Friday, December 31, 2010

Places Slept.

Just like 2009 and 2008, I kept a list of all the locations I spent the night. It's interesting to remember the year in hotels or couches or even the backseats of vans....Although something tells me, 2011 won't be QUITE as dramatic as 2010.

Home: Cedar Falls, IA
2/20: Schaumburg, IL
3/12: Moline, IL
3/13-3/20: Buena Vista, FL (Disney)
3/26: St Louis, MO
3/27: Kansas City, MO
4/6: On Board above Pacific
4/8-4/10: Auckland City, North Island, NZ
4/11: Whangarei, North Island, NZ
4/12: Mount Maunganui, North Island, NZ
4/13: Palmerston North, North Island, NZ
4/14-4/15: Wellington, North Island, NZ
4/16: Christchurch, South Island, NZ
4/17: Dunedin, South Island, NZ
4/18: Te Anau, South Island, NZ
4/19: Wanaka, South Island, NZ
4/20: Westport, South Island, NZ
4/21: Picton, South Island, NZ
4/22: Napier, North Island, NZ
4/23: Rotorua, North Island, NZ
4/24-4/25: Hamilton, North Island, NZ
4/26: Takapuna, North Island, NZ
4/27-5/3: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
5/4-5/6: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
5/7-5/9: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
5/10-5/11: Uluru (Ayers Rock), Northern Territory, Australia
5/12-5/15: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
5/16: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
5/17: On Board above Pacific
7/16: West Des Moines, IA
8/1: Bloomington, MN
8/12-8/15: Boston, MA
8/19-8/23: San Francisco, CA
10/2: St Paul, MN
12/12-14: Boston, MA

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Throwback Thursday: Happy New Year 2011!

Remember when you were young and holidays weren't your own to decide? You had to do whatever your parents wanted you to do, which usually coincided with what they were doing? Especially on New Year's Eve. Most years I have to admit, we stayed home as the family, rented a ton of movies, played games, and ate too many appetizery foods. But this year in particular, the one pictured above. My parents dragged us (Tim included, which was at least a decent part of the trip) all the way up to a hotel near Cabella's in Minnesota. With NOTHING else around. With a bunch of their friends and the friends' kids. Mind you, no one my age. While a party of my own friends was happening back in Cedar Falls. Ugh. It was a less than awesome New Years. But it could have been worse. Much much worse. It just didn't seem like it at the time...

What are you kids up to for New Years this year?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Throwback Thursday: Nordyke Kids Love Presents!

What can I say? The Nordyke kids really like Christmas! I absolutely love Christopher's face....and not so much the bow my nearly hairless head is donning...

I thought the games would never end....

There's a reason I direct, and don't run camera. I thought watching volleyball from my cement room on a 2" by 2" screen was occasionally mind numbing enough. WRONG! It's even worse from behind the camera. Note the progression of happiness to pure "GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa Claws!

Nothing brightens my day more than a new Simon's Cat.

December has flown. And crawled.

Was this seriously only a month ago?! I feel like I made that cheesecake eons ago (my first)....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Feast of Felines. Nom nom nom.

Watching cats eat is fascinating to me. Watching feral barn cats completely demolish a whole turkey carcass in a matter of half an hour or so on Thanksgiving...amazing. Who wants to watching guys slap each others tight pants and run around with a pig skin when you can see a fluffy orange cat tear into a fowl jugular like it was the tastiest thing since alcoholic whipped cream....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Creative Twist to the Holidays!

Let me rewind a few weeks for a moment, and take you back to the Feast of Families, the Eating with an Entourage, Talking over Turkey.....

Last year, I felt compelled to spice things up a bit with some paper Indian headbands. You know, to get the adults reluctantly agreeing, and me laughing hilariously. It was such a hit that OF COURSE it had to continue this year. But you don't wear the same dress to the Oscars to years in a row! You must look your best in a new gown! So what else does Thanksgiving have? Pilgrims!

Even Sydney decided to get in on the action. In a very violent form....let's make sure he's never around real Puritans, they might burn him at the stake!

Next year is going to be themed the Thanksgiving feast. And so far, Mom is going to be the turkey!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stop the Snow until Midnight!

More Boston blog posts are coming, but it has been a whirlwind trip. Got here late Sunday, and have been jam packed until now, and I am sitting in Logan waiting to board, praying that our Chicago flight will still be on time when we land in a few hours....but for now, a Nordyke kitty is wishing us a safe arrival, despite the fact that there is WAY more snow than when this picture was taken.....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December = Dramas in Traveling.

The snow hits. It had rained most of the morning, ok, I can handle that.
11:00am, the snow just starts pounding down. And doesnt stop. The wind kicks up. And doesn't slow. Our flight leaves at 6am the next morning, we decide to go down to Cedar Rapids after I'm done with work around 10. Priceline a hotel for $50.

2:00 I head to work and start to worry bigtime. It takes extra time to get the four blocks to work. The drive to Cedar Rapids might be too much. Let alone the fact that we are flying through Detroit....

