30 August 2009

arm chair blogging

just a note from my mom's PURPLE netbook. i like to say i shop at the mama store when i'm home, and it's sorely tempting to take this light little thing. ha! i'll get one of my own soon enough. my hunk-a-junk laptop is on its last legs.

owen is begging me to go upstairs and play thomas and colin. should be something else.

today is owen's birthday so what owen wants owen gets. ta.

29 August 2009

Luggage

In Indiahoma - my first time blogging on a high speed connection in this town. AH! All the blogging (online journaling) I did on dial up. Anyhoo.

We made it OK from NYC yesterday. It started with a downpour - so we waited for a taxi in the rain. Then our flight was delayed because they had to swap air craft. Our original plane had a crack in the wing. For the love!

So what was originally an hour layover turned into about 20 minutes, when you counted the time it took the get off the plane since we were seated in the back. DFW is not a small airport and we had to change terminals. We BARELY made the flight, and of course there was no time to get food. (In hindsight there were other late passengers behind us, so we COULD have bought a sandwich if we'd known.)

We finally arrive in Lawton to find our one checked suitcase ($15) didn't make it. Others' bags didn't make it either, so hopefully it's just in Dallas and we can get it this morning.

Anyway, I'm washing towels and Shawn's undies. (My clothes were mostly in the carry on, except for all my toiletries, including my electric toothbrush and retainer - what was I thinking? Have I never flown before?!)

I'll be glad when everything's back together in one place.

Swim party at one. Tomorrow is Owen's birthday proper, but today's the party and it will be great. Just hope Shawn's bathing suit arrives in time ... otherwise it's a new suit for him. Wally World anyone?!

27 August 2009

Volume

My hermit-ness knows no limits. I got out yesterday after work - just a check depositing and grocery store run. Before that I hadn't been out of the apartment since Monday - and that was a brief walk to Duane Reade after work.

So as I ventured outside I was more acutely aware of the sounds. This city is so LOUD, just like Owen Max says. The trucks, the people yammering - so many conversations at once.

Today the doorman buzzed me that I had a package. The buzzer is so obnoxious, loud and unexpected I nearly jump out of my skin every time it rings, even if I'm expecting a delivery. I go get the package - wahoo! It's my Amazon books I ordered (Trust Agents, etc.) ... I got an e-mail from Amazon TODAY that they were shipped, but when I checked ... they were shipped from NYC. And the box they were delivered in was a courier. I guess it's cheaper to pay someone to bike it to me than to go through UPS. Whatever, I'm happy to have my books for the plane ride.

Yep, we're on our way to Oklahoma and will be getting close by this time tomorrow. I'm pretty excited. We web cammed with Owen last night and he was pretty funny. I know he's going to have some great Kindergarten stories. And his swim birthday party is Saturday. Yahoo!

On my way back from picking up the package at the front desk I hit the wrong button on the elevator. I was so elated to get the books that I hit 5 w/o thinking. It's the first time I've done it and we've lived here for just two weeks, so not a big gaffe. But dummies unite, I guess. I did take the stairs the final 3 flights. The doorman told Shawn the new tenant moved into 5H today. I hope she's happy there and bedbug free!

Speaking of bedbugs, at the sex museum they even included a description of how bedbugs mate. It was thoroughly disgusting because come on, it's bedbugs, and interesting (a male can inject his DNA into another male, which will then impregnate a female with the first male's DNA - who knew?).

During webcamming I found out that my first cousin and his wife are coming to NYC while we're gone. They could have stayed in our apartment or something, but they didn't tell us they were for sure coming (there was some "maybe late August" talk this spring). The hostess in me (not the cupcake variety) feels gypped. (Wow, that's really a word that doesn't show up misspelled) I guess there's next time. Hope they got tickets to see Letterman like they wanted. I want to be always in the know people!

I learned how to lower the volume on the "home" phone. I still haven't received an actual call, and I'm up to 42 calls received. Oiy. I don't know if there's voicemail, although the cable guy seems to have installed some sort of software that may be related to VOIP and voice mail. But because I wasn't here when he installed the phone line I have no idea. I guess I'll figure it out after we get back from the trip.

