Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Love Letter* to my Apartment
Dear Apartment,

I hate you. Please die a death of a thousand suns. Which is almost how hot it is in you RIGHT NOW. Which is only the first of my complaints, so grab an iced tea and have a seat.

First of all, who ever said the fifth floor was a good idea? Me? Oh right, that was me. Why did I say that was a good idea? Because we wouldn't have upstairs neighbors stomping around overhead? Guess what I didn't ever think of, and wouldn't have thought of, ever.

Air conditioning vent thingys. And wind. What do I mean? I mean that the million-mile-per-hour wind, which we get out here in no-hills-for-miles-ville, apparently knocks over the air conditioning vents and plays soccer with them. All over the roof. All night. So at 1am, we get *RUMBLERUMBLERUMBLERUMBLE* one way, then *RUMBLERUMBLERUMBLERUMBLE* the other, for hours. Until some maintenance guy finally gets up there to tie it down or nail it down or whatever has to be done with it until the next gust of wind comes along.

And then there's the elevator. Oh yeah, top floor. Elevator. Which we figured, brand new building, brand new elevator, surely it shouldn't have any problems, right? Right. As soon as the temperature outside hit, oh, 75 degrees, the elevator started overheating. Every other day. Usually right when I got home from the grocery store with a trunkload of frozen groceries and laundry detergent. Woot! Four flights of stairs, here I come.

So today, just when I'm supposed to talk to the apartment management about moving down to the second floor (which, for all intents and purposes is the first floor), and most in need of a little goodwill, our washer breaks spectacularly. So we get to call in a maintenance request right when we're waiting for approval to transfer our lease.

Oh yeah, and that air conditioner that we've been informed can only maybe bring the apartment down a few degrees at the best of times, unless we put up blackout curtains (which, um, yay, I love working in total darkness all day every day)? Just the icing on the cake, really.

No love,

*Which is to say, Not
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Hi, I'm a dork
If you follow me on twitter, you got to see a little bit of the Saga of the Lost Watch earlier this week. I'm going to walk you through an abridged version of my search for the watch, because it happens pretty much monthly, with some item of importance:

Step 1: Mention to my husband last week that I can't find an iPod cable ANYWHERE, and how am I supposed to listen to music if I can't charge my iPod? I know we have at least 3 iPod cables, so where did they all go?

Step 2: Realize I haven't worn my watch in a few days, and haven't seen it in the normal places I usually put it when I take it off.

Step 3: Ignore the Hitchhiker's Guide and panic.

So I start the search. First, look in the obvious places again - desk, no. Nightstand, no. End table, no. Secondarily obvious places: desk, no. By the kitchen sink, no. On the kitchen island, no. In the bathroom, no.

On to the increasingly weird places: in the video game basket: no watch, but hey! An iPod cable! In the fish tank stand, no. In the dresser drawers that haven't been opened in years, no. Fridge, no. Laundry baskets, no. Desk again, no. Baskets on the desk, no. Drawer unit sitting by the desk, no.

Really weird places: In the ottomans, no. In the carrying case that came with my phone that was in my bathroom drawer: no watch, but, guess what - another iPod cable!

On a hunch, back to the desk for the fourth time, to sort through each individual piece of paper on the desktop.

Yeah. It was there. The whole time. Hiding oh-so-craftily under a 4x6 photo.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Jenny's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
First of all I am going to hold out my hand and you can all virtually slap it. I forgot both days last week to blog. I am a bad, bad, extra bad girl. My days just got away from me since I was playing catch up from my Mother's Day weekend trip to visit family in Mississippi.

So, have you ever had one of those days that every thing you touch turns to crap and your brain is moving in slow motion? I had one of those days today. It started with forgetting to set the alarm and it's about to end. I am not going to blog about anything of substance because if I did I fear it would be a rambling mess just like the rest of my day today has been. I just need to go get in the bed and hope for a fresh start tomorrow.

However, I will leave you with what was the highlight of my day. My friend Karisa posted this on her FB page and I have stolen it to share with you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010
We're having a party for you but you're not invited.
It all started with a trip to the grocery store for some fruity pebbles and somehow ended up with enough stuff to make Spinach, Feta Pasta, frozen pizza, and two boxes of Chocolate Popsicles.

On the phone with Jenny, I say "I should never shop hungry and depressed. I mean really who needs TWO boxes of Popsicles?"

To which Jenny replies "I've been craving cookie cake. But I don't have any reason for one. I saw one at the store last week and have been thinking about it ever since."

"Get one anyway."

"But you need an occasion. The only one is my cousin Katie's graduation and that's in Louisiana. I can't do that."

"Well, my Katie is graduating from preschool next week. We can have a cookie cake for her graduation."

"Congratulations, Katie. You graduated and Mommy and I had a cookie cake and cheese fries without you."

"Exactly. We should totally do it. Then we don't have to share. It's the perfect plan."

So let's all have desserts to celebrate Katie's graduation. Just don't tell her because she might be mad since we aren't going to share.

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Saturday, May 8, 2010
Obligatory iPad Post
So as you may have deduced from my post about my sisters' birthday presents, I got an iPad for my birthday. In fact, I'm posting on it right now. So that takes care of the first FAQ: yes, the keyboard is easy to use.

As for why I ended up getting one? Well, the pros on this post won out.

So far, most of the apps I've downloaded have been at least worthwhile if not great. There have only been a few duds in the bunch.

From great to not-so:

Alice in Wonderland: Love it! I started out with the free Lite version and enjoyed it so much I shelled out the $9.99 for the full book (well, shelled out part of a gift card, but still). It's an interactive pop-up book, and I feel like it's something Lewis Carroll himself would have thoroughly enjoyed, particularly the disappearing Cheshire Cat.

Pandora: Never had tried it out on the computer, so I was pleasantly surprised. I'm really enjoying seeing what it comes up with as matches for my favorite musicians. (Free)

iBooks: The interface is unbelievable, and so easy and fun to use. I hope they expand the store soon, because it's a little thin right now, but I'm enjoying reading what books I can find. (Free)

Kindle: My less-favorite of the two e-reader interfaces, but the store is much, much more extensive, and the book prices are more reasonable overall. It does offer the options of white-on-black or sepia pages, which is nice if you prefer those to black-on-white for reading. (Free)

Smule Magic Piano: My favorite time-waster and kid-occupier. I don't know why it's so fascinating, but go search YouTube for "cat with an iPad" and see for yourself. I love the Guitar Hero-style songbook feature that makes it actually sound like I know how to play, too. ($1.99,I think)

NPR: Pretty straightforward... News and the ability to search for and listen to any public radio station. Worth more than the $0.00 I paid for it.

BBC: Similar deal, nice layout, also free.

NYT Editors' Choice: Really nice free app that gives several of the day's top stories in a clean, easy to use format.

Netflix: I'm pretty much Netflix's bitch, so I'll use and love just about anything they put out. That said, the Netflix iPad app is not the most intuitive or least buggy thing in the world. The app itself, on startup, takes you to a page with a scrolling list of your most recently viewed items and scrolling lists of recommended items. You might notice what's left off there: the basis of all Netflix activity, the queue. In order to get to your queue, you have to click on a tab which takes you to a webpage. And if you want to even think about watching a movie or episode of a TV show you've already seen? Prepare to spend 20 minutes figuring out how to get it to let you do that (Hint: it involves the "More Info" button). My final problem is that the streaming itself frequently slows down or stops altogether - I suspect it has to do with the close timing of introducing the service in the Wii and then the iPad coming out, and too many users overloading the system. All that said, though, I still prefer it to trying to use TV network players with commercials, and watch it all the time. It just has room for improvement.

The only dud I've found (well, there was one other I deleted, but I can't even remember what it was now) is Zinio. I had high hopes for this magazine reader, and it does look super slick, but to be honest, the free trial magazines annoyed me so much I ended up deleting the whole app. When you first open the library, it shows you these three free trial magazines. Cool, right. So I click on one. And it takes like 5 minutes to download because it has so much fancy interactive crap, but I poke around it for a minute to see what it's like. Then I want to delete the trials so they're not taking up all that space. Turns out the only way to delete them is to download them all completely first. Then you hit delete, then they go back to still being the same image of the cover that was there when you opened the library. See, you can never really delete a magazine in Zinio. Even if you never asked for Car & Driver, and never wanted Car & Driver, and would really rather it not be the first thing in your library, ready to start a 5-minute download any time you accidentally brush it with the heel of your hand on your way to Martha Stewart Living. So, for now, no Zinio for me. (Free, if you don't mind accidental huge downloads of Car & Driver and Mac World)
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Extreme Yard Makeover

So I have been bitching politely requesting that we redo the landscaping in our yard forever. However, not being a fan of manual labor and not being very knowledgable about plant related things I wanted to hire a professional. We finally got the funds to do so and the transformation is pretty great. See for yourself!

BEFORE: boring, builder landscaping with zero color or personality.

AFTER: color, flowers, and personality!

When I was a little girl I always pictured my dream house to be yellow with a red front door and lots of pretty flowers. I think I got pretty close!

We planted yellow and purple bushes (i know the fancy names but I don't feel like trying to spell them right) and knock out roses.

The yellow roses stared blooming today but the red are a little behind.

Mark and I had a battle over the hanging baskets. Clearly I won.

Now we can sit on the porch, rock in our rockers, and yell "GET OFF MY BRAND NEW LAWN!" at the neighbor kids. AHHH, Suburbia.

Monday, May 3, 2010
Conan is wicked classy
So I am a little late to the party with my opinion on the late night show down but I just got a chance to sit down and watch Conan O'Brian's interview on 60 Minutes.

I have always been on Team Coco because I have a thing for Irish boys and because he is HILARIOUS. Also, it doesn't help that I have always thought Jay Leno was boring and....NOT FUNNY. So as you can see I am little biased.

After watching the whole interview I am still firmly in the Team Coco camp. He showed class and grace under fire throughout this whole affair and the 60 Minutes interview was no exception.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

However, I have a secret shame. I contributed to Conan's poor ratings. When he was on at 11pm I would consistently watch but as much as I love Conan a plucky litte Jewish kid from Jersey has stolen my heart and my television at 10pm.

Sunday, May 2, 2010
Clever Sisters
My sisters just blow me away sometimes.

So this weekend was my birthday, and I had a kick-ass birthday party with my family and best bitches and lots of Beatles Rock Band. And my sisters! Like, ok, you know those families you hear about where they have, like, "everybody make presents for each other for Christmas" rules, and nobody's allowed to buy anything, and you totally feel sorry for them, because how much does that have to totally suck?

Um, if that were my family? Which I'm kind of thinking it should be? You'd want to be adopted by us. Because check this out!

So one of my sisters apparently collaborated with my husband (because no way did she come up with this in like one night, because it's completely awesome) and made this completely amazing iPad case:

This is handmade! I mean, it fits like a glove, and has pockets on both sides for earbuds and charging cords and whatever, and it's padded, and has super-soft fleecy fabric inside to protect the screen - the detailing is just to die for (that buttonhole actually does lie straight... I just set it down wonky when I was taking the picture) - and how great is that fabric? AND she put handles on it so I can carry it by itself, but they're little enough that I can throw the whole thing in a bigger bag. So great!

And then my OTHER sister, the baking one, made this:

Check out that cute poodle! (It's an apron, by the way - I didn't take a picture of the full length because the poodle's so adorable.) I mean, seriously - is this an argument for a family etsy store, or what?


Friday, April 30, 2010
My merit badges!
Dear Girl Scouts,

So, I never joined your group. I had a single working Mom and she was busy so I had to be really excited about an activity in order for her to cram it into an already packed schedule. The girl scouts never really rang my bell so it was something we both decided could be crossed off the extracurricular activities list.

That being said I am writing this letter because I think you should make me an honorary girl scout. University's give celebrities honorary doctorates all the time! I am not even asking for a degree just a sash with some kick ass merit badges. Besides, shouldn't I get something for all the money I have spent on thin mints and somoas? Also, I watched Troop Beverly Hills at least 50 times when I was a kid and thats got to count for something.

What prompted this plea for honorary girl scout status? Well, I went camping for the first time ever last weekend. I truly feel I earned some merit badges. Below are some suggestions for merit badges on my honorary girl scout sash.

The Marriage Badge: Successfully setting up a tent with my husband with absolutely no yelling or arguing. This may not seem like anything special to the younger girl scouts but the troop moms totally get it.

The Mud Badge: Surviving the great storm of 2010 with a slightly leaky tent (admittedly it could have been much worse) and the next morning of mud, mud, and more mud.

Mary Poppins Badge: Flying kites is just fun. Period. If you haven't done it in awhile I suggest you do so. However, sometimes getting them off the ground is difficult.

Bravery Badge: Bravery in the face of giant splinter and a dear friend who whipped out a HUGE knife with which to remove it.

Love Badge: Me with my wonderful husband who I love very much. I believe I am laughing because he is pinching my butt.

Tolerance Badge: No explanation necessary.

So there you have it girl scouts. I have pleaded my case and I expect my fancy green sash in the mail any day.

Thank You in Advance for your Consideration,


Thursday, April 29, 2010
Be quiet and go to bed, little heathens.
Don't make me come in there!

Back to bed. Back to bed, Now!

Quiet time is nigh time.

I Will turn of your nightlight.

If I have to come in here again the ladybug gets it.

5 4 3 2 1 GOODNIGHT!

It's dark out, lets close our eyes now.

Ladies!!!! Goodnight.

The time for books is done. Go to bed.

Get your heine in bed this instant young lady!

Children are such a delight. Mine have a tendency to be perfect little angels until suddenly! they morph into demon babies with a penchant for loud screams, inappropriate giggling, and a seemingly desperate need to throw flailing limbs in my face's general direction. Their toes must have a magnetic need to clock me in the cheekbone. Mommy totally needs this bruise, y'all.

My husband doesn't beat me! I got this bruise from my toddler's uncalled for fit of rage over who touched "her" apple. MINE. Mine. mine. Ugh. Sometimes, I want to say to her, "Actually Caroline that is Mommy's apple because she paid for it. I am now invoking a tariff on all apple consumption due to Mommy's need for new summer shoes. That small lick of shiny apple skin will now cost you $1.24. Don't worry baby, Mommy will take it out of your allowance, 'cause she's nice like that. I'll even wave the processing fee. That's love right there."

But I don't 'cause she's three and really, who wants that apple after she licked it anyway?

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