Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween.

October 31.

Doesn't Toivo look thrilled that he's skinny enough to fit into his bumblebee costume again (without looking like he's been stuffed into sausage casing)??   Yeah, not really.

Then he jumped off the bed, and things really got uncomfortable for him.

Fashion emergency.

Once the headpiece fell over his eyes, he stomped around the room for about five minutes, slowly walking into every possible obstacle -- I tried to intervene at first, but every time I'd get close he'd dart away (I guess he could see my toes coming at him?) so eventually I let nature take its course.


For his troubles, he was rewarded with a handful of Greenies.  Trick or treat, indeed.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The kind of thing that would totally make it in the police blotter (if the paper was still running them).

October 11.

"Not so good."

One of my duties at work is opening the daily mail, which often includes responses to various solicitations we send out.  Most are pretty run-of-the-mill, but about once or twice a week, we get something fantastic like this.

"Not too good."

13 in 2013: Hooks, #11.

Tried a new baby booties pattern.  They turned out a little more sock-ish than I expected -- except they do stand up on their own, so that makes it seem like they pass some sort of threshold between socks and boots.  Socks don't normally stand up by themselves, right?  So we'll call this a success.

Booties, pt 1.

13 in 2013: Hooks, #10.

Second attempt at a baby sweater.  Slightly less successful than the first, in that the sizing seems a bit off (even though I followed the pattern to a T), but here's hoping it's still something a newborn can be wedged into for a short period of time, at least.

October 23.

13 in 2013: Hooks, #9.

First successful attempt at a baby sweater.

October 12.

Baby sweater.

Fall ephemera.

Flying V.

It's been a goofy autumn this year.  It came on slower than usual -- the leaves took longer than they normally do to start changing, and when they did start, it was in a very staggered, disconnected sort of way.  Like one tree would go BOOM! with the oranges and yellows and reds, while everything around it stayed stubbornly green.  A selfish, every-tree-for-itself instead of our usual burst into Oz-like technicolor.

October 26.


October 8.

October 13.

It really doesn't feel like fall until the annual Boo Berry sighting.

October 4.

Leaves in the front yard, 10/14.

October 22.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What's making me happy this week.

I don't know what it says about me that this made me laugh 'til I cried.  It's like the perfect storm of silly things designed to hit all of my sweet spots -- cheesy Halloween puns, awesome photoshopping, and pure dedication to a bit.  I'm putty in its hands.

"Whether you’re a Deadocrat or a corpservative, you are assured a ghoulishly good time."


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fish Fry Friday.

Favorite things about attending a Friday night fish fry at my extended family's usual haunt (outside of town, far from the hoity-toity folks, near my mother's mother country):

  • The moment you walk in the front door, everyone at the bar turns to stare at you.  And as you move further inside, everyone in the dining room stares at you, too -- some are subtle about it and just shift their eyes, but the majority stop what they're doing (chewing, talking, etc.) and physically turn around in their chairs to see who's walking in.  The ones that know (and like) you are friendly; the rest are stoic and expressionless and after their curiosity is sated, continue feeding.
  • The waitresses wear nurses' scrubs.  One of them also wears her bedroom slippers most of the time -- they appear to have good traction, though, so more power to her.  Like nurses, they are quick, efficient, carry really heavy stuff, deal with a lot of cranky old people, and aren't much for chitchat.
  • I have never in my life seen a matching set of plates or utensils in all the years we've eaten there.  There's a small table full of plates & bowls at the end of the salad bar that looks like it was just beamed in from a rummage sale -- dozens of different sizes, shapes, patterns, colors.  Tonight, my grandma drank coffee from a mug that said "It's a Boy!" on the side.
  • About 1/4 of the salad bar contents are soup, cheese, or pudding-based. Another half are pasta salads.  The remaining 1/4, the actual vegetables, consist of a bowl of mostly iceberg lettuce (with a bag of romaine thrown in sparingly to add a touch of green), baby carrots, celery sticks, cauliflower, possibly radishes, and tomatoes.  There are usually individual packets of Saltines available, but sometimes, if they run out, they just put out a box, open up a stack, and set a pair of tongs next to the stack (for hygienic Saltine removal).

  • I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the container of cheese on the salad bar is the same size as the lettuce bowl.
  • For years, we were half-convinced that they were running their entire deep-fry operation out of a single Fry Daddy, because it usually took forehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhver and a day for everyone's food to come out.  It's better lately, but if you go there, you just assume you'll be there for at least two hours.  It's a commitment, but a worthy one.

  • At night, the only lighting comes from ceiling fans high above the room, so the dining area (which looks like a small, old-fashioned gymnasium in a lot of ways, with a stage at one end and everything) has a real dark-corner-booth Mafia vibe.  It's so dark in there that I have literally seen women pull flashlights out of their purses to read their bill.

  • My aunt Betsy had her wedding reception there in the early 1970s, and every time she walks in she says, "Yep, still looks exactly the same."

I probably sound like I'm mocking it, and I am, just a little, but I do so out of love -- it's one of my favorite places to eat around here.  The fish is delicious, the atmosphere is straight out of "Fargo," and I never, ever get bored sitting there, people-watching.  Never do I feel more thoroughly Midwestern than at a Friday night fish fry.  And let me tell you, nothing washes down a plate full of walleye like a chipped bowl full of chocolate pudding.