I just called to say ‘I love you’

So I know I’ve already warned you guys that I’m phoning it in for the rest of the week.  This is me, literally phoning it in.

These pictures were snapped with my phone a few weeks ago at the Goat and Compass in Wilmington.  The Goat is Ernie and Dexter friendly, and when Amanda and I were there on a Friday afternoon (I was able to leave work early because our air conditioning was broken) they even had free buffalo wings.  Score!  Sadly, the wings were not Ernie and Dexter friendly (because dog farts are not people friendly).

The boys, hanging out.

Dexter sneaks closer to the wings.

Even my beer laughs at his pitiful attempt to sweet talk some strangers out of people food.

They also have a pretty sweet beer garden out back.  When the boys got tired of being inside Amanda and I took our beers out there to get some fresh air.  Dex didn’t seem to like the gravel out there too much, and it was pretty funny to watch him daintily pick his way across the flagstones.  Ernie, however, didn’t seem to mind and after scouting the perimeter, laid down in the crunchy gravel and took a nap.

To each his own, I guess.

Are you making fun of me?

Sorry, Dex.

Anyway, the next time you are in Wilmington – check out the Goat and Compass!  They even have a chalkboard up in a corner (which used to be where you could play Wii until someone broke it *sigh*) where you can buy a beer for an absent friend and leave them a note.  I’ve left one for you!

(No plans to come to NC?  Not into beer?  Then check out this post for a chance to win something even cooler.)

Badminton – not for the faint of heart

(Psst – have you heard I’m trying to give some Rachel Ray cookware?  No?  Well check out this post for the deets, man.  You know, details?  Get with the times, Grandma!)

So.  Wednesday.  You know how your mom always told you that if you didn’t have anything nice to say, then not to say anything at all?

Nothing against you personally, Wednesday.  I enjoy a hump day as much as the next girl, but honestly I’m just marking time until Friday.  Not only is it a payday (whammy!) but it is a holiday weekend (double whammy!) and I am heading to my aunt’s house in Richmond, VA to meet up with my mom and her siblings for our annual mini-reunion (ding ding ding JACKPOT!).

It’ll be a haze of swimming and badminton and a frozen drink my Aunt Lisa simply calls a concoction; the recipe varies from year to year and from bartender to bartender, but it’s basically some kind of frozen fruit + alcohol + juice (ratios vary dependent upon the bartender, and tend to skew heavy on the vodka as the day goes on).  Enjoy at your own risk, or you may end up spilling details of your life to your uncle that, upon reflection, you’d rather you’d kept to yourself.  Or taking a game of Wii bowling way too seriously.  As in, weighing the satisfaction of launching the Wii remote into the tv versus the cost of having to replace said tv.

Ultimately, you will come down on the side of not putting a hole in the tv, but it will be close.

And don’t even get me started on badminton…

I love my family, but we are neither good winners nor good losers.  I think we’ve had to replace the set every year due to raquet, um, fatigue.  Maybe they aren’t designed to last for more than a year, or maybe it’s that they aren’t rated to withstand being pounded against the ground in frustration after every botched serve.  You might not consider a shuttlecock a lethal weapon, but then again, you have never met my uncles’ murderous cross-court gaze.

So yes.  I’m phoning it in this week – I’m busy working on my game face.

P.S. Giveaway runs through the weekend!

Is it your birthday?

The good folks at CSN stores have contacted me about offering a give away for you!  How awesome is that?  They’ve got over 200 stores and sell everything from tv stands to killer whale costumes for dogs.

Oh, it isn’t your birthday?

Well, it’s not mine, either, but someone is getting a present.

So I’ve spent the past couple of days pouring over CSN’s 200+ stores to find something amazing to share with you guys.  But I’m not so good with choice.  In fact, on one memorable occasion my friend Ash and I drove around for 50 minutes trying to decide on a restaurant (we ended up decided we must not be very hungry, then went home where I ate fistfuls of Crispix straight from the box.  Hello, my name is Sarah and I have a problem).

But then.  THEN.  I came across these.

Rachel Ray’s “Bubble and Brown” 2-Piece Stoneware Baker Set.

I don’t care who you are or how you feel about Rachel Ray, these things are awesome.  I have been coveting them for months now, and I’m semi-jealous that it is you, not me, that will be giving them a home.

And guys?  Don’t think I’m not looking out for you.  Throw a block of Velveeta and a can of Hormel chili in one of these bad boys, microwave for a few minutes, stir, and serve with some tortilla chips.  If you can throw together an awesome casserole and serve it up in an even more awesome dish – double plus bonus points.  Trust me.

So here’s the deal – you can earn an entry in each of the following ways:

-Subscribe to the blog (see the top of the column to the right) and leave me a comment telling me so
-Spread the word on your blog
-Tweet about the giveaway
(if you spread the word via your blog or twitter, leave me a comment or send me an email to let me know)
-Just plain ol’ leave a comment

That’s it.  Sounds pretty easy, huh?  So get on it.  I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, June 2.  Good luck!

