Sunday, June 22, 2008


Yesterday afternoon, I was getting a shower in preparation for my evening with Kelly M, after having spent the afternoon planting herbs in a long planter box Paul installed on the side of our porch. As I shampooed my hair, I realized that I had just finished reading Dune that morning, and that evening I would be going with Kelly and Natalie to see Sex and the City the movie. The height of sci-fi/fantasy nerdiness in the morning, the height of domestic suburban whiteness in the afternoon, and the height of uber-girliness in the evening. Yes, I enjoyed Sex and the City. Yes, I enjoyed Dune. Is there something wrong with me?

Wait, don't answer that.

Here's our new herb box:

From the left: oregano, sage, rosemary, blank space that will hopefully become basil, chives, and spearmint.

I got basil seeds months ago and never got around to planting them. It's a little late now, but we'll see. I planted some in the box, and the rest in another extra pot that's out back in the sun with the habanero plant Paul got. It's supposed to take 7-14 days to germinate, so in 2 weeks I'll know if I was successful.

Now I'm going to go plan a few sunflower seeds (also late) and sort thru these huge clothing boxes so we can finally get them out of our living room. Then the only boxes left will be in the basement, where at least I don't have to see them every day. And then, if I have a bit of time left, I might clean the kitchen.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jamie's wedding & 99 luftballoons (minus 87)

Had lots of fun at Jamie's wedding:

Even bought a nice new black dress at Target, where Nicole, Paul, and I passed the 2 hours between the wedding and the reception. I'll see all these guys again in two weeks at Steph's wedding, where I'll get to spend more time with Jamie and less with Steph, since that's how weddings go!

For Father's Day, Paul and I went down to York and took the Askeys out to the Texas Roadhouse, Dad Askey's pick. Had delicious ribs, and saw this amazing sight on the way home:

Started out seeing just one and then four as we were getting gas, then Paul took a creative way home hoping to bring us closer, and the view opened up into what you see here. We drove around to the other side of the mountain and got another view of the seven still high enough to see from there, but this is by far the best picture I got. There are 12, but one is below the horizon and harder to see: it's down and to the right of the 4th balloon in low on the right. Cool, huh? I've never seen that many balloons up in the air before, except in pictures, so it was really neat to see in real life. I have to get a ride in a hot air balloon at some point in my life. So cool.

Friday, June 13, 2008

New toys!

I got two new toys yesterday:

First, my Kitchen Aid juicer attachment came from amazon, which I got for just $0.52 more than I would have paid if I had waited 2-3 weeks for Linens 'n Things to order it in for me, and it was delivered right to my door in just 4 days! This is why I love amazon.

I also rode my bike to Holmes Bike Shop in Camp Hill (it took less than 20 minutes!) and they installed clipless pedals and the matching cleats for my shoes (also as in the picture) so that now I will pedal more efficiently and I can pull up as well as push down! I practiced a little bit in their parking lot before riding around the block to wait for Paul to pick me up at the Cornerstone Coffee House, and I even got my first fall out of the way: going up a sidewalk bump that proved too high, caught my back wheel, and fell into the low grassy bank to my right. I couldn't have picked a better place to fall - it was soft and slanted up to my right, so I wasn't even scratched. I made it the next 20 feet to Cornerstone with no more problems, and treated myself to a Caramel Lovers Frappe thing that was at least as delicious as the same thing at Starbucks would have been (altho probably not any cheaper).

When we got home, I wanted to practice my clipping and un-clipping more, so I didn't get to play with my juicer. I think the limes will wait a little longer to be juiced.

Paul has been playing with his new toy, our refurbished Weber gas grill, almost every meal other than leftovers since we got it, which is great - no extra heat source in the house other than him going in and out of the back door to get to the grill. The air conditioner is starting to not cool down the bedroom enough (it was too hot to go back to sleep this morning, which is why I'm up so early), so hopefully Sunday Paul can install our "new" free air conditioner in the bedroom. Then we'll be set for the summer.

Other fun news of the week: I opted out of vision care insurance, but when Paul went to a new eye doctor this week and mentioned his super-itchy allergy eyes, the doctor managed to get the whole visit covered by our regular medical insurance. What a nice person! He went out of his way to save Paul some money. Of course, Paul's new glasses (his previous pair, just a year old, broke last week) cost 4 times more than the appointment, but that's OK - I'll clean out the rest of my health savings account to cover those. I might go and get myself a pair of prescription sunglasses too.

Almost forgot my other fun news: got my hair all chopped off. It's uber-short. I will post pictures soon.

