Thursday, October 31, 2013

Random Thursday

Happy Halloween! Apparently Columbus is bracing for serious storms tonight which might cause problems for Trick-or-Treat. In our neighborhood we have ONE child and he's still young enough that his parents have convinced him that instead of going from house to house getting candy, he goes from house to house and gives out candy. That surely can't last much longer!

Last year's costume; this year he'll be a firefighter.


Last night was Yahtzee night at Theresa's house. She had some fantastic food, including chicken & dumplings and a pumpkin bread pudding that I may have to make ... someday. I didn't even see the cocktail napkins until I was leaving but y'all know I love a good cocktail napkin and this was perfect.



A couple months ago when Jeannie hosted, she had these, which I forgot to put on the blog but it's also a keeper:



Speaking of fat pants, I saw this the other day and could definitely relate:

I normally don't repost things with random capitalization or
other grammatical issues, but this is an exception.

Yesterday a bunch of bloggers participated in a link up called "Someday I Will ..." One of my responses to that is someday I will not be such a huge procrastinator. Hahahahaha! But I did actually make a step in the right direction of that goal:

Sign of the apocalypse? I already have my Christmas cards!

And finally, if you'd like a chance to win some PayPal cash in preparation for the holidays (or just for whatever the hell you want), check out Helene's blog, where I'm participating in a giveaway!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You suck, cancer, but my friend is still here

This is my 200th post! I can't think of a better use of that milestone than to celebrate someone who's been through the ringer but still plugs away with humor, sarcasm and yes, sometimes rage and tears.

Fellow bloggers understand what it's like to meet new friends online and develop relationships even though you've never met in person. Way back in ye olden days of 2000, I met a group of women online. Many of us are still in contact to this day and most of us have met others in real life. Honestly, some of my closest friends are part of this group, and I've talked about some of them before (one of them is Steph).

We've seen each other through marriage, divorce, children, death and illness. More than a few women have had bouts with cancer (and one is currently going through a second bout, different than the first). About eight years ago our friend Lisa was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. She was 42 at the time, with a five-year-old son. She has beaten the odds and she's still with us.

We gave her the nickname Lisa Lisa (as in the Cult Jam) and still refer to her as LLCJ. When we first "met" my screen name was GAC23 and she said it reminded her a a cat hacking up a hairball. I changed it, but she still sometimes calls me GAC. In 2001 I was fortunate enough to go to New York City and sing at Carnegie Hall with the Columbus Symphony, and I was even more fortunate to be able to meet Lisa and a couple other "imaginary friends" for lunch.

Me, Lisa, Karen, Alyssa
April, 2001


Lisa actually cringes when October rolls around with all its breast cancer awareness and pink vomit. She says "fuck awareness, find a damn cure." But when the Today Show was looking for breast cancer patients for a makeover segment, they contacted Lisa's doctor, who nominated her.

That segment aired yesterday and the clip is below. Please watch my beautiful friend and see her transformation and her story. For me it brought back a flood of memories, because I've known her through all of this.



Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Love you, LLCJ!

Happy Gwensday!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Stop #14 - Piece of Cake

We've been so lax about keeping up with the Restaurant Odyssey, but rest assured, it's still going on.

Short North Piece of Cake creates beautiful and delicious sweet treats and cakes, but it also serves lunch and has a few tables for seating, thus fulfilling the requirements for a visit from Spidey and the Gila. To be honest, we didn't expect much, but we were both pleasantly surprised.



I had the turkey panini, which included Granny Smith apple slices, brie and honey mustard - such a yummy combination of flavors! Aaron had the muffaletta, which is actually served hot, and he loved it. I'll have to take his word for it because I'm not a fan of the olive spread.

While we ate, we watched some of the decorators. I know that creative cakes seem to be a dime a dozen these days, but I'm always so impressed by anyone who can make these works of art.



We missed out on getting a picture of this, but a guy came in to pick up a cake for his daughter's birthday. It was a pink princess castle (and I'm guessing it was her first birthday because it looked like there was a separate smash cake). We watched an employee help take the cake out to the guy's truck and I kept thinking that I hoped he didn't have to go far. That's some serious pressure.

Of course I couldn't leave without having some dessert. I got a mini German chocolate cheesecake. Yummmmm. Aaron pulled the ole "I'll just have a bite of yours." Jerk. Kidding, kinda.


Local friends, we definitely recommend Piece of Cake, not only for a special event dessert, but also for lunch if you find yourself hungry in the Short North.

Next up: L'Antibes!





Monday, October 28, 2013

We won a major award!

Friday night was Colin and Amy's annual Halloween party. Let me tell you, there were some fabulous costumes! Some of these pictures are mine, some I pilfered from friends' Facebook posts. I wish I had more pictures of the decorations because they really go all out!

1 and 2: The food table
3: Aaron was the model for the dead body outline on the floor

1. Amy D was a witch, and her hat mysteriously disappeared in the half block between the party and our house.
2. What does the fox say?
3. Abby was a dead ringer for Sue Sylvester and Bo was Piper from Orange is the New Black.
4. Axl and Slash
5. Dick in a Box
6. Rosie the Riveter


Prize Winners!

1. Miley and Robin
2. Blow-up doll in the creepiest mask ever
3. Beer pong!
4. Up
5. Grand Prize winners, black and white (it's hard to capture in a photo how great this was!)
6. Zipper face (ewwwwww)
7. Piñata

Our most excellent hosts, Colin & Amy



As for us, I wanted to go as Judge Doom and Jessica Rabbit (based on Aaron's likeness). We did not do that, instead going in the complete opposite direction for me, which turned out to be a good thing because it was seriously cold Friday night.

It went against every fiber of my being: no makeup or jewelry, except for the brooch. 
And oh, my hair! It drove me nuts.


But...it was worth it because we won a prize for "Most Artistic."







Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween Link Up

Today Helene and Sarah are hosting a link up about Halloween. Here's the thing: I don't like Halloween. I'm not a fan of dressing in costume (mostly because I can't seem to think of anything clever). But the biggest reason I don't like this particular "holiday" is because of what happened to me in 8th grade. My grandmother had just died and my other grandparents took my brother and me to the mall to give us a break from calling hours and whatnot. There was a haunted house there and at the time, I loved haunted houses. This time, though, I got scared out of my mind, and I'm also convinced that some of the people in there had touched me (not in the pervy way, just in the "you're not allowed to touch anyone in the haunted house" way). After that, no more haunted houses and really, not much in the way of Halloween either.

...Until about five years ago when we finally got to know our neighbors. Colin and Amy have an annual Halloween party and while I'm still not sure what my costume will be this Friday, I do enjoy the party and seeing the creativity of other friends. In 2008 I think I just went easy and was a witch (I wore my symphony chorus black dress).

2009: Sue Sylvester from Glee




2010: 80s chick



In 2011 we missed the party because my dad's funeral was that day and last year they didn't have the party. I'm not promising anything but just maybe this year I'll take a bunch of pictures and have them for you on Monday.






Venus Trapped in Mars

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Weekend Windup -- Yes, I know it's Tuesday

I was too lazy uninspired to post yesterday and felt badly about it because I did have a jam-packed, fun-filled weekend but hardly any pictures. Well, screw it. I'm posting about my weekend on Tuesday, and I'm in good company because so are two of my favorites, Erin and Kayla. Maybe we should start a support group or a linkup for rebellious bloggers.

Friday we went to the Short North Stage production of Sunday in the Park with George. It was at the Garden Theater, which is just a few blocks from our house. (I feel like I say that a lot "just a few blocks from our house," which just reiterates how fantastic our neighborhood is.) Local friends, if you haven't seen this musical yet, it's running one more weekend, Thursday through Sunday. Do yourself a favor and go! It's an intimate theater and the production is really amazing. We have a couple friends in the cast which made it extra special and we ran into lots of friends from all different parts of our life so that was cool.

