Linky Thursday – 7/28

22 Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin: Some of these are cute, some are very clever, and some are amazing. And don’t we all have some candy tins around, waiting for a yet-to-be-determined project?

Literally Unbelievable: These people think The Onion is real. That is what is wrong with this country.

Protest Signs: The most hilariously effective signs supporting gay marriage (I love the Gay Bridal Registry one), the world’s most whimsically futile protest signs (“I am a little upset.”), and what the heck, the world’s most brilliantly pointless street flyers.

“You’re just too tired to stop”

We had an eventful weekend, despite the crazy (crazy!) heat and humidity.

On Friday night, GG and I went out to dinner and made a couple power laps of the mall. We had been thinking of going to the Franklin Mills mall to see if any of the outlets had any good deals, but then I changed my mind about driving all the way up there, so we stuck closer to home. There were actually a lot of places there having good sales, but I only got a couple of things. GG is so good and patient when I go clothes shopping :o)

Saturday I went out early to run errands, went to the eye doctor (my eye is doing better, I get to taper off my eye drops, yay!), and stopped by my mom’s place to pick up some Saltine chocolate bark she made. (It was funny, she wouldn’t tell me what it was until I guessed. It is delicious.) GG and I got lunch, then I bought a bunch of fruit to make a fruit salad to take to J’s new place, to which we’d been invited for an informal evening pool party.

This house is beautiful. I know GG was extremely impressed with all the different rooms, but all I could think was, “It’s hard for us to call to each other from different parts of the house now, could you imagine if we were somewhere this big?!” We had some good dinner and somehow I ended up sitting at the kids’ table, which was actually sort of fun. GG and I were the only people there without kids, but there were a bunch of them. After dinner I changed into my bathing suit, which was the first time GG had ever seen me in one (we’re just not big swimmers or beach people, and I guess any time I’ve gone in the past nine years, he wasn’t there). I spent most of my time bobbing around on a pool noodle, until I started feeling kind of sick. GG jokingly said maybe I was seasick from being in the pool, but I think he was totally right! It wasn’t really bad motion sickness, but I’m sure it was related to floating around like I was. So I got out, since I still had an hour’s drive to get us home. It was getting dark by then anyway and we decided to clean up and head out.

I was so exhausted after that long day, but somehow woke up crazy early on Sunday (I think my body thought I had to go to work?), so I did a bunch of stuff around the house that I’d been putting off. Then we went out at 1 PM for a friend’s birthday brunch. We were only out for a couple hours, and when I got home I did a little bit more housework, then passed out… Until it was time for My Strange Addiction.

I’ve been listening to Join Us pretty much non-stop, and it’s great. I just like it more and more. I like a lot of the interpretations that have already been posted on TMBW, but I kind of have my own theory about Canajoharie. (Actually, now that I’m reading the page again it looks like someone posted almost the same idea as mine, though still a bit more literal than my interpretation.)

Linky Thursday – 7/21

Maria Bamford – “We Do Things A Little Differently Around Here”: “Just ignore Dan, he’s always in the employee kitchen, nude.”

Calling America: Phone Zones as Alternate States: Redrawing state borders according to areas where people call each other the most. This merges my location with southern New Jersey, which I am not in favor of. And what’s going on out west, do people there not make phone calls?

16 Awkward Food and Beverage Names: Well these are all very funny, but my favorite is “Chicken in OK Sauce” (probably also the only one that’s safe for work).

Incredible Kitteh Photographs Look Like Historical Portraits: These are beautiful! I’d love to get similar portraits of our kitties…

Crazy Eye, Team Building, “Join Us”

For the past few weeks I’ve had this bump on my eyeball, which was weird enough, but then my whole eye started getting really irritated around it. I saw an optometrist who said he used to get them all the time and it should go away on its own, and I could take fish oil supplements to prevent them in the future. So I did that for a few weeks, and it was just getting redder and redder, it looked really bad, people were asking me what happened or if I had pinkeye. Last Saturday morning I woke up with my whole eye all puffy and weepy (it went away within a couple hours, it was just so irritated overnight), so I went to an ophthalmologist, who did a whole bunch of stuff and numbed my eye and poked it and all that, then prescribed me steroid eyedrops to take for a week.

