Friday, May 16, 2008

With no regard to chronological order...

The Flyers won last night to stay in the playoffs. We've had fun watching the games and rooting for our underdog. They are down the Stanley Cup semi-finals 3-1 in whats being called the "Pennsylvania Civil War" with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but we're thrilled with how they've done considering that they weren't expected to even make the playoffs and are now missing their top two defensemen. Its always fun when your team works best under adversity and pressure.

We went to a Phillies game. They were playing the Padres. I commented to Maggie that I think this might be the first time in my life that I've gone to a baseball game and the home team that I have gone to see has actually won! It was "dollar dog night," and many hot dogs were enjoyed. (Oh, and by the way: it's true what they say about Phillies fans. Hint: its not "they are nice and civil." It would have taken the two of us to count on our hands how many fans we saw thrown out of the game.)

We saw Spoon in concert (with openers The Walkmen) at The Electric Factory. Maggie and I have been huge fans of Spoon for some time now, and relied heavily on their latest album "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" to get us through the long drives to and from Philadelphia during the move. The show was unbelievable - best live performance I've seen both in stage presence and musicianship. Their set spanned 5 albums and clocked in at over 1.5 hours, which was a show of endurance and the quality of their catalog. What made it even better was that our friend Emily, whom Maggie met in Spain and lives in Philly now, met us at the show. It was a blast hanging out with her.

We also made the quick jog down to the greater DC area to visit Maggie's cousin Terry and other family for the twins' birthday. For those who remember, these are the little premature twins that Maggie nannied for. This weekend was a blast, seeing family, hanging out with little kids who are too smart for their own good, and relaxing away from home.

I've had a chance to do a lot of reading, which I love. Having studied literature in college, you'd think I would have gotten my fair share of reading in, but its an entirely different thing reading for pleasure than reading for class. On my reading list: The New Yorker, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Engineer of Human Souls by Josef Skvorecky (Read it NOW! It both gives an intimate look into the volatile political state swinging from Socialism to Communism in Czechoslovakia and also an intimate look into what it means to be human), The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (Reading this currently. I loved the first half of it but now its turning a bit labored and misguided), and various personal finance titles.
We've also watched several great movies. One that I would say Maggie and I both found side-splitting was Woody Allen's Bananas. Between books and DVDs, we've been keeping Upper Moreland Free Library very busy.

Oh yeah, and I graduated from college.

We hope you are having a nice Spring!

P.S. Leave us a comment to let us know that you are keeping up with us. Hmmmm... give us a movie recommendation.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rare Sitings of the Elusive Creatures' Nest

Deep in the hustle and bustle of the Hatborian life, it is difficult to catch glimpses of the famously stylish apartment of Maggie and Brad, much like that of the evasive mating rituals of the kakapo. Native to New Zealand, it only breeds every three or four years. Thus, it has taken much concentration and patience from our skilled team of photographers to capture such priceless poses of the hatborian-homedwelling-photographic-momentus-bradagonian-maggiestific scenery. Enjoy.

Here you will find the exotically fashionable Living Room.

Where most professional chefs would drool with envy, you will find a quaintly awesome Kitchen & Spa Extraordinaire.

The Bathroom, complete with running water and a painting of the site of The Engagement
(La Calle Alcalá, Madrid, España)

As these creatures must venture forth from their dwellings, they must first dine and then ride. This is best accomplished with the aid of a dazzling dinner table and bike storage facility.

And finally, a brief siting of one of the creatures napping with his feline companions. Shhhhhhhhhh......this is a rare siting indeed.

Monday, March 24, 2008

We're still alive, I promise...

In fact, we are very alive, and very busy. I can only sit here so long sipping at coffee before I have to take off for work, so I cannot write much. But I will give you a taste of our last week.
  • I made homemade corn chowder. Not to toot my own horn, but it was outstanding.
  • We successfully got our driver licenses and car registration. (After having previously been turned away from the PennDot for not having sufficient proof of residency - a bank statement with our new address did not count, apparently - the last time they never even asked for any proof of residency. I almost shoved our mailings in his face just as retribution.)
  • Went to Mutter's museum and a piece of the a tumor of John Wilkes Booth and other medical oddities.
  • We had two great friends from Oklahoma, Daniel and Adrienne, visit us. This was a blast.
  • We had a great friend from New Jersey, David, visit us the next day. He got an iPhone and made me jealous.
  • We visited with Maggie's aunts and uncles at a HUGE summer home on the Chesapeake in Maryland. This included seeing Maggie's new cousin who was recently adopted from China.
All in all, a crazy week, but a blast.
(I'll update this with pictures later...)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh, the Perks of Modern Pennsylvanianite Vehicular Requirements!

