Friday, November 30, 2007

Finally, the day I've been waiting for since Halloween!

I bought this tree the first year that MB and I lived together. I remember seeing it in the Michaels ad, and then hustling to get to the store to buy it after the kitschy trinket shop where I worked closed for the night. It's little, but I love it so much. It's just not Christmas without a tree, no matter how small.

I adore this Advent calendar. I had an identical one when I was a kid, but my sister sort of adopted it as hers, and so it stayed at the house after I moved out for college. I always felt sad that I didn't have it, even though I was glad that my sister was going to have the same fond memories of it. Then, at Christmas last year, my mom gave me this one. She'd had a second kit put away somewhere, twenty five years later, and she'd sewn it up for me. She even stitched all the little beads on, just like the first one. I'm almost getting teary talking about it. (SAP. I am a huge SAP.) of my favorite Christmas gifts of all time.

This turkey has become something of an unofficial Thanksmas mascot, though I may be the only one who thinks so. I found the reindeer among my grandmother's Christmas ornaments after she died. I can't really say why, but I absolutely love him.

In other Christmas-related news, the paper ornament project is off to a slow but good start:

I went out shopping with Evilducky yesterday, and managed to score quite a few Christmas presents. I can't say much more than that, because most of the things I got were for my Secret Santa, my sister, and MB, and all of them are aware of the existence of this blog. Evilducky gave me a spare Bath & Body Works coupon, and because of her generosity I can say without hesitation that this is the best lotion EVER. Mmm...pomegranate. I also have to say that I'm immensely pleased with the newly redesigned Victoria's Secret signature cotton bikini underwear. The old style never seemed to have enough space for my junky trunk, but the new cut they've got out now is perfect. Even though I had my typical difficulty finding my size, I scored some really cute prints. (And with that, this may be the girliest entry I've ever written. I'd better stop writing before I admit that I cried at the end of The Family Stone and Junebug yesterd...crap.)

Photo Friday

lolkitters of the week

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Five Post Meme

Charlotte has tagged me for the Five Post Meme:

1. Post five links to five of your previously written posts, relating each to the key words family, friends, yourself, your love and anything you like. (I was feeling indecisive, so I have a few more than five. Sorry about that.)

2. Tag five other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least two new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.

3. Encourage readers to visit the archived post and leave comments.

Ten Reasons Why My Mom Rocks
Ten Reasons Why My Dad Rocks
Ten Reasons Why My Sister Rocks

We can't pretend to be normal, but that's okay, because weird works for us.

No matter what, I will always be a nerd.

I love to take photographs, especially of nature.

Also, one of my favorite pictures, ever (me and my dad; I'm 26 months old, and we're both doing paperwork):

MB (my love)
This is how we met.

something I like
I love to travel. I think the best trip MB and I have taken so far was our vacation in Washington State last year.

I also like my rotten-ass cat. I like him a lot.

Now I have to tag five people:

skb, the 12 Minute Miler
Kerri Anne

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

unmake pandoras battery:  a NaBloPoMo Googleage report

egg salad turns green and egg salad turning gray
I'm slightly alarmed that people need Google to tell them that this is a bad, bad sign.

egg salad a half a year old
Whatever you do, do not open that bowl.

"am barefoot" flickr
Like this?

what are egg salad feet?
Some kind of weird combination of the previously cited search queries, or an unfortunate skin condition? I'm not sure I want to know.

Possibly because you've left it in the fridge for 6 months? Or because feet are involved somehow?

"living with an engineer"
Be strong, my sister. Be strong. It's 100% worth it, though the road can, at times, seem very long.

pictures of pretty looking cartilage piercings
I found lots of ordinary cartilage piercings, and quite a few slightly freaky ones. Also, who knew there were so many ways to decorate an ear?

jamie fraser outlander
He made it onto my literary makeout candidate list, and now he's a YouTube star:

I was going to say something sarcastic about this, but I get the feeling the people who created it are just so earnest about the whole thing.

youtube rolling vbg
Unlike Jamie, I am not a YouTube star. Sorry to disappoint.

"glad i don't have testicles"
Ah, an old standby! Welcome back, testicle-hating Googlers!

designing on a dime coffee table with river rock inset
I couldn't find a photo of this, which is a shame, because it sounds really fab.
I can't deny it, so I might as well own it.

"mr kitters"
Ask and you shall receive:

my cat ate half a prozac
So did mine, but I guess it's a little different since his name is on the bottle.

chaucer twat
This actually led to the book blog, but since I was #1 on the list, I had to include it.

