Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Lately, one of my favorite activities is at-home movie night.  I just love being at home in my pajamas, putting out some great movie snacks, cuddling with Kirby and Mike on the couch and popping in our latest Netflix pick.  This past weekend, we watched Moneyball, which will now forever be known to me as The Most Boring Movie Ever Made. 

The first 40 minutes go something like this: long, lingering shot of a dark Oakland A's stadium with deep, thoughtful music being played; cut to Brad Pitt as Billy Beane sitting in the Oakland A's stadium thinking; you can tell he's thinking because of the music; now cut to some flashbacks of A's games; they are losing Johnny Damon, some other juicehead and another guy I've never heard of; you can tell this is bad by the somber look on Billy Beane's face and the music that's being played...what's that you say, it's been 10 minutes without any dialogue; now we get dialogue, a bunch of men fighting with zippy one-liners; 1 minute of dialogue is enough, let's get more shots of the stadium, Billy Beane working out, and Billy Beane walking down a long hallway, and add in some really pensive music; okay now let's get to Jonah Hill and sure, we'll throw in a couple of minutes of dialogue between Jonah and Billy Beane, but only TWO MINUTES; here's Jonah waddling down the long hallway to the A's offices he is pensive and so is the music; a little bit more dialogue ending with a zippy one-liner; and now Billy Beane and Jonah looking at clips of baseball players.

This shit was more boring than all of Gram's scenes on Dawson's Creek COMBINED.  I was tortured while watching it.  For any of you who haven't yet seen it, just wikipedia it and save yourself the 2 hours and 20 minutes that it will take to watch it.  It's not that awesome of a story, the performances are nothing spectacular and the music isn't as good as the Facebook movie.  So, there Moneyball, I thought you sucked.

For the record, the snacks above clockwise from top are: a mix of Sno-Caps and Whoppers; Zen Party Mix from Target; microwave popcorn.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pesky Butt Glands

Poor Kirby was horrified and embarrassed to learn this last Saturday that we was afflicted with some swollen ass glands.  His little butt was feeling pretty bad.  We first noticed it after he wouldn't stop licking his butthole.  I mean, it's normal to do that every few hours or so, but this was a constant butt licking.  We kept looking at his butthole, feeling like weirdos, but nothing was swollen.

I talked to my dad and he phone diagnosed it as swollen anal glands.  Dogs can, apparently, get these every now and again.  He said to wait and see if it pops on its own, but that if he starts scooting his ass across my rugs that we would need to extract the gland otherwise the chance of him getting anal gland fluid all over the rug was highly possible.  My dad said that if anal gland fluid got on my rugs, we'd probably want to throw them right in the trash.  Duh!

After our evening walk, little Kirby seemed distressed and started scooting his butt all over my carpet.  I told him to stop what he was doing and immediately phoned my dad who was in the middle of grilling dinner, but still helped me learn how you extract the anal glands from your dog's rear.  After my phone instructions, I told Mike how to perform the procedure and coaxed Kirby with treats while Mike got his rubber gloves.

On a side note, my dog will not notice anything if he has treats.  He was so excited about being able to eat multiple milkbones in one sitting that he literally didn't notice that Mike was doing anything to him.  How could you not notice, Kirby?  Anyhow, I will not describe what happened except to say that I am so glad that shit didn't end up on the carpet and Mike is a very sweet dog daddy. 

And dear little Kirby, well, after the procedure, he was feeling much better.  He took a long sleep on the couch and kept putting his paws over his face like he couldn't believe the last couple of hours.  I couldn't believe it either. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Engagement Fun

Some super cute college friends of mine threw Mike and myself a really sweet engagement party awhile ago.  We had the best time.  It was an intimate affair and so much fun to be able to celebrate this time in our lives with some of our closest friends.  I wasn't the best photographer that night (I'm usually not), but I did manage to capture pictures of the clever food titles that my friends came up with.  Mike and I both work in the law, so that was kind of the theme. 

When you first walked into the house, you were greeted with this cute drinks table.  Red wine on the table and a cooler with beer and white wine was beneath.  What cracks me up about this picture is that it clearly shows a bottle opener sitting on the table.  10 minutes later, the bottle opener had disappeared and I think someone had to run to the store to get a new one.  Kadie, here is proof that there was one there at some point in the evening.

Other fun drinks were the Tazer and Night Court.  The Tazer was half lager and half cider.  Night Court is my favorite martini with Chambord, pineapple juice, champagne and vodka.  Just don't ask Becca to make you one or you will be crawling home.

Now for the food.  So, sometimes I'm an idiot, or photographically challenged, and here I showed this by usually only taking pictures of the sign instead of the food that goes with it.  Weird, I know.  But, it can't be helped.

This sign was for some amazing pulled pork for pulled pork sammies.  The pork roast was brined for 24 hours and it was amazing!
 The Usual Suspects were veggies and dip.
This was my favorite sign.  It was for homemade spring rolls.  If you ever want a great recipe for homemade spring rolls, you can find it in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything cookbook.  They are so good and, while a little fussy to make, really not that difficult.  Sorry I didn't get a picture of them.  Next time!
Another no picture where there really needed to be a picture.  Cavity search were these things of crispy bacon rolled with a fig, cream cheese and maple syrup inside.  Honestly, it had me at the bacon.
"Spread 'Em" was the sign for your traditional spreads of hummus and thai tofu dip.  There was also veggie dip and peanut sauce for the spring rolls. 

After eating way too many of the bacon things, we played a fun game where I learned that Mikey had Dukes of Hazard sheets until he was 15 (or something like that) and that he once was so excited to receive a video game for Christmas that he actually found where the gifts were hidden, unwrapped the video game, brought it over to his friend Jim's house where they played it for hours and then he re wrapped it and hid it so that he could open it on Christmas morning.  I love him so, so much.  And our children are going to cause me to tear my hair out.

Here's a photo of the game playing. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Loving...Or Reading

On a rainy day like today, I'm dreaming of my hammock and my Kindle.  Last summer, I made a goal of reading five books and I ended up reading way more.  I don't think I'll be quite as lucky this summer.  In fact, five months will be pushing it.  Nevertheless, between Memorial Day and Labor Day my goal is to read these five books:

First up, a book that has literary content
Wow, that's a teeny weeny picture.  I'm too lazy to change it.  The book is The Trial by Franz Kafka.  I don't know much about it except that it doesn't have an ending.  Apparently none of Kafka's books were finished.  Since it's judicially inclined, I'll probably enjoy it.

Next up, my young adult novel for when I need something that I don't need to think to read

People rave about this book.  We will see.  There's only so many times The Hunger Games can be re-done.

Now for my nonfiction pick

A real uplifting tale, I'm sure.  I don't know if I'll actually get to this one.  I've always wanted to read it and think it would be extremely interesting, but probably really difficult to get through.  I don't know if my hammock can take it.

In more depressing news

Another tiny one.  Oh well.  No summer is complete without a WWII book.  I've heard this one is awesome and that you can't put it down.  But probably also a downer.  That's what booze is for kids.

Finally, a book that I really should have read a long time ago, but keep forgetting about

What is with the teeny tiny?  Franzen has some Minnesota connections and I've heard this book is pretty awesome.  I think Oprah loved it.  I also think this is the book that Franzen wouldn't go on Oprah for.  I think that she begged him or something and he was like hell no, I don't want my book to be an Oprah book club pick.  Hysterical.  Okay, now I have to read it.

Any other suggestions? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fancy Pants

Can someone explain to me the state of workout clothes right now?  Are the garments spun of diamond dust?  Is that why they've gotten so effing expensive?  I was recently at my local Target looking to pick up a pair of basic cotton stretch yoga pants when I made a horrifying discovery.  Even at Target yoga pants are $40.  You guys, I am not cheap when it comes to clothes, but that is far too much for me to spend on pants that I am going to be collecting crotch sweat in.

Just for fun I decided to go to the Lululemon website to see how much I could spend on workout pants.  Th going rate...$92.  For a sports bra...$48. 

