WBThirty Day 19: A talent of mine (inspiration in unexpected places)

I like to think I'm a pretty good speller. I blame it on having more books than friends when I was growing up, so I can tell when words look funny. That being said, I cannot spell the word "sandwich" to save my life. I always spell it "sandwhich".

Speaking of sandwiches, I came across a new favorite quote that absolutely had to be illustrated. It appeals to my love of food and my multiple, self-diagnosed cases of ADD (food ADD, music ADD, life's work ADD, this blog post's ADD):

This quote is by a former Swedish porn star who is currently a celebrity real estate agent and a future reality TV star, by the way.

*Edited to add: Y has informed me that I inadvertently made a gay porn joke. I took it down. It wasn't on purpose, and now I feel like I'm my mom or something... missing an obvious gay porn joke is such a mom thing to do.

Day 18: My day, in great detail

I like this topic because it really exemplifies the reason I started this blog in the first place. A friend called me one night to tell me that one of her friends somehow stumbled upon my Facebook page and decided I was the coolest, most glamorous subject of random Facebook stalking they had ever come across. My friend told me they wanted to know if I had a blog so they could follow along with my glamorous life. The record had to be set straight, and this blog was created. I wonder if those girls are still reading, or if I let them down a long time ago.

The deal was that if I started a blog, my very talented friend who called me would start an Etsy store. I'm still waiting on that Etsy store...

Anyway, today's challenge was to describe my day in great detail. Good thing I had a most exciting day that began with a brutal fight against Ike over use of the yoga mat.

Ike won. As usual.

Then there was breakfast:

I'm on a diet. Sort of. See, I'm kind of addicted to peanut butter. I'm trying to cut down to eating peanut butter just once a day. It's difficult... this was today's peanut butter meal. Yesterday's was peanut butter frosting on a cupcake. I'm a work in progress.

I had the crazy idea to dress for fall today. Either I'm crazy, or the rest of the world is. The weatherman this morning said, "It's pretty cold outside today, but tomorrow it should be nicer." So I put on my boots and my tights and my jacket. It was 75 degrees; I couldn't make it to my car without sweating. My boss asked me, "Aren't you cold in that little dress?" Is she living in a different climate than I am?

My ritual when I leave in the morning: I throw Ike some treats and make him wait until I'm outside before he eats them. See? He can behave!

Welcome to work, where I tackled my list of incredibly challenging tasks.

My lunch lasts all day, so I bring enough food to basically eat something every hour. Nothing contained peanut butter. Small victories.

Back home after a very strange workout class that involved way too much running in place for my taste. I decided to be festive and break out the Jake apron while making brussels sprouts and ravioli - a surprisingly good combination.

A friend came over and we decided to have a baking/Firefly evening. Above is the finished result: Pear Walnut Gingerbread Upside Down Cake. Not a bad way to end the night.

Can you beat me? Was your day more interesting than mine? I know Y's was; while I was copy/file/editing, he helped remove someone's colon.

I'd still take my day over his.

Day 16: Something quirky about me

I'm kind of in shock that whoever started this 30 day blog challenge apparently only had one quirky thing about them, hence the topic "something quirky about me". I don't understand what that's like. A few friends told me this recently, and at first it kind of hurt my feelings but I guess I just have to embrace it: I am and always will be quirky.

I mean, the mere fact that I spend some of my free time writing in a blog rather than watching reality TV like everyone else I know is quirky in and of itself.

So instead of listing all the quirky things about myself (unless you really want to hear about my irrational fear of balloons), I'll show you some pictures from our quirky Saturday morning spent at a craft fair and taking Ike for a walk [through our incredibly under-appreciated] downtown. I purchased a mustache on a stick. A quirky time was had by all.

Day 15: A YouTube Video: Ike vs The Robot

One of my least favorite things ever is hair - mainly, hair that isn't attached to anything.  The thought of it makes me shudder. Luckily I'm really good at coming up with excuses and have never had to clean my hair from the shower drain, and it has officially become Y's job.

Today's post was supposed to be me participating in something called "Fill in the Blank Friday", a series of fill in the blank questions that changes weekly. But today's topic was hair. I'm tired of talking about hair. First I posted about my awful fashion show hair. Then yesterday, as you may know if you follow me on twitter, I got a haircut. Given my hatred of unattached hair, getting a haircut is like going to the dentist in my book. An hour covered in little hairs? I'd rather get a root canal. (Which I've had. It didn't hurt.)

