Saturday, March 31, 2012

name game

name game. that awkward "ice breaker" thing played at the beginning of strange group social events.
in this game you're supposed to learn
a. they're name
b. where they were born / their favorite color
c. "something interesting about themselves" [hobby, collections, freaky habits?]

usually in these instances i would think of something to try and get a small laugh but still keep me under the radar.

so i've decided that i want to let my "followers" [hardy har, as if you all even care. most of the people reading this are probably just vicious stalkers] in on "something interesting about myself". most of these have to do with food/drink/habits.

1. rarely do i ever drink a n y t h i n g aside from water.
      a) before you ask, "not even soda?" - i attempt to telepathically communicate to you, NO!
           1. i cannot stand carbonation. it feels like an assault on your mouth!
               [i don't know how you "normal" people stand it!]
           2. all that's in soda is acid and sugar anyways...
               [i don't know why you "normal" people think that's
               going to end up being a good idea!]
      b) that means *ding ding ding!* you're correct, i do not, in fact, drink milk!
      c) that means sometimes i drink hot tea (usually when i'm sick or stressed, it's rare)
      d) yes, i enjoy milkshakes. i consider this a dessert item, not so much a drink.

2. i don't like certain textures
       a) foods: pie crust, generally asian cuisine (there are a few exceptions),
            indian cuisine, fat on meat, lima beans (chalk inside a bean? no thanks!
            to me, edamame beans are everything lima beans should be), sugar snap
            peas (the strings!), tapioca (um, maggots?), thin crust pizza (crackers?),
            chips are a grey area (i generally need them broken to not feel like they're
            going to impale the roof of my mouth), anything burnt (bread, pancakes, meat.
            aka, i don't like toast.), quiche (bleeeehhh!!!!), coconut (as Tallahassee of
            Zombieland would say, "I hate coconut! Not the flavor, but the consistency.")
       b) textures of certain walls. i can't touch them. it freaks me out, sends a chill up my spine.
       c) corduroy pants. the noise/feeling it creates when walking o.o!

3. i do like brussel sprouts. don't know why. i also like cottage cheese. you'd think my aversion to tapioca would make me dislike cottage cheese. i don't get it either.

4. i used to eat a peanut butter and fluff (aka a fluffernutter) nearly every single day of my life (mainly because i was in school for the past 17 years of my life and was too cheap to buy food at school) since i was 7 years old. this has come to a stop, i think it's something about me only working 2 days a week in very short increments.

5. i am a creature of habit. i generally have oatmeal (again, a texture you'd think i'd be averted to) and yogurt everyday for breakfast. the main reason i am a creature of habit is because i am slightly hypoglycemic. so i need to start the day with something stabilizing. it is really impossible for me to go without breakfast... or go hungry for an extended period of time because i will get extremely lightheaded and make everyone around me miserable (because hypoglycemia means hungry = angry, aka hangry)

the good news is i have a husband who is generally along the same lines as me with most of these things (however, he likes asian cuisine, quiche, coconut. no, he LOVES coconut.) and also knows how to deal with me when i get hangry. he's quite wonderful.

the point of writing this was to essentially set everyone up for what the future recipes entail and reasons why i may avert certain things.

so i'm wondering, how many people think this is all SUPER FREAKY STRANGE of me, or are there certain foods/drinks/textures that you're really averted to? is your list generally shorter or longer than mine?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

please won't you be my neighbor?

apartment living lends itself to... character building.
you learn a lot about the human race when you share walls with them.
and if you're like me, you make up stories about them.
you make up super strange, slightly paranoid stories about them.

the peculiar characters that we live near remind me of "hey arnold".

one neighbor who lives on the corner has a mid-size suv with the license plate "hot legs". she's a mom who looks to be 40's-50's, her son a slightly chubby imaginative child who has adventures taking the trash to the dumpster. so, why "hot legs" on the license plate? my first thoughts: ex-stripper.

there's a large family of russians at the other end of the building, their daughter speaks english and the rest don't. a few weeks ago they had some sort of party on their "block" [aka, parking lot]... lots of scary russian mob characters. they were staring at us when we walked in and out of our apartment, and when driving. i thought they were going to break into our place and interrogate us.

