Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Is it a harmful cheeseburger?

There are few things online that make me laugh so hard I cry. And I am not one for sending forwards. But occasionally I run across something that I just can't not share.

Last week, I came across two somethings.

The first will appeal to everyone. (At least it should, unless you are entirely humorless.)

The second will probably only make sense to people who work in my industry. Or maybe it has broader appeal, I don't know. Regardless, it's funny and awesome and I want to hire this guy...as a developer, a writer, a marketer. Whatever, he's genius.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Matilda and the Blue Pen.

Kind of reminds me of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Except I found that story far more amusing.

After months and months of me whining about how we need a new living room rug, we finally got one. Saturday morning we marched into Pottery Barn, took a quick look at the two rugs we'd found in the catalog, made our decision, and purchased it. Took about four minutes.

I love the rug: it's happy and fun. My only concern about getting a new one was Mattie chewing on it. When she was a baby she chewed up one corner of our previous rug, which we chalked up to teething. And she really didn't chew on anything else for a long time (except the wall trim when she couldn't get to her ball behind the tv stand). But over the last few months she's gotten into some trouble — once we caught her chewing on the couch cushions (both of the loveseat cushions now have bite marks on the corners) and another time she attacked the same corner of the old rug. So I was convinced she would smell the new rug smell and decide she needed to give it a good chomp.

I came home from work yesterday expecting to find a slightly chewed rug corner (but really hoped I was wrong).

Well, I was wrong.

What I found, instead, was a series of bright blue stains on my rug...the kind of stains you'd get after drawing on the rug with a blue marker.

Matilda, in all her curious wisdom, somehow located a blue gel pen, settled into a corner of the rug, and chowed down. She chewed the end off the pen, which meant all the ink leaked out onto my rug. And also onto her head. If she was hoping to plead innocent to the rug destruction, she really should have checked out a mirror before I came home.

I spent about 25 minutes on my hands and knees with our trusty can of Resolve — usually reserved for other dog-related messes, such as puke. Luckily most of the ink came out, and rest is conveniently disguised by a big red flower. I really wish she'd decided to chew the pen on one of the blue flowers...but I guess that's my fault. Nate and I haven't worked on colors with her yet.

Though she did manage to match the ink on her face to her new collar...so maybe I'm not giving her enough credit.

The bandwagon and me: a love story.

I have a hard time resisting things other people are doing. Like adding cute background designs to their blogs.

I finally caved, and here is the result. Not sure about the color combination yet (hard to decide on colors for links, headlines, etc), but glad to have some distance from my previously all-white design.

This looks like something the mom of a boy would have on her blog, right? I figure it's going to be all snips and snails and puppy dog tails around here soon, so I may as well embrace it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Two more months?

That's what my dad said this weekend when I told him I have two more months of pregnancy left. A more complete quote would be "Two more months? Honey, I can't imagine you being pregnant for two more months. You look....you know, ready to give birth!"

He means well, I know he does. But that didn't stop me from punching him a little.

And also, it's actually two and a half more months. Yikes. My poor, stretched-out stomach.

I had a wonderful weekend at home in IL. Not only was I showered with an impressive stack of gifts (seriously, I felt spoiled), I got to spend time with many people I love dearly but never see...including my parents and sister, two of my best friends, my college roommate whom I haven't seen for eight years, a bunch of family friends, and a few friends from high school youth group. It was so much fun to catch up with everyone...I loved every second of it. And Heidi and April stayed for the weekend, so I got some extra time with the two of them, and Heidi's five-month-old daughter Kaiya (who is so delightful). We ate, we played, we got ShamWows from my mom.

I brought my camera, of course, but found that my battery was dead and I didn't have my charger. So instead I have to rely upon Heidi and April for photos, a few of which are below.

Let me preface this by saying my face has gotten even rounder and puffier (how is this possible?), my stomach is huge, and I look exhausted in every picture I take these days. On the flip side, my skin has cleared up and...well, that's it. I am clear-skinned but the size of a small, tired house. And yes, I have two (and a half) more months to go.

I fear I will soon reach Violet Beauregarde-sized proportions. Or that this baby will be 15lbs. Which shouldn't be a problem, according to my doctor.

Apparently I have birthing hips.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Crimes of fashion.

Five reasons I dislike high fashion, courtesy of Alexander McQueen via Jezebel:



Thursday, March 5, 2009

Would you like fries with that shake?

Why yes, I would.

I love McDonald's. Admitting this publicly is kind of embarrassing. I may as well just say "yes, I eat like crap and need to lose weight." Which is true. Though I don't always eat like crap, I have a tendency to find myself in the McDonald's drive thru about once a week. I will not apologize for my devotion to the sausage egg mcmuffin. Or french fries.

While my love for those two items is strong, the deep-rooted longing I feel for McDonald's every March can only be attributed to one thing: the Shamrock Shake.

Available for a limited time only (kind of like the McRib used to be...and maybe still is. I don't really know, anything called McRib seems gross to me so therefore I am not up on its comings and goings), the Shamrock Shake is synonymous with spring. And my birthday. Many a March day has been celebrated with a cup of this creamy, minty deliciousness. I am not typically a shake person, but this one is special.

I probably wouldn't want one so badly if it was available year-round. Or if it was available everywhere...which it is not. You have to search for the Shamrock Shake. I didn't know this, because the McDonald's in Joliet always had them and I assumed that was the case everywhere (because, really, why wouldn't it be?). But they are not as readily available in Minnesota. In fact, I haven't had one since I moved here in 1999. Every year I would check the menu at my local McDonald's, but I never saw it. Disappointing, to say the least. I even spent some time trying to decipher www.shamrockshake.com — a website where people can submit the locations where they found the Shamrock Shake — but it's the worst website in the world and I couldn't figure out how to use it. (The Shake's loyal following is impressive though; good to know I'm not alone in my search.)

But then! I was lamenting the Shamrock Shake's non-existence to my friend Barbara a few weeks ago, and she told me a friend of ours usually finds one every March. (How did I not know this?) I immediately emailed Jennifer, and the three of us set up a search party/lunch date.

And we found it. About two blocks away from our office. That's right, after all this time, the Shamrock Shake was right down the street from me.

It was well worth the drive.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Not so Super.

I hate Super Target. And quite possibly Pledge, though that might be misplaced hatred. For all I know, that's Super Target's fault, too.

It wasn't hard for me to fall in love with Target. Growing up I had much more experience with Walmart — Target didn't arrive in Joliet until I was in high school, and even then it was kind of a hike from where we lived. (Now you can turn either way out of my parents' subdivision and hit one within 5 minutes.) Also, we spent a LOT of time at Walmart in college. It was the closest superstore to Taylor (that crappy Kmart in Gas City doesn't count), and provided countless hours of entertainment (I have taken many pictures in Walmart...including one of my friend Bri in a canoe, one of my friend Ali smelling a wall of fake flowers, and one of me sitting on a race car made out of Bud Light boxes. Classy). But when I moved to Minnesota there wasn't a Walmart within the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. So, off to Target I went.

And oh, I loved it.

It didn't take long for me to become a full-fledged member of the Target fan club. Why would it? Target is amazing. It's clean and pretty and trendy and has cheap clothes. One of my favorite things to do after work (before I had to get home every night to my dog) was wander aimlessly around Target, buying a random assortment of things I didn't need. Cute shirts, cute shoes, cute home stuff...cute, cute, cute.

And then Super Target came to town. Both of the primary Targets in my life — one across the street from my office, one by my home — went from being boring old regular Targets to shiny new SUPER Targets. I was ecstatic. Cute shirts, shoes and home stuff PLUS a full range of groceries? No way!

No way was right.

Believe me, I feel I am being kind when I say this: Super Target SUCKS. I can't stand it. It's ridiculously crowded. People let their kids run wild. I can't find anything. They have a crappy produce selection. And they are always out of products I need, or they don't carry them at all. Every single time I have attempted to grocery shop at Super Target, I've had to stop at Rainbow on my way home to pick up something they didn't have. And it's usually for something stupid. For example, once I went there to pick up saltine crackers. They didn't have ANY. The entire shelf of saltines was empty. No brand name, no store brand. Nothing. Can it get more basic than saltines? I've found that to be the case with things like cheddar cheese and yogurt, too. And forget about it if you're looking for any type of specialty ingredients for a recipe. (And by "specialty" I mean things like capers. Not exactly fancy fare.)

I believe the goal in creating Super Target was ultimate convenience for the customer. But there is nothing convenient about having to stop at another grocery store for saltines.

This leads me to my complaint about Pledge. Which is somewhat related, seeing as I still shop at Target for household products (and cute shirts, shoes and home stuff), if not groceries.

Pledge keeps introducing products, and then pulling them off the shelf before I am able to use the entire product and replace it. It's driving me crazy. Last fall I bought a package of Pledge Stainless Steel wipes for my kitchen appliances. I have tried a number of stainless cleaning products, and those were by far my favorite. Quick, easy, cleaned up perfectly. Love them (love the whole wipes movement in general...so much better than hauling around a bottle of 409 and a roll of paper towels). Went back to Target to buy them again when I ran out...and they didn't have them. Assuming this was just another crappy Target is out of something situation, I tried another Target. No luck. Pledge doesn't make them anymore. (So no, this cannot be blamed on Target.) So I ended up buying some other stainless wipes that I hate, but whatever.

And then last weekend I used up my last Pledge "Clean and Dust" wipe, which I also found to be kind of fabulous. Went to Target to get more...and they didn't have any. This time I didn't even attempt to find them at another Target, I just assumed Pledge had discontinued them. So instead I purchased the new Pledge "Multi-Surface" wipes. This time I bought two packs, just in case they decided to discontinued those as well.

However, upon visiting the Pledge website, I discovered that the Clean and Dust wipes are still available. So this can be entirely blamed on Super Target being out of yet another product I need. (I knew there would be a connection!)

And now that I've gotten all this written down, I'm not sure I have a point. So I'll wrap things up with a quick summary:

Super Target sucks, Pledge kind of sucks, I really miss those stainless wipes, and I am ranting about cleaning products so I maybe need to find a hobby.

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