Archive for the 'Happenings' Category

My new car

Hello friends!  It’s been a *really* long time since my last post.  September was craaaazy busy at work, and I was too tired to do anything in my free time.  I’m going to try to post more in October.  First up — my new car!

Way back in July, I was taking my old car (Pam) on my way to the STL area on a Friday afternoon.  I was going to Florida by way of STL because I was flying out with my younger cousins the next day.  About halfway between Chicago and STL, my air conditioner went out so I rolled down the windows.  Then I smelled something burning and realized the car temperature was WAY in the hot zone.  😦  When I frantically called my dad, he said to get off at the next exit.  Luckily I made it to my exit – unluckily, Pam died at the stoplight just off the interstate.  When I got it towed to a Ford dealer, they said it wouldn’t be an easy fix.  UGH.  But my mom is awesome and drove about 2.5 hours to come pick me up and get me downstate so I could fly out the next morning.  My parents told me not to think about my car issues while I was gone, and my dad looked into cars in the area I’d had to abandon mine.  When I got back a week later, my parents took me up halfway, helped me pick out a new car, and I drove home in a different car than the one I drove down in.

2011 Blue Ford Focus

Isn’t she pretty?  

Here are my top 5 favorite things about my new car (in no particular order):

1.  Stereo controls on steering wheel!  Very handy since I’m a huge radio surfer.

2.  USB / mp3 jack outlets!  I can plug in my iPod instead of having to make new cds everytime I get an awesome new song!  I LOVE this feature.  The mp3 jack was actually the first thing I told my dad I wanted in a new car.  I didn’t even realize at the time how awesome the USB feature was, but it even charges my iPod when I use it!

3.  SYNC.  I can talk on the phone through my car!  All I have to do is push a button (on the steering wheel), and tell my car what I want it to do.  And it works for more than the phone.  I can push a button and tell it I want to hear a certain artist on my iPod.  It’s pretty awesome.

4.  Sunroof / Moonroof!  I had a sunroof in a car I shared with my sister in high school and I’ve always wanted a moonroof.  Now I get both!

5.  Seat warmer.  My new car has leather seats, which was really hot in summer sun, but now that it’s getting cooler, I’ve used this a few times and it’s great.  Bring it, winter.  At least my butt will be warm on my way to work…plus, you know, the rest of me because my car does have heat.  🙂

Honorable mentions:

–  Sirius Radio.  Even though I’d love Sirius Radio, it’s pricey, so I ignored this feature until I stumbled upon it working around Labor Day.  Then for about 2.5 weeks it was the greatest thing EVER.  Unfortunately, it stopped working and I realized it wasn’t a fluke that I got it – it was a free trial.  😦

– Mileage readout.  My car tells me how many miles I have left until empty.  It’s a nice thing for when I’m getting low but don’t make time to stop before/after work.  Even when I think I’m really low, I still have like 75 miles left.

It sucks to have a monthly car payment, but my car’s pretty awesome so it’s ok.  🙂

Expect more updates soon.
– Jill

I Have Royal Wedding Fever!!

Up until this week, I really haven’t paid any attention to the whole “William and Kate Saga.”  I was vaguely aware that they were dating and knew when they got engaged, but I didn’t have the Royal Wedding marked on my calendar.  Then I accidentally watched the William and Kate movie on Lifetime with my family (I say accidentally because we were all just too lazy to change the channel).  Then the next day we watched specials on TLC about Kate, Diana, and the Royal Family.  Eeeeeep!  That was enough to give me the fever!

After many hours of tv watching, I can practically tell you Kate and Wills entire romantic saga and I am eagerly awaiting the big reveal of her wedding dress.  I will be setting my alarm for 3:45 tomorrow morning, so I can catch all the goings on.  I want to be able to tell all of my great nieces and nephews what it was like to watch it happen live.

