Monday, August 31, 2009

Back is almost "back" to normal

Well it's been a week and it looks like it won't be 6 to 8 weeks recovery after all. I went to the doctor three times last week, receiving treatment, etc. I'm using the Biofreeze on my my achey knees, ankles, well...everywhere, because I'm alway aching! Or hurthing myself! Anyways, my back is getting better. I have to reneg, sort of, on my previous statements which I of course PUT IN WRITING on the blog! :-)

Last night I said to Debbie, "I think I want to play softball this season before the wedding." It was a moment where Deb's blood pressure spiked and laid it into me. And with good reason...she is right. (She usually is right...I borrow the statements from my cousin with reference to his wife, aka the "boss.") With the wedding in a few weeks, she's right, I don't have time to play before we leave. So I decided to change my focus to the rescheduled softball tournament on Sep 12th (next Saturday). Her response, "if your doctor says it's okay, then fine, you can play." I was like, VICTORY!

Anyways, I am planning a visit to the doctor later this week or next week. I have been getting back to the gym and into cardio. No weights yet, but cardio. Did 4 mile run yesterday, 6 miles today...and it held up okay.

At work I was telling my colleagues about the "you can play if the doctor says it's okay" and we all thought of the same old Everybody Loves Raymond episode when Ray is prescribed GOLF to get over his sickness (or whatever). In the episode, he asks his doctor for a note because he says "she won't believe this!" The verdict is out whether I ask for a note, but I funny would that be!

I'll keep you posted on my status...I need to get off the Disabled List, it's killing me! :-)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ailing Back...Aging Blows!

Well it was bound to happen...another injury. :-) I never used to get and baseball yielded nothing much. (You can't count the ball that hit my knee when I was like 9, that doesn't count!) Oh well, now it seems I have something new every week, which is quite honestly, sad!

I can't be for sure what happened as it started when I woke up yesterday. It was bad. I don't want to say I hurt it sleeping, otherwise I'm doomed! The pain was probably from racquetball the night before. Two straight hours of blood, sweat, and tears on the court...leading to yet another defeat. When I sprained my ankle in May, at least it was part of us winning the softball tournament. This time, I was a loser and got hurt! (No details this week, I can't find any new excuses!)

I am not one for seeking medical help for pain, but I had to. As old man Aaron hurt his back earlier in the year, I had a recommendation and was in for an afternoon appointment. Found out I strained a number of muscles in my back, which are causing the nerve fibers around my rib cage to scream. In addition to all the aching muscles! Yesterday everything was hurting, especially deep breaths. I have a couple of follow up therapy sessions this week and hopefully the pain will subside soon. She said 6-8 weeks to be gone, so just in time for the wedding! I'm shooting for sooner, so I an get up and back into all my activities!

Last night Debbie can quote me saying "I am going to have to hold off on softball until after wedding." Today my back feels better, so I'm not so sure that I'll have to. But I will get home later and my "voice of reason," aka Debbie, will be there for me. She'll straighten my crazy thoughts out! Looks like no more softball or racquetball until November. This is all for the sake of being painfree for our wedding and honeymoon. That is, unless I do something that only I could do, like hurting it while sleeping!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Carnival Dream

This weekend I have taken time to plan more honeymoon stuff, including checking out the status of our ship, the Carnival Dream. Well it sails for the first time in 28 days, and we'll be sailing on it in a mere 53 days!

Check out the ship during it's sea trials...
Here is the atrium all lit up and all...looks impressive.
And this one is a photo you don't typically see, one of the engine room controls. Looks like mission control, sort of. Instead of communicating with astronauts, they are monitoring the engine, propellers, and stabilizers (and a ton more). They are taking care of all of this while the pigs are feasting upstairs!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bridal Shower, Softball Tournament & Fantasy Football Draft

What a busy Saturday it was chalked up to be! Debbie is out of town in St Louis this weekend taking care of all sorts of wedding trial, trying her dress on (as it came in!), and her bridal shower. With her gone, I'm usually given time to relax, clean, watch some movies...not do all that much...however, this weekend was different. I had a softball tournament on Saturday, immediately followed by my fantasy football draft.

Well, the rain came on Friday...and it rained a lot here in Pearland. Turns out our softball tournament was cancelled. I found out when I was pulling into the Independence Park parking lot and it was nearly empty. I pulled out the blackberry and read my email...cancelled! Had I only checked my email when I woke up...I would have known! Oh well, I traded it in for the gym...not as fun, but exercise.

Then came the draft. I haven't done fantasy football in a few years and this was my first time doing a live draft. I typically have done them online. I got in with all the Nasa folks who take it pretty serious...most of them. I had the third overall pick and went with Peyton Manning. Apparently they all don't take the QB so early...whatever, I don't know. I was happy overall with my team. But then again, you never know how someone is going to perform...some will play above their expectations and vice versa. We'll see.

Anyways, Saturday was Debbie's bridal shower in St Louis! All I know is, she had a great time. I'll have to leave any postings regarding the shower to her as I wasn't there.

Less than 7 weeks to go for us!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Letdown 2: Racquetball Disappointments

Well, it was another hard fought battle on Monday when Aaron and I went head-to-head on the racquetball court for our hyped (between he and I, at least) rematch! I lost last week badly, losing 4 of 5 games. It wasn't pretty. This time around, I was prepared to defend my honor. I even upgraded racqets, well, I had to buy a new one because I left my old one at the gym and of course, it was lost.

Before we played I was sure not to do any trash talking. Last time it bit me hard. Instead of sending a trash-talking email, I was more subtle. In the Outlook Calendar invite, it read:
"The headline reads "Aaron Gregg tries to defend his ability from last week's miraculous play against the underdog and assumed champion Polish chubster, Terence Kadlec! Tbag has dominated the Polygamist in recent matches but collapsed last week, losing 4 of 5 matches." (not sure why I dubbed myself the "chubster," but I thought it was funny!

It didn't stop there, Aaron came back with his "I'm not trash talking" speech with what....? Oh yes, trash talk! In his response he wrote:
"The Ultimate Rematch of All Time"
Last week the Polish Chubster, Terence Kadlec, was the assumed favorite by only himself, starting his trash talking the week before over the much skilled Aaron "The Lone Star" Gregg. Gregg proved his talent has not been washed away by taking 4 out of the 5 games. The losing Chubster blamed his loss on many factors including losing his racquet the week before, the South Beach Diet, bad ankles, and ultimately Karma. "My fiance started me on this no carbs diet two days before. I couldn't eat bread, potatoes, or have my afternoon energy drink; I was all out of energy. I was also playing with an older, used racquet that I had to borrow from my enemy. It really boiled down to me trash talking way too early, and Karma came back to bite me. It wasn't pretty. I was ashamed to go home to my disapointed fiance and to show my face around the office the next day." Ashamed indeed, he didn't even buy the winner his lunch later in the week after losing the bet. The Pole tries to make a better showing this evening when he takes on the Texan for a double or nothing match. "I feel much better this week than last. So many things went wrong for me and Aaron proved he was the better player. I bought a new racquet and have become accustomed to the new diet I am on," Kadlec said. "I am lighter and more confident. He better be ready!" When asked to comment on the match this week, Gregg said, "I was born ready." The rematch is set for 6 pm for a best of 7 showdown. It will be close, but the experts have Gregg taking all the glory in 6 games.

Debbie's response to all of this, "you guys are retarded trash talkers...girls so aren't like that!" Whatever! Girls are worse!

In the end, I won the last 2 of 3 games, including a lengthy back-and-forth match in Game 4...

In other news, Aaron won 3 of the 5 games.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Learning Polish...well, not really.

Around the office, I have been dubbed "Polska." (Thanks Ruwaida & Luis!) Of course this is because I am a Pollack. Anyways, it was only a matter of time until the question was raised, "how do you say 'hello' in Polish?" This of course is "witaj." (Duh, everyone knows it's "witaj.") So at work it's now, "witaj polska."
This prompted me to use a great Google tool, "Google Translate." CLICK HERE to try it for yourself, it can be entertaining...

Some of the things I translated for office use:
Hello = witaj
Thanks = dzięki
Bye = cześć
Stupid = głupi
I’m an engineer = Jestem inżynierem
Our project manager is not competent = nasz kierownik projektu nie jest właściwy

If only I could rattle off something in Polish and not sound like a complete tool, I totally would use the last one. Odds are he wouldn't understand...but with my luck, he totally would!

Looks like I'm ready for our trip to Poland...although it's not anytime soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, Cesilie!!!

My niece Cesilie celebrated her THIRD birthday on Saturday, August 15th. Happy Birthday Cesilie!!!

Being in Texas, Debbie and I missed her party. (Can we blame Texas for this one? Or is it a stretch?) I recieved a few pics from my parents of the birthday girl. Her eyes are still so blue!!
Here she is with my another shirt that I got him. I hope he has others...

Cesilie and her cake. She apparently was enjoying blowing the candles mom said they had to light the candles a couple of times!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The "Other" Kadlec's

Now this isn't a "The Other Sister" type reference to my family, more like a "this is what the other Kadlec's are up to."

I get emails from my parents and sister daily, but rarely do I see the pics! Here a few I thought I'd share:

Cesilie...she is getting so big! She'll be adorable as one of our flower girls!I think the picture is just so cute with a full mouth of cereal or oatmeal or whatever she's eating. She truly is so cute in every picture, I had to pick one! One day she'll get her "Uncle Shrek" back.

Here is my brother and Cesilie playing at a playground near their house (gonna have to do something about that Mets shirt though. Even though I got it for him, I'm leaning away from supporting them at all anymore!)
Of course my dad being a big kid! I guess he went down after Cesilie. I don't think he got stuck, but I'll let him answer to that!
I would imagine Cesilie took this mom has this "hi Cesilie" look in her eyes...she looks quite happy out at the park.
And to my sister. She has just started at Heritage High School. It's a new school right around the corner. One day we hope she graduates. We should all just hope that she can pass her Basic Addition & Subtraction course...I'm rooting for you Tamara! :-) Haha, actually, she's a hot shot guidance counselor and this is her new office. Not bad either...better than mine, that's for sure!

Italy Insider Tips...

With our honeymoon beginning in 60 days, I am really trying to tap all of my resources online, message boards, travel books, and my Italian friends. I called upon my friend Paolo, and former colleague, in New York for some advice.

With time and/or excursions set for Rome, Naples, Venice, Livorno, Florence, Pompeii, Messina, Taormina, and more, I had many questions.

When I read through all his responses I feel like I got the insider tips about everywhere. The bread in Rome is apparently awesome (which was hard to hear considering we are staying away from bread right now), to only take cabs in designated areas so we don't get ripped off, and visit the Fountain of Trevi, Scala di Spagna, and especially the Pantheon; the pizza is amazing in Naples, we have to go to Pompeii (which we had planned), and try and climb Mt Vesuvius (which we hope we can do...pending no eruption!) plus we need to be aware of the pick-pocketers in Naples...apparently we need to leave our bling onboard the ship; in Taormina we'll have to hit the beautiful beaches, the town on top of the cliffs, the Greek amphitheater, gardino di naxos, Isola Bella, and take in the views of Mt Etna (tallest volcano in Europe); Venice...oye, everything! And so on and so forth.

I now have so much more advice and tips/thoughts, we are going to be better off and likely more prepared! Once I have booked all our shore excursions, determined what train schedules to follow, what museums and historic places we want to visit, etc etc etc., I'll be sure to post. Including webcam links and such, perhaps you'll catch us on one! But for now, I'm just excited that we now have more firsthand advice to go off of. (Plus Debbie's been to Italy twice, so she offers input too...) Why can't we just get the next two months overwith and let us begin our honeymoon!!! Oh and the wedding, too. :-)

Now I'll see what Luca has to offer, and maybe Victoria since she's been over a few times now...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Racquetball "Showdown"....more of a "letdown!"

Last year I took up racquetball and I really enjoy it. It's a solid hour, to two hours, of high intensity cardio. It's exhausting and a wonderful stress reliever. Here is a representative picture of a racquetball court:Here are the rules and other information from Wikipedia:

Lately I have been playing with Aaron after we took a bit of a hiatus earlier in the year. He hurt his back, I hurt my foot...we were bunch of 20-something old men per say. Anyways, over the last four sessions I've done well. In the first outing since our injuries healed, I was 5-0. Then we tied, going 1-1-1; with the tie being left at a 10-all situation (we lost the court due to time). Then last weekend we split it again going 2-2 or was another tie. For some reason I dubbed yesterday's match, "the Final Showdown."

Long story short, well, it was anything but. I was a big disappointment out there. Lost the first and second games...found some fortune in the third, but proceeded to lose 2 more in a row. My serves were not doing the same thing as usual (good backspin, hugging the back wall) and my returns were awful! Plus I think Aaron is learning how to hit those "wall huggers" and was all over the low returns. Much of this is mumbo jumbo, but it all equates to some fun on the court.

We are already planning the next match next Monday. This time I will do one thing different, I won't be trash talking him all day at the office. It bit me hard in the end!!!

NOTE: And after linking to the Wikipedia page I found the following: "The serving player must bounce the ball on the floor once and hit it directly to the front wall — making the ball hit the floor beyond the short line otherwise the serve counts as a fault[6]. The ball may touch one side wall, but not two, prior to hitting the floor; hitting both side walls after the front wall is a three wall serve, and a fault." This not only was my bread and butter serve, but an illegal serve! Considering it was an agreed upon "game variation," previous games are not void. All this means is my work is really cut out for me now! I hate to lose! :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Astros Win!

