Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Christmas Story breakdown

I'm alive, but just barely.  The holiday was a killer, in terms of calories/fat ingested.  I may need a complete organ replacement procedure by the time New Year's hits. 

Taken from the website for the A Christmas Story Museum
I'm currently sitting on the couch with a dog behind my back and a kid snuggling with my left leg, under a blanket, watching A Christmas Story.  The kid seems to really enjoy this movie, which makes me very happy, because I'm one of those people who actually watches 24 Hours of A Christmas Story when TNT or whatever does it.  What can I say?  I can't get enough Ralphie.  It's just not possible.

Here's an interesting A Christmas Story fact:  the whole movie takes place over only six days.  I only noticed this recently, but let me lay it out for you:

Day One:  Breakfast with the fantasy of shooting Black Bart and the gang, Flick gets his tongue stuck to a pole, Ralphie writes his theme on "What I Want For Christmas", his dad comes home and says he won a prize, they eat meatloaf for dinner, the leg lamp arrives.

Day Two:  Ralphie hands in his theme and fantasizes about getting an A+,  the family gets a Christmas tree, Ralphie says the F word then gets his mouth washed out with soap.

Day Three:  Ralphie gives Miss Shields a fruit basket, comes home to find his Little Orphan Annie secret decoder, finds out it's an sham commercial, the leg lamp breaks.

Day Four:  Ralphie gets his theme back with a C+ on it, he gets hit with a snowball on the way home and gets in a fight with Scut Farkus, cries, eats dinner without dad yelling at him.

Day Five:  Christmas Eve.  They go to a parade downtown that night, followed by the visit to Scary Santa where he gets pushed by a boot in the face down the terrifying winter wonderland slide.

Day Six:  Christmas Day.  Presents, Ralphie gets his gun, shoots his eye out, turkey eaten by the Bumpus hounds, and dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

For some reason, this was a huge revelation for me.  I had it in my head that the movie was over a whole month or something, I guess.  Not the case.  Ralphie really was cutting it close, waiting until Christmas Eve to ask Santa for a Red Ryder BB Gun, though, wasn't he?

Aren't Christmas movies just about the best darn thing ever? 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's warm in here!

Woohoo!  The hubby finally joined forces with our neighbor and fixed the furnace this morning!  Just in time, I'd say, judging by the forecast:

Lots of freezing temperatures in there.  If you'll remember, the repairman was going to charge me $250 for the part and $100 for an hour of labor to install it.  We paid $130 for the part, and it only took about 20 minutes (of free slave labor) to install.  Take that, Dream Killer!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christina Aguilera is SO nice!

I'm probably 85% healthy, so hooray!  Thank you, everyone, for the nice comments.  Being that it was just a cold, I felt a little guilty garnering such gratuitous amounts of sympathy, but I appreciated it nonetheless!

Taking a cue from Vanessa over at {the best is yet to be}, I am going to try and start posting more frequently, even if they are tiny little blog posts.  Since I'm not on Facebook as much anymore, I'm thinking that I'll start using this blog as a place to post opinions about news stories, kid quotes, and stuff like that--the kind of thing I used to do on Facebook.

That said, I've got very little to say today.  I realized today that we are dangerously low on funds for Christmas this year, especially when you factor in our vacation.  That means that we're in skimp-mode here in the B household, and so there will not be any dates or girls-night dinners or any of that sort of thing until after the holidays are over.  This makes me very sad since Burlesque (starring Christina Aguilera!) comes out on Wednesday, and I was really hoping for a date night with the hubby this weekend while the Mother-in-Law is in town, but oh well.  We're definitely not suffering, so I will just count our blessings rather than focus on the negative.

Did I ever tell you guys that I spoke to Christina Aguilera on the phone once?  That's probably one of the reasons I'm such a loyal fan--she called me when I was 15, almost 16, years old.

I had been a HUGE fan of the Mickey Mouse Club (MMC) my entire adolescence, ever since we started receiving the Disney Channel on our cable box.  My best friend Marlene and I would race home from school every day just in time to catch the end of Kids Incorporated and then we settled down to watch the MMC.  We watched every season from 1989-1994, starting with Fred and Mowava and ending with Tiffini and Chase on hosting duties.  To say that we were super-fans would have been an understatement.  We joined the fan club, learned the dance moves, dreamed about making it onto the show or, at the very least, to the audience in Orlando.  When I turned thirteen, my Grandma surprised us with a trip to Disneyland in California, and even though I was excited, I was secretly incredibly disappointed that she hadn't chosen Disney World, because that's where they filmed the MMC.

As everyone knows by now, Christina Aguilera made her debut on the MMC as a Mouseketeer during the final year of the show.  As something of a Mouseketeer expert, I was drawn to her right away.  The whole cast did a concert called MMC Rocks the House, I believe (how do I remember these things???), and Christina performed Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing".  She was all of 13 years old, and her voice blew me away so much that I cried.  I immediately wrote her a fan letter, telling her how much I admired her and how her rendition of that song had touched me so deeply.  Being young and believing anything was possible, I wrote my address and phone number at the bottom of the letter before I sent it off, telling her to call me any time.

Holy cow!  Here's the video clip of that performance!  I LOVE the internet!!

Fast forward one year.  I was swimming in the pool at my dad's house on a hot summer day when my older sister called me in for a phone call.  I dried off, went inside, and picked up the phone and, lo and behold, it was Christina Aguilera!  My heart was beating out of my chest, my face was flushed, but I tried to sound at least semi-cool.  It was really difficult.

She said that she and Britney (Spears) were hanging out while the show was on hiatus, reading their fan mail, and they were calling the people who had put their phone numbers in the letters.  She asked if I wanted to talk to Britney.  I did talk to her briefly, because I didn't want to be rude, but I really just wanted to keep talking to Christina.  I'm not sure how long the conversation lasted, but it was probably somewhere between 5-10 minutes total, and I screamed like a Beatles fan when I finally hung up the phone.  It was, by far, the highlight of my adolescence.

It turned out that, even though they didn't know it at the time, the show had already run it's final episode.  Finding out that MMC was canceled just crushed me.  It had been such a huge part of my life, I didn't know what to do with myself when it was gone.  Of course I moved on and grew up eventually, as we all do, but it was a big deal to me at the time.

Wasn't she so sweet and innocent-looking?
Years later, in 1998 or 1999, when the movie Mulan came out, I saw Christina on a "making of" vignette featured on the Disney Channel.  I was thrilled beyond thrilled that she was back out there, making music again.  I looked her up on the internet (which was all dial-up back then), and discovered that she was coming out with her own album soon.  I emailed her at her fan mail address, and I got another reply...she said she remembered me!  Her exact words (I memorized them) were, "Of course I remember you!  We didn't call that many fans personally!  How are you??".  Then she went on to tell me about how excited she was for her album to come out and how I should always follow my dreams because anything is possible and all that other after-school special stuff.  She was so nice to me.  And even though I never talked/emailed with her again, I still love her to this day.  The end.

Hm.  I guess I did have something to say after all!  Funny how that happens.  :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm Sicky McSickerson.

Being sick sucks.

Although I narrowly avoided the stomach flu two days ago, yesterday I woke up with a cold that I caught from the kid.  He's been better for a couple of days, but I am now miserable.  My nose is so sore that even the softest of Puffs hurt.  My throat is dying for some sorbet.  Maybe I'll take the kid out later and get some, but I hate the looks you get from other people when you go out into the world with a cold.  The daggers they shoot from their healthy, sparkling eyes say, How dare you exist!  I don't care if you need to buy more tissues--go home, you carrier monkey!.  I get it.  I mean, how do you think we got sick?

I don't understand cold medicine, either.  It seems that there is only medicine to stop a STUFFY nose during the day and a RUNNY nose at night.  But if you have a runny nose during the DAY, you are stuck with it.  Unless you have the luxury of sleeping all day.  Which would be lovely.

My face hurts.  :(

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Riding the Radio Flyer.

You guys may think it's no coincidence that I've been on Facebook since Monday, but I haven't updated my blog since Sunday night.  I'm sure many of you are sitting there thinking, that TB...she's fallen off the wagon!  She's spending all her time on Facebook again!.  Well, I am updating to tell you that you are WRONG, you pessimists!  Ha!  I've actually been doing a good job at keeping to my 30 minute per day limit--it's just not as much fun as it used to be.

No, I haven't fallen off the wagon.  The reason I haven't blogged is really just that I have nothing to blog about now that my Facebook detox is over.  If you'll notice, that subject provided a lot of blog material!  Let's see...what's been going on around here?

Well, I thought I had the stomach flu today, but turns out that I don't, so...yay!  Because I felt so sick, I called the hubby and he came home from work early, allowing me to take an hour-long nap, which is definitely a luxury for me these days.  He just took the kid to Power Play (think Pizza Planet from Toy Story), so now I'm blogging and watching Just Friends in honor of Ryan Reynolds's distinction as People Magazine's Sexiest Man.  I definitely approve, People.  I'm just sayin'. 

Here's the trailer, for those of you who've never seen Just Friends:

It's heart-warming, funny, silly, and Christmas-y.  All good things!

The holidays are really sneaking up on me this year.  I can't believe that Thanksgiving is a week away!  That's just madness.  Soon after that, we're taking a trip to Colorado and California (don't get any big ideas, criminals...we've got a house-sitter), and we won't be back until December 15th...ten days before Christmas.  I guess we'll be scrambling to get a tree and get ourselves in the Christmas spirit at that point.  It's all going so fast!

Speaking of which, I'd better get working on Christmas presents.  So much to do, so little time.  I'll try and think of something really interesting or funny or profound for my next blog post, I promise.  Sorry 'bout that.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Short update

Today was day seven off of Facebook, and I think I've successfully detoxed.  I plan on going back tomorrow morning, but only for fifteen minutes.  I figure I'll give myself fifteen minutes in the morning, and fifteen more minutes in the evening, if I feel like it.  Honestly, I don't really feel like I need to go back at all, and I wouldn't, but it really is the best way to keep in touch with people...some people exclusively use it to keep in touch, and I'd like to see what they're up to. 

Mostly, what I've learned from this experience is that even though I have an addictive personality, I also have some darn fine willpower!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 5

One thing I've learned from going off Facebook is that I am the most active Facebooker of them all.  I have asked a few people if I've missed anything on Facebook the last five days, and more than one of them has said something along the lines of, "No, not really, because your posts took up most of my news feed!". 

How embarrassing. 

I mean, I knew I had a problem, but I didn't realize that I was monopolizing everyone's news feed like that.  Part of what I've come to hate about Facebook (now that I've had some time to reflect) is how ego-centric the whole thing is.  People post every detail of their lives, as if someone would really care about it, and since people comment on what they've posted, they get the illusion that their "friends" actually DO care, when in reality, the friends are just as bored as they are, but the validation that comes with their comment feeds into the machine that is Facebook, and the cycle continues.  That was a long sentence.  I hope it made sense.

The worst part of this whole realization is that I'm a perfect example of this whole scenario.  I posted more photos, status updates, links, and opinions than anyone I know!  Getting comments on those things made me feel somehow validated, made me think that I was somehow important and people cared about what I had to say or what I thought about certain things.  Maybe some of them do care, but I think most of them probably just thought I spent way too much time on Facebook.  Which I did. 

I suppose that some people could say that this blog is kind of the same thing--except that I'm not really forcing any of you to subscribe or visit my blog, whereas on Facebook, my posts automatically showed up on the news feed of my friends.  Therefore, I'll continue blogging, even though I still feel kind of self-centered about the whole thing.

I'm really annoyed that these FB Detox posts don't have any photos, so I will now leave you with a cute picture I took at the zoo, of a giant tortoise eating lunch.  Man, I love tortoises.

Click for maximum cuteness.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A transcript: The kid at precisely three years and four months.

I did this same thing nine months ago, and it was so amusing (to me) then that I thought I'd try it again.   What a difference nine months makes in the speech of a toddler!

The kid is playing with his castle he got for Christmas last year.  He's using three of the men who came with it and one Batman toy.  And a camel.

There!  I'm alive still best friends!  Get up get up best friends!  I'm still alive!!  Get up get up best friends I'm still alive!!

(he was cuing me to play, but I told him I needed him to play by himself for a minute)

Oh, nuts.  I have to take all my stuff off.  (taking the armor off of the little action figure)

Guys, look at me best friends!  i just had to take my stuff off for a minute best friends.  You see...but now I'm putting my stuff.  Back.  On.  Raaahhhh!  I am definitely definitely have a sword.

Huh huh hu hu!  Oh no!  My dragon...kill my dragon.  Kill my castle!  This castle not dead yet.  My other green castle is dead.  (sniff sniff)  I miss him!

Don't worry best friend, my green dragon will not.  Shoot.  You.

Here dragon, talk to my best friend and don't shoot them.  Ok.

(Playing on a green dragon fortress he got for his birthday)

Sorry.  You hate this, but this is still not good.  Cuz my castle is still not paying attention.   Urrggghh castle!  be nice!  To my friend!  Shoot everybody.  Oh no!  That is not good idea!  Dragon, you know better than that.

Ok, and I say to (mumble mumble). 

Dum!  Dum!  Dum!  Dum!  Dum! (singing) I'm killing the drag-on!  And I'm nice!  (Throws a baseball at the dragon castle)

You going down, castle!  You're going down.  I'm throwing the baseball at my castle!  I'm throwing my baseball at the castle.  MOM!  I'm throwing my baseball at the castle.

Me:  That's ok

Yes!  I am sure good at baseball.

Me:  Be careful though, don't hit me

Then move

Me:  Uh, no.

(Still throwing baseball at castle...which is right beside me)

Watch out!  Everybody!  Crash.  (pushes the dragon castle over then sits on it)

What am I sitting on?  What am I sitting on that hurts, mom?  What is this that I'm sitting on?

Me:  it's a dragon castle.

No it's not!  It feels squishy.  Oh...it's a dragon castle. (looking at it)

Chin don cone do chi-cho-nacho...ding chin (some sort of made up language, clearly)

(Spinning in a circle.  Goes in the kitchen)

I am STILL thirsty!

(laying on the floor, singing nonsense)

Mom.  (large sighOpens up a drink bottle he had sitting on the table, takes a drink.)

(fake punches me)

Me:  OW!

(Giggles)  Hug!

(He's hugging me with his head)

Did you see that?  I just stepped on my castle!

Me:  Yeah.

So.  Chicka chika chika

(pinching my cheeks and shaking my head back and forth like I'm a babyYes, I'm, typing like this.)

Googie googie googie goo!

Me:  Please stop.

Hel-lo!  I.  Am.  Sorry.

Help!  Everyone!  (more nonsense talk)

Me:  Why don't you clean up your toys?

No-uh!  I am definitely definitely not going to clean up my toys.  What about if I am not going to clean up my toys.  Here!  I got a great idea!  I got a great idea!  I got great idea!

Me:  What?

I am going to get a lot a toys out and...(runs in his room and continues to talk, but I can't hear him)

(comes back with two dragons)

Here we go!  And here we go!

(Runs back in his room to get more toys, presumably)

(Comes back with a big bag full of giant Legos.)

(I guess I'd better go play Legos now.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 3

Drawbacks (or not) to not using Facebook:

1.  I can't link my blog posts to my friends, so I have fewer blog page views.  Is this really a bad thing?  I'm not sure.  I've been thinking about it, and actually this situation represents a lot of what annoyed me about Facebook so much lately anyway:  it's all about vanity.   So what if nobody I know is reading what I write on my blog?  Why do I feel like I need people to read my mindless drivel?  I shouldn't need page views to validate my existence, just like I shouldn't need photo comments and wall posts.  Facebook is very ego-driven, why should I let my blog be?

I've never blogged for followers, otherwise I would be including more clever drawings or I'd, you know, actually be funny.  I blog because I enjoy writing and journaling, and while the interaction with readers is something that I do like, I would still write even if nobody was commenting.

Sometimes I fantasize about being B.O.N.'d (tee-hee!), and I think, is that something I'd really want?  Right now, I feel like I have a connection to my readers, and I've gotten to know some of you pretty well.  If I suddenly had 1000 followers, it would be pretty difficult to keep up with them all.  Also, the more followers you have, the more careful you have to be not to piss them off so that they'll un-follow you.  Because, let's face it, every lost follower hurts a little bit.

2.  I can't talk with the hubby about stories/videos he's seen on FB.  Because I haven't seen them.  This happened last night when he got home from work.  While I do still follow news throughout the day, I have been opening news sites much less than before, simply because my laptop is not open as often, and so I'm much slower to find things out than I was a few days ago.  It's like I'm a newspaper reader.  It's kind of embarrassing for me, since I pride myself on being one of the most well-informed people I know.

The upside to this is that I don't get in political arguments on Facebook in the comments under controversial news stories.  Also, is it really that important that I know a story first?  Let's take, for example, a popular news story from Monday evening. 

When it was first reported, everyone had their underwear all in a bunch over what appeared to be a missile being fired outside of Los Angeles that had been caught on tape by a local news crew.  Because of social networking increasing the speed of news through word-of-mouth (or status update), speculation flew and a little bit of panic ensued.  Today, however, experts are saying that the object was nothing more than a jumbo jet (which would explain why the FAA didn't see anything out of the ordinary on radar), and now we all feel pretty stupid for getting all excited over the story in the first place.  Except for a few conspiracy theorists...it does move awfully fast for an airplane, doesn't it?

3.  I'm worried that my friends are making plans without me!  I realize this is stupid, since I still get my messages sent to my email (and I've only received one since I quit, anyway), but still.  Nobody likes to feel left out!  Also, next time I see them, I'm afraid they're all going to have some inside-jokes I don't understand because now I'm not on Facebook. 

4.  There are a lot of people I talk to ONLY on Facebook, and now I have no way to talk to them anymore.  Many of these people live in different States or different countries than I do, so it's not like I ever see them in person.  Also, I don't have their phone numbers, and even if I did, I don't know what I would say to them in a phone conversation...which leads to the question:  are these people really my friends?  Or do I just have a ton of acquaintances who could really care less about me, as a person?  I've come to realize that banter is not the same thing as conversation.

5.  I can't play Bejeweled Blitz!  I really like bejeweled, but it was definitely contributing to my Facebook addiction and my ridiculous amount of time spent on the site.  So, I guess it's not really a drawback that I can't play it, but I do miss it.

6.  I'm finding myself spending more time on Twitter and other Blog sites.  Is this good?  Is it bad?  I am worried that what I have is not actually a Facebook addiction, but an internet addiction, and that sucks.   I don't want to be addicted to the internet!  I'm doing my best to limit myself, and I close the computer whenever I feel like it's getting out of hand again.  It's definitely a struggle.

The thing I've noticed most about making that list is how difficult it was to come up with things I miss about Facebook.  It's amazing how hard it is to make a case for needing it, after only three days of not logging on.  I'm realizing that, while I spent a lot of time on the site, it wasn't quite as important to me as I thought it was. 

I read something interesting yesterday while researching my addiction.  Someone said that (and I'm paraphrasing), "Facebook is interesting, because you can spend all day on it and feel like you're doing something, when you're actually doing nothing at all."  So true.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 2

So, it's been over 30 hours now since I last logged into and checked Facebook, and you know what?  I think I like it!

Admittedly, it has been difficult.  I have to make a conscious effort to not check it.  Moving the bookmark has helped immensely, because I'm sure that I would have clicked on it mindlessly if it had been up in it's normal place, between Yahoo and Jezebel. 

This morning, I Googled "Is there a rehab for facebook addicts?", and this is what I found:

Look closely.  Click if you must.

Do you see what I see?  The top four results are all groups claiming to be rehab groups for Facebook, and they are all ON FACEBOOK.  What the heck???  How are you supposed to cure a Facebook addiction by using Facebook?  That's like telling an alcoholic to have a few beers to forget about his problem.  Not exactly what I was looking for.

Anyway, I have been enjoying my Facebook vacation.  I feel like I have so much free time!  I started working on family Christmas presents last night, played Wii with the kid today, and even managed to get some laundry done after going over to my cousin's house for a nice visit.  You see that?  Day TWO, and I'm already up to face-to-face contact with other people!  Woohoo!

Here is a list of some of the other things I'm planning to do with my new found free time:

-  Write a novel commemorating NaNoWriMo
-  Finish scanning in all of my old photos from PDCE (pre-digital camera era).
-  Make photo albums on Blurb or Shutterfly, one for each year starting with when the kid was born and one for before he was born.
-  Teach the kid to write his name.

This is a very short list.  Sorry, I'm tired.  I took a Sudafed earlier.  I know there must be more.    Hm.  The point is, I'm feeling good, and very optimistic about my Facebook-free (or -limited) lifestyle.  So far, so good! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hello, my name is TB, and I'm a Facebook addict.

Today, I made a very drastic decision:  I quit Facebook.

Well, maybe.  I mean, I'm giving it a go.  It's really more of a trial-basis kind of thing.  But I really want to quit.  The first step in curing an addiction is to admit that you have a problem, right?

It's hard to explain how this came about, but basically it boils down to the fact that I spend way too much time using Facebook.  It's sort of taken over my life, and I don't like feeling tethered to it.  I realize that I could just cut back on the time I spend on the site, and that's still a possibility, but sometimes it feels good to make a clean break.  It's like getting a really drastic haircut or quitting a job:  I've felt this amazing sense of freedom all day long since I announced to my friends that I was taking a break.  I'm hoping that curing my Facebook obsession will result in me being more productive and a better mother to boot.

Basically, I'm just really tired of the whole thing.  There are so many more useful things I could be doing with my time, like cleaning my house, playing with the kid, teaching him things, doing laundry, blogging, exercising, socializing with people IN PERSON...just to name a handful.  Even though I do really enjoy interacting with people online by sharing news and opinions, I miss face-to-face interaction.  My social skills are starting to flail.

The only problem I'm having with quitting altogether is that Facebook is the ONLY way I keep in touch with a lot of people, and it's a great way to do it.  I received an email notification of a Facebook message today from a friend I've known since elementary school.  She was wondering how we would keep in touch if I left Facebook, concluding that we'd have to start emailing again, especially if we want to share pictures and stories about our children.  Well, I was going to message her back, but I didn't want to log in to Facebook and break my vow, so I couldn't do it.  I wanted to email her, but it turned out that I didn't have her email address saved in Outlook, so I wasn't sure of her address.  This is going to be much trickier than I thought.  SJE, if you are reading this, I'm sorry I didn't respond!  Email me through my blog up there on the right-hand side of the screen. 

Since I always check Facebook as soon as I turn on my computer, I had to move my shortcut so that I don't mindlessly click on it before realizing what I've done.  Every time I read an interesting news article, I have to hold myself back from clicking the "share" button and writing my thoughts about it on my Facebook wall.  I turned off my mobile notifications too, so I don't get any updates on my phone, which is helpful, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it.  I've been worrying that my friends didn't see my status update telling them that I'd be off the site, and that they're planning all sorts of fun nights out without me, not realizing that I'm not getting the messages anymore.  It's been a pretty challenging day, all-in-all. 

But, do you see how much Facebook affects my life?  It's kind of ridiculous.  I clearly needed this detox.  Hopefully I'll do all sorts of interesting things that I can blog about.  The goal is to last at least three days, maybe a week to start off, and I plan on updating here to let you guys know how it's going.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to have withdrawal dreams.  We shall see.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kind of a boring post...but there's a recipe!

It's been such a lovely day so far.  The weather is in the low 50s, but the sun is shining and the leaves look gorgeous.  My little heaters are keeping my house cozy, and I even cracked a window to let some fresh, crisp air in.  Did I mention I LOVE FALL?  Because I do.  Just wanted to make that clear.

Like this?  Buy it here from World Market.
I broke my French press the other day because, like a fool, I tried to use a very sharp steak knife to clean the old grounds out and poked a hole in the bottom.  So, today I headed out to World Market to use my "Save $10 on a purchase of $20 or more" coupon to buy a new one.  I found one for only $19, so I got to have myself a little $11 shopping spree!  I got a re-usable ceramic coffee cup--one of the ones that looks like a paper cup, but has a silicone lid and cup cozy.  It looks like the one to the right, but it's white with flowers on it, because I let the kid pick it out and he said that one was the prettiest.  It's sort of ugly, actually, but I like it because he likes it.

This is the same one he got.  Thank you www.candyblog.net!
Also, I got the kid a little espresso mug that he can drink hot chocolate from ("Or orange juice!  Or milk!  Or chocolate milk!  Or water!", as he says) and I also let him pick out some candy:  a giant gummy bear.  And by giant, I do mean GIANT.  It's almost a pound of gummy bear.  I liken it to one of those huge jawbreakers that takes a week to eat.  I never would have allowed him to get such a big piece of candy except that 1) I had to spend three more dollars to use the coupon, and 2) he's been really good lately, and super-cute.  Luckily, I opened it for him, he licked it a few times, took a bite, and said, "I am definitely done with this gummy bear."  I put it back in it's re-usable hard plastic shell for him to lick again later.  It's a project, really.

I stopped at Panera to fill up my new coffee cup and get a big loaf of sourdough bread to go with dinner tonight before heading home.  I will be making my spicy chorizo soup for dinner, and I'm really looking forward to, not only eating it, but cooking it.  Sometimes you just feel like chopping things up, you know?

Recipe, you ask?  Why, sure!  I posted it before, over a year ago, but since nobody was reading my blog back then, I don't think anyone saw it. 

 TB's Spicy Chorizo Soup Recipe

1 lb. spicy pork Chorizo (I generally just use one package, so it's not always exactly a pound)
1/2 lb. smoked bacon - chopped (I use turkey bacon to make it healthier)
1 qt. water
(2) 14.5 oz. cans (about 3 2/3 cups) chicken broth
3 lg. russet potatoes - scrubbed clean, cubed
3 garlic cloves - peeled, crushed
1 med. onion - peeled, chopped
3-4 cups chopped kale (One large bundle will do, you can sub swiss chard if needed, but I love kale)
1 cup half and half
salt and pepper - to taste

-In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown chorizo, breaking into small pieces as you fry it; drain, set aside.
-In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown bacon; drain, set aside.
-Place water, broth, potatoes, garlic, and onion in a pot; simmer over medium heat until potatoes are almost tender.
-Add chorizo and bacon to pot; simmer for 10 minutes.
-Add kale and half and half to pot; season with salt and pepper; heat through.

You can add more hot sauce, like Cholula, if it's not spicy enough for you. Serve with a really spongy bread for dipping!

Monday, November 1, 2010

We Do Halloween RIGHT In Our House!

I hope everyone had a very happy Halloween! 

This holiday is a pretty big deal in our house, and it's quickly becoming the one we look forward to most every year.  We had a wonderful time this year, all dressed as Star Wars characters in home made outfits.  The kid has been playing lots of Lego Star Wars lately on the Wii, so he wanted to go as his favorite character to play, Jango Fett.  The hubby could not have been more excited, and decided to make his own Boba Fett costume to go with him.  I, of course, went as Princess Leia:

I was trying to look like I was being captured...but I looked more like a bird instead.

We.  Are.  Fierce.

Ready for candy-collecting action!
You could probably tell, but we made the costume.

See?  It was a THEME Halloween!

Some observations from this Halloween experience of mine:

1.  I totally prefer un-sexy costumes to sexy ones.  That hairdo could not have been more unflattering on me, but I took one for the team and had a blast.

2.  The kid has a weird thing about smells.  Every time he picked a piece of candy, he'd sniff it and decide it wasn't to his liking, then choose another one instead.  It was very odd and time-consuming.

3.  I will continue dressing in theme with the kid until he gets too embarrassed.  The pictures, alone, are worth the humiliation.

4.  More people recognize Princess Leia than recognize Boba Fett.  This really annoyed the hubby since he worked tirelessly for hours on his costume, cutting the armor out of metal plates and shaping it to his body, and all I did was throw on a white poncho and put my hair in buns. 

5.  That cinnamon bun hairdo is PAINFUL.  And incredibly difficult to achieve.  I used half a card of bobby pins and I still ended up with fuzzy buns.  I actually took scissors to all the stray flyaways.

6.  Spray paint works on almost anything.

7.  Paying $40 for a kid's costume is totally worth it if you can re-purpose it for next year.  He was Buzz Lightyear last year.

You know, now that I'm thinking of it, I forgot to post pictures of our costumes last year!  That was SO much fun too.  The kid was Buzz Lightyear, of course, and we bought that costume from the Disney Store.  The hubby and I, however, were an 80s duo.  I was an aerobics instructor and the hubby was The Karate Kid. 

For your visual enjoyment, I leave you with, Halloween 2009:

The kid clearly thinks we're nuts.
I can't believe people used to exercise in these!  Also, this is ironically sexy, not *actual* sexy, fyi.
He's too cool for school.  Clearly after he won the tournament.
Dear Lord, could he have been a cuter Buzz???
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