Sunday, November 20, 2011

weekly gratuitous ike: really really ridiculously good looking

There's something you need to know about Ike.

Every night when we get into bed, Ike sits patiently on the floor to our left. He's figured out that as soon as we unfold the comforter -- the barrier Ike sleeps on so we can keep his hair from getting all over us -- he's allowed to get onto the bed.  

When the comforter unfolds, his ears perk up. He knows that's his cue.

And this is where it gets tragic. 

He doesn't get on the bed right away. Because Ike is not an ambi-jumper. 

It's a problem he's had since he was a baby. He can't jump onto the bed from the left side.

So when he gets the signal to get on the bed, he has to run to the right side of the bed to jump up. He leaps up victoriously, turns around in a circle a few times, and settles in for the night at our feet.

I know what you're thinking - it's surprising that a seemingly perfect animal has such a remarkable flaw. We're clearly heartbroken over here.  Won't you make a donation to the Center for Puppies Who Can't Jump Good?

P.S. If you really get me (you can read minds?) you knew this was coming:

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I took this picture in July. Summer threatened to last forever -- stopping to snap this picture probably left me sweating and exhausted -- and the flash of purple and yellow, our team's colors,  made me long for everything that comes with LSU football: crisp air, dragging our down comforter out from storage, scarves.

I took this picture yesterday. Our football team is 10-0, the regular season is almost over, and Thanksgiving is close enough to touch. That top picture and the longing for the suffocating summer to end feel like yesterday. 

And that's a little scary.

{the soundtrack to this post:}

Thursday, November 17, 2011

filling in some blanks

1.   A nervous habit I have is     twirling my hair. Really, could I have picked a ditzier habit? Also, not that this is exactly a habit, but sweating. So if I'm ever really sweaty and acting particularly airheaded, you know why.

2.   Something that makes me sad is   the circus.

3.  Today I am thankful for    glittery fuzzy slippers, peanut butter, a particularly goofy husband, leaves that change colors, and the word particularly.

4. My favorite room in my house is    the bedroom - it manages to stay clean when the rest of the house isn't, has the best light, and stays the coolest.

5.  I can't stand  the music that plays on the closing credits of tv shows. It's usually a [in my opinion] creepy version of the theme song. I distinctly remember, as a kid, covering my ears and making a lot of noise so I wouldn't have to hear the closing credits to Sesame Street. I have the same sentiment toward music that plays over and over again on DVDs. I have no clue where on earth this hatred came from. 

6.  If I had an extra $100 to spend on whatever I wanted today I would   pay to have a professional pet hair remover come to our house. It's 30 degrees outside, Ike. WHY are you still shedding?

7.  The last person I hung out with was    my friend Laura. She rented the Kiera Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice so we would be prepared for our next book club in case time ran out. I tried SO hard to cheat on Pride and Prejudice the book with Pride and Prejudice the movie, but I felt guilty 30 minutes into the movie and had to stop. I much prefer being wooed by fictional characters through reading than through watching. If that makes me a nerd, so be it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The girl arrives at work in her frumpiest outfit, rushed and sweaty after yoga class, no makeup. Who’s going to see her anyway, she thinks.

Later, exhausted and self-conscious, she buys  a cup of tea at the cafe. She stands in line behind a handsome doctor. He glances behind him and says, “...and I’ll pay for whatever she’s having.”

The girl thinks she must look (and smell) even worse than she thought; the doctor must have felt sorry for her. "Thanks," she says, embarrassed. She walks off quickly, head down and back slumped, undoing whatever benefits the yoga class had on her posture.

As she stirs skim milk into her hot tea, she is struck with a thought: Maybe, just maybe, he wanted to buy me a drink.

And then, she catches a glimpse of her reflection in a window and gets angry.

Who does this asshole think he is? Just because he has a white coat and a chiseled jaw, he thinks he can make some frumpy girl's day? No way. I will not allow myself to be flattered by this. I don't need some handsome doctor to make me feel special.

A few hours later, she tells the boy, her own handsome [almost] doctor, the story.

