wake-up calls

These days, Mom and I talk almost every morning on my way to work. Some mornings just to complain, some mornings just to say I love you, some mornings (like this morning) to make fun of celebrities.

Me: Did you hear this about Chelsea Clinton spending 90 thousand dollars for bathrooms at her wedding? 90 THOUSAND dollars for fancy port-o-potties.
Mom: That's a lot of money to flush down the shitter.

This budget will make you ill.
Apparently the whole shebang will cost $3.3 million.
P.S. I miss you Mom.


ez pb pie

If you need a good, easy dessert recipe, this is my new favorite. Made it for Ryan's birthday and he was a big fan.

Peanut Butter + Chocolate Pie
1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate (chips or kisses or baking pieces)

2 tablespoons milk
1 package crumb crust (6 oz)

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter (recipe calls for Reese's brand but I used Jiff)

3 1/2 cups (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed

1. Place 2/3 cup chocolate chips and milk in small bowl and microwave 30-45 seconds until melted. Stir to smooth out lumps and spread onto bottom of crust. Cover and refrigerate.

2. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth; gradually beat in sugar. Stir in peanut butter and Cool Whip until blended; spoon evenly into crust over chocolate mixture. Cover; refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

3. Sprinkle remaining 2/3 chocolate chips around the edge of pie filling; serve.


home alone

Ryan's on vacation in Hilton
Head, so my self-imposed weekend challenge was to be the man of the house. This consisted of:

1. Mowing the yard
2. Fixing the storm door
3. Investigating the ceiling leak in the basement...all without the aid of Boyfriend, Dad or Brothers.

Part 1. After successfully mowing the backyard, I get a little cocky. That was so easy it was actually fun! Then I maneuver to the front, where I proceed to sweat on and swear at that ancient piece of crap for 30 minutes, pulling the cord until I thought my shoulder was dislocated. I cheat and call Dad."Maybe you knocked the blade out of alignment when you hit that dirt mound." Maybe I did. "Try hitting it back in place with a 2x4."

Just my luck that it worked fine in the backyard, where no one could see me. But out here — with everyone in Broad Ripple driving by — I'm a red-faced skinny girl whacking an old mower with spare lumber.
Then my neighbor Jerry walks over. The mower was a hand-me-down from him, so he feels responsible when anything goes wrong with it (which happens often). Jerry is about 70; I often hear him yelling at his dogs to shut up. Today he's got duct tape wrapped around one shoe and a huge hole ripped in his shirt.

Jerry: "Did you check the gas?"
Me: Pause. "If it just needs gas, I'm going to feel really stupid."
Jerry: Unscrews gas cap. "Guess you're stupid."

Part 2. "Fixi
ng" the storm door turned out to be damn near impossible, so I settled for removing the problem. Took the door off its hinges and only then did I realize it weighed enough to crush me. But I managed a precarious method of "walking" the door down the driveway, rocking the weight back and forth and using the bottom corners like pivot points.

Part 3. I don't even want to tell you about the basement ceiling. I attempted to poke a "small hole" to help the water drain. I made it worse. Points for trying?


3 great concerts, 1 great night

Dear Harper Blynn,
Thanks for playing your little hearts out at Radio Radio on Wednesday. Y'all played a fierce opening act and the Tears for Fears/Everybody Wants to Rule the World cover was perfect. Rock on.

Dear Cary Brothers (first name Cary, last name Brothers),
I'm sure you get this all the time, but you are
like some delicious hybrid of George Clooney and Russell Crowe — younger, though, and with a guitar. How have we not met before? Of course I've loved Blue Eyes ever since I first saw Garden State, but I had no idea you were so... mmm... shockingly adorable. I was distracted by how you looked, but your music was also spectacular. Break off the Bough just might be my favorite song of the summer.

Dear Greg Laswell
Loved your slow acoustic version of Comes and Goes so much that I videotaped it and am now blogging it.
Aside from being a phenomenal musician, your in-between-songs stories are pretty hilarious. Thanks for cracking me up, and for playing Sing Teresa and How the Day Sounds.

P.S. I noticed you were wearing a wedding ring? When did this happen? I would have been more upset if Cary hadn't been there. He'll be taking your place in my Musician Crush folder now that you're officially off the market. Sorry. But congrats man.



Everything you need to know about Aria Resort & Casino can be summed up in three words: heated. toilet. seats.

It was that kind of place. When I woke up the first morning (to the soft clicking sound of the curtains automatically opening at 9:45 am, just as programmed) I had to pinch myself. This was the view from our room.

Ah, Vegas, City of Perpetual Overindulgence. We ate at one buffet a day, and I've completely ruined my appetite. Everything in my refrigerator now tastes bland in comparison. But really what we did the most was lounge at the pool, moving as little as possible except to get in the water because it was 108 degrees. Hot, but heavenly.


why i love john

"Four hoarse blasts of a ship's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement bring on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, I don't improve; in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable."

"When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good and sufficient reason for going." –John Ernst Steinbeck


dangers of nostalgia

I sit down to do a little work. I plan on catching up on emails, writing a few belated thank you cards, paying late bills. One stray thought derails that: Where was I one year ago? What was I doing, what was I hoping for, what was I afraid of?

I was searching for a vintage suitcase. I was mapping our road trip route. I was packing and repacking. I was sweating profusely in a tent. I was worrying that one of my brothers would be one of the three people who fall into the Grand Canyon every year. I was wearing a head net. I was wanting the trip to last forever, and in the next breath I was wishing it was over already. I was scared to move. I was excited to move.

And a year has already passed. How is that possible?
It went by so fast I think as I scroll back through iPhoto, my bills unpaid, my thank you cards unwritten.