Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Five things

Yep, I've been tagged. It's been a bit of a crazy week, so I'm a little late in the game to actually post my five things. For those non housebloggers out there that read the blog (are there non housebloggers who read the blog?), five things is something that is going around all the houseblogs. One houseblogger lists five things that others might not know about them, then tags five more housebloggers to tell five things. I was tagged by Jocelyn over at Chicago 2-Flat. (a great houseblog to check out, if you haven't already. Chicago 2-Flat was the first blog that I read (that Glenn actually pointed out to me) and the rest is history).

Anyway, my five things:

1. I have a bird phobia. I discovered this initially when I was in London during high school. (it's the nasty rodents with wings, pigeons, that really upset me). The ironic thing is birds seem to gravitate towards me as a result. When I was 5 one flew down the chimney flue. One flew into my house in high school. And now, we have a bird condo thing going on our back porch (not intentionally!). It's party central back there. With no exaggeration, there will be at least 10 birds hanging out at any given time. (until i furiously bang on the wall) .
It's also a real popular place to nest. (for those who think "oh, how cute" nesting over a staircase is pretty inconvenient). This is where we take our trash out. When birds are learning to fly, they need to take huge breathers on the stairs-that really complicates things.

2. I was an election lawyer in Wisconsin for the last presidential election. (oh, and with that, I'm also a lawyer). I went up that way to insure that all individuals legally entitled to vote were allowed to vote. (Wisconsin has some really open election laws allowing residents to register the day of). It was an extremely long day which was also sort of invigorating. (nothing like insuring that constitutional rights are protected). I furiously had to argue at the end of the night that some ballots be counted (including appealing to the head election judge of the State). Sort of funny because the one ballot I argued vociferously for was for the other guy. Oh, well. I'd like to be involved with cleaning up Chicago politics but don't know where to begin.

3. I walked down the red carpet at the Grammy's and fans screamed my name. They screamed Christina, to be exact. No, not actually screaming for me, but Christina Aguilera, who chose the same time to walk in. It was the first Latin Grammy awards. I won an all expense paid trip to go to the show in Los Angeles from a contest at a Latin club in downtown Chicago. My number was called, and I was promptly interviewed on a Spanish radio station. (I don't speak Spanish). The station was obviously upset that I won, but rules are rules-and they couldn't exactly discriminate against me. All and all the trip was fun-and really, how many others have people screaming their name when they walk down a red carpet.

4. I can make gourmet meals, but have a lot of problems with pancakes. (though supposedly I'm improving). We make some pretty good meals around here when we have a chance. (ie. Christmas Eve we had herb roasted beef tenderloin, cauliflower soup, scalloped potatoes, broccoli puree, homemade rolls and 8 kinds of Christmas cookies, all made from scratch, and perfectly timed so everything was served hot.) Now pancakes, made from a mix, I can't pour on and flip without some disastorous results. Case in point- the last pancake I made:

5. As Glenn says, my family is a banyon tree and his family tree is actually more like a small shrub. This created a fair amount of stress when we planned the wedding. See, Glenn's total family, cousins, aunts/uncles, not including himself or me, is 9 people. My mom, on the other hand, is one of nine. Glenn really wanted a small wedding-he suggested 50 (and I explained that would mean that he wouldn't be able to invite anyone). We settled on 100. It was agonizing to decide on my side that certain second cousins would not be invited. There was just a lot of stress around that (and really, Glenn wasn't the problem).
I'm going to have to get back to you about who to tag (and requests?) At this stage, I'm not quite sure who was missed...


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The importance of having a camera

Our camera finally arrived and we are back in blogging/photo taking business. No fears about wasting time getting to use it. Arrived last night, played around with it, and this morning, we had the first great photo. What might spark my interest so quickly? transformations around the house? Cute pets? a neat piece of woodwork or other house feature?

Well, of course not! A burglar stealing my neighbors door. I noticed a guy head into my neighbors garage who clearly did not belong. (ie. it wasn't my neighbor). So, I called 911 and took a photo. Got a photo of the burglar leaving the garage with the door. At this point, I've been interviewed a whole bunch of times. The original police officers were practically giddy that I had a photo of the perpetrator in action. Now, I have to wait for a line-up.

The burglar apparently has been convicted 5 times for burglary before. I wonder if this is the guy that stole our air compressor.

Anyway, so keep your camera handy--you never know what you might catch.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Where we stand

We're still ticking around but our free time has largely surrounded getting a new computer for me (after the laptop screen died) and a new camera (after my father-in-law dropped ours in a bioluminescent lagoon in Puerto Rico). I'm happy to report that our new desktop arrived last night and once we transfer the info from my sick laptop to the new one, we'll be back in computing business at home. My laptop is a relative antique in computing terms (circa 2001) so it will be a transition to a brand spanking new one. The first big decision after arriving is what on earth to name the thing. I didn't know you had to do that these days.

Now, the camera pursuit has been a whole other matter. We just tried to replace our nikon and ordered sight unseen promptly upon our return. (we need photos!) This week, the camera arrived and shocked us by not including a view finder. We didn't realize that we had to request this. Our last camera was only a year old, and it had a view finder. How are you supposed to take pictures on a sunny day without a view finder? So, back the camera went, and on to the next one-a Canon, which we are anxiously awaiting.

Once all the technology is set, we will move on to making some repairs in the rental and getting that back on the market. Both an exciting and nervewracking juncture. We'll be excited to get the rent, but less excited in sharing our house.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bioluminescent lagoon, laptop lifespan, our new challenges

We've just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico to celebrate Glenn's parents' 50th wedding anniversary. Even if we were going to blog while we were away, the Internet was very hard to come by. Glenn actually really needed it for his real work, but nothing could be found. Then, we found in our guidebook a warning that looking for the Internet could be "quite frustrating."

Anyway, I digress. The trip did spur two things that could make blogging a bit more difficult. First, our digital camera met a pretty serious fate. One night (this past Saturday, to be exact), my father-in-law, a photographer, was getting ready to take his expensive camera on a kayak to this bioluminescent lagoon. Glenn and I (actually, I think Glenn may have been the one who was the most vociferous) begged him not to risk it but to use our cheap little camera instead. After some persuading, my father-in-law agreed. Well, fast forward to the end of the trip, and my father in law tells me that I'm being quite forgiving about the camera. Which, of course, I don't believe. But then, they tell me that in a freak kayaking accident his kayak was rammed, and out went our camera into the water.

We have to get on getting a new camera real soon. What kind of blog doesn't have pictures?

[as an aside, my father-in-law then lent us his pocket camera and his camera case met a similar disastorous fate. (camera is fine-I still need to return it though after I find a case to replace it with)]

In other blog related news, first thing this morning I turned on my laptop to find that the screen died. I'm now using another screen hooked up to my laptop but this will pose new challenges to the blog. No fear...now that we are in 2007 I'll try to get back to my 2006 pace.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful new year!

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