Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Erin_cg_halloween_2


This is Erin and me (nice, flattering angle there) at a party last Saturday. She was a Booda squeaky toy. I was a Magic 8-Ball. I really wanted to include the one of Erin holding doughnuts that someone brought to the party--they were the day-old Giant ones, so it was kind of funny--but I don't want her to kill me!

Happy Halloween!

Erin_cg_halloween_2


This is Erin and me (nice, flattering angle there) at a party last Saturday. She was a Booda squeaky toy. I was a Magic 8-Ball. I really wanted to include the one of Erin holding doughnuts that someone brought to the party--they were the day-old Giant ones, so it was kind of funny--but I don't want her to kill me!

Easy Fall Recipe

For my book club last week, our food theme was "fall food." Needless to say, our meeting featured a lot of pumpkin. I decided to make "mini caramel apple upside down cakes." I didn't have a recipe, so I went about improvising to make something as easy as possible. Here's what I did.


I took several fresh Pennsylvania apples and peeled and sliced them thinly. I then put them in muffin tins (I had to cut several of the slices in half for them to fit), drizzled them with caramel sauce, sprinkled a few pecan pieces in, and then filled the tins with some spice cake mix. Here are the results.


Cakes


They tasted pretty good. Next time, I'd put a little more caramel. I was worried about putting too much in, but the ones that had more were better. I wanted to use yellow cake, but it was sold out, so I'd probably try that next time too. They were fun for a fall gathering!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another Weekend, Another Blog Entry

Well, busy busy lately. No bloggy bloggy. I went home to PA this past weekend to pick up my car. It is now shiny, all repainted, and fixed. AND, miracle of miracles, I passed my inspection on Tuesday, the whole reason for this car drama to begin with. I'm good for another 2 years.


It was a fun weekend in Western PA. I wish I'd remembered my camera. Angela came home with me on Amtrak. The train was actually on time (do the miracles never cease!), though it takes longer than driving. The last hour was a little unbearable to me.


On Saturday, Mom, Angela and I went on a short hike in Linn Run State Park. Since I did not take my camera, here's someone else's rendition of Adams Falls.


We, however, saw no water over the falls because of the lack of rain lately. We just had the pleasure of scrambling over a seemingly endless pile of rocks on the trail.


Lots of water coming over Adam's Falls

After the hike, we drove around Forbes State Park/Laurel Summit looking at the lovely fall leaves. This conveniently took us in a loop and past the Laughlintown Pie Shoppe where we took a number and got some "nourishment."


I did get to see my Nakashima exhibit at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Great. I decided that if they were to decide to allow me to bring one piece home, it would be the chest of drawers. I like to do that when I'm in an exhibit--to pick the one thing I'd take with me if given the opportunity. I also liked the "Amoeba Tables," but needed a chest, so...


Our day there ended in downtown Ligonier looking at froo froo shops with tchotchkes and the like.


Falldiam


I continued my busy Saturday with the annual Jenco sauerkraut-making (recipe-cabbage, salt and lots of love. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette did a feature on it once.). I got to see much of my extended family, which was really nice. I was impressed by my brother's adroit skill at shredding cabbage (it's much harder than it looks) and by the perseverence of my family in doing this annually. But, when you taste the sauerkraut on New Year's Day, it's worth it!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fall Fabulous!

I apologize for the lag in postings. Work has been very busy. Even though I've been complaining about all the work I have to do, in some ways it's invigorating to be so busy.


So, what else have I been up to? Well, 2 weeks (or was it 3) ago, I went on 2 Walking Tour DC tours and went to the Barracks Row Octoberfest Festival.


October_2


(That's a building at Navy Yard, the view from the deck of the Conservation Corps, and the Octoberfest entertainment--check out the liederhosen!).


I also got some lovely sunflowers recently (Trying to live up to the Apartment Cure edict to buy flowers...it's true, it totally changes your perspective!).


Sunflowers


This past weekend, Erin and I ventured up to Central PA--to our alma mater and to Carlisle's "Octubafest" art/crafts fair. Loads of fun. It's really hard to believe that we're approaching our TENTH reunion next year!



Dickinsonweekend_2


We felt like we spent a LONG time in Carlisle, but it was only a few hours. When we felt like we'd covered the entire town, we set on our merry way. Between Carlisle and Gettysburg, in Adams County, we did one of my favorite Fall activities: went to a fruit stand for Apples! Yay! I got a HUGE bag of my favorites: Jonagold, Honey Crisp..and a few new ones. Something like "banana somethings" (spotted like bananas) and another one I don't remember. I got 11 lbs (approximately) for $6.


Applesstand


Aside from apples, I got some other lovely things. A soy candle in "Autumn Harvest" scent, a pillow at a boutique in Gettysburg that is hand loomed in a Pennsylvania town, intricate paper cutouts, and--my favorite--a piece of molding from a Carlisle building, sold for the benefit of a historical preservation group.


Fallgoodies


Well, I hope you enjoyed my little foray into fall!


This weekend, I'm off to pick up my car. So, those who had bets on whether or not I'd keep my car (that's you, J & Rob! :), I'm keeping it for now!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Commuter Sentences: Another Day, Another Commute

Another classic commute...this morning, on the bus, I said "excuse me" to a guy who was taking up 1 3/4 seat...all sprawled out. Well, you'd think I'd asked him to donate a kidney to me rather than to move his legs over and pick up the bag off of the seat.  Jerk.


On the metro home, I was behind a black guy who was humming. This is a variety of a musical commuting species which includes "black guy with loud headphones" and "black woman singing." Now, I'm not being racist here, just factual. It's simply that the only white people who ever have the nerve to sing in public are either a.) Britney Spears--and we can see that doesn't always work out well, er. b.) crazy. The closest any white person comes to entering this species is "White guy tapping his foot and grooving his head," which is just embarrassing. Both the "black guy with headphones" and "black guy humming" are generally being on the quiet side, more or less asserting to the rest of us that they indeed have rhythm. "Black woman singing" is rarer, but you can't help but notice because they don't hold back. It's like an audition for American Idol.


I missed the bus on the way home by a fraction of a second. I was literally standing on the median of Massachusetts Avenue waiting for traffic to let up or for the light to change. No luck. I should have followed the guy who cut in front of traffic, but I was too little a risk taker. The bus was mere feet in front of me as I crossed the street. What a let down. I decided to walk, but had horrible shoes on...c'est la vie. C'est la commute.

Commuter Sentences: Another Day, Another Commute

Another classic commute...this morning, on the bus, I said "excuse me" to a guy who was taking up 1 3/4 seat...all sprawled out. Well, you'd think I'd asked him to donate a kidney to me rather than to move his legs over and pick up the bag off of the seat.  Jerk.


On the metro home, I was behind a black guy who was humming. This is a variety of a musical commuting species which includes "black guy with loud headphones" and "black woman singing." Now, I'm not being racist here, just factual. It's simply that the only white people who ever have the nerve to sing in public are either a.) Britney Spears--and we can see that doesn't always work out well, er. b.) crazy. The closest any white person comes to entering this species is "White guy tapping his foot and grooving his head," which is just embarrassing. Both the "black guy with headphones" and "black guy humming" are generally being on the quiet side, more or less asserting to the rest of us that they indeed have rhythm. "Black woman singing" is rarer, but you can't help but notice because they don't hold back. It's like an audition for American Idol.


I missed the bus on the way home by a fraction of a second. I was literally standing on the median of Massachusetts Avenue waiting for traffic to let up or for the light to change. No luck. I should have followed the guy who cut in front of traffic, but I was too little a risk taker. The bus was mere feet in front of me as I crossed the street. What a let down. I decided to walk, but had horrible shoes on...c'est la vie. C'est la commute.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Carless Update

Just a little update. I've now been without a car a little over a week. I have definitely been feeling the absence. A few times I considered going shopping somewhere, but decided against it (this is probably a good thing). I got groceries for the first time on Sunday evening.  I strained my back a bit carrying them home...definitely would bring a backpack next time! On the upside, I have gotten a lot more walking in!  The weekend bus service stinks...I waited over 40 minutes for one on Saturday. That's a major deterrent when you don't feel like walking 20 min to the metro.


I won't be deciding for now whether this will be permanent. My dad took my car to a local guy in Western PA who works on specifically electrical issue. The problem Curtis Chevrolet on GA Avenue in DC assessed to be a $2035 repair was...$279 to fix! I can understand a little geographic discrepancy as well as a dealer versus independent difference, but that's RIDICULOUS! The same guy is going to fix the other minor issues with my car (air conditioning and a flickering odometer) for $700 or under. I'd like to also point out I spent $372 for Curtis to tell me that it would take $2035 to fix it. Oh, and the wiring specialist said that whoever worked on the car really screwed it up and actually did a different fix to the car than the dealer had prescribed. Personally, I don't trust the dealer. I feel as if they thought "hey, here's a girl, under the gun with the inspection" and thought they could dupe me. Either that, or they're incompetent. Either way, it's not good. But, I'm happy to be getting the car back...for now. It should be good for another 2 years at least when this is done, if not longer. Phew.

Carless Update

Just a little update. I've now been without a car a little over a week. I have definitely been feeling the absence. A few times I considered going shopping somewhere, but decided against it (this is probably a good thing). I got groceries for the first time on Sunday evening.  I strained my back a bit carrying them home...definitely would bring a backpack next time! On the upside, I have gotten a lot more walking in!  The weekend bus service stinks...I waited over 40 minutes for one on Saturday. That's a major deterrent when you don't feel like walking 20 min to the metro.


I won't be deciding for now whether this will be permanent. My dad took my car to a local guy in Western PA who works on specifically electrical issue. The problem Curtis Chevrolet on GA Avenue in DC assessed to be a $2035 repair was...$279 to fix! I can understand a little geographic discrepancy as well as a dealer versus independent difference, but that's RIDICULOUS! The same guy is going to fix the other minor issues with my car (air conditioning and a flickering odometer) for $700 or under. I'd like to also point out I spent $372 for Curtis to tell me that it would take $2035 to fix it. Oh, and the wiring specialist said that whoever worked on the car really screwed it up and actually did a different fix to the car than the dealer had prescribed. Personally, I don't trust the dealer. I feel as if they thought "hey, here's a girl, under the gun with the inspection" and thought they could dupe me. Either that, or they're incompetent. Either way, it's not good. But, I'm happy to be getting the car back...for now. It should be good for another 2 years at least when this is done, if not longer. Phew.