Friday, January 30, 2009

RIP Dell Inspiron 6000.

So, sadly I probably won't be posting as much as I have been lately. I will still try to get on every chance I get and write more. Here's why. Yesterday I came home from work and grabbed my computer to check e-mails, bank info, the usual. It was in sleep mode, the screen completely black, so I booted it up and actually ended up having to restart it by holding down the power button. When it started back up, the screen was blue and full of writing saying, "DISK ERROR" or "RECOVERING ORPHANED FILES" Not good. SO I called up Dell and spent about an hour on the phone with them trying to figure out what was going on. My computer has been acting slow lately, screens take a while to pop up and I can't have more than one program running at a time. After running a few of Dell's require system checks, they told me that it is something inside my computer. Like a corrupted file or a bad software download. It is messing with every program I open and affecting the heart of my Inspiron. And now comes the horrible news. In order to get rid of it, I have to re-do my entire system. I have to re-install the disks for my hard drive and Windows XP. What does this mean? Well, I am going to loose everything on my computer. Every picture, word document, and song I have ever created/downloaded. I will be left with NOTHING. I am looking into purchasing an external hard drive and transfering everything to that, so that hopefully I don't loose years and years worth of important things. Either that or take it into Geek Squad and have them create a back up drive for me. AHHH, the whole thing is just such a pain and really frustrates me.

On a much lighter note, G is turing 24 today!! I was going to post a bunch a baby pictures of him up here....before my computer decided to start being stupid. So, just know that he was a very cute baby with large ears and a happy smile. I am not too sure what we are doing for his birthday tonight when I get off work...he hasn't decided yet. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GARY!!

Hope you are all having a wonderful day and that the weather isn't too horrible where you are.

This is a good song!! Listen and watch!!
THE SHINS, PHANTOM LIMB

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday.

I just got back from a pretty late night of working. Carly asked me to stop singing bedtime stories to her because she said they were making her cry. No, my voice isn't that good. She just really missed her mom. I forgot to mention this in my last post (which was too long anyway!) but when I was telling Tori about how nervous I was for the test, Carly had been listening. She interrupted me when I told Tori that part of the test was on reading comprehension and said, "Allie! You don't need to take a test on reading...you read to me ALL THE TIME, and you do a great job! You should tell them that, then you won't have to take your test!" Super-duper cute... jealous?!

Last night for dinner G and I made a special trip to the grocery store to get sandwich supplies and ice cream. I could honestly eat sandwiches everyday of my life but it's a rare thing when I get a craving for ice cream. I can't even remember the last time I had ice cream....I didn't even buy a single ice cream cone last summer. Our sandwiches turned out amazing and I am getting ready to make another one for a late dinner tonight. Here is the perfected recipe:

* 2 toasted slices of whole wheat bread (you have to toast it until it's really really brown and
crispy)
* 5-7 fresh onion rings
* 4 slices of tomato
* Alfalfa sprouts (i used clover sprouts because they were cheaper)
* Mushed up Avocado mixed with garlic and salt
* Light mayonnaise
* Yellow mustard

The result?



G made almost the same sandwich but substituted the avocado for basil hummus. I think he used lettuce instead of sprouts too. His looked just as yummy. As for my ice cream choice...Ben and Jerry's Phish Food. I haven't been able to decide if it's good or bad that G isn't a huge ice cream fan. I get more, but end up eating almost the entire thing by myself!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Don't Wake Me, I Plan On Sleeping In.

I apologize for the fact that it has been so long since I last sat down and wrote an actual post. I wasted too much energy freaking out about my stupid test and stressed myself right into a nasty cold/body flu. My energy levels are close to 0 and I am getting a little tired of being so exhausted and crabby every second of my day. Just ask Garrison, I am NOT a fun person to be around when I am sick. The next time I get sick will someone just lock me in a room and feed me bowls of chicken noodle soup and NyQuil through a little hole in the door? At least that way I can only be a mean monster to myself. Sleeping is supposed to provide with the energy you need for your day. I hate going to bed early, waking up super late, and still feeling like I only slept for an hour or two (if I'm lucky) the whole night.

Another reason I haven't been writing as much is because I have started discovering (for the first time, a little late...I know) the world of blogging. Most of the people writing the blogs I have been reading have interesting stories to share, are super funny, or extremely clever. I know I am just writing to keep family and friends updated a bit, but still. When you're reading some of the best it kind of makes everything you write seem a bit dull. I never realized just how many different types of people keep public blogs. Even just through blogspot.com alone I could (and I have, oh boy) waste a good part of my day sorting through the pages and pages of random stories. I will have to list a few of my favorites I have stumbled upon once I get them written down. As for right now, one of these that comes to mind is yourfaceblog.blogspot.com. The creator Damien Weighill, is a really fun artist. You send him your picture and he draws it and posts it on his blog.


HEY, REMEMBER THESE?!

area of a triangle = 1/2 bh

volume of a cylinder= pi times r squared times h
1 gallon = 8 pints
y= mx+b
c squared = a squared + b squared

.......

So, Saturday morning I took a state required test for grad school. Wait a minute. I guess I just assume most of you already know the main things about me, but I forget that I am pretty much the worst at keeping in contact with old friends. Actually I am pretty bad at keeping old friends, really. Something that really has been weighing on my mind pretty heavy lately. Anyway, for those of you that don't know...I have been applying to various graduate schools here in Chicago, hoping to get into a master's program for Elementary education. If I am accepted, I will be in school for two years and leave with a Masters of Arts in Education degree and a certificate to teach grades K-9. In order for these schools to even look at my applications, I have to pass the Illinois Basic Skills Test.

Basic skills
. I know. So why was I freaking out weeks ahead of time? It has honestly been so long since I have had to revisit high school math rules and numbers were never my strongest skill to begin with. Plus, every time I have to take a test my heart races so fast I feel like I will probably pass out. SO, I thought that if I studied myself silly I would at least be heading into the whole thing with confidence, which counts for a lot in most cases. I didn't sleep very well the night before and had to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to get there on time. I tiredly stumbled down the stairs with my Whidbey Island coffee (thanks dad!) and a mess of papers that I felt like I had put together in my sleep (half of which I ended up not even needing). I was picked up pretty quickly by a really friendly taxi driver who later told me that he couldn't take me to where I needed to go, but that he could find me a taxi and then I wouldn't have to wait in the cold. He didn't charge me a penny and drove me around until we saw an empty car coming down the road (we were the only people driving so early). He wished me luck and I told him that I didn't know how to thank him enough. And seriously, what a nice person. When things like that happen to me it always makes me realize just how I need to be more understanding and giving I need to be.

Once I was at the test site, I felt so much better. The cups of coffee I had sucked down were just starting to kick in and I could see the end of the tunnel. Also, there was something calming about being surrounded by 200 other people that were all there to try and become teachers someday. Everyone was really friendly and funny and I soon felt a little more at ease. It did take me a while to get into test taking mode (it didn't help that the first reading assignment was on stress management). For the first hour of the test (the whole thing was FIVE HOURS LONG, with NO BREAKS!) I felt like I was never going to be able to concentrate on the material in front of me. My mind was focusing on everything but the test! I had figured weird things would happen mentally during the test, but I have never experienced anything like that before. It was like the more I tried to focus on the test, the further away from it my mind ran.

Once I had completed the test, my body felt relaxed and I think I even smiled finally. It felt so good to be finished with the whole thing. I remember hazily walking down the hallway after finishing, watching the next batch of people waiting to take the test. I was considering shooting them glances that read, "Oh, that test was much worse than I had pictured" but then figured it would have been pretty mean of me. I was so tired after the test that I even forgot to grab my cell phone from the check in desk. I had to walk the huge hallway back again, right past all of the people I had passed already. Probably good that I didn't ham it up on my walk out. As soon as I got back into my neighborhood I bought and took some Theraflu for my cold and fell asleep faster than I had for a month or two. So now, all I can do is sit and wait for two to three weeks. I think I did just fine and I'm not too worried. We'll see.

After my long nap on Saturday, I went out with Jenny and her friend Betsy. I had a really fun time, and it was nice to be out without feeling like I had a whole bunch of stuff that I needed to get done. It was also awesome to be able to share things that had been on my mind for a while with a friend. Jenny really has this amazing way of making everything seem like it's not such a big deal. Saturday night I realized that I am getting better at being friends with girls. I am a pretty shy and nervous person usually, but have been finding that since we have moved to Chicago I have been (slowly) getting better at not being incredibly awkward.

I am posting the picture below to prove two things:
1.) Getting married does not automatically make you a responsible adult.
AND
2.) Dishwashers are nice.


In one standing, I must have washed 7 plates, four glasses, two mugs, pots, pans, bowls, and silverware. Seriously disgusting. I realize that this picture also makes us look like fat pigs who eat all the time. How can two people create so many dirty dishes?! We honestly don't eat that much and the answer to how we create so much crap: laziness.

We're working on the problem and hopefully we will have it all fixed by the time we have kids. Oh wait, maybe that is why we will have kids. Chores teach responsibility and someone has to do all those dishes...right?!

Here are my latest projects, though I have to admit...with everything going on I kind of sent crafting on a vacation. A red pillow with felt birds, and a miniature quilt for Zoe's little doll Hannah. Carly, the red pillow is for you. I just need to get the time to mail it!



Do you all remember my "Books to Read in 2009" list a few posts back? It is such an Allie move to start reading a book that wasn't even on my goal list. The book that snuck into my list and bumped its way up to the top was one recently given to me by the family I work with. It's called "13 Reasons Why" and is written by Jay Asher. It is about a highschool girl who commits suicide and then has someone passing around cassette tapes that she recorded before she took the pills. She addresses the tapes to 13 different people, telling each of them that they had something to do with her death. The more you read, the more you discover exactly why she killed herself. Pretty morbid sounding huh? The lady I work for said, "It's an easy read, and once I started reading I couldn't put it down. I finished it off in just a few days!" First of all, I'm curious about what types of books she is interested in and second, how can I pass up an easy and exciting read? I'll read this one now and get to the rest later. Wow Allie...how predictable.

Sorry if this post seems to be all over the place, hopefully by the next time I write (soon! soon!), I will be feeling much better. Before I get some sleep, I need to share with all of you my friend Amy's blog from China. Amy is dear to my heart and a friend that honestly changed my life. She is an amazing, beautiful person and she writes more eloquently than anyone I have ever met. I love reading about her adventures in China (she teaches English) because she has such a unique way of looking at the world and handling new challenges. If you have the time, please check out her blog at:

http://www.thisismynoise.blogspot.com/

I promise you won't be disappointed.

MOM: I am no longer scared of this video! Yay!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pump It

I seriously cannot get enough of this....


Pump it !! from Capucha on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'm Only Sleeping.

GUESS WHAT?! Today I took a five hour test for grad school AND paid off the last of my school loans!!! I am treating myself to a very long nap...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hazy Shade of Winter.

Dear Winter,

I have handled you like a champ so far. Always talking about how pretty the snow is, getting excited to walk around in the crisp air and drink things that warm my insides (tea, coffee, wine), and loving the fact that I actually have the time to listen to a lot of my old records that haven't been dusted off in months. But today I woke up and just decided that I have had ENOUGH. I am tired of the same thing happening every day. In the Summer I can ride my bike, go on adventures, get out of the house. I miss sitting on our roof deck, reading books and drinking slurpees and lemonade. I miss being so hot that it's actually a good thing our crappy shower mostly pumps out cold water. I miss the good smells that flow in through our open windows. I have had enough of your snow, your wind, and the lack of green. I don't like dressing in three layers just to go across the street. I don't like slipping on the muddy snow still covering the sidewalk. I'm even beginning to dislike wine. Please end sooner, rather than later. If you stick around until March like you did last year, I'm really going to loose my cool.

(un) Affectionately yours,

Allie


One year in 40 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

And Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson...

So I finally found the time to sit down and sew! I've decided to try and make my first quilt and if it turns out okay I will give it to our friend Jenny's baby Lex. Luckily his birthday isn't until May, so I have a while. When I was at Joanne's purchasing sewing supplies I decided to not spend the extra money and get a rotary cutter, which turned out to be a pretty stupid decision. I have great scissors, but cutting out the squares with them makes the fabric bumpy and uneven. When I go back to Joanne's I might just spend the money and pick one up, I can see now how it will make the whole quilting experience a pleasant one. After cutting out all of the squares, I was excited to sew them together with my machine. I got about two strips of squares pieced together before my sewing machine jammed. Now that I'm super pumped about sewing and actually have the time, my machine gives out on me. There might be some way to fix it, I just need to take the time to untangle the string inside the bobbin and figure out what the string keeps getting caught on. The colors I have chosen for baby Lex's quilt are blues, green, red, and yellow...pretty basic colors mixed in with cute fabric I got on sale two weeks ago (it has little cowboy dogs riding horses and stars all around). When I'm finished, it will look something like this:



I just purchased a Flicker Pro account, which is something I have been trying to talk myself out of doing since Christmas. Flicker really gets you though, it's such an easy way to store and share your pictures...you can even edit them with their quick and simple editing software. What they don't tell you, however, is that you can only upload 200 photos and then it won't let you add any more pictures. By the time you've uploaded 200 photos, you are so used to the convenience of photo sharing that you kind of have to upgrade to Pro. I know, I'm a sucker. Good news is I will be able to post a lot more pictures on this blog! And yes, Zoe you may use any of the pictures on here for scrap booking purposes!

Two days ago, while it was still 0 degrees outside we decided to walk down the street to a bar and grill we always pass, but never go in. It was too cold to get groceries so our fridge was empty and we were getting a little tired of the usual Thai and Mexican food downstairs. Our dinner was really good and I think it might be one of my new favorite places. Ever since the new year, I have been trying to eat less meat. I've found that by cutting meat from my diet I eat much healthier because my options are limited. When we go out to eat, instead of ordering a huge burger with a plate full of fries I'll order a salad and soup, or a veggie burger. The bar and grill we went to had a delicious black bean veggie burger, much different from the veggie burgers usually served. The burger was a lot like refried beans pressed into a patty, served on a cabatta roll with salty pico de gallo, onions, and slices of avocado.


I have been drinking a lot of tea lately, because I have gotten a little tired of coffee. We are finally using the beautiful tea pot that our friend Chris brought us back from China last year and I swear it makes the tea taste so much better! I have been working on perfecting the perfect pot of tea and I think I just about have it figured out. In one pot I add two bags of green tea and one bag of orange lemon tea. Then I mix in two tablespoons of lemon juice and three tablespoons of honey. A week ago I felt like I was coming down with the worst cold ever so I drank cup after cup of my delicious tea. I didn't get sick! I love tea so much.

Mentioning honey reminds me of something pretty funny I heard the other day on the radio. It was a discussion about how much people are willing to pay for organic foods and how almost everything is labeled "organic" these days. They started talking about organic honey and mentioned how it's pretty much a scam. Although the honey is coming from beehives on a farm, there really is no way to keep the honey "pure" because the bees leave the farm. There is no way to tell where they are getting the pollen from! Anyway, the whole thing kept me smiling for a while.

Yesterday I ran over to the 7-11 to get some juice and I was behind this older lady dressed in a floor length fur coat. She was buying a huge bottle of white wine, lottery tickets, and a pack of cigarettes. Classy. She reminded me so much of Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate, which reminded me that I need to watch that movie again, it has been way too long.

















LOST starts in just a few days and I am really looking forward to this season because both of our mothers are totally into it now, so it will be fun to talk Lost with them. The past three seasons my mom would, very politely, listen to me go on and on trying to explain to her what happened. I would say, "You have to watch it mom, you'd really like it" and she would say, "I just don't get it, there's too much to catch up on". So last year she started with season one online and now she's hooked. I'm still working on my Dad.

So I have been pretty addicted to this site lately. It is a collection of brilliant, artistic ideas ranging from trick photography to clever advertisements. I probably waste way more time that I should be scrolling through the millions of categories and pictures. Also, if you are really bored and feel like learning something new check out TED at http://www.ted.com/. This site features thousands of free video lectures on almost everything including space discovery, the history of bread, underwater exploration, and American history. There are 25 or so categories and at least 100 lectures under every subject. I last watched a lecture on teaching monkeys sign language. The lady had videos of her interaction with the monkeys and it just blew my mind how smart these creatures really are.

While I'm talking about websites...CARLY, this one is for you. It is an online kaleidescope! Just move the mouse around to change the design and see what you can come up with.

In case you have forgotten, anything written above in yellow letters can be clicked on to reach the link that I have attached. You won't have to download anything, it just takes you to a picture or the mentioned website.

We are leaving to get some dinner now, lately I have had this huge craving for anchovies and pineapple pizza (sounds disgusting but it is really good, something about the salty mixing with the sweet of the pineapple...)

I will leave you all with these amazing pictures. Can you believe these are all DRAWN with chalk on a sidewalk?! If you want to learn more about this artist or see more of his work, just click on these yellow words!



Lessons in Patience.

To the wonderful guys downstairs at Los 3 Panchos Taco Place,

After tonight I have the utmost respect for every single one of you. You all have more patience than most people can even begin to try to have, and I don't know how you do it. Even when I try to talk to you about the drunk jerks I have seen in your restaurant before you just laugh like it was nothing at all. The last time I ordered food from you there was a man complaining about a rash he had gotten all over his arm (which, by the way, was from his cheap watch), because he had been rolling on your floor. First of all, how drunk do you have to be to roll all over the floor of a restaurant?! Second, how much nerve do you have to have to refuse the food that people have cooked for you and yell in their faces about how much you think they suck? You all just laughed as he cussed at you and flexed his muscles a whole bunch. Tonight a guy didn't even pick up his order because he was way too busy trying to get the phone number of a girl whose friends kept yelling, "Come on, let's go. HEY... creepy corduroy guy, say goodbye to our friend now..." You just took his food off of the counter and forgot him. When I was leaving I held the door open for a shivering guy and said, "You're probably colder than me!" His response? "Probably not..." Do I really come off as rude? Ha. I am impressed by the number of times I have seen you all hold your tongues and keep your cool....I know I wouldn't be able to do it.

Love,

Allie

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Brrrrrr.

I promise that I don't always talk about the weather as much as I have been lately. It's just that this Winter has been crazy cold, and full of a lot of new weather experiences for the both of us. Whenever I was freezing in college my friend Huck would always say, "You think this is cold?! I am from Alaska and this is what we call Summer weather!" Oh how he'd rub it in our faces. And I could do nothing but just sit there shivering in that 40 degree weather, all while hating his guts because he had some real bragging rights. Oh Huck, if you could see us now! Walking around in -4 degree weather actually having the nerve to say, "This isn't too bad, it's much warmer than yesterday!" And it really isn't all that bad, I think we have gotten used to it pretty quickly. Tonight we even ventured out to a restaurant to get some dinner. Granted, by the time we got there our snot was frozen to our faces and my cheeks were so cold it felt like someone had slapped me really hard for five minutes straight. Right now it's -12 degrees out and our windows are laced with ice, even on the insides. Our apartment is all snuggly and warm though, you would never guess it was so cold outside from here. I am pretty excited to have an excuse to stay bundled up inside with Garrison and Cat. We both were fortunate enough to get the next four days off from work and school and it will be nice to spend so much time with each other after a hectic week of life.

Sunday night G and I went to the Vic Theater just down the street and saw two movies for five dollars. Five dollars! The movie theaters around here are all $9 for one movie, at the cheapest. The first movie was pretty funny (Role Models) but the second one was so horrible. It was nice to be out of the house and we still had a huge bag of popcorn left so we stayed anyway. The inside of the Vic is beautiful, it's an old theater with balcony seating and intricate, gold details on the red velvet walls. I wanted to take pictures of the inside of the theater so badly, but it would have looked strange and I didn't feel like blinding everyone with the flash.

Before the movie I went on a walk and was only out for about 25 minutes. When I got back to the house, my toes were so numb I couldn't feel them at all. I was so cold that I started a shower and got a little freaked out when I realized that I couldn't feel the water temperature around my feet. I sat and rubbed them for five minutes until they started to tingle a bit and continued until I could feel the water. The whole time I kept thinking about when my dad fell through the ice into a lake when I was a child. I remember being really scared while I watched him and my mom rub his legs and toes. I was also thinking about this man that I had seen on a science channel show called Superhuman. They called him the Ice Man, or something like that and his body didn't react to cold the way most bodies do. He ran for eleven miles barefoot in the snow, in the middle of Winter. AND he was only wearing running shorts. He would also sit in large tubs of ice water for hours and his body temperature would not drop one bit. During my near-frost bite experience, I was wishing so badly that I was as cool as Ice Man (get it?!) Do you have to train for something like that? And how do you even discover that you are capable of such things?

I have been wanting to create a game of our own with C for some time now, but haven't had the time or frankly the energy to cut cardboard with dull kid scissors and write out millions of cards. And then there is the task of finding extra game pieces and unused dice. Yesterday we put our heads together and combined her love for art and silliness with the Jenga game we have had since our wedding. The result: Super-duper silly, even MORE kid friendly JENGA! I was really happy with the outcome and we had a ton of fun pulling out the personalized pieces one by one, until the tower collapsed. We colored the 35 different blocks with markers and crayons and wrote fortunes or activities you would have to perform if you picked that piece. Activities such as, "Sing your favorite song", "Stand up and fly around like a bird", "Do a silly dance", and "Sleep like a Sleeping Beauty sleeps" (thank you C). Here is a picture of the finished product:




















Yesterday, the kids and I were reading a book about four little kids that each had something so cute about them that their parents had to either kiss it, tickle it, or touch it to their nose...not the best children's book I have ever seen. About half way through it was all I could do to keep reading with every ounce of enthusiasm I could find within me. And then the funniest thing happened and I couldn't stop laughing about it for the rest of the book. There was a picture of a dad throwing his little baby boy into the air saying something pretty lame like, "My little chicken, you are mine. I will fly you to the moon and you will be home soon". The way the pictured was painted though made it look like the dad would really have to go out of his way to catch his baby that he had tossed into the sky. C just stared at the picture wide eyed and when I was done reading she said, "Oooooooh...I HOPE he catches that baby!!" :-) Again, thank you C.

Tomorrow we are sticking around the house, keeping warm and getting things done. We both need to go to the post office at some point so hopefully it will be more comfortable outside than it was today.

AND NOW, more pictures for all of you!


Shopping after Christmas:

Making our gingerbread house with Carly:

G, Me, Chazz, and Lindsay, Christmas break:

Our little snowman:
.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

So Busy!

It's getting late and I have a pretty busy day ahead of me tomorrow, so I'm really going to try and hold back from writing a whole lot this post. Hopefully tomorrow I will have the chance to sit down and write about what's been going on with us lately. Sunday I hung out with Jenny, something that I have been looking forward to for a while since we got back from break. It's so nice to have a girl around to talk to. Those of you who know me, know that I am pretty picky when it comes to girls I choose to hang out with. Jenny is a good friend and it is nice to hang out with someone my age after spending a whole week with the same five people (two of those people being kids!)

Today it was a whopping 8 DEGREES! Tonight when I left work at 10:30, it was only two. I can't believe that Winter isn't even half over (it seriously stays cold here until late March...) I love the cold and the snow and other joys the Winter season brings, but towards the end I start to get a little antsy. I can't even imagine how stir crazy I am going to be come February! Even the kids are starting to feel it. Today we wanted to go to the library, after a half hour of what I like to call, "Chicago sledding" (definition: sledding down a four foot tall snow pile your dad shoveled in your front yard). About two minutes into our walk with a huge pile of book returns, we were both so numb that not even the four layers that I had wrapped Carly in were keeping her warm. You don't even shiver in this kind of cold. You are so focused on reaching your destination that you don't have time to shiver. You just feel like your limbs are going to fall off. As much as the kids love playing with their toys, I feel like we are all beginning to wonder when we'll finally be able to put away the Polly Pockets and Littlest Petshop and run off to the park for nature hunts.

Some things the Winter has brought me are endless craft ideas and the biggest, prettiest icicles I have ever seen. AND, unlike Spring flowers, you can break the icicles off and keep them without having to worry about killing a living thing or ruining it for everyone. Chances are all of the icicles we collected today will be back and just as big in only a few days (most of the ones we found were from gutters or roof drips). Painting white on black, snowflake discoveries, knitting, mitten painting, bird feeder making, the list goes on. Winter has always been one of my most favorite seasons for children's crafts and teaching opportunities.

And now, the video I told Carly I would post...although I am pretty sure she is going to hate me once she sees which video I was referring to. It's way to funny though.

Stay warm everybody!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring.

So, lately I haven't been able to get over just how much James Mercer of the Shins and Raffi look alike. Garrison swears I am bad at finding people who look similar to each other and that when I think two people look alike, I am usually way off. I'm sticking to this one though, especially after catching Mercer on this kid's show that Carly likes to watch (Yo Gabba Gabba).

Banana phone, anybody?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A list of books to read and finish.

1. Love in the Time of Cholera
2. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit
3. South of the Border, West of the Sun
4. Another Roadside Attraction
5. Franny and Zooey
6. Norwegian Wood
7. Same Kind of Different as Me
8. A Short History of Nearly Everything
9. Will You Please be Quiet, Please?
10. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


I should probably get started on this list very, very soon. Will someone please give me more time?!

Outside the Elbo Room, Saturday night at the Thunderunderus show:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pictures

I haven't posted any videos on this blog so far, even though I have been considering it for some time now. I am attempting to upload a few onto Youtube, so we'll see if I can post them by the time I am done writing this. One of the videos I hope to post is the snow we have had outside our window for a long time now. It started snowing yesterday around six and hasn't stopped since. In fact, it's gotten much worse and our county is under a Winter storm watch advisory. It's not as bad as it sounds though, we only 3 1/2 inches or so. It is supposed to keep snowing until six tonight though, so we might have a good amount by then.

We've been busy applying to jobs and schools still, although I have kind of lost the ambition I had just a few days ago. I keep putting off the things I really should be doing and instead finding lots of different ways to avoid essay writing. In some ways that's not too bad, the house is cleaner than it has been in a long time, I have a whole pile of clean laundry, and I have managed to watch a few more tv shows than usual. Sad thing is, ten days into 2009 and I am already breaking one of my New Year's resolutions by wasting all of this time. Oh well, I'll start again tomorrow ;-)

Two days ago, G surprised me after work and ordered food from my favorite restaurant, Penny's. The picture to the left is what I usually order, it's their vegetarian bowl. Tons of sliced carrots, cabbage, cilantro, bean sprouts, peanuts, lettuce, lime, and sweet seasoned tofu on top of a bed of rice noodles. I like Penny's because it is fairly healthy and you really do get so much for your money. The vegetarian bowl is about $5.00 and usually lasts me two or so meals. We have been eating there a lot lately because the snow and cold has kept us from venturing too far from our warm apartment. The other day I walked in and one of the waitresses said, "Hey Allie!" Disgusting, I know. At least we aren't well known at the Macdonalds just down the street.

This is going to be more of a picture post than anything, I haven't been able to get my card reader working for a while. Last night it started up again though, so I can finally post all of those pictures I have been taking with my new camera. Here's a few....

Steve and G fixing the car:














The swing band we saw at the Horseshoe:














Chicago sunset from our apartment window:



Thunderunderus show at the Elbo Room:


The camera case I sewed with my new sewing machine!


Tonight we went to G's band practice at the Slim Dixon practice space. Because of the snow, we decided it would be best to take a taxi out. For the most part, Chicago taxi drivers are friendly and fast...I've really only had a few bad experiences so far. Today we must have gotten one of the worst, I couldn't believe some of the things he was yelling at us. G told him where we needed to go and how he could get there and the guy had the nerve to say, "Well, thank God you aren't a taxi driver, because you would be horrible at it you would get a lot of complaints". See, he was super angry that G had given him directions, when he really wanted to drive his way of choice. G said, "Well, I'm sorry you are so upset, but I just didn't want you to u-turn and get stuck at the light, which would have cost us more money and time." Then the jerk said, "Oooooh, you were just looking out for my best interest. You are too too kind and I am truly touched. Awwww, thank you sir." I was pretty close to telling him off, or at least calling in with a complaint of some sort. I mean, if we were in any other situation that would not have been acceptable. We are customers, we at least deserve a bit of respect. At least ingore us and listen to your radio, or talk on your cell phone instead of chewing us out for no reason. By the end of the taxi ride I had come to the conclusion that he was probably having some kind of really crappy day, and who was I to make it worse for him. I mean, the chances of us crossing paths in the future is incredibly slim so better to just deal with his sass than to waste the time possibly ruining his life or even just his day.

