b 4.0
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Jessica was on the radio when I left work a little early to get to a home inspection on this sun-drenched afternoon, and it felt like the best day of hookie ever. At home an HVAC technician pulled construction plastic out of our furnace's innards and a warranty guy did basically nothing, which is fine with us because that's indicative of nothing being wrong.

When everybody was gone and the house was being heated, we went to the Home Depot for paint. We got paint like whoa. Then we headed home and saw a car accident (yield means yield, not stop or go, people!) and had trick-or-treaters numbering in the dozens. I got the rest of the hardware installed and we had dinner - spaghetti squash - and watched the Spaulding family tear up Family Feud. That's Wednesday.

Monday, October 29, 2007
When we decided to move to the East Coast, we did so for many reasons - professional pursuits, personal interests, and proximity. One of the things we'd be close to was/is friends. Since we're neighbors now, it seemed neighborly to pop down to DC for a Halloween party and overnight at Anthony and Elizabetta's. We left Saturday morning (after I got a PA driver's license, what a scene) in cold and rain and arrived in mid-afternoon sun. We kicked back on the deck and saw their honeymoon pictures. Later in the evening - with empanadas in our stomach - we headed to the party at Chris and Erin's house. It's funny how your network branches out, but somehow we're becoming friends with Chris and Erin and that's pretty fun. Sunday we took it easy, which is a luxury only neighbors of proximity can afford, and had a big, traditional Uruguayan Sunday meal before heading back to the Valley.

Tonight, after yet another busy day, we left from Knoll to head south and get hardware and other house stuff. Jenelle toured the office on the way home, when the file arrived electronically, and was impressed by my roomy workspace in the middle of a corner. At home there was work, some furnace troubleshooting (unsuccessful, blast!), and cat-running. And finally blogging and sleep.

Thursday, October 25, 2007
This has been a long week, and today the longest of its days. Things didn't go well from square one and it took until about 4:45 to resolve the issues... for one of two projects. When Jenelle started teaching I made her promise to never add up her hours; this week she made me promise the same.

Tonight we ate some pesto from a fun Sunday in September, did some work, and talked to Robin quickly. She was at MSP getting ready to fly south for a raucus football game at Neyland and a pretty notable weekend. Huh. Flying around the country to "watch football" - sounds like something I would do did.

The cats have been acclimating themselves according to the regimen we've layed out. From yesterday their foods have been on opposite sides of the same closed door, so when one eats the other can hear and eats too, supposedly getting them to associate the smell of the other with the joys of eating. Why you'd find joy in cold turkey giblets I don't know, but at the rate the growling and hissing has subsided I'm thinking they could be best friends in a few weeks.

Monday, October 22, 2007
I'm anticipating that this will be a long post. It starts Saturday morning, when we set out for Whitehall. I don't like Whitehall Street; it's miles and miles of strip-malls on both sides, a big box mecca crowded with lots of "thrill of the hunt" style shoppers. But on Saturday that didn't seem to matter, as we were there to see about a buddy for Ollie. Sure enough, a jumpy foster kitten formerly named Pepper joined us for the ride home.
Maya at home

At home, her name became Maya. It's kind of a human-y name, which we like. It also seems to fit her irreverant attitude towards everything but playing. She and Ollie will get along famously, likely destroying most of our worldly possessions, as soon as they stop hissing at each other and trying to box each other under locked doors.

Saturday night we had a neighborhood birthday party. Eric from down the hill is 30 - we turned out to celebrate and wound up contributing some grill capacity. Afterwards, worried about kitty, we went home to find her sleeping under our dirty clothes hamper. Rather than wake her up, we went to the loft, where Ollie joined us on the couch for the second half of Michigan's big win over Illinois.

Sunday was another blue-sky day that defied October. We grocery shopped and worked at ate tater tots and pad thai and sticky rice, but not all at once. We stopped at the park for frisbee and I rode the T2k out to Alburtis, up to Trexlertown, and home before dark.

Now the week is on. I've been slowly pulling ahead and it is starting to show. We're starting to feel even more motivated around the house: painting is up next and we're looking forward to being done but not excited about the task itself. The cats are not thrilled with each other's presence, which means we've got rooms cordoned off and growling animals on both sides of the door. I think this is life, the life, the kind of life everybody seeks but doesn't want to admit.

Friday, October 19, 2007
Medical Quiz: is 76/40 low, blood pressure wise? That's what mine was today when I stood up after giving blood, and I felt pretty weak. Unfortunately, that really wasn't even the low point of the day. In the back and forth between two projects, I think the lack of time to do fruitful work was even worse. This was a long week and next week is probably set up to be even longer.

After work I crashed pretty hard. A nap - ? - got me back up and ready to go. We had caliburrito for dinner and then spent the evening relaxing in the loft, lamenting the extremely warm and humid weather that seems more like April or May than October.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I'm back from a(nother) trip to Cleveland. We got lots done, ate at hyper-swanky Legacy Village, and had two more delay-free, trouble-free flights. On the way out of CLE our flight path took us to the north of downtown, providing a great view of the mistake by the lake in light fog, with flashbulbs snapping for what I assume was the first pitch of the Indians' game at Jacobs Field.

