Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weekend


So, vacation created a slight problem with the scale, so I have been back to strictly counting calories since our return.  and let me tell you, it sucks.  it's so hard getting back into it again, and I have not actually counted calories in a long time, as I have just been trying to eat healthy.  I *thought* we did well on vacay, but I think I just eat a lot more calories on vacay, and it's a problem.  So, from Wed until today, I have been perfect with recording everything and staying under 1200 calories a day.  Ugh.  After about a week of this though, I get used to it and it will not suck as much, LOL.

Had to take Bugsy and Gretel to the vet today.  Bugsy was due for like all his shots and a physical exam, and Gretel was due for one shot and her physical exam.  Gretel's *pugs not drugs* sweater was a huge hit with the vet's staff.  They both did really well, although Bugsy did NOT like the car ride.  He meowed the entire way there in the carrier, so on the way home, we let him just sit in the backseat and he was much happier.

Weather is total crap here.  Woke up to snow on the ground, again, and it has been lightly snowing all day long.  I wanted to go to Ann Arbor today and run some errands, but the plowing and salting of the roads has been really poor around here, and I did not want to risk getting into an accident.  So, I stayed in and relaxed, worked out, finished a book, started another.

so, on vacay, I had a beach mishap with my iPhone 4 and my point and shoot camera.  We were on a remote beach, and I had my purse with me, WAY back from the water and where the water never seemed to come up to.  While putting my coverup back on to leave, this HUGE wave came up and covered my purse in water, drenching my phone and camera and everything else in my purse.  Both died.  I was really due for an upgrade with the phone anyway, but was kinda annoyed about the camera (but thankful it was not my DSLR).  So, I got the new iPhone 5 when we got back (in white) and I just ordered a camera on eBay.  I got a Sony, that seemed to get really good reviews online.  Fingers crossed I love it.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.







Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter and baths

My body is having a super hard time adjusting to the temp change between St Maarten and Michigan (from the 80s to the 20s, ugh).

Some things I like about winter are winter coats, scarves, boots.........


Two things that came in the mail while I was gone.  I have been looking for the perfect grey coat forever, and finally got one on Gilt made by love Moschino.  Also got a winter hat by Betsey Johnson that is insanely adorable and comfy off Ideeli.com.


To try and warm up, I used the jacuzzi tub tonight and used two new products that I loved.  One was a bath oil that was really moisturizing and made my skin smell amazing, and the other was a bath salt that was very aromatic.  And 20 minutes later, I am still warmed up!  Yay!  Highly suggest both products, which I received as samples in the mail.

Work has been OK since I got back, phones have been ringing off the hook, but no court until next year, so I have been getting a lot of odds and ends done.  which is nice.  yesterday, because of the huge snowstorm we got, we closed early to avoid the horrible roads.

Hope everyone had a nice Thursday!

Back from Holiday

Hope everyone had an amazing holiday.  I know I did......I think my brain is still on holiday.  :).

So, as you all know, Kurt and I left for a 10 night jaunt in St Maarten for Christmas 2012.  We flew back on Christmas, which is an awesome day to fly (minus the fact that I almost died on a plane 3 years ago on Christmas day, LOL) as the airports are deserted.  The day before and after Christmas are always crazy busy, but the actual holiday is fairly silent.  There was almost nobody on our flights from St Maarten to Charlotte.

So, we rented a condo at a place called AquaMarina, which is in the Maho Bay area.  Good location for us, fairly central to all the things and beaches we like to visit in St Maarten.  We stayed in Tower X in condo 51.  Found it on VRBO.com.  We arrived in later afternoon in St Maarten, got our rental call via Thrifty, and headed to the condo with the use of the GPS.  I highly recommend renting a GPS while in St Maarten as the roads are very poorly marked.  Anyway, got there, got stopped at a grocery store on the way for some essentials, and got all temporarily moved in. Had dinner that night out and went to sleep early.

The rest of the trip, most days were spent on the beach, napping, reading, relaxing, swimming.  We also took a day trip to St Barths, which has aMAZing beaches.  Even prettier than St Maarten, but the island itself has less things to do and everything is insanely expensive.  Rooms over the holidays were in excess of $1000 a night, which is crazy to me!  Also, took a day trip to Anguilla, where I got to swim with the dolphins.

We ate out at lots of amazing places in Simpson Bay, Orient Beach, Marigot, Grand Case and Maho Bay. Most either on the beach or overlooking water.  My fav way to have a meal.  lots of salads and seafood and drinks........One night, we bought and drank an entire bottle of champagne in the room, which was glorious and relaxing.

Also read a ton of books on this trip, which was nice.  I almost never have time to read, so reading on vacay is always a welcome treat.

Hope everyone had an awesome holiday as well!  If you ever have questions about St Maarten, ask away!   We are now pros after 2 trips there!  :)




Saturday, December 08, 2012

Holiday Parties

We had two holiday parties to attend this year on the same night, of course.  The first was the Downriver Holiday Party, which is hosted each year by a local attorney who is a good friend of ours.  It is had held at The Grand in Trenton.  The place closes for our event.  Anyway, we go every year and have an awesome time as we know most of the people there.  This year was awesome as well.  Got there around 4 and stayed until 630.  Left for the Monroe event then (which started at 600).  This event was at the Monroe Country Club.  Got there around 700 and stayed there until around 1030 PM.  This was our first year at the event.  It was a lot of fun.  They had a wine and cheese tasting, as well as dinner, apps, desserts and a PHOTO BOOTH.  the photo booth was an awesome addition.  We all had a blast making the Judges pose with us in there, and just being silly in general.  There were props, so of course those made their way into all our pics, LOL.  I have like 20 printouts from the event.  Apparently, they will be online as some point, so I will post some then.  So much fun.  Wore my new silver dress with black tights and black heels, and brought a black sweater in case I got cold.  LOVE dressing up for parties.   :)

Had dinner this weeks with a franchise of my KHFASS group that my friend Katie started in Western Wayne County.  We ate at Bahama Breeze.  Had amazing lobster and shrimp quesadillas.  It was a lot of fun, looking forward to the next outing, and to the original KFASS dinner next week!  

I have so many things I need to get done before we leave for vacay.  I have a hair appointment on Monday, but I would also love to get a pedicure and a new Shellac mani before I leave as well.  Also need to pack, buy more sunscreen, clean the house..........Instead I worked part of the day and am sitting on the couch.  Oh well, LOL.





Sunday, December 02, 2012

Fun Time

Had a fun weekend.

Saturday night, we went to my friend, Nicole's fundraiser at a local bowling alley to raise money for the 3 day breast cancer walk she does each year with her Mom.  We bowled two games, had pizza, there was a raffle and a 50/50 drawing.  Had a blast bowling, and hanging with Kurt, Nicole, Harry and Chris.  Chris somehow took over the sound system at the bowling alley with his iPad, so we had great music all night as well.



The rest of the weekend was spent at home, working and grocery shopping.  I worked the bulk of the day today, and have crazy busy schedule with court and mediation this week.  So, I really should get to bed!  Hope everyone had a nice weekend.

Vegas for Thanksgiving

Kurt and I took a trip to Vegas for Thanksgiving.  Had an awesome time, as usual.


