Shoes!

Julie and I went out shopping yesterday. She is a great shopping partner! We have similar body types (ahem, “curvy”), so it’s nice to be out with someone who is on the lookout for the same types of clothes I am. She’s going to Paris in a week or so, and she wanted to pick up a few more things to take with her. So we spent quite a while at DSW, where she got a nice pair of sandals for walking around (which I found for her), and I got a pair of black leather sandals that I’ve been imagining for a while, and a pair of the Eleanor Owl Keds, which I’ve had my eye on for some time. They are so cute, and they’re extremely comfy! …I might go back for the pandas.

We picked up a bunch of other stuff, too, but the shoes I think were the best part. We looked at literally every inch of that store! Also, jeans are back at Old Navy! I needed jeans for months but they didn’t have them until I went there last night (so of course I bought two pairs… it’s okay, I had a coupon).

After shopping, Julie and I were going to meet Brad for dinner, but actually GG was heading back from his show at the same time, so we all met up at the mall and had dinner at the Rock Bottom Brewery. Dinner was really good (and a good break after a full evening of shopping!), but by the time we left it was almost 11 PM and I was tired! GG and I went right to sleep when we got home.

Oh, quick review of Crystal Light Raspberry Green Tea: I usually keep a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge all summer, and the last time we went food shopping I wanted to get some powdered green tea, which apparently doesn’t exist at Acme, so I settled for green tea was raspberry, but guess what – it’s delicious.

Also, if you’re on Facebook, I added the Catbook application and made profiles for Ivan, Katrina, and Sacha, so you can be their friend if you want :o)

A Night at Casablanca

It was a pretty good weekend, I got a lot done. I did lots of cleaning around the house, which I’d been putting off. I went out early on Saturday morning to Target and Ikea, which was lovely. I highly recommend getting to Target right when they open, especially if you need to go on a weekend. I actually got a whole bunch of clothes (wearing a new sweater set today). On Sunday morning my uncle and cousin came over and helped me measure for the patio and planter boxes that I’d like to build this summer. Then we went to Home Depot to price materials. The planters probably won’t be that expensive, but I’m going to shop around for the pavers and sand for the patio. Here’s a diagram I drew – the fence and deck already exist; the patio is in the lower left and the posts around the top and left sides mark where the raised planters will go:



The real highlight of the weekend was Julie’s birthday party! It was Saturday night, and it was at a Moroccan restaurant called Casablanca. Unfortunately, GG’s band was playing at the Jersey shore all weekend so he couldn’t make it. He would have loved it, though! Food, music, dancing, scantily clad women..! My biggest problem was that I had a glass of wine right in the beginning, and I didn’t really feel well after that. I just shouldn’t drink.

They just kept bringing more and more food – I think all together there are like eight courses! The thing was that there was really no silverware, you just used your hands or pita bread to eat everything. Which was fine when we were eating various dips and things, but once they brought out whole pieces of chicken and hot meat pies and other things, it got a little tricky.

Then there were the dancers! There were two women and one man (Omar, “Philadelphia’s premier male bellydancer”). Every 20 minutes or so, the music would get really loud and one of the dancers would come around. They would stop in each room (our party had a whole room to ourselves) and people would get up and dance and then tip them. Julie’s sister is a dancing machine! I think she ended up in at least half the pictures I took! A lot of people got in on the action, though. Even Brad was dancing by the end of the night! There’s lots more pictures of the food and the dancing on my Flickr stream.

So we got there around 7 PM and we stayed until after 11! It was a long night. And actually, GG’s show in Atlantic City was finished at 11, so he didn’t get home too much later than I did.

Friday Suuuucked

Friday was possibly the worst night ever. GG and I had a bunch of stuff we wanted to do: get gas, print some photos at Kinko’s, ship some eBay items, mail his tax returns, buy an air conditioner, see a movie, and get dinner.

I was driving, since it was my car that needed gas, and the gas station was the first stop. Then we went to Kinko’s and printed the photos. While we were there, GG decided to postpone sending his taxes (he has until October for those), and just ship his eBay items via FedEx from the Kinko’s shop, to save a trip to the post office which was all the way down 202 in Devon. He didn’t realize that FedEx costs way more than USPS, and ended up spending $14 to ship $3 worth of eBay stuff. This was the beginning of GG getting really upset.

