September 29, 2011

Eye Exam

Have you had your eye exam lately? "How can 'Instantly Improve Vision' not be at the top of your to-do list?"

I had my check-up a few days ago but I had missed a year or two since my last one. The whole time I could not stop thinking of this Brian Regan clip! Enjoy :) 


(P.S. I actually did a pretty good job this time of choosing between "1 & 2," but when I came home I put my new contacts into the case...that held my other contacts! So the old and new got stuck together but I separated them without tearing them and think I successfully determined which ones were the new ones and which were old. Whoops.)

September 28, 2011


Talking is not my greatest strength. I can relate to Moses when he said to the Lord, "Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue." I like much better to have a blank piece of paper or word document and some time to think about what I'm going to say. What happens is I don't have enough time to fully process my thoughts and figure out what I'm going to say, but enough time has lapsed that if I don't say something now it'll be too long a pause and I'll have missed my opportunity to continue the conversation. So I open my mouth with little direction - with the start of a sentence in mind, and then as I continue speaking I don't know what I'm trying to say or how to say it!

I actually think I'm pretty good at public speaking, so long as I have planned out what I'm going to say ahead of time. So I like support appointments - just follow the book, everything will be okay. Then I get asked a question and out of my mouth come words like tangled jewelry. This is a common occurrence for me and one I'm okay with, because I have other strong points besides speaking, and I think it's fairly humorous, but I wanted to share because I thought of the perfect illustration for what it feels like! Like necklaces knotted together, the words start out okay and then my point gets confused and no one knows what I'm trying to say - everything is jumbled together and there's no getting out of it, so I just stop and leave it at that.
So there it is. Maybe you can relate, or if not maybe you will think it humorous to see a picture of word confusion. Because it's unclear and awkward and we all know awkward is funny.

September 26, 2011

The Fever

We had the fever. It had been about three months since our last show, and we had been listening to Phish longing for a night drenched with creative music and a fantastical scene. It didn't help that we kept driving RIGHT by the venue where we saw our last show. 

Where did you come up with the term "fever", you ask? When we were hanging out before the Camden show started, this guy parked near us talked to us for a little while. He was one of them. Some might call him a Phish-head. The rest of the people at the show called him a phan. He drove a well-aged car, the back full of stuff. Drinking a beer, his long unkempt hair waving as he moved in a chill way only those who have no agenda can. Had he been to this venue before? We discussed the safety, or rather lack very there-of, of Camden. Somehow we got on the topic of grilled cheese - the most delectable of post-show treats. He was to be vending them tonight. Whit and I exchanged a smile knowing we scored on our parking situation. 

For our phan, Chris, this wasn't his first show of the summer. Clearly. He had already driven most of New England to go to the preceding 11 or so shows. We asked when he started this business of Going On Tour, as we like to call it. He passionately recounted the date and location of the first show he went to, when he was in his late teens. He came home to Texas from the northeast and that was it - he got the fever. After that he packed up his car and headed out to finish the tour, with as empty of pockets as he had ambition.

Fortunately we found a cheaper, less plan-wreaking way to cure our fever: live streaming. We turned on the computer, pulled over two big comfy chairs, and had ourselves a date night - an at-home concert. Complete with fans wading around the arena before it began and a little Mike comedy during the set-break. And it only cost a little more than a low quality beer at an outdoor amphitheater. The only thing we were missing? You guessed it - grilled cheese. I was too sleepy when it ended at 1:30am - dang mountain time. Hopefully the next show we go to, we will actually get to be there. Until then, thank you for live streaming!

(I really apologize for how terrible these pictures are. But we couldn't re-do them in the middle of Moma Dance. ;) You understand.)

September 25, 2011


Whit and I have been watching Friends. And by far all the best moments (those requiring a rewind) have been Joey moments. He is just hilarious. So I will share our new favorite Joey moment: The One with the Cheesecakes.