Happy Friday the 13th! Paul is taking me to dinner at an undisclosed location, and then we are going to go see the new M. Night Shayamalan movie The Happening. Our first movie date was Shayamalan's Unbreakable, so he's our favorite. We're also going out to lunch at work today for my belated birthday, so I guess it will be a high-calorie day!

::edit:: 6:00 PM
I forgot my other new toy, motorcycle boots! They are a requirement for taking the PA Motorcycle Safety class, which I am officially registered for to take at the end of July! PA subsidized the course, so it's free, and they provide rather small bikes for everyone so it's not too scary for first-timers like me. I now have everything I'm required to have for the course, including my new boots (used for $25 on craigslist, from a nice woman right here in New Cumberland), helmet, and Paul's old gloves. So exciting!

Also, I juiced all my limes this afternoon, got exactly 1 cup of lime juice, so I added a cup of tequila, 1/2 c cointreau, and 1/2 c simple syrup, and now Paul and I can start off the evening right with fresh home-made margaritas!

All ready for my date night with Paul!

PS: This is hilarious if you are a member of facebook

Saturday, June 07, 2008

BSG prediction from Paul

Non-BSG-sci-fi geeks beware, you might want to skip this post or risk your head exploding from geekiness overload.

Just wanted to make a dated record, for all you sci-fi geeks out there who are fans of Battlestar Galactica:

The final cylon is Romo Lampkin, the lawyer who defended Gaius Baltar and talked Lee Adama into helping. It was Lee who really got Gaius acquitted (or whatever), but he wouldn't have even been involved if it weren't for the encouragement (or goading) of Romo talking to him about Lee's grandfather and early interests in law.

Paul came up with this as he was checking this morning to see if the 5/31 episode is finally available to view online (it is), and saw that Romo was back. I think he has something, definitely a possibility.

So that's the prediction from the Askey's on the final cylon. We'll see...

Non-geeks, it's safe to look now.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

List update

Saturday 24 May: Paul and I had a wonderful dinner with a bunch of Virginia folk, followed by a super-fun party at Sarah and Ginny's place with them plus Jeneane and Chris

Sunday 25 May: Started my golden birthday (25 on the 25th!) with a lovely breakfast at Jeneane & Chris's fav brunch spot, then after driving the rest of the way to Nags Head I had more birthday wonderfulness when Kelly and Rachel got me a Dairy Queen cake for dessert - it said "Happy Birthday Meredith" on it and had palm trees and a beach scene!

Monday 26 May: Ran errands with Rachel, including purchasing over $150 worth of liquor between the two of us, then spent the rest of the day lying in the sun on the beach and reading. Wonderful, except for sand blowing into my right ear. After showering, lots and lots of adult beverages and yummy food with everyone. A late night of drunken partying.

Tuesday 27 May: Checked work e-mail, answered a couple, and hung out. Walked to the nearest ice cream place after dinner. Fun mini-golf wonderfulness in the evening, including a train ride around the course. I tied with Sarah for 2nd place, and Paul came in first; Adam M was 4th, and Matt B 5th. Poor Matt.

Wednesday 28 May: It was rainy, so no beach this day; instead, went to see "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" which I loved, and then it was Kelly's bachelorette party that night! We stayed at one restaurant for one round of drinks, then went to a bar/lounge/restaurant called Kelly's and had some fun there. Didn't stay out too late, tho...came home and enjoyed the hot tub very much, and greeted Kelly and Reed when they arrived.

Thursday 29 May: Spent all day in the sun by the pool, reading and crisping, and got sufficiently burned before getting ready for the rehearsal. Rehearsal was followed by dinner at Kelly's (same place as the bachelorette party), which was delicious, and lots of fun sitting with Kelly M and Reed, Sarah and Matt B, Rachel, and Adam M. And Paul, of course. We kept having moments where our whole table would laugh loudly, so then when another table laughed at one point, I jokingly said that we should all just laugh again right then...and they all listened to me! So we laughed for no reason, just to out-laugh the other table. And Kelly R (almost Kelly P) got us each some Mary Kay makeup, earrings, and a really cute starfish necklace perfect for a beach wedding.

Friday 30 May: The wedding was perfect, and the reception was amazing. Pictures coming soon, of course. When I got out of bed this morning, I almost couldn't walk because my shins were so badly burned, but it went away with some stretching. I also had raccoon eyes from wearing sunglasses in the sun all day Thursday, but luckily Katie was a wiz with some bronzer mixed with face lotion, and expertly smoothed out my face so that I looked completely normal (normal for me, anyway) and very nicely tanned. I did a wee bit of crying at the wedding, and managed to hear pretty much everything (it's loud on the beach!), including the vows which were the same ones Paul and I used! So that was exciting. My fav food at the reception was the smoked salmon on crispy little baguette slices, with capers and red onions and horseradish cream. Yum! And with my mom and Rachel's mom there, we got lots and lots of great PREP pictures! So so so much fun, I will never forget it.

