Oh, dear, it’s been so long… Is anybody still out there? Well, it has been absolute aaaaaages since I last posted anything on my blog. It’s been a bit of a rough year, though I think things are on the way back up again. At least, that’s what I’m determined to make happen! So let me do my best to catch you up:

  1. Drew got a job teaching saxophone in Wisconsin.
  2. I got a temporary-potentially-permanent job at the same place as their music librarian.
  3. We moved and started our jobs in the span of about two days which was super-duper stressful.
  4. My condo didn’t sell. And didn’t sell. And still didn’t sell.
  5. I got depressed.
  6. I was really missing my friends and family.
  7. I got more depressed.
  8. The winter here SUCKED. Like, seriously sucked.
  9. My depression got the better of me.

But then:

  1. Spring finally came!
  2. I switched to a new antidepressant that, along with my vitamin D, has made a huge difference!
  3. My condo sold!
  4. We made it through the summer even though money was tight!
  5. I got the permanent version of my job!
  6. I’m still missing my friends and family and I can’t really say that the depression is gone – some days are better than others – but I’m taking it day by day and things are getting better.
  7. I managed to rekindle my passion for reading – I didn’t realize just how much I missed it!
  8. I’ve made a plan to pay off my credit card debt and start saving money!
  9. I’m working to get rid of these extra 40 pounds that showed up – it’s hard dealing with a completely different 30-some-odd-year-old metabolism stacked on depression stacked on a winter that was made for carbs and warm blankets – and I’m going to do my darnedest to eat better and get back into shape (such as it was)!

So, yeah, I have things that I’m excited about and that I look forward to every day – reading, practicing my French and Spanish, practicing the upright bass and the bass recorder – that keep me going, along with support from Drew and my family and new and old friends.

I think you can guess my new mantra – say it with me:


Wanna see something gross?

This weekend, Drew and I drove to Columbus to go to a wedding reception for two of his friends. I got to meet some of Drew’s close friends from MSU and we had a lot of fun at the wedding reception!

Or we did until I got bitten by something. At first I figured it was just a mosquito bite – the reception had been open to the outdoors – and when my foot started to get a bit puffy, I figured it was just because I’d been wearing heels and dancing and generally o

n my feet for the last few hours. When it didn’t go down over the next two days, Drew started to worry and convinced me to go to Convenient Care.

Can you tell which one is the puffy one?

Thank goodness he did – the doctor there said that if I’d waited a day or so longer, they would have had to lance my foot open to drain it! D: As it is, I’ve got some antibiotics and I’m supposed to keep it iced, elevated, and wrapped in an Ace bandage (which I’ll have to get on my way to work tomorrow). If it doesn’t start looking better in the next day or two, I’m supposed to head back in and *gulp* hope they don’t have to lance anything…

Cross your fingers for my feet!

Congratulations, Dr. Drew!

Last weekend was graduation here at the U of I and Drew was graduating with his DMA! Mom and I went to see him at the big university-wide ceremony – they just do the undergraduates as a big group, but the doctoral candidates get recognized individually, so it was really exciting to hear them call his name in front of thousands of people. We woo-hoo’d for him!

Then Mom and I picked up Drew’s dad who had driven down from Michigan for the smaller School of Music graduation ceremony and met Dad over at Smith Memorial Hall for the ceremony. It was packed! We weren’t able to sit together, but that’s okay – we still got to see him walk across the stage and get hooded (again – they did that at the big ceremony, too). Very exciting!

Close encounters of the double bass kind…

So something unintentionally hilarious just happened.

I’m baking some strawberry cupcakes for when Jillian comes over tomorrow to watch the Parks and Rec season finale and used up all the strawberries in the container, so I open up the front door to toss the container into the recycle bin. Just reaching the landing at the same time is a young blonde lady (probably a college student) with a double bass.

“Hello!” I say, brightly, being the friendly person I am (Ha! Honestly it’s because I can’t remember what my neighbors look like so I try to be blandly pleasant whenever I come across someone in the building.).

“Hello,” she says.

I toss the container into the bin, but it bounces out again. “Well, that didn’t work at all,” I mutter, leaning awkwardly further into the hall to retrieve it.

Why awkwardly, you ask? Because she seems to be wheeling the double bass toward me and now she’s very close to me. I figure she’s doing some sort of three-point turn to try to get it up to the door of one of the apartments on either side of mine. At any rate, I grab the container and drop it into the recycle bin, then pop back inside and shut the door behind me.

And I pause, thinking for a moment. I peer back out through the peephole and, sure enough, she’s standing right outside the door, looking very confused by what just happened.

I realize that if I hadn’t been in her way, she would have come on inside my apartment. After a few minutes of checking on the cupcakes, I sneak back to the peephole.

She’s still there. She’s on her phone now, so she’s clearly decided, like me, that something strange has just happened and one of us is at the wrong apartment. (As far as I can tell, it’s her.)

I text Drew, thinking maybe he knows what’s going on:

Eventually she made her way back down the stairs – I’m still not really sure what was going on, but I find the idea of the two of us standing on either side of the door, trying to figure out what just happened pretty funny!

So if you’re a blonde double bass player, I didn’t mean to slam the door in your face – I didn’t realize you thought you were expected! I hope you figured out where you were supposed to be and are having a good laugh about it with your friends!


Ferocity and flowers!

Our tap teacher gave us each Impatiens to celebrate our spring tap showcase! Not knowing whether or not they were poisonous, but knowing that either way the kitties shouldn’t eat them, I took them to work to add to Planty’s basket. The dinosaur who lives there now has a little more greenery to skulk in.

And then, so as not to be too healthy…

…that evening a bunch of us threw a bachelorette party for Rachel, who will be getting married later in April!

We started off with pizza, presents, cookies, and drinks at Kate’s house before heading downtown for drinks and then off to a dance club to round out the evening! As per the usual bachelorette party rules, there were plenty of penis-themed items: a (very tasteful) penis tiara, gummy penises (in honor of a recent Parks and Recreation episode), and penis cookies (along with some non-penis cookies for some variety). I was trying to make the penis cookies more silly than anatomically correct, so when I was at Michael’s looking for flesh-colored food coloring and noticed candy googly eyes, a lightbulb went off!

The green ones ended up looking like they were wearing grass skirts – even sillier! I used my go-to sugar cookie recipe and the royal icing recipe on the meringue powder can – the only problem was that I had to let the cookies sit out plenty long while the icing dried and it resulted in them being a little on the stale side…

The non-penis ones were pretty cute, too! (R+S is for Rachel and Scott…)

It was a really fun night even though I was pretty tired out by the end of the evening, having run a 10K earlier that morning – great to have a girls’ night out and to celebrate for Rachel and Scott’s impending wedding!


I didn’t think of this on my own, but I’ve seen this tip for storing your boots all over the internet and, despite what the weather here today would have you think, stores are finally stocking pool noodles – getting ready for the summer season!

At any rate, have a floppy pile of boots by your bed like I did? Get yourself a pool noodle or two, cut it up with a serrated knife, and voila! Things to make your boots stand up on their own!

I’d say I have enough pool noodle left for…two more pairs of boots. Or one pair of thigh-high boots, I guess. I can’t let the rest of that pool noodle go to waste, now, can I? 😉

We can rebuild him!

Poor Scoob! I’ve had a Scooby-Doo bobblehead on the dashboard of my car since college, I think – my roommate, Susan, gave me at least one of them (I do have a spare who sits on the windowsill in my bedroom along with a metal echidna from Louisa). He lost his tail years ago – it’s been sitting in my cupholder, waiting for me to perform surgery – and then this weekend, he lost part of his head in an accident involving my I-Pass. The time had come to put him back together again.

I glued his head back together at work this morning and then noticed he was missing an ear. When I got home just now, I found his ear and glued that back on. While I was at it, I figured I’d go ahead and finally fix his tail, but when I went to glue his tail back on, I realized that the part of his tail that was still attached to his bum was only just attached, so I broke it off to glue the tail back together before I reattached it all. I’m going to let the glue solidify a bit overnight and then glue it back on tomorrow, but when I was leaving the garage, I got a look at what he now looks like through the windshield.

It’s a little obscene – hopefully the rest of his reconstructive surgery will be successful tomorrow because I’m sure he’s embarrassed to be seen like this. I know I would be!

Note to self…

Mandolins are sharp (even the crappy ones); always use the handguard.

These are things that I know and yet I was foolish and did not always use the handguard – usually I’m half-good and just slice things carefully until it starts getting close and then use the handguard to finish up whatever I’m slicing. This evening I thought to myself “I’ll just do one more slice and then I’ll use the handguard for the rest.” And that’s how I ended up at the local Convenient Care (the walk-in clinic that’s still less urgent than a trip to the ER) with a paper towel taped around my thumb:

Don’t worry, there wasn’t really any thumb missing, just some skin. They cleaned it up and used something called Gel Foam that they use in surgeries to stop bleeding (there wasn’t enough skin to stitch back together) and wrapped it back up again and sent me on my way. In 24 hours, I can unbandage everything, give it a gentle cleanse, and bandage it back up again until I can get in for a follow-up.

Official Sign of Approval

The best thing from Michigan…

…besides Drew, obviously, is the wonder that is Hinkley’s Doughnuts. I tried to take a picture of the dozen doughnuts we brought back with us, I really did!

Unfortunately this is the best picture I got.

After having Christmas with my family, we drove up to Jackson (about a 5-hour drive) to do a Christmas with his family. His brother and sister-in-law came over in the morning and we opened presents (I got some great baking tools from his dad and some yummy-looking cookbooks [Joanne Chang’s Flour from his dad and The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook from his brother and sister-in-law], so expect some of those recipes to appear here once we’ve finished a little holiday detox) and then his mom’s side of the family came over and we ate and ate and ate and ate! I think–who am I kidding? I KNOW–my favorite was the smoked salmon spread that Drew and his dad made, using salmon that his dad caught and then smoked himself! Oh, it was soooo good.

Now we’re back home and finishing off the holiday baking – in addition to the doughnuts, we got sent home with quite a few cookies which is not helping my waistline!

I’m back (hopefully)!

I’ve missed writing up blog posts and, based on the previous post, a lot of you probably thought something horrible had happened to me (really not the best note to begin a loooooong blogging hiatus on). But nothing did – though I never did find out what that weird noise was – I was just being very lazy and very busy simultaneously (domesticity, job, tennis, tap, viola, friends, bass recorder, BACH, etc.).

I thought I’d get things started with a little nail polish picture for the holidays. I’ve been painting my nails a lot in the last year or so and I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at it (Who am I kidding? I’m awesome at it! Check out my nails [and Arthur] for my TARDIS costume – haha, which I’ll also post here because it was pretty sweet (boo, Photobucket changed their photo editor and now I can’t make collages anymore!):

TARDIS nails and Arthur

TARDIS costume

So I lied, this is totally becoming my Halloween 2012 post instead. So here we go! Drew went as Sexy Sax Man:

Sexy Sax Man and the TARDIS

and was a very big hit. After handing out candy at Kate and Graham’s house, we traipsed over to the Blind Pig and when we left, Drew played us out a la the real Sexy Sax Man:

to lots of laughter and cheers from the other patrons.

I also experimented with chalking my hair for this costume (I wore a wig to our first outing and decided I didn’t like it as well as I thought I would (usually Halloween is just an excuse for me to buy makeup, false eyelashes, a wig, and shoes), so I gave hair-chalking a try. Usually you see it on people with long hair and they just chalk the ends to give a sort of romantic hint of color, but I wanted a little more than a hint of color:

Turns out, that’s too much color! Once the pastel dried, it was just getting everywhere. EVERYWHERE. So I rinsed a lot of it out and blew it dry and that seemed to work. It was still getting a little bit everywhere, just not EVERYWHERE. The finished look is really just an excuse to show you my makeup (god, I love that red lipstick – thank you, Sephora home brand!):

Thanks to MakeupbyPeaches for the great tutorial for the Diamond Jubilee eye makeup which I repurposed for the TARDIS: