I Do Not Miss Humidity

May 25, 2010


I just got back from a trip to Maryland and Virginia.  I spent a half day in DC, but that doesn’t really count although I did eat a meal there.  It was a trip to visit friends.  I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I moved away.  It was great to go back.  I do miss Maryland a little bit.  Mostly the people, but it is a beautiful state and we weren’t actively trying to leave the area, but when your husband gets a job at Google, you don’t have a choice.  Not much had changed; it was beautiful and green and lush.  And humid.

It was a relaxing, low-key trip.  The nice thing about having lived there is that I don’t feel compelled to do the touristy stuff.  Been to the Washington Monument, done the Lincoln Memorial.  I was able to relax and visit and hang out with friends.  I stayed with my friend Suzie, who just finished renovating her husband’s house.  It was beautiful!  It was a year-long project and my visit spurred them on to finish.  It was the motivation they needed to get it done and they did a fantastic job.  I helped her pick out flowers and plants for the front porch, we saw Just Wright (love Queen Latifah!), tried the local coffee place, rented An Education (interesting), cooked out, ate lunch with our old coworkers, shopped for shoes, watched Grey’s (wow!) and hung out.  I was also able to meet up with a friend in Silver Spring, and we tried out a new restaurant and visited.

After three days in Maryland, I metroed to DC and had lunch with another friend.  I just found out she’s pregnant with twins so we had a lot of catching up to do!  We ate at my favorite Chinese place, Mei Wah.  Yummm…  After that I met up with my dear friend, Claudia, and we headed to her place in Virginia.

Claudia had recently moved and it was fun to see her new place and give my (solicited) opinion on the decor and accessories.  We are soul sisters and had so much fun going over projects, and looking at her stash of material, and talking over things we want to do.  We keep in touch rather obsessively over email so we know what’s going on with each other, but there was tons of show and tell.  We went to most of my favorite places for meals, including Five Guys for the most delicious and juicy cheeseburger.  Yummmm…  And we had quite a few salte±as which are  Bolivian empanadas/pot pies.  More deliciousness!!  I even brought back 16 frozen salte±as to share with Bill.  Claudia was a good sport and let me watch my beloved Blackhawks who are headed to the Stanley Cup Finals!!!!!  We did girly stuff like getting our eyebrows done, and I went to my favorite bead store (Accent Beads), we met the girls for brunch, and the only disappointment of the weekend was our inability to find fabric for throw pillows for her couch.  Fabric.com came to our rescue.  And we argued over the humidity.  She loves it, and I do not.  It makes for slightly curly, frizzy hair and a very shiny Margaret.  I have become spoiled during my year in California.

It was sad to say goodbye to everyone, but also a little easier this time because a year had passed and we were still in touch, still friends and there wasn’t the fear that it would be a final goodbye.

This trip also reaffirmed my love for my Kindle.  My flight out east was delayed by 90 minutes (and I was already at the gate 90 minutes before my flight).  I was ready to start a new book and it was so fantastic to have 73 options at my fingertips, not including the Kindle Store.  At that moment, I was in the mood for something on the lighter side, and who’s to say that’s what I would have packed had I had to choose only two actual books to bring on the trip.  Kindle, I heart you.

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Amazon Made Me Do It!

March 5, 2009

I *never* thought I would want an ebook reader. Never. I love bookstores, and bookshelves, filled with papery-goodness. I love picking up a book and reading the back of it; having a cover grab my attention. I love seeing my bookshelves filled with a diverse selection of books, none of which ever seem to interest me when I’m looking for a book to read. I love actual books.

So then why did I buy a Kindle? When Oprah announced it as one of her favorite things it didn’t faze me. When my mom was visiting for the inauguration, we talked about it (at Borders) and I wasn’t interested. Bill has an ebook reader and he really liked it, but he’s a gadget guy. So what, oh what, would possess me to buy one???

Stupid Amazon made me do it. I fell for the propaganda. It just looked so pretty. And it fits 1500 books. In such a small little container. One of the “problems” that Bill and I have when we travel is books. If we go to the beach for a week, we each probably need to bring about 7 – 10 books. At the beach, I generally read a book a day. And it’s happened where I’ve taken out a new book for the day, and finished it at 2, and not had another book to start. That wouldn’t be a problem with the Kindle. And then when we are flying somewhere on vacation, and space in luggage is limited, we are always trying to find space for our books. Plus, there’s the problem of what will I feel like reading? I need options! Bill and I read a lot of the same things so we try and coordinate books that we can both read, but we read at different speeds so that gets hard. Once, when we went to France for a week, I bought us fat classics that would last the whole trip (Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Three Musketeers). That worked, but a lot of times, on vacation, I’m looking for the brain candy.

I called Bill to have him try and talk me out of the Kindle. And then I found out he really wanted one but he thought it was too expensive. That led to the guilt. He already knows he likes ebooks. I wasn’t sure I would. He generally doesn’t treat himself to things (like I do with the yarn, and the mani/pedis, and the purses…) So I bought one. For him. But I still wanted one. So I thought about it. And 10 minutes later I bought one for myself. And then I called a friend to figure out how we could rationalize the cost.

Our kindles arrived in the mail a week ago. I bought a book, found all the free books on Amazon, bought a couple of books for under $1, loaded a couple of classics from Project Gutenberg and I was set.

I do enjoy reading on it. The e-ink is easy on the eyes. I love that I can really easily look up a word in the dictionary. I love that I can have a broad library of books available at my fingertips. It has a lot of other features too, but I really just bought it for the books.

What I am not happy about is that it did NOT come with a case, and it didn’t come with any free downloads. It just seems like for the cost, you should get something with it. Even my Coach purses come with a little storage bag. And Bill’s old ebook reader came with a pleather case and some free downloads. I also think that it needs a stand and a remote. I sometimes read sitting at a table and I find myself looking down at it which is definitely not good for my neck or posture.

I did pump out two quick cases. I like the design but I am not happy with how these turned out. I was in a hurry and could not get my head around it and how to do it with finished seams on the inside. I think I’ve got it now, but didn’t have the luxury of waiting and taking my time. We heard a couple of horror stories about cracked and scratched screens. Yikes. So that’s something else I am not sure about it – it seems pretty fragile.

For now I am loving it. I am reading My Antonia by Willa Cather and I have looked up 3 words in the dictionary.

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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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