Monday, September 29, 2008

Chocolate Redemption

After my superbly disappointing moment with Dove chocolate last week (still have the entire bar if that tells you anything), I got new chocolate at Harris Teeter tonight Droste Pastilles 75% extra dark--on sale for $2.99. Now this is more like it. Rich intense cocoa flavor, not waxy at all. Ahhhh.


P1010102

Chocolate Redemption

After my superbly disappointing moment with Dove chocolate last week (still have the entire bar if that tells you anything), I got new chocolate at Harris Teeter tonight Droste Pastilles 75% extra dark--on sale for $2.99. Now this is more like it. Rich intense cocoa flavor, not waxy at all. Ahhhh.


P1010102

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Home Sick

I was home sick this weekend. Sick with AFFluenza. That affliction many of us have with just having too much stuff. It is true: stuff takes time. I continued the clean out I started with the past few weeks (spurred by my shelves) and threw out loads of papers. I hold on to many papers. It's the hardest thing for me to get rid of. I'm not talking healthcare claims forms and utility bills, I'm talking personal things like notebooks, journals, letters, and memorabilia (which is a very loosely defined term for me). I have managed over the years to dispose of much of what I've collected over the years, but not completely. Though it would be tempting to just dump everything in one fell swoop, I don't want to completely rid myself of everything that holds memories. It's just that there's so much of it, and I have a hard time distinguishing between the important and the "yeah, it happened." I wish I haven't been such a collector over the years. The longer you keep something, the harder it is to let go of. What had ZERO significance somehow snowballs into an extremely meaningful bit of your past.


A major coups this weekend for me was disposing of my calendars. Appointment calendars from 2000 to 2006. Nothing fancy. I think I just liked looking back and remembering certain days. I decided to photograph a few pages. Like this event:


P1010080 


A pottery sale that I went to with Erin in August of 2000.


This brings me to another topic. You'd think with "going paperless" and with technology, life would be easier, simpler. In some ways it is. But, there's a whole OTHER problem created: techno trash. Another duty I was engaged in today was trying to sort through all my CDs of computer files and deciding what to keep and what else to archive. Between electronic music, documents, pictures...there's just so much info. And, so much trash. I have a bunch of spent CDs, as well as my old computer and other similar techno flotam and jetsam to find a recycling home for. In some ways, having records/cds was easier, because at least then, you wouldn't find yourself with random multiple copies by accident.


We also deal with advancing technology. For example, my VCR and tapes. I removed all my tapes from the boxes I was storing them in. I don't know why there's even a question, but part of me wants to keep them. Yeah, I like the films, but I literally haven't touched them in over a year. Literally.


So, once again, I'm ending a weekend, and I have piles of stuff yet to deal with--like the tapes, like a bag of random stuff from my clean out to donate, like paper and cds that I have to work on consolidating/cleaning.  Sigh.


I see why some people like to just bring in a dumpster and start throwing. I just want it over. I want the stuff to never have happened. Know what I mean?


Lest I feel defeated, I made progress....bags of papers to prove it:


P1010067 


P1010068

Home Sick

I was home sick this weekend. Sick with AFFluenza. That affliction many of us have with just having too much stuff. It is true: stuff takes time. I continued the clean out I started with the past few weeks (spurred by my shelves) and threw out loads of papers. I hold on to many papers. It's the hardest thing for me to get rid of. I'm not talking healthcare claims forms and utility bills, I'm talking personal things like notebooks, journals, letters, and memorabilia (which is a very loosely defined term for me). I have managed over the years to dispose of much of what I've collected over the years, but not completely. Though it would be tempting to just dump everything in one fell swoop, I don't want to completely rid myself of everything that holds memories. It's just that there's so much of it, and I have a hard time distinguishing between the important and the "yeah, it happened." I wish I haven't been such a collector over the years. The longer you keep something, the harder it is to let go of. What had ZERO significance somehow snowballs into an extremely meaningful bit of your past.


A major coups this weekend for me was disposing of my calendars. Appointment calendars from 2000 to 2006. Nothing fancy. I think I just liked looking back and remembering certain days. I decided to photograph a few pages. Like this event:


P1010080 


A pottery sale that I went to with Erin in August of 2000.


