Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What I do when I'm bored...

I look for cheap houses that aren't completely run down (think houses that were in the middle of a remodel when the owner had to foreclose so the house is in complete disrepair). The best part about me looking at these houses: I don't know why I do it--It's not like we're going to get a different house, and if we did, I doubt we'd go for houses smaller than ours (ours is 1250 sq ft).

Today's finds:

4806 Peach Grove Court, 1093 sq ft for $98,900

and

5424 Walnut Grove Dr, 1271 sq ft for $94,900

And, being me, I already checked to see if they were in the floodplain--they aren't. This is, Of course not to say that there aren't other nice houses, because there are. They just tend to be in the Onion Creek Neighborhood and Hornsby Bend (Austin's Colony) areas...which I want to say may be more affected by floodplains, but don't quote me on that...that's why the City has this nifty difty floodplain viewer.

Monday, December 29, 2008

1+ years of work

Learning

What I learned today: My boss (two levels above me) owned a house 4 houses down the street from mine. It was the first house she and her husband bought and lived in (he's now a Realtor/flipper, or some such business--point is, they currently own like 5 houses ranging in value from about $120k to $550K). She mentioned that her daughter had friends that lived down the street...so all that really tells me is that they had to have been one of the early owners of the house since our house was built in the early 80's and their daughter was born in the mid-80's.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Meals

I feel bad.

I keep feeling like we (Shawn and I) do all of my family traditions, but none of his.

My Family Traditions:
  • Open presents on Christmas Eve
  • Open present from Santa right after midnight mass (or if there is no church going, open it the next morning)
  • Stockings Christmas morning
  • Nice meal Christmas Eve
  • Spend time with extended family Christmas day, or, as Dani and I got older, and our extended family moved away, it became more of a "go be with your boyfriend's family" thing.
  • Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast on Christmas day

Shawn's Family Traditions:
  • Posole and Tamales for Christmas Eve meal
  • Church on Christmas Eve
  • All presents on Christmas day
  • Stockings on Christmas day
  • Sausage/egg casserole thingy for breakfast on Christmas day
  • Nice meal Christmas day
So, of course we knock off the items that both of our families do (such as Church on Christmas Eve, and Stockings Christmas morning) and so that basically leaves What you eat on Christmas Eve, What you eat for breakfast Christmas day, when you open presents, and what you eat for dinner on Christmas day.

Shawn was the one that said he wanted to open all the presents Christmas Eve. I opt to do cinnamon rolls because they're easy (Pillsbury now makes frozen cinnamon rolls that go straight from the freezer to the oven). We normally make something easy for Christmas Eve dinner, and then go all out for Christmas Day dinner (this year we made Shepherd's Pie--which we thought the sauce part needed to be more robust than what it was, but you can't fault a recipe when it only cooks in half an hour and the previous version of shepherd's pie you had probably simmered all day long).

But I still feel bad. So this year I was going to make Posole and Tamales for Boxing day. Mostly because Shawn wasn't going to be home (he still has to work) and so it would be a surprise when he came home. Ultimately I opted not to (even though I do have the tamales). You see, I'm not that mean. Shawn claims that he hates Posole and Tamales with a fiery passion usually reserved for the 7th ring of hell.

Yeah, I don't know either.

But I must admit that it's much, much, MUCH easier to get good Mexican food down here than it is in Colorado. The trick is that you have to know a good Mexican cook, or eat at the restaurants that the Mexicans go to.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lady Bird Johnson Luminations Display

Last weekend Shawn and I went to the Wildflower Center Luminaria display.

Of course it was one of those things that we wanted to go on Saturday, but started cooking the Borscht too late and didn't feel like leaving the house. So we agreed we'd go on Sunday (the last day of the Luminations--it only lasts a weekend).

I started the Corned Beef and Cabbage a little late so we ate at 715. And the festival is only from 6-9. We finished by 745, put away the leftovers and practically ran out the door. As we're driving down Mopac, Shawn's lamenting that we should have left earlier and it's stupid that we're trying to get to the wildflower center, not because we wouldn't get there before 9 pm but because we'd get there and we'd walk in the gates, have to book it around the trails to see the lights and then leave. You know, kinda like trying to see the whole zoo in less than an hour.

We got there at 815, and I would say that 45 minutes was a little too short, but not by a whole lot. We wandered around the lighted trails, got some cider, Shawn listened to the band while I went and looked around the little store. Had I not already finished all my Christmas shopping for extended family, I would have probably picked up a couple of things for them. Below are some photos we took with my point and shoot (next year we plan to go a little earlier and take the DSLR with tripod). Oh! and if you have kids, this is probably a pretty good thing for them--the wildflower center has craft tables for the kids (and adults), music in the main courtyard (with plenty of space to dance), and Frosty and Blue Santa (from the Blue Santa Operation) make appearances and pose for pictures.


View from the tower




Okay, so it's not a Luminaria, but pretty nonetheless. I really enjoy how the Texans decorate the trees like this. I don't remember seeing trees done like this in Colorado.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Money

So one of the things I read about at work during my lunch break is articles about money. Yes money. Especially articles about how parents are supposed to teach their kids about money. For the non-existent child we have. Maybe we'll teach the cats. I don't know. Point is: I'm crazy.

Anyways.

I read this article on MSN. And I realized that my parents pretty much broke ALL the rules.

But. I think I turned out okay. And if you think it's a fluke that I turned out okay, just look at my sister. She turned out okay too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Survivor

This phrase was uttered in our house last night (and no, it wasn't by me):

"Survivor made me forget about personal hygiene."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nostalgia Sunday: Pre-Christmas Edition

(I would have said "Christmas Edition", but I don't know if the mood will strike to actually get all nostalgic on Christmas day, or eve, so I have to do a qualifier. Thus Pre-Christmas)

There's this radio station that plays Christmas music all the time between December 1st and Christmas. It's got all your favorites--The dogs barking jingle bells, Do you hear what I hear, and Grandma got run over by a reindeer. For whatever reason, even though I rarely hear Frosty the Snowman on the radio, just hearing the other Christmas songs will make me THINK of Frosty the Snowman, and therefore I'll get all nostalgic (shut up, this is how women's minds work--that's why you can ask "How was your day?" and your response will be "Chicken")

Anyhoo, I digress...and to digress a little more, I need to state for the record for all family members: I spent the same amount of money on everyone this year (as I always do), well, to within $5. (Trust me, I have the receipts and spreadsheets to prove it) And so, the reason why it looks like I spent more on person A than on person B is because Old Navy has awesome deals for women's clothes. If you don't like it, take it up with Old Navy.

But, Back to Nostalgia!

When I was a wee lad (I mean lass), Dani and I would inevitably spend one weekend with the grandparents while our parents went and did Christmas shopping and wrapping and what have you. Grandma, being the awesome spitfire dame that she is, would go out and buy a Christmas themed craft (usually paint your own ornaments) for us girls to do, and a roll of cookie dough. On Saturday day, at the cabin, Dani and I would paint our ornaments, and Grandma would crank the Christmas music, bake cookies and sing along with the tunes.

Frosty comes into play because for whatever reason (probably because Frosty was the least known of the Christmas songs I knew) I remember Grandma totally rocking out to it. We'd be sitting there painting away at the breakfast counter, and she'd be baking her cookies and then Frosty would come on and she'd start dancing and tapping her foot and waving the spatula around singing Frosty the Snowman. Heck, I remember there were sometimes when the CD would end and she'd break into another chorus of Frosty just for the heck of it.

ah yes. preshus memrys! Though, this does explain why whenever I work on Christmas themed cookies or crafts I start humming Frosty the Snowman.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sex-ay

You want to know who's sexy? My husband. In his boxers with the air filter mask and socks and sandals.

It's like he's some senile tourist in China who forgot to put on clothes.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Shopping

So, I left work at 7 pm today (I was completing a project which is due tomorrow afternoon. You might ask what I was doing finishing a project when I have all morning to work on it. And that is where you'd be wrong. See, tomorrow is the annual holiday party at work, and I, being on the committee, am lucky enough to have to be at some gymnasium at 7 in the morning to decorate. I guess they're trying to hide the fact that it's a gymnasium or something).

And then I decided, since Shawn was out with his coworkers, that I would do some Christmas shopping for family members.

I am now officially done with my mom, my sister, and my niece. I have yet to buy anything for my father-in-law, but Dad and the mother-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law are halfway done.

But, because of all this shopping, I didn't get home until 9pm. And that explains why I'm eating spaghetti with tomato sauce, a little tomato bisque, and pecorino for dinner at 9:47 pm. Yes. I put tomato soup on top of my spaghetti noodles. Wanna make something of it?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Farm to Work and Why I LOVE Alton Brown

we partook of the Farm to Work program again. I went halvsies with Bond (but somehow when I think back on it, I think I got more than half, so if you want some more greens, let me know!!)

This week we got an assortment of greens (chard, mustard, etc.), potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, radishes, beets, and cabbage.

Honestly I wanted in on it this week so I could make Borscht again (Yeah, I don't know why, it's not like that stuff it REALLY REALLY good or anything...it's more like I just get a random craving for it. And honestly I think it's the amount of sour cream I put on top of it more than anything.)

Anyhow, the borscht only uses the beets and cabbage (I think), and I know it doesn't use any of the greens...which means I have to figure out a way to prepare them. Last time when we got Kale, I made some type of quiche with them. it was a little bitter and I didn't really like it. so I don't want to do a quiche with the new greens.

For lack of anything better to do, I went to FoodNetwork.com and typed in "Mustard Greens". Lo and behold, there are recipes by one Mr. Alton Brown. And I love me some Alton Brown (that garlic chicken recipe is Mr. Brown's Recipe, and the flower pot smoker out back is of Mr. Brown's invention. AND we have his Gadgets for the Kitchen book.) So, I think I shall try his greens au gratin, lemon glazed greens, and possibly the pot of greens.

But, I really think I ought to make the borscht tomorrow since that will take forever. This time, purreed instead of chunky.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The end of an era

I write this final NaPoBloMo post from Shawn's laptop due to the fact that he turned off my computer. Because he wanted the Christmas Tree lights to go through the Kill-a-watt thingy.

What we learned?

That the Christmas tree uses the equivalent wattage of 4 computers. FOUR!

Well then, we won't be turning THAT on very often this month.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gingerbread Cookies

Kristie,

Thought I'd let you know, the cookies turned out pretty darn good. I ended up frosting them because I used too much flour in the "roll the dough" stage. But they are soft. and they taste good, and THAT is what matters.

Thanks so much.

Almost Done

So, we're at the end of the month, which means that we are almost finished with the posting of pointless crap everyday and we can recommence with the posting of pointless crap a few times a week instead.

Anyhoo... We've decided to do a secondary Thanksgiving meal tonight to use up left overs and some other things that we have laying around (like the butternut squash and potatoes). Of course, this means that I have to make an apple pie. Because well obviously I have to make an apple pie--because nothing can be simple for holidays as evidenced two years ago.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

So there was no getting up at 4 am for us (thankfully). We did venture out to do some shopping, and pretty much Shawn realized that the airbrushing paint gun he wanted wasn't what he needed, the stuff I'm buying for my mom and sister would be better shipped through the company than by me buying it and shipping it, and we stopped off at the Woodcraft Store so Shawn could pick up some dyes for his new drum set coming on Monday.

I also took Quaz to the vet to have his drain tube removed. That was fun--what with the fighting to get the cat in the carrier so we could go to the vet, and then, after getting to the vet, fighting with the cat to get out of his carrier. silly little beasties.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gobble

Happy Turkey Day!
i'm about to start with gingerbread cookies. Then I will move into making some jello. and finally I will make the sweet potatoes that we are taking over to Lon and Daniella's tonight.

Tomorrow, we will, in all likelyhood, get up earlier than we ever would deem necessary and go hit the early morning sales. Then, we will come back home, Shawn will nap, and I will make a baby project for my coworker whose wife just gave birth to a 9 lb. 12 oz. boy yesterday.

Poor kid...this means his birthday will ALWAYS be around Thanksgiving. Which: Cool because you will always get out of school around your birthday, but Suck because you'll likely never actually have a birthday party with your friends on your birthday.

But, having your birthday around Thanksgiving is much better than having your birthday around Christmas I'm sure.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vet visit

I dropped Quazi off this morning as a bloody/pus-y mess, and then, at 5:30, I picked up this:


All for $325.

He's got a drain tube which will be removed on Friday. Stitches that will be removed 2 weeks from today. The black patch is dead skin. He's also got some pain meds to get him through the night, and possibly tomorrow as well. The vet did give him a long acting antibiotic shot so we don't have to give him pills every day.

On the plus side he's been entertaining us by alternately falling asleep while sitting like this and walking around like he's drunk.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Going to the Vet

Sigh.

We have to take Quazi to the Vet tomorrow.

He manages to lick his wound raw every time it starts looking better. stupid stupid.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Marching Band

I never really equated marching band to being all that of a difficult thing to do...especially when you took the instruments out of the whole thing and all you were doing was marching in a straight line.

Apparently I was wrong (video at the bottom of the post...seriously, watch it):
Marching to the beat of his own drummer

Andy Dehnart at Reality Blurred has said that Dan's "limbs moved as if someone had severed part of his spine" and M. Giant of Television Without Pity likened him to "a palsied Muppet"

Whatever it was, Shawn and I spent the night attempting to march across our living room like Dan. The only problem was that apparently we don't march in a way that would make Igor, lord of the zombies, proud.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Candied Yams

This year, I am in charge of making the candied yams for Thanksgiving. Candied yams are something that my family doesn't eat, so I called my mother in law to get the recipe.

Since 90% of sweet potato recipes involve the marshmallows on top, I figured it'd be an easy enough request. After talking for a while on the phone, I brought up the candied yam recipe request. She told me she had to find the recipe and she'd get back to me.

She called back about 15 minutes later and told me the recipe she was about to give me is a recipe that everyone who has ever had it has RAVED about. She also said that my father in law requests it every Thanksgiving and usually she pooh-poohs the idea because it takes more effort than the normal recipe.

This ultimate candied yam recipe contains pineapple, maple syrup, pecans and dried apricots. It decidedly does not involve marshmallows.

When Shawn and I went to the store for our weekly shopping trip, I sent him off to get some foods and I went off to get other items. When we met up in the meat aisle, I said the only thing left on the list was dried apricots. He looked at me like I was crazy and asked, "And WHAT in God's name are those for?!"

"Your mom's sweet potato recipe."

"Are these pecans for that too?"

"Yes, and half that can of pineapple"

"I have never had this recipe ever in my life. I don't know what my mom was thinking. Just make the marshmallow version, okay?"

And this is why you'll be served the normal marshmallow version. Though to be fair, I was going to make the two versions and bring both of them...I mean really, variety is the spice of life, is it not?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Post 439

Quazi has been relegated to wearing 2 socks and a harness.

He had been without the sock for about a week when he went crazy and licked open a new wound. Which also did nothing but agitate the other one that was healing.

Because he managed to work himself around 1 sock, I added another to the mix, but he even managed to get around those this morning so I had to put his harness on him (it stops the socks from rotating and therefore allowing him access to his bald patch).

Poor cat was slinking all over the place today.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Turkeys

So, this video is a little disturbing.**

**Fair warning, the video is an interview that Governor Palin did recently in Alaska. It is an interview done right after she pardoned a turkey from becoming Thanksgiving dinner. The backdrop chosen for the interview shows a guy killing 2 turkeys. On camera.

It gets really disturbing when you get to the part at the 2:35 mark and Palin says "I was happy to participate in this...you need some levity in this job." And again at the 3:02 mark: "Certainly will probably invite criticism for this too, but at least this is fun."

Not to say that you can't take joy in your meat being killed for you while you wait, but you probably shouldn't say it on camera.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still Sick. Still Pissed off about it

Though, I must admit, I'm not as pissed off as I expected to be. You see, I think I'm getting worse instead of better.

stupid sick! :::shakes fist at the heavens:::

So I did what any normal person would do under the circumstances. I caught up on my Heroes comic reading. I also rewatched the last 2 episodes of Heroes. And I would have watched the cast commentary too if NBC played nice with Linux, but they don't.

Anyhow. The new thing for Heroes is that you're supposed to go online and choose a side to be on--either the villians or the goodguys.

So far, the rosters are as such:
Villians: Arthur Petrelli, Miss Strauss (Ali Larter's new character), Flint, Knox, Sylar, and Elle.
Goodguys: Nathan, Peter, Mrs. Petrelli, Matt Parkman, Claire and Daphne.
Undecided: Hiro, Ando, the Haitian, Meredith, HRG, and I'm sure there are some others...

I don't know...I think I'm rooting for Sylar, Elle, Nathan, Daphne, and HRG. They shall be a new group. The group called "The interesting ones"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Extended Family

Today, when I got home, I went to get the mail. A pretty normal occurrence, I must admit. On top of the mail in the mailbox there was a blue envelope.

I pulled it out and looked at the return address.

It said Cherie and Mike.

And I thought, "Who the heck are Cherie and Mike? I don't know any Cherie and Mike."

I looked at the town, and state and thought, "Well, that's where Shawn's aunt and uncle live. But who are these Cherie and Mike characters?"

This went on for the walk from the mailbox to the kitchen.

Then it dawned on me..

Cherie and Mike. Cherie as in Shawn's cousin. Who's getting married to Mike in July of next year. DUH.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sicky

So I stayed home sick today.

