Friday Randomness 5-2-14

  • Two weekends ago I went to Pittsburgh to visit family for Easter.  Pittsburgh’s airport had this cool transformer-type thing on landside.
  • Also in Pittsburgh over Easter weekend, I did some Easter egg decorating with my niece and nephew.  (Well, mostly just my nephew since my niece is only 11 months).  The Martha Stewart tutorial for glitter eggs were a lot prettier (and less messy!) than mine.  On a related note, we used food coloring this year instead of one of the usual Paas decorating kits.  The food coloring resulted in much brighter colors than the Paas kits!
  • We got a crazy amount of rain here in the DC area this week! This video of a road collapsing in Baltimore is just astonishing!
  • Do you ever use a public restroom stall and find that there are two very new and full rolls of toilet paper?  And it’s so full that the toilet paper won’t actually “roll” when you pull on it?  And you just end up shredding tiny sheets of paper in your hand as you try to pull it?  Yeah, that happened to me last week, and it reminds me how frustrating it is when that happens!
  • We have a mattress that is barely five years old.  And it is in terrible shape!  It’s a pillow top, so we can’t flip the mattress, and it is just so lumpy and both our backs hurt when we wake up in the morning. The indentations of our bodies are permanently embedded in the mattress (and not in some good, memory-foam type of way). It wasn’t some cheapo mattress, so we’re not very pleased about it.  What mattress do you recommend?
  • Ken started his new job last week and is totally loving his new four minute commute.  I would be too!
  • As part of his new job, Ken was out of town for training this week.  When you are home alone, do you still close the door when you go to the bathroom?  I did, every time.  I’m not sure why it’s necessary though.  I guess I just think that the bathroom should be some enclosed space when somebody is in there.
  • Why do I have two bathroom-related bullet points on my Friday Randomness this week?
  • How did I manage a post with only portrait-oriented photos and not a single landscape-oriented one?


On that note, have a great weekend!

Friday Randomness 4-18-14

  • Do you ever read a recipe and it says something like “DO NOT ALLOW MIXTURE TO BOIL” or “DO NOT OVERMIX!” and then provides no explanation?  I mean, are we talking it won’t taste good or will it kill me?
  • We finished Season 5 of Breaking Bad this week!  So tempted to hurry up and start watching Season 6, but we’ll wait for a while!
  • Several months ago, I made homemade blue cheese dressing, and it was amazing.  The other night, I wanted to snack on some celery and blue cheese dressing, so I poured some Kraft brand bottled dressing into a bowl.  I hated it!  I can’t eat the bottled stuff now that I’ve had the real stuff.  Yum.
  • I guess I’ve been sleeping soundly these past few weeks because when I wake up, some part of my body (usually my hand or arm) is completely asleep.  Does this ever happen to you?  Then do you start frantically shaking and flopping your hand around in an attempt to “wake it up” and the subsequent pins and needles ensue?  So, this reminds me of something that happened to me when I was maybe 16 or 17.  I woke up in the middle of the night and was laying on my stomach.  My arms were kind of positioned above my head.  My right arm was touching some sort of freakish fleshy object in my bed.  I shrieked, jumped out of bed, and started running toward my parents’ room.  It was only then that I realized that I could not feel my left arm.  It was so completely dead asleep, there weren’t even “pins and needles.”  That freakish fleshy object that I was feeling with my right hand was actually my left arm.  I just had no idea because my left arm had zero sensation at that moment.
  • Speaking of sleeping, do you have dreams that take place in recurring locations?  For instance, any time I have a dream that I’m in a mall (I have no idea why this happens because I go to a mall like 3 times a year), the mall always looks the same.  It’s not any mall I’ve ever been to, but it always looks the same in each dream.  Same thing goes for gyms (again, I’m such an infrequent gym-goer, I don’t know why gyms appear in my dreams), they always look the same.  Sometimes I wish I had some artistic ability so that I could draw the scenes.  I can picture them perfectly in my head.

dream details someecards

  • Apparently it was driving Ken nuts that I had accidentally uploaded a 15MB picture to one of my blog posts.  He told me about it a few weeks ago, but I forgot about it.  On Tuesday, he tells me, “so I fixed your picture.”  He’s never touched the blog before, but went into our hosting system and fixed the picture from there.  I guess it really did bother him!
  • Do you have any guilty pleasure TV shows that you watch?  Mine is definitely COPS.  The (presumed innocent) criminals that they catch act just like children.  Like if they find drugs, “No, that’s not mine!  I don’t know how it got there!”


Friday Randomness 4-11-14

  • Big news in our house this week!  Ken accepted a new job and put in his two-weeks notice at his current job.  The new job is literally a 4 minute drive from our house, which will be a welcome change considering his current one hour (each way) commute.  The new job is lower pay, but 1) he will be saving $3000 on metro commuting costs alone, and 2) he will be reclaiming 10 full hours per week thanks to the near zero commuting time.  So the minor paycut was well worth it.

  • We finished Season 7 of Dexter last week.  Only one more season to go!

