Monday, August 31, 2009

Be careful what you wish for...

Remember my little "101 Things in 1001 Days" list? Well, I'd like to have a serious chunk of items crossed off by the end of the year... and time flies. Oh, god. Flies. Excuse me a minute...

::insert sounds of Mermanda gagging::

Sorry about that. Sensitive subject. You see, last Friday I was at a local watering hole to see some friends perform their second gig with their new band. As I said, I wanted to cross some things off the list...



I ordered an extra dirty martini. And guys? IT WAS FILTHY. I took about ten tiny sips (because as it turns out, I don't particularly like martinis...) and began poking at my olives with a stirrer. I ate one olive and was about to hoist the next one down my gullet when I noticed something floating in my glass. No, wait. I noticed several somethings floating in my glass. No... wait. A LOT OF SOMETHINGS! That's when I held up my glass to the light and could finally make out the tiny wings. OH, no... excuse me....

::insert more gagging noises::

Ahem. Flies! There were AT LEAST ten flies in my glass! That will teach me for ordering a dirty drink. My goodness. That is the last time I order that sucker. Who knows how many little winged creatures I drank before I noticed ::shudder:: them in my glass? WHO KNOWS!?

Number 30, you are dead to me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The dress


What do you think? Don't mind my missing head. I'm sure I'll find it before the rehearsal dinner.

UPDATE: I want to explain I was never that into this dress... but my mom was with me when I tried it on and she was really rallying for me to buy it. Mom, what the heck?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Treasure hunting on the CL

I promised I would share with you my first three Craigslist purchases. And as an added bonus, you can get a taste of the style of our new home. (House tour to come... bear with me.)

1. Stained Glass Peacock $15
We will eventually hang this against the window, but for now it is just propped up there. I can't believe this was only $15. I love it. But I'm sure you already knew that.

2. Ikea Bar Table and Stool Set ($100)

The great thing about getting Ikea furniture secondhand is that you don't have to assemble it! And I love that this table is Luke-proof. This breakfast nook is the only place where we can eat high enough off the ground that his nose can't get to our food. Oh, and check out those cute little birdies hanging out on the window sill with their darling dangly little legs. Thanks, mommy!

3. Pier One Leaf Motif Fireplace Screen ($45)

I was scoping out CL for something exactly like this. I got very lucky to find it just 15 minutes away from our neck of the woods.

Hopefully, my next CL purchase will be a china cabinet with great style to store all of my bridal shower gifts! You hear me, Universe? Make it happen.

And while I'm finally posting photos... here's the framed Katie Vernon prints I told you about a few weeks ago:



Click here and here for a closer look at the prints.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hello, beautiful



My bridal shower was this Saturday. And I'd like you to meet three of the newest loves of my life. (Click here for a closer look at the china pattern.)



My shower was incredibly beautiful and perfect. I'll post photos of it later this week after I collect them from about six different people's cameras.

In the meantime, feast your eyes upon this cutie:



Friday, August 21, 2009

Bacon Update

With clearly too much time on my hands, I've come up with my list of foods that I'd rather eat than bacon. I am surprised to say the list is longer than 30.

1. Guacamole
2. Tacos
3. Grandma’s Matzoh ball soup
4. Pizza (depending on where it’s from)
5. Banana cake
6. Mac & cheese
7. Grilled cheese
8. Sushi (rolls and/or sashimi)
9. Eggroll
10. My mom’s lasagna
11. Breaded pork chops
12. Pesto pasta
13. Mussels
14. Shrimp
15. Lobster
16. Pizza rolls
17. Soft pretzel
18. Corned beef sandwich
19. Cheeseburger
20. Bread w/ olive oil for dipping
21. Brownies
22. Gingersnaps
23. Kalamata olives
24. Anything you would eat on Thanksgiving (stuffing, turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, etc.)
25. Grandma’s kugel
26. Sloppy joe (is it just me or does this list have a lot of options for 5-year-olds?)
27. Wonton soup (mmmm… that sounds good right about now…)
28. Kosher dill pickle
29. Queso dip! (my newest vice)
30. CHOCOLATE!
31. Rita’s Gelati (UM! JUST FOUND OUT THEY NOW HAVE SWEDISH FISH FLAVORED ITALIAN ICE. LIMITED TIME ONLY… NOM NOM NOM!)
32. Mint chocolate chip or rocky road ice cream
33. Edamame (could simplify this list with “anything on which I can pour insane amounts of soysauce”)

Conclusion: sea creatures, salt, chocolate, grandma’s home cooking, and cheese trump bacon every time.