I know that someone is going to tell me how fabulous really expensive workout clothes are.  How they breathe better or something like that.  But, in the end, you're spending a lot of money on clothes that are going to end up smelling like a bum's nut sack whether they breathe well or not.  That's the point of workout clothes, you play hard in them so that you lose weight and the clothes get destroyed because of how hard they are worked in.  If your workout clothes don't smell at the end of a workout, then you're doing it wrong.

I work out in leggings and a shirt that I've had since sophomore year in high school.  I save my clothing money for the good stuff. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Pizza is flabulous."
-My Mikey

It was a slip of the tongue, but upon further reflection I think flabulous is a good word for what pizza is.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Random Acts of Douchebaggery

I'm really excited about this post because I have something to get off of my chest.  I have some neighbors that I really, really, really dislike.  Sometimes when I see them, I have to walk away for fear that I will start screaming at them.  My dislike runs deep.

They actually aren't our neighbors exactly.  They live on a street that runs perpendicular to ours and they don't own the house that they are living in, they rent it.  When you own a house, renters in your neighborhood are the lowest form of life.

Anyhow, our house is an older house that was built prior to the idea that attached garages are the BEST THINGS EVER.  Our house was also built in the time when people loved alleys.  We don't have a driveway, so if you want to get to our non-attached garage, you have to drive down the alley.  Typically, Mike and I don't utilize the garage because it's much easier to park on the street in front of our house.  That is, it's easier as long as we can get a spot in front of our house.

Enter the two assclowns that rent the house that isn't even on our street.  The first annoying thing about them is that they keep odd hours.  I'm not sure if they are in college (they look too old for that) or if they work night jobs or just part-time hours?  They seem to be home all day, clogging up the streets for parking, and then gone all night long.  The second annoying thing is that they will park in front of any one's house without a care in the world.  Most of the people on my block have at least one car parked on the street which is not a problem because you just park in front of your own house.  But, these jerks will park wherever there is an opening and then you come back home with bags full of groceries and you have to park 6 houses down.

Our neighbor went to talk to them about it a few months after they moved in last summer.  He explained to them that they had a driveway, a garage and street parking right in front of their house, so it would be preferable if they could use those parking spaces so that the people who needed the parking spaces on our street (because no house on our street has a driveway) could park in front of their own house.  Their response was "You don't have the right to control who parks in front of your house."  And they are right, but my neighbor astutely responded to them "This isn't Uptown, this is the suburbs."  

Things got worse this winter when there were snow emergencies and the assclows never moved their cars.  The city didn't tow them, but instead just plowed around them leaving huge snowbanks on the sides of the street in front of people's houses.  Which is really annoying because the people that own their houses pay taxes for things like snow removal and because these jerks couldn't move their cars to the driveway, the street wasn't properly plowed.  It was also annoying because no one could park in those spaces until the snow melted.

The final annoying thing about these total douchebags is that when they park behind you, they park extremely close.  See the picture above, that's how they park.  Nice, right.  It's no wonder these two are the most hated people in our neighborhood. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Test Track

That's some high quality photography right there.  Not sure what happened with my camera (probably too high of an ISO), but it's the only photo that I have of Test Track.  I roll with the punches peeps.

I wanted to get this review in even though it's now outdated.  Test Track is currently under a major reconstruction and when it reopens this Fall I have no idea what it will be like.  The early buzz is that the test cars will operate on the exact same track, but there's all this business about how the guests will design their own car to take out on the track.  Not sure how it will work and not really sure I'm happy they are changing a ride that really need to be changed or updated.

Test Track, however, used to be sponsored by GM.  When their contract was up this Spring, it was not renewed and Chevrolet is now taking over sponsorship of the ride.  Chevrolet decided to revamp the ride.  I have a feeling this could be a bad move.  If I've learned one thing about Disney it's that they usually shouldn't mess with a good thing.  I'm still  bitter about Horizons.

Anyhow, this review will be about the old Test Track, which you can no longer ride.  It's my beautiful obituary for a great attraction.  Don't get weepy.

When Test Track opened it was AMAZING.  Probably the best thing ever to happen to Epcot because Epcot doesn't have any high thrill rides.  The line queue for Test Track was brilliant and filled with all of these crash test dummies being tested for impacts.  I loved it, there were so many details that even an hour long wait seemed okay.  The thing I didn't love was the music that was playing on an endless loop.  That music was obnoxious.

When you finally got into the test car, you were set through the paces of a real car testing.  They went through different inclines, different types of roadways, the car tested it's turns and whether it could stand up to "harsh" environments.  The environment testing was my favorite part.  You went through a room that had heat lamps and it was incredibly hot and then they put you in an ice chamber.  I loved that part. 

The grand finale of the ride was that they pretend they are crash testing your car and at the crash impact spot you were bolted outdoors to this huge test track where you picked up speed to 70 miles an hour for the big loop.  It was an adrenaline rush and so much fun. 

Overall, the attraction was so incredible because it was well thought out and the attention to details was perfect, as all good Disney attractions are.  I'm just hoping when it reopens it isn't changed too much, because it really didn't need to be. 

For the old Test Track, I give it the highest honors of 5/5 or 9/10 stars.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Since this book is about a year old, I don't have to go on about how funny it is.  You've probably already heard that.  Instead I will just talk about my favorite parts.

My first favorites are the stories about Saturday Night Live and the Sarah Palin sketches.  I remember watching those sketches and so it was interesting to hear the story from a behind-the-scenes viewpoint.  It was also interesting to hear Tina Fey's take on why the Sarah Palin impersonation became so popular and also when she knew enough was enough.  If there's one thing that I took away from this book it was that, besides being hilarious, Tina Fey is a smart business woman.  Smart business people know when to back out at the height of popularity so that the thing always remains popular instead of becoming overdone and obnoxious.

Another favorite was her reflections on her favorite scenes from 30 Rock.  Again, I love hearing about things that I have seen on TV from a different viewpoint.

I also fell in love with Tina Fey's stance on breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding is such a sensitive topic for women and I'm always amazed at how much guilt is associated with breastfeeding and also how much women don't talk about how difficult it is.  My thoughts on breastfeeding, which I know that many of my friends do not share, is that I don't want to do it and don't even want to try.  I will pump that milk out and put it in bottles so that anyone and everyone can feed my baby.  I don't think that my children will be harmed because of this either.  Tina Fey's words finally made me stop feeling shame about my breastfeeding views.  When I am going to the hospital to crap out my first kid, I'm bringing a copy of Bossypants with me.  When the lactation nurse comes in and tries to guilt me into breastfeeding, I am going to hand her the book and have her read my favorite chapters and then ask her to leave.  Either that or I will make Mike do it.

My last favorite story from Bossypants was the cruise ship story.  I laughed so hard reading about the cruise ship.  I don't know why I've always loved hearing about terrible cruise ship stories and this one was pretty great.

Have you read Bossypants yet?  If not, pick it up for your summer reading. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Summer is almost here!!!  I count Memorial Day as the first day of summer season, so for me it's only a couple of weeks away.  This summer is going to be insanely crazy.  Let's hope I make it through to the fall season because I'm supposed to be getting married then.

Here's my list of excitement for the summer:
  • Wedding Fun!  There's a lot of wedding stuff that will be going on this summer, showers, bachelorette parties and other merriment.  It will also be the time for addressing invites (which I am oddly excited about), crafting photoboxes, putting together programs and the like.  My mom and I had stayed really on top of our crafting until the last month.  And now we have a lot to do.  Anyone up for some awesome craft projects?
  • Outdoor Eats.  The weather has been so great and I've loved seeing all of the sidewalk cafes around town.  Last summer I was going home every day for lunch to let out Kirby.  We are no longer spoiling him like that, which means that this summer I can go to the food trucks.  Even though I miss snuggling with Kirby at lunchtime, I'm kind of happy to be free of lunch duty.  Sorry Kirbino!  I am also excited for the farmer's market and getting a grill this summer (FINALLY!)
  • Summer Movies.  I saw The Avengers last weekend and loved seeing all the scenes that we saw filmed in Cleveland.  It is amazing to me how they can take what we saw in Cleveland and turn it into what I saw on the big screen.  The Avengers got me excited for summer movies.  Here are the ones I'm thinking about today: The Dark Knight Rises; Prometheus; Moonrise Kingdom (I heart all things Wes Anderson); Brave; Lawless; Snow White & the Huntsman (which I want so badly not to like because I don't really like Kristen Stewart, but this move looks pretty bomb); The Odd Life of Timothy Green; The Dictator.  The last few summers haven't been great for movies, but this one seems to be shaping up.
  • Summer Concerts.  Most notably The Avett Brothers at Basilica Block Party and Rufus Wainwright at Music in the Zoo. 
  • Lakes and Parks.  I can't wait to go for walks around Como Lake, Lake Nokomis and Minnehaha Falls Park.  Mike and I have also been talking about making day trips to some state parks.  Kirby loves going to the state parks and walking on the trails, so I'm hoping to get out to a lot this year.
  • Gardening.  We planted 32 pepper plants.  32!  Most hot peppers, but some sweet.  I am so excited for these to start producing peppers.  We also planted a grape tomato plant and will hopefully get a couple more tomato plants.  My peonies have a ton of buds on them and most of the lilies will come back this year.  My favorite lily, this bright pink one, was eaten up by a rabbit and probably won't produce any flowers.  Bummer!  I will also be planting (and by "I", I mean "Mike and I") basil, rosemary, thyme and maybe oregano for pizzas.  It's so much fun to watch things grow and see how they change day to day.
  • Relaxing in the Hammock.  A key to me surviving this summer is going to be relaxing.  I don't relax easily.  The hammock and a good book helps. 
This summer is going to go by so fast.  How can I slow it down?  Any suggestions?!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Let's Get Real, Housewives

I love The Real Housewives shows.  It's not even a guilty pleasure because I feel no shame.  I think the show provides an insightful look into the psyches of really crazy people with a lot of money. I actually view it as sociological studies.  Years from now, I guarantee clips from The Real Housewives will be shown as a reflection on our society.  Sad, right.

Anyhow, the RHONJ (Jersey Housewives for those not up with the housewife lingo) just came back on Bravo and they have upped the ante on drama.  Does anyone else who watches RHONJ feel a little bit strange about this drama, though?  Because it's between families?

The history is this, Teresa was a cast member of RHONJ since its inception and arguably the most famous cast member from Jersey.  Last season, Bravo added Teresa's sister-in-law, Melissa, and her cousin, Kathy, to the cast.  Bold move Bravo.  This addition has basically broken up the family, leaving Teresa and Melissa not speaking to each other.  And the rest of RHONJ's cast members are very Team Melissa.  Everyone is ragging on Teresa about how manipulative and famewhorey she is.

You guys, I'm not pickinig sides, but I'm totally calling bullshit on this gang up on Teresa thing.  Teresa may be a terrible human being and I have no doubt that she's creating rumors and gossip about all of the other cast members behind their backs and then "acting" all dumb like she wasn't the one who started it.  However, if these were ancient times and we were still stoning people, none of the ladies on the NJ cast would even be able to pick up a stone. are all gossiping behind each other's backs.  What do you think you are doing in those confessionals?  Airing your grievances with each other and talking smack about your other cast members, right?  Teresa may be the worst shit talker, but I don't think that any of these women can claim that they don't do the same thing to a lesser degree.   

Additionally, people really want to make it seem like Melissa is this innocent angel who would never in a million years steal her sister-in-law's thunder.  But, let's really analyze this situation.  Teresa was on RHONJ first and in the middle of the first couple of season's, Teresa's husband was embroiled in a bitter lawsuit and they had to file bankruptcy.  So, for Teresa, RHONJ was her family's cash cow.  And she milked it in a major way.  By selling cookbooks, making appearances and upping the drama on the show, she ensured that her children's sparkly jumpsuits were paid for. 