September 20, 2011

Three Men and a Truck Piano Moving

I am recovering. Tonight from 7pm to 8:30 my dad, Whit, another man, and my mom and I moved my parents' baby grand piano. Yes. Ourselves. You see, my parents are moving to Georgia from Maryland and it costs a lot of money to hire piano movers. For instance, it cost $250 just to move it from one room in the house to a few rooms away. So my dad figures he can just do it himself. My thoughts? That. is. a. BAD. idea. It's worth the money, just pay for the movers. ;)

But my dad being the relentless engineer he is did research, research, and more research. He watched a video (below) and bought all the supplies needed. It was just an idea at first, and then he bought wood. And then he bought blankets. And then ratchets. And we thought, "Huh. I think this is really gonna happen." 

Problem was (amidst the obvious problem of us not being professional piano movers) we were one guy short. So my dad says "Sydni, you can be our fourth man." Okay, dad. His logic was, when they moved the piano in our house, it only took two guys. Well, two BIG guys. And in the video they had four guys. 

So after a full afternoon of loading up a big truck of our stuff and moving it to a storage unit, we had about an hour break for dinner and then it was time for the piano. When my dad's friend came in our house my dad was sitting cross-legged on the floor under the piano cranking it up on a jack and says "well we're one guy short but we can do it." And he was thinking what am I getting myself into! 

For me it was a long process - each new step my dad explained sounded more risky than the last. But we did it!! !!!!! And I am praising the Lord. I really didn't think we were going to make it through. But between the three of them their strength pulled through and even more, their ingenious minds cleverly came up with solutions to the problems along the way.

For documentation, here is a summary of the process (overly simplified of course): 
1. We took one leg off and with a jack, lowered the piano on its side onto the piano board (scariest part for Whit, who was entrusted to catch the piano if it fell).
2. We held up the piano while the legs were taken off, blankets were put on, and it was strapped in. 
3. We pushed it up two stairs (from the living room to the dining room).
4. We scooted it to the front door. 
5. We pushed it out the front door onto the porch (using a piece of wood as a wedge/lever).
6. Maybe the most skillful part: my dad wedged the piano forward and down two steps as Whit and Rusty held it up, I made sure it didn't fall to the side, and my mom positioned the dolly below it. 
7. We pushed it on the dolly to the truck (easy).
8. SCARIEST PART (for me and my mom anyways): The three men pushed the piano up the uhaul ramp onto the truck while my mom and I stood at the sides holding it up/making sure it didn't fall to one side. And then I almost got squished because the driveway was slanted and it was rolling towards me haha. 

So there it is. I said it couldn't be done but he proved us wrong. My dad's planning and preparation of materials paid off and I am impressed. But tired. So now you can watch the video and kind of see what we went through. Plus a lot of shaking, fast-paced directions, quick decisions, and improvisation. :)

September 15, 2011

Night Lights

Well, it's the weekend for me! Really, we just get one week"day" not a whole weekend, since our day off each week is Friday. So, on this chilly week-night I wanted to share some pictures of my favorite city - Baltimore! Did I just say that? Maybe it's official now - Baltimore is great! Here are some pics I took of the Inner Harbor a few nights ago. Plus, may I add how wonderful my man is? He accompanied me to Federal Hill one night just so I could take pictures! How great is he! He even endured bug bites.

September 13, 2011

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Umm how did I not think of this earlier?? My new favorite reason I'm excited about moving to Philly - the Philadelphia Orchestra!!! A LEGIT attraction. Whit and I are so excited to go on dates to hear this amazing orchestra! We will get dressed up, go to a beautiful concert hall, and hear some of the best sounding musicians in the world. And hello - the Philadelphia Orchestra is the one who recorded Clair de Lune for the Ocean's 11 soundtrack - AND the soundtrack for Fantasia! I'm in love. And Lang Lang plays there too. He's playing Liszt for Franz' 200th birthday in October...why don't we live there yet?? I think we are going to set aside some of our budget specifically for Philadelphia Orchestra dates. And probably get the season package deal. YAY good reasons to move up north!!

