Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thoughts on Jury Duty

Indiana State Seal Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm a little sad I didn't get picked for the jury.

Nevermind the professional hell that would be a reality for me if I took two weeks off unplanned. Nevermind the long hours in a stuffy (and slightly smelly) courtrooom. Nevermind the terrible coffee they served me.

It would have been fascinating. This trial? Juicy. Totally juicy.

But I didn't know that when I walked into the courtroom Monday morning, although scenes from 12 Angry Men and The Runaway Jury were flashing through my mind.

The process itself was mostly very boring. I was basically there from 8 am to 4:45 pm. Fill out a survey. Wait. Sit and listen to directions. Wait. Leave the courtroom. Go back into the courtroom. Wait. Wait. Wait. Answer a few questions for the judge. Wait some more. I'm thankful I remembered to bring a couple of books.

Finally at 2:30 or so the remaining potential jurors were led back into the courtroom. That is where it started to get interesting. First, both lawyers wanted to be sure that all the jurors knew that TV shows like Law & Order and CSI are not very true to life at all. (Really, I would hope that would be obvious to everyone that watches those shows, but whatever.) But then both lawyers asked everyone a bunch of harder-hitting questions about motives and "beyond reasonable doubt" accepting the testimony of an incarcerated informer. Based on people's responses, they were dismissed or kept in the juror box.

It will be a full-blown double murder trial. Dismembered body parts of victims found under the mobile home of the defendant. A snitch that directed police to the bodies. Although I'm very clear on the fact that the CSI TV show isn't real, this case seemed like it was right out of the plot of a crime drama.

It would have been really interesting. And sobering, to be sure. The defendant most likely faces a lifetime in prison, if convicted. Or worse? I don't know. But I think I could have done a really good job and would have taken it very seriously. But I was randomly given the number 70. They went in order, and didn't end up needing anyone past 40 or so.

Oh well. At least I got to go home and research the case online, after hearing all of these tantalyzing hints about it all day. And my job will continue on without much of a hitch. I'll definitely be following the case with rapt attention. I pray God's will be done in this trial.

On a random note, isn't Indiana state seal really weird? In case you can't tell, it involves a man + ax, and a buffalo(?) jumping over a log. I've never noticed it before, but 5 hours of killing time at a courthouse will cause you to notice all kinds of weird things. Here is another version, in living color:

The Indiana State Seal Pictures, Images and Photos

... and this one includes mountians. Mountains, seriously?

Monday, February 23, 2009

A note of clarification

In case you were unsure, the puzzle pieces in my hand below are all-but-unusable. Riley not only "found" them, but thought he'd try chewing on them a bit, too.

I figured it would be obvious that they are indeed mangled, but then again, they ARE puzzle pieces and you don't really know what they are supposed to look like.

After Josh found these delightfully soggy pieces, he groaned and asked, "so should we keep on going?"

I mean, what is the fun of a puzzle if not all the pieces are present and intact?

But yes, we're moving forward.


A. They're edge pieces, and won't detract from the overall look too much.
B. While absolutely damaged, the basic shape of each is still there. Riley managed to change the texture, color, and depth of each piece, but left the little nodes attached. Looking at these things, it must have been quite a feat. But they do still fit into the border.


So on Saturday morning we bought a 2000 piece puzzle.

Yes, we're just that cool.

Our dining room table currently looks like this:

This is what it will eventually look like:

And here is our progress, as of Sunday night. We very clearly have a ways to go. Josh asked me if I thought we were 1/3 done.

Honey, there ain't no way.

But do you see those holes in the border (a couple on top and one on bottom)? They are fewer things more frustrating to a puzzle do-er (a puzzler, perhaps?) than not being able to complete the border. Grr. But we worked on, for hours on end this weekend.

And then Sunday night Josh found these under the table.
Thank you, Riley. You found them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

More Phun With Photoshop

So in my terribly amateur world of photoshopping, my biggest struggle is deciding which effect I like best.

Take this one - beautiful, right? Straight out of the camera:
But Erin's scrapbook has so much color, maybe it would be fun to throw in a sepia tone...
Or a sharper version:
But does her beautiful bouquet look weird with that tone? Should that stay colorful?
Or maybe that is too much (although it certainly took me awhile to figure out!) It looks weird. Maybe I should scale it back a bit a touch. Is that better?
Or should I include just a teensy bit of flower color?
Sigh. Maybe full color (aka the original) is best after all.

What do you think?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sometimes taste just doesn't change.

Case in point:

I did ask his permission before posting this!

And props to him for bringing me flowers - six of them - as I woke up this morning. And for knowing that I would love receiving three seasons of How I Met Your Mother for a gift. Really - I do. That show is the new Friends for me. Very thoughtful.

And yes, mom, I did make him heart-shaped pancakes this morning!

And while I'm on the subject (and clearly have been for days now) - I'd like to give a shout out to my in-laws for sending us restaurant gift cards for Valentine's Day. Very appreciated. They truly do help us have some extra fun on a limited budget.

And with that, I'm off to watch my new DVD's, plan a trip, and get some heart-shaped pizza later on. Oh, and then babysit about 15 kids. More on that later.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

All Growed Up...

But never too old for a Valentine's Day gift from my mom.

Inside I found all kinds of sweet stuff:
Fair trade chocolate for me, and Ghirardelli (with caramel) for Josh. Perfect!

And these things? They're for making heart-shaped pancakes and eggs.
I grew up eating heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast each year on Valentine's Day. My mom would make a big breakfast before school and we'd enjoy it by candlelight. It is a tradition I'd like to start up with my own kids someday.

And another favorite - coffee pods! And these are the deluxe kind for making lattes, complete with frothy milk. And believe it or not, they are really good.

Add these goodies from a recent package from Jamie, and I'm all set.

This little stack is desk drawer material if I've ever seen it.

A huge thank you to my mom and Jamie! I appreciate the treats and the thoughtfulness.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The time I didn't kiss back

So about a week after I imposed the "no kissing" rule, I regretted it.

But we figured that we should stick to our boundaries anyway.

And it was ridiculous.

Josh would give me a big goodnight hug after walking me home. We'd stand there, looking at each other all sappy sweet and staaart to lean in. Think slow-mo. I'd tilt my head up, and him down, edging closer and closer. Just like in the movies. Except that juuuuust at the last moment, we'd turn our faces away and simply enjoy another hug.

Almost-almost-almost kissing, then not. Lean-lean-lean, and turn. For a solid three weeks. It was truly ridiculous.

We still laugh about it. Every once in awhile I'll still turn away at the last moment before a smooch, just to tease him about it.

But in those first few weeks, each time we got OH SO CLOSE I'd think, "maybe this time he'll do it." I just kept waiting for it. I, the complete novice, certainly wasn't going to make the first move.

So with each hug-and-lean-in routine, it went through my mind. This time? This time? THIS TIME? C'mon kid, break the 1 month rule already! I was over it already, and ready to pucker up.

Then one night Josh decided we'd held off for long enough. It was almost a month - close enough, right? We thought so.

But after so many times of being ready for it-ready for it-ready for it, I actually let my guard down. After snuggling up and watching Father of the Bride one night, we stood up for a goodnight hug before I went back home. But as I stood there thinking about the movie, Josh had other plans. My mind was all on George and Frank while Josh was starting the lean. But this time there was no turn. All of a sudden, he was right there. I was getting kissed.

I was caught completely off my guard - and totally forgot to kiss back. I was so shocked that I just stood there. Not moving a muscle.

Josh tells me it was a very strange feeling. You know, going in for it and getting zero response.

Thankfully kiss #2 was a significant improvement.

But to this day, just to tease me, Josh will sometimes not kiss back. And it is a strange feeling.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The time Josh punched me

Yes, it is time for another selection from Our Story. I'm not nearly disciplined enough to post them regularly, so you'll just have to settle for reading them at random intervals.

That first year of dating, we spent lots of time in Josh's rental house, snuggled up on the couch watching TV. Friends, usually. It was the last season and a big group of us would get together every Thursday night to watch. We did go on an Ed kick and threw in the occasional dose of 7th Heaven every once in awhile. Oh, and we watched lots and lots of sports.

Ah, the memories in that junky old rental house. Sitting on crappy, falling apart furniture in an ugly room. Using the downstairs bathroom, where you were never sure if you'd be able to get out. The knob turned, but only sometimes. In the winter, the temperature inside the living room hovered right around 57 degrees. Us non-residents brought our own blankets.

One evening I was sprawled out on Josh's couch, with my head on his lap, watching TV. I thought it would be fun to see just how ticklish he was, so I grabbed his side and gave it a couple pokes.

That is when he punched me. Clocked me right on the lip/chin. Smack.

I looked up at him in horror, only to see his own horrified face.

He didn't mean to punch me so hard. It was just a quick reflex. He was just trying to quickly pry my hands away from his side - and my face got in the way. Being the good, and repentant boyfriend that he was, he quickly ran to the freezer to get me a Popsicle.

It was sweet of him to try and repair the damage, but I still like to tease him about it.

The next installment? The time I didn't kiss back

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Props to Clint

A few weeks ago our friend Clint started sending out weekly "Best of the Web" emails.

Yes, they're just like you'd think. Each email includes all kinds of assorted links (broken down by topic) of all manner of assorted tidbits from the world wide web.

Looking for extremely condensed movie plots? Or perhaps wondering why penguins aren't good at logic? Or maybe you've always wanted to see a visual timeline of Mac computers over the last 25 years?

Links to all of these things can be found in Clint's emails.

Well, this week he came out with something even more fun - a website.

Some of my favorites from the latest update:
1. 10 websites to make you great at Photoshop - I may never do housework again!
2. Evolution of the household, 1950-today
3. 25 things I didn't want to know about you on facebook - in light of this post, this one really made me laugh.

I can't wait to see the weekly updates pop up in google reader! Way to go, Clint.

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Header

I wanted it pink. Or orange. Colorful, in any case. Josh dislikes both of those colors and talked me out of it. But since I use Illustrator at a very, very low level, I needed his help. He advised me to go with more classy (in his opinion) colors.

Josh: After all, it is our blog. I posted - once.

Our blog my back end. But I relented, and we settled on teals and greens.

And then, after a sudden burst of inspiration:

Me: I'm totally going to design this circle with Riley's head poking out of it.

Josh: Because nothing says "classy" quite like that.

I think it fits us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

School Pictures


Two big clues I was a child of the 80's.

1. Big bows. Larger than life, really.
2. Bangs that continued all the way to my ears. (Did anyone else sport that style around 1988?)

And First Grade:

Some progress here, although the massive bangs remain. Thankfully I wasn't yet to the point where I hot dog rolled them. That was a good 5 years down the line. And let me tell you, it was HOT.

I mercifully lost the bangs for good somewhere around 8th grade.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Random Things

Any of you who have been on facebook lately will have noticed the plethora of "25 Random Things" notes. The basic idea is that one person writes a list of 25 random tidbits about them, then tags 25 friends to do the same.

After being tagged 7 times, I gave in tonight and did it.

And then I figured that those of you who aren't my facebook friends might enjoy reading this as well. On that note, if you aren't my facebook friend, be sure to rectify that soon. I'll accept the request.

Consider this a continuation of my 100 Things post. So now you'll get to know 125 random things about me. Or maybe 121, since I'm sure there is some overlap.

1. When we moved to Indiana, I teased Josh that he was taking me "to the ends of the earth," when actually we were just moving to a more centrally midwestern location.
2. Our next move will be midwestern as well - we will move to Columbus, OH this summer.
3. We're both Michigan undergrads and don't look forward to being surrounded by crazy Buckeyes. Other than that, we're excited to move and think we'll like Columbus.
4. My favorite color used to be pink - all things pink, all the time. But I don't really have one anymore. There are too many to choose from.
5. I really like blogging and reading blogs. I don't blog as consistently as I'd like, but am trying to not feel blog guilt about 2-3 posts per week.
6. I enjoy paper crafts, but am totally interested in making some Blurb or iPhoto picture books. Scrapbooking is fun, but I'll never be able to scrapbook all of my pictures. I do feel a little guilty about it, however, since I have oodles of scrapbooking supplies.
7. I'd like to give birth to a child someday, but I'd also like to adopt a child. If I have my choice in the matter, I'll have at least one of each.
8. I am one of 16 grandchildren on one side, and one of even more on the other side.
9. I love having so many cousins, many of whom are my age.
10. I don't like silence, and usually have a podcast, an episode of Friends or The Office, or an audio book on.
11. The upstairs of my townhouse is usually a disaster.
12. I'd like to be more neat, but I never quite get there. I'd rather blog :).
13. Josh was my best friend before we started dating. I think it was weird for our friends when we did, although it felt normal to us.
14. We'll be married for 4 years this summer - crazy. But wonderful at the same time.
15. I really enjoy the TV show How It's Made. It brings out my inner nerd.
16. I'd like to have a well-decorated house someday. But I doubt we'll have the budget for it any time soon.
17. The next bed I buy will be comfortable to sit up in. Our current bed has an uncomfortable head board.
18. Our current bed also sits WAY too high off the ground. Like at waist height. We keep an old ottoman next to the bed so Riley (the dog) can use it to get up.
19. Although some think it is completely gross, I can't imagine not having Riley sleep with us. He is a wonderful snuggler, but a bit of a bed hog.
20. I've been to London and Istanbul, but none of the Europe inbetween. We're planning a trip that will change all of that, with stops in Belgium, Holland, France, and Italy.
21. I want to live a life that really matters, but don't always know what that means for the here and now.
22. For me, experiencing new music is a little bit of a chore. So I end up listening to the same old stuff, which isn't my favorite, either.
23. New books, however, are often a welcome diversion. Especially fiction.
24. I am very, very blessed by an incredible number of friends.
25. And I'm totally crazy about my family - both extended and the one that includes just a husband and dog.