We stayed at the MGM Signature.  Pros: the room was HUGE, we had a balcony overlooking the Strip, two bathrooms, including a huge master suite, quiet, great fitness room for working out.  Cons: only valet parking.  That annoys us, as we hate waiting for our car and would rather walk to a parking spot.  another pro was the room was free with airline miles.  A con for some would be it was slightly off strip, but since we rent a car, this is actually a pro for us since the Strip is so traffic filled.  I would not stay here again because the parking annoyed us, but would recommend it to others who don't care about that.

Our fav part of this trip by far was the helicopter tour we took to the Grand Canyon.  Neither of us have been the grand canyon or in a helicopter and this experience was amazing.  I loved the helicopter and Kurt was not one bit nervous, which is saying a lot considering he is such a nervous flyer.  The tour started with a limo picking us up from our hotel.  4 other people were in there with us and on our tour as well, another couple and a mother/daughter duo.  Got to the airport checkin, and had to be weighed and briefed on the safety stuff.  Got in the helicopter and Kurt and I were placed in the front.  SCORE.  Best seats and view.  Not sure how that happened, but it is by weight and the pilot places you.  WE flew over Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, and then the canyon.  We landed and had a champagne lunch picnic in the Canyon, which was pretty kewl.  Highly recommend doing this.

We also saw a show called Shades of Temptation at NY NY hotel.  It was a good show.  Not the best I have seen, not the worst.  It was entertaining.

We also played a lot of poker at the Flamingo, and I don't think I lost one time.  Kurt played a lot of sports gambling stuff as well, and a little bit of Blackjack.

I went shopping two times, once at an outlet mall I like outside the Strip and once at Fashion Square Mall, which is on the Strip, kinda across from Venetian.  It is a huge mall with like 6 anchor stores.  I ended up getting a cute dress for the holiday parties i have this year at the Kasper outlet, and a blazer and two sweaters at The Limited.  Oh, and a great necklace from The Limited.

We worked out daily and had a lot of great meals too.  Thanksgiving, I made reservations at McCormick and Schmidt's off the strip.  Awesome seafood place.  I had clam chowder and a crab cake ceasar salad for Thanksgiving dinner, which is my kinda holiday meal.  Screw turkey and the fixings, since I can't eat most of it anyway!  :).  Perfecto for Kurty and I..........

Anyway, another Vegas Thanksgiving in the books!  Loved it and can't wait to go back.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Upcoming Holiday

I realllllllly cannot wait for the upcoming Thanksgiving break!  First time Kurt and I are able to get away for a real vacation since I don't remember when.  We had two out of town weddings in June, but the last time we went anyplace was earlier this week.  The campaign pretty much sucked the life of my vacations.

We are going to Las Vegas for our normal Thanksgiving celebration.  We have gone there I think the last 3 Thanksgivings.  This time, I got our room for free with airline miles, & we are staying at the MGM Signature.  It looks nice, large suites, a fitness area, and best of all, I don't have to walk through a mall or casino to get to my room.  It is attached to the MGM Grand, but has it's own entrance.  I also booked us before the trip (since we never do anything while there unless I book it ahead of time) a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon.  Basically, they pick us up at our hotel, take us to the airport, we take a helicopter over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, the Strip, and then land in the Grand Canyon for a champagne luncheon.  Cannot wait.  also, I shopped prices and coupons for quite a bit before booking, and saved about $260.00 off list price on the tour.  Whoot.  Love me and my deals.......Have not figured out what show I want to see while there.  There is a new Cirque show we have not seen, but I think because it is new, I cannot find good seats for the show.  It is called Zarkana and is showing at Aria.  I am looking forward to poker, outlet shopping, and running outside at Red Rock, which we are going to do this time as well.  I have driven through and explored, but never run there.

Our associate at the office, Angie, is engaged!  She just got engaged yesterday.  Super excited for her and Scott.

Even though the campaign is over, I have been fairly busy w/work and other stuff.  Trying to catch up with some friends.  Had dinner with Rebecca on Friday night at Wah Hoo in Detroit.  We split some apps and sushi and each had soup.  Was super good.  Today, I had lunch with my friend Melanie at Panera.  Went to Kohl's and Sam's Club after that.  Got a new picture frame I needed to replace one that broke and three shirts for Kurt marked down.  I don't know how he is always getting things when I shop.  :).

I got a new jacket in the mail this weekend for work.  It's really unique looking, not something I would normally get, but really different.  It will go with a lot of different shoes and I will most likely wear a black skirt or pants with it.  Prob will wear is tomorrow!  (see above).  In person, the lines of the jacket look almost braided, so it's really interesting.  It's also really warm, so will be great when we get super cold days soon.

So, I am very behind on posting pics here, so I am going to slowly integrate them into posts.  First pic below is of the entire office at Kurt's election night party.  It's rare with schedules that the entire office is at an out of office event, so here we all are!  From left to right--Kory, Angie, Lauren, Kurt, me and Megan.



Angie and her fiance, Scott, both had bdays recently, and we went to her party which was in downtown Detroit at Jacoby's.  it was a lot of fun.  Kurt, Kory and I went from the office, and our friends Ron and Nick came as well.  I was the DD that night, but everyone else enjoyed the super cheap drinks at the place.  Kurt and Kory ate as well, and the food looked awesome (although typical horrible for you bar food).  I think we heard Angie yell "it's my birthday" about 1111 times throughout the night.


Pic above is of me and my nephew Nick at a wedding this summer in St. Louis.

Anyway, gonna sign off.  I need to clean and do some laundry and start packing for our trip!  :).

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Back in the Game


**Pic above is Angie, Kory and I at her bday party last weekend!  :)  Super fun times.

Welcome back me!  :)

Last post was March of this year, when Kurt decided to run for Congress.

As we all know, that did not end up in a win.  However, since Kurt was not the incumbent and we are in a District that leans Republican, we knew going in it would be an uphill battle.  It was a huge learning experience, and I am happy he went for it.  My husband is one of the most courageous people I know, and I admire how he decided to simply go for something full force like he did.  No political background, and he ends up on a ballot for US Congress.  So impressive.  I will post more on our journey the past few months in the next entries........

Overall, the outcome of this election was disappointing for me.  Basically, the make-up of Congress and the Senate remained virtually unchanged.  And with the same President in office, with the same Congress and same Senate, my guess is, the next 4 years will be more of the same with the parties constantly fighting with one another and not much of anything getting accomplished at all, which is sad.  The people who are willing to ignore party lines and work together are not generally the people that get into office. Until that happens, nothing will change, and I think I am resigned to that fact, for now.  Judge Connie Kelley, a Judge I practice in front of on a regular basis, lost her run for Supreme Court, which was sad for me as well.  She worked her ass off, travelling the entire state while working full time, and I was sad to see her lose.  I was also sad for my teacher and union worker friends that Proposal 2 did not pass (had to do with collective bargaining and the state constitution).  I was thrilled to hear about the states that passed initiatives on gay marriage and marijuana though, and happy to see some of the states moving forwards towards equality for all.

Tonight, after I work out and make dinner, I am going to research where we are going on vacay this month.  We have traveled almost zero since March, and I am psyched to do nothing for a few days.  We normally go to Vegas over Thanksgiving, but not sure if I want to go there or not.  I may want to lie on a beach for a few days.......

Anyway, glad to be back and posting.  I missed it, but during the election, I did not want a bunch of randoms finding me by putting Kurt's name into google and ending up here.........

Happy November!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Kurt for Congress!

Just wanted to post something for all of you following along that Kurt decided yesterday that he is going to run for Congress! Our district is the 7th District of Michigan. Recently, the state lines changed, and John Dingell is no longer in our District. Kurt would be running against a Republican, Tim Walberg, and Kurt will be running as a Democrat.

Kurt picked up his petitions yesterday and we started collecting signatures today and need 1000. Anyone who lives in Monroe, Lenawee, Eaton, Jackson, Hillsdale, Branch and Washtenaw (only parts of this County though) who want to sign our petitions, please let me know so we can get your signature(s).

Wish us luck. We know this is going to be an exhausting, demanding year, but it is worth it if Kurt can start to bring some integrity and honesty to politics.

We will be starting a website soon, and the facebook page is up and running, click here to like that page.

In the meantime, my posting here will be very limited, if at all.

Thanks for your continued support.

Monday, February 20, 2012

CSPAN Video

This video literally brought tears to my eyes.



This video is direct proof that Kurt speaking out, and all the backlash we have dealt with, is worth it. Our entire intent in speaking out about this was to open the public's eyes to the corruption going on within the federal government. Get people to ask questions, get people to simply not believe everything that they are told because the government says it is true.

These callers, who are all strangers to us, called in, and questioned this TSA agent who claims to know "nothing" about Kurt or what he saw. I think this video itself proves something, as that TSA agent is an obvious liar. He should have just admitted he knew who Kurt was. Saying he was clueless, seriously.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Letter to Judge Edmunds

If you read my post below, you would know that I was not happy about the way I was treated at court the day I was to give my victim impact statement. Thus, not wanting to make a decision while angry, I slept on it. I then decided, the next day, I was still not happy and thought the Judge should know how she made me, as a victim feel. I wrote a letter to her, mailed it, and also emailed it to the Victim Advocate at the court we have been dealing with to see if she could take it to the Judge. I have copied the letter below.

Dear Judge Edmunds:

I wanted to write you this letter, to tell you about how your behavior in court on February 16, 2012, towards me, made me feel. My hope is that you will think about how you made me feel before behaving this way in the future towards victims of terrorist attacks.

During the sentencing of the underwear bomber, I was allowed to speak as a victim. All four other passengers spoke before me, and all were treated with respect and allowed to speak without comment or being judged.

When it was my time to speak, instead of simply calling me to the podium, you instead stated “Ms. Haskell, do you have anything to add besides what Mr. Haskell just stated about his government conspiracy theories?” I was floored. I was there, as a victim, someone who almost died in a terrorist attack, and you were talking to me like I was some kind of secondary citizen/criminal, completely *judging* me before I had said a word. I sat in your courtroom through all the other hearings and was never anything but respectful to the court and the judicial system. Throughout the entire proceedings, you treated the Defendant and everyone involved with nothing but respect, and until yesterday, I thought you were great during the proceedings in keeping level headed and being fair.

I am my own person. I may be married to Kurt Haskell, and while I do support him 100% in what he says, I am allowed, pursuant to court rules, to give my statement and not feel pressured to say what the court/judge wants me to say, or not say. I had prepared a handwritten statement, which I read, and which I felt was completely appropriate. However, you made me nervous about saying anything at all after your comments to me. I should have been treated differently as a victim. I feel you acted inappropriately, in letting your obvious disdain for my husband’s comments flow over into my time to finally say how I felt.

As a Judge, you are always supposed to act in a unbiased way towards victims. I was not treated in that manner. It is embarrassing to judges everywhere that you treated me in this manner. It saddens me that before yesterday, I really looked up to you as a woman and a Judge. You swore me into federal court 5 and a half years ago. I realize now that I need to find a different kind of role model. One who does not treat victims like the criminal. If I am ever a Judge, I truly hope that I never make a victim feel worse than they already do. And if I did that, I would hope to be called out on it. You may be the Judge, but that does not mean you are always right. At least in my eyes.

Thank you for your attention. I wish you the best, and hope you never personally have to go through what I went through, and then be treated poorly by the judge in the case.

I have not yet decided if I am doing anything further with this or not. I am hoping the Judge calls me for say she is sorry, but I highly doubt that will happen. Her arrogant attitude in court will most likely stop her from ever admitting any wrongdoing. I may report her for misconduct as well. Even though nothing really ever happens with these reports, at least she would be forced to stop and think about her behavior and perhaps not treat someone like this again in the future.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Annoying treatment

Today was............stressful. A relief. Perplexing.

Kurt & I attended the sentencing of Umar. We were allowed to give victim impact statements. We arrived about 30 minutes early, and I got to meet the three other passengers who were there. One was the flight attendant who put the fire out. So, it was amazing to get to thank the person who saved my life in person. VERY nice guy. His story is really sad. He loved flying around the world as a flight attendant, and now he dreads going into work every day. He broke down in tears and had to leave the courtroom after speaking.

Kurt gave his speech, which is posted below, and it was pretty anti-Federal government. Anyway, I was the last passenger to speak. Before I could speak, while Kurt was walking back to his seat, the Judge actually said something to the affect of "Ms Haskell, do you have something to say different than what Mr. Haskell is reporting about conspiracy theories and the government?" I told her my statement was not the same as Kurt's, and I was allowed to speak. However, I was wondering, is the Judge going to censor my statement? She in essence was saying that she did not want me to make a statement like Kurt's. Which, quite frankly, pissed me off. Do I agree 100% with Kurt? Yes. Am I the same person as Kurt. No. Should I be not allowed to speak and be spoken to in that manner because I am married to Kurt? Absolutely not. Obviously, the Judge in the case has no interest in the idea that the government may do anything dishonest, but she does NOT have the right to censor me simply because I am married to Kurt. Umar sits in court, every time, talking about killing americans and the like, but I can't say anything if it supports my husband? The Judge treated Umar with nothing but respect, but I get treated in a snotty, condescending way. Really, really stupid. Again, the victims being treated as criminals instead of as victims. That's how we were treated when the plane landed, and that's how I feel again today. Ridiculous.

I was happy that Umar was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. even though I believe Umar is a patsy, I do believe that he wanted to kill us all, and I could see throughout all of this that he is not remorseful at all, and I don't think he has a chance of being rehabilitated.

My favorite part of the hearing was when Umar addressed Kurt and said "Mr. Haskell, I am not a patty!" (in reference to something Kurt said to him during his statement).

Anyway, glad to close that chapter of my life. Hope everyone else had a less drama filled afternoon. :).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Underwear Bomber Sentencing Hearing

by Kurt Haskell

Tomorrow at 1:00 P.M. is the sentencing hearing for the Underwear Bomber. This will likely be the final hearing in the case. The charges Umar took a plea to require a mandatory like sentence. Thus, this hearing is really a mere formality. However, Michigan law provides that any victim of a crime can give a victim impact statement before sentencing. Thus, as I am a victim I am entitled to give my statement. I wish I could take an hour to give a fully detailed statement about everything that happened, but Judge Edmunds has limited each passenger to 5 minutes. This will be the first time that I actually get to speak in Court regarding this matter. It will be interesting. I am sure the media will once again try and paint me as a nut job "conspiracy theorist". Frankly, I don't care and I will speak the truth. My statement is prepared and I will post it here tomorrow after the hearing.

