31 December 2008

goodbye to the old

today is new year's eve! huzzah.

we have mini plans - going to hang out with Gran a bit - go to the church festivities, then my dad's band is playing in medicine park (where uncle shawn and i had our mini honeymoon stay in a cabin) so we'll go to that - then back to beth-a-roo's for some mac & cheese (homemade) and chicken bites (via walmart - prepurchased) and maybe a drink or two and a movie before ringing in 2009. placing bets on whether o-man will stay awake? safe money's on YES. he's quite the night owl.

los tres amigos today - the place where uncle shawn got cheese sauce dumped on his head the first dinner out with my family ... didn't scare him away though! (this was pre-pre-engagement) - then wayne's for a vanilla diet coke - a lawton-only restaurant similar to sonic, only different. nom nom nom.

missing my new year's kiss, but i guess i'll get that on jan. 4 in the evening once i make it back to bed bug city. YIPE!

~marilyn jean...

PS - Rumor dispelled: I am NOT pregnant, despite rumors to the contrary (that's right - someone told me they'd heard from someone at church that i was expecting ... uh, news to me)..

29 December 2008

post-Holiday

just a few days left in 2008, which has been a whale of a year.

i made notes about my Danville holiday experience - a first newlywed christmas/our first christmas as Dr. and Mrs. so i could do a whole SERIES of posts about that.

i need to keep notes about my Oklahoma experience as well - i'm at Beth's apartment right now, waiting for her to bring me lunch, with Wall-E on the TV for Owen and working away on the January e-newsletter. pain in the ... but it's getting done. need to work on Feb line up and a few other maintenance things - then will be done for the year. Holla.

plan to go to Hobby Lobby this evening - SO looking forward to that. am planning to crochet myself a floppy-ish hat - sort of a beret, hard to describe. have a pattern and will post pics upon completion. i haven't completed anything in a long while because i'm still working away on the bedspread, and even that is slow going because of the bedbug situation and no good place to crochet at home.

weird to spend so much time away from shawn - but that's a post on its own.

dur. ~m.

23 December 2008

chilled to the bone

colder here than i expected. i didn't bring enough sweaters (basically because they're bulky and i was trying to pack light). oh well - going shopping today and hope to find some presents to myself!

as shawn says, no matter how crowded it is here during christmas shopping time, it will never be as bad as a regular day in NYC - or the worst was the day after thanksgiving when beth and i went to macy's - as in THE macy's. oiy. goodtimes and good memories.

guess i'll get going and hope to find some sustenance/lunch soon too.

funtimes! ~mari.

22 December 2008

Re-worked

DANVILLE, Va.--I was supposed to be working in my in-laws' basement. But, of course, with my previously mentioned country-song luck, the internet at their house is on the fritz - and I've been forced to seek wifi elsewhere.

First I spent a couple hours at Starbucks - about 15 minutes from their house. These southern people are SERIOUSLY nice. I can't remember hearing baristas be that nice - I guess the grumpy stereotype doesn't always have to be true!

Then Shawn brought me to the Mount Hermon Public Library - a branch near their home - that has wifi. It's pretty quiet. There's no table, so I'm sitting in a "comfy" chair with my laptop heating my legs to about 300 degrees (I'm known to exaggerate of course). And of course the system keeps bumping me off and requiring re-logging in. And usually when I'm in the middle of something - not sure if I hit a wrong key to refresh it or what. It's a totally insecure network anyway and if I had any skills I could access it without the login. But whatever.

But I'm sitting here - listening to some Christmas music and my view is of their wall of DVDs - they've got some good/new ones - Baby Mama, Wall-E, Forbidden Kingdom, Battlestar Gallactica, Veronica Mars, Heroes, Coupling (!), etc., etc. Wishing I had such a branch library near me - behind me is a rack of latest magazines - I would love to spend a few hours perusing the women's magazines. Something about those ... I just adore them!

