06 December 2011

Time Flies

...and seasons change. Funny looking back on my last post... Sept 19. A few days after that, my life changed a lot. I was feeling pretty good about everything, I had started running again, the Brewers were winning, and I was looking forward to fall (my favorite season) and eventually snowboarding. Now, um, well I guess I'm still looking forward to snowboarding. I've been through a lot. I've learned a lot, both about myself, about others, and about trust. I'm getting through it. Thanks to those who were there for me, and those who put up with me when I may have been less than pleasant. Your patience is appreciated more than you will ever know. 

19 September 2011


A few things:

Last Wednesday (Sept 14) was the 2-year anniversary of my tattoo. I'm still in love with it.

19 days ago, I turned 28. I have decided that there are two phases of one's twenties: twenty-baby and twenty-old. Guess what that makes me. Not feeling my age though... will take it as a good sign.

I broke the "o" key on my laptop... drinking accident. Now it's just the little plastic bubble thing underneath. It's odd. $5 for a new one. FIVE BUCKS! I'm considering going without it.

After a 2-month hiatus, I started running again. Funnily enough, almost exactly 2 months ago, I wrote that I was going to run more. Oops. I also decided that I'm not going to feel bad that I'm not training for a marathon. It's not for me. I'm done worrying about it.

After I went for a run today, I ate a bunch of cheese. Oops. On a related note, it's nice that it's getting cool outside again, so hopefully I won't put off running in the nice cool 50s and 60s.

In general, I feel pretty good about life right now.

23 July 2011

Hot Hot Heat Update

In case you've somehow missed the news, it's HOT outside.

Actually right now it's somewhat tolerable. But in the next few hours its going to heat up again and become gross. I've been up for an hour now so I should probably start working towards my run...

At any rate, I'm making some new rules. I think I should be able to stick to them. I find that posting on my blog makes me more accountable to the 2 folks that might stumble onto this. So here goes:

1. I will no longer become upset when I find out that people who are generally in the same friend group as me invite people to do things and exclude me. If they have a problem with me and aren't mature enough to address it with me, then I don't need to be friends with them. If they just happened to forget, I will realize that mistakes happen and get over it.

2. I will run more. Even if it's hot.

3. I will work to find out why I'm having issues sleeping and do stuff to change it. Yes, I may even go and see a doctor.

So... we'll see how this all goes.

10 May 2011


One year ago today, I started my job. They seem to like me so far. At least that's what I like to think (I keep baking treats, that probably has something to do with it). It's amazing to look back at how much I've grown and changed in the last year. I still have a lot to learn. But sometimes I catch myself in meetings saying things, and I sort of hear myself from outside of my brain and I think, "wow, that chick sort of knows what she's talking about." Then I realize it's me, and it still seems a bit weird, but it's cool too. I'll take it.

25 April 2011

Up and coming!

Well well. Lots of stuff coming up in the near future.


I'm pretty sure that only 2 of my friends (neither of which read this blog) know that I have a minor infatuation with Dr. Seuss. (My favorite book is If I Ran The Circus, fyi.) While all the rhymes are wonderful and the drawings are whimsical, and we learned that you don't really need a Sneed, I was more interested in Dr. Seuss' contributions to the older audiences - he created a fair amount of propaganda during World War II. A lot of the themes from these drawings actually carried over into characters and messages found in the children's books for which he is most popular.

This has a point, I swear.

I had a book. It was called "The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, And Nothing But The Seuss." It was really quite an interesting book. I lent this book to someone, within about the last 8-12 months, and I cannot for the life of me remember who it was. And I have recently wanted to make reference to said book, but alas, I cannot, because I don't know where said book is!

SO. Since you were all so helpful in offering me sources for couches, I thought I might ask: Did I lend this book to any of you? You can hang on to it for a while, just let me know if you have it so I know that I'm not going insane!

Ok, moving right along. I'm really excited to move! In a little over a month, I'll be in the new place, which is 2x bigger than the current place. Oh, and my bedroom will NOT be the same room as my living room. I cleaned out another drawer yesterday. I'm hoping to have another carload of stuff for Goodwill before I make the move. I've basically been trying to pare down my life for the last year or two, and this moving thing is really helping! (Plus I have one less closet in the new place so I've got to get rid of some of the stuff!)

What else? On May 10, I will have been at my job for a full year. I'm sure I'll write more sappy reflective stuff by then, but it's been a lot for me to think about lately, considering the events of the last 2 years. It's definitely been an interesting ride.

Last weekend was Easter. I went home and saw the whole family and ate WAY TOO MUCH FOOD. My grandma makes these amazing sour-cream-and-chive-twice-baked-potato things that are pretty much the most amazing thing ever done with potatoes. There are no less than 20,000 calories and 900 grams of fat in every helping, but of course, none of this counts when Grandma makes it. Other delicious food from the weekend included cream cheese waffles, fish fry, blueberry oatmeal muffins and beef sticks from the local butcher. (Craig... they DO ship!)

Other upcoming events include the DII and DIII Midwest Rugby Final Four - my brother is playing on Saturday and Sunday. Anybody wanna go to Madison with me on Saturday and watch a bunch of guys tackle each other in the mud? It's really quite entertaining. I'll even drive.

For the last 3 weeks or so, I've been having the absolute craziest dreams. They're different every time. Other than drinking till I pass out, I can't really figure out a way to be tired enough to not remember my dreams. Gosh that sounds weird. I'll figure it out eventually I hope.

Well that's all for now, I suppose I should go lay in bed till the crazy dreams start. Right?

14 April 2011

Milwaukee Day!

HOLY CATS! 2 POSTS IN 8 DAYS!!! Who am I and what have I done with the real Lars??

Anyway. Today is 4/14 - Milwaukee Day! A month after Pi day, some creative folks have gotten together to celebrate our great city. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Milwaukee proper and all good things that come with it, so naturally I was thrilled when this popped up on my Twitter feed last night and today. I spent a fair amount of time at work today checking up on the hash tag for all the reasons to love Milwaukee, and cracked up at plenty of them as well.

Aside from all of the beer and amazing food, one of the things I love the most about this city is the passion that my fellow residents share for the 414. It really does make the November-like weather we've been having lately a lot more bearable when you know that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of peeps out there who don't want to be any place else on the planet.

Fun fact: I was born in the 414, but not in Milwaukee. Up until 1997 my dear hometown of K-hole was covered by the 414 as well. For a history of the 414 area code, click here. For a fun story about a Milwaukee-based Boy Scout computer hacker gang from 1983, click here. You can't make this stuff up! (who knew they had hackers in the 80s??)

So, in other news, I got a couch! Thanks to Brian, who is moving to MN and looking to lighten his moving truck. Now I need a TV.... Where's a good place to buy a TV? As I pointed out to my coworkers today, I'm not a dude, I don't play video games, and the only sport I watch is baseball, so there's really no need for me to have a state-of-the-art super duper thinger with all the bells and whistles. My main requirement is that it has a VGA input so I can plug in my computer and stream The Daily Show on the big screen. Who doesn't want to see Jon Stewart on demand?? No one I can think of. Also, does anyone want my old tube TV? can I donate it to someone somewhere?

Hmmm, what else? I just updated this thing a week ago so I can't really say there's much new. I baked Banana Bars for work tomorrow, with cream cheese buttercream frosting. I'm looking forward to eating at least a third of the pan... yum.

Ok, that's all I've got for now, it's time for bed. I was absolutely spent at work today. I barely made it through the afternoon!

06 April 2011

I'm becoming one of THOSE people

I realized today that I'm pretty sure I'm one of THOSE people. I discussed hyper-local elections (alderman, anyone?), I only listen to NPR or occasionally 88.9 in my car, and instead of sitting back and letting my brain turn to mush with another episode of The Middle, I instead choose to watch BBC News followed by Nightly Business Report on PBS. (Of course, I will be switching to Criminal Minds when all of this newsy-nonsense is done.)

I never thought I'd end up here. My mind is absolutely fried every day from work and yet I'd rather watch news and form opinions on it than turn on some stupid sitcom! 10-years-ago Lars would not recognize me.

So... what's new. Opening Day was a glorious shit show. Unfortunately they lost, but really, I'll take the 0-4 start because Yo had an absolutely STELLAR game to bring us our first win last night. I'm looking forward to our first game in our "regular" 9-pack seats on Friday, and to meeting up with the old gang.

After much bothering from a friend, I finally listened to Gayngs. They're... interesting. I think I could actually really get into them. They have a great interesting sound. One song, The Last Prom on Earth sounds like someone revisited their Boyz II Men tapes. I know that actually sounds quite horrible, but give the whole disc a listen, and we can discuss. (I think that's the first music review I've ever done on this blog...)

