Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Today has been the laziest day. The pressure from crap loads of wedding tasks has been lifted and I did most of the house work Friday night during a fanatic semi-drunk burst of energy. So, as a result I have done little to nothing today that counts as productive.

I called and got our internet connection fixed. The old modem got fried somehow. Couldn't have been that power surge during a storm a couple days ago... Or could it? I don't know how these things work. I just noticed yesterday that instead of getting service through the modem, I was unknowingly stealing from the neighbors and running off of their wireless. Oh well, serves them right for not using a password. I dug up the old modem from my apartment days and plugged it in. It worked, oh it worked alright. But the only site I could get to was Cox's, telling me that I had to have my "new modem" authorized. Apparently, even though I purchased the modem from them, I have to have their permission to plug the stupid thing in. I think that's a load of BS. But whatever... Two phone calls and an hour later, I had bonafide and legal internet service coursing through my veins.

Then I made this...

I also went to NFM and attempted to buy a new extendo lens for my camera. I quickly found out that would cost me $699 so I passed. Then um... then nothing. Kate and I were going to run but concurred that it was way too hot out. (She's Canadian. I'm a sissy.) Now I'm contemplating going to the gym to run. But that's hard to do with my tush planted on the couch so I may just end up watching whatever is on Bravo and eating salsa for the rest of the night.

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Favorite Lunch

As much hummus, pita and Diet Coke as I can handle. Grand total: $4.95. Thank you Feta's.

Bathroom Nazis

My office building has a bathroom Nazi(s). Perhaps "Nazi" is too strong a word. But there's definitely a party of individuals who have organized themselves into some sort of ladies' room militia. In the bathroom upstairs, often times there are signs posted warning about the types of things that should not be thrown into the bathroom trash cans. It changes week by week. Sometimes a sign warns against throwing fried chicken bones in the trash. Other times its empty food containers, disposable silverware, you get the idea. Well, the sign just got changed a few days ago and went back to the generic request of, "Paper Towels Only Please."

Now, let me pause for a minute and detail the signs on all of the drinking fountains too, because that comes into play in this story. Above all of the drinking fountains are signs posted that say, "This drinking fountain is not a sink." Apparently, some people use the drinking fountain as a sink as clearly stated by the sign. Employees use them to rinse out cups, dispose of coffee grounds, do dishes after lunch. Maybe not that last one. But, okay. We get the point. Drinking fountains are for drinking.

We've also gotten reprimanded for throwing away cups and cans with liquid still in them.

Now back to the bathroom...

Yesterday, I was leaving work and I had a half full Panchero's cup on my desk from lunch. I stopped on the way out of the building to empty it out in the bathroom since I'm obviously not allowed to throw it away full or dump it out in the drinking fountain. Well, there I was in the bathroom with an empty paper cup and a trash can right in front of me. Sure, the sign on the trash can requested that I only use that particular trash can for paper towels but give me a break already. Does the bathroom militia really think I'm going to empty my cup out in the bathroom sink and then carry it down the hall to throw it away in a trash can that is apparently all purpose? No. I'm throwing it in the trash can that's within arms reach. It's a damn trash can!

So, that's what I did. This is what welcomed me this morning as a result:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Don't Need No Wah-Wah

Our watermelons are starting to grow!

This is actually the second one to start growing. The first one was tragically run over with the lawn mower. While Matt is the one who did the actual slasher job on the melon, it was essentially my fault for having a wild jungle of a garden. He just didn't see it. It jumped over the teensy little plastic fence that was supposed to contain the vine. The fence failed, obviously, and the melon wound up in lawn territory. What can you do?

Ringo came outside with me while I inspected the garden. And when I say "garden" I obviously mean "pit of crab grass."

He's so happy because he just got his ears cleaned. I'm not sure why, but that dog has the grossest ears ever. He's lucky he's so cute and I'm willing to put up with it. Really though, anyone who knows me knows I'm completely obsessed and in love with him.

It's almost the weekend, which means it's almost time for me to start feeling guilty for not doing housework.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Would Be An Awesome Housewife

I always hear about the post-wedding depression that women feel. All that planning goes into the day, and then it's over just like that. They get bored, sad, look for things to occupy their time. Well, not me. I have a running list of all the things that I've put off doing so I can work on this wedding of ours. I can't wait for the wedding to be done with so I can start taking care of some things.

01. Finish painting the kitchen, bathroom and basement. This bugs me day in and day out. It's so annoying that half of a wall is painted red and the other half is some awful buttercream color.

02. Turn our "master bedroom" into a semi-legit master bedroom. All the rooms in our house are roughly the same size, none have an attached bath so there isn't anything to distinguish the rooms. I saw a really great project on HGTV where the people on the show took white tongue and groove boards (like the kind you get for floors) and they covered the cottage cheese ceiling with them. It looked incredible. I want to do that, cap it off with some white crown moulding and then replace the closet doors with white ones. I think it will give the room a very lux feeling and perhaps create the illusion of a master bedroom. In my head it can be achieved in a Saturday. With an army of men and power tools of course.

03. While I'm replacing closet doors, I might as well take care of the other two bedrooms too. They're ugly.

04. Decorate for Halloween! I plan on decorating for Halloween as soon as the wedding is over. Who cares if it's still September. It's getting done. Last year I went all out with the front of the house. Screw Christmas, Halloween is my favorite holiday to decorate for. I'm also making a sweeeet costume. It's going to be great. It is. I promise.

05. Start my new blog site venture. I have a pretty great (in my humble opinion) idea for a blog site. I'm keeping it on the DL until it's up because... because... well, because you're all THIEVES! Honestly though, I don't own the domain yet. It's going to be more of a businessy type blog rather than a personal blog. I'm hoping it garners me lots of eFame and I become the next Go Fug Yourself.

06. Finally call someone about coming out and replacing those windows! They anger me every time I try to open one on a nice breezy day and I'm reminded that they are literally nailed shut.

07. Start my world campaign to educate the everyone on the proper use of the word "literal." No, you did not "literally" shit a brick. You "figuratively" shit a brick. You also did not "literally" drop dead. Nor did you "literally" laugh your head off.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Seeing Spots

The next shower o' gifts was on Saturday at Cathy's house. She made loads of yummy food. Salmon spread, a sandwich platter, artichoke dip, some sort of yummy shrimp-avacado thing and cupcakes. She also provided wine even though she's prego and it's probably torture to watch other people enjoy alcoholic beverages.

I have to rave a little bit about the shower that Cathy planned for me. It was so nice and non-bridey. There weren't any cheesy decorations, no stupid games, no one was forced into becoming a toilet paper bride. I loved it. I don't have much patience for showers of any type so it was a relief to not suffer through my own. Thanks Cat!

The theme of the day was definitely polka dot. It's my most recent decorating obsession. When we moved into our new house, I tried to decorate it in a way that made it appear to be owned by adults. Turns out that that's boring. Thus, the crazy colors and polka dots. My mom fed my addiction by buying me these awesome dishes. They haven't made it out of the box yet...

I was also ecstatic to get the serving pieces to the Paula Dean Crazy Dots collection. I bought the cake platter for the wedding and then my sis, mom and aunt bought some other pieces for me.

I also got a set of polka dot bath accessories. Now I just need the polka dot bedding and curtains and the transformation will be complete.

Matt and my friends and family are incredibly generous people and I couldn't have asked for more from them. It was such a great day.


This weekend was like every Christmas I've ever had, all rolled into one. It started off Friday morning with a work shower. I got a toaster, coffee maker and a few extra little things. The coffee maker is awesome. Really, it's more than a coffee maker. It's kind of like a little robot that sits on my kitchen counter. It's shiny and covered in buttons.

Look at that thing! Yowza! So fancy. In addition to making coffee, it also doubles as a water filtration system and has a self-clean function. I took apart the old coffee maker and cleaned it out since it's lazy and it doesn't clean itself. I set it in the window to dry and it looks like it's wearing a Viking helmet (which it doesn't deserve). I hate that coffee maker. It's leaky and drippy and it's white so it stains no matter how careful I am.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Haphazard Recipe #1

I'm pretty good at creating meals out of nothing. Well, close to nothing. I think they usually turn out pretty tasty. Then again, maybe I just think it tastes good in relation to the ingredients I started with, and how bad it could have actually turned out. I also cover most things with either cheese, fried onions, sour cream, or any combination of the three. So, there's that. How bad can something really taste when it's slathered with cheese and sour cream?

