Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - A Year in Review

This has been an interesting year. There were lots of great things, lots of crazy things, lots of everything. Here are a few highlights for you to see. All in all, a very memorable year!

J A N U A R Y . . .

... found me with a 3-day stay at the hospital for pneumonia, my first hospital stay since I was born. I was actually very relieved to be there, since it meant I wasn't going crazy and really was sick!

F E B R U A R Y . . .

... led to a sad time. My grandfather passed away on Valentine's Day. He was a great man and a rock in our family. We all miss him.

M A R C H . . .

... put me into a new sense of wealth (?) when I finished making payments on my car. What a relief that was! (Pic is from later in the year, but since I don't take pictures of my car, here it is with sweet Catherine!)

A P R I L . . .

... was a busy month. I went to Massachusetts and saw several friends, helped celebrate Jenny's birthday at Great Adventure, and also went on an adventure in New York City during which I got to see Great Big Sea!

M A Y . . .

... found us back into the city for Beethoven's 9th (and Arron Copland's In the Beginning) with Matt's parents. Other highlights included Memorial Day down at the shore!

J U N E . . .

... is my birthday month! I had fun celebrating, but a highlight of the month was my nephew's graduation from high school! He is now enjoying college life and all it entails.

J U L Y . . .

... had lots of adventures. One of them was getting to see Blue Man Group! I also went on a movie-kick and saw six movies in a short amount of time!

A U G U S T . . .

... involved more travel. I saw Becky and Catherine in Mystic, CT and then got to see Great Big Sea again in Freeport, Maine - home of LLBean! (and Kate, but she was away!)

S E P T E M B E R . . .

... was crazy-busy in terms of starting the new school year. I spent much of it stressing out and trying to get on track! Matt showed his automobile prowess in changing the brakes on my car. You're so handy!

O C T O B E R . . .

... included some fall-harvesty-Halloween type adventures. I got to wear one of the most comfortable Halloween costumes to work - Scrubs and sneakers!

N O V E M B E R . . .

... brought me back to school - High School, that is! It was our 10 year reunion, and what a trip it was. Strange but good to see people after 10 years.

D E C E M B E R . . .

... helped the year to a close in a busy way! Daytrips to Sandy Hook and New York City, Holiday concert craziness, Christmas celebrations, fun with friends and abundant good times. A wonderful way to end the year, If I say so myself!

I wish you all of you much joy, happiness, wonderful memories, laughter
and peace in the New Year. Thank you, my friends, for putting up with my
ranting and raving and reports of the goings-on in my little part of the world.

H e r e ' s T o A G r e a t 2 0 0 8 !

Christmas Vacation... part 3: Morocco!

On Saturday night, Matt and I met up with Marisa and Eric for dinner. I've known Marisa since we worked together at my previous teaching job, and we've managed to keep the friendship going! She is a sweetheart and we all had a wonderful time - the boys exchanging jokes in their best Scottish accents, Marisa and I bellydancing (yes!!) in the restaurant, enjoying amazing Moroccan food and good company.

We went to Marakesh in Parsippany - smaller than I thought it would be, but cool - you sit on couches and are encouraged to eat with your hands! There was a bellydancer and live music, too... loud, but a lot of fun. If you remember back in February of 2006, M & I went to a fantastic Moroccan eatery in... Morocco. In Epcot. It was amazing and we ate so much food that we were still full the next morning! I tried to take him to this place (or one in the city) for his birthday, but we never got to go... at least we went now!

It was great to get to see Marisa and Eric and hang out... we want to do it again soon!

(Marisa - I want some of your pictures!) More pictures are here.

Christmas Vacation... part 2: Christmas!

Christmas was nice this year. On Christmas Eve, Matt and I went to the service at church and then back to my house for dinner with my parents - yum! On Christmas Day, I was home with Mom and Dad, eating French toast, opening presents, relaxing, then it was off to have dinner with Matt and his parents at their house. It was a really nice day.

