Where I’m going…

GG and I went to the exact geographic center of New Jersey (pretty much) on Sunday for dinner with MB and Alan. I drove, because after finding out that it would be like five weeks until his car would be fixed, GG returned his rental car. So he’s driving his parents’ Jeep, which kind of sucks and I definitely didn’t want to be riding in it for an hour. Anyway, I hate driving, in case you didn’t know. But actually, the directions I had were pretty good, and we only got lost a little bit – the directions said to turn right onto this road, but what they meant to say was turn right into the jughandle in order to make a left onto the road. Oh New Jersey! You and your jughandles! So dinner was nice, and their house is so cute! And it was good to see them, and meet their kitties, Trotsky and Peppin!

I went to the dentist for a regular checkup last night, and they told me that I have my second cavity ever! I actually was kind of expecting it. It’s not like a regular cavity, and it doesn’t hurt or anything. What happened is that where I had braces on my back teeth, the area is now decalcified, which basically meant spots where the enamel had worn away, but it wasn’t cavities. Last year, they decided the spot on my right side had become a cavity, so I got that filled. Now a year later they’ve decided that the left side is a cavity now, too. So I’ll go back in a couple weeks for that fun stuff. (Actually, waiting for the novocaine to wear off was worse than getting the actual filling last time!) Also, they sold me another $10 tube of toothpaste, and they want me to buy this $80 toothbrush (regularly $140) from them.

I had a one-on-one meeting at work this morning with the head of our department. He’s been having them with everyone in the department, which he hasn’t really done since he took his current position (which was three years ago). Basically, he just wants to see how everyone feels about their job, where they’d like to develop in the future, what the department can do better, etc. I was kind of nervous about it for some reason, which is weird, because I’m actually on really really good terms with him. But of course I got in there and everything was fine and he agreed with what I said and it should all be cool. I guess my biggest concern, if you could call it a concern, is that my position was sort of “invented” for me, and as such, I don’t really have a defined “career ladder” like a lot of other positions do. So in some ways I feel sort of stuck in my current job, but in other ways I’m curious and excited to see what it evolves into next. And I told him how I’d like to take on more of a leadership or project management kind of role. So… we’ll see what happens in the coming months!

Pirate Party!

After all the stress of Friday night/Saturday morning, my party went great! The house was in good shape, there was plenty of good food and drinks, and everyone had a good time. The party started at 4 PM, though most people didn’t show up until around 5. I’d invited a selection of family, friends from work, and friends from school. I was especially impressed by my school friends, who drove all the way from Virginia, central Pennsylvania, and New Jersey just to be there. Thanks guys! Jen and Sean brought their daughters Emily (3 1/2) and Katelyn (16 months), and they were pretty much the life of the party while they were there. I felt bad, though, because the house was so hot, and there wasn’t really much for them to do and they started getting cranky. We’d found some pirate-y beers at the distributor, and they turned out to be really popular with everyone. (Well, with all the beer-drinkers.) And I’d made a data CD with about 6 hours worth of MP3s on it, because our new stereo can read that format, so that was pretty awesome. I picked all my favorite, upbeat songs, and just set it on random and let it go.

After my family left, and Jen and Sean and the kids, the sun went down and it was cooler outside than it was inside, so we opened the windows to get some breeze going. While we picked at the remaining food, GG put on his Monty Python DVDs to show everyone some highlights. Oh, he was drinking so much. He’s pretty much a two-beer guy, and I don’t know how many he ended up having, but he was drinking from 4 to about 11. Eventually, Lina started playing some weird version of Truth or Dare with him that was pretty much just Truth. She would ask him all these crazy personal questions, and he was so drunk he’d just answer, much to everyone’s amusement. Everyone left by around midnight, except Lina and Mandy, who slept over and went to Ikea this morning, before going back home. GG was passed out by this point, and I had to wake him up to get him to say goodnight to everyone and go up to bed. And I would like to thank Lina, Mandy, Julia, and Kevin for helping me clean up. By the time Julia and Kevin left, it didn’t even look like there’d been a party there at all! It was so good seeing everyone, and I’m glad my school friends and my work friends and my family all got to meet each other :o) (You can see all of my pictures here.)

