Thursday, January 29, 2009

Andrew Has a Flavor: Episode 1


Here's the debut of my semi-regular feature devoted to the amusing things uttered by Andrew. Enjoy!

Andrew: Can I eat this mac and cheese? Or is it for a special occasion?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My little friend

Speaking of gifts...

I never showed you this very adorable package I received from Jossie Posie a few months ago...








I love my new little friend! Thanks so much, Jossie! What a great surprise :)

This was, of course, before this not so pleasant squirrel surprise.


Yikes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All by myself

Andrew started taking evening classes tonight--leaving me to fend for myself two nights a week. Yeah, I have to remember how to feed myself (living with a partner who cooks is something I recommend to everyone). But what else am I going to struggle with? Figuring out how to watch the new HD TV, sigh.

Andrew must have saw this coming...

I came home to find these on the coffee table:







How cute is he?

Oh, how I love crossing things off lists!


Just crossed off another item on my 101 Things in 1001 Days list.

#8 Send an anonymous gift

This one was super fun. A coworker of mine has been out of the office recovering from a major operation. I sent her some cheerful flowers and a Get Well balloon--with no name on the card. (Shhh! Don't tell her it was me!)

If someone sent me an anonymous gift, I think it would drive me bonkers trying to figure out who it was from. How would you react to receiving an anonymous gift?

Friday, January 23, 2009

100th Subscriber Giveaway!

Inspired by Your Ill-fitting Overcoat, I've decided to have a giveaway in honor of my 100th subscriber! Always one to take advantage of an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone (wait... I love birds! Why am I killing two of them?), the featured prize is handmade.

Feast your eyes upon the prize:



Now, I don't know who the Brown Family is, but they might be a little angry about us stealing their identity. For this reason, the winner will be able to customize the stamp with their own name and address. Pretty clever, eh? This custom rubber stamp is pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen. I'm ordering one for myself ASAP. If the winner would prefer a different custom stamp from the babyjewels shop, a similarly priced stamp can be selected instead. Here are some of my other favorites from her shop:






The fabulous Cat, of babyjewels on Etsy, has offered to throw in a free ancient ink in the color of the winner's choice--up to 40 colors to choose from!

To Enter:
Comment on this post, telling me your favorite mythical creature. If you don't have one... tell me your secret hidden talent instead. (One entry per person, thanks.)

To get an extra entry, tweet or blog about the contest, linking to this post--and put a link to your tweet or blog in the comments section of this post.

The winner will be selected randomly. You have until 5 p.m. (EST) January 30th to enter. Good luck! And don't forget to subscribe to Cusp of Normal if you haven't already. I'll host another contest in honor of my 200th subscriber.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Andrew Is Fired

I'm launching a semi-regular feature on Cusp of Normal, devoted to the crazy/sexy/cool things that come out of Andrew's mouth. I asked him to help me think of names for this feature, and a ten minute g-chat brainstorm session commenced.

Among the gems that Andrew suggested:
"Things my cool [bleep] boyfriend said, [bleep]"
"WTF Andrew?"
"Really, Andrew?"
"What are you talking about?"
"What an idiot!"
"Asshole of the Year!"
"The go [bleep] yourself hour, with Andrew"
"Andrew, you so crazy!"
"Wiggity-whack tracks with Andrew"

I interrupted his streak with my own suggestion: "The Barnacle Chronicles"

After I thought of it, I told him I loved it too much to waste it on the name of a dumb feature. "The Barnacle Chronicles" should be the name of something awesome. Something Earth-Shaking. I began thinking, this should be the name of my super-secret blog. Yeah, that's when some huge IDIOT FACE sent me a link to his new super-secret blog...

Thanks, honey. This means war.

P.S. Go tell him what a naughty little fella he is!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Puke and Pride

I took yesterday off from work and my blog to take care of my sick lovebug. He's feeling much better today--so I must have done a good job. Thank the Lord for the flu shot. For me to not be all pukey and poopy (sorry, Andrew) was such a victory for my usually weak immune system. If you didn't get a flu shot (cough, Andrew, cough, cough) I don't understand you silly people.

Oh, and one more thing...

Heck Yeah!


Photo Credit: New York Times

Forget about that "elect" business. This is our country's PRESIDENT! Whoop! Whooop!

