Saturday, January 24, 2009

Giveaway Winner!!

I'm finally back from the deserts of California to announce my nausea giveaway winner! Wait, that's not right. I'm not giving away nausea; I'm announcing my nausea tips giveaway winner!! YAY!! was kind enough to randomly select the winner for me and that is . . .

Go you, you speed-skating demon!!

Liddy, I've got your truly super-duper prize all boxed up, but realize that I don't have your address. (Oops). Could you please email it to me? Thanks!

Thanks to all who participated in the giveaway. I loved this one so much I'll be having another one in mid-February. Be sure to stop by then for a chance at another awesome prize.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TV Meme

Found this somewhere a long time ago...

Name your top six TV shows of all time, before reading the questions.

1. Friends
2. The West Wing
3. 24
4. Quantum Leap
5. ER
6. Sex and the City

1.) Who is your favorite character from #2 (The West Wing)?
Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford)

2.) Who is your least favorite character from #4 (Quantum Leap)?
Ziggy the Computer

3.) What would a crossover between #1 (Friends) and #5 (ER) include?
They already did it. See The One with Two Parts, Part 2. Monica and Rachel go on a double date with doctors from the hospital (George Clooney and Noah Wyle) who treated Rachel for a sprained ankle.

If one of the Friends came onto ER, I see Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe) as a pediatric psychiatrist having to counsel an abused child in the ER.

4.) Who is your favorite ship from #6 (SaTC)?
Charlotte and Harry. They seemed more real to me.

5.) If you were to set up one person from #3 (24) and one person from #6 (SaTC) on a blind date, who would they be?
Jack Bauer and Samantha Jones - I think she could loosen him up a little.

6.) If you could meet one person from #4 (Quantum Leap) and spend the day with them, who would it be and what would you do?
I'd go to a bar and throw darts with Al (Dean Stockwell).

7.) If you could change one thing about #2's (The West Wing) plotline, what would you change?
Get rid of the whole ridiculously explained Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff) revealing state secrets thing.

8.) Explain a relationship between two people (not necessarily romantic) from show #5 (ER) and why you like the relationship between them.
I liked the Mark/Susan relationship where they both liked each other and they just couldn't figure out how to make it happen.

9.) If the lead title characters (first names in the credits) from #1 (Friends) and #3 (24) were both drowning, and you could only save one, who would it be?
Between Kiefer and Courtney Cox Arquette, I'm going with Jack Bauer. Sorry, Monica.

10.) If you could change the title characters' order in the credits for #4 (Quantum Leap), what order would you choose?
I'm fine with the order. There's only two characters.

11.) If you were able to add a new character, any kind of character you wanted, to the storyline of #6 (SaTC), what would the character be like, and what would their role be?
Ryan, the financial advisor who never got romantically involved with Carrie and taught her how to handle her finances.

12.) What happens in your favorite episode of show #2 (The West Wing)?
Can't pick a favorite; I love 'em all.

13.) If you could kill off one of the characters in #1 (Friends), who would it be and how would you do it?
Phoebe would be killed by a "drunk driver" while visiting her brother, Frank Jr. It would turn out that it wasn't a drunk driver, but a hit because she was a super secret spy and being a flighty masseuse was her cover.

14.) If you got the chance to visit the set for either show #3 (24) or show #5 (ER), which would you choose?
24, cause it's the only one I still watch.

15.) If you could date anyone from any of these shows, which show and which person would it be?
When I was younger, I would have said Ross or Chandler, but I need someone who can handle adult life a little bit better. I'll go with Harry (SaTC) because he seems the most like a real person and someone who would treat me right.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes We Can

May G-D bless all of the United States of America and the people of the world,
each and every one of us.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What Have I Done

A list I stole from Nancy a long time ago, who stole it from Truck Driver Wife.

Simply copy the list and cross out the ones you have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (assuming that New Jersey counts)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing (was on the boat to do the fishing, but couldn't stop vomiting to actually catch anything)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (I'm counting the documentary we made for my father's birthday cause it was professional and everything)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen (only we served lasagna, not soup)
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Maya Didn't Hurt Me

I got back on the exercise wagon (at least the "more exercise than Yoga for Fertility once a week" wagon) by doing a workout on Yourself Fitness. This is a "game" that I do on Playstation 2. From what I've heard, Yourself Fitness is a lot like Wii Fit, only this game came out several years ago.

