Thursday, March 31, 2005

Consumer Corner



Yes, this is my latest shoe purchase and I'm digging 'em. These Puma's are totally comfortable and support the arch like a dream. Buy them. They're cool.



While this toaster may look cool, it isn't. Two weeks after I bought it, the display lights in front (the ones that indicate if you want to warm something, as opposed to toast it, or that you want to toast a bagel, etc.) went wonky on me. Every morning the "warm" button is on and won't turn off. Half the time I have to uplug it to reset the lights for proper toasting of my oh so important toast!
Word to the wise: if you must buy this, keep the receipt!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:55 AM

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

On Jock Itch

While I can't speak on jock itch per se, being a disease of the male persuasion after all, I can speak on the kind that comes after a wax job. Yes, I'm talking about pubes people - too much information you say? Well, that's my middle name: Victoria t.m.i. Winters.

What they don't tell you in the swanky salon, as they whisk you off into the private little nook of stickiness (that would be the wax) and pain (that would be the pulling out of hairs from a sensitive place) and then charge you $34 dollars for, is that grow-out is a bitch. An itchy bitch.

Back in highschool, my friend and I went through a hippy phase where we stopped shaving our legs for a few months. What soon ensued was a painful tugging of the now free-to-grow leg hairs. My socks were the things doing all of the tugging because the hairs were penetrating into the fabric of the socks, which would pull the hair with every step I took. Ouch.

But let me tell you, people, that's nothing compared to the pain of hair tuggage in the nether region, if you know what I mean. Maybe going without underwear isn't such a bad idea after all.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:34 PM

Monday, March 28, 2005

Chicago Chicago

my chicago

One of the things that I HATE about Chicago is the parking situation. You know, it's street parking where you take what you can find, and if you can't find it you have to park 5 blocks away and walk in the dark with all the crazies coming after you. Well, last night we're sleeping peacefully (especially Huz, who has been sick all weekend) and dreaming and all of these things, when we get violently woken up by the loud-ass doorbuzzer at midnight.* The disturber of peace was our 3rd floor neighbor. Said neighbor is really fat and, therefore, deems a zoned handicapped parking spot in front of the building necessary.** We park behind her zone all the time, but last night some loser parked too far into her zone from the other end and she couldn't park. Because she knows our car, she woke us up and asked us to move. Ug. Someday we'll have a parking lot, or even better, a driveway.

Another thing I hate is trying to lug bags and bags of groceries up 3 flights of stairs from wherever we were able to park. My fingertips turn the brightest white I've ever seen when they are being choked of blood by the heavy plastic bag handles.

And finally, another thing that I find irksome is the crazy lady who lives below us. Should I be concerned that right now I can hear her going, "KKKKKKKKKKKAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!"? What about the time I heard her scream, "What are you doing to me...what are you doing to me!?!?"? The freaky thing is that she lives alone and was, undoubtedly, talking to herself. shudder

Ah, Chicago. What a place.

*No, I'm not kidding. Even when I'm fully awake this thing gives me heart palpitations because it's so damn loud.
**Yeah, sometimes I'm mean.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 4:07 PM

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Cambridge's Corner


How To Woo Mom:

Every time Mom sits on the couch, jump on her lap immediately (the goal here is to get on her while she is still shifting her weight and reaching for the book or remote on the coffee table). Next, get up real close to her face so she can talk to you like you're a baby and kiss your forehead. Next, circle, circle, circle around and around on her lap/stomach/leg (whatever happens to be under you at the time) until comfortable and until her bladder is adequately stimulated for drainage, then lie down and sleep soundly for 45 minutes while Mom squints and quietly moans with the pain of having to pee, but not wanting to disturb you, the purring pal, on her lap. Repeat daily.

(This cat advice post was inspired by http://bloggochicago.blogs.com/catobloggo/. Thanks for the idea.)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:11 PM

Friday, March 25, 2005

Black and Whites

Guess what? It's snowing AGAIN. At least I have the day off (Good Friday and Catholic college = day off!) and can stay inside blogging in my pjs all day!

I thought I might share some of my black and white photos with you that I've been doing for my photography class. I developed and processed these babies from start to finish, which is totally fun to do. Maybe I'll make my own darkroom when we move to Nashville - I can totally see myself doing it as a hobby (one of MANY).

This is my mailbox in the entrance of my apartment building.