I feel like I have my own special connection to the wedding since I have seen all of the Royals in person (except for the elusive Harry).  I saw Prince Charles and the Queen at the September 11th Memorial at St. Paul’s Cathedral.  I actually saw William walking down the sidewalk in St. Andrews.  I literally passed by him on the same sidewalk.  We were only 4 feet apart!!!  I am proud to say that I remained relatively calm and it was my mom who freaked out and was poking me in the arm stage whispering “GET OUT YOUR CAMERA!”  He gave me a thankful smile as we walked past when I DID NOT do anything silly and American like whip out my camera.  Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh.  I can still see exactly what he looked like in my head.  That was back in the day when he was still hot and had all his hair (but he was wearing a baseball cap so it didn’t matter).

Will you be waking up to watch the wedding??  I know several people who are taking the day off so they can watch it.  I wish I could do that, but I will just have to suck it up and deal.

Jen

Road Trip

In July I will be heading back to Florida for another vacation.  Woo!

The return trip will be a nice long road trip from Florida to Illinois.

Wow, that's a long route.

Fortunately, I will not be doing much driving during this road trip.  However, I have decided to take on the role of Head of Activities Planning for my fellow road-trippers:  my aunt and 2 female cousins (ages 15 and 10).

Here’s where you come in.  Do you know any road trip games or activities that would help us stay entertained?  Ideally these games will include the driver and can work with 3-4 people (my 15-year-old cousin is a teen, after all).   So far I’ve thought of

  • Mad Libs
  • Trivia games via Sporcle
  • License plate game
  • Travel Bingo

I’d love any and all suggestions whether recommended from experience or not!  Thanks!

– Jill

I Still Have a Girl Crush on Anne Hathaway

I totally and  completely love Anne Hathaway.  She is one of my favorite actresses and I think she is one of the most beautiful women in the world.  So pretty!!!!

I am excited and terrified for her because she is hosting the Oscars with James Franco.  This is like a really big deal!  I assume she is one of the youngest hosts ever, if not the youngest.  Normally I watch awards shows with the sound off because it is just way too awkward to listen to celebrities try to read from a teleprompter (it’s not that hard people!!!!) and engage in funny banter (that is never actually funny).  Plus, the only reason to watch any of those shows is to see how beautiful (or awful) everyone looks.

Well, this year I might have to listen to the show as well just to support Ms. Hathaway in her efforts.  I have a good feeling that she and James are going to make a good team.  I have always been kind of iffy towards James Franco, but the promos for the show give me hope that he is going to be great too.

Here is the first ad that aired for the show.  There is a split second when Anne screams that she is totally Mia Thermopolis.  I love it!!

Heeheeheee…..I also think the other promo is cute too.

So I will be watching on the 27th, hopefully to see The King’s Speech kick some ass!  Will you be watching Anne and James?

Jen

A Very Jill Update

Apologies nerdgirls & friends, it’s been too long.  It’s amazing how busy life can get when sometimes you work 11 hour days and discover firsthand the addictive qualities of Angry Birds.  Let me catch you up to speed.

A few weeks ago I bought myself a Christmas present – the new iPod touch!  To be honest, I wanted it more for the wifi capabilities & apps than the music player.  I love being able to stay connected with my email, facebook, & twitter without sitting in front of an actual computer.  And oh, the apps!  Seriously, Angry Birds gets addicting.  Plus I’ve just discovered apps for Cash Cab, Set, Picross, and Kakuro.  If you don’t know of those, do yourself a favor and check them out.  Fun AND good for your brain!

Not my real hand.

Next up: the weather.  Wherever you live, there’s a good chance you saw snow this past weekend.  I saw a lot of it.  Not because I was up in Minnesota by the Metrodome or anything but because there were blizzard warnings in Illinois!  My sister and I were traveling back upstate from being home.  It took us 6 hours to go what’s normally a little over 3 and then it took me 3.5 hours to go what’s normally about 2.  The blowing snow was horrible!

Not taken while driving.

That’s taken on an actual interstate in Central Illinois.  I do not recommend driving in blizzard conditions.  Wish we could all be on a warm cruise like Jen!