Santa was good to me - I got some lovely gifts, including a massage (well, a gift certificate for one, anyway!), a date with my mom to go and see Audra McDonald in April (Yay!), and a Zune, already loaded with some of my music! Woo hoo! (Sneaky Matt, stealing my CDs!)

All in all, two very good days. Hope your Christmas was just as Merry! :)

Click here for more photos.

Christmas Vacation... part 1: Kate!

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to meet up with my dear friend Kate in New York City. She was down from Maine, meeting up with lots of friends and staying with her brother, Alex. I was so happy to get to spend some "alone" time with her - it has been YEARS since we've done that, and the last time I saw her was at our college reunion in October 2006!

I took the train in by myself - a first! I've done the train a ton of times before, but not alone. Very liberating! I was a little early to meet her, so I wandered into Macy's on 34th.... what a nightmare jumble of people and craziness! I fought my way up to the 8th floor to see Santa - as a kid I insisted that I had to go and see the real Santa, who was holding court at Macy's - the movie told me, and therefore it had to be true!

I met Kate at American Girl Place - a store that I would have gone crazy for as a girl... heck, I still want to buy everything in it! It was insane, of course - but I had to buy a Christmas gift for my niece, and was able to do it fairly easily. We then bumped into her brother and grandfather outside for a few minutes, leaving them to go and get some dinner. We wanted to go to John's Pizzeria, but it was obnoxiously crowded. So we walked to Times Square and went to the Olive Garden... still crazy busy, but at least we had a place to sit and talk while we waited, which is what we wanted anyway! (And our table came with an excellent view - worth the wait!)

After dinner, we both needed to use the restroom, and Kate remembered hearing about the Charmin Holiday Restroom in Times Square... so that's where we went next! It was hilarious - the people were so perky and friendly, there was a little dance you could learn while you waited on line, the mini-bathrooms were immaculate and outfitted with all of the necessities, and there were photo opportunities galore! We laughed and laughed - it was a perfect surprise adventure for us!

She walked me back toward the train and we went on our merry ways. Kate, it was so wonderful to see you and get to spend time with you, eating, chatting and having adventures! Yay!

More pictures are here.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Roadtrip!

When we last went to Sandy Hook, we talked about coming back to see the History House all decorated for Christmas... but with the whole pneumonia thing last year, we weren't able to go. So I surprised Matt with a road trip on Saturday. We had so much fun! The house was beautifully decorated, there was a live jazz trio, and they even had cookies and hot chocolate!

We had the opportunity to climb the Sandy Hook lighthouse as well - a delight for Matt, since he was never able to go there as a kid. (It was run by the Coast Guard until a few years ago). We then took a quick sidetrip to the Twin Lights as well and picked up a sticker for our NJ passports!

We then drove in to Matt's hometown, Atlantic Highlands. We stopped into the public library and browsed in a vintage shop, but the highlight of the trip home was the Memphis Pig Out. This place serves up great food in HUGE quantities. We ate ourselves silly and then hit the road, as we were expecting a Nor'Easter late that night.

View a bigger slideshow at the Photo Gallery!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Do you think I'm Super-girl?

First, a disclamer. This is written during Holiday Concert Craziness. Thank you.

How am I expected to turn the world on its head by Friday? I have a budget (which I got today) that I need to return on Friday. And plans for this week and next week, also due Friday. And another budget will be handed to me tomorrow, to be returned probably on Friday as well. And a jam-packed chaotic day of work tomorrow, followed by a dinner which I must attend. And preparation for two concerts back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday. And a program to finish.

Do I look like I can leap tall buildings in a single bound?


And to top it off, yesterday I had thousands of dollars worth of drug injected into my arm which could still put me into anaphylaxis within the next 24 hours, so I'm carrying an EpiPen. (Although the fact that I didn't react during the 2 hours I spent in the Dr's office is a good indicator that I'll be fine.) The drug will hopefully be a blessing, though - but they do their best to scare the poop out of you before they inject you, just so you're aware. Then they teach you how to stab yourself with the EpiPen just in case you do react. Woo.

And I'm stress eating. Oh, the carb and chocolate cravings.

Maybe I can be you for a change?