there's another large family that lives on the other end of the building - i think they're comprised of a little girl [who plays with the english-speaking russian girl], her mother and father, and her grandmother. the grandmother is always cleaning or planting outside. they have lots of hanging plants, lots of animals, and lots of knick knacks. the father is always playing with the many dogs. the little girl is always building a tent or igloo or something. we've "hung out" at the community pool.

one family two doors down from us has a tiny little poodle. this poodle occasionally jumps all over us when walking to/from our apartment. this dog's owner's name is kenny. kenny is a big dude who says "hey" to us when he's out smoking on the lawn. his wife/significant other [who we dub as "kenny's lady"] apparently has an affinity for DIY projects! when i was redoing the lamp, she told me that she thought she was the only one who liked "doing stuff like that" because she would always get "weird looks" from all the neighbors.

one family that lives next to us is quite pleasant, they have a large family, their 3rd bedroom is over our living room. they have a treadmill in this room, and i think a baby crib... you can hear the baby's music from time to time, and the baby's cry which sounds like the squaw of a pigeon. i get strange thoughts when i hear that baby cry.

the "family" on the other side (we're not sure what they are.. we're not sure how many are living there) is of some sort of middle-eastern decent, and we don't see them often, but we hear them at all strange hours of the night doing who knows what. we'll hear them from 11pm-3am chopping something with a large knife, doing dishes (large, metal dishes, in a small, metal sink, sometimes in the tub upstairs), and arguing. they also smoke and cook really weird smelling food. so from these behaviors, sights, and sounds i deduced that they were indian vampires. 
and oddly enough, this past month i saw them (from our balcony) unloading black trash-bags from the trunk of their car to the dumpster... and it took two of them to carry each bag. O.O 

moral of that last story... 
1. joanna's gut feelings are normally right
2. we're glad that we're more than capable of defending ourselves

with all these crazy stories of the people i have observed... it disturbs me to think about what the other people are like that i have never seen... o.O

U P D A T E ! ! ! ! 

Jason came home from work around 6pm today... and what are the odds, but...
The daughter of our next-door neighbor (the family with the third bedroom above our living room) said to Jason when he got out of the car:
"What's your name?"
"Uuuuh, Jason"
"Good, now I can tell my mom that. She just calls you the Kool-Aid man"
"Well, she can still call me that if she wants"

I DIED laughing when he told me. Not only at the fact that they call him "the Kool-Aid man" [Jason has a red car with a giant sticker of the Kool-Aid man on the hood, this was my birthday gift to him when he turned 21] but at the fact that this happened TODAY, a mere hour after I posted this on my blog!

What are the odds?!?! We should go play the lottery (it's half a billion, why not?!)...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

start spreading the news

these vagabond shoes / / are longing to stray / / right through the very heart of it / / new york, new york / /

[thanks to the genius of my wise husband] the tickets are purchased! birthday trip to new york is now an official, tangible reality!
we are taking an amtrak train from richmond to new york, and we are taking a greyhound bus from new york to richmond.

$126.50 round trip for the both of us! how great is that [considering what it took to get to that sum, it's pretty great]? that breaks down to $63.25 for each of us round trip, and $31.63 for each of us one way. i like breaking it down that way. it makes the $126.50 seem so much smaller!

this is our first vacation a l o n e [we haven't had a honeymoon; the two vacations we took last year were with family or friends, which we didn't mind; we haven't had any time to have any other sort of vacation].
for the first time...we're going to do whatever we want!

- i've never ridden a train.
- jason's never been to new york [this is my second trip to NYC, not sure what i'll do without a savino navigator and a meganzowrd].
- we still have not figured out a place to stay.

[in the wise words of tobias f√ľnke] what an adventure, gang!

here's what's on the itinerary thus far:

- [ don't waste too much time in ] times square
- top of the rocksunrise sunset tickets preferably ]
- [ spend time reflecting in ] the world trade center memorial
- [ exhaustively explore ] central park
- [ walk across the ] brooklyn bridge
- [ see everything closed at 
coney island
- [ be enamored by ] st. patrick's cathedral
- [ be enchanted by ] grand central station
- [ relive ghostbusters in ] new york public library
- [ enjoy the breeze on ] staten island ferry
- [ make sure jason has fun on this trip at ] the specialists ltd.
- [ take a picture in front of ] the flatiron building
- [ make sure to sanitize hands a lot on ] the subway
- and of course, make sure we get some fresh bagels

what else should we add to our plans [i'm thinking of adding stalking sufjan stevens down in brooklyn, since that didn't happen on my last trip]? we're not interested in investing time/money into seeing a broadway show [i know, i know, blasphemy...]. i'm thinking we may need to visit at least one or two museums, but not sure which ones as there are a myriad.

