Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Did you ever have one of those books?  You know the one.  You bought it because all the reviews about it were good.  Friends or family - the trusted ones - recommended it.  You cracked the spine, expecting to be wowed and...

You are less than whelmed.  But you keep plugging away.  Keep reading.  Keep trying.  "It has to get better," you think, "NPR said it would."  "Why would preciousflower164* have given it such a glowing Amazon review...I have to be missing something!"

400 pages in, you realize - you're hooked.  And not just because you've been forcing yourself to keep reading.  But because the book has finally managed to suck you in.  You find that you love the characters.  You're anxious to find out what happens to them.  How their lives change.  Will he ever make up with his brother?  Will he ever forgive the girl who destroyed his heart?  Will he ever see his father again?  These questions nag at your heart, begging you to come back to the book.  Once finished, you find out it has changed you.

Or do I just sound like a crazy person?  Well, anyway, I just finished that book.  2 hours ago.

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese.  I started this book at the end of April.  I just finished it.  It took me a really long time to get into it.  But it just snuck up on me.  All of a sudden, I couldn't stop.  I read on the train - I have a 1/2-hour ride to and from the city, and I pass that time reading.  Occasionally, I read at home, but not often.  Once I'm home, I prefer to spend my time hanging out with Matt, cooking, baking, or, well, doing this!  So I know I'm sucked into a book when I find myself reading it on my off-hours.  I came home Friday night and read until Matt got home.  I read more yesterday when we got home from Hershey.  It took me a month to get through the first 400 pages.  It took me 3 hours to get through the last 150.

If you're a patient reader (which I am often not), give this book a shot.  And if you do read it, or have read it, how did it go for you?

*Amazon usernames have been changed to protect the innocent

Monday, May 30, 2011

Man-Candy Monday

A bit late.  But it's still Monday.

Matt and I are sitting at home right now watching last season of Rescue Me.  The new season starts in a couple of weeks, and we need to catch up.  It's been a year since season 5 ended and we kind of forget how it happened.  Now that we're watching it, I'm glad we're catching up.

Anyway!  This week's man-candy is Steve Pasquale.  Not only is he kiiiinda hot, but he also is from our hometown!  Matt was friends with him in high school, and I used to take dance classes with his younger sister.  Cool, huh?  So, with no further ado...

Firefighter?  How can ya not?!

He's a cutie, no?  Link on up with Join the Gossip and join the good times!

*all images from google

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What to Do

So I'm trying to decide what to do with my wedding dress.  We're 7 months out from our wedding (today!) and my dress has yet to be cleaned.  It's currently hanging in the little closet in the Grapes room.  Just hanging there.  Sad.  Lonely. 

I want to do something with it.  I'm realistic enough to know that my daughter will probably not wear it, so I don't want to just save it for saving-it's sake.  But I also can't really bring myself to sell it.  Or destroy it.  Sooo...my dress had a small train on it.  I am thinking of cutting off the train and doing something with that fabric, but still keeping the rest of the dress relatively in tact.  Just in case my daughter is a wanna-be hippie like me. 

So I'm debating between two different options.  One is making a christening dress out of the fabric.  Well, actually, giving my dress to my mom and having her make a christening dress out of the fabric.  My mom was a home ec major in college, so any time anything needs any kind of sewing, I hand it over to Mom! 

My other idea is to make a wreath.  Kind of like this.


I could wrap the fabric around a styrofoam loop, then add some fabric flowers.  Flowers in our wedding colors.  And a peacock feather?  I don't know.  Something along those lines. 

I think I'm leaning more towards the wreath.  It's something we can hang on our wall and always have a piece of our wedding day to look at without it being obvious.  It would be like our little secret. 

What did you do with your wedding dress?  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hold on Tight

Alternate title: Why Social Work Will Take You on the Ride of Your Life...Every Day

I mentioned that Friday was a crazy day, right?  There are many reasons why a day in the life of a hospital social worker can be crazy.  But Friday was a particularly special kind of crazy. 