A lot of things going on today at work, and I'm envisioning some work falling on me tomorrow (not a problem if I have internet access at the inlaws' - although I cannot and will not stay online all day - and I won't make the trek around the city of Danville to find free wifi) - and I worked this weekend - probably about 45 minutes of work total. Not exactly my idea for a fun Saturday break, but whatever.

Gonna stop diverting even bits of attention to this - have been writing this for a long while, a few sentences at a time. Am ready for 5:30... We have our Evans family christmas party at 6. OIY!

21 December 2008

Danville Has a Sonic

ALERT ALERT ALERT

My husband's hometown now has a Sonic restaurant - so my time here is so much happier. Also, Claritin may be working to stop my symptoms of allergic reaction to his family cat.

Christmas MIRACLES!

~m

20 December 2008

k thx bai

Prayers for safe travel and on-time departures much appreciated. Car to the airport coming at 9:30... snow has stopped. Amtrak was sold out anyway - here's hoping.

Shawn's got the dadgum windows taped open - so it is colder than a ... well you know.

See you on the flip side, assuming we can flip.

Bah humbugs still lingering, but pressing on.

19 December 2008

whether, weather?

I guess this is what you'd call a Nor'easter. Blugh.

Snow started this morning - snowed all through the day then turned into sleet. Major airline delays. Our flight is scheduled for tomorrow at about 11 am. It's a direct flight to Raleigh, but then another hour plus drive to Danville.

US Airways will allow us to change our plans BUT the flight has to be taken within seven days of the original travel (i.e. would have to be by next Saturday) - and that's not really happening. Maybe I'm misunderstanding their rules, but that's how it seemed.

If US Airways would just give us a credit to use on our next flight, we could just get Amtrak tickets and be directly in Danville in about 9 hours - not bad, especially when considering delays and other nonsense could have us at the airport at least that long ... perish the thought.

But who knows - maybe we'll wake up tomorrow and it won't be so bad ??? Somehow I doubt my luck would be that good.

WHAT IS IT NEW YORK?!?!?! Do you want me gone or are you trying to trap me here?

My to-do list in preparing for the trip, one way or another we'll get out of here.
  • Sew button on coat (that's right, a button fell off the other day - am I cursed, unlucky or just really ... I don't even know the right word?!) - done
  • Pack toiletries and make up - including the 3-1-1 airline regulation baggie (ugh) - done
  • Pack USB stick for work - in progress
  • Load iPod with latest podcasts - done
  • Find backpack (done - woo hoo!) and pack it as carry on (in lieu of purse and with my laptop bag stuffed inside it) - backpack will make trudging with laptop MUCH easier - plus I've got my new Samsonite rolling suitcase carry on, so I'll be within the 2-item limit if we fly. Huzzah! - few last minute things to add
  • Get cash
  • Light cleaning
  • Put away Christmas decorations (semi-done)
I've done most everything - still have to venture out for cash. We need something to eat tonight too. This weather is so depressing to me. It's cold and nasty and just UGH. Nothing seems to be going right, and I can't do anything quite right workwise, lifewise or otherwise.

BAH HUMBUG has been my battle cry today - I hope this weekend it is better.

~mari.

Photo from Flickr - peterjr1961

18 December 2008

Sweeeeeet

Sweet peanut butter kiss cookies - yum!

My free "luggage tag" turned out to be a travel wallet! WOAH! I had been looking for these forever for my sister (I got her something else, although she doesn't read this blog, let's keep it a secret anyway) - but I love this - AND it has purple on the inside, so I'd say it's meant to be!

I love HARO! What what. Cover says "high maintenance doesn't begin to cover it." how appropros!

Housekeeping Monthly


Real 400:

DRAT - there was a rogue duplicate draft throwing off my entry count. 400 isn't even that much. I've twittered 428 times as of this moment, and I started that in July!

About to have the phone call/meeting to discuss how 6-7 people are going to organize and run a monthly meeting. Recipe for disaster.

~m

17 December 2008

Post 400: Elf Yourself

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Haiku for a Luggage Tag

@skydiver did a mini-contest today - the first 10 people to write a haiku about his Help a Reporter Out site won a luggage tag. I was #2 with my haiku:

Help a reporter
Be a top expert on call
Reap the accolades

Bully for me!

