Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A call to boycott United

Lack of home = lack of posting. sorry.

Had the world's worst experience with United Airlines this weekend. We had to buy tickets on priceline for this trip because all the tickets to my mom's house were $500 a piece. Friday morning started out auspiciously enough. We got up before the butt crack of dawn and made our way to Philidelphia airport. There was no traffic on the road and we got there in under 45 minutes. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:55. We barely made it because there were at least 200 people in line for check in and three open counters, including self-check in (no kidding). Okay, so I can blame that on heavy Christmas travel traffic.

We had a layover in Chicago (yeah, another reason I'm never flying United or purchasing from Priceline again). We got in around 8:30. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 10:10, so we checked the departure time and gate and got some breakfast. (Incidentally, it was yummy). When we meandered back to our gate we found our flight had been delayed until 12:49 pm. 'Scuse me? And why? Because they plane they had was having mechanical problems and so they had to find another plane. Things happen. We bought some magazines and settled in with Newsweek and MarioCart.

Delayed: 1:49
Delayed: 2:13
Delayed: 2:30
Delayed: 2:45

Finally, around 2:30, they load us onto the plane, which had to fly, empty, from Dulles. We get settled in only to hear that we're not going anywhere because the sink in the lavatory won't stop running and they have to get a mechanic to drain the water tank. Sigh. Delayed. The water is drained and the pilot comes on the intercom to tell us that the co-pilot has exceeded his allowable hours and we now have to wait for a new co-pilot. We finally leave O'Hare around 3:45. Touchdown in Memphis: 5:30. Total travel time: 13 hours.

But wait ... it gets better! Before we get on our flight home on Monday we check our flights. The first flight was delayed 1 hour, 15 minutes. Layover time: 1 hour ... last flight of the day. So I call the happy people at United. They want us to get on a plane to O'Hare and spend the night there. I ... don't ... think ... so. The earliest they could get us out Tuesday was 2:30. 'Kay.

Tuesday, all seems to be going smoothly. We get to the airport and check in to find that our flight has been delayed until 3:30. Why? Mechanical problems. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! The flight leaves at 3:45. We run to our connection and the flight boards in less than 5 minutes. Whew. The one thing United did right the whole weekend was get us home on time Tuesday night.

Every one of our delays was the airline's fault, not the weather's. I will not be flying United again.

Monday, December 12, 2005

3 Things

I got these from another blog I was reading. Now it's your turn!

1. Three things you like about yourself:
I'm a very loyal friend. I stay pretty balanced. I remember every day why I love my husband so much.

2. Three things you don't like about yourself:
I let work get to me. Patience is not one of my virtues. I don't always live my faith like I should.

3. Three parts of your heritage:
English, Cherokee Indian, Okie

4. Three of your everyday essentials:
Chapstick, kisses, downtime

5. Three things you are wearing right now:
Sweater, jeans, socks

6. Three things you want in a relationship:
Love, mutual respect, laughter

7. Two truths and a lie:
I wanted to work for the FBI, I make cookie dough and don't make the cookies, I had my toungue pierced.

8. Three things you can't live without:
Husband, faith, family

9. Three places you'd go on vacation:
Hawaii, Egypt, Australia

10. Three things you just can't do:
Wake up on the first alarm, play basketball, sew

11. Three kids names:
Tucker, Emma, McKenna

12. Three things you want to do before you die:
Live in Hawaii, get my scuba certification, have a family

13. Three things you wanted to do for a living:
Veterinarian, FBI agent, Professor

14. Three ways you are stereotypically a boy:
High maintenance women make me tired, I love college football/basketball, my house is cluttered

15. Three ways you are stereotypically a girl:
I love getting pedicures, I get ice cream and french fry cravings, I love my cats

Like watching hair grow

While most of my day was spent getting things accomplished and being productive, I would rather have spent the last two hours getting my toenails pulled out than how I actually spent it. I was supposed to receiving training on Crystal Reports and querying. Instead, I spent two hours watching a man stumble through a query builder that I already knew how to use. I had the conscience to feel guilty, because he was really a very nice man ... like Mr. Rogers on downers. I didn't, however, have enough conscience to sit through any more of the mind-shrinking. Instead, I said "I think I need some time playing with the software. I'll call if I need anything."

Friday, December 09, 2005

Coming Home!

So I got an email from Ryan yesterday. He's (supposed to be) coming home today. It looks like he'll get off the boat this morning!! I'm so ready for him to be home. My week overall was good and busy, so at least I didn't have a lot of time to mope around the house. I had a follow up meeting with some colleagues and got a lot of questions answered, so that was nice.

You may notice the time on this blog. I should be on my way to work right now. And yet you notice I'm not. Why? Well, because nothing is plowed and the main road on my way to work is speed restricted to 35 mph and already peppered with accidents. The snow is supposed to be over by mid-morning, so I figure I'll wait out the worst of it and go in a little late this morning. I usually try to sleep in on mornings like this, but I got up and showered, thinking I would be able to go into work at normal time. So ... I'm awake. It's ok though, I'll get some stuff done around the house.

He's coming home!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Stupid boats anyway

Ryan is floating somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean this week. Apparently they needed his expertise with some kind of "safety" testing. Meanwhile, my husband is in the middle of an ocean with no means of communication. While I knew this sucked, I didn't realize how much it sucked until last night. When you have talked to someone every single day for the past 3 or so years, it's very unnerving not to talk to them. It's amazing what a mind can create at 10:47 pm on a school night when you're used to saying "goodnight my love."

Saturday, December 03, 2005


So after 2 weeks of going to work with me, we finally got our new Chiminea out of the Pathfinder and put it together. I was a little concerned when I took it out and the instructions said it would take 2-3 hours to assemble. Luckily for me ... my husband's an engineer, so it only took like 4 hours. Kidding, about 30 minutes. We ate s'mores and our butts turned to ice. All in all, a satisfying fire-in-your-backyard kind of moment.

First Christmas lights on our home!

So we got up some Christmas lights today. How do you like our tchotchke Christmas trees? They're no bloated blow up Santas, but hey, we do what we can. Here's my recommendation for anyone considering these "valance" lights. Don't. Just don't. They are a huge pain to unwind, and as you can see, have a mind of their own. We're hoping that with time and gravity they'll hang out and look better. If not, well, Christmas is the season for dumb looking decorations.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

No comment

Seriously, none needed.

