Trick or Treat!

As an adult, I think you’re either waaay into Halloween or find the whole holiday just annoying.

I’m more of a Camp B girl.

The last time I dressed up for Halloween was freshman year of college, despite the fact that I went to a Big 10 school known for its legendary Halloween bashes. 

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Halloween on State Street
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

I’m just not into dressing like a sexy kitty or something more ridiculous, even for one night of the year. But I do admire people who get into it and go all out. Big props to my friends who have been posting pics of themselves in elaborate and original costumes, clearly out having fun while I grumble about pumpkin smashing at home.

Check out this dude, voted “Most Clever for Halloween 2013:”

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From Tumblr

He’s the end credits from “Cheers.” Subtle. Brilliant. (Thanks for Spouse for sharing this with me).

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Very effective, no?

And now for the big reveal.

I mentioned last week that my sister helped me get the kids’ costumes together. By request, we crafted one “purple sparkly witch” and one bat. Here they are:

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These pics are from my sister’s house, pre-Halloween madness. MGM and Trixie wore these get-ups to school today, so I’m sure there’s a 99% chance they’ll be ruined before Trick or Treat time officially begins.

Two Conversations About Drinking, #2

Second Conversation from yesterday morning at Fancy Pants Ranch:

MGM (whining): “This cereal doesn’t have enough marshmallows in it!”

(Sidenote: He was eating Booberry, one of the least nutritious cereals in the history of cereals, and his primary complaint was that it wasn’t sugary enough. Sigh.)

MGM (escalating the whine): “I hate this gross cereal!”

Ever Patient Spouse: “I’m going to make a new chair called the Whine Chair. It’s like the Time Out Chair, but it’s for people who are whining.”

Trixie (chiming in): “Wine chair! Mom will love that! She can just sit and drink her wine all day.”

Wine chair. I want to go to there.

Two Conversations About Drinking, #1

This all happened at Fancy Pants Ranch yesterday morning.

Conversation #1:

Trixie: “I wish you had a Jeep that when you honked the horn, it would give you coffee!”

Me: “That would be awesome.”

Trixie: “And it would be light blue with hot pink wheels!”

Me: “Even better.”

Trixie: “Well, the next time you’re by a fountain, you’d better wish for that.”

Check. Fingers crossed.

Detox Diaries

I’m juicing again!

Can you hear the collective sighs from family and coworkers when they realize they have to share refrigerator space with drinks like this again?

green smoothie

Green Smoothie.
Tastes Better Than It Looks.

I’ve variously been into juicing for quite a while, usually for a few days at a time. The longest stint I did was during a night float rotation in residency when I subsisted on a daily Jamba Juice and Diet Coke(s) for six weeks.

But that was mostly out of laziness and not about health.

This guy makes juicing seem appealing. His documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” chronicles his health journey from zero to hero. It’s hard not to get on board.

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Joe Cross

I even bought a used juicer (Yes, I know that seems weird. My friend got it and used it exactly once, so it seemed ok at the time), and I, too, used it exactly once.

What a pain in the arse to grind up pounds and pounds of produce to get a thimble-sized serving of juice. Cleaning it was also a nightmare. There was even a special wrench you needed to remove the razor-sharp grinding blades, and the pulpy bits seemed to be stuck everywhere. It was a thousand times worse than hand washing a cheese grater.

For now, I’m making my concoctions in the old Waring bar blender we got as a wedding gift fifteen years ago. Originally intended for margaritas, I’m repurposing it. It’s doing fine, but I have my sights set on something bigger:

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Vitamix Professional Series 750

A Vitamix! The Cadillac of blenders!

While I am not remotely a professional chef, or a professional anything related to domestic matters, I need this. Mostly because it cleans itself!

Just Too Fancy

Ok, while I’m a self-proclaimed lover of all things fancy, the truth is that some things are just too fancy for everyday use.

Like giant, overpriced bars of soap.

Have you ever seen these?

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Fresh Soap. Divine!

This bar of soap costs $15.

It’s about 3x the size of a regular bar of soap, though, and it smells divine.

But $15? For everyday use? Not on my watch.

Every once in a while, I get a bar like this as a gift, and I tend to hoard it with the misguided thought that it’s too nice for ridding the everyday stink from our family.

On Sunday, we ran out of our usual soap type (the decidedly non-luxury brand known as Zest) and I had to break into my fancy soap stash. I selected a gift-wrapped bar that must have weighed 10 oz; it was the size of a brick, lathered beautifully and yes, smelled like heaven.

