Monday, August 30, 2010

A word of advice

We have a salad spinner.

Exhibit A:

Said salad spinner is something we got recently and is pretty cool really. However, I haven't used it a whole lot. It's not hard to use, you wash the lettuce, tear it up, put it in the bowl/basket combo, put the lid on, push down on the thing to spin it dry. It also has a brake which doesn't work right anymore because of an unfortunate dishwasher incident, but if you push really hard it will slow it down, or you wait until it stops spinning.

Except...I didn't. Without thinking through the consequences, I took the lid off while the inside basket was still spinning and guess what the consequences are? Let's just say I was picking lettuce off the floor and out of the toaster.

For future reference, either get the brake to work or wait until it stops spinning. Unless lettuce everywhere is a look you're going for. (Thankfully it wasn't all the lettuce...)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some things that make me happy lately...

...or life is good. In no particular order:
  • Dropping gas prices. At the moment anything $2.55 or cheaper is awesome and Costco has it for $2.52.
  • Getting 19-20 mpg out of a tank of doesn't always happen, unfortunately.
  • Text messages and emails. :)
  • A clean desk. Oh look, I forgot what color it was...
  • Cool breezes promising cooler weather is on the way soon. Yay, fall!
  • Driving with the windows down more often because of said cooler breezes.
  • The fact that my birthday's next weekend. 21! Really? I mean, really? Wow.
  • Getting some knitting done and remembering how much I like finishing projects. Need to be finishing about...three projects all at once too.
  • Dark chocolate. Wait, that always makes me happy...
  • Finding new recipes to make, some better than others. The recipe from an old cookbook for chocolate cupcakes was...bleah. Baked chocolate substance, yes; cupcake, no.
  • My Avett Brothers station on I only have one of their CDs and I'm finding more of their awesome music this way, besides music from similar artists. Oh, my Irish music station too, of course.
  • Pronouncements and hugs from the opinionated little two year old I take care of. :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2nd part of vacation

So I've failed to blog about the Cincinnati portion of my vacation yet, both because I've been busy, and I'm not sure how to split the difference between making a long story short, and talking about the whole thing in details that nobody cares about. However, to make a long story short: I went to Cincinnati, went with my relatives to Chicago for a wedding, stayed up there for the weekend, got back to Cincinnati and sat around with my cousins who were sick, caught their cold, flew home, and have been coughing ever since. Not that I'm bitter or anything. No, really I'm not. ;) But, I am in my third week of coughing...

To expand on that story a little, I got back from the beach, worked that Tuesday, then flew to Cincinnati on Wednesday. To be more exact, I flew from Greensboro to Philadelphia, where they informed me that my flight had been canceled and sent me back to Charlotte. Um, really?? After sitting around in Charlotte for a while I flew directly to Cincinnati, while my luggage stayed in Philly and US Air poured water on it. I knew United breaks guitars, but apparently US Air does your laundry for you...minus the dryer. Sooo helpful. At any rate, they delivered it to my cousins' house that evening and I had time to dry things before the next day. (With some muttering and complaining.)

Then the next day we drove to Chicago for the wedding. My (half-cousin? Step-cousin? something like that, I'm not sure what he is technically) was getting married. Thursday we did miscellaneous things, Friday was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner (my cousin John was a groomsman, so he was involved in all that), and then Saturday was the wedding.

I took some photos while I was there, and they're on Facebook: Cincinnati/Chicago Trip

By Saturday night, after having been in the same hotel room and very busy and stressed my cousins and I were all about to snap though. We all made it home without killing each other though. :P

When we got back to Cincinnati they were all out of it because they had colds, so we mostly sat around watching movies. We watched The Princess Diaries (there was nothing else in the house to watch), Waking Ned Devine, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, The Terminal, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Sherlock Holmes.

I'd watched Waking Ned Devine years ago, and when we started watching it I was worried at first that I wasn't going to be able to understand a word they were saying. It's a bunch of Irish people and they were mumbling in thick accents (and I didn't remember that from last time!), but they finally started talking more clearly. :D Anyway, funny movie.  

Mr. Blandings Build His Dream House I'd also seen a long time ago, and it didn't seem as funny as I remember. Perhaps because I've read the book it's based on and it just wasn't quite the same. It does star Cary Grant, so you can't go too far wrong there, but the actress playing his wife was very annoying.

The Terminal was very cute and funny at the same time. Tom Hanks, playing a foreigner with a vaguely Russian accent, stuck in an airport, was surprisingly hilarious. :) I'd definitely recommend it. I think my dad (who can't stand Tom Hanks) would even like it.

The Importance of Being Earnest: If you've ever read the Oscar Wilde play, or an adaptation of it, you know it's very amusing and satirical. The movie, while a little hard to follow simply because of the story, was very good as well and the characters seemed well-portrayed. Colin Firth is in it...and who knew Colin Firth could smile?? Not I. But he smiles quite a bit in this movie.

Sherlock Holmes: well, that required some mental distancing from the books to just enjoy it as a movie. I'm not exactly sure the characters were accurate to the books, but it was fascinating and set in a sort of steampunk England (which may have been accurate for the time? I'm not clear on the origins of that). I'd say it was probably best for the (setting? scenery? costumes? sets?)...all the stuff of a movie apart from the storyline, whatever that's called. The storyline didn't strike me as being terribly great, but I was too busy looking at the movie to notice a whole lot. Visually splendid, just don't pick it apart too much.

Okay, now that I've digressed into brief movie reviews... That's what we did in Cincinnati. My cousins also pulled out an old home video of us at our grandparents house when I was about...six, and my cousin James and I were bossing each other around. :D That then led to finding a box of old pictures and going through them. I found a couple pictures of myself as a baby, and a really cute photo of my parents when they were dating. :) Then the day before I left we went and played baseball and volleyball in the heat, and my uncle took Rebecca, Andrea, and I bowling in the evening. I can't bowl worth a darn either; I lost all three games. I blame it on not having much shoulder strength...or bowling skill. :) Despite that it was a good end to the vacation, especially since we were all tired and hyper at the end of the night, so the ride back to the house was hilarious.

Then Thursday morning I woke up feeling utterly crappy because I caught the cold, and flew home (uneventfully this time, thankfully) and collapsed on the couch. Odd vacation that I ended up having to rest from it, but it was a fun adventure. And I was extremely thankful for all the Starbucks in the Charlotte airport because I needed hot tea to make it home!

That was about a month ago, and I don't feel like I've slowed down since then, what with one thing or another. Ah well. I can put up with that. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So, C.S. Lewis was awesome

Dad has been reading to Colin from C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, and they're in the middle of reading The Silver Chair right now. Anyway, the one part I heard last night made me stop and listen because it's been a while since I read the books.

For some context (and it will probably only make sense if you've read the books I'm afraid) the children and Puddleglum the marshwiggle are looking for the giants' ruined city and words to tell them where to go to rescue Prince Rilian.

They discovered the words "Under Me" in the rocks, and it led them to the underground world where the prince (who is bewitched and clueless of who he really is) is being kept. They get there, and upon finding him, tell him what their quest is, and about how Aslan told them to look for the words, and they found them, right above where they fell down into the underworld. Prince Rilian proceeds to laugh at them and informs them that what they saw is the remains of the engraving on an old tombstone of a giant king, and in full the verse was:

Though under Earth and throneless now I be,
Yet, while I lived, all Earth was under me.

and that it was carved long ago, and not meant as any sign to them.

Upon hearing this, the children are extremely disheartened and figure they probably haven't found the right place after all, at which point Puddleglum interjects with the passage that made me stop and say "Wow!":

"Don't you mind him," said Puddleglum. "There are no accidents. Our guide is Aslan; and he was there when the giant King caused the letters to be cut, and he knew already all things that would come of them; including this."

I knew The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was allegorical, we all know that, but I didn't remember that clear reference to God's sovereignty in this book! Simply amazing.