Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Top Five Lists Continued

Inspired by me sister (she wrote the first two)!

Top Five Places Reem Would Hate To Be
1. A James Taylor Convention
2. JoAnn Fabrics
3. The Sea Ranch (a fish "butcher" in the Chicago suburbs)
4. Harrison's Poultry Store
5. The Lasik Eye Surgery Center
(she knows me SO well! Several of these were on my shit list!)

Top Five Things Reem Would Take Bets To Win:
1. any amount of money over $4
2. someone to dye her hair, then wash out the dye over the kitchen sink (Reem's note: it's true! Washing out the dye is SO hard because my entire body gets dyed purple. If you wash the dye out for me, I'll love you forever)
3. anything that gained its fame from an informercial. well almost anything.
4. a delicious sandwich, perhaps one of the 5 listed in the previous blog
5. some opportunity for the loser to make an ass of themselves.

Five best Bets I've Won In My Life
1. Laith bet me I couldn't eat a whole Awesome Blossom. I did it, won $17 dollars and had my meal paid for, and had indigestion for three days. Just FYI, I substituted ranch for the sauce they serve with it, and stuck to water all night.
2. Emil thought one or two of the member of Hanson were girls. I bet him they were all boys. I won.
3. The Beach Caper. The video explains a lot. 
4. This one hasn't been won by me yet, but it will: I bet Nick that the store Elves Palace sells at least three of the following: pewter wizard figurines, crystals, gargoyle statues, incense holders in the shape of something...like a goddess.
5. Once Sara and I made a Gentleman's Wager. What it was, I unfortunately cannot tell you. This has been driving me crazy for 24 hours now because I can't remember what it is! Anybody remember??

I'm sure there will be more. Probably this is the only thing I'll blog about anymore. Waa waa!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Own Personal Top Five Lists

Okay, so you know how on facebook everybody is picking their top five blah blah blahs? If you're not on facebook or don't know what I'm talking about, it's basically this application you add to allow to you make top five lists of random categories and post them on your profile. Here are some examples:

Top Five People You'd Like On Your Side In A Bar Fight
Top Five People You'd Like To Hit With A Shovel
Top Five Favorite Trees To Sit Under
Top Five Cars You Want In Your Garage
Top Five Bands I Have Seen Live

And such and such. I have always been a fan of top five lists, and I think these are pretty hilarious. I haven't added the application so I can't do it on facebook - I got sick of adding applications awhile ago and don't really do it anymore. So I thought, what the hell, why don't I make my own Top Five Lists?

And so here you go.

Top Five Things I've Thrown Off The Lanai
1. Meat from sandwiches that I changed my mind about after having ordered
2. Egg yolks
3. Ice cubes
4. Snow
5. Booze (this was more like "dumping" but I think it still counts)

Top Five Celebrities Who I Should Obviously Date Because We'd Be Perfect Together
1. Jack Black in real life
2. JB from The Pick of Destiny
3. Conan O'Brien
4. Domenic Sandoval from So You Think You Can Dance, aka D-Trix from America's Best Dance Crew
5. Jack Black. I cannot stress this enough

Top Five Things That Are Stuffed In That Closet Over There That I Never Use
1. Ironing board
2. Vacuum Cleaner
3. Iron
4. Paper shredder
5. All that stuff in that drawer - dudes, I don't even want to open it. Sorry

Top Five Sports Teams/Individuals I Don't Give An Eff About
1. Most of them
2. Teams that aren't from Chicago
3. Probably all football teams (okay, not the Bears, especially after the Super Bowl Shuffle)
4. Anybody having anything to do with golf
5. People who aren't Shaquille O'Neal, aka (according to my parents) The Gentle Giant

