Sunday, December 21, 2014

Star Wars Elefett

Yesterday I got a package in the mail from Target. I opened the package, and it was a t-shirt with an elephant on it. I turned to my boyfriend and said "Awwww, you got me an elephant shirt?" He looked at me blankly and I realized it wasn't from him. I racked my brain trying to figure it who it was from. I took a look at the packing slip, and it said the order was billed to me, and I was even more confused. My boyfriend said that if I couldn't even remember buying the shirt, then I had a shopping problem. I was completely perplexed because I KNEW that I did not buy the shirt. I then notice that the packing ship said it was a Star Wars shirt; THAT I remembered purchasing.

Apparently, instead of sending me the Star Wars shirt I ordered, Target accidentally sent me an elephant shirt. As you know (*points at blog name*), I love pachyderms, so, I was pretty tickled that in Target sending me the "wrong" shirt, they actually sent me the "right" shirt. Friday was Wear Star Wars Day, so, I decided to wear my elephant shirt in honor of that, and I've dubbed the elephant on my shirt, Elefett (elephant + Boba Fett).

P.S. I now have a laptop again!

A photo posted by Alana (@flyingpurplehippo) on

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Instagram and Facebook

Instagram is one of the social media sites I have been using the most during this time without my own computer. My user name on there is flyingpurplehippo (no "s"). I have also added a feed of my most recent photos from Instagram on the right.

I also share things on my Facebook page fairly often.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Indefinite hiatus

In my last post I announced that after a couple month hiatus from the blog that I was back. Since that last blog post was two weeks ago, I feel I need to offer an explanation.

Very shortly after my last post, my laptop decide to go kaput. It will no longer boot up. I have a hunch that the problem will be so costly to fix, that I would be better off spending a bit more and just buying a new laptop. My boyfriend has been very gracious with sharing his brand new tablet with me, however, I do not find it ideal for blogging.

It had been a while since I backed up my laptop, therefore, I likely lost a lot of files, including my photos from our visit to "Little Goat," which we visited for the letter "L" in my "Eating the Alphabet" blog series. I am super bummed about it because the food was delicious and impressive. I had already uploaded to my website my photos for the "J" and "K" posts, however, I can't seem to bring myself to write the posts because I am so bummed about losing the photos from Little Goat. To top it all off, Timmy's tablet does not have a regular USB port, so, we will have to buy an adapter before I can even access the files that I did backup.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ours is the Fury, er, Furleigh

Earlier this year two of our friends, Kristen and Richard, got married. When my boyfriend Timmy and I were trying to decide what to get them for their wedding, I decided I wanted to make them something personal.

Since they are Game of Thrones fans, and their new last name was to be Furleigh (pronounced fur-lee), Timmy suggested a play on words of the House Baratheon motto, "Our is the Fury." I found a Game of Thrones inspired font on-line to use for it. Kristen and Richard, as evidenced by their blog name, are a fan of penguins as well, so, I wanted to incorporate that. The penguin's scarf is the Baratheon sigil on its typical background of yellow. The penguin's crown is the crown Robert Baratheon wore. We then printed the graphic at a photo lab, and put it in a frame.

Eating the Alphabet - The Irish Oak

For the letter "I" in the "Eating the Alphabet" series, we went to The Irish Oak.

When I was trying to decide which restaurant to go to for the letter "I," discovering that the Irish Oak had fishbowls sold it to me; so, of course we ordered a fishbowl when we went. Timmy ordered the Guinness Stew: "Slow cooked traditional Irish stew, with braised beef, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and Ireland’s #1 stout." I ordered the Mac N' Cheese: "Pepper jack cream sauce, red onion, red peppers and Cajun chicken topped with Parmesan and baked to perfection. Served with Texas Toast." We also ordered the Skillet Cookie for dessert: "Right out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate drizzle."

I am not sure what is in the punch because the punch is not on their menu. Ordering the punch is quite the spectacle as they ring a bell, and bring it out with sparklers! I'm pretty sure that fishbowls are meant to be shared by at least four people, however, Timmy and I finished one on our own. It was delicious and the liquor certainly packed a PUNCH (please forgive my dad joke).

Timmy described the stew as "yummy." He is a man of many words.

The mac and cheese was good, although, as I have said a few times before, there really is no such thing as bad mac and cheese.

Skillet cookies are pretty much the best invention ever, and this skillet cookie was no exception.

Our waitress was very sweet and attentive. My only complaint about The Irish Oak is that their bathrooms are downstairs from where you eat and drink; stairs are not the best combination with fishbowls! Speaking of fishbowls, The Irish Oak's fishbowls are usually $30, but they are only $20 on Fridays. At either cost, it is a value. Timmy and I are planning on going back to the The Irish Oak on Friday for the sole purpose of enjoying another tasty fishbowl!

>>>Click here to see all the posts in the "Eating the Alphabet" series<<<

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What I Wore - Squirrely Business

I used to dislike squirrels because whenever you walk past one, they go zooming off to climb a tree above your head. Last year I was walking home from work and noticed a squirrel in a tree holding something. The squirrel was holding a Solo cup stuffed with leaves, and he was eating out of it. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen, and it completely changed my mind about squirrels. So, when I saw this awesome squirrel dress on eBay last week, I had to have it. I was so excited about it, that I wore it the day after it arrived!

When I was trying to decide what to pair the dress with, I asked my boyfriend if wearing a suit jacket with it would make it look less casual since I was wearing it to work. His reply: "It is a dress with squirrels." Point taken, but I still wore it to work (our dress code is business casual).

What makes this outfit even more awesome to me is that everything was purchased for a bargain. The dress was new and I purchased it for $41 (with free shipping); it originally sold for $100 on Modcloth. I purchased this New York & Company suit jacket for $16 (including shipping); their jackets run around $70. I got the tights in Ireland, for under $5, I think. I got the shoes for $12 from Payless (the too long t-strap does bother me a bit though).

Eating the Alphabet - "H" is for Hash House A Go Go

For the letter "H" in the "Eating the Alphabet" series, we went to Hash House A Go Go. Hash House is known for their huge portions. Personally, huge portions are only a plus for me if it is something that can be reheated easily.

Timmy ordered the "Corned beef, red onions and Swiss cheese" house hash. I ordered the "Ham, spinach & cheddar" farm scramble. Both our meals came with a fruit garnish, and a biscuit. Timmy's hash came with crispy potatoes, whereas, mine came with a choice of crispy potatoes or griddled mashed potatoes. I chose the crispy potatoes because I thought they would be skillet cooked, however, they were cooked in a fryer (I assume), so, fairly greasy. The highlight for both of us were the biscuits. I never knew that a biscuit could be so tasty and special. I would have been content with just a plate full of biscuits, that is how good they were.

Our server was very nice, and friendly. I also loved how attentive he was (our drinks were never empty).

>>>Click here to see all the posts in the "Eating the Alphabet" series<<<

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Eating the Alphabet - "G" is for Green Street Smoked Meats

For the letter "G" in the "Eating the Alphabet" series, we went to Green Street Smoked Meats. My boyfriend Timmy and I each ordered a pulled pork sandwich, and we got a side of spicy pickles to split. Timmy also ordered a hot link. I got a can of Dr. Pepper, and Timmy got a can of PBR. I had heard raves about Green Street from several sources, so, I had high hopes for it. That said, Green Street had two marks against it before I even tried any of their food.

The first negative for me was their side choices. They offer eight sides ($4 each): sweet pickles, spicy pickles, macaroni salad, broccoli salad, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, and pickled vegetables. What is wrong with the side choices? Half the side choices have mayonnaise, which my boyfriend and I (and quite a few other people we know) are not a fan of. Second, it is disappointing that they do not offer any warm sides. No macaroni and cheese at a BBQ place, whatttt?

The second mark against them was when the cashier read the total; when she said that the total was $43, I nearly choked. I really should not have been caught off guard since it was $11 each for just the pulled pork sandwiches. I'll admit, I am kind of cheap (okay, maybe really cheap). That said, I think the total was about $10 more than I would have been content paying. I think for $11, the sandwiches should come with a small side.

Now, for the good news... The pulled pork on the sandwich was the best I have EVER tasted. It was freaking amazing. When I asked Timmy if he thought it was better than the pulled pork he makes (which is really, really good), he said that his pride prevented him from answering the question (so, in other words, yes). I didn't realize ahead of time that the pulled pork sandwiches came with slaw on top, so, I was relieved that the slaw did not have mayonnaise in it; the slaw was actually a nice addition because it provided the sandwich with a crunch.

We only ate a couple of the spicy pickles, and tossed the rest. It is not that they were not good, it just wasn't our kind of thing; the only reason we ordered them is because we did not have much to choose from since we do not like mayonnaise. Timmy said that the hot link was good, but he "wasn't sure if it was $6 good."

I am torn as to whether I am interested in going back to Green Street. On the one hand, the pulled pork is ah-maz-ing; on the other hand, it does not really feel like a meal without a side, and $11 seems costly for just a sandwich (as delicious as it was).

Pulled pork sandwiches with slaw

Spicy pickles

Hot link

I took a photo of the menu since the menu was a bit difficult for me to find on-line.

>>>Click here to see all the posts in the "Eating the Alphabet" series<<<

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Eating the Alphabet - "F" is for FliP Crêpes

For the letter "F" in the "Eating the Alphabet" series, we went to FliP Crêpes. FliP Crêpes is at the Chicago French Market. We had never been to the Chicago French Market, so, that was a fun experience itself; it is like an indoor combination of food trucks and farmer's market stalls.

Timmy ordered the Croq Madame sandwich ("ham or turkey, Swiss, Béchamel sauce gratinde, & sunny-side egg atop"). I ordered the Chicken Provençale crepe ("Grilled chicken, Swiss, tomatoes, spinach, and herbed honey Dijon"). Then we ordered an Apple Crumble crepe ("milky caramel, home roasted apples & buttery crumbles") to split.

Timmy got ham on his Croq Madame and he said the sandwich was "f***ing tasty." I am not a fan of half cooked eggs, so, I didn't try it. I am also not a fan of raw spinach, so, I removed that from my crepe (I was expecting chopped cooked spinach); additionally, I substituted the Dijon for pesto (what can I say, I'm a picky eater). The pesto was so, so good. The Apple Crumble crepe was by far the star of the show for me though. It was ah-maz-ing. I could eat a pan of them. Next time I am going to try it without the caramel sauce, because it was a bit too sweet. The gentleman working the counter was very friendly and helpful, which a definite bonus.

>>>Click here to see all the posts in the "Eating the Alphabet" series<<<

Saturday, May 10, 2014

"Why are you not married yet???"

Timmy and I have been in a relationship for seven and a half years. Upon hearing this, many people ask us why we are not married yet. Because of gender biases, I imagine that many people assume that the reason we are not married yet is because Timmy has not asked me to marry him. Truth be told though, we are not married because neither of us are enchanted with the idea of marriage. Many people also assume that when someone is not interested in marriage, that this is because their parents are divorced. Timmy's parents have been married for forty years and mine for almost forty years.

When people ask me why we are not married yet, it is a difficult question to answer. First, because there are so many reasons. Second, because it is difficult for me to express all the reasons I am disinterested in a wedding and marriage without offending those who adhere to traditions. Many girls grew up dreaming of their wedding day, however, that was never me. Instead when I think of engagements and weddings, I think of all the misogyny that encompasses the traditions.

While some girls grew up doodling their first name with the last name of their crushes, I pondered the (un)fairness of being expected to give up my last name when I got married. Names are a huge part of identity, and last names play a significant part in family identity. Over the years, I have pondered several possible solutions to this; everything from using a hyphenated last name, to using our last names to create a new last name. The latter solution seems best to me, however, I still do not like the idea of giving up my family name.

Engagement traditions bother me too. The expectation that the male be the one to propose not only places unfair pressure and responsibility on the man, but simultaneously puts the female in a weak position of dependence. Onto engagement rings. Firstly, they could be interpreted as the relationship equivalent to a dog peeing on a fire hydrant (marking territory); as if a physical sign is needed to dissuade possible suitors because the spouse could not possibly do it on his/her own. Second, someone's love should not be evaluated by the amount of money they waste on a mineral.

One tradition I particularly despise is asking the female's father for permission before proposing. I would never marry anyone who thinks it is acceptable to ask my father for permission to marry me. While I love my dad and respect his opinion, I am an adult human being, and not my father's property; I am perfectly capable of making my life decisions without my father pre-screening them. On a related note, I also dislike the tradition of the father walking the bride down the aisle. I would appreciate the sentiment if the root of the tradition was about being there for support, however, again, the tradition is rooted in females being treated like property.

The above are only a few of my issues with the idea of marriage; this post would be endless if I were to get into them all.

Of course, if I mention any of my misgivings surrounding marriage, the typical response is that I can make my wedding my own (or skip the wedding and just get married). While that is true, it is also true that we do not have to get married simply because others expect it of us. I assume that Timmy and I will eventually get married, however, it won't be because of any romantic notions about the idea of marriage; instead it will be out of practicality because of two major legal benefits. First, in emergency situations, I want us to be able to see each other and be able to make medical decisions. Second, when I die, I want to be able to leave my possessions to Timmy without him being subject to a high tax rate. While, I know that either of those situations could happen to us while we are still young, I currently struggle with justifying marriage solely based on those reasons.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Eating the Alphabet - "E" is for Eduardo's Enoteca

My boyfriend Timmy and I visited Eduardo's Enoteca for the letter "E" in my "Eating the Alphabet" series.

The restaurant was much smaller than I had imagined before visiting it; though, it was nice because it lent to the intimacy of the space. There is also an outside patio area for warmer weather.

We ordered the Parma Crostini ("Prosciutto, bufala mozzarella, tomato, aceto balsamico, evoo") and the Sausage Peppers Onions Pizze ("Roma tomato sauce, parmigiano, mozzarella, spicy sausage, marinated sweet peppers, caramelized onion").

The Parma Crostini was delicious, though I wish they had come with three (rather than two) crostinis for the $6.

Pizza is like mac and cheese in that it is difficult to screw up. That said, when it comes to pizza, I feel there are a lot more qualities that can make a pizza stand out. The pizza at Eduardo's Enoteca certainly does not blend in with the average "good" pizza, and stands above the rest as excellent; the crust, sauce, and all the toppings were especially delicious. I also really appreciated that the sausage on the pizza was not the typical greasy balls of sausage that tend to leave my stomach full of regret.

Aside from the food, what really made the experience special for us was our amazing waitress. She was attentive but not too attentive, which can be a tough "sweet spot" to accomplish. Eduardo's Enoteca is one of our favorite places that we have visited on my "Eating the Alphabet" project, and we will definitely be back (albeit, maybe not until after the project is over since the project consumes so much time).

>>>Click here to see all the posts in the "Eating the Alphabet" series<<<

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Photos of our C2E2 highlights

These photos were taken last weekend when my boyfriend Timmy and I attended the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) for the first time. There were a lot of people wearing awesome costumes, but I didn't take photos of those, because you can see those photos everywhere; instead, I focused on taking photos of our highlights of the day. You can see better photos of what I wore to C2E2 in this blog post I posted earlier today.

C2E2 badge

This photo was taken by our friend Marilyn a.k.a. Miss Chiff at the Broken Brush Entertainment booth that she was working at.

The Thrilling Adventure Hour booth was one of our highlights. Rider Strong and Marc Evan Jackson were doing free autographs and photos in the Thrilling Adventure Hour booth!

And yes, that is Timothy Omundson. He was also doing free photos and autographs; the line was so long that we probably would not have made it to the front before he was done signing, so, we didn't try it.


I loved this poster by Anthony Hall.

Chondra Echert (Sanchez) and Claudio Sanchez also did free autographs and photographs at their comic book booth.

Timmy had them fill out some blank Cards Against Humanity cards.

Another highlight of the day was getting to see Mark Lancaster (also known as Saucy Jack of Vaudezilla) get made up as a vampire at the Kosart Atelier booth.

Timmy and I resting for a bit.