Week nearly over

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:56 pm

My work week is almost finished, since Denny and I are taking part of today and all of tomorrow off. We’re heading to Kansas City for his cousin’s wedding, in which Denny will be a groomsman. I haven’t been to KC in years and years (decades?), so it should be fun. It’ll be nice to get away from work for a bit, too.

I heard back from the place we plan/hope to stay for our honeymoon. I picked it because it was an island I’d never heard of (it came on the recommendation of a friend who spent his honeymoon there), but then I was reading Conde Nast Bride’s magazine, and the very hotel we plan to stay at was written up. How annoying! I hope it doesn’t get overrun by tourists. We picked it specifically because it’s not a big huge all-inclusive resort. It’s an upscale boutique hotel. It’s a little more lush than my usual taste, but I don’t plan to go on a whole lot of honeymoons, so we decided to splurge.

I think we’re getting the Island Heritage package, which includes the following lovely features:

  • Seven nights’ double accommodation with an upgrade to Canopy or Four Poster Room, subject to availability
  • Airport transfers reimbursed from Vance Amory international airport to Montpelier
  • Beach picnic with a bottle of house wine
  • Half day Island tour of Nevis
  • Choice of

    1. 1/2 day sailing and snorkeling excursion including snacks and beverages or
    2. Two hour horseback ride along the beach and plantation roads

  • Climb to Nevis Peak or Eco hike in the rain forest
  • Welcoming Montpelier rum punch
  • Daily full English cooked breakfast with fresh squeezed juice and home made breads and jams
  • Daily afternoon tea with home made cakes and scones served on the Quarter Deck
  • Fresh fruit in the room daily
  • Nightly turn down service
  • Concierge service
  • Complimentary internet service
  • Complimentary snorkeling and tennis equipment
  • Transportation to our private Caribbean beach with lounge chairs, showers, and sun shelters

So we just have to figure out our exact dates and we’ll get that bad girl booked. Whoo! We’ll probably have to drive to Chicago the night before, because all the flights would require an overnight stay in Chicago anyway. All the flights from Chicago to Puerto Rico (then connecting to Nevis) leave really early, like 6 a.m., so there are no flights into Chicago before that. The good thing is that we’ll get to Nevis at about 2 p.m. and have plenty of time to enjoy it the first day.

The best part about traveling in this here hemisphere is (little to) NO JET LAG. I am very sensitive to jet lag, so I am always appreciative of western-hemisphere travel opportunities.


What a lucky girl am I

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:50 pm

I won two free ice cream cones from Whitey’s. Do you know how I won? At my bank, they have a monthly drawing where they ask a trivia question, and they draw a winner from those who answered correctly. So…it was a combination of skill and luck. The question:

What is the most frequent translation for the Native American word “Iowa”?

Answer: “Beautiful Land”


Other Iowa facts:

  • State bird: the Eastern Goldfinch
  • State flower: wild rose
  • State song: “Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit”
  • Number of counties: 99
  • Number of flavors of Cheetos available at the Kum and Go across the street from my office: 3 (Puffs, Crunchy, and Flamin’ Hot)



Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:49 pm

We have an appointment tomorrow to talk to a potential caterer for the wedding. We’re thinking of an hors d’oeuvres offering; our wedding will be late enough in the evening that people won’t expect a full meal, and it’s more fun to mill around with tasty fingerfoods and cocktails anyway. Plus, assuming the weather is good, people won’t want to be stuck under the tent at tables anyway.

Right now, these are the hors d’oeuvres I find the most appealing:

  • Spinach Feta Phyllo Triangles
  • Mini Beef Wellingtons
  • Brie and Red Pepper Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Pesto and Pinenut Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Sesame Chicken Skewers with Apricot Mustard Sauce
  • Chive Pancakes with Crème Frâiche and Red Onion Confit
  • Corncakes with Mango Salsa
  • Mini Quiche with Balsamic Onion
  • Bleu Cheese and Fig Tarts
  • Mini Chicken Drumsticks (for the kiddos)

There should probably be something else for the kids, too. Apparently what’s listed on the website isn’t all that’s available, so maybe they’ll have good ideas.


When rural areas attack

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:03 pm

I had a rural Iowa experience over the weekend. I was trying to remember, and I don’t think I’d ever stayed on a farm before. At Cousins’ Week we used to go out and visit my grandfather’s farm, but we always came back to town to spend the night. But not this time!

DC and I took Friday afternoon off work and headed out to southwest Iowa, his home zone. A friend of his was getting married, so we got there in time for the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and some related shenanigans. The wedding was held at Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center, which was a nice, recently re-done barn and green space. They had a tent for the reception, which gave us a good idea about how many people can fit under one. I don’t know how many guests were there, but most of them didn’t hang out under the tent; they milled around the grounds and hung out by the bar.

It was fun. I danced up a storm. The band they hired was good; I had a nice chat with one of the band members (he’s from Yucatán, Mexico), and we’re thinking about having them for ours. That’s not for sure yet, though.

We left on Sunday after church (!), but not before I had a really disgusting sandwich. It was not accurately portrayed on the menu. Nobody said anything about a giant pool of molten cheese food. Yuck.

So, now we’re back. I did a lot of work over the weekend on my Features and Usability report, but I think it paid off, because the group I was presenting it to (including my superboss) really liked it. One of the committee members said it represented an unprecidented high quality of user testing in the University environment, and another said it was so good she wanted to hire me for her lab.

This was good to hear, since work was really stressing me out lately and I wanted to quit. It’s nice when people recognize that you have been freaking killing yourself over something. I don’t think I’m going to get the raise I asked for, just because of budgetary limitations, but I’ll probably be considered the next time money becomes available. Oh, and I’m getting upgraded to a better office.

So, yeah. It’ll be ok.


CMS up the BUT(T)

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:29 pm

Course Management Systems rule my brain, and not in a fun way. They’re all I think about. I did absolutely zero recreational computing today; I haven’t checked my friends’ blogs (since apparently we communicate by blogging rather than by actually speaking these days), I haven’t surfed to any funny sites, and I haven’t looked at wedding hairdos.

I have just thought about Course Management Systems. Yech.

And, what’s worse, I’ve been invited to a meeting Monday night about–shocker–course management systems. I don’t want to go, since it’s from 4-8 p.m., but it puts me in a better position to get the raise I asked for. Academia is so slow, it’ll be awhile before the decision gets made, so it’s good to be on my best behavior.

Seriously, though, 4-8 p.m.? On the plus side, there may be wine and/or beer. It could get wild.

Let me think of something nice to say.

I had a great night last night. Dinner was fabulous, and we had a very good time. We both ordered the quail (they ran out of pork, or otherwise one of us would have gotten that). The quail was stuffed with bleu cheese and served on tupelo honey and pork hock risotto. It was served with yellowfoot mushrooms and some other stuff I can’t remember. For dessert we had a rosemary pine nut tart with red wine/pear sorbet. Fabulous.


There can be no other way.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:19 pm

Denny and I both had auspicious horoscopes today.


Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Love and romance are in the picture. Get out and meet new people (editorial aside: it can’t all be right), or plan a romantic encounter with someone with whom you are enchanted.

This is fabulously accurate because we are going on a wildly romantic date to the Lincoln Café tonight. I’ve been excited about it for a week.


Aries (March 21-April 19)
Everybody will be quick to give advice, but when it come down to helping, you are on your own. Focus on your career and how you can increase your income.

Do you know what I did this morning, even before I read my horoscope? I asked for a raise. I don’t know if I’ll get it or not; there’s not a whole lot of room for raises in the University work environment. But I’m glad I asked. My boss seemed surprised, but he didn’t dismiss the idea entirely.

It’s all very empowering, really. I’m in good spirits because it’s been a productive day, and I’ve got the big date tonight and everything.

Oh, you should look at the gorgeous pictures Denny took of Metamorphoses.


Stupid job

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:39 pm

My job is stressing me out. And I’m not the only one, either. One of my colleagues is thinking about accepting another job offer, and if that happens, there will be all the more for me to do while we get a replacement trained.

I want to quit my job and just write and translate and play with babies all day. Why is that so impossible?

Maybe it’s not. Hm. I’m going to go research freelance translation jobs now.

If you are my boss and you are reading this…I’m not actually saying I’m quitting. I’m just saying I work too hard for how much you pay me, and there’s no end in sight. I’m simply researching my options, as is my right as an American.


I would like to…

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:06 pm

…go to the movies. I want to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Shaun of the Dead.

…go on a date to the Lincoln Café. In all likelihood, that will happen Wednesday night. It’s easy to talk DC into it because it’s my turn to pay.

…go to bed early. I couldn’t sleep last night (got home a bit late from striking the set and then my schedule was all rumply pumply), so I’m tired today, and this is just the first day of a busy work week.

…make chicken and orzo for dinner. And I will. You can’t stop me.

…get 32 oz of pop (7/8 Diet Coke, 1/8 Cherry Coke), but I have a 3-hour long meeting coming up at 1:30, and a quart of cola goes straight through me. How embarrassing. This is what would happen.

Important committee member: “Aprille, can you please explain the results of the Features and Usability testing as referred to in Appendix A?”

Aprille: “No. Goodbye.”

And then I’d run to the bathroom.

Too weird!


Save the Date

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:46 pm

More wedding stuff.

I was very inspired by my friend Sarah’s save-the-date card for her wedding–it’s funny and adorable. She and her fiancé Pete live in San Francisco, and Pete is from the Chicago area. Their wedding is going to be in Ames, Iowa, the town where Sarah and I grew up. Therefore, the whole Iowa thing is a bit foreign to many of their potential guests, so they did a cute card to acclimatize people a bit (at least I assume that was the motivation; I haven’t actually discussed this with Sarah, but that’s my diagnosis). The card is a stylized portrait of the two of them in the American Gothic, though I assure you they are much cuter than the original models.

So anyway, that got me thinking that I want a cool save-the-date card too. Here’s what I’ve come up with. One thing you should know: the name of our superhero team is AC/DC, since those are our initials.

Note: do not use this as actual reference. This is only a draft. The time may change. Also, dear reader, there’s a fairly likely chance that you’re not invited. I mean no personal affront by this; I just can’t afford to buy dinner for the whole Internet. Besides, have you seen the way the Internet can put food away? Oink oink, seriously.

On we go, then:


The schnauzer had it coming

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:15 pm

Site of the day: Plush prop to make your life more like The Godfather. Thanks, Danny.

Here comes the weekend.

Hey, I found an alternate Friday Five site. I don’t think it’s as good as the original one, but it’s good for when my friend Morgan doesn’t have any questions for me to answer.

Today’s questions:

1) What was your favorite toy as a kid? Alexander, my skunk puppet. He was very realistic. One time I took him to Girl Scout Camp, and he fell out of the tent, and the counselor saw him and screamed. Good old Alexander.

2) What was the first video game you were ever completely addicted to? Super Mario Brothers for the NES! Man, that was so great. My brother and I played that all the time. I could double-beat it–you know, where you save the princess, then it sends you through the whole thing again except with harder challenges. I also enjoyed Super Mario Brothers 3 and Donkey Kong Country (I think Donkey Kong Country may have been for Super NES).

3) What did you get for your most memorable birthday? Christmas? One year, when I was going through that horse phase that all little girls go through, my dad got me a beautiful, huge, framed poster of a horse running along a beach. I think he built the frame. I was wild about it. The horse was a buckskin, my favorite kind of horse.

4) What was your favorite or most elaborate make-believe character when you were a kid? I had an invisible frog named Clyde. My dad’s friend Tony gave him to me. He (Clyde, that is, not Tony) alternated days between being the size of a regular frog and the size of a human kid.

5) What childhood toy do you wish you’d never gotten rid of? Man, that Barbie Dream House was amazing. It had a jacuzzi! You could put dish soap in it and make it all foamy. It was like three stories and all pink. Incredible. I wonder if it had a fireman’s pole. Now that would have been cool.


Wedding websites

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:04 pm

It seemed reasonable that I might post links to our handy wedding websites here. I hope eventually to build my own, complete with online RSVP and maps and stuff, but for now these pre-fab ones will have to do. They are complete with sappy background information and the engagement story.

1. Wedding Channel
2. The Knot

Pictures of the engagement scene and the ring

A sampling of our engagement pictures:
Nice 1,
Nice 2,
Silly 1,
Silly 2

Success levels: mid-to-high

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:48 pm

The site seems to be working. This is very exciting for me, because it took a lot of head-scratching. My friend and colleague Jack helped me get the permissions set straight so the index.php file will execute from the root directory, so you, gentle readers, will no longer be subject to the purgatory that is redirect.

But…you’re surely all bored with my ramblings about site redesign. “What else is new?” you wonder.


Not much.

We start our second and final weekend of Metamorphoses tomorrow, and there’s a pickup rehearsal/get-together tonight at the director’s house. I’ll miss doing this show; I’ve met some really nice people and had a fun time doing it. It has gotten me thinking about the hierarchy of who’s allowed to touch me, though.

1. Denny: almost no restrictions, unless I’m in a bad mood
2. Immediate family: a hug or kiss on the cheek is fine
3. Close friends (female): same as immediate family
4. Close friends (gay male): same as immediate family
5. Close friends (straight male): if I haven’t seen you in a while, sure, but not every time you enter the room
6. Casual friends (female): same as #5
7. Casual friends (gay male): same as #5
8. Casual friends (straight male): you’d best keep your hands to yourself, unless you have a really good reason.
9. Acquaintances: only in an emergency, like if I got hit by a car and you had to carry me to the hospital.
10. Strangers: same as #9, only it has to be a BIG emergency, like I got hit by two cars at the same time.

I don’t have any sub-rules for lesbians. I wonder why. I don’t know. I guess lesbians just have a get-out-of-jail-free card with me.

And this concludes my first non-meta-post in the new blog. Whee!


AC/DC wedding

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:20 pm

The first post in my wedding category. How exciting. DC and I are getting married July 30, 2005, in Iowa City, at the University of Iowa Museum of Art. It should prove to be a lovely time.

New site, everybody

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:52 pm

Hi. You probably got redirected here. I’m in the process of a revamp using WordPress, which you can read about in the posts below.

The old site is still around, and will remain until I manage to get the rest of my content migrated. Go there if you desperately need my old archives, the Greta site, pictures, or whatever.

Attempt 2

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:28 am

Could it be that I am blogging? I always thought of myself as someone who maintains a website that happens to have nearly-daily updates, not a blogger. But…here I am. WordPress is pretty cool so far, and once I get the site set up to my liking, I think it will be pretty easy to maintain without having to delve into too much code or launch an unwieldy editor like Dreamweaver.

Sorry, Dreamweaver. You know I love you, but I do wish you’d be a little more…you know…wieldy.

So, yeah. That’s that. It’s hard to focus on content right now because I’m so wrapped up in messing around with the layout. Do you like the jellyfish motif? I have other pictures I could use too. The nice thing is, it will be easy to swap out pictures if I get tired of the jellyfish. Hey! You could leave comments! That, I admit, is a cool thing. Also, I understand rss feeds are where it’s at, where I should have been for some time. Now Ken will be able to read my site on his PDA while on the bus.

By the way, I didn’t really post this st 6:28 a.m. It was 8:28. I hadn’t set the time stamp right.


Have I been converted?

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:18 pm

This is my first attempt. I messed around with the style sheet. It’s ok so far. I don’t love the font. Back to the css…

Powered by WordPress