Sunday, October 30, 2011

that kind of a home-repair weekend

Yesterday when I went to do laundry I noticed a sizable drip landing into (and ultimately on) our washing machine from a pipe above. A call to our landlord and a flashlight investigation later and we realized our neighbor's bathtub was leaking. He left her a voicemail and when I returned to get the laundry I neglected to fold last night it appeared to be gone. Phew.

Today we purchased an electric programmable thermostat for the apartment because we still had the mercury-laden turn dial type. Jon got it all installed and the heat turned on... but didn't turn off.

He since re-installed it... but the heat hasn't turned on. Which may or may not be a problem because the temperature it's set to is lower than the temperature in the apartment so theoretically it shouldn't turn on yet. We'll see.

As I was making potato gouda soup in the crock pot, I tried to garbage dispose the peelings, just as I've done many times before. Can you see where this is going?
I'd say Jon's face sums this all up pretty adequately.

Naturally, plunging didn't work. As soon as Jon leaves for work I'm off to buy Draino. If that doesn't work I'll probably just resolve myself to tears and curl up in a ball somewhere. You know, handling it like an adult.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


..that I had to go to Home Depot for today:
(this is also " mom will yell at me for not listening to her for")

...that I fought with for a solid 25 minutes:

....that got plastic-ed to death:

...that I probably shouldn't have stepped on during the aforementioned process, but did. Three times.

...that were DEVASTATED to lose 7 of 9 window perches:
(Also "...that will likely destroy plastic coverings by trying to jump through them")
...that got put on the bed today:
(fleece sheets, heated blanket, and a baby)
...that can be returned to the store because I bought too many:

What did you do with your chilly Saturday?

Friday, October 28, 2011

black friday is our religion

In high school I worked at coffee shops. First it was Starbucks, then it was Caribou. As such, my early adult years were spent waking up before the sun to serve coffee to the crazies that waited in line in sub-arctic temperatures for a good steal on Black Friday. I remember driving to Starbucks at 3 am and looking at the other cars on the road and saying, "YOU PEOPLE ARE CRAZY" out loud.

That same year my manager sent me outside to give free coffee to the crazies (it was a Target Starbucks, I might add). Among the crazies I served coffee to were my cousin and big sister. Of course.

Well, once I went off to college I decided to get in on their Black Friday tradition. It was 2007 and my sister was in dire need of a laptop. We opted to camp out at Best Buy overnight. We got in line around 6 pm ON THANKSGIVING. Outrageous. After standing outside for nearly 9 hours in freezing temperatures, I walked away with a vacuum cleaner. A VACUUM, PEOPLE. This was the only year either of us actually needed something worth not going to bed/waiting in line in freezing rain for four hours for, but that hasn't stopped us from going annually since then.

Jerry, me, Alli, Jacqui - 2007
The following year it was just big sister and me because Jerry had joined the Marines and couldn't make it home. Sadly, this year escaped pictures. We went to Kohl's and Target. I got sheets. I think.

In 2009 I wanted luggage and Pyrex. This year Jerry went off to Afghanistan for his first tour of duty. He was greatly missed, but since we grabbed his little brother, Brad, it helped a bit.

This would be at 2 am. - 2009
In 2010 we recruited Jon. I'm telling you: Black Friday is all about family in our house.

2:30 am. - 2010
Did I mention that 2010 was Jon's first last Black Friday ever? He's just not built for this level of crazy. Jerry was with us this year--he took this picture.

Does this post seem premature given we aren't even out of October yet? Not by Flip standards, especially given I've been hankering to put up our Christmas tree for the past week and a half. The kids in my family start the BF countdown early. We have to start drafting up our game plan. Sadly Jerry will not be with us this year--he's currently serving his second tour in Afghanistan. He will be with us in spirit, though!

Happy 29-days-til-Black-Friday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

smucker's burn

Apparently, Smucker's wasn't ready for this jelly either:

Morgan from Consumer Relations was definitely professional, but "...we do not accept unsolicited product or promotional/advertising suggestions" are biting words.

I guess the world isn't ready for my marketing creative genius.

Monday, October 24, 2011

you DEFINITELY ain't ready for this jelly

Last night Jon and I got in a heated debate about the lyrics to one Destiny's Child "Bootylicious" song.

I was singing that I didn't think he was ready for this jelly.

He laughed in my face and told me, "those AREN'T the lyrics. That sounds like a Smucker's commercial."

So while I Googled the lyrics today and emailed him my victory, I also emailed a certain jelly manufacturer with a suggestion.

Can one collect a commission based on a brilliant advertising campaign with sexy little jelly cylinders in bikinis jiggling all over?

Scratch the commission--I would just be ecstatic to see such a thing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


A few months back at my friend, Nikki's, wedding, I discovered my deep-seated affection for latkes. We're talking stalking the hors d'hoeurves servers one at a time and taking 2-3 latkes. It was actually out of control. Jon needed to stage an intervention.

Breakfast happens to be Jon's favorite meal of the day. As such, he always runs into the room the second I wake up (he's an early riser) and hounds me about what I want for breakfast because he's "starrrrrving!!!!!" Being the non-morning person I am, I usually grunt "nothing" and roll over. This morning I felt much more rested than usual so I asked him what he was thinking. He suggested latkes. Obviously I jumped at that opportunity given he'd be the one cooking them. Using this recipe, the fanfare commenced:

We added dill havarti to a few of the latkes, but the ones I ate were au naturale. We also had bacon (a favorite of mine) with it. Needless to say, was in latke heaven thanks to my breakfast fiend of a husband.

night in

Reader's note: I'll be posting two blogs today: one for yesterday and one for today.

Yesterday around 9:45 am the runny nose I've had the last few days turned into more than that.

I share an office with 3 others, all of which have already had this horrendous cold. The last had hers over the weekend so I thought I was in the clear until it felt like my head was floating on a string next to my body. One of my coworkers even asked me if I had taken something for my cold because my eyes "looked REALLY out of it".

When I got home I wasn't feeling up to anything. Jon made this delicious spicy chicken skillet (white rice/black bean/corn/tomato) recipe for us for dinner:
The baby waiting for dinner on the Halloween tablecloth my mom made
Sparkling apple cider

Apparently I like black beans
He surprised me with a banana cookie pudding dessert:

He also strategically placed peanut butter on the bottom
After we ate, we watched the movie Hall Pass. It was pretty funny. Such a low key night was exactly what I needed--by the end of the night I felt a lot less foggy and much more rested.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

borderline awesome/traumatic childhood experience

After reading this awful news article about escaped exotic animals that were killed in Ohio, I started reflecting on my own boderline awesome/traumatic experience with an exotic animal at a young age.

My Tante Elke and Uncle Joe's daughter worked at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo when I was younger. While there, a snow leopard gave birth to a couple of cubs and she was tasked with taking one home with her for around-the-clock care. Knowing what animal enthusiasts we were, they invited us over to play with a [still very large] snow leopard cub.

Not many people can say they kicked it with a snow leopard, which is awesome. But here's the thing about snow leopard cubs: they're snow leopards. Even the babies aren't very tiny, especially when you are a 6ish-year-old girl, and this particular snow leopard was more of a pre-teen. At one point we went out in the front yard to play (which, in retrospect, must have been quite the sight for their neighbors):

Before I continue, you need to know something about me and my instincts. That Virginia earthquake that hit a few months back? We felt it at work. As soon as I realized the earth was quaking, I GTFO of my office. The same holds true elsewhere--I sense danger and I peace out.

Okay, so the borderline traumatic part? Baby leopard play is really just a training session for hunting and survival. As such, a scrawny 6ish-year-old bolting from a baby snow leopard in the front yard is destined to appear as fun practice prey. So while it was fun at first, not to mention fantastic exercise, I eventually realized mid-run that I am going to be eaten by this snow leopard if it catches me. And sure enough, it tackled me and scratched and nibbled, just not with the ferocity of an animal that hadn't eaten in a few days. But still. I mean, if you crop the picture above you see the fear:
To this day I don't like being chased. Not up stairs, not during tag. I also had a traumatic experience driving on the turnpike with an ominous looking semi that I swear was out to get me. But at least I got to play with a snow leopard. Right?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

elephant in the room

This is by far one of my favourite expressions. I genuinely wish there was a literal elephant in the room because that would be neat.

The metaphorical elephant to which I refer in this blog title is the obvious site changes I'm making to this blog. Over the next few days you might experience some strange things as I play guess-and-check with some of the html; please be patient with me as I make this little space everything I ever envisioned. I've even created a button (top right, "Button Buddies") for my fellow bloggers--should you be so inclined to add it as an html gadget to your own sidebar.

In related news, if anyone has any ideas about how to keep my right sidebar stationary while scrolling the blog body, I'd appreciate it.

In unrelated news, I am waging a losing battle on fruit flies at our apartment. Does anyone have tips about how to keep those pesky buggers at bay?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Jon and I lived in Chicago for three years--I completed undergrad there and he interned at a recording studio / worked at Guitar Center. We still have several friends there, as well as a serious food crush on that city.

Pause: food to me is better than shoes, purses, or clothes. In fact, I tend to hate shopping for the aforementioned items. I can get items from 4 different stores in the mall and be in and out in under 25 minutes. Put me in a grocery store, however, and I will be in food-induced heaven for the next two hours. Unpause.

We left Friday right after work (me) and school (Jon). We got in around 9:15 after an hourish delay caused by a stupid truck on the Indiana turnpike that failed to secure his heavy pipe load and they fell all over the place. Then we met up with some friends to hang out:

After a night much past our bedtime, we crashed at our darling friend, Kaycee's, apartment (see: the only girl above that isn't me). The next morning we headed up north to browse some of our favorite stores. At lunch we rushed to meet up with Jon's small group (not pictured) for lunch. After some confusion (two restaurants named Cafe con Leche on the same. street. is inevitably confusing) we made it there! It was delish Cuban food and even better company. We were so glad we got to see them this trip. Post-lunch we headed out to wander the city again and to get cupcakes from Molly's Cupcakes:
Jon got a Nutella-filled cupcake, I had a cake batter-filled cupcake. Nom!
We also eventually met up with a friend, Lam, for coffee. We made it back to campus around 7 pm to get our car and head over to Treasure Island for their famous chicken salsa--it sounds awful but I promise you it is the most glorious thing you will EVER taste. After procuring said salsa, we headed to my favourite restaurant ever, Marcello's:
BBQ chicken, asparagus, twice baked potato, chicken/garlic deep dish, and an olio/artichoke hearts/spinach thin crust to take home
We got back to Kaycee's around 10 and crashed hard. The next morning we packed up to leave. When we laid on the air mattress to drain it, the fitted sheet attacked me:
After packing up, we headed to Jon's favourite restaurant in Chicago called Stella's Diner for breakfast:
Do you see Jon's hands ready to go?
Jon got Country Style Eggs Benedict, and I got something called the West Coaster--avocado, hash browns, cheese, and eggs. It was an incredible way to end our trip. Chicago is always going to be one of our favourite cities, and I know we'll be back within another year.
At night

During the day
Mad props to Kaycee for loaning us her living room floor!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

model UN

The other night I helped Jon frantically search for some official, current documents from the Luxembourg(ian?) government. I was very confused about why a class in a theology major required this type of information until Jon informed me last night that he is Luxembourg in his government class' Model UN. He proceeded to tell me how he and four other countries were going to propose a resolution for nuclear disarmament because Luxembourg is very big about getting rid of (and not developing) nuclear weapons. My husband, the diplomat. He wears it sexily.

Luxembourg Pride
He then proceeded to tell me that his professor is their UN Chairman. Then he got this little sly smile on his face and said, "I'm thinking about introducing a motion to elect a new Chairman."

This conversation made me ponder which country would I choose if I ever got to participate in a model UN. I quickly came to my conclusion: North Korea. I would then proceed to not come to class because I was reclusive, but I would occasionally fire off emails all about how I was going to go nuclear on everyone if they didn't start complying with my demands. It would make me one of Luxembourg's arch enemies due to the whole nuclear weapons issue, but I figure that could add some forbidden-ness to our love, which, let's be honest, would just be awesome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

holy guacamole!

My mother-in-law returned from visiting her family in Puerto Rico over the weekend. With her came two very large avocados. They put Aldi avocados to shame.

Case in point:
We are so glad to have her home, and the guacamole her avocados yielded is delish.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

favourite season

Yesterday I took the day off work to get caught up (and ahead) on homework. While Jon was at school I finished my biomaterials midterm and a big medical device presentation I have on Wednesday. I also cut a big chunk out of my x-ray crystallography paper that isn't due until early November. When Jon got home I had a serious case of cabin fever from not leaving the apartment all day. He suggested we go on a walk down the tow path to check out some of the trees, and I suggested a picnic. We did both.

It was easily one of the best Mondays I've had in a long time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

baby peppers

We had my father-, brother-, and sister-in-law over on Saturday night for dinner before we headed over to the Akron Zips men's soccer game. FIL brought a pasta pack, salad, croissants, pepperoni bread, and autumnal mini muffins. Jon and I made pizza. While I was cutting the red bell pepper for the pizza, I made an odd discovery:
 And then another:

 And then another!:
The bell pepper had 3 baby green-coloured peppers in it. Too cute. Dinner was amazing and the Zips won 2-0. It was a great night!

Sunday was the 23rd anniversary of the day I decided I was ready to come into the world, so Jon made me blue velvet pancakes for breakfast. In case you were wondering, a blue velvet pancake is the same as a red velvet (like the cake) pancake but blue... because somebody only had blue food coloring stocked in the apartment. My b. The results were delish:

The only downside to the whole situation was Jon's poor hands:
After breakfast we ran to Joann's so Jon could buy some fabric on sale for future bow ties. Then he had to run to work so Rebecca came over and took me to lunch at Chipotle where we gorged ourselves, but it was totally worth it. After Chipotle we headed over to the mall because I wanted to use birthday money to buy some really good face wash and toner from Sephora because my skin has been in dire need of something decent. I walked away with some promising items, so I'm hoping to get the results I want. Rebecca also insisted on getting a picture of me and Jon on my birthday:
See that shine? Motivation for Sephora trip.