31 May 2010

Quick Thoughts

I think of things I want to document, gripe about and mention. Then I fail to do so. Usually it's because it's a passing thought, and other times it just doesn't seem enough to do a post on. This is a brain dump.
  • The Glades -- a new show on A&E (I think?) -- uses a blood orange and a knife in its ads. First saw it on a telephone booth near our apartment. All I could think was "rip off of Dexter." I don't know anymore about the show, although I am slightly intrigued. BUT I'm doing my best to not get sucked into new shows and cut back on TV watching ... I fail miserably.
  • Speaking of Dexter, how weird is it that Michael C. Hall's voice is on those Dodge commercials advertising for minivans? Creepy. And I think he drives a Dodge minivan in the last season. In any case I am looking forward to the new season, and we'll probably have to fork over the dough for Showtime at our new place. So much for the vow of less TV.
  • BUT once we move and have a separate bedroom Shawn can have his wish -- no TV in the bedroom!
  • I'm watching America: The Story of Us on History. I recorded the marathon yesterday and watched all of it (faster w/o commercials). Now the last episode is on. I like it OK and think it's pretty good for an overview of our history BUT I hate the Bank of America advertorials sandwiched between. They use similar filming techniques and interview styles and seem like straight propaganda about how great banks are and always have been. Sure, banks are central to America BUT the commercials make it sound like B of A just gives away gobs of money to good causes -- including some that were CLEARLY business deals that turned out in everyone's favor (investing in public works projects, Hollywood movies, etc.) when you know that the banks made ... well, bank on those deals too. (That's not to diminish the donations banks do make, which I'm sure they do.)
  • I want to do a new About this Blog page ... or something. I'm thinking about what this actually is -- a scrapbook of my life. My experiences, some love letters to my husband, a bit of online fodder and things I find and some ruminations on all of the above. It still doesn't have a clear focus beyond ME. And I'm OK with that. We'll see if I do the actual page or update my profile page. 
  • After NYC I'll have to change the blog name ... at first I thought silvermari & the bayou, and I still like that. But I'm also thinking about silvermari's scraps or scrapbook... doesn't have the same ring to it though. we'll see.
  • Tomorrow Owen will be here and I'll be on a mini break from work (am working tomorrow morning to wrap things up before heading to the airport to pick up the fam). Remember when I used to do countdowns online ... publicly post how many sleeps until I'd squeeze a baby? I'm still pretty excited but haven't counted down like that. I'm not completely sure why BUT I'm very much looking forward to the visit.
  • I've applied to several jobs in the red stick. Fingers crossed for me and please pray. I know I'm being prepared and that a place will be prepared for me, but my impatience and fear of the unknown aren't doing me any favors in keeping it together. Poor Shawn. I try not to think about it and distract myself. I'm doing what I can and what will be will be ... that kind of thing.
  • Today there was no work and Shawn was in Minneapolis for a conference (gone until Saturday night), so I went to TWO movies: Sex and the City 2 at 10 am (better than I expected ... and I didn't expect much) and Solitary Man at 3:20 pm (MUCH worse than I expected, although I do like Jenna Fischer).
  • Aside: I know I make Shawn watch too much TV when he saw an ad for that movie and he said "Pam is in a new movie." And I knew exactly who he meant!
I think these were all the things rattling around my head of late. We'll be exploring the city this week and hopefully walking our tails off. I doubt we'll beat last year's amount of walking but we'll see. Reports will probably come after the fact. Wish us luck!

30 May 2010

View from the Top

Shawn and I officially became engaged high above the city of New York. And so we thought it fitting to celebrate our last wedding anniversary as New Yorkers (our second overall) even higher above the city -- the top of the Empire State Building to be exact.

After a ridiculously long wait -- try an hour and a half of standing in lines, herded like cattle, on hard concrete with uniformed people screaming at you (remove your belts, move along, etc.) -- we emerged at the top for a spectacular view. The deck was crowded with tourists, but we were able to get time along each of the views, starting with East, working South (our view!), West and North. I recognized everything from that high and it was pretty spectacular.

Shawn and I each had books, and he finished his exactly when we emerged at the top of the building. So the waiting wasn't as bad as it could have been had we not planned ahead.

