Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It’s beginning to look a lot like…. well, you know.

So, my calendar keeps telling me that Christmas is this weekend. Yeah. THIS. WEEKEND. Really? There’s NO WAY that can be right! Right?


*dazed and crazy-eyed stare*

I simply don’t see how Christmas can be here already. I swear it was just Halloween. I mean, I still have the callous on my finger from sewing our costumes in October, so it can’t be December already. It CAN’T. It just doesn’t add up. I refuse to believe it.




And yet….

There are trees with twinkly lights in our dining room (yes, TREES—plural—just roll with it), a bulging pile of presents on our floor, stockings hung by our fireplace, and Christmas cards lurking in our mailbox every time I dare to peek inside. Christmas cards like this one….

Isn’t that AWESOME???? It was sent to us from the spectacular Vegetable Assassin and we all busted out in giggles when we saw it. Wednesday is already plotting evil plans to steal it for her sprawling Tim Burton collection, of course.


(Thank you, Veggie!)

Wednesday, Scope and I have been enjoying Christmas in Chicago, even though it is just a thousand shades of wrong that Christmas is here already. A couple of weekends ago, we went downtown to lap up all the in-your-face holiday-osity lurking there. We went to Macy’s….

….where we bought what we thought was chocolate fudge….

….and we were blissful. Until we opened it and realized it was mint.


Mint is Wednesday’s culinary nemesis. It even outranks the unbridled terror which is tomatoes on her list of Foods So Nasty They Prove God Does Not Exist, but only because mint can be a tricky little shape-shifting bugger. Sometimes you don’t even know mint is there until it’s too late! Diabolical is what it is. Wednesday loathes mint in all its many forms and disguises, of course—but especially deceptively delicious-looking chocolate-fudgy ones, which are just SOOOOOO unfair and wrong. So, curse you, Macy’s, for your inadequate fudge labels!

Mint: 1 Wednesday: 0

After Macy’s, we went to the Disney Store where we watched their unintentionally hilarious opening ceremony (I’ll let my hubba hubba hubby tell you that tale of stupidity HERE) and where I felt tall (for once!) inside the princess castle.

Yes, quite tall indeed.

Next, we crossed the street to the Christkindlmarket, which is like a little old fashioned Christmasy German village in the shadows of the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza, where they were advertising free photos with Santa.


My inner penny-pinching cheapskate did cartwheels! So, we got in line to see Santa.

The line looks long in that picture, but it moved quickly and it was about a third as long as the line to see Santa inside Macy’s. We played 20 Questions while we waited. And we laughed at the butt-ugly tree the city put up on display.

(Really, Chicago? Really? That’s the best tree you could find?! Pitiful.)

The Santa setup was really cute and the picture turned out great….

….but, unfortunately, the resolution is really low. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to print a decent 4x6 of it whenever I get around to updating my old school non-digital photo albums.


So, maybe sometimes a free price tag isn’t the best deal after all. Bummer. Then again….

After Santa we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo (which was also free!) and took care of phase one of a school biology project Wednesday had been assigned.

She had to find five animals which live outside in the zoo during the winter. We found sea lions….

….and a Siberian Tiger….

….and European White Storks….

….and an African Wild Dog….

….and an Amur Leopard….

….and a few others. Then the sun went down and and all the animals went to bed. Shhhhhhh….

And while the zoo inhabitants snoozed, we got to run amok and enjoy the Zoo Lights in the dark, which was a pretty impressive display….

But, best of all, at Zoo Lights Wednesday got a brownie which was NOT mint flavored and then—POOF!—all was right with the world again….

Mint: 1 Wednesday: 64 billion

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why I have had ABBA perpetually stuck in my head for three months.


I know. I deserve a Crappy Blogger Award. Or a slap on the hand. Or, at the very least, a stern glare and a murmured ‘you stink’.

I feel the shame.

I haven’t really been participating much in Blogaritaville lately. There’s no single big, bad, burly reason to blame it all on explain it. More like a steady stream of distractions—SQUIRREL!—which have kept me preoccupied: I’ve been feverishly job hunting, selling things on eBay, Christmas/birthday shopping, and attempting to write this year’s Christmas Letter completely in rhyme like ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.

It’s a bit surprising how time-consuming those activities can be. However, the guilt and shame of ignoring you all has finally gotten to me, so let’s blog!

Yesterday was a BIG day here in Chicago. Even if I hadn’t been paying attention to the news, I still would have known Rod Blagojevich was wearing the dunce cap again.

I can always tell.

How? Well, I live in Blaggy’s neighborhood and whenever the Governor Gone Bad is having a bad day, helicopters swarm over my house. Yesterday morning there were at least four helicopters hovering overhead waiting for Blaggy to leave his home and head to court for sentencing. This was the view from my deck.


The noise was utterly obnoxious. It sounded like the sky was full of ticked off bees. I decided to take a stroll down the street to see how big the media circus was outside of Blaggy’s house, because how often do you get to see news crews camped out on your neighbor’s front lawn, right?

(Hopefully, not too often.)

There were reporters everywhere. The street was clogged with parked cars and vans. I stood across the street from the mob just kind of taking it all in. I started snapping pictures of the crowd as they waited for Blaggy to appear, when suddenly there he was!

Blaggy and his wife emerged from their house to go to court and I realized—WOAH!—that I was taking pictures of them.

(And, yes, his hair is even MORE ridiculous in person.)

Once Blaggy got into his car, the crowd swarmed around it trying to get pictures of him through the windows.

Then off the ex-governor went to court where he found out he has been sentenced to fourteen years behind bars for being an asshat. Ouch.

And that, my friends, is how I became an accidental paparazzo. I had no idea I would be seeing and snapping pictures of Rod Blagojevich on his way to court! I had only planned on scoping out the media frenzy, not actually participating in it. Whoopsie.

Other news from around here lately? Well….

Our Halloween costumes turned out pretty awesome. Wednesday was Catwoman, I was Poison Ivy, and Scope was a Rastafarian.

(And, yes, Wednesday and I sewed every silver stitch on her costume by hand—and I still have the callous to prove it.)

We spent our Thanksgiving visiting Scope’s family where Wednesday and Scope pulled the wishbone and Wednesday won.

But Wednesday’s most favorite Thanksgiving Day moment was seeing the brand new Tim Burton balloon in the Macy’s Parade!

(She still squeals when she thinks about it!)

Most sadly, one of our little pet frogs, Kermit, died unexpectedly. We don’t know what went wrong. He was swimming happily in his tank one minute, then flat on his back then next. Wednesday and I are completely heartbroken and we miss him very much. I’m just glad we managed to move the little frogs from Seattle to Chicago over the summer, so Kermit could spend his last couple of months with us. I know that means a lot to Wednesday that she got to have that time with him here.

We had a funeral for him. Wednesday picked out a planter that looks like water and a plant that looks like lily pads, then we buried Kermit beside the plant and she wrote his name on a heart-shaped rock.


And, last but not least, we have been playing bloggy hosts to Blogaritaville’s travelling porcine pal, Fernando Von Bakonstein!

Fernando used to hang out at The International House of Blogcakes (RIP) and has spent the last couple of years travelling around Blogaritaville, visiting his blog buddies. He came to us from our good friend Skyler’s Dad and we have been taking Fernando everywhere around Chicago and showing him a good time.

Hey, we even took Fernando to “The Hog Capital of the World”!!!!

We have been GREAT hosts…. but bad bloggers. We just haven’t gotten around to writing about our adventures with Fernando Von Bakonstein. Yet. However, REAL Fernando posts are in the works and I will be serving them up for you soon, swearsies!

Until then, please sit back and suffer through enjoy the song that has been chronically and mercilessly stuck in my head ever since Fernando arrived on our doorstep: ABBA - “Fernando”.


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