Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Who's your baby?

I just hooked up with an old friend from high school that I used to sing with.
Facebook has it's moments, that's for sure.

She's raising baby and I'm raising Cain.

More and more women my age are having their first babies. I noticed it when I went to my highschool reunion a few years back. Some of the gals were almost done raising kids, the girls who had their babies early, right out of school. Others were just starting their families, in their late 30's second marriages for some, finally finding the time for others.

We made the decision not to have kids a long time ago. It's a choice we are pretty happy with and at the time it was based on the fact that I would probably have been one of those hard to get knocked up types that would have needed a certain amount of medical intervention and would have ended up with sextuplets. Oh, there are many reasons we are childless, most of them good. So here I am, 40 something and in good company as most of my friends have chosen not to have kids too. Bless the one's who have, I love being an Auntie and will become one again in a few weeks. Regrets? Not so far.

I love kids. I just can't eat a whole one.

Right now it's no kids, no pets, nothing tying us down. It's good to remember that and feel the freedom even if we don't choose to do anything about it right now.

For those of you out there starting families now I say good for you. You will no doubt be wiser, calmer more experienced in life and secure parents. Or not.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Did I forget to mention...?

My long time BFF Chrissandra gave me this fabulous bag for my birthday. I love it! It says Boss Lady on it and Crack The Whip!! She said it reminded her of me. hehe
It is the perfect gig bag and came in handy last weekend as it will for years to come.
Thanks Chris!!!!
And Happy Birthday to you too!!
also Happy Birthday Treice!!
and Happy Birthday Dave W., sorry I missed you!!
and Happy Birthday Chari!!
Virgos unite for world domination. We could do it too. We just don't want to.

How was YOUR weekend?

So much doing this last weekend!

Friday night, checked out a gig across the street at The Cottage Bistro, had a great time watching The Burrs play their first show. Lorna and George ran into us on the street just after the show and convinced me to pop over to their place for a night cap. I love all the fun things I can get up to in my own neighbourhood. It's so great not to have to worry about driving or taking cabs and just walking around the hood. Love it.

Saturday night, my band Boomchix played our first show in months at The Princeton Pub. I felt so good to get up on stage again and rock the joint. I forget how much I miss it until I am up on stage again. It feels like breathing to me. Love it. After the show we wandered over to Janice's place and continued the party a little.

I was so hyped up, got home late and then couldn't sleep. I knew I had to be up early and that's all I could think about. I got into that mind set where the more you think about not sleeping and how much you need to sleep the harder it is to shut down. After about 3-4 hours of sleep I had to get up and make myself pretty for a baby shower all the way over in Ladner. My SIL is having a baby in November. It was up to me to get my Mother-in-law to the shower and then back home to White Rock. Lots of driving , didn't get back home until after 6. Sooooo tired. Hit the couch and tried to stay awake until Mad Men was over. Lord knows I tried to go to bed early but...I couldn't sleep. Another long night of, "I have to get to sleep, I have bootcamp in the morning!" I figure I got 4-5 hours last night but...

I went to bootcamp this morning and I rocked! I worked out hard and it felt really good. I feel so much stronger than when I started, my stamina is better and my core and balance are so much better. Can't wait to see how I feel when the 10 weeks are done.

I need to have a strong balanced week because I have two more gigs this weekend. That's what I am building my stamina for, the weekends.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Can I offer you anything?

So, I'm out with my girls this morning for a walk. We weren't going for a leisurely walk we were actually working out. I've just finished week 2 of boot camp and after 3 days in a row of HARD work outs we were adding in an extra work out to keep the momentum going. The three of us decided to walk up to the top of Queen Elizabeth Park, it's a pretty intense hill to get to the top, there are really three hills with some flat bits breaking them up. My friends have been working with a personal trainer for the previous year and I will admit that I was sucking wind pretty hard to keep up with them. I did it though and it was a really great feeling. We get to the top of the park and work our way down the back end and around to the beginning and then off into the neighbourhood. I am breathing hard, I am sweating and I am tired, but I'm so happy to get to the top. As we make our way through the park we pass many people and we always say good morning. Just as we get to the top this older woman walking towards us zeros in on me and with a bit of a laugh and a nasty smirk on her face says "Wow, your obviously not used to walking up these big hills, You need to be careful." What I heard was, "Ha ha, look at how the fat girls are huffing and puffing from walking up the hill!"

You know, it really pisses me off that she assumed that we were a bunch of out of shape people just because we are not skinny. I would have liked to see her get up that hill as fast as we did. We are working so hard to get fit and be healthy and having someone laugh at you for it really sucks. The woman who is training us is constantly amazed at how hard we work and how much we can do in every aspect of our work out. She has mentioned that she tells the other group that she trains, mostly thin woman, how impressed she is with the intensity we put into our work outs every day.

I know it's stupid to let someone I don't even know affect me so much but I know when I'm being mocked and I don't appreciate it.

I wish I could have said something to her but the moment went by so quickly so I have to say it here.

Hey lady, I'll kick your ass.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Seconds anyone?

Last night we had fresh bratwurst sausage from the market downstairs. We also had mushroom risotto and green beans. I am a big believer in presentation and what I was really going for was a cheerful meal because sometimes I think sausage can look a bit sad. Our meal was rather mirth-y, but good.
Today I went to the farmer's market and drank in the beauty of some gorgeous Fall harvest. I love this time of year for corn and potatoes and fresh tomatoes that are coming in late. I bought some sweet potato and an orange skinned melon and the prettiest little tomatoes. I served them just like the picture above with a bit of fancy salt some chopped green onion and some olive oil. They tasted really sour, we didn't eat them so I stuck them in a baking tray with some more olive oil so I can roast the sweetness out of them. I will throw them in tomorrows dinner or make a pasta sauce with them.
I baked the sweet potatoes and I am roasting an acorn squash with a bit of butter and brown sugar right now. I plan to add them in to dishes over the next few days.
I love summer's harvest of fruit so much but it's the Autumn harvest that I enjoy cooking with the most. It's finally cool enough in here to leave the oven on for long enough to roast meat and veggies.


Yesterday Lorna and I drove her 90 year old Grandma from Vancouver to Chilliwack. I sat in the backseat of the car and listened to the sweet sound of this old, dear woman and I heard the accent of my Grandma, my Mother's Mother gone for many years now. They were close friends.
The sun was shining on my face and as I tried to stay awake and listen to her soothing voice I felt the valley I grew up in surround the car, and me, and I was transported.
It was a clear sunny, lush fall day, blue sky, impossibly green fields and chocolate cows laying in the open. Lazy cows, full of grass, making the most of it.
The mountains seemed to rise up around me and cradled me and I remembered how pretty it all was, the valley I grew up in.
It was bliss.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Did you see that?

I just don't know why I am having such a hard time blogging these days. It's all part of the shift I suppose. I am concentrating on working out and eating well and I feel like those things are going pretty good. Work is going full on and a lot of interesting things are happening so that's all good. I need to keep the creative side of me engaged. After a long break I have my first gig in ages coming up next week and I am feeling so ill prepared. I need to change the strings on my mandolin and do some practicing to get my chops even somewhat up to speed. The picture above is from a birthday party I went to on Saturday night for a dear friend. It was great fun. Kind of a last hurrah for all the partying and drinking I have been doing this summer. There have been so many good times but I think that fall is bringing a healthier less over indulging time for me. That's the plan anyway.
I'm not sure why I get orbs in my nighttime indoor pictures all the time. I can see a few in the above picture but some of them are really big. I always thought that orbs were souls from the spirit world moving around our environment.
I think my camera sees dead people.
Will try to blog better from now on.
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Friday, September 19, 2008

What's your favourite kitchen gadget?

I just finished my last workout for the week. I made it through the whole week and I am feeling pretty good about that. I know I am working as hard as I can and I look forward to seeing results in the coming weeks. After today's session we had a talk about food and eating and such. Nothing too "diet-y" just, you know, try to eat 5 times a day, small meals, protein at every meal. Some suggested meals were discussed and they all sound pretty do-able. When I got home I was hungry all right. Hmmmm what to eat. How about a cup of coffee and a slice of last nights pizza?

*sigh* goal for the weekend: buy better food.

