Officially Technological

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My Fourth Most Expensive Purchase

I'm not counting, of course, the mortgage which I'm still technically not on yet. So, besides that item, the most expensive thing I've ever purchased was my $10,000 car. Not a ridiculous or frivolous expense by any stretch. Most Americans would be ashamed to sit the drivers seat of a car that only cost $10,000.

The next most expensive purchase I bought was my wedding dress which sat on my credit card for one week before getting paid off by my mom. So, that doesn't really count either.

When I was in high school, I bought a keyboard instead of getting a class ring. So, my parents chipped in a couple hundred bucks, and I saved (with much sweat and blood) another 300 and my second most expensive purchase was a really sweet keyboard, which later became the dustiest surface in my apartment and then sat in a box after a move for months and was finally borrowed to someone who actually took it out of the box and *gasp* actually used it.

My fourth most expensive purchase was this past weekend. And it was my bike. Yes, we finally broke down and got my bike. It's pretty much awesome. Brian wouldn't let me get one of those awesome bike horns with the squeaky bulb on the end (apparently those lose their cool after you reach the age of eight - who knew?), so we compromised and I got a "tasteful" bell. It's really little and it has this little rubber knob that you flick and it'll ding. Quite loudly. So, I got the bell, but no basket. I have yet to come up with an excuse good enough for getting a basket (I mean besides the obvious convenience of have something in which to you put your important things i.e. a purse, a phone, a tent, etc). The one basket I want is a little white wire one. It is quite chic. But, nope. No basket. So, I have a basketless bike with a very loud (though elegant looking) bell.

Anyway, the bike rides really well. We went out for a 13 mile ride yesterday. It was pretty nice, but for some reason I was totally pooped the rest of the day. Some people were like, "of course you were pooped! You biked 13 miles!" But really, biking 13 miles isn't half as bad as you might think it is. You don't even have to try to hit 10 mph on a bike. So, really I shouldn't have been so tired. I blame the sun. I got a little pinkish (read: burnt), and you know how the sun zaps you out. So, yup. I blame the sun. I was in bed (well, not asleep but in bed with the lights out and the A/C on by 9:30). Anyway, so we're looking forward to more bike rides this summer. Brian's happy because he has his bike back (I was riding his bike) and I was happy because I had a new fourth most expensive purchase (well I wasn't happy to spend a ton of money, but I am happy that it's on something I'll actually use and not another tambourine for my collection).
posted by Julie at 1:35 PM 6 comments

Monday, May 21, 2007

I've Been Meaning To Update

So, I've been meaning to update for about a week now and - obviously - I haven't. The problem is that Brian and I have a zillion pictures that I want to upload (we've finally gotten some decent use out of the nice camera Brian's parents got us for our first Christmas). But, blogger is a little sluggish with the pics and I've had a hard time having enough time to load them all. So, until I can loads some pictures I'll just tell you about what we've been up to.

Last weekend we were in Arizona. We went for Beth and Ben's convalidation. It was a really nice ceremony and we have pictures of that. While we were in Arizona we did some swimming, some shopping, some touring, some sleeping, some biking, some visiting, some churching, some eating, some crafting. It was a busy weekend. But worth it! It was a really great weekend. Poor Brian had to meet new people all weekend, but everyone made him feel at home and he had a good time too. All plane rides were uneventful (which was really nice - and slightly unexpected). On the way to PHX, we hit some turbulence and got a little car sick, but nothing major. All of our luggage was where it should have been at all times. The one glitch in the weekend was when my flip-flop broke in the middle of O'Hare airport, and Brian had to use a hat pin (that I happened to have in my purse) to fix it. That was all fine, but then when we got back to Indy, I stepped funny on my injured flip-flop and bent the pin which gauged me in the toe at which point I went bare-footed (super scary with a laceration on the bottom of my foot at the airport). So, Brian gallantly waited by himself for the luggage as I sat on a bench with my foot in my lap to keep it off the floor until I could get another pair out of my suit case.

Well, then we got home. We got home some time on Monday night and we were tired and pretty much immediately collapsed. The rest of the week we were in a cleaning/cooking frenzy because my family was coming down for my sister-in-law, Margo's, baby shower on Thursday. Then, they all promised to stay over the weekend and help us re-landscape our lawn on Saturday.

So, at 9AM on Saturday morning about 9 or so adults converged for breakfast (we made Ableskeivers - a Danish pastry, eggs, and bacon) and by 9:30 everyone was outside digging around in what appears to be the hardest clay in human history. It is very likely that the clay has actually been turned into foot deep ceramics over the year. I would jump on a shovel and - no joke - it would bounce me back off. Well, to make things horrible (because the clay isn't bad enough), we had stone flowerbeds (which I didn't like), so we had to remove three pick-ups full of stone and tear up the plastic sheets that were buried about an inch under the stones. Then we got two truckloads of top soil and put that back into our flowerbed, along with some plants here and there.

It actually turned out really cute, and I was amazed at how neighbors who have never before even waved when they drove by suddenly became friends. I think that they were grateful that we stopped ruining their resale value. :) So, now when you come to our house and we have to give you directions we won't be referring to our house as the only house on the block with only one bush in the front yard.

So, now things are back to normal.... Ish.... As normal as they're going to get. Other than the piles of towels and such that I still have to wash, I think our house is back to normal, and life is good. It's nice to have everything ugly out of the front yard, and cute little orange flowers instead. And that's about all I have to say right now. I'm going to be posting pictures of both weekends when I get a chance.
posted by Julie at 12:25 PM 2 comments

Monday, May 07, 2007

My Shoe Autobiography

I read an article about young couples and their finances today. The article suggested that couples should sit down and write their own personal finance autobiography and talk about how they were raised, what they think about money, etc. They felt that exchanging these documents will help young couples learn about themselves and each other and will help them to not fight etc.

So, after reading this article, my mind strayed to last night (at 11PM) as Brian was frantically organizing my 30+ pairs of shoes. He was muttering little things to himself like, “I’m about to impale my foot on these shoes” and “why does anyone need so many shoes that look exactly the same?” This led (naturally) to a very lengthy discussion about the difference between black heels with a buckle and black heels without a buckle, and what makes a Mary Jane a Mary Jane, and why everybody needs at least one pair of Mary Janes (which is probably the point where he blacked out). So, I thought I would write a little shoe autobiography and maybe Brian would understand the roll of shoes in my life (dedicated to: my Brian. I'm glad your foot didn't get impaled on my shoes this morning).

I was raised, like most little girls, trying on shoes – especially heels. The shoe department often beckoned me, and my mom said that when I was barely old enough to walk, I would disappear and they would find me in the shoe department trying on the displays (true story).

I think the first exciting shoes I ever owned were a pair of tall boots that my mom got me to play with at a garage sale. They were black, and had tall heels and pointy toes (which ironically is back in style). At that point in my life a pair of tall boots came up to my thighs, but that was OK because the fabric was so stiff they stayed up even though my legs were little sticks with knees and toes. These boots were very important to my social status since I was automatically the coolest cousin (in our little group of cousins) on my dad’s side (which I had never been before).

My next major shoe moment was when I was the flower girl in my cousin, Wendy’s, wedding. My mom took me shoe shopping and as soon as we stopped at Kenneth Shoes, my eyes lit upon a pair of ivory shoes with a bow on the top. I could not be persuaded to leave the store without them.

My second grade teacher (Mrs. Sanak) was perhaps the best dressed woman I have ever met (she probably wasn’t but there is no convincing a little girl that lots of jewelry and good shoes doesn’t necessarily equal class). My favorite part of the week was when we had spelling tests and she would dictate words to us and walk slowly in front of the classroom with her pumps clicking on the tile and squeaking softly. Time after time, throughout my life when things seem dismal (and spelling tests seemed hard), a good shoe has given me comfort.

Once my Aunt Susie bought me a pair of black, lacy toe-peeks (so hot). I think I was a senior in high school, and I don’t know that I have ever felt so sophisticated or grown up in my entire life.

I had a pair of Candies’ dressy combat boots (basically combat boots that aren’t camo and have a heel) that I wore to church a lot when I was in college. And one evening (on our way to church) Brian commented on my boots, and how he was surprised that you could wear boots like that into a church. Looking back on it, I realize that he was probably serious, but at the time I was sure that he was teasing me because he liked me (and my boots too).

After getting lots of duplicates from our wedding, the store would only give us store credit and since it was a department store, Brian let me get a pair of Sketchers with some of the money and they have completely revolutionized my footwear. I have reintroduced the white sock to my foot wardrobe.

Yes, shoes have been important. They have clipped and clopped, and flipped and flopped at exactly the right moments. A good pair of shoes is like a good friend. Didn’t someone say that once? Err… Maybe the saying is a good friend is like a good pair of shoes. But either way, shoes are great.
posted by Julie at 3:21 PM 3 comments

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


So, I'm learning how to quilt. This may be the first topic ever that I have learned from reading the book. Mostly, in school, books were just high-priced folders that I used to hold all my notes and hand-outs from class (which is where I do about 98% of my learning). I am very pro classroom experience. I am definitely and audio learner. So, much so that unless I'm told something I very rarely remember it. I'm one of those people who can read something a million times and be dancing and singing on a flower covered meadow in my head and never remember it; and can be told something once and remember it for the rest of my life.

OK, so I'm learning quilting by reading about it. I feel like I've been doing it for years. I've read tons of ideas and different ways of doing it. So, many really clever ideas that only people that have been doing it forever know about. For an example (for non-quilters, I'll try not to use technical terms), well over half the quilting experience is actually quilting - or sewing the top of the blanket to the back. When you see quilts, this is usually what makes people oooh and aaah is looking at the intricacy of the stitching. Well, mostly people actually draw all of that on with pencils and then sew on top of the lines by hand (and sometimes machine if the pattern is easy enough). However, as you can imagine, pencil doesn't really wash out that well and then you have this amazingly beautiful white quilt with funky pencil lines all over it. So, one of the books I'm reading talked about pinning tissue paper on the top of your quilts with the pattern on the paper and then sew with the paper on and then rip it off when you're done. Isn't that clever? And speaking of quilting tools, it seems like someone out there should be making a killing packaging ordinary pencils as "quilter's pencils" or masking tape as "quilter's tape", but no one is! This is definitely a market that should be more carefully cornered.

So, last night after bike shopping, which was really fun (I found a bike, by the way, that I really like, here it is. Isn't that cute?? I love the leather on the handles and seat. Talk about stylin'!), Brian and I went to a fabric store (or rather I dragged Brian to a fabric store) and we picked out some fabric for my first ever quilt. It should be really easy. It's just squares, and really, I think I could tackle something a little more challenging, but I don't know for sure if I've learned as much as I think I've learned by reading books and looking at pictures. I did draft it myself, however, so I'm pretty proud of that. I guess I should look at it like this is my first quilt and maybe I should just try to make it happen and not worry if it's not the best thing I've ever seen in my life. Maybe I'll post pictures as I'm working on it.
posted by Julie at 1:35 PM 4 comments

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Eight more days and we'll be in Arizona!
posted by Julie at 11:10 AM 1 comments