Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A tiny bonus

So today I went to USAA to get a quote on adding a 3rd car to our policy (long story which I will explain why if necessary). As I was selecting coverage options, I was like "nope, wouldn't need rental reimbursement on a THIRD car!"... and then realized we don't even need it on our cars right now, since we carpool and can get by with just one car. I tried to think of any case where we'd need an additional car, but could not. So I took that off our cars and saved just under $100 a year. AWESOME. Another little bonus of working at the same place!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Random Bits

CNN Mistake
Haven't found a CNN mistake in a while, but here's one from a photo caption today - "Cindy Hurst thought having her daughter, Ellie help, cut Mom's hair before chemo might help her be less afraid. "

A Funny
Most of you know that I primarily listen to a Christian radio station. This morning they were going through school closings in the area due to snow/ice and they mentioned "Portland Jewish Academy". Haha. I wonder just how large their Jewish listening population is!

Traffic Safety!
When we were driving to work this morning, we suddenly came across a single line of orange cones all the way across both lanes of traffic on a fairly major street! (obviously not THAT major since it's only one lane in each direction, but it's reasonably sized - it's a freeway exit if that gives you some perspective). It was at an "intersection", sort of - it was right near a new housing development where they have a little contruction entrance/exit on the east side of the street only. We were headed north, so it was fairly easy for us to go around the cones - however, I saw major potential for big issues! First of all, it was icy. Second of all, it was dark out and you couldn't see these cones until you got to them. Third of all, there was really no way for southbound traffic to go around the line of cones - there is a ditch and no shoulder on the west side of the street. Fourth of all, if the southbound traffic did go around, they would have to try to coordinate that with the northbound traffic... basically it would be a giant mess if there was more than one car there at a time. It was weird - unlit, unmarked, etc. It really looked like someone had just put those cones there "for fun". So when I got into work I called the police non-emergency number. The woman seemed skeptical... she said there had been an accident in the area earlier in the morning (not sure if in the exact location). She asked me which lane of traffic it was blocking - I said BOTH! Then she said well on the east or west side of the street? BOTH!!!! She said she'd report it to the officers to have them check it out. I surely hope they did. And I wish I knew what the story was with that - so weird. At least now I have the police non-emergency number... I need to program that into my cell phone.

Grocery Game
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for- Grocery Game totals for this weekend!
Rite Aid: Shelf Price $8.57, Out of Pocket $3.75, Rebates $2.99 - savings of 91%
Safeway: Shelf Price $29.41, Out of Pocket $15.02 - savings of 49%
Albertsons: Shelf Price $130.20, Out of Pocket $60.91 - savings of 53%

Rite Aid actually PAID me a dollar to take some shampoo away from them! What a hoot. I am having so much fun. So far we have saved an average of 53% (this week and last week). :) YAY!

One might question why the totals are still so high for two people for a week - for one thing, it includes household/health/beauty products, not just grocery. Also, in the first 12 weeks of the game, the idea is to "stock up" on things so that you have it when you need it - you pay the cheaper price for it and then you "shop" in your house instead of going to the store and paying whatever the price happens to be the day you need it. I expect that the totals will get lower after we have a stockpile built up.

It's also funny that this really has become a game for us - both Geoff and I look forward to getting the list and going to the store on Sunday! We also went to Costco so I could make a "price list" of things we typically buy so I could see if the Grocery Game is cheaper or not. I was never super-obsessive about getting the lowest prices on things before, so this is very amusing to me. But it makes it more fun for sure!

Patrick says that along with comments about "what a nice young man" and owning a trailer, that the Grocery Game makes us prematurely old. So does the fact that we own a hutch.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Defining my world through potty thoughts

So I've been trying to figure out what exactly it is I'm trying to do here with my new "green" "hippie" "whatever" life... and I think that I can define it through balance. Here is my example using the toilet:

I read this morning about a guy who has an outhouse. I read his post about the potty house itself and why it's totally okay, and then I read how he uses it. Interesting. Not for me. Neither is the cloth TP I blogged about a few weeks ago! However, I'm totally okay with "if it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down". (hey, even Cameron Diaz does that!).

See! Balance. :)

Geoff summed it up nicely (thankfully, he's a man of fewer words than me... but who isn't?): "i think that what we are trying to accomplish is a more sustainable life. Which is a great goal.
again, there are some people that really take it off the deep end. like that guy that uses an outhouse. some consumerism is okay."

This is what the guy with the outhouse says about his life:
1) Off the grid. 30 years. Solar electricity
2) Limited power- house electricity has 4 golf cart batteries.
3) Composting toilet. Outside. (eew, you do that indoors!?)
4) No road to house. You gotta walk.
5) No running water in house. Water pumped by wind.
6) Showers solar heated; outdoors.
7) Heat with wood. One stove in house-..
8) Cook with wood 8 months, propane in summer
9) Most of our fuelwood now is from trees we planted
10) No refrigerator. 30 years. You don't need one either.
11) Big garden.
12) Eat locally when possible, not obsessive about it.
13) No pesticide use ever, gardens or crops; not even organic (ok, except a little in the outhouse and the greenhouse...)
14) Earth sheltered solar greenhouse (aren't they all solar??)
15) Shut up about it. Nobody likes preaching.
16) These are our choices- yours are yours.

My favorite part? (Geoff's too) - the last two points!

Peak Oil

So last night I was reading the Mothering forums again. There was one topic about The End of Suburbia. This is apparently a movie which covers the issue of Peak Oil, which I had never heard of before. So I spent quite a bit of time last night reading the wikipedia article on the subject.

Maybe everyone in the world has heard of this but me, but it's new to me so I'm going to share my thoughts! And hopefully, summarize it decently so you don't have to go read that AWFUL wikipedia article. Please take everything I say with a grain of salt... I'm no expert on the subject and I'm writing from memory from one wikipedia article!

So basically a dude came up with a theory in the 1950's that the world's production of oil will at some point peak, and from then on production will go down. He seems to think it is basically a bell curve. The problem is, it's pretty hard to determine WHEN it will peak... it's only possible to determine after the fact. For example, the US's oil production peaked in 1971... ever since then, oil production has been going down. Actually, the oil production in all non-OPEC, non-former Soviet countries has peaked! It seems that quite a few people think that the overall world oil production has peaked (many seem to think it peaked in 2005 or 2006) and others think it will peak in the next few years. Others think that the whole Peak Oil thing is not true - some OPEC person said recently that there is enough oil to sustain a $50 - 60 a barrel price through 2030 and after that it will rise but only to match inflation. Some think that it will plateau at some point, or that we won't reach Peak Oil because Peak Oil is 100+ years out at current consumption rates and we will find enough alternatives before that that we will never really get there, or see a large impact when we do. There was also something about if we respond when Peak Oil happens, we will have huge problems. If we plan 10 years ahead of time, still big problems. If we plan 20 years in advance, we might be okay.

