“How come I have to know a child in a beret in order to get them?”

In case you missed it last night, my imaginary boyfriend John Mulaney made an appearance on Saturday Night Live! His rant about Girl Scout cookies was definitely the highlight of an otherwise awkward episode :o) And his favorite flavors are my favorites!

(And yes, in case you’re wondering, I’ve kind of been trying to Googlebomb him with the “imaginary boyfriend” stuff.)

This was one of the laziest weekends I’ve had in a while. Besides laundry, food shopping, and a little cleaning, I had no other plans or anywhere to be. I didn’t even go to Target for one of my unnecessary shopping trips. Of course, GG has been very busy with alumni activities all weekend at his school, so it’s not like I’ve gotten to spend much time with him, but it’s been nice just reading, napping, and relaxing at home. Now I don’t have another free weekend until probably July..!

My Arm is Sad

I had a tiny bump cut off my arm over two weeks ago…

Now I have a giant red, itchy, irritated patch, thanks to all the adhesive from the bandages I have to cover it with. I wish this thing would just heal up more so I could stop covering it, but the bendy part of your elbow is a hard place to heal, I guess.

Bad Movies, Bags, Birthday

Last night was our third (I think) “Bad Movie Night.” This time we had an animal theme to our movies, so I served all animal-named foods: cream cheese penguins, gummy bears and fish, animal crackers, pigs in a blanket, ants on a log, and buffalo dip. I was worried because GG ended up inviting a lot of people (in addition to the folks I had already invited), but luckily none of his friends showed, so we had a comfortable group of about ten people, and everyone had a place to sit and there was exactly the right amount of food. We watched Gatorface, which was awesome and perfect for making fun of, and Karate Dog, which was also a bad movie but somehow didn’t lend itself to as much joke-making as Gatorface.

Today I went out to Target and discovered that they are giving out a free reusable shopping bag with your purchase! Not sure if it’s just for today or this weekend, or all month in honor of Earth Day. Also, you get $.05 off your order for each reusable bag you bring, and the one they give you counts as one of the bags, so I got $.10 off since I had also brought my own bag. I hope that’s something they’ll continue, and isn’t just for Earth Day. (It’s a nice bag, too – cute pattern, and it’s made of recycled plastic bottles.)

Leaving soon for my imaginary nephew’s first birthday party! …Better wrap his gifts!

PSP SP10 Induction

This past weekend was really nice. On Saturday, MB and A came out for the day. GG took A, who is a huge beer fan and makes his own beer, to Monk’s and McGillin’s, where they met up with his brother and another friend. Then they came home (via train!) and had more beer!

Meanwhile, MB and I went out to our alma mater for PSP’s induction ceremony. There was a new addition to my lineage this semester, which makes her my great-great-great-great-grandlittle! At the ceremony, I was the second oldest Brother there (the oldest was significantly older, though, he joined in the early 80s). One of the current brothers asked when I joined the fraternity, and when I told her 2001 she said, “Oh, I was in 6th grade then.” Eeek, I am old! After the ceremony, we had some time to kill, so MB and I checked out some spots on campus (the SMC, the art building, the dining hall, etc.). There’s lots of construction going on. We also drove over to our old house, which apparently has some children living in it now.

Later we met up with a bunch of the Brothers for dinner at Ruby Tuesday. (Half the fraternity was going to Ichiban, but my great-great-great-grandlittle doesn’t like Japanese food, so the other half went to Ruby Tuesday, which was fine with me.) We had a very large group, so we ended up at different tables, but actually it was really cool because my table was my whole lineage (minus one, who is away at grad school), another older Brother who I at least knew who she was, and another Brother who is a “cousin” of our lineage.

It might be about time for me to stop coming to activities like this, because I felt really awkward about being the oldest one there, and felt like I was the creepy older Brother who hangs around. (Though my grandlittle kept telling me: “You may be older, but you’re not creepy.” Aww, thanks dude.) Anyway, it was really fun and good to see everyone and see how the fraternity is doing. And it was nice to spend a bunch of one-on-one time with my MB!

Oh yeah, I got another quote on Overheard in the Office! Speaking of the office, we’re having a birthday party in ours right now, so I’m going to head over there…

Recently…

Things I have done recently:

  • Tried two new recipes out of Real Simple – one was really basic but good, one looked weird on paper and was weird in real life too.
  • Ordered a pair of Skechers Shape-Ups – and I will try to go for walks regularly, too!
  • Got a suspicious bump sliced off of me, as well as more of a suspicious bump that had already been sliced off last month – good thing my dermatologist is such a nice person, since I’ve been seeing so much of her!
  • Started flossing my teeth every time I brush in an effort to impress the dentist at my appointment today – I usually do this for about a week before a dentist appointment, then go back to my usual flossing habits.
  • Sat very still to remain comfortable in our very hot house this week – luckily, it should cool off in the next couple days, because I refuse to set up the air conditioners in April!
  • Got our cable bill lowered just by calling the company and asking to reduce the bill – no change to our service! (I should have done that a lot sooner, but every month I put it off.)
  • Realized last night that I could name all the Duggar children in age order.

Easter Weekend 2010

This weekend we took our annual Easter weekend trip to New Hope. But, in an effort to change things up a little, we actually stayed right across the river in Lambertville, NJ. We’d walked over the bridge from New Hope to Lambertville once before, but only had time to get lunch and take a quick walk down the main street, so I assumed there was much more of the town that we hadn’t seen yet, and since it seems like we’ve done all there is to do in New Hope, we thought we’d give (ugh) New Jersey a try. We were wrong, but I’ll get to that later…

We both took Friday off work, and headed out around 10 AM. Our first stop was the t-shirt shop where GG painted the mural last year. They’ve now put it on bumper stickers, business cards, mugs, and every price tag in the store! People love it! He also worked with them to design a shirt for a band’s cruise to Jamaica with their fans, and they tie-dyed around his printed design, which looked awesome (this is a picture of a picture, but you get the idea).

After that visit, we went to a new restaurant, The Sandbar, for lunch. Until recently, this was a very fancy and expensive restaurant called 90 Main, designed to appeal to visitors from New York City. Now it’s sort of a Cuban place that prides itself on its margaritas. We didn’t drink, but we did have delicious pressed sandwiches: GG had a traditional Cuban sandwich (with American cheese instead of Swiss); and I had a grilled cheese with Manchego cheese, Serrano ham, and fig paste. I hope this new place does well there – it’s in a great location, with outdoor seating, and it was a gorgeous day, but there were no other customers in there when we arrived at noon, and only a few when we left around 1:00.

We walked around New Hope for a little while longer, before driving over to Lambertville to check into our bed & breakfast. We stayed at the York Street House, and it was great. I only wish it were over in New Hope! This was probably the nicest B&B check-in we’ve ever experienced – the owner was super friendly, it was non-pretentious, and we got a little tour of the lovely historic house. We went up to our room and ended up taking a little nap, before getting cleaned up and going out for the afternoon and evening. I chose this room because it was one of the less expensive ones, and the bedroom itself wasn’t that big (still plenty big, though), but it was connected to the original master bathroom, which was large and includes a footed bathtub and beautiful stained glass window. We were very happy with the room.

Our dinner reservation was for 6:30, which gave us a few hours to kill walking around town. I figured that if it was like New Hope, there would be plenty to keep us occupied. Wrong. Sorry, but Lambertville kind of sucks, especially if you’re not into antiques. Almost every store we came across was an antiques store. (Yes, I know Lambertville and the surrounding towns in NJ are famous for antiques shopping, but I figured they’d have other stuff, as well!) The first shop we went into was the most horrible pet boutique ever. The owner of Picky Paws, Margo, was completely rude to GG and I. I don’t curse (I don’t!), but the moment we walked out of that store, the first thing I said was, “What a b*tch!” So stay away from that place! Luckily, the rest of our interactions with the townspeople were much better! We went to a puzzle/game shop, some neat housewares places, the used instrument shop we’d visited before (but without that crazy guy working there, it just wasn’t as interesting), and a coffee shop, where we got some fancy sodas. We even took a walk down a little path by the canal. After all that, we still had some time before dinner, which we spent on a sunny bench on Bridge St., watching people go by.