This brings me to another topic. You'd think with "going paperless" and with technology, life would be easier, simpler. In some ways it is. But, there's a whole OTHER problem created: techno trash. Another duty I was engaged in today was trying to sort through all my CDs of computer files and deciding what to keep and what else to archive. Between electronic music, documents, pictures...there's just so much info. And, so much trash. I have a bunch of spent CDs, as well as my old computer and other similar techno flotam and jetsam to find a recycling home for. In some ways, having records/cds was easier, because at least then, you wouldn't find yourself with random multiple copies by accident.


We also deal with advancing technology. For example, my VCR and tapes. I removed all my tapes from the boxes I was storing them in. I don't know why there's even a question, but part of me wants to keep them. Yeah, I like the films, but I literally haven't touched them in over a year. Literally.


So, once again, I'm ending a weekend, and I have piles of stuff yet to deal with--like the tapes, like a bag of random stuff from my clean out to donate, like paper and cds that I have to work on consolidating/cleaning.  Sigh.


I see why some people like to just bring in a dumpster and start throwing. I just want it over. I want the stuff to never have happened. Know what I mean?


Lest I feel defeated, I made progress....bags of papers to prove it:


P1010067 


P1010068

Friday, September 26, 2008

Super Sausage Stew

I wanted to share this great dinner (and lunch) recipe that I had yesterday...well, and have today. Because it makes so many servings, I'll have it for at least another day (with additional servings in the freezer). I've made this before and every time, I do it a little different with whatever I have on hand. So it's not so much a recipe as a way of life.

P1010065

This time, I sauteed some red onions (2 tiny ones), celery, sliced carrots, 1 diced zucchini, 1 diced yellow squash, and about 1/2 a bag of frozen tri colored pepper strips in some olive oil. I then covered this with water and threw in some red lentils, a can of no salt added diced tomatoes, a few fresh diced tomatoes from the family's garden, and 2 packets of chicken broth concentrate. I let this simmer on for about 15 or so minutes and then threw in 4 buffalo style chicken sausage, sliced into pieces. This, I believe is key to the great flavor I get--the cayenne in the sausage brings out all the flavor without me doing much else except some salt & pepper. It's not hot, but you could add heat if you wanted. As a last minute addition, I threw in some couscous, which thickened it up. All in all, it is soooooo good, and perfect for a rainy day! Yummy! (This is my second serving last night...)

P1010066

Super Sausage Stew

I wanted to share this great dinner (and lunch) recipe that I had yesterday...well, and have today. Because it makes so many servings, I'll have it for at least another day (with additional servings in the freezer). I've made this before and every time, I do it a little different with whatever I have on hand. So it's not so much a recipe as a way of life.

P1010065

This time, I sauteed some red onions (2 tiny ones), celery, sliced carrots, 1 diced zucchini, 1 diced yellow squash, and about 1/2 a bag of frozen tri colored pepper strips in some olive oil. I then covered this with water and threw in some red lentils, a can of no salt added diced tomatoes, a few fresh diced tomatoes from the family's garden, and 2 packets of chicken broth concentrate. I let this simmer on for about 15 or so minutes and then threw in 4 buffalo style chicken sausage, sliced into pieces. This, I believe is key to the great flavor I get--the cayenne in the sausage brings out all the flavor without me doing much else except some salt & pepper. It's not hot, but you could add heat if you wanted. As a last minute addition, I threw in some couscous, which thickened it up. All in all, it is soooooo good, and perfect for a rainy day! Yummy! (This is my second serving last night...)

P1010066

It's Friday, 4:15 EST. Do you know where your VP is?

AP06031708184

Ours is heading home, which doesn't seem fair, bastard.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Does your space reflect your political leaning?

Yet again, Yahoo news has treated me to finding this article on LiveScience.com. It refers to a study by New York University psychologist John Jost and his fellow researchers, which will be published in PoliticalPsychology. The researchers looked at office spaces as well as dorm rooms.

I think you can guess how this goes. Conservative=organized. Liberal=creative and messy.

