Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sweet Home Chicago

ALRIGHT FOLKS.  It's Marianna Annadanna here with the official Cheesy Chicago report.  

First of all, after Miss Sarcasm picked me up at the airport, we ventured to a delish lunch at a make-your-own-stir-fry place.  I've never eaten so many edamame beans in my life.  Although, come to think of it, maybe I have.  It's hard to tell. 

Second, they don't have damn DSW in Canada, so I was pretty much having a heart attack.  And Miss Sarcasm even bought BOOTSAnd she's pretty sure she was served by a Kardashian

The Palmer House Hotel was the oldest, coolest, most elegant/haunted hotel I've ever stayed in. 

It takes up an entire city block right in The Loop and has so many huge secret ballrooms that I'm fairly certain it used to be a fancy prison for giants. 

Wait, what?

Once LACE arrived, we took off to meet Coffee Lovin Mom for dinner.  SO EXCITING

And I did not by any means drop the lens out of my glasses and make Miss Sarcasm and LACE (and the kind housekeeper) crawl all over the hotel floor for 10 minutes until we found it.  I would never do that.  That'd just be RUDE

And on the way out I most certainly did not try to eat off some guy's plate while we were wading through hoards of hotel conference goers.  That'd be WEIRD. 

Did I mention that dinner was not just dinner?  Did I mention it was DEEP DISH PIZZA?  Also known as HEAVEN.   

And a few bottles of wine at Pizzeria Due with complementary salad and cheesecake was certainly the highlight of the day (despite all the shoe shopping - which, in my book, is difficult to top). 

And then MISS SARCASM TWEETED A REAL HOUSE WIFE OF NEW YORK and they became BFFs.  True story. 

The next exciting adventure included singing Meatloaf at the rockin piano bar.  I was also fairly excited by If I Had A Million Dollars (pronounced Doll-ers, not Dal-ers) by the (super duper Canadian) Barenaked Ladies

Once CoffeeLovinAmy took us back to the hotel AND ABANDONED US FOR HER DAMN CHILDREN AND HUSBAND, we settled in and passed out went to sleep. 

Once morning came, the time for exploring arose. 

Accroding to LACE's pedomiter contraption, we walked, like, at least 16000 steps on Saturday.  Now, to be fair, some of those were double steps (given all the drunken stumbling), but still.  That's a lot a steps, YO

We explored Navy Pier. 

We ate a lot of food.  LACE had her first ever Churro.  We bought a shit-ton of accessories and jewelery.  INCLUDING A CUTE BROWN PURSE WITH HOT PINK ON THE INSIDE.  HOT PINK, people.  PINK.  On the INSIDE

We went on an architecture boat tour.  (You can follow Jeff our tour guide on the twitter if you want, but watch out - he doesn't seem to follow anyone.  Maybe if we all taunt him.  Let's do that.)

We also did some intense souvenier shopping.  I wanted to buy these sexy hats, but I'm not the kind of person who goes over the top.  It's just not my style.  I'm a shy, rational person. 

So is Miss Sarcasm.  Rational. 

Then we had a fancy dinner at Millenium Park with plenty of wine...

...AND cheese

Now.  This is when it got scary.  Literally.  THAT HOTEL IS HAUNTED, YOU GUYS. 

Ok, maybe not (although LACE was pretty sure it was, so what do I know), but it was pretty damn spooky.  We know because we wandered through all the blocked off doors and hallways for at least an hour.  And I think Miss Sarcasm peed in a urinal.  Maybe.  Don't worry though.  There were no orbs in our pictures. 

Sunday morning was an early start and a yummy breakfast before poor LACE had to hit the airport.  She did get to ride the EL though, so there's that. 

Miss Sarcasm and I then took a very packed subway to the beach, bought some chocolate, found a heroic dog, and walked all the way back before parting ways (for which there may or may not have been wet eyeballs). 

Heroic Dog

I was then left alone to bid farewell to Chi-town all on my own. 

So I did what any normal person does when alone in a big city:  I bought more shoes and played in several water fountains

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Summer of Nonfiction

Sarah from La Casa Di Frigerio shares with us her Summer of Nonfiction...