Update: Could Andrew's mystery illness have been caused by... (dramatic pause) ... SALMONELLA POISONING? The world may never know.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cracking up about crackers

Yesterday afternoon I called Andrew while he was at work. He answered his cell and said in an urgent manner, "Can I call you back in fifteen minutes?" Assuming it was some work-related crisis, I said, "Sure," And waited patiently.

He calls me back a little later and I ask him a question about wedding planning, blah blah. Fast forward to later that evening:

Andrew: "Did I tell you about our cracker eating contest? That's what we were doing when you called me earlier."

Me: "A cracker eating contest?"

Andrew: "Yeah, you know those little orange peanut butter cracker sandwiches? Well, John said it's impossible to eat six of them in a minute."

Okay, people, so picture five grown men AT WORK stuffing crackers down their gullets with stop watches keeping official time.

That's a pretty entertaining image. But then when you add this article from yesterday's Washington Post--it's FREAKING HILARIOUS!

Maker Recalls Peanut Butter As 2 More Die of Salmonella
By Sue Lindsey
ROANOKE, Jan. 14 -- A peanut butter maker that sells bulk supplies to institutions issued a nationwide recall as officials on Wednesday reported two more deaths associated with a salmonella outbreak.

Lynchburg-based Peanut Corp. of America issued the recall late Tuesday for 21 lots of peanut butter made since July 1 at its plant in Blakely, Ga., because of possible salmonella contamination. The company supplies peanut paste to Kellogg Co., which on Wednesday asked stores nationwide to pull peanut butter crackers sold under the Austin and Keebler brands.


Oh, Andrew. You little idiot. :)

EDIT: Sorry, guys. I didn't mean to leave you hanging like that. No one was able to eat six under a minute... but someone got close with five. It took Andrew 1:47 to eat all six.

You should get some.

natalie dee
nataliedee.com

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tagged for more blogging mischief

Tattooed Dorothy tagged me for some blogging mischief. This comes at an excellent time because I feel as though all of the creative juices have been sucked from me. I am a desert. (Don't you love the theatrics?)

Here are the rules:

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open to page 56.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next 2 to 5 sentences, along with these rules.

5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual book. Pick the CLOSEST!

6. Tag five other people to do the same!

Okay, so the book nearest to me had only 40 pages, so I cheated and used the second closest book. The book is "Ishmael: An Adventure of Mind and Spirit," which I was supposed to return to the library for Andrew today. I obviously decided it was too cold for such nonsense. Anywhoodle!

"I don't exactly know what I mean. You've made some sort of point, but I don't know what it is."

"You don't?"

"No, I don't."

"What did the jellyfish mean when it said, 'But finally jellyfish appeared'?"


Well, I guess you'll have to read the book if you want to know more about those crazy jellyfish. :P

I tag... NO ONE! I'm such a rebel. I know.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The one where I have an epiphany

My parents and Andrew's parents were not happy with our menu selections of tacos, sushi, and pasta. And you know what? I don't blame them. Because I realized something about the wedding I'm planning. It turns out it isn't about me and Andrew after all. It's about pleasing distant relatives whom I've seen enough times to count on one hand in the past ten years.

There are going to be some changes. Big changes. I am stressed about how the families will accept these changes, but excited at the prospect of putting the focus back on us.

That's all I'm going to say for now. Andrew wants me to think our decision over for a week to be sure it's not something we'll later regret.

Tonight I'm watching my new digitally remastered version of "The Little Mermaid" to take away some of this stress from being a soon-to-be-married-adult.

Kthxbai.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Japan Hates You (And Me)

ryohin@petoffice.co.jp to me

Reply


from ryohin@petoffice.co.jp
to Mermanda
date Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 10:56 PM
subject Re: ???????? ?????? Do you speak English?

10:56 PM (10 hours ago)

Reply


Thank you for inquiring.
The proposal of the advertisement is refused to accept.
Moreover, it doesn't send it out to foreign countries at all.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mermanda"
To:
Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2009 5:00 AM
Subject: ???????? ?????? Do you speak English?


Hello,

Does anyone speak English at the Pet Office Company? I write a blog (www.cuspofnormal.com) and my readers very much like the frog cat costume. I was wondering if we could work out a deal where I provide free advertising for your company for six months, if you would consider providing a free frog costume for me to give away on my blog.

If this is something you can not agree to, I'd like to discuss shipping prices to the U.S.

Thanks,
Mermanda

Monday, January 12, 2009

Super productive weekend

Checked off the wedding list this weekend:
Bridesmaids' Dresses (color: plum)
Wedding Cake (seedless raspberry... yum!)
DJ

Not too bad for one weekend, eh?

I also ordered a peacock feather stencil for some DIY wedding projects... now I just have to figure out this embossing business (with a little help from Kyla)!

To give you an idea of my maid of honor's experience trying on dresses this weekend... just feel bad for her. I think I threw about 15 dresses at her to try on, and made her try on about ten of them repeatedly.

Me: "Uh, did we like that blue one on you?"
Bri: "Um... maybe?"
Me: (sweet angel face) "Would you mind trying it on one more time?"
Bri: (sincerely) "Not at all!"

What a trooper she is, right all?

She ended up looking fabulous in several dresses, which only made my life harder. I ended up letting her pick which one she liked the most--and the one she picked is linked above. The plum color (though I think it is more appropriately described as a shimmery lilac) looks amazing with the peacock feathers. They just POP next to the dress. Yay!

As for the wedding cake tasting, nom nom nom. The woman in charge of the tasting was a little... hmm... how to put this delicately... insane?! Yes. That works. But she's not the baker, so I felt good about handing her over a check. With the wedding package we purchased, we will get to pick eight other desserts in addition to our wedding cake (pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, coconut cream pie, death by chocolate cake, tiramisu, etc....) Are you drooling?

Last week we met with the catering company, and Lori was a peach—to borrow a phrase from Wishcake :) And I am not just saying that because I gave her my blog's url. (Hi Lori!)

We decided on a pretty interesting combination of foods, including maki rolls, a taco bar, and a pasta station. If our budget allows, hors d'oeuvre will include mac 'n cheese balls, um... and some other stuff. (My memory can only contain so much wedding trivia.)

This week I will tackle finding an officiant, rehearsal dinner venue, and booking a shuttle for out of town guests.

This concludes Mermanda's wedding post of the week.

xo

Friday, January 9, 2009

You almost feel bad for them...

Wow. I am so drunk with power right now. I had no idea the things I could get you to do just by waving a cat dressed as a frog in front of you.

Buy me a Macbook.

What's that? Did you say no?

BAM!




Now what were you saying?

In all seriousness, I am so excited that you all share my love for cats dressed as other animals. I stumbled across this Japanese company when I was in college and would spend hours gazing at cats dressed as chickens...




Cows...



And, of course, redheads...



I was under the impression the company went out of business because none of my old links to their web site worked anymore. But it turns out they just relocated to a brand spanking new web site with brand spanking new cat costumes. Feast your eyes upen these.

I just e-mailed the company to see if they would be up for a little business deal. They provide one free frog costume for me to give away on my blog and I'll provide them will free advertising on my blog for six months. Let's see if they take the bait...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Let your voice be heard

If you are a member of 20-Something Bloggers, vote now for the 20SB Bootleg Awards. You have until Jan. 19 to cast your vote... but why wait? Do it now!

I offer this as my bribe...



Seriously, how can you resist that? What kind of monster are you?

101 in 1001 Update

As mentioned yesterday, I want to complete at least 40 items on my "101 Things in 1001 Days" list by the end of 2009. This does not include things I crossed off in 2008:
#72 Get engaged
#85 Read 50 books in one year
#100 Frame mermaid/fisherman paintings)

So, by Jan. 1, 2009--I hope to have at least 43 items total crossed off my list.

I'm happy to report that yesterday I crossed off:
#7 Buy a homeless person a hot meal

See my full list and track my progress here.

The other half of my new year's resolution is to read at least a dozen books that I didn't get to last year. Here's my list of books I want to read so far:

Love in the Time of Cholera
The History of Love
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Musicophilia
Water for Elephants
The World Without Us
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Running with Scissors
The Gift of Fear
A Million Little Pieces

Finally, regarding your questions about whether I'll be posting pictures of my wedding dress, the answer is no. Andrew reads this blog and keeping the dress a surprise until he sees me walking down the aisle towards him is very important to me. I hope you all understand!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Okay let's see if I remember how this works

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack. And I have to say it feels damn good!

