Sunday, December 31, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I don't know the year, but the top pic is my mom and
her sisters. Mom is the oldest, Aunt Karin is seated
and the very excited looking little one is Aunt Elaine.
I love things like this - so much fun to see them! :)
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
For Christmas Eve, Matt and I stayed close to home while my parents trekked out to my brother's house. I didn't know if I'd be up for the craziness of a big party, so I laid low. We went to see some friends in the afternoon and then had a quiet dinner at my house.
Christmas morning brought a fun time with my parents, opening presents. Highlights included Netflix for my dad, fleece clothing for mom, flannel PJ's and other great stuff for me. Santa even brought my parents a DVD player - they must have been very good this year!
In the afternoon, Matt and his parents came for dinner. We had a lot of fun hanging out together and enjoying a great meal. More gifts were exchanged... Matt found his requested rice cooker under the tree and I was surprised with a very luxurious cashmere blanket! I ate far more than was good for me, but it was all wonderful!
Unfortunately I forgot to take pics at dinner, but there are a few pics to see here. Enjoy!
Picture #1 - This is what happens when you're home sick for seven work days.
You start to grow foliage out of your head and look really bizarre. It must be the after-effects of the high fever.
Picture #2 - I got to help with making Christmas cookies... and in doing so we broke in my beautiful KitchenAid!
It makes making the Neiman Marcus cookies so
so so so soooo much easier! Oh, beautiful KitchenAid... I love you! (recipe available upon request!)
Sunday, December 24, 2006
The stockings were hung on the china cabinet with care,
in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.
of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of
David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11
Monday, December 18, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Kate took a personality test on her blog and since I have so much time on my hands this week, I decided to take it, too.
I must say that I question its results, though... Kate and I got the exact same reading!
I mean, we're friends and have a lot in common, but I wouldn't say we're cookie-cutter-images of the other!
One of your greatest strengths is supporting family or group activities. Your contribution of cooking, cleaning, fixing or constructing is an expression of your love and loyalty to everyone present, and such labor is truly a pleasure for you to fulfill. (family is important to me.)
Parenting, for you, is a lifetime commitment. You are protective, supportive and patient, often putting your children’s needs before your own. (I'd like to believe this will be true.)
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Hi, Kate! :) Welcome!
Monday, December 11, 2006
On Saturday, I had a great opportunity. We were invited to go and be a part of filming a talkshow pilot. If it ever airs, you'll see us on TV! :) We actually got on camera in the same shot with Jesse Martin! It was a long day, though, in a cold, cold room.
Then, Sunday morning came. I woke up with amazing chills and a sharp pain in my chest. This then got worse with a high fever and general misery. I was supposed to sing with my church choir and couldn't get out of bed. I called the doctor's office and spoke with the service. A doc called back and told me either to see someone at another of their offices or go to the emergency room. The other office didn't really want to see me, so I ended up at the hospital. That turned out to be the best choice. I was amazingly miserable. So nausious, so shaky, so cold, amazing head pain, hurting, miserable. They drew blood and gave me lots of IV fluids, chest x-rays, more blood... and diagnosed me with pneumonia.
I finally got released after being ordered to stay home for the entire week... which causes chaos in terms of holiday concerts, two of which happen this week, one of those in which I am in charge. But there is nothing I can do about it. I can only give them the information I have and leave it at that. So now it's a week of rest and ordering the rest of the Christmas presents online. Bah humbug.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
However, last Friday night was different. Matt surprised me by taking me to one of the "Champagne and Candlelight" evenings at Skylands Manor. It's such a beautiful spot, and even more beautiful when it is completely decorated! Each room has a different theme - the entire house theme this year was "Believe." There was a music room, an outdoor-themed Fairy room, one room with full sized snow-covered trees and a one-horse open sleigh (and a lute player!) and many others. It was really lovely - the only thing we could have wished for was some real snow - but alas it was at least 60 degrees outside!
The only frustration was that we couldn't find the pickle... they had one of those traditional pickles that you hide on the tree - whoever finds it gets one year of good luck. We searched and searched... but alas, no pickle! There were just too many places to look!
I still think we'll have good luck, though. And a little Christmas spirit.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Budget time. four schools. unknown/unclear procedures. Unknown $ amounts. pressure to finish yesterday. holiday concerts. multiple schools. if it's friday, it must be 4. 18 songs, one more time with each class and one "big" rehearsal before performing. chorus with memorization issues. 5th grade with motivation issues. fourth grade with rhythm issues. second and third grades with size issues. first grade mostly fine, but antsy. kindergarten = no attention span and overcrowding. other school also time issues. really, time issues everywhere.
stress. frustration. confusion. fear. anger. tiredness. disapointment. anxiety
two good things: today is payday. tomorrow at 3 it is the weekend.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Highlands, New Jersey has the highest elevation along the entire eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida.
New Jersey is the only state where all of its counties are classified as metropolitan areas.
New Jersey has more race horses than Kentucky.
New Jersey has more Cubans in Union City (1 sq mi.) than Havana, Cuba.
New Jersey has the densest system of highways and railroads in the US.
New Jersey has the highest cost of living, auto insurance and highest property taxes in the nation. (and why do we still live here????)
New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the "Diner Capital of the World."
New Jersey is home to the original Mystery Pork Parts Club
(no, not Spam): Taylor Ham or Pork Roll.
Home to the less mysterious but the best Italian hot dogs and Italian sausage w/peppers and onions.
North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world, with seven major shopping malls in a 25 square mile radius.
New Jersey is home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
The Passaic River was the site of the first submarine ride by inventor John P. Holland .
New Jersey has 50+ resort cities & towns; some of the nation's most famous: Asbury Park, Wildwood, Atlantic City, Seaside Heights, Long Branch, Cape May.
New Jersey has the most stringent testing along our coastline for water quality control than any other seaboard state in the entire country.
New Jersey is a leading technology & industrial state and is the largest chemical producing state in the nation when you include pharmaceuticals.
Jersey tomatoes are known the world over as being the best you can buy. New Jersey is the world leader in blueberry and cranberry production (and here you thought Massachusetts?)
Here's to New Jersey - the toast of the country! In 1642, the first brewery in America, opened in Hoboken.
New Jersey rocks! The famous Les Paul invented the first solid body electric guitar in Mahwah, in 1940.
New Jersey is a major seaport state with the largest seaport in the US, located in Elizabeth. Nearly 80 percent of what our nation imports comes through Elizabeth Seaport first.
New Jersey is home to one of the nation's busiest airports (in Newark), Liberty International.
George Washington slept here. Several important Revolutionary War battles were fought on New Jersey soil, led by General George Washington.
The light bulb, phonograph (record player), and motion picture projector, were invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park, NJ, laboratory.
We also boast the first town ever lit by incandescent bulbs.
The first seaplane was built in Keyport , NJ.
The first airmail (to Chicago) was started from Keyport, NJ.
The first phonograph records were made in Camden, NJ.
New Jersey was home to the Miss America Pageant held in Atlantic City.
The game Monopoly, played all over the world, named the streets on its playing board after the actual streets in Atlantic City. And, Atlantic City has the longest boardwalk in the world, not to mention salt water taffy.
New Jersey has the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East countries.
The first Indian reservation was in New Jersey, in the Watchung Mountains.
New Jersey has the tallest water-tower in the world. (Union, NJ!!!)
New Jersey had the first medical center, in Jersey City.
The Pulaski SkyWay, from Jersey City to Newark, was the first skyway highway.
NJ built the first tunnel under a river, the Hudson (Holland Tunnel). The first baseball game was played in Hoboken, NJ, which is also the birthplace of Frank Sinatra.
The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Brunswick in 1889 (Rutgers College played Princeton).
The first drive-in movie theater was opened in Camden, NJ, (but they're all gone now!).
New Jersey is home to 2 out of 3 of "NEW YORK'S" pro football teams!
The first radio station and broadcast was in Paterson, NJ.
The first FM radio broadcast was made from Alpine, NJ, by Maj. Thomas Armstrong.
All New Jersey natives: Sal Martorano, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Jason Alexander, Queen Latifah, Susan Sarandon, Connie Francis, Shaq, Judy Blume, Aaron Burr, Joan Robertson, Ken Kross, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughn, Budd Abbott, Lou Costello, Alan Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Marilynn McCoo, Flip Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, Whitney Houston, Eddie Money, Linda McElroy, Eileen Donnelly, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Walt Whitman, Jerry Lewis, Tom Cruise, Joyce Kilmer, Bruce Willis, Caesar Romero, Lauryn Hill, Ice-T, Nick Adams, Nathan Lane, Sandra Dee, Danny DeVito, Richard Conti, Joe Pesci, Joe Piscopo, Joe DePasquale, Robert Blake, John Forsythe, Meryl Streep, Loretta Swit, Norman Lloyd, Paul Simon, Jerry Herman, Gorden McCrae,Kevin Spacey, John Travolta, Phyllis Newman, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Eva Marie Saint, Elisabeth Shue, Zebulon Pike, James Fennimore Cooper, Admiral Wm.Halsey,Jr., Dave Thomas (Wendy's),William Carlos Williams, Ray Liotta, Robert Wuhl, Bob Reyers, Paul Robeson, Ernie Kovacs, Joseph Macchia, Kelly Ripa, and, of course, Francis Albert Sinatra and "Uncle Floyd" Vivino.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I was chatting with someone I work with this week and they asked me about what I am doing for Thanksgiving. I told them, and then asked in return. This person is going to be home alone. Parents (both only children) have passed and the only family are some relatives in PA that are not too close. The teacher was invited to numerous dinners with friends, but doesn't want the awkwardness of unknown family members. So they will be alone. They argued that it was relaxing, but still. It's a day about family, friends, sharing. I would never want to sit in those shoes, yet I can understand how they feel.
