Wednesday, February 25, 2009

An Apology to Whoever Lives Below Us

I'm surprised our downstairs neighbors haven't yet used the handle of their broom on the ceiling.

We're always dropping things on the hardwood floor or dragging the coffee table a few inches this way or that. And if it's not us, it's the cats. I don't know how many times Will has knocked off the remote control.

I still haven't memorized the spots of the floor that squeak when I step on them. And I'm sometimes afraid I turn the TV on too loud.

A couple of nights ago I was even reading in bed and I hiccuped so violently that the book flew out of my hand, knocked into my mug of water on my nightstand and landed with a thump on the hardwood floor. At midnight.

I've never had to worry about this before. I lived in a couple of apartments in college, but c'mon, that was college. If a couch on fire in the middle of the street doesn't bother you, then I'm pretty sure heavy footsteps in the apartment above you won't bother you either.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Make New Blogs, But Keep the Old

At least one or two people have explored the "My Favorite Sites" over there on the right sidebar of this page. If you've taken a look recently, you've probably noticed a couple of recent additions.

#1: Presidents by the Book

This blog is written by none other than my history-buff husband. Paul started it earlier this month when the two of us embarked on a new book project. We're reading one book on each U.S. president, in order. We just finished book No. 1: "Washington's Crossing" by David Hackett Fischer.

Paul and I have talked a lot about how our social studies and history teachers throughout the years focused on a few specific historical events. For example, it seems like I studied World War II every year in junior high and high school, but I can't remember learning anything about Korea or Vietnam.

So Paul's taking what he finds interesting in these books and relating them to both ancient and modern historical events. We're having a good time (and good conversations) with our new project.

#2: Thrifty Under Fifty

This blog is written by none other than me. Combine my hobby of pinching pennies with all of the new web stuff I'm learning at work, and this is what you get.

I'm highlighting one new item under $50 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Some I've received as gifts; some I've given as gifts. Mostly it's just stuff I think is fun and hoping other people do too.

So that's enough plugging my own stuff for awhile. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Weekend in Vermont

I've wanted to visit Vermont not for the skiing, and not for the views. Really I just wanted to visit for the food-- specifically the syrup and the ice cream. And I got plenty of both during or three-day mini-vacation this past weekend.

We planned the trip in less than a week, although I'd long been contemplating a visit. Although the weather forecast predicted cold temperatures, the sky was supposed to be sunny. The trip was on.

Our destination was Burlington, but first on the itinerary was snow tubing in southern Vermont. Surprisingly to anyone who knows either of us, this was my idea. I'm not an outdoorsy girl, but I really thought that this sounded like fun. It was. I hate being cold, but I was well-protected: boots, three pairs of gloves, a hat, an old Carhartt and Paul's old snow pants that he used to wear skiing. I'm sure I was quite a sight.

The tube track was 600 feet long and winded around a man-made bank. Unfortunately, there was no lift up the hill, and I'm not very hardy. It was quite a hike up, dragging the tubes behind us. But Paul was a gentleman and dragged mine behind him more times than not.

After a couple of hours, we were back on the road to Burlington.

I may have wanted to visit Vermont for the food, but Paul was all about the microbreweries. We stopped at one not long after snow tubing and no less than four in Burlington. I had no doubt that everything would be cheaper in Burlington than in New York, but it was a nice surprise to see exactly *how* much cheaper. One bar had pints for $3.75. You can't even get 'em that cheap during happy hour here!

Another nice surprise: how nice everyone was. We joked that it made Ohioans seem as unfriendly as New Yorkers. Everyone went out of their way to be pleasant- from the guy who got up from my former seat at a restaurant bar to help me look for my lost scarf, to the bartender who found it, to the teens or 20-somethings in the hotel room next to ours whom Paul swears were stoned but still told us to let them know if they were too loud (never heard a peep). On Sunday morning Paul was looking at a parking meter to see if we needed to feed it when a local told us it was free on Sunday. In New York, the guy would've either ignored us or kicked us in the shins and stolen our wallet.

The temperature was in the mid-20s all weekend, but we managed to brave the weather. We took a short walk down the boardwalk along Lake Champlain. It was beautiful in the winter, so I can just imagine what it must be like when you can linger along the shore in the summer. I also like that the boardwalk was filled with more swings than benches.

Burlington also has a nice four-block pedestrian-only shopping area, so of course I dragged Paul into a few shops. He even dragged my into a one or two that caught his eye.

As for the food-- I made it a point to order pancakes with Vermont maple syrup for both of my Burlington brunches. We also took plenty of tours with free samples: Ben & Jerry's (ice cream), Cold Hollow Cider Mill (cider, plus a cider donut for all of 50 cents), and the Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory (caramel-filled chocolate). The tours were both educational and yummy.

If nothing else, we returned home last night with full stomachs.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Museum or Subway?

Now I can go to the Museum of Modern Art every morning on my way to work, kind of.

Nearly every single subway station in New York is plastered with ads for TV shows, new movies, whatever you can imagine. And most of them are defaced, and not nicely (Although often very cleverly. But that's another blog post, and I'll have to take photos first.).

Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise to see the entire Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street station -- one of the biggest, if not *the* biggest, station in Brooklyn -- covered with photos of MoMA's permanent collection today. They'll be on display for the next six weeks.

The New York Times has a good article about it, with a couple of photos.

Without a doubt, the reproduction of the Jackson Pollock painting I noticed this morning has to be more enlightening than yet another poster for "He's Just Not That Into You."

Friday, February 6, 2009

See for Yourself: More Marathon Photos

We got another postcard in the mail to purchase professional photos of Paul running the Columbus Marathon.

But why buy 'em when everyone can look at 'em at MarathonFoto?

Just choose Columbus Marathon 2008, enter our last name and bib number 1032.


Monday, February 2, 2009

NYC: The World's Rat Capital?

I'm forcing myself to be able to look at rats.

I completely realize that my fear of rats is unreasonable, especially considering I probably live in the rat capital of the world. So a few weeks ago, when I was waiting for a train by myself, I didn't turn away when I saw a rat frolicking in the subway tracks. I looked him dead in the eye.

And then I looked for more. I saw somewhere between two and five. I know there were at least two because I saw them playing a game of tag. My other sightings could have been just those two, over and over again. Hard to say.

Before, I consciously avoided gazing where I thought the rats were lurking. But when Paul and I were waiting for a train together a few weeks ago, we tried to pass the time by having a contest to see who could find the most rats. Alas, our train came before any were spotted.

On Friday, however, when I was actually on the subway, I spied a rat running down the platform. I don't think I'll ever be able to accustom myself to that.


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