Monday, December 29, 2008

Squeeee!

We got the new place!
Wheeeee!
Oh crap...
That means we move in ~ 3 weeks...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2008 in Review

1. Where did you begin 2008?

At home, sound asleep, fighting con-ick.



2. What was your status by Valentines Day?

Same as the last 13 years. Happily married.



3. Were you in school anytime this year?

No. Would have liked to though.



4. Did you have to go to the hospital?

No, a rare year for me! I like that!



5. Did you have any encounters with the police?

Yes, several! They were very curious about my smart car.



6. Where did you go on vacation?

Disneyworld for 8 days!



7. What did you purchase that was over £100?

2 cars! (My smart, which I sold, and the Elantra to replace it!) Does $1300 in car maintenance on the old Elantra count?



8. Did you know anybody who got married?

No.



9. Did you know anybody who passed away?

Yes.



10. Did you move anywhere?

No. Soon, but not until 2009.



11. What sporting events did you attend?

None that come immediately to mind.


12. What concerts/shows did you go to?

Brad Sherwood and Colin Mochrie, Curtains, MacBeth (Patrick Stewart!). I'm sure I'm forgetting at least one...

13. Describe your birthday.

Spent gaming with friends and then a quiet dinner and a movie with Brian.



14. What is the ONE thing you thought you would not do, but did, in 2008?

Make it to the annual microscopy conference. Finally it was approved!

 For 2009 I'm hoping to buy an SEM...

15. What have been your favourite moments?

Hanging out with friends and relaxing. Brian's birthday weekend with Ruth and Dave (and Michelle for BBQ) in particular come to mind.



16. Any new additions to your family?

Nope, but two new nephews late in 2007...



17. What was your best month?

September. And also the worst in some ways...



18. Who has been your best drinking buddy?

I think I'd have to drink to have a drinking buddy, wouldn't I? I'm not opposed to drinking per se, I just have a choice between alcohol and my arthritis drugs. I prefer to walk...



19. Made new friends?

Yes. Michelle in particular!



20. Favourite Night out?

MacBeth



21. Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?

Stuck in my lab at work, I guess.



22. Have you lost any friends this year?

One online friend, but it was expected.

 Cancer sucks!

23. Change your hairstyle?

Nope, growing it out to donate it again next spring.



24. Have any car accidents?

No!!



25. How old did you turn this year?

34 last week!



26. Do you have a New Years resolution?

No, I don't generally make them.



27. Do anything embarrassing?

Do you really think I'd admit it here?



28. Buy anything from eBay?

Several things. Nothing truly fabulous, mostly things I didn't want to get ripped off for to buy locally. (Cables etc.)



29. Get married or divorced?

No, Brian hasn't totally lost all ability to tolerate me yet.



30. Get hit on?

Yes, strangely enough. Even with Brian standing beside me...



31. Been snowboarding?

Never.



32. Did you get sick this year?

Yes, a number of times. And threw my back out in March for two weeks off work. Not how I wanted to spend two weeks off...



33. Are you happy to see 2008 go?

Not really. It's been a pretty good year overall, even with some problems. 



34. Been naughty or nice?

Again, do you really think I'll answer this here?



35. What are you looking forward to most in 2009?

Moving away from these damned squirrels!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sexy Geek!

Your result for The Are you a SEXY geek test...

The Hip Nerd

53% Sexy!


You are one of those rare geeks that has style! You march to the beat of your own drummer, You enjoy the geeky things in life, but you can mingle in any crowd. As the geek. You definitely love your sci-fi and computers, probably a bit TOO much, but you also know when to put it on the shelf. Supermodels may be out of your league, but you have enough style to date. And you can always download the supermodels later when you get home.


Take The Are you a SEXY geek test
at HelloQuizzy

Funny, I expected Tosh...

Which Torchwood Character Are You?
Your Result: Gwen Cooper
 

You most resemble the team's second-in-command and ex-police officer. Empathetic and stubborn, you tend to grab the bull by its horns and have difficulty admitting when you're wrong, though you always mean well. You are inconsistent in your relationships, wanting stability but also craving drama, and sometimes end up putting yourself first.

Ianto Jones
 
Toshiko Sato
 
Captain Jack Harkness
 
Owen Harper
 
Which Torchwood Character Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Monday, December 15, 2008

A partial update

Remember way back when we had that squirrel in the kitchen?

He came back in September. And brought a whole bunch of friends. They decided the attic space above our apartment would be a great place to shelter over the winter in and made themselves at home. We notified the new landlord as soon as this happened and told them it had been a problem in the past and would need to be dealt with ASAP. So about 3 weeks later they brought an exterminator in. The same initially ineffective one as last time. Who put traps out and then said they ignored the traps and there was nothing else he could do. Cue same repeat this year. And nothing further from the new landlords.

Do you have any idea how much noise a family (or whole clan from the sounds of it) of squirrels can make? Besides the requisite scratching sounds, we've discovered that apparently we're infested by clumsy squirrels who frequently drop their nuts, which then roll all across the attic floor. Surprisingly loudly. Also, apparently 3:30am is when the Squirrel Fight Club meets... At this point, neither Brian nor I are sure we've slept through the night without drugging ourself since we got back from Walt Disney World. In September. The accumulated sleep deficit is definitely affecting both of us.


So in November we sent the landlords politely asking for a written plan of how they plan on dealing with the squirrels. And they completely ignored it. Not even a phone call. No response at all.

Last Thursday they were sent (registered, signed receipt required) the notification that we intend on breaking our lease due to their lack of maintaining a habitable apartment. So now we wait (at least a little while) to see if they're going to contest it. And if not, we're out of here as of Feb. 15th. Although we don't normally celebrate it, S. Valentine's Day will be a special celebration for us this year!


