Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Projects

I have a lot of stuff for this summer.

After I finish another little cross stitch project on my plate, I'm trying something way bigger - Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" (one of my favorite paintings) as a cross stitch. It's about 31,000 stitches, and the first time I've tried to do a full canvas stitching. It'll probably take me a good while - probably at least 50 hours.

I also decided to try a little sewing project. After I saw this skirt pattern done on A Dress A Day, I thought I'd give it a shot. I've never done much sewing outside of flat objects and hemming/mending, so it should be an interesting challenge. I plan on making the easiest one (A-line, no pleats) for starters, in something Sweet Briar-y. Erin at A.D.A.D. did hers in about 2 hours, but she is a beast. I'm going to guess at least 6 for me plus shopping time.

I have to finish writing/revising a review article that we've been putting together, and I should have another little article to write up before the end of the summer...maybe two depending on how things go.

I have a bunch of books on my reading list as well. I bought Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris over a month ago and haven't had a chance to start it yet (and he's got another one, When You Are Engulfed In Flames, coming out next week!). There's still two books in the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child series that I haven't read yet: Dance of Death and Book of the Dead. They also have a new book out that looks interesting, The Wheel of Darkness. Someone from church gave me a copy of J. Craig Venter's autobiography, A Life Decoded. And Stephen King has a new novel out this year, Duma Key. All together, that's almost 3000 pages of reading; roughly 35-45 hours at my pace. Yeah, I read super fast.

I can't wait for vacation so I can put a dent in some of this!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Goings On!

1. 5-year reunion: in a word, awesome! We had, I think, 17 people come for the 5-year (which is pretty good I think). Went out to Macado's on Friday after the "official" stuff. Convocation on Saturday, the '08 giving total for all reunion classes was over $1.7M. SBC is incredible with giving, I think. I got elected class secretary for the next 5-year term. Cocktail buffet and dancing Saturday night, and then we painted the rock and hitching post and rang the bells in the bell tower. Pics here (almost all from Saturday night).

2. Nats Game: Matt's company gave him tickets to the Nats-Phillies game last Wednesday. They were awesome seats - first row of section 215, behind home plate. The new stadium is fantastic. The Nats were, well, lame. We left after the end of the 6th inning when they were down 12-0.

3. Wii Fit: came on Wednesday, but I only got to try a few things out because we didn't get back from the game until about 10:45. I gave it a more thorough workout today - running, step aerobics and hula hooping, some of the yoga poses, leg extensions and jackknifes. I was tired by the end! All in all it's really cool and I'm glad I pre-ordered, because it's hard to find everywhere right now.

4. Wedding #2: my uncle's, in NJ. Got to see a bunch of family that I don't get to see very often (my aunt/uncle and cousins from Chicago, my great aunt and my dad's cousins). The ceremony was outdoors at a really nice place, and nice and short. The reception was great - especially the food. I knew going in that the food was going to be really, really good (my uncle is quite the foodie, so to speak) but oh man, this was incredible. C&M pic #2:

I really need to get hubby another tie. But we do look fairly color-coordinated, which is nice :-)

Upcoming through June: A wine-tasting/networking event with Montgomery County biotech companies, hiking with Carly and Eric, Skinner and Shelly's wedding, Nicole and Mike's wedding, and our 5-year anniversary! We can finally open our time capsule that we got as a wedding gift. We also might be ARE going white-water rafting that day!

"Why I Blog" - courtesy of Schnozzfest, but likely broadly applicable. And darn funny to boot.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stupid English

Why do we say "sub-par" when we mean something is bad? Isn't getting a golf score below par good??

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The truth about the yankees

Take two. We recorded a little video clip last night off the news and uploaded it to Youtube. Within 18 hours, it was removed. Apparently you cannot upload ANY video that contains ANY footage of Major League Baseball. So like, your kid could be tap dancing in front of the TV during a baseball game, and if you recorded it and posted it online MLB would make Youtube remove it. The sad thing is that somewhere, someone's job is to just troll Youtube looking for video clips to remove.

Anyway, I managed to find a program that would rip audio from a mpeg file and have posted it for your listening pleasure here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Irony?

For all the truckers that are "protesting" high diesel prices, I sure see a whole heck of a lot of tractor trailers passing me on the highway. Why don't you guys try driving the speed limit instead of whining about how much it costs you to fill up your tank?

The other thing I think is funny is the people like this who don't buy an entire tank of gas at a fillup, because they don't want to "have a big charge at one time." I believe gas prices have gone up about 8 cents a week for at least the past month or more, so buying two half tanks means you're paying more for the second half instead of buying a full tank at the lower price. Great math there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Comes in threes

In the last 6 weeks, Gaithersburg has gotten almost 20" of rain!

Max has been coughing on a hairball for like, the last 5 days. I want to give him the heimlich or something.

Matt had his laptop charging in the bedroom the other night, and it has a pulsating light on the front when it charges. The light was casting an ominous shadow on the ceiling from his computer chair. I mentioned it to him and he said "oooooooo, scary chair....I don't have lumbar support, oooooooo!"

Monday, May 05, 2008

Every little bit counts

It really does.

I've tried to be very deliberate about optimizing my mpg while driving. Now, I refuse to do the crazy stuff like driving 50mph on the interstate, "drafting" tractor trailers and taking exit ramps a 2x the recommended speed to conserve momentum. But I did implement a few changes.

I've slowed down about 5-8mph (though I refuse to drive below the speed limit, I've been sticking to 0-4mph over). I try to use cruise control at every possible moment. I've been shifting into neutral at lights, and turning off overdrive in traffic and in city driving (which provides "engine braking" and allows for smoother acceleration/deceleration).

I've improved my mpg from a previous average of 29-30 to 34.3 on my last tank. It might not seem like much to you, but I drive enough such that every 1mpg increase saves me about $10/month. At a time when I have to get gas every three days, gas prices are only going up (I heard on the radio today they expected a 5-10 cent increase every week for the rest of the month, which could put us over $4 by June) and we're spending as much on gas as we are on food, $40-50 a month adds up fast.

Speaking of food, I started shopping at Shoppers Food Warehouse instead of Giant because they are 5-15% cheaper. Being grown-up is hard.

We're still waiting for our bank account to be stimulated, since Matt's SSN sucks. UPDATE: Got our money from the gubmint, woohoo!

It's not my fault

The plight of the older sibling.

Yep.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Wedding #1

Of five :-)

We went to Allison and Craig's wedding in Baltimore. The cathedral was beautiful, and for a Catholic service it was actually pretty short (about 40 minutes).

The reception was at the Hunt Valley Country Club, which is apparently soooo exclusive they don't even have correct directions. The reception was fun; we had a "lab table" and delicious food.

#2 is in three weeks.