Saturday we had a choir rehearsal in the morning and then we were fortunate to have tickets to the Ohio State/Iowa game. The UNfortunate thing was the rain and cold going on that day. We met up with friends for some tailgating which wasn't really tailgating because we were inside, but at least we were warm. The rain stopped in time for the game, but we ended up leaving at halftime. OSU was losing and Aaron had this superstitious feeling and said "if I have to watch them lose, I'd rather be in a bar." So we went back to the Bier Stube and watched the Buckeyes come back and win. (I'm hoping for a different turnout this weekend.) 

The dumb thing we did was to leave before the halftime show. If you haven't seen it, check out this video, and even if you don't watch the whole thing, start it around 3:55 and watch for about 2 1/2 minutes. It's worth it.




Sunday morning we had a special music-filled church service complete with orchestra, then we went to brunch with church friends. Sunday was also the Columbus Marathon and our neighbor Colin completed his first full marathon. Aaron and I hated that we couldn't be there to cheer him on but we celebrated with him afterward.

Cake, Aleve and Miller Lite. Perfect post-marathon combination!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Just Stop

Dear Congress,

Welcome to Asshole Island. This is a magical place where we send all the assholes so they will never bother us again. Your stay here will be open-ended and hopefully miserable, since we've sent all the mosquitoes here as well. Enjoy.





The government shutdown is over. For now. Don't be surprised when we're feeling a sense of déjà vu in a few months. The assholes in Congress have been compared to toddlers more than once and here's another similarity: now that they've made a big ole mess of things, they're taking a break. Poor babies dragged out all their toys but other people have to clean them up. AND ... of course this eleventh hour deal couldn't be straightforward; there were some random provisions in there about an Ohio River dam project, a post-flood rebuilding project in Colorado and a death benefit payment to a Senator's widow. Look, I'm not saying those things individually aren't important, but what the hell do they have to do with ending the shutdown? Just stop.

I keep hearing that the cost of the shutdown is $24 billion dollars. We'll never know the REAL cost of the shutdown because trust me, there will be ripple effects, and there are numerous intangibles of how this mess screwed up people's lives. I think the debt ceiling probably needs raised even more just to be able to pay for a giant temper tantrum. Just stop.




I wish all of Congress would get voted out, but the problem is that the people who might actually do some good are all too smart and/or scared to put themselves through a campaign. Campaigns suck. Why can't you just tell me where you stand on the issues and what you hope to do if elected (don't bullshit me by telling me what you WILL do, because it's not all up to you). Just stop.

I really wish Asshole Island were a real place. Let's get to work on that, shall we?

Oh, and welcome to the Senate, Cory Booker. Have fun with that.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Italian Festival and Wine for Wildlife

Happy Columbus Day! If you have the day off, good for you; if not, sorry. And for my Canadian friends and family, Happy Thanksgiving!

Living in Columbus, I feel like it should be a bigger holiday, but the great thing about Columbus Day Weekend in Columbus, OH is the Italian Festival, which happens to be in our neighborhood. It's not a big festival but it's full of delicious food, two music stages, rides for the kids and ... did I mention the food? We went both Friday night and Sunday afternoon, and we have friends who literally live inside the festival, so we hung out on their patio as well.

We signed up for the new car share program in Columbus. The program starts in a couple weeks and just might persuade us to become a one-car family. Check out our friends' gorgeous dog Chloe.


Saturday we were fortunate enough to attend a fundraiser at the Columbus Zoo called Wine for Wildlife. It was a beautiful night and a LOT of money was raised to support the zoo's conservation and sustainability work. We didn't win any of the auction items, but we did make a donation to the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Dinner was catered by Ruth's Chris Steak House (I'm still dreaming about the sweet potato casserole).

We got to see an Amur Leopard cub up close! Oh, and we drank a lot of wine.