Victim Impact Statement

by Kurt Haskell



Every victim of a crime in Michigan is entitled to make a statement in open court regarding the impact of the crime on their life. The statement is limited to the victim's physical, emotional and financial well being as it relates to the crime. Keep that in my as you read my statement. Below is a copy of the victim impact statement I gave today at the Underwear Bomber sentencing hearing. When reading my statement, keep in mind that I am a practicing attorney in the State of Michigan. In addition, I regularly practice in the Court the hearings are taking place at and therefore, I am somewhat limited as to what I can say. We were limited to 5 minutes each.

I wish to thank the Court for allowing me these 5 minutes to make my statement. My references to the government in this statement refer to the Federal Government excluding this Court and the prosecution. On Christmas Day 2009, my wife and I were returning from an African safari and had a connecting flight through Amsterdam. As we waited for our flight, we sat on the floor next to the boarding gate. What I witnessed while sitting there and subsequent events have changed my life forever. While I sat there, I witnessed Umar dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt, being escorted around security by a man in a tan suit who spoke perfect American English and who aided Umar in boarding without a passport. The airline gate worker initially refused Umar boarding until the man in the tan suit intervened. The event meant nothing to me at the time. Little did I know that Umar would try to kill me a few hours later as our flight approached Detroit. The final 10 minutes of our flight after the attack were the worst minutes of my life. During those 10 minutes I sat paralyzed in fear. Unfortunately, what happened next has had an even greater impact on my life and has saddened me further.

When we landed, I was shocked that our plane taxied up to the gate. I was further shocked that we were forced to sit on the plane for 20 minutes with powder from the so called bomb all over the cabin. The officers that boarded the plane did nothing to ensure our safety and did not check for accomplices or other explosive devices. Several passengers trampled through parts of the bomb as they exited the plane. We were then taken into the terminal with our unchecked carry on bags. Again, there was no concern for our safety even though Umar told the officers that there was another bomb on board as he exited the plane. I wondered why nobody was concerned about our safety, accomplices or other bombs and the lack of concern worried me greatly. I immediately told the FBI my story in order to help catch the accomplice I had seen in Amsterdam. It soon became obvious that the FBI wasn't interested in what I had to say, which upset me further. For one month the government refused to admit the existence of the man in the tan suit before changing course and admitting his existence in an ABC News article on January 22, 2010. That was the last time the government talked about this man. The video that would prove the truth of my account has never been released. I continue to be emotional upset that the video has not been released. The Dutch police, meanwhile, in this article (show article), also confirmed that Umar did not show his passport in Amsterdam which also meant that he didn't go through security as both are in the same line in Amsterdam. It upsets me that the government refuses to admit this fact.

I became further saddened from this case, when Patrick Kennedy of the State Department during Congressional hearings, admitted that Umar was a known terrorist, was being followed, and the U.S. allowed him into the U.S. so that it could catch Umar's accomplices. I was once again shocked and saddened when Michael Leiter of the National Counter terrorism Center admitted during these same hearings that intentionally letting terrorists into the U.S. was a frequent practice of the U.S. Government. I cannot fully explain my sadness, disappointment and fear when I realized that my government allowed an attack on me intentionally.

During this time, I questioned if my country intentionally put a known terrorist onto my flight with a live bomb. I had many sleepless nights over this issue. My answer came shortly thereafter. In late 2010, the FBI admitted to giving out intentionally defective bombs to the Portland Christmas Tree Bomber,the Wrigley Field Bomber and several others. Further, Mr. Chambers was quoted in the Free Press on January 11, 2011 when he indicated that the government's own explosives experts had indicated that Umar's bomb was impossibly defective. I wondered how that could be. Certainly, I thought, Al Qaeda wouldn't go through all of the trouble to plan such an attack only to provide the terrorist with an impossibly defective bomb.

I attended nearly all of the pretrial hearings. At the hearing on January 28, 2011, I was greatly disappointed by the prosecution's request to block evidence from Mr. Chambers "as it could then be able to be obtained by third parties, who could use it in a civil suit against the government". It really bothered me that the government apparently was admitting to wrongdoing of some kind as it admitted that it was concerned it would be sued. It further upset me to know that the government was putting its own interests ahead of those of the passengers.

When I attended the jury selection hearings, I questioned why versions of the same two questions kept coming up, those being:

1. Do you think whether you'll be able to tell whether something is actually a bomb? and
2. Do you realize that sometimes the media doesn't always tell the truth?

I continued to be greatly saddened at this point as I felt the truth continued to be hidden.

When Umar listed me as his only witness, I was happy to testify, not on his behalf, but on behalf of the truth. I never expected to testify, as my eyewitness account would have been too damaging to the myth that the government and media are putting forward. A mere 5 days after I was announced as a witness, there was an inexplicable guilty plea which exasperated me as I no longer would be testifying.

In closing I will just say that regardless of how the media and government try to shape the public perception of this case, I am convinced that Umar was given an intentionally defective bomb by a U.S. Government agent and placed on our flight without showing a passport or going through security, to stage a false terrorist attack to be used to implement various government policies.

The effect this matter has had on my life has been astounding and due to this case, I will never trust the government in any matter, ever.

In regards to sentencing, nothing I've said excuses the fact that Umar tried to kill me. He has waived his valid claim to the entrapment defense. Umar, you are not a great Muslim martyr, you are merely a "Patsy". I ask the court to impose the mandatory sentence.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Updates


Really busy week (shocker).

Had dinner with my friend, Mel, on Tuesday night. Was really nice to catch up and talk about her upcoming wedding and other things going on with both of us. :). Need to plan another night out soon with her.......We ended up at Olive Garden, we wanted to go to Carabba's, and weirdly, we pulled up and they were closed. I think they were doing some kind of cleaning or something because the door said they were open Tuesday nights. We were too lazy to get out of the car and see if there was some sort of notice on the door.

Sooooo I went back to blonde. I actually really liked the red, but a Judge I am in front of all the time told me she thought I needed some blonde highlights and Kurt said he kinda missed the blonde, so back I went. I went really light for me, and I am really liking it for something different. I ended up doing lots of highlights instead of all over color. Also, got some sideswept bangs cut in as well. Love it.

We worked all weekend, but instead of it being a pain, it was a relief to kinda clear off my desk. It's never totally cleared off with family law, but I got a lot of work done and have a lot of filing to do tomorrow. I also got some other stuff done for my Mediation business, so I can hand that out now to the Judges.

I got three suits and a suit coat for summer in the mail from Ideel yesterday. I love two of the suits and the suit coat. The suit coat I had to get, even though it's freezing out, becuz short sleeve black suit coats are super hard to find in a cute cut for a good price, and this one popped up and is Tahari, so a nice brand. anyway, it fits perfect. The other suit has an all pleats skirt and I really want to like this style on me, but I always think I look huge in skirts like that. I think I just need to accept that the style is just not right for my body type. Boo, cuz I love how girly the pleats are on a business suit. That one is being sent back.


