Saturday, May 30, 2009

Two things that caught my eye today

The first is a photo essay of sorts entitled "Working in Hell for $11 a Day." It depicts workers in Indonesia who mine sulfur from volcanoes and are happy for the opportunity to make about 8x of the daily farmers' working wage, despite the risks to their health and well-being. Makes you wonder what you'd do to increase your salary 8x?

The second is an article in response to the NIMBYs regarding the transfer of Guantanamo detainees - "There are already 355 terrorists in American prisons."


Yoga was good last night. Went to Let's Dish afterwards, then came home and did dishes and laundry. Went to volunteering today, and started working on a new book on pathophysiology. The chapter I read from today was about geriatric pharmacotherapy (if that means anything to you...) and it looks like the rest of the book should be very interesting. I'm frustrated by the markings though; apparently it had been started at a different studio before being sent to ours? They didn't even mark the end of each file!

Have been grumpy in regards to my computer lately - we had to replace the power supply about 2 months ago, but the connector doesn't seem to be very good and it's been flipping back and forth randomly between AC power and battery power until I jiggle the cord to make it stop for a while. The other problem is that the memory seems to be awfully clogged, and programs have started "hanging" an awful lot lately (I couldnt even play a youtube video last night). Matt is ordering me a RAM upgrade (512 MB --> 1 GB) that should take care of the second problem for about $50. Better than buying a new lappy anyways. We've had to spend so much money on the cars lately (tires mostly, and I have some expensive routine maintanence coming up within the next month or two) that I'm never going to be able to buy my new stove.

We decided to go to Sweetwater Tavern later tonight with Jim and Phil. I'm looking forward to a yummy roast chicken salad - mixed greens, corn, tomato, cranberries, dates, pine nuts, goat cheese and champagne vinaigrette. Perhaps some homemade root beer or another tasty libation as well!

It's June on Monday - wow. That means paycheck (allegedly with a stipend increase) and eight weeks til vacation! Also have my 10-year HS reunion and two cookouts so far next month.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Please give me a second to catch my breath

Well, that was a whirlwind weekend!

Graduation was wonderful, but quickly dissolved into chaos after the ceremony :-) 26 people came to watch me get my doctoral hood! Then I had to try to corral everyone after the (three-hour) ceremony. I think we took all of about two pictures in the midst of it all. We ended up going to Unos in the Inner Harbor for lunch. By the time lunch was over it was like 3:30...some of my cousins and other relatives went to the Aquarium, but Matt and I headed back home to get ready for dinner.

Dinner with friends at Buca was awesome as usual. We started with caesar salad and mozzarella garlic bread, and then ordered fettuccine alfredo, ravioli pomodoro, chicken parmesan, salmon with pesto, chicken carbonara and broccoli romano. Finished off the meal with coffee and the dessert sampler with a mini caramel-apple torte, a slice of double dark chocolate cake, a slice of cheesecake with raspberry sauce, and tirimisiu. Yum!

I thought I was going to sleep in on Saturday morning, but I was wide awake at like 8:45. So I got up and started the laundry, and then ran some errands - finally got around to dropping my black pumps off at a cobbler to have new heels put on them (only $12!!), went to the post office and to the bank to deposit stuff before we headed out to the Nusbaums' for the rest of the day.

Carly's party on Saturday was awesome as well. I brought the ice cream cake like my life depended on it, and it was super. We ended up not slicing into the two mini cakes, so Carly kept the VT cake and I took the JHU cake back home to enjoy later in the week. I did end up playing poker since they decided to do it tournament-style instead of a cash game, and Eric and I ended up splitting the pot. We were fairly evenly matched going into the heads-up game, and had some crazy hands - he had whittled me down some, and then I doubled up when my pocket aces beat his pair of kings. Then I whittled him down some, and then he doubled up when he hit his higher pair on the river. We didn't want to keep going back and forth all night, so we just decided to split the pot $20 each and call it an evening so we could go do other stuff (like foosball and karaoke).

We didn't get back until about 1:30, and still made it up at 8:45 to go to church on Sunday. We both took a nap after lunch, and then made a quick overnight jaunt down to my parents' place. We had left Fredericksburg around 4, and made it to just about two miles before the I-95 exit when Matt's tire went flat. So he put the donut tire on, and we drove over to the Pep Boys on Plank Road and had them replace the tire while we got something to eat at Arbys next door. When we finally got on I-95 around 5:30, Matt said "Okay Lord, cut us a break here" and as it turned out, the traffic was mostly mercifully light.

Back to work (and normalcy) tomorrow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let the SMGW begin!!

My in-laws sent me a BEAUTIFUL bouquet of flowers yesterday:

And then today, my new office got me a card and an ice cream cake to congratulate me on finally "officially" being a doctor :-) I also got phone calls from Daniel and one of my uncles, both saying that they had managed to get tomorrow off and would be in Baltimore for the graduation ceremony. Woohoo!

This is going to be one of the rocking-est weekends ever!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I don't think so, Chase

I know the credit card companies are trying to squeeze a couple of bucks out of anyone they can, but I'm not letting them get away with this one.

