Saturday, April 28, 2007

Book Review

Killing Yourself To Live - by Chuck Klosterman, a writer for Spin magazine

I read his previous book, Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs: a Low Culture Manifesto, which delivers a dissection of pop culture with Klosterman's articulate analyses and sometimes twisted sense of humor. It often made me laugh out loud. I expected the same from this book.

This book chronicles Klosterman's road trip as he visits the actual sites of famous rock star deaths. Kind of morbid, right? It wasn't though. His wittiness keeps things light and he includes insights into his own journey to self discovery along the way. His relationships with the women in his life, however, never caught my attention. Laughable, but I'd recommend Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs over this one.

Review From Publishers Weekly
Klosterman follows up on 2003's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by expanding on an article he wrote for Spin about driving cross-country to visit several of America's most famous rock and roll death sites, from the Rhode Island club where more than 90 Great White fans died in a fire, to the Iowa field where Buddy Holly's plane crashed. Along the way, Klosterman opines on rock music, never afraid to offend—as when he interprets a Radiohead album as a 9/11 prophecy or reminds readers that before Kurt Cobain's suicide, many preferred Pearl Jam to Nirvana. The quest to uncover these deaths' social significance is quickly overwhelmed by Klosterman's personal obsessions, especially his agonizing over sexual relationships. He applies semifictional techniques to these concerns, inventing an imaginary conversation in the car with three girlfriends that becomes the book's centerpiece. This literary cleverness recalls classic gonzo journalism, but also contains a self-conscious edge, inviting comparison to Dave Eggers. Klosterman also worries his neuroses will brand him as "the male Elizabeth Wurtzel," but he needn't fret. Despite their shared subject matter of drug use and cultural musing, Klosterman has clearly established that he has a potent voice all his own.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Lesson learned...

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.

"Careful," he said, "CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my GOD! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my GOD! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful! CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!"

The wife stared at him. "What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"

The husband calmly replied, "I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Farewell Food...

Three nights ago Kev took me out for my 'last dinner' before I began my 11-day cleanse. We went to Kira, our favorite Japanese restaurant, and had sushi, beer, and tempura ice cream. It was a sad goodbye.

Several friends of mine have tried the Isagenix cleanse 9-day program, with impressive results. Sounded like just the thing to rid myself of my awful eating habits and inherent laziness. It's intended to cleanse the body of impurities and toxins from all the processed food we eat, burn fat and build muscle, and reduce cravings and appetite. It's not weight loss oriented, but due to the nature of the cleanse it is often a benefit.

So, I started on Tuesday. And so far, I haven't been ravenously hungry like I expected. I have, however, had a nagging caffeine headache that won't quit. The worst part of it all is the cleanse drink itself. It tastes like asswater. And I have to drink it four times today. God help me.

Next Saturday can't come fast enough. Yes, that is the first day that I'll be able to eat a real meal. These next eight days are going to be hard, particularly because in my office, temptation is everywhere. A tray of brownies in the lunchroom, doughnuts and bagels on the table behind my desk, the smell of popcorn wafting through the building, and knowing that the only thing that separates me from a vending machine full of all the Cheetos, Reese Cups, and Tastycakes that my little heart desires is a short flight of stairs. Ugh. Stay strong, stay strong...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Boy Meets Girl...

1974. They were introduced through friends at a gas station where he worked. They were 16. She was dressed up to go out. He was dirty. She didn't like his cocky, arrogant attitude. He, playfully, pushed her into a mud puddle. She didn't appreciate his schoolyard crush tactics. He pursued her. Wore her down. And she grew to love his subtle sweetness, constant hilarity, and the way his smile shines through his eyes. At 18 years old, they got married in a small church in Ambler, Pennsylvania. They bought a home, a dog, and were blessed with three beautiful babies. Today, they celebrate their 31st wedding anniversary. Classic.

My parents have taught me many valuable lessons about life and love. I'm grateful for the solid foundation that they have provided me, as I enter into my own marriage. One thing they have shown me that love isn't always a fairy tale. There will be bad days, there will be fights, and there will be times when it's difficult to like the one that you love. But you can work through it. Their unwavering love makes me believe. I have seen my parents go through the most painfully difficult of life's challenges and their strength and commitment never fail to amaze me. Beyond the obstacles, I hope my parents know how lucky they are. I cross my fingers, and pray that someday I will be fortunate enough to look back on 31 years of life, laughter, and irreplaceable memories with my husband...

My parent's marriage is an inspiration. They promised 'for better or for worse' and they meant it. Which is rare these days.

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Holy pimp suit, Batman!
Divert your eyes from the froo-froo pink ruffles for a moment. Doesn't my Pop-pop look strikingly like Elvis?

Monday, April 23, 2007

New Banner...

This post is dedicated to my wonderful new blog banner that I created this weekend. Wildly creative, isn't it? ;-) Unfortunately it kept me from working on our wedding album, yet again. I think that I'm subconsciously putting off finishing our album. It's the last of my wedding-related projects and after I finish that I'll have to come to terms with the fact that the wedding is, in fact, really over...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Photos of Chloe...

My apologies to the non-dog lovers. Yesterday was beautiful, as was today. We took Chloe to a dog park today for the 1st time ever... but I have no pics from that, as I had to surrender my camera. Dirt on the sensor. I'm not too happy about it. Anyway, here's my favorite subject... And one of my favorite pics of Chloe taken on my Sony Cybershot...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's a BOY!

And how precious is he?!? On April 16th at 11:59 am, Krista & Erich Gross welcomed their 2nd little bundle of joy... Lorenz Michael. In spite of being 3½ weeks early, baby weighed in at a healthy 5lbs 4ozs. I'm sure that Matty is ecstatic to be a big brother. It's almost inconceivable that my college roomie is now a momma of 2!

We are thrilled for them and can't wait to meet their newest addition!

And now, a picture of Krista and my Dad from the wedding, when she was about six months preggers with little Lorenz. Something is not right with this picture...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Go Phillies!

I don't get to go to baseball games all that often so I still get that wide-eyed, child-like astonishment every time I enter a stadium. Just being there is so exhilarating... the enormity of the stadium, the aroma of all the grease-soaked ballgame snacks, the rush of people around you, the laughter of children at the Phanatics antics, the excitement of everyone cheering. Rose, Mark, Kev & I went to the game last night. It was freezing... I got a bad case of windburn, a numb rear and I'm convinced that I had frostbite in my fingers. I was far too excited to worry about the cold though. We had incredible seats, just 4 rows behind the Phillies dugout. We could actually see the player's faces! Right after Kev pointed out that the netting protecting the crowds stopped a bit before our seats, I noticed this not-so-reassuring sign right in front of us...

This made me slightly uneasy. I have an extreme fear of being hit by a ball at a sporting event... any sporting event, really. I flinch at every crack of the bat, I strategically positioned myself behind others at my siblings soccer games, & cheerleading at basketball games was pure torture as we sat right up front so the threat was always present. I'm not sure what instigated this fear of mine, it's been there as long as I can remember. I'm aware that this is somewhat irrational.
Back to the game. We were blessed to be seated in the section right next to the 'heckler', who seemed happy to perpetuate the bad rap that Philly fans get. Every game has one. This guy was obnoxious. He made comments about several player's paychecks, batting averages, how unfashionable Jose Valentin's moustache is, & insisted on yelling, "BALL, that's a BALL" throughout the game. The heckler got especially fired up when Carlos Beltran got up to bat, yelling, "Hey Carlos, how's it feel to make your team lose the World Series." Ouch. That's just mean. On another note, the Philly Phanatic was friggin hilarious. I had no idea he was such an exhibitionist. He was running around & flashing people... it was like a perverse edition of 'Phanatics Gone Wild'. Luckily for all the parents in the crowd, the Phanatic is not anatomically correct. Though the hip gyrations that he was doing weren't exactly child-friendly either. Everyone that I talked to about the game mentioned that we were lucky that we'd get to see Freddy Garcia pitch. I don't know what all the hullabaloo is about. He didn't seem that great. At any rate, here's a pic of Freddy in all his glory...

It rained off and on all day yesterday. I prayed all day that the miserable weather wouldn't scare away the cotton candy man. This is my favorite part of the baseball game. My trip would be incomplete without cotton candy. I learned the hard way that the cotton candy man is kind of lazy and does not like to hike all the way to the 'cheap seats'... Last time I ever sit in the nosebleed section.

Despite my belief, since the last game that I attended broke a huge losing streak, that I was the Phillies 'good luck charm'... they lost 8-1.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Guess who's back... Back again...

Today, I made my long-awaited comeback at the gym. I'm pretty proud of myself. I haven't been there since before the wedding so it was a big step. Preparing for the gym was less than pleasant. My conversation with my always flattering husband went something like this...

Him: You should wear a thong with those pants.
Me: Why?
Him: You can see your underwear lines.
Me: Can you just see the lines or does it look like my undies are squeezing the life out of my ass?
Him: ::: pause ::: Are you trying to get me in trouble?
Me: ::: Sigh :::

Subtlety is not one of his strong points. Apparently I'm not the only one noticing my recent weight gain. My underwear are screaming for mercy too. I had to renew my gym membership. Now that Kev & I are married we can get on a 'family plan' which works out to be $10 less per month for me. Sweet deal. I'll keep you updated on my progress. Feel free to leave periodic comments to inquire about how often my lazy butt is getting to the gym, send fat jokes, etc. I promise, I won't be offended...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

How's Married Life?

This seems to be the standard question to ask all newlyweds. We've been married a little over 2 months and have been asked it no less than 2.8 million times. My husband, in his typical romantic fashion, shrugs and replies with, "It's the same as before." At first, this answer would infuriate me. How can our relationship possibly be the same after taking such a monumental step?

But the more I think about it, he might be right. And I suppose it's kind of idealistic of me to think that after one day of fancy dresses, flowers & cake, we'd come back and the 'us' that we've come to know & love will have suddenly become deeper and more significant. I've realized that this crazy little thing called marriage is a journey... and though things today are kind of the 'same' as 2 months ago, we're growing and changing together a little at a time. We're building this thing from the ground up... and that, my friends, takes a great deal of time and effort.

I guess I should be relieved that thus far we've been able to dodge the 2nd most asked question of newlyweds... "So, when are you having babies?"

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Come on.... April 15th!

I haven't posted since the weekend since we're getting hammered at work. As a result of 11hr work days, combined with 2hrs of commute, I'm left with approximately 1½hrs of free time before I fall into bed exhausted. The end of tax season combined with 1st quarter statements makes for a fun little package.

Since there's not much new to report, I thought I'd post a video that made me smile today. I immediately thought about how much Kev would love it, as it incorporates two things that he's very fond of; skateboarding and Boston Terriers! Enjoy!!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter bunny...

I'm a lucky girl. My Easter bunny knows better than to bring me Reese's peanut butter eggs & jellybeans. Hence, my Easter loot...

That's right. The Easter bunny brought me Happy Feet on DVD, a case of sugar-free Red Bull, pink Peeps, & (not pictured) a massage at a nearby spa. I love that damn bunny.

We had a great Easter. I made Kev a basket which, amongst the usual candy, included a plastic egg with the first clue to his scavenger hunt. The clues led to 3 other gifts: a book, the Family Guy season 3, & a bottle of PatrĂ³n. Completely in the Easter spirit.

Even Chloe got a basket. She's kind of spoiled...

We went to Rose & Mark's to eat Easter dinner/lunch... which as delicious, as usual. They opted for the non-traditional... We had salad of field greens with homemade candied pecans & crumbled blue cheese, stuffed tomatoes, risotto, and filet mignon wrapped in bacon & topped with asparagus and a mushroom cream sauce. Tiramisu for dessert. Heavenly.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Freshman Fifteen...

In the past few months, I have acquired what can only be explained as the post-wedding 'freshman fifteen.' I was blessed with metabolism that allowed me not to be affected by this curse in my college years. By some miracle I was able to avoid packing on the lbs, even though I ate ice cream for breakfast, pizza, and Reese cups on a daily basis. I was hated for this piece of good fortune. So I rubbed it in. I created the largest ever tin foil ball out of mini-Reese cup wrappers and displayed it on top of the TV in our dorm for all to see. Evidently, my luck has run out. Karma's a bitch... I have put on 8lbs since the wedding. Quite an accomplishment being that it has only been 2 months. I have allowed my gym membership to expire and have lost all motivation to eat healthy & exercise. What is wrong with me? Something needs to be done about this... Fast! I'm determined to get back to my fighting weight, I just need to figure out how. Whatever the plan, it'll have to wait until after Easter. Some Peeps are calling my name...

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Healthy Furbabies...

In light of the recent pet food recall, I've decided to post what I've learned about dog food. We had a scare with Chloe's food & realized that it was time to look more seriously into what we're feeding our little monster. We had been feeding her Eukanuba, due to a vet's recommendation. As first time puppy owners, we had the false impression that the vet knows best. Turns out that so many commercial brands (ex: Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Purina) that are generally thought to be 'decent' foods, are junk.

I am by no means an expert, but I've found that the key to deciding on a good food is simply reading the ingredients. Look for meat as the main ingredients, preferably the top 2 out of 3 ingredients (not meat by-product or digest). Avoid generic fats or proteins, fillers like corn meal & look for a food that uses as few grains as possible. Here are some links to sites that were particularly helpful in educating me about how to choose a high quality food... dogfoodanalysis, thedogfoodproject, and dogaware. I'm not trying to preach this issue, just trying to pass on some info that I wish we would have found before.

After doing a lot of research, we chose to convert Chloe over to Canidae. It gets great reviews on the dogfoodanalysis site listed above & we're very happy with the decision. In only a week we saw a noticeable difference in her coat... it's much more shiny & soft than before. That's got to mean something, no? Granted, it is a few dollars more expensive. Small price to pay to avoid renal kidney failure...

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Our 2-Monthiversary...

Our 2-monthiversary was yesterday. Yes, I fully intend on making this announcement every month. Since they say that the first year of marriage is the most difficult, I feel like every month is a milestone & should be celebrated as such. Kev does not feel the same. Maybe he'll come around. Although I didn't get any monthiversary gifts, I did get to enjoy a beauuuutiful spring day. It was mid-70s, sunny... the kind of day that makes you smile, even though it's Monday. Chloe & I took full advantage of the weather by taking a long walk around the neighborhood. There's nothing Chloe loves more than walks (other than that psychotic shrieking blue gorilla that my Mom got her for x-mas & she destroyed in 3.5 minutes). I couldn't take my camera with us since I don't yet have a case, but here's some photos of Chloe, post-walk. And 1 of the purty daffodils out front the house...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Happy April Fool's Day!

Being that our weekend was rather uneventful, I think now is as good a time as ever for WEDDING PICTURES! Or at least, a few photos & a link where you can view the rest. I know most have already seen them, but please... humor me.