Monday, March 31, 2008

New Look

Spent a few hours today updating the "look" of Agoraphobia and Bookish. Have been wanting to do that for a while and turns out it wasn't difficult at all. I used these two guides to help. Let me know what you think!

And here's a little blast from the past to show you how much things have changed! That's my sister, me, Mac the cat, and my bro. How about those leg warmers, right?!? Check out the new Top Five, too!

Winter Luau

Even as snow still lay on the ground we had our Winter Luau. I thought it went off marvelously, despite the fact that M had a little cold and that we incurred the wrath of karma by jacking up the heat to 83 degrees during Earth Hour. (I felt really bad about that.) Ironically, our coat rack fell right out of the wall due to the weight of everyone's winter coats. Isn't that funny? We served Mai Tais and Miehanas and went crazy decorating with paper umbrellas and garnishes.We dragged the patio umbrella into the dining room to create a make-shift lanai.
Me and my galfriends in our finest faux-flowers...

Saturday, March 29, 2008


There's this television show called Top This Party (or maybe Top That Party) where ridiculous people throw ridiculous parties with the help of semi-witless party planners. At the beginning of each show, the party planner asks the host how much they're willing to spend on the party, and they usually lean back, and with a great show of braggadocio, say, "I don't think we could do it for less than ten." They mean, of course, ten THOUSAND dollars, otherwise a rather large percentage of say, my total educational cost. And in each show, there's some ridiculous element, like a giant snake or an entrance by helicopter that almost doesn't happen because of the witlessness of the party planner, and the host goes totally ape shit and claims that the whole party will be ruined if it doesn't work out.

This is all background information.

Tonight we're having a Luau, and the ridiculous element is a stuffed pig on a spit, without which, I'm pretty sure, the whole party would be completely ruined. I enlisted my friend C, Master Thrift Store Shopper, to assist me in finding a stuffed pig. She asked me, "How much are you willing to spend?" I leaned back in my chair and said, "I'm willing to go as high as three." She knew what I meant.

Certain people (like a certain husband) said it couldn't (or was that "shouldn't"?) be done. But I think it looks pretty awesome. Top That!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Today I listened to a really great This American Life called Testosterone. TAL is simply a MUST-HAVE 'cast for your 'pod, yo. There's a bit where they interview a dude who used to be a woman and got massive doses of testosterone, and then everyone on the show had their levels tested and were shocked by the results. It's so interesting how people perceive the relationship between testosterone and manliness. Of course, I think gender is merely a construct, but I still found the show crazy interesting.

Watched the How I Met Your Mother with Britney. There seems to be a bit of buzz about how she didn't suck. I thought she was as good as any high school theatre actor. Apparently the national bar is very low, Britney! And why can't Alyson Hannigan just be Willow?

In American Idol News, I really dug Jason Castro's Fragile, and I really liked WhatshisName Cook's Billy Jean (I almost know their names now!) Ugh, how about Dingaling singing I'm Proud to Be An American... uh... what? Let that be a lesson to all of us - if you're a no-talent singer on a national show and about to be kicked off, just pull out a jingoistic song about freedom and ask them to put a humongous American flag behind you for the whole thing.

Seriously, does anyone know how they choose the songs and make the arrangements? Surely these kids don't do it all by themselves in a week, right? You know what drives me absolutely bats? How those girls in the front wave their arms back and forth. If two of them are on the same beat, may I be struck by lightening right now... (still here.) They look like a bunch of dang sea monkeys.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I JUST want to have fun

I went to see my beloved hairstylist, Brad, and finally got the blonde hair I've been wanting.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

My sister and I saw Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day in LA. I love watching movies in California, everyone just seems to take them so much more seriously there. Also, I like clapping when the movie's over. At the theatre we went to, they had costumes from the show on mannequins in the lobby. Somehow that greatly increased my film-watching pleasure. It's a pre-war story, so the costumes are absolutely gorgeous constructed pieces - fabulous hats and amazing art nouveau sets.

Like an old fashioned comedy of manners, Miss Pettigrew Lives for Day is the story of penniless Miss Pettigrew (Francis McDormand), a disapproving, uptight, daughter-of-a-minister who, if she wants to eat, must work as the social secretary of an aspiring actress with more relaxed morals, Delysia Lafosse (the very charming Amy Adams). Miss Pettigrew finds herself shaking her own convictions to help Delysia juggle her boyfriends while Delysia works to make Miss Pettigrew more presentable, thus transforming her from the dowdy, unkempt matron to a well-coiffed companion.

All of that would have added up to a bit of fluff if the movie didn't take place on the dawn of WWII. The older, (British) characters look on with dread of anticipation while the younger ones are merely caught up in the excitement and naivety of impending war time. I'd recommend it to just about anyone, especially if you like a good costume.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Look at this little rabbit!We're off to the baptism of nephew #2 this weekend. Peace!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Home Again

I've returned, tanned, after a relaxing and restorative vacation with my sister and nephew in California. I had a great time, but I'm happy to be home again with a certain husband and a certain cat.

Here's how hard Milo cried when he found out I was leaving:

Monday, March 17, 2008


What a whirlwind of holidays - first it was Pi Day (3.1415927) on 3/14 (M. and his coworkers celebrated with a piece of pie at 1:59 last year), then the Ides of March, now St. Patrick's Day, which is something of a ridiculous holiday in Chicago. It's not unusual for people to take off the day after St. Patty's Day, anticipating a serious hangover. St. Patty's always sneaks up on me, but old school Chicagoans anticipate it like Christmas.

Yesterday we went to the Kara Walker Retrospective at the Hammer Museum - great show.

This morning Milo seemed really interested in my coffee, so I held it so he could investigate. He stuck his hand in and then licked his hand (it was lukewarm) - then he did it like 20 times while I giggled myself silly and C. watched in horror. I said, "Did you ever see anything like it?!?" and she said, "No, I never saw a grown person give a small child coffee."

We're all off the airport tomorrow - I'm back to the Icelandic Hinterland and C & M are going to Florida. I'd better go get in some more sunshine time before I leave.

Oh, there's a fun Top Five up, go check it out!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The days continue in a sunny, warm blur of a sweet young nephew and the (requisite) afternoon cocktail. C and I amuse ourselves with American Idol - was sad to see whathisname go last night, but mostly just because he looks like the type of guy I would have liked to make out with in college.

Oh, here's a funny story - my brother and my dad's birthdays were this past Monday (Happy Birthday!) - I told my dad on the phone that M and I had gotten him tickets to see the Cubs soon. So, he asks me, "Do you know who they're playing?" and I say, "Yeah, the Patriots."
He says, "How about the Padres?" and I say, "Maybe. I think it starts with a 'P'."
He says, "Well, honey, the Patriots are a football team."

Turns out it's the Pirates, Daddy-o! Hope that'll be fun.

Monday, March 10, 2008

And then I got pooped on

It took a little time for a certain nephew to warm up to me (and, just possibly, vice-versa). I have a dry wit that not all tiny people appreciate. Only mommy's hug, it seemed, was one that would cease, say, a peeling screech that melted the brain. Finally, this weekend, Auntie K was trusted enough by the youngster to be held not just when he was half asleep. Lo, did I find myself holding the baby for about an hour at 5AM so my poor sister could get a little sleep. It was both incredibly sweet and mildly disgusting to feel his little mittens touching my arm as he deposited a puddle of drool down my cleavage.

Speaking of disgusting, yesterday we were sitting together - he was wearing a diaper and a "one-sie" - and when I picked him up, he'd pooped on my pant-leg.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Well, the big news is that a certain nephew took his FIRST STEPS last night! My sister was darned excited and so was I when I realized what was going on. He took about three steps to C. out on the patio, then he did it again inside about half and hour later, then a bit later he took approximately five steps. We should try to catch it on film since the old man's out of town... But, if you want to picture it in your mind, it looks something like a miniature King Kong lurching toward his mother.

My visit to the poolside resulted in an early-March sunburn. Not to bad but I'm a little pink, my skin having been completely deprived of sun for lo, these many months. I think I'm going to head out and get a nice California burrito for lunch.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I enjoyed another morning on the patio that was heavenly hot. Ah, I think it's only 70ish, but compared to Chicago, it's tropical. Last night my sister had a book club meeting (I wrote about it on my book blog). I'm totally starting a book club when I get home!

C. and I watched the boys sing on American Idol. I like watching that show, but I wish the judges were better. Simon is the only one with any thing to really say, the other two never offer anything constructive. They should get some music people that really know what they're talking about. Like, on Project Runway, who could be more brilliant than MOB Michael Kors and Nina Garcia? (I can't wait to hear what Victoria Beckham has to say - don't tell me who won, we haven't watched the finale yet!!!!) And, Tyra's a complete lunatic, but at least she, Nigel, Miss J, and now Paulina Bitchzkova have expert and inspired things to say about (of all things) modeling.

Well, the poolside is calling my name - I'm off!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

When the going gets tough...

Chicago seems to just be getting colder and colder. February finally took me out in the end, I got a bad cold and we even had to cancel our Winter Luau. There comes a time when a girl must face facts, pack her bags, kiss her beloved husband goodbye, and jump on a plane for warmer climes.

Lo, did I find myself sitting on a patio, in the sun, with my coffee. No flannel-lined pants, no sweater, no coat, no fur-lined hat, no socks, no boots, no gloves, no scarves.

My sister's place has changed a lot since the last time I was here P.B. (pre-baby). Their once clutter-free house now has a various pile of toys, actual items on the counter tops, and there's a child-shaped monkey permanently attached to her leg. That's not the only change. Murphy tried to romance me in the bed last night - C. shouted "That's not how we show affection in this house!" Ah, we're peas in a pod. When dogs at the shelter I used to volunteer at misbehaved, I would yell, "That is NOT APPROPRIATE!"

In other news, thrilled that HC rocked it in Texas and Ohio! Yeah!