I slept from 11pm last night to 1120 am today. I teleworked from home for an hour.

I'm thawing chicken and chicken stock (from the chicken enchiladas) in the fridge and expect to have chicken noodle soup for dinner.

Now, I'm off to take a nap before Shawn comes home.

Monday, November 17, 2008

blah

starting to get sick.

just took nyquil

must go sleep.

hopefully I'll get better sleep than I did last night.

I woke up 6 times that I remember.

That means I had to have woken up at least 18 times.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Birthday Party

So, after thinking about it, and going through my sewing notions, I found that I had a long piece of white fabric, and various amounts of brightly-ish colored fabric (all this, of course, bought back when I went crazy buying all the stuff for baby projects). So, this is what I decided to wear:Since I had to stop off at the store first, I decided it would be easier to just take the fabrics along with me and put it on at the party.

However, I got to the party and then didn't feel like putting it on. I don't know why. The funny part was that just about everyone else TRIED to at least wear something that could be considered Nicaraguan. Except for me. So there you have it. Me being different just because I can. I had actually gotten to the point where I was going to go put on my 'skirt' but then new people arrived and I didn't want the lady to think I was trying to copy her...I mean, you never know what the people from the internet will do to you if they see you trying to copy them:



And look! to prove I do have work friends and I'm not just making them up, there is photographic evidence:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Birthday Party

I am going to a birthday party tonight. A party in which I'm supposed to wear this:
Yeah...I don't own anything that looks even REMOTELY like this. So I don't know what I'm going to wear.

The funny thing about this whole thing? That I can make a simple broom skirt and in fact have done this in the past...which theoretically should mean that since I had all day, I could have easily made myself a costume.

But why make yourself a costume when you can be the only one at a costume party not dressed up?

Friday, November 14, 2008

No Name

It is windy.

Shawn is off hosting another NI wannabe. Again.

I ate at a restaurant by myself because I wanted Sopapillas that badly.

Now I plan on watching Life on Hulu.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

At the Mall

I got suckered into listening to the spiel of one of those kiosk guys. Here was our conversation:

"Do your nails normally look like this?!"

"what, chewed down? yeah. that's normal."

"Oh. How frequently do you get manicures?"

"Never."

"Do you know why you don't get manicures?"

"uh...no...why?"

"Because they're expensive."

"And here I thought it was just because I chewed my nails down to nubs."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All full circle-like

Behold, for I am pretending to be Amalah. I am drunk, and I post pictures of shoes.
I guess I should explain the drunk (god, it just took me a minute to type that): we had dinner last night. A dinner that required 1/2 cup of red wine. Which I dutifully added. I expected Rick to help drink the wine, and so I threw away the cork (oh right, I didn't live-blog about Rick. Well, Rick showed up last night to help eat Lamb Ragu and Bastardized Peach/Blueberry cake). Since Rick didn't help drink the wine (okay, he had like two tablespoons), it left me to drink almost a whole bottle of Chianti. Good Chianti, I tell you what. Anyhow, last night, since I was getting up and walking around so much I knew how much I had to drink. And that left half a bottle.

So I had the remainder tonight with my Blazing Thai Noodles. The difference being that I wasn't standing up and walking around, so I didn't know how drunk I was. Until I decided to take a picture of my new shoes.

Glorious.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

1:00 am: Wake up because my stupid watch somehow had the alarm set. Take 3 minutes to figure out what that beeping is. Insist on thinking, for at least 2 of those minutes, that my alarm clock is crazy and is making this weird beeping noise. Eventually realize that when I lean toward the alarm clock, the beeping gets quieter, not louder. Figure out it's the watch. Easily get it turned off. Become obsessed with making sure this never happens again and get up at 1:05 to find the instructions for the watch and un-set the damn alarm.

1:15 am: Go back to bed

7:30 am: Wake up because Shawn has to get up for work. Have a glass of juice and convince self that going for a jog is a good idea. Get dressed in jogging clothes.

7:45am: Decide to start live blogging. Spend the next 10 minutes doing this instead of jogging. Must go jog so I can come back and take a shower.

7:55am: let Quazi outside.

8:00am: realize it's raining out. leave to go jog anyhow. Because I am nothing if not stupid. Besides, now I truly know what it means for it to be suffocatingly muggy. It is because you can't breathe. It's like you're actually suffocating. Or, that could just be the jogging. I'm not sure. to be on the safe side, I should probably refrain from jogging ever again.

8:45am: get back home. Surf the internet for 30 minutes. Learn important things about why the housing market still hasn't hit bottom, why you shouldn't always trust "best of" lists, register Shawn for the No-Call list (he's been getting phone calls letting him know that the warranty on his 1982 Volkswagon is about to expire), and finally, check email.

9:15am: clean bathrooms and kitchen. Tidy up the rest of the house.

9:20am: Let IV outside

9:21am: Huge clap of thunder

9:22am: Let IV inside

9:23am: Starts pouring rain

9:30am: The Prodigal Quazums returneth and subsequently leaveth butt-print and footprint all overeth the place where food cooking commences:











9:50am: Return to cleaning the house.

10:02am: Let IV back outside

10:03am: Let Quazi back outside

10:39am: House if finished being tidied up. Now I need to get to the actual cleaning. boo.

11:36am: Cleaning the bathrooms. yippee

12:05pm: Finally finished cleaning. Now to clean myself. Yes, the life of a housewife--maybe taking a shower in the afternoon.

12:54pm: Go shoe shopping. No, really I did this.

1:30pm: Leave store sans shoes because they don't have the size I need. Must order shoes online.

1:35pm: walk into tea shop to get a drink. OOO Ginger brew! that sounds good. it must be like ginger ale!

1:37pm: OH GOOD GOD! this stuff is HORRID! It's like my mouth is on fire, but not! egads, who would even like this stuff?!

1:46pm: Throw away rest of ginger brew and leave The Domain. Drive to Whole Foods.

1:54pm: What the hell do you mean they don't have peaches? Yes I realize that it's not peach season any more, it's also not blackberry season, but you're still selling those! But the HEB is still selling peaches, so I guess that means I have to go to 2 grocery stores. DAMN! But, to be fair, the Whole Foods had their pineapples for $2.50--the HEB is still selling them for $3.99.

2:27pm: leave Whole Foods ($30 worth of food), and head off to the HEB to get the remainder of my ingredients for dinner tonight. spend another $50 on food and wine.

3:03pm: g0 home, unpack groceries.

3:04pm: NO! I forgot to buy the pasta?!?! CRAP! Well, let's see...I've got some penne in the cupboard, and pasta wheels, and elbow mac...surely one of those will work. But the little corkscrews would have been so nice...

3:07pm: mix ingredients for cake. Decide it's not worth it to get out a mixer, and decide to mix everything by hand.

3:10pm: Well...now I know why all those little old ladies have arthritis in their hands. Also, I realized I do not have 8 or 9" rounds. Well, I do have them, but they are old and rusty and disgusting looking. So I threw them away (I don't feel bad about this either since I bought them for $0.25 at the ARC when I was a sophomore in college...that was like 5 years ago. Besides, as I said disgusting). I must remember to add these to my Christmas wish list.

3:12pm: put cakes in oven to bake. Now I ought to work on the insides of the cake (roasted blueberries and peaches).

5:24pm: Finished making the insides of the cake, and immediately moved onto making the lamb ragu, which is now simmering away on the stove. I managed to only cut myself 2 times (one didn't bleed at all...I should probably have that checked out). this is the first time I've ever made the carrot/celery/onion tiny pieces mixture. so, we'll see how that turns out. I also decided to take the liberty of altering the cake recipe: 1) it told me to make a vanilla cake. So I bought a boxed version. 2) it told me to cut the cooked cake in half, fill in the innards, put the top half on and refrigerate. But lo, I don't feel like doing that so I just spread the innards on the top of the cake. I shall call it roasted peach and blueberry upside down cake. And it shall be delicious. Actually I don't know if it will be delicious. Mostly because it says I need to refrigerate the cake for a minimum of 8 hours. And it will only be refrigerated for a total of 2.

5:29pm: must find how to roast garlic for garlic bread.

5:33pm: Well, that was easy...and I can't start that until about 6:30...I guess this means I need to go clean up the federally declared disaster zone that has become my kitchen.

6:15pm: attempt to buy shoes online. Notice I said Attempt.

7:39pm: Dinner is served.

9:41pm: Cleanup commences (I transfer dirty dishes from the table to the sink, then wipe down the countertop and rangetop).

9:44pm: Watch Two and a Half Men

10:26pm: Get ready for, and go to, bed.

Connecticut

Connecticut

Monday, November 10, 2008

On Laziness

Okay, since someone ::cough, cough, Kristie, cough:: thinks I need to post about something shiny, I have some news:

I will not post about anything shiny.

I will, however, attempt to liveblog my day tomorrow since I will be home. and cleaning. and making an actual meal for once. one that includes things like vegetables. and possibly even fruit.

Of course, this liveblogging thing would be so much easier with a new phone...perhaps one of the G-persuasion.

Keep your fingers crossed.

New York City

New York

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Presidential Pets

According to various sources, the Obamas are looking into getting a rescue dog. Which is awesome. I'm just wondering why I had to go to the BBC to find that out as opposed to our own free press.

I suspect it has something to do with if the press says "Adopt a shelter dog!" then all those breeders will get angry. But hey, it'd at least be responsible for the press to say "Adopt a shelter dog!" if not only because it's been proven that when a specific breed is in the eye of the public, EVERYONE has to have one. It happens when presidents get pets (especially if their public rating numbers are high--so the Obamas getting a dog before getting to the White House is going to be MUCH more influencial than say Bush getting a dog right now), it happens when movies come out starring our furry friends (didn't Dalmatian demand double when 101 Dalmations came out?--the live action movie, not the cartoon), it even happens when there are news reports about specific breeds.

So, here's your public announcement for the day: If you're going to adopt a pet, please, please, please think about adopting a rescue. If you want a specific breed, good news! they have these things called 'breed specific rescues' which means you can get a pure bred pet that is a rescue.

And yes, I know what you're going to say--rescues are damaged goods. But there's no guarantee that the pure breed you're going to get is going to be any better than a rescue. As with all things that come from sexual reproduction, it's really all a crap shoot.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Socks:

The new style for cats. Coming Fall '08.


Really, he isn't as pissed as he looks. He's the tolerant one. Actually, IV attacked my foot tonight because Quazi was too close to her. Amazingly she's never attacked people outside "The Family".

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Enchilada Chicken

OH RIGHT, The CHICKEN!

I boiled a whole chicken (sans gizzards) for about an hour (with some sea salt, ground pepper and garlic powder) and then picked it out deboned and deskined it, then put all the bones and skin back in the pot to boil for a little longer (hey man, delicious, delicious chicken water). The edible part of the chicken went in the crockpot along with one can of Mexican Style Tomato Sauce, some smoked salt, a minced clove of garlic, a seeded and minced habanero, 2 diced smoke-dried tomatoes, a quartered onion and more ground pepper. I added some of the chicken water to make it kinda soupy so it didn't get all dried out while slow cooking the next day.

I then had a fiasco with the chicken water. I strained the water into a zip-top bag which I had put in a smaller pot for stability purposes. After I strained it and cleaned out the chicken stock pot, I went to grab the zip-top bag and realized there was a hole in the bottom so it was all leaking out. Thankfully it was all leaking out into a pot...but still, now I was going to have to clean THAT pot too. I then got out a brand new zip-top bag--one that had never been used before (yes I reuse my zip-top bags), and then poured the chicken stock into that one. As far as I know it didn't have a hole in it...I guess I should really go check the freezer, eh?

I put the crockpot full of delicious enchilada chicken into the fridge for the night and got it out this morning. I thought about adding a little more water, but decided against it because I didn't want it to get too soupy.

I should have added some water.

And it totally isn't my fault it got burned.

See, I put the crockpot on the counter, plugged it in, turned it on low and went to work. Shawn got home about an hour and a half before I did. Normally when he comes home and we're doing crockpot stuff, he'll turn off the crockpot, or at least turn it to the 'warm' setting when he comes home because it's been cooking for 8-9 hours at that time. This time he didn't do that. He even went into the kitchen, looked at the chicken, thought it looked good and then went and played on the computer for about an hour before he thought that maybe he ought to turn off the pot. When he went back into the kitchen, the top of the chicken was all black and crusty. Sigh. Thankfully it didn't taste bad and we were able to avoid the largest blackened parts.

It was MUCH better than the last time we tried this recipe (I think the key is to use a whole chicken), but it still wasn't very spicy. Next time, we'll probably leave the habanero seeds in.

Writer's Block

I'm sorry, I really must apologize for the crappy posts. I guess my heart isn't into NaBloPoMo like it was last year.

So, let's see what's in the news today:
-Obama is the new president
-80 billionty articles about how he won it and how McCain lost it. The election, not his marbles...though he is getting up there in years, maybe he ought be concerned about losing (sorry, the old geezers prefer I call it "misplacing") things.
-Michael Crichton died
-A lady ran a mile with a rabid fox attached to her arm, and then drove herself (and I assume the fox as well) to the hospital so she could get rabies treatment. This is why I don't jog. (also I just checked the BBC, this made world news)
-Duct tape was used to restrain an unruly passenger on an airline flight. It really CAN be used for everything.
-And finally, Ladies have more bacteria on their hands. I suddenly feel the need to go wash my hands.

In other news, after my post last night (or rather early this morning) I had to fashion an E-collar for Quazi. As mentioned earlier, the cat got in a fight and had a puncture wound, which was healing quite nicely. Apparently it reached the "itchy" stage of the healing process and the cat managed to lick the surrounding area bald in 24 hours. And he wouldn't stop licking. Because it started making the wound look abscessy, we decided we had to get him to stop licking, but couldn't think of how to make an E-collar with a sock, some string, half a coconut (ha, yeah right), a piece of cardboard and a collar. I ended up taking the sock and cutting the toe of off it (so now it's a sock-tube) and then strung the normal collar through that and then put it on the cat. HA! McGyver's got NOTHING on me!) Now he's got a sock bib, which occasionally gets turned around so it looks like a sock cape. But, the point is, it works. Except that he keeps drinking water and getting the sock all wet. Good thing we've got like 60 billion socks that have holes in the heels or toes.

Barack Obama: 44th President of the United States of America

1. I thought McCain's speech was very good.
2. I thought Obama's could have been a little better--in the enthusiasm department. I mean, I understand that he is inheriting a war (or two), a crappy economy, a housing crisis, and a major health care issue, but still, some happiness could have shown through. Also, his grandma died. Until further proof, I will assume that the somberness of the occasion was because of his grandma
3. Also, since the girls get a dog, I sure hope they adopt one from the pound as opposed to a pure breed. Perhaps I should write a letter to the new president telling him as such. I mean really, if he wants to show that he's for the downtrodden, the less fortunate, then he ought to start with his dog.
4. I had to call my mom and wake her up from her nap to let her know that she now lives in a blue state. A few years ago (4 to be exact), she wanted to move to New Hampshire so she could for once, just once, live in a blue state instead of a red one.
5. I don't really have a 5, I just thought the list seemed incomplete with only 4 points.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Live Blogging

I could live blog the election results, but really, what's the point? The newscaster types seem all excited about the initial reports showing that Obama and McCain are in a neck to neck race. They of course never point out that only "less than 1%" of districts are reporting. Which means that it means NOTHING until you get to at least 50% of the districts reporting.

I could also live blog boiling a chicken. But it's boiling a chicken. It's like watching paint dry.

Well, if my chicken turns out (and therefore the enchilada chicken that I'm making tomorrow), I'll let you know.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Because I'm a Total Band Geek

Today, while reading about Iron Chef America, and subsequently learning about the Iron Chefs, I learned that Mario Batali and Vic Firth worked together to create a line of Pepper Mills, Salt Grinders, and Wooden Rolling Pins.

Well, now I know what I'm getting Shawn for Christmas.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Babysitting

So I babysat last night. Which, as mentioned yesterday, consists of me sitting on the couch and watching TV since the kid I babysit is always put down for bed before the parents leave. This means that I watched two episodes of "It's me or the dog", an episode of "law and order: SVU", an episode of "little people, big world", one episode of "Trading Spaces", and one episode of "Iron Chef: America"

And it made me realize two things. 1. Alton Brown looks like a douche with his hair grown out like that. I realize that his old style was very 1990's, but still, it worked on him, and as mentioned before, it didn't make him seem like a douche.

And number 2. The "Chairman" in the American version is Mark Dacascos. Otherwise known as Mani from Les Pacte des Loups. Now, that's Hott.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaBloPoMo

That's right ladies and gents. It's time for me to blog every day. EVERY DAY. So, prepare to be bored by...probably Monday. Yes, I know, I set my standards VERY high.

On some days, don't be surprised if I just send you on over to my garden blog. Mostly because I am lazy and I will count blogging on either as my blog entry for the day.

Now, I'm off to go babysit. I fully expect to sit on my ass and watch TV all night. While eating left over Halloween candy. And possibly working on my Christmas Stocking. That's right. It's been over a YEAR that I've been working on Shawn's Christmas Stocking and it still is not finished. Once again, it's because I set the bar VERY high.

Open Wounds

Tonight Shawn and I were sitting on the couch watching our TV shows (I want to say it was Criminal Minds) when Quazi jumps on the couch and starts snuggling with me.

