Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday with the Fam

Yesterday I had the chance to hang out at my parent's house with John, Jill, Emerson, Sebastian, Nathaniel, my 90-year-old Grammy and my parents. It was a ton of fun and really one of the best things about living in NJ. It was great to see everyone and of course, there was no lack of goofing around since the lay-out of my parent's house is perfect for running around in circles (you might remember this post from a while ago). There was some football watching, some dinner cooking, some shopping (Mom and Jill and I escaped for a brief moment) and some laundry getting done. Here are some fun shots from the day:

Nathaniel, Emerson and Sebastian wait patiently while their Grammy (my mom) scoops out some ice cream for dessert.


Here's nice shot of my Grammy (their Great-Grammy) with Nathaniel, Sebastian and Emerson. I think the two little guys were getting tired.

And a funny little video of Emmy watching his favorite show (The Backyardigans) on my parents HUGE tv:

video

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Productive Saturday

Well, after a week of being sick and taking it easy in the lawn chair chaise that was my only living room furniture, I picked myself, dusted myself off and headed into Philly on Friday after work for two reasons, the first was to hit Ikea (yes, again) and return a couple things, redeem a few coupons, and, finally, buy my loveseat! The way it works with Ikea home delivery is that they will only deliver that day or the next day, so my plan was to head in before they closed on Friday and have it delivered Saturday. So that worked out really well. From there I headed over to Kim's to watch the Presidential debate and eat take-out Chinese. It was a fun evening and I spent the night there instead of driving home so late.

We had an early morning on Saturday because I had to get home for the delivery and Kim and Alex were heading down to her parents outside of DC. When I got home I did a little straightening up, moved some boxes to make room for the couch and had a nice, long conversation with my friend Ann who just moved to Savannah. But I had to get off the phone when the first of two delivery trucks pulled into the driveway. This was the cable guy! Woo-hoo, even though I'm not really getting cable (it's basically anything you would get with rabbit ears, if rabbit ears actually worked out here), I'll admit, it's nice to have reception. So at first he hooked it up with all kinds of crazy channels and I kind of didn't want to say anything and hoped he wouldn't notice, but of course he did and went out and changed it to what I actually will be paying for. So once he "fixed" it, I went in and went through all the channels only to realize that I actually get Bravo! I think it's the only cable channel I get, but hey, no complaints, I can still watch Top Chef! That was one of the exciting parts of the day.

So I settled into my lawn-chair chaise to channel surf only to decide that there was nothing good on, and instead opted for an episode of Mad Men that I have on DVD from Netflix. Right at a crucial moment, I heard the next delivery truck pull up and I hopped up to realize that the loveseat had arrived! I folded up the chaise and directed the guys to put the boxes in the living room. Because it's from Ikea, it of course came un-assembled. So even though I was dying to find out what happened in Mad Men, I took an hour or so and put together my little green couch!

Now, that might not seem like a long time, but by the end of the ordeal I had dropped the f-bomb more times than John Malkovitch did in Burn After Reading and was sweating like crazy in the famous NJ humidity. I ended up turning on the AC and by the time I was done I felt like I was too gross to even sit on my new couch. So I took a quick shower, and then settled in for the end of Mad Men. It is SO nice to have real furniture and it really is helping a lot to make my little apartment feel like a home. And the painters are "supposed" to come next week (although I've heard that before). So once that is done, I'll be able to hang stuff on the walls and then really start feeling like I live here.


After all of that, I headed out around 3:30 to volunteer at the voter registration table in downtown Princeton run by the Obama campaign. It was kind of a misty, humid day to be sitting outside for two hours, but I always enjoy the passersby, my fellow volunteers and the people who stop to chat. We had one guy who stood around telling us that we were wasting our time and that America really needs a strong third party candidate, and ironically, after he left we had someone who works for Nader come up and tell us that she already had an Obama sticker on her car, but that she needed a button. We also had a former mayor of Princeton stop by, lots of young folks, some adorable kids who wanted our "I'm an Obama kid" buttons, and a handful of folks who were first-time registrants. It was a great way to spend a couple hours.

After that I stopped at The Bent Spoon for some sorbet (one scoop of cantelope and one scoop of nectarine, yum!) and then I headed home. I have to admit, my evening consisted of finishing the first season of Mad Men and than falling asleep (on the loveseat!) while watching Legally Blonde on Bravo. What a day!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fun weekends...

So it seems that my new life in Jersey goes something like this: work all week, watch netflix in the evening (or run errands or do laundry) and then head out for the weekend for something fun. This past weekend I headed back to Cambridge! It was great to be back in my old element. I got in late Friday night and headed to Ann's going away gathering where I got to see her and Lee, Sylvie and Miriam and Allison among other folks. It's crazy to think that Ann is in Savannah now. I'm looking forward to visiting her at some point (hopefully in the winter when it's colder up here and nice down there). The sad part is that her hubby Lee has to stay in Boston for a few more months to finish the semester he started as Prof. Lee.

On Saturday Sylvie and Miriam and I got breakfast at Darwin's (and they still got my order wrong, just like old times). Then I met up with my friend Matt for a great day in the city. The weather was beautiful! We walked all over the place from the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library to the MFA to the Gardner Museum to El Pelon for burritos. Then we took the train back downtown and saw Burn After Reading, the new Coen Brothers movie. It was good. We got a drink in Cambridge after that and then called it a night. I went back to Sylvie and Miriam's, where I was staying, and the three of us stayed up chatting for a while. It is so nice to stay at their apartment. It felt like a second home when I lived in Cambridge and it still feels like home when I come to visit. They are truly wonderful friends and hostesses. I especially enjoyed their shower with a tub (since mine is a stand-up the size of a shoebox).

On Sunday morning, Lee, Matt, Miriam and I met up for brunch at Veggie Planet. It was great to see everyone, and even though I didn't often do brunch at Veggie Planet, I felt like I had to go once while I was in town just to support the local vegetarian restaurant (since there aren't any in Princeton). After that, Lee and I did a little shopping in the square and then he helped me load up my car with stuff that was being stored in Sylvie and Miriam's basement. I said good bye to Sylvie and Miriam, dropped Lee off at his bike in Harvard Square and then headed to Toscanini's to meet up with my friend Nick for some ice cream. It was great to see him. On my way out of town I dropped off Tim's cooler on the back porch of (his current) my old house and it looked like the morning glories had seen better days.

It was a weekend filled with lots of good people, lots of good energy and I have to say a twinge of sadness that it's now a place to go visit and not to live.

And to top it all off, I wasn't feeling 100% the whole weekend and I think I just pushed myself too much. The drive home was easy traffic-wise, but I could feel myself getting worse. I stopped at John and Jill's on the way home for some dinner and a massage from Jill, which was so necessary. Sebastian was already asleep, but Nathaniel and Emerson where in rare form, dancing to great music and just generally making me laugh. I was exhausted during the one-hour drive from their house and pretty much went straight to bed once I got home. I woke up this morning determined to go into work, but went home sick around 11am.

The weekend totally wore me out. But it was totally worth it. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Obama, Ikea, Ihab, Obama

I had quite a busy day today. I volunteered with the Obama campaign to register voters. It was nice to sit outside at a table in downtown Princeton and get some people registered and sell some buttons and bumper stickers and get the occasional thumbs up from passers by. I sat with three other people and the conversations ranged from disbelief in Sarah Palin (on many levels), energizing the democratic party, local happenings and upcoming movies (since we were sitting across from the movie theatre). It was a great way to start the day.

From there I went over to Alchemist and Barrister to meet up with my friend Meg and her parents who came into town to have brunch. I caught them at the end of their meal, but it was still nice to catch up since I haven't seen them in a while.

From there I headed out to IKEA in Philly to pick up a kitchen cart that they didn't have in stock at the IKEA in Elizabeth last weekend. They actually had it in stock, so I got that and then found a couple other little things for around the house. I think I found a loveseat I like, too. It will fit in the small space that I have available for a couch and it was pretty comfy for both laying and sitting. I couldn't buy it right then, but I might head back in a couple weeks.

