Archive for May, 2011


Coffee in Seattle

May 28, 2011

Well I successfully arrived in Seattle late last night (or on my internal clock, very early this morning). Friday was quite a long day due to it being the last day for seniors at the high school, but other than a request for a last period dance party in the library (sorry, but no, seeing as 3/4 of the school still has work to do) and some firecrackers set off outside the library, it was actually a pretty calm day. Then of course I hurried home and did last minute packing and caught a ride to the downtown Evanston bus depot where I took the bus to the airport. There I had some mild anxiety because a) the bus took 80 minutes as opposed to the 60 that I was expecting b) I hadn’t realized that one still had to take a tram in from the drop off spot to the actual terminal c) I didn’t know which terminal to go to because United serves two separate ones. But thankfully I wasn’t checking bags, so after a brisk walk/run between terminals I got my boarding pass, got through security and got to my gate with 1/2 hour to spare. The flight went well and I had a window seat, which always makes me happy. I also noticed that we never actually moved beyond at least a faint sunset (at least not until we began the descent into Seattle) in the far west. Now, I don’t know exactly why this is, seeing as we landed around 11pm Seattle time, but perhaps we were so high up that we could see significantly further west? Either way it was beautiful and oddly comforting. Plus I was rewarded with a gorgeous view of the lights of downtown Seattle as we banked south towards the airport. Such a beautiful city!
Now of course I am sitting in a coffee shop (suitable Saturday morning activity anywhere, but especially here in the city of coffee) with David. Alex is off volunteering at his ESL class and I tagged along with David to his favorite local Top Pot, which features rather incredible “hand-forged” donuts. I have been to others of this local chain on previous trips.

Seriously this Top Pot doughnut was the size of my head, or at least my face.

From my Seattle trip last August: Although not pictured, David is off to the left and that is Becca sitting across from me waiting for the deliciousness!

But this time I got a raspberry bismark, which was both delicious and full of powdery explosions.  Well now I am probably going to go test my geographic knowledge on Sporcle (thanks to Alex and Becca, this is my new obsession) or some such other random internet-y thing.  Unfortunately I still haven’t heard back from THE JOB, but seeing as a three day weekend has now commenced, I am going to do my best to forget about until Tuesday morning at the earliest.


updated context page

May 27, 2011

or as I currently title it “info for the context inclined”

So my about page over there on the right is getting a little aged.  Not only is the photo from Tim and Charletta’s wedding over 4 1/2  years ago (holy cow, you guys have been married a while now 🙂 ), but I haven’t updated the text in over two years.  Therefore, I figure what better activity than a little spring blog cleaning.  First of all I figure I should pick a new photo for the page and then I will need to do the hard work of trying to describe myself, at least a little bit.

Here is where you all come in.  The following photos are all pictures of me taken within the past year (or so), but in order to narrow down the options I want your opinion.  Now this doesn’t have to be the best picture of me ever taken, just one that captures part of my personality (and I have admit part of me is a little weirded out by the possible vanity of this proposition, oh my Mennonite ancestors are crying!).*  To encourage you to comment, I am going to have my first ever give-a-way.  So here is the deal leave a comment on this post about what photo you think I should use and I will use a random number selector to pick a winner.  The winner will get either a $10 certificate to Ten Thousand Villages or a $10 certificate to Amazon depending on the winner’s preference and location to Ten Thousand Villages stores.

Oh and since I guess this kind of thing has to have a time limit, the contest will end Tuesday, May 31st at 10pm Central Time (otherwise known as the approximate time I will be returning from my trip to Seattle).

Sparkly Abby

Option 1 (Taken by Jess)

Pinata hat, my favorite kind

Option 2 (Taken by Erini)

Option 3 (Taken by Steph)

"I wonder when it will fall down"

Option 4 (Taken by David)

Option 5

Option 6 (Taken by Becca)

Option 7 (Taken by Tim)

Braided hair detail

Option 8

*Alternately feel free to go poke around in my Flickr page and select a different option.

UPDATE: Voting and Contest are now closed, thanks for participating!


Weekend update

May 25, 2011

So as expected this weekend was quite fabulous.  Not only did all the traditional activities such as outlet mall shopping, cooking, laughing, talking, etc happen, but Sunday was a perfect sunny day in the 80s which allowed us to have the best pool/beach day we have had yet.  Because I am a firm believer in the concept a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some of the highlights (or here is the link for the full set.

Jess readies the bacon

Jess makes even raw meat sexy

Tiny white dots

Pretty flowers I found during a walk down to the lake


The following photos are all good demonstrations of how I have gorgeous friends.


Crystal is such a great story-teller.

Miriam enjoys a tall frosty glass

Miriam enjoys a tall frosty glass of a mystery liquid that may or may not be Steph's incredible mojitos

Doing our best Posh Spice poses

The line-up


Jess in her perfect cocktail dress


I swear this woman is a secret spy for possibly the Russians, or more likely the French

The cottage

Our home for the weekend


Miriam and Becca

Best Outtake ever

This one makes me laugh every time, I love everyone's expressions!

Happy girls!

Happiness in photo form

Oh and before I forget, the interview on Tuesday went well and I should hear by the end of the week if I am moving on to the next stage or not.  Keep your fingers (and toes) crossed!


Time flies

May 20, 2011

I am not sure how the month of May managed to slip by so quickly, but here we are on the far side of the middle of it and only a week left of school for seniors and another 3 weeks left for the rest of us!  Spring seems to have also finally come to Chicago, after several false starts, the leaves are fully out and my favorite flower – lily of the valley – are in full bloom.  So I figured maybe I should give you all a little update on the past 16 days.

First (the big one) – I had another job interview last week.  It is for a small elementary school, just north of where I live (pretty decent commute) and it went really well.  However I wasn’t going to hold my breath seeing as this was just a screening interview, so I had no idea if I would actually get called back for the real deal.  But last evening I got a very awesome email and lo and behold I have an interview lined up for next Tuesday.  Of course the bolt of excitement this caused was quickly followed by some nerves, because not only is the a panel interview with teachers and staff, but I was told to expect it to go an hour to an hour and a half.  But as I keep telling myself, either end result gives me more practice at this whole job hunt thing.  That said, any positive thoughts you can spare on Tuesday morning around 10am would be greatly appreciated.

Second, I realized I posted on my brother’s birthday and didn’t even mention the fact.  However I did make a Flickr collection of some of my favorite pictures of him.  So you should go check it out.
Too cool for ordinary garbage

Third, my lovely Jess celebrated her 27th birthday with much aplomb and celebratory British applause.  We went out to dinner and then returned to her house for a lovely soiree with good cheese and fun games.  I took pictures, which you can view here.Jess waits to blow out the candles

Fourth, my housemate Sue finally graduated with a Masters in Nursing.  I went to her graduation and baked a cake for her celebration (which I had to miss, due to a prior engagement).  While I haven’t uploaded the cake baking pictures, the graduation pictures are here.

My favorite shot

Fifth – In just a few short hours I will be headed out to Michigan city for the 5th annual girl’s weekend.  Back in 2007, we did this in March (I think) and probably never dreamed that we would be doing with the same (or very similar) group of girls 5 years later.  As my Mom said when I was telling her about this, this is my sisterhood.

Family portrait time

Not pictured include Joanne (frequent attender, but sadly not this year), Katie (our first long distance attender, coming this year!), and many other awesome girlfriends, who while they have never made it for a weekend, are also a part of my sisterhood.


Disaster averted and an overdose of bacon*

May 4, 2011

In the ongoing saga of Abby’s computer and her enjoyment of troubleshooting, the wireless on my macbook gave out Monday night.  I reset it, checked the house modem and asked a housemate if their wireless was working, all to no avail.  Cut off from my main source of information on fixing my computer (the nerd-0verlord Google), I decided to just sign up for a Genius bar appointment on Tuesday night and see what was the problem.  Not looking forward to having to pay for a replacement wireless card on my almost 5 year old laptop, I was a bit apprehensive.  However, I received a happy surprise in that it was only a software/permissions error, so after the wonderfully helpful genius dude repaired the disk using the disk utility function off of the start-up disk, I was good to go!  So once again I am reunited with my beloved laptop and in celebration I highly recommend you celebrate your internet access by reading this Wait, Wait Don’t Blog Me Sandwich Monday report on The Bacon Bomb.

Mike: This is the vessel Kevin Bacon arrived in from his home planet.

Eva: It looks like an old football. “Pigskin” is a much more delicious term than most people realize.

Ian: It’s like someone made some bacon, felt bad about it, and tried to put the pig back together.

*In strong contention for my favorite blog title ever


The job search: an update

May 3, 2011

First there were just a few jobs, then there were some more, then there was the interview, then there was the very nice rejection letter and the two other rejection emails (“thanks for applying but we aren’t going to interview you”).  As of today I have found 11 jobs, applied for 9 of them (one still needs to be mailed and another one that just came in today requires 4 new essays, so it will probably take a bit), been rejected by 3, for a total of 8 viable job opportunities.  All that to say, there is a lot of waiting right now, which is not my strong suit.  Personally I would love to have leads and interviews, or if not those, at least nice little rejection notes so I know where I stand.  But when there are 8 jobs out there, for which I can do nothing but wait (and perhaps eventually contact), it is hard to make plans.  And the thing is, I like to make plans.  I like knowing what is coming up next and having an idea of where I will be in 6 months and what I will be doing.  Right now, I have no clue.  In 6 months I could be working at a new job here in Chicago, or a new job in Seattle, or a new job in some far suburb that would possibly require moving for.  Or in 6 months I could be working at Starbucks in Seattle, doing Americorps in Seattle, or some unknown other option.  But other than knowing that by September I won’t be in the exact same job/location/etc that I am right now, I know very little.  And frankly I find that not knowing part rather hard.

So I don’t end on a down note, here look at this picture of Lina totally enjoying the concept of CONCRETE WARMED BY SUN.  Also feel free to make your own lol cat 🙂
Who doesn't love a good roll in the sun soaked cement