Monday, March 31, 2008

Testing...

Loyal Readers. Today marks a first for us. I am presenting my first video clip on this blog. I hope it is the first of many because I purchased a FLIP and want to get my money's worth. Today I will be trying to learn what amazing things I can do with the software on my computer that allows me to crop my clips and make little movies.

Stay tuned for the new and improved Electronically Savvy BloomingtonGirl. (And by the way..it took me about one hundred tries to get this to happen.)


video

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BloomingtonGirl Decorates

I promised you a picture of my wallpaper selection for my dining room and here it is at left. This is a paper that was designed in the 1940's by Josef Frank, whose stuff is currently having a big revival, which was probably started by Anthopologie using his fabric on some of their furniture pieces.  I am really crazy about his fabrics but they are, at $250 a yard, a bit rich for my tastes. I was originally planning to do my dining room seat covers in his stuff, but then I realized that if any of my guests ever spilled anything on them, I would never be able to speak to them again. I suppose I could throw all taste to the wind and get some clear plastic covers for the seats, but, I think that Frank would turn over in his grave.

I am planning to have the ceiling painted the same blue as the pond. I know it will be quite bold, but your BloomingtonGirl has never been afraid of boldness.  Here is another photo of what the paper looks like on a wall.  It isn't my wall, but you get the idea.  Come over for dinner when it is finished.  

Friday, March 21, 2008

BloomingtonGirl Gets Her First...

...pair of reading glasses.

Today, I purchased my first pair of specs after noticing that I was having to hold my books out a little bit more than I was used to doing while reading in bed. I suppose I could have waited until it got worse, but in the name of having a new look, I' m giving these little beauties a whirl. I think that I look quite smart, don't you? Of course you do. I got them on sale at Bloomingfoods. Who knew they had glasses? The wonderful Justin helped me pick them out.

Today was a good laundry day. That doesn't sound like much but Loyal Readers, I have been so behind in my laundry that it was positively exhilarating to see the results of my labors today - baskets full of clean, neatly folded clothes. As you can imagine, I am meticulous about my folding. I narrowly averted an underwear crisis for my husband (whites had not been done in ages, leaving him with only one pair left - and yes, I fold them, too) and my son finally has some clean pants that go all the way to his ankles. He has been growing so much that most of his pants look like weird little capris. If I don't keep up with his laundry, that is what he ends up wearing. Add his poor little mismatched socks to the ensembles and he looks so pitiful. I really need to go shopping for him. It isn't right that I am such a fashionista while my son looks like he should be on What Not to Wear to First Grade. (But if Tim Gunn hosted it, it would be worth it, I think.)

In other news, my mother sent Jack a bag of Jelly Beans for Easter and I really do wish she hadn't. I cannot stop nibbling on them. Before now, I had no idea how much I loved Jelly Beans. They are "Jelly Belly" knock-offs made by a company that is completely nut free. I actually met the original Jelly Belly creator years ago when I was working in sales for a food ingredient company. He was a fun and exuberant man, quite hairy and sort of fat (he was photographed for People magazine topless in a bathtub of Jelly Bellies...that is how I know about the hairy part.) Anyway, he gave me this huge glass Coca-Cola bottle filled with Jelly Bellies. I still have the bottle and filled it over the years with loose change. I am in the process of rolling up all that change in order to buy a painting I have my eye on. Wow! That was an interesting story now, wasn't it?

In college, we would have called that a James Story. I never knew the actual James but one of the kids I knew in freshman year at college went to high school with James. Apparently, James told these long and completely pointless stories, thus inspiring the "James Story" label for any such story. The interesting thing about the James Story is that the story of its origin is rather a James Story itself.

Well, I am off to watch The Wire with my beloved husband. It is just about as good as The Sopranos, a huge HUGE compliment coming from me. We are having to rent the series because we discovered it as it was wrapping up on HBO. We are on the first season. Very very engrossing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Farm Opens The Root Cellar

Hi Loyal Readers. You know by now that I am fan of Farm Bloomington, home of the best burger I have ever had. I just found out that they are opening their downstairs beer and bourbon bar, The Root Cellar, this weekend. It'll be open Friday night and Saturday nights. There will be aptly named bands each night. Friday The Fatted Calf String Band is playing. On Saturday, you can hear Two Greasy Hogs and a Mandolin. I think that it is a sort of soft opening, so consider yourselves "in the know". They are going to serve burgers & chips and other bar foods. YUM. I just love that place.

Maybe I'll see you there.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Really! Must We Discuss These Things?

Loyal Readers, I wish people in this fine nation would pull their heads out of their asses and realize that whether a husband and wife love each other or have been unfaithful or are being unfaithful or like to do it in strange positions while whistling the theme song of Bonanza and wearing chaps or anything else that is not illegal should be PRIVATE. These things are completely irrelevant to a person's ability to to do his or her job.

(The soliciting of a hooker for sex is a bit different because of our current laws regarding such and I hold to the position that Spitzer got what was coming to him. If the sale of sex was legal in this country, then that would be another matter entirely. But, that matter is a topic for another blog.)

It might not be long before the annual "State of the Union" address is rightly re-named "The State of My Marital Union."

I DON'T CARE if your marriage is peachy or is in complete shambles as long as you do a good job and do the right thing for the region or country or state in which you hold office. And, Loyal Readers, nobody should care about this sort of thing. We have become such a silly nation of idiots that the new governor of NY State feels compelled to inform us that he had affairs (that used no public or campaign funds, he adds) and his wife feels it necessary to admit her infidelities as well. This was done, he says, in order that he not be blackmailed later when the tawdry truth came out, as it was bound to do because we as a stupid country just cannot leave that stuff alone. He also said that he thought this disclosure would help him gain the trust of the people of the fine state of NY. What? Gain my trust, buddy, by being a good governor, not by telling me where you placed your penis during your marriage. I DON'T CARE. The only penis placement I am interested in is my own husband's and I can tell you with complete certainty that in the event that either of us hold a public office, there will NEVER be a press conference held to discuss that placement. (Geez, that alone should make me fit for office.)

Now, one could argue that a leader is unfit for office if he or she has indiscretions because in this day and age, the press is intrusive and will "out" a leader. This might make the leader vulnerable to blackmail and all sorts of other bad things. One could even maintain the double standard that philandering isn't okay now but that it was okay back in the day, because the press and everyone else, simply looked the other way then. Take JFK for instance. He was said to have had a woman - other than that beloved style icon, Jackie - EVERY DAY, or else he would get a migraine. FDR had a mistress and everyone knew it and nobody cared. He didn't drag Eleanor up onto a podium to look all stunned and shamefaced while he talked about his mistress. He didn't have to. The country didn't demand it of him.

And that is what this country does now. We demand that our leaders participate in all of this petty and sensational crap. We watch the shows, buy the tabloids, base our votes on it. All the while, we know nothing of the real issues that affect us personally. How could we? We are too busy being distracted by the other stuff.

This country needs to grow up and focus on the important issues. Take for instance, the financial crisis happening RIGHT NOW. When unthinkable things begin to happen - for instance, Bear Stearns can be purchased for a paltry TWO BUCKS a share with tax payer money shoring up the deal- an intelligent person might demand that the leadership of our country spend their time on economic issues rather than practicing and delivering speeches about their sexual history. The Madison Avenue building that houses Bear Stearns is worth four times the entire purchase price of the company by the way. Add the fact that we have been in a disaster of a war for SIX YEARS, bleeding money and lives, and it is truly a wonder that we continue to care about the sexual habits of our leaders.

Phew. That felt good. Now, I can continue blogging about the most important issues in my life. My dining room redecoration, for instance. Stay tuned for wallpaper samples!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

BloomingtonGirl Says...


OFF WITH HIS HEAD.

BOTH OF THEM.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jack's Little Surgery

The first picture posted here is of Jack in the surgery center before things got moving this morning. In the second, as you can see, he isn't quite so chipper and happy. He has already received (and spit out half of) his "relaxation cocktail" and is getting sort of moody. Soon after the second photo was taken, they wheeled him into the OR where they allowed him to hold his own gas mask in order to knock him out. They wisely opted to do the gas thing prior to putting in the IV. Jack has a teensy weensy problem with needles.

The day was a long one, I'm not going to lie, Loyal Ones. I don't know what irrational gene controls it, but the whole mom thing is beyond reason. I can honestly say that Jack having his adenoids out ( a VERY minor surgery, I fully know this) was more stressful for me in some ways than when Chris had full on OPEN HEART SURGERY. I have confessed this to Chris and I do think that he does not take it personally. After all, I did rub his feet constantly post surgery. How on Earth can he doubt my love and commitment to him?

I just put Jack to bed, rubbing his back while he fell asleep. Yesterday, he was concerned that the surgeon might slip and "erase his brain" while taking out the adenoids. Jack is displaying some real relief that this is over. I am fully relieved as well. I didn't realize how stressed out I was about it until late afternoon when I began crying and couldn't stop. It felt good to let it all out. What I let out, I am not entirely sure. But, whatever it was, I am glad it was gone.

Well, I am off to watch a little "In Treatment" and then off to bed to read my latest good book, Predictable Irrational" by Dan Arieley. It is a good read and quite interesting. His website for the book is here and it is quite worth visiting. (make sure you click on "demonstrations" and look about. It is pretty fun.)

Good night, Loyal Ones.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Indiana Jones

Why is Indiana Jones so named? Is he a Hoosier? If so, can I be Indiana Joni?

As I write, Chris and Jack are watching the very first (1981) Indiana Jones movie and just loving it. Last night, they watched Superman II with Christopher Reeves and loved it as well. They are having a sort of bonding through adventure films.

I would join them, but frankly, I am sort of tired from waiting on them (they are also enjoying the treat of being served dinner in front of the TV by yours truly) and because I would rather get a bit of blogging done while I eat my dinner. What's for dinner, you ask? For Chris and me, a delicious and rather complex vegetable curry and for Jack, his favorite spaghetti and meat balls. He got to choose what he wanted for his dinner tonight because tomorrow morning, the kid is having his adenoids out. I shall bring along a camera and chronicle the event for my Loyal Readers.

I have decided to use mind control on this adenoid thing. I know exactly what they are going to do to my sweet boy, but I have decided to view it all as a black box rather than visualize the procedure. So, I can't describe the procedure here or I would have to visualize it. I know that you understand, Loyal Ones. The entire procedure, once they wheel him in, should take about a half hour. By the way, they don't even cut the adenoids out. They vaporize them.  Poof.  All I can say is that it must smell dreadful.

During the vaporization, I'll keep busy by reading my latest book, S.O.S. Help for Parenting. It's shocking, I know. Your BlooomingtonGirl purchased a self-help parenting book. It wasn't even an impulse buy. I actually ordered it. I normally am completely against the whole self-help book sort of drivel, but I was getting to my wits end with my spoiled child and even more at my wits end with my stupid and ineffectual parenting. Jack knows so well how to push all my buttons (to use a phrase I abhor) and the two of us are so much alike in temperament that I am utterly failing in the parenting trenches.

This book, complete with really dopey illustrations, is going to change my life and enable me to transform my child into a perfect kid.   Not bad for about ten bucks.  I'll keep you posted, of course.

In other news, there really isn't much. Chris and I watched Paths of Glory, an old Stanley Kubrick film last night. It was really quite excellent. Best battle scenes I have seen since I watched Saving Private Ryan. Not bad for a 1957 film.  Kirk Douglas was wonderful.  Well worth seeing.  


Well, I am off. Like the prom dress.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Best Burger I've Ever Had

It's true, Loyal Readers. Tonight, I had the best burger I have ever had. Ever. Not kidding. I don't know what exactly made it the best, but it was. The best.

I had this ground beef revelation at none other than
Farm Bloomington. Chris and I went out for an early dinner there. Jack stayed home with Ellis, Jack's (and my) favorite manny.

I really love Farm for many reasons. First, the chef/owner Daniel Orr is just a great guy and a great chef. All of his food tastes really good and it isn't overly fussy or at all ridiculous. The front manager, Valerie, has made the place hum, and she is always out there making you feel welcome. Tonight when we decided to go out for a bite, Chris suggested that we go to Farm, though we had gone there the last time we went out. I was surprised that he wanted to go to the same place twice in a row. Tonight, he had the chicken breast in a chili sauce with mashed potatoes and green beans (I've had that and it is so so delicious and homey.)

I had the Farm Burger with goat cheese and bacon.

OH MY GOD. (and you know I don't use that name lightly)

It was just pure heaven. It came with a side of absolutely perfect fries. I was in culinary paradise, I kid you not. In addition, Chris and I split Farm's "Vegetable Plate" , a main dish that is nothing short of majestic, despite its humble moniker. This is no tired grilled veggie platter. No, sir! It is a variety of tastes and textures that excites the palate and imagination. It is different each night and it has been great each time we have had it. The only complaint I have is that they do not make an exquisite vodka martini. Sure, their blue cheese olives are excellent. Perhaps the best I've had in my very short tenure as a blue cheese olive lover. But, they just don't get the concept of "extra, extra, extra dry". There is always a just bit too much vermouth in my cocktail. But, alas, it is a small price to pay for the consistently good food and lively atmosphere. Hooray for FARM!

In other news, it is snowing quite a bit tonight and is just lovely. It makes me miss the NorthEast where snows like this are much more commonplace.

Well, I am off to kiss Jack goodnight and watch the new HBO George Carlin special with my husband.

New Recipes Up

Loyal Readers, I posted some new recipes on my other blog. They are easy and good.

Check them out here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Delicious White Chili & Beatrice

I just posted a great White Chili recipe to my other blog. Get the recipe here.

In other news, my neighbor admitted to me that he was a sometimes Loyal Reader. I was shocked because I had no idea that he even knew about my blog, much less read it. For a very brief moment, I was flattered and assumed that he found my little essays amusing and insightful. But, alas, right before my head could swell to unseemly proportions, the flattery was shattered. The real truth came out. The neighbor admitted that he doesn't really read my blog, but searches my blog only to make sure that I am not complaining about his family's beagle-mix dog, whom I've nicknamed "Bea the Barking Dog".

Why he would be worried I would be complaining about his fine pup Beatrice is just beyond me.

I do hope that he enjoys the writing, though. He deserves no less. He and his family are the finest neighbors one could hope for.