He listens then nods, understanding.

"You do kind of look like crap."

{because it's more fun to tell your "love story" in the third person}

fall decorations for under 5 dollars

I'm not a big seasonal decorator, but this year three unexpected things happened that added up to some easy fall decorating.


You guys. The acorns this year are on steroids. At least, the ones falling off one tree on my street and one tree on my dad's street. I tried to pick some up without looking like a total weirdo -- which is a lot harder than it sounds. I think I managed to grab a few handfuls without being noticed and stuck them into some empty Starbucks Frapuccino bottles. Insta-fall!

2. I followed through with a thought I had last year.

That would be saving all of the thank-you cards I received. Can you think of a more appropriate Thanksgiving decoration that you already have on hand? (Note: cornucopias don't count. Don't lie, you do NOT have a cornucopia on hand.)

I'm proud of this one for two reasons. A) Spending more than five seconds on an idea is not something that comes naturally to me, much less waiting a year to implement it. B) I think I came up with this all by myself - not from a blog, not from Martha, not from Pinterest. My own head. That rarely happens anymore, right?

P.S. Do you love our pomegranate dish as much as I do? It was a wedding gift, and the pomegranates are from our neighbor's tree.

3. Y bought me flowers.

Y is not the type to buy things like flowers. But one day he unexpectedly came home with the perfect fall-hued flowers that promptly replaced my dying basil plant on the windowsill. (The French Lavender, however, is still going strong.)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

weekly gratuitous ike: reflection

On Halloween, I dressed Ike in his costume before we went on our walk. His costume was... a dog in a hat. 

This was the hat - photo taken New Year's Eve.

Then I giggled for the duration of the walk. I'm sure we were quite the sight, a girl in hysterics and a dog in a fancy hat.

Once I was done giggling, I started to feel bad for poor Ike. I believe that those 10 minutes spent wearing a hat in public traumatized him and forced him to re-evaluate his life. 

So I made a video about it. 

Click here to watch it on Facebook, or here to watch on Youtube - I hope it makes you smile.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

some saturday advice

This is why you don't nap while the news is on:

P.S. I think this is great:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

just call me mrs. hemingway

The Paris Wife is told from the point of view of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley. The book is a work of fiction, but it uses biographies and Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast to accurately follow the lovers as they meet, fall in love, and live in Paris. Eventually their marriage falls apart (because someone whose name rhymes with Shmernest Shmemingway is a man-whore). The book is a dreamy inside look at the lives of Hemingway and other movers and shakers of the literary world during that time -- if you’ve seen and loved Midnight in Paris, you’ll love this book.

Hadley’s world could not be more different than mine. Y and I don’t often run off on impromptu trips to ski or watch the running of the bulls, and while Y’s in med school I’m surrounded by minds of the left-brained variety, while Hadley finds herself surrounded by larger than life creative minds.

But I felt like I got her a lot of the time.

Hadley and Ernest attended get togethers at Gertrude Stein’s home with other artists and their wives. Hadley and the other wives, nothing linking them except their significant others, were sent off to another room while the artists discussed their craft.

“I felt a twinge of regret that I wasn’t a writer or painter, someone special enough to be invited to talk with Gertrude, to sit near her in front of the fire.”

I had this exact same feeling Y’s first year of med school. Y and his new friends would organically migrate to their own separate cluster at get togethers, speaking their secret med school language.

“I wasn’t at all convinced I was special, as Ernest was. He lived inside the creative sphere and I lived outside, and I didn’t know if anything would ever change that.”

The other wives and I would talk about... them. We had nothing in common, so we talked in circles about our husbands, their classes, how busy they were. It was boring, and at times I wished I was in med school so I could belong to something and have original, important things to talk about.

“Alice seemed to feel easier in her role as an artist’s wife, throwing herself wholly behind Gertrude’s ambition... but maybe she’d just been doing it longer and could hide her jealousy better. “

I’ve since gotten over it. Or maybe, like Gertrude Stein's partner Alice, I've gotten better at hiding it.