Sit this one out if you are a vegetarian...

...or vegan, Orthodox Jew, Muslim, or belong to some other sect of people who do not partake in the eating of pork products. Just hit up the archives and we'll get back to you later. No offense. The door is that way... sorry about the trouble. See you Monday.

Are they gone?!



LET'S TALK ABOUT BACON! WAHOOOOOOOOOO!

This morning, my coworker asked me, "What is up with this sudden bacon craze?"



I explained to him that this "sudden" craze has been going strong for several years. I rattled off the bacon products I could think of off the top of my head: bacon dental floss, chocolate covered bacon...

"I don't see what is so refreshing about bacon? Why would you want to brush your teeth and smell like bacon? Sure, bacon is good... but it's not exactly the nectar of the Gods. There has to be at least 300 other foods I'd rather eat besides bacon," coworker said.

Woah. Woooah. Hang on right there, buddy. That's a pretty blasphemous thing to say about bacon. 300 things you would rather eat before bacon? I can understand having a few things you would rather eat before bacon... maybe tacos, sushi, eggrolls, guacamole, pumpkin pie, mint chocolate chip ice cream.... but 300!? Whhhaaaahhh?

I retorted quickly with a death glare: "My list of things I'd rather eat besides bacon is not quite THAT long... there's probably only about 30 things at the most that I'd rather eat besides bacon."

Okay, so my number is 30. What's yours?

UPDATE: See my detailed list here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Melts in your blog, not in your hand

A few tidbits for you, bullet-point style...

  • My weird dreams never cease to amaze me. Last night, Andrew and I were sleeping under a layer of shredded cheddar cheese. And the cheese turned into a blanket. And then I asked Andrew if we should eat the blanket... because it was technically cheese. In a different dream, I purchased a raffle ticket from Rialeilani, who was selling them for $35 for a chance to win a blanket to support a church. That's an expensive raffle ticket, but I guess I thought it seemed like a good idea at the time. Where do I come up with this stuff?

  • We're going to see Sufjan Stevens in a few weeks! He's finally touring! I am so excited! Even if we have to drive for hours upon hours to get there... it will be one of the best experiences of my life. AND! I'll get to cross another item off my 101 Things in 1001 Days list! Woot! Speaking of Sufjan, Andrew, some of his groomsmen, and a very close friend will be performing one of his hymns at our wedding. I think their performance will easily be one of my favorite moments of our wedding day.

  • Prepare to have your head melted because this is the weirdest thing ever. Maybe even weirder than this. Yesterday, I was walking to a meeting a few blocks from my office when I saw a woman walk past me who looked so much like Andrew's ex-girlfriend that I had to do a double-take. When I realized it definitely wasn't her, I continued my journey and forgot all about the encounter. That is... until I received a comment from Jive Turkey saying: "Just found your blog through Hillary, which is funny, because I live in Pittsburgh too (like, 5 minutes from where some of your awesome engagement portraits were taken), and yet I only found you with the aid of another blogger who lives in CANADA."

    Okay, that's not so weird. But I clicked the link to her blog and started flipping through her flicker pics. That's when I noticed that SHE LOOKS STRIKINGLY SIMILAR TO ANDREW'S EX-GIRLFRIEND. With my heart racing (ok, not really but I'm trying to build some excitement here!), I commented on her blog asking if she was by chance on the same street as me at 1:45 p.m. And you guys? She totally WAS! It turns out we work next door to each other. It amazes me that each day, not only the blogosphere (that's for you, Kerri!) continues to shrink, but this whole damn world keeps getting smaller. On one hand, I kind of love it. But on the other hand, I want to crawl in a hole and cry while my head melts off.

  • Finally, I bought my rehearsal dinner dress but am a little iffy about it. It makes me look very sophisticated and fits nicely.... but something about it doesn't feel like "me." I'll have to model it for you and get your opinion on the matter--because I can't seem to find a picture of it online.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our engagement portraits

AHH! We got our engagement pictures back from the fabulous Sandy Yetter of Red Lotus Photography! We really could not be happier with how they turned out. Can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve for our wedding :)

Brace yourselves for these photos... thumb-wrestling, giant dinosaurs, and seahorses... that pretty much sums it up.






















