Friday, January 29, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CRAFT your life

I just crafted my perfect life at Qdoba's CRAFT your life.  Here is what I got:

Let me know what you get at

Monday, January 25, 2010

Random Parking Story

Today I was in Breugger's in Squirrel Hill on Murray.  My car was parked right out front.  When I went to get into my car, there was a car double parked right in front of mine with it's blinkers on and the owner nowhere to be found.  All of the other cars on the street trying to drive were pretty pissed off as was I since I could not get out.  I was beeping my horn and standing outside trying to find the owner of this car and thinking about how stupid you would have to be to double park on Murray in the middle of the day.

Finally some guy comes out of Breugger's and was like "Oh, are you trying to leave?"  I of course was like "Ya..."  So the guys says sorry, gets in his car and still just sits there.  I was like WTF?  The cars driving down he road are all still pissed off because it is very hard for them to get around.  Next (when there were car coming) the guy starts backing up into the traffic trying to go straight.  Believe it or not, this guy was now going to try to take my parking space.  The guy behind him was furious, there was a green light and the double parker was now trying to go backwards!  I'm just sitting there in my car not believing my eyes.  Some how the guy manages to backup far enough to let me out and then he took my space.

Wow, some people really have some balls!  I couldn't imaging double parking on Murray and going into a restaurant like it was no big deal then being a total ass and backing up down the street while there are other cars trying to go forward who are already pissed off at you for being double parked.

I wander if anyone did anything to that guy's car after he parked.

Mexican Chicken Stew

Awesome Mexican chicken stew that I made from Dave Lieberman on the Food Network.  Here is the recipe if you want it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Window Washer

Look at this guy repelling down the building across from us washing
the windows! Crazy. I guess he doesn't need the little cart things
like most other people use.

Almost Stuck on the Elevator

Today I come in to work as usual, get in the elevator and press '5.'  The elevator goes up to 5, stops and the doors do not open.  Then the elevator goes down to 4, the doors do not open.  I press '5' again, it goes up to 5 and stops, the doors do not open.  I kept pressing '5' and "door open" but nothing happened.  I was getting pissed because I've heard of people getting stuck on these elevators for 2-3 hours before and they have been acting up for the past month or so too.  At this point it was starting to get hot so I took off my gloves and hat and was getting ready to press the "emergency" button.  I press '5' one more time and this time the light on '5' went out.  I pressed "door open" and the doors actually opened this time!  WTF?

And I thought it was going to be a good day because I got a double tall latte instead of single tall latte this morning because the girl at Starbucks hooked me up.  Haha.

First Dinner Club Event

Big Jim's
(in the Run)

Tonight was the first meeting of our kickball dinner club.  Originally we were going to go to piccolo FoRNO in Lawrenceville but they could not accommodate our large group since they already had another for tonight.  Instead we changed gears completely and ate at a place I never heard of called Big Jim's.  It was down in the run in the Greenfield/Hazelwood area below Schenley Park, so not all that far from where I live.  I would never have guessed that there was even a restaurant down there!  I was excited to try it out though because I found out it was on Diners Dive-ins and Dives:

It does not look like much at all from the outside.  I probably would never even though about going in to this place if I was just passing by.  Here it is on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Erin and I got there first and sat down at the bar to have a drink.  The inside was nothing special, but then we started to see the food some out.  It looked really good (and not to mention huge!)  After everyone got there we sat at our table and ordered food.  It was nice to get to see the kickball people again.  It's been a while, and they are a cool group.

When the food came, it was pretty good.  Everyone seemed to like what they got.  Mine came out way after everyone else's, go figure.  I had a pepperoni pizza with hot peppers.  Not the best pizza I ever had but was pretty good.

When I got home, I told my mom where I ate and she said "O my God, in Greenfield?  We used to eat there all the time with Tony and Vicky (There old friends.)"  And apparently I was even in there with them a few times when I was younger!  I can't believe they knew were this place was and that I was there before...crazy!

Next month's dinner club is on February 15.  Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Parking in downtown Irwin

Wow, the meeters only take dimes and nickels! One dime gets you 2
hours. That's crazy!

