Monday, July 31, 2006


The day I've been waiting for, the last day of class. Last night was it and now I have a nice break until after Labor Day. I was almost weak when it came time to do the evaluation, but I stuck to my guns. Tuesday night's class was exactly the way all of the other classes should have been - the instructor taught for awhile and then we had lab time to work on projects that were due. If only the rest of the class had been that way, it would have been a much better class, even at the beginner level. Now I'm just waiting for my final grade, which should be available online sometime next week.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mark Your Calendars

The season premiere of Grey's Anatomy is Thursday, Sept. 21 at 9pm (which is much better for me, personally, than Sundays at 10pm).

Fame is Fleeting...

...when you're an Oscar-nominated child star who drives a '95 Saturn.

Friday, July 14, 2006


That's the only word I can use to describe my second summer class. As good as the first one was, the second one is bad. First, I'm stuck in the beginner's class because of some bad advice from my advisor (the beginner and advanced classes are both held at the same time and are supposed to swap students on the first night regardless of which one you registered for, but both classes were so overbooked that there wasn't room to switch). And is some ways, it's even a pre-beginner's class. I knew I was in trouble on the first night when the instructor asked, "How do we maximize a window in Explorer?" And then a girl sitting behind me asked the instructor to define the word "telecommunications." Huh?

This week, we spent two hours on Tuesday and another hour last night on Word. Word! Even though the project due next Tuesday has to be in PowerPoint. But that's typical of the class as a whole. It's very unorganized and the syllabus is completely confusing in the way that it's written. What's more frustrating is that the people who don't know what they're doing don't listen and end up asking questions that the instructor just answered.

My mantra right now is, "Four more sessions, four more sessions." But the sad thing is that I'm paying for this class.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Car Trouble

All of our vehicles have been cursed as of late. We've spent a fortune on them in the past month or so. First off, the Neon died at the beginning of June. This is the car M. drives back and forth to work. We knew it was coming eventually and can't really complain. It was a '97 with over 200,000 miles on it, so we got our money's worth. So for two weeks, he drove the truck to work. The first week, he spent $170 on gas; the second week, $190. We had to stop the bleeding, so on Sat., June 24 we went and bought a Chevy Cobalt. We hadn't planned on buying a new car, but we got a really good deal on it and it won't be something we have to sink a lot of money into. And we specifically bought an American car because we haven't been that happy with the Kia.

June is also the month we have to renew our tags and get all of the vehicles inspected, not a cheap investment in PA. The van passed no problem, then we dropped off the truck for inspection and to replace the spare tire. It also passed, but when we went to pick it up, it wouldn't start. It wasn't the battery, it was the starter. Well, M's truck is a 2004 and surely that's covered under the warranty. The warranty to the truck is a measly 3 years/36,000 miles. Guess how many miles M. has on the truck? Guess! 36,433! Can you believe it?! No wonder people don't want to buy American cars anymore and so much for us going back to Chevy. $400 later, it's fixed. My dad thinks I should still call Chevy and see if I can work a deal with them to pay half or something.

In the meantime, the van has been acting kooky. Last Friday, I had to run into the doctor's office. When I came back out, the gas gauge was on E and the gas light was on. I knew I had atleast a half a tank of gas left and was only at 169 miles, when I usually get 300 out of a tank. But I went and filled it up anyway. I only put 12 gallons in to fill it and the light went off and the gauge went back to normal. Now I'm waiting to see if it does it again when I get back down to a half a tank. And to top it all off, on Saturday, as Big H and I were driving up to the mall, we got a flat tire. Yes, another flat tire. And of course, we were in a construction zone. If we had driven another 25 yards or so, there wouldn't have been any place to pull over and the shoulder we were on was already very narrow. I called AAA (my cell phone that I've had for 5+ years paid for itself just with that one phone call) and while we were waiting for them to come, a very nice man and his son stopped to help us. I told him he didn't have to change the tire because AAA was on the way, but he changed it anyway, which was incredibly nice. I tried to give him a twenty, but he wouldn't take it. I am extremely grateful!

So now I'm hoping we can make it through this week without spending any money on our cars except on gas!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Various and Sundry Items

An excellent long 4th of July weekend! I started it off by going to bed at 9:30pm on Friday night (after an exhausting day of work, a doctor's appointment and entertaining the exterminator). Big H stayed up later than I did. But don't worry, it gets more exciting from there. I spent Saturday morning cleaning. That's right, cleaning all of the bathrooms! But then Big H and I left to go to my parents' house. She spent the day with them at a 4th of July cookout and watched fireworks for the first time while I went out to dinner with Na and Wendy for Na's birthday, where we had a very relaxing and enjoyable evening. I ate so much that I struggled to stay awake to watch the end of the NASCAR race, but did not make it. But those two nights of going to bed early gave me lots of energy for the rest of the weekend.

We went to Aunt J & T's marina on Sunday for a family 4th of July celebration. I spent most of the day in the pool with Big H, who is still a little fish when she's in the water. She did great with the water wings, so I might not have to worry about the other swimming inner tube that exploded and not being able to find another one since Walmart has all of the school supplies out already.

On Monday, we did a family togetherness thing, just the three of us. M., Big H and I went to the Hershey Gardens. I had never been there before and was very impressed. But then again, Hershey is like Disney - they usually know how to do things right. There is a children's garden area with a Butterfly House. Big H was much better behaved than she was at the butterfly house in Niagara Falls two summers ago when she was too rough with the butterflies. We also went to see the Big Bugs exhibit - giant bug sculptures made out of natural materials, which was very cool and Big H really seemed to enjoy it, since she loves all things bugs. The only downside was the weather. We went early to try and beat the heat, but by quarter to twelve, we had had enough and headed off to lunch at Applebees.

Tuesday was more cleaning and playing with Big H. We finally went to get her inflatable pool out of the shed, but alas, a mouse had taken up residence in it for the summer and it was unusable. She was devasted, but we promised to get her a new one this week. We finished the fun weekend with hamburgers on the grill and local fireworks.

Back to real life this week. School starts again on Thursday. Our Monday/Friday summer babysitter is on vacation, so we're using a back-up, but I think that will go smoothly. My doctor's appt. on Friday was fine. I gained two and a half pounds in June and my blood pressure is looking good. We made the appt. for our ultrasound on July 27, so hopefully we'll find out the sex then. Just in time for vacation and lots of shopping!