Friday, May 28, 2010

Agenda for Louisville

I am writing to you from the future! Creepy, I know! Oh, and no...I didn't magically get my hands on a kick-ass DeLorean and I unfortunately don't know Michael J. Fox and I don't have awesomely crazy-insane white hair like this (I wish!). But, by the time you read this (if anyone reads this) I will be on my way to Louisville with Antoine! And to make you super jealous of my four full days off from work (both of them) I'm going to give you a sneak peek into our plans for the weekend. About a week ago Antoine turned to me and said, "Are you going to make a schedule for us for Louisville?" I replied, "Do you want me to?" And surprisingly enough he said, "Yes please!" Sometimes I wonder how I was lucky enough to meet someone who loves the anal-retentive lists I make!?

Anway, without further ado...our agenda for Louisville:


See you on Monday or Tuesday! Happy Memorial weekend everybody!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Evils of Target

Every time I walk into Target I am like a moth to flame. Even if I'm only there for one thing, let's say bottled water, I can't help but be drawn towards the women's clothing section. Even if I'm trying to make a conscious effort to avoid women's clothing I will spot something, in the corner of my eye and..."Ooooooo!" And I'm gone! Ask Antoine! He'll tell you! Or my old roommate and best friend Amanda! (Who, occasionally, has that affliction as well!) It's almost as if they pump some sort of meth-like substance (that only affects women) into the air as you're entering the store...then as you get closer and closer to the women's clothing section the air becomes more and more concentrated with this euphoria-inducing drug until you're brain equates this feeling of extreme happiness with the clothes on the racks! BOOM! You're hooked! You can't leave! Any attempts by a male to lure you out of this soft, colorful, drug-filled den are fruitless and met with pure aggression! I really think we should look into this folks! What Target is doing cannot be legal! I think a citizen's arrest is in order!

Case in point: Tuesday Antoine and I went into Target for two things: bottled water and a shaker to put powdered sugar in. But as soon as we walked in the door I made a b-line for women's clothing after spotting an interesting cobalt blue top (which later I tried on and looked horrible on me). Next thing you know, I'm holding 6 tops in one hand while perusing through clearance racks with the other. In the end I think I tried on maybe 15 tops, give or take! Poor Antoine! He stood by the cart while I was trying on tops and occasionally I'd call out "Psst" from the dressing room so he could evaluate whether that specific top was a thumbs up or a thumbs down. To my credit, I consider myself a very quick changer! Generally I can take 25% more clothing into a fitting room than the other woman I'm with (whether it's my sis, my mom or Amanda) and I'll still finish before her! If changing clothes were like gun-slinging I'd be the most feared outlaw in the West!

Anywho...I was able to evade Target with only two tops in tow! Impressive, considering the amount I had tried on! I ended up buying this cute purple floral flowy cami and this really cool grey sleeveless top with this interesting cut-out thingy going on at the neckline! I was pretty pleased with my might even say ecstatic! Antoine will attest that I was practically jumping up and down, mainly because I wanted to try the grey top on but they didn't have one in my size, but then as we were leaving the clothing area, there one was...on the wrong rack! It was like fate! I tried it on and it fit perfectly! So naturally, I was giddy! And without a doubt, I will be packing both shirts for L-ville this weekend (that is, if I ever get a chance to pack)!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Two Year Anniversary

As you may or may not know, yesterday was Antoine's and my two year anniversary. Yes, we're the type of couple that actually celebrates stuff like that. Get over it! Anyway, for this anniversary we decided to take our special day off from both jobs and just spend the day together. A whole day off is a rarity for us, so this was kind of a big deal! In addition, we've got our big anniversary trip to Louisville coming up in just two days, but more on that in a later post. Back to our anniversary. We kept it pretty low cards or crazy gifts or anything, just the two of us spending time together.

