Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Bon Voyage

Alright my lovely e-friends, it's time to bid you adieu. Huz and I will be enjoying our celebratory vacation (for our belated 10th anniversary, my graduation from college, and his Ph.D. acceptance) in Europe for the next few days.

I can't promise that I'll be thinking of you when I'm here,
Eiffel Tower

Sacre Coeur


or here,

but you never know! I may be thinking of how to blog about it every step of the way! :)

Stace - Congrats on finally getting Canadian residency! Have a great week and remember to give Hobbes some lovin' for me.
Jen - Continued luck on the job search and move to Seattle! I'll be checking in on you when I come back.
Lois - I know I'll have lots of fun stories to read when I get back, so keep up the great story-telling!
J Henry - I can't wait to get back from Europe and to share with you and the Internets how awesome that D70 really is! :)
KVB - Here's a hug for your Nana and for pre-wedding stress while I'm gone! |----------| Hang in there, girl, and I'll answer your questions when I come back! :)
Marian Evans and Moltmannian - Thank you so much for taking care of Cambridge. Please give her love everyday (and food and water!) because I know she is going to miss us wicked bad!

I'll see y'all when I get back!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:39 AM

Monday, May 23, 2005

Introducing Victoria Winters, B.A.

I did it, folks! Here are some pictures from my big day.

Before leaving for the graduation ceremony, Huz needed to try out my Nikon camera for the first time. So here I am being his model.

Dressed? Check.

Before the ceremony

Hat fit? Check.

Trying on the hat

Tassel straight? Check.

Tassle examination

I got to the gym and was searching among the crowds for my family. Don't I look pitiful? (And my friend does too, doesn't she? She was dealing with morning sickness all throughout the ceremony - notice the NutraGrain bar she's clinging to.)

Where's my family?

Family found? Check.

Me and my buddy

Look proud and don't trip as you walk up to stage. Check.


Shake the Dean's hand and then the University President's. Check.


Smile for Huz as soon as I cross the stage (he wanted me to do it when I walked up the steps to the Dean, but I would have looked stupid and would have held up the line!). Check.


Beam like a fool on the way back to my seat (I'm the beaming fool behind the African American student). Check.


Stand in ridiculously bright sun and pose for pictures after the ceremony. Check.




Have Mom and Step-Dad take me out to an awesome (read: expensive) dinner that night. Check.

Graduation Dinner

Have a kick-ass party (complete with food, drinks and friends) all organized and planned by a loving Huz. Check.

Za Food!




Me and Friend L.

Me and Friends B. and K.

Check out the cool wine my Mom bought for me. Yes, I wanted the modification done - I worked for it, right!?

Magna Cume Laude Wine

Sis K. made me this cool sign so that our guests would meet us on the patio.

My Sis making a sign

My awesome Huz researched bakeries and got this yummy cake made for me.

My cake

I had a great weekend and I want to thank Huz for throwing me a great party and for loving and supporting me through the years as I worked my way through college. I couldn't have done it without his encouragement and his many hugs. I also want to thank my Mom, Ed, and Sister K. for flying out for the event. Your presence there made it very special for me. Thank you Mom and Ed for buying the booze (not fooze) for the party and for setting it up. Also, thank you both for the wonderful graduation dinner - the champagne cocktail was superb, the lobster was excellent, the chocolate mousse cake with creme anglaise and raspberry puree was delicious, and the dessert wine was great! I love you all! :)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:29 PM

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Can You Make Drugs Out of Fabric Softener?

No, seriously, can you? That's the only explanation I can come up with that would justify the asshole who has repeatedly stolen our fabric softener from our storage unit in the basement of our apartment building. I get SO frickin' angry when people steal from me - even if it is as petty as fabric softener. Over the past 6 or 7 months, some mfer has reached through the wooden slats of our storage unit down there and pulled out entire boxes of our fabric softener. I know about it because the next time I go down to do laundry, the box is completely gone and my clothes have to be stiff until I get to the store to buy more. What the hell? You can afford to pay rent and to pay $1 per load of laundry, but you can't go to the fing store and pay $4 for fabric softener!? I finally got so sick of it that I posted a sign on our unit that said that the repeated thefts had been reported and to stop it, already! Then, I called the landlord and reported it, then I blocked up the wall that joined another closet where the slats were wide enough to reach through and grab stuff. I also put the softener in a big Marshall Field's bag to prevent walk-by reach-throughs. It was fine for about a month. Then, this morning, I went down there to do laundry (because, you know, I have family coming in town today for my graduation and I have to clean my house!) and I noticed that the basement is a mess. Our nice landlords just sold the place and it's under new ownership now. Apparently they don't care about the status of the basement because there's some random couch thrown down there with dirty window blinds thrown on it, plus the washer and dryers are crusted with detergent and dirt, plus I noticed a huge pvc pipe and a mop lying on the floor. What the hell, I thought, as I put my stuff down and walked to my storage unit to get the detergent. Mother f*er!!!! The entire Marshall Field's bag and it's hidden fabric softener box inside were GONE. Our huge box of Tide was wide open with the plastic end of a mop broken off inside. The scoop was gone and half of the contents of the Tide box were all over my stored stuff and all over the basement floor. WHAT THE HELL!?! WHY on God's green earth is someone SO desperate to stand outside of the storage unit with a frickin' mop handle getting my laundry stuff!? I absolutely do not understand it and I'm absolutely sick of it. Tide is expensive, asshole! And how did you get any out for yourself!? You got it all over the floor - did you then proceed to rub your dirty clothes in it and then throw them in the washer!? Did you pay for the washer and dryer or do you know how to hotwire them!?
Can you imagine how I'd react if my home were ever robbed or if my car got stolen? I'd had a heart attack and then be put in jail for murdering everyone in sight.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:02 AM

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Run Victoria Run

Guess what Internet? Victoria actually got off her duff and went on a run this morning! Yay! I was going to take a picture of my red, sweaty face afterward so that you could see why no one ever hits on me when I work out, but Huz called as soon as I walked in the door and I was busy chatting instead. Not that not being hit on when working out is a bad thing; it's a good thing, especially when it comes to huge hairy guys who invade my personal space with their odor. Seriously. I was running on the treadmill at the campus gym about a month ago and I chose a machine next to the wall, rather than one in the middle, so that I could have a little privacy - not that I'm too concerned with people looking at the monitor as if they could figure out how much I weigh by looking at the calories I've burned (some girls seem to be all weird about this because they intentionally cover the monitor up with their towel!?). But it's better being along the wall with only one potential person running next to you than to be sandwiched in between two sweaty runners, right? Well, that's what I thought, until some huge, hairy, bearded dude came up to the treadmill RIGHT FRICKIN' NEXT TO ME instead of to one of the seven other free treadmills. (This happens to me on the El too. I'll be the only one in the car and instead of choosing a seat by the window on the opposite end, which is what I would do if there was just one other person in the car, people inevitably sit RIGHT BEHIND ME and breathe on my neck. What gives!?) Anyway, the huge dude jumps on the treadmill next door and starts running, which leaves me sandwiched between the wall and him. I suppose it wouldn't have been so bad, but the dude was fully clad in sweats (did I mention he was really big and hairy?) and it was like 80 degrees in the gym that day. To top off the space invasion, wearing deodorant was apparently against his religion and his odor invaded my space too. Dear.God.Come.Down.And.Save.Me. This man had body odor like I've never smelled - I felt like I was running down a cow-laden street in India, rather than in the clean gym at Loyola. It was SO bad. I tried to continue my run and started breathing through my mouth (which, I guess I already was), but the fumes were just too much. I finally had to quit and went to the rowing machine instead. Note to big, hairy, bearded men wearing sweatpants and no deodorant: be kind and run on a treadmill without people right next to you. Thank you. Oh, and, buy some god damned deodorant, okay? Can't you smell yourself!?

Ahem. So I went on a run this morning. I almost got run over by the prick in the big making-up-for-a-small-penis truck when he tried to turn left on a yellow/red light. Jerk. But, yay for me, I worked out! It had been too long. Not that it really matters, I suppose, because I'm going to eat one of these everyday on my vacation and probably plenty of this and this.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:49 PM

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Junk Drawer (a Little Bit of Everything)

I'm going to visit my good friend T today. She just had her baby boy on Mother's Day and he's adorable.

I'm sure I'll come back home all baby fevery and want to get pregnant right.now.please. despite the fact that we won't have steady income to speak of in our near future. Ack! You see, this is why I'm so nuts over my cat - she really is a baby substitute. How do you know what having a kid will really be like until you plunge into the ocean of parenthood? How do I know I'll even be a good Mom? How do I know I'll still want a career after the bundle of cuteness comes home with us? How do I know I won't loose my temper when it's being naughty (I've seen Super Nanny enough times to know how bratty kids can be)? How do I know if we'll be able to afford diapers, daycare, carseats, clothes, toys, preschool (if you even pay for that), girlscout uniforms, prom dresses (or tuxes), and enough food for a growing teenager? The problem is that I think too much and way too far into the future, don't I? I seriously think it's just going to have to be an accident because I freak out about the details so much that I get into a crying frenzy about it.

Ahem. Anyway, to get off the baby subject for a while...if any of you have been to Belgium or France, what are the Must See destinations? We plan on visiting Leuven, Brussels, Brugge, and Paris and Huz wants to visit some monasteries to see beer being made by Belgian monks. We also want to see the awesome architecture and absorb the culture that both countries have to offer. Good places to eat that don't cost an arm and a leg would be great, if you know of any! I can't believe we leave so soon and we're still trying to figure out exactly what we should do while we're there.

I haven't seen any ghosts or mice in the walls, but Cambridge was totally into a ladybug the other night.

Sitting peacefully by Huz (who was, of course, blogging*), Cambridge notices a black spot on the ceiling.

What's up there?

It grabbed her attention for about 15 minutes and she kept running all over the living room to follow it. (I'm surprised she didn't run into a wall or something because she was looking up the entire time.)

Looking Up

I finally gave in and decided to help her get it because she was driving me crazy with her running all over the couches (and the poor saps who happened to be sitting on the couches) trying to get it. (Don't you love how she doesn't even notice it when it's finally in reach!?)

Help me get up, Mom!

Then we busted a patriotic move for no apparent reason at all.

Get the bug


*ha! Did you know that blogger spell check wanted me to change "blogging" to "flogging!?" Huz, didn't I tell you it was too violent to flog yourself in front of the child!? Sheesh!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:21 AM

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Silly Site

Thanks Marian Evans for pointing out this crazy site. Funny!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:55 PM


I've been kinda negligent with the posts of late. It's not that I've been busy or anything, on the contrary, I've been sitting on my ass in front of the t.v. with nothing to do (I know, I can't just be happy that I graduate from college next weekend - I have to be bored and complain about it to the whole world).

So, what cool story should I share? I know, I'll tell you about my crazy neighbor, "Crazy Joan." Said crazy woke me up this morning with her furious clapping of hands and 15 minute growl session. I'm not kidding. This woman growls like an animal down there. I thought about doing a lot of things to shut her up, like stomping on the floor and putting my face to the rug, yelling, "Joan, I can hear you. Shut up!" I also wanted to put a note under her door that said, "Humans do not growl. Knock it off." I also thought about sticking a fishing pole out of the window, lowering a sign down that said, "Shut it, animal!" But I didn't. I just laid there and tried to go back to sleep, which didn't happen.

I'm getting frustrated with the job situation. I finally have a college degree, so I do not want to be somebody's yes-woman anymore (i.e., secretary - no offense to any of you who may be one). I should move up from here, but so far nobody in Nashville has called me back and I fear that I'll have to apply for these kinds of positions. One place said I'd hear from them by yesterday. Well, yesterday is gone and I have yet to hear from them. sigh

I also hate that I'm 29 and still have 4 years of school ahead of me before I can be in a career with decent money and security that will allow us to start trying to have a family. The baby fever came on me about 2 years ago, but obviously I was trying to finish my undergrad so I didn't do anything about it. Unfortunately, now isn't a good time either (is there ever a "good time?") because Huz will be a student for another 4-5 years, with no income to speak of (other than a small stipend). What's a girl to do? What have you done? I want both a career and to have a child. I'm worried if I wait too long it will be really hard (case in point: I have a friend who is a few years older than me and after 2 years of trying, she had to do en vitro. Another friend my age has just had 2 miscarriages). I know there's no way to tell if I'll have trouble conceiving or not, but I'm scared that I'm risking it because of my desire to be somebody in this world (i.e., have a career). Advice from those of you who have done both successfully is wholeheartedly welcome.

I guess this was a ranting post, but sometimes we have to just let it out, right?
Thanks for bearing with me!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:11 PM

Friday, May 13, 2005

Sober Self Praise

Well, I just checked my grades online for this semester and so far I have 5 A's out of 6 classes! Woohoo! Just waiting for one more! :)

Here's a self portrait I did for photography class. What do you think?

From Victoria's Photography Class

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:14 AM

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Picture This

Be warned: I am now going to bore you with a zillion pictures from my new Nikon D70.

Here is a series I took while trying to write a paper (ok, ok, I had clearly taken a break to read blogs, but still):

Cambridge innocently walked by and happened to notice that Mom was using a colored pencil. "Hmm," she thought.

Hmm...a pencil....

Clearly, she planned on being bad, but she decided to trick Mom with a cute, "I'm so innocent, oh and did I mention that I love you?" face.

I'm completely innocent

Then, the badness ensued. "I'll just help you with your paper. Here, let me take notes for you" she said.

Why won't this thing write?

Seconds later the teeth came out.

No, I'm not!

Thanks for the teeth marks on my pencil, Cambridge!

Close Up - notice the bite marks!

After much fun helping me write my paper, she collapsed for a mini-nap.

That wore me out

Then she got bored and decided to do a workout Jane Fonda style. Notice the striking similarities.

Stretch and hold it, one...two...three!


Jane Fonda Reach

And rest.


Stretch again, one...two...three...


Jane Fonda Stretch

Now do the splits!


Jane Fonda Split

That's fine if you want to be in shape, Cambridge, but I'm not buying you a cheesy 80s leotard and belt, nor do I want to see you do this move, EVER.

Jane Fonda Ick

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:08 PM

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Can I just say how awesome you blog people are? Huz and I have been blessed to get acquainted with some fine folks who live in the Nashville area via the blogoshpere. I called them today (complete strangers, mind you) and they went and checked out a rental home for me because Chicago is kinda far away for me to do it myself. They even took pictures of the place and emailed them to me.


Thank you Emily and Thunder SO much and I can't wait to actually meet you in person! :)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:28 PM

Monday, May 9, 2005

Tipsy Self Praise

I'm a little tipsy right now because of my rum and coke (heavy on the rum). Why on earth am I drinking at 4:30 in the p.m., you ask? I'll tell you. I just frickin' finished my final final, that's why. I am officially FINISHED WITH COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAAAAHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOO! I did it, people, and I did it WELL! :) YES!


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 4:44 PM

Sunday, May 8, 2005

About Me

If you want to know more about me, I recently did another blog for a class project.

That's all for now.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:51 PM

Friday, May 6, 2005

Darkroom Poop

I was in the darkroom working on some last minute prints this week and some interesting conversation with my classmates ensued. Most of us get along pretty well and there is generally camaraderie and friendly bantering that happens in the dim, red-lit room as we make test strips and slosh our work around in the chemicals. But Wednesday, our last day of class, was an all out slap-happy, anything-goes kind of day. Someone (cough, Adrienne, cough) brought up the Oprah show she had watched that morning, which was on the topic of poop. (Yes, I said POOP. Don't like this topic? Then you better not continue reading this poopy post and I advise that you definitely avoid reading this, this, and this.)

Ahem. So, we all laughed wildly as Adrienne quoted the Dr. on the show, who said that normal* poop should be in the shape of an S when it comes out of the, er, body. Ok, I now officially know that I am not normal when it comes to the pooping department. Neither do I have long, bowl-wrapping poop, nor does it come out in the form of the English alphabet.

So, the laughing and joking continued and I decided to share a little story: once I was so constipated that I had serious thoughts about getting a spoon from the kitchen to aid my impacted rectum a bit. Now, I said I thought about it, people. I didn't really do it! One of the students (cough, Jacob, cough) was so grossed out by the conversation of POOP and SPOONS that he actually left! He told the teacher that I was "being bad" and left! WTF!? First of all, I didn't bring the topic up, and secondly, this is the guy who did a series of full-frontal nudes, showing all of us his bird perch. And he's freaking out about the innocent (and damn funny) talk about POOP!? What gives?

*I don't even want to know how they determined what "normal" poop was. Were there official poop collectors that went door to door collecting random samples, or what!? And how did they bring it back to the lab in it's original shape? Hmm. Must have S-shaped bags or something.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:38 PM


Apparently we have a ghost in our apartment. No, things aren't being moved around mysteriously, nor are the lights flickering just before we reach to turn them off. What is happening (as I'm sure you guessed) has to do with Cambridge (hide your face in shame, girl). She's sleeping sweetly in my lap and purring up a storm when, out of the blue and for no apparent reason, she jumps up and bolts to the wall. There she stands, about a foot away from it, and stares intently at the trim. There was no sound and no movement that I detected at ALL that would attract her attention like this. So, I get down on all fours to examine the wall with her (I must look like a freak, I know), but to no avail. There's just nothing there. She paces around and keeps checking out the wall for about 15 minutes before she gives up. This type of thing has happened several times in the past month. This morning was no exception. Instead of greeting Huz at the bedroom door as usual, he found her crouching in a corner staring at the wall. Now, as I see it, either I have an extremely bored cat who needs some serious entertainment, or we have a bug ghost. That's right, a bug ghost. (Googling this brought me to a picture of this gross thing. Ew.) That, or my great house-cleaning skills have rendered lively populations of dust bunnies for her to look at. Speaking of which, I am so going to watch Oprah today to see if that seemingly rich, clean lady has gone back to living in a disgusting, rotting mess, or not.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:36 AM

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Cambridge's Corner


A note from Cambridge, Queen of All Cats, on how to be a good daughter.

When Mom comes home early from class because she has a bad headache and goes straight to the bedroom to lie down, respect her desire to sleep. For a while. Once your patience has run out and you must get some lovin', run into the bedroom, leap up onto the bed and proceed to drive Mom nuts. Walk on her back, pace on her pillow, nuzzle your wet nose in between her neck and her shoulder, force her to pet you by shoving your little, beak-like face between her fingers and the pillow. Smear saliva on her face by slightly opening your mouth and rubbing your side teeth along the length of her jaw and cheek. Then, because you're not getting much of a response, go absolutely berzerk and spaz out right beside Mom, digging like an UnderMiner on the sheet as if you are on your way to China via the center of the earth. Run around and make your "I'm a bat outta hell," "banshee banshee" noise. And body slam yourself into the soft, bouncy mattress and then into Mom's side for good measure. Then, quietly leave the room like nothing happened at all and let Mom sleep for 3 hours.

Oh, and Mom, there is no way I would use this. Don't even think about it.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:08 PM

Monday, May 2, 2005

Note to Self

When trying to be health conscious when making chocolate cupcakes (which is a total oxymoron anyway), do not, I repeat, DO NOT cut the amount of sugar called for in the recipe in half. Brown cupcakes that are not sweet are no longer chocolate. They are just brown. Ick.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:42 AM

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Dry Graduation!?

So here's the deal - I want to have my graduation party outside (if, fingers crossed, it's nice out). So, Huz and I scouted out some nice parks in Evanston where we could have a jolly time with friends, enjoying catered food and a lake view. But the problem with this grand idea is that stupid Rules-R-Us Evanston prohibits alcoholic beverages in their parks. Um, a dry party thrown for me? I so don't think so. What should we do? Bring paper bags and drink hobo-style? Have the party in our apartment instead? I really want to be in the sun, but tipsy too. Sigh.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:37 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