Thursday, August 28, 2008

when it rains...

oh man. bad day. i'm in pjs, in bed... bad day.

this morning i took my car in for an oil change, a rattling heat shield, and a control arm/ball joint that i knew needed attention. what i ended up with was the following list of repairs:

- removal of heat shield
- both left and right control arm/ball joint replacements
- right rubber gasket replacement
- inner/outer tie rod replacement
- full front brake job/replacement of both rotors
- alignment
- four new tires

...oh, and an oil change.

so there's some good news. i only needed only three tires (i had one tire replaced after the accident) but there was a labor day 'buy three and get one free' labor day sale. so i took the deal and asked to keep the good tire, and later today i sold it to a friend for $30. in addition, the outer tie rod wasn't in the original estimate, but they couldn't get it off of the inner tie rod, so they replaced the outer tie rod at no cost. on top of both of those things, they pre-approved me for a mr tire credit card for 90 days same as cash and a $25 rebate. they filled out all of the paperwork, addressed the envelope, and gave me a stamp to mail it.

my head has been pounding all day... partly from wine and partly from stress. my car cost me $2200 today. i had to cancel dinner plans which i didn't want to do, but i just feel ill. i'm sure the stress of work doesn't help either...

'lil d

Oh, goodness... wine is evil. This is gonna be a long day, and I have dinner plans tonight. Excedrin is my best friend for today. It has been decided.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Still here! Did I mention that I got my camera? It's really great. It has this cool feature called "color accent," which may be known to everyone already, but it's new to me. The camera lets you choose one color (or color family) and enhances it... then takes every other color in the image and makes it gray scale.

Cool, huh? Check out my first few test photos...

Back in Bmore

I'm back. It was both a great weekend - filled with family - and a difficult weekend at the same time. My grandma is healing and in good spirits, but it was sooo hard to leave her Saturday... it's just all so scary. Today I hung out with my sister, brother in law, and their kids. It was really nice. Lots of lego playing (I built spaceships) and lots of time outside watching the kids (and dogs) play.

I'm not feeling very chatty, so I'll give you some photos of my weekend in review. The only pic missing is one of my grandpa... I thought I'd get to see him twice, so I missed out on a picture. Either way, though, I'm not posting pics of my grandparents... they are all in various degrees of health, and regardless of whether or not they'll see my blog, I know they wouldn't want to be on it. I love them all so very much...

Antonio meeting Wembly... "getting to know you..."
Wembly all sleepy-like.

The interior of Mary Coyle's - deelicious ice cream in Highland Square, Akron, Ohio.

Antonio and I all road-weary at my grandpa's house. Antonio was pretty much done for the day by 5 PM on Friday.

Saturday night my mom's show won Best Show of the Season with a Chanticleer Award from Weathervane Community Playhouse. Remember the review? Amazing!

Antonio with a tennis ball - how cute are his little eyeballs??

Me, Jude, Zavier and Calista - knee-deep in legos.

Definitely a fixture of my visits home - Calista getting the sweet, sweet kisses from Antonio dog.

Calista showing off her mad rollerblade skillz. She's really quite good!

Wembly and Antonio

My mamma and Mr. Jude

Wembly and Calista - how cute!

Antonio murdered this ball. I believe that we're looking at pride here.

This shot rocks. It is so rare to get Jude to smile at the camera...

Zavier perched on the railing. I think he got in trouble for this, but it sure makes a cute photo.

Zavier showing off our cool spaceships. Yeah, we're a good team alright. :)

Calista and I - she looks less and less like me all of the time (sniff). But isn't she beautiful?

The drive back was sad... you can't help but want to turn around...

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm Home

It has been a long day. Up at 7 AM, out of the house and on the road by 8:30, arrived after 2 PM, ate Chinese food. Played with Antonio and Wembly (sister's puppy), went and got ice cream, went to see grandpa, came home, watched part of The Lord of the Rings with parents on new projection TV. Tired.