By this point I figured we weren’t going to make the movie, so we should just try to get to the post office before it closed so he could send his taxes. So we drove down to the Southeastern PA Regional post office, and he hopped out of the car. His three sets of taxes (federal, state, and local) were in two big envelopes and one smaller business size envelope. He had the big ones in his hand, but the smaller one was nowhere to be found. I had been holding all three when we were at Kinko’s and handed him the stack when we got back to the car. He looked through all the papers in his hand, tore my car apart, and generally went crazy, but couldn’t find his local taxes. So he mailed the two envelopes that he had, and we figured the last one was in Kinko’s or in the parking lot… which was all the way back up 202 in King of Prussia.

So we headed back up there (now we were definitely not going to make it to the movie), and on the way GG tried calling the Kinko’s store. However, on his receipt it didn’t have a phone number for the store he’d been at, only a general 800-number. So he called that, went through all these menus, and eventually was connected to the KoP store. He asked if they’d found an envelope on the floor, maybe by the door. They put him on hold, and then came back and told him that maybe this was a shipment meant for the shop next door? So he had to explain that this wasn’t something he was sending there, it was his personal piece of mail that he’d had with him, and they obviously didn’t have it. I started worrying, because if this envelope was laying around the parking lot it would totally suck for someone to find it and get his Social Security number, employment information (he had about five W-2s), etc. So we got back to the shopping center, parked in the same spot, and GG got out to start scanning the parking lot. I got out of the car too, and suddenly saw the envelope… stuck between the passenger seat and the wall of the car. He gave up on sending that for the moment, just happy to know where it was, and we went to dinner.

After dinner, we decided to try to accomplish just one more thing from our list, and buy a new air conditioner. We have three, but needed one more for the front bedroom (where my computer is), which is really the hottest room in the house during the summer, just because it’s upstairs and the windows face west so it’s pretty much sunny all day. So we took the new AC home and decided to set it up that night, because it was so hot upstairs. And when you’re hot and sweaty like that, you get cranky. First we had to attach the side expander pieces to the AC, and there was nothing in the directions that said which way they faced, so we tried them like three different ways before we got it right. Then we were in kind of tight spot trying to put this thing in the window, and GG always gets angry when he’s installing air conditioners anyway (luckily it only happens one day a year). After a lot of struggling, we finally got it set up, and it is awesome. Our other ones aren’t that old, but this one is digital and has a remote control and an energy saver mode and all this cool stuff. So we decided to put one of the other ACs in our bedroom window at the same time to try to cool down the whole upstairs. GG had to carry it up from the basement (and these older ones are significantly heavier than the one we just got), but luckily the instalation went a little smoother than with the new one, now that we had one under our belt.

So with both units running, we could finally relax and calm down a little. Maybe it doesn’t sound so bad now that I’ve written this all out, but it was such a horrible night. Everything was just so hot and frustrating! At least now that we’ve been running the air conditioners, it’s pretty comfortable upstairs!

Maybe later I’ll write about how I went to Julia’s wedding shower on Saturday, or how I waited an hour an a half for an oil change at NTB on Sunday, or how GG and I watched “The Last King of Scotland” on DVD, or how we met Saucy for dinner on Sunday night because she’s in Philadelphia for a conference this week. Or maybe I just did.

A Visit to School

I spent the day out at my alma mater to visit with my fraternity. Today was the induction ceremony for new members, and I have a great-grandlittle now! Whenever I go out to school for things like this, I’m always a little nervous that I won’t have a good time, but today was actually really really nice!

First I met my brother for lunch. We went to this cafe just off campus, and had sandwiches, and talked a little bit. You really have to pry information out of him, though. I know he has a lot more going on than what he tells me about.

Then I headed over to the ceremony. It ended up that we were locked out of the building for almost an hour, so I had a lot of time to hang around and talk to everyone as they showed up. There were a couple other alumni there, and I’d met some of the current Brothers the last couple times I was out, so I knew who a lot of people were. (I was worried that I’d only know, like, three people, and everyone else would just wonder who I was and why I was there.) We finally got inside and had the ceremony, which went really well. I’m really impressed with the current Brothers – they’re really organized about everything, as far as I can tell, and they all seem really into the fraternity. There’s a lot fewer active Brothers than when I was in school, but they seem more dedicated. And a smaller group is easier to manage, anyway. Not that the organization is tiny – it’s a good size.

After the ceremony and requisite photos of the group on the front steps of the building, we all went out to Ichiban for dinner. The meal was great – I might like their cooking better than Hibachi! Oh, but Hibachi’s fried rice is much more delicious.

I headed back to campus after dinner to drop someone off, and then I was going to meet up with another alumni Brother, Dan, for coffee at the place where I’d had lunch with my brother, but it was closed already. So I picked Dan up at his house, and we drove around looking for somewhere that was open where we could just get a drink and talk for a while. We ended up driving all over creation (seriously, I put 40 additional miles on my car after arriving at school!) and eventually found a Border’s bookstore with a coffee shop. So we had some tea and chatted for a couple hours, and it was really nice. (Still living by our school, he has a lot of information about people.) Then I dropped Dan back at his place, and headed home.

The drive home went pretty quickly, though from school to where we’re living now is about an hour and a half – slightly further than when I lived at my grandmother’s house. I have been known to make the drive from MU to Gramom’s in under an hour…

El Fin de Semana

Friday night, GG got some dinner at the mall, and then went to see Pan’s Labyrinth. It was really good, but it wasn’t scary like a lot of people had been saying. If anything, it was very sad. And violent. But mostly sad. It’s in Spanish with English subtitles (it’s a Mexican film, and takes place in Spain), and it was weird because I understand just enough Spanish for it to be distracting when I’m reconciling what they’re saying out loud vs what I’m reading in the subtitles. Then we came home and fell asleep until like 4 AM when we went to bed.

Saturday morning, a guy came over to give us an estimate for having our doors replaced. I think we’re going to end up using his company. The price is a little high, but they’re really highly rated on Angie’s List, and GG and I are willing to pay a little more for really good service. Then GG had to go to New Jersey all afternoon for band practice, and I ran some errands. When he got home, Julie and Brad came over and GG drove us into Philadelphia to met Jess and Rob for dinner at Serrano. We got in a tiny accident on the way – some guy pulled right in front of GG without looking. He’s probably okay, though – just some scraped paint and a little dent. So dinner was really nice, and then we ended up sitting and talking at the table for a while, until everyone started getting sleepy and wanted to go home.




Rob and Jess at dinner



Julie and Brad at dinner



GG and I at dinner (I looked away at the last second to make sure he wasn’t doing anything silly)

Today we went out to do some errands. First I went to my office so I could run in and grab my laptop in case it snows and ices so much that I need to work from home tomorrow. We got a couple spray bottles at Target so we can squirt Sacha when he’s naughty. And we went to Home Depot and Lowe’s to compare replacement door prices to the estimate we were given yesterday. And we got lunch. And now we’re sitting at home, watching it snow.

Now that I understand how football works, I think the game is even dumber.

So remember how I decided I’m fat? Someone mentioned this web site, SparkPeople.com, as a good resource for just living a healthier lifestyle in general. So I signed up, and put in my goals and stuff, and started tracking my food. The thing is, they don’t really tell you what to do – they just make it easier for you to track your own progress. Which is fine. So I’ve been tracking my food, which actually, just that is enough to make you want to eat less because it’s a pain to enter all your food every day! And if I ever do any exercise, I’ll be sure to track that, too. (I’m still pretty much going over the amount of calories they’ve given me, but at least it’s a start.)

GG and I went to Julie and Brad’s last night to watch the Super Bowl. Jess and Annalisa were there, too, and Julie’s mom and Brad’s parents. It was fun, except GG got drunk early on. He went through a few stages of drunkenness. First he was funny, and everyone thought that was cute. Then he got into his loud annoying stage, and I could tell everyone was getting kind of fed up with him. After a while, we got him onto the sofa and he slept through the entire second half of the game. Towards the end, he started snoring, and I had to keep waking him up a little to get him to stop. (He only snores when he’s been drinking.) When the game was over, it took a little effort to wake him up, and he was still pretty messed up on the way home – luckily, I drove last night. On the way home, he said he was never drinking again unless he was at his own home, which is fine with me. Other than that, we had a fun time, there was a lot of great food, and it was nice to hang out. Jess explained football to me in a way that I actually understood for the first time in my life! We were all pretty disappointed in the commercials, though!

Last Night’s Show

I went to GG’s show last night. It was the first time since maybe last spring (or longer?!) that I’d gone to one of their shows. But this one was smoke free and local, so I decided to go. Also, they just replaced their other guitar player with a keyboard, so I needed to see their new lineup.