Unexplainable phenomenon

Now this is a phenomenon I really don't understand. Is this some strange East Coast "must stand out" ritual or does this happen in other areas of the country as well? Every season (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and now Christmas) we've been treated to the bloated faces of our season favorites.

I thought at first it was just one or two families. No, there are a lot of people in our neighborhood who think that blow up lawn art are the raison du jour. Maybe I'm the one who doesn't get it.

Kitten Update

Now that they're older, they aren't nearly so innocent and cute. Elf is a contortionist. He is also well acquainted with Ryan's water bottle. The cat will actually get into the shower with us. I think there is something tragically wrong with him.


Ryan and I have gotten hooked on the "Current" television station, broadcasted by google. It shows random documentaries sent in by viewers. It's really an interesting channel. You see everything from a white guy getting a hair cut in a black barber shop to race riots in France.

One of the shorts from tonight was about illegal immigration from the Mexican border. These people are so desparate and are trying to get to the US only to support themselves and their families. While I don't think that people should circumvent the laws and enter the country illegally, I truly don't understand why it's so difficult to get into this country legally. These are people who are willing to do any job, desparately struggling to survive. It makes our everyday struggles seem microscopic in comparison.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Freakishly Warm Day

Today was in the 70s. Are you kidding me? I remember snow on many of my birthdays growing up (which was over 2 weeks ago). I love this! Of course, it needs to get cold in a hurry. We made plans to go skiing over New Year's weekend, but as of right now, the slope isn't open. We're traveling 3 weekends in a row. The 16/17 is Cathy's graduation (happy graduation Cathy!). We're going to my mom's for Christmas and then we're off to the Poconos for 4 days of skiing.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Black Friday

So Ryan and I went shopping on Black Friday this year (apparently, we also lost our mind). Actually, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. Aside from walking a long way from our parking spot, we only waited in a long line once. The nice part is that we probably got almost half our shopping done in one day.

Sorry not much writing lately. Nothing really interesting has happened lately. We finally got shutters up on the house. I'll post pictures later. Ryan is also framing out the two windows in our office and we're finally painting it. It'll be a lovely blueish grey color.

I think we should have 4 day weekends every week. Work would be much cooler if I only went 3 days a week. Sigh.

Monday, November 14, 2005


My 26th birthday was mostly uneventful ... which I suppose is a good thing. Ryan made it home from his business trip a day early, so was actually home for my birthday (good husband!) We went to Banzai, a Japanese Steakhouse, for dinner. As they usually are, it was a good time. The first time we went there we had a cook who gave out Saki shots if you caught the zucchini in your mouth, said something funny, or generally looked in his direction. His catch phrase? "Waaassaaaabbbiiiii." Our guy on Thursday was fun ... but no Saki shot guy.

It's strange to be 26. Ryan and I decided that you don't hit your late 20s until 28 ... but it's still kind of a surreal age for me. Everyone at work talks about what a baby I am and yet I look at my or Ryan's sister and think how grown up we are. Not old ... just grown up. Our daily dialouge with friends and family is about careers, home projects and children. Autumn is due any day now. She's having a baby. It's strangely comforting knowing that I am able to support myself, own a house, and make adult decisions. I wake up every day next to my husband and thank the Lord for him. Then as I go about my day I realize that I'm married. Someday I'm going to be the parent. I wonder if anyone ever really feels like the grown up. I sure don't.

Tomorrow I leave for another business trip. I'm one of those people. Those traveling people. I watch my frequent flier miles and buy travel pillows. I do almost all of my clothes shopping on business travel (not one of Ryan's favorite activities). I have colleagues. They think I'm a grown up too.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about when I met Ryan, almost 9 years ago. We were 17 and even then we knew we met too soon. Now, 9 years later that 17 year old boy is my husband. I don't know that I pictured our life today when I was 17, but I don't think anything I pictured could have touched the reality of my life today. I think the moral of this story is that 26 is going to be a good year.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Good Night; and Good Luck

Ryan and I just watched “Good Night; and Good Luck”. This black and white film chronicles the end of the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s from the viewpoint of Edward Murrow, a CBS reporter who was publicly critical of McCarthy’s methods. Aside from being well written and beautifully directed, it provoked several thoughts from me.

As trite as this sounds, this movie beautifully illustrated the saying that “Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.” The historical footage of the McCarthy hearings was frightening and eerily familiar. In an age where our civil rights are being increasingly co-opted for the greater good, I find echoes of McCarthy. While we have not yet reached hearings in which people are convicted of communism (or terrorism) by unproduceable witnesses, we do live in an era where suspected terrorists can be held without trial indefinitely. The search for terrorism has not yet reached the fevered pitch of the red scare, but we need to be careful and protective of our liberties.

Second, “Good Night; and Good Luck” showed the birth of the ratings war that currently rules our television viewing. Murrow’s program was canceled because people would rather be entertained by Ed Sullivan, and without ratings, the show had no sponsors. What struck me about the broadcasts portrayed in the movie was how cerebral they were. I cannot believe an audience today would take the time to comprehend Murrow’s message. I don’t know if people are dumber today or simply lack the willingness, but it is a shame that our news is delivered in 15 second sound bites with words no more than 3 syllables long.

It’s been a long time since I watched a movie that made me think as much as I have tonight. I highly recommend this film for its history and commentary about how precious it is to have the rights afforded us in this country.

Lost, our newest obsession

So we never watched Lost before. After hearing good things about it from his mom, Ryan bought the first season's DVD. It is so good! We watched the entire season in less than two weeks. Of course we were sick, so we spent a lot of time couch-louging over the past few weeks. The show is unlike anything else on television right now. Now of course, we have to wait for the second season to finish up. Hrm.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Feeling Human Again

I'm finally starting to feel human again after a week of nasty infection. Ryan apparently caught what I have. He went to the doctor today and they gave him antibiotics as well. Luckily, it seems as though we caught his a lot earlier than mine, so he won't get as sick.

We had our first Halloween in the house tonight. We had at least 40-50 kids stop by. When did they stop saying "Trick or Treat"? It seemed like everyone just came to the door and took candy. It did seem like the parents made them say thank you though. Our first visitors were Snow White and a Power Ranger. Toooo cute.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Brazil Update - Monday

Brazil --

And now for the update. I will share as much as I can about my trip without getting bogged down in the gory details.

