Monday, August 31, 2009

The Lost Symbol


I Just requested Dan Brown's new book from the library...looks like I have a while to wait. 742 out of 742 requests! Dan Brown is the guy who wrote Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. His new book The Lost Symbol also is about Robert Langdon but takes place in America this time. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Bucs Defeat the Phillys

These weeks keep flying by. I can't believe I already had my third week back at work! School seems like it was so long ago. Monday I did some much needed grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and Right by Nature. I was pissed because I bought a red onion from Right by nature and it was rotten inside. This was the second time this happened with a red onion from there. All of there other produce is always awesome. Also, I got these really good Vietnamese sesame crêpes at Trader Joe's.

Tuesdee I went to Anne's house for dinner with ZQ and her kids. I was trying to show Christian how to do handstands. I realized that learning to do hand stands was the best thing I learned all summer! :-)

Wedsdee I went to Rivers to sign up for the River's Edge Player's Club since the line was so long when I went with Erin last week. I cycled $8 through the machines and ended up breaking even. The best part of the night was reading out by the river, that was nice.

Tonight I went to the Pirate's game with Pony and two of his friends. Traffic was crazy and so was will call! I got there way before them since I new how to get around the traffic (should have called and told them how to as well.) I parked at the casino and walked over since they have free parking. I ended up going to SoHo for a drink while I was waiting and saw Lauren's bartender friend who used to work at Bar Room. Pony finally made it, we waited in the will call line and got in. By the time we got in the free T-shirts were gone, but we got a rain check for them:

How cool is that? The Pirates are going to mail me my free shirt! I never knew they did that, cool! We next waited in line for beer and then again for food. I think we made it to our seats around the fourth inning or so. The whole time we were there the score was 1-2 Philly but in the 8th inning, the Pirates hit a 2 run homer and that sealed the deal for us.

Something happened at the game that made me feel old...there were these kids there from Philly who were probably in late elementary school or so and we were talking Pennsylvania sports for a little while. We told them that the Pirates were not good since we were there age. They said "was that when Roberto Clemente played?" WTF??!! I know I'm old, but come on!

When I made it back to Rivers and was walking through the casino to the garage, I noticed the roulette machines were open so I played a few rounds. I ended up winning $1. Thanks Rivers! I actually won money for once while gambling!!

O my way home, I laughed at all the people still trying to get out of the stadium lots...haha, dumb suburbanites :-)

Close

Five rows back at PNC Park!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend in Ohio

I spent the weekend at Shawn's new apartment in Mansfield, Ohio that he is sharing with his cousin. I had a good time while I was there even though the weather was terrible and never went over 71! It was 59 on Sunday morning! We for the most part just hung out and played drinking games like corn hole and asshole. Here is a picture I must have taken at some point:


On the way home I decided to take route 30 the whole way home instead of going on the boring ass interstates. This was a much better idea. Yes it did take about 15 to 20 minutes longer but not only was the drive shorter mileagewise, but it was much more enjoyable. I got to drive in and out of small towns in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. There was a lot to look at and I even stopped at a diner in Ohio to eat.

When I got home I was supposed to go to Anne's for a Mexican dinner but her kids were sick so she had to cancel. I ended up going on a two hour walk instead. I started out at Frick Park at the Beechwood Boulevard entrance right after it stops running parallel to Forbes. I walked around through the paths and ended up by the dog park. I messed around on the rings a little (see previous post,) and started to walk home. I did not make it far when I decided I should go check out Summerset at Frick Park, the new housing development that is supposed to reflect a traditional community. It had some pretty cool views:

(my least favorite road)


(Homestead)

I really liked that there were no driveways or garages in the front of the houses. They all had alleys in the back where people parked. I think it makes things much nicer that way. Another cool thing that these houses had that new ones hardly ever do was porches. This was a pretty cool neighborhood but they forgot one thing that traditional communities have, a business district. If it was not for the fact that you can't really walk to anything from this community I would say that it would be a cool place to consider living.

I was pretty tired after all that walking so that was pretty much it for the night.

The Rings

One of my favorite things at Frick.

Frick

View from a bench in Frick Park.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Storm Watchin'

I just got done watching a documentary on WQED that was about things by the rivers around Pittsburgh. It was part of the Pittsburgh History Series which I love. My dad and I started watching these probably when I was in high school and I've liked them ever since. Now that it's over I thought I'd come out on the porch to watch the rain a little bit. I love sitting on the porch when it is raining/storming (as long as I'm not getting wet,) there's just something about it that is relaxing and peaceful.

This week was a pretty decent week. Monday after work I went to Greensburg to see Brian, one of my old high school friends that I haven't seen in years. It was good to see him and my old buddy Calvin (his dog.) We went to Dino's, our old high school hang out for wing night, just like the old days. This time was a little different though because we did not have to wait in line for a table, we sat right at the bar :-) I had my favorite Slicker wings along with some honey mustard and Louis (hotter than hot.) They are just as good as I remember them. We went back to Brian's and hung out for a little longer then I left and stopped in to see the rents on the way home and even got some Kerber's ice cream for the first time this summer. mmmmmm.

Tuesday I worked in Monroeville and worked from home for the rest of the day. Since I was home I decided to go to Sandcastle for a while. It was great because there was hardly anyone there. It is packed on the weekends when I can normally go. I did some work there by responding to some emails on my phone. Believe it or not, Sandcastle has free WiFi! That night I drove to Gold's to try out their free parking. That garage is crazy! They have these spiral things that you have to drive up and down, I thought I was going to scrape the whole side of my car on. I think that will be the last time I drive the Mustang there. I don't know how people with SUVs do it. While I was there I was on this elliptical that you could plug your earphones in to and watch your own personal TV. That was pretty cool, There was also a connection for your iPod and I was not happy that it did not accept the iPhone. O well, cool machine either way. There are a couple other cardio machines there that look cool and I want to try as well.

