Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Purple Bus

When living in DC, I didn't take the bus much. I was lucky enough to live close enough to two different metro stations, and I could easily walk the mile down Independence Avenue to work.

Once in a while, Merrick and I would skip the metro to catch the 11Y at McPherson Square in order to start our shenanigans in Old Town, but that was about the extent of my experiences on DC buses.

When I moved to the west side of Ann Arbor, I knew that I was going to have a bit of a walk to work. Driving was completely out of the question, as parking is expensive and just as difficult as parking in DC, but I am a good two miles from work.

I walk sometimes, especially if the weather is nice, but with the temperatures in the mid-teens lately, I need a little help.

So I take The Link. It's free, it drops me off directly in front of the museum, and it's purple. The buses are freaking purple like the Knight Bus from Harry Potter. When I see it turn the corner in the morning, I get excited over its purplyness.

Mine might not have three floors.
But I don't really know. I've never checked.

As a regular rider, I've started to recognize more than a few drivers, and let me just tell you -- when it's ornery old guy in the morning, I know that I will get to work on time. He rarely acknowledges my "good morning" and I've never seen him smile, but he's good. He's cranky, yes, but he does NOT fuck around. Yellow light? He's going through. Pedestrians crossing against the light? They get a courtesy honk, but he's not slowing down.

He's awesome.

When it's the younger, stubbly-faced guy, I'm late. No question. He stays a few mph under the speed limit, he won't speed up when the light changes to yellow, and he tends to stop at each and every stop whether there's someone waiting or not. It's infuriating and I have to hide my scowl when the door opens and I see him sitting there.

And since the buses have to deal with other drivers, it's next to impossible to predict when the damn thing will show up. In the morning, it's generally on time, but once it reaches campus, all bets are off. And if classes have just let out, you're basically screwed.

But it's free and it's purple. And purple is awesome.

La la la la laaaaaa!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pesto Mashed Potatoes

Lately, my parents and I have been spending Wednesday evenings together. We've gone out in Ann Arbor, we've ordered in, and I've cooked.

The other night, I tried a new recipe and it was way too good not to share.

Pesto Mashed Potatoes

3 large redskin potatoes
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 large handful fresh spinach leaves (1 packed cup)
1 large handful fresh basil (1 packed cup)
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
dash salt, dash pepper

Cut potatoes into quarters and place in deep pot. Cover with cold water.

In a food processor or blender, finely grind the spinach, basil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt & pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until everything is blended well.

Check to see if the potatoes are cooked by sticking them with a fork. If it slides off easily, the potatoes are done. Drain well and immediately return to the pot. Mash them well, with the butter, then pour the desired amount of pesto over them. Mix well.

Serve aside chicken or fish, or eat them in a bowl while you watch crap tv.

(I served them with this dish, along with some frozen veggies from TJ's.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Best. Decision. Ever.

I did something tonight that I hadn't done in thirteen years - I took a ballet class.

New shoes!

It was really difficult and I am going to be super sore tomorrow, but it was wonderful.

I started dancing at the age of four, and studied ballet, tap, and gymnastics. By the time I was eleven, I had decided that ballet was the only class I needed.

I loved ballet, but once I started high school, I knew that I had to focus on either being a prima ballerina, or getting into a good college. And after my freshman year saw me in student council, track, and marching band (yes, I admit it), squeezing in those ballet lessons was just too difficult.

I do wish that I had stuck with it, just for the exercise and the way that it made me feel, but it just didn't seem feasible.

So today, thirteen years later, I put on that leotard and strapped on those shoes, and headed to the studio.

It was awesome. I found that I remember almost everything, and though we started at a pretty high level, I held my own. I was so proud of myself! My core already feels stronger, and my muscles seem longer.

Because apparently I can tell when my muscles elongate.

Okay, time to crawl into bed and pray that I can walk tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where To Start?

My honey gave me a gift card to Barnes and Noble, and it has been burning a hole in my pocket for weeks. Last night, I headed to one of the largest B&N ever and spent over an hour just looking and reading and being surrounded by lovely, lovely books.

I just love books.

I settled on four, with a little bit left on the gift card (sweet!), and I can't wait to dig right in. I'm not sure where to start, but here are my choices:

The Stranger by Albert Camus

I read Camus in college (or was it high school in my philosophy class?) and thought I'd try a little more. Plus, I loved the cover.

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

Amanda's favorite author, and her number one pick for my introduction to Hardy.

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

I've read Peace Like a River, but I lent it out years ago and never got it back. It was a wonderful, moving tale and I would recommend it to anyone.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief has been on my wish list for months, and when I walked into the store and saw it directly in front of me, I knew that it was meant to be.

Oh, I love books.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Reason #426 That I Love Netflix

When you watch a really bad movie, you don't feel bad for having wasted the cash at the theater. You feel bad about the time you lost, but at least you didn't venture out into the -6 degree weather.

That's how I felt about Superbad. Um, it's in the title, folks. How did we not anticipate its suckitude?

The cast was fun, and any movie featuring an Arrested Development cast member is worth watching in my mind, but oh holy Jesus.

Okay, um... right. Think about high school. Think about the girls and how bitchy they were (and Lord, was I one of them, so I would KNOW). What would happen if an overweight nerd started talking to one of these girls, peppering his speech with sexual innuendos?

It doesn't matter what would happen, because it WOULDN'T HAPPEN. Girls are bitchier than that. High school girls are mean. Now that I am older, I am scared of them. You've seen Mean Girls, right?

And we're supposed to believe that not one of the eighty kids at a house party has a single hook-up when it comes to alcohol?

The cops were hilarious, and there were some great lines (McLovin? That's good), but I don't know that I'll watch it again. A girl doesn't need to see drawing after drawing of peni. Not necessary.

To cleanse our palates, we then watched S.W.A.T., a Colin Farrell flick that Mike DVRed recently. It's not great, but at least it was entertaining. And at least it was aware that it kind of sucked. The dialogue was amazingly cheesy, but passable.

Waitress is up next.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bean Bolognese

I took a Real Age quiz a few years ago, to discover my "real" age. Because I am pretty healthy, don't smoke, and love my veggies, my body was a few years younger than I actually am.

(Does this make sense at all?)

Anyway, I get emails from Real Age, and many contain recipes. I've made a few, and they've been really good, but the one I cooked up last night was great. Plus, it's vegetarian, so all of you herbivores can keep reading!

Here's the link to the original recipe, as I've altered it a bit for my tastes.

Bean Bolognese

1 14-ounce can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14-ounce can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup white wine
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
8 ounces elbow noodles (or small shell noodles)

Put a large pot of water on to boil.

In a small bowl, mash 1 cup of the beans (mixed) with a fork.

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, until fragrant (about 15 seconds). Add wine. Increase heat to high and boil until most of the liquid evaporates (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add can of tomatoes, 2 tablespoons parsley, and the mashed beans.

Bring to a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened (about 6 minutes). Add the remaining whole beans, cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through (1 to 2 minutes more).

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

Remove the bay leaf. Serve over pasta with the remaining parsley and Parmesan cheese, if preferred.

(Serves 4)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Most Sophisticated...

I was up late watching old episodes of SATC, and this commercial made me laugh out loud. Well done!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Overheard in the Museum

~ A father in the museum gift shop to his daughter who wants to buy a 'Break Your Own Geode.' "We get rocks from the ground, not the store."

~ A middle school boy, upon viewing the historic dioramas with unclothed Native Americans: "Cool! Porn!"

~ A male University student to a classmate, leaving the museum lecture hall: "Basically, I just want to know everything God knows."

~ One of the docents the day after some rough weather: "And then she told me that tornado watches are just bullshit. It's the tornado
warnings that we should be worried about. And that's why I was freaking out last night!"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Who is This David and How Can He Be Destroyed?

Before I start, I just want to make it clear that I am extremely happy and honored to be standing up in my friends' weddings. That said...

On Saturday morning, I drove to David's Bridal in Westland, Michigan, to pick up the dress I am to wear in my friend Kelly's wedding. It's quite pretty:

"Hi! I'm dress F11165 in wine.
I enjoy slow dancing under the stars and drinking merlot.
Lots and lots of merlot."

The very next day, I was summoned to the David's Bridal in Taylor, Michigan, to try on dresses for my brother's October wedding. Kari, Steven's fiance, had originally chosen this dress, and I was ecstatic:

"Hi, I'm the only dress in the entire store that is worth a damn.
I am pretty and flowy and ethereal.
I make the lucky wearer feel like a Greek goddess.
I also hide all manner of imperfections.

But as her wedding dress has a red satin sash, the red chiffon didn't match EXACTLY, and so she decided on satin maid's dresses instead. Which one did she choose? THAT'S RIGHT:

"Hi! I'm dress F11165 in apple.
Every group of bridesmaids tries me on.
I'm a dirty whore."

I've got to hand it to the marketing department at David's Bridal. They've made the brides of southern Michigan assume that David's is the only bridal boutique in the entire state, and so therefore I am now wearing the same goddamned dress in each wedding.

I just keep chanting, "It's not my wedding, it's not my wedding, it's not my wedding..."

(I know that I sound like an ungrateful bitch, and I am sorry for that. But COME ON.)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bowling Queen

Bowling. It had been quite a while since I had velcroed on those shoes...

Velcro made it easier to kick some ass!
Okay, it didn't.
But I had them on first!

...and hurled a six pound ball down a lane:

I mean, I'm not just good, I'm good good.
I even managed a few strikes.

And Mike got awesome shoes because his feet are huge.
That's right.

Also, if you thought that a bowling alley in an affluent area would give you a crop of non-trashy people, well, you would be wrong.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fatty McDumptruck

This is precisely why I carry my camera with me almost everywhere:

Look at the fat ass squirrel!


(FYI - He was chowing down on an ear of Indian corn.)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Things That Came in the Mail Today

No, I'm not grasping at straws for material. I'm just lazy. It was 64 degrees here today. Sixty. Four. In Michigan. In JANUARY. That explains my laziness, right? Anyway, in the post today, I found the following:

1. My new check card for my new bank account. Totally Free Checking.

2. The box of checks that my bank charged me for. You know, to accompany my "totally free" checking account. Not free! LIARS! As Mike said, they should call it "$15.50 Checking" - at least then they'd be honest about it all. Bunch of ballhairs.

3. Most recent catalog for my book club. I want this. And this. And also, I forgot to cancel a selection again, so I now have the latest from Chuck Palahniuk. And I'm scared even knowing that it's in the house.

4. A lovely card from K-10!

5. A card from my CVS pharmacist, thanking me for trusting them with my healthcare needs. Thanks, illegible signature!

Right, so that's it on my end. Also, I had to go to the dentist today, which was a massive clusterfuck, but ended well. I will describe it shortly. I know that you can hardly stand the suspense, but I'm tired and it's pouring outside (because that totally makes sense as an excuse).

Friday, January 04, 2008

Punk Gang

On some of my off days, I picked up a few shifts in the museum's gift shop, and after a few non-stop busy-as-hell shifts, yesterday was a little slow.

Okay, a lot slow.

Punk ass museum dinosaur gang

"What up my bitches? Tony the T Rex here.
I will cut you. And bite you.
But my arms appear to be worthless."

"Tony the T is nothing but empty threats.
I'm Troy Triceratops, and I will destroy you."

"I'm Stan Stegosaurus.
And I will spike you. And you will LIKE IT."

"What the fuck is going on?
Where is everybody?"

"Oh. Right.
I'm Sammy Sauropod. Hi.
And... I... will sit on you. Yeah, that's it!"

"Ha ha ha, what a loser!
Always forgets that he's looking backwards!
Ha ha ha hee hee snort!"

"Oh my God, I hate you guys so much."

Thursday, January 03, 2008


I don't know why these boxes won't take themselves downstairs for storage, but I think that it's awfully selfish of them to sit around in my apartment, looking tacky, when I've lived here for OVER A MONTH.
Stupid jerk boxes.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sushi Time

The Lady and I made sushi for my dad.
And we had some, too.

Lookit! So pretty!
We had something like 48 pieces...
...not counting the ones I ate during construction.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Go Blue!

Thank you, Coach Carr!

(image from mgoblue.com)

Happy New Year!

What did you guys do for the Eve?
Did you sit courtside at the Pistons game?

Oh. I did.

I took this without the zoom.
The seats were that awesome.
Awesome like Sheed.

Pistons 114, Bucks 69.

Oh, and we popped in and out of the VIP club.
No big deal.

This afternoon, I drove home to this. Again.
Fucking snow.

I shoveled the driveway this time, though.