But now I am going to bed.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ten years

I went to my high school reunion last night. To quote a song of the time, "How bizarre. How bizzare, how bizarre."

My sweet Matt came with me, despite the fact that he knew no one there but me!
(Doesn't this picture look like we're going to the prom or something?)

It was strange - some people looked very much the same, some better, and some were not so recognizable! Funny to see people working the room, yet still mostly associating with their same cliques... I sat with more musical people, a lot of the popular ones were together, jocks, etc. I guess some things never change, eh?? It was good to have gone, though - fun to see what people are up to. Here are a few... the only pictures taken with my camera!

Nadia, who I've known since we were five!!

Christina, musical and athletic, who now teaches Phys.Ed in Ohio

More of the music nerds (er...gang) - Dave, me, Danae and Ken

Danae, Meghan and Me

It's funny to have gone, and such a rush of memories. Some great, some I had forgotten, some I wish I didn't remember! It was good to touch base with some of the people of my past, and also wonder about some others I hoped/thought I might see. I went through the yearbook after I got home. So surreal. That was me. In so many ways I am exactly the same, yet in others I am so different - but then again, do we ever turn out the way we thought we would?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Yummy soup

When it gets cold like this, I tend to want something warm and comforting to eat. Soup like this fits the bill nicely, is easy to make, and freezes well. I found the recipe in one of my mom's magazines, and I share it with you!

Carol's Carrot and Dill Soup

1 pound carrots (about 2.5 cups)
1 medium onion
2 cups water
2 cups low-fat chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bunch fresh dill (about 2 tablespoons)

Peel carrots and cut into 1/2 inch coins. Peel and chop onion. In a 2.5-quart saucepan, bring carrots, onion, water, broth, salt and fennel seeds to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, 30 to 40 minutes till carrots are very tender.
While carrots are cooking, rinse and chop dill, reserving several sprigs for garnish. Add dill to cooked carrots and, using great care, puree in two batches in a blender. If you plan to serve the soup cold, let it cool in the pan first. Garnish with fresh dill.

(Recipe from Guideposts magazine, Sept. 2007)

This time, I put in less onion (we don't like a ton) and instead put in a big spoonful of chopped garlic. Next time, I think I might try fresh ginger instead of dill (and perhaps the onion.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Movie Time

We went to the movies tonight... and saw this!

It was tremendous fun... neither Matt or I have seen it before. We loved it, and the 3-D was really cool! (And we got to keep the 3-D glasses, which were much less dorky than the huge IMAX 3D ones for HP5.) The songs are quirky (and get stuck in your head!) and it's visually interesting - but what do you expect from a Tim Burton film?
Unfortunately, it appears to be slated a very limited release, and we're caught it on the closing weekend... but who knows, maybe they will extend it so you can go if you'd like!

PS: I think Matt should be Jack Skellington for Halloween next year. What do you think?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Don't bother me when I'm shopping!

I need to know if others feel the same way I do about this.

Whenever I happen to be in the mall, I find myself accosted by multiple kiosk salesmen (usually), trying to get me to stop and try/buy different products off of their carts - hand lotion, heat packs, jewelery cleaners, head massagers, straightening irons, and the like. And usually the scenario goes something like this:

Me: walking along, window shopping, people watching, talking to whomever I'm with, etc.
Guy: Jumping in front of me or hurrying to my side, speaking in an insistent loud voice, "Excuse me, miss? Can I ask you a question?"
Me: "No, thank you," I reply, politely, without stopping.
Guy: Continues with his spiel without missing a beat, still with a very loud voice, more actively trying to get me to stop (example)- "Do you keep your nails natural? Let me see your hands..." as he gestures for me to hold out my hands, getting as close as he can without touching me.
Me: "No, thank you," I respond, a little more insistently, as I speed up and walk away.

At this point, most will back off and just tell you to have a nice day. I'm fine with that. Although I may not like them jumping on me at the mall (which is how most of them behave, men and women kiosk salespeople alike), I had one the other day who really took the cake. The conversation started out as I mentioned above, but instead of quitting with the second attempt, he said to me, sarcastically, "Oh, don't be so hard."