After spending a few days in Tampa, my colleagues and I left for Brazil last Saturday afternoon. After nearly 24 hours in the air or airports we arrived in Porto Allegre. Exhausted and dirty, we showered and cast out for food. Unfortunately, everything is closed in Brazil on Sunday and we couldn't find the mall/restaurant our front desk told us about. After finally finding food, we all passed out pretty early to get ready for our big adventure.

We spent Monday at the corporate office learning from our Brazillian and Chilian counterparts. It felt like I was at the United Nations. We had headsets on and had continous translation from the back of the room. Very cool.

Monday night we went out to a traditional Brazillian barbeque. The waiters bring out huge skewers of meat and slice you pieces until you can't move. Because so few preservatives are used, everything was incredibly salty. I tried my most unusual food of the trip here: chicken heart. Verdict? It won't become a staple of my diet.


On Tuesday we visited our mill south of Porto Allegre. Watched barbed wire and nails being made was very cool. The biggest difference between Brazillian mills and American is that in Brazil the mill is very much the center of life. The mill looks more like a campus than a mill and often includes a social club, a medical center and sports fields. Often, the mill will offer free medical services to the surrounding communities. It's a very different way of life in Brazil. It broke my heart to see families living in one-room shacks with aluminum roofing. It truly is still a developing nation.

Dinner was at a Italian restaurant. In every restaurant we went to, food was served in rounds and dinner always lasted at least 3 hours. First was the bread course, then appetizers, then more appetizers, then the main course, then dessert and finally, cordials and dessert wine. Yeesh. Give me my 45 minute dinner any day.

Wednesday - before the illness

Hehe… our laptop kept dying, so my blogging was truncated yesterday. Ehem … to continue …

Wednesday was another day at the mill. It was a cool mill because they made specialty products like stainless steel and molds. This picture is of my colleague, Trisha and I, about to set out for our tour. After the tour we set off for the airport. My favorite example of the difference between our cultures was when our first flight was very delayed. Would we miss our flight? We wondered to our Brazilian cohort. “Likely” she replied … completely unconcerned. We didn’t, but we didn’t get into our hotel until 1:30 am with directions to be ready at 8 am the next morning. I started to get a sore throat on the flight.


Thursday morning I woke up to this beautiful view from my room. This, by the way, is as close as I got the beautiful beaches of Recife. We were all completely exhausted for our mill tour on Thursday. I was in full-blown head cold by this point and spent most of the tour looking for a chair. I skipped out on dinner that night and only joined the rest of the crew after dinner for a little conversation.

Friday - last day

Friday was our one day to see Brazil on the trip. We went on a 3 hour city tour of Recife. This picture was taken in Olinda, overlooking the city of Recife. The city was beautiful, but much poorer than Porto Allegre. Our tour guide had his own agenda. Apparently, he got a cut of everything we bought at certain boutiques … so our tour was very directed. It was fun, but not enough time spent actually seeing the country of Brazil.

Then … back to the airport. Our first flight took us from Recife back to Porto Allegre. We got into the airport at 9 pm and figured we had plenty of time to get to our midnight flight to Atlanta. We went to check in for our flight and found out that our flight had been moved to 8 am the next morning. I was not staying another night in Brazil, sick and away from Ryan. We ran for the 10 o’clock flight and were the last people on the flight at 5 minutes till 10pm. Unfortunately, one of our colleagues was not so lucky.

I finally got into Newark at 10 am Saturday morning and was greeted by my wonderful husband. He got to put up with sick wife for the weekend as I slept nearly the whole weekend away trying to get better. To no avail. I had to call in sick on Monday. I barely made it to work Tuesday when my boss and the company nurse told me to go to the doctor and go home. As it turns out, I have an infection in my left ear, throat, and sinuses. I wasn’t being a baby after all. Yesterday I was blogging from the couch, my new home. I made it back to work today and am finally feeling human again today. Thank you antibiotics.

And that’s Brazil.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Ball

Last night was the Navy Ball in Atlantic City. We had a GREAT time. I am bummed that this picture ended up blurry because it is the epitomy of the evening. We got dressed up, danced the night away and lost some money playing video poker. It was a perfect rainy October evening. The bed in our room was like sleeping on a rock ... so we're spending the rest of the day couch luge-ing.


The second day of Pennsylvania we spent at the Rennaissance Faire. It was fun as always. I really enjoy the humor and pagentry of the faires. During the final joust of the day, this guy was trading insults with a guy in the audience. It's about as different as it could be from the Amish country the day before ... but just as fun and interesting.

Amish Country

Last weekend Ryan and I went to Pennsylvania to visit the Amish Country and to go to the Rennaissance Faire. We had a really nice time. Amish country was cool because it was like going back in time about 100 years. Everywhere you went were people tilling their farms with horses and traveling in buggies. It's certainly not a lifestyle I would choose, but there is something appealing about the simplicity of it all. People essentially spend their time growing the food they need, taking care of their home and family and spending time with their neighbors. Several of the women we saw were starting to bald because they wear their hair in a tight bun at the back of their head. The culture doesn't make a lot of sense to me (i.e., why can they use diesel fuel to power appliances but not electricity?). It was an interesting day though.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Traveling next week

Next Tuesday I'm off to Cartersville GA to visit one of our mills that is doing a very intense supervisor training program. I'm looking forward to it, especcially since I'll fly into Atlanta and be able to visit with Becks at her apartment. I'm back in NJ then for a week and then off to Tampa and Brazil ... so posting over the next couple of weeks will probably be light.

Self Check Out - Aaarrgghh!

