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Archive for September, 2010

My Examiner.com page is up and running.  I have some work to do to get a bunch of articles on it, though they’re only 300-400 words long so it’s not too labor-intensive.  Check it out here.

This weekend was really fun, my dad and his friend came to visit.  We were all over the city with them:

Liberty Bell

National Mechanics

Throwing pennies on Ben Franklin's grave

We rode bikes on West River Drive, which is closed to cars on Saturdays and Sundays.  The guys came to see us at the haunted house, our first official weekend!

Counting down the days until our vacation… the week before is always the worst– tying up loose ends, getting things prepared and just wanting to be laying on a beach instead!  This time next week I’ll be doing just that, heeheehee!

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Haunt!

Looks like it’s scare o’clock

So begins another season of corralling thousands of people into a haunted prison to have their faces scared off!

 

 Boo!

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The haunted house officially starts this FRIDAY, holy autumn, Batman!  Where did the summer go?  It was a fun summer though– lots of grilling, outdoor activities, friends and family, love and of course bike rides.  Now I’m looking forward to cooler weather (it’s happening already!) and my favorite autumn thing of all: sweaters!  A girl can never have too many.

I just got hired at a website called examiner.com, writing for the Philadelphia version.  I’ll be covering “bicycle transportation” in and around Philadelphia.  I guess I’m qualified since I ride my bike daily and can string sentences together fairly well.  It’s actually a paying gig, which is cool though I know it won’t be anything I can quit my day job over (not that I want to anyway!).  But it will give me a chance to work on my writing skills, do something I enjoy, and possibly lead to something else.

I’m still writing for The Art Blog, too.  Tonight I was able to attend a members-only exhibit walk-through at the Institute of Contemporary Art here in Philly.  My hope was to see the installation process of Mineral Spirits, a two-artist show.  Unfortunately the curator thought it prudent to keep all distractions (me) out of the gallery while the artists worked.  Probably a good thing!  The show looked great, much different than I expected– art really is meant to be seen in person.  Ann Chu, one of the artists, was there and said some interesting things about her work.  As a member of the press (woo!) I was able to take photos during the walk-through.  I’ll post some here once I take a look at them.

Until then… here is our fat cat who failed to chase a wayward mouse out of our apartment last night.  Patrick had to scoop it up in a dustpan while the cat stood guard in the next room.  I’m sure he was just acting as backup in case things got out of hand/paw 😉

Large and not really in charge

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Now that Patrick and I have put one whole year of marriage under our belts we must stay extra vigilant that we do not fall into the common pitfalls of marriage (according to the oh-so-wise MSN Relationships).  I compare the comfy pit of repetition many couples fall into to Patrick’s intense love of pancakes.  The man loves his pancakes, so much so that we eat them pretty much every weekend without fail.  Before marrying me Patrick really only ever had plain old pancakes, and he liked them that way.  Then I introduced him to delicious additions like chocolate chips, blueberries, bananas and walnuts.  Our weekends were revolutionized!  Now we enjoy many flavors of pancakes, sometimes even going back to “regular” for variety.  Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with plain pancakes, in fact I will probably fight you if you do say that.  What I’m saying is you must have some variety in pancakes and in relationships. 

We’ve been together as a couple (couple of weirdos, that is!) for over 6 years now and roommates for 4 of those years.  So you can imagine it’s not just the pancakes that can get old. Sometimes I miss that “first date” feeling– eagerly anticipating it all week, getting dressed up super cute, having someone else pick up the tab and just feeling special.  We always go out for special occasions but we also like treating each other to an occasional surprise– enter the Everyday Date.

The Everyday Date is often spontaneous– like stopping for ice cream while running errands:

yum!

The Everyday Date is usually somewhere new, so it doesn’t feel like old hat.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact it could be free!  But it does have to be something that one person thinks up and executes for themself and their partner… you know, like a date!  Sometimes an Everyday Date happens without you even planning it, like realizing when you meet up for lunch that you could both use a tasty dessert before returning to the daily grind– voila, an Everyday Date!  It’s that little bit of zip that keeps things interesting, helps you connect, gives you a memory to share and reminds you that dating doesn’t end when you get married– you just get a much, much smaller pool of prospective suitors (or as Pat likes to say, usually when doing something really bizarre, “I’m the only game in town, babe!”)