"Specifically, individuals who reported a more conservative ideology also had bedrooms that contained more organizational and cleaning supplies, including calendars, postage stamps, ironing boards and laundry baskets.

Liberals' rooms on the other hand were marked by more clutter, including more CDs, a greater variety of CDs, a greater variety of books and more color in the room in general. "

I personally HATE when people equate messiness with creativity. And now, political leanings? Sheesh. Sometimes being organized takes creativity.  I'm pretty organized. Not anally retentive or anything. But I like to put everything in its place and enjoy the process of putting it there. Right now, in my office, I have a few doo dads on my desk, and one or 2 piles of books, but for the most part, I have things in files. I just wiped the desktop down too. And, if you think that shows I'm a conservative, you're wrong. But if you want to REALLY be surprised, go to my Obama-supporting colleague's office. Pretty much the only thing he has in there is his Obama sticker.

The researchers acknowledge that not every conservative/liberal follows these decor leanings. Though I can't help but wonder if there's an underlying prejudice affecting these findings. If I am extremely bored one day, maybe I'll track down the journal when it comes out and read through the research.

Photo of Michele Obama in her not-so-disorganized looking home is from Chicago Magazine.

Does your space reflect your political leaning?

Yet again, Yahoo news has treated me to finding this article on LiveScience.com. It refers to a study by New York University psychologist John Jost and his fellow researchers, which will be published in PoliticalPsychology. The researchers looked at office spaces as well as dorm rooms.

I think you can guess how this goes. Conservative=organized. Liberal=creative and messy.

"Specifically, individuals who reported a more conservative ideology also had bedrooms that contained more organizational and cleaning supplies, including calendars, postage stamps, ironing boards and laundry baskets.

Liberals' rooms on the other hand were marked by more clutter, including more CDs, a greater variety of CDs, a greater variety of books and more color in the room in general. "

I personally HATE when people equate messiness with creativity. And now, political leanings? Sheesh. Sometimes being organized takes creativity.  I'm pretty organized. Not anally retentive or anything. But I like to put everything in its place and enjoy the process of putting it there. Right now, in my office, I have a few doo dads on my desk, and one or 2 piles of books, but for the most part, I have things in files. I just wiped the desktop down too. And, if you think that shows I'm a conservative, you're wrong. But if you want to REALLY be surprised, go to my Obama-supporting colleague's office. Pretty much the only thing he has in there is his Obama sticker.

The researchers acknowledge that not every conservative/liberal follows these decor leanings. Though I can't help but wonder if there's an underlying prejudice affecting these findings. If I am extremely bored one day, maybe I'll track down the journal when it comes out and read through the research.

Photo of Michele Obama in her not-so-disorganized looking home is from Chicago Magazine.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Three Chocolates Diverged on a Supermarket Shelf

Dove_ExtraDark_71cacao

I chose Dove 71% Cacao "Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate" over the Scharffen Berger, Ghiradelli, and Lindt. Boy am I regretting it. I got this to have a square as an after-dinner treat. Love those antioxidants! (Yeah, that's what it is...) I suggest you don't buy this and here's why. The wrapper says "Silky Smooth." This is what lured me in. Oh, it's silky, like taper candles are silky. The texture in my mouth was quite like what I'd imagine the pieces that fall off of a candle as you jam it into a candleholder. Waxy and crumbly. This, my friends, is not an "exceptional, silky smooth chocolate experience." My "chocolate moment" actually made me want to take that moment back. I'm actually considering throwing the rest of the bar away. That is saying something, I think.

[Too lazy to take my own pic. This is from the Choco Check blog--which I am going to explore more, I think--who had this to say about it "Very soft bar compared with others previously tasted. Multitude of side tastes, not all of them pleasant. 6 " That's generous...]

