Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year We Wed

Holy crap. The end of another year. Didn't we just do this? Sigh. Oh, Time. You greasy weasel. How you slip ever faster through my fingers.

It's hard for me to believe that only a year ago, we were still planning a wedding. This year was blessed. And I am ever so grateful for it. Its laughter. Its memories. Even its tears.

It was a year for Serenity. I wouldn't claim 100% success. But dammit I tried. Hard.

Before I wave goodbye to 2010 that will also forever be known in the Mochaface household as The Year We Wed, I want to reminisce over the past 12 months.

Some of my favorite posts plus VIDEO:

1. We got married. Pretty sure you guys figured that out by now. As to be expected the wedding provided mucho blogging material. But at some point I let go. And the emotion poured out of me in the typical way. In words. Today. W Day Part I. W Day Part II with Pictures!! And then I got the sads that it was all over.

2. Being a teenager is rough. What with the acne and a father's promise that he'd pick out our clothes if we didn't behave.

3. Cooper was a handful. Per usual.

4. After the wedding, Life settled down. A bit.

5. Once upon a time, I declared I didn't want to date a guy who played video games. And then I met DH.

6. Attack of the Red Monster.

7. WE FINISHED THE CABINETS!

8. I found my snooze button.

9. My favorite part of the day.

10. I got a fertility goddess for Christmas.

Thank you friends. For being here. For reading. For commenting. I appreciate each of you for you.

As I did last year, I put together a little video with pictures from the year. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

2010: Our Year in Pictures from Becky Mochaface on Vimeo.



Music: Forever Young by Rod Stewart

Bridal portraits and wedding photographs thanks to Dorothy Gautreaux Photography.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Little Women

I neglected to mention Monday (mostly because this? Well, this deserves it's own post.) that in addition to Bronte the iPhone, I also got this for Christmas:




Her name is Venus. The fertility goddess.

I should probably back up.

It all started 27-ish years ago. My parents were trying to conceive their second child (my sister) (now let's move quickly past that thought). So my grandparents on a trip to Hawaii bought a fertility goddess to help in their efforts. Well, apparently she was such a powerful goddess that my mom was pregnant before they even got home.

At some point my mom decided to pass her on to the next female family member who got married. And thus a family tradition was born (pun intended).

The goddess was passed from woman to woman over the years. Usually when someone just got married. It's funnier that way.

Fast forward to 2008. My cousin, who had the goddess at the time, lost much of her house - including the goddess - to Hurricane Ike. So when she got remarried later that year, my aunt bought a new goddess... Venus.

Venus is apparently as good as her predecessor. Because even before Venus was given to her, my cousin was pregnant. Since she worked so well for my cousin, my sister received Venus when she got married last year.

And now that my sister no longer has a need for Venus:

My niece

She passed Venus to me as the newest, newly-married female of our family.

Only we don't have a need for her just yet. And DH and I are a little nervous at her potency.

So I stuck Venus in the freezer. For now.



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hump Day Humor: British Animal Voiceovers

My favorite is the giraffes.


(hat tip Jenny)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Anatomy

How much fluid - in ounces - can the bladder of a healthy human adult hold?

About 16 ounces. The bladder can hold that amount comfortably for two to five hours.

No winner this week. Thanks to all who commented!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: Anatomy

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best question - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

How much fluid - in ounces - can the bladder of a healthy human adult hold?

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm Practically Ansel Adams

I must have been extra special-y good this year and didn't realize it because Santa was generous.

He brought me an iPhone. Apparently, he didn't hear about my history with iPods. (Catch up here, here, here, here and here.)

But I'm willing to let the past be the past - especially since I managed to stay at one iPod for 2010. (Hooray for goals being met! It may only be a goal of holding onto one iPod for a year but dammit I'm going to take victories where I can and mark it off the list.)

What I love about Bronte the iPhone - aside from having Twitter with me everywhere and Words with Friends (@beckymochaface btw) - is the Instagram app. You can take pictures and there are all these filters that you can apply to a picture so you look like you know what you're doing and you end up with these amazing pictures.

Here are a couple of my favorites from this weekend:




Hope you had a wonderful Christmas (or weekend, whichever you were celebrating) and that Santa was good to you too.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Avoid Romans

The story of Christmas. Social media style. Rock on. And Merry Christmas y'all.



(hat tip Sarah Magee)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Win

I'm a competitive person. (I know. You're shocked.) I cannot confirm or deny how this sometimes may impact how often DH and I play a game together.

I even make up games to play by myself. Can I run faster than I did yesterday? Can I finish this project in under a certain time period?

It's all so I can win.

Look at the clock when it's 1:11? I win.

Peel an apple in one long strip? I win.

Match all the socks together? I win.

So when I saw that Dharma has a gauge that tells you the gas mileage you're currently getting - as you drive - I couldn't help but start a competition with myself to see how long I could keep it close to 30 mpg.

It's an obsession. Clearly, it doesn't take much to amuse me.

And she tells you the gas mileage you get out of a tank of gas. Can I get better gas mileage out of this tank than the last tank?

Yes? Then I win.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hump Day Humor: Merry Christmas

There are so many funny Christmas videos that I couldn't pick just one. So since after Saturday they won't be relevant for another 11 months, you get more than one video today. Enjoy!

1. Simon's Cat is back! Love this Christmas short.



2. Ellen Degeneres' producer Andy has trouble saying anything that could even remotely be dirty. Hilarity ensues.



ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Merry Christmas

What did Germans use to make artificial Christmas trees when they were banned from cutting down fir trees in the 19th century?

Goose feathers that were dyed green, wound around small sticks to resemble branches, and then inserted into a bigger stick that served as a tree trunk. They were made as tabletop ornaments after forest preservation laws were passed to stop the decapitation of fir trees.

Congratulations to Jeremy for being the first to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: Merry Christmas

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

What did Germans use to make artificial Christmas trees when they were banned from cutting down fir trees in the 19th century?

Monday, December 20, 2010

You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

I didn't realize I lived with such a grinch.

Don't let his sweet face fool you:


I came home from my errands yesterday to find that he had chewed one of the strands of lights on our Christmas tree.

Now our tree is a dark corner of the living room.

It is a good thing that he didn't electrocute himself.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Mochaface Gift Guide

It's the holidays. There's shopping to be done y'all! I won't pretend to know what would make a good present for every woman. But here are some of the things I'm currently crunching on...

(Of the books I've read in the last year, I'd highly recommend The Help and Lonesome Dove. Also, an oldie but a goodie: To Kill a Mockingbird.)



This poster of Pride & Prejudice from Poster Text. The text with a scene from the book on a poster. A book you can hang on your wall. It does not get any better than that. (I may or may not have sent it to DH with the hint that this would make a good gift for any occasion should he need an idea. And then may or may not have particularly pointed out that it would make a good first anniversary present since the first anniversary is paper.) There are so many titles to choose from. But this is my favorite. Because obviously.

This t-shirt is from Out of Print who makes beautiful t-shirts out of awesome book covers. Plus they work with Books for Africa to give books to communities in need for every shirt they sell. I already have the Pride & Prejudice shirt. Because obviously. The To Kill a Mockingbird shirt is next on my list.


Found this awesome Etsy shop thanks to The NieNie Dialogues. There are so many awesome necklaces, but I think this is my favorite.

I have bought this gurgle pot in different colors for several of my friends and have yet to get one for myself. Why? No idea. Because I really want one.


And no list of mine would be complete if I didn't have at least one pair of shoes. My friends. I give you the most beautiful pair of shoes I've ever seen (No exaggeration - my mouth was hanging open when I saw them):

Aennis Eunis is a shoe designer I only recently heard of. The website doesn't even list where you can buy this artwork yet. But you can bet your sweet little hiney that I signed up to get an email as soon as they become available.

What's on your list?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hump Day Humor: Drunk Santa


(hat tip Nicolle/Cary)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Science

Chemically speaking, what is sublimation?

The process by which a solid changes directly into a gas without passing through the intermediate liquid state.


Congratulations rockman for being the first to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: Science

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

Chemically speaking, what is sublimation?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Memories

I love this time of year. The festive decorations. The fun music. The magic. Celebrating the first Christmas miracle. Some combination of these and many other reasons make me absolutely giddy.

There are so many good memories related to this time of year. Road trips to grandparents' houses. Pressing my face to the window to look up into the sky for Santa Claus swearing I could hear bells jingling. Presents from Santa Claus. Performing our dance studio's special Christmas numbers at nursing homes, malls and other places. Making chains of paper to count down the days to Christmas. My grandfather's last Christmas, which was huge, spectacular and incredibly memorable.

Becoming a woman on Christmas Eve when I was 12. (While not really a good or bad memory, this definitely sticks out in my mind.) I had to tell my mom that I got my period. She teared up and said something about her baby growing up and then handed me a box of maxi pads. The embarrassing part came the next morning when my dad said something about it. When you're 12, a brand new member of the womanhood gang and fresh to the Attack of the Red Monster, it's embarrassing when your dad brings up that you are now a woman.

But there is one memory that stands out above all others.

When my brother was a baby, my sister and I placed him in the center of the living room on a blanket and danced around him in giddy circles to Christmas music (It was either The Chipmunks or Disney Merry Christmas Carols. What? I didn't say I had a perfect memory.) The best part of this memory is that we recreated it 20 years later.

Yup. It's not just me. I come from a family of goofballs. My sister would probably deny it. But deep down she knows it's true.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just One of Santa's Elves But the One Who Makes Cards and Not Toys

I took a crazy pill this year. Because I decided it would be awesome to make our Christmas cards rather than by a box of cards from a store.

I know. I was smoking the pipe of crack or something. Because who in their right mind would decide to make 70 cards by hand during the busiest time of year? Well. Me. Because I'm insane. And since the wedding, I have had such a pull within me to do something creative. So, while I knew this project was crazy and taking on a lot, I had to do it.

Turns out, my design was simple to make. Because I designed it that way. Heh. But it did take a while. Still totally worth it though.

Here's our Christmas card:


Supplies:
- Heat tool
- Stamps
- watermark inkpad
- Embossing powder
- Size A6 flat card
- Size A7 flat card
- Size A7 envelope



Supplies not pictured:
- Envelope liner paper (I used sparkly silver, because it's not Christmas unless there's some glitter.)
- Cover sheet for stamping and cutting out.
- Scissors, foam squares, tape runner, envelope liner template
- Pictures

First, you take your image stamp (I used the light bulb), ink it with the watermark inkpad and stamp your sheet. Pour some embossing powder over the stamped image and shake off the excess.



Heat the powder up with the heat tool until the powder and ink melt and react to the heat to create the finished raised image. You'll be able to tell when it's done. Continue until you have the amount of images in as many colors as you need.

Repeat with the holiday sentiment of your choice. Cut out your sentiments and images.



Second, using the tape runner, tape your picture onto the A6 card.


Then tape the A6 card on top of the A7 card.


Using the foam squares, attach your sentiment and images onto the finished A7 card.




For the envelope:

The stamping, embossing powder and heat tool is the same process as for the images on the card. My favorite place to stamp on the envelope is on the back flap.

To create the envelope lining, use a template to trace an A7 sized liner. Cut out. Insert into the envelope and fold the flap to create a crease in the liner. Then run the tape along the top of the liner and tape it to the flap of the envelope.

Ta da! You're done.


(All supplies from Paper Source, who did not ask me to write this blog, though if they want to pay me - in money or in paper - I would gladly accept it. Wait. I think I did this backwards. Suck.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hump Day Humor: Patty Cake



(hat tip Dooce)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Internets

What was the original name of the Web search engine known today as Google?

BackRub, in 1996. The name was based on the search engine's unique ability to analyze the "back links" pointing to a given website.


Congratulations to Dave S for being the first to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: Internets

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

What was the original name of the Web search engine known today as Google?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book Review: The Lacuna

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

Harrison William Shepherd, the son of an American father and Mexican mother, spent much of his impressionable youth in Mexico as a cook and various other jobs for the artist Diego Rivera and his artist wife Frida Kahlo. When Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky comes to Mexico to hide from assassins to live w/the Riveras and then moves out on his own, Shepherd begins working with him as a typist. After Trotsky’s assassination, Shepherd moves back to the U.S. where he becomes a famous author eventually caught up in the hunt for Communists (due to his past and current relationship with the Riveras and Trotsky) led by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1940s.

Told through Shepherd’s journals and occasional archivist remarks from his stenographer, Kingsolver is definitely a talented writer as the descriptions and language was quite beautiful. Beautiful but dull. I was actually halfway through the book before I began to care about anything that happened to Shepherd. Maybe that was led by how he doesn’t even reference himself in his own journals. He never uses the pronoun I. Not even when he was 12. Which I find to be unrealistic for a 12 year old. He is not a confident character and doesn't seem to take much interest in himself or his life. Which is really probably why I didn't take much interest in him either.

While her writing is beautiful, it’s also sluggish to read. It seems like she tried too hard to make Shepherd seem destined to become a famous writer with the style and words she gave him as a young boy starting out his journal writing and storytelling. It felt pretentious and not entirely necessary.

I will give it one credit though. I do want to see the movie Frieda now as a direct result from reading this book.

If you’ve read Poisonwood Bible and just really like Kingsolver’s style, you might be interested in reading The Lacuna. But it wasn’t for me.

Next month – The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion to do this review.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hump Day Humor: Bad Blogger Pitches

I heart Jenny the Bloggess. She is fierce and adorable. A fetching combination (why don't we say fetching more? That word rocks my socks.) if I do say so - and I do.

She often likes to have fun with marketers who pitch her things that so do not fit her or her blog. And the results are always hilarious. She made a video out of the most recent one. Love the British accent darling.



ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Equestria

Why is it customary to mount a horse from the left side?

The tradition dates back to medieval days when armed warriors found that their swords, which were worn on the left hip, wouldn't get in the way if they swung their right leg over their trusty steed when they climbed aboard.


Congratulations to rockman for being the first to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: Equestria

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

Why is it customary to mount a horse from the left side?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Where's the Fork?

Because my friends, you need to stick that fork in me. WE ARE DONE. WITH THE CABINETS.

Oh sweet grilled cheebus, I'm sorry I ever doubted that we would actually finish. Because this? This is glorious. To be done with the almost four month long project. Obviously.

We came home Saturday from Thanksgiving at my parents' (which was tre awesome by the way). DH asked what I wanted to do. I had one word: CABINETS.

Determined I was. To finish. And be done.

Without further waxing on about the gloriousness of done-ness, here are your before pictures:






Bleh. Clearly in need of an update. And now for the GRAND REVEAL that has been MONTHS coming...









Sweet sigh of relief. It actually looks good. If I do say so myself.

The solution I went with in the Hunt for Cabinet Hardware was a pull that had a foot past the hole that covers up the old hole. And the only way to tell is to open a cabinet door. But screw what's on the inside. It's how pretty the outside is that counts my friends [for cabinets]. And they are damn pretty.

Now we just need to settle on a paint color. Paint. Change a light fixture and add some kind of curtains. Then I can say with reasonable certainty (though I am allowed to change my mind later, I am a woman after all, it's my prerogative dammit) that Project Update Kitchen will be finished.

Oh glorious Tunnel Ending Light, thou art glowing bright.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Introducing...

I finally managed to do it. I finally said goodbye to my friend who has been with me for much of the last nine years or so. I leaned on her during some difficult times and rejoiced with her in the good.

And then I just left her at the dealership for some teenager to buy her as his first car.

Dionne the Neon is no longer calling our garage home. (Although, in complete balls-out honesty, she hasn't spent the last three plus months in the garage since we started working on the cabinets.)

Now we have this new shiny girl:

2010 Honda CR-V

It was a deal we couldn't pass up.

And now I need to name her. I'm thinking since she's a 2010 and we got married in 2010, I might do something wedding related. Mary? Or Juliet (for Romeo & Juliet, a love story <---- our theme.) Or something completely different?

What do you think oh, wise and generous Internets?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks

This is the time of year to give thanks. There are many things to be thankful for... family, friends, faith, health, etc. You know. The biggies.

But I don't want to forget the small things. Because it's the small things that make the world go around.

What I'm thankful for:
Big piles of leaves to run through
Puppy dog hugs and kisses
New recipes
Peppermint mocha coffee creamer
Peppermint mochas in red cups
Quilts to burrow under
Fuzzy socks
Playing footsie
Laughter
Books
To do lists
Hard work
Creativity
Pretty paper

And last, but most certainly never least... You. You who read my ramblings. You who comment. You who allow me to share a bit of me here.

Here's to you and yours. Hope you're having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hump Day Humor: Livin' on a Prayer

I have no idea if this was spontaneous or planned. Either way, it's 100% awesome.



(hat tip Cary)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Happy Thanksgiving

What were the founders of the Plymouth Colony, the early settlers we refer to today as Pilgrims, known as when they fled religious persecution in England?

Separatists.

Congratulations to Beckles for being the first to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

What were the founders of the Plymouth Colony, the early settlers we refer to today as Pilgrims, known as when they fled religious persecution in England?

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Little Love

A love list:
  • Christmas music (no, it's not too early)
  • Red cups from Starbuck's
  • Decorating the house
  • Cold (or at least cooler) weather... perfect for running
  • My new Pride & Prejudice t-shirt from Out of Print Clothing
  • Possible solution to the Hunt for Cabinet Hardware and being this close *holds up fingers again* to being done with the cabinets
  • Crafty projects
  • Snuggle time
  • Charlie Brown specials
  • Boots
  • Finding great gift ideas
  • Baking
  • Time spent with family and friends

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hump Day Humor: Conan

In honor of Conan's return to late night TV, here's some of his best guest moments:



(hat tip Cary)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: States

Which is the only U.S. state name that can be typed using letters only on the left side of the standard keyboard? How about when using letters only on the right side of the keyboard?

Texas, left; Ohio, right.

Congratulations to Jeremy for being the first to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: States

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

Which is the only U.S. state name that can be typed using letters only on the left side of the standard keyboard? How about when using letters only on the right side of the keyboard?

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Would Name All the Monkeys Something Like Captain HotPants or General Gibbons

Hey! You remember when we chatted about our small oven/microwave combo unit, and we were all like ZOMG a wee oven, how cute! How silly those 1970s people were with their smaller dimensions. People were so tiny back then!

Yeah well, 1970s homebuilder strikes again. Only this time it's cabinet pulls.
We are this close *holds fore finger and thumb close together* to finishing the cabinets. Like DONE finishing. Two steps away. Two. Steps. Then all that would be left is to put on new hardware and reattach the doors. Simple right? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!1 Think again my friends.

Mr. Homebuilder Guy (or whoever the fuck picked out the hardware) - I like to picture him with mutton chops, a mustache to rival Tom Selleck's and pants so tight his mother wondered if she'd ever get grandchildren - decided it would be a brilliant idea to use a pull that is 4 1/4" measured center to center. Well, I can't find a hardware store that carries even one (1) pull that length. And I've been to many in the Hunt for Cabinet Hardware.

So naturally, I turned to the Internets, thinking for sure that the World Wide Webs would save the day. But it is a sads day because for the first time in the history of ever, the Internets disappoints me and doesn't have much in the way of what I'm looking for. Instead my options are kitschy pulls that I just can't bring myself to put in my kitchen.


Here are our options:

An octopus

A monkey with a wine bottle.

The monkey with a wine bottle would be kinda cute if this was our second home, something like a cottage in the hills of West Virginia or on South Padre Island where I didn't give a fuck how kitschy the kitchen looked. Only that it was fully stocked of wine. And monkeys apparently.
The exact, 1970s pull that we started with. I wish this were a joke.

DH says this is an option if we can't find anything else. To which I say PSHAW. I'M NOT PUTTING THIS IN MY KITCHEN AGAIN. IT'S HIDEOUS. His reply: That there's strong fightin' words. Me: Yeah, well, I feel strongly about it.

There were some decent options. Like this one:
Only they're all either $20 a piece (20 bucks per handle? They must be dreaming.) or take 1-2 weeks even to ship. And being this close *holding fingers up again* to done after so much time working on this project, I want to be done. Like NOW. Not to mention that I'm having my cookie exchange in less than 3 weeks and wanted those cabinets D-O-N-E DONE in time for that. Even though no one will care but me.

So now we either have to buy a different size pull and drill an extra hole into the already finished doors. Or buy the ones that fit and hope they arrive in time.


Bob Vila, where are you when I need you?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Round the World and Home Again, That's the Sailor's Way

There's no earthly way of knowing,
Which direction we are going.
There's no knowing where we're rowing,
Or which way the river's flowing.
Is it raining?
Is it snowing?
Is a hurricane a-blowing?

Not a speck of life is showing,
So the danger must be growing.
Are the fires of hell a-glowing?
Is the grisly reaper mowing?
Yes! The danger must be growing.

For the rowers keep on rowing,
And they're certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing!

~ Willy Wonka

<><><>

Things are moving fast. Faster. In Project Update Kitchen. I can't help but think of the boat scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Why? I don't really know. It just does.

But this? This is a good problem to have.

While the cabinets inch ever closer to completion but have yet to reach that elusive finish line, we had new appliances installed this week as the old ones didn't go with the look we're going for in the kitchen.

We did have some difficulty in finding appliances. Back when our house was built in 1976, the standard oven size was 24 inches. In 2010, the standard oven size is 30 inches. They still make 24-inch ovens, but because they're not the standard size, they tend to be more expensive. Plus, you have less choices.

Add to this particular issue, that our old oven was part of a microwave-oven combination, built-in unit. That we couldn't find a replacement for in 24 inches. So we had to order a separate oven and microwave, which was a little bit more expensive but so worth it as the space of the old unit was not big enough for a double oven (which I so would have preferred). But without a complete rebuild of our kitchen, we had to stick with what we could find to fit the space we have.

But enough talking. You want some pictures. You guys sure are demanding. But I loves ya anyway.

The old:

Dishwasher

Microwave/Oven combination unit


The new:
Dishwasher

Microwave and Oven

The coolest thing about the dishwasher is that it says when the dishes are clean. So there's no more guessing and finding out later that what you actually put away was dirty. And while the oven is the same size in total length as the old one, there's actually more room inside the oven. Which makes me really happy in the pants.

We sure aren't slowing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hump Day Humor: Cake Baking

Shauna Glenn reviewed a new, er, "mixer" when she baked a cake recently. I love the ending.

(Slightly NSFW)



(hat tip Shauna)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Food

Why are pistachio nuts classified as a dangerous cargo by international maritime officials?

Pistachios are considered flammable solids because they tend to heat spontaneously when stored in large amounts, and can burst into flames under pressure.

Congratulations to Kaye for being the first - and only - to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: Food

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>


Why are pistachio nuts classified as a dangerous cargo by international maritime officials?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere and Many Drops to Drink

G'day Internets,

I'm an active dog. Many people are intimated by my energy as I tend to jump. Mum tells me I shouldn't, but I can't help myself. I see a new person and have to be friends with them. So I jump to give them a kiss to show them how good a best friend I can be. Being so energetic I need a lot of water. While Mum and Dad always make sure my water bowl is full of water, it's not my favorite. But, shhh... don't tell them I said that.

I love love love to drink the water in the bottom of the tub after my Mum or Dad take a shower. (Actually my favorite is the toilet. Though they've wisened up to that and manage to not let me have access to it very often. Which is why I turn to the tub in my time of need.)

I think it's the combination of the temperature and the leftover suds. Many times I have to climb partially into the tub to get at all the water. Occasionally, I've gotten all in. My mum has a video somewhere of it. I'm actually surprised she hasn't shared it with you yet.

Kisses and puppy dog tails,

Cooper

Friday, November 5, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Last weekend DH and I went on our annual trip with my graduate school friends. We stayed in a cabin in the incredibly kitschy town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. As always the trip was full of food, alcohol, laughter, good friends and good memories.


The view from our cabin's porch.

Ever since we got Cooper, there will be moments when I'm watching DH interact with him that I get a clear glimpse of the kind of father he'll be. Well, if those moments were clear glimpses, this weekend was a full-length trailer. One of my friends has a two-year-old daughter.

And this was a regular sight throughout the weekend:


If my uterus' alarm was going off before, then it was a confirmed siren this weekend seeing DH being all adorable like that.

I've known since I was young that I wanted kids someday. But it wasn't until the last couple years - since DH and I had been dating for a while - that urge, that motherly urge that many women can relate to, that urge that is so often called our biological clocks, became louder and harder to ignore.

After this weekend, I really had to mash on that snooze button. But I finally managed it.

Of course my friends teased us the whole weekend about the practice we were getting in. Because naturally, I couldn't help but play with her as well. But then practice makes perfect, right?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Review: Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

A woman dies of cancer and leaves an odd inheritance to her American twin nieces that she only met as babies - her London apartment - with the request that their parents never set foot in it. The twins, who are in their early twenties, college drop outs, were eager for the adventure that moving to a different continent would present to them. Only there's more waiting for them at their aunt's apartment than just her furniture.

This is a strange book. Even after finishing and discussing the book, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. It was interesting; the plot being different from many other books. But I didn't think it was great.

The one good thing about this book is that it does provide for a good, interesting discussion.

Next month - The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion to do this review.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hump Day Humor: Spongebob Haypants

Slightly NSFW. But f*cking hilarious.



From Cary.

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Animals

What nomadic land mammal travels as much as 3,000 miles a year, farther than any other?

The caribou. It goes on extensive spring and fall migrations, and can reach speeds of close to 50 miles an hour.

Congratulations to Peggy Sue Brister for being the first to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: Animals

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What nomadic land mammal travels as much as 3,000 miles a year, farther than any other?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Trick or Slutty Rainbow Brite

I wish I could be more creative with my costume. But with various projects I'm working on, I have no creative juice left in this body to pull a costume together out of crafty box and/or closet. So I took the easy way out and earlier this week went into one of those temporary Halloween stores browsing for a costume.

There was much to choose from. Witches, nurses, princesses. And more specific characters like Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, Little Red Riding Hood. The majority of which had their skirts up at vagina level.

When did the costumes become so, well, short? I get the wanting to be sexy thing. I mean, hell, I went as a prostitute my senior year in high school. But why is it so effin hard to find a costume that's not some generic witch or medieval princess and also doesn't have a skirt that would be up at my vagina?

I was liking the idea of reaching back into my youth by being Rainbow Brite. But not in that skirt. No way. Not happening.

Of course, I came home grumbling angry words about it to DH. Who gave me the Look and told me I should get one. For the bedroom.

Figures.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Striving for Serenity

I like to think of myself as a positive person. Yes I can be cynical with the best of them (or at the very least the cynical second string). But I'm also not Miss Perky All the Time. Sweet grilled cheebus knows I can get in a mood, and it's best to watch out when I start getting a little yell-y because things start a-flying after that.

I'm of the belief that attitude is everything. A bad attitude can break a day as much as a good attitude can totally make it. (Call me weird, call me crazy, just don't call me late to dinner.) For sure sometimes a bad day is just a bad day and not necessarily grown from the decaying roots of a bad attitude. I get all kinds of stabby on those days. But more often than not we have the power within us to turn a bad day into, well, if not a good one at least one that doesn't leave us with a vein bursting from our foreheads. And that power is all kinds of connected - in the head bone is connected to the neck bone kind of way - to our attitudes.

Weekends are glorious two-day islands in what can be a monotonous dream - sometimes demented nightmare - of work. I relish in the days off to do whatever my nerdy, Mochaface heart desires. But I don't want to live only for the weekends. There are five more days in the week to be enjoyed and lived.

In general, for me Fridays do tend to be a bit happier than Mondays. So I understand the gratefulness for Fridays and the mean eyes at Mondays. What I don't understand is the weekly whining about it. Monday comes around once a week. Every week. That's never going to change. If I hate on every Monday, that bad attitude is going to affect somewhere around 4,160 days of my life. No thank you.


The whining does nothing except encourage more complaining and whining. It's a relentless cycle that builds on itself. One I try to not get sucked into. Serenity is my goal. Every day of the week. I don't always achieve it. But I strive for it as much as I can.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hump Day Humor: Bruce Willis Between Two Ferns

From Cary.

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia; Music

How many songs did the Beatles have on Billboard's list of the five top pop singles in April 1964?

All five - a feat that's not expected to be broken, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The records, one through five, were "Can't Buy Me Love," "Twist and Shout," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and "Please Please Me."

No winner this week. Come back next week for a new question.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: Music

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

How many songs did the Beatles have on Billboard's list of the five top pop singles in April 1964?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Minutes

I open the bedroom door quietly and tiptoe over to the bed careful to avoid any debris left on the floor. I peel back the covers and quickly slip in between the sheets. Curling up to his warmth, I snuggle my nose into his neck and slip my cold feet in between his. I've been up for two hours already, but every day I crawl back into bed for a precious few minutes.

These minutes? These minutes are the beginning of my day. Not my morning run. Not my shower, Not my cup of coffee or my breakfast. None of these start the day.
But those precious minutes every morning snuggled next to him are essential. They're for us. And only us.

In these minutes I dream of us. As we are. As we will be. I dream of our future and remember our past.
I dream of our children. Will they have dark hair and eyes? Or by some stroke of genetics will they have blonde hair and blue eyes? I dream of trips and vacations. Of the memories we'll create. The laughter we'll share. The tears. The secret language of our marriage we'll create over the years.

I wonder how long we'll continue to have these minutes of us before our routine becomes interrupted by life getting in the way, as it usually does.
Then I remember that it doesn't matter how long we'll snuggle in the mornings. What matters is that we have it now. And before I get up to get dressed, I give him a hug and think My husband. No two words have given me such happiness as those two have. Six months in, I still get a thrill just thinking them.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Haunted

It's not a constant haunting. I'm going along with Life minding my own business, enjoying whatever it is I'm into at the moment. They pop up out of nowhere and remind me, and I cringe at their memories.

My mistakes haunt me. Big ones. Small ones. Mistakes from way back. And some from in the not so distant past. Every time I start to think I've put them behind me, I'm reminded and haunted by the memory that at some point I messed up.

Then they disappear again and fool me into thinking they're gone. Because I can never seem to grab onto them and rip off their masks to reveal the gardener or caretaker behind the haunting ala Scooby-Doo.

I'm human, and humans make mistakes. But I have this thing where I don't like to be weak. I used to say that my biggest fear in life was that I would be mediocre. I don't want to be mediocre.

The further I get from the mistakes, the less often they surprise me with their ghostly sounds and rattling chains. But I wonder if I'll ever be able to think of them without inwardly cringing at my own stupidity.

I guess they have a purpose. They remind me not to make the same mistake again. They keep me humble. But I still wish I could forget them completely.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hump Day Humor: My Mom's on Facebook



(hat tip Cary)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Anatomy

What is the only muscle in the human body that is connected at just one end?

The tongue.

Congratulations to Becky (No, not me doofus. Another Becky) for being the first to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Trivia: Anatomy

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

What is the only muscle in the human body that is connected at just one end?

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Long Goodbye

Friday night DH and I went to the horse races at Lone Star Park. I got into betting on the horses and was actually up $25. And like any gambling junkie I couldn't help having one more shot at a big win. So I went to the machine in our suite to cash in my credit voucher and make my next bet. I should mention at this point that it was open bar. And it's entirely possible that I had several drinks by this point and wasn't quite sure what I was doing.

So I somehow made a $30 bet that I didn't win. But I managed to stop the spiral after the next bet (that I also lost but thankfully that one wasn't $30 too). Or I guess it was more DH dragging me home so we could get up at an ungodly hour for a Saturday to drive the three hours to College Station to watch our Aggies get pummeled. Again.

As we started out, DH expressed his skepticism that my car wouldn't be able to make the trip without some sort of break down as it's getting a little grey around the bumper and practically needs a cane to drive across town. I told him Dionne the Neon hadn't let me down yet and that we'd be fine.

Sure she's getting a bit of arthritis especially in the clutch. But Dionne and I have been through a lot together. For many years it was me, Dionne, some music and the open road.


Now that she's getting on in years, DH and I have had many conversations on adding a new-ish car to the family. Replacing Dionne. I'll miss her. The way I know just how much to push on the break or how fast she can take a turn. But it's time. To learn new quirks.

I just hope she doesn't hold it against me in our final time together as I'm not entirely sure how long until we bring a new-ish car home.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Missing: Fall

I miss fall. The colors. The smells. The tastes.

Just about every state north of Texas would laugh at what we call fall. Sure the temperatures are much cooler than what they were a month ago.

But the air lacks a certain crispness. A certain smell of apples and spice.

Not that I'm not grateful for the cooler temperatures. I am. Especially after the Hotter than Hell that was August.

But Texas fall just feels like a farce, a slightly cooler summer.

Being a native Texan, I always thought it was a true fall. Until I lived in Boston.

I love Texas, but I miss fall.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oh the Places We Go



Travel. It's on many people's bucket lists. Or at the very least the pre-cradle lists.

I never thought I did a lot of it until someone in my office commented on how much DH and I travel.

Travel, to me, seems like it's done with a purpose. You see a new place or places. To learn about new cultures and ways of life. To broaden the horizons.

The majority of the travel we do is to see people and not a specific place. So I guess that's why it doesn't feel like traveling to me.

In the last couple years, the travel to see places and the travel to see people:

- Chicago/Joliet, Illinois
- Washington, D.C.
- Jamaica
- Destin, Florida
- Boston
- Portland, Oregon

Then there's the places I'm dying to go. The list never seems to get shorter.

- Napa Valley
- Seattle
- Montreal
- Niagra Falls
- Charleston
- Wyoming/Montana
- Machu Picchu
- Italy (Florence, Venice, Milan)
- Greece
- Spain (Barcelona, Madrid)
- Germany
- Australia

I could go on and on and on.

There's so much to see. And unfortunately I don't have all the resources in the world. I do hope to get to most of this list and others. Some of it just may be pre-cradle while others are post-empty nest. It's just going to be hard deciding which one first.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hump Day Humor: Smell Like a Monster

Sesame Street's version of the Old Spice man your man could smell like.


(hat tip DH)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Definitions

Misprision is a crime that could land someone in prison. What is it?

It's the neglect or failure to prevent or report a crime by someone who is not an accessory to that crime.

No winner this week. Come back next week for a new trivia question.