Friday, October 29, 2010

Hello Punkin

Meet Fred and Joseph. Joseph is the triangle eyed punkin and Fred is the scared soul punkin. When we opened Fred up to perform surgery, we found he had a tumor...Look at the tumor guts:

Sadness, but that is why Fred looks so scared. Because in his head, he's dealing with this...

That's the tumor. But our punkins are adorable. For Fred we used one of the stencils that came in the carving kit. Joseph was freelanced the old school way. I kind of prefer that, just a couple of triangles and a smile.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Winter Can Be Exciting

Living in Minnesota and not being a huge winter outdoor activity person can be annoying. I used to ski, but don't anymore. Mostly because it's a huge time and money suck. I'd go sledding, but don't really have the proper outdoors clothing. I love ice skating, but no one will ever go with me. Sigh. Plus, I've often found that in Minnesota when you want to do the outdoor activities, it's usually too freaking cold.

But, there are actually some really good indoor winter things that I am highly anticipating this winter. Here they are:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One. Even though it's coming out more in fall than winter, I'm counting it as a winter activity because I probably won't see it for awhile. For one of the HP movies, Kara and I went on opening night and we were surrounded by geeks in costumes who talked throughout the entire movie. I prefer to wait on movies like this until the crowds have died down.
  • Hubble omnitheatre movie at the Science Museum. I've heard it's awesome and I love the omnitheatre!
  • Speaking of omnitheatre...Omnifest 2011.
  • And, speaking of the Science Museum, they will play host to the King Tut exhibit starting in February.
  • The Minnesota History Museum has a George Washington exhibit also opening in February. If it's anything like the Ben Franklin exhibit, it's sure to be a winner.
  • Christmas time! I love everything Christmas. Wassail, tree decorating, writing out Christmas cards, traditional Christmas movies, cookie baking, present wrapping. I can't wait for all of that this year. I'm also hoping to catch either the Guthrie's Christmas Carol or one of the Nutcracker performances.
  • Another thing beginning in February is an exhibit at the MIA with some Venetian paintings. I think this one could be a hit or miss kind of a thing. I usually like the MIA's exhibits, but think they are a little bit expensive.

Ultimately, I prefer the warmer months of the year, but with all of these things to fill up my wintery days, I'm hoping that these next few months go by quickly!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stir-Fry A Go-Go

Remember a long ass time ago I talked about making a lifelist? Well, I did do that and then never really talked about it again. So, I'm bringing it back. Mostly because now I've got results. Here is lifelist #44: Learn How to Make A Good Stir Fry.

When I was little, my mom had a wok and she would make stir fry quite a bit. I always missed it. It's one of those meals that seems so difficult to make and you need this big pan to do it, but at the same time it's so good for you that you want to be able to make it any time you want.

About a year ago, my friend Becca moved to Korea and she had a "I'm Moving to Korea" sale. I bought this awesome wok from her. Then it sat on my shelf for about six months. Then I realized that there was a pretty decent recipe in my Martha Stewart Classics cookbook for chicken stir fry.

The results were AWESOME. Capital A. Here's some pics.

It's got the perfect blend of crunch, spice and saltiness. And non-vegetable eaters will actually eat their vegetables (I actually know this from experience). I'm not going to give away the recipe because I feel like that's really wrong, but the basics are: oil in pan with garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger and I think maybe something else. Then peppers (sweet and hot) and onions. Then carrots. Then broccoli and baby corn. Then mushrooms. Then the meat. The recipe calls for chicken, but I've used chicken and shrimp and both work perfectly. Then bean sprouts. Then some soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar.

If you like it extra spicy add some Sri Racha sauce.

The results are truly amazing. Now I'm an expert stir fry maker. Thanks lifelist!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Have Questions

Does anyone else watch reality shows and have multiple questions running through their heads? I can't be the only one. Here are some of my questions:
  1. On Man v. Food, how is that guy not way fatter? Also, how is he still alive?
  2. On Survivor, what do the women do when it's their special time? And do they bring in waxers? Because honestly, I've watched that show in high def and there is no hair down there. And if you aren't waxing, there's always hair down there...ALWAYS.
  3. On The Amazing Race, when do they eat? You never really see them eating meals, but they must do it. So, does the show provide the food and if not, do they have to take time out of the race to purchase and eat food or is it built in that every team has to take 30 minutes for lunch?
  4. On any of the Real Housewives shows, how do they set up the events? Because they are all super contrived and sometimes it seems like the women don't even see each other outside of the show. For instance, did the producers tell Ramona to renew her vows with Mario, or did she go to the producers with that idea.
  5. Why does it seem like the Project Runway judges always love the ugliest, cheapest looking shit? I'm sorry, but this season has broken me of the Project Runway love. Michael Costello's Statute of Liberty dress was plain, boring and totally unoriginal. And everything else he's made this season is the same.
  6. I love how on America's Next Top Model, Tyra is one minute telling the models that they should embrace "themselves" and the next minute is telling them that "themselves" is going to get them kicked out of the show because it's not modelly enough. Which isn't really a question, more of a comment that Tyra is hysterically crazy.
  7. Does anyone else notice that the model judge on Top Chef never has an opinion of her own. She always waits for the other judges to say something and then she agrees. Always.

There are more questions, I'm sure. But, reality television always puzzles me. Mostly because no one really talks about what goes on behind the scenes. I think an awesome idea for a book is to do a total expose on reality television shows.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Angela's Ashes

This is a really good book. It is filled with the sadness, though. And is in teeny tiny print, so it takes you an awful long time to read not that many pages. And you are depressed whilst you are reading not that many pages. What I'm saying is, this book almost broke me.

A few years ago, I suggested the Twilight series to a friend. I said they were just dumb, light, fast reads. Well, I guess she hated them. Months later I said something to her about what books she was reading and she said. "Nothing lately, Twilight ruined books for me and I haven't wanted to read anything since." I kind of felt like a shit and have never recommended Twilight to anyone since.

Anyhow, as much as I loved the writing and can see why this book is so good, it was sort of too much to take. The book details Frank McCourt's early years where his parents moved their brood from NYC back to their home country of Ireland. They had no money, the father was a drunk and couldn't keep a job, the mom was an enabler who couldn't stop getting pregnant and the kids kept dying. I kept thinking that no more kids could die, but then another one would pass away. Luckily the parents kept replacing them.

A lot of people compared this book to The Glass Castle and while I understand the comparison, I can't get on board with that. The Glass Castle was okay, but this book is gorgeous and tragic and so finely written that you can taste and feel and smell the squalor that surrounds the author. The Glass Castle did not have that effect. It is like The Glass Castle in that you want to smack the mother upside the head and sucker punch the dad.

I gave the book 3/5 or 8/10 stars. I rated it a bit lower because of the depression it sent me into, but if you like grim, it won't be so bad.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Divorce Fireworks

A month or so ago I was at a wedding in Wisconsin. At the reception hall I went into the bathroom and was pleased as punch to find those bathroom stall advertisements posted all over. I was even more pleased to find the above advertisement.

Fireworks By S.A.M. will do year round fireworks shows for weddings, anniversaries, graduations and even divorces! What a great way to celebrate the dissolution of a marriage! Invite the kids as well. Hey Johnny, I hate your dad, let's party!

Side note...when I was a kid I thought the term was firecracks, which i think is actually a better word than fireworks. It's more expressive. I was a genius child.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dairy Queen Slushie in My Car

I have a problem. A couple of years ago I got a DQ Mr. Misty in Grape. I don't even know why, but I know I was running to some kind of outdoor event. I drank about 3/4 of the Misty and then had to go. I left the remaining 1/4 of the Misty in the DQ Cup in my car's cup holder. That was the worst mistake.

Later that day, after only a few hours of the damn thing sitting in my car, I picked up the cup and the bottom fell out. The 1/4 of the Misty had eaten through the tough paper! That's how sugary and syrupy and concentrated those effers are. The Misty juice ate through paper in just a few hours! That's worse than Diet Coke!

So, now I have a real issue. There is standing Misty liquid in my cup holder (and it had overflowed to the next cup holder so really ruined both cup holders). How do you get that out? My solution was to spoon it out into another cup. That didn't work and made more of a mess. The only thing I could think of was to take a shit ton of paper towels and sop up the Misty. That worked, but left sticky Misty residue all over my cup holders.

Then I took steamy hot water and soap and scoured the cup holders within an inch of their life. The scalding water didn't make a dent in the stickiness. I tried scraping...that got some of it off, but still left a residue.

Here I am, two years later, and every time I put something in the cup holder it leaves with a sticky layer of Misty. That shit has staying power. Plus a random penny fell into the holder and is now glued down. And every once in awhile, my long luxurious locks fall from my head right into the holder and get stuck there. It's disgusting, but I'm out of options.

Lesson for you all...when drinking a Misty, never leave a wounded soldier (and by that I mean drink it all up or dump it out, but never leave it unattended...actually the wounded soldier analogy doesn't really work, but I'm too lazy to change it). But question...any ideas on how to get this stuff out of the cup holder for good?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Random Acts of Douchebaggery

Is this picture clear enough for you. Let me explain it. Here I am, in a car, in downtown Minneapolis during rush hour. I'm trying to get somewhere. You see, I am a person who goes places, does things. And here's this douche on a bike also driving down the middle of a downtown Minneapolis road during rush hour.

Let me just explain something for all the bikers of the world. Your bike does not go as fast as a car. Lance Armstrong can't even ride his bike as fast as a car. That's science. So, when you take your douchey little bike and clog up an entire lane of traffic, then all of the cars behind you have to drive at mind-numbingly slow speeds. Do you understand how obnoxious this is? You don't, I know, because you are a douche, but I'm just here to tell you. You are obnoxious. I mean look at this:He's turning IN FRONT OF ONCOMING TRAFFIC. It's like he thinks he owns the road.
And since I'm RADding the bikers of Minneapolis, I'm going to take a spin over to St. Paul. I will not leave those assclowns out. I live near Shepard Road. For those not from this area, Shepard Road is a side road that runs along the Mississippi River. It's sort of like a split highway, two lanes going in each direction with a tree-lined median down the middle. Shepard Road's speed limits vary, but it's usually around 45 miles per hour.
Shepard Road also has this awesome walking trail along the river. Last summer I spent almost every night walking the trail and it was divine. In April of this year, they tore the whole pathway up and it was unusable until just last month. The reason that this walkway was ripped up was so that they could widen the trail and include a lane for walkers and bikers. You see, the bikers don't like biking where other people are walking and they bitch about it nonstop. If you are on the walking trail and a biker is behind you, they will rudely yell at you to get out of their way. Why do they do this? Because they are douches who think they own the effing road and also because they don't like riding behind people who will slow them down. Irony, anyone? So, now they have their own lane to ride where they don't have to worry about walking peeps and they don't have to gum up the traffic on Shepard Road.
Why, then, have I been caught behind four different bikers on Shepard Road this past month. Is the brand new biking trail not good enough for them? Do they just enjoy being totally obnoxious and douchey? Or do they have a death wish to ride their bikes in the middle of a highway?
You be the judge. I've already judged and the outcome is not good.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quote of the Week

Judge: Did you attend the educational programs?
Defendant: I went to the thing where you piss in a cup.
Judge: Pissing in a cup is not an educational program.

Couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It Was a Two Epi-Pen Kind of Weekend

I did not have a good weekend. In fact, it would be safe to say that I had a pretty awful weekend. Here's photographic evidence:

This, my peeps, is a heinous picture. But, please notice a couple of things. For once, notice my upper lip. That's not botox and I wasn't in a barroom brawl. Also notice my left eye...also swelling. Plus my face is not normally that flushed. All of this is due to hives.

How does one get hives like this, you might ask yourself? Well, the story is this, I was taking an antibiotic for 3 days. After the third day, I woke up and had a few bumps on my neck. I thought they were insect bites. It was weird, however, because there were at least four of them and they were so very itchy. As the morning progressed, I realized it was hives as my body was now completely broken out into these red, itchy little devils.

After a panicky call to my doctor's office, they told me they had no appointments available for me to come in and I should instead take Benadryl and call 911 if I can't breathe. Awesome! Here's where I am going to say something controversial. I don't think that Universal Health Care will work. I was having an allergic reaction. I had hives all over my body. All they could do at my clinic was say, call 911 if you can't breathe. Are you kidding me? I guess there is no such thing as preventive care anymore. To me, this is just a glimpse of the overcrowding that will occur with Universal Health Care.

Anyways, by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, my lip was completely swollen and off to the Urgent Care I went. They shot me up with an Epi-Pen and gave me a prescription steroid. That's right, I'm on the roids...and I have noticed some roid rage. But, after the Epi-Pen, I felt soooooo much better. I thought this was the end of my saga. Not the case.

On Saturday, I again woke up with the hives. I took my meds and the day was fine. A little scratchy and so out of it due to the Benadryl mixed with steroids mixed with my new antibiotic. Then the hives started spreading to my face. Luckily my lip was spared. I woke up at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday morning with the most unbelievable itching you could imagine. When I looked in the mirror, I was terrified! One eye was swollen again and the hives were all over my face. Off to the ER! This time I got an IV bag of fluids, epi-pen, pepcid and another small pill. They upped my steroid dose (more roid rage) and gave me a prescription for zantac. They also gave me a couple of these babies:

My very own personal Epi-Pen! Although, I'm feeling much, much better and the hives have receded tremendously, I'm still carrying this sucker around to save my life.