By the end of the trip, however, I had almost reached my limit of patience, and my back was killing me (no amount of regular exercise could prepare you for that amount of uncomfortable standing). So I was glad to take the bus home and lie down to watch the end of the basketball game (BOO hiss!).

So another bucket list item checked, another experience with Shawn and a lukewarm recommendation. There are probably faster times to go -- the elevator operator recommended early morning or nearing midnight (although that that point you'd be limiting yourself, as I assume they make you leave as they're closing up?).




Again, I don't know how to include captions in a slide show, but if you click through to Flickr, you can see my notes. I also couldn't figure out how to reorder these ...

Two Years



29 May 2010

Easy Shells in Soft Fern Take 2

I wrote about this blanket a few months ago, when I was lamenting the fact that it was just too small. After consulting with Gran I decided to add more border. I'm glad I did. It gave me a chance to try out new stitches and incorporate some pink.

I made a strip -- a chain and then single crochet back, weaved it between some open spaces and double crochets and tacked down the ends near the corners. That way the whole thing can be washed, which might not be the case if I'd used ribbon, which could shrink or otherwise unravel differently than the yarn itself. I'm really happy with how it turned out AND with the addition of the pink I know who is was made for all along -- a baby girl coming in July. Can't wait to get it packaged up and off in the mail.

Nothing quite as satisfying as a completed crochet project. I've got a couple more in progress for two babies due in August. Baby mania!

27 May 2010

NYC: The 212 List

Area code in NYC = 212

Area code in Baton Rouge = 225

I've started following some Baton Rouge blogs/twitterers, and noticed @cheekycherry tweeting a list of 225 things to miss about the red stick. I'll be watching that closely and gleaning the goodness from her experience!

I'd like to do a similar list for NYC -- although is it possible to find two hundred and twelve things that I will miss about New York? Here it is:

