Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween memories

My bike ride home from work today was perfect. It is so comfortable and warm outside. The best weather for trick-or-treaters, of whom I saw many along my way through Evanston and Rogers Park. (Even a black lab dressed in a larva costume.) It reminded me of Halloweens past and I tried to remember everything I had been dressed up as throughout the years.

My mom always made it fun for us, but I do remember a couple of times when she made me wear my coat OVER my costume... thanks mom. I also remember when I refused to go to preschool because I was terrified of my 3 year old vampire classmate. I mean, wouldn't you be, too? I love the creativity and drama that goes along with Halloween, but I've always been too jumpy for any of that really scary stuff (i.e. Haunted Houses and the like, unless I'm participating in them, which we DID at Dean Hall!)

This flower costume is a memorable one that my mom made for me. Another time she constructed a fairy godmother outfit from a thrifted prom dress. She managed to add many layers to that get-up, so I wouldn't get cold. And then there was the time my sister and I were bunnies with my friend Lindsay. See? Bunnies, flowers, and fairy god mothers.... not much horror or blood involved.

One of the best costumes (that I hated at the time, but I love now) is when I was dressed as a skunk at the age of 3! The only way my mom could get me to wear it was to tell me that it was a black cat costume. She tried to pull the old Pepe Le Pew on me but I soon figured her out and realized that I was actually masquerading as a furry little stink bomb!

I think my favorite collegiate Halloween memory is the time Crystal and I were (sexy) Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. We were cute as buttons. College Halloween is just an excuse to wear skanky outfits, of course.

But since then Steve and I haven't really been into celebrating October 31st very much. Either we're too busy or it's on a work day.... Plus Steve has this thing where he doesn't want to plan for a costume, which means he's either pulling something together last minute and complaining about how it isn't very good, or we don't do it at all. However, I have been to the Halsted parade a couple of years ago and it was amazing. I highly recommend it if you are in Chicago. Another year, we ended up driving our friend in labor to the hospital so she could have her baby. In 2007 I stitched with my stitch-n-bitch bitches. And this year we are completely pooped out from many things happening over the past two weeks (art shows, guests, etc). But hey - I carved a pumpkin! All the appetite I could muster up for Halloween has been sated.

I'll leave you with our official Halloween photo from 2004, the last time we wore costumes. Now I'm going to light my Obamampkin and relax with some Bourbon.

p.s we were dead people with our dead cat (see Monkey?)

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Steve and I have been insanely busy over the past week with trips and visitors and going out, so tonight I decided I needed to have a little fun.

Bryce and Christy have been staying with us this week and being the best house guests ever, they bought us wine and bread to go with our crock-pot-pea-soup dinner AND a little chocolate cake. Afterall it IS halloween, which is a time for sweets, black cats, and pumpkins.

After dinner I threw on some John Denver vinyl and began carving away at my orange masterpiece, which took me several hours and I am very proud of!

Monkey helped, of course, by sniffing the pumpkin out and licking the bits that fell on the floor. She also critiqued my work as I went along.

It was fun to use printmaking tools again, to carve the relief part. And then TA DA!!! A little something I like to call Obamampkin!!! The best pumpkin for the job. Elvis approved from the windowsill.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vote for Elvis!

I'm not talking about the election - I'm talking about!!!! Elvis is officially a Lolz cat but to make it more official if you give him more votes, there is a possibility he will make it to the home page.

So please click on this photo and vote for Elvis! 5 cheezburgers pleez!

funny pictures

Friday, October 24, 2008


okay so i'm twittering.... whooooaaaa!

155 Devon to Kedzie

Announcing my new blog! 155 Devon to Kedzie

When I moved to Chicago 3 years ago, I really fell in love with this part of the city. First I lived in Rogers Park near Loyola University and the lake. That was a really great location to be in. Then we moved inland a mile or so and ended up on Devon, a little pocket overlapping Rogers Park, West Rogers Park, Edgewater, and West Ridge. This area is so vibrant and full of activity, yet it is adjacent to a peaceful park where families and children gather for activities that also includes a golf course, ice skating rink, sledding hill, and many areas designed for specific sports. So many different kinds of restaurants and tiny shops to find. People will actually travel in from the suburbs for the food. I wouldn't trade this place for the world.

I really enjoy walking around and taking photographs of things. It's a very fun and creative activity. So I decided to start a photo diary. And that was the inspiration for my new blog. Check it out. My goal is to post a new photo every day. No text just photos.

155 Devon to Kedzie is the name of the bus route that travels along Devon Ave.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

GO SEE Kita y Fernanda!

Only 4 performances left, folks!!!

Thurs (tonight!) @ 7:30pm
Fri @ 7:30pm
Sat @ 5pm & 8pm

16th St Theater in the Berwyn Cultural Center

Kita y Fernanda will blow you away with excellent performances by four talented female actors and content from playwright Tanya Saracho that touches on such complex subjects as race, language barriers, immigration, and socio-economic status. You will weep and laugh many times all within a matter of 90 minutes, as you watch the performance in an intimate 49 seat theatre. The play is in English and Spanish and follows the lives of two young Mexican girls living in the United States - one a legal immigrant and one undocumented. If you do not understand Spanish it is just as powerful (if not more-so) so don't let that stop you.


Best of all, my very good friend Stephanie Diaz performs in this ensemble. She was recently interviewed for Chicago Magazine as one of the city's hottest actors! Also here is a little sound bite from her interview.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Butternut Soup

It's that squash time of year again. And this weekend I made a butt load of butternut soup. Yum! Maybe this is weird, but the first time I had butternut soup was in South Africa. It's a very popular dish there.

This is one of my favorite things to eat but it is A LOT of work to make. Mostly because the squash is so hard to chop up. Then there is the peeling that is involved. And I'm such a kitchen nazi that when peels or seeds fall onto my freshly mopped floor I freak out. So I'm very careful as I'm doing this, and it's possible that it takes me longer than the average person.

My recipe involves LOTS of butternut squash peeled and chopped into cubes (for this batch I used one large and one small), chopped white onion, minced garlic, and some peeled and cut up Michigan apples (not sure what kind, ha ha). I sautee the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Add the apple, salt n pepper, cayenne, and some white wine. Then put in the squash and let it simmer with the wine and spice for a few mins. Add enough water to cover and bring that to a boil, letting it simmer for 20 minutes or so. Let it cool for a bit. Then BLEND!

Martha Stewart recommends blending with the top of the lid off, using a towel to cover the hole and let out steam as you blend. You may need to add additional salt n pepper to taste. It's also really yummy if you can top it with sour cream and chives, parsley, or cilantro. OR you could make some spicy croutons to top it off. MMmmmmm! It will warm your heart and soul. And it's vegetarian freindly, too.

I've also seen recipes that use ginger, orange juice, and/or cream, or chicken stock. It just depends on how you like it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

October 26th panties

A couple of days ago I received a package in the mail. It was from my mom and inside the box were these.

You're thinking, what the -

October 26th is not my birthday, or my wedding date, or any kind of significant date at all. (If you are reading this and you don't know when my birthday is here is a hint: I share it with Quentin Tarantino, Jennifer Grey, and Sarah Vaughan.)

Okay so there is a story behind this, I promise.

When my sister, Catherine, was in kindergarten she had a set of panties that had each day of the week printed on them. And she wore the appropriate pair for each day. Every night she would set out her clothes for the next morning, and ask my mother, "What day is tomorrow?" One night my mother was out with some friends and my father was responsible for getting us ready for bed. He was sitting in the living room watching television, when Catherine came up to him asking, "Dad, what day is tomorrow?" "Well, it's October 26th," he replied, not thinking about why she would want to know. She happily skipped off to her room to prepare for October 26th. About 15 minutes later, my father walked past my sister's bedroom door to find her sitting on her floor, crying. "What's the matter, honey?" he inquired. "I don't have October 26th panties," she sobbed.

So that is how the October 26th panties joke came to be.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Playing Tag

I've been tagged by robertianish with the following rules:

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.

4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

5. If you don’t have 7 blog friends, or if someone else already took dibs, then tag some unsuspecting strangers.


1. My favorite snack of all time is graham crackers with peanut butter in between dipped in milk. I think I love peanut butter even more than chocolate! I keep a jar of it at work and I literally have to replace it about every 2 weeks.

2. I'm getting married in 343 days!

3. Knitting is my number one obsession and I take my yarn and needles with me everywhere.

4. I have to have white noise when I sleep.

5. I am deathly afraid of spiders, ghosts, and getting shocked by metal doorknobs in winter time.

6. I love television shows about true murder stories. like 48 hours mystery :)

7. My biggest pet peeves are jetskis and snowmobiles. I just hate the idea that someone would frivolously waste all of that energy and pollute the water (or snow) for a thrill! Anytime I think of a jetski or a snowmobile I picture a jerk riding it. ha ha LOL

Now, 7 Bloggers Tagged:

1. josh & annie

2. Borderline Barbie Barb, i think you tagged me a long time ago and I never did it!

3. Layers Deep

4. the barbeque

5. Military Meanderings

6. The Wilson's World

7. The Aussome 7

Friday, October 17, 2008


I found a backpack on my dining room floor this morning. Just your average, everyday backpack... maybe about 15 lbs heavier than normal. Does this belong to anyone?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nyktas's in Chicago

This past weekend we hosted Steve's brother and family in Chicago. The weather was absolutely perfect and unseasonably warm for October. But that was fine with me. It made toting the kids around a little bit easier for all of us.

We took them to Candlelite (my favorite pizza place), cooked bacon for breakfast, and went to the Garfield Park Conservatory. A large volume of peanut butter chocolate ice cream was consumed. I wish I could have treats like this on hand all of the time, but that would be dangerous, so I have to purchase them for special occasions only.

Vee had a great time taking a trip on the CTA train and there were plenty of cool things for the kids at the Conservatory. Best of all - it's free!!

Isaias and Vee beneath a canopy of flowers

We also witnessed (and documented) Zay's first time sitting up all by himself!

This was the first time they came to visit us in our home, and was the first time we've ever had children staying with us. It's really nice to be able to spend more time with the kids so that they will remember us the next time we visit them, and they will remember all of the nice things we did together. I also know that Steve cherishes the time he gets to spend with his brothers, plus I got to know my future sister-in-law more. On Saturday night Clara and I left the kids at home and went to see the new musical Dirty Dancing. We had a fabulous time.

The next day after everything was said and done, breakfast made, and guests out the door, Steve and I had some time to relax before starting the work week. We love our nephews but we definitely aren't used to having that level of patience or energy. Obviously we aren't ready for kids of our own yet.... someday....

However, I'm wondering if Clara was trying to curse me by leaving the baby bottle brush at our house. Don't worry. I've found that it makes a really good tool for cleaning the cat boxes! You can really scrub in the corners. :) just kidding.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

'Tis Wonderfully Autumn

This morning's bike ride to work was wonderful. It's the perfect autumn day. I love riding through the crisp, dew-filled air in the park with sun peeking from behind the green and yellow leaves on trees. It's like taking a bite out of a perfectly, firm apple in season. People were walking their dogs with their travel mugs of coffee. Moms were escorting their children to school. Others were out for their morning jog. I'm definitely a morning person.

In a few minutes, I'm going to knit outside and eat my lunch.

And soon, Tim and Clara and the boys will arrive for a fun-adventure-filled weekend. We are so excited but I'll admit I'm a bit nervous. We've never had children stay in our apartment before. NOTHING is baby or kid proof. Especially the cats. Monkey is terrified of miniature humans. Elvis is used to hanging out with his neighborhood kids, but even then I could tell he was getting annoyed from all of the attention. So we'll see how they do. I'm sure it won't be as hard for Monkey as the weekend that two dogs came to visit. I know that the humans will have a great time especially because on Saturday night Clara and I are going to see Dirty Dancing!!!!

*P.S. the aforementioned guests are a good excuse to purchase (and consume) chocolate milk, ice cream, and bacon :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Last Weekend vs This Weekend

I haven't blogged about last weekend or anything that happened this weekend yet, so here goes. Just a little example of how sleep deprived people post blog entries.

September 26 - 28
1. rental car
2. drove 207 miles
3. Dean Hall's 80th Anniversary dinner (Albion, MI)

4. drove 105 miles
5. spent the night at Granny's (Toledo, OH)
6. drove 285 miles
7. Zach and Jennifer's wedding (Lexington, KY)

8. the last hint of summer weather
9. time to catch up with old friends

10. fancy hors d'oeuvres
11. an excuse to wear fancy clothes

12. a live jazz trio
13. bourbon on ice
14. traveled 367 miles all the way home
15. asleep in my own bed at 8:30pm on Sunday (1,000 miles in one weekend can really wear you out)

October 3 - 5
1. television and couch potatoes
2. kitty snuggling
3. Yarn Con
4. crisp autumn afternoons
5. cleaning house
6. cat-sitting
7. laundry
8. Lacey Miller

9. large bowls of irish coffee
10. macaroni and cheese
11. knitting
12. more couch potato sessions

So why am I sleep deprived after this leisurely weekend? Because of #9! I had too much coffee yesterday and couldn't sleep!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Weekend Knits

I know it's been a long time since I've blogged about my knitting, but I've made concrete plans to do several knit-related things this weekend.

Tomorrow is Yarn Con! I didn't go last year. And actually I've been on a pretty strict low-fiber diet lately. My stash is so big that it's over growing it's allotted cabinet space. I'm planning on taking notes for projects that are coming up and ONLY buying yarn for those projects.

I also want to get there early so that way I might be able to snag one of Franklin's Guys with Yarn calendars!

I'm trying to drag Steve there with me, but I may end up going alone, which is fine. I feel like I can accomplish more on my own anyway. And after Yarn Con we may end up going for a motorcycle ride :) (It could be our last one, as we've pretty much decided we need to sell the motorcycle.)

On Sunday I will be picking up LL Miller from the airport! And we will knit all afternoon in my apartment. She will be passing through on her way to a conference. It should be rainy that day, which will help us get into mood. Some of the things I'm working on right now are secrets, so I cannot talk about them here. I didn't realize that people are actually reading this blog and I have spoiled a few presents in the past.

And now, for your enjoyment, here is a little ditty performed by Kay and Ann of Mason Dixon Knitting entitled Pardon Me (I Didn't Knit That For You). Thanks, LLM, for bringing this to my attention.