Okay, say Peak Oil happens. One of the things they say will happen is that the world will not be able to sustain this many people! Instead of all the pesticide farming we do now everything will have to go back to organic. Some organic farmers say they have been able to reach the yields we currently see in pesticide farming (I'm calling it that not as the technical name, but whatever it's called, I just mean the kind of mass-production farming that we mostly know today), but that it takes a lot of labor. So either (a) they won't be able to make enough food for everyone to survive or (b) it will be so expensive because of the cost of labor that many people won't be able to afford it. We will also see a shift in labor from urban to rural areas. Another thing is they say the suburbs will die, because we won't all be able to live on our little plots of land and drive to work, the grocery store, friends house's, etc. all the time.

That's kind of the gist of it... obviously there's a lot more to it, but those are the points that stuck out to me. Kind of a conspiracy theory sounding thing, but it's interesting. The other thing that I thought is - so is it better to live in the city, where you can walk to work, the grocery store, etc. or is better to live in the country where you can grow your own crops and raise animals and stuff? If there is no food in the grocery store, the city won't do you much good - but if you can't get to work from the country that won't do you much good either. So I don't know what the right "answer" to "protect" yourself from Peak Oil is. :)

I told my co-worker about this this morning, and she immediately went to the website and ordered the movie! I was amused by that... but she said she'll let me borrow it. So I'm anxious to see it and learn more. :)

I have added so many blogs to my Google Reader lately that I have had to add a catagories - one is Personal Finance, and the other is "Conspiracy Freaks" - two blogs that I added yesterday where these people write about what they are doing to become self-sustaining in case of Peak Oil. Weird. But I'm interested to see what they say. So many weird-o topics I've been reading about lately. That's my food for thought today.

A few funnies

Two nights ago after checking out at Best Buy
Geoff: "He seemed like a nice young man."
Me: "How old ARE you?"
This one is particularly amusing because his mom declares we are "prematurely old" (mostly because of the camper). Apparently, it's true!

Yesterday at lunch
Geoff: "Does BBB [acronym at work] stand for Blah blah blah [he said the actual correct phrase]?"
Me: "Yes"
Geoff: "Am I smart?"
Me: "Hahahaha... ummm... I guess so!"

This morning in the car
Geoff: "Is this DC Talk?"
Me: "I don't know"
Geoff: "Are you sure?"
Me: "No I'm not sure, hence I don't know!"
In his defense, he claims there was a space between I don't.... know. So he heard I don't.... No. :)

These don't seem as funny typed out. But trust me... they are funny. Maybe you had to be there.

Stay tuned later this morning for what I hope to be an educational blog on a subject I discovered last night.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I won!

I won the Nearly Impossible Question on the radio this morning!!!! I've written before about how I listen, and called in occasionally, but it’s become more fun with Geoff in the car with me! Last week the prize was tickets to Jeremy Camp, and Geoff and I weren’t that excited about those, so we felt kinda bad calling in to win, especially because a lot of people really love him. Well this week, on Monday, I knew the answer but decided not to call in because we didn’t want to win Jeremy Camp tickets. But the person that won on Monday won BLAZERS tickets, and they’ve been doing really well!! So Tuesday we decided to try harder… but didn’t know the answer. Yesterday we knew the answer and called and called and called, but it was busy. Yesterday afternoon we were like “okay, we have 2 more days to get this, we can do it!!” (the Blazers game is on Friday, so we knew they’d be giving away tickets all week) So this morning I got my phone all ready to go with the number programmed in and everything. I got in the car and they happened to be saying the question right then “the average woman spends $54,000 on this in her lifetime”. They said someone had already guessed makeup, but it needs to be specific. So people called in and guessed things like “getting your hair cut and colored”, “getting your nails done”, “going to the spa”, etc. They said no no no, but one of the guesses in that last sequence was very close! I could tell from their reaction to “getting your hair cut and colored” that it was along those lines… and Geoff was like “what about shampoo and stuff?” I was like “OH, that’s a good one!!!!” So I started calling immediately, got 3 busy signals, and got through on the 4th try. They picked up and were like “Pete and Brenda, nearly impossible question, good morning, what’s your guess?”! And I said “is it haircare products, shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, etc.” And they said “YAAAAAAAAY you got it!!!!” Then they asked me my name, if I’d ever won anything on The Fish before, etc. And Brenda (the woman host) asked what the most I’ve ever spent on haircare products is… I said “you know, not that much, maybe $5”. And Pete said “I’m with you! A bargain shopper, I love it!” And I said “I sure am!”. So then they asked if I liked basketball and I said yes… and they said, great, because you’re going to the game! I know they lost last night in Hotlanta, but I think they’ll be able to be Houston tomorrow night at Fish Night! And I said GREAT!!! And they put me on hold for a few minutes (so they could go back to their show)… it was cool because I heard the whole show like 10 seconds in advance of what the radio heard… I kept saying out loud what they were going to say on the radio (before they said it) and was making Geoff laugh. So then my segment came on, and I sounded great! I was so pleased. Then after that Pete picked the phone back up off of hold and got my information and gave me information on how to pick up the tickets (since it’s too late to mail them). So we’re going to the Blazers tomorrow, yeah!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Another Dream!

This one is from my sister:
Okay so I had some WEIRD-O dreams last night... starting with, I was in Alicante [where she used to live in Spain]...and for some reason.. I don't know how..these Vietnamese people (I know they were Vietnamese, I'm not sure why)..but anyways, they captured me and two other girls...and they wanted to BAKE me! They were going to put me in the oven alive, because they said I had better flavor that way... And they were going to send some of my meat away too.... I was SO scared of them... and then Abel [her boyfriend] helped me escape.. I got back to... well it wasn't my apartment.. it was someone I knew...and then I couldn't find the key to lock the door because the person who lived there was in the shower and she had it...then some of my co-workers from now showed up and they didn't believe my story... then I woke up. SCARY! I think I was just scared because it was so vivid and real.

