Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Seattle pics -- Saturday/Sunday

At Hugh and Jenny's gorgeous wedding site -- Kiana Lodge. (And yes, if my outfit looks familiar, it's the same dress from Gena's wedding. Too many weddings this year!)

A sailboat on the water just before the wedding.

Jenny and Hugh look amazing as they listen to a reading during their ceremony.

Jenny and Hugh -- super happy after the ceremony.

Mt. Rainier in the distance from Bainbridge Island, down the road from my mom's house.

Seattle pics - Friday/Saturday morning

Me and my friend Hugh the night before his big day!

Rob rockin' out -- BB Island ferry style.

Rob and my mom in my mom's bountiful garden.

Some of the flowers in my mom's yard.

The Saturday bounty from Mom's garden.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Suburban jury duty

I am very pro-jury duty. But (you knew this was coming) I think if you live in a city, you should not have to travel to the suburbs for jury duty. That's why you live in the city. So you don't have to go anywhere else. I suppose that means I think suburban folks should have to come into the city for jury duty. Hmmm.

I digress. Yes, I have jury duty in the suburbs tomorrow. I can't imagine anyone wants an attorney on their jury. Knock on wood. So hopefully I'll get to head home before rush hour.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Pics

We had a busy weekend. Belated birthday celebration for Rob on Friday (with Ali & Eddie putting together an AMAZING happy hour for us all at their place). More appliance delivery on Saturday. (Dishwasher still not installed. Oy.) Pilates. Catch up lunch with Jeff & Sara post-pilates. U.S. Women's National Team game in Bridgeview on Saturday night. Rob and Eddie golfing on Sunday morning. Cubs game with Tim & Emily on Sunday afternoon. Errands and work before bedtime on Sunday. Whew!

Here's a few quick shots.

Rob and Sara chat on the couch at Ali & Eddie's. (Oops, I wrote Jeff instead of Rob before!)

Eddie (my flash is making him look like he's prematurely graying -- sorry Eddie), Ali, Adolfo, Rob at Cullen's post-birthday dinner at Tango Sur.

Me & Rob at 1:30am.

Post-game on Saturday night just after interviewing the players. (Ok, I only asked one question, but it was a good one.) First live game I've covered in a long time. It was awesome.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dance lessons

I will probably take this post down eventually because, well, I like to live in my own delusional world in which I know how to dance. But our nephew Bryson is so damn cute, that this deserves at least a temporary audience. (Linda, I just know that you in particular are going to love this.)

At Gena's wedding this past weekend, our four-year-old nephew Bryson really wanted to learn some actual dance moves. So he would join me on the dance floor and mimic whatever I was doing. I even named some of the dance moves I was teaching him so Bryson could follow along better. Turns out Bryson's dad, our brother-in-law Gary, took a short video of one of our dance sessions. The first move he captured is "the wiggle" and the last is "the crazy." For obvious reasons.

The song choice is pretty fantastic. As Rob pointed out, Bryson was absolutely the only male on the dance floor. At the end of the video, I'm sending Bryson into the center of the dance circle that had formed on the floor to dance with his great-grandma. Too bad the video doesn't continue! :)

Anyway, enjoy this while you can!

Happy Birthday Sofia!

It's baby fever, I tell you.

Happy birthday (yesterday) to Sofia! The new baby daughter of our amazing friends Erica and Feroz. I can't wait to meet her.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad and Adele!

Yesterday we got to have a celebratory dinner with my Dad (and Sharon, Resa, and Nick) for my Dad's 59th birthday.

This morning we got the news that my cousin Angela had her baby girl -- Adele -- last night while we were celebrating. Good timing. Good birthday.

Happy birthday Dad and Adele!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gena's Wedding

I'll blog more a bit later, but we had a wonderful time at Rob's sister Gena's wedding this past weekend. We also celebrated Rob's and his twin sister Kyle's birthday the same day! :)

Gena and Jay say their vows.

Taber and Rob make faces at the cocktail hour.

Gena dances with her dad.

Gena and Jay's first dance.

The P*zold siblings and their spouses pose after the reception at Aunt Mary Lynn's house. Fittingly, the newlyweds are making out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Liberal and Proud

If you're reading this blog, then you know me and you know I'm very liberal. Unashamedly so. The husband is too.

Today I got a nice, succinct reminder of some of the reasons why I'm a liberal and why I'm proud to be a liberal. Although I was confused to see it. I didn't know the media was allowed to publish anything of political substance until after November.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I don't feel good about this election

Warning: political angst ahead.

Since some of you have asked, the answer is no, I don't feel good about this election. I have been trying to conjure up a good post to sum up my thoughts in some kind of snarky yet insightful way. But I've been too sad, disenchanted, angry, bitter, etc., etc. to write anything.

The sad thing though, is something Rob and I have been talking about for quite some time. We (Rob and I) will be fine. Our lives won't change. We have the unfair fortune of being in the upper tiers of income-earners in this country these days. Our tax cut from Obama would be pennies, while our tax cut from McCain would be a nice bit more. Frankly, I'd love to have that much more money to pay down our mortgage each year.


And this is a big BUT.

We (Rob and I) are not the people I'm worried about. We will be able to afford to move to a less polluted part of the country. We will be able to buy our own healthcare. Our house is not in any danger of being foreclosed on. We can afford $9 gas like they have in many parts of Alaska. (Seriously, they do.) If we needed an abortion for whatever reason, we could fly to Europe if it were outlawed here. We are skilled professionals in not-collapsing industries, so if either of us lost our job, we could be supported by the other without much economic stress. We will be able to afford to pay for our kids ginormous education costs if public schools fall apart even further. We will be able to care for extended families as they age. We will have money waiting for us in retirement. And on and on.

Because we are damn lucky ducks.

Which is exactly why I'm not voting for my short-term financial interests. And that's all they are, short-term. I don't want want to be a lucky person in a crappy country. For eight years, we've watched so many Americans lose everything, including their ability to pay for anything, through no fault of their own. We've watched a generation of kids grow up in poverty without even batting an eye at the fact that they have crumbling homes, no healthcare, no quality education, and no opportunities for a better life. They're the ones who can't afford four more years. And let's get real here, McCain has voted with the Bush Administration 90% of the time these past four years. Change that ain't.

So I say raise my damn taxes. What good is America if America isn't any good? And America isn't any good if it isn't good to its people. Being a POW doesn't make you qualified to be president. Being a great speaker doesn't qualify you to be president either. Frankly, I'm irritated at every single person out their who acted like Obama's speeches alone should have won him the nomination. It's actually been hard for me to keep that irritation at bay lately. Maybe that's unfair, but it's true. Because we don't have that luxury. All that time talking about the damn speeches was a big waste of time that could have been spent talking about the fact that he has really good, critical ideas for turning our country around.

Yet I haven't seen any coverage of the issues in days. And if all we're judging on is who has the better theme going, let's face it, POW trumps speaking abilities. So I don't feel good about this election. Shame on the media. Shame on all of us for not demanding better and more. Now it might be too late.

If the Dems can't win this one, with the regrets of 2000 and 2004 so close behind us, welcome to third-rate status, America. Even though it won't change my life damn one bit, I'm still traumatized at the thought.

So now what? Well, I don't know. I know I'll be heading to a swing state for the days before the election. I know that even though I'm fully prepared to be beaten down for the third time in eight years, I'm not going down without a fight. I care too much. Not about me, but about this insane country we have here. And if that's not patriotism, I don't know what is. I want our country to be so much better than it is these days, not because I don't love it, but because I love it so much it hurts.

But it's this one and then I'm out. If this election doesn't work, I really don't know if I can do it again.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Yea Chicago Weekends

We had another full weekend in Chicago. It's been so good to have a break from traveling.

Friday night we took a long walk to a movie theatre to see Bottle Shock with Erin and Brian. I'd definitely recommend it. Not life-changing, but certainly entertaining. Even more so because the story is generally a true one. And naturally we came home and opened a bottle of wine afterwards.

Saturday morning we got our new fridge and range. Whoo hoo! Then we wandered down to Suzi's Tea & Cafe for brunch, which we'd spotted on our walk the night before. Totally delicious and also a good bargain. We will be going back soon. I had a Cranberry Crisp tea. Rob had Darjeeling.

Saturday night Rob had to cover the Fire game, so I settled in front of the television with more bags and boxes of papers and other miscellaneous things to sort through. Our home organization efforts continue.

Today we jumped in the car and headed out to the suburbs to do a little shopping. We managed to go all the way to Schaumburg and not get lured into Ikea, a feat we've never before accomplished. And now we're watching the Colts look more than a little un-Colt-like. Ugh. Hopefully things will get better in the second half.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Things that used to be on my fridge

Half of our new appliances are here. The dishwasher had a dent and the microwave had a loose panel, so we've got to wait another two weeks for those. But we've got a new refrigerator and range. Yea!

Unfortunately, stainless steel does not lend itself to magnets, so I have to retire many of the scattered things that used to grace our fridge. In their honor, here's a list of some things getting put away elsewhere:

