Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hannukah II

Okay, the historical story of Hannukah is that a group of Jews led by Judah the Macabee and his brothers led a rebellion against Antiochus IV. After finally regaining Jerusalem, they went to rededicate the Temple and discovered there was only enough oil for one day. But miraculously the candles burnt for--as Adam Sandler would say--eight crazy nights. Hannukah is actually a pretty minor holiday, especially compared to Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashonah, but it became way more popular when someone noticed it was a good way to compete with Christmas. I'm not put off by this at all. Hannukah is fun.

Hannukah I

So one of the first things to learn about Hannakuh is that there are 800 ways to spell it. To be honest, I'm not sure this is one of them. One of the most popular spellings is with the C: Channukah and I think there's one with two ks and one n: Hanukkah. I believe I generally use this spelling because when I was a kid my mom cut out big blue letters, helped me decorate them with glitter (unevenly), and then strung them up banner style in our house, using this particular spelling. We used to hang the banner every year, along with a few other Hannukah decorations I will get to later. 16 days until Hannukah!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Craft and misc links


I have to send my computer in to be fixed (boo Gateway!) and don't want to lose my tons and tons of links. I figure this is as good a place as any to save them. These are "blog" links. Upcoming: "craft blog" and "misc." I guess I'll put school stuff elsewhere. I think literally no one cares. Tomorrow: how to celebrate Hannakuh in 8 days or less.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Science is fun.

I secretly wish I were in grad school for science not history, but I'm not really any good at science. Listen to how interesting this stuff is though. These are 13 unsolved scientific mysteries. Some I had heard of, most not:

Tiny people

Here are some tiny people who live in my house.

Here they are convening to prepare for their photo shoot. Not the Littles though.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Whew, I must have been cranky earlier. I left out a lot of stuff.

First of all, we celebrated Hannakuh with my dad's side of the family the day after Thanksgiving. This meant that not only did I get turkey twice on Thursday (my house and Stephan's house), but also brisket on Friday. Three of the best possible meals ever. Yay! Then we exchanged gifts. I got lots of awesome stuff I need to take pictures of. Damn my non-lazy self for putting stuff away before I took pictures. Some of the highlights: a flashlight you charge by winding a crank--no batteries!, some pretty bracelets, a mug with pictures of my family on it, very cute pjs, and a frog towel with a hood with my name embroidered on it. So awesome. I got very spoiled.

Second, Stephan's mom and stepdad took us to Costco to buy us poinsettas and food, which is awesome. See above.

Third, as I mentioned, we watched/listened to old home movies/tapes. It was so cool. First, the tapes were from when my dad was super little, and he was a little imp, which was cute. And my grandpa sang this song, cracking up the whole time. It was hilarious. But I think my favorite part was hearing my great grandparents, who died long before I was born, with thick Russian accents. It' s as close as I'll get to knowing them. The movies were from a few different events, including my cousin's Bat Mitzvah in 1974. My parents were so cute and young--my dad 26, my mom 20 years old (were???? my mom said. They're still cute). And it was so cool to see my grandparents young also, not to mention other family members like my great aunt, my aunts who I spent Thanksgiving with, my cousins as kids, my Canadian cousins. THEN they had even older home movies including one aunt's bridal shower (1959), and a graduation. I'm so glad that my family does and then saves that kind of thing. It was such a treat.

Thanksgiving recap

Wow. Back home again. I feel like this post deserves a few of its own posts, but the battery for my camera is charging so this will be a picture-less post.

*I ate a lot. It was all delicious. We have lots of leftovers.

*I saw family I only see once a year. Hi family!

*I saw some people I only see once a year or not that often. One of them works for Dan Burton, a really awful GOP representative from the 5th district of Indiana. Wow. It's like lunching with the Devil.

*I went to the flea market and got some awesome old postcards. Photos later.

*I saw the Fountain. It sucked.

coming soon:
old family movies, things I bought at the flea market, things I bought at the DIY Trunk show, my hair, etc.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Back again . . .

We're back in Chicago. I'll post more tomorrow, when we're more settled in. In the meantime, a very nice picture my cousin C took while she was here visiting this summer.


more later.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy . . .

Day after Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 23, 2006



Wednesday, November 22, 2006


This may be the end of my November post-everyday-streak. Tonight I'm going home for Thanksgiving. Beds are scarce, much less computer time. I will do my best. I'll be super sad if I fail. Anyway, I decided today would be a catalogue of not fully formed posts:

*I got my hair cut yesterday. I'm not sure if I like it yet, since she straigtened it and my hair will not be straight until I get it cut again. Right now it might be a little too 80s rock goddess. I just picked a place near me, and it turned out to be punk/goth/Bettie Page which is not quite me. Hopefully I like my hair after I wash it later.

