Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good Trick, Microsoft.

I was under the impression if you sent an email, realized a mistake, recalled the message and replaced it with the correct message, Microsoft Outlook would just do it's thang. And, you know, take care of it.

Say what? That just sends the recipient an "oh crap, I'd prefer to recall that message" message, leaving the original and the new iteration both there for easy comparison as to why I may have recalled it in the first place?

I was unaware...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Visit From Our Capitol-Dwellers

The summer before Noah and I were married, I took one last leap of freedom (kidding, it wasn't a Noah-escape plot) and found an internship in Washington, DC for the summer. I'd always been really fortunate with roommate situations - truly, not a bad experience in the bunch. And this summer proved an extension of great luck in the roommate department.

This was the summer I really needed roommates who knew how to have free fun (when your rent is 3/4 your paycheck, it's not just a good idea, it's the only way to leave the house), knew the appropriate amount of squealing required at the news of an engagement, were willing to go along with or at least put up with my workout schedule (it was pre-wedding, and I was on the gettin'-sexy-plan) and would introduce a daily frozen hot chocolate routine into an otherwise monotonous 9 to 5.

Enter: Kami, Melissa, Ashlee, Mindy.

It's been three years, three weddings, one baby, eleven new jobs and lots of moves since that summer and I love that we've been able to keep in touch the way we have. At the prospect of moving to New York, I was giddy to be back on the same side of the map with just a Chinatown bus ride between us.

Melissa, Ashlee and little Van braved the bus and came to play a few weekends ago. Their visit was the perfect excuse to eat poorly (Noah apologizes for suggesting fried chicken. Does anyone actually enjoy the feeling post-fried chicken meal?), watch a chick flick, talk about life in the bathroom until 2am and visit the High Line, which we were anxious to check out (click the link - really, this is an awesome park).
The impressive crib Noah fashioned from the chaise lounge.
Breakfast - a desperate attempt to counteract the fried chicken.
The highlights from the High Line:
I always make this obnoxious face at babies. It's tragic, really. I need to knock it off before we have one of our own and he/she is scarred from the relentless face-making.

And a stroll through one of NYC's least frequented areas:
It occurred to me as I added pictures to this post how prominently the little Vanster is featured in my selection. Can you even blame me? This beautiful little boy turns heads. The problem is, now that I've had this adorable guy Baby Bjornin from my shoulders - if people DON'T go nuts over our kids on the Subway some day, I will know.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Own Cautionary Tale

I can't say I wasn't warned.

Every little old lady who ever cornered me after a church musical number had the same cautionary tale...

"Don't you ever stop practicing, or you'll lose that talent of yours."*

Some even upped the ante with their own stories of having played in their youth and letting their instrument slowly gather dust in its case, the strings loosening with the years, the bow brittle for want of rosin.

The other night, I got out my violin to brush up on a piece I'm playing later this week. After playing the song once or twice, I fired up the iPod to play one of my favorite Mendelssohn pieces with the New York Philharmonic (because most mistakes can be glossed over with about 100 pros drowning you out). I was disappointed, bordering devastated, to realize I could no longer keep up with Itzhak.

This song I could have knocked out of the park as a 10th grader was now slipping from my fingers. The fingers that practically used to play this piece on their own, now likely had neighbors conspiring to crack a finger or two (disclaimer: I do not now, nor have I ever actually believed any of our neighbors were members of the mob. Except maybe that lady who coughs a lot.).

I've been thinking about Allison-who-chose-to-study-PR-over-music as of late. Not because I necessarily think it would have been a better option, but maybe because there's a little part of me that would like for it to still be an option. I don't know that I even need or want to be better than where I was, really. Just to be BACK where I was and prove this 24-year iteration of myself can still do something the 15-year old model could.

If nothing else, it was a stark reminder of how things in life don't really stay put. You're progressing or you're digressing. An overwhelming thought, if you allow it to be. And I do - oh, I do.

I'm ready to make a list. I'll probably write it down. I'll probably need to buy some paper to write it down unless I want it on a junk mail envelope. It will be a list of those things I absolutely can't stand to let digress; those things that would be nice to not let digress; those things that probably wouldn't leave me any worse for the wear if they did digress.

But for tonight, we're going to hear those musicians -the ones who clearly listened to little old church ladies - share their beautiful talent. I can't wait.

*Light purple italics are the generally accepted typeface for old lady speak.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh Canada!

I'm typically shy away from much work-chat around this place. Especially when I have more than a month's worth of trips home, the little bro heading out for his two-year gig, visits from great friends and fun city haps.

If you were included in that list of oversights, I beg your forgiveness. If you are Canadian, I won't need to...

Who's Tim Horton? If you're in Manhattan and not under a rock, you're going to learn soon enough. Catch them on the Today Show at 8:20 am (ET) this morning.
If we're anything like our friendly neighbors to the north, we're gonna go nuts.
*Yeah, really.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

We headed to the motherland a month or so ago. It's hardly new news anymore - we've been home for so long. But the occasion was far too important to let the news slip by unmentioned.

Little bro Collin, who's made a few appearances around here thanks to his visit in March and his overall awesomeness, officially bid the masses of lovely ladies adieu (really - so many cuties at the house. Who knew Collin was such a hunk?) and embarked on a two-year mission on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He spoke in church before he left - as is typical - and he made me cry - as is also typical (all precious things reduce me to tears as of late. Hormonal?). But more than tears of inevitably missing him (because really, all Furniss kids have flown the coop; I think we'd be more confused by a sibling who did live nearby), I was in complete awe and admiration of what an incredible, mature, with-it man this kid has become. His words and his thoughts were focused on sound gospel topics and were a clear reflection of his study, prayer and careful evaluation of his own relationship with our Savior. I'm so proud of him and can't wait to hear about his experiences over the next 24 months.

So far, I've managed to keep him out of the sibling call rotation on the walk home from the grocery store (prime sibling chat time) and I resisted the urge to text him yesterday when something I read reminded me of the Angry Beavers.

The 'rents were able to snag this quick photo with their man-child at the Missionary Training Center in Provo. The swine flu reduced what used to be a lengthy goodbye to a tuck-and-roll at the MTC curb (Ha HA, just when you thought all references to SF were slowing down...) - but I'm glad they were able to secure photo evidence to prove he's actually there. Now what we really need is the pointing-at-the-big-map pic, dude.
The rest of our Utah trip consisted of all things wonderful. I can see how that may seem like an exaggeration. Not so. Within our first 5 waking hours in the state, we'd already played tennis, gone on a hike and had a cookout with the Riley family in the canyon above Noah's parents' home.

The rest of the week held reunions over lunch with former coworkers, Sunday dinners with both the Rileys and Furnisses under one roof (a HUGE highlight! I love how much our families enjoy being around each other; it baffles/saddens me to think of it being any other way), My Dough Girl on a rainy evening with six of my favorite SLC ladies, Lindsay's cooking and a midnight nap on Millet's couch when our flight was delayed (that's the mark of true friends - "want take us to the airport?" "want to let us crash in your living room when we can't leave?").

I was - seeking for the most neutral expression here - interested to examine my feelings while home. Of course Utah is home and familiar and all the wonderful things associated with those we love. But I was pleased, for the sake of the Allison and Noah Riley family, to feel ever so slightly like a visitor in the Beehive State for now. It was nice to come back to New York and feel like this is really our little piece of the planet right now.

It's great to be home and we've been on a dead-run ever since. Stay tuned...