Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can I get a side of *gulp* with that?!

My quandry. The coffee at work sucks. It's just plain bad. We have one of those "pod" coffeemakers with foul, weak coffee. In order not to offend my new co-workers, I smiled and made a cup each day. The problem is that I go to the gym almost every morning and can't enjoy my enamel-eating strong coffee at the apartment. And I like it strong.

So, I tried the following:

a) Various gas station coffees
b) The French press at work. Disaster.
c) Tea
.... and the lowest of the low ---
d) McDonalds

So, I'm wondering how offensive it would be to buy a 4-cup coffeepot and brew my own. Of course, anyone else can use it as well. The problem is, it's a bit insulting and also there's not a ton of room in the kitchen for a device.

I wouldn't mind frequenting a local cafe, but they don't have drive-thrus and it can get a bit expensive. I would love to support local business by buying yummy coffee at the farmer's market each week. Who knew my caffeine addiction would become so consuming?

And today, I got a bit of a surprise at work. Here you go, Rachel. Five new universities!!!! Knock yourself out! I'm already feeling like a stressball.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We'll always have Guild Hall.

I'm afraid to look at the news. They say that deaths come in threes.

Carly and I are both mourning Paul Newman. Last night Ken and I rented "Cool Hand Luke" in his honor and might have shed a tear or two over our Newman Salad Dressing.

Even more disturbing is the suicide death from earlier in the month of David Foster Wallace, author of "Infinite Jest," which if you'll remember from Okinawa, got me through many a long day at school and pretty much changed my standards for what a book should be. Complex. Confusing, Rewarding. RIP, DFW.

Not ones to sit around and sulk, Ken and I have made the most of our weekend. After a stint at the gym yesterday morning, we made our weekly journey to the farmer's market, stopping en route at a coffee shop/diner. Full of smokers, a short-order cook named Ann who has owned the place for 42 years, and some delicious hot cakes, it was a nice morning. The farmer's market was disappointing because the Yoders apparently aren't there any more with their chicken salad.

In a search for all of the other Yoders of the world, Ken and I drove to Shipshewana where we enjoyed a picnic lunch with Amish children playing and horses making horsey-noises. After some shopping and a stop at Yoders market, we headed home, but not before pie and coffee at some Dutch village along the way.

And the weekend isn't over. Today we're heading to Chicago for the make-up game for the White Sox. I'm not going to get into their playing the last week. It's too painful, too soon.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thank YOU, Brooke!

Funniest thing I have read in years----

[Click View Document for better reading]

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Update: The rain kept coming all afternoon and by the time Ken and I got home, this was the scene that awaited us. It was madness! Cars were in danger of being flooded, cars were pushing their luck driving through the river that used to be the road, there were newspeople here for footage. Things are looking a bit better now and the parking lot has subsided, but the first floor residents next door were putting their furniture on the (wet) lawn.

Who built the ark? Noah, Noah.

We're getting ready to head to the South Bend zoo to start grabbing animals two-by-two. The weekend has literally been a washout.

Ken and I left the area on Friday afternoon to meet Josh and Laura for the White Sox game. Despite the lingering rain, we thought they might play. We got there, ate some hot dogs in the parking lot and paid a kidney for parking, went in the park, grabbed some beers, stood around, stood around, stood around... then they cancelled the game without even trying to play. We got some green 1/2 St. Patty's Day hats, but it was pretty disappointing. We roamed the Southside for a bit to find a bar, but the rain and the umm..neighborhood were both discouraging, so we headed home.

Yesterday we headed to the gym and then the farmers market. This weeks purchases included 1/2 pound of coffee, a tomato, green beans, broccoli, chicken salad, croissants, Amish butter, mozzarella cheese, carrots... It was great! I think this will be a regular weekend event. We spent the rest of the day watching movies and avoiding the rain before heading back to Fiddler's Hearth for some more cider/Guinness and live Irish music. The crowds weren't too bad despite the fact that 100,000 people had piled in to see the game earlier in the day.

Today is yet ANOTHER rainy day and we're cleaning, drinking coffee, and heading to Buffalo Wild Wings in a bit to watch the big Packers game. And we might breakdown and get cable this week so we don't have to eat out everytime we want to watch some sporting event...

Work has been crazybusy. We have lots of study abroad fairs going on throughout the nation and we are getting phone call after phone call, email after email, and I'm revamping our website (which is one of my responsibilities) and I'm sending out USYD application and doing some accounting stuff... And we're missing a few people everyday out of the office because of the fairs. It's madness, but I really like it. I love chatting with the students (most of them). They are so excitable and it's fun to know that they're going to be leaving for a life-changing semester in just a few months. I do miss my old co-workers, but daily emails back and forth helps a bit.

Here's our urn filling with water... What a lovely weekend.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Becoming locals---

This weekend was our first weekend staying home in Indiana. And our first without cable. (We're still holding out...)

On Friday night, we spent the evening watching a movie and grabbing some coffee. Things weren't looking too promising for an exciting weekend. On Saturday, I took part in a TurboKick class (with 5 people instead of 2 of us) and then Ken and I headed to the local farmer's market. To say we were impressed would be a serious understatement. We walked away with peaches aplenty, chicken salad and Polish rolls for lunch, a glorious onion, freshly ground coffee, and plans to be back next weekend. Our lunch was delicious... and then we had the whole rest of the day to fill. It was a beautiful day so we headed west and then north. Michigan was calling and we drove a bit up the lakeshore, stopping at a toy train store and we took a turn on the slowest go-karts ever allowed to circle a track. A sign for wineries led us into "Wine Country" and after a stop at Tabor Hill for a tasting and a glass of riesling with some rowdy bachelorettes, we headed to the Round Barn winery for margherita pizza and more riesling. I wasn't in any condition to drive and happy for that! We made our way back to South Bend, successfully avoiding Notre Dame traffic, had a delicious dinner, and then it was time for some Celtic music and some cider at the Fiddler's Hearth downtown. By the time we turned in, we were exhausted and happy with the effort.

Today, Ken headed home to go see the Avett Brothers perform again in Champaign. Since I'm working tomorrow, I needed to occupy another long day. I went to spinning class where I wanted to die for 45 minutes and then felt like going to buy a trophy after finishing. Then I sat while our refrigerator was fixed, made lunch, and headed out for shopping. Some clearance shoes and a sweater, one pumpkin spice latte, and six hours later, I'm back. Thankfully, I have a season of Desperate Housewives and The Office and a movie to get me through the night.

It was a pretty excellent weekend, all things considered. I think I can get used to this. My only complaints about our new home revolve around the radio stations (I hear En Vogue and Mony Mony on every drive) and the tremendously horrible roads/displays of driving. The job is going really well so far. My co-workers are much tamer than in Chicago but I'm so busy each day that I don't even have time to notice that no one is socializing or slapping each other or throwing things at each other. (Yep, our office was pretty laidback.) I spend my days doing a plethora of things, including doing website work, writing and designing makeshift brochures for new programs, talking to students, sending emails to students, packing boxes for college fairs, buying and setting up scanners, processing credit card charges, etc. I never know what will be on my plate next, but I know there's good wine around to go with it.