Three Chocolates Diverged on a Supermarket Shelf

Dove_ExtraDark_71cacao

I chose Dove 71% Cacao "Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate" over the Scharffen Berger, Ghiradelli, and Lindt. Boy am I regretting it. I got this to have a square as an after-dinner treat. Love those antioxidants! (Yeah, that's what it is...) I suggest you don't buy this and here's why. The wrapper says "Silky Smooth." This is what lured me in. Oh, it's silky, like taper candles are silky. The texture in my mouth was quite like what I'd imagine the pieces that fall off of a candle as you jam it into a candleholder. Waxy and crumbly. This, my friends, is not an "exceptional, silky smooth chocolate experience." My "chocolate moment" actually made me want to take that moment back. I'm actually considering throwing the rest of the bar away. That is saying something, I think.

[Too lazy to take my own pic. This is from the Choco Check blog--which I am going to explore more, I think--who had this to say about it "Very soft bar compared with others previously tasted. Multitude of side tastes, not all of them pleasant. 6 " That's generous...]

Talking Rents and the Problems With Oversimplifying Anything

The inanity of news never fails to surprise me. Particularly what I read via Yahoo news. Like this story "Most And Least Expensive U.S. Cities For Renters" (from Forbes.com) which is just one of those "Duh" pieces, probably based on a U.S. Census Bureau press release with a smattering of quotes from business school (Or "B School" as a guy at work calls it incessantly) who like to hear themselves quoted. Perhaps I'm being unfair, though. Perhaps it's because I work with this kind of data often that it seems stupid? I don't know, readers, you tell me.

Highest rents? Take a gander. From least to most expensive: Orlando, Las Vegas, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Etc., New York (no, really?), Boston, L.A., San Diego, D.C. (Hollah! Woo hoo--high rents. Way to represent!), San Fran & San Jose.

But my really favorite part comes with least expensive cities (from most to least): Milwaukee,Nashville, Kansas City,Columbus, San Antonio,Indianapolis,St. Louis,Cleveland, Cincinatti, &....last, but CERTAINLY not least, Pittsburgh.

Ah, Pittsburgh. The city everyone loves to hate on. It's an easy target really. What frustrated me about this article (and really about any other "ranking/rating" article like this) is that it oversimplifies. We like this, it makes things easier, but it's not necessarily right. Here's a snippet about the 'burgh:

"Pittsburgh has the country's cheapest metropolitan area rental units. Lessees there pay a median monthly rent of $608, less than half of San Jose's.

This is partly because Pittsburgh has struggled to rebuild its economic base after the loss of its steel industry, and residents are aging or leaving the city."

Huh? I haven't heard about this steel industry loss! Do tell me more! Oh, they will.

"The bottom line is that Pittsburgh is undergoing a sea shift in its economic base," says Susan Wachter, a real estate professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.[Blogger's aside: PUKE] "Rents are relatively low because it's in a state which is losing population, and it is simply not doing well."

But Pittsburgh's problems didn't start with the subprime crisis, and probably won't end soon.

"It's not a moment of low rent," says Wachter. "This is a long-term thing."

Thanks, Susan, for clearing that up for us. I am really upset now that I didn't get such nuggets of wisdom during my education at Penn.

Without turning this into a term paper, the article is somewhat misleading, referring to MSA data as CITIES. A MSA includes multiple counties, often some transitioning rural counties. In the case of DC, this includes Stafford County and areas of West Va, for example. They clarify this in the text at one point, but you totally know most people are just skimming the photos, and they still use the terms interchangeably throughout.  This is why "New York" comes in at 6, behind San Jose and DC. This is including flop houses in Newark as well as Penthouses on Park Avenue.

Additionally, in areas with more affordable housing, like those in the least expensive list, they're often less populous and have a higher percentage of owners than renters. People don't have to be living on top of each other and can afford entry into home ownership. Those who do aren't paying much. On the other hand, in some cases, where people are looking for a more urban lifestyle, those people are paying MORE to rent than it would cost them to buy a single family house to rent a new "loft-style" apartment.

I think what irked me so much about this article--aside from me being cantakorous and tired--is that like most rating articles, it purports to give an easy "solution" to people. There is a lot of backlash against colle
ge ratings, because they take data and manipulate it to create a rating, which many take as Gospel truth for college quality and selection, when the quality of an education means more than endowments and student-faculty ratios. I venture to say places are the same. I'm not disputing that Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania has economic woes, but it's not reflected solely in a low median rent. Knowing the median rent in Miami is $50 over Orlando does not necessarily mean I will forego South Beach for Mouse ears.  And, therefore, I hate these kinds of lists..and yet always read them.

