Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mom & Dad!!

Post by: Beth

Hi, Mom! I know she's going to kill me, but this is literally the only picture of Mom & Dad I got to take during their visit. Neither of them really love the camera, so I was nice, but I wanted to post at least one. :) We had a great time during their visit... We got to go to the Anheiser-Busch brewery which was a lot of fun. Two tour guides take you through the entire brewery site and you sort of travel the path the beer takes while it's being made. You learn what goes into the different kinds of beer, what makes a light beer as opposed to a regular beer, how much beer they make at this brewery per minute, and the history of the brewery itself. Very interesting info, even if you don't actually drink beer!
These first pictures are of the hallway you see when you walk in the entrance, and then a huge display of every kind of beer this brewery makes.

Most people recognize the Clydesdale horses as the official mascots of the Budweiser brand. These horses weigh, on average, between 1600 and 2400 pounds. They're VERY beautiful to see in person, and their size is quite daunting. This brewery had about 12 of them on display for the tourists to view.

Here's one of the displays the tour guides used to explain to us the process of combining the ingredients for making beer. Beer is made of malt, rice, barley, hops, and water. This display guide takes it all the way from the selection of ingredients to the packaging process.

Here is a picture of one of the "mash tanks" at the brewery. There are LOTS of these machines in this area of the process, and they're enormous. Mashing is the process of mixing milled grain (typically malted grain) with water, and heating this mixture up with rests at certain temperatures to allow enzymes in the malt to break down the starch in the grain into sugars. (Thank you to the internet for that piece of info... I'd forgotten how that part of the process worked, but it was very neat to hear it explained and see the machines.)

This clocktower building and gated area is part of the historic site of the brewery. As you can see from the sign, this area was constructed in 1891-1892, and it really was the most beautiful part of the tour to me. I'm a sucker for historical sites and buildings so it's no surprise that this part was my favorite.

While I don't have any pictures, the highlight of the tour was definitely at the very end. After the tour is over, they take you back into the main entrance area where there's a large room with a bar, and you get to sample 2 beers per person. I don't really like how beer tastes, but you just feel inspired after the whole tour, so I was excited to see what they had there that was new or just coming out, etc. I was even more excited when I saw they had some "Mojito" flavored drink that seemed to be right up my alley. So I got 2 Mojito drinks, Raja got whatever beer he wanted, and we sat down to wait on my parents because we'd gotten separated while filing onto the buses that take us to the hospitality area. I noticed while I was getting my Mojito that there was a new raspberry-flavored beer or something like that, and I was thinking about trying that but didn't want to waste one of my free samples on something I may hate. As soon as I saw Mom & Dad (neither of them drinks beer at ALL.. Mom hates it, and Dad doesn't touch alcohol at all), I developed a plan to get Mom to get a Mojito sample for me and Dad to get the raspberry beer for me so I could try that also. Dad was off getting a soft drink, so I made my way to Mom in the line and let her try my Mojito just to see if she'd like it... Then she could just get her own sample and she wouldn't miss out. As I expected, she hated it and gagged instantly. So she agreed to get one and just let me have it. What was funny there was that when she got to the bartender and told him she wanted to try a Mojito, he said "Here.. I'll pour you a little and see if you like it.. if you like it, we'll give you that. If not, we'll get you something different." Mom's face went a bit white as she sipped it, but knew she'd promised me my Mojito, so she slams the glass back down on the bar and demands he "FILL IT UP!" He does so, and she trots over to us to give my my drink. Dad makes his way over to the table as well, so we sit around for a while chatting. Then I decide I'll go ahead and try the raspberry beer. I ask Dad if he'll go ask the bartender for one of those for me, and he's game.. I'll reiterate that Dad does not drink beer, order beer, or do ANYTHING with beer, so he had to actually PRACTICE asking for the proper thing from the bartender. He left our table repeating the words "Michelob Ultra Raspberry... Michelob Ultra Raspberry," which is all I could remember from the name on the bottle. We're close enough to the bar to hear Dad (who is NOT a little, feminine guy) place his order.. Thank goodness we were so close by. We hear dad say (very stunted-like) "I'd like a Michelob Ultra Raspberry" and the woman bartender gives him a really funny look.. and says "The raspberry one?" and Dad nods. Then she says, doubtfully, "The one with pomegranate????" We can barely overhear Dad mumble "Yes. Pomegranate." So she gives him his beer with a pink label and he comes back with a very red face. Mom, Raja, and I could not stop laughing for about an hour. Dad was a good sport about it.. Luckily he doesn't get TOO embarrassed for too long, so all was well in the end. He definitely took one of the team, but it was well worth it for the story that came out of it.

The next morning, we ate brunch with Mom & Dad which was a mistake... We were both miserable after eating so much food, but they were serving breakfast foods AND lunch foods, PLUS lots of desserts. It was very good, but we could have exerted a bit more self control there. Mom & Dad also got to see some snow Sunday morning. It didn't really stick and it only snowed for a couple of hours, but here are some pictures I took while Raja & I were on the way to the hotel to meet them:

I was very excited to see the snow (again)... It was so pretty, and I was glad Mom got to see snow. Dad wasn't so excited, but yey for Mom! And here's Raja, of course telling me how he hates the snow, despite my excitement and jubilee. =(

Overall, such a fun weekend.. We were so glad to have company and see my Mom & Dad. We also got to eat at a good BBQ place, Maggiano's, and Mom & I got to go shopping Saturday during the day. So happy they came and hope they get to visit again when the weather is warmer! :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Indian Festivities

Post by: Beth & Raja

Hi everyone! More pictures have arrived and we are so excited to post them.. as usual.. :) There are some really great shots in our "Indian festivities," and we love the work Erin & Corey did. I am SO eager to get some of these and frame them.. They always take pictures of the most interesting things, and we're so happy to play guinea-pig for them as they try out new things. They have such creative ideas and when they push the envelope and try them out, the pictures turn out amazing.
Feel free to take a look and we hope you enjoy! :)
Beth & Raja

Friday, March 21, 2008


Post by: Beth

I know it's been a while since we've been able to really post, but things have been super busy with both of us working and the lovely March Madness that has taken over our home. (All I ever hear now are the sounds of crowd noise and the screech-y sound of players' sneakers on the gym floor.. I even hear it in my sleep. I can't get away from it. I now curse this home audio system that runs throughout the entire apartment. CURSE it.) So things have been picking up for us a lot, but I've still managed to carry the camera around with the great intentions of posting whenever I get a chance. :)

One of the best things about STL so far is the restaurants. They have GREAT restaurants.. lots of different things you don't find in every city, and lots of culture woven into their menus and flavors. St. Louis is divided into little sections that have all these different names that mean nothing to a newcomer: Central West End, The Loop, Soulard, The Hill, etc... The good news is that each of these little sections boasts lots of restaurant that can sometimes help you pin down that section's history. For example, many of the restaurants on The Hill are Italian restaurants, and about 90% of the area's residents hail from Italy. The roots seem to go really deep and it's a place where the Italian heritage and culture still thrives. For example, I work with a girl named Ginger whose grandmother moved to the area from Sicily many years ago. She settled into her home at The Hill years ago, and in 1975, a restaurant was built on the corner lot right next to her house. The restaurant was named "Giovanni's on The Hill." For years before the openings, Ginger's grandmother had been making this sauce (from a Sicilian receipe she brought with her) for her pasta dishes that became well-known in her little neighborhood.. So well-known that when the restaurant opened, they paid her to make about 6 huge pots of this sauce per day and carry it over to the restaurant where they served it to their guests. The restaurant has come a long way, as the owner, Giovanni, has created dishes for President Reagan, President Bush, and Oprah Wynfrey... all still on the menu today. Raja and I haven't yet gotten to try this restaurant as it's a bit of a new find for us, but we're very excited to go, and think this restaurant on The Hill gives a good example of what I mean by the cool restaurants available in the area.

