Thursday, September 10, 2009

Book Review: The Impostor's Daughter
by Laurie Sandell

impostor

Simply put, you really should read this book.

It's a "graphic memoir," but before you start thinking it's manga, it's not. It's fun cartoons or comics, but without the slapstick of Bazooka Joe.

Laurie Sandell tells the story of trying to figure her father out and as a result figures herself out. Sandell's storytelling is straightforward and she doesn't work too hard to bring meaning to her stories--it just happens. She follows the "if I tell my deep dark secrets, they no longer are secrets that I have to haul around" rule (whether she means to or not). Which, is quite refreshing--and I'm sure anyone who has experienced adversity in their life will find it reassuring.

The book, despite being 247 pages, goes very quickly. I read it from start to finish last Friday. So, go get it and start reading! This is the best book I've read in a long time.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Chompers!

So, I haven't seen a "dentist" in 10 years--since I had my braces removed when I was 16 years old. And, really, I haven't had my teeth cleaned in about 12 years (right before I had my braces put on). This was hard for me to admit to anyone as I figured they would think I was slovenly.

My reasons for not going to the dentist for those all-important cleanings are that I was either under-insured, un-insured, or just hesitantly lazy. I never had health insurance when I was in Atlanta because I was working retail. I can't remember if I was offered benefits being a part-time employee, but I would have declined them anyway. Being a full-time student and part-time retail worker, I needed every penny I could get my hands on. That meant taking the risk that I wouldn't break an ankle climbing up the stairs at Amicalola Falls.

But, I've been fully insured since I've been fully employed here in Cincinnati. I've lived in this fine city for one and a half years now. My reason for not going to the dentist was purely laziness and hesitation--ten years, folks. I couldn't imagine what they'd find, not to mention I had a wisdom tooth poke out in July.

Today, I took the trek to a dentist in my neighborhood for a good ol' fashioned cleaning and to hear any bad news. The only bad news I heard: I need my wisdom teeth pulled. Um, I knew that. I knew that when my braces came off and my orthodontist took one last x-ray. All of the teeth were there, waiting patiently in my gums. He recommended they be removed. The good news: my teeth are in pretty darn good shape for not seeing a dentist in 10 years. That is, no cavities, no problems, and such mild build-up that the dentist said I could come in for a cleaning once a year as opposed to every six months, but he said it was up to me. I told the receptionist I'll come in once a year. She'll be mailing me a postcard in about ten months.

This leaves me to wonder: how much will my dental insurance company save on me?

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What I've Been Reading (and What You Should Be)
I feel like I've been reading a lot of books lately (I'm always Internet reading--which is a whole other thing). But then, maybe I've just been reading a lot of easy books recently. Whatever the case may be, here are three books I read in the fine month of August.
Punching In: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee
by Alex Frankel
punchingin
Anyone who has worked or is working retail can appreciate this quote from one of Frankel's Gap co-workers: "Dude, this place fucks with time. It slows down, it crawls, it moves backwards." Amen. I didn't get through my entire high school Algebra 2 class before I was applying the laws of exponential decay to that last hour of work.

I really wanted this book to be a blow to those companies that don't carry their branding to their store employees. Some companies can pull it off, but others aren't. That interaction between the kid/part-time mom/grad student/career retailer wearing a polo at the register is more influential than any marketing dollars poured into billboards, television, and that sneaky thing described as "viral."
This is more of a memoir than a biz book, but it's good.

Next up:
Free-Range Chickens
by Simon Rich
freerangechickens
This book is such a quick read, why wouldn't you pick it up? Not all of it is funny, but there are enough funny portions to make it worth your while. You won't get upset about having to read something unfunny.

One note: Simon Rich is a year younger than me. He has published 2 books (one of which I have read and like) and writes for Saturday Night Live. Because of this, I have to hate him, as it is obligatory to hate anyone younger and more successful than yourself.

Finally:
The Hummer and The Mini: Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape
by Robyn Waters
hummerandmini
It's good, but feels dated. The book was published in 2006--it's been 3 whole years. There are a lot of good examples in the book that encourage me to think differently about branding and the biz in general, but some of the examples I've seen before. Then again, maybe it's because I read Waters's other book.

Bottom line: read it. While some examples given seem obvious, they'll be classics in 2 more years. Plus, it's a quick, insightful read.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Friday, August 07, 2009

Things That Have Happened Since April 29, 2009


1. My boyfriend and I took a hike around the lake at Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky. We also saw the following animals: one Canadian Goose sitting on its nest; several Bison. (May 3, 2009)

2. Went on many bike-toodles.

3. The water in my apartment was threatened to be shut off. I do not pay directly for water. (May 19, 2009)

4. I have decided that once my lease ends, I'm moving out of this apartment.

5. Hot. Sunny. Humid. Sticky hot.

6. I had my eyeballs checked. They are -.25 worse than they were before. (May 29, 2009)

7. My boyfriend and I took a Wilderness First Aid Course. I highly recommend it for anyone who goes out into the wild.

8. I saw the movie “Up.”

9. While jogging, I was charged by 2 dogs. One was a boxer, the other looked like a golden retriever, except that it was black. I yelled at the dogs to leave me alone and then proceeded to yell at the 2 owners who had their dogs, unleashed and uncontrolled.

10. I’ve been taking advantage of “summer hours” at work.

11. Kayaked 5 miles down the Little Miami River.

12. Hiked the Adena Trace Trail along Brookville Lake in Indiana with my boyfriend. It took us 7.5 hours to go 12.5 miles. We saw 2 toads, 2 tadpoles, 4 turtles, 2 deer, bunches of squirrels and bunches of snails. It poured down on us twice. (June 14, 2009)

13. Purchased a new digital camera.

14. Jogged the entire Hyde Park Blast Fun Run. Here are my stats: distance-4miles; time-43:52; pace-10:43. (June 27, 2009)

15. Decided that I really need to stop buying Healthy Choice Pizzas, because no matter how much I think they’ll be delicious and “not that bad for me,” they’re disgusting.

16. Um, did I mention I journeyed back to the homeland? (July 3, 2009)

17. And that my boyfriend came up for the second week?

18. We climbed Lazy Mountain, some of us fell, we went to Seward, did a wildlife cruise, camped, saw Exit Glacier, climbed Bodenburg Butte, drove to Denali National Park, took a shuttle bus, saw bears, camped, and enjoyed being with my family that’s in Alaska.

19. Started and continue to harvest cherry tomatoes and big tomatoes from the plants my boyfriend and I planted this spring.

20. I finished reading these books:

a. Sky Time in Gray’s River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place—Robert Michael Pyle

b. When You Are Engulfed in Flames—David Sedaris

c. IdeaSpotting: How to Find Your Next Great Idea—Sam Harrison

d. Orbiting the Giant Hairball—Gordan MacKenzie

e. The Trendmaster’s Guide: Get a Jump on What Your Customer Wants Next—Robyn Waters

21. I recommend all of these books except for the first.


Enjoy!

T. Budnik


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Conservationist Fashion

I kid you not, The Nature Conservancy's blog has covered fashion for conservationists. It's something we already know: if you want something/want to fit in, dress the part.

My favorite tip is #10.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sundays I Write Letters

Dear Readers, 
I'm still in the mood to write lists. So, here's another list that will update you on my daily adventures.

1. First, I'd like to respond to the comments that were left.
2. (That is the purpose of Sunday Letters.)
3. Mom, I got the tourist info. We will be perusing the activities.
4. No, KBezzie, I have not caved. I will not be acquiring a microwave. Especially since I now am the proud owner of a George Foreman Grill that I got from a friend of my boyfriend.
5. Aunt Susan, I enjoyed seeing the photos of Uncle Joe's party. It looks like everyone had a good time.
6. Grandma, I'm glad to hear the Uncle Joe's party was great.
7. Now onto what I've been up to.
8. I have to renew my library book for the 2nd time and I'm not even half way through it. 
9. Don't worry Mom, I'm not acquiring any fees and I promise to pay any fees on time.
10. It was gorgeous yesterday, so I put on my hiking boots and walked to Ault Park.
11. I wanted to break in my boots.
12. But I'm not sure if my boots broke in my feet.
13. I got a small blister. 
14. And then I had "hot spots" on the bottom of my feet.
15. The same places where I got HUGE blisters from my Teva sandals. 
16. I think my feet are my problem.
17. Not my shoes.
18. My car actually doesn't need struts.
19. I took it into a Ford dealership, telling them about the sound and how Midas had told me I needed to replace the rear struts.
20. Ford told me they couldn't hear any noise. 
21. And that they didn't see any reason to replace the struts.
22. They did see funky wear on the rear tires and thought it was the alignment.
23. But it wasn't the alignment.
24. I think I just haven't had my tires rotated in awhile.
25. So, what I thought was going to be $800-900 ended up being $80. 
26. HINT:  Unless your car is not moving, don't take the first mechanic's word for it. Get a second opinion. 
27. It's absolutely gorgeous today. 
28. Perhaps there will be a bike ride.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sundays I Write Letters

Dear Readers,

Obviously, I haven't written to you or on my blog for awhile. What can I say? Life has been keeping me busy. So today, I give you a list of what's been going on in the past few weeks.

1. I have acquired tickets to Alaska.
2. I'm calling my trip "Journey to the Homeland."
3. My mom was in The 'Nati last weekend.
4. We did the following:
5. Walked to Ault Park.
6. Did Downtown.
7. Had dinner with my boyfriend.
8. Rented bikes and took a toodle in Loveland.
9. As you can tell, we had a good time.
10. I've decided that maybe I need to put more thought into my space.
11. But that doesn't mean that I'll be acquiring any of the following:
12. Television.
13. Couch.
14. Microwave.
15. I just feel like I need "stations" in my apartment to do things.
16. And maybe this will facilitate more blogging.
17. My beloved Taurus has been making a creaking sound when I get into or even put a heavy bag into the back. 
18. The mechanics say it's my rear struts.
19. So, that's a pricey meatball.
20. Have I ever told you that I finally made it to running 30 minutes straight?
21. But I don't do it every day.
22. I run 30 minutes one day.
23. And 15 minutes the next day.
24. Repeat.
25. My running is going well.
26. Friday I ran upon a 4-car accident.
27. It was only a chain of rear-endings. 
28. I didn't witness it, but ran upon it only moments after it happened.
29. Everyone was okay.
30. So I kept running. 

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Book Review: Never Have Your Dog Stuffed and Other Things I've Learned
by Alan Alda

dogstuffed

I read this book because my dad gave it to my mom one year as a Christmas or birthday present (I can't remember) and it's reported that my two younger siblings picked it up and everyone enjoyed it. That's not to mention that in the kid-stage of my life, my family would watch rerun episodes of M*A*S*H* during the summer. (Two back-to-back episodes would air at 10pm on CBS and we would eat cinnamon toast while watching.)

I'll be honest and say that this book didn't do too much for me. Nothing is extremely spectacular in Alan Alda's memoir and his voice didn't knock my socks off. He's a little too sentimental for my tastes and he tries a little too hard to create a meaning and theme out of his childhood stuffed dog.

The one redeeming factor is that I still like the guy. At least he didn't prove to be a jerk. So, if I ever end up watching M*A*S*H* reruns, I can happily enjoy.

As a little side note, I think my family is an anomaly. I have yet to encounter anyone who enjoys(ed) that show as much as we did (does).

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Week #11

09week11

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Week #10

09week10

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Week #09

09week09

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sundays, I Don't Write Letters. Instead, I Catch Up.
Week #08

09week08

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHY, YES
Dear Mom,
Thank you! Is your presence my birthday present?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear MiniGene,
First, I didn't know you had a blog. Second, I'm glad you like the outdoorsy men dolls.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
No, the outdoorsy men dolls do not reinact Denver day trips. Instead, they reinact bear attacks.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: DID I MENTION
Dear Aunt Susan,
If you don't have any big trips planned, do you have small ones planned?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Dear MiniGene,
Yes, it was great seeing Belita. Feel free to save that picture of us and use it as your computer desktop so you can always think of your dear, younger sisters.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I forget nothing. Nothing.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Grammylou,
First, I'm glad you're finally able to get onto my blog and leave comments. Thank you, Aunt Susan. Second, I'm glad you're staying off of the roads if they're bad.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Daddy,
Thank you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #06
Dear Grandma,
Yes, I did get the pictures of Uncle Rob and I de-icing my car. Thank you!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Did I just blow your mind?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
It's a Post-it note.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #07
Dear Mom,
Even if I had my camera with me, I wouldn't have been able to take a picture--I was driving.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: OUTDOORSY GEAR
Dear Grandma,
Thank you and, yes, I will take KBezzie up on the sock offer.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
I told you. And, I like my socks to come up a comfortable 2-3" above the top of the boot. Thank you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I'm glad you got a laugh out of my boot pictures. Yes, my Gentleman Friend will be coming to the Homeland if he behaves himself.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Aunt Susan,
Thank you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear MiniGene,
Thank you for the advice. I will inform you when my boots become a part of me.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Daddy,
That's it, I'm canceling my Journey to the Homeland.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: CHOCOLATE
Dear KBezzie,
I'm assuming that a garlic honey granola would lean to the savory side of "sweet 'n savory?"

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Well, I'm eating granola now!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chocolate Raspberry Cake and Granola

raspberrycake01

So, although I've been busy, I haven't been too busy to whip up some delicious baked goods. A couple of weekends ago, I made a mini chocolate cake using a recipe from my small-batch baking book. I knew that the level of chocolate would be sorta bland, so I bought some raspberries to frost it with. There are raspberries between the two layers and, as you can see, on the top. This cake was delicious. And, because it was small, it was eaten (by me and my gentleman friend) way before it could attract mold, ants, or any other pesky critters.

granola01

The second thing I made was granola. I've been wanting to try my hand at a granola for a long time. And then I found this. It's a nice recipe that tells you about mixing and matching the ingredients to get what you want and like. It was super-simple and quick to make. And, let me tell you, it tastes delish mixed into some yogurt. 

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Outdoorsy Gear:  Kamik Outback Hiking Boots

boot03

Alright, if you don't know, I plan on heading back to Alaska for a little visit this summer. I haven't been back home since I left--3.5 years ago. And, in preparation for this trip which I'm calling Journey to the Homeland, I need to do a few things. This is what I call Operation Alaska. First thing on the list:  acquire bonafide hiking boots. Usually, I just go hiking in tennis shoes, but we all know that rocks are sharper, hills are steeper, and bears are meaner in Alaska, so I need to be ready with the right gear.

These boots were a birthday present from my gentleman friend. (He supplied the gift card, I supplied the desire to buy boots.)

After browsing Sierra Trading Post, I settled on these Kamik Outback Hiking Boots. Now, shopping online is always tricky--you'll receive items that are too this or that just to pay $6 to return the misfitting items. So, I figured in my search for boots I'd have to order and return a few pairs until I found some that worked. 

Nope, not in this case. They fit well with both my lightweight hiking socks and my heavyweight hiking socks. Now, I haven't actually taken a hike in these boots, but I have high, high hopes that they'll be comfortable and raise my outdoorsy status a few notches. (Of course, if they fail me, you'll be the first to know.)


boot02


boot01


Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Week #07

09week07

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Week #06

09week06

Just catchin' up.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, February 23, 2009

Did I Mention My Sister Was in Town?

On my birthday, my dear younger sister, Belita, and her gentleman friend (read boyfriend) had a layover in Cincinnati [sic] so I ran out to the airport to visit with them. The day couldn't have gone smoother. I took off half a day of work, left right at noon, picked up my gentleman friend (read boyfriend) and we headed off to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport. See, Cincinnati's airport is really in Kentucky. Go figure.

We arrived at the airport with about 15 minutes before my sister's plane arrived. Perfect. When they came out of the gate, we had about 2 hours before they needed to head back through security to catch their next flight. After not seeing my sister for 3.5 years, you'd think that 2 hours would fly by, but it didn't. It moved slowly (in a good way, not a "I'm stuck waiting" kind of way), so I was able to catch up with her, meet her gentleman friend, and introduce my gentleman friend.

Because there's not much to do at the airport, we found a little deli and got some sandwiches. The sandwiches were expensive and not that great--typical airport food. And so we sat at the little table chatting and nibbling. Then, we got photographic evidence that yes, we did indeed meet up. 

Observez-vous.

visit02
(I told them to hold something up with pride. Belita chose to hold the chocolate chip, walnut cookies I baked especially for them. A little side note, Belita's shirt is all about evolution vs. creation, although the pro-choice vs. pro-life double-meaning is a nice add.)

visit01
(I'm comforted that the Lower 48 hasn't ruined my Alaskan complexion.)

Although it was entirely too short of a visit, I'm happy that I got to see them and surprised that everything went so well. It won't take another 3.5 years for me to see her because I'm headed back to Alaska on a vacation this year.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why, Yes, I Did Have a Birthday.

Instead of Sunday Letters, I'm going to show you all the birthday greetings I received not too long ago. Thank you for all the birthday wishes and gifts.

bday08


bday06


bday02


bday03


bday01


bday07
(I'm still waiting for the ticket to Denver. Haha!)

bday05
(The man in green is the kayaker. And now he lives on my animal shelf at work.)

bday04
(My dear younger sister gave me the San Diego Zoo penny while the John Deere one came from Aunt Susan.)

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sundays I Try to Write Letters and Sometimes They Get Written on Mondays

Dear Readers,
It's been a little over a week since we've been together. This I know. I've missed my planner scan. I have the picture, I just haven't had the time to blog it. And, it's still a picture, not a scan because I haven't gotten around to reinstalling my printer/scanner because it miraculously uninstalled itself. (Don't worry, this isn't the first time.)

Folks, I was beginning to feel bad about my blog-neglect. But this is what Everyday Adventures and everyday adventures are all about--experiencing the unexpected. I had no idea that each day last week would render me unable to blog. And, I'm not complaining.

With that, I'll leave you a promise:  I will post all 52 planner scans of 2009 and share all of my adventures.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GENE!
Dear Mom,
You said it.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY!
Dear Mom,
Metaphorically, Daddy is the one in the middle picking his nose.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Yes, indeed.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
Dear Mom,
Yes, my birthday was a good one. I did get to see Belita and her gentleman friend.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Aunt Susan,
Yes! I did get the card you sent. Thank you! And, I love the John Deere smooshed penny!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
On the contrary, I think you are the nut.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Toni,
Belated or not, thank you for the birthday wishes!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #05
Dear KBezzie,
Yes, the rain made the snow even worse on the second day. I despise driving in the snow/rain here. I wish I had studded tires.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
So, are you starting your car every 8 hours on the hour and never skipping?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: BOOK REVIEW
Dear KBezzie,
If magic mushrooms and fiddleheads had been mentioned, this book would have gotten a raving review. It did not.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I'm sure you don't want to be cooking what this guy was.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Friday, February 06, 2009

Book Review: The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine by Steven Rinella

scavengersguide

Thank goodness, I've finished another book. Continuing my natural education, this books takes me to an outdoorsy arena I have yet to embark on neither in nature nor in literature: hunting and gathering. Steven Rinella is a self-proclaimed outdoorsman who happens upon an old-school cookbook that requires all kinds of weird ingredients. The book is the story of how he acquires all of these ingredients and then holds a three-day feast.

The stories were interesting enough but I felt like there wasn't too much purpose beyond, "hey, look at this cool thing I did." Which, I'm fine with, but this just didn't knock my socks off. Rinella's voice is like the neighbor kid who calls you over so you can watch him burn some ants with a magnifying glass. Not that he's overly violent or cruel, but that he's up to something.

And, as a side note, Rinella now writes for Glamour, or at least wrote this article.

Okay, so this book was good, but not mind-blowing. Do what you will with it.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Week #05



09week05



Enjoy!
T. Budnik
Happy Birthday to Me!

birthday12

birthday11

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

DaddyBday

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gene!

GeneBday

Enjoy!
T. Budnik
Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WEEK #04
Dear Mom,
I do have a bad case of the spots. Can you suggest a remedy?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Yes, coffee beans.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: BAKING ADVENTURE
Dear KBezzie,
Where I get my raspberry preserves is none of your business.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Go ahead and make KBezzie some preserves. They won't taste as good as mine.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Aunt Susan,
It sounds like you need to plan a trip to Ames to get some books back. (The preserves are probably all gone.)

