Our idle days define us as much as the days filled with grease and sweat.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Hi, my name is Sue.
And I'm a voicemail-phobe.
Few of you may know that I have this problem. I've tried very hard to conceal this rare disease, but I cannot hide it anymore. It's been 8 months since I last listened to a voicemail. I let my voice-mails pile up, then delete them all at once without listening to the messages.
Many of you may think that this is a laughing matter, but it is often a crippling disease. But thanks to the Stop Unnecessary Voicemail Foundation, I know that I'm not alone.
I'm trying to move past my disease, and live my life to the fullest.
And you can help me! Instead of leaving me voice-mails, you can text or email me, or simply just call back later.
Help me fight the teasing and annoyance that this chronic disease can often bring down on those infected with it!
Support your local VoiceMail-Phobe!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
We are finally home, and it's nice to be here. No bug infestation, no crazy mold, just a little stale smelling.
We had a great trip, as you have read, but it will be nice to not have something to do EVERY day.
Hopefully I can get to work on Chapter 3 of my book!
Friday, June 19, 2009
On Tuesday, Grant, Elyse and her friend Justin, and I went to the Phipps Conservatory to see the new exhibition of glass - remember the pretty pretty Chihuly pictures I took before? This time it was by a guy named Fräbel. And I got some pretty amazing shots!
He does these alien-like guys he calls "Longfellows." It just feels like you're getting a peek at some very elusive creatures in their natural environment.
They all have personalities.
He also makes large cubes of glass? plastic? Either way - they are cool!
There was a wonderful little bonsai garden. I particularly like the rosemary that had been trained into tree form!
There was also a butterfly garden. It is REALLY had to take photos of butterflies. Those babies do not stay still for very long.
Elyse tried on a pair of boots that were probably just a prop. She's making a face because there were leaves and twigs in the toes.
And of course it is a beautiful conservatory. I got some amazing photos of flowers. Here are some more pics in slideshow form:
PS - we're coming home today!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Last night, Elyse and I finally reached the last episode of Gilmore Girls. In honor of such an auspicious occasion, we decided to make dessert sushi, like in an earlier episode in season 7.
We couldn't use seaweed - that would be gross. So logically we used Fruit Roll-ups. We debated using some form of rice pudding, or coconut rice, but we decided that substituting was really the best way to go. We crumbled up Oreos and added a little whipped cream to give it the right consistency - voilà, perfect rice proxy.
Our first rolls were a bit messy - we were just getting the hang of it, after all. My first was Twix and Ande's Mint, rolled in an Orange Cherry Fruit Roll-up. But Elyse's was Twix with Reese's, rolled in a Tropical Tie-Dye Fruit Roll-up.
The rolling of the first didn't work out so well. We didn't leave enough roll-up to stick itself closed.
So when it came to slicing, they weren't very tight. Mine barely made a roll at all. The Twix/Mint Cherry Orange roll was VERY odd. The mintness, and the sharpness of the cherry didn't mix well. However, Elyse's Twix/Reese's Tropical Tie-Dye roll was excellent. Almost smoothie-like.
We decided that the best way to get a proper roll was to use two roll-ups stuck together for greater length. Our next roll was an M&M/Junior mint Strawberry roll-up roll.
It looked very nice and the M&M was a nice amount of crunch, but mint does not really work with our format, we decided.
Our final roll was a Twix/Reese's/M&M Cherry Orange roll, and it was excellent. But at this point we started to get a bit queasy, and we were in the last episode of Gilmore Girls, so we really needed to pay attention.
Of course after that, we were so wired up on sugar that we watched half of Newsies before heading to bed.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
We've been having some great fun here in Pittsburgh. Since I last posted, we've been on so many adventures!
On Wednesday we went to the Mattress Factory, which is a modern art museum that is all installation art. Every room was a different experience. The fourth floor was full of abstract wooden sculptures. On the third floor, one room had items from that artist's studio and a giga-pan image projected on the wall that you could manipulate with a mouse - we zoomed in to a small flyer that was on the wall, and we could read every word.
Also on the third floor there was a place where you walked through a door into a square room that was covered in mirrors. The walls and ceiling were all mirrors and the only lights were recessed. I felt like I was in a huge room. It was absolutely amazing. The second room was brighter, and had 3 mannequins in it, but I liked the first room best.
