Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cleaning and Organizing

You know how some people don't really enjoy cooking or just can't seem to get the knack of it? Well, that's how it is for me in terms of cleaning and organizing. It feels like I am always cleaning and sorting and cleaning and moving stuff around but I don't really get anywhere.

Experts* say if you have not worn something in a year, you should get rid of it. Eek. I really need to put this into practice. I have been cleaning and de-cluttering this week but I really have a hard time with it.

Here's the main issue: there are so many things I need and want for my house, how am I justified in getting rid of anything?

Maybe it's just time to go to the store, get those big plastic bins, and store all this stuff neatly in the attic. That way, I miiiight need it or use it again, but maybe not. I don't want to be wasteful, but I don't want to live my live in manageable clutter either. Sigh. I mean, do I really need that shelf of books I am never going to read again? Or that desk full of random stuff - you know that drawer, you have it too. How about the wrapping paper closet? What should I do with all my Halloween stuff?

Suggestions from organized friends please.

*Experts on all the home renovation and selling show and organized friends, mainly my cousin Smokey and our conversation yesterday.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cake Boss

Ok, I'll admit it, I have been watching Cake Boss on TLC all day (Kip voice from Napoleon Dynamite). I mean, it's sooo entertaining AND it's the top 10 episodes of this season (besides, I'm off work so I am allowed to be lazy today). Buddy the shop owner/operator and his entire family works there as his crew (plus tons of other workers). They create the most incredible cakes for high profile events as well as regular people and it's just amazing to watch them come together.

I love the way this guy talks. Carlo's Bakery is located in Hoboken, NJ so you can imagine the terrific accents. He says UGE when things are enormous. He calls Rice Krispie Treats "Cereal Treats." This guy will challenge anyone to anything and they always have some kind of side bet going on that usually ends up in someone wearing some kind of weird outfit. He even frosted a cake completely blind folded. Awesome!

Click here to see some of Buddy's unique creations.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas - Claymation style

Merry Christmas friends!! Here are more clips of favorite holiday videos. These are from Will Vinton's Claymation Christmas (you may know the California Raisins). Claymation viewing is another tradition in our extended family. These are totally bizarre but we just absolutely CRACK up when we watch these. Enjoy - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!



Gingerbread House

This project came out better than I could have hoped (and better than the sugar cube house/igloo). Presenting my homemade gingerbread house! Yes - I made the dough, yes - I chilled it overnight, yes - I hand rolled it, yes - I cut out the patterns and waited for them to chill for 15 minutes before baking, and YES - I made the icing in the blender since I blew up my poor little hand mixer.

My sister asked tonight what the point of all this was. She put it so well - "If you aren't going to eat it, what's the point of buying all the supplies and working on this for hours?" Well, it's fun (so some of us) and then you have an amazing decoration for the holidays.

Let's be clear - this is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of patience and dedication to finish a gingerbread house. Some may drop out of the race, some may not even participate. Just trust me, if you start this race, it's a long haul, but it pays off.

Here's my finished product below. Oh, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sugar Cube House aka Nerdy Fun

Finding myself on Martha Stewart's website for over 2 hours yesterday inspired me to be very crafty. While making gingerbread house dough, I consequently blew up my poor little hand mixer - Santa, I desperately need a Kitchen Aid, candy apple red please. The gingerbread dough has to chill before baking so while that was in the fridge, I decided to make a sugar cube house (idea here). Using royal icing (stiff egg whites and powered sugar in the blender since I blew up my sad little hand mixer). I don't have the candy yet, but you can see how architecturally stunning and complex my structure is. It's a modern marvel and a holiday delight. Will post pics of the finished project.





12 days of Christmas - JibJab Style

Enjoy! I can tell you that my Dad and I sat at the computer a few years ago when this was going around and laughed ourselves silly. I don't care who you are, farting is funny...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Muppets 12 Days of Christmas

Listening to this album (yes, on the RECORD player) was a tradition in the Dandar household. Call me if you would like to experience my Miss Piggy impersonation - I have been told it's spot on (however extremely loud)...ba-DUM-BUM BUM!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Turd Ferguson's ride perhaps

I've heard of a "piece of shit car" before, but not this....

Disgruntled Kroger Elf

While at Kroger over the weekend, I was at the deli. I asked someone in the deli the price of a platter they had on display (don't judge me...it was really nice for Kroger). Since she didn't know and it was not listed, she had to check with her manager. Apparently the manager was not well liked. The manager comes up, my clerk asks her the price, the manager says nothing and goes away (to find the price but did not convey that).

This is what the clerk says to me - VERBATIM:

"This bitch is going to make everyone quit around here."

