Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WTF Wednesday?!? The Christmas Song Edition

Well friends, it's been quite a while since I've written anything, but happy holidays! In honor of this joyous holiday season, my WTF Wednesday is devoted to that wonderful phenomenon that comes around once a year...Christmas Songs! Have you ever really listened to the words of some of these songs?!?! I mean, sheesh...I'm not going to get all PC about the lyrics, but some of them are just damn ridiculous. Sadly enough, if I don't really think about the words, and just enjoy the Christmas magic these songs invoke, I really like most of them. Either way, in no particular order (except for Christmas Shoes. I freaking HATE that song!), here are my least favorite Christmas songs/lyrics:

Christmas Shoes
WTF Lyric: "Sir, I wanna buy these shoes for my mama, please. It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size. Could you hurry sir? Daddy says there's not much time. You see she's been sick for quite a while and I know these shoes will make her smile. And I want her to look beautiful, if mama meets Jesus tonight."

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get that it's supposed to be a heartrending story about a little boy who doesn't have enough money to get one last gift for his mother because she doesn't have long to live. But seriously? Why is this child unsupervised, buying shoes, instead of spending time with his mother. Because the little boy seems to think that mama will be meeting Jesus tonight. Not to mention the fact that the dude singing has the most annoying voice ever. 


Holly Jolly Christmas
WTF Lyric: "Oh ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see. Somebody waits for you, kiss her once for me."

Hmmm, sir, you are really telling another dude to kiss his lady on your behalf? Who on earth does that? That sounds like you're just cruisin for a bruisin!

Baby It's Cold Outside
WTF Lyric: Woman: "I ought to say no, no, no sir." Man: "Mind if I move in closer?" W: "At least I'm gonna say that I tried." M: "What's the sense in hurting my pride?" W: "I really can't stay." M: "Baby, don't hold out."...W: "My sister will be suspicious." M: "Gosh your lips look delicious."

I could keep going, but what's the point? This whole song? Rape Central. Lady tries to leave, dude gives her more to drink. Lady says no, dude says she's hurting his pride. Lady tries to give excuses about why she should be leaving, dude comments on her delicious lips. Sigh, shaking my head...

We Wish You a Merry Christmas
WTF Lyric: "Now bring us some figgy pudding!...We won't go until we get some!"
This is how I imagine this scenario playing out: A mob group of carolers comes to the door and starts singing this song. How lovely, spreading Christmas cheer! Wait. What? They're demanding figgy pudding? And they won't leave our yard until we give it to them?! What the hell is a figgy pudding? I don't know where to get any, and they're getting closer to the house! Quick honey, out the back door! They're coming for the pudding!!!

Do They Know It's Christmas?
WTF Lyric: "There's a world outside your window and it's a world of dread and fear. Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears. Where the Christmas bells that are ringing are the clanging chimes of Doom. Well tonight, thank God it's them instead of you. And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime. The greatest gift they'll get this year is life. Ohh...Where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow. Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"

Where, oh where to start with this one...Okay. First of all, I understand that this song was written to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia in the 80s, which was a wonderful intention. But for real?!?! Rather than showing any sort of sympathy, the singers are basically saying, "Whew, sucks to be you guys! Thanks, God, for hooking me up!" Next point. During Christmas, it's summer in Africa, so snow's really not common then. And let's not forget that Africa is a huge continent. With different climate regions. There is snow in Africa, somewhere, most likely in the mountains, but it's there. Along with rain, rivers and things that grow. Finally, the clanging chimes of Doom? Ah, Eurocentrism, how classy you are. I just can't anymore...

Honorable mention: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
WTF Lyric: "All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games."

Well hello, you little bullying sumbitches. If I was Rudolph, I'd be hanging out with the elves and leaving those punk reindeer to their own devices. Eff your stupid reindeer games!

Happy holidays friends! Enjoy the magic of the season ;-D

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmm...

Today was kind of a sleepy day. I found myself being completely zoned out and lost in my own head a few times, just from being tired. And I just took some Benadryl because I've been sneezy all night, so who knows what may come out of my mouth/fingers...

Random musings:

Dear McDonalds,

How dare you make a commercial claiming that an egg mcmuffin is a healthy breakfast option. I call bullshit. And the McRib is made of unidentified pork parts. What the hell RIB do you know that doesn't have, ya know, a RIB BONE?

xoxo,
Amber

How come in single stall bathrooms, the purse hook is so far away from the toilet? What if I need something out of there? What am I supposed to do, shuffle over to it? "Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground!"

Angry Birds, I hate you.

I work out of coffee shops a lot these days. There are 4 Caribou Coffees at various points in the city where my iPhone and laptop recognize their wireless signals.

Norah Jones, you're bringing me down.

I want to travel. Like really badly. And right now. But as that's not happening anytime soon,  I will just be happy with the small things in life, like the sweet ass glass food storage set I just got!

Columbus traffic, you are a pickletwister, with all of your freeway entrances/exits being closed downtown!

Yup, pickletwister just happened. I made that up just now.

Adult footie pajamas. I want, nay, I NEED them in my life.

It makes me laugh when my dogs chase rabbits or squirrels in the backyard. Just last night, I let Bozz out and saw a quick flash across the yard toward the deck, with Bozz in close pursuit. Then another flash of bunny tail coming from under the deck as the rabbit ran for its life toward the fence and Bozz came scrabbling over the giant rock pile after it. There wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that he was going to catch it, but it did give me a little chuckle.

Commercials suck. Not just because they are a giant time waster, but often, they are just terrible, contradictory and poorly made.

If you use the last of the toilet paper, it's your responsibility to put a new roll on. And pulling a roll out of the cabinet and setting it on top of the empty roll still on the holder doesn't count. Don't be lazy. What, you can use the paper, but now you're too good to touch the cardboard roll? Getouttahere...

And now it's bed time...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Om Nom Nom: Honey Dip Donuts and Diner

This past weekend, the boy and I had an unexpected weekend where we both had Saturday and Sunday off, with no plans! We may or may not have gotten the dates of a birthday party mixed up, but at least it afforded us some much needed relaxation time! In my perusal of this week's Alive magazine, I came upon an article about Honey Dip Donuts and Diner. Since we're always looking for new brunch places, I thought this would be a great option because we both love donuts and small, homey, family-run type places, and I figured this would hit the spot.

When we got there, it looked packed, but it was really a gaggle of people at the counter either waiting to pay for their meals, or to buy some donuts. We quickly found a seat, and I was pretty stoked about the menu, nothing special, just some good diner num nums. We ordered drinks, they came. We ordered food. And waited. And waited. And waited. Three groups came in after we did, ordered food, drinks and donuts, and received all those things before we got our food. Then they got their checks and left. We still waited.

I got pissed. Danny got frustrated with me because I was pissed. Our waitress came to the table a couple of times and said, "Oh, they're really backed up in the kitchen. It'll just be a couple of minutes." After about a half hour of waiting, tapping my feet, fidgeting, staring at the kitchen window and giving a few incredibly harassed sighs, I finally went up to the waitress and asked if our food was almost ready. She rolled her eyes and said again, "They're just slammed back there. Your food will be out in a minute."

I almost cut her, for several reasons. 1) By this point I am starving, which kinda makes me grumpy, and watching everyone around us eat made it even worse. 2) I've been drinking coffee, which makes my tum hurt if I don't have some food with it. 3) Nine. NINE other people came in after us and have gotten food. Clearly the kitchen wasn't that slammed that those people couldn't get their food. 4) No, you did not just roll your damn eyes at me, missy, after I had to come ask you about where my food was!

Let me tell you about the food. We both ordered sausage patties. They forgot one of the orders of sausage. (Danny scooted the plate that came to the table towards me, because he could tell I was not planning to be pleasant if I had to say another word to the waitress.) Then they brought Danny a plate of sausage links, because they ran out of patties. Then the waitress says "We ran out of potatoes, so they had to slice up some more for you." That would have been nice...if the damn things were cooked all the way through! But they were good and crunchy, like raw potatoes. My omelet was exceptionally flavorless.

The one redeeming quality of the whole breakfast experience was the guy at the table behind us having breakfast with his family (parents, little sibs, the whole shebang). With multiple penises drawn on his face in permanent marker. He clearly tried to wash them off, but it didn't work at all. When I whispered to Danny, "Look at the guy over my shoulder with the dicks on his face!" we both giggled a little.

Danny did mention that since they had just been featured in Alive, that they probably got a rush of people coming to try them out, just like we were doing, which could account for why they ran out of things. Fine. I'll give them that. But don't tell me how backed up the kitchen is, and then serve 3 tables of people who came in after us.

The donuts were pretty good. We ordered a half dozen to go, because I was not going to be spending any more time than necessary in that shitshow. Honey Dip, you are a Honey, DON'T. I shan't be returning. And it's sad because you had so much potential...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

World War 4 or...CRAMPOCALYPSE

All right, so clearly I am having some problems with terrible things waking me up at 6 in the morning. And here's the latest bed battle...

Since dogmageddon, I have been tucking the blankets in around the bed, to try to reduce the amount of blanket loss/dog toss during the night. It's been fairly successful, except for the fact that my feet are pinned down all night long (which, as we have already established, is one of my most terrifying torture possibilities) by the blankets, and if the dogs lay next to my legs, they are even more tightly confined. I feel like a mummy, and it's starting to make me anxious even typing about it. Moving on.

So this morning, at about 5:35, I'm trying to roll over, and of course Lola is right where I want my legs to go. Because I'm still treading gently when it comes to moving the dogs off my side of the bed, I decided to try to lever her over in stages by wedging my feet under her. I get my feet under her and start to move her, and that's when it happens...CRAMPOCALYPSE!!!

I was 3/4 of the way asleep and I could feel it coming. That tightening of the muscle, the knot starting to form, the drop in my stomach from knowing the impossible agony I would soon be in. The dreaded calf cramp visited my bed this morning, and IT. WAS. EXECRABLE. (SN: I definitely had to thesaurus.com it up to find a word that matched what I was feeling. I'm not even ashamed of that.) If any of you have had a random cramp rip you from sleep, you know what I'm talking about. I did the only thing I could think of in the moment. I screamed. Or at least I tried to, but because it hurt so bad, I couldn't get much more out than sad, half grunty whimpers. Which of course, woke Danny up...15 minutes before he had to get up for work. I'm sure I would have felt like a jerk for waking him up, but I couldn't think of anything beyond the boulder that had formed on the back of my leg.

He's asking me what's wrong, all I can say is "cramp, cramp, cramp." And his solution is, "Well, stretch it out!" Yeah, well, since I'm all mummified and pinned under the blankets and dog, that is a little easier said than done. After about a minute of flailing and shoving Lola, I finally managed to free the one afflicted leg and have it sticking straight up in the air, because that's really all I could reach to stretch. I kinda wanted to throw up because it hurt so bad, but I finally got to a point where I could get it back under the blanket (very gently of course, because I could still feel that crampy sumbitch threatening to come back if I even breathed wrong), just as Danny's alarm clock started to go off.

Cramp, you may have won the battle, but I'm stocking up on bananas today!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

World War 3...or DOG-MAGEDDON!

Okay, so every night in my bed, there are 2 adults and 2 dogs. While they aren't the biggest dogs in the world, they somehow manage to stretch out over the entire bed. And every effing night, I have a battle royale with Lola, because she stretches out between me and Danny, pulls the blankets off me, and flumps herself down on my legs, which hurts like the dickens (Side Note: The worst torture in the world to me would be having my hands and feet confined and not able to move them. The dogs do this to me every. single. night.). Also, today is Danny’s first day off in 2 weeks and he has had to be at work at approximately 5 a.m. every day for the past week, so he gets to sleep in today too. This is important.

So, at 6:05 this morning, I was awakened because I was freezing. Here we go with the nightly battle royale...

Me (scream whispering, so as not to disturb Danny): “Lola, move!” (try to yank the blanket from under her)
Lola: sits up and looks at me, without moving.
Me: “Dammit Lola, MOVE!!”
Lola: stretches out and rolls over onto my leg
Me: “Goddamit (shove) Lola (yank) Get (shove) Off (yank) The Fucking (shove) BLANKET!” Still scream whispering.

After the word "blanket" I gave one last Herculean shove. And she did get off the blanket. And tumbled off the bed onto the end table. And then knocked the change jar all over the floor. And then fell on the floor. In the split second that this happens, all I can do is sit up in bed, cringe and whisper “shit.”

From Danny's side of the bed I hear, "SERIOUSLY?!?" with a hint of amusement in his voice (I'm choosing to believe it was mirth, rather than ire.) He may or may not have been awakened by my little exchange with Lola before she went ass over teakettle off the bed. Perhaps my scream whisper wasn’t as unobtrusive as I thought. Or maybe it was from me trying to yank the blanket back over to my side of the bed. Whatevs.

So I turn on the bedside lamp and try to find all the change that has spilled all over the floor. And Lola jumps back on my side of the bed and stares at me crawling around on the floor. I can’t see anything, so I have to turn the overhead light on and Danny gets out of bed and says “Well, I guess I’m getting up at 6 this morning…”And I felt terrible. Then he says, “I’ll clean it up, you have to get up for work soon.” I felt like even more of a heel and my half awake heart melted a bit. So we both cleaned up the change together. And then he casually mentions “Look how upset Lola is…you shoved her off the bed and made lots of loud noises (which she hates) and scared her.”  Aaaaaaaand now I feel like a super dick, because I thought she was looking at me and gloating about how she may have been shoved off the bed, but she won the blanket battle, because she was laying all in my space, and I was shivering on the floor cleaning up change.

I apologized to Lola and gave her a pat on the head and we got back into bed. Lola wisely decided to lay on Danny’s side of the bed. Until about 30 minutes later when she flumped back down on my legs and pulled the blanket off of me again. Since I felt so bad about what had happened, I decided to just suck it up, deal with the cold and let her stay there. That lasted for all of about 15 minutes, until we had another mini tussle, because she was pinning my feet down. Throughout this whole ordeal, Lola never made a sound, she wasn’t hurt, and I don’t even think Bozz woke up. But I felt so terrible about it, which led to me having horrific dreams when I fell back to sleep.

Here’s what I learned this morning…We need a bigger blanket. The dogs need their own bed. I don’t know my own strength when I am mostly asleep. Lola will be getting peanut butter and carrots tonight for having to deal with my crazy this morning.

DOG-MAGEDDON, round 1. I think we can call this one a draw…



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WTF Wednesday?!?





Aaaaah well, it's about that time again...I haven't had a WTF moment in a while, and boy have I got a doozy for you today!! It's not even a list of things. This WTF is just one story that happened yesterday, and is enough to last me the whole week...

On my way home from work yesterday, I decided that I really wanted something pumpkin (I made a delicious stuffed pumpkin last week and I'll share the recipe soon!), but I was almost home, and the closest grocery store isn't that great. So I decided to stop at home really quickly and grab a recipe for butternut squash soup and take it to this cute little gourmet market a couple miles away. I go in and love on all the delicious foodstuffs they have, buy what I need and head out. This is what I encounter in the parking lot...

WTF # 1 (at the car parked next to mine): I'm walking to my car and I see a little boy standing next to a car, with a woman, presumably his mother, next to him, and what looked suspiciously like a tiny wee wee hanging out of his pants. I thought to myself "no way this kid is just flashing in the parking lot like this. He can't be more than 3 years old! And why would his mother just be okay with that?!?" Well, I could not have been more wrong. Because what do I hear as I walk up to them? "Okay, you have to push your hips forward so that you don't get pee on yourself!" 

Ummm, excuse me ma'am. You are not in the middle of the woods. This is a parking lot. With stores all around. With BATHROOMS in them. So I suck it in so that I can scootch by the little boy and not disturb his business time, when what do I hear, but...

WTF # 2 (at the car parked directly in front of mine): "HACK HACK, YARK, URK, KACK." (If you need a little reference for what that actually sounds like, think of a cat yorking up a hairball, or the scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, where Snot the dog is under the table choking and Cousin Eddies says "Oh, he's just yakkin' on a bone.") So I look up to find the source of this ungodly noise, and see a man directly in front of me standing next to his car looking like he was picking something out of his mouth and puking out whatever was bothering him. 

I know I've mentioned my aversion to vomit before, so needless to say, I chucked my groceries in the car, jumped in the driver's seat and peeled out of there like I was running away from a burning building. 

What. The. Fuck. And there you have it, friends. That was all the WTF I needed this week, all in the span of 5 minutes. Woof.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Is My Life?!

I'm going to take you on a little journey way back into time...8 months ago, I was working in a job that I really enjoyed with college students, but knowing that I needed something better. For several years, I had been kinda down because I didn't really have the opportunity to do anything creative in my life. I am GREAT at talking to people and helping them realize their potential/work through their problems/question why they are doing silly things/figure out what they want to do with their future/etc. But that isn't really tangible, something that I could look at and think "I made that! And it's pretty damn cool!"

I had known for a long time that I wanted to get into event planning, because the part of my job that gave me the most satisfaction was planning banquets and receptions, and dinners for students, faculty and staff. So, I started job searching, knowing that I would be leaving my job at the university at the end of June. I figured that 4 months would be plenty of time to find a job, right? Right?!? Well, we're not even going to get into my naive dreams of quick re-employment. We all know what the job scene looks like out there.

So, after two and a half months of funemployment, I got a job as the Catering Sales Manager with a catering company, but I realized that I was going to need a second job to support myself. Conveniently enough, the catering company shares a shop with a wine and chocolate shop. When I told my boss I needed to get a second job, she worked it out that I would be a sales person for the wine and chocolate shop. Ultra convenient that I don't have to go to two different places to work. I get a regular paycheck, commission if I sell any corporate gifts and I get to learn to make candy. Um, hello? How fricking sweet is that?!? I'm realizing that I have a pretty good head for business. Add that to my ability to talk to people, and I make a pretty good saleswoman.

Guess what I did today at work? I got to dip bottles of wine in chocolate. And they were beautiful. While they were setting, I looked at them and thought "I made those! And that's really damn cool!"

Welcome back to my life creativity. I've missed you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Family Road Trip

This past weekend, I went on a road trip to Savannah, GA with my mom, 2 aunts and sister, to visit my cousin and other sister for my cousin's 21st birthday. A few things happened this weekend...

I have renewed my love of the south. I really want to buy a house in Savannah. It is the cutest little town, and I LOVE the houses down there. People were friendly, it's a great walking/biking town, it's near water, and I suspect the weather isn't too bad in the winter (even though it was rainy and/or gross while we were there). It's also one of the most haunted places in the country...which is a weird draw, coming from someone who is such a big baby about scary movies. But I really want to take a ghost tour in a hearse! How freaky would that be?!? (That was not a rhetorical question. The correct answer is SUPER FREAKY...and awesome!)

The amazingness of my family has been reaffirmed. The Waters/Wilkins women are a force to be reckoned with. If you can't hold your own in a conversation, take a joke, tell a joke, drink some drank, be a little snarky or are offended by salty language, we might not be the group you want to spend a whole lot of time with. Which is a shame, because WE. ARE. SPECTACULAR.

I spent a lot of time in the car. I rode in the backseat the whole way down with my aunts and drove the whole way back with my mom and sister. Thanks to my mom, I know all of the state capitals, I have a pretty good grasp on every state nickname and I can name each of the states by first letter. This may seem like a menial task, but really, when you think about it, when do you ever have reason to know all of this information? The real fun in this was my mom giving me hints when I didn't know the answer. I will forever have in my head "Oh baby, you...you got what I nee-eed. And you say he's just a friend..." when I need to know what the capital of North Dakota is. (Biz Markie sings that song. The capital of ND is Bismark...you see what she did there??) Car games like this just reinforce the second point that I made (amazing family!)

I realized how much random shit you find in truck stops. I always kind of knew it, because I have been a road warrior for well over a decade, driving across the country for school and work and whatnot. But it was really obvious when I saw these in women's restrooms in different states:


Not tampons or maxi pads or handi-wipes or something that might actually be useful on your trip. Nope, nothing like that. 
But condoms, the French Freedom Tickler, and the 4 play New and Amorous series are definitely women's restroom necessities. What. The. Hell. I mean, when I think truck stop hook up, French Freedom Tickler is the first thing that pops into my mind. Because it's the patriotic thing to do. 

Oh, America...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

29 and Feelin' Fine!

For the next 5 minutes, it is my birthday. The first day of the last year of my 20s. Yeesh, where on earth has the time gone? At the risk of being cliche, I made a list of 30 things to do before I turn 30. I think I can do most things on this list, and I'm gonna try super hard to get through the whole thing.


1.     Dance on a bar. True story, I’ve never Coyote Uglied it up. I feel like I missed out on some coming of age ritual in college.
2.     Learn to thread and use my sewing machine.
3.     Make myself pants that fit like a dream so that I don’t feel like a giant, misshapen lump when I try to go pants shopping.
4.     Go surfing.
5.     Perform on stage. I did one of the monologues in the Vagina Monologues earlier this year (the one I did was “My Angry Vagina.” Really, did you think it would be anything but that one?), and it was AWESOME and I can’t wait to perform again!
6.     Have an amazing vegetable garden.
7.     Learn how to snowboard to the point that I can do jumps and whatnot without falling and breaking myself.
8.     Buy myself a new (to me) car…I’m thinking a Mazda 3, a Mini Cooper or a Fiat. Hmm, this is an interesting small car thing I’m into. But can’t you just see me ripping around corners and driving like a bat out of hell in a little nugget of a car like these??
9.     Take a trip abroad…Australia, Sri Lanka, Japan, you know places where I know folks :-D
10. Lollapalooza
11. Warrior Dash in under 45 minutes
12. Yup, I’m gonna just suck it up and go for it…complete either a half marathon or a sprint triathlon. If I’m feeling super saucy, maybe even both!
13. Dye my hair. Nothing too cray-cray (a girl’s still gotta work ya know!), but maybe some red streaks?
14. Get another tattoo. I’m thinking a dragon to match my phoenix.
15. Learn at least one graphic design program.
16. Throw awesome themed dinner parties.
17. Start playing the cello again.
18. Take ballet classes.
19. Get married. 11 years is quite a long courtship, and I love the beau <3.
20. Climb a mountain. It doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary or require mountain climbing equipment, but it does have to be at least a challenging hike!
21. Create a strong group of friends that actually gets together on a regular basis.
22. Be in one of the Columbus magazines, CBus, Columbus Style, Capital Style, you know, any of those publications that start with C…
23. Go on a rustic camping trip. Pitching tents, building fires, pooping in holes, bathing in streams, the whole shebang!
24. Create something that I can sell. I think I’m a pretty creative person, I just need to find what I’m passionate about making J.
25. Build a second bathroom and/or update the first bathroom.
26. Stop biting my damn nails!
27. Read the Bible, Koran and Torah. No, I am not religious. But I do want to be well informed about what makes people feel justified to do such crazy ass things in the name of religion.
28. Create several really good dessert recipes.
29. Referring to #6: Can things and make pickled veggies.
30. Earn a sweet ass nickname. People call me random things, but it would be AWESOME to have a universally known nickname. Or a theme song. I’d be okay with a theme song…

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mmmmmm, Monday...

Holy moly friends, it's been way too long! And even though it's technically Tuesday, I haven't been to bed yet, so it doesn't count. (I used that line a few times as an RA, since we were supposed to sleep in our rooms every night. But if you're out with friends and happen to party and go on Waffle House and Wal-Mart runs until 6 a.m., or go on an impromptu road trip to NOLA for Mardi Gras for one day/night, and you don't sleep, it doesn't count...Am I right?!?) Anyhoo, here's what's been delish in my life lately...

Cooking/Catering

This past week has been silly, but in a good way! I've really been enjoying the new job, and I'm realizing how much I have missed working in a kitchen. And it is waaaaaaay different working in a commercial kitchen with all women as opposed to by myself or with mostly men. The music is different, we all pretty much sing along, no dick and fart jokes. Just a nice, chill environment. And it's interesting to see what kind of people hire catering companies for events. I'm rubbing elbows with the Columbus high society...better make sure I have lotion on...

Dinner with the Boy

So, I came home from work today with a hard-core craving for some homemade chocolate chip cookies. But instead of baking, Danny and I went out to the garden, picked some tomatoes, peppers, carrots, green onions and herbs and we made pasta for dinner. I love it when we cook together :-D

Spreadsheets

Well, this one is a love/hate relationship. I actually hate spreadsheets because they can be so effing picky and tedious to create. But there is an immense sense of satisfaction when you get one right, and all the formulae work, and you just know that it is going to make your work day so much easier.

Bossypants

I finally got it from the library, after being some ridiculous number like 189 on the waiting list. Tina Fey just makes life better. If you haven't read this book yet, you probably should. Word of warning: You might not want to take any large gulps of beverage while reading, because there's a pretty good chance you'll snort it out your nose from laughter. Don't say I didn't warn you...

Childhood Books

My youngest sister and I share a birthday, and it's coming up in a few days, so to celebrate her turning 10, I got her a few books that I loved when I was a kid: The Magician's Nephew (I think I'm going to get her a new book in the Chronicles of Narnia for birthdays and Christmases until she has them all); The Westing Game (This little mystery by Ellen Raskin still makes me smile to this day); and A Light in the Attic (Shel Silverstein...need I say more?). I was also really tempted to buy the whole Little House on the Prairie series. And you're damn right it would have been for myself. I'm not even ashamed of that.

Fall-y Things 
(I've mentioned this before, but I love fall. There will be more fall related things in the coming weeks.)

Lovely weather, sweaters, pumpkin ANYTHING (especially beer and cookies), Homecoming (I love the feeling of excitement and school pride. Doesn't even matter what school.), new shows on TV, haunted houses, apple picking, the death of mosquitoes, browns and oranges and reds and all those luscious, yummy fall colors, making chili (Fry friend, you want a rematch??), and I'm so STOKED this year that we will have the fence finished and can finally bring out our fire pit (That I bought in June and it still happens to be in the box. And I hit that box with my car door every freaking day. I can't wait to get that damn thing out of our garage and into our backyard!)

Well friends, it's late, and I've got to get to the post office early to mail some birthday books! Have a loverly autumn day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Am a Lady. That Does Not Mean I Am an Idiot.

Today, I had a few errands to run, and one of them included getting an oil change. I'm sitting in the Midas, and they usually take pretty good care of me there, and the technician brings me out to the car to let me know of some things he saw that needed to be fixed. One was getting my tie-rods replaced, because they are loose and starting to cause my alignment to go all out of whack. (Nope, not today. I wasn't planning on dropping $500 this morning). The other was headlight replacement. For $35. I politely declined and said that I would do it myself (For $12 and 10 minutes worth of work, because that's how much a headlight bulb costs for my car.). He looked a bit surprised at that, but I signed their little "We tried to tell you, but when your wheels go flying off into oblivion, don't say we didn't warn you!" waiver paper and went on my merry way.

Fast forward to this afternoon, at Auto Zone, picking up a new headlight. I go home, pull the old one out and instantly notice that the guy sold me the wrong one. So, I busted out my trusty car manual to see what bulb I should have gotten, went back to Auto Zone and got the correct one. And here's where the fun begins...
1. The guy at the cash register, who sold me the wrong bulb in the first place, didn't seem to believe me when I brought the correct bulb up to the cash register to exchange it. He had to look it up again and make sure I knew what the make, model and year of my car were. Sir, I've been driving this car for 6 years. I know what kind of effing car I have. Finally, he acknowledged that he must have typed in the wrong year.

2. I decided to fix it in the parking lot, so I wouldn't have to come back if something was wrong. Random Man (Rando) #1 comes out and this is the conversation that ensues:
Rando: "What you doing, fixing your light?"
Me: "Yup" (clearly not wanting to be bothered)
Rando: "Oh. You got a husband?"
Me: in my head "You have got to be fucking kidding me right now" Out loud "Nope."
Rando: "You got a man?"
Me: "Yup"
Rando: "Oh, okay"
He walks away and comes back 30 seconds later and asks, "You smoke?"
Me: "Nope"
He finally gets the hint and wanders off with the random woman he had with him.
At this point, I was beginning to grind my teeth.

3. Then, Random Man #2, who was an AutoZone employee (AZE) comes up with his little cart from where he had been helping 2 other women do something with their car.
AZE: "Anything I can do to help?"
Me: "No thanks, I've got it!"
AZE: "Did you just touch that bulb with your hand?!?"
Me: "No, I grabbed it by the base."
AZE: "You should NEVER touch the bulb with your bare hands! It will burn them out!"
Me: "I know that. Thanks, I've got this."
**(Side Note: I read instructions for EVERYTHING. Which is why I know you don't touch the bulb with your bare hands! Just because I don't have a penis, don't assume I know what the hell I'm doing here...)**
AZE: Walks off making some random inane comments about changing batteries.
There is now much gnashing of teeth under the hood of my car.

4. Random Man #3, who was actually not condescending (ANC) approaches.
ANC: "Oh, are you changing your lights?"
Me: in my head "Oh, for fuck's sake! If another knucklehead comes up to me and keeps me from finishing what should have only taken 3 minutes, I am going to kick them square in the heart!" Out loud, "Yes, I've got it, thanks."
ANC: "Okay. Well, do you want to switch on your brights to make sure that they're working properly?"
Me: Turn on the car, flick the brights.
ANC: "Looks like you're all set."
Me: "Thanks!"
I get in my car and go back home, in about 3 times as long as it should have taken.


There were 2 men in the parking lot doing things to their cars at the same time. But no one said anything to them. Yes, I have breasts and ovaries. No, I don't need a big strong man to pull a light bulb out and put a new one in. And Horror of Horrors...I actually have some clue about what goes on in a car...I've even changed my own brakes before! Sweet baby Jesus...How is that possible? A lady? Who's not an idiot and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty?!? Okay, I'm done with this now. I just needed to get that off my chest :-)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mmmmmm, Monday...

Yup, I sure did just write another post a minute ago. And I'm not even ashamed to be writing another one!

So, it's Monday again...Here's what I'm digging on this week...

Getting a New Dang Job!

I'm going to be doing sales for a small catering company! I'm super stoked about it, because I have never done sales in this capacity before, and I get the opportunity to go out and make new connections with people, and work with people I already know in different organizations! And this company has been getting their name out there for a few years and they are at a point that they are able to really begin expanding, and I'm really excited to be a part of that with them! The owners are also very passionate about what they do and exceptionally creative, and I LOVE working in that kind of environment!

Talking to Old Friends From College

I talked to my friend Cynthia recently and we just got a chance to shoot the shit and catch up. And I will be meeting up with one of my friends who is moving from Colorado to D.C. and will be coming through town tonight. It's always great to see how people are doing and actually talk to them, rather than just getting Facebook updates.

America's Got Talent

Okay, so I NEVER watch reality shows, so I completely blame the boy for getting me hooked on this business. I guess it's even though, since I got him onto Pretty Little Liars... I have my favorites, and we always make predictions about who's going on to the next round. The only issue I have with it is that they talk to damn much! I don't care about your back story. I just want to watch you dance around and light up, and do magic, and sing songs, and jump motor bikes over your grandma, you know, the youjz (there absolutely needs to be a new letter in the English alphabet so that I can abbreviate "usual" in writing...L. Taylor, you know what I'm talkin about!).

Fresh Baked Banana Bread...With NUTELLA!

I love banana bread. I love Nutella. How I have never made the connection between the two, I have no idea. But now, there's no turning back...

What tickles your pickle this week?

A Fence, A Fence! My Kingdom for a Fence!

Today, we completed day 2 of fence construction. Well, technically day 3 if you count the day we spent last weekend digging holes with a post hole digger. (I may or may not have fallen into one of those holes while we were cleaning up, but that's neither here nor there...) It's funny, because even though it doesn't seem like a lot has been done, this business takes a LOOOOOOOONG TIME! The majority of time has been spent getting materials, one Jeep-load at a time. We make a list, hoof it over to Menard's and spent an hour or two finding everything we need, pulling the Jeep around back and loading it up. Then we spend another hour driving home (usually with me curled up in a little ball in the passenger seat, holding boards poking over my head and cowering in fear that if we take a turn too sharply, I may just end up with my head smooshed against the window) and unloading everything.

At this point, we've got enough materials to finish about half the fence, so we should get a ton done on Sunday. The sucky (not really) part is that now I have a NEW JOB (Huzzah!!), I won't be home all day on Mondays for us to have 2 full days to get things done. I'll take that trade-off :-D. I laugh whenever we are outside working because the dogs always look at us like they are ready to jump through the door. I think they know we're getting ready to let them loose in the backyard and they just can't wait!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And This Is Why I'm Not a Parent...

Or you can also call this post "If You Shit on the Floor, You Better Be Able to Clean It!" This is one of the less pleasant adventures in domesticating...

Okay, so if you know me, you most likely know my position on having kids. I don't want to. I like hanging out with my friends'/family's kids, but they're definitely not coming home with me! Having 2 dogs is plenty of responsibility for another living being. Speaking of said dogs...One of them has gotten into a really bad habit the past week. If Danny's at work, and I take a shower, Bozz thinks it's a fabulous idea to shit on the floor. Now, I have the sense of smell of a bloodhound, so as soon as it happens, I know within seconds. And it's not like I'm gonna jump out of the shower, covered in lavender-scented suds so that I can hunt down the stank pile that I KNOW has appeared somewhere in the house, all "Where's Waldo?" style. Which means that the rest of my shower sucks because all I can smell is poop, and because I know I have to go clean it up. Grrrrrr.
Lesson number 1 of the day: I don't want to clean up any of the varied solids or liquids that can come out another being.

I also really like to sleep. I get cranky if I don't get enough sleep, I wake up easily, I want my body to be fully covered by the blankets and I will lose my shit if at any point in the sleeping process, I can't move my arms or legs. Now imagine a queen sized bed with 2 adult humans...and 2 full grown, 70 pound each dogs...who like to stretch out...and who want to be all up on you...and will flump their giant bodies down wherever suits their fancy, never mind if that happens to be on your knees or ankles or stomach. I am also fully convinced that they steal the blankets, because I get into an epic tug of war/pushing match with the dogs every stinkin night to try and get enough blankets/have more than an 18 inch wide sliver of bed.
Lesson number 2:  If your name isn't Amber or Danny, I don't want you in my bed.

And finally, I like well-behaved critters. I'm the "mean" parent, and I'm okay with that. You can play, but not all gladiator, growly wrestler style. Just because something is made of cloth, does not instantly make it your toy. You don't have to bark every time someone walks by the house. If I'm sitting on the couch, I don't want you to lay on top of me (As Bozz just came and nudged my computer out of the way so he could try to wedge half his body on my lap as I was typing that sentence...).
Lesson number 3:  Mama likes her peace and quiet and personal space.

Now, with that being said, I love the pups, and it's heartwarming when they snuggle up NEXT TO me, especially if I'm not feeling well. It's adorable when we go for a walk and Lola comes up and sticks her nose in my hand every few minutes, just so that I know she's still there. My heart melts a little each time they look at me with the "Mama, we love you, thanks for feeding/scratching/playing with us!" look in their puppy dog eyes. So, I'm all the parent I need to be with Bozz and Lola, but I'll tell you one thing...Bozz has earned himself a trip to his crate when I shower, because I damn sure won't be cleaning up any more shit off the floor!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

GOOD 30 Day Challenge: Day 3

Share An Old Photo With A Friend - So, I was poking around my old room at my parents' house a few weeks ago, and I came across this photo I took with one of my besties from college. I have no idea where we were, or why we took this picture, but it's pretty awesome. Since it's a big 8-1/2 by 11 photo, I took a picture of it and sent it to her on facebook. I'm excited to see what she has to say about it! To be honest, the first thing I thought when I saw this was, "Wow, look at how skinny I was back then!" Ah, to be a teenager again...

I could totally be an ass-kicking, card-sharking, bar-wenchy Wild Gal!

Friday, September 2, 2011

GOOD 30 Day Challenge: Days 1 and 2

I ran across this challenge from a friend on facebook, called the "GOOD 30 Day Challenge." Each month GOOD (an organization focused on creating a community for people and businesses who want to live well and do good. Their tag line is "For People Who Give A Damn." I mean, how awesome is that?!?) has a 30 day challenge, and September's task is to create connections with people. Since it is September 2, I have already missed day one, but I'll backtrack to that one. Here's a link to the GOOD 30 Day Challenge, if you want to learn more about it.

Here we go so far:

Day 1: Send someone a postcard - I'll get back to that one, as soon as I get some postcards! (If you want one, I will send a postcard to the first 4 addresses I get. Even if we don't know each other. It's nice to get real mail in this age of digital communication and junk mail.)

Day 2: Have a conversation with a service employee - I try to be friendly to everyone I come in contact with, especially if they are doing something for me. I found this fun little coffee shop in the course of some of my random wanderings on the internets, so I decided to go check it out. When I went in, I chatted with the man behind the counter about how I found the coffee shop and then we had a nice conversation about the different types of coffee he has, which led to teas that we both like, and then he walked me through how he brews each cup of coffee to order, which was pretty cool!

(**Side note: I have the attention span of a pickle, so whenever I set out to find something specific online, I inevitably have to drag myself away from something so far off topic that I can't even figure out how I got there. It's like those Family Circus comics where Little Billy has to go someplace close by and ends up taking the most ridiculous route to get there, as documented by a thick black dotted line swirling all around the panel. I was looking at the Experience Columbus website to see if they had any jobs available, they had a blog, 7 entries in, the blog mentioned this coffee shop. And here we are. Sitting in said coffee shop. Writing about it. Weird how that works out, huh?**)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Peaches and Dreams

Well, friends, the unofficial end of summer is coming up soon, so I figured, why not get all sorts of last minute summery things in? After reading this lovely post about peaches in SimpletoSucculent, I couldn't resist making a peach pie. Since it's still warm out, I didn't want to be doing all sorts of baking, so I decided to make a peaches and cream icebox pie. Great idea, until I couldn't find a recipe that I liked. So I made one up. This, friends, is Amber's Peaches and Dreams Pie...
I. Can. Not. Wait. toeatthiswholething!
 
Crust

1 ½ cups finely crushed ginger snap cookies
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Fruit Filling

4 tablespoons sugar
4 medium-large peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into bite-sized cubes (cut ¼ peach into slices for garnish)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Whipped Cream

¾ envelope gelatin
¼ cup cold water
¼ cup simmering water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease 10-inch pie pan. Chill bowl and mixers for whipped cream. Pour gelatin over cold water (in a heatproof cup or bowl) and let soften for 5 minutes without stirring. Add simmering water and whisk until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside and let cool to room temperature. Mix all crust ingredients with a fork or pulse in a food processor until all ingredients are moistened. Press mixture evenly into pan, over the bottom and about ½ inch up the sides of the pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 12-15 minutes. Let crust cool thoroughly before adding filling.

Gingersnap crust
 
To prepare the peach filling, add all filling ingredients to a large saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the peaches soften and become syrupy, approximately 15-20 minutes. Chill the peach mix, either in the freezer, or put in a small bowl inside a larger bowl full of ice and water (It took about 20 minutes to chill in the ice water bowls, but I’m not sure how long it would take in the freezer.)
After peaches are chilled, take half the mixture and puree in food processor, until it is the consistency of baby food.
Peaches and cream filling

For whipped cream, add cream to chilled bowl and beat until thickened. As the cream begins to thicken, add sugar and room temperature gelatin mix. When the cream begins to form stiff peaks, mix in peach puree. Gently fold in remaining peach mixture. Pour whipped cream/peach mixture into crust and smooth it evenly over. Garnish with peach slices. You can either freeze until set, approximately 30 minutes, or refrigerate for at least an hour, and keep refrigerated until a few minutes before serving! **If you freeze the pie, be careful after freezing, as the crust will be difficult to cut. Let it sit out at room temperature for a few minutes to soften up.**
All set and ready to go!

The next time I make it, I think I'll tweak it and try it with a graham cracker crust. Either way, I might just have to add this pie to my Mmmmmm, Monday list. And BTW, that wine right there is some of my Homemade Wine Spritzer... And it all comes full circle. Enjoy!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Mmmmmm, Monday...

Oh, hey friends! I hope you've all had lovely starts to your week! And if not, at least Monday is almost over...and there's a 3 day weekend coming up. Huzzah!

Here's what I'm digging on today...

Boyfriend Breakfast

The boy woke up earlier than me (which is unheard of when he has the day off!), at like 8:15 (also unheard of...) and was rummaging around in the kitchen. When I got out of bed about a half hour later, he was in the middle of making breakfast for us. When I asked him why, because I know he's not a big breakfast eater, he said, "I was hungry, and you have an interview today, so I wanted you to have a good meal." Um, swoon?!?


Homemade Wine Spritzer

One part sparkling water, one part chilled red wine (I prefer Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz. It's inexpensive, but one of my favorite reds. I can always drink it in the summer because it isn't too heavy or dry.), a few mandarin orange pieces. You're welcome.

** A note about this: I know that wine spritzers are usually made with white wine. And that red wine usually isn't chilled. But check it out...it's my mouth and I'll put whatever kind of wine I want in it!


Stewed Okra and Tomatoes

I have a lot of okra in my garden, and it's the one thing that I have been consistently harvesting. This is my own take on this recipe, because the okra and tomatoes are usually cooked and then served over the rice. As I hate doing extra dishes, I just make it all in one pot.

Dice and saute 1/2 of a medium onion and a minced clove of garlic. Slice up about 5-6 okras, peel and dice a medium tomato, add those to the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes on medium-low heat, until the tomato begins to soften. Add 1.5 cups of chicken stock and 1/2 cup water - 2 cups total- (or vegetable stock and water if you want to make it a vegan meal) and 1 cup rice and simmer until the rice is cooked. Season with a little salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and a pinch of cumin. Add a few dashes of hot sauce, and you have magic in your mouth. I've also chopped up a few frozen shrimp and threw those in there in the last 2 or 3 minutes of cooking and they add an amazing flavor (It's kinda like the lazy man's gumbo...)


Friend Reunions

I went to a baseball game with two of my besties last week. We call ourselves the Tripod and we are AWESOME! I met these ladies when I was in grad school, and I was the graduate advisor of the campus programming board, of which they were members. We went to a conference in November 2006, and it's all history from there. We laugh and have inappropriate discussions, eat tube meat, make inappropriate comments about DILFs and just generally make folks around us jealous because they aren't part of the AWESOME that is Tripod. I don't mean to sound douchey, but if you have great friends who you can always have a great time with, you know what I mean. Sucky part of the Tripod is that we have this pattern of moving away, one at a time. When I finished grad school, I moved to California for 2 years. When I moved back to Columbus, B-Rock moved to California for 2 years. B-Rock just moved back to Columbus, and now Double Dubya is moving to Philly for grad school for 2 years. Once we get it together and are all in Columbus at the same time, magic will happen. Like double rainbow magic. Get. Ready.

Fall Weather

It's starting to get cooler, we can sleep with the windows open without melting, Oktoberfest Sam Adams, pumpkin flavored anything, sweaters, boots. I would say football, but I'm kinda meh about it. I can't even wait to go apple picking (and I will totes miss my staff from last year) and make a shit-load of pies. Yum-tacular. If you're nice to me, I might make you one ;-)

What made your Monday yummy?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What the Deck?!?

We finally finished the deck on Sunday! It's so pretty! We'll put some skirting around the bottom at some point, but for right now, it's all done, the grill is in its new home, and I've even sat on it with a book in my little camp chair. Look at how far we've come, and I think we did a dang good job, especially since we did this whole thing from the ground up!

Funny story though, we were going to make burgers on the grill to celebrate the deck being done (and not having to drag the grill out of the garage all the way to the side of the house, walk all the way around the house from the kitchen to use it, wait forever for it to cool down enough to put it back in the garage, get eaten alive by mosquitoes when putting it away, etc, etc)...aaaaaaaand the propane tank was empty. What is our life?!? So we made them on our tiny George Foreman grill (yay for knocking out the fat!). And you know what? Those burgers were delicious, because they were sating the hunger caused by a job well done.
Eeek, only a few boards left!!

And the finished product! (Don't mind that giant concrete pile...)

Oh, hey creeper in the door!

That is one good looking deck, if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Om Nom Nom: Skillet

The boy and I have had a tradition for the past year and a half or so of going to brunch on Sundays whenever he's not working, and trying to find a new place each time (sometimes we go to tried and true favorites. I'm IN LOVE with Banana Bean Cafe and the corned beef hash at Best Breakfasts and Sandwiches in Westerville is to die for!) This weekend we went to Skillet in German Village (which, coincidentally, is where Banana Bean Cafe used to be, before it moved to Greenlawn). Skillet is a pretty cool little (and I do mean little. There was enough seating for 30 people, tops) place, and you get very cozy with your table neighbors and they focus on locally sourced, seasonal food. Our waiter was friendly, and the food was pretty dang good! There was about a half hour wait, but that's what you get when you combine a tiny restaurant with delicious food and the weekend brunch rush.

I had the house-smoked Andouille sausage gravy and biscuits, with a side of polenta with goat cheese and maple syrup, and Danny had the mac & pulled pork. Danny said that his was good, and I'll just have to take his word for it. The fact that I can't tell you myself how delicious his food was is pretty unheard of, because 1) I ALWAYS eat off his plate. There's just something about someone else's food that makes it more delicious than your own! 2) I was too busy shoveling food in my mouth that he even commented about how quiet I was being during the meal. It was almost like I had never eaten food before!

As to the biscuits and gravy...I have to be in the mood for those, because that's a whole lot of heavy food, especially when it's hot outside. But it did not disappoint. The gravy was spicy and creamy, with little pieces of andouille. There were two scrambled eggs hidden under the gravy, like "Boom! Gotcha with a shot of extra protein!" And the biscuits were something called "bird's head buttermilk biscuits." I don't even know what that means, but what I do know is those birds flew right into mah belly!

Now, I love polenta. And I also love goat cheese. I'm a little wishy washy about maple syrup, I could really take it or leave it. But the combination of the three was nothing short of spectacular...complete with jazz hands. The polenta was creamy, the goat cheese was tangy and the syrup gave it a bit of melty good sweetness that made each bite dance over my tongue. Bliss. Sigh...

We're always on the lookout for a new brunch spot, so if you have any ideas, shoot 'em my way! I think next week, we'll try Wildflower Cafe in Clintonville!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Good Girlfriend/Bad Girlfriend?

Here's a little fact about me...I have a mortal fear of vomit. A phobia if you will. Intellectually, I know if someone gets sick, it's not a big deal and it probably won't last that long. Irrationally and emotionally, I become a wreck. I get nervous, shaky, my heart starts pounding, my palms get sweaty and I get an anxious gut. If you have ever seen me in a hospital, you know what a mess I become.

Now that you know this, fast forward to last night. The beau and I went to the Movie Tavern for dinner and a movie (30 Minutes or Less...not that great). About 2/3 of the way through, he abruptly stands up and says "I have to go to the bathroom." My stomach instantly dropped, because I knew what that meant. After about 15 minutes, I texted him to make sure he was still alive and he said he was outside. I paid the bill and went to collect him. We got into the car and he sighed and looked at me and said, "You're gonna keep staring at me and asking if I'm alright, aren't you?" I said yes, but that I would try to keep it to a minimum, because I know that irritates him if he's not feeling well. And let's face it, if I needed to pull over, I wanted as much lead time as possible to make that happen.

We made it home without incident, but when we got there, I cleaned out the toilet (because I believe if you're gonna puke, you already feel terrible and shouldn't have to put your face in a dirty shitter), I put headphones on and sat on the couch playing on the computer and reading a book. But I stayed on the couch all night reading until I fell asleep at about 5 a.m. I did it for 2 reasons: 1) I knew that as soon as I went into the bedroom, the dogs would wake up and start fidgeting. 2) I knew I would be all anxious, I wouldn't sleep anyway, and everytime he moved, I would be on alert.

Does that make me a bad girlfriend? I didn't sleep in the bed with him because he was feeling nauseous (if it was just a cold, I wouldn't really have cared). But I wanted to make sure he wasn't disturbed by my restlessness and the dogs fidgeting. And I cleaned out the toilet. That has to count for something, right?!?

Small victory, he didn't even get sick at all :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WTF Wednesday?!?

On Monday, I talked about things that just make me happy. That was nice, wasn't it? But, in order to maintain balance in the world, you have to take the bad with the good. So I hereby declare Wednesdays to be "WTF Wednesdays?!?" Just a little chance to have a chat about the things in life that make you shake your head and say "For real life? For reals?" Not every week, of course, but just when the spirit moves me. And boy has the spirit moved me. Let me drop a little knowledge on you about...

MOSQUITOES

You suck. In more ways than one...
These blood-sucking, disease-carrying, itch-making, soulless, breeding/feeding sumbitches are STRAIGHT. FROM. THE. DEVIL. They like to bite me a lot more than your average person. Not only do I look like I have chicken pox all over my body, but now they have decided that the tops of my feet are the great new place to focus. One got me on Monday and it was like this was the conversation it had in its tiny bundle of nerves it calls a brain: "Hmmm, the top of her toe looks tasty. I'm SURE she doesn't want to wear shoes that will actually touch her toes. Because this toe is gonna itch and swell and make her SUPER uncomfortable during her interview." Thanks mosquito. Dick.

Hair

"Look mom! Look what me and Lola made!!"
Hair on your body is fine. I'm not the biggest fan of super hairy men, but whatevs, I can deal with it as long as it's STILL ATTACHED TO YOUR BODY! If you brushed your hair and have pieces of it on your clothes, I will probably creep up on you all ninja style and try to pluck it off without you noticing. Random people's hair on me makes me cringe. I put my hand in my own pocket a couple weeks ago and my fingers got tangled up in a piece of long, straight, blond hair. WTF?!? Have you met me? There is nothing long, blond or remotely straight about my hair. And how the eff did it get in my damn pocket?? And dog hair is the worst. Sweet Jesus, it gets everywhere! This picture of Bozz is next to the mountain of dog hair I swept up from the house. Look how proud he is of it...

Caution Baby on Board Signs

Are you telling me that simply because you have a child in your car, that I am clearly driving like a bat out of hell, and I should immediately change what I am doing to protect your precious babe? How presumptuous. Or are you telling me that I should be cautious of you, because you are clearly distracted and driving unsafely due to your screaming demon bundle of joy in the backseat? Eh, potato, potahto.


I could absolutely keep going, but I'll end it there. What puts bees in your bonnet?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mmmmmm, Monday...

Monday gets a pretty bad rap. Granted, it can mean different things to different people, none of them great...It can be the end of an epic weekend. It might be the beginning of a week of soul sucking drudgery. You could just be starting up 5 days of the boring old grind. Or perhaps you just plain old have a case of the Mondays. Either way, I've decided to show Monday some love. So every once in a while, on Mondays, I'll share a little love and talk about things that just make me happy :-)

Starting off the list:

Eucalyptus Oil

It is the ONLY thing I have found that actually stops mosquito bites from itching and swelling up to the size of silver dollars. God bless this pungent liquid, but be careful using it near your face...it stings the nostrils. Burns the eyes. The smell also reminds me of one of my favorite drives in California, from San Luis Obispo to Arroyo Grande, through the eucalyptus grove. And while there aren't koala bears running rampant through California, who can resist a picture of a koala??

Homemade Pizza
The boy and I had dinner at his parents house and his stepmom had all the fixins (including handmade dough) to make our own pizzas. They were delicious!

The First Day of Clean Sheets on the Bed

What a lovely bed setup! Wouldn't last a day in our house...
This one of my favorite sensual experiences (and I mean sensual like pertaining to the senses. Not sexy time...gutter minds!). I get so excited over fresh, clean sheets. They are all nice and cool and crisp and not wrinkly, and not covered in dog hair, and pulled super tight on the bed. And if I just took a shower and shaved my legs right before bed...(you can just go ahead and imagine me doing the Homer Simpson glazed eye, gurgly throat noise he makes when he has donuts.) LOVE. THEM.

Yoga in the Park on Saturday Mornings

Saturday mornings are not a day that I choose to wake up early. But this summer I have been getting up at 8:15 a.m. to drag my ass downtown to the park, and it has been totally worth it! The weather starts out a little cool and cloudy, and as I'm getting my zen on, the clouds break up and the sun rises over the buildings. It's a truly lovely way to begin the weekend :-)

Mushrooms
Mushrooms Part I: For some reason, after a heavy rain, the next day we have a few mushrooms in our front yard that are around 4-5 inches tall. WTF grows that fast?!? And they look like penises. Penii? Whatevs, our yard makes me giggle the day after the rain.

Mushrooms Part II: The beau went grocery shopping a few days ago when I was hanging out with my family. When I came home, I saw 2 containers of mushrooms in the fridge. He doesn't even like mushrooms, but he got them for me because he knows I do. What a sweetiepants <3

Building a Deck and Having All My Body Parts Still Intact

We're really close to being done! And I haven't smashed my hand with a hammer, shot myself with a nail, cut off any digits with the various power saws, or anything else that would require a trip to the hospital! Huzzah! (knocking on wood with all my heart right now to keep from jinxing myself!) Coincidentally, I have used some version of every one of these tools in the past month. Except the flashlight. Who the hell describes a flashlight as a power tool?!? It doesn't count.

What makes your Mondays happy?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Om Nom Nom: Babushka's Kitchen

I like to eat...a lot. I love trying new restaurants, and all different types of food (with the exception of offal meat - can't get past the fact that it's made of organs- and especially tongue. I'll be damned if I taste something that can taste me back.) Now that I've sufficiently queased myself out, I'm going to cleanse my mental palate with memories of the glorious lunch I just had!

So, I went to this place called Babushka's Kitchen, a Polish heritage restaurant. "Babushka" means 'grandmother' in Russian, and this restaurant definitely has some comfort food, that evokes feelings of being at grandma's house. I've driven past it a few times and never stopped in. I didn't have anything going on this afternoon and was kinda just driving aimlessly around and I drove past it again. My tum started grumbling and I realized that it was well past the lunching hour, so I figured, why not? After driving around the block to figure out where the hell the parking lot was, I finally made it inside. Nice, big airy rooms, order at the counter and find yourself a seat. They even have a family room where you can bring a framed photo of your  own babushka and they will add it to the wall. Pretty run-of-the-mill, right? Right. Until the food came and blessed my mouth.

I ordered the Gatherer's Platter, which included a golabki (pronounced go-womp-kee, according to the menu), a potato and cheddar pierogi and a side dish. The golabki was stuffed cabbage with some ground meat, and a magical mix of herbs and spices, covered in tomato gravy, and my side dish was sauerkraut with dumplings. And if you don't know what a pierogi is, we might not be able to be friends anymore... (in case you don't know, it's a dumpling traditionally filled with mashed potatoes and a mix of other ingredients, such as cheese, onions, or ground meat, and often fried or baked in butter and served with sour cream. It's dough with potatoes and cheese. What's not to love about this?!? But now that you know what pierogi are, we can go back to being friends again :-D)

Oh. My. God. The golabki was a perfect balance of savory from the meat filling and sweet from the tomato gravy. The sauerkraut was deliciously tangy with a little sweetness and the dumplings cut through the tang with razor sharp precision. And the pierogi. The glorious, pillowy, mouth-wateringly delectable pierogi. The dough was slightly chewy with a slight crunch from the frying. The potato filling was like Mom's mashed potatoes with small chunks of melty cheddar cheese. And the grilled onions and sour cream were the perfect accompaniment to offset the richness of the potatoes. I could have gotten chunky applesauce instead of sauerkraut for my side dish, which would have been even better with the pierogi. And it was all served with a dinner roll (I could have gotten rye bread, but I was afraid it would overpower the flavors of the rest of the food.)

This meal was so good I ruined my shirt. Of course a little of the gravy from the golabki splattered on my shirt. I mean, whenever saucy tomatoes are involved, it's pretty much a given that it will end up on me. But in addition to the splatter-back, I somehow got the gravy all over my arm and inadvertently rubbed it across my side. In a white shirt. Obviously. But this food was so good, I don't even give a shit about the shirt. I'll hit it with some Shout when I get home. And if that doesn't work, fuck it. It makes me look pregnant anyway. I'm not letting a sauced up white shirt ruin the glory that was the Gatherer's Platter.

Next time I go back, I'm getting the Chicken Paprikash. Or maybe the homemade fresh kielbasa. Oooh, or what about the potato pancakes?? And I'll definitely have to try a dessert, which also looked delicious. Aw hell, I'll just have to come back a few more times to get through everything on the menu...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Deck the Halls

We're building a deck on the back door, so that we can let the dogs out in the backyard instead of the front. We still don't have a fence yet, but hopefully that will be coming in the next month or so. So, back to this deck business. It's a little over 5x7, and we have been working on it for over a month, with Danny's ridiculous work schedule, my ineptitude with tools, and the fact that I WILL NOT work outside near dusk because the mosquitoes eat my ass alive.

It's bee a few hours a day, here and there, just to get the framing and the posts up. There has been a ton of frustration over not having the correct tool, or bolts being stripped, or hitting a screw with the spade bit, or effing up the calculations. But I think we finally got most everything figured out.
Here's were we were a few days ago:
Just a little frame
Lola and Bozz urging us on so they can play in the backyard

 And here's where we are today...There's even more done because the boy was outside with the skeeters (after dark...GASP!!) adding steps.
Ta daaaa! Let there be railing! And posts with covers!

The view from inside. Don't mind that pile of concrete. That will be the patio soon!

Today's work was completely opposite of yesterday. We actually had the correct tools to work with, it wasn't damn monsooning, it was less than the temperature of hell outside and we had more than 2 hours before being eaten to death. We also got the decking for FREE from Danny's brother, which is AWESOME, because that stuff is around 8 bucks per foot. And the spindles in the railing came from the Habitat For Humanity Restore It store, and were the same color and brand as the decking. We got 3 boxes (57 spindles) for $30 total. When we went to Lowes after, the spindles were $3.56 each. Say whaaaaaaaat? What up $173 savings!

When it comes down to it, this project has not been cheap (At least to me. I'm always on the look-out for the sales), but in perspective, it has cost way less than if we a) hired someone to construct it or b) bought all the materials at full price. It will be cool to see how it all turns out :-)