Saturday, January 21, 2017

President Trump ?!@%$?!

IMG_20170121_154921_129I think I have been in denial ever since election day, hoping, praying and wishing that somehow by some miracle yesterday wouldn't come and something would happen that would cause a different outcome. Of course that didn't happen and I guess logically I knew that it wouldn't.  

So somehow we now live in a world where Donald Trump is the current president of the United States. I can't even say that out loud with a straight face. I really can't.  How did we get here? How did this happen?

It doesn't seem to matter what crazy things he says or does, his core supporters still support him. It's insanity. Mind boggling insanity.

Not even a day passed, mere hours after his inauguration, the White House website removed all pages on climate change, health care, civil, LGBTQ and Native American rights. Seriously? I feel like we are in for a rough ride. And this is coming from a white middle class person. I am however also female and an immigrant so while I don't feel crazy threatened I can definitely understand the concerns and fears of many people in this country.  

I really want to believe that I am wrong. I want to be hopeful and I want to think "Well maybe he will still surprise us all" but I am just having a really hard time believing that.

The only thing that gives me hope right now is seeing all the news coverage about the Women's March on Washington and all the other marches across the country and the globe. Maybe somehow this divided country can come together and by bonding together and fighting for women's and human rights in general, continuing to stay strong and fight for what's right,  something good will come out of this whole mess in the end.  Let's see how it does. 

In other news I am heading to Pittsburgh for training for work for 10 days tomorrow. Will update when I have time.  :)

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter/owe a reply to: Carmen/Malta, Kimber/Canada and Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 04:24 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Klimt Exhibit, NYC Sunday

IMG_20170115_130748_110And another week gone by again already. Only one week until I go to Pittsburgh for training. 

Had a good week at work. Nothing too eventful to report I suppose. Yesterday I had my yearly check up at the OB/GYN. So that's done for another year as well. 

Also went to the movies yesterday to see "Live by Night", Ben Affleck's new movie. I usually like him but the movie was only meh at best.  It wasn't terrible by any means but also not amazing.  I expected something better I supoose. Oh well. 

Today we went down to NYC to see the Klimt exhibit at the Neue Gallerie (upper East Side, pretty close to the Guggenheim museum). The museum is neat and modeled after Viennese art galleries, filled completely with Austrian and German art. The special Klimt exibit ends tomorrow so I am glad we managed to see it. It must be pretty popular as there was a line to get in when the museum opened at 11am. 

After the museum we went to the Third Ave Ale House where we are now. Had a yummy lunch and just hanging out for a bit now before heading back to CT in a little while.  

Then tomorrow it's Monday and back to work. One more week before heading to Pittsburgh next Sunday. Going to be there for 10 days for training.  

Letter/Mail Update: A letter went out on Wednesday to: Lotte/Denmark. Received letters/owe a reply to: Carmen/Malta, Kimber/Canada and Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 02:10 PM in Austria , Food and Drink, NYC | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Snowy Weekend and Golden Globes

Instaweather_20170108_140628Snowy Weekend.  Didn't even get that much snow in our area (about 6 inches = 15cm) but because of the brutal cold everything was sticking and not thawing/going away so things were a bit of a mess. But all in all could have been much worse of course. Just not a big fan of winter, the snow and crazy cold. Can I hibernate until spring?? 

The week went by ok. Survived my dentist appointment on Tuesday. I switched to a different dentist office and was pretty happy with the first visit. But going to the dentist is never fun for me. I still need to get my wisdom teeth out.  I will try and tackle that over the summer. Also need to look into getting braces because of the way my teeth are, upper and lower teeth grinding against each other and causing issues with the structure of the teeth. I really don't want braces but I guess I will go for a consultation after my training in Pittsburgh and see what they say. Consultations are free so I guess it can't hurt to at least evaluate my options. Also have 2 front teeth with very short roots that may cause problems and have to be replaced with implants if they come loose. Fun. This is why I don't enjoy the dentist.  No matter how nice they are the news is never good for me. Ugh. 

Saturday we had an appointment with Bailey at the vet. She healed well and they were able to remove her sutures and she was able to come home without her cone.  Yay. So the vet visit was definitely much more enjoyable than the dentist visit.  Haha. :) Check-up in 3 months for x-rays to make sure the cancer and bladder stones don't come back. 

Today we went to the movies to see "Hidden Figures". What a great movie.  Really enjoyed it. Now we are in Oxford at 121 for lunch.  Eventually going to head back home to catch up on some shows on TiVo before watching the Golden Globes. Should be a nice night. Then tomorrow it's back to work already again. Weekends always fly by too fast. :)

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters/owe a reply to: Kimber/Canada, Celia/MA and Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 02:31 PM in Cats, Film, Weather | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 02, 2017

2017 ... another new beginning

IMG_20170102_120916_780Happy 2017 everyone! I know I say it every year but I really can't believe that another year has already passed by again. Where does all the time go? It feels like the late 90ies were not that long ago but in reality we are about 20 years removed from that era by now. Crazy!! 

Had a short week at work which was pretty busy though since a lot of people chose to take the week off. But that's ok, made the week fly by nice and fast. I have today off as well since New Year's Day fell on a Sunday. So weird to me as that would have never happened at my old job since we had to be up and running on most days and were only closed on very few days of the year. So it's been nice to have a few extra days off, especially since I am still at the beginning of this new job and not really eligible for vacation time just yet. 

New Year's Eve we went to the movies and saw "Why Him" followed by lunch in Oxford at 121. Then stopped at the liquor store and picked up some sparkling wine and met up with our friend John at Ibiza (tapas bar) for a bit before heading home. Alternated between binging on some recorded "New Girl" episodes and the New Year's Rockin Eve broadcast from Times Square. All in all a nice relaxed night. 

Yesterday we went to see "Jackie" which was absolutely outstanding. I would assume that it will be nominated for various rewards. Really great movie! After we headed to Flipside in Fairfield for a late lunch. Stopped into Rosy's on the way home for some wine and to wind down the night. :) And today we slept in late. I actually didn't get up till almost 11am. Didn't intend to sleep quite that late but what can I say? It was nice. :) Had some breakfast and tea now, going to read and write some letters in the afternoon I think. Nice, relaxed, low key kind of day.

Tomorrow it's back to work and regular work weeks. Also have a dentist appointment tomorrow now that my insurance has kicked in from work. Ugh. Really don't want to go but know I need to. Back in May I had a root canal and everything was ok for a bit but now that same area is bothering me again so I have a feeling something's not right. Ugh. Well, it's not going to get any better by waiting and I have waited long enough. No more excuses since I now have insurance again. 

Letter/Mail Update: Letters went out yesterday to: Eloine/NY, Jessica/DE and Bianca/Germany. Received a letter/owe a reply to: Celia/MA and Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Post

IMG_20161225_214318_378Merry Christmas. :) Hope everyone had a nice holiday. We have had a nice laid back holiday weekend so far. Can't complain at all. :) 

Friday I was off and we went to the movies to see "Rogue One" followed by lunch in Oxford at 121. Then on Saturday (Christmas Eve) we had a follow up appointment at the vet with Bailey to make sure she's healing ok (she is!) After that we headed to Stew Leonard's to pick up some food for dinner and the next day (what a madhouse!!) and then had lunch at the Marketplace before heading home and catching up on some of our TiVo shows and movies. Had a yummy feast of shrimp cocktail, cheese & crackers, Brie & baguette, broccoli & dip and wine. 

Yesterday, Christmas morning, we opened our gifts with Mike's sister and nephew (my niece is in Georgia at the moment visiting her boyfriend) Mike spoiled me with a Kindle Fire HD10 (that thing is massive!) and a bunch of Outlander themed gifts (the special edition season 2 Blu-ray plus a shirt and a shopping bag) Plenty of other nice things (PJs, tea, movie theater gift card, gloves, a cat broche and more) After our gift exchange we hung out at home for a bit, had more of our food and eventually headed to the movies to see "La La Land". After the movies we stopped into TKs for a bit, as they were open and actually quite busy. Had some Cajun wings. Been ages since we've been there. 

Today we slept in and puttered around the apartment for a bit. Going to head to the movies for movie number 3 of our holiday weekend "Passengers". Going to stop at Hallmark after the movie to pick up some Christmas cards. Kind of a tradition for me. Already bought some Christmas labels and wrapping paper online as well. Always good to stock up on that stuff after the holidays when it's on sale. :) 

Well that concludes our holiday weekend. Can't believe it's already back to work again tomorrow but I can't complain as it's another short week really. 2016 is almost at an end. Let's hope 2017 is a better year but I am really not too sure. I guess we will just need to wait and see to find out. In the meantime I hope everyone's happy and healthy and had a nice holiday weekend as well. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter/owe a reply to: Jessica/DE, Celia/MA, Lotte/Denmark, Bianca/Germany and Eloine/NY. 

Posted by Hanna at 12:10 PM in Food and Drink, Holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Holiday Prep, Sacher Torte & the vet

PixlrAnother busy week. Can't believe it's already Christmas next week. Where has this year gone? It's crazy. I was laid off from my old job the day after the 4th of July holiday and now it's already Christmas. At my new job for about 5 weeks now. Time is definitely flying. 

Was a busy week at work with holiday stuff (Secret Santa, Pot Luck, Holiday Party and more) so the week went by pretty quickly. Friday we had our Holiday Party at Mazzo. Had been there only once before but they have a pretty big banquet room upstairs. Had a fun time. Good food, open bar and karaoke. I am not a karaoke person but I did have fun watching everyone else. :) I am not the type of person who enjoys dancing or karaoke. I can't sing and I am terribly uncoordinated so those things are not fun for me at all. But I still had a good time hanging out with everyone and watching everyone else. :)

In less fun news also had to bring our new cat Bailey to the vet. During her check-up a few weeks ago they detected a small mammary tumor so we scheduled an appointment for her surgery. Before the surgery they took an x-ray and then also discovered that she had 7 bladder stones that needed to be removed. So she ended up having two procedures done at the same time and stayed at the vet from Thursday until Saturday morning. All things considered she's doing well and is dealing ok with her cone. We will need to bring her back to get a bigger cone though because when she twists just the right way she can reach her stitches and that's no good of course. All in all she's being her usual cute self, purring, eating and just rolling with things. Unfortunately the whole thing was not cheap but what can you do? The food she now has to eat isn't cheap either but I don't want her to develop more bladder stones so it's necessary unfortunately. Well, the good news is that the tumor at least hadn't spread yet so that's good. 

So I am spending the weekend hanging out with her. Wrapped my gifts for the people here (the stuff I didn't mail), wrapped up some cake and cookies for people. Oh that's right. I didn't mention yet that my lovely parents sent me a delicious Sacher Torte straight from Hotel Sacher in Vienna. So yummy. I am enjoying it very much but since it's a big cake I figured I would share with other people as well. :) So I made some packages for people, put away my laundry and worked on some other chores.

I have a big pile of letters to write as well but I am not sure I will get to those today. Think I will read some more in a bit after I finish my tea.  The weather has been all over the place this week as well. Some super cold temps with crazy windchill, then some snow on Saturday (which didn't make the trip to the vet very fun) and today pretty warm temps but back to cold tomorrow. Rollercoaster of weather, guess that's New England for you. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter/owe a reply to: Jessica/DE, Celia/MA, Lotte/Denmark, Bianca/Germany and Eloine/NY. 

Posted by Hanna at 05:19 PM in Food and Drink, Holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Baking

IMG_20161212_070657And yup it's Monday again. The holiday season definitely seems to be racing by at lightning speed but then I guess that's like that every year. I have tried to be prepared and have somewhat succeeded but not altogether. I mailed all my Christmas cards and packages. The last batch of domestic packages went out a week ago so that's all set. I have heard from a few people who have received theirs so that's good. It cracks me up watching the speed the mail travels. A package from CT to Brooklyn, NY took 5 days where a package from CT to L.A., CA took 6 days. Makes no sense at all. Haven't heard from a friend in Delaware so hopefully that one will arrive soon-ish. Who knows about Oklahoma and Seattle. Guess we will find out how that goes. I did try to mail everything on the early side exactly for that reason. 

This weekend I spent a good amount of time with my friend Jana, hanging out and baking cookies. It's become somewhat of a tradition we developed over the last few years. This year we decided to make a variety of cookies and ended up with two recipes from her Russian grandmother (Rugelach and Farmers Cottage Cheese House), my mom's Linzer cookies, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies and Chocolate Sambucca cookies. Quite an interesting mix. I think the Linzer and the Rugelach ones were my favorite. :) 

Let's see what this week brings. Woke up to a wintry mix (some snow, now rain on top of it) so hopefully the ride into work won't be too bad. We're doing a version of Secret Santa at work this week plus there is a potluck one day and on Friday we have our office Christmas party. 

Oh, forgot to mention Saturday we also went to the movies and saw "Manchester by the Sea" which was really good. Definitely a film I would recommend. Have a feeling it will end up with an Oscar nomination but we will see. Few movies out and still coming out over the holidays that I want to see so we may end up at the theater a few more times over the next few weeks. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter/owe a reply to: Bianca/Germany and Eloine/NY. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:21 AM in Food and Drink, Holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 04, 2016

It's the season ...

PixlrAnd somehow it's Sunday again. I am getting used to having both Saturday and Sunday off but the weekends definitely still fly by quickly no matter what.

The week went by pretty fast. My international cards went out on Monday. Wrote my US/Canada ones on Tuesday night so they went into the mail on Wednesday. And later in the week I put up our decorations and the tree. Also packaged up my domestic Christmas packages so those will go into the mail tomorrow for the most part. My international gifts went via Amazon and Target this year. Decided that was better as most of my packages disappeared somewhere in the postal system last year.  So this has had a better success rate so far. :)

Yesterday, Saturday, we went to the movies and saw "Fantastic Beasts and where to find them" in IMAX which I thought was pretty good.  Today slept in and then stopped at Kohl's to return some items I bought online and pick out something else.  Took forever. This is why I swear by online shopping normally.  Ugh. Went out to lunch after and going to catch up on some things on our TiVo later. 

 Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter/owe a reply to: Bianca/Germany. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:13 PM in Food and Drink, Holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Movie Weekend

PixlrAnd the four day weekend is already coming to an end again  How do 4 days fly by that fast? But I can't complain.  It's been a nice, relaxing weekend.  

Thursday was Thanksgiving.  And we went to the movies to see "The Edge of Seventeen" followed by a delicious dinner at the Hopkins Inn. Super yummy food and a nice time with Mike and our friend Robin. Nice relaxed night.  

Friday we went to the movies again,  this time to see "Arrival" which was also a good movie.  Neat story. Sort of like "Contact" but with more alien interaction if that makes any sense at all. Pretty meta. Definitely enjoyed it  Afterwards we had lunch in Oxford at 121 and later caught up on more recorded TV shows. 

Saturday we slept in after staying up past 1am watching TV. Checked out the new Mexican restaurant Puerto Vallarta that opened in Danbury recently.  And later in the afternoon I started on my Christmas cards and finished the international batch (35 or so) I still have the US/Canada ones to do and that's another 40 to 50. Busy,  busy.  I have ordered most of my international gifts as well.  Decided to go with the online shopping route this year as it's easier and less chance of stuff getting lost. Last year almost all my international gifts disappeared in the mail. So annoying.  

Today we went to the movies one more time to round out the weekend and saw "Rules Don't Apply" which had an indie movie feel to it. Now we are at a local restaurant called The Marketplace where one of our friends is playing an acoustic set from 1 to 4pm for brunch. Very fun and a relaxing way to end the weekend. 

 Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment :)

Posted by Hanna at 03:28 PM in Film, Food and Drink, Holidays, Performances | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving :)

IMG_20161124_122102Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends :) Hope everyone is having a great day, spending it with family and/or friends. I have always liked the idea of Thanksgiving ever since I moved to the US despite the fact that I am not super crazy about turkey (I do love all the sides though, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, various veggies, etc) 

We had a nice day so far. Slept in which was nice and then had breakfast at Elmer's. Yum. Then went to the movies to see "The Edge of Seventeen". Really liked it. It's a great movie and depicts teenage life in a very real way. Hailee Steinfeld does an awesome job as Nadine. And Woody Harrelson is great as her teacher. Really the whole cast is great and the movie should be included in the long list of classic coming of age movies like "Clueless", "Mean Girls", etc. If you want to see the red band trailer click here. :)

Home right now but will head to the Hopkins Inn in a little bit for a delicious dinner. Meeting our British friend Robin there who will be joining us. Looking forward to yummy Wiener Schnitzel (I know, I know .. not very Thanksgiving ... but they do have all the traditional sides .. yummmm) and Toblerone Sundae for dessert. Delicious!

Going to relax for the rest of the long weekend, probably catch a few more movies. Also need to start writing my Christmas cards, especially the international ones. I already ordered some gifts for my friends oversees. Decided to go with the online shopping route this year as last year all my international packages except for one ended up lost in the mail. So this year I decided to shop online for my international friends. Let's hope that works out better. :) My US friends I will still buy for and ship from here but I figured this was safer for the oversees people. 

Also going to catch up on some TiVo during the weekend and really just relax. Did some online shopping (Yankee Candle, Kohls) for some stuff that was on sale for Black Friday. Mostly gifts or stuff I needed anyway (more pants to wear for work as I can only wear jeans on Fridays). I would never stand out in the cold for any Black Friday deals though. Hell No! So crazy. Happy to be shopping from the comfort of my warm home. Plus no one needs to work on the holiday for me to be doing that. :)

 Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment :)

Posted by Hanna at 05:04 PM in Food and Drink, Holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)