Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Quiz

Q: What's better than a husband who makes you pull your hair out?

A: A husband who pulls your hair out for you.


Thanks Huz!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:19 AM

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Stop, Thief!

If you were a purse snatcher and cornered me in a dark alley and then grabbed my cool green purse, you'd be a total jerk and I'd hate you and bite you. Also? This is what you'd find inside of it (yes, I'm totally copying you, Jen):

My Purse

Contents of my purse

(Click on photo for notes)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:07 PM

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I really enjoy belonging to a CSA. Check out the awesome organic veggies we got last weekend (Why so much? Cuz we got our friends' share while they're Down Under.)

Vegetable Still Life

New Potatoes

Row of Carrots

Green Beans


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:38 AM

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Got Fruit Flies?

Here's a helpful hint for those of you who, like me, have fruit flies in your house. I learned this trick a few years ago when I was looking for a chemical-free way to rid myself of these household pests.

Step One: Take red, white, or apple wine and pour yourself a glass. Enjoy.

Step Two: Take your wine of choice and pour a little into a small dish.

Step Three: Pour yourself another glass of wine. Enjoy.

Step Four: Add 1-2 drops of dish soap to the dish of wine.

Step Five: Place dish on a countertop or refrigerator. The flies are attracted to the fruity smell of the wine and will dive in for a taste. It will be their last taste of anything; may they rest in peace. Amen.

Dead Fruit Flies

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:55 PM

Friday, June 23, 2006

For Cheryl

Okay, because Cheryl pointed out how abnormal it was for grumpy ol' Victoria to have an optomistic "I Love" list, here's the opposite.

I Hate:

When websites play music at me without asking my permission.

When people turn around in my driveway. Yes, at least I have a driveway, but still. Can't they see that it's a dead end street? Why must the drive all the way down to the very end and then come into my personal space to turn around? Sheesh.

How my hyperlinks aren't showing up. Can you see that I'm hyperlinking here? Somebody help!

That my friend is in Australia and New Zealand for most of the summer. I miss her!

2:00p.m. Really, I do. It's always at 2:00 when I hit a wall and want to fall asleep at my desk. It's only 12:42p.m. right now, but it feels like the dreaded 2:00. Blech.

Not having any fun, social events planned for the weekend. Ho hum.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:37 PM

One of the Best Damn Recipes I Know

I made this for an office party today and my Southern-only-eats-things-out-of-a-can-and-never-been-out-of-Tennessee office mate said it was too "frou frou" for her. Everyone else loved it. Tell me what you think.

Amaretto Bread Pudding

1 loaf French bread
1 Qt half and half
2 TBS butter
3 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
2 TBS almond extract
¾ cup golden raisins
¾ cup sliced almonds

Break bread into pieces and cover with half and half; let stand one hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9x13x2” dish with butter. Beat eggs, sugar, and almond extract in bowl. Stir them into bread and half and half mixture. Fold in the raisins and almonds and spread the mixture evenly into the dish. Place on middle rack and bake for 50 minutes. Cool, cut and serve with glaze.


1 stick butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
4 TBS amaretto liquor

Stir butter and sugar over double boiler until melted. Remove from heat, whisk egg in well. Add liquor and stir.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:03 AM

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Daily Oberservations

I love:

Going on a morning run and smelling flowers (do they have honeysuckle down here?).

Driving aggresively to work while listening to Sonic Youth on the radio.

My new $10 sunglasses from Urban Outfitters.

How Tennessee runners say "good morning" when you run past each other.

My new vintage* Chicago poster (I still need to get it framed, but it's this one here.

My intelligent and attractive husband who can state his mind on his blog and then logically (and cool-headedly) defend it when others question (skew) it.

When a peck on the lips turns into a toe-tingling passionate kissing session.

*ha! I just noticed what an oxymoron this is. It's NEW! No, it's OLD!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:14 AM

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Chicago Trip, Part Two

This was my girly day. I met a girlfriend at the Water Tower Marshall Field's for a MAC makeover. I came in blah and left BRIGHT and CHEERFUL with GREEN and PURPLE BUTTERFLY EYES!