You enter in all of your basic information, go through a fitness test (jumping jacks, crunches, squats, stretching) and then the trainer, Maya, helps you to develop an exercise plan based on your goals. Shocker, my goal is weight loss.

Once you've set up your profile, you can do workouts in several ways: cardio, strength and stretching/yoga. The game can even incorporate fitness equipment that you own. Maya does workouts with you in a variety of different settings (sky gym, dojo, meditation garden) and with different kinds of music. The more you exercise, the more options she gives you to work out (more music, different settings).

Watch out for that Maya, though. If you miss a workout, the next time you log on, she asks you where you've been and tells you that you need to have exercise be a commitment. I was gone for about 6 months, so I was worried she'd scream at me. (I got her though, cause I just deleted my old profile. Heh, heh, heh).

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Think We're in Sparta

It is altogether too appropriate that I was about to title this post, "Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Crazy," because I just figured out that this post is my 300th post. Yay!

Here's the regular crazy update: I'm nauseated. Why? Because I'm ovulating. See? I was feeling down on myself because "everyone else is having babies or pregnant or in treatment but me." Well, I don't get to feel entirely left out because I'm about to projectile vomit all over my office. No cool pics of drugs necessary, my body's figured out the sickness thing all by itself.

In this split second, I've decided to do a giveaway in honor of achieving 300 posts. The giveaway is open to anyone (blogger or non-blogger, but non-bloggers should make sure I have a way to get in touch with them), anywhere in the world. For a chance to win whatever the prize is, leave a comment with your favorite way(s) to alleviate nausea/motion sickness/morning sickness. Those who don't leave a complete comment will not be eligible for the prize.

Feel free to encourage others to press their luck here. I will close comments for this giveaway on Monday, January 19th at 10 PM Pacific Standard Time (cause I'll be in CA for a business trip).

Good luck!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Smooth Jazz and Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh, yeah (must be said in the Kool Aid guy's voice).

Within 5 minutes of my sending a Friend request (it turned out that I hadn't done it the first time), HS boyfriend accepted my request AND sent me a note. Man, is he desperate. (j/k).

I still got it. (blows on fingers and rubs them on shirt).

Hips swivelling a little more this morning.

If I was an actual writer, this post would now go into an articulate and poignant essay on how Facebook and similar sites draw you back into the past and ask the question, "can you ever really go home again?" Unfortunately, I am not an actual writer, so you're going to get an inarticulate and rambling essay.

The problem is that as quickly as you are drawn back into your past self, you really can't go back there. Not while you're still in the here and now.

I often wonder if I could go back and change my actions/words, would I? I think my life would have ended up differently. I would not be the person that I am today. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. It's not about regrets, for me, these questions are more about what if?

Except, when would I go back, what would I change? Something big? What if I went through life as a thin person? That's major. What if John Dear and I had broken up when we had first started going out and he revealed some definite breakup-caliber things, or later, when he almost called off the wedding?

Yet, everything affects everything else. Who talked about the butterfly effect? It could be something as trivial as missing a train, like in that Gwyneth Paltrow movie.

It was so much easier with those Choose Your Own Adventure books. No decision was final because I could hold my place, see what happened and if I didn't like it, just choose the opposite path. I guess what I'd love is a save and restart option on this life of mine.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mea Culpa (Maybe)

Gave into the Facebook demons and added High School Boyfriend as a Friend. I think.

Facebook help needed! Is there a way to keep track of who I've added prior to them accepting me? Cause that way, I can really keep track of the rejections. Also, cause I think I clicked on "Add a Friend" but then the person keep showing up in the sidebar as "You May Know this Person."

I used to get stuff done at work, you know. (Stop laughing).

Linky Linky

Too small for individual posts - just passing along the awesomeness. You're welcome!

Seen at (Un)complicate Me: an article reminding one to check health care bills for accuracy. Even more important in these difficult economic times.

Seen at one of the book blogs I read, books i done read: a hysterical and quick version of a tragedy by Shakespeare. Must read!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Other Voices

It's extremely difficult for me to articulate my thoughts regarding the "situation" in Israel these days. My friend, Shtetl Fabulous, wrote a post on this topic earlier, and I'd like to use her words to describe how I feel:

Just as I love America, despite her faults, I love Israel in the same way. Enthusiastically and unconditionally, but still with a few questions. And maybe that's why when times are tough in Israel, I will defend her to our enemies but will shrink from the front lines of rhetorical battle. Besides, healthy criticism is much easier when the rockets aren't raining down on you.
I find myself turning to the prayer that our congregation chants aloud during Rosh Hashanah services every year. This "Prayer for Our Country" often moves me to tears, especially when hearing everyone speak the last few lines. (H/t to Margalit for the quote and her wise post, prayer from Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Festivals.)
Our God and God of our ancestors: We ask Your blessings for our country — for its government, for its leaders and advisers, and for all who exercise just and rightful authority. Teach them insights from Your Torah, that they may administer all affairs of state fairly, that peace and security, happiness and prosperity, justice and freedom may forever abide in our midst.

