Monday, June 30, 2008

Wish it were Friday again

I had a lovely weekend. hot, but lovely. And I am so not going to write about it right now. But here is something else, much more interesting for you to read while you wait for my weekend update.

Friday, June 27, 2008

So happy it is Friday!

Did you follow that link? I googled "Why Fridays Rock" and got that. Whatever. Ok, so foot update. It is starting to feel significantly better. Which means it is probably tendonitis. Also means that that uber expensive and long MRI was unnecessary. As is probably my dr. appt next week. Sigh, oh well.

Purse update. I got my new license and my new ATM card. And I still love my new phone. Though I just discovered it is not 3G as I thought it was and have been telling people it was. Oops. But you may have noticed that I am now mobile blogger capable! Yay!

Ok so Wednesday I left work early and went to the PennDOT Driver's License Center. Can I just say that I LOVE the PA DMV process. I really do. Not being sarcastic. I got there at quarter of 4. They close at 4:15. So it was busy being the end of the day. I was there until 4:20. 35 minutes. And I walked out with a new license. Not a little paper saying that I would be getting a new license. An actual new license. They took care of over 50 people while I was there. In 35 minutes! I am so impressed.

I then stopped at Naked for a ginger lemonade. I usually get the apple lemonade. But I decided to try something new. It was ok. It was pretty gingery and so more spicy and sour than refreshing. I think I will stick with the apple lemonade.

Then to El Vez for Center City Sips. I got there at about 10 of 5 and so was able to score a seat at the bar. Matty and Liam, who had had the whole day off were late and so I could only get one. But at least we had that. Sue, Liam's friend, met up with us and Joey briefly stopped in. I know El Vez is ridiculously crazy for Sips. But I really like it. I really like the mexipolitan. I really like the free apps. And everywhere is crazy for sips. So after many many many mexipolitans we left El Vez and headed to dinner at Nodding Head. Matty and I split the special veggie burger and the rasta man chicken. I assume it was good. I dont really remember that well. Sue's husband, Kevin, met us there. Then we walked home and watched Starsky and Hutch (it was on, thats all I can say as to why) until I had had enough and went to bed.

Yesterday Liam went to Jersey with Sue to see his parents and grandparents. After work Matty and I went to Cantina
to meet up with Tara to help her celebrate getting an A in Chem and a B in Algebra. I am big fan of their margaritas. Blood Orange is my fave. Though papaya, melon and watermelon are up there. Matty and I split a small nachos with pork and a chorizo burrito. Wayyyyyyy! too much food. So stuffed. But it was SO good! Then we went home and met Liam there. They hung out outside while I relaxed with some Batman Begins.

I am very happy it is Friday, and pay day. But I cant believe it is almost July!

Crazy Rivers
Fill in the blanks to get the names of four famous rivers.
_ A _ G T _ _
R _ B _ _ _ N
R _ _ N _
D _ _ _ B _

Alphabet Soup
The 20 letters below can be anagrammed into a familiar seven-word statement that refers to an awkward person. The enumeration is 2'1 1 4 2 1 5 4. What is the statement?


second mobile blogger test

Sent using AT&T Xpress Mail


testing blogging from phone

Sent using AT&T Xpress Mail

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Longest day ever

Ever have those days that just seem to stretch on FOREVER? Today is one of those days. matty has the day off because Liam is in town. And I am trying to leave early so I can get a new license. But it is only 2! 2! I have been here for 5 hours but it seems like 13.

So Liam arrived last night without incident. Matty and I made a chili-type concoction for dinner. I started with sauteeing onion and garlic. Then I added two red bell peppers, a cubanelle pepper and 2 serrano peppers. When they started to get some color I added 2 16 oz cans of chickpeas. After a few minutes I added a bag of baby spinach. When that wilted, I added 1 can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and 1 can of petite cut diced tomatoes with jalapenos. When that came to a boil I added the rest of the pork from last week. Then simmered until dinner. I served it with shredded cheddar, sour cream and chopped cilantro. Matty made cornbread. It was all pretty fantastic.

We spent the rest of the night sitting outside and just hanging out. Around 11 I decided I was done and went to bed and the boys stayed up and played with the Wii since they had today off.

I am still loving my phone.

Animal Matters
Each definition below applies to a word that begins with the name of a different animal. Can you find all three words?
1) Wrist ______ (6 letters)
2) To walk awkwardly _______ (7 letters)
3) A royal spot made famous by a musical _______ (7 letters)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A new phone!

Well I have replaced my phone. I am now the proud and overly excited owner of a black Palm Centro. I havent named it yet. So I am not totlaly a geek. But it is pretty cool. I also talked my self into getting data. So I can now access the internets on my phone! Which is not a big thing for most people I know, but it is for me. It is nifty. If you think I might not have your number feel free to text me, I have the same number as before. I am looking at you, Dan and Nicole. I could be doing this from my phone! I think. Hmm . . . . we will see.

Last night we started the last disc of Weeds. And had the rest of the sandwiches from White House. And pickles. Because I love pickles. And I made a quick salad from frozen broccoli and cauliflower, marinated artichoke hearts, black olives, onion, garlic, serrano, fresh basil and oregano, olive oil and white balsamic. I love white balsamic vinegar. I used to be a huge apple cider vinegar. But I think my favorite might be white balsamic now. Also Dan came over which was nice since we havent seen him in awhile.

My MRI was this morning. This was my second MRI, but the first on a limb. The last one was for the cyst. I had no idea it would take as long as it did. Over an hour I was in there trying not to move. Which I did. Once. But it wasnt my fault! I fell asleep. And then I woke up and jumped a little. They didnt say anything. But an hour! And yes, thats right. I feel asleep during an MRI. In a tube that makes most people freak out that makes enough noise to require earplugs. But I wasnt all the way in. And the noise was mostly rhythmic . . . yeah, I am a freak. But anyway. Now I just have to wait a week to find out the results. Still voting tendonitis!

Tonight, Liam arrives.

1) Remove the first letter of a word meaning "to supply adequate evidence for" to get a word meaning "to wander."
2) Remove the first letter of the word for a piece of dinnerware to get a word meaning "tardy."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Seriously people?!?!

Ok, fess up. Which ones of you think that Miller Lite with Lime and Salt and Tuscan Orange Grapefruit Michelob Ultra are not disgusting. C'mon. I know there are 2 of you. Miller Lite is gross. And adding lime and salt to it cant make it any better. If you want lime and salt, get a margarita. Or a shot of tequila. And given Michelob Ultra is essentially dirty water so adding orange and grapefruit isnt REALLY like having a glass of OJ mixed with beer. But still, if you want a wine cooler, get a wine cooler. Or better yet, throw some vodka in some juice. Ewww!

Fill in the blanks to complete the word below.
A _ T _ D _ L _ _ _ _ N

Use the clues to fill in the blanks below with words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings and different spellings.
1) An appendage _____ Story
2) A matching set _____ A fruit _____
3) To lift up _____ To tear down _____