Talking Rents and the Problems With Oversimplifying Anything

The inanity of news never fails to surprise me. Particularly what I read via Yahoo news. Like this story "Most And Least Expensive U.S. Cities For Renters" (from Forbes.com) which is just one of those "Duh" pieces, probably based on a U.S. Census Bureau press release with a smattering of quotes from business school (Or "B School" as a guy at work calls it incessantly) who like to hear themselves quoted. Perhaps I'm being unfair, though. Perhaps it's because I work with this kind of data often that it seems stupid? I don't know, readers, you tell me.

Highest rents? Take a gander. From least to most expensive: Orlando, Las Vegas, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Etc., New York (no, really?), Boston, L.A., San Diego, D.C. (Hollah! Woo hoo--high rents. Way to represent!), San Fran & San Jose.

But my really favorite part comes with least expensive cities (from most to least): Milwaukee,Nashville, Kansas City,Columbus, San Antonio,Indianapolis,St. Louis,Cleveland, Cincinatti, &....last, but CERTAINLY not least, Pittsburgh.

Ah, Pittsburgh. The city everyone loves to hate on. It's an easy target really. What frustrated me about this article (and really about any other "ranking/rating" article like this) is that it oversimplifies. We like this, it makes things easier, but it's not necessarily right. Here's a snippet about the 'burgh:

"Pittsburgh has the country's cheapest metropolitan area rental units. Lessees there pay a median monthly rent of $608, less than half of San Jose's.

This is partly because Pittsburgh has struggled to rebuild its economic base after the loss of its steel industry, and residents are aging or leaving the city."

Huh? I haven't heard about this steel industry loss! Do tell me more! Oh, they will.

"The bottom line is that Pittsburgh is undergoing a sea shift in its economic base," says Susan Wachter, a real estate professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.[Blogger's aside: PUKE] "Rents are relatively low because it's in a state which is losing population, and it is simply not doing well."

But Pittsburgh's problems didn't start with the subprime crisis, and probably won't end soon.

"It's not a moment of low rent," says Wachter. "This is a long-term thing."

Thanks, Susan, for clearing that up for us. I am really upset now that I didn't get such nuggets of wisdom during my education at Penn.

Without turning this into a term paper, the article is somewhat misleading, referring to MSA data as CITIES. A MSA includes multiple counties, often some transitioning rural counties. In the case of DC, this includes Stafford County and areas of West Va, for example. They clarify this in the text at one point, but you totally know most people are just skimming the photos, and they still use the terms interchangeably throughout.  This is why "New York" comes in at 6, behind San Jose and DC. This is including flop houses in Newark as well as Penthouses on Park Avenue.

Additionally, in areas with more affordable housing, like those in the least expensive list, they're often less populous and have a higher percentage of owners than renters. People don't have to be living on top of each other and can afford entry into home ownership. Those who do aren't paying much. On the other hand, in some cases, where people are looking for a more urban lifestyle, those people are paying MORE to rent than it would cost them to buy a single family house to rent a new "loft-style" apartment.

I think what irked me so much about this article--aside from me being cantakorous and tired--is that like most rating articles, it purports to give an easy "solution" to people. There is a lot of backlash against colle
ge ratings, because they take data and manipulate it to create a rating, which many take as Gospel truth for college quality and selection, when the quality of an education means more than endowments and student-faculty ratios. I venture to say places are the same. I'm not disputing that Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania has economic woes, but it's not reflected solely in a low median rent. Knowing the median rent in Miami is $50 over Orlando does not necessarily mean I will forego South Beach for Mouse ears.  And, therefore, I hate these kinds of lists..and yet always read them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I may be keeping this

Thrift store find. Was meant to be sold on Etsy, but look how perfectly it fits! I originally spread it out to look for holes/marks. It's a bit wrinkly, but otherwise...not too bad!