Creator of all flesh, bless all the inhabitants of our country with Your spirit. May citizens of all races and creeds forge a common bond in true harmony, to banish hatred and bigotry, and to safeguard the ideals and free institutions that are the pride and glory of our country.

May this land, under your providence, be an influence for good throughout the world, uniting all people in peace and freedom — helping them to fulfill the vision of your prophet: ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they experience war any more’ (Isaiah 2:4). And let us say: Amen.

Round One

Summary: Jendeis is an utter loser. She is aware of this fact.

Facebook pulled up high school boyfriend and asked if I wanted to Friend him. I'm not doing anything unless he tries to Friend me or slips me a note in study hall that looks like this:

Otherwise, am setting myself up for rejection and I went through that the first time around.

At least I got to see his picture. I'm pretty sure I've won this round (aka Who Has Better Hair?). Though the more I consider his hair in the picture, I can't decide whether it's improved from high school or not. Mission Impossible: must find a solo picture of myself where I (1) don't look deranged, and (2) definitely resemble attractive non-deranged movie star.*

In the absence of those pictures so far, have posted interesting pic from my wedding as was clearly last time I looked non-deranged, though was on heavy drugs at the time, so maybe drugs are the answer for my non-deranged look.

*Assuming there are any attractive non-deranged movie stars left.

Monday, January 12, 2009

You Gotta Have Goals

Goals for Today
1. Lose 100 pounds and post a photo of such before high school boyfriend can discover you on Facebook.

2. Um, I think 1 is enough for today.

Belly Up to the Bar

Those who know me in IRL are often in situations where I am the victim of my inner ear's complete inability to maintain balance (i.e., I get motion sick. And nauseated. A lot. A lotta lot).

Apparently, my body has chosen to view the sites of my fair city by vomiting at all the major (and some not-so-major) tourist attractions. See (non-inclusive list) Airport, Dulles International; Airport, Washington National; Capitol Building, House Side; Capitol Building, Rotunda; National Archives; National Gallery of Art, East Building; National Gallery of Art, West Building; Rayburn House Office Building; University, George Washington; University, Georgetown; Verizon Center; Washington Monument, The; White House, The. Well, today we can add the United States Supreme Court to the list.

BFF got sworn in to the Supreme Court bar today (presumably to litigate my appeals when I finally kill someone). In order for this to happen, bar applicants (and their guests) must show up at the court between oh dark thirty and WTF-o'clock. So, the still dark and really freakin' cold morning found me putting on my suit, taking the Metro (where I saw a guy I went to law school with who completely did not see me) to BFF's stop, walking over to her apartment, taking a cab to the court, finding the attorney's entrance (yes, we're special), going through security, sitting around, then throwing up in the marble-tiled and quite echoey bathroom. Tried to hold it in for the oral arguments (I coulda been on the news!), but couldn't make it.

I wound up calling John Dear just before we had to file into the courtroom so that he could pick me up. There was no way I'd be able to last on Metro. ONE HOUR IN THE 29 DEGREE COLD LATER, I walk 6 blocks to the train station for him to pick me up. Have I mentioned that JD is completely unable to handle directions, traffic and geography?

To sum up: I'm incredibly proud of BFF, I'm getting JD a GPS for his car, and no, I don't have frostbite.

Please excuse my utter inarticulateness tonight. Will do better tomorrow.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What's Your Word?

Found this on Positively Organic.

Your Word is "Hope"

You see life as an opportunity for learning, growth,
and bringing out the best in others.

No matter how bad things get, you always have
at least a glimmer of optimism.

You are accepting and forgiving.
You encourage those who have wronged you
to turn over a new leaf.

And while there is a lot of ugliness in the world,
you believe that almost no one is beyond redemption.

What's Your Word?

The funny (well, not funny ha-ha, but funny how 'bout that) thing is that in my previous cycle where John Dear was positive that I was pregnant, he said that if we had a girl, we should name her "Hope".

