Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

So this Thursday Thirteen things is supposed to be focused on things going on around me. At first, I thought I would start with what I miss about DC (since alot of my friends got together last night), but I wanted to be a Positive Penny and focus on the goodness of Michigan.

Thirteen Things about my life in Michigan

1. The temperature has not gotten above 85 degrees (and the humidity is nonexistent!)

2. I have told you about the gloriousness of my CLOSETS! (its not a great picture, but dang its huge! and I have 3 of them!)

3. I have actually started running (okay slightly running) around the neighborhood, because its not crowded

4. There is no sales tax on food at the grocery store! That doesn't seem like a big deal, but its still a good deal.

5. I have wireless internet! It makes blogging very easy

6. I have had some time to be crafty, and I love it! I have made some pillows to go with my guest bed!

7. I can now make a full dinner every night. Its been fun, and I am starting to get back into baking. WOHOO!

8. We are hopefully going to check out those Big Lakes they have around this state this weekend.

9. Target and Walmart are 5 miles away and right next to each other. So much better than the 45 minute drive in DC to either one.

10. Even though he is studying like crazy, we have had quality time each night when I make dinner and then we go on a walk. I also like dropping him off and picking him up for school. It gives us an extra bit of time together.

11.We have a great fireplace. I am so excited to crank that baby up in the winter.

12. Even though I miss my friends in DC, I am looking foward to meeting new people too.

13. One of the best things about moving to Michigan is having a new area to explore.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

So I am finally getting settled into my apartment, and I have found some really good things that have helped with the move and settling in process.

#1-Home Depot (and probably Wal-Mart) sell these huge sheets of heavy duty plastic. It comes in a nice neat roll and easy to shove into a nook or cranny in the moving truck. I would use the plastic to line the boxes with cleaner and shampo (because yes, I am saving almost all of my boxes). We also wrapped our mattress in the plastic to keep it from dirt and truck yuck. When we got to Ann Arbor, we put the plastic on the carpets to save from dirt tracking in from the front lawn (YES THATS RIGHT! I HAVE A YARD. well its not mine..but I can use it!)

#2-Packing a bathroom box: This includes shower liner, hooks, shower mat, towels, bathroom cleaner, toilet paper, paper towels. trust me...nothing worse than trying to find toilet paper in need, except trying to take a shower without a liner.

#3-Ikea curtains and rods. We got some basic plain curtains and they were great to have when we moved into our first floor apartment right in the hub of our neighborhood. Now that I have had time to settle in, I have tried to make the curtians a little prettier. These don't photograph great, and I am still working on perfecting everything.

Head over to Shannon's to see what works for everyone else.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What muppets character am I?

I should have known! I found this on Magical Mamma's blogspot (

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.
You're always willing to lend a helping hand.
In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going.
"15 seconds to showtime!"

Treasure Tuesday

I am so excited! I have my most favorite treasure to share this treasure Tuesday! I couldn't share it before I had a digital camera.

My treasure is my mom's quilt. No she didn't make it, but she got it for her freshman college bed. She bought it from a bunch of church ladies, and as you can see from the colors, it is ultra-70s, and all of the colors clash!

When she first got married, my mom used it as just an extra blanket around the house or as a picnic blanket. I thought it was so ugly when I was a kid but as I got older I saw it for its connection with my mom. When I would go off to camp, I would take this blanket when everyone would have their fancy sleeping bag/comforters. I loved having something that was my mom's. Now it has a special place in my heart. It stays on the foot of my bed, and if we go on a road trip, I take it with me.

This is my favorite quilt section: wienie dogs! what could be better!

head over to Faith's blog and start participating in her treasure tuesday at

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Another More-or-Less-Moot Monday!

So this Monday alot of things are going crazy, esp. in the bathroom:
-My shower head came off in my hand when I tried to turn it
-My shower drain is clogged
-My hot water heater is broken
-My toilet went crazy
-and I ran out of toilet paper!

Poor KW had to fix the shower head, drano my shower drain, mop up the bathroom floor, and take a cold shower this morning. Man, he must love me if he didn't hitailitout last night.

But what really is moot this Monday is JoAnn fabrics. I spent an hour walking up and down JoAnn's trying to find fabric to make cushions for my new bed...and I came up with bubkiss. I don't know what is moot: JoAnn's selection or my indecision. I'm betting it's the latter.

If you have something that is not working for you, let me know!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Some cool things:

So went to Buffalo, NY to visit KW's family 6 hours after we unloaded our moving truck. I met KW's mother's sisters and their was neat. We also visited a bunch of his dad's family and their favorite resteraunts from when they were dating. We also found an old graveyard that has "the original Wiltbergers" that came from Germany. Here are some pictures of thier gravestones--in German...they are so old we had to tear grass up from over them and you can barely read them...but I think it is neat.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

First Day of School

KW had his first day of Law School yesterday. In true first day fashion, I took his picture against the wall in his first-day-of-school-clothes. Okay...I can't get the picture to flip....oh well. He's still cute!