From IKEA I met up with Kim and then headed out to her Veggie Dinner Club for an amazing spread of Lebonese food courtesy of Ihab. It was amazing. And even more so because he had been fasting for Ramadan all day and cooking all of this delicious food. He apologized if anything didn't taste good because he couldn't taste any of it while cooking. Needless to say, he's done this a number of times because it all tasted great.

So I got home from that and checked my email to find that my friend Amy had sent a link to this great Obama-related video. I really got a kick out of it, but I also have vivid memories of seeing Les Mis on Broadway when I was in middle school and I've always loved the music... Anyway, I thought it was great. Enjoy!

And back to work tomorrow...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fun with my nephews

Today I had the pleasure of driving only an hour to hang out with my nephews and my brother and sister-in-law. It was great to see the boys. I saw Nathaniel's Tae Kwon Do class, which was very cool. Sebastian told some really funny jokes at the dinner table and Emerson continues to make me laugh with all of his great facial expressions. I stuck around for a wonderful pasta dinner and then all three boys took a bath after a great day of playing hard. I headed home after dinner and stopped at Trader Joe's on the way to stock up on some of my favorite things. It was a great day.

Me, Emerson and Nathaniel on their front porch:


How can you negotiate with a kid who's this cute?


Here's a video of one of Sebastian's jokes. We had been talking about coffee right before this...

video

At the end he says "That's a new one."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Magnets!

As many of you know, I'm a fiend for refrigerator magnets. While I was living with roommates in the Boston area, I tried to keep my magnetic presence to a minimum, but now that I'm living on my own, I can cover the fridge and no one will complain! One of the things that always makes it feel like home to me is putting the magnets on the fridge. So this photo proves that I'm getting closer to making this apartment my own:

And there is a method to my madness. The ones on the freezer door are all from places that I've visited or lived. The ones on the fridge are from other people's adventures and ones that aren't necessarily from places at all. And believe it or not, there are some that I haven't even put up yet (that I haven't found yet in the unpacking process). Give me a shout out if you recognize or have stories about any of these magnets (you can click on the photo to see a larger version).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Movin' in...

All of the rest of my stuff arrived early on Saturday, Sept. 6th. The movers left Boston at 3am in order to beat the storm (the remnants of Hurricane Hanna). They arrived around 8:20am and unloaded the stuff in about 45 minutes. It was awesome. They even got the huge desk in, which is basically why I needed movers at all.

So when they left, I was left this huge pile in the living room, where only 2 hours before I was sleeping on an air mattress. The desk is under the boxes on the left, but other than that, it's pretty much just stuff. And of course, all of my bedroom furniture went straight to the bedroom.

Kim and Meg came out, from Philly and NYC respectively, and helped me SO much with unpacking and getting organized. Kim was nice enough to bring some stuff to make sandwiches (with chips on the side!) and we had a picnic lunch on the floor in the living room and then kept unpacking through the afternoon. For dinner we went out for pizza and beer with Kim's sister. Even though it was exhausting and busy, it was great to have friends around to help me settle, and more than anything, it was SO great to finally sleep in my own bed again!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My new place: a work in progress

This is the "before" shot. I'll be sure to post another photo once things get settled. And I swear, it's controlled chaos.

So right now I'm sleeping on an air mattress in my living room. As you can see, this room is also functioning as my office, tv room and dining room. The rest of my belongings will arrive (hopefully all in one piece) on Saturday. Until then, I'm sleeping on the floor, writing this on my lap desk while sitting on the air mattress on the floor, and watching my Netflix on my teeny little TV. It's a little bit fun for now (at least it gives me something to write about), but I'll be so happy to sleep in my own bed on Saturday night. By the way, I'm watching disc 2 of season 1 of Flight of the Conchords. This show really cracks me up. It's about 2 folk singers from New Zealand who move to NYC for their big break.