  1. The cachet of living here
  2. FreshDirect grocery delivery
  3. Walkable, walkable, walkable
  4. Public transportation
  5. The New York Times, especially the New York section (and recognizing the 'hoods)
  6. Sunday Styles, including Modern Love
  7. The New York Times Magazine, especially Cooking with Dexter
  8. Convenient gyms -- Coles and Palladium
  9. Washington Square Park (after renovations!)
  10. The view up 5th Avenue through the WSP arch
  11. Duane Reade (love hate, but it's so New York)
  12. Staten Island Ferry (free transport/entertainment/views)
  13. 5th Avenue bus
  14. Macy's
  15. Rockaway Beach (in one hour I could be at the ocean!)
  16. Coney Island
  17. The Wonder Wheel
  18. Hot dogs
  19. Hawt cawfee
  20. Oren's Daily Roast latte
  21. Tim Horton's latte (technically Canadian chain BUT I will miss them)
  22. Mercado's Pizza
  23. Top of the Rock (where I received my rock)
  24. Central Park
  25. Specifically Bow Bridge
  26. The Ramble 
  27. Sheep's Meadow
  28. Turtle Pond
  29. Broadway shows
  30. Off-Broadway shows
  31. NYU Tisch Theater
  32. St. Mark's Place
  33. Street Festivals!
  34. Street fair food -- corn dogs, $5 Thai and gyros
  35. Street fair purchases -- scarves, hats, jewelry, cheapie toys
  36. Brooklyn Bridge (free views!)
  37. People watching everywhere
  38. Union Square Farmer's Market
  39. Union Square Holiday Fair
  40. Bryant Park's Holiday Fair
  41. Grand Central Station's Holiday Fair
  42. Bagels
  43. PAUMC (my church)
  44. Forced to be efficient in space usage
  45. Purple flowers all around NYU campus
  46. NYU women's basketball team
  47. Empire State Building
  48. Flat Iron Building
  49. Chrysler Building
  50. Skyline in general -- especially from New Jersey or a bridge
  51. Pearl River Mart
  52. The Met
  53. Museum of Natural History (esp the whale room)
  54. Street performers (sometimes)
  55. Sidewalk art
  56. Street vendors -- purses, scarves, magnets, etc.
  57. Money saving (for us anyway)
  58. People want to come visit us here -- it's a destination
  59. The weather in the spring and fall
  60. The leaves changing -- esp. around the reservoir in CP
  61. Cheap, tasty sushi
  62. Our super-fast Chinese delivery joint
  63. Delivery Five Guys Burgers
  64. No need for a car (or its upkeep and expense)
  65. Feeling justified at buying plane tickets BECAUSE I don't have the expense of a car
  66. Free water taxi to Ikea!
  67. Bleecker Street -- history and good eats
  68. Fourth of July fireworks over the East River (last year the Hudson)
  69. The Highline
  70. Chelsea Market (TBD -- on my bucket list, but I imagine I'll enjoy!)
  71. The chance that at any moment you could see a celebrity (Vincent D'Onofrio, Minnie Driver, Chris Noth, Scott Speedman, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc.)
  72. Gawker Stalker (although I rarely check it, nice to know it's there so I can look up a celebrity I spot and see if anyone else noticed too!)
  73. Paper Source stationery store
  74. M&J Trimming
  75. Margaritas at Dallas BBQ
  76. Times Square, even at its most crowded -- it sparkles
  77. Toys R Us in Times Square (for my Owen Jay)
  78. FAO Schwarz
  79. Delivery.com and the choices in general
  80. Jefferson Market Library branch and its DVD collection
  81. The main NYC Library -- read between the lions
  82. Cozy Diner
  83. Silver Spurs Diner
  84. The Red Lion -- live music and pub food, a winning combination
  85. Views down canyoned streets
  86. Manhattan solstice when sunset/sunrise light and streets align
  87. The evening light on the buildings
  88. Water towers on tops of buildings
  89. Double decker tour bus trips!
  90. Statue of Liberty
  91. Ellis Island
  92. Random film sets -- on location
  93. My neighborhood on the big screen (not that I ever saw Remember Me, but I will!)
  94. Constant access -- 24 hour sections of town if needed
  95. The vintage stores, even though I'm too intimidated to enter
  96. Our Mexican place across 6th Ave
  97. Jane Street
  98. Free Bumble & Bumble haircuts
  99. Meatpacking District (just sounds cool ... and it is)
  100. Hudson River Park
  101. The N train to Astoria when it curves to the north -- the view
  102. Tompkins Square Park - so shady
  103. MoMA (specifically its stores/shopping!)
  104. Sartorial design blogs all based here -- recognizing places on those blogs
  105. The view from our window
  106. The view from our window on a rainy day -- of the students' open umbrellas - colorful!
  107. Law & Order courthouse steps
  108. Law & Order filming around town (cancellation sob)
  109. My chiropractor and her receptionist
  110. Easy access to Penn Station and Amtrak
