Buca, Horse Show, Yay Facebook

For some reason GG was all gung-ho about going out to dinner on Friday night. We ended up using a coupon I had and eating at Buca di Beppo. We’d only ever been to one once, and it was for my band Christmas party so we were just in a big room with like a buffet set up, so we didn’t really know what the “dinner” experience was like. To start with, they lead you through the kitchen on your way to your table! (They do that to show you how clean their kitchen is, but how clean is it really with everyone tromping through there?) There is one dining table in the kitchen, and GG was all excited because the waitress said they regularly seat people there, you don’t have to request it, but I think it would be a hot, noisy, annoying place to sit (with everyone parading past your table on their way to their seat).

Anyway, we were seated in a room that was mostly empty, but they put us next to the one table that was occupied. By two adults and a bunch of screaming, squirming children. Climbing around, thunking their heads on stuff, crying, shrieking, begging for ice cream, being escorted to the bathroom… Ugh. Also, I was pressured to make a quick decision on my order and got stuffed shells that were okay, but I wouldn’t get them again. (I didn’t realize that they were spicy, or stuffed with sausage, which I don’t really eat.) I have a hard time with Italian restaurants because I just want some basic pasta/sauce/cheese dish, but then I’m like, “I could make this meal at home for about $2.” Unless it’s somewhere with good homemade pasta or something.

After dinner, we took a little drive from East Norriton to… West Norriton? Where we got ice cream. And then we came home and GG worked on one of his projects while I watched TV and stuff.

On Saturday I ended up sleeping way in, which I don’t like doing, and eventually got up and went food shopping. I have several good meals planned for us this week (steak with mushroom sauce, inside-out cheeseburgers, quinoa salad, and some kind of regular lettuce salad). And I cleaned the bathroom, which I’d been putting off. I was planning to do laundry, too, but then GG’s friend Ed called to say he was in the area (he and Kate moved to Virgina last year) and were going to the Devon Horse Show and wanted to see if we wanted to go with them. Kate ended up knowing a good place to park and get in, so we got some dinner (“Devon Fries,” and burgers for the guys) and walked around a bit. At one point GG kicked my little toe (I was wearing sandals) and it hurt so bad and was bleeding! Kate gave me a band-aid. This morning I took off my toenail polish and it looks like the nail is bruised, but not broken or anything. It still hurts a bunch :o( For the rest of the night, I kept GG at a bit of a distance. He didn’t mean to do it, but he is a little clumsy and needs to keep better track of where his limbs are. We then got some dessert, and Kate talked to some of the bleacher security people and they let us sit there to watch the last event of the night! I didn’t realize how long we were going to be there, and it was getting very late and chilly (I didn’t bring a sweater – I know!), so we left before the “jump off” tie breaker event. Going there reminded me of everything I hate about the Main Line. The Horse Show is like all that stuff, concentrated into a relatively small space. And everyone gets so dressed up in their pastel pinks and greens (yes, even the men)! It’s great for people-watching, though. We decided that some people probably didn’t dress based on what looked good, but the total dollar amount of their outfit. “If it’s over $1000, I know I look good enough to go out!”

Today I cleaned the kitchen, did laundry, dropped something off at my grandmother’s house, and went to Trader Joe’s. I ran into my friend’s mom there! I haven’t seen her for a long time (probably not since I worked at the supermarket). We chatted for a little bit, and then she ended up getting in line behind me to check out so we talked some more. I’ve actually probably only seen her daughter (my friend) once since we graduated from college, but I know what’s going on with her thanks to the magic of Facebook, so her mom was like, “Oh she got a dog,” and I was like, “Yeah I know, I saw pictures.” Facebook is great.

Outlook for this week: busy!

Windows, CD, Anniversary Suggestions?

Um, nothing’s happened, that’s why I haven’t written. On Tuesday I went to work. Wednesday I worked from home and went to my last band practice – it’s all concerts from here out. Thursday was a horrible, busy day at work that ended with a bad headache by the time I got home. GG wanted to order Chinese food for dinner and I was too tired to say no, even though we eat Chinese way too often anymore.

Today I worked from home again because there was a guy coming to fix a couple of our windows. As horrible as our experience with Castle Windows was 4 years ago, at least there’s a lifetime warranty, and there were pretty much no questions asked. The guy who fixed them came right in the middle of his 9am-1pm timeframe, was very friendly and polite, gave me a lot of handy window maintenance tips, and was done in about 20 minutes. He was great! But then, he said he hadn’t been working for Castle for very long, heh. (Handy window tip: they say to spray the tracks a couple times a year with a silicone spray so the windows open and close smoothly, but he recommends using Pledge or another furniture duster, which has the same effect and repells dust.)

The mail came this morning while I was sitting here working, and my Tally Hall CD arrived! That’s awesome, I just ordered it from Amazon a couple days ago! So I’m going to go pull the MP3s for my MP3 player, and then the CD will be living in my car for probably a couple months, at least until I’ve memorized the lyrics :o) (And if I worry I won’t be able to learn the “flibbity jibbity jibber jabber” verse of “Ruler of Everything,” I just have to remember that I mastered TMBG’s “Bee Of The Bird Of The Moth,” didn’t I?)

Any suggestions for where GG and I should go for our anniversary? It’s coming up next weekend, and we have no plans! It’s on Saturday, we’re thinking dinner and… something?

Long Weekend, Kitchen Sink, Star Trek, and Stuff

My long weekend, which I thought going into it was going to be very boring, actually turned out to be pretty busy!

GG left on Thursday morning to go work at his parents’ shop for the weekend, so I was on my own from the time I got home Thursday night (after running some errands on the way). I think just about the whole company took the day off Friday, so it was very boring and quiet at work. Eventually we were given the word from our department’s management to go home at 3:00. I usually leave at 3:30 anyway, so it wasn’t like a huge bonus for me, but it was still nice. I went out to Target on Friday evening, and then spent the rest of the night just hanging around at home.

My uncle came over on Saturday morning to replace our kitchen sink! This was the one thing I had planned for the whole weekend and I was so excited. We figured it’d be pretty straightforward – pop the old sink out, pop the new sink in, set up the faucet. Well… nothing is ever simple in this house. The original sink wasn’t even attached to the counter or anything, so it lifted out easily. However, that also allowed water to seep under the sink so the counter was kind of rotting a little. Then we dropped in the new sink, and it didn’t quite fit. Something I didn’t know about sinks, was that they have tracks underneath them to attach with clips to the edge of the opening in the counter. The bowl of the new sink fit in the hole we already had, but there wasn’t room for the tracks. So we had to cut the opening a little wider. Of course, I guess our counter is not a standard depth, so there was barely enough room front to back to cut the opening. I figured we’d have to trim a little something, and I was prepared for some mess, but I didn’t expect the amount of sawdust we got all over everything!

Eventually the hole was widened, the sink was going to fit, and we set up the faucet in the new sink before dropping it into place. That’s when we discovered that we would need some sort of adapter to connect the new faucet to the water pipes, because they were different sizes. My uncle and cousin ran out to Home Depot while I stayed home and tried to clean up a little. Seriously, the saw dust was everywhere, and I will probably be finding dust in little crevices for a long time to come. When they got back, my uncle went to attach the adapters to the pipes and… something on one of the pipes came apart. It was like the thing the adapter screws into, which was supposed to be soldered onto the pipe, but I guess it came un-soldered? So he said he could cut the whole end off the pipe and get a new piece, but there wasn’t enough room to cut the pipe there. So he went into the basement, cut the pipe down there, cut off the end, and… went back to Home Depot! This time I came along, and taught them a shortcut. (Luckily, Home Depot is relatively close to our house.) We got the one little necessary piece, came back, and soldered everything back together (luckily my uncle brought his blowtorch!).