Without further ado, I bring you my recipe from last night. Honestly though, unless half of your taste buds have been ripped off in an incident involving a frosty pole, you may want to heavily modify it into something completely different:

Mexi Pasta

Mix together:
1 can of black beans
1 can of corn
chopped onion
jalapenos (if you're into that)
Chili Powder & Pepper to taste

Drain the corn, but keep the bean water to cook everything in. It gives it more flavor. While you're simmering your beany concoction, cook some pasta. I chose shells because that was the only thing to choose from. You can choose whatever tickles your pasta bone. (That sounded dirty but I'm keeping it.)

When everything is cooked, pile some pasta on a plate and cover it with the beans and corn. Then, slather everything with shredded cheese and sour cream. It's gooey and cheesy and pretty good in a pinch.

That's all pretty regular stuff that we have in the house on a daily basis. I could have made the dish better if I'd gone to the grocery store and picked up a couple other things. It would have really been good with some enchilada sauce and some tomatoes. But that would have involved actually going to the grocery store. You know what else? We have several pounds of frozen hamburger in the freezer. That totally would have kicked the tasty up a notch if I'd thrown some in there.

So there's my dinner from last night. It was moderately healthy. Until the fatty dairy products came along at least.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Master Procrastinator

This week was my way-past-due first week of 1/2 marathon training. Ya, so what if I was supposed to start a month ago. I'm a master procrastinator. Sunday I ran five miles, last night three. So far that's like a 1600% increase over last week where the only cardio I did was a lap around Oakview Mall looking for a gift for my bridesman. I have a four tonight and a six on Saturday. I learned my lesson about shooting out of the gate and running five miles of hilly hills when I haven't so much as touched a pair of sneakers in four weeks. I could barely walk Monday morning. Hopefully I can find somewhere flat to run six miles so it's not a repeat of last week's glute ripping hell. I could do it at the gym, but six miles on a treadmill is torture. Running in place for 80 minutes on a rubber pad that leads to nowhere is surprisingly unfun.

I have to magically prepare myself to run 13.1 with Kate at the end of September. I've thrown out the typical training schedule of two weeks up, one down, and then a three week taper at the end. I don't have time for a three week taper when the race is in six weeks. I'm just gonna go for it. I figure if I can run/walk/crawl ten miles by September 15th (happy first day of the honeymoon!) then I can do 13.1 on the 28th. It's all mental willpower. If I can run eight then I can run ten. If I can run ten then I can run 13.

You know what else my return to training means? My return to eating anything and everything I want!!! I don't want to lose any weight this time so I'm not going to be shy around the fries and cookies. Rice Bowl for dinner four nights a week? Why, thank you! Don't mind if I do!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

OMG! Like, Clothes and Stuff!

Stores I must go to in San Francisco because I am desperate for a new wardrobe but lack suitable fiances for such a thing but I still want to go look and drool oh my god its all so great we don't have these places in Omaha and there they will be, in the flesh, oh no Matt please force me to leave my credit card in the hotel room:

01. Anthropologie
02. Betsey Johnson
03. Levi's
04. H&M
05. CB2 (can't wear it but it's still oh so very stylish)

And yes, I'm aware that an Anthropologie is coming to Omaha. Soon I will be able to mentally arm-wrestle myself over whether or not to buy fabulously overpriced coats and cardigans within the limits of my own city.

I'm not really all "OMG clothes and other petty superficial things" in real life. I just enjoy typing about it on my blog because it's fun and silly. Plus, no one in real life wants to hear me blather on about such crap. Except Billy. I have a feeling that Billy would totally support me talking about a coat that I would commit sins for.

My Morning Jacket Show

This ringing in my ears won't stop
I've got a red Japanese tea-pot

Yes? No? Ok then...