Pictures may or may not come tomorrow. I'm headed to Cleveland to see my grandma for most of the day, and my mom is up for a theatre award at night. There's never enough time...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trip Prep

Vacuum - check
Trash - check
Cat box - check
Dog walk - check
Pack - check
Eat - check
Laundry - check
Cat food/water out - check
Checked weather - check
Run dishwasher - check
Pick songs for Calista - check
Pack dog stuff - check

To do:
Make bed
Turn on TV for Elliott
Adjust AC
Finish making snacks

I'm sure I'll think of more.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I'm not really packed. I need to clean. I should probably eat dinner - but at 10:30? Hmmm... I've decide that I'll drive to Ohio Friday morning rather than Thursday night. It's been a long week so far, and I'm not sure how smart it is driving for 5-6 hours after a full day of work. Nah... I'll finish packing tomorrow and drive early Friday.

OH! I bought that camera - ordered and shipped so that it arrives at my parents' house Friday. Are you excited? (Nicole, you specifically told me a new camera was more important than a new purse. I hope you know this is your doing.)

I don't really have anything significant to report today, so Antonio and I are going to play a bit and watch the 9th and 10th episodes in Season 1 of Weeds. It's actually pretty good and I recommend it, but I need to stop focusing on TV shows in progress, and switch back to watching shows that have run their course. This season-at-a-time business is getting irritating. I prefer marathon TV weekends...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ten on Tuesday: The Karaoke Education Edition

1. There is no shame in having fans. What? She had mad lipstick.

2. Don't pick your nose in public.

3. Don't forget to SMILE.

4. Never be afraid to break it down.

6. Try it. You might LIKE it.

7. You can find kindred spirits in even the strangest bar folk.

8. Shots are dee-licious.

9. Learn. To. Unzoom.

10. And lastly... Be careful. Too much love... can result... in babies.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Camera

So I'm going to get myself a new camera... and after some research today, I am leaning heavily towards the PowerShot SD1100 IS. It is second or third best on Consumer Reports, and rated 7.6/10 on cNet. Most reviews are very positive, with a few on Amazon referencing a "lens error, restart" issue (which is apparently common for all telescoping lenses... not just this one). The only thing holding me back just a little is that it only has 8 mega pixels (wanted 10) and 4x optical zoom (wanted more). But all reviews say that it's stellar quality just the same. Retail price is somewhere between $200-$250.

But now there's the new Canon SD line to confuse me just a little more: PowerShot SD890 IS, PowerShot SD790 IS, PowerShot SD770 IS. And they're "new." Since I think the SD890 IS is out of my price range ($379), I compared the other three on Canon's web site. What am I giving up with the SD110 IS? 10 mega pixels, 1/60-1/1500 sec shutter speed options, faster shooting speed, and a larger LCD. Still a 4x zoom.

So what do you think? I'm a fan of SD790/SD770's 10 mega pixels and the super fast shutter speed - just think of all of the lightening photos I could to take! But that may not be worth it. I don't know! Does anyone have the SD1100 IS or know anyone with it? Of course, I want the Bohemian Brown color (see pic) because it's pretty. I'm about 85% of the way there with this camera, I just need some feedback. I know some of you have lots of web surfing time at work (coughjwercough), so if you see it for any great prices when you look it up... tell me! (Best Buy walk-in price is $249.99).

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I'm being both productive and lazy today. This is the best day ever. I slept in, which is NOT good for tomorrow, but was lovely for today, and I've both played and accomplished quite a lot so far. Oh, and I didn't shower. HA! I shouldn't be proud of that, but I am.

Sleep - check
Two loads of laundry - check
Made iced tea - check (which is getting interesting because I'm using random tea bags in my house)
Trash - check
Make bed (clean sheets) - check
Play Pharaoh (damn it, I'm gonna win this stupid game) - check
Chat with the neighbors - check
Plan girls dinner - check
Plan dinner this week - check
Make lunches/dinners - check
Investigate new camera options - check
Go through 'Tonio's toys - check
Watch The Fugitive and Patriot Games on VHS - check (sort of b/c I watched them while doing other things, too.)
Start packing - check

I can't believe it's almost 8 PM! Wow... can I really go to bed in two hours? I really doubt it.


