17 Syllables

Ahhh I’ve been tagged by Jen to describe myself in 17 syllables!

Creative, silly, shy, loyal, lover of furry things, real big geek.

I got my car back this afternoon, it works great now! No rattling or stalling at all. The new valve and hose it needed were $20, labor was $90.

For the rest of this week, we have those consultants coming to work with us, so… busy busy!

The Weekend I Didn’t Drive

Since I didn’t go to MU on Saturday, I thought I’d make up for it by being super-productive around the house. I did a lot of vacuuming and cleaning – also, some cat peed on the loveseat again (even with the spikey mat over it!), so I had all that cleanup to do. Even though we still haven’t seen who’s doing it, I’m thinking it’s Ivan because he seemed very repentant while I was cleaning. Also, after I had things in the wash and pretty much taken care of, he was rolling around and acting extra-cute, as if to say he was sorry. Ahhh, why does the most awesome cat ever in the world have to be doing this!?

My mom had e-mailed me and I wrote back on Saturday and told her about the pee situation, and said it just seemed like everything was falling apart at home. She took that to mean I was having some sort of relationship problems! What I really meant was, “Our house is falling apart!” It just seems like one thing after another! And GG literally just paid back what he owed me after we got our chimney fixed a year ago, so I don’t know if he’s up for any other big jobs right now…

I actually got by without driving all weekend! I didn’t leave the house much – though I did walk down the street to the Chinese place to pick up some food for lunch (and later dinner) on Saturday. GG was gone all day Saturday and Sunday working on his mural. He’s probably just about done now! Speaking of which, I’m paying for him to go to this six-week series of business classes at a college – it should cover business plans, marketing, stuff like that. I think it’s a pretty good deal, if you sign up for all the classes together it’s $200. Hopefully this will help him buckle down and get a handle on the business side of things.

I woke up Saturday night/Sunday morning and could tell I was getting sick. Awesome. So I spent Sunday resting and loading up on Vitamin C. Right now I can feel the drippiness in the back of my throat, but I think I’m kind of staving it off. This is really not a good time for me to be getting sick, because we have these consultants coming to work with me and my boss this week, and it’s taken a lot of time, effort, and money to get them here, so it’s not like I can take a day off. I won’t know until tomorrow if this week will suck (e.g. the people are mean, the work is boring) or be awesome (e.g. the people are cool, the work is boring but we still have a good time).

Oh, car update: they just called me, I need a new PCV valve and hose. I don’t know what these things are, but it’ll be about $120 and will be ready this afternoon.

Change of Plans

So no, I will not be going to MU for PSP Commencement tomorrow, because now in addition to shaking, my car is also stalling out. I was waiting to make a left turn into the auto tag place, and traffic was heavy so I was idling for a while, and when I was finally ready to go, I didn’t move and a bunch of dashboard lights were on. I had to turn the car off and back on in order to go. So I’m thinking that making a 50 mile trip that I really don’t have to make may not be the best choice this weekend. I feel bad, but there’s some sort of Alumni weekend coming up, I think, so maybe I’ll go out for that.

In other news, I now own a car!

ABDC, Car, PSP

A week or so ago I somehow got sucked into watching America’s Best Dance Crew on MTV. I don’t know why. Anyway, last night was the finale, and I stayed up to watch it. All the groups came back to perform, the final two had this little dance-off thing, and then they stood on stage waiting to see who won. I remember Mario Lopez saying, “America’s Best Dance Crew is…” and then I woke up about five minutes after the show went off. Ugh! I do this all the time, usually falling asleep about five minutes into a show I’d been waiting for, and waking up about five minutes after it goes off. Anyway, I checked online this morning, and JabbaWockeeZ won, so I’m happy. And knowing MTV, they’ll replay the whole series about 900 times. (Funny story about JabbaWockeeZ – I didn’t see the early episodes, so I missed out on their backstory, but they were always saying, “This is for our bro, G,” and pointing upwards, so I assumed they were religious and dancing for their love of god or whatever. Turns out they were actually referring to their dead friend Gary. Whoops.)

I’m taking a half-day today, using up my last bit of 2007 vacation time at the last minute. Then I’m meeting my mom on my way home to transfer the title of my car to me! Finally! (Of course, I’m also taking the car in on Monday because it’s started shaking if I’m stopped at a traffic light or something for more than a few seconds… perfect timing.) Tomorrow I will be heading out to MU for PSP Commencement, just the ceremony part, because the party is at camp again this year and I am not driving all the way out there. But I have a great-great-grandlittle (I’m old!), so I figured I would show up and meet the kids.

Linky Thursday – 3/27

I wrote this in the comments of yesterday’s post, but I didn’t want it to get lost in there and for everyone to think I’m a gross person who never cleans her house.

Oh now I sound like some horrible gross person for not cleaning the fridge in 3 years! It really was not disgusting at all, there was just kind of a layer of grime over the glass shelves, and little bits and crumbs had collected at the bottom. Believe me, I have seen gross refrigerators (cough cough, in-laws, cough), and ours was not bad.

Now please enjoy your regularly scheduled Linky Thursday.

The Coolest Blender Trick Ever: I already knew this, but I guess a lot of people do not – you can screw a regular jar right onto your blender, so whatever you’re blending ends up in the jar, and you don’t have to transfer it to a different container. (I think I knew about this because my grandmother had special Osterizer jars that came with her blender [about 50 years ago].)

Candied Bacon Ice Cream: More bacon-based foods!

Browning Passage Pet Cave: A $6000 paper mache rock. Oh! But it would look so cool!

Kitchen Cleaning, Cat Snuggling

You may have noticed that this blog was down this morning. I don’t know how long it was out for, I last visited the page about 12 hours prior, but I think it must have been some sort of database error with my host that has since been corrected. Still, just to be safe, I went in and backed up my WordPress SQL database – I remember when my old host’s server crashed and they lost all my data, so I don’t really want that happening again. I’ll have to get in the habit of backing things up more often.

I did a bunch of stuff last night… In addition to doing some things for band (getting tickets ready to distribute, posting concert poster on the web site, etc.), I wanted to clean the kitchen because there’s been kind of a funky smell in there for the last couple days and I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Well, remember a couple weeks ago when our sink was leaking? (I don’t know if I wrote about it, actually – there was a drip in the basement and we thought some pipes down there were leaking, but then I realized the pipes under our sink drain were completely disconnected! So I called my uncle and over the phone he walked me through how to put them back together.) I checked under the sink again, and yes, it looked like the pipes had loosened again and it had been leaking very slowly for probably at least a few days. I have a plastic basket under there with cleaning supplies in it, and that was full of water – which, when I moved it, of course sloshed out the holes and dripped down into the basement. Hopefully my uncle can come over soon with a plumbing wrench, because I think I’m just not getting things tight enough with my bare hands. But luckily I knew how to fix it again! We’ll just have to keep an eye on it, I guess.

After that, I thought I’d clean the refrigerator, which I’ve never actually done since we got it (almost three years ago!) So shelf-by-shelf, I took out the food and cleaned the shelves. I didn’t realize how many messy/leaky things we must have put in there! I also threw out a bunch of stuff that had expired. (I usually stay on top of that pretty well, though.) So the fridge is much nicer now, and I’ll try to do that more often.

Since I had the cleaning stuff out, I also cleaned the stove and the counters. And then, since I figured I’d brushed some crumbs and stuff onto the floor, I also mopped. (I used my Swiffer WetJet, which I love!) After all that, it smells a lot nicer in there. So hopefully one of those things fixed whatever was stinky.

Afterwards, I used some scrubby stuff on my hands, and then snuggled down with a variety of purring cats. They’re all such snugglers! I’m so lucky :o) And they each have their own style. Katrina will walk all over you, even when she sits down she’ll roll or turn from side to side, she’s never really still. She really enjoys scratches. Ivan snuggles as hard as he can against you, he’ll keep repositioning himself to get closer and closer (I think this is also how he manages to push us off the bed most nights). He has a deep, rumbling purr. Sacha doesn’t stay in one place for too long, but he’ll sit on your lap or curl up next to you, kind of flopping down and rolling into position. He purrs like a little motor, and might stay that way for as long as a few minutes. But he’s constantly coming and going and moving around. They’re so cute with their little personalities!

Back With a Brand New Track

So what ever happened to my weight loss goal from a year ago? I guess I lost interest in that sometime last fall… It was just too much of a hassle to track everything I ate or did. I’m trying to get back into packing lunches and cooking dinners, and I’ve recently started tracking my food on SparkPeople again, because I’m kind of disgusted with myself. (I’m about 1 lb. more now than I was when I started my so-called diet last year, though, so it’s not too bad.) But SparkPeople has redesigned their web site and it’s sort of horrible, also clunky, and it’s often impossible for me to find the foods I eat in their database, which means I have to enter the info myself or calculate it or something. So I just discovered My Calorie Counter, which seems so much nicer! For one thing, food, water, and activities are all tracked on the same page. The food entry screen goes a lot faster. And there’s no system to earn useless points, either! They claim to have the largest food database on the web, and so far that’s held true, even for my apparently bizarre eating habits. (I really don’t understand why SparkPeople has so much fast food in their database!) And even though they’re similar, I like MCC’s charts a little better, too. The only thing I don’t like is that you apparently can’t add nutrients to track – for example, I was also tracking Calcium at SparkPeople. But other than that, it seems able to do all the same things. So I’m going to call this my “second attempt” and try to get back on the ball!

Easter 2008 New Hope Trip

We returned today from our third-annual Easter weekend trip to New Hope, PA. We both took Friday off work, and took our time getting ready so we would be leaving after rush hour. It took us about an hour to get up to Lahaska, where we stopped at Peddler’s Village. I’ve been there many times with my mother and grandmother, but GG had never been, except when he and I had dinner at the Cock and Bull two years ago. So we spent some time walking around and popping into a few of the little shops there. It was a little chilly, and very windy, so not the best day for wandering around outside. At least it was sunny. We stopped for lunch at Hart’s Tavern, where we were seated in the middle of a small dining room, surrounded on all sides by screaming children making messes all over the tables and floor. After lunch, we went to my favorite shop at Peddler’s Village, the Cookery Ware Shop. I don’t know why I enjoy that one so much, it’s just fun to wander around and look at like 5000 kinds of strainers. Also, my mom and grandmother always remind me that there’s a picture of me when I was very little sitting on the porch of that store, so GG and I got a picture of ourselves standing outside.

We continued up to New Hope, and checked in at the Aaron Burr House, the same place we stayed last year. Except last year they’d double booked our room and we ended up in a three-bedroom suite, and this time we got the room we were supposed to get. It was a small room with a Queen bed and wood paneling all around. The picture on the web site showed stenciling on the paneling, but luckily that was just in the area by the bed, not around the whole room. Phew! Also, though the shower and toilet in the bathroom were a normal size, the sink was about a foot wide. It was so tiny! It was mostly covered by the faucet, so you had to kind of bend down and twist around to wash your face or spit out your toothpaste. But it was just for one night, so I could deal. I do really like the Aaron Burr House, it’s in the perfect location just steps away from town, no need to worry about parking. But… the service was weird this time, breakfast was just awkward, and when we were leaving it clearly smelled like cigarettes (even though it’s no smoking). Maybe next time we’ll try someplace new. I just saw a B&B in Lambertville, NJ, just across the river from New Hope, that is also an alpaca and llama farm! (The drawback: it’s in New Jersey.)

After a quick nap in our room, we headed into town to walk around. We walked all the way down a street we don’t usually go too far down, because it’s all residential. The houses there are beautiful! Several of them were for sale, and a few of those had little flyers with the details of the house and the asking price. Let’s just say, it still looks like we won’t be moving to New Hope anytime soon. (And these houses are in the flood area!) On that same road, there was one square of sidewalk with some Mercer tiles in it. That was a pretty neat little find. We also went to Farley’s Bookshop, one of our usual stops. When we walked in, I asked, “Where’s Butter?” (the cat who lives in there), and he wandered right out from behind the counter, stopped to look at us, and then walked away. Then I was like, “Oh Butter, you’re the only reason we come to this book store.” Though actually, we do usually end up buying something when we go. I kind of am anti-book purchasing, because you can just get a book from the library and really, do you need to keep it? (Unless it’s something you’re going to refer to often.) But I figure if I’m going to buy a book, I’d rather support a little shop like this than give my money to a big mega-bookstore. So I got a copy of Kitchen Confidential. (If you love “No Reservations” and Anthony Bourdain in general, this book is a must-read, and I’ve wanted to read it for a while now. You can totally hear him narrating it in your head.) I took more pictures inside Farley’s. I know I took a few last year, but really, you don’t understand this place until you’ve been in there. It’s just winding, narrow hallways and bookshelves and little rooms and tables, books squeezed wherever they’ll fit, as far as you can see. There’s a general sense of categories, but actually I’m pretty surprised and proud of myself that I could find the book I was actually looking for!

After all the time we spent looking up new places to go for dinner Friday night, we ended up back at the Triumph Brew Pub, where we’ve eaten many times before. GG kept saying he was going to get drunk. Bla bla bla, he sucks at drinking. Halfway into his second beer, he was gone. When we ordered dessert, he told the waitress he was flagging himself. After the meal, we walked/stumbled a block up the street back to the B&B, where GG drank the complementary amaretto liqueur and watched the beginning of “Titanic” on the communal TV. He did eventually come back to our room, where I read a little and he sketched scary clowns before going to sleep. We were in bed by 9:00 and probably asleep by 10.

This morning, we went to the dining room for the “Breakfast” part of Bed & Breakfast, which was a fruit salad, quiche, and croissant. We waited until the last possible minute to check out, having learned our lesson the last time we spent the night in New Hope, that shopkeepers take their sweet time opening up on Saturday mornings, and if you are on the street before 11 AM, there’s pretty much nothing to do. We spent a while in a shop called Love Saves the Day, which we always walk past, but have never been in before. They have a lot of vintage clothes, knickknacks, records, etc. (D! They had a big display case of Pez dispensers!) So that was a cool place to walk around. We went in a bunch of other shops, GG got a really cool t-shirt of Vlad the Impaler, and also spent a while talking to some Obama supporters who were trying to get people to register to vote. (He left that conversation with an Obama button, some stickers, and couple signs.)

We left New Hope around 1 PM, and were home around 2. We missed the kitties, and the kitties missed us! And now everyone has spent the afternoon happily curled up, napping, and we are reading for a relaxing evening of resting up before tomorrow’s Easter Brunch! You can see all my pictures from New Hope here.

Linky Thursday – 3/20

Easter Baskets for Grown Ups: I love some of the ideas and descriptions on here – Jelly Bellies are “like regular jelly beans, only delicious,” the Unlucky T-Shirt is so sad!, and Lindemans Framboise Lambic is beer even I will drink (GG is obsessed with all the Lindemans beers).

Find a Greener Alternative to Sticky Notes: A lot of good ideas to be less wasteful if you tend to use a lot of sticky notes.

Why Bother Having a Resume?: Seth Goodin thinks “if you’re remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a resume at all.” Instead, you should get an awesome job based on extraordinary letters of recommendation, sophisticated projects, your reputation, or your compelling blog.

Brand-Specific Containers: Your Hostess cupcake will never again be smashed when you store it inside a plastic Hostess cupcake. Same for Goldfish crackers, Twinkies, Pop Tarts, and others. (Mentioned on Unclutterer‘s Unitasker Wednesday this week.)

20 Questions for Women Who Aren’t Us: Some of these are pretty funny. Like, “Why do you wear high heels with those jeans? It makes no kind of sense unless you’re simultenously farming and clubbing. Are you farming and clubbing?” And, “Childbirth means the following items will rocket out of your body: a placenta, blood, a human being, more blood and something called a mucus plug. If gold bullion shot out of my body, I could see being excited.”

Restaurants, Transaction Report, Naps

GG and I are leaving for our little (one night) vacation on Friday, and we’re already planning! Right now we’re looking for somewhere to have dinner that night, I’ve been reading restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor – apparently the place we were planning to go isn’t really that great. It’s in an old church, though, and that’s pretty cool. But I think I may have found a suitable alternative – a restaurant in an old girls’ boarding school! Or there’s another place I’m looking at that used to be a barn. I love that everything used to be something else! (Thinking of Marge Simpson saying “Everything here is something!” in Brazil…)

I had to report a transaction on Etsy. First time ever! I feel kind of horrible about it, it’s a custom item I ordered in September, paid for in two installments, and still haven’t received! It was one excuse after another – she lost power in a storm, the mailman ate it, she was in the hospital… And I feel really bad if she actually is sick, but is she so sick that she can’t get someone to run to the post office and send this package? The product is finished, just needs to be sent! Or is she too sick to even e-mail me and tell me what’s up with the status of this thing? So I think six months is long enough. More on this later, maybe.

No band practice tonight, since the schools are closed for spring break, so I’m going to try to take advantage of my time to get some things done, like cleaning, a couple errands, putting away clothes, etc. Maybe work a little on the band concert poster that I hate – it should really be done by now, but I hate it so much I haven’t even wanted to look at it for two weeks. For the last two nights I have taken major pre-bedtime naps, and I don’t want to do that anymore! Last night I told myself I would just lay down for a minute to watch a show, and even set my alarm to go off when the show was over, but then Ivan was all snuggly next to me and I was so comfy and I kept hitting snooze… Yeah. So tonight I will be good and stay awake until it’s time to go to sleep!