Monday, February 21, 2011

Three Day Weekend

I love me a three day weekend - it gives me a chance to do "projects." Today I was bound and determined to tackle the dining room chairs. I bought the material to recover the chairs on the last three day weekend, so it was time.

Altogether, it took me about 2 hours to do all six chairs, so this is definitely an easy project for an afternoon.

Here are the tools you'll need: Scissors, a screwdriver, a hammer, a heavy-duty stapler and staples. For the material, I got two yards of decorator fabric off the remnant table at the fabric store for $4.97/yd. I had more than enough to do six chairs. The amount you will need depends on the number and size of your chairs.
Turn the chair over and unscrew the seat from the frame. Say hi to Rex; he was helping.

Center the seat on your fabric and put one staple in one side. Pull the fabric tight to the opposite side and staple. Then you can add more staples to each side. I used about four or five staple to each side. Once you have done two opposite sides, then repeat with the other two sides. The only tricky bit is the corners and you just have to fiddle with it a little bit. This is what it looks like when it's done.Then you just have to screw the seat back on the frame and you are all done! Here is a before and after picture of the chairs.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 17 - An Art Piece

This painting is A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. Seurat was an Impressionist painter and this is one of the best, if not the best, examples of pointillism. The entire painting is made up of little dots of color. If you get too close, it looks like the pixels in a low resolution digital print.

The painting is huge (almost 7' by 10') and took over two years to complete. It is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. I saw it there several years ago and purchased a tote bag in the gift shop there with the painting on it.

It is also the inspiration for Stephen Sondheim's musical Sunday in the Park with George. I like Sondheim's shows because the lyrics are always so intricate and oftentimes quite funny. This show features a song called "The Day Off," in which Georges sings what the dogs in the painting are thinking. This includes one of my favorite lines, "that's the puddle where the poodle did the piddle." If you haven't seen it, you should check it out. You can find it on Netflix; I just added it to Jim's queue.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 16 - A song that makes you cry

So, I missed a few days, so what.

Anyway, today I am supposed to blog about a song that makes me cry (or almost cry). The song, I Can Only Imagine, by MercyMe was released in 2001 and then covered by Wynonna Judd in 2005. It's not a particularly sad song, but the first time I heard it was at a funeral service and it moved me so much that I can't hear it now without tearing up. I'd never be able to sing it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A photo I took

When my computer crashed last year, I lost most of my pictures. I don't have any on here now that I like. I think I have some on my office computer that I will look for tomorrow morning.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A photo that makes you angry...

It's not that this photo makes me mad. It's more that it sums up my current feelings toward Verizon Business. I have been having nothing but grief in dealing with Verizon since the early part of December.

That is when I first notified Verizon that our office was moving. Apparently, I had to be prescient and notify Verizon two months before I knew where I was moving in order to have our VoIP and internet service moved to our new office. The relationship has gone down hill from there.

We moved our office on January 24th and we have been without phones or internet service ever since. We do have internet, because we went ahead and set up another system. Our office is 99% web-based - we can't operate with internet.

It took me until the day before our move for me to make Verizon understand that we had Cisco equipment that runs our phone system still screwed to the wall in our office. Even then, it took them until February 4th to arrange for a Cisco partner to come and uninstall it and reinstall it in our new office. Bear in mind that we no longer had access to our old office on Feb. 4 and had to beg building management to let us in long enough to get it. And while it's in our new office, we still don't have phone because it's not connection to the internet.

Today a Verizon tech came and pulled the T1 line up to our office and installed the jack, but we still don't have phones or internet, because no one has installed the router, which has been in my office since Verizon shipped it to me on January 13th.

Needless to say, Verizon is currently the source of everything that makes me angry.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A photo that makes you happy...

This picture from our wedding always makes me happy. It's one in a series of about twelve candid shots that our photographer caught of the two of us right after the ceremony. The rest of the pictures are here, starting on page 17.

We are standing in the narthex of the church waiting to make pictures and chatting with our guests. I don't remember what we were talking about, but we were both just so happy that we couldn't stop laughing. I love the look on Jim's face and the way his eyes crinkle up at the corners.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Road Trip

Today, I am supposed to blog about whatever tickles my fancy.

I get these updates from a couple of websites that sell luxury goods for a discount. A couple of them also have travel deals. I saw a discount rate for The Old Tavern inn in Grafton, Vermont on one of those sites and decided that we needed to take a weekend get-away. I booked a couple of nights in May and we are going to take the train up. This is a picture of the inn.

Grafton is near the mountains in southern Vermont. There is hiking, biking and all kinds of winter sports, a local cheese maker and maple syrup farm (I guess that's the right word for it). There's even a covered bridge. I'm just looking forward to some quiet time together with my husband.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 5 - Your Favorite Quote

Si hoc comprehendere potes, gratias age magistro Latinae.

This quote used to be in my email signature. If, for some inexplicable reason, you can't read that, it says "If you can understand this, thank a Latin teacher."

I freely confess to being a dork of the highest order. I am the only person I know who actual took Latin in high school. I picked it because I thought it would help me on the SAT. I was only able to take it for one year because there was only one section of Latin II the next year and it was at the same time as symphonic band (told you I was a dork). I switched to Spanish and took two years of that, which is neither here nor there.

This is one of my favorite quotes because I think it says something about the state of education. Not that I think everyone should take Latin, because, honestly, it doesn't have much of any practical use. I think it reflects a lack of focus on learning for the sake of learning. So much time is spent on passing standardized tests that it's rare that anyone learns anything just for the fun of learning something. And as the arts, languages and other elective course vanish from public schools, it's going to become even more rare.

My high school no longer offers German or Russian, but I am happy to say that you can still take Latin.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Jim asked me at 12:15 last night if I had made the blog posting. The title is what I told him. Remind me before the Tonight Show starts next time.

Day 3 - Your Favorite Book

I love books and one benefit of a 45 minute each way commute is that you get a lot of reading time. Jim got me a Kindle for Christmas. I resisted for a long time because I like the feel of actual paper books. That said, I love it. I can get new books anywhere there is wifi, it's lightweight, fits in my purse, you can "borrow" books from other Kindle users and is surprisingly easy to read on. I think I read even faster with it.

I read a lot, but I don't usually re-read books. I have authors I like - Janet Evanovich, Charlene Harris, Laurell K Hamilton, Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell.

Day 4 - Your Favorite Television Show

This one is much easier. Since I've only been on one television show, it's easy to say that Jeopardy! is my favorite show. In fact, it was my favorite before I was on it. I am a self declared nerd and I have watched this show (along with my family) for as long as I can remember. I like the fact that I know a ton of useless crap. It took me three tests and two auditions before I got asked to be on, but it was so worth it. My show aired on Inauguration Day, so those of us in D.C. (including me) didn't get to see it. I was leading going into the final question and came in second. The only thing that makes that ok is the fact that no one got the final question correct. That and the fact that I was on before my sister was - her's would have been a tough act to follow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Almost Screwed It Up Already

I was half-way into bed when I remembered that I was supposed to be blogging today. This is going to be harder than I thought. Not because I can't talk about the topics, but because I forget to do it.

Anyway, Day 2 - Your Favorite Movie

This is a little easier than yesterday's topic. There are movies that I love in every genre, but there are only a few that I will stop and watch over and over again.

Guys and Dolls - starring Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. I love this movie. Haven't you always wanted to hear Brando sing? Favorite Quote (song lyric, actually): "And your the only doll I've ever wanted to share it with me."

The Princess Bride - I even own this movie and I still watch it on t.v. every single time. It's got action and comedy and romance; what's not to love? Favorite Quote: "This is true love - do you think this happens everyday?'

The Usual Suspects - This movie absolutely gets better every time I see it. This is a modern film noir work, told in flashbacks. Favorite Quote: "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

11:45. I got it in just under the wire. Good night.