Friday, 29 April 2011

Penn Camera: Follow up, and redemption

Penn Camera took my prints back, with no hesitation, and promised to clean their machine.  I forgive you, and we may continue our professional relationship perhaps.  If I ever buy more black and white film.

Because I can, I follow up with a digital photo of Boris, taken on the same day as the film one I posted with my rant:

I can't believe I haven't posted this yet - maybe my fav of him ever.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

My parents' new place

Extremely jealous.  This place probably could not be cuter.

So we spent a long easter weekend moving my parents into their new (weekend) home in Charlottesville (Which I will be calling C'ville from now on because the full thing takes too long to type.)  They have bought a beautiful little house with great character that is mostly renovated, which we hope to add on to in the years to come.

My dad actually drove this truck.  He even managed not to destroy the mailbox (at either home) getting it out of the driveway.
Since this is a vacation home for now and we don't have THAT much surplus furniture, I spent the two weeks prior to the move scouring Craigslist for new stuff.  And I think I found some pretty nice pieces.  So we loaded the truck (and by we I mean the two superb movers who moved it from the garage, where we had piled it all, into the truck.  They were excellent.  If you need packers/unpackers in the DC area, these are your guys.  Email me and I'll send over the contact info, cuz I don't have it on me right now.)
Boris approves of the new patio.
We had an easy two hour drive down, and then we met the movers we had hired to unpack the stuff and they got to work.  It was honestly the most amazing move I have ever experienced - I didn't have to lift anything.  The truck loaders and unloaders were not all that expensive, and the extra beauty of the arrangement was that none of us were so tired that we needed the rest of the afternoon to recover.
Look at them in their matching golf shirts.... also, nice jeans Mom.  Good work.
Then, we had a great easter weekend, mostly spent in big box retail outlets buying stuff.  I also did a makeover of the master bath, as promised for my mother's birthday gift - photos of that to come later in the week.  We ate, we relaxed, we discussed the philosophy of furniture placement - all in all, a good weekend.  With the notable exception of Lisa being in a small grump midday on Saturday due to the inexplicable thrashing of the Penguins.
Living room with amazing ceiling...which unfortunately needs to be painted.

Makin some delicious potato pancakes.  This recipe needs sharing with the world, and I intend to do so this weekend.

Really looking forward to a summer getaway, when I need a break from all this DC stuff.

Cheers to fall, and having a home base for the Monticello Wine Trail!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Dear Penn Camera: I will never have you develop my film again

Just got back from picking up some developed black and white film from Penn Camera.  Rolls of random film (and they were RANDOM) I had found during our move, rolls that could have been 6 years old or from last summer.  And it turns out they were both.

So I was extremely excited to see the photos.  I had no idea what they could have been, was well aware most of them would be duds, but excited nonetheless.  And when I got there, I had to wait a while because silly people were actually buying camera stuff at the store, and then I finally was helped and they wanted 89 DOLLARS to develop my five rolls of film and ok whatever, I know black and white film is unusual and therefore more annoying maybe to process but geez.  I didn't even ask you to cut the film strips!  saving you at least 15 minutes of effort!

And I controlled myself all the way back to my office where I promptly tore into the photos.  AND THEY WERE SO POORLY DEVELOPED!  If I wanted that much dust and crap on my negs I would have developed them myself in my goddamn basement you stupid clowns, I wouldn't have shelled out equiv of new shoes for them!?!!!?!?!?  grrrrrrrr and I KNOW that it wasn't just a dirty lens because the dust and hairs move in every frame!  What ever happened to professional pride?  Come on guys! and to be honest I am most disappointed because they did the prints for me after I came back from my fellowship in Spain and they were beautiful, just gorgeously developed, and I know they can do better.  sigh.


after all that, there is one photo I must share with you, because to my mind it is just so perfect, and almost saved the idiots who botched my film.

All of my loves, together in one frame, at the beach.  How perfectly delightful.

Ok.  I will try and move on now.  I have pinned this photo to my wall at work, and I will look at it whenever I feel the murderous rages coming back on.

Monday, 25 April 2011

a little Spring in my step

It is already so hot here.  What happened to spring?  This is both disappointing and fairly disgusting, and I would be a LOT less cranky about it if I felt like the AC in my building was working properly.

The worst thing about all the hot weather though, combined with the fact that I have succeeded in losing 13 lbs, means that my brain is relentless: must have new wardrobe, must have new wardrobe.  I am resisting so far, but just for kicks, here are a few lovelies I would buy in a heartbeat if I had the funds:

Last one from JCrew, I promise.  I always think I will look like this in shorts if I could only find a pair cute enough, and I have lusted after these for a while now.  Tragically, I will never look like this in shorts.
Milan Cami, by LA Made and found on Piperlime.  This blue is soooo pretty.

Garima, Nine West.

*yes, I am fully aware my losing weight does not affect my shoe size.  but its hot, and I want to wear sandals.  I would too if I had some that weren't flip flops.*
Linen Tessa Top, from JCrew.  Want.

Classic Jenna Bracelet, also from JCrew.  I don't know what it is about the heat, but it seems to trigger this desire to cover myself in gold jewelry like I am some sort of Mediterranean princess.... its like some kind of bizarre fascination, the lighter the clothing I'm wearing, the more I need to wear heavy jewelry.
Love. this. bracelet.