I got plain white frosted cupcakes from the supermarket and decorated them myself.

Pirate Goodies: chests filled with earrings, eye patches, tattoos, and beads. And a big bowl of Pirate’s Booty.


Drunken Pirate

Everyone watching Monty Python.

So here’s the update on GG’s car situation (and thanks, everyone, for your nice comments on my last couple of posts): GG got home around 1 PM on Saturday. He called his insurance company, etc. He had no information on the guy that hit him, because he’d been arrested for DUI pretty much right away. But the police have all his info, and GG had contact information for the officer handling the case. He found out that his car had been towed to a parking lot somewhere in Philadelphia, the insurance adjuster would visit it there on Monday, and then it could be towed to wherever he wanted to get it fixed. We went to the rental car place today to pick up a car for him. Since he’ll need something a little bigger, he’s paying $5/day more than what his insurance covers. But he got a nice car, no problem. (He likes it more than his own car.) While we were doing that, a guy from the towing company called him, so when he got home he called the towing guy back. Somehow, the towing guy convinced him that rather than taking his car to the place he was planning to take it (close to our house, reputable, where I took my car to be fixed earlier this summer, recommended by me and the woman at the rental place and pretty much everyone else he talked to), he should have it towed to the towing guy’s family’s shop. In South Philly. And they would charge the other guy’s insurance $500 extra and give GG a check for $500. He thought that was a good idea. I totally freaked out when he told me that, but I couldn’t convince him to call the towing guy back and tell him he wanted to be towed to the original place again. Finally GG called his uncle (who is a mechanic) and his uncle told him that was a pretty terrible idea. I also got my uncle’s opinion on it, and he said that was insurance fraud and GG should report this guy. Well, GG can’t get in touch with the towing guy anymore. He called and called, and the guy answered the phone only one time and hung up on him! So GG called the parking lot where his car is. Well, it turns out that he has to be there in person at the time his car gets towed. (Don’t know when he was supposed to find that out…) So, he’s going to go down there after work tomorrow, and maybe call a different towing guy, but definitely make sure they know to take it to the place here in King of Prussia. Oh, and it costs like $130 + $15/day to keep your car in the lot, and he has to go to another parking lot in Philadelphia to pay that bill. So that’s where we are right now.

Bunch of Weekend Stuff

Another busy weekend! Though I have to say I am kind of digging this “get up early and do stuff in the morning” thing.

On Friday night, GG took me to Zern’s, which is an indoor/outdoor farmer’s market, flea market, and backwoods kind of mall. There seemed to be lots of local people there for whom a trip to Zern’s was clearly their usual weekend hangout activity. Before going, the only thing I really knew about this place was that a college friend got his picture taken with Santa there when he was little, and later realized that the Santa in the picture was missing a finger. That’s a pretty accurate description of the place, actually. We ended up getting some corn and a watermelon, and ate a bunch of junk (cheese fries, funnel cake, etc.). If I go again, I might like to visit during the daytime, because things were getting a little creepy as the shops closed up for the night. [Edit – 1:58 PM] Here is a really good entry from someone else’s blog about Zern’s, complete with photos. This is another good one – the captions on the photos totally cracked me up. [/Edit]

The cats woke me up early on Saturday morning, so I figured I might as well mow the lawn while it was still cool out. Then GG and I went to the Phoenixville Farmer’s Market, which was small but really nice. There was a musician in the center, with a little area for kids to play or something. They had several farms selling produce (we got apples, pears, huge peaches, carrots, and beans), a “raw milk” cheese stand (made from unpasturized milk, but it pasturizes itself during the cheese aging process; I got a wedge of blue cheese, which GG could not support), Amish pies (we picked one up for dessert that night), a stand selling buffalo meat (!), and a bunch of crafts and candles and stuff. Lots of jellies and honey, too. Everyone was really friendly. I could definitely see making it a habit to go there. Afterwards, we had brunch at Nudy’s cafe – banana walnut pancakes I couldn’t even finish..! And we stopped by my grandmother’s house and picked up the headboard from my old bed, which I took home and attached to our spare twin bed – yay, no more pillows falling off the back of the bed!

