Tuesday, December 23, 2008

bad blogger

what a bad blogger I am. Have I made good on the post I made at the end of 07 about adding more pictures? NOPE!
I blame laziness, but I also blame the camera itself. The camera kills batteries faster than I can take any pictures.
I really want a new camera. I bought the current 4 mega pixels powershot a couple years ago with best buy gift certificates, and christmas money and some of my own money too. I got it in New Hampshire, tax free. It was maybe $300.00 and it's now archaic!. For the same price, I could get this:

I would like to be a good photographer. I'd like a digital SLR but I also don't want to spend the money if the camera fascination is a passing fancy.

Hopefully 2009 will be a better year for pictures!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kristen - Do Gooder

I have been volunteered to be in charge of the "Morgan Stanley Annual Appeal." Basically, what that is, is MS's giving campaign. Morgan Stanley has the Morgan Stanley Foundation, if you donate to that, they will match you 100% and give you what they call a "CSA" or charitable spending account and I can donate that matched money where ever I'd like it to go. You can also pick a charity/organization of your choice, but they only match 25% into your CSA. Another nice thing is that you can have it deducted directly from your paycheck. Either all from one check, or a little from every check.

I've decided to give some money to the Morgan Stanley fund (just for the match) Sacred Heart University's political science department, and some animal-related fund; either FONZ (friends of the national zoo) or WWF (world wildlife fund).

However, if anyone has a suggestion for a charity with a good cause, I can be persuaded to change one of these.

I was also asked to monitor the canned food box. I made the above sign with sharpies and a picture of campbell's soup that I printed from some website.

Not that I have a large readership on this blog, I'm going to take a moment to stand on a soap box and tell everyone to donate time or money to a cause you believe in, whatever it may be.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

hooray for "cheap" gas

I remember, (and this was a few years ago), very specifically the first time I paid over $2.00 for gas. I even remember the station. I was MAD! I also remeber paying over $30 for a full tank. Again I was upset.

This morning, I filled up my tank. It wasn't quite empty, but the light had just gone on maybe a mile before I got to the station. I filled the tank for $26.00 and thought "is this right? it can't be". I checked the sign, it said $2.59. And I thought, "should that be $3.59?". Nope. $2.59 was right. Yay for the little things!

Anyway, We moved into the new place. It's sort of in shambles. We successfully put together the IKEA dressers. They are pretty stable. Yay as well :-)

Friday, October 10, 2008

the good and the bad

i'll start with the bad since it's always nice to end on a good note. As everyone knows, the stockmarket is tanking big time. Not that I have all that much to lose, but as I work in a financial institution, it's depressing. Clients call in, and everything is Doom and Gloom. Every transaction is the end of the world. It's a little hectic and I'm not particuarly upset about the market, but the attitudes are weighing me down. Today was particularly bad.
I decided to go get my oil (car) changed and the dealership said that it would take a half hour, so I thought OK that is perfect. It took a lot longer than I expected, and I got snide comments when I got back. It sucks because people take longer lunches all the time, I just took one at a particularly bad time. So maybe I F-ed up a little, or had bad timing, but when I got back I made a trade error. Fixable, but still made me frazzled. One of my brokers is in Aruba, and clients are crazy wondering where he is. I can't tell them he's in Aruba, that's just not right. People in suits are sprinting in the halls! It's madness.

Today I got an email from Lucie saying how much she loves her new job and how happy it makes her. It made me think. It's MISERABLE here, especially the last few weeks. But it's true that you can love your job. I want that. I should have that. I need to take steps to have that!!!

On the upside, it's 4:00 on a friday and the weekend is just about here! The real upside is that Dan and I have a new place to live!!!!! It is a nice townhouse in Fairfax, VA. 3 floors. 3.5 bathrooms. I can't wait to paint and decorate. I believe closing should be next week!

Another upside is that gas prices are going down and so is the Euro. Maybe I can finally put that passport to use.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


So we put in an offer on the house with a loft in the bedroom. No go! The lady wouldn't even make a counter offer. Looks like it's back to the drawing board. I can't imagine why she wouldn't counter! Her price or no house. That doesn't make any sense. Oh well, maybe it wasn't meant to be and there's something better out there.

Monday, September 08, 2008

So...I'm definitely a bad blogger.
My last blog entry said that I would blog more. Since that entry was from June, I have obviously failed. And that picture thing....I haven't even taken any pictures!!!

Over the summer, Dan and I have been looking for a house (a townhouse actually) to purchase. This weekend, I think we finally found one. It's 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms (I want to build another one in the already finished basement). It could use some TLC, in the kitchen, the cabinets and counters look older, but cosmetic stuff is fixable. What I like the most is that the master bedroom has a decent sized loft. I would love to make it into a little library. I could get some book shelves and one of those Love Sac things http://www.lovesac.com/supersac.asp. I also can't wait to paint and decorate.

Friday, June 20, 2008

So far in 08

2008 is just about half way over. I thought I'd check on some of my new years resolutions. There were 8 of them

1. Update my blog regularly - I'm not entirely convinced that anyone reads this thing, so why should I update? Maybe I should adpot the mantra "if you blog it, they will read".

2. Take pictures - I've taken pictures, but haven't uploaded them on to a computer or found a photo hosting site. They are no good to anyone while they are still on the camera. My next order of business will be to purchase a photo printer. I realized that I have dated Dan for 4 years and have 0 pictures of us in a frame.

3. Get in shape - This one is semi-successful. I get to the gym between 3 and 5 days a week. I get on the treadmill, do some machines. However, I'm not the butt-kicking machine I thought that I would be. I did lose about 5 pounds. That's something, right?

4. Run a marathon - Not quite yet. I did run a 5K (3.1 miles), so that's just 23.1 miles to go. The max I've run in one sitting with no break is about 4 miles. That's about 3.75 more miles than a year ago...so I'm on my way. My stamina is better and I can run faster, which is good.

5. Eat less candy - I do love the sweets. Not gonna lie. I try to resist, but it's my achilles heel!!!

6. Eat fish - While I was at a wedding last week, I ate a bite of seared tuna. I knew I didn't like sea food for a reason. But, I'll keep trying on this one. Maybe tuna isn't for me. My only problem is that I don't want to go to a restaurant, order a fish and then want to vomit after 1 bite, and I've paid for the meal. Maybe we can go for sushi. Everyone loves sushi.

7. Get my financial licenses - I took the test once and failed. At least I took it. Brad, my co-worker who took the study course with me, didn't even do that. I'll take it again soon!!! It's a 6 hour test of rules and regulations and options and bonds. Ugh! Not fun.

8. Visit a place that requires a passport - This one is a big fat NO. Asside from visiting Boston, and NYC (places I usually go), I've only been to Orlando (to be stuck in the hotel/airport for work) and Vermont (for a wedding). Looks like this one will have to wait until next year, as my vacation time is at a premium and mapped out until the end of the year. Mom and I were supposed to go to France, but alas, the Euro has killed my dreams.

Perhaps some new goals for 2008?

I think a 10k: 6.2 miles would be more realistic than a marathon. As for my travel plans, it looks like Boston and Boston....how exciting?! I hate that I spend all of my vacation time going home! I have 3 trips planned to visit and it will take all of my vacation time for the rest of the year.

On the bright side, 2008 hasn't been a total failure. Dan and I have been in his parents basement for 6 months (that is most definitely not the bright side), but what is: a ton of money has been saved!! I bought a brand spankin' new car. Financed not leased, so it's mine all mine. Another great thing is that we're going to start looking for a new house to purchase! A house of our very own. I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Brand New Car!

I bought a new car!!! It's a Honda Civic LX. Just like the one below, it is also blue. I'm not sure that it looks like the exact shade. I think mine looks more metallic. Either way, it's brand new. I drove it home yesterday, and when I got in it, it had 6 miles on it. It's pretty nice, it has 2 doors for the sporty look and it's a 5 speed manual. Civics also come in 4 doors, but I wanted a coupe. Next time I buy a car (in 5 + years), I may have kids and need to buy a mom-mobile (SUV, never a mini van).

A week ago, I almost bought a Nissan Sentra. I loved the Altima, but it was slightly too expensive to finance, and I didn't want to lease. I was THIS CLOSE to buying the Sentra, but the dealer was a horrible jerk. He was pushy and mean. I decided to walk out. The next day, I was feeling sad and decided to test drive a Civic and I was plesantly surprised. I liked the way it drove, so I put it on my short list, test drove it again this saturday and here I am on tuesday and it is sitting in my driveway.

I spoke to several people I know that own Hondas and not a single person had a bad thing to say. Many, like my co-worker Suzanne, have had multiple. She had 2 Civics and just bought her 2nd Accord last year. Dan, of course, was biased because he has a Pilot (the Honda SUV) and loves his car. Jackie has a Civic from 1989 and it still runs well. Her car is older than many college students!!!
Another plus is that the dealership gave me a coupon book for free oil changes and discounted scheduled maintenaces for the life of the car!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Race For The Cure

This year, I'm particpating in National Race For The Cure.
It's a 5K run/walk in DC in to raise money for Breast Cancer. I've decided to actually run along with a couple people from work, we've started a Morgan Stanley team. If you want to donate to me or Team Morgan Stanley, click the link below. This will also be my first race (for running)!


Monday, March 31, 2008

new (to me) car

Could this be the car of my future?????

This is the 2007 Nissan Altima.
So, my car Jetta 2 is near the end of its lease. My last payment is is May, so I've begun the hunt for a new car. My first thought was to get a Volvo. Or a BMW. The expensive, not responsible choice. I also had a thought to test drive a Nissan. Saturday afternoon, I test drove a Volvo (which I really liked) and a new Nissan Altima.
After a little thought, I realized that leasing an expensive car may not be the best option. So there was the Altima. Then I realized that I don't want to squander the savings that I built up. A car's value drops the moment it leaves the lot. So fine. An 07. Not too many miles, only 1 year old. The only trick is finding one with the options that I want. I've been searching inventories and I can't find a manual transmission within 100 miles of here!!! Le sigh! I may have to go for the automatic. I like that no one else can drive my car. We'll see what happens though, maybe the guy at the dealership has a trick up his sleeve. I'd like to have a new one within the next month!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

zut alors!!!

last night, round about 10:30, Dan's father yells downstairs "hey there's house on fire!" Lo and behold, a house about 2 houses away is up in flames. And really the house is engulfed. It looked like a scene from a movie, but it wasn't in a movie. It was down the street. Had the wind been bad, it may have been on us. It literally the WORST fire I've seen up close in my life.
Junior year, building 7 of Avalon (where friends lived) burned on the top floor (my friends were on the bottom and had no damage.) This fire destroyed a single family house. Down to the ground nothing left. The houses on either side of it had small salvageable damage.
The strangest thing about it is that I can't find any news articles about it online, nor did I see anything on the news. What caused it? Was there anyone inside? I have no idea!
How scary is that? What would I try to save? Most of my stuff I could live without, but it would make me pretty sad to lose Thomas the Bear.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Remember me?

Remember the Pogo Ball?? I had one in the 80's. If I remeber correctly, mine was a black ball with red round disc. Not sure what reminded me of it, but these were fun and good exercise. I'd like one, so if you happen to see one in the stores, let me know. 80's toys were great!!! Maybe I'm partial, but that's OK.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Support SHU

I'm not a huge basketball follower, but tonight, Sacred Heart is playing for a chance to be in the NCAA basketball tournament. They are on ESPN 2 at 7:00!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stock Brokers are retarded

This is the office recycle bin. We never had one until yesterday. People have been bugging Mary, our office's do it all person, for one. Finally one appears. Mary sends an office wide email saying that ONLY empty beverage containers, like plastic bottles or aluminum cans can go in or they won't take the recycleables. What do we find??? Napkins and sweet & low packets. This memo went out not once, but twice. The original, and after the initial napkin violation.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm Domestic!!!

I made lasagne! With directions from mom, I made "less bad for you" lasagne. It had wheat pasta, part skim ricotta and part skim mozzarella (jar sauce. i'm not that talented yet). I must say, it was pretty good. Dan liked it and so did his parents. You can barely taste the wheat under all the sauce and cheese. The cheese is also barely different. So, if you need lasagne, but also need to save some calories, try this!

I wouldn't recomend it if you are baking for a large group. When I told people at work about it, all but one were turned off by the wheat pasta.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

ice skating

Monday was Martin Luther King Day, and Dan and I both had the day off from work. I'd been wanting to go ice skating for the longest time, but Dan was VERY reluctant. He was afraid that he'd fall and break his wrists or bruise his knees of his butt would get wet.

But he promised me that he'd go around once. And he did. He acutally went twice! Very slowly, but at least he went.

I, on the other hand, was worried that I'd forget how and fall. Luckily, I didn't. Other than my feet being a little uncomfortable, it was fun. There were lots of kids since It was a holiday for schools too, so I couldn't go as fast as I'd like. Still, I miss skating and mostly hockey. Hopefully we can go again!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

sports time!

The time in the winter between the end of football and the begining of baseball is dreadful. It's the coldest grayest time of the year. Now that I don't really ski anymore, there's nothing to do in february and march. They also don't really air hockey on TV much anymore (although the Bruins will be in DC in March)
Luckily, I have something to look forward to. As the Orioles are in the same division as the Red Sox, they frequently visit Baltimore. Today, Dan and I bought tickets for 2 games in May and one in August. For the May games, my friend Melissa and his friends Mike and Joe will be visiting. His friend Sean also bought tickets to the same game. Very fun!

I really want to go skiing. I miss it so much, but the closest place is over 3 hours from here. It's not really worth it to go for just the day. It would have to be a big weekend event, and for some reason, people are always wishy washy about making plans. I'd also have to rent equipment, which I'm reluctant to do. I know that sounds snobby, but I don't think I've EVER rented skis!!!
Looks like another ski-less winter :-(
Something that may be easier to to is ice skate, something I'd also have to rent. It's kind of funny though, not many people in Virginia ice skate at all. There may be 2 rinks in the area and that's it! In Boston, there's at least 1 rink in every town. Even still, I'm determined to go skating. Dan says he's only been once in his life and he's reluctant to go because he may get hurt. I'm not sure how I love someone who does not love winter sports like skiing and hockey, so he must be pretty special.

Monday, January 07, 2008

this is amusing

You Are 76% Massachusetts

You're pretty Massachusetts, but you're starting to slip. Go eat a bulky roll and flip off a New Yorker.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Basement Dweller

Well, I've changed the title of my blog. I live in a house and it happens to be in Virginia....When I named this blog a few years ago, Daniel had thrown me a theme birthday party where everyone dressed up as a young celebrity, he called it "the young hollywood party". "house in virginia" seems a little more appropriate now. It also happens to be the name of a song by Brendan Benson.

Anyway, as of yesterday, I am officially living in Dan's parents' basement. Saturday, his friend Sean helped us move some of the bigger thing like the couch and TV. Sunday was supposed to be the day we moved all of the little stuff, but it rained and we were stuck doing some of it after work on New Year's Eve!!!

Now this basement dwelling kind of stinks. Dan is a pack rat. He gets that from his dad, who is far worse in his pack rat-ness (yes i know i made that word up). We had to do an initial cleaning before moving in. I found receipts from (no lie) 1996!!! There's still a lot of stuff, like VHS tapes, comic books, and computer parts. Now, there's our stuff. I've managed to hang/fold most of our clothes, but it's a little difficult. Everything is in boxes and bags. Yesterday, I couldn't find my shoes. I'm not quite sure where my phone charger is. There's stuff everywhere and I don't know what to do about it.

It is nice of them to let me live there. Since we're not married, they don't HAVE to accept me. Luckily, their place is big, we have our own bathroom and truth be told, the basement is around the same size as our former apartment. If it had it's own kitchen, it would be perfect. But, rarely is free ever perfect, so I'll live. Besides, it's only temporary ;-)