Sunday, September 27, 2009

it's the most wonderful day of the year!

Oh
My
God

The Lions won!!! And my pseudo-step-mother-in-kind-of-law sent me a Lions jersey!! It's waiting at home right now as I sit in my boyfriend's living room.

It was an amazing afternoon. Suuuuper pretty church in Bethesda, chips and hella tight fresh salsa, and a WIN!!

The spoils:



I'm shocked and obnoxiously enthused. He is frustrated and apprehensive:



I am confused by this magical, magical game:



That neglected black thing to my left is the laptop with my study tutorials. Not being used. Whatever, I studied for forever yesterday and I'm about to do some more. Sigh. Another test this Friday. The high from today's win should get me through this week. Or something.

Friday, September 25, 2009

i need to know (i need to know)

This is going to be far too long.

Obviously, I still don't have internet at home. Horrible. Otherwise, I'd be blogging constantly. So maybe it's a good thing. I don't know.

This week has been that of the apple. Le Foliage and I met up with my old roommate this past Saturday at Milburn Orchards last Saturday for some fruit-picking. We got a TON of blackberries and an assortment of apples. I specifically made them go all the way to the other end of the orchard with me to get some Golden Delicious for apple tarts.



Maybe I should back up.

Last weekend was:
-Newark's Oktoberfest
-A good friend's birthday party
-Another half marathon
-Rosh Hashanah
-Clothing swap with some of my best girl friends
Extended:
-House inspection (Monday)

The schedule was

Friday: go to Liss' to discuss our top secret awesome idea, then Oktoberfest to meet up with my family, the Foliage, and A-train.

Saturday: Philadelphia by 9 to get him registered for the half marathon, then Milburn Orchards by 10, then the birthday party by 12, then church and a movie (I wanted him to be able to relax before his run), then baking.

Sunday: Philadelphia by 7:30, I study in the car/he runs, then Rosh Hashanah at his aunt and uncle's house, then to the clothes swap.

Parking for Oktoberfest was RIDICULOUS, and I neglected to consider that when I'd gone in the past, I'd usually pregamed extensively. Drinking is the only thing I've found that makes being in crowds OK. Otherwise, I get all claustrophobic. So Friday night was a little anxiety-riddled for me. And the Foliage was stuck in traffic for a while, which sucks in general. But the beer was de-ricious and I didn't spend too much because Liss and her boyfriend fed me beforehand, so I wasn't hungry. Huzzah!

Then we went home and I made lemonade, as requested by the birthday boy's wife. Not really important, but I wanted to mention it in a "poor me!" kind of way because it's my blog and that's what kind of entry this is. It was way tart but the sugar wasn't as overwhelming as last time, so I'm counting it as a win. People seemed to really like it. Nice.

Registering for the half-marathon took longer than we thought, and so did the drive from the Philly Convention Center to the orchards. Poor Mrs. R waited for QUITE a while for us. So we bought her berries. Holy eff, these were some crazydelicious berries.

The plan was to get berries and apples and to make 4 tarts, 2 with each kind of fruit, and then to take 2 to Rosh Hashanah and 2 to the clothes swap. So, as previously mentioned, I dragged them to the other end of the orchard for these things. Then Mrs. R had to go home and get her kid ready for the party (read: wrestle her currently live-in mother into the car while also dressing/feeding/wrangling her baby). So the boyfriend and I went to the shop and got Blue Crab Salsa (haven't tried it yet, stand by for reviews), raspberry cider (tastes like raspberry apple juice), some fresh ginger, locally-produced cheese, and maybe some other stuff but I can't remember.

We went to the party, and had a great time. So much so that we were a little bit late for church. But afterwards we went to the Newark Co-op for healthy snacks and then snuck them in to see "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." Oh my GAWD it was hilarious. I was literally slapping my knee and had tears rolling down my face. I'm pretty sure the little kids in the theatre hated me. Good thing I don't care about the happiness of children. Kidding! Kind of. Maybe.

THEN at home I made the berry tarts which...didn't gel properly. My oven took forEVER to get hot, so the crust got all soppy before I could even bake the thing. It was basically mushy shortbread crust with soupy berry filling. Delicious, but messy.

I couldn't find my apple corer/peeler/slicer anywhere (overly odd because I used to have TWO of them), so I cored, peeled and sliced 4 gigantic apples by hand. In my big mixing bowl, I was adding cinnamon and allspice and brown sugar and vani-wait. That last one made the kitchen smell a lot like mint. Oh, hey. That was actually peppermint extract. Several teaspoons of it. Right in with the painstakingly-prepared apple mixture. Oh, the rage. Oh, the lament!

At this point it was about midnight, and I just wanted to cry. There is NO WAY to get mint out of things! It's irrepressible! That's why it's in cleaners! Ugh. I was pretty much in drop-kicking-puppies mode. So I went to bed. Well, first I went through ALL of my clothes and accessories to separate out the items for the clothing swap. Then I went to bed.

We just BARELY made it to Philadelphia in time for the race Sunday, but he improved on his previous time by 7 minutes and I got a chapter's worth of studying done. Triomphe!

My view of the race from the car:



We made it to his aunt and uncle's house in time for the last hour of services. The horns are cool. They'd slow-cooked corned beef and vegetables for lunch, which was very appreciated, and MAN I always love me some challah. We only took the berry tart because I was too embarrassed to present his family members with minty apple. It was just as well because they already had a couple of desserts (including an awesome pb&j concoction by his younger cousin).

We always get into conversations and end up staying too long with them, so of course we left late. Then the Foliage helped me carry out the THREE HUGE BOXES of clothes, etc. to my car, and I sped off to Bear.

We ate TONS of food, watched the Emmys (disappointing, I thought...I don't miss TV), and we all got some fashion wins. AND clean closets. Amazing.

After this flurry of a weekend, the cold that had been nagging since last week took its toll and I was out of commission on Monday. We went to BrewHaHa so the Foliage could work remotely and I could study. We dropped off my sewing machine to be fixed (finally!) and my car to have the check engine light...checked. Apparently my catalytic converter needs to be replaced. For $880. I asked what damage not replacing it could cause and the guy on the phone said, "well, it could cause your car to run poorly in the long-term." To which I responded, "yeahhhh...gimme back my car."

Then the inspection. Which was great! Only a few minor things came back (like the sash on one of the windows is detached at one end). The sellers have until Monday to get back to us about the report. I'm feeling good about it, and I'm mentally landscaping for gardening and entertaining.

The view of the living room/front of the house from the dining room:



And he left without taking any apples or cheese or anything, so I've been trying to eat the apples all week. I think I only have two left now. OMG. I am so tired of apples. Although I reeeeeally liked the Johnathan variety. NOT Jonagold...though I think they'd be good for baking. I wasn't wowed by the Red Delicious, and I guess Fuji will be in season this weekend, which I'll be missing. Whatever. Point is, I've eaten a lot of freakin' apples this week. And they're all HUGE. It's so hard to get the first bite when you're confronted with a wall of apple. Sheesh.

This picture was taken at Milburn Orchards, but I found it online somewhere. Not mine. Just FYI.



Hopefully there won't be such a gap between posts next time and you won't have to deal with such wordiness. On the other hand, I don't care too much about your comfort. So. Maybe not.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

if you think you're gonna leave then you'd better say so

Alright, so we're bidding on the house we saw last night. Actually, we saw three last night, but we're bidding on the one that we'd initially made the appointment to go see. And, yes, WE went. Because he doesn't trust me to make decisions or take good pictures, I guess. Which is just as well because I totally forgot my camera in my car. Oops. I hate not having pictures! Ugh.

And now, instead of adding a picture here, all I can do is this which is so incredibly lame. I like the visuals! Also those pictures don't really even do the house justice! Sigh.

This house, as opposed to the last one, needs no upgrades. Anything we would do would be 100% aesthetic. The floors are gorgeous. They've restored the original fixtures or chosen period-appropriate, high-quality new ones. The basement has walk-outs on both sides and is pretty much completely finished (would just need finishing touches and flooring). And it's listed for $10k less!!

In other news, I love my A-Train and would like for him to not ever leave, but am also super excited for him not to fall into the trap of sameness that so many people seem unable to avoid. He's going to be a genuine badass no matter where he goes. And I'll visit and be a really rude houseguest as often as possible.

In other other news, I've stumbled across a few blogs of people studying for the CPA exams, and it's so great to read about other people's struggles with the material and administration and the WAIT. According to one blogger (who got the information from her state representative), if you take an exam in August (I took 2 that month, as you may recall), you can receive your scores any time in September or October. Or maybe even later, but those two months would be the most likely. I need to know NOW whether I passed so I know whether to schedule a re-test! Times slots fill up so fast!!

For the first two tests, I wasn't able to use the software, and now that I'm studying for the third WITH it...I have no idea how I ever lived without it. Thank you, work, for updated laptops!

In even more different news, Liss and I are finally going to undertake a project that is literally over a year in the making. She was laid off a while ago and is getting anxious about the lack of stuff to do and income...and then we remembered that we had this totally amazing idea we couldn't implement before because we were both working. Perfect! I can't discuss it in detail until product is available for sale, but...it's pretty incredible. Jump back.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

eglantine eglantine oh how you'll shine

I work in a male-dominated industry. I silently sit through conversations about sports all the time. The same thing happens with my boyfriend, who LOVES football and is in several fantasy leagues. He never really followed baseball before, but joined a fantasy league last fall and is now into that, too. Fantastic.

It's not that I necessarily dislike sports. I enjoy watching them a lot of the time and going to games. I know the mechanics and the key terms. I just can't follow sports. I can't remember statistics or who plays for which team or what kind of crazy play saved/lost the game. And since I don't know these facts, I have nothing to contribute during these conversations. So it comes off as though I hate sports. Sure, I'm not a fan of being in coversations in which I don't have anything to offer and no way to learn anything, since I have little to no point of reference...but I don't hate sports.

But all that is about to change.

I've decided to force myself to be a sports fan. A hardcore, stuff-knowing sports fan. My first step was to choose a team. I figured I'd go with football since it just started. I asked the Foliage who the worst team in the NFL was. The answer: The Lions. I'd never even heard of them, but decided that's who I was going to support. They haven't won a single game since some time in 2007. They were 0-16 for the 2008 season. Hi, I'm the biggest Lions fan EVER. OK, maybe not ever. But a big fan, nonetheless.

Step two is to be wildly enthusiastic and to know who they're playing all the time and to say things like, "they're bringing it back!" and "they're just lulling the Giants into a false sense of security!" and to reference game events at completely inappropriate times.

Step three is to learn things about other teams and to commence taunting. I really have to be on top of things before getting into step three.

Put your game faces on.

is there

I hate not blogging! Non-work internet has become pretty scarce in my life, which has been absolutely devastating. And I'm always thinking of things to blog about, which may or may not be completely pathetic. No comments from the peanut gallery, please.

We've decided to walk away from the house (in Wilmington...sorry, LPat). The repairs that would've been needed to even GET an FHA loan had an estimated cost of $7,000 or so, and the sellers were only willing to put $1,500 towards them. Even after they were reminded that the findings of our inspection will need to go in their sellers' disclosure going forward. Good luck getting another buyer with that awful floor and a defunct roof!

I'm not upset about it, honestly. I'm more annoyed than anything else. But another house came on the market just this week that looks like it's got a lot of potential. It's only one street over, so it's in the same great neighborhood, AND their opening offer is $10k less than the previous house's was. Um. Yes. I'm going with our agent to see it Monday after work (the Foliage will be at home in Maryland). It also got a new roof in '05 and everything is updated throughout. The previous sellers are out of their minds.

So that's that. I'm really surprised at how unemotional about this I am. Mostly I'm just stoked that whether or not we buy a house, he's moving here. Even if he ends up renting, we'll get a sweet house eventually, and we'll be able to afford even better. All I really want is to live in the same town. Wistfulsigh*


I want to write non-house stuff...but it's late. And I'm tired. Tomorrow I'll be studying for several hours, and I'll most likely take a few long breaks to write then. Get excited. Actually...don't. I hate letting people down. Stand by for excitement. Gr8 thx.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

build me up buttercup





I would like a puppy now, plz. Not THE puppies...a new one that's still puppy-aged and floppy. Sometimes you just really need a puppy. Look at those little legs!! G'awwwww.....!!!