Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bulky Bartokomous

My friend Jonathan is a very unique person.

There’s the fact that he grew up as the son of a Baptist minister in small-town Texas and later lived as a Catholic priest-in-training in Toronto…there’s the fact that he is an excellent pianist who can play “Flight of the Bumblebee,” and can also play an absolutely hilarious version of the Brady Bunch theme song…and then there’s the fact that he went to culinary school and has cooked both a three-course delicious Hungarian meal and a complete, delectable raw food feast for my friends and me…

There are many things that make Jonathan an interesting person to be around.

And just recently, I discovered another. While I was hanging out with him at his little studio apartment last Tuesday night and he grabbed a bottle of wine out of his pantry, I noticed that he tends to buy foods in bulk…but not foods that most people buy in bulk, like cereal or toilet paper. For example, he had…

A huge tub of cumin!

Who ever needs this much cumin?!

Then there was this big jar of cloves. Tell me, when was the last time you used even ONE clove in your cooking? Surely no one really needs this many!

And then there was the green tea that Jonathan bought “online, for really cheap”…four boxes of it! (The next day, Jonathan called me at work and told me that he found a FIFTH box of green tea on top of his fridge.) I guess I know who to call if this country ever faces a massive green tea shortage!

But then I noticed something even funnier to me. He also had the TINIEST bottles of ketchup and mustard! Aren’t they cute? That hit me so funny. Surely, you would never need more than a couple of tablespoons of ketchup or mustard…but apparently you need loads of cumin, cloves, and green tea!

Yes, Jonathan is indeed a unique person. I don’t know anyone else who would have that much cumin and that little ketchup and mustard.

Oh, and did I also mention that he has a bird feeder?! But Jonathan doesn’t use it as a bird feeder—he uses it to serve candy to his coworkers (one piece at a time). So I guess it’s not so much a bird feeder as a people feeder.

I’m really glad to have Jonathan not only as my friend, but also as my neighbor. After all, you never know when you’re going to need to borrow ten cups of cumin!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Bestest Girlfriend

Today is the birthday of my best girlfriend, Diane.

Diane has been with me through thick and thin (and this year she’s thin, and I’m a bit thicker than last year!), and she is one of the most kind and generous people I have ever known.

One of my favorite stories about Diane was from before she bought her current home, when she used to live in an apartment building in a small town, with several very friendly neighbors. I mean, these people actually knew each other—and I don’t mean just knew each other’s names, just casual acquaintances—but they actually did things together like potluck lunches, stuff like that. (I guess that kind-of thing happens sometimes in small towns. In my apartment building here in Chicago, I only know one of my neighbors’ names, and she’s a dog.)

Anyway, one year at Christmastime, on St. Nick’s Day, Diane made up little gifts (I think they were stockings) with candies and homemade treats, and very late at night, she tiptoed around her apartment building and secretly hung the gifts on all of her neighbors’ doors.

Now isn’t that just the sweetest thing?

That’s exactly the type of person Diane is. Sweet, generous, and kind.

And I am lucky enough to call her friend.

Happy Birthday, Diane! May you have many more wonderful years ahead—you deserve them!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Snow Bunny or Beach Bunny?

A couple of weeks ago, here's how I looked:

Except for a breathtakingly warm heat wave this weekend (temperatures in the 40's), I feel like it's been a pretty cold winter so far.

And I am SO over it already!

So I decided that Iwanski and I were going to have our very own "night at the beach." I cranked up the heat, put on my swimsuit, and spread a couple of beach towels on the living room floor. Then I made some margaritas and put on some Jamaican music, and Iwanski and I sat on the beach towels and enjoyed our summer evening.

It was really fun; I think we'll have to do that now every time I get sick of winter.

Wait a minute, that would be like, every day. (Reaches for her margarita)...Oh, well, ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Husband Makes Me Laugh

Tonight, while my husband was cooking a delicious pasta dinner, I expressed my concern that we might not have enough to eat for the meal. (I’m paranoid about not having enough to eat; this could be the reason why I’m having a hard time losing weight right now!) But it turned out that with the pasta dish and sides of broccoli and corn muffins (yummy!), we had more than enough to eat.

Later on, we had this conversation:

Iwanski: I’m sorry if I didn’t cook enough for dinner.

Me: Oh, don’t worry, I had plenty, believe me. Besides (patting my belly), do I look like I’m starving?

Iwanski (putting his arms around me): You’re jolly.

I’m glad that I’m married to a man who makes me laugh every day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cadbury Bunny + Hee Haw Theme Song = Massive Silliness

The other night, Iwanski was watching Hee Haw, and just for fun, I pressed the sound activation on the little stuffed Cadbury Bunny I had received as a gift.

All of the sudden we noticed that the bunny's clucking was almost perfectly matching the tone and rhythm of the Hee Haw theme of course we had to record it!

I hope you enjoy this--we sure did! (And yes, that's my hand moving in time with the music to keep the bunny clucking.)

Sometimes it's the little silly moments that make life worth living.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Watching Too Much

I haven’t felt very inspired to write lately.

I think Facebook and yoga are taking up too much of my time—oh yeah, and mindless television, too. There’s that. But who doesn’t indulge in a little mindless television once in a while?

At least I’m watching shows that make me laugh. And laughter is good for you. So there.

Have any of you seen the show “Better Off Ted”? Bad title, but hilarious sitcom. As is typical with many good shows, when I watched the first couple of episodes, I thought it was pretty dumb. But as is typical in the Iwanski household, Iwanski thought it had some great potential and kept watching, while I sort-of half-listened to it while doing other things…and eventually it got to be one of the funniest sitcoms I’ve seen in a long time. It’s definitely wacky, I’ll tell you that. I love how it pokes fun at evil corporations. Freakin’ hilarious.

I’ve also been enjoying “The Middle” and “Modern Family”—both funny shows about unique families. Last week’s episode of “The Middle” starred Brooke Shields in a cameo appearance as a crazy neighbor lady with a mullet. Brooke Shields in a mullet was definitely a must-see.

Then there’s this new “Modern Family” show. I have heard so many people talk about how they love that show; it really seems to have attracted quite a following. Which is good, because it’s really funny and showcases some unique family situations, including a gay couple with an adopted Vietnamese baby. It also stars Ed O’Neill, one of Iwanski’s and my favorite actors. Love. It.

For Christmas, Iwanski and I received an AMC Movie gift card. Everyone keeps telling us to go see Avitar, but we’re not sure what movie we want to see yet. Part of the problem is that we’re so used to watching sitcoms and movies that we’ve Tivo’d at home, and being able to pause it whenever we want. I don’t think I could sit through a whole movie in a theater without having to get up to pee or get a soda or something to eat. Speaking of which, did you know that there’s a website that tells you the best times to get up and pee during a movie? I kid you not—it’s called

I just checked, and they do have “runpee times” on there for the movie Avitar.

So maybe we will go see Avitar. Or maybe we’ll just hold on to that movie gift card until the summer, when all the sitcoms on t.v. are in re-runs.

Yes, I plan my free time around having to pee and sitcom schedules. This is what Tivo has done to me.

Sorry, Tivo, I didn’t mean to say anything bad about you. Please don’t stop working. I love you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Taste of Summer

Today, it was about 15 degrees outside…so Iwanski and I decided to take a trip to summer…

The place we went had palm trees, ferns, and cacti—it even had waterfalls…

It is the Garfield Park Conservatory, a very beautiful place on Chicago’s west side.

Ahhh...what a lovely summer day...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Snuggle Suits

OK, I'm so totally going to get one of these...

Snuggle Suits: For When You Want Your Robe To Look Business Cazh

Snuggle Suit: Like a Robe, with Pants! Or a Snuggie, with an ass covering!


Just kidding--I'm not really going to buy one! But don't they look uber-comfortable? If I owned a business, that would be the office uniform. (Of course, I guess I'd have to make an exception for people like my husband, who is always freakin' warm--the lucky bum!)

It is currently 21 degrees here. Oh well, at least it's better than our expected high for this coming Saturday--13 degrees! Brrr!

Thank God for my two Snuggies.*

*And thanks to the nieciest niece, for sending me this link!