Here are two quotes from The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson:

"It is often noted that Chaucer's spelling was widely inconsistent: Cunt, if you will forgive an excursion into crudity (as we so often must when dealing with Chaucer), is spelled in at least five ways, ranging from kent to quainte. So it isn't possible to say whether the inconsistency lies with Chaucer or his copyists or both."

"Rather more alarmingly, the poet Robert Browning caused considerable consternation by including the word twat in one of his poems, thinking it an innocent term. The work was Pippa Passes, written in 1841 and now remembered for the line "God's in His heaven, all's right with the world." But it also contains this disconcerting passage:
Then owls and bats,
Cowls and twats,
Monks and nuns in a cloister's moods,
Adjourn to the oak-stump pantry!

Browning had apparently somewhere come across the word twat--which meant precisely the same then as it does now--but pronounced it with a flat a and somehow took it to mean a piece of headgear for nuns. The verse became a source of twittering amusement for generations of schoolboys and a perennial embarrassment to their elders, but the word was never altered and Browning was allowed to live out his life in wholesome ignorance because no one could think of a suitably delicate way of explaining his mistake to him."

wicca too femmy
And Satanism's too butch. What's a brooding pagan to do? (another badgerbooks hit)

Does God say women must look frumpy
I don't have a direct line or anything, but I'm thinking the answer is no.

i live in new jersey and have cave crickets what do they eat
I can't prove it, but I suspect they're after your soul. (Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaate)

angelina jolie and mind control
I don't even know what to say about this. It's just so perfect, all by itself.

we kickin doors we robbin stores creep in 64's
How am I possibly the #1 hit for this?

ugly christmas cat sweater
I am so happy that I can use this as an excuse to link to Crazy Aunt Purl's cat sweater contest gallery. This makes me give thanks that the internet was invented, so that these sweaters can be preserved for posterity.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dear drive-thru workers of the world,

I always go out of my way to be polite to you, because for five years, I was one of you. I know firsthand what a craptacular, thankless job yours can be. Because of this, I am willing to forgive just about anything. If the fries are cold, I eat them anyway. If there's a tomato on my sandwich even though I asked for lettuce only, I'm willing to pull the tomato off and eat the sandwich. If you forget something from our order, I'm the one defending you while MB is pointing out that getting an order right is not that hard.

But there is one issue on which I must take a stand, one thing that annoys me so much that I can no longer remain silent. When you hand me a cup with soda running down the side, that pisses me off. It would take you mere seconds to wipe off the sides of the cup. If I get Pepsi on the upholstery of the car I'm driving now, I will NEVER hear the end of it. When I worked the drive-thru, I always took a few seconds to clean off the cup if I slopped the soda over the edge. Please, PLEASE do the same for me. I know you're in a hurry. I know you don't get paid enough. I know that the majority of your customers treat you like crap. I will continue to eat cold fries and remove tomato slices and defend you when you slip up. But I may just lose my shit the next time you hand me a cup with a giant pool of soda sloshing around in the top of the lid. Think of the children, for God's sake.


Also, for fun:

Monday, November 26, 2007

We're talking full-on Exorcist twist

I had to give up my car today. Not the CR-V, of course, but my first car. It was a bittersweet parting, truthfully. She never won any beauty contests, but she had sass and she was mine. I drove her one last time, fast, on the expressway, listening to the familiar rattles and rumbles. As wonderful as my new ride is, I doubt I'll ever recapture the sweetness of a hot summer day's drive out in the country, windows down and radio blaring, free to roam in a way I never had been before. She was with me for a lot of things, good and bad. We had a lot of great times, a lot of adventures. But in the end, it was time to say goodbye. In a way, today felt like the beginning of an inexorable march toward real adulthood. This morning, I realized with a blend of amusement and horror that in all likelihood, I am now driving the car that I will use to take my children to school. I think I'm ready to face growing up, but it's still a lot to handle on a Monday.

At least I had a surprise waiting at home, a gift from my friend Tam:

Nothing like a little bit of ass-kicking to chase away sad thoughts.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rainy days and...Sundays?

Many thanks to the lovely and hilarious kittyb, who carried out her guest posting duties with style yesterday!

Today was a pretty fabulous Sunday, except for the fact that it rained all day. MB and I went over to my parents' house around noon to show my dad the new car, and then my sister and I cleaned out my beloved Oldsmobile. I have to take her to the dealership tomorrow and surrender her as a trade-in (the Oldsmobile, not my sister). Once we were finished, I took a few pictures to remember her by:

Mom, Little Sis, and I went to see Enchanted, which was pretty good, and definitely a Disney Princess movie I could sit through more than once if I ever end up with Princess-crazy daughters. Amy Adams is just about the most adorable thing ever as Princess-to-be Giselle. After the movie, Sis and I put up the Christmas tree. It's the same tree my parents have had since before I was born, and even though it's a little bedraggled these days, we still love it.

