29 August 2011

A Face for Radio

Here's something you might not have known about me, something that will convince you that I am, in fact, the coolest person on earth.

I did the morning announcements in high school.  

Oh yes, along with a few friends, I had the opportunity to really irritate 2,400+ of my peers at 7:45 a.m. every single day.  I took that responsibility--to piss off thousands of people with obnoxious perkiness--really seriously.  So seriously, in fact, that I actually got to school on time every day during my senior year (which was quite different from my junior year, when I decided on forty different days that school just wasn't reason enough to pry myself out of bed early in the morning).  

I did the pledge of allegiance, and my friends and I would read whatever other announcements had been submitted from the various clubs and sports teams and whatnot.  The best part was when a meeting was mandatory, because I would call it mandytory*.  While I thought that this was just hilarious (and still do), many of my classmates weren't so charmed by my wit.  So, basically, what we can say is that I was not appreciated in my time.  Like Van Gogh or something.

Imagine my delight, then, when I found out that my tiny little baby sister (who starts tenth grade tomorrow!) will be doing the morning announcements at school this year.  

She's certainly got the face for it.**

She comes from France.

Wish her luck!  And feel free to offer her advice about sophomore year, morning announcing, and privacy controls on Facebook.

*When I first shared this story with Matt, I thought he was going to break up with me.

**It is my sisterly duty to torment Chloe.  Lately I am choosing to do this with awful pictures lifted from her Facebook page.

28 August 2011

Weekend Fun

Man oh man I sure did need this weekend.

Here's something that definitely falls under the category of "good problems to have," but when you have two months off of work, and then your first two weeks back are the hardest that you have all year, you will be f'ing exhausted.  The kind of exhausted where your entire body aches and you're too tired to fall asleep quickly.  But it's all good, and most people don't have the good fortune of having two months off of work each year, so I'll deal.  Just don't be mad at me for being such a slackass with posting.

So this weekend was about sleeping, and watching it rain other places while it was gloriously sunny here.  And more sleeping (definitely took two separate naps yesterday).  And Dexter ellipting dates with the Matt.  (PS--you will ellipt very quickly when you are watching Dexter and feeling like you're running away from evil serial killers.)  And not one but TWO trips to Mexico (we're very big into traveling).

Here's what it looked like.

 Dog made himself an earthquake shelter.  We tried to tell him that we were safe, but he was having none of that.

 High class lunch. 

 We'll see just how idiot-proof growing basil is.  Our house is, after all, the place where plants come to die.

 Lest you begin to think that Matt is the cool one in our house, check out his fantasy football research.  

So happy to have a working dryer.

 Trying to keep Mitch from stealing gum right out of our mouths.

And, finally, it's essay-grading hell month.  Until my juniors take their graduation writing test on September 27, my school bag will look like this.

Fortunately, I've got some help.

Hope you stayed safe, that you have electricity, and that you're not swimming around in your own house.  (Unless, of course, your house has a swimming pool in which case I am extremely jealous of you.)

26 August 2011

Little Miss Hurricane

Every time I hear anything about Little Miss Hurricane Irene, I can't help but to start singing Johnny Cash's old "Goodnight Irene."  And what's better, then, than a little porch trio singing it?*

For those of you in Miss Irene's** path, be safe, stay dry, and don't try to go swimming in a flash flood.  It always seems like it'll be way more fun than it ends up being.  (Kind of like camping.)

And come back soon, because this weekend I'll be working on a tasty treat revelation (it is like a vision from an angel), working on a few little house projects (because the in-laws are coming next week and the house needs to look like less of a disorganized pile of garbage), and maybe even taking some pictures of Mitch (in case you forgot what he looks like).  If we're lucky, I'll get Matt all liquored up and make him perform dramatic interpretations of Lifetime movies.

Happy weekend!  T minus 45 minutes until I'm inhaling some Mexican food!

*Note to self: start banjo playin' porch trio band with Matt and Mitch.  

**Also can't help but to think of Irene from the Seattle season of The Real World, who told angry Stephen that he was gay and then was the recipient of "The Slap Heard 'Round the World."  TV history!

23 August 2011

Serve and Protect, My Ass

Our dryer broke again, which meant that I had to call a guy to repair it.  The repair guy happened to be African American, which sent my racist dog into a 2-hour long frenzy.  The dryer guy laughed and said "serve and protect, huh?" to which I just uncomfortably giggled, completely embarrassed by my bigot of a dog.

He is a Tea Party republican, after all.

Later that night, while Mitch was outside lying in his dirt spot, an evil murdering tree frog broke into our house.  I saw it on the door frame and thought that it was a leaf or something, so I tried to rub it off with my toe.  And then when the frog jumped on my foot, into the kitchen, and began to crawl up my refrigerator with its long murderin' poison legs, I screamed like I'd just seen the Trinity killer in my bathroom.  I screamed and screamed some more as the frog decided to stalk me from between the refrigerator and freezer doors.  It even whispered "You're gonna die, lady" in a scary Southern accent.

What did the dog do?  Did he hear his mother, the woman who birthed him from her body, screaming hysterically and facing death and then run to her rescue?  Did he kill the frog?  Did he call the police?  Did he even bother to get up out of his dirt spot?


Serve and protect, my ass.

21 August 2011

My Ghost Sister & Me: The Best-Kept Secret on the Internet

You haven't heard much about my kid sister Chloe lately, have you?  Well, you'll be happy to know that she's still a twisted, weird kid.  And we're really starting to resemble one another.

Chloe's recent Facebook profile picture.  Apparently one of her friends used some "make yourself fat" app and told her he'd buy her a Slurpee if she kept it as her profile picture for like a week or something.

Chloe enjoying her Slurpee prize.

What a beauty!

And such a zest for life!

Well, now that I've sufficiently embarrassed her (not that embarrassing--I snatched all of these pictures from her Facebook, pictures she's shared with all 755 of her "friends".  Chloe, what'd I tell you about friending any old lunatic on Facebook?), I need to tell you about our latest favorite thing.

So, the other night I was talking to Chloe, and our conversation took a strange turn when somehow I imitated her sounding like a ghost, which later evolved into our idea that we should write a sitcom called Ghost Sister.  I gave Chloe the assignment of writing a theme song for the show (she's the musical one), and we laughed about all of the storylines we could come up with for the show.

You can imagine my annoyance, then, when I googled "Ghost Sister," only to discover that someone had our great idea first.  (My feelings were akin to what my friend Ross felt like when he saw the trailers for Jurassic Park and Die Hard.)

But it didn't take long for me to realize that not only had someone, a British fellow by the name of Jason, already come up with Ghost Sister, but he had executed it way better than Chloe and I could have.

It's basically the best-kept secret on the internet, and after I texted Chloe (because I'm hip like that) to tell her that if she didn't start watching Ghost Sister she was going to be my ghost sister, we both became obsessed.

Here's something to whet your Ghost Sister appetite.  Even Matt has said that it's the greatest thing he's ever seen in all his life.*

So watch this one, and enjoy it.  Then check out the My Ghost Sister & Me YouTube channel to see more episodes.  You can thank me later.

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to clean the house and do lesson plans.  Or maybe watch all of Ghost Sister again and then order takeout.  Either or.

*Matt didn't say that in those exact words.  It was more like, "You're still watching Ghost Sister?"

19 August 2011

Imperfect Match: A Guest Post from Shecky

Hello there! You haven't heard much this week because work's been bananas and I'm completely unmotivated right now. But, lucky for all of us, we have a guest post from none other than Shecky, my former college roommate, the minister at our wedding, and my twin. Without further ado, I hand you over to Rev. Shecky. Enjoy!

So, after being single for, um, too long, I decided it was time to find my prince charming and my very own happily ever after. Actually, I just wanted to have a couple of dates so that when family members ask, I can be like, oh yeah, I’m dating, just no one special right now, instead of getting the, “I’m sorry that you’re going to be alone forever and live with 50 cats until you die and they eat your face” look. Oh, and I wanted some free dinners. So, after looking at the pool of dating prospects, I narrowed it down to 3 options:

1. Date someone from work.
2. Date the 54-year old unemployed alcoholic who lives in my complex.
3. Join Match.com.

Well, I’ve tried the dating at work thing, and let’s just say--not an ideal situation. Imagine 2 weeks after a breakup running into the 35-year old you dated for a year in the lobby, only to have him jump on the elevator and press “door close” just as you are about to step on so he doesn’t have to ride up with you. Uh huh, awesome way to start a Monday. As for the 54-year old, I realized that he probably wouldn’t be able to pay for dinner, so that was out.

So, what was I to do? That’s right, I had Mandy write my profile, and signed up for Match.com. The theory behind this whole dating site phenomenon is that based on your answers to some overly personal questions, a bunch of scientific research and possibly voodoo, the computer will learn about who you are most attracted to and compatible with, and find you your dream date. Then you just send a wink and an e-mail, and the rest is history. Um, yeah.

Well, the first few months, there was little activity, besides for a few lovely 50 something year old “gentleman”, usually wearing camouflage and holding hunting trophies (Really? Did I NOT mention that I am a vegetarian? And also, that I already know a 54-year old unemployed alcoholic, so I don’t need match to help me find others?) Guess not.

Anyway, one day last week, I came across a much more reasonable prospect in my “daily 5” (my supposed ideal matches). This was a 35 year old (check) employed (check check) male (double check), who did not list hunting, robbery or murder anywhere on his profile. Nor did he show any cell phone pictures he took of himself shirtless in the bathroom mirror (this guy really could be a contender!!) The one picture of him was very small and blurry, so I wasn’t really sure what he looked like, but decided to keep reading. Lives nearby. Works in IT. Has a dog. Named Zara. Hmm, that’s strange, I know someone with a dog named Zara. Catholic. Loves to tailgate at OSU games. Odd, this is sounding pretty familiar. That’s when I took another look at the picture, and it all came together. Yep, I had been matched up with my cousin. My FIRST cousin. After laughing/crying for the next 10 min, I called my mom to tell her, and she informed me that it is illegal to marry your cousin, so I shouldn’t even think about it. Thanks, Mom, because it really had crossed my mind.

Now, you may think, well, it’s not Match’s fault, they couldn’t have known that you were blood relatives. True. But they did probably know that he is ultra-conservative (like, doesn’t believe that any social programs should exist. I’m a social worker. Oops), is super Catholic (like believes that you can treat everyone like dirt all week, but if you confess, all is forgiven. Then you start over next week. Awesome), and has a concealed carry weapon permit. And actually carries (no further comment needed on that one). Way to go Match; you have really found what I’m looking for. Or not.

So, I figured, well, that was pretty much rock bottom, so it has to get better from there. Right? Wrong.

This week, as I was dutifully going through my “daily 5’s” (did I mention that I may be a masochist?), I was alarmed when I clicked on a profile to see none other than the face of the dude I broke up with 6 months ago, you know, the elevator superhero. Was I shocked because I thought he should be at home pining away for losing my love? Was I disturbed because his profile started out, “I am really needy, require constant reassurance from my partner. . ."? (He later went on to indicate that he was kidding. Funny enough, that was the most truthful part of the profile) No, I was alarmed, because I thought Match was supposed to figure out what I am looking for, and find it for me (way easier than ME having to do that), but instead, it gave me the same emotionally unavailable, whiny baby that I dumped earlier this year. I mean, I can do that all by myself using only my good looks and charm.

Again, way to go Match, way to go. I guess it really is time to cancel my subscription. . .

15 August 2011

Farewell Summer

Well, this is my last post as a woman of leisure.  I go back to school tomorrow, and I'm trying to muster up the motivation to redecorate an entire new classroom, do lesson plans, and face teenagers again.  The two months away have been just lovely (and, obviously, I'm ridiculously fortunate to have a job that provides such nice, long breaks), but right now the thought of being back in a classroom with thirty odd kids makes me want to whine and then sleep.  But by next Monday I'll be good and ready because, if for no other reason, I have no choice.

This summer has been fun and productive.  Matt's birthday celebration this weekend kind of doubled as a farewell to summer, and it couldn't have been nicer.  We went to see Midnight in Paris, which you should go see.  I'm trying to figure out a way to work it into my American Literature curriculum.  

After the movie we stopped by Saigon Bistro for lunch.  (Savannah folk, if you have not been to Saigon Bistro, you are really missing out.  It's cheap and delicious and fresh and awesome.)  Then it was off to the beach for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  The evening beach visit was Matt's birthday request, since we had so much fun doing the same thing last year.  And it was grand.  We really try not to take for granted the fact that we live so close to the beach, and that we can just go out there for a couple of hours when we feel like it.

Matt was happy as a clam all night.

"No, Matt, I'm not going to put these pictures on the internet." 

And then these pretty awesome clouds rolled in, and Matt and Collin were really taken with them. I've never heard people talk about clouds for so long, and with such fervor, as I did last night.  Then I think that Matt got annoyed with me because, while I thought the clouds were pretty great, I did not think they were so great as to merit a full 30-minute discussion of them.  Then I got annoyed that Matt was annoyed.  We finally decided to agree to disagree on the degree of the awesomeness of the clouds.  Oh, marriage.  (Also, maybe I would have found the clouds to be more extraordinary had I not bee the DD for the night?)

Matt stood there, basically having a religious experience staring at the clouds.

And then, when the clouds started to dump rain on us and Matt's hair began to stand up straight (like he'd rubbed it with a balloon), we decided it was high time that we head on up to Fannie's for dinner.  And then it was my turn to have a religious experience--with nachos.

Farewell, Summer!  Until we meet again!

12 August 2011

Lucky #31, and Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Hey, hey, party internet people.  Hope you're kicking off a weekend to remember.

Here at the always exciting M Cubed household, I've been savoring my last few days before I go back to work by trying to strike the perfect balance between being a lazy slob and getting small projects done.  Check and check.  Air filters changed, ceiling fans clean, walls cleaned with bleach.  Also, I just changed out of my pajamas.  Shoot yeah.

I needed to get all of that boring, crappy stuff done because tonight is the start of the birthday weekend of everyone's favorite Matt.

No, not this one.

Or this one. . .

Or even this one. . .

Or this one.  (Why are there so many awesome Matts?*)

Hell, even this Matt's got nothing on the one I married (except for maybe some mad footballs skillz.)

Nope.  It's this one, my favorite friend, master griller, voracious reader, dog dad, ellipting fool, super husband, and best laugher alive.  

It's this Matt's 31st birthday, and we're dedicating the weekend to all of his favorite things.  There will be delicious food, booze, lots of kisses (from dogs and wives alike--but not at the same time), and beach fun.  I can't think of a better way to end a summer and begin a new year.

Oh, and there will be cake.  This cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting**.  

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
5 tablespoons milk
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 oz. cream cheese
2-3 cups powdered sugar


Whip butter and cocoa powder together in a large bowl.  Slowly add milk.  Add vanilla extract and cream cheese and mix on high until mixture is smooth.  Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach desired sweetness and consistency.

*Way back when we first started dating, Matt and I had a joke (at least I think it was a joke) that we were only allowed to cheat on the other one with people of the same name.  So he could sleep with as many Mandys as he wanted, and I could have all the Matts that my heart desired.  I totally win in this fake being able to cheat deal.

**I have pretty much stopped making any other cake but this one because it is perfect and I never want to eat any other kind of cake ever again for my whole life.  Except for maybe some pumpkin cake in the fall.  And an occasional strawberry cake.  

11 August 2011

This and That

1.  Our power goes out approximately 200 times each summer.  You know, big thunderstorms, a little bit o' wind, and the BAM!  No power.  We use these opportunities to walk around the house with candles and pretend that we're old timey--or worshipers of Satan.

2.  The other day I decided to tune in to the last hour of Steel Magnolias on CMT.  As though that weren't emotionally damaging enough, that damned Sarah MacLaughlin commercial came on during one of the breaks.  I think CMT might have some secret deal with Kleenex or prozac or something.

3.  Also, when I hang out with some of the teachers in my department at school, I feel like I'm on the set of Steel Magnolias.  That part just never gets old.

4.  Cassie's birthday was last week. Cassie is also a big time lover of sharks. (She and Matt are basically soulmates when it comes to sharks and dinosaurs and bleu cheese.)  And since it was shark week last week, too, and because my other good friend Martha had sent me this email about shark desserts, I had to make a cake.  Oh, also, I wanted cake.

Um, maybe we had some issues getting the cake out of the pan?  Or maybe a shark took a bite!

5.  Matt started watching the local news a few months ago in an effort to be more involved in the community, and change starts locally and all.  I don't really care for the local news (no handsome Anderson Cooper), but I do like to watch Matt watch the local news, mainly because he loathes the anchorwoman.  He gets particularly mad when she is mean to the weatherman because it's hot outside.  To be fair to Matt, that woman is just awful.  And what did she think would happen during August in Savannah, anyway?

6.  Bought myself some cheap old school marm shoes today.  At Sears, because that was the only place that had shoes that could toe the line between fun and sassy and just plain slutty.  Also, because of clumsiness, I don't think I'm allowed a heel higher than 3.5".  I'm sure you care a lot about this.

7.  Mitch loves banana puddin' from Back in the Day Bakery.  Can you blame him?

8.  Is anything more fun than the night that you go on a huge grocery trip?  So many choices!  So much food!

9.  Matt wants to start blogging again soon, so we're going to give him his own tab.  But what to name it?  Here's what we've got so far.  Matt Attack, The Mattrix, and The Matt Pack.  Votes?  Also, what would you like to hear about from Matt?

10.  I ellipted three days in a row!  That's basically a world record!  Maybe I can go for four today?

09 August 2011

San Diego Zoo

The day that I found out I'd be going to San Diego, I was really excited.  That night, when I remembered that the San Diego Zoo is in San Diego, I became insanely excited--fixated, if you will.  I cared more about going to the zoo than I cared about anything else.

So, Friday, I skipped out on conference sessions and caught a cab to the zoo.  Shoot yeah I did!  (Also, I am a child who cannot sit in conference sessions for any length of time without throwing my head back in extreme boredom.  Also, zoos are way better than conference sessions.)

And I saw all kinds of awesome animals, and I wanted to steal a few.  There were monkeys, and elephants, and polar bears, and capybaras (which are basically like the cutest rodent you ever will see), and POLAR BEARS!, and gazelles, and spiky things, and furry things, and lots of sleepy animals, and meerkats, too!

There was even a New Guinea Singing Dog.

The San Diego Zoo was beautiful, and mostly shaded (though I did somehow manage to get a sunburn out of the deal), and all either uphill walking or downhill walking.  Except for when I went on my new favorite mode of transportation, the Skyfari.  I would like to have a Skyfari to take me from home to work, from work to Target, and then from Target back home again.  (Totes need to get on winning the lottery.)

Oh, also, there was this awesome elephant trainer guy who had been working with the same two elephants for TWENTY YEARS!  Also, I would like to build a time machine and go back in time and then go to school to become a zookeeper.  (Better be a big lotto jackpot.)

And although the zoo was nice, it seemed that there were a few places where the staff had neglected the animals.

Oh well.  What can you do?

Then I was going to get my face painted, but I already did that once at Dollywood.  I'm too old and too mature for that now.  But let's be honest: I'd have been the belle of the BlogHer ball had I shown up at the remaining conference sessions decked out like a jungle cat.

Anyway, my wonderful zoo visit was punctuated by what I believed to be an inappropriate comment from my thick-accented cab driver, who had asked how I liked the zoo.

 "It was great!"

"A lot uv volking?"

"Uh, yeah."

For the next five minutes or so I was convinced that the driver was interested in the mating habits of the animals.  Later I realized that he was saying walking.  That made a lot more sense.

Bored and want to see all of my millions of zoo pictures?  Have at it, comrade.


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