So that's the short version of what's been going on lately with us. We've been getting all our ducks in a row to do this. And finding a new place to live. We've pretty much decided on where we want to go. It'll be a much longer drive for both of us, but it's worth it in trade off. Assuming we get it, it'll be a two bedroom townhouse with a garage and a back yard!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Update

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?


Books: The Reformer (Palm)
Stalking the Unicorn (iPod)
1635: Canon Laws (started)
Black Ice (started)
Cleared out the periodicals pile to <10 from >30!



What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?

Usual network TV, nothing new to report there.
Loads of election coverage.

New movies: Quantum of Solace (Meh at best, far from the best Bond film out there...)
Wall-E (Fun, but I don't think I'd watch it again)
88 Minutes (Fairly predictable thriller, but worth watching)




What special days did I celebrate and how?



Election Day! Sadly, as it turns out, I went to bed about 10 minutes before they officially projected B. Obama's win. In my defense, I'd been up half the night before. See the last question for what's been keeping me up at nights!

Thanksgiving we had Michelle over and did my version of a full Turkey Day Dinner: Ham, peas, carrots, corn, beans, scalloped cheesy potatos and jellied salad. Brian made apple pie for dessert and turned down my offer to get him a pumpkin pie.



What gifts did I give and/or receive?

Bought lots of Christmas gifts, but haven't given any.


What illnesses or health concerns did I have?


All dental, all month. Final update from the dentist now that I've had a full evaluation is that I need two more small fillings. I'm holding off on them until January when I can use the Flex Plan at work to cover my half of it... Both the dentist and I were pleased and surprised by how little else I need.




What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
For the fun stuff, read my other entries! :)




What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?


New italian place in NYC with Neal and Tina. Three thumbs up!
Brian made a new pan-less apple pie recipe for Thanksgiving that turned out fabulous!




What special or unusual purchases did I make?



A new Airport Extreme. Our old router was dying the death of 5x/day resets and it was time for a new one. With the Extreme, I can print wirelessly and connect an external hard drive to automate our backups so they actually get done more frequently!
As mentioned earler, lots of presents, but I'm not telling what I bought!
Also, I bought a funky audio cable and rewired our home entertainment system. That little $15 cable has given our TV a new lease on life! While we were at Disney we were (presumably) hit by lightning. The power bar did it's job, and the only ill effect was it blew the speaker in the TV. I'm not going to complain about that! By figuring out how to rewire the sound from the cable box through the DVD player, we now have clean sound again and didn't have to buy a new TV. Man they've gotten expensive! Besides, I'd already spent any possible TV money on the dentists!





What were this month's disappointments?


Dealing with a very reputable website who turned out to have horrific customer (dis)service when they shipped me the wrong item instead of the 4 gifts I've ordered for neices and nephews. The right things had BETTER get here in time for me to ship them home to Canada for Christmas!



What were my accomplishments this month?


I hope I've overcome the worst of my dentist phobia. This new one is great, takes his time, and makes sure I'm completely frozen. Between that, and the Xanax, it's so very much better than any of my past experiences!
Oh, and I got a pretty good job review.

Anything else to share?

We're going to be moving. We're having to deal with the delightful legal system here in trying to get the court's permission to break our lease without having to pay penalties. Given that the reason we want to break the lease is the new owner's complete refusal to do anything effective about the squirrels in the roof over us, we expect to win, it's just going to take a bit more time. They've definately broken the Warrant of Habitability, so we've a solid case, and we documented all our concerns in writing with signature required and they've had 10 weeks to deal with it. So we're covered at least! We're pretty sure we know where we want to move to. It'll be a much longer drive for both of us, but it's a huge place and we're both really excited about it. Full townhouse with garage, two bedrooms and front and back yards! Everyone keep your fingers crossed for us! Now we just need permission to give our 60 day notice and we'll be getting out of here!



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Has it really been less than a week?

So, to recap the last week, it's been busier even than normal for us!

Sunday we headed into the city and went to the American Museum of Natural History to use our Space tickets we'd gotten when we signed up for our membership. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to use them, they expire Dec. 4th! Then we met up with our friends Tina and Neal for the real reason for the trip into the city: a talk and signing by Neil Gaiman! We went out to dinner first at a little italian place that turned out to be pretty good. My pasta was excellent, Tina and Neal's pizza was fantastic and we all wanted to steal some of Brian's lasagna... Then off to the talk! I've never been to something like this so I didn't really know what to expect. We had fabulous seats. Third row back and in the center, and although we bought them separately online using the "best available" option, we ended up right next to each other! The talk was awesome and very entertaining. The host (Chip Kidd) was fabulous at his job. He kept it moving and convinced Neil Gaiman to tell some absolutely fabulous stories. Then it was into the signing line. And the real flaw of the organization came through. The signing line started from the rear of the auditorium. Meaning those of us who were great fans and bought our tickets early were stuck at the end of the line. Grrr! We ended up sending Brian home early to catch an earlier train since he had to work early in the morning. But eventually we got to our turn to get things signed, and neither Tina nor I turned into babbling fangirl idiots. I consider that a success! The least said about my train ride home, the better... Overall it was a fabulous day and great experience. I'm very glad we went.