Yes please.  BCBG, found on Piperlime.  I'll take her legs also thanks.

Sigh. Any thoughts on what I should treat myself to when I shed these last few pounds down to the goal weight?

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Mid Life Moments

So I have been awfully busy this week and last week getting ready for something exciting (mostly) - my parents just bought a second house, all the way south in Charlottesville, and we moved them in this weekend.

Is it not just adorable?

I am sure I will be full of insight on this particular event when I have had time to breathe again.

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Thursday, 14 April 2011


JUST NOTICED I have the return address wrong on every envelope I have printed so far.


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

I might actually be a 90 year old in disguise

Last night we went to an uh-MAZING concert at 9:30 club, to see Three Days Grace.  Loved it.


I noticed something about myself that disturbed me, just a little.  The opening act, a group called My Darkest Days, was playing as we came in.  And actually I have to say, musically these guys were pretty awesome.  WAY better than other opening acts I have seen in the past.  But then they would stop playing and start talking, introducing the next song, and every other word would be the f-bomb. It really just felt like they were trying so hard!  And I was thinking to myself  "guys, you are giving off conflicting trying-too-hard signals if your lead guitarist is wearing cheetah print leggings, and you feel the need to drop the f-bomb every 2 seconds."

But more than that, their constant use of the f word (and I definitely swear more than I would like, admittedly. I do.  But I am trying to cut back to save it for situations that require emphasis.) really got to me, and made me think plenty of "kids these days!" thoughts.  Which made me snap at Brandon for no reason (I mean honestly, couldn't he see that the big fat guy was blocking my view??).  And at that point I figured out what was turning me into a grandmother cranky pants, and I apologized and we tried to move on.

What was weird to me was how upset I was getting over the swearing, and yet how I was totally not phased about the obvious theme of the band's song, "Porn Star Dancing."

But, Three Days Grace was amazing.  I was surprised at the actual quantity of songs of theirs I know and like - at one point I turned to my sister and said, "This is a cover!"  and she said, "uh no.  you're an idiot."  Not exactly but close.  But anyone who can cover both Tom Petty and Limp Bizkit and Eminem in a single show? Pretty OK.  Plus the drummer also played the keyboards.  I bet his mom is pretty pleased those piano lessons ended up counting for something.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Puppy face!

Happy Friday!  

Now I don't just post photos of my dogs, I post photos of other people's dogs too.  does that make me extra lame or extra awesome?

Domestic bliss-ish

Look how sensitive he is, he wears pink!  Sigh, I miss my old glasses.

Yesterday morning, I was all psyched to write a sappy post about how hubs elect was all about the baby family.  That he wanted to make sure I felt like we were a family, just the two of us.  Awwww.  And he doesn't even read APW!

And then... I walk into our bedroom yesterday after getting home from work, and I notice there are no sheets on the bed.  The duvet and pillowcases are still there,  but there is no sheet and no mattress pad.  So since there had been sheets there that morning, I look at him with raised eyebrows, and he responds with this sheepish helpless grin. "Well, you're gonna laugh at me...."

He got home from work and, because this man can't be without a beverage of some kind for more than about 25 seconds, poured himself some juice.  Blackberry juice.  Then walks into the bedroom, goes to straighten out the duvet, and coughs. blackberry juice. all. over. the sheets.  Knowing how I will feel about this giant purple stain, he then rushed the sheets to the washer to soak, and by the time I got home, problem solved.  It is a really good thing he understands how to do laundry.

Notwithstanding he did agree to resrict the drinking of blackberry juice to the kitchen/dining area.

How do I know for sure he loves me and wants our marriage to be a success?  Because he has actually been wearing the Breathe Right strips I bought for him, for 3 nights in a row :) 

Monday, 4 April 2011

DIY Letterpress, part 2: The Invitations

At first, it really seemed like the invitations were going to be the horror-movie sequel to the save the dates.

I showed up at my parents house, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, one Saturday morning, ready to crank out some invitations.  I knew that my plan to mask off some of the design during inking was going to add some time to each one, but I thought I still had it under control.

After 3 hours of pressing and not one single acceptable invitation, I knew something had to give.  Because of the design of the invitations, suddenly getting the letterpress to actually make an impression became critical, and what I hadnt realized during my testing of the whole blind impression thing was that while the letterpress can easily make a crisp impression somewhere on the paper, getting a blind impression across an entire invitation was not so easy.  On top of that, it became clear that after so many repeated pressings, the letterpress was starting to flex under the strain, and that if I wasn't careful I might break the press entirely and be back where I started.

My dad, being a stubborn engineer type, an myself, being a stubborn artsy type, ended up persisting until Dad hit on something that gave us better results: inserting a granite block to serve as the bottom plate of the press.  It wasn't perfect, but after hours of work it was enough to convince me that yes, this crazy plan would work.

I spent a whole Saturday on my feet, hunched over this press, and probably got about 15 invitations out that I will be willing to send.  But I learned my lesson and perfected my technique, and the following weekend I churned out 40 invitations, of which I could use more than 90%, and I am finally satisfied.

So here they are: