Wednesday, March 31, 2010


On Friday night Martin got me all excited for a night out. I put on my bright yellow cardigan, my go-to jeans, and my cowboy boots. I was ready to go. It was going to be a "safety meeting" at O'Malley's. By safety meeting, I mean because Martin is a truck driver they have to have mandatory safety meetings every quarter for insurance purposes. Basically whenever they all meet at the bar they have decided that this is also a safety meeting.

And then..we got there. Martin's friend Ryan and his wife Christina were supposed to come and this was the basis of my excitement for going out. Because I like Christina. But guess what? They didn't come. So it was me, Martin and three of his co-workers. And let me explain to you their idea of a "night out":

Sit around a bar and drink check.

Stare off into space for long periods of time with no conversation. check.

When deciding to speak, complain and make jokes about the dispatcher. check.

Dancing. no check. That's just something I would include in a good night out.

Animated conversation. no check there either.

Oh, and did I mention that as designated driver I was drinking water with lemon. check.

It's only because I love him so dearly that I put up with this. :-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Great Conversion

I used to think I didn't like hummus. I thought it was disgusting. Absolutely revolting. Not a respectable food. I'm not sure what the basis of these thoughts were. Most likely something along the lines of I don't like chick peas so I'm definitely not going to like hummus. 

But guess what? I love hummus. I would like to eat it everyday. It is without a doubt the most delicious and easy snack in my refrigerator. I am really partial to the roasted red pepper hummus from Aldi. It is so creamy and amazing. I eat it with peppers. I eat it with carrots. I eat it with celery. I eat it with pita chips. Sometimes I just eat it with my finger. I eat it for a side at lunch. I eat it for breakfast. I eat it for an afternoon snack. I eat it for a midnight snack. The possibilites of this are endless and I can't get enough!
But, I think possibly the most astonishing part of this hummus story is not that I am a converted hummus eat, but that Martin is. Yes, you heard that right. Martin actually said that he likes hummus.

The other day I was eating some hummus with celery before dinner (you know, ruining my appetite like my mother always told me not to) and Martin was making a salad for us to share.
Me: Hummus is just so delicious. Do you want to try some hummus, honey?
Martin: Not particularly. (puts on a disgusted face).
Me: Come on. Just try it.
Martin: Ok, fine. (looks at the giant scoop of hummus I have on the end of my celery stick) I don't want that much though.
Me: Ok. (sets down celery stick and then immediately picks it back up again) Ok. Here. Try it now.
Martin: Dutifully takes bite. Hmm. That is pretty good.
Me: See. It's delicious. Oh, and I didn't take any hummus off that stick.
Martin: Well I guess now you can write a blog about how you pulled the wool over my eyes.

And that is exactly what I rushed to do.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Inevidently, I spend my time pondering things that are of absolutely no importance anywhere in life, and then I post them on here so you all can get a better grasp of the strange and demented thoughts that run through my head. So, when I am not thinking about work, annoying Martin, or overthinking something else that is right in front of my face I am overthinking things of complete and absolute unimportance and then documenting them for you. You can thank me later, don't worry.

Recently, I have been thinking about jeans. yes, jeans. This will be an entire post about jeans. Why? Who knows. I'm still trying to figure out why I'm so strange myself. Maybe you can help me. But, nonetheless, I've been contemplating jeans lately. Jeans are amazing. A good pair of jeans can not be beat. The right pair of jeans make you feel great, look great, and in essence, makes you great. At all times in my life starting when I got my first good pair of jeans, I have always had one go-to pair of jeans. At all times I have one pair of jeans that I know does the trick. That I love from the bottom of my soul and whenever I am going out I reach for them. (Even if that means reaching to the bottom of the laundry basket and, consequently, spraying them with Febreeze.) When times call for a good pair of jeans, there are no boundaries and no ethics.

I remember getting my first good pair of jeans like it was yesterday. I was 11. I was in fifth grade. Prior to then all my clothes had been seriously lacking. And then, then I was blessed enough to have friends that were bigger than me and outgrowing clothing that I would still fit into. On top of that these friends had parents that would buy them jeans from cool places in popular styles and let them wear them. Up until this point I had been mostly wearing hand-me-down dresses from dearest Katie Panek. And while these dresses were okay, Katie wore them in kindergarten while I, I was still wearing these lacey, kindergarten dresses in fourth grade. Not exactly a fashion statement. If I wasn't wearing Katie Panek's kindergarten dresses I was wearing straight leg, none-fitted, does absolutely nothing for your figure or for cool points jeans from Ames. So in fifth grade at age eleven when my friend Missy gave me a pair of LEI flare-leg jeans, I thought I died and went to heaven. These were absolutely the only pair of jeans that I wore. ever. Except when I went to the barn. These jeans were way to precious to get within 100 yards of cow manure. But I did wear them to the Catholic School Dance at Notre Dame and I just felt so freakin cool!