15 December 2008

Via Gawker: Bedbugs at Marie Claire?!

It has NOTHING to do with a "filthy intern" as one of the first commenters says. UGH.
Bedbugs aren't just for dirty hovels like Fox News and hipster Bushwick. The filthy bloodsuckers have allegedly infested the very flower of our national womanhood—the offices of Marie Claire:

A tipster tells us this dirty rumor:

"Marie Claire magazine in the brand new hearst tower was infested by bed bugs on Friday, courtesy of a fashion intern. employees in the affected area were sent home on Friday.
Over the weekend, total fumigation of the floor. Will it appear in the reality show they've been filming up there?!
The girls were acting like they'd contracted HIV."

Read the whole Gawker tip here - and hopefully they'll update the post or do something new when they get more info. How insane am I to follow things like this?! (and i didn't search for this - came thru my twitter ... i follow Gawker)

Trisha's Wishstory

14 December 2008

Christmas Music

I have almost six hours of holiday music that I've been enjoying ... and because I purchased some Amazon music as gifts I got a free $5 Amazon MP3 download, and the new Faith Hill album happened to be $5 - so now I have a little bit more Christmas music to enjoy. SCORE!

Cleaning up my receipts. I never fail to misplace every single $5 Duane Reade reward coupon. Why can't it all just be on my card? Why do I have to keep up with a slip of paper. And I usually get the reward (which you get for every 100 points you earn, each point being one dollar spent) right as I'm about to leave. I have a week left here before we jet off to VA, but I hope I find the coupon by then. They expire two weeks after issue or something.

I have to get new glasses. The frames - Prada, the most expensive I've ever had - were cracking the lenses, which were high dollar polycarbonate that shouldn't break even under pressure. So basically a flawed design - WTF?! I went back to the place, picked out a new frame (it's similar but a different color and brand). I should get them in a few days, definitely before the trip. They were about $50 less, when all was said and done, so I just got some contacts with that money (plus paid a little extra). I've got contacts in now - SO nice to see. SUCH a drag ... these glasses have been nothing but T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!!

Update: Found the DR coupon - in my coat pocket. Argh.

Some baking I did yesterday: Peppermint Cloud Brownies (gag) and White Velvet Cutouts (YUM!) ... Let's see how they hold up in shipping.

Shawn and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, then Mari and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree:

(who's the better photog?)

Shawn and the Saks Fifth Avenue Snowflakes (SO pretty):

Me and SOME of the gifts we're giving this year. Some are already in Oklahoma, others are already being shipped, etc. It's exhausting, especially ... well we all know my life the last six months has been like an awful country song (along the lines of "my wife left me, my dog died, i lost my job, then my best friend ..." - you know, everything going wrong).

I think I'll edit a few newsletter articles, just to get them going for this week. The more times I can look at a given article, the better I can make it.

~mari.

PS WOW am on "A Baby Changes Everything" on Faith's album. SO good. Can't wait for a baby to change my everything ... but that's another story.

12 December 2008

funky, funky christmas

right - just looked at Amazon to see if i might want to get a new christmas album download (i put several on my wish list, but i wouldn't get to enjoy them until next christmas, but i digress)... i checked out NKOTB's ... and it wasn't as special as i remember.

in the old fashioned bedroom, the three girl cousins sleeping together, with a small tape player and the NKOTB tape being worn out from so much use. i may be melding memories together, but i remember trying to convince Lisa to stay up all night so we could prove there wasn't a santa claus (she believed, i did not). i remember the NKOTB tape and giggles. we fell asleep i know for sure - because i never proved his non-existence (but neither did she prove his existence).

about to head to Shawn's office party. i am having writer's block on the annual report sections i'm working on, so hope to come back with a clear head and give another stab...

in other gretching news - my $400 Prada glasses are cracking the lenses again. so i'll have to go back to Lenscrafters and pick out a different frame. i'm thinking plastic and sturdy. blurgh. also, the contact prescription the doctor gave me has got to be incorrect, as i can't see ANYTHING when i put them on. so right now i'm rocking old lenses (old prescription, not physically old or funky ... not that type of funky xmas), and i can see somewhat OK, but i wouldn't want to drive like this.

i hope 2009 proves to be less horrific for me, although 2008 was my wedding year for crying out loud.

