Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sorry, I'm Married

During my 1.5 year stint as a steakhouse waitress, I managed to acquire one whole phone number. Well, 1 and a half if you count the 16 year-old who insisted on handing me his seven digits while his absolutely mortified mother tried to convince him that I was way too old for him, therefore making the blossoming relationship illegal (and me almost a predator!).

And it was a good thing she talked some sense into him, because let me tell you I was ready to hand in my apron and run off to Mexico with the kid right then and there if he asked me to.

The REAL phone number was scribbled on the back of a receipt. And, if I remember correctly, the tip was about 10%. Scoff. Mutter. Scoff, scoff.

Sure, there were times when I preyed upon unsuspecting males, but I had a definite type. Worn Chuck Taylors, mousy hair, black t-shirts, optional acne, metal-studded leather belts. You know, the sort of single teenager who didn't know if he wanted to be a rockstar or play Halo for the rest of his life. He was my victim. Especially if he came out in groups of three or more.

Alls I had to do was be really really mean and sarcastic, while showing my love through endlessly abundant complementary rolls.

They'd each pay for their $10 or $12 meal with a twenty and tell me to keep the change. And I'd come away from that table with thirty or so dollars.

It was beautiful. And shameless. And quite lucrative.

So this evening, as I walked to my car from Cold Stone (had to cash in on my complementary birthday sundae!), I almost didn't hear the guy call from across the parking lot.

"Excuse me."

Walk, walk.

"Excuse me."

I turned around, ready to say "No, you can't use my phone", or "No, I can't give you a ride" but instead he said this,

"Can I have your phone number?"

Uh. "Sorry," I said, "I'm married."

And as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I felt like I was lying to the guy. And I suddenly wished I'd have accompanied it with a "I'm sure you're a nice guy, but . . ." or a "you know, I hate to say this, I really do, but . . ." because somehow those sorts of intros make it seem less like I'm lying (and scared! and annoyed!) and more like had things been different, the guy would have had a fighting chance.

And then I realized that the New Year is days away and the schmuck probably just needed a date.

Well, he certainly has a few things to learn about choosing your prey.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Tale of Procrastination

In an epic act of procrastination, I was going to provide you with a photo of me climbing out of a sarcophagus.

And in an even epic-er act of procrastination, I just spent 20 minutes tearing the apartment apart, looking for the envelope of photos from my trip to Turkey that I may procure my sarcophagus photograph and retell the epic story of how I climbed into the tomb, got really freaked out, climbed out of a tomb, and then thought my camera had been cursed by evil spirits--or the awakened dead.

Stephen King would have been proud. As would Stephanie Meyer.

But alas! The photograph has been misplaced, meaning one thing:

Though I tried to avoid a New Year Resolution List that included "tidiness" and "organization", I have been bested.

New Year Resolution #14 - sort through, weed out, and pitch all of my crap (while simultaneously finding homes for the few items that are less like crap and more worth keeping).

In the meantime, here is a photo of the ancient clock tower in Antalya whose nearby trash can was bombed by terrorists during my first week there!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Middle Ages - Mayan Prophecies

It's official. I'm 26 years old. I've been this now for five days. And as I mentioned before, I totally recognize that it's not the end of the world. I get that. But it doesn't settle right with me.

And I can't help but wonder if the Mayans foresaw my aging angst.

The Mayan calendar, in all its precision and epic ahead-of-its-time-ness, simply stops at year 2012. Now while they may have simply gotten tired of making the calendar and set the project aside for the next generation to pick up, there are those that believe that the year 2012 is actually a prediction of sorts. An end of the world prediction, if you will.

The actual Doomsday is set to hit December 21 or December 23 of 2012.

And I find this quite uncanny.

Could it be that the Mayans foresaw my December 22, 1983 birth and subsequent uncomfortableness with turning thirty?

Could it be that they agreed my reaching such an age would prove cataclysmic? Catastrophic? And maybe even apocalyptic?

Could it be that my aging angst has such pull on galactic revolutions, my frustration with turning thirty will align the stars in a way that will bring the world to an end?

And could it be that the Mayans were understanding enough to know that, since my birthday already contends for popularity with Christmas, the last thing I would want would be for it to contend with an end of the world prediction? Therefore, making the targeted date fall on either the day BEFORE or the day AFTER my 29th birthday and eliminating the possibility of turning thirty alltogether?

Hmmm...

That's some powerful stuff to think about.

Perhaps now I'll be given credence when lamenting over nearing the thirties.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Theological Warfare

"Why did you break up with him?" I asked my friend.

"Well, there were some major issues. He was 35, for one," she answered.

"Mmm."

"And he also didn't believe we are born with a sin nature."


Some couples struggle with theological differences. Tad and I like to joke about ours. I mean the whole Calvinist / Free Will thing is way too easy to make fun of.


At one point the other day, Tad busted out with this crazy G-R-A-C-E acronym (God's Riches At Christ's Expense) and expected me to identify. I had no idea what he was doing. Or saying. This was way beyond WWJD or FROG. I had never heard it before in my life.

He was astonished.

“Sorry, but we weren’t all about Grace and Mercy like you Baptists,” was my response.

“Oh, that’s right,” Tad said, “You were all about losing your salvation.”

“No, no,” I corrected, “We were all about . . .”

I threw my head back and in my best Mel Gibson/Braveheart voice yelled:

Freeeeedom!!!

Because I knew topping off the discussion with a war-hero, action movie reference would make me a shoe-in for the win.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

No "L"

An example of white trash Christmas decor:

It was propped up in someone's yard, lit like a marquee by thousands of appropriately colored lights.

And I struggled to understand its meaning. Come, follow my thought process:

What? Bad "L"? Wrong "L"?

No, it has to be No "L". No . . . no Leh, leh, lesbians?

That doesn't make sense. Why would someone say no to lesbians and not gays?

Then maybe it's No LGBTs?

No. People aren't that cruel . . . are they?

No . . . No Lawyers?

Why would someone say that?

Good point. Maybe they hate a certain family whose last name starts with "L". Like No Linderman's Allowed!

No?

No Loitering? That one is at least plausible.

Or maybe it's not a letter thing at all. Maybe that "L" is really a right angle. Like No 90 Degrees! As though they're cheering for the cold.

. . .

I cannot be this stupid. Think, think, THINK!

No "L"
No "L"
No "el"
No el

Noel.

Dumb.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Honeymoon's Over: Day 237


Him: Do you still like our Christmas tree?

Her: Yeah, do you?

Him: Yeah. I'll like it even more when I add a few additional ornaments.

