Friday, August 08, 2014


Collage_20140808082711884I haven't talked about my Outlander obsession on here in quite some time so I figured it would only be right to make another post now that the first episode has been released. The official air date is tomorrow, Saturday, August 9th, on STARZ but they released the first episode a week early online so you have been able to watch it for free. 

For those of you who don't know (and I am almost not sure how that's even possible because I have been babbling about this for a long time now) the Outlander TV show is based on the series of books by Diana Gabaldon.  

Here is what it says on the Starz website about the show: "Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in to irreconcilable lives. The "Outlander" series spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure into one grandiose tale."

As I said the first episode is available for free online here if you are in the US. If you are outside of the US you will not be able to watch the episode through that link (international copyright protection as the US rights are held by Starz and international ones by Sony) unless you use a service like Hotspot Shield that re-routes your IP address to a USA one. You can find the link for that here. Friends in Germany and Canada were able to watch it that way.   

I am very excited about the show and can't wait for the second episode which unfortunately won't air till next week Saturday, August 16th. Eight episodes will air straight through the end of September and after that there will be a break till early 2015. So go check it out!!

Received a letter/owe a reply to: Charles/TN and Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 09:08 AM in Books, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Philly Update


Hello from Philly. :)  Getting ready to leave again in a few hours but it's definitely been a fun stay. 

Left Stamford, CT on Amtrak yesterday at 8.30am and got into Philly a bit after 11am. I had never been to the Philadelphia train station before but it's a nice station, similiar to the other older ones on the East Coast like Boston, DC or NY (Grand Central). The station is also conveniently located, just a short walk from the center of the city. Although even a short 25 minute walk can feel like forever when it's super humid, muggy and hot outside. :)

Made it to my hotel (the Loews, got a great rate on Hotwire - really nice hotel) and was able to check in. Enjoyed the AC in my room for a bit, settling in. After that I walked across the street to the Hard Rock Cafe to meet up with my German friend Tina. It's been way too long since I have last seen her. She now lives in the US and it's been 4 years since her and her husband came over but this is the first time we actually managed to meet. We will need to do it again, sooner. :)

After lunch at the Hard Rock I went back to the hotel. Relaxed for a bit, had a glass of wine in the lobby bar at the hotel and then eventually ventured back out into the heat to walk to the library. Only a 15 minute walk so not so bad. I got there a little after 5 and there were already at least 50-100 people in line. Sat down and camped out in line for the auditorium. Met some nice people in line and eventually it was time to go inside. It was great to see Diana Gabaldon in person again. We actually saw her really quick while camped out in line as well. She walked through and said a quick hello to her fans which was nice. 

She spoke for an hour and as always it was a lot of fun to see her. There was also a Q&A session and some new tidbits of info along with the showing of the Starz trailer for the TV show coming out in August. After her talk she was going to be signing books and my plan was to get my copy of the book signed as well. But after getting out of the auditorium and seeing the line of people (I don't know how many people would I have to guess at least 300, if not more - the line sneaked through the whole library and outside into the parking lot) I decided against it. As nice as it would have been to have her personalize my book and say a quick hello I really didn't want to stand in line for hours on end. I already have a picture with her and a signed copy of the last book when I went to Phoenix 4 years ago.

So instead of standing in this endless line I made my way back and had another quick drink at the Hard Rock across the street from the hotel. This morning I slept in for a bit and then was craving breakfast so I went downstairs and had a yummy breakfast sandwich and Earl Grey tea at the restaurant downstairs. Now back in the room for a bit. Need to check out in a little while so will get ready soon.

Probably going to head over to the Hard Rock for one more drink to kill some time before heading to the train station and catching my train back. 

Received a letter/owe a reply to: Katie/Germany, Celia/MA, Laura/Spain, Kimber/BC, Carmen/Malta, Charles/TN and Nina/WA.

Posted by Hanna at 10:58 AM in Books, Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sunny Fall, Outlander and more

Untitled 1Nice, sunny fall Saturday. Guess what more can you want? I am off from work although I already had to deal with a few things from home but still better than having to go in. I will be working the next two upcoming Saturdays so enjoying my weekend off this week.

Browsing the web for a bit. Then at 1:30 we are taking the train down to South Norwalk for a late lunch at SoNo Brewhouse. It's been a little while since we have been there so should be fun.

Not sure what we are doing tomorrow yet. I want to see the movie RUSH (I am still amazed that they made a movie based on Niki Lauda and Formula One) but the weather is supposed to be pretty nice again so maybe we can squeeze in something outdoors before going to the movies. Guess we will see what happens.

This weekend the New York Comic Con is going on and while I don't normally care about that sort of stuff that much I have been following along on Facebook/Twitter intently this time since Starz and Random House have a booth there promoting the upcoming "Outlander" TV show. It's a TV show based on the books by Diana Gabaldon. They started filming the first few scenes of the show this past week. It's been fun following along on all the fan sites.  

Mail Update: Received letters still owe a response to: Charles/TN.

Posted by Hanna at 12:38 PM in Books | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Two Steps Chili Contest, Frost Warning, etc.

6th-annual-amateur-chili-cookoff-28And another week and weekend gone by. Why do weekends always go by so fast? It's already 6:30pm on Sunday night again. No fair.

Had a nice relaxed weekend all in all. On Saturday we really didn't do that much. Slept in late and then dropped off some remaining books at the "Friends of the Danbury Library" donation place. Afterwards we went to see "Olympus Has Fallen" at the movies. Not a bad movie, not an Oscar type movie. Mostly a fun guilty pleasure action type movie. For me the redeeming fact was Gerard Butler. I enjoy his Scottish accent. :)

Today I had intended to do some work in the yard but when I checked the weather at 10.45am this morning it was only 41F (7C) and it said it felt like 33F (0.5C) So needless to say I decided to not go outside and made some tea and wrote a letter instead. :) I ended up going outside for a tiny bit later on to cut down a few things that already started growing, before they get too big. But around 2pm we headed to Two Steps for their annual chili contest. Always a fun occasion. Tasted all 11 chilis and voted for who we thought best. Very crowded but since we got there a little early we were able to snag the last available table. :) Our friends John & Jana joined us so it was a fun afternoon out. 

Now we are home and are going to catch up on some of our recorded shows. Should be a nice relaxed evening all in all. Tomorrow is Monday and another week ahead. My parents are off to Turkey this coming Saturday. Definitely a little jealous. :) 

 Mail Update: A letter is going out tomorrow to: Laura/Spain. Owe replies to: Jessica/DE, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 06:48 PM in Books, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Baby it's cold outside

Cold weatherAlready another week gone by and almost the end of January. Time's flying by it seems. February is always a very busy month for us (2/10 is our anniversary, 2/14 Valentine's and 2/18 Mike's birthday) so I am sure that will also fly by. I am looking forward to the end of February as we will be spending a week in California then. Flying out on 2/19, the day after Mike's birthday, and coming back 2/25 so just under a week. Looking forward to seeing my friend Nicki from Australia again. Last time we saw her was at her wedding in Sydney 2 years ago. We will be spending most of our time in L.A. (Hollywood to be exact, our hotel is behind the Kodak Theater where they hold the Oscars) but will also go up to Santa Barbara for a night to meet up with some friends there. Looking forward to spending time in CA. It's been way too long since we have been out there (2008 I believe)

Right now California definitely sounds very tempting as it's been crazy cold here for the last week. A good part of the country (Midwest and East) has been dealing with a severe cold spell. The lows have been around 4-9F (minus 12-15C) and the highs around 20F (minus 6C). Brrr.

Had the day off on Wednesday and continued my bookshelf project. Have to say everything worked out nicely. Found a few more books to sell and packed up the rest to be donated and shipped off to BetterWorld Books. I do still have some that they won't accept (books published by TIME magazine and National Geographic) so will have to come up with a different plan for those. Maybe the library or GoodWill? 

Had to work today but it's been a fairly uneventful day luckily. Not sure how long I will be stuck here at work. Waiting for some drivers to return so I can process their paperwork and get out of here. Will see what happens. Mike & I want to see Silver Lining's Playbook at some point over the weekend. So far we have seen "Argo", "Lincoln", "Skyfall" and "Django Unchained" for Oscar movies. 

Also got Broadway tickets for next weekend on short notice. Broadway Weeks are currently going on and we were able to get 2-for-1 tickets for "Nice Work If You Can Get It" for next Saturday at 8pm. The musical is starring Matthew Broderick who is always great on stage. Definitely looking forward to it. It definitely has advantages living close to NYC. :)

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Jessica/DE, Charles/TN, Carmen/Malta, Tiffany/OK, Kimber/Canada and Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 02:32 PM in Books, Weather, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Relaxed Weekend (Movies, Decluttering and more)

Declutter-booksAlready Sunday late afternoon again. Why do weekends go by so fast? Had a pretty nice and uneventful weekend all in all. Slept in late both days which was nice. Saturday we went to the movies at 2 and saw "Django Unchained". Mike had already seen it with our friend Tim but convinced me to go see it with him after all and I have to say I am glad I went. It was a really good movie. Christoph Waltz definitely earned his Golden Globe for his performance and I hope he will also win the Oscar for it. Both Jamie Foxx and Leonardo Dicaprio were also outstanding. After the movies we went to Two Steps for dinner and hung out there for a while chatting with some friends. 

Today we took it easy at home catching up on some recorded shows. In a little bit we will go to Mezon (really great tapas place) for dinner. Haven't been there in ages so I am looking forward to it. 

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day which means it hopefully should be a little quieter at work. I made a dentist appointment to get another filling done. Originally I was going to get three but when I heard the amount I would have to pay for the co-pay I almost fainted. I can't believe how expensive dental work is in this country. One filling with insurance will still cost me $175. I have no idea why it is so high. When I went to the same dentist last year it wasn't nearly as much but apparently it has to do with fee structure and the way the insurance covers things/bills them. Who knows. Anyway, let's just say I am not looking forward to tomorrow.

In more fun news I have been on a bit of a decluttering mission and started to tackle our bookcase last week. Tuesday night I went through all the books and made a few piles for books I wanted to keep, sell and donate. I was able to make $9.50 so far. Not much but more than I would have made if I had just kept the clutter on my shelf. Most of the books will be donated to Better World Books, a global organization that helps promote literacy around the world. I will be able to donate any German language books as well which is nice. 

Looking forward to my newly decluttered bookshelf once I clear everything out, sort through it and put the things I do want to keep back. I am only keeping the books that have sentimental value (childhood books etc.) or books I will probably read again. We also have some nice coffee table-type books. But don't want to hold on to everything we have ever bought with no space for anything new. I don't buy a lot of books anymore, mostly the Kindle versons, or borrow from the library, anyway, but it's nice to have room for new things and be able to better display the things we do have and treasure. 

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Carmen/Malta, Tiffany/OK, Kimber/Canada and Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 05:04 PM in Books, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Comiconn & Baking (what an odd combo)

Mike+Shannon-ComiConn-Aug 2012And already Sunday again. Weekends always fly by too fast. Had a nice relaxed weekend all in all. Friday night after work we met up with our friends John & Jana at Rizzuto's. Had dinner and then Jana and I headed to the movie theater and saw the new Disney movie "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" starring Jennifer Garner. It was a cute movie, definitely a Disney feel-good-movie. :) 

Yesterday, Saturday, we slept in late and then headed to ComiConn in Trumbull, CT (the CT version of the huge comic book & sci-fi convention in San Diego) When we got there in the early afternoon the line was wrapped around the entrance of the Marriott so we decided to leave and have a few drinks with our friends Tim & Sam at a nearby pub before coming back later. When we tried again around 5 it was much calmer and we were able to get in right away. 

The main reason for going was to see our friend Shannon who was promoting her book there. (see picture on the left) You can also click on this link to see her webpage. We had her sign a copy of her book so if she ever gets famous we can say we have a first edition signed copy. :)

Today we slept in again and in a little bit I am heading over to my friend Jana's apartment. She invited me over to bake. :) We will be making pie. Well, let's be realistic. She will be doing most of the work and I'll be helping. :) My cooking skills aren't terrible but I am definitely not great with baking. I can make a yummy banana bread though. So I guess not all is lost. :) 

That's about the re-cap for our weekend so far. Tomorrow is already Monday again. Another dentist appointment. This time for a cleaning. Not getting any more fillings done until January since I managed to max out my insurance for the year already. Pretty impressive. LOL. 

