Monthly Archives: August 2011


As a child from the midwest a tornado is routine – a hurricane, however, is not. When I found out I was smack in the path of Hurricane Irene my brain short circuted.

I quickly learned to expect many things.

What I did not expect was the chinese restaurant to STILL be delivering food. That’s right. My friends and I ordered chinese food right in the middle of the storm…and it came.

I insisted it was immoral to make a man drive out in the storm. I insisted that it was still a hurricane, even though it didn’t seem anyone else was taking it seriously. But wooooo boy was that food good!


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Putting Down Roots

So I do the moving thing multiple times a year due to my social status as an academic nomad. New Jersey is once again my semi-permanent home for approximately 10 months.

Each time I move, I am forced to move in stages – whether that be because of training for my new internship or position as an acrobatic pole thrower or just because I am not allowed to move into my space QUITE yet. This time was no different.

I first dumped off all my belongings in my final destination and then packed a bag to go to ANOTHER room, just to come back to the first room at all hours to be working right outside of it. I was like a moth to the flame, and in this case I would have been that moth that stupidly flies right into it and dies.

After a few days of this torture, I am now in my very real room, and it looks like the unpacking monster took a bite out of logic and plopped down refusing to move. I swear unpacking is just making a bigger and bigger mess of things for the majority of the process.

There is ONE way I know that I have officially set down roots, though.

Yep. Once the whiteboard goes on the wall, I know I am officially in the space.

So now that is done, I will continue in my acrobatic pole throwing ways for the next 10 months.

(Regular posts should resume soon. I just have to defeat the unpacking monster.)

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Choco Taco – a song

NOTE: SHORT POST! Sorry all. I’m in the process of moving so here’s a song for you written after discovering an epic sale! Enjoy!

[appropriate creeper nasalness]

Chhhhhhhhoco Taco

I eat you with my mouth

I dream you in my dreams

I love you with my love

Chhhhhhhhoco Taco

[Classic Rap Interlude]

Ch Ch Ch Choco Taco

You be the baddest mofo snack

Ch Ch Ch Choco Taco

You aint goin’ out of style like shellack

Chhhhhhhhoco Taco

I eat you with my mouth

I dream you in my dreams

I love you with my love

Chhhhhhhhoco Taco

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The Man happens to have a sister who happens to have a child, which means I am soon-to-be an Aunt! As an only child, I felt I was doomed to never bear the title “Aunt,” so this is very exciting. I am excited about marriage, too – but really… I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNT! (x2 actually… The Sister is expecting another)

We live quite a distance from The Sister and her family, so we decided to meet each other half way in the exotic and riveting location of Buffalo, NY. The idea was to get together, experience fun things, talk about life things, do the hugging things, and then leave. That’s exactly what we did — with a few entertaining twists.

Just to set the scene…

My future niece is just over a year and a half old, so she has hit the pinnacle of natural cuteness.

Note on Child Development:

Walking still takes about 80% of her concentration, and she is beginning to talk (See Stage: “Parrot”) She knows brilliant things like counting! She knows her animal names!

She even knows how to fetch (See Stage: “Like a Well-Trained Dog”), and she gets a kick out of it! This is especially helpful now so that you can plop yourself in one location during the ritual of playing with her toys.

She’s just darned cute, and she’s beginning to realize it.

At arrival, The Man and I exhibited an age-old custom of “PLEASE LIKE US BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE!” We showered The Niece with kisses and hugs and a barrage of “What’s this?” – a new favorite game. We also presented her with a gift. Seeing as she is brilliant, she already has a love for books. Big books. Small books. Books with pages. Books with Pictures. It doesn’t matter. A book is a book to The Niece. So, with our goal of eternal love and appreciation as the most awesome Aunt and Uncle ever, we gave her a book with the capability of being read and played with while in the bath. Spectacular, I know!

The book has no pages but a few pictures and a mirror. It is about a hippo that is also taking a bath complete with happy bubbles and smiles. It is cute. It is perfect. She loved it. In fact, she loved it so much we began to read it together immediately. For 10 whole min. A book with no pages. It was in this moment filled with glee and awe at how awesome of an Aunt I am that she turned to me with all her love and said…

At first I thought it was a cute rendition of the game we were just playing with the new toy, but after several repeats with points and giggles I realized the worst… I was the best Aunt in the world, but my name was now “Hippo.”

How on earth would I explain this to fellow Aunts? It’s both a universal insult but a term of endearment? No. This could not be. I demanded an instant distraction, as I was positive her memory would still be something comparable to that of a gold fish and that forgetting the incident would certainly help this naming snafu. So we all decided to go to the Buffalo Zoo, as it would both entertain The Niece and the adults.

The Buffalo Zoo is wonderful and well-designed, so we were able to see a ton of animals in a decent amount of time. There were the turtles, and the rhino, and the zebra. The bears were butt heads and had decided to go inside, as had the elephants, but we were not phased! We were determined to play as much of “What sound does this animal make?” and “Do you see the animal?” as possible. The Niece did so well! She did tell us what she saw when we asked, but when we didn’t ask we found out what she really was interested in…

Yes, the zoo had a few water features in the exhibits, as well as rock displays. These were the things The Niece found super entertaining. The lounging gorilla? Nah. The sleeping lion? Nope. The bubbles, however, were hilarious. Which was cool. We all found that fact entertaining, as well, and I thought we had successfully moved on from the previous incident involving my future nomenclature. She then looked back at me to present the magnificent bubbles, and said…

I couldn’t believe it. I had changed the scenery, the animals, and the time. Yet I was still Hippo no matter how hard I tried.

For the rest of the evening, we played a rambunctious game that involved blowing little pieces of paper all of the room, as well as watching The Brother-in-Law flop on the bed like a crazed trout in pursuit of uncontrollable fits of laughter and happiness. We ate dinner and then watched as The Niece tired herself out for sleep to finally let the adults play games and talk about things involving complex vocabulary, as well as curse words.

The next morning we practiced and practiced “Aunt Taylor.” She was able to get my name fairly down. I was excited! We left for breakfast with a local friend, and I was feeling just fine about my aunt-situation. We got back in the car, however, and The Niece turns to me – takes my finger – and excitedly exclaims…

Hopefully with some time away and a bit of getting older, this wears off, but for now… just call me “Hippo.”


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Checkers is Easy

In pursuit of a troupe of friends who wish to socialize and perhaps even dine with us, The Man and I decided to buy a very nifty ten-in-one game set. The set includes the classics of chess, checkers, backgammon, even chinese checkers. It then goes on to support the African classic mancala and then drifts into the land of games-we-never-knew-existed. We are hoping it will act as the adult-equivalent of a snow cone machine. (instant friend maker I tell you)

The Man is a recovering Chess Club member and thus suggested a jolly round of embarrassing me with logic, strategy, and plain ole’ check-mates. Worry not – I fired back with my skill at both backgammon and chinese checkers. And then we made a tragic decision.


As checkers is among the first board games you teach a child, we figured that even with decades of inexperience we would be smart enough to pick it up like riding a small-black-spaces-only bicycle.

We were psyched. We knew this was going to be great. While The Man was plotting our international fame and fortune due to a checkers talent, I had entered into a realm of hypothetical brain confetti of happy and joy made entirely out of checkers pieces!

It started out very well. Too well.

I soon decided that perhaps we had misstepped by beginning to jump our own pieces and concluded that we had already combined chinese checkers with the game we had sat down to play. Then all ridiculousness took center stage.

Not only did we have to look up the rules about movement, but we both disagreed about the rules, and then launched head-first into a very nerdy debate about the validity of each other’s selected sources of board game rules. I had selected the board games section of, whilst The Man decided wikipedia a more suitable choice. He argued that a peer-reviewed article remained more reliable than a simple explanation on

We finally agreed to disagree (a wonderful discovery in relationship-maintenance) and began to move the pieces. Then we discovered that we disagreed yet again about whether or not you are required to take a jump if the opportunity arises. It soon devolved into a philosophical discussion of life choices and free will.

… I’ve realized that perhaps the reason why we teach checkers to young children is because checkers absolutely cannot coincide with higher-order-brain-power. Once decision making, strategy, and debate skills are added… it is no longer fun.

We quickly ended the game. I forfeited my winning streak, and I moved on.

We probably will just go back to chess. I could stand to learn to get better anyway.


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