It took the Astros over four calendar months to finally win a game that we went to! Granted we've only gone to few, but still...a 1-6 record is pretty bad.

Deb surprised me with game tickets, which was really nice. Probably because we've been so busy with the wedding, plus trying to save for it and the honeymoon. It's been okay not going to games for the most part, as watching baseball in HD on a 46" screen has much to be happy about anyways! (I lobbied against it, but now don't know how we did it before!)

Here we are:
A view of our seats (before the game and the seats got filled):
And during the wave, was really impressed by how well everyone did on it. Many times it is so bad only a few participate, but this time it was rolling around the stadium with good motion. Deb and I paid homage to JR, like always, with his how do I say "girly" way of doing it. We had a great night!
After the game we headed to see Julie & Julia.
I must say I was not thrilled about going from my favorite game to see a girly movie, but overall it was okay. Amy Adams playing Julie Powell was quite funny as it reminded me (and the way Debbie was laughing and giving me those looks) related to her at times. I think my evidence is in her blog posting from last night! :-) But in all reality, she doesn't give herself enough credit. She has made me some pretty incredible dishes that I haven't been able to duplicate when I've tried...the souffle, this one penne pasta with sausage, and ALL her baking! Her baking is insane!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Why Terence is the cook...

In attempting to eat better I decided to make some eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast this morning (aka 6pm because I am working the overnight shift).

First I put 2 strips of slimy bacon on the microwave tray, EWW.

Cook that for 2 minutes, then realize I need to get the eggs going. So I turn the burner on high (because my bacon is almost done, I have to cook quickly) and I drop 2 eggs in the pan.

Immediately they start browning and getting all gross and the microwave beeps, bacon is done!

So I furiously start stirring the eggs and turn the heat down, meanwhile our fire alarm starts going off, not just the one by the kitchen but the one in the family room too. CRAP!

So I stop stirring the eggs and get a pan to start fanning the fire alarm, it stops. Back to the gross eggs, they are done burning by now.

I get out a plate, get the bacon, wait the bacon is all slimy still (EWW again), so back in the microwave. Now my burned eggs are getting cold, DING, finally bacon is done again.

So for breakfast: cold burned eggs and 2 pieces of bacon that accidentally stuck together, Great!

So if ever you have a question as to why Terence is the cook, this is it. If you think this is the only time this has happened, no, a few months ago I started a fire in the kitchen and we had to leave the apartment it was so smoky!

Why does everyone want it to sink???

I was looking at new pics of the Carnival Dream over the weekend and found this. This is NOT a joke and is totally for real! It was posted two weeks ago!

What is going on?! Read the blog entry from Wednesday and you'll be asking yourself the same question!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Invitation overload

So, I look at OUR blog and realize Terence has been doing all of the blogging! I have of course a million excuses why I haven't, but thought I would take this turn and write about what has been keeping me so busy when I am home.

Warning, this is a "girly" blog so watch out gents!

We are officially 2 months away from the wedding, which stresses me out! One of many stresses includes the invitations.

We decided to make our own, and by that I mean designing the "invitation suite", buying the card-stock/envelopes, printing, stuffing, and addressing.

Besides going to Abe's welcome home from Russia BBQ at the Junyas, today was spent tweaking the invitations and sending them off to mom to check our "etiquette" and grammar, I was never good in grammar class! I also made some stickers to seal the inner envelopes. I know this sounds silly, but I got the inner envelope idea from of course: The Glossy Invitations: Invite Design Basics and also Terence really liked the monograms I came up with, so I had to start incorporating them into the wedding somewhere!

Then I decided that the invitations looked a little too "crafty" so I decided that we must round the corners, I think it adds something fancy. Sounds like a great idea, but with 150 invitations with 3 pieces each that 1800 corners...I might need to rethink this. We got our card-stock from my new favorite paper store in PaperSource. They don't have one in Houston, so we waited till a visit to my sister's in Dallas and went to the store there. We ended up ordering the envelopes online as they were less expensive and I need special sizing with the whole inner envelope thing. I also got all of our stamps at the post office on Friday, yeah!

So once the proofread comes back positive they will be printed, stuffed, and on there way to you!

I will post some pics after everyone has received them (I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise)!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"I hope it hits an iceberg and sinks"

Now that's a real quote. No joke. Heard it today!

Our office is without a permanent manager at the moment and while doing an audit for one of my current projects, we got off track. He started telling me about how in Port Canaveral they have to lower one of the gangways to allow for the "crazy new Carnival ship" to berth properly. Apparently the ship's lifeboats overhang the sides conflicting with the current gangways. Being a ship freak, I knew he was talking about the Carnival Dream, our honeymoon ship. I know it'll end up year-round in Port Canaveral come December so I knew that was the only ship he could've been referring to.