And then, to top it all off, both my hairdresser (who used to be a nurse) and Y decided to describe -- in depth -- a type of tumor that is filled with hair. I gagged. My quota was reached. So I decided to show you a youtube video instead. You're welcome, trust me -- you didn't want to read about "my best hair day" or "my go-to hair". 

Happy weekend!

WBThirty Day 14: Today I believe...

{What is WBThirty?}

Today I believe...

...in a classic tale of robot love.

...that if this spider can make it to the 10th floor of a Chicago building, I can do anything!

...that the world would truly be a better place if you could, actually, sit on the clouds.

...that happiness really is a warm puppy.

{I'm borrowing "Today I Believe" from the most adorable blogger/aspiring writer ever, Laura.}

Day 13: outfit of the day pictures

True story: I've been in two fashion shows. Both selected their models in rather exclusive ways, the first being my class had to do it and the second being first come first serve.

Today's post in the WBThirty was to post a week of "outfit of the day" pictures. Maybe you've never heard of this phenomenon? There's a big fashion blogging community in which bloggers post pictures of their outfits every day, comment on the fit and feel of the clothes, and alert the world to sales the moment they happen. Secretly this appeals to me, since I enjoy [and spend far too much time] getting dressed in the morning, yet sit in a windowless office all day where no one can see my creations.

I've been slightly embarrassed about this post and playing fashion blogger for a hot second, so I decided to tell you about my fashion shows in hopes that the post could only get less embarrassing from here.

The actual audio from this fashion show: "Everyone's crazy about denim! D is always a star student and she wants her clothes to sparkle and shine too. So, you see her modeling her best jeans and jean jacket, but they're embellished with an array of multicolored jewels. Her white blouse features decorative jewels to complement a look for D that truly sparkles and shines."

Fashion show number two was a little more interesting:

In 2004, I named this photo badhair.jpg

And this picture is called newhair.jpg. At some point in my life, even for a brief second as I labeled photos, I did not consider this bad hair. That scares me.

Now won't you humor me as I play dress up? Note that I don't make Y stand there and take these pictures. a) He would kill me, and b) I know how to use my timer, and c) he will never be Bryan Skeen (can you tell I have a girl crush on Kendi? I promise to stop referencing her now).

Day 12: My top blogs

Today I checked the number of blogs I follow in Google Reader, and it was not pretty. 212. Do you know how much time that amounts to that I spend reading blogs each day? Unfortunately Scholarly Ike is out of the office today and can't do that calculation for us. But just know that it's a lot.

My favorite blogs are either funny, or they share pictures of pretty things, be it food, clothing, photography, or stationery. It's like having a huge stack of magazines in front of me at all times. Except that I still subscribe to 6 magazines. There's something about coming home to Cameron Diaz's face in my mailbox that I can't get enough of.

So I present you with prettyfunny.


Annie's Eats: If you have ever complimented one of my cupcakes, just know I get all of my recipes from Annie (we're on first name basis) and everything I bake looks like Ike baked it when you look at her creations.


Go Fug Yourself: The Fug Girls make me laugh out loud multiple times every day. They make fun of celebrity outfits in this smart, quick way that's like reading an episode of 30 Rock.

Hyperbole and a half: just read this. It has led to many an afternoon spent alone in my office, tears of silent laughter running down my face.

Pretty and Funny:

Kendi Everyday takes pictures of her outfits everyday. Yeah, you say, so does every other fashion blogger out there. Kendi is different. I will defend her like she's my own sister. Kendi, if you read this -- do you want be sisters?

I decided I should share the wealth and introduce my readers -- a lot of whom are new to blogs and only read this one because Y wanted an opinion on his bowtie -- to some of the pretty/funny things I come across on my internet travels. And not just today, this twelfth day of my 30-turned40plus-blog challenge. Every day! Or at least regularly. So stay tuned, you will see prettyfunny again.

Day 10: a wanderlist

The other day Y had the bright idea to put a chair on our front porch. I know, right? Groundbreaking. Now our favorite thing to do is sit on our new chair and look out at our beautiful view.

And by look at our beautiful view, I meant pretend we have a view.

Y's pick:

My pick:

Our mutual pick:

Yes,it will be difficult backing out of the driveway into water, but so worth it.

On a more realistic note, I've actually made a list of places in my area that I'd like to visit before we eventually move to our house in Central Parksterdam, Ireland.

