristband line started forming 4 hours before they were even going to be handing out the wristbands. Those were some determined fans! Luckily I've gotten a lot of autographs the past few years, so I wasn't needing a lot of people's. In fact, the three I got were three of the ones I needed! :)

So anyways, about 8am, they started handing out the wristbands for the 10am signings to those standing in line. As most of you are aware, I have a tiny sports crush on pitcher C.J. Wilson (I know, I'm way to old too have a crush- I can't help it). Sadly they were out of his wristbands by the time they got to me, but I was able to get one for Ron Washington (the manager of the Rangers). That was awesome. My friend Aaron (who I just realize didn't appear in any of my pictures- what's up with that Aaron, how did that happen) and I waited in line to meet Wash (as we call him). Wash was super nice. He made small talk with everyone and was nice enough to smile for pictures. The autograph lines don't allow you to have your picture taken with them (again, understandable, that would cut into autograph time). Aaron did get a picture of me taking a picture of Wash though! :)

Taking a pic of Wash

As Wash says, "that's the way baseball go!" ;)

So, for all of you who make fun of my constant "tweeting", it paid off on Saturday (follow me on Twitter here). While waiting in line to meet Wash, I noticed that C.J. posted on Twitter that he would be at his charity's booth signing autographs from 11-noon. So after meeting Wash, Aaron, my friend Monica (who met up with us) and I went and got in line about 10:20 to wait on C.J. 

Waiting to see C.J.
I debated if I wanted to share this next story with y'all, but I think I will. While waiting in line we made small talk with the girl in front of us (yeah, I thought I was a devoted sports fan. The girl had memorized TV and radio "calls" of plays from college football games from like 3 years ago- word for word). She was...interesting. Anyways, behind us there were these two teenage guys. I have a bad habit of talking with my hands and I elbowed this poor kid a few times (he was very nice about it). I joked that he was probably going to have bruises by the end of the day. So, we had been in line for about 20 minutes or so when I hear this man behind us say, "you cut in front of my son." I didn't think much about it until I heard the kid behind me start talking. I turned around and I told the man, "Sir, these guys have been behind us the whole time. We've been here almost 30 minutes." The guy called me a liar (oh yeah, those were his words). He was like, "You have been here, and she (pointing to Monica) has been here, but these two and him (pointing to Aaron) have cut in front of me and my son." First of all, my friend Aaron is 6'2. He's hard to miss. Those teenagers were pretty tall as well. I was about to bust loose on the guy (because the wrath of Rachel is not one to be messed with), but I didn't want to get kicked out and miss seeing C.J., so I bit my tongue. I may or may not have had to keep my friends from busting a cap though (like how I talk ghetto?) :) The man kept calling all of us liars (my friends, the girl in front of us and the two teenagers). I finally told the others the man wasn't worth it and to just ignore him, so we did (and he eventually shut his mouth). Later on we ran into a guy who said he had been standing behind that man in the C.J. line and that he was a jerk (he might not have said the word jerk,  but I keep this blog family friendly!) He also said that man and his son had cut in front of him, but he opted to not say anything. Some people are just rude- good grief people! Get a life!

Okay, enough venting, back to happy stuff. We finally got to C.J.'s booth. He was super nice. He has a great charity to help local children's hospitals (please check out his website here). I bought a T-shirt (all proceeds went to his charity). The T-shirt I bought is the same one C.J. is wearing in the pictures below. C.J. had been signing for an hour in his "designated" autograph spot, and he signed for an additional 2 hours at his booth. That is three straight hours. He's a classy guy! And he even took pictures with everyone at his booth.

Fan girl moment...

I promise I didn't squeal or freak out- I remained very calm! You can ask my friends...

I've already typed more than I had planned. Basically for the remainder of the day on Saturday and Sunday afternoon (yes, we went back on Sunday), we were able to get pictures taken with different Rangers players (current and former). We also got our picture taken with the American League Championship trophy.

With Catcher Matt Treanor. SUPER NICE guy. He introduced himself (like we didn't know who he was) and he asked our names. He did that with everyone. His wife is volleyball player Misty May Treanor. 

Former Rangers player Todd Van Poppel

Rangers outfielder Craig Gentry. He doesn't play much so I'm not sure how good of a player he is. He did smell nice though (sorry, girls notice nice smelling cologne, I can't help it.) ;)

Why yes, I am touching the AL Championship trophy. They didn't say that we couldn't! :)

My birthday is in May if anyone wants to buy me this lovely Rangers blanket! :)

 Rangers mascot Captain at the Q&A podium.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler during the Q&A session.

I know a lot of you have asked about Josh Hamilton. They thought in order to be fair, they would have a raffle to win a wristband to get his autograph. Since I got his autograph last year, I didn't necessarily need it this year. The crowd was insane waiting on him to get there. The room was packed.

This is just the crowd waiting to catch a glimpse of him, the autograph line is somewhere in the middle. I stayed near the back, I don't like feeling like a sardine!!

I was able to get this picture of him signing autographs though.

Just an FYI for any local fans wanting to get Josh's autograph- I've noticed if you bring a copy of his book  (Beyond Belief) to a game, he's more likely to sign it. I've seen him stop and do that on more than one occasion. His book is really good- I know I've said that before, I'll say it again! He signed his book for me last year at Fanfest. He even personalized it (they normally don't do that at Fanfest).

Overall, Fanfest was a lot of fun! There are a few things they can do to improve it for next year (it's a learning process for the new owners), but I really liked that we were able to get pictures with players, and I like how the Q&A sessions were set up. You could listen to the Q&A while waiting in line for pictures or shopping at the gift shop. It wasn't in a separate room like it has been in the past. 

Wow, if you have made it to the bottom of my post today, you are a true friend. Thank you for reading and letting me share my giddy 15 year old baseball fan girl moments! For all of you visiting today from For the Love of Blogs, I promise I don't usually ramble THIS much. At least not every day!! XOXO!