Ryan and I learned a valuable lesson this morning when we went shopping at Acme. We did regular shopping and since the checkers were all pretty busy, we decided to go through self check out. Big ... big mistake. Not only does the annoying woman annouce the price of everything you purchased, she also gets very testy if you try to move your bags back into the cart. We had to have the self check out monitoring employee help us at least 3 times because our items were not heavy enough to register the weight and the women kept asking us to "Please return item to bagging area." Lesson learned: only use self check out at Home Depot and when you have 2 things to buy. Otherwise, wait in the line.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Thursday morning, 7:07 am: I leave for work. Halfway there I remember that I need to stop at Dunkin Donuts to pick up breakfast for a training class.
Thursday morning, 7:58 am: Arrive at work. Good day.
Thursday evening, 5:20 pm: Leave my office, hop on the Turnpike.
Thursday evening, 5:30 pm: On the turnpike ... stopped. Find out on the radio that the turnpike is closed 5 miles down the road.
Thursday evening, 6:05 pm: Back at work after I find my way off of the turnpike.
Thursday evening, 7:30 pm: Ryan calls wondering where I am. Still on the road. Miraculously only 7 miles from home.
Thursday evening, 7:59 pm: Finally pull into the driveway. Total travel time: 2 hours, 40 minutes.
Friday morning, 6:37 am: Leave for work.
Friday morning, 7:15 am: Pick up Adriana, a colleague from Corporate at her hotel.
Friday morning, 7:30 am: Arrive at work. Good day.
Friday evening, 4:00 pm: Drop Adriana back at her hotel. Hop on turnpike.
Friday evening, 4:10 pm: Not again! Turnpike is once again backed up.
Friday evening, 5:40 pm: Pull into driveway. Total travel time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.

2 days normal travel time: 3 hours
Last 2 days travel time: 5 hours, 50 minutes

Traffic sucks.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The car is better

And it only took $613.54 to make it better. Now the radio doesn't work though. Apparently when a battery is replaced you have to reset the radio with a code. Ry took it back to the dealership and apparently got the code, but still no dice. We're still minus one radio. Always a circus.

Not kidding!

And here's the proof of our ridiculous cats.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Freaking Fantabulous

After a lovely company picnic in Sayreville, Ryan and I were driving home to nap, make snacks and get ready for a college football party. Haa, ha, hahahahahahaha! For those of you have been in New Jersey, we were heading south on the NJ Turnpike and about 9 miles from home, the car battery light came on. Within 1 minute the car started seriously overheating. We pulled over on the side of the road (complete with people whizzing by at 80 miles per hour). We coaxed the car off the turnpike (go half a mile, let the car rest for 5 minutes, go half a mile, let the car rest for 5 minutes, go ... well you get the picture). We pulled into a gas station with the coolant attempting to escape the car hood. Luckily, we have USAA roadside assistance. The last time our vehicle broke down, we called, and half an hour later the surfer truck driver showed up and we went about our business. This time .... this time we waited for 3 HOURS for the tow truck guy to show. Needless to say, we aren't going to the party, which started an hour and half ago. I guess with a 12 year old car, we're gonna have hiccups, but this was not a pleasant roadside assistance experience.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Really, a tragedy

I just got finished watching Oprah's show from yesterday. She reported from New Orleans/Mississippi/Houston and other places that were affected by or are housing refugees. The images and stories she showed made my heart hurt. I don't know if or how a response could have reached these areas more quickly, but it is a human travesty that people lived in filth and terror for days in the New Orleans Superdome. What I do know is that this cannot happen again. If it were me, I would be gone from New Orleans to somewhere that wasn't below sea level. I hope that the city is rebuilt further from the coast so something of this magnitude cannot happen again.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Another great weekend

We spent the weekend in Illinois. SOOO much fun. On Friday we went to see Lance's new love shack, complete with Illini room. We saw the best football game on Saturday (I know ... Illini football fun?!). After a depressing first 3 quarters, our guys kicked it in gear and kicked some serious Rutgers butt. Ha ... ha ... hahahahahahahahaha. Not too much rubbing it in today, of course. The rest of the weekend was fun times with friends and relatives. Even Kimmy was in town from Tokyo last weekend. She looks great with red hair, although she's a bit too thin, even for Kimmy.

My overall realization this weekend was how much I miss central Illinois. We had a great time and can't wait to go back. Ry may go back for Homecoming weekend while I'm in Brazil. Mmm, Brazil.

Finally, Curtains!

We couldn't have curtains up in the living room before the kittens got declawed because ... well ... because they wouldn't be curtains anymore. Mom made us these lovely curtains when she was here in July and we finally got them up! I love our new curtains!.

Kitty Face!

Yeah, not a great picture, but very typical of of Elf.

Kitten Updates

After the weekend of HUGE cats, we came home to our relatively small kittens. Here's Elf in his typical pose after chasing after some imaginary bugs. They may still be small, but they've grown so much since we got them!

And Chief

And Chief of course!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pat Robertson is Wack

Seriously, who thinks it's a good idea to go around assassinating people? And how did this guy become a spokesperson for Christianity? I really feel like I don't recognize my faith in a lot of these people. How does one go from loving each other, forgiveness and patience to avocating assassination? Why is it that only the extreme sides of any political party/religion/organization ever get any air time? I'm seriously considering blocking out the news.


Ahhhh. Ryan and I are finally alone in our house. We had houseguests essentially since we moved into our new house. As much as we love ya'll, it's really great to just enjoy my life with my husband again.
We went to see two movies recently that I really enjoyed. Sky High (yeah, I know, it surprised me too) and March of the Penguins. Sky High is certainly not going to win any awards, but it was a surprisingly clever parody of the superhero genre. I laughed a lot.
March of the Penguins was beyond interesting. For instance, did you know that the male penguin incubates the egg until the chick hatches? How about the fact that they spend 9 months of the year shuttling food back and forth to their chick? Most of the film seemed made up to me, but they really do these things! I also realized that living in Antartica would be suck. The highest temperature I heard during the movie was -58 F.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Our cats drink out of the toilet

Not kidding. I think we got defective cats.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Going to Brazil

So I'm going to Brazil for a week in October for my company. I'll actually have apply for a Visa since I'm going for work. I've been waiting for my passport to come back with my married name on it. You would think that they would issue a new passport with new photos ... but no. They take the old passport and stamp on the last page that the name was amended on a certain date. Are you kidding me? Because this is going to convince the unpleasant customs agent. Anyhow, with my freshly stamped passport in hand I can finally apply for my visa.

The fun part about this trip is that I'll be going with the other HR Training Reps from around the country. The last time we all got together 4 of us played Euchre and we're looking forward to the rematch. Not surprisingly, I got along best with the other midwesterners. I miss Champaign. I was realizing the other day that one of my best friends is going to have a baby and I'm not going to be there to watch him grow up.
In other news, I'm going to be working in Tampa for 3 days before Brazil, so I'll actually be gone for almost two weeks. That is the longest Ryan and I have been apart since we got married. I'm really not excited about that. I think he may try to schedule business during those weeks as well. I wish he could join me on my very cool trip out of the country.

Monday, August 15, 2005

As Mike pointed out ...

It's been almost a month since I posted last. We had my Mom, Greg, Bridget, Becky, Brad, Frank, Cathy & Michelle here over the last month. Unfortunately for the blog, it was the first thing to go.

The Pathfinder has been awesome! Of course I'm putting crazy miles on it (almost 2600 in one month). It's a good thing I'll be driving it forever, cause the resale won't be good. The best was that we had seven people at the house and all of them fit in the truck to go to the beach.

In other cool news, I'm going to Brazil in October for my job. I'll be in Porte Allegre and several other cities. It looks like I won't get to Rio. Sad. So, here's your opportunity to ask for cool stuff. It's something like a 12 hour flight down there, but everyone I've talked to has said it's worth it.

Becky and Brad come back on Thursday to leave on Friday and drive back to Georgia Tech. And then .... our house is finally our own! We've had people in our house essentially since we bought it. I'm really looking forward to returning to normality.

We're also going to Illinois for Labor Day weekend. On tap: Illini Game, visiting the Grandmas and seeing Autumn pregnant and sassy. It's time ... we haven't been home since April. Sigh ...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Ding dong the witch is dead!

Pathfinder, meet the world; world, meet the Pathfinder. The saga of Tufty has finally ended. We found a dealer who was willing to take Tufty ... ha ha mwahahahahahahahahahaha. This is the car we decided on. It's one of the safest in it's class and has three rows of seats so when you all come visit us we can take one vehicle. Soooo happy.

No Running?!

In more news from the country's most litigious state, New Jersey legislators are proposing a bill to make our playgrounds safer. Among the suggested changes: Putting up "No Running" signs at playgrounds; removing swings and other movable play pieces and replace them with solid, non-moving play structures close to the ground. If anything is going to help our nation's problem with youth obesity, this is it! No running?! I don't think you get to consider yourself as having a childhood unless you've been rushed to the emergency room at least a couple of times.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Ode to the car I loathe

I have a car I hate.
I wish it evil, evil fate.

Today we learn,
It should really just burn.

We try to trade
Now I'm afraid

Because our piece of crap
Is worth more as scrap.

Don't I have the cutest sister?

Outside the lighthouse.

The Pottery Barn

We also went to a really fun 1830's reenactment village where all the houses were real period homes/shops and the people were performing crafts as they were done then. This woman was making inkwells for the school mistress. Very fun. Maybe now that we have a basement, I'll take up a new hobby. How cool to make your own dishes?! The only problem is that I wouldn't have the furnace to fire it. Oh well.

Cape May Lighthouse

Instead we took side trips to Cape May, the furthest south point in New Jersey. It was pretty cool.

The Lamest Renaissance Faire

So, we decided to try a Renaissance Faire in Wildwood, NJ yesterday after we learned the awesome one in Pennsylvania doesn't open until the second week of August. Being from the Prairie and all, we had never been to Wildwood. Wildwood was ... well ... pretty lame. And the Faire? Well, see for yourself. I didn't know they had trucks and budweisers in during the Renaissance. They were charging $16 for entrance. Ha. Ha. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Ryan made a valient effort to get us in cheaper by explaining to the women selling tickets that he didn't believe it was worth $16. Since she disagreed, and we drove over two hours to get there, we decided we had to find something else to do. Hence, the pictures above.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

This is directed at you!

Disclaimer: If you are my Mom, my Dad, Frank or Jason, this is not directed at you.

Ahem ... it has come to my attention (thank you Kassie) that many more people actually read this thing than I thought. So why don't you write me back!?! What's the deal with that? See, here's how it works, I share my thoughts, you share yours and so on and so forth. Ok? Ok.

The Last Few Weeks

It's been a crazy couple of weeks. The Friday before last, Ryan and I flew down to Tampa for a mini-vacation before my work trip. We got to spend an evening with his Mumu and Papa. I really enjoyed hearing their stories about life when they first got married. We also spent a really great day at Busch Gardens. It was supposed to thunder storm all weekend, but we had mostly beautiful weather. During the one storm we got, we were walking in the "Safari" and spent an hour in a hollowed out jeep with a hyena in the bed. We hung out with a hyena!

Ryan had to go back to New Jersey on Sunday (yeah ... sad) while I had three days of business trip ahead of me. The hotel I stayed in was great. I actually slept pretty well, which is unusual when Ry's not around. I did find that I rolled from one end of the huge king bed to the other, but oh well. The trip went well, although I was exhausted by the time I got back in town.

Dad and Laurel were in town for the 4th of July weekend. We got to see some really good fireworks on Sunday (the finale was all the stuff they forgot to shoot during the rest of the show ... it looked like daylight). We spent most of the day Monday at the beach, where the waves were fabulous and watching Becky get knocked head over keister was good fun.

So today I decided I should probably blog again since it's been a long time and I don't want to be one of the non-blogging bloggers. So, yeah, here ya go.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Tufty Update

Hehe, he's got horns.

Kitty Face!

Promised before and after shots

And now more cleverly masquerading!

Shelving cleverly masquerading as closet doors.

Front hallway after.

Front hallway before.

Tiniest Bathroom After

Tiniest bathroom before.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Maguire Air Force Show

Promised shots from the Air Force show. It was really a very cool experience. There was some kind of show going on the entire time we were there. I blown away by the huge planes more than the quick small ones. How does something like this get off the ground?! I really admire the people who said "Yeah, of course tons of steel can fly" because that would never have been within my imagination.

The biggest freaking plane ever.

Blue Angels are the coolest.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Yard fun

Today we spent several hours cutting out the vines that overtook our back flower bed. I don't think I realized just how much work our yard needed. Not only did Ryan and Brad rake 3 bags of random sticks, glass, nails and rocks out of our yard, but the flower beds are ridiculous and the side yard is a crap repository. We have at least 8 bags of vines and roots. The bed was lined with what were essentially 4x4s that were rotting and termite eaten. But after much hard work, we can actually see the fence in the back yard. It's amazing what a difference that makes! I really enjoy having a house.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The joys of home ownership

So our new dishwasher is making a noise like it's trying to eat the utensils. Luckily, it's under warranty. Owning a home means that we can't just call the landlord and when we get home the next day the dishwasher is magically not making that horrific noise. Interesting ...

