Tuesday, March 25, 2008

in the event that boredom occurs

we all have those things that we do only when we are extremely bored.

Laundry seems to top the list for some. Cleaning is also a popular resonse. Eating is a fan favorite. The most popular for most I think would be television and movies. Oh, forgot about our guys: video games. But in the event that the cable goes out and network tv is a sea of reruns what do you do? If the power goes out what do you do?

I like to organize. Yup. Its pretty sick too.

My DVD's are all in alphabetical order. I have a few sections as well: by dvd case type, Disney movies and feature cartoons, tv series, movie box sets (such as Back to the Future I, II and III) and also a catch all for my random dvd's.

My boredom also forced me to re-arrange my closet. I have tanks, shorts sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, long sleeve, dress pants, skirts, dresses. And they are all arranged by color. So at least my closet looks like a giant rainbow. And I have to admit that it is handy when I am looking for one specific item.

But my newest way to cure the boredom is here:

Entirely fun and amusing ways to pass the time.

Here is a great one. Unless you have a large dog. Then you'll need a friend for this one:

Pick up a dog so it can see things from your point of view(Amusement Potential: 3-5 minutes)Think about it: your dog has only seen the house from a viewpoint from 6" to 2' high (15 to 60 cm for all you metric fans). It's never seen the tops of counters, what you keep on your desk, the tops of shelves, etc. Try looking at things from its point of view, too.

Another favorite:
Try to not think about penguins(Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)This is especially hard, because by trying too much, you remember what you were trying to avoid thinking of. If you try too little, you end up thinking about penguins anyway.

Now this next site is extra special for all of my Toledo peeps:

It has this listed as one of its '474 Things To Do When You're Bored'
-------> Found the TLO (Toledo Liberation Organization)

A few of the klassiest from the 474:
- Flash your mailman
- Tie-dye your sheets
- Wear a lampshade on your head
- Throw marshmallows against the wall
- Hold an ice cube as long as possible

As about 473 of them are utter nonsense I believe that I shall rename these as...
The 474 Things to do When you're drunk and bored
Now it all make sense

Although I now have a hankering to go and give my dog braces and put leg warmers on my furniture.

Time to alphabetize my vhs tapes.

Monday, March 24, 2008

unable to contain

My happiness that is. I recently found out that I am able to attend the first game of the U's football schedule for the 2008 season. Its not some rinky dink E.Michigan game that I really dont want to go to.


Its much much better.

I get to go to..................ARIZONA!

In the first weekend of September their temps are an average of 94/68. And just coming off of yet another summer of death heat I dont think that I will be very appreciative of this type of weather at all come August/September. But right now when it is all of 29 degrees outside it makes me positively giddy.

So giddy in fact that I cannot stop telling people that I am going. It just flies out of my mouth and typically has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I find mysef making segways in the conversation just to talk about the U's football season and inevitablly my trip.

Either way....it just rocks.
Even though it is for work I am extremely geeked to go.
Now I just have to work up the courage to root for the U. My dreaded enemy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

must be something in the dog dish

One thing is for certain: March is not the Schwartz family's month for dogs.
My mom had to put my sweet Kondor down earlier this month.
And now I received word yesterday morning that my dad had to put his German Shepherd down as well. He was Rio. He was only 3 years old. 3. That is young for a dog to have to be put down.

I understand that for the past two weeks Rio has shown severe symptoms of Epilepsy, prevelant in certain breeds of dogs.
He has had numerous grand mal seizures and normally after dogs have these types of seizures they are never the same again. My family has had experience with this and the signs are clear.

Rio was now walking straight into walls, he was unable to run without falling over himself and he was abnormally moody. My dad consulted with our family Vet and with our great family friend, Karen. She still raises/breeds/trains/shows GS's in Maine (where my parents had thier start as well). She said that it is unfortunate he had this problem b/c there is no coming back from where Rio is.

My dad called me yesterday crying and asking my opinion. Do you know how hard it is to be the adult and to say 'dad, you have to put the boy down'. It is hard. Harder than you think it is.

So while this is an especially trying pet time for the family I know that my parents are both pet and dog lovers and will not go long without adding to the Schwartz's 4 legged family.

But mad props to Kondor and Rio for being some of the best fucking dogs ever.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


What do the words bananas, the miz and sliders mean to you?
Well if you were a fanatic MTV challenge watcher such as myself they would mean the world to you!

I speak to you of the challenge: the Gauntlet III. It is ab fab.

