Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I spent today convalescing, so it's been kind of like a 4 day weekend for me. Except the kind where you spend one entire day either in bed or on the couch too sick to do much else. And then spend most of the next day doing the same except for a brief foray into the office to obtain some documents to "work on at home." Needless to say, I have done very little of that. Instead I have tried to do my laundry and fix up the girls' play area - things which I had intended to accomplish yesterday before I woke up and found myself bedridden. Nothing says super fun like feeling dizzy every time I sit upright for more than a few minutes. Fortunately, that particular symptom has subsided somewhat, although the sore throat, runny nose, and stuffy sinuses have not. I appear to have used up the last of my generic Robitussin and am nearing the end of my decongestant supply, so it looks like a trip to the drug store is in order for me this evening. Whee! This came on all of a sudden while laying in bed after Tommy and Steph's party on Sunday. I'm pretty sure I didn't suddenly develop allergies to cats or ferrets, and besides, we were outside most of the time. Sure, I'm allergic to outside at this time of year, but that just makes my eyes water and my nose run, not strands me in bed and gunks up all the cavities in my skull. And I took my Claritin yesterday anyway. Maybe Jill's cooking wasn't to be trusted afterall? Nah, that'd be a stomach thing, not a head cold. I dunno. Summer seems to have finally reared its hot and humid head, so of course, I'm sick. Thank you very much change of seasons...

Say hello to Emily's Betta fish, Claude.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What the hell?? I'm actually trying to go to bed finally and all I've heard for the last 20 minutes is helicopters flying around overhead. It's beginning to get super annoying. Every time it'll fade away and then I think for a minute it's gone, another one will just start to be audible. *sigh* Time to turn up the volume on the TV and put a pillow over my head...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Is it the weekend yet? I'm ready for a nap. I know I just had a 3 day weekend 2 weeks ago, but I need another one. Plus, the last one wasn't very relaxing. This weekend is going to be running errands, going to the pool (At least for Emily. My pasty skin is doing just fine without the sun.), catching a movie matinee or two, having a potluck dinner, fixing some chinny-related damage, and otherwise just hanging out. I know it sounds like a ton of stuff going on, but there's 3 days to do it all, and it doesn't require driving 6+ hours twice in 3 days (which actually went by pretty fast), or getting dressed up and rained on (hopefully). So I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Further proof that Emily's theory about chocolate being a vegetable might hold some weight. Apart from dark chocolate being a source of antioxidants, milk chocolate now apparently makes you more alert (duh) and perform certain tasks better! Now if only someone could prove that donuts were actually beneficial for you in some way. I'd be willing to hire the tobacco lobby to fund some research for it. If anyone can prove that something everyone knows is bad for you somehow has a useful property, it'd be them. It's like the whole, "sure, smoking causes all sorts of cancers, but it's also an appetite suppresant, so smoke up fatty!" Sure, donuts will make you fat and lazy, but did you know they're also an immunization against the bubonic plague? You heard it here first folks: Consuming a gross of donuts per week guarantees you won't get the plague.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Stupid allergies... I thought I could make it through the entire spring without taking anything. So much for that idea. I was having so many issues over the weekend that yesterday I started taking my Claritin. I know it's "non-drowsy", but at 8:30 pm (12 hours after taking it), I just totally had the wind knocked out of me and started to feel dizzy. This is not a side-effect I particularly remember, but it's been well over a year since I last took anything for my pollen-related allergies. But after taking one again this morning, I'm suddenly very very tired. *sigh* If it isn't one thing, it's another. But at least I'm not sneezing as much or having as bad watery eyes, itchy throat, or headaches. Lousy pollenating trees...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Done and done. I'm staying at Jefferson, but I'm not getting my deposit back from Camden (there is only a 24 hour window). That kinda sucks, but it's still cheaper than moving. My waived amenity fee basically offsets my lost deposit, and in the end, even though I'm out $325 up front, I'm still saving money over my original lease terms or moving, so I guess I'm happy. My many many belongings have been granted a stay of execution! Now I have until March 2007 to cull my possessions and dispose of things I don't need anymore to make the process a little simpler (and less painful) down the road. Oh well. At least my living arrangements are settled for the next 10 months - one less cause of stress for a while. I should mention that I woke up several times on Sunday morning from dreams of apartments and floor plans. Yikes.