Finally it was 6:30, and we were very excited for dinner at No 9 Restaurant (which does not have its own web site, but has excellent reviews all over the internet). It is very small, and from what we saw, there is one chef, one waitress, and another woman who seats people and clears the tables. The food did not disappoint! I also have to say, the waitress was so sweet and she was totally into the food – the way she described the specials, you just wanted to try everything! I got iced tea to drink, which was apparently her own concoction, and it was probably the best iced tea I’ve ever had. To start, GG had a plate of steamed mussels (he saw someone eating them when we walked in, and knew he had to have them), and I had an awesome salad featuring beets, blue cheese, and walnuts. Then for dinner, GG had Atlantic Cod (served with spring vegetables like new potatoes, peas, and spinach), and I had hanger steak (with grilled vegetables, mashed potatoes, and a wedge of brie!). We were pretty stuffed at that point, but still were able to split a creme brulee for dessert.

After dinner, we went back to the B&B, where we read some of their books in the living room before going up to our room and passing out pretty quickly – all that walking around in the sunshine all day was tiring!

On Saturday morning we had the best B&B breakfast we’ve ever had: perfectly ripe cantelope with fruit salsa and French toast with sweetened cream cheese and blueberries (that even got GG to eat cream cheese!). Before checking out, we had a nice long chat with the innkeepers. These are definitely my favorite innkeepers of all the B&Bs we’ve stayed at! We went to Peddler’s Village for a little while on our way home, and also checked out the outlets across the street (got GG a couple nice polo shirts for the summer, and some sweaters for next winter – there were great sales!). All my pictures from our trip are on Flickr.

After unpacking, I talked GG into going food shopping with me – something he hasn’t been able to do for a while with all the extra time he’s been spending at work. We rested at home for a bit, and then we went to a 30th birthday party that night for one of GG’s relatives. That was… interesting. The only person I knew there was GG’s brother, and GG only knew his cousins and aunt. It was kind of like a frat party with grown-ups – complete with keg stands by the time we left! Really not our style…

Yesterday morning, we went out to Easter brunch with my family, then went back to my grandmother’s house to help move some furniture. I took a nap when we got home, then we went to GG’s parents’ house for dinner. For some reason, even though they knew we were on our way (GG had just talked to his dad before we left!), they ate right before we got there and had literally just finished when we showed up. So that was weird. We had our dinner while everyone else had dessert, then we had dessert, then everyone sat and talked for a while and meanwhile I started feeling really sick. I don’t think GG understood, even though I kept telling him I felt dizzy and like I was going to throw up. We finally left, and when we got home GG picked up some DVDs and went out again to watch them with a friend who’d invited him over. Meanwhile, I sat on the sofa with an ice pack on my head, before running to the toilet and losing that nice dinner and dessert. I felt much better afterward, though! Nobody else was sick, as far as I know, so I doubt it was anything I ate. Kind of a sucky ending to a really nice weekend :o/

April Fool’s 2010

April Fool’s day is a busy time on the internet! Here’s some of my favorite internet pranks for this year, found in my travels today:

Suitcase, Spring Break, So Busy

Because I have been traveling so much lately, and will probably continue to travel, I bought a new suitcase this weekend. I’d been using this tiny rolling suitcase, but when I say tiny, I mean it was tiny. It’s like 2/3 the size of a standard carry-on rolling suitcase, and while I was able to squeeze in what I needed for an overnight trip, it would have been great if it were like an inch deeper. So I bought this Samsonite Litespeed 21″ upright (on sale and I had a coupon). I’m excited to start using it! I actually was torn between that and the Samsonite Pavilion 21″ spinner. I know spinners are really the way to go, but honestly those little wheels sticking out just made me nervous. And not that I plan to do much international flying, but the Litespeed apparently meets the size requirements for carry-on luggage, while the Pavilion is probably a tad too big (again, because of the wheels). Also, the Litespeed had great reviews. Yay, suitcases!

