Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April odds and ends

#1: Paul signed up for his first half-marathon! He'll be running a bit more than 13 miles throughout Brooklyn this Saturday. No worries- he's been known to run a treadmill 15 miles at the gym. (How boring does that have to be? I don't care what's in your iPod or what's on TV.) Of course, he wants to run a real marathon, but the chances of him getting in to the NYC one are pretty slim. To have anything like a near-guaranteed spot, you have to run something like 14 half-marathons sponsored by a specific organization, I believe. So he may run the marathon in Columbus or one of the other cities here in the northeast.

#2: When I was in Ohio last weekend, I did get to spend a very short amount of time with Paul's family. I was there about 16 hours, and about half of that I was sleeping! In any case, my sister-in-law, Becky, did manage to sneak in a few pictures. She has them posted on her blog.

#3: We're now trying to rent our house. It was listed just this week, and we've already had three people interested in taking a look. Paul and I probably are more excited than we should be. That's already three times as many people who have looked at our house to buy it!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The wedding, the shower and the wedding shower

I already explained the low point of my trip home. Here's what I did the remainder of last weekend:

The wedding: Paul's good friend Joe got married in New Castle, Indiana, and Paul was in the wedding. New Castle is a small town right off Interstate 70, about 2 1/2 hours from Columbus. It reminded me of Defiance, except instead of a mall it had a large box store called "Rural World."
I knew a surprising number of guests there-- people I had originally met through Joe (including one of the members of the book club I belonged to!) as well as one of Paul and Joe's joint friends through Tang Soo Do (that's Joe, Paul and Shane on the left).

The shower: The wedding was outdoors on the farm of the bride's family, but luckily the rain showers stopped before the 5 p.m. ceremony. It was still cold, and I was dressed wildly inappropriate for an outdoor wedding. I obviously didn't pay close attention to the invitation, because I didn't realize the ceremony was outdoors until the day before. I gladly would have traded by spring dress and high heels for a pair of pants and sensible shoes! Either way, I had a wonderful time at the wedding and rehearsal dinner and was mildly amused by the kitschiness of our motel, the Steve Alford All-American Inn. What, you didn't recognize the giant shoe?

The wedding shower: We drove to Defiance immediately after the reception, another 2 1/2 hours in the car. My sister, Katie, is getting married in less than two weeks, so we decided to hold her bridal shower during a weekend I would already be in the state. Yup, we played a couple of silly games, during which it was confirmed that I know my sister not at all. Katie got a lot of lovely gifts (who's even heard of a foldable griddle?) and I saw a lot of my family, of course. I also met several of Katie's future in-laws for the first time.

Only 12 days until the wedding!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sour ending to a lovely weekend

If love is carrying someone's barf bag to the nearest airport trash receptacle, then Paul must adore me.

I had a lovely long visit home this past weekend, except for the final four hours. I was fine at Joe's wedding. Perfect at Katie's bridal shower. It wasn't until I was somewhere in the air between Columbus and Detroit that I started to feel queasy.

Without going into too many details, I was sick the entire plane ride from Detroit to New York. Luckily, Paul and I had the entire last row of the plane to ourselves. The flight attendant told us at the end of the trip that the pilot even delayed take-off for a bit to consult with air traffic control about whether I should get off the plane. Great.

Needless to say, I stayed home from work the next day. I was fine again and eating normally by the evening. More about the pleasant aspects of my trip (along with pictures!) later.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cupcakes and pancakes

I am in NYC by myself for the first time. And while I wasn't looking forward to Paul being gone, I am trying to take advantage of the time by doing things I know he would hate.

Paul left early Saturday morning to visit his family for the week (I'm joining him Thursday night, followed by a wedding in Indiana on Saturday and my sister's bridal shower on Sunday). That means I have to make my own fun for nearly a week.

I did this on Saturday by eating only pancakes and cupcakes. Chocolate chip pancakes for brunch, followed by a chocolate cupcake at Magnolia Bakery, made famous by Sex and the City. The frosting was delicious, the cupcake itself was average, and the wait was horrendous. Thirty minutes for a cupcake? I probably won't be returning.

I spent the afternoon exploring Washington Square Park and the West Village. Later in the day I walked around the Upper East Side and passed Marymount Manhattan College. I remember getting a mailing from this them in high school, and I vaguely wanted to attend (mainly because of the word "Manhattan" in the name).

The weather was beautiful-- the first warm, sunny weekend this spring, I think. Tons of people were out, and the sidewalks were filled with diners. I can't wait to visit a few.

On the way home I stopped at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, another bakery I've wanted to visit. It has tons of stuff with nuts, so it was ideal to try while Paul was away. Indeed, I walked away with an Ooey Gooey (chocolate cupcake with chocolate almond buttercream) and a Lemon Yummy (lemon cake with lemon buttercream). I may have to change my search for the perfect cannoli into the search for the perfect cupcake. What a tough job.

My day o' cakes continued with vegetable pancakes for supper. Honestly, I'll take pancakes and cupcakes over meat and potatoes any day.

Monday, April 7, 2008

NYSE-- Who knew?

I work five blocks from the New York Stock Exchange.

I did not realize this until about three weeks ago.

Yes, it took me four months to figure out that I work within walking distance of the center of the financial world.

I knew I worked close to Wall Street. That subway stop is the one right before the one where I get off, and it only takes about a minute to get there, so I knew it was close. So during my lunch break on a blustery Friday, I went exploring.

Sure enough, I saw some interesting sights/sites. Trinity Church is about five blocks away on Broadway at Wall Street. I took some photos from the second floor of a Borders bookstore across the street.

Turn east and walk a few blocks, and there's the NYSE. It's hard to miss-- it's the building about a million people are taking photos of.

Before I descended into my subway station after work that night, I noticed that I could very clearly see the building from Nassau Street, about a 1/2 block from work. I'm obviously turning into a New Yorker, keeping my head down and not getting a clear look at anything!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Brooklyn: Not very book-smart

I always thought New York City was probably one of the most advanced places in the world. But just because you can hang a few shiny bulbs in Times Square evidently doesn't mean you're at the technological forefront-- or any other forefront, for that matter. I mean, in what other city do you still regularly find pay phones?

I know I've ranted before about how backward the Brooklyn Public Library seems compared to that in Columbus. Maybe it's not a fair comparison- Columbus has one of the best library systems in the country. But still, couldn't my local branch at least install a book drop?

Well now my local branch has gone one step further and CLOSED for two years for renovations. The branch itself was nothing special, but the location was extremely convenient. It's right by Paul's gym, so I could recruit him to drop off my books or pick up my reserves. Now I'll have to either go to a branch further away in our neighborhood and off the subway line or one on the line on my way home from work. I'm inclined toward the latter, but that will mean lugging my library books all the way to work on the train.

Sometimes I really miss driving.


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