Sunday, November 30, 2008

some of the walls

clocks, bowls, mail centers, bracelets, shelves.

wine cork bulletin boards, paper angels, pictures of chairs and stuff.

crazy beaded skull that i've been working on for two weeks. it's finished, entirely covered by beads, one bead at a time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the road is long

wow, i've really neglected this blog. i am so addicted to Facebook that I forget to check back here.

I was sparring yesterday morning with my trainer and it was my first time. I like it but damn it's a workout. No wonder those boxers are dripping sweat and exhausted at the end of a three minute round. Well, I was channeling the Three Stooges in my mind (imagining I was doing the foot work, etc.) and then I did the 'ol circle the right glove in the air over his head and when he looked up, I jabbed him in the face with my left glove. He spit out his mouthguard and died laughing at me. I was doubled over laughing and the other girl in my class (who was on the bag) was cracking up. It was hilarious AND it got me out of about a minute of sparring because we laughed so hard the time ran out.

I have opened a little store in our downtown. It's very folksy/boho and I love it. The majority of items in the shop are repurposed hand made items like melted wine bottle cheese trays and cuff bracelets made from records. I have a big studio in the back of the shop and have been making message boards out of scraps of wire (picture clips), rusty wrenches (magnetic), and old bulletin boards (cut down into mini corkboards). I am liking them and sold one yesterday so that made me happy.
I have some talented friends who have contributed and I have hair clips made from old buttons, fused plastic bags (made from local grocery chains plastic bags), hand made paper angels and cute little reindeer made from an Osage Orange tree that fell in our local nature preserve. SO much more.
Also some fine art on display looking for a good home.

well, if anyone is still checking this blog....i'll post pictures later.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Poem for Monday the 29th

Monday, the 29th of September
nothing happened today that i will remember
you began with some rain
you ended quite plain
You are nothing compared t0 the 29th of November.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

i have a dream...

my four year old son told me his dream the other night:

the boy: mom, i dreamed i was mustard last night.

me: what did you do as mustard?

the boy: someone squeezed me onto a hotdog and ate my whole body.

me: ouch, did that hurt?

the boy: nope they ate me up and then i was just invisible.

someone once told me that Freud said when you dream about eating mustard you are dreaming about eating your own shit. we used to laugh anytime someone wanted to eat mustard and say "you know what Freud says about mustard?"
i just looked it up and can't find anything about Freud saying that but they say mustard dreams are related financial stuff. hmmm

i think the boy just had a hot dog for lunch that day.

Friday, September 12, 2008

they're everywhere

I just experienced a "live chat" telemarketer. I made a room reservation at Super8 and as soon as I hit "reserve", a window popped open with a message that was directed at me. It asked if I was there and called me by name, I made the mistake of replying (because she tricked me and said that because I had made the reservation on the home site that I was going to get $20 off my reservation). "Jessica" continued to try and sell me the Super8 traveler plan or something. She typed that she would just go ahead and use my credit card that I used for my reservation and it would be all set up. I typed "NO" and she countered with more sales pitch. I typed "NO" again and she gave up and said "okay your card will not be charged and your account noted that you declined the offer." AND I didn't get the $20 off my room either.

Has anyone else experienced this yet?

Friday, September 05, 2008

misaligned planets

it's been a weird week. i keep telling people the planets must be out of whack because things just seem strange to me.

wednesday morning i got a phone call telling me that one of my brother's closest friends had shot himself in the head after an argument with his ex-wife. it upset me because this guy is really kind hearted and i know he has made some bad decisions but i like him. i did find out later that evening that he survived, he shot himself straight up through the chin and while he still has a rough road to recovery, he didn't have brain damage at least.

guns...i've never been a fan of them but have also never been a strong anti-gun person either. i grew up in the midwest, my dad was a hunter, my brother a hunter, uncles, etc.
my brother is "gun happy" and always has been though. It really is a wonder he didn't shoot something or someone (like me) when he was a teenager. He has an AK47 in his bedroom, about two years ago he made me shoot it off his back deck into the pond. I did not enjoy it. I can't help but think, if this guy had not had a gun handy, he would have just gotten pissed drunk and passed out. Of course, as Chimp pointed out, he could have walked in front of a train too.

I've been working out with a personal trainer. It's been two weeks (three days a week, so I guess it's really only been six sessions) and I really feel stronger and tighter. The scale has fluctuated between down 4lbs and the same as when I started, what is up with that? I sweat my butt off every workout, interval training, circuit training, and boxing (which i am loving). I just got finished with today's session and my arms are feeling weak after some bench presses and other upper body stuff.

It's rainy and chilly today. Too dreary for this time of year, seems more like late October. Blah.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

what i learned in Reno and then some

1. flying over Salt Lake is amazing. the swirling agate patterns in the Earth were unexpected and I had to google it to see what I was looking at. A five year drought and salt flats. Hmmmm.

2. Reno is not as beautiful as Lake Tahoe.

3. Mineral make up is the best. (of course I recommend the Body Shop's version).

4. I have some ability with a golf club.

5. I can run up the down escalators without stopping or falling.

6. I still know how to bowl.

7. The air in Reno definitely messes with your head and body. There is no way five beers should have made me act like that.

and then some:

1. your blood sugar should be around 4 to 6 on the scale. if they say it's 14.1 then you are in bad shape.

2. it's a honking sort of day (my four year old declared).

