We’re All Going to Die, So Drink Up

I’d been looking for friends to join me at our town’s annual Italian Festival on its opening night, Friday, and J and B told me they’d come. It poured on Friday afternoon and I called J and suggested that if it was still raining at party time, we could just go out to dinner. But it cleared up a few hours later and by the time they came over it was just super humid. We walked over to the festival, which was only just getting started, and took a quick spin through to see what was up. I thought we’d get some Italian foods there for dinner and make it a night, but we ended up just having lemonade and some pizza fritta, did some people watching, and then walked back to my place. We decided to go out to Rock Bottom Brewery for dinner – beer for B, water and iced tea for J and I, and we split a couple appetizers. Then I went back home to relax for the rest of the night.

This morning GG and I got up early to go out and do some things before I had to leave for my evening concert. It was pouring this morning, but I figured the rain would pass and the weather would clear up in time for the concert. So we went to the farmers’ market, which sucked in the rain. I felt really bad for the vendors – there were just a couple brave people shopping, and they had to squeeze all their displays under their tents. And the baked goods were probably all soggy from the humidity. We just dropped off some empty containers to our favorite cherry farmer, talked to him for a bit, and left. Then we went to Ikea for a couple things – for example, a new small laundry basket to keep downstairs to help with the increase in towel laundry I’m expecting :o)

We were going to go to Redstone for lunch, but we got there a little before it opened, so I suggested we walk into the mall, since it was still raining. We ended up walking around, and got Chick-fil-A instead. It was here that I saw a poster for something I hadn’t heard of before. I knew Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, is really big on Christianity and such (the whole “closed on Sundays” thing, approving of all restaurant managers, etc.). But there was this poster for the WinShape Foundation, which explained that they had camps that taught kids “character qualities” (oh no, very Gothard-y right there!), marriage retreats, wilderness programs, and foster homes for kids! Ugh, why did they need to advertise all this via a huge poster right next to our table? I really like their food, but man, they make it really hard for me to eat there and want to support them…

After lunch, we checked out the many shoe stores – seriously, this mall is like 50% shoe stores! – and I ended up getting a couple pairs of sturdier flip-flops than my regular little Old Navy ones. I was going to get some Nike ones, but although comfortable, they were a little sportier than my usual style, so I ended up going with these classic looking Tommy Hilfigers. Also, GG discovered possibly a new favorite shoe store: The Shoe Department has a special section of men’s size 14 and up! And I was happy to see they had a good selection of shoes for my big ol’ feet, too!

When we got home, I checked my e-mail and saw that even though the rain was clearing up, and there were a few hours until a decision had to be made, our concert had been canceled! GG already had plans to go out with some friends tonight, and I considered going with him, but decided instead to take advantage of my unexpected night off to take care of some things, and let him have a night out with the guys.

Oh, and then I read this depressing article.

Going Green with “Unpaper”

Today I read this blog post on going paper towel free, and I definitely think we could do this. We hardly ever use napkins, first of all, so it wouldn’t be hard to switch from paper to cloth. And the non-paper towels look great if you just have a bunch to rotate through. GG said he would like to continue using paper towels for his painting work, and I’d like to use them to pick up cat puke so the whole thing could just be thrown away… But other than that, I’d love to be a paper towel-free household! We could even take that stupid paper towel holder off the wall…

The Etsy shop linked in the post is sold out at the moment, but I found many more who sell (even specialize) in the birdseye cotton towels – search for “reusable paper towels” or “unpaper towels.” I’m just bought a bunch today! (If I had a serger I’d make my own…)

However… I don’t think we’re ready to make a family cloth-level commitment…

Blog Update and More Happy Reviews

At some point last night, something happened to this blog. I don’t know what, but it was totally inaccessible today – all that displayed was the title graphic and the background. So I spent my entire night tonight setting up new mySQL databases, installing and upgrading WordPress (finally I’m on version 3.0 – quite a jump from 2.0.4 that I was on before!), importing all my data, and then ironing out all the little kinks (for example, somehow all my posts tagged “Cats” were re-categorized as “Blogroll”). After all that, you, the reader, shouldn’t even be able to tell anything changed. I am enjoying the admin side of WP 3.0, though I think I will eventually need to change to a different theme, though, because this one isn’t really 3.0-friendly. I mean, it works okay now, but no widgets. (And I followed the directions to make a theme widget-ready or whatever, but it just gave me error messages.)

However, the outage has prevented you from hearing about our flea scare (no, we don’t have fleas here), and probably also my copious weekend plans. But I’m sure you’ll hear all about that after it’s over.

Now here’s a couple reviews of things I’ve tried recently…

Tovolo Yellow Groovy Pop Molds: As soon as it got hot this summer (which was, like, May?), I started looking for popsicle molds because I thought they’d be a nice treat to cool off. When we went to People’s Pops in NYC, it just intensified my desire to find these (which of course are one of those things you always see in stores, until you want some, and then you can’t find them). So I ordered these online, and I’m very happy with them. Usually popsicle molds are one unit, like an ice cube tray, and you stick the handles in the top. These are actually individual molds that sit very securely in a little yellow tray. So you can take out just one and run it under water to loosen it, without melting the whole batch. The first couple flavors I tried were just things I happened to have at home, and they were okay, but not very good. Then I made a fruit salad (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and peach) and put the leftovers in the blender, and those were the best popsicles yet! I have some apricots on deck, and my next popsicles will attempt to replicate the Apricot Chamomile flavor I had at People’s Pops (maybe with a berry tea instead of chamomile).

Warner’s Invisible Bliss Bra: Stop reading here if you think talking about bras is TMI. Okay, you may know that I’ve been looking for new bras for like two years now. Victoria’s Secret had some nice ones, but they stopped making them. Then I thought they had them again, but the new version totally sucked. And also they’d mis-measured me. So I gave up on them and started seeking out a new brand. I just wanted nice smooth bras, without lace/bows/etc., with good support and molded cups. On a recent trip to TJ Maxx I swung past the lingerie rack and almost passed these by, but I ended up taking one to try on. Oh my gosh, it’s like a miracle. First of all, so supportive. But also extremely comfortable. Very smooth, they say they use “Invisible Edge Technology,” which is like an elastic band that goes around the edges and then becomes the straps. The straps do not adjust, which so far is not a problem for me. I imagine after a lot of use they might just stretch out? But it’s so nice to not have to re-adjust them in the morning, because usually by the end of the day my straps would have extended themselves. Also, no tags. Yet another annoying thing to not have to deal with. The straps don’t fall down, and the underwire doesn’t ride up. So comfy to wear all day. I grabbed a whole handful when I was at TJ Maxx (they’re like 1/3 of their retail price there).

Lazy Holiday Weekend

Because of our new distribution of holidays at work this year, our site had a 4-day weekend this week. Independence Day is today, Sunday, and we have off Friday and Monday. Since most people seem to only have Monday off, I decided to take advantage of my Friday by going out and doing some shopping I had been putting off. (Me? Putting off shopping? Yes. I was just too tired to go after work any evening.) I just went out in the morning/early afternoon, and then spent the rest of the day at home. One of my stops was Plato’s Closet, where I attempted to sell two large bags of clothes. The took one thing, for which I earned $2.80. Hardly worth the gas it took to drive down there.

On Saturday I wanted to go to the mall early, which I did, but while I was getting ready in the morning I heard this rustling sound outside. I looked out the window and in our neighbor’s yard I saw a white cat watching as a giant groundhog wrestled with a sheet of plastic, before tearing part of it off and running away! (I saw the same groundhog come back for more plastic later.)

The cat is behind the bushes here – he was out in the open until I got my camera, of course.

Here’s the groundhog with his big plastic bag.

And here he is running away. I wonder how he compares size-wise to Ivan!

Last night my family got together to celebrate my brother’s birthday, since he was home for the weekend. I got him a DVD of Dead Snow, which seems totally up his alley (zombies and history?!), and a Mr. Rogers card, which he loved. I always worry about the things I get people for gifts, but I guess I usually choose pretty well.

My mom had mentioned she might want to go out with me today, but then she decided to go to the pool or do paperwork or something, so I’ve been bored. My big excitement was going to Bed Bath & Beyond and doing my food shopping for the week. Oh well, I still have one more day of vacation to go!