Tag Archives: photo

photo friday: hello, muffin

11 Sep


Sometimes you look in your fridge and wonder why and how and when it came about that you acquired three—yes, three—large tubs of Greek yogurt in your life. Hard to say, really, but there they are and you’d better do something with them before they go moldy.

(Whoops, too late for that one there. Into the garbage you go, pal.)

So in a fit of I WILL ACTUALLY TRY ONE OF THE 4,000+ RECIPES I’VE PINNED ON PINTEREST!, you pluck one from your boards and make some banana muffins that use Greek yogurt instead of butter and oil, because as luck would have it you have some over-ripe bananas that need to be used, too.

And sometimes these things turn out quite deliciously, and you can enjoy them with a cup of tea while you zone out in the morning before work.

(Recipe can be found here.)

photo friday: no, thank you

21 Aug
HFS, this stuff is awful.

HFS, this stuff is awful.

Swede and a friend got it in their heads recently that we should all get together and drink Malört.

I’m pretty sure they were drinking other adult beverages when they came to this decision, because there is no way a rational, sober person would not only come up with this idea, but also think it is one upon which he should act.

But get together we did, and the Malört was poured out, and we all did a shot and it was as terrible as you think it will be. Why someone once acted on the idea to distill liquor whose main ingredient is wormwood is beyond me, but my guess is that other adult beverages were involved in that decision as well.

If you’ve never had Malört, the best way to describe it is as a taste combination of:

  1. The most bitter cucumber peel you’ve ever eaten
  2. Acetone nail polish remover
  3. Aquanet hair spray

And honestly, that’s kind of handle-able. It’s the fall that will kill ya. Immediately upon swallowing the Malört you’ll feel a burn in your chest, and you’ll think, “Okay, that wasn’t quite as bad as I was expecting.” And then 90 seconds later there’s a follow up burn that you certainly weren’t expecting, and you didn’t even know it was possible for your sternum bone to spontaneously combust, but there it goes, and holy shit, should someone call an ambulance? There’s a bit of concern that your body has just imploded in revolt. Once you’re reasonably sure that you don’t need emergency help, everything does settle down. But then you’re left with a lingering, non-negotiable taste of dirty, spoiled…I don’t even know. Gym socks? Rhubarb? Soiled felt from a seat on the red line?

Chugging water doesn’t help.

Diet Pepsi doesn’t help.

The only thing that appears to help is another adult beverage, preferably one that is not foul. The only problem is that the adult beverages are what started this whole episode to begin with.

So probably your best bet is to run, if Malört is ever mentioned in your presence. Run far, far away, and don’t look back.

Just be careful that all that running doesn’t further fan the flames of your spontaneously combusting sternum.

photo friday: hey there, good job

3 Jul

Hey America,

We’ve had a pretty intense/good/wild/strange/sad/happy/WTF past couple of weeks. Months. 239 years. And I just wanted to say keep up the good work. I know it’s hard sometimes, and that it can really be quite sucky, and that there will never not be room for improvement.

But I think you have what it takes to go the distance, to really make it.

Happy birthday, country of mine.

I hope you like this card I made you with my mad Photoshop skillz, America. Can I call you Mer for short?

I hope you like this card I made you with my mad Photoshop skillz, America. Can I call you Mer for short?

photo friday: what’s so funny?

17 Apr

Peace and Love

I’m in Miami for the second time in as many months, and while it’s not my favorite city in the world, I appreciate the sentiment they display for people as they fly in, out, or through Miami International.

Peace & Love to you this weekend, my friends. And may you pass it on in spades to those around you.

photo friday: the commute

14 Nov

The commute

Twice in my life I have had commutes that lasted at least ninety minutes going one way, and ninety to 120+ going the other. Twice may not sound like a big deal, but honest to Christmas, once was too much. For those of you out there who regularly spend three-plus hours of your day commuting, I commend you. I, personally, would lose my ever-loving mind if I had to do that again on a regular basis.

Which is why, when Swede and I were house hunting last year, we made it a point to look in places that have short commutes to our jobs. We pointed well for ourselves, it turned out, as it’s thirty minutes door-to-door for me via bus, and, on a bad day, fifteen for him by car (give or take if he rides his bike). And that works for us. We may not have the biggest condo on the block, but physical space was a trade-off for not spending precious hours getting to and from work. Also for not spending out mental space willy-nilly.

Will it stay this way forever? I dunno. Sadly my crystal ball was lost in the move. Or it might still be in one of the boxes I haven’t yet unpacked. A girl can dream to have a short commute to her job until she retires, but the world is funny that way, and what’s that old saying about how to make God laugh? Right. So I’ll just say, again, this works for us, at this point in our lives. And while it works, I’ll enjoy the (bus) ride.

photo friday: hitting the high notes

17 Oct

Chicago Opera copy

Sometimes you take a walk at lunch and stumble across an absolutely lovely piece of architecture, like the cavernous front of the Lyric Opera House. This is Chicago, though, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

I’ve been to the opera all of one time, while studying abroad in Rome. I can’t say that I really enjoyed it, and in fact remember thinking at the end, as the main lady singer was trilling out music as her character died, “Oh, would you just get ON with it already and die?”

Probably not the most auspicious first opera experience.

But! I will also add that I recently went to the ballet with my friend Cassie, and I didn’t hate it. In fact, I actually quite enjoyed it, and wouldn’t mind going again. This after I hadn’t been to the ballet since age eight, when my mom took me to see Cinderella and I was bored out of my gourd and swore never to return.

So maybe it’s time to give opera a second chance, too.

Chicago–we call it the second city, but perhaps what we mean to say is the city of second chances.

photo friday: seasonality

29 Aug

With summer often comes an excess of fruit. I’ve been working on reducing my food waste (Lo! How we have let so much delicious fresh bounty go bad because that time we ordered pizza three nights in a row! Cauliflower, I hardly knew ye!) and decided when I saw a recent batch of strawberries and plums starting to look a little worse for the wear, to do something drastic.

I went to Pinterest.

Okay, that’s not the drastic part. Okay, really none of this was drastic, or dramatic, or anything of the sort. My point is that I got a little creative.

And I made me some popsicles.

(Sadly, not boozy ones.)

But delicious ones nonetheless.


(In case you’re wondering, it’s a mix of plum and strawberry pureed, and layered with coconut milk mixed with honey.)


photo friday: me looking at you looking at me

13 Jun

Sears Tower

In February, Swede and I took a helicopter ride around the city skyline. You might say that February doesn’t seem like an ideal time to fly around, high in the frozen air, but that’s where I would have to tell you you’re wrong. To see the city from above is astounding any time of year. We flew the length and back again, the buildings and lake iced over and donning a top sheet of snow, and I only had to grope around for the Oh Shit handle a handful of times when we banked left or right or happened to look down, as I did when we flew past this skyscraper you might have heard of.

“To our right is the Willis Tower,” our pilot said, and I rolled my eyes. (It’s still the Sears Tower, okay?) “And now you can take pictures of people taking pictures of you,” he added.

I looked a little closer, and sure enough, we were flying by the step-out platforms of the skydeck, and people were waving and clicking away. So I waved and clicked back. And then I happened to look out the window, and instead of keeping my focus on the people across from me I looked down.

And very, very quickly decided that the best thing for me to do was to not do that again.


photo friday: play on, player

2 May


In March, some of my DC Family and I traveled down to Baton Rouge to visit another Family member. (I know, it’s sad, right? There are a whole THREE of us who broke up the band and moved away. Le sigh.)

The entire weekend was ridiculous as only a weekend fueled by too much food, too much champagne, and not enough time can be. But we did manage to make it to New Orleans for a warm Saturday afternoon. (Accomplishment, considering the workout my lounge pants got that weekend.) We ate muffuletta, drank to-go cups of cocktails, rode a trolley car and saw more than one second line band.

It’s not a terrible way to spend a weekend, I tell you.

photo friday: so it’s been a little cold here

10 Jan
I can't take credit, Photo by Swede

I can’t take credit; photo by Swede, with minor photo edits by me.

I don’t know if you know this, but it’s January in Chicago.

To me, January has always been the Ice Month.

December and February are the Snow Months.

March is a crapshoot. It could be any or all of the above.

But January, with its bone-chilling temperatures brings with it icy sidewalks and streets, and a lake that tries very hard to be the world’s largest ice skating rink.