Mac makeoverMAC makeoverMAC makeover

Then we went all dolled-up and had lunch and conversation at the Grand Luxe Cafe. Surprisingly, I didn't get as many stares as I thought I would (not that I think I was HAWT, but it was awfully bright makeup to me!). Afterwards, I rode the L back up to meet Huz and drove up to the northern suburbs to spend the night with some other friends. We had dinner with them and got to see their son who was only 1-month-old when we left. It was pretty awesome: he took his first steps that night!

We left the northern 'burbs and headed down to do some of the touristy stuff I had always wanted to do, namely, an architectural boat tour. It was awesome. I took 2 rolls of film and hope to develop some more black and white pictures to hang on my walls at home. Here's some from the digital camera, mostly by Huz.

Yankee Hotel Fox Trot



After the tour we went to Millennium Park and I took a few shots of my favorite sculpture which is locally known as "The Bean."

"The Bean" and a Bird - Millenium Park

"The Bean" Millenium Park

"The Bean" Millenium Park

Then I took some of kids playing in the face-water-fountain-sculpture-thingies.

Children Playing at Millenium Park

Millenium Park

We ended this perfect day by going to the 96th floor of the Hancock building for martinis and a cheese plate. The view from the lounge was great, but it was even better from the women's bathroom. Check it.

Chicago from the Hancock Building

Navy Pier from the Hancock Building


(Hope I didn't give you vertigo on that last one!)

We woke up at yet another friend's house and spent the morning with my girlfriend. She was a co-worker when I first moved to Illinois and became my first and closest friend. She just had a second baby, who is 8 weeks old, and he is cute, small and sweet as can be. We chatted over breakfast and had to say goodbye too soon. Then we were off to the airport again (alas, a friend drove us so we had no more Crazy Stripper Lady action).

Goodbye Chicago! I'll miss you.

Chicago from above

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:32 PM

The Chicago Trip, Part One

Our trip to Chicago was great. We were able to see a few friends and eat some great food. We also got to be tourists - something we didn't do when we were residents there for 6 years. Here's how it all went down.

We got some Crazy Stripper action on the bus from the airport, unloaded our bags and borrowed a car of some friends (thank you SO much for that!). Since we have had some serious ethnic food withdrawals in Nashville, we went to our favorite old Thai place in Evanston for lunch: Siam Pasta. I had my favorite, Spicy Crazy Noodles (LOVE that name!), which has wide noodles, chicken and shrimp stir-fried with a bunch of veggies, limes and jalepenos. YUM. Huz had a lunch special with an entree and appetizer. Our total bill was around $13. How I miss that place.

Next we went to a cool little neighborhood called Lincoln Square and shopped. Purchases included apple wine from a German market, running shoes for Huz and a running bra for me at Fleet Feet, and a couple of CDs at a music store.

Then we went downtown to the restaurant of the best damn Mexican chef there is. Frontera Grill (Rick Bayless' casual restaurant) rocks! We both had a margarita (his with some fancy liquor in it and mine had a bunch of fruit), shared an appetizer of sopes filled with different ingredients (one with chicken and mole sauce, one with chorizo and black beans, and one with plantains and queso anejo), and enjoyed an entree (I had beef tacos al carbon and Huz had pork tenderloin in a mole sauce). Dee-lish!

We went to yet another favorite restaurant for breakfast - just so I could have an apricot flakey that I love so much - with a college friend of mine. She and I went shopping while Huz (ha ha, I just accidentally typed Zuh instead of Huz) visited a former professor. I bought a cute sunshine face made out of black clay from a Mexican shop and an adorable pair of shoes.

Palladium shoes

Then we went with our car-loaning (and bed-loaning) friends to our first Korean dining experience. Basically, you get some raw marinated meat and you barbecue it in a coal pit right there at your table. Plus, there are a bunch of little bowls of side dishes that literally fill the whole table (Nashville, forget Meat and Three - try Meat and Twenty!). It was pretty tasty, despite the surly waitstaff who basically kicked us out at the end because we were chatting and taking up a table (again, welcome to Chicago!).

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:00 PM

The Bus Story

We landed with a harsh bump on the O'Hare runway Thursday morning and wheeled our way to the jet ramp. After waiting for freakin' EVER for our one checked bag to arrive, we took another freakin' EVER to find the airport tram to the bus stop. So an hour after we landed we were finally on our way to Evanston where we would be unloading our stuff at a friend's house. We boarded the Pace bus (route 250 for you curious locals) and were on our merry way.

About two stops after boarding, a 40-something woman with blonde hair pulled up in a pony tail got on. She looked totally normal and innocuous, other than the fact that she was wearing a sports bra and running shorts (not what I would wear on public transportation, but whatever) and carrying a gym bag. We had an uneventful ride for about 40 minutes and then the action began. The runner woman turned in her seat to open the gym bag on the seat next to her and pulled something black and stringy out. Curious, I strained my neck to see what she was doing. In shock I realized that she had pulled out a black G-string and was proceeding to pull it on over her gym shorts. I elbowed Huz in the ribs and told him to look. We watched as she pulled the G-string high over her hips and pushed the latex shorts a bit down to show some skin. We waited wondering if she was going to take the shorts off next. Instead, she took off her running shoes and pulled out some tall, black, patent leather boots and put them on. She rolled the top of the boots down and reached into her gym bag to get some hot pink garters which she placed over the rolled-down portion of her boots. Everyone in the bus was whispering and hiding their shocked smiles with their hands as we waited for what would come next. Unfortunately I cannot tell you how far Crazy Stripper Lady was going to go because our stop came at this point. We pulled the stop cord and gathered our bags and as I stepped off the bus to the curb, I looked back in shock at her and saw one of her legs fly straight up into the air while she held onto the pole.

Oh. My. God.

It was 1:00 in the afternoon on a THURSDAY, people! What was that!?!?! There aren't any strip clubs in Evanston...was she making a house call and stretching on the way? What was with the running outfit? She didn't LOOK like a stripper (read: not attractive, not voluptuous, not even curvy). I couldn't stop shaking my head about it all day.

Welcome back to Chicago!!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:06 PM

Friday, June 16, 2006

I Forgot About Chicago Public Transportation

Hi folks. We arrived yesterday and are having a great time seeing friends and shopping so far (can you say cute new shoes!?). I won't spend the time telling you about all of our adventures right now, but I must mention that something...crazy?...strange?...very unusual?...happened as we rode the bus from O'Hare to our friend's house in Evanston.

Take a guess. I want to see how close you can get.

I never thought I'd see it, that's for sure.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:40 PM

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Buh Bye

I'm leaving you. But only for five days. You'll be okay, I promise.
We're going to Chicago for a short vacation to do some shopping, eating, and catching up with friends.


See you when I get back.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:23 PM

Am I Boring You?

Seriously. What's with the lack of comments lately? Are you on summer vacation, reading crappy romances on the beach and downing Coronas at an exponential rate? Am I not giving you what you want (not that I do that, as seen below)?

Here, let's try this. Remember my Consumer Corner? Let's do it again, shall we?

Consumer Corner


Mephistos - Helen

Mephistos are awesome shoes. I first found out about them after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis a few years ago. I was told to do a shit load of stretches and that I could either buy some quality shoes or shell out big bucks for custom orthotics. I decided that any excuse to buy new shoes was good enough for me ("But honey, the Dr. said I had to buy new shoes!"), so off to the shoe store I went. Both Birkenstocks and Mephistos have cork souls which, after time, conform to your foot and give you a custom orthotic that is much more stylish than the insertable kind. These are the Helen sandals and I have one in brown (bought at Zappos) and one in black (bought at a shop while in Ghent, Belgium). My only complaint is that the leather stretches out quickly and they get pretty loose. Maybe a shoe shop could fix it?