This normally doesn't happen (Quaz isn't much of a snuggler), so when it does, we capitalize on it. So I'm petting him all over and scratching his neck and everything when I notice there's some matted fur on his upper right shoulder area. As I try to figure out what it is, it started falling apart and then I noticed the cat had a bald spot. And in that bald spot is a red puncture wound. It isn't infected, and it isn't bothering him, and it explains why he's smelled like ass the last coupld of days.

We cleaned it up and then started discussing when it would have happened since he hasn't been outside most of the week. That's when we realized it probably happened when he lost his collar last Saturday. It also explains why he has been sleeping more than normal and being more snuggly.

Stupid cat needs to seriously stop picking fights with other cats. Those collars and tags cost like $12 every time he loses one.

On a side note, because Quazi was getting so much attention, IV freaked out and attacked Shawn's foot. Yeah, she's got misplaced agression issues. I just find it funny how quickly Ivsie can go from being a lubby-dubby Iver wivers to a horrible she-bitch that is growling and hissing and attacking anything that comes within a foot of her.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Stalker

One of my coworkers received a gorgeous bouquet of flowers today.

However, when she read the card, she didn't recognize the name. Because it was kinda like the Candy Incident from last year, but kicked up a few notches, she immediately said she didn't want the flowers. And Matt, being the solver of all things awkward said "I'll fix it!" and then the flowers disappeared (and now, since his girlfriend reads this, he's totally in trouble if he tried to claim he paid for the flowers).

Anyhow, since my coworker didn't recognize the name on the card, she called the florist and asked to know who paid for the flowers. The florist told her, and that's how we learned that the flowers were from her stalker. At least we refer to the guy as a stalker. He asked her out about a year ago and she agreed to meet him for drinks at a bar. He sent her flowers shortly after that. She called and told him that she wasn't interested in a relationship. He proceeded to text her and email her and have candy delivered to her house on Valentines. She dutifully ignored everything and didn't contact him at all. He finally seemed to get it and hadn't had any contact with her for about 6 months. Then it suddenly started up again and has culminated with flowers being delivered to her work under a false name.

Creeeepy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ethiopian Food

Today was my first foray into Ethiopian Food. And yes, it really is more than bread and water.

I'm not sure that I really like it (as in I'll eat it again, but I probably won't be the one making the suggestion). The food would be much better with Naan instead of the Injera. Injera looks like a crepe, and it tastes kinda like sourdough. I actually liken the texture to that of the foam wrapping stuff that is put around LCD panels. I didn't find the spicy foods nearly as spicy as indian food, but there was definitely more cinnamon used than in indian food. Also, this was my first go at lentils (which I will likely eat again). I think my biggest problem with African, Middle Eastern, and Indian food is the texture--I will 100% refuse to eat a food if the texture is 'off'. This is why I don't eat most beans--the texture isn't what I'm expecting. I think that's the reason why I think naan would be better with the food.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brussel Sprouts

Okay, I do not know what is wrong with me. It's like I went on my vacations and suddenly I don't have anything to blog about (when, logically, I should have TONS to blog about).

So, instead I have decided I will use other peoples' blogs as my jumping point to ramble aimlessly on about something or other.

Since Kristie does such a great job of getting me to think about things, I will use her blog. Now, for those of you that don't follow her blog (The Spiteful Chef, link at right), she mostly blogs about cooking, food, and things that annoy her. And not always in that order.

Anyhow, her blog today made me think of Thanksgiving foods (I know, it's not even Halloween yet and I'm already thinking about the next holiday, soon I'll be singing Christmas Carols in July). She mentioned Cranberry Sauce so it's totally her fault. It also made me crave a roast turkey with cranberry sauce sandwich. Instead I ate some of my Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese bowl doohicky thingy. God I love that stuff (and now Kristie has disowned me as a friend, internet or otherwise). But I digress.

What this really made me think about was Apple Pie. That's right, delicious, wonderful, served warm with a dollop of Cool Whip. And then, because it's actually close to Halloween, I decided I ought to make Apple Dumplings.

[Aside] My mom always made apple dumplings around Halloween, now then, I don't know if that's because I liked them so much and she was actually making them because of my birthday, or if she specifically aimed for Halloween. In any case, now when it starts feeling like "fall" here in Austin, I feel the need to make apple dumplings and apple pie. Last year I made dumplings for Colleen's Birthday, and apple pie for Thanksgiving, and another for 2 Christmas. [/Aside]

So, as I'm sitting there eating my Mac n Cheese and fantasizing about Apple Dumplings, I realize that I want one, but not a whole one, and wouldn't it be GREAT if I made Mini-apple dumplings? And so, now, this idea has been hatched and it will not go away. Of course, I've never made mini-apple dumplings. So it will be a grand experiment that will hopefully have a tasty end result. I already have a built in taste test facility. It's called "Work."

So, look for mini-dumplings on Friday.

Friday, October 24, 2008

And I'm finally back

hello loyal Reader(s).

I have finally returned to regale you with stories of my adventures on the east coast (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York namely)

And really. There are none. Nope, no real stories...so...let's see....

1. It's cold in Vermont. Doubly so when you're wearing a formal dress and trying to appear like you're not cold because you need to be 'cool'.
2. New York is also cold. Especially with that wind and sea spray (if you can call the Hudson River "Sea") is blowing in your face. Also, beware of seagulls peeing on you. Yes, that happened.
3. One can teach a 4-month-old lab to fetch in less than half an hour.
4. Do not look for Little Italy in New York. It does not exist. It has been swallowed up by Chinatown.
5. Also, Chinatown is sketchy at night. Don't do that.
6. Wall Street is shut down. No really, We went there. The only people there are tourists. Quite a few of them were from England.
7. Irony: Going to the USS Cassin Young, a World War II boat used against Japan. And then watching the Japanese and German tourists walk around on the boat. I am SO not kidding about that.
8. Historic Boston is dead during the work day. Well, except for all the tourists.
9. There are 296 steps in the Bunker Hill Memorial (which of course the battle of Bunker Hill was fought on Breed's Hill. Maybe the colonial Americans were pulling a fast one over the Brits. You know, like how the Vikings called the land covered in ice "Greenland" and the green land "Iceland". Or maybe they just liked their beer. Actually, I bet it was the beer). Also, the battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANI! Now you have 2 things to remember your birthday by--OJ Simpson and his 'slow speed chase' and the battle of Bunker Hill.
10. Shawn has decided he likes New York City better than Vegas. This likely means that we will be making more 3-day weekend trips to New York instead of Vegas.

Pictures to come later.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hiatus

I shall be taking a hiatus...again.

See you in a week or so.

on my birthday.

Awesome.

Remembering Colorado

A conversation from the first night we were in Boulder--Adam is one of Shawn's coworkers who has never lived in Colorado, Michaela is another coworker who grew up in Colorado and went to CSU (we'll forgive her though).

We walk to campus at about 630pm (so it's not dark yet) for a presentation that Adam has to make to the IEEE.

The meeting goes from 7 til 830 and then we start walking back to the hotel.

Of course I decided that I wanted to go to the grocery store, but didn't see a reason for Adam and Michaela to join us. So, as they start blindly following Shawn and me north (when they should be going east), I turn and say "oh, you guys can go that way (pointing east), you don't have to follow us."

And Shawn helpfully points out "We're going t'the Safeway."

Michaela says "oh, cool, well see you back at the hotel then." And starts walking east.

Adam watches Michaela walking across the street and then gives a funny little laugh and turns to follow Michaela.

That's when I realize he heard "We're going the safe way." not "We're going TO the Safeway"

Yeah, that was a fun one to explain.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Home Cooked Meals

We've been extremely lazy since coming back from Colorado and I haven't really cooked a good meal. Oh sure, I made Breakfast Potatoes for dinner the night we came back, and then I made Spaghetti the next night. But after that, we just went the ordering out route. But the reason for doing this is because we didn't want to go to the grocery store--mostly because we would be going on vacation again and didn't want to have to force ourselves to eat a dozen eggs, or drink half a gallon of milk.

And I gotta say, it's taking it's toll on me.

Who ever thought I'd be like "But I WANT to cook!"?

I pulled out my new cook book (America's Test Kitchen: Restaurant Favorites at Home) and started reading it. Not the 'flipping through the pages reading the titles to find something that sounds good' type of reading. Actual READING.

And I found something intriguing about the America's Test Kitchen recipes (aside from the fact that they are very minimal on the pictures): They go into great detail about the hows and whys of doing what you're doing.

First recipe: Deviled Eggs.
Explanations of: How to best hard boil an egg, best canned tuna to get, why the recipe calls for oil packed tuna instead of water packed tuna, reason for saute-ing vegetables, and reasons why the garnish should be chopped instead of being left whole.
Recipe: Very similar to everything you know about Deviled Eggs (only there's tuna).
Picture: How to prepare to boil and peel an egg in drawings. There is no picture of the final product.
Verdict: It sounds delicious. And I don't even like fish but I'm now all like "okay, who's having a barbecue where I can bring deviled eggs?"

Then I went on to the second recipe: Shoestring Onions with Blue Cheese.
And then I had to wipe my mouth because I was drooling on the book.

But seriously, this is going to take a while to get through...especially when I read something (such has how to perfectly boil an egg) and then I'm like "Damn! I gotta try that! Where are my eggs?! Why didn't we get eggs at the grocery store?!?"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On Getting Carded

Today Shawn and I went to the Lowe's to pick up some deck stain. After an insanely inordinate amount of time debating the pros and cons of getting toner over semi-transparent, and then debating on Cedar Natural or Redwood Natural, we head for the checkout lanes.

We choose a lane, the lady scans the gallon of toner and then asks "are you over 18?"

Shawn gives her a goofy look and says "yes, I'm over 18."

She didn't believe him because she turned to me and asked if he was over 18.

I nodded my head and she let us pay and then be on our merry way.

Shawn of course got in the car and then started listing all the things that prove he's at least 18:
1) He doesn't look like he's 18.
2) He was wearing his wedding ring.
3) We were buying a gallon of deck stain. it was $30. If we were looking for a high, there are much cheaper options. Even among the deck stains.
4) He was paying with a credit card.

Of course, sadly, the only one that I could see would prove he was over 18 was the price of the deck stain....but then, I remember going to Walgreen's once and there was a kid who was buying a bunch of individual rolls of toilet paper to TP a house. And he didn't go for the cheapest kind. That's just stupidity.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Jesus rolls

Hie thee to read Kristie's blog about Jesus Rolls.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Boulder Photos

Boulder


I totally meant to get a photo of the signs they post under the bridges, but I forgot. They basically say "don't use as shelter. Area prone to flash flooding."

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Only Time

When we were back in Colorado last week, we had an opportunity to visit with my Grandparents. Which, is quite the feat considering that we both live in different states other than Colorado.

The beginning of our conversation was talking about the Gully-Washer they had at their house in Arizona.

And my Grandma said something that I only expect to ever hear her say once:

"well, you know old people. We're a weird bunch and we'll always jump to the worst possible conclusion ever."

The part about old people jumping to conclusions isn't the part that I never expected. It's the "We" part that I never expected.

So, here's to my spitfire grandma! 70 years young.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Missing Boulder

I miss Steve and Sherwin.

They can come down and live at our house.

Of course, they say we should move back here and live with them.

Point is,

I miss hanging out with them.

Glasses

So Shawn had to leave early this morning to make his 8am interview.

He left at 715 to go get some breakfast, and then came back to the room at 730. I asked why he came back.

"Oh, while I was eating breakfast, I realized I forgot to put my wedding ring on."

"Oh, that's so sweet!"

"not really. After I remembered I forgot my ring, I remembered I forgot my glasses. And it would be kinda good to be able to see during the interview. So I came back."

"oh...so you came back to get your glasses? Not your wedding ring?"

"Yes, the glasses. But I guess I could also get my ring since I did come back, after all."

...sigh...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Welcome to Boulder, Colorado

We've been in Boulder since Monday at lunchtime. The weather is wonderful (bright and sunny, but not too hot), and the nights are crisp but not too cold. It definitely makes me miss this area.

Monday night I went to an NI presentation about FPGA stuff for the IEEE society. About half way through I realized that I wasn't paying any attention, but it was a good thing I went.

At the career fair on Tuesday I had to corral cats and convince people to fill out the dreaded "blue forms." The blue forms are the voluntarily provided information about race. Most companies have you fill the information out online, BUT since NI actually interviews people on campus, it bypasses the whole "fill it out online" thing. Thus the actual printed form. I only had three or so people actually ask why the forms were needed in the first place.

And who knew standing on your feet for 5 hours would make you so tired?

Today I wandered around campus taking photos. Since Michelle Obama was speaking on campus, I decided to stop by and take a few pictures. I'll put them up later (probably when I get back to Texas where I have all my accoutremants). the most annoying thing about being on campus is that everyone keeps asking me to register to vote since I look like a student.

Which brings me to my next point.

In Texas, I generally don't get carded any more. At the bar on Monday night not only did I get carded, but I also had it taken over to the black light to make sure it wasn't a fake.

I guess all my anti-aging creams are starting to work.

:)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I meant to post this a while ago

So, this is a little out of date and a little late. But hopefully you'll forgive me.

I've decided that McCain needs to watch his back. Not because Obama has a slight lead in the polls, but because if he (McCain) wins, he'll die from poison in his food within three months of taking office.

This, I ascertained from the way Palin talks.

For example:

She's started reffering to the republican ticket as the "Palin and McCain Administration."

Plus, didn't she call McCain her 'running mate' a few weeks ago when the VP isn't supposed to call the president 'running mate'?

and there's the whole thing of her being a 72-year-old's heartbeat away from the presidency.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Debate vs. Economy

I still don't get why McCain wants to postpone the debate.

I mean I understand that he's trying to show that he's in touch with America and caring about what they care about and trying to be all sensitive and whatnot.

But I still don't get why the debate (which takes maybe 4 hours of time during the night when congress isn't even in session) needs to be postponed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heroes

So, for those of you that know me, You know that I LOVE Heroes. (okay, I know, I really LOVE a lot of shows. No. Really. A Lot)

Okay, the 2nd season kinda sucked, and I wasn't thrilled with Maya and whats-his-name. But I never hated Nikki or Molly (Shawn and Jamie hated both those characters with a fiery passion usually only reserved for the government....though I guess the last two seasons made it seem like Nikki's superpower was schizophrenia and Molly could easily be replaced with an iPhone with GPS locator).

That being said...Why the hell are they bringing everyone back to life? If Linderman (though he probably really is dead...in body at least) and Nikki came back, does this mean we should expect to see DL again since he wasn't killed by Sylar? Also, I was kinda sad that they dispelled with the whole "I want your BRAIIIINNNNNNSSSSS" thing. It was fun speculating on if Sylar was just screwed up or if he was over the edge ala Hannibal Lector in Hannibal.

All this is a REALLY long way to get around to the fact that Television Without Pity now has the HRG files--a blog written by Jack Coleman (aka Noah Bennett).

It's pretty awesome.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tricky Dick

Judge Orders Cheney to Preserve Records.

Just the fact that he had to be told "you can't get rid of any records during your time as Vice President" pretty much means that there's something he wants destroyed. Which isn't good.

Besides, if I work for the government and there isn't any right to privacy for anything I do while at work, then there shouldn't be any right to privacy for the VP or the President for what they do in regards to the US.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Birthday Parties

So...

We're going to a birthday party for a 2-year-old. I don't know what to get a 2-year-old girl.

Sigh...

So, if you need us, we'll be the weird people hanging out at the Toys R Us without kids obsessively asking people what they would get for a 2-year-old girl.

On a side note, while perusing the Toys R Us website, I came upon these toys called "furberries" They are exactly like Popples, only apparently motorized and scented because you push a button to get the stuffed animal to come out. [old lady voice] Why, back in MY day we had no such thing as motorized stuffed animals and we had to pull the pouch over the animals instead of pushing some new fangled button!" [/old lady voice]

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Now, if only I could put him to work

My cat is crazy.

Let me explain the reason for his mental retardation: Back when he was a kitten (about 12 weeks old), he was outside with his mom and brother. Something spooked him and so came running along the deck and turned to run into the house and, of course, bounced off the glass sliding door. He looked at the door like it was some magical force-field. He then ran to the back of the deck, turned around and booked it toward the door, probably thinking in his little kitty mind that if he just ran FASTER he could make it through the clear force-field. Obviously he ran head first into the door. Since then, the cat will scratch glass panes. It's probably started as him pawing at the doors and windows to see if there was something there and of course, since we would open whatever he was pawing at, he learned that if he wanted to go out, he needed to scratch the door.

Now, if it stopped at this point, it would make some sense. But it doesn't. He has since decided that any sort of glass or reflective surface is fair game. So he scratches the dishwasher door if we're ignoring him, he scratches the marble tiles in the bathroom if he's stuck in the bathroom, he scratches the mirror if he sees it. He also will scratch at the glass shower wall. From the inside. And we don't put him in there. Nor do we block his way out.

Now, I just need to figure out how to get him to do it on command so I can film it and post it here. Then I need to figure out how to put little scrubbies on his paws. Then we could tour the nation and he could clean peoples' showers. He'd totally be famous. Like the cat in the Staples "Copy Cat" commercial.

This post has no title

I must be going through menopause.

When I'm at work I think of something to blog about. But then I forget about it, almost as quickly as it came into my mind. It's gotten so bad with work related stuff that I have gotten to the point where when I think of something, I'll stop in mid sentence and tell whomever I'm talking to to email me so I don't forget about whatever flitted into my thought process.

Yeah, something must not be synapsing correctly. So obviously the most likely answer is that I'm going through menopause about 25 years early.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Random Tidbits

1. Go see the SNL skit about Palin and Clinton as played by Fey and Pohler. I found it on MSN, but I believe they got it from Hulu.com

2. having 5 cavities filled at one time makes you feel like you've been punched in the jaw.

3. I have never been punched in the jaw, so I don't ACTUALLY know what it feels like.

4. But I can assume, can't I?

5. Shawn is a nerd and he started a new website. He decided he was tired of You Tube and the constantly having to click on something--he wanted it more like Pandora. So he went and built a webpage. One that plays You Tube videos without having to click on stuff (other than the first video). You can find it at http://videochanger.com. So, if you want something changed, just contact him via his blog and let him know.

6. I bought some Farm to Work stuff last week because I was going through vegetable withdrawl (weird, I know). This week there were tomatoes (2 types), serranos, eggplant, okra (which I sold to Beachy for $1), bell pepper (which I traded), pears, red potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, cucumbers and zuchinni. I have already used the 4 tomatoes, an onion, and 3 serranos by making spanish rice tonight. Tomorrow we are having breakfast potatoes for dinner.

7. New TV shows start. Yippee! We shall be having a Heros watch party. which will likely consist of Shawn, me, the cats, and possibly Jamie. So, if anyone else is interested, let me know.

8. I read 2 books this weekend.

9. I really wish it had rained some. stupid hurricane and its going too far to the east.

10. At this time, in two weeks, I'll be in Colorado. Glorious Colorado.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good Food, Good Wine, Great Friends

Shawn and I went to dinner with Bond and Dave last night. We went to the Trattoria Lisina. The reason we went there, as opposed to somewhere else, is that the place has a cheese plate. And I love cheese. When Dave and Bond took her parents out there, they saw the cheese plate and decided that we had to go out there sometime, just so we could eat the different cheeses.

And Oh. My. God. The food was delicious (I had the rotisserie chicken and Shawn had the Osso Bucco), and the syrah that David bought was wonderful (I don't know how he does it--every year for French Onion Soup night, they bring a great bottle of wine. I'm sure he'll claim it's just because he will order the only wine he can actually pronounce, and everything works out well).

Now, to the cheeses. Which is why you're all here, reading this blog anyhow.

The cheese plate, for whatever reason, is a dessert item. There is a rotation of about 9 cheeses, and the cheese plate comes with 3 of them. The house chooses which three. Last night, the cheeses were as follows: Gorgonzola, Caciocavallo, and Fontina. The plate comes with crackers, fruit and preserves. The cheese also have little signs so you know which cheese is which, and they also give you some history of the cheese. For example, caciocavallo is thought to have been originally a horse milk cheese, but is now made from more common cow's milk. We also ordered the Italian drop doughnuts (which are basically fresh fried doughnut holes) that are covered in cinnamon sugar and served with pastry cream and honey.

:::drool:::

Okay, we're off to go find some food...obviously I need it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Politicians! :::sigh:::

From the New York Times: McCain's Barbs Stir Cries of Distortion, Republican candidate's attacks on Obama come under fire from all sides.

The first page outlines the distortions that McCain uses, the second outlines the distortions that Obama uses, and the last few paragraphs outline Palin's...They don't mention Biden. This is probably because he doesn't speak...like Teller of Penn & Teller. Until, of course, you hold him over a tank of sharks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Finding something to blog about

sigh.

I need to find something to blog about. Because otherwise I might start blogging about politics...and I really don't want to do that. mostly because all it will accomplish is pissing off people.

Though, since I feel like giving Kristie a heart attack (mostly because she can handle it), and make Dave say "hell yeah!":

one of Shawn's coworkers yesterday said that he doesn't like McCain, but he really likes Palin. When the other coworker said "why?!" I said "because she's hot. duh."

[Insert Kristie clutching at her chest and Dave fist pumping and saying "hellz yeah!"]

Yeah, I don't think the Mormon appreciated me implying that he'd vote for someone because she was attractive. But when he asked if I liked her, I said no because I liked wolves, and polar bears, and not drilling in ANWR, and I could go on, but you get the point.

Which brings me to why she hates Texas. That's right. She hates Texas. She must. There really is no other explanation as to why she decided to get on an airplane and fly back to Alaska to deliver her high-risk-pregnancy baby after her water broke. The only logical explanation is that she did not want her kid being "a Texan".

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

CERN

Okay, maybe I just don't get it. I just don't understand why it's suddenly a big deal NOW that CERN has a super collider. It's not like it's a suddenly new thing that they built. It's been in the works since 1995. In fact, it was a major component in the book Angels and Demons.

Maybe it's a big deal now because people were so concerned about whether or not they could, they didn't stop to thing about whether or not they should.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Spaghetti Sauce Try Outs (part 2)

The sauce was a little soupy after 2 hours, so we followed protocol and took the lid off. An hour later we started boiling the noodles. Of course there was the boil-over fiasco. While I was talking on the phone with my mom. That was...Fun. Since Kristie says she'll kill anyone who overcooks the noodles, I decided to set the timer on the microwave (yes, the microwave will time things for 9 minutes).

While waiting for the noodles, I poured myself a glass from the left over Chianti and started the oven to make "poor man's garlic bread" Also known as Texas Toast with butter and some garlic powder. Shut up. It reminds me of being a kid when my mom used to make garlic bread that way (of course, if I had been on top of my game today, I would have oven roasted some of the garlic cloves and then spread that on the bread instead, but whatever, i forgot).

Anyhow, the review:

It was a very good sauce, and I would recommend that people try it at least once, and then change the amounts of spices to make it their own. My only disappointment was that I was expecting it to be stellar after having simmered for 3 hours. When I make it next time, I'll make sure that we use actual Italian sausage and I'd skip the chili powder. I would also use some more oregano (I think the stuff I've got right now is a little weak), and I'd use more basil (keep in mind that I used fresh basil so the amount was only an estimate). I might also throw in some fennel seeds.

Shawn thoroughly enjoyed the sauce and said it was the best meat sauce I've ever made (which is true except for this one time in high school, and that time I added too much wine and then had to add more of the other spices to even out the flavors...and it was the best spaghetti sauce evah). He thought the wine worked well, which is saying something because he normally will taste the wine and complain about it--the only other time I've made spaghetti sauce that he hasn't complained about the wine was when I used some leftover Shiraz from French Onion Soup night. His only lament about the sauce is that the recipe makes so much that theres a ton left over--2 full jars left over (normal size of the Classico).

Spaghetti Sauce Try Outs

For those of you who don't keep up with Kristie's blog, the Spiteful Chef:

I have agreed to make her Spaghetti Sauce and let her know how it turns out. So, here is my tale of attempting to make the sauce.

I agreed to this adventure on the evening of September 2. I had to wait until this weekend because it takes 3 hours of simmering. 3 HOURS! That doesn't even include the prepping. Just the SIMMERING!

Time restraint aside (hell, the Borscht I made in the spring took 4 hours, so this shouldn't be much worse), I looked at the recipe and thought it sounded good. And, as my dear husband is a picky eater (and yet he claims I'm the picky one), I had to let him read the recipe before we went shopping for all the ingredients. Immediately "1/2 Bell Pepper" was taken off the list. Some such nonsense of "intolerance and/or allergy". Though I will say that I will take this allergy to bell pepper over the allergy to basil and/or oregano that the rest of his family suffers from.

Anyhow, I write down the ingredients and it's off to the store. I went to the wine aisle to get some red wine (I got the Gabbiano Chianti Classico for like $11.50), and sent him to get the required meat. He comes back to tell me that they don't have hot Italian sausage so he grabbed some Jalapeno Sausage instead. Note who started deviating from the given recipe.

We get to the fresh vegetable section and then the hunt is on for mushrooms. I say 'hunt' because I have never, ever, not once bought mushrooms so I have no idea where they are even located. Because I am lazy, I got the pre-sliced Bellas.

I measure the butter (I used the non-salted variety) and oil and put them in our large stock pot (this is the ONLY time I have EVER measured olive oil). I then get out the garlic press and press the hell out of the garlic (which took me 20 minutes to peel by the way). It is at this point that Shawn starts telling me I'm deviating from the recipe. Yes, because I was the first one to deviate from the given directions. Anyhow, the garlic was pressed instead of minced because, as mentioned above, I am lazy.

I grab the onion next (one of the Farm to Work ones, incidentally) and I get out my Ulu knife and board. I start dicing the onion and my eyes start watering. I get half way through when I realize that my nose is running and my eyes are watering so much I can barely see. Shawn, who is washing dishes, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE KITCHEN mentions that his eyes are watering because of the onions. That is some strong onion. I finally get it diced to my liking and dump it in the stock pot with the oil, butter and garlic. Then I run to the bathroom to blow my nose and dab at my eyes like I'm some sort of southern damsel in distress.