  111. Madison Square Garden (even if the Knicks are terrible the games are fun)
  112. Discounted tickets from NYU
  113. Lincoln Center -- high culture is available and accessible to me!
  114. Window shopping on 5th Avenue -- Tiffany's, etc.
  115. Everything constantly changes
  116. The city itself is a constant
  117. "Empire State of Mind"
  118. "New York, New York"
  119. Snow falling on snow -- deep mounds of white beauty
  120. The city, silent after a heavy snowfall
  121. And yet never totally silent
  122. My ZIP code
  123. Our apartment's hardwood floors
  124. Our giant chalk board
  125. Walking distance to Shawn's office
  126. Magazines are MADE here!
  127. Strand Bookstore
  128. Giant Barnes & Noble at Union Square
  129. (Most of) Our Doormen
  130. Renegade Craft Fair
  131. Souvenir tents on Canal Street (and elsewhere)
  132. Governor's Island (another on the bucket list, but I suspect I'll enjoy!)
  133. The feeling downtown amid all the buildings
  134. Century 21
  135. The "abandoned" station -- Cortland Street
  136. PATH Train to Jersey City for suburban paradise excursion
  137. The I *Heart* NY logo
  138. Free transfer to the bus from the subway (or vice versa)
  139. Bronx Zoo
  140. Central Park Zoo (although a little pricey)
  141. Museum of NYC
  142. Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum
  143. Smithsonian free museum day!
  144. Aspects of working from home
  145. Anonymity even among huge crowds
  146. Window displays at Christmas
  147. Saks Fifth Avenue snowflakes at Christmas
  148. Rockefeller Christmas Tree and lights
  149. Rockettes and Christmas Spectacular
  150. So many TV shows set in NYC (although most not filmed here!)
  151. No smoking in restaurants or bars
  152. Calorie counts everywhere (although that's a curse if you're looking to indulge!)
  153. Access to any movie that's out
  154. The Angelika movie theater
  155. City Cinemas Village East (main theater used to be a Yiddish live action theater and is LOVELY with an ornate ceiling and plush, wide seats)
  156. IFC Theater - independent and foreign!
  157. Broadway Panhandler
  158. Surprise! Surprise! (a cool some-of-everything store ~12th Street)
  159. Shake Shack burgers in Madison Square Park (nom, nom, nom)
  160. Fresh air after rising from the stank of the subway
  161. Feeling like I know this place
  162. I can navigate the subway to any spot and feel in control 
  163. I can figure out where I am on the island relatively easily
  164. Little Italy -- yummy food
  165. Upper West Side -- just a fun vibe in the neighborhood, especially along Columbus
  166. Waldorf-Astoria (despite being part of a minor shoot out)
  167. United Nations (another bucket list item I expect to like)
  168. Plethora of taxis when needed
  169. Car services to the airport
  170. Book signings - if I got my act together to go
  171. Internet access in the parks -- and many coffee shops
  172. Chumley's - secret and 86 that!
  173. Yankees and Mets baseball games
  174. Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village
  175. Greenflea Market
  176. The crazy countdown clock in Union Square
  177. The smell of roasted nuts on the street -- OMG, heaven
  178. Grand Central Station
  179. South Street Seaport -- and the views of Brooklyn Bridge
  180. Washington Square Art Show
  181. Music in the Park (another bucket list ... want to do this KNOW I'll love it)
  182. The volume of food choices -- intimidating but nice to know it's there
  183. New York Aquarium
  184. B&H Photo
  185. Magnolia Bakery
  186. Pop Up Shops that come and go
  187. There's a restaurant for Peanut Butter Sandwiches!
  188. Wall Street -- the bull statue
  189. Photo ops around every turn
  190. Including interesting graffiti
  191. Our neighborhood and the local NYU cops that keep things safe
  192. It's an island!
  193. NYC tap water is pretty darn tasty
  194. All kinds of people -- and no one will care what you wear
  195. Fishs Eddy
  196. Shopping in general
  197. Top Shop and H&M dotted throughout the city
  198. Mud Truck coffee
  199. Museum Mile
  200. Anything you need -- it's right here (almost)
  201. Temporary clean smell after a rain
  202. Loads of cool people live here
  203. Shops at Time Warner Center
  204. Ironic T-shirts
  205. Overhearing hipster doofus conversations
  206. Being within reach of culture, feeling like it rubs off on me!
  207. Economy Candy store
  208. Bodegas -- the word itself
  209. Times Square musicians -- subway performers
  210. The beauty of the city in all its grotesqueness 
  211. A million little things I've forgotten or never knew
  212. It's the place where I became a wife and started my life as MW