First, I promise that this post is officially cicada free. Except for right there, where I mentioned them. Dang it, I did it again! Have I told you that one landed on my face yesterday? Ugh!

I am not going to attempt to pretend that the summer months are the only time I find to read. We all already know that I am a giant nerd who invariably has her head stuck in a book at least once during the day. However, there seems to be a few extra hours in the day for reading in the summer months; whether it is because there is less going on at work during this time, or because the boys can be pushed outdoors (and therefore no cabin fever-induced Mom harassment takes place), or perhaps it’s just a vestigial reading mindset left from my childhood summers. 

I read a lot during the rest of the year, but in the summer, I read even more. 

Add Twitter and blogs and news articles that don’t have the chance to slip past me in the summer term, and I’m a black hole to those words. I consume everything in my path. I leave nothing untouched behind me. 

My husband says it is impressive and also a little creepy. I spend my non-reading hours discussing what I’ve been reading with him and my sons. I read excerpts. I ask for commentary. I think it is my best turn of fate that my husband actually will participate in what I bet others would consider the most irritating habit ever created by verbal primates.  (This is, of course, more akin to my sons’ take on things.)

Me: J, What do you think about X?

J, somewhat disconcerted, because he chooses to spend his free time playing games or fantasy baseball: Huh? What are you talking about?

Then I proceed to read him lengthy excerpts from whatever I happen to be reading (Hope you find this interesting, honey, because now I have my claws in you for the next hour!) and ask him his opinion on whatever the topic du jour happens to be.

He gives it, like the good sport that he is.

Then I tell him that he’s wrong, I disagree with him, and obviously, if he had been reading this book, he would have said what I was thinking all along.

And yet he still plays this game with me, every time. That’s true love, my friends. 

So, this summer is no different in this regard. What is different, this summer, is the fact that I find myself drawn to GASP! some non-fiction titles. This is unusual behavior, and highly suspect. 

Don’t get me wrong, I WANT to read non-fiction, and I’ve tried many times before, but more often than not, I get about three pages in and then I………ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! I’m a culture studies girl, and several times I have tried my hand at reading something I’m absolutely certain will hold my interest. No dice.  So, I stick to fiction, even if that means I stay up until all hours of the night just to finish one more chapter.

Annie Jacobsen, I heart you!

And yet, I found myself drawn to and reading Area 51, by Annie Jacobsen. It’s not about aliens, by the way. Her description of Area 51, and its clandestine missions, is much more nefarious than aliens. Her narrative style is amazing. The story is amazing. I would highly recommend it, as would J, since it gave us the chance to discuss something he feels very comfortable discussing; wars and war planes. Then I found myself settling down to read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. In less than a day of having picked the book up from the library, I was already on chapter six. I don’t even really consider myself a lover of the biological sciences! My bet is that I finish this one before the weekend.

Rebecca Skloot, I think I'm going to heart you too!

Again, this is highly suspect. I don’t know what’s going on with me. What I do know is now that I’ve started my summer reading binge, I cannot stop or I will go through some pretty gruesome withdrawals. I need suggestions, people, and they might be fiction or….nonfiction?

Tell me about those non-fiction books you have just absolutely loved!

*     *     *

Yes, tell us!  Email us your own summer reading stories at cheesybloggers@gmail.com, and see your post on our main page!  And happy reading!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Do you people not READ?

Do you people not read during the summer, or what?  Seems like you must have a reading-related post to share with us, no?  Even some commentary on 50 Shades of Grey or some such nonsense?

In any case, we've pulled from the archives for one of Marianna Annadanna's past posts.  We're sure you'll thoroughly enjoy it. 

And if you have a "reading" post of your own, email CheesyBloggers@gmail.com and we'll post it. 


Tina Fey May Save Your Life. 

So.  In the wake of the last few days' pathetic little reality check, I feel a bit better today. 

It truly is #HappyISuckLessThanYesterdayDay (Thank you Miss Jenny, The Bloggess and master of all things interwebs.) 

I even woke up on my own accord, and yes, I even got out of bed. 

Then I went to one of my most favourite happy places - my back deck in the morning - and sat in the sun for a couple of hours.  I soaked up the rays (sprayed with sunscreen thankyouverymuch) and listened to a squirrel scream weird noises in what I can only assume was part of a freaky deaky mating dance.  (Either that or he was mad that I ate his peanuts.)

Then I ate a kiwi and four two slices of cinnamon toast.  And I rolled up my pajama pants too far up my thighs until they cut of the circulation to my lower legs, and parked myself in the patio chair, leaning back until my ass went numb.   

And then I finished my book.  Not a book I wrote, a book I read. 

Bossypants, by Tina Fey. 

Tiny Fey's new biography-style collection that every single one of you should read.

My friend lent it to me.  She said I HAVE to read it - it will save my life.  Then she said she may have over-sold it. 

Turns out, she was nearly spot-on.  I'm not sure if Tina Fey saved my life, but she certainly did improve it. 

She writes in a similar style to all the great blogs I read.  Short and clever, funny and sarcastic, light but meaningful.  Pure gold. 

Tina highlighted all her best stories... From being a quirky drama-kid during childhood, to doing improv with Amy Poehler (and other geniuses) at Chicago's Second City, to becoming head writer and star of Saturday Night Live, and then producing, writing, and lead acting in her show 30 Rock. 

"I can see Russia from my how-se"

Not to mention, offering several words of wisdom for attempting motherhood, working in a Dick Pickle-dominated universe, and generally surviving day-to-day life.

I've always loved Tina Fey.  Hilarious and smart and one of those self-made women we all wish we could be.  Impressive.  And even though I dislike Lindsey Lohan, Mean Girls was genius.  And Baby Mama was an effing riot. 

So, thanks Tina.  You are my newest hero. 

PS - I wish you were on Twitter. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Reads

Hello, Angela@BeggingTheAnswer, here! Summer is hear which means, grab a lawn chair and a cold one (or ten, wait, what?) and start digging into your summer reading list.

Normally my summer reading list is chock full of cheesy romance novels and any sort of period piece ever. But this summer, I’m studying for the bar exam (fancypants exam people in the United States have to pass to practice law.) I know, this sounds like WAY more fun than hanging out at back yard barbecues, curling up with a book on a rainy day and/or everything else good about summer, ever.  So my summer reading list looks something like: torts, contracts, property, evidence, constitutional law, dear god will it never end?!

BUT, I will need something to distract me.  So I need a better summer reading list.  What do you recommend?  Share your favorite summer reads here!  And do you have any funny stories regarding books, libraries, or summertime?  Send them on over to cheesybloggers@gmail.com and we’ll post them on our main page!  And don’t forget to head over to our spreadable cheese page.  Apparently cats love libraries.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Goose abducting and other playful things

In honour of this week's theme Operation Play More, here is a list of things Marainna Annadanna has done recently that she considers "playing" ...

1) I BOOKED A TRIP TO CHICAGO.  With other bloggers.  Yeah.  To drink beer and eat pizza. And to be ridiculous.  Because that's my specialty. 

2) I smeared yellow dandelion goop on my friend Phil's arm.  And then I ran away.

3) I made s'mores on the fire.  Yes, the fire.  That Hubby made.  This weekend.  In our house.  In June. 

4) I took off from work and bought popsicles for my colleagues.  And then I ate them.  K, not all of them, but at least two. 

5) I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman with the girls.  And I squealed childishly when the trailer for the final Twilight movie played.  And then I squealed even more when almost every scene in Snow White was the same as those in Twilight.  Like, THE SAME.  (Except for the ones with Charlese Theron.  Charlese Theron is a beautiful genius.)  Oh, and I also spent $4.51 on the smallest bag of peanut M&Ms known to humanity, simply to avoid eating the GREEN BEANS my friends were snacking on.  Losers. 

6) I became a #gooseabductor.  Rather, I tried to.  Not really geese.  More like goslings.  I've not yet been successful, but I haven't given up.  Hint for other potential goose abductors: mother geeses don't like when you try to abduct their babies. 

Got some of your own examples of being playful? (If you don't, you should be embarrassed. That's tragic.)  Email CheesyBloggers@gmail.com and we'll post 'em!