What an amazing way to be welcomed back to the blogosphere! You guys nominated me for the most interesting blog in the 20SB community! When I read all of the nominations, I did not expect to see my own name appear on the list. When I saw I had been nominated for the most interesting category, I literally squealed with delight. I also might have done an awkward little dance in my little blue striped nightgown. (My superhero outfit, according to Andrew.)

I told Andrew the news and his response?

"Who would find your blog interesting? It's about BAND-AIDS!"

Touché, my dear. Touché.

I don't know who nominated me, but thanks! I never really believed movie stars when they say crap like "It's an honor just to be nominated" for the Oscars, etc... but you know what? I believe them now. I am beyond honored! (You like me! You really like me!)

Okay enough of that...

On to business.

50 Books in 2008
Some of you have been asking about whether or not I read 50 books in 2008 like I had set out to do. The answer is yes. Though, just barely. I finished number 50 with eight hours of '08 to spare. The final 11 books on the list are all plays (with the one audio book exception). Quick reads... was under the gun, ya know?

I read a total of 9,325 pages last year. That's just craziness! Here's the list, in the order that they were read. I've emboldened the top ten books that I highly recommend you read for yourselves... I hope you like the Sedaris siblings...

1. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (David Sedaris)
2. Holidays on Ice (David Sedaris)
3. The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls)
4. The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Mitch Albom)
5. Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris)
6. Your Blues Ain't Like Mine (Bebe Moore Campbell)
7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
8. Then, Suddenly (Lynn Emanuel)
9. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat And Other Clinical Tales (Oliver Sacks)
10. Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)
11. The Little Book of Plagiarism (Richard Posner)
12. A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams)
13. Fire Wheel (Sharmila Voorakkara)
14. I Like You (Amy Sedaris)
15. Tuesdays With Morrie (Mitch Albom)
16. Naked (David Sedaris)
17. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Tennessee Williams)
18. Happy Birthday, Wanda June (Kurt Vonnegut)
19. The Rum Diary (Hunter S. Thompson)
20. A Raisin in the Sun (Lorraine Hansberry)
21. When You Are Engulfed in Flames (David Sedaris)
22. Bait and Switch (Barbara Ehrenreich)
23. Post Office (Charles Bukowski)
24. Message in a Bottle (Nicholas Sparks)
25. Dear John (Nicholas Sparks)
26. At First Sight (Nicholas Sparks)
27. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Michael Chabon)
28. Look Me in the Eye (John Elder Robinson)
29. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (Lisa See)
30. The Final Solution: A Story of Detection (Michael Chabon)
31. The Awakening (Kate Chopin)
32. Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
33. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Edward Albee)
34. Resurrection Blues (Arthur Miller)
35. The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (Lorraine Hansberry)
36. Not about Nightingales (Tennessee Williams)
37. A Model World and Other Stories (Michael Chabon)
38. Indignation (Philip Roth)
39. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)
40. The Baby with the Bathwater (Christopher Durang)
41. Hughie (Eugene O'Neill )
42. Betty's Summer Vacation (Christopher Durang)
43. Barrel Fever (David Sedaris) (audio book)
44. Long Day's Journey into Night (Eugene O'neill)
45. Buried Child (Sam Shepard)
46. The Gin Game (D. L. Coburn)
47. Don't Drink the Water (Woody Allen)
48. 'Night Mother (Marsha Norman)
49. Barefoot in the Park (Neil Simon)
50. The Member of the Wedding (Carson McCullers)

So what's next?
My resolution for 2009 is to complete at least 40 items on my 101 Things in 1001 Days list. I already have a few items crossed off--I'll post an update tomorrow.

Thanks
Thank you so much for reading my blog. 2008 was a terrific year for me. I fell in love with blogging and this entire community, I moved into a fabulous house with Andrew, I got engaged, and started planning our wedding! Oh, and did I mention that I BOUGHT MY WEDDING DRESS? EEEEEEE!! Here's to a superb 2009. Muah!

Monday, January 5, 2009

I am still alive

I am sorry for my disappearance from the blog world. I truly miss you all and have so many things I am looking forward to blogging about in the near future. I just don't have the time to do it justice right now, so please bear with me. I'll be back and hopefully at the top of my blogging game in just another day or so.

Happy New Year!

XOXO,
Mermanda