Linky Thursday – 5/29

Scorpion Stings Girl at Wal-Mart: As if you needed another reason not to shop there!

Pork and Beans: Weezer’s new music video parodies every viral video you’ve ever seen.

CheckMD: New web site that lets you check info on doctors, see if there’s any disciplinary action against them, and rate them! I’ve seen these features before in different places, but it’s nice to have them all together. (Oh, and it’s free.)

Dunkin Donuts Yanks Rachel Ray Ad: …Over a scarf. Well, “what do you think: an offensive fashion choice or an oversensitive reaction?” (Actually, I like the second comment that was left: “I paid $4.15 a gallon for gas today. Do you really think I care about what scarf Rachael Ray is wearing in a commercial?”)

No, It’s Not a Secret Club: A quiverfull mother of a large family speaks out against the Duggars! Yes!

My Long Weekend

My three-day weekend was relatively eventful, I guess. GG went down to Virginia to work at his parents’ place for the busy holiday, so I didn’t see him after he left for work Friday morning. I ordered some Chinese food for dinner Friday night and started cleaning up around the house in preparation for Monday.

On Saturday, I got up early to do some errands (getting food for Monday, feeding the in-laws’ cat Penny, etc.), and then my mom came over and we went out shopping. We went to Ikea to get some vases. She needed 20, and she had a little cart and a system for how she packs them. When we got to where the vases were, there was this young couple there also picking up large quantities of the same vase, and it turned out they were using them for wedding centerpieces. The girl was very carefully examining each one and sitting some to one side, passing the others to her fiance to wrap in paper and stack in a box on a cart. My mom just started grabbing 20. Then the girl was like, “Oh, you might want to check them, because some of the vases have air bubbles in them.” Um, okay chicky, have fun checking your hundreds of vases for tiny air bubbles that nobody’s even going to see when they’re filled with water and flowers. After that, we tried looking for a shoe rack, but couldn’t really find anything. So when we left Ikea, we also checked Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, but still no real luck on the kind of shoe shelves my mom wanted. She found one piece of a component system at BB&B, but it was the last one they had and only two shelves tall, so she just got it to try out. Then we went to the supermarket to get the rest of the food for Monday, and I got a small salad to take home for a late lunch/early dinner.

I ate the salad around 4 PM and then I had the most horrible headache. I attributed it to being out shopping all morning, not eating lunch, and spending the day with my mom, all of which have been known to give me headaches. So I took some Advil and lay down on the bed. Next thing I knew, I woke up a couple hours later and felt much worse. I couldn’t even sit up. I was nauseous and sweaty and it was awful. I ended up throwing up and feeling horrible for the rest of the night. I blame the salad. Who knows what caused it, though I always find it kind of cool that your body can recognize when you’ve eaten something bad, and it’s like, “Okay, we’ve gotta get that out of here!”

Since my whole Saturday was pretty much shot for doing anything around the house, I stayed home all day Sunday (after I fed Penny) and just cleaned everything. The nice thing about GG not being home was that I didn’t have to worry about him following along behind me and messing things up again.

Finally, Monday came. I did some last-minute cleaning, baked brownies, and made dip. A couple hours before people were supposed to start arriving for dinner, I heard really loud rap music coming from outside. Like, really loud. It sounded like I had a radio turned all the way up inside my own house. After a couple songs, the volume went down significantly, but it was still extremely loud. (I assume the police, being only one house away, heard it and told them to turn it down.) When my family showed up, they thought I was playing music in the house, and I had to keep explaining that it was the neighbors. I looked out the window and was shocked to see that in their tiny backyard they had set up a giant PA system with speakers on stands! This was basically the equivalent of the Mexicans’ party a couple years ago. The music continued until about 9 or 10 PM, though they eventually started playing Motown stuff, old Jackson Five songs, and even the Electric Slide! Anyway, dinner went great, everyone just did their part and we had a ton of food (as expected). My mom brought hamburgers and hotdogs that we cooked on my grandmother’s George Forman grill (because it’s bigger than mine). My uncle made potato salad, I made corn on the cob, a caprece salad, and the aforementioned brownies and chips and dip, and we had tons of beer and sodas and wine coolers. Oh, and everyone kept commenting on how cute my Whim dishes were :o)

GG got home around 5:30, just as things were wrapping up, so he still was able to see everyone before they left. Then we spent the rest of the night relaxing and watching a marathon of Lock-Up on MSNBC. (Some of them I’d seen before, but some I hadn’t – those Alaskan prisoners are so laid back!)

Starting this week we’re doing Summer Hours at work, so I’m working an extra 45 minutes during the week to leave three hours early on Fridays. I think it’s going to suck while I adjust to the extra time – I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself until 4:15!

Fans of The Office will like this…

Several weeks ago, we spotted some Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race For The Cure signs posted around our floor. We tried following the arrows on them, but they didn’t seem to lead anywhere.

Today when we got back from lunch, there was a sign posted on the door of one of the conference rooms, “[so-and-so] Workspace.” (It was another name, not Dwight Schrute.) Then later someone pointed out that there is a sign hanging in the kitchen announcing the grand opening of Mike’s Cereal Shack.

What is going on here?! I thought I saw one of those Fun Run signs hanging up at a guy’s desk on the other side of the floor, I wonder if he’s somehow involved…

True Life Last Night

MTV sucked me in last night with a couple new episodes of True Life. The first one was “I Have Embarrassing Parents 2.” I didn’t really like either of the girls they profiled. Candy Graham (and her sisters Holly and Millie – yes, really) has clown parents, but it was so clear that they were keeping their makeup and costumes on for the MTV cameras. I highly doubt that they regularly pick the kids up from school, go to the supermarket, or just hang around the house in their full clown getup. I also doubt that a date at the circus was Candy’s boyfriend Squirrell’s (yes.) own idea. The other story, Niki and her slutty mom, was also not that great. The resolution was basically, “I’ll be accepting of your deep need to be a MILF if you let me get my lip pierced (in addition to the eyebrow piercing I already have oh and also I’m 14).” My favorite line was when the mom said she’s just enjoying the body god gave her or something, and I was like, “Um no, your surgeon gave you that body.”

The second episode on last night, “I Have Schizophrenia,” was one of those really good ones that still gives MTV some credibility. And of course I had to watch it when I saw that two of the three people profiled were in the Philly area! So, first was Josh, whose story took place in West Chester (where his mom’s house was) and Phoenixville (where he had an apartment, though he was evicted during the show). If you ever wonder how crazy people who live on the streets got to be there, this is how. It was hard to watch him, and he said he didn’t want treatment because he liked the voices in his head, he liked that animals were talking to him, and with those voices he was never lonely..! The other local guy was Ben, in Ridley Park. His story was also so sad. Not only were both his father and grandfather battling cancer (his grandfather passed away during the show), Ben was also dealing with an evil voice in his head named Marcus, telling him to kill himself. He was heavily medicated (15 pills a day), and you could tell, he really sounded doped up. Poor guy – he looked like a good guy when they showed pictures of him from high school. But the schizophrenia kicked in when he was 18. By the end of the show, he was trying to do one thing in public every other week (he and his mom went to the Franklin Institute!), and he was taking a computer programming class and hoping to go to school full time. Finally, there was Amber, from Newport News, VA. (And I’ve driven through there, so I felt like I still had some sort of local connection – haha!) She had been diagnosed a year prior, after her freshman year of college, and was currently on medication and in counselling. I wonder if it was the stress of college that triggered her problems – she went from being a straight-A student in high school to basically flunking out of college. But now she’s keeping a B-average and she’s speaking about her condition for groups of doctors and stuff.

Meme!

Ahhh, Jen has tagged me to do this more-difficult-than-it-looks meme!

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was 15 years old, and in May of 1998 I was a sophomore in high school. We’d probably recently returned from our marching band trip that year, a Caribbean cruise. I didn’t have a job yet (that was a few months away), but I was still very busy with school, band, my other band, Explorers, and a couple other clubs and volunteer things I did. Yes, I was a giant nerd.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?
– Make dinner
– Sit-ups (on my list every day, it’s rare that I actually do it)
– Paint my nails
That’s pretty much it for today, but also before the weekend I need to:
– Clean the bathroom and kitchen
– Vacuum
– Cut the grass

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Cheese of any sort, potato chips when I’m in the mood, edamame, dried fruit type things from Trader Joe’s.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
This was the hardest question! I guess number one I’d pay off any debts we had, and set us up with a new house and new cars (reasonable ones, not a “billionaire” house and cars). But then I guess I should do something altruistic with the rest of the money. I don’t know.

5. Places you have lived:
Cherry Hill, NJ; Lancaster, PA; and others, but I wouldn’t want to give too much away there… No place especially exciting.

6. Peeps I want to know more about:
This is tricky because I don’t even know who’s reading this and has a blog of their own. But I’ll say Julia, Colleen, D[iesel], and Sharkey and/or JP (if you’re reading this)!

Linky Thursday – 5/22

A short one today, since everyone seems to have taken off early for the holiday weekend…

The World’s Largest Lolcat, An Invisible Bike Mural: Yes, they painted the Invisible Bike Lolcat on the side of a building in San Francisco! Related: the first ever Lolplate.

ProQuo: Pick and choose which mailing lists you’re on, to reduce the amount of junk mail you get (but continue receiving the junk mail you like, such as coupons you actually use). Good idea!

All Eyes Are On Me Purse: Creepiest. Purse. Ever. (She also has one with all mouths!)

Edamame, Whim Dishes, Silk Dress Girl

I found out yesterday that Trader Joe’s is no longer getting any products from China – good for them! But, their frozen edamame comes from China, which has led to a massive edamame shortage in their store and consequently, in my freezer. Please, TJ’s, find a new vendor!

I went to Target last night and ended up getting a whole bunch of Whim stuff. If you like any of it, I suggest you get going, because that section is pretty much decimated and I think it’s done sometime in early June. I really wanted to get that tray, but of course I didn’t move fast enough and now it’s gone. I did get some serving pieces and plates and bowls in that pattern, though. I just need to go back today and pick up two more small plates because I thought I’d gotten eight of everything, but somehow I only had six of those. Hope they still have some! (And of course they sell them in sets of eight online, plus they have full sets of the tableware and the tray. I should’ve just waited and ordered everything from the web site. I already took the stickers off everything I bought so I doubt I can return it. Grr.)

Also, I forgot to mention this amusing anecdote from Brandon and Brea’s wedding: there was a girl there wearing this backless silk dress, and GG was totally obsessed with her for some reason, even though Lina and I kept saying she looked like she was in high school. GG said that no woman wearing a dress like that could be in high school. All day he was trying to convince us that she must be over 18. Finally, towards the end of the night, Brandon came to hang out with us a little bit. We asked him who that girl was, and he said she was a family member of one of the bridesmaids – and she was 15. Hahaha!

[Edit – 12:06 PM] I called Target, and the official word is that even though I removed the tags, I can still return the dishes with the receipt, they’ll just need to get another of the same product from in the store so they can scan it. So my plan is: I’m going to stop at Target on my way home and see if I can get two more lemon plates. If I can’t, I have my Target.com shopping cart all loaded up, and I will order everything I want (including the tray!), and then I will return what I bought last night. But if they have two more plates, I’ll just get them and be satisfied. [/Edit]

[Edit – 4:33 PM] Good news! The Target on my way home from work had the little lemon plates, so I just picked up two more. …And a serving platter. …And some tumblers. …And an unrelated tray and hairbrush. (Sigh.) [/Edit]

Carpet, Shower, Wedding

Last Monday, we were scheduled to have our new carpet installed. This was a very exciting day, because the carpet that came with our house was a gross color, very worn, and still smelled of cigarettes on hot days (even though we shampooed it twice before moving in, and I vacuum all the time). So the guys did come on time, and they installed most of our nice, thick, Sombrero Brown, Stainmaster carpet. When they tore up our old carpet, I learned, as we had suspected, that we have pretty nice hardwood floors underneath! Of course, we are not hardwood people, but it’s nice to know that we can confidently tell people considering purchasing our home that there are nice hardwood floors, they could just use some refinishing.



Worn out carpet on stairs


Hardwood floor in dining room

Because nothing is ever simple or straightforward at our house, they weren’t able to carpet the steps on Monday. We had asked for a technique called “tuck and tack” or “turn and tuck” or “turn and tack” or something, which was the way the open (railing) edge of our carpet had been finished previously. Basically, they turn the edge of the carpet under itself and staple it in place. But because our new carpet is so wonderfully thick, you can’t really turn and tack it or whatever. It makes this crazy looking lump over half the step. So the alternate solution is to just bind the edge that will be visable, and I won’t bore you with all the phone calls and negotiations it took to get that done at a discount (since we weren’t informed ahead of time that this would be or could be an issue). So they left us on Monday with just padding on the steps and a promise to come back Thursday to finish the job.

Somehow with the promise of stromboli from the pizza place down the street I enticed my uncle and cousin to come up on Monday night and move all our furniture back into the living room and dining room! (GG and his brother moved it all out on Sunday night, but on Monday GG was at his last business class and his brother was in New York on business.)



Living Room with new carpet

You can see all our carpet-related pictures, including before and after pictures, pictures of the really worn spots of the old carpet, pictures of the steps with just padding on them, and pictures of all our furniture crammed into the kitchen and laundry room – here.

On Friday we threw Jess the surprise wedding shower we’d been planning for a month! It was great! She was totally surprised and seriously thought she was coming to a meeting, so that was great, because I was sure she was on to us. We did a tropical theme, since they’re going to Aruba for their honeymoon, so we had lots of tropical desserts and fruits and punch and stuff. We had leis for everyone to wear, and a big palm tree centerpiece, and fancy tablecloths and decorations, and even cocktail umbrellas for the drinks! Her main gift was cash that we’d collected, but we also gave her a beach bag with a towel and sarong and crazy high SPF sunscreen. And we played tropical music in the background. It was very cute and I think everyone had a good time – it was a nice way to spend a Friday afternoon. You can see all the pictures from the shower (and, eventually, any I take at her wedding, too) here.



Jess with presents


The main cake (actually 35 cupcakes!)

Saturday was Brandon and Brea’s wedding that GG and I somehow both got invited to. I think what happened was, Lina was invited, and since Steve just got back from Iraq and is currently in Oklahoma, he obviously wasn’t going with her. So she asked me to be her date. When Brandon and Brea saw that I was coming, they must have told Lina to tell me that GG could come, too (Brandon is a big GG fan). So the three of us went together. The ceremony was a long-ish Catholic one with sitting and standing and singing and praying. (No communion, luckily.) It was beautiful, though. Then we went to this hotel in Lancaster for the reception, which was very nice – great food! Their favors were little heart-shaped cookie cutters with a tag that said “Cut out for each other,” which I thought was a cute idea. The reception probably ended at 9PM, but Lina and GG and I got out of there a little before that. Just in time, too, because after threatening all day, it finally started raining when we were on our way home. It was a really nice wedding and Brea was beautiful and I’m sure they were having a good time, but I am still so glad I did not have a wedding!

Linky Thursday – 5/15

Use 3M Hooks for Window Blind Cords: Duh! Why didn’t I think of this? For most of the blinds in our house I nailed the included little hook into the window frame to wind the cords. But there are a couple windows where I didn’t want to put the hooks up because I didn’t want something permanent in there, so this would be perfect!

Green: Makeup Brushes: I’m not currently in the market, but this will be my next set of makeup brushes. Bamboo handles, synthetic bristles, and recycled aluminum ferrule.

Slave to Target: This could potentially be me, if I had time to go to Target more often. Awesome blog with Target news and observations.

Cheese!: Um, this link is more for my own benefit – I want to go to this cheese shop! Just because it’s local and the owner went to my alma mater and it looks like they have a nice selection. GG and I love visiting cheese shops. (Okay, I might like them a little more, but I’m a bit more adventurous when it comes to trying cheeses. He’s more of a cheddar guy.)

Word Wise: Spaced Out: Please everybody, stop putting two spaces after a sentence when you’re typing! One of my biggest pet peeves (especially at work, where I have to go through and delete the extra spaces from things people enter in my database).

SomethingStore: Send them $10, they will send you… something. Ooh, mysterious.