It took everything in me not to laugh because she had on a Santa had and was very petite. She really seemed elf-like....and she was MAD. Sometimes people with no filter make me laugh (only when not directed at me).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Biggest Loser

I did it! Thank you to everyone that has been there for me lately - I truly and sincerely appreciate your support and it is really helping me along the way to achieving my goal.

Today was our banquet (of healthy food!) at work for our version of the Biggest Loser Contest and I won second place out of about 24 people - cash prize of $134!!!! I would like to say that I am going to spend that on gifts or donate it to a charity but no. I am going to spend it on myself. Me, me, me. He, he, he.

This program started September 22 and since then I have lost 17.8 pounds (to be exact) and I am on a roll! Thanks to Kylee and Craig's suggestion, I purchased power 90 (pre-cursor to p90X) and things have really been going well. I work out 6 days a week alternating cardio with weight training taking one day to rest. Sticking to a strict eating plan had also been key in my success. I am always prepared, eat 5 small meals a day, and never eat fast food. Here are two pictures. The first taken on my birthday 9/27/09 and the second taken on Saturday 12/13/09.

Before:



After:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wizard Santa, Biker Santa

Today for lunch I headed downtown to meet a friend for lunch. Whhhhell! She not only did she stand me up, but she didn't even go to work today! Nice right? Anyway, I stomped out of the Crowne Plaza all teed off and almost ran over Santa Claus dressed as a biker! OMG - I am on the naughty list for something not even fun. Wait, maybe it's Gandalf! Gandalf! You shall not pass!

I told myself not to be silly, why would Gandalf leave middle earth and come to TOLEDO, OH in the winter? It MUST be Santa.

It occurred to me later that Santa was not the real Santa (there were no elves or reindeer) it was actually William Lee Golden, lead singer of the Oak Ridge Boys because their tour bus was there in the front of the hotel. Here is a bad picture of their tour bus and I whizzed by it and yelled "SORRY! SORRY!" to Billy G. If you really squint and already know what their logo looks like, you can imagine it.

If not, here is their logo and a picture of Santa, er, William Lee Golden. I am sorry I almost hit you Billy G...and I am also sorry for then staring at you. You look like a Gandalf/Santa and I love them both.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

BOD

Tonight I sold some jewelry at a work function of my Dad's at a local bar. It was a private function except for the waitstaff of course. The waiter/bartender assigned to the party, let's call him Cliff (that's creepy enough), had on all black and a braided pony tail down to his waist. He was nice enough at first, but was the kind of guy that would linger too long after the chit-chat should have been over. You know the type.

So, the party is in full swing. I am hanging out with the jewelry, the Firefighters are enjoying the party, but Cliff is just mulling around, eating meatballs, cruising around, and every time I look at him he is looking at me. He doesn't look away, no, no, instead he waves at me. I smile - kind of. Cliff is creeping me out. Oh well, at least my Dad is here to protect me. And walk me out to my car.

Cliff makes his rounds and tries to small talk with me but it's just not quite right.
"Enjoying the weather?"
"Uh, not really..."

"Do you make this jewelry?"
"Uh, no."
"Who does?"
"Uh, what?

This is how it goes....

I grab the ring on my table that looks like an engagement ring and put it on. My left hand.

Cliff comes back for his shining moment.

"Can I ask you a question?"
"Yeah."
"Do I have on too much body spray?"

At this point I could only imagine what my face must have looked like and what I said to him because in my mind it went something like this...

"Buh, buh, buh...body spray? Like BOD? Who wears that? WHAT?"

Then, having no idea what I actually said because I blacked out, Cliff leans into me. Close. Breaking the personal space law. Where's Dad?!?! Doesn't he see the "engagement ring"???

"Can you smell it? The body spray?" He said it again. Bbbboooddddyyy Sppprrrraaayyy.
Eventually Cliff gave up on me and must have moved on because I told him no respectable man wore body spray and he should simply shower and wear deodorant. Possibly reapply when necessary. I felt I owed it to him to tell him that. After all, it is Christmas.



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How 'bout I punch you in the face?

Well, I didn't actually do that, or even say it, but I vehemently thought it to a person at Wal-Mart today when trying to buy a book. ***Side note, I read Eclipse over the weekend and it was interesting. I ripped through it in 3 days and I am not that fast of a reader. It's not a serious thinker, but it was enjoyable and it really kept my attention. More about that later.***

On the rack at Wal-Mart are 15 million copies (the other 15 million have apparently been sold) of New Moon in paperback and hard cover. If you search, really dig, you can find Twilight and perhaps Eclipse, but rarely Breaking Dawn. ***Side note, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, then Breaking Dawn. New Moon is in theaters now. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go ask a 12 year old girl who Edward and Jacob are, step back, cover your ears, and you'll get the gist.***

Since I am now ready for the final installment of the Twilight series, I need the last book in paperback because I am NOT going to pay $15 for book. I see a hard cover but no paperback. I see some royal blue vests. I approach.

"Sue made dinner last night. Yeah...yea. It was ok. Roast. "

Blue vest lady on the phone. I would have let her continue her conversation had it been work related, but I didn't think Sue's meat was about work. At least I hoped not.

"Excuse me...."

She didn't answer me, just pointed to another worker to help me.

Blue vest girl comes over and stares at me.

Annoyed me, "I see that Breaking Dawn is only in hard cover, do you have it in paperback?"

BV Girl, "That's not my department. I can't help you."

Blue Vest Lady butts in, "The book companies come and restock themselves. We don't have anything to do with the books. "

Really annoyed me, "Well, thanks for your help, Ladies."

Is it really so hard to do your job? Also, is it really so difficult to be polite? I cannot stand it when I am made to feel like I am bugging someone when they are clearly not working. All I want to know is if Bella turns into a vampire and if Jacob gets over it. Geeeeeeez.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Quick Trip

I'm off to Denver for the weekend to visit my sister! See you in a few days. Here's a picture going from Denver to the mountains. I took this a few years ago when the whole family was out there.

Star Wars: In Concert!

Star Wars: In Concert! hit the Lucas County Arena on Tuesday night much to the delight of the attendees. Displayed in the concourse were these huge canvas scenes that you could get photographed in front of and models from the movies accompanied by trivia, more info, tons of swag, and of course, geeks totally geeked.

The concert itself was just incredible. A full orchestra played the scores from all six movies while Sir Anthony Daniels himself (C3-PO to those of you that live under a rock) narrated the story in person - and he was absolutely fabulous. The concert flow was in chronological order (which is really interesting to see) and was extremely well assembeled. There were a series of segments all labeled with a theme. Daniels would give the prelude, then the orchestra would play a score, while clips and segments according to that segment's theme played on a ginormous screen behind the orchestra. Segments were titles such as A Hero Rises, Droids!, An Empire is Forged, an Unlikely Alliance, a Jedi is Trained, Imperial March - Ho. Lee. Crap! It was so amazing!!!! Often, the audience was treated with lasers or the occasional flame blast. I clapped like a 6 year old boy, fist pumped a few times, and smiled the entire performance.

I think Danny put it best when he said, "It's not that you're a nerd if you like Star Wars, it's just that a lot of nerds like Star Wars. " Well put....and well displayed on Tuesday night. Here are some photos of other people's kids as they would not get out of the way for me to take pics of the cool Star Wars stuff....

If you missed this last night (or want to go again), Star Wars: In Concert! is on tour folks so don't fret. You can follow the show as it tours the US. There is also an official blog. Check it out here.

Trailer of one of the segments: A Hero Falls. Honestly (and you can make fun of me in the comments, however I do not care), I found this show extremely moving. I absolutely love movie scores and the Star Wars scores are among my most favorite.






Here are some pictures of the event:

The warning on the doors entering the arena:
Us in front of CHEWY!


Little Darth Vader (even with the powers of the dark side of the force) cannot resist the temptation of a hot dog:


Sir Anthony Daniels (C3-Po):

The Orchestra:


The Screen:

Han Solo frozen in carbonite. "I love you." "I know...."


My cousins and I in Coursant:


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Follow the White Rabbit

Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure of seeing not one, not two, but THREE people with whom I interact frequently via blog. Yes, I saw My Reality, Write Here Write Now, and her husband, B! It was so exciting!

I draw similarities to this kind of interaction to the movie The Matrix. Don't fret, no one was wearing leather trench coats or wrap around sunglasses. It just feels like we are in the Matrix when we blog and perhaps we "unplugged" yesterday.

Nice to see you Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus. Let's meet in Zion again soon.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mistletoe

As per my previous post, we decorated our house for Christmas last night with the tree and a few other miscellaneous items including hanging the mistletoe. You will always find mistletoe in my family members' houses. I purchased a new one for my house this year and on the back of the package it gave the story of the tradition and I wanted to share it with you. It is entitled MISTLETOE LORE:

"Mistletoe has been the subject of many legends and traditions for hundreds of years. Ancient Druids considered mistletoe sacred as it grew without roots in the ground and they believed that it must have been planted by the gods. Mistletoe was thought to ban evil spirits and bring good luck and great blessings. When warriors met beneath mistletoe, they had to lay down their weapons and call a truce. From this, it became a sign of peace and good will. But why do we kiss people under the mistletoe?

It all started with a goddess called Frigga. Her son, Balder, was shot with an arrow made of mistletoe. Frigga's friends succeeded in conjuring up powers to save the boy. Balder lived anew and Frigga ordered that the mistletoe should never again be used to harm. Instead, she made it a symbol of love by kissing anyone who passed under it.

We wish you and yours a peace and love this Holiday Season!"