Saturday 31 May: I woke up so sunburned and having even more trouble walking...took some excedrin and felt better, but spent the day avoiding sun like the plague, which was sad because I wanted to watch Rachel's mom Sally surf. I did venture out to the beach wearing Kelly M's 50 SPF sunblock, and managed to catch Sally one one successful ride, and even made it out to the sandbar without getting stung by any jellyfish and only got wet up to my waist in the frigid water. Then I felt a little overwhelmed by the sun, so I went back to the pool area. Despite my awful sunburn, I had a nice afternoon hanging out with the PREPs, my mom, Sally, and others; then we all changed and went out to dinner at Sugarcreek somethingorother, which had delicious calamari. Spent the rest of the evening hanging out in the bottom floor of the house, watching Kelly M, Rachel, Sarah, and Matt B play Canasta, which was quite fun.

Sunday 1 June: Packed up, ate some stickybuns with the remaining folk, and headed to Williamsburg for lunch with Crystal and Ben. Had some yummy sushi, then got on the road home. By today, my shins, ankles, and feet had decided they were so angry about the sunburn that they were going to swell up like balloons - I had cankles! I actually had them on Saturday too, but didn't really notice until Sunday. It felt weird to walk, and rather painful. By this point I was taking loads of ibuprofen to help the swelling. Paul and I made it home by around 7:00 PM, reheated the leftover pork bbq and crabcake from Friday and Saturday, watched the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica online, and went to bed by 10. I'm sure we both fell fast asleep immediately. I got 2 extra pillows and slept with my feet propped up to hopefully shrink my cankles somewhat. We turned on the air conditioner that came with the apartment for the first time, and were happy to find that it successfully cooled off the entire first floor enough to have a comfortable evening...but we'll see if we need to buy another once it's 90 degrees for weeks on end...

Monday 2 June: When I woke up and stood up, it didn't hurt to walk for the first time since Friday! My swelling was down a lot, but still there enough that I couldn't fit my feet in any normal shoes and had to wear flip-flops to work. After 8 hours, I came home and did a bunch of sorting and organizing and hanging up of clothing, until I couldn't stand up any more. Made pasta with some leftover roasted red pepper sauce that we inherited from the wedding reception leftovers, which Paul and I enjoyed while we watched Charlie Wilson's War (very good movie!). There's some more macaroni with roasted red pepper sauce in a casserole dish in the fridge, waiting to be a quick dinner later this week after a softball game.

Tuesday 3 June: Another normal day at work, with left foot still slightly swollen but feeling almost normal finally. Paul made us hamburgers on our new (new to us) grill for the first time! They were very delicious. The evening would have been perfect if I hadn't sliced open my hand while trying to remove an avocado pit with a tomato knife. I am bad at doing avocado pits in the first place, so using the wrong knife was doubly stupid of me, but I paid by slicing a large-ish flap of skin off of my left hand on the side below the pointer finger. It's shallow, but it bled a LOT and is probably the worst I've ever cut myself, so I'm sorry to say that I kind of freaked out about it. I swore a lot, which got Paul inside, and when I lifted the paper towel to show him, blood kept gushing. I didn't drip any on the floor like Paul did with his foot, but for some reason seeing myself bleed like that freaked me out a lot - I started breathing quickly and crying, and wouldn't let Paul take off the paper towel to replace it with one soaked in peroxide and then put on a band aid. I had to eventually do it myself, which was OK, but then freaked out some more until Paul could open the band aid for me and helped me put it on. Then once it was covered up with something as official as a band aid, that helped me start to calm down. I drank a glass of water and was able to enjoy my hamburger with cheese, tomato, lettuce, and avocado on a toasted wheat bun. Yum! And now I'm going to go crawl into bed and read Dune, which I just got out of the library because as a scifi/fantasy kind of person, it's weird that I've never read such a quintessential scifi book. I tried it years ago, but after seeing Matt B reading it last week, I decided to try again. If you're looking for summer book recommendations, check out recommend "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen, which has been out for a few years, but if you haven't read it yet it's super good - I really loved it! And it even had a very good and satisfying ending.

Plan for the rest of the week:
More cleaning and organizing of clothing in bedroom
Possibly getting clipless pedals installed on my bicycle and fitted for clamps on my bike shoes
Softball games on Wednesday and Thursday
Askeys coming for dinner on Friday - fajitas with chicken on the grill!
Finish wrapping Dad's birthday present
Practice riding bike with new pedals