Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yeah, so sometimes you get what you wish for.

First of all, if you have not yet fooled around with the Picnik photo editing on flickr, you really really should. Look at what I did to this poor unsuspecting pencil sharpener?

Secondly, if you have any files on any computer that you have access to that you care about AT ALL, shut down your Internet browser and back them up. RIGHT. NOW.

My hard drive at work decided to go meet the big Laptop in the Sky this afternoon, and may or may not be recoverable. Don't be an idiot (like I was) and think that some magic computer guru will save you. Because unless you personally know a computer forensics expert (and I'm fairly sure you don't), there is no hope.


No matter how long you worked on anything, it is GONE FOREVER.

But I am not upset. I am taking this as an opportunity to help others.

{Deep exhale.}


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I think you should...

  • stop by Becky's blog and enter her giveaway! Having been her swap partner, I can assure you that whosoever wins will be mighty thrilled!
  • look at these amazing books that Natalea is making. I feel like I need to make a little red & blue book tonight. Only the job won't let me. :( Or will it? (mwhahaha)
  • visit Dawn to find out about the tutorials that she is creating for purchase. Since I can't begin to think like she does, it's great that she's willing to teach me how to do it.
  • check out if you haven't already. Very nice for situations where you find yourself needing some sort of distraction from the noises surrounding you. Heck, we'll try anything that's free!
  • absolutely stop what you are doing and watch this video, even if you've already seen it, because it is GUARANTEED, by me, to make you laugh.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Yep, post-Katrina New Orleans is a pretty entertaining place. I think we should go around and put signs like this on random doors.

What would yours say?

I think the one on my cube at work would be:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Off into the world...

This is from my finally-finished summer swap - whoopsie! Some things just take quite a bit longer than anticipated. Anyway, it's yellow & pink yo-yos & Scrabble tiles on a Quizmo! card with a pearlized paint wash. Believe me, it sounds fancier than it is, but it was fun to make. It, along with some other vintage goodies, is on its way to Susan!

The poll results are in, and shockingly, no one picked the most direct route from Paris to Copenhagen, which I must admit was actually my secret preference. I'll leave it up for another day or so for your amusement.

Back to real work at work today, which was unfun for all of the reasons that working in state government can be unfun: a "seminar" on Internet/computer security; gigantic technical meltdown requiring us to pack up our computers and go to the other side of the building for an online meeting; having to make hotel reservations three months in advance...

Tomorrow will be better! Good luck to everyone headed back to real school this week!

Happy Monday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

NOLA Reunion 2008

Beignets and chocolate milk at Cafe du Monde

Dinner at Cochon, minus Petey, who was playing photographer

Our sophomore year crowd - Bear, Pete, Torrence, Invisible Wascom, Feather, me, Raegen, and Lauren in front of what remains of our dorm. No, we didn't live in trailers. They tore down the dorm (hallelujah!), and this is the temporary solution. It now houses Army ROTC. Go figure.

Ice cream at Brocato's - peach ice for Bear and Zuppa Inglese for me

Newcomb Girls Under the Oaks = deep sigh of regret

Rather than even attempt to describe everything that happened, I'll just give you a bulleted list of the highlights, okay? This is in something closely (but not entirely) resembling chronological order:
  • Raegen, Petey, Torrence, and I were in the Quarter with frosty cool beverages within two hours of our arrival in the fair city.
  • Bear fed us gigantic plates of wonderful food within two hours after that.
  • Raegen and I had a great time catching up - haven't seen her since before my wedding (our last trip to New Orleans, in fact) - she spent two weeks volunteering in Peru before joining us!
  • Raegen, Lauren, and I got to stay up late and chat - just like sophomore year, minus the Feather.
  • The three of us got up early for Cafe du Monde and beignets. I, hating coffee, had chocolate milk, because it was already about 15983474 degrees - way too hot to consider my traditional hot chocolate.
  • Raegen introduced us to some lovely Cajun music and a cool indie band called The Figs!
  • Lauren put me totally on the spot with a French shoplady in the Quarter, and I had to conduct the rest of my business in her store in French. (No pressure!)
  • We met Caro when she arrived, and she totally thought we were waiting on her in this dive bar called Ms. Mae's - absolute college flashback.
  • The girls had lunch at a fun Mexican place called Nacho Mama's, where some dude told me he liked my eyebrows. Only in New Orleans...
  • We went shopping, and Feather bought something! (This never happens.) Then, she bought matching shoes!
  • Met the boys, left the boys, met the boys again for dinner at Jacques-Imo's, where I had the best biscuit I have every put in my mouth. Ever.
  • Went back to the Quarter and heard one of Torrence's friends play piano & sing.
  • Got up early, took the streetcar to the Trolley Stop Cafe (late-night/late-morning college hangout) where we met the owner (we think)!! His name is Lucien Casio, and he is a doll.
  • Spent the afternoon on campus, taking pictures, dodging freakish rainstorms, listening to Petey explain one of his dissertation papers, and reminiscing.
  • Went to two of my very favorite bookstores anywhere.
  • Bear took me for the best ice cream on the planet. {See above}
  • Got home in time to change for dinner at Cochon (yes, that's right, French for Pig), where everything was insanely wonderful.
  • Drinks at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, alleged haunt of the pirate himself
  • Final brunch at the Camellia Grill, which was closed for SO LONG after Katrina that we all got scared, but it's back, with a vengeance. Feather and I wen there every Mardi Gras Day, just before our Ash Wednesday fasts began, and then back Easter Monday or shortly thereafter. The burgers and chocolate freezes were better than ever, and Marvin was still behind the counter. This is the only thing that almost made me cry - but it was fantastic. {And Heavens to Betsy, it's on Wikipedia!!!}
  • Torrence made the long drive home with me nodding off every fifty miles.
Phew. That's a lot. It was wonderful, and I wish I could do it over and over again. As stated last year, after the Tennessee Mountain Adventure, these people rock, and I love them dearly. Maybe next year we'll actually be together - missed Andrew this year because of his pesky honeymoon (sheesh).

Back to your regularly scheduled programming... More pictures are on Flickr.


I know it looks like a pizza in this picture. It doesn't in real life.

But really, it's a heck of a lot more.

It's strawberry rhubarb pie, and I've never made it before. Rhubarb is on that very long list of things that I learned to like in France, only to learn that you can't get it very far south of Kentucky. Therefore, when I saw it at the DeKalb Farmer's Market, I had to get it, even though it is DEFINITELY violating my new local eating goals. (For the record, it came from Michigan.) The strawberries are local, though, frozen by yours truly in May, so at least i get half credit.

Lindsey and I whipped up this little beauty this afternoon, and maybe sometime before sunset it will be cool enough to taste. I'm seeing some vanilla ice cream in my future, too.

The recipe came from this wonderful book, all about cooking with what's in season.

It's a cousin to this fabulous book, all about making great food that doesn't require crazy ingredients or cost an arm and a leg.

We found both books at 10,000 Villages stores, and they have both of them at the shop here in the Virginia Highlands.

I'll be back momentarily with a weekend update.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Copenhagen in winter

Copenhagen in winter
Originally uploaded by warrenjo0402
Since our friend Cyndi is moving to Copenhagen after her wedding at the end of the month, I'm thinking we should take advantage.

Of course, once you've gone all the way across the ocean, you might as well see some stuff, right?

I've added a little poll to get your input - what should we do?

Naturally, if airline fares don't drop between now and then, this could just be a pipe dream, anyway. What's a train trip through Europe without a loaf of bread and a container of peanut butter?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Last week, subtitled, Is Sarah really a dork, or does she just play one on her nonexistent TV?

We painted two rooms. The Sprite-themed room is now really blue. The diaper-themed bathroom is now yellow. If you haven't seen those, let me try to explain.

Our spare bedroom was attacked by two poor-quality painters who decided that they wanted to paint stripes. Stripes of unequal size. Stripes of yellow - yellow EXTERIOR HOUSE PAINT. You can imagine how many coats of primer that took. The bathroom was two different shades of pumpkiny-brown. I won't elaborate, but I will horrify you by saying that our bedroom used to be the same two colors. We took care of the bedroom before we moved in, but kept putting off the bathroom. We also used the appropriate paint on the ceiling, so HOPEFULLY we won't continue to have mildew issues. Oh, wait, we KNOW we won't, because they used craft paint last time. Sheesh. Lindsey also replaced the ceiling fans in both bedrooms. We are very impressed. We also learned that our breaker box works. Don't ask.

I spent the week downtown at a hotel working with teachers on testing stuff. Fortunately, Lennye was there, and no, I didn't pay her to write the nice things she said on her blog. :) It's always great to see Lennye, and we got to talk about writing a bunch, which makes me happy. Of course, we were sitting a table full of elementary school teachers, so when we started the blog-related conversation, I think they thought we were from another planet. {How could they have found that out???}

My cousin Laura came for two days with her friend Kristy. They had fun being tourists, and they tested our new Ikea sleeper-sofa, like the sweet generous souls they are. My brother is in town with some of his friends from UGA, and we all met up last night in the Virginia Highlands for what is probably the latest night I've had in a year. I feel old, especially since I was annoyed by the fact that there were broken stalls in the women's room. I mean, if it's a BAR, obviously, it's not going to be in good shape. I know this, but it still annoyed me.

More work this week, then Thursday Torrence & I drive to New Orleans. I may be slightly excited about that. I may be working on an entire NOLA itunes list for the trip. I may be burning said list onto CDs for all of my friends. That may make me a dork. What do you think?

Just in case you need some happy today....

Brought to my attention by the incomparable Ali Edwards.

Make sure you watch long enough to see the kids breakdancing - in Bhutan.

Seriously, they should TELL you about these jobs when you graduate from college.

I mean, he's standing ON the freaking Cape of Good Hope. WOW. And how in the world did he get to the DMZ, much less inside some sort of military post there?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pine Village, Indiana

Pine Village, Indiana
Originally uploaded by docbratt
When you are the one who drives for an entire trip, you tend not to be able to take any pictures. And let's face it - in rural Indiana, the landscape (seen mostly through the car window) is what is photogenic.

The weather was beyond gorgeous - temperatures in the 70s, gentle breezes, billowy white clouds, bright blue skies - exactly the kind of midwestern weather that makes you forget that in February it will be about 18 degrees, grey, snowy, and windy. It's the only reason our pioneer ancestors stuck it out. Well, that and ridiculously fertile soil, but I digress.

I am extremely shocked that I found a picture of Pine Village on flickr. There are only about 300 people in the town (three of whom are related to me, so I am related to 1% of the town, and 250 of whom know my mother or my grandparents), no stoplights, and not a heck of a lot to do. Needless to say, if you were driving through, you would probably not stop.

The family reunion was fun, and we had some good little adventures, too. I'll show you the thrifting/junking spoils later. They will, though, prove my theory that such things are just better in the midwest.

Happy Wednesday!