  • I lamented last week about buying new cookware.  I decided on the Calphalon Unison line.  It’s nonstick, dishwasher safe (KEY for me!), and has a lifetime warranty.  The pieces are fairly expensive though, so I’ll just be buying them piecemeal.  The sets are slightly less expensive per-piece, but there are at least two or three pieces in a set that I don’t need.  I’ve also purchased a few additional cast iron pieces.

  • I had to get an oil change this week.  I let them talk me into the upsell of having my transmission flushed.  I figure I have said no to any upsell they have ever tried for the last six years, so maybe I should listen to them for once?  Do you ever grow tired of the constant upselling during oil changes?

  • My seedlings are growing beautifully and I’ll be transplanting them to regular pots in the next few weeks.  I just purchased this container gardening drip irrigation system, so I don’t have to actively water the plants outside.

  • The weather here in the DC area has been beautiful these past few days.  Ken likes to call this weather “Temperature Zero.”  It’s when you go outside and you don’t feel cold and you don’t feel hot.  It’s like the temperature is so perfect you are neither warm nor cold.  Temperature Zero.  You heard it here first.  Spread it around.

  • I have been tempted to request a standing desk in my office.  Sometimes I just grow so tired of sitting.  My butt starts to hurt.  Plus, I fidget a lot, so I wonder if standing would help me, well, not fidget, because I’d be burning all that nervous energy by standing.  But I can definitely see growing tired of a standing desk quickly.  If I am standing for extended periods of time, I get some lower back pain, no doubt due to poor posture.  Plus, I’m lazy and sometimes just want to slouch down in my chair and do what I need to do on my computer.  We’ll see.

Any interesting news for you all this week?

Friday Randomness 3-27-14

Random Factoid

  • I hate styrofoam.  HATE IT.  The sound it makes is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.  Opening any sort of fragile package that is packed in styrofoam is like torture, no matter how excited I am to open it!  So, the supermarket I usually go to always sold eggs in cardboard cartons, but recently they switched to styrofoam!  There is no way I could open a styrofoam container every time I needed eggs.  I thought I was going to have to switch supermarkets or buy my eggs elsewhere.  But luckily they switched back to cardboard!  Isn’t that more environmentally friendly anyway?

Random Tidbits

  • I am in need of new glasses because my current four-year-old pair are scratched up and, let’s face it, my vision has probably weakened. Do you ever get nervous that you’re giving the “wrong” answer during a vision exam? I sure do! I’m always worried that the optometrist his thinking to himself, “Well that answer doesn’t make a damn bit of sense! Number 1 should definitely be weaker than Number 2 and Number 3!”
  • Do you watch The Walking Dead? This week’s episode was such a welcome relief compared to the previous week’s doozy of an episode!
  • How are the potholes in your area? There’s this one huge pothole in our area that looks like it could swallow a car!
  • Did you read that AT&T Mobile has cut their prices? A friend of mine on Facebook posted that his dropped by more than $50, even though he was still under contract. I might have to reevaluate my plan. I’m still grandfathered in under the unlimited data plan though, so I’m sure they’d make me drop that before lowering any prices.
  • I started reading One American Summer by Bill Bryson. I’m 26% through and am loving it so far. On a related note, I love how precise I can be with my reading progress thanks to my Kindle!
  • This thread had me chuckling (and a little grossed out too). What’s the weirdest thing that you’ve seen at someone’s house that they thought was completely normal?. It’s always pretty amazing the things you don’t know are weird in your family until an outsider points it out. After his first few trips up to Pennsylvania with me to visit my family, Ken pointed out how weird it was that my family would yell to one another between rooms to have a conversation with one another. Not like an angry yell, just conversationally yelling. Sometimes yelling even upstairs to downstairs or vice versa! We’d rarely walk to the other room to talk to somebody for a conversation that would take less than a few minutes. After he pointed that out, I couldn’t stop noticing just how LOUD it was at my parents’ house, especially when my sister and I were there. I don’t yell like that in our house, but I still sometimes fall back in that habit as soon as I’m at my dad’s house!
  • I am sick and tired of this cold weather! GRRRR. Longest winter ever, right?
  • On one of our last days in Russia, my left leg started to hurt, near the outer side of my calf muscle. I figured it was because we had been walking so much the previous 12 days! Three weeks after our return from Russia, my leg was STILL hurting, and perhaps even more. I kept stretching my leg, rubbing it, and I even got a professional massage, but nothing was helping. I really didn’t want to go to the doctor for such a vague problem. Clearly I could walk on it fine and put weight on it, it just hurt! So, I googled some of my symptoms (always the best and most accurate way to go, right? … no?), and came to the conclusion that maybe I had been taking the wrong approach by massaging and stretching. If it was a strained muscle or even a minor tear, it needed rest. So I adopted the RICE approach (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). I would put my leg on an ice pack while watching TV, I bought some compression socks, and made sure I kept my leg propped up when possible. I also was taking 3 Advil three times per day (a regimen a doctor recommended several years ago when I had a case of shin splints.) Within a few days, the pain had definitely decreased. A week after adopting my new routine, I’m still feeling twinges of pain in my leg, but only a few times a day now. Hopefully I’m on the mend!
  • We saw Grand Budapest Hotel last weekend. It was pretty funny, but very strange. Definitely a unique type of movie. I’ve learned all about aspect ratios since meeting Ken, so I definitely noticed the changes in aspect ratios throughout the movie!