- magnets of every shape and size, magnets from most every vacation we've been on and from every state we've lived in, a Law Students for Choice magnet, magnets with Washington Freedom schedules, Lego magnets, wedding picture magnets from Jason and Beth, Christian's mom's business card magnet, a Penn teddy bear magnet, and bottle opener magnets
- pictures of our families and friends dating from 1974 to last year, including a picture of my mom and dad with my dad's whole family all decked out circa 1974, and a picture of Rob's mom that Kyle gave to Rob to carry in his pocket on our wedding day
- fortune cookie fortunes I've gotten: "You are independent politically." Ha. and "Where there's a will, there's a way." Definitely.
- Peyton Manning and Omar Vizquel, or at least a pictures of them
- a drawing of me and our niece Lauren by Lauren
- a thank you card from our nephew Daniel
- some of Rob's best quotes
- a postcard of two women laughing with a Pat Robertson quote that says, "Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practise witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians."
- our 2.5 year plan for home renovation projects
- a card from Roxanna with two goofy women on it and the quote, "Laughter is the closest distance between two people." Yes it is!!!
- the December 8 page from Bill & Claire's Italian word calendar that they said reminded them of us: "impegnato/impegnata: politically committed" used in the sentence "La mia fidanzata e un'attivista impegnata.: My girlfriend is a committed activist."
- a Tom Stoppard quote, "It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting."
- a Peanuts comic strip that Mark's dad David sent to me before Rob's and my wedding -- Snoopy is dancing for three boxes and then says "If you have a wedding, I'll dance at it!"
- business cards, including one of Rob's mom's old cards, and others for our pilates instructor, handyman, dermatologist, floor installer, and tailor
- a happy first anniversary card from Rob's grandma
- a card from my mom that says "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
- some gift certificates, including one for a wine tasting and one for a lobster dinner and one for a free happy hour
- a New Yorker cartoon from Jeff to Rob that says, "OK Cynthia, I'll tell you about my hopes and dream, my joys and my passions. But be forewarned -- they all concern a particular sports team."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

One more thing

One other thing we did this weekend that I know at least one person out there will appreciate (Alan). We joined the local library. It's only a block away, so it's long overdue. No pun intended. But we finally made the long walk over and joined. Or at least I joined. Rob stood outside and held our Starbucks since he didn't have any ID on him at the moment it occurred to me to join the library.

Still, a very positive step. Maybe next weekend I'll actually check something out. Of the library, that is.

When I was growing up, the library might have been my favorite place on the planet. So it's only fitting that we live so close to a library. I really am determined to make some use of it. Eventually.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A glorious weekend without plane rides

This weekend we spent the whole weekend at home. Thank god. I am exhausted from traveling.

I don't think I've even said much about our traveling lately because we've been so busy traveling. We had a fantastic time in Cape Cod with our friends Bill & Claire. A whole week without work? Amazing! Claire is seven+ months pregnant, but still incredibly adventurous. If I'm ever pregnant, I hope I rock it out like her. I totally admire her for that. So our week was full of swimming, hiking, kayaking, mini-golfing, and lots of other fun activities. If anyone's looking to rent a cottage in Cape Cod, ours was a great one and a great deal.

Rob got to go home after our vacation, but I jetted off in another direction for work. Then this past weekend we headed back to the East coast for a mini-bachelorette party for Rob's sister Gena and my friend Erica's baby shower. (Yup, everybody's pregnant or engaged these days!) Mark & Chris let us crash at their pad despite the fact we didn't really have any free time. But we had a great, if exhausting weekend nonetheless. Although, mental note: two early morning flights in 48 hours is not ideal for a post-30-year-old body. Ugh.

Of course, I turned right back around for another work trip on Tuesday. So this past Friday night, Rob and I went to bed at 9pm. Seriously. We slept a solid 12 hours before even stirring.

This weekend has been the first stop on our "get more organized" tour. And also our "Oh, I forgot this is what our house/neighborhood/city looked like because I haven't seen it in so damn long" tour. We did some serious appliance shopping because we are at our collective wit's end with our dishwasher (the world's loudest) and our fridge (whose ice machine component thinks it is in a noise-making competition with the dishwasher).

So this weekend I learned that I'm not a fan of the new style of dishwasher that you have to open to see where it is in the cycle. That doesn't make sense to me. Seems like a steam-burning product liability lawsuit waiting to happen, right?

Fortunately, we found a cool new dishwasher without that issue. In fact, we found a whole set of new appliances - fridge, dishwasher, range, and microwave - at a pretty sweet price with an even sweeter financing deal. So next Saturday, our kitchen will be gleamed out in stainless steel. It'll be strange not having random things hanging all over the front of our fridge. (If you've ever seen our fridge, you understand my obsession. Where will I put Rob's awesome quotes?) But I cannot wait to have a modern kitchen with a stove top so cool I might actually consider cooking more than once a year. Whoo hoo!

I also went through about eight bags and boxes full of papers needing to be filed or tossed that currently occupy our office. Only about eight more to go. But I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of ridding our home of boxes of unidentified junk.

Last but not least, we got to spend some quality time this weekend with friends who we've missed a lot lately. Sara and I saw the Traveling Pants 2 movie. Totally cute. Allison, Geoff and Rob & I split up our Blackhawks season tickets over some awesome sushi. Ali and Eddie were finally in town on a weekend that Rob and I were in town, so we saw them twice! Rob caught a Cubs game with Jeff, Sara and Eddie. Our friends Sophia and Fritz were in town for a wedding, so the Penn Law Wives Club - DC Chapter (aka Rob, Eddie & Fritz -- long story) was reunited. We even got to see my mom briefly on Friday for a Chicago family dinner on the town as she cut through Chicago to go to a wedding in Indy with Resa & Nick.

Man, it was good to be home for a weekend. Even better to have three days of weekend. I'm so glad I have all of next weekend in Chi-town to look forward to as well.