To start off the day I made breakfast croissant sandwiches. They were pretty tasty! Then we made our way to the butterfly show. We got discounted tickets through, so instead of $12 for two tickets, it ended up only being $6 for both of us. Last year we went for the first time for my mom's birthday. It was fun. This year was pretty much the same; Krohn Conservatory has a great selection of flowers and there were a ton of butterflies in the exhibit. But man, was it hot in there! Seriously, it was so flippin' hot! I thought I was a curry!! It was so hot I made myself sexist! (Sorry for those of you who don't watch Flight of the Conchords and didn't get that!! Actually, no, I'm not sorry! Because, really, you should know that! There's no excuse!). Anyway, here's some pictures I took at Krohn...

Weird funky cactus thing

I love orchids!

Needless to say, I took a crap ton of orchid pictures...

Antoine caught a butterfly using a fake flower

My favorite butterfly (except for maybe the blue ones that you can never get a picture of)

Butterfly stare-down...

I like him!

After the butterfly show we ran down to Findlay Market for some delicious Dojo gelato! We love Dojo...maybe a little too much! We shared a cup of our favorites: Vietnamese coffee and Sea Salt Caramel! Yum! Then, since we were already downtown, we decided to go to the Cincinnati Public library for the pop-up book exhibit, which was pretty interesting (and free!). Then we walked a block up to Servatii's for a pretzel...and what do ya know, Tuesday is buy-one-pretzel-get-one-free day at Servatii's! Score!

Then it was off to Michael's to pick up a poster frame for our sweet, new Shepard Fairey poster! And what do ya know (again) it was 40% off! We were just having all kinds of luck yesterday! Next we went to Dick's Sporting Goods to get the rest of the stuff we needed for camping, which included a sandwich maker thingy, a stick for roasting hot dogs/marshmellows, a tarp, and two packages of freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches (and as soon as I picked these up, Antoine said to me, "but you can't eat them now, you have to wait till we're camping" [he knows me so well] response was of course, "how about, on our way to camping?"). After that we made our way to the Melting Pot for some deliciously wonderful fondue! For those of you who haven't been...GO NOW! Run! Hurry! It's that tasty!

After Melting Pot we ran to the grocery store to load up on food for this know, the essentials...marshmellows, graham crackers, hersheys bars, hot dogs, etc. Then we spotted (after a little bit of hunting) this Shepard Fairey mural in Oakley (just behind Boca)...

I really like this one! Now Antoine and I really want to go on a Shepard Fairey hunt and try to see every S.F. mural around the city! Don't be surprised if you see a post like that in the future! We're both pretty intrigued by him and his murals right now, plus we want to see the other ones before anymore idiots go and cover them up! Anyway, after our mural-spotting it was off to Target for a "quick stop" for bottled water. An hour or so later we emerged...but more on that later!

So, that was our fun-filled anniversary day of adventure. But after all that running around, I think I need another day of just cuddling and relaxing in my pjs watching Friends! Alas, it's back to work for me! I've got two days of hell ahead (i.e. working back to back at both jobs; i.e. very little time to see Antoine, pack, or sleep) then it's off to Louisville for us!

Monday, May 24, 2010

3 days of Hell...Then a Weekend of Fun!

This week is going to be a mixture of chaos and fun for me. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday will be back to back days at the library and sbux for me. Not fun at all!! But then Tuesday I have the whole day off! Yes, you heard me right...THE WHOLE DAY!! No library! No Sbux! Just me and Antoine enjoying each others company! It is our anniversary after all, that's what you're supposed to do! We also need to go get the last bits and pieces for our camping trip this weekend. And we might go pick up a frame for the sweet Shepard Fairey poster that my sis and bro-in-law got for us this past Saturday at the Event. While I was slaving away at Sbux, those lucky ducks were hob-nobbing it with Mr. Fairey and a hoard of his fans! That's cool though, I'm glad they enjoyed themselves AND they got Antoine and I a poster...
...signed by Fairey himself! How freakin' cool is that!? Answer: super freakin' cool!

Also, for our anniversary Antoine and I might run down to Krohn Conservatory for the butterfly show. If I snap any good pictures I'll make sure I share them on here. We're also planning to go to the Melting Pot for dinner. The Melting Pot, besides being oh so delicious, holds a special place in our hearts considering two years ago tomorrow we had our very first date there! Awe!