By the next day, it was already looking better! And it’s continued to improve. I am looking almost completely back to normal now, and it’s only been a couple days. I have to go back next weekend for a check-up, and then hopefully will be able to taper off my eyedrop dosage. I am looking forward to that, because 1) it’s sort of a pain to have to remember to take an eyedrop every six hours, especially because I’m bad at eyedrops and it can take me a while to get it right; and 2) even though it’s only four drops a day, I’m still getting the unfortunate steroid side effect of not being able to sleep. For the past couple nights I’ve woken up at 3 AM and just could not get back to sleep. By the time I did, my alarm was going off. I’m usually so awesome at sleeping, so I’m not used to this.

This week has been super fun. We had a two-day face-to-face team meeting, which I always enjoy because there’s only three of us from my group located here, everyone else is either in the other office or works from home, so I love getting to see everyone. My week was filled with meetings, activities, dinners, and hanging out. (Ugh, I say “my week” like the week is over – I can’t believe I still have two more full workdays!)

I will say, I was a little disappointed with our meeting. The meeting part itself was good, but the focus was really supposed to be on “team building,” and it felt like those aspects were lacking. There are maybe a couple people in the group who could really stand to focus on working as a team, and they were being uncooperative, not participating, etc. We had an outside person come in to do sort of a personality analysis and teamwork lesson, but they ended up spending most of their limited time on stupid stuff (e.g. where do we want to see ourselves as a team in 2 years? Obviously we want to succeed and do a good job.) and not on what I had imagined we would be covering (e.g. how can we learn to work together to get to that point?). Then we had an evening activity where we went to Dave & Buster’s for a corporate event that was supposed to include dinner and a team-building activity, but it was sort of the opposite of teamwork again: two captains were selected, they had to choose teams one member at a time (there’s a chance for favoritism to come out), then we played games that didn’t really involve teamwork, they were more individuals taking turns while everyone else cheered them on, and also half the group was competing against the other. It was fun and I had a good time, it just wasn’t what I had expected or what I feel like we needed as a group.

TMBG’s “Join Us” was released yesterday but I didn’t have time to listen to it until tonight. I am still sort of mad at them about being bad at Twitter, and selling out/doing a lot of kids’ stuff. But I am really enjoying this album. It definitely feels like a return to “classic” TMBG (example: “Cloisonne” mentions Sleestaks five times!). No track really sticks out for me yet as one I really like, but there are also none that I really don’t like, so I think that’s good. There’s a couple where they do some neat things, like “Spoiler Alert,” which is actually two songs sung simultaneously, or “Protagonist,” in which a movie script is read between lines of the song. I have to say, when I first listened to “When Will You Die,” I thought it was sort of horrible, wanting someone to die. But then I listened to the lyrics and realized… I actually feel that exact way about someone! The lyrics are so perfect – here’s some choice lines: “You’re insane, you are bad, you wreck everything you touch, and you’re a sociopath,” “I’d be counting down the days until the lovely one on which you’re gone,” “We’ll exhale, we’ll high five.” I had been considering not even bothering to see them the next time they come to town, but I think I will go :o)


A couple months ago I saw the Ava purse on Shop Suey. About 95% of their stuff is not my style, but when I saw this I immediately loved it. I had a big event coming up, so I told myself when that was over, if the purse was still available, I would buy it for myself as a reward.

Last week, I got an e-mail from them about a 4th of July sale and remembered that purse that I’d liked. Not only did they still have it, it was half off! So I ordered it in gray.

It arrived yesterday and I excitedly opened the box to find… A tan purse.

I checked all the other colors it comes in, and this is definitely the closest to gray, but if you look at the picture and video online, it looks more gray than the taupe-colored bag I got. Also the interior is not black, as shown, it’s a darker tan. Oh well, I still really like it. It’s nice quality and looks good. Even though it’s not real leather, literally everyone who has seen it asks if it is.

So today, a friend and I went out at lunch to visit the new Charming Charlie across the street. She was looking for a blue purse, and I picked up anything that was remotely blue. One bag I was immediately drawn to because I liked the shape. The fabric, not so much (it was a plastic-coated blue and brown damask type pattern). As I held it, I realized… it was my Ava bag that I was wearing, just in different material!

I was slightly more ticked off about my new purse – not only is it the color I wanted, the same thing can be had for $19.99 at Charming Charlie?! But, mine is made of nicer quality material, so I guess I’m ok with spending $5 more on it (the sale price). I do like it, weird color or not.

I ate more fried foods yesterday than I care to admit.

So my 4th of July concert… The concert itself was really good, but the entire band was mad at this crowd of little kids that was dancing in front of the stage (I thought it was just me being annoyed, until we all commiserated during the intermission). There were a number of reasons, but mainly they were doing some unsafe things (e.g. the conductor saying, “Hey little dancing friends, be careful of these cables for the speakers, we don’t want you to trip and pull a speaker down on top of you” apparently translates to “Make these cables the centerpiece of your dancing!”), and their parents just weren’t paying attention at all. It was cute at first, but after talking to some people in the audience it sounded like they found all the dancing a bit distracting, too.

The rest of my week was pretty boring, but it was only a four-day workweek, so that was awesome. Somebody gave birth to one of the cutest babies I’ve seen, that’s pretty cool. I ordered a bunch of stuff online, so I have a lot of boxes coming to look forward to. GG had a friend over after work on Thursday that ended up being this late-night hangout thing, so I ended up not making dinner and got mad.

On Saturday we went to the Kutztown Festival. I’ve wanted to go for the last few years, but for some reason stuff intervenes and we haven’t been able to make it. I hadn’t been there since I was little, and GG had never been, so it was fun. As promised, most of our time was spent eating – buttery soft pretzels, funnel cake, lemon drink, birch beer, blooming onion, Dutch fries, roast ox sandwich, and beer in the beer garden (for GG, after we happened to run into a friend of his from high school who was also there for the day). And we also saw animals, crafts, Mennonite stuff, farm equipment, etc. It was neat, and we had pretty perfect weather! I was completely wiped out for the rest of the day, though, and we spent much of the late afternoon/early evening napping on the sofa. You can see all my pictures here, but here’s a few choice shots:

GG eying up the roast ox for later

This bunny figured out he could keep cool by sitting in front of the fan; he even had a smug look on his face

Birch oil still… for making birch beer!

Funnel caaaake…

Nail polish this week is Essie “In Stitches” – I think I may have found a new favorite color! And… that may be the most exciting thing about my week this week. I have work, and a concert, and that’s about it.

“You’ll move a little closer but the moving isn’t over”

Our office was closed on Friday for some reason, so I’ve had a really long holiday weekend. Thursday was a crazy busy day, though I was able to move my appointments around a little bit so I could leave at a reasonable time.

GG was away working all weekend, so I put out a call for friends to entertain me. Jen invited me over on Friday to help her with packing, as they’re getting ready to move soon. I went up in the afternoon (and by the way, was very proud of myself for navigating the Turnpike and making my way to her house all by myself), and we got pretty much her whole kitchen packed, minus the things they’ll be using for the next couple weeks. Her kids are super awesome, and it was also fun hanging out with them. I showed the girls how to fold paper hats and they went nuts making and decorating hats for everyone in their family – and me, I got a hat too! Later on, it was time to pick up the two year-old from daycare (and OMG he is fantastic too) and get some pizza for dinner, and I’d brought a fruit salad (which luckily, the kids loved), and we all had dinner together. Then we cleaned up, played a game for a bit, and then the girls went to bed and I headed home. (Oh but they asked if I could spend the night! How cute! Seriously, I think these are the only children GG likes, and they’re yet another reason I could never have kids – mine wouldn’t be that smart and well-behaved, and I’d be jealous.)

On Saturday morning I went out to do some errands, stopped and picked up lunch, came home, and… I think I spent the rest of the day on the sofa. Whatever, it’s a holiday weekend. I did turn on my computer and do a bit of work (ugh). I went to Target and some other fun places on Sunday, did food shopping, that sort of stuff. I found this show on TV called Amsale Girls, about the women who work at the Amsale bridal salon in NYC. There was a marathon on and I watched a few hours of this show… yet I did not see one person actually purchase a dress. Do they sell anything there?!

Happy Independence Day! Today I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and work around the house, GG came home, and I painted my nails with my new Essie nail polish (Fiji color) which I was very excited about, but actually I’m not super happy with the color or finish. I got another, darker color to try, so maybe I’ll like that more… Later tonight will be dinner and then I’m playing in a concert, followed by fireworks! It’s going to be insanely crowded and crazy, hopefully I can pack up and get out during the fireworks to beat the crowd!