Sunday, November 30, 2008

Amaziac: She has two boobs and is not afraid to use them

My twin sister, Sally, recently had identical twins (Aug 08). It's worth mentioning that they were conceived naturally without modern intervention. I think that makes it more of a miracle. The twins are my sister's 4th and 5th children (all under age 4 - yikes). They're all red-heads.

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday my family went to visit her family in, middle-of-nowhere, western Nebraska.

Sally is an amaziac. An amazing maniac. Amazing in that she's capable of doing all the grunt work that she does. A maniac in that she chose to have so many babies at the same time. She is a work horse. She cooks from scratch, cleans, whups ass and - get this - nurses her baby twins at the same time. It has to feel similar to, what the then, modern machines of the Industrial Revolution felt like - if they were anthropomorphized and then actually had feelings. Geez, talk about feeling like you never get to a moment to yourself.

All I can say is that our kids LOVED the trip and had fun trashing the house. We adults enjoyed eating old-school food: pork roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade bread, a pot of coffee, cinnamon rolls and Bruce's nuclear, uppity margaritas (uppity because I can't afford half the liquor in them - I suppose when a pastor has a cocktail he does it right). As for me, I got one of the worst periods ever - early. Thanks hormone-Sally for sharing them with my otherwise oblivious pituitary - the tampon companies thank you as do the toilet paper companies and my favorite - whoever invented Ibuprofen. Sorry to all the boys out there who are squirming - once they figured out what the heck I was talking about.

So Marvel at the Amaziac ... and coo over the adorable twins (Moxie and Lily)

Monday, November 24, 2008


This is so funny and spontaneous. Hold out until the end - it's worth it! (note how Indi plays her role perfectly as robosister)
I asked my 2 year old what she wanted for Christmas. She answered a giraffe! So I ran and got my camera and here is what transpired. It's so pure! Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Starbucks Rock

I live in a big city - Chicago. I live a nice neighborhood. Residential. The Starbucks I most frequent in Lincoln Square deserves some props.

First off, if the line is long at this Starbucks - no worries. It always moves fast. They always get my coffee right (or correct it happily if they don't).Check Spelling
Most importantly - the other day I ordered a Signature Hot Chocolate (I think there is Crack in it - very addictive - I'm a coffee-girl all the way - get the unadvertised "Short"). At any rate, I didn't have my wallet but didn't realize it until I ordered and had to pay. I told them "I'll come back later". They said, "don't worry just pay us next time you're here". I was like wuh? Huh. So I did. I have yet to be back there but when I do I will definitely pay! Mind you this was an employee, not the manager. Tasha is the manger there and she is Fab! She's donated coffee and pain-in-the-butt-to-make hot cocoa to Artsmart (she's the bomb). AND she let the Amazing Mama Race participants come in and read Dr. Seuss to the public.

They've given me discounts in the past when I've told them I want to get a grande latte but only have $3 --- they do some magic (apply an employee discount or something) and all of sudden I have a Venti latte for $1.47. I'm not complaining.

Oh one more thing. My favorite employee at this Starbucks is a man I've known since he was a kid (about 5). He's a man now, but I still refer to him, adoringly, as "Danny". He's a fine man - and has on many, many occasions - bought my coffee - or comped it. What a guy! He usually does it at the right time too (crazy day, need a boost, etc). Don't worry, he's married - we just have an old, old connection. Danny Leonard Rocks!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On Blue Island

Blue Island, IL is not an actual island. At least not to my knowledge. I met my big brother, Scott, there for 'awesome tacos' at Mario's Tacos. I, formally, met my bro for the first time when I was 24. Before that I had no idea he even existed. He was adopted out of our family before birth. We share the same mother and father. I'm shocked that my family could keep such a crazy secret the whole time.

I hadn't seen my brother in 10 years or s
o - although we corresponded between then and now a little. In the time that has passed we both had kid(s). It is extremely interesting, to me, to see photos of him as a kid. And his daughter, my niece, Chloe. She looks like us (and a lot like her Mom)! He, however didn't . I was surprised!

So what is my brother like? He's smart, educated, witty, a tad cynical, helpful, a cautious driver - and has good hair. He has a great sense of humor. But, as he disclosed, rarely laughs aloud, due to his "comedic training". Thing is, he's no longer a comedian - just a schmo like the rest of us. Don't worry he laughs. He has the wrinkles to prove it ;-). Ok, he is my brother after all AND it is fun to be a little snarky toward siblings.

We had a interesting lunch and visit walking and talking around Blue Island. We eventually ended up at a Jamba Juice (he'd never been there). It was kinda like a date. Sharing info about our lives and families. Is it too weird to say that? Who cares.

Raise a low-cal smoothy with shots of immunity and energy for my big bro, Scott.

BTW, he has a blog - and it is "very him" - witty, snarky and funny.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Hooray! I sold another painting! It's a big deal to me.

I didn't take a photo of the painting but here's a copy of my sketch from my sketchbook. It's an alley in the Old Town Triangle neighborhood.

The Plein Air Painters of Chicago (PAPC) has a show called "The Four Seasons of Old Town" running through the end of the month at the Old Town Art Center.

There is a closing reception with free wine and nosh on Sun. Nov.30 from 1-3 at the Old Town Art Center 1763 N. North Park, Chicago, IL -- All paintings, including the one I sold, will be on display until then. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Simple Pleasures

I admit it. I am culpable in this cupcake craziness. It was my pleasure to deliver the Grand Prize for the Cupcake Race Art Competition to the 5/6 Grade class at Pilgrim Lutheran School. Over 20 students created original works for this contest. The Grand prize winner taking the spoils and earning cupcakes for his/her entire class. Securing positive social standing at least in the short term. That winner was Harper Fox! He is somewhat shy and reserved. However, his depiction of a raging cupcake literally took the cake! Here is some footage of my entering Harper's classroom. Needless to say they were exicted! It was awesome and fun to partake in such positive energy! Way to go Cupcake Race! Thanks Justin for going along with these crazy ideas! You Rock!

Check out the remaining art up for voting at Vote on your favorite piece and tell him Beck sent ya!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cupcake Art Contest

Boy, things have been busy around here! One of the things I've been organizing is the Cupcake Race Art Contest. Kids from Pilgrim Lutheran School were asked to create art about cupcakes. The winner wins cupcakes for their entire class!

The grand prize winner has been chosen by Mr. Cupcake himself, my bff (buddy blogger friend) Justin. But you can get out the popular vote! Go to: and choose your favorite.

Here's mine. But I'm bias! Go Indi! The lines around the cupcake indicate, per Indi, that there is angelic music emanating from around the glorious cupcake (she loves cupcakes!)