Last night I had a dream that G and I were renewing our vows at this huge party. My friend Tarah from high school was getting married at the same party and we both wanted everything to be perfect. I needed to have my stuffed animal from childhood with me, just because she had hers with her so I spent half of my dream searching for Kermie. Once I found him, I realized that the party had started and my mom was crying because she wanted Tarah and I to have our own special days, and instead we were sharing them. I wanted to fight Tarah because my mom was so sad but I felt bad because she had a baby and I also hadn't seen her in so long. In the end I had instead pushed the huge cake off of the table and crashed the party. While I'd like to interpret this dream as something really deep, I sadly have to admit that I am pretty sure this all comes from seeing the movie advertisement for Bride Wars like a million times. Yuk.

Bands/artists I need to listen to more often:
1. Elton John
2. Crosby Stills and Nash
3. The Hollies
4. Early Rolling Stones
5. Drive-By Truckers



I'm not sure if the video I tried to post above even works, but if it does then it's the promised recording of snow coming down outside. It is still snowing (it's almost 10 pm here) but it has died down quite a bit.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Transitions.

So yesterday was my first day back at work, after a pleasant two week long vacation. Transitions are difficult for everyone and it has been hard getting back into the groove of things. Carly has taken my being back quite hard and it has been slow going trying to get her to warm up and be my little buddy again. Today was better than yesterday though, so I know it can only get better. Megan gave us a chocolate milk mixer for Christmas. It's about the size of a large cup and works like a miniature blender. I brought it to work as sort of a peace offering and you should have seen Carly's eyes. She mixed that chocolate milk until it was nothing but foam. At least I have the milk mixer going for me! Yesterday Carly and I watched Mamma Mia together and she sang almost every song until she fell asleep on the couch. I think dancing your heart out to "Dancing Queen" can be a tiring task when your legs are so small.

I'm not sure how many of you have seen the movie, or know what it's about. Basically, this girl is getting married and she doesn't know who her father is. So she sneaks into her mom's diary and finds the addresses of the three men she is certain her mother slept with around the time of her conception. She writes these guys and tells them to come to her wedding...without telling the mom (of course). SO I told Carly, "I'm probably not going to get to see the end of this with you so can you tell me right now which one ends up being her dad?" And she simply said, "She has three dad's Allie." I love the way preschoolers think.

It snowed again yesterday and although I have seen more snow this Winter than usual, I still couldn't have been more excited. Finally experiencing a Washington snow did make me realize how crappy the snow here is. It's pretty, don't get me wrong. It's just too cold to enjoy it. You can't build a snowman, or go sledding, or walk to the store because it is 15 degrees out. There are also no parks or lawns so all of the snow is either muddy or contaminated with Chicago's famous mixture of chemicals and salt. Lately it hasn't been too cold though, so I have been walking to work...which is always a fulfilling activity.

I can't believe I am even still awake at this point. I need to stop giving in to my newly discovered love for art blogs.

New Year's Resolutions for 2009

1. Read more books.
2. Waste less time.
3. Love more.
4. Be more understanding and patient.
5. Call friends and family more often.
6. Eat healthier.
7. Dust off morals I've lost over time.
8. Tease Bunz less.
9. Craft more.
10. Practice letting go and not caring.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Multitasking.

Today has been totally busy, thank god I didn't have to work. I was able to get so much done, including printing most of my graduate school documents and writing my main essay for all of the applications. I have always loved writing, it just takes me so long to get back into the swing of it...especially when it isn't something I am writing for fun. How do you express your passion for teaching on two pieces of paper without sounding incredibly cheesy?! I have been trudging through this school stuff for quite a while now and putting that essay off for way too long. Today I finally picked up my feet and made myself do it. Of course, it took me a while to get into it as expected, but once I started writing it I almost couldn't stop. In fact, I even had to erase a few paragraphs. I'm going to have Garrison edit it later, we'll see if it's really as good as I am hoping it to be. For now it just feels good to have accomplished something that has been weighing on my mind for two months. I am going to sleep so well tonight :-)

I haven't had time to accomplish as many projects as I was hoping to get to. But I guess its better to get the important things done with first. Our friend Steve's car broke down outside our apartment on Saturday so he has been over here every day since then. It's been really nice just having a friend around the apartment while we both work on our school stuff. It's a nice distraction anyway. AND Steve is a pretty awesome guy so it's been tons of fun having him here. You should have seen us all trying to get his car started on Saturday. Four of us (Steve's lovely girlfriend Rachel was there too) each trying the same number of operations, hoping that one of us had the "magic touch" to get the key all the way around. No luck though, so we finally just gave up and called a tow truck to take it to a mechanic. At least they'll know what they're doing.

Steve's broken car adventure reminded me of my own broken down car, Ruby Tuesday...which is still at my parents house (thanks mom and dad). It would always suck to have to see your car being towed somewhere and it was always worse when you had to pay for it. One thing that car taught me though was to fight hard for something that you want, and learn along the way. That car broke down more times then I can count, but I loved it so much I kept putting the time and money into fixing it back up. AND thanks to ol' Ruby, I probably know more about car engines than your average girl. Looking at Steve's car, I was able to figure out where most of the parts were. When his car wouldn't start, I was able to narrow down the sounds and parts enough to know what the general problem was and where it was coming from. Someday I will have my car up and working again, but in the mean time thanks so much to everyone who has helped me with that car...I couldn't have owned it, fixed it up, and continued to fix it up without my family and friends. And again, thanks mom and dad for keeping it for me. Wait until I win the lottery, it will be the best looking car you've ever seen.

Saturday night we went to a show with Steve. It was a 30s swing band (I think that's how you'd label it). The lady singing was beautiful and sang with a loud broadcasting voice and sang into an old fashioned microphone. She wore her hair much like Rosemary Clooney in the movie White Christmas. The band was composed of a stand up bass, a keyboardist, a saxophone, and a guitar. Everyone was dancing to almost every song. Someone was having a birthday party as well so it was a bit packed and kind of weird. This older man kept snapping pictures of Garrison and me, usually when we would hug or take a sip of our drinks. I think he thought we were part of the birthday crowd. Hope we looked good!

I have been making the best bagel sandwiches in the world, which I will describe in a later post (this one is getting so long!) G and I have been trying to eat healthier since we got back to Chicago, but it is incredibly hard with so much good food right downstairs. Also, these delicious bagel sandwiches have not been helping me whatsoever.

I was pretty excited about downloading a bunch of pictures that would go along with this blog post, but something frustrating is going on with my card reader. I dropped my computer pretty hard last night and I'm hoping this has nothing to do with that. I think that might be a sign that I need to stop staying up so late watching mindless reruns of Sex and the City and Friends. I'll get them up as soon as I can. Until then, you can click on anything written in yellow letters and it takes you to a picture (if it even works, I haven't tried it yet).

Wow, look at me wasting all this time so that I don't have to do anymore school related business. I guess a long blog post is better than no post at all. So much has happened lately I could just write and write for hours. I'll spare you the pain and just leave you with a list I have been creating in my head for days now....

CHICAGO THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE WE LEAVE

1. See a Broadway in Chicago show (hopefully Jersey Boys or Dirty Dancing!)
2. Eat Ethiopian food again.
3. See a symphony show on the lawn at Grant Park, on a summer night.
4. See the inside of the Catholic church down the street.
5. See the aquarium, the science museum, and the planetarium.
6. Visit Melissa in Iowa.
7. Drive by Tomper's forest preserve.
8. Figure out which building on the skyline has that weird blinking light.

Nine and ten are coming when I remember them. I know that there is probably more than just ten anyway.

Time to get back to things more productive.

Allie



Saturday, January 3, 2009

Beginnings.

Today when I was connecting the TV cord to the VCR (we we're hoping we get free basic cable with our rent) I found one of my all time favorite movies, The Wedding Singer. I thought we had pawned in all of our movies, but apparently we kept the best of our combined movie collection. I was super happy to be able to dust off Almost Famous, Igby Goes Down, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Jungle Book, and The Little Mermaid. Oh, and thanks to Lindsey, Gremlins (so good) has recently been added to the very small list of movies we still own. So we are snuggled on the couch watching The Wedding Singer and eating Digiorno spinach, mushroom, and garlic pizza.

Today was such a beautiful day. It was incredibly sunny out and not too cold, finally, so we decided to walk around and explore a bit. I love the way the air feels when it's crisp cold and so fresh feeling. It really inspires me to pursue the creative projects I keep putting off and to listen to music I haven't listened to in a while (like Simon and Garfunkle).




I also took the bus over to Joanne's Fabrics and bought a ton of fabric for quilting and pillows. Also, my huge obsession with felt has not yet ended and they happened to be having a sale on every color patch of felt. I went a little crazy. Now I have enough projects to keep me going for the next six months and so many ideas my head is throbbing. I love this feeling. A mind full of plans and a bag full of the supplies needed to accomplish every single one of them. Thanks to G, I have the most perfect sewing machine now. Over 35 different stitches and a little extending table. If you have a birthday coming up within the next year, you can probably count on getting something sewn...ha ha.



Look at all these project babies!!



My little sister Carly made me the most beautiful pillow I have ever seen. I will most likely be calling her up for some sewing advice. The colors, the pattern, the size...everything about it is so perfect! Some day I will be as talented as my 11 year old sister :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I found out I was pregnant on June 1st, 2009...just two days before my birthday!


The first belly picture! (14 weeks):

22 Weeks:

Growing so fast! (27 weeks):


Almost there! (36 weeks):



He's seriously still in there? (40 weeks!):


Henry (finally) arrives on January 19th, 2010. He was a whole week late...8 lbs, 21 inches.



1 week old:
2 weeks old:

3 weeks:
4 weeks:
5 weeks:
6 weeks:
7 weeks: 8 weeks:

9 weeks:

10 weeks:
11 weeks:
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