August 28, 2007

Dancing Queen

Do you love music? Do you love dancing? Then this is the mission for you! In preparation for SO'B and my impending nuptuals, Grimsaburger is hosting a forum for musical suggestions. What kind of music really makes you get down? What song calls you to the dance floor so fiercely that you are powerless to resist? All suggestions will be accepted, but careful what you wish for...

August 27, 2007


Is it wrong of me to be so gleeful that the Bush Administration continues to fall apart? On Talk of the Nation, Daniel Metcalfe said that Gonzales did more damage to the Department of Justice than any other Attorney General in recent history - including during the Watergate scandal. There are also currently more vacancies in the DOJ - both in general and in the leadership positions than there were during Watergate.

Now that's bad.

August 25, 2007

This is, like, SOOOO important.

There are intelligent, well-spoken girls that enter the Miss USA pageant. They're just not featured in this video.

August 21, 2007

SO'B's Big Surprise

This happened to me last night. He spent the evening watching what turned out to be one of the worst movies ever made last night with Grimsaburger's Spouse. Now they often have hairbrained ideas while they hang out -- and last night was no exception. But it seemed tame enough - they discussed, at length, the kind(s) of sugar cereal they would buy and eat while enjoying SO'B's male-centered celebratory weekend commemorating his impeding nuptuals (read: bachelor party weekend). One preferred Honeycomb (a personal favorite of your's truly); the other liked some of the more traditional varieties: Froot Loops and the like. Anyway, I thought I had endured enough for the evening and, yawningly, slipped under the covers and took to Ian McEwan's Atonement (which is being made into a movie). In swaggers SO'B looking like, well, someone named Hank. It's all off as of this morning -- one of my requests before we swear fidelity for eternity was that I'd be able to see him clean-shaven -- but he swears that his goatee will make a comeback within the week. So: enjoy it now!

August 18, 2007

The MacBook Saga

This may seem like a perfectly unremarkable picture of a computer (although the MacBook is an absolutely marvelous machine). But this picture speaks a thousand words - many of them of the four-letter variety. You see, last Tuesday I spilled half of my mug of piping hot, creamed-and-sugared coffee all over the poor thing, dousing the keyboard and seeping into all parts of the computer. It shut off by itself -- never a good sign. (Cue four-letter words.)

So I managed to swab up the keyboard, remove the computer from the puddle, and take out the battery. Then I remembered Sean's (working, un-spilled on) computer upstairs, and typed into the Google box these words: coffee spill macbook. Some unlucky soul had a similar experience and found these instructions very helpful. I took apart the computer -- and I mean TOOK APART the computer, swabbed out the rough patches on the motherboard with a Q-tip, wiped clean the hard drive and memory chips, and rinsed off the keyboard under hot water (can you believe you can do that?). Done. I let it dry for a few days, and put it back together. Ta-da! The tell-tale chord announcing that a Mac is coming to life rang true, and my background picture showed up like nothing ever happened. The track-pad worked wonderfully, but all letters but the q and the tab seemed to be dead. Well, something had to give. So I ordered a new keyboard (overnight, because I'm an inherently impatient person) and, once again, took the computer apart, piece by piece, until the old keyboard came off and the new one was successfully installed.

So: here I am with my computer back, having lost nothing from my files and preferences, with a new keyboard to boot. I can hardly believe my luck.

Oh- and I found out some helpful information from State Farm after they politely but firmly told me that my renter's insurance did not cover spills (and why didn't I keep the coffee away from my new computer anyway?). They offer a policy that covers any machine -- such as, say, a computer -- from klutziness of any degree: spilling, dropping, stepping (don't laugh--I'm sure it has happened to someone somewhere). $35 per year: that's how much peace of mind costs. After this incident, I'm finding peace of mind pretty inexpensive.

Here's to Apple and its magnificent MacBook!

August 9, 2007

The North Country

Some people might suggest that we've been lazy in our blogging; and they'd be right. But the laziness was by design, not neglect: we were on a luxurious, much-needed vacation in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York. The first week was spent with SO'B's maternal extended family -- cousins, aunts and all -- at Fourth Lake. The giant, pest-friendly maze-of-a-house was interesting, but the company was fantastic. One of the little ones and I became puzzle-buddies -- and she had a great time imagining being a flower girl in "princess" Zee's wedding. And I taught another of the little ones to exclaim "woohoo!" at all of the fun we had.

The weather -- oh, the weather -- was fantastic. 80 and sunny every day, no joke. Here's an example of one particularly spectacular evening:

Of course, there is a rather funny (and, in my opinion, a little scary) story coming out of this fantastic time. I saw one of these. That's right: a big, fully grown black bear crossed the road right in front of me as I was heading home from a (very fun) trail run on the first day there. Here's the pickle: it crossed into the woods adjacent to the camp where we were staying, so I had to pass it at least two more times to get home. I saw Grizzly Man, but realized I had forgotten any useful information on how to become unattractive to a bear. I hid behind a stone post on the neighbor's driveway, trying to think of what the heck to do. So I turned off my shuffle, on which I was contentedly listening to Jim Dale's rendition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and sneaked past the woods where the bear had just entered. I turned into the camp, and kept my eyes on the woods. About 100 yards from the house, I saw it -- staring at me -- and I ran. I ran like the wind, hoping it didn't care about me and, if it did, I could outrun it. Of course, this was probably the stupidest thing I could have done, but it turns out that it didn't care about me. Whew. The next times I went running, I wore keys attached to my shoes in an effort to scare off wayward bears before any potential run-ins.

There were a few special occasions to celebrate, and celebrate we did. We threw Mariluwho a birthday party -- for the 21st anniversary of her 39th birthday -- at a local restaurant. Notice her tiara?

It was a magical place, where 14 ounce steaks turned into 24 ounces between the kitchen and the table and bears jumped out of dumpsters.

Happy birthday, future mother-in-law!

They also threw SO'B and myself a surprise wedding shower (pics to follow). Fun, fun.

After a week of good times we headed with K & M to the O'B family homestead at Lake Ozonia.

Hans the Dog showed us around the lake -- a gorgeous, spring-fed lake, the water of which was said to have miraculous healing properties.

K & M enjoyed the views -- and the incredibly beautiful day -- on Uncle T's boat.

And, when the day was done, we all enjoyed looking at old family photos and playing plenty of cards. Here we are (SO'B and me) on the only rainy day, just after a rousing game of Pitch.

What a fantastic vacation!

And what a way to return home - to "Double-J" -- who were staying at our house in our absence. Having just returned from a year with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, they stopped by the 'Bend en route to their new jobs with World Vision in Cyprus, to work with 14 countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, 9 of which are currently in conflict or having just emerged from conflict. Obviously, they're up for the challenge. Can you say "honeymoon?"