Monthly Archives: July 2011

If I were a kitchen utensil…

When I was a graduate teaching assistant in grad school, I always took attendance in my creative writing classes by asking a random question before I started lecturing.

Sometimes it was, “What song is the soundtrack to your day?”  “Do you have any pets?”  “What terrifies you the most?”

I asked questions because it got the students thinking about things other than how hungover they were, or that jerk in the dorm who burnt the popcorn and set the fire alarms off in the middle of the night (SHELLEY).  They started thinking outside of the box.

One of my favorite questions was, “If you were a kitchen utensil, what would you be and why?”

Well, now, in my Diary of a Housegirlfriend surrounded by bon bons and martinis, I thought, “Wow, I ought to answer this myself.  I do belong in the kitchen, after all.”  Oh, calm down, feminists.  You can just eat your power lunch in your power suit and your power pumps.  Then you can go burn your bra or something.

But really, if I was a kitchen utensil, what would I be?

I guess you have to define utensil.  Wiki’s list is huge, so I’m just gonna pick one.

I think that I’m going to go with this:  I would be the ice Kitchen-Aid standing mixer.

First of all, I choose this because I like to mix things.  I like to add things to my cereal (like honey or candy), to my coffee (all kinds of fun stuff), to smoothies, to cookies, to anything.  I like to mix stuff together to see what happens.

I also chose the automatic blender over a spatula because I think power tools in the kitchen are awesome.  What?  It’s not a power tool?  Go ahead and stick your hand in there and see if it comes out mangled.

And I chose this color, because it’s just freaking pretty.

Real Life Conclusions based on utensil choice:

I like to mix stuff up in life, too, just to see what happens sometimes.  The oddest combinations sometimes end up being completely awesome.

I like power, but in a controlled way.  Spin wildly out of control, but keep it in the bowl.

I appreciate pretty things.  Not to mention I’m in a blue/green phase.

And I like the finished product after laboring to make something.

So what kitchen utensil are you?


Posted by on July 29, 2011 in Domesticity


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Roseanne Tweeted Me!: Life Complete

Let’s just get to the point here.  I was tweeted from Roseanne’s twitter account.  It was not Roseanne, however, it was her boyfriend Johnny.  But this makes it no less exciting!  Here is the conversation:

Roseanne Barr
TheRealRoseanneRoseanne Barr
This is the real Johnny taking over for @therealroseanne while Big Mama takes a nap – what’s going on everybody?? #roseannesnuts
Erica Brindley
HootyLouErica B*******
@TheRealRoseanne Lovin’ the show. You are hilarious Johnny! #roseannesnuts
Roseanne Barr
TheRealRoseanneRoseanne Barr
@HootyLou Hooty….You have great taste in old reality show wiseasses! thank you!! @therealroseanne #roseannesnuts
Erica Brindley
HootyLouErica B*******
@TheRealRoseanne Thank you! I love her. So glad to see her back on TV. I aspire to be a #domesticgoddess!
Erica Brindley
HootyLouErica B********
Now that my life is complete and @TheRealRoseanne tweeted me, I’m going to bed full of wine and happiness.
Roseanne Barr
TheRealRoseanneRoseanne Barr
@HootyLou That’s a good way to go to bed, Hooty! See you next show. Sweet dreams! – Johnny @therealroseanne #roseannesnuts
Seriously, what else is there left to do in life, now?  🙂  Just kidding.  But I was ecstatic!!!  I love Roseanne.  I seriously missed her on TV, ever since the Roseanne sitcom went off the air in 1997.  I’ve talked about how that show truly hit home with me, and I’ve been having conversations with friends lately about how it’s the only show I remember that actually depicted true American life in a real way.  Roseanne is awesome.

And now she’s back on TV!  Roseanne’s Nuts is about Roseanne’s life now as a macadamia nut farmer in Hawaii.  And it is HILARIOUS.   I am so glad that she’s back on television and acting as loopy as ever.  She always talked about how she modeled the Roseanne sitcom after her own life and her own family, and Roseanne’s Nuts is giving people a look into that real family.  I’m super excited.

And Johnny tweeted me while Big Mama was sleeping!!!!

Gah, what a good day.

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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Daily Happenings, Domesticity


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1990’s Nicktoons Return and this Cheap Ass Doesn’t Have Cable

1990’s Nickelodeon has been back for two nights now.  And I haven’t seen a damn episode.

I was so excited that these cartoons were coming back to television, and I still am.  And I think the fact that I am this excited and still haven’t seen an episode is a testament to my frugal nature.  In other words, I’m a cheap ass.

When I moved back to Ohio, I decided that I was going to be as frugal as possible.  Not because I don’t have a good paying job (I’m very lucky to have a job that allows me to support myself and pay all my bills, and still have money left over) that I love, but because once I got a job, I immediately thought, “I’m going to save for the future!”

In my head, my being a frugal little shit meant my kids were going to have college funds (should they choose to go), that I could have a great down payment on a house someday, that I could attempt to pay for my wedding by myself.  That I could take that road trip across the United States.

So I maintain my cheap ass-ness.  And here’s how:

  1. No cable.  Just Hulu and Redbox.
  2. I buy almond milk (longer expiration date) and mix it with water (because it’s so thick) for my cereal.
  3. I eat a lot of canned things…because it’s cheaper that way (I believe the sodium will preserve me better-pfft).
  4. I do not use lights if I have a television screen or computer screen on.  Candles candles candles.
  5. The heat is never turned on above 62 degrees.
  6. The air is never on for more than 2 hours a day.
  7. I go to the grocery store once a month and spend around $100 because I HATE GROCERY SHOPPING (no fresh fruits and veggies for me).
  8. I run/walk my neighborhood because I refuse to drive somewhere to work out.
  9. I RARELY eat meals with unless it’s with Mike on the weekends (Mike rarely lets me pay anyway).
  10. I don’t eat or drink at sporting events.
  11. I carry granola bars around with me.
  12. A 94% fat free box of popcorn usually lasts me for about two weeks of lunches.
  13. I fill up my garbage bags until they’re bursting.
  14. I don’t drive anywhere I don’t have to.
  15. I will watch my seasons of Roseanne and That ’70s Show over and over and over again if there is nothing on Hulu.
  16. I fall in love with purses from J. Crew, and then never buy them.
  17. I enjoy myself.

Please do not think for one minute that my quality of life is suffering.  I enjoy everything I do.  I do miss out on some things (like those damn 90’s Nicktoons) but the truth is that I can live without them.

It is by no means an admirable life of minimalistic thoughts or tendencies.  Just be thinking further ahead in life.  🙂


Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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Why It Is Almost Impossible to Live In One’s Hometown

I don’t know about your family, but mine has been in the same place for a long long time.  Let me explain.

Fremont & Clyde

Fremont and Clyde, where my kin resides.

I grew up in Fremont, Ohio.  Most of my family has been in Fremont and Clyde for at least 70 years.  See that map?  My entire immediate family including grandparents is pretty much in there.  My maternal grandmother grew up in Clyde and searched for Jessie Simmons’ tongue on the very farm I searched for it years later.  She married my grandfather, who was also living in Clyde.  My parents, aunts, and uncles all married people in the same vicinity.  And let’s be honest.  Everything is easier for them in terms of seeing loved ones If my grandparents need something, they have 4 kids and their spouses right there, plus some grandkids and cousins.  It’s easy to pick a place to have a family gathering because everyone is right there.

And up until my generation, everyone was still there.  My grandparents have 10 grandchildren.  Seven of them are still living in either Clyde or Fremont.  I am just south of Cleveland.  My cousin Heidi is right around Ashland.  I know we would love to be able to get back more often and see our family, but sometimes it just isn’t possible.

Getting off of work at 5, driving an hour and a half home puts me at 6:30, long enough to eat dinner, say hi, and head on out before the hour and a half drive back, so that I can go to bed at a decent hour.  I’d love to be able to drive 10 minutes down the road to have a cup of coffee with my mother.

There are advantages to this.  If you marry someone from your hometown, chances are you get to be close to both of your families.  That makes celebrating holidays with both much easier.  It makes planning the actual wedding easier.  It creates built-in babysitters that you don’t have to pay and grandparents get to see their grandkids.  I loved spending every weekend at my grandparents’ house.

But it’s hard to do that as a Gen Y kid.  We move away, go to college, graduate, feel guilty for not using our degrees, and live somewhere we can get a job.  During that process, most of us fall in love, either with someone from our hometown, someone in college, someone in grad school.  And eventually you have to choose.  Do you live closer to your parents?  Or your lovers?  You’re coming from different places, after all.  Will someone be upset?  What if you both can’t get a job in the same place?  What happens then?

It’s just all very weird.


Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Domesticity, Fremont


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A Domestic Sunday

This weekend, I went to see Mike in Pennsylvania.  I love spending the weekend there, mostly because it’s the place that feels most like home (aside from Fremont, of course).  It’s the only place in which I was able to live with Mike.  It’s the only place where we had more than a weekend together.  It’s the only place where we had his stuff, and my stuff, and our stuff. You can look at it here.  Anyway, we had a really great weekend.

Friday night, we watched silly TV shows and listened to music and Mike cooked me dinner.

Saturday, we woke up fairly early, bumbled around for awhile and then headed up to Columbus, PA for a housewarming party.  On the way there, we stopped at a cute little market and explored a glacial lake.  When we got there, we drank rum and Coke and watched the kids run around in the yard.  It made me want my own home and my own land and my own babies.

Sunday, though, Sunday was a domestic dream.  We woke up and Mike went outside to clean the sand out of my car from our Carolina vacation.  I got ready and then did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, made the bed, etc.  When he came back up, we got in the car and headed to Butler to have lunch with his mom before her nursing shift.  Then we wandered around Target looking for laundry baskets and shower curtains, and Mike sang into a plastic microphone just to make me laugh.

I secretly bought him the new Death Cab for Cutie CD and surprised him in the car.  On the way home, we held hands and looked for deer.  A little catnap and some dinner later, we smiled at one another only to realize that it was 8pm and time for me to go back to Cleveland.


The leaving trend is beginning to weigh on us.  It’s hard to fall into love over and over again every weekend, only to be torn away at the end of it.  Things need to change.  Mike is trying to find a job here, but you all know how it goes this day in age.  There isn’t one.  There is nothing.

I think that it’s terrible that so many different aspects of our lives are governed by the fact that we have to live where we can get a job.  We cannot live where our loved ones are.  But I think that’s a post for tomorrow.  For now, I’ll relish my perfect domestic Sunday.

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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Domesticity


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I Dream of Bieber


Alright dream interpreters, I need you again.  Carmen?  Where are you?

I fell asleep last night.  In the middle of the night, I dreamt of Bieber.


It was not a dirty dream.  Rather, it was a dream that just felt weird.  I met Bieber, but it wasn’t like I was 20 years older than him (like I feel now).  Bieber and I flirted for a hot minute.  Then all of the sudden I was in his backyard watching the Cleveland Indians play baseball.  Up close. 🙂

And then I was holding a baby.  Cutest baby in the world.  And she was mine!  A fuzzy little purple onesie and a cute little nose nuzzled in my neck, and she fell asleep on me.  And then there was a little baby boy, and darnit was he cute, too.

It was a very calming and happy feeling…as long as the babies didn’t belong to Bieber.  Although…then I wouldn’t have to worry about starting college funds.


Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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Adult Summer

Do you know what adult summer means?

FARKING NOTHING!  It means nothing.  There isn’t some huge long break to look forward to anymore.  You can still stay out late at bonfires and concerts, but you’re going to be dragging ass at work in the morning.

So for now, I will remember kid/teen summers:

Cartoons in the morning
The sweet “ooh OOH ooh ooh ooh” of the mourning doves
Bologna sammiches on white bread
Running through the sprinkler
Catching lightning bugs
Sneaking out late to shoot hoops in the driveway
Letterman and Leno
80’s rock in my 1990 Cutlass Ciera
Hide n Seek
Camping out
Toilet papering trips
Long long bike rides
Entire weekends at Grandma’s house
Lottery tickets in the spokes of our bikes
Mud pies
Rollerblading in the cemetery down the road
Climbing trees
Falling asleep with no worries
Swimming at Whirlpool Park and the Chemi-Trol pool
Tacos and footlong hot dogs
Kickball tournaments
Dirty feet
Tangled hair
Late night swims
Cedar Point
Backyard wrestling
Reading for fun

Oh man.  Kids, appreciate your summers.


Posted by on July 21, 2011 in 1990's Nostalgia, When I Was Young


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