Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why I love us

A google chat conversation with Andrew:

Me: Do you have a walrus?
Andrew: hi! i DO have a walrus!
Me: what color is it
Andrew: teal
Me: that's the one! he's loose! i saw him on the news
Andrew: oh no! he has diabetes! he needs treatment!
Me: he's on the birmingham bridge
Andrew: he needs your help
Me: ok. tell me what to do.

UPDATE: He needs a sugar cookie.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm just me OR: Something new to quit

Inspired by Lacey, Andrew and I began the Couch to 5K running program this weekend. Alternating between 90 seconds of jogging and a minute of walking for a total of 20 minutes seems like an easy way to build up some endurance. I say seems because I was pretty sure I was going to die towards the end of the first run.

I came to a horrible realization while trying to catch my breath.

"I'm so out of shape," I said to Andrew as I huffed and puffed. "Wait! I've never been in shape. So I guess I can't be out of shape... I guess I'm just me."

How can I almost be 25 and have never once been able to keep up with a fitness program? This is the only body I have. How am I supposed to live forever if I get winded jogging for measly 90 second bursts?

After the run, Andrew whipped up some lox omelets, fake bacon (not incredibly yummy), and sourdough toast. If he keeps plying me with delicious foods, I might be able to be bribed to keep up the running... at least until the cold renders my lungs useless.

Tuesday is day two of the program. Please give me your support. I know there are a lot of runners out there in blogland. I need all the encouragement I can get.

In other news, you may have noticed my new bling bling. I'm the newest member of the AllTop Twenty Something family.

P.S. Oh man. Who else is looking forward to the VP debates Thursday? So incredibly giddy about it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

For Real? Friday: Lip Service Edition

I stumbled upon the first item today while researching pepper spray. Now that I kind of live in the hood and the days are getting shorter, my dad is strongly suggesting that I purchase some.

At first, I was like... um... this is kind of silly. Who walks around with a tube of lipstick in her hands? A trickier solution might be a pepper spray dispensing cell phone, no? Anyhow! I had my pepper spray confiscated from me at a Gavin DeGraw concert several years ago. Apparently his security guards found me to be a threat to Gavin's eyeballs. When they took it from my purse, I made them feel really guilty about how I would probably be attacked on the way home and have to blame the security when I can't defend myself. They promised I could get it back after the show. They lied. They lied!

PS Products Hot Lips Pepper Spray .75oz Lipstick Disguised Pepper Spray ($6.99)

Now, if I had this little baby in my purse, they would have been none the wiser. I could have gone in to that concert and sprayed anyone's peepers that I dared. (Not Gavin's of course, I heart him.)

Next we have something to make it look like you've been making out with your toilet. Who doesn't want that?! Who?

Toilet Tattoos Hot Lips Design ($9.95)

And finally, for all of my readers with nipple piercings (and I know there are A LOT of you out there...)

HOT LIPS Nipple Shield ($4.99)

A little nom nom nom on your nips. Is that weird?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I hate when this happens

Hey Geekologie... you might want to check with me before stealing my funny lines. Jerks.

Witch Crafty

A few weeks ago I began to wonder if it was possible to thread candy corn like popcorn garland. I did some research online and saw that it has been done. I set my sights on making a bitchin' Halloween wreath.

With a grapevine wreath, spooky ribbon, candy corn, a witch ornament, and spiders from the dollar store, I created this:

Pretty dang spooky, huh?

If you want to make candy corn garland, my advice to you is:

Buy the candy corn from the dollar store. It was twice as much in the grocery store.

Open the bag and let the candy corn sit overnight to harden.

Using a small needle, work it like a corkscrew through the candy corn, just below the white portion.

Buy a little bit more than you need because they will break in half sometimes. (My wreath required two 11 oz. bags of candy corn--I bought seven bags. Ooops.)

Spray clear glaze to keep the candy corn from getting too sticky and to keep bugs away after it is threaded. (Be careful if there are kids around... you don't want them trying to eat it after you spray it, obviously.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Small step for mankind

Yum. Tastes like victory.

This always makes me laugh

I'm under the gun at work today with my deadline quickly approaching. Please enjoy this and know that I'll be back to virtually cuddle you all soon enough.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm all about making your dreams come true

For those of you who were secretly envious of my barking squirrel experience... I bring you this:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Squirrels, panhandlers, and Swell Season

Dear Squirrel on Telephone Pole,

Why must you bark at me every morning? Is it because I took a handful of your acorns home with me Friday to put to use in my fall crafting? Please. Just stop. Also, I'm pretty sure you have rabies or something.

Woman That You've Barked at Two Workdays In A Row

P.S. Why do squirrels have vocal chords? It seems superfluous.

Dear Panhandlers,

The pearls are fake. I'm pretty sure my grandma got them free with some perfume purchase or something. No, I don't have any spare change.

Best Regards,
Why Are There So Many Homeless People On This Block?

Dear Glen and Marketa,

Words cannot express how beautiful your show was last night. I'm so thankful that I got a chance to see The Swell Season perform in Pittsburgh. I only found out about the concert last week. I probably would have sulked for months had I realized I missed my chance to hear "Falling Slowly" -- one of the few songs that can move me to tears. Was it unreasonable that I wanted you to play that song twice? I don't think so. After all, you play it roughly 39 times in your Oscar-winning film, Once.

Oh, and Marketa? "If You Want Me" took my breath away. Damn.


P.S. If it is true that you are dating in real life, my heart will explode. Because that would almost be as sweet as Gosling and McAdams.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

For Real? Friday: Can't afford an entire camisole? No problem!

Welcome to For Real? Friday. I'm interrupting your regularly scheduled sushi weirdness to bring you something sure to make you scratch your head in disbelief.

Cami Lace (now on sale for $2.95)

I know the economy is really struggling right now... but... um... you can get an entire camisole at H&M or Forever 21 for like... $5. Maybe less if you are lucky.

I can't even imagine a scenario where this thing would be a good idea.

"Oh, geeze. It's kind of hot in the conference room... I can't bear the thought of wearing one of those prudish camisoles that cover my entire torso. Good thing I have this little baby! Better go tie it on to my bra real quick! Meeting with the CEO in an hour!"

Oh, wait. I guess I can.

Hey. Did you read Andrew's blogging debut yet? It's only mildly offensive.

Let's Get Retarded: Andrew's blogging premiere on Cusp of Normal

Q. Is Amanda in Fact, a Retarded Person?
A. Perhaps.

Hello, and welcome to Amanda’s blog. She wants me (Andrew) to write something here today because she is really lazy or busy or something. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

A recent internet search for “cusp of normal” returned several interesting results, none of which were this blog. I mean, it turned up, but I said interesting results, and this blog is mostly about shoes and who has the dumbest hair (it’s Amanda, trust me. Especially in the morning when she’s been sleeping with an old t-shirt wrapped around her head to keep aliens from intercepting her thoughts.) Getting back to the search results, my favorite is a documentary called “Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown,” which is about the trials and tribulations of a retarded couple named Marni and Kris. Here is a quote from the page selling the DVD: “People with mild retardation in some ways suffer more than those that are more impaired. They are on the cusp of normal, aware that they don't quite make the cut.” Ah, how true. Anyway, I lied when I said there were several interesting results. There is actually just that one. But, it got me thinking about Amanda, and while she does lots of strange things (LOTS, like a million times infinity) it had never occurred to me previously that she might perhaps be retarded. It reminds me of a similar situation that Michael found himself in during the final season of Arrested Development, but without all the clever writing or spectacular illusions performed to “The Final Countdown.” So I have compiled a list of evidence that I may be living with someone who is, in fact a Retarded Person.

1. She can’t understand out how to lock or unlock the door. Any door. With any key.

2. She doesn’t know how to light the stove. At first I thought this was just a cute ploy to get me to do all the cooking, but I have been horrified to realize that she honestly can’t figure it out and puts our house in danger of exploding anytime she attempts to simply boil water.

3. She’s really nice. To everyone. All the time. This wouldn’t be that suspicious, but it reminds me of an actual Retarded Person who is also a member of my family. And hey, the phrase “sweetly retarded” exists for a reason.

4. She makes a retarded-esque gurgling noise in her sleep. This, I hate.

5. She also sleeps with her socks under her pillow. I don’t know why, but that just seems retarded to me.

6. She likes salmon jerky. That stuff tastes so awful, only a Retarded Person would eat it. Or a bear, and they’ll eat anything. . . even a Retarded Person, for example.

7. She is incredibly good at video games. She has some kind of retarded memory that allows her to remember intricate levels from NES games that nobody has played since 1988. This is very irritating.

8. She has a retarded love of animals. She wanted a rabbit to come live with us. A-pee-poop-on-you-stinky-ass-rolls-in-its-own-pee-poop-
and-then-on-your-couch-after-peeing-poop-rabbit. And it wasn’t even Easter.

9. She loves karaoke. Okay, and who doesn’t, right? Not so fast. She loves it just as much as a woman (with crazy eyes and fanny pack) who sings karaoke at the same bar we do, and I believe that woman to be a Retarded Person. See my logic?

10. She loves me. I’m probably the most potentially Retarded Person I know, and you know what they say about birds of a feather. Uh, they’re usually Retarded People.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blogging about it makes it legal

I've changed my blogger name to Mermanda to match the Twitter moniker. Amanda is just too common of a name... I probably know about 349 Amandas IRL and have come across several bloggers who share my namesake (some chick on an old soap opera, according to my mom.) So now when you see "Mermanda" left you a comment... you can be sure it was me.

For those of you wondering the same thing as my friend Greg, "Does this mean you are a male fish?" No. It doesn't. I mean... do merpeople even have genitalia? Where would it even go?

I asked Greg, who is infinitely smarter than me, this question.

His answer:
"It's probably hidden under a gill flap or something. All I know is that King Triton didn't wear a shell bikini."

Too true, Greg. Too true.

Anyhow! I guess I should go get a new driver's license. Because blogging about my name change totally makes it legal. Right?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And more red!

Yes, we've established I'm in the throes of a little spending outburst. This isn't turning into a shoe blog, though I can understand your doubts. But I do have to blog about shoes again today. I'm sorry. (I know how much you all hate shoes.)

I'm going to pose a question now--brace yourselves. Have you ever owned shoes that were perfect for you? Perfect fit. Made you feel unbelievably sexy? Turned any outfit into a memorable fashion statement?

These are my perfect shoes. My Nine West (remember that, it will be important later) red patent leather peep toe flats. My darlings that I purchased at Filene's basement more than a year ago for less than $30 if my memory serves me right.

Imagine my horror when I realized my daily commute is taking a toll on my favorite shoes in the world. The patent leather is being slowly chewed up by the gravel trail I must walk daily.

Cry with me.


Don't cry. It's going to be okay. I made a resolution to replace these shoes before it becomes impossible to find another pair just like them. (I know these shoes don't look THAT bad... but I don't see them lasting more than another year...)

After a variety of search terms including "red," "patent leather," "peep toe," and "flats" I arrived at Bluefly.com. Scratching my head at why my shoes have another man's name on them, Stuart Weitzman, I ask, where are my affordably priced Nine West shoesies? Apparently, Nine West never actually made these shoes. Though "Nine West" is stamped on the sole, I'm beginning to think these shoes are the result of Stuart Weitzman overstock being sold to Nine West for distribution to bargain designer outlets, such as Filene's Basement. Ok, so I'm a fashion detective. Whatever. Just give the damn shoes.

Ahh. That's better.

Has anyone else searched high and low to replace a piece of your wardrobe that you can't imagine living without?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Throwing down the guantlet: A battle for the Flippiest Hair

Hillary is mourning her new hair 'do. She calls it "horrible, flippy, weather girl hair." Hey, Hillary? Not only do I think you look lovely... but I can totally out flip you any day of the week with this photo of one of my previous hair styles.

I present to you: Talk Show Host Hair--a very close relative to the Weather Girl look.

(And to anticipate your first question, No. My skin has never seen the sun.)

Oh, and for the record? I think I'd be a really awesome talk show host.

Eve Ensler's "Drill, Drill, Drill"

Read it.

She puts my greatest fears quite eloquently.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On the fence

This is either really cute or really god-awful. The diagonal zipper is really interesting... but couldn't they have come up with a better pattern?


Victoria's Secret diagonal zipper vest ($88)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why, yes I did. Thanks for noticing.

Andrew: Ugh. You smell like cat piss. Or cereal. Did you just eat cereal?


Follow me. Mermanda is the name. Tweeting is the game.

I will try not to lead you off of any cliffs.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Update Your Links! I'm kind of a big deal.

What? Two Anchorman references in 24 hours? How do you put up with me?

Hey, look at the address bar, dudes. I have my own domain now. Update those links, por favor.

The fun is at www.cuspofnormal.com.

See you there!

Technorati Profile

Am I out of the loop?

Should I join Twitter? Will it consume my life and make me curse the day I signed up? Are you guys all making fun of me behind my back? How will I know if I don't join?

Vote on my poll, kiddies.


P.S. If I do join... what should my name be? Cusp of Normal? Amanda? Mermanda? Merpanda? This is kind of ruining my life right now. Help me.

The Madness Continues! Sushi Again Stars in "For Real? Friday"

Sushi, sushi, sushi. (I swear I am not doing this to make enemies with you, Ben. I just can't turn down good material.)

IWAKO Japanese Eraser / Food / Sushi Set ($2.99)

This is something that I actually kind of want. But I just don't think I would like the person I would become if I had rubber sushi in my desk drawer.

Ok. Now I was going to write some wacky observations about this next one, but then I realized I could never come up with anything better than the actual product description on Amazon.

Japanese Fun: Realistic Tuna Sushi Phone Strap ($5.49)

When in Japan, do what the Japanese do! It is a common thing in Japan for Japanese restaurants to display their food out for potential customers to see. The food are very realistic yet they are all very fake. Well now you can do what the Japanese do as well! You can own your very own realistic food piece in the form of a phone strap! This keychain features a realistic looking piece of fatty tuna sushi! Now don''t be fooled, this piece of fatty tuna sushi is not real. It is made out of a rubber and plastic like material. Measuring up to approximately 2 inches, this piece of fatty tuna sushi is all prepared and ready to go with you anywhere. It will be able to hold your keys for you and much more! The phone strap is black and is made so you can hook and carry your piece of fatty tuna sushi anywhere! Warning: Might cause one to become hungry.

See? That was pretty good, right?

And for the finale, possibly the most useless item on Amazon:


Again, the product description is pure gold:

Fresh from the supermarket, Wind-Up Sushi! 5 pieces total make up this package of the fastest sushi on the planet!

What do you think, people? I'm thinking "Wedding Favors."

NOW I'm ready for the fall. Bring it.

This little beauty arrived in the mail yesterday. Hells yeah!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This means WAR (OR milk was a bad choice)

Andrew: [holding an expired mostly empty gallon of milk in front of my face.] Honey, will you smell this?

Me: [holding my nose tightly.] No! Get away from me. It says it expired Sept. 1. Jesus. Don't you have a brand new one in the fridge?

Andrew: Yeah, but I don't want this to go to waste. Please just smell it. I can't tell if it smells bad.

Me: [still holding nose.] No way. No.

Andrew: Please? Come on. I can't tell. [puppy dog eyes]

Me: [hesitantly] sniff. OHHHHHHHHH! WHAT!?!? OHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Andrew: [laughing like the evil creep that he is.]


Am I the only one....

who is (possibly unreasonably) petrified of dying from Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Just wondering.

A warning to my career-minded friends

Do not sign your work e-mails with something weird, funny, or cute. I just might not notice (until it is too late) and forward it to someone in another department.

Her Excellency, The Poopeyhead

Crap. I am so fired.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


[The following is a poem that I wrote in a creative writing class during my junior year of college. It's not my best work, but I wanted to share it with you today.]


Third period, fingers fly on my calculator
as I take my business calculus exam.
My world is derivatives,
predictable change.
Each problem has its answer.
The bell rings and echoes through the locker-lined hall
as it dismisses me to fourth period.
I reassure myself I did well on the test
as I walk to concert choir.
Nothing seems different about that long hallway to the music wing;
it’s the same channel to my escape from Chaucer, equations,
and beakers brimming with hydrochloric acid.
I enter the classroom
to find it overturned.
No one is in their usual place.
Today’s lesson plans have changed.
Panicked voices fill the room like poison gas
as the newscaster’s voice blares from the television.
I watch life in slow-motion.
The classroom is now foreign.
An alto struggles for air in between sobs
A group of three surrounds her, offer their comfort.
Her father
is away
on business.
Cheeks flushed and damp with tears.
Some students, wearing faces of stone, sit and stare at CNN.
Some are talking in hushed tones, filling in details on the breaking news.
I watch the replay.
A plane interrupts the pristine blue sky with an explosion of brilliant fire.
The replay.
Monstrous gray clouds of smoke smother the morning.
The replay.
Running in droves from the fallen skyline, people scream and ask God, “Why?”
The malevolent scene is burned into my brain.
We have entered a new world.
A world where flags wave above every doorstep, yellow ribbons adorn
almost every minivan, car, and truck.
Is this new world
really so different?
Or do we just feel better believing
it is somehow changed?

I think I figured it out.

This is where babies come from.

I fell for him the night I feared being gangbanged

Fun fact: Did you know gangbang is a verb--but spelled as two words, gang bang is a noun?

Now take what you have just learned and enjoy the tale of how Amandrew came to be.

I had been back in Pittsburgh for almost five months when I realized I still hadn't been to one of the most often talked about bars in the burgh--the Brillo Box. Matt, (aka Sk8rboi) my friend that I had met through MySpace (Don't judge. You know you've done it.) a few months earlier, promised to show me what all the fuss was about. I met him and a few other friends at the B Box for a drink or two. After soaking in as much of the hipster scene as we could stand, most of my friends decided to call it an evening. Reluctant to go home earlier than 11 o'clock on a weekend evening--my how the times have changed--Matt and I traveled to a second location to meet up with his best friend, Andrew, who was just getting out of work.

I had already stalked Andrew on MySpace (Ack. I hate myself.) so I kind of knew I was in for a very... um how should I put this... weird time. Andrew doesn't really seem like boyfriend material on paper. He talks about unicorn penises and challenging Stephen Hawking to rap battles entirely too much for some people's taste. But for me, he was such a breath of fresh air compared to the stuck-up conceited jerkfaces I had dated earlier that summer. I laughed and smiled so much that night that my cheeks ached for hours.

At the end of the night, Andrew offered to take Matt home. The guys walked me to my car.

"I just realized I have no idea how to get home from here," I said.

"Just follow us, we'll get you to Oakland and you'll know where you are," Andrew said.

I started my engine and followed Andrew's truck through a dark alley. Expecting the alley to come out on a well-lit major road, I was rather confused to be suddenly in the middle of nowhere, going through the darkest, windiest, gravel roads with no civilization in sight. As we crossed railroad tracks, I decided to call Matt's cell and figure just what was going on.

Ring. Ring.

Matt: "Hello?"

Me: "Hey... um... are you guys going to gangbang me or something?"

Matt: [laughter] Oh! Haha! No. No! [to Andrew] She thinks we're going to gangbang her! I told you she would think that...

Andrew [shouting into the phone]: She did look good!

Me: Seriously... where are we? [still navigating the abandoned bumpy road]

Matt: You'll recognize where you are in a minute. Maybe this wasn't the best way to go.

[turning on to familiar road]

Me: Ohhhh... Ok. Thanks for not gangbanging me.

When I got home I immediately sent Andrew a friend request.

Fabulously gang bang free since 2006.

His reply:
Glad to see that even though you've learned my sense of direction is sort of the worst thing ever you still want to be friends.

I believe I responded with thanking him again for not gangbanging me. To which he then replied: In my opinion, gangbanging hasn't been cool since the Reagan administration. Plus, Matt and I got out of the gang scene, and seldom run a train anymore. But, I guess you can't be too careful with strange men in ties these days.

I thought that was totally hilarious. I mean, who says "Reagan administration" in the same sentence as "gang banging"? This guy. And he's all mine!

Our next correspondence was a quick message to him from me with my cell phone number. I was very strict about how he was allowed to use this privileged information, though.

Please only use it in the event of random hilarious text messages, gang bangs, emergencies involving hair products, and/or passing on tips regarding good deals on any sort of citrus fruit or whole wheat products.



From: Andrew

Date: Sep 8, 2006


i think i just need a haircut and some pert plus

Please know that I have saved your number under "Amanduh." I will try to follow the guidelines you have laid out, but cannot promise that I won't enroll you in one of those joke of the day text message clubs that I see advertised on tv all the time.

I can be reached at [redacted], but must insist that you only contact me for fashion advice, the proper way to pour scotch, generally bad stock tips, generally great roadside assistance, or to warn me of an impending race war/biblical plague.

In lieu of a housewarming, I plan to throw a gang bang at my new pad, and will surely keep you in mind, as I know how much you like that sort of thing.

Yours in Christ,

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Speaking of the Lovely Jamie

Have you seen Jamie's latest giveaway?

This week’s feature and giveaway is from the Sassy Apron Etsy Shop by Lana. I know a little cupcake baker who would burst with joy if she owned this little gem:

But the one I love the most of all is the one the creator said she likes the best in her interview with Jamie:

The color and floral pattern of this one reminds me of an apron my grandma used to wear. And I know, Jamie says these aren't your grandma's aprons... and it's true. This one is much more hip than the threadbare one grandma used to wear.

So what are you waiting for? You only have until Friday to enter!

Oh! How Thank You! Hugs!

I am being so crushed at work this week. Tomorrow doesn't look like it will be any different. I want to thank the ever-so-lovely Jamie for filling in for me today. I was wracked with guilt for not being able to tend to my blog for a few days. But Jamie swooped down upon my blog just in the nick of time. And Jamie? I totally have a crush on you too. Meet me by my locker after school where we will exchange friendship bracelets.

Jamie has plans to visit Pittsburgh in the future (jealous?) to see her sis, so I'll give her a big old bloggy hug when she arrives. Until then... Jamie. Maybe you should order yourself one of these?

Hug Me Pillow ($29.99)

Ok. Just kidding.

Creepy pillow found by Everything I Like Causes Cancer. Hilarious blog. Adding it to my reader immediately.

Seeing Red (and I'm not just talking about my checkbook)

It was raining when I left for work this morning. Most people probably curse Mother Nature (or whoever is in charge of the weather) when they need to reach for an umbrella first thing in the morning. Me? I'm just happy I get an excuse to give these babies a day out of the closet.

Check Target.com for more colors and patterns than your eyes can handle. Most are $24.99, but I see some colors are on clearance for $13.99.

The Lovely one fills in for a very busy Amanda

Did you guys know I have a big huge crush on Amanda? Because I totally do. While gchatting and emailing back and forth today, she was like, "dude, I'm a big bloggy slacker" and I was like, "dude, I know but I will save you because I have a huge girl crush on you." Well now that my crush is out in the open, I suppose I should tell you who I am, right? Right! I'm Jamie from Oh! How Lovely! I currently write for 472 other blogs too and have obviously decided that is not enough so here I am. It's only a matter of time before you guys lock me out of my wordpress accounts and stage an intervention.

Anyway, let's talk about money. Or in my case, lack there of. Why is there a lack of it? Because I spend too much money! Well most of it is on things I need to pay for like tuition, school books I more than likely won't use but my instructors still make me buy and gas for my guzzling SUV that costs $80 to fill up.

Before I started paying for my own tuition, I was pretty ridiculous with money. New laptop bag is $60? Done. $450 Marc Jacobs bag? MUST HAVE NOW! Edie pup freshly groomed, spoiled rotten with new toys and stocked up on treats? Priceless. But in reality it also cost me far too much moolah.

Now that I have Responsibilities (ones that aren't as fun as shoes and handbags!) I've reigned in my spending. Right now all I really can afford is tuition and gas money. It's such a bummer for my wardrobe.

Naturally, I haven't been able to treat myself to anything lately being the brokeass that I am. Well today I am working and today I get paid. Not a whole lot, but still I get paid. I had an embarrassing amount in my checking account this morning.

Had? You noticed that, right?

Now it's even lower because I decided I needed a treat for being all responsible and shit. So I bought this headband!

Yeah, I know.

Probably not the most responsible way to reward myself for being responsible, but at least my hair will look ridiculously cute!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My precious

I got a raise this week. Nothing life-changing. Just a little extra cash each month on my paycheck.

I won't actually see the money until the end of the month. However, you would never know that if you saw the way I'm spending cheese the past few days. Please. I need an intervention.

My latest purchase. (The shoes. Not the giraffe.) Do not regret.

Thanks, but I already have it under control

Friday, September 5, 2008

For Real? Friday: The Sushi Edition

Thanks for voting... all five of you! Voting is now closed. As you can see, I've made my selection.

Sorry to torture you all with delicious images of sushi-weirdness, but it's for your own good. On with the show!

1GB Tuna Sushi USB Drive (79.99)
This would be entirely too tempting for actual use. I would probably "accidentally" eat it within an hour of ownership. But how freaking cool is this? My mouth is watering.

Whimsical Watches Unisex Sushi Silver Watch ($44.95)
Um. Is it sushi time yet?

Funky Fresh Sushi Air Freshener (Currently unavailable... bummer.)
The description doesn't even hint at what this actually smells like. Anyhow, if this was dangling from my rear-view mirror, I would probably have to stop for sushi every mile or so.

Tune in again next week for For Real? Friday.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Who the hell is this Kim Kardashian person?

Seriously. I want to know. Someone explain this to me. Why is she famous?

Last day to vote on the Friday Feature crap.

Also, did you notice I posted the recipes AND party pictures? Aren't I a good little blogger?


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Party Peeeectures

With the help of my historian, Jessica, I've established a nice collection of photos of the housewarming party to share with you. One minor problem: none of them are actually inside the house. Details, details. It was a gorgeous summer day. Of course we were on the back deck! Check 'em out.

My college pal Kristen came in to town for the shindig. She brought her famous cupcakes, too! (Funfetti, if you were wondering, Wishcake!)

Bri cooled off in the arms of a tree.

Andrew, wearing my apron my grandma made for me as a child, cooks up a storm with his dad on our new grill.

Ladies hanging out till dark.

Hackey sack is back, bitches!

Time for some corn!

Nom nom nom

Just hanging out by the tiki torches.

Anyone remember Thundercats?

Champagne time!

All is not lost... or at least not my cookbook

Found it. Now it's game time, playas!

Pretzel Salad
A legendary picnic treat. I even ate some despite my recently self-diagnosed strawberry allergy. Itchy mouth be damned! I remembered the pretzels staying crunchier... but my friend Bri says the pretzels never stay crunchy. I think she was just being kind. What do you guys think? Was my crunchless crust just a fact of life? Give me your constructive criticism. I know you all have opinions on this because you were all like "OMG, pretzel salad! OMG! That's my favorite!" So speak up. Please.

Layer 1: 2 cups coarsely crushed pretzels; 3/4 cup melted margarine; 3 Tbsp. sugar
Layer 2: 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese; 1 cup sugar; 2 cups whipped topping
Layer 3: 1 large package of strawberry jello (6 oz.); 2 cups boiling water; 10 oz. frozen strawberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put first layer in a 9x13x2 inch pan. Bake 8 minutes. Remove to cool.
Layer 2: Beat sugar into cheese, stir in whipped topping. Spread over cooled pretzels.
Layer 3: Mix Jello, boiling water, and strawberries together and set aside for 10 minutes. Pour over cheese mixture; chill thorougly.

Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

One of the few things I scarfed down in my college's dining hall.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (I had no idea this existed. I know... newb)
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 package semi sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place butter in 9x13 baking pan and melt in oven.
Remove pan and carefully tilt to spread butter.
Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over melted butter. (I packed it with a spatuala.)
Pour sweetened condensed milk over crumbs.
Top with remaining ingredients.
Bake 25 minutes.
Cut into bars.

One Happy One Sad

This makes me very happy:

Thanks, Jenn, for the awesome illustration! I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity to display your mad paint skillz.

This makes me almost-actually-cry sad:

Why did he ruin himself? He could have been beautiful.

(Housewarming party pics--FOR REAL--later this afternoon.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How not to be helpful

My deepest apologies to my fellow bloggers. I didn't participate in blog day. I'm an utter failure. This saddens me deeply... but I am intrepid. Onward, Christian soldiers.

Also, I know I promised you photos and recipes from the housewarming party. I would have posted them by now had I not LOST MY COOKBOOK. Yes, I remember putting it somewhere *safe* for the party. Somewhere out of the way. Somewhere I could easily retrieve it after the party. Ok. Really. It has to be here. Somewhere. The house isn't that big. It will show up. And when it does, I will make good on my promise to share recipes. Till then, see some yummy photos in tomorrow's post.

Today I have something more important to share with you. Deep breath. It is one of those stories where the retelling enrages me as though It Just Happened.

It was Saturday. I wanted to sing. Really bad. I called my favorite karaoke buddy (Jessica of the robotic trash can debacle) and asked her to join me at our favorite bar for a night of singing and embarrassment. Of course, she obliged. She truly is the next American Idol.

That evening, Jessica, her newlywed hubby, Andrew, our friend Thomas, and I rolled into the bar and claimed a sweet table front and center... though our favorite table was taken. Our favorite waitress was no where to be found. The DJ was "the mean guy." This evening had disaster written all over it.

In a predictable fashion, I filled out song requests by such famed artists as Cyndi Lauper, Regina Spektor, and Hanson. On karaoke nights, I assume alternate identities in order to protect the innocent... and well... because it's fun to be someone else for a night. Tonight I was "Rickie." I ordered a Blue Moon and finished it quickly before Jessica and I sang the duet "Time After Time." Starr, a 60-something karaoke regular who always wears a fanny pack and tightly wound bun, really enjoyed our performance. I felt the night turning around. That is. Until. The. Incident.

I took my seat at the table. An hour or so had passed and no one from our group had been called up to sing. We were being punished because the DJ thought we were trying to hog all the fun when we turned in about a dozen song requests between the five of us. Screw you, mean DJ man! We came here to rock and roll!

I ordered a second Blue Moon, and took about two sips before It Happened. My denim jacket goes flying over my head, smacks me in the face, and lands on my beer--knocking my fresh beer all over the table, my skirt, and of course my jacket.

Once what had just happened settled into my brain, I turned around to see what the hell caused this misery. A girl in her early 20s sat behind me with short dark curly hair. She screamed, "It was on the floor! What was I supposed to do?!" Blink. Blink.

"It was on the floor!" she screamed again, as though saying it twice clearly validated her impulsive move that ruined my beverage, my outfit, and my evening. (Ok not really, but I like the dramatic effect.)

She refused to apologize. Her friends were aghast. "Why did you do that?" "What were you thinking?" "It was on the floor!" was all that crazy beotch could reply.

Yes. It was on the floor. I guess my jacket had fallen from the back of my chair. So instead of handing it to me or saying, "Hey! Your jacket is on the floor!" She threw it at my face and my beer. Now, instead of a slightly dusty jacket, I had a beer soaked jacket and a skirt to match. Good job, girl! Way to be a good little helper! Next time, let the drunk singers trample my jacket. I swear it will turn out better for everyone in the end.

Jessica, completely bewildered by what just happened, just kept saying, "I can't even process what just happened!" She was definitely more pissed off than I was. She is also a little more feisty than me, so I made her ask the girl to buy me another beer. Jess made eye contact with Curly and said, "I don't care why you did what you did. I don't care if you thought you were helping or something. Can you at least buy her another beer?" Guess what? She refused.

Her embarrassed friend immediately jumped up and asked what I was drinking. She headed to the bar and minutes later reemerged with a fresh Blue Moon for me. I thanked her and confided in her a secret.

"Hey. Thanks. This kind of thing happens to me all of the time. I really can't go out without getting a beer spilled in my purse or knocked all over me..."

Curly's friend again apologized as I sipped the peace offering.

A few minutes later, Curly and her friends were called up to the microphone to sing. As the opening of the song begins to play, she shouts over the mic, "I'M SORRY! OK!? I'M SORRY!" She said it in the most "I-really-don't-mean-this-at-all" tone of voice you have ever heard. I just nodded silently as I continued mopping up the spilled beer that I just realized had formed a puddle beneath me.

Curly's friend = Classy Lady

Curly = Crazy Crazy Face

To add insult to injury, mean DJ man didn't even let me sing Hanson.