27 December 2009

New Shoes!

The time has come for me to buy more new shoes for school. The other day I was sitting at my desk and smelled a terrible odor. And then I realized. . . it was my feet. My shoes stink, and I need new ones.

So this afternoon I braved the mall (hoping that all of the Savannahians would be at church), and walked into Aldo, one of those stores that intimidates me with its music and stylish employees. It didn't help my cause that I was wearing a bright red sweater and hot pink flip flops, the kind that you wear in the shower in a college dorm. Is colorblindness contagious? Oh well. I didn't go to Aldo to make friends; I went to buy some shoes. And I wanted to buy these.

But I thought better of it, and bought these instead. They were only $30!
But I should go back and buy the purple ones, right? Right?

26 December 2009

Babies Three Ways

Sounds like a gross dish from Top Chef, huh? (sauteed, pureed, and grilled?) Anyway. . .

First of all, I finally got to open up my dingo-ate-the-baby tote. I LOVE IT, and can't even look at it without laughing. Is there a way to work A Cry in the Dark into the ninth grade curriculum? Sounds like it's time for some creativity.
Second, remember these signs? Well, today I saw one in real life! The one I saw, though, said "You can LOOK at the baby, but please don't touch." And the O's in the the word look were drawn to have googly eyes. How cute. Oh. . .and how insane! Is the baby featured in a zoo exhibit? I wanted to feed it peanuts.

Third, I had a dream last night that I was pregnant. It was a nightmare, really. (I blame the two minutes after seeing Up in the Air during which I thought that having a baby wouldn't be so bad. Yep, 120 whole seconds and then I snapped right back into reality.)
In my dream I was showing, and didn't want to admit to myself or other people that I was pregnant, so I just kept telling people it was because of all the sandwiches. The most horrifying part was that this accidental pregnancy was going to make me renounce my position on birth control. Then I woke up and had to pee really badly (and I didn't pee out a baby, and no, I'm not pregnant). Apparently pregnancy feels like really having to pee.
So there you have it, babies on bags, babies behind crazy signs, and babies in nightmares. Probably a little better than sauteed, pureed, and grilled.

25 December 2009

Merry Mitchmas!

Hope you have had a wonderful, relaxing, drama-free day. Ours certainly has been. I woke Matt up at 10:30 to open presents, and then when we were done (and we got some pretty cool loot) we went back to bed until 1:30. It was awesome.

Since we don't usually spend Christmas with family (opting instead to visit with them during the summer when we have more time and fewer "let's make this a perfect moment" expectations), we've started some Christmas traditions of our own.

First, we sleep in. That's crucial, and since we don't have human children, we relish our opportunities to sleep well into the afternoon.

Second, we eat a lot. Isn't this everyone's tradition?

Third, we listen to David Sedaris's "Santaland Diaries" and call friends and family to hear about their days and wish them cheer.

Then we go to the movies. This year we saw Up in the Air. It was pretty great, and did a good job of washing out that nasty aftertaste from Avatar. Oh, and I think I've had a crush on George Clooney for about half of my life now. That man sure is handsome!

After the movie, fat and lazy, we return home to eat more and more.

This year, I'll make Matt watch these commercials over and over again.

How was your day? Any awesome gifts or traditions that I'll want to steal?

24 December 2009

Merry Mitchmas Eve!

May your days be merry and bright. . .and may all your Mitchmases be snuggly.

Happy days to you and yours!


Matt, Mandy, and Mitch

22 December 2009

Dances with Pterodactyls

Yesterday I joined Matt and Collin for Movie Monday. We went to see Avatar. I was torn about whether or not I wanted to go because I've been feeling blah ever since I got that damned Swine Flu vaccine, because the movie is seven hours long, and because I thought I might rather spend the $13 on a sweater from Gap.

But, in a lapse of judgment, I went.

The best thing about Avatar was how it looked. It was gorgeous and shiny and bright. I can't wait to go on the ride at Universal Studios (would they have the rights to it?).

But the story was. . .lacking. Let me rephrase that. It was a good story, just one that's been done many times before. About halfway through, I started singing that song from Pocahontas (. . .have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon. . .can you paint with all the colors of the wind. . .) to myself. Avatar was all "love the earth," "be good to the earth," "love your fellow man," "don't be mean to the natives," "just because they have something you want doesn't mean they're your enemy." I get it. Good lessons, and all things I believe. A little subtlety would've been nice, though.

When I commented to Matt that we were watching "Pocahontas with computers," he one-upped me. "Dances with Wolves with computers," he said. Dammit! I hate it when Matt wins!

The movie-going experience got much worse when, about six hours in, during the most climactic part, I had to pee like a pregnant racehorse. This was the second time I'd had to pee during the film.

Note to self: don't drink the entire $32 five-gallon bucket of Diet Coke.

So I got up and began the trek down the stairs. I had my phone in my hand (maybe I had checked Facebook during the movie?) and was going to put it in my back pocket. But then I thought that I didn't want the phone to fall on the floor in the bathroom, so I decided to put it in my coat pocket. But I missed, and dropped my phone on the floor, and heard pieces go everywhere, namely, under the seat of a guy I didn't know.

So there I was, on my hands and knees, trying to reach under some random guy's chair for my phone during the film's climax. I found it only after a few humiliating minutes.

Final verdict: pretty but too didactic. Seen that story before. Should've gone to Gap.

Ornament Crisis Averted

This year we suffered a tragedy in our home. We had to say goodbye to a dear friend, the Big Pink Ball.

Big Pink Ball had been a gift from Tanya several years ago, and held a special place in my heart. She was bright and happy, had a sparkle about her, and was larger than life in everything she did up until the very end.

Big Pink Ball even had her own special box to protect her from January through November.

Sadly, this year when I pulled her out to give her a special place on the tree, clumsy stupid me dropped her onto the hardwood floor. And she tried to hang on; she didn't shatter at first. But then she rolled a few feet and just gave in. There were little pieces of Big Pink Ball all over the floor.

I just stood there, in shock, with my shoulders slumped and my bottom lip out.

And after we gave her a proper burial, I set out to find a replacement. I came home with this, Pretty Flower Lantern. She made me happy, too, and was not only happy and optimistic like Big Pink Ball had been, but also reminded me of the Carport Bistro.

But something just wasn't quite right.

Thankfully, Tanya saved the day. Without knowing about the Big Pink Ball tragedy, she mailed a package to us that contained this one.

It's perfect! And I know Big Pink Ball is looking down on us from above smiling.

21 December 2009

Mmmmmmm, Chili.

Matt and I aren't usually huge chili eaters, but that could be because we'd never tried this recipe before.

For those of you who are snowed in, I'd recommend it. For those of you who aren't, go ahead and make it, too. It can feed an army, is loaded with flavor, is inexpensive to make, and, since it uses ground turkey instead of beef, is relatively healthy.

Oh, and have some dogs close by in case you drop a half pound of cooked ground turkey on the floor.

Turkey Chili Recipe (adapted from this one on the world wide web)


2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 (35 oz) cans stewed tomatoes, crushed
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock
2 Tbsp chili powder (or up to 4 Tbsp if you like it really hot)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1 Tbsp salt, plus more if desired to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2-2 1/2 pounds ground turkey, browned
Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream for optional garnish.


1 In a large, 8-quart, thick-bottom pot, cook the onion and green pepper over medium high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for a minute or two more. Add a bit more olive oil if needed.

2 Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, beans, oregano, cocoa, salt, pepper, and cooked turkey meat. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for an hour.

3 Salt to taste. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of sugar to take the edge of the acidity of the tomatoes if desired.

The chili may be made in advance and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for 2 months.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, and or sour cream. Serve alone, over rice, or with corn bread.

Makes about 12 cups. Serves 8.

Happy cooking and eating to you!


You're going to have to forgive me while I gloat.

First, you should know that we own a Zune. Two years ago, I got a bug up my ass that I needed a good mp3 player, and on the day after Christmas I headed to Target, armed with gift cards, ready to buy a nano. But, because it was the day after Christmas, Target was completely sold out of ipods. But they weren't sold out of Zunes. I had been intrigued by the Zune when doing my research, especially because of its FM radio feature (I'm an NPR addict), so I decided that it was a sign. Also, I'm impatient, and my haste sometimes leads me to bad decisions.

But the Zune has treated us pretty well. I especially love the Zune pass (unlimited free "leased" downloads for $15/month, plus 10 song credits that I own forever each month), because it has allowed me to explore different types of music and to set up a playlist for each of my classes at school. My point is, there are some good things about the Zune.

But there are some shitty things, too. The worst thing about the Zune is the software. It fucks up all the time, and can drive a person to insanity. I didn't really think much of those Mac v. PC commercials until I experienced the 1,000,000 glitches with the Zune software.

So it was no real surprise when, about a week ago, Matt downloaded the latest Norton software, and, GASP!, the Zune would no longer sync when we plugged it in. Matt was so frustrated. (He is an entertainment addict, and if he's not talking to me or watching tv or reading a book or browsing the interwebs, he's listening to one of his 1500 podcasts. He even listens to them in the bathroom. I call them poopcasts.) Without his entertainment, he wandered about the house like a lost puppy. How would he find entertainment to help him through household chores? Who would entertain him when he played online poker? Oh dear!

So Matt worked for several days to fix the problem, but was unsuccessful.

And then, while he was busy talking to his buddy Drew on the phone and watching the Senate get 60 votes for cloture (horray!), I worked diligently on our little Zune problem (for about 40 minutes).

And would you look at that?
See how it says "syncing"?

(Oh, and if you're thinking it already, I'll confirm it. I have the worst taste in music ever.)

See how that little Zune icon is red? (Red = syncing.)

You know what that means, don't you?

It means that I am a badass.

I spent the next 20 minutes or so prancing about the house, raising my arms and trying to emulate Tammy Taylor's dance from the intro to Friday Night Lights. Matt is happy to have his podcasts back, but angry that it was me who gets to claim the victory over Microsoft.

I'll be gloating about this for approximately 180 days. That's an appropriate amount of time, right?

Weather Envy

One of my favorite things about Gmail is how it keeps me informed about the weather in my neck of the woods. I especially love the days that it rains and rains, and how the raindrops scattered across my email look like I could just lick them off.

But now Gmail has gone too far, and is being a weather tease. Tonight I logged in and saw this:

Oh, is that snow piled up on the Gmail lettering? Yeah. But is it going to snow here in Savannah? No. No it's not.

We moved to Savannah six years ago, and I have not seen snow since. I know that there are people out there who hate the snow and its inconveniences, but I am not one of those people. I love the snow. I love how pretty it is. I eat it. I sled. I try to ski. Snow makes me happy. And since I've never lived north of Maryland, I've never had enough snow for me to be sick of it.
Combined with my love for snow is my love for time off work. I'm a teacher. In Savannah. And I never have the joy of turning on the TV to discover that school's been cancelled because of snow (though we do have a hurricane day off every few years). No 1-hour late days, no 2-hour late days. (PS--2-hour late days were the best things of all: extra sleep, shorter classes, no makeup days.)

Right now almost everyone I know is buried under a couple feet of snow. I'm trying not to be the "grass is greener" type, but it's killing me. Even when the rational part of me explains away how the snow would be an inconvenience and how I'm being stupidly nostalgic, the childish and jealous side of me prevails, and I get pouty and stupid.

So F you, Gmail. (Unless, of course, you know something I don't and I'm waking up tomorrow to a winter wonderland.) Don't be a snow tease.

Everyone else, either appreciate the shit out of your gorgeous snow or tell me about how horrible it is.

20 December 2009

Dog Friends

Reilly is back!

Before, Mitch would get lonely on the couch.

But not anymore.

Friends. That's what Mitchmas is all about.

In Case You Missed It. . .

Last night's SNL was hilarious. Here's my favorite.