Friday, January 15, 2010


The thumprint cookies from the old Kaufmann's (now Macy*s) bakery
Downtown are awesome. Love stopping here on my lunch break.

Light Bulb

Cool design on a light bulb that just burnt out 5 minutes after I
changed it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pittsburgh Winters = Boring

Well here we are right in the middle of my absolute least favorite season...winter.  I hate it, it's cold, it's snowy, and there is absolutely NOTHING to do!  By the time I get home from work and eat dinner, it is already dark and is so cold outside that I don't even feel like leaving.  Even if I did feel the urge to leave my apartment there would not be anything for me to can only go to the mall, Target, and the library so many times.  Coffee shops are sometimes a nice alternative but then I never want to walk there because of the cold so I have to find my car on the street and then there is usually a pile of snow a foot high that I have to dig off of it, and by that time I'm just ready to go back home.

This is really my first winter as a "real person."  The first winter after graduating from college I worked shifts on the helpdesk so I was not at home night after night, sometimes I had to work.  The last two winters I was in school at CMU and every night was consumed with group meetings that lasted the entire night...there was never a chance for me to be board (not that I miss group meetings, because I do not at all!!)  Now that I have nothing else to do, winter nights are just long, boring, and depressing.

I never really get this feeling in the summer...there is so much to do here then.  It is light and warm until 8 or 9 then and I can go for walks, a bike ride, go to the park, read on the porch, get some ice cream, etc. there is always something I can think of to do then, I never want to be in the house.  I long for those activities in the winter time and it just kills me that its going to be at least 2 or 3 more months of this!

In other news, I recently saw from BBC that the entire UK and Ireland are covered in snow, look at this picture!
That is just crazy!  Oh spring, please come fast!

Here's hoping for a fast winter.

PS.  If anyone has any good ideas for things to do on these lonely winter nights, please comment!!  It will be much appreciated for this newbie to lonely winter nights.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Reflections from 2009

What a year!  This post is going to be a year in review.  One thing I'd also like to note here is that I think I did a good job in keeping my New Year's resolution from last year which was to post to my blog more regularly.

Well let's see, the year started out with me starting out my capstone project at CMU.  It was the beginning of the end of grad school and I was excited to get started on the project.  I got to meet my team of Paul, Varnali, ZQ, and Anne and we named ourselves team SoLearn.  Work continued throughout the spring semester on the project while we compiled a lot of research.

In February the Steelers won their sixth Super Bowl bringing craziness to the city once again.  Amanda and I took to the streets of the Southside (after driving in from Monroeville!) to partake in the festivities.

Throughout the winter and most of the spring, Shawn and I were able to keep up with our 5-6 day a week workout schedule at Trees.  I never would have expected us to last as long as we did, going to the gym that many times when we started back in the fall of '08.  The only thing that really stopped us was him moving away.  Even though I still go to the gym often I miss having someone to go with and push me further that I push myself.

In March I got to take a trip to Raleigh for BlackBerry server training.  It was nice to finally be formally trained in BES after supporting it for so long.
Also in March, I took a professional writing class with Ed Barr that I really enjoyed and use every day at work.  I think it may have been on of the most valuable classes I took at CMU.

I turned 25 in April.  Wow, I'm already done with a whole quarter of my life!

In May, I went to Sara's wedding in Vegas.  Man, there were a lot of weddings I went to this year, Sara's, Jess's, Jen's...pretty soon I will be the only one not married.
Then I had my fake graduation at CMU where I "walked" but was far from done.  The only thing that was done were classes, I now had to leave PPG for the summer and work on my class project full-time.  That was quite a change from what I am used to for sure.

Then in June, I got to go to one of the Stanley Cup Playoff games in Detroit with Adam!  Even though the Pen's did horrible that game it was still a fun trip and the ended up winning the cup anyway when it was all said and done.

Sometime in early summer, Shawn moved away from Pittsburgh and I lost one of my only good friends left in the city.  I was at a loss for a while since he was the person I usually hung out with on weekends.  I did make some trips to the great state of Ohio to see him though.

Finally in August I finished my capstone project and officially graduated from CMU!!  It got pretty ugly at the end which I never did fully explain in this blog, but just know I was really glad that project was over.  I then returned to work full time.  It was great being back at work.  I missed being somewhere where my work was truly valued.  It was amazing to me how fast I got back in to the swing of things and being a "real person" again.  I joined my first public gym (Gold's) and am still really liking it so far since it is right next to my work.

In September I joined a kickball team through PSL.  I had a lot of fun and was glad that I got to meet a lot of cool new people.

Did some traveling in November, first to Florida for Jess's wedding, then to the Netherlands and England for business.  It was a crazy week but I enjoyed it.

Finally, I got to go to Las Vegas for New Years Eve.  I bought the plane ticket Tuesday night at 9PM and was on the plane the next morning at 7:30AM!

Overall, it was a good year.  I am glad I finally completed my degree at CMU and am looking forward to new challenges that I know are coming in 2010.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Years in Las Vegas

 All December long, I searched for cheap tickets to Las Vegas for New Years.  The cheapest I was able to find were around $600!  That's a lot when it usually costs around $200-$300.  The night before I was supposed to go, I let Shawn know that I was not going to be able to make it.  He said to keep checking, but this was the night before I was supposed to leave.  After I hung up with him, I decided to check one more time, there was a flight on for $415!  I hurried up and booked it ASAP.  I called Shawn back and said "I'm coming to Vegas!"  This was somewhere around 9PM, the flight was for 7:30AM the next day!  I had to get packing.  I also had to buy a ticket to Eve The Night Club for New Years.  I bought my tickets though where Shawn and Kara got theirs.  I packed and was ready but was not able to fall asleep until 2 with all that excitement.

I woke up the next day and went to the airport early.  I had a short stop in Milwaukee and then was in Las Vegas.  I had the whole day to myself since Shawn and Kara were working.  I spent the day walking around the strip and tried to get my tickets at Eve, but no online tickets were available yet.  Shawn and Kara picked me up at Crystals and we hung out at their place for a while before we had to go back to the airport to pickup her sister and her sister's friend.  We did not go out that night since Shawn had to work in the morning, but that was okay, I wanted to be rested up for New Years Eve.

The next day, I went to the strip with Kayla and Jess.  We tried to get our tickets pretty much all day but they were still not available!  It was getting to be pretty ridiculous.  We wasted our whole day trying to get our tickets.  We had to get ready so we went to the hotel (Casino Royal) to get ready and meet up with Shawn and Kara.  We got ready and were back at Eve an hour before it opened.  They were still giving us a hard time about getting our tickets!  Finally Shawn called the club and someone came out to give us our tickets.  They have a really terrible process for handling tickets.  When we finally made it inside, we had free drinks until 11.  It was pretty easy to get the drinks which was surprising to us.  We hung out with a Scottish couple that night that we met multiple times that day when we were trying to get our tickets.  The club was okay but not worth the money we spent to go there.  Shawn and I were starting to get tired of the place and we would rather just leave and watch the fireworks.  We went outside to watch them being shot off the roofs of MGM and Aria.  On our way back to the hotel, we walked directly on Las Vegas Boulevard!  The whole road was closed down. It was pretty unbelievable.  There were thousands of people everywhere.  At some points, I did not even have to walk, I just sorta
"flowed" with the crowd.

The next day we hung out on the strip for a couple hours before we went back to Shawn's place to watch the Rose Bowl.  After that, we went Downtown and had dinner and then went to Stratosphere.  We went up to the top and I was the only one who would ride the rides up there.  I rode Insanity it was really fun but made me extremely cold!  It was early, but at that point the girls who walked around all day were getting tired so we went home.

The next day, we went to Green Valley Ranch by Shawn's house in Henderson before we had to bring the girls back to the airport.  That place was nicer than I though it would be.  After we dropped them off, we headed home and rested before going out on last time.  We went downtown again, played some roulette and a couple slots.  After we went back to Green Valley Ranch where I won $166 on a slot!  I never win and was pretty excited about it.

Yesterday I left Vegas and my plane had to slow down on the way to Milwaukee.  When I got here the plane to Pittsburgh was already gone so I had to spend the night.  I'm at the airport now waiting for my flight back at 9:55.  Wish I was still in Vegas.