Wednesday was to be my second author talk/signing. Yes, two in one week! Jaime Oliver was going to be at our local Barnes and Noble! This one, sadly, wasn't nearly as good. The tickets were being handed out starting at 4pm. Brian was awesome and traded shifts to get there in time to get tickets for me and Michelle, who was going to come with me. And again, we had fabulous seats. Brian got us tickets number 4 and 5! Unfortunatley, Michelle got sick at work that afternoon and ended up going home and not coming to the signing. It sounds like it was a very nasty bug, so I'm happy she went and took care of herself. Now, where NG's signing was well organized and run, this was the opposite. Whoever does the scheduling for Jamie Oliver thought it would be no problem to get out here from Manhattan in 75 minutes during peak rush hour. Doh! He ended up arriving a little past 8, and because he was running so late, they cancelled the talk portion of the evening, and the autographs were restricted to just autographs. Not even personalized ones like we got from NG. I'm very glad we'd been to that one first so I saw how positive an experience it could be. This one would have sworn me off them otherwise.

Then last night (Friday), Brian got one of his Christmas presents early. I had to give it to him early, since it was tickets to a show, and they would have been useless if I'd waited! We went and saw the Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood show! We saw them a couple of years ago and had a fantastic time of it, so I was really pleased to see they were coming back this way and the tickets were more than affordable. Being Mr. Uncurious that he is, he's known there were tickets that were a gift for him on the bulletin board in an opened envelope for almost 2 months now and had no desire to peak at what they were! No way would I have managed that feat! The show was as phenomenal as we remembered and we both had a great time. We laughed until it hurt and then kept laughing some more! It's all improv comedy, mostly loosely based on games from shows like "Whose Line is it Anyways?". I can't recommend it highly enough!

Then this morning I went back to the dentist again. This time to get the permanent crown put in on the tooth I had the root canal done. It went really well, much better than I had any expectation of. It's never pleasant, but it didn't hurt, and now I should not have any further problems with that tooth. And the problem I'd developed with the other teeth being super sensitive to cold was caused by my "overbrushing". I've got a paste that should help, and am told to brush gentler and it will go much better. This afternoon, since I'm doing much better, we're going out to see Quantum of Solace. We both really want to go see Becky's Choir concert tonight in Mineola, but we're playing it by ear on how I'm feeling. Keep your fingers crossed!

And cue the nightmares

I've had problems with nightmares for years. Never know when a random one will hit, but I know not to do things that will encourage them. Like watch scary movies. I've been teased since I was a teenager that I was such a wuss. And I never cared because the teasing was faaaaaar better than the nightmare. Interestingly, I can read things as freaky as I like and be fine. Even Brian (who loves scary movies, the more intense the better) was pretty freaked out by Neil Gaiman's Sandman and had to stop reading it at bedtime. Me, I ran through the first volume in two nights of bedtime reading and was fine.

So take tonight. I know the root of this dream, at 8:30am, I'll be back at the dentist for the crown.* And tonight I get hit with a dozy of a nightmare. Involving a freaky nasty insane dental surgeon who, amongst other horrors, cuts the tongues from siamese twin girls (about 9 years old). Then, with a proper nice announcer voice saying "meanwhile, in the next operating room over" my dentist is just getting started on me. And has a heart attack. And other surgeon comes in to take over. Thankfully, I woke up at that point. But if you think I can get back to sleep tonight, you're as insane as the freaky guy!

So I'm just going to sit here and catch up on everyone's blogs. Distract myself. And love Percy to death, since it's what he wants me to do anyways!

*And is it just me, or is 8:30am on a Saturday not an inhumane time to have to be at the dentist?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I survived!

I had a root canal this morning and still made it to work by 9am. And best of all, absolutely no ouch. None. In fact, (granted probably due to the drugs) I fell asleep while they were still working on getting my jaw frozen. It's sore this evening, of course, but I'm amazed at how big an improvement this is over past experiences at the dentist. I'll be going back to him without qualm. I'm not looking forward to it at all, but I'm no longer terrified. Which is good because I go back for the crown on the 15th!

Now, if only I can get off the drugs long enough to get some stitching done! I did get Michelle's birthday card done in time for today, but still need to do several other family ones and get them in the mail.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

No stitching photo updates, but lots going on

Current project is a gift, so I don't want to give it away. But it's
a HAED design, and it's more than 1/4 finished! I got a lot of work
done on it over the last week or so, and the last quarter should fly
(mostly one colour). In other news, lots of medical visits. They're
looking at a new diagnosis for Brian's sleep disorder, so keep your
fingers crossed for us. I'd *LOVE* to actually have both of us able
to sleep well!

And for me, emergency dental work. Ugh. I have a pretty severe
dental phobia. Make that very severe. To the point I ignore things I
shouldn't. And put them off. But I made a promise to myself that I
was going to deal with it, and put money into our flex plan for next
year towards it. I'm going to try sedation dentistry. Go in, get
knocked out, wake up with everything done. Works for me. It's just
expensive. So the plan was January. Except I've lost a filling. And
I knew this (it was what prompted the soul searching about getting the
dental work done in the first place). But it's become
infected/inflamed/I-don't-know-what-but-it-hurts-like-hell and I had
to break down and go last night. And tomorrow before work (at the
ungodly hour of 7:30am) I have to get that filling replaced. Wish me
luck. I like this new dentist. He specializes in patients who are
terrified like me. I have to take a Xanex tomorrow morning before I
go and hope that that will help with the panic. He's promised to go
very slow, and make sure I am actually frozen before starting. Keep
your fingers crossed for me! And if this works, I might be able to
avoid the whole general anesthesia bit. And that would be a good
thing. A very good thing.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tagged by Kay

Kay tagged me a while ago, but I just haven't felt like blogging. And this one required some thought. I'm trying very hard to just survive this election. I'll be so very, very glad when it's over. And even happier in 8 years when I can finally have a say in the direction of the country I've lived in for 8 years already!

