LoG, Shopping, Cleaning

Friday night, GG and I watched The League of Gentlemen Series 2 and the Christmas Special. (Except GG fell asleep before it was over and I had to fill him in the next morning on how it ended – awesomely!) I’m sad we only have the last series left to watch … and the “Apocalypse” movie, I guess, except I can’t find it to buy anywhere :o(

Just got back from shopping with my mom. I saw these twig lights that I think I need for some reason, except not for $25, so I’ll have to keep an eye out in case they go on sale. Also, I was wearing my I hate voting t-shirt for the first time, and got no comments or anything, aww.

Also this weekend, I went to look for a carpet steam cleaner and ended up with a hand-held steam cleaner instead. Then I went crazy cleaning the house with it. I’ve also been working on cleaning out my office/craft room/guest bedroom, starting with the desk area, so that’s what I was doing this morning.

I need to go food shopping sometime, but can’t decide if I want to go this evening or wait and go with GG tomorrow. We’ll see if I feel lazier or more energized after a bit.

I said two funny things recently

Yesterday we went out for lunch and got water ice afterwards. Then we needed to find somewhere to eat it.
Me: “We could sit here on this bench, like hobos.”
Heather: “Like what?”
Me: “Hobos. Hobosexuals?”
Heather: [cracks up laughing]

Today, a co-worker, Lisa, came by my desk to ask a question.
Lisa: “I need someone I’m not embarrassed to ask this question to.”
Me: “Is it a ‘lady question?'”
Lisa: [cracks up laughing] “No … Can you show me how to load the manual feed tray on the printer with legal size paper?”

“It cleans my business. My lady business.”

Birthday, LoG, Scourge, Steam Cleaner

Yesterday Heather and I were walking down to the cafeteria at work, and she said, “You know how my group always takes people out to lunch for their birthday? Well they didn’t do anything for mine.” Then I felt really bad, because I thought her birthday hadn’t happened yet, and I asked, “Oh no, did I miss your birthday?” and she said it had been Thursday. So even though I wasn’t even at work last week, I felt bad, and thought I’d tell someone from her group so maybe we could all do a belated lunch. Then I said we and another friend should go out to lunch Wednesday (today) to belatedly celebrate her birthday. “Why belated? My birthday is this Thursday.” Arrrgh, why did she make it sound like it had already happened?! So then I didn’t feel so bad, but I also had to go back to the other person from her group and tell her nevermind, they hadn’t missed anything. But we’re still going out to lunch today to celebrate her birthday tomorrow.

Last night we watched the first season (or series, in the UK) of The League of Gentlemen. The show aired here several years ago on Comedy Central, but I didn’t watch it, and then we saw the first three episodes with one of GG’s friends a while ago and thought it was hilarious. So I think I mentioned that I got him the complete DVD set, which is three seasons plus a Christmas special. We spent three hours watching the first season (six half-hour episodes). So dark! But funny! But I can’t watch the vet, his stories are too sad! (If you’re not familiar, the town vet has a bad habit of accidentally killing his patients.) Anyway, we’re pretty busy for the rest of the week, so I don’t know when we might get to watch more. I’m in suspense! (Oh also I am still into the character of Ross Gaines, but then I have to remind myself that the show aired almost ten years ago and Reece Shearsmith is nearly 40 now.) [Edit – 10:17 AM] Oh isn’t this a weird coincidence – today is actually Reece’s birthday! He’s 39. [/Edit]

Also last night, Jess called around 7:50 to tell me that starting at 8 PM they would be spraying our area with pesticide for mosquitoes by plane. Everyone was supposed to stay inside with doors and windows closed and air conditioning off. Good thing she saw it on the news and thought to call! My town was even on the official list of communities to be sprayed, and we received no warning. I saw that some neighborhoods had gotten written notification, so I was a bit ticked about that. I have mixed feelings about the spraying (of course I don’t like controvercial pesticides being blanketed over the area, yet I also hate mosquitoes and apparently there’s a higher than average amount of West Nile Virus this year), but I am most upset that I was not notified at all.

I need to work on this freelance web site I’ve been doing, since I finally received the information I needed from the client, but I also want to go to Ikea tonight. And I want to get a carpet steam cleaner! (Looking at the Hoover SteamVac Dual V, unless anyone has any other recommendations?)

