Friday, October 31, 2008

New Little Arrival

It has finally arrived!

Name: Creative Zen Mozaic (I call it Fred, for short.)

Weight: 1.5 ounces

Length: 3.1 inches

Yes, it is finally here! My long-awaited new MP-3 player.

Now I have to go through the process of loading all my music onto it. That should be fun. I should be finished about mid-February.

But I’m not complaining! I’m very happy to have it. This morning I listened to “Above and Beyond” by Buck Owens, “Shooting Star” by Bad Company, and a beautiful recording of “Shenandoah” by the Boston Pops. (Can you tell I have all the “B” artists’ songs loaded onto there?)

I’m so glad to have my music back. Now I can stop whining about it.

I guess I’ll have to find something new to whine about now! I’m sure Iwanski will be thrilled.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Memo from Miss Sicklypants

Dear friends,

Yes, I am once again Miss Sicklypants. My sinuses are swollen to the size of small canteloupes. I’ll tell you, it ain’t pretty.

Anyway, while I spent the day sleeping and trying to breathe (always a fun time!), I had some time to ponder the events of the past weekend.

Last weekend, Iwanski and I had the opportunity to visit the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, to see my good friend Diane. First on the Friday evening agenda was the grand tour of Chateau Diane. Chateau Diane was in a beautiful residential area with many trees and many nosy neighbors. (As Iwanski and I arrived a bit early—before the arrival of Lady Diane—we were witness to the suspicious stares through a couple of the neighbors’ windows.)

The inside of Chateau Diane was beautiful and also very clean. Oh, to be in a new house! I looked at her pristine carpet and thought about our living room carpet, which is always dotted with a few cat-vomit stains (those damn cats!), and I felt slightly jealous of Diane.) I know, I’ll just have to convince Diane to get a cat. That’ll even the score. (Muh-ha-ha-ha…)

Iwanski, Diane, and I then trodded off for a tour of neighborhood bars. First came “The Bar,” which is apparently the “place to be” in Green Bay. It was loud and smoky with bad music (No, “Cottoneye Joe” by Rednex is not good music!)—the highlight of “The Bar” was when Diane approached a complete stranger and asked him if he had been my first boyfriend (hey, he looked like him!). Of course he wasn’t. Diane loves to embarrass me like that. And then Diane embarrassed both Iwanski and me by beating us both at pool. That was fun.

The next couple of bars were no less smoky, but definitely smaller and more like down-home neighborhood bars. Iwanski and I liked that. We even saw a very drunk guy yelling at a woman in a Chicago Bears t-shirt about how stupid she was for thinking that Obama was born in this country. Yeah, buddy—she's the stupid one.

The next day, we woke up early to a lovely breakfast cooked by chef Diane, and then headed over to her childhood home. Shortly after arriving there, we had a fascinating impromptu course in bee-keeping taught by her very gracious Dad, Hank. Hank owns about 40 bee-hives and after more than 30 years in the business, knows about everything there is to know about bees. We stood next to the hives and watched the bees buzz around as Hank told us tales of the queen bee, worker bees, drone bees, and nurse bees. Honestly, it was quite interesting. Iwanski and I kept asking more and more questions, and Hank was kind enough to answer all of them. Later, we also were entertained by the thick Wisconsin accent of Diane’s mother, who, when giving directions, talked about turning at the “stop and go-ah” lights. They were very nice people who—it turns out—are also voting for Obama. I love to see that!

The rest of the day, Diane acted as our gracious tour guide as we visited many Green Bay sights, including the Wildlife Sanctuary, an oil & vinegar store and a chocolate store (yay!), and of course, Lambeau Field. Oh, how exciting it was to see Lambeau Field. It was so exciting that I almost became a Packer fan again. (Yeah, right! Go Bears!)

Wow, now that I think about it…with all that excitement, I didn’t really get a chance to rest and get my 12 hours of sleep that I normally get on both Friday and Saturday nights. No wonder why I’m sick!

Well, today I slept about 14 hours. I think I made up for it. I should start feeling better soon.

Yours in health (cough, sneeze!),

Miss Sicklypants

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And Yet Another Spam Story!

I almost forgot, I have another Spam story to share!

Many years ago, on the Late Show with David Letterman, Letterman would sometimes give away hams as prizes to members of the audience.

Why hams? I have no idea. But it was funny.