Niagra Falls

All right y'all...Get Ready!
I am now completely equiped with technology and all of its modern advances. My mom gave me a digital camera for my birthday, so I have some new pics from when KW, his bro, and me went to Niagra Falls. The picture looks crazy because i did some stuff in photoshop that accidentally saved...oops.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm Back on a Mac

So...we do not have internet connections yet or cable (we have been watching alot of TV-DVDs provided by my brother). We have been doing some limited internet work from FEDEX Kinkos, but its DANG expensive. So KW has hooked up his Mac to the Starbucks we are hip (gag!). I am feeling quite cliche drinking my vanilla no-fat latte, typing on my (husband's) MAC in the headquarters of jittery yuppie suburbia. Oh well, at least it lets me blog.

To give a brief update: Our apartment is HUGE! The gloriousness of the closests is something that I will have to expound upon at another post. We are trying to get settled and do KW's back to school shopping.

Sorry for the short post. I'm not sure when I will be able to post regularly, but I send everyone my regards at being a lone southerner roaming throughout the State of "Great Lakes Splendor" (whatever that means).

Monday, August 07, 2006


This will be my last post for awhile. KW is "pulling the plug" from the computer and my blogging. I will hopefully be back to regular posting in a few weeks when we get back from Buffalo (visiting KW's family) and get settled in to life at Michigan.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Last Will and Testament

These are the things I left the people in my office on my last day at work. I will hopefully get one out for all of my DC friends.

Alex’s TFAS Last Will and Testament

Upon my timely demise at the Fund for American Studies, I leave all of my worldly and other worldly goods as follows: (in alphabetical order)

Bradley Beene: To Brawn I leave all of his brawniness and the mack daddy stapler that replaces the one his brawniness broke. I also leave the matador costume to wear throughout August (because of the new “lax” dress code).

CK: I leave you the manual, check logs, Prospect return mail, and really bad letter openers. I also leave you Shana, the ultimate Boss one. I leave you the crazies, the loons, and the Fred-Barnes obsessed donors and non-donors. Cherish them! I also leave “pogging.”

Miss (oh wait, I mean) Cynthia Ramirez: I leave any references of looking like Melissa, and patience in being the go-between Brad and Jason.

Ed: I leave lots of post-it notes of various sizes, pens and highlighters, all computer knowledge I can, and all of the skill of talking to a donor that I have learned from you.

Emily Hill: To the only woman in this office who could fill my shoes, literally, I leave you the wishes of cuter and more fabulous footwear.

Big Ern: To the DJ JAZZY ERIN, I leave endless Pink updates, lots of bad backup singing to accompany you with some toe taping (no whistling, I’m still not there yet.) I also leave all of my random knowledge for QODs. I leave an arsenal of paper clips to chuck at Jay and the hope of many more “your mom” comebacks. And all things from Center Stage and the “bug song.” Always remember that “Bustin’ makes me Feel Good!”

Jackay!: (alrighty!) I leave all of my check log, reimbursement, and other accounting mistakes (hopefully rectified). All of my best “death stares” (taught by the Queen herself) and no more stamp-shortage-freak-outs. I also leave my war with the dry cleaners to the only person who “gets it.” I also leave all culpability of the liquor key cabinet and extra Courvoisier

Jason: I leave all of the round table moving, Britney dancing, and slurpee runs I can muster. And of course, strawberry margaritas.

Jay: I leave all of my ignoring-you-because-it-annoys-you stares, my lackluster high fives, and “yeah sure Turtle.” I also leave all of my appreciation of The BEAT and the search of it to you. I would also leave you a can-and-string-telephone for you and Erin but Erin took my cans to help homeless. I also leave a lot of thanks for always getting the TFAS happy hours started. I also leave you safe wishes for your very fast trips down the stairs.

Jenni: I leave you what little part of CSAD responsibility that I can claim and a lot of fun and lots of fun living with Patty and Robin.

JD: I leave the reign of Southern Royalty of TFAS to you to teach the way to all the Yankees. This is including but not limited to proper speech and food. I also leave all of my stomping on your office ceiling behind to do what you will.

Kristy: I leave the endless updates for CSAD completed and ready to be updated as soon as you return.

Lauren: I leave my envy of your awesome Kate Spade glasses and accessories. I also leave you in the good hands of “The Fund for AmeriCAN STUdies.”

Mary: I leave any competition I have to the best dressed in the office, a quieter office without me bugging you and Patty, and some Easy Mac in my right desk drawer.

Kwasi: I leave you the Lido deck and the proper knowledge of how to use it to its full potential.