3. an arched window with sunburst pattern looks much better than a plastic sheet stapled in place.

4. facebook is addicting

Monday, July 28, 2008

foreign exchange program

so stinkypaw has started this food swap. a few of us were invited to participate (the few, the brave, the lovers of snacks, candy, and comfort food).
the idea is to send her sweet treats or some other comfort food that can only be found in our particular area.
i struggled a bit at first because the only things i was coming up with were items that would be impossible to ship to canada. my ideas that got shot down.

Culvers. A fast food chain in the midwest that has the best cheeseburgers ever. "butter burgers." mmmmmm.

steak n shake. another fast food chain with very popular milk shakes and skinny french fries. i rarely eat at the steak n shake but the very first one (which they only recently tore down) was opened in a town just a few miles away.

the horseshoe sandwich. a sandwich that practically every restaurant in central Illinois claims to have invented. this sandwich can really only be found on menus in central illinois. it consists of two pieces of toasted bread served open faced. each slice of toast has a hamburger patty (some serve ham instead), then the meat is topped with a big ol' pile of french fries and the whole thing gets smothered in melted cheese sauce. might be pretty difficult to mail to stinkypaw.

deep dish pizza. i live near chicago after all. i actually am a thin crust girl. we have monical's pizza and the crust is so thin it's like crackers...i love it!

So, i finally decided on two product samplers that i think will ship okay. i'll have to pack them with a freezer pack just in case but i think they'll make it. I don't want to spill the beans of what i'm sending because i'm not sure what stinky is planning to do with the final project. i will say that one of the items is something made right here in my home town. the lady who makes it has a copyright on the recipe so no one else in the world can make it (so she tells me). and the other item is coveted by people across the nation who used to live in chicago and have moved away. it's one of those "must haves" to take home and stock pile.
I am also mailing Preppygirl one of those items since I know she'll appreciate it like no one else.

Now the trick is to keep Monkeybrigade and the kids OUT of my bag in the fridge.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

where there is much light, the shadow is deep. goethe

this was at the museum of science and industry. you stand near the screen and your shadow interacts with the blobs. the kids loved it.

family portrait at navy pier

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

tagged by galoot

My eddie vedder. (of course that relationship was all a figment of my imagination)

Maybe I should... eat more vegetables.

I love... a freshly painted room.

People would say... "who's shannon?"

I don't understand... math.

When I wake up in the morning... i'm happy.

I lost... $200 in Las Vegas a few years ago.

Life is full of... choices.

My past is something... I prefer to block out.

I get annoyed when... my son makes raspberry sounds for 7 hours on a road trip.

Parties are... fun when I throw them. Toga party. July 11th. My house.

I wish... that all my favorite people would come to my toga party.

Dogs... are unpredictable and bite people.

Cats... poop a lot more than you would think.

Tomorrow...I am going to Ikea.

I have a low tolerance for... Katie Holmes' movies, green peppers, filthy rich celebs who want me to donate my money for their causes, bugs.

If I had a million dollars... remodel my house.

I'm totally terrified of... something bad happening to my children.

tag. YOU are it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

my door

I am part of a group of local artists who occasionally do some group projects for downtown. It's been a long time since we've done something and my ability and motivation was really tested. It is true "use it or lose it."
The "assignment" was to do something with a door which would be placed at various places in our downtown. "Doors of Downtown" was installed today and here is my finished piece.

I really struggled with my conception. My very first instinct was to do "knock knock" jokes (it's a DOOR, get it?) I groaned and then decided to do "Star Doors" and do some kind of Darth Vader type door. I thought about "Adoornment" which led to "AdornAment" and I was going to glue Christmas ornaments all over it. Groan again...I kept going back to the knock knock jokes and that is when I decided it would be clever to insert them into Superhero Comic strips.

Here is a close up of my Incredible Hulk sneezing strip. When it got put up, it became blocked by the lamp post. The entire backside is painted with chalkboard paint and I hung giant pieces of chalk so people could write down their own favorite knock knock jokes.
I'm going to have to make some trips downtown over the next few weeks to see what people have drawn or written on the door. I imagine there will be plenty of profanity and some rude comments, I'll take pictures and report back. That might be more clever than my door.

Backside of the door, this side faces the street.

other doors

these are doors for our downtown art project. these are just a few of the other artist's doors. maybe i'll post more of them later.

This door was a 3-D piece with a girl popping out the front. Her foot is also popping out the back side of the door. Then it's covered with newsprint. The artist who did this door is my "art idol", joanE ~ she can do anything.

Another door from joanE. This one is funny. It says "Thus creating a false sense of security" and it has numerous locks and bolts along with a peep hole. Just funny since it's a screen door.

This door is from another local artist named Barb. She does these amazing little sculptures and pictures from found objects. She primarily works with white. She did two doors, both with the theme of "Leonar Door DaVinci"

Click on this one for the close up. It's a good example of her found object creations. Several years ago we did a window with the theme "Water Water Everywhere..." It was a window installation featuring designs inspired by Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and Barb's piece was a beautiful white on white albatross in a shadow box. (My contribution was hours upon hours upon hours of writing the entire poem which is very very long onto a long sleeve tee shirt. I used three shades of blue fabric pen and black marker and made the words into a raging sea that travelled across the shirt and sleeves)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

sunday at duncan manor

This magnificent home is called Duncan Manor and it's huge and old and up until today
has been quite mysterious. It's located far up a looooong lane in the middle of nowhere.
It is so huge that it's easily seen from the highway though and I swear every person who lives around here has uttered these words when driving past:
"I would love to see what that house looks like on the inside."

For years it was rumored to have been part of the underground railroad. I have done my part to perpetuate this myth, only recently hearing the truth (that it was not built yet during the times when the underground railroad would have been effective.)

This home has sat empty for as long as i've been alive. A couple of months ago a couple purchased the house. The woman is the president of the local "Old House Society" and the husband is a contractor. They plan to restore it and make it their residence.
I read in the paper that due to such a huge response from local residents that they were going to offer tours of the home in the "before" stages.

We drove to a nearby school where a bus picked up all the curious people and paid our $10 per person. (The money was all being donated to the Old House Society). They did the tours two days and had hundreds of people go through the house.

In the bottom photo you can see the back of the house and the amazing open air patios between the two sections of home. There is one on the main floor and the second floor. This was the coolest thing about the house (close up photo on wikipedia). You walk from one bedroom out onto the patio and then into the master bedroom. All of the windows (something like 65) were ceiling to floor (10ft), of course they were all busted out and graffiti lined many of the walls but good bones are good bones.

Each bedroom had a massive ornamental fireplace, the doors in the parlor were still in tact and massive. Up the winding staircase there were niches with marble bases (can't believe they were still in perfect condition). There was a second staircase that was much more narrow (the servants stairs) and it went all the way up to the third floor. In the third floor attic (which a very cool room that the new owners son told me he wants to convert into his bedroom) was a ladder leading up to the roof balcony thing that can be seen in the top photo (that is the front of the home). We weren't allowed to go up the ladder for safety reasons.

The couple have said that they are going to offer another tour when the project is finished.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

toothless, braless, garage sale

it's june again and the heat is here. it made it into the 90's yesterday. i'm not complaining about that (yet) though because it's been so cold here all "Spring."

my mom, neighbor, and i had a garage sale this past weekend. i sold a lot of crap...i mean...really great stuff. i cleared out some space in my garage, basement, attic, and closets and that feels good. i'm not crazy about getting ready for a garage sale but i actually enjoy having the sale itself. socializing and chatting with people all day, friends stop by because they see me sitting outside. donuts.
you also get the crazies. this year a toothless, braless woman purchased my mom's lounge chair (the patio chair that reclines) and then she bought a small table because that "would go perfect with it." she paid $6 for both items and carried it off to the end of my driveway where she had her BICYCLE waiting. her bike had one of those kit carriers attached to it and she pulled out some chains and rigged that table and chair up onto her bike and rode off.

my neighbor's husband sat with us for awhile and chatted. he was highly entertained by all the "lovely" ladies that a garage sale brings out. braless, toothless, dirty, scabby, sausage rolls, and yes, even one lady wearing an all crocheted petticoat and matching beanie hat.

we packed up and had a cookout. i played some after dark hide and seek with all the kids and that was lots of fun. when i came inside, i got drunk dialed by preppygirl. she and galoot were in cleveland with her brother and a friend to see kids in the hall. i told galoot that i was the coolest mom on the block (for playing hide and seek) and he informed me that preppygirl was the coolest mom on his cock. Niiiice.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Real Life
spent the day sorting and cleaning out all the junk from my attic. my seven year old was happy because she made a haul. i tossed her several of my old sketch books, a pack of colored pencils, some reference books with animals, and a new in box keroppi the frog diary and wallet.

jude didn't fair quite as well, he only came out of the day with a Batman lunchbox that i had packed away.

i am not even close to having it all sorted out, i'll tackle the rest today and get my garage cleaned out next for my sale next weekend.

i also got my daughter's new fan/light combo hung up in her room (a half finished project from weeks ago). i hung up two shelves that i had found in the attic, one looks great in the boy's room for his favorite cars and hooks for his rubber snake.

Reality TV
I had to stop cleaning at 7pm to watch the big American Idol finale. What a disappointment. The whole boxing comparison was so cheesy and it made David Cook look like an ass (you could tell he was not comfortable with it). David A on the other hand looked perfectly happy to play along.

first song: Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, obviously it's a great song but David C is put at a big disadvantage when they give David A, Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me. I mean come on, that is a BIG song with a BIG payoff. The U2 song is a beautiful song but a much better choice would have been One, it's a bigger song with more power to it.
Now, David A's version of Sun was not even in the same ballpark as Clay Aiken's. I had to go and look it up on YouTube and watched it twice I liked it so much.

My vote for Round One? Clay Aiken

second song: WTF? make them sing the SAME song. DC could have sang the shit out of that ballad but do you think DA could have sang the "rock" song? no way.
Randy says that DA could "sing the phone book" at pretty much every judging, get a new line Randy. He could sing the phone book and you WOULD praise him because the show is rigged.

My vote for Round Two? nobody wins, those songs were cheese

third song: Oh David Cook...I have to agree with simon...wrong song (though a beautiful song) for this point in the competition. You didn't have to sing Billie Jean or Hello but another song with that kind of punch would have been better. David A....why does everyone think this version of Imagine is so great?? I don't get it, I don't like the runs (and joooiiiiinnnnn uuuuisssss) and the tone of his voice is kind of "tinny" not full and passionate as this song should be.

My vote for Round Three: David Cook.

and now....i've got to go watch some more clay aiken AI vids. ;)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Doors and Strippers and Aching Legs...oh my!

random experiences over the last few days:

The Door
My artsy friends are doing a project with our downtown development group. They asked me to design a Door (kind of like the cow thing). Each artist is going to design a door and they'll be hung up next to the lamp posts downtown. I went garage sale-ing and found a cool old door for $2 so now i have to complete my concept and execute in the next two weeks. I'll post pictures when they are done.
My concept is "knock knock jokes" SO, i am looking for some jokes, leave your fav. joke in my comments and it may make it onto my piece.

The Stripper
had an interesting Body Shop party. a group of nurses wanted to have a foot fun party along with a birthday party for one of their friends. i had about 16 women soaking their feet and doing shots. just as i finished my portion of the party they shut the lights out and and the police sirens whistled.

this young spiky haired guy comes in spouting corny stripper jokes about getting wet and finding some "crack" in her (the birthday girl) backside. he proceeded to "search" her with his flashlight and then did some kind of wheel barrow move on her. I need to say that these women are not young little co-eds, we are talking about soccer moms.

i finished up my paperwork and packed up and snuck out the back door before he got to me (he was going around to all the party guests and giving them each their own little dance....uh....i don't really need to be given a ride on party boy. one of the ladies still there happens to be an EMT with my husband, she told him the next day that i missed the "best" part when he got totally naked. According to sharon, he was very well endowed. UH, that was obvious from the banana hammock actually.

Aching Legs!
Saturday morning I got up early to go with my sister in law for a fundraiser walk. We were walking for the Champions for Children, (the Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois). The walk was 10 miles and started in downtown Bloomington and we walked all the way to Towanda (I know that doesn't mean much to many of you but trust me, it's impressive that I made it the whole way in 3 hours).
It was technically 10.8 miles and by about the 7th mile, my legs were aching and my will to continue was waning. We were on old Rt 66 for most of this walk so there were no bathrooms or breaks. One of the guys I was walking with (who was from Chicago area) said "oh we are walking on the frontage road most of the way." Gulp, frontage road?? I had to laugh because around here the Mother Road is celebrated all summer long.
Anyway, Kathy and I finished up the walk and met up with the rest of the family at a mexican restaurant for an anniversary dinner for Monkey's parents. We were ready for some cold beers and some FOOD.

This morning I could barely move my legs. Yowza! Give me some advil and a massage.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

SO excited about my new grass

Okay, I discovered this new "curly wurly" grass today and I am loving it.
It's crazy with curly q's.

Monday, May 05, 2008

holy moly paul showed up

what a surprise i had yesterday when my long lost friend showed up at my house out of the blue.

i went to high school with paul, we worked together at a shitty video store with a tyrant of a boss. then we went to art school together and had some great times.

paul is the kind of friend you love to hang out with because he laughs so full and hearty that it's contagious. you won't even have a clue what he is laughing at but you'll start laughing just watching him. it's awesome.
he had this tom cruise from the 80's thing going so the girls all fell madly in love with him. i tried making out with him once (okay, maybe twice) but it just didn't feel right, he is definitely more like a brother to me.

paul is the originator of such words as "infurious" as in "Preppygirl, you make me feel so infurious." we still use that word today in our little circle.

i last saw paul at my wedding almost 10 years ago and spoke to him on the phone about 2 years ago. i mailed he and his wife a christmas card that was returned so i thought he was lost for good.

so yesterday everyone was outside playing with the kids and doing yardwork, i went inside for something and my mom comes in and says "guess who's here? your long lost friend whom I love." well i said "it must be paul" because my mom has always adored him. paul was in town visiting his dad who was in town visiting his relatives (his dad currently lives in Pa.)

i brought paul inside and showed him my version of the refridgerator song. he and Mr. Social were the first to perform that little number back in college. he laughed at garypetersjr's videos and we called preppygirl so he could say "hello".

it was a great surprise.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

diamond when it's rough

okay, i'm going to post about american idol like it really matters. my love for all things neil diamond dictates that i say something.
i don't care what anyone says, neil diamond is the shit.

i remember when i was really little and my mom went to see Johnathan Livingston Seagull and came home with the record. I loved it. I still love it.

I remember in my tormented college days being heartbroken and driving around blasting "Love on the Rocks". I hid the cassette when I picked up my friend Lee and he saw and it was like "fuck yeah, I love Neil Diamond."

Just a couple of years ago, Galoot and I sang a moving rendition (if I do say so myself) of "You Don't Bring Me Flowers."....i remember all the things you taught me. i learned how to laugh and i learned how to cry...well you think i could learn how to

As for last night's performances:
David Cook: decent, he's the only one i really enjoy watching anyway. i would have liked to see him do "girl, you'll be a woman soon." think the kids would have recognized it from Pulp Fiction.

Jason Castro: I actually thought "Forever in Blue Jeans" was perfect for him. It was a little low key but that is his style. Sept. Morn was not a good choice. He should have sang "The Story of My Life" or possibly "Red Red Wine."

Syesha: not my style.

Brook: i was really pulling for her but wtf? why would she "i'm a believer"? also, bad decision to change the lyrics from New York city born to Arizona (sorry Neil, don't think you thought that one through). "I am I said" is an amazing song, she did okay on that one. She's very Carole Kingish. Instead of believer she should have sang "BE" although it's on par with "I am I said."

David Archwhatever: I wanted to come through the television and punch him in the face. That arrangement of Sweet Caroline was a travesty. That song should make everyone want to get up and sing at the top of their lungs along with you. By contrast, Coming to America was the only song he could possibly sing (maybe he could have chosen that E.T. song). Most of Neil's songs are sexual and have a maturity that this kid is not capable of portraying.

what i think about...

the polygamist compound in texas:
i was blown away when my step father said that he did not think the government should have gone in and taken the kids and that they especially should not have the right to take their dna.
i think it's about time someone did something to help those children. it's one thing to say that they are being brainwashed about their religion (because really, aren't we all?) but those kids were being abused. they HAD to take their dna because everyone was lying about who's kids were whose. total craziness. like really..crazy people.
could you even imagine forcing your child to marry a man as old as her grandfather when she is just barely a teenager? who in their right mind could agree with that? i also watched a program where they said that there are many (like hundreds) of babies who die each year in those compounds because of incest and that they are just discarded without funeral or care. so sad for the babies and so sad for the children who bear them.

i am not however completely against polygamy. i'm not certain that i personally could live in a multiple marriage (because i could never SERVE and take orders from any one person) but i can see the appeal of having more than one mom and wife.

Muslim woman (defendant) suing judge who ordered her to remove her veil in court:
general law trumps religious laws. sorry about your luck lady, if your religion is that important to you then move somewhere that does not have laws that conflict with your religious beliefs. i feel the same about pretty much all of those "politically correct" lawsuits. again. general law trumps religious laws. they can't create a different set of laws for every person and what they believe. some people believe in human sacrifice as part of their religion...are we going to create a new set of rules for them?

Reverand Wright:
wow, hope all of you who were arguing with me about him can now see that he really is a hateful man. he said that what barack was doing was "just politics." isn't baracks entire campaign about him not being a typical politician? woah, he pissed off obama. hilarious. it's like wright didn't like being dissed and had to have the last word or something. his ego was wounded. i guess the chickens are coming home to roost. (seriously, what does that mean anyway? why is it bad to have your chickens come home?)

price of gas:
holy shit! it took $90 to fill my tank last week. it's like having a freaking boat! i'm so glad that the weather is getting nice and we can get out the bikes and start walking again.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

that boy!

yesterday my boy turned four years old.
we had a party. it was fun.
he is SUCH a boy. he was walking around with a battery operated screwdriver (toy) and was randomly "screwing" objects (like the couch, the floor, the chair). and then...

aunt kathy: wow jude, that's a cool screwdriver
jude: hey, ya want me to screw your boobie?

the funniest part is that later in the kitchen, we were laughing about it and kathy remarked (in front of her husband), "i don't think i've ever had my boobie screwed." all eyes went to uncle chimp and he just said "no comment."

Monday, April 21, 2008


dang, blogger is not letting me upload pictures right now. i have some posted on my other blog if you want to check them out.

i went snorkeling and saw some nice fish. it was calm and about 10 ft deep. then they put us back on the catamaran and took us out where it was about 60 ft deep. we got to see a shipwreck, it was very cool. the waves were a bit daunting and the water colder but it was exciting.
when everyone was back on the ship, they had an open bar and some island music. people were dancing and having a good time.

i went parasailing. it was very very very windy. the first time a gust of wind caught my shoot and swung me sideways was a little scary. i kept picturing the rope snapping and flying off to Venezuela. i was able to look down and see about 5 sea turtles below me, that was pretty cool.

chowder, goat soup, lobster tail, lots and lots of rum drinks, island music, sand, heat, wind, casinos, jackpots, more rum drinks, dancing, lizards, adventure, fun, friends.

can't wait for next year's trip...anyone want to come with me? i'm tired of earning the trip alone.

later gator.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

top chef

okay, so even after my tipsy phone calls, i managed to stay up and watch the repeat of Top Chef.

i missed the quickfire though....i'm sure it will be on bravo sometime this week.

the elimination challenge was food that tied into a movie. because they had guest judge Richard Roper (chicago movie critic).

i was surprised by the willy wonka food. they said it was really good but i would have thought more whimsical and a lot more chocolate but at least they played up the "fizzy lifting drink."

i thought of preppygirl when the one team did A Christmas Story. chinese christmas dinner.

I really thought that most of the teams chose odd movies and the link from their food to the movie was weak (i mean, really, making beef and saying it was inspired by Top Secret??). It got me to thinking about what movie I would do and I have a list:

1. my first thought was Under the Tuscan Sun and I would make some kind of olive dish
2. Silence of the Lambs: duh..Lamb and favre beans
3. Lady & the Tramp: spaghetti and meatballs (too corny?)
4. Ratatouille
5. Soylent Green (could be a pesto sauce of some sort) would be funny to plate it with different shapes of pasta to make a person.

care to add any to the list?

btw. the dude who packed his knives has so far been pretty forgettable so no surprise that he got Das Boot.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

he is a star

so my son's first commercial is airing now. we finally got to see it and he looks adorable.

we happened to have been eating in a local restaurant where my son LOVES the pancakes (does not matter what time of day it is, he gets the pancakes). this was back in february i think. Anyway...we walked in and a film crew was in there making a commercial. We sat to down to eat breakfast and the film crew spotted our animated little diner and asked if they could film him

he took direction very well. they said take a bite of your pancake and he did. they said now look at the camera and give us a thumbs up which he did. of course he opened his mouth and showed off the chewed up pancake when he did it....ah...3 year olds.

they filmed him for a little bit and that was it. on my last visit to the restaurant, the owner said "jude is going to be in the commercial and it's airing soon." i asked what channels and he said FoxNews, HGTV, and ESPN. Of course not nationally but I was thinking it would be on our local cable access channel only.

then yesterday monkey's mom called and said she just saw him on tv. so i kept the tv on fox news all afternoon and finally saw it. I yelled for the kids to come in and watch. Magda laughed and jude had the biggest grin watching himself on tv. They ended up getting him just eating and looking out of the corner of his eye with a sly grin on his face. Super cute.