Last night I went to the River's Casino with Erin. The place is pretty nice. The only thing that sucks is you have to buy your own drinks, WTF? The place was pretty nice and they had free parking. The signs to get you out of the Casino on the other hand were terrible. I am usually pretty good about knowing where I am going, but I decided to follow the signs even though I thought they were pointing me in a strange direction... We ended up going across the West End Bridge and had to turn right away from where we wanted to go. After I drove about a mile, I finally found somewhere to turn around but then ran into more construction and had to turn in another wrong direction. All the while there were terribly placed signs for Downtown. We finally made it over the the Fort Pitt Bridge and were then on the Parkway back home. Geeze!

Tomorrow I am planning on leaving work early to go visit Shawn at his new place in Mansfield Ohio. He said there is a pool at his apartment so I am hoping it does not rain. I am looking forward to laying there and hanging out for a while in the sun. Also, he said there is pretty much as many chain restaurants as you could want but no bars. The closest thing they have to a bar is Applebee's...should be interesting! No sure how long I'm going to stay in Ohio, we'll see how it goes I guess.

Works been going good. Supposedly there are going to be a number of projects coming up that I am going to be involved in. It's going to be an interesting next couple of months, but I'm looking forward to it.

At this point, the rain is slowing down and I think I have nothing else to write.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No Trees

They started construction in Market Square. Looks like the first thing
they did is get rid of all the trees. It looks so strange now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Real Person" Again

My first week back to work went pretty well. I feel like I am already back into the swing of things. I am really liking Gold's and that I get to go during work (even though I have to skip lunch or leave an hour later...it is worth it!) On Friday, my director came in to my office and told me that he already has an HCI type project he wants me to work on! It was the project that PPG was supposed to sponsor for CMU but never actually happened. He said they put the project on hold until I came back and we are going to talk about getting started on it soon. This may be a bit of a challenge since I am the only HCI person there but I am looking forward to trying it out.

This weekend Shawn was is town and I hung out with him on Friday and Saturday night. Friday night we went out in Southside. I (finally) got drunk and I'm not gonna lie, it felt good!

Saturday was great, I did not have any plans nor did I have to worry about doing anything! I took it easy and went to a drive out to IKEA. Driving on the highway with the top down, the music blasting, and the sun shining was just a great feeling, especially because there was nothing else on my mind. We went out again on in Southside that night but first we hung out at Kara's. We sat around drinking outside while listening to drunk Hanna stories haha.

Today I had to get up early to go into work to upgrade one of our systems. Everything went as planned so I headed to the gym then to Sandcastle with Carry. I got a bit of my tan back so I was happy about that. Then later on, Caroline that used to live in the apartment below my had a BBQ. I did not know anyone there but her but I ended up having a pretty good time. I made grape salad. I love that stuff, prefect summer desert.

This week I am looking forward to:
  • Maybe going to see an old friend
  • Booking a Florida flight
  • Bridget's return to the Burgh
  • Ohio visit next weekend to Shawn's new place with a pool
  • A PPG Monroeville trip (maybe)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Spider Man @ PPG Place

I saw Spider Man while having a meeting with Jason outside today.

Stupid Bird

This stupid bird has been trying to fly through the window in my
garage for the past week! Every time I go in there, there's the bird
slamming itself off the window again and again. WTF. Sorry the
picture is so small, when I get too close it flys away.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Gym


I just changed gyms now that I graduated. I went from crappy un-air conditioned Skibo to pretty nice Gold's Gym in Market Square. Everything at Gold's is brand new and it is actually nice and cool while you are working out. Thanks to Jen for bringing me over yesterday to check it out. The other great thing is since it is only a block from where I work, I can go during work and leave an hour later, or I can skip a lunch break, eat at my desk, go to the gym after the lunch rush, and go home on time. I officially sign up today, yesterday was just a trail. I think I am going to like it there.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nick Ferrara, MHCI

I graduated! Sorry I haven't written in here for a long time but I have been really busy to say the least. I am not going to discuss the last few weeks of graduate school because they were way too stressful, depressing, and un-encouraging. I do not want to have to re-live them through this blog right now. Maybe sometime later I will write about it, but I doubt it.

Monday was my first day back to work. I am so glad to be back! It is really nice to be a "real" person again. My apartment is clean, I have groceries (and toothpaste,) and my work stuff is moved out of my apartment. There are some things I'm going to miss about school like my team, getting to wear shorts and flip flops, and having lunches with Erin.

Now that I'm back to work and done with school I have to buy a buss pass :-( and get a gym membership. I am looking forward to finally going to a nice (I hope) gym. Jen is taking me over to Gold's today to check it out. She said she talked to the manager about me and I guess I am going to get a special deal. Cool!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Long Day

Hopefully the last time I have to stay at this place all night long!
I've been here from 8 am till 1 am today. Sucks.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Graduation Present!?

Here is a funny story. I was getting into my car with Adam last weekend and this guy and his kids that were next to us were watching us. I put down the roof and he yells over that he likes my car. I said thanks me too. Then he asked me, "Was that a graduation present?"

WTF?

I said no, I paid for this myself!

A graduation present? First of all, how old did this guy think I was? And a Mustang for a graduation present? I don't think so. It was just strange that he would ask me that. Guess it must be nice coming from a rich family...he was driving a Mercedes, although it was an older one...