I didn't realize what he'd said until I got too far away to turn back around.

Don't be so hard????

Excuse me??? I politely said, "No Thank You," and that's your response? If I had realized it sooner, I would have stopped and said something to him. I know that he's trying to do his job and earn a living for himself. But it's not acceptable to say something like that to a stranger and potential customer, and expect them to respond in any way other than with negativity, even if you didn't mean it literally.

Is this just a local thing? Or is it just a kiosk salesperson tactic?

I don't like pushy salespeople, but after working in retail, I know how to politely deal with the situation. But this just took the cake. As I said before, I appreciate the fact that they are trying to earn a living... they just need to learn to read people! It's pretty obvious when someone is uninterested. There are body cues that let you know when people are open to being approached and when they want to just be left alone. A good salesperson is trained and knows how to recognize this. I make it pretty obvious. I avoid eye contact with them. If I am with someone else, I engage them in conversation before we walk by the kiosks. I concentrate on a window display.

Maybe I should just run screaming in the other direction the next time a kiosk salesperson approaches me. Do you think it would give them the hint?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A few thoughts and comments

Random things floating around in my brain. Do with them what you will.

I should be working on stuff for my Holiday concerts, but it seems so strange to be planning for them already. But November is such a short month in terms of school... I really should have started already. There's a lot about it that is so hard. You have to try to include everyone, and consider the group of students that you are working with. We're very multicultural, which is a cause of stress for me. I also don't have loads of money with which I could purchase things myself. Bah.

After church today, Matt had to stay for a meeting, so I went into the house to do some work. (He's not officially living in it yet, but we've moved some stuff in already.) I will say this... the people who lived there before left the house FILTHY and with a million and two holes in the (plaster) walls from a million and two nails and hooks. Did they try to turn the house into a museum? I did a little spackeling (it's been a while since I've done it so I wanted to make sure it looked all right before I did the whole house), put together a mobile clothing rack, cleaned the two tables we brought over, and washed all of the downstairs windows (inside only). It was 48 degrees inside the house (obviously the heat isn't on yet!) but the work kept me warm. I would have used the steam cleaner machine, but M has to change the outlets first and then they will be 3-pronged accessible.

I have a short work week, happy, happy, joy! Tomorrow and Wednesday are full days. Tuesday is a half day due to Election Day (go and vote, people... and if you live in NJ, be sure to vote for the open space bill! No more McMansions!) and then Thursday and Friday are teacher's convention days... so no school! Whee!

Went out with the gang (who we haven't seen since Labor Day weekend) for Indian food on Saturday night. Yum. My new favorite food. I ate WAY too much and then crammed in some ice cream afterwards. Ugh! I've been trying to be so good since the summer (almost 20lbs!) but I seem to be sabotaging myself lately. Time to get back on the wagon... which is hard with the holidays approaching! I. Must. Be. Strong!

All right. Enough kvetching. I need to go to sleep now and am very tired, which is perhaps why I just bumbled on and on like this. So, as I said at the beginning, do with it as you will. I will go to sleep.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Little Known Facts About Me

Marisa tagged me. And I am procrastinating (as I watch D1), so here it goes:

Four things about me that you may or may not have known in no particular order. The directions are at the end.

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Teacher
2. Bank Teller
3. Audiology Assistant
4. Retail Sales Associate

B) Four movies I would watch over and over:

1. Pride And Prejudice
2. You've Got Mail
3. Roman Holiday
4. Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea

C) Four places I have lived:

1. My Hometown. One of the top 50 safest towns in the USA.
2. Brooklyn, NY
3. Wenham, MA
4. My own little world :)

D) Four shows that I watch:

1. Dancing With The Stars
2. Any show with Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel
3. How It's Made
4. Myth Busters

E) Four places I have been: (besides the places I have lived)

1. Alaska
2. Germany
3. Norway
4. Canada

F) Four people who e-mail me (regularly):

1. Rebecca
2. Jenny
3. Matt (hah! He used to!)
4. Travelzoo, union, MENC, The Knot, and a million stupid email things.

G) Four of my favorite foods:

1. Chocolate
2. Sushi
3. Mangoes
4. Freshly Baked Cookies

H) Four places I would rather be right now:

1. Sleeping!
2. Someplace warm, like a tropical beach or the ocean.
3. The shore (even when it's chilly, it's wonderful)
4. On an adventure with Matt.