If you keep track of my life via blog, you’ll know that this weekend will be the annual trip to the Bucks County, PA area that GG and I take. Last year we mixed it up a bit by staying in Doylestown, not New Hope. This year we’re again mixing it up a bit, and not staying in New Hope. I’m very exited about the B&B we’re trying this year, and excited to explore a new area and new restaurants (even though Tastebuds is amazing, and I’ll miss going there this week).

Yesterday I sent GG an e-mail listing all the weekend activities we have planned so far, and oh my gosh, we are totally busy I think all but one weekend through the end of May! Plus, he’s been working 6-7 days a week for the past month! We are busy people!

Tally Hall at Johnny Brenda’s

I am currently in the midst of one of the longest periods of my life that I haven’t seen They Might Be Giants perform live (we last saw them on Dec. 31, 2008). Luckily, the awesome Tally Hall has been touring recently, so I saw them in December and then I saw them again this weekend! They played at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown, which I’d heard about but had never been to, so it was cool to be able to go.

GG and I arranged to meet up with Coz (of HITS) and his girlfriend Angie for dinner before the show. I’d heard the food there was really good, and they use all fresh, seasonal stuff so they don’t really have a set menu. Also, they don’t take reservations. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait too terribly long for a table at 7:30 on a Saturday, though the place was totally crowded. It is very dark there. Our table had a tiny red lantern hanging over it, and some little colored lights embedded in it, which was cool, but we could barely see our food. Everyone got something different, and I think it was all good. Also, we were later joined by two more friends of Coz – luckily we’d gotten a big table!

After dinner, we went out to see if Tally Hall and the other bands were outside, because they announced via Twitter that they were going to play four square with people before the show, so under-21 fans could see them. We stood around for a couple minutes, and then saw the guys coming down the street, but after chatting for a moment they all headed inside, and since it was really cold out, GG and I went in, too.

We went upstairs to where the music venue is. (Johnny Brenda’s is actually kind of cool – the downstairs is a bar and restaurant area, then the second floor has a small bar and a stage, and there is also a third floor balcony, which we did not explore. It’s all very old-looking. Also, it is absolutely packed with hipsters. If you’ve got a plaid shirt and a beard, you’re good.) None of our dining companions seemed to be around, so we staked out a nice spot in front of the stage and watched the opening band, Skybox. They were pretty good, though the bass player’s wiggly feet were really distracting. (I don’t know how else to describe this dance move he did the whole time – it was like he was slipping around on ice? Here’s an example.) Eventually, Coz et al showed up. They’d been playing four square with Tally Hall after all! Oh well, it was too cold out for me anyway.



Skybox, sans ugly sweater


TH does a little psych-up spirit circle before performing


So Tally Hall went on around 9:45 maybe? Joe hasn’t been with them for this tour, but they got this other guy Casey to fill in, and he was actually really good – after proving he could do Joe’s part in “Ruler of Everything,” he got huge cheers from the crowd! The show was really good, including an introduction from their self-proclaimed “biggest fan” (I think she would leave them tied up in her basement for a while before killing them, though), and “Just a Friend” as a closer.


Standing so close, it was hard to get all five guys into one shot!

When Tally Hall was finished, GG and I headed out – we weren’t planning on staying to see the headliner, Jukebox the Ghost. They probably would’ve been cool, though. Everyone we’d been hanging out with had kind of slipped off by that point, but we were able to find all but one to say goodbye before leaving. And we were home in time to see SNL (though we both passed right out)! You can see all my pictures and videos from the evening on Flickr.

Girlfriends Getaway

With a bunch of vacation days I had to use up by the end of March, I asked on a local message board a couple months ago if anyone had suggestions for fun trips I could go on with a few friends within a reasonable driving distance. I really lucked out, because someone recommended the Girlfriends Getaways promotion. I posted it on Facebook, got a couple friends lined up, and booked the trip. It was fantastic! I was very happy with the package, and would definitely recommend it – or even go again!

MB came to my place on Sunday morning – which was a gorgeous day, by the way! – and we had a nice drive down 422 out to Reading. At the Abraham Lincoln hotel we met up with Lina and Jules. This hotel was specifically recommended, and I really liked it. I’d been in touch with Stephanie, the front desk supervisor, for quite a while, and she really took care of us. I had e-mailed her with tons of questions, and she was so helpful! When we arrived I finally got to meet her, and we were actually able to check into our suite early. We received big shopping bags from the VF Outlets (aka “The Saddest Outlets in the World“), coupons, and some other pamphlets about area attractions.