have you been to NYC?
if you're planning to go one of these days, what's the most important thing on your itinerary?
we would love suggestions on inexpensive [preferably free] must-see-sights, sounds, and eats in NYC! please share!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

i love lamp

so. i have this lamp. it's ugly. bronze. *shudders*
look at those awful stains!
i hate essentially everything about this lamp except it's shape. it has "good bones" as they say.

so i decided to redo it. i wanted to paint the body of the lamp copper.
then i had to decide what to do with the shade. this post gave me serious inspiration.
one problem, i can't knit or crochet. but... i do have a friend who is a master at both! her name is callie [here's her blog, the whiskey knitter] - here's her etsy shop, complimentary colors. i pitched the idea to her, and she got on board! collaboration!

first step: prep. since we live in apartment complex i had to make sure that i cared for the area around me that would be susceptible to the paint. grabbed some cardboard boxes and the plastic bag that our dry cleaning came in and then laid them down and placed the body and shade where they needed to be.

i knew i would need to secure the pendant on the top that the holds the shade in place as well as protect the wiring (i used plastic wrap, it's a lot easier to deal with than masking tape).

i decided to paint the shade as well, painting it a light grey as the yarn was going to be a light grey.

i put the white plastic covers [for the wiring] back on and painted them, decided i wanted them copper instead of grey.

callie and i shopped for yarn. it took three skeins of yarn to complete [so it ended up being a tad more expensive than i had hoped, but... as we know, no project can go without it's quirks]. she completed the cover in a matter of hours [there was of course trial and error, as it was the first project like this she has taken under]!

and now for the finished product:

if i had anything i would have changed about this project [which there will be with any project] i may have chosen a lighter grey [that was the lightest grey they had] or perhaps white yarn and painted the shade white so more light would be given off.

but all in all, i am more than satisfied!

side note: this is the most cuddly lamp i have ever encountered. i think i could pet this lampshade for a full 10 minutes and find myself thoroughly soothed.

much thanks to callie gajdica at complementary colors for being willing to do something out of her comfort zone.

if you are like me and cannot crochet or knit, you can buy your very own lampshade cover at her shop! here's callie's custom listing for me!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


so, we're looking to take our [belated] honeymoon to scotland this fall, and we're getting all the preparations in order - including our passports.

i wanted to do our photos myself to save us money, and i actually stumbled upon a nice, free tool that would be helpful for others -

*pulls out pipe and monocle* with all my fancy, expensive, intensive training in graphic design i do know how to get us looking all shnazzy and properly proportioned in the 2x2" photo, but i wanted to check out this tool to see how helpful it was for others so i could recommend it.

so here's what we started with [don't you just love my blog watermark? made it a couple days ago!]:
yeah, so we're not looking our wedding-day best, but it will do. we actually scurried to get these photos fit into today's schedule. this was a quick five minute photoshoot in between work and grocery shopping today!

then, using my fancy photoshop skills, i got us looking a little brighter - removed the shadows [no major shadows are supposed to be on the face, we both have that going on with the left side].

you then upload your photo into the tool at e-passport photo, it helps you crop it into proper proportion, and you can print it from there! i chose to skip to the free download so i could print it on my own inkjet.

and here's the finished product:

you may think we're a bit pale, but i know it will print darker which is why i did that :D
[p.s. don't i just have the handsomest husband?]

hope this will be helpful for other future globetrotters!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

chronic sweaters

secrets i've learned or stumbled upon [since i am secretly a chemist in an alternate reality a la LOST]:
there are lots of basic chemicals that help you clean more efficiently.

this will reveal a not-so-big secret for those who do know me, but this could be a bit TMI for those of you who don't. one of my personal quirks is that i'm a chronic sweater.

and when i say "chronic sweater" i don't mean this:
my mother's sweater purchased at target in 1988. she wore this when she was pregnant with me. i've always called it the primary color spiderweb sweater. it's tragic. and she threatens to give it to me when i become pregnant...
when i say chronic sweater i mean this:
"hyperhidrosis is the condition characterized by abnormally increased perspiration, in excess of that required for regulation of body temperature"

yeah, it's sad and embarrassing, but i've learned to accept my fate.

part of acceptance is learning how to deal with your issues.

for those of you who also deal with hyperhidrosis or have a husband who deals with it, you know that it permeates the shirts with your smell. it's not pleasant.

but as i mentioned earlier, i am a chemist in an alternate reality...

i came up with a solution to completely obliterate any smell just before tossing your clothes in the wash!

S W E A T  S T A I N  R E M O V A L

1. first, treat the area with ammonia [oddly enough, i actually use a baby nasal aspirator to apply it].
let it sit for a few minutes. this actually gets all the "older" smells out of the shirt.

2. second,
to get the "newer" smells out, then apply baking soda to the area [don't use the nasal aspirator for that!]. let that sit for a few minutes. you'll actually smell the odor lifting from the shirt into the air at that point [< my sister doesn't support this theory, she thinks you're smelling a chemical reaction between the baking soda and ammonia. she's probably right, but i can dream!]. it's pretty gross. but if you're a chemist like me, it's exciting for you.

3. third, the most exciting part - the classic volcano at the science fair moment: add white vinegar!

it should not be like this:

it should be more like this:
and then you can toss it in the wash!

it's most helpful to do groups of shirts at a time, set the ammonia on all of them, then the baking soda, then the vinegar. it's a lot more time [and smell] efficient.

N O T E:
to get the VISUAL stains [discoloration, treatment above was smell] out of your shirt, mix one part dish detergent [preferably dawn] with two parts hydrogen peroxide. WORKS LIKE A CHARM every time!

another tip is BORAX. this is the wonder chemical.

it's a laundry booster as well as regular household cleaner.
...and... this is my favorite: BUG KILLER!
i strongly dislike bugs. that could be the understatement of the year.
last year we had a minor cricket infestation in our apartment [and i didn't want to have to do the pest control bit, not a fan of the chemicals nor covering everything with newspaper]. i read somewhere that if the borax comes in contact with the "skin" of the bug it seeps in and eventually kills them.
hey, it stopped our bug infestation, so apparently it's true.

so you all learned something new today...
- that my mother wore a horrible sweater when she was pregnant with me
- that joanna is a gross chronic sweater
- joanna is also a chemist
- oh, and some tips to help with cleaning and bug killing


3.14, pi[e] day.

[ no, i didn't make a pie (who am i, june cleaver?). i don't like pies very much. i don't like crust... i'm slightly sensory, so funky textures weird me out. crust is one of those textures. ]

... as i was saying.

i did, however make a meal for dinner that i don't make often enough. it's one of jason's favorites [you'll see it up here soon enough].

anyhow, i was at work and jason was slated to be off work before me, so i asked if he could pick up two items that i knew i needed for the recipe but we didn't have. and being the great husband that he is, he of course fetched the items from the store.

i get home and look at the recipe...
there were two more ingredients that i forgot about, and we of course didn't have them.

me: *rolls eyes and sighs* "dear i think i'm going to have to send you to the store again"
jason: "did i get the wrong things?"
me: "no. i totally forgot about two ingredients."
jason: *laughs*
me: "see. this is why i titled my blog quirky wife life. because IT'S THE STORY OF MY LIFE. there's always gotta be some sort of quirk or hitch!"

so he goes to the store, and not only did he bring home the two mysteriously forgotten ingredients, but also a tower fan that i had been asking him to think about! he's so magical.

speaking of magical, we just finished the harry potter series tonight. we're sold. we're sending our kids to hogwarts when they're of age.

so tonight: made a rare meal, finished harry potter, and will now sleep in the cool bliss of our new oscillating tower fan [did i mention it comes with a remote. oh yes!].

it was a good day.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

the first post

welcome to my little corner of the internet, it's a bit cramped and dusty, but it will do!

please get to know who i am, check out my graphic design work, the inexpensive DIY wedding that i enjoyed envisioning and having help making it come to life, the humble abode that i am continuously nesting in, and causes that are near and dear to my heart!

what you can expect from this blog:
- witty (or at least in my mind it's witty...) humor and snarky remarks
- creative, inexpensive decorating solutions and recipes
- helpful hints to make your quirky life a little easier
- a few stories that make you feel a little better about your life

please let me know what you'd like to see/hear about on this blog! check out the different pages and let me know what you're digging or not digging so far. i love me some feedback!