Speaking of, I need to pack!!!

25 August 2009

Counting Down

Life in the NYC is still kicking.

So tonight we ate.

Spaghetti pie, a la Aunt Lee Ann. Ciabatta bread (sp?) a la Fresh Direct and salad. A dump cake is in the oven, so there's that. Not the most constructive use of my time, preparing a meal with limited space and leaving a ridick mess in my wake. Poor Shawn.

A positive - the crochet project I'm working on may FINALLY be coming together. The afghan's center came together so easily, but the edging, a complicated pineapple lacy affair, is crocheted separately and then sewn on. This means making something with corners - so weird. I ripped out more than half of my edging work and finally figured out my mistake (kept adding stitches along the rows so it was flaring out). Will be great to get it done.

AND I'm planning to take it with me to Oklahoma to finish and block there. Gran is the best afghan blocker I know (or will ever know, mark my words), and I'm excited for her to see this work, my most ambitious afghan since the snowflake dazzler I made for her a couple years ago.

We're closing in on the final episodes of Dexter. New season starts in late September. AH!

Yep, I'm completely aware of my nerdiness and being a lame-oh. LOVING it!!!

Countdown to flight, less than I don't know - I can't count - 3 days whatevs. Aiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyah!

22 August 2009

Shack-Attack

In August I have Friday afternoons off, so yesterday we decided to take in a movie. We saw GI Joe at the Village East Cinema. In their main theater, which clearly used to be a live theater and was grand with a gorgeous ceiling and drapery, we were two of four people. The screen was HUGE and we sat in the balcony and were dead center on the screen. It was very cool, and the movie was OK for what it was. I really like the Black Eyed Peas' end credits song. I forgot that upbeat music makes my body (or any body probably) want to move. I should keep that in mind for exercising purposes!

So today we woke up with the idea to DO something, but it didn't feel right to just go see another movie. I mean, we live in NYC, surely there's something new to do. Initially we thought about The UN, something we've never explored, but in the end we decided to stick closer to home and visit the Museum of Sex. The main exhibit was a scientific look at animals' mating and procreation, so overall it was pretty interesting. The upstairs was something else though ... but it was educational and eye opening.

After that, we were in the Madison Square Park area and decided to check out The Shake Shack, which was something I've heard about on The Food Network's Unwrapped and elsewhere. Even though we've lived in the city for coming up on two full years, we've never been there. The line is always long (there's even a webcam so you can check the line before you go out and brave it), so they must be doing something right. The prices are also relatively cheap.

This picture is of Shawn and me waiting in line to order. I think all together it was worth the wait (tasty burger and super-thick shake) and a really good late lunch/early supper, given the timing when we were there. (And our wait was less than 30 minutes I'd say.) But the Oklahoman in me still thinks it doesn't come close to the yum that is Braum's...

Before we left I made a video tour of our apartment, which I uploaded to YouTube in private mode. OF COURSE you can only share private videos with other YouTube members ... so I'm searching for a solution (I only want to share the video w/ people I've vetted ... not that it's interesting but it does show our address and all our stuff ... not that it's really worth stealing, but you get the idea) ... I think Vimeo might be the ticket. The video is uploading now but needs to be converted before it's viewable/share-able.

Anyway, I think with this program I can send e-mails to those I know will be interested in seeing the bland apartment video (really it's just a tour of the place ... and the camera shakes enough to think that I've got the palsy or something). The e-mail will include the link and password to access the video. If you don't get an e-mail from me/Vimeo and would like to see the video, shoot me an e-mail and I'll set it up.

21 August 2009

Telemarketing

I've complained about this on Twitter, but it's so bad that I decided it deserves a post here.

We got a "land line" phone as part of our cable-internet package. It's cheaper than not having it, and it's nice to have a reliable connection for calls and dialing into hour-plus work conference calls (a cell near my brain for so long isn't really my idea of a good time). So great. Or not.

