Sunday, February 28, 2010
Three different times this past week I sat down and started a post, and each of those times I pushed "save now" and walked away before it was finished. One time the kid woke up, one time I got distracted by facebook, and the final attempt was foiled by a migraine. So, you see, I have not so much abandoned this blog, I've just been blocked from it several times.
That said, I suppose an update of the last week is in order. To be honest, part of the reason I wasn't finishing what I started was because I haven't had much to write about. The kid and I have been staying home quite a bit in an attempt to avoid the bad weather and save a little money in the process.
The hubby and I had plans on Friday to go out and paint the town red. About six weeks ago, I bought a groupon for a nice hotel downtown near the Power and Light District, an area with lots of fun bars and restaurants. We decided to go out for the night and celebrate a late Valentine's day away from the kid and meet up with some friends for a bit of adult socialization.
Unfortunately, it wasn't as easy as all that--which seems to always be the case when you become a parent. My cousin was to watch the kid over night, but she called on Wednesday and said that they would have to go to a funeral and so they'd have to cancel on me, regrettably. Crap. I am sad that someone died, and I do feel sorry about that, but we had those plans for over a month, damn it! I called my sister, who was my back-up plan, and she said she'd be happy to take over, so game on! Woohoo!
The next day, I was out shopping for something to wear on my big night when I received another dreaded call, this time from my sister. Her kid had come down with some sort of stomach bug, so it was probably best if I didn't bring my kid over to their house, for fear of transmission of said bug. Great.
I called the hubby from Chick-fil-a, where the kid was happily romping, and broke the bad news. He was audibly annoyed as he asked for the name of the hotel so he could call and cancel it. Next, I called my friend Jamie* who was supposed to meet us with her husband for dinner and drinks. She was as disappointed as I was, and I couldn't believe we were canceling plans we'd made six weeks in advance with a sitter lined up and a backup plan to boot. It seemed as though God just didn't want us to go on a date.
The next morning, I had resigned myself to the fact that we would have a very boring weekend, sitting around the house playing the Wii and watching college basketball. Whoop-ti-do. My sister called that morning and said that her kid seemed better, so she sent him to school. How exciting! That means our kid can go over again! Let's call and get our hotel room back! Not so fast, cowboy. An hour later, she called me back and said that her kid was back in the nurse's office at school, this time with a sore throat and a fever. ARRRRRRRRRRRRGH!
I switched gears again and headed out to my chiropractor's appointment (my back is STILL messed up from two weeks ago). On the way there, I thought to give my cousin a call and see how things were going. I casually mentioned that my sister had to cancel and thus we had to cancel our plans when she informed me that her family's plans had changed. They were now not going to the funeral that originally threw a wrench in our plans. Since she thought we'd already made arrangements for our kid, she hadn't called us, but she said that he was more than welcome to come over and spend the night. Praise the Lord!
So, we called up the hotel, got our room back, called my friend Jamie back and told her that the original plan was back in place, and everything was set. Do you see the roller-coaster ride of disappointment and excitement we were on? It was unbelievable. By the time we actually dropped the kid off with my cousin, I had a hard time getting psyched up for the night ahead of us because I was so scared it would be taken away again!
In the end, everything worked out perfectly. We headed downtown and went straight to the movie theater to see Shutter Island. I won't ruin it for you if you haven't seen it , but I'm going to tell you that it was incredibly disturbing, yet suspenseful and thought-provoking at the same time. The most disturbing part, though, wasn't the film but the price of our tickets. In order to finish with the movie in time to get back to the hotel room and get ready to go out for the evening, we had to buy the "cinema suite" tickets, which cost TWENTY-FREAKIN-FIVE DOLLARS each. These tickets come with the privilege of sitting in super fancy-schmancy recliners and having a waitress bring you $15 worth of food/drinks for free, but it was still a little ludicrous. I guess I'd have a different view of it if we had gone at dinner time, but seeing as how we were in-between meals, the whole thing just seemed like an enormous waste of money. Oh well. At least we got to see the movie we wanted at the right time and, being on a little mini-vacation, it seemed like a good time to waste a little money.
After the movie, we checked into our hotel to get gussied up for the night. Our friends met us for dinner and we spent a very nice evening together eating, drinking, dancing, and chatting. It was so much fun to spend an evening with other adults without worrying about chasing a two year old around--we need to do this at least twice a year to save my sanity, I think.
At dinner, listening to the smooth sounds of Air Supply--not a very hip music selection in that place.
I've decided to make Jamie my new best friend, as she is definitely the funniest, most like-minded person I've met in ages. If you don't believe me, look at the pictures:
Yeah, maybe she makes me look fat, being about a third my size and all, but she's too fun to let a little thing like that get in the way.
Speaking of weight, I definitely need to lose some! Going through the pictures from that night, I came across some that I definitely will not share here, but which illustrated my need for more salad and less McDonald's! My goal from here out, on top of exercise, is to eat healthier. We went grocery shopping last night and got a bunch of vegetables, etc. This kind of thing will be much easier when the weather finally warms up a bit so we can get outdoors more, but I'll do what I can for now.
So, that's what my weekend was like. Thanks for the nudge, Jerry! I'm glad I have someone around to keep me on my toes. I'll try and keep up a little better from now on, but feel free to let me know if I'm falling behind. :)
*Not her real name
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Or a sugar baby? Not quite sure, actually--it was written both ways. In any case, I have been given a VERY prestigious award from Jerry Mann over at Gently Said.
Now, before I go any further with the explanation of this honor, I'd like to say a little bit about my presenter. Jerry found my blog one day, I assume by reading one of my comments on The Sassy Curmudgeon. He took me by surprise when he commented on one of my posts, saying that he'd like to try my chicken and dumplings recipe. At first I was a little taken aback--I did not expect that anyone was reading my little blog, much less a 65 year-old male who was a perfect stranger! However, after taking a gander at Gently Said, I began to realize that he was perfectly normal, very entertaining, and not a pervert at all (the deciding factor of whether or not I'd block him). I've been thoroughly enjoying reading his blog and his comments on mine ever since.
So, back to the business at hand: the Sugar Doll Award. Here are the rules, copied directly from Jerry:
A. Just because I give you the Sugar Baby Award, it doesn’t mean that I think you are hot. It means that I really like your blog and that I think others will really enjoy it. Okay – you may be hot too.
B. You are supposed to in turn present the award to four other worthy bloggers. Whether you do this or not is your business. I’m just reciting the rules here. I’m pretty sure you won’t go to jail for not following them.
C. You are supposed to display the Sugar Baby icon on you blog. If you don’t know how to do this, I don’t either. So we are in the same boat.
D. And finally, you are supposed to write in your blog ten things about yourself. I can’t make you do this – although experience has been that lightning has struck the houses of those that don’t.
While I am incredibly honored to have received this award and I will certainly write ten things about myself, I'm afraid I do not read enough blogs to pass it on to four people. To be honest, I really only follow Jerry and Una, so I'm just not there yet. So, with no further delay, I present you with ten (hopefully) interesting things about myself:
1. I really, REALLY love tea.
Like, a lot. I drink it all day long, hot in the winter and iced in the summer. All my teas are kept on the top shelf of one of my kitchen cabinets, and there is a 50/50 chance that one of them will fall out and hit you on the head when you open the door. One time I counted, and I had 34 different teas being stored in there.
Every time I go to TJ Maxx or Marshall's, I like to hunt through the gourmet food isle to see if there are any jewels to be discovered for my collection. I know what you're thinking: TJ Maxx for tea? But they really do have some seriously good buys. I do not discriminate in my tea tastes, either: green tea, white tea, black tea, loose-leaf, bags, fruit, flowers--I'll drink 'em all. Pretty much every blog post has been made with a cup of tea next to the computer. Am I drinking a cup right now? Heck yes, I am! Good ol' English Breakfast.
2. I pride myself on having an eclectic resume.
While many people will pick a vocation right out of high school or college and stick with it for life, that was not for me. I find that I get very bored with conventional jobs and so I have made it my life's mission to seek and and do interesting kinds of work. Here is a partial list of my work history, in no particular order:
Shoe shine girl
Restaurant hostess at an LA sushi restaurant
Marketing Assistant at a health club
Field interviewer for a US Government Study on prison re-entry programs (more on that below)
Area representative for placing/supervising foreign exchange students
I feel like I'm leaving out a big one...but you get the idea. Whenever I see an cool job opening on Craigslist, I really try to go for it (I'm really praying for "Storm Chaser" to show up one day). I think that doing strange jobs makes me more interesting, and even if that's not true, I have ended up with some very interesting stories to tell. Which leads me to...
3. I used to go to prisons and interview serious and violent offenders for a living.
This needs to be explained in more depth. When we moved to Kansas from California, I was looking for an interesting job that paid well and kept me busy. At the time, we didn't have any kids and the hubby worked long hours, so I had a completely open schedule to do pretty much anything. I replied to a listing for "field interviewer" under the miscellaneous column on craigslist.
