Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy 2014!

2013 brought two half marathons, the start of law school at Michigan State, trips to Nicaragua, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Alaska, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Texas, and shows in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Montana, Wyoming, Virginia and South Dakota. This year contained not much sleep, but many adventures! Here's hoping 2014 brings both. Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas, casinos and cookies

The day after Christmas, I headed up north to perform at the Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. That was my first stop of three (the others were Wausau, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota). The roads weren't terrible on the way up, I had a pretty fun show, and I managed not to lose any money gambling.  Oh, and like I always do when I work there, I scored a vegan pizza. So wins all around!

I worked with Kris Shaw on the three shows, who I just love.  Not only is he really unique and funny, but he's also a total sweetheart.  That's him performing for a Christmas tree at our show in Wausau:

Turns out, pine trees are actually pretty good laughers.  Who knew?

Not only did we stay at a super fancy hotel (where our gig was held), but we also went to the downtown skating rink after the show.

The venue:

Grace at its finest. Sochi 2014, here I come.

After leaving Wausau, I was so excited to get to Duluth.  Sadly, it was not the most scenic drive up there.

I was pumped to get to Duluth because not only do I love performing at Dubh Linn's Pub, but one of my favorite people lives there.

That's my friend Tim, who is one of most awesome people on the face of the earth.  He does sound at Dubh Linn's, and the first time I worked there, we had a really long conversation and became great friends after that.

We had beer, chips and salsa, and more great conversation before my show and then got updated on each other's lives after it.  He also gave me a bunch of homemade wine that he made for Christmas.  And I made him vegan chocolate chip cookies. 

Just because I think the recipe is so great (I swear, even Tim said the same thing without me bribing him), I've decided to share it. Enjoy the chocolatey goodness! 
  • 1 cup margarine (or butter)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Silk Original or Vanilla soy or almondmilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
    2.Using an electric mixer or sturdy wooden spoon, cream margarine (or butter) and sugars until light and fluffy. 
    3.Slowly add Silk, mix well, then add the vanilla. 
    4.Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir to blend. Fold in the chocolate chips. 
    5.Drop by teaspoon onto buttered or parchment-lined cookie sheets. 
    6.Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I had a lovely Christmas, and to those who celebrate it, I hope you did as well.

It was nice to spend a couple days with family without thinking about studying for finals. However, because I spent the end of November/beginning of December studying for finals, that left A LOT of last minute Christmas shopping.  Luckily, the lines weren't terrible, and I didn't have to fight anyone for the last (insert name of a popular, in-demand item here).

Anyway, some pictures of the festivities (which would not be complete without food pictures, of course):

Meet vegan spinach artichoke dip (AKA my new reason for living):

These may or may not be the reason I gained 7 pounds over the holidays.

Why, yes, that is a dryer.  Leave it to my family to turn anything into a bar.

Keeping it classy on my trip to the laundry room.

My dinner plate:
And, now, onto the family pics:

Wyatt looking quite dapper.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Rushing to Iowa

Immediately after my last final, I grabbed Drew (well, not literally; in my Torts class, I learned that's called assault), hopped in the car with him, and drove seven hours to Iowa to perform at a show that evening.  Yeah, I don't so much recommend getting up at six am, taking a grueling four-hour final and then flooring it for the entire afternoon/evening before performing (unless you have a super powerful bladder as we didn't even have time for bathroom breaks).

Throughout the drive, my heart was racing the entire time as I knew that if we hit traffic or construction or snow, we likely wouldn't make it on time.  Luckily, the only thing of interest that we did pass was this:

Spotted on our drive.
I'm happy to report that we did indeed make it on time! I checked into the hotel, got ready, and headed over to the show.  After the show, Drew and I celebrated being done with the semester with this GIANT vegan pizza:

Originally, we bought it thinking it would last us four or five meals. Nope, it lasted one evening.
I had a lot of fun at the shows, and during the day, we ate vegan sushi and watched movies (specifically, American Hustle, which was great).

Behold the deliciousness!
It was so icy in Iowa (How icy was it? It was so icy in Iowa that rappers were moving there! Heyyy-oooo!) that we had to scrape the car every time we ran into the store for over five minutes.  Luckily, Drew helped with that.

Getting reacquainted with his Midwestern roots.
Despite the cold, it was an awesome week!  Now, onto that last minute Christmas shopping...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I made it!

Well, I survived FINALS! I think the past four months (the time I've been in law school) were the longest of my life, and the past couple weeks were definitely the hardest. I seriously don't wish law school finals on anyone.  Well, maybe on people who have too many items in the express lane because they're annoying, but nobody else.

The good news is: my finals are over!  The better news is: I only managed to gain five pounds due to stress-eating. I think that averages out to about one pound per day of studying, but still. The bad news: bah, who has time for bad news? I'm still basking in the thank-everything-holy-I'm-on-winter-break glory!
During finals, I also got to perform some really fun shows. I worked at the Funny Stop in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio with two hilarious comics: Juanda Mayfield and Rob Ward.  Bonus: Juanda is an extreme couponer and taught me some of her secrets. Between my love for budget travel and her tips on how to get free cosmetics, we're thinking of joining forces into one money-saving duo that can't be reckoned with.  2014, perhaps?  

Ohio may or may not have had it out for my poor, little car:
Its weather was no match for my feet, however.  Allow me to introduce you to my make-shift snow boots:
Not only did I finish finals, work with some great comics and nearly eat my weight in Swedish Fish (hence, the aforementioned five pounds), but I even managed to be a big ol' winner. I'll try not to spend it all in one place. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving and dirty jokes

One of the best parts about my Thanksgiving this year was getting to see my brother. He flew in from Las Vegas (where he lives), and we got to hang out and make gingerbread houses together. I'll spare the picture of my gingerbread house as apparently the cover-the-entire-thing-in-frosting-and-dump-candy-willy-nilly-all-over-it technique doesn't really photograph well.

But, here's one of my brother.

I ended my Thanksgiving weekend by performing at Leo's Komedy Korner in Windsor, Ontario. The club has always been one of my favorites as the staff is simply outstanding!  Plus, Leo and Diane (the owners) could not be nicer.

I got stopped by the US border patrol on my way in to Canada.  That's a new one.  However, I was let go upon making friends with the guards.  Apparently, the secret to making friends (AKA not getting searched) is referring to the customs agent as "dude" and telling him the dirtiest joke you know. Who knew?

Let that be a lesson: when you get stopped at the border and want to proceed quickly and without incident, tell a joke so filthy it would make a sailor cringe.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Houston Turkey Trot 10K

On Thanksgiving morning, Drew and I woke up bright and early to run the Houston Turkey Trot.  Back a few months ago, when I wasn't so tired (and wasn't anticipating how full of tofurkey and stuffing I'd be), I decided signing up to run a 10K at 7 a.m. would be a brilliant idea.

I quickly reconsidered once we got three hours of sleep, Houston was unseasonably cold (it was a balmy 36 degrees), and I was completely stuffed with the aforementioned tofurkey and stuffing.

Us pretending not to be completely sleep-deprived (sunglasses + under-eye concealer for the win).

Drew doing some hardcore stretching to intimidate the competition fool his body into thinking he was well-rested.

One good thing about living in Michigan is that running in 36 degree weather is normal.  So unlike all of the Houston folks who were bundled up like they were about to hike through Siberia, I actually felt somewhat warm with my two long-sleeved t-shirts.

We were a bit late getting to the starting line (blasted port-a-potty lines!), and once we crossed, Drew blew past me we parted ways.

This race was actually one of the easier runs I've had in a while. Not sure if it was the lack of snow blowing in my face or the flat course (or maybe it was the New Kids on the Block blasting through my headphones?), but I wasn't dreading running around mile 4, which I usually do.  I started to feel out-of-gas around mile 6, but luckily, I only had .2 to go.

Running in a new city is a great way to take in the sights.  I didn't snap as many pictures as I wanted, but I did capture a few.

And before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line.

Happy to be done!

When I looked up my time, I realized that I PR'ed by 6 minutes! And that's with a port-a-potty stop on the course.

To celebrate, I promptly stuffed my face with vegan pumpkin pie...and more tofurkey and stuffing, of course.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Adventures in Minnesota and Texas

I had a week off from law school for Thanksgiving, so after heading to Minnesota for my gig, I decided to hop a plane to Houston, Texas to study stuff my face with traditional vegan Thanksgiving food.  Who am I kidding? I totally stuffed my face in Minnesota, too. P.S. Despite what it might seem like, I really did do more this week than just eat (albeit not much).

I took MegaBus to Minneapolis because I got my ticket for $2.50.  Then, I picked up the cutest rental car in the entire world:
Sure, it nearly blew off the highway, but dang, it was adorable.

Aw, look, they even put Michigan plates on it to make me feel welcome.

I worked at Dangerfield's in Shokapee (say that three times fast) with the awesome David Nickerson, and we pretty much had a ball all weekend.  And when I say had a ball, I mean we lost money at the casino and stuffed our faces with dairy-free frozen yogurt. We also had some beer-fueled political debates...all of which I won, of course. :)
This cup was life-changing. 14 degree weather is no match for my sugar cravings. 

Seriously though, I felt like I was working with an old buddy even though we had just met.

This is us awkwardly resembling a family photo after our show.

Then, on Sunday, I woke up early and flew to Houston. Best part of my flight? The screaming baby who wailed the entire way there. Note sarcasm here. Not once did the parents even try to entertain the child. What they did do was bust out a pair of earplugs for themselves. Too bad they didn't share them with the rest of the plane.

Other than that, my flight was fairly nice, and I even sweet-talked my way into an aisle seat on an exit row. 

When I landed, I was greeted by this guy:

Throughout the week, he showed me his campus (he's a PhD student at Rice University, and his building is pictured above) and introduced me to his friends from his program. They could not have been nicer.  And get this: they have a bar on campus (and it's non-profit, so beer was only $1).  Let's just say that if I went to Rice, I would become a lush in all of about two weeks days.

Drew also took me to have vegan cinnamon rolls and wine:

And on Tuesday, we had a "friendgiving" vegan feast with our friends, Larry and Jade (both of whom live with Drew).  It was great to see them, and we thoroughly gorged ourselves as we watched episodes of the Nick Kroll Show and busted out into giggles.  On the menu:

-green bean casserole
-pumpkin pie

I promise it looked a lot less brown sloppish in person (and it tasted amazing)!

On my last night in town, we went out for crepes and then watched the documentary, Central Park Five.  If you haven't see it, please do.  And if you haven't had a vegan crepe, you really must do that, too. Some pictures from our crepe-venture: