Monday, September 29, 2008


So, yet another week+ has slipped by without any posts from me, but this time I have all kinds of great excuses - each of which would make wonderful posts in and of themselves. The last week or so has been packed with all kinds of whackadoodle happenings! For instance, the story of how I missed my train to Philadelphia last Monday is a good one (many thanks to G for the rescue!). It still makes me pretty furious, so I'm not actually going to recount the whole thing at the moment, but suffice it to say that I now officially hate Amtrak. Whatever happened to anti-monopoly laws in this country?!?! You know why Amtrak can offer such crappy service and still have plenty of customers?? Because WE HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE!!!! Okay, I'm going to leave it at that before I get my blood pressure up again. Let's see, what else, what else - oh yeah, the upcoming renovation project at my museum was delayed AGAIN. Instead of starting in January, it is now set to start at the end of March. This will be the 5th potential start date we've been given over the last 2 years. Yeah, 2 years. So, the end of last week at the museum was filled with lots of contentious meetings with lots of shouting and accusations and finger-pointing. It was great.

But, I think the coup de gras for this past week actually took place today. I can't remember if I've mentioned the cricket issue I have in my current rental house, but in case I haven't let me just say that for the last few months there have been WAY more crickets appearing in my house than there should be. And they're not little crickets. They're big huge things, with multiple joints - they can literally jump 5 feet in the air. Its so not cool. So, my landlord agreed to have an exterminator come and do something about it. Fine. Great. No problem. Well, unfortunately, BIG PROBLEM. Apparently the way you get rid of crickets is to have your house "fogged". Basically, dangerous chemical pesticides are released in your home, and they kill everything that breathes them in. So, I spent most of this morning "fog-proofing" my house - i.e. sealing kitchen cabinets with duct tape, covering bedding with plastic sheeting, putting my clothes in large sealable plastic bags, etc. Then at 2:00, both myself and Bailey and Pepper had to vacate the premises for 4 hours while the chemicals were sprayed. Now, my cats HATE to be put in their carriers, and we have had some epic battles over the years. Today's cat-wrangling was quite possibly the worst episode we've ever had. 2 hours. It took me 2 hours to get them into their carriers. During that 2 hours, I moved furniture, I pulled all of the storage boxes out from under my bed, I un-did much of the plastic sheeting I had laid down earlier, I chased, I cursed, I swore, I bled. It was awful. But, in the end, I did win. Now, as I'm writing this, I am sitting in my little office at the museum, with the door closed, and both Bailey and Pepper are wandering around my feet, happy as clams. We'll be here another hour or so. I can only pray that when I gleefully announce that its time to go home, they'll both zip right into their carriers. If not, I guess we're staying here tonight.

My biggest hope (well, other than that there aren't 4,000 cricket carcasses littering my floor when I get home tonight) is that the Steelers can defeat the Ravens in their nationally televised game tonight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Return to the 21st Century

Well, its been a few days since I returned from my weekend trip to Williamsburg, and I think I've finally gotten back into the 21st century swing of things. The trip was fun - I think my parents really enjoyed themselves. But, I have to say that it was incredibly HOT! I mean, I know its Williamsburg, and its known for being hot, but geez!!! I thought by mid-September it would at least be slightly cooler, or at least less humid. Nope - we managed to go to Williamsburg on a record-breaking weather weekend. Saturday it was about 89 degrees, and a bagillion percent humidity. Sunday was worse. But we persevered. My father kept saying that we were getting a true 18th century experience - feeling what it was like to live without air conditioning. Truth be told, though, we mostly just ran from one air conditioned building to another - we didn't really soak up the atmosphere too much! Sadly, perhaps because it was so hot, I didn't think to pull out my camera all that often, so alas no pictures! Maybe my parents will figure out how to send pictures from their camera via email. I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you, though.

My return to the office offered a rude reminder of the 21st century. For some reason, my boss has taken to calling me on the phone when he has a question or needs something from me this week. You're probably thinking, "What's wrong with that? That's how lots of people communicate in the office environment." Well, my office environment at the museum is very, very SMALL. So small, in fact, that my boss's office is exactly 4 steps from my office. Its so close that I can hear him working his way through his post-lunch indigestion every day. For nearly 4 years he has simply shouted to me when he needs something. Now, all of the sudden, my phone rings every 5 minutes and its him asking me things - and I can hear his voice echoing in from the hallway, too. Super annoying. I don't understand it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ye Olde Burg of William

This weekend I will be taking my parents on a fun-filled adventure to Colonial Williamsburg. My Dad's birthday is on Monday, and this is what he wanted to do to celebrate. I enjoy Williamsburg quite a bit, too - being a museum person, I think its almost a requirement - so I'm looking forward to it. Although temperatures in that part of Virginia probably won't have reached the crispness of fall yet, I'm hoping for a nice, humidity-free trip with maybe a few colorful leaves floating on the air. We'll see.

We'll be arriving in time on Saturday to see the fifes and drums march down Duke of Gloucester Street, we have reservations at the King's Arms Tavern, and we're going to be doing a lantern-lit walking tour that will feature some of Williamsburg's scariest residents.

A full report - hopefully with photos - when I return!

Monday, September 8, 2008


After the cruel disappointment I suffered yesterday, network television is redeeming itself today. Finally, FINALLY the fall television season has arrived!! Its been 4 1/2 months since last year's season should have ended, but techinically its been almost 10 months since we've had any decent TV, due to that horrid writers' strike. I can't even remember what was going on in most of my shows! And we had to endure a summer that didn't even have re-runs to fall back on - no, we had deal with sludge like "World's Best Dog", "Wipeout" and my personal favorite, "I Want to be on a Japanese Game Show" (or something like that). I'd almost lost faith in TV. But tonight, two of my favorites are returning BACK TO BACK!! Prison Break - starring the beautiful Pittsburgh native Wentworth Miller - and The Sarah Connor Chronicles - both on FOX. YIPPPEEE!!!

Now, my taste in television runs an ecelectic gamut. I was a huge Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars fan, but I have equal love for Lost and Heroes. For something racy, I like The Tudors. I watch Battlestar Galactica and 24, but only on DVD because commercial breaks during those fast-paced TV shows are nerve killers. Last week, I attended a viewing party for the premiere of the new 90210, which I loved. This year, I'm anticipating the new offerings of My Own Worst Enemy (Christian Slater plays two characters - how can that go wrong??) and Crusoe, which you may have guessed is based on the book Robinson Crusoe. Girly, action-packed - it makes no difference to me! I love shows with a story, a history, and an end-game.

I have to go now - I only have 30 minutes to due some chores and then pop some corn before the Terminator spin-off starts!

Do I need to get a life?

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Today should have been a great day. Its opening weekend for the NFL, and the Steelers are playing the Houston Texans IN PITTSBURGH as we speak. Why, you might ask, am I blogging instead of watching my beloved Steelers in their home opener??? I'm kinda confused, too. Up until at least 6:00 last night, both of the local CBS affiliates showed on their web-site that they would be broadcasting the Steelers game at 1:00 today. So, I got up early this morning, went out to do my laundry and run errands, etc, etc. so that I could make it back in time to see the game. I ran in the door at 12:57, and grabbed the remote. And what did I find?? The New York Jets/Miami Dolphins game!!!!! WHAT?!?! Why would not just one CBS station, but both of them, suddenly change their broadcast to a game that has no geographical connection whatsoever to this part of the country??? Why would they do that???? Two words: Brett Favre. There was this big kerfuffle earlier in the summer about him coming out of retirement, but his old team didn't want him so the Jets took him, so apparently CBS thinks that EVERYONE is just dying to see how he does on his first day back in the NFL. I, for one, could care less. And I am absolutely certain that none of the other Steelers fans around here care either. So now I'm just mad. And I have a long afternoon with no plans ahead of me, because I had set aside my afternoon to devote to my team. Hmph.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weathering the Storm

A detail shot of the blueberries - kinda pretty!

An overview of the entire pillowcase - not as charming!

Today I am battening the hatches, hunkering down and generally weathering the storm that is Hurricane Hanna (although, technically she became a Tropical Storm before hitting land). Yesterday, people around here went a little nutty and started stocking up like the apocalypse was on its way, and I admit that I got somewhat caught up in it. At the museum, I moved objects away from windows and put everything in the basement up on pallets. After work, I bought a case of water. Hey - that's more than I did when Hurricane Isabelle hit a few years back - and that actually was a hurricane! The dire predictions of heavy winds and severe flooding have not come true so far today, though. I mean, yes it is raining really hard, and I suppose it is a bit windier than normal, but the view from my bedroom window isn't that bad. So far, so good! I'll go knock on some wood here in a minute, so as not to jinx myself and bring on a sudden deluge that will cause the nearby canal to overflow its banks and sweep my little house downriver.

I have been very productive with my time today, since I was convinced that I shouldn't leave my house for fear of blowing away. I cleaned my bathroom thoroughly. I wrote a letter to my aunt. And now I'm blogging (which I haven't done in over a week - sorry!). Next I'm going to tackle a second try at those blueberry sheets. The picture above is of the first attempt.

If I get flooded out or suffer a massive power outage, I'll do my next post via the "message in a bottle" method...