P.S. Contest open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

P.P.S. If you want/need a recipe for my mom’s famous Corn Casserole, hit me up at badmuthafudrucker@gmail.com

Hey, that reminds me…

…so Allie at Hyperbole and a Half posted about sneaky rage cycles recently, and I immediately had a flashback to a recent event.  This was me:

*slightly torn, but nonetheless clean

The first sign of trouble –

Weird.

It appears that the elastic in the mattress pad has melted in the dryer.  I have never, in 28 years of life, heard of this problem.  Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock.  Yet I am still not ready to admit defeat.  I try changing positions; using the bed/wall/anything for leverage.
Ok, this isn’t working.  I’m breaking into a sweat.  The animals have fled to the backyard as I grasp the crinkly, decidedly non-elastic, mattress pad in my teeth in a desperate attempt to bend the universe to my will.

OK, ok.  Calm down.  Breathe in, breathe out.

Oh no, you didn’t.
Finally – VICTORY!

Kinda.

Sleep karate chopping?

I’ve never been much of a sleep walker.  More of a sleep talker, which I guess can get pretty creepy, too.  One of my best friends and former roommate used to get really freaked out when I’d sit up in the middle of the night and ask for a hairbrush.

“I thought you were possessed by the devil,” she’d say.

Um, sorry Deb.

My sister Elizabeth used to sleep walk and talk, as I remember.  When we were moved from Hawai’i to Virginia, we road-tripped it from coast to coast.  Each night when we’d stop at a motel, our parents would get two rooms – one for them, and one for us kids.  One night, Beth jumped out from under the covers and onto the foot of the bed.  She crouched down in perfect surfer form, arms outstretched, and sang a quick rendition of “Wipe Out” (think Animal from the Muppets).  Then she sorta woke up, looked around, and started crying.

I’m pretty sure my other two sisters and I got in trouble for upsetting her.  Although I have to say that she was about 6 at the time, and I’m sure we were pointing and laughing.

But anyway, I’m beginning to suspect that lately I’ve taken my sleep activities to a whole new level, and the saddest part is that I may have involved little Ernie in these night-time shenanigans.

Sunday evening, while enjoying a delicious gyro with friends at the Greek Fest (where I saw an honest-to-goodness young Michael Bolton – more about this later), I notice a thumb-sized bruise on each of my upper arms.

Huh, I wondered.  I don’t remember getting manhandled this weekend.

Monday morning, poor baby Ernie is moping around the house.  As his usual morning routine includes waking me up around 6:00 with a sneeze to the face, followed by pacing around the house and zooming around the backyard, I suspected something was up.  I checked each of his feet for cuts or burrs, then palpated his abdomen to check for swelling or hardness.  Nothing.

Then I started manipulating his hips, and he started whimpering.  I guess you have to know Ernie to know that this is a big deal.  He’ll cry and get all excited when he sees someone he loves (read: anyone he’s ever met, even once), but he does not cry out in pain.  Even when he ripped his whole toenail off, he didn’t cry.  The only reason I knew something was up was that he was lick, lick, licking his poor, nail-less foot next to me on the couch.

Anyway, back in the present day.  Ernie was slowly walking around the backyard, head down and ears back.  He wasn’t limping, and he successfully one’d and two’d, so I watched him hobble onto the couch and left for work.

By Wednesday he was fine – verdict: muscle strain.

BUT THEN, on Tuesday morning I found a bruise and a cut on my side.  I’m pretty much convinced that Ernie and I have been drafted as ninja enforcers by an organization so secret even we don’t know about it.  It makes perfect sense, if you think about it:

  • I’ve been going to the gym, transforming myself into a lean, mean, fighting machine.  If you could see these biceps, you’d be intimidated.  Trust me.
  • Ernie is very strong and agile, and can be pretty stealthy when he wants to (Dexter…strong, but gets failing grades in agility and stealth).
  • Warm weather + poverty = no AC.  But I do have my bedroom window open to get some air flow at night.  I think it is through this window that They initially made contact.  I also think this is my ninja exit/entrance, as my keys remain where my waking mind left them (plus, ninjas do not have pockets, and jingling keys ≠ stealth).

As further evidence, I present to you the fact that I’ve woken up at 2:50am for the past 4 nights, and haven’t been able to get back to sleep.

I’m pretty sure it’s the adrenaline rush that comes from battling crime in hand-to-hand combat.

Help around the house

Helpful boys!
Bad Mutha Fudruckers, reporting for duty.  How may we be of service today, ma’am?
(They are actually begging for goldfish crackers, but hey – I’ll take what I can get.)

There is something about water from the hose that Ernie LOVES, even if the water has been sitting in the hose all day and is warm enough to cook pasta with.  He follows me around the garden in the morning, sampling the flow to ensure optimum growing conditions.

Ernie waters the mint
Mint?  Check.

Ernie waters the strawberries.
Strawberries? Check.

Beans?

Beans?

Cucumbers?
Cucumbers? Check and double check.

Dexter, on the other hand, is really into the soil sampling.  I mean really into it.  He has taken it upon himself to regularly and throughly dig up aerate the soil to evenly distribute nutrients and encourage healthy root growth.  Unfortunately he also discourages root growth by periodically unearthing recently transplanted seedlings and then resting on the bed of tilled earth and young plants.

Sorry!

Sorry!

So I’ve Dexter-proofed the baby seedlings by surrounding them with bamboo skewers.  So far it seems to be working, although I lost 4 tomatillo seedlings before I figured out a workable solution.

Dexter-proof garden.

Not pretty, but they are safe.  For now.

Things I’ve learned from LOST

I’m know I’m late to the party, but thanks to Netflix I am 6 episodes deep into the 3rd season of LOST.  I’ve previously shared how Full House burned for all eternity the correct spelling of “congratulations” into my brain, so today I’ve like to share what I’ve learned from LOST (so far).

Lost: Lesson 1

1. iteration, definition of: I don’t know if I’ve ever before read or heard the word “iteration” before the episode where Sayid and the gang first hear Rousseau’s mayday message.  I’ve heard reiterate, but never iteration.


Compression Syndrome

2. compartment syndrome, treatment of : You gotta cut. that. limb. off.  Or die. (see also Carlyle, Boone)


Arzt

3. dynamite, instability of:  Thanks, Dr. Arzt.  Sorry about…well, you know.  Blowing up.

Polar bears are smart

4. bears, polar: They “are, like, the Einsteins of the bear community.”  According to the BBC, anyway.

It’s handiCAPABLE, thank you very much.

Me in the shower

It’s gonna be a short one today, folks, because my arms feel like two wet noodles stapled to my shoulders.  Yes, stapled.  My gym is offering an 8 week “bootcamp” and after completing day two…well, raising my arms above my head takes a herculean effort.  Washing my hair this morning was a chore, although I have not yet resorted to squirting shampoo on the shower wall and rubbing my head against it to work up a lather.  We’ll see how next week goes.

And now for exciting news – k8, you are the winner of the NobleWorks $25 giveaway!  You should be receiving your credit code by email soon.  Thanks to everyone for playing, and enjoy the weekend.

In which I DANCE!

First of all – I’ve had a lot of traffic over the past week land on this post.  I have no idea why, unless there is an epidemic of insecure mothers desperate to discover that they are not alone.  Honestly, I’m baffled.  But hey – stick around, folks!  I hope you like what you see.

Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, on to more important things.

DANCE!

Specifically, me dancing.  Normally, I am not much of a dancer.  I will rock the heck out of some karaoke, but me + dance floor usually equals flailing arms and an all-around lack of coordination epic in scale.  But I harbor a not-so-secret wish to be part of a choreographed dance.  When I was younger, my sister and I would tape and watch our favorite Backstreet Boys videos and try to learn the dances.

Oh, the shame.

For a more recent example, after watching Slumdog Millionaire all I wanted to do was rewind the end credit dance and keep watching it until I had learned the whole routine.  The friend I watched it with wanted to watch the scene where the kid jumps into the poop pile.  To each his own, I guess (although I’m pretty sure my friend didn’t want to actually reenact his favorite scene.  Well, pretty sure).

Which brings me to the present day, in which I have joined a small boxing gym run by the city.  I don’t do any actual boxing, though.  It is a pretty small space, but it has lots of machines and equipment, and it is very close to my house.  Like, so close that I can see it from my front porch.  Also it is cheap – $50 for a year.

However the BEST part about the gym is that on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights there is a cardio class that is 60% traditional cardio, and 40% “hip hop” line dances.

Yes, it is awesome.

The first time I attended the class, we started out sweating to a Michael Jackson mash-up and I could not stop smiling.  Me and a room full of middle-aged ladies, sweating up a storm and rocking out to PYT.  It was amazing.  Then it was dancing time.

There was a hell of a learning curve – I looked like a drunk chicken trying to step-kick-and-cross, step-kick-then-turn along with those women.  But after a couple of weeks I finally caught on and was rocking out to R. Kelly with the best of’em.

Things I love about our class:

  • the DANCING

Things I do not love about our class:

  • Stony Baloney*

She usually wears a hat, which I couldn’t draw, and has freckles, which I forgot to draw.
Forgive me, Stony Baloney, for this less-that-accurate portrait.

There is a lady in the class whom Julie has nicknamed Stony Baloney.  Stony Baloney is a tiny, older lady with long hair who wears tiny, tiny, Keds to class and totally looks stoned all of the time.  She is kind of a crabby stoner, though.  She knows all of the dances and is not afraid to tell you to move to the back of the room when we are learning a new dance because, “I already know this one.”  Although she is not as grandiose in her movements as me some of the class, she nevertheless requires a LOT of personal dance space.  If a routine calls for three big steps up and you happen to be standing behind her, well, you’re just going to have go around.  Those tiny, tiny, Keds take tiny, tiny, steps.  I don’t know what would happen if I bumped into Stony Baloney by accident, but I don’t think it would be good.

*P.S. I know “bologna” is the correct spelling, but I like “baloney” better.  It at least looks like it would rhyme with “stony.”