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7/30/09
Manny and Papi on the "tested positive for steroids" list? Wait, let me compose my "not surprised" look.

7/29/09
Happy birthday, Kati, up there in the woods!

Big thanks to whoever sent me the Vanilla-Birthday-Cake scented gift from my amazon.com wish list - it didn't come with a return addressee, so I'm at a loss, but thank you. After all the running around at work, I will be using it as I soak in the tub later on.

And big thanks to Mom for putting in my air conditioner without my even noticing. Of course, I wasn't in my room at the time - I was passed out on the couch where it's ten degrees cooler and I could sleep. I'm glad I'm not out in Seattle, where it was 102 today.

I used my Hilton Honors points for the obvious reward. No, not a free hotel night somewhere - a big tin of DoubleTree cookies, delivered right to my door. It's like being in a hotel, but without the actual travel.

7/26/09
Aw, I thought this was this upcoming Saturday, when I'll be there. But it was, in fact, yesterday.

So tired after the double shift. Four more days then off to VT for some R&R.

7/25/09
All booked for Vegas in October. Flying out on Thursday, staying at Paris (they didn't comp all three nights, but it's OK, it still works out to $65 a night or so), two Cirque shows (Ka and Love - the Beatles show), and fly back on Sunday night on the redeye. Now I can start scoping out restaurants online.

I'm surprised it didn't rain last night at the game (which we won, yay) - maybe it's because I brought my umbrella. Things must operate on same principle as bringing a book to work. If I bring a book, it's a crazy busy night. If I don't, nothing happens.

There was a guy in the section next to ours at the Stadium, wearing a Cervelli shirt. I wanted to grab him and tell him I had one, too, but I didn't get the chance.

7/24/09
So, Vegas it is! Now to start really planning it. Paris Las Vegas said they couldn't comp the Fri and Sat nights, but the Thurs will be free, and I have a discounted rate for the weekend. I found a discount code for the two Cirque du Soleil shows that I want to see. And the airfare isn't outrageous.

Mark Buehrle of the White Sox threw a perfect game yesterday. My friend Sue was there, which is incredible.

later on 7/22/09
The Tyra show wants people who want to confront the perpetrator of a Munchausen incident. I declined - there's no way I want to see Heather again.

Got the errands done - replaced my capris from Old Navy, picked up some books, got the group gift card for the upcoming baby shower at work. Now it's time to give serious thought on where to go in October. Mom and I were thinking about Mackinac Island (due to unresolved Christopher Reeve/Somewhere in Time crush), but it might be too cold for sitting on the veranda, sipping cocktails. Ideas welcome.

Yankees back in first place, thanks to two sweeps (of Detroit and Baltimore) to start the second half, while Boston has lost four in a row. All is right with the world.

7/22/09
The new lady at work bit me. Ow.

So after work I drove to the city to pick up the Bose speaker system from Dad's. Getting into the city wasn't a problem, but getting out was a hassle - there's only one lane open in the Holland Tunnel, so everyone was merging, or rather, sitting there not moving for about a half hour. Once I was out of the tunnel, traffic cleared right up.

The speakers sound great! And it came with a universal remote that I'm still trying to figure out.

So I got an email about the girl-who-faked-being-in-a-coma, from all those years ago. It was an email from Dr. Feldman, who wrote up the case in a book, and he said that he's supposed to be on the Tyra Banks show in two weeks to discuss Munchausen-by-Internet, and would I be interested in joining him? So I spoke to the producer today to give some information, and she wants me to call back tomorrow. Too funny. Me and Tyra. It would be funny if it worked out, but the producer wasn't sure yet, because this happened so long ago.

Norbert's sister was murdered in Seattle. Sending warm thoughts to him and his family.

7/20/09
Forty years ago, men walked on the moon. THE MOON. That's astonishing.

I love that my Visa fraud department is now calling me after every single charge to make sure I made it. While I was at Missy's shower, the phone rang, and it was the fraud people, just checking in to see if that was indeed me that charged x amount at J&R, and also x amount for the Swiss Inn in VT. Yes and yes. It's kind of scary that they can track you, but kind of reassuring, too, especially with what happened last month.

7/19/09
What a gorgeous weekend. Except for the rain at the game (seriously).

Took the train to the city on Friday, early enough that I could swing downtown before the game and drop my bag at Dad's. I went to get my hair cut, and then to J&R to look at sound systems for the TV. I told the guy I wanted something very simple, that just plugs into the TV, and Bose had a really nice system. The box was a lot heavier than I'm sure it needs to be, so I left that at Dad's and I'll go in on Tuesday after work to grab it. There was no way I was lugging that around today and on the train.

The game was terrific - except for the rain. It was hazy for the entire evening, and then it started to drizzle. And in the middle of the eighth inning, the skies opened and the tarp came out. Surprise! I don't think I've ever seen the Stadium clear out so quickly. There were puddles three inches deep everywhere, so I'm glad I was wearing flip-flops. In the excitement of seeing rain, I left my light jacket there. Oh well. Didn't need it anyway, the rest of the weekend was so warm. And by the time I got down to Dad's, the game had resumed (and we won).

Saturday was Missy's surprise wedding shower - I met up with three of her other friends at Port Authority and we took the bus out to Rutherford. The shower was at an Italian restaurant that I swear was owned by the Mafia. I think she was 90% surprised, and we all had a great time. I told her she should have registered for storage space to put all of the gifts. She said she should have registered for a two-bedroom apartment.

Drove back to the city afterwards with Miss Dona, and then I hopped the train downtown. My plan was that if it rained, I would go to the movies, and if it was nice, I would check out the Staten Island Yankees. No rain, so I took the train to the Staten Island ferry and changed boroughs. As I was waiting for the ferry to begin boarding, I brushed up against something in the terminal, and sliced a hole right through the fabric on my capri pants. Nearly tore the pocket right off. Luckily they had safety pins at the bodega, so I patched them back together. I'll have to hit Old Navy this week and see if they still have that style in stock. Anyway, the ballpark is literally right next to the ferry terminal on the island - about a two minute walk, and I got a seat 8 rows behind home plate. It was nearly sold out, I guess because the weather was so perfect. The game was embarrassingly bad, but then again, the players were all 19-20 years old. Several pitches went right over the catcher's head. I had a terrific time, the weather was great, and the ballpark looks right out over the water towards the skyline, so the view was amazing. Coming back on the ferry at night is always beautiful, with the city all lit up.

Today was brunch with Dad and Ann at Chat-n-Chew. Walked a bit through Union Square after. Then I popped back to the apartment to get my bag. Took the PATH train (from ground zero, which still makes me nervous) to Newark to meet my friend Brian for Cirque du Soleil's Alegria at the Prudential Center. And here's the only part of the weekend that I didn't love - they told people, as they're doing the bag search, that you can't bring cameras inside. Well, my camera was in my bag. Did they mention this in advance? No. Did they have a bag check? No. So they were telling people to go check their bags at one of the local restaurants (and believe me, the local restaurant didn't know anything about this, and was not pleased to have a line of people thrusting cameras at them). So I ended up stashing my backpack at this restaurant's hostess stand, and thank god it was still there. I think that was horrible of the Prudential Center, and believe me, I told them so. But the show was great (as their shows always are), and I hopped the train from Newark back home.

Love my long weekends.

Hilton Honors rocks. Since I like to stay at their hotels, I got a HHonors Points card. I have enough points for a 24-cookie tin of DoubleTree cookies. They are on the way.

7/17/09
Hot and sticky, which I suppose is better than cold and rainy. At least it feels like summer now.

7/15/09
Oh, so tempting to go back to Vegas (got a card in the mail with the free hotel info on it, from when I was there in March). And I have a four day weekend in October, thanks to taking Veteran's Day as my "floating holiday". Of course, the nicest free room is at the Imperial Palace - and I'm not sure I need or want mirrors on the ceiling. I wonder if calling Paris Las Vegas in person would get me a comped room.

Of course, I need my new Visa card to come in the mail first. Still thinking VT for my next weekend off. They have a single-A team in Burlington called the Vermont Lake Monsters. I wonder if Champ (the monster rumored to live in Lake Champlain) is their mascot. That's funny.

later on 7/14/09
As soon as I got home from the inservice, I went back to bed until 6.30pm. There was no reason to be up that early for so long.

Highlights of the ASG? Obama! We do have the coolest president ever, even if he IS a White Sox fan. Mariano - getting his record-setting fourth ASG save. And of course, the American League winning. Again. Jeter scored the first run, and Mo got the last out, so it was (in my mind) a Yankees-dominated game. And Papelbon would have blown it if it hadn't been for Carl Crawford climbing the wall to make a fantastic MVP catch.