I) Four folks I think will respond (maybe):

1. probably not anyone... but here are some choices.
2. Jenny
3. Becky (although she's already been tagged)
4. Kate

J) Things I am looking forward to this year:

1. February Vacation... Disney World!! :)
2. Getting this wedding in order... FINALLY
3. Trying to get my life in order
4. Going to see Audra McDonald in concert!

DIRECTIONS: Copy the text, delete my answers and pop in your own. Tag, you're it!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Waxing Nostalgic

There are lots of great things about being a grown-up, but sometimes you wish you could go back in time for a while. There's a big part of me that would love to put on some silly costume and go trick-or-treating with friends on Wednesday afternoon, then put myself into a sugar coma with a pillowcase full of candy collected from the neighborhood. Fun stuff like that. I guess it's really just the fantasy, the fun, the utter silliness of it that I miss. The stuff that as adults we too often put aside because we don't have time, or feel to responsible, or are afraid of how we might look to the world around us. It seems strange that as we gain our independence and means to do the extraordinary, we lose our nerve to do the things we always dreamed of doing, as silly as they might have been. Perhaps we lack the courage to step outside of ourselves and get lost in "being" someone else for a little while.

At least I can still watch "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" tomorrow night. :) And I have to dress up at work... although it's not so interesting since we all are going to be the same thing. But I will be comfortable and I get to wear sneakers, so that's a plus. And heck, I'll eat some chocolate too. So there. :p

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Long time, no post.

Hey there. I know I haven't posted in a long while, but I have a good excuse... at least I think it is.

I've spent most of this fall sick. It's been really frustrating and my athsma has gone completely out of whack. They tried a bunch of different drugs which didn't work, so the doc finally put me on prednizone. It's a pretty serious steroid, and they gave me a considerable amount of it. It worked, and I was starting to feel better - oh, joy! But here's the catch... it's a drug that you can't just stop taking. You have to taper it down over time in order to get off of it again. So, we started to taper down... and then all of the things started to happen. First, I virtually stopped sleeping. I'd be up at least 7-8 times a night. Every night. My back went into evil mode, aching from top to bottom and wrapping around to the front, affecting my stomach. Basically, as I started to taper off of the drug, my body didn't like it and went into withdrawal. The sad thing is that the doctors didn't have too much they could do about it... so I suffered my way through the week. I don't remember most of it, honestly... I didn't work on Monday, and the rest of the work-week is pretty fuzzy. I did what I needed to do and then came home, really. The one highlight of the week was that I got a massage at Mezzaluna on Friday.... ah, how wonderful! The masseuse was able to break up a lot of the tension, although it did make me sore! :) I am now completely off of the pred, thank goodness, and won't ever, EVER, E V E R take it again. I was worried about taking it at all due to the fact that I hallucinated when I took some at age 16. So between these two experiences, I will not put it in my body again. Nope. Shiver.

So yeah, that's what's been up with me. So nice and exciting, eh? Woo hoo... oh, the excitement!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

tick....... tock......... tick......... tock...............

Frustrating. Very very frustrating. Take a look at the time of this post. It's not due to the fact that I've been up late to a crazy party or spent the evening on a movie marathon or anything good. It's the stupid fact that I iust CAN'T SLEEP! The past few nights have found me waking up three times each, and this is already number three for tonight... but this time I can't seem to get back to sleep. Blast and wretch! Why? I'm tired! I went to bed exhausted. I want to be sleeping. I love sleeping. But no. Instead I am awake, so I figured enough twitching in my bed - time to actually get up and at least make an attempt to beat insomnia.