In other news, I need a couch. Why, do you ask? Cuz I'm moving. 50 feet. That's right, I'm getting a new (bigger) apartment in my same building, starting June 1. So I need a couch. Anybody know of a good place to get a couch? I also seem to recall a discussion of moving (I mean pushing stuff down the hall) and something about bikini tops and mai tai's. That may have been decided at Opening Day. Look for details of a housewarming party.... after I get a couch.

01 March 2011

It's a TRAP!

Ok, got this stuck in my head earlier today and looks like it'll be here for a while:

Also, not sure if anyone followed @MayorEmanuel these past few months, but it was definitely quite entertaining. This is a very interesting article about the entire phenomenon. Kind of almost makes me hate Chicago just a liiiiiiiiiitle less. (not much though.)

Thanks to Craig for the link. Thanks also to Craig and Tony for cast iron pumpernickel horseradish red wine reduction something meat deliciousness last night. You two are good people.

Last week/weekend/this week so far have been completely mind-numbingly overwhelming for me. I need a vacation, BIG TIME. And I'm REALLY looking forward to Opening Day (33 days! 33 days! 33 days!!!). As for my vacation, it might end up being a stay-cation, which means that I'll take off a Friday and then end up working from home for half of the day. There needs to be a better way! Anybody want to take off of work on a weekday and check out the Mummies exhibit?

22 February 2011

NOLA pics!

Ok, here you go.

Part one: I happened upon an amazing jazz band just chillin in the middle of Royal Street. Like it was their job. Well, I'm pretty sure it was their job cuz they were selling CDs. At any rate, here's the crew:

They even brought their own tap dancer! (on the left).

Well as I'm sure you know, these guys were mostly just awesome. Two of them in particular had really awesome personalities that showed through in both their musical styles and their interactions with the crowd - the bass player and the tenor sax dude with the aviators.

They also brought a tiny dog to their jam session (you can see him between the tenor sax and the trumpet). Good times.

Part 2: I went for a walk down Canal Street. I may or may not have been trying to do that cool trendy hipster thing with my camera where you make the entire picture be black and white except for just the one color but I'm not entirely sure if it worked. Anyway, here are some pictures I took:

Awesome50's style Walgreens:

Soooooo awesome. Want to go back. Also Jason paid me $5 for eating all of the powdered sugar of my plate of biegnets at Cafe du Monde. Most delicious $5 ever.

Mid (hah, late) February Update

Ok, well at least I'm on track for 1+ post/month. Maybe if you're lucky I'll throw another one up by next Monday. Maybe.

At any rate, what is new? Here's a few:

1. Thanks to Megs, who sadly is moving to San Francisco. I will miss her greatly. But I will think of her every time I use the following things that she donated to my life: Kitchen island, wok (gorgeous, might I add), magazine holders, and a new house plant that is fitting in quite nicely with my cookie jar/liquor shelf/Virgin Mary figurine setup. She also gave me some delicious homemade pickles and dilly beans. Do I detect some jalapeƱo in the pickles??

2. I got new running tights. I'm pretty pumped about these because my old pair will be exactly 13 years old last month (I paid $12 for them in freshman year track... talk about a quality investment!). I also ran 2.4 miles today. go me!

3. Borders is going out of business. We stopped by during lunch today and I got a book about serial killers and an exercise band with a DVD. That's not weird at all, right? Right??

4. I'm going to lunch with Yesh on Thursday before she hops town again. We're going back to the Borders for mission:kids books for the baby shower for Nora next month. I'm kind of excited.

Oh look, I haven't uploaded my NOLA pics yet. Holy cats! 2 posts in one day! Lucky you!

17 January 2011

Inspiration: Don't Get Arrested

I'm not this crazy... thank goodness. But this is a good thing for ranch addicts like me to keep in mind:

09 January 2011

One Week In

Ok, 9 days in. (This is the first year since I learned how to read that I didn't get a calendar for xmas... looks like I need to drag my butt out and buy one.)

Anyway. 9 days in to the new year. Here is my obligatory resolution update:

1. I talked with a musician friend and now have an idea of where to start looking for a ukulele. Progress!

2. I've made lots of bad decisions, mostly regarding all of the gross (and delicious) food I've been eating. Like the buffalo wings I had today. And the buffalo wings I had yesterday. And the buffalo wings I had on Wednesday.... yeah. At what point do I admit that I have an addiction....? What is rock bottom when it comes to buffalo wings?

In other news. Well. I've been meaning to get new plants in my apartment. The one I had since 2003 (Herb) died last year so I'm trying to decide what I should get. Does anyone have any beloved houseplants they want to give me a cutting of? I'm not wild about buying them at Home Depot.

So... sorry I don't have much other news. Lots of changes happening at work. It's going to be tough but I'm looking forward do it. Because it might end up being awesome.

01 January 2011

You Guessed It! (Insert Obligatory New Years Resolution Post Here)

Well, you should have come to expect this from me by now. Every year I list the same resolutions with newfound resolve that I really will lose weight, and save money, and read for 2 hours a day, and save the world, and learn to fly, and on and on and... bleh. I actually decided a few weeks ago that I wasn't going to do that again this year. I was going to keep it simple. So here you go:

2011 Resolutions:
1. Obtain and learn to play a ukulele
2. Don't make bad decisions

Seems pretty easy, right? I thought so. The first one is pretty self-explanatory.

The second, however, has drawn some controversy from the few folks I have disclosed this to. They immediately struck back with the "rules" about making a goal measurable, and trying to define it, and bla bla bla.

Yes, I thought about that. And I thought that my resolution would be easier to apply. For example: instead of saying that I want to lose 10 lbs, and limit my ranch dressing consumption, and go to the gym 3 times a week, I will instead say that I'll try not to make bad decisions. I already have a pretty decent gym routine established; skipping would be a bad decision. I'm not dumb, I know what a healthy meal is; gorging myself on buffalo wings and ranch and tacos and whatever else I can find is a bad decision. So instead of always staring at the scale or the mile count or whatever measurement I can find and feeling lost and disheartened at my apparent lack of progress, I can instead manage this on a micro level, and (hopefully) gain some more confidence. And a side effect of this whole process would be losing 10 lbs or whatever the heck is the underlying thing I'm trying to get at.

And it can apply to other things too. But that's between me and a future blog post, and whomever I may or may not text message in the wee hours of the morning. wait. what?

At any rate, I wish myself luck. I appreciate any help/encouragement from friends (as well as being called out when I DO make bad decisions, because I already know a few of them are coming....). So. Here goes nothing!

Bacon Cake with Maple Bacon Buttercream Frosting

Yes, I know, you've been dying for me to turn this into a cooking blog. And what better recipe to start with than one that contains a pound of BACON?!?!?? You're excited, I can tell.

Anyway. Last night, for New Year's Eve, we planned a bacon-themed soiree before heading out to shows/bars/wherever we ended up. It was also a dear friend's birthday, and apparently I'm becoming known as a "bakestress" of sorts (I say that mostly in jest), so I was nominated to make a bacon-themed cake. So here's what I did.

First, I made the bacon. I bought 1 lb of Oscar Mayer Hickory smoked something or other deliciousness. I like to make my bacon in the oven - put a cooling rack in a jelly roll pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place strips of bacon on the cooling rack and bake for 30 mins, turning once after 15 mins. This makes the bacon chewy but also slightly crispy -
just how I like it! It also helps drain off a decent amount of fat.

Then, I used the google to find a white cake recipe: click
Though it doesn't say to, I would recommend using clear vanilla extract for a true white cake. I also added an extra 1/2 c. of flour because I anticipated the bacon grease messing with the consistency of the cake... not sure I'd do that again. Then I took 1/2 lb of bacon and cut it into pieces about 1/2" square and folded them into the batter before I put into the 2 pans. This makes a somewhat dense cake. I might try and find a new recipe for a fluffier cake in the future... or just use a box mix.

After the rounds cooled, I made this:

Maple Bacon Butterceam Frosting

5 T. butter, softened
3 - 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
1-2 T. milk
1/2 c. cooked bacon, cooled - chop into "bacon bits" size in food processor

Using electric mixer, cream butter. Alternate adding powdered sugar and maple syrup. Add milk to attain desired texture. Blend in about 1/3 c. bacon. Frost away!

I then sprinkled (most) of the remaining bacon bits on the top of the cake. (I ate the rest.)

Anyway, the result was a pretty savory cake. I personally would have liked it to be a little more maple-y, perhaps even with adding maple syrup to the cake mix. Definitely worth playing around with some more. Also, the frosting sort of looks like a bad case of acne. I seriously considered making another batch of plain buttercream frosting to go on top, but I thought that might be overkill. It looked better when I put the bacon bits on top.

Here are two beautiful models, and the cake is somewhere in the background. Thanks to Megs for the pic!