The last update on my life is about my library.  We’re a finalist to win $10,000 in a contest!  And, if we win, all of the money will go to improve our small teen area!  I know most of you who know me have voted, but if you’re a fan of libraries (and how can you not be if you’re reading our blog) please take a second to vote.  You use your email address, but you will NOT get spam or even a confirmation.  Please use all your email addresses; they each count as a vote.  http://vote.playaway.com/v/mortongrove/ Thanks to everyone who’s voted!  I really appreciate it!!

– Jill

My Night With Rooney…There Are No Words

Okay, maybe there are some words, but it is still hard to put my bliss-filled thoughts into coherent phrases.

Yesterday was completely awesome for several reasons:

*I got off work at 2:30

*I got to hang out with fellow NerdGirl Amber

*We ate at Quizno’s which is my fave sandwich place

*I got to hear a great concert

*I also got a hug from Robert Schwartzman

Ahhhh, bliss.

That last one filled me with enough happiness to last the rest of the year.  Actually, I got a high five, he put his arm around me to take a picture, AND he hugged me.  And the whole time I resisted the urge to stroke his hair or smell his neck.

So, the concert itself was pretty cool.  I was not a real big fan of the two opening bands because the first one’s songs were waaaaaay too long and the second band was just okay.  Then Rooney came on.  Wow.  Talk about a difference.

Let me just say that I have been listening to Rooney’s music for a long time now, and I love most of their songs, but to me they have always been Michael Moscovitz’s band.  After seeing them in concert, I now know they are so much more than that.  Robert mentioned that they had been touring for 8 years, and you can totally tell.  They all work so well together and are just AMAZING to watch live.  If you ever get a chance to see them in concert, you MUST do it.

Rooney rocking out

I was worried they would sing all stuff from their new album, which I haven’t had much chance to listen to yet, but they sang tons of songs from their first CD!!!!!  I was super psyched that they sang my favorite song, “If It Were Up To Me.”  I am pretty sure I started screaming like a crazy person when they started to play it.

This was our view the whole time

So anyway, the concert was marvelous (minus the scary crazed-fan gentlemen who pushed their way to the front and kept trying to molest Robert……don’t even ask), but the best part happened after.  Amber, her friend Chelsea and I all waited around and I bought a t-shirt.  Then they came out to sign stuff and we got to talk to them!!!!!!  The whole band signed my shirt (not the one I bought, the one I was wearing) and Robert signed Amber’s Michael Moscovitz Appreciation Society button.  We talked to him for a little bit about how the band was staying in Des Moines for 2 days.  I believe I said something about how they should go to the zoo or Adventureland.  Yes, I am a complete dork, but it doesn’t matter because he gave me a hug before we left!!!!!!!!

Amber and Robert having a moment over her button

Oh, and another great part of the evening was that I got to meet Amber’s baby Lester.  What a cutie pie!!!  Let’s just say that my cats were perplexed when I came home smelling like dog.

So, the concert was great and I am literally holding myself back from skipping work on Monday and going to see them again in Des Moines.  Who’s up for it??

Jen

P.S.  To see all the pics from the concert, including a very hilarious one of Robert signing the back of my shirt, go to my Flickr page.

Sometimes I Buy Presents Just for the Fun of It

You know what is sooo awesome?  Receiving presents from people just because.  It’s not your birthday, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, or any other holiday you may receive presents on, but you still get a package in the mail is the BEST!

Example:  A few months ago, Amber sent me Madlibs, a bag of candy, and an Us Weekly WITH HER COMMENTS!!! to me just because I had said that I missed our roadtrips.  See, in what I like to call “the good ol’ Iowa days” on our roadtrips to library events or to visit nerdgirls, I’d drive and Amber would supply snacks and fun to entertain me, like reading from an Us Weekly and sharing her comments on why this story is scandalous or how hot that guy looks or how ugly this dress is.  So when I was sad about not getting to do that anymore, she sent me the world’s greatest package.

Sometimes I like to do similar things.  I might send someone a mixed cd of songs I think they’d love, or a dvd of episodes of a legen–wait for it–dary tv show, etc, etc.  It’s just fun to surprise people.

So the other day at …a store… I stopped and found something that reminded me of Someone.  So I bought it and as soon as I make it to the post office, Someone will be receiving a fun surprise.  🙂

– Jill