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4/29/09
Whew. So we took all the furniture out of my room, and pulled up the carpet. I'm surprised how good the floors look, after however long of being covered up. And then we mopped the floor, put down a new area rug (dark green), and re-arranged all of the furniture. It's a nice change, and we managed to make it look not-so-cluttered. I'm sure I'll be getting out of bed on the wrong side and falling out the window or walking into the dresser for a few days.

I have to find some kind of artwork to hang over the large empty space over where my bed now is. Does anyone make lifesize Jeter pinups?

I'm glad the Yankees have stopped their losing streak. You know - the world comes to an end if we lose more than two in a row.

Speaking of the world coming to an end, I cannot believe the fuss the media is making of the Swine Flu "pandemic" sweeping the world. One death in the US does not a pandemic make. There have been 13,000 deaths from the plain old flu already this year. Wash your hands, don't cough on old folks, and stop watching CNN.

4/28/09
So, the house almost burned down.

I woke up (before noon! for the third day in a row!) and smelled something like a hair dryer or curling iron. I went into the library, and there - on the floor, was the table lamp. Turned on. The wind had blown the curtains into the lamp and it landed on its side on the power switch. And it had burned a hole clear through the rug and onto the hardwood floor. I turned it off and put a damp cloth on it and luckily that was the extent of the damage. Whew.

So anyway, we looked at the hole in the carpet, and Mom said, "You know, this carpet has been down for about 30 years, why don't we take it up?" Out went the books and the furniture, out came the shears and the toolbox and the dustpan and broom and mop and magic paint-remover and Murphy's Oil Soap, and voila. We have hardwood floors. Back went the furniture and the books and some new throw rugs, and we have a library again.

Tomorrow we tackle my room.

And I wonder where I get my impulsive personality from.

4/26/09
Achy. Ow. Went to Lowe's to play the "how much can we spend on garden stuff, a 'hobby' neither of us likes" game and the answer is: quite a bit. We did have to get some new tools (since the rake fell apart, and the shovel disappeared), and we also picked up four trees - another dogwood for the other side of the front yard, two red maple trees for the side of the backyard near the lilac bushes, and a weeping willow which my non-grandkids will probably live to see bloom. And mulch, and little "creeping ground cover" plants called Phlox which were just pretty (and perennial - plant them once, ignore them forever, which is my kind of plant). And then we dug the holes and planted everything. Whew.

Attempted to go to the lake at Cheesequake (nature's bathtub) to clean up, but the lake isn't open til Memorial Day.

And Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home? Little punk.

later on 4/25/09
Good thing it was perfect convertible weather, because it took TWO HOURS to drive to Trenton. There was some kind of tractor-trailer accident that slowed the Turnpike traffic to a crawl for about 30 miles in each direction. It took over an hour to drive the five miles of the Turnpike that I needed. So I sat in the perfect convertible weather listening to the Yankees/Red Sox game on the radio (which was a terrific, typical Yankees/Red Sox game, except that we ended up losing). It was also perfect baseball weather. Tesse, her parents and I had seats seven rows directly in back of home plate. The weather was perfect, the crab fries were spicy, and the place was packed - over 6,000 fans, the biggest crowd so far. No Cervelli tho, he wasn't catching today. Other than that (and the traffic, and the Yankees loss, and then the Thunder loss), it was a great day.

I think the Yankees should let their fans pay like $5 to come to the new Stadium and watch all the away games on the big HDTV. That would rock.

4/25/09
Another nearly-Summer day, it's over 80 and feels great. I made it to the mall (capri pants! nursing shoes! new Spring scrubs!), and then stopped at the garden center to pick up topsoil and grass seed. Mom and I dug up the little patch of grass that's the perfect size for that Yankee Stadium grass seed (you thought I was kidding, right?) and planted it. Now all it needs is a little plastic Bernie Williams action figure, and it'll be perfect.

We washed both cars, too, which is a sure predictor of rain. So now the grass seed will grow and grow. We also seeded the front and back lawns with regular (that is, cheap) grass seed, to fill in the brown patches.

4/24/09
Well, that was a good ballgame ruined by a bottom-of-the-11th home run by the Red Sox to win it. Up until that point, it was enjoyable. Except for the weird pitching matchups. So maybe it wasn't that enjoyable after all.

Good thing the rest of the day was so nice. Kooza was a good, old-fashioned Cirque du Soleil show, with lots of traditional circus acts, and it was a lot of fun. Best part of the intro. They have some of the clowns doing acts in the audience, and one of them was being a loud, unruly tourist, complete with cellfone, camera, throwing money around etc. So the MC clown had him escorted out, and said to the audience, "Ha! Red Sox fan!"

And it was perfect convertible weather for the drive in. Tomorrow's supposed to be even warmer, which is nice, because I want to get to the mall (Old Navy capris on sale, need new nursing shoes) before I head down to Trenton to meet Tesse and her parents for the Thunder game.

4/23/09
A review of the new Stadium that I mostly agree with. The new digs are chock full of concrete, in shades of gray. I was wishing they would paint all those overhead pipes navy blue or something, because right now it looks unfinished. It's a beautiful park, but it definitely does need to be "finished".

