30 May 2009
Up made me sob. It was the kind of crying where I was doing the deep breaths that shook my whole body. (I'm still crying.) But it was completely worth it. And I'll go ahead and throw this out there--best movie of the summer.
The movie is gorgeous, to start. The whole thing looks like candy. The 3-D was also beautiful, that is, when my vision was not clouded by the streams of tears falling from my eyes. Characters, great. Plot, pretty cool. Pulling of the heartstrings, oh dear God. It's a nearly perfect film. And, there's a dog who's basically Mitch. Go see it. Right. Now.
While the movie was incredible, our fellow moviegoers left much to be desired. First of all, there was the Jon and Kate Plus 8 family who boldly defied stereotypes when they did not correctly count out how many seats they would need, leaving them in a state of confusion. There was the guitar hero before the movie--which was, admittedly, a cool idea--during which the players forced us to listen to crappy renditions of "Eye of the Tiger" not just once, but twice. There was the old man in the tucked-in Hawaiian shirt who stole Matt's armrest. And then there was the screaming baby whose mother just let it scream, and scream, and scream. Maybe it was more than one screaming baby? Who knows.
And we went to the theater that is constructed from garbage. At least, that's what it feels like. There were homemade clouds on the wall that looked like a bulletin board threw up, there was food all over the floor, and the whole place had a general feeling of being covered in mayonnaise. I hate mayonnaise.
NOTE: If you have a baby, and you make the decision to take it to a public place (restaurant, movie theater, grocery store, etc.) and it starts to scream, please remove the child from that public place. Please do not punish the rest of us with your screaming child. It's neither cute nor endearing.
- Matt smokes, but is trying to quit.
- I am tan.
- We are good at basketball.
- We have a dog.
- We live in a white house.
- We like to watch The Wire.
- We like Michelle Obama.
- We are really, really, really ridiculously good-looking.
- We LOVE Five Guys burgers.
It was nice (but not at all surprising) to hear that our man Obam' recently hit up his local Five Guys. I'm telling you: exactly the same.
One explanation for these uncanny similarities may be that we're related. Matt is very very distantly related to Dick Cheney (everyone should have an evil cousin) who is very very distantly related to Obam'. The Obamas will be here for Thanksgiving. And their picture is already on our mantle.
28 May 2009
And then I look at Mitch and see that he is also tired. (We are E.T. and Elliot.)
Then we lay down in the bed for a snuggle nap. First Mitch has to retrieve a bone he's buried somewhere in my bed.
And then we sleep, usually for 3-4 hours. If you try to call me between 3:30 and 8:30, and I don't answer, there's a good chance that I am in a coma.
Naps have been an important part of my daily routine since I was in high school. My body likes them, and they make me very, very happy. When Matt and I have the "to-have-kids or not-to-have-kids" discussion, one of my many reasons not to have them is because I would no longer enjoy these naps. I know that it sounds selfish or dumb, but I don't care.
So unless someone can guarantee me a child with narcolepsy (who also comes out potty-trained, intelligent, well-adjusted, and cleaning the house), it's a no go.
27 May 2009
Check out all of the pretty flowers in my back yard! (The bottom one will be a gardenia soon--if only computers were scratch and sniff!)
Also, you should download "Pretty Flowers" by Steve Martin. It's super cute.
And then, only months later, my mom was pregnant. When they told me I thought they were playing a practical joke (because my family had once played this same joke on me), and I laughed. But then I saw that my mom was not laughing. I think she was in shock, and was flooded with memories of birthing my 11-pound brother.
I immediately started referring to it as Chloe. Chloe Zoe, to be exact. I remember that same day force-feeding my mom Reese's Pieces, insisting that Chloe wanted them. The name Chloe stuck, and before long we were all calling it Chloe. I was especially nervous the day my mom came back from her sonogram. I already had a brother, and I was really looking forward to having a sister. Plus, who wants a brother named Chloe?
Fortunately for all of us, it was a girl. Chloe was born three weeks after my fifteenth birthday. My parents sissied out and wouldn't name her Chloe Zoe, but settled on Chloe Nicole. Of course I'm a bit biased, but Chloe was one of those babies who was beautiful from the time she was born. She never went through that alien-disgusting baby phase, which I appreciated.
Any time I would take her out, I would get dirty looks from people who believed I was her irresponsible teenage mother. And, many times, I resented being the "built-in babysitter." I bitched a bit [understatement of the year].
Chloe, now 13, has developed into quite a cool person. I kind of want to steal her. From an early age, she was bold, fearless, inquisitive and insightful. She may even turn out to be smarter than me. A few of my favorite Chloe moments:
- When Chloe was 5, and we were driving home from watching Elf. She had recently seen Haunted Mansion. "You know, Sissy, sometimes you think a movie is scary or funny--but really it's about love, or Christmas spirit."
- On Christmas Eve, when she was about 8. I was spending Christmas away from her in Savannah, and I called to see what she was doing. Her response: "Well, I was out putting food out for Santa's reindeer, but then I thought I saw the Grim Reaper so I came inside."
- When she was 3, and I took her to see my high school's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. My friend Jason, on whom Chloe had a crush, was a member of the cast. In the middle of a musical number, Chloe recognized him, and she ran up to the stage and attempted to climb up, screaming: "That's my Jason!"
- When she was in Kindergarten, learning to write. I was talking to her on the phone. She said that she was writing a grocery list, and she wanted me to tell her things to buy at the store. "Carrots," I would say, and she would go "c-c-carrots," and so on. At one point I said something obnoxious to her and she said, "b-b-bitch." I could have died happy in that moment.
Chloe has always been precocious. She's always been proud. She's recently developed an obsession with vampires. She's beautiful and interesting, and far less obnoxious than I was at her age. She's a good writer. She's not afraid to tell you when she disagrees with you.
She's such a badass that I think she could have pulled off the name Chloe Zoe.
I'm so, so, so happy that I got a sister instead of a dog.
25 May 2009
24 May 2009
All it's missing is a dimmer switch and a framed picture of Mitch.
22 May 2009
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Cook’s Illustrated May/June 2009)
1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
3. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whish for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use a #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.
5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
20 May 2009
19 May 2009
Oh, Adam. . . He’s kind of like Elvis gone punk. I’ve gushed about Adam to the point where Matt might leave me. I’ve spent hours on the phone voting for him, and I’ve downloaded all of his performances on iTunes. It’s probably true that Adam would be much more interested in Matt than in me, but I don’t care. He’s going on the list!
What seems really funny to me is that when we were younger, my friend Tanya and I had a string of beautiful Adams with whom we were obsessed. There was Adam the Jehovah’s Witness with one eye (well, he was blind in one eye), there was Adam with the webbed feet, there was her neighbor Adam (we would take pictures of him with her mom’s nice camera with the powerful zoom lens). And now there’s guyliner skinny jeans Adam. It feels like my life is coming full circle.
By the way, my grandma is also an Adam Lambert fan.
Opossums are gross, and they will kill you.
18 May 2009
Here is my angry, "Stupid cold rain!" face.
17 May 2009
The slug had been trying to gnaw off my foot. We all know how deadly they are.
This experience should also serve as a reminder to me that I should not have such dirty Wal-Mart feet.
16 May 2009
Meet Matt and Mandy. We're really into alliteration, we're good spellers, and, as you can tell, we are really really incredibly good-looking. Also, we really love each other. I love Matt so much that I try really hard not to be a maniacal bitch, and he loves me so much that he will finish trimming hedges after a snake tries to attack me!