As for places we HAVE gotten to visit already, there are 2 standouts:
Before we even moved to STL, Raja was enticing me with an Indian restaurant that is housed on the 11th floor of a hotel that overlooks the airport's runways here in St Louis. We weren't real sure about an Indian restaurant in a hotel, but he'd actually read some great reviews about the food, so we were game to try. We did this on the 2nd weekend we were in St Louis, and it was such a fun experience! The restaurant itself is gorgeous, and there was still snow leftover from the big snowstorm featured earlier in the blog. I took some pictures to give everyone an idea of what makes the restaurant so special:

Raja thought it was VERY comical to watch me try to scramble and take pictures as quickly as the planes were moving and before they got too far away to even be seen. The batteries in his camera hadn't been charged in a while, so the light kept flashing and it was the slowest process EVER to try to take a picture. Needless to say, each time a plane took off I was diving over the table for the camera and Raja was laughing hysterially as the camera stalled out until the plane was almost entirely out of sight. It would FINALLY flash and take the picture when you couldn't even see the plane anymore. Here's the best I got on the takeoffs:

Not very impressive, huh? It was very sad, actually. The planes were HUGE when they started taking off and I was SO excited, and by the time the stupid camera actually took the picture, the plane would be a tiny dot in the sky, and I was frowning. Raja thought it was just too funny. I did not.

Below is Raja's version of taking a picture of me. You can't even see the people in the pictures he takes.. It's so tiny and far away. That's okay though.. I really thought I took more pictures of the inside of the restaurant because it was so pretty, but most of them must not have taken at the end because the battery did in fact die. So at least this picture below gives you an idea of how pretty it is inside:

The 2nd great restaurant we've gotten to visit is called "Modesto, " which has an emphasis on Mediterranean/Spanish cuisine and culture. The restaurant itself is gorgeous in fiery yellow-reddish hues with dark wood and copper-colored accents. The menu is comprised entirely of "tapas," or "small plates." They have about 20 hot dishes and 20 cold dishes, and the idea is to get a few of each and share them so everyone in your party can try different things. The food here was REALLY good.. We tried dishes featuring lamb, shrimp, and tomato sauce/goat cheese, and they were all wonderful. I also tried a glass of White Sangria which was also really good --- This restaurant has definitely been one of my favorites so far. Here are some pictures of our visit:

And this is me on the way out the door to go to Modesto. My hair's a bit messed up but hey... that's what happens when you're taking a picture of yourself. :)

So that's a little bit of what we've been able to do as far as dining goes... I love the restaurants so far, and am so excited to try more soon. On another exciting note, my Mom & Dad are visiting this weekend since it was Mom's Spring Break, so look for more pictures soon from their trip up here! :) Until then, it's basketball, basketball, & more basketball...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cruise Photos!

Post by: Beth & Raja
Quick post today because we have a lot of things to do today, but we got our cruise slideshow back from Erin and wanted to post a link here so everyone can see. We LOVE the slideshow and hope you enjoy it as much as we do. :) Erin and Corey did a wonderful job and everytime I watch it, it makes me want to go back and do it all over again.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The good life...

Post by: Raja

So, I just re-read what I posted last night and noticed that it wasn't written very well. I have to apolgize for that. I was REALLY tired last night when I made that post, but I had promised Beth that I would post at least once a week, and it already been 8 days since my last post, so I made the best post I could at the time.

Anyways, despite the late night post, I have to admit, I am living the good life. I am not sure if Beth has mentioned this or not, but she has been doing a fantastic job cooking so far. Anyone that knows Beth knows that her biggest concern about marriage was probably that she didn't know how to cook. Well, I'm here to tell you, that she is a fabulous cook. Not only can she cook, she has taken complete responsibility for planning out the week's meals, getting the necessary ingredients, and making sure that dinner is healthy AND that it tastes good.I help as much as I can - I go grocery shopping with her, help with some of the peripherial things that still need to be done when I get home, and load the dishwasher - but we both know who is doing the work. She even makes my lunch for me every day. What else could I ask for?!?

Tonight I was going to do the cooking and we were going to grill some shrimp and burgers outside, but we didn't think we'd be able to get the ingredients and get the prep work done in time (before dark - the grill is outside and it tends to get chilly at night still). I'll have to make it up to her the next time the weather permits, which hopefully won't be too long now that it is already almost mid-March.

I guess the moral of the story is that if Beth ever tells you that she doesn't think she can do something (like cook, find a great job for only 6 months, etc), don't believe her. She really is probably one of the only people I know who can pretty much do anything she puts her mind to (her and my parents are some of the few people I have seen do things that I thought were incredible) and I know there are still many more amazing things that I'll be witness to over the coming years.

Now for a funny story. Yes she makes dinner. Yes she makes lunch. But she also makes me cookies for dessert. Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. So a week or two ago, after dinner, I mentioned that I'd like some cookies and milk before heading to bed (one of my favorite desserts). Before I knew what was happening, the oven was hot, the cookie dough was rising, and theh scent of fresh baked confections was filling the loft. After they were done, we both had a couple, and went to bed. The next night after dinner, I thought I'd have another cookie or two for dessert. That's reasonable, right? Well, I was in for a surprise.

I jumped off the couch during a commercial break of whatever we were watching and announced that I was going to get some cookies and asked Beth if she wanted any. She just looked at me with a frown and shook her head. "What? You don't want any?"
"There aren't any," came the response.
"You ate ALL the cookies (there were about 8 left)?"
"I couldn't help it... they were so good."

I just laughed and said it was ok. No big deal. After all, it was kind of funny. So a few days ago we make cookies again. I didn't eat any after dinner though - I was just too full. The next day, I go to get some cookies after dinner, and I notice there are only 4 left (out of 12.. notice a pattern?).
"Hey.. where'd all the cookies go?"
I see another frown "I might have gobbled up a couple after I finished baking"
"A couple? You ate 8 cookies... all at once? Right after you made them?"
I see a frown and a nod. Wow. That's a lot of cookies.
"I just can't help it...I don't think we can have cookies in the house. I'll eat them all"

Well, as you can imagine, that could cause some problems. We have to have cookies. So our solution is now to buy the cookie dough and only make 2-3 cookies a night. I know it sounds inefficient, but it's really not that bad. Beth isn't forced to eat 75% of a dozen cookies and I get fresh baked goods at night. If marriage is about compromise, this is definitely one that I can live with.

Like I said.. this is the good life.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The word of the day is J-O-B

Post by: Raja

Since the last time that I posted, lots of things have happened. Most importantly, Beth started her new job! We were both very excited when she got the offer since it was pretty much perfect for our situation. She is doing pretty much the same thing she was doing in Bham and they want to keep her for the full six months that we will be in St. Louis, so we really couldn’t ask for much more. She says the people that she’ll be working with are all very nice and I think she’s going to have a great time there.

Another big piece of news, for those of you who don’t follow college basketball, UNC defeated Duke last Saturday night and won the ACC championships for the third time in four years. Not only did they beat Duke and win the ACC, but they also got the #1 seed in the ACC tournament and are positioned very well to get a #1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA tournament, and potentially a #1 seed overall. This is a big deal and makes even more excited to catch the ACC tournament on TV this week and the NCAA tournament in the coming weeks. They did what they needed to do in league so now let’s see if they can complete the job with a national title in early April.

The J-O-B for me is still going well. I’m learning more about the mortgage business and starting to be able to do real work. When things start to get more interesting, I’ll post more about the job.
Finally, we went to a really cool Indian restaurant over the weekend. It overlooks the airport so you can see the planes landing and taking off, and the food was also very good. Beth has some pictures she took so when she posts those, I’m sure she’ll give you more details.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Union Station

Post by: Beth

Today was a fun day for us. We'd wanted to go to the area around the Arch but it was a big 22 degrees when we woke up, so we decided to do something indoors instead. Less than a few miles from our loft building is an area called St Louis Union Station. It was "once the largest and busiest passenger rail terminal in the world, is now one of America's great marketplaces. Union Station first opened in 1894, but ceased operation as an active train terminal in 1978. Union Station reopened in August of 1985 as the largest adaptive re-use project in the United States." So now it houses lots of restaurants and shopping and a few smaller events and things. We'd seen it while driving around and I was really excited to go see what it was all about so that's what we did.

