winter pickle.

winter pickle is disgusted with winter.

the groundhog promised him an early spring,

but that groundhog (filthy, hole-dwelling beast) LIED.

the extended winter & icy conditions have forced winter pickle into donning an additional scarf. he is contemplating long underwear. have you ever seen a pickle in long underwear? it’s a truly pitiful sight.winter_pickle_cartoon

Flesh-Eating Fish

Every one has heard about the famous fish used in pedicures that eat the dead skin off feet as an exfoliant (lovely, yes?). I have always been curious about these fish, and slightly horrified. As I entered WOW organic salon in Cape Town, imagine my excitement when the entry way revealed two large plush chairs will square aquariums at their bases, with FISH inside! I knew at once these must be the famous fish, so I opted to spend time submerging my feet and experimenting with the treatment.

flesh_eating_fish-2

At first, the fish tickled around my feet, and anticipated being bitten. But since the fish have no teeth, this never occured. I spent a pleasant 15 minutes or so, feet submerged, while the fish swam around my feet as I read my book.

flesh_eating_fishI’m not sure how much more effective a treatment the fish are than a normal pedicure, but it was fun, recommended by the salon, and my pedicure was awesome. The excitement of the fish (my excitement not the fish’s), combined with the spacious light filled rooms, the friendly staff, make WOW an awesome sanctuary. Wildlife Sanctuary if you count the fish.

flesh_eating_fish-3DANI

goblins, quests, and my gentleman.

You may have seen his photo on here before.

surefire_eb1old_cartoon_camera

html_codingHe also founded/contributes to/works on this:

rotary house experimental – it’s his awesomely creative publishing house.

you should investigate.

This clever & handsome gentleman and I officially met at work, but it wasn’t until a work happy hour that we actually spoke to one another. We didn’t start speaking regularly until one day soon after, a group of us were walking to lunch and Matt noticed I was purposely avoiding walking on the storm drains.

cartoon_storm draincartoon_storm draincartoon_storm draincartoon_storm draincartoon_storm draincartoon_storm draincartoon_storm drain

{Matt didn’t yet realize it, but it was only a matter of time until he succumbed to my charm. and overactive imagination}

Several weeks later, Matt had lunch with a friendly squirrel named Jerry. Jerry is oh-so-much more than just a squirrel – he is in charge of protecting the portal which leads from our world into the squirrel kingdom.

black_squirrel{look at his golden tail – serious business}

Obviously, Jerry guards the portal for a reason – and over the next couple months, the truth came out. Our worlds are on the brink of an enormous goblin/squirrel war, and Matt and I had been recruited to help.

First, however, in order to make sure we were worthy of entering the portal and joining the squirrels in their fight, we had to complete quests of Jerry’s choosing. Jerry would meet with Matt, and pass along important quest details: maps, locations, objects to find. The two of us would then traipse off, clutching our maps and lists, off to find and defeat goblins.

Once, as we were trying to collect goblin currency, we were attacked: Matt brained a goblin* with a rock and I stabbed it with a tree branch.

{*Matt would visit the pre-determined location beforehand and plant paper goblins in bushes or trees, then be ‘surprised’ when we discovered them hours later. He’ll never admit to it, though : ) }

goblin_drawingOur outings were serious adventures.

On our first actual date, we drove around for hours on a warm summer night. Matt’s plan was to get lost, and get lost we did. We had a lovely time – peering out the car windows into creeks we drove past, looking for frogs with a flashlight; stopping at an old horse farm to investigate their hollow pillars and horse statue; finding old dirt roads to drive on under the moon. It was fun and silly and romantic.

I started writing this post about a month ago, and the original ending was this:

The rest – well, the rest leads us to today, several days past our seven month anniversary, and we are completely, enormously, head-over-heels happy.

that’s not the end of the story.

on the very day I started writing this post, January 21st, Matt and I had a date night.

A very special date night.

proposalproposal

proposal

proposalproposal

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cartoon_love

katie

a squirrely greeting card.

I like making my own greeting/thank you/wedding/happy baby cards, but sometimes you find one in a store that you can’t possibly bear to leave behind.

This is quite old news now, but I found this card just before Dani left for Senegal, and it was so wonderfully appropriate I couldn’t resist. Behold, and bask in its squirrel-y glory:

squirrel_greeting_card

Immediately, I realized all the possibilities for my own handmade cards. An illustration of a squirrel won’t suffice now, no, not that I could have it dangling from a STRING with a life-size 3D acorn. Oh, the amazing world of squirrel art … friends, expect good things from your birthday cards from now on. HINT: they may or may not have tails.

inauguration day.

Monday, January 21st, was Inauguration Day in DC. The government was closed, the MARC train was closed, the roads were closed. There were tourists everywhere. There were American flags everywhere. Heck of a day to try and get into work.

Because driving into the city from Baltimore would have been torturous (what with EVERYTHING being closed), I purchased one of the last available Amtrak train tickets. The earlier train was sold out, so I had take a later one. Not only would this put me into work late, it was a whopping $78. SEVENTY EIGHT DOLLARS. For a one-way ticket. I almost fainted. Still, it would have cost about the same for gas + parking garage if I drove, so I sucked it up and bought it.

When I got to the train station to print out my ticket, I realized something amazing.

It was a first class ticket.

To understand my excitement, you must realize how dirty and crowded the train I take everyday can be. I think someone urinated on the floor once (that I know of), and some of the seats are sticky. It’s not terrible, but it does get pretty yucky after you’ve been doing it for awhile (one year today! happy anniversary to me!).

I walked on board  There was a lady there to greet me and tell me to watch my step. I snagged an individual seat, plush and comfy with its very own window . A man walked by and offered me a free bottle of water. I had my own folding table, like on a plane. The woman across from me was eating waffles. It was amazing. I became glamorous and classy by association. I felt like a movie star.

first_class_train_ticket

Not only was it first class, it was an express: it only took 25 minutes to get into DC as opposed to the usual 40. I arrived in DC feeling refreshed. As I was waiting to get off the train, I noticed the woman in front of me was wearing a full length fur coat. It was thick and glossy and looked ridiculously soft. Before I knew it, my hand was moving towards her shoulder, fingers outstretched. I caught myself just before I started petting her coat.

Perhaps I’m not as classy as I thought.

Other exciting things about working on Inauguration Day:

  • I was the only female on our floor, so I had the bathroom to myself.
  • There were only four people in our entire office.
  • There were extra food vendors lurking about, so the whole city smelled like hot dogs.
  • I work really close to the White House, so the people-watching was spectacular.
  • The guy at Potbelly gave me a free pickle.

train vampires.

I was on the train the other morning, riding to work. The woman across from me was balancing her bag, papers, and a laptop. She’d set a travel mug on the floor between her feet. When the conductor came around to look for tickets, she began frantically rummaging through her bag. As she was looking for her ticket, she accidentally knocked her travel mug over, and I leaned over, picked it up, and set it upright on the floor again. She thanked me.

All of this is very normal.

What wasn’t normal was that my fingers came away sticky from where they’d touched the mug – and when I’d been setting the mug back on the floor, I’d noticed that the rim was red, like she’d been drinking juice. Or blood.

The second I thought it, I became obsessed with it. I thought, no, I was convinced the woman across from me was a vampire. I started watching her closely (not at ALL creepy), waiting for her to open her mouth so I could see her fangs. I tried to discreetly look at the mug again. I wished I had a mirror so I could point it her way and see if her image reflected back at me. I was so occupied with these thoughts that we arrived in DC in no time, and I hastened off the train before she could sneak up behind me and bite my neck.

What if vampires take the MARC train? What if sunlight doesn’t affect them the way legends and Twilight portray? What if they are walking among us even now, working at regular jobs, drinking blood from their travel mugs?

vampire_travel_mug

saturday.

The Saturday swine will not be appearing on the blog today, as he is away on a mission. He snuck out in the dead of night, so we’ve no idea where he is or what he is doing. He is so secretive, that swine.

Instead, for today’s post, I invite you all to enjoy this drawing I made of DANI:

cartoon_fox

Why did the fox cross the road?

To get to the chicken.

ba-dum-tshh

happy saturday!

a festive housewarming & goodbye celebration.

This is very slightly overdue. Last summer, Dani sold the house she’d been renovating for three years, which we’d been living in together for the past year. To celebrate, she decided to throw a housewarming/goodbye celebration, and enlisted my help.

It was a really beautiful summer evening. The house was sparkling, full of candles, people, laughter, and – most delicious of all – heaps of glorious food.

homemade_sangria

our homemade sangria

baguettes with sundried tomato pesto, prosciutto, fresh basil, and mozzarella

baguettes with sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto, fresh basil, and mozzarella

tabbouleh

homemade tabbouleh

sundried_tomato_pesto

sundried tomato pesto, crunchy french bread, olive oil & spices for dipping

fresh veggies and fruitscandleand a close-up, because they were so pretty:housewarming_2What a spectacular combination: delicious food, scrumptious drinks, and great company on a really lovely evening – and the perfect send-off for such a beautiful little house.