Archive for August, 2011

Looking at Venues

August 10 2011
Dave! Drives Around Old City

Dave! Drives Around Old City

Dave and I have been very busy these last few days.  Sunday was the engagement party that my aunt and uncle threw for us.  It was very nice to be able to celebrate our engagement with our extended families.  🙂

Between Saturday and Monday, we visited 8 venues for our wedding.  Now, we have them  narrowed down to two venues!  We were driving around Philly nonstop from early in the morning until late afternoon.  When we came home on Monday, Dave took a nap on the couch and was barely able to wake up to eat dinner at the Ale House.  The photo to the right shows what I saw when I looked at Dave as we were stopped at a traffic light in Old City Philadelphia!  I was laughing so hard and he didn’t even realize that the “vehicle” next to him was a horse-drawn carriage.

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Filling Out Our Registry

August 4 2011

The one thing that they do not tell you when you get engaged is how time-consuming and overwhelming creating a registry can be.  We initially started one with a few items that we could pick out online (or thought we were able to pick out online).  On Saturday, we went into Williams-Sonoma to complete our W-S registry.  I thought it would take about an hour then we can go relax on Deb & Sy’s boat in the afternoon.  (Deb & Sy are Daria’s friends who live on a paradise island in Pittsburgh who took Dave in last summer when he was homeless).    Well, I was wrong.

We were there for two and a half hours just to realize that we could not decide on which All-Clad line we wanted, and were too exhausted by the time we got to the knives.  Eventually, we decided on the All-Clad 5-ply pots/pans (the next up with a copper core was probably unnecessary, and the 5-ply were supposedly noticeably better than the 3-ply).  Also, the Le Creuset Dutch oven that we chose has changed about four times since we left the store on Saturday (thank goodness for online management of our registry)!

Today we went back just to pick out our knives.  I think this took about one hour.  We narrowed it down to the Wüsthof Icon or the Shun Edo.  We ultimately decided that we liked the Shun knives better in general, but we registered for the carving set from Wüsthof.  As Dave’s mom told us, you really have to hold the knife in your hand to know if you like it or not.  We even cut up some potatoes and bread.  (By the way, the Shun Edo bread knive is AMAZING!)  The lady told us that the knives will be the last thing purchased on the registry, because people think that it is bad luck to buy a young couple knives.  To prove her wrong, I just took our knives off the registry because they are a gift from Dave’s grandparents.

One piece of advice that I have heard over and over was to register for a variety of prices.  The helpful thing that I have learned is that you should register for a set as well as the items in a set.  Then, if enough items are purchased, you can remove the set from the list … or, if the set is purchased, you can remove the individual items.  Because you can always return an item for store credit (at most places), getting duplicates/too many is usually not a big problem.

On another note, I have done tons of research on rice cookers, bread makers, and slow cookers.  So, if you are looking for one, I can tell you all about them.  (The links I just gave were only one of the websites for each that I used in my decision).

The next item on our registry-agenda to register for are crystal wine glasses.  We want to register for Riedel glasses, but we learned that there are different series of their glasses!  (We accidentally registered for two different series).  I found a website that helped to explain the differences among the series.  From their description, I think we will go with the Vinum, Wine, or Vinum Extreme series.  I want to see them all in person in order to make my decision though …

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A ‘PS’ to my entry:  On Saturday, we did make it out on the boat.  Deb decided that we wanted to go tubing.  This was Dave’s first time tubing, and he REALLY enjoyed it so much that the laughing/fun sounds that were coming out of his mouth actually sounded like “wee ee heee hee whoo hahaha tee he he”  It was amazing & unreplicable!

 

Yael

August 2 2011

I am in Pittsburgh this week visiting David.  After he gets up in the morning, I crawl out of bed to eat breakfast with him (usually still half asleep).  He torments me for about a half hour (singing songs & being cheery) before he has to go to work. After his departure, I take my time getting ready then head out to a coffee shop to do some work.

Today, I went to Crazy Mocha in Squirrel Hill.  It is only a short walk from his apartment.  I worked on estimating the persistence values for the “ghost”/extra maximum that appear in carefully constructed Gaussian Mixture Models (my current research project).  After making a pretty graph (the previous one did not look like a graph of monotone increasing function due to imprecision of the estimate, but now it does), I headed back to the apartment to eat leftover pasta for lunch.

On the way back, I passed an 80 year old lady who was out for a walk.  We said hello to each other, then she asked me “how are you today” but I did not hear her, so she repeated her question.  Her voice was shaky, which made it almost incomprehensible.  I told her I was doing well, and I asked her how she was.  Then, we discussed the weather and how the heat is really unbearable.  She asked me if I was off from work today, to which I replied “I am a graduate student and work everyday.”  Then, I told her I was working at a coffee shop that morning.  She thought it was funny that I pay them to do work there (maybe I should start going to the library).  Then, she tells me that she was an electrical engineer, and earned a masters from Columbia University.  She was the only female student in the school of engineering!  I told her that was a great accomplishment.  I think she took it the wrong way though, because her response to my acclaim was:  “I wasn’t there to meet the men.”  At the end of the conversation, she wished Dave and me luck in our endeavors.   Her parting words were: “study every day”.  Her name was Yael (a Jewish name meaning ‘itself’ … I looked it up).