Monthly Archives: November 2007

Final Tally

Food items, planned-but-forgotten:

  • leek purses

Food items, skipped in sudden moment of sanity:

  • roasted pumpkin
  • wild rice with cranberries

Food items, unexpected additions:

  • fig-topped brie
  • bruschetta with fresh tomato/cilantro topping (and roasted garlic!)

Food items, noticeably missed:

  • milk or cream for coffee (doh!)

Mishaps:

  • burn on forearm from roasting pan
  • broken martini glass
  • chipped Waechtersbach saucer
  • bonking of cat on head with plate (I don’t think he even noticed, but the bonk-er felt very bad about it)

Festive use of word “fuck”:

  • I dunno, I was drinking too much to keep track ;)

Good conversations and laughs with great people:

  • countless

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In this, our time of gluttony

While you’re dining with family and/or friends tomorrow, eyes glued to the football game on your 52″ flat screen TV, eating your 16-lb. turkey and beans and THREE kinds of potatoes and TWO kinds of pie, please consider for a moment those less fortunate than yourselves.

Then, if you’re planning on hitting the 4am store sales, you might remember to pick up a couple of items for a kid whose Christmas would otherwise be sparse, or find an extra coat in your closet for a dad whose own has become threadbare.

In the Denver metro area, the 77th annual Santa Claus Shop, is now open for business through December 17; bring new and gently used toys to your local King Soopers store, where volunteers will sort, clean, and distribute them to underprivileged children. Coats for Colorado, in its 26th year, will be accepting your used coats through Nov 30th. Bring your jackets to Dependable Cleaners (30+ locations), who will distribute the donations to nonprofit organizations in need.

And remember to say thanks.

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home cooking isn’t dead

I’ve already posted the preliminary t-day menu, but here is the final roster for Neil’s info (and my own notes, so I don’t forget anything tomorrow!):

  • leek “purses” (store bought)
  • organic turkey (injected with wine, for extra juiciness) 
  • organic gravy (store bought)
  • stuffing (made by friend)
  • cranberry-apricot relish with cardamom
  • wild rice with cranberries (made by mom)
  • roasted herbed organic potatoes
  • mashed potatoes (made by friend)
  • pureed sweet potatoes with goat cheese and truffle oil
  • candied yams (made by friend)
  • green beans with toasted pine nuts
  • roasted organic pumpkin with lemon and rosemary
  • pecan pie (store bought)
  • pumpkin and caramel apple cheesecake slices (store bought)
  • Hawaiian fudge (store bought)
  • lots of booze (store bought) ;)

Yeah, okay, I just made myself hungry. Chinese takeout for dinner tonight! Safe travels, everyone.

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kung-fu silicone grip

Tonight, I made the cranberry relish I mentioned in an earlier post.

Usually, I buy the canned stuff, and I still like it. Timber had his own “secret” recipe, and I enjoyed his citrus-y contribution for a number of years. He has inadvertently guilted me into home-made sauce each year. But I must respect his secret, so I had to strike out on my own. Dean & Deluca sell a cranberry-cardamom sauce, but for $25. Um, no. (Quick check on their site indicates that they’re sold out. Whoa.) Epicurious set me up with a reasonable-sounding recipe, so that’s what I made. Lemon juice, honey, apricots, cardamom… and cranberries.

Cranberries are just the cutest little things.  I’ve had them in the house before, but never before cooked with them. I was instructed to boil them until they popped. Bubble, bubble, hisssss… hey! It popped, alright… and spit hot cranberry juice at me! The nerve.

Ah, right, the point of this post. Last Christmas, Mandy bought me an assortment of kitchen gadgets in my “signature” color, red. Potentially the oddest item, a silicone utensil clip, has turned out to be an absolute wonder to have in the kitchen. Forget about gloppy, sticky spoon rests. This doohickie fits right over the edge of my saucepan. It’s heat-resistant and malleable enough enough to securely hold any spoon/spatula/whisk/whatever without me having to sully my counter, stove top, or another dish. The utensil drips neatly back into the pan, and stays within easy reach. It cleans up in a snap, too.

End, public service announcement.

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50 Dresses

Many posts ago, I mentioned the idea of blogging A Pair Of Shoes A Day, which then morphed into an entire Catalog Of My Closet. Mostly for insurance reasons, because I’m a fan of vintage wear and that’s tough stuff to replace. Then I did nothing about it.

Erin, however, did. She recently posted her Event Dresses on her blog, villanovababy, and lit the fire under my butt to do the same… or similar, anyway. My collection isn’t quite as large as hers, so I photographed ALL of my dresses at once. Except for the one that’s in the laundry room. And whichever one may be lost in the back of a closet, because I can’t go around having 49 dresses. That’s just odd.

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blog archive: November 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

checking in with updates about nothing

 

I don’t really have much to say, but I’ve had an unusual jump in readership this week so I thought I’d put something up to entertain (hopefully) the masses.

 

 

So yeah, I’ve been back from Santa Fe for a few days. This is normally where I’d post a link to photos, so here it is. With this trip, my “collection” of cowboy boots is now back up to five pairs. It’s a start.

 

 

I had a nice talk with Syd Masters on Sunday about assorted shit and specifically about setting up his damn MySpace Music page already. I would have had it done by now, but he wants to do it himself so he can fiddle with it. And what with gigs, and deer hunting, and elk hunting, and buffalo hunting… he promised me he’d have it up by the first of the new year. His Colorado pal is gonna take matters into her own hands if he doesn’t!

 

 

My clutch is scheduled to fail just about now, but it’s been behaving flawlessly ever since I called my mechanic about it. I swear, this car is driving me nuts right now. If I didn’t love it so much, I’d have to kill it. (Sings quietly to self: I used to love her, but I had to kill her, I knew I’d miss her, so I had to keep her, she’s buried right in my back yard). Mom’s car really did die the other day, and inconveniently far from my trusty mechanics. The guys who have it are saying it’s her timing belt, but I don’t recall mine costing anywhere near that much. I should dig my old receipt out of the glove box and make sure I’m not crazy.

 

 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the organic turkey is ordered. I’ll inject it with wine, stuff it with some herbs and apples to steam it from the inside, baste it with… I haven’t decided what yet. Last year, I used bacon fat. Surprisingly, it added no flavor. I’ll probably go back to butter-n-drippings this year. Mmmm, butter. I was thinking of making a dried cherry sauce in addition to the gravy, but it seems redundant with the cranberry relish (with dried apricots and cardamom; new recipe this year). I’ll roast potatoes with the bird, and also some in a separate pan so that the vegetarian contingency can have crispy taters with their Tofurkey. I’m planning a dish of mashed truffled sweet potatoes with goat cheese, and sautéed green beans with toasted pine nuts. Oh, and a pumpkin was thrust upon me, so I may roast up some pumpkin chunks with lemon juice and rosemary. Heck, if the weather is nice enough I can skewer them up and do them on the grill. The biggest pain in cooking a holiday dinner is finding room in the oven! For dessert, I’m giving pumpkin pie a break this year, and going with pecan instead. I usually do two pies, but by the time everyone is done gorging themselves over dinner, I always have about a pie and a half left over. It’s time to stop the madness.

 

 

For those of you who find my independence threatening (Snick), please note: I am taking applications from strapping, handsome men who can pour strong drinks and deftly carve a bird. And who don’t mind helping out with the dishes. Mechanical skills a plus.

 

 

Way past my bedtime and I’ve forgotten everything else I was going to say. Until whenever…

 

 

12:44 AM

 

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Booteriffic

I spent an hour this morning writing a post that my browser then ate before it loaded. Damn. 12 hours later and I don’t remember what it was about. Obviously, not very important. So I’ll summarize with this:

 

 

Back at the Ranch (twice). Overland Sheepskin, which has liquidated their boot selection in favor of Uggs. A couple of boutiquey stores on the Plaza. Two vintage sellers at the Tesuque Pueblo flea market. (I was definitely close, there.) Corral West (bleh). Finally, Western Warehouse (no link, because their price was higher than list so fuck ’em). I didn’t intend to spend this much on boots. But oh my, they’re lovely. Teju lizard and goat skin. Go ahead, lick them.

 

Oh, yeah, and we grabbed dinner (and beer) at the Santa Fe Brewery tonight so we could see Syd Masters and the Swing Riders. I’m a very happy girl. A very happy girl with a new Syd CD.

 

 

Getting up at o’dark thirty tomorrow to catch a flight, so I’m off to bed early. Visions of vintage leather inlay dancing in my head.

 

Currently listening :

Live and Swingin

By Syd Masters & The Swing Riders

9:06 PM

 

Friday, November 09, 2007

flying to Santa Fe

 

Driving to Santa Fe: 6 hours and a tank of gas. Let’s say $35. Winter threat of poor/closed road conditions at Raton Pass, and year-round threat of being wiped out by drunk drivers (huge problem in NM).

 

Flying to Santa Fe: Left the house at 6:42 this morning. 5 minute drive to the Park-n-Ride, 10-minute wait for the bus. Caught the SkyRide ($10) to the airport. Made it through security, boarded the flight ($59) around 8:30. Was in Albuquerque approx. 75 minutes later. Waited an hour for the shuttle ($25) to Santa Fe. Pulled into the Hotel Santa Fe at 12:08. Not sure of the travel time up to the house, because I never pay attention to the time when I’m here. Total: 5.5-ish hours, $94. And I can’t throw a case of Chuck from Trader Joe’s in the trunk of the car. But the monotony is broken up…

 

I dunno. I’ll probably go back to driving, although it’s more interesting with passengers.

 

 

6:19 PM

 

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

dedicated to Erin

 

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.– para. Robert Burns

 

 

Erin has recently turned vegetarian on me, which I’m actually fine with (provided she doesn’t go vegan, because then with whom will I share fine cheese?). I like veggies. I love veggies, in fact. Even as a kid. And Erin won’t be my first vegetarian friend. I had one vegan friend back in Brooklyn, but hello, I lived in Boulder for eight years. You figure it out. Since I have experience, I’m voluntarily “shouldering” some of the support responsibility so her husband can eat bacon in peace.

 

 

And, you know, I just got this shiny new Crock Pot. So hey, this lets me mess about with some veggies and see what I come up with!

 

 

Today’s experiment was a halved acorn squash, shells topped with a pat of butter and sprinkled with brown sugar, then stuffed with a mixture of brown basmati rice (cooked in vegetable broth), minced onions, and dried morello cherries. As a last minute thought, I poured in a half cup of water to keep any of the overfilled rice from sticking to the crockery. Cover, set to low, and go to work.

 

 

10 hours later, I walked into the house to the smell of… toasted grain? Did I bake this morning? Oh! The squash! Um, there’s NO condensation on the underside of the lid. That’s not ideal. Oh my, what a caramelized color the rice has become. I quickly boil some water to pour in to the dry pot (so as to not crack the hot pot with cold water) and then gingerly scoop out a squash half. It does not stick, and maintains its shape. I pick off the top crust of brown-very-brown rice, and tentatively bite into a forkful of … a yummy squash/rice/cherry blend, slightly bittered from the burnt grain it was sharing close quarters with.

 

 

I had a science teacher in grade school explain that no experiment is ever a FAILURE, though you may get a result that you don’t EXPECT. So technically, this recipe isn’t a FAILURE. While I might try this combination again, I think I’ll stick to roasting it in the oven.

______________________

 

 

Also, Erin recently encouraged me to “poke the bear.” The following seemed like an apt rendition. So this final bit winds up being dedicated to TWO people:

 

 

 

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Poke poke poke. Bother bother bother. I hope you find me less irritating than a finger in your eye.

 

 

7:17 PM

 

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Other people’s stuff

 

I can take no credit for writing or filming the following items. In the case of the vid clip, I can’t even take credit for discovering it. Each will take about 10 minutes of your precious short-attention-span time, and each is worth it.

 

 

Paul Ford (of Ftrain.com) responds to a request for 100 different ways to say I love you.

and The Deep Voice of your conscience asks: are you popular?

 

 

Have fun, kids! Be home at a reasonable hour!

 

 

Side Note: If any of you aren’t yet using the “new” MySpace home page skin, you should ask yourself why.

 

 

10:04 AM

 

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Schtanna

 

Hey, world out there. Does anyone remember when I dropped my car off at the body shop? I’ll give you a few seconds to think about it…

 

 

 

Okay, pencils down. The correct answer is the morning of Wednesday, October 24th. Because Mandy was arriving at the airport that night, I got myself a little rental car so as to not put my friends out too much until my car was ready to pick up on Friday.

 

 

Ready to pick up on Friday? Friday, you say? Hmmm. I got a call from the body shop on Friday, but instead of Lane telling me, “Hey, your car is ready!” it was actually, “Hey, look, we’re having a problem.” Some of you know, I drive an Acura Integra. Yeah, the one you’re picturing? The coupe? That’s not it. I have the sedan. Unfortunately, the parts shop sent the bumper cover for the coupe. Then they sent another cover… but it was cracked. So as of Friday, when I should have been picking up my shiny (and straight) car, it was still lounging naked around the shop. But, they assured me, I should be able to pick it up on Monday. Tuesday at the latest. Oh, and by the way, they can’t find any more reconditioned bumper covers, so they have to go new and it will cost $80 more.

 

 

Monday afternoon: Phone call from the shop. The new bumper cover JUST came in. It will be dropped off in the paint department to be shot first thing in the morning, and I should be able to pick it up end-of-day Tuesday.

 

 

Tuesday afternoon: Um, they’re kinda of having a bit of a problem matching the paint. They pulled the VIN and sprayed it that color, but it doesn’t match the body. Oh, really? I’m stunned and amazed. Neeeeeever would have expected that.

 

 

Wednesday afternoon: They brought out the big guns. They called in The Guy from the paint company. He brought their $50,000 spectrometer with him. They are Going To Match That Color, dammit. But every time they scan the body paint, it errors out. I think pride is preventing them from calling Maaco to see if they have the pigment record. Instead, their paint guy is spraying a sample board (in the print world, we call those draw-downs) and will call Maaco if he’s officially stumped.

 

 

Thursday afternoon: My car is ready! I have officially exchanged the keys for the 2007 Kia for my lovely 1995 Acura. The bumper is shiny and smooth. I can no longer get my fingers in the trunk without opening the deck lid. The color matches. They are also picking up the tab for 5 extra rental car days. Good guys. Annnnd, as an added bonus, for which the body shop did not charge me a single extra penny, they have assured me that the hex that has been on my car — ever since Jack accidentally knifed it — has been lifted. Still, I think I might stick a little schtanna on there somewhere. Just for good measure. ;)

______________________

 

 

Unrelated note: I used my new RED brand-name Crock-Pot for the first time today. Pork roast with onions. Mmmm.

 

 

8:05 PM

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blog Archive: October 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spooooky Tales

 

 

cg0533spooky2.gif

 

 

 

Currently listening :

Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1

By Helloween

8:46 AM

 

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Rox finally did it

 

It took a lot of hard work, but we finally found a team that could soundly beat us. Good season, boys. Congratulations to one and all.

 

10:18 PM

 

Ride with the moon in the dead of night

 

Erin and Tim really outdid themselves this year, and that’s saying something. It was brilliant to hire casino dealers and a bartender, which freed up the guests to drink and snack and dance and sing and drink. And, it would seem, swap a lot of costume parts.

 

I’m only responsible for about 10% of these shots. A few partygoers are not represented, but the coverage is pretty accurate nonetheless. link

 

Also, there are some photos in my MySpace album that I haven’t added to the flickr set. Fun times!

 

3:26 PM

 

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween 1

 

Costume Party Number One is over, and it’s almost a relief to be able to focus solely on The Important Costume now. For a brief period, anyway… The Important Party is tomorrow night.