Card Agreement Terms, definition of "Grace Period"
We accrue periodic finance charges on a transaction, fee or finance charge from the date it is added to your daily balance until payment in full is received on your account. However, we do not charge periodic finance charges on your new purchases billed during a billing cycle if we receive both payment of your New Balance on your current statement by the date and time your payment is due and also payment of your New Balance on your previous statement by the date and time your payment was due.

Well, we recently requested a due date change from the 21st to the 8th - I didn't like having both of our major credit cards due at the same time of the month. We had received a statement in the mail for April 2-May 1, due on the 21st. I just paid that balance in full. While I was on the site, I happened to notice that there was another pdf statement for a billing cycle from May 2-May 19, which will be due on the new due date of June 8th. It had a finance charge on it!!

So even though we've paid every bill in full since we got the card, they tried to sneak in a finance charge in direct violation of their definition of grace period above! I e-mailed customer service right away and told them that the charge needed to be reversed pronto. I'll update once I hear back from them.

UPDATE: Charge was reversed. And as the PF blogs are so fond of doing, I "made" $90/hour in doing so (because it took me less than 5 minutes to look at the statement, confirm the term in our card agreement, and compose the e-mail to customer service). Woot!

Woah, I'm graduating in two days

Friends and family and Italian food, oh my! Have my ceremony Friday morning, then lunch, then going to the Baltimore Aquarium, then dinner with friends at Buca. Saturday is Carly's gigantic party, for which I am providing massive amounts of ice cream cake.

Seems like everyone has been too busy to blog lately - myself included. I've gone to a couple yoga classes and LOVED it. I'm actually quite sad I'm missing class this Friday. Matt and Sarah came up last weekend and we had an awesome time. Went to the movies (to see Angels and Demons), played a ton of games, Sarah and I went shopping, we all ate out at Noodles and Chevys and Maggie Moo's. Had an awesome dinner with Ted on Sunday.

I finally went to see an ophthalmologist. Despite the fact that I still can't spell it right on the first try. Got eye drops to use for a week, which should take me right through Thursday night and I will hopefully be all set for Super Mega Graduation Weekend!

I'm not sure if I was done blogging this post or not, but Roxie just came and laid down on my lap (pinning my left arm) so thus endeth the post.

(Update after Roxie left: [Belated] Congratulations Carly!! You are awesome and we're proud of you!)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sure seems like it....

natalie dee

I just want good weather for minigolf on Sunday!

Time to go to bed...gotta drive to B'more before work tomorrow (ugh) to get my graduation stuff. Definitely don't miss that commute!


This is my 1000th post!!

I started blogging on November 20th, 2004. So freaking much has changed since then - the good, the bad, and the in-between. The road certainly hasn't been without its bumps, but I can definitely say I'm a lot better off now than I was 4 years, 5 months and 15 days ago (and I just found a nifty calculator online that will count up the days between two dates for you).


I ran a crappy 5K today. What I mean was, I was running a pace that should have shaved about 5-6 minutes off of my 10K time. Instead, my foot started rubbing on my shoe in some weird way (time to throw that pair of socks out) and I had to stop halfway. Totally lame too, because there was *nobody* at the gym tonight and it wouldn't have been a problem to keep a treadmill for 65 minutes. Grrr. I don't want to do it on Thursday either, because I don't want to be super sore for yoga on Friday - I'm going to the flow class at 6pm instead of the gentle class at 4:30pm because it works better for my schedule, and I think I'll like the additional challenge of it as well.

I read some crazy theory about the Mark of the Beast today...even better than the one about how mandatory swine flu vaccines would leave scars on peoples' heads or hands. This person postulated that the mark is already here, in the form of credit card numbers - in our hands (as the physical card) or our heads (memorized). Once we move to a cashless society, Satan's plan will be complete! Oof.

Making enchiladas for Cinco de Mayo. And by making, I mean taking the Let's Dish pan out of the freezer, covering it with foil and tossing it in the oven :-) Maybe I'll make a margarita tonight too!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Bloggy blog blog blog

I got to 998 and then I don't know what happened...

So anyway, what have I been up to? Went to the dentist, got an a-okay for the next six months. I've had some stupid eye irritation/infection (?) for like two weeks. I took out my contact lenses for a week but there was no change, so I thought that I had maybe just scratched my cornea or something. Wearing my contact lenses wasn't uncomfortable or altering my vision, so I wore a fresh pair Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday. I woke up today and I'm pretty sure it's an infection and not a scratch. Several more days of not wearing contacts must now ensue. Grrr.

We finally have our new budget set up! Lots of saving coming up, woohoo - ING for regular savings, Vanguard for the IRAs and our house DP fund in a few more months, and GMAC for our CDs (starting this month!). Am I a total budget nerd or what?

I went to $5 Friday yoga at Sol Yoga in downtown Frederick last week. I liked it a lot! I'm going to plan on going semi-regularly with my new pink yoga mat :-)

I need to run mini-mii is getting lazy. I just hate running in glasses.