P1010062 


P1010064

I may be keeping this

Thrift store find. Was meant to be sold on Etsy, but look how perfectly it fits! I originally spread it out to look for holes/marks. It's a bit wrinkly, but otherwise...not too bad!


P1010062 


P1010064

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We have shelves!

I have been talking forever about putting up shelving in my gaping maw of a living room closet. I mentioned it here. It has always become a huge repository for something that could only be delicately described as crap. Last week, I bought a hang rail, brackets, and standards at Lowes as well as a third shelf. Dad helped trim one I already had (and had been storing in same closet for years...).


P1010156  


My only bit of power tools is a battery-operated drill, so I needed Dad's saw. I also got instruction on using my drill. Turns out, I was using the screwdriver bit as a drill bit, hence the difficulty in drilling. Go figure. Anyway, this weekend, I put up 2 shelves. It was to be three, but there was a bit of an issue with the one I bought at Lowes. It wasn't trimmed straight. Lesson learned: I should have let Dad do both!


I appreciated the benefit of power tools putting the 5 holes into the wall to hold the hang bar, but didn't appreciate the dust.


P1010019


I hit another glitch when I realized that the standards would hit the board holding the existing shelves in when I tried to insert them. Thank GOD I was able to get them to fit in by pounding them in with a hammer. I put the two that fit up, and filled them with things previously jammed in my coat closet. And here's the result!


Closet

We have shelves!

I have been talking forever about putting up shelving in my gaping maw of a living room closet. I mentioned it here. It has always become a huge repository for something that could only be delicately described as crap. Last week, I bought a hang rail, brackets, and standards at Lowes as well as a third shelf. Dad helped trim one I already had (and had been storing in same closet for years...).


P1010156  


My only bit of power tools is a battery-operated drill, so I needed Dad's saw. I also got instruction on using my drill. Turns out, I was using the screwdriver bit as a drill bit, hence the difficulty in drilling. Go figure. Anyway, this weekend, I put up 2 shelves. It was to be three, but there was a bit of an issue with the one I bought at Lowes. It wasn't trimmed straight. Lesson learned: I should have let Dad do both!


I appreciated the benefit of power tools putting the 5 holes into the wall to hold the hang bar, but didn't appreciate the dust.


P1010019


I hit another glitch when I realized that the standards would hit the board holding the existing shelves in when I tried to insert them. Thank GOD I was able to get them to fit in by pounding them in with a hammer. I put the two that fit up, and filled them with things previously jammed in my coat closet. And here's the result!


Closet

Monday, September 15, 2008

Trying my hand...

At a little rearranging, and creating a "vignette." I typically place things all around, but this sideboard thing gives me problems. I guess I don't have many areas to set things out, so having surface area confuses me. I wanted to display my mini collection of pill boxes as well as my new hankie. I don't know if I'll keep it like this--I don't know how I feel about the hankie on table thing anyway. You'll see my "bar" to the left! I put away certain items I had sitting out, and display others. Readers, do you do this--or do you constantly display every objet? I used to display everything I had, but found I like to see different stuff and that it's fun to put it away and bring it out again.


P1010124 


I also don't know what to do with this cabinet. As you can see, it has a bit of the "shabby chic" to it, and not intentionally. It is a solid wood, Queen Anne style cabinet that I bought around 10 years ago at an estate sale before moving into  my first apartment. I was not well versed in how to finish furniture, and didn't sand or prime. It used to be white with different knobs. I painted with latex from Martha Stewart's Sears paint collection "Bee Balm Red" and replaced the knobs with Ikea silver knobs.


It has served a few functions throughout its life. I don't know the original purpose, though I venture it was a sideboard. I used it as a sofa table in my first apartment. When I was at the group house, it was a sideboard again and I stored kitchen/entertainment stuff in it (if I recall correctly). At my last apartment, it started as a TV stand and then sideboard. Now, it stores craft supplies.


P1010123 


I'm thinking of repainting and replacing the knobs again. Thoughts? Ideas?

Trying my hand...

