Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ch-ch-ch Change

Can you grow it? Yes, you can!

Introducing Chia Obama! Which face will you choose? Happy or Determined?

Celebrate and witness the change right in the comfort of your own home!

*sold at your local Walgreens

When the Chia Obama commercial came on the television during Man vs. Food, the words out of Tad's mouth were:

Amanda? You're not going to believe this.

And my response:

I've never wanted a chia pet more in my life.

Which face will you choose? My vote is for Determined.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tough Questions with Fidel Castro

So . . . Fidel Castro is up and kickin'. Seeing him alive brings back a deep desire I've had for a number of years.

I want nothing more than to meet with the former Cuban Prime Minister and ask him the 'tough' questions. You know, questions like:

- If you could do it all over again, would you? What would you change?
- Do you believe Cuba is better off because of you? How so?
- What about the vast number of emigrants? What of the claims that you are a dictator?

Then, I'd lean in real close, drop my voice a few notches and wrinkle my brow:

- And what about Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, Fidel? He was one of your best friends . . . your most trusted allies. He helped you achieve victory. And yet he died in Bolivia at the hand of the enemy when many sources report he could have been saved. You, Fidel, could have saved him. How often have you thought of your old friend? Do you have any regrets over the choices you made?

I truly believe I'd get away with it because I'm nothing more than a silly girl with an odd interest in the Cuban Revolution and no real media ties or ulterior motives. Just a girl who wants answers. All I have to do is put together some snazzy letter with some sort of persuasive bent on why it would be a good political/PR move and presto. Lo tengo.

And face it, now that he's a weathered old man with less of a gusto toward muerte, I stand a good chance.

Now, if I can only dig up my old address book . . . where did I put that thing . . .

Also, this is a rather odd endorsement. Doesn't really give the warm and cozies about health care, now does it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Crisp Apples Should Not Have To Mean Apple Crisp

Can someone please let me in on the secret of choosing non-mushy apples? Anyone?

My latest apple-purchase found me with 2 crispers and 3 mushers. I'm choking the last one down as we speak.

Please, your assistance will be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I've been craving this for years. Possibly even a decade. Someone brought it to a Bible study that I attended when I was about 15 or 16. It was simply divine. I've been thinking about it ever since. Longing for it.

Finally, we were reunited.

The raspberries are a bit tart, but that's because I was stupid and settled for frozen ones. But the pretzel die for.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Few Facts You May Not Have Known About Jackie Robinson . . . As Told by Brandon

"Journal Make Up"

Jakie Robinson was a famous base ball player. She hit a lot of home runs. She could hit the ball the best on her team. She could hit a ball out of a ball park. That is some things on Jackie robinson.*

*This delicious example of a homework assignment tumbled out of one of Tad's library books.

A Tennis Player's Bane

Me: I think I want to be Maria Sharapova.
Tad: The tennis player?
Me: Yeah.
Tad: She's like a stick.
Me: A beastly stick.
Tad: Yeah, in one arm.

Ba-da pshhh*

*the sound drums make when someone makes a joke.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Men with Jobs Are Hard to Find

We're getting ready to head out, because Tad has a second interview for the position of Team Member at an upstanding and up and coming food service chain. I know, I know. But this is especially exciting, for, if hired, he'll have the chance to move up the chain of command. And then he'll stop saying things like:

"A college degree is only so much toilet paper."


"I spend $100000 on nothing. Nothing!"


" [INSERT NAME HERE] has a job! [INSERT NAME HERE] has a job! What do I have? A $100000 piece of toilet paper!"

We commemorated this event with a taco dinner.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Aaron Schock: The Physique We Need

I interrupt your regularly scheduled Swedish Pankakes programming to give you this gem from the Huffinton Post in which Aaron Schock depicts his totally-OMG conversation with Michelle Obama.

Now, I'm not a HUGE Aaron Schock fan, (although I really like the fact that he's young and not a recovering hippie). I'm a minor fan, who will on occassion engage in Aaron Schock discussion with my girlfriends from Peoria. ("What? He went to a small group in your church?" "No! I can't believe he held the DOOR FOR YOU!" "Well, his dad was MY dad's doctor!"*). And, I just may be apart of an Aaron Schock fan club on Facebook. *quotes are all facticious.

But all jokes aside, I'm really not a huge fan...mostly because . . . well . . . for no reason except that once (and I don't remember when or what it was about) he was given a 15 second window to say something impressive on national TV and he totally blew it. In fact, he said nothing at all. But I digress . . .

Wow, I REALLY digressed . . .

Okay, so check out this comment on the HuffPo article here:

"People report on Schock like he is some cute kid who deserves to be patted on the head and smiled at. Shock is a very savvy politician, who is heavily bankrolled by the christian conservatives who run Peoria, IL. He is part of a very wealthy, entrenched, farming family that ranks on the level of Caterpillar in downstate clout. And yes, reports are rampant here in Peoria about Shock being gay.

When will Perez Hilton and Co. direct their attention toward Shock? When will reporters report on the real Schock, instead of the personality who is so doing a P.R. push by constantly talking about his abs, flexing his wit, and modeling clothes?

Schock is not a joke - Huffington Post is letting him off way to easy with the fluff pieces. He is a force to be reckoned with, and the fact that he is young is a distraction. He is willing to let this first year be about getting his face out there, no matter what it takes."
- Airoep

Really? Christian conservatives run Peoria? Really?

And if Schock's gay, why is that a problem, huh? Come on, I though The Huffington Post prided itself on being liberal and ahead of the times.


At least the guy understood Schock is a force to be reckoned with.

Monday, August 17, 2009

When Counting Blessings Doesn't Pay Off

Today has seen no fewer than five* torrential downpours. And, because Fort Wayne was a rice field in a former life, the entire city flooded. Within seconds.

My drive to work consisted of 1) me fearing that the 1990 Honda Civic wouldn't make it through the 6-9 inch pools of water, and 2) people getting wet.

As I braced myself upon entering yet another flood zone, I noticed a poor soul on a bicycle. Covered with a green rain poncho, the man was doing all he could to keep his hood up and the bike on the sidewalk.

Until the truck in front of me tore through one of the flood zones, dumping gallons of water on the unsuspecting bicyclist. GALLONS. You have no idea. It was like splash mountain.

I really felt sorry for the guy. His shoes must have been soaked. His face definitely was soaked. And his poncho was suddenly very unnecessary.

How lucky I was to have a car! How fortunate I was to not be splashed upon or given an unwanted bath! How blessed!!!

The next thing I knew, an oncoming truck tore through another giant puddle.

The water shot through my open window and splashed my face to the point where I could no longer see through my glasses.

Somewhere, a heavenly Being was laughing.

*during the writing of this post, the number had to be changed from 'four' to 'five'.

August 16
Words: 721
Total: 7,409

Sunday, August 16, 2009

6,688 Words Is Eight Percent of a Novel

Halfway through 30 Days of {blank}, and while my numbers really aren't all that impressive, I must remind you that my real battle has always been with simple discipline.

Let's see if I can hit 12000 words when all is said and done. Because that would be like 15 percent of a novel. Then, I'd only have to do this 6 more times before I have a finished product....hmmm....come to think of it, that's quite a bit...maybe I should rethink this whole thing...

August 15
Words: 594
Total: 6,688

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ukraine's Got [way more] Talent

I simply had to share this video with you. Promise me you'll watch it. I guarantee it's better than poking around on Facebook or getting tomorrow's weather.

Kseniya won Ukraine's Got Talent recently. This is one of her performances. She's depicting Germany's invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII:

Now if THAT isn't one of the most beautiful things you've seen in a long time, then I want to know why you haven't headed out to see the eye doctor.

(Is it just me or is Oksana Baiul the judge who's crying?)

August 14
Words: 278
Total: 6,094

Friday, August 14, 2009

Why I am the worst Ironman in the world.

It wasn't because my shirt came out more wrinkled than before I pressed and finagled it.

It wasn't the fact that I ignored my iron's beeps, thinking it was my cell phone (which wasn't even in the room because I had left it at work).

It wasn't the extreme amount of time it took me on two garments (1 hour).

It wasn't the water droplets that kept falling out onto my garments because I kept accidentally nudging the spray button.

It wasn't even my inability to prevent the ironing board from rocking and almost knocking my piping hot iron to the ground.

No. It wasn't any of those things.

It was the fact that when I was done and went to unplug the iron, there the cord sat, a foot away from the socket. Come to find out, the beeping I had been hearing twenty minutes before calling it a day was actually the iron telling me that it was shutting down. It had euthanized itself, pulling the cord out of anguish.

August 12
Words: o
Total: 5,511

August 13
Words: 305
Total: 5,816

Thursday, August 13, 2009

His Airness

I had a perfectly awesome and witty post ready, but I left it at work. Literally. I wrote it up quickly and was going to post it when I ate my lunch .... but then I didn't. And then I left work. And now it's on my work laptop and I don't feel like recreating it.

So, what's a girl to talk about on the fly?

Let's take a walk down memory lane. Prepare to cover your eyes:

And they wonder why I really really really hate chubby cheeks?

The back reads:
Mandi - July 16, 1993
At Danny Z___'s Birthday
Party, Hanover Park, IL

I still don't know how they managed to get MJ out there in the prime of his career, but what can I say? The guy has a big heart.

P.s. Thanks, Dad, for sending me this one!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Extra, Extra! Husband Uses Craigslist to Turn New Leaf

This just in: Avid collector, Tad Luedeke, is quote turning over a new leaf, end quote, and selling many of his old toys.

Luedeke says, and I quote, You know where my stuff is now? It's sitting in boxes in the corner. And it's going to keep sitting there. End quote.

He went on to say, quote, I just realized I have too much stuff and no use for it anymore. End quote.

The list of items to go up for sale soon on Craigslist include

HeroScape Collection
Magic the Gathering cards (an estimated 5 decks)
Nerf Magstrike
Nerf Recon
Nerf Titan Launcher with Hornet and Scout
Pirates of the Spanish Main game collection
Mage Knight collection

When asked why he's doing this, Luedeke said, quote, I'm a new man. I'm married. Oh, and this really cool game called Arcane Legions is coming out soon and I want to be sure to have enough money so that I can buy a bunch right away. So put it on your blog in case anyone wants to buy some stuff. End quote.

He later revealed that in two years' time even his Arcane Legions items would probably be for sale.

Reporting from Dreamland, this is Dandi Mandi, wondering whoare you and what have you done with my husband?

Back to you, reality.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Word Count: Day 11

August 11
Words: 732
Total: 5,511

My Light, my Salvation, my Alarm Clock

Jesus woke me up this morning.

And while I wish I could report that He had something earth-shattering to say, He left me with one simple question:

"What time is it?"

"Time?" I rolled over, closing my eyes.

"I'm serious, human. What time is it?"

My hand flopped to the side of the bed and grabbed my phone. I brought it inches from my sleep-swollen face and pressed a key.


I pressed it again.


I pressed a zillion keys in a row.


My phone, which doubles as my alarm clock, had died during the night. Jesus woke me up to let me know.

So, just in case you were wondering, yes, Jesus DOES want you to get to work on time.

(This is not an isolated event, as both myself and college roommate Ashlee experienced this phenomenon multiple times in our college career. Multiple times.)

August 10
Words: 409
Total: 4,779

The Ultimate Tummy Ache

Today, Tad sent me this, with the email's subject line being:

The Ultimate Tummy Ache

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dad Pitt - Photos of Brad Pitt |

Okay, before I put up my real post for the day, I'd like to leave you with this:

Brad Pitt looks like a dad of the car-selling, insurance-pushing, 8 to 5 sort.

Also, Tad should get a haircut similar to the one in the linked photos....after all, his hair naturally sweeps to the side (as shown in the photos)

Yes or no?

Photos: Brad Pitt - Exclusive Photos of Brad Pitt |

Shared via AddThis

August 9
Words: 517
Total: 4,370

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Musings: My Job in Social Media

For all of you who think that I spend my day surfing the web and reading blogs and commenting on message boards and watching the latest YouTube hit, have I got something for you!

Finally, a finished project that is not only tangible, but will hopefully put to rest all of those comments, like:

"So how are the blogs?"


"I wish I could spend my day surfing the web."

It's not that these comments are a bother, because seriously, while the average person may know about Twitter and Facebook (and blogging and YouTube and podcasting, etc), they may NOT fully realize how following and tracking and understanding all of that stuff could actually be someone's job.

So, when I took a job in social media and was slapped with the title of Social Media Coordinator and told to conduct market research and strive to understand the target audience while using technical jargon as opposed to common slang . . . well, what I did suddenly wasn't so clear.

So, I ended up letting people think what they want. Even if they ended up thinking that I sat around reading celebrity websites and watching Scarlet Takes a Tumble.

But not anymore!

Now, when someone asks me what I do, I'll say: "Go here."

And if they're a bit more confused, I'll say: "I helped develop that site, and provided most of the content." Then, I'll push my glasses up my nose and say: "It was based highly off of my research, of course."

And then I'll smile proudly, intead of cowering behind terms like Search Engine Optimization and Web Analytics and WOM, because now even I have a handle on what I do.

August 8
Words: 134
Total: 3,853

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Word Count: Day 7

August 7
Words: 1,032
Total: 3,719

Friday, August 7, 2009

Super Duper Smile

Here's my fake smile:

Here it is again:

And again (this time we were pretending to pose for our TV show's Season 1 box set cover, which would explain why Tad looks like 'the serious one', LD looks like 'the laid back one', Bekah and Brad look like 'the happy couple' and I look like 'the positive one'):

You're welcome.

But You Didn't Tell Me That You Have to Put a Roof Over Your Sim's House and Now a Bunch of Snow is in My Man Room!

After talking each other out of throwing together some items to sell at the Kern Valley neighborhood garage sale (Tad didn't want to spend his Friday looking through his toys, and I didn't want to spend my evening looking through clothes . . . only to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and sit in a lawn chair . . . ), Tad and I decided we're going to be garage salers tomorrow.

On my list? A small computer desk and books.

On Tad's list? Probably things he'll just end up re-selling at NEXT year's sale. I'm not even joking. He has quite the knack for brief hobbies.

Which, I'm totally enjoying right now, because suddenly he's been on a Sims 2 kick, which means that instead of talking about team stats and ousting terrorists, he's talking about expanding onto his house and how he turned down a job offer so that his "dude" could fulfill his lifetime aspiration of being a top chef!

This excites me very much.

August 6
Words: 609
Total: 2,687

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Homeless Hang Out

Because Tad doesn't have a job, he's had to find some way to occupy his time and curb his inner desire to play video games all day long. His solution? Nearly everyday, Tad rides his bike to the downtown library.

The Allen County Public Library is pretty pimp. There's a Dunkin' Donuts on the main floor, we have the largest (or second largest) genealogical section in the US, and there's a substantial number of DVD's, Blue Ray movies and CDs that can be checked out for three days. So, it's not the shabbiest place on the block.

But still.

The other day, when he parked his bike at the bike rack and took a look around, he realized he was one of those people. The people who ride their bikes to the library because they don't have jobs, don't cars or have anything better to do all day. Some would call them homeless. Others would call them deadbeats. Tad, is neither, yet he could easily be mistaken as one.

My response to this was less than sympathetic.

"Well at least you don't have to go there to use the internet. Remember the entire summer I spent there looking for a job? Sat in that stinky room next to greasy-haired creepers who are managing to hold 15 IM conversations at once while playing Yahoo pool and chatting with their latest MySpace booty call. Yeah, that made me feel good about myself."

So, maybe I could work on being more supportive and understanding.

In the meantime, here's a photo of the internet cafe I frequented while in Antalya, Turkey. It was always full of guys playing Halo (or whatever their equivalent was) and, if I wasn't careful, my emails would show up with unidentafiable characters, such as ş or ç.

And if I really wasn't careful, the police would come and raid our apartment (which they did twice).


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Word Count: Day 5

August 5
Words: 273
Total: 2,078

Help I'm Alive

Word Count: Day 4

It's only been going 4 days, and I already had an evening where I simply did not want to write. Thankfully, I still managed 171 words (much better than Day 1's 74).

But still. Grrrrrr.

August 4
Words: 171
Total: 1,805

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Honeymoon's Over: Day 108

I spoke of my singing disorder here.

Yesterday, in the midst of belting out "It's Gonna Be Me", I finally let it all out and posed the question I've been too fearful to ask:

Tad? Do you get annoyed by all my singing?

I've avoided this question because I didn't want to deal with the answer. I didn't want to stop my personal serenade, yet, every time I caught myself transitioning from "Creep" to "May the Horse Be with You", I felt a pang of guilt. Was I driving Tad crazy?

He barely looked my way and replied:

No . . . I mostly just tune you out. Which is probably why I don't hear you when you say other stuff either.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Word Count

August 3
Words: 933
Total: 1,634

Wedding the Maiden from the Fields

Once upon a time in the land of Sir Wayne's Fort, there lived a lonely boy named Andrew. Every Thursday evening at approximately 9:30pm, this boy was visited by the matchmaking gypsy, Amonda. It was during one of these visits that this foreseer took pity upon the boy and said, "It is not good for Andrew to be alone. He shall have a girlfriend."

Amonda told the boy of a fair maiden with golden hair who lived in the fields. Her name was Ashlee with Two "e's".

At first the boy seemed to question Amonda's vision, but after a zillion fortnights of poking and prodding, and a number of sessions in which the constellation, Cassiopeia, was sought for counsel, the boy stormed to the fields to rescue fair Ashlee with Two "e's" from her life in the middle of nowhere.

Three full moons later (or however long eight months is), the maiden agreed to be his.

The pair will be wed in January. Festivities to follow.

Congratulations, Ashlee and Andrew!
And now, a few funny photos . . .

Stiff fingers:

And I can only assume she's trying to be a dolphin in this photo . . . or dead weight:

But we like this one as long as the smooching is minimal (no, we are not jealous):

And we definitely like this one:

So, there you have it. My reason to lose weight . . . a bridesmaid dress!!

*Photos courtesy of Ashlee's facebook page . . . because there are a zillion there.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Word Count

August 2

Words: 627
Total: 701

Staying Above the Yellow Line

Here is an unflattering photo of me in a shirt I haven't worn in public since circa 2007. This is because I became too skinny for the shirt. Now, as the picture clearly shows, the shirt has shrunk.

Or, I have grown.

In a conversation with my sister, we joked that I was the perfect candidate for a commercial:

"After getting married, I just lost motivation. I gained weight and got to the point where no matter what I did, I wasn't capable of summoning the strength to work it off."

The REAL joke, however, was that I've only been married 3.5 months. 3.5 months and I'm already a walking, talking infomercial. Apparently, I fall off the wagon hard and fast.

But there's good news! I once again have a reason to loose weight. But it's top secret.

(More info coming later . . .)

Word Count

August 1
Words: 74
Total: 74

Well, this is a disappointing start.