The one good thing about it is that there is no work tomorrow, so that is a blessing in itself, but I don't want to be grumpy all day, either. Bah.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Dancing With The Stars Quote 2:

"... it was sharp and tangy like a pickle."

Len Goodman, in reference to Jenny Garth & Derek Hough's performance of the tango tonight.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Modern Mozart?

A Video-of-the-day... thanks to Matt! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Medication, Mango Sauce and Multiple Birthdays!

Sick again. Grr. More medication, more rest. Blah. I should be at Marisa's house tonight to celebrate her birthday. But I'm at home. But I did get some beautiful flowers, mango sauce and a happy movie from my sweetheart. Yay!

By the way....

This week finds two of my friends celebrating the anniversary of the day they were born! Marisa was on the 4th and Peter is today! Happy Birthday to you both! Enjoy the year!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A quote for the evening...

"... I could go skinny dipping in his eyes."

A quote in reference to Cameron Mathison on Dancing With The Stars. He is a cutie, I must admit! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I just (finally!) got around to looking at the fall issue of Knitty. (of course, all of this time should have been spent writing lesson plans, of course...)

I am in love with this:How amazingly cute is that? I want it. I want to make it.

...and I find it is designed by a woman in NYC who sells patterns for lots of cute little knitted friends... and there are even some that are free! (whee!) Go and see them on her website! Tres cute. I want to make them all. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

so domestic

Things I've done today:
-wake up
-make breakfast (omlet, toast, coffee)
-read the paper a little
-put in laundry (the first of five loads)
-get dressed
-drive to church
-schmooze after church
-pick apples by Matt's new house
-check out some of the outbuildings on the property
-chat with Matt
-drive home
-continue with laundry (this takes a considerable amount of time)
-make roasted tomato soup from the tomatoes given to me at church
-make chunky applesauce with some of the apples
-check email
-eat some apples
-sign up with Facebook
-procrastinate some more
-eat some Mallomars (oh joy - they have returned!)
-organize lesson plans

(the last one will begin when I finish this post. I have been putting it off. not good. )

... but I have been quite domestic and productive, no?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A little bit of anarchy, but not the hurting kind...

I don't know about the rest of you, but I relate to the lyrics of song really well. Being a perfectionist and a people-pleaser I often feel like I am doing things for someone else and that I have to over-think it all through - including the possible scenarios that could follow - before I can begin. Is the overarching theme something to aspire to all of the time? No, and the song doesn't say that. But every once in a while, you need to stop and just let go, and that is so hard.... and so appealing... to someone like me.

Consequence Free
- Great Big Sea

Wouldn’t it be great, if no one ever got offended
Wouldn’t it be great to say what’s really on your mind
I have always said ‘all the rules are made for bending’
And if I let my hair down, would that be such a crime?

I wanna be consequence free
I wanna be where nothing needs to matter
I wanna be consequence free
just sing Na Na Na Na Na Ne Na Na Na

I could really use, to lose my Catholic conscience
Cuz I’m getting sick of feeling guilty all the time
I won’t abuse it, Yeah I’ve got the best intentions
For a little bit of anarchy but not the hurting kind


I couldn’t sleep at all last night
cause I had so much on my mind
I’d like to leave it all behind,
but you know it’s not that easy


Wouldn’t it be great, if the band just never ended
We could stay out late and we would never hear last call
We wouldn’t need to worry about approval or permission,
we could — slip off the edge and never worry about the fall


(Note: this is post # 501!! I didn't realize that I'd made that many. I guess I started and just couldn't shut up!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


1. I love air conditioning.
2. I hate humidity.
3. Working at a job with no air conditioning completely bites.

One bright spot in a soggy day:
I have had a lot of students noticing that I have a new haircut... but one girl today took the cake. She told me I looked like a rockstar.

... I desperately needed that today.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I am buried under mountains of to-do lists and my head is fuzzy from all of the faces and places and paperwork and whatnot - some of which I still have yet to experience! You might not hear from me for a while... so much to do and the remnants of a summer mindset to internally argue with. Ah, September rears her ugly head.

Don't get me wrong, my job is good once everything settles down. It's just the chaos until then that makes me a little batty!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Things that make you go hmmmmm??? (POTD!)

We saw this while at the shore last weekend... twice!

Look at what Mr. Shrimp has to say!

And one last strange sight... me playing a video game! Lego Star Wars!

More random pictures from August are found

Two "Matt" Announcements

Big lifestyle-changing things have been going on in Matt's world recently - it's all very exciting!

I've already told you about the new job. Hurray! I know he will be a great teacher. :)

The next thing? A new car!

A very shiny fancy Jaguar, to be exact!! He stumbled upon this by chance and was able to get a great deal. (Even though he bought it from a dealer, it was strange to find out that the previous owner lives a few blocks away from him! Small world! ) His good 'ol Hyundai had well over 100,000 miles and was starting to demand a lot of costly repairs, so it was time for something newer and more reliable. We tease him about his "Fancy Car," but it is really quite nice. :)

And not to be left out... he's moving!

This cottage belongs to the church we have been attending. He'll be renting the house and will adopt the title of groundskeeper. He hasn't moved in yet, but we have been measuring and will paint before he does. Once we can scare up a few sticks of furniture (even Ikea is looking pricy!) there will be a housewarming party! It's very charming, but also quite old - even older than the church (1880!). It is small, but I think with time and creativity it will be quite cozy. My mind is whirring with lots of ideas as to how to make it warm and inviting while stretching every dollar as far as it can go!

Big things! Now if we can just get married, life will completely go on its head! ;)

Great Big Sea at LL Bean!

Two weekends ago, we took a crazy two-day road trip to Maine. Four of us loaded into my dear 'ol Jeep and took the long, long drive up to Freeport. Why, you might ask? Unlimited shopping at LL Bean and the outlets? Well, that's a good reason and one we did take advantage of, but no. We went on the quest for music - Great Big Sea!

The concert was great - it was a part of the LL Bean summer concert series (free!) - supposedly they had over 4500 people in the park that night! It was especially fun because there were so many Canadians there, and they know how to party!

We had wanted to stay in Freeport, but everything was booked solid, from the swankiest B&B to all the sites at the campgrounds, so we stayed in Portland - what a great choice! It is such a charming city and I wish we could have sent more time there. I will go back there to explore the interesting little shops and experience it properly! Our hotel was fantastic, too - Holiday Inn By The Bay. The room was comfortable, they gave us a bag of goodies, and we had a bay view!

Of course, we did some shopping while we were there as well, both at Bean and in other stores in that shopping mecca. There was a fantastic little British shop where we all stocked up on chocolates and other goodies, great little cafes for food (lobster roll, yum!), and surprisingly I came home with an extra suitcase!

I had wanted to take part in one of the Walk-On adventures, but we didn't have time... so I will return for that, too. This is as close to kayaking that I got, but I will get to try it some day!

Sadly, a very important thing that I wanted to do in Freeport didn't happen.... my dear friend Kate lives there, and I was excited to get to see her. But she went away! Oh, the sadness! Ah well.... just another reason to go back! Pictures are here... and there might be more soon if I get the "ok" from our friends!

Weird NJ Baseball Game

I've got some catching up to do....

On July 27th, Matt and I went to a Newark Bears baseball game. I know that it is not something most would expect us to do, but I'd gotten an email from Weird NJ and they were sponsoring this game. If you brought/wore some kind of WNJ paraphernalia, you got in for free! So, we headed out with some issues of the magazine and went to the ballgame.

Mark and Mark (the writers/founders) were there and doing a signing... so not only did we get our magazines signed, but we also got two signed copies of the first Weird NJ book! They gave out the second volume later - too bad we couldn't get one of each! There were some WNJ "characters" there as well, and even fireworks after the game! The Bears won, too - it was a very exciting ending with most of the action happening in the bottom of the ninth!

A really fun evening was had for a very small amount of money... a few tolls, $5 parking in Newark, free admission to the game, free books, free fireworks! Pictures are here.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Forty sticks of butter.
Eight medium cantelopes.
Ten bags of sugar or flour.
Roughly the weight of your head.

