Rear-Ended

I have been putting off writing this but now it’s Friday night and I should just sit down and do it.

Tuesday: I was driving Kathy and myself to our band concert in Kennett Square. We were trying to take some sort of shortcut, and were running a little late. At an intersection, this guy rear-ends me. Perfect. We both pulled over and exchange info. He’s in the Auxiliary Coast Guard or something, probably in his 60s, and was a little apologetic but also kind of chatty. He kept commenting on my address, the fact that we were on our way to a concert, and whatever else. There was no real visable damage to either car besides a little of my paint on his bumper, and my car seemed to be driving fine, so we continued on to the concert (arrived right on time, still!), and then I drove home afterwards. Before the concert, Carole asked me if my foot was on the brake pedal when I was hit. Why, yes it was (as I was stopped at an intersection). She said she’d been rear-ended while her foot was on the brake, and though she felt fine the first day, the second day she could hardly walk, and she had some leg and back injuries. By the time I got home, my right knee was starting to feel a little swollen, and I put some ice on it before bed.

Wednesday: I took my car to the Ford dealership near work for them to put it up on the lift and just check to make sure there was no real damage. It took over an hour, but they finally came back and told me that one of the brackets that holds the bumper to the body of the car, and absorbs shock upon impact, was crushed. So actually, it did exactly what it was supposed to do when I was hit. They don’t do body work at the dealership, but they referred me to a body shop down the road. After checking back in at work and deciding to take the rest of the afternoon off, I went to the body shop. One of the guys came out and took a look at my car, at which time I finally found where the paint came off my bumper! I thought I’d been hit more in the center of the bumper, but the paint was missing from the corner of the bumper on the driver’s side (i.e., I got most of the force of the impact, and that’s why Kathy felt totally fine). The body shop guy said they couldn’t do any work or give an estimate right then – I would have to call the insurance company of the guy who hit me. I called there when I got home and reported all my information. Then my mom and I went to Target and some other places (got a new weed wacker!). GG called while we were still out, and said someone from the insurance company had called for me at home. I still have no idea how they got my home phone number, because I never give it out and only use my cell phone number. I hadn’t even called from the home phone when I called to report the accident, and my name isn’t even on our phone bill. Weird.

Thursday: Called the insurance guy back and basically retold the entire story and gave all the same information I’d given the night before. He said nothing could be done until they got in touch with the guy that hit me (“their insured”). Thursday night my company had rented out the Elmwood Park Zoo, and GG and I spent about an hour there (it’s a small zoo). I took lots of photos which I will try to link to later. Also, some really funny videos of sheep, which were so noisy! My knee was feeling a lot better, but I still iced it while we watched The Office because although it doesn’t really feel swollen, it feels less bony than the other one.

Friday: The insurance guy called and said they’d been able to get in touch with their insured and he accepted responsibility for the accident (no duh!), so the next thing was for me to get an estimate. There were several body shops in the area that are approved by the insurance company to do the estimates themselves and then do the work. One of them was really convenient to me in KoP (actually, that was the dealership where we got my first car, the Cavalier), so I told him I’d go there, and he sent my paperwork over. Then I called the body shop and made an appointment to take my car for the estimate at 1:30. Luckily, Fridays are half-days at work..! After work, I met my mom and brother for lunch to celebrate his 20th birthday! (I have pictures from that, too.) Lunch ran late because of slow service at the restaurant, so I didn’t actually get to the body shop until more like 2:00. It was no problem, though. The guy who does the insurance estimates came out and looked all around, crawled underneath, and took notes and lots of pictures. Then we went back to his office and he wrote everything up. On July 9th I’ll be bringing my car back to get fixed! Yay! I also need to arrange for a rental car, which the insurance guy said he’d reserve for me when I called him back about the estimate. But, I still need to call Enterprise a week before I’m going to need the car, just to remind them and make sure they’ll have it on hand. So… what is the point of reserving one? Also, I’m on their web site right now, and why do they charge an additional $40 if you’re under 25? Not that I’m paying, so it doesn’t matter at all, but it doesn’t seem fair because at the time that I rent it, I will be two months away from being 25, and anyway I’m probably more responsible than a lot of 30-year olds, but whatever.

So the moral of the story is, some senior citizen hits my car, which was totally not my fault, yet I’m the one who has to do all the running-around, phone calling, appointment-making, and is generally inconvenienced for several weeks. Plus until I get the car fixed, I’m kind of nervous driving because I have basically 50% protection in case someone rear-ends me again. I know it could have been worse, much worse, but gah! I’m still ticked!

Also, when I came home I mowed the grass with that new reel lawn mower we got from the guy on Freecycle last week. It worked really well! Our grass was pretty tall, so I had to go back over everything a couple times, but it’s all uniformly short now! Thing is, it wasn’t really super hot out, and we have maybe 500 sq. ft. of grass to mow, and it wasn’t all that difficult, but I was literally dripping with sweat by the time I came in! It’s taken me a shower and about six hours just to get back to feeling relatively normal. GG is playing on the Jersey shore tonight (and tomorrow… and Sunday…), but when he’s home tomorrow he said he’ll use that new weed wacker around the edges, so maybe soon we’ll have an acceptable looking grass patch – I mean, yard.

Friend or Foe… or “allÄ«”?

So this morning I read this hilarious (but sadly, true) article about the new diet drug, alli. Then this afternoon I got a SparkPeople newsletter with a link to their article on alli, which said pretty much the same thing, but in a little bit nicer language.

It’s true, I’m looking at the “treatment effects” page of their web site right now, and it’s written so matter-of-factly, essentially saying, “You will poop oil into your pants. Deal with it.”

Ugh, I could never take a diet pill, there’s obviously none that are safe and without unpleasant effects, but wow, these guys just come right out and say it!

Some Throat Issue

I’m leaving work a little early today to go to the doctor. All week my throat has been really red and swollen, and I saw some big bumps on the back of my tongue. My throat doesn’t hurt really, it’s just swollen and hard to swallow, and I can feel some swollen glands or something when I press on my throat from the outside. The thing is, it feels okay in the mornings so I don’t think to call the doctor, but then by the evening I feel awful. So I decided that no matter how good I felt this morning, I was going to go see him.

I’ll update later, but the working theory now is that it might be tonsilitis..?! (I was terrified I was going to have to have an emergency surgery to get my tonsils out, but apparently they don’t do that much anymore, just treat you with antibiotics, so I’m much calmer now.)

[Edit – 12:26 PM] Just got home a little bit ago. The doctor said it didn’t look bad (Is he crazy? It’s bright red!), but he could feel my glands are swollen. He said it might be a virus or maybe a little strep. So I’m taking antibiotics for a few days, to clear up anything I may have. [/Edit]

Cell Phone Quiz

(I usually hate web quizzes like this, but this one was kind of different so I decided to do it. Go ahead and take it yourself if you like.)

1. What color?
blue and white

2. Who’s the first person who comes up under the letter m?
Mandy (Big M!)

3. Who’s the last person you called?
my mom, tonight

4. Who was your last missed call from?
GG

5. Who’s the 2nd person who comes up under A?
my high school friend Amy’s parents’ house

6. Who’s speed dial 2?
don’t use speed dial

7. Who’s the 3rd person who comes up under J?
Jess

8. Who was your last received call from?
my mom, last night

10. What is your background?
a picture of Ivan and Katrina

11. How many text messages are currently in your inbox?
12

12. Who’s speed dial #1?
don’t use speed dial

13. What’s the 5th message say in your inbox?
Cats? I’m a kitty-cat! And I meow, meow, meow…

14. Who’s the 1st person who comes up under B?
Betsy

15. Who was your last text message from?
probably GG, Julie, or Jess, but I usually delete them after I get them so I’m not sure

16. Name every person you have text messages from:
spam, Julie, GG, Jess, Sharon

17. Most calls from?
GG – I don’t even have to look to make sure

18. Who’s the 9th person on your missed calls?
my home number (must’ve been from GG)

19. What does the 6th message in your Outbox say?
nothing in the outbox

20. Who is the first name in your Phonebook?
Amy’s cell

21. Who is the last name in your Phonebook?
my home number

22. Do you have a camera phone?
yes, but ran out of memory to take more pictures, and can’t get all the existing ones out of there!

23. Who is the last person under G?
Gyno office

24. What does your first text message in your inbox say?
It’s a spam text message from “eddy@tie.cl” about meeting singles! I saved it so I can try to dispute the charge on my next bill

Walkin’

Well I know I hate it when people don’t update their blogs frequently enough, and here I am going several days without writing. Nothing too exciting has happened recently. Last night GG and I went out for this massive walk at about 7:45. We covered a pretty good chunk of town, including a couple blocks we hadn’t seen before (and there were some cute houses!). It was early dusk when we left and it was almost dark by the time we got back, nearly an hour later. Shortly after we got home, a giant thunder storm kicked up – luckily the rain waited until we got home!

What I would really like to do sometime is get a good map of town (with all the little alleyways and everything else marked) and follow it as we walk. Because although I recognize the areas we’re going to, and I have a general idea of where in town we are, I really have no sense of direction and that’s a bad thing. Plus, I’d like to be able to mark things like, “here’s that house with the cute shutters that we like,” or “here’s that deli.” It’s pretty impossible to get lost while out on a walk though – you just have to start heading downhill and you’ll eventually hit our street (well, the street we’re off of). If you get to the river, you went too far downhill.

I have a concert tonight in West Chester. It was supposed to rain tonight and the rain date would have been tomorrow, but I guess we got the rain last night instead, so the concert is still on. I’m picking up my grandmother after work and we’ll get dinner somewhere, and then we’ll head down. This is always a nice concert, it’s sort of a community concert in the courtyard of this Quaker place in the center of town, so people from the neighborhood bring chairs and blankets and they can come listen. And it’s really easy to get to, so I don’t mind driving it. The only thing is that because they’re Quaker, they request “songs of peace,” which rules out about half the stuff we play in the summer (patriotic songs, military marches, etc.) so it’s pretty interesting to see what we can pull together from classical music and showtunes.

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)

Danny Ozark: Home Invader?

GG just called me from work. He’d just walked into his break room, where the news was on TV. Danny Ozark, a local comedian we know was on NBC 10, and not because of his stand-up! Apparently, one of the local newscasters had someone house-sitting for her, and they invited Danny over. He supposedly went through her underwear drawer, and later was on the Kidd Chris Show on WYSP and said something about how her lingerie wasn’t anything too exciting. That story somehow ended up in the City Paper or something, so the newscaster decided to fight back by going to his house and showing it on air, the joke being that he’s a 40 year-old man who lives with his father and his bedroom is a total mess.

When GG told me this, I went to NBC10.com, and there was Danny Ozark on the front page, as a top news story! The whole story is there, along with an entire slideshow of photos from his house!

That’s a shame, I didn’t hear the comments he made on the radio, and of course it was wrong for him to go through someone’s drawers, but it seems like this whole thing is getting kind of blown out of proportion. He’s apparently in hiding, or at least hiding from this lady on the news, but maybe we’ll see him tonight when we go to Helium to see Tom Wilson!

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Work is Cool, Dream about Ohio, Litters of Babies

Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I really enjoyed work. My department web site is moving, along with a bunch of others, and we’re going to start using a new system for content management and bla bla bla, so in the morning I had two meetings about that. They actually went really well, I’m very excited about the project now after seeing the capabilities of the new CMS. Also, out of all the department representatives involved in this project, I’m kind of the “expert,” which is awesome. This is very similar to when I first started here and I was able to help other departments set up and maintain their web sites. They eventually took that job away from me because it was supposed to be those departments’ responsibility to do their own web stuff, but I still helped out a little, but it just wasn’t the same. I enjoyed being the expert on something, and web design is something I really like doing. Also, we went out at lunchtime and went to Target and the 422 Shoe store. And after we got back, I spent the afternoon trying out this new CMS, playing around and starting to get our existing site into the system.

I had a dream last night that I went to Ohio and met D and some other people from etsy who live in Columbus (unnamed). Maybe I had etsy on the brain because I just listed a couple new items last night?

I was watching Discovery Health last night and finally got to see the first episode of Quint-essential, as well as Jon & Kate plus 8. First of all, let’s rescue Jon! He’s almost a year younger than GG, and already stuck with Kate and eight kids. They’re only just in Reading, PA! Second of all, shows like these about large multiple births make me so angry. It’s always the same story: they couldn’t get pregnant, so they take fertility treatments. Then they get pregnant with a huge number of babies, but don’t want to reduce because God decided that they should be having a whole litter of children. This creates an extremely unsafe situation for mother and babies, as well as a completely insane (and expensive!) life once they’re born. My problem is: if they’re so accepting of what God wants, why didn’t they accept that he didn’t want them to have kids in the first place?! As long as they’re using science and medicine to get pregnant, they should use it to make the pregnancy as safe as possible.

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.

One Year Anniversary!

Wednesday was our one year anniversary! I can’t believe we’ve been married for a year already – it went by so quickly!

GG and I had wanted to go to a really nice restaurant to celebrate, but after I saw the gourmet menu (and lack of listed prices) at one of the places we were considering, I got the idea to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Serrano, in Old City. They have a music venue upstairs, the Tin Angel, where there’s usually acoustic, singer songwriter-y people performing. But I checked the schedule and it looked like someone we might enjoy, so I had GG make the reservations for dinner and a show.

We had a delicious dinner. We started out with the Meze, our usual appetizer, which is a plate of grilled flatbread served with various Middle Eastern/Mediterranean foods (you pick several from a list). We had Jajik, Baba Ghanouj, Hummus, and something else (Machtoul? Can’t find it on their web site). For dinner I had the Hong Kong Dumplings, which are actually an appetizer but after all that hummus and stuff they filled me up just fine. GG had one of their specials – and honestly, I don’t eat seafood at all, but I had several bites of everything on his plate and it was amazing – I wish I’d ordered it for myself. It was a filet mignon wrapped in applewood smoked bacon, topped with butter that has lobster in it. It sat on top of a pile of mashed potatoes with king crab mixed in. Also on the plate was some kind of sweet red sauce, like a balsamic reduction. If we go there again and that’s the special, I’m getting it for sure. We also had dessert – he had some kind of rum-soaked cherry cordial, and I had iced buttermilk with honey topped with almond slivers and candied blood orange peel. Sounds bizarre, but it was actually really refreshing.

After dinner, we went upstairs for the show. I had no idea who this guy was, besides that from his web site it looked like he sang funny and sometimes political songs, and he was compared to Bill Hicks, so I figured he’d be good. He said his name several times throughout the show, but every time it sounded like a different name! Sometimes Ed, sometimes Harrison, sometimes I thought it was Ed Harrison, sometimes “Hammy” or something. So it turns out his act is called Hamell on Trial, and from reading his bio it looks like his name is Ed Hammel. Anyway, the show was really good! When he first came out, before he started singing, I wasn’t too sure, but after that first song I was really into it. Basically, he told autobiographical stories that were serious and funny at the same time (really, he made things like his parents’ murder-suicide and his friend’s mom dying kind of funny). So he would tell a story and then he would follow it with a song, usually one that he’d written about the event. From looking at his CDs on his web site, it seems like he sang songs from several different albums. The show generally followed a timeline from when he was 10 years old to the present. It seemed like everyone in the audience was familiar with him except us… I would go see him again. He actually reminded us a lot of Bruce McCulloch (e.g. “Shame-Based Man“). And his routine about The Trough was a lot like Patton Oswalt’s bit about Black Angus.

Then there was the challenge of getting home. We’d forgotten that there was construction on 76 West overnight, and by the time we were leaving around 11 PM they were well into it. So rather than wait an hour and a half like he did trying to come home from band practice last week, GG decided to head for the airport on 76 East, hit 95 South, and take the Blue Route North. Yes, somehow East + South + North = West. So we got on 95, but guess what – construction there, too! We ended up taking 420 through Prospect Park and Springfield of 476, and got home around midnight. It wasn’t that bad, there was a lot of good music playing on the Sirius radio (at least until I fell asleep, I don’t know what happened after that). We were both super tired and just collapsed into bed when we got home.