here i am

Busy week, but very productive. I finally have pictures of Chicago for you... would have had them yesterday, but while I remembered to upload them the night before, i didn't remember to put them online... opps. Did that last night though, so here you go!

My adorable coworker, Miyano... the trains there are double-decker, very fun.

Chicago skyline, birds eye view.
Looking down, from 103 stories.
A different view... with the very fun Jay Pritzker Pavilion in the bottom middle/left area.
From the amazing Cantigny First Division Museum:
A solider climbing down into a launch.
Omaha Beach
A piece of the Berlin Wall.
In the Vietnam War room... do you see the solider?
See him now? :-)
Motto of a first division solider.
The whole thing was pretty amazing. I don't know if I mentioned the museum tour before... but after we were done for the day on Saturday we got to take a tour of their exibits. So realistic! It was a little freaky, and definitely amazing to be walking on these battle site recreations.

Anyway. Last night was nice... Trav and I played some tennis. I didn't do too badly for the first try of the new year, but I definitely need some practice before we start keeping score! :-) At least it was great exercise, and it was very nice to get outside.

As for this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing my family, who are coming down to join Trav and I for Spamalot. Should be a LOT of fun! Otherwise, some cleaning, some relaxing, and hopefully some outdoor time.

Have a good one!!

Ps. A video to share that my uncle sent me. Interesting, a little scary, a little provocative... I enjoyed it.


showin those claws!

So apparently I offended someone by not falling head over heals for Chicago! Anonymous, I would love your suggests on what I could do or see, if I do get back to Chi-town, so as to give it the best shot. Personally I thought the 30minutes or so I spent in the tower was fun, just to get an idea of where I was in the city and see some of the neat buildings (especially the Jay Pritzker Pavilion) that surround it. As for Body Worlds... that was something I had wanted to attend in Philly, but missed my chance. I wouldn't have missed that no matter what you said. :-) I really was serious about taking your suggestions however! As I said before... Chicago wasn't my favorite, but i never said I didn't like it!

Anyway, yesterday was great! The weather was beautiful, I was damn productive at work, Trav and I took a long relaxing walk in the evening (about 3 miles), and a new House was on when we got home! That right there is enough to make me a happy girl. Unfortunately our internet wasn't working and I didn't get the chance to upload pictures, but I'm not too concerned about either of those.

Today wasn't so bad either, but nothing to brag about. However, it does look very nice out and I'm looking forward to the walk to the train. And on that note, I realized it's time to wrap things up!



bits and pieces

Chicago was fun. I don't think I loved it as much as some people do (what do you guys think of Chi-town?), but it was good and I enjoyed my time there. Our flight was delayed a little on Thursday morning, but we made up most of the time in air. It was beautiful out when we landed... sunny, warm, just nice. Miyano and I ate lunch, then took the train into the city. It was an hour long ride, not half-hour, but it was fine. We saw the "body world" exhibit at the science and industry museum (amazing!), then headed to the Sears Tower. We walked around for a bit, then had dinner at a trendy, but fun, sushi place. We got back to the hotel a little after 10:30 and were both very ready for bed.
Friday I slept in, and in the ended decided not to head back into Chicago. It was a cold, cloudy, drizzly day... and I just didn't want to be walking around in that (plus I was still tired, and I had received a call from Mo that she unfortunately was denied the day off). So I relaxed, watched a movie, did 3 miles on the treadmill, and loafed around the hotel. Saturday and Sunday were work all day... but everything went very well and the site was WONDERFUL to work with! I really appreciated everyone there and how easy they made it for us. We flew out Sunday afternoon (when they had a record high of 78*... I was a bit toasty in my long sleeves!) and arrived back in Philly around 7:15. It was definitely good to be home.

Yesterday I had the day off to recover. Flying always makes me pretty tired. So I was a complete lazy bum yesterday... didn't really do much of anything, including not downloading my pictures. Opps. I'll try for that tonight.

Now it is back to work, and pretty much same old same old. Except that it is supposed to be sunny and warm (76*) today. Yay for Spring.
I have a feeling that once it gets warm and sunny (and stops doing this damn back and forth), then it will get warm fast. So I'm going to try and enjoy the spring weather for all its worth before I start complaining about it being too hot!

Well, I have to get back to work... plenty to do.

First, a little fun, Philly news to end on.

© AP
Kal Penn 'Kumar' Actor Has College Teaching Gig
Mar 26, 1:41 PM EST

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Kal Penn, known for his role as Kumar Patel in the 2004 cult classic "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," will be a guest instructor at the University of Pennsylvania during the spring 2008 semester.

Penn, 29, will teach two undergraduate courses, tentatively titled, "Images of Asian Americans in the Media" and "Contemporary American Teen Films," the school announced Monday.

"The Asian American Studies Program is delighted that Kalpen Modi, aka Kal Penn, chose our program to host his teaching engagement at Penn," program director Grace Kao said. "Mr. Modi is one of the leading Asian American actors of his generation and is particularly aware of how his racial and ethnic identification has affected his professional experiences."

Students can enroll in the courses as Asian American studies or cinema studies programs in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences, Kao said.

Penn co-starred with John Cho, who played Harold Lee, in "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle." His screen credits also include "Epic Movie," "Van Wilder" and "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj."

He recently finished shooting "Harold & Kumar 2" with Cho.

The university said Penn, a native of Montclair, N.J., received a bachelor's degree in sociology with a specialization in theater, film and television from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is pursuing a graduate certificate in international security at Stanford University.



long and short week, all in one

Trav and I watched a movie last night, then I finished the night by packing. I leave tomorrow for Chicago and i can't wait. Four days in Chicago (for work or not) should be a blast. And two of them are going to be spent being a tourist. Excitingly (real word?), an online/email friend of mine lives pretty close to Chicago, and will be driving up to meet me for lunch on friday. I'm looking forward to the chance to meet her, and am hopeful that our easy going rapport will translate to real life. Of course then I have to work over the weekend and return to work as normal on Monday... but it should be great.

Today involved a completely hectic morning, and a suddenly super calm afternoon. I got some free iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts (don't forget to get yours!), and tonight Trav and I will get free water ice from Rita's (don't forget to get yours!). :-) Yay for the first day of Spring! Now hopefully it will start to actually feel like spring soon.

Oh, and completely unrelated... but I thought this was a pretty neat article and think you should check it out.

Okay, I'll check in when I can, but I'll "see" you for sure on Monday!


sometimes i wonder

Sometimes I wonder if anyone even stops by anymore. Not that it matters, because I would definitely keep writing for me... but I do wonder if my words, my thoughts, get out there to be heard. There are some people (dooce... friday playdate... poop and boogies) that just seem to have a way with words so that you are drawn to their blogs everyday. You want to read them, you wonder what will come next. I know A New Day isn't like that, but I wish I had that gift.

Today Friday Playdate sucked me up with this post. Especially the paragraph about feeling like she is not a kid, but not quite an adult... which was good to read because I feel that way a lot. It's funny to be working your buns off, paying a mortgage, thinking about kids in a few years, planning an international vacation... but to have this feeling that my parents are still my protectors, are still my guardians.

Of course Travis is the one I run to now if I need comfort or assistance. But I know my parents are always there for me, and sometimes it's nice to feel like their child. Hopefully it will be a number of years until the tables are turned and I end up feeling like I have to take care of them!


monday i've got friday on my mind

Before anything else, I have to wish you a belated
Happy St. Patty's Day!
I hope everyone had a great one!

Now, first my weekend, then some pictures from last weeks activities:

It was a crazy weekend, relaxing and odd all at the same time. Friday night we went to bed a little before 12... Trav was asleep immediately, I was laying there for a bit when I heard someone turning on our street. Well, then I heard tires spinning. I listened for about 10-15 minutes, and it as clear that they were going no where! So I got up, threw on some clothes & boots, and headed out to see if he needed help (grabbing the shovel on the way). We tried digging out his wheels some, and took turns pushing and driving (he just didn't seem to get that you don't floor it to get out of the snow), but after 20 minutes had only made it another 15ft down the road. So I went to wake Trav*. He came down and we spent another 15 or so minutes doing the same shovel, push, shovel, push thing... and made it another 10 or so feet. We knew there was no way that this guy was going to make it all the way to the end of our block, so we decided to get him about 1/2 way to a point where he could park. Luckily, at that point some of our other neighbors heard the noise and decided to help. Between the four guys, then were able to provide the force to get him moving. He was a very grateful guy. It was a lot of work for a friday night, Trav and I are still sore!! But I couldn't just leave the poor guy (although I had to laugh at his sports car in the snow!).

Saturday was relaxing after that. Well, Trav did do some shovelling... but we spent some time relaxing on the couch watching movies, and headed to Ro & Pat's for some St. Patty's day fun. We had a great time playing with Ro's new Wii... and I got a 243 in bowling. I'm sure I would never get that in real life!!

Sunday Ro left for a volleyball tournament before the rest of us had even woken up... but Pat, Trav, Kerry and I headed out to brunch at Nifty Fifty's. After that it was home again for some more laying around and watching movies (not to mention a majorly overloaded sink full of dishes!).

Today has been flying. Luckily it seems pretty mild out. Not super warm or anything, but not frigid like before and no percipitation! Plus, the boss just left so the rest of the day should be relaxing.

Now to share some pictures...

First, Stacey at her baby shower. Love that belly.
Next some pictures from the hockey game...
This first one is from our seats, they were GREAT!

Then here is one from the warm up... I got to walk right up to the glass to take these...
And, having never had the opportunity to see this in person before... I had to take a picture of the "Flyers Win!" on the scoreboard.

Well, back to work for me. A few things left to do, then I can do my walk, and when I get home... Trav is bringing a sushi platter! Nice!

* I didn't want to wake Trav initially because I was hoping it was something that could be managed with a bit of shoveling and some shoulderwork... plus the guy was a bit off last week, and I wanted him to get his rest. Oh well, I tried.


what a difference a day makes

Holy crap... what a sh*tty day out!! It is cold and rain/sleet/snowing out... I can't believe what a difference this is from yesterday morning. I am eating a bowl of chicken noodle soup right now trying to warm up and get cozy (well, as cozy as I can feel at work!). At least it is Friday, so I can look forward to hunkering down tonight and sleeping in tomorrow. And we have a very relaxing weekend ahead.

Last night was great too... our seats at the hockey game were GREAT. The closest we've had so far. Plus the Flyers won (a miracle, I swear), so I'm happy.

Ohhhh, the boss just came in and told me I can leave early because of the weather!!! I'm outta here!


so relaxed

I'm so relaxed today. Being all caught up and back on track feels really good. Plus the weather is warmer then I thought it was supposed to be today, and it is supposed to thunder this afternoon. I LOVE thunderstorms! :-)

Not to mention the hockey game, which should be fun, and the fact that it is almost the weekend! And what a weekend too... St. Patrick's day!

I was just listening to some music on Rhapsody... for some reason I was in a *ashamed to admit it* Rod Stewart kind of mood today. Very weird, very random, that doesn't normally happen to me. But apparently only Maggie Mae and Forever Young would do it for me today. Listening to Forever Young makes me feel young... I can always picture the video, and remember how it felt to watch it when I was a kid. Anyway, glad that's out of my system now! ;-)

Not too much else to report. Trav and I BBQed some burgers and dogs last night. Very tasty. We also had some punk kids throw a sand bag (the kind used to hold down temporary road work signs) at Travis' car. Luckily no damage. I'm thinking about talking to the local cops though, just alerting them to the various kid & car troubles we've been having lately, so if something more serious would happen, it's documented. Dumb kids.

Well, I'm off to eat some chow...


another day, another dollar

Another crazy day, but I'm back to my normal routine again finally. It all comes at once. But today is good, I got lots done and it is gorgeous out... 75*!!

Plus Trav got us some free tickets to the Hockey game tomorrow night. Nice!

Pretty good seats too, as documented by this crappy paint picture. :-)

I also got my new ergonomic bag which is comfy and makes my walk so much nicer.
Look ma, no hands!

What else? Not too much... I'm just having so much trouble concentrating on anything today! It's too great out... who wants to be stuck in an office?!



five months

(Today Trav & I have been married for five months. :-) Just thought I would mention.)

So yesterday turned out fine, it took two coworkers about 10 minutes... but they got my zipper unstuck. Still, not the best way to start your day or your week. And it was a long day too.

At least the weather is gorgeous now! I didn't even bother with a coat this weekend or on my way home last night. And tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer. Woot!

So, the weekend! Saturday Ro & Pat came over... and Ro & I headed to Stacey's babyshower. It was fun. I'm friends with a bunch of her husband's family, so it was great to see them. She got a lot of nice stuff, and her belly was adorable. Not too much longer for her now.
After that Ro & I headed back to my place, where the boys were hanging out. We watched some movies, ate beef stew, played some games, and just had a really fun time hanging out. The boys got drunk on beer and Ro got CRUNKED on appletinis!! It was quite amusing.
Sunday we all got up and headed out to breakfast together before Ro & Pat headed home. After that Trav and I were lazy and watched TV/played online until all of a sudden, no power! Still don't know what happened there (annoying though since we had just finished resetting all the clocks!), but we headed to Home Depot and walked around for a while checking out different things we would like to get for the house eventually. After that it was basically time for me to get ready to head into the city... which I did at 5:30. I had a great dinner (payed for by work, woo-hoo!) at Genji, then just relaxed in my room for the rest of the evening.

Yesterday, well I already told you enough about yesterday. It was fine, but long, and in the end... boring!

