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Finally, after a few teases of nice weather followed by sudden bouts of cold/rain, summer is here.  We barely had any spring days, I pretty much went from wearing long underwear to sweating myself to sleep in a week.  We’ve had some highs and lows in the past few weeks:


First, I went down to Carbondale to kidnap Brian and bring him home with me.  Since he’s no longer in the flight program, there’s no point in him going to school down there.  So we get to live together like normal married people (weird) and we will save a lot of money since we won’t be paying for his rent and bills.  Yay!  Before we left we ate one last meal at Longbranch, where I had the Lemon Garlic Fettucine:


I brought home some beautiful strawberries from the co-op (which I will miss so much), which we immediately turned into a strawberry rhubarb pie.



I planted my garden, and now I can admire it from my bedroom window:



Last weekend, we had some big boos.  On Friday night, my father-in-law was walking his two dogs and one of our neighbors, as they frequently do, let their dogs run out of the house unleashed and one of them immediately attacked Coco.  Yes, this is a totally different dog than the one that killed Bonny.  When he came in and told us what happened, I almost threw up on the spot.  Luckily, Coco was smiling like an idiot and just had to get a lot of staples in her leg and wear a Cone of Shame until we were sure she wouldn’t pull the staples out.  Fun fact:  did you know that as long as a dog is in their own yard, even if it’s the unfenced front yard, they can attack whomever they damn well please and animal control will not give a shit?  I also find it kind of funny (in the horrible awful way) that they attacked the dog who spent most of her early life in a cage cranking out dogs for a puppy mill, so she has the defensive instincts of a turnip.  She doesn’t even understand that she’s supposed to chew her toys up.  Abby would’ve fucked that dog’s ankles up.


Then two days later, as Brian and I were about to head out to the art fair, Abby started coughing in a weird way.  When we got home and she wasn’t there, my stomach dropped and I immediately called my father-in-law to ask what was wrong.  Brian and I drove to the emergency vet clinic just in time to say goodbye to her.  Apparently she had a growth in her throat that was making it hard for her to breathe, so it was best for her to be put to sleep.  This house has had a rough year pet-wise, in less than a year we’ve gone from five dogs and four cats, to two dogs (Harley went to live in Maine) and three cats (not to mention that my sister-in-laws dog died).  Some people might think we’re better off, but somehow we managed to combine two households of animals and make it work, and it is very quiet in here now.

This post is getting kind of long and it feels weird to go, “Dead dog, anyway, art pictures!” so I will make a second post tomorrow.





posted: May 31, 2011
under: animals, food, life, pictures, vegan in illinois

Ted Leo/Mother’s Day Weekend

I don’t know if you know this, but I have been trying to see Ted Leo play for a good part of this year.  First, he had a show scheduled in St. Louis in February, I couldn’t go.  Then he played with his band at a festival in Champaign, we couldn’t afford the tickets until the last second.  I spent the whole week cleaning a basement to get the money.  When I tried to buy a ticket, I was informed that I couldn’t buy any for the single show, I now had to buy a festival ticket, which was twice as much, and could no longer afford them.

BUT THEN I found out that the show in February had been canceled anyway, so Ted Leo was coming back for a makeup show!  So Brian and I went and it was magical.



We arrived right before the first band started, and both opening bands were pretty good and fit with Ted Leo very well.  As soon as we took a spot near the back, Ted Leo came out and stood five feet from me.  When I told one of my co-workers that I was missing work on Monday to go to a show he said, “Yeah, i’m going to see U2 in July!”  Pffft, is Bono going to come stand five feet from you?  Not nearly as exciting.  Brian wouldn’t let me throw my bra, Chicago Diner cake, my bra loaded WITH Chicago Diner cake, or my PPK button at him, so I just tweeted excitedly and then watched the show.


Apparently Ted Leo (by the way we never refer to him as Ted, always Ted Leo) talks a lot, which he apologized for at least four times.  An apology wasn’t necessary, as he was funny and personable.  He mostly talked about KISS and cold gin, and when his distortion pedal was too quiet he said that it was some ‘weak Nirvana shit’, and then said, “Yeah, I said it!” He played ‘Me and Mia’ second and then said, “I thought I should just get that one out of the way.”  He threw in a cover of Angelfuck by The Misfits at the end of a song and that made Brian really happy.


He was also assertive with the audience, which I thought was very cool.  Some guy in the front took pictures the whole time and finally after a few songs, Ted Leo was like, “You know i’m not going to do anything but stand here with my guitar, right?  After awhile it gets a little uncomfortable.”  When someone asked him to play Since U Been Gone (his very popular Kelly Clarkson cover), he refused and said that song haunts him everywhere he goes.  He also didn’t take any requests at the end, because he said he really wanted to play the last two songs on his setlist.  It sounds dickish, but he was really nice about it and I believe this is what the kids call “keepin’ it real”.


He didn’t seem to be selling merch, so I didn’t get a shirt and had to use my cash for practical things like gas money and food.  🙁


The only negatives were the audience.  It was in a bar so you would think the alcohol would help, but hardly anyone was even moving, or singing along, or looking like they even liked being there.  A guy in front of me stood behind his girlfriend the entire time, creating a wall with their heads, and he also kept backing up and pushing a girl into me.  Apparently she didn’t care, but if you’re at a show and it’s NOT packed and they have plenty of space in front of them, if someone is backing into you, don’t move.  Let them back into you and then in theory, they will realize they’re too close and will move.  Unless you’re Brian, you’ll end up with your elbow in a 6’5″ linebacker because the guy doesn’t know what personal space is.  Seriously, Brian’s elbow ended up in this guys stomach and he still wouldn’t move away from him, and I don’t mean like he was throwing elbows, I mean he had his arms crossed and the guy ended up THAT close to him.  So Brian just yelled ‘yeah!’ and ‘woo!’ extra loud all night.


The moral is, don’t be a dick.  Be aware that there are people around you and they probably don’t want you stepping on their toes and rubbing on them!


Overall, it was worth me spending my weekend driving all over Illinois and I would do it again.  If you have the chance to see Ted Leo, with or without The Pharmacists, do it!


To move backwards, to go to St. Louis, first I had to drive down to Carbondale and pick Brian up.  It was finally warm here so it was a good weekend to road trip.  I wore skirts all weekend because I was sick of the cold and having to wear pants and sweaters.  Brian made me biscuits and gravy for Mother’s day:


We picked up a package of the Field Roast apple and sage sausages to go with them.  I’ve had Field Roast slices before, but not these and…they were gross.  I haven’t had a sausage in at least 18 years, but I thought they were too meaty and I ended up feeling sick for most of the afternoon.


When it came to dinner time, obviously I wanted to eat in St. Louis since we were going there for the concert anyway.  The problem was, it was Sunday, the show wasn’t until 9:00, and most places that we could kill time in (The Galleria), would be closed by 6:00.  So that crossed a lot of things off of our list.  We decided to go to Pi Pizzeria, but when we got there at 7:00 it was packed, and there was a 45 minute wait just to be seated.  So we just went to Whole Foods.


I swear, on my tombstone it will say, “She always ended up eating at the Whole Foods Deli.”  I didn’t really want anything on the hot bar (Not for $8 a pound anyway), so I got some simple spring rolls, a drink, and of course, CAKE.  I tried to eat the muffin for breakfast, but it tasted like there was no sweetener in it at all, and then I realized there were two spots of mold on it.


And this is what I wore.  I had a hard time picking out which black vegan t-shirt to wear, but in the end I went with the one that was actually clean.


And that was the end of my St. Louis adventure, hopefully the next time I go it will be on a weekday so i’ll be able to blow all of my money on soap and food like the good lord intended.

posted: May 10, 2011
under: food, life, music, pictures, vegan in illinois

Love and Loss

If you can’t guess by the title, this post is going to be about Bonny.  I was working on writing a new page on the site just for the animals, and 1.  I realized that I forgot her birthday last month, as in I didn’t even think about it so I felt terrible, and 2.  Trying to recount her story had me bawling just a few sentences in.  Now, I don’t spend every waking minute crying, i’m not vying for for sympathy or concern, but I just need to get some things out that have been bothering me for the last few months.


Bonny’s death was absolutely devastating for our immediate family.  I saw my husband react with emotions that i’ve never seen in him in the eleven years we’ve been together.  Both of my in-laws were hysterical.  Chester had to be pried off of our bed to eat and go to the bathroom for a few days, and he was still obviously bummed for a few weeks.  Bonny was the baby of our family, not just mine, although we were very co-dependent.  The first person I called was my friend Andria, her mom is the one who gave me Bonny and I felt they needed to know right away.  She was supportive and texted jokes to me later to make me feel better.  Her mom, and Megan, immediately emailed me to tell me how sorry they were.  I posted about it on the internet and so many people said so many nice things to me, some people even told me they were crying because they had come to love Bonny just through seeing her pictures and my stories.  I couldn’t respond to most of it because I didn’t know what to say back, but all of it was amazing.  Some other people gave me hugs or condolences, even my boss, who said nothing when I mentioned it was birthday, told me he was really sorry.  I took Bonny to work one day last summer and she was a big hit.


And some people, said absolutely nothing.


That’s the thing that’s been eating me up.  I can’t remember how it got brought up, but I was talking to my father-in-law a week afterwards and for whatever reason, I was recounting the people I had received condolences from, and not counting the internet, it was a painfully short list.  Now, I had turned my facebook account off in November so people who didn’t have my number, I understand.  Some people I only see every couple of months, and after awhile I doubt their first thought is about my dead dog.  However, people who I have known for years, family members, no calls.  No texts.  Nothing.  Hell, the day after, some people didn’t say anything!  That was, and still is, really painful.  Some people don’t put pets on the same level as others, but anyone who knows me knew that Bonny was pretty much the light of my life.  Are there reasons?  Did they forget?  Did they think I didn’t want to be bothered?  I’m sure there are some good reasons, but i’m entitled to say how it makes me feel, and it makes me feel like they didn’t/don’t care.  It’s a pretty shitty feeling.  And what am I supposed to do, bring that shit up?  I don’t think so.


I don’t think any (okay, maybe one) of the people i’m talking about are monsters, I just really wanted to get that out of my system.  Catharsis.  The end.  Over and done with, let’s all move on.


Other than that, I think I am doing okay with things.  I still have Chester (the Barbara Hershey to Bonny’s Bette Midler), and the cats, and I also love them very much.  There are certain holes they can’t fill, like I can’t carry Chester into social situations that i’m nervous about, and one time I tried to flip Fatty into the cradle position out of habit and she squeaked and bit my hand.  I look at dogs on Petfinder, but we are by no means getting another dog any time soon.  Not just because of emotional reasons, but Chester has some as-of-yet undiagnosed (and expensive to rule things out) liver problems, and thyroid issues.  He was the best big brother to Bonny, but he is also older and crankier now and I don’t want to make him get used to another new dog.  So unless he is magically cured of his pricey ailments or up and dies, a new dog is not in our future.

posted: April 26, 2011
under: animals, life

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