The interviews were being held at a Kinko's over web conferencing since the company was located in North Carolina, though the work would be local. The job, my interviewer described, was to conduct computer-led interviews with people in prison right before they were released. Since the study was being led to evaluate the effectiveness of re-entry programs, I also had to interview them when they got out of prison. I was told that I would never be placed in harm's way and that I could remain anonymous, so that was good enough for me and I was actually excited about doing something so interesting. Of course I aced the interview (I'm a fabulous interviewee--I can't think of a time I didn't get the job) and soon I was off to North Carolina for a week of job training.
It wasn't until I was sitting in the hotel conference room on our first day of training that the full-extent of the danger I would be in was clear to me. The trainer had us each pose for photos to put on our (first and last) name badges, which she explained that we would have to wear at all times during our job. I meekly raised my hand.
"So the prisoners will be able to see our full names?"
"I was told that we wouldn't have to tell them our names. I don't want them googling me and finding me when they get out."
"I don't know who told you that, but it is policy that you have to have your badge showing when you are working."
Hm. Thanks a lot lady. At this point, what was I going to do? I flew halfway across the United States to a hotel they put me up in with a per diem--I wasn't about to tell them I wanted to go home without at least giving it a try.
The rest of the week was equally disappointing. The trainer explained that the prisoners would all be "serious and violent offenders" and that the interviews had to be held out of ear-shot of anyone else (including guards), since they were supposed to be confidential. Then she mentioned, as she looked directly at me, that the women may want to try to look as plain as possible--no makeup, hair back--when they go to interview these guys, just so as not to encourage them. Ye-ah, I was going to be in trouble.
I actually made it through training and ended up working this job for about six months or so. It was pretty interesting, meeting and talking to all these prisoners, but it was heartbreaking as well. I started to realize that anyone could go to prison if they made the wrong decision once in their life, and that some of these people had no chance from the beginning, being raised by parents who gave them drugs before they were out of elementary school. It was incredibly depressing.
The last straw came when the second set of interviews came up and I had to start going to these guys' houses to meet with them alone. I pulled up to one house (that looked like a crack den) and asked the person sitting on the porch if the guy I was to interview was there.
"He lives here."
"He does? I don't know him."
"Do you live here?"
I left. I wasn't about to go into that house! I quit after that failed interview, and my outlook on life immediately improved.
Fast forward to four years later. Perusing the local headlines online around Thanksgiving of last year, I came across an interesting article about a man who had just been given two life sentences PLUS 498 years in prison for murdering two people during a botched break-in attempt. The killer's name sounded really familiar to me, so I got out my old day planner and, sure enough, I had interviewed him in prison. Luckily, I quit before having to interview him on the outside and thank God for that! He is really scary-looking, no?
4. I am cursed.
This isn't in regards to the Superbowl curse. It's a bit more trivial than that, but a curse nonetheless. About 60% of the time that I order or want to buy something, I am informed that they are out. For example:
One time we went out to sushi and I had to be told they were out of THREE different drinks on the menu before I just settled on water.
Last time I went to Sephora to buy a replacement for my lipstick, I was told that it had been discontinued. The worst part? I started buying that particular lipstick because it was the closest match to my old favorite lipstick, which had also been discontinued.
If I go out to a certain restaurant to order a specific dish, there is a very high likelihood that the restaurant has either (a) run out for the night, or (b) taken the dish off the menu entirely.
You'd think that this sort of curse would be very frustrating after a while--and it is--but I've learned to live with it. It's actually pretty amusing to those around me, who still can't believe how often it happens. What are you gonna do, right? It's so crazy, you've just gotta laugh!
5. I am arachnophobic.
It's so bad that I can't watch the kid play the video game where he shoots giant spiders without jumping out of my skin every time one sneaks up on him. Yeah, I know that they're animated, but I can't help it.
6. I am a super-star!
Well, maybe that's not entirely accurate. I did, however, write and record a song that hit number one on a dance chart in New Zealand. That's me on the CD sleeve up there ^. I even had a radio station contact me and ask for autographed photos to give out as on-air prizes. Talk about a confidence-booster!
7. I was nerdy in high school.
People say that all the time, but in my case it is true. I had very large eyebrows and scored a 31 on my ACT. Boys didn't really pay attention to me at all--I went to both my proms with "friend" dates. I did have a boyfriend at one point, but he pretended like he barely knew me as soon as I moved and started going to his school.