Because I'm a big list nerd, I literally made a file in word, separated out into restaurants, bars, outdoors, experiences, and road trips. So if you're a local friend and want to join me on my quest to, I don't know, eat a kolache, let me know and I'll share. But here's my broader road trip list:

1. Visit Natchitoches -- where Steel Magnolias was filmed -- during Christmastime and take a Steel Magnolias tour.

2. Austin, TX. I've never been to Austin and I think that needs to be fixed. On my actual list, to emphasize the seriousness of the situation, I have it as "AUS.TIN".

3. Go wine tasting in Texas wine country and visit Fredericksburg, TX, a little German community that I've heard has delicious food.

4. This was not on my list until about 2 seconds ago, but I just came across a travel blog for my area and they profiled some hiking and biking trails at a resort called Cypress Bend that I had never heard of.

5. Monroe is a city I've heard absolutely nothing good about, but one of my favorite blogs, DesignSponge, does city profiles and somehow Monroe made its way onto their list. Mu curiosity is officially piqued.

6. Any kind of middle of nowhere festival. I've heard about a sunflower festival, a lavender festival, a tamale festival, and my friend Jenna went to a Dr. Pepper festival.

7. Hot Springs, Arkansas. Bathhouses totally creep me out, but I want to see one.

8. The Abita Brewery. Why I never went when I lived in South Louisiana, I'll never know.

9. Marfa, Texas is nowhere near me, but if we ever happen to be out west, I am completely intrigued by the place. Jane at Sea of Shoes (the authority on cool) describes it as "a gritty West Texas cowboy art colony". Some Marfa art -- a "Prada store" in the middle of nowhere:

Other Marfa pictures: (1)(2)(3)(4)(5).

Anyone local have any other suggestions? Who's going to help me tackle my list?

day 8: a photo of me taken over 10 years ago

Oh, hello.

It's me, 1994 D. I know what you're thinking: I stole these glasses from Dwight Shrute. FALSE. It is 1994, Dwight Shrute has not been invented yet.

So what's it like in 2010? Do I have diabeetus from all these orange sodas I've been drinking? Are black jeans and over-sized cartoon character t-shirts back in yet? Has my neck been excavated from beneath my chins?

The reason I am posing for you, foot in hand, is because I'm currently attending a surprise party for myself, thrown by my elementary school friends -- many of whom I will never see again -- before I leave the great state of Texas once and for all. That's right. I'm wearing a Flintstones t-shirt to my going away party. Kill me now.

I hope I've influenced you, 2010 D. I hope that you not only have sworn off the orange soda, but that you will always remember life's golden rule: you never know when your picture might be taken. Dress accordingly.

Day 7: My [dog's] favorite things {wbthirty}

One of the funniest things about Ike is that he has very distinct preferences. Are most dogs like this? My dog growing up would eat anything, lay down anywhere, and was perfectly content so long as he wasn't hungry, so I assumed that's how all dogs were.

Not this little diva.

"Uh, are you kidding? This log is NOT on my approved list of places to sniff."

Ike is quite exclusive about his food habits. Of course he'll eat any and all meat, but his second favorite form of people food is anything green.

I can't help but feel like I've done something right here.

Like a true diva, Ike is watching his carbs. He will not, under any circumstances, eat bread (he'll make an exception for challah, the bread of his people).

One night Y's brother left a pizza on the floor of our living room (don't ask. Actually, you know what, do ask. Ask Y's brother where he learned to be such a terrible house guest). We got up in the middle of the night to investigate some suspicious chewing -- Ike had licked the entire pizza clean, leaving only the crust, fully intact.

Ike also has lounging preferences. He will only sit on something soft -- yoga mats, socks, backpacks -- bonus points if it smells like one of us.

And of course, Ike has a preference in his college football loyalty. Chosen all by himself. Swearsies. He loves t-shirts.

A favorite quote. Or maybe just a quote. (WBThirty Day 6)

It's about time I discussed this theory with someone other than Y, because I'm almost positive he's just pity-agreeing with me.

If you've ever seen the movie Anchorman, you know that this quote -- about the effectiveness of Brian Fantana's cologne, Sex Panther -- is meant to be the epitome of his stupidity:

"60% of the time it works, every time."

But here's the thing - I get it. When I saw this movie for the first time, I laughed along with everyone else so they wouldn't think I was stupid. But it made total sense to me.

In my head, Brian Fantana is a scientist. He runs highly standardized Sex Panther trials. In one week, he'll use the cologne to attract the ladies exactly ten times. And every time he's tried this, it has worked six out of the ten times. See? 60%. Perfect sense.

Brian Fantana and I understand each other.

much love monday: a furry heart {wbthirty day 5}

We're pretty sure that yesterday was Ike's second birfday. There are many things I've noticed since having Ike, like that all "th" sounds are now pronounced "f". Or that instances of saying "oh my goodness" have increased tenfold. Or that when your dog allows you to make him wear a pair of your glasses, you should capitalize on that and take as many pictures as possible, because it will probably never happen again.

The other day I started to wonder if Y was jealous of Ike. When I come home from work, Y gets an enthusiastic "Hi!" and maybe a kiss, if he's lucky.

But Ike... on Friday when I came home, I pulled Ike into my lap and spent ten minutes telling him how he is just the greatest little man on the face of the earth, and how impressed I was by how wide he opened his mouth when he yawned, and how squeezable his widdle belly rolls were.

I owe Y an apology. Y, your non existent belly rolls are squeezable too. But your mouth opening while yawning is not worthy of my praise.

Day 4: Why David Sedaris and I are not friends anymore

Today's WBthirty topic was originally "Your favorite book", which I broadened to "A post about books". I thought about being lazy and linking you to two other funny posts I've made about books, but I decided to be productive and tell you a story.

Y's mom just gave me David Sedaris's latest book, and I'm excited to read it... after I finish the teeny tiny list of other books I have on my to-read list:

Of course, the latest Sedaris book got me thinking about the time I met him. In 2008, Y and I decided we didn't want to spend the summer before his first year of med school relaxing at the beach like normal people -- we decided that we wanted to drive to Canada.

The view of Toronto from Niagara-on-the-Lake

In Toronto, we randomly discovered that David Sedaris was having a book signing at a bookstore near our hotel, and since his new book had been our reading material for the entire trip, and because we could find surprisingly little to do in Toronto, we decided to go.

After standing in line for an hour, we chit-chatted with Mr. Sedaris for a few minutes and then he signed a book for Y's mom. Apparently charmed by Y (Y has that effect on people), he wrote something like "To Mrs. P: You have a delightful son."

How sweet! I couldn't wait to see what he wrote about me in my book. I can be equally as charming as Y when I have to.

Mr. Sedaris (I don't know what to call him. David? Dave? ) asked me my name. Since I have a, um, unique name, he asked me how it came to be . Before I even started my story, Ole Dave started writing a message in my book. He finished the message before I even got to the good part. I was confident. He must have seen something he liked in me.

When I got outside, I checked my message:

Really, dude? Really? My story touched your heart? You wrote that before you even heard my story! Am I not delightful? Can't you just see the sarcasm dripping from that page? I must be a terrible story teller.

And then I found twenty dollars.

Day 3: Compare your dog to a fish. {wbthirty}

Okay, so if you haven't guessed, that wasn't the "correct" topic of today's blog post. It was supposed to be "a song that makes you cry", but I don't think I have enough room to list every song that's ever been made. Seriously, if you get me thinking about how every singer/songwriter was once a kid who probably dreamed of nothing but being famous, I can produce tears. It's a gift.

So, I went to the next logical blog topic: comparing my dog to a fish.

Ike makes this distinct face when he's scratching himself. Because Y and I feel a need to give everything a name, we fondly call it his Scratchy-Face.

When we visited the National Aquarium in DC --sidenote, just because it has a "national" in front of it, does NOT make it worth visiting -- Y pulled me away from the cast of Finding Nemo to show me a fish that "looked exactly like Ike's scratchy face".

favorite song + i made you something! {wbthirty}

I do not have good taste in music. You've been warned.

There's a handful of songs that, when they show up on iTunes, I listen to the entire way through. I have song ADD, so, that's a big deal.

Most of them come from soundtracks. One of the first jobs I remember "wanting to do when I grew up" (right after vet; right before MTV VJ) was the very important position of Person Who Decides What Songs Go Where In Movies. I still completely appreciate that person; the right song during the right moment of a movie is one of life's simple pleasures.