I don't think the ringing in my ears will ever stop. We went to My Morning Jacket last night, and it was loud. So very loud. Even though it was outside at Stir, it was impossible to get away from the ear blowing loudness of it. Every time we go to Council Bluffs I have really concentrate on giving directions, regardless of how many times I've already been there. I misdirected once and accidentally took us to Martha Street. Oops...

Matt got a free ticket from a friend so we were expecting to only have to buy one more. We didn't pre-buy so we went inside the casino to the box office to grab an extra. We were at the back of the line and a girl came up to us and asked if we were in line to buy tickets. We told her yes, and she said, "Here you go. I have an extra one." SCORE! We were in exactly the right place at the right time. Which means, me getting us temporarily lost on the way to C.B. worked out in our favor. Hooray for a poor knowledge of the North Freeway! I love it when the universe throws me a little break. We saved $61 in tickets and we celebrated by buying $5 beers. Last time we went to Stir it was 40 degrees outside, so it was nice to be able to hold my aluminum beer bottle without gloves.

It was a good show, not great. But, since we lucked into free tickets, dollar for dollar it was the best concert ever. I really like MMJ's albums, but live they were a little too jam-bandy for my tastes. They are great musicians but it was obvious that they weren't all that into the performance. The crowd was kind of lame. Except for one girl, the girl in the black dress and cowboy boots. I suspect that she had the time of her life. I also suspect that she was on massive amounts of acid.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Office Perks

I know it might sound a little superficial, but one of the things I'm looking forward to in my impending transfer back to my former office is the dress code. I'll actually get to look like Chrince when I go to work. Not some generic girl in a monkey suit. I'm not a fan of office wear and I spent as little as humanly possible on clothes when I started here. I bought four button down shirts; two long sleeved and two short. I also bought four pairs of pants. That was almost two years ago. I've filled in with various skirts and sweaters in laundry emergencies that have led to the office nicknames, Funky Winkerbean and Punky Brewster. But no longer. I will have the privilege of wearing jeans, sandals, shirts without buttons and maybe an occasional graphic tee if I'm feeling spicy.

Sure, there are other perks such as, mutual respect to/from my boss, great projects, etc. But right now I'm focusing on the expansion of my vanity from the hours of 8-5. Once again I'll have an excuse to buy things like expensive jeans, kicky blazers and funky pumps.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Hospitable Hints

Over the years of living without Mom, I've learned a few tricks to help me seem way more thoughtful than I deserve. Most of them involve keeping things on hand in case of hospitality emergencies. Here are some things that I always have stashed away at home:

01. A couple packs of pretty blank cards. This has helped me out of many, "Oh crap I forgot to get them a card!" situations. I like writing little personal notes to people in lieu of greeting cards. It feels a little more personal that way. And seriously, aren't greeting cards way overpriced anyways? A cool pack of twelve cards is usually only $5 at Target. I do also love me some Hallmark, don't get me wrong. Sometimes they come up with stuff I could never dream of. I found a perfect birthday card there last year. It referenced Willy Nelson and pot smoking. Hilarious. 70 year old stoners are always good for a laugh.

02. Wine bags and wine. This one is easy and tough at the same time. The easy part is having the wine bags. People are always giving wine as gifts. Right? Maybe it's just to us? The bags usually are only used for about ten minutes and stay in good shape. Flatten them out and store them away. Done and done. The hard part is keeping a bottle of wine in the house. Most grocery stores will offer a 10% discount off of wine purchases when you buy six or more bottles. This makes it super affordable to have them ready in case you need a quick gift. The trick is to not drink them. Or at least don't drink all of them.

03. I just came up with this one a couple days ago... I went to the hospital to visit my grandmother and I picked her some roses from the bushes in our side yard. I was looking for something to put them in and found a small vase in the cupboard. Ahh, perfect! How simple yet thoughtful to give someone flowers from your own garden? I'm going to pick up some inexpensive bud vases next time they're on sale at Hobby Lobby so I always have a few in the house. Granted, this doesn't work in the middle of winter. But it's great for spring and summer months.