Since we were able to check in early, we went up to our suite first before going out for the day. This is the one negative thing I’m going to say about the hotel. The place was really nice, it’s a very historic feeling hotel with some neat little details, very nice decor, etc. However, when we got up to our floor, the first thing I noticed was a cooking type smell. I can only guess someone was warming something up in the microwave in their room. Then we got to our room. With four of us staying together, we paid about $15 extra per person for a two-room suite. We assumed this would be two bedrooms connected, but it was actually a sitting room area with a pull-out sofa and a bedroom area with two double beds. I’m still glad we had the extra space, but the sofa bed and bedding for it was kind of gross, so we ended up sleeping in pairs in the beds. However, everything was clean, the beds were extremely comfortable, and the bathroom was nice (and came stocked with True Blue Spa products). Plus we had a fridge and microwave, two TVs (including one flat-screen), I believe the hotel has free WiFi, and I had a full cell phone signal with 3G.



We had nice views from our room!

Anyway, after getting situated in the room, we went out to The Saddest Outlets in the World. Lina, MB and I were there last year while our husbands were all at the Stoudt’s Brewfest. This time, despite the nicer weather, they were even sadder, with yet more stores closed. We actually really wanted to go to the Fuller Brush store, for example – I wanted to buy one of those brushes for cleaning your hairbrush (seriously)! But it was gone. We used some of the coupons we got to buy lunch, get pretzels, and pick up our matching sleep shirts. By the way, even though they were turquoise (not pink, as in the pictures), they were terribly unflattering. We got a picture before bed of everyone wearing theirs, and then we promptly swapped them for our pajamas! (If you’re my friend on Flickr, you can see the photo over there – I’m too nice to post it here for the world to see!)


We ended up wearing the same “uniform” of bright colored shirts and jeans!

After the outlets, we decided to check out Penn Avenue, because Lina had a brochure promoting it as a little shopping destination. Well, everything on that street is closed on Sundays, plus it got a little creepy the further we walked, so we just headed back to the car. After a nice afternoon shopping, we came back to the hotel for a bit, then went out to Austin’s for dinner. After lunch, a snack, and the giant dinners we were served there, all of us were totally stuffed! We went back to the hotel, and in an effort not to be totally lame, we stayed up talking for a while before finally giving in to sleep around 11 PM.

Monday morning, we took our time getting ready before heading downstairs to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. Breakfast was included as part of the package, and the nice thing was that you could pick anything from the menu except, like, steak. The meal was really good! Then we checked out, and the hotel shuttle took us to the spa!

Because it seemed like the best deal offered, we chose the Accent on You spa. You got your choice of a pedicure, facial, or massage, plus a manicure. We all went for the massage/manicure combo. To save time, they paired us up so two got massages while the other two got manicures, and vice versa. MB and I were in the massage room first. Neither of us had gotten a real massage before, and I think this spa did a great job of making sure we were comfortable with everything, covered, etc. The massage was wonderful. GG always tells me that I should get a massage, but I never wanted to just go by myself, so it was also nice to have MB with me for my first time. However, now that I know what it’s like, I might have to start going regularly! Then while Lina and Jules got their massages, MB and I got our manicures. Everyone there was really nice, and we were treated really well.

When we were finished, the hotel shuttle picked us up and brought us back to the hotel. I am really glad they provided a shuttle for us, because some of the areas of Reading we had to drive through to there there were… not the nicest. Reading kind of reminded me of Norristown – the downtown area (where our hotel was) was kind of cute, but make one wrong turn and it gets a little sketchy. Oh well. Since we were already checked out, we said our goodbyes in the garage and everyone went their separate ways. MB and I actually stopped at Wegman’s for a late lunch on the way home, because her husband wanted her to pick up some certain beer that’s not sold in NJ, which they happened to carry.

So then we got home and I said goodbye to my chicklet, and got to unpack… This time it’s over a week until my next trip!