Going "down the shore" post #2

Sunday we got up early, like before 8, and went to breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House. I had strawberry crepes and Matty had pecan pancakes. They were really good. I am normally not a big pancake girl, but these get 2 thumbs up. Then we checked out and headed a bit north to Ocean City. This is significantly more moneyed and family oriented. Maybe it is because it is a dry town. I dont know. But it was much cleaner, the houses were much bigger, lots of stuff was much newer. I am not saying I like it better, but it is much nicer. We parked the car and headed to the boardwalk. Now a word about mornings on boardwalks. I am not a huge fan at Wildwood because until 11 bikes are allowed on the boardwalk. And I am usually about to get hit by a bike at all times. In Ocean City the bikes are allowed until noon and the bikes far outnumber the people. And not just bikes, also surreys. 2-8 person surreys. So the boardwalk actually has lanes (that no one pays any attention to except scared pedestrians like me) for northbound walkers, northbound surreys, northbound bikes, runners, southbound bikes, southbound surreys, southbound walkers. And trying to cross this 7 lane highway of bikes and surreys and runners, none of whom are watching where they are going or willing to give up the right of way, is like crossing a 4 lane highway. So I am not a huge fan of this bike thing. So first we walked all, and I mean all, the way north to Brown's. They are known for their donuts. So Matty waited in line for about 30 minutes. I guess there is a donut machine that makes donuts and as they come off the machine, a guy dresses them. One order at a time. Matty couldnt decide what kind to get. So we had a plain, a honey dipped, a vanilla iced, a chocolate iced, a cinnamon sugar and a powdered sugar. They were amazing. Obviously still hot since Matty watched them be made. And so yummy. They were light and fluffy but still cakey. Mmmmmm . . . Then we walked back south and started checking out the boardwalk. Another problem with Ocean City, besides the bike issue is that you need beach tags to go on the beach. And they are $5 per person. So we would have had to spend $10 just to go down and walk in the water a bit. Which sucks because it got really hot but we didnt want to spend the whole day (or $10 of the day) on the beach. Especially since I did not have any money anymore. So no beach for us. But we wandered around for awhile and checked out all the fudge and taffy places and the amusement parks (no rides for us though). We played mini golf at the Pirates of the Golden Galleon. Matty won. But I did pretty well near the end. Even got a hole in one! It was a cute course but really hot! For lunch we split a piece of pepperoni pizza at Mack and Manco's. It really does live up the the hype. I was really pleasantly surprised. It was super tasty. After while we got kind of bored wandering around and since the beach was off limits we decided to leave. Since we were not quite ready to come back to Philly and end out mini vacation we headed a little further north and finally got to Atlantic City. Matty has been wanting to go since we got to Philly. I was hesitant. I was totally right. Neither of us were impressed. The only thing I remember about AC from when I was a kid was the restaurant in Bally's where I had my first chocolate mousse. The casinos are ridiculous, but from what we saw all pretty much look the same. So why be in AC at all? And they are trying to make it like Vegas. Which it aint. The older part of the boardwalk is trashy, but not in the kitschy Wildwood way, in the dirty gross old way. And the pawn shops were just a reminder of the amount of money being lost in the monstrosities surrounding you. We couldnt see the beach from the boardwalk because of dunes and we couldnt get a drink at the beach bars because Matty was driving and I didnt have my ID. I felt bad because Matty really really didnt like it and he had such high hopes. Maybe if we were there with someone who knew it? I dont know. We didnt stay long and then decided to leave. We drove to White House Sub Shop for dinner. We got to go and sat in the park across the street. It made the trip to AC worth it. We got a half meatball with provolone and a half White House Special (extra salami, ham, capicola, provolone, oil, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers). We ate half of each and took the other halves home. I cant even describe these sandwiches. Just thinking about them makes me so happy that we are having the rest for dinner tonight! Mmmmmmmm! Then it was back to Philly. We had the normal unpleasantness of trying to find gas before dropping the car off at the airport. There are no stations down there! We did fill up in Jersey at the Frank S Farley rest stop ($4.01/gallon) but we had to top it off in Philly (or Darby as it were, $4.11/gallon). Then a cab ride home and time to finally rest.

A new credit card is being mailed, a new ATM card is being mailed, a new health insurance card is being mailed (and I have a temporary member identification form which will hopefully work for my MRI tomorrow morning), I have to go to the PennDOT place to apply for a new license and get a temporary one. Tonight I am going to get a new phone hopefully. Sigh. I wish they hadnt taken THAT purse. Sigh.

Going "down the shore" post #1

So let's start with the foot update. Friday I went and saw a sport physician at Student Health about my foot. She taught my a lot about the foot. She told me that due to my symptoms she can't determine whether I have tendonitis of the peroneal tendons or a stress fracture or either the cuboid or 5th metatarsal. So tomorrow I am going for an MRI and then I will see another sports medicine guy next Tuesday. We are voting for tendonitis. Because a stress fracture could put my in a boot and on crutches for 6-8 weeks. And I have a sailing vacation planned for August that does not mix with crutches. So keep your fingers crossed for tendonitis. The doc told me to try to stay off it as much as possible, specifically no long walking or standing. Ha.

So this weekend was our first mini summer vacation. We rented a car (a cute Chevy Cobalt) Saturday morning and drove down to Wildwood. The car had GPS which was nice. The weather was perfect and we didnt hit any traffic on the way down. We got to our motel, Le Voyageur, and checked in around 11. Our room was really cute. Then we headed to the boardwalk. I decided to completely ignore the advice of my doctor (sit on the beach, no major walking). First we walked all the way to the North End and back. Stopping for my very first Lime Ricky at Lime Ricky World. It was of the non-alcoholic variety and surprisingly awesome. I thought it would be sickingly sweet and fake tasting. But it was really fresh and refreshing. We also played a few games of skee-ball, of course. Then we kept walking and walking and walking and people watching. We had lunch at Sam's Pizza Palace. A slice of sausage and a slice of white broccoli. Really yummy. Then we headed down to the beach and went swimming for a bit. The water was cold but not freezing. Then we just laid on the beach for awhile and watched the people and the seagulls and just relaxed. After we had had enough sun and sand we went back to the motel, changed and then back to the boardwalk. This time for some rides. We got all-day bracelets. We started with the Tilt-O-Whirl. Good old fashioned Tilt-O-Whirl. The The Great White which is their old-fashioned wooden coaster. It was awesome! I love old coasters. And with no lines we got back seats no problem. We also went in the Chamber of Checkers which is a maze that we totally couldnt do and ended up going out the entrance. We are losers. Throughout the day we went on - Curse of the Mummy 3D thing (not very good), Ferris Wheel, Moby Dick, Rollie's Coaster (little coaster), Sea Dragon (big coaster), Sea Serpent, Super Scooters (bumper cars), Tea Cups, Wave Swinger (totally ripped my pants), Condor, Doo Wopper (little coaster), The Great Nor'easter (big awesome awesome coaster!), Rock and Roll. We had Curley's Fries. And played more skee-ball. There was a thunder and lightning storm. But no rain. Otherwise the weather was awesome all day. We decided to leave the boardwalk for dinner. We went to Juan Pablo's for dinner. It was surprisingly good. Then we put on long sleeve shirts and back to the boardwalk. We went on the carousel and the wooden coaster a few more times. NO lines! All day! We sat up front. And I have to say it is totally a nighttime, front of the coaster ride. It was fantastic. Then I was getting tired and it was getting late. So as a last thing of the night we took a ride on the Sky Ride which is kinda like a ski lift that goes over the park. You arent allowed to bring anything on the ride with you (probably afraid you will drop it on the park). So I dutifully left my purse with the other bags and things at the entrance. Which you could only get to while getting on and off the ride. And it was a nice ride. Very relaxing. We could see the waves in the dark and the whole beach and boardwalk. And then when we got off the ride, my purse was not there. With my cell phone, a bag of skee-ball quarters, cash, my license, my credit card, my ATM card, my health insurance card and the key to our motel. Oh and it was my Puma purse that my mom bought me in Spain. So of course I freaked out and we had to call the cops and fill out a police report and the whole bit. And I know it is my fault. But honestly, if one more person tells me that I am an idiot I am going to scream. Matty did not have his phone on him but the Morey's Piers guys were really nice about that. While still stressing that they have no responsibility for items lost due to stupidity. Matty called and canceled my credit card and my ATM card. And tried to cancel my cell phone. Which of course we called and texted numerous times, it was either turned off or is somewhere without service. AT&T was apparently "updating their system" all weekend and so were incapable of turning off my phone. Which is nice. But yeah. So the motel is owned by a nice couple, Dennis and Grace, who live ont he premises and turn off their phone at 10:30. (It was now around 12) Since we had lost our key we could not get into our room. So a cop had to drive us to the motel in the event we could not wake up the owners. After knocking on their door for awhile they got up and let us in. They were very nice about it and only ended up charging us $5 for the key which was nice. Overall not a great way to end the night.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy First Day of Summer! And Ice Cream Soda Day!

So it had been a slightly eventful few days. First of all, my foot appears to be worse and so I am grudgingly going to see a doctor this afternoon.

So let's see, Tuesday my father arrived (on time!). We picked him up at the airport and brought his to our place. First we had him try some of our sausage! He was a fan. Because it is awesome. He liked the chorizo even. Then we went to Sidecar for dinner. They had the turkey burger ont he specials! Yayz! He really liked it. They were doing quizzo but we did not join in. I am glad it was him and not another parent because Sidecar quizzo is not polite. It is downright obscene at times. For instance - What is it called when a guy masturbates and then runs and jabs his penis into a vagina? Yeah. That type of quizzo. With my dad. Recalled memories of an ill-fated trip to see Species. In the theater. Then we went home and watched the end of the Celtics game. The first NBA game I have seen in years. It was like the Lakers decided to lose and wanted to see how bad they could do it by. It was pretty pathetic.

Wednesday we got up latish (for a Wednesday). My dad SNORES! Like he doesnt just snore, he fucking SNORES! So we did not sleep terribly well. Once we were up and ready (dressed in our Red Sox gear) we headed out. We picked up some pastries at DiBruno's, including a fabulous Le Bec Fin sweet brioche. We also got some pretzels at the Philly Soft Pretzel Factory. And we ate breakfast in Rittenhouse. Then we headed down to the field. It was much safer for us there since Red Sox Nation was in full force. We walked around for awhile, then found our seats, way up in the stratosphere. But great views. The Sox were up 4-0 at the bottom of the 1st. Good way to start the game. Our section was about evenly mixed Sox fans and Phillies fans which made it interesting. For lunch we had a hot dog, a sausage and a Schmitter. What is a Schmitter you ask? Well that is why I provided the link. But if you arent going to follow it the Schmitter, from the top is - Kaiser top, cheese, special sauce, grilled salami, more cheese, tomatoes, fried onions, steak, even more cheese, kaiser bottom. And it was surprisingly tasty. I was actually pretty impressed all around. Who knew. Well yeah, I know, meat on top of meat plus cheese = yummy! The weather stayed beautiful for the whole game. And the Sox won 7-4. And that was without Big Papi, Manny, or Youkilis (my second favorite behind Jason Varitek).

After the game we got back to our place and picked up my dad's stuff and then headed to Yello'bar for a light dinner. Taking "light" very loosely. We split a chicken quesadilla, cheesy fries with bacon and veggie spring rolls. I was a little disappointed, the fries are no longer curly and there was no green onion on the fries. And the quesadilla did not have many veggies. I feel bad for yello'bar since it is never busy it seems. Though we are totally part of the problem. After dinner we got my dad in a cab (it had started to rain) and he was on his way. We finished disc 2 of Weeds and played some Endless Ocean. We saw whales!

Walking home from the subway after the game I got a sad phone call. I have told you about Noah (a guy I work with) and his dad (who had his leg removed and was then diagnosed with metastatic adenocarcinoma). Well he passed away Monday night. So yesterday we took a work field trip to the funeral out in Cheltenham. It was so sad. Noah seemed so lost. He spoke and cried through the whole thing. And his mom was just bawling. Micah, Noah's 3-year old, was so confused. And Anne, Noah's wife, who is 8 months pregnant seemed to be barely holding it together. Sigh. It was very good that I had so many tissues with me. Noah and Anne seemed very grateful that we were all there. We took the regional rail out there and back and it was about a mile walk to the funeral home. So we couldnt go back to the house for Shiva. It was a rough day. Raw human emotion is so draining.

Last night we had Ryan, my mom's friend, Heidi's, son over for dinner. I made pulled pork. It came out really good. We used a 5 lb shoulder and I made a rub and a vinegar based sauce. And we added serranos from the garden, onions and garlic. We also had a salad with the last of my arugula. It was a very nice dinner. And Ryan brought desserts from Miel Patisserie. A cinnamon chocolate mousse thing, a mini fruit-topped cheesecake, a lemon tart and an apple tart. Lovely.

This morning on my way too work I noticed a beat-up card on top of our mailbox, addressed to me, from my mother, post-marked April 23rd. My birthday card. 2 months late. Oh well, at least it made it.

Doctor's appointment at 4. She better not even think about putting me in a cast.

1) A statement about someone's smarts is coiled in the grid below. To spell it out, start with a "T" and more to an adjacent letter in any direction. All letters will be used exactly once. The enumeration is 3 5'1 2, 3 6'1 4.

2) The name of a bird is hidden in each of the three sentences below. Can you find all three? The letters are in consecutive order.
a) "You're three over par, rotten luck," said the caddie.
b) Both awkward dancers fell down.
c) I am disgusted with the rush hour traffic.

3) The insurance agent needed an estimate on Karen's jewels. Karen told the agent that all but two were rubies, all but two were diamonds and all but two were emeralds. How many jewels did she have?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

an s'more ketchup . . .

see more dog pictures

I am catching up on some stuff . . .

Yay, I think I fixed the size, let me know if it doesnt look right.

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

Happy Eat Your Veggies Day!

My foot still hurts :-(

Last night I made a mexican veggie lasagna with zucchini, tomatillos, onions, garlic, red pepper, tomato, serrano (from my garden!), carrot, spinach, corn and mushrooms. I seasoned it with my chili starter seasoning and then added some more cumin and some chipotle powder. And right at the end when I turned off the heat I added some fresh basil (from my garden!), fresh oregano (from my garden!), fresh cilantro and the juice of one lime. Then I layered the veggies with black beans, light red kidney beans, green onions, taco cheese and flour tortillas. Then bake until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are soft. It turned out perfectly! I served it with sliced avocado and sour cream. I was very happy with it. I am getting better at timing my veggies. So I can cook everything at once but so that everything is perfectly cooked, nothing raw, nothing overcooked and mushy. I hate mushy veggies where you cant identify them by taste in something like this.

Joey came over for dinner and brought a bottle of House Wine, which I would recommend as a good red table wine. Joey is eating dairy for the time being so cooking has become infinitely easier when he comes over. So we had dinner and hung out for a bit and introduced him to Boom Blox. And discussed his life plans in which he is abandoning us to go to the big city. This makes me sad because as often as we say "it is so close", "it is so easy to get there". We never get there more than twice a year.

After Joey left I played some Boom Blox while Matty cleaned the apartment. I am getting better. At Boom Blox. Not cleaning. Obviously.

Tonight my dad is flying in for his Father's Day present. Tomorrow we are going to the Phillies-Red Sox game. Yay! This is my dad's first solo visit to Philly. Also his first time staying with us in the apartment. I think Matty is nervous. I dont know why.

I have decided to do an ipod assessment. I do this every couple of years. I am listening to my whole library in alphabetical order (currently at 4002 songs) . Will probably take me the rest of the year if I keep it up (being 11.2 days long). I am at Caress Me Down.

What two six-letter words that are anagrams of each other can be used to complete the sentence below?
Many ______-to-be who had booked the catering hall for their wedding receptions drove be after the big fire to view in horror the rubble and ______.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Even more!

So after dinner we walked (in the rain since we could, once again, not get a cab) back down to Houston to Parkside Lounge for the Tens of Thousands show. It was fantastic. Everyone did a fabulous job. The music is so fun! And Jeff and Kristen's parents were there. And there was audience participation! With kazoos and bubbles and slide whistles and maracas! It was just a really good time all around. I forgot to mention that during dinner I realized that I had aparently done something to my ankle. I dont remember doing anything to it. But it hurt. A lot. Just saying. After the show we went back to Queens to Jeff and Becky's and hung out there. I iced my ankle. People drank and argued and talked and listened to music and had an all around good time. Until about 3 (how does New York do this?) when we got really tired and went to bed.

Sunday we got up and hung out a bit and then went to Ovelia for brunch. I had corn flapjacks with ricotta and walnuts and homemade fantastic sausage and a bloody mary. Matty had a omelette with lots of toasted veggies and walnuts and home fries and bacon and toast and a mimosa. Huge fan of places with bloody mary or mimosa included with your meal! It was all very good. Then we took the subway to Manhattan, and got on an early bus home. My ankle was fine, a little sore, but fine until we got to Philly. Then it just decided it was done. And the pain had moved down into my foot rather than my ankle. So once we got home (it was a slow and painful walk home) we just stayed in and watched tv and had leftovers for dinner and played Boom Blox. Which by the way, is really hard! Very cool, but really hard!

Today my foot (no longer my ankle) hurts a whole lot unless it is elevated (which it isnt because I am at work). But it isnt my ankle, so I am ok with the whole thing. I am hoping that I just strained something walking around Manhattan all day. We alked almost 9 miles. And my shoes were running shoes, maybe not the best for walking. I really dont want to see another doctor. So we are taking the wait and see approach.

Puzzles for ya!
Word Ladder: Make your way from FOUR to FIVE in only seven steps, changing one letter at a time to make a good English word at each step.
_ _ _ _
_ _ _ _
_ _ _ _
_ _ _ _
_ _ _ _
_ _ _ _

Two for One: Fine the word that fits the definitions below when it's 1) a whole word 2) divided into two separate words.
1) Whole word: to think seriously about (10 letters)
2) Two words: a) short for a specific kind of food store (4 letters)
b) to scold (6 letters)

Rachel received some mone for birthday gifts. She spent half of what she had plus $5 at the local boutique, half of what was left plus $5 at the local department store and three-fourths of what was left plus a $5 tip when she got her hair done. She had no money left. How much did she start out with?

Choose the correct letter from each clue int he rhyme below, then reas the letters in order. They'll spell out the answer to the riddle.
My first is in pick and also in pay.
My second in add and also in day.
My third in fine and also in ring.
My fourth in sign and also in sing.
My last in yes you'll always find.
My whole a flower as defined.
_ _ _ _ _

Happy National Hollerin' Contest Day

So this weekend was the last (until August when we celebrate with my parents) of Matty's birthday celebrations. This was his birthday trip. We went up to New York for the weekend to see Jeff's new band, Tens of Thousands (who you should check out).

Friday we just stayed in and got a pizza and watched Freaks and Geeks and played Boom Blox.

Because I am a big dork, a map of our day on Saturday can be found here.

Saturday we took a 9am bus to New York. We took Greyhound because it is only $6 more round trip than Chinatown and Port Authority is just so much more convenient than Chinatown in New York. And leaving NY via Chinatown bus is so stressful and complicated. So we got to NY around 11:15. First we headed to Rockefeller Center in search of Nintendo World. It is so Nintendo-y! There were Wiis and DSs set up to play all over the place. And Wii Fits to test out. And so much Nintendo memorabilia. And they actually have consoles. And Wii Fits if you get there early enough in the morning. And pretty reasonably priced. And a little Nintendo museum section. Then we headed up 5th Avenue to Central Park. On the way we passed the Hare Krishna Parade heading down 5th (did you notice the names on that flickr account?). It was huge. By far the largest group of Hare Krishnas I have seen. We also finally got me a knish from a street vendor. I have been trying to get a knish the last 4 trips to New York. It was fantastic. Then we went to the Central Park Zoo. I had been wanting to check it out since we did not have time to get to the Bronx Zoo whenever we go to New York. It is cute. i would say worth a trip if you want to kill an hour or so. And $8 isnt bad. They had so many penguins! they were so cute! And the polar bears were very cute. I was not a huge fan of the free flying birds in the rain forest house. Matty always laughs at me at zoos and museums because I get really angry at parents who, instead of looking at the signs and learning something, lie too their kids because they are woefully uninformed about what they are looking at. This time there were two that I can remember. "They have these adorable little penguins that they call puffins. Puffins, isn't that adorable?" Puffins are not penguins. Which, if they took the 10 seconds needed to read the placard on the puffin enclosure, they would know. The other was "Oh look at the otters! Aren't those otters adorable!" They were looking at the seals. Sigh, I know, I am a snob. After the zoo we headed to the subway. We managed to get on the right train, but got off at the wrong stop. Which was my fault. But I am blaming the train. Because there was a blinky sign saying where we were, which matched the guy on the speakers, which matched the overhead signs. Unfortunately that did not match reality. But it was only one stop off. So we ended up at Houston and Bleecker which turned out to be totally fortunate because we passed by Yonah Schimmel's Knishery! It is this famous knish place that is like 100 years old and has AWESOME knishes. We got a roasted garlic and onion potato knish. It was so good! From there we headed to Crif Dogs. (From here for a few places we were following suggestions from my friend Rob). We got a chihuahua (bacon wrapped dog with avocado and sour cream) and a temptee dog (dog with a schmier of cream cheese). Now I know you are thinking - really? hot dog and cream cheese? hot dog and sour cream? eww! But you are SO wrong. Everything was perfect. I have no idea how they get the bacon wrapped around the dog like that but it was amazing. The dog itself was fantastic. The bread, the toppings. All of it was just breathtaking. Really. If you are in the East Village and you eat hot dogs, check it out. And they have a Ms. Pacman table. From there we walked to Tompkins Square Park to check out a random jam band playing. Then we decided to head West. We wanted to take a cab because it was fucking hot! But we were unable to hail one. So we walked. And I am really glad we did because I have this thing about New York. Well Manhattan. I dont like it. It is too big and there are too many people and it is too anonymous. But this was my first time hanging out in the village (since high school) and I can totally handle it. So I guess I really hate Midtown. And the Financial District. I still think it is too big and I would never live there. But I can at least handle parts of it without have a panic attack. So we walked to Greenwich Village and I wanted to go in every store and every place we passed but I was good. We passed yet another festival of some sort and then got to Washington Square. Which is TORN UP! It is a little unfortunate how much of it is under construction. But guess who was there? Well, first guess who wasnt there. The Scrabblers. I really wanted to see the Scrabble players from Word Wars and Word Freak. They were not there. However, the Hare Krishnas were! Thousands of them. Every free inch of space was taken up by them. There were food tents and spiritual enlightenment tents. And people sitting on the lawns and people playing music and chanting and playing volleyball. It was amazing. And the food smelled fantastic. So we walked around a bit and then headed on our way. Next we went to Papaya Dog. No, not another hot dog, Matty wanted a papaya juice. It was pretty good actually. I was impressed. I am not a big tropical fruit person. Except pineapple. Then we headed to Magnolia Bakery. That is a pretty sad website. This is better. Now I know I was supposed to get a cupcake. Because that is what they do. But they only had chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. And they had slices of red velvet cake. And I love red velvet. And they said it was the same recipe. So I got a slice of red velvet cake. And I have to say I was a little disappointed. The icing was great. But not cream cehese which I prefer on my red velvet. But still excellent. But the cake was a little too light and fluffy for a devil's food cake. And was a little blah, especially when it had to stand up to the extreme sweetness of the icing. I will have to try a cupcake before passing total judgment. But as I said I was a little disappointed. We had gone across the street in a little park to sit and eat. And there was a seemingly-impromptu cupckae dance going one. Four girls and a guy in little pink cocktail dresses with cupcakes, dancing . . . honestly I dont know. It had started to rain so we decided to try to get somewhere to wait it out. So we headed around the corner to Corner Bistro. The burgers are supposed to be amazing, but we stuck with $2.50 McSorley's pints. By the time we got there it was pouring! But it lightened up and we decided to head towards Chelsea. Mistake! Fail! First of all we didnt realize that 9th Ave is Hudson below 14th St. So we missed it and walked several blocks out of the way. And the downpour returned. To the point of flooding some streets. Awesome. And thunder and lightning. It let up a bit right around the time we arrived at Chelsea Market. So we wandered around in there for a bit. Totally different from what I thought it was. But cool. And there is a Sarabeth's. I had never been to one of their bakeries before. I got a baguettine at Amy's Bread which was very good. Then we met Howie and walked to Union Square (the rain came back) to grab a beer at Heartland Brewery. We also stuck around for dinner which was pretty good. The beer was pretty good too.

I have to go to a talk. I will write more later.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Matty's Birthday Happy Hour

Matty totally was not excited about his birthday this year and kept saying he didnt want to do anything . . . but he seems to be doing a whole lot!

So yesterday after work there was our program summer party and a retirement party. Lots of free food and booze. Pretty good. Then off to Devil's Alley which Matty chose for his birthday happy hour. Joey and Patrick and Casey came. And Dan with about 10 people he works with. So it was mostly a Dan work happy hour with a few of Matty's friends. But Matty had a good time it seemed. And I got fried green tomatoes which I LOVE! At the end of the night we ended up with a whopping $275 bill. So he better have had a good time! :-)

We picked up Qdoba burritos on the way home and then watched the first 2 episodes of the 3rd season of Weeds. I love Weeds. It is so interesting. And the Season 2 finale was so tense! I am so glad we can watch season 3 now. yay!

Matty's birthday happy hour puzzle:
First unscramble the letters in each word below, then unscramble the word order to create a Tom Swifty sentence.

Oh, and is anyone else freaked out by this tomato thing?

MidAtlantic Transposon Meeting and Matty's Birthday Dinner

So I got to work extra early to try to be ready for my talk. As I mentioned, this was my first time speaking to non-Penn people and also the first time really speaking to people who knew what I was talking about. As I also mentioned, my presentation kinda sucked. But whatever. The meeting started at 9:45 and was pretty well attended. About 60 people from Philly, NIH, Baltimore, NY and Atlanta. There were some pretty interesting talks and we actually had sponsorship and so got free lunch from Picnic which was really good.

By the time it was time for my talk I had completely psyched myself out. It didnt help that I kept overhearing Nina talking up my data to people all day. There were 3 L1 talks earlier in the day, so I just skipped all of the backgound (the majority of most of my talks) and jumped straight into my data (of which there was little) and 10 minutes later I was done. Yup, 10 minutes. I had 25. I took 10. Then spent the next 20 answering questions. Pretty well in my opinion. Actually it all went really well. People seemed interested and to be following while I was talking. People asked good and helpful questions afterwards (of which I was able to answer most) and after my talk people actually came down and talked to me (which has never happened to me before). So overall it went shockingly (to me) well. Yayz!

Afterwards I headed to Vintage and met Matty and Joey. I tried 2 new wines. Of course did I write them down? No! It was WAY too hot for reds and I rarely drink whites. So I asked for the waiter's opinion between 2. So he let me try them both with a warning against one of them. He was right, it was pretty gross. The other was nice though. Hints of strawberry. Not too sweet. Nothing I would drink lots of but not bad.

Then we went out for Matty's birthday dinner. He had decided that he wanted Chinese. So we tried a new place (for us), Lee How Fook. It is a little hole in the wall with 9 tables and thats about it. We started with pan fried dumplings and then had ginger and scallion lo mein, general tso's chicken and szechuan style shredded pork. Everything was very good. The pork and chicken were a little sweet which I didnt love, but were very tasty. The lo mein was amazingly good with shredded ginger on top. And the dumplings were fried fantastically and the filling was really fresh tasting. It was very very nice.

Then we went home and played Boom Blox which is totally addictive. Essentially you are just throwing things and knocking things down. But it uses the Wiimote exactly like it should be used. The control is really good and the levels are REALLY complicated sometimes! Lots of physics. It is a really really well made game. I would highly recommend.

Matty's birthday dinner puzzle:
Suzanne has three times as many brothers as she has sisters, but her brother James has the same number of sisters as brothers. How many boys and girls are in the family?

Matty's Birthday

Monday was Matty's birthday.

I came into work early in order to find out what was going on with my presentation, or lack thereof. Nina had still not heard anything and was leaving messages and emails everywhere. So I did my thing. At 2:45 Nina got a call informing her that I had been put on the schedule for speak at 4:45. Now the original schedule ended at 4:30. But whatever, now I was on the schedule. And had 26 hours to put together a talk. Sigh. So scurry scurry little me and put together a . . . pretty crappy presentation. But honestly at that point, I didnt care anymore. I just wanted it over with.

When I got home we ordered Greek Lady (too hot to cook and had to pretend to practice my talk) and Matty got his presents. I got him Endless Ocean, Boom Blox, a Forschner 8" chef's knife (recommended by America's Test Kitchen), a mini food processor (because he hates cleaning the big one but I like using it, so really a present for me), a new toothbrush (his had decided to turn on in the middle of the night, waking us both up) and a Bilt stainless steel water bottle (to replace his BPA releasing Nalgene).

The rest of the evening was spent playing Endless Ocean. Which I must say, is significantly more fun than I thought it would be. It is really relaxing (except for some scary sharks) and really well done (the fish look pretty accurate). But it does have some goal oriented things to do which is nice. I totally thought you just endlessly swam the oceans and pointed at fish. But it is pretty fun. I am impressed.

Matty's birthday puzzle:
Can you find words that contain the sets of double letters below?

Matty's Birthday weekend

I know these are boring . . . but back when I first started blogging I told you all that this was not going to be interesting. Because my life simply isnt. So stop reading, or get over it.

So when we left off I was still waiting to find out what I was supposed to be talking about at the MidAtlantic Transposon Meeting on Tuesday. This was last Friday. And Nina was MIA. Well I put together a skeleton of a talk and at 4:45 I left. On my way out guess who I run into. Of course, now Nina is back. So I ask her what I am supposed to be talking about and she tells me that she hasnt submitted a title because she completely forgot about the meeting. Even though I had been emailing all week about it. So she said she would call the organizer and email me. I had specifically planned on working on this talk over the weekend and so I had made no plans whatsoever. Including no party for Matty's birthday.

Friday night we went to Sidecar for happy hour and then had Joey and Tank over to play some Street Fighter 2 which we downloaded to our Wii. Then we went back to Joey's with Patrick to watch Darjeeling Limited. Now this was the 3rd tie we had attempted to see this movie. And of course when we got to Joey's we sat out on his deck and had some wine and ordered a tomato pie and hung out. So by the time we actually tried to watch the movie none of us were paying any attention to it and finally we just gave up and went home.

Saturday morning I check my email and lo and behold there is an email from Nina informing me that I was not actually on the schedule to give a talk at the meeting because, since she never sent a title and was never asked for one, the organizer took this to mean that I was no longer interested in speaking. But that she was working on getting me put on the schedule. Well I wasnt going to work on a talk that I wasnt going to give. And I really didnt think I would be added to the schedule. Such is the politics of academia. So Matty and I headed out to wander the city. It was VERY hot. I think the actual temp only got up to 95 but the heat index was 105. First we went to a flea market and wandered around there for awhile. I like doing that. You see the neatest stuff. Then we picked up some soft pretzels from The Philly Pretzel Factory and ate them in Rittenhouse. Then we wandered around the Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show. Which is nice. Especially if you have lots of money to spend on art. Which we dont. But nice nonetheless. For lunch we tried a new place, Pita Pocket, which I would highly recommend. We both got falafel sandwiches. There was ALOT of falafel in there. And some really good toppings. And then the complimentary salad bar was also fantastic. Salads and pickled veggies and olives and yumminess. Lots of really good fresh food for very cheap. We walked around some more and then bought a bunch of limes and went home. Matty has decided that this is going to be the Summer of the Margarita. Which is funny since a few years ago he refused to drink anything with tequila. After a quick stop to buy a new parsley plant as mine has died, and a stop to see Dan's new place (welcome to our side of the river Dan!) we went home and Matty made a basil and lime infused simple syrup. Then we went to the Sidecar (yes, again) for dinner with Dan, Joey and Brian. Then back to our place for more Street Fighter and margaritas with all those limes (juiced by yours truly) and that simple syrup. We need to work on the recipe a bit and but by the last batch I think they were pretty good. We need to use more basil though. Couldnt really taste it. Maybe adding some muddled in would work.

Sunday I checked my email again and still no word about the Meeting. So again I decided against working on my presentation. Another sweltering day, this time topping 100 for temp. First we walked through Odunde which had taken over our neighborhood (and our doorstep). Lots of lemonade and fried chicken and shea butter. Then we wandered towards Old City and ran into the Pride parade so we followed that to Old City and then checked out Foster's which is awesome. If anyone ever wants to get me and Matty a gift certificate somewhere, I could totally buy that entire store. Then i decided I needed to eat because the copious amounts of water we were drinking in the hopes of staying alive were simply not enough. So we checked out Triumph but as it was way too hot to actually drink beer we ended up at Cuba Libre which we had been talking about trying forever but had not actually made it. It was FANTASTIC! We started with (well besides the pressed cuban bread with mango butter that toally could have been a meal in and of itself) Papas Rellenas (Roasted garlic potato croquettes filled with beef picadillo. Sweet and spicy guajillo pepper sauce, crispy onions and manchego cheese crema) then we had Tortilla Especial (Fluffy three-egg omelette filled with julienne of Serrano ham, artisan chorizo, slow roasted pork leg and Swiss cheese. Papas criollas [Home fries of sweet potatoes, Idaho russet potatoes, red onions, leeks and enchilado sauce]) and One-eyed Ropa Vieja Hash (Classic Cuban shredded beef brisket stewed with tomatoes, bell peppers and red wine on a hash of Idaho russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, maduros and corn. Fried egg). It was all SO good. Then we walked around a bit and then stopped for ice cream at Franklin Fountain. I just had a scoop of black raspberry with hot fudge. Matty had the Stock Market Crunch (ROCKY ROAD ice cream coated in thick peanut butter sauce and paved with crumbled salt pretzels. William Dreyer and Joseph Edy concocted the first batch of rocky road ice cream in 1929 following the great stock market crash to give consumers something to SMILE about during the impending Depression). By that time I had had enough of the hotness so we grabbed cab home and I took a nap. After my nap we watched August Rush and made a pizza with rosemary ham, arugula (from my garden!), mushrooms, fresh garlic and fresh mozzarella. Mmmm!

Weekend puzzles:
Family Tree: Patrick is not married. On the way to the mall, Patrick picked up his only brother-in-law's only mother-in-law's only husband's only daughter. What relationship is she to Patrick?

What two six-letter words that are anagrams of each other can be used to complete the sentence below?
In an exciting scene of the wildlife movie, the rescue worker ______ in to save the valuable ______ monkey.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy National Applesauce Cake Day!

So I have been trying not to freak out about this whole, not knowing what i am supposed to be talking about at the first non-Penn, expert in the field Meeting that I will be presenting at on Tuesday. I have emailed Nina, I have spent more time walking to see if she is in her office than doing anything else. But you know what, I can pull a presentation together right? I mean most likely she is expected me to be talking about either 1) my project for which I have no data or 2) the mouse project for which we have nothing really interesting to say. So I kept thinking. It is fine. Thursday or Friday morning, I will meet with her. She will give me an outline of what I should be presenting, how I should spin it, how long the talk is supposed to be. You know, take 10 minutes to put me on the right track and I would be all set. I would have all day Friday to work on it. Work on it over the weekend. have all day Monday. Well Thursday came and went. She locked herself in her office, did not return my emails and then disappeared sometime between my 2:45 and 3pm door checks. Ok, no problem. Still have all day Friday. I came in 45 minutes earlier than normal, checking her door every 10 minutes (yes, I set a timer), sent her another email, just asking if she had submitted a title for my talk yet and oh yeah, what is it. Well it is 20 of 3. She isnt here. She hasnt been here. She is not answering her email. Sooooo . . . . I am winging it I guess. I decided to talk about what I have the most data for and what she will be able to answer the most questions for. She doesnt let me answer questions. It isnt anything personal. She doesnt let anyone else answer questions either. So I put together the crappiest presentation I have done since college, I will work on it a little this weekend. I will have a talk ready to go on Monday and pray that she will be able to spare 30 seconds to at least email me to let me know that it is at least kinda ok. Frees up my weekend right? I mean if she doesnt care enough to tell me what I should be talking about, why should I care enough to put together a good talk? It looks worse on her than on me. It is her lab.

Last night I made Cauliflower with Spicy Tomato Sauce from my Indian cookbook. It was AWESOME! I will give anyone the recipes if you want. Basically I steamed frozen cauliflower and then made a tomato based sauce. Start with canola oil, brown some microplaned ginger, microplaned garlic and tumeric. Add a can of diced tomatoes, bring to a boil, add cumin, coriander, cayenne and a serrano chile (from our garden!). Cook down until tomatoes are cooked. Add minced cilantro. Cook another few minutes. Toss with cauliflower. I served it over Texmati (domestic basmati) with vegetable samosas (Trader Joes).

Alphabet Soup: How many common English words can you make from the letters below, using all five letters once in each word? We found four words.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


So there has been a water leak under University Ave. for awhile. So every Saturday for the last month or so the City of Philadelphia has turned off the water to my building. Which means no running water at all. So no safety showers, eye washes, sinks, bathrooms. Since there is no water in the building we arent supposed to be here. Which has given me a convenient excuse for not coming in on Saturdays.

Yesterday we got this email at 11am (I work in Stellar Chance):

Please be advised that the City of Philadelphia has requested an emergency domestic water shutdown to repair an underground water leak. The emergency shutdown is scheduled for Wednesday, June 4, 2008 from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The affected buildings are BLOCKLEY, BRB II/III, CRB, CYCLOTRON & STELLAR CHANCE. The underground leak has started to cause the road to cave in creating this immediate repair.

Since there will not be any domestic water for hand washing, safety showers and eye wash stations, all research is suspended during this shutdown. Therefore, all work with chemical, biological and radioactive materials is prohibited during this shutdown. Also, there will be no use of restrooms in these buildings during this time frame. For BRB II/III & CRB, please use the restrooms in Stemmler. For Blockley, Cyclotron & Stellar Chance, please go to Anatomy/Chemistry.

SOM strongly discourages occupancy of these buildings during the shutdown since there will not be any water for hand washing or toilets. SOM recommends that all non-essential personnel leave the premises until water is restored in these buildings.

Nina was at a conference that ran form 9am to 4pm. I assumed she was going to be there the whole day. I had no data to analyze, nothing to do that did not involved "chemicals" or "biologicals." Everything I had to do involved stuff that I would want to wash my hands immediately after doing or glassware that needed to be washed out after using. So I emailed Nina, told her I was leaving, told her that I would like to meet with her today to discuss the talk I am giving next week that we havent discussed and I havent started because I dont actually know what I am talking about. She emailed me at 3:30 yesterday afternoon to tell me that I should not have left, that most everyone else was still there (they had all been at the conference when I left) analyzing data or working on non-research related things (of which i had none to work on) and that since water was on in other buildings I should have just gone there to wash things. So after everything I did yesterday I was supposed to go down 4 floors and through 2 other buildings to wash my hands and glassware in the ladies room in another building. Right. That is convenient. And when my hands have hazardous stuff on them, it is totally fine to take the 5 minute walk and be touching doors and elevator buttons. Awesome. Grrrr! Oh and it is now 1pm and Nina still hasnt come talk to me about the talk next week. The talk I am giving for the experts in our field from this part of the country. That I havent started yet. Yeah, that talk. And her door is closed.


For all of you (all 6 of you!) that voted in my polls. Thanks. Half of you honestly think that hockey with the broken noses, the fights, the concussions, the blood, the ridiculous saves is like figure skating with sticks huh? And for the 2 of you that voted trick question for the armed forces, no comment? Just "trick question." What does that even mean?

Place the same four-letter word in each blank below to make four common words.

Tom is half as old as Ellen was three years ago. In 10 years, Ellen will be one-and-one-half times as old as Tom. How old are Tom and Ellen now?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Gigantiword: Fill int he blanks to complete the word below.
A _ I _ T _ C _ A _ I _

Find a five-digit number in which the first digit equals the sum of the fourth and fifth digits, the second digit equals the sum of the first and third digits, the first digit is one less than the second and the fourth digit is two more than the third. The sum of all the digits is 23.

They Might Have Said: First unscramble the letters in each word below, then unscramble the word order to figure out the "quote."

Following the logic used in the first four "squares below", fill in the missing number in the last "square"
9 5 6 5 7 3 9 1 8 4
81 4 42 2 56 5 27 2 ? 7

And then there was Sunday

Sunday morning we were allowed to sleep until 8! Yayz! Matty's parents picked us up at 10 and we drove up to Reading Terminal and parked in the garage. We wandered around the Terminal some. Matty's mom got spices and some apples and garlic. Then we walked (shocking!) through City Hall and to DiBruno's. We got two new cheeses that I am excited about. I will elt you know how they are when we eat them. I also got myself some pepper shooters and some pepperoni. Then we decided to eat upstairs because it was easy and there and that was what Mr. Gallagher wanted. Jamie wanted a steak. Ok, no problem, Tony Luke Jrs is across the street. So he could go eat a steak, we would eat with the parents, no problem right? Except that Marisa decided that we should just leave them and all go to Tony Luke's. Just abandon them in DiBruno's to punish them for the night before. She was also in a bad mood because she had decided not to eat because her stomach had bothered her the day before and they were driving back to RI. Which is fine, but if you choose not to eat and then you are cranky because you are hungry, do not take it out on the rest of us. So finally Matty and I stayed at DiBruno's and split a half a chicken sandwich and a half of a muffaletta and a salad. Jamie got his steak. Everyone was happy. Except Marisa. Then we walked down Walnut to Naked and then back to the parking garage. Then they brought us home and finally left. It was like a huge cloud drifted away. I know that sounds horrible. But I had spent the whole weekend biting my tongue and futile-y trying to make everyone else happy. It was nice to just not anymore. I sat down on the couch and immediately fell asleep. When I woke up a few hours later Matty and I went for a walk to try to find something to prop up my chile plant which had decided to fall over. Yes, I know, pictures. They are coming. I promise. Then we picked up stuff for dinner and went home. The weather was beautiful and we were both in such better moods than we had been in since Thursday. Matty caramelized onions and then we made a pizza with a tofutti-pink sauce, sharp cheddar, leftover brats and the onions. And I made a salad. Mmmm! It was really good! We watched some Freaks and Geeks and then went to bed. Oh and I had a soda! My first fully caffeinated beverage in 3 years. And it didnt make me sick! Of course I couldnt sleep. But it didnt make me sick! I totally miss Dr. Pepper! It was so tasty! Next I have to try coffee. It would be so awesome if I could drink coffee. I miss coffee. Coffee is so good!

Last night we made Chorizo, Spinach and Chick Pea Saute which we had seen on Guy's Big Bite. We used the rest of our homemade bulk chorizo. We used 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas and only a pound of spinach since we do not have a skillet big enough for 2. We also added some crushed red pepper, cumin and paprika at the end. Then Dustyn stopped by and then we went for a walk. The weather was lovely. Just wandered around and then sat in Rittenhouse and watched a group of people play some sort of game with a kickball. Then a bug flew in my eye and I decided it was time to go home. We got home in the middle of the second period of the Pens game and ended up watching the rest of it. Almost 3 full OT periods! They totally seemed to give up after Malone got hurt at the end of the 2nd (can you imagine getting hit in the nose with a puck being shot by your own teammate . . . when you already have a broken nose!? And then coming back the next period.) Then Talbot's goal (with 34 seconds left!) to tie it up totally seemed to wake them up. But then they totally just hung on for the first OT period. The second one showed some promise. When Sykora announced he was going to score I thought he totally just killed their chances. But then Gonchar came back after missing the 3rd, 1OT, 2OT and there you go - Sykora scores in a beautiful goal halfway through the 3OT to win it! So Game 6 on Wednesday and hopefully then Game 7 on Friday.

Puzzles in next post.

Day two of weekend from hell

So at 6:45 we are all awake with no option for a few more minutes sleep. Matty's mom had made a coffee cake. And drove it from RI. So that we wouldnt starve in the morning. Since we have no food and no means to get any. Oh right. (Oh I totally forgot, the ceiling was painted and beautiful and remarkably not smelly when we got home on Friday.) So at 9 am on the dot the parents arrived and we all piled into the van. And off to Limerick. Now Matty had suggested this since we dont know what else to do outside the city. Because we live in the city. Because we like the city. But whenever they come down they offer to bring us shopping since we really dont have a whole lot in the way of inexpensive clothing shopping in Philly. Of course I did not think it was a great idea for them to drive from RI to Philly, then 45 minutes outside the city to go to The Philadelphia Premium Outlets which are the same as the ones in Wrentham (45 minutes from their home). Especially since Mr. Gallagher doesnt like to shop. But that is what Mrs. Gallagher decided we were going to do. Which worked out since the weather was supposed to be crappy (including tornado warnings). So out to Limerick we go. They had brought a TomTom with them and we had Google Directions. Which both bring you the fastest (not most direct) way. And Mr. Gallagher apparently can't follow directions. So there were some wrong turns and we drove through residential Limerick some. But whatever. Whatever? Well guess what else happens to be in Limerick, PA? The Limerick Nuclear Power Generating Station. Guess who are not fans of nuclear power? Did you guess that Gallaghers? Bingo! So that was fun. I thought it was pretty cool. I had never actually been that close to cooling towers before. They are HUGE! Absolutely enormous! But yeah. So that just added to the fantasticness of the trip. The outlets are really nice. And they were practically empty. Possibly because we arrived 3 minutes after they opened. Maybe. And there were storms heading in. We were given an hour to shop. An hour. We drove 45 minutes outside the city. So that we could get some much needed clothes shopping done. And were given an hour to do it in. Well we got to the Gap and actually did surprisingly well. And Puma. And both got really cool shoes. And that was it. 150 stores and we got to 2. We managed to talk them into letting us stay a little longer and managed to get to a few more, between the torrential downpours. It was pretty successful for Matty and I. Marisa was bored. So we left and then had to find somewhere to eat. Because we had planned on eating at the Outlets. But we were given the option to shop or eat. So back into the van and towards King of Prussia since we knew there was stuff around there. Another detour due to lack of direction following and we got to Kildare's. I decided that this was ok since it is a chain, but a local one. So that is ok right? Sigh, I know. But the food was pretty good. So it was almost 3 by this point. So we were asked point blank what our plans were for dinner (well unfortunately our plans had been completely screwed up and so we didnt actually have set plans. But I will explain all this later.) We said "We are planning on eating dinner, but probably not until 8 or so since we are eating lunch so late." The response? "Ok then." Great right? Just wait. So Matty and I split a chicken and cheese boxty and half of a veggie sandwich. Because Mrs. Gallagher could only eat half of a sandwich. Because she has been on a diet ever since I have known her. So instead of us splitting a sandwich between us, she ate half and we split half. The storm came back and we lost power 4 times while we were in the restaurant. That went over well. When we left Matty and I split an apple since we were still hungry. Then we tried to figure out how to get to Valley Forge National Historic Park. Unfortunately since we were planning on doing this in the morning we did not have directions to the park and had to do some mapping while sitting in a gas station parking lot. Which did not go over well. Also something (I have no idea what) did not agree with Marisa's stomach. So she was sick maybe? She wouldnt just tell us what she needed, just snapped at Jamie for asking. So that was fun. We did ask for directions at the gas station (which lead to a lot of really funny stereotypical jokes about Indian convenience store owners. Really racially sensitive and totally spot on of course.) So we finally got directions and headed to Valley Forge. Which was actually really cool. We got there right around 5 so a lot was closed. But we drove around the park with a little map and got out and saw the monuments and took pictures and there were dozens and dozens of deer all over the place. And the weather turned perfect absolutely beautiful and it was really lovely actually. And everyone seemed to be in a good mood and I thought it would all work out . . . . sigh. So then came the inevitable "Now what?" We thought the Art Museum and Boathouse Row might be nice. Jamie wanted to see the Rocky stairs and statue and it was so nice out. Well that would have been fine except 1) Mr. Gallagher was tired and hungry. 2) Marisa had to pee. 3) You actually have to walk. So back into the van and back to our place. Now it was about 7 and so the metered spaces were all taken. And there was no way we were going to be allowed to drive around for the 10-15 it would take to find a spot. So our newest plans for dinner (actually have them spend some time at our place and grill or go to Yello'bar were immediately dashed.) We were dropped off to drop our stuff at the apartment and figure out what the hell we were supposed to do. So here was the thing. When we said we would eat dinner around 8, apparently Mr. Gallagher decided that meant we would have eaten by then. (7 pm) No one else was really all that hungry because we had just eaten lunch 3 hours prior. We had to find a place outside the city because finding parking in the city and then a restaurant (preferably "American" chain restaurant) that could immediately seat a party of 6 at 7:30 on as Saturday night within 5 minutes walk of the parking was not guaranteed. The only restaurants we actually KNEW that might be acceptable (Marisa's stomach might act up at any moment, so nothing too crazy) were sports bars. And there was a Stanley Cup game. And a Phillies game. And Mrs. Gallagher wouldnt want a sports bar anyway. So we decided to drive down to Oregon and then drive East because we knew there were some Chili's and Applebees down there at the West end and we thought there were some other places further east. So we decided that instead of driving East to Broad, South to Oregon, West to 22nd then possibly back East again, we should just go straight down 21st. It was still light out. It is a safe neighborhood. It wasn't that far. So we mentioned that it was a different part of the city than we had been in. And south we went. Biggest mistake on the fucking planet. Starting a Christian the comments started. "Where the hell are we?" "Next time bring us the long way" "What the hell were you thinking?" "Are we going to get shot?" "Look at the this" "Why would you take us this way?" "Next time the safe way please" And then from Matty's mom "So what is this part of Philly called, besides the bad part." And out of my stupid fucking fat mouth came, "It isn't bad, it is poor. And it is called Point Breeze." As soon as it came out I felt like one of those Southwest Wanna-Get-Away commercials. Silence rocked the van. Oh my god I could not have felt worse. And then! There was a car unloading in the street. And since everyone was convinced we were going to be killed immediately we went east to 19th and then south. So when we hit Oregon we were already east of what we thought was our best option. But if we were wrong we were going to have to turn around and it was already tense. So we just went east and prayed. And unfortunately there wasn't a lot of possibilities until we got to the Oregon Diner. So we just gave up and told them to pull into the Diner. Matty said we would check out the menu and decide. As soon as we got out Marisa grabbed me aside and told me that Matty and I needed to come up with an airtight plan for Sunday immediately and tell everyone exactly what we were doing to when it was happening and have everything planned. Right then. Matty's dad started with "It is already 7:30 where else are we going to? Is this place even clean? What is this? A diner?" And I lost my shit. I had been good. I had tried so hard. I was tired. I needed quiet time. I didnt say anything about the nuclear power thing. I didnt say anything when he complained about the Asian drivers we had encountered. I didnt say anything when he made fun of the gas station owner. I didnt say anything when he totally ignored that we said we werent eating until 8. I didnt say anything when they decided that we had to drive somewhere instead of just parking and eating somewhere near us. But what the hell did they want from us?!?!?!?!? They change plans halfway through and then get fucking pissed when we do not have an answer to fit their view of the world. And the fact that they had so little confidence in us that they thought we would bring them somewhere they were actually in danger to get here. There are bad neightboorhoods in Philly. There are dangerous neighborhoods in Philly. We werent anywhere near them. It was still light out. All the people they saw were, admittedly poor. And black. They were also mostly children. Playing on the the stoops and sidewalks. And then to have it be demanded that I fix it. NOW. I lost it. I dropped my purse at the table, walked into the bathroom and started sobbing. I gave myself 2 minutes to cry and then pulled myself together. I was all set, ready to deal with it and then outside the door was Matty (to check on me) and Marisa to demand that we put together a tour-company level plan for the following day, complete with contingency plans to announce when we returned to the table. So I started to cry again. It was just pure frustration and anger at their ignorance and complete disregard for our intelligence and feelings. I couldnt help it. But Matty and I did it. We pulled a plan out of our ass, I washed up again, and back to the table. Apparently while we were gone (we found out later) Marisa decided that to make things better she would tell Matty's parents that when they come to visit, they stress us out. Because that makes everything better. Awesome. Dinner was uncomfortable but fine. Basic diner food, pretty good, nothing spectacular. We took the long way home. And then spent a few hours bitching and yelling and drinking. Marisa thinks that Matty should 1) Call his dad out when he is being an ass. 2) Tell his mom when things arent going well. This isnt going to happen. Matty's dad will always be an ass and if he needs to be told that he is being an ass to his own son, then he istn going to change. And Matty does not see him enough for it to be worth making everything that much worse. And Matty's mom loves her baby Matty and wants nothing else than for him to be happy. Of course that means living in a house in the suburbs with a car and a picket fence and a high-paying steady 9-5 job. And Matty thinks it is more important for her to be happy and think he is ecstatic with his life than for her to be miserable and worry about him any more than she does. Especially not to tell her that the reason he is miserable or stressed is her!

One more day to tell about. Which went much better. Mostly.

At least it is over

So if you know me you know that my future in-laws stress me out. Big time. Especially when they come to Philly to visit us. This is mostly because they do not like cities. Especially cities that have poor people in them. Or black people. Or Asian people. Or gay people. Or traffic. Or a lack of larger free parking garages on every corner. Or where people actually walk. Or where people eat in restaurants that are not also present in every other town in the United States. So essentially, they really do not like Philly. They always drive down. In a van. Which is impossible to find free, easily accessible parking for. They always stay down by the airports since it is cheaper and they dont have to actually be in the city and there is free parking for the 8 person van. And they always insist that we spend as much time as possible outside of Philadelphia. The problem with all these things is that we actually like living in cities, specifically Philadelphia. We do not have a car, because it is impossible to park one and it is expensive and we do not need one. Because we walk everywhere. And we do not leave the city all that often. Because we like the city! We also are not great planners. We usually have a list of things we want to do and then you know, go with the flow? Yeah there is not so much flowing when it comes to the rest of the Gallagher clan. So let us start at the beginning. It actually started out fairly well.

Friday they drove down from RI and made pretty good time. Not much construction or traffic. So that is good. And when they got to the city they actually managed to find a parking spot at the meters across the street. Yay. So we met them all at the apartment. They had brought a bunch of stuff down from RI. Which is very nice. And is nominally the reason for the van. Though we would be so much happier if we didnt get the stuff and there was no van. We had bought everyone Phillies shirts to wear to the game. We thought it was a nice gesture. Well Matty chose the wrong size for his father. So his dad took one look at it, declared it to small and that was it. Whatever. Fine. So after Matty opened his birthday presents we immediately left the apartment because there was only an hour and a half before game time, cant be late! So we drove down to the stadium and luckily the parking wasnt that expensive. The Phillies were playing the Marlins who were at the top of the division. So we wandered around the park for
awhile and tried to find food options that everyone would be happy with. Ha. I know, funny. So the game started and it did not start well. But it got much better. For dinner we had hot dogs (because it was a BASEBALL game) and Italian Sausage. Matty's dad got a cheesesteak. When we got dinner Matty's brother forgot to get Marisa a drink. So that went over as if he had dropped her hot dog (which she hated) on the ground, stepped on it and then gave it to her. So that was a great way to start the weekend. Even though it was a mistake that took 5 minutes to resolve. We drank considerably more than I thought we would considering beers were $6.50. After the game after much argument and cojoling we managed to get Matty's parents to let us take the subway and for them to just go back their hotel since it would be backtracking to drive into the city and then go back South to the hotel. So we took the Broad Street line with Jamie and Marisa. Well first we wandered around the parking lot for awhile. Because Matty "knew" exactly where the subway stop was. In the exact opposite direction it actually was (which I told him). Did I mention Marisa was wearing flip flops? So we got on the subway along with the other Phillies fans. Of course it was too crowded and smelled funny and we didnt get seats and some of the people were drunk and we actually had to touch the handles! So that wasnt really popular. We were standing next to Chase Utley's little sister though. Oh they won by the way! Sorry. When we got to South we still had an arduous 7 blocks to walk! We stopped and picked up slices at Lazaro's since Marisa was unsatisfied with her hot dog dinner. When we finally got home we stayed up playing Wii (or rather watching Matty and his brother) and then fianlly got to bed around 1.

We were being picked up at 9 (they were letting us sleep in) Saturday morning for no apparent reason so when did we have to wake up? 6:45 of course. More on this later, I have to go check my gel. Just imagine my mood after 5 hours of sleep to listen to Marisa's alarm go off and then listen to her whisper and yell at her husband until I finally dragged ass out of bed and showered. Before her. Even though she was the reason we had to get up so fucking early.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Let me just say that this weekend with Matty's family could have gone significantly better. For instance, I could have not cried. I could have not snapped at Matty's mom. There will be more details tomorrow.