04. Rice Crispy Bars! These things are insanely easy to make if you're in a hurry. 6 cups of crispies, 6 cups of marshmallows, 2 tablespoons of butter. Melt the butter and marshmallows in a large bowl in the microwave. Mix it with the crispies. Press it into an 8x8 pan and let it cool. There. You're done. The ingredients keep for a fairly long time so you don't have to worry about them going bad. Unless of course, you try to use an opened box of crispies and an open bag of mallows that have been sitting around since Christmas. Those might taste a little stale. Not that I did that or anything.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pretty Little Things

I know that expensive and beautiful shoes will not enrich my life in any way and that I would regret spending the money on something so impractical if I did buy them. However, my feet would look beautiful and all attention would be drawn south of my ankles thus allowing me to never have to do my hair or wear makeup again. That's kind of a bargain.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 1 of Knowing My Job Here Doesn't Matter to Me In the Long Run

It was nice.

I also came to the conclusion that I will probably lose 10 pounds when I leave due to the fact that Butch won't be feeding me candy every morning.

Jeff and Brandon's Commitment Ceremony Recap

Jeff and Brandon's commitment ceremony was on Saturday. It was an absolutely beautiful evening. The ceremony was lovely. Reverend Nancy Brink from North Side Christian Church officiated. (I love their message on the home page: "We support families, we don't define families.") She spoke so eloquently about the need of support in the gay and lesbian community. My favorite part was at the end when she said, "I now pronounce you bound together for life. One heart, one soul." (It was something like that. I was concentrating on not crying.)

I was so honored to stand up as an attendant for them. J and B mean the world to me. They are wonderful, beautiful, loving people. They deserve as much happiness and love as a traditional married couple. I know it really doesn't mean much to them, but I wish they could enjoy the same legal status that the rest of us do. Two people should be able to legally unify themselves, regardless of sex. Yes, the Bible defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, but last time I checked the "separation of church and state" was still in effect in America. What if someone doesn't believe in the Bible or isn't Christian? Why should they be legally obligated to follow the fundamentals of a religion that they don't practice? It really doesn't make sense to me. In my opinion, America has better things to worry about than who loves who. But I digress...

The reception was as equally beautiful as the ceremony. It was held at the Regency Lake Clubhouse. The tables and chairs were covered in white linens, with lime green tie-backs on the chairs. The center pieces were beautifully done by d.l. guenin from Denver. He arranged various types of green flowers and berries, white flowers, limes, candles and stones in clear glass vases. The room glowed. It was incredible. The cake was unbelievable. Usually wedding cake is baked a day or two ahead of time and is a little stale by the time you get around to the reception. This cake wasn't though. Not at all. It was some of the best cake I've ever eaten.

I will say that I looked surprisingly put together at their wedding. I had on a lovely dress that I adore and a beautiful Tiffany(!!!) necklace that was a gift from the couple. I paid someone to do my hair, which I hate, but which is necessary. I am a master of ponytails, but my hair talent ends there. I always end up looking like a kindergartner did my hair when I style it myself. I also did my makeup and it looked great until I cried most of it off.

All in all, it was a very classy affair. Everything Jeff and Brandon do is so sophisticated. Hopefully no one expects any class from Matt and me at our wedding.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Show and Tell

You can tell a lot about a person by what is in their bathroom. I took a few photos of some of the things in my bathroom and picked a couple that show some of my favorite items that happened to be in there.

I have a little dish full of odd and ends on the bathroom counter. Usually, my jewelry that's in heavy rotation gets thrown in there. It's more convenient than putting it away in a jewelry box every night. In it right now:

01. A pearl necklace that I borrowed from my mom. She may not get it back. Ever.
02. A necklace from Lia Sophia. I usually hate jewelry parties. The stuff is never that good. The last one I went to though, I fell in love with this long necklace with little circular mirrors all over it. When the sun catches it, it throws circles all over the room. It's really neat.
03. Maria Felt Flower Barrette from Princess Lasertron. I can't stop wearing this. I love it. I wear it in my hair or I clip it to my shirt. It looks really great on tank top straps. So far I've managed to work a weeks worth of outfits around it.
04. JR Watkins Apothecary, Red Clover Hand and Cuticle Salve. If it were 1997, this stuff would be the bomb. It's the perfect remedy for dry cuticles and rough patches of skin on your hands, elbows and feet. I keep a travel size on hand to throw into my purse.