Mail Update: No letters have gone out. Received letters/still owe a response to: Nina/WA, Charles/TN and Emilia/Finland. 

Posted by Hanna at 11:59 AM in Books, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 10, 2011



Finally past the 4th of July holiday. :) Things are slooowly starting to settle down a little. I am training a new girl but I have three days of training done already and she seems to be catching on - fingers crossed. So I am hopeful that things will get better and I'll be able to get everything organized before I leave for Austria. Less than 2 weeks now.

 Not too much else new. Mowed the lawn today and did a little of weeding in the front yard to make things look a little neater and nicer. Other than that just starting the final prep stages for my Austria trip now. Will be leaving on July 22nd and coming back August 5th. Will be nice to be away from work and not have to worry about anything really for 2 weeks.

I need some good reading material for my trip. Looking for some light, easy summer reads. Anyone have any good recommendations? I will probably download a few books on my Kindle but just want to have some ideas on what to look for before I do it.

Mail Update: So beind with my mail. :( Received letters from: Caroline/Scotland, Celia/MA, Jessica/DE, Lotte/Denmark, Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK and Sarah/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 05:35 PM in Austria , Books | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

David Garrett, a rainy day off and lots of tea :)

DGarrett-Uli Weber_03 Finally another update. This past weekend we went up to New Hampshire to see David Garrett. It was really amazing to see him perform live. I would definitely see him again and am looking forward to his next tour. He is playing in Vienna in November in a big concert hall with a full orchestra. I would love to see that but I doubt that will be possible. When we saw him he had a small band with him (drums, base, guitar, keyboard) but they still managed to produce an amazing sound.

It's been raining and really dreary the past two days. I am off from work today so I don't mind so much. It's nice to sleep in when it's raining outside plus it makes for good "drink tea and read" weather. :) Was able to catch up on a few things around the house, answer some emails, etc.

Next I will probably try and work on my Rosetta Stone since I haven't worked on my Spanish what feels like ages. After that I will probably make myself another big mug of tea, curl up on the couch with the cats and read. And maybe watch some more David Garrett video clips. :)

Short mail update for today. Letter going out tomorrow to: David/IN, Charles/TN, Celia/MA and Kimber/Canada. Received letters from/still owe replies to: Emilia/Finland, Jetta/Finland and Eunice/Malta.

Posted by Hanna at 01:51 PM in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rainy weekend

Cat-comic Can't believe it's already time to change over to Daylight Savings Time tonight. I wish they hadn't changed it so we do this two or three weeks earlier than Europe now. I was so happy that I finally didn't have to get up in the dark again anymore. Well so much for that. Annoying.

Not doing a whole lot this weekend. It's supposed to rain all weekend so we are just staying home, vegging out, catching up with a few chores but mostly surfing the web, watching shows/movies, etc. I have some emails I should answer and definitely letters. I will try to get to that tomorrow. I think for today I am just going to grab my Kindle and continue reading "The Glass Lake" by Maeve Binchy with some tea. Perfect reading and drinking tea weather. :)

Yesterday was a great day for travel bookings as well. Booked a flight to Austria for July (will be there July 15-July 27, almost two weeks) and it only cost $100 in taxes since we used miles. That's an awesome deal for a flight to Europe in the middle of summer. Plus on the way back I will be connecting through London and flying on Virgin Atlantic in business class. How very cool. :) I looked it up on their website and they even have a bar in their business class cabin.

We also booked another flight to Atlanta for mid May. Going back to see a baseball game, NY Mets vs. Atlanta Braves. Plus May should mean nicer weather. We will be going Sat-Tues. Also booked that flight with miles so just cost us $70 in taxes for the both of us.

Short mail update for today. Letter went out on Thursday to Lotte/Denmark. Received letters from/still owe replies to: Jessica/DE, Carmen/Malta, Emilia/Finland, Nina/WA, Kimber/Canada and Jetta/Finland.

Posted by Hanna at 04:26 PM in Austria , Books, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack