shhh... it's a secret

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Picture Post

Regular posting will return tomorrow (I promise). In the meantime, enjoy this picture post of my week visiting my sister and her two boys.

(FYI- I don't suck at taking pictures, in case you were wondering. I'm just not entirely comfortable posting pics of my nephews without my sister's permission. That's why their faces are mostly concealed.)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Microwave mishaps -or- How my MacGyver skills created Nutella, or something like that.

Lately, the microwave and I have not been friends. I don't know why, but for some reason the microwave, who up until recently took four hours to heat a cup of coffee, is now burning all my shit. Like the time it burned the cheese I was melting on top of a plate of nachos (Mmmm... nachos...). Or the time the spinney-plate-thing wouldn't spin and half my bag of Pop-Secret became a smoldering popcorn ball of burntness. Or the time it used some microwave voo-doo to produce a burnt, sugary tumor in the center of the peanut butter chips I was melting (okay, that one may have been my fault). Or the time it set fire to the paper towel I was using as a splatter cloth while I was heating up some soup. 

See? Not friends. So really, I shouldn't have been too surprised when what I'm about to tell you happened.

Remember last week when I was all PMS-ey? Well, I was totally jonesing for some chocolate, and since I was determined not to leave the house and have to deal with the public, I had to make do with what was in the house (can I just interject here and talk about how shocked I am that I live with 5 other females and there is never, ever any chocolate in this house? I mean seriously, what gives?). 

Long story short, the only chocolate I could scrounge up was the container of chocolate chips that my landlord uses for his vegan cookies. He also happens to have two containers of peanut butter chips. So, I took a handful of one, and then I took a handful of the other and dumped them into a little cup. Well, at this point, my eyes happened upon the scant amount of cinnamon-sugar I had leftover from breakfast and immediately thought, "Sweet! Cinnamon-sugar dusted peanut butter and chocolate chips would so hit the spot right now!" So I poured it over the chips and mixed that shit up bartender style.

It only took a few shakes for me to realize that the cinnamon-sugar was not coating my chips like I had envisioned. After a few seconds of MacGyver-type trouble-shooting problem-solving thinking, I concluded that my best option would be to nuke the chips for a few seconds to moisten them up, which of course, would allow the cinnamon-sugar to adhere better. I. Am. A. Genius.

I bet you know where this is headed already, right? Yeah, so I popped the mug o' chips into the 'wave and hit the 30-second auto button ('cause it's easier). My slightly ADD-brain proceeded to take me on a tour through the freezer and refrigerator looking for god-only-knows what, completely forgetting about the mug o' chips. Until the inevitable beep-beep-beep sounded. 


If you know anything about chocolate and peanut butter chips and their relationship with the microwave, then you know that nuking them for 30 seconds is a tad extreme when your goal is to moisten your chips. I knew this and I had every intention to stop the microwave at 10-15 seconds, but like I said before, my ADD-brain took over and I lost focus. 

Needless to say, I proceeded to melt the chips, mix them up and created my own, slightly different, version of Nutella. I then slathered it on some bread and made myself a sandwich. In case you're wondering, it wasn't all that great. Peanut butter and chocolate chips are all well and good when eaten by hand, as god intended, but as a spreadable spread, with cinnamon and sugar mixed in? Not so much. Too decadent, in my opinion.

So, in conclusion...



and inevitably, this will follow...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"I see you've met the squirrel people."

Christopher Moore is, by far, one of my favorite authors. The first book of his that I read, and to this day is still my favorite, was A Dirty Job. As much as I would like to go on and on about how awesome this book is, I really don't want to. Seriously though, if you're not familiar, click here. I'll wait for you to catch up.

Ready? All right. Now that you're familiar, I must say that the first time I read this book the Squirrel People scared the shit out of me. I mean, we're talking reanimated, patched together, costumed, dead animals here. That's just downright creepy. Of course, as I reread the book and reread it again (I tend to do that a lot) I came to view the Squirrel People with sympathy and felt that I vastly misunderstood them. Poor things.

The last time I reread A Dirty Job, I actually read the Author's Note and Acknowledgments section of the book and discovered that Moore was inspired by the art work of Monique Montil when he wrote about the Squirrel People. Here's what Monique has to say for herself (click to enlarge):

Just for fun, I thought I'd share with you some of my... um... favorites:

(From top to bottom, left to right: Sir Henry Beaver, Raccoon Fop, Demon, Victorian Alligator, Medieval Skunk, Elizabethan Alligator)

Great, right? Although I can't say that I would ever want one of these creatures for keepsies, but I have to tell you, this is pretty much exactly how I pictured the Squirrel people to look while reading A Dirty Job.

And the test results are in...

What character from "A Dirty Job" are you?
Minty Fresh

You like to hang in the Backround, and stay calm. You may not like your jobs or responsiblity, but you do them anyway
Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Life Advice from a 3-year Old

I was bonding with my nephew this morning over a container of ectoplasm-green Play-doh, when his mom brilliantly suggested that I ask him for some life advice. So I did, figuring it couldn't be any worse than the direction I was already headed in. Or so I thought...
OBG: Okay, so here's the deal. I just graduated with my Master's degree and...
Nephew: What Master's?
OBG: It's a big deal. 
Nephew: Why?
OBG: Because it means you're smart.
Nephew: Why you smart?
OBG: Because I have brains.
Nephew: Why you have brains?
OBG: Because I was born with them.
Nephew: Oh.
OBG: So I paid lots of money for classes I didn't need, and I wasted two years writing a paper that's just going to sit on the library shelf and no one is going to look at. And now I can't get a job. What should I do?
Nephew: Cut you head off.
OBG: Uh-huh...
(At this point, I made a mental note to talk to Mommy about this. After our conversation, she decided to have a conversation with Daddy about things that are not appropriate for little boys to watch on TV)
OBG: So, I'm broke. I have no money and it costs money to live in a house. I'm going to be homeless soon. What should I do? 
Nephew: Get motorcycle.
OBG: A motorcycle? And do what with it?
Nephew: Ride it 'round.
OBG: Around where?
Nephew: To yous house.
OBG: But I don't have a house. Where should I go?
Nephew: The gym. Ride circles.
OBG: Uh-huh...
OBG: I need a job. How do I get a job?
Nephew: At Walmart.
OBG: Walmart?
Nephew: Yeah!
OBG: Uh-huh...
(I also asked the boy for some relationship advice- long story short, he thinks I should run around in circles. I think he knows me too well.)

Contemplating the big questions of life.

p.s. I'm convinced my sister's house is haunted. I would explain why, but it would just creep me out. Plus, she reads this blog and it would creep her out too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RST: Spidey, huggies, Jiffy Lube, pleading for a job, and anti-Walmart

I think Tuesdays are my new favorite days. I think McGriddle Pants is my new favorite person. I think Random Shit Tuesday is my new favorite posting topic.

My randomness...

Please forgive my sporadic posting. I'm currently visiting my sister for a week, where I'm having the unique opportunity to hang out with this guy:

Hanging with Spidey and his little brother is just too much... um... fun. Yeah, that's it. Incidentally, don't ever say the words "crap" and "boob" around a three year old. Not unless you want to hear them repeated back to you 852 times.

♠ Have you seen these yet? 
I haven't quite decided how I feel about them. Apparently they originated in Israel in cooperation with Shenkar School Of Fashion & Design. You can read about it here.
All you Mommies out there, feel free to weigh in on this topic. Some say they're fashionable, some say they're trashy. What do you think?

♥ I love Jiffy Lube. Really, I do. I haven't paid full price for an oil change since I moved to my current place of residence. I somehow always manage to get my oil changed on Half-Off Day! Yay! I rule! 

Wait, what? What do you mean there's no such thing as Half-Off Day? 

Now that you mention it, I haven't actually ever seen a sign or anything notifying the public of this great discount day... And I'm not very consistent about the day of the week or date in the month that I get my oil changed...

Whatever. Feminism be damned! I love Half-Off Day at Jiffy Lube!

♦ I need a job. I mean, I really need a job. If anyone knows of anyone looking for a kick-ass art teacher, please, let me know. I can send you my resume. No probs. Really. Please? Help a girl out? Iowa is looking more and more tempting every day. I'd prefer a job close to a large metropolitan area, but at this point, I'll take what I can get. Seriously. Help. Don't hold out on me. If I'm forced to move to Iowa for work, I'm coming after all of you.

I'd even take a position as a nanny. I'm a super kick-ass nanny too. I have references to prove it. I have photos too. Here:

(Obviously not taken on my current visit, but on my last trip to visit over Christmas time)
See? This is me making truffles with two of my nephews.* See how clean and neat the kitchen is? See how nicely they're rolling their truffles in the sugar? See how there's no fighting and everyone's getting along? Yeah, I rule!

I've also been known to make breakfast, feed the nephews and entertain them all while prepping for Christmas dinner (while their mommy catches up on her sleep).

Look. I can even make awesome cookies:

See? I rule! So... hire me? Seriously. Please? PLEASE?

★ I hate Walmart. That is all.