Her: Nope.

Him: Yeah, it'll be awesome.

Her: Nope, there's no room.

Him: I'll sneak them on when you don't know so that you won't notice.

Her: Oh, I'll notice.

Him: I'm not so sure. Well, maybe only the ones that make noises when you turn the lights on.

Her: Then I guess I'll have to put your action figures in weird poses*.
*Overly effeminate or childlike stances that are strikingly unmasculine

Him: Nooooooooooooooooo!

Her: Yes.

Him: That's not proportional.

Her: That's very proportional.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recipe: Sweet Basil Turkey Burgers

Introducing my first ever mostly my own recipe!

I’m a wimp, relying on tried and true concoctions and Betty Crocker-backed guarantees for my baking and cooking inspiration. But not today! Today, I present my very own recipe:

Sweet Basil Turkey Burgers

Sounds so menu-worthy, does it not?

Serving: makes 2 burgers

INGREDIENTS
Half pound of lean ground turkey
Six shakes of salt
Five shakes of pepper
A penny’s worth of dried basil, plus two shakes
A quarter’s worth of olive oil
Three cloves of garlic
3 T of diced onion (more, if you’re an onion fan)
Blue cheese dressing

DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, shake in the salt and pepper. In your hand, pour about a penny’s worth of dried basil. Crush with your fingers as you allow it to fall into the bowl. Feel free to add a shake or two more of basil, if you feel up to the challenge. Pour about a quarter’s worth of olive oil into the bowl and swirl it around so that it eats up the salt, pepper and basil.

On a small cutting board, shell three garlic cloves, smack them with the side of your gigantic knife, and mince. Once the garlic is in pieces that you think you can deal with, add it to the bowl of oil and seasonings.

Crumble the meat into the bowl. This probably isn’t necessary. You could probably just dump in the slab as a whole, but I like to think that crumbling it helps it to more easily mix the seasonings into the innermost parts of the meat.


With your BARE HANDS, squish and squash the meat (without gagging) until you either can’t take it anymore or feel as though the mixture is mixed enough (keep in mind you want to have garlic pieces INSIDE the patties and not just outside them).

(Here is a picture to show you what this looks like, though I warn you it is not for pregnant women, small children, or the faint of heart):


Dice a chunk of onion. Feel free to use the same knife and board that you used for the garlic. Set aside (doesn’t that sound SO recipe-ish?).

Divide the meat equally and form into patties. Remember, flatness and thinness is key to avoiding the common patty plump syndrome (a condition in which your patties swell when cooked and turn into balls of meat instead of patties).

In a medium sized skillet (also very official sounding!), on medium heat, place the patties. And, because I am gross and don’t care about safety, I toss the onion in the pan as well, being very careful to keep it away from the juicing meat. (If this is going to kill me, please let me know so that I can have my parents take out a life insurance policy on me. Thank you.)

After about five minutes, flip the patties. And stir around the onions a little (you should poke at the onions every once in awhile as the meat cooks).



After another five or so minutes, flip them again. Once they are done juicing (i.e. juice is no longer pouring from the and the pan has pretty much dried up and turned the juices into crusties), they are done.

Place the patties on hamburger buns.

Turn off the heat and swish around the onions in the crusties at the bottom of the pan. Sounds gross, but you must keep in mind that gravy is really no different.

Top the turkey burgers with a good dose of onion, depending on the consumer’s preference. Drizzle a bit of bottled, store-bought blue cheese over the onions and the burger, keeping in mind that as it heats, it may become runny. So, it’s best to drizzle near the middle of the burger and don’t go overboard with the drizzling.

Put the top of the bun on top of the burger and voila!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Bit About Health and Care and What Happens When the Two Become One

My doctor’s name is Michael Scott. I have never known anything to be as equally awesome and unawesome.

I’ve only visited Michael Scott once. Long, long ago. So, fittingly, I had a freak out moment when I realized that the current calendar year was quickly coming to a close, meaning only one thing:

All that money I had put into health insurance was about to go to waste. Not literally. But figuratively. I had spent an entire year throwing money into a system without taking advantage of its offerings.

So, I scheduled an appointment.

But the thought would not leave me. All that money. And here I am as fit as a fiddle.

And I became enraged. Enraged because the system trapped me. I, along with millions of other policy-holding Americans, throw hundreds if not thousands of dollars into the health insurance pool every year. We do this because we’re terrified not to. We’re terrified that the minute we pass on the offered insurance plan, we’ll find ourselves with purple eyes or a foot growing out of our hand and won’t have the money to get it taken care of let alone the chance to skirt the “preexisting condition” crap.

I got even more angry, thinking about how the relationship is totally one-sided. How I throw money at the insurance companies, trusting that it’s a good investment whether I cash in or not. But do you think they’d take a chance on me in a similar respect? Nope.

So there was my frustration. Knowing I was trapped (and I HATE feeling trapped) in a system that was just screwing me over.

But then I went to see Michael Scott.

Michael Scott is part of a network of clinics all over Fort Wayne called Women’s Health Advantage. And here is what happened….

I showed up at the wrong location. But before you draw any conclusions about me being tossed around from doctor to doctor, parking lot to parking lot, I’ll have you know that it ended up being a wonderful experience.

Women’s Health Advantage has all their files set up ELECTRONICALLY (!). So, when I found out I was in the wrong place, the lady behind the counter simply looked up my file and set me up to meet with a nurse practitioner person (as long as I was okay with that, of course), because she feared that redirecting me to Michael Scott would result in me having to wait a LONG time to see him. He’s a busy man.

So, I accepted the nurse practitioner person. . .

. . . And was done and out of the building in thirty-five minutes.

They didn’t have to go over my past experiences, my family history, my health history. They didn't throw a ton of paperwork at me or roll their eyes or act like I was a bother. They didn’t even have to re-scan my hand to make sure a foot wasn’t there. No, they just handled me as though I had originally scheduled my appointment at THAT location instead of the other one.

All this to say, there are some definite problems with health care. And reform may be the solution. But Tad said something to me a few months ago that I hadn’t experienced until yesterday:

The health care system is fixing itself. We just need to give it time.

I’m okay with that. So long as a foot doesn’t grow out of my hand and I find myself without a Blue Cross or a Blue Shield. (or an Anthem, considering that technically is my provider…not BC/BS).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Gestures

My dreams of starring in a musical have been crushed. The bad news came this afternoon. Sometime between 2 and 3. In the form of an emailed audition announcement.

Allow me to share the part that dashed my dreams:

AUDITIONS: Auditions will be held at the Arts United Center building on Sunday, January 3rd from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm. with possible call-backs on Monday, January 4th from 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm. Please call 422-8641 Ext. 226 to sign up to audition. Enter from the back of the A.U.C. to check in. All people auditioning should arrive no later than 6:00 pm and be prepared to dance first. Those auditioning should be prepared to perform a song (16 bars) and provide sheet music in the proper key for the pianist. Everyone should be prepared to dance and sing at the initial audition. Be prepared to stay the entire times listed above.


Emphasis mine.


I don't know what I was thinking. Did I really expect to be in a musical that didn't have dancing? Did I really expect to get off the hook that easily? For decades, local music theatre participants have humiliated themselves at the hand of silly arm gestures and synchronized twirling.Why did I ever think that the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre was the exception?


Aside from the fact that I don't have the slightest when it comes to dance preparation, the annoying truth is that because I'm the new kid, I'd be judged as though I'm supposed to be impressive. As though I'm supposed to run around like those breakdancers on GAP's Christmas commercials. While the house favorites slide by with nothing more than an exaggerated jump accompanied by a rhythmically appropriate shrug.


But they're good enough. Because they've worked with us before.


And thus the circle starts over again. Because some other unsuspecting, big-dreaming soul in the audience will think to themselves, upon seeing the Christmas production-esque choreography, I want to do that! I want to sing the lead role and walk across stage with authority and storm away in disgust only to return in absolute splendor as I'm lowered from the rafters . . . and I can. Oh yes, I definitely can.


And then they'll see the audition notice and realize that they're no Justin Timberlake. And even though they're assuming that, considering the dancing they saw on stage, the JT test mustn't be that daunting, the thought of going up there and accompanying their song with a little jig is just too much.


And the dream will die. Even if they know that they can exaggeratedly jump and rhythmically shrug and synchronically spin with the best of them, the dream will certainly die.


Farewell, dream.

I suppose I'll just stick to acting.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Middle Ages - Music

In 20 days, on the 22nd, I will be 26. It's really not that old; I realize this. But each and every day, I'm finding subtle reminders that I'm approaching the "middle ages". A dark, scary time when I'll no longer be the young blond or the girl with the cute jacket. I'll be the middle-aged lady with X number of kids or the mom-ish looking woman who just so happens to have a cute coat therefore making the normally cute coat very un-cute.

This is what happens during the middle ages. The dark ages.

In the past it has been known to throw entire civilizations into a period of unproductive laziness and wandering and so it will do to me . . .

But I digress.

My most recent reminder that I am quite aged occurred when I decided to relive high school by borrowing a certain CD from the library.

My senior year, I took Art 101 as an elective. I am quite impossible at drawing/painting/smudging, but this was the type of class that handed out A's for effort. So as long as I tried my very best, it didn't matter that my sketch of a shoe looked like a giant turd or that my collage of a campfire on the side of a cliff looked like I had taken and cut up actual pieces of pictures of fire and rock (which I had) or that my watercolor of a snowman ended up being my very best work . . . because you don't have to actually paint anything to create snow.... you just leave blank spots. So that was my painting...a big blank spot with a tiny bit of color for shadowing.

It was awesome.

Anyway, during this class period, our teacher played one CD and one CD only.

Sarah Brightman's La Luna.

I loved it. And here, eight years later, I found myself singing the songs over and over to myself, wishing desperately to hear her sweet voice once again. To be moved by her brilliant compositions and modern way of merging pop music with opera.

So, I went out and got the CD from the library.

But what I got was a dose of reality.

It dates me. It dates me big time. Takes me way back to pop-mania only in a really bad heavily-influenced-by-the-90's way.

Tad said it sounds like something that would play during a dance club scene in The Matrix.

For my honor, I had to disagree.

To hear my guilty pleasure, click here. Popups must be enabled.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Thanksgiving Cake Post

I now present the Triple-Layer Lemon Thanksgiving Cake that sucked three hours from my life (and it wasn't even a vampire).



Three hours. I kid you not. I began at 10pm (thanks to the silly Biggest Loser Where are they now? episode) and wrapped things up at 1am. I have no excuse for my lack of speed aside from my meticulous and perfectionist nature.

(not super pretty, is it?)

Ah, you say, But Amanda isn't the least bit concerned with precision. She could care less about baking times and exact measurements and following recipes.

And to that, I say, Did this Amanda you speak so highly of ever bake a cake?

Why yes, you say, Once or twice maybe. I can't remember; it wasn't very good.

And there, my friends, is the secret ingredient. If Amanda wants her cakes and cookies and pies to be edible, she has to pay VERY CLOSE ATTENTION. No giving in to the A.D.D. that Tad is now agreeing may plague her.

Back to the cake . . .


The majority of the three hours was spent measuring. I'm an obsessive measurer. I've mistaken Baking soda for baking powder before. I know what it's like to add a cup extra of flour. I don't want to make these mistakes ever ever ever again.

The next chunk of the three hours was spent trying to pry two of the cakes from their pans. (No one should EVER be flippant when they tell you to grease and flour a pan. No. They should hold your face between their hands, their eyes as wide as a person who's just seen the devil, and speak the words slowly and intentionally, throwing in words like "tons" and "lots" and "a glob as big as your head" when describing the amount of crisco to use).

But thankfully, despite my A.D.D., I am a very patient person. (please disregard how this phrase makes me sound like I'm mentally insane).



And the last chunk of the three hours was spend frosting the thing so precisely that I swear I only had like ten crumbs the entire time.

Pretty proud of that fact.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Making Fun of Stephen King.

After listening to approximately six hours worth of Stephen King's short stories on audio tape on a road trip to and from Peoria, llinois, at the beginning of the month, and after adding another two hours worth of a novella that Tad and I turn on sporadically as we commute to and from work every day and also as we go about our business during the evening, I've developed a certain disdain for his minute detail, excessive use of commas and inability to create dialog that is in any way believable, unless, of course you live in a world in which every living person precedes or confirms their thoughts with lengthy descriptions, explanations and backgrounds, like a teenager, trying to convince his overly-skeptical father that it was necessary to leave his bedroom light on the night before, not because he had sneaked out, forgetting to turn it off, but because he needed it to sleep.

In short, I'd like to know how many words can Stephen King cram into one sentence?

The answer: We're still counting.

*Yes, I am prepared to receive hate comments from S. King fans.
**Yes, I realize my simile was terrible and not nearly as creative as the time S. King described the popping sound in someone's knees as "twin pistol shots".
***Yes, I am fully aware that my entire sentence is wretched and possibly full of errors.
****My sentence is 155 words long.
*****No, I do not believe this is an accurate portrayal of S. King. Truth be told, he is much worse.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lemmies and other Lemon Deliciousness

(Aha! Those be not eggs! Those be Lemmies!!)

Life has been busy, and though I wish I had something really impressive to show for it all I have are these desserts. Because when life hands you lemons, don't you dare write blog posts or do the laundry or work on selling your car. Why, you should make lemon pie instead! Or lemon cookies! Or lemon cake!

Last week I made simple Lemon Poppy Seed Pie and tonight I made Lemon Dimples. Or, as I like to call them, Lemmies. The first was a recipe I got out of a cookbook. The second was a recipe I stumbled upon here.


On Wednesday, for Thanksgiving, I plan to make a Triple-Layer Lemon Cake. No box mixes. No shortcuts. Everything real from the lemon zest to the lemon juice to the lemon curd. Well, maybe not the lemon curd. I plan to cheat on that. If all goes well, I'll make it again for Tad's birthday in January.

Yes, I realize I'm stuck in a lemon rut. But this is how it goes and there's no getting around it; there's only eating through it. So, that's what we'll do.

(This was the recipe that called for condensed milk--my arch nemesis)


And eventually, I'll get around to some blog posts of substance.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Words (w-o-R-d-s)

greatful.

judgement.

acknowliging.

In elementary school I was a star speller. Had I gone to public/private school, my workbook would have been full of gold stars. -ible, -able, -ant, -ent. There was no match for my ability. And not only was I precise, I was fast. L i g h t n i n g f a s t. So fast I swear my mother made me repeat myself a few times. e-x-p-e-d-i-t-i-o-u-s. What was that? h-y-p-e-r-s-o-n-i-c.

Part of it was because I was an avid reader. A Nancy Drew book, put away in three hours. An American Girl book in an hour and half. This, of course, in between Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Alcott's Little Women, and Streatfield's Ballet Shoes. I was insatiable. v-o-r-a-c-i-o-u-s.

The other part was because I was obsessive compulsive. Every word I saw on every sign, every commericial, every brochure, every flyer, I felt compelled to spell. Forced. o-b-l-i-g-e-d. This lasted for a good year or two, and got to the point where I could be heard whispering to myself in rapid tongue, letter after letter after letter. I soon began dividing words in half, finding the middle letter and counting the total number of letters it held.

Scary, I know.

And then, years later, we got a computer. And I met Spell Check. And I love Spell Check. No more dictionaries or asking for help. No more testing out the word on paper to see if it looks right. No more having to know how to spell.

And now . . . my words look like this:

greatful.

judgement.

acknowliging.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Here's an Idea!

I am convinced that there should be warning labels on certain food items. Imagine how helpful it would be to know:

WARNING (ACHTUNG!): SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK IS NOT RUNNY. IT IS GLOOPY. GLOOPY, GLOOPY, GLOOPY. ALL PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS THAT THE SUBSTANCE WILL PERFORM AS MILK DOES SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS FROM SMELLING SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO A LOSS OF APPETITE, CONSTANT GAGGING, THOUGHTS OF PROJECT ABORTION, A FEAR OF DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE SUBSTANCE, AND A COMPLETE INABILITY TO ENJOY THE FINAL PRODUCT.

Knowing these things would have helped immensely. We can only hope to stomach the Lemon Poppyseed Pie.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pearl Slam

This is the most awkward thing. Nothing could be more awkward. In all awkwardness, this wins hands down.

Notice how awkwardly the lead singer of Pearl Jam attempts a rock star jump (around the :02, :03 mark). Notice the stiffness. Notice how he gets about 6 inches from the ground. Notice how he could jump twenty times and he still wouldn't have enough air time to fill a whole second.

It's so awkward, I feel my face flush every time. I feel my heart, hoping that maybe he won't do it. He won't jump his awkward old-man-trying-to-be-a-rock-star way. But then he does. And it's so awkward.

I think his children should say something. Something like, "Dad? All our friends are talking about your Target commercial and how you only got a fifth of a second of air time and how maybe you shouldn't try to jump anymore...and well, dad, I was thinking about it and I think you know you're rock star jump days are over when you're more worried about whether your landing will result in a broken hip than whether you're actually getting any air. I'm just sayin', Dad...."




And don't even get me started on his circa 1994 wardrobe. Come on. You're a rock star. Where's the rock clothes? Oh, I'm sorry I forgot. Your rock star clothes are probably out with your rock star jump.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We Don't Need No Education

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I was reminded of various crafts that you are forced to create as a child in order to reflect the season. A cornucopia made out of a construction paper cone, a cornucopia made from a paper plate, a cornucopia colored with crayons....

And yet how important have cornucopias been in my Thanksgiving festivities? How prevalent in holiday decor? Table settings? Memories?

Cornucopias are nothing. Nada. No one cares about them. They're void of this world, appearing only in Target's dollar deal aisle and coloring books.

And that is why I include The Lie of the Cornucopia within a compelling list of lies told us by textbooks, teachers and the educational system. It is the worlds biggest letdown list, and the top 5 are below:

The Top 5 Lies I Learned in Grade School

1) Animals hibernate during winter. I will never forget the moment I realized that 1) it was winter, 2) there was snow on the ground, and 3) squirrels were NOT sleeping. They were scurrying. It was at this point I realized that hibernation is not a winter-long sleepfest, but rather an off and on slumber party. Tisk Tisk.
2) Birds fly south for the winter. Upon realizing that animals do NOT hibernate all winter long, I turned my attention to birds and found many of them to be tweeting and cawing well into winter. Thus, disproving the teacher lie that all birds migrate south for the winter.
3) Columbus discovered America. It is common knowledge by middle school that Columbus didn't actually discover America as much as he discovered the Americas, so why lead little children to believe as such? Why not stress the difference between the two?
4) Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity. He did not discover electricity. He found it to exist within lightning. His result was not a light bulb or a spark. It was a lightning rod. This means nothing to children. So, instead of the classic (and potentially dangerous) key and a kite story, teacher should instead speak of Edison 10,000th try. Much more inspiring.
5) Everything ever said in math class. Once out of elementary school, it seems everything you ever knew to be true concerning numbers has a condition. Even the number 'zero'. You think it's the smallest number possible, right? WRONG! There are in fact an infinite number of smaller numbers, provided they are proceeded by a negative sign.

Bottom line: Though it may sound cool in the classroom, make for an interesting lesson plan and translate well into a handy craft project, teachers should ask themselves, one ultimate question:

Is it worth it?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Case Update: Modern Warfare 2


Last night on Unsolved Mysteries, we reported events surrounding Tad's strange departure and plans to acquire a video game. Since, more events have unfolded, adding to the mysterious happenings surrounding this seemingly hypnotic game.

1) Tad has been able to operate on two hours worth of sleep.
2) He has already developed pet phrases for the game's features, referring to the blood spatter that appears on the screen when the player is wounded as "Ketchup Face"--a term he devised in an attempt to trump his wife's inevitable mockery of the feature (she refers to the old wounded screen as "bloody eyeballs")

Yet in all this, a few of the mysteries surrounding the case have been answered. Why did he dress in camo? Why did he stand in line for so long? Why was it imperative for him to be there at precisely the time the game was released?

I'll be darned if I know, but it all resulted in him 'winning' GameStop's Modern Warfare 2 countdown clock due to the fact that he was the ONLY person dressed in costume.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unsolved Mysteries: Modern Warfare 2

At 20:45:00, Tad, decked out in full camo, left to sit outside of GameStop in anticipation of the release of Modern Warfare 2 at midnight.

Friends and family are left with these questions:

1) Why is it that Tad, who must routinely be reminded to shower, did so without coercion for tonight's big event?
2) When did said event become enough reason for him to take off an entire day of work?
3) How is it that he will be able to tolerate standing in line for three hours to get this game when standing in line at Wal-Mart for ten minutes is out of the question?
4) Where exactly has the money come from to pay for his XBox Live subscription, considering neither his wife nor friends passed him funds.

And lastly,
5) How long before his wife is annoyed at some aspect of the game and demands that he play it quietly or minimally when present?

If you, or anyone you know has information that could lead to toward answers to these questions, comment in the box on the screen. Or, if you do not see the box on your screen, click on "comments".

Until next time on Unsolved Mysteries.

Da da da.....dadadadaa...daaa.da.daaa
da da da....dadadadaa..daaa.da.daa

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Remember, Remember, the 4th of November

This is my friend, Josh:
What a stud!

Now, being a die-hard Libertarian, Josh doesn't take too well to socialism. He also has a tendency to be offended by all things socialist, fascist or communist. It's just how he is. So, naturally, he was a bit nervous at this time last year. What, with all the "spread the wealth" allegations and what not.

So, for his birthday, I told him I was going to give him John McCain for president. It wasn't exactly what he wanted, but it was a step in the right direction and so he was pleased.

I was unable to follow through with this promise.

Sorry, Josh. Don't be mad!

So, this year, I'm going to scale things back a bit (because I really hate it when people promise stuff and don't follow through), and instead, list out for you reasons why Josh is one of my top 10 most favorite persons in the world:

1) He's a fellow home schooler.
2) He doesn't take himself too seriously. (Ahh, my knee!! )
3) He is easily angered. (We often tell him that Thomas Jefferson would have made a good president, or that JFK was a godsend or that Guy Fawkes was awesome!! or that we're glad the government tells people where they can and can't smoke--just to make him mad.)
4) He is of Norwegian ancestry. (Norwegian and Jewish, to be precise. I particularly like the Norwegian part, since I am also of that people).
5) He includes me in conversation. (There can be a huge group of guys talking about guns and video games, yet Josh, if he is close enough, will talk with me about books or his love life or taking over a small country)
6) He has dreams of taking over a small country. (This is a dream we've shared for awhile now...letting our Viking roots get the best of us...it's just a matter of choosing the right country....oh, and getting over the fact that Josh prefers freedom and is therefore morally opposed to conquering and ruling a people group even if in the name of liberty)
7) He is a superb actor. (I had the privilege of acting opposite him in Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park. Because of what we would later find to be typecasting, we were the old people.)
8) He could be a fighter pilot if he wanted. (Or, at least this is what I imagine of him).
9) He is smart, but not too smart for his own good. (Nuff said)
10) He may one day rule the world. (His most favorite thing in the world is politics (that, and reading while eating potato chips). It's just a matter of time before he gets so riled up over what he's seeing in Washington that he'll run for some seat, somewhere)


Glad to see you like the gift, Josh.

Happy Birthday! Hopefully, this post will make up for the fact that I was not able to come through on last year's present and consequently we're about to have evil, government health care!!


P.s. - What do you think about North Korea? I hear Kim Jung Il will soon be relinquishing his throne to his son...sounds like the perfect time for a coup.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Birds

Can you count them?


Would you want to?


What's scarier than a billion and one birds circling outside of your window? (Alfred Hitchcock need not answer this one).


The poop they leave behind.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Creep Alert!

There is an unspoken bond between runners.

A smile. A nod. A warm 'hello'.

Regardless of height, age, race, weight or fitness level, passing a fellow runner means you're passing a friend, and all normal tendencies go ignored as you and that person share a moment. A moment in which you know that regardless of his bulging biceps or her graying hair, you are kindred spirits.

So what happens when kindred spirits get creepy?

I heard the pounding footsteps approaching behind me. Staying to one side of the path, I continued my pace, unfazed. I had been passed before. Once, by an elderly Asian man, wearing brown denim and ankle weights. Once by a tall, dark and handsome. I was sure I could handle this heavy-stepped runner.

And then, his steps slowed.

I stayed my course, my eyes straining where my head would not dare to turn, yet he remained out of sight. We continued on for a second or two, before I caught a bit of movement. I turned, and as I did so, he came up beside me.

5'8"
Dark hair
Whiskers
White shirt
Blue athletic shorts
Glasses, maybe

I turned my attention back to running. He was nothing to be afraid of.

And then, he spoke.

"How you doing?"

I didn't know whether to answer. Sure, we were both runners. At times it can be awkward to pass a fellow runner. And yes, there is a runner's code that says we're to be friends and share in our secret knowledge that what we're doing is better than the walkers or the bicyclists or the golfers even if it causes a bit more pain, but THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE HAVE TO BE SPEAKING FRIENDS.

"Alright," I answered--my standard answered when I'm secretly annoyed. Then, because I live by the runner's code, maintained friendliness, "You?"

"Good," he said.

He lingered for a moment before taking off. Then, not 20 paces ahead of me, he looked back.

Now, he could have been being nice.
He could have been looking out for me.
He could have been double checking on whether the tree he passed a minute ago was truly an oak.
But my gut told me, he was being creepy....and it wasn't just the side stitch talking.

I followed him for a bit (there's only one path around this particular park). Then, after he again stole a lengthy glance behind him, I slowed to a walk. And when the opportunity for me to cross over into the bordering neighborhood presented itself, I took it. There was no way I was going to 'happen' to be in the parking lot at the same time as this guy. No way.

And that's my story. Was he a creep? Maybe. Maybe not. Did I get too freaked? Maybe. But probably not.

I'm trying out this new thing where I force myself to react as a normal person would, because the real me lacks a healthy dose of fear. The real me takes unplanned detours into the neighborhoods of Gary, Indiana, and the real me goes to the Shell station off of Pontiac at 10 o'clock at night.

While the new me throws up a red flag at 'hello'.

It's all about balance.

The real me lacks a healthy dose of fear.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nurses (IN NEED)

It wasn't until today, that I heard of the plight of American nurses. They are in need. They are in Desperate Need. And to aid them in their suffering, you and I have the opportunity to join their ranks. It won't be pretty, but it will be well compensated.

So, what say you?

Huh?
What was that?

You don't want to spend 24 months in training only to find yourself in need?

That's okay. There's an even better deal out there...

If you're between 25 and 29, you get to cut that learning time in half and make more than ever. And that whole being in need thing? Turns out this deal doesn't involve nurses in need, but rather a need of nurses!

Who would have thought?!
I'll see you in the ranks.


This has been brought to you by AdVantage - making sense of ads since 2009.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Male Fashion, 1995-2005

On this day of costumes and creepers, let's take a look at some guy style that used to separate the men from the boys:

Adidas Sandals
What could be more comfortable and stylish than Adidas sandals worn with socks? NOTHING! That's why boys pimped this style well into the 00's.

Compound Cargo Pants

No more suffering through the sweltering day, boys. These cargo pants not only have all the pockets you could ever want, they also have hidden zippers that convert them to shorts! Unzip partially or completely, depending on your desired body temperature! Envious bystanders will stand in awe while you casually roll the detached portions and stuff them in one of your pockets! This style was so hip, it followed me through high school.

Hemp Necklaces

Calling all manly men who are too young to get their parents' permission to get their ears pierced--hemp necklaces are the answer to your problem! Want to feel rebellious without any pain? Want to appear tribal without leaving your backyard? Want to make girls wonder whether you're a surfer or a preppy meathead? Here's your chance! (I still see this style on occassion)

The Bowl Cut

Raise your hand if you idolize Moe from the Three Stooges! This style went strong through the 90's. Its fashion-forward appeal was so tempting, that eventually we saw it on grown women.

Frosted Hair

Even the stars jumped on this one. Getting your hair frosted meant compliments and congratulations from guys and girls alike. For the first time young guys looked forward to their hair appointments, and instead of settling for Great Clips, they visited salons and specialists. Curly, straight, long, short, nothing escaped the frosting. And can we ever forget the proud and the few who would frost their bangs and then stick them straight up?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Living Within Means


According to the government, I made about $15,000 a year. I had my own apartment. Student loans. Other miscellaneous bills. And what did I decide to do? Purchase a fancy schmancy European car.

Smart move, there.

Now, two broken windows, a broken lock, a busted AC hose, $1100 in wheel work, $500 in a purge valve, $300 in a serpentine belt, $500 in tires, and $2200 in transmission work later, she's up on Craigslist. I finally realized that she's outside my means. She's always been outside my means.

It happened right after we had the transmission work done. We took her to Dayton, thinking the worst was behind us. Assuming we could now focus on some of her cosmetic problem (like the windows). Until she wouldn't start the next day. Two or three trips to the mechanic later, and we find out she needs $600 of work. Nice. Real nice.

Will anyone want her? Probably not. She needs some work, and I really don't want to take less for her than I'd get in a trade in. But I'm hoping. Hoping that she's within SOMEONE'S means. . . . Or at least that someone will be just as stupid as I was those three years ago and get caught up in her cuteness and German accent.

Auf wiedersehen, Mary Jane.



At least her butt is cute.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Biggest Loser - Frowny Face Plus Sign

Daniel's voter card read as such:

Abby :( +

Let's take a look at that again:

Abby :( +

I'm sorry?

Abby :( +

Can we get some clarity on this? Anyone? I'm just having a difficult time deciphering whether "frowny-face plus sign" was that an attempt to make her feel better or a Freudian slip.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Desperate Writers Call for Desperate Emails

". . . I can send you a few chapters, if you'd be willing to take a look. Then you'll see. Then you'll know. I can't communicate well through email, but I promise I'm better once in Microsoft Word. Just take a look. It'll be worth your wild--I promise you."

Sigh.

No thanks, lady. I happen to cherish my wild very much.

Friday, October 23, 2009

How I Prayed Shawn Michaels into Heaven

The year was around 1995 or 1996. Somewhere in there. We were living in Des Plaines, Illinois--a suburb of Chicago and neighbor to O'Hare. Mary Poppins-esqe scenes seemed a daily occurrence, only in our case the sky darkened, the earth shook, and the windows of our house rattled as giant planes flew dangerously close overhead. At least it seemed that way.

During this time, I had but two prayers that I faithfully and dutifully whispered to God every night:

1) That our dog, Traff, would go to heaven, and
2) That WWF wrestler, Shawn Michaels would become a Christian and go to heaven.

I believed in these prayers with the utmost of sincerety, knowing and believing that my sureness and faithful repetition would result in nothing short of a win. I wholeheartedly believed I could back God into a corner with my consistent prayer life and unparalleled faith.

And then I grew up. A year or more of this sort of prayer life, and it got old. Or, I got old. I stopped such prayers, turning my requests to greater things and more pressing matters. But the innocense wasn't there. The sincerety wasn't the same. I had become adult-ish. I had grown up. And eventually, I looked upon my old prayers with humor, thinking upon my foolishness and scoffing at my subject matter--my childlike trials. Oh, if life were as simple as worrying over whether a professional entertainer's name was in the Book of Life.

Until a few years ago, when I found out that Shawn Michaels had become a born again Christian.

For me, nothing better exemplifies the faith of a child.

I'll see you in heaven, Traff.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Modeling Tips and Tricks with Tyra

Tyra says that you can't simply strike a pose and be a supermodel. You have to work at it. You have to spend hours in the mirror, exercising the various muscles in your face until you find the angle and look that reflects light in the best way possible off your face*. Making you more stunning, more beautiful, more supermodel material than ever before.

Models who do not find their perfect angles and who do not play with and use the muscles in their face are doomed to a portfolio of the ho and the hum.

While I've yet to spend hours in the mirror, analyzing the way the light bounces off my face, I did decide to see what a difference exercing face muscles can make. And boy have my eyes been opened!

Here I am doing my best look-to-the-right-but-keep-it-scandallous-with-a-slightly-parted-mouth:


And here I am doing the same pose with a few tightened face muscles (!):

Here I am doing the look-at-the-camera-but-act-disinterested pose:

And here it is with a bit of a facelift--what magic! Note how I go from disinterested to secretive:

And, finally, the over-the-shoulder-look-of-rebellion:

A few muscle tweaks here and there, and now we're talking (!). Look at how it brightens:


Well, I certainly learned a lot and I highly recommend this activity to anyone who wishes to one day be photogenic.

*Tyra also says that this process can be easily achieved if you already know how to wiggle your ears. I kid you not; she said that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sweat Shop Stories

Odd things that were said at Tad's interview today:

"Just so you can be aware, here's what you do if you sew your finger: just leave it there and call for me. We've had this happen to three people. Two were able to just leave it there until I came and got the needle out. The other one got scared and jerked his hand away. It took 6 weeks for it to heal because it wasn't a clean cut."

Please keep in mind the needles are the size of the tips of ball point pens.

"And now I'm going to show you something that happens to everyone. You see, to sew, you have to keep your foot on the pedal. Well (and this WILL happen to you), it's easy to forget about that and accidentally tap it when you've got your fingers underneath. And here, look..."

Wham! Wham! She demonstrated what happens when the pedal makes a certain part of the sewing machine slam down.

"See? It's so fast, there's nothing you can do. This will happen. Your fingers will be crushed."

"Well, look forward to seeing you on Monday!"

Friday, October 16, 2009

On Disney and Those Who Live Forever

Also still alive:

Kathryn Beaumont, the voice of Alice
Mary Costa, the voice of Princess Aurora
Ilene Woods, the voice of Cinderella

See post.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On Literature and Those Who Live Forever

Black and white movies. Books with now yellowed pages. Music that crackles and voices that sound altered, tin-like and strange. These are the things of long ago. Things that I associate with a time and place that was before my existence and therefore not a part of my reality.

And then, every now and then, someone from that other world will step in and remind me that what and who is now considered classic and timeless was only a few short decades ago considered new and current.

Elizabeth Taylor. The Dalai Lama.

And yet others will remind me that the evil and unfathomable of the past still lives. Still breathes.

Charles Manson. Fidel Castro.

And then there are times when those who I thought long dead, are proven to be alive. Unexpected in my little world of the present. In my world where the actors and actresses of the black and white movies died with the invention of color. Where the authors and writers of literature now shelved in the "classics" section, ceased to exist with the invention of computer cataloging and success of Stephen King. Where the musicians of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, chorus songs disappeared with the start of MTV.














In these moments I see the connectedness of things and begin to realize what it is to grow old.

Today, I found that Harper Lee and JD Salinger are still alive. Such a thought does not seem fathomable.



For an interesting view, see the death list.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Snack, Cracker, Pop!

What is a delicious snack that is neither too healthy nor too fattening?

Applesauce on Ritz crackers.

I kid you not. It reminds me of apple butter, tastes sweet but substantive, and who doesn't like the buttery freshness of Ritz crackers?!

Ah, buttery fresh. I am reminded of a few weeks ago when I picked up a box of Ritz Toppers to have with my tuna salad at work. After a few days, when I had run out of the topping, I brought the crackers home at Tad's request. I'd surmise the box was about half full. Probably more.

They were polished of within a day.

"Tad! Those were my snacks!"

"I couldn't stop! They were so buttery fresh!!"

If he only were brave enough to try them with applesauce...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Trip to the Salon: Part 2

What if I told you Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Minnie Driver, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Amy Ryan, and Gwyneth Paltrow had a love child. What if I told you that love child was me?

I have a love-hate relationship with celebrity comparisons. The comparisons are one-time deals and highly unreliable. I mean seriously. Nicole Kidman? Minnie Driver?

I'm beginning to think that people recognize me by my round face, blond hair, and upturned nose.

*****

There is a certain part of the salon experience that I find completely awkward and uncomfortable: the wash.

I can only assume the general public enjoys having their head massaged and cleansed at the hands of a professional, and under normal circumstances I would as well. But I simply cannot get over how its done. It's no different than placing your neck in a sort of porcelain brace only to dangle your head into an over-sized urinal.

Yes. I said “over-sized urinal”. And not just any over-sized urinal—the type that hang out in the middle of the room. Not off to the side or behind a privacy screen. Smack dab in the middle of the room like you're in some military barracks or prison.

And then they try to talk to you, expecting answers. Except you can't hear a thing apart from the roar of water gushing over your ears and the magnified sound of your own heartbeat.

It's at this point in the process that I try to put on my most serene, de-stress face, hoping my stylist will get the hint and abstain from chatter. But this time, the water wasn't deafening, and I could hear every word.

And they knew it.

"Have you ever seen Ever After?" the stylist next to us asked my hair dresser.

I quietly panicked as my ears perked up. I knew exactly where this was headed. Call it intuition, call it super powers, call it past experience, but I was about to be either gigantically insulted or complimented right there with my head in a urinal. There was no derailing this train.

"Yeah, I think," my stylist replied.

"It's with Drew Barrymore," the stylist hinted.

I tried to focus on my breathing. And the water.

"Yeah, yeah."

I braced myself. Here it came.

In her most isn't-that-the-darndest voice, the other stylist said, "Your client looks just like one of the stepsisters."

And there it was.

"Oh," my stylist said. "Yeah. She kind of does." I couldn't tell if she bought into it. She's very good at feigning interest. Very good.

"Yeah, it's probably just this angle. But her face,” she said in amazement. “Have you ever seen the movie?" She now turned to me.

"A long time ago. I don't really remember," I shrugged it off.

"Well you look just like her."

“Yeah, I wouldn't know,” I said.

"She's a real pretty girl," my stylist jumped in, obviously realizing that I could easily take offense.

And the conversation continued....

*****

The saddest part of this whole fiasco is that I'll never be a good candidate for America's Next Top Model.

“This face,” Tyra will say, “I've seen this face before. Lots of times. On many people. It's not fresh. It's not new.”

And I'll be sent home.

*****

So what are some of your celebrity comparisons? I want to hear them all!

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Trip to the Salon: Part 1

I polled the masses and the verdict was unanimous. Simple, Layered Cut (style #2) was the favorite over Messy Punk Rocker (style #3) both here and on facebook. But like any good politician, I disregarded the voice of the people and in the end did what I thought best. I do, after all, have a better grasp on what this country needs.

So, without further ado, I present my BEFORE picture:


And now my AFTER pictures:



I apologize. It was late. I had no make up. I couldn't take a good self portrait to save my life. (But it turns out these photos have nominated me for the Nobel Price in Photography...sorry, that was bad. I shouldn't have).

Anyway, eventually I'll post good photos of the hair and you can see that it is okay...I'm not sure it's totally there yet, but I like it enough to be happy! And shout out to Kirsti and Ashley for recommending A Day Away Salon and Spa.

Tune in tomorrow to hear about my experience and a quasi-celebrity comparison that is about to throw me in to a writing tantrum. Consider yourself warned.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Celebrating Winter and Slipper Boots


These are my blips. They are one of my most favored possessions. Imagine my joy when the thermometer hit the 40's this past week and our apartment heater still had not been turned on.

Pure joy.


The Psalm of Winter
The cold is my friend. I shall not want.
It makes me lie under layers of blankets. It leads me to the kitchen for coffee and hot coco. It restores my damaged hair.
Yea, though I struggle through the hottest parts of the year, I shall fear no sunburn. For the cold will soon be with me.
Its layered sweaters and slipper boots (blips), they comfort me. It covers my neck with scarves, my lungs overflow.
Surely cute outfits and un-sweaty palms will follow me all the days of winter.
And I will dwell in the flurries of its snowfall forever.



(These are my other pair of blips . . . Tad is making it a tradition to get me a new pair every winter. These are my Christmas 07 blips. The other aforeshown pair is from Christmas 08)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Worker

One of the saddest things I see on a near-daily basis is an older man, probably in his 50's or 60's, who stands on the corner of Clinton and Rudisill with a cardboard Little Caesar's Hot N Ready sign in his hands. He paces the corner, sign held out but not up. A hat shields his eyes.

Tad said he saw this man on a bicycle, once. Riding toward the restaurant, his visible work attire giving away his intended destination. He didn't try to hide it. He didn't cover it up.

I don't know who this guy is, what he's been through or why he's now operating as a minimum wage employee. I can only imagine he's a recent layoff victim--a factory worker through and through who's been forced to try his hand at what may seem beneath him. Yet he doesn't give up. He doesn't give in. He keeps on, shift after shift. And every time I see him, I wonder at his determination to make it. To get through whatever it is that has put him on that corner. To come out victorious.

For us, it's a constant reminder that others have it much worse than we do. And we can complain about Tad's unemployment and my hopelessly broken down Volkswagen and how we can't spend money on this and that, but at the end of the day neither of us is holding a sign on a street corner at 55 years of age.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Confessions of an Automobile Elitist

You know you're a European car owner when . . .

. . . $750 in repairs sounds reasonable, if not relieving.


*I promise to give the run down once this whole mess is over (or on its way to being over), but Tad and I are about to do what should have been done ages ago... and I'll say this: I'm not a quitter. I'm a fighter. But there are times when its best for both parties to just call it quits.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Nightly Hallucination

I awaken, startled, in the night. There is a stenciled portrait of carousel horses on the ceiling above our bed. I bolt upright, staring at it.

"What, what is it?" Tad asks, equally startled.

"There's a pattern on the ceiling that needs to be colored in," I reply, my eyes focused on what now appear to be partially colored ponies.

"Oh, it's okay, I already colored it in," Tad assures me.

"You did?!" The portrait looked far from colored in, but I could have been mistaken.

"No," Tad says. I sense the amusement in his voice. "There's nothing up there."

"Oh," I say, watching the ponies disappear into thin air.

And I iey back down and go to sleep.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Curious City of Fort Wayne

Things I find strange about Fort Wayne and Fort Waynians:

1) The streets flood within seconds. I am not even joking here. Seconds. I have oftentimes thought that Fort Wayne would be better off as a paddy field.
2) It is not safe to drive in the outermost lanes, because at any given moment they WILL turn into turn-only lanes. I will never forget when an old lady in church said that she wasn't afraid of anything...except for when the lanes become turn-only lanes and you don't have enough time to correct the problem.
3) Give the people of Fort Wayne a reason to bust out their lawn chairs, and they'll come in droves. DROVES. It could be the hottest day ever recorded on the face of the planet, and there they'll be, dragging their super-sleek chair-in-a-bag out to the middle of a grassy knoll to watch some old guys play Beach Boys covers.
4) They named their baseball team the Tin Caps, seemingly oblivious to the obvious nickname of the Pot Heads.
5) There is a Mexican restaurant on every block.
6) During the summer, there is a festival every week. I kid you not. Greek Fest, Latin Fest, Rib Fest, German Fest, Three Rivers Festival, etc.
7) The people of Fort Wayne rallied against spending millions of taxpayer dollars to fix up dilapidated schools and instead decided to build the ultimate minor league baseball stadium.
8) From the baseball stadium, the city looks unAmerican. Maybe Balkan. Or Russian. And there is a particular apartment building by the Anthony St. Wal-Mart that looks like it was hauled over here from Somalia.
9) There is only one true housing project that I know of. Only one. I am used to three or more.
10) Everyone blows red lights. A cop could be right there, waiting for his light to turn green and I guarantee someone will blow through the red without getting pulled over.

. . . And to think I got my license suspended for being rear-ended.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Desperate Housewife - Part 3 (of infinite) - Toilet Paper FAIL

The toilet paper I recently purchased is neither soft nor plentiful. What is this? I thought toilet paper was to be one or the other (with only a privileged few able to afford rolls with both attributes).

Gah! Even the Wal-mart stuff I used to buy in my waitressing days was better than this stuff. And to think, we now have to suffer through 24 rolls because I was trying to be all economical and frugal and middle-aged housewife.

Silly, silly me.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday's Run

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chicken Pizza

Here's what we had for dinner:

Homemade chicken pizza

Chicken, green pepper, onion, mozzarella cheese--what more could you ask for? For sauce, we used some spaghetti sauce we had lying around. For crust, we used Jiffy's boxed crust. It's like 84 cents.

According to Tad, he's the Cheese Master and I'm the Crust Master. He's really good at shredding cheese and I'm really good at making the dough a perfect circle.


The best thing about homemade pizza is you can pile on as much of your toppings as you want. The worst thing is the dough is really really sticky which makes kneading it not as fun as it should be. Lots of flour is required--and it will most likely get on your shirt.

One of these days I'll make my own crust from scratch. But you just can't beat 84 cents.