*I went to the DIY Trunk Show over the weekend. It was much smaller than it was a couple years ago, which was disappointing. But I did get to see someone spin yarn from her own sheep's wool. This particular wool was natural--ie dark brown with little streaks of white. I don't know why I never realized this but I guess sheep go gray like people. Isn't that funny? I did manage to buy some very nice stationary. I will post that later.

*This weekend we also attended a toy party at Rotofugi. They had a raffle and we ended up winning a Naal. You can see him on the Rotofugi site. One of my greatest talents is winning raffles. Obviously I can take no credit for this. But in my life, I've won a Chili's gift certificate, a water bottle, Kitchenaid pots and pans and a set of very nice knives, a Sampler, and now this toy. It's not that I go out of my way to enter raffles either. I very much appreciate this skill from the raffle gods and hope they continue to bestow it on me.

*And finally I am sad to hear about Robert Altman's death yesterday. I love Prairie Home Companion, Gosford Park, and Mash, though I'm embarassed to say the only other Altman films I've seen are Popeye (which I can't remember) and The Company (which I hated). I think Prairie Home Companion was a perfect cap to his career: quiet, aware, and bittersweet. And I loved the penguin joke. It still makes me smile to think of it, in part because of the weight Altman gave it.

Two penguins are standing on an ice floe. The first penguin says, you look like you're wearing a tuxedo. The second penguin says, what makes you think I'm not?

image courtesy of

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Geren Ford

I discovered another designer that I really like. Hopefully he or she will produce a line for Target. I particularly love this dress from the spring collection. One, the color is amazing. Two, I can't tell what fabric this is, but it looks so gorgeous. Sumptuous, I believe is the word. And third, the cut is so cute. There's another dress pretty similar to this in gray that has an even cuter cut--its hem is kind of split and rounded. But see one and two above for why I chose this one. All the kimono cuts are super cute too. Other than the heroin chic models, this designer can't do anything wrong in my book.

found via

Monday, November 20, 2006

More Prison

Whoa. Two posts. One day. I'm really risking things here. Nonetheless, here's a post about Let's Go to Prison from one of my favorite new blogs. They are much more articulate and smart about it than I was:

The Road

A couple months ago, some friends and I started a book club. We all realized that we loved to read prior to grad school but now we didn't read for fun at all anymore. The rule is fiction only. There's another rule that says no Oprah books, but I don't really agree with this rule. But so far, there are plenty of good books to read out there without having to challenge this rule. We read Ian McEwan's Atonement first, which was really good even though I was very frustrated by one of the main characters. Then we read Murakami's Norwegian Wood. I actually didn't read this one, which I got in trouble for because I had recommended Murakami in the first place. Ooops. This month we read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. The plot involves a man and his son traveling south in the context of a post-apocalyptic US. I really liked this book a lot. It's as bleak as everyone claims, but I loved both the main characters. So even though the book was sad, it wasn't shattering. And for some reason, I'm kind of fascinated to read about people's survival innovations. What can you use that was intended for something else to survive. To be honest, all those sections of the book actually reminded me a bit of the Little House on the Prairie books: they have to find food, and preserve it somehow, and sometimes use a coffee grinder to grind some grain for bread when there's a long winter. I don't think anyone else will think of Little House on the Prairie when they read The Road, but oh well, I did.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Last night, Stephan went out to a Walmart in the suburbs with Janice to try to get the Wii. They got lost and called me and woke me up for help, and I was hella bitchy and mean (sorry guys :( ). And they got there and there were 150 people there for the 20 Wiis Walmart had. So they came back to town, went to sleep for a couple hours, woke up at 5:30 and went back out to Target. And both Stephan and Janice got one!!!!! Yay! So far we've only played Wii sports, but it's very fun. Stephan beat me in tennis. I beat him in bowling. We tied in baseball (0-0). And Stephan beat me in the most fun game of all: boxing. At first I thought boxing was stupid. But actually it's really fun and kind of almost a little bit of a workout. Just don't forget that you can jab with the left hand also. "Cause I forgot and maybe that's why I lost. I never thought I would like something so [fake] violent. You also can make the people look just like you: hair, eye shapes, nose, mouth, etc. You wouldn't believe how many eyebrows there are to choose from. Try the Wii. It's great!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Date Night

Stephan and I had date night last night. It was awesome! We went to Outback Steakhouse and had steaks and a tuna appetizer, and they were delicious. Then we saw Let's Go to Prison, which was pretty good. The movie was ten times more clever than I expected. Well done. And I got to cheer when Stephan's name came in the credits. Good job Stephan! Yes, Stephan and I have been together for almost ten years, so sometimes we forget to go on dates. I'll have to remember that this is fun. Go dates!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Top Eleven

These are Stephan's favorite vinyl toys.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Best Frogs Ever . . . and Snails

We have 4 very cute frogs and 2 very smart snails. Here is a frog and a snail.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Handkerchiefs Part I

Just barely under the wire:

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Desert island

My desert island comedies:
Big Lebowski
Best in Show
South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

Monday, November 13, 2006


The first image is from a site that sells old prints (, the second is from a NYT article about Stephen Merrit. I unfortunately can't remember where the 3rd and 4th come from. The last image is from the sleeve of a Lucky sweatshirt Stephan bought me because he knew I'd love it because it had houses on the sleeves. Stephan is the best boyfriend ever. And he spent way too much on a random gift. For some reason I like houses a lot. I have way more images cut out from magazines that saved as digital, but nonetheless these are some good ones.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The finger

I have a bad habit of flicking people off in traffic. It's very bad. It's very unnecessary. I didn't have this problem when I lived in Indiana. But I feel like Chicago traffic has made me very angry: drivers are disresepctful on purpose, it seems like, rather than because they're not paying attention like in Indiana. Recently, some guy cut me off rather dangerously on the highway, and I responded by flicking him off. Mmmm, bad idea. After that he slowed down a TON, I assume trying to get me to get in front of him, so he could follow me and kill me. I base this also on the fact that he was shaking his fist and yelling at me in the rearview mirror. I was scared. I have not flicked anyone else off since and do not plan to ever again.

But I found out this weekend, that this exact same thing happened to my GRANDMA. She also got cut off, flicked the guy off, and then he actually did follow her wherever she went. Apparently this also scared the shit out of my grandma and she never flicked anyone else off again. Who knew this bad habit was genetic? And how awesome was my grandma flicking guys off as a little old lady? I can't say I'm ashamed of my former habit, even though I don't plan to do it again, and I'm kind of proud my grandma was that sassy a lady even in her more advanced years.

This posting everyday thing is REALLY hard. And I've been bad about pictures lately. Maybe tomorrow will just be a picture day.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Election 08

This is in response to some friends' suggestion that he and Stephan run in 08:

"Stephan and I are going to take a couple of weeks, form an exploratory committee, and gauge the interest of the voters. Please send campaign contributions to our PAC office, S/Endicott 08, Chicago, IL 60615. "Fantasy Sports for All! Weird Cartoon Dolls for Some! S/Endicott 08!"

Friday, November 10, 2006


Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Hush . . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte
13 Going on 30
Marie Antoinette (1938)
Sands of Iwo Jima

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I've made this recipe twice recently. Which is saying a lot, because I'm usually very lazy about mmm everything, but especially baking/cooking. The recipe is from the New York Times last year. I highly recommend it because it's yummy and super easy:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for greasing pan
1½ cups heavy cream, preferably not ultrapasteurized
2 cups sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
Pinch salt
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, optional.
1. Lightly grease a 9-inch-square baking pan. Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a broad saucepan or deep skillet and turn heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves.
2. Mixture will bubble and darken; when color is dark beige and mixture measures 235 degrees on a candy thermometer, it is butterscotch sauce. (Use immediately or refrigerate for up to several weeks; warm in a microwave oven or over hot water to soften.) To make caramels, keep cooking and stirring until mixture is even darker, nearly brown, and measures 245 degrees (or until a piece of it forms a firm ball when dropped into a glass of cold water).
3. Stir in the vanilla and pour into prepared pan. Cool, then remove from pan in a block and refrigerate, but not for too long - what you want is a mixture cool enough so that it's not too sticky, but not so cold that it's solid; this is the easiest state in which to cut and wrap.
4. Use a sharp knife to cut caramel into pieces, then wrap each square in waxed paper or plastic wrap. These keep for weeks, especially if refrigerated, but are best eaten fresh and at room temperature.
Yield: At least 50 caramels.
NYT: December 21, 2005

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election 2006

Today is a good day. Retaking the house. Maybe taking the Senate. Indiana representatives in the House going from 7-2 Republican to 5-4 Democrat. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I think that's more emotional than logical at this point. I'm also still disgusted by all the difficulties voting--everything from alleged gun-toting in Arizona to misdirecting voters to pulling people off the registration rolls and of course the electronic voting debacle. But fuck. Today is still a good day.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006



Today is election day. I am trying not to get my hopes up. Maybe we'll discuss this tomorrow. Maybe not.

One thing I can discuss is that today Stephan will vote in a bar. Happy Village Bar in fact, a very nice bar, a bar near our house, a bar that has good cheap beer and a huge patio in back and brats sometimes. Nonetheless he votes at a bar. How Chicago is that?

Please vote today.

Monday, November 06, 2006


In a very very exciting game last night, the Colts DEFEATED the Patriots. 8-0 baby!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man, I hope we do better this postseason than last. And the one before that. And all the ones before that since the Colts left Baltimore like a thief in the night. It was not so long ago that I did not care for football. Somehow Stephan bewitched me into loving it almost more than basketball. In an even sweeter victory for Stephan, the Dolphins beat the Bears. He's very petty about any Chicago team other than the Cubs.

The only thing more I can hope for this football season is a snow game. The Colts don't do well in them, but it's super fun to see guys slipping and sliding around and running through mud and snow. And the snow coming down the whole time. A winter without a snow game isn't quite a winter.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tate Modern

The internet is all abuzz about the NYT article comparing MOMA and Tate Modern. I've never been to MOMA, which is something I'd definitely like to rectify someday. That said, I associate Tate Modern with everything good and great about London. I only lived in London for about 4 months, but it's one of the few times in my life where I felt truly independent. Like school was not the most important thing in the world, and I not only could but should explore London by myself.

So I used to go to Tate Modern a lot by myself. Back then there was a huge spider in the atrium instead of these tube thing-y's. Still pretty sweet. Maybe sweeter. Tate Modern is great because: you can go there by yourself and not feel uncomfortable. You can wander around with your headphones on and not feel like you're being disrespectful. There's a great fruit stand nearby that has the best apples in the world. You can or have to cross the Thames to get there. It's always busy and even a bit loud. And it's free. Man I miss London.

Image, c/o wikipedia. Site c/o

Saturday, November 04, 2006


It's been TWO weeks since K and A's wedding. I'm a little overdue on the A's wedding post. Time really does fly. Anyway, this is the first wedding I've been in since my uncle's wedding in 1985. It was actually more nerve-wracking than I expected--lots of travel, a fair amount of expense, and having everyone look at me while I walked down the aisle. And then, all the groomsmen gave toasts and none of the bridesmaids were willing so I had to give an impromptu toast. It wasn't too awful because all the groomsmen made fun of the fact that A laughs at K's jokes, and I said that she laughs at everyone's jokes. Which she does. And then I told the story that on their first date my other roommate and I predicted they'd get married and they did. Which is also true. And that was that. At the end of the day, it was all very very fun, and beautiful to boot. Here's Stephan and I at the wedding.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Star Wars dogs

Yay! Yay Blogger! Your image function works today!!!!

Okay. So, I normally don't fully approve of dressing up dogs, but I make an exception for Halloween. And I make a huge exception for dressing dogs as Star Wars characters for Halloween. Yoda is stupendous, but I have a special place in my heart for Boston terriers since my dad had one as a kid. So Leia-BT may be the best dog of all time. Hi cuties!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


This was going to be a post on dogs dressed as Star Wars characters for Halloween but blogger is crushing me, so you get a post about Lost. Perhaps with pictures, perhaps not. That's up to you blogger baby.


Anyway, as everyone on the entire internet is pointing out, the actor who plays Mister Eko got a DUI and then his character got killed in last night's episode. I believe I mentioned earlier that I'm a bit down on Lost this season so I've been watching with much more detachment than usual. That said I was both pleased and super super super pissed by Eko's death. First the pleased--I really liked that the island is obviously malevolent. One of my new favorite blogs The House Next Door ( speculates that the island killed Eko because he didn't repent from his sins. But to me this means that even if the island is functioning as God, it is a sinners in the hands of an angry vengeful Jonathan Edwards God. Old Testament God. This God is scary. This God is not Eko's brother. Awesome.

That said, why do we have to lose Eko? There are so many characters I hate on this show. Can't we kill one of them? Charlie? Locke? Claire? Paolo and Nikki please? Eko was awesome and hot.

But most of all I loved the Juliet coup story, particularly the card on video scene which the internet is reminding me is Bob Dylan Subterranean Homesick Blues style. I really don't know what to trust or what's going on with Juliet and Ben and Jack and in a good way. I like it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I read on Mighty Girl's blog that there is a November challenge to post everyday. I'm going to TRY it. This is complicated by my less-than-stellar internet access at home during Thanksgiving and the fact that my blog is a secret. But maybe posting advanced entries for those days will work. Anyway, wish me luck. Here's November 1.

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