Shawn and I have given the phone number to exactly THREE (3) people: my mom, his mom and my grandma. None of them have called on this number yet. BUT in the week since it was activated, we've received 27 calls. After the first couple telemarketer calls I just stopped answering everything.

I had forgotten how much I hate the shrill ring ... and the inability to just mute-that-crap if I don't want to bother with it (I did resort to unplugging the phone for a while during a crucial work call on my cell).

One sorta neat thing is that when someone calls and the TV is on, the caller ID shows up in the upper left corner of the TV - just like in the commercial that I hate so much. Not so useful if you know you NEVER want to answer the phone.

(Shawn added our number to the do-not-call list, but it takes a month to take effect)

18 August 2009

Beatles Rock Band



I read the New York Times Magazine article (While My Guitar Gently Beeps) about the Beatles Rock Band coming out next month and MAN I think I could really dig that. Seeing this video trailer is pretty amazing too. In the mean time, I think I'll pull out the Beatles tracks and have a little groove session of my own.

Husband

Shawn had me take his picture today - wearing a suit for no real reason. Too handsome!

You can also see a bit of the layout of our apartment (and the mess remaining to be picked up). Soon I'm going to make a little video tour of the apartment (password protected just in case), so look for that somewhat soon.

17 August 2009

Tales from NYC Grocery Shopping

I've mentioned here before about having our groceries delivered. That's true for probably 90-95% of our foodstuffs. But every now and then I get an itch to make something, or FreshDirect is out of an ingredient, or I just need to get out of the house and a trip to the grocery store is the ticket.

Tonight was a combination and I went to Gristede's on W 4th - about 2 blocks from the apartment. It's dinky and usually smelly but not so bad. Tonight it was AWFUL. I went to the frozen foods section and it smelled like cat urine. SEVERELY. UGH.

I walked back to the front, put my basket back and left - walking the extra 5 blocks or so to Morton Williams on Bleeker. It's a larger store and cleaner/smells like a grocery store and fresh produce ... NOT pee. So that was good. But of course I had to run into a hippy dippy mom and her two kids. Not that there's anything wrong with being hippy dippy, but I'd rather not have my shins smashed with a tiny grocery cart or see half naked kids wandering around the food. I also would rather not get a lecture on whether I should buy bagels. It was the WEIRDEST thing ... she was lecturing her kids about the preservatives in bagels and gave me the stink eye for picking up a bag of them. For Pete's sake, we're in NYC.

Anyway, after a LONG wait in line I got my 3 items and packed it up to go home. A day in the life I guess.

15 August 2009

Shop-zilla

Just home from Ikea. Shawn is putting together a little kitchen cart thing so we'll have a drawer for silverware and a bit more counter space for chopping and what-not. There's even space for my Kitchen Aid mixer on the bottom shelf, so there's that.

Otherwise, GIANT bust. We were going to get more items, but in the U-Haul rental line we were behind the guy who got the last van. Just my luck. But we ended up not having a great shopping experience otherwise b/c most of what I wanted ... well, wasn't.

If we had rented the van I would have gotten a mirror closet door for my Ikea Pax closet thing, but I can get a full length mirror from K-Mart and put it on the bathroom door instead. We also would have stopped at Target if we'd had the van, but the free Ikea water taxi is one way back to Manhattan, the isle of no Targets.

I wanted some curtains. All Ikea had was ... not what I wanted. The curtains we used upstairs aren't long enough for this window - because of how the curtain rod is hung. No big deal, but it's CONSIDERABLY brighter in here than our other apartment. Gah.

I really want a sink skirt for the bathroom pedestal sink (downstairs we had a vanity cupboard type). I didn't really think Ikea would have those, but it doesn't look like there are any nice ones to be found online either. I found one I like on Real Simple, which gives instructions to make one from a sheet. Uh, I'm sure I couldn't, and I'm sure if I tried it wouldn't look anything like the crisp neat box-style shown here.

We need a knob for a hand-me-down table that has a drawer but no pull ... probably can find one at a hardware store, but I thought for SURE Ikea would have some that would work. Negativo, unless we had a drill.

I want a counter top gap-stop thing to span the space between where the sink counter stops and the stove begins. It's much wider than the previous kitchen, and I know it will be filthy within a matter of days. I'm being uber-careful right now, but I know that won't last.

And Ikea of course didn't have the toilet paper stand I wanted, or even anything remotely like that.

The taxi ride back from the water taxi was excruciating. Lots of traffic and an idiot driver who talked on his cell phone (illegal) and passed the turns to get to our apartment. The taxi ride was ALMOST as much as it would have been to rent the van, had one been available.

Then there's a street festival here near our house. I went ahead and walked through it - NOTHING. I am looking for another bubble-style umbrella for NLP, but I'm thinking that will just have to be an Amazon purchase too. Looks like online shopping is in my future. So I guess that's not too bad. But have I mentioned lately how I feel about NYC?

13 August 2009

November Pattern


Green-for-Jen
Originally uploaded by silvermari
Here's the blanket. Isn't it great?

I hope Jen thinks so. I plan to get it ready and in the mail tomorrow. I am loving the "designer" Red Heart yarn color, and she asked for purple, which really sets off the apple green. Everything worked up SO fast, and I'm just itching to move onto the next one.

The size is 34" by 42" ... I should start putting something in the picture for scale, because our lame-oh KMartique bedspread doesn't really cut it.

Abandon

Plans change. Seems like our house guests aren't coming this weekend after all. Maybe sometime in September. They couldn't find a kennel for their dog. So more nesting and unpacking for me. Maybe Shawn and I will do an Ikea run.

One thing I want to get is a toilet paper stand to hold extra rolls and to actually house an unroll-able roll. There's a TP holder in the bathroom, but it's so inconvenient, basically completely behind the toilet, so that I can't reach it without literally twisting on the seat. And there's space to either side where a stand could fit. Like this one from Target for ~$15:

Another WEIRD thing is that the light switch for the bathroom is outside the bathroom. That means someone could play a dirty trick on me in the shower. It will take some getting used to, and the good news is the light switch is on the way to the bathroom. :)

There are no drawers in the kitchen, so the silverware is living on top of the fridge. There are other little quirks to work out, but it seems like we have so much more space with all our various rubbermaid storage bins tucked away in the little side room/closet area.

A/C installation went well, as did the cable/internet. We have a phone line now, which could come in handy for work conference calls and for lowering my cell phone bill! Everything's coming together, which is a very good thing.

Photos and description of baby blanket coming soon.

12 August 2009

From Shawn's Office

Nothing goes the way I expect it to. NOTHING. I should learn to expect that (then maybe things would go as expected?)

The move this morning started out fine. The TV's cable box was flashing a message that digital cable had been turned off. Harbinger of things to come ... or foreshadowing or something.

I was sure I wouldn't be able to go online, but I was able to turn on my computer, check work e-mail. So we got going with the reserved elevator and the borrowed dolly. After moving the dressers (still full), the closet-thing and the kitchen table, it was time to move the desk. Internet was still working, but we had to disconnect to get the desk out and leave only the tower, monitor, mouse and keyboard. Once we moved the desk we set the computer, modem and router back up. For a moment it worked - I saw a few current tweets on my iGoogle start up page. Then nothing.

Nothing.

We tried a few things, then decided to go shower before hassling with it anymore. I called Time Warner Cable (not quite as bad as Comcast, but still it's a cable company). Originally they told me the cable in 5H wouldn't be turned off until AFTER it had been turned on in 8G, which meant I could continue working with minimal interruption. I spoke to a different person when I called today to check on the problem, and she said I was mistaken and was very short and downright rude (what else should I expect from customer service, right?). She couldn't do anything for me/couldn't remotely turn on the Internet in either apartment and had no explanation for why I'd been misinformed or why the Internet had briefly worked this morning.

Anyway, no cable or Internet in either apartment until the cable tech comes tomorrow - 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. window. Great.

