Wednesday, September 20, 2017

As Sweet As Strawberry Wine

We've had a busy few weekends, which I am normally against. But sometimes you find yourself having fun in spite of your theory that doing nothing is the most fun there is. 

We're So Fancy, You Already Know

I scored VIP Chris Stapleton tickets weekend before last, and it was so fancy that we couldn't even find the VIP parking lot. That's how VIP it is, people. It's like the speakeasy of parking. You have to be "in" to know where it is, and clearly we aren't "in."

We eventually found it though, along with our fantastic seats and access to more private bathrooms (truly a dream come true) and the VIP bar. I've been to Riverbend plenty of times, but now that I've rubbed shoulders with the ballers of Cincinnati, I don't know if I can go back to the long bathroom and beer lines. 

We are VIP people now, I've decided. People who pee in the little toilet trailers rather than the crowded bathrooms with the commoners. The show was also sold-out, and it was bonkers in there. I was nearly separated from Ray (never to be seen again), because the crowd was moving like a rip current and carrying me away with them. (And you all know I'm not so great at rip currents.) 

I first heard of Stapleton during that thrilling 8 minutes he performed "Tennessee Whiskey" and "Drink You Away" with Justin Timberlake at the CMA's a few years ago. It was a scorcher, and I nearly lit my own couch on fire it was such an electric performance. 

If you haven't seen it, do not hesitate to click play.  

But in spite of knowing only a song or two, we love Chris's bluesy, classic country sound. And the show was tremendous. I drove us home since Ray doubled-down at the beer booth, and he spent the drive downloading songs we could sing at the top of our lungs. 

Wild Wedding Nights

Then Saturday the 9th was our anniversary. Somehow four years have passed since my former Boss Man talked about "lubricant" during our ceremony. I can't tell if it feels like we just got married yesterday or as if we've always been married. Probably both. 

The four year anniversary is linen chips and salsa, so celebrating was no problem for us. We went to Nada, where I like to eat my body weight in their delicious chicken and corn enchiladas and then proceed to feel miserable for the rest of the night. 

True love will find you in the end, you guys.

Books, Records, Films... These Thing Do Matter

This past weekend was more low-key, but still filled with things other than porch sitting. I'm sure our porch is wondering where we've been... we never call, we never write... we've hardly spent any quality time on it lately. 

Three significant events in pop-culture occurred this weekend. 

First, I discovered a new record shop has opened in Oakley. It's called MetaModern Music, which is a terrible name, but no ever asks me before they make these important decisions. But still, they have a great selection and it's super close to Dewey's, so double bonus because Dewey's usually has a big line. 

I picked up these classics, which I am embarrassed I didn't already own, but the owner didn't judge me, which was nice of him, because I would have. 

In fact, let it be known that I should never own a record or book store, because I would be judging people right and left. I'd be the Jack Black character from High Fidelity. "You don't already have the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan on vinyl? I'm sorry, but you're too pathetic for me to sell this to you. Please leave." 

Second, I saw All The Presidents Men for the first time. I know. And I used to call myself a journalist. I don't know who I am anymore either, okay? Another post for another time, but I have a lot of thoughts on this movie.

Aaaaand finally — drum roll! —  we subscribed to Netflix! This makes us the last people on Earth to have it, but we have arrived! All those shows you guys talk about that I have no idea what you're saying because half the time our TV input is on the wrong setting and I don't know where the remote is to change it, well... things are gonna CHANGE around here. 

We've watched three episodes of Making A Murderer and completely gripped. 

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Super Fans

Our first FC Cincinnati game. 

1 game
2 shirts
2 corndogs
Tie game

We are super fans now. (But we ain't votin' for no stadium.)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Back Home Again

I never much appreciated how pretty Indiana is when I lived there. 
But now I can't believe how far you can see, how big the sky is and how stunning the sunsets are. 

I prefer the rolling hills and steep ascents of Cincinnati, but the state I once saw only as stark and flat has unfolded into a stunning landscape. I even like the corn and bean fields, all plowed into neat little rows running up alongside the back roads. 

Good job, Indiana. 

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Ice Ice Baby

We got a new fridge. This may sound boring, but it's not. 

For starters, we left our old one out on the front lawn for our neighbors to admire. The residents of Hyde Park were shocked looking at all 22 cubic feet of broken appliance. Not in OUR neighborhood, they gasped. 

(Is fridge shaming a thing? If so, I'd like to submit this photo for an award.)

Secondly, our new fridge has a water spout and an ice maker. So basically I am living my best life right now. 

Ice, people. ICEThese half-moon shaped ice chunks welcome me whenever I open the freezer. 

Sometimes I open it when I don't even need to, just so I can see the piles of frozen water shaped into little presents just for me! And in a feat of modern day sorcery and physics, every few minutes, another half-moon ice cube rockets out into the bin(What's that you said, you've had an ice maker for years? Sorry, I can barely hear you as I stir all this ice around.)

Before we finally ditched it, our old fridge was clocking in at 72 degrees in the fridge and freezer. We had to throw out everything. The ice-cream. The frozen pizzas. The French onion dip. Even the little packets of Taco Bell Fire Sauce. (Though I don't think those actually need to be refrigerated, FYI.) 

Still, it was all huge loss and we were livid. Ray even gave it a close-up view of his Chuck Taylors. 

But what's worse than your fridge going out is having to go get a new one. I thought it would be fun, like I would just stand in the appliance aisle and choose from all the amazing options. Ummm, no. It wasn't like that at all.

There is counter-depth, regular depth, cubic feet, ice and water on the door or on the inside. Some of the buttons felt like I could peel them off with my fingernail; and the reviews on all of them had at least several horror stories. 

Not to mention they are expensive. It was such an ordeal we spent two weeks just using the neighbors' mini-fridge they loaned us.

I affectionately referred to it as "the kegerator." 

I call this work, "Still Life With Kegerator."

But finally we decided on one. It looks completely different than the old one, don't you think? We thought so too. 

Orrrr they are nearly exactly the same, except the new one is slightly wider. It also has LED lights everywhere, and for some reason, you can turn the deli/beverage/meat drawer different colors, like purple. I have no idea why anyone would need to do that, but ok.

Why is this purple? It doesn't stay like that, it just ghosts in for a few seconds and then ghosts out again. Why?

Lights, lights, baby.

But the real treat is that it has ice and water! Ray is pretty pumped about it too.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

I'm Only Happy When It Rains

Friday was rainy and disgusting and I couldn't have been more ecstatic about it. Rainy, cloudy, awful weather makes me feel better about not leaving the house, where I can justify staying in with whatever book I am reading. (Or staring at my phone reading, which is usually the case.) 

After work on Friday I hustled to Joseph-Beth, one my favorite places on earth, to pick-up a slew of books I had reserved. I've been pretty diligent the last six months or so about not buying any books from Amazon but rather adding them to my Amazon cart so I'll remember what titles I want, and then emailing Joseph-Beth to have them put on hold for me. I love that bookstore and would be devastated to see it close, and while there doesn't seem to be any danger of that, I don't want to take any chances by buying books online anymore. 

Anyway, one of the books I got was for my friend Kari's birthday. Several of them were for my mom for Mother's Day, so those books are about murder, because those are the books my mom likes best. (Strange.) And since I had recently rearranged a few shelves to make more room for books for myself, I picked up a few for your's truly too. 

One day, maybe when I retire, or get locked into a library with a cozy bed, a delicious cafĂ©, temperature control and the Internet (my version of being an island castaway), I may actually get to read all the books I buy. And since this is liable to happen any minute now, I want to be fully prepared with lots of books. 

Then I went home, dumped the bag of books by the door and proceeded to dive back into the book I've been reading, Malcolm X's autobiography. (It's completely gripping, thought-provoking and absorbing.) 

All this to say, it was the best Friday night ever, and I didn't have to feel about it because the weather was terrible. 

Kari and Ray bday twin celebration Saturday night.

Then, I forgot to bring the book for Kari to her and Ray's birthday dinner (they are bday twins and we've made a tradition about celebrating together), and I realized I didn't have enough space after all for the books I got for myself. So... more rearranging to commence. 

Also, thank you for noticing my new reading chair in the dining room photo. Sadly, I don't ever get to sit in it because Chuck Norris has claimed it. He reads all those books through osmosis. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Coffee Talk

We got rid of the oversized Ikea coffee table I've had for about 100 years in favor of this sleek little number. It fits so much better in the space, it's as if the square footage of our (small) living room doubled.

I want to commit this 'after' photo to memory because this is the last time the coffee table will be so clean. Sure, we'll talk a good game about not crapping it up with stacks of newspapers, books, cat brushes, etc, but who are we fooling. (I also want to commit it to memory because the rug looks so nice. Looks are deceiving. In reality, it's beat-up and has pulls everywhere from little cat claws.) 

If you're in the market for a new coffee table, this one came from West Elm. I'd been stalking West Elm off and on for months waiting for it reappear and when it finally did, I jumped on it immediately. It's disappeared again, but I also had my eye on this one and this one. Ultimately though, neither of those would work because we needed the shelf... for all of our crap. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Driving (With) Mr. Daisy

The (former) Boss Man is retiring in a few years. In preparation for his windfall of free time, he’s been contemplating various hobbies and future jobs. Without fail, they are always a) dangerous or b) expensive. Usually they are both.

They also often end up with Carolyn and me as his guinea pigs. 

He is excited for us to: Be his first helicopter passengers when he gets is “license’! Be awed by his new gigantic wood mulcher! Attend the dramatic readings of what he publishes in his new cardiology journal! Eat at every Subway sandwich shop on the planet! Etc.

Basically, he is trying to kill us.

Last week he sent us this story about future retirees capitalizing on the “gig economy” and becoming Uber drivers.

Now, I’ve been in the car with the (former) Boss Man on more than few occasions, and I kid you not, he nearly killed me 9 out of ten times.

And, and this is no joke (see photo), he once rammed his Porsche through his garage wall when the brakes "went out.” Mm hmm. This is the photo Roz (his wife) took after it happened. We even ran a caption contest in the Heart Institute newsletter with it. 

Buckle up, Beechmont, indeed. 

So, let the record show that if the (former) Boss Man starts driving for Uber, those pesky sexual harassment lawsuits will be the least of Uber's problems. But just in case this one sticks, I wrote the following marketing copy for his future passengers.

What To Expect From Your Newly Retired Uber Driver

Congratulations on calling an Uber! You are privileged today to be driven by a retired mad scientist with fabulous unicorn hair. (It's so soft and bright!) Here are a few suggestions for fully enjoying your ride experience.

  1. Your driver loves puns. It's ok to groan-laugh at first because you feel sorry for him. But if it becomes too much for you — and it will! — feel free to put on your headphones and tune him out. Trust us, those headphones are going to come in super handy!

  2. You'll also need them to drown out the horns and swear words of angry drivers who will honk at you when your driver 1) kills the clutch 2) cuts off a gigantic line of snaking traffic 3) informs you that you aren't living up to your full potential.* Investing in the noise-cancelling Bose is going to be so worth that $500 price tag. In fact, you'll be willing to pay extra before this ride is over.  

  3. Your driver might suddenly stop the car and demand you get out. This could happen in a snowstorm, a bad neighborhood, or a sketchy "buffet" on the West Side where you will probably get food poisoning. All part of the charm of this "crazy scientist" driver.** Lolz. 

  4. You might have to take the wheel from your driver if you notice him nodding off, talking crazy or literally passing out in the driver's seat. That's normal! And you have a driver's license, right? RIGHT?!
  5. Don’t worry if your driver kills the clutch in bumper-to-bumper traffic. You’re in a Porche, enjoy the sudden lurch forward! That SUV tanker barreling down on the tiny convertible you're in just heightens the “wow” factor.**

  6. There will be times during your ride you will feel harassed. This is your driver having his "intellectual way with you." Let your driver know on a scale of 0 to Bill O'Reilly how seductive he is.  

If all this sounds scary, it is. But don't worry. You are sure to come away from this carousel of delights intact... mostly. Good luck! And thank you for riding with Uber!

*all of this really happened to me while driving with him, by the way. 

** this too.

*** and this.