Go forth and enjoy your Everyday Date!

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We went to our friend James’ house again this weekend, except this time we rode out in a car instead of on our bikes.  Probably a good thing too because Pat accidentally clipped my rear wheel the other day and is now awaiting a wheel true-ing appointment this Wednesday.  Accidents happen! 

Of course we had a bonfire and of course the boys had to challenge each other to jump over it… Pat’s mustache is lucky to have made it out unscathed. 

tweedly dee

James drove us all to Iron Hill Brewery so he could watch his beloved Spartans battle it out (GO BLUE, by the way).  Everyone enjoyed some delicious beers, all brewed on the premises.  Plus the most humongous plate of nachos I’ve seen lately:

Pat could have eaten this all himself I'm sure

The last time we visited James we left them working on The Egg.  Apparently they got really far and then it sadly collapsed.  James’ boss decided to have a mason create a mostly cement center and then put stones around the outside.  It looks good and sturdy but it’s not as organic as the original idea.

Contemplating the egg

Then we headed back to Philly, had pizza on the grill and watched Date Night (kind of funny, kind of not).  I can’t believe it is only TWO WEEKS UNTIL HAWAII!!

no petting zoo for me!

The Woman Who Stares at Goats

goooooal!

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I ripped this off from a Racheal Ray recipe, yum-o!  I would say chocolate in all its forms has great power over me but nothing holds me in its grips tighter than a delicious no-bake cookie.  That’s why I was actually a little scared when I found this recipe.  It is basically a deconstructed no-bake cookie that has been reconstructed into some miraculous no-bake, peanut butter fudge layered bar of heavenly delight.  Would I have the will power to give half of the batch to my sister-in-law like I promised myself?  Would I be able to stop “testing” the batter before there was too little for the pan? 

Don't leave me alone with these!

Let’s just say I plead the fifth… fifth helping, that is!  Ha, okay here is the recipe I modified slightly from this one here:

Ultimate No-Bake Cookie Peanut Butter Fudge Bar

  • 6oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 16 oz creamy peanut butter
  • 1.5 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Line a 9″x9″ baking pan with wax paper so it overlaps the edges

2. In a medium saucepan melt half the chocolate and 1 tbsp butter over low heat.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup peanut butter and 1 cup oatmeal.  Spread into the prepared pan; refrigerate about 15 minutes, or until firmed.

3. Clean out the saucepan and melt the rest of the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and stir in the remaining peanut butter and confectioners sugar.  Spread half of this mixture over the first layer.  Top with 1/2 cup oatmeal, pressing it down slightly into the warm fudge.

4. Melt the remaining chocolate and stir into the remaining peanut butter mixture.  Spread over the oatmeal layer, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.  Refrigerate until set, 45 minutes but much better over night.  Pull out by wax paper and cut into squares. 

5. Try to forget about those 2 sticks of butter in there.

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Well it’s finally happened: the Red Ring of Death has cast its crimson shadow upon Pat’s entertainment center.  The XBox had been acting up for a few days and something about the number of steps Pat had to go through on the “diagnostics” page of Microsoft’s support site told me things weren’t looking up.  It bounced back after a lengthy cool-down session (i.e. no Red Dead for a whole day) but late Thursday night the XBox’s demise was undeniable:

Evil red glow

All is not lost though.  It’s still under warrantee so Pat can send it back for a replacement.  Of course while that happens he will already have the shiny new Halo Reach console, even I have to admit it looks pretty sleek. 

As usual I am annoyed that I have to work on a holiday everyone else gets off.  I shouldn’t be since I am in a business that thrives on vacationers.  But it still seems a little stinky.  However I can console myself with the fact that I will be laying on a Hawaiian beach in a mere 23 days.  Aloha!

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