25 May 2010

sludge

Sometimes I get to feeling I am left with the sludge or hard bits to deal with. And I complain or cry.

I bought tickets to broadway shows for family visits. Hair and Billy Elliot. Quite a mess in times square. I don't like crowds. Also my cc was declined because of the gd tests I was doing today for the work site. I have the dough in my acct so the debit card was fine. But I miss out on points. First world woe. Stfu!

Now on the elliptical. Cake (the band) in my ears. Tomorrow is a goodbye party for Shawn and others. In westchester. Starting at 1. They said 4 or 5 originally. Some of us have jobs. I'll just be late.

Nothing has come easy this week. I am short tempered and ... I don't even know the word. Jealous? Lost? Impatient and simultaneously over and underwhelmed.

First world joy: DiNozzo!!!

Also one week to owen's next visit. Amlbo!

24 May 2010

Shopper Weekend

Saturday morning I DID get up and around, dropped my bag at Union Station and went to the National Museum of American History. I saw Julia Child's kitchen, Michelle Obama's inauguration gown and shoes (I think her feet might be as big as mine!), Abraham Lincoln's top hat, the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner and a giant locomotive engine.

I bought some post cards and Julia Child's memoir, My Life in France, which I devoured primarily on the train ride home and finished on Sunday afternoon. I also had to endure a 45 minute conversation w/ a stranger seat mate who exited at Baltimore. He kept talking and wouldn't let me read my book. I KNEW I should have put my headphones on immediately when sitting down. Usually people aren't so ... chatty. I also watched 5 or 6 Daria episodes on the ride, so everything went by really fast.

On Sunday Shawn and I went to brunch, then gym and to a new-to-us theater for Iron Man 2. Across the street is a store Fishs Eddy. It's near our dentist but I'd never gone in. It's a dishware place primarily but also cool little things and it's a wonder everything doesn't get broken because of how narrow the walkways are and how many kids were in there running around piles of dishes that were on the floor!

Anyway, after the movie we went into the store, and I bought some 212 magnets, a Drink NYC tap water T-shirt, a 212 plastic tote and some wine bottle pourers. We would have perused the ABC home store too, but it closed just as we entered. I'll definitely go back because their window displays were great and I could dream about the house will eventually set up!

Ca-ching. I'm going to need a new job to pay for my shopping habit, although I'm much better than I was pre-marriage I'd still need to cut back even further w/o DINK (double income no kids).

To the gym and hopefully home to apply to more jobs, although not sure how much computer screen time I can subject myself to today!

23 May 2010

Like Riding a Bike

Today on the walk home from the gym I saw a family.

They were at the little park, which is really just a space of asphalt and some fountains that usually aren't turned on. This is a popular place for rollerskating (there's even a class for adults!), baseball and kids riding on bikes.

The family was a mom, dad, son and daughter. The son and daughter were on their bikes, and the son was learning to ride without training wheels for the first time. His bike's training wheels were neatly laid next to the family backpack on a bench.

His parents took turns running beside him to ensure he wouldn't fall and to boost his confidence I'm sure. He made great progress, figure-8-ing his way around on the asphalt while little sister carefully wheeled her still-training-wheeled bike to keep out of his way.

Finally he fell, onto the bit of grass that's in the middle of the asphalt, and his mom caught him before he hit the ground. Immediately he popped up, looked at his dad, then his mom, and raised his arms in triumph!

He got right back on the bike and took off again. He'll have many hours of pleasure riding in his future. And I felt lucky to have witnessed his success.

21 May 2010

Alexandria

Highlights from a quick trip, Thursday morning to Saturday afternoon ... writing this from the hotel room. The room includes a computer, which is pretty funny. I also have a laptop with me, but I'm a better typist on a keyboard AND already have my computer packed up.

The BEST was getting to meet my friend's little boys. 10 month old twins who are the most fun ever. I really had a good time playing with them and catching up with her. Motherhood certainly agrees with her. I couldn't be happier for her. Got a twinge of baby fever, but we're working on it!

Drink after work with some people, and it was so cheap I almost fell off my stool -- happy hour was really happy, and if I'd realized drinks were half price I might have had more than one. Although all things considered, one and done is better for me!

A coworker asked me if I'd miss anything about NYC, and I said yes, I have a list. I do, but for whatever reason couldn't think of the best things. There are the obvious -- city living, walking to most everything (which I also hate sometimes), access to museums and plays, and grocery delivery. But there's also the cachet that I'll miss -- the story/idea that I moved, gradually, from a tiny town of a few hundred to a city of 8 million plus tourists! I also know Baton Rouge will hold its own story. I can't wait to live it!

For now, I'm living up my New York life. But I can't resist the chance to do one of my fave DC things while it's within my reach. The Museum of American History reopened and assuming I can get in gear and store my bag at Union Station I'll take a final tour. I hope the Puffy Shirt is still there. I'll report back after the fact!

17 May 2010

FWD: Cucumbers

Not sure I believe these, but when SHAWN forwards me something I'm apt to read it.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5 Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6.. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Pass this along to everybody you know who is looking for better and safer ways to solve life's everyday problems.

Aside: my favorite way to eat cucumbers is to soak a sliced cucumber in half apple cider vinegar, half water with a sliced onion. Let it sit in the fridge together for a few hours and up to several days. Fish out the cukes and onions, salt (superfine salt is best) and devour. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. This was a Gpa Max fave. 

16 May 2010

Simply Precious Blankets for Twins


Two blankets, made with Herrschners Baby Sparkle pompadour -- one in baby green and one in yellow -- for twin boys. The kits didn't have enough yarn (or I just didn't have the right tension), so I had to supplement with Bernat Baby Coordinates, white, because the Herrschners yarns were back ordered until July.

A word about the Herrschners yarn -- avoid if you can. It includes knots and was tangled in more skeins than not. I spent about 10% of my crochet time wrestling with the yarn! The Bernat was much better.

The pattern is super easy and seemed to go quickly. It created a diagonal-type design, although it's definitely worked back and forth, repeats of four rows. A nice big blanket (about 36x48 with the edging), but I was able to make two in just about a month.

They are all packaged and ready to go; once I get to the post office they will be on their way. Here's hoping Melissa likes them!

Mari in Tompkins Square Park

This was how we spent our Saturday -- the weather couldn't have been better.

Washington Square Park didn't have any lawns open, so we trekked a little farther to Tompkins Square Park.

I'm in love with my new sunglasses, a St. Marks Place street vendor find. Purple and super dark mirrored lenses.

Juggling video to be added below, once finished processing.


Shawn Juggles in Tompkins Square Park from Mari Walker on Vimeo.

Annoyed

One of the three scripture selections for today was Acts 16: 16-34, the story of Paul and Silas in jail. Here's part of it:
16:16 One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling.

16:17 While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, "These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation."

16:18 She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour.
Read the rest here.

The rest of the story is about Paul and Silas going to jail for this and then God gets them out and uses them to save the jailer and his family. But the preacher beleaguered the point of Paul's annoyance. Maybe it's just the WORD but annoyance seems to imply a problem with the person being annoyed. But she said that the annoyance was the Holy Spirit working on Paul. I don't understand that at all. The girl/spirit's only crime against Paul was telling the truth and calling him a slave of God. Was it the word slave? Or was it just that she wouldn't leave him alone?

But I've never felt totally comfortable with everything Paul did and wrote. I chalk it up to my lack of understanding, of course. And I seek that understanding, in a "I believe, but help my unbelief" kind of way.

I've got a whole list of things that are annoying me, although something tells me that's not really the Holy Spirit working on me. Or is it? Here's my latest annoyance/thing that's running in a loop in my head, waking and sleeping, every chance it gets. This is not necessarily something anyone needs to read, but I hope if I write it out I won't be obsessing any more.

A few weeks ago I had my eyes examined -- to get contact lenses and some prescription sunglasses. The doctor was very kind and gave me a sample pair of contacts and asked me to wear them for a couple weeks to decide if the prescription would work (my eyes had been bothering me when wearing contacts and it felt like I couldn't see very well when wearing them). If the contacts are fine she said she would write the prescription for me, and if I wanted I could order contacts. The sunglasses purchase was fine, in fact I really felt good about my choice and the saleswoman who helped me/sold them to me.

I did not get my eyes dilated at my original eye exam because Shawn was out of town and I'd rather he be with me to walk me home -- not that it really affects your vision and the eye place isn't too far away, but still.

Fast forward two weeks and I've decided the contacts are great. I call and speak to a different saleswoman -- someone I don't like and with whom I have a history, although I don't know that she could really remember me on the phone.

Back story: when I first got my glasses at this place the frames I selected cracked the lenses. It was just a couple weeks after I'd had them when I came in, and this woman rudely told me tough luck, I'd have to buy new glasses. I looked past her to the doctor, who remembered me, and she intervened, making it right. I was able to get new lenses, which again cracked, so I got new frames without additional expense (other than my time and the hassle of course).

Anyway, I call and this woman answers, so I tell her my contacts have worked out and I would like to know the prescription. She reluctantly tells me what I find out later is incorrect. (So if I'd ordered elsewhere I'd have had contacts that didn't work for my eyes.) Then she gives me a tough sell (granted, that's her job) about a rebate and how they're the lowest price AND that I can swap any contacts I have left unopened for the correct prescription. So I go ahead and order, ask her about making the eye dilation appointment and she suggests that I make the appointment once the contacts are in. OK.

Ten days later and I still haven't heard from them about whether the contacts are in. So I call and she's the person who answers the phone and hatefully tells me that she called me already and yes, they are in. I say OK and that I'll come get them. I go in later that day and she tells me twice more that she called and left a message, insisting that I must be mistaken. I'm kind of like "who cares" I am picking them up now, OK?

She can't swap out my old boxes of contacts because they're older than a year. Understandable but seems like something she should have told me over the phone instead of using it as the sales pitch (she also had my record open to know that my contacts would be at least that old).

I get pretty upset with the way she's treating me and blaming me for her oversights and mis-speaks, so after I ask her about scheduling the dilation I change my mind and decide I never want to have to see her again. I say nevermind and leave. Of course I realize she didn't give me a receipt, which I'll need for the rebate. So back I go to get one, and she gives me attitude about that too, saying I already have a receipt. I told her I bought them on the phone, so I didn't get a receipt, so she reluctantly prints me one.

I want to write a letter, complain or something. But what would that accomplish? They can't refund me anything (although I'd like to return my contacts in case she's working on commission!), and the only thing I can think to ask is that she be retrained so other people don't need to be treated this way by her.

The only way this could be the Holy Spirit working on me is that I should pray for her. And hope that her life gets better. Maybe I should call another day to schedule the dilation -- May is healthy vision month, after all, and the dilation is already paid for as part of my eye exam.

Clearly I need to get over myself. Working on that now. Crochet post coming shortly.

09 May 2010

Decision Made

We signed a lease yesterday on an apartment. It’s a one bedroom on the sixth floor of a tower-style apartment complex near campus. (No sense burying the lede.)

After seeing 10 places, the decision came down to location. With the great unknown of my job prospects and not wishing the additional expense of two vehicles (or a hassle-y commute for Shawn in any case), we decided to cross out any options not on the LSU bus line. That left five choices (although the ones we crossed off included some really nice ones – you get more for your rental buck farther away from campus).

One that was on the bus line but furthest away was in an unsafe neighborhood. (Thanks to Shawn’s boss for giving us the heads up on that, i.e. avoiding the murderous part of the city!)

We were able to stay in a 3 bedroom apartment that Shawn’s department rents for visiting faculty. The complex is on the busline, so we checked out their one bedrooms. They’re in the older part of the complex and were a little funky and dark. Maybe if we’d had a better leasing agent we would have more seriously considered it, but after staying there it also didn’t seem like security or safety were top priorities and it wasn't within walking distance to Shawn's office, so we crossed that complex off the list.

We saw two places that were in walking distance. One was really close, but really expensive (and a lot of space – 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms) and didn’t have a pool (not a must have, but would be nice, especially for the rent).

The option that came in second was a small Garden District condo on the bus line, but not in walking distance. The neighborhood is great otherwise, and we'll probably look to buy in that area, but to start we decided we wanted to be as close to Shawn's job as possible. Location won out.

The other apartment choice that was within walking distance was the one we chose. A slightly farther walk than the 2 bedroom condo, but with more amenities and a much lower price tag. There’s a pool and hot tub at this complex (only closed when it’s below freezing, which isn’t often).

We only looked at places that included a washer/dryer. We’re ready to leave lugging laundry in our past. The place we chose has a stackable washer/dryer, much like what I had in my Alexandria apartment.

We’ll certainly have more space than our current NYC apartment, with a separate bedroom, a balcony overlooking the pool and a bangin’ open kitchen with granite counters. There’s a ginormous closet, which will easily fit our needs. But if we find ourselves in need of extra storage space the complex has additional storage closets (usually on your same floor) for $1/square foot/month. Convenient and cheap!

A parking garage is included – and it’s connected to the towers. So we’ll be able to drive up to the sixth floor, park our car and walk into the apartment. Our (still to be purchased) vehicle will be in covered parking … and how convenient?!

Everything except electricity is included. We pay that separately. But cable, internet, water, etc. are included. So it really works out to be an affordable choice. Things will be even easier once I secure employment, but that’s another post entirely! (Although if you know anyone in Baton Rouge looking for a communications professional, let me know.)

The one negative of this place is tied to its biggest benefit – location. Because we’re so near campus we’ll be living among students, and in fact it seems like this place may be a little bit student oriented (although on the high end, so these will be entitled rich kids whose parents pay the rent).

The apartment’s walls are concrete, so we’ll have some measure of noise dampening, plus there are rules about noise that might be enforceable. And students can’t be all bad, can they?

We’ll find out August 12, which is our move in date. My end work date seems to be set, so I will have a week in New York to myself to cross off any last items from my bucket list, and to indulge myself in my pseudo-romance with this crazy city.

We have a 10-month lease (oddly), so if we don't like it we can find something else, or maybe find a house to buy in that time. In any case, bring on the Red Stick (I realized the Baton Rouge = Red Stick once we got there).

Here are some photos from our trip, and you can view them directly on Flickr. I expect to write a couple more posts about our trip this week, so stay tuned.


Click thru to see the captions.

07 May 2010

Quick Dispatch from the Red Stick

For whatever reason I can't seem to upload images. I only have a few to share. Might be because I'm in the living room of the apartment and the router is in the bedroom so there's not enough connection to upload? Who knows? I'll sort it out later.

Lots of good choices for apartments, but hard to make a decision. Location, amenities and space are our criteria, although not necessarily in that order ... and we're trying to figure out what's most important. Washer and dryer are non-negotiable for us.

The NICEST places we've seen are farther away (but no students, which is the trade off), but they won't know August availability for another month or so, meaning we couldn't square things away on this trip if we chose one of those properties.

Lots of things to think about. But every place we've seen has a pool that's open year round. Whee!

The place we're staying is pretty nice and they have one-bedrooms available. We swam last night under the stars -- really nice. The heat hasn't been unbearable at all, but of course it's only May, so upper 80s with medium-high humidity. Our mettle will really be tested in August, but we're up for it.

Went to the grocery store to get cereal and milk for Shawn. The aisles are so wide and lovely. AND they sell hard liquor in the grocery store! (I took a picture of that.)

Plenty more to report, but almost out of laptop battery and we need to get going today. Possible job interview ... but not sure the interview will happen though because they need someone to start ASAP and I have a definite start time of August at the earliest. But I've got my dress, panty hose, heels and jacket to change into if the interview is on.

Praying for the right work situation to come through for me one way or another.

Plenty more to report, but for now adieu.

04 May 2010

Success at Green Flea

I took down my NYC Bucket list page. I guess it was a little ... ambitious and a clear overshare. I'll take things as they come, but I do intend to create pages as a navigation with crochet, clips, etc.

This is a tile coaster I got at Greenflea this weekend. It's a Sunday flea market on the Upper West Side (I think my second favorite NYC neighborhood after ours). I could probably spend hours there, but I went specifically to get this tile, to complete my set. Now I have a tile w/ Oklahoma, Maryland/Virginia, our neighborhood in NYC and Louisiana. They're really cool -- made by a woman without a website, although her card does list one, www.onthefringe.ws. She makes bigger ones that serve as trivets (not that this photo has any scale -- my bad -- I think they're about 6-inches 4 inches square).

There was also a craft fair going on in the neighborhood, which I didn't allow myself to peruse. With an upcoming move I need to UNLOAD stuff rather than purchase more. That's not something I'm strictly adhering to of course!


Another photo from the weekend -- Saturday's Salvation Army drop off (clothes I've ungrown) and gym run. On Broadway -- a funny advertisement for something or another. I think NYC will break your heart.

We're all packed. Tomorrow's the trip to Baton Rouge, so coverage from that will start this week. I'm still undecided about taking my laptop, but in any case Shawn's will be with us so I can do some posts, and I'll be tweeting with my cell about fun things I see (and probably not-so-fun, seeing as how I'm a constant complainer). Wish us luck in finding our next home!

Post with No Name

Tap tap. Writing on the elliptical. Swoosh swoosh.

I think I figured out how facebook knows who to recommend even if you have no friends in common. Could it be ... someone looks at your profile and suddenly are recommended? Minor revelation. Happened because my MiL joined the network.

Tomorrow we leave for Baton Rouge. I hope we find our new home easily.

A minute left. Pics to post of my weekend exploits. For now.