Top Five Favorite Sandwiches That You Don't Make At Home (But Theoretically Could)
1. Americanne from Captain Nemo's (the ham will probably get picked out, and possibly thrown off the lanai)
2. #12 Beach Club from Jimmy John's (turkey, cheese, avocado, veggies)
3. #12 Californian from Milio's (almost identical to the Jimmy John's one)
4. Grilled havarti, tomato, avocado (no onion!) from Lazy Jane's in Madison
5. Obreros from Mildred's in Madison (Roast beef, turkey breast, provolone, swiss, cucumbers and lettuce with mayonnaise and dressing on whole wheat pita)

Top Five Animals I Would Be
1. Sea Otter
2. Monkey
3. Elephant
4. Dog - probably a Welch Corgie because, damn.
5. Sea Otter again. I don't think you realize how badly I want to be a sea otter. Just as bad as I want to date Jack Black

You got any you want to add? There can always be a Part Two!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Stories from The Kids

Dudes, the kids are all being hilarious this week. I don't know what's going on. Maybe it's the windy fall weather in the middle of spring. Maybe it's the end of the school year. I don't know. They're all crazy people. But hilarious! Hence this blog...

S, age 7, doesn't show up to her lesson at the art center. I check the answering machine and her father has left a message. Apparently, S refused to leave the house because it was "too cold out," so she got sent to her room without dinner or piano. According to the dad, missing piano was the real punishment.

A, age 7, shows me a raccoon trap that's in their kitchen for some reason. He points at a tiny section of it, square with two holes in it. "Doesn't it look like cheese?" I stare at it for awhile. His mom whispers to me "I don't see it either, but he's been saying it all week."

J age 6 throws a pencil at my head. Oh, I'm serious. I look at him astounded and do the whole "absolutely not" speech. He gets sent to his room where he promptly falls asleep. I tell his mother about my squeamishness with having things thrown at me since, when I was 19, I got a hair pick thrown at me and it knocked out my front tooth. We all had a little laugh at that one. Later, J wakes up and comes out of his room. Mom says "Reem, J has something to say to you." J looks up at me all wide-eyed and says "Sorry you got a fake tooth, Reem."

P, age 12, is in her nightgown when I get to her house. It's 6:20 pm. She just wanted to be comfy, man!

M, age 6, points out that his neck has been growing longer. The funny thing about this one is that last week I totally noticed that his neck looked longer.

I am so glad I didn't call in sick to work yesterday or today!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Beach Caper

I wish I could say that this video needs no explanation, but that would be a lie. And I'm not as good a liar as I used to be. So here you go:

Yesterday my siblings and I went to the beach. It was a really beautiful day, sunny and bright, about 60 degrees. Not quite swimming weather, but beautiful nonetheless. We had our shoes off; the sand was warm on the surface, but cold and damp a few inches down. Absolutely fantastic.

Emil, for some reason, had insane amounts of sporting equipment in the trunk of his car: a tennis racket, several tennis balls, one or two ice skates, a few hurleys, and a sliotar (pronounced "shlitter," the ball used in the sport of hurling. I know. It all rules, right?). He wanted to hit the ball back and forth, but Sara had other ideas.

"I'll give you a dollar if you go in the lake," she says to me. I hesitate. There's not much I'll do for just a dollar anymore - you see, I'm a classy lady now. Plus, that water was going to be freezing! "I'll make it two," she says. I decline. She finally ups it to four whole dollars, which I consider for a moment.

"Wait, I don't want money, I want something...like an actual thing, or action," I say decidedly.

"Okay, I'll dye your hair for you," she compromises. This sounds good to me, even though she'd already said she would dye my hair this weekend. But this way I'm earning it, see?

Of course, with any challenge or bet, the stakes rose quickly. Sara decided that, besides just going in the lake, I had to pick up this piece of driftwood that was about two feet in and bring it back to her. That sounded just fine to me. Then Emil decided that I had to take a tennis ball with me and, after picking up the driftwood, hit the tennis ball back to them using the driftwood like a baseball bat. Not to be one to back down from a hilarious challenge with ultimate results, I accepted.

And that's how The Beach Caper happened. Enjoy!

P.S. You should pay attention to the brilliant commentary.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How To Make Your Own Spring Break! Part Two: The Delicious Food

Hey everybody! Remember when I made my own Spring Break?? Well, as I promised, there was more to it than just driving and eating cheese fries. I mean, yes, those are obviously the most important things, but there were other things too! For one, there was all the local Delicious Food. I've always been a fan of Delicious Food, and I definitely see it as an adventure to try new and exotic cuisine in each place I travel to. I've eaten edamame in Atlanta, sampled sandwiches in South Dakota, and...um...jammed on jam in Jamaica! Whoa! But even with my vast travels and exploration with these delicacies, there were none as unique and tasty as what I experienced on my vacation in Glenview. You wouldn't even believe it. So here are some pictures:

You probably haven't heard of this before, but there's this thing called sushi. It's rice and seaweed (I know, CRAZY!) wrapped up with various filling. Totally weird, right? I stuck to the non-fish varieties. Great, authentic, real American food right here.

Served with a pineapple mojito. Booze is pretty delicious too!

Although I stayed away from fish with the all-American sushi, I did sample some at Grandpa's Place at a Friday night fish fry. 

I've got to say, you can fry almost anything and put a little lemon and malt vinegar on it, and it will basically be awesome. Even fish! Oh, and dip it in a creamy sauce (in this case, tartar).

This is what we in Glenview call "beer."  Not too many people in America have tried this drink, but I personally think it's worth it. This is a Blue Moon. Read more about beer here.

So there are a few culinary specialties in the city of Chicago (a small city located just fifteen or so miles southeast of Glenview). I mean, it's not like the city is known for it's food or anything, but it does okay. Emil, Mladenka, and I planned on going to Hot Doug's to sample one of these Chicago delicacies: the hot dog. But, unfortunately, the hour-long line was too long for those of us who hadn't eaten yet that day and were feeling crabby. Not to worry though! Rumor has it there will be a Hot Doug's review up on another website soon!

So instead, we went and got SANDWICHES at a lovely little place called Capt'n Nemo's. I'll be honest, this is an old favorite, and although missing out on Hot Doug's was disappointing, this was totally worth it.

This is Emil's turkey club. Notice how they somehow magically fit an additional layer of bread between the two layers of filling?? NOTICE??

This is their very popular ham reuben with light sauerkraut, which was pronounced hilariously. Look at that bread!

This is the Americanne. It contains ham, bologna, and turkey, along with american cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo, and the Captain's Secret Sauce, which, incidentally, you can buy by the bottle! Yeah America!!! (As an aside, I ordered this, and as I do every time, I took one bite and then had to take out all the ham. I always think I'm going to like ham, then I try it, and I don't like it. The same thing used to happen when I'd go to Denny's and order the Moons Over My Hammy. It always looks and sounds so good on the menu! But then I'd get it and take a bite and decide the ham tasted bad and pick it out. Sorry, ham.)

Split pea soup. As you walk in the door, you are greeted by a guy behind the counter handing you a small but satisfying sample of this soup. It is delicious. And so shiny!

I think maybe this is another view of the Americanne.

Probably the best night of the week was spent in my parents' house eating one of my mother's amazing, impressive, delicious dinners. My sister once mentioned in her blog how my mother makes the most wonderful dinners. This one was no different. And here is where we have the aforementioned "chicken" that I'd heard so much about. It was cooked in a bag! Here's the entire spread:
With all the fixings; roasted potatoes and gravy, stuffing, asparagus. The salad was in a separate bowl on the side because, duh, I don't want the salad dressing to get all mixed up in the rest. 

And for dessert, some incredibly rare finds: Cookies and ice cream. You all should try them! I know, it's hard to try new things, but these were great!

This is the Cinnamon Bun ice cream that Laith and Josh were raving about on my birthday. Laith kept telling me I had to eat more because I hadn't reached the "vein of cinnamon" yet. I think he also mentioned "the nerve center" of the ice cream at some point. Dudes. There were actual pieces of cinnamon buns in here. No wonder there were two pints in Laith and Josh's fridge - one for each of them! You should definitely try this.
So there you have it! The delicious food of Glenview, IL. I know some of it seems real "out there," if you will, but I really encourage you to try new things. Look, you can't sit around eating nachos for the rest of your life. You have to live, man! On the edge! Be adventurous and try some chicken for once, okay?

Next up! Part Three: Shopping!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How To Make Your Own Spring Break! Part One: The Road Trip

So although I'm no artsy craftsy creative person, I do know how to make some things. Like...okay, I make a mean plate of scrambled eggs. Or grilled cheese, I can make the shit out of grilled cheese. Mix CDs, my bed, "out," I'm really good at making all of these things. Did you get the joke there? Believe it, I said it. And it's all true.

You know what I made this week? A SPRING BREAK! Sometimes, especially when I have like six days off, it may cost like $400 to go anywhere. And sometimes that money isn't given to me for free or for no reason, which is pretty stupid. Because, to me, Spring Break means road trips, catching up with old friends, visiting a new place, trying new food, buying souvenirs...but when it cost a billion dollars just to get somewhere, what's a girl to do? I'll tell you: I take matters into my own hands and make my own Spring Break. Here's how the first part of it went:

For the road trip type of Spring Break, you'll need a full tank of gas. You see, this is how cars go places.

Inside your car, you'll need some good music ready to go - have you listened to Alabama 3? They did the theme song to The Sopranos. Amazing music right here! Perfect for driving, good for the heart and soul. This is deep shit.

Rations! One needs rations for the sexy spring break that's about to happen! Caffeine plus Revive Vitamin Water (great for hangovers, incidentally). Snacks are optional.

And a smile on your face. So exciting!!!

For my awesome road trip, I avoided highways and took Route 12 from Madison to Glenview - the scenic route. I used to take it from Beloit with Sam and we'd take our time and stop for milkshakes on the way. There's something about Wisconnie and Midwest scenery that is really beautiful to me. There's really nothing there, but it allows you to remember the beauty of emptiness, of openness, of land and sky and nothing more.

Though everything is brown right now, thinking about the green that will soon come is pretty amazing.

This is in Fox Lake, I think. There's a McDonald's literally right on this dock. You can park your boat and go get some McNuggets!

One of the great, and sometimes scary, adventures with road trips is the possibility of driving behind a truck like this. Is anybody else afraid of the truck stopping suddenly, too fast for you to stop, and driving up on the back of the truck, and the truck driver going "Finders Keepers!" and driving off with you on the back? It happened in The Simpsons once...

When you take the scenic route, you get to pass many local wonders and sights. Here is a very rare and seldom-seen  Long John Silvers. It was extremely difficult to refrain from stopping here.

Sometimes things have funny names. Although I didn't get pictures of most of them, here are some of them:

Hair It Is (a hair salon)
What's The Point (a diner)
Soup's On (restaurant)
Booze 'n Go (a church. No, it was really a liquor store)
American Cafe (I'm guessing another restaurant)
Say What? (screenprinting and embroidery business)
Dip Stick (oil change place)

I also passed Cheeseborough Rd. and Creamery Rd., one right after the other, and didn't get pictures of either.

I did, however, get a picture os this sexy tattoo store:

And one of the Panty Express!

And last but not least - dedicated to Sara, Ela, and Malissa. JAMAICAN ME TAN!!! In northern Illinois!

Finally, after my arrival in Glenview, I was treated to some of the local Chicago fare. Unfortunately, when Chicago Food is put on the table, there's really no time for pictures. You must eat immediately. There were, at some point, ribs, italian beef, cheese fries, fried zucchini, salad, coleslaw, and cokes on that table. You'll just have to imagine.
Oh wait, here's some ribs!
And cheese fries. Who doesn't love cheese fries? Even the lactose intolerant...

So far, I think Spring Break is a total success.

Coming soon! Part Two: Local Shopping and Souvenirs during which I travel to a little-known store called "Old Navy" and sample more local cuisine, including "chicken."