Friday, August 14, 2009

Blood on the Cabin Floor: An Interview with the Best Man

Today, I bring you a conversation with Andrew's best man, Matt. He will tell us about the 3-day bachelor party spectacle that took place in an unsuspecting town in north west Pennsylvania last weekend.

I don't usually read interview style blog posts on other people's blogs because they tend to spiral out of control and are not often very entertaining. I promise you this post is not like the others. Please try to stick it out to the end. You will be richly rewarded for your patience.


Mermanda: So, Matt, this time last week, you were getting ready to begin the Andrew Bachelor Party Extravaganza Weekend in the woods. Let's start by talking about the beer.

Matt: Sure. We had the spectrum. Two cases of Miller Lite, two cases of Yuengling, and a case of Corona (with requisite limes). And our surprise guest, Chris B., added a sixth-keg of East End Big Hop to the mix, which Andrew seemed to relish. But... we still ran out by mid-day Saturday. Haha.

Mermanda: And the fact that you blew through all of this beer by day two in the woods... I would call that "a drinking problem." Would you agree?

Matt: Haha. Well... it was a special occasion. But I'd say we went through a lot of beer. Yeah, we all had a drinking problem for the weekend. That's a fair statement. Haha.

Mermanda: And I heard from Walter's wife that there was "a box of liquor" involved. Was the box of booze totally consumed as well?

Matt: There was a magnum of rum that was untouched, but we polished off a bottle of gin, a bottle of Woodford Reserve--a really good bourbon. There was supposed to be tequila, but someone (me) screwed up and didn't bring it. There was to be a lot more liquor involved, but it turned out that more would have been disastrous.

Mermanda: Yes, I think this is a good segue into "the incident." Let's hear in your own words about the bloodshed.

Matt: Don't you want to hear about the beautiful scenery? Or about all the tasty food we ate?

Mermanda: That doesn't make for good blog material, Matt. My readers want gore. They are animals.

Matt: This interview has taken on an investigative tone. Your readers... they thrive on conflict? Okay, the bloodshed...

Mermanda: Yes, go on.
Matt: Well, as stated, we were running dangerously low on beer. It was early Saturday evening... well, it was actually 8 p.m., but we were keeping weird hours. Anyway, It was determined TB and I were in a good position to go refill the stockpile of beer. Prior to grabbing the keys and heading out, Andrew approached me, with a beer bottle in his hand. I felt as if I'd taken on the role as the father figure during this trip... because Andrew approached and innocently asked, "Hey, Matt... would it be cool if I broke this beer bottle?"--as a child would approach his father for advice. I, perhaps too sternly, chided him. "Andrew! Do NOT break that beer bottle!" "In fact, I'm taking it from you."

Mermanda: Can I ask what kind of beer it was? I really want to paint a picture.

Matt: Probably a Yuengling. I remember brown glass.

Mermanda: Go on.

Matt: And I did. I took the bottle from him. He seemed quite happy with my decision. As if pleased I had taken away his choice to break the bottle.

Mermanda: Is this starting at all to feel like giving witness testimony at a criminal trial?

Matt: Haha. A bit.

Mermanda: Because I'm feeling like a member of the jury right now.

Matt: Haha.

Mermanda: Ready to hear about a gruesome murder. I'm hoping it doesn't take that turn.

Matt: No, no. Not yet, anyway. So, I hugged Andrew, told him I really wanted him to have a good time, but that breaking glass was a bad idea. And then TB and I went for more beer. It was a pleasant drive through fog covered hills. No traffic to speak of. Just a nice evening ride in the country. Probably took about 15 or 20 minutes to get to the distributor. Matt's Beer Barn, I believe it was. We got two more cases of Yeungling and a case of Straub.

Mermanda: Probably wouldn't have been my first choices, but I respect your taste. Go on.

Matt: I like it for its no added salt, sugar, or preservatives. It's light, but fairly tasty. But I digress... TB and I returned to the cabin. It couldn't have been more than 40 minutes after we had left. And as I pulled up the drive, I spied Locke standing on the front porch... just kind of sullenly shaking his head. As if to say: You don't want to know what happened here. And it all went downhill from there. At first, I noticed a bloody rag sitting on the porch. I then gingerly entered the cabin.

