December 22, 2008

Driving - Day 2

The camera was forgotten in the trunk during the first day of driving, but you didn't miss much. Iowa is very boring. Then again, you didn't miss much during day 2 either.. Nebraska is also boring. There is only one interstate in Nebraska, and we were on it. Most of the way looked like this:

Honestly, I don't remember if this was Nebraska or Wyoming. I'm going with Nebraska though; because except for the part inside the Great Divide Basin, which was a big bowl of nothing, Wyoming was fairly interesting.

DS and I debated over the purpose of these fences, which we saw all over the place on Day 2. Originally, he though they were to stop snow drifts from making it to the interstate; but then he decided they were just wind barriers. Anyone know? They definitely always seem to be keeping something from the interstate, but they certainly weren't solid, so it wasn't for people or animals.

This one was somewhere close to the Nebraska/Wyoming border, where things started to get interesting.

This giant coyote sculpture was pretty cool, though this picture of it isn't.

This is the Sinclair refinery in Sinclair, WY, makers of Sinclair gasoline. It was HUGE, in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and had the smallest little town consisting of, we assumed, only the people that work there. The only thing it looked like that had other than a few houses and a water tower was a building near the interstate with the word BAR written across the entire roof. Yeah... I'd probably drink a lot too if I lived there.

The cats were drugged each day they were in the car, but it usually took 1-2 hours for them to calm down enough to actually be knocked out. Winston really fought going to sleep, and occasionally protested by laying down in the litter box. Let me tell you, the car smelled AWESOME after this trip.

Other things worth noting that do not have pictures to accompany them:

  1. Drove over several rivers of note, but all were frozen solid; Mississippi, Missouri, and others but I got tired of writing it down.
  2. Saw a sign for the Mines of Spain in Dubuque, IA. Wondered how they got across the Atlantic.
  3. Drove past some lime kilns near Huntsville (Hurtsville?), IA that looked really cool. One benefit of us missing a turn and adding an hour and a half to the trip. No other benefits.
  4. Drove through Omaha, NE. Actually saw three "skyscrapers". Was astounded.
  5. Stopped for gas in Buford, WY. Population? 1.

December 21, 2008


Life has been crazy. I'm sure I've mentioned the deadline I had at work. Because of that, my last three weeks of work were over 50 hours each. Mon-Wed of this week I was at least 12 hours a day. Normal fare for a deadline really, but not at all welcome considering I was supposed to be packing. So there was stress.

On top of that, my ear started hurting. It's hard to go to the doctor when you're working 12 hours. I finally went Thursday, once the deadline was over. Turns out, I have two ear infections, and inner and an outer, in one ear. Oh, and a fever. Lovely. Apparently that's enough for two different kinds of antibiotics. It's a little better now, but not great. At least I can touch my ear without screaming.

Thursday night Luke had one last wine and cheese party. This one was much more low key. No fancy clothes, and fewer people. It was a sort of "end of the deadline" celebration mixed with "oh crap, we have like 4 more days before we're gone". We spent the evening watching Animaniacs, which including about 10 showings of the Nations of the World song.

That night while we slept, we got about a foot of snow.

Friday, my last day of work, wasn't really work at all. It took most of the day to backup my computer for the tech people and clean out my office. Something I had planned on doing a little at a time, but stress helped me forget. I had a paper airplane a day calendar at work, and because of that, I had a HUGE mound of paper airplanes in my office. Luke and I had forgotten to do Jim's office for his birthday, which fell during the deadline freak out. Jim was late because of the snow, so the airplanes are now all over his office. Clean my office? Check! Destroy someone else's? Check! I had an exit interview, my keycard was confiscated, and then I went to the annual Christmas party. Work parties are generally fairly boring, but the food is good, and I got to hang out with my friends one last time. It was a good time for a party.

Friday night, DS and I finally got around to packing. But I was exhausted from the past week, so we stopped early. The pods to move our stuff were delivered Thursday, and DS was absolutely sure our stuff wouldn't fit in them. So we also spent some time Friday night debating which things could be left behind. Saturday morning came, and DS left early to get the u-haul trailer we're going to pull behind the car (since the earliest our stuff will be delivered is new year's eve, and that's a little longer than we'd like to be apart from some things; like the cat stuff... they're freaked enough as it is"). What should have taken an hour at most ended up taking at least two, so he came back even more stressed.

