30 November 2005

"They have ways..." - Rats of NIMH

The Art of War

Monday night when I came home from work, I opened the door to my apartment and out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a dark grey blur flash along the corner of the kitchen and out of sight. I thought, 'hmm.' but didn't really worry about it until later that evening when I went to eat the last scotcheroo that I had brought back from Thanksgiving. It was on the counter in a ziplock baggie. As I picked it up, I saw that there was a human size bite off of one corner. "Sheesh, Dara!" I thought, but then I saw that the baggie had a ragged, chewed hole in it that matched up with the chunk missing from the scotheroo. MOUSE! And one that likes scotcheroos. The cloverleaf dinner rolls right next to it were untouched.
So Tuesday on my way home from work, I stopped at the local hardware store and picked up two packs of mousetraps. $1.29 for two wooden traps. I loaded them up with a dab of peanut butter and then a piece of scotcheroo on each. One I placed on the counter behind the fruit basket and the other on the ground beneath the radiator by the sink.
This morning, both traps were sprung, but there was no mouse in either. And the scotcheroo was gone from one of them. The traps have no been reset and I will be putting out the other two also. Let the games begin!

29 November 2005

Hingis Comeback!

Two words that I am happy to hear. I've been a long-time fan. Can't wait to watch her play in '06. As the women's game has evolved with the success of the bigger, stronger girls with rocket serves, Hingis and her skillfull style and wide selection of shots are a nice change. Plus, she's the "Swiss Miss", how can you not like her with a nickname like that?
Now, if only we could get Anna Kournikova to rejoin her for doubles like in the old days.

28 November 2005

Walk the Line

Just wanted to share how much I loved this movie! I don't think you could call me a Johnny Cash fan before the movie. I did have three of his songs on my iPod and "Ring of Fire" was a song that got played alot while preparing for games in college, but I didn't know much about him beyond that. And the movie really doesn't tell the whole life story of Johnny Cash, it really focuses on his love affair and subsequent marriage with June Carter. Joaquin Phoenix puts in a great performance. He has always seems sort of dark and intense and a bit weird, in Gladiator in particular so he was perfect for the role. Johnny and June actually picked Joaquin and Reese to play them and both thespians signed on to do the film for much less than their usual wages. Both did all their own singing and playing. And they sound good! I went out and bought The Essential Johnny Cash the next morning at Wal-Mart and have enjoyed that double disc a lot. (Some favorites so far...5 feet high and rising, The Rebel-Johnny Yuma, Get Rhythm, The One on the Left is on the Right, and of course, Jackson). But I think I'm going to go out and get the movie soundtrack too. It has Joaquin and Reese and they are just magic. But it does not have my favorite song from the movie!!! "Time's a Wastin'" - a duet that June Carter originally recorded with one of her previous husbands, Carl Smith. It isn't on iTunes and I am trying to find it at the library. It won't be as great as Joaquin and Reese's version, though! It was in my head on Sunday morning when I woke up.
I'm looking forward to reading Cash's autobiography soon.

"I shot a man in Reno....Just to watch him die."

22 November 2005

Julian Beever's Pavement Drawings

These pictures might be slow to load if you do not have broadband. This guy creates these pavement drawings that a distorted in a particular way so that, if viewed from one correct angle, the 3-D effect is pretty amazing. Check it out.

Indo Jew Bowl

Man, I miss Chicago! You gotta love this kind of celebration of diversity. I would love to go check this out if I were there. It's gotta be hilarious, a bunch of high school friends getting together on Thanksgiving break for some football and bragging rights. The website is great with a lot of info. Check out some of the news story links on the right side. And you can check out the tshirts they make each year. I've already emailed them about getting one.

Big Hawkeye Win

#18 Iowa upset #7 Kentucky last night and are rewarded with a matchup with #2 Texas tonight.

21 November 2005

Roy Keane

I try to refrain from boring you all with what I consider exciting soccer news, but I thought I'd go ahead and share this story. If you don't recall, Roy Keane is the world-class midfielder that got into a world-class row with his manager, Mick McCarthy at the last World Cup, in 2002. He was booted from the squad before a match was even played. His club career at Manchester United has been full of trophies and yellow cards, and he's never hesitated from giving teammates and opponents alike a dose of his fiery temper. Now he's parted ways with Man U, the speculation of possible destinations has begun. One of the front-runners is Celtic (my favorite squad).
I feel that he is such a talent & leader, he would show (when he wasn't injured) a team what it takes to play at a higher level. He is a free agent, so there is no large transfer fee to pay and he has been a life long fan of Celtic, so you know he has respect for the club. I say go for it. He's only got a couple years left in his legs and then perhaps he would take over as manager.