The plot thickens! After telling my leasing office that I was moving out, they apparently think I'm a good tenant and want me to stay. I pay my rent on time every month, I never get complained about, nor have I been the complainer (even at the 2 am upstairs vacuumers), and I've only put in once maintanenace request (which I ended up fixing myself...). In any case, they made me a compelling offer, and I'm going to seriously consider it after reading many many horror stories about the place I was planning to move to. It's still more than I want to pay, but it's a lot less than they were initially asking. And for only an additional $220 over the next 8 months, it's definitely cheaper than moving. Now I have to contact the other palce and see if I can get my deposit back. It's been 48 hours, but I don't know if I get 72 or not. Regardless, even losing my deposit, I'm still not sure that $545 in additional expense is really worth uprooting and moving over when I'm just going to be doing it again in March anyway. So, um, never mind the so long and good riddance, at least for now. More details to follow as I will likely make a final decision by the close of business today.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

So inspite of my griping, it looks liek I'll be moving afterall. I put a deposit down today on a new apartment. It's 1019 sq ft, 2 bedroom, 2 bathrooms. 9 month lease. Oh, and get this - indoor basketball court and reservable (with refundable deposit) 25-seat movie theater. Hmmm... Or I could stay here. 1 bedroom, 1 bath. I'm getting an additional 133 sq ft for 42 less a month. The apartment looks just as nice as mine here, but it's so much better a deal. Oh yeah, also, I have an elevator and indoor hallways. And the view from my windows isn't of an eyesore parking garage. This seems like a no-brainer to me. Sure, I have to move, and that sucks, but it's about time to clena house and move on anyway. Plus, I'll just rope some poor unsuspecting friends/family into helping. Suckers. So long and good riddance Jefferson Oaks (assuming my application goes through! *crosses fingers*)!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Stupid weather... It looked nice this morning when I left for work, so I was all about short sleeves with no jacket. Now it's gotten downright chilly outside... Grrr... I wanted to go look at apartments after work, but now I'm gonna have to run home and find my hoodie first. Cause, you know, that's oh so far away... Still. Stupid weather.

Missive on the subject of apartment hunting: It powerful sucks. As I might have mentioned, my rent has been on the pricier side, but I like my apartment and the location. However, with my lease expiring July 20, my renewal rates have gotten to be quite exorbitant. On the order of an increase of $120/month if I sign another 12 month lease. I had not planned on doing that, I had planned on signing a lease so that both mine and Emily's expired at the same time in March, which tacks on an additional $50/month. This is somewhat akin to highway robbery I feel. Also, I'm rather irked at my apartment complex. I asked them for my renewal rates on 5/2, knowing that they require 60 days notice if you intend to vacate and thinking that my lease ran through July 31. I heard nothing for 5 days, then inquired again, and was told letters would be out next week. I got said letter on 5/11 indicating the new rates and that my lease expired on 7/20. Super. That means I have until the office closes on 5/21 to decide go or stay. 10 days. How in the hell can they ask me to give them 60 days notice when they give me only 10 days to make a decision? Bull crap. Anyway, knowing in impending increase in financial burden my rent will cause and being irate at my leasing office, I've gone in search of shelter elsewhere. Much to my dismay however, there are not as a lot of options. Or rather, not a lot of options I can afford. For me to actually move, my new apartment has to be of similar size and quality, but but cheaper, or of similar cost, but much nicer and bigger. This has so far not occured. I have a couple more places to look, but it's looking more an dmore likely that I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. Rent has increased so much across the board that I don't know how people are going to afford it in another year or two. And it's not like I can say, oh, well, my rent is almost as much as a mortgage payment now, so I'll just buy a house. Ha! My rent is like half of what a mortgage payment would be on a decent condo if I bought today. *Sigh* We'll see what the next 48 hours brings, but it looks like I'm probably staying put until March.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Here's some pictures from Ben's college graduation in Meadville. He now posseses a BA in English from Allegheny College. Anyone know of any job openings?

Before the sky totally opened up on us

The proud parents of a graduate and his handsome brother

Ben and I, diploma in hand. I wish I got my actual diploma at my graduation. At least mine wouldn't have risked getting wet...