September 12, 2011

A Puppy & A Little Bird

I got a chance to have a mini photo shoot with some cute animals this weekend! I had been meaning to photograph my dog for awhile but hadn't been around her. I can't get enough of her - she's too cute!!
I love this picture because it reminds me of that one that comes with the Windows backgrounds!
Love her.
The other animal was somewhat of a rescue. Two birds trapped themselves in the screened-in porch all day. I eventually recruited Whit to capture one that was still sitting on the ledge after we tried to shoo them away. The poor thing was so tired, it just sat there and let me take pictures of it. I am so thankful for God giving me these great photography opportunities right in my backyard! ;)

September 7, 2011

Rainy Day Randomness

Is it ever going to stop raining? What is up with the weather?? We just had a hurricane, and it's been raining for two days straight now, plus it sprinkled for three days before that. And it's been so cold! Hellooo it's still summer!! I need these last few weeks of warmth before everything gets chilly! Or at least let me find some jeans to buy. I've been looking for a new pair and am telling you it's impossible to find a normal pair - light wash that's NOT skinny, stretch, or destroyed. Lame.

This weekend was super productive! I cleaned out all my old childhood things - threw out a bunch and then organized and consolidated the rest. Now that my parents are here cleaning out their things, I've been getting a lot of my mom's stuff! It's awesome because it's like a thrift shop where everything is FREE - and it's all familiar and special because it's my mom's! And it's nice stuff. I'm trying to have a balance because Whit doesn't want us to just have a ton of stuff, which I agree with, so I'm trying to not take too much, even though it's all really nice.

In-between all my cleaning, which I really enjoyed, we had some fun dates together. We went to Fort McHenry, where the Star Spangle Banner was written. I'd been there a couple times before with my family, but didn't really understand anything about the war. In the past year they've completely remodeled the visitor's center so there's a ton of things to look at and learn from, including interactive tools. I'm not a huge fan of history (I don't like little details and I have a good memory but I can't remember things that are completely random, like dates), but since I'd been to Fort McHenry a couple times already and still didn't understand it, I figured I would try extra hard to really get what was going on. I was proud of myself for figuring it out, haha.

I've also been learning to play Claire de Lune on piano. Ever since I watched Ocean's 11 (my favorite movie) it's been one of my favorite songs. Out of classical music, it's definitely my favorite or at least tied with Love's Dream. Whit is actually the one who started learning it first, but I figured if he has never played piano before and he's going to try to learn my favorite song, then I need to try to learn it too! I love Debussy's style. It's so dreamy. I think it's even more beautiful now that I'm playing it because I see what he does that makes it sound so good. I've never really played anything like it before (that's not saying a whole lot); it's kind of tricky because you have to hold down one note with one finger while the rest of your hand plays different notes, and then you switch to another finger holding down one note while your other fingers play different notes. I don't know if that makes sense. Anyway, what's even better than that is that your hands are playing so close each other; each time the left hand moves down the right follows by taking over the note that your left hand was just playing! The result is smooth transitions all the while because you keep holding one note instead of just jumping around. Whatever, it sounds great!

We also got free Chick Fil A for breakfast this morning! My whole family went; it was pretty fun. You just have to go to or something and choose your free item! Every time I get CFA breakfast it makes my day. It's one of my favorite things. Yay! :) Okay, enough randomness. Hope you have a lovely rainy day!

September 5, 2011

Childhood + Beanies

I've been going through boxes of old stuff from my childhood, trying to consolidate since my parents are getting ready to move. I've found a lot of hilarious reminders, like my binder of pokemon cards, an entire folder of songs my cousin and I wrote, and how obsessed I was with animals and preventing pollution. The most fun thing was probably finding all my Beanie Babies! 

Between my brother and I, we had almost sixty. 
Don't know why this is sideways or how to change it.

My parents are letting us keep half of them to save for when they have grandkids. I think it's a good deal because I feel accomplished cleaning some out, but we still get to keep all our favorites. My favorite?

Definitely Bongo the monkey. I decided to take a little portrait of him, hahah.

I also LOVE these teeny ones from McDonald's!

Did you collect Beanie Babies? Do you still have them? Remember how everyone thought it was a great investment to collect them because they'd be worth a ton of money later? I don't think it's that time yet, but hopefully I can still sell the ones we want to get rid of.

Bonus: Here's another fun picture. This was my favorite stuffed animal, Todd. He was so cool - he had a beanie butt so he could sit up on his own. So cute. Too bad his head fell off. I think it's time to say goodbye.

September 3, 2011


Last night Phish played in Colorado. Every song in the setlist started with the letter "S." Hilarious. This is why I love this band.

Don't believe me?

Set I: 
Sample In a Jar 
The Sloth
Sweet Virginia
Suskind Hotel
Strange Design
Sneaking Sally Thru the Alley
Scent of a Mule
Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan
Shine a Light
Split Open and Melt
Squirming Coil

Set II: 
Soul Shakedown Party
Seven Below
Suzy Greenberg
Scents and Subtle Sounds
Slave to the Traffic Light
Silent in the Morning
Sweet Adeline

Encore: Sabotage

September 2, 2011

Great Discovery

Our Labor Day plans changed due to the hurricane. Whit's grandparents' house in Nags Head got hit pretty hard - the dock needs to be rebuilt and their junk (actual junk) is all around the neighborhood. Not all the relatives are coming for the weekend anymore, and the ones who are basically just have to work the whole time (welcome to the Jackson family). 

As I was planning for our revised Labor Day weekend, I made a great discovery! We thought about the option of going to Ocean City, MD to get one last beach trip in, but it's further away than I thought - 2 hours and 45 minutes! Not close enough for just a day trip. Since this is the last few weeks we'll be in Maryland, we wanted to get in some fun Baltimore-y things. Turns out that we'll actually be closer to Ocean City when we move to Pennsylvania! (Only by a few minutes, but it definitely doesn't need to be on a list of "things to do while in Maryland.")

I obviously checked out a couple of other locations, and to my surprise we will be close to a decent number of beaches! I'm not always super excited about moving to Philly, but finding out things like this make me so thankful! I hope we will have lots of adventures traveling to places I've never been before (aka pretty much anywhere up north)! (Side note: apparently people actually from the north don't consider the lower states like Maryland and Pennsylvania very northern, so I'm more cautious saying it now...which is weird because it's very northern in my mind.) I knew we could try to visit various cities and that we would be closer to most of the places where Phish tours, but now we can add beaches to the list! 

There are many that are less than 3 hours away: Ocean City, Rehoboth, Atlantic City, and even New York beaches. Now I know that everyone says that north-eastern beaches are pretty gross and crowded, but I normally don't mind stuff like that as much as other people do (I mean, I love Kings Dominion), and it will be just as fun for me to get to travel to new places than have a perfect beach (especially because now that I've been to Caribbean beaches, all US beaches are just not as good in my mind). We could just try a new beach every weekend in the summer! Or something like that. Enough of my ramblings. Have a great weekend!

September 1, 2011

No Books Today

Lately I've been feeling like I'm just stuck inside all day. We're in a weird schedule now where we work in the mornings and then again at night, so we have a weird chunk of time in the afternoon that I often feel like I can't do anything with. So tonight we decided to go out shopping for a bit after dinner. The plan was to go to Bed Bath & Beyond to get a fan for my computer, because it's been shutting down due to overheating (lame). We couldn't find BB&B, but we saw Borders...and noticed that they were going out of business. 

I'm normally not a huge Borders fan, but everything in the store was 60-80% off!! Real stuff for that cheap! Hah! Normally stuff that's on sale that much is crappy stuff. Fortunately the sale hadn't been going on for too long because there was a decent selection of stuff left. So what kind of deals did I get?? None!! Surprise! Normally I would have bought 4 things just because they were cheap, but I couldn't find anything I REALLY wanted. It's not worth it to buy something just because it's on sale because "it will be something that just sits on your shelf and cost you $5 instead of something not sitting on your shelf that costs $20." At least that's how Whit put it. 

I like how he thinks about budgeting and spending and his habits have influenced me to be more cautious with what I buy. A lot of it is also due to the fact that I have a budget for personal spending money and I try to save every penny I can because if I buy something lame now that's less money I'll have for something I really want later. So thanks Whit!