Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's a Boy!

Congratulations to Steve and Sarah on their new little bundle, and a hearty warm welcome to Charlie. It was such an honor to meet you today.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Oh crap!

I still need to blog tonight!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recipe for cookies so burnt they stick to your non-stick baking stone

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix 2.25 c. flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt in small bowl.

Beat 2 sticks butter, 3/4 c. sugar, 3/4 c. brown sugar so hard that you have to dampen it with water and shave some off, 1 tsp. vanilla extract.

Add 2 eggs, one at a time, disregarding the strange things wet brown sugar does to the mixture.

Stir in flour and stuff.

Stir in 2 c. chocolate chips, plus a few butterscotch chips since you've eaten enough of the chocolate ones that you don't quite have 2 cups.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet (if you dare).

Leave in oven for 25-30 minutes or until they smell less like chocolate (and butterscotch) chip cookies and more like a chemistry lab.

Let stand for five minutes before trying to chip them off the baking stone and giving up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Countable Nouns

So I looked "brussels sprouts" up on wikipedia and the most interesting thing that wikipedia had to say about them is not that they are packed with vitamin C or a relative of the cabbage but that "brussels sprouts" is a countable noun, which I have never heard of but, of course, makes perfect sense. One can say "seven brussels sprouts" and be completely and utterly grammatically correct. (Okay, the real shocker for me here is that grammariticians need to dole out terms for every last thing - even things so obvious!) But anyhow, because I think it is humorous, my trivia question for the week is dealing in countable nouns.

Please, my friends, decide which of these is the countable noun:
a. milk
b. luggage
c. news
d. stereo
e. grass
f. grammar

And if it isn't weird enough that I was searching the internet for facts on (countable) brussels sprouts, I was also playing this game. Who knew that a vegetable could be good for so many laughs. And be such a perfect diversion for a girl who really should be working.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Noble Beast

This guy I live with just surprised me with the new Andrew Bird CD. It got stuck directly into the cd player, it's playing right now, and let me tell you, it's delicious. First I'll try it out here in our stereo and then on my ipod with headphones and then, the ultimate test and best for last, in my car. Andrew Bird makes me glad that music was invented. He's a mad scientist.

First song on the album:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

Here is your horoscope, Oxen. Pretty good news. :)
"In 2009, the Oxen will be given many opportunities to further your plans and goals, as well as consolidate your position. Steady progress is the position where the Ox is most comfortable and that is where you will find yourself this year. You will also have a chance to impress and gain support from those around you. This is a good year to enhance your skills and add to your repertoire with added training or study. You will be satisfied in knowing that anything you do this year will repay you in this year and the years to come. The months of May, late August and September may mark a change in your career."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pizza Eating

I want you to know that our dinner dates (who ate 6 pieces) thought we were insane to insist on two large pizzas, but of the 24 pieces and the 24 hours we've all had to eat them, (well we took home the left overs), our family pizza eating tally has hit 15, which is righteous. Though I can't take much credit. Eric has complained that I've only done 20% of the Huls pizza downing this weekend. So you do the math. (My husband is the true champion.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Markets and Meals for Hope

I'm always a fan of farmers and always a fan of all things markets. In turn, I'm as happy as a clam at high tide when it comes to farmers markets. Especially in the winter when they are hard to come by. This morning Sarah took me to a lovely one in a church in Evanston put on by an organization called Markets and Meals for Hope.

Sarah bought homemade soap, potatoes, eggs, cheese and one of those gorgeous pies. I came home a proud owner of pickled brussels sprouts and a jar of bloody mary mix (even though I've never had a bloody mary and don't know what to mix it with. But Sarah says it's good even right out of the jar.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sweet Baby James

It is my great honor to introduce James, my nephew. Cassie (his mom) sent these ultrasound images of him yesterday and I cannot get over how clearly you can see him! He's due out at the beginning of March, but the doctor says that James is going to be a big one and that he may be wanting to meet the world sooner than March. (He does look a little smooshed.) I for one can hardly contain how excited I am to kiss those cheeks!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fresh Trivia

In the 1930s, Airwick, the first home air freshener was tested in which odd place?

Hint: "Proven strong enough to `tame` the air there, Airwick was deemed a `valuable contribution to public welfare.`"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Almost forgot to blog today. Brain has already shut down for the day. Please enjoy this, a picture of an old ad hanging in our bathroom.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009

I'd like to take this moment to welcome Mr. Obama to the job of being my president.
I took in the inauguration today from Truman College where I waited in line to register for a biology class. (Don't ask. Let's just hope for some good science writing somewhere down the line.)
Every TV everywhere that I could see in Chicago shone out the events of our fellow Chicagoans becoming our new First Family.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The scene in Skokie

We ventured out to eat some Thai food west on Oakton in downtown Skokie last night. We wanted to confirm our belief that Skokie is too sleepy, strip mally, and orange bricked for our tastes. We wanted to confirm that "checking out the vibe" of the area really means "trying to find a vibe and then if you do, doing mouth-to-mouth." But still, the cheap(er) houses are sometimes alluring. And I will say the food was good. But just so that we're clear, I got a photo of the vibe.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mystifying Mammal

Sometimes Max, who generally loves his new bed, will plop down just inches from it and fall fast asleep. Just sort of misses the mark. I mostly think of him as quite a smart dog but every once in a while I wonder if his brain is made of cheddar cheese.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


We went to see a play tonight called "Into the Pool or The Cheshire Cat Mourns the Death of the American Dream" It was at the cozy little storefront theater that we can walk to (The Side Project) and so far we've been two for two. Good shows to be had there. Chicagoans, if you can, get ye there. Elsewheres, we'll try to take you over there when you come visit.

Friday, January 16, 2009


LK broke out into a rapid fire word game today trying to help me come up with a catchy name for my senior writing classes. Something terse and pithy to smack on my brochure. We've come close. Got some likable words. But still thinking. Any ideas you smarty pants people?.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


That's a photo of a sunrise on Mars. No, sillies, I did not take it. But it's here because this could one day be your great great granddaughter's view from her apartment.

I'm giddy with geekinees at the news today (which no actual respected US journal has covered...but it's all over papers in the UK. And I'm just going to go with it.) Signs of methane on Mars isn't exactly news, but super duper certain evidence of it kind of is. Since most of the methane on our Earth is produced by living things, it's likely that living things are producing it there...

"NASA scientists calculate that a colony of Martian microbes covering 2,316 sq miles of the planet's permafrost could account for the volumes of methane detected. Alternatively, the gas could be released by a community of ancient bugs living in aquifers nearly five miles beneath the surface, under the permafrost."


As many of you know, the gargantuan and eternal project that I'm (still) working on for my boss in DC is a book about creating a (more robust) atmosphere and teraforming Mars. And though we would never see it in our lifetime, they really think it can be done. So long as there is proof that the red planet could harbor life. (Are you all goosbumpy?)

Okay enough.

Two perspectives on the low of -20 in Chicago today:

1. I am now freakishly thrilled about the high of 26 on Saturday.
2. The most summery days on Mars get up to about 30 degrees, and I'd still like to go...for like a week...max.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Freaking Trivia

Trivia: How many inches of snow (within three inches) has chicago had this winter?

Hint: We have already hit the YEARLY average. Not grouchy. Not grouchy at all.

P.S. Did you know that it can "drizzle" snow all day long? I didn't. But today it did that.

I'm totally okay with it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

If you've peeked in on Eric's blog since yesterday you probably already know that we fancy our dog a Rogers Park celebrity.
But if not, click here to see the picture of the day. Not to mention the lovely photography of a Rogers Park neighbor.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"I want to wash my hands, my face, my hair with snow..."

Though the weather probably looks similar even to those who don't live in Chicago, but, it snowed here. Boy did it snow. Cars are buried, parking is impossible, and I thank the Chicago gods for public transportation, which keeps us far from cabin fever. And the heat lamps. Ingenious. They keep Chicagoans from overthrowing city government for not plowing our roads in a timely fashion.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hiding Out for a Dollar

We hit The Dollar Store at The Hideout last night. The Dollar Store is writing/reading event where this guy (Jonathan Messinger) gets a few items at a dollar store and hands them out to a few writers and they, well, write on it. dollar. It was loads of witty fun. Not to mention that The Hideout may very well be the coziest, hometownsiest bar in all of Chicago. You turn down a dark street, way off the beaten path and think "Is this right?" In the midst of big trucks, warehouses and good old Chicago industry appears The Hideout all glowy and warm. Inside you find good arts and music and cheap cans of Hamms and Old Style.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Two Reasons I want a Ukulele

Best Ramones cover ever:

And this is just all around brilliance:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm tired.
Goodnight and best wishes from your lazy blogger.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm trying harder to have a good attitude about Chicago winters. I really am. But seeing tropical plants smooshed by snow dashes my efforts.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009


A couple days ago Eric and I both SWORE we saw Bono. He had the glasses, the stature, the organic coat and mittens. But as we craned our necks to see Bono waiting for the bus on Howard Avenue right outside the Target store, a cabby cut us off and we shrugged Bono off. But it got us thinking...what's that dude's real name anyhow?

Turns out it's Paul David Hewson. So here's my trivia of the day:
How did the man get to be called Bono?

It was a nickname fashioned after:
1. A Dublin publisher named "Bonoring" which published righteous and moralizing books.
2. A hearing aid store in Dublin called "Bono Vox" (Latin for beautiful voice).
3. "Bon O'Malley" A nickname originally given to Paul's stepfather by a French pharmacist in Dublin.
4. His mother called him Bono for no legitimate reason at all.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Giving up is for suckers

At the end of April 2007 Eric and I packed up our little Ford Focus to move back to Chicago from Washington, DC. We managed to live in furnished apartments while we were there and to bring only one carload of our own stuff. Of course we acquired a few things while we were there and as we packed the car up to leave, I was broken hearted to realized that everything last thing would fit except for a coffee maker and a plant that my dear friend Meghan gave us when we got married. So I left the coffee maker (for Cristin :)) and I ripped off two leaves of the snake plant and stuck them into the side door pocket of the car, determined that I would be able to make the darn things grow into another plant one day. These two stubby leaves, stuck in a pot of dirt and barely watered enough, have sat on our coffee table now for just shy of two years, and today, as I dusted around the thing, I spotted a new little sprout! And let me tell you, this is no less than a miracle because at some weak point in checking on the plant's vitality, I've pulled these leaves clean out of the dirt, to find zero offshoots. And yet, my plant is a survivor! I think this is a fantastic omen for the year 2009.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dog Bed

Four years with a good track record (and a couple guilt trips from friends) finally got Max a bed.

Friday, January 2, 2009


How I managed to walk past and not open this up is beyond me. Nine times out of ten it's good to resist poking your nose where it doesn't belong, and in an abandoned suitcase on the sidewalk might be top of that list of where, but dude, where's my sense of adventure and human curiosity?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The house that Chris and Stacy built

I hold this up as an example of why the world would be a better place for women if all men were like Chris. ;)

Happy New Year People

Hats off to Tom and Annie for arranging dinner at Club Lucky ("described by co-owner Bobby Paladino as a "1940s supper club and cocktail lounge on the verge of the 1950s.'") Much fun was had.