Today, well gorgeous weather as I said (spring officially in a week and a day!)... beef stew for lunch... work as normal. I'm feel a lot less stressed now that yesterday is over, even though there is still tons to do. I guess the relief of yesterday being done, plus the great weekend really did the trick. Plus I got my new ergonomic bag today, so I am looking forward to my walk to the train this evening, and hopefully no back pain!

That's really about all I've got for you today. I do have to get to work.


ps. This website is the chicky who painted the valentine's painting.



Had a great weekend (more on that later). Slept in the city last night. 7am and I've already been up for an hour. About to get breakfast and get my day really started. Out of the office all day today for a conference.

Here's my dilemna.
My side zipper on my dress pants is stuck... about an inch down from the top. My shirt covers the non-zipped part, but no amount of pulling can seem to move it up or down.

And I. Have. To. Pee.

Like, I'll make it through breakfast, but not much longer. I might have to ask someone for help.
This is the epitome of a Monday morning.


more craziness

Yesterday was overwhelming. A nice break in the middle when I met Apoc for lunch at Tir Na Nog... which was great! I had soup and their Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese Salad (Baby Arugula, Spinach, Red Beets, Sundried Blueberries,Roasted Pear-Cider Vinaigrette) plus a appletini (shh, it was needed). To die for.

The rest of the day was insane though and today, while better and very productive... still crazy.

Oh and did I mention that Travis forgot to lock his card doors on Wednesday night? No? Well don't worry, he still has a car (luckily). And the only thing taken (his cell, go figure) was found by a neighbor a few houses down, and is now back in our posession. He is a lucky man.

Now I have to run some packets to a place a few blocks away for the conference we have all day monday. And I'm trying to prepare for the conference we have in two weeks... while also writing letters and bios, and cleaning out my emailbox. Grr.

Is it September yet?!

Okay, I have to go back to work. Have a nice weekend!



These days are crazy... if I can really work my ass off for the rest of the week, then I should be caught up by the weekend. Caught up isn't even the word because it's not like I fell behind, everything just came to me at the same time. Not too overwhelmed yet, because at least the feelings are tempered by some accomplishment I feel at the end of the day because of how much I am getting done. But still not fun!

The weekend was great though. Like I said before, friday our shower was done! Yay! We're really happy with it. The bathroom still isn't "done", but it's definitely getting there and at a point that we can live with. Here and here are the before pictures. And here are some after:

Showing all three parts to the bathroom:
shower, tile and paint.

New fixtures.

New shower caddy... exciting right. ;-)

Awesome clock we have on the wall opposite shower.

So that is the bathroom for now. I'll keep you updated if we do anything else!

Saturday we headed out in the morning for some ice cream because it was so sunny and warm and gorgeous! What the hell happened to that? It's snowing like the bejezuz out there. Ugh. Anyway, ice cream! Then that afternoon Ro & Pat came over and we all headed to Dave & Buster's for some dinner, drinks, pool, and games. And of course talking and catching up, which was great. Except for poor Ro who ended up not feeling so hot.

Sunday we slept in a bit, then headed to our photog's in the late afternoon. We picked all the details for our album, and hopefully in a few weeks we'll have it!

Now it's another week, and I can't believe how busy it is. We have a conference on Monday that I will spend Sunday night in the city for... and in two weeks (plus one day) I'll be heading to Chicago. Two weeks is also the official beginning of spring... please let that bring some warmer weather and no more snow! Lol, the winter wasn't even that bad, but the end of it has been brutal.

Okay, back to work for me.



Didn't get to take pictures this weekend (which was GREAT! by the way), and another busy day ahead of me... so here's a video I wanted to share. Gorgeous scenery... makes me want to go to China again (not that I didn't already), plus I do like their sound. (And Yes, that is Jared Leto.)

Enjoy, and I promise I'll be back tomorrow with a real entry.



Ever have one of those days where you are just running around like crazy, feeling like a chicken with it's head cut off? Well, I'm there today. Anyday that starts off with a visit to every woman's favorite doctor, well you know its bound to be an off day. Plus work just continues to be crazy... and I can't believe another month has passed. I have so many different things to work on, and all need my attention right away. Yipes, I need a moment to catch my breath.

But despite all that, I'm feeling pretty darn happy. Why?! Well... we're going to Ireland!!!! We've booked our trip.

Here is our itinerary:

Day 1: Depart U.S for Dublin
Depart the U.S gateway city in the evening and fly through the night to Ireland to start your vacation.

Day 2: Guinness Brewery & "Shindig" Evening
Arrive at Dublin Airport and proceed through immigration and pick up your baggage. Go to the CIE Tours desk in the Arrivals Hall where personnel will arrange a group transfer to your hotel between 7:00 am and 12:00 noon. If you arrive later than noon, you will need to transfer to the hotel at your own expense. At 3:00 pm join your group for an introductory look around central Dublin. Visit the Guinness Storehouse for an explanation of the making of this famous brew and try a creamy pint in the rooftop bar overlooking Dublin. In the evening attend a "Shindig" at the Old Jameson Distillery. Tour the recreated distillery and enjoy a welcome drink to get to know your fellow travelers before sitting down to a dinner of Irish specialties, followed by some traditional entertainment. (D)

Day 3: Dublin Sightseeing & Book of Kells
This morning take a city sightseeing tour with a Dublin guide to learn about the lore and legends as you drive around the principal sights of the city. See the fashionable shopping areas around Grafton and Nassau Streets, view the many elegant Georgian townhouses and pass the Dail where the government convenes. Tour St. Patrick's Cathedral, founded in the 12th century, to see memorials to many prominent people who contributed to Dublin life. Visit Trinity College's Old Library to view the 8th century Book of Kells with exquisite illustrations and learn about its origins and monastic traditions. The afternoon and evening are completely free for further sightseeing, shopping and dining. (B)

Day 4: Rock of Cashel & Blarney Castle
Depart Dublin to travel through the Irish countryside where you can see the "Forty Shades of Green" as you pass many farms. Stop for photos at the Rock of Cashel, a magnificent limestone outcrop with church ruins. Just outside Cork visit Blarney Castle where you may kiss the popular stone in the ramparts of the castle. Take some time to walk through the gardens, around the village green or shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills, renowned for their quality Irish merchandise. Continue your drive into the mountains of County Kerry to your hotel in the center of Killarney. Enjoy a welcome drink and talk about your vacation with your fellow travelers before dining in your hotel. After dinner you may like to take a stroll around this compact town and sample one of the singing bars. (B, D)

Day 5: Ring of Kerry Tour
Today you will discover the wonderful scenery around Killarney as you drive around the famous Ring of Kerry. The road winds between the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Ireland's highest mountains, and the Atlantic coast. You will be amazed at the variety of views and you will stop for photos at the most dramatic scenes. Cross to Valencia Island by bridge to visit the Skellig Experience to learn about early Christian monks who braved a harsh existence on the rocky offshore islands. Continue your trip through the remote villages of Cahirciveen and Waterville. On the return, pass through the colorful village of Sneem and stop at Moll's Gap to view the three lakes of Killarney. Enjoy some free time in Killarney before dinner in your hotel. (B, D)

Day 6: Cliffs of Moher & Galway
Depart Killarney and travel north through the village of Listowel to Tarbert. Take a short ferry ride across the River Shannon and drive along the coastline of County Clare to view the Cliffs of Moher. This wall of limestone rises to heights of almost 700 feet above the churning Atlantic swells. Drive through the Burren, an area of rounded limestone hills where rock has weathered into amazing rock formations. Drive around the shores of Galway Bay take a short drive around central Galway before checking into your hotel. (B, D)

Day 7: Connemara & Catamaran Cruise
Today explore another of Ireland's famous scenic regions-Connemara. This region of hills, lakes and peat bogs is poor farming land but visually stunning. Constantly-changing cloud formations give the scenery an added dimension. Travel alongside Galway Bay to Spiddal where most locals speak the Irish language. Travel through the wonderful open scenery of Connemara on the way to Leenane to embark on a short cruise of Killary Harbour, a 9-mile fjord (March 28 to October 24 departures). Enjoy scenic views of hills where traces of pre-Famine "lazy beds" of potato ridges can still be seen. Keep an eye out for seabirds and see mussel and salmon farms. On your return to Galway stop in Moycullen at the Celtic Connemara Crystal Factory which specializes in Celtic designs cut into colored pieces. Enjoy a farewell dinner in your hotel. (B, D)

Day 8: Depart for Home
Passengers on the 8-day tour take a group transfer to Shannon Airport where the tour concludes at 10:30 am. If you need to arrive at Shannon Airport before 10:30 am, your guide will arrange an early group transfer once you are on tour. (B)

I'm so excited. :-) I did a little dance when we called the person we're booking through and made all the decisions. I can't wait.

Plus our bathroom is getting done today (pictures next week), we're going out with Ro & Pat tomorrow, and we get to pick the "details" of our wedding album Sunday. Yay.
Oh, and I've been such a good girl, and have been walking to the far train station (about a mile away) after work each day. Today looks like a beautiful day for a walk too. :-)

Okay, I have to get back to it... but have a great weekend!!!!!!!!