16 November 2005

Julie in Chicago

OH!!! I wish I was back in Chicago for this! I would've loved to go and see her. I can hear her saying "from your lips to God's ears." sigh.
(sidenote: I had no idea that a women that is knighted is titled Dame. It took me a second or two to figure that one out! I thought Mayor Daley was just being a hip cat and seein' if she could dig, daddy-o.)

15 November 2005

La Bamba, anyone???

I look out the window and see the snow blowing and coming down and then think about the short flight I have to take this evening in a small, non-commercial airplane and Lou Diamond Phillips as Richie Valens keeps popping into my head. Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, IA. :(

Jones Soda introduces Salmon soda

Just in time for the holidays...Salmon soda! I love the candor of the owner at the end, "I cannot finish a bottle, I just can't." Yet they still produced it! I love it. Jones Soda is big at the Drake Diner, if I can find the holiday pack you can all look forward to me bringing it home for the holidays.

Princess sheds title, Adds husband...

This story could be a Disney movie or something. Of course, to be a Disney movie, the commoner husband would have to fight off mongol hords or do magic or save the princesses life or something first. Regardless, I say good for her! I also say, bring on the reform so she can take the throne!

What the World Eats

I heard about this book, Hungary Planet: What the World Eats, on my daily NPR: Story of the Day podcast and thought sounded interesting. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and when I viewed the pictures on their website it really added to the story. I am going to try and find this book at the bookstore and flip through it. I would like to see more families and larger photographs. They talked about the drastic differences between East and West, rural and urban. It would be an eye-opener to see how much we buy in groceries all laid out at once.

14 November 2005

Spell check

How funny is it that the spellcheck tool on blogger.com does not recognize the word 'blog'? Well, maybe not really 'funny', but at least it is ironic.

When Will It Snow?

Driving home from the Y tonight I was thinking about how chilly it was and looking around at the scenery. The trees for the most part have discarded their leafy appendages and now, brittle and brown, they scatter and scoot along with the wind. The evening rush hour drive has changed from sunset-filled golden and orange skies to post-dusk, deep indigo skies outlining the black trees on the horizon. Pedestrians have traded their carefree, easy stroll in shirt-sleeves for a zipped-jacket, purposeful quick stride.
Which all led me to come up with this blog.....Everyone will comment with their prediction as to when our first snowfall will arrive.

*Any help with outlining the details would be appreciated. I was thinking 'snowfall' would mean enough snow to cover the ground. And, we will use Imogene as our measuring location (since it is the name of the blog.) Mom, you will have to be responsible for reporting on this for us.

11 November 2005

THEFT!

I've had a good run of lunch sandwich-making lately. I broiled several split breasts with a little honey mustard brushed on them and I've just been slicing up one each day and putting it on a wheat bun with some slices of edam cheese. Then when lunch time comes around I zap the whole thing in the microwave for a minute and a half. YUM. But the breasts are finished so I made a sandwich yesterday that I was excited to try. (Several days in a row of the exact same fare will cause that). Deli-style thinly sliced turkey, lettuce, cucumber, Dijon mustard and a sprinkling of Italian seasoning all on a robust whole wheat bread that had nuts and seeds in it. So I made that and paired it with a yogurt and a baggie of celery pieces. I worked out over lunch and then was going to eat lunch at my desk, so I go to the cooler to get my lunch out, and the yogurt and celery are there where I left them, but the champion sandwich was nowhere to be found. I checked all the shelves, both sides of the cooler, I even came back to my desk and checked in my backpack, thinking maybe I had forgotten to take it out in the morning and put it in the cooler. But, no, it was MIA. I went back to the cooler and doublechecked. As I grabbed the celery and yogurt, I began to fully process what had just transpired and I was not happy. Who takes a hand-made sandwich wrapped in saranwrap? A bag of chips..OK. A candy bar...OK. A cup of yogurt...OK. But a sandwich that you have no idea what is in or who made it or if they ever wash their hands??? As I trekked down to the cafeteria and had to BUY an inferior replacement sandwich, the shock and anger led me to shake my head at humanity. Usually I would just say, 'well, that person needed the food more than I did.' But in this case, I think anyone working where I work is making enough money to be able to afford a turkey sandwich.
As I discussed this whole ordeal with Luke last night, I said I should make another dream sandwich today, but hide a 'special ingredient' in the middle. I said poop, Luke said laxative. Then just watch who runs to the bathroom in the afternoon, he said. Sadly, my heart wasn't in it this morning as I prepared for work. Thinking about what had happened, I couldn't even bring myself to pack a lunch. I will be dining elsewhere at noon.