What we ate this week.

Since many friends and family always seem to be intrigued by the meals we make every week, I thought I’d share it here.

New recipes tried this week:

  • Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ, Carolina BBQ Sauce, and Coleslaw. I made the coleslaw with slightly less sugar because I don’t like coleslaw as sweet. Everything was an AMAZING hit. Home run.
  • Ham and Cheese Bowties. Ken liked this. I just thought it was okay. It just needed a little something else for flavor, like maybe a stronger cheese?
  • BBQ and Cheddar Meatloaf . I tinkered with this recipe by making it into an entire loaf instead of the mini pans, and also put slices of bacon on the top. I didn’t notice much BBQ flavor at all. Ken really liked it, but there’s just something about meatloaf I don’t like. I’ve tried several recipes now and it just always tastes so weird to me.
  • Beer Battered Fish. This was SO AMAZING. We fried up some frozen Ore-ida fries to accompany it, but next time I think I’ll make the fries fresh.
  • I also made Peanut Noodles for lunch on one of my work-from-home days. Ken doesn’t like any Asian foods, so I always have to make this type of stuff for lunch or when he’s not around! This was also really, really good.

Tried and True Repeats

  • Cuban style burgers . So messy, so delicious. Don’t skip the roasting garlic step in this recipe!
  • Beef tacos. Tuesday nights are “easy night” meals. I go to the grocery store every Tuesday after work, so I don’t feel like cooking a big meal after getting home late and unloading the groceries. So usually I either pick up takeout on the way home, or just plan on something very quick and easy once I get home. For the tacos, I don’t follow any particular recipe. I just fry up some ground beef in a skillet, add store-bought taco seasoning, and slather the meat mixture on tortillas. Typically we’ll add normal taco toppings like cheese, sour cream, and salsa too. It’s done in less than 10 minutes, and doesn’t require any babysitting.

There you have it, what randomness do you have to report this week?

Friday Randomness

I’ll start this week with a random fact about our family:

  • Factoid: We do not “binge” watch any TV shows in our house.  This is a habit I’ve adopted thanks to Ken.  We never watch more than one episode of any TV show every few days.  Ever.  We started watching Dexter back in 2011, and we’re just now on Season 7.  Similar with Breaking Bad.  We started watching that about a year ago, and we wrapped up Season 4 about a month ago.  And, we take breaks in between seasons, even if the next season is readily available to watch.  I used to object to this practice because I loved binge-watching TV shows.  (I think I watched both seasons of HBO’s Rome in like three weeks).  But now I really like it!  I feel like it gives you time to process the events of the show!  No matter how crazy the cliffhanger, we wait.  It’s an excellent practice of self control!

And now, for some Friday Randomness:

  1. We owe on our Federal taxes this year.  Ugh.  We owed last year too, so I adjusted my 2013 withholding amount kind of arbitrarily, but we still owe a fairly significant amount again this year. Every year we’ve been paying less and less interest on our mortgage, so that seems to be the major factor affecting our taxes.  I used the IRS’s withholding calculator to figure out precisely how much we should withhold for the rest of 2014.  Very helpful!
  2. I’ve been morbidly addicted to all the news coverage surrounding the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight.  The families of the passengers must be going through something so agonizing, I can’t even imagine.
  3. I don’t like shopping in stores very much.  I especially hate having to lug large items, like packs of toilet paper or paper towels, in the house.  So, I just signed up for a bunch of things on Amazon’s Subscribe and Save.  I didn’t realize how much Subscribe and Save items they offered, so I may have gone a bit overboard.  One Hellman’s Mayonnaise delivered every two months anyone?
  4. This weekend I’m going to start planting my seedlings.  Wish me luck!
  5. I’ve started to tinker with Genealogy research.  Have any of you ever tried to research your own family history?  I got frustrated with one side of my family history research and gave up, then I tripped across some records from Eastern Europe and managed to trace back some of my ancestors until the 1600s!  So exciting!
  6. On a related note, one of my mom’s cousins is hosting a family reunion this year.  I’m thinking about bringing some genealogy questionnaires to ask relatives for information that they might have about our family history.  Even if they don’t know things like specific dates, I would love to capture some oral history stories that they may have heard.
  7. I really miss Google Reader.  Even though it’s been a year since Google retired it, I still don’t love any alternative readers.  I’ve been using NewsBlur for a while, but sometimes the feeds don’t update very regularly.  Sigh.
  8. I’m a big fan of food trucks in the DC area.  For about six months now, Simple on Wheels has been my favorite. Their veggie platter is so tasty, filling, and reasonably priced.  But about a week ago, I tried Korengy.  It was so good.  For $9, you get a ton of food.  I definitely recommend the Spicy Beef Bibimbap.

That’s it until next week!  Have a great weekend!