I am going to look up the meaning for her in one of the dream books I checked out from the library... what do you look up though? "being baked alive"? Haha. But I still think it's hilarious that she had better flavor when she was baked alive. That's so funny!

Moral of the story: don't tell me your dreams if you don't want me to post them for the whole world to read about! Seriously though, I wonder why it seems people have been having such vivid dreams lately!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grocery Game Funny

In Oregon, the majority of the grocery store ads come out on Tuesdays (4 out of 5) - the other comes out Sunday with the rest of the ads. Since I started the grocery game this week, when the ads came out today I decided to take a look and see what's on sale this week and start to speculate on what might be on "the list" this weekend. As I was perusing, I came across an ad for "locally grown" chicken. INTERESTING. You GROW your chicken? Not sure if I want grown chicken... maybe next time type "locally raised" chicken. That's hilarious.

Two nights ago Geoff and I smelled a burning type smell in the house. We checked the oven and the stove and couldn't figure out what was going on, so we ignored it. Then yesterday we got home from work and turned the heater on (we often turn it off at night around 9 PM until the next day after work, since we're just sleeping and working during that time and it's just the 2 of us). It didn't come on! Uh oh! I turned it off again and then tried turning it on again... didn't work. It was flashing "filter" which is just a reminder to put in a new filter, so I reset that reminder in case it was doing anything. Nothing. I went to the garage and heard that the heater was ON, weird. Then Geoff realized it wasn't blowing air. So he called his stepdad to see if he had any ideas, and he said that he had the same problem recently and that the control panel was broken and he needed a new one - a $500 fix. Meanwhile, Addy and her boyfriend were coming over for dinner, so I texted them to say "bundle up!!!"

We had an opposite problem this summer with the AC - the fan was blowing, but it wasn't blowing cold air. From that experience, we found a great company called Faith Heating and Cooling. As far as I can tell it's a one man show - but the man is awesome! He answers the phone and comes and is just great... he's hard to understand (speech-wise) but is great at explaining exactly what the problem is, etc. He comes on time and works quickly. So I called my man and he asked him if I wanted him that night or tomorrow (which was today really) - I said either. He said "well, it's double time, so a minimum $220 service charge if I come tonight, plus additional labor and parts". I said "oh, no problem, tomorrow is fine" (aka I am cheap and we can freeze!). So he asked when we got done from work and I told him 4 but I could leave earlier... he said that he'd come at 3:30 so that we wouldn't have to leave work too early but he could be done by 5 and not have to charge us extra. See why I like him!!

When I got off the phone and told Geoff about the conversation, this is how our conversation went:
Me: "He said he could come tonight for a minimum of $220 or tomorrow for regular price. I picked tomorrow."
Geoff: "Good choice. We'd only need it tonight if we had little kids or something."
Me: "Are you kidding? I'd bundle them up... I'd tell them to put on their snow suit if necessary!"
Geoff: "But what if it was a teeny tiny baby? What if they kicked off their blankets and froze to death?"
Me: "Why couldn't it just sleep between us?"
Geoff: "I'd squish it!"
Me: "Okay, then we'd take it to your mother's! She'd be happy to have the baby anytime, and especially to protect it from freezing to death!"
Geoff: "Oh, yeah, good idea!"

Then later that night, Geoff gets a text message from his mom "Are you warm enough?" See, she was even worried about just US - she'd definitely be worried about the baby. I thought that was amusing.

So my man came today... he called before he got here, right about 3:20. He figured out the problem and had it fixed by 4. It was in fact the control board... and cost $499, exactly what Gary said! The board itself was $340, and since it was a newer board it wasn't compatable some other piece (can't remember and don't have the invoice in front of me) so that had to be replaced for $90, and then labor was $69. He's so reasonably priced for labor! So it's done and we are warm! Yay.

And I'm very thankful for how great this house has been to me/us. I have lived here for 2 and a half years, and this is only my third issue - the first was the disposal, which I just had to buy a new one for (found it online for about $90) and Geoff installed. Then the AC this summer, that was roughly $300. I hope my issues aren't going to increase by $200 every time, that could start to get pricey in a few years! But roughly one issue a year is NOT bad. YAY for our house. And yay for heat!

Monday, January 21, 2008

"You should befriend some Mormons"

After reading my last post, Patrick IMed me and said "you should befriend some Mormons" - a reference to the fact that Mormons are supposed to stockpile a year's worth of food. By the way, even after somewhat extensive internet research, I haven't been able to find out exactly WHY Mormons do this - in some cases I read it's 2 years, in some I read it was just a "recommendation", etc. So I am unclear - if you happen to know more of the background of Mormon stockpiling, would you mind commenting and sharing some of the story? The first I heard of this was last month during our flooding - an older couple in Vernonia had a year's worth of food in their basement that was all ruined.

BACK TO THE STORY (gosh I get off topic easily)... after Patrick commented that I should befriend some Mormons, I showed him this link - a Mormon grocery gamer with her beautiful stock pile of one year's worth of food. Note the THREE FEEZERS: one for fruit / ice cream, one for meat, and one for veggies. Wow.

Oh and in case you're wondering what Geoff thinks about this - he seems to enjoy it! (not as much as me, but of course he's not as much of a freak as I am). He went with me to all of my stores yesterday, and agreed to go again today and do a seperate transaction so that we can get twice the amount of items allowed in one transaction (the reason we're going again is because I missed a few things when making my initial list yesterday... I am not a star grocery gamer yet). I thought he would NOT be excited about the seperate transactions, but he said it happened all the time when he worked at Schuck's and it's not big deal. YAY!

Latest Obsession

Recently when I was reading a personal finance blog, I read about The idea is that stores have a very predictable sale cycle (starting new again every 12 weeks), and by using sales and coupons together you can get fabulous deals on brand name items. They help you do this by showing you when the best combination of the deals is - each week they publish a list for various grocery stores and drug stores, with the deals shown for you. Green means an item is free (after coupons/rebates), blue means it is the ROCK BOTTOM price (it never goes lower than this), and black means that it's a decent price, get it if you need it, but it will go lower so wait if you can! You're supposed to stock up when you see a blue item you use... enough for 12 weeks worth, so you can get yourself through until the next sale cycle. At first you might not see a ton of savings because you're still in "stock up" mode, but after the first cycle you get through, you should see quite a bit of savings! They have a trial membership for $1 for 4 weeks, and I read that the best thing to do is save up coupons from the Sunday papers every week for a few weeks beforehand, so that you're ready to go when you start. I've been saving coupons since January 6th, and I started yesterday. This is how I did:

Safeway: spent $1.95, saved $1.30 (40% savings)
Rite Aid: spent $7.14, coupon savings $1.85 (21% savings - plus I have a $2 mail in rebate, and the savings on the Rite Aid receipt doesn't tell you the sale savings, JUST coupon savings - so it's really better than that)
Walgreens: spent $8.07, saved $14.19 (64% savings)
Albertsons: spent $58.08, saved $51.10 (47% savings)

I got tons of food, health/beauty, and household products for that... I won't list it out here to bore you though.

Today I am going to go to two stores and get the following things: 14 cans of petite diced tomatoes, 6 cans of black beans, 8 cans of chicken broth, and 8 cans of tomato sauce. And the total for all of that is going to be $14! Which I figure is pretty good… tomatoes and black beans are generally $1 each on sale (at stores that take credit cards, maybe 60 cents each at Winco but that's cash/debit only), so right there that'd be $20… without the chicken broth and tomato sauce. I am SO EXCITED. (these are ingredients that are in a lasagna soup that Geoff and I love)

This game is definitely NOT FOR EVERYONE. You can get decent deals on a lot of this stuff just by buying your paper towels / TP / etc at Costco, and for a lot less effort. However, overall you do save more playing this game than you would at Costco and I LOVE the "game" part of it. Clipping all of the coupons, organizing them, waiting for the papers to come and the lists to come out, picking out the items you want, etc. Plus I want beautiful stockpiles like these (don't worry, I realize that these are for families of like 7 people... I hope mine will be this pretty, just on a smaller scale! - also before you freak out, think about why these people have so much stuff. If they have 5 kids who eat 3 boxes of cereal a week, that's 36 boxes they need to get themselves through a 12 week cycle. So buying 40 boxes of cereal isn't as insane as it looks on first glance!). I was having trouble yesterday morning figuring out what I wanted to buy, figuring out how to read the list, making sure I had all the right coupons, etc - but once I did it was GREAT! I felt so guilty walking into my first store and handing over the coupons... but no one even batted an eyelash. It is so weird to me to hand over stacks of coupons, but it works so well! I love it. If you DO decide to try the game, I'd appreciate if you'd use me as a referral - kelly94942 at hotmail dot com. I'm having a blast... and can't wait to go shopping today! I know, I am a huge freak. But at least I'm having fun!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A dream, a quiz, and a thought

Patrick's Dream Last Night
Patrick had a dream last night that we were in Palatine (the Chicago suburb where we grew up) and we were at my house there, and there was a farm. He accidentally killed 2 pigs, and asked me to bury them. I did a bad job, and the farmer found them, and he thought "I should have buried them myself".

Moral of the story: Don't ask me to bury your dead pigs!

And answers to follow-up questions:
1. No, he did not kill me for not burying the pigs well
2. The farmer is unknown
3. He doesn't know how my house was involved other than we could park in the driveway which was extra wide (there was a two car garage and then a 3rd car spot on the driveway itself - perfect for a teenager!)
4. My house was not the farm itself, but it may have been in the backyard

A Quiz Marisa Sent Me
Marisa sent me a quiz this morning. I won't blog the whole quiz, but here are a few things I thought were interesting:

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? I was named after Grace Kelly. I never really knew why, my mom wasn't obsessed with her or anything as far as I know. My middle name is Elizabeth, which was my great-great grandmother on my mom's side's first name. (Like if you go straight up the line of women in my family... my mom's mother is Ann, her mother was Almina, and HER mother was Elizabeth).

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I always comment that I would not be friends with me. I don't think I'm a particularly nice person.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I try not to say "no" to anything... but this is something I'm not very likely to get excited about.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I'm not much of a cereal eater... I like lots of them though, hard to have a favorite. I enjoy Froot Loops, Honey Nut Cheerios, Life, Capt'n Crunch, etc. The last time I had cereal was probably in college though... and even then very very rarely.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No... I wear sneakers to work every day and I NEVER untie them. Actually I was slightly annoyed earlier this morning because one came untied and I had to retie it. But with my running shoes... EVERY SINGLE TIME. No matter what. I always untie them. Two reasons: (1) so I don't hurt the heel of the shoe when I try to put my foot in, and (2) so I can tie them tightly enough and appropriately to support my foot.

DO YOU THINK YOU'RE STRONG? PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY? I do actually. I think I'm both physically and mentally strong. This often gets challenged (physically) when I try to "fight" Geoff and he picks me up and throws me (gently!) on the ground or otherwise shows me how weak I am compared to him. Most of the time my levelheadedness make me feel strong mentally, and when I'm running or leg pressing a lot of weight or something cool like that I feel totally strong physically!

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? In someone I actually meet, their intelligence. I judge it almost immediately, based on whatever information I have to go on. Usually throughout my relationship with any given person, I continue to judge their intelligence up or down (this sounds bad. I don't know how to make it sound not bad. I guess it IS bad.) If I haven't met them (i.e. someone I see in a store), I will typically notice who a person is with - kids, friends, significant other, etc. If they are alone I will note if they look like they're talking on the phone, in a rush, etc. I rarely notice physical appearance, and even less often, what they're wearing.

RED OR PINK? Pink! I LOVE pink... bright pink, light pink, any pink. This is new, in the last 3 or 4 years. I used to hate it. I try to get EVERYTHING in pink... I have a pink hat, rain coat, suitcase, etc. I tried to get a pink KitchenAid mixer, but Geoff wasn't a fan... he let me get a pink spatula and a pink knife instead. So I think in our kitchen I'm going for black / stainless steel... with a little bit of pink accent thrown in there where I think I can get away with it!

WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Well this is a very recent discovery (like I realized it yesterday), but I am annoyed that I have to have a numerical metric to be truly effective at doing something. Like I can save money easily because you can look at your progress over time on a chart. I can plot the number of miles I have run in a week, month, year on a pretty little graph. I can't measure my relationships with people or with God that way... they're not quantifiable! So that makes me feel like I can never be good at them... although I know that I CAN and probably am. I just can't measure it. So I don't like that I have this metric obsession with all that I do. It's not necessary. (also - this probably isn't my least favorite thing about myself overall, it's just something that's bugging me a little)

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I definitely miss the college environment! I miss my sister the most though of any one person... I think I feel even further from her because she's in Spain, so it's hard to talk on the phone with her. Anyone else, I can call up at any time... but not her!

FAVORITE SMELLS? Nothing strong! I don't like strong smells anywhere... flower shops make me feel like I'm going to throw up. I like vanilla okay. (incidentally, I read yesterday that chocolate chip cookies make women more likely to go shopping, even if it's not in the budget). I thought of this later (when it was lunchtime so people have food at their desks) - I LOVE the smell of onion and/or garlic cooking in butter or oil!

FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? College football! Even better, Big 10 football, and the ultimate prize is Northwestern football. :) Bonus points for winning!

DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No... oddly, both Geoff and I have perfect vision. I do have these weird prism glasses though... they are a prescription but not a normal prescription. I have a muscle issue with my eyes (don't remember exactly what, it's been 5 or 6 years since I've been to an eye doctor) where sometimes it is hard for me to focus (especially when I'm tired) and I will wear these glasses to make it easier to focus. I will often go 6 months without wearing them though. If anyone else puts them on, they are like 3-D glasses in an IMAX movie. So weird.

FAVORITE FOOD? This is hard! I love food. Recently I have had an affinity for any pasta made with Italian sausage. I have discovered that I find ground beef has little flavor in anything but hamburgers (to me anyway), and I prefer substitutes - sausage in pasta, ground turkey in tacos, etc.

LAST MOVIE YOU SAW? Pulp Fiction. I am embarassed to admit that, because it was such an awful movie in the sense of language, violence, sex, etc. I found it amusing though... it's hard to say if I really LIKED it, but I'd say more it was interesting. I watched it because my coworkers all love it and quote it constantly. One of them loaned it to me and so I watched it, so at least now I can understand their references to it. Incidentally, my sister and I weren't allowed to watch The Simpsons when we were little and to this day we both refuse to watch it because we're not "allowed" to. (that was the only show we weren't allowed to watch, except for The Nanny which my mom banned simply because she did not like that woman's laugh)

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? When are you going to Alaska? I can't remember! We're going on an Alaskan cruise with my parents the summer of 2009 (I think... nothing's set in stone yet). I am reading A Thousand Splended Suns for book club... it's by the author of the Kite Runner, which I loved, and I love this one too! I'm about halfway done. I want to check out a few non-fiction books from the library - perhaps one or two about dreams, and a couple of personal finance books. I'm thinking of starting a personal finance blog (as though there aren't enough of those on the internet already!)

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I can fold my tongue in half and open and close it quickly like a venus fly trap. NOT like most people who can sort of roll it in half so that it makes a little O in the front (although I can do that too), but this is literally folding it in half so the edges of the right side meet up with the edges of the left side, right down to the center. It hurts my throat/neck though after I do it a few times in a row, so I don't do it often. I just did it once to test just now, and it hurt just that once!

A Thought
As you might have caught above, I'm thinking of starting a personal finance blog. I LOVE personal finance. And I'm constantly getting more and more interested in it. I think I send Geoff a new chart daily ("look at how our power bill goes down in the winter as our gas bill goes up!" "here's our projected net worth in 2043!" - two ACTUAL examples from this week). And we have set very aggressive financial goals for the next 2 years (because really, who can set precise goals on a longer time frame than that). So it'd be fun to track that, share what I know, and get advice/comments from others. I'll keep pondering it, and we'll see what happens! Let me know what you think of the idea. There are already about 648914365 personal finance blogs on the internet. And this time, that number might be real.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I am obsessed with looking at what people Google to find my blog (and I use the word obsessed loosely, since I do it only about once every 6 months... but it greatly amuses me). It so entertains me! Top 10 in the past month:
1. celery numbness
2. kate gosselin
3. jon and kate gosselin
4. beaverton and gym and "resolution people"
5. becoming a dentist
6. celery heartburn
7. fuzzy posters
8. hate kate gosselin blog
9. kellys furniture mcminnville
10. usaa

Speaking of using terms loosely, I do that a lot. I over-exaggerate a lot. I say "hate" "jealous" "obsessed" "love" - and tons of other things I'm sure - way too easily. I should work on that. I also say things like 13689063 when I mean 12 often. Yikes.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Now Geoff is dreaming

I don't think Geoff has ever told me about a dream he's had before... must be because I've been remembering my dreams more lately! But today he told me about a dream he had last night: He was paying someone for a service and I apparently thought it was overpriced. I said "this is ridiculous" and pulled out a gun and shot the guy right between the eyes. After that I ended up in jail (makes sense) and Geoff and his brother were living in their parent's house (the parents were gone). Only a bomb had gone off in the house, so there was only a bathroom and they both had to live in that bathroom. The end.

More details (based on answers to questions I asked):
- He thought the service was a taxi ride, but wasn't sure
- He doesn't know what his reaction was when I shot the guy
- He doesn't know if he was sad I was in jail or if he came to visit me
- He doesn't know where his parents went or how the bomb went off
- Geoff thought it was extra funny that I said "this is ridiculous" because I apparently say that a lot

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It got worse

Read my post called "Outrage" just below this if you haven't yet.

It gets worse... I read on in the same article and read "Hillary's life was marked by grand achievements, high adventure, discovery, excitement -- and by his personal humility. Humble to the point that he only admitted being the first man atop Everest long after the death of climbing companion Norgay." Nothing wrong with that sentence/paragraph... if you don't count the fact that 8 paragraphs prior you read "Hillary's life was marked by grand achievements, high adventure, discovery, excitement -- and by his personal humility. Humble to the point that he only admitted being the first man atop Everest long after the death of climbing companion Tenzing Norgay."

Wow, thanks for taking out the first name Tenzing. That made that paragraph MUCH different than the one that came before it.

And these are just the mistakes I catch, people! Who knows what else I'm missing, even in the articles I read (I often get bored and skim, especially towards the bottom).

This article in particular is good though. I really enjoy reading about Hillary... especially his comments about David Sharp, those have always really resonated with me (from what we know, not having been on the mountain that day, as many as 40 climbers didn't stop to help Sharp because they were more interested in their own summit attempt).


Okay - I check probably once or twice a day depending on how busy I am, typically once first thing in the morning and once in the afternoon when things start to slow down. This is weekdays only. I read only the stories up at the top in the Top News section. (on very rare occasion I will scroll down the front page to find more articles, this is once a month at the very most). I'd say I typically read 2 - 5 articles each day. I by no means consider this extreme.

Anyway, it's come to the point where I am finding mistakes several times a week, and I find this unacceptable. Today I was reading about Sir Edmund Hillary dying, and found this mistake "The accomplishment as part of a British climbing expedition even added luster to the coronation of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II four days later, and she knighted Hillary as one of her first act."

ACTS. Not act - PROOFREAD, please. I realize you're putting out thousands of articles a day, but I'd rather read half as many articles and have them correctly written. You're not writing a blog, you're running a professional news organization. Ridiculous. I've even discussed with Patrick the possibility of starting or some such blog. I'd have more fodder for that than I do my real blog! Honestly though, I wouldn't be surprised if it's been done already.

Fascinating... in a weird way

So last week I was searching for the correct way to wash my satin-y cloth napkins that we used at Christmas. I came across this thread - about using cloth napkins in every day use, instead of paper napkins. I thought this was a perfect, green idea to go with my new thing of moving more towards being green. I thought that I might start to do this after we work through the paper napkin supply in the house that we currently have. I told Julie (the mother in law!) about this and she suggested putting the paper napkins in the camper where we can burn them in the campfire instead of putting them in the garbage, and that way I could start on cloth napkins now. Genius idea!

So I decided I wanted to see some other ideas from these people that brought me this cloth napkin idea. So I went back from that thread to the more broad forum - it's called Frugality and Finances, at Mothering (which is apparently a "natural family living community" - sounds like there is a magazine that this all comes from). Okay, interesting, but just because these people have kids doesn't mean their ideas can't relate to me. They're all big on Dave Ramsey (I've never actually read any of his books, but I've read so many personal finance forums and blogs and things that I feel like I have!) and have some interesting ideas. The interesting thing about this forum compared to most personal finance forums I read is that they're MORE into overall natural living than they are into finance. So for instance, even though you can often find new items more cheaply at Ikea or Target, they would prefer buying the same item used from Goodwill or a thrift store because it lowers overall consumption. Interesting.

I can see in the signatures these people use on their forum postings other things they're into - home schooling, family bed, no vaccinations, eating organic, "babywearing" (never heard of that before this forum), etc. So I back up even further into their overall Mothering forum - YIKES. Reading their discussions about all of these ways they are raising their kids are fascinating to me. Certainly things I'd (for the most part) never thought about. If I ever have kids, they would definitely be topics I would do some research into and spend some time thinking about. I mentioned them to Geoff and for most things his first reaction was "ew, no" but he also said they are things worth thinking about if you do have kids. Interesting, anyway.

So after that I stayed safely in the world of "Frugality and Finances"... still a lot of interesting discussion. There was a discussion about if teens are more expensive than babies and kids, and one mother pointed out that America is one of the only countries where braces seem to be a given for almost all kids. In most cases, they're really just cosmetic and not needed for health reasons. Stuff on gardening, stocking up your pantry, having "no spend days/weekends", etc. All fascinating to me. A woman's blog link about how she stocks her pantry, doesn't have trash service (takes her own loads to the dump instead), turns her water heater down except for laundering cloth diapers, line drys laundry, etc.

Today... I encountered a whole new kind of frugality - cloth toilet paper! I am so fascinated by these people. On many of these topics I can't/haven't even formed an opinion one way or the other about if I think these are good or bad ideas (for me, I'm not questioning if they're good ideas for those folks!), but I just love how much it makes me think.

One note about this blog: I completely generalize this entire forum... I realize they're individuals who all have their own ideas and do different things, but I am speaking in general when I say "those people". Just the feeling I get from the general nature of the discussion. Anyway though, I'll keep reading occasionally. It's certainly an interesting read if nothing else! Reveals my own ignorance to me. :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I have had a lot of very vivid dreams lately. Last night, I dreamed that I sold my wedding dress on Craigslist (I had BARELY posted the ad and someone wanted it right away, so I was running around trying to find the shoes and slip and all of that to go with it)... when the person came to get it, I opened the garage door and was scared because there were two people there, both fighting with each other! My old roommate was there and was like "who is this person???" and I got mad and said "It's someone from Craigslist!". The roommate thought it was someone who was moving in from Craigslist, and I'm like, it's someone who is BUYING something from Craigslist. Then the roommate started running around... turned out he had hid stuff on the property... like behind some bushes he had dug holes and buried papers in plastic baggies? Weird. I don't know what happened with the wedding dress... I woke up.

I didn't used to remember my dreams like this, and certainly not so vividly. But I really have been the last couple of months. Wonder why the change?

My SET time today was 1 minute, 18 seconds. This SOUNDS like a good time, but I was disappointed. I got the first 5 very quickly (probably my fastest ever) but then I couldn't find the last one for a while. And I was getting frustrated because I couldn't find it right away, which probably made it worse because I couldn't just relax and concentrate.

So yesterday I thought my insurance company made a mistake - I got my statement and it said this (numbers changed for ease of demonstration):

Auto: Full balance $600, Extended plan: $100
House: Full balance $500, Extended plan: $100

I thought "oh no, are they charging me extra fees for paying monthly on my homeowner's insurance? I know they don't do that for auto, but maybe it's different with homeowner's". So I called them up and asked if there were fees (thinking I'd much rather just pay it all now than to pay monthly if there are fees involved, and wondering how I'd missed these fees all this time)... and they said "oh no, we don't charge additional fees no matter HOW you want to pay it." I said "okay, well then there's a mistake in my bill... if there are no additional fees, the monthly homeowner's bill should be $83.33". And she said "well, your auto just renewed so you have 6 months left on it... your homeowner's renews anually in June, so you have 5 months left". OHHHHHHHHHHH.... yes, that math works perfectly. So I felt a little dumb until I realized that it was a perfectly honest mistake, and it wasn't like I'd called and yelled at them or anything... and then I was just happy I called for clarification. And yet again, USAA is awesome! :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


So a couple of months ago Patrick introduced me to the SET Daily Puzzle. I MUST have had this card game as a child, because it seems so familiar. Patrick and I play every day and always share our times with each other (you get a time at the end when you complete the puzzle). Somewhere along the way, we came up with the idea that the "accepted" time is under 3 minutes. Anything higher and you are deemed dumb. A few weeks ago Patrick got a time in the 4 minute range, and was annoyed that he was dumb... I said maybe we didn't have enough data when we set the goal, and on average it really does take longer to complete it than we thought. He replied that "no, lowering standards is a problem all too common in America today. I must accept that I am dumb and work to improve it". (as funny as this statement is, it actually does have some truth to it!)

I was telling this story to my mom and Geoff over "winter break" and they wanted to try it... so they did - my mom got 19 minutes and Geoff got 21 minutes. At this time I developed a new "rule"... within the first 14 times (two weeks) of doing the puzzle, you are held to no "dumbness" standard, because you're still learning how the puzzle works.

I shared with my sister yesterday... she got 7 minutes on her first try, she must be a genius... although I got yesterday's puzzle in 52 seconds, so it was easier than others. Some really are easier than others. Today I got 4 minutes, 39 seconds - dumb. My sister got 3 minutes, 53 seconds today... in her two week trial period... she is a GENIUS!

Go ahead, try it. You know you want to!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Christmas (for real this time)

Alright, I really do owe y'all a real piece about Christmas, not just that half a sentence I wrote yesterday. It was great! Gosh, now I have to think back... the Friday before Christmas was my coworker Cindy's birthday, so we went to Old Spaghetti Factory for a little birthday get together. Actually that day was pretty funny too - I had decided I wanted Honeybaked Ham for Christmas dinner the night before, so we called the Honeybaked Ham store in the morning and they had some hams available. So I told Cindy I was going to go get one, and she wanted one too so she came. Our other coworker Paul needed something from the music store in that area, so he came too, and then we went to the music store. After that we had lunch with another friend at Sweet Tomatoes. It was a lengthy "lunch hour". ;-) But it was the day before "winter break!" Geoff had to work his LAST SATURDAY on the 22nd, so I did a lot around the house in terms of getting ready for Christmas and my parent's to arrive. The 23rd was his grandmother's birthday, so we went to brunch with his family at a very nice brunch establishment (The Red Lion Inn in Vancouver). Then Geoff and I went to a "camping timeshare" presentation which was such a hoot. Without going into all of the specifics on what this program offered, the guy calculated that we spend $800 a year on camping fees (based on average rate and number of nights stayed). Fair enough. Then based on his $4500 program, he decided we'd make that back in 5 years. Ummm.... yeah, except the $4500 is like the "buy in" fee and doesn't include yearly dues of $300 (which adds up to $1500 over the course of those 5 years, thereby adding another 2 years onto that time), plus the fact that there are still nightly fees (of roughly $10) at some of the campgrounds in his program and the fact that there are no campgrounds as close as the one we typically go to, so gas prices are more expensive. I pointed these three facts out to him and all he could say was "oh... I guess your math is better than mine". HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. What an entertaining way to spend an hour. I so enjoyed myself. As a reward, we got $50 worth of gift cards to Camping World and $25 worth of Shell gift cards. Excellent. At Camping World (we went right away since it's sorta far away and this place was right next door to it) we bought Cast Iron Cookware, Domino Holders, and a Mexican Train Domino piece (same center piece and trains, we just didn't buy that whole set). We're domino people. ;-) Then we got home and Geoff's grandmother gave us a Christmas present - the same exact set of Domino Holders! I felt so bad... but it was great because it was obviously a present we really wanted, and Geoff realized it was actually perfect because this way we had 8 instead of just 4 so we could play bigger games! Then that night I played Risk for the 2nd time ever - we played two games with Geoff, Geoff's brother Trevor, his girlfriend Kristy, another friend Andrew, and stepdad Gary. Trevor easily won the first game and Trevor and I made it down to a few little men in Madagascar on the second game. It was SO close... but Trevor came out ahead. I'm now Risk-obsessed. We then went grocery shopping at about midnight (yay for 24 Hour Winco!) and then finished up the house. We slept in on Christmas Eve morning, finished up the very final last touches for the house, and then went to Geoff's parent's so he could salt-pack the prime rib. Yuuuum. I ran an errand with Gary, and by the time I got back it was time to go get my parents! We got them from the airport, and went straight to Geoff's parents. We had a DELICIOUS dinner (complete with homemade dinner rolls prepared by Geoff's mom) and Geoff's Oma and Opa (his grandparents on his dad's side) were there. Oma presented Geoff and his brother with a very special Christmas presents - quilts she had made for each one of them using their dad's clothing. They are SO cool - they are giant, made with king size sheets. The guys were so excited... they had been a part of picking out the clothing and arranging the layout of the quilts, but they didn't know they were ready and it was so cool to be there for their reaction. In fact, I am cuddled up in Geoff's right now. Definitely one of the best gifts ever (and I didn't even get it). But I DID get Lock-N-Lock (the best storage containers ever, and we know how I love to organize) from Oma. TONS of it. Yay, I love Lock-N-Lock. Oma and I are like twins... only not. Then Geoff and I made the announcement that we'd received WEDDING PICTURES and everyone gathered around with dessert and coffee to watch them on the big screen. Obviously watching them on a giant TV is not the most quality way to see your fabulous wedding pictures, but it was great to be able to watch them with both sets of parents, two sets of grandparents, and Geoff's brother. Definitely worth it to see everyone's reactions all together. It was awesome. Then Geoff, Mom, Dad, and I went to church, then home so my dad could go to bed. My mom, Geoff, and I stayed up cooking a breakfast casserole for Christmas morning (a very long-standing tradition in my house).

I need a new paragraph.

Christmas morning we slept a little late, then enjoyed our breakfast casserole. We were waiting for my sister, who was in route from her boyfriend's parent's house in Alicante, Spain, to Motril, Spain, where she lives. Once she got there, we set up a webcam and videoconferenced while opening all of our presents and stockings. It was a long process, but fun! My parents and my sister got me and Geoff all of our bedding that we'd registered for on our wedding registry - it is sooooo nice. I feel guilty sleeping on it... I'm so paranoid, like "what if I drool?!?!?!" It really is very nice. We received several "first Christmas" ornaments and lots of fun stocking stuffers, including wooden spoons for Geoff, the man who LOVES wooden spoons. And I got Paula Deen's Christmas cookbook and Geoff got a BBQ thermometer probe thing! After that we had to cook! Okay, I didn't cook, just bossed people around - sounds like me, right? We washed all of the china and crystal in our hutch - some had been used, and some hadn't, so we just got it done. Plus it looks all sparkly now anyway! We bought beautiful Christmas placemats and napkins for Crate & Barrel (wedding giftcards, yay!) that made our table look so elegant and formal and beautiful! I cannot find a link to them right now which makes me sad because I want you to see their beautiousness, but at the same time happy that they're not like 75% off. Anyway, Geoff's family came over around 5ish... we all visited for a while, and Geoff and my mom cooked (really, I did nothing. Oh, I warmed up the rolls and tossed salad. Difficult.) OH!!! I almost forgot - my mom bought these little sparkly alien ear things for us... they were so fun. She gave them to us Christmas morning, and we wore them all day, even during the video conference. And they didn't even hurt my big head. EVERYONE wore them for a while that night too, there is a picture somewhere with them... I'll have to get one of those pics from someone and post that. Too funny. Anyway, that was awesome. But we had a great dinner... Geoff prayed... and the ham was DELICIOUS. Honeybaked Ham is so great. Yum. After that we opened presents... Geoff's brother Trevor got us the deep fryer from our registry... SCARY. It is awesome, and Geoff can't wait to make buffalo wings. But I can just feel fat jumping onto me just looking at that thing in its box. Yikes. Geoff's parents got us the Coleman Road Trip grill for our camper, which I have been talking about forever. It's super cool. They also got me party lights with little trailers attached to them (seriously, the lights are trailers!) and Geoff some steak thermometers. Oh and a deep fry thermometer. Lots of thermometers for Christmas. ;-) We had picked out most excellent presents for our parents this year (at least I think so) - a Coach purse for Julie, a grill thermometer with wireless responder thing for Gary, slippers and an electric screwdriver for my dad, and an ipod shuffle for my mom. They all seemed to enjoy them, which was really cool! It was a most excellent Christmas.

The next day my dad got sick! Boo to him... he and Geoff both worked the next few days, so my mom and I went to Costco, watched Food Network, etc. Friday we went camping in Cannon Beach at the Cannon Beach RV Resort. I love that place, and I love the coast! It was windy and misty of course, but my poor parents ("the Texans") were especially frio. But we had a good time walking around the coast and looking in the little shops and relaxing and playing dominoes (of course). We had steak and roasted potatoes for dinner the first night, "camping breakfast" (which was invented by my mom, but she said my version was as good, which was really cool), and then went out to dinner one night). Sunday we got back, and dropped the camper off at Geoff's parents (they needed extra bedrooms!) and then went home to rest and shower. Sunday night we went to happy hour at Oba for a drink (YUM, marionberry margaritas) and then Russell Street BBQ for some tasty food. Monday was New Year's Eve... my mom and I went to Costco and the grocery store for black eyed peas. She makes fantastic black eyed pea soup. We hung out for a while, Geoff got home from work pretty early, and we went to Geoff's parent's for a New Years Eve party around 7ish. It was a blast! Tons of people there - Geoff's parents, brother Trevor, girlfriend Kristy (with her family - 2 parents and 4 other kids), sister Rebecca, uncle Mike, cousin Taylor, aunt Julie, uncle Brian, new baby cousin Nora, grandma Katie, aunt Gayle, uncle Rick, cousin Meghan, cousin Brendan, aunt Judy, uncle Jeff, cousin Hannah and her boyfriend Andrew, cousin Miriam, aunt Sarah, uncle Peter, cousin Odette, my parents, Bestema (like a grandmother... confusing family relation really)... and I'm sure I'm forgetting some! We had a great time giving trailer tours... it seemed to be a hit. Then we busted out the dominoes... the first few rounds saw several people rotating in and out (I was glad we had all 8 trays!). Several people asked us where we got the game... but really it's kind of pieced together. The dominoes themselves (really all you need, you can play with pennys as markers instead of "trains") are from Target (we have two sets, double 9's and double 15's), and everything else is from Camping World. By the time we really got going though, we played with me, my Mom, aunt Gayle, Gary, uncle Brian, uncle Rick, Geoff, and aunt Julie. It did rotate a little but that was the main crowd. My mom won like every game - with the exception of 3... I won one, Gary won one, and Geoff won one. It was so fun!! Everyone was just being hilarious... that table had so many inside jokes and it was just a great time. One of the best times I have had in a long time. I laughed so hard... I love being around sarcastic people. Since my mom was winning so much, she was getting a lot of trash talking aimed in her direction but she dished it right back, it was excellent!

The next morning we had to take my parent's back to the airport... that was sad, but we had a great visit. Then we went home and cleaned up the house and then just relaxed the rest of the day! Wednesday we just relaxed, last night we took down all of the Christmas decorations and the tree, and tonight I went to Chevy's with Addy. Geoff made himself enchaladas and watched the Legend of Zorro. I am now writing the LONGEST BLOG EVER while he plays X Box... which I don't think he's played in the past month. I apologize for the lengthyness of this blog, but I had to catch up! Geoff's last day of work at Schuck's was today! On to bigger and better things starting Monday - my company is all ready for him, he's set with his laptop, phone, headset, nameplate on his office, etc. So exciting! :)

I use too many capitals and made-up words and off-kilter grammar when I blog. I guess that's writer's prerogative though, huh? Is that the right phrase? I thought there was some phrase like writer's right or something. I can't remember. I learned it in like 5th grade.

Tomorrow I have am conducting an interview for a high school senior who is applying to Northwestern. I LOVE these interviews, I always enjoy them so much. She wants to be a biology major. I'm looking forward to meeting her! Then tomorrow night we're going to Chili's for birthday cocktails with a friend. Excellent. Oh and we are using our waffle maker for the first time tomorrow morning in celebration of Geoff's first weekend off. So excited for this weekend! Have a great one.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas and the Vending Room

Christmas was great! I didn't surpass my goal of blogging more in 2007 than in 2004, but maybe 2008? We'll see. We had a great time with my parents, hosting our first Christmas dinner, camping at the coast, and having fun playing dominoes on New Years Eve. YAY.

And now a vent:

Here are 3 vending room types who are unaccaeptbale:
1. Man who gets food out of fridge, sets it down on counter as though he is waiting for microwave, leaves room, and comes back and acts annoyed that someone who was actually IN the room put food in microwave instead of him. WAIT WITH YOUR FOOD
2. Girl who gets food out of fridge and timidly waits until a different man comes in to remove his item from microwave. GET THE GUY'S FOOD OUT AND SET IT ON TOP
3. Guy who walks in to remove his food from said microwave girl was waiting for. Again, WAIT WITH YOUR FOOD

And an announcement! Geoff got hired at the same company where I work (we've known this for a month or so) and he starts on Monday! Just one more day left for him in his current job. YAY... carpool parking lot, here I come! ;-)