Then in the summer between eighth and ninth grade the rat race really started. I would no longer be attending Catholic School and would be going to public high school in the fall. Public High School. You can not go to public high school without good jeans. It's absolutely fatal to you entire existence. Luckily, I was blessed once again. My mom's, best friend's, younger brother's girlfriend (exhausting, I know) gave me a bunch of amazing hand-me-down clothes. She worked at Hollister and gave me a pair of flare-legged jeans from there. I was still am in love with them. Because I haven't really grown too much since high school, I absolutely wore these jeans to the ground. I wore them until both knees had gapping holes in them. At that point I was entering college and gapping holes in jeans were actually kind of stylish so I continued to wear these beauties. I still wear these from time to time but mostly only when I'm painting or doing something requiring shit jeans. But still not actually going in shit. A pair of jeans once too precious to go there never is lowered to that status.

After the Hollister jeans, I have three more jeans that I distinctly remember as being the jean. These last three I purchased on my own. They are all from Aeropostale. I know, I am the only person above the age of thirteen that still sets foot in that store, but their jeans fit me like a glove. I have tried jeans on from countless other places for much more money and I can't find anything that makes me feel like a 3/4 bootcut from Aeropostale. And I can basically always find these for $19.99. And they last me a few years. I have two in rotation right now that are both go-to jeans. Did you hear that two go-to jeans in rotation at the same time. I don't think that's ever happened since the dawn of time.

I went through a phase in time when I would buy jeans for $1.00 from the Salvation Army and then scream about what an amazing deal I had gotten and then wear them a handful of times because they really weren't that flattering. Now, I've matured. I've grown up. I've learned from my mistakes. I'll still buy jeans for $1.00 at Salvo, but only if they're the right jeans. I've finally learned not to waste my dollar on so-so jeans. Because a good pair of jeans is like a good man, worth waiting around for the right one.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ahh, Spring

We had tulips on sale this past week and I just had to buy some. Tulips are my all time favorite flower!
They're really starting to pop and they're just so beautiful!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

This is my 100th post! That means if you've been reading this from the beginnning you have now read 100 completely pointless, but hopefully mildly entertaining stories about me.

Pretty exciting stuff, huh?

Friday, March 26, 2010


I have go-to phrases that I use at work.

It looks like a bomb went off here!

That's a phrase I use pretty much everytime I don't like how something looks.

For example:
It looks like a bomb went off in special purchase!
It looks like a bomb went off in the freezer!
It looks like a bomb went off in the backroom!

Recently, I have half-heartedly tried to steer away from this phrase. This is mostly because I had an employee who was previously in the army and one day while doing a store walk with him I said, "This freezer backstock needs to be cleaned up, it looks like a bomb went off in here" To which he replied, "I think if  you ever actually saw a bomb go off you might not use that phrase so candidly." Good Point.

Tonight, I was explaining the special purchase situation in a new store which I just inherited. The new store that is in Syracuse and an hour and a half from my house! But that's a whole new story in itself. Anyway, as I was explaining this to Martin I said, "Special Purchase looked like someone puked all over it" To which Martin replied, "You and your phrases.......But....if you really wanted to make it graphic you should say a clown puked all over it"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hmm, A Murder Mystery

I'm not typically one to read a murder mystery, but I just recently finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson and I absolutely loved it! This is a book I would highly, highly recommend.

"..the exchange between the two men seemed like a ritual attaching to a mystery which no-one else in the whole world had the least interest in unraveling."

I surprisingly didn't pull too many quotes from this that I had to have but I think that might have something, ok, a lot to do with the fact that it is translated from Swedish, because Steig Larsson is a Swedish writer.

"If she gave him her little finger he'd take her whole arm. And he would never understand."

While this book is a murder mystery, it is also so much more. There are so many elements and factors and amazing intertwining plots and fully developed characters in this novel. It was just absolutely and incredibly amazing!

"At some point on the morning of the second day she came to a terrifying realisation. She had no idea how it had happened or how she was supposed to cope with it. She was in love for the first time in her life."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another Ghost Story

Has anyone else noticed that almost every book written by Mitch Albom deals with dead people? Is that a conincidence or does he just have a really odd obsession?

Anyway, enough speculating. A couple weeks ago I finished reading For One More Day by Mitch Albom and I figured I should probably write about it, before I forgot.

First of all, Mitch Albom books are nice to read because they are easy to read, and every once in a while, I like an easy read. They are short, they aren't dense, you can basically get through one of these books in a day or two without even really trying. Sometimes, that's nice.

"Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back"

Another thing about Mitch Albom books is they are generally jam-packed with quotable phrases. I'm not really sure how that happens. But whenever I read a Mitch Albom book I think, that sentence should stand on its own!

"The truth is, there is no line. There's only your life, how you messed it up, and who is there to save you. Or who isn't"

That's not to say that I was in love with this book. Because I really wasn't. I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven long time ago, on a plane to Poland, and I remember loving it. I also remember crying a fair amount. If you haven't read that yet you definitely should.

"She wasn't easy on me, don't get me wrong, She smacked me. She scolded me. She punished me. But she loved me. She really did. She loved me falling off a swing set. She loved me stepping on her floors with muddy shoes. She loved me coming and going, at my worst and at my best. She had a bottomless well of love for me."

When I was reading this book I remember waiting for something and I'm not really sure what, but the entire book I felt like I was waiting for something. I want to say I was waiting for the point, but that sounds harsh, so I'm just going to keep it really nondescript and leave it at something. Anyway, that something never really came.

"I fell as easily as you fall into your pillow at night. And I didn't want it to end. That's the best way I can explain it. I knew it was impossible. But I didn't want it to end."

Of course, as I read through these quotes I clipped from the novel I can't help but think that these are really great and therefore, I must have loved the book. Because, these quotes are great and typically I absolutely love books when I love the writing.

"When someone is in your heart, they're never truly gone. They can come back to you, even at unlikely times"

Anyway, what I'm trying to say, basically the entire point of this post is I would still recommend reading this book, because it's a nice, easy read and full of good quotes, but I wouldn't put it on any sort of acclaimed novels list.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cheering for the Underdog

Being that Cornell will always be my home away from home I am overly excited that they are in the Sweet Sixteen! I mean, I didn't even watch either of the games, but I keep telling people how awesome it is that they have come so far. Now I really want to get tickets to see them play Kentucky on Thursday night in Syracuse. But I'm having a problem finding tickets in my price range.

One website I went to I thought I had struck gold. I was like, yes! This is exactly what I wanted to pay. And that's about the moment I realized that was for a parking pass. A parking pass, people! My price range is equivalent to that of parking passes.

I guess if worse comes to worst I can always sit in the parking lot and listen to the cheers from inside. At least that's an option I can afford.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Wish Come True

A couple days ago when I was posting pictures from the wine tour, I noted that there was so many amazing ones of Ranatta, I wanted to dedicate a whole post to them.
But, unfortunately, I didn't really have a good subject to dedicate them around. You know, nothing to say about them
And that's probably where you think that this post is going.
But that's where you're wrong. And you want to know why you're wrong? Of course you do. You're wrong because last Tuesday Ranatta turned 25.
And last Friday, both Ranatta and Judy came over to my house for lunch to celebrate.
I made chicken pad thai (which is amazing) and Judy chopped up an excessive amount of peanuts to put on the pad thai. I am actually thinking about having a ice cream sundae party to use up the extra chopped peanuts.
And then we went to Americana winery which is my favorite winery. Only this time we didn't go to taste, only to buy their Chablis, which is comparable to heaven, so that Judy could take it home to her mom. She's such a nice daughter.
And then we sketchily sat in the sun, in my driveway, in Ranatta's car, with the doors open talking for a good two hours or better.
And it pretty much confirmed every reason why I love to have Friday's off every once and a while.
And also how much I love it when Ranatta has a birthday!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Single Person Food

Martin went home for the weekend, but I stayed here in Tburg to bring in the big bucks. Not really because I'm salaried, but you get the idea.

Whenever Martin's gone I like to gorge myself with foods that he doesn't like. Last night I had guacomole for dinner. MMmmmmmmM.
It's so easy to make you you should definitely make some right now.

Cut desired number of avocados in half and scoop out the insides (I used one because I was by myself)
Dice both a tomatoe and an onion
Pour in desired amount of hot sauce (I tend to like a lot)
Sometimes, like last night, I'll Toss in a little minced garlic.
Sprinkle a dash of lemon juice.
Mash up and mix together with a fork so it still keeps the nice chunky consistency.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Or, if your like me, eat half the bowl with a fork because you can't even contain yourself for long enough to grab the chips out of the pantry. And the pantry is right behind you on the other side of the kitchen. Approximately 4 and a half feet away.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It's been absolutely gorgeous out these past couple of days. I am absolutely loving it.  I can not get enough!
I had to go in to work for about 6 hours today. But when I got home at three it was perfect weather to take a nice long walk down to the falls and read in sun.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is This Even Possible?

I usually try to avoid talking about work on here. I don't talk about the good, the bad or the inbetween. But today. Today. I interviewed 18 people for cashier positions in my new store.

Did you hear that?


I officially don't want to talk at all tonight. I don't think that has ever happened to me before. My vocal chords just can't handle any more communication.

So let's recap: If you ever want me to shut up here is the perfect recipe

18 interviews (6 of whom I am interested in)
1 conference with a struggling cashier
10 hours.

I promise with this recipe I'll be quiet for at least an hour. Or until the next thing excites me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


My friend Judy is amazing
And probably going to kill me after this post (except I know she's good-natured and did I mention, amazing)
When a camera comes out, something happens to Judy
She blinks

And makes crazy faces (although that one may be the wine talking)
But when it's good, you can see that she is gorgeous.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do I Really Have 72 Pictures From This Event

On Saturday we went on a wine tour, again. I believe going on a wine tour every month and a half as we have been is the most amazing thing ever. That being said, Martin finds it borderline ridiculous. I have no intentions of stopping as long as we live in the fingerlakes.
It really didn't feel like I was taking very many pictures on this trip.
So you can imagine my surprise when I realized I had 72 pictures from this weekend.
It was really difficult to only choose a few.
I haven't seen Michelle in way too long. and I'm excited that she might sleep on my couch in the near future. Even though it was really fun sharing a bed with her on Saturday night. Maybe I'll kick Martin out when she comes to visit again.
I don't even want to begin to analyze Joe's face in this one.
You can tell I've been sipping on wine by my open mouth.
I want to get these two together. And I'm hoping Judy won't be too embarassed I wrote this because its in super small letters!
Bus Buddies!
Everyone becomes fast friends on a wine tour!
There were so many amazing pictures of Ranatta I almost dedicated an entire blogpost to them. I still might.
Smiles all around.
Oh lover, what are you doing??
When can we go again?

Monday, March 15, 2010


On Friday night, I had every intention of staying in for dinner. I had a Take-N-Bake Pizza all ready to pop in the oven and I had a bag of drumsticks I was going to make into baked wings. It was going to be delicious.

But then Judy and Kristin called and asked Martin and I to join them for dinner at Maxie's. I can never really refuse a chance to have dinner with friends plus I've wanted to try Maxie's because, as far as I'm aware, it's the only cajun style restaurant in Ithaca. So of course, I discarded my previous dinner plans, made room for the pizza in the refrigerator and herded Martin out the door for dinner.
The food was very good. Judy and I both got the Jumbalaya. Actually we split the jumbalaya because it was also fairly pricey. The plate of jumbalaya was $16.95. But, it did have three kinds of meat, shrimp, andouille and chicken - so there was basically two kinds of meat in every bite. That was pretty nice.
Fun Fact: There are two Maxie's in the chain. One in Ithaca and the other in Milwaukee. Weird, right?
Other than that, our only other problem was the lack of free refills. Kristin filled out a comment form over that one. But I would definitely reccommend Maxie's if you are looking for cajun food and willing to spend a little money on a nice dinner.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

East of Eden

"Humans are caught - in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too - in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story"East of Eden, John Steinbeck

I recently finished reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck. This novel is amazing and once again I find myself baffled by the fact that it has taken me so many years of reading to finally get to this work.

"There was a nail-hard strength in her, a lack of any compromise, a rightness in the face of all opposing wrongness, which made you hold her in a kind of awe but not in warmth." East of Eden, John Steinbeck

East of Eden (Oprah's Book Club)
"He felt the warmth for his brother you can feel only for one who is not perfect and therefore no target for your hatred." East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Steinbeck is an incredible writer. His words are so lyrical. His writing just so literary and amazing. I could drink it up.

"He could hear the rich, lyric voice in his ears, the tones rising and falling in their foreignness, and the curious music of oddly chosen words tripping out so that you were never sure what the next word would be." East of Eden, John Steinbeck

I know I've said this before, after I read The Bean Trees, but I absolutely love when a novel starts out with mulitple seperate stories of lives that are seemingly unconnected and then they come together. It's not that the coming together is a surprise ( I mean, it's a novel - there has to be a connection somewhere), I feel like I understand the characters and their complexities so much better having "known" them before they are put into the situation together in which the novel will ultimately focus.

"He turned slowly. He smiled at her as a man might smile at a memory. Then he went out and closed the door gently behind him. Kate sat staring at the door. Her eyes were desolate" East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Steinbeck is also very philosophical in this novel. He makes a lot of comments about society and the human population and what motivates us and provokes us and the reasons for our existence.

"He though dawdling, protective thoughts, sitting under the lamp, but he knew that pretty soon his name would be called and he would have to go up before the bench with himself as judge and his own crimes as jurors" East of Eden, John Steinbeck

There were so many amazing passages from this novel and I had a really hard time picking out just a few to post here.

"We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is." East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Friday, March 12, 2010


I haven't worn a winter coat all week. It's been in the mid 50s and I'm loving it!
If this keeps up I'll be wearing flip flops in no time!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Parfait Party (for two)

As you may remember Martin and I went to the Farmshow a few Saturday's ago. The day before the farmshow, I got a call from my mom. It went something like this:

Mom: Are you going to the farmshow with Martin tomorrow?
Me:  Yeah. Why?
Mom: Well. Martin really wanted a five pound tub of yogurt. So dad will give it to you tomorrow.
Me: Oh. I guess I didn't realize he liked yogurt so much.

You can imagine I was a little surprised that Martin would want such a large quantity of yogurt. They don't even sell them close to this big in the grocery store. You can only find them this large in the food service industry. So naturally, in my nosiness - I questioned Martin about his intense need for massive amounts of vanilla yogurt later that night.

Me: So, we have to pick up some yogurt from my dad tomorrow. Why did you want so much yogurt??
Martin: I didn't. You're dad called me and said he was going to Buffalo to pick up a dump truck he bought and some five gallon tubs of yogurt. He said he was going to get me one. I didn't even ask for it.

So, we get this giant tub of yogurt on Saturday and I immediately decide that a party should be themed around it. I can come up with a reason to party over anything. I suggest that we have a parfait party on Sunday night. Martin, politely tells me that I know our apartment is too small for any party. And that its not going to work.

My hopes are immediately crushed.

But we made the best of it with a parfait party for two.

Martin reached for a bowl to make his parfait in and said, Let me guess. You want yours in a glass.

 He knows me so well.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Three Cups of Tea

I've really been falling behind on my book reviews. I finished Three Cups of Tea on the plane ride to Florida. Since then I've read East of Eden and I'm now moving on to For One More Day. So. For Today. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson.
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time

Three Cups of Tea is a different kind of book than I normally read. Normally, I am always looking for really good writing. Books that I think are of literary merit. This book, while well written, isn't that type of book. This book really inspired me and taught me at the same time. I always like books that are based in reality. I am a huge fan of historical fiction, but this book is great because it's actually written by the man who is creating the history.

Greg Mortenson is an ex-climber who has devoted his life to building secular schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan because he believes education is the key to ending terrorism. His work is amazing. His life is amazing. He went about doing this with basically no money. He is amazing.

"Apo calling Wahhabi madrassas beehives is exactly right. They're churning out generation after generation of brainwashed students and thinking twenty, forty, even sixty years ahead of time when their armies of extermism will have the numbers to swarm over Pakistan and the rest of the Islamic world"

Mortenson, having spent years of his life in the Middle East has a keen understanding of extremists and how intricately and brillantly they are planning the futures of their organization to last for generations.

I don't want to teach Pakistan's children to think like Americans, Mortenson says, I just want them to have a balanced, nonextremist education . That idea is the very center of what we do"

Mortenson, by building nonextremist schools for both girls and boys is building a future for the people in the Middle East. So they have the education neccesary to run successful town,s, villages,schools, hospitals, etc. He is helping them to become self-sustainable in the future.

"It was the most exciting day of my life, says schoolmaster Hussein's daughter, Tahira. "Mr. Parvi handed each of us new books and I didn't dare to open them, they were so beautiful. I'd never had my own books before."

Greg, who started out with his first school in the early 1990s to now 131 schools with over 40,000 girls educated!

Today is a day that your children will remember forever and tell your children and grandchildren. Today, from darkness of illiteracy, the light of education shines bright.

For more information on what you can do to help, or just to learn more about the programs that have spawned from Greg's work and involvement in the Central Asia Institute please read Three Cups of Tea: and visit this website.