Holiday Beers Blog

A fun blog with a new holiday beer sampled and reviewed each day. Even though I probaby won't try most of the selected beers, I still enjoy reading about them...and counting down to Christmas.

10 November 2005

Catholic schools test scores

Chicago's Catholic schools make up the largest non-public school system in the nation. That was interesting to read, and surprising. What's up with the Catholic school systems of NYC and LA? Maybe Catholicism isn't as strong there or maybe the public schools are better.
Also, the gap between city and suburb school was pretty significant.

Teenage Mayor?

I bet his HS Government teacher was proud.

09 November 2005

Sudoku

Have you guys heard of this or checked it out? It is like all the rage right now. I first heard of it when I saw a ton of people doing these puzzles in the airport on the trip to Canton. Then I saw a book of them in the airport bookstore so I read what they were. Then when I was in Chicago last weekend a couple of my friends at the Y were doing the puzzles that were in the Sun-Times. So I got a couple of the puzzles on the Sun-Times website yesterday and tried them out. I've done a couple 'Very Easy' ones and one 'Easy'(which was not easy). I like 'em! Not as fun as the crosswords, but definitely a fun way to exercise your grey matter.
Go to the sudoku website for the rule (there's only one!), tips, etc.

Zbikowski

Just thought I'd share a couple links to stories on my favorite ND player, Tom Zbikowski. He's been in scintillating form lately.
Article from Sun-Times
Article from South Bend Tribune
His bio on the ND site.
He's cool, he's tough, he's from Chicago.

08 November 2005

Snack food report

Now, I think we all know that I have a deep affection for OREO's, so it will come as no surprise that I was pleased to read that they are the most popular cookie sold in Chicago. What did surprise me, though, was how little we spend on gum compared to the other snack food categories. And with Wrigley's right there in Chicago...it is almost blasphemous! I realize that gum is quite inexpensive when compared with a bag of cookies, but I know that I buy gum more often than I buy cookies. And come on, it was behind nuts, granola bars AND 'other salted snacks'.
I was also surprised that crackers were just as big a seller as potato or tortilla chips.
For those not interested in reading the article, I've pasted the chart below...
THE WAY WE SNACK
Top-selling cookie: Oreo
Top-selling chips: Lay's

What Chicagoans have spent on snacks in 2005 (in millions):
Cookies: $102.6
Crackers: $75.9
Chocolate candy: $75
Potato chips: $71.3
Tortilla chips: $52.7
Non-chocolate candy: $39.2
Granola/breakfast/snack bars: $33.7
Nuts: $33.3
Other salted snacks: $26.4
Gum: $20.8

Source: Information Resources Inc., supermarket sales through Oct. 2

Dentist

I made my return to the dentist this afternoon, ending a two-year hiatus. Even though I have to pay the first $100, it is great to have dental insurance again! Fresh x-rays were taken for my file and there was quite a bit of scraping with the wicked hooked tool. The cleaning with the sand-paste is my least favorite part of the visit. I hate the feeling of the spaces around my teeth getting packed with that gritty cement. >:( But after 50 minutes, I was sent on my way with a clean bill of no cavaties and a visegrip handshake from the dentist. Out to enjoy a strangely gorgeous and sunny 71 degree November afternoon with my squeaky clean mouth.

03 November 2005

Chicago Antisocial

Anti-Social from the Reader

I always try to read this girl's column in the Chicago Reader. Sometimes its good, sometimes its not, but is always something new & unlike other articles I read.

This week's column was so bizarre, I was cracking up and had to suppress my laughter due to the office environment. :) There are definitely some odd odd people in this world. But as Mom says, "it takes all kinds". (sidenote - I love that saying and the simple message of tolerance it embodies. One of my roommates in college picked it up and would say, "Like Rose says, it takes all kinds") :)

World Cup Tickets

The ticket prices really aren't too expensive. Especially when you consider it would be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
But, then I thought, we just need to get Eron's company to splurge for the 20 person luxury box. COME ON! It's $400,000 (better hold out for a good exchange rate!) We would get tickets to six matches in Berlin, including the final. Food, drink, parking and special stadium access (ooooh, what's that!?) are all included for us and 10 of our friends, (or business clients.)

I CAN'T WAIT!