My "winning the lotto" fantasy used to be to hire Matt as my manservant, to pay him an exorbitant amount of money, and force him to wear footy pajamas, the ones with the flap on the butt. Now that we're married I guess it'd be "us" winning the lotto. I guess that plan's out. Ugh, marriage really is all about compromise.

Happy Sunday!

(I'd recommend going to the NBC site to watch: "Mark Wahlberg Talks to Christmas Animals," "Snookie Update," and "The Kissing Family.")

19 December 2009

Mitchmas Decor

Meant to post this about a week ago. Here is more of our Mitchmas decor.

This is from our first married Mitchmas tree. Once I bought a woodburner I kept trying to find uses for it. . .

It kind of reminds me of Pacman.

I LOVE white Mitchmas lights.

Stockings are hung by the chimney with care. . .

. . .in hopes that--oh shit, I don't believe in Santa--uh, St. Mitcholas soon would be there.

I am completely obsessed with my advent calendar. It was at Target several years ago, and with the price tag of a whopping $40 was too much for me to pay. But then I worked a really horrible restaurant shift, and any time I work a horrible restaurant shift, I get to blow all of the money made during that shift on unnecessary items (the reason I own a Malibu Barbie, the reason I bought all of my friends in college roller skates, etc.). This was one such item, and every time I pull it out of the Mitchmas boxes I feel warm and fuzzy inside. I think I want a similar calendar for the month of March, only with 27 pretty little boxes. And I think Matt should fill each box with a different precious gem.
Uh huh, yeah. That'll happen.
Another favorite Mitchmas decoration is this glass block light in the bathroom. My mom made it with leftover glass blocks they had around the house (bathroom remodel), and some crazy drill bit. Nothing fancy: just a glass block, some lights, and some of that ribbon swag stuff I bought. But it sparkles and shines and is just the right amount of light.

But Mitchmas wouldn't be complete without two of our favorite characters, Salty Snowman and Pepper Penguin. Oh, seasonal salt and pepper shakers. Oh, alliteration.

Oh, and if you want to be envious--especially those of you who are buried under massive amounts of snow--know that I am COMPLETELY finished with Mitchmas tasks. No more shopping, no more trips to the post office, no more school, no more wrapping. No more stress.
I envy your weather; you can envy my productivity.
(And do you have all of these same Mitchmas decorations, Carly, my Mitchmas twin?)

Fresh Market Mitchmas

Last night we had our Mitchmas dinner with the Savannah family. This year we decided to, in lieu of gifts, go to Fresh Market and pick out delicious steaks to cook.


We had sirloins, filets, and ribeyes. Moooooooooooooooo!

We did potluck for everything else, and it was out of control delicious: artichoke and parmesan dip, twice-baked potatoes, spicy creamed spinach, salad, sauteed garlic and onions. . . Mmmmm. I'm salivating. Oh, and there was lots of lots of wine.

What a way to kick of Mitchmas vacation!

18 December 2009

Snowman Cupcakes

Inspired by my friend Martha, I decided to make some holiday cupcakes. I was fond of this snowman cuteness, and thought to myself, "How hard can it be?"

The answer? Hard. Yeah, Martha claims that you just squeeze the top marshmallow to make it smaller. Maybe it's because my marshmallows were Kroger brand, but those babies wouldn't shrink for anything. (I can't decide whether to make a dirty joke or a self-depricating joke about fatness here.)

My attempts (and my Reese's cup hat) were, well, less than good. My snowman looked more like a hobo, and nobody wants to eat hobo cupcakes.

So I opted for just the face. Chocolate sprinkles for eyes, cut up pieces of an orange Starburst for noses.

And soon I was looking at an army of snowmen.

Tonight's baking also afforded me the opportunity to use the pretty Christmasy sprinkles my Grandma Carol gave me. They're BEAUTIFUL!

Once I got all of the cupcakes loaded, I just stared at the box, patting myself on the back. I think I need to go work at Back in the Day Bakery.

Happy Friday to you! Today is my last day of school until 2010 (!), so I'm a happy, happy girl.


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