Category Archives: Other/General

This onion* gets an asterisk

I present to you… the largest red onion I have ever seen.*  I am assuming, because I purchased this at Whole Foods, that there were no illegal substances involved. But for heaven’s sake, have you EVER seen an onion this size before? Yes, that is my cat for reference. He is 12 lbs. He is mere inches from the onion… and is apparently completely unfazed by the vegetable I am holding that is larger than his head. My fingers are completely splayed out trying to maintain a grip on this thing. MONSTER.

*Besides the several dozen that were sitting in the same pile. Yes, they were ALL this big.

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Enough already

With the snow. As you may have heard, we here in the DC region got whacked by another blizzard Tuesday night and Wednesday. There is so much snow outside I am beginning to doubt that it will ever melt. It’s going to be August and we’ll be finding patches of snow under trees. Nevermind that if it were to all melt, we’d need to build an ark to survive the ensuing floods. DH woke up yesterday, looked out the window and said that he was starting to think we’re in Michigan. I told him I know we’re not in Michigan, because in Michigan, they have enough plows to handle the snow and we wouldn’t be trapped in our house for going on… six days!

That’s not entirely true. We have left the house. In the small interim (Monday) between the blizzards, we ventured the 1/4 mile up the street to H&R Block to get our taxes done. Then we walked to the Giant in the same shopping center to stock up for the incoming blizzard (Lucky Charms, ice cream, orange juice… the neccessities). Needless to say, the cabin fever is definitely setting in. Yesterday I voluntarily left the house to shovel the driveway. Then last night we got into a fight over how high to set the stove to cook stir fry.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though. Saturday is my best friend’s wedding, so we’re going to brave the streets tomorrow to join the party at a hotel for the weekend! I’m getting a mani/pedi at the hotel spa, and they have a gym! that’s open! with treadmills! So I can get on one and see just how badly out of running shape a week away gets me. And of course, the little matter of the wedding and P-A-R-T-Y afterwards!

I leave you with the icicle of death. It’s on the back of our house, and DH wants to break it off and rig it as a javelin-like weapon for our snowman. Once we figure out how to do that, I’ll get back to you.

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Geaux Saints!

Super Bowl Champs!

First, a HUGE congrats to Super Bowl Champs New Orleans Saints! What a great game!

I’m not a huge football fan, so come Super Bowl time, I almost always root for the underdog. (Unless the Cowboys are the underdog, then I’ll root for the favorite…) Due to Snowmageddon, our Super Bowl party was unfortunately much smaller than we’d hoped, but we had some brave friends and family make the trek! We made chili, spinach dip and buffalo chicken dip, and Jason’s mom made salad and pudding. And of course, we provided beer for the crowd, as well.

Who needs a cooler when you've got a blizzard?

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Goal #93 – Completed!

Thanks to this weekend’s Snowmageddon, it was pretty easy for DH and I to complete Goal #93, Build a Snowman. And thanks to 2+ feet of good packing snow, this was no wimpy snowman. We worked on him before the Super Bowl festivities got underway yesterday.

Our Snowman, aka #93

If you look closely, you can even see the sticks we used for arms! Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a spare top hat for his head.  Of course, we had to pose with our new buddy. (I don’t know why I’m acting like the Snowman has a contagious disease!)

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Snowmageddon 2010

DH and I are literally completely snowed in. This is more snow than I have ever seen at one time in my life. DH can’t say the say but that is only because he’s been to Alaska. The drifting has made it hard to get an accurate measurement of total snowfall, but my best guess is around two feet. And not two feet of light, fluffy snow. Two feet of heavy, wet, high-quality packing snow. Even with both cars pulled into our relatively short driveway, it took over an hour to dig out. And then of course we got a few more inches of snow. I believe the plow has been by, but we are still seeing 4-wheelers get stuck at the end of the street so we’re not planning on using the cars anytime soon.

Our house - Snowmageddon 2010

While this may look like a photo of a snow covered tree, it is actually a photo of our house, around noon today. The tree is not usually anywhere near the ground, but apparently the weight of end-of-the-world snow has caused it to bow a little. Let’s take a closer look at our mailbox.

Our mailbox is in there somewhere, I swear

Yes, that’s right. There is actually snow atop the mailbox roughly twice the height of the mailbox itself. Look, you can even see the little demon flakes still whizzing by. I don’t think it stopped snowing until around dinner time. And, my favorite photo, a brave neighbor who didn’t let a measly blizzard keep her housebound. Also, she had snowshoes.

Because in Snowmageddon 2010, regular snow boots will get you nowhere.

I complimented her as she snowshoed by, and she looked up and replied, “I think it may actually be too deep for snowshoes.”

And there you have it.

Tomorrow, the Snowman.

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And the Oscar better NOT go to…

Avatar. I am not kidding. With my goal to see all of the Best Picture Oscar winners, this might be where I have to draw the line. If Avatar wins, I just might not be able to complete my goal. My FIL went to see it last weekend, and when I asked him how it was he said, to quote “Oh it was awesome! Really terrific. Well it didn’t really have a plot. But it was great!”

‘Scuse me, sorry, back up there. Didn’t have a plot?! A movie without a plot should not even be NOMINATED for Best Picture, let alone WIN! But, I digress. The winner hasn’t been announced yet. James Cameron and his iceberg sized ego have not sunk my goals. Yet.

My goals meet James Cameron's ego

My goals meet James Cameron's ego

The past couple of years DH and I have made a point to see as many of the Best Picture nominees as we can before the Oscars actually aired. Clearly the Academy is trying to foil our plans this year by nominating twice as many films. Though based on my stubborn refusal to spend $10 for two hours of fancy animation, I would only have to see nine. And, I have seen a few already. So let’s see where we stand.

Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the Air

You already read my not so high opinion of Avatar, so moving on. I have already seen District 9, Inglourious Basterds, Up, and Up in the Air. I enjoyed all of them, but the one I think is most deserving of the Oscar is Inglourious Basterds. I admit I generally find Quentin‘s movies a little weird, and this one was no exception, but it worked really, really well. The acting (particularly Christoph Waltz, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor) was superb. While the film showed quite a bit of violence, I didn’t feel it was gratuitous, rather I thought the way it was just oh-so-slightly over the top added to the absurdity of the whole plot. I didn’t get bored at any point in the movie, it was very entertaining, and I felt satisfied at the end.

The end of Inglourious Basterds

As far as the other three movies I’ve seen, I thought Up was very cute, and had some great animation and great writing. It should definitely win Best Animated Movie.  I was completely underwhelmed by Up in the Air, and I’m a George Clooney and Jason Reitman fan. It was okay, but I didn’t think it was Oscar quality. It wasn’t my favorite effort by either of them. I do love the single from it, “Help Yourself”, by Sad Brad Smith. (Go download it!) Lastly, I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi/alien movies, but I enjoyed District 9 more than I expected, because it’s a morality tale as opposed to being just being another creepy alien flick. Again, not Best Picture material, but worth a watch.

Since I haven’t seen the other five movies, I am not prepared to unequivocally assert that Inglourious Basterds deserves the win. We rented The Hurt Locker from RedBox and plan to watch it tonight. It is rumored to be a favorite for Best Picture and Best Director along with Avatar. I am looking forward to seeing it, especially since it’s director, Kathryn Bigelow, is only the third woman nominated for Best Director, and would be the first woman to win it if she did. Plus, she and James Cameron used to be married, and I love a bit of real life drama at the Oscars. I’d like to see Precious, even if the full name of the movie is a bit pretentious, I’ve been hearing good things about it before it was even released. DH loves the Coen Brothers, so I’m sure we’ll see A Serious Man when it comes out on DVD next week. I wouldn’t mind seeing The Blind Side, but neither football movies nor Sandra Bullock tend to whet my cinematic whistle, so I don’t know that I’ll seek it out. And before the nominations came out, I had never even HEARD of An Education, though I have heard some good things about it now. I don’t think it can hold up to the hype around these other movies though.

There are a few other movies with nominations, though not in the Best Picture category, that I would like to see. Topping that list is Crazy Heart, with Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhal, both of whom are nominated for acting Oscars. Others are Invictus, The Last Station (I adore Helen Mirren), The Messenger, and The Lovely Bones (Stanley Tucci is so great as a creepy bad guy!).

What do you think? Am I being too stubborn about Avatar? Have you seen any of the movies I haven’t? What is your pick for Best Picture?

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Preparing for the Snowmageddon

Also known as #snOMG, The Super Bowl Super Storm of 2010 and hilariously yet inexplicably, Kaiser Snowze. Being just outside of DC, we are expected to get the brunt of the snow, although we are escaping the blizzard warnings due to high wind that Delaware and Jersey have. For snowcasts I generally follow the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. Their latest accumulation estimates are putting us at least over a foot of snow, possibly up to or over two… and they tend toward the conservative.

Accumulation Estimates from Capital Weather Gang

Accumulation Estimates from Capital Weather Gang

If you have ever lived in the DC area, you know the mass insanity that accompanies the mere mention of a flurry. This? THIS? Let me just say, we are not kidding with the name Snowmageddon. The grocery stores are empty, the beer’s been bought up, there isn’t a decent movie left in a RedBox within a 50 mile radius… and Bruce Willis is nowhere in sight.

Though, I am looking forward to being able to knock out goal #93 tomorrow. I’ll just have to be sure to bundle up!

I can't put my arms down!

I can't put my arms down!

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