On a slightly different but related topic. I think that of all the kitchen gadgets I have, and there are many, my George Foreman Grill is the most used and most useful. Seriously, I just heated up a slice of pizza in it because it was already sitting on the counter. I thought it would just make a huge mess but it worked really well. Everything got really crunchy and the cheese was melty but not messy. Very nice I must say.

I have other kitchen gadgets that work quite well but I just don't bother to use them much. There's not much that a knife and a cutting board can't do in the time I find, dig out, and set up my gadgets.

I have an apple peeler that works pretty well if I need a lot of apples done at once, it also comes with a corer/slicer, I haven't used it in years.

My favourite is the ROTATO! Peels potatoes like nothing else. Again, I only use it if I need to do a bunch but I find it very useful and somewhat entertaining. In fact, the last time I agreed to do the mashed potatoes for a potluck dinner I just brought the Rotato and a bag of spuds and entertained all the guests with my wizardly peel-y machine. People were lining up to try it out and I hardly had to do anything.

I also have a Rocket Chef. It's basically a hand cranked food processor. It's not a bad gadget but I rarely use it, too many bits and pieces. I do love the chrome dome styling of the thing and kept it out in my old place (bigger kitchen) just because I thought it looked really cool.

That's about it for my gadgets.

Have you got a favourite kitchen toy?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Did you say kick or kiss?

There has been a shift. It's that time when the summer days get shorter, the evenings get cooler and it starts to smell a little like fall. I love this time of year. I know that I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I am enjoying this time of year so much right now.
I've started my boot camp now and because we are working out outside I'm trying to enjoy it like being a kid, running around. The great thing about working out this way is the way the circuits are short and sweet but oh so intense. It's true, I can do anything for 30 seconds or 3 laps or just 3 more reps. Our trainer is great, so positive and fun. I feel comfortable breathing hard and sweating like a pig. Oh yes, I am sweating harder than I have in a long, long time. Yes, it's good for me. It's time to push myself. Yes, I'm sore, but you know, it's not all that bad. I hope I can keep it up, I really do. I need this, having my ass kicked.
The other part of the shift is work related. After a really lovely, low stress summer of swimming every morning and working just a few hours a day things have ramped up big time. It's just that time of year. We have been spending a lot of time at the fashion market buying for next Spring. It's a tough thing to get ones head around. Trying to figure out what people are going to want to buy in the shop two seasons away can be difficult. The hardest part is making sure that what we order is what we get. It's really disappointing when orders get screwed up and things don't look or fit the way they are supposed to when we finally get them. There are a lot of preconceived notions about the particular segment of the fashion industry we cater to and apparently we are expecting more than the industry is used to giving. That's okay because it's a great opportunity to teach and learn together. And kick some ass.
I've got to say, I am looking forward to taking this season on full force and making some great things happen. I plan to keep having fun too. So there.
I am rather pooped though.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Recovered yet?

Gosh, I am so behind here. It's been days since I updated and I am feeling all out of sorts about it. I have been super busy since Friday and I've really had a lot of fun.

Friday was my birthday and Saturday was my birthday party. I have to say of all the birthdays I have spent as an adult this was probably the best. Maybe it was the full moon or the beautiful weather, I just don't know, but there was something magical in the air all weekend. Maybe it's all the online social networking that I do now but man, the whole world checked in and said Hi or showed up and partied with me this year. Fun!

I feel very grateful this year. I feel loved and appreciated and cared about.

I am a lucky woman!!

Monday was a whole different bag. Let's just say I started my morning work outs with the trainer. Detoxifying to say the least. I don't actually feel too bad today, just a little sore all over. Back at it tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who needs a reason to have a Happy Day?

Today is my birthday and I have a nice day planned. I will take lots of pictures and tell you all about it tomorrow.

OMG all this social networking is crazy. I had 11 birthday wishes on Facebook at 8:30 this morning! I'm also having a big party on Saturday night at the restaurant up the street that Superman's band is playing at. I plan on having a lot of fun. Just saying.

Some years I let my birthday slip by unnoticed but this year I want to celebrate and enjoy everything that comes my way.

Here are some facts about people born on this day. Some of them might even be true.

Other people born on September 12th-

1966 George Milne, super guy

1931 George Jones, singer

1944 Barry White, singer

1818 Richard Gatling, inventor of the Gatling gun

1888 Maurice Chevalier, actor/singer (Gigi, Fanny, Can-Can)

Virgos born on September 12 are much more jovial and relaxed than the typical Virgo. They are naturally happy and always look on the bright side. Whether they possess a great deal of wealth or only a nominal amount, they find a way to give something to someone who has less.
Virgo Information for September 12
You should embrace: Originality, imaginative people, accountability
You should avoid: Showing off, need for constant approval, personal fulfillment at the expense of others
Friends and Lovers
Friends are one of the most important factors for September 12 individuals. They draw inspiration from pals. It is far more difficult for them to trust a lover than a friend. These generally good-natured people have a hard time putting their happiness at risk because they may have experienced more than their share of heartbreak.
Children and Family
Even if they did not have a pleasant childhood, September 12 people are fond of remembering their youth. They are likely to rewrite their upbringing to create a reality that reinforces their emotional needs. Often becoming parents late in life, they encourage the hopes and goals of their youngsters. They are often too indulgent.
People born on September 12 need to watch out for health problems brought on by their love of indulgence. They enjoy all the good things that life has to offer, including excellent food and drink. As long as they keep active, they'll have no trouble remaining healthy.
Career and Finances
The people born on September 12 do not believe in setting limits on what they can accomplish. Their career aspirations are often strengthened by the conviction that they have been "called" to follow a particular path. Although money is not usually a deciding factor in their career choice, they are eager to make a good living.
Dreams and Goals
Getting to the top of the ladder is a common desire of people born on this date. But instead of being motivated strictly by self-interest, they truly want to make a difference so they often involve themselves in humanitarian issues.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is it too warm for these?

Happy Birthday to ME

They go up to my knee

I know it not my Birthday Yeeeeeeeeet

But I bought them anyway.

I'm very baaaaaaaaaaad!

Who loves the sun?

Wednesday morning Lorna and I made our way over to Granville Island and took a brisk walk
on the seawall. It was so beautiful. This is my favourite time of year and the weather has been so perfect this week.
Note to self: maybe this is a good time of year to get married???
After our walk we grabbed a bite to eat and sat outside n the little public harbour area to eat it. The crowds of people were more seniors than anything else what with the kiddies back in school. Granville Island has a real issue, as far as I am concerned, with birds. Dirty, unhealthy, moochie pigeons, seagulls and even geese sometimes. They are aggressive, they shit everywhere and they will try to dive bomb you with poop if you're not careful. The worst part is they have no fear of people so they come right up to you begging for food. The most persistent pigeon yesterday only had one foot and came limping over looking for food over and over again. It was pretty creepy. The thing that gets me is how many people sit there and feed them. How can they think that they are doing those birds any favours? These birds are not healthy and are missing out on the nature that surrounds them. It makes me sad.
I like birds when they are doing their thing in nature but when they start relying on us for greasy french fries to live on they seem more like vermin to me.

Monday, September 8, 2008

"Does she... or doesn't she?

