Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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House Hunting Adventures

November 8, 2010

Today I’m going to tackle a topic that departs from my normal blogging repertoire: house hunting. As some of you already know, I’m going to be moving to Maryland soon. Sigh…right when I was just starting to get used to Jersey.

Anyway, buying a house is probably the biggest decision my husband and I’ve faced together since getting married, and while I’m pretty excited about the prospects, I’ve been getting plenty stressed out too. I knew from the start that it was going to have its challenges, but over the weeks we’ve brainstormed, made our lists and differentiated our wants versus needs. We’ve decided to tackle this on our own, at least for now. So armed with Google Maps and a printout of listings, we drove down today and did some recon around the neighborhoods.

We’ve all heard the real estate saying “Location, location, location.” We’ve made it our first priority, but not being familiar with the area was our biggest obstacle, so we did our research ahead of time and marked down places close to shopping centers and other public amenities while still being close to work. We even took a look at the different neighborhood statistics to get a sense of the safety in the area or how densely populated it is, etc. The purpose of today’s scouting was to see these places for ourselves, but it also taught us a lot about our own individual preferences.

Even the smallest factors can make a difference. Our first stop was a more rustic neighborhood, which we reached via a narrow road through the trees. My husband started reminiscing about his childhood and going on about how he grew up in an area much like this, while I put my foot down and said NO WOODS. I have no stomach for the bugs nor driving in the dark under the shadows of the thick canopy and if that makes me sound like a snooty urbanite, then a snooty urbanite be I. I also told my husband that I didn’t want some coyote making off with our dog, the way one had made off with his mother’s.

Another house we checked out was in a neighborhood on top of a nice sloping hill, which we liked. But the houses were built really close together, which was a minus for my husband because in his words, “Who the hell wants a neighbor like two feet away from you?” Then there were the houses where every neighbor down the road had two or three cars parked in the street even though they had two-car garages with a double-wide driveways. To be honest, I didn’t even notice. Unfortunately though, it’s a pet peeve of his that drives him completely bonkers since in his view it makes the whole street feel like one big parking lot.

It was amazing to see how quickly our list of several dozen houses dwindled down to only about a handful. Tomorrow, we’ll be visiting a few. Not sure if we’ll be making any offers this trip, but hey, you never know. If the perfect home presents itself, we’ll definitely be thinking about it. For a big decision like this, my only concern now is keeping my emotions in check, as they do have a pesky tendency to take over.

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Return Of The Pup

August 7, 2010

You may have noticed that I didn’t post as much last week. That’s because I’ve had my hands full since Monday, having virtually no time to game at all while taking care of our new puppy:

We fell in love with him even before we got to meet him, when the breeder showed us pictures of the litter. And when we finally got to look at the puppies last weekend, he turned out to be the sweetest, most playful and affectionate of the bunch (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are already an exceptionally friendly breed, so that’s saying something). We knew right then that he was the one for us.

Funny thing is, afterward the breeder told us she had given all the puppies nicknames to make identifying them easier. The males all had names like Maximus, Titus, and Spartacus…that is, except for our pup. Believe it or not, his nickname had been “Aragorn”, because she thought there was something “kingly” about him. Ah, did I mention we’re both big geeks and that my husband is a huuuuuuge Lord of the Rings fan? It was almost like a sign.

Never underestimate my ability to completely nerd up a post. While we loved the idea of our puppy having a LOTR name, “ARAAAGOOORN!” wasn’t something we wanted to be yelling out loud in a public place like a park or in front of our neighbors, so we decided to go with the Heir of Gondor’s more neutral-sounding alias instead, and named him Strider.

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RIP Frank

May 10, 2010

Sad news of the day — renowned fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta passed away today at age 82. His realistic style and renderings captured the imaginations of a lot of people, and his works were pivotal in visualizing many of the fantasy genre’s greatest heroes, including of course, our favorite Cimmerian.

I still remember as an adolescent sitting in the art section of the bookstore enraptured by his art books, feeling sad at the same time because my mother wouldn’t let me buy them on account of all the mature content. Thanks for all the great artwork, Frank. You will be missed.

Conan the Adventurer - by Frank Frazetta 1966

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And We’re Back

April 24, 2010

WordPress seemed to have hit a snafu last night which caused my blog to go down for a good part of the day. It appears they have a system in place that monitors factors like specific links, number of pingbacks, or an increase of traffic, etc. on their sites, and if anything raises a red flag, the blog goes down.

Well, this system must have caught something they didn’t like in my last few posts, because I found my account locked down some time in the wee hours of the night. I gotta give a kudos to the WordPress staff, however, for getting back to me so quickly to tell me that it was a mistake on their end. They apologized for the disruption, but it did take another ten hours or so for my blog to come back online.

Anyway, that’s the explanation for the folks who were wondering, and I apologize for the downtime. No, I didn’t lock it down because I got fed up and started bad-mouthing all of you, nor did I suddenly decide to post lewd pornography! *wink*

Please feel free to enjoy my latest post before this whole mess happened, Do I Really Want The Retail Box? and thanks for the emails and comments I got from those who were concerned about this issue and were asking where my blog went. I’m glad there are actually people who read this thing.

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Breaking News: Sex And The City MMO

April 1, 2010

What a way to kick-start the month. Today will be marked as a momentous date in online gaming, with the exciting announcement of a new Sex and the City MMORPG based on the popular novel and hit TV series of the same name. Finally, long-time fans are able to experience this wondrous world from a player’s perspective, embarking on the epic quest for love — real love, ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love!

Strong visual appeal and engaging game play will be pivotal to the Sex and the City Online experience. People and places from the show will be brought to life in the game — meet your favorite legendary characters, or explore popular locations firsthand, like the breezy shores of The Hamptons or the trendy streets of downtown Manhattan. Start your own sexy journey using an unprecedented character creation system, which allows players to customize their character right down to the color and brand of nail polish.

The groundbreaking combat system will allow you to choose every slap, scratch, hair-pull and groin-kick in real time, perfect for fighting off those pesky alleyway muggers or for enacting revenge on the two-faced skank who stole your Dior sandals at that house party. Band together with your friends to explore instances and defeat treacherous enemies such as the evil Blue-Blooded mother-in-law. Test your mettle by waging epic warfare against others in PvP combat on the Madison Ave. Battleground, where players fight to compete for the elusive last pair of size 4 designer jeans. Challenge yourself with mini-games such as “Catch the cheating scumbag boyfriend,” “Set up a magical blind date” or “Throw the perfect baby shower.” SATCO provides a myriad of activities to suit every play style and need.

Players will be allowed to discover the game at their own pace through captivating storylines and thousands of dynamic quests. An innovative leveling system will allow you to gain experience through discussion of your personal desires and fantasies in life and love at social hubs. Acquire new knowledge and skills when you gain entry into high-priced restaurants, exclusive nightclubs and high profile fashion shows — receive extra skill points for bringing a date or meeting one there.

Other features include:

  • 6 Distinct classes, each with their own in-depth narrative and history — play as a popular Socialite or a discerning Fashionista!
  • Follow in the footsteps of your favorite SATC heroines, by choosing one of 4 exciting professions, each with unique boosts to certain skills — Newspaper Sex Columnist (+5 to Scathing Speech),  Modern Art Dealer (+5 to Love, Dating and Intimacy), Corporate Lawyer (+5 to Misandry) and Public Relations Manager (+5 to Promiscuity).
  • Fully customizable equipment — mix and match your outfits, including powerful accessories such as jewelry, purses, hats and more. Receive an extra bonus for color coordination.
  • Player housing — Customize your city loft apartment with options such as: walk-in closets with extra shoe storage, fashionable furniture pieces from rustic to pomo styles, shelves of Vogue and Cosmo magazines, and much, much more!