The second floor was my favorite. You walk into one large room, and it's empty, except for what looks like a screen on the wall. It seemed like someone had left a projector on, but forgotten to put up whatever was supposed to be projected, so it just glowed that purple-blue. I thought it was a screen until Grant put his arm through it. It was a small room, with a screen sized hole into our room, with ultraviolet light diffused in a light haze. It totally fooled the senses.
Another part of the second floor there was an entrance. It turned left into a completely dark ramp that you slowly walked up. Then you hit the opening to the room still bathed in darkness. You could hear your voice echo through a large room, but because of the darkness, you have no idea how large. You feel around and find a chair or two then a waist-high wall. You're in a small box hanging over a possibly infinite space. It was a complete sensory overload. We stood there laughing, talking, and guessing at what the space could be. After several minutes in complete darkness, we all took out our cellphones and shone them. The room was larger than the last, painted a dull white, and completely empty, though the walls may have been angled for better acoustics.
On Thursday Doug came out to visit and we went to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, where we spent not enough time, and I wasn't even allowed to go into the art museum EVEN THOUGH our admission would have let us.
The next day we went to Kennywood, the awesome local amusement park. It was a cooler, cloudy day for most of the day, but not rainy. Think Knoebels, but larger, and with more modern rides, including a supercoaster. My favorite was the carousel, which was built in 1926, with a 1916 Wurlitzer Band Organ providing the music.
On Saturday, we hit the Pittsburgh Art Festival, and saw some amazing artists, and some very inspiring ideas. There was a sidewalk chalk artist who we think was actually a employee of the Pittsburgh zoo.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I am so cool, I learned how to embed a slideshow.
These are photos of "The Strip"in Pittsburgh, which is kind of like Reading terminal on a street. We went in a fish market, a coffee shop, a spice shop, a chocolate shop, a shop with dried flowers and beautiful furniture, and one AMAZING furniture store that i could live in. We ate lunch in a fun 50's style diner, we got biscotti from a shop that only sell biscotti, and we saw lots of pretty distressed objects.
As were walking back to the car, Grant noticed some graffiti down an alley. There was a story spraypainted on a the wall. I took pictures and photoshopped it all together. If you click on it, it will get bigger.
Elyse and I went to see UP last night. It is an amazing AMAZING movie. My favorite Pixar/CG movie yet. Hilarious, but extremely touching too. Aunt Sandy alert: you may/will cry - multiple times! This is way past "my poor beast!" A must-see, people.
Elyse and I are up to the last episode of Gilmore Girls. She is incredulous. The conversation went something like.
Plans for today equal:
- drop off Elyse's money/checks at the bank
- hit up the Galleria, which is a giant mall
- make some tiramisu
- make some dessert sushi while watching the last episode of GG
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Elyse graduated without a hitch, and with lots of awards, metals, money, and food. The graduation ceremony took place at 6:30pm. The weather was kind of crummy - really cloudy, but not rainy. But at least it wasn't hot.
The football field was really nice, and the bleachers didn't hurt our butts too badly.
There was plenty of people watching to keep us busy, and we saw some PRIZES!
Could she be trying harder?
We're very proud - Elyse didn't even act bored, she pretended to be very interested the whole time. Her name was pronounced correctly, she didn't mess up the cross handshake plus getting diploma thing, and she didn't trip and fall on her face.
And her hat was so pretty!
I made about 70 rolls for the graduation party, and there were only seven left at the end of the day!
Elyse and I hung her artwork all over the downstairs of their house. My favorite is the painting of the purple flowers.
Pretty nice, huh?
I made an album of more of the graduation pictures and put them here, if you would like to see them.
Monday, June 1, 2009
We've made it to Pittsburgh, and we're having some fun.
Before we left, Grant took Rocket-truck to get a general check-up, and because she was such a good girl, we let her get a tramp stamp:
isn't it pretty? She's very happy and gave us no trouble on the way to Pittsburgh.
Today Grant, Elyse and I went to Carson St, and saw some wonderful beautiful things.
We hit the Beehive coffee shop for some iced mochas and baklava, the Culture shop for some soap and incense, and general strolling around.
Grant and I also went out in the back yard to shoot our BB guns. I am still an awesome shot with my little Red Ryder BB gun. Grant kept taking apart his old BB gun that won't hold enough pressure to shoot farther than 10 feet; one of his BB's ricocheted off the paper target. He's just jealous because I'm so cool. He's outside right now, pretending to show his sister how to shoot it, just so he can practice.
Later tonight we're going to hit Steak & Shake, which is awesome.