We had until 1 to finish packing, and then friends arrived to help us load the pods. We weren't exactly done, but the greater majority of things was packed and ready to go. Four people came to help, and it was the most amazing thing ever. I cannot tell you how much of a difference help makes when you're moving. The first time DS and I moved while we were in Wisconsin, we did it alone. It took over 20 hours, and we finished when the sun was rising the next day. Of course, I had to work the next day. This time, we had the pods loaded in like 4 hours. And that included stopping to eat dinner. Even more amazing, everything that has to go in the pods is now successfully in there, and we still have plenty of room. I really can't believe how much stuff you can fit into a 6x7x8 space. Now the trailer really will be just for the stuff we can't live without, because we certainly don't need the space.

So today, we're packing up the leftover stuff scattered around, and then cleaning. Later tonight, we have dinner plans with our closest friends, and I'm secretly afraid I'm going to cry the whole time. Then all we have to do is make it through the night, and we're off first thing tomorrow morning. We'll spend the night somewhere around North Platte, NE, and then make it to Salt Lake City the following day. We'll spend Christmas there with some of DS's friends. They have dogs, but we've been assured we'll have the basement to ourselves, and that the dogs won't be able to get down there. The cats are already disturbed, and they HATE the car. So I'm hoping just being out of the car for a few days will be a blessing enough that they won't have heart attacks about the dogs upstairs. They've never encountered dogs before, but judging from Winston's disastorous encounter with a kitten, I can't imagine seeing a dog would go well.

Depending on when the landlord will agree to let us in the new place, we'll leave SLC either the 27th or 28th and make one last push. This is the leg of the trip I'm most excited about, since it goes through the desert, Las Vegas and LA, three places I've never been. Then we'll get "home" just in time to go to bed. Internet gets turned on the 29th. We'll have a couple of days to do the necessary evils, like going to the DMV (BLEH!!!), and then our belongs should arrive and we'll have to unpack everything. Unfortunately, this will probably be alone, as the only person I know there is someone I haven't seen since high school.

All in all, I'm both excited about the new place, and terribly sad that going there means leaving this place. There have been a lot of transitions in my life here in Wisconsin, but right this moment, life is very good and very happy. I will miss a lot of things, like my job which I loved despite how nuts it could be, and the town itself. But mostly, I will miss my friends. Especially Luke. If there were one person I could put in a box and take with me, it would be him.

Goodbye Madison. I love you.

December 20, 2008

Madison "Lasts"

Our (almost) last snowfall in Madison. A whole foot!
(It snow some the day we packed up.)

Our going away party at the climbing gym. Most of DS's friends were climbing. Mine holed up in the "birthday party" room to play Rock Band.

We made sure to take one last trip to the Madison Zoo (which is free..we'll miss that). We said goodbye to our favorite polar bear.
(He's sniffing.. but it looks terrifying, doesn't it?)

Kate, whom I worked with, but probably never really talked about on here*, made me this sweet cake from scratch! We accidentally left the Legos with Luke (they were specially picked out to look like us).
*not to be confused with any of the billion other Kates or Katies I refer to

One last office shot. My marker board, and its last hoorah: an ongoing community art project that all started with that pipe-totin' guy on the right. Quite a few people had a hand in this, and I enjoyed watching it evolve everyday.

December 07, 2008

snow snow snow

The 10 day forecast has 9 days of snow in it.  Exactly two weeks from today, we'll be on the road to our new home.  The weather has me worried, and strangely anxious to get away.  This is weird, because I love snow and winter.  But some combination of angst for carrying all my stuff across a frozen, snow and ice covered parking lot, and the promise of 60 degrees that awaits me, has me excited for what's to come.

Meanwhile, I'm packing.  I've made the decision to not craft anymore between now and having a craft room, with the exception of two Christmas gifts I need to finish, and smaller, portable projects like knitting and needlepoint and crochet.  Those things will stay with me, and give me something to do in the car and until our things arrive around New Year's.

Also, I'm considering cutting my bangs.  This is something I haven't done, man, I don't know, elementary school?  But I'm currently obsessed with Jennifer Love Hewitt (she's so pretty and sweet!  i would love to be her friend in real life; she doesn't seem stuck up at all) and I've been watching the Ghost Whisperer from Netflix, and she has big thick hair like I do.  And her bangs look good on her.  So I'm debating it.  We'll see.  It's not the type of thing that is easily undone, and I'm afraid it will drive me crazy.  Hair in general drives me crazy.

Okay, back to laundry, and packing, and cleaning up this place.  Packing is messy.

Oh wait!  Almost forgot!!  I got an early Christmas present yesterday!!!  My mom sent me a new sewing machine, the Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter.  It. Is. Awesome!  98 stitches!!  I'm so excited to use it, though it's staying in the box until I have a craft room to put it in.  Luckily, that's not too far off :)

December 03, 2008

22 Days until Christmas (2008)

Here is it, the house I spoke of yesterday*. Take a good look at it. Most of the stuff on the right is the tree in the front yard, and the lights along the bottom are the reflections on the top of DS's car. Seriously, I think they grabbed every type of light they could find, and just threw them at the house! I can't stop looking at it :)

*umm.. by yesterday, i apparently mean two days ago. wtf? i don't have time to lose days right now!!

December 01, 2008


I can't believe it's December....  when you've been planning a move for as long as I have, having it actually get close is.. weird.  Also, it's snowing.  Not too horrible out at the moment.. maybe three inches?  But the 10 day forecast is full of the stuff.  I'm not looking forward to loading the moving crates through all that.

In funnier news, I saw a house today whose decorations can only be described as "christmas vomit".  It was as if christmas just threw up, or sneezed, and the lights sprayed onto the house.  It was so badly done that I couldn't look away, which made it almost good.  I took a quick picture, and hopefully I'll try to remember to post it tomorrow.  Not sure you get the same effect, but it can't hurt!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a cat that needs cuddling and a book that needs reading in bed.

November 30, 2008

2008 Sleep Goblin Ornament

The new ornaments are going up in the store as we speak! This year's design features little trees made of feathers. Particularly, pheasant feathers, which are just lovely. There are also a few turkey feather designs.

November 28, 2008

moving plans

First, Happy Thanksgiving! DS and I had a turkey, stuffing, green beans and potatos, cranberry sauce, apple sauce, bourbon pumpkin pie, and sweet potato pie (thanks to Janelle for the recipe on that last one!). We even made most of it ourselves!! We'll be having leftovers for weeks :P

Secondly, we've more or less finalized our move. My last day of work here is December 19th. The moving company will be dropping off our pods (but not Pods, because they're outrageously expensive) that day, and we plan to pack them up that Saturday. Depending on how we feel, we'll head out afterwards, or Sunday. Then we should be spending a few days in Salt Lake City, assuming Mike and Brittany don't mind having us for Christmas. The pods get picked up on Monday, and will take five business days to deliver. Except they don't work on the 24th or 25th or Jan 1. And the don't work weekends, and they don't deliver to Santa Barbara except on Mon, Wed and Fri. So we're looking at a delivery of 12/31 at the earliest. That's a long time to go without a bed.

To get buy, we're also renting a small trailer from u-haul to pull with the car. That should hold the stuff we're not allowed to put in the pods (like plants and other live things), the cat's stuff, the mattress pad from the futon (it's the closest thing we'll have to a bed while the stuff is being transported), and lots of clothes. The cats will be in the car with us, and we're praying they settle down after an hour or so.... Current car training has not been too promising.

Our apartment is larger than we ever thought we could afford, so that's really exciting. It's two bedroom, but since we didn't think that would be possible and now have no spare bedroom furniture, it will be my office/craft room. So exciting! I'm starting to get excited about the move in general. There are a lot of things I'm really going to miss in Madison, my job included. But after six months of talking and planning, I'm ready to go. It's so weird thinking about living near the ocean... I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually seen it, and those were all the Atlantic. There's so much I don't know. For example, did you know it's generally too cold for swimming around Santa Barbara? People wear those surfing suits to get in. Crazy! But they do get in.. DS says the guys in the office where he'll work often have surf boards with them like he has a bike in his office now. And on their lunch break, they go surfing. Since his new work building is literally on the beach, this is a fairly easy thing to get away with. Makes me think of one of the early Private Practice episodes... weird.

In case you were wanting to send out Christmas cards, we'll have mail forwarding on. But if you want to avoid that part, remember, we'll be out of Wisconsin by the 21st, and should arrive in California somewhere around the 27th. If you want the new address, just e-mail me!

November 04, 2008

oh my god!!!!

DS and I voted this morning. Had to stand in line for an hour and a half, but it was so worth it. Now, we're drinking Reisling (DELICIOUS) and watching the results come in. It's looking pretty good for Obama!!!! So exciting!! We're coloring in an "electoral college map" as it happens :)

And now, because real news sucks, we're going to watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Update: 10:12 pm
wow. i'm speechless. this is maybe one of the most important nights of my life so far. i'm so glad i voted.

November 03, 2008

Trip to Tampa - aka Kim's Wedding

I had a great time in Tampa. I went to Kim's wedding, and the Lowry Park Zoo, and learned to knit, and had dessert in the craziest restaurant I've ever been in. It was an awesome trip. Here are a LOT of photos. Sorry, I'm too lazy to go to the trouble of putting together an actual coherent story/slideshow.

October 30, 2008

on my own

First thing tomorrow morning (and by my standards, that's technically well before tomorrow morning) I'll be on a plane to Tampa, FL to attend a wedding.  DS isn't going.  It was partially a money thing, but I think even if we'd had the money he would have stayed behind.  The climbing gym he goes to is having a competition in his honor on Saturday.  It's name after him, by which I mean Dragonslayer, which has vaulted the nickname from those few who read this and who were around when it began to almost every single person that frequents the gym.  Apparently his name was even changed in the computer system there.  The MWC (madison women climbers) mailing list even advertised for the comp, claiming the winner would get to do some adventure thing with "the dragonslayer".  I found it highly suspect, as I'm sure they didn't know who or what they were talking about at the time.  It's very bizarre to get third hand information about your husband from people who don't know either of you.

Anyhow, the point is, I'm heading to Tampa alone.  It's been a long time since I've traveled alone.  DS does it frequently for work, but even if I fly alone, it's always to see him or go home.  And while I obviously know the bride, and I'm even familiar with several others through reading her blog, I won't know anyone other than her.  So it could be a stressful four-day weekend.  But then, something tells me that things will be lovely and that I'll meet everyone and be fine.  Even with my anti-social tendencies. 

I'm taking the laptop, but who knows if you'll hear from me.  If not, I expect to update Tuesday.  In the meanwhile, you should go vote!

October 27, 2008

it begins

The last few days there have been rumors of flurries. Today, I walked through them myself just an hour ago. That's a full month earlier than last year, though admittedly the Thanksgiving snow last year actually accumulated...

It's hard to believe that in less than two months I will be living in perpetual spring.

October 25, 2008

crash and burn

so um.. computers have been dying fiery deaths here right and left. i suppose that makes it lucky i have so many. the good news is that several new parts later, the two dead pcs have been grafted into one working gaming computer. the bad news is that the imac is now gone, which is where i do all my photo and business stuff. the genius bar has helped, but i still have to transfer the 100 GB worth of data they saved back onto the thing. whenever i get up the desire to tackle that beast after the pc disaster, expect several back-posts cataloging our recent adventures.

other than that, all is well, and i'm looking forward to being in tampa halloween weekend for kimberlina's wedding (by which i mean after party).

October 19, 2008

Governor Dodge and Peck's

Every fall, DS and I go on a hike through Governor Dodge State Park. We start with the fire tree, and then pick a trail. This year, it was a short one to a waterfall, because we'd just come from Taliesin.

While we were out that way, we stopped at Peck's to get our pumpkins and gourds, along with essentials like fresh apple cider and beef sticks.

October 18, 2008


My birthday present this was from DS was the four hour estate tour of Taliesin. Having studied it extensively in college, living so close without going for the past three years has been difficult. As the move approached, it didn't even occur to me that I was losing my opportunity to easily go. Luckily, my husband is amazing, and thought of this all on his own. Be prepared for LOTS of photos. But no interior photos, as those are strictly forbidden.

October 12, 2008

A Walk in the Arboretum

One of the last warm days of the year, my friends Luke and Becky invited me out for a long walk in the arboretum.

September 21, 2008

The Wedding

September 18, 2008

Chuck e Cheese!

For my 27th birthday, my friends and I went to Chuck e Cheese.

He's elusive, and apparently only makes a 10 minute appearance for certain children's birthdays. I wasn't one of those children.

I was, however, given a birthday balloon by a manager, whom I'm sure was avoiding a scene due to my friends persistently asking for one. It was very quickly stolen by this adorable little girl who kept... licking it.

Being an adult at this place rocks. You actually have real money to put in the token machine.

People were putting in entire $20 bills. Renae enjoyed seeing how long she could make her ticket strings.

The real motivation for going there was that I wanted to play Skeeball for my birthday. Somehow, I'm not as incredibly awesome as I remember being, but it was still lots of fun. Luke was incredibly awesome at always getting somewhere between 23 and 25,000 points.

It was the highlight of the trip. The other games were fun, but not as fun as Skeeball.

Being the birthday girl came with the sweet perk that everyone gave their tickets to me. We were aiming for 2000 so I could get a big Care Bear. At the end of the night, I had 2031.

Afterwards we made a pit stop at the grocery store to get some cake and ice cream. Most of the cakes were either lame, or not a flavor I like. So Pokemon it was!

Since my birthday was on a Friday, and I had a midday appointment to pick up my bridesmaid dress for Kel's wedding, I took the day off from work. When I returned on Monday, my office was wrapped like a present. Some of it, like one of the monitors, had to be unwrapped so I could function. But the rest, like that pink chair, are still sporting the birthday love.

September 16, 2008

Save the Farnsworth House!

Possibly my favorite piece of architecture ever is sitting in water. On Sunday, the water was a foot deep within the house, which is saying something considering it's already on stilts. It's only a couple of hours from where I live. So close, and I've never been... and now it may be a very long time before I get to. The National Trust for Historic Preservation bought it within recent years and opened it to the public, but now it is closed until further notice due to the damage. I can't see it being completely restored within the next three months. :(

Please, if you can, help save this building. If I had to choose one building in the entire country to save, it would be this one.

September 12, 2008

Birthday Shenanigans

FM Hue Test Results

A lower score is better, with ZERO being the perfect score. The bars above show the regions of the color spectrum where hue discrimination is low.

As you can see, I'm doing very important things on my birthday.

I took the day off from work, and have spent the day getting my hair cut, my brows waxed, buying new clothes, picking up my bridesmaid dress for an upcoming wedding, and just generally feeling very posh.

And because we just can't have that for too long, later this evening I'll be playing skee ball at Chuck e Cheese. Huzzah!

September 05, 2008

Winston Saved My Life

*sorry about the quality; click the image to see it bigger

August 25, 2008


DS and I have recently returned from the grocery. The bad news is that half of the amazing cat litter I bragged about just a few posts ago has suddenly disappeared. Neither Woodman's (the local co-op that has everything), or PetSmart are carrying Nature's Miracle. We just bought it 2-3 weeks ago!! Oh well, I guess it's just World's Best for us for now.

The good news is that my kitchen is crammed full of my new "healthy" snacks. I made a list from this month's Self magazine. Every fall they have a "choose your goal" issue with four different goals. There are meal suggestions, and I created my grocery list from them. A lot of the stuff I searched and searched and only found in the single "healthy foods" aisle. There are like 50 aisles at this grocery store, and only one they deem "healthy"! And why isn't almond butter grouped with the peanut butter?

Anyway, I'm now the proud owner of ground flaxseed, almond butter, dried cranberries, pears, peaches, apples and bananas! I've also bought soy milk for the first time ever. It's vanilla flavored, and I'm going to attempt making a smoothie for breakfast with it in the morning.

The best thing was my box of 200 popsicles! The kind you get as a kid when your parents know better than to buy you anything more expensive than kool-aid in a small plastic see-through tube. So some of those are freezing right now, and tomorrow I should indulge! Only 25 calories per popsicle, which means I could have 5 every day and still be under my "snack" calorie limit!! Woo-HOO!!!

August 24, 2008

Riding along

I've managed to get myself going somewhat.  Last week I read an entire book!  (It was Physik, book three in the Septimus Heap series; a children's book and a fast read, but an entire book none the less.)  I also finally made the jewelry for my best friend's wedding, which gave me the itch to make even more jewelry.  Look for new things in the shop soon!  

The apartment is clean, my plants are getting daily waterings, and I even rode my bike today.  It was one of my best bike rides in a long time.  My brakes finally work again.  Or perhaps they just finally work.  I'm not sure they were ever good.  While DS was climbing today I went for an hour long ride around the bike trails and through some neighborhoods.  I had my headphones on, and was singing loudly the whole time.  Luckily I saw very few people, and the one or two that I didn't manage see in time to quiet down actually smiled instead of giving me weird looks.  So that was pretty awesome.  It was a wonderful feeling having the wind in my hair and singing away.

The temperature today was lovely.  Only a high of 77, and no humidity that I could tell.   All last week it was in the 80's, which meant we had the a/c on.  But today, just perfect.

A new release cycle is ramping up at work, which means I'm probably going to start working late again soon.  Which is just crummy timing, because I'm really starting to get into the swing of things again, life-wise.  DS and I even went to a "high class wine and cheese tasting party" on Friday night.  We all dressed up, and went through probably 10 bottles of wine and waaay too much cheese.  It was delicious though, and we even found my favorite, Pinnochio.  There aren't too many wines I really enjoy, so that was really exciting.

Right now I'm waiting on the super slow and crummy dryer to get the clothes at least dry enough that I can hang them around the house and finish drying them.  I think I'll sit here and make some jewelry while I ponder what I want for my birthday.  It's only a few weeks away, and I'm having trouble answering people when they ask what I want...  time to brainstorm!

August 17, 2008


Apparently this is how I sleep...  as a pillow for Felix.  Good to know that she still lays with me sometimes.  She used to do it before I fell asleep, and she doesn't really do that anymore.

August 12, 2008


I find life in general to be challenging these days.  Work is turning into a disaster.  I'm being told simultaneously to start letting go of my responsibility and not to "check out" too early.  As one might expect, I'm failing.  When did caring about the company you work for become such a bad thing?

The upcoming move is starting to scare the crap out of me.  I have no idea where we're going to find the money to actually get there, much less live there.  And it doesn't help that so many people we know are getting married this fall.  Not that the weddings in and of themselves are bad, but none of those weddings are anywhere near here.  

I can't seem to maintain interest any much of anything either.  My brain has decided that it can't do anything new until after we move, pushing me into a sort of limbo that is highly uncomfortable.  I can't make myself start a new book, or make jewelry, or even finish setting up my craft desk.  I did finally start playing Soul Calibur IV, but that, Soltrio (a solitaire game on xbox live) and watching the Olympics is about all I can muster at the moment.

Can it just be next summer already?

August 06, 2008

stupid sleep

Every time DS leaves the country, I'm reminded of how much he keeps me functioning more or less normally. I keep not going to bed, so I'm running on little sleep. I'm also eating like crap. But on the plus side, I've been actually socializing (by which I mean leaving my apartment for something other than work, and talking to people face to face).

Winston is antsy. I guess I'm not entertaining enough for him. Felix doesn't care who's here as long as they rub her belly.

Oh.. and I think I'm not sleeping well also because I'm afraid. I'm not used to living on the ground floor, and I keep thinking someone is going to get in, and DS isn't here to save me! And it doesn't help that I want to have the windows open because of the very expensive "window" unit, but I'm sleeping better using the a/c.

August 03, 2008

Delivery Fail

August 3, 200807:39:00 PMJACKSONVILLE FLArrival Scan
July 31, 200801:51:00 AMJACKSONVILLE FLShipment has left seller facility and is in transit

It took nearly 4 days to stay in the same city?  WTF?

Not even Babelfish can translate it

DS is in Warsaw, Poland.  I had a title that I tried to translate in Babelfish to Polish, but it would seem that it's not worth Babelfish's time to translate Polish...  He's there for another one of his science conferences.   Before you going thinking how lucky he is to travel places like that for free, you should know that other languages scare him and he's likely to spend the entire trip either listening to talks (which are all in English) or hiding out in his hotel room.  He was supposed to take my camera, but he forgot it.  Which is probably even more of an excuse to not leave his room...

Apparently they don't have internet there.  Or at least it's not mainstream enough for a hotel that hosts large conferences to have it.  He had to call the old fashioned way when he got there today.  I can't wait to see what that cost us.

So we've been in our new place for a week now.  We're on our second furniture arrangement already.  I originally thought I wanted my workspace in the living room so I could watch tv, but I quickly realized that meant there was no where else to go when I didn't want to be in the same room with DS and his video games.  Now the workstation is in the "dining room", which still lets me see the tv if I want, but it's just far enough away that he shouldn't be too distracting if the sound is low if I want to concentrate.

My initial reaction to this place was that it sucked.  The new layout has made it feel like we have more space, which is also greatly helped by the fact that I finally got the kitchen counters cleaned off yesterday.  For the most part, the boxes are all unpacked now.  So I'm thinking it's not quite so bad as I thought.  

Reasons I thought this place sucked:
1. No central air
2. What little a/c we have is a "window unit" installed in the wall on one end of the apartment.
3. That end is NOT the bedroom, so it's like 100 degrees in there.
4. I can't sleep when I'm that hot.
5. I'm told the little heater things along the floor (there's one for each room, and they each have their own thermostat) get hot enough to set things on fire if they come in contact with it....
6. The heater has the very helpful settings of low, medium and high.
7. There aren't overhead lights.
8. The light-switches control every single freakin outlet.
9. For some reason, it controls the bottom plug instead of the top one.
10. Between the closets, heater, balcony door and regular entry door, the bedroom has just enough room for the bed against the wall.  Only the bed...
11. The entryway smells very strongly of mold.
12. There are bugs and spiders all over the place (though thankfully much more rare in my actual apartment than in the building).
13. My garage isn't in my building, so I have five keys just for myself, not counting the garage opener.
14. The closets are awkward.
15. There isn't any place in the bathroom to store towels.
16. The balcony railing stops about 4-6 inches from the actual building.  I'm afraid my cats are going to jump/fall off.  It wouldn't be the first time...
16. Did I mention there's only one place I can put the bed without burning the place down?

Reasons it's not as sucky as I thought:
1. We've more or less figured out the optimal fan placement so we can live without a/c (I'm told that thing is hideously expensive).
2. After investing in some of those 1-to-3 plug things, everything can function without fear of someone flipping a light-switch and crashing my computer.
3. I managed to get things organized in my closets by making separate spaces consisting of boxes on their sides.  Almost like shelving, but not as sturdy.
4. Daily candle burnings and open windows are slowly removing the stank in the apartment.  (still no hope for the entryway)
5. I don't have to get up early just to drive DS to the bus stop anymore!
6. I live near real bike paths again.
7. I don't have to climb a hill from hell just to go somewhere, anywhere, on my bike.

Newly found suckiness:
1. The "dryer" that I now have to pay to use can't even get things dry with two full cycles... we might have to become laundromat people.  Luckily there's one just a block from here.

Now that I am a devoted Google reader reader (heh..), I've been getting a lot of updates from Apartment Therapy.  I'm happy to say that they were right about their cat litter mix, and it is absolutely, completely amazing.  My litter box has never been so easy to clean, or smelled so nice.  Best of all, it's biodegradable and non-toxic, something I definitely couldn't say about my old litter.  Also, my new litter box is the shit!  You just roll it one way, roll it back, and you're clean, no scooping required!  I love it so much I even took the time to post a review on, where I found it.  I never do that.

hmm.. there was more too, but I feel like I've been typing forever and it's about time I went to bed.  Extra effort has to be made to get me in bed at a decent hour when DS isn't around to tell me it's bed time at 9:30.

July 27, 2008

Hello to New Digs!

I'm sitting on the floor of my old apartment, which is more or less empty. DS and I have never been very good at actually getting everything out of the apartment when we move, which ends up lending itself to some extra, non-planned purging. He's left to drop some random stuff off at the new place, and then he's going to bring back lunch and oven cleaner (I have to admit I don't think I've ever cleaned an oven...)

I'm surprised at how clean this place is. It gives me hope that the December mega-move to CA will be not quite so bad as we're fearing it will. I'm happy to report that we got everything (except for cleaning supplies and aforementioned riffraff) into the new place in somewhere around 10 hours. And that's with lunch and dinner breaks and only one helper! (Bless her soul, Renae is a saint.. actually, if she were drinking while reading this, I'm pretty sure milk would shoot out her nose. But still, she was our sole volunteer, and we have waaay too much stuff even after all our purging)

The cats were ANGRY that we were moving. We had to lock them into one room all day (with all needed supplies of course) because they are notorious for running out the front door at every opportunity. I also read somewhere that cats get very anxious when they see all they know of the world disappearing out the front door. I think maybe they started getting angry when we started packing and purging about a month ago, because I found a suitcase that one (or maybe both, but I really think it was Winston) had starting using for a litter box. Things like that are always a sign of either a sick animal, or one that is very upset. And since they both seem more than fine now that they're in the new place full of their stuff, my guess is someone was sending me a message...

I think we might end up fitting into our new place even better than I had planned (I have to scaled cut-outs of all my furniture, and I like to draw out apartments and arrange my stuff before we move). That's pretty exciting considering we'll be extremely lucky to have this much space after December. Though I think the more we move, the more DS and I move towards the sentiment of less is more.

Oh.. and we're tired. Extremely tired.

July 21, 2008

I can do it!


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

Apparently when DS filled out the same quiz for me, it said "very poor"... I think that means we're doing great! I am awesome!

July 19, 2008

Dr. Horrible

Quick!!!! GO! Before it's too late!! (as in sunday at midnight)

July 10, 2008


In a recent conversation with Kimberlina, it was pointed out to me that I never shared our moving decision. Not only did he get an offer from Salt Lake City, but also from Santa Barbara, California as well. A tough choice was ahead of us: go to Salt Lake City where there are friends and realistic living expenses, or go to Santa Barbara where the research is better and live on a box on the beach...

We chose the box on the beach. You think I'm kidding about the box, but only a little. We currently have somewhere between 1000 and 1100 square feet in our apartment, and it's pretty full of stuff. With nearly double the rent, we might get a 650 square foot apartment in Santa Barbara... pretty insane if you ask me.

The plus? He's really stoked about working with this guy, and we're both intrigued by the idea of living by the ocean (Santa Barbara is only about 2 miles wide, squished in between some small-ish mountains and the ocean). I grew up in a land-locked state and didn't take my first trip to the ocean until I was a senior in high school. And I've never seen the Pacific Ocean.

So the big problem now is.. getting a job myself that pays enough that we can both move around our apartment and not starve, as well as getting rid of enough stuff that we can move around in our apartment. Thus, I have begun purging. Like crazy.

Our current lease is up at the end of this month, and this place won't let us have a short term lease that ends in the winter (jerks!). So we're moving to someplace that will, and then moving again in December. It's pretty lame, but it's giving me an excuse to get a head start on the whole packing and purging process. I'm working on going through all of my stuff and packing it in such a way that a lot of the boxes can remain boxed until we get to California. But in doing so I've realized that even with getting rid of several pieces of furniture, there's no way we could fit into anything less than 800 sq ft right now.

Hence, a second round of purging. Tackling the stuff that I didn't think I could part with, and actually parting with it. I'm reading this book called "It's All Too Much", and it's actually really helpful. Things to think on:

  1. If you're hanging on to things for sentimental reasons, or because it's too important, think about where it is. If it's in a box in your cellar or closet, how can it be that important?
  2. Only fill your house with things that are either useful or beautiful.
  3. If you haven't used it in a year, it's not useful.
600 square feet, here I come!

July 06, 2008

Need a Painter?

Luke, of recent birthday fame, also recently bought a house.  The basement has a rec room that was ingeniously given peach accent walls and red curtains.  *shudder*  He asked for my advice on what to do with it, and I suggested we paint it to look like a pool table (there will be one down there eventually).  There are two walls separated by a fireplace that end up being less than the length of the room, which is pretty big.  So I didn't think the dark green would be too overwhelming or oppressive.

It's coming along nicely I think!

July 04, 2008


And now, for your enjoyment, some of the fireworks DS and I could see from our balcony.

July 01, 2008

Luke's Birthday

There's a birthday tradition between some of the people at my office to "decorate" their office space.  You may remember the balloon foray.

June 29th was Luke's birthday.  We hung large sheets of paper on one wall, and projected dinosaur images for easy drawing.

Then we spent quite a bit of time coloring in these huge beasts.

DS was there for moral, but not creative or manual, support.  To occupy himself, he made use of Luke's many small plastic toys.

Some of his little scenes were historical (though he might claim they're all historical).

The end result?  Huge success!!  Luke was scared to work, and spent the day looking over his shoulder to make sure he wasn't about to be eaten.  Watch out!

Sort of makes me want to start randomly doing things like this to everyone's offices.  Way better than plain white walls.

June 15, 2008


Sometimes I have to travel for work, and recently I was sent to Cincinnati for a "go-live".  (By the way, the people at The Christ Hospital are pretty cool; they gave me ice cream and made my 12 hour shifts not totally sucky)  I more or less get to choose where I go, and I chose Cincinnati because my best friend Kelly lives there.

She's building a house, and we went to see it.  It was the first time they'd been in it since the roof was put on, and she was very excited to see that the brick was already being added.  

This of course has DS and I salivating for our own house...

We went to the Butterfly Show at the Krohn Conservatory.  The theme was "the Silk Road", and the exhibit featured butterflies from Asia.

It's times like these that I really appreciate how amazing my camera is.  And it's not even all that great by today's standards!  Simply amazing.

Volunteers offered a spritz of Gatorade for your hand, which was supposed to attract the butterflies.  I didn't really have all that much luck, but this little girl was walking around with them all over her.
We decided to stroll around the nearby park, which overlooks the river (which, by the way, was completely gross looking.. massive storms and flooding will do that.. big and muddy and frothy).  There was a statue in the distance, which we saw from behind.  We were sure it was a witch over a cauldron, but it turns out to be a gift from Cincinnati's sister city in Japan.*

Afterwards we visited the art museum.  I'd been there before, but I think this piece was new.  It was taller than me and made out of wood.  Something about it just makes me want to rub it, like it will be soft or smooth.  I really like it.
* This statue represents a fisherman using this special way of fishing with birds.  The birds' necks have rings that don't allow them to swallow the fish.  They fly off and catch one, then bring it back to the dude, who takes it out and puts it in his bucket.  Kinda gross if you ask me, but also a pretty creative way of making do with what's around you.