4:30 I get a text from Tim while I'm working that our flight has been cancelled. But we are on a 1:30pm flight. Well, there goes $50 and the entire Sunday afternoon we had planned in Boston (our original flight was supposed to get in at 12:15, now its 7:30) Cue my breakdown. It's small, but its an entire afternoon, and we only have so much time as it is.

Sometime between 7 and 9, still at work, Tim texts that he got us a flight from Des Moines at 11:30am, we still don't get there until 6:30ish, BUT its not through Detroit, its through Memphis, which is way more likely to actually get us out on time than somewhere that got even more snow than us. Now the catch is that our return flight is into Cedar Rapids, so we can't take a car to Des Moines. Tim gives our two options. My parent's are still in Chicago for the weekend, so that leaves his mom, or Nate, who was going back down later in the day anyway. Clearly I would like to have my sanity after five minutes, so I opt the Nate route. He graciously (thank you a million times over) lets us get his butt up before dawn to brave the GUSTS of wind and drifts to make it to Des Moines in time.

6:40am Nate shows up, and it takes us a good fifteen minutes to just get out of town. Drifts are bad, wind is bad. We all think are are insane. But about half an hour in, the roads start to clear. The wind didn't die down, but we are able to kick up from 30mph to a bit faster. By the time we get to Story City we are going 65. No problem. What's that mean? Breakfast break!

9:20am We make it to the DM airport. Check is is busy, but easy. Security is a breeze. Play the waiting game at the gate with my beloved internet.

11:30-takeoff. Takeoff and landing were rough. Probably one of the roughest I've been a part of. The wind gusts were still strong. Tim might have some bruises from my grip. He'll live. I'm just glad I lived! Ugh, I hate flying.

1:00pm We land. Awesome. We get through the Memphis airport, snag some KILLER bbq pork sandwich to share since dinner won't be til 8ish. It was fantastic. Feelin good, even though I know takeoff won't be easy. And then.

The lady gets on the intercom to what i think will be announce boarding. Only its not. Its to say that there is a two hour delay. Straight off the bat, due to Logan. I wanted to scream. ARGH. 4:30 wheels up time. So now, this puts us in even later than if we had made the 1:30 flight and gotten to sleep in (granted, that flight was cancelled too, so its moot, but still!). I was pissed. Got some internet, ready to hunker down, fully expecting them to make it even later a delay eventually. This is why we don't fly into Logan late. They get BACKED up. So now. 9 hours behind.

3:00. Half hour after our supposed take off, lady gets back to tell us that its still a 4:30 wheels up. Midsentence. Pauses. Says that we are going to begin boarding now. i could have skipped to Boston with how happy I was. So pumped.

3:45, takeoff. Rough takeoff. But i expected it. More bruises to Tim's limbs. But on the way to Boston!!!! With a 7pm ETA. Super rough landing. Clutching for my life. Grabbed our bags straight from the belt, got a taxi and zoomed on in.

Tim hasn't been here for a year and a half, while for me its only been four months, so its a bit crazier for him. Checked in to the hotel, only to straight back out, into the pouring rain. I couldnt be any happier walking in te pouring rain down to Fanueil Hall. Tim wanted Cheers, but after being seated changed our minds, ate an obligatory chowder and then went over to Bertuccis for caprese salad. Midwest, learn it. Its not that hard.

CVS run for waters and breakfast for tomorrow. And now I am going to crash. Hard. And I already feel fat....oops.

Tom the Tasty Turkey.

Sitting in Des Moines. Waiting for my flight to Memphis. Yup, totally a different flight plan than it was supposed to be, but fingers crossed Ill be there tonight. So here is a little guy to feast your eyes on. He feasted my tummy on Thanksgiving!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sydney the Snuggler.

I have never met a cat so completely uncaring as to what people do to it. Sydney is the most recent addition to the Nordyke household (my parents). Dropped off in a box with his sister, the people claiming that it came from my parent's wild cats. But later on, totally not possible. Mom took a liking to them, naming them Sydney and....I don't remember his sister, she got eaten by a raccoon because my mother made them stay outside.
(note that his paws are as big as my wrists)

Well, after the raccoon's feast, my mom took pity on Sydney and brought him inside for good. That cat has grown to the size of Texas. When stretched, he's probably as long as my arms. And he purrs at everything. Attention is demanded all the time, by rolling on the ground and looking cute. My brother carries him around like a baby doll, and that cat still looks pleased as punch! What a weirdo. Sometime I'll have to be over there during breakfast, when he apparently perches his huge body on my dad's shoulder waiting for the cereal milk.....

Uluru! That was his sister! Cause she was reddish orange like Uluru Rock. If only Mom had let her stay inside....

Black Friday. Death to my wallet.

I had numerous games on Black Friday, so getting up at the buttcrack of dawn was not going to happen. (Let's be honest, it probably wouldn't have happened anyway), so my black Friday was spent pouring over Amazon's Lightning Deals. From my bed. In my pajamas. With my cats. Definitely a win.