Here's a picture of what our pathway up to the Station looked like:

One of the main entrances of the arch:

This is what it looks like when you step inside the entrance:

One exciting thing going on was that they had an open casting call for Tyra Banks' show "America's Next Top Model" !! I was super excited because I watch every episode of the show! Here are some pictures of some of the girls trying out:

So we went to eat at this restaurant called "Key West Cafe." Of course, they have basketball on, so this is what Raja did during much of the meal:

Because of that, this is how I was much of the meal:

And here we are tonight. UNC & Duke are playing at 8pm, and I have been programmed to say "I am excited about the big game tonight." . Yes.. can't you hear me? Raja is super excited.. I told Dad tonight on the phone that he was wearing blue from head to toe. I wasn't lying. This is what Raja will be doing until at least 10pm tonight. Very exciting. I can't wait.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Post by: Beth

Well, tonight we got lost. In the ghettos of St. Louis. Looking for frozen custard. Many of you will recall Raja's love of the frozen dessert. I tried to be helpful and find a frozen custard shop on my handy GPS system, which has not failed me up until this point. Jill ("American - female") proudly announced that there was a Ted Drewe's Frozen Custard on South Grand Avenue. I'm feeling like such a good wife because this is Raja's favorite and I'm about to lead him straight to it. He's going to love me so much!!
What Jill didn't tell us is that the area surrounding and leading up to South Grand Avenue is absolutely the roughest neighborhood I've ever been in. There are LOTS of policeman patrolling the area. (Raja and I had nervous banter over whether that was a good or bad sign.) We bravely steer on though, with Jill as our guide. After all, she's got a great track record so far. We find Ted Drewe's, except it must have not survived in the ghetto for too long, as it was closed down and barricaded. I guess there's not much use for frozen custard out there.
Not one to be deterred, Jill & I swiftly find another ice cream store located only 2.4 miles away! No, it's not frozen custard, but I figure it will do as a substitute. Off we go to find this ice cream shoppe.. It's called "Ice Cream Palace - Mini M".. I'm not sure what "Mini M" means but it sounds like some fabulous kind of candy, so I tell Raja I found a great place called "Ice Cream Palace." He gamely agrees to try to find this one instead, so off we go. We're riding along and everything is just lovely, except there's a LOT of construction going on in St. Louis, so many roads are closed and detours are posted. Jill's not always completely aware of how to steer us through the detours, so we use our instincts and the tiny map on the GPS to help us out for the most part. So, of course, the road we need to take is closed. No big deal.. there are detour signs so we just follow those and Jill "recalculates." Now we're FOUR miles away from "Ice Cream Palace" instead of 2.4, but that's okay.. we are fine with that.
Well.. it's not too long until we are VERY much off the beaten path. I'm not kidding when I say this: This neighborhood puts the area around South Grand Avenue to absolute shame. Jill SAYS we are about .5 miles from "Ice Cream Palace," but I can't possibly imagine a nice, twinkly, kid-friendly ice-cream shop in these parts. I can tell Raja is getting a bit nervous.. He starts rambling on about how we really need to call these places before we just set off into unknown territories. I'm half listening, because I'm really concentrating on trying to make sure I can see all of the people (aka hoodlums) loitering about at all times while we are forced to stop at red lights. Now we are .2 miles away, but there is no way we even need to have a discussion about whether or not to stop.. We will definitely not be getting ice cream from the "Palace" tonight. It's about that time that I realized my GPS has a scroll function.. I scroll down and realize that Mini M means "Mini Mart." So yes... in my confidence, I have managed to lead Raja deep into the drug lords' realm of STL to search for an ice cream counter that is attached to a gas station SOMEWHERE.
We never saw Ice Cream Palace as we sped right on through.. Raja didn't know he was supposed to be looking for a gas station, I'm sure. He still doesn't know I figured out what "Mini M" meant.. I guess he'll find out when he reads this post in the blog. =/ I am posting in "Carolina Blue" text color in hopes it will help soften the blow when he learns that I led us to a shot-up gas station tonight.
It is safe to assume I will not be directing us anywhere else in search of ice cream, even if it IS supposed to be a search for frozen custard..