Now comes the meat cooking. I put the hamburger in our Calphalon One Everyday Pan, and pull out the meat cutting board to start de-casing the sausage. I'm halfway through my 2nd one when Shawn asks "What are you doing?" "I'm de-casing" "Why are you doing that? It's not in the directions." "Yes it is, at the top" "Oh, would you look at that? Well, you should just cut them into rounds. Too much work to de-case them all." But I will have you know that I continued to de-case the suckers and then I cut them into rounds, and those rounds into 4ths. It just took me until my last sausage until I realized I was making it much tougher on myself becase I was using a crappy steak knife instead of one of my nice knives. sigh.

The meat is in the pan, it's cooking away and I go to pull out the grease jar. If you think you want to switch from using hamburger to ground turkey; don't. The smell of the old grease is enough to make me throw up in my mouth a little. I mean hamburger grease smells bad, but turkey grease is about 10 times worse. disgusting. The meat is drained of its grease and then added to the cooking onion and garlic medley.

Other ingredients are added (petite diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves). And then I go and try to open the wine bottle. I cannot open wine bottles. I am a failure at this seemingly simple task. Shawn, the one in this little family of two who does not drink, is the wine bottle opener. Odd, that. He approximates "a third" and that gets added to the sauce mix.

I added a half teaspoon of celery seed (we didn't have celery salt, and I wasn't about to buy a spice that I would never use), and then a teaspoon and a half of kosher salt. I figured "2 dashes = one splash" and that's how much worchestershire sauce was added. I added a heaping teaspoon of dried oregano (from the garden, it's also been in the cupboard for a while, so I figured it probably needed a little more). And I added a teaspoon of the "Red hot chili powder" I don't know what it is, it's something that Shawn's mom gave us a while ago--she had bought some chili powder of some sort in bulk, and that's what she wrote on the baggy. Though we did debate on if we should add Ancho Chili, Chipotle Chili, or regular chili powder. We used the aforementioned "red hot" because it smelled the least smokey.

Then we come to the 1T dried basil. Well, this is a problem. Because we don't have DRIED basil. We have fresh basil. The interwebs says to add 3x as much if you're using fresh. And so I approximate this to be "9 large leaves or 2 sprigs" and so that amount is picked, washed and added to the mix.

We go to set the timer on the microwave only to find out that the microwave timer maxes out at 99:99, so we moved onto the oven timer. Set it for 2 hours (so we can check the consistency) and that's what I'm waiting for right now.

In the meantime, laundry is getting done, and bathrooms are being cleaned. It's like I'm all being domestic and crap.

Stay tuned for the "eating" part.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Things I'd like to see

Instead of having the normal Presidential debates and the VP debates, I think we should have the following:

McCain vs. Bidden
Obama vs. Palin
Michelle vs. Cindy

At least then the debates will be fair. Otherwise we end up with Palin winning the VP debate and Obama winning the Prez debate.

Also, I wonder how far you would have to push Michelle and Cindy until they started an outright cat fight. I think Michelle would throw the first punch, but Cindy would fight dirty. Of course, then Palin would enter the fray and beat the shit out of both of them. Winner? The viewers, obviously.

RNC in Minn

As promised, we watched McCain's speech tonight.

The man is not a very good public speaker. But then, we already knew that. And when he got to the part about Iran and their nuclear program, I half expected him to say that his first order of business as president would be to declare war upon them.

But really...

I still can't believe that his campaign video started out "Who is John McCain? He's a Mama's Boy"

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Dentistry

Sigh.

I went to the dentist today. It had been a year since my last dentist appointment. I stopped going to the last dentist because they sucked at taking appointments--I couldn't make appointments 6 months in advance. Oh sure, they claimed I could, but I really couldn't. See, I'd make an appointment, and then, by the time the appointment came around, they would be all surprised to see me because I was either put on the hygienist's schedule, but not the main schedule, or vise versa. Once they forgot to call me to tell me the dentist went on vacation and so there were no appointments. The final time I went, the dentist himself had to clean my teeth.

The only good thing that happened by me going to that dentist was that it convinced me to start flossing my teeth daily.

Anyhow, I went to the dentist today. And the hygienist went crazy cleaning my teeth. Plaque buildup on the bottom front, and the back teeth, gums all sore and bleeding because of the cleaning. It got to the point where she had to get out a special little tool that had a tiny high powered brush that could break through the plaque, and it also shot water. She asked how long the previous hygienists would clean my teeth and I said I think every time I went to that dentist I was out of there in less than 45 minutes.

So, final verdict is that I have 5 cavities that need to be filled (of course the dentist said they're actually at the point that they could wait another 6 months or so before filling them, but why wait?). 2 of the cavities are under sealants that partially came off, but didn't come off all the way so there was no way for me to clean out under them.

Sigh.

I knew the cavities had to start some time.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Online Shopping

I really wish they didn't have online shopping. I've become a danger to myself and all people around me.

For example, today I bought Cook's Illustrated Restaurant Favorites at Home.

Some of the reviews say that the recipes are pretty advanced for those of us that tend to cook meals that come in a box. Oh well. Maybe I can have something other than French Onion Soup night. Perhaps I will have "Restaurant Night" or "4-star meal night" instead. Or maybe I can pay Kristie to come up here and cook something from the book as I'm sure she knows the difference between "chiffonade" and "julienne"

Now...I only wished they sold Garden Guide for Austin and Vicinity online. But alas they don't. Oh well, that just means I have to go to the Natural Gardener sometime and spend some extra money while I'm there...because really...I am totally incapable of walking out of a garden store without having purchased something.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Library

I finally got a library card here in Austin.

There's no limit to how many books I can have checked out at any time. and there's something stupid like a 20 item limit on CDs.

So I borrowed "The Boleyn Inheritance".

I have three weeks to read it. But I'm not worried. If I went through all 7 Harry Potters in a little over a month, I think I can handle one book.

Now I just gotta get a list of books I want to read.

Also, Dani, you should tell mom that the libraries down here had the ENTIRE Labor Day weekend off. Not just Monday.

Friday, August 29, 2008

DNC at DEN

Do you realize that there is nothing on TV other than the convention(s)? Especially when the nominees are speaking? Well, at least not your basic air-wave TV.

So...this means that we got to watch Obama's speech last night...and it likely means that we get to watch McCain's speech next Thursday.

And.

I gotta say that Obama is quite the orator. He can work the crowd into a frenzy. And he could probably do it by reading the ingredient list of twinkies if he wanted to.

I also thought he did extremely well at throwing jabs at McCain--Obama did it in such a way that it wasn't like he was picking on his opponent--it was more like "awww, don't pick on the big football player, it's not his fault he doesn't know how to read."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tropic Thunder

We went and saw this last week. I found it absolutely hysterical, and I will see it again (assuming that I'm not spending MY money)...at the very least, I will get it on DVD when it comes out.

Anyhow.

Today Bond said that she had no idea what I was talking about when I said it was a very funny movie.

I inquired whether it was because she doesn't have the humor of a 12-year-old male, or if she hadn't seen it yet.

She said it was more like "I have no idea what you're talking about because I have never seen a preview for this movie, or otherwise heard of this movie."

WHA?! Seriously!?! Not seen a preview?! Not heard of it?!? Balderdash!

Her response: "Well, what do you expect? David keeps me in a box and lets me out to go to work. OH! you need to choose a weekend for us to go out and eat at the place. I'll have to check with David of course as he has a social calendar and I don't. But that's probably because I live in a box, as previously discussed."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Career Fair

Shawn and I will be going to Colorado to help NI recruit at the Career Fair.

Now then, most of you will be like "Silly Tina, you don't work for NI." But in this case, I do. They need 4 people minimum when they go do a career fair, and right now they only have 3 signed up. Besides, all my part would be is looking at what people say their major is in, and what they want to do, and then I tell them which of the ACTUAL NI employees they need to talk to. Also. They will pay for my plane, food, hotel, and car if I agree to help out. (P.S. Look at me all ending my sentences with prepositions. Yes, I know I'm doing it. No, I don't care.)

Of course, I'm looking at this and saying to myself "hmmm, I wonder how many times we can eat at the Med? And will I be sick of it by the time we leave?"

The answer I believe is "Everyday for their half price appetizer Happy Hour" and "no, you can never get sick of fire roasted garlic and perfectly cooked lamb."

So, if anyone wants to come to Boulder and eat at the Med with me let me know and we'll try to make a date of it. (or we can eat at any of the other fine dining choices Boulder offers...I am quite particular to the Buff, the Sink, the Walnut Cafe, Chautauqua and even possibly The Darkhorse and/or Rocky Mountain Joe's. Of course, I think Shawn will say we need to eat at Thunderbird Burgers.)