From Victoria's Photography Class

One of the reasons that I love Chicago so much is the rich architecture and history. Our apartment building, for example, was built in the 1920s and is full of character with a hardwood floor, plaster walls, high ceilings and glass doorknobs. This is a building on my street, which I refer to as "The Castle Building." Somebody in my photo class said it looks like Santa's house, minus the apartment buzzer.

From Victoria's Photography Class

This picture makes me smile because it's of a close friend of mine, who had difficulty conceiving and tried for several years. Thankfully, after she and her husband went through in vitro (which was not an easy decision to make) she successfully got pregnant. She's due in May and I couldn't be more happy for her!

From Victoria's Photography Class

I'll share more later. Let me know what you think of 'em.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:43 AM

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Vandy Vanderbilt - What's a Commodore?

So you know we're back from our trek to the dreaded South* and now I will share some photos, lest Huz take all the credit for taking them (ok, he took about half of them, but still).

*I'm not some random South-hater just for the hell of it. I do have reasons for my antipathy, which you can read here.

(While I wait for Flickr to upload, I just want to say that it's kind of creepy when my cat comes into the study behind me and the only reason I know it is because the wood floor creaks under her gluttonous 6 1/2 pound weight. *shudder*)

Ok, anyway, back to the slide show (my Dad used to do those for the family - I loved that).

These first two are proof of the Southness of Nashville - what more can I say?
Who Knew Changing Oil Could Be So Laborious?

The South in All Its Glory

This is the stairwell in the Religion Department building on-campus and, yes, yours truly took it. Thank you.

No, I'm not a Lord of the Rings nerd (like some of my friends - whoo boy! I was invited to Bilbo's Birthday once and I sat next to some serious LOTR nerds, let me tell you!), but this screams for LOTR recognition. I thought about photoshopping The Eye in, but I don't have time, people!
BellSouth Baradur (Lord of the Rings, get it?)

And this is a random picture of Friend K at my birthday celebration with gum on her pants.
Friend K With Gum on Her Pants

All in all, our trip down South went very well. We met a group of wonderful people that I look forward to befriending and we got a lay of the land so that we can research apartments from afar better. Things are all falling into place for us, so I feel it's the right thing for us to do and that's a good feeling.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:19 AM

Monday, March 21, 2005

I'm So Proud!

Here's Huz celebrating at Vandy (as it's locally known) where he was accepted for his Ph.D. in Theology. I knew you could do it, babe!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:58 PM

Home Again

Well, we're back from our 3 day trip visiting our future hometown of Nashville! I can't write much now because, consequentially, I'm behind in my homework, but I wanted to tell you how pleasantly surprised we were. Not that it's not southern (boy have I some 'southern culture' pics to show you!), but we were very happy with the school's reception and, mostly, with the invitation to a baby shower by some Ph.D. students. Here, we met some awesome people whom I know we will be great friends with - they even offered to help us move (thank you, Jesus!) AND to help me find a job (doing happy dance now!). Peace out.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:38 AM

Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patty's

Here's a quick shout out to the only Irish I know - Happy St. Patty's day Edward! Throw back a Guinness for Huz and a Bailey's for me (or an Irish flag, if you must).

I'm eating lunch quickly and then am off to Marshall Field's to buy a luggage set (ours is a motley crew variety, all of which are broken in some way or another). We musn't go to Nashville looking all shabby with torn, wobbly suitcases in tow, now should we? Nonono. (Plus, we're going to Belgium this summer to visit my sister* and need some decent baggage.)

*This is my lovely younger sister, who lives in Belgium. No, she's not really a prostitute - she was an extra in a local film.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:48 AM

Put Your Seats in the Upright Position

So, it's snowing AGAIN in Chicago this morning. I love snow, but come on, it's Spring already! This just makes the trip Huz and I are taking to Nashville tonight easier - to be honest, I'm not that sure about moving there. For one, it's the south (I have a strong aversion to the south because of a hellish 4 year experience in Baton Rouge) and two, it's the south (translates to hot and humid, neither of which Colorado girl likes). But, this Chicago snow makes me look on the bright side of living in Nashville and, hopefully, we'll find a great condo/apartment this weekend that I can look forward to being in. Wish us luck.

It's funny how having a blog changes you - no, not in some life changing, religious way, silly - but I found myself making breakfast and hoping that something would go terribly wrong so that I could report it to my vast readership (ha. ha.). I was stick-blending some whipping cream (which, I must say is my absolute favorite over oatmeal in the morning) and found myself halfway hoping that it would explode all over the kitchen, just so that I could make a funny rendition of it here. Well, that didn't happen; I just whipped it and ate it. I did clean out the frig that was full of not-so-fresh leftovers, though. Wow! The excitement!

I'll let you all (notice it's you all, not y'all) know how Nashville is when we get back in a few days - until then!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:11 AM

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


I shouldn't be posting right now because I'm supposed to be studying for the pain-in-the-ass that is a philosophy midterm. No offense to the elderly, but when your class can't hear you or understand you because of the excessive coughing, maybe it's time to retire. Especially when the subject is the pain-in-the-head that is philosophy - it's just not easy. For such non-intuitive subjects, it would be great if the teacher actually taught, but I guess we can't have everything. It's DIY education time. Ack. (Not that Loyola is a bad school. No. I've enjoyed my time there immensely, it's just that some classes suck.)

My grandma had a stroke yesterday and it brought on several feelings. The first was one a gratefulness - not that she had a stroke, mind you, but that we had just had a long (and rare) phone conversation a few days prior. In this conversation, I shared with her that I was graduating with honors in May and that Huz had been accepted to Vanderbilt with a full-ride for his Ph.D. She told me how proud she was of us, despite the doubts we gave her by marrying at the tender ages of 18 & 20. That meant a lot to me. I hear those words ("I'm proud of you") all the time from Huz, but to hear it from family, whom I feel I let down, means a lot. My Dad also said it recently in a heart-felt birthday card that he sent me. I cried when I read it, actually.

My other feeling upon hearing about grandma was one of isolation. I don't regret marrying Huz or traveling all over for our educational goals, but there is a sacrifice of family involved. Leaving the house and getting hitched at 18 will do that to you. I recently did a family tree project for a class, which made me realize how little I really do know my family and that saddens me. I just hope that I can get to know them all better (and vice versa) by making the best of my yearly visits home and by phoning/emailing more often since I won't be moving back home anytime soon (or at all).

By the way, grandma's okay. Thanks for asking.

That's all for now, dear Internet(s). If you're reading, drop me a line.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:42 AM

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Party Recipes

Ok, this post is for Friend K, who asked for this recipe last night. I must give credit where credit is due, however (I didn't create this recipe myself). I got it several years ago from here and have made it for many parties since, always with great reception from noshers (do you know that I almost spelled that with a "g" in front - like gnome!? Ha Ha). Anyway...

Spinach Artichoke Dip
8oz. pkg cream cheese
1/4 c. mayo
1/4 c. parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 c. romano cheese, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TBS. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1/2 c. spinach, chopped (if frozen, thaw and drain well)
1/4 c. mozzerella cheese, grated
Bring cream cheese to room temp. and cream together with mayo, parmesan, romano, garlic, basil & salt. Add artichokes and spinach - mix until blended. Pour into baking dish sprayed with oil and top with mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min., or until browned. Serve with slices of french bread.

Also, some may want the punch recipe from last night (I didn't get any compliments on it, mind you, but it was nearly gone so I take it it was ok). I have no idea where I got this recipe - I was doing punch recipe searches 2 years ago for Huz's graduation party.

Mock Champagne Punch
2 46 oz. cans pineapple juice
juice of 8 lemons and 3 limes
2 c. sugar
4 qt. gingerale (dry)
2 qt. sparkling soda
Pour together over ice and garnish with sliced lemons or limes. (Notice: this amount would make a crapload of punch - I quartered it for this crowd and it was just enough.)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:15 AM

Scenes From a Cocktail Party

So, we saw a bunch of our friends for my birthday celebration recently, but we didn't get to chat with everyone as much as I had wanted to, so we had our second annual cocktail party to see 'em all again! We had 15 over last night. Sorry, I have no drunken stories to tell you - we're a pretty tame group in that respect, but had fun nonetheless. Cambridge visited with everyone all night - I was going to buy her a sequin collar so she'd be all dressed up for the occasion, but Target's selection SUCKS and I was too lazy to drive around to pet stores because we were already driving all over creation for liquor and party supplies. It was great to see all of those who came, especially because we will be moving from Chicago to Nashville by the end of summer. Sniff. I love you guys!

Here's the bartender and his assistant, anxiously awaiting for guests to arrive.


My Friends B,K, and M. Don't even ask what we were talking about, I'll never tell!


Here's Friend D and Huz, taking a break from the bar.

D and Huz

Every cocktail party needs a well-stocked bar.

cocktail table

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:01 AM

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Cambridge's Newest Obsession

I love my cat, but she's awfully strange. Lately she's developed a new obsession with the bathroom sink. Whenever she hears me go in there to, you know, she gallops as fast as she can across the wood floor and into the bathroom, vaults up onto the sink in one great bound, and begins to suck on the faucet until I turn it on for her. She's a genuine Water Whore.

Water Whore

Later, she's so tired from all the galloping and leaping (I go to the bathroom a lot, people), she zonks out in her bed with Dad.

2 Pals At Rest

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:45 PM

Birthday Dinner

Scenes from a twenty-ninth birthday.
First, my dearest and I went to Salpicon and enjoyed some upscale mexican food, which included a smooth 'rita for me and a tequila flight for him.


Later, we went to the Grand Luxe Cafe to meet friends for drinks and dessert. The line was horendous and, so, here we are TWO and a HALF hours later, finally at our frikin' table!

bday table

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:36 PM

Spring Break

Ah yes, it's Spring Break in Chicago. Here are a few images of my blissful, sunny break in which I am supposed to kick back, grab a margarita, and forget about school for a week.


take a seat

snow flower


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:20 PM

Testing, one two three

Does this damn thing work? I've been trying to start a blog all afternoon (a convenient excuse not to write a paper that's due in a week). So, it's Spring Break and I'm finally a full-time student (meaning, I don't work on top of being a student for a change), but it's kinda overrated. I mean, I'm not down in Florida having fun or anything (not that I find Florida fun) - instead, I'm at home in Chicago and it's frickin' snowing today. Oh well. It's still been fun taking pictures for my photography class in the snow and giving myself a foot bath. More later.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:10 PM

My Food Blog

Quesadillas and Drinks


Nurse Jackie
United States of Tara
So You Think You Can Dance
True Blood
Curb Your Enthusiasm

Book Reading



Julie and Julia
Thirteenth Tale
Kite Runner
No Country For Old Men
The Road
What To Expect When You're Expecting
Water for Elephants
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Baby Wise
Norwegian Wood
Rabbit Redux
Rabbit, Run
On Beauty
Cement Garden
Eat, Pray, Love
Cute, Quaint, Hungry and Romantic: The Aesthetics of Consumerism
The History of Love
Pure Style Living
All The Names
Collage Discovery Workshop
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World
Fugitive Pieces
Taking Charge of Your Fertility
A 90 Day Guide...
The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy
Fast Food Nation
The Reader
Angel's World
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Black Dogs
Enduring Love
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Blog Reading

Blue Poppy
Bookish Bent
The Burkerts 3
Colors of My Mind
Cool Hunter
The Craziness We Call Life
Creative Musings
Fickle Feline
The Forth Clan
Geek's Pensieve
Green Genes
Holly Needs a Hobby
I Pretty Much Hate Everything
Inevitably Keely
Just Jenn
Mighty Girl
Mimi Smartypants
Modern Cottage
Mothers of Invention
My Head is Full of Stuffing
Nienie Dialogues
Possum Holler Press
Quarter Life Crisis
Say It, Don't Spray It
Self Passage
So Not Cool
Super Hero Journal
Tea and Brie
Three Girls and a Guy
Waiter Rant
Who Knew?
Wise Craft
Work It, Mom
You Go Grrrl

Kid Related

Baby Cheapskate
Cool Mom Picks
Green Mom Finds
Project Nursery/
Rookie Moms
The Soft Landing

Home Style

Apartment Therapy
Design Sponge


Amy Ruppel
Boho Photography
Daily Dose of Imagery
Deceptive Media
Decor 8
Little Purple Cow Photography
Non dairy Diary
Not Martha
Photo Junkie
Three Potato Four
Shutter Sisters
STC Craft
Tiny Showcase


101 Cookbooks
Becks & Posh
Chocolate and Zucchini
David Lebovitz
Delicious Days
The Domestic Goddess
Food Beam
My Vintage Kitchen
The Perfect Pantry
The Post Punk Kitchen
Serious Eats
Smitten Kitchen
Vegan Yum Yum