Archive for the ‘Self-Indulgence’ Category

Hey, Gentle Reader! Happy New Year! 2013 so far has been pretty solid, and is inspiring us to look back with fond nostalgia at the year that has just passed. (Or perhaps we just had an idea to do a year-end post but didn’t get around to it before the year actually ended?) So, while our supposed reason for even having a blog in the first place — hockey fandom — has been on ice for a distressingly long time (HAHAHAHA! See what we did there?), we still have a lot of things we were happy about.

12. Three extra months without Chico

So last night we were watching an episode of Law & Order (more on that later) in which the victim was a youth hockey coach who was killed over an ice time dispute. (Uh, spoilers?) As a plot point came up about how the parents of the kids on the hockey team had a history of brawling in the stands, Pookie tried to remember the term “rabby-do” but completely drew a blank. And then she realized something we’d all been taking for granted: there is no Chico in our lives right now. Huzzah! The lockout is good for at least one thing!

11. Hitting our work/life balance strides

At the risk of sounding all touchy-feely in a corporate HR kind of way, 2012 was a banner year for both of us as far as making peace with our work situations is concerned. It’s generally less of an issue for Schnookie, who has the cushiest job in the history of cushy jobs, but Pookie took on some serious, long-term headaches in her job and learned how to process them without any extra angst or unhappiness. We know in this day and age that we’re lucky to have full-time jobs at all, but it’s especially nice to be able to honestly say that we’re both happy to get up in the morning and go to work.

10. Melvins Lite

This may come as a surprise to you, but we are massive, massive dorks. And always have been. So way back in the early ’90s when we were in high school and “alternative” music was easy to find and we were into cool bands and shit, we were not nearly cool enough to be the kinds of people who actually went to see said cool bands in concert. Then we got old enough to be able to spend our own money on tickets to things and to drive ourselves to the venues for those things, but those things always turned out to be hockey games. This fall we got our shit together and ventured into the scary world of concerts performed by rock and/or roll bands. In October we saw Melvins Lite at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, and it was awesome. Sure, the drive there was the shittiest shittiness that ever was shitty, and sure, the waiter at the Mexican place where we had dinner spilled Schnookie’s mole sauce all over her lap, and sure, we felt like massive, massive dorks who stood out like sore thumbs in among all the concert-going veterans. But damn. You know what sounds amazing live? Melvins Lite. (Also, they’re loud. Very, very, very loud.) We also spent about an hour before the show rubbing elbows with Buzz, Dale, and Trevor, and then got all the cool shit from the merch table after the show and were walking on Shevil-fueled air for days afterward.

Melvins Lite (Lite Not Pictured)

No, we didn’t bring nice cameras with us.

9. Law & Order

Every summer when hockey goes away we wile away the summer by watching full runs of old TV shows on DVD. (Who can forget such great off-seasons as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman or Walker, Texas Ranger? Not us!) Figuring this was going to be an extra-long summer, we had to break out the heavy artillery for it: Law & Order. And it has lived up to all of our expectations and beyond. For starters, it’s a lot like watching a Devils game in that when it starts, we know exactly how it’s going to end. Also, we love the patented Jack McCoy cross-examination burn! The Lennie Briscoe one-liner! The arraignments! And the fact that, six months later, we’re only halfway through the full run.

8. Double farm share

In previous years we have gotten entirely not enough vegetables from our farm share. This year we signed up for a second one, and life was abundantly vegetable-y. Sure, “we got lots more vegetables from a CSA” sounds dull on paper, but in reality it was a game-changer.

Farm Week 19

This was just one week out of 26. Oh, summer of plenty, how we loved you.

7. New House

On New Years Day 2012 Boomer read us our extended horoscopes for the upcoming year (she’d found them on, like, Yahoo or something. We’re not normally horoscope people). All three of them talked extensively about how we were going to get a new house in the coming 12 months; that was horrible. We didn’t want to leave stately IPB Manor. We love it here! It’s perfect! No, horoscope, don’t make us go!