Schick Silk Effects

Now I know this lovely purple razor looks nice and girly and supposedly has "exclusive microfine safety wires [that] help protect you from nicks and cuts," but I proved them wrong this past weekend. You know how your knees always have hair on them no matter how much you shave them (or is it just me)? Well, I was determined not to have a knee hair exposed (or a hoo-ha hair, but I had no trouble with them) while I lounged at a friend's pool, so I shaved those puppies raw. I bent my knee as far as it would bend and shaved it, thinking the razor would have better contact with the hair that way. Well, the razor had better contact with MY FLESH that way and those damn wires that come down vertically over the razors did nada to protect my stratum corneum.

You want evidence? (Can you believe I'd take a picture of this? After I cut myself I called Huz from the shower to make him come and see the blood that was running down my leg. A few minutes later he heard the camera going off. I think he was mortified that I'd take a picture of my knee carnage and post it. My response? "Hon, do you think I give the people what they want? No. I give them what I want.")

Anyway, here's proof that the Silk Effects razor is really a sausage maker with a purple handle.

Cut by the Razor

You're welcome.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:31 AM

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sweet Tooth

These truly are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made.

Try them!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:19 PM

Weekend Update: by Victoria Winters and Victoria Winters

Saturday was fun. Huz and I slept in and then went to get our veggies from Sylvanus Farms. This week we got carrots, beets, cabbage, lettuce, sugar snap peas, green onions, cauliflower, basil, and parsley. (I have to say that the first beet-eating experience was bad; I couldn't stand them. But this time, Huz decided to use his awesome chef skillz and make homemade ravioli stuffed with beets served with a butter garlic sauce. Can you say A.W.E.S.O.M.E?) Then I headed off for some socializing. I found my way to Shannon's (my dental hygenist friend) new house that she just bought. It's nice and big. We played with her cats and I bought some Arbonne facial products from her so that my skin can chill the heck out (thanks to being off the pill, I've regressed to teenager skin - I can mail you a free sample of this stuff if you're interested). Then I went to another friend's house to have some girl talk and pool time. I was so careful with my sunscreen applications that you can barely tell I was out there. Oh well, better that than burned.

Sunday was tough. I feel like I went to a funeral. My eyes still feel like sandpaper from all the crying. I really don't know why it affected me so, but we attended church yesterday which was our Rector's last Sunday. We've only been going to this church for about 10 months, but it's felt like home: a warm embrace, in stark contrast to the churches we've been to over the last decade. Our church background consists of a painful, manipulative, fundamentalist journey eventually finding a free, welcoming place called St. Anne's. Rev. Lisa Hunt was my first female pastor and she has been wonderul. She's so easy to talk to, so deeply interested in each person that comes across her path, so loving, and so maternal. She taught our catechumin classes over the last few months and was key in our deciding to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church. Huz wrote a beautiful post about our recent confirmation here. She's leaving for another church in Houston where she feels called, even though it clearly isn't an easy thing for her as she cried more than most yesterday. The service was long and emotional. They had tissue packets in the lobby for us to take as we went into the sanctuary and I wisely grabbed one just in case. I went through half of it. I questioned why I was so upset about it, I mean, I haven't been there forming a relationship with her for 17 years like many others there have, but 10 months has apparently been long enough for me to know, trust, and truly like her and to start healing from a past fraught with forced conformity and pain. The church will not be the same without her and I'll truly miss her presence.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:47 AM

Friday, June 9, 2006

Express Yourself: A Study on Facial Expressions


Expressions: Angry

Expressions: Angry

Expressions: Angry


Expressions: Happy

Expressions: Happy

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:37 AM

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Mimi, Oh Mimi

I love me some Mimi Smartypants. Really, I do. But reading her delicious writing creates a distinct binary of emotions in me. I get simultaneously amused and jealous. Amused because I laugh my ass off at her witty writing and snarky attitude, jealous because I'll never be able to write as well as she does.

I particularly enjoyed some of her recent conversations, especially the one with her daughter.

Check it.


Yeshiva Boy In My Neighborhood #1: Is that a new suit?
YBIMN #2: Yeah. Hand-me-down from my cousin.
YBIMN #1: It is remarkably ill-fitting!
YBIMN #2: Yo, check it: I'm wearing it with white socks, bro.
YBIMN #2: Damn. ALL the Rachels be wanting your fine ass.
YBIMN #1: You know it. Somebody get Potok on the line! New title: The Chosen...For The Best-Dressed List!
YBIMN #2: He died in 2002 but in a non-literal way I totally understand what you mean!

Empty Cheeto Bag: I am but a husk, friendless in an uncaring world. Emptied of my cheesy snack goodness, I was cast aside without a care. I drift hither and yon, the lowliest of the low, buffeted by the wind and by the unseeing feet of vast multitudes. My future is dark indeed, and I long for merciful unconsciousness.
Me [walking past]: Christ, that's enough. Get over yourself.
Empty Cheeto Bag: Shut up, bitch! I wasn't even talking to you!
Me [turning around to flash the "L For Loser" signal on my forehead]
Empty Cheeto Bag [calling after me as I walk away]: Fuck you!


Nora has this huge playground ball, really more the size of a stability/exercise ball. The other day she put it on the toilet, where it was quite a sight for me when I walked into the bathroom and found this multicolored 20-inch orb rising out of the bowl.

Me: Wow, what's this?
Nora: I'm pretending that's poop.
Me: It's huge!
Nora: A huge piece of poop. A gargantuan piece of poop. I'm sorry, but it will not go down with the flusher.
Me: Who pooped this huge poop? Was it you?
Nora: No. I don't know who did it, because I wasn't there.
Me: I guess it will just be a mystery then.
Nora: Maybe it was a wild boar.

This child is so weird sometimes. A wild boar? You are pretending that a wild boar broke into the house and took a beach-ball-sized dump in our toilet? Okay.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:30 AM

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Mother Earth, a.k.a. The Nesting Feeling

A friend of mine told me that I'm acting like "mother earth" lately. Wha?
Oh, I get it. It's because I told her what I'm reading and that I planted a garden on Sunday.

See? It's got tomato, basil, mint, parsley and cilantro in it. Isn't it pretty?

The New Herb Garden

It's my very first garden and I'm excited for it to take off. It was a lot of freakin' work to dig, though. I went out there Sunday afternoon to break ground and quickly realized that though they look shapely, if I do say so myself, my arms are comprised of the most miniscule muscle fibers in the world. I was mostly using my back and shoulder muscles (ask me how I know) and I kept running the shovel into some big ass roots and even a brick. After about 40 minutes, into the house I went seeking a much needed drink of water while breathing heavy and beet-faced. Huz was doing housework inside and I got kind of pissy with him asking him if he realized that men have more muscle mass than women; he got the hint and finished the digging job for me while I ran back out to Home Depot for some soil (ours was very thick and clay-like) to mix in. So, grow little garden, grow! I will be oh so excited if and when some tomatoes bloom.

I also told my friend what book I'm currently reading (Taking Charge of Your Fertility).

So, yes, I guess she's got a point. I'm thinking all things fertility lately.

In other news, my fur child Cambridge has an eye ulcer. What next, little one? Always something wrong with you! :( We're giving her antibiotic drops for 2 weeks and hoping it goes away or off to a freakin' eye specialist we go (I can hear the cash registers now...cha ching, cha ching... - right after we laid down $560 for car brakes. Yeesh.).

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:30 AM

Friday, June 2, 2006

Photo Friday: New

I took photos of a co-worker's daughter yesterday because she saw my wedding photos and instantly "hired" me. (I say "hired" because I'm so new at this that I said yes without talking money first.)

She's only 7, but was quite the exhibitionist, let me tell you! She was striking a pose left and right without any prompting from me or her mother. I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes.

Here are some of the photos of her - a still "new" girl. Pure and innocent.









Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:27 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