Thursday, August 31, 2006


Good news. The inspection went very well. There is a hearth issue with the fireplace, but it will be solved. Either they will fix it or they will credit us to fix it. I think they'll fix it. I can't be bothered. The guy who checked our future property was named Joe Randazzo. What a great name.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Interesting...And I Never Even Lived in Minnesota

You have 68% Iowa in you!

Nice score! Are you embarrassed or proud of being so much Iowa? I would be proud, it's great being so closely tied to the Hawkeye State.

Do you have Iowa in you?

How PA are you?
Your Result: Have you ever even been to PA??

You really don't know too much about "The Keystone State". You've never seen a horse and buggy and don't even know what stuffing is. You probably don't even know where to locate it on a map. Where are you from anyways??

You're definitely from PA!!
How PA are you?

You are 76% Minnesotan

You are urban Minnesotan, or at least from the suburbs, and you know your stuff pretty well! Great job!

How Minnesotan are you?
Make Your Own Quiz

You are 55% Philly!!

You have decent amount of Philly in your system. Not enough though, so why don't you go ishkabibbles!!

How Philly Are You?
Make a Quiz

Celebrity Karaoke

Last night, as I watched television, I had a reaction that I usually reserve for Ben Stiller movies. I couldn't help but watch with half my hand over my eyes and more importantly, half my hands over my ears. You many have guessed, but I was watching FOX's new reality program, Celebrity Duets. I am not sure if it was Little Richard as he floated in and out of his own reality or it could have been that I just can't get enough of C-List celebrities living out their musical fantasies for all to see, but I couldn't help myself.

Not only was this the most embarrassing thing I have seen in a long time, but it was on for TWO hours. Do you know what I could have gotten accomplished in TWO hours? Well, probably nothing more than the dishes and a good phone call, but that is still bad. I am not sure who should be more embarrassed, me or the celebrities at this point. I do know one thing and that is that I will not be watching next week's episode. It can only get worse from here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rainy Days

I couldn't believe how drenched a person could get just running from her car to her apartment door in a rainstorm. True. I made a crucial mistake in the late afternoon downpour. I thought I had it all worked out with my computer bag thrown across my chest and my workout bag ready to go. Then, I ran to the door and no keys.

It was raining so hard and I couldn't find my keys. By the time I got into the apartment, it was like I had just taken a shower. Gross. The weather woman just told me that it is supposed to rain up to nine inches in the next few days. Awesome.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Time to Own

This is our new house. Maybe. It has to pass the house inspection and then, it is ours.

Tim and I have never owned a house. We've been renters for a number of reasons. We've never thought about mortages, paint samples, and yard work, but that will soon change.

If all goes well, we'll be in our house by Thanksgiving. I couldn't be happier. Well, I could be happier if we have a perfect inspection.

Things I Like Today...

  • Putting whip cream in the coffee that I enjoy over a delicious dessert.
  • When people stay in their lane while driving.
  • Fruit a fruit roll-up, but healthier.
  • Cats who don't force themselves on me.
  • Clothes without snaps, zippers, buttons...clothes that I can just put on and go.
  • My ten dollar purse.
  • All four seasons.
  • Being right (correct).
  • Being left (progressive).
  • My flat is the hair tool that I have needed my whole life.
  • Afro-Cuban music.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Check Out the Scraps

I thought I would share one of my favorite hobbies with you. I love to scrapbook and if you look closely, you might see yourself in this slideshow. Scrapbooking is fast becoming not only my hobby, but a future business endeavor. This business idea is in the beginning stages, but I hope you can see how much I enjoy this hobby.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Today, I stumbled upon these 100 calorie oatmeal chocolate chip prepackaged cookies at Trader Joe's. I couldn't wait to get them home to try this sweet treat.

I prepared for this event by measuring out one cup of non-fat skim milk. See...portion control is my new thing.

I opened my bag of crunchy goodness, enjoyed my first cookie, brought my glass of milk to my mouth, drank it in, and then, ran to the sink where I could spit out the nastiest tasting milk I have ever experienced.

Even though I am 29 years old, I have never tasted sour milk until today. I checked the date and it said August 26. Well, that is tomorrow. I should have been able to enjoy this milk for one more day, but some dairy chemist had other plans.

Not to worry, friends. I still had these cookies to take away the sting/stink of the milk.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ten Down

I am ten miles closer to the 600 training miles they suggest for next summer's RAGBRAI. I have a long way to go, but I am determined and logging every mile, inside and out. I sometimes wonder why people do this bike ride or marathons or anything like that. I know why I want to do it. I want to do it to see if I can do it. Simple. It is the same reason why I am not eating McDonald's in 2006.

With McDonald's, I am not really getting a benefit except the obvious health benefits of not ingesting their food, yet the training that is required with RAGBRAI, it will get me in some serious shape.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Television Nirvana

I am going to be very, VERY busy on August 29 because not one, BUT TWO of my favorite shows has a new season coming out on DVD.

Arrested Development, Season Three will be hitting the shelves and it will be bittersweet. I hate it when a series ends and I have nothing more to enjoy of it. Thank goodness for the DVD that can be watched over and over again. This is one of the few shows that fit into that category for me.

I have been constantly reminded that Nip/Tuck, Season Four starts on September 5 everytime I watch FX. This means some serious dedication to Season Three that comes out on August 29th too! I have a lot of shows to watch before Dr. Christian Troy and Dr. Sean McNamara are up to their sleazy ways. Oh, I love the sleaze.

I can't wait to watch episode after episode. I have no shame about this. Sure, I could be spending my last days of summer outside or reading something worthwhile, but I have to think that I may not have that kind of time on my hands once school starts.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Baby Steps

Tim and I are a little behind when it comes to home buying. Most of our friends have entered the grown up chapter where they talk about mortages and property taxes, but we have not. It hasn't been because we didn't want to have a house, but it came down to the fact that we haven't been somewhere long enough to put down roots. This is not the case for Philadelphia. We plan on being here awhile since Tim is on that stressful, but hopefully, fulfilling tenure track at his university.

So, give us your advice as we start this journey. We are at the VERY beginning where we are assessing needs and costs and location and blah, blah, blah. We really want your advice. Maybe what you wish you had known. Maybe what is the most important thing that helped you make your decision. Anything.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Soundtrack of your Life

This entertained me for at least 30 minutes as it played through and I got to have a song associated with each stage in my life. Some are pretty interesting for the context.

So, here's how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, etc).
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question press the next button.
Ready? GO!

Opening Credits:
How Come - Ray LaMontagne

Waking Up:
Scrub - Brenda Weiler

Falling In Love:
In My Life - The Beatles

Fight Scene:
Wondering - Widespread Panic

Breaking Up:
Blackbird - Sarah McLachlan

The Boys Are Back in Town- Thin Lizzy

Life's Okay:
Rock With You - Michael Jackson

Mental Breakdown:
I Can't Dance- Genesis

Save It For a Rainy Day - The Jayhawks

You Make My Dreams Come True - Hall & Oates

Happy Dance:
Goodbye Stranger - SuperTramp

Boston - Augustana

Final Battle:
I'm Free- Kenny Loggins
(From the Footloose Soundtrack! A complete guilty pleasure!)

Death Scene:
Somebody's Crying
- Chris Issac

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Keepin' It Simps

I have very little to say today. How about I tell you what I have been listening to lately?

I really dig The Weepies. They are a folky, harmonic, and lyrical pair that sing simple songs just for me. No, not really just for me, but I like to think so as I am driving down the road in my little CRV singing along to one of my favorite songs "Gotta Have You". I like that with every song, I am left saying, "Oh, I get it. I get these lyrics."

If you check out their website, you can listen to their songs and not just a sample. The whole darn song.

I guess I have more to say.

I went on a hike today with a friend to Ridley Creek State Park. It was a five mile walk and it was perfection. Shaded and sunny taking turns all morning. I felt fantastic after this walk for a couple reasons. First, I walked five miles. I was technically done with my exercise for the day, but I went home and did a 10 minute workout with a DVD. I love being outside on perfect 80-something days like this.

And lastly...

I am so excited to try Panera's Crispani pizza. I am going to order tomato and fresh basil on my pizza. I did my research to find that this pizza choice is pretty healthy with 170 calories for one piece. This is a comparison to a medium piece of Dominoes pepperoni at 255 calories.

Now, you know all about my day.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Few Words

I haven't spoken to a single person all day. Well, I did ask Tim what his plans were for the day and wished him a good day as I was leaving the apartment, but that is it. I have been out and about today, but just haven't spoken to anyone.

My school life is very different than it was for the first five years of my professional life. I used to think that teaching in a trailer in North Dakota was isolating, but my new teaching situation is isolating...only at the moment. Soon, my assistant teacher will be in the room with me and four more souls will be milling about the kindergarten center. Until then, I will be hanging in my classroom where I am trying to set up an engaging environment for the children.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hairy Situation

I am having a bad eyebrow day.

The lovely Inez who usually does such a fantastic job on my unruly eyebrows has made the right eyebrow significantly shorter than the left. There is nothing I can do. It will be this way until there is some unruly grow back. My newly trimmed bangs do fall over most of the right eyebrow so I won't stew much longer on this mishap, but a lesson has been learned. I will try to keep my eyebrows plucked so to avoid the total rehab of the eyebrow when I let it go for so long.

As for the long-term hair plan that I discussed in November, I am making progress. I have been in for trims and that is about it. I haven't had my hair this long since my wedding. I think the only thing that is keeping on this train is the discovery of the flat iron. It is the hair tool I have needed my entire life! I have that boring straight hair that isn't really straight, but instead, straight with some bumps. The flat iron has given me back the control over these stubborn bumps. With my flat iron turned to 350 and my minimal product, I am able to keep the bob in some sort of style.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Big New Ball

I have purchased a balance ball with this new health kick/lifestyle change. It just might be the second best thing I have ever purchased. It came with three videos for yoga and pilates to work the abs, lower body, and upper body.

I did one video last night before bed. I felt challenged and relaxed at the same time. I stayed up for about 30 minutes after my workout and then, crawled into bed. After a few minutes of conversation with Tim, I fell fast to sleep and experienced the best night of sleep that I have had in MONTHS!

I am not saying that the balance ball is completely responsible, but I think it helped my body relax and feel stretched. I am going to try it tonight for further proof of its restful night abilities.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

My New Spot

I have created an oasis for myself.

I have had this mission style desk for six years. For most of the desk's brief life, it has been home to our computer. With the big box, monitor, and keyboard, that pretty much took up all the space. The overhead hutch held all the cords and discs that the computer needed. Last fall, I inherited Tim's Apple ibook laptop computer so I didn't need all that space, but I still used that desk for my computer hobbies.

Well, I did a major overhaul of the desk yesterday. I moved, cleaned, threw away, and condensed all the items of the hutch and desk. I moved in my scrapbooking materials and created what I will now call my scrappin' spot. I can leave my pages out if I am not finished. I can look for paper on the shelves that I have created. I do not have to haul out my scrappin' stuff to the family room everytime I want to get my scrap on.

I was so happy about this new turn in my scrappin' life, I scrapped for six hours this morning.

Man, I love to say scrappin'.

Friday, August 11, 2006


So, I am on a wagon of sorts. Actually, I am on two wagons. Hopefully, one will lead the other.

If you are confused...I am speaking in terms of a cliche metaphor. I am on the weight loss wagon. Some people have beer. Some people like to throw the slots. Some people even love jogging. I love food. I love everything that is associated with it. I love to shop for it. I love to cook it. I love to look online for recipes to cook it. I like to go to places that have good food. All this being said...I am heavier now than ever before and I just can't go on like this. If I sound dramatic, it is because this is dramatic.

First, I have cut back my Diet Coke intake from four cans/bottles/huge convience store guzzlers to one can a day. The timing of this venture is crucial. If I get it to early in the day, the rest of my day is spent craving one. If I wait too long in the day, I am left with a huge headache. Noon seems to be the right time for my daily dose of the good stuff.

So, with the cut back of Diet Coke, I have been drinking water. My goal is to drink eight glasses a day. So boring.

I have decided the only way I can achieve my goal is to tell people about my plan. I don't want them sabotaging me because it is all I can do to not sabotage myself. No one is allowed to invite me for coffee. No one is allowed to ask me to grab a treat. No one is allowed to take me to dinner at my favorite places.

So far, my plan is working nicely. I walk and that is nice. I am going to purchase some at home workout videos because sometimes I just don't want to go out all gross. I have cooked some incredibly healthy and delicious meals. Tonight, black bean and yellow rice enchiladas with whole wheat tortillas.

I am not sure what my long term goal will be, but I know that I can no longer deal with the chubs that has invaded my body.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

We All Make Them

Tim and I listened to our fair share of NPR when we were on the road this summer. Along with the usual world news, human interest stories, and general information, one thing always seemed to occur when we would listen to Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, our favorite shows. The hosts of the show would share a correction from earlier shows. These corrections were always brought to their attention by their listeners.

Sometimes these corrections were dates that were incorrect. Sometimes they were pronunciation errors. The hosts are always so humble and gracious about their mistakes and thanked the listeners, but it leaves me with a question. Who are these people that correct others?

Who are these people that, first, want to take the time to write to NPR to tell them of their mistake. Are these the same strain of people that will correct others when they make a simple mistake that really doesn't change the content of the story? You know at least one of these people. I think I might even know two. This person takes joy in correcting people. For example, I am sure the people that correct the hosts of NPR love to tell the story that they were cited for a correction on their favorite radio show. In person, these are the people that say something like, "Oh, Sara, you meant Tuesday," when I mistakenly said Thursday but that wasn't the point of my story. How rude? Very rude.

This is a pet peeve of mine because I think unless it makes a huge difference in the information or story that the person is sharing, there is no need to interrupt a person to correct them. It just makes the corrected feel stupid and make the corrector look pompous. Correct me if I am wrong.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I think this is the longest I have been away from you, Midwestern Position. We are not in a fight. I am not boycotting you, Blog. I have just been driving cross country and chillin' with my ND peeps.

Okay, enough with the nonsense. Time to fill you in.

I am back in Philadelphia. The drive was actually pretty nice. We listened to the smart, lime green ipod. We would play shuffle on the ipod and then, I would ask Tim, "Do you like this song?"

His response was either "It's okay" or "No".

We traveled through ND, MN, IA, IL, IN, OH, WV, and PA. Stopping at Steak and Shake, Arby's, and Culvers were high points along the way. We are glad to be back.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Space Saved

Tim was very concerned about the amount of 'stuff' that I brought with us from Philadelphia to Iowa only to be brought back again to Philly. Well, the real problem was going to be making it all fit so that I could also bring back some teacher stuff that I had stored in my parents' basement.

I was concerned but trying to hide it from Tim. I couldn't let on that he could possibly be right.

After some reflection, I decided to try the infomercial Space Saver Bags. They were awesome. They are the plastic bags that gets vacuumed to save space. I was able to condense three suitcases into these bags. I couldn't believe it. I am such a skeptic, but no more. I am now giving my testimony of the Space Saver Bags.