Sunday, January 30, 2005

Proof that the IRS is screwy



I put in our 2004 information to see how we needed to change our withholding in 2005 (because I'll have taxes withheld on my paycheck then, and so Matt doesn't need as much withheld from his paycheck to cover me). According to the IRS, we should *both* take zero allowances AND have extra money withheld in order to meet our estimated tax bill. The estimated tax is correct...but Matt already had zero allowances AND I had nothing withheld and we STILL got $1500 back. I think the IRS is trying to bump up their interest-free loans - which is essentially what overpaying your taxes is.

I Heart Catalogues

I've recently become a very big fan of JC Penneys. Sometimes, when I'm bored, I go through the catalogue and "order" things online. I put order in quotes because I'm not really ordering, just putting things in the shopping bag. Call it the online version of window shopping. Their spring catalogue came yesterday, and the "focus" of the catalogue was career wear. I love the look of tailored clothes. So I went through and picked out a new professional wardrobe - grand total, $750. Matt would kill me. I wish I had a career that would both require me to dress professionally every day and also fund said wardrobe. Sigh. Anyone want to help buy me clothes that make me look like I have a better job than I do? Feel free to get in touch :-)

Now Playing: Josh Joplin Group - Camera One

They still have to get into my car!

Researchers Crack Car Alarm System - I have this on my Focus. The headline is a little deceptive though. It's not an alarm system. What it does is prevent a) someone from hotwiring the car or b) someone from making a duplicate key and then using it to steal your car. There's no "alarm" though. What happens is when I turn the car off, a small computer chip in the key and a chip in the ignition block set themselves to a certain code. After I take the key out of the ignition, the car won't start again until the key with the matching code (presumably only mine or Matt's) is inserted. Somehow the scientists have found a way to override this system. But I always lock my doors anyways, so I'm not concerned.

Speaking of locking doors, did you know that you can be fined $55 in Maryland if you leave your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition? Furthermore, if someone steals your car in said situition, you are not allowed to press charges because the law says that by leaving it accessible, you are extending an invitation for anyone to use your car. I wonder if the same thing applies to leaving your front door unlocked (although we never do that either).

Now Playing: Hootie and the Blowfish - Let Her Cry

Anti-Yawn

I have been having a lot of trouble falling asleep lately. I don't know what the problem is - I feel like I did when I was in college. I get into bed at my usual time, and my mind starts racing. Even the multiplication tables can't save me anymore (my usual trick for lulling myself to sleep - I've even learned the 13s and 14s). I usually end up getting out of bed so I don't keep Matt up, and coming into the living room to read. Turning on the light causes the cats to glare at me like I just drowned their mother.

We never made it to the movies, and we went to Blockbuster to rent The Forgotten but it was all out. We ended up watching two more episodes of The X-Files. I have no clue if we'll be able to go to church in the morning (ha, I almost just typed "tomorrow morning"). We'll have to see how the sleet/snow works out by then. At least I have enough work to keep me occupied if we are snowed in this time. Speaking of snow, I want to take this time to laugh at all the people worried about global warming, seeing as how we've had three snowstorms in the past 12 days and it hasn't made it above the freezing mark more than three or four times since the freak warm day on the 14th (the calm before the storm, I guess).

Okay, I'm rambling now. Time to go give sleep another shot.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Weigh in with your opinion!

"I'm a little kerflumpfed...discuss amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic." - SNL
Should juries be restricted to only college-educated people?

Now Playing: Stone Temple Pilots - Sour Girl

Seems like everything is shades of gray

Teen Abortion Bill Could Have Big Impact - I have no idea where I stand on this. I sympathize with the scenerios offered by both supporters and opponants of the bill. I guess my response is the same as the sudafed restriction bill - good idea, but there's got to be a better way to handle it.

Now Playing: Tom Petty - Feel a Whole Lot Better

We r0x0red the IRS

Yeah, take that taxes. We went to H&R Block to have our tax returns prepared today. We ended up with a $1530 federal refund and an $860 bill from the state of Maryland. The difference, plus what we normally budget throughout the year in the event of owing taxes, came to almost $2400. Hello, ski weekend! We are also planning on paying off a small credit card balance and our tax prep fee, and socking away most of the rest in our newly opened savings account (get ING - you can't beat the interest rates!)

We got the reviews back from our journal manuscript on Friday. One of the reviewers said "...an elegant yet simple solid phase extraction approach" and "The bioanalytical work described in this manuscript is of high analytical quality and is also well written." (Insert Theme from Rocky here). The other reviewer also said it was well written, but asked for several incredibly nitpicky revisions (insert plaintive violin music here). Most of them are minor, two we are not going to address because we didn't do them (and I think it should be obvious that if it's not written in the paper, we didn't do it). One revision, however, is in a figure. And if you knew anything about this manuscript, you know that I've already revised those figures at least six times. AARRGGHH.

I calculated today that I have a 2.92 GPA in grad school. Not bad, I guess. It is Johns Hopkins. I'm striving for an A- in Graduate Pharmacology. I still have one more elective as well, so hopefully between those two classes I'll end up with a 3.0 overall. Ah for the days of Sweet Briar and my 3.42 GPA.

We're going to dinner and a movie (The Phantom of the Opera) tonight. Until then, I have reading that I have to get done.

Now Playing: Matthew Sweet - I've Been Waiting

Friday, January 28, 2005

His and Her links

For the Ladies: How to fake it on Superbowl Sunday
For the Men: 5 Tips for listening to her

And now something for everyone (Jim, any thoughts?)
Repressed Memories: Junk or Science?

I forgot to put this one up when I first posted this. Megan thinks this is funny, I say it's a little unfair: Lawmakers propose tax on cosmetic surgery

I think something might be wrong with me

Not necessarily wrong in a bad way, but more of a deficiency. I lack spacial orientation skills. This is why I feel that I have no intuitive sense of direction (especially trying to reverse a set of directions), am horrible with estimating distances, and have never been able to solve a Rubik's Cube. When I was driving to Arlington last night, I took the GW Parkway off of the beltway, and had to briefly get on Rt. 50 (when I say briefly, I mean less than 10 seconds) before making a left onto my designated road. When I left, I was faced with conflicting sets of logic - since I made a left turn off of Rt. 50, I felt that I should make a right turn to get back on Rt. 50 and the GW Parkway. However, since I had been on the GW Parkway eastbound to get to my destination, I thought that I should go west to get back to the Parkway and eventually the beltway. I chose the second option, which turned out to be wrong. Who knew you had to go east to go west? (Note: there were no signs saying "This way to the GW Parkway"). I still made it back to the beltway, but I had to drive on Rt. 50 the entire way across Arlington into Fairfax.

I actually sent a letter (well, technically an e-mail) to Miss Manners today. I hope she prints it. More on that later.

I think we're going to try to get our taxes done this weekend. Even if we break even, we still come out $1400 ahead (we budget over the year in case Matt's withholding doesn't cover both of us). Last year, we adopted our cats and bought our digital camera with our money from Uncle Sam. This year we're planning a ski trip. More on that later as well.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

And from the Idiot of the Week newsdesk...

10 Die, 180 Hurt After Train Hits SUV - The most outrageous thing here is that one of the 10 dead people is NOT the suicidal man who parked his SUV on the train tracks - he changed his mind at the last minute and got out of the car. Good grief.

Yet another day

I still feel crabby...but at least I'm warm now. And we are in the process right this moment of having digital cable installed. Woot! The nice thing is that, because our cable and internet weren't packaged before, getting the digital cable+internet package is actually about $8 less than what we're paying now.

Lawmakers Restrict Sales of Cold Medicines - I understand and agree with the intent of the bill, but unfortunately I just think this is a really bad idea in general. I have to go to a pharmacy and show ID to get sudafed? A computer database to keep track of how many boxes someone buys? I mean, come on. There's got to be a better way to cut down on meth production.

Today was especially aggrevating for me because of traffic - 95N was closed, and I was forced off at 216E, which doesn't connect to anything. I had to make an illegal U-turn and take 216 back to 29, then up to rt. 100, and then back over to 95. There were also two accidents on the way home. I swear, everyone got up today and their brains were replaced by marshmallow fluff.

I'm going to a Sweet Briar dinner in Arlington tomorrow night. There's just no good way to get to Arlington from here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

$12,400 will buy you a lot of things that you don't have to send to college

Driven by Costs, Fertility Clients Head Overseas - Quoted from the article: "Isn't it a travesty that American couples are forced to leave our great nation because only 14 or so states require insurance companies to treat infertility? Less-developed countries, nations struggling with war, understand the importance of family. What does it say about the value we put on families and children?"

I say, a) nowhere does it say that you have a right to give birth to a child or to have your employer or the taxpayers pay for it, and b) isn't a travesty that there are thousands upon thousands of children in orphanages and foster homes that are waiting for adoption? Adoption is even tax-deductible!

I'm awake??

Yes, the time stamp is correct down there...and I'm already dressed too. Stupid breakfast.

So I'm absolutely thrilled at this new development in my life...and by "thrilled," I mean dismayed, and by "new development," I mean what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-our-heat. Yes, people, since at least last Thursday, our apartment has not been warmer than 62 degrees. The good thing is that, unlike my childhood, I can turn the thermostat up a smidge without my dad's head blowing up. The bad thing is, it doesn't do anything. I've had to resort to layers, blankets, and the heat lamp in the bathroom to keep from dying. Whatever the opposite of spontaneous combustion is, that's what's going to happen to me soon.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Gee golly, who would have thunk it?

Louvre May OK Shooting of 'Da Vinci' Code - Well, where else were they gonna film it? A lot of it revolves around and in the Louvre. The other "smack me in the face" thing about this article is the line at the end that says "Several other books have tried to debunk its contentious allegations..." Allegations? Ever heard of FICTION???

I'm crabby today. Maybe those Brits were right.

UPDATE: My professor put the British depression formula (see below) on the board at the beginning of class today and asked if anyone knew what it was. He was surprised when I explained it. Winzorz.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Random, bored post

I talked Kim and Mike into coming over here today to entertain me :-) Until then, I've got nothing.

Kim and I are going to Let's Dish on February 18th. Part of the problem in picking a date was that there are 29 parties scheduled for that month. I'm really going to have to jump on March as soon as the menu is posted, before it completely fills up. But anyway, I'm going to be making Country French Chicken Tarragon with Noodles, Cheese Manicotti, Peanut-Cilantro Marinated Chicken, Rosemary and Mustard Beef Roast, Shrimp Fried Rice, and Tuscan Steaks with Sundried Tomato Butter. I know you're all drooling now.

I picked up a pair of pants at the JC Penney catalogue desk on Friday, and got sidetracked by the 70% off clearance sale. I ended up with a pair of black pants and a pale blue silk-blend sweater - a $70 outfit, for only $18. I'm awesome. I also decided that if I get accepted to the AACR conference, I'm buying a new pants suit - all the pants on my old ones are too small.

Now Playing: Jane's Addiction - Jane Says

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Flashbacks

We've been watching the first season of The X-Files on DVD recently (I bought to set half off at Best Buy). We just got to the first episode that I ever saw - Ice. I was 12 years old. It was a nice memory.

Progressing through my middle school life, here is the picture of the christmas cake I made in December for Matt's family - COMPLETELY FROM SCRATCH. I first made it for an 8th grade extra-credit project. Not that I needed the extra credit. But it was still fun.

Mmmm, doesn't it look yummy?

And now on to high school. "Blame It On the Rain" just came up in winamp. It reminded me of the day that Gail Southall came into German class and decreed that it was Milli Vanilli Day. She passed out little cards that said "Girl, You Know It's MILLI VANILLI DAY!"

I didn't find any really interesting links today. Guess it's a slow day for everyone. So instead of surfing the net, I did yoga. In santa socks. Hey, my feet were cold! But you have to admit, they're kind of cute:


Now Playing: Milli Vanilli - Blame It On the Rain

I'll give you 5 to 8 inches!

Hahaha, dirty. But anyway, it looks like we're going to be snowed in today. We were supposed to do dinner and a movie with Kim and Mike tonight, but the national weather service says to stay off the roads to make it easier for the snow plows to get around.

I went to the grocery store last night, not out of panic but because I normally do grocery shopping on either Friday evening or Sunday afternoon. I swear, you would have thought WWIII was going to start today. I actually had to circle and wait for a parking space at the grocery store - it was like the mall on the Saturday before Christmas. Good grief.

I started my AACR conference application yesterday. If all goes well, I'll be spending a week at Snowmass Village in Colorado - unfortunately in the middle of July, which excludes skiing, but it should still be nice - learning about the pathobiology of cancer. Wish me luck - they only take 94 grad students a year.

I'm sure I'll have plenty of time for links later today...stay tuned.

So on to the rant that I mentioned a few days ago. The topic: pet peeves. One of my pet peeves is people who misuse the phrase "pet peeves." To try to amend this situation, I offer guidelines to determine if something is actually a pet peeve (illustrated by examples).
1. A pet peeve is something fairly unique to you, hence the word "pet." Pet peeve, pet name, etc. You wouldn't say "Hi, my name is Sally. My boyfriend's pet name for me is Sally." If *everyone* finds something annoying, it's not a pet peeve. It's just annoying.
2. A pet peeve is specific. I hate when people say things like "My pet peeve is dishonesty" or crap like that. This example also applies to # 1, because I think most people agree that dishonesty is a bad thing.
3. A pet peeve is normally not something illegal or dangerous. Drunk driving, armed robbery, and drug dealing are not pet peeves. No one ever died from a pet peeve.
4. Pet peeves are often specific to a person's age, career, or lifestyle. For example, an English teacher's pet peeve might be people who don't use "whom" correctly; a dentist's pet peeve might be people who don't floss; a democrat's pet peeve might be people who mispronounce "nuclear."

Having said that, here are a few more of my pet peeves: automatic doors that don't open fast enough, text-only e-mails that are formatted for HTML so I have to switch formats manually in order to read them, radio commercials that have horns or sirens in them, blond jokes and the people that tell them, grocery carts that make noise, people who wear highwater pants (especially with contrasting socks). Anyone care to add theirs?

Now Playing: Toad the Wet Sprocket - Fall Down

Friday, January 21, 2005

I'm staying in bed Monday

Monday, Jan. 24, called worst day of the year - Someone in Britain devised a mathematical formula to determine the most depressing day of the year. Hang on to your hats, it's this coming Monday.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Boys Stink

Posts on my blog since I started posting 3 months ago = 35
Posts on Matt Green's blog since he started posting 7 days ago = 32

(cries)

Two Tsunami Aid Cartoons


If you can't read the shirts, the boy on the left is "Asia" and the boy on the right is "Sudan"


And we wonder why we're in debt?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Everyone wants to be like me!

Ryan also has a blog now. Everyone click on the link over there on the right and leave a comment telling him to cut his hair!

I'm having a crappy day otherwise.

A useful link for people my age: Money In Your 20s - A collection of articles about saving, budgeting, financial stuff that is only true for older people but younger people do it too even when they shouldn't, etc.

That is all.

Now Playing: Gin Blossoms - Allison Road

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

And it doesn't even talk about social security

4 economic prophets of doom - Granted, this is probably worst-case scenerio. But it's pretty bleak. What I would have liked to see is information on how individuals can protect themselves.

My mom and sister came to see us yesterday, along with our christmas presents. I got a Black and Decker HomeCafe coffeemaker (it makes a single cup of coffee from premeasured pods), vanilla coffee pods, a book, silicon potholders, and two Toad the Wet Sprocket CDs.

Busy day today - might make another post later if I have time.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Mike doesn't get to play anymore!

We had a good poker night last night, even though there were only 6 of us. Kim went out first, and I followed by going all in on a pocket K-A of diamonds (I was severely short stacked at the time, and the blinds were getting pretty high). Matt beat me with pocket nines. It ended up being between Mike and John, and Mike beat him with a full house. He won the pot, so he can't come back next time. Kidding - we were joking at the beginning that Sarah and Ryan weren't "invited" back this time since they both won last time.

I have a half day at work this afternoon (unfortunately cells don't take holidays), but before that, my mom and sister are coming for lunch on the way back from NJ. So we'll finally get our Christmas presents!

24 tonight! I hope you all watched the season premiere last week (if you did, I'm sure you're hooked). I might throw some links up later if I have time. Oh, and congrats to Matt Green for finally joining the rest of us and making a blog. His link is over on the right.

Now Playing: Something by Relient K that Matt has on in the den

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The wonders of Dear Abby

I just read a Dear Abby letter from a 16 year old girl with a son, who was dating another guy for 8 months. The guy cheated on her a week after he proposed to her. Aside from the other advice about what a louse this guy was, Abby said "Only when you are financially independent are you ready for marriage." This is probably the best advice I have ever heard. Think of how many problems would be solved in this world if women would make sure they have some kind of career or training, whether it's a college degree or management at McDonalds, before they got married. Women would be less likely to stay in abusive relationships for fear of not being able to care for themselves or their children, they would probably be more likely to choose better men if they didn't need a husband to help pay rent, there would be fewer women and children on welfare. Things happen. Be prepared. Even if you want to be a stay-at-home mother, have a back-up plan, because you never know when you might need it.

Titan Probe Drops Into 'Creme Brulee'-Like Surface - Mmmm, creme brulee.

The cats stole the covers on my ear-bud headphones again. Rawr.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

No more HFStival?

So the talk of the town in this area is the conversion of WHFS, a former alternative-rock station that was really good back when I was in high school but I haven't listened to much lately, to "a current hit blend of Caribbean and Central American dance music." Blech. There's a petition online (apparantly it's for Maryland residents only so someone might want to dig up or start one for VA peoples). It's actually not that great of a petition, but hey, I support the little guy. Who, in this case, is actually being beaten down by a 10% minority (spanish-speaking people in the DC area).

I was telling Matt about the HFStival (a rocking concert that the radio station put on every spring, and that I never got to go to). In 1998 I missed Agents of Good Roots, B-52s, Barenaked Ladies, Cherry Poppin Daddies, Crystal Method, Everclear, Fastball, Foo Fighters, Fuel, God Lives Underwater, Green Day, Harvey Danger, Marcy Playground, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Save Ferris, Scott Weiland, Semisonic, Soul Coughing, Tuscadero and Wyclef Jean; in 1999 it was Beth Orton, Blink 182, Buckcherry, Citizen King, Fountains of Waye, Freestylers, Goo Goo Dolls, Sugar Ray, Silverchair, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimmies Chicken Shack, Offspring, Lit, Live, Living End, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Moby, Orgy, Ozomatli, Sev, and 2 Skinnee J's.

I also remembered that I never got to go to the Tibetan Freedom Concert at RFK Stadium in 1999. My parents didn't want me to "be involved" with that stuff. I didn't care about Tibet. What I did care about was seeing Beastie Boys, Radiohead, Dave Matthews Band, Sonic Youth, Wyclef Jean, R.E.M., The Wallflowers, Blues Traveler, Live, Pearl Jam, Luscious Jackson, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Ah youth.

Now Playing: Frou Frou - Let Go

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I'm going to put people to sleep tomorrow

I have to present at lab meeting tomorrow - 18 slides of crappy data. Graph after graph of failure. Whee!

Started class today. Dr. Don Coffey is a kooky guy. But he gives an interesting lecture. I just read about another Don: Don King seeking $2.5 billion in damages. It has to do with a defamation suit against ESPN. The funny part is that, in the article, King is quoted as saying "I seek justice." No, you're not. You're seeking $2.5 billion.

I have a nice rant lining up in my head. I should get around to it in a day or so.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I have class tomorrow??

How did this happen? Kidding. If you're interested in what I'll be doing for the next 18 weeks, click here. But wait, there's more! I have a 4-inch, 2100-page textbook to go along with the class. Maybe when I'm done, I can use it for step aerobics or something.

Staci and I went to Let's Dish last night. I had a great time! We made and split stromboli, mexican pork roast, rigatoni with sausage and mushrooms, chicken tagine with cous cous, garlic beef ribs, polynesian roast chicken; I also got two scallop and vegetable dinners and Staci got jambalaya. I would totally go back again - next month's menu looks as good as this month's. Anyone else interested in splitting? Let me know.

I lifted again this morning, even though I didn't want to. My legs and abs are still very sore from exercise over the past week, but I managed to get through it all. My lunges and decline sit-ups weren't as deep as last time, but I was actually okay on everything else. We also got our butts kicked in aerobics last night, and that combined with being on my feet cooking for an hour and a half didn't equal a lot of sleep. I just couldn't get my legs into a comfortable position.

I'll post links this afternoon, when I have a little more time.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

We're going back in time!

I collected my links for yesterday, but I never got around to putting them up. So I give them to you today.

10 movies to look forward to in 2005 - I'm probably only interested in four: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, War of the Worlds, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and The Producers. The rest we'll just have to wait and see.
Aaron Carter's SUV explodes - Not that I care about Aaron Carter or anything (although he wasn't hurt), but I find this interesting because I was faced with a similar situation a few years ago. Matt and I were driving in my car on I-66 to the movie theater in Manassas, and we came upon two mattresses that had been left in the middle of the interstate. I didn't realize what they were right away, and by the time I had, I didn't have any time to change lanes. So I opted to slam on my brakes, and barely stopped in time. Another car stopped literally inches off of my back bumper, and other cars piled up behind us...somewhere in the mess, somebody got rear-ended. I always wondered if I had made the right decision, and now I know the answer is yes.
Ashlee Simpson booed during halftime show - I just like the way this article is written (thanks to Matt M. for finding the non-pop-up version of the article). It's hysterical. Ashlee, sweetie, go back to acting. I liked you on 7th Heaven!

And in the corporate litigation catagory, both Capital One and Pfizer are in trouble lately. Capital One is being sued for "bait-and-switch" tactics and false advertizing on their "fixed rate" cards, which turns out aren't so fixed after all. This doesn't surprise me one bit; I applied for the Capital One 7.99% card about a year ago and even with a pretty decent credit score I was told I didn't qualify,but I could get their 15.99% card instead! The Pfizer fuss is about Listerine, and their claims that it's as effective as flossing (but it really isn't).

I worked out today - started my lifting/toning schedule. It wasn't too bad. Decline situps really work your abs crazy mad though. I may feel that tomorrow. We also got new athletic shoes today, and we inadvertantly picked out the same shoes - New Balance 608. Buying athletic shoes with Matt is frustrating - apparantly most athletic shoes have too many "colors" for him.

"Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
and life's like an hourglass glued to the table"
-Anna Nalick, Breathe

Friday, January 07, 2005

It makes perfect sense to me

"So Kirstin and Jimmy are a lot like me and Seth. Except you'd have to start a business with Seth, and then he'd have to date Alyssa." - trying to explain two of the characters from The OC to Matt last night.

Now Playing: David Gray - Say Hello Wave Goodbye

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Oops, I posted this without a title

I went to Kim's cardio-kickboxing class last night. Man was that tough. But fun. And really freaking expensive. What kind of gym charges $16.50 for a guest pass?? I think when I had a gym membership back in KG the guest passes were like, $3. Speaking of Kim, I noticed today that she put my line about my claustrophobic feet on her webpage.

I am completely enthralled by the idea of Let's Dish. It's a place that just opened in Timonium, where you go for a 2 hour session and assemble 8 or 12 dinners, then take them home and put them in your freezer. They have some pretty tasty-sounding meals on their monthly menus, and the cost is comparable to what I'd pay at the grocery store. I think I may be trying it out very soon.

Bush Eyes Plan Using Bulk of Payroll Taxes - As Rhett Butler once said, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." No one is getting rich off of social security, private investment accounts or not. I don't think I'll ever see a check from the SSA. But the article is a very good, non-partisan explanation of what may be happening in the coming months.

I never listed my new year's resolutions, but my goal is to lose 12 pounds by April 30th. My aerobics and yoga-lates classes start back up next week, and I'll be adding in running a mile before class Monday and Wednesday, and lifting three times a week with my new strength and toning DVD that came with my weight set. I'm also waiting for the weather to warm up again so we can play tennis. I'm also cutting out all non-diet soda (I had mostly done this last year...maybe about 80% or so) and eating vegetarian one day a week - not out of any tree-hugger compassion nonsense, but just because it's healthier.

I thought I had more to post, but I can't think of anything else right now. I'll be sitting around for another hour and a half before tea and seminar.

Now Playing: O.A.R. - Road Outside Columbus

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I want you to write...a theme

Ookaaay...I'm finally getting around to making my big "What I did over Christmas Vacation" post. I even did it in reverse order, for that authentic blog feel! I think everything's there, but I may edit later if something else comes to me.

Monday - A short day at work, and then I bought a few more things at Walmart and Target with Christmas money. I spent the rest of the day finishing up my cooking. Mike, Kim, Ryan and Phil all came over to watch the game, which VT unfortunately lost - again in part due to errors by Brandon Pace, the field-goal kicker. It wasn't completely his fault; there were also a lot of penalties and pass errors. But if he hadn't missed a field goal, and if there had been a kick instead of a two-point conversion attempt, we would have won.

Sunday - More shopping after church. We went to Walmart to get weight sets and a bench, and to Best Buy - I got The X-Files Season 1 (half off!), Life is Beautiful and The Manchurian Candidate, Matt got headphones for his keyboard. I also did most of the cooking for our Sugar Bowl party.

Saturday - New Years Day - wasn't actually all that great. Hopefully not representative of the rest of the year. My family didn't come to see us on the way to BWI, and I left my wallet at home when we went to spend our Target and Borders gift cards, so we had to drive back and get it. We finally ended up with Forrest Gump and Shrek DVDs, three books, and dinner out at The Olive Garden (also on a gift card).

Friday - Mandy really wanted to go to the Holocaust Museum, since she had never been and she doesn't get up to DC all that often, so we went up in the morning (it was my third trip). We went bowling in the afternoon with Matt's family...I did a little better this week, but not that much. I guess that one time I bowled in the 150s was just a fluke. We had dinner at Matt's uncle's, played a game of greed (I didn't win) and then rang in the New Year. We didn't make it to bed until 2am, finally.

Thursday - Matt went to work again, and I went back to the apartment to take care of the cats with Matt's mom, his sisters and another cousin (so they could see the cats for the first time). When we got back, everyone went out for chinese food and then drove into DC to see the christmas trees.

Wednesday - Matt went to work, everyone else went to the movies. I saw Meet the Fockers with Matt's sister Mandy and his cousin Robbie. It was okay, but not as good as the first. We did christmas present exchanges that night, and got an ornament, a Target gift card, an Olive Garden gift card, and Scrabble (we already have that game, so it's in the process of being exchanged for Trivial Pursuit).

Tuesday - We spent a frantic half day trying to finish shopping, wrapping, and repacking and then drove out to Matt's grandma's for the rest of the week.

Monday - We went bowling in the afternoon, and I did horrible. We had a quiet rest of the day, and left for the airport around 7:15. The 6:15 flight (the one before ours) was delayed over 2 1/2 hours, which delayed our 8:55 flight by an hour. We got into Dulles around 11, waited half an hour for our bags (thanks to the huge US Air backup) and got home around 1am. Thank goodness for the Wendy's late-night pickup window!

Sunday - Went to church with the fam and then out to lunch at one of the many steakhouses (I don't remember which one now). I think we also watched Hero today. It was a nice movie, the music and cinematography were excellent, but I felt that the plot left me wanting something. I was surprised when it was over, because I thought there was about a half hour of movie left.

Saturday - Christmas! I got clothes, pajamas, a wool peacoat and scarf, Clinique Happy perfume set, a nice hand mixer (I almost burnt the motor out on my cheap one while creaming three pounds of butter for various christmas cookies), jewelry, a set of books, socks, stocking stuffers, and candy. We had a good Christmas dinner and watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Friday - More cooking. I made christmas eve dinner, consisting of crabcakes, lemon butter asparagus, roasted potatoes and caesar salad. And of course the christmas cake for dessert. It all turned out really well. We watched A Christmas Story 1 1/2 times (go TNT). We also watched Napoleon Dynamite. It was a funny movie, but only because it was so dumb. Matt's sister Julie spent the rest of the week quoting that movie.

Thursday - I spent most of the afternoon making a buche de noel, a traditional french "christmas log" cake. It's a chocolate sponge cake, rolled up with a chocolate mousse filling and frosted with chocolate buttercream frosting. I made everything from scratch, including white chocolate holly and ivy to decorate the log with. I'll have a picture up shortly, as soon as I remember to pull it off my camera.

Wednesday - We went to the movies before Matt's dad had to leave. We saw National Treasure - it was a pretty neat movie, but I felt it took too much inspiration from The Da Vinci Code. There's a neat article about how much fact is in the movie here.

Tuesday - Flew down to SC in the morning. No issues there, other than the line at Starbucks. We spent most of the afternoon hanging out around Matt's parents' house, and took his family out to eat at Nakato's (a Japanese steakhouse). We also watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a Johnny Bravo Christmas on cartoon network ("Oh no, you hit Donnie Osmond!" "That's okay, you didn't hurt my smile!)

(Note to self - do not write post in notepad before pasting into post window because it will come out double spaced and badly justified!)

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Yawn

Sometimes I feel like I need a vacation to recover from my vacation. Actually, almost always. But anyways, we are returned, we are tired. I didn't have the best day today either - hopefully not indicative of 2005 as a whole. I'll be posting the entire vacation summary in a day or so, if you were interested. You probably aren't.

We're talking about the mortgage issue again...I always get my hopes up for this stuff (other stuff too) and I still don't think it'll work out in the end. If you'd like to donate to our cause, please get in touch. I promise you'll be invited to all our parties.