And needs to have cheaper seats, too - very embarrassing to see all those empty seats behind the plate.

We actually made it to the opera tonight - Rheingold, the first part of the Ring Cycle, and my favorite of the four. They started late because - as the GM came out to say - James Levine took ill, and they had to find another conductor (I can just imagine someone running next door to Julliard, asking in a panic, "Can anyone conduct the Ring??"). The performance was fantastic, and James Morris still has it. I love the opening of the opera, about five minutes of one instrument on top of another, layering the melody. And completely in the dark, literally. It's stunning to listen to.

It's starting to feel like Spring - and the rest of the weekend is supposed to be warm and sunny. Finally. Maybe it's safe to put the snowblower away. We did the usual errands today - laundry, trip to BJ's and the grocery store. Also dropped off eight bags of books that we cleared off the bookshelves when we did the semi-annual (that is, every few years) cleaning last week. They had Peter Luger's brand steak sauce in the grocery store. Must go back there one day for yummy steak.

Tomorrow is Kooza by Cirque du Soleil, out on Randall's Island (if we can find it), and then the first Yankees/Red Sox game (on TV, of course, they're up in Boston this weekend) of the season.

4/21/09
Come on, weather, figure it out! It was warm and sunny over the weekend (first weekend without leggings-under-scrubs since October), and then it was rainy and cold yesterday, then today was mild until the rain started. I keep hearing it'll be almost 80 on this coming weekend, which is fine by me, since I don't have to work.

The state finally cashed my check for my taxes. And I have my new Visa card all set up online. I should be able to pay off the rest of the balance with this week's paycheck, and then I can start saving again.

4/18/09
Oh good, I was wondering where the banner guy went at the new Stadium.

And yeah, all those empty seats...

4/17/09
The first Yankees win at the new Stadium - we were due for it. The game was fantastic, with five homers, including one by Derek Jeter in the 8th to win it. We got there really early and went to the Yankees Museum, which was very impressive (and they had a signed Joe Torre ball in their collection of balls, which in no way makes up for ignoring him throughout the rest of the place). It was good to see folks from the former Tier 15 scattered around me, and my seats aren't as bad as I thought they'd be. If you walk up to the top of the grandstand, you can look out on the old Stadium. They already took up the sod.

And it was perfect Spring weather - a nice change. The embarrassing thing was the number of empty seats behind home plate - the "seats between the basepaths" - that are still unsold.

My new Visa card came in the mail. I have to call Monday I guess to do the balance transfer. And the Feds cashed my tax check, now I'm just waiting for the state to do the same.

4/16/09
What a lousy Opening Day game - in that we lost 10-2. Beaten by the Indians of all people! The crowd was chanting, "We want Swisher!" as the Yankees bullpen imploded. Maybe he should have pitched. At least this means we should win tomorrow (and I'll be there to see it). It's also supposed to be warm and sunny again tomorrow, which will be a nice change from the usual Friday-at-the-Stadium weather.

I really liked the opening ceremonies for the new ballpark tho. Except for the glaring absence of Joe Torre (again). I mean, they had Buck Showalter there, but not even a nod to Joe? That's so classless. But Bernie Williams! They should have just run out to center field with a contract for him to sign. With Nady out, possibly for the season, we're going to need all the help we can get.

Mom and I had tickets for Don Giovianni at the Met, but when we were partway there, we both started yawning and decided to come back home instead of yawning through it. So we cleaned out the bookcases (a semi-annual thing) instead.

later on 4/15/09
It was too cold to stay for the entire game in Trenton, but we had plenty of time to ogle Francisco Cervelli. I could do that all day. But in warmer weather.

4/15/09
Happy tax day - I'm waiting for the IRS to cash my checks (usually, they do this very quickly), so I know what my real checking acct balance is. Then I can pay off Visa some more. And once my new Visa card arrives, which should be any day now, I can transfer the balance to that card, and start the fun process of entering my new card details on all the online places I use. And then I can pay off this year's Geico bill, and start saving again over at ING. So - IRS - you're holding me up.

Yay for AJ Burnett (who I am loving more and more every day) for throwing 6 no-hit innings and beating the Rays. He has filthy stuff, and I'm glad he's on our side, now, and we don't have to face him. The game was a nail-biter, with neck-high brushback pitches, a three-run homer by Jeter (yay), and the even better news scrolling across the bottom - that Boston's Josh Beckett was suspended for 6 games for throwing at Bobby Abreu (now playing for the Angels) and starting a bench-clearing brawl. Boston sucks.

Hoping the rain lets up (it's just misty out) so I can get down to Trenton.

4/13/09
It's Monday the 13th, and that should explain why it was a crazy night at work, and why the Yankees lost 15-5 to the Rays. The bullpen was so depleted that Nick Swisher came over from 1st base and pitched. Yikes.

4/12/09
Peeps! Check out the Washington Post's third annual Peeps art contest. These are just plain brilliant.