Mermanda: Nervous?

Matt: Yes. Very. Everyone seemed stunned. Some people were laughing.

Mermanda: Not really sure what you will find. Maybe a corpse?

Matt: But most people who were sober enough to care seemed horrified. Basically there were shards of glass everywhere.

Mermanda: In the cabin?

Matt: Yes.

Mermanda: That's just in bad taste.

Matt: Terrible taste. Oh, and some blood was on the cabin floor.... Between Locke and Walters, I formed the details into a coherent plot. It was clear to me that BJ was the drunkest person at the party.

Mermanda: Let's take a pause here--and talk about BJ for a second.

Matt: Haha. Go ahead.

Mermanda: Do you recall Walters' wedding?

Matt: I do.

Mermanda: Do you recall... the parking lot? Perhaps two people nuzzling on the pavement. Nuzzling, cuddling, however you want to say it.

Matt: It rings a bell. Was BJ one of the nuzzlers? I feel pretty certain that BJ was trashed at the Walters' wedding.

Mermanda: It was BJ. And me. And everyone was very concerned and confused.

Matt: Oh, wow.



Mermanda: I'm telling this because I have an obligation to my readers. An obligation to the truth, Matt.

Matt: Yes, the truth is important.

Mermanda: Anyhow, I think BJ and I shared a smoke, and gazed at the stars.

Matt: Yes! I do remember this now.

Mermanda: Surrounded by a crowed of befuddled wedding guests... and a drunk Andrew, who was not quite sure what to think, exactly. Except that maybe BJ would be going home with us. Anyhow, back to the cabin.

Matt: Yes, BJ was really drunk. And except for when he's sharing cigarettes with attractive young ladies, he can be quite confrontational. Like, EXTREMELY confrontational. Walters observed that Andrew--on the other hand--is very open to the power of suggestion when he's drunk. Such as: "Andrew, take off your pants!"

Mermanda: LOL

Matt: And he'll almost certainly take off his pants.

Mermanda: Frightening.

Matt: Indeed.

Mermanda: So trusting.

Matt: Anyway, I attribute the drunkenness of Andrew and BJ as leading to a sort of escalation of confrontation. I don't know how it happened. But probably at BJ's egging, Andrew retaliated. A bottle (or more? there was just so much glass!) was broken inside the cabin and BJ and Andrew started wrestling. In the glass! You might interview Walters or Locke. They were eyewitnesses. But rest assured, returning to the cabin was a sore sight. Not what I hoped for. As I unloaded the beer into the fridge, I recall scolding Andrew. "Andrew! How dare you break that bottle after I specifically told you NOT to?"

Mermanda: How did he take the scolding?

Matt: Haha. He was contrite. Seemed sad that he had let me down. A few remarks were made how as soon as I left the party, Andrew seemed to go crazy with freedom. Haha. As if I had been really hard on him--not letting him have fun.

Mermanda: Well SOMEONE had to be in charge. God knows what else could have gone down without an authority figure present.

Matt: Also, in those 40 minutes, I'm told that neighbors yelled over to us, "Put your pants on! There are children here!" Pantless beer pong is a fine art form in those parts. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't appreciate that.

Mermanda: I'd like to hear about the injuries.

Matt: Andrew apparently had shards of glass in his elbow--and was bleeding a lot from that.

Mermanda: I packed him a first aid kit. Do you know if that was utilized?

Matt: Haha, yes! In fact, I was going to say that in your best move of the weekend, you insisted that Andrew take a first aid kit with him. Good vision on your part.

Mermanda: I know who I'm dealing with.

Matt: Right. It was used. I think TB helped remove the glass and apply a bandage.

Mermanda: So all in all, fun was had, blood was bled, and clothes were shed.


Andrew rocking the sleeveless wolf t-shirt from his Billy Ray Cyrus Halloween costume.


Matt: Yeah, the weekend was great. Weekend of blood, sweat, and tears of joy, and TB said.

Mermanda: Haha, quite appropriate. My final question: How do you think Andrew's bachelor party will compare to my bachelorette karaoke caper?

Matt: I think you and your ladies will manage to have as much fun, but with less blood overall.


I cannot in good conscience wrap up this blog post without mentioning the other defining moment of the boys' weekend in the woods. We'll call this one "the golf car incident." Here to tell the story is Walters, groomsman extraordinaire.

Walters: The important part of the golf cart incident, is not just that Andrew drove square into a tree at the golf carts top speed--causing beer to spill everywhere and doing actual damage to both the tree and golf cart. No. The important part of this story is the neighbor who witnessed the accident and ran at Andrew full speed to have the following exchange:

"You crashed that golf cart into a tree!"
"Yes, I did. I am really drunk"
"NO. YOU ARE AN IDIOT!"
"Umm, yeah, I realize that. Didn't you just see me crash that golf cart into the tree?"

At that point, the jerk removed all of our belongings from the cart and drove it to the clubhouse. (Rightfully so.)

The owner not only brought the cart directly back to us and allowed us to keep golfing on his course--he basically tore his "neighbor and employee" a new asshole. He yelled at him for almost an hour without pause--and almost fired him for approaching us.

The owner was thrilled that we were even using his horrible course to "play" golf... and seemed to encourage Andrew to act like a fool.

Oh, and Andrew invited the owner of the course to the wedding. (Editor's note: He really did.) And as a thank you for his leniency, Matt decided to sneak off with one of his Snickers Bars and his talking "AFLAC" duck. What a jerk.

The only photo Andrew took the entire weekend is of the golf course owner's bathroom. I will spare you. This concludes my report on Andrew's bachelor party. If you read the whole thing, you are now an official member of the Cusp of Normal Fan Club.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oh, and "Anonymous"...


You aren't as "anonymous" as you think...

Sneaking a peek & more about poop

Andrew was sleuthing around our registries online a few days ago when he told me some very exciting news. Someone bought the fanny pack, y'all! Oh, don't mind my Southern twang. You see, I realized today I look like a news anchor from Texas. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not, but when I look in the mirror it's just very obvious. I'd show you a picture but every time I take one with my phone it looks like I am holding marbles in my cheeks and have no lips. It's not a good look, y'all. But I swear I have lips, y'all. They ain't none of them big ol' Angelina whatsherface lips, but they ain't bad for a set of lips, y'all.

Y'all? Remember when Luke pooped in a bucket? Well, after mentioning this on a greyhound group thread via Facebook, someone mentioned they have great success sliding a bag under their hound's bum to catch the poo as it falls. If you have never had the pleasure of scooping squishy, runny, dog poop from your neighbor's yard... you're really lucky, y'all. Intrigued by the Facebook poop ninja move, Andrew went along on our nightly walk with one mission. To catch the poop before it hit the ground, y'all. And y'all? After a few false alarms, Andrew officially earned the title of Poop Ninja. Not a drop hit the grass. Not a drop. Y'all.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Important update (about poop)

Whew. Two months until the wedding... I'm sensing this sudden lull in posts will be the norm for a while around here.

But I had to interrupt the silence for an important update.

Lucas pooped in a bucket.

I'm sorry... did you hear me?

LUCAS POOPED IN A BUCKET!

It was totally unprovoked... meaning we did not in any way train him or encourage this behavior. He just took it upon himself to go ahead and poop in a bucket that was on the floor in our laundry room. And we are not talking a small amount of poop--either. He was in it to win it.

I really give him credit for being so considerate. That was an easy clean-up. (We threw away the bucket. Why throw away the bucket you might ask? Ask Andrew. It was his idea.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A pig, a bird, and a birthday

It has become a tradition for me to give Andrew gifts of custom art that reflect our quirky personalities. (Okay, I say quirky, you say weird... tomayto tomahto...)

This year, wrapped in several pairs of his boxer shorts, I presented to Andrew his dream come true.



Painting by Katie Vernon. Check her out at katievernon.com and her Etsy shop ChipmunkCheeks.


I discovered Katie's work on Design*Sponge, where I fell madly in love with her flower prints. I ordered the hedgehog and deer and just got them framed last night. I'll be sure to show you how they look hanging in our bedroom. (I know, I know. I promise you photos and do I deliver? No. Not yet. But I swear. Things are finally coming together at the house and THERE WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE SOON.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANDREW! I LOVE YOU MORE THAN MAKING LUCAS WEAR OUR CLOTHES. XOXO

Click here to see where this birthday gift tradition began.