~M.

11 December 2008

tweet tweet cloud


gotta click on it to see it clearly - but obviously WORK is what i tweet about most ... whoops!

10 December 2008

The Meaning of Christmas

Right-a-roo

This is my fave part of this CB Christmas, and I used part of this scripture on our Christmas cards, which will be in the mail tomorrow! HUZZAH!

Forward: The Crocheted Table Cloth

I don't believe this for one second, but put "crochet" in an email subject line and I'm going to open it...

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet... 'Pastor,' she asked, 'where did you get that tablecloth?' The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth, but she made the pastor keep it for the church.
The pastor insisted on driving her home; that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike. He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

09 December 2008

technical difficulties

Currently I cannot reply to emails in my work inbox, but I can read them, so that's something. I don't know if it's IE that's acting up or what. I can reply to things in Firefox, but Outlook/MS Exchange e-mail HATES Firefox, as in, doesn't display properly, you can't preview messages (or I don't know how to configure preview), etc. etc.

This morning, into the afternoon, I spent more than three hours on the phone with an IT guy from work - we don't have an on-staff IT support person, but we do outsource that. Anyway, he had to remote in to my computer, meaning he was working on my computer and I could not. NICE. If there had been deadlines or something I could have figured out something else, but as it was, it kept being "only a few more minutes" or "let me try one more thing."

In the end, the problem isn't fixed. They're sending out a tech tomorrow afternoon (the IT firm has an NYC office, which is lucky).

Back from the whirlwind trip to DC and back - we had the holiday party and a gift swap. Here's what I ended up with - a $35 glass candle holder. Um, the limit was $10 - I took a $9 picture frame that I bought in Austin (that many people loved).

For my coworkers I created little gifts - magnets! Based on this tutorial at Not Martha, I made 23 small tins of magnets, using CHEAPIE CHEAP stuff, and they turned out so freaking cute. I think my favorite was an image of the Capitol dome in moonlight.

Speaking of Christmas, I still have a bit of holiday shopping to do. Was looking at my list, and I've done PRETTY good, but not completely finished. Hope to be able to go shopping this weekend and finish off the list. Not sure what "good" gift to get Shawn. We originally were going to get each other Ikea chairs - but we don't think our apartment/life will be back to normal any time soon, so that idea is toast.

Ah, and ideas for me - I will be updating my Amazon wish list. OK, in updating this it's a little depressing to look at my "recommendations" from Amazon - so much about bedbugs, because I bought our AllerZip bedbug proof mattress and box spring covers from Amazon.

Starting on dinner. I don't think I'll ever post as much as I did in November (although it was fun, I didn't even win any prizes from the NaBloPoMo Ning group), but will strive to put something up about my day during the week.

~M.

06 December 2008

guesstimano

At Starbucks waiting for housekeeping to finish our room so I can go lie down as I am still sick and need to rest more! I went to target at pg plaza and almost fainted. I am ok but obviously not well enough to go out or have fun. Boo hiss!!!

Am not good at iPod typing so this is just a time killing short post.

Mari...

03 December 2008

Last Week in Photos


Mari & Shawn at Micah & Abby's Wedding - Nov. 22, 2008


Uncle Shawn and Owen working on "J" homework


Shawn & Mari's Pumpkin Pies - Gran's Kitchen, Nov. 26


Uncle Shawn and Owen bowling - Nov. 26


Austin skyline - my camera couldn't handle it - Nov. 29, 2008


Owen's sad face en route to the Austin airport (he was sad about not getting to go to Toys-R-Us, not necessarily about me leaving), Nov. 30, 2008