The kids each took a shower last night and I only intermittently paid attention to them, mostly to make sure there was not tap dancing in the shower (Trixie) or parkour stunts (MGM).

This morning, I got in myself and saw that my luxury soap bar was whittled down to a soap crumb. All that was left was a sad nubbin of the glorious loaf of soap christened only last night. Oh, pricey soap, we barely knew ye!

Those two kids had managed – in the course of one shower each – to use up approximately $14.99 worth of soap. If you’re keeping track that amortizes to nearly $7.50 a shower!

They’d better be really, really clean.

Oh, By the Way, You Need This

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Gap Bowery Supersoft Tee

Long sleeve tees are definitely a wardrobe staple for me. The unfortunate climate here in Minnesota means that they’re as likely to be worn solo in June as layered under a sweater and coat in January, so I have a ton of these workhorse pieces.

I liked this one from the Gap so much last year that I bought two identical hot pink ones. Their softness and comfort cannot be overstated. After a year of heavy rotation, though, they were showing a bit of wear.

And while a perfectly broken-in tee can be a thing of majesty, a crisp and fresh one is required to pull a look together in some situations.

So I was ecstatic to discover that Gap brought these beauties back for the season, in some new colors (including two new versions of my beloved pink), stripes (!!!! – Love!), and different necklines (V, crew, envelope).

Check them out. They’re even on sale this weekend.

P.S. Never pay full price for anything at Gap. Wait five minutes and it’ll be on sale. But you already knew that. 

Grown Up Friends

Do you think it’s hard to make friends as an adult? I do.

It used to be so easy. Consider college: You live, eat, study, hang out and party with other people your age. Close quarters and late nights make for intimacy and easy friendships. The massive alcohol consumption (“I love you, man!” “No, I love YOU!”) helps, too.

Residency and fellowship are also like that. Working countless hours with life or death situations on the line builds fast bonds. Those war buddies slogged through the trenches with me and will always be golden in my mind.

As a real adult, I find it harder and harder to meet people who really get me. Maybe it was easier when I was younger because there was less about me to get. Or maybe I was more open and accommodating to the quirks of others. A big possibility is that I had more time to cultivate new friendships and fewer pressing responsibilities, like, oh, a job, two kids, a Spouse, a mortgage, and an incontinent toy poodle.

Or maybe it’s this: I firmly believe that you can’t get a personality transplant, so perhaps the world’s caught on to my schtick and others stay safely away.

Being a good friend is, I think, one of my better qualities (Runner up best quality: Usually I have gum and will share). I’m really lucky to know cool and amazing people from every stage of my life. From a high school friend who happens to have the same career as I do, to another high school/college friend who lived in a 10′ x 10′ dorm room with me and still made me her Maid of Honor, to a college lab partner whose emails I look forward to every day, to people who’ve been in the OR with me at 3 AM, I love you all. The best part about almost all of these friends is that when we talk, it’s like no time has passed and we pick up right where we left off.

Friendship-wise, the most recent phase of my life has been the most difficult. I’m not totally sure why, but a lot of it seems to be due to time, which I have less of now than ever. During the free time I have, I’m guilty of trying to maintain the old friendships I have rather than putting energy into growing the new ones. Life transitions have also come into play: One of the most intellectual and insightful friends I have – and was thrilled to meet when we moved here five years ago – ended up transferring to a different branch of the World Famous Medical Center where we’re both employed. Huge bummer.

In the past few years, I’ve also gone through the painful process of editing friends. About two years ago, I went through a Friend Divorce from someone I thought I would be BFFs with forever. Realizing that I needed to cut someone loose that I’d known for ages was a new one for me. Maybe we’ll be friends again someday, but I’m not sure.

On the flip side, as I’ve gotten older and friendships have deepened, I’ve had opportunities to really be there for friends when it counted, whether life was good or bad.

But my solemn vow to you, Dear Friends, is this: Whether we met twenty years or twenty minutes ago, you mean the world to me and I promise to be the bestest bestie I can be.

Let’s hang out soon and have a laugh.

In a Nutshell

I love it when a single word or phrase perfectly summarizes a situation – or better yet! – an entire person.

Boiling it down to its essence, so to speak.

One of Ever Patient Spouse’s friends once described me as “The kind of person who would own a tiny dog who wears clothes and a beret.”

Oui, oui! C’est moi!

Which is why I was absolutely thrilled to snap this paperweight up at the Kate Spade sale last week:

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Yep. I think this captures my philosophy on life quite nicely, thank you very much.

P.S. Kate Spade, I forgive you for making your purses seem supportive of an African warlord. Major whoopsie.