On Saturday night we went to Ed’s house for dinner with him and Kate. We brought the corn and half the watermelon from Zern’s, and the Amish berry pie, plus GG went to this seafood place he’d just learned about and got crab, mako shark, and salmon. Ed got steaks (they were really good steaks…), and made appetizers. We sat outside, and while I ate dinner, mosquitos ate me. Then we watched The Usual Suspects. I’d never seen it before, but I knew what the twist was at the end. I could barely follow the story, though! I don’t really know how this is so many people’s favorite movie.

On Sunday morning, GG and I went to my grandmother’s house to get the last of my stuff out of her basement. There was way more in there than I’d realized – like, boxes and boxes of books, toys, papers and things… We filled up two cars with everything, and brought it back to our house. Then while GG was out doing errands, I spread everything out in the living room and sorted it. I ended up throwing a bunch of stuff out, offering a bunch on Freecycle (with more to come, I just couldn’t list everything at once), and consolidating a bunch more to store in our basement. We’d had a set of wire shelves hanging around for a while that we finally put together on Saturday, and then on Sunday GG bought another set, so I could finally put away everything I’d moved out of my grandmother’s house, which had been sitting around our living room and dining room for weeks. And then I vacuumed! Aaahhh..! It felt so good to be able to finally pack everything away and clean. I kept bugging GG to help me carry the last few heavy boxes downstairs, because I couldn’t do it myself. I told him once he did that, the day’s nagging would be over. Then he joked something like, “And so begins the nagging for Monday.” I’d been thinking of going out to dinner, but GG was tired and so was I, so we just ordered Chinese food from the place down the street :o)

A weekend deserving of a good nap.

This weekend was pretty busy and productive.

GG and I went to see the Simpsons Movie on Friday night. It was really good. I am a longtime Simpsons fan, and GG likes the show okay, but is sort of prejudiced against it because he claims to prefer Family Guy. I’d heard nothing but good things about the movie, and GG heard from one guy that it sucked. Turns out, he enjoyed it just as much as I did. They were able to put in a bunch of stuff that they could never have gotten away with on TV, but it wasn’t so outragous or different that it didn’t feel like the good old Simpsons we’ve come to know and love. Our only complaint was that we were told Gil appeared in the movie, and maybe he was in a crowd scene or something, but we were hoping he’d make more of an appearance.

On Saturday I thought I’d throw our curtains in the wash to remove the cat fur that’s all over them. Turns out that although we got them at Kmart and Target, our curtains were all “dry clean only!” I discovered this after the fact, as I was hanging them back up and noticed that they are now about four inches too short. I was so ticked off. Then I went out to MU for a goodbye party for a girl from my fraternity. She and her husband are moving to Arizona for his job. It was a pretty laid back party. I went with Lina, and we got there around 5 PM. I left at about 8:30, because I didn’t want to be getting home too late. When I got home, I had all this stuff I’d planned to do, but I ended up falling asleep until GG got home (his band had been playing at a high school reunion in Reading).

Ivan woke me up on Sunday morning – he’s getting very agressive in the mornings, standing on me and meowing to wake me up. It was only about 6:30, but I really wanted to cut the grass while it was still cool out, so I just got up then and did all our grass, and I even trimmed the edges! I’d told GG I wanted to wake up and get going early, so we actually were both ready to go by about 9:30, when we headed to Target to get some new curtains..! I was able to find the same kind as the ones I’d had in the front bedroom, which I love because they’re really heavy and thick and keep the light out well. We got the same kind for our bedroom, which GG is happy about (the sun rises on that side of the house, so it gets bright early). We picked up some other things while we were out, and went to get some lunch. When we got home, I ironed and hung all the new curtains, and did all our laundry. Then I took a really nice nap! When I woke up, we went to Outback for dinner (sort of a last minute choice), and then Trader Joe’s.

So now it’s Monday and I’m back at work, and it’s like “and then there were two.” There used to be five of us that hung out all the time: Jen, Julie, Jess, Heather, and me. Then Jess got laid off and came back a few months ago working for another company as a contractor, in a different section of the building. Jen moved to a different group in our department and works part time now, so she’s only here two or three days a week. Julie started a job in a different department this week and today is the first day that she’s actually moved to her new location. So it’s just down to me and Heather. At least we sit next to each other…

Question: You know those big metal boxes that you often see in parking lots, marked “Shoe and Clothing Donations” or something similar? Where do they actually go? I have a bunch of clothes to get rid of, and I’d like for it to go to someone who actually needs it. (Otherwise, I’d just post everything on Freecycle, but I think there’s a lot of freebie-grubbers who would just take anything, regardless of whether or not they need it, just because it’s free.)

Bachelorette Party

Saturday night was Heather’s bachelorette party. It was pretty fun! She lives in Wilmington now with her fiance, so we all met at her place and then headed out. Julie and Heather rode with me, and Kate and Sara (two bridesmaids who came) drove seperately. We went to an area called Trolley Square, where there are a lot of bars within walking distance. The nice thing about Delaware is that the bars are non-smoking, and they close at 1 AM.

We went to a place called Catherine Rooney’s, which was an Irish bar/restaurant. It was about 8:00 when we got there, and since none of us had really had dinner, we ordered some Irish brown bread with honey butter, and some nachos. And drinks. (That was my one and only drink of the night! I do not mind being the sober one at all. But the drink I ordered was called Carmen Miranda and it had Midori, some banana liquor, and pineapple juice – yum!)

We spent about two hours sitting at the table, which is crazy! But eventually the place started filling up, so we went to go start mingling. Heather put on the “Suck for a Buck” shirt that I made for her. Unfortunately, she only sold a few of the Lifesavers. Do they not have these in Delaware? Everyone seemed confused about what it was.

I also made her a Bachelorette Scavenger Hunt. I was going to buy one, but I didn’t really like all the things listed on the one at the store. So I used a few of those, plus some other ones I found online, to make my own. They were all things I figured Heather might do (or might do if she were drunk). It was so cute – everyone loved it! And luckily, it gave us something to do for the party. By the end of the night, Heather had done all but one of the activities (get a piggy back ride – which she could have gotten – but the guy was worried about whether it would be allowed inside the crowded bar).

Overall, it was a fun night. We left around quarter of 1, and I didn’t even have to shower when I got home because I wasn’t smokey! I hate going to GG’s shows because I end up sitting by myself and then random men come up and ask why I look so sad and stuff, but it is actually nice to go out with other friends!

On Sunday I got up early and was kind of rushing to do some housework and run some errands, because we were having our last summer concert of the year and it was kind of far away so I had to leave at 3 PM. However, there were some thunderstorms early in the day and the concert was cancelled. …Bet those people from the park felt pretty dumb when it turned out to be a sunny afternoon and beautiful evening. Oh well, not that I minded, I was able to get a lot more stuff done at home (and nap!). Plus, I didn’t even leave the house again, so maybe it would have been unbearably humid, and probably a lot of bugs out. It’s a shame, they’re a really fun crowd. But we might reschedule for September.

Now it’s back to work. This is Julie’s last couple days in our department :o( Also, a super-busy week with a bunch of important SOPs being issued (i.e., tons of work for me).

Pictures, Laptop, Band, Ice Cream, Day Off!

I put all the pictures from Julia’s wedding together into one set on flickr. Here you go. I painstakingly arranged them into generally chronological order. If you’re my friend on flickr, you’ll see 54 photos. Otherwise, you’ll only see 20-some (just the ones with me, GG, or inanimate objects in them).

I think I’ve decided on a custom Janine King bag for my laptop. By the way, have I mentioned how awesome it is? This laptop has Home, Page Up, Page Down, and End keys!! Most laptop keyboards don’t have these as regular keys – they’re something you have to hold down the function key for. But this one has them! And I use them all the time! This is a Gateway ML3109 notebook, Googlers!

Our band concert season is almost over. Last night was our last local, public concert. GG went, as did my mom and grandmother. The ampitheater at this park stupidly faces west, so the sun was setting in our faces during the first half of the concert. Then we had a brief intermission, during which I figured the sun had set enough that I could take off my sunglasses. Bad mistake! Gnats flew into my eyes for the rest of the concert! Also, there was this giant hornet that kept flying by. GG took his camera with him and I can only imagine the weird faces he probably caught me making as I squinted my eyes to keep all the bugs out. (I’d actually put bug repellant on my arms and legs this time, but foolishly didn’t think to put any on my face.) On the way home, GG and I went to Maggie Moo’s to get ice cream. I should really stop eating ice cream, I’m clearly lactose intolerant.

Tomorrow I’m taking the day off work and Lina and Mandy are coming out to see me! Lina just moved home to Harrisburg after living in Oklahoma for the last three years, and Mandy is coming up from the Maryland/Virginia area, so this should be awesome. Besides lunch, meeting my cats, and going to the KoP mall, I have no idea what we’ll be doing. I’m just happy to see them :o)


For the last couple weeks, we’ve been planning Heather’s office wedding shower, and yesterday we pulled it off perfectly!

She had mentioned to me that if she were to have a shower at work, she’d prefer for it to be a surprise, but she’s a huge snoop! She’s always checking everyone’s calendars. So we had to be careful. Julie made it look like she and our boss and I were having a meeting, and then we scheduled a “staff meeting” (Heather included) on top of it. Julie’s been out of the office at training all week, so this worked out well. Meanwhile, we sent an e-mail to the rest of the department (and some selected people from other departments) inviting them to the party, or at least sign a card and maybe give a little cash to be put toward a group gift.

Speaking of cash, we ended up collecting quite a lot! We bought her five presents from her registry, plus a picture frame (so she can keep a wedding photo on her desk), and still had enough left over for a $125 gift card!

We chose a Mexican fiesta party theme, because Heather loves Mexican food. We’d thought of getting some Qdoba To Go party trays, but it was just too expensive. So instead, Jen, Julie, and I brought in all the food. We called it a make-your-own taco/nacho/salad bar. We had tortillas, chips, lettuce, ground beef, chicken, beans, cheese, onions, tomatoes, olives, peppers, salsa, sour cream… and ranch dressing for Heather (her favorite). Some people also brought in desserts and other snacky things. Our main desserts were an amazing tres leches cake that Julie made, and a key lime pie Amanda brought in.

So we had about half an hour to set up before Heather thought she had to be there. Luckily, the conference room we were in was right across the hall from the kitchen, because we were microwaving things, putting food in dishes, and then running it over to the other room. We’d asked a couple people to be on the lookout for Heather, in case she decided to walk to the bathroom or something before our “meeting.” Then I found out that they’d lost her! We thought for sure she would find out, but luckily she’d just gone somewhere else to talk to someone. Then Jess came over and stalled her for a little bit. She had to get something signed by our boss, and Heather said, “Oh, we’re having a meeting with her right now, why don’t you come with me?” and ta-da, Jess escorted Heather to the party.

After everyone got some lunch, Heather opened her gifts. Then we did the pi̱ata! We figured swinging a bat around in a conference room might not be such a good idea, so I got the kind that has ribbons coming out the bottom Рeveryone takes a turn pulling one, and only one of them will release the candy. There was nowhere really good to hang it, so we ended up hanging it from a hook on the back of the door. Jess pulled the winning ribbon! But I think Jen and I had stuffed it so full of candy, nothing really fell out. So I ended up just kind of distributing candy around the table to everyone. Finally, Julie and Jen cut up the cakes and we had dessert.

It was fun, and really nice for a work party. (Using a tablecloth in the conference room helped, as did the piñata.) Heather was truly surprised and I know she really had a good time. One more month until she gets married!

Heather named her piñata Paco, and he’s now living between our desks

Julia’s Wedding

Kevin and Julia Okay, I think I have collected enough photos to properly write a post about Julia’s wedding!

So GG and I went out to Lancaster on Thursday. I had taken the day off work to get ready, and yet I was still kind of rushing around at the last minute. The wedding was at the Eden Resort, which I’d passed many times on Route 30 but had never been in. (We were also staying there Thursday and Friday nights, which was extremely convenient.) The weather was getting pretty cloudy, and then just as we were almost at the hotel, the sky opened up and it started pouring rain! The clothes we were wearing were totally soaked, and even though we hung them up at the hotel they still weren’t dry when we packed up to leave on Saturday!

So after checking in and getting changed, we went to the rehearsal. That was kind of a mess, because 1) the mayor who was marrying them was also a nurse practicioner, and she still had to see some patients so she wasn’t able to make it to the rehearsal; 2) Kevin’s dad tried to take over leading the rehearsal but I think he was getting all confused reading the instructions the mayor had provided them; 3) this was the first time everyone had gotten together, so there were lots of side conversations going on; and 4) there were these fountains in the front of the room (the wedding was taking place in sort of an indoor courtyard) that were so loud, you could barely hear anything anyway. By the end of the hour, I pretty much only knew which other bridesmaids I was between, and where to stop walking once I got to the front. The rehearsal was followed by a really nice dinner, and then a bunch of us went back to Julia and Kevin’s apartment for some drinks. After a while, some of the people there decided to go out for karaoke night, but we just went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

On Friday morning, GG and I woke up early and walked over to Sheetz for some shmiscuits. (They also sell shmuffins. And coffeez.) Then the majority of my day was spent waiting to get my hair done. Julia’s hairdresser from back home had come out to do everyone’s hair (and also to attend the wedding), and she did a great job! Here is the back of my hair. It was a “soft updo” – she curled all my hair, and then just kind of pinned it all up on my head. Several of us bridesmaids ended up getting this style, but because our hair was all different lengths and stuff, it turned out different for everyone.

Once my hair was done, things went pretty quickly. We all met in one room to get ready, which was easy for the bridesmaids because we wore nice two-piece dresses. Then we all watched Julia get into her dress, get her garter on, etc. We were running a little late, because we were supposed to have taken some pictures (just the girls) in the courtyard room where the wedding was taking place, but there were already some guests sitting in there. So instead we went outside and took some pictures. Pretty soon it was time to start lining up! I think Julia was freaking out only slightly as we waited to walk in. The ceremony went pretty quickly. Even though they had turned off those noisy fountains and they were using a microphone, I still couldn’t hear everything that was going on. (It didn’t help that I was peeking over from near the end of a line of 9 bridesmaids, I guess!) The ceremony was pretty quick, and then the whole bridal party went to hang out for a few minutes in another room while all the guests were sent to a different room for a cocktail hour. While they were all gone, the bridal party went back to the ceremony site to take some pictures, and also the rows of chairs were removed and replaced with tables for the reception.

Me, Julia, Terri, Julie The reception was pretty fun. Dinner was good, but we were all sitting at a “head table” up on a stage and I felt bad for GG sitting by himself with a bunch of people we didn’t really know, so as soon as people started leaving our table I went and hung out by him. Turns out I was a little too late, as he’d gotten totally drunk during the cocktail hour and people I didn’t even know were telling me, “Don’t worry, we cut him off.” Also, I met this guy Pete who looks, talks, and even moves exactly like GG. It was pretty freaky.

Pete and GG I was somehow put in charge of organizing an “after party,” but all that really entailed was confirming with the people staying in the room with the alcohol that they didn’t mind if a bunch of other folks showed up. Pete was there, and we got a chance to really compare him with GG. We ended up calling them “GG Prime” and “Beta GG.” I stayed up there hanging out pretty late (and I wasn’t even drinking!), though I’m sure the party continued long after I was gone. It was just that we had to be up early the next morning.

So Saturday morning, we were all invited to a buffet breakfast. GG and I had to be back home by like 11 AM, though, so I could go to Heather’s wedding shower (a weekend full of weddings!), so breakfast started at 9 and we stayed only until about 9:15.

All in all, it was a really nice wedding. Everything turned out beautiful… And now Julia and Kevin are off in Las Vegas for their honeymoon!

Julia’s Wedding – Quick Post

I’ve been in Lancaster since Thursday for Julia’s wedding! It was fun and everything turned out great. I didn’t really take any pictures (just a couple of my hair and dress for my mom), but GG got a few, so maybe later… Right now, I need to go to sleep because we’re having breakfast at 9 AM tomorrow, and then we have to head right home so I can meet Julie and go to Heather’s shower. (This weekend is full of weddings!)