When you think about the fact that ten pounds is the equivalent of one of those, it makes you feel pretty good when you've gotten rid of it. **smile**

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Freshly Sharpened Pencils...

I have a lot of stuff that I should be posting about, but I'm too lazy and sleepy at the moment to upload pictures and whatnot. I'll just make a comment on something that just came to me.

I guess I must be feeling nostalgic or something, but after watching a commercial today on television, I realized that I miss going to school. Not teaching, considering the fact that I am in the midst of getting ready to do it all once again, but rather being a student. I miss carefully packing up all of my stuff and cramming it all into Bing* for the drive up. I miss my friends, who were just a short walk away (or in the next room!) instead of hours or plane rides away. I miss strange things, like the mailboxes. I really miss college choir and my lessons. I miss the struggle of balancing work and play, something that I never quite accomplished, tending to work a lot and being so painfully frugal that I didn't go as many places as I should have. I miss studying and feeling that it was hard, good work, but not impossible. I miss the controlled freedom and how liberating it felt - the ability to be "independent," out of sight of parent's eyes, yet still protected. I miss the "me" that I was becoming there.

School starts next Wednesday. I wonder if my ID card still works.

*my old, dear Red 1991 Toyota Tercel DX, who was named "Bing" by a group of college friends.
The picture above, of course, is not mine - but check out the Edmund's website on the car! If I still had it, I could get a better price for it than I thought! And look at the rating, too - it was a great little car!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More Procrastination

I blogged about my Tetris addiction and my newfound StateTris. Now I discover that there is not just the USA version, but Europe, Africa and France. I put them all in the sidebar. Check them out!

I will soon kick butt at world geography, thanks to the wonderful world of computers and the internet. :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New Procrastination Addiction...

I admit it. I love Tetris. I've been hooked ever since I got my good 'ol Game Boy (which I still have, complete with oh-so-fashionable pink-and-black fanny pack carrying case!) I have a version of it on my computer. I have a link to an online version. It's a great game that really hasn't gotten old.

But now I have been informed of a new online version of this game.... StateTetris USA. It combines your knowledge of the map of our country with the good 'ol game of Tetris.

... I will soon be a master of state geography... again.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Goings on to congratulate

Lots of things are going on recently around here.... here are some highlights.

First, Matt got a new job! He'll be teaching biology and forensics to high schoolers. Hooray! I think he'll be a good teacher, and how cool is it that he gets to teach something like forensics?

(a second Matt thing will be posted about soon... complete with pictures!)

Secondly, a friend of ours just decided to have a change of career... leaving one job and changing to something completely different. Hopefully he won't feel like this anymore!

Thirdly, a friend of mine just told me that she's pregnant! She hasn't revealed it to the general public yet, so I won't spoil her thunder. :) I'm very excited for her, even if it means that I won't get to see her during a visit she had planned in October.

Lastly, another friend, Marisa, has now become a homeowner! You'll have to have a housewarming party soon - congratulations!

Congratulations to everyone. If I missed something important, please let me know. I've been so busy lately and I don't want to forget you! :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Marisa tagged me to do this. I'll bite.

Rules: You go to Wikipedia, type in your birthday (month and day) & you list 3 events, 2 births, 1 holiday, and tag 5 friends.

Here goes...
June 14 - Flag Day!

1. Three Events:
1777 - Stars and Stripes adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States.

1907 - Norway adopts female suffrage. (Rock on, Norway!)

1942 - Anne Frank begins to keep a diary.

2. Two Births:
1811 - Harriet Beecher Stowe, American author (Uncle Tom's Cabin)

1909 - Burl Ives, American folksinger and musician (and the snowman in "Rudolph"!)

(also Boy George, Che Guevara and Donald Trump, to name a few of the more bizarre ones!)

3. One Holiday:
Well, we all know it's Flag Day. But it's also International Weblogger's Day. Cool!

4. Five Tagged People:
Kate, Angela, Cinderdiva, Jenn and Jenny. (but we'll see who actually does it...)