But, on to the tagging. I've done it before, but it's been a while!

Here are the rules of the game.
• Link to the person who tagged you.
• Post the rules on your blog.
• Write six random things/unspectacular quirks about yourself.
• Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
• Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
• Let the tagger know when your entry is posted

1)I have 7 tattoos, and didn't know about any of them until 2 years later. And none of them are covered by clothes.*
2)I'm allergic to Portobello (and therefore Crimini) mushrooms.
3)I eat candies (like Smarties** or M&M's) in pairs of the same colour. Compulsively.
4)I get a nasty, nasty reaction to the flu immunization. But I get it every year anyways. Ouch. And can the fever please go away now?
5)I cannot simply sit and watch television or a movie. Lorna bet me once and I tried and tried, but I just couldn't do it. I *MUST* fidget. Cost me $20 because I couldn't make it through one movie. I think that's part of why I like to stitch so much. At least it's something productive!
6)I'm a giant Doctor Who fan. And Michelle's made me a scarf for my birthday. I can't wait to get it!

*Okay, I cheated and used that one again, but it's a good one!
**Smarties=chocolate candies, the Canadian/European ones, not the American ones. Although, now that I think about it, I try to eat them in pairs too.

I'm supposed to tag people, but I hate doing it. So if you'd like to, please consider yourself tagged, and leave me a comment so everyone can come read!

I'm really not one for those "you must do it" memes, but this one I support

Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you're in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I think they know me too well...

So I was a bad girl today and decided to treat myself to FatKids for
lunch. Normally I go in to order, and I know they recognize me there.
But today I was in a hurry and just did drive through. I think they
know me too well when I didn't remember to ask for the sweet and sour
sauce (which I use instead of ketchup) and I got back to work and
there it was in the bag. {hangs head} I don't go there that often,
honest! M at work thinks it's because I'm "too polite" and that makes
me memorable. I can't help it. I was raised to say please and thank
you! And it does bother me the way people here treat those in
"service positions". They may be working to serve me, but they are
still people too and deserve politeness!
{/rant off}

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not that it's all that surprising...

But there is something seriously wrong in this country when it comes
to food. We had our first Weight Watchers @ Work meeting today at
lunch.* And there were actually people there who didn't know that
raisins are dried grapes...

*More on that later if I feel like ranting, and I won't be continuting
with it...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Why I wish he would run



Colin Powell is a Republican I would have no difficulty in supporting.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies

I finally jumped in on the "ask me 5 questions" thing doing the rounds. These are from Awesome Matt..

1) LOng Island vs. Canada: WHich do you like better and why?
Both for very different reasons. A bit of a cop out answer, but true none the less. I love Canada because it's where I was born, where I grew up, where I fell in love, and where all my family lives. I love LI because I have a great job here, a decent place, awesome friends, and access to anything I want at any time. I hate the medical system here with such a passion it's not funny. If I'd grown up here, I'd have had to have declared bankruptcy at 21 years old due to medical bills. As was, all I had to do was get myself to hospital and back. I am desperate to be able to take part in the political system here. But it'll be another 8 years before I can vote. And then only if USCIS finally gets it's head out of the sand and improves their record. And given the 8.5 years it took to get our Greencards in the first place, I'm not overly hopeful. But if I had to choose between them, I guess I already did. I didn't take the job I was offered in Canada two years ago.


2) Working in the pharma industry must be fun sometimes. What's the weirdest thing you've ever handled?
Sadly I don't get weird stuff to handle. Most fun was watching my colleague (of dubious character) as I had to destroy 300 grams of pure oxycodone. (That's enough to make about 300,000 tablets...)


3) Ears or neck...one must be sensitive. Which one!
Both! I am such a ticklish person it's not funny. Well, actually it is, but you get my drift! :P


4) In the immortal words of the Reverend Horton Heat, Liquor, Beer, or Wine?
Ummm, none? I can drink or take my arthritis meds. I like to walk...


5) Favorite RPG?
I'm sad, lame and boring. I haven't actually played many systems. Living Greyhawk because of all the friends I've made through it. I'm not touching 4th ed with a ten foot pole though...

If you want in, leave me a comment (on either blog) and I'll respond with questions for you!

Monday, October 06, 2008

To Switch or Not to Switch

So... Yahoo has changed the terms of my webhosting package. It's actually turned out to be a pretty good thing for me, and one of the nice changes is that I can now set up my own Wordpress blog really easily and get away from Blogger. I never go near my hosting/transfer limit (which just went up by orders of magnitude anyways) so I'm thinking of switching. So I wanted to ask those of you who use WordPress, do you love it? Hate it? Little things that bug you?
And most importantly, have any of you migrated your blog? How hard was it? I'd rather not lose the last several years worth of posts...

Thoughts folks?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Update!

I've seen this questionaire used before, and I'm finally giving in. It's better than not posting at all, right?
September 2008 Round Up



What books and/or magazines did I read this month?

Books: Deed of Paksenarrion (re-read at work)
The Conquerer (on Palm)
Hellboy novel (for fun on vacation)
Started: Crocodiles on the Sandbank (iPod)
Polar Shift (brain fluff reading)
5 things from the pile of magazines (1 Pop. Sci. and the other 4 from the MNH which we are members of.)



What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?

New shows: Fringe (Not for us, too science light and unbelievable)
Bones (LOVING it!)

Returning Favourites: NCIS, CSI, Biggest Loser, DWTS (so I know what they’re talking about at work) and Survivor

New movies: A bunch of silly things while I was at home sick. Nothing I would have normally wasted any time on and nothing I’d recommend anyone watch. But better than nothing while propped up on the couch fighting to breath without moving :P



What special days did I celebrate and how?

Ummm… 8 days at Disney! It was a combined annual vacation/wedding anniversary/got our Greencards/Brian has a job trip and WONDERFUL.
Brian went to Becky’s unbirthday party and had a great time.



What gifts did I give and/or receive?

Hallowe’en exchange with Rose in New Zealand, see photos in another post.
Lots of gifts for people from Disney.
Birthday card/Gift for Becky.



What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

MASSIVE ear and strep throat infection started our last night at Disney. 2 full courses of antibiotics, 1 ten day course of steroids and 1 ruptured ear drum later, I’m mostly better. I still have very little stamina, but it’s getting better every day. Brian picked up a little of my infections, but we got him to the Dr. ASAP and she didn’t mess around with him on antibiotics so it wasn’t nearly as bad for him.*

*Not that she messed around with me, but I’ve got drug allergies and can’t take two whole classes of antibiotics. We try not to use the extra-strong-kills-everything ones of the few I can take unless we have to so I don’t build up any resistant infections. I have enough health problems without going there! The first round killed the strep right away, apparently they just got bogged down there and didn’t go looking for any other fights :P



What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?

Disney!!! (Do we see a theme here?) Normally there’d be more than just that, but getting sick right after knocked me right out.


What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?

Lots of new foods at Disney. We had the dining plan and made the most of it we could. Confirmed that I can’t eat Crimini mushrooms either. :( We had a great chef at Le Cellier who was the one that told me Crimini are apparently baby Portobello mushrooms (which I know I have a problem with). I decided to risk it and try just a single mouthful of Brian’s mushroom risotto because it looked soooo good. It was! It was heavenly in fact. Paying for it for the rest of the day was not. I do, however, have the recipe now and will be attempting it at home with mushrooms I *can* eat!


What special or unusual purchases did I make?

We sprung for special photos at Disney. Not something I’d ever have really decided to spend the $$ on myself, but Brian actually spoke up about REALLY wanting them. It’s so very rare that he actually wants something I was happy to indulge him.


What were this month's disappointments?

Not much really. Brian got a promotion that came without a raise, which was disappointing, but his annual review is coming in October. He’d better get a good one then!
Ruining the end of our vacation wasn't exactly on my list of high points, but overall it could have been a lot worse. What if I'd gotten sick the first night instead of the last? And given how susceptible I tend to be to things when in crowds, I'll take it. Stupid lazy immune system!


What were my accomplishments this month?

I finally finished the birth sampler I’d been working on for ages! And started the next of my obligation stitching pieces.
I got started into my unread magazine pile, which I have been meaning to for a while. It's over a foot tall...



And I leave you with something that makes me smile very, very much!




I think I might have to give in to Valerie and Michelle at work and start knitting...





Anything else noteworthy to record?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wohooooooo!!!

Photos to come after I give it to the mom tomorrow:

The baby sampler is done!

I had the day off today (one last vacation day to use or lose by Oct.) and I just finished it. The last section went astoundingly quickly. I wish I'd gotten it done in time for his first birthday, but it's done now!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I know I loved life up north in Sudbury but...

I don't know about this. Not from what I've seen lately!




You Should Live in Alaska



If you don't want to live in Alaska, you might also consider:



Massachusetts

Vermont

Connecticut

Illinois

Michigan

Monday, September 22, 2008

Political Meme doing the rounds

I think it's a pretty fair representation of my beliefs, but agree with IanArgent that there needed to be a neutral choice on some of the questions. Brian and I agree that we've found ourselves becoming more and more politically aware and active since we moved to the US eight years ago. And it'll be 8 more years before we can cast a vote to have any effect. But we can live in hope!

You are a

Social Liberal
(66% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(35% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Democrat




Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Yahooooo!

Remember the never ending border on the baby piece I've been working on on and off for about 8 months? No? That's okay, I've been deliberately trying not to bitch about it online... But... It's d-o-n-e DONE! I got in the last of the back stitch sometime late this afternoon and even continued on to the grass-from-hell backstitching. Which turned out to not be too bad after all. I think I might even manage to finish the grass given a long afternoon to work on it. So it may not look like a lot of progress, but to me it's two huge obstacles done! Wohoo!

Other than that, not much news. Still sick (and I strongly advise against flying with strep throat *and* and ear infection) and I have no stamina. We went to IKEA yesterday because they've got a whole line of their organizational stuff on sale 50% off this weekend and I felt like getting my papercraft stuff more sorted out. Sadly, I was fully out of steam just from walking through the lower level, taking shortcuts and having no wait at checkout. By the time we came home, I needed a nap, and you can guess how the organizing went. But today I got a start made on it, and can now easily find/pull/use/return specific types of card making/scrapbooking stuff when I need it. Each technique etc. got it's own little organized box. (IE Ribbons, embossing, inks, punches)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Help me name my new car, please!

I'm trying to come up with something fun for the license plate of the new car. Brian has decided he'd rather keep the older black elantra, and wants to keep the XVART plate on it. So now I need to come up with something for this one...

The DMV's site where you can check if the plate is available is here.

I'm leaning towards something TARDIS related because the car really does seem bigger on the inside than the outside! But the MY BMBLB plates just don't work. I'm turning them into the DMV for a refund this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We're home safe and sound

But I'm sick as a dog. Had a fabulous time at Disney and will update when I can string coherent thoughts together. In the meantime, here's the quiz doing the rounds :)

Your result for The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test...

The Prioress

You scored 5% Cardinal, 72% Monk, 56% Lady, and 38% Knight!


You are a moral person and are also highly intellectual. You like your solitude but are also kind and helpful to those around you. Guided by a belief in the goodness of mankind you will likely be christened a saint after your life is over.


You scored high as both the Lady and the Monk. You can try again to get a more precise description of either the Monk or the lady, or you can be happy that you're an individual.

Take The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test at HelloQuizzy

Monday, September 01, 2008

Hallowe'en Exchange

I was invited to participate in a Hallowe'en stitching exchange this year, and the packages have to be mailed out tomorrow. This is what I'm sending off to New Zealand. I know the recipient doesn't know my blog, so I felt safe in posting it here! The pattern was a freebie that Joanna generously sent me when I realized how early the mail date for the exchange was and that I wouldn't have time to do the piece I'd planned!

Wedding Photos (sort of)

We were invited to the wedding reception for one of Brian's coworkers on Saturday night. They had a small quick ceremony at town hall and then a big party in the backyard. My kind of relaxed wedding! Below is the card I made and the flowers from the tables. Which match the paint in my bedroom almost exactly. Now, if only the wonders of the internet can provide me a name for these flowers, that would be great! I've had some silk ones that look the same for ages, but they didn't come with a name either...





Sunday, August 24, 2008

Way # 35628930285 that Disney World Rocks

Clicky the linky, you know you want to...

My wonderful husband surprised me with booking this for one of our days at Epcot!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meet the new Xvart!




So, to explain, no we don't own two new cars. We're not that rich. :( Brian might be able to work legally at last, but he's not making that much. :)

I sold my bumblebee.

I know, I loved the car. I truly did. But I had a lot of problems with the dealership. Including one that could conceivably have lead to me suing the dealership. And the "service manager" getting pissy with me and hanging up on me because I wasn't happy with his "service" and called and made a complaint. Lets just say it was pretty ugly and to the point I didn't want to deal with them. And since smart is so new in the US, there are only 50 dealerships total to cover all of the US. But the car itself was great. And I had a friend who also loved them. And his local dealership was adding several thousands in dealer add ons... But his dealership is great. Wonderful even. So we made a deal.

He's happy and I'm happy. I'd have loved to have a smart. But I WON'T deal with the dealership.

So say hello to my new blue Elantra! To be rechristened Xvart the Second once I find out how to transfer the plates from the black Elantra. It's pretty, if anonymous, and it gets good gas mileage and will get me to and from work safely. AND it worked out to be significantly cheaper than my smart with the end of model year deals. I'm pleased with it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

More things learned from my Conference

Southwest rocks when they lose one of your bags. Unsurprisingly,
Delta sucks when they lose your husband.

It is possible to go for a conference for a week and only end up
paying for 3 dinners and 4 lunches. This will confuse your admin no
end when submitting your expense report.

When the admin in charge of booking your travel "forgets" to do so,
you can't always get reservations for the cheap conference hotel. Nor
can you always get the 'cheap' flight option. This is not your fault.
You should not have to pay the difference from what was originally
projected. You will likely have to fight accounting over it though.
But when the difference is almost $800, it's worth the fight!

No matter how many times you tell people you'll be out of work for a
week, reset your voicemail and send an email reminder, someone *will*
be ticked off they didn't know you wouldn't be here to do their
emergency samples.

If you ask nicely and smile a lot, sometimes, *sometimes* the SEM
vendors will let you play with their toys. WOHOO! Geekgasm! Or, as
Brian put it when I got back to the hotel after "Is my little geek
thrilled with getting to play with expensive new geek toys?"... If I
have the chance, I'll post a couple of the SEM's I took.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Things I've learned at my Microscopy conference so far:

Delta bites bigtime. They'll keep insisting you'll make your
connecting flight, even though that connecting flight has already left
where you were supposed to get on it...

Peacocks meow!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Favourite Bumpersticker

Seen on my drive in to work today:

My child is an honor student but my president is a moron

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A long overdue WOHOOOOOOO

This should have been posted sooner, but we had a trip home and wanted to surprise our families with the news. I don't think anyone was waiting with baited breath, cetrainly not us...


We got our greencards!!!!!!


After eight and a half years, we finally got them. It's been a pretty hard, ugly process for us, but it's now done. At least until 5 years from now when we can apply for citizenship. :) What this means is that we're free. Free to move. Free to work for whomever we want. Free to work a second job (as a Stampin' Up demonstrator for example). Free to buy a house without 25% down (not that it's happening on LI, but I can dream). Closer to being able to adopt a child. Free to get a promotion at work. Just, generally, free.

The trip home was quite the adventure as well. We were approved on Friday the 20th. Planned to go home the next weekend, leaving on Thursday the 26th. As soon as we were approved, our old visas were no good to get us back across the US borders. So we booked the first appointment we could get with USCIS to get our passports stamped. Which was for Thursday the 26th. Packed everything up in our little bumblebee and headed to Hicksville, which is closer to NYC and has much more frequent train service. Caught the 7am train in, then the subway to the office. Waited in one line, then in the big waiting room. At 11:30 we finally were called. And the lady refused to stamp our passports! Because our cards themselves had already been ordered. Even though it could be as much as 90 days before we got them! To explain just how screwed up the process for getting a stamp in our passports actually was, I asked the officer the following:

Me: "So, just to make sure I'm clear on this. In order to have gotten our passports stamped, we would have had to have booked an appointment 4 days before we were approved and could know we would need the appointment, and would have had to have managed to be here during the 6 hour window in which your systems showed we were approved but our cards had not yet been ordered?"

Her: "Well, it sounds bad when you put it like that, but yes"

We left the USCIS office and I was totally brokenhearted. After all we went through to get the !%@$ things, they had to pull this? We cancelled the trip home, which was for my nephew's Christening (Brian and I are godparents) and also coincided with the surprise party plans for Brian's sister's 30th birthday. And we both went into work Friday. While explaining (numerous times) at work what I was doing there, friends encouraged me to go home at lunch and check the mail, just in case. I finally gave in and went.

And the cards were there!

I quickly threw everything back into the car and hurried back to work. Called Brian, had a mini celebration at work, snuck out early and we hit the road that afternoon! It was an insanely short trip home, we arrived Saturday afternoon and left at 5:30 am Monday. The original plan was to leave Sunday evening and make Buffalo to make Monday's drive shorter, but I just couldn't do it. We decided to do the drive back all in one shot on Monday. Ugh, I remember now why we don't like doing that! At least by leaving at 5:30am we only added about an hour onto our drive due to rush hour traffic. Total time back was 12.5 hours. But we made it! And we've got the cards!

Oh, and the car was awesome. No problems with comfort, and the fuel economy can't be beat. Our best tank was 52 mpg. That was distinctly with Brian driving and also with the AC on. Most of my fills ended up in the low 40's which is still nothing to sneeze at! When we hit US Customs in Buffalo, the inspector was funny about it. He asked if we had anything to declare, were we bringing anything back? Well, obviously not much, but he still had to ask! :) It was cute.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Take That!

There's a certain someone out there who complains about my cooking, and in particular that I use too much fat/oil/meat in my cooking and that it's going to kill Brian because heart problems run in his family. Me, personally, just with my cooking. There are three important facts to know here. First, the food I make when we have company over is very different from what we eat every night. It's a chance to splurge, to make something special. Secondly, yes, high cholesterol does run in Brian's family. We're watching it and taking appropriate measures. When he got his first high reading at his annual physical, we made a lot of changes to how we eat, started exercising more and paid attention. One year later, it'd gone up another 75 points. That's genetics. Not food. And thirdly, I donated blood last month. When you do, they test your cholesterol level and send you the results.


Total cholesterol: 169 mg/dL


Take that!


(For those who don't know, in order for you to have high cholesterol, you need to be over 240, and anything below 150 isn't healthy either as you're likely too low on the "good" cholesterol)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Vignettes of a busy weekend

Saturday morning on the train:
An 8 year old girl and her dad were sitting behind me. Girl asks dad "But dad, when can I start to play Dungeons and Dragons? It looks like so much fun!" Guess who I spent my ride talking to. She was thrilled that I was actually going in to run a D&D adventure for a bunch of guys. "See dad, girls really can do anything!"

Saturday afternoon during the game:
We discovered that V has never seen a real James Bond movie! The adventure itself was a full on Bond hommage and a lot of fun. V will be coming over soon for a Bond day. Hrm, Roger Moore or Sean Connery first?

Saturday evening:
JenJen called while I was running the adventure. It was her birthday and they had tickets to see The Little Mermaid on Broadway. But Joey was sick and couldn't go. Was I interested in the other ticket and could I get into the city in time?

Sunday morning:
How many smartcar owners does it take to make a smart circle? Only one. The trick is getting all the others to listen to the one! The meetup was really neat, and there was a photographer there from National Geographic taking tons of photos. My bee could be in NatGeo!

Sunday evening:
Brian and I slowly discover we have joined the legions of the lobster people. Apparently 2.5 hours in the direct sunlight was too much, even through the SPF 50 sunscreen! Brian was also a little heatstroked, so we spent the evening taking care of him.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

More assorted photos

Hope! This was taken after an ice storm in late spring



Roses from Jen and Joe's Wedding



My patio Christmas Tree



And getting artsy with my new(ish) camera...




Spring Garden Tour




















Holy Flower Buds Batman! This is a dwarf lily from Costco and man is it a mutant... I counted more than 20 buds forming!















Anyone know what this flower is? I know it's from bulbs I planted a few years ago and they come up every year and only last a few days...




Monday, May 12, 2008

My stitching mojo's coming back!

Finally!

I just haven't been in the mood/able to stitch in months. But Friday night we put on a couple of shows we'd recorded and I pulled out the birth announcement with the neverending border. Saturday I worked on it a fair bit more. And Saturday night, I finished it! Not really, of course, 'cause it is the never ending border, but I finished all the major stitching for it. The best part was that it all lined up with itself. Phew, what a relief. Now I just need to fill in all 30+ mini-motifs and stitch the edge border... And, just for fun and a change of scenery, I did a full line across in the middle. How's that for daring? I even managed a little more on it during Sunday's gaming. Which was an absolute blast. I think Will's definitely up there on my list of favourite DM's! I'm so looking forward to Memorial Day Monday when we finish this 'honking big adventure'!

Loved the new Dr. Who (and I was so pleased to see the Ood back again) and BSG has me drooling for more and wanting the week to be over already. Now if only I could force them to run new episodes all year of that quality and never stop...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wow. Just wow.

Two Great Weekends

In a row!

Last weekend was Brian's birthday on Friday. We both took the day off and enjoyed life, and the gorgeous weather. We slept in, saw the new Jackie Chan/Jet Li movie (definately a wait for the DVD, or better cable), then went to play pool at Dave and Busters. We got a call from our friends Ruth and David that they'd had a minor plan change and were now on their way over! They'd been planning on coming down to the area for Passover and had asked about cheap hotels... And our place is free!
Saturday was spent relaxing and having fun just hanging out. I feel bad that Ruth and Brian ended up doing my planting for me (my back still won't allow that), but given that the lilies are distinctly growing, I think it was a good idea. I tried to go get bloodwork done, but they'd changed the hours. Murp! I (or truthfully Dave) put the new plates on my car too! Wohoo!
We'd planned a very casual BBQ for Saturday night since Brian asked me NOT to plan a birthday party. It was also the weekend of NY Comic Con, so many of our friends were busy with that. It ended up with Brian, me, Michelle, Ruth and David. We relaxed, gamed, chatted a lot, played Wii (they brought Mario Party, which I can so see myself addicted to) and Marble Mania, which Ruth had brought as a thank you gift. It's me who owes them a thank you! I am so very much enjoying this game, and it's totally non competitive, which I appreciate. Sunday was spent calm and relaxed as well.
It's been so very long since we just had a calm, relaxing, fun weekend like that, and we needed it. It very much recharged my batteries.

This weekend was also a load of fun. We had tickets Saturday night to go see MacBeth staring Patrick Stewart with Joe, Jen, Jess and Jay. We decided we may need to change our names to "J" names too... The play was really good with phenomenal performances. In particular, the three Witches were incredible, and creepy. It was staged to be occurring at some point during a war in the early part of the 20th century and that lent an interesting twist. The dialogue was all just as Shakespeare had written it, but with the slightly modern setting. I am so very glad we went as it was such an experience.
Then, today, we had tickets to see Curtains. We've both been wanting to see it since it started last year, so I bought Brian tickets for his birthday. Shortly after I'd bought them they announced the show was closing the end of May. For anyone local, I *STRONGLY* urge you to go see it before it ends if you enjoy musicals or comedies. For this was great as both!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Yup, that's me!

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Science/Math Nerd
 

(Absolute Insane Laughter as you pour toxic chemicals into a foaming tub of death!)

Well, maybe you aren't this extreme, but you're in league with the crazy scientists/mathmeticians of today. Very few people have the talent of math and science is something takes a lot of brains as well. Thank whosever God you worship, or don't worship, so thank no deity whatsoever in your case, for you people! Most of us would have died off without your help.

Gamer/Computer Nerd
 
Social Nerd
 
Literature Nerd
 
Anime Nerd
 
Artistic Nerd
 
Musician
 
Drama Nerd
 
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Short Update and Phenomenal Video



No, go back and watch the video.
I mean it...


So, I've been pretty sporadic in updating my blog. Life has been incredibly boring for me so far this year. I've been sick, I've been really sick, I got mostly better, and then I hurt my back and was off work for an additional two weeks. So I really haven't been doing much blog worthy. I've been doing some stitching (well, I was before I hurt my back, I still can't stitch yet from that), but I can't post update photos since it's all gift stitching. How did I get into this!?! I totally love my new car, but still won't let Brian park it sideways, much to his chagrin. I haven't even really been taking photos to post. Sorry to be so boring. I'm alive and coping, but not doing much beyond that.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

As promised




Sorry for the bad quality of the photo, but Brian took it with my cell phone. It's stopped raining today, so I'll try to get a better one. I also take no blame for it being parked sideways. Brian did it and it was when I went out to yell at him that he took this photo. It does fit though! (And the black car beside it is our Elantra, so we would have been able to get out had someone parked "behind" bumblebee.) Oh, and for my European visitors who might be a little confused about my needing to "adopt" a Smart, they've only just gone on sale in the US last month. And they had thirty thousand pre-orders for them... They're going to be hard to get for a little while!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Quickest Adoption in History!!

So, remember that last blog post about talking to the dealer Tuesday night about getting on the list for an orphan Smart? Guess who called Wednesday at lunch time? I just about had a coniption fit at work being stuck there. We got all the financing in order and picked Bumblebee up last night. Photos once it stops raining (or I get the one I took with my cell phone camera).

WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Squeee!!!

Brian and I signed papers today to adopt an orphan as soon as one becomes available to us! An orphan Smart Car that is. One that will look like this:



For all we would both desperately love for it to be adoption papers for a child of our own, that can't happen for years yet. As I discovered last week, we could adopt, but we couldn't bring the child into the US for at least another 5 years because of yet another $%$!#@$ in the immigration system. You cannot bring a child into the US through adoption unless you're a citizen. So there goes that option for us. And I already knew we can't adopt a child from within the US unless we're citizens. Can I just say how sick I am of this whole mess of a system?

But I am thrilled about my Smart! We did preorder one, and are still in the wait for it. Unfortunately because we did the smart thing financially and waited to put in a deposit on it, we're waaaay down the list. The best estimate to get the one we ordered is 8 months. So we're now on the orphan list for one still in my colours and with my basic options. (Passion coupe with heated seats!! and no hideous tachometer bubbles) The one we ordered has more than that, but those are my two basic requirements. And at this rate, I'll have a significant downpayment made before we go sign for the car!

In Sadness

E. Gary Gygax has passed away. May he live eternally in gamers' hearts.

In sadness

E. Gary Gygax has passed away. May he live eternally in all gamers' hearts.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080304/ap_en_ot/obit_gygax

Sunday, January 27, 2008

As promised




And pointed out by mom, I haven't even posted a photo of Andrew yet. I've been both busy and sick to answer mom's other question, but I'm slowly getting my feet back under me. We'll be going home in 3 weeks, so I'll have lots of photos of all the nieces and nephews then!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Macbook Air

Drool..............

Anyone have $2500 they want to donate to a very deserving mac fan?
I don't even particularly want the $1000 solid state hard drive!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Yet another quiz because I don't have time for a real entry...

You Are a Total Brainiac

You're amazingly brilliant. Some would even say genius.
You're curious, thoughtful, analytical, and confident.

You take on difficult subjects because you want to... not because you have to.
No field of knowledge is too complicated or intimidating for you.

You've got the brains to do anything you want.
It's possible you end up doing everything you want.