Then, Melissa decides that she would like a slice of that pie and joined the show.  Teresa and her husband are broke as a joke and Melissa and her husband are swimming in money and Melissa decides to jump on the bandwagon of the only good thing that her sister-in-law has going on and you don't think that's being a bit bitchy?  Imagine if this wasn't television and you were married and going through a tough financial time and decided to sell something like Mary Kay on the side.  And you were doing really good at it, hosting tons of parties for your friends and really starting to build your business and then your sister-in-law, who isn't having money troubles, is all like "Hey, that looks fun!  I'm going to start that too!" and then is booking clients and parties that you would have booked had your sister-in-law not started selling Mary Kay.  You'd be pissed.

The best is that Melissa rags on Teresa for her cookbooks talking about how she can't cook and it's just a way for her to make money and become famous.  Then Melissa goes down into her home recording studio and starts belting out the most awful sounds you can imagine saying that she's a singer.  Right, Melissa, because you can sing like Teresa can cook. 

All I'm saying is that Melissa did not join RHONJ to try to bond with Teresa.  I think Melissa was jealous and now she is smug because she took away Teresa's friends and has sullied her name to America.  So, Melissa, you can put that stone back into the gravel pit because you aren't doing any stoning today.  Thank you Jesus.

Clearly, I am a little too involved in the housewives, I can't help it, I find them fascinating.  Anyhow, I am not defending one side or the other here.  Merely stating that I don't think there is one bad person here.  In any Housewives fight, I find that there are multiple bad people all doing bad things and all pretending like they aren't doing them.  And these people, my friends, are all making more money than we are.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wild Africa

When my mom and I were recently at the WDW, we were able to do a behind the scenes tour of the Animal Kingdom called Wild Africa Trek.  It was an amazing experience.  First stop was a hippo feeding.  The above hippo, Hans, was hungry, hungry.  White marbles were not on the menu.

 Hans is saying "Feed me!" while smizing.  Look at those eyes.  Tyra would be proud of you Hans.

 After the hippo pool, we had to walk across two rickety bridges suspended in the air to get to the crocodile pools.  Crocodiles are weird.

 Close your mouth son, I'm not your dinner.

 After the crocs, we got in a jeep for a safari tour through the "savanna."  This little giraffe is trying his hardest to get the leaves at the top of the tree.  If you look closely, you will notice that his tongue is sticking out.  Giraffes are so much fun to watch.  Did you know they only sleep 30 minutes a day?  Crazy, right?

 Next up, elephants.  Here's the little baby elephant.  Makes your heart melt a bit, doesn't it?

 The Ankole Cattle to the left, Ace, was having a rough morning.  He kept bucking and kicking up dirt and finally charged after one of the safari cars.  That must have calmed him down.  I'm sure some of the Disneygoers in the safari car crapped their pants, though.

Now we are getting to my favorite pictures, the lions!  When we first got to the lion den, the male lion was laying down and you could barely see him.  The safari guide was telling us that male lions sleep 18 hours a day and that it was unlikely we would get a better picture of him.  He must have heard the guy and wanted to prove him wrong because all of a sudden, he was sitting up.

 How awesome is this picture?  Look at that mane of hair.  It weights 50 pounds!!  I began silently chanting in my head "Look this way, look this way, look this way" to the tune of Aerosmith's "Walk this Way".  The lion must be a psychic because look...

How regal is that face?  I wish I could have walked right up to him and snuggled him.  Lions don't think much of snuggling, though.  They are more of an eating type.  Oh well.

The Wild Africa Trek was so much fun and so incredibly interesting.  We learned tons of great information about animals in the wild and what different types of behaviors mean.  We also learned about Disney's conservation efforts and animals that are in danger of extinction.  The animals in the greatest danger of extinction are the white rhinos which have not been seen in the wild in several years.  Disney is sending their male white rhino to Uganda in the hopes that it will mate with a female white rhino there.  I'm really hoping that rhino gets laid.