Well. 365 days later, it turns out it was all true — we got a new couch (which, if you sit in your living room as much as we do, might as well be the entire extent of one’s house), grow lights for our garden seedlings, a new amazing front door, a new beautiful color on the outside of the house, and we converted from an electric cooktop to a gas one. Dude, it is a whole new stately manor.

April 23 2012

Look at those baby tomatoes go!

October 14 2012

Where all used to be horrible, blah, depressing blue, now there is pink!

April 7 2012

Where all used to be dreary and dark, now there is a Dutch door with massive sunlight! And that blobby thing is a kitty igloo — don’t judge us.

6. Canning

Okay, yes, we learned to can stuff during the fall of 2011, so technically this wasn’t a new addition to our lives. But it was our first year of doing whole-hog food preservation during a summer of plenty. As the dark days of winter are rolling along, we’re neck-deep in all the flavors of summertime, and cooking is fun, fresh, and exciting for all the exotic condiments and pickles and ingredients we made ourselves.

Garden Grub 118

This is only part of it. Seriously. We did a LOT of canning.

5. Vinyl

We have become, over the last 18 months, Mike Patton completionists. So when Secret Chiefs 3 released a recording of “La Chanson de Jacky” with Patton on vocals, we needed it. Only… it was only available on vinyl. Sigh. We didn’t want to do it, but we really had no choice. We started with a little toy record player…

July 7 2012

So cute!

…and quickly upgraded to a grown-up turntable.

September 25 2012

Less cute!

Before long we discovered what audiophiles and hipsters and people who compulsively collect things have known all along — vinyl is so much fun. In fact, we read someone floating the notion that the NHL should offer Center Ice for free if they actually end up having a truncated season this year, and we hope that happens because we just spent our Center Ice budget on Big Business and Creature With The Atom Brain records.

4. Kittens

We had to say goodbye in short order to three of our family members over the last 14 months (Mahmoud, Dr. Shopdog, and Roy). But we also welcomed two new little denizens to stately IPB Manor, and they couldn’t be more delightful. Kitten mischief is something we were sorely lacking.

Happy Cat Bench Monday, Window Edition

Fabi and Zizou aren’t tiny anymore, but they’re still cute.

3. Being fully music-enabled

So, you know how we’re obsessive vinyl freaks now? Well, part of the fun of them is we invested in a set of wireless speakers that mean we can listen to our records (and digital music, but that’s less fun) all over our house now. And we keep finding more and more amazing music because Pookie, being a superstar reference librarian, is able to harness the powers of the internet to keep us abreast of all kinds of cool shit. We used to have literally no idea how to find new music, and we’d go three or four years at a time without any kind of expansion to our horizons. But now we’re not going more than three weeks without finding something new that we love. It’s like going from having only local public-access broadcasts of our local peewee hockey team’s games shot on VHS to having full-HD Center Ice. And hey, if there’d been an internet back when the mainstream stopped playing the kinds of music we liked, we would never have gone 20 years without ever attending a rock concert. Thanks, internet!

2. Devils getting to the SCF

Remember hockey? If we squint, we kind of almost can. And that’s a good thing, because dude — the Devils went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012!


Seriously! And what’s more, they beat the Flyers and the Rangers in taking the Eastern Conference. Hockey in 2012 was awesome.

1. Afghan Whigs at ATP

Remember way back in our list when we said we loved seeing Melvins Lite playing live? Well, that was small-time compared to what happened a few weeks prior.

September 22 2012: or Rock And/Or Roll

There simply are not words.

We went to see the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in New York City, because The Afghan Whigs were headlining. Back when were massive, massive dork teenagers, The Afghan Whigs were on our very short list of favorite bands, and as the years went by most of those bands fell off the list, but the Whigs stayed. To put this into hockey perspective, we were Afghan Whigs fans four years before we started watching the Devils. They had a reunion tour this summer, and that was what prompted us, after 20 years of being massive, massive dorks, to stop being afraid of going to concerts. And holy shit. HOLY SHIT. Did that day ever make up for lost time. We also saw Dirty Three and The Antlers and we ended up in the second fucking row for Mark Lanegan Band and then the Whigs. Like, ten feet away from Greg Dulli. And the show was insane. And honestly, we are still giddy just thinking about it. You know how there are those rare, stand-out, perfect days that you remember in crystal-clear detail for years and years? Yeah, this day was one of those.


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So, back to our Dallas vacation recaps! After our visit to the State Fair, we let our cameras cool off with a couple of lower-key photography days. We headed out to McKinney to do some hard-core quilt shopping one day (Patty is the world’s most patient hostess. We spent FOREVER in the AWESOME quilt shops there), then spent the next day sampling biscuits and gravy at Bubba’s, doing some furniture shopping, visiting the Mustang fountain in Irving, then partaking of the stunning cocktails and desserts at La Duni restaurant back in Dallas. Of course, “cooling off” doesn’t mean our cameras were getting the days off entirely

October 18 2010

If you are ever in McKinney, go to Spoons cafe and get the chocolate cake. Seriously. It looks like a regular old cake, sure, but seriously — this is the best. cake. ever.

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and gravy, by Pookie

B/W Mustangs

Black-and-white lensbaby Mustangs, by Pookie


Curious Mustang, by Pookie


Galloping, by Schnookie

October 19 2010

Schnookie, by Pookie


Hooves, by Schnookie

Iron Hooves

Iron hooves, by Pookie

Horse Face

This is your leader’s nose, by Schnookie

La Duni Chupito

La Duni Chupito, by Schnookie

Extravagant Drink

La Duni Shaken Mariana, by Pookie

Lemon 43

La Duni Lemon 43, by Schnookie

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You may have heard that we recently spent a marvelous week (In Dallas) with the intelligent and sexy Patty. Since returning home we’ve slowly been building up to being able to share the stories and pictures from this wonderful vacation; we don’t like to rush into things, though. We’ve been busy! We can’t be helped that travelogues don’t write themselves! But excuses aside, it’s time for you to gird yourself for our blog-style vacation slide show. It’s like being trapped at our house for a cocktail party, but in text.

Our first big adventure in Dallas was to meet up with Myra, Dave, Grace, and Caitlin for a scrumptious dinner at our favorite restaurant Matito’s, and then to watch from kick-ass seats while the Stars played the Blues. Before you scoff at that less-than-sexy matchup, it should be noted that this was a couple of weeks ago — Patty was still gloating that her team was unbeaten. ::Eyeroll:: Whatever, Patty. Good for you. (Not that we’re bitter about the stupid Devils.) The game was a pretty exciting affair, not that you could tell from our photos, and then we capped off the evening with a visit to Patty’s friend Jim’s skyrise apartment to see his boffo views of the Dallas cityscape. All in all, it was a day extremely well spent.


Stars over Matito’s, by Pookie

October 16 2010

Smoke-spewing star, by Pookie

Speed Lines

A study in motion and long shutter speed, poorly, by Schnookie

Disco Ball

Disco ball with rink reflected, by Schnookie

Stars Opening Video

Escher jumbotron, by Pookie

Disco Bokeh

Disco ball bokeh, by Schnookie

We're Number One

Number one, number one, number one, by Pookie

Disco Stars

Dude, was Schnookie even watching the game, or was it just the disco ball?, by Schnookie

Fisheye Dallas Skyline

Dallas through the fisheye, by Pookie

Bokeh Dallas Skyline

Dallas bokeh, by Pookie

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3-2-1 Hockey: 0

August 22 2010

The old, weathered bistro table in the backyard always looks so moody on a rainy day.

We did a grilling challenge to send off Project 365:II; my assigned lens was the 50mm — Pk.

And, with that, we come to the end of another year of Project 365. WOO HOOO! We’ve now managed to take at least one picture every day since August 23, 2008, keeping a photo diary of the exciting and photogenic events as well as the mundane and less thrilling. As always, our lives are generally short of earth-shattering developments, so what did we have to take pictures of this year? Well, we watched hockey, we stitched, we planted, we harvested, we cooked, we gave away our marbles, and we let them run free. It was a year filled with baking adventures (like this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and most of all this), quilting adventures (like this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this), and hockey adventures (like this, this, this, this, and this). Big goings-on for us included Schnookie serving on a jury and Pookie getting a new desk at work. It was a year of photo excursions — we went to Princeton, New York City, Ocean Grove, New Hope, Philadelphia, New York again, New York again, the nature trail behind our house, New York again, Columbus, New York again, Asbury Park, New York yet again, and The Netherlands (oh, The Netherlands, The Netherlands, The Netherlands, The Netherlands!). It was a year of photo-worthy weather, with snow, snow, and more snow, and lightning that cost us a dear friend. We challenged ourselves to be more creative taking everyday pictures, at work, on the way to work, on the way home from work, putting googly eyes on things in the office, participating in the sixty-four colors Flickr group, and crossing off items on the Scavenger Hunt 101 Flickr group’s list. Best of all, we had great times with great friends, including having an apple-canning adventure with our buddy Sarah, visting Katebits (and Heather and Amy and McGuffers) in Buffalo, we had the best week ever hosting Patty Party at stately IPB Manor, and we met Mags in Amsterdam for what was probably the best day of the year.

Last year we picked our five best and five worst for our summary 3-2-1 Hockey post, but this year’s 365 doesn’t have pictures we find as charmingly bad as last time around. (Don’t get us wrong — plenty of them are bad. Just not endearingly so.) So we’ll just leave you with our ten favorites.

October 23, 2009: 62/365

October 23, 2009

October 30, 2009: 69/365

October 30 2009

November 16, 2009: 86/365

November 16 2009

December 23, 2009: 123:365

December 23 2009

December 31, 2009: 131/365

December 31 2009

March 17, 2010: 207/365

March 17 2010

April 26, 2010: 247/365

April 26 2010

May 12, 2010: 263/365

May 12 2010

May 20, 2010: 271/365

May 20 2010

August 8, 2010: 351/365

August 8 2010

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You know how invigorated we are by the Devils’ miracle win last night, Gentle Reader? We are so invigorated that the following happened at stately IPB Manor this morning:

The scene: Central New Jersey, under a foot of snow. It’s late morning, and there are finally creatures stirring throughout the house. We sit in the living room, contemplating a day of quilting and eating M&Ms. Suddenly Pookie considers the lettuce we planted in the garden earlier this week.

There is a murmur of concern that the cold frame the lettuce is sheltered in in the garden could be crushed by the weight of all that snow.

On a normal day, we’d just shrug, be lazy, and figure if the Gardening Gods wanted us to have lettuce growing in February, they wouldn’t crush the cold frame.

But on a “holy shit, did you guys see the end of that Devils game last night?!?” day like today, Pookie springs up from the couch, throws on some warm winter layers, and makes her way through the elements to rescue our poor, shivering lettuce seeds from possible crushing.

Pookie On Her Way To The Garden

Once she struggled though the snowed-under garden gate, we had this exchange:

Pookie, while bent over to the cold frame to sweep off the snow: “Are you getting pictures of it?”

Schnookie, huddled under the eave of the front door, sheltering the camera from the snow: “I can’t really get a view that shows what you’re doing.”

Pookie, rising and beaming: “I’m gardening

Pookie Gardening

And that’s our story. Here’s hoping today’s a marvelous day of hockey.

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Happy Birthday Boomer!

Has it already been another year? How can it be that it’s Boomer’s birthday already? It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but here we are enjoying a weekend-long bacchanal of cupcakes and televised hockey, so who are we to complain? And really, there isn’t a person we can think of more deserving of a dozen assorted fancy cupcakes and a restful few days of stitching in front of the TV. Happy, happy birthday, Boomer!

Happy Birthday Boomer!

Oh, and it should be noted that last year, Marty injured his arm on Boomer’s birthday. We appreciate the NHL not scheduling a Devils game on November 1 this year, just to insure that wouldn’t happen again.

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1-2-3 Hockey: 39 of 39

September 30 2009

After months of talking about it, we finally tried our hands at homemade Devils logo bokeh, to celebrate the start of the hockey season tomorrow.

Instead of a crankypantsy season preview for you, Gentle Reader, we are presenting an exclusive peek behind the scenes of this year’s Devils. That’s right, it’s 38 Things You Don’t Know About The 2009-2010 Devils!

1. Zach Parise doesn’t actually know how to play cribbage. He just moves his peg on the board as many space as Travis did on his turn, and then adds five more.

2. Jacques Lemaire is waiting until he’s on his deathbed to admit that he did, in fact, intend to kill hockey. It will not, however, come as a surprise when he makes the confession.

3. Brian Rolston thinks he’s better than you at everything.

4. Brendan Shanahan is on the Devils roster again this year. [ETA: Or, um, not.]

5. Bryce Salvador is in the process of legally changing his name to The Iron Boar.

6. Rob Niedermayer isn’t sure who is scamming whom in this Rob Niedermayer/Lou Lamoriello relationship.

7. Rob Neidermayer isn’t sure who is who in the Rob Nediermaeyr/Lou Lamoriello relationship. In fact, he thinks in that relationship he might be Tycho Brahe.

8. Yann Danis is smizing.

9. Scott Stevens does not know what smizing is.

10. Egg Pelly has dead eye.

11. Larry Robinson cursed this franchise.

12. Last year we correctly predicted Brian Rolston’s goal total, but incorrectly predicted that Vincent Lecavalier would be captain of the Devils. We will not make that same mistake twice. This year’s new future captain of the New Jersey Devils is Duncan Keith.

13. Bobby Holik is planning on making a midseason return to the NHL this year. At the rate he’s going, Lou seems likely to sign him.

14. Patrik Elias’s groin will remain wonky until the Devils trainers allow Patty to get back on his foecal oyster diet.

15. Jamie Langerbrunner spent his summer having the crotch taken in on his crankypants.

16. Johnny Oduya’s off-season home is an exact replica of Dr. No’s volcanic lair.

17. If all goes according to plan, Nicklas Bergfors will complete his correspondence-school certification as a court reporter by the end of February.

18. Colin White thinks the “C” on Jamie Langenbrunner’s sweater stands for “choker”. When he told him as much, Langer tried to start a fight over it, but ultimately decided it wasn’t worth battling the truth.

19. Jacques Lemaire already has his costume picked out for the team’s mandatory Halloween Bag Skate Party. Ahoy, Captain Bligh!

20. Travis Zajac thinks he has a great idea for his costume for the team’s mandatory Halloween Bag Skate Party, but he’s not quite sure how dress as a sexy first-round playoff loss.

21. Zach Parise’s invite to the team’s mandatory Halloween Bag Skate Party will go missing thanks to a turtle butler being nervous about being mistaken for a bobbing apple again.

23. Scott Stevens wants you to think he’s taking notes while watching games. He isn’t.

24. The Devils were the NHL’s first choice to appear in this year’s Winter Classic. Making it happen, though, would have been a logistical nightmare, as many of the Devils players are severely allergic to playing in televised hockey games.

25. David Clarkson wants to petition the league to change his name to David Wraparound. If his application is denied, he’d like to change it to Wraparound Wraparound. If that doesn’t work, he’ll try out Wraparound Dos-Tres.

26. Mike Mottau wear black shoes with brown pants.

27. Andrew Peters wears brown shoes with black pants.

28. In the comfort of his own home, Paulie Martin wears brown shoes with no pants.

29. Martin Brodeur is not going to bother learning the name of his new head coach, although he thinks he may have met that guy somewhere before.

30. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond thinks “Emrick” is a name like falling down the stairs.

31. Jay Pandolfo is nervous and excited about embarking on his new solo career.

32. Mario Tremblay can’t wait to run Marty Brodeur out of town. He keeps walking up to Marty and saying, “Finish this sentence: ‘This is my last game in…'”

33. Ilkka Pikkarainen is imaginary.

34. Andy Greene always calls dibs on the seat in the very back of the bus, in the hopes that it will earn him some currency with the cool kids. Zach Parise always calls dibs on the seat right next to the head coach. The cool kids try not to make eye contact with him when they file past him to hang out with Greene.

35. If there is a banana peel on the ground anywhere in the world, Dainius Zubrus will find it and slip on it.

36. Paulie Martin thinks it’s hilarious that the team is out of shape.

37. The team thinks it’s hilarious that Paulie Martin has no finish.

38. The Devils are going to surprise no one by not winning the Atlantic Division this year.

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