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Becoming Isidore

I am transforming. In my mind, I am becoming Isidore. Isidore -- an 80-year old Brooklyn-ite transplanted to Florida who still wears his Members Only jacket on 90-degree days. You know what else Isidore does? He wears his pants real high.

An illustration if you will.

Me as Isidore

In the first picture, you'll notice that my waist is directly between my two "bleems" (as I call them). My pants should rest at my waist with the auxiliary or helper bleem over and the primary bleem under the waistband of the pants. Now, my pants are where Isidore wears them, chest-high, over my waist and over the auxiliary bleem.

I'm becoming Isidore because I've lost weight. Yes, it's a good thing. But all my pants are now too long and I'm worried that I'm going to start complaining about the size of the portions at MY restaurant that I eat in every single day. Oh wait, I'm already there. Sheesh.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vote Vote Vote

Did you know that Mel's blog, Stirrup Queens, has been nominated for an award? Stirrup Queens is a finalist in the 2008 Weblog Awards for Best Medical/Health Issues Blog.

You can help! Anyone is allowed to vote - plus, you can vote once each day. Please support Mel's blog by voting here.

Wanna do something more? Blog, twitter and post on Facebook about the awards and tell everyone you know to vote for Stirrup Queens!

Feel free to take the button I've created and put it on your own blog. Just save the image below. You can even link it (like I have) to the polls page.

Vote for Stirrup Queens

Monday, January 5, 2009

Book Review: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

I recently finished the audiobook version of The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. I found this to be a delightful read and will be picking up a paper copy at my library so that I can record all my favorite quotes.

Here, Alan Bennett details Queen Elizabeth II's foray into reading for pleasure while in her late 70s. It appears that she was never a reader, but a chance trip into a travelling library spurs the monarch into changing the whole of her life and becoming a serious reader.

I loved this book. Very light and very cute. My only suggestion would be that I would love to see Her Majesty's booklist.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I've Got Mail! I've Got Mail! Yay!!!

Since being on vacation and being laid out with colds, John Dear and I haven't picked up our mail since oh, mid-December. I just picked it up tonight. I can hear Mr. Strickland in my head calling us "Slackers!"

May I just say that I love everyone tonight!! I got a gift from Cibele (a fellow Braces Buncher) and holiday cards from several bloggy friends and non-bloggy friends. I heart everyone!!

Paying It Forward

In the spirit of the inevitable procrastination that New Year's brings, I am finally passing on an award and a meme for which I've been tagged.

First, the amazing Kymberli (it sounds like she's a magician and she might be, but I really believe she's just so cool) awarded me with her Red Cape Award.

Red Cape Award
Many thanks to Kym for the award. It does indeed make me feel good to know that someone out there thinks I'm a bada** superhero. :)

I would like to pass the award to several bloggers who I'm lucky enough to know in real life and who inspire me on a daily basis.

Mel of Stirrup Queens. The indisputable Mother Hen of our ALI community, Mel is a model to me of a sensitive person of joy and faith. She's also one mo-fo of a baker.

Barren of Barren is the New Black. After two long car rides filled with hysterical laughter, Barren is definitely the Queen of TOOTPU Transportation for me. She rocks and she should know it.

Lindsay of Our Family Beginnings. As I often say, she's the awesomest awesome-oh around. Basically, Lindsay is the coolest person that I know in real life.

Leah of Tales from My Dusty Ovaries. Leah and I have similar senses of humor, but she's way funnier. She's the Bea Arthur to my Estelle Getty.

::::: Passing along the Red Cape Award :::::

On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: Red Cape Award SuperCrew. This is a running list of awardees.

Check in on the SuperCrew post by leaving a link to your blog and a comment to let Kymberli of I'm a Smart One know that you were passed a Red Cape Award so she can add you to the list.

Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs (if they have one), and explain why you have chosen them.

Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.

If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.

You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else.

Next, Liddy has tagged me to do a Random Things meme.

A. Link to the person who tagged you.
B. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about you.
C. Tag 7 random people at the end, and include links to their blogs.

1. I can't get the song "Baby It's Cold Outside" out of my head. It's been going for three days straight.
2. I have 6 first cousins.
3. I recently switched from using LibraryThing to Shelfari.
4. When I was little, my three favorite movies were: Pollyanna, The Parent Trap and Swiss Family Robinson.
5. I love playing "pixel hunt" games on the computer. (Those are games where you have to locate hidden objects in a picture.
6. I'll be going to a week-long conference in California in a few weeks, and I'm already concerned that John Dear will trash the house.
7. I'm a Pisces.