It makes me thankful for all that I do have, and shameful that sometimes I forget how lucky I really am.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Got to the convention on Thursday morning after too few hours of sleep. Went to three workshops that day, which meant that I was not going to have time for lunch. Bah. Luckily, I had a "special helper" who was kind enough to bring me food, considering the union doesn't like the convention food vendors and therefore there was no food at the convention - nor time to get some, with only a half-hour between sessions and a handful of places within walking distance.
After the sessions were over that day, some downtime was needed (so many people, so much noise, so much confusion!) and then food. Dinner was finally acquired at Johnny Rockets (yay for vanilla cokes and apple pie!) and we visited a few casinos - the Sands was about to close that weekend, so we stopped in for a look. I then blew a whopping $10 on the penny and nickel slots (woo hoo - big spender!) and then went to bed.
Friday I ended up doing only two sessions - at that point, I'd had enough of sitting for two hour segments! It was a good thing I did that, though- when back in the exhibits again, I visited the booth of the people who publish the textbooks I use. The guy started up a conversation, and then, since the exhibit floor was soon getting ready to close, he gave me five teacher edition textbooks for my series! Now I have almost a complete set of them to keep at home! :) Yay!
Saturday we went to Point Pleasant and played skeeball and arcade games before heading home. It was a good weekend, but hectic and tiring and involving a lot of stuff. But I am glad I went, saw, and conquered. And experienced.
Next time I go, I know I really need to plan ahead. I ended up only being able to acquire a room at a chain hotel that is normally fine for just sleeping, but in this case was not quite so nice. I know now to plan enough in advance and stay at one of the many casino hotels, aiming for the ones closest to the convention center. I know it means more planning and more money, but it will be worth it. Atlantic City, on the whole, is not the greatest place to be, so it is best to be in an environment where there are lots of lights and security people. Also, I will know that it might be a good idea to have dinner reservations made in advance if you want to eat anywhere nice, and also know the phone numbers of local take-out places in terms of getting lunch at the convention. I wonder if places would deliver if you asked them to? Hmmm....
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
The weather was looking very wet and miserable for Friday night and all day Saturday, which was disappointing, considering that those were the only two days of the event. However, Saturday afternoon started to clear, and Matt and I made a split decision to hop on the train and take ourselves in.
What fun! It looked very small at the onset, but in true Japanese style, they compacted everything into a little space. There was tourism information, marathon information and the 3-D movie, complete with silly glasses and great door prizes (we both came within one number of winning... bah!). Artisans were there as well - carving intricate details into wood blocks, creating straw mats, painting calligraphy on lanterns - there were exhibits of artwork, including plants that were grown with sound sensors in them, so that when the wind blows, they make music! And as for live music, it was so peaceful and beatufiul - there were people playing Kotos and Syakuhachi, and even a dancer!
We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and I took a bunch of pictures, which I'll soon put into my gallery. I'd love to see the real Tokyo - why does it have to be so far away?
UPDATE: Pictures from the fiesta!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
It's interesting - I went to look up the corresponding representative gift for the fourth anniversary and found that there are many different views on the matter - traditional, modern, alternative modern... so according to many different sites, number four could be any of the following gifts - linen, silk, nylon, books, appliances, fruit and flowers - what would Miss Manners say?
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
flowy folk-y skirt.... check.
peasant blouse.... check.
pouch with clinking coins.... check.
(foam) sword.... check.
Almost there... still need shiny jewelery, maybe a vest, and a hat. With a feather.
Can you tell what I am going to be for Haloween at school?
Monday, October 16, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Beautiful, crisp fall afternoons are just asking for adventure, in my opinion. This afternoon, we went up to Ringwood Manor. Yes, I know I've been there before (many times!) but it is a lovely spot! We picked up some sandwiches and had an impromptu picnic and then toured the house, which is supposedly quite haunted. (We didn't see any evidence of that today, however!) I was in a artsy mood, so I was glad to have my handy little camera to take a few pictures here and there. Being that I continue to have trouble posting directly to my blog lately (grr!) I am hooking myself up to an online photo album, found here. The pumpkins are actually the only picture not from the Manor, but from a farmstand down the road. I drove us there - in the manual! (too bad I stalled out in the parking lot!)