I'm looking forward to putting up my little tree. I love the Christmas season, and get all Whoville over the decorations.

Anyway, happy Sunday, everyone! Here are pictures of my parents' muddy puppies and my pretty car:

Reading:  Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper

Playing:  a bunch of mix CDs

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Maybe I should mention that I'm a guest on this blog, and not your regular host. In case you haven't been prepared in any way.

Have you ever made a pun, a really good one, completely by accident? This has happened to me two or three times in my life, and it is sweet. The thing about making a sweet pun by accident, is that it’s just like making a sweet shot playing pool, when you are a really crappy pool player. You have to walk away from it like freaking Cool Hand Luke, like you meant it all along. There is nothing cool about sinking an awesome shot and then jumping up and down, squealing, “Can you even believe that went in?! Awesome!!” Please, ma’am, just walk around the table to your next shot and let other people tell you how cool your shot was. (One time it was my DAD telling me how great my shot was, and he IS a really good pool player, as well as my dad, so tell me just how sweet was that?)

The first cool pun I made by accident was when I was looking at a potential living space with my boyfriend, around college time. It was this Victorian house, and it had an elaborate shower with two shower heads on adjacent walls. I said, “For if you need to keep a clean profile.” And then I said, “OMG, I didn’t even mean to make a pun! That was so great!” Just hand me the “DORK” sign.

But about a week ago, I made another really good one. I was walking along with my husband, riffing on our cat, “Little” Brown, and his recent move to LA (with us). Uli was going over the well-traveled territory of how Brown can’t get an acting job to save his life, and got into the also well-covered area of Brown’s weight (which is very, very heavy). We passed a pet grooming salon, and I wondered aloud whether they did plastic surgery there. Ulrich doubted it in the extreme. I said, “No? A little cat-nip/tuck?” And because I am, if not cooler than I was 15 years ago, at least able to fake it a little bit, I just kept quiet as I realized what an awesome play on words that was. Now, the problem with the totally awesome pun (intended or otherwise) and my husband is that he is a mathematician/scientist type, and he doesn’t notice all of them. Not even half of them. And so it becomes necessary to sacrifice the cool in order to reap the rewards of an appreciative audience. After all, he knows well how uncool I am, so who am I really fooling? And so I’m afraid I did need to point out how great that was, and he was forced to unenthusiastically agree that it was a good one.

Sigh. Then, later, we were having drinks at a restaurant/bar that had a bunch of Chagall prints on the wall. Brown as Artist has I think been covered, but not so much Brown as Painter, and so we tried some few on-purpose pun material. Ulrich commented that “he covers a broad range” (the “with his ass” implied) and I immediately responded that, “You couldn’t really call him a starving artist.” Oh, that was rich, especially with a couple of glasses of wine in ya.

Two nights ago, I was making Thanksgiving dinner with my mother, and she did me the favor of tying this story into current events. She had made dough for her pumpkin pie and stuck it in the fridge, and I had just finished wrapping up the dough for my tart tatin in saran wrap. She marked mine with “TT,” but then crossed the Ts with one straight unibrow line. She said, “Well, now it says pi,” and I said, “Well, that’s not very helpful in distinguishing what it’s for.” She (uncool) delighted in the unintended pun, and I got to tell her about my blog entry.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas Came Early

You'll just have to pretend it has a big red bow on top...I'm still in shock that we actually bought it:

It's a 2008 Honda CR-V in metallic mint green paint green tea metallic.

The extended Thanksgiving holiday has gone well so far. We went to dinner at my aunt's last night, where I got to hold TWO baby cousins (One of them is brand-new! Only two weeks old!) and we stuffed ourselves silly. Tomorrow we'll be heading to MB's homeland to stuff ourselves further at his mamaw and papaw's house.

Back when I thought we'd be going down for the whole weekend, I asked three of my friends if they'd be interested in guest-posting for me. All three of them wanted to, so I'm going to let them, even though we'll only be gone for one day. So, tomorrow you can look forward to one, two, or three guest posts from fabulous ladies who should all have blogs of their own but don't. Have a good time, and don't spill any wine on the carpet while I'm gone!

Photo Friday

lolkitters of the week

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sweet Potato Casserole

I don't think I've ever posted a recipe before, but it seems appropriate, so here's a fantastically yummy sweet potato casserole / souffle recipe that I'll be making for both my family's and MB's family's Thanksgiving get-togethers:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


4 cups mashed sweet potatoes (two 29-ounce cans, if you use canned like I do)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract


1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 stick melted margarine


1 cup chopped pecans


Combine first list of ingredients and mix well. Pour into a buttered pan.

Spread pecans over surface and press down slightly.

Combine second list of ingredients and crumble over the top of the pecans. (Add more flour if it's too clumpy.)

Bake 15 minutes, then cover with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15 - 25 minutes (until light brown).

It's pretty simple to make, and the leftovers are excellent when re-heated in the microwave. Have a great Thanksgiving, if you're celebrating today. If not, have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blast off

Even though I'm really sick of coming up with things about me, I saw this meme on i heart heather and had to thieve it.

Ten things I WISH I could say to ten different people:

1. You gave me the greatest gift of all when you gave me up. Thank you. I hope you are happy.
2. I really would follow you into the dark.
3. I am so proud of you that it sometimes feel like my heart is going to burst.
4. It's because of both of you that I turned out. Thanks for putting up with me.
5. I am immensely fond of you, but sometimes you are so. damn. weird.
6. I am so glad we met. Who knew it would define so much of my life (and maybe yours?), even 20 years later?
7. I wish, for you, strength and happiness.
8. I wish, for you, peace and support.
9. I wish, for you, an easier path.
10. Dude. Lay off the cologne. Seriously.

Nine things about me:
You know what? Screw it. Instead, here are nine movies that I could watch over and over (and quote from incessantly):

1. Grosse Pointe Blank
2. The Princess Bride
3. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
4. The 13th Warrior
5. the first Pirates of the Caribbean
6. the Kevin Costner Robin Hood
7. Willow
8. Tombstone
9. The Usual Suspects

Eight ways to win my heart:

1. Appreciate my sense of humor
2. Have your own sense of humor
3. Be kind to animals
4. Be kind to kids
5. Respect everyone (or at least everyone who has not proven that they are undeserving of respect)
6. Act right
7. Tell a good joke, especially if it's sort of dirty
8. Roll with the punches

Seven things that cross my mind a lot:

1. Damn, I'm hungry again.
2. I'd better write that down, or I'll forget to do it.
3. Hmmm...this might make a funny blog entry.
4. I have to pee.
5. What is WRONG with people?
6. What am I forgetting?
7. I wonder if...

Six things I wish I never did

1. Got too wrapped up in boys who didn't really deserve my attention
2. Failed to stand up for myself
3. Let the bullies bring me down
4. Been less than a good friend to him
5. Settled for that unfamiliar kayak
6. Stomped on those slugs when I was a kid (still feel guilty)

Five turn offs:

1. Heavy cologne / perfume
2. Pretentiousness
3. Imparting information as truth without first checking the facts
4. Mean-spirited behavior
5. Being closed-minded

Four turn ons:

1. Being passionate about something that matters
2. Quiet confidence
3. Intelligence
4. A touch of mystery

Three smiles that describe my life:

I have no idea what this one means. i heart heather's friend Heather Anne thought at first that it might mean "similes." I decided to go with that, and asked MB for help.

VBG:  What are three similes that describe my life?

MB:  What?

VBG:  You know, similes.

MB:  Those are like metaphors, right?

VBG:  Right, but they use 'like' or 'as.' You know, "Kitters is to a marshmallow as..."

MB:  ...

VBG:  ...

MB:  ...

VBG:  You know, I'll just write down this conversation instead.

Two things I want to do before I die:

1. Raise happy, healthy children
2. Travel to the UK (and maybe New Zealand, Europe, and the Mayan and Incan ruins) with MB

One confession:

Sometimes I worry that this life is too good to last. (But then I realize that there's no way to ruin it faster than to spend it worrying what's just around the bend.)

I'm not tagging anyone. Take it if you want it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. *

Fall is my very favorite season, and I'm so pleased that we didn't have to go straight from a ludicrously long, hot summer straight into rain and winter. There was a cold, bleak week back in October when I was very worried, but November was pretty much perfect. Now I'm just trying to take it all in, to fill up my tank so that I have enough fall to last me until spring.

* Albert Camus

Monday, November 19, 2007

The internet is awesome, volume 2


spell with flickr

The dog's not lost, he's just awesome:

Link sent to me by the bibliophile.

Hunter in Montana gets a lucky shot:

"A hunter in Montana took this great shot of a Golden eagle releasing a wolf. The juvenile was too heavy and the eagle was avoiding a crash into the ground. A startled magpie nearby considers its future."

Super Mario Brothers villain scarf:

Link sent to me by basscomm.

The Ultimate Rock, Paper, Scissors Chart

Link sent to me by Evilducky.

Oh, hai.

Back in October, lovely reader Ann left me a link to some adorable and hilarious sloth photos. Now one of those pictures has become a lolsloth. Evolution by internet is a beautiful thing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Seven Random Things About Me

Bad Mummy has tagged me for a meme (and basically saved my ass, because I had nothing to say tonight...thanks, Bad Mummy)!


1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2.  Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
3.  Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4.  Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven random/weird things about me:

1.  When I had to read Crime and Punishment for my high school AP English class, I actually liked it. Really, really liked it, in fact.

2.  I have stinky feet. Not uber-stinky, but definitely middle-stinky. It's somewhat embarrassing.

3.  I get very woozy at the sight of my own blood. Not sure about other people's, though. I once did First Aid on a coworker's badly cut finger and suffered no ill effects, but when the cat tore a chunk out of my leg last June, I had to lie down after the bandaging was done.

4.  I'm not fond of Mexican food. I just don't like the flavors much at all.

5.  When I was a kid, I collected baseball cards for a few years (even though I never watched baseball). Having remembered that for the first time in quite a long time, I wonder if I still have the cards (they might be in my parents' attic) and if any of them will be worth anything someday.

6.  I have a lifelong love of school and office supplies. I sometimes sniff brand new boxes of Crayola crayons at stores, if I'm sure no one is looking. When I got my 2008 refills for my deliciously lovely Franklin Covey planner, I actually took a photograph to document their fabulousness:

7.  I put both my socks on, and then both my shoes. People who put on one sock and one shoe and then the other sock and the other shoe weird me out a little bit. I also put on my pants one leg at a time, but rumor has it everyone else does, too.

I am tagging:

1.  house of h
2.  SJ at And All the Jones Men
3.  Charlotte
4.  Erika at mmmm, brains
5.  Fly
6.  Miss M
7.  Falwyn at quaking aspen

Six Weird Things About Me
Six Weird Things #2
Five Facts About Me
Eight Things

Reading:  Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mission:  Organization

A while back, Swistle wrote some posts detailing cleanup projects around the house. I liked the idea and loved reading her posts, so I thought I'd write my own. I hope it turns out as interesting as hers. It's a cleanup project and a testament to my husband's enduring patience, all in one. With bonus cat pictures!

Our second bedroom is basically a catch-all room, and even though I try to keep it clean in general, in reality what happens is that I clean it, it gets horribly messy over a few months, and then I have to start from scratch and clean it again. During the weeks of Giant Work Project Brainsuckage, anytime the living room needed to be straightened up, I'd toss the stuff into the spare room. It was getting pretty scary. Also, the plants overwinter in there, and I have to be able to get to them to water them.

There had to be a reckoning, eventually, and since I finally had two days off in a row (yesterday and Thursday), I decided to tackle the mess.

"Oh, hai. I is supervisin."

I have too much crap and hate to throw anything away that might be useful. Here's a perfect example of why I have such a recurring problem with clutter.

This is a really nice tool kit that my mom bought me when I was in college:

It's cool, but the case has had a broken latch for years:

Which makes it do this:

Also, we got this for our wedding:

So why do I still have all the tools in the broken case? It just seemed wasteful to throw it was mostly good, and besides, it felt wrong somehow to take all the sockets and wrenches out of their molded plastic spaces. This type of weirdo thinking is part of why we have so much junk in our spare room in the first place.

But I finally went for it:

When I opened the toolbox to transfer everything over, I found these:

My dad gave me this little set when I was in middle school. There used to be a lot more screwdrivers, and I don't think I ever used the little socket screwdriver thing, but I always loved having my own screwdriver set.

When we went to Chicago back in the summer, Nick & J-Dog gave me a really cute kitchen cart, which has been lying in pieces in the spare room ever since. I finally put it together.

"Looks gud, but you shudn't stop yet!"

"You gotta puts all ur stuff on teh shelves. Here, I shows you."

Okay, short of having an eBay store or getting ready to move (nope and nope), why would anyone need this many empty boxes?! I mean seriously, this is getting out of hand. Wait...where's the cat?

"Dis plant tellin lies. Dere was no tastin going on.
I is innocent. Pure as driven snow."

And woot! Finally done: