Thursday, April 24, 2008

They Like Me. They Really Like Me.

Look at the beautiful roses that my volunteers gave me last night. Aren't they so pretty! Unfortunatly, I discovered that I do not have a wide mouth vase and so they are in a glass water pitcher. I feel that secretly the flowers are scoffing at me. "Can you believe this? She doesn't even have a proper vase to put us in! Really! The nerve of some people!"

Apparently at one point, there had been a discussion about favorite colors with my volunteers (though I don't remember this at all or why there would be circumstances in which to discuss favorite colors with a group of adults). I had said that mine was purple and they remembered. Though with all the problems that this group has caused, this bouquet should be ten times the size it is (or at least presented along with a tiara like Miss America). Or a bunch of purple roses could've been made into a shawl like the ones they make for horses at the Kentucky Derby. I guess these will have to do.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Today is Earth Day, and I know there are lots of ways that are recommended to help save the Earth. I know there are lots of crazy ways out there (aka don't shower except once a week in order to save water), but there are a lot of simple ways as well. Here are 25 things that I do and that I think are really simple.

1) Recycle: DUH! I know not everywhere has recycling or only recycle certain things, so just recycle whatever you can. If your office recycles paper, recycle paper. If you have curb pickup for glass and plastic, put out your glass and plastic. If your grocery store recycles plastic bags, take your plastic bags there. If you live in Indiana like my parents and can basically recycle everything, then recycle everything.

2) Use a lunchbox instead of paper bags. I'm not telling you to pull out the transformers lunch box that you had in 2nd grade. There are really cute lunch bags available now.

3) Don't want it? Give it away. There are lots of charities out there that would love that slightly pilly sweater or the book you really hated or that gag gift your best friend gave you. Before you throw it out, see if someone else wants it. Or Freecycle it.

4) Turn of the water when your brushing your teeth. Really...why does this have to be so difficult people? Wet your brush. Turn off the water while your brushing and then turn back on to rinse.

5) Warm it up in the microwave instead of the oven. A microwave oven uses one-third of the energy of a conventional oven. Plus your baked potato can be done in 5 minutes versus 5 hours!

6) Take your own bag when you go shopping. Ok, so I forget to do this sometimes. But if I know I'm going somewhere, I take a cute bag with me or a big purse so the small things I can just throw in my bag rather than wasting another one. Plus I keep my reusable grocery bag in my car at all times, so in case I'm stopping for milk on the way home from work, I already have it.

7) Unplug your chargers. I know its ridiculous to unplug or turn off your power strip for everything (it screws up the automatic clock on lots of appliances), but just unplug your chargers. When you pull off your cell phone or Ipod, pull the charger out of the wall too!

8) Edit before you hit print. Make sure that you've proofed what your printing before you just go ahead and print, make more changes, print again, see another error, print again.

9) Snip your six pack holders. Think of the poor birdies and fishies that get caught in these. Take the five seconds and snip the holes in your six pack rings open.

10) Buy in bulk. I live in an apartment and don't have a lot of space for bulk products, but things like laundry detergent that I use all the time, I always try to buy bigger. Not only does it save packaging, but its usually cheaper.

11) Get rid of unwanted catalogs. I know I already posted on this, but I think its a really good idea. I was always getting catalogs that I didn't really want, but didn't know how to get rid of. Well, go here and they'll take care of it for you.

12) Turn lights off when you leave the room. If all the lights in your house are on, the TV's on, a radio's on and you're in the shower...there's some problems there.

13) Don't use electrical appliances for things you can easily do by hand. AKA the can opener. Build those arm muscles.

14) Put on a sweater instead of turning the heat up. I keep my apartment fairly cold during the winter. I'm hardly ever here so what's the point. But when I am here and I get chilly, I go for a sweater or fuzzy blanket instead of the thermostat.

15) Use a filter to filter tap water rather than buying bottled.

16) Run your dishwasher only with a full load. I'm not telling you to abandon all of your appliances, but don't run it with only a fork in there.

17) Give live plants instead of cut flowers. Every girl loves flowers. Mother's day is right around the corner. Give a plant that can be planted outside or kept in their house rather than cut flowers that will die in a week.

18) Use (and reuse) gift bags instead of wrapping paper.

19) Buy local. Go to the local farmer's market or orchard. Not only will there be less preservatives in your food, but it will also cut down on the costs and pollution associated with transporting food to your grocery store.

20) Go to the library. Ok, most of you are aware that I don't read. But whenever I want to try a new recipe or new craft or learn a new skill, I hit the library rather than the bookstore.

21) Skip the elevator take the stairs. This is one that you always hear associated with exercise and dieting, but have you ever thought about how much electricity it takes to run an elevator. I don't really know, but I'm guessing its a lot.

22) Group your errands together. Post office near the grocery store. You might not be out of stamps yet, but shouldn't you pick some up while you're so close?

23) Use a digital camera and delete before you print. Oops! Got your finger in the way? Don't print that picture.

24) Just because its free doesn't mean you need it. This is one thing I've really been working on. Next time you're at that convention and see the keyring with the thermometer on it, think about if you'll actually use it or if it will end up in the trash in a couple months (or weeks...or days).

25) Instead of driving to the gym on a beautiful day. Go for a walk. Not only will being outside be good for you. It will also save gas and electricity.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Weekend of Firsts

This weekend was my big trip to New York to visit Marcia. I'm a little pissed at myself because I had my camera in my purse the whole time and did not take a single picture. I have nothing to show on my blog. Ugh. We did ridiculous amounts of shopping (which I've of course done many times before), but there were also many things that I have never done before.

1) My first train ride that was not purely for scenic purposed. I took Amtrak up. Surprisingly, there is a direct route from Harrisburg to New York City. Slightly shocking. Don't get me wrong its a very scenic ride there, but my purpose was actually to go somewhere not just to admire the cute Amish children frolicking through the farmlands. Overall, it was a good experience. The only slightly weird thing was that I got on and sat down and when the train started moving I was facing backwards. That's fine. It was a little fun, but then after we stopped in Philly and the train started moving I was suddenly going forward. That was weird.

2) My first NYC subway experience. I have been to New York many times but all the other times either a) my dad drove into the city which is a scary thought or b) I was with a group on a big charter bus. There was never a subway involved. But I had to take the subway from Penn Station to Marcia's apartment...ALL BY MYSELF. I'm a grown up though, so it was fine. The most difficult part was finding the subway part of Penn Station.

3) The first time I was in the same city as the Pope. My grandmother was very concerned that the Pope would cause me difficulty on my trip, but he didn't. I wouldn't have even really known that we was in the same city as me except for the news coverage on every TV channel. We simply checked the newspaper for the Pope's itinerary to make sure he wouldn't be inferring with our shopping, but he didn't so it was fine.

4) My first oysters. We went to Fish and I had oysters with their good horseradish sauce. They were pretty good. I'd have them again. While I feel pressure to say that I LOVE oysters, I will reserve that word until I've had them again when I'm slightly less intoxicated and can judge if I do love them or not.

5) My first popover. We had brunch with some other ND friends at Popover Cafe which is obviously known for its Popovers. They even had directions on how to properly reheat your popover so that it isn't chewy and you can also order a Popover Bouquet to mail to someone. I really wish I had taken a picture of the basket of popovers which were each roughly the size of my head. Maybe its me, but I wasn't really impressed with my popover though the strawberry butter that they served with it was REALLY yummy.

6) However, I was really impressed with my first PINKBERRY. It really lived up to the three days of hype. I daringly chose the Green Tea which was absolutely delicious. I highly recommend it with mango, coconut, and pineapple mixed in.

It was a great trip, and I will definitely be going to New York City more often.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Let the Adventure Begin

Today I'm off to NYC to spend the weekend with my roommate from college, Marcia and her husband, Matt. I'm really excited, but today will be a lot of firsts for me. My first travel by Amtrak and my first NYC subway experience. I'm sure that being the seasoned traveler that I am, everything will be fine and, as I told Marcia on e-mail, if its not, I'll at least have the makings of a good blog.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Unnecessary Pickles

I realized yesterday that I have three jars of dill pickles in my refrigerator which just seems ridiculously too many.

The first jar is actually sandwich sliced dills which I bought nearly two years ago when I first moved in because for some reason pickles just seems to be something I think that every refrigerator needs.

Some time after that, I decided that it was getting low and needed another jar of regular dill pickles. I do not remember buying this jar AT ALL. I do not even remember considering buying another jar.

Then I got invited to a potluck picnic and decided to take a pickle and olive tray because it was easy, no one else usually brings that and my family was always kinda pickle people. Not know that I already had two jars in my fridge, I went and bought another jar.

So if you're in the area, stop by and chow on some dill pickles with me.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ben and Jerry are Geniuses

I busted on them when they came up with the Black and Tan lager flavor ice cream, so it's only right to give them props when they do something good. I have a major weakness for ice cream, so I stopped keeping it in my freezer because I'd start with "I'll just have a spoonful" and a pint later, I'd be trying to figure out how to fit in three extra hours at the gym for the next day. So I was really excited when I saw the single serving Ben and Jerry's at the grocery store. It's great! I have one serving and then I'm all done. The best part is that it comes with its own little plastic spoon hidden in the lid. I'm not sure why that really excites me, but it does.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Fashion Disaster

First, I must explain the hosiery dispute that has been going on in my office for about a month now. When our new employee handbook came out, it listed that hosiery must be worn at all times. (I pointed out that it doesn't necessarily have to be on your feet). Anyway, this pissed off a bunch of us that like to wear open toed shoes and sandals during the summer. It also mad several higher ups unhappy, and they have basically just ignored the policy. Though I have a boss who is a stickler for the rules and don't have such luxury.

Following this rule change, I was complaining about how my cute little shoes were going to miss out to which my boss chimed in "you can wear open toed shoes as long as you have hosiery on." I stared at her blankly to which she responded "there's nothing wrong with wearing hose and open toed shoes or sandals." I muttered "well, you're not going to catch me doing it."

Flash forward to today. My boss comes in wearing a black pants suit and white blouse. Fine. (And actually a welcome change from the God awful purple and black power suit that she was sporting yesterday.) Then I see her feet. She had on these white patent leather open toe heels and black hosiery. Someone needs to take this woman and shake her violently...or call What Not To Wear.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Did You Ever See a 5 Foot Tall Woman Beat the Snot Out of a 6 Foot Tall Man?

Well apparently that's almost what happened on Saturday. Two weeks ago my dad told my mom that one of his VP's was planning to have a card playing party on April 5th and asked if they had any plans. Upon checking her calendar, my mom informed him that that day was, of course, the Final Four. (Trust me, my mom does have such things in her calendar). My dad said ok. So then this week when my dad announced they were going to the party, my mom was pissed. However, my dad assured her that there was a replacement to play cards in her spot and she would be able to watch the game the whole time. My mom conceded and went, only to find that her replacement didn't show up. My mom still claims that the whole replacement story was a lie to get her to go. Luckily the games weren't that good or I think that my mom would've ripped off my dad's arm and beat him with it.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Little Too Excited For My Own Good
Ok, flash back to me in fifth grade. I'm lying in my bedroom with Hangin' Tough in my cassette player, a purple Joey Mac poster above my headboard (complete with pictures cut out of Tiger Beat taped around it), and on my feet were my brand new neon pink high top inspired New Kids On the Block Sneakers. So obviously, when I heard that the New Kids were making a comeback I was practically giddy. (Because now I'm old enough to go to their concerts and stay up really late!) Then I realized that I was ridiculous, but felt better when I got a voice mail from Danielle and that she was pretty much as excited as I was. It has also sparked off a new season of Danielle psycho e-mails which is exciting as well. (I can't believe I just admitted all of this on my blog.)