I'm going to re-read the sixth Harry Potter book before I see the movie, so I have some idea what's going on. It seems like the last movie came out ages ago. I might go Saturday night - but then again, I might go see the Staten Island Yankees play on Saturday night. Depends on the weather. Can always do the movie Sunday night. I'm going to stay in the city the whole weekend - Yankees Friday night, plans with friends Saturday afternoon, movie/ballgame Saturday night, and Cirque du Soleil in Newark on Sunday. I have to ask at the train station if I can get a round trip ticket that lets me stop in Newark, or if I have to buy a bunch of one-way tix.

7/14/09
What is that large, gleaming, yellow object in the sky? Oh yeah, the sun.

I understand last night's home run derby was incredibly boring. I'm kind of glad now that we don't have ESPN at work and I missed it. I was delighted to find out when I got home that the MLB Network was showing the 2008 All Star Game at 1am last night. Since I was actually *at* the game, I had to call home and ask Mom to pop in a new tape since the game was running so long it wouldn't fit on one. So I re-taped it last night, and it's all on one DVD now. It's the little things that excite me.

Being up this early does not excite me.

later on 7/13/09
So the cop said the name and address that was used at Radio Shack (where someone tried to put $770 on my card) was one Herbert Jones of Meriden, CT. Never heard of him or it. He said that since it was out of state, the NJ cops have no jurisdiction there. And since there was no actual damage done (my card wasn't charged), unless I want to pursue an inter-state thing with searching computer IP addresses etc, and that might take forever - they can just close the case and re-open it if anything else happens.

7/13/09
I can't believe it's the All Star break already - the season is half over! Where is the summer going? I can't wait til next month when we go on vacation and aren't work-work-working every day. I'm actually off tomorrrow (in exchange for working the 4th of July), but then there was a sign at work that there's a mandatory inservice on dialysis for anyone who's not working. It's at 9am. Ugh. I do not want to be at work that early.

But then I am indeed off, so I can veg on the couch with burgers and the All Star Game. It's one of those made-up holidays I celebrate (cf. Aaron Boone Day).

Two good things - the credit union unblocked my online Visa-statement-checking account, so I could verify the amount I have to pay (also checked that there were no additional charges and that all the fraudulent ones were removed). And the detective called, they've subpoened some information about the card use, and I called him back, but got voicemail. I didn't even know our town had detectives.

7/10/09
Good thing I wore my Francisco Cervelli t-shirt to the game in Allentown, because I met Francisco Cervelli!

We drove to the game (after a brief stop at Aunt Barbara's, on the way), and boy is that a beautiful ballpark. But anyway, the important part. We were enjoying our cheesesteaks (it's a Phillies franchise) at the concourse at the back of the seats, and watching Cervelli warm up near the dugout. Then he stopped to sign some autographs, and I said to Mom, "quick, watch the cheesesteak!" and ducked down the steps. And he signed my ticket! So I dashed up the steps again, and when I got to the top and looked back at the field, I saw a couple of people asking him to take pictures. So I said again, "watch the cheesesteak!" and ran back down - and got a picture with him! The guy next to me took the picture for me, it came out a little blurry, but that's OK. I'm happy.

I love that the Iron Pigs' mascots are two pigs named Ferrous and FeFe. That's brilliant. And everything is pig-related, from the concessions to the great pork-product race between innings. I was rooting for the bacon.

And Scranton won, and it was a beautiful night with no rain.

7/9/09
Thank you, Boston, for losing to the Royals of all teams. Now we are tied for first place, with identical records. Time for the Yankees to pour on the heat. Of course, now we go to Anaheim to face the dreaded Angels.

7/8/09
It's "Jewish Heritage Night" at the Trenton Thunder tonight. Finally! A legitimate excuse to wear my "Jews for Jeter" t-shirt!

It was also cap night. And the Thunder pitchers were throwing a no-hitter until the sixth. Then they dropped a fly ball, and first it was ruled an error, but changed to a hit. Good game, anyway. The new center fielder, Austin Krum, is adorable, and signed autographs before the game for about 15 minutes (he also scored the game-winning run in extra innings). Their catcher, Jesus Montero (all of 19 years old) is also a cutie.

We bid a fond farewell to Francisco Cervelli - for now. I'm sure he'll be back with the September callups, and probably back next year as the backup catcher (Molina's contract is up). I'll have to get out to Scranton to see him.

The playing field at Scranton is horrendous - they have terrible drainage problems and had to cancel a handful of games due to the rain. The games this week are being played in Allentown and Syracuse - Allentown (home of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs - gotta love the minor league team names) isn't actually that far, so maybe I'll go to the game on Friday night - my next day off.

7/7/09
I worked a double shift at work last night, in exchange for today off. So what did I do with the unexpected day off? Pretty much nothing - I slept til 3, did some errands, had dinner, watched most of the game, and went back to sleep. I just woke up again and am headed back to bed. I guess I was tired. Tomorrow is my regular day off, maybe I'll have more energy.

Jose Molina was catching in Trenton tonight. I should have gone down and tripped him or something, so Cervelli can stay with the team. Sigh.

I called my credit union yesterday to followup about my Visa card, but they didn't return my call yet. I'll try them again tomorrow.

7/5/09
After a long night at work, I slept most of the morning, and then went over to Lori's to jump in the pool. It was actually a nice weekend with NO RAIN, surprise surprise. After coming home to change and read for a bit, I went back by her house so we could walk down to Lake Lefferts for the fireworks. We walked to Julia's house, but she wasn't able to come with us. So we walked down to my house, got some beach chairs, and went to the lake. The cops and first aid squad blocked off all of Ravine Drive, and they set up food stands and a DJ and souvenir stands with those glow sticks etc. We set up our chairs - along with four or five hundred other people, and really enjoyed it. It was nice to get out and enjoy the warm NOT RAINING weather for a bit.

7/4/09
Happy Independence Day. Maybe that's the movie I should watch later.

It's also the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day, where he made his famous "luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech. And it's George Steinbrenner's birthday. And John Sterling's.

I am surprisingly un-hungover today. My plans are to go get a footlong sub from QuickChek and watch the game, and then see how warm it is, maybe go back to Lori's for some pool time.

later on 7/3/09
Oddly enough, it was drizzing when I got out of the subway. My coworker Kristin was at the game, too, and when I went over to say hi, she asked if I was there at 11.15 since that's when the rain started. Of course. I bring the rain. But it was a great game, Cervelli was catching which made me happy.

When I got home, I went to hang out with coworkers Lori and Julia at Lori's house. It was too cold to go in the pool, probably because we wasted a few hours drinking beer on the porch. Had a great time anyways. They were funny, when I called Lori, she said, "we just drove by your house and your car was gone!" They must have driven past while Mom was out to pick me up at the train station, since I called her as soon as I got home. Hopefully tomorrow will be nice weather, and I can go over and hang out in the pool before I head to work for the overnight shift.

7/3/09
In case the weather doesn't improve, learn how to build an ark. It's actually (knock on wood) sunny right now, but that could change at any moment. Probably right before the first pitch.

Off to the train.

7/2/09
No! I don't want to hear that Jose Molina is ready to come back to the Yankees. But if he must, and they must send Cervelli down, please let him come back to Trenton.

Back still hurts. I can't take the flexeril before work, because it makes me loopy, but trust me, it was the first time I did when I got home.

Yankees tomorrow - taking the train because I can't fathom driving home after the game (Friday night? Holiday weekend?) on the Turkpike or Parkway. Weather.com shows 74 and sunny for noon. And scattered thunderstorms for 1pm. Did I do something to piss off the weather gods? Ugh.

later on 7/1/09
Ooh! It's better already: Ragtime is being revived!! Can't wait! Now I don't feel so bad about not getting down to DC to see it.

Cousin Dennis is putting in a new bathtub whatever-the-fiberglass-piece-that-gets-wet is, it looks terrific. Can't use it until Friday, so don't get too close to me tomorrow.

7/1/09
Back to work today, which is good because I'm bored. My back feels better, the naproxyn and flexeril helped, and I have one of those icy-hot patches on my back (let's see if they're really good for eight hours). So just no lifting over 20 pounds and we'll see how it goes. There's still an achy spot on the left side that I can't get the knots stretched out of, but it's a lot better than it was on Saturday.

July has to be a better month than June was.

-catherine

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