 

But first… I had a great time with some terrific friends. Isn’t that the best? I was reminded just how damn good Doritos are, and successfully managed to keep Daniel’s hand off my ass even though I was wearing a tight vinyl dress. This was greatly facilitated by me pretending to not hear him when he *asked* if he could touch it, before he realized who I was. He was too drunk and distracted to make another attempt once he remembered that we’ve met and that I wouldn’t likely deck him if he made an unannounced grab. Ah, Daniel, you’re one of a kind and your wife is a SAINT. :)

 

Also, Charleigh gave me a surprise gift! I am overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of that gesture.

 

As a designated driver, I limited myself to two Jello shots and plain ol’ Coke, but I’ve been promised free reign at Erin’s party. Which is probably the better choice, as I won’t be trying to keep track of and/or accidentally whacking people with an M16, which was tonight’s slightly cumbersome prop.

 

Now I’m experiencing the odd sensation of smelling strongly of astringent and yet still feeling greasy from all of the mineral oil I used to melt and remove the excess “flesh” from my face. SO not worth it… I don’t know if anyone even noticed my “wound.”

 

Tomorrow is manis and pedis with Mandy, plus sewing my cuffs, adding two buttons on the overskirt (why did I buy such fancy buttons? nobody will ever see them), and putting the buckles on my shoes. Hopefully, in plenty of time for the party!

 

(break in topic)

 

If you’re wondering how my car looks after its 3-day stint in the body shop, well so am I. They called me today to let me know that the new bumper cover will cost $80 more than quoted, and that they won’t be done until Monday or Tuesday. So, I have three or four more days with the rental car. I’m continuously thrilled silly by the technology of REMOTE LOCKS but hating the lack of reasonable horsepower. And that it’s an automatic. I’m REALLY gonna hate the bill when I finally turn it in. Well, at least those locks make me giggle with power.

 

(another break)

 

Quote of the night: “Guys, put down the guns! We’re at a BANK! With CAMERAS!” “There isn’t even an ATM in this lane. I might as well be trying to rob a carport.”

 

Currently listening :

Lee Rocker Live

By Lee Rocker

1:45 AM

 

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wicked hahd to win in Bahstan

 

Whew, them Sahx put up a heckuva fight. S’not so much that they killed us last night, as we committed suicide. We did much better tonight, but not quite better enough.

 

We’ll see what happens when they get to Coloraaaahdo.

 

10:31 PM

 

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

just a few things

 

Happy: MandyMandyMandy is arriving tonight! I’m sneaking out of work a little early, and rushing to the airport to fetch her. Wheeeee! Then we’ll hit the supermarket for a healthy, lo-cal veggie tray to bring to M&J’s place, where we can watch the Rox “stonewash” the Sox in GAME ONE of the WORLD SERIES! Woo!

 

Sad: A friend of mine recently moved to L.A., and has temporarily left her kitties with a friend in Boulder until she and her man find their own apartment. Even the best cat-lover can sometimes have trouble keeping the little squirts inside. Izzy is a wild one… but Boulder is even more wild. I am so sorry, Izzy and Carrie and Rene. My heart is breaking for you.

 

I don’t want to end on a downer, so…

 

Amusing: I have my Halloween costume set up on a dress form in my bedroom. It’s been there, in assorted states of nearing-completion, for days. Rocket likes to bat toy mice under the skirt. Yesterday, I moved the dress form over a few feet so that I could once again access the mirror on my door. Now, every SINGLE time I walk out of the bathroom, I scare the crap out of myself because I think there’s a PERSON there. Seriously, I did it twice in rapid succession this morning. The weird thing is, I actually moved the thing FURTHER from the bathroom doorway. Go figure.

 

And now, it’s time to drop off my car at the body shop for a little butt-lift.

 

UPDATE: Izzy was discovered hiding (and starving) in a basement. Once she finally eats her fill, she should bounce back to her old self. Yay!

 

7:30 AM

 

Monday, October 22, 2007

can’t sleep, costumes will get me

 

I must love the stress, the expenditure of money, the great sucking of all free time, because Halloween is my favorite time of year. Every year, I look at the “exclusive” (read: expensive) costumes and think to myself, “I can’t spend that kind of money.” I then proceed to create my own costume, at twice the cost and 18x the time. Though I do have the advantage of it being one-of-a-kind, as well as kick-ass. And last year, I had… three costumes? Excessive, but not a big deal. I was looking at four this year, but have pared it back down to three. However… Costume Two in level of importance happens to be the first one required for use, and I only found out the theme (Post-Apocalypse) a few days ago. It would be hard enough were I flying solo for this gig, but there are actually SIX of us trying to go as a group concept. With next-to-no time, and dwindling budgets. Heck, I can’t even figure out how to pull off a solo performance. I am shamed.

 

I still need to clean house before Mandy arrives for a visit, which gives me… let’s see… tomorrow night to straighten up my colossal Halloween mess, vacuum, and do laundry so as to have clean sheets on the guest bed. Thank goodness I took off work on Thursday and Friday to spend with Mandy, but at this point, our “quality time” is going to be spent with me dyeing shoes and decorating a headdress of a wig. Oh, and sewing an overskirt. And my cuffs! Damn, forgot about those! Shoot shoot shoot. So, combine that with CREATING COSTUME TWO FROM THIN AIR and you’ll see I’m a little on edge.

 

Don’t push me ’cause I’m close to the edge

I’m trying not to lose my head

 

I have an appt. to drop off my car at the body shop on Wednesday morning to get the rear end repaired, but my reg’lar mechanic (obligatory plug for Joe at Interlocken Imports, 303-410-0044) was able to fix my front bumper today when he was replacing my starter. And he bolted the brush guard to… well, something under the car so that I’ll stop getting it caught on curb stops. Damn thing thinks it’s a sports car, and sits all low to the ground. But I swear, my car seems zippier whenever I pick it up from the shop. Must be like auto day camp or something. So I rev the shit out of it for about half a mile before I hear the voices of a stream of ex-boyfriends scolding me for that. Still, whee!

 

must sleep, perchance to dream of the apocalypse…

 

10:32 PM

 

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Whee! Free! Meant to be!

 

Today is the grand opening of a local branch of TJ Maxx. Alison encouraged me to go, and tantalizing “prizes” were dangled in front of me like a carrot. I like “prizes.” And, well, I do need a brown handbag and a wheeled carry-on size bit of luggage. So okay.

 

To the store. Where are the prizes? We were promised prizes! I guess we got there too late. However, I found the perfect muted tiger-stripe wheeled carry-on, and while Joe tried good and hard to convince me to buy the entire matching set, I managed to escape from his shopping grasp in that department. Oh, here’s a brown faux suede shoulder bag that perfectly matches my brown faux suede boots. Nice. Ah, a small shoe department. Two pairs of leopard print peep-toe slingbacks. One pair IN MY SIZE. Nice. I’ll get rid of my leopard print peep-toe wedges to make up for it.

 

Oh, hey, this skirt over here is CUTE. It’s two sizes two small, but looks like it’s been cut “generously” enough that I’ll give it a go. Perfect fit! When I come out of the dressing room, Joe is waiting for me with a pair of shoes that I missed. Joe, I already have so many black pumps…

 

“But are they T-straps?”

“No.”

“Try them on.”

 

It’s a demand, not a request. And when Joe takes that tone, I do what he says. They fit. And I have to say, they’re hot. I wear them over to join the girls, who agree to their hotness. They win out over the leopard slingbacks… but wait, they’re $50? Shit, they’re Tahari. I do not buy $50 shoes. I just don’t. It’s the only reason I can afford as many as I have. Now there’s a chorus of three other people spending my money.

 

“But they’re classic”

“The leather is so supple”

“They go with that skirt you have in your cart”

 

Fine. Fine. Ugh. Fine. They go in the cart. I’ll buy them and bring them home and think about it where I can line them up with my OTHER black pumps and decide which pair has to go. Or if they all fill different needs. Fine. Wait on line, check out, get outside, check the receipt for the total because I neglected to pay attention at the register…

 

Hey. It’s less than I estimated. Hmm… was something on sale? Bag, skirt, suitcase… whoa. The clerk didn’t ring up the shoes. She bagged them, but I guess they didn’t read in the scanner. The shoes were FREE. FREEEEEEE. Free free free. A gift from the Shoe Fairy. I guess that was my prize. :D

 

5:59 PM

 

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Forgive me, Father, for I have shopped.

 

It has been two weeks since my last pair of new shoes.

 

Did I need another pair of black pumps? Hell, no! I admit, I strayed. I went to DSW with the express goal of buying a pair of boots. And they’re having a sale! Plus 500 bonus points added to my loyalty card! When I couldn’t find any boots I liked, I should have called it a night. But I was there with Megan and Alison, and didn’t want to leave them.

 

Megan and Alison. The other dangerous fraction in this equation. Megan’s shoe collection is one of the few in existence which makes my own look “reasonable” by comparison. And besides, I don’t have any black PATENT pumps. Because I’ll never wear that one pair again, the pair with the tortoise-shell lucite heel, the pair that felt fine in the store but hurt after a morning at the office, so they don’t count.

 

So I bought ONE pair of shoes. Hail Mary Janes, full of grace. The Cuban heel is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the man who would buy thou for us sinners, now and until the hour of our death.

 

10:05 PM

 

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Do not speak ill of the Crock-Pot

 

I love my slow cooker. I’ve had a couple in my life, but this is the one I’ve had the longest. Proctor-Silex 33300. Inoffensive white metal shell, removable crock, large enough to be useful yet small enough to be reasonable. Two heat settings, Low and High. Marked as 1 and 2 for some reason. And I was satisfied with 1 being Low and 2 being High… until I noticed that a friend’s slow cooker was just the opposite. Which is when I started wondering. Hmmm. An easy enough riddle to solve, I’ll simply pull out the original instruction manual from my drawer full of manuals. Let’s see, the Cuisinart, the potato ricer, the blender I gave away before I killed my last blender (which Erin replaced for my birthday with The Best Blender Ever), manuals for two cordless phones and an answering machine that I donated to Goodwill months ago… The drawer is FULL of manuals and yet I can’t find the one I need. I searched online, but the model I have is old enough that Proctor-Silex no longer “supports” it. So I’ve been guessing. And wondering about maybe getting a new model, if only to be sure what heat setting I’m using.

 

Last night, I decided to make a batch of experimental (for me) Crock Pot Rice Pudding. Now, with a stew, it’s pretty much either done or not. The heat isn’t a big issue. But this is a dairy dish, and I didn’t want to screw it up. A fresh check of the Proctor-Silex site reveals a poorly scanned but legible copy of my model’s manual. Yay! My first guess about the settings was right all along! Everything is in the pot, and now I can sleep soundly while my rice pudding does its thing.

 

I woke up in the middle of the night, and thought it odd that I didn’t smell pudding. But, I realized, the vanilla and cinnamon haven’t been added yet… and rolled back over to sleep.

 

This morning, I bounced down the stairs to stir my pudding, and add the vanilla. But my “pudding” was still a mix of milk and short-grain rice, sitting in a cold pot. Plugged in? Check. Turned on? Check. Just for grins, I turned it to high… nothing. Ding dong, the pot is dead. I am pretty sure that I didn’t even voice my thoughts of replacement out loud, but somehow, it sensed that I was a philandering hussy and walked out on me. But… but… I was only reading the store circulars for the ARTICLES! I don’t find those other slow cookers attractive at all! Well, I mean of course they’re attractive, with their stainless steel bodies and “keep warm” settings, but I have YOU.

 

Oh, rats.

 

7:23 AM

 

Sunday, October 14, 2007

landlocked

 

That trip definitely wasn’t long enough. Compounded by warm, sunny weather at the beach, and cold, rainy weather in Colorado. Well, the cats are soft and the Rockies are still winning. Those both help.

 

Flickr album here.

 

11:10 PM

 

Saturday, October 13, 2007

1942

 

It’s my grandmother’s 90th birthday on Wednesday, so I flew out this weekend to get together with family and have a little party for her. As a gift, I blew up and framed a tiny little photo I have of her from an unknown year, but I’d guess the late ’30s. In doing so, I realized that I look a LOT like her. (In black-and-white photos, you can’t see that her eyes are brown. I get my blue eyes from my grandfather, the lone Dutchman (Hollander!) in the family.)

 

Tonight, looking around her house, I found a photo from 1942 of her and my grandpa. He’s looking dapper in an Army-issue uniform. She’s in a white floral print dress, broad-brimmed black hat, white ankle-strap shoes, white gloves. Holy shit. It looks exactly like me at the English car show a few weeks ago. Like, to an almost creepy degree. I may actually have gasped out loud. It could have been a mirror.

 

Which is cool, and also means that I know exactly what I’m going to look like when I’m 90. :)

 

8:30 PM

 

back(?) in Jersey

 

It’s unmistakably NJ, that’s for sure. It’s just that I’m many miles from where I grew up, so, while it does feel like “home” in some ways (Unca Dave! Tastykakes!) it’s also a lot different. I’ve never been to Atlantic City before, beyond driving through a small stretch to get to Dave’s house once nearly 30 years ago, but boy oh boy it sure looks like a small Las Vegas now. Giant casinos, lots of neon, billboards, restaurants, and shopping. We’re staying at a B&B in Brigantine, the island northeast of AC where Dave and his wife live, but the casinos are creeping closer. My room faces the sound, so all I can see is water and grasses (and docks and boats) but if I walk out onto the dock, the view to the left is of casino construction (Harrah’s and Borgata, specifically).

 

Okay, my breakfast is just about ready so I’ll have to check back in later. I’m gonna see my grandma today! And my sister! Woo!

 

6:42 AM

 

Thursday, October 11, 2007

And another thing…

 

And another thing… the Wild Oats branded individual instant oatmeal packs aren’t merely recycled paper, oh no. They’re lined with FOIL, which makes them unrecyclable as far as I know. Why, to keep my oats fresh?

 

And… and… no, that’s it. I’m tapped out for the moment.

 

Erin hosted an evening of girlie Englishness last night, and Alison and I were only too happy to attend. Tea sandwiches (tomato, English cucumber, watercress, and tarragon) were served with pumpernickel rounds topped with chive cream cheese and smoked salmon, fresh melon, cranberry scones with Devon cream and lemon curd, madeleines, and wee tartlets. And, of course, tea. Adjusted for our American palate with cranberry-lime fizzy and a splash of vodka. Then we watched My Fair Lady, accompanied by a wedge of herbed brie, and a terrific pinot noir. Tim came home early enough to say hi, share tarts, and offer goodbye hugs to all. Erin really is a faboo cook, and the pair are warm and welcoming hosts. Their place is starting to look Hallowriffic (horrorween?) and the annual party is going to be a blast. Of course, we’re already discussing my Thanksgiving feast, her Christmas party, and my New Year’s Eve gathering (or will Alison host this year, from her and Jay’s sparkly new home?) And of course, next Halloween.

 

I managed to snag two more vintage dresses over the weekend, but I haven’t bought shoes in DAYS. Since, uh, Thursday. Oooh, There’s another 50 blog posts. Pair A Week. I’ll document my shoes, maybe offer some up for sale. I have an embarrassing number of unworn pairs. Riveting material. (rolls eyes – even Erin and Alison glazed over at the thought, and they’re shoe people)

 

Actually, I probably should start cataloging my vintage-wear inventory for insurance purposes. Each piece, individually, isn’t worth all that much… but it adds up. Man oh man, if I had to replace my clothes, and my shoes… and BOOTS… the heck with my home office, that expense is just peanuts in comparison. My wardrobe probably reaches furniture-replacement status.

 

I’m getting another estimate on my car’s bodywork this morning. The bumper replacement is expensive enough; I sure hope they don’t find any frame damage when they pull it off. My car is 12 years old, and a bent frame would be the equivalent of it breaking a hip in its old age.

 

Go Rockies!

 

7:14 AM

 

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Vodka: Water of Life

 

“The hospital’s administrators were also very understanding when we explained our reasons for buying a case of vodka.”

 

8:26 AM

 

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Flying out to Jersey

 

I am completely unprepared to fly back East on Friday. First time since early 2002. Before my dad and Marci moved to Santa Fe, before my grandma moved to Brigantine to be near my uncle. Fly to London? Sure! Fly to Munich? Sure! Fly to Philadelphia? To visit family? Uh… shit. It would be different if I were flying into Newark. Newark means “home” to some extent. But Philly? What the hell is THAT about?

 

It would also be different if anyone in my family ever got around to talking to each other. My uncle and I haven’t chatted in years. I’ve never even met his wife. The two of them are essentially strangers to me. I call my grandma far too infrequently. Of course, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. My sister and I are close, even if we haven’t managed to get together in nearly three years. I’m a total daddy’s-girl, so it kills me that I haven’t driven down to seen him as much this year as I usually do. We managed to swing getting on the same flights out to Philly and back, so that will be a little extra time together. And I’m pretty sure Ted & Katie will be there, too, and they’re always a gas.

 

At the very least, I get to see some beloved family members, AND get to walk on the BEACH. Ohmigod, the BEACH. Sand. Surf. Seaweed. Sailboats. An oceany blue horizon. Maybe I’ll find a nice horseshoe crab shell to bring back to Colorado. What on earth would I do with it? Put it in the yard and hope it scares the neighbor’s cats away?

 

Hey, I’m going to miss Friday’s Rockies/Dbacks game. It doesn’t start until 10pm EST, and I’m sure the twee little B&B I’m staying in won’t appreciate me shouting at a television at 1 am. Can someone please text me the score when the game is over? The Dbacks are going to be a tough hurdle to get over, and I’m already biting my nails.

 

10:21 PM

 

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Alternative blog names

 

The Gripes of Wrath

Days of Whine and Roses

Moaning Glory

 

Okay, off to Scott’s for pain-numbing shots of Gentleman Jack and to watch the Rockies win against the Phillies!

 

6:14 PM

 

Friday, October 05, 2007

Figured out what to name my blog!

 

“BitchFest” That would seem to sum up most of these posts. (I posted this under the Religion/Philosophy tag. Heh.)

 

I complain a lot, but I think I’m generally a pretty happy person. I guess bitching is my therapy. So, as long as we’re all here…

 

Wild Oats sucks, and I’m glad that Whole Foods was successful in their purchase of them. Now here’s where people will moan about how expensive WFM is… and they’re WRONG. I’ve checked. Over and over and over. Okay, if you’re going to compare a gallon of “conventional” milk from your local Safeway to a gallon of organic milk from WFM, the WFM milk may very well cost more. But it’s not the same thing. I guarantee that a gallon of ORGANIC milk from Safeway will cost more than it will at WFM. Same thing with orange juice, bread, eggs… you can check for yourself, but I’ve already done the footwork. oops, I’m off topic again. Sorry.

 

Wild Oats sucks today because they have big ol’ “local!” signs up around products that, if you read the packaging, are NOT local. For example, the LOCAL! tag by the Green & Black brand ice cream… which is manufactured in New Jersey. For a company based in the UK. The real kicker, though, was the big ol’ SALE sign for LOCAL! Organic Potatoes, 2-lb bag: 99 cents. But the potatoes were from Washington. I dug around to find a couple of bags from Colorado… which then rang up for the wrong price at the register. Now, not only would WFM not have let a “team member” stock out-of-state potatoes in a spot reserved for local goods, but their policy seems to be that if something rings up at the wrong price, they refund the entire cost. Which I don’t require, but it’s a nice touch. At Wild Oats, I had to argue with the cashier (and then with the produce staffer) to get them to honor the price on the giant yellow sign. And point out to them that the bagged potatoes they had stacked up were from out of state. Dollars to doughnuts those same Washington potatoes are still stacked up by the Local! sign if you go there right now.

 

Also pissing me off today: That my doctor’s office couldn’t squeeze me in until 2:45, and then kept me waiting for nearly an hour anyway. Yeah hi, I was in a car accident and I’m all achey and I hit my head… oh that’s okay, I’ll just internally bleed* over here for a few hours. By the time I got out of there, I had a scrip for a muscle relaxer that I’ve taken before, with no effect. Being the good girl that I am, though, I had it filled and took one, just in case I had a better reaction to it this time. Nope. Assuming I can sleep through the night, I’m hopping on my vicodin stash first thing in the morning. Maybe I can figure out how to use the crappy stuff to drug my neighbors’ kids so that they’ll SHUT. THE FUCK. UP. Of course you hurt yourself, you little brat. You’ve been thumping around screaming and, from what I can tell, throwing furniture at the wall, for 20 fekkin’ minutes, without any adult intervention. Why don’t you go outside to look for your practically feral cats who keep shitting in my yard?

 

Happy place, happy place…

 

So, here’s an interesting tidbit. It would seem that I am not supposed to eat grapefruit, or drink grapefruit juice, while taking this muscle relaxer. Perhaps if you’re a chemist (hi, Deven!) this is completely logical. I, however, find it somewhat amusing. Oranges, limes, lemons… all okay. Just no grapefruit. What about a pomelo? The insert doesn’t say I can’t have pomelo.

 

That’s a good word. Pomelo pomelo pomelo. Go ahead, say it out loud.

 

Ow.

 

*No, I was not internally bleeding. But THEY didn’t know that.

 

5:50 PM

 

Thursday, October 04, 2007

iCurse

 

I was rear ended by one of you fekkin’ CALIFORNIANS on the way home from work tonight. (That is a dig only at my specific Californians, not all Californians in general. Don’t get yer panties in a twist.) I’m mostly okay, just a bit achey and my massage therapist is moving to… CALIFORNIA. I’ll take a spare vicodin tonight and go to the doc tomorrow to get a fresh Rx for pain meds, but I don’t wanna tell ’em it was because of a car accident… insurance will become a complete pain in the ass at that point, and I want to limit this pain to my neck. Anyone have any plausible lies they can offer up?

 

Tomorrow, I’ll take the car to a body shop recommended by my mechanics and get an estimate for repairs. It doesn’t look bad, but the bumper is pushed in and I have a feeling it may have done some deeper-than-I-can-see damage. Hey, maybe the repair work will fix the leak that I can’t locate the source of. The guy who hit me is hoping that the impact has knocked out the blockage in his radiator. Silver linings.

 

I mentioned to my friend Dave that the guy who hit me happened to have an iPhone, and Dave has decided that this is Step One of Apple’s new “iCurse” package (in shiny white plastic, with a catchy pop soundtrack). I shall now repeatedly be hit and in other ways annoyed by people with iPhones, and it won’t end until I get one of my own. Hey, wouldn’t Dave have been Step One in that case? ;)

 

Okay, getting progressively sore-er, gonna go lie down. Lay down. Whatever.

 

7:09 PM

 

Independence

 

To all the jerks I’ve loved before,

Who’ve kicked my heart right out the door,

Only to come around

When they’re feeling down

And I can’t stand them anymore…

 

(With apologies to Hammond/David/Iglesias/Nelson)

 

Boy, if I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “I can’t believe nobody’s snatched you up” and another dollar for each time I’ve heard through the grapevine that some ex was moaning that he should have married me… well, I could buy myself a nice lunch.

 

This all comes up because Erin called me independent a while ago. “You’re so independent.” MinnesotaMandy, who has known me longer than anyone else, is laughing as she reads that. It’s not that Erin and I aren’t close… Erin knows me better than anyone around, but she hasn’t known me for long. I didn’t meet Erin until after timber and I had split up, and I had sworn off guys for a while… precisely because I’m so dependent on them. What do YOU want to do? What do YOU want to eat? Sure, we can hang out with YOUR friends again. Any time I get involved with a guy, I get all stupid again. I am completely capable of making a decision when I’m by myself. Or, rather, when I’m alone and I can’t make a decision (What do I want for dinner? I didn’t thaw anything. Is a hunk of cheese a poorly balanced meal?), it doesn’t matter. I don’t need to impress anyone.

 

So, what makes me independent? I do shit for myself because there isn’t anyone else around to do it. Jack will bitch that I won’t let anyone do things for me, anyway, but let me tell you… he was the first guy to ever yell at me to JUST SIT DOWN while he did stuff for me, and I felt hella awkward, but I could have gotten used to it. For instance, it would have been nice to have a guy around to put together this damn Halloween “pre-lit tree branch archway” that “simply” snapped together in about 45 friggin’ minutes and all those pokey branches prodded my delicate little hands. Which are still sore. Oooh, and it would be great to have someone available to unstick the spidery basement window that’s wedged closed. Because, did I mention the spiders? And the wedging? And the SPIDERS? I’ll welcome volunteers for that one. Saturday morning would be great, so I can get this fekkin’ archway out of my living room and plugged in outside with the extension cord running through the window and into the basement. And then we’ll go watch the ballgame on Scott’s new TV. I’ll buy the beer. Because, you know, I have to maintain my independence. ;)

 

6:41 AM

 

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rockies win the NL wild card

 

Wow, that was a heckuva game last night. I thought for sure the Rox would take the Pads by two runs within the standard nine innings. And here it stands, 6-5 Rox… bottom of the seventh inning, and Atkins gets a hit waaaaaaay out into left field… it hits the top of the wall! Home run! The crowd goes wild! The folks in the bowling alley go wild! Wait, what? What was that? They’re calling it a double? What? Ground rules say if it hits over the yellow line, it’s a dinger. Can’t tell from the distant camera angles showing on the fuzzy bowling alley monitors exactly where it hit, but the folks in the seats right there in the ballpark are showing the chip in the paint on the wall where it hit OVER the yellow line… but the umps are calling it a double, and you gotta take what Blue says. Atkins never makes it home.

 

The Pads tie it up in the eighth, and there the score stays. 6-6 in the eighth. 6-6 in the ninth. 6-6 in the tenth, the eleventh, the twelfth… rally cap is on… and we give up two runs to the Padres in the top of the THIRTEENTH inning. Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap. Bottom of the inning, here we go, let’s get some runs! Put some heat on, boys! Let’s go! There’s a run! There’s a run! We’re tied! (Oh no, is this going to go into more innings? Folks are tired, boys! This game has gone on for nearly 5 hours!) And we’ve got guys on base, Carroll hits a sac, Holliday slides home… Blue calls safe! We win! We win! Holliday is down and bleeding, but we’re in! Replay after replay shows that Holliday may not have actually touched the plate… it looks like Barrett’s foot kicked Holliday’s hand away as he slid by… but hey, you gotta take what Blue says. :)

 

8:26 AM

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