Monthly Archives: July 2008

Guest Post:Thirteen Things on Thursday

Today’s post is brought to you by Darci who, I think, should have a blog of her own, don’t you?

Here are 13 things that have crossed my path over the week:

Summer Television
: So, between the watching of CSI reruns on TiVo and catching up on missed silly rental movies, the family and I have become addicted to 2 of the silliest of shows of the summer – Wipeout and Legally Blonde: Search for Elle Woods, which is now over and we are missing it. I really need a life.

Iced Tea: the true drink of the summer. I love good old-fashioned, unflavored, brewed iced tea. Since school has been out I make a pitcher of iced tea and a pot of coffee each morning.

Air conditioning: We did not have air conditioning until 3 summers ago. I live in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, Ca. It is hot…really…really…hot. Goodness, do I love being able to during on the AC when in the afternoon, knowing we will actually be able to sleep in the night.

Daily Chores: Makes the beds, run the vacuum, empty/start the dishwasher. I feel like Cinderella often…I hate chores – hated them when I was a teenager; hate them as an adult.

Books: Reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I am struggling to find the story but I am getting there. It might be the issue of the husband is re-watching “Band of Brothers” and I am reading a book wrapped in the same time period. Might be a bit too much war and desperation. I am also reading Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Everyone needs a little mindfulness these days. I am working to get out of this paralysis of not moving forward. I need to look here not there or over there either…just here.

Knitting: Love my craft. The concept of having multiple projects weighs heavy on my mind so I am working towards finishing up and staying a bit more monogamous. I have a baby blanket and a 2nd sock on the current rotation with 2 toys and a couple sets of mitts as well as a dog sweater for my mom waiting in the wings.

Husband: He is the bomb but this week he has made me crazy….I need the school year to start so I can qualify my business instead of it being a figment of his imagination.

Daughters: I have the yen and the yang of daughters. One is a social butterfly who must be moving and shaking…One is happy to be by herself. I wonder if that is really true of either of them.

Volunteering: It is who I am. Why do people questions my motives or my methods in where I put my time? My husband and I are very involved in our daughters’ soccer club and I in their high school. We do it because we want to, it is our church, it is our family. We model to our girls how to give back – you do not get to just show up. Damn it is tiring at times.

iPhone: I love my phone….Is that bad? I have the lowly first generation but damn the new software is cool. I mean who can not be giddy over having their own personal Lightsaber

Pets: I have 3 dogs who have no clue they are dogs…who is going to break it to them? Not me!

Scooter: This will be my new transportation to school in the fall…Red, thank you very much.

Housekeeping: I suck at it and I do not care. Don’t get me wrong I love a clean house – I just hate the work that goes with it. I need a 1950s wife…the perfect solution.

Bio: Darci is a wife, a mom, a sister, an aunt and a friend. She loves to read, knit and soccer. She has too much time on her hands. While currently blog-less she is working towards launching something soon…after she does her daily chores, finishes knitting projects and creates lesson plans for next term.


Filed under Friends, Guest Post, Little Bits of Nothingness

Guest Post: Michael!

Michael is someone I’ve only laid eyes on once, but who I consider a friend nonetheless. I was delighted by the ease with which we fell into each other when we met face-to-face a few months ago – we had, after all, been friends for more than a year, regardless of the fact that we’d never yet heard one another’s voice – and he continues to be a source of light in my life. He’s funny as hell, he’s kind and compassionate, and he can spout royal and presidential trivia almost at will. How cool is THAT?!

This is Michael…
When Mrs. Chili put out the call for guest bloggers, I quickly volunteered. Ever since then I’ve wondered, “What the hell am I going to write about?” I thought I should write something Chili-esque, but I struggled with what that would be. Then I had a quick business trip and completely spaced out about guest blogging until I got a friendly reminder email – with a deadline extension. And while I know that Mrs. Chili will always let you turn in an assignment late for partial credit, in this case I thought she might not be so accommodating. So, with the deadline looming, I’ve decided that the best thing I can do is just write about myself.

One of the things that I love about reading blogs is the window that it offers into someone else’s life – someone whom I might never cross paths with, let alone get to know as personally as you can by reading a blog. So I thought, rather than try to emulate Mrs. Chili, I’ll just give you a window into my world.
I discovered Mrs. Chili’s blog via my friend Jake’s blog. I posted a comment one day and she emailed me to say thanks! She started posting on my blog regularly (to the point that my family asked whether they knew Mrs. Chili… Nope, she’s just a random fan!), we traded occasional emails, and eventually we met face-to-face last month. We both posted about it at the time, but my quick recap would be: it was like meeting an old friend (or big sister) that I hadn’t seen a while. So I’m delighted to have this chance to guest-post in her place.

My name is Michael, and I’m 37 years old. I grew up very close to where Mrs. Chili is from, although our paths (to our knowledge) never crossed. My parents started dating at age 16, got married at 19, and celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary this year. I have one younger brother and one younger sister. My home life growing up was relatively non-dysfunctional, something I didn’t appreciate at the time but have grown to appreciate very much.

I’ll spare you my entire “coming out story,” and limit it to these highlights: I came out my sophomore year of college, my family has no issues with it, and neither do I. Nine years ago, I met a guy on the beach in Rehoboth, Delaware from Boston. We traded info and agreed to meet up the next time I was home visit my parents. Today, he’s sitting across the room from me watching Project Runway with our three dogs piled up on his lap. His name is Jay, and he’s a good southern boy from Mississippi.

I work for a large bank in Birmingham, Alabama. When you’re a banker, you’re a migrant worker. Every couple of years the bank that I was working for would sell and I’d wander off to another job. Over the last fifteen years, I’ve worked my way up from customer service, to managing a branch, to managing a group of branches, before moving into Marketing Communications. My job is interesting, I get to work on a lot of different things, I enjoy it more than other jobs I’ve had, but I ain’t curing cancer. But I do enjoy working in the corporate environment. I like the structure.

This is our second go-round in Birmingham. We lived here from 2001 to 2005, and then moved to Atlanta. We decided to come back to Birmingham last year. I even got a job where I used to work. For six months, I lived with Jay’s mother and commuted back to Atlanta on the weekends. We finally sold our house in Atlanta and have been living under the same roof again for about a month now. Although someday I hope that we can live in big, urban, c ity, in the meantime I like living in a small manageable city. Birmingham offers a great quality of life, you can get around easily, and it’s only about half as redneck as you think.

I started blogging about a year ago. I used to write a lot about my MBA classes, but I graduated in December. I write about my life with Jay, my three dogs and one cat, my family and Jay’s. I write about books I’ve read, trips we take, and movies I’ve watched. I post trivia about the British Royal Family and Presidents and Vice Presidents of the US. “Ten Things Tuesday” is a meme I’ve borrowed from Mrs. Chili, and sometimes I’ll steal ideas from other blogs. I’ll post random YouTube videos that I like, clips from news stories, and starting about four months, my adventures with a personal trainer. If that sounds interesting to you, I’ll hope you’ll come by DLA Project and visit. Otherwise, I hope you’ve enjoyed this random glimpse into my life.


Filed under Friends, Guest Post

Guest Post: Ten Things Tuesday

Today’s post comes to you via Kizz; she who has been my friend, both online and in real life, perhaps the longest of anyone

Title: 10 Things Chili

I’ve known Chili for about 25 years now. We did, however, take a 10 year hiatus after high school. I missed a lot of things, like her wedding to Mr. Chili for example, so a lot of important things. For my guest posting opportunity I thought I’d stick with the 10 Things Tuesday theme and give you 10 pictures I have of Chili. Some of them are simple but they’re why she’s important to me.

1. Picture of me & Chili in her living room:

2. Standing at our table taking our order (no idea who “we” were, I ate there all the time with pretty much everyone I knew, it was the age of the breadstick and I love the breadstick) at the age of probably16 in her Pizza Hut uniform. I can see her trucking across the floor with orders and it’s the exact same gait and intention she uses to propel herself today.

3. Standing in the Indian Head Bank (back when there was such a thing) 3 or 4 of us waiting to use the ATM (back when that was a novelty) and she urged us all to go first because she was going to deposit her tips, mostly coins, and break the machine. She went on to work in a bank. I wonder if the criminal coin depositing ever came back to bite her.

4. Walking slowly up the hill to our 10th High School reunion with 3 month old Punkin’ in the front pack.

5. A few minutes later, sitting on a picnic bench with some classmates, she was telling us abut her life and I thought, “Wow, she’s accomplished all the things she said she wanted to when we were in high school.” The same could not be said for me.

6. Driving. She drives stick, always has and the style has some similarity to her walking gait. She drives with a directness and efficiency that I love. It’s the only way to drive stick and she’s mastered it. It’s always been a dream of mine to do a car racing course. I’d love to have her as my opponent.

7. She visited New York as her first overnight trip away from her girls back when the Bean was just a toddler. Walking through Times Square she kept stepping on the back of my shoe in her efforts to stick close and not lose me. I still remember the feel of her hand in mine when I reached back to hang on to her (and save my footwear).

8. The devilish look on her face when I picked her up at the airport (to see a performance of mine) and realized that she’d used her trip as a cover to bring 6 or 7 of our girlfriends along as an opening night surprise. Still one of the coolest opening night gifts I’ve ever gotten.

9. The barely restrained glee when she’s standing in front of a class teaching English.

10. Originally this picture had part of her face in it and she hated the way her chin looked. I don’t know if she knows that I cropped the hated part out.


Filed under Guest Post, ten things Tuesday

Ode To My Sister

When I first agreed to do a guest post for Chili, I thought to myself; “Self, this will be great! A chance to torture my sister in her own space!”

What would I do? Icoulddothis!Thismakeshercrazy!Icouldwritethewholethinglikethis! Or maybe I could write like the kids these days text. You know, like “hey,wat up? thx 4 havin me post at ur crib.” No, that annoys me too. Then I thought I might go to her house and take pictures of things she might not want you to see. No way! Too much of an invasion of privacy. Maybe I could go there and redecorate? Plaster her place with Red Sox posters. No, too much work.

I wanted to be funny. The problem is, I am not good at planning funny. I am more of a spontaneous funny kind of girl. So, just now, I decided to write a poem about my sister. Here it is, I am making it up as I go;

My sister! She sure can cook!

And, she will lend you a book!

Her driving? It used to suck!

Now she has slowed down, an effort to save a buck.

When we were kids, she dropped me on my head.

“It was an accident!” She said.

When I was small, she taught me to dive.

Do you know she has TiVo? She never watches TV live!

She’s not one to drink.

If I needed, she would bail me out of the clink!

Once, she tried to find me a wife.

I saw the girl and told her “Have your husband pre-approve the woman of my life!”

My sister! I love her! She’s really nice!

She makes me crazy because her freezer never has ice!

She picked a good man, her kids are the bomb!

Back in the day we didn’t, but now we get along!


Filed under Uncategorized

Guest Post: An Ode To Toast

Today’s Guest Post is brought to us by Jules of Angst Girl:
I have something that I feel compelled to confess. The first step is realizing you have a problem, right? Ok, here it goes …

I love toast. Nay, I am addicted to toast. I think it is one of the most perfect (I know, Mrs. Chili, I’m not supposed to say “most perfect” but old habits die hard) foods ever invented. And can we talk about versatility? Plain; buttered; jellied; peanut buttered; cinnamon sugared; honeyed; dipped in runny egg yolk; under roast beef, mashed potatoes, and gravy; etc. For the record, I don’t like all the different toast options, but I’m delighted they are available.

Toast refuses to be labeled and restricted to a specific meal or time of day; it is always a great choice. My mother still advises me to eat dry toast when I have an upset tummy but it is equally as wonderful when I’m perfectly healthy. It’s good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as for a snack at any time. I’ve never NOT been in the mood for toast.

Can we talk about how easy it is? A loaf of bread, a topping of your choice, and a toaster – bada boom, bada bing and you’ve got toast. Bread is cheap and you can even purchase a cheap toaster (although you have to be careful with your toasting apparatus because if you go too cheap the bread tends to get dried out). Toppings can get a little expensive depending on your preferences, but it’s still a pretty economical choice.

There are times, however, when my love of toast keeps me up at night. I have been able to keep my addiction under control so far, but what if it gets out of hand? Will I find myself huddled in a seedy toast house with other addicts? Will I turn to a life of crime to support my addiction? In my darkest moments I can even picture myself dirty and sweating, shaking from withdrawals, begging for another fix of that crumbly, warm goodness…


Filed under Friends, Guest Post


 Hi! Auntie here! Chili asked me to make sure I could post. Looks like I can! Let’s see if I can add a picture.

Drat! I do not have permission to upload photos. She’s on to me. Big sisters ruin everything!

Ok, I just left her a message. I can’t publish! Only save or submit for review. She really is on to me. Let’s just wait right here and see what she does….

 Ok, she sent me a text to try it now! Here is a picture of my cucumber. 

 Maybe it will be ready by the time I go to the lake. 

 I’ll be back on Monday!


Filed under Uncategorized

From Mrs. Chili

We’re here!

True to Mr. Chili’s reputation as a supernatural vacation planner, the places he’s found for us are PERFECT.  We even have internet access, though I’m not going to do much online stuff at all – I’ve got wonderfully competent guest bloggers lined up for the week and I’m going to do a lot of old-fashioned paper-book reading…from right about here, I think:

I bet you wish YOU were here, too!


Filed under celebration, Dark and Stormy Book Club, fun, health, Home and Family, Little Bits of Nothingness, My husband rocks!, my oh-so-exciting life, reading, vacation, weather