Friday, May 30, 2008

Duggar Family Update

I know you all rely on me for Duggar Family news. Sorry I missed the boat on their most recent announcement.

It should come as no surprise that the news involves another pregnancy. Yup, Michelle Duggar is expecting her 18th child next January, as announced on the Today Show on May 9th. Given that the other 17 children's names all start with J, let's put some guesses up here for the possible 18th name and see if we get it. Feel free to vote or add another. I'm not sophisticated enough to add a real voting gadget like Sara.

  1. Jamie
  2. Jane
  3. Jacqueline
  4. Jocelyn
  5. Judith
  1. Jacob
  2. Jared
  3. Joel
  4. Jonathan
  5. Julian
*Edited to add current Duggar children per request:
Joshua, Jana & John-David (twins), Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah & Jeremiah (twins), Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, and Jennifer

*Further edited to respond to comment: I will take the trouble to add a proper poll gadget when someone else takes the trouble to post a photo.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Part IV (?) in the Things-That-Annoy-Me Series: Full Episodes vs.

Full disclosure: I'm endorsing

As boring as this topic may be for some of you, I had to post this as a public service announcement.
I must implore you, that you if you are waffling between watching an NBC show or an ABC show online, go with the latter!

Here's the background. For about a year, I've had an odd obsession with ABC's Ugly Betty. It's very strange considering just how few shows I care about. But the kicker was that it airs Thursday nights, which many of you know is stitch-n-bitch night. So, since this is 2008 and I don't tape TV shows anymore, my only other option was to watch episodes on the abc website. When I first discovered this, I was ecstatic! And I think that for a long time, it was the only network providing full episodes for free on its site. For much of the last year, you could only watch the most recent 4 episodes, but that didn't bother me since I always prioritized watching the newest episode as soon as the weekend started.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I was discussing The Office with a coworker. I lamented that this was also a show I was never able to see 'live' because of the Thursday night thing. But since it's an NBC sitcom, I pretty much had to write off the new seasons and just watch whichever seasons are available on netflix. But my coworker piped up that you can now watch full episodes on! That news was seriously the highlight of my week.


I was extremely disappointed in nbc's execution of this wonderful service. I don't want to sound like I'm ungrateful, but we're talking about NBC - they have the resources to provide a quality product! Especially given that ABC has pretty much done it better already - how can NBC not rise to this challenge?

Allow me to elaborate (I know, how can this get any more boring)...
Here are my issues with's full episode service. (get ready for another list)
  1. The commercials they play throughout the episode are SO LOUD! I know they do this when it's broadcast on TV, but to carry that over to my computer? So uncool. I hates it. We usually connect the laptop to the TV so we can both watch comfortably. Then when the commercial comes on a few decibels higher, we get to race each other for either the TV remote or the laptop's mute button. This is lame.
  2. I also think that NBC plays more commercials per episode than ABC. This wouldn't be that bad except for problem #1 (see above).
  3. Since we connect the laptop to the TV, I usually set the computer to project 2 screens: 1 for me so I can continue to work and 1 for the TV so we can watch the show. This works great with Betty. However, the problem with is that whatever I do on my laptop screen seems to affect the 2nd screen on the TV. What this means is that if i set the episode player on the TV to full-screen, it will stay like that until either 1) they play a commercial (argh) or 2) I try to do something on my laptop screen. Like, press any key or scroll down a website page. As soon as I do that, the TV projection of the episode shrinks back down to a 3" x 4" square. If I had never used, I probably would have assumed this was a problem with my computer or browser. But alas, this is just another example of NBC suckery.
  4. This is a placeholder for another problem that I can't remember at the moment. Believe me, it will be filled.
They're lucky that The Office is so damn good otherwise I wouldn't continue to put myself through the torture that I've just outlined here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An edible list

1. We ate fresh strawberries while weeding at the garden yesterday. These are compliments of OldandBusted and her gardening efforts last year. Her strawberries, rosemary, oregano, thyme (?) and we think even a pea plant survived the winter and the transplanting. Thank you!

2. This morning I threw a little more than half of a pork shoulder into the crock pot along with a bottle of coke and some beef broth. It cooked on low for the next 8-9 hours, then Erich trimmed it up when he got home, threw it back in with a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce and we drooled over the smell for the next 1 hour or so. At 9:30 we sat down to an awesome dinner of pulled pork sandwiches, homemade coleslaw, and a cucumber & tomato salad. I think we are the last of the crock pot owners to discover the wonders of homemade pulled pork. So delicious and easy. And I couldn't even see the fat at the end so I know it must be lowfat ;)

3. Pizza on the grill - sort of. We made a variation of our usual pizza: Boboli crust, pizza sauce, mozzarella, spinach, mushrooms, corn, and fresh oregano. We put it on the pizza pan (the kind with holes) and then onto the grill. We didn't notice a huge change in taste, but the texture of the crust was better. We were afraid it would get too burned if we put it directly onto the grill.

4. Hops. Ok, you can't eat hops. But it goes with the food update because good hops yield good beer which can count as a meal in the right setting. Erich planted 4 types of hops rhizomes and 2 have finally germinated! The Willamette rhizomes are already 6-8 inches tall!!

Monday, May 26, 2008


I was going to write this big long post and end it with some big news. Kind of a reward for those who actually read to the end (I know I can be wordy).
But I also tend to blurt things out. So the big news is that we're moving!
We decided sometime early last week (or rather, I was strong-armed into agreeing with Erich) that we should move. Our main reasons are that we haven't felt totally safe in this neighborhood - it's gotten frustrating not being able to walk home from the metro after 9. And we've felt isolated from the rest of the city (mainly since we can't just walk every where like we did in Adams Morgan). We want to prioritize the neighborhood over square footage, parking, and uh, the budget.

So we viewed a couple of apartments throughout the week and built to a flurry of 4 in one day on Saturday. Oddly enough, in the end we went with the one that we first saw right at the beginning of our search (we saw it a 2nd time on Saturday). As of Saturday afternoon, it was really down to 2 places. And because I like lists, here is the breakdown:

Place #1

  • neighborhood: smack in the middle of Columbia Heights - on top of the metro
  • gym, pool table, roof deck with hammocks and grass
  • balcony
  • brand new; 1st ones to live in it, sweet kitchen
  • safety

  • no parking
  • top top end of our budget
  • unit is pretty small and living room is a little awkward, so we'd have to get rid of some things, including the grill.

Place #2
  • neighborhood: also in Columbia Heights, about 4-5 blocks from the metro
  • tiny outdoor space slightly below ground where we could keep our grill
  • parking included
  • a little more square footage than our old place in Adams Morgan and Place #1
  • 3 yr. old condo, sweet kitchen

  • Basement apartment
  • no roof deck or gym
  • no bars on front door and window, not sure if that's a safety issue
So after an agonizing afternoon of icecream cones and discussion, and another look at Place #1, we decided to put in an application and deposit. We were cleared today, but we actually celebrated on Saturday night with a bottle of wine that friends gave us when we got married :)

Moving day is June 27th - pretty much the same day that the apartment is due to be completed - oh, did I mention that they've only finished floors 1-4? Our floor will be finished up in the next couple of weeks.

We're so excited to live in a more central area, have a gym in the building, and relax on that roof! We're a little less excited about figuring out which furniture we have to get rid of as we downsize by about 200 sq. ft. To that end, we have spent obscene amounts of time playing with Google Sketchup trying to fit our existing furniture into the new apartment's layout. This was more fun than last year since we had already measured and built our furniture for the last apt hunting season. This time around, all we had to do was build a new living room, bedroom, and kitchen floorplan based on the layout they posted on the building's website and add in our furniture models. We've already started a list of things we need to sell or give away - stay tuned.

I'm all typed out - this is the only news this post will be getting. I'll save the lesser news for another post. I bet you're already on the edge of your seat.

The entry is next to the kitchen. And we haven't really sketched the bathroom, but you can sort of see it in the corner between the kitchen and the bedroom.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A case of the Mondays?

This week started out...interesting.

We had been subjected to drenching rains for about 3 days which (for a couple zip codes in the area) resulted in a power outage Monday morning. Our house lost power between 7:21am and 7:29am. I know this because my alarm went off at 7:21 and I immediately reset it for 7:30 (part of my normal routine). But I wasn't awoken at 7:30. Instead I lazily opened my eyes at some point and mused over how long those last 10 minutes had felt. I glanced at the clock. But when I couldn't read it, I assumed it was because I wasn't wearing my glasses. It turns out, the clock was totally off. and it was 7:40. I was pretty lucky I guess that I woke up on my own only 10 min. after I was supposed to.

When I went to take a shower a few minutes later, I discovered just how little natural light our bathroom actually gets. I didn't know this before. So I lit about 6 candles and had a lovely candlelight shower. It almost felt romantic except for the creepy flickering shadows and the fact that I was home alone - I was little freaked out about by the end, seeing flashbacks from Psycho.

The only other event of the morning was when I missed the stop to transfer to my 2nd bus. Luckily I realized it at the next stop, ran out, and was able to catch up with the 2nd bus. Why did this happen? Probably because I was distracted by a particularly scintillating passage of the book I was reading. It was pretty graphic. Yeah. Embarrassing.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy May Day, Sorry April.

Damn, I let a whole month go by. I had been so good about getting a post in by the 28th or 29th day, but I wasn't as lucky this time.
Oh well. This weekend will be full of blog-worthy events so stay tuned: someone I know says goodbye to their 20s, someone else gets married, and a secret surprise on Sunday will hopefully please a brand new 30-yr old.