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Friday, January 30, 2009

Baking Adventure

CROS01

In an attempt to expand my baking horizons, I made Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Squares. The recipe came from my small-batch book. While the portion was great, the squares were just "good." I used too many chocolate chips for the inside layer and the topping. And, the chocolate chips were only melted--nothing added. There's a reason why chocolate chips aren't used straight for frosting--they get so hard it's difficult to bite. And, you can't see it in the pictures, but there's a pre-baked oatmeal crust (that's made from the same stuff as the topping), because it's pre-baked and then baked again with everything on top, I believe it became too crispy. But, the combination of oatmeal, raspberry, and chocolate was so good that I just may try these again and tweak the recipe.

You know the drill: scroll through these photos quickly and the oatmeal squares practically put themselves together!

CROS02

CROS03

CROS04

CROS05

CROS06

CROS06

CROS08

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Week #04

09week04

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WEEK #03
Dear KBezzie,
Go get yourself some Chapstick. I always buy the 3-pack because I don't want to run out. I keep a tube in half a dozen places so I never have to go far to moisturize my lips.

Oatmeal is delicious--whether it helps you lactate or not.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Those aren't bugs. Those are boredom-born Sharpie circles.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Week #03

09week03

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: FULFILLED WISH
Dear KBezzie,
See, I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't when it comes to wearing my id bracelet.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Aunt Susan,
Yes, you should get Uncle Joe a Road ID.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,Yes, you do have a choice of color. Go treat yourself to a purple one.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #02
Dear KBezzie,
I do not appreciate your sense of humor concerning my cat.

That is all.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I have to put mailing your football bank on hold for awhile. I need to find a suitable box. I want your prize to get to you safe and sound.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: DINOSAUR MUFFINS
Dear Emily,
I'm glad that the dinosaur muffins amazed you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Aunt Susan,
Yes, please send along any favorite cookie recipes.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
What is RM? I'm glad you like the Dinosaur Muffins.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
I promise that I will say "ganache" next time I swirl chocolate chip glaze atop muffins.

And, I don't know when our dear youngest sister will be by to defend her honor.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dinosaur Muffins

dinosaurcupcake02

How do you make banana-walnut-chocolate chip muffins you've made a million times a bajillion times more exciting? Add dinosaurs, of course.

dinosaurcupcake01

Last weekend I whipped these up for my good friend's birthday. I topped the muffins with a chocolate chip glaze which served as dinosaur glue. I've done the banana muffin-chocolate chip glaze trick before. But, in the past I wrote not-so-appropriate words on the muffins for my dear sister's birthday. (Then again, the words were appropriate. Muahaha!)

I've been in a baking rut for awhile now and it's my goal to expand my baking (especially cookie) horizons. Any suggestions are welcome.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Week #02

09week02

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fulfilled Wish

roadid

Folks, it's been a long time: I've wanted this for a long time and it was a long time to get it all squared away.

My good friend gave me a Road ID for Christmas, but there was a bit of a problem with the wrist band. (I've got my Mom's wrists--tiny, tiny, tiny.) Finally, this weekend, the right size arrived. Today was my first day wearing it on my walk/jog. I'm proud to say that it was not used this evening.

This Road ID is the interactive kind. I can change my information on a whim. All that the person who finds my unconscious body needs to do is call the 800 number or go online to discover interesting factoids about me--blood type, organ donor status, allergies, emergency contacts, etc..

The only problem with it is that I can't find a reason to wear it all the time. And, trust me, I've spent many hours contemplating it, trying to find an excuse to wear it to work. (Unfortunately, my writing job doesn't really put me in danger.)

Check this one off the wish list, folks!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday I Write Letters

RE: BOOK REVIEW
Dear Mom,
I do not know if the movie follows the book. And, yes, a lot of people read the book just because they saw the movie. I'm not sure if I'll watch the movie.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Dad,
I also read that the turkey slaughtered behind Sarah Palin's press conference sold on eBay for a pretty penny.

Read the book. It's good.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Yes, you are old. Oof, indeed.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #01
Dear KBezzie,
Yes, it's a good thing Finn is more important than a rabid raccoon.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Yes, Happy Birthday, Finn, indeed.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Week #01

09week01

Welcome 2009!

Can you believe that this is the third year I'm scanning my planner? Well, I'll say "documenting" it. My scanner decided to divorce my computer, so I had to take a picture. I just don't feel like messing with the beast that is my scanning device right now.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, January 05, 2009

Book Review: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

intothewild

This was the last book I finished in 2008. With all the crazy holidays, I'm just now getting around to letting you know what I think of it.

I have to admit that I avoided this book although it was highly recommended by a few people whose taste in books I trust. Why did I avoid it? Because the dude in it dies in Alaska--my homestate. Like many Alaskans, my opinion of the dude is that he was an idiot. And, after finishing the book, I still think he was an idiot.

But, the book isn't exclusively about Chris McCandless. Krakauer briefly explores the stories of other adventurers and even his own. The book isn't so much about Chris McCandless but, as the title states, going out into the wild--adventuring.

While Krakauer brings up that the urge to explore and throw caution to the wind is seemingly a pattern amongst young men who have troubled relationships with their fathers, I felt there was a whole lot in the stories that I could relate to. There's something very exhilarating about heading out without a concrete plan and learning how to make it on your own. Although I kept in close contact with my parents and played by the rules of society, I felt like my traveling from Atlanta to Portland to Cincinnati was another version of the "into the wild" stories.

So, if you've been hesitant about this book, go ahead and pick it up. It's worth it because the focus isn't 100% on the idiot who died in Alaska.

My favorite quote:

I was suprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT
Dear KBezzie,
I haven't ever been to Colorado. You should have known.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Aren't you lucky?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Dear KBezzie,
Hmmm...I wonder why you like December boys...

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Yes, Happy Birthday to Paul and, yes, I'm glad chicks don't dress like that.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #52
Dear Mom,
I believe your questions were addressed in a telephone conversation earlier this week. Please reference the transcript.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: FAREWELL 2008!
Dear Mom,
Yes. 2008 was great. And, 2009 will be fine.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Daddy,
Yes, 2008 was a rich year--literally and metaphorically. I, too, look forward to what I am calling my "Journey to the Homeland."

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Geez, you just gave birth to your own snugglebug and here you can't wait to get your hands on my Corey the Cat! to snuggle with him. Cool your jets, please.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Aunt Susan,
Yes, I did meet almost the rest of my extended family (on Mom's side). And how much fun it was! Here's hoping I can make it again this year!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Farewell, 2008! And Happy New Year!
Because 2008 was great, I feel the need to bid a formal farewell by listing the things that happened.

1. I absolutely started 2008 on the road. December 31, 2007 was my last day working part-time, temporary employment in Portland, Oregon and I thought it would be most fitting if I started the new year out on the road. And that's what I did.

2. So, for the majority of the year, I have lived in Cincinnati. So far so good. I can't complain.

3. The reason why I moved to Cincinnati was for a full-time job with full-time pay and adult-like benefits. How sweet is that?

4. I adopted a pet--Corey the Cat! He still won't let me pet him, but I think 2009 is going to be the year of big happenings.

5. Although I did most of my traveling at the very beginning of the year, I did make some short trips to both Marblehead, Ohio and most recently to my Grandma's.

6. Both of those trips were carried out on Adventure Fridays.

7. My oldest brother and his super-cool family stopped in town on their way west. As always, it was great seeing them.

8. Have I mentioned yet that December brought a new nephew? (2009 promises at least one more.)

9. I took a kayaking class and have gone out on a couple of outings. How outdoorsy am I?

10. I saw Ricky Raccoon move in. And saw him get evicted.

11. Cincinnati reintroduced me to snow and the icy cold.

12. I've started jogging (but I still don't jog 30 minutes straight--that's my goal).

13. For the entire year I've gone without owning both a television and a microwave. This isn't to say that I haven't watched television nor used a microwave. I have. I just don't own the items.

14. I hiked to keep sane.

15. While the first couple months of 2008 in Cincinnati did cause me some funky feelings and it took awhile to get used to, I ended the year and started the new one feeling good.

16. And, of course, I met a wonderful gentleman.

Here's to 2009 bein' fine!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik