Sunday, December 30

Because I Have Nothing Better to Do

I have started reviewing on Yelp. Y'know, I was just sitting here in the middle of the night, and I was all like, you know what I need to do? Avoid my blog and start writing reviews for strangers on the internet. But I've been having fun, so, whatever. Then I found out that I can get blog bling, so it's kind of like killing two birds with one stone. Check out my sidebar for links to my very important opinions on all things Reno. I've written six reviews so far. I've been going through all the places I've been in the past month. We eat out a lot in December. And January. And now that the internet is depending on my reviews, maybe we'll even eat out a lot in February.

Monday, December 24

A Christmas Gift for You!

As a Christmas gift for my readers (all 12 of them a day), I thought I would share the recipe for our favorite Christmas drink, Cola de Mono (Tail of the Monkey). It's not a secret recipe or anything--I got it out of the Sundays at Moosewood cookbook (the only vegetarian cookbook allowed in our house) several years ago--but I have included my tips for success, so MERRY CHRISTMAS!

What you will need:
12 cups of milk (whole or 2% work best)
2 cups of white sugar
5 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup of instant coffee
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
4 cups tequila

A one gallon glass jug (buy a gallon of apple cider, drink the juice, and voila! you have a glass jug!
A large stockpot
A funnel

What to Do:
In stockpot, bring milk, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. (Warning: AS SOON AS the milk starts to boil, it will rapidly foam over. This is why you need to use a large pot and keep a close eye on your me, I have had to scrub milk off the stovetop more than once.)

Remove milk from heat and stir in instant coffee. Let sit for an hour to cool down.

Once cooled, remove cinnamon sticks and pour milk into gallon jug using funnel to avoid a really horrific mess (again, experience is the best teacher). Put in refrigerator to chill.

Once chilled, add tequila and vanilla.

Serve cold. "Tail" will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, although it rarely lasts that long.

Despite the odd-sounding combination of ingredients, this drink is GOOD STUFF! However, because it is so tasty and so sweet, people have a tendency to suck it down. Beware, for the Tail of the Monkey will knock you right on your ass if you do not exercise restraint!

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23

A Christmas Carol

Thanks to my friend Jason for e-mailing me this very cool performance.

Thursday, December 20

Playgroup Grinch

Last week Matilda and I joined Crystal and Luci at their playgroup's holiday party. It was at some bounce-house-super-extravaganza place in town where kids are free to give in to their inner-beasties and run around slamming into each other and the walls without causing too much damage. This was especially interesting for Matilda, who, having just learned to walk, was a bit confused by this new challenge to her mobility. Thus, she reverted to crawling or simply sitting and trying to ward off the other children with her evil glare.

Why is this girl invading my personal space?

The world has become so squishy!

By far her favorite part of the party was the dress-up room, where kids are able to don costumes, get on a stage, and sing karaoke. Matilda stood up there modeling her outfit, perfectly content just to be in the spotlight. I have no idea where she gets that from!

The lovely cowgirl fairy.

I feel really bad when I take M. to things like this because it becomes clear to me that she does not play well with others. It's not that she's anti-social; she just doesn't know how to play and is overwhelmed by other kids. Apart from Luci, all of her playmates are adults and dogs. The obvious answer would be for me to join a playgroup myself, except for one small glitch--I LOATHE playgroups.

I don't want to sound like a snob here--I'm not saying I'm too cool for playgroup or anything--I'm just a woman who had a kid despite the fact that I hate being around kids. Young kids, that is--the five-and-under kind who have no ability to reason or empathize and are just like a bunch of evil little monkeys. Screaming evil little monkeys. I can tolerate my own kid, kids related to me by blood, and the kids of my good friends, but throw me into a room with twenty or so strangers' kids and well, that's just one of the rings in my own personal hell.

You see, playgroup is chaotic, and me no likey the chaos. I like structure and organization and careful planning. There are plenty of people out there who can just tune out the maelstrom, who can, for example, sit around breastfeeding and putting together snacks while conversing non-stop about pregnancy while a dozen toddlers chase each other screaming. I cannot. I want to find a kidney table and sit the kids around it for craft time or story time or any kind of time that involves them focused on some activity rather than testing my nerves.

If I were a better mother, I'd make the sacrifice and take M. to playgroup despite the threat to my own sanity...but I'm selfish and am not willing to endanger my mental well-being for M. to be well-socialized. She'll just have to be a little hermit baby until she starts pre-school.


Tuesday, December 18

Matilda's New Word

This is my toy.

That is my toy do not touch it!

I know that this is not mine, but I'm hoping you'll let me have it anyways?

"Mine." (with hugs)
I love you.

"Mine, mine, mine..."
I want it ALL!

...and I want it NOW!

Monday, December 17

A Christmas Miracle!

Thank you, Baby Jesus, for the three Christmas cards I got today. I love the Westermans, the Kochs, and the Hollmeiers. Plus, two of them were PHOTO cards! My favorite! In honor of this Christmas miracle, have a dose of holiday adorableness...

This one goes out to Dan:

Sunday, December 16


Usually I am the killer of all e-mail forwards...but this one that I got from my mom is so great I had to share it with everyone.

Find more videos like this on

Crazy Christmas Lady

Okay, after my last post my beloved readers may be wondering, "Why has Tracy become psychotic over a few Christmas cards?" You have to understand my over-developed sense of Christmas spirit. Starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving (because Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving, NOT at Halloween!), my house gets transformed. First, I must find the PERFECT tree:

Luckily, I have a few good friends who understand that my OCD becomes particularly rampant during Christmas tree shopping, particularly Crystal, who sets aside a whole day every year to join me in my search. Happily, this year I only took an hour to find the perfect tree, rather than the all-day search that I usually undergo.

Then--oh the irony--I must employ other people to put the lights on my perfect tree because I am allergic to pine needles and break out in a rash when my skin comes into contact with those prickly buggers. Thus was the Christmas Tree Decorating Party born eleven years ago. To persuade my friends to take on the task of putting thousands of lights on my tree according to my very stringent lighting standards, I feed them lots of food and fill them up with lots of free booze.

This year we had twenty-two laborers, including Ben, who showed his holiday spirit by bringing his Dick-in-a-Box.

(Anyone brave enough to open the gift saw this:)

Himself and I also work very hard.

Not until my house looks like Christmas vomited all over it am I happy.

Then all there is to do until Christmas is sit back, admire my tree, drink copious amounts of 'nog, make cookies, and wait for the Christmas cards to start rolling in. (Imagine me as Bart Simpson to the mail lady--"Lady, where's my spy camera?! Where's my spy camera? Where's my spy camera?") I need those Christmas cards like a junkie needs a vein. They complete me. So thank you, Micaela, Heather, Megan, Erin, Dad, and are at the top of Santa's "nice" list.

Friday, December 14

Upon Getting my Mail Just Now

Where the fuck are my Christmas cards?

Three days and nothing but junk mail.

Fuck you, Ron Paul, disguising your propaganda as a Christmas Card. You do not have my vote.

I sent out EIGHTY cards--I expect some RECIPROCATION PEOPLE!

Merry Christmas.


A Visit to St. Nick

I have my chocolate milk and am prepared to meet Santa.

Here I come, Santa!

Santa, where are you?

Dammit, Luci, I want to go first!

WOAH! What the hell is this?! I have CHANGED MY MIND!

No means NO, Mama!

Why do they torture me like this?

Fine. Just take the F--ing picture already.

Wednesday, December 12

Tuesday, December 11

The Futility of Trying to Photograph 2 Babies and 2 Toddlers


Good, but maybe we can do better...

Faces front please, children!

The handlers intercede.

Wait a sec, they've got to get back into character...

...yes, there's the character!

This is exhausting!

We who lack mobility salute you!

Tuesday, December 4

Paving the Road to Hell

So once again I have failed utterly at Nablopomo. I'm sure I won some fabulous prize, but Fussy had to pass me over in disgust because I stopped posting less than halfway through the month. I'm sure that Oprah is also feeling disappointed, as she is a big fan of my blog. What else explains the fact that the next day after I wrote that I think everyone should read Pillars of the Earth, Oprah announced that it was her new book of the month? She totally got that idea from my blog. Totally.

Sorry, Oprah, that I blew Nablopomo...again.