Makin’ some Illi-noise!

This is an iced mocha from The Coffeehouse in Normal, Illinois.  If you are ever within a 50 mile radius of Normal (yes, that’s an actual town), you have to stop here and order an iced mocha.  It will blow your mind.  It will become the standard on which every iced mocha you have hence forth will have to live up and fail miserably.  I have no idea what makes it so freaking awesome.  It just is.  And it had been many years.

This was one of the many cool things I got to do in Illinois this summer.  I was lucky enough to have The General accompany me, too!  In addition to rocking out at my favorite coffeeshop, we also:

  • Toured the only German submarine captured during WWII.  Of course, everything was in German and I could kinda sorta read stuff.  So, in a pinch, I could probably command a German submarine in German.  (I learned how to call depth commands on Das Boot).
  • Since the dawn of our relationship, I have been talking about Decatur, Illinois to The General.  One of their native daughters is like a sister to me; as for their native sons, well, let’s just say that every guy I kissed in college had attended either high school or college in Decatur.  The Soybean Capital, as it’s called, is best known for the disgusting smell from the soybean refining factories and I felt it was high time that the General experience just how awesome it was.  Unfortunately, we arrived on a particularly non-smelly day.  We did find this place with my college roommate/sister Judy.  If you’re in the area, check it out. It looks creepy at 1st, but I promise it’s not!  It’s well worth the trip!  And oh so good!
  • Hung out with an old high school buddy and her boyfriend.
  • I hate shopping and I haven’t been to the big mall at home since I was in college.  We ended up there 3 times!  It also has H&M, a European clothing store that I am totally in love with and bummed because the closest one to me is in Raleigh.
  • Ate way too much ice cream.
  • Found my college town is surrounded by wind turbines. Those weren’t there a few years ago!
  • The General had never had a White Castle burger.  We fixed that straightaway!
  • Went to Mass with my Dad and cringed at how a) they changed the words from the original Mass we  were used to because of “bad translation from Latin” and b) how non-bibical their message was.
  • Avoided a mini-tornado like storm (mom’s frantic voicemail: Stay at the bar! Us: Ok!), but came home to candles and flashlights because the power was out.
  • Best part:  Spend some seriously awesome quality time with my parents.  And my sister.  And my future brother-in-law.

Oh, the adventures of Wal-Mart and beyond

I just realized I totally forgot to get light bulbs.  Oops.

I just had a quick trip to Wal-Mart to “pick up a few things.”  It ended up costing $45.  How does that happen?  I think my most expensive item was a bag of apples at $5.  I decided that today I would start cooking.

I’m surprising The General with pumpkin cupcakes and homemade cream cheese frosting.  Oh, and this that I stumbled upon this morning.  It looked too good/easy to pass up.  And all I needed were apples.  Yeah, I’m that kind of wife.  I’m also going all out for moi as well – I have 40 hours of work to smash into the week before the weekend hits – and thought it would be a good day to make food to take to work.  Tonight’s menu is a family favorite of mine: my Mom’s curry chicken.  The General is not a fan, but it’s okay, there’s more for me.  I was going to halve the recipe because I make such a huge pot it takes 2 weeks for me to go through it and by then I’m sick of it.  Then the light bulbs I forgot clicked on and I thought to myself, “You could have frozen part of it for the coming weeks.”  I still might do that, but I’m an onion short.  Hmm.  Maybe The General has some onion power somewhere.  He has all the cool spices.  I’m also going to make homemade empanadas as soon as I can convince myself that yes, I will have enough energy left at the end of the day to make bread.  This may be something for Thursday.

I usually avoid Wal-Mart as much as possible, and if I have to go, I go at the wee hours of the morning.  Pallets are stationary, unlike small children and southern women, and so it’s easier to navigate.  Yelling, “Watch out, Yankee coming through!” is not appropriate I’m told.  Well, as soon as I walked through the door, a twentysomething stopped me to ask if I could return something for her (using my ID) for cash because she had already exceeded her returns with her ID.  I told her no, I was not able to do that.  And then added as a quick aside, “There’s a warrant out for me!” and ran into the produce department.  I hate it when people catch me completely off-guard.  The stupidest things will come out of my mouth.

All was well until I got to the dairy section.  A woman opened the refrigerator door for the milk and proceeded to have a conversation with a friend of her’s in the back. “Hey Susan, guess what I did this morning!”  OMG.  It was hilarious…and so random.  Who does that?

The randomness followed me to the confectionary aisle.  As I’m looking for the canned pumpkin, an older gentleman passes me and says my alma mater.  It wasn’t that random, my alma mater  was on my shirt.  “Yes,” I replied.  It turns out he was from a town near-by and so we talked a bit what brought us out this way, 1,500 miles from home.  He’s been out here longer than I’ve been alive — he had on an ECU shirt, but it was where his son went — turns out he worked for the same company my Dad did and ironically, my sister was born just up the interstate from his hometown.  Crazy.  I ran into him again at the poultry counter.  He was a very kind man who seemed tickled there was a fellow Illinoisian roaming around Wilmington as well.

By this time, I made it back to my car without further oddities.  Whew.  Wal-Mart is always an adventure, but this was too much.

….and it has come to my attention that it may be time to start heeding my own advice.  How does one make a completely life-altering decision?  I’m not at the point where I can blog about it because my own thoughts are still incomplete and empirical.  Extremely empirical.  Emphatically empirical.  A possible impasse that may echo for some time to come.  For the time being I’m going to fast from alcohol until Thanksgiving as a sacrifice in prayer to attempt to see what the Lord has to say about this and to commune with Him.  No worries, it’s nothing bad.  It’s just…..life.

I gotta do it my way….or no way at all

I was watching One Tree Hill on DVD tonight when the intro to a song I hadn’t heard in years played a vamp for a scene.  I couldn’t for the life of me remember what song it was – I kept playing it in my head until I figured it out.

It was “Turn Me Loose” by Loverboy.

Back in my post-college/pre-NC days of my self imposed cornfieldness, I used to blast this song in my apartment and on my 1st generation iPod.  Enjoy.