With our friends Ron and Will (check out Aaron's monkey ears!).





Friday, October 11, 2013

What will you do with your line?

Last night I had a choir rehearsal, got home around 10, relaxed on the porch for a bit, then watched some coverage of the bullshit that's going on in government and finally, after midnight, I remembered that the Cory Monteith tribute episode was on Glee. So I stayed up even later and watched it.

I know a lot of you have given up on Glee, or maybe you never watched. That's cool. Different strokes and all. I also know there's been criticism of how Hollywood pays tribute to celebrities who die in less than "honorable" ways. OK, I get it. But not only did the show lose a cast member, the actors and crew lost a friend, a boyfriend, a family member. In my opinion, Glee did an admirable job presenting a beautiful farewell to someone who fought demons and, in the end, lost his battle.

Just in case you might be watching the episode later:


The show did a great job of showing how everyone grieves differently. It also did not expressly say how the character Finn died. There were just a couple references to it, both by Kurt; he alluded to "secrets" that Finn had, and fittingly said that while people keep talking about how Finn died, Kurt just wants to remember how he lived.

Former cast members returned to William McKinley High to remember Finn. The only two glaring absences were Brittany (because Heather Morris just had a baby) and Quinn (because Dianna Agron either had scheduling issues or the whole cast and crew hate her, depending on which story you believe). The new kids stayed in the background, letting Kurt, Santana, Mercedes and Puck have center stage.

I cried a lot during this episode, called "The Quarterback." First when Finn's mom broke down because she doesn't know how to go on, and that she has to "keep being a parent even though [she doesn't] get to have a child anymore." Next, the scenes with Rachel -- seriously, how did Lea Michele do that? And of course, at the end when Mr. Schue finally broke down sobbing.

But the most thought-provoking scene for me was when Puck and Coach Beiste planted (or RE-planted) a tree in Finn's memory. Puck touched the plaque which read "Finn Hudson 1994 - 2013" and said that he keeps thinking about that line between the dates. "That's his whole life." Then Coach asked him what he's going to do with his line. (Apparently he's going to the Air Force.)

This is pretty deep for a Friday post, but it's a good question. What will I do with my line? What will you do?





Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New Show Reviews

Now that the fall TV season is in full swing, here are my thoughts on the new shows. I've made an effort to watch almost all of them. That's the level of dedication I have to my addiction readers.


Probably not really a report card, since I'm not passing out grades...


A while back I gave you my rundown of the season, including a full schedule of all broadcast networks and a few cable channels. Just to be clear, I don't watch every show on TV but yes, I watch a lot. The day I got DVR was one of the best days of my life. I'm not even exaggerating.

First I'll let you know that Lucky 7 was the first casualty of this season. It aired twice. I watched about 10 minutes of the first episode before I could take no more. I had to laugh when I read Entertainment Weekly's Bullseye section, which read "we liked Lucky 7 better when it was called Windfall and starred Luke Perry." I said pretty much the same thing before I even read that issue. Or watched the show.

Sunday
The only new Sunday show is Betrayal. I watched the first one and didn't hate it, but didn't love it, and the buzz is that it may be next on the chopping block.


Monday
As I predicted, We Are Men is full of lame divorced-dude jokes (and a lot of Jerry O'Connell sans shirt) but I have to admit, I kinda like it.

So far, I like Mom, in spite of its premise (two three generations of teen moms, of which the youngest who is actually a teen is the most mature of the three). But Allison Janney can do no wrong in my book, and that's enough to keep me watching.

I haven't given up on Sleepy Hollow. I really like the two lead actors. And good news for fans: it's already been picked up for a second season.

I enjoy Hostages. Aaron keeps saying "your boyfriend is not a nice guy." I don't care. But as much as I love seeing Dylan McDermott back on TV, if I had to choose just one 10:00 show, it would be Blacklist. It's full of twists and intrigue. James Spader is wickedly awesome, and I'm liking Megan Boone. Again, thank you tiny baby Jesus for DVR.


Tuesday
I watched the first episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but it's just not my thing. It's got a good chance of getting picked up so for those of you who like it (and I suspect there are a lot), you may be in luck.

I've watched two episodes of The Goldbergs and it's not as horrible as I thought it might be. It's kind of fun laughing at the 80s fashions and hearing some of the music I listened to growing up. Trophy Wife, however, cannot be saved by Bradley Whitford. In the two episodes I've seen, the title character lives up (or down) to every stereotype of a trophy wife.

I've already talked about how much I hated Dads, and it looks like it's not long for this world. I'm still enjoying Brooklyn Nine-Nine; I like how Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher play off each other, and the rest of the supporting cast is fun as well.

The Originals is one of those shows that I didn't watch at all. It's a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries, which I've never watched so I wasn't interested. I'm really not that into vampires.


Gwensday
Back in the Game. Last week, James Caan took the Little League misfits to a prison to get them over their fears of being in the batter's box. Child endangerment? Yeah, probably. But I laughed. Still, I don't know that this one will stick.

There's only been one episode of Super Fun Night and I might have to reserve judgment until I've seen another one. I love Rebel Wilson. I hate the show's title. I like the camaraderie between her and her besties. I hate the over-the-top caricature portrayal of her rival. We'll see.

I haven't watched Ironside yet, and I will, but the pilot got seriously low ratings. Check back to see if I start a "keep Blair Underwood employed" campaign.

Both The Tomorrow People and American Horror Story: Coven start tonight. I'll watch them both, especially Coven. I don't dig vampires, but witches are another story.


Thursday
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland hasn't started yet, so I got nothin' there. Same with Reign.

I feel like The Millers has potential. I love Will Arnett (though I'm still saddened by his split with Amy Poehler), I like Jayma Mays in this non-Glee role, and Margo Martindale is really funny. Plus the pilot had Dirty Dancing references throughout. I'm sticking with it.

The Crazy Ones has the wackiness of Robin Williams paired with the seriousness of Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays his daughter. So far, I like it.

As much as I want a show with Mike O'Malley and Mary McCormack to succeed, the pilot of Welcome to the Family didn't give me much hope. As for Sean Saves the World (what's up with some of the titles this year?), I'll give it another shot but I didn't love the pilot. I also wasn't in love with the pilot of The Michael J. Fox Show, but I felt that the second episode calmed down and I liked it better.


Friday
I haven't watched Master Chef Junior and Dracula hasn't started yet, but I won't watch it anyway. Vampires, ya know.


In short (so you could have skipped all that BS up there), I'm not super high on any of the comedies, but I'm not totally giving up on them either (except for Dads, which is just awful). In the drama category, The Blacklist and Hostages are my favorites, with Sleepy Hollow close behind, and there are still some new shows to be watched.





PS -

Go Bucs!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Time to look at some of my favorite things from the past week.

Obviously, the Pirates, especially Tuesday night. Aaron and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings, and we took the bus so we could celebrate/drown sorrows, depending on the outcome. This time, I was the one celebrating, especially when this guy hit two home runs!

Yesterday they lost to the dreaded Cardinals, but there are
more games to be played!


The Blacklist. If you haven't watched this yet, do it. The pilot was action-packed, with a big twist, and the second episode did not disappoint. You can see it on nbc.com.





Check out last week's Gila/Spidey Point Spread Pick 'Em. Even though we both kinda suck overall, I spanked Aaron in Week 4. (Just so we're clear, I didn't literally spank him. That's not how we roll.)



And finally, head on over to Love, Fun and Football, where Erin asked me to do a guest post today, and I'm talking about some of my favorite movies related to -- what else? -- football!

Have a fabulous weekend!





Linking up with Sarah and Lindsey (even though Lindsey handed me my first loss in Blogger Fantasy Football last week)


Venus Trapped in Mars
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