Karaoke without Poncabird stinks. Last night a group of us planned a night of karaoke, but Poncabird (my new fav karaoke place) wasn't doing karaoke because the KJ was at the Ravens game. I was pretty irritated, honestly. But I made Jessica tell me that I was overreacting and that this wasn't worth getting upset over, and I calmed down.

So after Molly's birthday party at Bay Cafe (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY), we headed to Walts Inn for a few songs, and then on to The Knotty Pine Inn for the remainder of the evening. Overall - tons of fun. On a karaoke 1-10 scale with 10 being Poncabird, the night was a 6. Shameful. (But the crowd was a 10!) I won't be around for karaoke next week because I'm going home to Ohio to see my grandma, but maybe in a few weeks I'll be able to head back to Poncabird. My August through October are filling up - with a visit home, wedding, possible trip to NC, jury duty, possible trip to OC, work event, and visit home for the NKOTB concert. Not to mention that I'm going to NYC in November to see Jodi's cabaret. How am I going to do all of this?

(Photos of the evening to come later today or this week...)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

List Day

So I was chatting with a friend of mine today about a number of TV shows, and it occurred to me that I've wanted to create a few lists: a list of books to be read, a list of TV Series already watched, and a list of TV Series to be watched. Yes, I realize I'm lame, and that, in order to find the love of my life, I'll have to look for someone who is willing to stay home randomly and watch entire serieseseses of TV shows... ugh. Hopeless. I get it.

Anyway... on to the lists.

Book List
The Secret Girl by Molly Bruce Jacobs - IN PROGRESS!
Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina by Rita Arditti
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody
A Ship Made of Paper by Scott Spencer
1984 by George Orwell
The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost

Series' Watched
The Sopranos (All Seasons) - DONE
OZ (All Seasons) - DONE
Arrested Development (whole series) - DONE
The Hills (Seasons 1-3) - DONE
Dexter (Season 1) - DONE THIS WEEK
Wonderfalls (All Episodes) - JUST FINISHED!

Series' To Be Watched
The Hills (Seasons 4-?) - starts August 18th
Dexter (Seasons 2-?) - Season 2 DVD releases August 19th; Season 3 starts September 28th
Firefly (All Seasons)
Six Feet Under (All Seasons)
Deadwood (All Seasons)
The Wire (All Seasons)
Battlestar Galactica (Seasons 1-?)

So... it's a lot. And if anyone has any of the "Series' To Be Watched" shows on DVD so that I can borrow them... all the better. (Yes, JWER. I'll return yours soon - almost done.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Working from Home

Elliott really likes to watch the Olympics. He especially likes the gymnastics floor routines...

You think the animals like having me home? Antonio next to me on the couch and Elliott on my lap. I can never stay this way for too long.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I am. Left work at noon today and haven't had the best afternoon. Two other people at work have a stomach problem. Anyone know what's going around??

Monday, August 11, 2008


I don't know what's wrong, but I don't feel well. I felt hot/warm all day, then slight dizzy/nausea set in around 5 PM. I came home, ate a cold slice of pizza, and I've been on the couch all night. I even took my temperature when I got home - first 92, then 94, and last I checked it was 98. Weird, right? I just feel yucky. Not flu like, really... But I feel weak - like my muscles don't want to work. Ugh.

On the positive side (I try), I watched all of the Big Brother 10s I've missed, so I am up to speed. The number one most disturbing thing about Big Brother 10???? Michelle's last name is Costa. Yes. So here's the thing: I am Scottish-Irish and Italian, but "Costa" is actually a Portuguese name. I know. So, to make a long story short, a long, long time ago there was a guy named Alfredo Costa that assassinated the Portuguese king. It's true. Read about it here. So rumor has it that the family likely fled Portugal in disgrace, shame, whatever, and it's possible that some of them settled in Italy. Do I know for sure? No. But I am Italian and my name is Portuguese, so let me know if you have any other ideas.

That said... Michelle REALLY gets on my nerves. She's so irritating. The whole alliance is irritating and their treatment of Dan is atrocious. It makes me sick. So, no, I don't know if I'm related at all to her (like 10th cousins, right?), but I'm not a Michelle fan. And we're both Costas... ugh. Shameful.