So I have this vintage 2003 laptop (sounds better than saying crappy hunk-a-junk, and it can probably read what I'm typing!), and the last time I used it was at a hotel in Alexandria and wifi worked fine/automatically. So I pack it up and head to Cosi, planning to wile away the afternoon working on this ancient machine and sipping semi-OK coffee. After ordering lunch and securing a table-with-an-outlet, the computer decides nope, wireless won't work today. The device manager is entirely empty, and who knows what the problem is. Definitely stems from the pre-big-work-event melt down, but I hope to just get a new computer instead of spend time solving this one's problems.

To recap - no Internet, no computer, no problem. Shawn lets me go to his office while he finishes up moving our powerful air conditioner to the new apartment (installers coming tomorrow morning). His office mate is A-OK with me crashing the party. I'm able to do a bit of work, but of course there are files I need here, or VPN access I need there. When Shawn got to work (after the AC move and a shower of his own), I gave him back his computer and fired up my own, which does work when it's connected directly to the university network.

So here I am, with a decrepit computer, borrowing Internet and hobbling along workwise. Thank goodness this is only for one day (possibly less than one day if the cable guy comes at 2 p.m., yeah right) ... and once I'm all set up again it will be smooth sailing (knock on wood).

One good thing: we have the season 2 Dexter finale DVD to watch tonight, and there's plenty of unpacking and nesting to be done. And by this time tomorrow everything should be golden again.

11 August 2009

Perception

Stepping off the elevator onto the 8th floor provides a unique olfactory experience for me.

I kid you not, it smells EXACTLY like the Georgetown apartments from summer 01. Maybe just the boys' apartment across the hall - a cologne smell from the Zachs. Whatever it is - I find myself hoping that it is always there and hoping that it dissipates. I'm sure either way I'll stop noticing, just like I don't really notice the smells on the 5th floor.

I don't have digital photos from that time/summer. I was still a film camera girl. But when I get set up again, if the smell's still there, I might be driven to get them out and scan one or two.

General update - most everything is moved, except the dressers, desk, table, chairs, TV and some kitchen and bathroom paraphernalia. The small stuff will probably be taken care of tonight after supper. Then we have an elevator reserved for tomorrow morning/time off approved (for me) to move the rest. I don't think it will take more than a couple hours.

I'm keeping the computer and modem hooked up Thursday morning until 1:30 or so. The cable guy will come to set up between 2-4, which means some more down time. But after that I should be ready to seamlessly work from the new place. Turbo nesting will commence, as our first visitors are coming sometime Friday for the weekend. I still don't know what we're going to do/what they want to do, but I do know that with these guys it will be crazy fun.

I'm washing a baby blanket for my friend Jen right now - can't wait to post photos of it. Seriously it is one of the most darling I've ever done. I know I say that always, but the color scheme of this one is incredible (Jen picked the general colors), and the new pattern worked up SO quickly and beautifully. Of course my math skills stink and I have double the amount of yarn and could make a SECOND version. I'll probably put it toward another new pattern for a baby unknown. Or perhaps I'll donate it to my church's craft fair. (I've stopped working on the bedspread for me ... I still plan to finish it, but I just haven't been working on it at all.) I also have a few Christmas projects started.

Our bed is upstairs so we're sleeping there tonight and from now on. The AC there works OK, but we're moving our own up there (12000 BTUs vs. 8000 I think). The installers for that come Thursday too, so it will be a lot of coordination. OIY. I also need to order groceries for our house guests. It's always something.

Review: Star Trek: Mere Anarchy

Star Trek: Mere Anarchy (Star Trek) Star Trek: Mere Anarchy by Margaret Wander Bonanno

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I learned that I like Star Trek just as much to read as to watch (which is to say ... meh). I got this as a cheapie book at Strand (a recurring theme for me I think), and it was a good few bucks spent. The writing is easy to read, as in probably middle school level. That made it perfect for travel reading when I was half listening for announcements or whatever. The book's size (six short books in one) made it less travel friendly, but I didn't have to worry about running out of reading material!

I didn't get a lot of the references to the movies and other Star Trek things, but the story itself, written originally as e-Books and by 7 authors, was good, although with a few tangents that probably would have meant more if I were more well versed in Trekkie speak. I definitely pictured the original cast as I was reading, rather than Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.

View all my reviews >>

10 August 2009

Mid Day Smiles

The move continues - we're probably 1/2 done, doing it piece by piece, bit by bit. Exhausting. The plan is to finish the big stuff on Wednesday morning. The AC installers and cable/internet will arrive on Thursday, at which point will be finito, officially moved from 5-hell to 8-great. Despite the overwhelming-ness of moving, I'm trying to cling to a positive attitude.

Am rocking and rolling at work today, which is a marked improvement over last week. Travel takes a lot out of me, as does being an idiot about some things. I think everything is smoothed over and OK, but my obsessive nature doesn't make it quite so easy.

But this post is about SMILES. Right.

I sent an update to a couple coworkers who routinely send me snail mail about the change in address. In my cheeky fashion I mentioned that I would expect love notes and the like. The response "composing love note now." Even though it's totally dorky and dumb of me, I'm still grinning about that. Goofball alert.

Ah, but the biggest, best news:

My best friend from forever* on had her baby on Saturday!!!! WAHOO!!! I won't post deets here, as she's not really into blogging or lifecasting, but I will say that a healthy baby girl has been added to the list of people I love. Can't wait to meet her!

*Our moms met while we were in the womb, and we played together all the way through until our last sporting event as high school seniors.

07 August 2009

What a Week

I started the week feeling blue, and while I still feel a little blue it's for entirely different reasons! I am SO tempted to list all the things that went wrong this week (from not packing a single writing implement and buying yet MORE pens at Penn Station to gaffes at work and my limited public speaking skills) - but I'll try to be more positive. ... WHOOPS!

The office closes at 1 p.m. on Fridays, but here I am at almost 3 p.m. finishing things up. I'm giving up soon. The computer is giving me fits - Outlook isn't connecting, every single program is slow and wah-wah-wah.

I think I've mentioned that Shawn and I are moving to a slightly larger apartment upstairs recently vacated by our friend Frank. We were hoping to get moved today BUT the key just hasn't come through. There's a slight possibility Shawn could get the key today and we could move small things and clean over the weekend (we need to reserve an elevator to move furniture, and that can only be done on a weekday).

I scheduled the cable-internet change to happen next week. The soonest they could have a tech come out was Thursday, so that means I'll have my desk here until then, so as to limit work interruptions. Meaning even if we get access to the other apartment before then we'll have to keep access to this one at least until the internet works upstairs. Sadness for the girl who's moving in here next.

Here's something happy - my cable bill will go down and my service will go up (at least this is what they tell me). I'm doing the triple play, which means I will get a phone number too ... for less money than I pay now. Also going to upgrade to DVR because with the VCR I don't have the option to tape one thing and watch another. Yes, I know my life is ruled a lot by TV. It's in my genes!

Another happy thing - In just three short weeks Shawn and I will be jetting away to Oklahoma for the fifth birthday of the sweetest Oklahoma kid I know! We'll be there for more than a week. I'll still work mornings while Owen is in KINDERGARTEN (first day=Aug. 17). Can you imagine?! Also, my mom finally has high speed wireless internet in the house - WiFi comes to BFE.

What I WANTED to do with my afternoon off was hit up the Titanic exhibit in Times Square. I think there's still enough time to do it. Wish a baby Owen was here to enjoy it with me. Man, this post DID end on a happy note and here I am smiling again and thinking I just might make it through despite my flaws and mistakes!

UPDATE: We got the keys!!!

03 August 2009

How I Feel Before My Work Trip

Here's hoping the clouds break and I feel less ... eeyore-ish ... tomorrow.

01 August 2009

New York Aquarium


July 4, 2009 - the sweetest little kid (funny face) and the rest of the gang at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, NY.