On the other hand, I have a HUGE clothes washer. It holds all of Ryan and my jeans and work pants for the week. It used to take 2-3 loads in the other old washer. It's the coolest (yeah, I've crossed over into the land of the old ... washers are cool).

Meet our newest family members!

So I convinced Ry that we needed cute little animals. We had decided on a puppy first, but found that finding puppies is much much harder than finding kittens. There were crazy listings in the paper for free kittens ... not so much for puppies. So, we decided on cats first, and of course, they do better in pairs so ... (hehe, yep, he bought it). We got our kittens from Trenton. The area wasn't too bad, but reinforced our decision not to buy a house there (although Ryan's rendition of "In the Ghetto" was good fun). We decided that if we can handle kittens, we can get a puppy. If we can handle that ... then we'll consider kids.

Chief: Yep, he's orange. We're working on him not running away when you walk in a room.

Elf: our social kitty. He actually likes to sit on our laps and play.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A long hiatus

It has been a while since I wrote ... but I have an excuse, I promise! We've been very busy with closing on our house, moving, and not having internet access at home set up yet. Whew, finally we are connected with phone, internet and DirecTV.

Our closing went very smoothly, although we found that our fridge was broken during the walk through. We decided not to push the matter though since our seller had already given us more than he wanted to to replace the windows and bought a new dishwasher for us (also broken). So, we sucked it up and bought a new fridge along with a washer/dryer. It is so nice having a normal sized washer/dryer. I'm constantly amazed by how much fits in there! I know, it's the little things.

The move went well. It was really really nice to have the family out to help. We got a lot done in just a few days. Since then ... things have stalled. It doesn't help that it's summer and all we want to do is be outside doing stuff. Yesterday we went to an Air Show at Maguire Air Force Base (pictures to follow), and today we have our church picnic, which will last all afternoon. Oh well. We'll get the boxes unpacked later.

I promise to write more soon and get some pictures of the house up. It's amazing what a coat of paint and some furniture can do for a room.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

It was an interesting morning

I was trying to get out of the apartment early this morning so that because our Regional VP was coming for a plant visit today. I got up a little early, took a quick shower and was heading out the door when I realized I didn't have my cell phone. I ran back upstairs and grabbed my cell from the dresser. When I got to work, I opened my purse to put my cell phone on my desk and realized that instead of my cell phone, I grabbed deoderant. Uh, oops. But hey, I smelled great all day!

Truth in advertising?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Closing ... delayed

Our closing was delayed until Friday because the seller got "Clerked".


"Clerked" - when a low-level self-important bureaucrat has a bad day and decides you must pay for it.

Thanks for the fun new term, My Love.

Our seller did some serious remodeling to the house. He got all of the permits he was required to get. Apparently, if you redo a kitchen sink, you only have to get a permit if you move it. He did not. The Township Inspector decided arbitrarily that he did. Yeah. So he couldn't get his Certificate of Occupancy in time for a Wednesday closing. Friday it is.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Update: Crapmobile

The Service Engine Soon light is still on. The duct tape and packing tape roof is holding up like a champ. It's a good thing I work at a Steel Mill where every other car is a hoopty(you know, I don't think I've ever seen the word "hoopty" spelled ... "hooptie"?) or I would be embarassed.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Whirling Dervishes

Do you know what a Whirling Dervish is? I definintely didn't before The Amazing Race tonight. I always thought they were like Tazmanian Devils or something. As it turns out (thank you google), Whirling Dervishes are a sect of Islam who use the whirling dance to show their adoration of God's creation. See, TV is educational!

House inspections

Our home inspection was yesterday. I didn't get to go, but Ryan spent a few hours with the structural engineer. It was mostly good news. There were only small things wrong with the house, which means we're still planning on a May 18 close. I can't believe we're actually buying a house.

One of Ryan's colleagues heard a good "duh" story about house mortgages. Kristi is also looking for a house. One of the houses she is considering bidding on was under contract when she first looked at it. It's not anymore. Why? The people who were going to buy it went out and bought a bunch of new furniture and a new car. The mortgage company couldn't give them the loan anymore because they screwed up their credit. Dumb dumb dumb dumb. They should have read the book "Duh ... stuff you shouldn't do when someone is going to give you hundreds of thousands of dollars." The title's a little long, but I think it could be a big seller!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Twisted steel

I saw the coolest thing at work today. During today's safety walk (for an hour each day managers walk the mill to look for any safety problems) I saw a spectacular steel jungle. In the rolling mill (which is where the steel billets are reheated, cut into strips and rolled into rebar) they were casting 3 bar. 3 bar is about as big around as my index finger and when they make it, they roll it out in strips that are easily 50 yards long. Each row of rebar is put on the cooling bed less than an second from the ones before and after. Once one row gets screwy, all the rows after it do to. So what you end up with is 15 - 20 spindly steel bars going every which way. It looks like spagetti or a tumble weed, only it's red hot and huge.

Watching the melt shop (where they turn scrap metal into liquid steel and then steel billets) is unbelievable. The steel is so hot that when it pours into the caster you can't watch it with your naked eye. It's like staring into the sun. You have to wear special sun glasses to even look at it. It makes these crazy sparks that literally fly 5 - 10 feet from the pour. The billets come out red and cool to gray within 5 seconds or so but are still so hot that you can't touch them for hours.

I have a cool job.

Update on Tufty

... and here we have Tufty featuring the scotch tape and duct tape roof. So far this is the winner. Even after a torrential downpour I stayed toasty and warm. Tufty almost fooled us into believing it was beginning to behave. The Service Engine Soon light turned off for two days! Today we found out that he has earned his name, the light's back on. In some twisted way, I'm really enjoying this. I look forward to finding out just how much can go wrong before we finally foist him off on some dealer. I think he needs a jingle, so I'll be working on one. Send any lyrics you think would be appropriate.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Clang Clang ... Here comes the Crapmobile!

So the first attempt to contact paper over the sunroof didn't stand up to the speed test too well. It's Tufty the Crapmobile!

Up close on the first unsuccessful contact paper sun roof.

I don't know why car makers don't just use the stylish contact paper and duct tape roof featured here. Since we refuse to spend any more money on this piece of crap, this is the look for at least the next few months or until something else goes wrong and we beg some dealer to take it.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The evilest car ever

Ryan and I bought a cheap car (Oldsmobile Intrigue) last summer thinking that we could pay it off quickly and not have a car payment for a while. This was the .... biggest .... mistake .... EVER!!!

Shortly after buying the car, the Service Engine Soon light came on. So, we took it back to the dealer where we bought it. The verdict? There was nothing wrong with the car. That dealer sent the car to the Oldsmobile dealer. The verdict? There was nothing wrong with the car. Ok, we thought, we'll deal with it later.

Of course in New Jersey you have to get your cars inspected regularly. When Ryan went to have it inspected we were of course rejected even though there was nothing wrong with the car! We took it to a mechanic (yes, that's three) who said, big surprise here, there is nothing wrong with the car. That said, he told us that if we fixed this air pump thingie it should turn off the Service Engine Soon light. Indeed it did ... for a few hours. Shortly after we drove the car from the mechanic the light came back on. So, back we went to the mechanic. Now the code for the light was different. Great. The cause? The spark plugs. Fabulous. Got them fixed. We have now spent $530 dollars on a 6 year old car. At least the light was off.

Ryan took the car to be inspected today. On the way to the inspector, a rock/brick/piece of frozen airplane poop crashed into the top of the car and SHATTERED THE SUNROOF. Great. Ryan still took it to the inspection site after closing the cloth part covering the sunroof. By some miracle of God, the car passed inspection. Now of course, we have another $500 or so repair to the sunroof. Running total: ~$1030. But wait! The story is not over yet.

Driving away from the inspection station what happened? The stupid Service Engine Soon light turned back on. I would really love to put a couple of slugs in the car and put it out of its misery. But I can't do that. I just read a story the other day of a man doing just that, putting his car out of its misery and he got arrested for discharging a firearm in public. Any other bright ideas?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Home improvements

Since Ryan and I will soon be embarking on the wonderful world of home ownership, we have been reading/watching everything we can get our hands on about home repairs/decorating/renovation. This blog kills me. I can only hope that our new house doesn't turn up such interesting surprises.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Becky coming

It's finally official that Becky and boyfriend, Brad are coming to New Jersey to intern at Ryan's base this summer. What this means for me is many hours of conversation that I understand very little of. It also means that Peanut and I will get to live together for the first time in a while. She may be horrified at my housekeeping skills after living with Dad and Laurel, but it should be a great summer. Another good thing is the free labor that Becky and boyfriend represent for our new house (and from the pictures below, you can see it needs it). Between beach, bonding and work, I have no doubt I'll have an unbelievable summer.

La la la

... and look at all that closet space! Gonna have to do something about the old closet shelving cleverly disguised as closet doors though.

Master bedroom

Ryan's arm in this picture of our new master bedroom makes it look like a mini house, but the corners only slope to 6 feet, so it's actually a good-sized room and kind of feels like cathedral ceilings.


The kitchen has new maple cabinets, terra cotta ceramic tile and nice appliances.


The littlest bathroom (and only).

Our new home

The front of our new house. Imagine it with shutters, a front light, house numbers, tidy cables and a mailbox. Ahh, the joy of home ownership.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A sad state of affairs

Some of the top stories in the news today:

  • Britney's pregnant
  • Mom trades her daughter for a car
  • Police arrest a man and blow up his luggage
  • AIG's CEO gives his wife 1.2 billion dollars in stock before he gets ousted
Granted, there was other news on the sites today as well, it's just an interesting commentary on our society.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Not so official

So we had an appointment to go sign the contract on our house this afternoon. And then we got a call from our Real Estate Agent telling us that the home owner got another "comparable" offer. Apparently, the other offer was the same except for the other couple was going to put down 20%. So they came back to us ... not sure why since we couldn't put down any more than we have. So the story is that even though they came to a verbal agreement with us, they're considering another offer. So we told our real estate agent that we offered what we offered and they agreed to it and while we would do everything we could to expedite the process, that was still our offer.

Their agent called our agent and said that the home owner was still leaning toward the other offer, but why didn't we sign the contract so that if the other offer fell through we'd be ready to roll? Are you kidding me? We're supposed to sign a contract that the other party hasn't agreed to? I don't think so. So long story short, we're back out looking for a house again. It's probably a good thing we found out they were shady now instead of a month down the road when they were really playing games. I really dislike game players and don't want to do business with them period. So we won't ... and aren't. And we'll find another house.

Friday, March 25, 2005

It's official

We're buying a house! After several offers and counter-offers we will be purchasing a 3 bedroom home in Bordentown NJ. It looks like we'll sign a contract this weekend or Monday and close at the end of April ... just like real grownups. The sooner the better, as interest rates look to be on the rise. I am very excited to have a real house and a dog! Ryan keeps accusing me of wanting a house just to get a puppy, but I have assured him that is not the only reason. Now we'll have plenty of room to host guests (hint hint) from other places. Yeah house.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Scary stuff, we're buying a house

We are putting on offer on the house we saw this weekend. Scary scary stuff. We're about to find out just how "negotiable" our very negotiable home owner is. Since they're looking to close quickly, we're making an offer with a quick closing that would require a bit (ok a lot) of movement on the price. So I guess we're about to find out.

In other news, Peanut finally heard from the Office of Naval Research. It looks like we'll be moving too quickly to take advantage of her free labor though. Bummer.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Husbandless this week

Yes, Ryan is in San Diego this week. The first day he is gone on a business trip is always strange. The days after are just sad. I never realized how much I like to have him around. I lived by myself for a while and liked it very much. I always knew where everything was, it was always clean (or if it wasn't, they were my piles) and I enjoyed the quiet. Now I find that I wander around my apartment thinking "is anyone home?". Pathetic, I know.

I also never used to be jumpy in my apartment. I don't know if it's because it's bigger or not a neighborhood I grew up near, but I find myself a lot more aware of extraneous noises in this apartment. A few times ago when Ryan was away I thought I heard whistling in my apartment while I was washing dishes. Talk about freaking me out! So I grabbed the phone in one hand (to dial 911, of course) and a butcher knife in the other and started tiptoeing around the apartment. Perhaps not the smartest move if someone was indeed in my apartment, but I felt stupid just calling the police. As it turns out (after much looking in closets and locking my bedroom door when I went to sleep), no one was there. Maybe we just have some crazy whistling ghost in our apartment. Crazy whistling ghost would be a great name for a rock band!

I think maybe the reason I'm so much more aware of noise now is that when Ryan is home I can assume it's him. When he's not ... logical conclusion ... it's not him. Therefore, someone else is in my apartment. Alrighty then. Great. I'm nuts. The end.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Even more house hunting fun

Today we saw 5 more houses in the Hamilton area. We found a house we liked a lot with a "very negotiable" price ala the owner. It's got a great yard, a finished basement and a big two car garage. The only problem is that they are looking to close pretty quickly, and we don't want to do anything until we know what's going on with my job. I don't know how it would work to apply for a mortgage with one job and then switch before the contract is signed. So, we're having our real estate agent do some research for us ... but we're not going to do anything until after my interview next week.

Also saw a real gem today that we lovingly dubbed the "Hungarian House." One wall was covered with mirrored squares, the carpeting was variously, bright kelly green, Illini orange, pink and some crazy 70s pattern. It also featured a 4 foot tall refrigerator in the kitchen ... but have no fear, there were 3 other refrigerators located throughout the house. The basement was stocked with multiple cans of food from 1994 (dozens of cans of mushrooms, tomato sauce, 5 bottles of fabric softener). While we didn't see one, I'm sure there was a fallout shelter somewhere on property. The yard came complete with no less than 6 bird houses and a matching pair of ceramic kittens climbing the outside of the house. I almost wanted to buy it for sheer entertainment value. It was obviously lovingly maintained, and had it been a little less expensive it would have been a good house. Fun fun stuff. I like shopping for houses!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Filling out the NCAA bracket

Every year I enter a NCAA Men's BBall Tournament pool. And every year I lose a NCAA Men's BBall Tournament pool. Why? Well, usually because I pick teams based on whether not I like them/their coach/their geographic location/the alumni I know instead of on whether or not I actually think they'll win the game in question. So, every year I pick the Illini to win it all ... even when they're a 10 seed.

This year will be different! Well, not so different actually, it just so happens that the teams I like have more than a snowball's chance of winning this year. My bracket this year has the Illini winning (of course), Kansas LOSING, and Georgia Tech, So. Illinois and Boston College doing quite well. Why Boston College? I dunno, I just like them. Since the pool I'm entering this year consists largely of Illini fans, I have a high likelihood of losing again this year ... but at least I'll feel better about it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Someone went and bought our house!

How dare they?! Apparently, the house we were interested in went under contrac the day we saw it. Bummer. Now I guess we're back to square one ... more house hunting fun!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Dueling (piano?) blogs

Since Peanut (for those of you who don't know, that's my little sister) and I seem to often play a fun game of phone tag .... this blog's for you! She's going to be spending the summer here in New Jersey interning at Ryan's base. I know ... she's coming to New Jersey on purpose. Since everything here unfortunately moves at the speed of government, the nice people at ONR (the Office of Naval Research) have not yet notified her that she does indeed have a position at Lakehurst this summer. Apparently, she has to accept ONR (which means that they have to call her) before Lakehurst can call. So rest assured my darlingest, you're going to New Jersey. Somohow, that doesn't seem to have the same ring as "Going to Disney World!"

Unfortunately, what I do not know and have not the means to find out is whether significant other Brad also has an internship. I have to assume that even the nearly pulseless at ONR understand that summer break is quickly approaching and will notify the applicants very soon. But you know what happens when you assume ...

I will keep you updated as news breaks.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Big Ten Champs and Number One Seed Too!

Life is good for the Fighting Illini. Compared to yesterday's game, today's game against Wisconsin was a relative breeze. I'm also surprised that we sent 5 teams to the tournament. Go Big Ten! March should be fun. Kansas is a 3 seed. Hahahahahahaha. Take that Bill Self.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

More House Hunting Fun

Went house hunting in the Hamilton, NJ area today. I'm actually much encourage by what we saw there today. While there were a few scary houses, for the most part it seems like we'll be able to get a nice little starter home. We did see one big house today in our price range that needs a lot of cosmetic work, starting with the seriously hideous kitchen. The upside is that it's really big and has tons of potential. Houses of equal size that were kept up to date are selling for 20-30,000 more than this one. Unfortunately, it's empty, which means the sellers are most likely looking to unload pretty quickly. Since our lease runs until July, we could be SOL. We're gonna look into lease options next week to see if we can leave early or go month to month once the lease runs out. Lots of options I think.

We really liked the real estate agent who showed us around today. While she was quite New Jersey (complete with long fake nails and too much tan) she seems genuinely interested in us and treated us like grown ups. It also seems like she'll be patient with us as we find the right house for our budget and needs. All in all, an enjoyable day, although one that has my head feeling a little full at the moment.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

All Kinda Homesick

Had a tiny mental breakdown yesterday. Luckily, I got better. With all the house hunting the last few weeks I had a realization yesterday that if we bought a house out here we would have to live out here.

For a while.

At least a couple of years.

In New Jersey.

I really miss my easy friends (not that kind of easy you dirty-minded people!). I miss the friends I can just hang out with and talk or not talk, do something or not. I miss having friends where I feel comfortable with my shoes off curled up on the couch. I miss having someone to go shopping with and get my nails done with (love you Ry, but you're just not that guy). I'm just hoping that I'll make that connection with someone at our new church. I finally feel like I'm not constantly on guard with people there. They're still New Jersey, no doubt about it ... but they're a kinder gentler New Jersey (heh). Only time will tell. Maybe our small group will hold some promise.

Better today.

Weather Report

Still cold ... still winter ... stupid New Jersey.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

Happy 2005 everyone! We had a quiet night with a few friends and missed the actual new year because we were on the wrong TV channel. Oh well. Here's to a good next year!

Fun watching the Illini

As much as I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Illini play in a high school gym during the last few days (still undefeated, baby!), I had to chuckle at the laughable commentating and score keeping on the channel we had to watch. Fox sports was the only channel that carried the games, so we purchased an extra channel package for a few days. Not only were the score keepers late putting up points (sometimes 2 minutes late), but one commentator insisted on calling Roger Powell "Luther" and mispronouncing other names. I miss watching games with local announcers who actually know the names of the players. What a fun team to watch this year!
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