Julie, Brad, and Analisa ended up coming out, and Ed and Kate were there, so I had people to hang out with. Also, the new keyboard player’s girlfriend was there by herself, and after the first set I had GG go get her and she came and stood with us – she’s pretty cool and funny (so is her boyfriend).

Photos from the show.

Still not used to this new haircut – though I got lots of nice compliments on it last night. At least it only takes half as long to dry my hair!

Work, Sewing, Car

I just cannot get to work today! Remember that class I went to at the beginning of December for that new software? Well we finally got the license and I’ve gotten it working on my computer, and I’m giving a demo of it to my whole department on Friday, so I need to get something together to actually show everyone. And I just can’t bring myself to get started. It’s almost time for lunch, so maybe after we get back from the cafeteria I’ll get going.

I sewed a couple things last night, but etsy is being a little funky at the moment, so I might wait a little while to post anything. One of my creations is this bizarre little stuffed animal I made with scraps of fleece, with button eyes, stuffed with those little styrofoam bead things. He’s very cute, but I don’t know how well he’ll actually do in the shop. (But I’d love to make more, so who knows.)

I dropped my car off last night for its 65,000 mile maintenance appointment today, so I’ve been driving my mom’s Saturn Ion (she’s out of town for the week), and I hate this car. Did you know that Saturns have all the dials and things that are usually behind the steering wheel (e.g. gas gauge, spedometer) in the center of the dashboard, above the radio? It’s sooooo annoying – every time I glance down to check my speed, I have this millisecond of panic, then I remember to look over to my right. GG’s brother used to work at a Saturn dealership, and he says they’re made that way so it’s easier to sell the cars in foreign markets where they drive on the other side of the road, so they don’t have to manufacture too many different parts or something. And actually, while I was typing this, the Ford dealership just called to give me an update on the car – it’s about $180 of maintenance, which isn’t that bad. They’ll be cleaning the fuel injectors, doing something with the rear brakes, and there’s a license plate light that’s out. Of course, they have to order a part to fix my turn signals that have again stopped cancelling (this is the seventh or eighth time now), but they’ll probably have it tomorrow so I told them to just keep the car and get everything done in one trip, rather than make another appointment. Yay, another day driving the Ion!

[Edit – 2:34 PM] Forgot to mention, last night GG and I went out to dinner with DT and Molly. I hadn’t really seen DT since we went to TMBG last spring, and Molly I hadn’t seen for a few years! It was nice all getting together again. And none of us go into the store where we all used to work together anymore, which is funny. [/Edit]

Back to work

So, now it’s 2007. The transition from 2006 to 2007 wasn’t all that eventful. GG and I went to a party hosted by another couple we’re friends with. Besides them, we only knew one other guy there, but all their other friends they invited were really cool, and there was just the right number of people there, I think. (They also had a really good pomegranite martini mixed up!) At about 11:45, we all gathered in front of the TV to watch the ball drop and have a few sips of champagne. (But oh, every time Dick Clark came on, it was such a downer! I guess it’s good to see him back doing his thing on TV, though.)

What did I do in my time off work? I went to three small parties, did lot of shopping, made a bunch of new hats and some other items, cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed the house, made a trip to the Penzey’s store in Chestnut Hill, redid my web site (though there’s still a little more I need to add), and played on the computer a lot.

What didn’t I do in my time off? I didn’t get to hang out with any of my friends who were in town that I’d wanted to hang out with (e.g. Amy, Saucy, and I guess also TJ), I didn’t make any of the appointments I wanted to make for this year (e.g. dentist, doctor, haircut, mason, doors), and I didn’t ever call Verizon to see why I can’t use my work laptop with our DSL at home.

I was very not ready to come back to work today.

I am really enjoying my week off.

Good things:

  • Made two hats yesterday, both of which are now listed on etsy (unless someone bought one?).
  • Talked to TJ for a while last night – maybe one of these days I’ll get to see him again!
  • Met GG for lunch today at Isaac’s.
  • Bought Sacha one of these, and it seems to actually be keeping him entertained for an extended period of time.
  • Lots of fleece items on sale at Old Navy! I got several fleecy things this afternoon.
  • My brother’s coming over today to meet the kitten.
  • Going to Jess’ for dinner and then going to some smoke-free bar in Wayne tonight – GG, too!
  • I’m really redoing LolaGeek.com, for real. There won’t be a link from the home page to this blog, so if you like reading this, just remember that the link is http://lolablog.lolageek.com.