While I'm galavanting acround the midwest and upping my pathetically low BrickBreaker top score, Jenelle has been at home, galavanting through test after test. I came home last night to find both butterflies of the kitchen table covered in essay exams; apparently I missed the antics of one helpful kitty and quite a day full of hijinx.

I don't know who names, designs, or selects stores to fill our nation's new lifestyle centers, but what a bizarre thing. "Legacy Village" has neither a legacy or a village. Discuss. It has heated sidewalks, apparently, and is designed to absolutely look like the downtowns everybody loves: Santa Monica, Fort Lauderdale, even Ann Arbor. It also has a totally eclectic mix of shops: Viking, Sephora, Dicks, etc. Something for everyone, even if that means a totally cluttered marketing message.

Had a Chevrolet Malibu this time; while the world awaits the new model this was a legacy vehicle. I'd never driven one before and was surprised at how competent it was. Pity the exterior is so unappealing, because inside this is a sound car. The updated version should do well for itself, especially with GM kicking in $150m in advertising. I guess I know which commercials we'll see most this college football stretch. The banners are out already and they are edgy, but one wonders if edginess alone will do it? I'm thinking test-drives where the car comes to your house, crash-test demonstrations in public places, giveaways, flying them overhead slung from blimps - it is going to take a mountain of creativity and it will be fun to watch.

Saturday, October 13, 2007
A good gauge of the place you live is whether or not you ever hear your town's name on NPR. Yesterday that happened: somebody from Macungie PA weighed in on political matters on Morning Edition. That had never happened before, which only added to my surprise.

Today has been a busy day. We have done several chore-y things... rearranging kitchen pantry/pot & pan storage, installing a programmable thermostat ahead of winter, watching the Big Ten Network for Michigan and Michigan State victories, going to Cold Stone, etc. In some ways it really wasn't busy at all, which was exactly what we needed after several busy weeks and lots and lots of hours at work.

Thursday, October 11, 2007
I'm back from a(nother) trip to CLE/Beachwood/3pl. My/our team spent one and a half days in two conference rooms, basically trying to convert our logistics operation into math. We had dinner with the Knoll account rep and shared stories and hot wings, which felt more like a MNF party at a Long Island bar than a team meeting, and then I flew home.

This time the National Car Rental test drive presented a Saturn Vue (nee Opel Antara) for a couple of days. It was orange, which I like but got plenty of static about. More troubling than the apparently troublesome color were the strained noises coming from underhood and the difficultly low shift points. I'm not a vehicle dynamicist, but if I were I would not require a full-throttle stomp on the accelerator to move the vehicle from 37 to 42 miles per hour in one calendar month. Maybe a downshift? Or a turbodiesel? As much as I wanted to love the Antara Vue, I'm afraid it is off the list.

After work today we went for a walk in the park by the fish hatchery on Fish Hatchery Drive. We walked along the Little Lehigh Parkway, over a covered bridge, under an interstate highway system, to a gun club, where we headed back. Stir-fry was on the menu and it really hit the spot after two nights away.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Oh la la! Blogging from the Presidential Suite at a Holiday Inn Express... I think that means burgundy wall paper and curtains. We had a productive meeting today, which was good from a project standpoint but dissatisfying in the sense that we probably should have done this months ago. I suppose that is the learning portion of this job.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Anthony and Elizabetta were married this weekend and we had the good fortune of being there for the whole celebration. I left at noon on Thursday after a stressful week at work and made it to Fairfax VA in time to rehearse and enjoy a great rehearsal dinner at an historic train museum with friends from my years of freeloading off of Anthony. We met Elizabetta's Uruguayan family, and, perhaps most notably, GianLuca. Webbies arrived for the ceremony on Friday and everybody had a great, great time at the reception. With two cultures being represented the dancing that followed dinner was especially memorable. Saturday we didn't do too much until the afternoon, when we gathered at Nissan Pavilion for tailgating and a concert with their fun DC friends. Sunday was also pretty low-key, except that we got to see their house and had the honor of driving the newlyweds to the airport for their departure.

Back at home in the Lehigh Valley we found ourselves almost too tired to function. Instead of functioning we had macaroni and cheese for dinner, watched Thursday's The Office, and called it an awesome weekend.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007
It's growing late and I should either be asleep or watching Ken Burns' The War, but instead I'm blogging because it's kind of a hobby and it is slipping. Today was a long day of meetings, not unlike yesterday except that today two out-of-town guests were on hand to join in the festivities. After work I had a haircut and then more work, which means that really my evening kinda started at 10:37 and will end by 10:50.

The weekend was something of a milestone. Sunday was Jenelle's birthday, celebrated in the city doing some shopping for the house, but we stretched the festivities to include a Celtic festival in Bethlehem on Saturday, complete with a pipe band competition and corned beef and cabbage, and dinner at the Lehigh Valley's hippest, newest (and only?) Thai restaurant.

Speaking of restaurants... BYOB. So you can take a bevy of any kind into any restaurant; at White Orchids we couldn't even buy wine, except from the people next to us who brought six bottles for four people. (You can't buy it outside the restaurant, either, do to arcane liqour sales practices that are a post for another time.) At Cali Burrito it's much the same - can't buy alcohol, but feel free to pack your own. This isn't limited to restricted beverages, either. If someplace is a Coke chain and you are a Pepsi person, no sweat! Bring a two liter of the Joy of Cola and pour yourself a glass.

© 2007 Corey Bruno