Ben and I again, at the part at Chris and Libby's

Uncle Jimmy and Ben. I'm pretty sure that's his real hair! Though I'm not sure whose is more out of control... ;)

At least all teh clouds and rain made fo ra nice sunset over Presque Isle

Ben's graduation was fun. Wet, but fun. We drove up on Saturday, and made great time while racing storms the whole way. Went to the cemetary that evening to visit Uncle Bill and Uncle Jim. Graduation was on Sunday, which seemed strange to me, but whatever. They decided to have it outdoors despite the imminent rain. It was dripping when we arrived, but not enough to deter anyone. Of course, as soon as a the procession started, so did the downpour. The honorary degree awardee talked too long about several things which weren't relevant to a college graduation, but no one was really listening as they huddled under umbrellas. After they announced Ben's name, we bolted for cover in a nearby building with a roaring fire. By the time the ceremony ended 2 hours later, the rain was tapering off and the sun was coming out... Too bad graduation was starting at noon! But we met some of Ben's proffesors and they headed up to Chris and Libby's for the outdoor party that lasted for the few good hours of sunshine. All in all a good time. Ben and my parents leave tomorrow for Alaska as his graduation present, so they should enjoy that. Emily and I came home yesterday through a good bit of rain and then a couple hours of sunshine, and them some more rain. Zoey was quite antsy to be let out when we walked in the door, but otherwise the girls seemed to have fared just fine on their own for the weekend. That about it. I've got some pictures that I'll post tonight. I had to come in to work early this morning, which makes 3 of the last 4 days I've been up before 7:30 (how awful, right?), but it's alright because it means I'll be able to make up some of the time that I took off yesterday. Hopefully this will be a pretty short week, although I have to decide by Sunday whether I'm staying at Jefferson or finding a new apartment. It's wicked gay that I got 10 days notice of my new lease amounts should I renew, but they ask for 60 days notice if I decide to vacate. Where's the justice in that? *sigh* So I've got some work to do in looking for a new place this week so at least I have some comparison. But for right now, I've got some real work to get caught up on.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Also, I took this personality dealie that everyoen else is doing the other day. I just forgot to post my results, so here you go:
Respectful Leader

Is it really Wednesday already? I could swear it was only Monday or Tuesday. Oh well. At least that means the week is going by quickly. Ben's college graduation is this weekend, which is a little scary. Seems like only ytesterday I graduated and only the day before that he graduated high school. I guess it's true, time does go faster as you get older.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I did it! I made it the whole day without falling asleep! Including lunch at China Buffet no less, and that always makes me sleepy even when I'm awake and alaert to begin with. Hooray for sugary goodness.

Not sleeping rules. I didn't fall asleep until something like 6 am this morning. It was definitely getting light outside already. I can feel my eyelids getting heavier and heavier by the minute. Time for some coffee or something. Oh well. I had a pretty good weekend. I successfully made tilapia for dinner on Friday. My pasta didn't turn out so great to go along with it, but the fish was pretty good if I do say so myself. Saturday Emily and I ran some errands and acquired a betta fish named Claude for Emily's apartment. He's a crowntail, which are really pretty. Next time I go over there I'll try to remember to take my camera. We had some Chipotle for dinner courtesy of my birthday present from Laura and Greg and watched the Coen brothers' Ladykillers with Tom Hanks. It was a pretty funny movie, but like most of their movies, funny in a more subtle, less slapstick kind of way. Sunday we were pretty lazy most of teh day, but I did get my car washed, polished, and rain-xed in the afternoon, and just in time for it to start raining. I know that seems dumb, especially seeing as how I knew it was going to rain all day. But the way I see it, now the rain isn't hurting my car. It's just beading up and wicking right off. My arms are sore today too. I always forget how much work really washing and polishing/waxing a car is. No wonder I only do it once a year... The problem of course is that once you remove all the dirt, you can see the pock marks/dings/dents and cracking/chipping/faded paint underneath. Oh well. Maybe after I put another 10,000 miles on it (probably winter 2007/spring 2008), it'll be time for a new car. Unless something else expensive goes wrong first. Now I've gone and jinxed myself...

Friday, May 05, 2006

And here's some pictures from our recent trip to Hershey, PA. This one in particular I'm very proud of, if it weren't for that stupid fly... It opened for me, but 250free frequently blocks files over a certain size, to the full size version may not work for you, sorry. That's why I wanted to set up my own web server, but Cox won't let you do that with any kind of ease. That's a whole other story... Anyway, enjoy!

Here's a couple of test shots I took with my new camera this time last week. It's got some pretty snazzy, though not terribly useful, coloring features, as well as several preset modes for taking pictures in certain environments. Aquarium pictures are actually decipherable now, and indoor pictures don't suffer from insane light issues. It even take super pictures of changing light sources. I'm pretty stoked about my new camera. =)

Yay! Free Cinco de Mayo cupcakes! Or rather, cupcakes that were for a cinco de mayo party that didn't require all the available cupcakes so I stole one. Either way, mmmm...

