Sunday, June 27, 2010

Way Down Yonder

So where are we today?  India?  Chicago?  Thailand?  False.  We are in Chattanooga, Tennessee, of course.  And why are we here?  Funny you should ask...


Matt got a call Thursday after work from his manager who asked the obligatory: "So are you in India yet?" To which Matt responded, "No, India has been pushed back for a month." (Side note: isn't it kind of weird that Matt has to tell his manager that the job is delayed and not vice versa?  It's just the UOP way.  They're all about self-sufficiency over there... making boys into men, and men into engineers since 1917.)  Anyway, so then Mr. UOP said they needed Matt to take the rest of his missed holidays and get out of their collective face for a week.  Don't mind if I do, said Matt.  So then we put off deciding where to go until Saturday, and then we finally settled on Chattanooga!  False.  We settled on Chattanooga for one night en route to St. Petersburg, Florida!  Should be a pretty good time, providing the weather holds up for us.  The forecast called for rain every day, but we Correntis like to walk on the wild side.  We laugh in the face of danger... danger being rain and the potential for oil muck to come onshore.  We'll be fiiiine.  Anyway, that's all my news.  We'll be in Florida for a few days, and will drive back through TN on the 2nd or 3rd of July, and are planning to spend the 4th in Nashville where they are having an Independence Day concert on the river - for freeeee! Trace Adkins is headlining, and Matt, having recently embraced his inner country music superstar, is actually really excited about it.

So anyway.... sorry I don't have a picture today.  After 10 hours in the car, I didn't really feel like taking any pictures.  Rest assured, it is a lovely town.  From what I've seen of it... the hotel.   I'll try to update sometime this week if I can peel myself away from the beach (or the indoor pool, depending on the weather) long enough to do so.  Just wanted to let you know we're here.  Somewhere.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Go, Baby, Go!

Ahh, summertime in Chicago... there's nothing better (okay, probably Thailand is better, but I'm staying positive here).  We spent a pretty great and fun-filled weekend here in the Chicago area, without ever actually making it downtown... one of these days, we will.  Friday Matt got a half-day because UOP does summer hours (otherwise, he would have been at work 'till 5, of course) so we went and shopped until we dropped at none other than TJ (Maxx, that is... stay with me, people).  I've been to most all the TJs in the area, but Friday we found a new one in a different suburb!  Woo hoo!  The best part is, it wasn't all picked over by the richie riches like the one in Schaumburg is.  Anyway, shopping, though it feels good, is exhausting, so we toted all our purchases home and had a fashion show for each other.  Then a big storm moved in over the Chicago area, so I put my camera in a plastic bag, grabbed some beers (naturally) and headed outside to catch some lightning shots.  Of course I got drenched because while rain is supposed to fall down, that doesn't take into account the fierce Chicago wind that never stops blowing.  Needles to say, I didn't get any lightning shots.  I did get a couple of the wicked storm, but they don't really capture the fearsomeness of the moment.  Oh well.
Okay, it doesn't look very wicked in the picture, but it was.  

Friday night we tried to go to a few different bars with our man Seth (a fellow Arkansan, Go Hogs), but the power was out, so we were once again thwarted by the storm.  Saturday made up for it
though, by being beautiful outside, so we celebrated by heading out to gamble.  We went to the Arlington Park horse races which we had never seen despite the fact that it's only about 20 minutes away.  After paying an exorbitant fee for food (and then discovering you can, in fact, bring your own food), we decided to sit out on the first race and just make a friendly little wager with each other.  Of course my horse won (1st place!) and Matt had to pay me $5.
My first win: Gaelic Storm gave me a pretty hefty payout at $7.40.  That's $4.40 of pure profit, baby.  

After the real betting began, I was on fire!  I kept picking them, and they kept winning, and I was on top of the world!  (Side note: my betting strategy is very complex... I scan the list with my hands over the stats, and then I pick the name I like the best... I told you it was complex.)  I only lost once, (thanks a lot, "Fire Cloud") but my second choice for the race won it all... too bad I only made one bet.  Also, at one point we thought our horse "Ripe Tomato" was so bad he didn't even finish... much to our surprise, he actually came in first.  No one ever said we were pros.

Ripe Tomato crossing the finish line.  I even got a picture of it and I still didn't know we won.  

Anyway, "Color Me Blue" in the 4th race had the biggest payout at $7.80, and I thought Matt was going to lose it.  We were rich!  We ended up just under our initial $25 investment, only winning $24.80.  I wanted to keep going and win enough to pay for our beer, but Matt decided we should leave on a high note (or an even note), and didn't let me bet in the 8th race (incidentally, my choice for race 8 was "Cumulonimble" who won it all).  All in all, it was a pretty good day.

On Sunday, we finally realized my Six Flags dream, and went to the one in Gurney, IL, which is less than an hour away.  The crowds were bigger than we had anticipated, considering it was Father's Day, but I guess no one in Gurney cares about their dads, because they were all at the park.  We spent the first hour waiting in line for the Superman ride, and then headed off to find a less popular ride.  We never waited more than 20 minutes for any other ride the rest of the day!  It was awesome.  The Raging Bull roller coaster is my new favorite, as it has a 208 foot drop right at the beginning.  We rode it four times, and after the first time, the thrill does die down a little.  But only a little.
Us at the racetrack.  I didn't have one from Six Flags.  Also, Matt got a haircut (finally).  It doesn't look good here because it was all windy, but it does look good in real life.  Take my word for it.  

Anyway, that was our weekend.  Don't know anything new about India, except that it will probably be pushed back.  I think they're trying to wait out the rainy season so Matt can actually work.  Sounds like the smartest answer, but if I know India, they probably still just don't have the unit built yet.  In any case, either we'll be heading out this weekend, or we'll be in Chicago again, and we'll have to plan yet another amazing weekend.  Also, to all you dads out there, Happy Father's Day.  There, I said it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


We got word this morning that Thailand is out.  This probably isn't a shock to any of you because I didn't tell anyone we were going (knowing full well these things never work out), and it isn't really a shock to me either (see the previous info in parentheses), but I'm still bummed out.  I only found out about the job a couple days ago, and and it would have only been for a week before India, but man, it would have been awesome!  Anyway, also on the list of awesome places we will not be visiting before India (or possibly ever):  Spain, Malaysia, Australia, Italy, Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, All of SE Asia, All of South America, Africa, Antarctica, the Middle East, and anywhere else in the world.
This doesn't have to do with anything, I just felt the post needed a picture.  This is at the Jackson airport.

Howevvvuhhh, we will be visiting Chicago, which is kind of nice in and of itself.  We will actually probably have a pretty good weekend here... maybe a Cubs game, maybe Six Flags on Father's Day (it is widely known that parents' days are the best and only time to visit Six Flags), hit up the Home Depot and maybe Bed Bath and Beyond.  I don't know.  I don't know if we'll have enough time.

Also, I guess it's pretty obvious at this point that India was pushed back again.  It's scheduled for the 30th, which will put it around 3 months since we left the first time.  Three months is what they told Matt "unofficially" that they would need to get on track, so maybe we will be going soon.  You should just expect it to keep going back a week at a time unless I tell you different.  That's what I do.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

(Guilt) Trip to Jackson

Aura, Matt and me posing for the best picture ever.  Obviously I just figured out how to use the self-timer on my camera.  

Aura will surely not be pleased with this title, but it's true, and it's great.  After all the hustle and bustle of traveling from Chicago to Arkansas, back to Chicago, and then ALL the way to Jackson, we ended up having a pretty great time visiting Aura and Co.  The weather wasn't great, but it didn't rain as much as we'd expected, so we did get out some.  We only had dinner with Garland one night (he was feeling pretty sick the rest of the time), but it was a delicious dinner, and he was generous enough to share his appetizer with me, AND he picked up the check.  (Thanks, Garland!  Much appreciated.  I hope you're feeling much better at the moment.) Friday, Aura took us and her kids from work to the Granite Hot Springs, (it's a big man-made pool with water from the hot springs... kind of self-explanatory I guess) which was super hot and super fun.
                                                                           Aura with Jonah and Isabelle in the hot springs. 

The rest of our big plans for the weekend sort of got canceled out by weather, but I guess that just means it wasn't meant to be.  Probably we would have been blown off the mountain if we'd gone up in the tram, or popped our raft if we'd gone in the river.  Sometimes I just have a 6th sense about these things, you see.  The highlight of Matt's trip was the super competitive kickball game in which he showed off his dazzling kicking skills, and ALMOST carried our team to victory (we lost, 19 to 3), following which he hurt his knee and limped around for the remainder of the trip. (On a side note, I'm wondering if that wasn't just a ploy to lay around and watch soccer... he seems perfectly fine now.)  Anyway, It was great seeing the Jackson clan again, and I'm pretty thankful Aura guilted me into coming in the first place.
Our Greedy tournament.  Christian (far left) beat me (finally) and Aura was very pleased with herself for beating us all by something like 6,000 points.  She taped the score in the refrigerator.

No news coming in from India as of yet, which probably means we'll be delayed again.  I'm having a little trouble getting prepped for this trip because I feel like it's never going to happen.  I have yet to pack anything, although I still have one suitcase full of stuff I took to India last time... so I guess that means I'm halfway there.  I'm going to do my best to get really excited and make the most of this trip if I can.  I'll try to steer clear of the Debbie Downer remarks while I'm there... but remember, TRY would be the operative word in this scenario.  I have been reading a lot in the India guidebook trying to map out a rough plan for when (or if) Mom comes to visit, and it sounds like everyone who visits has a sort of love hate relationship with the whole country.  So see, I'm not alone!  It looks like there are some pretty amazing places to visit there, if only we have enough time, money and patience to navigate our way to them.  All of this is beside the point, however, if we never get to go back.

Christian and Aura.  I know what you're thinking, and yes, those are in fact matching sweaters.  

Anyway, that's about all my news.  I went shopping yesterday and spent the rest of my Forever 21 gift card (if I haven't told you that story, then you won't understand what a huge accomplishment this is), and I bought some pretty swanky (and cheap!) jeans at the Gap.  Also, Fayetteville, Arkansas made my latest installment of People Magazine, with a picture of Mariah Carrey singing at the Wal-Mart shareholders convention.  I knew I should have gone!   I have also just discovered the microwave in my room isn't working.  How will I re-heat my lunch?  Danielle is coming back through this area for the last time tonight before heading back to Thailand, which will probably take her through the end of the year.  Bummer!  I'm excited to see her tonight though, and we will meet again on the other side...(and by the other side, I mean Myanmar or elsewhere, not Heaven).  Anyway, that's the news of the day.  Probably nothing else of note will be happening, but if it does, you know I'll be on top of it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Editor's Note

Forgive me, readers, for I know it's been too long.  Since my last post, I've been living it up in Arkansas visiting friends and family.  Matt came to AR with me for about a week, but then had to cut his trip short to return to the office - bleh.  Howevuuhh (that's how my friend Tyler says it, and I'm a fan) I got to stay on for something like five extra days... and that's when the REAL party started.  I spent the weekend in Yellville camping out on the river with my few remaining hikes school friends.  

The mighty Buffalo River.  Ain't that fine?  This is why people like Arkansas.  
Aside from the delicious food (hot dogs with no buns and burnt marshmallows) the highlight of the trip was seeing a bald eagle fly right in front of us.  I don't think anyone else was quite as impressed with this event as I was, seeing how I was and am the only one who keeps bringing it up in every conversation I have.  I guess the eagles are alive and well in Arkansas.  For Memorial Day weekend, Mom, Matt and I went on a hike to Hawksbill Crag, one of the most scenic spots in Arkansas.  Matt showed off his city side by traipsing daintily through the wilderness trying not to get poison ivy. 

Mom and Matt on Hawksbill Crag.  Another fine example of why people like Arkansas.  
All in all, the trip was a success, but I'm pretty glad to be back in Chi-town for a while.  Like a day.  Yes, after much persuasion (and guilt-tripping) from Aura, I finally broke down and agreed to go visit Garland and her in Jackson (Hole, Wyoming, for those of you not in the know.  Now you are).  I'm excited to see them, but it will be a very short visit because Matt has some training class he MUST attend on Monday of next week.  So basically we'll only be there for the weekend, which is a bummer, but we'll work it out. We're already pretty exhausted from going around the globe so much recently and living in hotels.  It seems like there should be like some sort of a home base we could have, somewhere we could come back to and keep our things and live there.  It seems I've heard of a place such as this, some place called a "house".  Ahhh, but that was probably just a dream.  Or a dream of a dream.  
My friend Nicole's baby, Leila.  While I neglected to take any pictures of any of my family members, I did take some of someone else's family.  Please enjoy it.  

And now, onto the real reason for this post.  It has come to my attention that there were a few glaring errors on my last blog post.  I will correct those now: I reported that Geoff Correnti had two home runs and two RBIs in his last high school baseball game, but he actually had FOUR RBIs and two home runs.  Go Geoff.  Also, I misspelled the Correnti family dog's name.  It is Winstin, not Winston, as I had previously thought.  We here at She's Gone Rogue deeply regret these errors and apologize for any distress they may have caused.  We strive to be a factual publication and thrive on responsible journalism, and will continue to do our best to keep you up to date on our latest adventures.