Then after two more days of back-to-back hell I'm finally free!! Off we go to Louisville for three full days! Camping. Bourbon. Art. Bourbon. Pancakes. Bourbon. And Antoine! What's not to love!? I can't wait, I'm so excited!! I just hope it doesn't rain! So far, the forecast for Louisville looks pretty fingers crossed everybody! Think happy thoughts for us!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Think the Universe is Mocking Me...

So, a couple weeks ago one of the other closing girls, Sarah, at Sbux asked if we could switch shifts for this Saturday. I was scheduled to work pre-close (i.e. 1-9pm) and she was supposed to close (4-12:30am). Sure, what did I care!? I didn't have anything going on and actually it worked out better for me since Antoine was closing at his pt job as well that night! So we made the switch...

Fast forward to Wednesday (5/19). I get this strange email from some person from the Enquirer saying "Congratulations" and something about winning tickets to this "Event". Huh? What? I was so confused. First of all, contrary to what it said in the email I hadn't "registered" to win anything on Metromix or the Enquirer in the last 6 months or more! Secondly, what the heck was this "Event"?? Was this spam? But, my spam folder is pretty good at catching stuff! It looked fairly legit though. And in the email, the person mentioned that they had sent the tickets to me along with some additional information and to expect it shortly. Hmmm...

Perplexed, I decided to ignore this very random email and go about my business. Fast forward again for yesterday...I get home from work and find an envelope from the Enquirer person in our mailbox. Inside, I found another letter congratulating me on winning the tickets. Still confused, I focused my attention on the other piece of paper in the envelope...the one that explained "the Event". As I read the description of the event my jaw dropped further and further down to the ground. This "Event" was only the biggest event of the season and these tickets I had so mysteriously won were for early entrance into CAC's Shepard Fairey Event this Saturday (yes, that's right...THIS Saturday)!
These tickets, which went for $35 a pop, got you into the Event at 8pm when Shepard Fairey (aka the guy who created the Obama "Hope" poster)...
...would be signing autographs. Then at 9pm, the tickets allowed you to enjoy an exclusive DJ set by Shepard Fairey himself. All the while you're able to enjoy his exhibit at CAC, as well as a couple other exhibits going on.

I have never been more excited and let down at the same time! See, I don't win things...EVER! So winning something like this, when I didn't even register for it, is a big deal. But then, of course, the universe seems to need to keep things in check...while I won these awesome tickets to this Event I so desperately want to go to...I can't use them. You see, when Sarah asked me to switch shifts with her for Saturday, she was asking because she had tickets to the Event. And when she asked me she had already exhausted all her other options. This means, there is no one in the store that could/would cover me! And unfortunately, due to a ridiculous new policy, calling another store and getting someone outside our store to cover my shift would be out of the question, because then I wouldn't have 18hours this week. Stupid, I know! So here I am, with two free tickets to possibly one of the coolest events of the summer and I can't go! Do you see now why I think the universe is mocking me??

Well, at least it's Friday, right?

Oh, and here's some delighfully fabulous 80's music for you to enjoy on this fair Friday...inspired by the universe's attempt to bring me down! are a cruel, cruel mistress...but you gotta love those dance moves...I mean, come on!

P.S. The tickets have a new owner by the name of Mr. Boyles (aka my bro-in-law). Glad they'll get used/enjoyed!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Houston, I Think Jessica is Insane!

I know, I're saying to yourself, "but I already knew you were insane". Well, here's another aspect of my craziness that you might not be aware of. You may or may not know about my irrational fear of squirrels, my devotion/obsession with Twizzlers (aka "heavenly strawberry deliciousness"), or how I get wigged out every time I see the toilet lid up...not the toilet SEAT, the toilet LID! I know, I'm nuts, I'll admit it. Well, here's another justification for, I don't think it's an actual least, when I did a Google search nothing came up. But still, it's real to me! Hmm, maybe it's a disease rather than a phobia? ****Google search**** Nope, nothing! Oh well.

