Sunday, February 19, 2017

Valentine's, Birthday Weekend for Mike, Broadway and more

PixlrAnother busy week has come to an end. Already Sunday afternoon again, how does that happen? 

Had a good but definitely busy week. Tuesday was Valentine's Day. I had to work till 6 but after I got out we made our way over to Red Rooster in Newtown. First time I had been there but I really liked the place. It was busy but we lucked out and managed to get a seat at the bar. Yummy thin crust pizza.

Yesterday was Mike's birthday and we headed down to NYC to see "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway. Been wanting to see it for ages, it's been on Broadway since 2011 I think.  It was definitely worth the wait and really funny.  Had lunch at "The Perfect Pint" prior to the show and afterwards we went to dinner at Ibiza back in CT - yummy tapas. 

Today we slept in and then stopped at my office for a min. Wanted to hang up a couple of things I got for my cubicle. Afterwards we headed to 121 in Oxford for lunch. Relaxing and drinking some delicious rose from Provence now.

Let's see what next week brings at work. Mike is actually off to CA for 3 nights starting tomorrow. Our Australian friend Nicki will be in L.A. so he will meet up with her. I would have loved to have been able to go but with my new job and saving up vacation time it is really not a good time. Oh well. At least the weather has turned almost spring like here in CT at the moment too. Can't complain too much.  :) 

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

Posted by Hanna at 04:00 PM in Food and Drink, Holidays, NYC, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Snow, Grammy's, work etc

Pixlr (2)Made it through the first full week at work after the training. It's a bit weird having an actual caseload and files of my own. I know I am being eased into this but it's definitely still a bit overwhelming at first and an adjustment period. I helps that I truly enjoy the field and the company overall. I am a perfectionist at heart though so not knowing everything and having all the answers can be a struggle for me. I had been at my old job for 14 years so I had encountered most questions and scenarios and nothing all that new or different could really be thrown at me. This is a different and new experience and I just need to be patient with myself, which isn't always my strong suit. Well, next week is a new week so we will see how it goes.

Thursday we had the first big snow storm of the season (we have had smaller storms but nothing too significant), dumping about 14 inches of snow on us. I was lucky that I was able to work from home and didn't have to venture out. Definitely a plus. 

Had some more snow over the weekend but hopefully everything should be ok for the morning so I can get into work without an issue. Ugh, I am so over winter. I really am. 

Had a relaxing weekend and slept in both days which was really nice. Yesterday we went for lunch at 121 in Oxford and today we met up with friends at Square 1 for lunch. Then caught up on a few shows we had on TiVo and are now watching the Grammy's. Nice relaxing night. 

Let's see what next week brings. I should be meeting a friend for lunch on Tuesday. Tuesday is also Valentine's Day. I have to close that day (work till 6) so not sure what we are doing yet for dinner. Friday, Feb. 10, was our wedding anniversary (16 years - so crazy!!) and we had a nice dinner at Rizzuto's. Next weekend on Saturday (Feb 18) we are going to see "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway for Mike's birthday. Should be a lot of fun. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 09:10 PM in Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Back in CT and regular day to day life

IMG_20170203_232035_657Arrived back at JFK on Wednesday night. The rest of the stay in Pittsburgh went fine. Sunday we had breakfast at a close by diner. Sharon and Susanna got their nails done and did some shopping while I spent some time at Starbucks drinking Earl Grey and reading.  

Monday to Wednesday was new hire orientation which went by pretty quickly.  We left the office around 2.30pm ob Wednesday to head to the airport. 

Thursday and Friday went fine.  It's a bit weird being back at the office again.  I was assigned one own file as well but haven't had any real work on it yet. Guess that will be next week's project. 

Friday night I took the train down to NYC and met up with my friend Jana.  Went to see "The Great Comet of 1812". I had already seen it back in October when it was in previews but it was a lot of fun to go back and see it again with my friend. 

Oh and in other good news I passed the test we had to take during our training with a 97, 1% higher than the previous highest score in our office. So that's pretty cool.  

Well, we will see how next week goes, assuming I end up having actual files of my own to work on. I will update when I know more. 

Letter/Mail Update: Letters went out last week to: Celia/MA and Carmen/Malta. Will be mailing a letter tomorrow to: Eloise/NY. Received a letter/owe a reply to: Bianca/Germany and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 04:24 PM in Performances, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Pittsburgh Update

IMG_20170128_130201_896Hello from Pittsburgh. :) Already a week gone by more or less. I got here last week on IMG_20170128_152434_540Sunday and it's Saturday evening now. The week went by pretty quick as we kept busy all week during our training. A lot of it was presented by my manager but there were also a bunch of guest speakers and presenters from different departments, talking about their functions and importance.

It was an interesting week and definitely a lot to take in. We had training from 8pm to 5pm every day except for Friday where we had our test in the afternoon. Fingers crossed for the results. I am pretty confident that I passed (we only need a 70 to pass) but really I am hoping for a good score. I probably won't find out for two weeks until all the tests have been reviewed and graded. I will update once I know more. 

We have been trying out different restaurants each night as our hotel (the Hyatt Place on Campbells Run Rd) is very close to a bunch of restaurants, a mall and various stores. So far we went to Cadillac Ranch, Bahama Breeze, Longhorn Steak House, Burgatory, The Downey House and Sada Sushi & Hibachi.

Today we ventured into downtown Pittsburgh and went to the Andy Warhol Museum which was really cool. Hadn't been there before so I was glad to be able to check it out. Definitely worth a visit. Afterwards we had lunch at a brewpub across the street from PNC Ballpark. And eventually made our way over to the incline so we could take some pictures of the views from Mount Washington. The weather was a bit dreary and gloomy and also pretty windy/chilly (but I guess it is January so what do you want?) but the views were still nice overall. Took an Uber back to the hotel and been relaxing for a bit. Wrote a letter, read a few chapters. At 6.30 we are going to meet up again for dinner downstairs. Getting hungry again so I am definitely looking forward to that.

Not sure what we are doing tomorrow, Sunday, yet. I guess we will figure it out and talk about it later. Plenty of museums, malls/shops and other stuff around here to keep us busy I suppose. Then on Monday we start our new hire orientation until Wednesday, which is the day we fly back on. I am sure the next few days will fly by pretty fast as this first week went by pretty quickly as well. Missing Mike and the cats but not too long until I am back now.

Letter/Mail Update: Letters have gone out to: Celia/MA and Carmen/Malta. Received a letter/owe a reply to: Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 05:34 PM in Food and Drink, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)