Who else could still make trashy reality shows the talk of the water cooler but MTV. Since they no longer feel it necessary to show music videos on their cable station I guess they might as well make headlines in another way. And since Yo! MTV raps isnt on anymore, I think trashy reality is taking its place.

There is nothing better on television in the land that is reality tv than some Road Rules/Real World challenges.
Who can forget the 'fresh meat' challenge when they were paired up with a challenge vet?
Who can forget when CT hit Davis and went home on night 1?
Who can forget Casey and Johnny Bananas screwing in the closet and watching Casey hop out of the window naked?
Brooke becoming a lesbian, but we all know she'll go back to the cock.

Well, there are a million classic challenge moments. The Inferno's, the Gauntlet's, the Duel. Heaven on my cable box.

But I believe a good friend of mine will agree with me that we had a sad Gauntlet moment this season.

No. It was not when Coral turned into a big fucking pussy and quit.
No. It was not when the Bethasaurus went home.
And No. It was not when Danny was scared he couldnt buy Melinda the wedding and house of her dreams (Pssst. Psssssst. Melinda....get a job! Pay for your own shit!)

It was when our dear, sweet and extremely gorgeous Johnny Bananas was sent home. Sliders proved to be too much (fuck you Evan). We say a weekly prayer for our dear Johnny Bananas. We miss you. We want you back (tear)

Here's to you Bananas. You'll always be the challenge winner to us.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

lets pretend they are black

We all have those certain items of clothing that we normally would not be caught dead in. Or the shirt/pants/socks are only still holding a spot in the closet or drawer because it is a fall back. A crutch. Or we would normally never mix those items of clothing together forming a head turning outfit (thats the bad kind of head turning people). Most women have those granny panties and men have holey boxers that we only wear on........LAUNDRY DAY!!!

Ah, yes laundry day! Does the simple saying of the phrase make you want to jump up and down and break out into song and dance!?!?!?
Yeah. Come to think of it. Laundry day is only acceptable because without it I would never have clean clothes of any sort.
Laundry day sucks.
Yes, it is easy to wash clothes. Stuff as much as you can into the washing machine. Add soap and turn on. Easy.
It is easy to dry clothes in the same fashion.
But what I hate...what I loathe....is the putting away the product of laundry day-I speak to you of clean clothes.

Again, easy enough, right? Fold the clothes out of the dryer and put them away.
Put them away.
Put them away.
I have been known to live out of my laundry basket full of clean clothes because I hate putting them away. Which isnt all bad because I save all that time (about 4 minutes, right?) NOT putting laundry away.

Let us speak of the days leading up to laundry day. Most of us work during the day or have a daytime wardrobe of sorts. I have certain shirts I wear with certain pants to work. I do have variations on this but I have the normal amount of work clothing. The days leading up to laundry day are spent finding out when is the last possible day you can do laundry and planning outfits accourdingly.
Case in point, my thought process for this week:
Monday morning - Wow, I am down to 2 pairs of pants (yes I wore 1 of them last week, but I didnt spill anything on them so they are 'clean') and 3 shirts. Need to do laundry soon.
Tuesday morning - Shit! Im outta work socks...I didnt even think to check their status. Looks like its a day for the new Mary Janes I bought. Lets pray that they match my remaining outfits.
Wednesday morning - Fuck I forgot Im outta work socks! Okay...what other shoes can I wear without socks in the month of March...Aha! My new brown bow ones! YES! Really MUST do laundry tonight!
Thursday morning - Fuckity fuck fuck fuck! Didnt do laundry last night. I DID watch a movie and eat 2 huge cookies though!
Okay....**My mind races and I struggle to think of which clean clothes I have available to me**
I only have one pair of pants that isnt stretched out or dirty. My dark navy blue pinstripes. I actually thought they were black when I bought them and I keep convincing myself of this. So I pull out my only acceptable shirt to wear to work. Dark heather gray. Okay. It is a somewhat acceptable outfit for laundry day (I hope). Okay....socks, socks, socks, socks. Hm. Dirty. I did find my black socks with the cowboy boots on them!! We will pretend that the pants are black and that flashing cowboy boots when I cross my legs is perfectly acceptable in a professional establishment such as the U.
I feel flashy in this dark outfit with yellow, red and torquoise cowboy boots on my socks itching to show themselves. With every step I take, every swish of my pants the boots jump out and scream 'Its laundry day! Its laundry day!'

Luckily enough I have had enough perfectly cute undies to get me through laundry day (errr...week) so I have not had to resort to the ugly granny panties saved for just such an occasion.

Note to self: Do laundry tonight.

Actually. I have plans tonight with my girls. And unless I come home after and do laundry (doubt it!) Ill have to scrounge for cleanish clothes.

Hell, laundry is over rated as are clean clothes.
And I think my halloween socks are clean...and tomorrow is dress down day.

I just saved myself 4 minutes.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ill close my eyes and point to a spot on the map

I was raised to be an avid traveler. My parents had the travel bug and carted my brother and I around the world showing us how other people lived and the beautiful sights we couldnt see in Ohio.
I know, I know. I am not dogging Ohio at all but the greater Toledo area doesnt have many claims to fame or many breathtaking vistas. Hey, I choose to live here, I just choose to vacation somewhere else.

My brain starts to turn to mush if I dont get away for at least a week each year. And seeing as it has been almost a year and a half since I have been on a plane for pleasure my brain is almost too far gone.
I have traveled to places such as Hawaii, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Paris, Munich, Manchester, Toronto, Alaska, Victoria B.C., and many spots inside the borders of our fair country. But it is never enough. I want more. I want to see it all.

I have a list. An extensive list that I have compiled over the years of the many countries, states and cities I would like to see before I kick the bucket. It is almost overwhelming because I relize that I may have put too many 'must see' places on my list. But I will do it. I must see the places on my list. I must be able to bring my brain back from the storage drawer where I keep it when nothing exciting is going on. Just so I dont lose my dreams and my vision I always write myself a post it note of just where I left my brain and how I can find it again. I think the last one was blue.

Travel is a hot thing right now. With all of the discount sites (expedia, priceline and the rest) available cheap-ish flights, hotels and cruises are available to people in all walks of life. It doesnt hurt that since Georgie Boy is giving us all $600 this May we all have a little bit extra padding in the savings account to do something fun. I want to blow all of this money on traveling. I want to go sit on a beach for a week and do nothing but drink and sun myself. Even though I guarantee Ill come home with a hangover, Ill have a bitchin tan for all to envy.

I want to continue to be well traveled. I want to see a picture of the Amalfi Coast and know Ive been there. I want to have a corny shot of me holding up the leaning tower of Pizza. I want to spend a fall weekend in NYC and stroll around Central Park. I would also like to spend a Christmasy weekend in NYC ice skating in Rockefeller Center, smooching with someone I love as we window shop at hideously expensive stores. I want my family to experience the fantastic vacations I have had and for them to always want to explore somewhere new. I want someone to surprise me with a trip somewhere exotic for my 30th birthday (thank you Bunny Mendelbaum for this amazing idea!).

Ah...a girl can dream, can't she?
Thats all I have for now: a list and a dream.

Did anyone find a blue post it note around here?
I have $600 worth of vacation dreaming to focus on.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

we both celebrate and lament them

Many Midwesterners choose the Midwest for our super low cost of living. Some choose it for the friendly folk you come across in your daily life. Some simply love our celebratory way of life through Lenten fish fries, county fairs and a festival for anything you can think of.
I love to live in the Midwest because unlike many other areas in the country, we have all 4 seasons.

Sure Schwartz, Ive seen all 4 seasons. Its no big shit. Whats so big about that?

Here in NW Ohio we have a strictly defined set of 4 seasons.
Sometimes they overlap and at times we are even cut short a season. Example: A few fine years ago we spent September watching the temperature slowly creeping down the thermometer waiting for fall to come so we could rake our leaves and head to MacQueens for apples...then WHAM! We woke up to find that Fall had forgotten to show or simply that Winter had bullied itself first place in the season line that year.
Even though we said we hated it, secretly we didnt mind because this just gives us something else to bitch about, another favorite past time of Midwesterners. We love to bitch about the weather.

I speak to you on the 9th day of March today. March has a tradition of 'Coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb'. Sounds cute huh? We expect our months to cooperate with us. March is a massive 500 lb lion right now. We just had measurable snowfall yesterday and we were hoping for sunshine and birds. So by this famous March saying we expect light jacket weather in 2 weeks. March better provide for us. We have stuck it out this far. Cabin Fever is a bitch.

Sure. We say it now. We miss Spring!!! We want the warm weather!!!

Just wait until it gets here. Oh, yes, yes...we will be THRILLED about the weather for a few months. Then something clicks in our brains and we realize that we have bitched about the weather nearly enough.

Its too hot to go outside! I hate this heat!! My air conditioning bill is more than my car payment!!

And as soon as fall comes we are greatly relieved, so are our pocket books.

The cycle goes year round. And luckily we do have all 4 seasons here because I dont know what we could possibly bitch about more than the weather and still be happy to see it come and to see it go.
Fucking March is not on anyones nice list right now...when is that lamb coming? We are all ready for Spring here. I hate this snow and cold.
Baaaa Baaaaa

Friday, March 7, 2008

Dear U maintenance people

Yes. I understand that this week is spring break for the faculty and students. It is definately smart to turn down the heat when no one is in the buildings. Very smart indeed.

Did you forget that the staff is still currently working?
Well, in case you missed the memo...we are here.

It is hard for me to concentrate on work when the thermostat for the building is set at 60 degrees.
My hands are frozen.
My feet are like ice.
I am shivery in a thick sweatshirt.

I understand that once the precious faculty and students make their comeback to the U you will turn the heat back on. And that is extremely nice that you care so much for them but what did we ever do to you?

Unless this is a way for you to punish the 3rd floor for being rejects to society. Even so...I am not cold blooded and just may freeze.

cook off worthy in my book

I speak to you of Chili. This is such an easy meal to prepare and it can be made in a multitude of varieties as well.
My chili recipe is a time mastered one that involves a wide array of flavors.
I promise you this recipe is easy.
I promise you this recipe will be very well received.

Who doesnt like chili?

Ill tell you who. The communists.

6-8 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1-2 poblano peppers, chopped
1-2 habanero peppers, chopped (these peppers are extremely HOT so please use caution when touching any mucus membranes after you have handled them.)
1 large onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 lbs ground beef
2 cans hot & spicy chili beans (I use Brooks brand, but anything will do. And they dont have to be hot & spicy if you are a chili wuss)
1 large can of tomato sauce
2 cans of diced tomatoes, I buy the ones with chopped garlic and onion in them. Why not.
Bay leaf
Cumin powder
Chili Powder

Brown the ground beef....in another skillet start to saute the onion and garlic. Add the chopped onions to the onion and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes then add the ground beef to the onion & pepper mix. Let cook another 5 minutes.

***there is a common misconception that jalapenos and habaneros are ONLY hot. They are also incredibly sweet peppers once you remove the seeds and cook. So I usually remove the seeds of 1 of the habaneros and half of the jalapenos. They will no longer produce heat for your chili only an amazing sweet taste.***

While that is all cooking add all 5 cans to your crock pot and turn that baby on high. After the beef and peppers are finished add it to the crock pot. Stir in a bay leaf, a generous helping of cumin powder and chili powder.

I let the chili cook for 2+ hours before I add the cinnamon. I generally add 1T and up to 2T if I want SkyLine style chili.

Let the chili simmer for 6-8 hours and then enjoy!
Chili toppers are always welcomed as well. Try onion, cheese and my personal favorite: cornbread.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

be careful what you wish for

I was lazily yawning away my morning, tapping on the keys of my computer. When all of a sudden!


I turn my head and what do I see?
I see a face peering through the 6 inch crack in my open door.

Hello, Bob!

How was skiing Bob?
Rainy and wet? Couldnt ski? Oooo, too bad.

No, still can't ski Bob. The bad knee and all.
Thank you very much, Bob, for inviting me to Gaylord, MI to ski with you this month.
I think Ill pass.
You are too kind to invite me.
(please stop asking me to ski with you!)

So you went to D.C. instead of skiing?
Gas was $5.00 a gallon?
You are going to start riding a motorcycle again you say?
(instantly smirk at the thought of Bob on a bike)
I stifle my laughter and comment more on the crisis of the cost of oil and the weakness of the American dollar.

Bob.....Oh, Bob.
All of a sudden I remember why I didnt want to see the color of your office and why I didnt want to entertain you with simple stories of my life outside this robins egg blue room.

They did put you on the correct floor in SP though. My tip my hat to the U for their accuracy in office placement. Floor 3, surprisingly still vacancies.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Floor 3: freaks of nature and weirdos

This week is spring break at the U...ah, just think of all of the drunken unprotected sex and alcohol induced stupidity that is at large in the state of Florida and around the Eastern costline!

It is a welcome change to have quiet in my temporary office. This floor of SP campus is where the U houses some of the professor's offices. I think that they had a list and stuck them on the 3rd floor and said 'Lets stick all of the weirdos in one place'. They did just that. Unfortunately for my department there was ample temporary office space on this floor. My department has offices on one side of the floor. Not me. I am on the other side. The weirdo professor side.

I have made a temporary friend with one such weirdo. His name is something so odd that I forgot it instantly...so I will refer to him as Bob. Bob likes to point out that my office is a lovely shade of robins egg blue. I dont care, but Bob did invite me over to his office to check out the dark dark dark shade of blue that it is.
No, thank you Bob.

Bob likes to tell me what he is doing each night. He was skiing last weekend and into the first few days of spring break. No, Bob, I dont ski...bad knee. Then we get into the 10 minute conversation about how I cannot ski without the need of medical professionals and an orthopedic surgeon.

Yes, Bob, I have had 3 knee surgeries already.
Yes, Bob, all on the same knee.
No, Bob, I do not have a fake knee.
Yes, Bob, I am only 26.
Yes, Bob, I had my surgeries at 15, 16 and 21.
Yes, Bob, I figured that if I get them all out of the way while Im young I have a shot at walking with my own God given parts well into my 40's.
Yes, Bob, I guess I could try skiing and see how my knee feels, but I am having trouble walking up the three flights of stairs to my robins egg blue office without my knee giving me trouble.
Yes, Bob, I do know that skiing is great exercise.

And I pass Bob in the hallway at least 7 times a day so we have many chances for encounters such as this. To give Bob credit, he is a very nice person who speaks very highly of his wife and children. But it is just too much chit chat for me to fake. I have enough trouble staying on task and Bob doesnt help.

**crickets chirping**
**crickets chirping**

But come to think of it it is awfully quiet here on the 3rd floor and I am curious of how his ski weekend was and just what shade of blue his office actually is.

Dont worry, Bob'll be back on Monday.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I must have missed that

Ah...to be 8 years old again.

I miss the days when my homework consisted of tracing cursive letters and reading books about My Aunt Fanny (thank you Happy Gilmore).

I miss my plastic lunch box with the matching thermous.

I miss wearing snow boots to school and lining them up in the hallway

I miss having numerous snow days every winter. (although UT did give me a nice surprise my 2nd day here!)

I miss getting 12 hours of sleep every night.

I miss having everything done for me.

But the really shocking thing about this is one day you are 8 years old and life is nothing but carefree...then you wake up the next day and you are 26 and you have no clue where your car keys are, you woke up late and didnt factor time into your morning to scrape the 6 inches of snow mother nature dumped on your car last night, you are still eating the same lunch you did when you were 8...Not b/c a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is your favorite b/c its almost free to eat.

I did miss the memo that I was an adult because I still daydream at work, eat kid flavored ice cream and fruit roll ups are my favorite bedtime snack.

The bitch of it is that I still cannot write in cursive, can someone pass me last night's homework to trace?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Top Dog

I forgot to tell you all but saturday morning at 10 am my mom calls me crying that she is at the vet and is putting our family dog down. He has had hip/leg/kidney/thyroid problems for over 2 years now and we thought he was goign to be put down a hundred times before this weekend...but it was his time......Here is his eulogy.

His name was Kondor. He was a beautiful germany-line purebread german shepherd. He was about 15 years old which is extremely old for a big dog like him. Their average lifespan is 10-12 years so he was a lucky puppy.

He was huge for a shepherd, which is common for the germany-line of breeding.He was brilliant, not so much a vicious dog. He was very loving, always gave good kisses and didnt mind big hugs when you were crying.

He liked to bark at us while we were on the diving board of the swimming pool. He layed down to eat his food, ate his food one kernal of food at a time (this was hilarious by the way) and never minded if anyone messed with his food or even laid on him while he was eating. He did like to run away if the garage door was left open...we always found him in the same neighborhood (they had hot girl dogs there) and the dog warden got to know him so well one summer he knew where he lived.

His favorite toy ever was planting buckets.....know when you buy a new shrub and it comes in the plastic temporary container? Yup, those. They were his fav's. You just had to mention the word bucket and he was going crazy for it.

He made a new friend late in life. Last year my moms boyfriend brought his Golden Retreiver, Muffy, up from FL to play with Kondor. They got along in the best way, and it taught Kondor about sharing. He didnt like it.

I have been so extremely sad about losing him. He was my family. He was my puppy. He was my boy. And when I patted my hands on my chest, he would jump up to kiss me. He didnt do that for anyone else. He knew that he could always work me for extra treats as I was headed out the door and he knew that I would always give him 40 ice cubes as a treat b/c he loved them

This doesnt do his loyalty and love for my family justice at all. But a good friend of mine was put down on saturday...and he will be greatly missed.