At a little rearranging, and creating a "vignette." I typically place things all around, but this sideboard thing gives me problems. I guess I don't have many areas to set things out, so having surface area confuses me. I wanted to display my mini collection of pill boxes as well as my new hankie. I don't know if I'll keep it like this--I don't know how I feel about the hankie on table thing anyway. You'll see my "bar" to the left! I put away certain items I had sitting out, and display others. Readers, do you do this--or do you constantly display every objet? I used to display everything I had, but found I like to see different stuff and that it's fun to put it away and bring it out again.


P1010124 


I also don't know what to do with this cabinet. As you can see, it has a bit of the "shabby chic" to it, and not intentionally. It is a solid wood, Queen Anne style cabinet that I bought around 10 years ago at an estate sale before moving into  my first apartment. I was not well versed in how to finish furniture, and didn't sand or prime. It used to be white with different knobs. I painted with latex from Martha Stewart's Sears paint collection "Bee Balm Red" and replaced the knobs with Ikea silver knobs.


It has served a few functions throughout its life. I don't know the original purpose, though I venture it was a sideboard. I used it as a sofa table in my first apartment. When I was at the group house, it was a sideboard again and I stored kitchen/entertainment stuff in it (if I recall correctly). At my last apartment, it started as a TV stand and then sideboard. Now, it stores craft supplies.


P1010123 


I'm thinking of repainting and replacing the knobs again. Thoughts? Ideas?

Pasta and Palin?

When I was at my down-home restaurant with my fellow Democrat friend this weekend, I couldn't believe who walked in...


0913082108_1 


Okay, it was a woman who looked a LOT like the Palinator. She could definitely be a hockey mom.  I had Lori snap a pic of her with her cell phone.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cruisin' the Open Road

The pinnacle of the second day of my weekend was the ride in Dad's '38 Chevy. I haven't ridden in it for years because it was engineless for awhile. This is his baby, and my dad is never so happy as when he's in his '38. The car features prominently in many memories from my childhood because we'd ride it to car shows. My brother and I would alternate who slept on the floor and the bench seat in the back on our trips. There were no seat belts. The floor would get crazy hot and inevitably, your legs would start sweating. We'd then either fight or play games. One trip, we were stuck in a torrential downpour. If I remember correctly, the wipers weren't working (or were working as well as they did in the 30s), and water was streaming in from the windshield as my mom and dad tried to sop up the mess with some towels. Good times.


My dad has the new engine in. It's a pimped out ride now--and will soon have operational a/c and a stereo, at which point he can use the iPod I bought him to bring the oldies but goodies along with him.


Here's dad waiting for me.


P1010163


And we're off!


P1010166 


 Past the Peaches & Cream Ice Cream shop onto Route 30.  


P1010167  


Dad's commanding the wheel...


P1010170  


Country roads, take me home...


P1010172  


P1010173   


P1010169 


P1010175 


P1010176 


When we got back, Sammy got to go for his own ride--but just around the block...


P1010181


...because we had to get home to eat the delicious Swedish meatballs my mom made: my favorite!


Meatballs


I then hit the road for a much less fun ride. The one home to DC!

Saturday in Pictures: Vintage, Steel, Donuts, Dogs...

I had a full weekend at the parents. The drive home on Friday was horrendous with the rain, but today and yesterday was fun. Saturday, Mom and I stopped at my favorite Salvation Army where I got some more vintage selections to sell on my Etsy site. I've only sold 3 things there, but considering that my inventory was 5 items, that's not bad! As usual, I'm tempted to keep the stuff, but you know...no space! Here's a peek:


P1010186 


I got a fun, vintage tablecloth with jaunty orange stripes, a set of 2 groovy flower mugs, a mushroom mug from the same era, a bubble-covered glass bowl (this one may make it to my cabinet...), a pretty plate, a small toile tray, and a darling pink depression glass style dessert glass.


My favorite thing about this particular Salvation Army store is that they are very good at merchandising. They set up the home goods and clothes by color, and have a little themed section up front (was Halloween this time).However, despite this set up, they're still cheap enough.


P1010125 After the thrift store run, we continued on to Homestead, PA to check out exhibits at the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area visitor center. I am going to do a separate post on this because I think it's very interesting and have a lot more to say than can fit in one post!