Maura: I leave you the hope of a great TFAS experience and all of my envy of your beautiful shoe collection.

Missy: I leave a bunch of ice to crunch, songs to tap too, and tunes to whistle along to. I leave the endless question of “How many people have checked out the newsletter?” I leave the “missy pose” (please take that to Texas, they deserve it!). I also leave a bunch of napkins for spills and a proper amount of Magic Hat beer (and some major Hasselhoff love). And lots of potBELly

Michelle: I leave as much patience as I can spare for the Greek men and their machismo. I also leave an endless amount of McDs and its honey mustard. To keep you warm in you icebox office, I leave you thoughts that I am probably colder in Michigan (and an imaginary pashmina). I also leave you all the knowledge of the world and foreign cultures that you have passed on to me (thanks!).

Patricia: I leave all of the fun that you can have with nametags and a cutting machine. I also leave all the smiles and encouragement that you gave me. Have a great time at school this year!

Pat: I leave the best nickname ever (stance included)! I leave you my share of spazy antics, disappearing oatmeal, and kickball fun. I do not leave you any vodka but lots of Southern Comfort. I also leave you the bobble head dance, gallons and gallons of water at your easy disposal, country music 24/7, and all of the hair ties I stole from you. I leave sweaty Greeks, Spanish Asians, and all of the Irish-albino skin you can stand.

Renee: I leave you one wild trip in New York and the hopes of a great trip to Charleston. I leave you lots of gushes over Amelia and lots of conversations across the office with and without the phone. I also leave the ability to trip over the menacing cube carpet.

Rob: I leave all of my nonprofit status certificates that my vendors needed and you willingly supplied. I also leave all of my computer, Raiser’s Edge, and RSVP line triumphs and downfalls for the past year. I also leave a capable MiniMe to handle your spontaneous happy hour needs.

Robin: The best dintern in my 10 months. I leave lots of filing and copying and eye-rolling. I leave a capable southern belle to argue with Scott. I leave no comprehension that pen and pin are supposed to sound different. I also leave a lot of good wishes about your new job.

Roger: I leave a lot of good thoughts from the Cold-North-Midwest, greater and more diverse items for your present desk, and a greater appreciation for “the Roger-sense-of-humor.” I also leave the not so great way of “Pogging” your signature.

Scott: I leave lots of laughs about Charlie’s antics and wishes for his ability to get his Latin comprehension down by the age of 2. I leave lots of earplugs, groans for noisemaking, and sharpened #2 pencils with perfect erasers. I also leave all the comments on the idiocy in the world, and a lifetime of manly disinfectant.

Shana: I leave a love of spices for the Foodie Queen, a love of Gleen, the manual, baked goods containing no chocolate, hair floofing, the development wardrobe department, everything shiny, and a lot of room in the unprofessional box. “My hand to G-d,” I am leaving you all my hand motions and wild gesticulating, “I’m not going to lie.” I leave you lots of bacon and even more Cosi’s clubs. I leave you my happy meal toy to join the penguin, and ALL of my tissues. (etc.)

Shane: I leave all of the hope and love I have for Michigan, which rides on your endorsement. I hope it will not disappoint. I also leave the organizational knowledge I gleaned from you.

Steve: I leave you control of happy hours, great menu choices, and all of my Juli experiences. I also leave all of the knowledge and wisdom of TFAS that you passed on to me.

Muck: I leave the happy hours and such in your capable hands. I also leave all of your help and eagerness that was much appreciated. I also leave your margaritas (just don’t use that mix again!).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What works for me this Wednesday

Its another Wednesday (the last Wednesday of my life at TFAS), and another Works-for-Me Wednesday hosted by Shannon.

If you read my blog or know me, you have probably figured it out that I am a safety-110-percent-paranoid freak. From watching too much Unsolved Mysteries as a kid, I find EVERYthing scarey and am always certain that something is out there trying to get me. When we moved to Washington DC from Atlanta, my mom (I'm sure this is where I get it) was sure I would be gunned down in the streets or that our apartment would be broken into all the time. Thankfully, we have a very safe secure building and I am located way above the "ladder-mark" (Definition, the height at which a ladder could assist someone to get in). I'd still get scared at night when Ken was gone. So I came up with a bit of a security solution. The way my "front door" works is somewhat like a hotel where you can open it from the inside even if it is locked. To keep the door permanently locked, I put a chair underneath the handle which blocks the lock from disengaging.

With that problem solved, I am not looking foward to moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan to an apartment on the ground level with lots of windows and doors! During my freak out panic attack, I saw an informercial (yes, informercials are my saving grace at times...but thats whole other post for another time) that advertised "alarms" for doors and windows. Mainly, they are just glorified noise makers but at least it would either scare away people trying to steal stuff or let me know that someone was trying to get in.

So what works for me this Wednesday? Finally testing out my alarms and having some peace of mind for our move is working for me this Wednesday...and infomercials...they always work for me.

*Also, I am looking for some moving tips...we are moving ourselves this Tuesday! so I could use any helpful tips you have!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Apple Store Epiphany

KW has recently acquired a MacBook for law school. To say he is tickled pink is an understatement. He (and I) are not technology junkies, but he is convinced of Macs superiority not because of the new commercials (which are funny) but because the design capabilities are great. Like any purchase done by KW, big or small, we had to research, discuss and visit the store 3 times before final purchase. While spending some quality time at the Apple store in Clarendon, I had several epiphanies:
-Apple is like a cult (my brother Jim actually saw this one too.)
-Apple is Technology's equivalent to Abercrombie & Fitch (Loud, crowded, snobbish workers, that is designed to intimidate you)
-There are only 4 type of people who visit Apple Stores
The 4 Types of People That Visit Apple Stores:
1.) The techno nerds that run the joint
Definition: The staff in charge of selling you the goods
Description: Dressed in all black, which enhances their pale-never-seeing-the-sun look, they are typically not well groomed and ready to throw an eye roll in your general direction with your first "huh?"
Demeanor: Equipped with a complete mastery of everything computers, they are their to help/mock you with any of their technological needs. They are there to point out the inadequacies with your old system and the old way of thinking AND ready to REVOLUTIONIZES your life with everything that is APPLE! "Looking around is for the weak," they say, "Let us show you the way to your future." They also walk and talk extremely fast, because like the products they hock, speed is EVERYTHING!
2.) The techno nerds that understand the nerds that run the joint
Definition: The ones that have worked, will work, or wish they worked at the Apple Store.
Description: Dressed in emo, nerdy chic (or all black) with thick rimmed glasses that steam up with excitement at the thought of extra RAM, these staff wannabes LOVE computers as much as the staff but either are a.) too young to work there or b.) have the financial independence to not HAVE to work there. They typically travel in packs, and beware! They will mock you more mercilessly than the staff if you ask a stupid question because they don't have to worry about messing up a sale.
Demeanor: Snooty and young. These techno junkies are armed with the ego of indestructibleness and omniscience: Keep your eyes peeled for sarcasm, folks.
3.) The people who want to be techno nerds
Definition: Like KW (and myself), the wannabe techies would like to be more savvy and have a reliable and good computer. They are simply at the store to shop (or be swindled), not to live...Until they become sucked into the Apple cult and become #2.
Description: These people are typically upper middle class hippie wannabes. You can typically spot them mixing their JCrew $110 sweater with Eddie Bower cargo shorts and new Birkenstocks with the wornout look.
Demeanor: They swagger around the store in mock confidence. Look for it, you can see the fear in their eyes.
4.) The people who do not care about computers and are being dragged in by their loved ones
Definition: These poor souls have become attached with any of the three previous types of people who visit Apple Stores. They are girlfriends, husbands, sisters, brothers, children, etc.
Description: They have the worn out, beaten look of someone who was forced to sit there and feign interest in whatever the person that they are with is checking out. Note, these people are typically clustered on the benches or pod seats looking bored to death (or reading a book--"dude, why would you read when you can like surf the web!" the #1 and #2s think.)
Demeanor: A little scared and a little tired...Try not to yell techno jargon at these people for they may flee to the nearest corner or right out the store.

Treasure Tuesday

Its another Tuesday, which could only mean Treasure Tuesday at Faithful Mommy! My treasures (thats right! Plural!) today are my two pink stuffed Elephants my mom gave me sometime in High school.

My mom gave me the big one (which I named Ruby after my mom's birthstone) and the middle one (which I named Ellie because it sounds like Ali-my nickname). Note: I do not have the smallest one, its just in the online pic. The reason I cannot take a picture of Ruby and Ellie together is because they are never together (and I don't have a digital camera, minor details people!). When I left for camp, of my mom traveled, or when I went away for college. I decided that Mom would take Ellie with her and I would take Ruby. Right now, Ruby is on my bed (if it is made, which in packing mode is always questionable). Whenever I pick her off the floor to put her in my bed, I always give it a special hug with a "hi, mom" or a "I love ya Mom" said in my head. Its a way for me to feel connected to her even when we are apart or when we are upset with eachother or when I just need a Mom moment.

A funny side story: When I worked at camp, I worked with the youngest kids (about 5-6 years old). My little ones were very prone to getting homesick at weird times. To stave off homesickness, I told them when i missed my mom I would hug on my Mom elephant to make me feel better. Then I would let my homesick girl take Ruby for awhile until she felt better. By the end of camp I had a waiting list for some Ruby time.

I love the connection that my pink elephants have given me to my mom, that she got me just because they felt good.