Hair color so natural only her mother knows for sure!"
I had another hair-do on Friday and today it is acceptable. Yes, it actually does take 3-4 days to get my hair the way I want it.
I thought I would cut to the chase this time and get my colour done professionally. I love the cut, it's super short, but the colour, as always, was a challenge. I walked out of the salon a lovely shade of apricot. I wasn't sure if it was that bad, we wanted it to have a blond colour but every time I get my hair blonded it goes apricotty, or "brassy" as the broads at the beauty parlour used to say.
I lighten my hair all the way to almost white, it's the toning part that I find tricky. Heck, even the professionals get it wrong almost every time. There are gold tones and the ash tones and a million different shades between all with fancy pretty names like Linen and Beach and Champagne and Honey. They also come in foams, creams, gels and have different applicators and some are temporary some are semi-permanent and some are permanent. Some add colour and some take it away. I find it very confusing!
After two more boxes of hair colour I am about 95% happy with the colour. I ended up using a super light ash blond and it seems to have taken all the apricot out but added a little too much ash. I was getting the blue haired lady look when I washed it off. It was more like a soft mauve colour actually. Once I dried it and saw the real colour, it wasn't toooo bad. I got back in the shower and shampooed twice, mega conditioned it and it looked a bit better. This morning I washed it again and most of the unwanted colour is gone. It's more of a platinum blond I guess. I like it but like always it will be at it's best in a week or two when the roots start coming in.
I've chosen a periodically complicated hairstyle that spend the rest of the time being really easy to care for and that mostly looks neat and tidy all day. My "natural"hair is baby fine, totally straight and a mousy colour so I need to do something.
I have had some amazing colour fuck ups in my time and some really bad haircuts too. I've worn my hair a bunch of different ways. When I was little my Mom grew my hair long, I think my Dad liked it that way. Most little girls have long hair don't they? When I was 2 or 3?? I got a pixy cut because my hair was really hard to comb out and I remember waking up with hair that resembled a big nest sticking out of the back of my head. I think we called it a rat's nest. I'm sure it was a lot of work for my Mom to deal with every day and although I don't remember getting the haircut I remember loving my pixy cut. So I'm back to the pixy cut, the short, super blond haircut of my childhood. I just realized it now.
I went back to long hair in the 70's , perms in the 80's, non-symmetrical haircuts and my personal hell, feathering. When I think of the HOURS I spent trying to feather a head of hair that would only curl on one side...
I'm sure my Mom remembers some of these things better than me, she has a great memory. I'll talk to her and see if I got any of it right. I will also post a picture as soon as I get it right.

Tell me about your hair-do or your hair- don't?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

How did it all start?

This is our friend Max. He is two and his Daddy is a drummer. We went over for a visit yesterday and to help clean out the garage/practice space and Max showed us a few of his moves. In this clip he is playing drums and singing This Old Man.
Sorry the clip is so dark. We love this little boy!

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Seven random things about me?

Lorna sent me a MEME ...
Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog; some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

-I was the only girl in the BC Lacrosse Association from the ages of about 9-11. Some of my friends said they were going to join too but they never showed up to the sign up. My Dad took me and they basically told him that I couldn't join because I was a girl. He told them to show him where it said that in the rules. They couldn't prove it so he signed me up. When I first showed up to practice the guys on my team were pissed off because they had a girl on their team. They hit me harder and played against me until I proved myself. Once they decided I was okay they became fiercely protective of me when we played other teams. If I got hit hard because I was a girl my guys would knock the shit out of the offender. Eventually our team made it to the final game of the provincials. We lost in sudden death, tie breaking over-time. I quit a couple of years later when the boys started getting too big and my Dad kept bringing home new types of protective padding for me to wear. The "lady cup" was the last straw.

-I started singing "professionally" when I was 15 years old.

-I never saw a Star Wars movie of any kind until I was in my mid 30's. I was really proud of that too.

-When I was a kid we had three different dogs that we named Buffy. We just missed the one before and kept naming them the same because it was easier than starting over.

-I can't drive by cows without honking at them.

-I once participated in breaking a world record. The most people playing the same song for the longest period of time, or something like that. It involved scores of people, I don't remember how many , playing Taking Care of Business with members of BTO in downtown Vancouver. I got a certificate to prove it.

-I love my cartoons with lots of swears. I am like a 14 year old boy in that respect.

I'm not too sure who I can send this to. I'll figure it out later.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Can you stand it?

I picked up my engagement ring today!! I absolutely LOVE it. What can I say?

Why so Crabby?

Yesterday was a special day. My parents had to come into town for a medical appointment and because it's close to my birthday and they still hadn't seen our new apartment, we had some catching up to do. They met me at the shop and I was able to look after Moms birthday present pretty quickly. Her birthday isn't until October but now my ass is covered and she found something she really liked so I'm happy about that. After checking out the shop we came up to our apartment and I had a chance to show them around the building. Mom was really impressed by the roof top garden brimming with tomatoes and cucumbers, herbs, beans and corn.

I had also shined the place up pretty good and it's still nice and clean this morning. I love waking up to a clean house. My parents would never care if my house was clean or messy but for some reason I consider it the benchmark for clean and tidy, "parents coming to visit" clean. It's a standard that I put on myself and I have to say, I dealt with a bunch of crap that needed dealing with and the place is feeling pretty good.

After a drinky and a visit at our place we planned to go for a special late afternoon early evening dinner and Dad chose The Boathouse in Richmond. After an incredibly complicated drive we finally found the entrance to the restaurant. Turns out it was "Crab Fest", or "Crabtastic Extravaganza" or "Stuff yourself with Crab" or something like that. So we did.

I enjoy my parents so much. We had a great visit and a great meal and always seems too short. I am so grateful for the relationship I have with my parents. I'm not just saying that because my Mom reads my blog.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I Am A Relic From A Different Era

I Am A Relic From A Different Era

Today I want to direct you to this great post on http://thewvsr.com/
I always enjoy Jeff Kay's site but today was one of my faves.
God, I can so relate.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Who knew?

It's been a pretty good weekend all in all. Especially since it started with sickness and cancelled plans. Superman's bug seemed to get a bit better on Saturday but I had a bit of the yucky feeling on Friday too so I think we made the right choice by staying home and taking it easy.

I was feeling better Friday night so I went and picked up Janice and we went down to The Railway Club to see a friends band. It didn't turn out to be such a great idea as the band went on super late. They were supposed to go on around 11 but didn't actually start until 12:30 or so. We only saw a bit of the show then had to leave.

Saturday ended up being a great day! I was feeling a bit down over our cancelled trip out of town so we decided to go shopping. Superman isn't really a shopper guy but he'll do it if the mood strikes him. I bought him a very nice pair of jeans and as we were wandering around the mall he mentioned that we might like to look at some rings. We got engaged at Christmas but we still hadn't found the right engagement ring for me. I am not one of those people who has spent a lot of time considering what, specifically I want when it comes to all this getting married stuff but I had an idea about the ring after looking a couple of times. I knew I didn't want a traditional ring with a diamond sticking up looking all dainty. I wear big, funky rings and I needed something that suited my hand. We popped into a couple of stores and in the third one we hit it on the head. We found the right ring at the right price and then...we bought it!!!!
It needs to be re-sized for me so I won't have it on my finger until Thursday,the wait may well kill me. Oh well, I have waited this long, a couple more days will be okay. We also picked out our wedding bands for a later purchase. We are both pretty excited, it was a great experience and a lot of fun thanks to the woman who walked us through it.
Thanks Esther! I will show you all a picture when I get it.

After shopping we had a few adult beverages, called a couple of friends and wandered across the street to see a kick ass blues band and eat some yummy food. We were in the bag by 10:30 or so, it was good fun.

Sunday I had my all girls BBQ to go to and it was yummy food, great company and lots of laughs.

Today being holiday Monday we decided to head downtown and wander around a bit, maybe see a movie. We stopped in at The Templeton, a really cool diner with really good food. Superman ordered a Strawberry milkshake that was delicious and I had a vanilla/cola fountain drink, so good. I loved this place and will be back for sure.

After lunch we walked up to the theatre to see The Dark Knight, compliments of Telus. For some reason they sent me a free movie pass with a popcorn and two drinks coupon. I'm not the biggest fan of Telus so I enjoyed having an afternoon out on their dime. We arrived at the theatre a little early so we played some racing games in the arcade, went to collect our HUGE drinks and popcorn and found ourselves the best seats in the house. Big screen, comfy seats and the movie was so good. I loved this movie, it's really dark and rather long but I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Loved it! Heath Ledger is awesome as The Joker in this movie, it just makes his death more tragic, such a great performance.

We made our way home and I had a soak in the bath while I caught up with my Mom on the phone. Then I called my Big Brother for a chat, made some gorilla cheese samiches and sat down to chat with you.

All in all it was a pretty great weekend even though our original plans didn't work out. I really hope we get another chance to do the camping thing in the states with our friend. It might just have to be next summer. I hope they'll have us then.

How cool is this?

How cool is this? Boomchix on sale right here! This widget can be easily added to any html website or blog, facebook and/or myspace page to help promote our debut album "Surprise Surprize". There are image links on the top which allows the user to securely buy and download single mp3's or the whole CD, join our mailing list and/or get the embed code. Pretty cool - check it out!