Around that same time was our big day—the wedding date for Iwanski and Miss Healthypants. After the ceremony, wedding guests arrived in the reception hall carrying beautifully wrapped presents and cards.

Iwanski’s Mom came in carrying a box with at least a half a dozen cans of Spam and one big canned ham.

“Mom, what are we supposed to do with this?” Iwanski asked incredulously. I just laughed.

“Well, I thought you could hand them out or something,” my mother-in-law replied.

Later, after dinner, the box of Spam and ham was still sitting there.

We had to figure out some way to get rid of them—or else risk having to take home a big box full of Spam (and ham). God forbid!

So finally, we decided on a Spam plan.

Iwanski’s sister and I got on the microphone and started repeating over and over again, “Ham, ham, ham, ham, ham, ham, ham…”

As we did that, Iwanski ran around handing out Spams to friends and family, while the crowd laughed. After he handed out the last Spam, he reached for the big canned ham and held it up to the sky.

A collective gasp of “Ahhh” came up from the crowd.

He then proceeded to run around with it for few minutes, almost giving it to several people before finally handing it to my brother-in-law, Andy.

The crowd laughed and laughed.

I have to thank my fun-loving mother-in-law. Because of her, Spam--and Iwanski--had created a funny memory.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Last week, Spam was on sale at Walgreen’s, for $1.99 for a 12-ounce can.

I have no idea if this is a good deal or not, since I don’t eat Spam. Ever. Ever, ever, ever, ever.

Nevertheless, I said to Iwanski, “Spam’s on sale.” I just felt like it was something I should tell him.

So who are these crazy people that are buying Spam at reduced prices? Who exactly is Walgreen’s marketing to?

Wait a minute, I HAVE had Spam at least once within the past five years! Yes, indeed I have! My wonderful Wisconsin mother includes Spam in her famous recipe for “pizzaburgers.”

Now, I know you’re dying to hear her whole “pizzaburgers” recipe…so I would be remiss if I did not include it here:

1 LB. Ground beef (Browned & Cooled)
1/2 LB. Spam
1/2 LB. Mozzarella cheese

Grind or dice the above and mix together well
with the hamburger.

Add: 1 can tomato soup

Then add: 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
2 tbsp. onion (minced)

Mix well and spread on each side of hamburger buns.
Place open faced on Cookie sheet.
Bake at 450* oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese gets bubbly.

I know what you’re thinking: “Spam in ‘pizzaburgers’?” But it’s good! Trust me. Well, at least I think it’s good.

Wow, I just wrote a whole blog entry about Spam. That’s it, folks—I am officially tapped out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's A Keeper!

What’s the weirdest thing that you’ve ever kept for years and years?

I bet I can beat them all.

And no, I’m not talking about the ten years of basketball, baseball, and football preview magazines that Iwanski for some reason insists on holding onto.

I’m talking about a HOT DOG that was sitting in a desk drawer for SEVEN YEARS.

That’s right, I said a HOT DOG, IN A DRAWER, for SEVEN YEARS.

Iwanski’s Mom thought that it would be just wonderful if she could keep one of the last hot dogs sold at the old Comiskey Park (which was torn down in 1990).

So she kept it. In a wrapper. In a desk drawer.

Years later, when Iwanski and I were given that desk, his brother-in-law Tony (who had helped move the desk) told him, "Your Mom said she kept the last hot dog sold at Comiskey in the bottom drawer of the desk. She thought you might want it."

And did Iwanski want it?

Well, not really. But hell, since it was there, he had to take a look. He carefully unwrapped the package. According to him, it had basically "mummified." (That should tell you how many preservatives and chemicals are in a hot dog!)

And what happened next?

Iwanski sent the hot dog to its grave in the bottom of the trash.

Thank GOD it’s gone.

If You Care About Chickens

If you want a laugh, check out this link to today's bit of Iwanski wackiness.

Although I myself don't think it's EVER appropriate to joke about chickens, he's gone and done just that.


Monday, October 20, 2008

A Rough Stone Amid Diamonds

Whenever I tell a new acquaintance that I live in downtown Chicago, their first reaction is usually:

“Wow! Right in downtown?”

To which I reply, “Yep, right downtown.”

Then they look at me as if seeing me for the first time—and I swear, I can see the dollar signs lighting up in their eyes.

It’s true, we do live in a really nice area of Chicago, in a modern high-rise building with a doorman, a pool, and an exercise room—the whole shebang, if you will.

However, we wouldn’t live here if it wasn’t reasonably priced. And extremely convenient—so convenient we don’t own a car. (Just think of all the money that saves us!)

And truth be told, my husband and I are not exactly what you would call “the elite.” Actually, we are quite the opposite of that. I like to shop at Target, eat grilled cheese sandwiches, and watch old episodes of “Hee Haw” on t.v. I am SO not the “rich person” people think of when they think of living downtown.

To illustrate this, let me tell you about the coffee table in our living room.

This coffee table has been with us the whole time we’ve been married, and we don’t plan on ever giving it up.

It’s really old and worn, and the wood is so chipped that it has almost more chipped areas than unchipped areas.

But I have really grown to love this table.

I remember back when I was first dating Iwanski, and I decided for the first time to spend Christmas with his family. Even though my Mom and Dad were not happy to not have me with them for Christmas, it turned out to be a great introduction for me into the wacky Iwanski family.

That Christmas was in the house that Iwanski grew up in (which is now owned by another family), and our beloved coffee table—still owned by Iwanski’s parents--sat in the middle of the front room. (I never heard of a “front room” before meeting Iwanski. For those of you that don’t know, it’s basically a living room in the front of the house.)

We all gathered in the front room, and presents were piled on that table. I remember that John’s female cousin—who for some reason always enjoyed buying new underwear—was presented with a gift box containing a bunch of old granny panties. She got a puzzled look on her face and just said, “Oh, gee, thanks” until the gifter (I think it was Iwanski’s Mom) just started cracking up.

So it wasn’t just Iwanski who was wacky, after all—it was his whole family! And I remember that the coffee table was in the center of all of it.

Years later, when we were given the table, I was grateful, but I didn’t think much of it. We had other hand-me-downs, too, so it wasn’t a rare item.

But eventually, all of our hand-me-downs were replaced by new furniture. We got a new computer desk, a new sofa and recliner, and a new bookshelf. But we still had the same old coffee table.

I remember when we first bought our new sofa and recliner, and a coffee table in the furniture store showroom caught my eye. I wanted to buy it, but fortunately, Iwanski had the level head to say, “We just spent (however much money it was at the time). The old coffee table will do for now.”

Later, at home, I thought the coffee table looked strangely out of place with the new furniture.

But then I sat and looked at it for a few minutes.

It was the table we had when we were first married.

It’s the table our cats love to climb on (and Iwanski likes to yell at them to get off of).

It’s the table that held our meals for many years before we had enough room to put up a small dining table.

It’s the table that holds our magazines and books and sodas and beers and assorted snackies.

And I began to think, “I really like this table.”

And now I don’t think I could give it up.

But maybe someday, we’ll think differently. Maybe when we have kids, we’ll decide that we don’t want a table with glass in it any more.

For now, I am happy with our old, worn-out, chipped table with so many memories surrounding it.

I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I have recently discovered the blog of the very talented and funny writer, Maria.

She made me laugh aloud with her recent blog entry about boogers. (Yes, boogers.)

Check it out--you won't regret it--here's the link to the story.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Hell of an Exciting Week

I just got done eating a Supreme personal pan pizza and two breadsticks from Pizza Hut Express.

Damn, I’m exciting.

And very full.

And also quite lame, since I live in a city that prides itself on great pizza, and I just ate Pizza Hut.

That’s pretty much how my week has been. I worked a lot of overtime and watched a lot of t.v. Yep, quite lame.

Wait, I guess there were one or two kind-of interesting things that happened this week. Let’s see… (Cue groovy flashback music.)


After a long day at work, I hopped on the Wii Fit, and it didn’t yell at me!! I was so surprised—and frankly, thrilled. I hate being yelled at—even if it’s by a computer. Then I bitched and moaned about not having an MP-3 player.


After a long day at work, Buck and I did our 30 minutes of exercise, and then I listened to the Iwanski/Winter show. Winter amused us with tales of bad doctors and knee trauma, while Iwanski apologized for everything bad that has ever happened to anyone.


After a long day at work, I went out with Buck and two other friends to Heaven on Seven, Chicago’s best Cajun restaurant (in my opinion). Our friend Carol had us cracking up with her description of a date with a guy whose looks and personality were not just ugly, but—in her words—“so, so, so ugly!”

After dinner, Buck and I went to Trader Joe’s grocery store. While we were checking out, we were both impressed by the friendliness of the cashiers. I had forgotten how nice the salespeople are there! I mean, unusually, freakishly nice.

I had a perfectly lovely chat with the salesguy about the best high fiber cereals on the market. I am not kidding. I really did. It was awesome.

Later, I arrived home to find out that Iwanski had gone to the library that day and picked me up two Supernanny books. Hooray! Even though he can’t fathom why on earth I like to read about child behavior when we don’t even have children, he’s still nice enough to pick those up for me. What a great husband!


Iwanski called me at work to tell me that he ordered me an MP-3 player online. I told you he was a great husband! I am so excited for the arrival of my new “little one”!


After a long day at work, I came home to another surprise—Iwanski fixed our toilet! No more sitting down on the seat and having it slide out from under me! Hooray!

We celebrated appropriately with a few beers and some country music. (That’s exactly how rednecks would celebrate a toilet being fixed, right?)


Iwanski and I took a walk through Millennium Park and marveled at the beauty of the changing leaves.

See, isn’t it beautiful?

All in all, I’d say it’s been a good week.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Can’t…Go On…Must Have…MP-3 Player

Well, I have given up.

On finding my MP-3 player, that is.

If you recall, I had a brilliant blonde moment a few weeks ago, when I left my MP-3 player in the exercise room on the 7th floor of our building.

That was probably not the smartest (or most responsible) thing I’ve ever done.

And now, after much searching and waiting, I have finally concluded that it is gone for good.

And I am in desperate need of a new one.

How desperate?—you ask?

Well, before the tragic loss of my MP-3 player, I had gotten in the daily habit of listening to my music both on the 20-minute walk to work, and on the 20-minute walk home from work. So that’s 40 minutes a day of music that I no longer have. So what to do? Sure, I could use that time to just relax and do a “walking meditation” of sorts. But I had become so used to having something to entertain me during that time. So what have I been doing instead?

Well, first I have taken to listening to my work voice mail, over and over again. That’s right, I said over and over again. The other day, I think I listened to the same message probably 3 or 4 times. OK, that could probably have something to do with the fact that I was avoiding having to have small talk with a coworker who was walking a few steps in front of me…but still, that is pretty pathetic.

Secondly, I have actually asked my good friend Diane, if she feels like it, if she can leave me long messages on my cell phone, so that I can be entertained by her messages during my walk. While less pathetic than listening to my work voice mail over and over again, I’ll admit it’s still pretty pathetic. But Diane is really funny, so it really is quite entertaining. And she is so obliging…I guess that’s when you know you have a true friend, when they’re willing to leave you long voice mails so you can be entertained during your commute!

And all this to avoid actually being quiet and being in the moment. Yes, my friends, I believe that is the definition of pathetic.

It would probably be a good idea for me to practice that whole “being in the moment” thing more often. But it sure would help to stay in the moment if I have some good songs to listen to at the same time. (At least that’s how I’m going to rationalize this thing.)

It’s also pretty coincidental, I think, that since my MP-3 player has been missing, all of the sudden I have been hearing and reading about more and more music that I want to download. It’s as if the Universe wants me to have a new MP-3 player.

For example, I recently heard/read about the following artists, whose music I really want to download:

--David Qualey (thanks to Sling for putting that beautiful version of “Jesu Joy” on your blog)
--Talking Heads (thanks to Mary Ruth for the suggestion)
--Jackson Browne (thanks to Rosemary for the suggestion)
--Enya—I want to download more of her songs (her music touches me on a very deep level)

So in a few minutes, I’m going to go to and order me up a new MP-3 player.

And I’m also going to buy a wrist strap to keep it strapped to me at all times.

I sure hope I don’t lose that wrist strap.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Healthy Choice

This morning, about 25,000 people got up early, donned running shoes and lightweight clothing, and ran 26 miles through the streets of Chicago.

Iwanski and I did not do that. Instead, we slept until 11 and went here.

I think we made the right choice…don’t you?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Glorious Day

Glorious day,
Sun a-blazing
Treetops glowing,
World awaiting

Glorious day,
Seagulls pausing,
Life in triumph,
Moving on.

Glorious day,
Flowers blooming,
Plants protruding,
Letting go.

Glorious day,
Trees a-changin’
Times a-changin’
Moving on.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thank God It's Friday!

I am sitting here at work at 7:00 PM on a Friday night.

Man, I gotta get a life!

But life is good, and I can’t complain.

Happy Weekend, everyone!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

If You E-Mail, They Will Come

It started out as a simple get-together.

Just a few family members, gathered together to celebrate my Grandma’s 93rd birthday.

It ended up as a gathering of almost 30 people, all there to wish Grandma well on her special day.

And they were all there at dinnertime.

My poor mother! Unbeknownst to her, I had e-mailed my Wisconsin siblings, asking them if they might want to see Grandma (and Iwanski and me!) on Grandma’s birthday.

What I hadn’t expected was that not only did they show up, but so did their children, and their children’s children. We had many babies in attendance! Among the children under five years old were:

-A newborn baby
-A 10-week-old baby
-A 7-month-old baby
-A one-year-old baby
-A 3-year-old toddler

So suddenly the house was full of people and crying and gurgling babies. It was really fun—and really loud. But mostly fun.

My Mom looked at the increasingly hungry crowd and said, “I don’t know how everyone knew to come today.”

I giggled and said, “Umm, because I told them.” (This is usually how it happens—I get people to the party, and other people figure out the details. I suppose other people don’t enjoy that as much as I do.)

So I apologized to my mother, who luckily had already had the foresight to thaw some stew meat and start a crock-pot full of meat, potatoes, and veggies.

And somehow, some people decided to bring some other side items and desserts (props to Sfoofie for bringing two big delicious trays of cheesy potato casserole!). It’s actually a potato that I love—of course, the cheese and the sour cream make it really, really yummy—and healthy, too!

There were lots of delicious desserts, too. Since I particularly enjoy fruit desserts, I loved my sister Sheri’s apple crumble (crisp?), too. What’s the difference between a crumble and a crisp? Hmmm…

And how could I forget to mention the guest of honor? My Grandma was so surprised, and tickled pink that everyone showed up to celebrate her special day with her.

We had a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday,” which I asked my Dad to record, for posterity’s sake. (You should hear the way my family harmonizes on the third verse of that song—it sounds pretty awesome.)

What, you didn’t know there was a third verse? Well, my Catholic family has always wrapped up the song with “May the dear Lord bless you” sung over and over again. I like it—especially because I like how my family harmonizes. Daddy sings bass, and Momma sings—er, alto. And there are lots of other altos and sopranos, too. It’s pretty cool.

Yes, we truly are the Brady bunch.

I like being a Brady.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Toilet Barometer

Have I ever mentioned that our toilet is a relationship and mood barometer in the Iwanski and Miss Healthypants household?

I haven’t?

Well, it’s absolutely true. Every time Iwanski and I have a fight, or whenever one or both of us is feeling really depressed, the toilet responds by somehow breaking.

I can’t even tell you how many times this has happened. The poor maintenance men in our building! They have had the pleasure of “visiting” with our toilet on a number of occasions—and what a crappy job that must be.

Anyway, recently Iwanski was having a really bad day—one of those “Irish Guilt” days when everything—and I mean absolutely EVERYTHING—makes him feel guilty. On those days I can say something innocent like “Hey, honey, we’re out of bread,” and he responds with something like, “I’m such a terrible husband. I can’t even manage to make sure we have bread in the house. A good husband would make sure there is always bread in the house,” and on and on and on. I’m telling you, sometimes it must be absolutely exhausting being Iwanski.

Anyway, so recently he was having one of those really bad Irish Guilt Days, and after trying and trying in vain to convince him that he wasn’t the worst person on earth, I thought I would just have to “let go and let God”…so I went off to take a bathroom break.

As I sat down on the toilet, a bolt on one side of the seat popped off and went flying. The entire seat slipped to the side, and I almost fell right in.

“Ack!!!!” I screamed. “The toilet seat just broke!”

From the other room, I heard Iwanski groan, “That’s just God punishing me for being a bad husband.”

“God is not punishing you!” I yelled back.

Now, obviously I don’t believe that God is punishing Iwanski through our toilet breaking.

And I’m sure that God is not really paying attention at all to what happens to our toilet—at least I sure hope not! But I have to admit, it sure does seem pretty strange that whenever there is a lot of negativity in our house, the toilet figures out a new way to be broken.

It’s like one big cosmic joke.

I hate that toilet.