Friday, April 29, 2005

Glass House Adventures


Submitted for Photo Friday's Weekly Challenge: "Fancy"
(If you like it, vote for me at www.photofriday.com. Thanks!)

This is the Lincoln Park Conservatory that Huz and I visited last weekend. It's beautiful both on the outside and on the inside, where it is filled with tropical palms, ferns and flowers. A little history on the place: it was built between 1890 and 1895 (seems so modern, though!) to display and grow plants and flowers for use in Chicago parks. Here are a few pics from our little venture inside:

They have a nice pond with fish,




and plants with huge leaves,


and plants with strange leaves (pitcher plant),


bored husbands sitting on benches,


old ladies sitting out front playing peaceful music on a flute-like instrument (who, I'm sure, is glaring at me because I should be giving her money, not taking her picture),


and this beautiful room that I wanted to have my graduation party in, but it costs $1,000 to rent. Maybe if Huz and I get married again we'll do it here!




Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:37 AM

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Difference Between He and I

When Huz asks me how my day was, I answer in full. And I mean FULL, people. I'm detail oriented, what can I say? For example, over dinner tonight Huz politely asked me how my day was (other than getting a parking ticket) and something like this ensued:

Huz: How was your day, hon?

VW: Pretty good (other than the parking ticket). But, dude, I had to pee SO bad during class this afternoon!

Huz: Why didn't you just leave and go?

VW: Because I felt bad. I mean, it's a small class and we're all sitting in a big circle discussing a book, so it was too obvious to get up and go. So, anyway, I had to pee so bad that when I finally got to go to the bathroom after my hour and fifteen minute class, my pee was see-through. I'm talking water, man. There was no trace of yellow in that bowl at all. And I peed FOREVER. It just wouldn't stop and you know how I hover, rather than sit down on public toilets? Well, I peed for so long that my legs, which were weak from working out today - I ran on the treadmill and then did my usual sit-up routine, were shaking. They were SO tired and the flow just wouldn't quit! (pause for breath)

So, how was your day?

Huz: Fine.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:59 PM

Bad Car Week

So, what's the deal!? Is it only me having a shitty week or is it a bad karma, weird vibes for everybody kind of week? As I told you before, Huz got 2 parking tickets and the car towed (for a grand total price of $185) on Tuesday. THEN, I drove the car today and parked on campus near where I usually park (but not near enough, evidently) and got a $50 parking ticket because I failed to see a tiny sign that says no parking on half of the block on school days. ARGH! I was so furious after getting this ticket that I called Huz up at work and literally said, "If I had a penis* I'd take it out and make somebody SUCK IT!" I know, I know. I'm vile and lewd. So shoot me. Just don't give me another m-fing ticket!

Chicago is giving us a mighty fine send-off!

*No, I don't have penis envy. I don't buy Freud on that one at all. Actually, I don't buy most of Freud's theories.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:14 PM

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Thank Yous

Thank you Number One:

I am happy to announce that I am officially moving this


from my "Wanting" category to my "Having and Loving" category!
Thanks to my Dad for giving me such an AWESOME gift for graduation. I'm still in shock about it. Thank you, Dad!
I'll be gradually learning how to use this baby and will post pics from it as soon as I take some (I'm still on page 6 or so of the manual!).

Thank you Number Two:

I'd like to thank Huz for making me a stiff drink last night because I was PMSing and really wanted one. He did this, folks, despite the fact that he had a worse day than I did. Picture getting off the evening train from work and walking back to your car, only to find that your car is gone. That's right, gone. There were no "Do Not Park" signs posted at 7:30 in the morning when he parked (where he has parked everyday for over a year, I might add), despite the dumb-ass policeman's claim. Huz checked twice for them before parking because he saw some construction stuff, but there weren't any posted. So, you guessed it, he got towed because they* decided to repave the road that day. He accrued two parking tickets - one for parking there and one for the police making a bloody phone call to the towing service (since when do local phone calls cost $25!?). All of that on top of a $135 towing charge.
And he made ME a drink last night!?
That's love.

