Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We created this dude for a friend's work website so we'll let this be all we share out of context. But this is Ed. He's had too much coffee and his lips are chapped, but I'm totally in love with him.

Happy New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

July 4th, 2005

Eric has been busy cleaning out our old computer and moving files over to the new one. He came across this pic of my sister and a fish she caught in the lake in Nebraska. It made me laugh so hard that it had to become my blog photo of the day.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Inkling Ed

Stay tuned for a brand new movie star.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Penny for your thoughts

What was the motto on the first U.S. penny?
a. Time Flies
b. In God We Trust
c. Mind Your Business
d. Pursue Ye Happiness

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Holiday fun stop-action with mom and dad:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas song #1

Leonard Cohen wrote this masterpiece but I love, love this version by Jeff Buckley the best. I hear that they've killed this song on talent shows and cartoons lately, but I've managed to miss that. So I can still stand it. A song that actually strikes a chord.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas song #2

This, for me, is Christmas all wrapped up in one song. Hats off to Vince Guaraldi.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas song #3

Joy to the World by Eff Barzelay

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas song #4

This may be the most overplayed song of the season, which should knock it right off my list, but David Bowie's voice breaks my heart every single time I hear it. And Bing ain't so bad himself.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas song #5

"Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses
Just sit back and let yourself love this.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas song #6

Of all the Christmas songs that Eric plays a bunch during the season, I am somehow always happy to hear this one. I don't even actually like the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." I used to love it as a kid and then when I heard/sang it for the 6,000th time, I officially had had enough. I broke up with the song. But there is nothing I can think of that can be done better than the Temptations do it. They touch something and it transcends all logic and reason. When I hear this song, I uncontrollably do the head/shoulders/grooving thing and sing along about Rudolph like there will never be another real life mammal like him. Ever. I must toast the temptations for reuniting me with an old flame.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas song #7

Back when we were making our lists of best Christmas songs, someone I live with accused me of randomly picking ones that I had never heard before. Where the "never heard before" part was true of this one (and only this one) back on Sunday (I listened to loads of songs to craft my list) it still holds a strong #7 on my list today. Frankly, I like it for the very fact that I had never heard it. But I also just plain like it. And there's not anything anyone (like Eric) can do about it. ;)
Please enjoy my newfound jem "The Christmas Song" by the Raveonettes
P.S. The sky was pretty tonight.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas song #8

I know this is a weird thing to say, but if I was stranded on a deserted island and I had to listen to one Christmas song over and over, I would want it to be a lovely hymn and I would want it to be sung by an enormous choir (preferably in person). With that in mind, I choose "What Child Is This?" I've heard some pretty sweet choral arrangements. Phat harmonies. Evocative "ooh's."

In order to better compete with Eric, I looked, for a moment, for a more jazzed up version of the song. Maybe one with a good wall sound and one where they've changed the name to "What Is This, Baby?" But alas, I still need the choir to do it. And the peeps of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir do pretty well by it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas song #9

You've probably gathered this, but we're dealing with recordings of songs here and not just the songs per se. And that is why this song must be on my list. Recently shared with me for the first time ever by Allison, "Baby It's Cold Outside" done by Liza Minnelli and Alan Cumming is, in my book, oh so worthy. And so Broadway that I can hardly keep my Bob Fosse moves to myself. Allison warned me beforehand that I may want to sit down before listening. I warn you the same. This overplayed (and kinda creepy) song has been redeemed. Please enjoy my Christmas song #9.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Eric has informed his readers (and me) that we are having a christmas song countdown.
Let me quote:

"Top 10 Christmas Songs of All Time
Jessie is something of a grinch when it comes to Christmas music. She doesn’t like it…. At all. And I feel for her. In fact, outside 3 albums and two dozen other Christmas recordings that I really, really love and feel the need to play constantly in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day, I even agree. There really aren’t that many good Christmas songs.

The ones that are good, however? Are classic.

Over the next ten days, Jessie and I will be counting down the Top 10 Christmas Songs of All Time. While she will be the first to admit that her list is based solely on personal preference, I think you’ll find mine to be objectively accurate and definitive."

So it is on. I will find 10 Christmas songs that I can stand. Eric will give you the list that God has beamed down upon him in a mighty revelation. Either way, the countdown begins.

I kid you not, this is my tenth favorite song. (So fun to sing.)

Sitting at the bar, waiting for a table

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Big Moon

Did anyone see the moon tonight? I was taking off to meet Eric at an Allstate holiday party when I caught it coming up over the lake. It was literally stunning. My car swerved. According to the net (yep, the net), "Each month the Moon makes a full orbit around the Earth in a slightly oval-shaped path, and tonight it will swing by the Earth at its closest distance, or perigee. It will pass by 356,613km (221,595 miles) away, which is about 28,000km closer than average."
Two of these photos are ones I took as I tried to drive and catch the moon at the same time (I was running late or I would have pulled over). I gave up and resolved to take a photo once I got up to, where was it, Lincolnshire? But alas, as far as I can tell with the Crate and Barrels and clouds and such, the moon don't shine in the burbs. (Just as I suspected.)
I've included a nifty illustration from NASA instead. Sleep tight.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

by Alice Booth Day

Who scorns
The simple things
Knows not where beauty lies;
A tiny roadside pool may hold
A star

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Crook Governors ain't no news, so news is slow.
And today I'll hit an all time low.

I'm not going to brainstorm, I'm not going to think.
I'll just show you dirty dishes, in a very dirty sink.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I'm married to a man who loves smoothies. As a rule, when I'm at a grocery, I try to keep an eye out for fun things he can put into said smoothies and today I got very excited as I spotted loads of exotic frozen Mexican fruit pulps. So I snagged a bunch. Eric usually makes his own smoothie. (He's a master and you just don't mess with that.) But tonight he was running late and I was so excited about my discoveries that I took it upon myself. I grabbed the one that said "Tamarillo" and then kicked myself because I had meant to buy the tamarind instead. Ah well, I thought, any fruit grown in Mexico is a friend of mine. I threw it in with the yogurt and the milk, some ice and some sweetener and blended. Eric dipped a spoon in to catch a taste and turned to me to say, "Um. You just made a tomato smoothie. Would you be offended if I dumped it out and made it stop touching my blender?" Sigh. All for a man who hates tomatoes. Loves smoothies. Hates tomatoes. Had I read just the next line down, even my remedial spanish would have kicked in to tell me that I had a bag of "tree tomato" pulp (sneakily positioned between the pineapple and tamarind at Harvestime Foods). I think we're right back to smoothies made by Eric only.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Two things

1. I always love the forwards from Stephanie that I sometimes find in my yahoo inbox.
This is no exception:

2. I now know what I'm getting Eric for Christmas. I think it would help considerably with his commute.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Props to Allison for finding this place with not only mac 'n cheese pizza but s'mores pizza. My stomach's way too full to type much more. You tell yourself ' I know I'm stuffed. But there it is. More yummy pizza like I've never tasted before sitting on the table. It must go in.' Allison got way better pics than I did too. Check her out.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Know your Santa

Which is not another name for Santa?

a.) Saint Nicholas
b.) Sinterklaas
c.) Kris Kringle
d.) Christopher Clause
e.) Père Noël
f.) Father Christmas
g.) Christkind

Friday, December 5, 2008


You never quite get over those times you sit by the pool in shorts and 80 degrees in the morning and arrive home to walk your dog in the sub zero wind chill. But here are some photos from Orlando where my mom, sister and I had a fabo girls weekend. The highlights were most definitely the Dueling Dragons roller coaster and the Human Dryer (It's for after water rides...and I want one in my home for after showers and for after returning to Chicago from Orlando in December).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

More Christmas Memories...

(I apologize to those of you expecting great things from me this week. Jessie left me without a camera, or I'm sure I would have come up with something fantastic! Don't worry, she'll be back tomorrow.)

This doesn't seem quite as prescient this year, given NKOTB is touring again, but a Christmas gem nonetheless. Sadly, a quick google search returned nothing for "Saddam Got Run Over By a Reindeer," another favorite at the time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Memories Via YouTube

*** Note: As Jessie is in sunny Florida, Eric will be guest-blogging today and tomorrow***

I was born in 1978 and grew up in the age of the VCR. In what must have been December, 1987, my mom, demonstrating fantastic foresight, committed to video cassette a series of Christmas classics that, along with Christmas Vacation, defined the season in our household for years to come: Garfield's Christmas, Alf's Special Christmas, and A Claymation Christmas Celebration.

In the days before TiVo, if you wanted your commercials edited out, you of course had to do it the old-fashioned way: with the pause button. This was a risky move - if you were too slow, you'd miss something when the show came back - but at my house, at least, it was the thing to do, and usually things went off without a hitch.

The exception? "Hard-nose Mrs. Hatcher," a McDonald's-sponsored tribute to every teacher who ever pushed her students to their limits. 35 seconds of Mrs. Hatcher made it onto tape before we got to the pause button during a commercial break in Garfield. And now, after years and years of repeat viewing, this teacher, who so clearly meant so much to so many, is as ingrained into my memory as those claymation camels or the moral of Alf's Special Christmas (which is, of course, that sometimes girls die.)

I probably hadn't seen the last 25 seconds of the commercial, however, since Garfield's Christmas first ran... until now.

God bless you YouTube.

Enjoy this one Sarah and Andy:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


As you can see by my handy thermal cam, everything but the curtains is cold here. That's why I'm happy to say that I'm off to Orlando today to play in the sun with my mom and sister. Woo-hoo! Eric will tale over Chicago Days for the next few, as nothing in Orlando is priced under $25 (including water, toothbrushes, and daily wi-fi).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Here stands one dog who loves the snow.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Got Allison here. And Mitch. We're making an all new stop action feature. It's going to be awesome. This photo is the preview. Movie to follow.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Husker fan

I'm starting to cross over. Eric's been doing a fine job of teaching me the odds and ends of college football, trying to get me interested in it. And I'm actually finding questions to ask and listening to the answers. I am finally, after 30 years, becoming, in some little part, one of them. A Husker fan. Those college boys played a game today that was fun to watch and though Eric would have preferred a blowout, I loved gripping my chair in suspense (and understanding a bit more of this and that). For the record, it took a 57 yard field goal to win me over.

But I still stand by my wish for them to keep the timer running at all times. "Just five more minutes" should really mean just five more minutes.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a lovely invitation to spend thanksgiving with friends in Bloomington, Indiana. Good food, good company, good weather.
Here are some images that resulted after a walk through the Indiana University campus:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


When we were in Spokane, we had a fun time of painting pottery. Sarah picked it up and sent us a picture of it yesterday. Eric painted an "ugly mug" just for me, I painted the t-rex plate, and Sarah, the only one of us with grown-up sensibilities, did the fabulous designer plate (the only piece that you might actually be interested in buying in a store) perfect for decoration, table center piece, or cheese and cracker tray.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Big Day

Eric got his hair cut today. I sat in the waiting area and took pictures of the floor.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, the Providence move too. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Intimate Grown-up Dinner Party

Several of us (who have turned or are working on turning thirty this year) have been musing on what it means to be a grown up. As said before, when you put your home up for sale there is a bit of a reality check as to what the home of an adult should look like, but actually turning thirty puts some more questions in your head (what should an actual grown-up look like?). Mary had the wonderful idea that thirty-year-olds or grown-ups or both have intimate dinner parties. And I like the way she thinks. To honor this, LK and I (who are adults) thought that a wine decanter would be a great gift for someone who wants to have grown-up intimate dinner parties. But when faced with a shelf full of decanters, we froze. Not knowing a thing about wine or decanters we (needing a lifeline) called someone who did, and who kindly took us baby steps through the process of buying one. For any of you who are thinking of becoming one or getting to know any, first understand, grown-ups are hard to buy for. Secondly understand, there should be a class on being grown up. As it is, we'll just have to ask around. Thank God for cell phones.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I have no words

Saw this in the window of a record store last night...
In case you can't see, the turkey and the vegetables have forks and knives in their veggie hands.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mary in the Act of Turning Thirty, 2008
Pixels on cyber canvas

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Disturbing British Lit

Brain teaser time. Below are the titles of three famous books written by British authors. They are in "fractured brainteaser" form. Can you figure them out? Hint: Of course they were all made into movies.
1. Burr haven ewe hurled
2. Hack log were caw wrench
3. Law doff duffle ice

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Chicago, returning to you today are two members of the winning Redhook Brewery trivia team! (bottom righthand pic-Eric, Jessie, John, Leah, Andrea, Michael and Baby Emily).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Old Friends

Another great thing about Seattle is that it is home to a couple old friends from Nebraska. Andrea, who dates back to kindergarden with Eric and John who dates back to 8th grade with me. They've both been great tour guides for us while we've been here. Yesterday, while Eric was in meetings, John (and baby Emily) took me around to the boat locks, university campus, a couple great book stores, an out-of-this-world video store, that might, alone, be worth living in Seattle for (it's ENORMOUS and the first floor is organized by director, the second floor by genres and the genres by sub genres- for instance the horror section has sub genres such as "vengeful acts of a wrathful god." There is a literature section of books made into movies, plays made into movies, etc. etc. etc.). This video store went way beyond the netflix selection. Some rare and unusual things required a $500 deposit to rent. Blew my mind.

And later when Eric and John's wife Leah could join us, we headed north to the little town where Twin Peaks was filmed. We saw the waterfalls and the lodge and the creepy old train cars and ate at the diner with "the best damn cup of coffee" and cherry pie. None of this means anything if you haven't seen the show but watch the two seasons sometime and I guarantee that this town will creep you out.