Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Birthday Season

Birthday Season begins with Staci in February and ends with Justin in April. Now, I could have blogged about each individual birthday, but since we've got one every other week during Birthday Season, I decided to lump everyone together and do one giant post.


February 9th - Staci
I already did a post on Staci, but I just wanted to say again how much I love her. Staci is so kind and thoughtful and just an all around super cool chick!

February 20th - Jarred, aka best-brother-in-law-in-the-whole-gosh-darn-world!
Jarred is one of my very best friends. If I need someone to talk to, he's always there. He listens to all of my silly stories without complaint and gives me heartfelt advice when I need it. Jarred can do anything. He is the go-to guy in our family. If you need something fixed on your car, house, yard . . . etc., not only can he do it, but he does it willingly. Jarred has a great sense of humor, he is constantly laughing and making others laugh as evidenced in this picture. (No, he doesn't always look like this - ha ha ha) I think my favorite thing about Jarred, though, is that he loves my sister unconditionally. He works extremely hard to provide for his family, trying to make it through these difficult times and he will never give up. He is truly the strongest man I know.

February 27th - Jaycee
My sweetheart of a niece turned 7 this year. Jaycee and I always have a great time together. Some of our favorite things to do include: shopping, watching movies, cooking, make-overs, and cleaning, I know that sounds silly - but we love it! One of the cutest things about Jaycee is that she is so sensitive. Funny story - when she was about 3 or so, Jaycee was hanging out with Mary and I for the day. We were going to go shopping and Mary told her that we would have to fix her hair before we went because it was looking kinda ugly. Jaycee just sat there quietly while Mary brushed her hair. About five minutes went past before I realized that tears were softly rolling down her cheeks. I asked her what was wrong and she said something like "Mary thinks I am ugly." (ha ha ha - sorry, I can't think about this story without laughing) Mary apologized immediately and explained that she thought Jaycee was absolutely beautiful and that she just wanted to have her hair reflect that. But Jaycee didn't let it go - for months and months, every time Amy, her mother, did Jaycee's hair she would cry and say, "why bother - Mary thinks I'm ugly anyway." ha ha ha - so sad, and yet so hilarious.
ps - she's better now. :)

March 13th - Zo
Zo is my adopted brother. I first met Zo in high school - I knew him as the "fat kid" who would come over and eat all of our food - sorry, but you know it's true. Then he moved in with us and we quickly became as close as siblings can get. Zo is one of my very best friends! We do everything together and we always have a great time. One of my favorite things about us is that we are perfect traveling partners. Whether it's a quick road trip to The Vegas, a food tour of LA, or the most spectacular Caribbean cruise, Zo and I know how to have fun. This year for Zoseph's birthday we planned a huge surprise party. It was perfect! We totally tricked him! :)

March 19th - Colton
Ah, my cute little Colt! My nephew Colt is such a cute kid, he turned 8 this year and he will be getting baptized in a few weeks. I just love him so much. He gives me the best hugs! You know, the really tight, going to suffocate you kind? Ya - that's Colt. :) I love watching Colt play baseball, he's just so darn good. I'm not even exaggerating - the kid has some serious talent. I'm hoping that he will always love baseball and that one day he'll play for the Red Sox. Wouldn't that be freaking awesome!! :)

March 28th - Amelia
My beautiful sister Amy - I'm trying to think of what to write about her that won't make me bawl! She is so wonderful! Without going into too much detail, I'll give you a short summary. A few years ago she was diagnosed with a brain tumor that has since turned cancerous. But she isn't letting this get her down. Even when chemo has kicked the crap out of her, she is still completely gorgeous! She is still filled with life and shows so much love to everyone around her. She especially loves her kids and husband, she would do anything for them. Sometimes I think she loves her kids too much, but who knows if that's even possible. :)

March 31st - ME!
It's my 28th birthday today! :) So far it's been 100% awesome! We went to The Chuck for dinner last night and so many people came, I had such a great time. I got the best present from my family - they all went in on a Kitchen Aid mixer for me! :) I've been wanting one for years but they're so expensive that I couldn't bring myself to buy one. Now I have one! Thanks guys!!! Next up - my friends and I are going to Tony Caputo's for lunch. I freaking love birthdays!!

April 7th - David
My brother Dave is so fun, he can sometimes be a pain in the butt, but usually he's just a fun guy to be around. :) Dave is one of the best cooks! Everything he makes is so delicious! He is very particular in his cooking that sometimes it takes hours to get a simple meal on the table - one time we went out to Jarred and Amy's for dinner and games. Dave brought all the stuff to make spaghetti, simple right? No, no, no, no, NO! Not when it comes to cooking with David. The sauce had to reduce like 20 times and he had to crush all of the seasonings by hand. He started around 7:00 and I think we finally ate around midnight. But it was tasty none-the-less. Ha ha ha - I will never let him live that one down. :)

April 14th - Justin
Oh, Justin! :) Even just thinking about him makes me smile. Justin is one of the happiest people I know - nothing ever gets him down. He is constantly dancing and laughing and trying to make everyone around him smile. I can talk to Just for hours about everything and nothing. I'm so glad he's one of my best friends. :) One thing that I love about Justin is that he likes everybody! If Justin doesn't like you, you must be a horrible person. Another great thing about Just is that he has got fantastic style! It's so fun to go shopping with Justin because he tells me honestly what looks good and what doesn't. Plus - he never complains when I make him carry stuff. Bonus! :)

I love you all so very much!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why, Hot Dog Man? Why?

One of my favorite summer time meals has always been the Hot Dog. I love it for a couple of reasons:

1) it's simplicity - it's such a simple little item, and yet, extremely satisfying;

2) it's diversity - there are numerous ways you can eat a hot dog. Of course you've got the usual in the bun with your choice of topping, but when I was little I used to cut up the hot dogs and put them in Mac & Cheese or my Top Ramen soup. That may sound a little disgusting now, but when you're 6 years old it is quite tasty.

Almost 2 years ago, I was quite fortunate to be relocated to a building that is right across the street from the Hot Dog Man. He brings his little cart out every day, whether rain, snow or shine, only avoiding the days when absolutely no-one wants to go outside. He is a constant in my life that I have grown accustomed to. My favorite thing to order is the chili-cheese dog, and at $2.00, including tip, it just can't be beat. During the spring/summer/fall months, I'll visit him at least once a week. During the cold, winter months I usually cut back to once every other week due to the fact that I'm a naturally lazy person and would rather not go outside if it causes any sort of discomfort.

The last month or so, however, my routine has been greatly affected. This is about the time when I start the once-a-week hot dog purchase.

It was a nice, sunny day and I actually made it half-way across the street when I realized he wasn't there. I thought that was weird, but instead of dwelling on this strange occurrence, I just found lunch elsewhere. A few days later, I was feeling the unfulfilled hot dog craving again so I peeked out my window. Alas, no Hot Dog Man was to be found. This was strange, indeed. I thought, maybe he's on vacation. Hot Dog Men take vacations too, ya know. So I didn't give it another thought that week.

The next week I peeked out my window and he was there! I ran down stairs (and when I say ran, I actually mean took the elevator) and stood in line. When it was finally my turn, I ordered a chili-cheese dog with a smile on my face. "Only turkey dogs today" was his response.


Turkey dogs?!

Who the heck wants to eat a turkey dog?!

My smile melted as I said never mind and I slowly walked across the street with my head hung low. What the crap was going on here? The Hot Dog Man has never let me down like this before. I was completely distraught, but I got over it quickly. Maybe I was just too late - I'll have to get down there faster next time.

A few days later I gave it another go. Again, I ordered the chili-cheese dog.

"Only turkey dogs."

I asked him if he at least had some chili or cheese to disguise the turkey flavor? "No."

Another disappointing day. But I wasn't going to give up. The next week I went back. This time the Hot Dog Man, stopped me in the middle of the road, by yelling out "Only turkey dogs."

Why was this happening? Was he punishing me? Why, Hot Dog Man? Why?!!!!

Finally, last Friday, I tried again. I was determined to get to the bottom of this. I stood in line and when he got to me I started to order a chi- but he cut me off, "Only turkey dogs." I asked him why is he only selling turkey dogs now? Apparently his cart has been broken for the last 2 months or so and it won't heat up to the proper temperature to cook normal hot dogs, chili or cheese.

Hmmmm . . . that sucks!

So, I ordered a turkey dog with mustard and gave him a $10 tip. I'm hoping that will help fix his cart.

Now this is the part where I beg - Will all of you turkey dog loving people out there please buy the Man's turkey dogs? Please! I really need my regular hot dogs back.

Thank you.

ps - No. I didn't eat the turkey dog. I ended up giving it to my health-conscious boss. I've tried the turkey dog before and I just can't do it again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My New Apartment . . . Bedroom

The first room of our tour will be my bedroom. Well, actually, I should probably call it my bedroom/closet seeing as how I turned half of it into a closet. I'll show you the "closet" first then we'll just go around the room from there.

This is my fabulous closet, the first picture is of my most favorite chair in the whole world.
Little story about that chair - my 95 year old Grandmother gave it to me, it's old and beautiful and comfy as can be. I just love it! And I'm not the only one, Jarred, aka best-brother-in-law-on-earth also loves that chair. He's tried to coax it away from me on numerous occasions with no success. I'm not giving that chair up, I love it too darn much. A few months ago, one-too-many people decided to sit in it and although I'm not going to name names *cough-MaryandChet-cough* the weight was placed in exactly the worst spot and it broke. One of the little legs just gave out and the chair flopped over dead. I was outraged! I completely lost my temper and I yelled at the murderers and made them feel really bad. It was, after all, the chair that my cute 95 year old Grandmother gave to me. But then I realized, not only is Jarred the best-brother-in-law-ever! but he is also Jarred-aka-welder-extraordinaire! That's right. He took that chair home, fixed it, brought it back to me and now it's better than new. He didn't even make me pay him for his services. . . . Well, not yet anyway. I'm supposed to bequeath him that chair upon my demise. So I guess I better do that now. Sure, sure, I could put it in a legal document, but I figure if all of you know - that's just as good.

So Jarred - I bequeath you my most wonderful chair. :)

And around the room we go . . .

More closet. You can see about 1/5 of my shoes right there.
More closet including a completely fabulous mirror I got at Ikea. Man, I love that store!
Another shot of the fabulous mirror plus the foot of my bed and the other/real closet. Honestly, who could fit all of their stuff in such a teeny tiny closet?

This is my bed. Funny story about my bed - I've been sleeping on a twin bed for such a long time that I have a hard time taking up the whole bed. I only sleep on half of it. The other half remains completely untouched and every now and then I'll catch myself sliding a leg or an arm over to the cold side of the bed . . . it's so nice! :)

And we've come full circle. This is my new lamp, from Ikea, of course, and I love it! It's so useful. In fact, I'm using it right now as I type this at 1:00 in the morning. 2 weeks ago I would have had to get out of bed to turn the light out but not now, my trusty little lamp is just right here, so handy. I think that this year for Thanksgiving, I'm going to tell everyone how thankful I am for my cute little Ikea lamp.
Wow! It's 1:00 in the A.M.! I think I'm going to have a hard time waking up for work tomorrow, I should probably stop typing. Well, actually, I probably should have stopped typing awhile ago. Probably before I professed my love for my little Ikea lamp. Yeah, you probably could have done without that. Okay I'm going to bed now. . . . probably.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Saddest Day . . . Part Five

Was it karma . . . or a curse?

After halting all traffic on the I-15 for about five minutes, I was finally able to weasel my way over to the right side shoulder. Ignoring the slice of pizza that was plastered to my windshield, I immediately jumped out of my car to examine the situation. My beautiful "new" BFG 35 inch tire was now just a sad, lifeless shell barely hanging on the rim. I wanted to cry, but now was not the time. The Highway Patrol car had just pulled up behind me. She was one of the nicest police officers I have ever had to deal with. I've had my fair share of nasty police officers so to be dealing with a nice one was a pleasantry I hadn't expected.

It didn't take long for us to get my spare tire off the mount and loosen the lug nuts on the demolished one. However, we had a major problem, I didn't have a high-lift jack. I was mentally kicking myself at that moment. I spend money on numerous useless items, why was it so hard for me to drop $60 on a stupid high-lift jack? And it didn't help the that nice officer insisted on giving me a ten minute lecture about the importance of a high-lift jack. Then the officer got a call on her radio and asked if I would be okay to figure this out all by myself. Of course I said yes, so eager to stop the lecture, and she left me there, just like she said she would but after she left I felt a little sorry for myself, like who the heck is going to help me now. Of course I could always call AAA, but I really didn't want to. I wanted to just switch out the tires and get back on the road, I had hungry people waiting for me and only 2 decent pizzas left.

Luckily, a nice young cowboy in a green pick-up stopped to offer his assistance. He loosened the already loose lug nuts and then asked me where my jack was. I told him that all I had was the dinky little thing that came with the Jeep. He then told me "you know, you really should by a high-lift jack". Which immediately made me feel like a complete jerk. I bet this 20-year old cowboy wouldn't be caught dead in a big jeep without a high-lift jack. He looked like the "always be prepared" type to me. I bet he was an eagle scout 5 times over. But he was still very nice and got out his own jack and tried to lift the car with it. Sadly though, his jack was still too small. So I said thanks for trying and he packed up his stuff and left.

I didn't know what else to do and I was bound and determined not to call AAA so I called my little brother, Mark and told him to bring his floor jack. It would probably only take him 20 minutes to get here, I thought to myself. So I went to the passenger seat where the pizza was and I ate a slice. Don't worry, it wasn't the one on the windshield, nope, I left that one there. Every five minutes or so someone would stop and ask if I was okay and I'd tell them, yes thanks, my brother is on the way. Then after 45 minutes and 3 slices of pizza, another man showed up. I told him the same thing "I'm fine, my brother is on the way . . . yada yada yada" but he was insistent on helping. I couldn't exactly say no, so I let him help.

The first thing he asked me? You guessed it . . . where is my high-lift jack? That conversation turned into another lecture. I know, I deserved it.

He tried my dinky little jack even though I told him we had just tried and it didn't work. But once again, he was insistent. About 15 minutes later, my brother showed up with his big floor jack and he worked with the guy to get the spare put on. It worked like magic. Five minutes later I was ready to get back on the road.

I pulled out on the freeway and was only going to be an hour and a half late. No big deal. I was about to turn my iPod back on when the car next to me started honking their horn and yelled at me that my brake was still on. I looked down and saw that, no, it wasn't. Then I smelled it. Burning tires are one of the grossest smells out there - I hate it! So, I immediately pulled back on to the shoulder and, Mark, who was behind me also pulled over. The spare tire that my brother had just put on had about a 1/4 inch groove etched into the inside of it. I am really surprised that it hadn't burst. Man, am I lucky or what! I didn't dare drive it though. So I finally broke down and called AAA.

Which led to this:

Seeing Hank up on that tow truck was so extremely sad.
Seriously one of the saddest days of my life.

The End.

. . . but not really

A couple of days later I took back the stupid Big Foot tire that I gave to Jarred aka The Best Brother-In-Law in the whole world. He didn't care for it too much anyway, and really can you blame him? So for now good ol' Hank is running on a potpourri of tires. Hopefully we'll get him some new ones in a few months. :)

okay - now it's the end.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I know, I know.
I'm supposed to be posting pictures of the new place, I'm also supposed to finish the Worst Day story, but what can I say - I'm easily distracted.
This is what has been distracting me lately:

I've finally purchased some Wusthof knives! :)

I wanted to share my super good deal with all of you.

I'm sure there are better deals out there, but I thought this one was pretty great.