Stuff Portrait Friday – a bunch of stuff around the house

I didn’t get to play last week because I was busy dying. There was no discernible theme for this week’s SPF from Random and Odd. So here we go!

Washer & Dryer: One of our first big purchases when we got the house. We went with kind of bottom-of-the-line models because really, between just the two of us, how much laundry can we have? They’re tucked away nicely in a little laundry nook with folding panel doors, which is a nice feature of the house – you don’t have to go out of your way to get to them, but they’re far enough away from the main living spaces that they don’t fill the house with noise when they’re on.

My Robe: I have always had robes, since I was very little. I love this soft chenille one, but I rarely wear it anymore unless it’s a lazy Saturday morning and I’ve taken a shower but don’t quite feel like getting dressed yet. The rest of the time, I don’t really have time for the robe. Boo hoo.

A Flower: I had this great plan to take a picture of some of these random flowers growing outside my office. I’m sure everyone else would just be like, “Yeah, that’s a flower,” but they’re funny to me because they’re really fastedious about the landscaping around here, and yet they’re letting these random flowers just grow wherever, right in the grass and not in their carefully planned flower beds. Anyway, I didn’t get the picture. So instead, here’s some flowers that are on this quilted thing my grandmother gave me to hang on the wall. It’s got hooks so you can hang a hat or something on it. (It’s actually not on the wall yet – it’s standing on one end, leaning against something in the kitchen, and this photo was rotated 90 degrees.)

Did you play??

Good Avian Flu News!

So I’ve been, um, paralyzed with fear about bird flu lately. But here’s good news: Jess just sent me a link to this (extremely brief) story about a vaccine for the bird flu. Is this true? The article is from January, and you think big, wonderful news like this would’ve gotten more press, yet this is the first I’ve heard of it.

[Edit – 9:13 AM] More good links confirm the good news!

ScienceDaily: Vaccine Provides 100 Percent Protection Against Avian Flu Virus In Animal Study

VOA News: Avian Flu Vaccine 100 Percent Effective in Pittsburgh Animal Tests [/Edit]

Party Prep

For those who didn’t know, GG and I are having a housewarming party this Sunday. Yes, over a year after he actually bought the house. We would’ve done it last summer, after we moved in, but without central air it was so unbearably hot all summer. So we thought his one-year anniversary would be an appropriate time to have the party. And the temperature will be perfect.

So we each put together a guest list and sent out an evite about a month ago, and now here it is party time, and we’ve invited way too many people and way too many of them have said they’re coming. Hopefully the weather will be nice and we can have some people in the backyard or something, because otherwise there will just be an unbelievable amount of people in the house.

Oh but the main point I wanted to make was that I was worried about food and stuff, but last night I borrowed my mom’s Costco card and GG and I went on a little scouting mission. We ended up getting about $100 worth of snacks, appetizers, and paper goods (cups, plates, napkins). And I ordered some trays of sandwiches and wraps to pick up on Sunday. My mom’s helping out by making some other stuff, and hopefully my grandmother and maybe GG’s mom and/or grandmother can make some food, too. Just brownies or something.

Now… I just hope that with all this food, we actually get all the guests we were expecting!

Still to do (this list is more for my own use, I guess):

  • get soda/juice (party is BYOB)
  • get plasticwear (even though I hope to have only food you can eat with your hands…)
  • order some balloons for the porch
  • vacuum entire house
  • clean kitchen and bathroom
  • hide away all our junk (I have some hiding places in mind!)


I sold my first item on etsy!! But… it was a Pay It Forward (aka “free”) listing, meaning I make no money. But, woo-hoo, that’s one under my belt!!

And if items like that are what people want from me, they’re in luck, because I have three more half-finished and sitting on my sewing-table.

I think I need glasses

[Edit – 6:57 PM] The home show (new link) was not as awesome as I’d expected. I thought it would be like HGTV in person, but it was more like… you know all those ads you get every week for gutter guards and driveway resurfacing and everything else? It was like that in person. We did sign up for estimates from three different tub fitter places, though, which was good. One of them is actually coming here this week.

Also, new little photo shoot on the About Me page![/Edit]

I was going to post here yesterday, but then I didn’t, because, bla, it was kind of a sucky day. Jess and I went to this intranet owners’ forum, and we were sitting towards the back of the room, and the projector was kind of blurry, and I think I need glasses anyway, and I must have strained my eyes or something trying to watch this presentation. We went to lunch right afterward, and I was feeling a little dizzy but I thought maybe I just needed to eat something. When I got back to my desk after lunch, though, I was not feeling good. I ended up leaving work early. Minutes after I got home, I threw up … ugh … but I think it was because I was so dizzy and nauseous, not from anything I ate. After that, I had to spend the rest of the night napping or just laying quietly with my eyes closed.

Anyway, not that you needed to read all that…

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of GG’s purchase of our house. And next weekend is our housewarming party. Which means we’ve got a week, and we’ve barely done anything to prepare, besides inviting way too many people.

Today we’re going to the Home Show. It’ll be like HGTV, but in person!

Creamy Nutella Goodness

I went out to lunch today with one of my co-workers from my old department. This was the first time I’d seen her since Christmastime! We’d been planning to go out to lunch together in January, and we kept having to reschedule because we were both so busy, but we finally got to go today. We went to this diner that opened nearby several months ago. It was my first time there, and it was pretty good. She told me she and her family are moving back to this area (they’ve been living with her mother, over an hour north of here, for a couple years), which is awesome because maybe I’ll be able to do some things with her outside of work!

Tonight is my “night off,” I guess, but really it’s my night to get a lot of stuff done, because I’m free and GG has band practice. I’d like to sew a couple things, redo some item photos in my etsy store, and maybe paint my nails. And make Nutella mousse!!

Recipe (from Trader Joe’s)


  • 1 container Nutella
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream

Whip cream. Fold in Nutella. Pass out from creamy Nutella goodness.

You can also halve this recipe (1/2 pint cream, half a container of Nutella) if, like me, you want to save some Nutella for separate snacking.

Check out the cute mice that D is selling!! There might be a treat in the mail for Ivan and Katrina soon…

Back to School… for a Night

Right after work yesterday, I drove out to MU! I’d been concerned about traffic at that time of day, but it was actually awesome and I made it out there in a little under two hours.

First I picked up my brother to take him out to dinner. He wanted to go to Qdoba, which moved to a new location at the mall, which is a little further away from campus than it had been. So we went up there and had burritos, and I got to talk to him a little about school and stuff. (Even though he was home for spring break this past week, I saw him for about two seconds.)

After dropping him back off at his dorm, I went to the area we always used to hang out in at the SMC, to see if there were any other Brothers there. There were! (Plus an initiate.) This pair just got engaged, and they kept saying throughout the night that I was like the first person to congratulate them when they finally announced that they were dating. (They started dating as initiates, but they were in the same pledge class, so it wasn’t so taboo.) And he told me he still wears the scarf I made for him!

Lina, who was visiting from Oklahoma, which is the real reason I went out there last night, was out with Shayna. They came by to pick me up, and we drove to the House of Pizza (aka HoPie) so they could get dinner. Plus we got the dirt on some PSP goings-on. Then we went to the library, where most of this semester’s initiates were at Study Hours. I was about to be interviewed by four at once, which would have been crazy, but then Lina came up (she’d been downstairs talking to her old boss), so two of them interviewed her, and two interviewed me. And I think another initiate is calling me today for an interview or to schedule one.

Around 9:00 we headed over to the meeting, though it didn’t really matter that we were all on time, because the building was locked and we all had to wait out in the cold for the campus police to come open it up. Ah, just like old times. The meeting got started, and bla bla bla, I got to see a few more “older” brothers, and got re-introduced to some of the newer ones. (Another Brother mentioned how she still wears the scarf I made her.) I saw my grand-little! He’s a German major, and told me about how he’s leaving in September for a year in Germany. There were a few awards that were voted on by secret ballot, and alumni Brothers need to count these secret votes, so luckily there were several of us there. This was the first meeting I’ve been to as an alumna, so I was actually looking forward to counting.. haha!

The meeting ended around 11:00, and we kind of got out of there fast. Shayna gave me a ride back to my car, where I said goodbye to her and Lina. Then I had to drive home – I was so tired! I had to call GG at one point and just talk to him so I wouldn’t fall asleep! I got home around 12:30 or 12:45, and went to bed as quickly as I could.

I never ever use the snooze button on my alarm clock, but this morning I did. Just once.

Bad Day

I can’t decide if today was really good or really bad.


  • GG and I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and got some shelves and a knife holder that I’ve wanted for a while – and didn’t pay full price for anything.
  • We saw V for Vendetta, and not only was it awesome, the 1812 Overture was a main feature of the movie, so now instead of dreading playing it at band, I’m sort of looking forward to it.


  • We went to Cinnabon to use this coupon I had for a 6-pack of cinnamon rolls. We do not normally go there, but I had a coupon. We tried using this coupon on Sunday, but they were out of cinnabons, didn’t have change, and turned off the lights and had customers waiting in the darkness an hour before the store was to close. So we gave them a second chance. This time, the woman ahead of me in line was taking a long time to be rung up, as the woman behind the counter scrambled around looking for something. Finally, I heard that they were looking for a pen so she could sign her credit card receipt, and I was like, “You need a pen? I have a pen!” Problem solved, right? No, because when it was my turn, the woman didn’t know how to enter my coupon to give me my $3 off, and I could barely understand her through her thick accent, but I think she wanted me to pay full price now, and then wait for her manager to come back in half an hour to give me my $3 back? Um, no, we don’t need Cinnabon that badly.
  • Leaving the mall, someone was waiting behind me for my parking spot, but their position prevented me from turning the way I needed to to leave, so I had to turn the other way and go out of my way all around the parking lot to get out. And when I was originally trying to back out and point the right direction, and realized I couldn’t, I saw them in the rearview mirror throw up their hands, like, “What do you want me to do?!” Um, move?
  • Leaving the movie, GG felt the need to go back into the theater to admonish a woman who brought two very young children to the theater. While I too am appalled that she would bring little kids to see a violent movie like that, and they did cry a little and make noise during the film, they weren’t really that bad, and I don’t think it was necessary to cause trouble like that. But GG doesn’t have that part of his brain that tells him whether or not something is socially appropriate.
  • I started assembling some of those shelves when I got home, and realized they must have been on clearance because they suck. None of the pieces fit together right, and the whole thing wobbles. Oh well, hopefully it’ll be enough just to stack up some stuff in the laundry room that we’ve been keeping on the floor for the last year.
  • The cashier at Staples was clearly on the phone with a personal call while ringing me up – he did not say one word to me the entire time. And he was so out of it, he tried to give me back my coupon after he’d scanned it. (Now that I think about it, I should’ve just taken it back!)
  • They ran out of plastic bags at the supermarket, so rather than use a paper bag for a salad and a carton of milk, I just carried my stuff out in my hands. Actually, that was kind of funny, because the whole front-end was filled with the sound of paper bags being unfolded, which is something you don’t really notice when everything is done in plastic bags.
  • GG’s show tonight is in Cape May, NJ, and I always worry when he has to drive so far so late at night. But he’s going to spend the night at their bassist’s house (he lives in NJ), which is good, although I’ll miss him because he plans to wake up there at 9:30, so he probably won’t be home until about 11.

There might have been more, I forget. I mean, I got to go out and spend the day with GG which was so so so nice, but all those little things just made me so angry… and I’m really not usually an angry person!

Yeah I wore a green shirt today.

GG’s comedy gig last night was… disappointing. He did almost the exact same set he did on Tuesday (when he just about got the most laughs out of any of the comedians), but he got almost no laughs, and it fact it seemed like he truly offended a lot of people! The good news, though: he had originally thought that he would get 4 minutes to perform, plus one minute per person he brought to the show, up to 10 minutes total. Wrong. They give you 4 minutes for the first five people you bring, plus one minute per person after that, up to 10 minutes. So he thought he’d be lucky to just get the four minutes, since he wasn’t sure how many people would be there for him (besides me, obviously). But amazingly, he had ten audience members there for him! I think, though, that having nine or ten minutes to perform was sort of a detriment to him, because 1) with more time he was able to slow down a little bit, which came across as sounding sort of fake or rehearsed, and 2) the sets he had planned started out offensive and just got more and more so, and that was apparently not what the audience wanted to hear, but he stuck to his plans and had plenty of time to tell lots of offensive jokes.

So today at work the Training half of our department (which, as of Wednesday I’m no longer in) had a big meeting with our AVP to address all the rumors people have been hearing about the future of training in the R&D organization at our company. So we learned that at the big executive meeting yesterday, nothing was really decided, but apparently nobody knows for sure what happened.

Then the AVP took me and my former group out to lunch, which had been planned for months, because he was trying to take each group in the department out for an appreciation luncheon, so we had to kind of act like everything was the way it was, oh, two weeks ago. It was good, though – I think we had fun, and the restaurant and food were excellent.

We got a new toilet seat tonight and I installed it by myself. It was actually really easy, and now after a year we finally have a seat that doesn’t wiggle and slide all over the bowl. The grossest thing: when I took off the old seat, the screws that held it in place were all sticky and I thought maybe putting something sticky like that was part of the toilet seat attachment process. No. The screws were sticky with old urine. Needless to say, I washed everything off really well before putting the new seat on. Yuckkkkkkkk!