But isn't that the funny thing about books, that it took reading about the Hemingways’ life in Paris to explain to me how I felt?

What about you guys? Anyone else felt this way?

Monday, November 7, 2011


This weekend we bought some art to remember the city at a local craft fair.

Booked a trip to Holland (and then bought a bag of stroopwaffel to celebrate)!

Watched our team win, complete with heaping piles of Louisiana food.

Made homemade pop tarts, which are my new favorite thing in the whole world. (edited to add the recipe I used:

And attended a 5 course underground dinner complete with a very generously poured 5 course wine flight. 

{Which should explain why I have nothing but pictures today.} 

Friday, November 4, 2011

second city

Chicago, 2008

I've been thinking with some dread about applying for jobs when we move next year. As a true procrastinator, I realize how much of a pain it's going to be to update my resume, yet I make no move to start. In fact, every time I  think about it, my mind wanders. 

What if I can't find a job? What if even Starbucks isn't hiring? Or Ihop? Mmm, waffles. Leslie Knope likes waffles. Amy Poehler has a great job. I wonder what her resume looks like. I wonder if I could put the time I performed at the Second City Theater in Chicago on my resume?

When Y and I took our month long road trip in 2008, Chicago was the second-to-last stop, after Washington, D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, and several more places I can't list because it's exhausting me just to type them all out. What were we thinking?

In a money-saving strategy, we stayed at an airport hotel. On our one day in Chicago, we woke up at the crack of dawn and took the hotel shuttle to O'hare, where we caught the El into the city and proceeded to walk around for, oh, TEN HOURS. The only time we sat down was to a) shove pizza into our faces and b) ride a tandem along Lake Michigan. 

At the end of our ten hour stroll, we sat down in our front row seats for an improv performance at The Second City Theater.

You guys, the show was hilarious. Probably one of my favorite things I've ever done on vacation. It's been 3 and a half years and we still reference the performance. If you ever hear us talking about smegma flavored jellybeans, that's what we're talking about.

But there's one skit we don't talk about.

In this skit, a female castmember needed an audience member for an improv mime performance. Her face covered in mime makeup, she reached down into the audience and pulled me onstage. I had no choice. 

She began miming that the two of us were on a date, and I was supposed to mime with her, reacting. 

Here was the problem: there is a reason why there is no such thing as micro-miming.
When you're up close to someone who's miming, and a bright light is shining in your face, you can't tell what the hell they're doing. The movements look random and they don't make any sense. 

From my point of view, I was standing next to someone in makeup having a long, weird seizure.

From the audience's point of view, I must have looked like a puppy, cocking my head in confusion as the mime CLEARLY opened a car door for me and pushed me inside and CLEARLY strapped a seat belt on me and CLEARLY gave me a flower and looked out in the audience like "Why am I going on a date with a total idiot?"

I literally stood on the stage motionless for three minutes. For the audience, it must have been like how I feel when watching Michael Scott make a complete fool out of himself: like the agony is so awful I want to remove my eyeballs from my head so I don't have to witness it.  

I can't remember if people laughed. The only thing I remember clearly is Y's face, as compassionate as I've ever seen it, looking like he wanted to pluck me offstage and carry me out of the theater. 

It was bad. So bad that the people behind me said, "At least you were wearing a cute dress up there." So bad that the actor who played the mime came up to me at intermission and asked if I was okay. 

Somehow, I don't think Amy Poehler has anything like that on her resume. Back to square one. Waffles. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

dandy faq

This week's writing prompt from Mama's Losing It challenged us to create our own FAQ.  Mine are legit - I have been asked all of these questions at least twice; some, I've lost track of the number. 

Wait... what's your name again?

My theory is that the amount of time I spend explaining my name accounts for why I'm late so often. My name is Esther, and my nickname is derived from Queen Esther (from the book of Esther)'s Hebrew name. Sometimes I just give up and go by Amy. 

So what you're telling me is, you've never had a Christmas tree?