Ahhh, the "good" old days. Last weekend we spent the whole drive up the Hershey scouring the countryside for "cheap" gas to buy on the way home. I was excited to find it for $2.899 because it was 15 cents cheaper than almost everywhere else. Remember in high school when you could fill up a bone-dry tank for under $20? *sigh*

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I just checked how much leave I have built up. Despite taking 10 days off around New Year's, I could go home right now, and then not come back to work until June 12th. And I'd still have 13 hours of leave leftover for the rest of the year. Obviously taking a 5 week vacation isn't going to happen, but it's nice to know I could. I'm not even sure what I would do with all that time. I'm sure Oblivion would keep me occupied for a while, but after a while I think I might loose my grasp on reality and actually come to believe I'm a fire-resistant dark elf apprentice mage with deadly bow-and-arrow accuracy and very agile lock-picking hands... I can't tell if I'm sleepy or just longing to go home and play video games. Maybe after poker...

Me and 7:15 are not usually on particularly friendly terms, but I was able to make it to work before 8 and get all my parts of our customer presentation finished and burned to cd and passed off to security before 10. Now it's their fault if the cd isn't wrapped up and ready to go in time. At least it's done, but I gotta say nothing pisses me off more than doing stuff at the last minute and rushing to throw it all together. I'm really too much of a perfectionist for that kind of thing. Especially when the whole mess could have been easily avoided by other people doing what they said they were going to do and being more on-the-ball about it. Grrr... Whatever, I've already got close to 2.5 hours on the books and Manish hasn't even come in yet. Maybe I'll go home early and take a nap before poker...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Oh goodie: Gailey Announces Nix Will Call Plays. *rolls eyes* No, actually, this is good. Since Gailey has been reluctant (I'm being generous) to fire Nix, maybe giving him an opportunity to be the play-caller will either force him to step up as an OC or give Gailey a good reason to axe him. Perhaps all our poor play-calling has been Gailey's fault. I've said it a thousand times, I have no respect for Nix, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here because if he's good at it, great, we don't need to hire a new OC, and if he sucks, Gailey can't not fire him (right?). It's win-freakin-win baby! At least Gailey is making a change. Which is a positive. Thigns aren't working? Change it up. This isn't quite the change I was hoping for, but it gives me a glimmer of hope.

Emily and had a lazy Saturday watching the NFL draft (and me playing more Oblivion, naturally). Matt Leinart looking like he wanted to cry when he slipped all the way to the 10th pick and then pretending to be so happy about being a Cardinal cracked me up. Nothing else really to note, except that Ed Nelson didn't get drafted, and PJ Daniels and Dawan Landry both got picked up by Baltimore. If they ever get any playing time, I might have to start watching the Ravens. That's not too likely though, since I generally hate the NFL. Sunday we went up to Hershey again. Mmmm... It took longer than I remember, but it's still not a bad drive. And it's an easy day trip if you're not going to do the amusement park. We did Chocolate World again and bought up a sufficient horde of deeply discounted Cadbury eggs as well an assortment of other hard to find candy. We were distraught however to discover they had discontinued our raspberry hot chocolate mix. *sigh* We also walked around the Hershey Gardens and got a "sneak preview" of the giant bug exhibit that opened today (featuring hand-crafted gigantic wooden bugs). I've got a tone of pictures (and a couple videos) that I took with my new birthday present (a Canon Powershot A540 - thanks baby!!), so I'll try to post a few of the better ones soon. That thing takes some amazing photos. I have one of a tulip that I think is professional level were it not for the fly on a petal that I didn't notice when I hit the shutter. Oh well. Being out and about all day yesterday makes getting up and going to work the next day pretty difficult. At least I only have to make it two weeks before I have another day off and then another 2 weeks after that. Yay!

So there's going to be an official update to Monopoly, and if you got to their website, you can vote for what you want the new properties to be. Unfortunately, people are idiots, so the new game will suck. Most of the options are landmarks or ballparks and very few actual streets/neighborhoods. This is fine I suppose, but you can no longer build a house anywhere really. A hotel perhaps. It will require a substantial change in the nomenclature of the game, and depending on how things are set up, your color-coded monopolies may make no sense at all. They are changing the railroads to airports and using JFK, ATL, LAX, and ORD. One of the landmarks is the Hoover Dam. This should be the Water Works utility, no question about it, no voting, no anything else. Also, I find it fascinating that you based on users' votes, you will probably be able to buy the White House, and Disney World will probably be the new Boardwalk. Unless you (yes, you!) act now to vote and have no likely very little impact on the eventual outcome! Hurry! Regardless, it's a new Monopoly game, and official sanctioned no less, so I will undoubtedly have to acquire it.

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  • I'm Rev. Adam
  • From Oakton, Virginia, United States
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