This stuff just happened to be in the bathroom at the time, but it worked perfectly. I can't live my life without a pair of Chuck Taylors. I've owned a pair since I was seventeen. They work with everything. I even wore a pair to my sister's wedding under my full length dress. :)

This dress is also something beautiful that I just fell in love with tonight. This evening was Jeff and Brandon's commitment ceremony and I got to stand up for Jeff in this beautiful little dress. It doesn't look like much on the hanger, but it is impressively flattering on. It was lightweight, comfy and the color is incredible. Super bonus that it's wearable in everyday life and I bought it off the clearance rack at J Crew. The ceremony and reception could not have been lovelier. I will write more about it tomorrow, but now it's time for me to climb into bed and watch TV.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Timing is Everything

WOW! What a difference a day makes! Earlier this week I was depressed over my career situation. I hate my job, I'm trying to finish school, I have freelance work but not enough to support us with. I need to find something that I like that pays good money and has moderately flexible hours so I can get some labs out of the way. BEHOLD!!! I had a little lunch pow wow with a former employer and he had some very good things to discuss. He has freelance for me right now (YAY! But come on, enough already. I'm swamped.) and if some business prospects of his work out in the next couple of months he wants to discuss hiring me back to the company.


I feel like all my prayers (to no one in particular) have been answered. This could definitely work out and turn into something very, very good. The fall semester ends in November, right around the time that he may be ready for me to come back. That means that we can work out an agreement where I work something like four days a week (32 hours) and then have time to take labs on my day off. I am sooooo happy right now! We had a great talk and agreed that we really liked working together before. I explained in so many words that I left the company under circumstances that had nothing to do with him personally or the business. He's really confident in my creative skills and work ethic and I foresee this really working out for each of us.

Thank goodness for not burning bridges, you know? I'm so happy that him and I have stayed on good terms over the last couple of years and that this opportunity is being presented to me right now. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my brain. It's coming at the perfect time. I have a couple of months to get married, get my brain back on track with school and work and figure out my next step.

Karma is a lovely gal, ladies and gentlemen. Just don't piss her off.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fun Things I've gotten To Do On My Birthday

Current as of 8:50pm

01. Eat surprise pancakes for breakfast
02. Run a malfunctioning traffic light while it was red.
03. Drive the wrong way down Walsh Drive. WEEE!
04. Open cards full of money
05. Buy season one of My Boys with Matt's money
06. Make my first purchase at Forever 21
07. Eat nachos and buffalo chicken fingers in the same day (not so fun afterwards though)
08. Leave work three hours early
09. See all my family members
10. Drink a latte with extra shots and be unable to stop talking to Matt about books while cruising Target

What's In San Francisco?

Yesterday, my boss asked me. "What's In San Francisco?" (Referring to our honeymoon. Not mine and my boss's honeymoon, but mine and Matt's honeymoon.) It took every ounce of strength in my body not to say, "Street drugs and copious amounts of gay sex."

Things we're going to do in San Francisco:

01 See great live music
02 Shopping, shopping, shopping
03 Aquariums
04 Go to Alcatraz
05 Cross the Golden Gate
06 Visit the Haight-Ashbury (I'm assuming this is where we will most likely find the acid)
07 Gawk at Lombard Street
08 Buy lots of vinyl
09 The San Francisco Art Exchange (maybe a little NSFW depending on your office)

Turning the Big 2-5

I woke up this morning pretty content about the fact that I am now 25 years of age. Yesterday I had my big "WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE" freak out, so today I'm feeling pretty good. I was bumming hard yesterday. I thought I would have my professional life in order by now. Cathy talked me down from it. She said, "You always did want to achieve way more than was humanly possible and realistic." I supposed it's a constant work in progress though, no matter what your age.

So, now that 25 has gone by the wayside, the new "have it all figured out" career goal is 30. I think five more years is plenty. I have a second degree to finish up and a business to open, I think that's a realistic time frame to get it all done in. Besides, do I really want to be a self-start career girl at the age of 25? No way! I'm going to use the rest of my 20s to leach off of my employer, travel, drink and act in a generally irresponsible manner. I might also buy a completely impractical car. I haven't made up my mind yet on that.

Fun Things I've Gotten To Do on My Birthday

Current as of 10:40

01. Eat surprise pancakes breakfast
02. Run a malfunctioning traffic light while it was red.
03. Drive the wrong way down Heroes Boulevard. WEEE!

Expect more to come. Much, much more.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sad Little Dinner

"So Christine, what did you have for dinner?"

"Oh, well I had an entire bag of frozen mixed vegetables, most of a box of Kashi crackers and a beer. I ate it while standing in the kitchen."

Hey, at least it was trans-fat free. These are the sort of meals I eat when Matt isn't around, thus forcing one of us to cook or go buy dinner. When it's just me I'm too lazy to make an honest effort. If it doesn't go in the microwave or come out of a box, I'm not interested.

Ya, Ringo thinks it's pathetic too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Moses Prey Show!

Big Mama's Kitchen

Have you ever been to Big Mama's Kitchen? Chances are, you haven't. First of all, its ridiculously hard to find. It's on some sort of youth campus off of 45th and Bedford. When you get to the corner of 45th and Bedford, you have to circle the block a couple of times looking for an open gate. (Ya, the place is gated.) Then when you get on campus, you have to figure out which building it's in. (Hint: it's the building with the huge yellow "AFRO BURGER" banner above the front door.) Big Mama's Kitchen is essentially a school cafeteria turned into a diner.

The food that Big Mama makes is worth the trip every Sunday. It is true soul food that even a skinny white girl like me can get down with. Every single thing she serves is homemade and cooked only when you order it. That means that you wait, oh how you wait, for your food. My first meal there consisted of coffee, over easy eggs, biscuits, hash browns, sausage and sweet potato cheesecake and it took about four hours. Ok, maybe like 45 minutes. And yes, I ate cheesecake at breakfast. You can't not eat the cheesecake. The biscuits are made from scratch every day and are of course the best I've ever eaten. They are soft, buttery and the perfect vehicle for soaking up running eggs. The sausage is also home made. Sorry Jimmy Dean, but Big Mama puts your sausage in the dirt. The hash browns were obviously never frozen because they taste like heaven. If heaven were a potato dish. And the cheesecake. Oh my god, the cheesecake. There are no words to describe it.

The next meal I had there was completely different: fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese. It was without a doubt the best fried chicken I have ever eaten. The breading was really like bread. It was soft and spongy, but the outside was still crisp. It was my first venture into collard green territory and I couldn't believe that something green and leafy could taste so good. The mac and cheese was definitely not out of a box. It was thick and cheesy. Very, very cheesy.

The third trip took me back to breakfast, the exact same thing even. (You gotta stick with what's good baby!) The fourth trip took me back to lunch, this time I had the fried catfish. This was the catfish to end all catfish. Dear Moses and Mary, it was delicious. Crispy, moist, perfectly seasoned. Soooo good with a side of mac and cheese. I also had another piece of cheesecake. I had to.

Big Mama's Kitchen is the real deal. Everything on the menu is incredible. It's like a trip to tasty town. You must, must, must go. Check out their website. Big Mama caters so we plan on getting some fried chicken and sides for our post-wedding brunch. You will not believe this food. There's also the mysterious Afro Burger which you have to try for yourself. I'm not telling you what it is.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Creative Flash!

I want a red chandelier to hang in the kitchen in front of the large windows.


1. Pretty red chandeliers are insanely expensive
2. There is no electrical work in front of the windows to wire it.


Buy a cheapo chandelier at a thrift shop and paint the damn thing red! Then put some pretty candles in it since it obviously won't light up. H-E-L-L-O! I have been racking my brain over the red chandelier thing since forever! Why did I just now think of this?

Gardening and Produce Rant

I checked the garden again this weekend and found lots of veggies hidden under the foliage. I'm really loving the gardening now. Before, it just seemed like a lot of work with no payoff. But now that I literally have fruits of my labor, I'm enjoying myself. I really think gardening is going to turn into a hobby for me. This was the first year that I've ever tried it and I've learned a lot so far. I'm already planning my garden for next year. I definitely need to invest in plant cages and trellises. I also have a better understanding of how to plot out a garden. You can't just plant anything, anywhere as I've found out.

We ate our first home grown tomato last night. It was delicious! Very sweet and juicy. Matt also pulled back some leaves and found about five jalapenos hiding. I'm sure those will get eaten this week. We put jalapenos in everything!

The cucumbers also exploded within the last week. The little one I photographed earlier is now huge.

I also found another large one hiding under some leaves in the back of the garden. There are maybe five other little cucumbers and about eight green tomatoes on their way.

At first it seemed a little weird to be eating things I pulled from the back yard, but now I don't understand why it ever seemed strange. The veggies taste so much better and farming is something that people have been doing for the last 10,000 years. It might just be mental, but I think it really does taste better. Everything we eat out of the backyard is grown without pesticides, fertilizers and other artificial means. I like to think that I'm doing something good for us.

We're also lessening our dependancy on supermarkets and commercially grown foods which I absolutely love. Do you think people had grocery stores 10,000 years ago? No! They grew everything they ate themselves. How unnecessary is it that the tomatoes on most people's plates were grown in Mexico, when you can grow them in a large pot in your backyard? It's just that easy! Plant, water, eat. The last tomato Matt and I bought at Baker's cost $1.35. The tomato plant I bought at Ace cost $2.99, and so far it's produced five tomatoes. You can't go anywhere and buy five large tomatoes for $2.99! The other tomato plant I have I grew from a seed pack, which cost $1. That one has produced four tomatoes so far. I read that for every $1 Americans spend on produce, it cost the farmer 10 cents to grow it. Can you imagine how much money everyone would save if they grew their own veggies? LOTS!

Ok, when I said that you can't go anywhere and buy five large tomatoes for $2.99 I was forgetting one place where you can definitely buy five tomatoes, maybe more, for an incredibly reasonable price. That place is the Boys Town farmers market. The stuff that the kids grow is unbelievable. Its also incredibly cheap. The best part of it all though, is that it's all grown naturally and its grown in Omaha. You can see the farm from Dodge street. Its awesome. You can see exactly where your food came from. In a time when e-coli outbreaks are popping up as a result of poor farming practices, growing my own food seems like such a safe thought to me.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Circus Dog

Ringo is grounded. Last night, Matt and I went to Kay and Ryan's again to play Wii. When we came home, the house had been trashed by our dear little Ringo. Once again, he got into the trash cupboard. Even though the trash can was empty he still pulled it out and dragged it to the living room. Since he didn't find what he was looking for in the trash, he continued to tear apart the kitchen. Now, we think Ringo had a past life as a circus dog because what he did next seems impossible to me. He somehow opened the oven, then with the oven door down, he jumped up on it and opened the drawer next to it. He pulled out all the hot pads and brought them to the living room, where I assume he attempted to eat the dried cheese off of the oven mitt because it was all wet. He also pulled everything he could reach off of the counter tops. He got just about everything except for a bag of cookies on top of the coffee maker. That must have pissed him off because he then went and opened another cupboard full of utensils and bakeware. There were spoons, spatulas and pizza cutters strewn all over the house. He also brought three spring-form pans and a jumbo muffin pan to the living room.

I applaud Ringo for his ability to open cupboards, ovens and even the fridge once. But the dog obviously isn't that smart because he skipped over the pantry full of food. I would have been a lot madder at him last night if it wasn't so funny. I mean, come on! Spoons? Muffin pans? That dog was desperate to let us know he was mad at us for leaving him. He couldn't find anything good though, so he just threw a temper tantrum. We threatened to trade him with the neighbors dog and now he's back on lock down when we leave the house.