*By "they" I mean the stupid-ass suburb of Park Ridge, IL. Don't go there. They suck.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:40 AM

Monday, April 25, 2005

Long Lost Twin

Apparently, Cambridge has a long lost twin sister living on the East Coast.
I had intended to transcribe a letter from Cambridge to said twin, expressing her great joy to find her again, etc., but Camby decided that her afternoon nap was more important.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:24 PM

Sunday, April 24, 2005



Submitted for Photo Friday's Weekly Challenge: "Soft"

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:46 PM

I Love Butter

Do you know what I just did? Do you? I frickin' made reservations for a hotel in PARIS!! Oh.My.Gawd! We're actually going to PARIS, people! Paris! I am so excited right now, I don't know what to do with myself! This is the first real vacation Huz and I have ever had (with the exception of a weekend getaway to Door County, WI...but, come on, that's Wisconsin - nothing special about that, sorry Wisconsinites!). We're going to stay in a beautiful place that is in the oldest and most central square of Paris, which is near the Louvre and La Siene. Oh, and they have a patisserie around the corner! Croissants, here I come!!

Cambridge, upon hearing that we're even thinking of leaving her for 10 days, copped a 'tude and screamed, "You're WHAT!?"


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:18 PM

Friday, April 22, 2005

On Egalitarianism

Huz and I decided from the get-go that we would operate our household on an egalitarian basis - where the chores would be equally divided between us (none of that gender differentiation garbage - puhlease! Go back to the dark ages if you believe that nonsense). Hey, my dirty underwear need to be washed just as much as yours do and you make as many dirty dishes as I do! Last night's conversation was a good example of egalitarianism at work in the Victoria/Gaunilo household:

Me: So, who's gonna do the dishes? (They were piled sky-high again, taking over both sides of the sink AND the counter AND the stove.)

Huz: mumble, mumble.

Me: What?

Huz: Um, I said I guess we can do them together right now or it'll have to wait until this weekend when I have time.

Me: (Looking at the mess of food encrusted plates and lip-printed glasses)
mumble, mumble.

Click goes the light switch and we walk out of the dark kitchen hand in hand, equals to the end.

Meanwhile, Cambridge helps herself to a beer.


Won't we make terrific parents someday?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:56 AM

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Does This Mean I'm Ugly?

I just found out that I was nominated (and won) the award that is named after this guy. He's not too easy on the eyes, but, still, it's quite awesome that some faculty member(s) thought of me for an award!

I've added a few blogs to my Reading list on the right, so take a look! Some are strangers, but some are friends. Read them. It's good for you.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:49 PM

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

On College and Old Age

I have a question for you about graduation announcements, but first, a little background.

I'm graduating from college in a month (YES!), but I'm not a traditional student by any stretch of the imagination. First of all, I'm married (you should see the reaction I get from the 18-year olds sitting next to me in class when they finally discover I'm wearing a wedding ring - oh the shock!). I got married at the prepubescent age (just kidding, I had hit puberty) of 18. That's right, folks, I was two months shy of turning 19 when I vowed before God and witnesses that I would be Huz's wife for "as long as we both shall live." Was I old enough and mature enough? Did I know what I was getting myself into? Did I have any real concept of what marriage was or who I was for that matter? No, no, no and no. But, by the grace of God, Providence, destiny, sheer luck (or however you want to word it) and a lot of work, I'm still married (happily, even) 10 years later.

In addition to being a married college student, I'm 29 years old. Now that's a major shock to my fellow students. Most don't believe me, which I suppose isn't a bad thing because it means I must look young (just keep that up when you're 40, ok body!?). Why did I wait so long to go to college? I'll tell you.