"So when are you going to get your Michigan plates changed?"

"I figured I'd do it in October when they expire."

"Huh, really..."

Within twenty days of moving to the grand state of Pennsylvania, one must change their car registration. In order to change the registration of your vehicle, you must have a Pennsylvania driver's license. To get a Pennsylvania driver's license, you have to apply in person and prove your residency in two ways, which can include utility bills, lease agreements, or other forms that formally state your new address. Typically utility bills arrive thirty days from when you first sign-up, lease agreements take ten to twenty days because the head of the rental company has to sign it, and usually the latest Bed Bath & Beyond flyer addressed to "Our Neighbor" just doesn't quite prove your residency too well.... Pennsylvania is also a very green state, and requires yearly inspections of every vehicle (lest you incur fines and penalties by disregarding such requirements) for brakes, general safety features and emissions. This must be done within ten days of completing the vehicle registration. I believe we have now come full circle...

We recently decided to hire Stan, our paperwork guru pictured to the left to take care of all of the necessary paperwork. We pay him in sprinkled donuts weekly.

The headaches of vehicular requirements aside, we are absolutely loving Pennsylvania. All but two moving boxes remain, and we have taken quite a fancy to their decorative accent to our new flat.

Here's hoping Stan is The Man and we successfully get our vehicular portraits published this weekend.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hatboro-ian observations

This is the second day in a row in the mid-60s

(and every morning here I've woken up to sunshine instead of an alarm clock)

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Adventures of Brad & Maggie Continue:

CHAPTER ONE: The Arrival
So we survived the 11+ hour drive, toll booths, caffeine overdoses and sedated cats escaping their cage and are now settling into our new apartment. I have chosen a photo that will be representative of what two 22-year old, somewhat newly-weds can accrue in their lifetime, and that no neurotic, overly-organized person can overcome. That's just the dinning room. Holy cow.
CHAPTER TWO: The Grocery Store
Oh, to be in West Michigan, wandering the aisle-ways of our friendly Meijer store, complete with everything from strawberries and motor oil to pepper spray and alcohol. But nay, in the quaint suburbs of Philadelphia you will find there are several pit stops for groceries and the like.

For general groceries (food, toiletries, etc.) we have found Giants Food. A lovely combination of D& W and Family Fare, we discovered the key to savings: a Giants Card. Sign-up is free, and the savings are endless. Organic cherry tomatoes are 2 for five dollars today...

I have not yet searched where to buy motor oil or pepper spray, but for alcohol, there are rumored to be several complexities to the system. For wine and hard liquor, you must seek out the "Wine & Spirits" stores, which are run by the state of Pennsylvania. As for beer, you will find it at any "Beer Store" or the few shops that say "cold beer" on their flashing neon signs. Curiously, because of extremely costly liquor licenses, the city of Philadelphia literally has it's own BYOB tradition, that when entering a nice establishment that does not carry a liquor license, it is customary to bring your own six pack or bottle of wine. They provide the glasses, and you save a couple bucks. Interesting.

I (Maggie) will be starting my first day at LSA tomorrow morning. Much is to be done to empty the many boxes scattered around our apartment floor, counter tops, and living space. We shall see in the days to follow what will become of the ever-growing pile of cardboard boxes.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Moving along a long list of to-dos...

In the spirit of all of the to-do lists that we are moving through before we relocate, I have an in-progress list of things I am looking forward to about Philadelphia (as a side note, you apparently cannot call it Philly until you live there):
  • NOT waking up at 4:30
  • NOT having us both drive 70 miles a day
  • The sun
  • A new exciting job for Maggie
  • NOT breathing in chemicals forty hours a week
  • Starting afresh
  • More space
  • Exploring a new city
    • with historical significance
    • with new restaurants
  • Having the chance to pursue some freelance writing
  • Meeting new people
  • ...
Of course there are things that we are not happy about, such as leaving really great friends (oh, how we've been reminded of that over the last week or so), family and the Saab - but we're certainly concentrating on the positives, and being very excited at that.

Packing is in progress...