Not only did I have multiple discharges to arrange (which means making referrals, finding an accepting facility, getting insurance authorization, setting up transportation, and communicating all of the above to the patient and family), but I also had a patient who refused to do anything without my "permission" (more on that in a minute), and a psych placement.  With out-of-area insurance.  Who was refusing to go to inpatient treatment, despite the fact that she was under involuntary committment and therefore legally couldn't refuse.  It's unnerving to have to tell someone, "I'm sorry, but, um, tough shit, you're going to get on that ambulance stretcher and go to treatment."  Legal committment or not, it's not pleasant to force someone into treatment.  We actually had to call security at one point because she threatened to walk out.  I had to stand there and have a discussion with her about the fact that she was being committed against her will and she had absolutely no choice in the matter.  Not. Fun.

But that's not the part that made my day so roller-coaster-y.  (Yep that's totally a word).  I had another patient who, when he first came into the hospital, you could not have a rational conversation with him.  He was delusional and paranoid.  I know, it sounds like I work on a psych floor, doesn't it?  I promise, I don't.  He was delusional due to a medication toxicity - he'd accidentally/unknowingly overdosed on one of his home medications, and it caused him to go a little wacky for a bit.  Once his toxicity level came down, he calmed down and was able to have a real, meaningful, purposeful conversation. 

This patient had been (through his perception) abused by the system his entire life.  He was distrusting of everyone in the hospital.  He threw several doctors and nurses out of his room.  The first time I met with him, I had to walk away because he was so abusive.  But somehow, I got through to him and he grew to trust me.  He felt like, for his whole life, he'd been promised things that were never delivered.  I did what I told him I'd do, and I think he felt like he finally had someone on his side.  He needed help at home but refused to sign the paperwork necessary to get the help at home because a) he is illiterate and b) he was afraid they'd take his house (a very common misconception, unfortunately).  Once I explained everything to him, he agreed to have the caseworker come back and to sign the paperwork...only if I was present for the meeting and explained anything he wasn't sure about. 

So I was and he signed everything.  It was kind of a proud moment for me.  As a social worker, it is incredibly fulfilling to know that you gained the trust of a man that so few others could not.  He signed the paperwork.  He agreed to go a nursing facility for rehab ("for one week!"), even though the facility that accepted him was outside the city.  I had everything arranged for him to go on Saturday.  I left work exhausted but feeling like I had done some real social work. 

I came in this morning and received a voicemail from his insurnace company saying that he'd never arrived at the nursing facility.  I called the facility and they told me that they'd received word that he'd left the hospital AMA, meaning Against Medical Advice, before his discharge.  I checked the chart and, indeed, he had signed out AMA. 

I have to admit, I'm a little heartsick over this.  I thought I had done some real work.  I thought I had made progress and made a difference in this man's life.  I thought we had a deal.  The nurse practitioner who was on service the day of his discharge is not here today, nor is the nurse who discharged him, so I can't find out what exactly went down until later in the week.  I ended last week on such a high, and this is a pretty major blow.

In my heart of hearts, I know that I do good in my job.  But things like this make it hard to see the forest for the trees.

Man-Candy Monday

Happy Monday, lovers!  Hope you all had a great weekend.  We had a blast at the circus on Sunday, even though it was chilly.  And Saturday, well, I guess we all survived the end of days.  Or whatever that was supposed to be.  Which is kind of nice.  I kind of like my life.

But you're not here to hear about my weekend, are you?  Ok, well, ready for some yummm?

Mm-mm-mmh.  Bradley Cooper.  He randomly appeared on Saturday Night Live tonight, and despite the fact that Matt was sitting right next to me, I couldn't help myself - I squealed.  Like a 10 year old girl.  "EEE!  Oh my God, it's actually him," she said, breathlessly.  You'd have thought he walked into our living room.

He's so hot.

Link up and join in the fun!

*all images from google

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fun Fact Fri(Satur)day

Yesterday was an absolutely insane day at work, and by the time I got home (2 hour late), I was so wiped, all I could do was collapse on the couch and have a glass of Bailey's on the rocks.  So I didn't get around to Fun Fact Friday, even though I totally knew what I wanted to write.

Matt and I are going to circus tomorrow!  Assuming, of course, that we survive the whole end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it hoopla.  It's the annual LuLu Shrine Circus.  I've wnated to go for several years, but just never got a chance to.  This year, I had a 1/2-off offer and we actually had a (semi)free weekend!  So we're going.  

The LuLu Shrine Circus is near and dear to my heart not only because it's a circus (and who doesn't love a circus) but also because it's put on by the LuLu Shrine Temple.  What does that mean, exactly?  It's run by Shriners.  Ok, aaaannnd?  Well, I used to work for Shriners Hospitals for Children, and since then Shriners Hospitals has been my pet charity.  I donate money every paycheck through a direct deposit to Shriners Hospitals.  I donate all our soda can tabs to Shriners Hospitals because they recycle them and use the money to buy equipment for the hospitals.  Shriners is very very important to me. Read more about Shriners Hospitals for Children here.  It seriously is totally free care - regardless of income and insurance - and it's amazing care.  The things I saw when I worked there were so inspiring.

Anyway, every year, many Shrine temples around the country put on circuses or other such things to raise money for the hospitals.  The LuLu Shrine is the Philadelphia-area Shrine temple.  In Hershey, it was the Zembo Shrine, and I grew up going to the Zembo Shrine Circus before I even know what the Shriners were.

So, for this week's Fun Fact Friday, here are some fun circus facts!

~ A basic balancing act = a base to lift/catch the flyer + a flyer to perform skills in mid-air + a spotter who assists the flyer.  We used the exact same terminology in cheering.  I was one of the lucky ones who did all 3.  (c:

~ Cary Grant started his career as an acrobat in a circus

~ It is statistically harder to get into Ringling Brothers School of Clowning than into Harvard Law School.

~ Sousa's march, "Stars and Stripes Forever," was usually played to quickly alert all circus personnel to an emergency in the tent (sound familiar, Water for Elephants readers?)

~ Human cannonballs travel at 60-70 miles per hour.  So the next time you're driving down the highway, imagine not being in a car.  Yikes.

~ The first circus in America was put on in Philadelphia (woohoo!) in 1793.  George Washington was in attendance.

~ The hamburger was born out of necessity at a circus in 1892 when a food concessions manager ran out of link sausages and instructed his assistants to grind the meat into patties.

~ July 4, 1944 - the tent at the Big Show catches fire.  Dozens are injured and killed.  It's the first big tragedy to happen at a circus.  Six officials were sent to prison.

~ Ringling Brothers Clown College started accepting female applicants in 1970.

*fun facts from here and here

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Freebie List

I'm jumping the bandwagon with Jessica and Steph.  Seems a little blog party is making the rounds based on the Friends episode where everyone discusses their Celebrity Freebie List - the top 5 celebrities they're "allowed" to cheat on their significant others with.  Matt and I have had this discussion before.  Or, well, basically, I've told him, "Honey, if he ever shows up at our front door, you'll just have to forgive me."  So who did I say that about?  Here's my Freebie List (I haven't laminated it....yet):

Bradley Cooper.  That smile.  The messy hair.  Those abs.  He's just delicious.  He was filming in Philadelphia a few months ago, and - I'm not gonna lie - I seriously considered calling out of work so I could go find him. 

Adam Brody.  AKA, Seth Cohen (on The O.C.).  His devotion to Summer, loyalty to Ryan, and relationship with his parents were just adorable.  And the wit and charm?  I die.  I loved Seth Cohen and said many times that I'd marry him if he were real.  Apparently, Adam Brody pretty much is Seth Cohen.


Josh Holloway.  Seriously?  How hot was Sawyer?  With the accent and the abs and the hair... oh boy.  And remember when he wore the glasses that he made?  Love.

Ryan Kwanten.  Oh. Em. Gee.  True Blood is not lacking in pretty things to look at, but boy oh boy, Ryan Kwanten is certainly a highlight!

Jared Leto.  Be still my 14-year-old heart.  In 1993, if you were a girl and didn't love Jordan Catalano, you may not have been alive.  He's still gorgeous today (even with his eye makeup). 

So?  Who's on your list?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Do you ever have one of those days/weeks where everything and everyone just seems to be out to piss you off?  Maybe this is one of those weeks for me.  Or maybe I'm just feeling extra-sensitive - it's a full moon and I have my period.  The two most wacktastic times of the month are in full alignment for me this month, and it ain't pretty.  I feel cranky, tired, annoyed, and fat. 

The way things are set up in my hospital is that the social workers are in the department of Clinical Resource Management.  This means that we are in the same department as the nurse case managers, who do the insurance reviews to make sure the hospital gets paid.  When I first started here, over 4 years ago, the social workers did all the discharge planning - set up home care, ordered equipment, arranged placements, setting up transportation, ordering medications...it was a lot, and things fell through the cracks.  We were totally overwhelmed.  About 3 years ago, the set up changed a little bit in that the home needs fell to the nurse case managers, so now they do the insurance reviews plus arrange home care and order equipment.  The theory behind this was that it would provide the social workers more time to do what we're trained for - to provide supportive counseling for patients and families.  It hasn't done that, but it was a nice thought.

Anyway.  Where I'm really going with this is that it can be very difficult to be paired with someone whose job is basically about the bottom line.  The case manager's job is to make sure we - the hospital - is getting paid.  Which means they have to find reasons to prove to the insurance companies that the patient needs to be in the hospital.  If the patient no longer meets "hospital level of care," it's time for him/her to go.  They also have to make sure that the patient's discharge plan is "safe," which sounds very altruistic and lovely, but really, it just means they need to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep the patient from getting readmitted, because if a patient comes back to the hospital within 30 days for the same reason, we (the hospital) don't get paid. 

While I understand that making sure the hospital is getting paid is important (I'd like to keep getting a steady paycheck, too), my first priority is to see that the patient's rights are being respected and upheld.  And this is where the social workers and the nurse case managers fall off the same page.  And me and my nurse case manager?  We may as well be in different books.  Social workers operate based on a core code of ethics and values.  The biggest one of those is to support the patient/client's right to self-determination.  And I take that value very seriously.  I feel like it is my job to advocate for the patient's right to make her own decision (so long as the patient has the mental capacity to do so).  If the doctors recommend placement for a patient, I am happy to discuss it with her.  But if she tells me that he wants to go home, that's her choice.  My job is to provide patients with the knowledge and choices to make an informed decision.  After that, it's up to the patient.  And we have to respect that, whether or not we agree with it.  Everyone has the right to fail.  But at least they failed with their dignity in tact. 

My case manager and I butt heads on this a lot.  And I get very frustrated with her very quickly.  She is constantly trying to get involved in cases that I am working on.  If I have established a relationship with a patient or family and am working with them to help them make a decision about home care services or rehab placement or (and this is my pet peeve!) hospice services, but the family is not deciding fast enough, she gets involved and puts pressure on me and on the family.  It's completely inappropriate and it makes me really angry.  I have discussed it with her and with our boss, but it never corrects.  It's her personality and unfortunately, my personality is the complete opposite.  We do not work well together and it's very difficult.  I am currently in discussions with my boss, who has just hired someone new, to change up the assignments a bit and put a new nurse case manager on my floor.  It's not a healthy work environment for either of us, and I fear that we do a disservice to our patients because we're so frustrated with each other.  But I worry that because she's so busy undermining me and then I'm trying to clean up the mess she inevitably causes, we're just confusing and frustrating the patients.  And as far as I'm concerned, it's ok to piss me off, but when you start affecting my patients, then it's not cool anymore.  I am here, as a social worker, to fight for my patients and to support their wants and needs.  If someone is interfering with that, it offends me. 

There are many other things about our working relationship that frustrate me.  She sends me emails throughout the day, telling me things about my patients that I already know because I've already established a relationship with them!  She makes inappropriate remarks about our patients.  She tries to drag me into situations where I do not need to be.  She tries to pawn work off on me.  She tries to make me feel guilty when she stays late and I leave (relatively) on time [somehow the fact that she sits around and gossips with other staff rather than getting her work done means I should be helping her out].  Luckily, my frustration (and let's face it, disdain) with her does not outwardly show, thank goodness (I asked a friend of mine who used to be a floor nurse on our unit). 

What do you think?  How do you deal with coworkers who you just cannot seem to mesh with?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I had a great weekend, you guys. I hope you all did, too.  Matt was away, visiting a friend of his in Maryland, so I had a girls' weekend.  On Friday night, I stayed in and had a night to myself.  It was the first time in a really long time, and it was quite lovely.  I love my husband, but every now and then, a girl needs to have a couple glasses of white wine and watch some chick flicks.  First I caught up on 2 weeks' worth of Nurse Jackie and The United States of Tara.  Do you watch those shows?  They're absolutely fantastic.  Toni Collette, as Tara, is phenomenal.  Seriously.  You should watch it.  Then I watched Easy A.  Emma Stone was cute enough, but for me, Stanley Tucci stole the show.  He played the father and he was hysterical.  After that, I watched Once.  What a beautiful film.  If you like music, especially organic, raw, beautiful, acoustic guitar music, you must watch this movie.  It actually made me cry.

Anyway, on Saturday, my friend Nicole came down.  We had a lovely day.  We spent a few hours at my house, just catching up and gossipping.  We also went to get our nails done.  I had hoped we'd have time for mani-pedis, but we chitchatted at home for too long, and only had the time to get manicures.  I chose a color that was way out of the ordinary for me:
Purple with a Purpose
Yeah, it's bright.  But I kind of love it.  I went in wanting a dark grey, but I'm glad I went with this.

After our manicures, we went to see Bridesmaids.  Really funny.  You guys should go see it.  At one point, I laughed so hard I was in tears.  Kristin Wiig is adorable and I just love Maya Rudolph,  And what's not to love about a movie about a bridal party gone horribly, hysterically awry?  I really enjoyed this and give it "two very enthusiastic thumbs up, fine holiday fun!"  [name that movie]

Wanna know something funny?  Half of this stuff wasn't in the actual movie.  Anyway, the movie was over and we were starving.  Initially I'd planned for us to go into Center City for some dinner and drinks, but it was raining and neither one of us felt like walking around the city in the rain.  So we opted to stick around where I live and ended up at the Melting Pot.  YUM-O.  Did you know that even if you don't have a reservation, you can eat right at the bar?  Yup, they have fondue pots right at the bar.  Awesome!!!

Sunday rolled around and I ran a few errands and then got dinner going in the crock pot while waiting for Matt to get home.  Sunday night we watched The King's Speech, which totally lived up to the hype, in my opinion.  If you haven't seen it, see it. 

Yeah, this was a movie-fest weekend for me, but I really needed it.  Work has been crazy, and I feel like I've been going at 180% for weeks.  My body was really craving this down-time, so it came at a perfect time.  What do you do with your "me-time?"

Monday, May 16, 2011

Man-Candy Monday

Selma, over at Crazy Little World of Mine, has been doing this for the psat couple of weeks and I've been thoroughly enjoying it.  I mean, what's not to like about spending a few minutes of your Monday morning gazing at cute boys?  Right?  So, I'm linking up and joining the fun.  My first Man-Candy?  Brandon Boyd.  The lead singer of Incubus.  He is just. so. pretty.  Take a few moments and soak in the yummyness.

Mmm.  Isn't he delicious?!  (all images from google)

It's a blog hop, so link on over at Join the Gossip to start your day off with something pretty to look at!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tappin 2011

*I know I posted this the other night.  I'm sure of it.  But thanks to Blogger's major FAIL this week, it seems to have disappeared into internet nowhere-ness.  Thanks, Blogger.*

On Friday, I briefly mentioned that I was going to a dance show Saturday night with my mom and sister.  It is one of the two dance schools in Hershey (for a small town, it seems to have a very high concentration of dancers!) - One Broadway - and they have been known for years to put on quite a show every year.  The school got its start in 1991 (holy crap) when the two owners of the original school (Hershey School of Dance) had a falling out.  One Broadway opened down the street from Hershey School of Dance and quickly gained a reputation as the (in my humble opinion) stronger "talent pool" in town. 

Over the years, One Broadway put on some seriously amazing shows, which they called "Tappin."  Because of the talent of its dancers, it was able to pull off things that you'd see in big dance companies.  They copied - almost tap for tap - numbers from Broadway shows.  Tappin has always been a big production, and the weekend of the show is a big weekend in Hershey.  Girls took off school on the Friday before the show to "prepare," and the whole town turned out to see it. 

In the years after my sister's class left, things kind of got a little weird at One Broadway, and the quality of the show (from what I've heard) suffered.  I went back this year not really knowing what to expect.  I have to say that although it's definitely different from the years I was there, it seems to be on the up-swing.  There are definitely some talented girls (one in particular who I could not take my eyes off of) and for the most part, the choreography was very strong.  I think the show still has a way to go, but it's obvious that the current teachers (3 of whom are One Broadway alumni; 2 of whom I absolutely worshiped when I was a wee thing) really care about turning the school around and making it the spectacle it once was. 

Anyway, I know none of you really care about any of this, but One Broadway and Tappin were such a huge part of my life for so long, I really just wanted to talk about it a little bit.  To make it more interesting, and to help showcase some of the crazy things that One Broadway did over the years, here are a few pictures from my days as a One Broadway dancer.  Get ready, cuz I am about to supremely embarass myself!!

1989 - "Playin with the Boys."  My first year of dance.  I was 10.  And yes, that is a trash can lid on my foot.  That's how awesomesauce 1Bway was.  I cannot tell you how much it was to stomp around with that thing.  This same year, we did another number dressed as painters and carried ladders around.

1990 - "Baby, I'm a Star."  Little-known but awesome Prince song.  This year we also did Grease, and had pink ladies and t-birds.  I was a t-birds.  I wore a white t-shirt, black jeans, and black Converse with taps on them.

1991 - "Strike It Up."  Ok, so this year was kind of major for me.  I dropped my hula hoop.  In the show.  In the first minute.  It rolled across the stage, off the stage, and up the aisle of the theater.  I wanted to die.  Instead, I finished the dance, then ran off stage in tears.  I cannot hear that song today and not get all nervous inside.

1992 - "The Rhythm."  This was a fun one.  This year, we also did a number from Will Rogers Follies called "Give a Man Enough Rope."  We were dressed as cows.  Complete with horns and a tail.  You will never see that, internet.  Ever.

 1993 - I don't remember the name of this one.  My friends and I thought we looked like hookers.  I remember being terribly annoyed that we took the pictures this year in this costume rather than our other one.  Our other number this year was from the show Crazy for You.  We wore the same costumes they did in the show, complete with blonde curly wigs.  It was great.  And one of my favorite numbers.

1994 - "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."  Our other number this year was called "Mardi Gras," and I hated it.  I think I must have skipped the pro photos this year.  It was my last year of dance and I was kind of getting over it.  Although I did absolutely love this number.  This is the only picture I have.  Look carefully and you can see where my mom circled my head. 

So there you are, world.  My tap days in all their glory.  I do miss dance sometimes, and have looked for tap classes in the area, but I worry that I'll never find anything as good as One Broadway so I never actually end up taking a class.  It's silly, I know.  That's me, though.  Picky to a fault.

*Sorry for the crappy photos.  They're pictures I took with my phone of the pictures my mom pasted in my baby book.  That's why they're so dark and grainy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


9 years ago today, my life was railroaded.  What happened that night changed me.  If you'd told me then that everything would work out and that my life would move forward, I'd never have believed you.  I felt totally stuck.  And it scared me to death.

In the years following, the anniversary of that night was a day that I stayed in bed and wallowed.  I dreaded it for days beforehand, and it made me feel anxious and sad and scared and angry.

These days, I don't even really think about it.  I had no idea it was today until I woke up and logged onto facebook and saw that it was Matt's cousin's daughter's birthday.  A few years ago, I discovered that her birthday is the same day.  If I hadn't realized today was her birthday, I wouldn't have realized today was the anniversary. 

I'm so proud of myself that I no longer dwell on it and that I've moved on to a point where I barely even think about it anymore.  The girl that I was before that night will never exist again, but I'm closer to her now than I was for years after.  Days like today remind me how strong I am.  And that, above anything else, puts a smile on my face.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nerd Alert!

You guys.  I love Harry Potter.  Possibly more than any book or movie series ever.  My sister gave me my first Harry Potter book back a thousand years ago when it first came out, and since then I have devoured them.  I have read them over and over.  I have pre-ordered new books so that they arrive on my doorstep on the day of release.  I have gone to see every single movie in the theater.  I have purchased (or had purchased for me) every movie.  I have the special edition books (The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and Harry's schoolbooks).  I have a Harry Potter keychain.  And a pewter Harry Potter Christmas ornament that does not hang on my tree but rather sits in its box on my bookshelf.  On display.  In our living room.

Yes, I realize that I am 32 and not 12.  But there's something about these books that just totally suck me in.  It is the first series where I really feel like I lost myself in the book.  Where I really believed that a place like Hogwarts existed.  Where I really tried to picture what a hippogriff looked like and how butterbeer tasted.  I love seeing the movies not only because I love seeing the stories come to life, but also because I love seeing how closely my imagination of these things matches the director (who, as you know, consulted a lot with J.K. Rowling). 

So, because of my love of all things Harry Potter, I was bored the other day and started playing on Pinterest and Etsy.  Here are a few Harry Potter things I just luuuuuurve.



I don't do tattoos, but this might make me reconsider

Hogwarts snuggie?!  Yes, please!

I wish I could pull these off!

So true

And for future Erin/Matt babies...

Gryffindor beanie!


For the nursery wall
So?  Am I a huge dork, or what?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Answers to the New York Quiz

Ok, so here are the locations from the TV and Movie Tour photos I posted on Wednesday.

1. Trump Tower - as seen in Celebrity Apprentice, Borat, and August Rush

2. New York Public Library - as seen in Sex and the City, Spider-Man, Ghostbusters, Breakfast at Tiffany's, etc

3. Washington Square Arch - as seen in When Harry Met Sally, August Rush, I am Legend, etc

4. Will Smith's house in I Am Legend

5. Katz's Deli - as seen in When Harry Met Sally ("I'll have what she's having"), Across the Universe, Man vs. Food, etc

6. Toby Maguire (aka Peter Parker)'s apartment in Spider-Man

7. Dean and Deluca - where Felicity worked (I so totally miss that show!)

8. Hook and Ladder 8 - as seen in Ghostbusters, Hitch, and Seinfeld

9. Will Smith's apartment in Hitch

Celebrity - Jeremy Piven, aka Ari Gold!  Just walkin down the street in Tribeca.  Matt's the one who spotted him!

10. #10 St. Luke's Place - The Cosby Show

11. The Friends' building!

12. The Soup Man - aka the Soup Nazi, from Seinfeld!

So, how'd you do???

Fun Fact Friday

The Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, and I'm pretty excited.  Actually, I'm just excited in general for the weekend.  Matt and I packed up the car this morning for a road trip to Hershey for the weekend.  Tonight we'll just chill at home with my mom and step-dad and my sister and her husband.  Our plan for tomorrow is that my mom, sister, and I are having spa day at the Spa at the Hotel Hershey.  We'll spend the day getting pampered - chocolate massage, pedicures, and laying around in our thick terry robes. 

In the meantime, the boys are playing a round of golf.  We're meeting up with them later for a Kentucky Derby party at the Hershey Country Club.  I never used to watch horse races, until a few years ago when my parents became co-owners of a racehorse.  Because of that, I have a better understanding of racing, so it's a little more fun.  Plus, at the club, they are serving mint juleps - I've never had one, so I'm anxious to try it.  Saturday night, my mom, sister, and I are going to the dance show in Hershey that my sister and I performed in for 15 years.  I'm excited to see how things have changed since Callie and I left the dance school.  Plus, Matt's cousin's daughter is performing in several numbers, so it'll be fun to watch her.


Anyway, back to the Fun Fact Friday.  Since tomorrow is the Derby, here are a few fun facts about it!

~ The Kentucky Derby trophy is made of 56 ounces of 14 and 18 karat gold

~ The horseshoe atop the Derby initially pointed down until 1924 when they rotated it 180 degrees.

~ Early Times is the official Kentucky whiskey used in the mint juleps served at the Derby.

~ The Garland of Roses, which is presented to the winner, has been shipped to Danville, KY to be freeze-dried since 1996.

~ In 1896, the race was shortened from 1 1/2 to 1 1/4 miles because they were concerned that was too long for the colts to run in the Spring.

~ There has never been a winner out of post #15 (I already emailed that fun fact to Matt so we know not to ever place bets on that horse)!

~ The fastest Derby time was posted by Secretariat in 1973, at 1:59.40

And now I leave you with some pictures of some fun Kentucky Derby hats...

Have a great weekend, guys!
*facts from here.  hat photos from here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New York Trip...and Quiz!

2 weeks ago, Matt and I spent the night of our 6-month anniversary in New York City.  The hotel stay and tickets to a show were gifted to us by our friends GM Matt and BM Steph.  Steph and I have been friends since childhood, and the two boys can say the same.  It was at their house in Boston where Matt and I met.  They have been a part of our relationship from the very beginning, through the good times (we said I love you for the first time at their house) and the bad (I lived with them for three weeks when Matt and I broke up).  So they know us better than probably anyone else.  And they knew that a trip to New York would be perfect for us.

We arrived at the hotel and checked into our room, then headed downtown to see Ground Zero.  I hadn't been there since 9/11, even though I'd been in the city plenty of times.  I just couldn't even bring myself to go down there.  Now, it looks like a big construction zone, as they are rebuilding some of the towers and creating the memorials.  We spent about 2 hours down there, then headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.  After an ok dinner at Nino's Positano, we went to our show - Avenue Q.  If you haven't seen this show yet, do yourself a favor and go.  It is absolutely hysterical.  After the show, we stopped in at an Irish pub for some live Irish music and a few drinks, before heading back to the Waldorf to finish off the night with our complimentary cocktails (dirty martinis!).  Here are just a few photos from Saturday...

Steel beam cross from Ground Zero

Dedicated to the survivors of 9/11

The next morning, we woke up and walked over to Ellen's Stardust Diner to meet the tour bus for the New York TV and Movie tour.  The tour took us all over the city, and I was so excited to see parts of the city I'd never seen before - Alphabet City, the lower east side, Tribeca, SoHo, etc.  Really really fun.

So, are you ready for the quiz? 









Can you name the celebrity?




In a comment, name as many as you can.  Like I said, you won't really win anything other than bragging rights; I just thought it might be fun!  I'll post the answers on Friday!