I tag:
Heather of Yummy Sushi Pajamas
Anna of Working On It
Io of Who Shot My Stork?
Shelby of The Great Big If
The Angry Infertile
Hillary of Making Me Mom
Jess of Life in the White House

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Library

I started writing this post to relate that there was a line wrapped outside my library this morning like they were giving away money (they weren't, I checked) and it turned into a "Why I Love the Library" post.

In an effort to save funds, John Dear and I started checking out books from the library as opposed to buying them. We've been doing this for the past two years and have been sooooo successful.

Great Things About Getting Books from the Library
1. Saving money by not buying books (Hopefully, you don't negate the savings by keeping the books way overdue).
2. Reading more (I've noticed that I read more often and a more varied selection by going to the library every other week than I did when I would buy online or at a bookstore).
3. Greater sense of community (Reading is a solitary activity, but I get great nachas (pride, feeling good, happiness) when I am in the library with my community of readers).

The only instances where I will buy books is when: a) the book is not available from my library system, b) we have a gift card to the bookstore, or c) I want to keep the book as a reference.

I've also started donating books to the library, especially when I know that my branch (or heaven forbid, my library system) does not have a copy of the book. JD really dislikes donating books as he believes that books are meant to be kept and treasured. I treasure my books, but if I know that I am unlikely to read the book again, I feel that the book does better good by being housed at the library, where many can access it.

In cases where I cannot decide whether to donate (or where JD is having particular pain from being forced to part with a book), I put the book in a designated To Donate pile where it lives for about a month. If we haven't gotten the book out of the pile to actually use/read it during that time, then it goes to live at the library.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Clean Sweep

That's what I'd like to do in each of the rooms in my house. A clean sweep.

On most of the home organization shows, the first thing they do is take everything out of the room, then sort and selectively put back items. That's what I want to do. Just take everything out and then I feel like I'd be able to get rid of the clutter in our house.

I was going to start doing this today, but my cold has sapped me of the energy to devote to cleaning. I think you really need a good 2-3 hours to do a whole room and I'm just not up to that.

I may try to do a few things here and there though. Put away clean items in the dishwasher. Put in a new load into the dishwasher. Change the sheets on the bed. Put away clean clothes. All with plenty of breaks in between.

We put a dinner into the Crock Pot, so that should be ready tonight. John Dear bought a roast beef and I added that to a can of stir-fry veggies and a bag of frozen diced peppers. I topped the whole thing with a can of french onion soup. This time, we remembered to actually plug in the Crock Pot, so hopefully dinner will be ready at 6 or 7. (With my cold, I can't smell anything, so I'm not sure if this dinner will turn out well or not).

I'm trying to push as much fluids as I can. Right now, I'm sick of soup, so I'm excited for the meal tonight.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Veni, Vidi, Ve no buy-ee

Today, John Dear and I went out looking for a new dining room set (table + chairs+ china cabinet). Anyone who knows me IRL knows my obsession with finding a good china cabinet.

Don't tell JD, but we're slowly replacing all the furniture that he brought into the marriage, because, well, because it's really cheap-looking, literally falling apart furniture. Plus, it's all really "geeky swinging bachelor"-oriented. Actually, my mother christened it the "Skeletor Collection" because most of it is large and black and might fit in Castle Greyskull.

So, we're trying to look for something formal but casual, contemporary but traditional, cheap but expensive. (H/t to Richard Crenna in Sabrina). Important items: the set must have comfortable chairs, fit 10 people when all leaves are used, must be sturdy and the china cabinet may not be so tall that we can't fit it in our dining room. Oh, it also has to go with our living room furniture because of the way the house is set up (the living room and dining room are just one large room).

We went to a mega furniture store, Pottery Barn and Arhaus Furniture. Crate&Barrel was closed today, much to their detriment as we were one of 40 couples we saw trying to go in. Arhaus seemed to have some really cool stuff. Pottery Barn (or at least, our location) did not show all of their furniture and the mega store didn't have anything we liked. I am not just buying something to buy something. I want to love it.

We may try and go to one of those DirectBuy stores this weekend and see if we have any luck there. I think we're Pottery Barn-type people, but I do not want to buy something so expensive without at least seeing a version in person. Any hints on where to go for nice furniture?