8. I was a virgin before I met my husband.
This makes sense, since I met him directly after I finished high school. I would tell the story of how we met, but I'll save that for another day since I've probably already lost some of my audience due to the ridiculous length of this post.
9. I have a heart condition.
It's just mitral valve prolapse, which isn't that big a deal, but it's worth mentioning anyway.
10. An Olympic Gold Medalist had the hots for me once.
When we lived in Los Angeles, one of the first cool things the hubby and I did was become seat-fillers for an awards show. We got all dressed up and went to the American Comedy Awards and prepared to sit in the empty seats when celebrities in the audience got up to go to the bathroom. Yes, this is a real job.
Immediately before the show began, when the lights went out, the woman in charge of us shouted, "I need one female--you, come here!" and began pulling me towards the stage. She sat me in an empty seat at the very front table, next to Al Joyner, the Olympic gold medalist. Turns out, he didn't have a date for the evening, so that honor went to me.
I have no idea what Al Joyner was doing at the American Comedy Awards, but I was glad he was there. He was very gracious, talking with me the entire evening and offering his predictions on which person would win each award. When the show was over, he invited me to go to the after-party with him, but of course I had to decline as I was there with the hubby. I didn't realize at the time that he had lost his wife (Flo-Jo) only two years prior, and I'm glad that I never asked if he was married. I kept the place card that was printed, "Guest of Al Joyner" and I will always think of that evening and of him fondly.
So, that's that! Ten things about me. I didn't realize this would take so much time and effort, but I'm glad I shared. Thanks, Jerry, for the sweet award. I'll be sure to pass one along to you someday.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Let me explain. The hubby and I have always shared facebook and myspace accounts. We are known as R___nT___. I would put our names in there, but that would be entirely too google-able. Because we have used that screen name for so long, for so many things, we actually have a pretty substantial web presence, some of which is a tiny bit embarrassing.
Anyway, we have been R___nT___ for a very long time. I love having a joint facebook account, to be honest. Some people may view it as being co-dependent, and I guess that is true to a degree, but it's really just more convenient than anything:
-We don't ever have arguments about talking to old boyfriends/girlfriends online.
-We upload pictures of the kid and don't have to figure out who's page it goes on.
-I enjoy getting to know friends of his through facebook posts and correspondence--people who I never would have had the chance to sit down and talk with in real life.
-The account has always been under his name, which happens to be a very common name, so it is virtually impossible for people to find me if I don't want them to.
What's not to love?
So, you can imagine my shock at 8:00 this morning when the hubby proudly broke the news to me like this:
"I have made a major change to our facebook page. I took myself off of it, changed all the information to yours, and now it's just your page!"
I felt railroaded--like the time in college when I had mono and came back to my room to rest, only to find that my roommate had put everything in the middle of the room and was re-arranging her things AND MINE without even asking. That bitch. Man, she was annoying.
But,I digress. My feelings were hurt, is what I'm trying to say. Why did my husband want to break up our facebook? Was it something I did? I can do better! It doesn't have to be like this! Give me another chance!
My morning has been spent changing information and arguing with his new profile on facebook. At least I can delete some of his friends who annoy me. Oh well.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I am tired, but I'm afraid the kid will wake up again and I'll have to get up anyway, to put him back to bed, so I'm procrastinating sleep. Of all the things to procrastinate, I'm thinking sleep may be the most pointless, but, eh, it's what I do.
My dog bit my hand yesterday. That hurt like a mo' fo', and I can just now use it. Didn't break the skin, but I think he may have injured a tendon under my thumb. Sucked big time.
My sister finally dyed my hair today and after five long hours, I left her house thinking that I looked pretty much the same as when I went in. Luckily, I came home and took a second look to find that there is a (subtle) difference. Good enough for me!
Why is it that when you try your best to be "deep", it never happens? Deep thoughts appear to only appear when un-forced. Hm...that was deep.
Sometimes I just want to put this on my facebook status: "If you are against gay marriage or a fan of Sarah Palin and you are not a member of my immediate family, please remove me from your friends list right now. We do not share the same values." The only thing keeping me from doing this is the fact that I will probably run into some of these people in real life, and definitely at family reunions. That would be awkward, and I hate confrontation. :(
I hate that I became a bad dog parent when I became a kid parent.
An embarrassing amount of my life has been wasted on facebook apps like Bejeweled and Restaurant City.
I used to want to be famous, but that has greatly changed. Being famous today would SUCK. Now I just want to be successful and financially comfortable.
If I were rich, one of the first things I'd spend money on is laser hair removal all over my body. Never shave my legs again? Sign me up! That would rock.
I was obsessed with the MMC (Mickey Mouse Club for those of you out-of-the-loop) and The Party when I was a kid. Sometimes when I'm bored online, I'll sit around googling cast members, trying to figure out what they have been up to for the past 15 or-so years. I felt like I knew them. When we lived in LA, I went to a Tony Lucca show by myself because the hubby had to work, and there were like 10 former Mouseketeers there in the audience. I'd thought I'd died and gone to heaven! Although I was too nervous to talk to any of them, I felt like I was in a group of old friends, at a reunion of sorts. That was awesome.
I just googled Tiffini Hale. Couldn't help it.
Now I can't stop digging for info on her. I need to go to bed.
Monday, February 15, 2010
...then I googled my idea and found out that there are lots of sites with the same exact product. The business is not completely a no-go now, but it will probably fade away the way my other genius ideas have--like vita-ketchup and cell socks. Don't ask.
I wish I were more of a go-getter. At least I can look forward to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner, since I have an awesome buy one-get one free coupon. :)
Friday, February 12, 2010
At the chiropractor's office, the kid was very well-behaved and didn't have any potty accidents, so I told him that I'd bring him to the mall to play. It's not even that big of a play area, but he seems to look forward to it. Here's what it looks like from above:
Before heading over to play, I was really hungry, so I bribed the kid with a chocolate chip muffin and we sat and had a nice breakfast in Panera. I had one of those spinach and artichoke souffles and a cup of coffee and oh, man, that was good. The kid sat and ate his muffin like a champ, only managing to toss a few spare crumbs about with his fork. He tried really hard, and that was very admirable.
As we got up to leave, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to find a very petite middle-aged woman standing beside me. She looked me in the eye and said, "I just wanted to let you know that your little boy is adorable. You are SO good with him--it is clear you are an excellent mother, the way you interact with him. I just wanted to tell you how nice it is to see a mother who loves her son so much and is so good with him!"
How sweet is that? I could not thank her enough, and of course I praised the kid for being such a good boy on the way out. I don't think that lady could have made me happier if she said she was there from Publishers Clearing House and handed me a big check.
You know, it's often said that being a mom is the hardest job in the world, and I'd agree with that. There are some days when I feel like I'm starting to lose it entirely. The next time that happens, I will think back to this day and that lovely woman's words--I AM a good mom, even if I'm not a perfect one.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
(throwing blocks into a laundry basket) Wow, look at that. Lemme try. Oh...so close! Lemme try. Oh. Oh. (sad voice)Oh...so close. So close (laughing) So close. Damn. (I need to stop saying that word in front of him)
(Phone--I let him answer)
You at work? Oh, he's at work! Throwin' in bastek. (gives me the phone)
Oh...so close. Oh...so close. Oh...so close.
Me: Maybe get a little closer.
Aw...(now pushing the laundry basket) Let's do 'wards! Let's go backwards!
I put basket way by door so Daisy won't get it!
(throwing a ball in the air)
I move forward! Way way way up high! I will try way way way up! It magic! (putting ball in a tube and using it as a telescope)
How do get ball way out of here? How do get ball out of here? How do get ball out of here?
(I help him get it out)
(throwing ball at basket now)
I will throw this way way way way way way way way up high.
(sat in basket on accident)
I fall. Push me! Push me! Push me! Push me! Push me!
Pincture of this...Pincture of this....Pincture of this (covering the basket with a blanket)
Me: a what? A picture?
No! Look! With my blanket! I made a pincture!
Me: you made it disappear?
I made a trick! I made a trick with my wand.
I trying to make magic. It's magic! It's magic! It will be magic. Wait, it will be magic! (high pitched squealing excited voice)
(throwing ball in basket again)
Good, good. I will throw this way way way way way over there! (throwing a block)
I will throw it way way way way over there! Watch me! It will go...it will magic. It will do magic!
Whoops! Weee! (dropped block, slid down the lamp to retrieve it)
Weee! (figured out this is like a fireman's poll)
(threw a ball at my head)
It go all the way! All the way there!
Weeee! That one is wee time! It's weee and I slid down! Weeee! Weee! That was fun! Weeee! That was fun. Weee.
(I say be careful)
He hits his head on the window ledge
Racoon...tata..lala....(putting blocks in the basket)
Lets get rest of them block! (high pitched squealing) magic...magic...magic...magic...magic...magic....
Me: are you cleaning up?
(Animal-like noises as he pushes the basket around the living room)
I do more more pincture. Magic.
It will go to pincture! It will go to pincture! What this? What this? Watch! It will go to pincture! Watch! It will go to pincture! And, it's magic! (removing blanket from top of basket)
It's magic...it magic....it magic (singing the words now)
Whoaaaa! (fell down)
Pa-tow! (throwing ball at poor dog)
(I tell him not to do that)
(looking through tube like telescope at said poor dog) Vinnie.
Piders! Piders! (hits floor with tube)
(I yell at him, thinking he's hitting the dog)
You not 'posed to yell at me! I want hit 'piders. On floor. (all sad)
(stalking imaginary spiders through long tube, used as telescope)
(gets in laundry basket, like he's in a cage)
(gets out of said cage)
Whoa! (stands on top of cage)
I come to creature! Any one of you creature! Any one of you creature! Any one of you creature!!!
Me: I'm a creature?
Yeah! Anyone of you creature! And you boy! (points to imaginary boy) Anyone! Anyone who's a creature! (looking through his telescope)
Anyone who's a creature. (stop to snap photos of him with webcam)
I wanna see me. Put my picture on!
Mom! Mom! Barkin'!
Anyone who's a creature.
Put my video on. Put my video on. (jumping back and forth between basket and couch)
Anyone who's a creature, you knows! Anyone who's a creature. See sumpin? (puts tube to my eye) There's alligator. There's way alligator! Where my thing? (goes to get bucket to stand on).
We could do this and walk on stuff and walk on other one and walk on other one! (moving basket and bucket near couch, to walk across like stepping stones)
Walk on other one. Walk on other one. Hop! And walk...on...and walk on other one. And walk on other one. (lots of hopping across) I jump!
(stops to pound on bucket like drum)
(makes some pretty good music)
Aaaaaah! (jumps off basket, over bucket) I flew right over here! Isn't that cool? I flew right over here. Whoa! That cool! Let do it again. Cus, I do it again. Need other bastek. Need other bastek. (puts other laundry basket at end of row). Stepping on them all again.
Isn't that cool? You jump way over here, and you jump way over here...isn't that awesome? Rock out baby. One three jump! (jumping off basket) I ok. One three jump! (jumps) Whoa! Whoa! Soon as dad come home, he will...dad come home, I will jump! Wha! Ready? Jump! (jumps)
(I catch a whiff of something)
Me: Did you poop in your pants?
Me: Did Vinnie poop?
In my bed. (points to bedroom)
(Puts laundry basket over himself in fetal position)
Mom, I stuck in cage! Mom, I stuck in cage! Help mom! Help! Help, mom! Help! (I save him)
I will get you in a cage too! (Puts basket over bucket and flies off said basket)
I could go on all day....
Happy 103rd birthday, Pepi Hamburger of Deerfield Beach, FL! Willard Scott just introduced Pepi during his Schmucker's Happy Birhday segment, and her name struck me as adorable.
Naturally, the first thing that springs to mind is "Pepsi and a hamburger", so I became curious as to when Pepsi was invented, to see if it was possible that Pepi's parents named her after the cola. Well, what do you know? Pepsi was invented in 1898, but started being marketed as Pepsi in 1903. Since Pepi was born in 1907, it is entirely possible that she was named after the beverage! I wonder if she was taunted as a child, or as a young woman during the depression when Pepsi really started taking off as an alternative to Coca-cola. Hm.
This is the kind of thing I always do: sit around looking up and pondering useless information on my laptop. If anyone can find a way for me to parlay that into a lucrative career, please let me know. :)
Now I'm hungry for Pepsi and a hamburger. I think I'll take the kid to Five Guys for lunch!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
TB’S CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
5-6 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 cups of chicken broth (I just make it with the granules)
½ lb. baby carrots (about one little bag) OR whole carrots, cut into slices
¼ tsp. (rounded) all-spice
½ Cup half and half (can sub. Whole milk)
2 cups flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
Cut up chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. It’s ok if they are still a little frozen, if your fingers can handle the cold. Put about a cup - 1.5 cups of flour in a big ziplock bag, along with salt and pepper to taste, and shake the chicken pieces in it until they are covered. Dump the whole bag into a very big soup pot, with a bit of Pam in the bottom of the pan if it’s not non-stick.
After the chicken has browned, add the carrots, along with the chicken broth, to the pot. Bring it almost to a boil, then turn the pan on low to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour with the lid on, until the chicken and carrots are cooked through.
