Sunday, May 31, 2009

Great Weekend!

What a great weekend! From Friday to now it has just been the best! Friday night I worked and then hung out with an old friend. Saturday I woke up and went to a "gardening party" at my dad's house. I got to use the (thank goodness) brand new lawn mower and cut the grass. It was me, my dad, and Wendy all at the house together working on yard work. A few neighbors dropped in and it was all around a wonderful day. We built a garden that has to be ten feet by ten feet. Dad sent Wendy and I to the store to buy four tomato plants, but of course we got them at a great price, and so we came home with about 20... and we planted them. If you have never used a motorized rototiller, it is quite an experience. I think my wrists still hurt. I got really sunburned but it was worth it for the day. Afterward I came home (to my new house still) and passed out for a bit and then it was off to the Pirate game with my sister, her husband, her three children, and our Aunt Char. It was Skyblast night, which meant that after the game there were fireworks and a band! What a great family day!!!

Today my dad came over and saw the new place, and then I had my girlfriends over for Sunday Lunch. We had pizza and dip, and it was great. Both Shannon and Melanie brought their little girls and we had a great time in the living room, just chatting and catching up. It's been almost TWO MONTHS since we had Sunday lunch, which may not sound like much to you but when you're used to doing it every week, it's a long time. Quick nap then off to a photo shoot where I got to see my friend Lindsay's beautiful little boy. I took his four month pictures and they turned out absolutely beautiful. The older he gets, the more fun it is to take pictures of him because he can do more. Finally, I headed to a local bar to watch the pens game and sorry to say, but we lost. :-( I still have hope for our Pens though, we're bringing it home on Tuesday.

Well, it is time for bed now, because it's back to work tomorrow. I got so sun burned gardening on Saturday that I have been really cold and tired. I hate peeling so I put aloe vera on like it is going out of style. Got a call from my office today about a case... sometimes I feel like it never stops. I'm so envious that my friend Mia gets to retire. I will miss her when she's gone from work.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

If a tree falls in the woods...

If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? This is very similar to... if someone writes a blog and no one reads it, is it still a blog? My point here is that I have no idea who is reading this. If you're out there (other than you Mia) and you're reading the blog, please don't be shy and leave a message that says so!

On a side note, work has been interesting. They finally took steps to lower the heat in our office as some days it was over 80 degrees in there! Whew... that feels better. There's a lot a buzz over contract negotiations right now, as there always is, but this time it seems that people outside of our direct department are supporting us, so we'll see how that turns out.

Not much else to note... it's dollar draft night at one of my favorite local bars, so I think that later that's where I'll be. How about you? That is... if you're out there... what are you up to for the rest of this fine week?

Monday, May 25, 2009


So, I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but when I am at my new house I feel like I am on vacation! This will wear off unless I hire a chef, cleaning crew, and door man, but for now I am making the most of it! Yesterday it rained here, and I was even happy that it rained! I took my book and sat outside on the (partially covered) deck, kicked back on my chair and just listened to the rain come through the trees and the birds chirp in protest. Then... I took a nap. I'm finally down to the bare bones of unpacking. I got all my books out yesterday and set them up in my room. I still can't get over how big it is in there! Bed, two dressers, three closets, nightstand, two bookcases and you could still do a gymnastics floor routine in the middle of it... on the BRAND NEW CARPET!

Who knew life could be this perfect? This morning my roommate and I chatted it up and planned to head to the pool. I had some shopping to do first, so I met her there and we worked on our tans together. Now, I'm off to a picnic at a friends. Don't forget the spinach dip!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day. And a special thank you to all of our service men and women who make it possible to feel like you're on vacation, at your own house.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

C'mon June!

Whew... May has been a very taxing month. With a trip to Philly, a move, and about 1000 court hearings under my belt. I will be glad when June arrives! We don't have cable at my new apartment but thanks to an unsuspecting neighbor who forgot to password protect their internet connection, I am able to use it at times. :-) Sorry if that bothers anyone, especially my neighbor, but if it does, then I suggest you password protect your connection. I'm not a hacker, just an opportunist.

Anyhow, what amazes me most tonight is that I am home alone on a Friday night, we don't have cable, it's super quiet here, and I LOVE IT. I can just putz around my house, putting things away or just relax on my couch [I LOVE MY COUCH] and do... nothing. I used to feel pressured to have something to "do" on every weekend night but now there's plenty to do but I'm staying home because I want to.

My last place was great but this one is incredible. The view is better off my deck, the neighbors are all wonderful, and I have the best roommate in the world. Her birthday is tomorrow so I decorated the apartment in yellow streamers today (her favorite color), got some balloons, cake, card.. ya know, the works and just left it for when she got home from work. It made her happy, which made me happy.

I guess you might say I am just enjoying the simplicity of life right now... and amazed at how things can change from chaotic to simple, so fast!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Philadelphia and the move...

So I took a mini-vacation/work trip to Philly. The drive out was cloudless and wonderful, I made it in 5 hours almost exactly. When I arrived my GPS told me there was traffic so I detoured around it... which brought me into the city a different way. Later, I was told that I came in the "bad" side of south Philly. What I can tell you is that it looked like the stereotypes of the "bad" parts of Philly that are shown in movies.

As a caseworker, I drive through areas that other people wouldn't even consider visiting (our so I am told). I barely notice anymore here in Pittsburgh, but there, I was uncomfortable. I arrive at my gracious Hostesses' home and greet her and her cat. I tried to be clever and send her a picture of her door (like in the AT&T commercials) but she didn't get the text and I was tired of standing outside, so I finally just called her.

On the way there, I had thought of a fun idea and suggested we go to Atlantic City for the night. After some internet price searching and not finding a price we wanted, we decided to stay in town. Dinner was pizza and then we went out. I discovered a few things very quickly when I arrived in Philadelpia: 1) As long as you stop at stop signs and red lights, you can do pretty much whatever you want as a driver there. 2) As long as you watch for cars, you pretty much do anything you want to do as a pedestrian as well. 3) People in Philly are overly ambitious and "not too far away" can mean you're walking up to 15 blocks, "kinda far away" means you could land in the hospital or reach your next birthday before you arrive at your destination. 4)The city has three smells: bakery, sewage, and urine. Sometimes they combine as well...

The first night we went to a wine and cheese bar, and then an Irish Pub. I liked the pub much more than the wine place. The wine was good and the company was nice there, but it was a little out of my price range and my feet still hurt from walking. At the Irish Pub they had drink specials and a DJ, way more my style. We cabbed it home.

I won't go through minute by minute but some highlights were seeing the campus of La Salle University, touring Eastern State Penitentary, dinner with friends from around the world, seeing City Hall, seeing the kids outside of city hall breakdancing, the Love Park fountain and statue, the Italian Market Festival, Drinkers Bar (where they serve 40's to drink inside the bar) and Gay Bingo.

Gay Bingo was an Aids Relief benefit that was run by Drag Queens dressed as celebrities. My favorite was the rendition of Dianna Ross.

I stayed for 4 days, I ate at Pat's not Geno's and liked my steak hoagie. I think I ordered it right, I hope I did... I practiced while waiting in line, but it was a short line :-( All in all it was a grand trip. As I left the city and I was on my way to attend to work matters, I was thinking about how the drivers in Philadelphia really do whatever they want, but somehow it works. Cabbies dodge and weave, and I have never heard car horns used so often in my life! Just as I was thinking about this, I noticed police lights in my rearview window. Thinking he must be on his way to an accident, I moved over and prepared to stop. Oddly... he moved over as well and then squaked at me and motioned for a side steet... almost like he was pulling me over... wait a second... he was pulling me over.

Ten minutes and $140 later, I was on my way back to Pittsburgh. 11 hours later after making 4 stops (two to see kids on business, 2 to charge my phone at rest stops because my GPS is in my phone), I arrived at home. At 11 o'clock at night I got home and checked my voicemail message. Oh... my family was going to help me move on Thursday, but tomorrow would be better for them. And so I rested about 30 minutes, got up, packed till 4 am, slept till 7:30 am, packed till they arrived at 9, moved all day, worked at night, moved some more, slept worked, worked again, got home at 8 p.m. tonight, had a beer with the new neighbors, unpacked some more and now here I sit... blogging.

It's time for bed :-) Have a great day!