Later last night...i heard an argument erupt in the other room. "JUST 'CUZ YOU GOT YOUR OWN COMMERCIAL, YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS YOU KNOW!" my daughter yelled. She continued to say "YOU'RE NOT EVEN THE STAR". she is a little jealous of her baby brother.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

cinderella story

did i mention that i'm gong to aruba in a couple of weeks? my free (earned) body shop incentive trip is coming up april 14th. i'm ready to get away but have started having those doomsday plane crash nightmares.
now, i've blogged about it so if my plane crashes, everyone can say "oh, she had a premonition that this would happen." except that i have this anxiety every single time i travel (by car, by plane, train, boat, doesn't matter). do all moms have this fear? dying would really suck, not so much for me because i'll be dead but for my kids because a step mom would surely fuck them up.
it's common knowledge that step moms are evil bitches.

i'm still doing the fargin elliptical. on the advice of someone who is physically active, i am "switching it up". this was the conversation:

me: i've got to go to the rec center and do the elliptical. it sucks.

him: you should try jogging

me: jogging is not an option for a large breasted mother of two. gravity is not my friend.

him: T.M.I. (we are not really "friends" more like co-workers)

me: really, i've been doing the elliptical at least 4 days a week, 40 minutes at 60 RPM. every single second of it sucks and i have not lost one pound in 5 weeks.

him: you are doing it too much. you've got to switch it up. seriously, when is the last time you were physically fit?

me: *thinking*.....*thinking*.....uh...never.

so, i've started walking the track every other day for one hour (I try and do 4 miles in that hour but it's hard to keep up that pace on a track, I find that I slow down unless I have another person on track going the same speed and I can follow their pace).
Today is an elliptical day. Ugh.

I'm waiting for Monkey to put the Les Mis soundtrack on my IPOD so that I can pretend that I am Cosette on Broadway.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mr. E. Bunny


I put the eggs in the fridge until Sunday morning (when the E.bunny will hide them and then I will turn them into deviled eggs for dinner). I found a note laying on top of them later. It had a colorful drawing of an easter egg and the note said
"Hi Ester bunny. I am Mazzy. I hope you find us. Pleese don't hurt my cats."

Friday, March 14, 2008

the space wanderer

about 15 years ago, i loaned my copy of the very hard to find "Venus on the Half-Shell" book to a friend out of state. This book was supposedly penned by Kilgore Trout who was one of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s characters throughout many of his books.
In actuality, a man by the name of Farmer wrote the book (with Vonnegut's permission though he later regretted it). The book has become a thing of legend with most people not believing it's even a real book until they see a copy for themselves.

i had several conversations with the friend who i had loaned the book to and it seemed that he had loaned it to someone else and that person loaned it to someone else and so on. the book was gonesville in my mind. Not a big deal, sure I would have liked it back but I wasn't pining for it or anything like that.

today i got an unexpected surprise in the mail. i couldn't even imagine what was in the yellow envelope from my friend N8. I was thinking it might be old photographs or artwork or something and then there it was. Venus on the Half-Shell.

i'm going to start re-reading it tonight.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

pointing out the obvious

so, here is a clip from Obama's preacher.
if you don't want to watch it (and i don't blame you), the gyst of it is that he (Jeremiah Wright) is ashamed of black people who aren't voting for Barack Obama because he is the ONLY candidate who "understands" the plight of the poor black man. What frustrates me about this the most is that Geraldine Ferraro was called a racist for saying that Barack is only as far as he is because he is black. By this preachers own rants, he is saying that ALL black people should vote for Barack simply because he is black. Who is the true racist? In my opinion, she just called it like it is.
I am very concerned that if Barack is elected president this type of man is going to be where he gets his "spiritual" guidance.

Also in regards to this man's sermon...why does he think Hillary has had it so easy? It hasn't been that long since women have had equal rights to white men either. Women still don't have equal pay for equal work and there is most definitely still a double standard. WTF? I'm not out preaching that all women should be ashamed of themselves if they "just don't get it" and are not supporting our "sister".

If Barack doesn't reject this man, will you still vote for him? Is it a fair statement that if Hillary can be called a racist because of what Geraldine said, then Barack himself is a racist because of what his people said? I'm still really trying to think this through. Like I said in the beginning, there isn't much difference between Hillary and Barack's policies and ideas and I would have been fine with either of them (though leaning toward Hillary) but as time has gone on, my instincts towards Barack have told me that he is not the right man at this time. As much as I hate to say this, if he wins the nomination ~ I'll be voting for McCain. (not that it matters since I live in freaking Illinois).