I also got my new Kate Spade purse and belt delivered this week. Love the purse, it's green and super cute. Cannot find a pic online to post though. the belt looks adorable with a lot of my dresses, and I have already worn it once. Love Kate Spade. Especially sample sales.........

Had to buy a new garbage disposal online tonight, BOOO. Found one for like $25 less on Amazon, so that was good. I noticed it was leaking, and when Kurt tried to fix it, he found a huge hole in the side of it. Guess it's not being fixed, ugh. Hopefully it is delivered soon. It is great having a handy husband, as he will fix it as soon as the new one gets here.

Had the most annoying week in court. Lots of hearings with some realllllly annoying attorneys who constantly interrupted, and would just overall obnoxious. Makes me really appreciate the attys who practice in the right way and take turns. Don't we learn that in like pre-school? Seriously. Hope this week is better in that regard because I ended up with a headache two days yesterday because of this.

I have so many little things and calls to take care of. Hopefully, I can start getting those things done tomorrow. I also need to start booking my Mom and I's Port Richey trip for late March. can't wait for that......

So sad about Whitney Houston. Not totally surprising, but sad just the same since I have always loved her music and grew up listening to her. I feel horrible for her poor daughter.

Hope you all had a nice weekend.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Super Bowl Snacks

So, we worked both days this weekend, which was NOT fun. However, it was necessary because of our amazing St Maarten vacay, so I will say I am OK with the being forced to work all weekend. I would not trade that vacay for anything. :). I did clear a lot of stuff off my desk, so that is always a positive thing.

Super Bowl Sunday is always a fun one in the Haskell household. We always stay home, and I make us snacks and we relax and have fun watching the game, the commercials, and the halftime show. I have not liked a half time show in forever, but this year surprised me and I loved it. I loved Madonna as a kid, and she still puts on a fabulous show. I really liked it all. She knows how to put on a great performance. And, she looks incredible! The game, meh. I am not a fan of either team at all, but I detest Tom Brady, so it was nice to see him lose. :).

So, I decided to make "healthy" snacks this year, since Kurt and I are so into eating well. I did not want to eat like crap just because it was the Super Bowl. So, I made the following, with some modifications.

So, first, I made Hot Cheesy Bean Dip, from the site Closet Cooking.

I will put what I modified in parentheses:

Ingredients:
1 batch refried beans ( I did not make the recipe, I just used a can of vegetarian refried beans I had on hand)
4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature) (I used Philadelphia fat free)
1 cup sour cream (used kroger brand fat free)
1/2 cup green onions (sliced)
1 batch taco seasoning (I made this seasoning and it was fab, great recipe)
2/3 cup salsa (extra liquid drained) (used kroger brand mild)
1 4 ounce can diced green chilies (drained)
1 cup cheese (grated) (used fat free cheddar kraft)

Directions:
1. Mix everything, reserving some of the cheese, in a large bowl.
2. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and top with the reserved cheese.
3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until it is bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 45-60 minutes (I cooked for 60 minutes)

I served it with Baked Tostitoes. Recipe was super yummy. Never would have guessed I used the fat free version of almost every ingredient. Also, this recipe made a HUGE serving. It was enough to feed like 6 people, at least. We did not even eat half.

Next, I made a mini-dessert I have been wanting to try, Cookie Dough Dip, from a site called Chocolate Covedred Katie I was really intrigued that people were raving in the comments about the taste, and it's made out of freaking chick peas, which are good for me. and cookie dough is one of my fav things in the world.

  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
  • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (You can get away with using only 3 T. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a very-slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so if you don’t want this, you can sub oil.) (I used almond butter)
  • up to 1/4 cup milk of choice (Start with 1 T, and add more as needed) (used skim milk)
  • Sweetener (see note below, for amount) (I used organic brown sugar)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips)
  • 2 to 3 T oats (or flaxmeal) (You can omit, but also omit the milk if you do)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a food processor, and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.

This was super yummy! Did it taste just like cookie dough? No, but pretty damn close. And the combo of the ingredients, I never would have guessed it would be so good. Highly recommend.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

St Maarten Trip Report Jan/Feb 2012


St. Maarten, how I love you, let me count the ways.......

We can say now that Kurt's bday trip 2012 was a raging success. Loved everything about it, I can't really say one negative thing about the trip. At all. St Maarten may be one of the prettiest places I have ever been to, maybe prettier than Hawaii. Close though. It def was not a party island, and we would prob even be considered young for visiting there. A lot of retired people from Europe, I think. Even though half the island is French and half Dutch, we had no language issues, everyone we encountered spoke great English. The island def was not cheap, most meals were pretty pricey that we had, even though most places we ate were not high end. but it was a short trip, so whatever. We only celebrate Kurt's bday once a year. :).

Anyway, we flew via US Airways via Philly. The flight from Detroit to Philly was delayed due to deicing in Detroit and a delay landing in Philly and Kurt and I had to literally SPRINT about a mile in Philly to our connecting flight. Good since we did not work out that night. ;). Just barely made the flight, but we did. Got to St Maarten and flew thought customs and to our shuttle to the rental car place (Payless). we had rented a full size car, but when we got there, the full size car had a mechanical issue so we received the next smallest car for money off, which was fine. As long as it fit our rather large luggage, that's all I cared about. We were there off to the condo. I had gotten direction to The Cliff from the guy we leased it, and we drove right there. Was only about 10 minutes from the airport. Pulled up and were buzzed in, got our keys and headed up to one of the most perfect places ever. I immediately was drawn to the huge balcony overlooking the ocean, with lounge chairs. You could sit in these and hear the waves crashing against the shore. Amazing. One of the most relaxing sounds ever.......We sat there nightly for long periods of time just relaxing. Anyway, the room had a master and guest bedroom, three bathrooms, a laundry room (which I loved having), a full kitchen (which was awesome), dining area, living room, foyer. I think it was like 1750 sf? It was incredible. I would highly recommend anyone staying there. We were in condo C6. The complex also had beach access to Cupecoy Beach, a pool (which we never used, I hate pools when a beach is nearby), a fitness area (which we used daily), a tennis court (which we oddly never used), a lap pool, a spa, a cafe, and steam rooms/saunas. Used the steam room and loved it.

The food the entire trip was incredible. most of the places specialized in unique seafood, and lobster is huge there, caribbean lobster. Anyway, we ate a lot of soup, salad and seafood. I had a crab stuffed grouper burger I loved at a beachside place that was so good. Every day, we bought snacks, etc. at a local grocery store, so Kurt could have yogurt every morning, and I could have healthy snacks as well.

We spent most of our day time on the beach. Two beaches specifically, Orient Beach and Cupecoy Beach. I liked Cupecoy better as it was more secluded and I loved the ocean swimming there. Orient beach was more busy, but had more of a selection for food and stuff. Kurt liked Orient better.

We drove into Phillipsburg one day to shop and had an awesome Indian lunch. Did not buy anything but sunscreen, as we ran out.

Didnt take a ton of pics, but you can see the ones I did take by clicking here.

Fun Circuit Training

Tried this tonight as the start of my workout. Only went through it once, as I wanted to bike as well. Anyway, I went into it thinking it would be super easy, as I already do all those exercises as part of my workouts, but wow, super great workout. Loved it. Highly recommend.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eat Your Veggies

My car is home! Super yay. Nothing too major wrong. Two things that has to do with the ignition switch. Both parts were switched out. Glad to have my baby back. I seriously love the Saab more than any car either, and in winter, it may be solely for the heated seats. Yes, raising hand, I am a girl! ;).

Kurt has been in a divorce trial the past two days. I love hearing about Kurt's trials, something amusing always happens and Kurt always seems to piss the other side off a lot. He is amazing to watch in trial, it's like he does not even need to think or look at notes, or anything. Love watching him. Being an attorney really is like acting sometimes and Kurt would be oscar winning, LOL. I really hope we win this trial, of course, the decision comes while we are in St Maarten on Friday. I will have to have Angie email me or something. He got the decision of another hard trial he did where the Mom was trying to terminate our client's rights. Long story, but we won that one too and he gets to start seeing his kid again, so he was thrilled. Super yay.

I saw Million Dollar Quartet at the Fisher last night with my Aunt. part of our season tickets. Anyway, I was not expecting anything uber awesome, but I absolutely loved it. Awesome singers, interesting show and just great all around. I loved the guy who played Jerry Lee Lewis. Anyway, highly suggest this show. We had dinner ahead of time at Carabba's, which was super yummy and a total cheat meal. ;). My new snack idea, which is working out well, is baby carrots. I take them daily to work in a little baggie and eat them throughout the day as a snack. It's making my not snack on anything else, which is awesome. We have been eating a lot of clementine oranges too, and I think I am doing fairly well at my trying to eat more fruits and veggies just by only snacking on those during the day and nothing else.

We are closing the Ypsilanti office this week & I am thrilled. We opened it initially because a former associate lived near there, and it worked better than cuz she did all the appointments out there. Since then, it's been a pain as Kurt has been going there a lot, and that causes back ups in work in Taylor, it's a vicious circle. Im excited to steal the super kewl retro furniture I had there and put it in the Monroe office. So, we are now just going to have Taylor and Monroe, which are the ones I like. Yay. Anything that takes some work off my plate makes me happy.

I found this house listing online in Tarcoles, Costa Rica (right next to jaco) and the place looked perfect and the house was an amazing deal. Wrote the realtor and it was sold. BOO. It's fine cuz we kinda want to wait to buy until closer to our move, but at the same time, I was like HEY, why can't things sit on the market forever like Michigan? I guess it's because people would rather live in paradise, or at least I would.

I need to start planning my March Tampa trip. I am taking my Mom to visit my grandparents in late March for a weekend as her bday trip. We had so much fun last year, I can't wait to go again, and I think I have enough miles to get free tickets, score! and of course, we have a free place to stay. can't wait to sit by the pool there, go shopping and run outside.

Off to bed. Hope all is well with everyone.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Newt Gingrich, Breast Feeding and Healthy Choices

click here to read this funny article about why Newt Gingrich annoys me. And I am not posting this to say I support Obama in the next election, because I do not. Newt just terrifies me, LOL. Go Ron Paul! Or if I can't have my way with that one, go third party candidate.

And while we are on are things that annoy us and pet peeves, here are some topics that annoy me lately.

1. Societies obsession with breast feeding and breast feeding in public. OK, you are a Mom and you breastfeed. That's awesome if that is what you chose, and what works for you. It is not the ONLY way or the BEST way and it does not make you superior to Moms who do not breastfeed, nor does it make your baby's health superior. Some Moms cannot breast feed for one reason or another and some choose not to. Do yourself a favor and stop judging before you know the facts. I, for one, was not breast fed, and neither was my sister. We are both healthy, intelligent adults. In fact, i rarely get sick and have never been in the hospital for anything, so my Mom's choice to not breast feed did not lead me into an adulthood of being sick all the time like the articles one reads would lead you to think. No idea if I would breast feed or not, but I would make my decision based on what it best for me and my baby, and not because a doctor or moms out there pressured me into anything. Also, babies need to eat, so if a Mom is breast feeding in public, stop staring in disdain or muttering under your breath. It is a natural thing done to feed a child. So, stop acting like mothers are offending you by feeding their child. Just get over it people. Vent over.

2. Working out, different forms of eating. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE PEOPLE. Stop acting like your way of eating or working out is the superior way, or better than someone else's way. I wish everyone could just be happy for everyone else and their way of being healthy. I am a pescatarian. I try to eat healthy, which to me is low fat, high protein, low cal. My workouts consist of a lot of cardio (running, biking), and strength training (light weights, resistance bands , etc). This has worked well for me and has helped me lose 60 pounds and be in the best shape of my life. I wear a smaller size and have more muscle tone than I did in high school when I was in sports year round. MY way would not work for everyone. In fact, it may not work for most people. On the same note, YOUR way may not work for everyone and YOUR way is not better than mine. To each their own, right? The internet has just made it so much easier for everyone to judge everyone else far too harshly. I like to research different ways of living and eating and mixing them into my own. For example, I have friends who eat Paleo/Primal and I find it interesting because I like learning about other's lifestyles. I like how it takes processed foods out of your diet and focuses on being more natural, this is a diet goal of mine too. But, when I try to read up on it, the blogs are soooooo judgmental, almost condescending. People will ask valid questions and get snotty responses from the blog writers. Seriously. i am sure that attitude makes people see things YOUR way. Also, I don't care that your 10 minute video means you are done working out in 10 minutes and in amazing shape. I enjoy working out longer than that. It's a time of the day I get to zone out and not think. So, if I want to run 5 miles, please just let me do it, and don't tell me if I did your workout, I would be done in 10 minutes. less time does not necessarily mean better unless that was your goal to begin with. Not mine and not many others either.

3. How society is so complacent and just accepts everything the government says and does without question, especially if society believes that it is protecting us from alleged 'terrorism'. we now have laws that allow the government to imprison us for no reason. if they think we might maybe be a terrorist. Sigh. Ron Paul is the ONLY person running for president right now that sees a problem with this. well, of course. most politicians love control that is almost dictatorship like. Who wouldn't want to be the ruler of the World, right? Who would want to answer to the House and Senate, those pesky people there to make sure there are checks and balances in place, what a nuisance. LOL.

i think that's enough annoyances for the day. i am going to go work out, and hit my kickboxing bag while thinking of these annoyances, and having a great workout. What is annoying you lately? :). Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Uggs and Car Probs

Poor little car.

I was driving home from court today, talking to my Mom on the phone, and suddenly, my car (the Saab) started not accelerating. weird. Hung up with my Mom and pulled almost to the side of the road and it just turned off. Fabulous. I was not quite to the side of the road, on a major highway (the Lodge Freeway) and in a spot right around a corner where people could not see me until turning the corner. Called AAA right away, and got out of the car so I was not sitting there in danger. Of course, it was freezing today, about 27 degrees. So, I am standing on the side of the road, wearing a skirt, nylons, and 4 inch t-strap heels, waiting for my Mom. A bunch of people stopped to see if I needed help, and eventually two guys pushed my car to the side of the road. People are so helpful, truly. One guy stopped, I told him I was fine, and he came back 10 minutes later telling me that he has two sisters, and he would not want them standing on the side of the road in Detroit alone, and he insisted on standing with me. And then, one of my attorney friends stopped, left, then came back and said he could not leave me standing there. The tow truck was there by then, so my attorney friend gave me a ride to the office. Kurt and I met the tow truck at the car mechanic and we left the car there. Not sure what is wrong yet, but apparently, something is wrong with my gas reader thing, as I know I had like 40 miles left until I needed gas, yet the guy said I was out of gas. They did say there is something else going on as well with the ignition or something, so they are checking that out as well. Had to cancel a facial and a nail appointment for this week since I don't know when we will have the car back and both the Porsches are parked for the winter, so we are down to one vehicle now (the jeep).

Was happy to come back to the office to a large box from Ideeli which contained my new Uggs. got an amazing deal on them, and I plan on wearing them for my walk to court then changing into heels for these cold days. They are super cute and comfy. LUV THEM. Cannot believe I waited this long to purchase, however, I could not stomach the retail price on them. I got them for about $100 off retail. Also, this dress arrived. I loved the color, and it is super adorable on. I love the belted dress look.




Tuesday, January 17, 2012

American Lung Cancer Climb

I talked Kurt into a charity event with me. We are climbing 70 flights of stairs at the Ren Cen in Detroit, MI, to help raise money for lung cancer research. We both have to raise $100. We started a Haskell Law Firm team, so if anyone in the area would like to join our team and be part of a really kewl experience, please sign up on the site.

Click here to donate to our cause. We would really appreciate it, it's a tax write off, and you will be helping an awesome cause and organization.

Happy Climbing!

Nothing New

****me and grama, late holiday party Jan 2012. auntie's house.

Nothing major going on, I feel like there is a lack of posting here lately! I think I will do some bullet points, just to post some things that have been going on with us.

  • Friday night, had dinner with Kurt, Kory and Rebecca at a fav place of mine in downtown Detroit, Fishbones. We were supposed to use a Groupon I had at Detroit Fish Co., but when I called to make a reservation, they were closed for a private party. On a Friday night. How weird is that? Anyway, had soup and crab cakes at Fishbones, both were awesome. Weirdly, I ran into a guy I had met at court once and gave legal advice to. He saw me walking to the restroom when I walked in and says "lawyer!" I did not turn around cuz, yea, there are a lot of lawyers in downtown Detroit. He then came up to me and we ended up requesting to be sat in his section. Got amazing service. Another great experience at Fishbones. We went and walked around Greektown Casino since they had redone some of the interior. Yea, it solidified why I don't like the casinos in downtown Detroit. It was fun to walk around and throw some money in the slots, but it's no Vegas. The clientele in the casinos in Detroit is not of a high caliber for the most part. People seem depressed, not having fun, and totally too serious.
  • Saturday, had a late Dziegeleski christmas at Auntie's house in Canton. It was nice to see everyone, and we all exchanged gifts. It's getting harder for Grama to get around, so we decided to simply order in from a local Italian place, Antonio's. I had broughtb dessert, which was good as well. I got a chocolate creme pie for my Dad (his fav) and tiramisu, which everyone in my family loves. Overall fun night.
  • The Detroit Free Press was at the office today to take my picture. weird story, but I have them on Facebook as someone I see statuses too. About a month ago, one of the reporters posted something, asking readers if anyone counted calories on an online program, and had it worked for them. I posted back to tell her about my experience, and that yes, for me, it worked. She ended up calling me, talking to me for a while about the details, and then asking if they could take my pic. So, I may be in the paper. Crazy!
  • We are getting excited about our St Maarten trip. Still need to rent a cheap car, but other than that, Im ready to get out of here! :).
  • Work for January has been insanely busy. Generally, January is a pretty average month. We are WAY up money wise for January and slammed, which is odd. Good since we just gave everyone raises, but odd. Usually we kinda know our busy times of the year vs average, so I have no idea why this January is so up. Kurt blames the weather. He may be on to something

    **me in my new stuff from grama. warm. great for the colder weather we have coming up! :)
    .
  • Kurt is looking at Greece for my birthday in May. I am a little nervous about booking Greece until closer to my bday because of the back and forth financial issues and turmoil they are having. I guess we will see.........
  • Im jealous of my friends Lisa and Brian right now, who are in Poland. well, kinda. It's cold there. but, it's still vacay. :)
  • I talked Kurt into doing this stair climb (70 stories) for lung cancer research $$ at the Ren Cen in Detroit. He may kill me at the end, but that's OK, it's for a good cause. hehe. Our friend, jeff, is going as well. And possibly some people from the office.
  • One of the things I wanted to do this year was eat less processed food. That goal is not going so well. I think it's much easier for those who don't work the hours I do. Sometimes, I need to grab something quick and I don't have the time to prep my food for the week. I need to make a better effort at this. And no, this does not mean I am going Paleo or Primal, just want to make an effort to eat more natural food. Since there is a frig full of Lean Cuisine meals at the office, this is obviously not going to happen 100% of the time--I still am counting calories on livestrong.com, trying to eat low fat/calorie, and high protein. it's works for me, so I am sticking with it. :).
  • working out is going great. Have been working in a LOT more free weights, resistance bands, kettle balls, etc. and i am totally noticing the difference in my arm and leg tone. Super yay.
I think that's about it on the posts! :). Like I said, nothing major going on, but wanted to post an update before too much time went by. Hope everyone is doing well in the new year!

*me and kurt at greektown casino.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Jamaica

****Holiday tree some guests put up from a branch in the jungle the staff found and all natural ornaments, i.e. shells, etc. The same guests have been putting up an all natural tree on the beach the past 5 years.

So, I suppose I should post about Jamaica before too much time has gone by.......

We decided to stay at Couples Sans Souci in Ocho Rios. Left on Dec 20 and came home Dec 26, flying Delta via Atlanta.

Flights went smoothly on the way to Jamaica. No delays at all, which was nice. Got there, and there was a long wait to get through customs. When we got the front of the line, Kurt had to go to a special health area to be asked questions because he had been out of the country in the past 6 weeks (his Costa Rica business trip). I found the luggage while he did that and we headed to the Couples area of the airport. The resort had an area of the airport where you checked in, could use the bathroom, get a drink, relax, and wait for the shuttle to the resort to get there. About 10 minutes in, the shuttle was ready. It was us and two other couples in the van, and they were actually going to another Couples resort. Ride took about 1.45 from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios. We talked to the other couples quite a bit--could not watch more scenery as it was getting dark. Got to the resort and check in was easy, we were the only ones in the lobby. A beach party was going on that night for dinner, so we headed to our room E8 (evergreen building), changed into better hot weather clothing, and headed down to the party. Got down there, found a place to sit and ate. We were starving from not eating very much that day. We were pretty tired, so we did not stay much for the show at dinner. Headed back to the room, threw bathing suits on and headed for the jacuzzi and to check out the resort. Found the gym, all the pools, the hot tubs, restaurants, etc.

The rest of the trip was mostly spent doing one of the next few things--working out (once a day), sitting on the beach (most of the day), drinking (most of the day), playing tennis (most days), and having meals (three times per day). We also read a couple books and RELAXED. It was totally what I needed. I was exhausted going into this trip. Loved lying on the beach all day, napping, walking on the water, using the pool and hot tub. I think I napped more on this trip than any trip I have ever been on, which caused problems with my work productivity the first week back, LOL.

**on our way to the resort after flying to Jamaica.

We ate at all three restaurants while there. My fav was Bella Vista, which was on the beach. This was the only place that did not require a reservation at the resort, but I thought had the best service and food. They had this snapper there that was amazing. The other two places were good as well. We had breakfast at a buffet all mornings but one when we ordered room service (which was included in the price of our room as well).

We went into town one day to shop, and it was not really a fun experience. They took us to this area I think it just for tourists. The people there were realllllly pushy, moreso than anywhere we have been. It made us not want to shop as you could not really browse leisurely without being hounded. At least in nonEnglish speaking countries we can act like we dont understand. :). We ended up hanging out at a little bar and having a snack and drinks. More relaxing than being hounded shopping.

***heading to dinner, night one, the beach party.

Overall, the beaches at the resort and Jamaica, at the resort anyway, was absolutely beautiful. The water was totally blue and gorgeous. We loved our time there, and we spent the trip doing just what we wanted--nothing. I would not recommend Jamaica if you want a place to explore a lot in the country, as I don't think it's really safe to explore a lot on your own and not on tours.

You can click here to see all the pics from the trip.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

St Maarten

I am going to watch this video daily as something to look forward to soon......

The Cliff at Cupecoy in St Maarten from thecliff on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Heading Down to Watch the Underwear Bomber Hearing Tomorrow

by Kurt Haskell

Although the underwear bomber trial concluded in October with a plea deal, Umar filed a motion on December 12, 2011 to replace stand-by attorney Chambers. This motion is too little too late since the only matter left in the case is sentencing, which will occur on January 19, 2012. A copy of the hand written motion can be viewed here:

http://www.mied.uscourts.gov/hpc/docs/21.Motion%20to%20Appoint%20New%20Stand-By%20Counsel.pdf

When it was filed in December, the press jumped all over it claiming that the crazy Umar wanted to fire his stand-by attorney and replace him with a muslim attorney. To me, this motion is something else. Let me explain. When Umar took his plea deal, it consisted of him pleading guilty to all of the charges, which require a life sentence with no chance of parole. NOBODY ON EARTH TAKES A PLEA SO THAT THEY CAN NEVER GET OUT OF PRISON! Plea deals involve give and take on both sides. Not only that, but stand-by attorney Chambers told me earlier in 2011 that Umar was offered very lenient plea deals because the prosecution "Just wants this case to go away". Umar rejected all of the lenient offers. Therefore, there is more to the plea deal that we will never know about (i.e. that Umar will be secretly released after sentencing for example). What was also an apparent sham to me was the concocted speech that Umar gave when he made made his plea "deal". Umar had written a statement in advance and read it in open court. It can be found on the internet with a little searching. To me, the statement did not seem like it was written by Umar or even in language that I heard Umar use before. It seemed much more likely to be the exact wording that the prosecution or government would want him to say as if they had prepared it themselves. It was a statement that the prosecution and press could blast everywhere to show that Umar is indeed a "crazy Muslin terrorist" and not the mere patsy that he is. I believe that whatever the real plea deal was, it involved not only that Umar read the statement prepared for him, but that he also file this nonsensical motion. The purpose of the motion would be to allow the press to again label Umar a "crazy Muslim terrorist" and continue to spread the government's propaganda. I was in contact with attorney Chambers on multiple occasions during this case. I know that not only did he not ignore Umar, but he tried everything in his power to become Umar's regular attorney and to get him off of the charges. It was Umar that withheld evidence from Chambers and failed to discuss most of the case details with Chambers. It was obvious that Umar was withholding evidence from Chambers because Chambers would often learn of important details of the case from me or from reading my blog. What really is the smoking gun in this motion is the following sentence "I do not intend to have my new attorney to have my discovery materials and things". WHY THE HELL NOT???? Umar again is going to hide evidence from the only person that can help him. Guys, this just doesn't happen in the real world. In my blog post last July, I discussed what would happen if Umar's stand-by attorney obtained the evidence in this case........It could be obtained by subpoena by interested third parties (me for example). Is this why Umar withheld evidence from his stand-by attorney and wants to do it again? This sort of thing just doesn't happen in the real world. Then again, maybe the underwear bomber case is really the government concocted fantasy I've been saying it is. Nevertheless, I am heading down to Judge Edmunds' Courtroom at 11:00 A.M. tomorrow to watch the theatrics.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Sum Up the Year, Yo

I stole this from Nancy.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

*** Traveled to Germany, Jamaica, San Diego, and Puerto Rico. Wore an all sequined dress. Became obsessed with running and actually placed in my age group in many places. Adopted a stray kitty.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

*** I did not. I failed miserably. I wanted to learn Spanish better. I have already made some more. I want to run a 10K. I want to learn Spanish. I want to eat more fruits and veggies.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

*** Yes.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

*** Yes.

5. What countries did you visit?

*** Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Germany, many places in the US

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

*** More free time.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

***There are really no dates that totally stand out this year. I had a lot of good times, but I am horrible at remembering dates.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

*** I think I would have to say the races I ran and my times continually improving.

9. What was your biggest failure?

*** Not spending as much time with family as I would have liked to.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

*** Yes. I was hit by a car while riding my bike and hurt myself, but not too badly.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

*** My husband's.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

*** Most politicians, like the ones who recently passed a law making it legal to detain a citizen, without cause. Most of the American public, for thinking this is OK and just accepting the BS that happens without question or second thought.

14. Where did most of your money go?

*** Besides office expenses, prob travel.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

*** all of our trips.


16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

*** Moves Like Jagger

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier!
b) thinner or fatter? thinner
c) richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

*** spending time with friends and family

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

*** Working

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

*** Spent it in Jamaica with my husband

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

*** Yes

23. What was your favorite TV program?

*** Girls Next Door

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

*** No. I don’t really hate anyone.

25. What was the best book you read?

***Nothing really stands out. Any travel book is great

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

***Paul McCartney live was amazing.

27. What did you want and get?

*** Trips, clothes that fit right, a continuing successful law practice

28. What did you want and not get?

*** More free time

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

*** Dont know. I dont really watch movies until they have been out on video for a while

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

*** I was 34. We took a trip to Puerto Rico, which rocked.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

*** Not working as much. Seeing my Mom more.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

*** Great shoes make every outfit.

33. What kept you sane?

*** Running. My husband. Calls with my Mom.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

*** Kate Middleton.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

*** See above. The law passed to detain citizens with no cause. also, any laws that take our constitutional rights away by lying and telling the US it is to protect us from terrorism.

36. Who did you miss?

*** My Mom.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

*** Well, not new exactly, but new to the office, Angie.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

*** Sometimes I cant do it all and need to ask for help.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

*** I've got the moves like Jagger. hahahahaha.