Monday, October 31, 2011


On October 31st, 2002, Chris Jenkins went to a bar with some buddies to celebrate Halloween. He never came home.

His body was pulled out of the Mississippi River that following February.

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, but after Chris died it shook me up. Chris was abducted after being split up from his friends that night.

Chris was a young, athletic college male when he was abducted.

It can happen to anyone. Stay with a group when you're out - especially if you're out drinking.

I always think of Chris on Halloween. He was one of my brother's best friends. I think of everything that Chris has missed.


His sister's wedding.

His own wedding?

His niece, who looks just like him.


I post this not to be a downer, or to dissuade anyone from getting their Halloween party on, but merely to remind all of you people I love that there are monsters among us - on Halloween, and every day.

If you're out partying with your friends, just stick together. That is all.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Marvels

The Top Ten Reasons to Marvel over Monday, October 24th

10. I'm thankful for yesterday's celebratory meal at Mozza Mia. Two words. CHEESE BAR. That is all.

9. Actually, that's not all. Two more words. HANDMADE LIMONCELLO. That is all.

8. OK, that's still not all. I'm happy that my brother has a job now, which is why we were bellied up to the cheese bar in the first place. You know, to celebrate.
7. I'm grateful that I can really let my nerd hang out now. I'm married, you know - he's stuck.

6. I'm thankful it's almost Halloween, which means that my chances of encountering a fat baby dressed as an Angry Bird or a plush pumpkin are statistically higher than average.

5. I'm grateful to the pharmaceutical giants who manufacture the expensive allergy medication I take to absolutely no avail.
4. I'm thankful for our new 600-thread count sheets which, incidentally, seem to have Velcro-like hooks in me in the mornings.

3. I'm grateful for the French press I got for my birthday. It makes me feel so thrifty, despite the fact that I may be going through triple the coffee I was when I had to drive to Caribou to make a purchase.

2. I'm thankful for Mondays, because they really illustrate for me just how much I love Fridays.

And the number one reason to marvel over Monday, October 24th?

1. Look at my family. I mean, despite the mildly uncomfortable vibe to this photo, look at them. Don't you just wanna dive right in to that romance-novel cover?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sew Sexy

So there I was last night, like any newlywed woman...quilting.

I'm a craft slut, I'll basically do any of them - but I steer clear of sewing. When I'm doing something artsy, I don't like to learn shit. Or follow rules. So rather than taking a class, reading instructions or researching anything online, I just do it. This works out well for some mediums but I've found that sewing requires - you know - measuring.

But I've decided to make us Christmas stockings.

Quilted ones with little skulls embroidered on the band around the top.

And our names.

And, fine...yes...I'm making one for the cat. She's part of the family, duh.

But Mark was sitting there next to me drawing zombies with their faces peeling apart, so I didn't feel he was in any place to judge.

Then I noticed my toes poking through my socks.

And he suggested I darn them.

I scoffed. What kind of motherlovin' Stepford Wife did he think I was gonna be!?

Today, though, after grocery shopping? I sure did darn em, darn it.

I figure I saved myself $3.99.

Married life may not be particularly glamorous but I'm a little bit proud. I am discovering some old-school domesticity and I work full time. Take THAT, 50s housewives!

But I admit...they were much better at the rollers and lipstick. I'm gonna need to work on that.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I did it.

I turned 3-FUCKING-5 and I did so with dignity and without a hangover - and I didn't die in the night in a puddle of tears and anti-aging cream.

In fact, I had a pretty great weekend, and it got me thinking about things that I love. So in honor of the past 35 years I've suffered through, here's a list of 35 things I love for you to suffer through.

Begin when you're ready. Feel free to grab a drink. I did.

1. I love it that we don't have to go down to the courthouse and get married again. Yesterday we got our certified marriage license back in the mail. This is of particular interest since we may or may have not have illegally filed the paperwork 22 days late. Whew. 

2. I love huffing my friends' Aveda Hand Relief lotion. I can't afford it but the scent is intoxicating, like paraffin and wealth.

3. I love when friends cook dinner for my birthday, and send send leftovers home with me wrapped with a bow.


5. I love October sunshine...on cat fur...while Gabby spoons with me.

6. I love Mama Bird's chicken and wild rice soup.

7. I love when my husband makes me pancakes. And puts birthday candles in them.

A TJ Lubrano watercolor. I love her!
Visit her blog. Buy stuff.
 8. I love Woodhaven Resort. If you're ever near Hayward, WI you have to stop by for a drink - or a week. They have awesome owners, a handmade bar that serves dollar pudding shots, and sunsets so spectacular even the Sconnies put down their beers in reverence.

9. I love, love, LOVE the cards I got this year. I got free coffee cards from my friends Caribou & Starbucks, a TJ Lubrano original - which is cuter than anything Papyrus sells - and a gorgeous handpainted watercolor card from my (LEGAL!) husband.

10. I love girls night. Leslie and I watched Bridesmaids last night and there may or may not have been a popcorn kernel that exited through the nose during our howls of laughter.

11. I luuurrrrvvvv having gift cards to ART STORES! Stand back, I smell a craft bomb!

12. I love massages and float tanks. I haven't done either in a couple of years, but that's neither here nor there. I like to dream big.

13. I love having breakfast with my husband. With our work schedules, it only happens two or three times a month...

14. Mixmaster Bro makes the best cocktails. I love hanging out with him.

15. I love it hubs rub a dub dubs my feet when we watch movies.

16. I love homemade bread. So much that I think I need to learn to bake it this fall.

17. I love balloons and sparkles on my doorstep. It's a cheery upgrade from the rotting porch that used to decorate our doors.

18. I love fresh flowers. They're so beautiful and utterly pointless and they never last. Like reality TV stars.

19. I love the carnitas at Boca Chica down dere on da corner of Thug & Hood. And also, I like the Mexican name for it. Carnitas sounds much more exotic than ordering, say, a slab of hog.

20. I love blank notepads. Always have. Is that odd?

21. I LOVE when my voicemail box is full of children singing happy birthday to me. And then the next voicemail is the in-laws doing the same thing. The kids totally had more rhythm.

22. I love that my face didn't collapse inward on itself in fear of the impending wrinkles undoubtedly associated with age 35. And, like, marriage.

23. I love that our neighbor found Gabby when she ran away from home today because we were delinquent parents who didn't shut the door properly. It takes a village, blah blah blah.

24. I love Leslie's coconut curry rice.

25. I repeat, I LOVE Leslie's coconut curry rice.

26. I definitely love birthday weekends better than scrub-mold-from-shit weekends.

27. I loved jamming out to iTunes on my laptop the other day. I miss my iPod. iSad it's gone.

28. I love that you'll forgive me if that was just Too Soon.

29. I love that Mark bought me a Superman balloon for my birthday and the checkout lady asked if it was for his little boy. ma'am, it's just projection. I'm shopping for my wife.

30. I love celebrating my birthday by gorging all weekend, only to be immediately measured after a meal for my midriff-baring sari for Neil and Reena's wedding.

31. I love thinking about their wedding, though, because it's gonna be off the hook. Fo shizzo. I wonder if there's an Indian translation for fo shizzo.

32. I love the random food Mama Bird buys. "Here, honey, they're Chia seeds!" Excuse me? "For crunch in your yoghurt!" And grass springing from my pores like hair?

33. I love Neil's mint-chocolate cookies. Like Thin Mints, but you don't have to buy them from a knobby-kneed schoolgirl giving your husband the eyebrow.

34. I love the smell of baby's breath. The flower kind - not the crying, pooping kind.

35. I love 35 so far. I'm starting it out with a new job, a new (OFFICIAL!) husband, a new coffeemaker and a new layer to my muffin top after this long, delicious weekend.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Creepy Co-Inkadinkys

After seeing Mark bust out the colored pencils the other day, I realized how long it had been since I've done anything remotely creative. Since today was my prescheduled lazy day in celebration of my birthday I decided to follow suit.