Sorry for the very kid-centric RST. I promise to be back to my old ways next week when I'm back on my own, kid-free turf. Hope you all had a great weekend and enjoyed the series finale of LOST as much as I did.

* Resume and references available upon request. I have experience with other peoples kids too, not just my sister's. I have a great amount of patience with crying and sleepless kids. And I'm really good with colicky babies. True story. I also have my own car. I know that's huge with you mommy-type people.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I don't do beach

We're approaching that time of year again. Yup, summer. Which, inevitably, leads to people wanting to take trips to the beach. Me? I don't do beach. It has nothing to do with the fear of putting on a bathing suit (okay, well maybe a little) because I've been to the beach before, and I've seen people there that look far worse than me in a bikini. I also happen to have an apparently unique talent for knowing what suits/shirts/tanks/shorts/cover-ups work for my body. A talent that it appears few have.

Let me explain why me and the beach don't work...

I'm a mountain girl. Meaning, I was born and raised in the mountains. Beaches were not something I grew up with. You might not know much about the mountains, but the beachfront is not a feature of their landscape. Some may argue that there are lakes within the mountains that have beaches. Let me correct this thinking by explaining that these "beaches" are not real beaches. Real beaches tend to be sandy; not littered with pine needles. They also tend to have a plethora of sunshine, surf, and seashells. Mountain lake beaches tend to have overcast skies, canoe-created wake (because motor boats usually aren't allowed), and pine cones.

Vacations to the beach never happened for me when I was growing up either. My dad was a work-aholic, and my mom was more-or-less broke because my dad refused to pay child-support. Plus, with the wonderful custody agreement my parents had, unless our vacation took place from 6:01 pm Sunday night to 4:59pm Wednesday night, or from Thursday afternoon to 8:59 pm Sunday morning,  or from 5:01 pm Friday night to 6:01 pm Sunday evening (but only every other weekend. Complicated, right? Yeah, trying living it) vacations were out of the question because one parent would have to give up some of their time. But that's a post for another day (or ten sessions with a therapist somewhere in my near-future).

My sisters and I used to spend our summers at a camp my dad owned on a "pond"* in the Adirondacks (but only during the above designated times). The camp had no beach. My dad attempted to create a "beach" by hauling in some dirt he dug up from some sand pit he found in the middle of the woods.** The beach was small, about the size of two kiddie pools, but we were able to make sand castles on it, so it served its purpose well. Uh, until it rained. And then the sand that didn't run into the lake turned into mud. Or became so congested with pine needles that our sand castles ended up looking like an inside-out iron maiden.

 (former location of our "beach". Note all the pine needles)

Any way, back to why beaches and me aren't friends...
  • Beaches have sunshine and obscene amounts of deadly UVA and UVB rays. I am white. As in, so white I often look purple because you can see all the blood vessels through my skin. Being so white, the sun scares the shit out of me. 
  • I can't swim. I know what you're thinking, but you'd be wrong. Just because I spent my summers at the lake and my dad was a Merchant Marine Captain, does not guarantee that I have a natural ability to swim. On the contrary, I have a natural ability to snort water up my nose every time my head goes under water resulting in my crippling fear of drowning anytime I'm within twelve feet of water. 
  • There's nothing to do. I mean, really, how long can one lay on the beach without becoming bored out of their freakin' mind? For me, it's about 15 minutes. Twenty if I happened to have the foresight to bring a book with me. After that I become antsy, fidgety, anxious, and inevitably, super cranky. I need to have at least four things to do at once in order to keep me entertained.*** I hate being bored more than anything in the world.
  • I don't like going in the water. Aside from the fact that I can't swim and have an irrational fear of drowning, I will not go into the water unless it is at least 120° out, and the water temperature is 80°, and I'm on the verge of heat exhaustion. Seriously though, I get cold quickly, and I hate being cold almost as much as I hate being bored. I have to have a damn good reason for venturing out into the water and inviting goosebumps and chattering teeth to take over my body.
So, long story short, no, I don't want to go to the beach.+ I'll go camping, I'll go boating (uh, hello, there are life jackets on board, so drowning is not an issue), I'll go sit at a bar on the waterfront and drink all afternoon, but nothing about going to the beach sounds even remotely interesting to me. 

Unless we're going for the people watching, and then yeah, maybe I'll go. But we're only staying for an hour, right?

* It had pond in its name, but it was really more lake-like.
** I'm pretty sure my dad envisioned that once he created a glorious beach for us, my sisters and I would actually use it to enter the water. No matter how great the beach was, it did not change the fact that the ground in the lake was like slimy pudding. And it smelled like dead people.
*** I have been known to listen to music, watch TV, have a conversation with four different people via text messaging, facebook (yes, it's a verb now. Didn't you get that memo?), and catch-up on internet news all at the same time. I may have problems.
+ And water parks are most certainly out of the question too.

    Saturday, May 22, 2010

    I'm a star!

    Or something like that. I'm super excited though because I was chosen as the featured blogger over at Studio 30+ (thank you, Jules!). It may come as a quite a shock to some of you that I can be in a 30+ group, you know, because I very often don't act (or look) my age, but it's true. I'm 30.

    On a side note, I had the honor of meeting Pooh's parents last night, and I'm positive I'm impressed the hell out of them with my classiness, seeing as how they're from Connecticut.* Anyway, Pooh texted me later:
    Pooh: My parents thought u were like 23
    Me: thats hilarious. did you set your parents straight?
    Pooh: I told them you were 30 they were shocked.
    At any rate, I'm super excited to be a featured blogger. Here's what Studio 30+ had to say about me:
    This Week's Featured Blogger is One Blonde Girl. We know. We strayed from only picking people named Amanda.... sorry other Amandas. But One Blonde Girl is FuuuuuuunnnnnY! AND she has a brilliant idea about making people take exit interviews if they decide to stop following your blog.
    (Plus, we don't want her to become a full fledge drunk standing on the corner drinking with bums.... maybe this will help.)
    Again, THANK YOU!!! I knew all my bitching and moaning would pay off someday. 

    *Seriously, Pooh's mom emphasized the word Connecticut when she told me where they were from. I'm pretty sure that woman hasn't been laid in at least five years, based on the amount of pursing her lips were doing.

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    "Oh, that's classy"

    Oh my god. I lost a follower. What the hell? This isn't really doing much for my self-esteem or my state-of-mind. I mean, we all know how fragile I've been lately, right? You know, being unemployed, practically friendless, possibly homeless...

    I mean, really, I'm already on my way to becoming a full-fledged drunk. I'm about one-step away from taking up residency on a street corner and drinking with bums

    How did this happen? What did I do? Why? WHY?

    Was it all my gangrene toe pics? My rants about being sans toilet paper? Am I swearing too much? Am I not being funny enough? It's hard to be funny when you're in the deep, dark hole of depression. Did someone just realize that I'm not as sweet and innocent as they initially thought? I mean, that's fine. I'm used to that. Happens to me all the time.

    I kind of wish there were some sort of exit interview whenever you want to stop following a blog. That would be great. I would fill it out. You know, like when I stopped following that one blog, I would have answered,
    "I stopped following you because you stopped posting. My blog roll was getting a bit long, and I needed to clean house. End of story.
    Or that time I stopped following that other blog, I would have said,  
    "You're blog has become a pimp. When I first started following you, you talked about your interesting life. Now all you do is pimp out products that you review so you can get them for free. If I was interested in that sort of thing, I'd watch QVC."
    I mean, when you dump a person you usually give a reason, right? When you stop being friends with someone (in the real world) there's usually a reason, right? When you stop talking to your family members you usually have a reason, right?

    At any rate, I lost a follower, but on the bright side, I gained two, so I guess the world just righted itself (the rejection still stings though).

    On another note...

    I attended that fancy* little award ceremony I told you all about... alone, because I'm cool like that. Everyone else had family-type people there and significant others and what not. Not me though. I went stag. It wasn't really that big of an issue for me, at least not until we got to the point in the ceremony where you had to go up to shake the hand of the President,** accept your piece of paper, pause, and smile so your proud parents could take a gazillion photos of you.

    Graduates all around me were going up to accept their awards, parents and boyfriends were rushing down the aisles to capture their baby's shining moment, *flash*! *flash*! *flash*!

    That is, until... they announced... my name. I hobbled down to the front of the room, well aware of  the fact that all eyes were on me, at which point I wished I had taken the time to iron my skirt and done something more with my hair. Then the President grabbed my hand with his death-grip-I-refuse-to-let-you-go handshake, forcing me to pause, flashing his cheesy smile, and I was all like,
    "Dude. What are you trying to do to me here? Do you see anyone rushing down for this photo op? No. Do you see any bright lights going off? No. Please, let's not drag this out. Everyone's looking at me. Just let go of my hand and let me slink back to my seat."
    Not that I was in any rush to get back to my seat. I had the great luck of sitting next to this professor who was vaguely familiar looking, but not someone I actually knew. After we exchanged pleasantries she pointed to my bandaged toe and said,  
    "Oh, that's nice."  
    You know, in a very snooty, mocking tone of voice, kind of like she was thinking, 
    "Oh, that's nice, you're at an award ceremony where you're going to be shaking hands with the President of the college and you chose to wear sandals with your nasty, bandaged toe hanging out?"
    I then felt the need to defend my toe as well as my choice of footwear. I mean, it took me two hours to decide on an outfit that was business casual and would look okay with the only pair of fancy sandals I own because my toe refused to be shoved into a pair of closed-toe shoes. So, back off, lady, back off!

    To top it all off, I hadn't had time to make coffee that morning so I was suffering from the worst headache in the history of caffeine withdrawl. Needless to say, as soon as the thing was over, I hightailed it out of there.

    Oh, but the embarrassment wasn't over yet... 

    As I was making my way to the arts building to clean my office out, Mother Nature decided to send a nice big gust of wind my way, snatching my award out of my hands and blowing it far, far away from me. And yes, I then became that person, desperately chasing that elusive piece of paper down the sidewalk in giant leaps and bounds, all the while trying not to land on my toe (or the award) because not only did it still hurt from the previous wound, but I had also managed to cut the bottom of the same toe on the corner of a table-top easel while getting dressed earlier in the day. I know what you're thinking***, "For the love of god, why weren't you wearing shoes?" Oh, but I was. As luck would have it, that easel managed to maneuver its corner in between my shoe and my toe just as I was stepping down. Stupid luck.

    At any rate, here I am, in the 90° heat, chasing my award down the sidewalk like a crippled gazelle (I was going to use antelope, but gazelle just sounds more graceful, which of course, I am), cursing the wind for its mischievous antics, trying desperately to hold my skirt down, all the while getting more and more annoyed because every time that dang paper was in reach, the wind whipped it out of my way again.

    Finally, the award came to rest, wrapped around the legs of some poor passerby. As I'm peeling the paper off and wiping the sweat from my face, I hear,  
    "Oh, that's classy." 
    I look up, brushing my disheveled hair from my eyes, and wouldn't you know it, it's the same professor I was seated next to during the ceremony.

    Sonofabitch. Well yeah, lady, it just so happens I am the epitome of class. Obviously she doesn't read my blog, or she would know this. Whatever. I just earned my Masters degree and I'm an Outstanding graduate, so back off, lady, back the fuck off!

    * They had chocolate covered strawberries, cannolis, a cheese tray AND a punch bowl filled with cranberry juice. Nice.
    ** Incidentally, there were some graduates who hugged the President when accepting their awards. What kind of nerd do you have to be to be on a hugging-basis with the President of the college?
    *** Actually, you were probably thinking, "How the hell did you manage to step on a table-top easel?" Good question. As it happens, everything that I own that belongs somewhere other than on the floor is currently on the floor of my room.

    My Graduation Gift Wish List

    (I know I've been talking about this a lot lately, but really, it's all I've got going on right now, so just deal. Okay? I promise, when something else more fun and exciting happens in my life, I will blah blah blah about that instead. Until then, well, here...)

    Did you know I'm graduating? From grad school? With my Masters? I am! Did you know I'm graduating TODAY!? Totally am. For your convenience, I have compiled this handy-dandy Graduation Gift Wish List, organized by type of gift giver (that would be you). You can email me for my mailing address.

    From the unemployed/independent artist/stay-at-home mommy/cheap bastard (< $25)

    From the part-time employed/housemate/teacher/liquor store clerk/best friend (< $50)

    1. Set in Stone, Moss Ring 2. Cotton Wrap with White Birds Print 3. Bare Branch Blues and Rose Bud 4. Roots - Leather Journal 5. Dala Horse Tee 6. oooOo
    UPDATE: #1, #4 and #5 have since sold, but the shops have many other really cool items, so be sure to check them out!

    From the full-time employed/the secret admirer/the rich great-aunt (< $150)

    1. UPCYCLED Blue VINTAGE Train Case 2. Pie Shop, 8x8 Metallic Print 3. Square Ivory Wood 4. Garden Gate Locket - Pearl, Flower, Bird 5. Asymmetrical Hoodie 6. Original Painting Bound
    UPDATE: #5 has since sold, but the shop has many other really cool items, so be sure to check it out!  

    From the independently wealthy/the sugar daddy/my stalkers (> $150)

    1. no. 2 (tales) 2. Orchid Necklace 3. Tomalinson chairs 4. Signature Couture Halter Dress

    So, there you have it. My Graduation Gift Wish List. If you're torn on what to get me, now would probably be an appropriate time to mention that you neglected to get me a birthday present... I didn't want to say anything, but since we're on the topic, I thought I should.

    (Don't worry, I don't actually expect anything. I'm not even walking. I'm probably going to be spending the day by myself too. I am such a loser right now.)
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