4/11/09
My Visa application - to transfer to the new credit union's card - was approved. The line of credit is a lot lower, but at least I have SOME credit. Once the new card comes in the mail, I have to call them to do a balance transfer from the current card. And that's nearly paid off - this week's paycheck went to taxes, the next paycheck goes to Visa.

I was going to drive down to Trenton to exchange my unused Thunder tix today (and maybe catch their afternoon game), but it's raining miserably, and supposed to rain all day. Ugh. No Cervelli for me. Maybe on my next day off (Wed).

4/10/09
I survived the double shift (that I forgot I signed up for) and the funeral. I'm kind of glad I worked the double, because at least I knew I'd be awake for the services. If I'd just worked 3-11, there's no way I would have made it. It was really touching to see so many people come out for Robbin, and we're all going to miss her.

Funeral home had the worst ever "imprinted with our name and address" giveaway. Flyswatters. I kid you not.

I had to take one home.

later on 4/8/09
0-2 to start the season? Sole possession of last place in the AL East is a lonely and depressing place to be.

Viewing tomorrow, viewing and funeral Friday. I'm going to go Friday (have to go to BJ's tomorrow before work and pick up beverages for the post-funeral church gathering, I always do beverages because I do not cook), because the afternoon viewing would make me late to work and I'll be working through the evening viewing. And that way I can make it to the memorial service at work, which is at 2.30pm. I'm not exactly sure of the schedule of things on Friday - there's a viewing, a mass, I'm not sure if there's a cemetary bit (because I don't know if she's being buried or cremated), and then the church is letting us use their hall after the mass to gather and eat. We took up a collection at work for flowers, the food, a plaque that we're going to have made for the facility, a tree to be planted in our courtyard, and the rest of the collected money will go to the church she attended (where the service will be on Friday).

The book about Roger Clemens was so obviously biased against Roger Clemens, you'd think Roger had slept with the author's wife or something. I almost want to send the book to Roger so he doesn't waste his money on it. But then again, he can afford to. It was really bad. Roger is innocent. I have blind faith.

4/8/09
I can't believe they killed off Kutner on House. And how cool is it that Kal Penn, the actor who played him, is going to work for Obama? That's cool.

No word yet on the funeral for my coworker. We're having a memorial service at work tomorrow, tho.

4/6/09
I'm reading a book about Roger Clemens, which was obviously written by someone who hates Roger Clemens.

4/5/09
What a shocking night at work. One of our aides, who rarely calls out, was a no-call/no-show for a few days. That isn't like her, so we started to worry. Two of the other aides went to her house after work last night but there was no answer. So back on the 11-7 shift, one of her good friends called the police to go to her house. And they found her dead. So everyone is pretty much speechless, because she was young and didn't have any family. So we're waiting to find out when the funeral will be etc.

In good news (heck, anything is good by comparison), coworker Diana told me to soak my cellfone in a bowl of rice to get the water out, and it seems to have started up OK tonight. Fingers crossed that it stays working.

Opening Day for the Yankees down in Baltimore tomorrow.

4/3/09
I completely broke my cellfone (they don't mix well with water), so don't call or text me til I get a new one this week.

And the rain (mostly) held off! And I love my new summer home! Brian and I got there right as the gates opened at 4pm, and walked all over the new Stadium. It's truly stunning. The great hall is amazing, the concourses are all wider than the old Stadium, more leg room at the seats etc. We had the first hot dogs and first beers of the season, admired the multitude of gift shops, visited the new Monument Park, and watched the Yankees beat the Cubs 7-4. There are so many new food options there, too - sushi, burritos, steak (they're setting up a carvery - open to the public - where they'll have prime rib, sandwiches etc), barbeque, and the usual Stadium fare. And they tell you how many calories are in each serving (coffee? 6 calories - big bag of peanuts? 1100). And up in the former tier (now the Grandstand), the roof overhangs everything from the fourth row upwards. We were in the fourth row today (and my season tix are in the 11th row), so when it did start to rain lightly during the game, we were toasty and dry. The view from my regular seats looks amazing, too. And the HD screen is HUGE. I'll just gush all night about it, the place is stunning.

Oh and there are elevators to get you around, in addition to the ramps and escalators and stairs. We were downstairs and out of the Stadium about two minutes after the game ended. There are a few kinks to work out with the scoreboards etc, but that's what exhibitions are for - it was kind of a dress rehearsal. I did laugh when they showed Ted Lilly having pitched an 880 MPH fastball. They'll get it. Next time I'm there (in two weeks) I want to check out the Museum and do some more walking around.

A good night! Except for the cellfone thing.

4/2/09
Oh, it better not rain tomorrow. I mean, I know it's going to rain (all freaking day), but it had better not rain so hard that they cancel the game. But you know me and Friday night baseball...

4/1/09
And I'm home, after the world's longest trip back from FL. I'm too tired to do a big update, but here are some of the highlights.

Anyway, home. Tired. Back to work tomorrow.

My season tickets arrived while I was gone! They're lovely. And the tix for Friday's exhibition game came today in the mail. I can't wait!

Good news on the book front, too - the seventh Outlander series book has a publication date: 9/22/09. Yay!

-catherine

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