Thursday, January 31, 2008

da bears

I meant to post quickly about the Bruins game we went to see on Tuesday night. Bethany, Tara, & I got tickets for the team's Go Red Awareness Night, which meant that $5 out of each of our tickets went to the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign. So, the 3 of us ladies decided to hit the Garden & do our part, while enjoying one of our favorite sports! :)

Here we are, just pre-faceoff:

And here's a shot of the ice from our seats, which indicates our nosebleed status. (Not to say we didn't enjoy it! We had a blast.)

We ate overpriced pizza & delicious ice cream, saw some good fights, and Boston won that game against the Nashville Predators.

Go Bruins! xo

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

pumpkin cupcakes

Yesterday Bethany, Tara, and I baked some fabulous pumpkin cupcakes - just for the hell of it!

Don't they look yummy? The recipe was from Crazy About Cupcakes (Krystina Castella), and we added a cream cheese frosting that was made like so:

recipe for cream cheese frosting:
one 8 oz package of cream cheese
6 tablespoons of butter (room temp)
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 teasp vanilla extract

cream cream cheese and butter. sift in confct. sugar. add vanilla.

(Thanks for the recipes, Bethany!)

Totally worth making. They are very moist and très délicieux. xo

just stuff

I wrote this yesterday, but totally failed to post it. Whoops!

Not much going on with me these days...yesterday, I finally saw Juno, which I just loved. I'm a big fan of Michael Cera, even despite the abysmally disappointing Superbad. Although he always plays the same character (a kind of innocent, confused, sweet boy), I invaraibly adore his portrayals. I did find myself crying at the hospital scene at the end; it's been a long time since I've cried at a movie. I think I'll definitely be adding Juno to my list of favorites.

Otherwise, I am just busy with work & a ton of knitting projects (scarves, hats, fingerless gloves, baby blankets, etc.), most of them commissions. I think I'll make sure to dedicate some of this year to knitting for myself, though. I also am really trying not to buy a lot more yarn (I did so well with Knit From Your Stash 2007, in that I didn't buy anything for myself...but I bought a TON of yarn for making presents for other people!), but yeah...yesterday I placed an order at Knit Picks. Oh, well - at least I'll finally get to try out their Harmony needles! :)

I hope everyone has a lovely week. Mine will be busy, but hopefully very good. xo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Middlesex
AUTHOR: Jeffrey Eugenides

Friday, January 18, 2008

jet lag

I know I wasn't even in Austin that long, but I still feel like I'm an hour off with everything. Last night, I couldn't sleep because it felt too early to be going to bed. This morning, I got to work about an hour later than I usually do, although that was due to a combination of factors. First, Dan had to go to work so that woke me up, and I wanted to try to sleep a little more once he was gone, but I was all jittery and couldn't. Then, all of a sudden, it was the complete opposite: I was exhausted, and unable to stay awake no matter how many times I pressed snooze. In my half-asleep (and confused-by-weird-dreams) stupor, I figured that was okay, because I'd just work from home for the day. Unfortunately, at around 8 o'clock, I remembered that my team had started scheduling a Friday meeting - and I didn't have phone forwarding or anything set up! So I scrambled to get into work (it was really interesting seeing the kind of people who are on the train at that time of day), and made it with about 1/2 hour to spare...only to find out that the meeting had been cancelled! Haha. Oh, well. No big deal; it's not like I had any real reason to be one place or the other. But it's just my luck that that would happen...not to mention that I actually felt like I was having a good hair day...and that definitely got ruined by the indecisive rain (not light but not heavy) on the way to & from the train. Thanks, karma!

/me shakes her fist

I wonder what I did to deserve this. (Haha, yeah, I've been watching way too much My Name Is Earl lately....) xo

Monday, January 14, 2008

more on Austin

I realized I didn't really explain to anyone what's going on, and why I'm in Austin. Some of you already know, since I've told you the news in person, but not everyone, so: I have been moved to another team in my company. Actually, the team I had originally interviewed/been hired to work for. Unfortunately, between the time that I was hired and the time that I started (that was a couple months, due to the need to complete some work for my old company), I was reassigned to help out with a team that had a big workload. But I've since been reassigned again, yay! I am truly excited for this new work...I just hope I can manage it! It'll be in C++, which I'm very, very rusty in, but which I definitely prefer over Java. And from what I learned today, it looks like very interesting work! My team is great so far. I am still learning a LOT, so I can't say how well it's going to go at this point, but things are looking good at the moment. For the week, I'm down here training - learning the product and the system I'll be using for development, etc. Luckily, I've got an excellent (and patient) teacher. We'll see how things go - I'll update more from down here (but maybe not much more about work, unless something big happens), but for now, I have to go check on a build.

Also, sorry I was not posting at all & now I'm posting like mad! I think part of it is that I feel completely disconnected, being down here without anyone I know (Rodrigo, I miss you!). I guess it's just nice to have somewhere to get all my thoughts down...because, while I could talk to Towel Bunny, he's unfortunately not very responsive, heh.

Have a good evening, everyone! I'm going to go enjoy the last few minutes of the warm day. xo


Okay, watching the news always makes me want to keep up a running commentary, but I promise this'll be the last post for now - I have to get ready for work.

Is it weird that I am kind of disappointed that I missed out on the No Pants Subway Ride? I had heard about it recently, but I didn't realize it would be happening while I was away.

Mostly, I am disappointed not to have been around to see the reactions of certain people. Since I would have felt "in" on the joke, it would have been hilarious to see the reaction of those who were taken by surprise! Haha.

Okay, for real, I do have to go get ready for work now. Eep. xo

watch instantly

So, I just saw them mention on CNN that Netflix was offering a new feature where you could choose to watch streaming video of some of their catalog, instead of waiting for the actual DVD to arrive in the mail, as per usual.

Uhm...I've had that feature for over a year now. Hasn't everyone??

Sunday, January 13, 2008

the domain

So, I never did end up napping. Ava, the awesome administrative assistant down here in Austin (who had me call her when I got in, to make sure I made it okay - she was looking out for a fellow woman traveling alone, which was so sweet of her), convinced me that I should get out. I had kind of thought I should, too, but I was kind of overwhelmed, not knowing the area, and the places I was interested in possibly visiting (the sculpture garden & O Henry's house) were much too far away. (They would have been easier to visit last time I was here, when we stayed in the hostel down by The Lake. This time I'm much further north.)

In any case, she told me of a very classy outdoor mall-type thingy called The Domain, where I could wander around outdoors (and enjoy the beautiful weather!) and keep myself occupied/see a bit more of Austin. So I hopped in a cab and headed over. It is a very pretty - but very high-class - area. I felt like I was dressed too scrubby for it, but otherwise, it was a really pleasant afternoon. I stopped in some familiar stores, since most there were chains, but I mostly stuck to places I'd never heard of. (They may have been chains, but at least they weren't ones you can find up North.) I picked up a pair of earrings, a cute bag, and a birthday card for a friend, but mostly just enjoyed sitting in the sunshine and people-watching. When it started getting dark (and I started getting hungry), I stopped at this awesome (and totally local!) tea shop for one of the most delicious roasted vegetable sandwiches I have ever had (I think it was the butternut squash, caramelized onions, and goat cheese in it that really kicked it up a notch). I finished off my evening out with a pot of chocolate-banana-flavored rooibos tea. Sooo delicious!

I think that might have been the first sit-down meal that I've ever eaten on my own, and totally intentionally. I tend to worry about how it'll look to other people, to be seen eating alone. But I really didn't mind it at all, once I was actually doing it. I was seated at a window so I got to watch the goings-on outside, as well as get part of a letter written, and some of my book read. It was really pleasant, and the waitresses were so nice. We chatted about books and other such things. I do have to say, I find Austin people much more inclined to strike up a conversation than us cold Bostonians! I made friends (meaning, had somewhat lengthy conversations with) with two taxi drivers, the front desk guy (always someone you want on your side!), this guy who worked at White House Black Market, and the waitress at The Steeping Room. But even beyond that, I had small conversations with a lot of the people who worked in the various places I stopped. The guy at the coffee shop told me he liked my bag, and we discussed that. The woman at the bookstore told me she was afraid of sock monkeys, and we discussed that. I really like how much more friendly & open these Texans truly seem to be. Maybe part of it is the warm weather, though. I'm much less likely to linger anywhere when I am freezing, or in a cranky mood from being wet & cold from crappy winter weather! Haha.

Well, I am going to go get ready for bed...I definitely need to get some rest before my Big First Day tomorrow. Oh gosh, I'm absolutely terrified.

I just hope I can keep up. xo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Poisonwood Bible
AUTHOR: Barbara Kingsolver

from Boston to Austin (again)

Just checking in from sunny Austin, TX! I flew out of Boston at 8:50 this morning, and just arrived a little while ago at the Marriott here. The plane ride went pretty uneventfully (although I did get my bag inspected by security! I had ziplock-bagged my "liquids", but I hadn't removed them from my carry-on - there was no signage telling me to do so - and so they had to manually inspect my bag - good thing I had arrived my usual way-too-early - I almost boarded a flight to California because I got there when the plane before mine was still at the gate). I watched Zoolander & knitted & read a bit, and tried to nap, although that is never easy to do in-flight.

Anyway, so here I am in my cute little hotel room...well, not so very little; I guess I got upgraded to a king suite, or something like that. Nice, right? Here's a shot of my towel-bunny (I'm pretty sure that's a rabbit...right?)

and of my room (the glare couldn't be helped; I tried to close the blinds but then of course the room was plunged into total darkness!).

I'll check back in another time if I get bored enough here; for now, I think I need to go take a nap (I didn't sleep much last night, between dinner & a movie & then packing). Then maybe I'll see what I can do about exploring Austin...although I might get too lazy for that. I'll have to look into the bus system, see what the deal is.

Hope everyone's doing well - especially those of you in the Northeast who are expecting a snowstorm! Not too disappointed I'll miss that one. :) xo