After that it was fairly smooth sailing. The faucet went together, the sink went into place. The only problem in the end was that there wasn’t enough space in the front or back of the sink to attach the clips, so there’s a small gap in the front and back edge of the sink. We were going to seal it with caulk, but actually my uncle called last night to say he’d thought of a way to attach the clips at least in the front. So we’ll just be careful now about getting water under there (even though there’s plumber’s putty under the edges of the sink this time), and hopefully in a few days he can come see if his idea works. Here’s all the sink pictures, including a few shots of the cats checking out the action.

Julie invited me to go to her birthday dinner Saturday night and I assumed I’d be done with the sink in time, but I’d call to let her know. She called me literally as we were carrying the old sink out the door and finishing up with everything. I said I’d be able to make it still, so I ended up having less than an hour to get cleaned up, dressed, and over to her place to drive to the restaurant. I had hoped I’d have time to take a nap or something first, so I was pretty tired and just generally sweaty and gross feeling. But we all rode up to dinner and it was actually a really nice time. It was mostly her and Brad’s families, and a couple friends. We went to this really unique sushi restaurant that made tons of unique rolls. Of course, I don’t eat seafood, so I didn’t partake – but I know a lot about sushi, so I appreciated it. They ordered a boat (which was a huge wooden boat in the middle of the table filled with a variety of sushi), and several other special rolls that came out on platters. One of the unique things they did was make sushi with various vegetables/rice/fish that are wrapped in more fish, instead of seaweed. So it was basically a big pile of fish all rolled up together. Which, if you’re into that sort of thing, I’m sure was awesome. I ate teriyaki chicken. By the time we left I was feeling really tired and dizzy and headachy. I don’t know why I felt so sick if all I ate was chicken, but when we got back to Julie’s place I was about ready to pass out or throw up. I had to go to my mom’s place to water her plants, so I went there, and after watering them, I took a nap on her sofa for about half an hour. When I got up I felt well enough to drive home, so I just came home and fell asleep.

Sunday morning I was feeling better, so I spent most of the morning finally cleaning up the kitchen. There is probably still dust on some forgotten surfaces, but I really majorly cleaned everything. And I vacuumed, swept, and mopped the floor. I went out food shopping later, but mostly stayed home, on the computer. I discovered a new band I love, Tally Hall, and they have tons of internet content, so I pretty much spent all night watching their videos and listening to their music and stuff. They are very similar to TMBG (and coincidentally are managed by the same company), but they also have aspects of some other singer/songwriters, The Beatles, and many others. Really great group.

GG came home early this morning. We’d been thinking about going to see Star Trek today, and Julie said she and Brad were also thinking of going on Monday, so I called them up to see if they wanted to go together. They did, so we went to a late afternoon show and then went out to dinner and then went out for Dairy Queen. The movie was really good, I was very impressed. I just have two complaints: 1) there was too much “Spock Prime” (as he was listed in the credits) – I thought he would be a quick cameo, not a major character in the movie; and 2) too many catchphrases! GG and I were practically checking them off a list as they said “Fascinating,” “Damn it I’m a doctor, not a physicist!” and “I’m givin’ her all she’s got, Captain!” The only one they didn’t use, which several times I was sure was coming up, was “Beam me up, Scotty.” Also, as GG pointed out, because of the time travel aspect of this film, they can pretty much do whatever they want in sequels because they’ve created an alternate timeline so it doesn’t have to follow the original timeline at all. Pretty clever, JJ Abrams. Also, great soundtrack.

Finished Painting!

GG finished his painting on Monday night, and after work on Tuesday we went up to New Hope to deliver it. It looks so good. The clients were so excited about it, they’re already planning to use it for their business cards, making bumper stickers out of it, etc. They know a carpenter who’s going to specially mount it outside the shop, so hopefully it’ll be up for this weekend!

Putting on some finishing touches on Monday night

The border is the same design that the shop has on their sign, business cards, and other stuff

The artist with his finished piece! (This is inside the store, but it will be hanging outside above the door)

I made a Flickr set for GG’s artwork – hopefully he gets more work and I can add more pictures, because right now it’s just this painting and some other little drawings that he’s done.

Other than that, it’s been pretty uneventful. On Wednesday I had my second-to-last band practice before our busy summer season. And I have no plans for Memorial Day weekend except for my uncle hopefully coming over tomorrow to install the new sink and faucet we got.

Linky Thursday – 5/21

Awkward Family Photos: Some of these are so uncomfortable to look at!

PromotionalCodes.com: Check here for discount codes before you shop online! In my cursory look at the site I saw several that I could use, plus there’s also printable coupons for groceries! (Check with your supermarket before using those – a lot of places don’t take internet coupons anymore.)

Your NPR Name: How to put together your own NPR name, if you’re jealous of all the awesomely-named people you hear on the radio. If you like this, you should check out this quiz: ‘Star Trek’ character, NPR personality or food additive?

Another Nice Weekend

GG’s been working really hard on his painting, so I hardly left the house all week (except for work), since I didn’t have anywhere to go just by myself. On Friday I finally convinced him to come out with me after work to get stuff at Home Depot. Our kitchen faucet has always leaked, but now it’s really bad and I realized it’s dripping under the sink, so my uncle said if we got a new faucet he’d help install it. Better yet, he can put in a whole new sink for us! Of course, nothing in our house is ever a standard size, so although I picked up a beautiful new stainless steel sink at Home Depot, it might not fit in our cabinet. We’ll see. If it doesn’t fit, we at least have a nice new faucet that’s made out of metal, not plastic that will crack. After Home Depot we went to Petco so I could use a coupon that was about to expire, and bought some cat litter. They usually have a couple of cats for adoption there. This time it was just one gray girl cat named Tikki. She was so friendly, she meowed at us and let us pet her through the cage. I told her (as I always tell the kitties there), that she was a beautiful and friendly cat and I was sure she’d have a new home soon. Then when we got home I cooked another batch of my own version of that ravioli with asparagus broth. I’m still working on perfecting my recipe, and I think I might have it soon.

Late Friday night I just posted a message on Facebook asking if anyone local (because I didn’t want to drive out to Lancaster or anything) wanted to hang out on Saturday. Didn’t expect any response, of course. I got up early on Saturday and went out to Target and Ross. (I love Ross, it’s like a treasure hunt! I did get a couple new tops for work, though.) When I got home, I was sitting with GG while he painted, trying to take care of this mix-up with our Comcast bill, when MB called me! She was free, and said she’d drive out and come spend the day with me! So she got here around 1 PM, and we went to the mall (because we thought it was going to rain? but it didn’t end up raining until late that night). We walked the entire King of Prussia Mall. The Court and the Plaza. Both levels. We also got lunch and smoothies, and each of us only bought one item! We came back to my house and sat in the living room for a while with GG, talking and watching funny stuff on TV. Finally it was time for MB to head home, and I just hung out for the rest of the night while GG kept painting. I tried to stay awake for the finale of SNL, but that just did not happen.

On Sunday I cleaned a little and did laundry, went food shopping, and finally caught up with the rest of the world by watching the finale of Lost! So good! I can’t believe we have to wait until January to find out what happens! We ordered Chinese food for dinner, and I mostly hibernated in my little room with my computer all day. I went to bed around 11 PM and thought GG would finish up painting for the night and come to bed soon. A little before 3 AM a noise woke me up and I thought it was a cat doing something bad, so I sat up and kind of patted GG’s side of the bed and he wasn’t there, and that’s when I realized he was still up! I thought the noise was him getting ready to come to bed, but by 3:00 when he still hadn’t come into the room, I stumbled over to his studio to see what was up. He’d finished the painting but he still had to paint the tie-dye border, and he thought he’d just stay up since he was on a roll. So I think he did go to bed shortly after I went in there, but I don’t know exactly when. He’ll probably have the painting finished tonight, and then we can go deliver it tomorrow after work. I’ll be so glad when this project is over!

I see where the Duggars are headed… and “Duggars on a Double Date”

I already think I can predict what’s going to happen to the Duggars in the not-so-distant future. Let’s take a look at some of TLC’s past famous families:

The Roloffs: Became famous because TLC made a TV series based on a popular one-time special episode. Gained popularity as people watched for their unique family challenges and cute kids. TLC started sending them on trips and putting them in weird situations for more interesting episodes. Eventually, episodes started focusing on the mundane. There was a scandal (dad Matt’s DUI). Then I stopped watching because they were too annoying.

The Gosselins: Became famous because TLC made a TV series based on a popular one-time special episode. Gained popularity as people watched for their unique family challenges and cute kids. TLC started sending them on trips and putting them in weird situations for more interesting episodes. Eventually, episodes started focusing on the mundane (e.g. dentist trips and installing blinds). There was a scandal (Jon allegedly cheating on Kate, and maybe Kate cheating on Jon). Then I stopped watching because they were too annoying.

The Duggars: Became famous because TLC made a TV series based on a handful of popular special episodes. Gained popularity as people watched for their unique family changes and cute kids. TLC started sending them on trips and putting them in weird situations for more interesting episodes. Eventually, episodes started focusing on the mundaine (e.g. dentist trips and installing blinds). …Wonder what’ll happen next…

As for last night’s episode of “18 Kids…,” in which Josh and Anna had a visit with the OB and then went on a double-date with Cousin Amy and Boyfriend Mike, here’s a few notes based on my Twitters during the show:

  • I love Anna, but don’t love the way she uses “And…” as a pause word.
  • Josh is a huge jerk. His wife had morning sickness and they were already running late for her doctor’s appointment, but he had to make a detour to pick up a car for his used car lot… which he ended up not being able to tow anyway, because it had 4-wheel drive. Then they were late for the doctor and he no longer has the excuse that he’s part of a 20-person family, so he just looks like the jerk that he is.
  • Anna’s using the same OB as her mother in-law, how sweet/gross.
  • “She’s like the master of swallowing.” Best quote of the night. Yes, Josh was referring to Anna’s ability to swallow vitamin pills, but thank you TLC for including that one.
  • Also, thank you Josh for pushing the camera crew out of the exam room during your wife’s internal ultrasound, there are some things that do not need to be on TV. However it was very telling that the crew sort of expected that they would have been allowed to stay – I think Josh will let them film almost anything (e.g. he told them Anna was pregnant before he told her). I bet if Dr. Sarver (the OB) hadn’t mentioned that they should probably leave, we would’ve seen the whole exam on the show.
  • Why does Josh always drive the cars he’s selling at his used car lot? Doesn’t that just put extra mileage on them, which would be worse when it’s time to sell them?
  • I was already annoyed by Cousin Amy one minute into her appearance on the show. However, Boyfriend Mike is awesome. He would name his kids after Transformers! And during his pre-dinner prayer, he prayed for the baby that was “being processed.”
  • The whole go kart thing was rediculous. The girls could barely maneuver their long denim skirts into the cars, and poor Anna couldn’t even participate! What kind of date/family outing is that?

Cats, Cleaning, Movies, Weather

We had a nice weekend. On Friday I went to see my grandmother for a little bit after work. She still has some stray cats in her yard that she feeds, and when I go over she usually asks me to do it so she doesn’t have to mess with the heavy bag of food, kicking them away from the door so they don’t get into the house, crouching down to fill their bowl, etc. When I went out, there was the usual mother/child pair of black cats that’s always there (actually they are very dark brown with subtle tiger stripes, really beautiful!), and also the weirdest looking cat I’ve ever seen, and my grandmother said she’d never seen him either. The best way to describe him is that he looked like an actor from the musical “Cats.” He was black and white, and had a big fluffy chest, and a little stub tail (not sure if he was born that way or something happened to him). He ran away as soon as he saw me in the window, but he was so strange!

I got up early on Saturday and got the house cleaned up because we were having people over Saturday night. Somehow my usual house cleaning ended up taking five hours. Yes, I was a little more thorough than usual, but that was crazy. Good thing I cleaned so hard, though, because one of our guests was allergic to cats (I think I knew this about Brandon..?). Our little get-together was fun, Julia and Kevin came out, and Brandon, and DT. We watched the “Horse Apples” episode of Wonder Showzen, then GG’s stand-up comedy debut from four years ago (which I still think was his best performance ever), Trapped in the Closet, then The Onion Movie, and finally The Wizard of Gore (which was not what I was expecting, but was so, so good to make fun of!). We got pizzas and I made a salad and we had some little pasteries from Trader Joe’s. It was a fun night, but a long day!

Sunday I relaxed and didn’t even leave the house. The main thing I did was laundry, other than that I just goofed off. GG worked on his painting, but didn’t finish as much as he (or I) wanted by the end of the night because he went to visit his mom and they were watching the Twilight movie and instead of leaving like I thought he would if someone put the Twilight movie on, he stayed and watched it. And ate steaks or something for dinner with them even though he’d told me he wasn’t hungry so I hadn’t made him dinner.

After such a beautiful weekend I wasn’t really ready to come back to work today, plus it’s supposed to start raining again?! Heather and I are having lunch with Julie and then we’ll probably go for a walk this afternoon, so at least I’ll be able to enjoy the sun for a little bit…

“Honey, that marching band is on our porch again, should we feed it?”

Wednesday morning I was working from home, as I do most Wednesdays now, with my laptop set up in the living room. It was about 8:30 and I was still in my pajamas when I saw a school bus pull up outside. I thought, “That’s weird, it’s a little late for the bus.” Also, the bus usually stops at the corner, not directly in front of my house. Then I heard people right outside. Then I started seeing marching band plumes walking by the window (since the windows are up high, we can’t really see people and they can’t really look in). So I stood up and looked out the window… and there was a high school marching band standing on my sidewalk, unloading equipment from their truck into my driveway!

Apparently, it was the day for my town’s annual police memorial ceremony and parade, which happens on a weekday morning, so obviously I’ve never been home for it before and didn’t realize my house was the center of operations. (Makes me wish we’d cut the grass, the place looked like a mess! But, we have an excuse, it had been raining all week.)

I was able to stand in my front door (after I ran upstairs and got dressed!) and watch the band warm up and perform. Then there were some boring speeches by the police and some other people, so I sat down for a while and did some work. Then the parade got underway and everyone marched off. They were gone for a long time and I had no idea where they went, because the town is just not that big.

About an hour later, I heard some bagpipes and more commotion outside, and there was the parade back again. All the police and everyone branched off from the parade and went into the building where I guess their actual ceremony (or maybe lunch or something?) was being held. There were still two color guard groups who needed to finish their formations in the street, so they were pretty much performing for nobody. But the funny thing was that as soon as they were done, they broke ranks and started high-fiving and shaking hands (I guess the two groups hadn’t met before?), before heading into the building themselves.

So… That was sort of a surreal start to my day. (There are more pictures, and a few videos, on flickr.)

One more picture from Wednesday, here’s GG working on his current project, which I know is going to turn out awesome.

Oh Babies.

I made chicken salad and took it over to Jess’ house for lunch yesterday. The baby is two weeks old and I can tell she’s starting to go stir-crazy being stuck at home with him all day, so I think she was happy for the company and the chit-chat, even if I could only stay a little while. I don’t really get what everyone says is so hard about having a newborn. As far as I’ve seen, all he does is eat and sleep, with occasional spitting up or diaper changes. (Jess is keeping two bibs on him at all times – easier to switch out the bibs than change his whole outfit when he spits up. She says people laugh, but hey, she found a solution that works for her!) She did say that the day before she accidentally drank tea with caffiene and the baby was up all night, but besides that he’s gained enough weight that they don’t have to wake him during the night to eat, so she’s been getting 5 or 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

One thing I learned yesterday: he has tiny toes! Like, really tiny. Like, I could break them off if I’m not careful. Also, GG and I realized that our cat weighs almost three times as much as the baby!