Monday, January 26, 2009


Have no fear! Your tagalongs and do-si-does are safe. Read the official statement from Little Brownie Bakers here. But if I see one more e-mail regarding peanut butter, I'm going to lose my mind. Not only have we received about 10 e-mails from other staff members regarding the Girl Scout council's stance on cookies containing peanut butter, but after it went out to cookie manager, each of them felt the need to copy me on their e-mails to their troop leaders. Then we received e-mails from the food bank about checking our stock for items with peanut butter in them. Luckily we don't order things with peanut butter because of all the crazy nut allergies out there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Giant Gummy Bear

I love gummies: ALL GUMMIES: sour, plain, bears, penguins, watermelons, fried eggs, army guys, whatever. I love them. So when we were in California at a candy store called It's Sugar and saw this:
A GIANT GUMMY BEAR!!! I knew I had to have it. (It's pictured beside a 16.9 fl oz coke just to give you an idea of the size of it.) I was a little concerned about it retaining all the properties of a normal gummy bear while being enlarged, but it did not let me down and is exactly like its smaller bear siblings. The only bad thing about it is that in order to eat it, you kinda have to gnaw on its head (or other body part of your choosing), so disturbingly it ends up like this:
My mom said it had mental problems and was given a lobotomy...she's so weird. But still this one minor issue does little to dent its total AWESOMENESS!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Well, The Inevitable Has Happened

First of all, let me say that this picture of a Dole Whip Float has absolutely nothing to do with this post except that I had one yesterday at Disneyland, and it was yummy as hell (if hell were a creamy tropical drink of goodness.)

This story actually starts exactly a year ago today. I was at the NAMM show, as I am now, and was just wandering around getting autographs from any random people that did not have a line. I came across a band called Black Stone Cherry that was signing. I started talking with the drummer John Fred (curly haired one in the pictures and yes, John Fred is just his first name) and discovered that he was a Ludwig artist. My dad works for Conn-Selmer (Ludwig's parent company.) Anyway, next thing I know I have his e-mail address and cell number.

Flash forward to this summer/fall, John Fred and I have exchanged e-mails, phone calls, voice mails, etc. and FINALLY the band is coming to PA. Amanda L. and I go to see their concert in Allentown and hang out with John Fred in a pizza shop afterwards. I feel beyond cool because not only were we on the band's list for tickets, but we got to chill out afterwards. We're talking about the different people that we know at Ludwig, and John Fred tells me that one of them has left. The next day I'm on the phone with my dad and not thinking say "Why did Todd leave the company?" My dad asks how I know this and of course I answer "well, John Fred told me." A whole conversation ensued about who John Fred was and when I had seen him and the whole story about how we met. My dad was a little weirded out about the whole thing, but it passed.

Flash forward to now. It was only inevitable that my dad and John Fred would eventually cross paths since he's a Ludwig artist and my dad pretty much works for Ludwig. As you can see, John Fred is your typical rocker: long hair, earrings, crazy clothing. Last night at some Ludwig thing John Fred introduced himself to my dad (not knowing who he was). When my dad introduced himself back, John Fred kinda froze (according to all accounts) and my dad (in the fatherly way) said "I think you know my daughter." My dad comes back after the event and says "guess, who I ran into...John Fred." Then today, my mom met him at the convention. Luckily, John Fred is the sweetest guy ever and has a ridiculous accent which makes him adorable, but I still feel like there's going to be a "responsibility" lecture coming. That's going to be fun.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Wine Tour

I'm out in California with my parents. It's really warm. 86 degrees yesterday which is a nice change from the freezing temperatures of South Bend and Harrisburg. Except that when I pulled the weather report up for packing it was only supposed to be low 70's and they keep pushing it back that's its staying a lot warmer for longer.

Sunday we went to 6 wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley. It was a lot of fun. My dad and I drank and my mom navigated, shopped, and drove. My mom had premapped out vineyards, but based on suggestions from people at the other wineries (and ones we accidentally drove by) that changed a little. Even though my dad split a tasting at the all the vineyards (he likes reds, and I like whites, so it worked out well). We still managed to get pretty trashed which then got my mom all pissed off. I thought it was funny though. At Firestone vineyard, I spilled a plastic cup of water all over the floor. My dad busted up laughing and by mom looked all ticked off.

We started at around 10am local time (we made sure to mention that we were on east coast time, so it wasn't really like we were drinking a bunch of wine that early in the morning). We stopped to lunch in Solvang and then hit one winery on the way back to Anaheim.

On the way back, we spotted a glider and my mom decided to get my dad a glider ride for his birthday. So we pulled over to the little airport (aka meadow) and signed him up. It was so funny because he was like a little kid the whole time. "Are you going to get my picture in the glider? Look how high it goes, am I going to be that high up? Are you going to wave to me." Yes, I'll take your picture. It sure does go up high. Of course, I'll wave to you. It was a really good day...until we got stuck in L.A. traffic on the way home.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fashion Trend

First of all, let me say that I am now safely in California...and so is my luggage which has to be some sort of miracle since I ran through the Cincinnati airport and they shut the plane door as soon as I stepped on.

Apparently, you no longer have to wear a cute cami with low cut sweaters as long as you have a lacy bra least according to the large African American woman that I saw in the Harrisburg Wal-mart yesterday. And don't worry if the V neck is so low cut that it goes down below the bottom of your bra because that little triangle of skin that shows below the bra is Everytime I go to Wal-mart, I wonder why I'm there, but it always leaves me with good stories.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Panookie

For those of you that knew me back in my days in the Bend, you may remember that one of my favorite restaurants was Hacienda. Not only because that had awesome Wet Burritos and Margaritas, but also because they also served the greatest dessert ever conceived by man...The Chocolate Mountain Mudslide. According to Hacienda's website it is described as "Two chocolate chip cookies baked on a skillet topped with heaping scoops of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce." Yum!

For Christmas (or my birthday...not sure which, it kinda all runs together) my mom bought me a "panookie maker" which is basically a skillet that you spread cookie dough on and make your own Chocolate Mountain Mudslides with. It was the BEST gift ever because it makes things like this.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Year's Eve (Aka the Search for Free Coffee)

My normal New Year's Eve companion, Danielle, as in California for the Rose Bowl, and so Amanda T. filled in. First we went out for Chinese food, which of course was yummy. Then we went back to my apartment and exchanged Christmas gifts. Amanda then realized that she had a coupon for free coffee at McDonald's that expire New Year's Eve. I realized that I had three coupons for free coffee at McDonald's that expire New Year's Eve. (People realize that I drink coffee from McDonald's and everyone gives me their coupons). So at 7:10pm, we decided to go on a search for coffee. The first McDonald's that we went to had just closed. But we were really jonesing for some coffee, so we decided to go to Sheetz and just buy some. On the way to Sheetz, we realized that we were near another McDonald's so we decided to try that one. BINGO!! Open till 8pm.

We got our free lattes and went back to my house to watch the Notre Dame basketball game. We had planned to go to the Hummelstown Lollipop Drop for our New Year's activity. The wind was blowing ferociously, and it was crazy cold, but we went anyway. On the way there, we decided to try a third McDonald's on the way for free coffee, but it was closed. We stopped at the Sheetz nearby for a hot chocolate and to our surprise it was free for New Year's. YEAH!!

We parked in the my eye doctor's parking lot and sat in the warm car, sipping hot chocolate until 11:30. We then braved the cold. Took a brief tour of the New Year's activities on the square, paused at the fire twirlers, and then found a cozy spot up against a building under an awning and sheltered somewhat from the wind. At midnight the lollipop dropped (only approximately 5 feet, because of the wind), and then fireworks went off. The fireworks were slightly frightening because rather than go up, they blew directly sideways and went off about 5 stories up above the crowd. They also looked like they might ignite the houses nearby, but there was a fireman on a ladder in the middle of the fireworks making sure that there were no fire hazards.

The one things that really disapointed me is that there were no lollipops either for free or for sale. We went to the goat drop and they had goat juice. We went to the pickle drop and they had many pickle foods (pickle soup, fried pickles, and chocolate covered pickles). We went to the bologna drop and they had bologna (fried bologna sandwiches and free bologna disturbing as that was.) So what's the deal Hummelstown? Where's the lollipops? Are you cheap?

Friday, January 02, 2009

My Birthday

My birthday, like Christmas, was also low key. One of the best birthday presents I received was actually the night before when I checked my e-mail and discovered that both my "recommenders" for grad school had completed their recommendations. I had been freaking out a little because my one recommender had kept telling me "oh, I'll do it on Thursday" then Thursday would come and go, and he'd not have started it. This happened about three times, and the deadline for submitting was January 7th, so I was a little paranoid, but they were done. YEAH!! So I now have two applications submitted and two more to go.

My birthday start off with a trip to the Hershey Spa. Milt was my massage technician and although he was rather chatty, not really the buff young stud of a massage technician that I hoped for and his arm hair was sometimes scratchy, it was still a really good massage.

Then I met my mom, dad, and grandma at Friendly's for lunch and ice cream. Friendly's has always been one of my favorite restaurants and my dad kinda hates it so that makes it even better.

During the afternoon, my mom and I went grocery shopping for dinner, I kicked my dad's butt in Seinfeld Scene-It at least twice and I received a welcome phone call from Keli and Chelsea (my former coworker Stefanie's kids) and they sang happy birthday to me. It was cute.

For supper, my mom made round steak and gravy, my favorite meal and I had a shortcake cake with fresh strawberries on top that I had picked out from the grocery store bakery case and it was actually delicious.

My cousin Sierra decided to sleep over and watch Alice In Wonderland because shockingly she had never seen it before. She was actually one of the best house guests I have ever had. Goes to bed at a reasonable time, gets up at a reasonable time and is pretty much ok with whatever you have to eat, drink, or do.