Lastly... my sister owns a dog. His name is Wimbly and he's an Eski-poo. OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. (Yes, that's what is going through my head.) Antonio has a dog-cousin. OMG. OMG. OMG. I'll post a pic as soon as I have one... OMG. (And ugh.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Empty dishwasher - check
Load dishwasher - check
Lay around and be lazy - check
Make bed - check
Reset both wireless routers, reset security settings and reset properties on all computers/laptops in the house (5) - check
Walk Maddy - check
Play with Antonio - check
Eat first Attman's Corned Beef sandwich - check
Choose outfit for tomorrow - check
Put aside clothes for DC tomorrow night - check
Play Mahjong - check
Clean cat box - check
Watch Olympics - check

Now if I can get to bed at a reasonable time, I should be all set. I'm pretty sure that sleeping in and laying around today won't help that very much...

This week I have to:
Work at my real job
Work at the DC
Find someone to watch Elliott/give him meds in two weeks (I'm going to go home and see my grandma)
Take a Friday off
Help a friend unpack
Plan a girl's dinner (whereto, ladies?)
Sleep regularly

Oh Well

Okay, so I didn't go to work yesterday... I couldn't. Yesterday morning was the first perfect, quiet, cool day since Spring. I slept with the window open, AC off, watched movies in bed... and loved it. Antonio and I went to Patterson Park, too. He was sort of restless, but we stayed for three hours and I got a lot of reading done. But the most fun was last night, when CJ, Angie and I hung out on my deck with the dogs. Our neighbor came over, too, and so I had a little time to experience what having three dogs in the house would be like. (Actually, it wasn't too bad.) I just need a house-house. And Elliott was locked up in the bedroom, so that's always an important factor.

Overall, good day... but I have a teenie little wine headache leftover. Time to finish watching the first season of Dexter...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Staying In

I'm staying in tonight... trying to decide if I should work 6 AM - Noon tomorrow. I don't want to, but that's extra cash. I just moved some more money (read: debt) around, and I'm energized again to get out from underneath of it. In fact, if I go to bed now (or soon), I may wake up naturally around 5 AM. Hmmm...

Today was a good day - especially after the amount of wine consumed yesterday. :) PCP (not the drug) regrouped on my deck for some after work drinking, talking and fun times. I had so much fun... I miss you guys. I got a lot done at work, was home by 7 PM, walked Antonio, and then Angie came over with Maddy. She was groomed today and smelled delicious! Now Antonio, Elliott and I are watching TV, playing games, and contemplating bed. I've started watching Dexter, but it's not great for watching before bed. Maybe Firefly (HT: JWER)? Oh! And Elliott is on his medication and (I think) gaining back some weight. It's very exciting. I prefer my animals to be chubbier than they are skinny. We like love handles around here.

Tomorrow I want to take Antonio to the park, much like we did last summer. I should have been doing this a lot with him this year and didn't... so I owe him. Tomorrow night... anyone? Karaoke? Something else? I don't know.

For now, rest assured that I'm putting on my PJs and snuggling up with my animals.

The PJ's You Are Most Like: Comfortable PJ's

You're a bit conservative, traditional, and tend to follow conventions

You have an understated, easy sexiness that men love

People instantly find comfort in you, and you're a "best friend" to many.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Back In the Saddle

So... I'm okay. Exhausted, but okay. My grandmother is doing better and I talked to her briefly on Monday, but I'm still not sleeping very well. Hopefully I can get the apartment cleaned up quickly so that I can fall asleep at a decent hour tonight.

In good news, Angie has a dog. :) I know! I am so very, very excited for her. My neighbor found a dog that had been put out by its owner, and she brought it home but couldn't keep it because she already has two dogs and one of them was being very jealous. She texted me about the dog on Tuesday around noon, I called Angie and told her to go look at the dog (yeah, I know... I'm bossy), and by mid-afternoon Tuesday... Angie had a dog. The dog is an English Springer Spaniel, and her name is Maddy. Isn't she absolutely gorgeous?!

I met Maddy after work today and what a gem. She's amazing. No signs of abuse, only of living on the street for a week or so. She's clingy, but sweet as can be. She knows how to sit, shake, and we had her "laying down" (which for her, means throwing her body to the ground) in only a few minutes. She's a smart one, that's for sure. All she needs is a lot of love and some confidence, and I know Angie can give her what she needs.

Congratulations, ANGIE!!! We all definitely owe you a few dog toys to get you started!!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Weekend Wrap-Up

Yesterday was my third (I think) Fiesta... a huge party that Jill and Rob's family throws every year. It was a little strange this time around, as we arrived during a thunderstorm... but the storm (and lightening and torrential downpour that comes with it) passed by and we had a really nice time. It was really great to see so many people! Jill's family, of course, and all her friends that are now my friends, and all WS folks, and better yet, I took CJ and Nicole, so my friends are all slowly meeting each other, and so far I think they all like each other. I love that.

I'd also like to say - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARIE! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROB! The older I get, the crappier I am at remembering birthdays, but two very important people in my life share the same day, so I should be able to get this one right. I love you both dearly, and I hope you had a great day. :)

After Fiesta, the girls and I headed to Poncabird - for the fourth straight week in a row. (It's probably not healthy that I'm there that much, right?) It was fun - I'm learning that I REALLY like singing Heart (I know!), and I'm going to try to learn Barracuda for CJ. Weirder... the general manager asked me to dinner. Ugh. He's a nice guy, but I just can't. I'm too flighty when I date, which is why I have to be really cautious when I date in my circle... it freaks me out. I'm going to have to say no, of course... but I hope it doesn't make it weird. I really like that place.

What else, what else...I have a significant amount of work to do today (so why am I blogging, right?), and I still have a social call to make, so another list is required to make sure I stay on schedule.

1. Get caught up on Google reader - DONE! At 2:30 AM, but still done!!
2. Laundry - in progress
3. Work on work-work - done!!
4. Run the dishwasher - done
5. Go to Korey's birthday BBQ - done and yum!
6. Try to watch Big Brother 10 at the actual time rather than on ON DEMAND (More to come on BB 10 later.) - done
7. Trash
8. Put laundry away
9. Make lunch for tomorrow and plan for working at the DC tomorrow night (momma needs a new purse) - done
10. Vacuum
11. Get address to send grandma a card (She's at a rehab facility now, I guess. The pain is still a problem, but they are trying to get her up and moving. We aren't ready to lose her yet.)
12. Recreate more iTunes playlists because I completely lost them all this week. I have them on my iPod though, so I'm redoing them one by one and can't sync until it's done. Ugh. - done, I think

Oh - and falling back to sleep at 4 AM, I beat two Mah-Jong scores on my Internet Tablet. TWO! At 4 AM! My new goal is to get all of my best times to below 2 minutes and 30 seconds... I love it.

Update: My grandma is back in the hospital. Maybe pneumonia. I'm taking a few days off of blogging. Nothing really seems that important right now.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


I slept until NOON today... heh heh heh. I feel great. I have been so tired since my trip toi CA, and although I've been sleeping fine, I needed to veg out. Now I just want to play computer games. :)

Last night Angie and I went to ACW's "zenchick" party. I call it that because ACW will soon be joining the ranks of used-to-be bloggers... and just as people introduced Zenchick to me, we'll be introducing ACW to others. "Oh that guy? Yeah, he used to blog. You probably never read his stuff."

I'm afraid we also have a little matter to discuss regarding the location of the happy hour - Don't Know? Tavern in Federal Hill. Yeah... I'm very sorry to say so, but this place officially has no clue how to make hummus. Yes, I know it was supposed to be red pepper hummus, but the first plate they gave me was red pepper mush. They tried again with a new batch, and although it was far less disgusting, it still didn't have that hummus texture. Hummus is a little grainy, folks (and by folks I mean that blond chick who stuck her nose into my conversation at the bar). It isn't supposed to be mushy and soft.

So although our time at the tavern was nice, and the bar staff (for the most part) was understanding... do not order hummus here. The chef has no idea how to make it. Wait... isn't "no idea" another one of this owner's bars? Huh. Now I get it...