So, here's the scoop. I regularly, maybe one every week, think I have a flat tire. I'll be driving along and I swear I'll hear/feel that thump of a flat tire until I'm 99.99% sure that I have one. So I pull over, get out of my car and walk around it, inspecting each and every tire....NOTHING! Now, I've had about 5 or 6 flat tires in the 10 years I've been driving, actually only in the last 6 or so, but here's the strange thing...each time I've actually had a flat tire, I didn't know about it until it was 100% flat and I was at risk of really damaging my car! We're talking LOUD BANGING NOISE and CAR CONVULSIONS!

Need proof? Here:
The flat tire I got at the beginning of March. This was making such a horrible noise that I thought my car might explode.

You'd think after 5 or 6 flat tires that'd have a sense of what one feels like...but no! This morning as I was pulling into the parking garage at work I yet again thought I had a flat tire. And like each and every false alarm I've had before, while I was driving I was certain, without a doubt in my mind, that I had a flat tire. very very wrong!!! I fail! But at least these moments of panic never pan out, because it's never fun to change a tire then walk that tightrope of whether or not the flat was bad enough to warrant a brand new tire or just a patching.

Anyway, that is all! I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Times They Are a Changin'

That they are Bob Dylan, that they are...

As you may know, lately I've been feeling a bit discontented. At first I thought it was a variety of things all going wrong at once, but now I realize that that is not true. You see, I know I have amazing people in my life who love me and who I'm lucky enough to get to love in return. I've got an amazing house, a great day job that I love and the most wonderful boyfriend a girl could ever ask for! No, these aren't my fact, they are the only things keeping me sane half the time. I believe my distress lately has been caused by one thing and one thing part time job. Now, in a perfect world devoid of expensive college tuitions and student loan payments I could just quit this second job. I mean, let's face it, if those horrible things didn't exist in the first place then people like myself wouldn't need a second job. In fact, they'd only need one full time job to live comfortably. But, in case you haven't noticed, we do not live in a perfect world. Ce la vie.

So, what to do? Well, for the last couple months I've been doing the only thing I could think of...ignoring it! For the last 3 or 4 months I've been suppressing my growing distaste for my second job...the double standards, the emphasis on the unimportant, and de-emphasis on hard work and effort. With each day I've felt more and more under appreciated, and I know I'm not the only one! Going into work has become a blind jump into an array of emotions, from dread to anger, from sadness to exhaustion...and pretty much everything in between. It wasn't always like this, when I started there I loved it. It was fun, in its own way. Sure I had to do dishes and scrub toilets, but the people were great and I got to make drinks. Now it's become a political bitchfest of rules and regulations that seem to get more stringent by the day, yet they only apply to some people. And instead of happy or content, I'm starting to feel used. And that's no good!

What's the solution? Hmm, that's a tricky one. So far, all I can think of is get a new part time job. So, I've started the process of updating my resume and trying to find a part time job that won't make me so miserable. We'll see how it goes! Please, send happy thoughts my way! And trust me, I'll return the favor!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Long Weekend, But Much To Look Forward To...

Well, I haven't had a day off since Sunday, last Sunday (as in May 9th)! And my next day off won't be until this coming Sunday (as in May 23rd)! Even though I'm a little groggy right now I really don't care, because next Tuesday is my two year anniversary with Antoine! So, naturally I took the whole day off from both jobs! We have a special dinner planned and a lazy day together! Maybe a trip to the butterfly show? Then that Friday we're leaving for our camping trip to Louisville! Yay! I can't wait! So far we've had two restaurant recommendations from friends...

Lynn's Paradise Cafe (which I'm thinking about for brunch/lunch one day! Mmmm!)

Proof on Main (although I'd love to go here for dinner, I'm thinking we'll probably have to go for breakfast or lunch since it's so pricey!)

Any other recommendations for restaurants or attractions in Louisville? We'll be there for 3 days!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Feeling Low...

