Anything But Elliott

Have you ever scrolled through your phone and come across a photo you don’t remember taking? This happened to me last weekend. Tara and I were kicking back at the Tipsy Cow and I was scrolling through my Immersive Van Gogh exhibit pics when I came across this gem from the night before.

We’d been playing cards Friday night – a ritual that dates back to our earliest courtship days. We pair our card-playing with records and alcohol. Makes for a great and safe way to unwind after a busy week. I’d suggested we pick up frozen pizzas that night, something we almost never do. Normally we’ll grab Papa Murphy’s or order delivery. By the time this photo was taken, several hours had passed and the pizza was in the oven. You’ll notice empty shot glasses on the counter. That’s key to why this pic was taken. Obviously I was in full-on Don’t Give a Fuck mode. The Screamin’ Sicilian box came with a tear-off mustache that I felt belonged on my face. I guess I begged Tara to snap a pic? And then promptly forgot all about it? Pretty sure I was talking in an exaggerated faux Italian accent, too. Because that’s something I would totally do a few beers in.

For what it’s worth, the Screamin’ Sicilian was pretty good, as far as frozen pizzas go. And I kicked her ass at rummy, which is par for the course. She’s much more likely to beat me at cribbage.

Gotta love our Friday nights!


By now, most everybody who was on our mailing list has received our 2022 holiday card, so I can share it with y’all here. If you haven’t, you’re probably in Canada. Just feign surprise when you open the envelope.

Photo Christmas cards are a longstanding tradition for the Petruska clan. I’ve been doing them my whole life. Literally. Thanks, mom and dad!

We try to have fun with our cards. My brother-in-law called us “dorks” when he received his card, but I don’t even care. I embrace our dorkiness! What better way to celebrate our move to Wisconsin than with cheese?

I credit Tara with the idea for this year’s card. We drove all the way to Illinois (okay, it’s not that far) and then turned around, pulling into the rest area just across the Wisconsin border for this pic. I set up my Nikon and tripod, pushed the self-timer button, and we took three or four shots. The whole time, cars driving by on the interstate were honking at us. Again, because I embrace our dorkiness, that didn’t embarrass me in the least.

Plus, I wasn’t the one wearing the cheesehead, ha.


So, how many of you are in the path of this massive winter storm/bomb cyclone/badass blizzard bearing down on half the U.S.? We’re not in the bullseye, but Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for Thursday and Friday, and travel will be inadvisable, if not well nigh impossible. They’re predicting 3-6″ of snow, but the real story will be the 50-mph winds, subzero temps, and extreme wind chills down to -35º. We still have several inches of snow on the ground from last week, so we can expect lots of blowing and drifting snow. Hell, it’s been so cold already, the Rock River is completely frozen over in places.

Bring it on. I live for this shit. Today, I stopped by the grocery store, figuring we might be apartment-bound for a few days. I forgot that everybody does this when big winter storms are imminent.Thank god I went at 3 p.m. Can’t imagine how bad it would have been after work.

You know it’s going to be a big storm when they name it. My only issue is the name they chose for this one. Elliott? Really?? No offense to Mr. Gould or the kid from ET, but Elliott doesn’t exactly strike fear and awe in me. Elliott is a kid who eats paste. If you want to capture the fierce intensity of this storm, name it Rocky or Hercules. Zeus, or Blade, or Magnus. Thor, maybe. Winter Storm Sauron perhaps? Darth Vader? Bundy? Dahmer?

Anything but Elliott.

So, tell me: what’s your favorite frozen pizza? What do you think of holiday photo cards? Are you in the path of Elliott?

53 thoughts on “Anything But Elliott

  1. “Elliott is a kid who eats paste” Hahahahahaha! I have to agree, I don’t think storm Elliot would worry me much. Your Christmas card is great. I love silly traditions like that. I’m lucky if I get 4 – 5 cards in the mail before Christmas. Groundhog Day is more my style. Have a great – and safe (beware Elliot!) – Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s an excellent photo of your Welcome to Wisconsin! Perfect for your card. Elliott is not a good name for a storm; the only Elliott I know is a high school friend of my younger daughter’s. He’s not exactly intimidating. I like Freschetta pizza, especially the Hawaiian. I’m one of those pineapple does belong on pizza types. I have no idea what’s going on here because they keep changing the forecast. Western WA is so unpredictable as regards the white stuff and where it will fall. It is cold though. (to us, teens for a low tonight, brrrr)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m honored to have received your card! Something in return is on its way to you. (It’s much smaller than an orange. You didn’t send cheese, so… “No soup for you!” if soup were an orange.) I’m sure those people were honking in appreciation, enthusiasm, and support.
    Elliott Spencer is The Hitter in one of my favorite shows, Leverage, so it sort of works for me. As you can imagine, no, we are not in the path of this storm.
    That pizza comes with a fake mustache! What an awesome gimmick! Great pic, and your Friday nights sound awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I asked for your address you did say, and I quote, “Better make it something gouda.” Ask and ye shall receive!

      I’ve never seen “Leverage,” so I have no association with Elliott beyond paste-eating.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to agree with mom here- I think good and frozen pizza might be an oxymoron. They are usually too greasy or have no taste or verge on pulling crowns off my teeth when chewing the concrete crust. That said, I will buy ready made naan bread and slap some ingredients on top for a quick thin crispy crust homemade version- usually cheaper as well. I’ll enter Wayne and Alan as big time paste eaters and inappropriate storm names. My little valley gave us some nice protection from the snow that’s headed your way, but the cold is ridiculous. I found my hand warmers and used them for my walk today. My nose almost fell off but my hands felt amazing. Those little guys have stayed warm for hours. I’ve been shaking and refreshing them and using them in rather creative ways depending on what part of my anatomy is feeling chilly.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What about Elliot Ness? Although I’m not really arguing with you about the name because I’m still laughing about the kid that eats paste.

    Great Xmas card! You guys have great style!

    What if we named the storm the Screamin’ Sicilian?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. For me, the only good pizza is fresh pizza…or leftovers that have been refrigerated for a day or two at most. I love any kind of holiday card, and am a bit sad to see the tradition slowly dying off – we still send ours out. I guess we’re going to be one of the warmer areas for this storm activity. Friday AM expected high is 46F. The expected low Friday night is 8F. Winds occasionally gusting over 40 mph. No snow. It sounds like most of the country should come vacation in Philly this weekend😁.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I certainly don’t disagree. Fresh pizza is really the only way to go…unless you’ve been drinking and are, therefore, much less discerning in your tastes. Or incredibly lazy.

      I’d visit Philly just for the TastyKakes. Oh, and the Rocky statue.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am definitely a photo card hater but yours is at least creative and deserving of a smile.
    We’re going to feel that wimpy named storm but it will be rain with 65 mph winds. That will melt what little snow we have and probably knock out power in time for the temps to drop to single digits Saturday. Not looking forward to it. I’d rather have snow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually knew your stance on holiday photo cards. I saw a comment or two when I was looking back through old posts of mine. If you can’t have fun with the photo, what’s the point? In fact, it’s too bad Tara wasn’t standing next to me with a mustache and frozen pizza in this photo. That could have been next year’s card!

      Rain? In Maine? Insane.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m kind of word-less with this post and the cheese head is awesome! 🧀 😂 But we’re hunkering down waiting for the weather apocalypse to arrive. Currently, it’s cold but calm and sunny. Are we in that narrow corridor where we get missed by all the drama but an hour north there will be 8 feet of snow and across in Buffalo 17 feet of lake effect snow? 🤷‍♀️

    Agreed with the name… 😀 Let’s see what Elliot has in store for YYZ. 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elliott is a kid who eats paste . . . who grows up to become an IRS agent who plagues people with audits and snafus (like Rivergirl’s current mess up) to get back at childhood bullies who taunted him for eating paste.

    Just saying.

    Enjoy the storm from inside looking out. Hope you stocked up on beer cheese soup and pizza.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So funny. We have cards/drinking/music nights as well. Never frozen pizza because our little rv oven isn’t big enough, but we do a mean (albeit small) nachos. We’re prepping for the cold by filling the trailer tank with fresh water, checking propane levels, and making sure solar batteries are topped off. Oh, and plenty of beer and a few new games! You guys enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the freaky cold front has passed, and we’ll be back in the 80s in a couple of days, as came here for. Plus we acquired two new card games and found a short-range radio station that plays eclectic music. Success. Friends in Wisconsin say you guys are still especially cold and snowy. Take care.

        Like

  11. Elliott, jeez. If they had to use an “E” name, why not Excalibur? Or something biblical like Ezekiel? Or just plain Evil? It’ll probably get up into the 70s for us on Christmas. We had our cold snap and now it probably won’t drop back into the 30s for a long time. I look forward to all the marvelous, snowy pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. First and foremost, I love your holiday card. LOVE. 

    I’ve seen Screaming Sicilian frozen pizza in the store, but we’ve never tasted it. You are definitely an excellent advertisement.

    Of COURSE it’s named Elliot. It was predicted to snow 12 feet (a little exaggerated), but now we’re only getting 3-6 inches. However, the cold and wind are not to be taken lightly. Tomorrow night’s high will be 10 degrees below zero. Then it will be 49 degrees next weekend. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d also like to add Home Run Inn to the frozen pizza suggestions. They’re based out of Chicago and the crust is surprisingly good for frozen.

      Speaking of frozen, even I’m excited to see above-freezing temps on the horizon now. Hope you had a great holiday weekend and stayed warm!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. If I’m going to eat carbs, it’s only going to be East of Chicago. We quit holiday photo cards when my oldest got married, but I like receiving them. We are concerned about that asshole, Elliot. Mostly, that we will lose power with $300 of groceries in the fridge alone (beef tenderloin, honey baked ham and shrimp) for Xmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment about Honey Baked Ham made me stupid excited. I haven’t had one in years because there is no store in South Dakota (of course). But, a little internet sleuthing shows me an outlet in Milwaukee. Yes!!

      I hope Elliott didn’t smack you too hard. I know you were more in the crosshairs than we were, it sounds like.

      Like

  14. We only do fresh pizza or Giant & Wegmans Brand Tomato Pie, I know we bought a frozen a few weeks ago but I can’t even remember the brand lol, my wife and I incorporate our cat in our Christmas cards some of which have been photos. I like getting cards like that from people especially with kids and their growth spurts. The fact that you still do snail mail cards rocks. I would’ve loved the cheese head card (I ❤️ cheese)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wild Mike’s frozen pizza is pretty good as far as frozen pizza goes. We started the photo card tradition when we moved five years ago. Now, instead of watching our kids grow up, everyone gets to watch us grow old! We weren’t really in the path of Elliott but we did actually have temps in the 20s and 30s the weekend of Christmas. It was wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

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