A bigger plus was the haul that I got. Now, it might have all been for me, but Ill shop for everyone else later! Not off of Amazon. With more thought! But this was sheer impulse. Never a good thing for me. Oops ;-)

But in the end, I ended up with the following, (not including the breadmaker that my mom passed off to me two days before):

new earbuds (list price: $300. bought for $30)
new Asics running shoes
a toaster oven (hello kitty no longer will be making my toast)
Kitchen Aid stand mixer (I've craved for years)

Now, if you know my kitchen, you know my problem for the past four years. NOW add in 3 big appliances....

Later on I added two more pairs of running shoes to the pile as well as some swank UnderArmor socks from Dicks (but only because my Mommy and Daddy love me dearly) and some new Christmas Moose cat toys for Myla to annihilate.

And now we are going to Boston for four days? Over the Christmas Shopping Season? My wallet is screwed.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Creative Minds Necessary.

November is the busiest month for UNI Videoboard. Volleyball and football are joined by mens and womens basketball. And this year, with all of the extra NCAA and conference finals games, December has been invaded by craziness. And I will be the first one to say that UNI hasn't exactly provided us with top of the line equipment. Case in point.

Now, the funny (or not so funny part), is that they replaced the one thing that I felt comfortable with. They took away my lovely master board from the late 70s (no joke) and replaced it with the computer program Tricaster. Holy freak out. I thought i was going to explode, but since then I have figured it out and am ok with the switch...but now, if we could get our cameras to work so we don't have to jam pens in them in order to see people the way they were meant to be seen, and not as if we were all Smurfs.

Please stop spanking her at the bar.

I like Thanksgiving for the notion that it brings home people from the younger years. I also despise it for the same reason. However, this year, I totally avoided every single person I dislike, and got some great hang out time with people that I adore, and people that I haven't seen in years. All of us also witnessed a display of affection to an r&b background that shouldn't even be seen by adults at the sketchville of bars at 2am. Take it home folks, but thanks for the entertainment.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December is running me ragged! But not Olivia....

So I am about to write a copious amount of posts. And have them post one or two a day for the next couple days. I am headed to Boston, and I have so much to share before then! Nearly an entire month! But now, for a completely pointless post:
I would like to use my treadmill in this manner. She seems to have the right idea. The treadmill's home has been the middle of the kitchen for the past few months, so its not like I haven't desired to do the same thing with a bag of marshmallows....

Remember to check back!

Throwback Thursday: Part 2. Emerson's Fruitloops.

I know I already posted a throwback, so check out below about my dad. But this was all over today, and having gone to Emerson, I just need to share the pure insanity and chaos that was my college. Those kids are still nuts.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Throwback Thursday: Birthday Boy!

Saturday was my Daddy's birthday. This picture describes him perfectly. Although I'm sure the look of terror was quite magnified when the tractor was upgraded to a big kid car.

But I'd like to think of all those tractor rides did me lots of good. My record is nearly clean as proof! Yeah, I have to say nearly clean, but my ONLY speeding ticket was captured by a plane. Yes, a plane clocked me, and the trooper caught up to me. I boo this. But its my only one, in almost a decade. Good enough if you ask me!

Happy Birthday Oh Wise One! (Yes, I still know you are younger than mom)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Call Out!

Ok kids, I am not one to do something like this, mainly because some of you could be creepy murderers (because clearly this blog is an attraction for the killing type). But I have this adoration of Christmas and all of the fun cheesiness that said holiday brings. Including Christmas cards. I actually take quite pride in mine. Scouring the year, finding the best bits and pieces, getting everything all pretty and sparkly.

I also quite enjoy receiving Christmas cards, getting to see what people deem the best part of their years or how the families look in their soul Christmas photo. As well as the card itself, from homemade (I wish I had that kind of time) to the Thomas Kinkade cottages or silly kitties with milkstaches.

So in the spirit of holiday pen pal-ishness, I would love to send anyone who wants one a Christmas card. In hopes of getting one of your own in return. I promise not to sell your address to any car companies (seriously, stop with the sales ads already) as long as you don't do anything creepy with mine.

You can either leave me a message here with your address, or email it to me:

Maybe I should go find some stamps.... :-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Throwback Thursday: Decade Ago.

The date on this photo is wrong, although I am sure that the year is right. Well, maybe not. But its close. This was at my Aunt Carol's house. Probably more Christmas time than Thanksgiving, I say that only because I don't remember a Thanksgiving there. This picture is absolutely crazy though. Everyone has changed so much, its ridiculous. Except for dad. Dad still looks the same. But my brother looks like this is a crack addicted version of him. That's not mean, its just that the kid in this picture is SKIN AND BONES compared to him now. What a difference a decade makes. A decade....geeze we're old.

As a sidenote, as this is taken at my Aunt Carol's house, I should mention her. As my dad's older sister, she is a total nutter, and it is very clear that her and my father fell from the same tree. No one screeches like that woman, but only in the most loving one also hosts family like she does. The food spread at every meal and every moment in between, is insane. And so so delicious. I actually quite like my Aunt Carol.

Bake me a cake as fast as you can!

I am LONG overdue for a post. And I swear its coming soon. But in the meantime, have a chuckle: Patty Cake Cat Commentary