I used an engagement photo that my girlfriend Courtney took of us as inspiration. I can't really draw but it feels good to pretend so I just zenned out and sketched. My interpretation of the photo was a little more retro creepy and I realized that the rendition of myself looked a bit similar to the badass compact my girlfriend Mary gave me as an engagement present.


So I finished the sketch and stepped outside to check the mail, where I found a birthday card from my beautiful TJ over in the Netherlends. I opened the card excitedly, because I knew it would be handmade, but I nearly crapped when I saw it.


Isn't that cool? I love crazy little coincidences - and I love my girlfriends.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Birthdays and Butter Breath

It's my birthday on Sunday so I'm gonna party like a rock star. I decided to bake cookies this morning and set out some butter to soften while I ran to the store.

Someday supped on the butter while I was gone. Whisker tracks and butter breath tipped me off and I tracked down the suspect, who is currently in custody pending a hearing with the judge. She's been charged with misdemeanor trespassing and theft - she knows she's not supposed to be on the counter.

And we're on a budget.

Damn cat.

With a birthday in October, Minnesota sometimes offers snow to celebrate. This year, though, it's 80 degrees and supposed to thunderstorm this weekend.

My allergies are kicking my old as dirt ass lately, which was bugging me enough. Then Mark helpfully suggested that it's probably mold growing in my lungs after decontaminating the basement.

The thought makes my skin crawl.

I have a date with my man tonight, so hopefully moldy breath is better than butter breath.

Sunday my famdamily is feeding me BBQ'd brisket and nachos and cake, and I still have free birthday drinks from both Caribou and Starbucks to look forward to.

See? THIRTY-FRIGGIN-FIVE is about more than just sagging boobs and crow's feet.


I considered partying like it's 1999, when I was 23, except I'm afraid I'd have a stroke - so I think I'll just chill this weekend with the fam and my (still not certified) husband.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Marvels

The Top Ten Reasons to Marvel over Monday, October 3rd

10. I'm thankful that Gabby has handled all the stress at home with such dignity. I know things have been tough on her, what with the rabid cleaning interrupting her naps so frequently - but she seems to be rebounding without permanent trauma.

9. I'm  very excited to have had the money on Friday to splurge on groceries. Eating dinner? Is awesome.

8. I'm looking forward to my birthday this weekend because both Caribou and Starbucks were kind enough to send me birthday cards with free drinks coupons. God, I have lovely friends.

7. I'm thankful that the Massive Mold Meltdown of 2011 is almost over. I came, I saw, I gagged...and I conquered. And also? We found a stack of love letters in the basement from Mark's high school girlfriend and I nearly pissed myself reading them out loud to him.

6. I'm grateful that the drugstore sells cheap hair dye so I can treat myself to Ghetto Spa Day once in a while.

5. I adore this time of year. The sunny days and chilly evenings, and crispy leaves everywhere. Dear Autumn, try sticking around more than a week this year, please.

4. I'm excited to hang out with my family for my birthday. Dear Brother Neil, I'm still craving cupcakes if you independently feel so inclined to make me birthday cake. With whipped cream frosting. And sprinkles. I mean, only if you want to.

3. I'm thankful for Mark's romantic gratitude. After slow-cooking a roast and veggies all day for us, I gave him his dnner. He gobbled it, opened his mouth and belched tremendously...and then followed it up by tearing immediate ass. Married life is so very, very sweet.

2. I'm anxious and excited to find out if we are married - we should get our license back this week if they haven't rejected it. If we're getting married again, we need to do this shit before the snow flies.

And the number one reason to marvel over Monday, October 3rd?

1. I opened the mailbox yesterday and found...a card from a bodacious girl in Switzerland. I mothereffing love getting mail. Blogging makes me happy. Readers who send me cards make me even happier!
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