We had a bit of a hard time finding it--aided by the fact that we didn't print the address. I erroneously thought there would be a sign or something. I guess that Homestead doesn't get that many tourists. Anyhow, we made several wrong turns, which brought us to the South Side and an ice cream stand where I made mom buy us a banana milkshake. Divine! I'm saying this because she was mad at me for taking the picture. Fellow customers (not pictured) gave us a better idea of where the center was.


The visitor center has some rotating exhibits as well as a collection of artifacts and information about the Homestead strike, a major point in the history of the labor movement. It also has a brick with our family's name outside. My mom bought the brick for her sisters/brothers for Christmas one year. It must not have been a far-reaching development campaign, because there were only a few bricks.


Bost


As I said, I will write more about steel heritage later. On to more important things: food. There is a doughnut bakery across the street. True to form, we had to stop. Mom has to take most of the credit this time. Our family--those of the brick fame--probably knows every bakery in about a hundred mile radius. Seriously, if you saw Homestead, you'd be like "I'm not stopping and EATING anything here." But, the doughnuts were indeed delicious.


 Donuts


I finished off Saturday with dinner with Lori. I met her dog Rex beforehand, and he took to me...as dogs will.


P1010149


We then went to a great local Italian joint, where I had some pretty good gnocchi. Lori was going to the fireman's club for some 95 cent beer, but I thought I should pass on that one. Hope it was fun, though!


   


 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

OMG

It's everywhere! This time, it's $2,400. So, okay, I'll give it to you for $2,300. I love having champagne tastes on a beer budget (or at least a cheap champagne budget!).

A little gloating

Just taking a break and browsing the crack that is 1st Dibs, and saw this from seller Objects in the Loft.


Neoclassica_table_004 


Look familiar? It's yours for $2,500 on the site...or you can contact me and get it for the low, low price of $2,400. (I think I paid $150 or something at most).

A little gloating

Just taking a break and browsing the crack that is 1st Dibs, and saw this from seller Objects in the Loft.


Neoclassica_table_004 


Look familiar? It's yours for $2,500 on the site...or you can contact me and get it for the low, low price of $2,400. (I think I paid $150 or something at most).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Civic Duty

Didn'tvote


I remembered there were City Council elections today in DC...as I was on the bus on the way to work and saw someone's little "I voted" sticker. I vote--somewhat religiously. I feel it's important that when people went through so much effort to get me that right, that I should exercise it. So, I was a little distraught. The truth is that I didn't even know who was running. I just looked it up online, and it looks like there were a bunch of uncontesteds, and no one from my Ward, so I feel a little better. But, I probably would have gone anyway.


On other civic matters, I was finally called for jury duty. For those of you not in DC, this is not an abnormal event for DC residents--there are so few residents and even fewer who can serve, what with the criminal records. At any rate, it's September 24. Not great timing--I have an opera ticket for that night. I have visions of Twelve Angry Men where I'm trying to convict someone of murder just so I can make the 7:30 curtain: "Oh, of COURSE he's guilty..just look at him...let's go."


PS--I don't know what the f- is going on with my posts and the font. I've about had it w/ Typepad.

Civic Duty

Didn'tvote


I remembered there were City Council elections today in DC...as I was on the bus on the way to work and saw someone's little "I voted" sticker. I vote--somewhat religiously. I feel it's important that when people went through so much effort to get me that right, that I should exercise it. So, I was a little distraught. The truth is that I didn't even know who was running. I just looked it up online, and it looks like there were a bunch of uncontesteds, and no one from my Ward, so I feel a little better. But, I probably would have gone anyway.


On other civic matters, I was finally called for jury duty. For those of you not in DC, this is not an abnormal event for DC residents--there are so few residents and even fewer who can serve, what with the criminal records. At any rate, it's September 24. Not great timing--I have an opera ticket for that night. I have visions of Twelve Angry Men where I'm trying to convict someone of murder just so I can make the 7:30 curtain: "Oh, of COURSE he's guilty..just look at him...let's go."


PS--I don't know what the f- is going on with my posts and the font. I've about had it w/ Typepad.