It really was a lovely day, and I hope to learn how to show my photos better soon - I've been quite the shutterbug of late and want to share! I've been quite busy, and not just with work - I went to the shore twice, and up to my five year reunion (eek!) and other things as well. If anyone is able to give me any tips, please do! :)
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Being an avid reader of LJCfyi, I have often heard about Wegmans. Jenny touts it as a supermarket of fabulousness. True, I don't know her personally, but her site is addictive and I think she lives a pretty cool life, so if she liked this place, I was sure I would as well! Matt was wary about my choice of weekend activity - but being a good sport, he went along with it.
What. a . cool. place! It is like an ubersupermarket - aesthetically interesting, with a beautiful produce section, cafe (with upstairs balcony seating), coffee bar, prepared foods section, hot food bar, a sushi counter, amazing bakery section with woodburning stove and gorgeous pastries (and a cookie bar, which had a sign just for Matt on it - do not lean on or reach over the glass!) a big natural/organic/health food section, a flower department that was more florist, books, papergoods, loose teas, appliances, newspapers from all over the country, and even things like Waterford crystal glasses/vases and tableware. Amazing!
I only wish that we had one closer to home... no matter where they are in NJ, they are nowhere near here! The next time I go, I am going to plan a feast! :)
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Fireworks 1. Watching fireworks burst into a rain of light in the sky is an omen of great good fortune ahead, particularly in romance.
Fireworks A dream that forecasts possible obstacles to the accomplishment of some cherished plan; the more spectacular the display was in your dream, the longer will be your season of frustration.
Fireworks Dreaming about fireworks means that you like to be the center of attention and are showing off to others. It also symbolizes enthusiasm and exhilaration.
Fireworks To see fireworks in your dream, symbolizes enthusiasm, creativity, and talent. It may also indicate that you are showing off and making a spectacle of yourself.
Hmmm. Mostly good, enthusiastic things, but some frustration. We will see. :)
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Now the query. I had a dream the other night about seeing fireworks. Does anyone know what that is supposed to mean?
Monday, September 04, 2006
Oragami CD Holder
I learned about this on the weekend. It's pretty smart and crafty, if I say so myself. I'm using it for some CDs that I have to send in the mail, and it certainly makes them more space efficient.
And yeah, tomorrow is the first "official" day of the new job. I'm a bit nervous about it, considering that there are so many things still up in the air. Hopefully they will start to make sense soon, but for now, I just wish I could be organized, and sincerely hope that I find out that I have a place to put my things tomorrow. That would be good.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Well, I think the last day of work at my old job was memorable, don't you?
I discovered a tiny bloodblister on my neck a few days ago and thought little of it, but then yesterday it decided to bleed... and bleed... for more than three hours. So after work (at which they gave me some candles, balloons and an ice cream cake, which made me feel very special!) I was encouraged to call my doctor, and he suggested I go to the emergency room, considering it was after-hours and the bleeding was still ongoing. So, Matt took me and off we went. I must say it was interesting to have "call-ahead reservations" to the hospital, considering I know people who work there!! ;) It was a rather uneventful visit - the bleeding finally stopped by the time I got to see a doctor, so they just patched me up and gave me a referral to a plastic surgeon - if it starts to bleed again, they need to cauterize it. Dinner reservations got delayed at that point, but we weren't too late to enjoy a delicious meal - especially the CHOCOLATE!!! ;) mmmmm..... I'm sure that I became a more interesting customer, considering I had a big patch on my neck! Matt also decided to mark the occasion with a gift - a beautiful watch. (I am overwhelmed!) All in all, a day I won't forget! ;)
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Ok. Within the span of 24 hours (tuesday pm to wednesday pm) the following things will have occurred:
evening(!) call about a job interview.
dinner with a friend from childhood.*
write resignation letters.
There is more to this story, which I can tell you if you wish. Needless to say, it has made a poor think-about-it-and-be-sure-to-take-time-to-decide-soul-which-has-a-tough-time-with-change go absolutely batty. AHHHH! more to come...
*I know it doesn't fit the mold, but I thought I'd put it in because it was cool and in the middle of the craziest scenario.
Friday, August 18, 2006
(some) jazz is like impressionist music, in that they both may not look like they make sense on a superficial level, but when you sit back and listen and let it surround you, it certainly does.
That would make an interesting paper.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
frolic in the rippled bliss with him
imagine the soft humble winter
drink love's wild wisdom
laugh and wish on the precious cleaving star
moan the translucent sensual song for the goddess
adore tranquil false shimering pinacles
transcend in the celestial explosion
whisper and fly
shine, sparkle, sing, shudder
touch, collapse, trust
life is a mesmerizing eternity
*I found it in a journal while trying to clean out my room of tons of unnecessary stuff, which is quite a tedious task!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Wish I could have gone to see the previous movie as well - Jaws, on Martha's Vineyard! That would have been great!