Anyways, I said to him, "Oh you are talking about the Carnival Dream. We are honeymooning in the Mediterranean this October on it."

His response, verbatim, "I hope it hits an iceberg and sinks."

I kind of sat there puzzled, in a sort of "The Office" kind of moment when Michael says something classically at the wrong time and moment. I mean ships don't hit icebergs anymore, there are zero in the Mediterranean Sea...but really the funny thing is that THAT was his response RIGHT AFTER I said we were going on our honeymoon ON IT! I could launch into one of the SNL "Really?" skits here. I mean, really? I say I'm honeymooning on it, you say you hope it sinks. Really? :-)

Ah...the antics of work, my own version of "The Office!"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Astros Lose, Surprised? Don't be...

...yup, the Astros are WINLESS in games I've been to this year! I think all of Houston would be screaming at me if I went to the amount of games as I did last year. Last year I was to 32 (if I recall) and they were 20-12 or so. That was doable. This wins!

When it was 5-0, and the Astros had two men on base, I got up and went for nachos. I tested the jinx...well it wasn't me (I think), because they grounded into a double play and ended the inning. By the time I got back to our seats, there were two solo homeruns hit, making it 7-0!!! Needless to say, the game ended 8-1. They got that one measly run in the bottom of the ninth...after we all left! (Maybe it was me, but 1 run is hard to win a game by!)

Overall it was a fun game, hanging out with the JR and Jenn, Luis, Marc, Matt and Jason. Had fun, just wish they could've pulled off a win. I guess we'll find out if things can change this Friday when Deb and I head to the game. (It's Retro Workout T-Shirt giveaway day...)

Oh, taking the loss today was okay considering we paid $1 for our seats! Thanks JR for taking care of that! Definitely can afford games for a buck! If only we could combine dollar hot dog day with dollar that'd be a sellout, no doubt!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Honeymoon Updates...they'll keep coming, too!

So I have been hard at work at our honeymoon agenda and have some updates. We changed our hotel on the first night to the 4-star Hotel Artemide in Central Rome. We are sooooooo excited to get our honeymoon off in luxury. On it is rated the #12 hotel out of the 1340 hotels in Rome. Here is the exterior:

And one of the rooms:

During our cruise I have added another country to our list! I have read so much about our stop in Monte Carlo, Monaco, to realize we are only a few minutes from France! So, at some point during our 11 hour stop in port, we'll take the train or bus across the border to Nice, Cannes and St Tropez on the French Riviera! As for time, though, we'll likely only get to some of the area. We are also planning on doing the Monte Carlo casino (jacket and tie required for men, dresses for women). Can't wait for our stop there!

Lastly, we finally booked our final night in Vatican City. We are only minutes away from Castel Sant'Angelo, Vatican city and St. Peter's square, Trevi’s Fountain and Pantheon. Yay! We are booked at the Sant'Angelo Hotel. Had to go easier on the pockets, so we'll have to do with the recommendations of Frommer's and tripadvisor (#385).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Our Wedding Brew

Debbie's dad made us a wedding brew earlier in the year. Deb blogged about it: DT Wedding Train Brew

When Deb was just in Denver last month she brought a bottle back and we were able to sample it. Yesterday we were out getting more wedding stuff done (including going to nearly every jeweler around town to find a suitable wedding band for Deb) and when we got home it was just the perfect night to break it out. Here is the label:

And since we were uncertain which to put the Belgian inspired brew in, we picked our two favorite beer glasses:

One thing we were certain of, it was GREAT! And it'll only get better with age!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Honeymoon Planning Book

Further to what I was saying in a previous post, I'm organizing our honeymoon. Not only am I organizing it, but I'm responsible for the documents! I'v organized and compiled everything into a nifty baseball book. I was out wedding shopping with Debbie and of course it caught me eye. I was like, "I need it." It was a no-brainer! :-)

(This is where Debbie is REALLY putting her trust in me! I have the tendancy to be I can be clumsy. Considering I have dropped my keys down an elevator shaft and a manhole, who's to say I won't do that again, this time with a book!)

But it's a baseball, how can I lose that?


So, my PE Certificate came last week and I immediately went and got it framed. Then I brought it and hung it up in my office!

Funny because when I took the pic, I found this one...

This is what I had to deal with studying...Debbie wouldn't bother me (she was awesome!!!) but it was Midnight. It was "meow meow with me!"