Friday, June 29, 2007


I'm changing my name soon. That will be weird. I have to get used to signing my name differently...I haven't practiced or anything.

Boy, this could wind up being a pain in the ass. How do I change all of this stuff? The name that comes up when I email? The name on my loans? my credit cards? my library card? driver's license? Passport? I feel like it's going to take forever to get that stuff changed.

Jake and I had a conversation one day and he said he didn't envy me at all about getting my name changed. I joked that we should be one of those couples that comes up with a new last name for both of us that combines our old last names.

Our favorites:
Mantranek (doesn't that sound like a tech company or something?)

Haha... it'd be awesome if Jake's new name was Jacob Manpet.

Keeping Up with the Joneses.

I added some more stuff to our wedding registry this morning due to pressure from people to do it. I don't want people to buy us a bunch of fancy crap. If you buy me a piece of china, it will sit in a closet. DO NOT BUY IT FOR ME. I didn't register for china, so I hope no one takes it upon themselves to buy it for me.

One of Jake's aunts gave us all these pages torn out of catalogs with "ideas" of things she could give us for the wedding. Apparently nothing on our registries were crazy fancy enough for her. Argh.

We invited a bunch of people from Jake's work to the wedding and none of them can make it. However, now they all feel obligated to give us gifts and they really shouldn't. They were asking us about wedding registries on Monday while we were out for drinks. I just wanted to invite them because I thought it would be fun if any of them decided they wanted to take a vacation to Wisconsin on a whim. I just want to have a party and this whole wedding thing is so confusing to me.

Tonia (a girl that works at the patent office) is getting married in November. I just looked at her wedding registry. A single place setting off her registry costs about as much as all of our dishes combined. Holy crap.

I don't need a bunch more stuff. Really. Our place is small. We already have trouble fitting the things we have into our apartment.

This reminds me... I have a friend who works at the patent office. She's thirty and single. She owns a three bedroom home up in Maryland. She's looking to move out of it, because her commute to work is about two hours, I think (she got the house when she worked at a different job). Anyway, she was telling me that she is thinking about getting an apartment in Alexandria for the time being while she researches the housing market in VA and decides where to move. However, she said that she wants a three bedroom apartment! I said, "Why do you need a three bedroom apartment?" She said, "Because I have all this nice furniture and I need a place to keep it. I had to furnish a three bedroom house, you know." "Why don't you just get rid of the furniture so you can live in a smaller place?" "Well, it's nice's mahogany and stuff." "Why do you need so much room?" " know, it's for guests and stuff..." "Has anyone ever slept in your other bedrooms?" "Well, no...but my brother has come over and slept on the couch before. I have a nice sleeper sofa. I want to keep that." "Come on, just sell your stuff on Craigslist or something." "Who's going to want to buy all this used furniture?" "I'm sure someone would be willing to take it." "Take it! But this is expensive stuff! I paid good money for it!" "I think you could get a fair price for can ask whatever you want for it on Craigslist." "I guess...oh...I don't know..."

Seriously, sometimes people just make me want to smack my forehead. Please someone tell me I am crazy if I ever get that attached to a bunch of stuff...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We're leaving soon!

Saturday is the big day for Jake and me to get on the road. I'm looking forward to it. It sort of feels like Christmas in July. I've been wrapping presents for people and shopping around for stuff to give people. I had no idea what to get my pastor. I wound up getting him a pen from Brookstone. I hope that's not too boring of a gift. What do most people give pastors for gifts?

It's hot here the mid-90s and humid. I asked Jake if he thought it would be cooler out in Wisconsin, and he said probably not. I think it will be, though. I hope it is. I don't want to be bathed in sweat during our wedding ceremony. That'll produce some quality pictures.

People keep asking me if I'm nervous about the wedding. I don't feel nervous about it at all really. But people asking me about it all the time makes me wonder if I should be worried more about it. I guess there are a few little things I'm not looking forward to...I still feel that I don't have a clue about makeup and I really don't want to dance alone with Jake in front of a whole bunch of people. Otherwise, I think I'm okay about it. I hope there's not something that I'm not thinking of that throws me off-guard and turns me into a nervous wreck during the wedding. I think I've got things pretty well covered, though.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Another list of things to do!

I've decided that I need to come up with new goals. The 50 things before I die list is getting kind of old. I have accomplished a good chunk of those goals (considering they are supposed to be life-long...) and I've also decided that some of those goals are kind of stupid.

Anyway, I've decided to make a list of 50 shorter-term goals. I've made them all the type of goal that I are measurable and can cross off a list, though I was really tempted to write out stuff like attitude goals. I'm making my two-year wedding anniversary the cut-off date. Anyone have any feedback on how much they think I'll accomplish? Or feedback on how to go about doing anything on the list? Here's what I have to do by 07/14/09:

1. Volunteer to do a clean up activity with an environmental group (at a park, nature trail, beach, etc.)
2. Go scuba diving
3. Go camping and build a campfire
4. Write a song
5. Go canoeing
6. Visit either Mexico or the Caribbean
7. Go to the eye doctor and see if I can get Lasik surgery on my left eye
8. Bake a pie
9. Organize the files on my computer better and make sure important files are backed-up on Jake’s external hard drive
10. Donate my hair to Locks of Love
11. Get another job
12. Beat Jake playing pool
13. Take a skiing class
14. Learn to tell five more good jokes
15. Go on my honeymoon
16. Sing karaoke in a bar in the DC Metro area
17. Gain the upper body strength to do a pull-up
18. Stop being overweight and stay that way
19. Hike the trail to the biggest waterfall in Shenandoah
20. Make a homemade pizza (get the recipe from Maria again…)
21. Get a pet dog
22. Buy a house, townhouse, or condo
23. Read at least an average of a book a month (only entire books count).
24. See at least 5 new states I haven’t visited before
25. Throw a dinner party
26. See another concert at the Birchmere
27. Go hiking in Great Falls
28. Get a professional massage
29. See a show at the Kennedy Center
30. Blog at least once a month
31. Take a photography class
32. Visit Monticello
33. Write either my Congressman or Senator at least 3 times about issues I care about (using my own words, not form emails)
34. Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper or magazine
35. Go to another continent besides North America
36. Only buy fair trade coffee for the coffeemaker at home
37. Do not eat at McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, or Taco Bell
38. Buy a comfortable couch
39. Make Jake go to see a musical with me
40. Trace Jake’s and my ancestry at least back to Europe on each side to have a family tree for our children
41. Eat vegan for a week
42. Continue to watch my blood pressure and keep it down
43. Go through my cupboards and closets and donate everything I don’t use to charity
44. Check out the National Arboretum
45. Write a friendly letter to someone I’ve never met in person and mail it
46. Enter a contest
47. Go to a book signing and get a signed copy of a book
48. Have at least one good conversation that goes until the wee hours of the morning
49. Write at least 3 recipes of my own creation
50. Print off and post this list somewhere so I see it nearly everyday and can check off items by hand.

Breakin' the law

I've been telling Jake that we should get our car emissions tested. It's required by law to have emissions tested yearly in Virginia, and our emissions sticker expired back in January. He said, "That's a stupid law...our car is new enough and it's going to pass inspection. Even the lawmakers think it's a stupid law. I read they want to get that changed." Still, I worried a bit about it. People have told me that the police can see your car parked somewhere and give you a ticket if they notice that your emissions sticker is expired. I told Jake I thought it was probably worth it to pay the 15 bucks or whatever to have the car tested so we don't wind up with some big ticket to pay. He insisted that he wasn't going to do it, because he wants to protest the law that he says is "stupid".

Anyway, I was driving to my job interview yesterday when I had to go through a toll booth. There was a cop standing outside at the toll. As I stuck my hand out the window, the cop said to me, "After you pay the toll, I need you to pull over to the side of the road." I thought, "Crap, what the hell did I do? Was I speeding somewhere beforehand?"

The cop walked over to the car and said, "I stopped you because your emissions sticker has been expired for six months." I made myself look pretty clueless. I said, "Oh,um...this is my fiance's car." He said, "I need to see your license and registration." I handed him my license and started digging around in the glove box for the registration. I said, "What does the registration even look like?" He said, "It's a big white card." I really couldn't find the registration in the pile of stuff in the glove box. I found an insurance card and handed it to him saying, "Is this it?" He was like, "No..." He stood there for a while, looking at my Wisconsin driver's license and looking at how stupid I was being. I bet he was thinking I had absolutely no clue. He said, "So...fiance, eh? What does the ring look like?" I showed him my ring. He handed my license and insurance card back to me, rolled his eyes, and said, "All right...just go."

Whew. I'm lucky I'm a girl. If it was Jake going through that toll, he would have been totally nailed. I also don't think it would've worked quite as well if I said, "my husband's car" instead of "my fiance's car". Now that I told Jake this story, we're getting the emissions inspected.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The days are really flying by. Maria left yesterday morning, and the time with her went by quickly. We did a lot of stuff, but I felt like there were a million more things we could have done, too. I was really worn out. We definitely packed in a good number of activities. Now I need to get myself on track and get stuff done. I have enough favors made for the number of people I think will be coming to the wedding. We still need to figure out the situation for a bunch of people though. Tomorrow I have a job interview. Ugh. I suppose I will have Jake practice with me tonight before I go, but I really don't want to do it.

It was really hot here for a while, but it's cooled off today. It was up near 100 with the heat index, but today it's about 85 and it rained. I'm glad. I hate having all the heat and humidity.

I really just want to completely veg out. I want to sit around and read and do nothing. Blah.

I made a new project for myself to make heart shaped confetti out of the scraps of paper I haven't used for favors. Gah. It never ends. Why do I do this to myself? I found out recently that July 14th is "Pandemonium Day". Yup, I'm pretty sure it's going to be pure pandemonium. I'm ready to get it over with so that my time will be freed up to think about other things.

I haven't been applying to a lot of jobs. I feel like I have all this other poop going on.

Jake is working all this upcoming weekend so he can take a bunch of time off for the wedding. I don't know what I'm going to do this weekend yet.

We leave here in about a week and a half! It seems totally crazy to me.

Here are some random pictures from Maria's visit:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Random Blog of Stuff

I can't get myself excited to apply for any jobs.

I do have another job interview next week, but I'm really not excited for that either. It's with a company that makes applications for PDAs and stuff to help people behaviorally with weight loss, stopping smoking, sticking to a diet, etc. I'd help with behavioral research. I feel sketchy about it though, because then I'd be doing research for a company that obviously would be interested in showing that their products work. So, would I be put in a position of hypothesis-proving? Ick. Plus, the job is out in Reston. The commute would be a pain. Plus, I'd have to pay a toll driving there. Blah.

I feel like since I have this free time, and it's not an emergency that I find a job, I really should try to find work that helps me live up to my ideals. I'm not sure where to find that, though. Also, I'm not really sure what I'm passionate enough about to stick with. Maybe it's extremely difficult to have work that matches with what you think is the meaning of your life. Maybe it's even more difficult to find that in something entry level...

I think Jake and I are going to go see "Knocked Up" tonight. Yay! It's been a long while since I've actually wanted to see something in the theatre. It seems like every other movie this summer is a sequel. Do I really want to go to the theatre to see the third Pirates or Shrek movie?

I've been working on making wedding favors this week. I have just over 100 of them made. I'm not sure how many people we're actually going to have at the wedding yet, though. There are still about 70 people we haven't heard from...they have two days until the due date. It's really annoying and it's going to be a lot more work to have to start getting on the phone to figure out counts for everything.

Maria comes tomorrow! There is crap all over our apartment, so I really need to get it all cleaned up. I can't wait to have this wedding over with, because most of the mess is related to that...favors, boxes of stuff to take home, boxes of spare wedding invitations, lists and tallies of different wedding stuff...a huge box from a gift we just got (some friends of Jake's parents- who I don't even know- got us a new set of bedsheets and a comforter...yay!).

Jake and I are planning to go to Toronto for a couple of days before making our way to Wisconsin. We booked some hotel rooms last night. We're planning to drive all the way to a bit past Niagara Falls on our first day of driving and then spend two nights in Toronto. I'm not sure what all I want to do yet. I think I want to check out Kensington Market and go up the CN Tower. July 1 is Canada Day, but I haven't seen anything special that's going on in Toronto that day.

Okay, not too much else happening in the moment...

Hopefully, I'll have some good pictures and stories after Maria comes!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Well, summer has begun!

It seems now that the days are so long and the weather is warm, there has been more and more stuff going on, and all sorts of fun things planned.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I got to see a DC United game on Friday night with the Marnis. Then, Jake and I got a call from Jon and Ellen because there were a bunch of old college friends in town. It was nice to get to see some of them, because I know a couple of them aren't going to make it to the wedding. Marie has a family trip planned and Tom is in a big bike race that weekend for sure. We toured the monuments at night with them on Friday after the game. Then we went out for French food at Les Halles and drank at the Brickskeller on Saturday. On Sunday night, we came over to have lasagna with a bunch of them at Jon and Ellen's.

Here's a picture of some of us at the Brickskeller:

Last weekend, Jake and I went down to Busch Gardens with some of the people from the PTO. Then, Jake and I stayed at a hotel in Williamsburg so that we could tour Jamestown and see Williamsburg the next day.

Here's Jake at this colonial tavern we went to in Williamsburg:

I thought the whole deal of having people dressed up in colonial clothing was kind of creepy. Jake and I also got trapped on the opposite side of the street from where our car was parked and we kept getting asked to show tickets to be out on the street. I guess there's an area in Williamsburg that gets blocked off in the afternoons, and if you haven't bought a pass to be in the area, you're not allowed to walk through. It's weird.

Tomorrow, I'm going with Jake and some other people to Celebrate Fairfax to see the band Live play. Jake's friend Rob is having us over on Saturday to play Mario party on the Wii. Then, Maria comes next Friday! Yay!

Job update: I had an interview yesterday with Westat, which is an employee-owned contract research organization in Rockville. It was for a research assistant position in their Education Studies division. I had three sets of interviews with nine people total. I don't think it went too bad...I've definitely had worse. They said it might be a few weeks before they let me know about the job. The job seems pretty cool, except for the fact that it'd be in Rockville and the commute would be a pain. If I started working there, I think I might bother Jake to move again.