As of late I've been a little down. The cause? A combination of a lot of, weight gain, the nasty weather, quarrels with certain peoples, work, money, sickness, work, money, work, work, work. Sometimes, no matter how much you try, it's just unavoidable to get into a little bit of a funk. And I'll admit it...I'm a wallower. A quiet wallower, but a wallower nonetheless! What do I mean by quiet wallower? Well, I'm not one to openly share what's bothering me. Maybe with Antoine...maybe. Sure I'll vent some of my frustrations, sometimes, but if I'm in pain, you don't know about it...if I'm starting to despise my part time job, it mostly goes undetected...if I feel like a big old blob, I eat another cookie...

Healthy, I know! So, why am I telling all this to you, the random people who read my blog, you very few souls? Hmm, well, I'm not 100% sure! Maybe because I've felt a little disconnected lately! With myself and with the people around me, even those people that are supposed to be so close to me! Part of that disconnect I'm experiencing at my job (mainly the second one...sbux). I feel like I'm different from everyone else I don't belong. And I don't just mean in the capacity that this is my second job, while it's many people's first and only. No, it's something I don't fit in. Which has always been a problem for me, and I guess it always will be.

Also, I guess I want to say that this blog, while a great outlet for me, has been part of the reason I've been a little bummed. I know I'm not the most interesting person in the world, but when I started this whole thing I have to admit I kind of hoped for more than 4 followers (one of which is Antoine, who I practically forced into becoming my follower!). I'm sure everyone thinks that though. There's probably a point in everyone's blogging when they send their feelings of loneliness and isolation out into the deep void of the internets, hoping for more! And I guess it's not so much the answer that you get or the followers who subscribe that matter the most, it's your personal commitment to your blog, for you and only you! So, that's what I'm going to do. Who cares if only a handful of people read this, if I can get any sort of relief or comfort from sharing myself here...then great!

In other news, I bought 9 pairs of earrings yesterday for only $13!! I'm so psyched...probably more psyched than a person should be about earrings! But who cares!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Checking Off #16 On My Life List

As you may or may not know...I have a life list (you can find it via this hyperlink or at the "Life List" tab just below the Clusterf#@k header). It's a list of things I want to do in my lifetime. It's something that's kind of corny and slightly Lifetime- (the television channel for women)-ish, but oh well. Anyway, if you scroll down to numero 16 (sorry, it's been a while since I took Spanish) you will see "Make a cheesecake from scratch...delicious cheesecake that makes your mouth water just thinking about it". I know, this seems like a simple enough task...people make cheesecake all the time, right!? Well, making a cheesecake from scratch is something I've always wanted to do, but it's one of those things that I've built up in my mind to be more difficult and daunting than it actually is. I mean, really, not everyone makes cheesecake from scratch! At least no one I know! My mom never has, and my sister, the baking queen herself, hasn't even made one! So, in my mind, it has always been something of a quandary. Until now!

Since I've been on a cooking kick lately and this week is National Preservation week I figured there was no better time like the present to give it a go. I already had a recipe in mind for this little undertaking. A couple years ago (okay, maybe like 4 or 5) I was watching Tyler's Ultimate on the Food Network (the gist of the show: Tyler Florence discusses a variety of "crowd pleasing classics" and makes his ultimate version of them). The episode I happened to be watching was on cheesecake, which I love! In fact, I'd much rather have cheesecake than any other type of cake. For many of my past birthdays I've actually had cheesecake instead of actual birthday cake, which I'm generally not a fan of, unless we're talking birthday cupcakes! There was something about his recipe for lemon-blueberry cheesecake that immediately made my mouth water and I knew, right then and there, that if I ever made cheesecake from scratch that I'd I'd be trying his recipe. So, here we go...

First of all, I had to buy a spring form pan, because I didn't have one (because why would you have one if you've never made cheesecake). Now, Tyler's recipe calls for an 8 inch pan, but Bed, Bath and Beyond only had one pan and it was a 9 inch...oh, well...that'll do! So, after some grocery shopping and some procrastination yesterday the cooking finally began. First, the crust...
Now, if you watch the video for this recipe you will notice how finely ground Tyler's graham crackers are for his crust, and then you'll notice the coarseness of my graham crackers above. See the difference? That's what you get when you don't own a food processor and you have to crush the graham crackers by hand in a ziploc freezer bag. Works for me! And it didn't affect the taste!

Next, the filling...
A fairly easy task, even without a stand mixer! The batter was pretty simple, just cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, sugar, lemon zest and a dash of vanilla. Let me just say, you can actually taste what the sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla does to the cheesecake! Mmmm...
I resisted the urge to lick these clean! I'm not sure how I did that, but I did! The recipe itself is pretty simple.

Except if you're like me and you keep forgetting things. First, I forgot that I needed a large roasting pan for the water bath, I ended up having to run to my sister's house half way through assembling the cheesecake to borrow a pan. Then, I realized we were out of aluminum foil, so it was off to Bigg's for me, because I didn't want to bug my sister again. Then I accidentally preheated the oven to 350 degrees instead of 325 degrees and didn't realize that until about halfway through cooking it. Ugh! Apparently I was having a very forgetful day, but in the end, things worked out.

So, here we are...the final product! Drum roll please...

Ta da! I think it was a pretty successful endeavor! I would have liked the cheesecake to be a little firmer, but the flavor was great! And the topping was delicious, even though Bigg's attempted to rob me blind on the blueberries! If I ever make this recipe will be during blueberry season!
It was tasty, but was it mouth-watering?? Well, I just had a piece and I practically licked my plate clean! And now I want another piece! So, yeah, I'd say I can confidently cross off number 16 from my life list!!

I ended up taking the cheesecake into work for Preservation week (since that's what I do and we're celebrating all week with goodies and treats). I couldn't resist displaying my little pride and joy in our fancy glass cake pedestal dome thingy! I think my co-workers and our students have been enjoying it so far!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Revisiting Kindness and Karma Week: Part Two (the Love)

So, we've talked about the food of Kindness and Karma week. Now, let's talk about the love...aka spreading the love and kindness to the people around me. This came in several different forms.

First, I made a couple of phone calls to my parents who I hadn't talked to in a while, due to my crazy work schedule/social life and due to other reasons (that would take too long to explain here). That went well and brought a little sliver of happiness to my parents, I think.

Next I made a little something special for Antoine. Nothing too extravagant, just a little homemade card to remind him just why I'm so crazy about him! I think he appreciated it!

The next little bit of kindness involved Antoine and I venturing downtown to cheer on a couple of extra special runners in the Flying Pig, Cincinnati's annual marathon. For months my sis and our friend Helene have been training there butts off (literally) for the Half-Pig (or half marathon). They've participated in other runs/races together, but never a it was a pretty big deal for them. My bro-in-law Christian, on the other hand, is a semi-seasoned pro when it comes to lengthy races and he's no newbie to the Flying Pig. On Sunday, while the ladies were running the half-marathon, Christian was yet again joining the long list of full-marathon runners...and I had to give him props for that, it's a mighty feat to say the least!

For those of you who've never attended the Flying Pig (or any marathon for that matter) here's some little known facts (or little known to me at least) about marathons...

1.) It starts at the butt-crack of dawn. No, wait...before the butt-crack of dawn! We're talking 6:30am...the sun isn't even up yet!
a.) So in order to find parking downtown and find a place to stand (in this case, out of the rain) you need to get there super before 6am! WTF?
b.) They actually expect the runners to RUN that early in the morning!! Can you imagine!? I can barely walk at's really more like a shuffle anytime before 8am (and this is coming from someone who has to be at work by 7:30am five days of the week)!

2.) There's a lot of A LOT! So if you're thinking it'll be a piece of cake to spot your friend/family're wrong! You are so very wrong!! Even if the person you're trying to spot is a very tall, very thin man (we're talking a 6'6" tall bean pole) it won't be easy! Why? Because half of those runners appear to be extremely tall and thin.
a.) It might not be the craziest thing in the world to request that your runner wear some sort of crazy costume! (Hear that Christian!? Next suit!)
b.) When you request that your runner wear a crazy costume...prepare yourself for a slap in the face and/or hysterical laughing.

3.) Don't under estimate a runner's focus! If you're lucky enough to spot your runner...they might not spot you! Even if you're screaming their name and waving your hands around wildly, as if you were on fire! It's a strenuous task running 13+ or 26+ miles...a person needs to focus on so many things: pace, energy, cramps, pain, other runners, breathing, hydration, falling, that crazy person wearing a Tigger costume running past them, etc. Really, the last thing on their mind should be the spectators.

4.) If you've spent all your life watching movies where the underdog/hero wins the race/game/sporting event and everytime you find yourself teary-eyed...a real marathon is no exception! There's something touching about a friend or loved one giving it all they've got and crossing that finish line...or hell, even hitting mile marker 1! [Stop judging me! Oh, come on! Stop laughing at me!]

So, back to this past Sunday. It wasn't the nicest day for runners or spectators. The morning began with thunder and lightning and rain progressed throughout the day. As wet and miserable as Antoine and I got I kept thinking of all those poor runners! We were just standing in the rain, but they had to run it!! I can't even imagine! Still, as soggy as it was it was still a pretty fun day. We made our way downtown, found parking, found a couple of choice spots to watch the marathon, had breakfast at It's Just Crepes, and got to congratulate/celebrate our extra special runner friends/family members! It was good times! I'm so glad we ventured downtown to spread the love! Here's some pics I took from the event and our adventures that Sunday...

Antoine holding Christian's sign at mile marker 1. We made a sign for each of our runner friends, one side said something general like, "Go! Christian! Run!", and the other side said something silly. For Michelle and Helene we made a sign that said "If you ladies finish this race I will buy both of you a milkshake!". Since Christian despises Phil Collins his sign said "Christian! Run like Phil Collins is chasing you!" (complete with two creepy pictures of Phil Collins).

See what I'm saying about the crowd!! We didn't even spot Christian at mile marker 1!

This is my sis (on the left in the green jacket) and our friend Helene (on the right in the white shirt and hat) at mile marker 5ish. This was taken just after they read our milkshake sign! These ladies really like milkshakes...and that's the understatement of the century!!

On our way to It's Just Crepes Antoine and I spotted this Shepard Fairey mural! How freaking awesome is this!?! I love it!!

I think it's so fantastic to be able to see this kind of thing while you're just walking around downtown! We really need more street art like this in Cincinnati!

I'm definitely becoming a big fan of Fairey's! Plus, all his black, white, and red stuff makes me think of Rob Jones, who does all the White Stripes' posters (and who Antoine and I adore and whose posters hang throughout our house!)

Revisiting Kindness and Karma Week: Part One (Food)

So, last week was Kindness and Karma Week...for those who decided to take part in the little experiment. I had briefly mentioned a couple of things I had planned to do in honor of the special week, but overall my plans/actions were pretty vague. Well, consider this my recap (part one at least) of the week...

As far as my cooking adventures, I think they were pretty successful. Tuesday night Antoine and I made dinner together (delicious steak with blue cheese on top). However, my attempt at a new recipe for baked (instead of steamed) broccoli (a la Rachael Ray) was a little less than mouthwatering...but it looked nice...

Wednesday and Thursday night, since Antoine and I were both off from out part time jobs, I wanted to do something nice for him (and for myself) and make dinner. Since I'm on a Pioneer Woman kick lately I tried my hand at a couple more of her recipes. I had one in mind that I'd been wanting to try for a while, Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto Pizza with homemade pizza dough.

It didn't look nearly as good as hers (see above), but it was pretty darned good! Antoine loved it, especially the crust! Now, I've never been one to make pizza dough from scratch...I've always used those packages that you just add water to, let rise and then have pizza dough. But, man, now I know what I was missing! This pizza crust was so easy to make and so delicious! Plus, the recipe, which is as basic as basic can be, makes two portions of dough (handy if you have a large group of people you're feeding or if you love pizza as much as Antoine and I and want a second pizza a couple days after the first!).

For Thursday nights dinner I decided to make PW's Pasta with a Tomato-Blue Cheese Sauce, which she had recently posted and seemed very intriguing to me. I had never had blue cheese with pasta before. It seemed like a strange idea, but one that could potentially be very delicious! Plus, it looked yummy...

And the ingredients were pretty basic. My only qualm with this recipe is that it made WAY TOO MUCH!! The recipe called for a pound and a half of pasta (I used angel hair) time I'd only use a pound (if that)! It yielded way too much for just Antoine and I and we ended up eating it for days! And if I had used less pasta it would have been a little saucier, which would have been nice! But other than that, it was pretty tasty! Not your every-day-run-of-the-mill pasta dish; it was bold and I enjoyed the creaminess of the sauce. I added some fresh basil to the recipe, which was nice.

To serve as a sweet treat after our dinner, Antoine and I got a pint of Dojo gelato Wednesday night! I cannot express just how much I adore Dojo!
They've got the most wonderful flavors (which they update every week on their blog) and I love that they are a local mom-&-pop type establishment! They use fresh, local ingredients and you can taste it in their small batches of homemade gelato! Antoine and I LOVE their Vietnamese coffee and their Sea Salt Caramel. Wednesday we tried the Peanut Butter Stracciatella, which was yummy, but the other two flavors are still our favorites! If you haven't given Dojo a try and you live in the tri-state...get your bottom down to Findlay Market ASAP and get yourself a pint!!! I demand it! Dojo represents what can come from local people thinking outside the box and attempting to bring unique and fresh local food that is 100% Cincinnati to the people! I personally recommend going up to the counter and tying as many flavors as you can, even if they seem a little strange! I know you'll find one you love (or two, or three, or ten). And once you get that pint and you get back to your car, don't resist the urge to pop that lid off and start devouring it right away! You don't need a spoon to enjoy good gelato! What?! Stop judging me!! If you tasted it, you'd know what I mean!

Stay tuned for the second part of my Kindness and Karma recap tomorrow! Until then, happy Wednesday folks!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Can Call You Betty, And Betty When You Call Me, You Can Call Me Weird...

First and foremost, put on your headphones or turn up your speakers and enjoy!

Okay, so I'm an idiot. I keep forgetting my camera and my camera cable to upload pictures from this weekend. For some reason I keep forgetting one or the other making the post I had intended to put up here today (actually yesterday) literally impossible. But I don't want to leave my fair readers, if anyone besides Antoine is actually reading this, in the lurch yet again (mainly I'm referring to Antoine who said to me yesterday "you didn't post anything!"). So here's your impromptu post of the day...

I've been in a strange mood lately. It's wavering between intense love and adoration and then moments of anger and frustration...all blended together with a little bit of exhaustion and a lot of laziness (sounds like I'm concocting some sort of weird margarita....mmm, a strawberry margarita sounds so I want one!). So in honor of my weirdo-ness I decided to provide you with a little Etsy strangeness. While perusing Etsy I noticed that they actually have a taxidermy section (under the "Everything Else" category). I may or may not have previously known about this, but's still kind of strange. The pretty, delicate butterflies behind glass aren't so weird or even the random cow skulls. No, I'm talking about a different type of oddity...

A horned duckling that for some reason reminds me of a viking! squirrel costs a whopping $1k!? Yeah...I have no words!

This supposedly "real" black unicorn can be yours for only $500!

This creepy piranha with large teeth and eyes that resemble those candy eyes is a steal for only $25.

Now, don't judge me too much but I think this one is freaking awesome...

I want this, it reminds me of Jurassic Park! Antoine, we should get this and then try to make dinosaurs! And now I totally want to watch Jurassic Park!

So...weird right? If you're looking for some freaky taxidermied thingamabob you know where to go. Also, there's a section under the "Everything Else" category called "Weird". Hmmm. Can it really get much weirder that this? I'm a little afraid to find out! Maybe I'll save that for another day, when I'm feeling a bit braver!