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Yey for Melting Snow!

Post by: Beth

As Mom pointed out, the snow IS very pretty to look at. However, it's had me pretty much stranded in the apartment for 2 days because it's too dangerous to drive in. (Poor Raja still has to brave it to go to work.. Obviously Citi doesn't value their employees' safety as much as daycares, schools, or GOVERMENT AGENCIES.. geez.. you'd think they'd get the hint if the City Hall isn't even opening.) Today, it melted enough finally to where I felt safe getting out and about. I went to the St. Louis Galleria here, which is about 8 miles away from our home.. and it's gorgeous and busy and lots of fun! They have Maggianos, which is an Italian restaurant that doesn't have a Birmingham location, but happens to be Mom's favorite from all of our shopping trips to Atlanta! She's going to be super excited about that for when she visits. :) Other than that, they seem to have Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's, CPK, and things like that that are just normal chain restaurants that everyone has seen.
At the mall, I just went to Starbuck's and then Cache. I bought a new black dress that I'm really excited about.. It's my first purchase that deducts from my "BSpend" column on our budget, so I was very happy to have a 50% off coupon. Raja has an "RSpend" column, which I take great delight in watching shrink, for some reason. (I think it's the competitive streak coming out in me.) Anyway, I saved half off a dress and can't wait until it gets a little warmer so I can wear it. All Raja has bought from his "RSpend" column are some soccer cleats, so he's beating me by a little bit now, but I plan to tempt him with pay-per-view UNC basketball games that aren't airing on regular TV.. At about $110 a pop, he's sure to dwindle his column down to nothing in no time. *evil laugh* heh.. I'm just playing.. sort of..
Anyway, that's what I did today. Tonight, we are going to Macaroni Grill because a) it's one of my favorites and b) I have a gift card that my mom's co-worker/friend Jill gave me as a gift! I'm super excited to get out more and see more of the city now that the weather has relaxed a bit. I hope you all are having a great day, also! :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

these little wonders...

Post by: Beth
It's snowing a lot outside... I've never seen this much snow coming down at one time. There are so many flakes that you look out the windows and it just looks completely white outside.. It's not until you get up to the window that you can actually see the separation between the flakes. I took a photo at 10am to try to capture what was going on, and I'll take another one towards the end of the day to show the progression.

Here is the snow outside about 4:30pm today.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Our New Home!

Post by: Beth & Raja
Here are some pictures of our new home! =)

This is what you see when you walk into the front door of the loft.

When you walk in, the first door to the right takes you into our bedroom.

After you pass the bedroom on the right, the next doorway to your left is the bathroom. On the left is a double sink area, and on the right is a shower, then a large, deep bathtub that I LOVE!

The big opening on the right is the den area. It has a couch, large ottoman, and an armchair. There’s also a side table next to the armchair.

This is the rec area… You can’t really tell here, but these windows are enormous. They’re probably 8-10 feet tall and they stretch across the entire wall. Out of them, you see other loft buildings directly across the street.

If you stand at those big windows and look into the loft, you see the pool table and then the kitchen area. There’s an island in the middle with 2 chairs; this is where we’ve been eating dinner.

This is a closer view of the kitchen area.. It’s a bit dark, but you can see the island straight ahead, then the fridge beyond that. The sink is on the right, as is the stove and oven.

And here’s Aidan, exploring. He’s doing very well here and seems to like it, just as we do!
Thanks for taking a peek!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Post on our blooooog!

Post by: Raja

Hello everyone! This has been a very eventful week. I completed my first week at CitiMortgage and we made a series of moves. We moved from AL to St. Louis, from our car to a hotel, from a hotel back to our car, then finally, from our car into our new condo. The condo is perfect! For me, it has a 50 inch plasma TV, whole house audio system, and a pool table and for Beth it has pretty furnishings (hardwood floors, leather furniture, and granite counter tops), a wine refrigerator/chiller, and plenty of room for Aidan to explore. It’s also really close to a lot of fun things in St. Louis and we’re excited to get out and explore the city.

In addition to the move today, I got the opportunity to watch one of the best Carolina wins I’ve seen all season. Sure we pulled out some close ones early in the season and beat other teams by 30+ this season, but yesterday’s win against Boston College was the first time all season I have REALLY felt that UNC could win the national title. To go on the road and win by 10, against a team that was playing its best basketball of the season (BC was up 18 at one point and Tyrese Rice eclipsed his career high in the first half), really shows me that this team has the mental and physical skill and toughness to win 6 quality games in the tournament. It was a great win and I’m more excited than ever for this coming Saturday’s match up with Duke.

Work is generally going pretty well and I’m enjoying it so far. It is a really interesting time to be working in finance in the mortgage industry and with all of the consolidations and companies going under due to the credit crunch, I should be able to really get a handle on the nuts and bolts of the industry. My major project for the 6 months while I am in here is going to be taking the lead on integrating the finance departments of Citi Home Equity (Citi’s second mortgage business) and CitiMortgage Originations (Citi’s first mortgage business). Second mortgages are in a major slump right now, so by integrating these two companies, hopefully, we can cut back on some expenses and mitigate some of our loses. I’ll keep you all updated on how it is going as the project moves forward.

Finally, I would like to congratulate myself on my first blog posting. After many night of saying “I will do it later,” I finally acquiesced to Beth’s requests and added to our blog. It wasn’t actually that bad and maybe I won’t hear the title of my post again until next Sunday.

That’s it for now!

*Beth said to let everyone know that Aidan is adjusting much better here than he did at the hotel. He seems to be doing just fine.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Poor Aidan...

Post by: Beth
As some of you know, my poor kitty, Aidan, has had a pretty hard time adjusting to the new place here.. He's always been a bit skittish and was very used to being in my apartment all the time, and it being just me there with him most of the time. Since we've been in the hotel here, he's spent a lot of time hiding under the bed and slowly ventures out by mid-afternoon usually. He's been doing a lot better the past couple of days though.. He's come out from the bedroom earlier and been staying out longer. When housekeeping comes in it usually sets him back a bit and he'll go hide for another hour or so, but he's definitely been adjusting better and getting a bit braver. We went and bought him a toy and have been using that to lure him out and get him to stay out a while and become more comfortable w/the surroundings. I noticed this morning he was doing a LOT better.. He came out of the bedroom when I did and walked around alot and seemed to be much more at ease. When I left late-morning to run errands, he was still out and playing around. When I came back in, I was curious to see if he'd still be out playing, or if he'd be hiding again. I didn't see him when I walked in, so immediately went to the bedroom to get him to come out from under the bed. He wasn't under there, so I checked under the other bed. No Aidan there either.. I checked in all his hiding spots and couldn't find him anywhere. I called Raja at work to tell him, and he said to alert the front desk just in case, but he was sure he'd just found a new hiding place somewhere, and to keep looking in all of the rooms and not panic. I called the front desk to let them know and they assured me housekeeping hadn't made it to the top floor yet so no one should have opened the door. So I moved furniture away from the walls, took everything out of the closets, opened all the cabinets where he likes to hide.. still no Aidan! I'm past panic-mode at this point, as he's obviously not ANYWHERE in the rooms. Not knowing what else to do, I go to check out in the hallway to see if he'd somehow gotten out when I left the rooms earlier or came back in after my errands. There's only one open doorway in our hall, and that's the "Trash" room that's connected to the "Linens" area. I went down there to see if was there, and I found him huddled behind the huge trash can in the room! The poor thing must have gotten so brave he wanted to see what ELSE was in the hotel besides just our rooms here, and darted out either when I left or when I came back. He meowed as soon as he saw me and I carried him back to our rooms, where he ran straight back under the bed. I guess he learned his lesson about being too brave. I was so happy to see him and so glad I found him before he got too far away!

Tomorrow, we move into our condo about 30 mins away, so he has one last adjustment period to go through.. Keep your fingers crossed he does okay with this next little move!