Monday, March 10, 2008

a whole new set of fantasies for my workouts

we went to the home show to get some ideas for future home remodel projects. i was glad that monkey went with me (usually i go alone) because he could get some ideas and start thinking about remodeling in a more concrete way.
speaking of concrete (nice segue, i know), one of the booths that really caught our eye was the concrete sinks and counters. a couple of guys started this business and the examples they had at the show were gorgeous. the sinks are very cool though i think a bit impractical because of the shallowness of the basin. we took their card and will definitely get an estimate when we are ready for countertops.

i was very drawn to the outdoor patio areas. the stacked brick retaining walls, the paver patio, the outdoor kitchens....ah to dream.

the most serious inquiry we had was for installing a geothermal heating/cooling system in our house. i think we are going to this fairly soon (summer maybe). its quite expensive, we haven't had our own estimate done but heard around $17K for the whole shebang. BUT, that money will be completely recouped within 5 years off gas and electric bills. one point the brochure made that really struck a chord with me was that as of right now if you calculate, you'll be saving between $100 to $200 a month (depends on your own utilities obviously) but that number is just going to keep going up because of the cost of gas and electricity rising. Who knows, in five years you could be saving double that.
so the way it works is that these systems of pipes are put into the ground (deep) where the constant temperature is roughly 54 degrees. it pumps a water solution through the pipes to absorb the heat in winter and deposit the heat in summer. this heats your house to 54 degrees so you only need your furnace to heat it up the last 15 or 20 degrees. in the summer, you don't even need your external AC anymore.

there are lots of other good reasons to do it too but ultimately savings is our big motivator.
i read the list of people around here who have it and i know two of the families, i'm going to call them and see what they think of it.

in other news...mazzy was sick again. her fever got up to 104.8 last night. when she gets sick, she really goes for it. she pretty much slept all weekend, poor girl. we had a nice routine of motrin and tylenol going. she had to miss a fun birthday party at gym. i'm just waiting for jude to get sick now...he's a pretty solid chunk of boy though, those germs would have to be supervillans to take him down.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

everybody's doing a brand new trance now...

i just finished another 40 minutes on the dreaded elliptical. it does get easier the more days i do it.

i was just wondering what you think about when you are exercising. do you concentrate on your muscles and the movement of the workout? perhaps you listen to music and just think about the lyrics. do you watch a tv program and zone out to that? do you play over experiences or problem solve? or maybe you do what i do and go into an exercise "trance" with fantasies.

my fantasies sometimes consist of me all firm and fit in a swim suit (usually a modest one piece) on the beaches of Aruba (where i am going in april). or me shopping for a super cute dress that shows off my fabulous body. but MOST of my exercise fantasies are about me winning an obscene amount of money in the lottery and how i would spend it.

today was a winning lottery day and i took the whole family to the Nick Hotel in Florida. I also flew down Preppygirl, Galoot and the kiddies. We stayed in the most awesome 3 bedroom suite where the walls were decked out with Jimmy Neutron. We played on the water slides all week.
Sometime after 20 minutes of gliding, I bought some property and designed myself a new house. It even has a 3 season room with cat doors and a long screened in tunnel around the garden for the cats to go "outside" without being able to run away or get attacked by wild animals. I included a theater room and my own gym so I don't have to go out in the snow to torture myself on this machine.
After about 35 minutes and 3.49 miles, I decided that if I won that much money I would just go to a plastic surgeon for some lipo and get those weekly colonics that celebrities get.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

hey's Tuesday

a tuesday poem

what good are you?
i bought a scratch off and won a "free ticket"
i didn't die doing 40 minutes on the elliptical
i got a small check in the mail
you don't totally suck.

(but you are no friday!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

in a galaxy far far away...

My son was watching Star Wars with my mom and said,
"is this that movie with Goldenbutt?"

Monday, February 11, 2008


my almost 4 year old got a "cars" digital camera for christmas.
he took this eerie picture of his sister. i kinda like it.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

snow pants

for some reason blogger isn't letting me post my pictures 8(

yesterday i officially became the coolest mom on the block. I went out to shovel snow from the driveway and took both my kids with me. Bundled up in their snow pants and layers of socks and gloves I let them go crazy in the snow.
The neighbor kids were also out (twin 7 year old boys and a little girl the same age as my son). So, as I shoveled they all played around me. I was piling all the snow into one big pile up by the garage and it soon turned into a "fort." Well, I kinda got sidetracked (from shoveling) building this fort and it was looking pretty good when the kids made teams and the other team wanted their own fort. So, I made a fort in the neighbors yard (just off the side of my driveway), next to a big tree. Now we had two awesome snow forts and we had a snowball fight. It was fun, I took pictures and realized afterward that I had not put my memory card into the camera (duh!!). I got the card and just took some shots of the kids.

I built a third fort. A small completely enclosed one that we called the lookout. My daughter was busy decorating them with plastic pumpkins she had found in the garage. Why? I have no idea. She started making seats in the sides of the snow and putting sticks in like flags, etc.

I was really trying to get the drive shoveled and started piling more snow on the second fort (the one by the tree). Eventually, we realized that it was the biggest and best fort and decided to really make it awesome. So, of course we made a tunnel leading into the fort. The boys were completely amazed that I knew how to make forts and really blown away that I could show them how to make a tunnel.

Before we got to play in it, the boys had to go in and warm up and I had to take Mazzy to the eye doctor (she had to get glasses ~ another post on that later). I left and the forts were looking good.

and then I came home two hours later to mutilation. The boys had been let loose and destroyed the first fort and the lookout fort. They had caved in the tunnel on the biggest and most awesome fort and informed me that they "put in a chimney." (The chimney must have been the small chair inserted upside down in the top of the fort.)

today i am sore. but still cool.

(i'll try and post the picts tomorrow if blogger will let me)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

first time for everything

i heard a thud and then crying. it was my three year old boy and his cry was unusual. it wasn't the fake cry he does when his sister has taken something from him. it wasn't his loud "i just hurt myself really bad" cry, and it wasn't his whining "i'm tired and everything is pissing me off cry".

instead it was a whimpering sort of catching his breath type of cry. i went into his room to see him holding his crotch and rocking back and forth while crying and saying "i hurt myself. i hurt myself".

i asked my daughter (who was standing next to the bed) what happened since it was obvious he could not articulate at that moment. she informed me that he was trying to climb over the end of the bed and one foot slipped and he fell onto the bed post. Hmmmm. so he racked himself.

my poor little baby boy, his first time injuring the "family jewels." I'm sure it won't be the last.

Monday, January 28, 2008

do this dance

so at the family birthday party for mazzy we had the usual crew. we did the singing of bday song, blowing out of candles and eating of cake. monkey's parents always make HOME MADE ice cream and it's always delish.

chimp was in the kitchen with "fem-monkey" and a few other people and they were playing with jude boy who was going a little crazy. He gets pretty worked up when he has an audience and LOVES his uncle chimp.
so jude starts doing some crab walk like dance and chimp says to him
chimp: that's pretty cool. what do you call that?
jude: oh, that's just the "itchy cock" dance.

i asked him the next day what that crazy dance was called again and he told me the "itchy poooodle". that's better.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

she's seven

my girl turned seven yesterday.



i made heart shaped cupcakes and piped on the frosting (lots of it). i took them to school for her and when i picked her up she said that the kids thought the cupcakes were "wickedly awesome."

we are having a party for her on saturday but let her open a few small items we got for her at Claire's.

one of her dolls has a sleep outfit and it came with a sleep mask. i have found her asleep in bed with this sleep mask on and it's cutting off circulation in her cheeks. So, we picked out a new sleep mask for her. Last night i went up to bed and checked on her as usual. she had fallen asleep in my bed so i went to move her to her room. when i pulled the covers back and she rolled over, i starting cracking up laughing because she had the new sleep mask on and it's got a realistic looking photo of a cat's eyes on it.
i tried to find a photo online of the exact one and can't find it. i'll take a picture of her tonight while she's sleeping. it's hilarious.

in other news:
it's FREEZING here. i think it was 8 below this morning. ugh. january sucks.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

disaster area

So, our town has been declared a disaster area. The photo shows our junior high school. Our house is about one block away from where the flood waters reached so we are pretty lucky (so far). We have some seepage in our basement but no standing water. Our sump pump is definitely getting a work out though.
My Aunt and cousin are staying with us because their basement is full (like clear to the ceiling full). They had a wall in the basement collapse and had to have their gas and electric turned off. My cousin just waded home to check things out and said she can now see in the basement because water has receded about six inches. Her freezer and washer and dryer are just floating around.
Monkey Brigade worked with the EMS yesterday helping evacuate people and hospice patients into the armory. That would suck. Then of course he had to go into work at 11pm, back to his class this morning. He's running on fumes.
A woman jumped off the Mill st. bridge into the river and was rescued about two miles up river. She was trying to commit suicide.
A classmate of mine was electrocuted (to death). Seems he was holding a drop cord and slipped into his flooded basement.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

..and a new one has begun

a rocking new years eve at our house this year. for the first time in awhile, i was actually still awake at midnight.
everyone else was snoring away and i watching a netflix movie that i have had for about two months. the Queen. i originally was disappointed because i thought i had rented the cate blanchette movie about the Queen and so i put if off and put it off.
i had seen enough of episodes of Americas Next Top Model marathon to last me for a few years so i popped in the movie.
it was interesting. i wonder if that is really how the royal family acts.....

i heard loud booms and saw the sky light up outside the living room window. yippee, it's a new year.

i have notoriously had very sucky new year's eves. i actually cannot remember one single new years that was as fun as they make it look on tv or in the movies. hmmmmm.

queue the wavy lines that signify memory flashback....
going back to the year i had just turned 14...i was at a party and when the clock struck midnight, this guy kissed me. it was my first "real" kiss and i was freaked out because he was really cute and about two years older than i was. i pulled away and he yelled at me "you ruined it!". oh the humiliation.

or how about the time i drove to chicago to hang out with my friends scott and karen. hell yeah, we were going out for new years eve in chicago. i was 22 i think. i was ready to meet some new people, make out (i wasn't afraid anymore) with some cute city boy, and party 'til dawn. SO, scott took us to some hotel with a bar. It was in Winnetka. Uhhhhh, not exactly what I had in mind. There were TWO people there sitting at the bar watching sports. We left and just decided to drive around until we found a club or something. For some reason, he didn't take us INTO the city, we went to some god awful dance club. It was the meat market Frat boy type of club and Scott was gay and I was very deep into my arty/hippie/weird girl phase. Karen didn't want to leave because she had picked up some dude so we were good sports and stayed. Finally, we talked her into leaving and we drove....and we drove.....and they smoked....and the smoked....and my contacts were drying out and they were singing that snoop dogg song "it's like this and like that and blah blah blah..." they played that fucking song over and over as we just kept driving until the sun came up and he realized that we were in Wisconsin.

there are more but i'm feeling nauseous from memories....

hope you all had fun times and rocking hang overs.