Anyway. Favorite songs:

A few of my favorite songs are from Better Than Ezra. If you read my post yesterday about my "inspirational word art", there is one quote that is not inspirational in the least, but I love it so much I couldn't resist creating some word art and featuring it on my "wall of quotes". It's from a fairly recent Better Than Ezra song, and the chorus lyrics are:

Gulf breeze on the porch
me and my honey rocking back and forth
light it up again with my kin and friends underneath the yellow moon
Sweet dream, New Orleans
Mississippi river running over me
Pretty mama come and take me by the hand
Don't mock what you don't understand it's a southern thing

The song is about fugitives or something, but shhhh. I love the chorus.

And, voila:

I thought I would offer this out to anyone who might want it -- since I know at least one of my friends also loves that quote -- in case anyone else wants to print it out and hang it up in their office, or carry it in their wallet and pull it out anytime they get mocked for saying "y'all". (It is a totally legitimate word!!)

So if you are a proud Southerner who may or may not have a rocking chair on your porch and a soft spot in your heart for the Mississippi River, leave me a comment or e-mail me at werejustdandy@gmail.com and I'll send you the file.

blogging to you live from.... {wbthirty}

Maybe I'm alone in this, but I always think it's fun to see pictures of other people's desks. This may have something to do with my weird obsession with office supplies and desk organization (I could spend hours in The Container Store. True story.).

In case anyone else shares my voyeuristic nature, this is where I blog (And do homework. And eat breakfast. And straighten my hair. And show Ike Youtube videos of dogs barking):

{If not, here's the Ikeskidoodles video for your viewing pleasure.}

When I made my "new year's roshalution" to be more creative, I decided I needed to be surrounded by inspiration...in the form of word art. My original plan was to create a "wall of quotes" but I was a little too ambitious with that goal. What I ended up with was 5 framed quotes.

"To practice any art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make the soul grow. So do it." -Kurt Vonnegut

+ some more temporary quotes to the right of me.

"In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson (Who knew he was so fashion forward?)

The big bulletin board (framed with something I found at a thrift store and spray painted) is a mish-mash of things that make me happy and some more inspiration: a map and postcards from Portland, OR; a vintage postcard of Tiger Stadium; a picture of my dad finishing a marathon; a picture of some of my best friends and I at my wedding; Saints cupcake flags.

It may sound crazy, but I think being surrounded by this stuff really has helped my productivity/creativity.

Where do you blog?


Okay, I'm caving.

I need something to jump start my blogging. You may have seen the "30 day blog challenge" floating around, and I'm going to be honest -- I think it's kind of boring.

But I'm still going to do it.

Mine will be different, I swear! For me, the challenge won't just be writing every day, but trying to make it relatively interesting. Feel free to let me know if I fail miserably.

Plus, I made a graphic. And gave it a name: The Writer's Block Thirty.

See? Exciting already!

The list below is what you can expect. I changed some of the topics to try to make the whole thing slightly more interesting. They still might change...especially the bold ones. Any suggestions?

If anyone wants to embark on this slightly boring/potentially entertaining journey with me, feel free.

Day 1 - blogging to you live from...
Day 2 - favorite song
Day 3 - a song that makes me cry (or nearly)
Day 4 - a post on books
Day 5 - much love monday - as seen at
Much Love

Day 6 - a favorite quote

Day 7 - a few of my favorite things
Day 8 - a photo taken over ten years ago of me

Day 9 - If I had a million dollars

Day 10 - a wanderlist
Day 11 -a house tour
Day 12 - my top 5 blogs
Day 13 - a week of outfits {because I secretly wish I were a fashion blogger}
Day 14 - today I believe as seen at a diary of little things and curiosities
Day 15 - fill in the blank friday -- as seen at The Little Things We Do
Day 16 - something quirky about you
Day 17 - my wedding
Day 18 - my day in great detail
Day 19 - a talent of mine {Other than my Shakira impression, which I'm not willing to post on the internet, my talents are limited}

Day 20 - a picture from a year ago; a picture from today
Day 21 - a recipe

Day 22 - the weirdest thing I own
Day 23 - favorite movie
Day 24 - where I live {region, state, city, house, wherever}
Day 25 - my day, in great detail
Day 26 - a collection
Day 27 - my worst habit
Day 28 - whats in my purse
Day 29 - hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 - a dream for the future

Scholarly Ike says, "I am approximately 105% more interesting than this."

Well, Scholarly Ike, you're probably right. So fear not, Mr. Puppy Pants. I will still alert the world to any interesting Ike/Dandy happenings while this little experiment is taking place. Don't get your collar in a twist.