Cambozola, Oikos Yogurt

I’ve been obsessed with finding the perfect mild, soft blue cheese for several months now. It started with this raw milk cheese I get at the farmer’s market called Birchrun Blue, which isn’t really soft, but is so mild, you almost don’t realize you’re eating blue cheese. Unfortunately, the farmer’s market is only on Saturday mornings and I miss it frequently, so I discovered Saga’s Blue Brie at the supermarket. Perfect! Creamy, mild, I could eat a whole wedge at once. But shortly after I started buying it, they stopped carrying the wedges! So I saw they were selling it in a small wheel, which I tried out. Unfortunately, the texture and flavor seemed different from the wedge variety, and I just wasn’t into it. But last weekend, at Trader Joe’s I discovered Cambozola – a perfect soft (triple cream!) blue cheese (same mold used to make Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton). The name is apparently a combination of Camembert and Gorgonzola. Num num num!

Also last weekend, as GG and I did our grocery shopping, I noticed a new brand of Greek yogurt at the store in addition to Fage. It’s called Oikos, and they were carrying the vanilla, honey, and blueberry flavors. As you may recall, I love Greek yogurt with honey, but I either have to mix it myself, or get the Fage pack with the little honey sidecar (which is so hard, you can barely scrape it out of the container to mix with the main compartment of yogurt). So I was excited to see that Oikos’ honey flavor has “honey on the bottom.” I brought one to work for lunch today, and was a little disappointed. The flavor of the yogurt was not as thick or as tart and strong as I had hoped, and the honey was a little watery as I stirred it in, not thick and sweet like I like. I really like the idea, but it looks like I’ll have to keep doing it myself.

Back to work, back to work, to prove to them that I’m not a jerk.

I feel like I’m going back to school after summer vacation … but really I’m just going back to work tomorrow after a week off. I have my first day outfit picked out and everything!

Forgot to mention this funny story from when we were at Old Navy yesterday. GG’s total was like $60, and I’d just noticed this sign in the entrance saying you get a free tote bag with purchases over $50. So I said to him, “Oh, you got a free tote bag.” And the cashier seemed surprised, like she’d forgotten about their promo, and she was like, “Oh, yeah, here’s the bags,” and they were all laid out behind here. They were denim bags with yellow and red striped straps. I thought they were kind of cute, but GG went off about how they looked like they were from Sesame Street in the ’80s (which they did), and then he went on and on about the characters, and where is Telly? You haven’t seen him since Elmo got so popular. So this was going on and on, and the cashier was laughing (as was the guy working at the next line), until we’d both been rung up and left.

So now we have this cute Sesame Street-like tote bag.

PS: I don’t think anyone really thinks I’m a jerk. The title of this post is just a play on the “Back to school” song sung by Billy Madison.

Bonus Long Weekend

GG and I both took the entire week off work, so even though we were home from our vacation on Wednesday night, we still had Thursday and Friday free, as well. I don’t think we took advantage of our extra time off as much as we could have, but oh well.

Thursday I just did some errands, and then I forget what I did that night, probably napped the evening away. Friday I forget what I did all day (more napping?), and then we went out for dinner and saw Tropic Thunder – which was very funny, even better than I expected! We laughed probably the whole time.

This morning we got up early and went to the mall because Old Navy had all their jeans on sale for $12. Good thing we went early, I heard from other people that it got pretty crazy (and sold out) later. There was a limit of three pairs per person, so we each got three. Plus GG got some shirts. Then we went food shopping. I had wanted to do some more cleaning around the house, but I had a horrible headache all afternoon and just had to sleep it off. Around 10 PM I was finally feeling better, so I cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed the whole house.

Who knows what tomorrow holds? Laundry? More naps? Possibly checking my work e-mail so I don’t come back to 5000 messages on Monday? (No, definitely not, having a million e-mails is part of the fun of returning from vacation.)

My Trip to the Eastern Shore

Friday – We both finished work early and came home to pack. I was going to bring GG’s birthday gifts down with us, but at the last minute he realized they’d be unopened until the day before we returned, and he probably wouldn’t be able to use them there anyway, so he opened them before we left. I got him two polo shirts with cool designs printed on them, and DVD sets of TV Funhouse and The League of Gentlemen. (And he kept mentioning TV Funhouse was on DVD and I told him to just shut up, because I’d ordered it the day it came out, but he thought it was because I’d already gotten him something else. So I think he was still happily surprised!) By the time we really got “on the road,” it was about 5 PM. So much for taking advantage of our half-days at work. We made our traditional stop at Arby’s, and arrived at our destination around 9 PM. I was so tired – we’d both had an exhausting week – so I went straight to bed. I’m not sure if GG was just hanging out or they made him work a little that night, I was asleep by the time he came to bed.

Saturday – We went out for brunch – big mistake, the place was packed, and the waitresses were so harried! But the meal was worth it. Then we spent the day on the island, checking out the little shops and things. For dinner, we went to a new restaurant, the Seashell Cafe. Definitely the nicest restaurant on the island! The food was great – the menu features local and organic foods, and changes throughout the season. I really hope this place lasts – it’s so hard for a lot of these restaurants to remain open once the tourist season is over, and the place was pretty empty while we were there. But it got a great reception, so hopefully word spreads.

The Purple Pony gift shop on Main Street

Back garden at a nearby hippie-type shop

Sunday – We’d planned to take this day to visit some other towns that were recommended to me as day-trips off Chincoteague, so first we headed to Willis’ Wharf. Um, what a disappointment..?! The person who recommended it mentioned a restaurant, but I saw no restaurants there, or anything else for that matter. Maybe we just missed it, but as far as I could tell, we drove through the whole place and there was just nothing. So we headed back and stopped at the town of Parksley. Very very cute little town, it has lots of little shops and a train museum and stuff. The only problem – everything is closed on Sundays. It was so quiet, it was like a ghost town. So that was a bust. Since we finished up sooner than we expected, we went back to the Seashell Cafe to try some of the sandwiches on their lunch menu. Then we hung around for the afternoon, before getting take-out from the local Vietnamese restaurant for dinner. (Have you noticed yet that my vacation schedule is based around what and when we’re eating?) We were also put to work back at the shop – GG dipping ice cream, me chopping peaches and making waffle cones.

Jaxon’s store in Parksley

Old Coke ad in Parksley

Monday – Even though GG’s birthday wasn’t until the next day, Mondays were the day his parents were keeping their shop closed during the day, so that’s when we all went to Crisfield, MD for lunch. We went to the same restaurant we went to last year, where everyone went nuts eating crabs and clams and oysters and fishes… and I ate my little chicken fingers, which were good too. After lunch, we stopped at the Sysco Cash and Carry store, and D, I took a whole bunch of pictures in there for you, because I know you were asking about it last year! Monday night we went out and played mini golf (GG’s dad had won two free passes from a radio contest, but they weren’t going to use them). I was winning after the first half, but in the end GG beat me by like 4 strokes. It’s nice to know we’re about equally matched, though.

Crab eats man – by GG

Tuesday – The 19th was GG’s birthday, yay! And as a gift to him, I went on a boat! Ever since we started going down there, people have suggested we visit Tangier Island for a day. And I always ruled it out because you have to take a ferry to get there, and I just don’t do boats. But since this was the summer of visiting new places, I popped some Bonine and hopped on board. I really enjoyed it! Tangier is so interesting – it’s a very small island with about 600 residents, they have a post office, school, store, some restaurants, and a couple B&Bs. Most of the men on the island earn their living on the water (mostly crabs and oysters), and the women pretty much run the tourism industry. When we got off the boat, there were women with big golf carts waiting to take people on tours. (There are about 20 cars on the island – most people ride bikes, scooters, or golf carts, and actually cars won’t fit over most of the bridges around the island.) The tour of the entire island was about 15 minutes, and afterward we checked out their museum, which just opened this summer. It was very interesting! Tangier has been the subject of a lot of interest because of their unique dialect of English, which is very closely related to Old English. (The island was discovered in 1608 by John Smith.) I didn’t hear anyone speaking it, though – even when the locals were just talking to each other. We went to a little gift shop, and also out of curiosity took a look at their grocery store. Then we went back to the dock and had lunch at a water-side sandwich place. We met a local cat there, who let me pet him a little before moving on. A side-effect of Bonine is that it can make you sleepy (or in my case, “tired and cranky”), so I pretty much slept on the boat the whole way back. And all evening at the house. And once I went up to bed.

Proof that I was on a boat!

Crab shacks just off the island

Many of the homes have burial plots in the yard – I guess because there is limited space to bury people? They are buried 3 feet deep because the island is 4 feet above sea level, so the cement blocks are part of the burials.

GG made a friend at lunch

Wednesday – Today we headed back up north, stopping in Ocean City, MD, for our annual trip to the boardwalk. We didn’t really have a lot we wanted to do, besides a list of things to eat: Wrappers, Polish Water Ice, and Thrasher’s fries. We considered slipping off our sandals and taking a walk in the ocean, but… too much sand. So we got back into the car and continued home. We got back about 5 PM, and the kitties accepted us again. And I’ve been spending the evening getting caught up with my regular life.

You can see all my pictures from our vacation in this Flickr set. We might not go back again next year for our big vacation, just because GG is kind of sick of being asked to work while he is on vacation. So we’ll see what happens next year.

Zoo, Fire, Internet People

Wednesday night was the annual free night at the zoo for my company. People can ago with their families after the zoo is closed. We went last year (that’s when we saw the noisy sheep!), and were looking forward to this year. However, even though it was not as hot and muggy as the last time we went, there were way more kids and also the sheep were pretty silent. A little disappointing.

GG learning some secrets from a sheep

GG jumping his height

Us at the duck pond

Also on Wednesday, there was a huge fire at these luxury apartments in Conshohocken. We were out at dinner in KoP, and saw the news story on a TV in the restaurant. We stopped to watch, and someone sitting nearby said, “You can see the smoke from here.” And you could! The good news, if you could call it that, is that 1) the fire happened while most people were still at work, and started in a building that was under construction, giving people in the occupied buildings a chance to get out, and 2) all the residents were required to have $100,000 in renter’s insurance, so they’re probably not financially ruined.

Last night after work I met up with this girl from online. And neither of us turned out to be a murderer! We had dinner, and then walked around the entire KoP Mall. It was really nice! I think she and I have a lot in common. (This is not the first time I’ve met someone from online in real life – there is of course TJ, plus I met Andy Pressman once in New York.)

Very busy at work today, wrapping things up before I’m out for a week. (Plus it’s one of my two very busy days each month.) I can’t wait until 12:00.

“We’re surrounded by bones, in a catacomb”

Yes, I’m still here! I didn’t go tumbling into the depths of Crystal Cave on Saturday! How was our trip? Well, the weather was perfect, first of all. We followed the directions on Crystal Cave’s web site from KoP to Kutztown, and I think there were much better ways we could have gone. We basically drove all the way out to Reading, then picked up 222. For a beautiful Saturday in the summertime, there were not many people there. I remember the place being much more crowded when I was little, and we would have to stand in line for a while to go on the cave tour. As it was, we bought our tickets, climbed the hill, and hopped into the next tour. They show a little video before you go on the tour, about how the cave was formed and the history of tourism there, and that has clearly been redone since my last visit. The tour was nice, though I thought I remembered some different formations in the cave that the guide didn’t mention – maybe something happened to them, or maybe they just changed the script some. After the tour, we checked out their little museum, got lunch in their restaurant, and dessert in their ice cream shop. (Later that night we went out for dinner with an old friend of GG’s and his girlfriend, and I was stuffed!)

Me and GG in the cave

“Upside-down ice cream cone” formation

“Moldy bacon” formation

GG at “Altar” formation – 3 weddings and 2 baptisms have been performed here!

Me and GG at a totem pole (you can also see an Amish buggy behind us)

Pretty busy this week. Last night we went to see a comedian GG is friends with, who performed nearby. The restaurant/bar was smoky and slightly gross, but it was pretty funny to see these comedians cursing and talking about stuff that made GG’s jaw drop in front of families with kids. Tonight is free zoo night for my company, so we’ll be hitting that up for more noisy sheep. Tomorrow I’m probably meeting this girl from the internet (we also went to college together, she recognized me but I didn’t recognize her, though I do think I took a class with her husband) for dinner and shopping, and Friday my vacation begins!

And quickly, about this week’s episode of No Reservations in Tokyo: wow! That was a beautiful episode. I can’t believe how into flower arranging Tony was. And even though I don’t eat seafood at all, I might be willing to try if it was a 15-course sushi meal made right in front of me by a top sushi chef. No time to think, just pop each piece into your mouth while it’s at its optimum temperature.

* Yes, I realize we were in a cave and not a catacomb, but the lyrics of “The Mexican Drill” seemed appropraite for this entry. Also, I just found out that TMBG did the song in a commercial for a Play-Doh “Crystal Cave Playset!” And speaking of TMBG, we should be at their show on Sept. 26! (Happy late b-day to me?)

PR5 Episode 4: Rings of Glory

A couple notes about last night’s episode … First of all, is Korto’s winning design really going to be worn in tomorrow’s opening ceremony? Guess I’ll have to “watch what happens!” I liked it okay, but Joe would have been my pick to win, if he evened out the hem of his skort and took the “USA” off the side. Even Stella’s outfit was on the verge of being almost okay, if she’d maybe closed up the navel-exposing hole. Everyone seems to be going crazy over Terri’s outfit, which I agree was nice, but it doesn’t seem athletic enough to me. From the brief clips they showed of the US team’s past opening ceremony outfits, it looked like they were wearing warm-up suits, so Terri’s look seemed a little formal.

While I don’t think Jennifer’s design was the worst for this challenge, I’m kind of glad to see her go, just because it was getting painful watching her struggle every week. She is like this season’s Starr. I think Daniel was my pick for this week’s auf-ing, because, seriously, that dress had nothing to do with anything! (Especially if it was purple, though it did look blue on my TV.)

For most of the remaining designers – why did they all make outfits from the 1940s?! Seriously, it seemed like almost every one of them did something very retro. I think Jerell is this season’s Austin Scarlett. Very dramatic with sweeping fluffy flourishes. I cannot believe he thought his outfit had anything to do with the Olympics, besides the various red, white, and blue patterns he used.