You can make the dumplings while you are waiting. To do that, mix the first four ingredients well, then fold in the butter, making sure to get it throughout the mixture, so it makes a kind of coarse meal. If you need to add more butter to make it look right, do that. Then, add enough milk to make it into a soft dough, like biscuits. Flour a surface, roll out the dough, and cut them into about ½ inch biscuits. I like to use a small glass to do it, so they aren’t too big. Flour them as needed so they don’t stick together, and keep the remnants to throw in as well.
After soup has simmered long enough, mix in the half and half and the all-spice. Drop the dumplings in, trying not to overlap them too much. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes more. It will smell SO GOOD. The pot will probably be spitting all over your stove. You must resist the urge to open the pot before the 15 minutes is up, so to allow the dumplings to cook. When time’s up, bon appetite! Be really careful, because it will be VERY hot. You may want to put the soup in the bowls and let it cool for a minute before serving. I hope you like it!
Trying to write while the kid is in the bathtub throwing a splash ball (why the hubby ever put that in with the bath toys, I'll NEVER know) is incredibly difficult. The great thing about having a laptop is that you can take it away from the desk, however, maybe the laptop wasn't meant to be brought into the bathroom. How much water can get on the keyboard before it stops working? I'd better continue this blog after he gets out.
So, I'm feeling incredibly unattractive today. Do you ever have one of those days where you look in the mirror and think, "Who IS this person?". That's what I have today. My roots have grown out about two inches, leaving a streak of dark brown and silver in the middle of my highlighted hair. My eyebrows match my part better than the rest of my hair, as I've run out of eyebrow bleach. The thing is, my sister highlights my hair for me because she does it for free and I can bring the kid with me to play with her kids as we get the job done. Seems like a great setup, right? It actually is ideal, except that my sister is harder than a cloud to pin down. I don't know what it is that makes her life so difficult, but every time I call her, she sounds exhausted and before I can get more than a "how are you?" out, she's going on and on about all of the things on her to-do list that have yet to be done.
Anyway, my sister's life is beside the point: I need to be beautified! Half of my problem is that I really really hate the length of my hair right now. I'm trying to grow it out from being chin-length in the summer to my previous mid-back length. So far, it's almost to my collarbone, not quite to my shoulders--that awkward in-between short and medium length. Also, the cut seems to have grown out into a very odd triangle shape, poofing out all around my head. NOT attractive.
Usually when I'm feeling ugly, I'll put on copious amounts of makeup and some nice clothes--or at least, nice for what I have to choose from. Today, though, I think a ponytail or a hat may be in order. Not that I've stopped trying, but no amount of makeup is going to distract onlookers from the hideousness that is my hair right now. I know that some of you may think I'm fishing for compliments with these pictures up, but the color isn't coming out true-to-life. Take how it looks on the webcam photo, then imagine it about 5X uglier, then you will understand the degree of hideousness I am dealing with here.
I guess I'd better do my stupid workout before the kid wakes up from his nap. I'm starving for a burger, but maybe the slapping sound of my arm fat flapping against my boob will encourage me to stay away from that sort of crap. Sigh.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
At first, the misfortune fell only upon my younger sister. As a child, she required stitches in her head on Superbowl Sunday every three years, like clockwork. Twice she ran into a coffee table, the third time it was some sort of poll sticking out of a truck that she ran into. Also, two days before Superbowl Sunday about 8 years back, her appendix burst. Yes, BURST. She was lucky and lived, but still...you can't help but wonder.
As the years passed, the curse faded and she seems to have pretty uneventful game days now, which is a blessing for her. Unfortunately for ME, I seem to have continued the tradition, having had tragedy strike two of the last five Superbowl Sundays. In 2005, my hubby's grandfather passed away on that day, and in 2006 I miscarried at nearly 12 weeks along in my pregnancy.
The good news is that my misfortune doesn't seem to be following a pattern. The bad news is that I can't shake this feeling that something horrible will happen today. Hopefully I am not making a self-fulfilling prophecy. We are projected to get 6-8 inches of snow tonight, so if that's the worst that happens, I'll be very happy!
Friday, February 5, 2010
I never thought I'd miss California, but today, with five inches of fresh snow outside and Sideways in my DVD player, I am missing it with a passion. Is it weird that the movie Sideways makes me miss California? It's a pretty f*cked up film, and the characters are terrible people, but the way it is shot makes it the quintessential California movie, at least in my eyes. The sun setting over row upon row of grape vines, the dusty filter the director seems to have shot through, the old red convertible they drive the whole film...makes you feel like you're really there. I freakin' love Alexander Payne.
In any case, I've got this horrible longing to be back in California. I moved there to be with the hubby (who of course wasn't my hubby at the time, but my long-distance boyfriend) in 1998. We lived in Sacramento, then Hollywood, then Santa Monica, then Sacramento again before making the move back out to the Midwest in 2004. There were a lot of good things about living in California, but by the time we left I was pretty fed up with it, to be honest. I hated the lack of seasons, the cost of living, and the traffic. Well, right now I'm kind of envying the no-Winter thing, but cost of living and traffic are still deal-breakers, so I'm sure this longing to be back there will go away shortly.
I took a short break from this blog, and in the time between then and now, the hubby got home, I cleaned the house, he took the kid out to make snowmen, and I made a delicious quiche for dinner! I guess it really would be a shame for the kid to move to a warmer climate--he seems to enjoy the snow so much. Indoor sock-snowball fights are only about half as fun as the real thing, and I can't wait until he gets older and can go out and play in the snow with his friends alone.
It's amazing--I feel like I got a lot done today, but I really only completed everything in the last few hours. Cooking and cleaning and that sort of thing aren't always on the top of my priority list, but when I do them, I feel very accomplished. I look at my friends who keep an immaculate house and have a complete dinner on the table every night, and I feel like a giant loser. What is wrong with me that I can't be a "good wife"? I do concede that I am an excellent mother, as the kid gets more love and attention than most any other kid I've ever known. Also, the hubby doesn't seem overly bothered by the fact that I am not the world's best housekeeper, so that's very pleasant of him. Maybe my priorities are just different than the other moms I know? Who knows.
I will leave you now with my delicious quiche recipe. Enjoy!
One 9-inch deep dish pie shell
1/2 small onion, chopped
Sliced tomato, very thin
½ package of cream cheese
Any kind of grated cheese you like
6 large eggs
1/2 cup milk or half & half
Bacon - enough to cover the bottom in a single layer.
Spread the cream cheese over the bottom of the pie crust with a spatula until it’s covered. Sprinkle the meat and onion evenly over the crust. Grate your cheese over top of that, however much you like. I like to use white cheese, like muenster or jack, or any kind of fancy cheese, but use whatever floats your boat.
Mix together the milk and eggs, a pinch of nutmeg, and a little salt and pepper. Pour mixture over top of meat and cheese. Grate more cheese over the top, and cover with very thin tomato slices. Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray so that the edges don’t burn, then place it on a cookie sheet in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for another 30 minutes.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Who could ever find these adorable creatures a nuisance?
Monday, February 1, 2010
He's quieting down a bit, so I know he'll go back to sleep and I'll be able to work out eventually. In the mean time, I thought maybe it would be nice to write a bit, since typing is quiet and less likely to keep him awake.
As I've mentioned, over the last several days I've been trying to do more writing and have been thinking more seriously of beginning a career as a writer, in one way or another. Songwriting was always my creative outlet, and it was actually the career path I was on prior to getting pregnant, but that is not possible right now, due to several factors I won't go into right this moment. I miss song writing more than I could describe, and it saddens me to let it go, but the idea of doing more creative/informative writing is holding me over for now.
Last night, I perused Jodi Picoult's website, reading her Q&A's and FAQ's, trying to get an idea of what her life must be like as a professional author. I imagined myself living her life, doing nothing but writing as a career, and I became jealous and excited at the same time. The jealousy was really more of a sadness that I didn't start on that career path earlier, for I'm sure if I'd figured this all out sooner I would have already been through college and well on my way by now. I guess that's one advantage and disadvantage to getting older: You finally figure out what you want to do with your life, but you feel like you've wasted time up until this point by not figuring it out sooner.
The funny thing is that I'm not even too old to start on this path, but I always feel like I'm late for the party. When we lived in Los Angeles, I was 20-22 and I somehow got it in my head that I was too old to model, too old to play a high school-er, too old for this and too old for that. I'm not sure where I got these ideas from, but looking back, I am regretful that I let my head-noise get in the way of opportunities. Now, at 30, I'm doing it again, thinking I'm too old to go back to college, when in reality, the world is still my oyster. Why do I let myself get in my own way so often?
The house is now silent, so the kid has fallen asleep. I have to get my butt in gear before it's too late to exercise in peace. Maybe a good workout is just what I need to clear my head.