Nope. I was asked this a lot as a kid. When you're 8, not having a Christmas tree is pretty much a fate worse than death.

Didn't you used to be heavy?

Yes, I actually have been asked this verbatim by a well-meaning great-uncle. He was just being honest. (PS: Oooh...would we call her chubby?)

Is your dog a boy dog or a girl dog?

I walk Ike past some pretty forgetful kids every day. He's a boy dog, children, but he'll forgive you if you call him beautiful.

You know it's cold up there, right?

This is a recent question. I'm asked this each time someone asks me where we'll be moving next year, and I say "probably somewhere up north." I watch Al Roker, people. I know what's going on. 

Can I have the TV to watch Battlestar Galactica?

This question is also pretty recent. Netflix Instant is turning my husband into a nerd. 

How are you liking that Prius?

When I started driving the Prius in 2004, I was a celebrity. People asked me to roll down my windows at stoplights so they could pick my brain about the car. Strangers crossed vast mall parking lots to ask me about my gas mileage. Since then, the attention has died down, but I still get questions every other month or so. Most recently, someone saw me park at the grocery store and then found me in the milk aisle with questions. 

Are those Toms? Where did you get them?

I have never gotten as much attention for any piece of clothing as I have for my Toms wedges. One time a librarian raised her voice in the library to get my attention and tell me how much she loved my shoes. But my favorite encounter was in Phoenix, where a fashion-forward Phoenix woman asked me if I had bought them at Nordstrom. "Are you joking, lady?" I wanted to say, "I don't think there's a Nordstrom in my entire state."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the worst of pinterest

Somehow, I was a member of Pinterest when it was in beta. For months, no one I knew in real life had heard of the site, and the name of it existed only in my head. 

It was just a few months ago (at lunch with Lauren and Sarah) that I said the word "Pinterest" out loud. It's strange saying a word you've never said before, right? It's kind of like this scene from the movie Garden State. Kind of.

Since then, I've grown comfortable placing the p in front of interest in everyday conversation. And I've found it's much more fun to discuss the worst pins than the best ones. Here are three pins that just keep popping up that I wish wouldn't:

This makes me queasy and confused. As far as its plausibility, I consulted an expert who said, "Uhhh, no."  And by that  I mean I showed it to Y.

WHY has this picture been pinned approximately 1 million times? WHY on Earth would you do this? As my friend T said, "I have nightmares about this picture."

I consulted my expert on this picture too, and I might have to fire him because he said, and I quote, "That. Is. AWESOME." 

This picture is on every "places I'd like to visit" board and is listed as being in Dublin, Ireland. This one I understand. I'd like to visit Photoshop Castle too, but it's just not in my budget right now.

Tell me, what pins are you tired of seeing? Have you tried the hot dog spaghetti abomination? If so, WHY? I want to hear from someone in the pro-spaghetti-hotdog camp.

{PS, the rock formation [not the building on top of it] in the last picture is real - according to Wikipedia it's called Ko Tapu and it's off the coast of Thailand. Which is kind of like Ireland.}

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

his & hers 2: notes

While Y and I are both in graduate/professional school, our programs are drastically different. He needs to remain competitive; I can slack off if I want. His classes require a level of brain power I could never hope to achieve; mine... don't. My classes are in English, his technically are as well, but it's debatable. For example, paraphimosis? That word does not exist in any language I learned. 

I think our notes reflect the differences in our graduate education:

Y's notes on who-knows-what: 

We have notebooks full of pages and pages of this stuff - and not even one margin of my name with a heart around it. I'm offended.

My notes, after a particularly thrilling International Health lecture on the deadly threat of guinea worms, which have to be pulled out of their host's leg. Gross, right?

One of us is going to go far in life. 

By the way, when I posted my first "his & hers" post, I thought I had come up with this great new blog concept. But alas, as with pretty much everything in life, it had been done - very well, might I add - by the adorable blog Hooray (and probably countless others). You gotta admit though, you probably won't find another "his & hers" post containing the words "boggy waterlogged sponge consistency of prostate". 

And with that, I'm unique again.