I went to a crappy ultra-conservative Bible College right after I got married and quit after 2 years, realizing that I did NOT want to study the Bible or theology. Not for me. Thanks anyway. But, it took a loooong time for me to get back to school of any kind because I was young and married and had to work because Huz was in school (I guess I didn't HAVE to, but money is kinda important, you know, what with food, clothing and shelter costing money). So, I worked full-time for the next 6 years. I began taking college classes on a part-time basis during the last 3 years of full-time work and then finally transferred into Loyola as a full-fledged, full-time student at the ripe old age of 27. It was a difficult transition for me, to say the least. I no longer had a job title, Events Coordinator Extrordinare, to identify with. Instead, I was just a student and an old one at that. I struggled with how to present myself to the other students, sorely aware of my difference; I felt like a zit on the end of someone's nose - something that stuck out and didn't belong. But, eventually, I decided to embrace my age and life-stage because, hell, I've experienced a lot more than the kids around me and I should be proud of it. Plus, I'm gaining so much more from my education than most of them anyway. But...

All that to ask about announcements. My Grandma is waiting for her announcment to arrive in the mail (or so I hear). Er, I wasn't going to buy any. Two reasons: 1. I'm cheap and 2. I'm OLD, so why should I re-highlight this fact to family and friends? I'm experiencing a strange dualism: I'm both proud and embarrassed by graduating at 29. Apparently, however, my family is down right proud of me (*smile*) because they are giving me gifts. My Dad is giving me an awesome camera (a Nikon D70 - Dooce, you've got picture-taking competition now!) and my Mom is contributing a generous amount towards our airplane tickets to Belgium this summer (our first REAL vacation). So, should I spend $50 on announcements? Would it be a validation to myself of my accomplishments, something that I need to do for me, or what? Help me decide.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:38 PM

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I Know I'm Too Old For College

I overheard this conversation yesterday which made me feel old, but glad.

Setting: Classroom. Before Philosophy class begins.

Girl 1: Ohmygawd, youguys. My stomach hurts SO bad. I think I'm going to seriously throw up. It hurts so bad. groan

Girl 2: Did you get drunk last night?

Girl 1: No, I totally didn't! groan

Girl 2: Yeah, what's up with ME getting drunk and not you for a change?

Girl 1: Ohmygawd. I'm seriously going to puke. Take me to Walgreen's as soon as this is over.

Girl 2: So, are you going out to party with us tonight?

Girl 1: Yes! Of course. (groan)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:59 AM

Monday, April 18, 2005


So, I'm watching Oprah (which is a rarity, people, because of my morning classes) and laughing along with the glammed-up audience at the hilarity that is John Stewart and then......"We interrupt this program with a Special Report on the Papal Convention...blah, blah, blah..."
ARGGHH! Just pick a new pope, already!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:37 AM

She May LOOK Innocent, But...


Ok, cat lovers, I need your help.
We got Cambridge about seven months ago and right from the get-go, she began to "love bite" us when we held her. She loves to be held, so it's not a bite that means, "Let me go, asshole," but it's more like her way of kissing - it's just that nobody ever told her that open mouth kisses DON'T involve teeth! She purrs and kneads her paws and then, BAM, bites you from left field with no change in the other loving behaviors. She's done this a lot lately in the mornings when Huz opens the bedroom door (which is off-limits for her at night because she keeps me up) and she bolts up onto the bed. She purrs like crazy, so happy to see Mom after 8 miserable hours without my attention, and gets in my face, rubbing her cheek on anything she can reach and then, you guessed it, BAM, I get bit in the frickin' nose, or chin, or leg. WTF!? How do I teach her that biting is MEAN and that her behavior is 'unasseptable'?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:05 AM

Friday, April 15, 2005

Consumer Corner

Yet another bit of advice from one consumer to another.



Clinique is one smart company. They lure you into buying something for a mere $19.95 because you get a free gift, and who can pass up a free gift? I can't. This luscious tube of moisture was part of a recently acquired gift and I don't think I can do without it from now on. Yes, that means I was successfully suckered into thinking I NEED this $40 jar of goop, forEVER. But, people, it works so well. Really. Try to get it for free and see what I mean.



While these might look cool (like my toaster did), they SUCK! They're Clarks, which is supposed to be a good shoe company and all, but look what they did to my foot on the first day I wore them:


There, you are fairly warned. Don't spend $70 on these puppies because they just turn your feet into hamburger. Speaking of which, it's lunch time. Mmmm...hamburgers!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:41 PM

At Rest

From Victoria's Photography Class

Submitted for Photo Friday's Weekly Challenge: "Rest"

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:02 AM

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Some people (ones who think their wives have special "vagina detergent" that will somehow cause their scalps to menstruate) don't believe that the picture I posted is what I said it is. Well, here's some more evidence that it really IS a bottom of a pot and NOT a bowling ball.


Does that help at all? You can see where the round stove burner has oxidized the metal. Yes, no?

Ahem. I haven't written anything great in a while because I've been sidetracked from actually doing what a student is supposed to do - namely, homework. You know, writing of papers and exams. blah blah blah. I'm ready to grad-gee-ate. I'm sure I'll post something substantial again soon, but until then I will leave you with yet more pictures of my cat. She REALLY loves her cat dancer, people!


Cat Dancer

Whoa, trippy.

Cat Dancer

Oh Lord, I beg thee not to take away my cat dancer toy, EVER. Amen.

Cat Dancer

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:11 PM

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

And The Winner Is...

Marlo Girl at http://marlogirl.blogspot.com/.
It was the bottom of Gaunilo's beer pot! Nice guess!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:03 PM

Monday, April 11, 2005

This is where I grew up...


and apparently it looks like this today! Sorry about that, poor snow-bound family!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:34 AM

Ojo Update

The Mysterious Red Eye has gone away, due to a visit to the Doctor and a $15 bottle of eye drops. See?


In other news, don't I have the cutest cat EVER?


She's kind enough to distract me from boring ol' literature reading. Thanks, Cambridge!

And in still more news, a friend of mine just emailed me with news that she's expecting. Congratulations Reindeer! I'm so happy for you and wish you and Chris the best!

[Editor's Note: I just received notification from my friend that she lost the baby. Please send her your love and thoughts via my comments and I'll send them to her in an email. I'm sure she'd smile at the blogosphere love being sent her way.]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:58 AM

Saturday, April 9, 2005


Can any of you guess what this is a picture of? (Huz, you can't guess because you already know.) Hint: I took it myself (yesterday) in my home and, no, I am not an astronaut. I'll come up with a prize for whoever gets it right. Good luck!

Gues What This Is

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:03 PM

Crazy Neighbor and the Shredded Toilet Seat

I know that Huz has already commented on this, but for those of you who don't read his blog, I will tell you it myself.

Minutes after Huz got home from work last night there was a knock at our door. He went to answer it and I came up behind him to see who it was. To my dread, it was our crazy downstairs neighbor, whom I refer to as "Crazy Joan." Now I know that sounds mean, but she's really creepy, people. Not only does she regularly knock on our door to pawn off her crap on us (e.g. a thrift store 80s sweater that she insisted I would love, a long white polyester old lady skirt that she insisted was 'top of the line,' and a random can of tomato paste), but she also claps really loudly while screaming to herself (or to what she thinks she sees) all of the time, which is rather disturbing because I can hear it loud and clear through my floor. Anyway, Joan was wearing a dirty plastic apron over her clothes and said to Huz, "I need to ask you a favor." He reluctanly replied, "Um, okay...," and she said, "Are you a handy kind of man?" (I, still standing behind him, stifled a laugh because, um, NO he isn't!). Then, she proceeded to tell us that she uses a "soft" toilet seat (Whoa. TMI.) and was replacing her old one because it was "shredded," but said she couldn't get it on right and would we help her?* At this point I slowly backed away from the door because, come on, this goes above and beyond the call of being a nice neighbor and why on God's green earth is her old toilet seat "shredded" - I don't even want to know. So, Huz said, "Sorry, I'm totally not handy," so she said, "Oh, what about her?" (She doesn't even know my name and she's asking me to go to her apartment and put my hands on her toilet!? wtf?). The door was closed and locked soon after this little visit. The End.

*Okay, where do I begin on the wrongness of this question? 1. We're not close friends. 2. Even if we were close friends, I'm not going to screw on an ass seat for you! 3. She's crazy. 4. She has a filthy apartment (I went there once to help her with something). 5. She's crazy. 6. Nuff said.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:15 PM

Friday, April 8, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:57 PM


Last night Huz and I watched "Open Water." At the beginning, I was all, "Oh you should totally learn how to scuba dive and we should do it together" (I used to be certified as a teenager and loved it) but by the end, I was all, "Never the f*ing mind!" It was so intense that I yelled outloud several times (sorry Jesus for taking your name in vain and sorry neighbors for all of the noise). I panicked right along with the couple that was left behind by the incompetent dive boat, especially when they quickly became prey for a guzillion sharks.

Cambridge still seemed shocked this morning at how scary fish can really be.

Mid Meow

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:28 PM

Vengeance of the Sweet Tooth Gods

I had a sweet tooth Wednesday that just wouldn’t quit, people. What was I to do? I had it when I came home from class; I had it while I was cooking dinner (Roasted Pork Chops with Bacon and Wilted Greens from this month’s Bon Appetite); and I had it after I ate dinner. What else could I do but feed the naughty little tooth with all of the gloriousness that could fit into one bowl? See Exhibit 1:

Sweet Tooth

Not only did my indulgence render my gung-ho workout useless (the one that left me a sore sack of muscle), but it apparently also made the sweet tooth gods mad because I soon thereafter became afflicted with an ailment (no, I don’t really think it’s connected, but what fun would this blog be without asinine logic?). Said ailment is The Mysterious Red Eye, which I woke up with yesterday morning and am still suffering from now. See Exhibit 2:

Mysterious Red Eye

Isn’t THAT a lovely picture that you want in your head all day? You’re Welcome.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:45 AM

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

How You Know You Have A Cool Teacher

1. She looks at your blog;
2. She plays Iron and Wine during lab; and
3. She talks you into skipping boring old* Philosophy class to stay in the darkroom working on prints instead because, "You are a second semester Senior, after all."


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:22 PM

On How Cool I Am and Other Ramblings

I got up this morning and after showering and getting dressed, I went straight into the kitchen where the dishes were piled so high in the sink that they were swaying from side to side like a rickety building in the wind (and stinking to high heaven) and washed them all. Before coffee, before breakfast, before checking my email. I am so cool. Applause and praise are welcome now, especially from you Huz. You're Welcome.

Ahem. So, last night I had a splitting headache and laid down after dinner to make it go away and the next thing I know, it's 10:30p.m. and Huz and I didn't hang out* at all. Sorry, pal.

Note to self: Next time you work out and are feeling guilty for not doing it for a whole week, don't go so gung-ho that you ache like an 80-year-old the next morning. Can't.Move.Anything.Without.Serious.Pain.Ow.

*If you know what I mean.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:34 AM

Monday, April 4, 2005

Cambridge's Corner

psycho cat

How To Woo Mom and Dad:

Give yourself a bath and when you get to your ass, lick it really good, then look up and around with your mouth wide open in disgust. (Otherwise known as flehming). This will give Mom and Dad a great chuckle. Repeat daily.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:27 PM


I have nothing much to say today (I'm tired, if you must know and, yes, the grow-out* is proceeding nicely, thanks for asking), so I'll just put some more pictures up for your viewing pleasure.

This is an antique radio that I salvaged from the sidewalk (where it was left for the trash collector) a few years ago when we lived in the suburbs. What's with someone just ditching it like that? At least sell it or give it to somebody or bring it to The Antiques Roadshow (or leave it on the sidewalk and I'll take it to The Antiques Roadshow). It's hollow inside, but I love it because it adds character and history to my entryway.

From Victoria's Photography Class

Oh, and Cambridge likes it too.


I had a great time photographing some friends this weekend, so when I get them printed I will share some here. Sound good?

*I'm so self-referential.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 4:03 PM

Friday, April 1, 2005

April 1st? Wait a Minute!

It just dawned on me that I only have one more frickin' month (and change) until I graduate from college (FINALLY)! Holy crap. That's awesome. I've been in some type of college for, let me see, 7 years now (part-time for most of it, people, I'm not a dunce who had to retake classes or anything). YYYYEEEESSSS!

Run away, run away!

From Victoria's Photography Class

Yeah, that was random.
Happy April Fool's Day.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:24 AM

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