Ooh, another cool web site!

Walletproof lets you put in your monthly income and expenses (both recurring and one-time things) and calculates how much money you have left, and helps you budget. You can enter things down to the level of buying a pack of gum!

I haven’t set up all my income and expenses yet, but when I get home tonight I’ll get out some bills and start plugging things in. It looks really easy to use – and useful!

Walk Score

Have you heard of Walk Score? You put in your address, and it figures out what types of shops, restaurants, entertainment, etc. is close enough to walk to, and then gives you a score based on the walkability of your location. My house amazingly was rated 72, which is crazy because I hardly walk anywhere except to the Wawa across the street and maybe down to the Chinese take-out place (but never by myself)

A lot of the things on the list are either a) closed, b) scary places in my own town, or c) scary places in scary Norristown for which you’d have to walk across a scary bridge. So the score is a little misleading. But still impressive!

click to view full size

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).


I don’t feel so bad about missing last week’s TMBG show in Lancaster because I just found out they’ll be at the TLA on November 24!!! (That’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving.) GG is totally on board, he said he’d even get someone else to fill in for him if his band had a show :o)

Imaginary Boyfriend coming to Philadelphia!

I heard Mike Birbiglia was coming to Philadelphia in a couple weeks, and I know John Mulaney often performs with him, so I e-mailed John to see if he’d be there, too (since he doesn’t have his schedule up online anymore!). He won’t be, but… he will be here August 22-25 performing with Greg Fitzsimmons! We’ll be away on vacation until the 24th, so I am definitely going to go see my imaginary boyfriend that weekend!

It would be awesome if GG could take me, because he knows people there and OMG what if we could get backstage?! But… I think he kind of hates John Mulaney… because of my crush on him, and also because he tells his jokes with a 1930s voice (yeah, whatever, not always!).

[Edit – 1:59 PM] GG is up for the show but only because he wants to see Greg Fitzsimmons. We may cut our vacation a day short and come home early on Thursday to see the show that night (Friday and Saturday are out since GG’s band will probably have shows). [/Edit]

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)

New Toy

I had pretty much decided on the Gateway 520 Notebook (ML3109), but I went to Best Buy tonight just so I could get a look at it in person. I wasn’t sure if they’d have the same model in the store, but I just wanted to see if I could get a good look at a Gateway and/or one with the same size screen. It turned out that not only did they have it in the store, it was only $399.99 (less than advertised online)! I talked to the salesman there about what I planned to use it for, to see if he’d recommend it, and he said I should get one with more RAM because you pretty much can’t do anything with only 512 MB. I said that I knew the RAM was expandable to 2 Gigs, so I was thinking of doing that, and he said that the Geek Squad (right there at the store!) could upgrade the RAM, to 1 Gig which he recommended. So that’s what I did. It was like an additional $70. So I bought it and I’m all set! I’m using my new toy right now on the living room sofa :o) This is so nice! This definitely won’t replace my desktop computer, but it’s nice to be able to move around the house, take this on trips, etc. It’s cute and light, and it’s got some nice features. The only thing is that it came with Windows Vista Home Basic, and Vista is pretty dumb. (Not as dumb as I’d been expecting, though, which is good. And quick and easy to set up.)

[Edit – 7/22, 1:53 AM] Wow, a kajillion people have found my blog by Googling the model number of this laptop! [/Edit]

“Cast Your Pod to the Wind”

I hadn’t really been listening to the bonus disc that came with The Else, so I figured I’d play it a few times this afternoon while I did some data entry (the one time I can really listen to music at work because I don’t have to concentrate on too much – haha!). I think my favorite songs are We Live in a Dump, Brain Problem Situation, Metal Detector (Live), My Other Phone is a Boom Car, I Hear a New World, and Cast Your Pod to the Wind. Brain Problem Situation, especially, is awesome! A theme I can follow for once (drunk people getting arrested), and I love the chorus.

I’m finally starting to master the songs on The Else, by the way. Even Bee of the Bird of the Moth, which I’d been worried about. (I just need to remember “Head lice under hats lie in the headlights everywhere.”)


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

How about this laptop?

Ohh I might’ve found the one! (BestBuy is great – they have lots of sales and change their prices often!) I think I actually saw this or a similar one in the store last week, it looked nice. Also, I am now owed a laptop, since GG just bought himself a new guitar even though he still has to pay off his credit card and he owes me a lot of money..! Okay laptop people, what do you think of this one compared to those I listed before – it’s a little smaller and lighter (and subsequently has a smaller screen):

Gateway – 520 Notebook, Model: ML3109 (Best Buy) – $429.99
Height 1.4″
Width 13″
Depth 9.5″
Weight 5.2 lbs.
Processor Brand Intel Celeron M
Processor Speed 1.6GHz
Bus Speed 533MHz
Display Type WXGA widescreen TFT-LCD with Ultrabright technology (1280 x 800)
Screen Size 14.1″
Cache Memory 1MB on die Level 2
System Memory (RAM) 512MB
RAM Expandable To 2GB
Type of Memory (RAM) PC2-5300 DDR2
Hard Drive Type Parallel ATA (4200 rpm)
Hard Drive Size 80GB
Optical Drive DVD-ROM/CD-RW
Optical Drive Speeds 8x DVD-ROM; 24x24x24 CD-RW
Digital Media Reader or Slots Yes – digital media card reader
Video Memory Up to 64MB (HyperMemory)
TV Tuner No
Networking Built-in 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector)
Wireless Networking Built-in high-speed wireless LAN (802.11b/g)
S-Video Outputs None
Speakers Built-in
PCMCIA Slots 1 ExpressCard/54
USB 2.0 Ports 3
IEEE 1394 FireWire Ports 0
Battery Type Lithium-ion
Operating System Windows Vista Home Basic
Included Software Microsoft Works 8.5, Money 2006; Adobe Acrobat Reader; CyberLink Power2Go; Gateway BigFix and more