Saturday, May 30, 2009

Culinary Ninja

I made bars today for our Brewer's tailgate tomorrow. 
(Bars, for the non-Wisconsinites are, as far as I can tell, any dessert that can be served from a 13 x 9 pan)
To make the bars, I had to melt some chocolate, so I rigged up a makeshift double boiler to do it. I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty much feeling like a culinary bad ass at this point. 

No microwave for me, thank you very much! 
I'll do it the hard way. I'll take the not-a-double-boiler-but-I'll-make-it-into-one-anyway, please. 
If the bars turn out to be awesome (and why wouldn't they?), it will definitely be due to my ninja-like double boiling skills. 

P.S. I have noticed, but I no idea why so many of my blogs are food related lately. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And in other food related news...

I was watching Dinner: Impossible tonight on the Food Network.
Robert Irvine had to create a gourmet dinner for 200 using only ballpark food by the seventh inning stretch.

One of the dishes he created was brats with American cheese rolled up in a tortilla and fried on the grill.

That sounds DISGUSTING. 
Yuck. Who eats a brat with cheese? 
Double yuck for using American cheese. 

Brats and cheese? That's just wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. 

Don't get me wrong, I like cheese. Cheese and I are buddies. We pal around.
But, there are certain things that you don't eat with cheese.

Brats are one of them. 

Fail, Robert Irvine. Go back to the drawing board. 
And FYI, you cannot call anything that uses American cheese "gourmet."
Sorry, but I'm pretty sure it's one of the laws of the universe. See, it's listed right there after gravity.

Amazing Cakes

I like cake-related television.
I TiVO Ace of Cakes on the Food Network. They make some kick-ass cakes.
If Food Network Challenge is on, I'll turn it on because pretty often, it's some sort of insane cake decorating contest. 

So, when my TiVO recorded Amazing Wedding Cakes on WE, I was all "boo-yah!" 
I spoke too soon.

Amazing Wedding Cakes seems to be about two, possibly three, wedding cake shops going about their business. Not all wedding cake shops are built the same apparently. 

Where Duff and crew (Ace of Cakes) are good natured and up for any challenge, these women are a bunch of neurotic, perfectionist, drama queen, whiny bitches. Blech. 

At Cake Girls, the bakery in Chicago, the customer called to change their order about a week before it was due (the husband-to-be made the call without consulting his wife-to-be) and they bitched and moaned and bagged on their customer, more than once, and in essence called them stupid. 

I didn't know it was possible to dislike a show about cakes. 
Suck it, Amazing Wedding Cakes! You ruined the un-ruinable. 
What the hell is wrong with you? You should be ashamed of yourself.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What a Waste

I read an article on today about a girl who has, for the last 13 years, had perfect attendance at school. Not by accident, by design. She wanted this. She refused to attend baseball tournaments or take a senior skip day all in the name of maintaining her perfect attendance record. She is a self-described "perfectionist."

What a fucking waste. 

I don't think there is anything gained by encouraging perfectionism in those who feel compelled to seek it. We all fail eventually. It's inevitable. You're better off learning to accept yourself and cope with the imperfections and failures than to indulge in a perfectionism that can only be achieved on a very small, insignificant scale. 

I'm not judging. I'm a reformed perfectionist. 
But, never about my attendance.

I'm not going to lie to you, I skipped school in high school. A lot. Especially in my senior year. I particularly hated my pre-Calculus class and skipped it at least a couple of times a week. 

The whole affair makes me laugh in retrospect because I wasn't particularly clever in getting excused from class. I am a decent forger and our attendance office was insanely stupid.  Every. Single. Time. I went to the "seniors" window with an excuse note she would point to the next window and tell me freshman/sophomores get excused at a different window. And honestly, who goes to the dentist that often?

There are things I regret about the choices I have made. Things that I would do differently if I had them to do over. Skipping school is not one of them. It was fun. I don't regret it at all.

I would love to say that I learned some big life lesson by breaking the rules. But, mostly, I learned that sometimes you can get away with stuff you're not supposed to and sometimes it's fun to break the fucking rules. 

This poor girl gets a lousy 15 minutes of fame for a record I wouldn't take if you offered it to me gold-plated. I hope, in the end, that's worth it to her. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Run Away

Do you ever just want to walk away from your life?

Leave the job, the house, the people, the responsibility, everything. Just leave it behind and start somewhere anew? Then you could go somewhere nobody knows you. Then, nobody will tell you "how you are" or make assumptions based on who you used to be. You just get a clean slate. There would be problems, of course, there are always problems. But, they would be different problems than the ones you have now, and maybe different is enough. 

Reality is that we don't leave because we are tied to the people, places, and responsibilities that we have here. There is enough love to keep us still, if sometimes strangled. 

Today, I want to run away. I won't, but I want to. 
Can you smell it? There is change floating in the air. I'm not sure how to deal with it. 
Maybe I'll dye my hair a different color. You laugh, but it's worked to counteract this need for change before.

I'm not sure what the future holds but today, I'm going to stay put and listen to The Way and dream about where I could go without ever knowing the way.

The Way 
by Fastball

They made up their minds 
And they started packing
They left before the sun came up that day
An exit to eternal summer slacking
But where were they going without ever knowing the way?

They drank up the wine
And they got to talking
They now had more important things to say
And when the car broke down they started walking
Where were they going without ever knowing the way?

Anyone could see the road that they walked on was paved in gold
And it's always summer, they'll never get cold
They'll never get hungry
They'll never get old and gray
You can see their shadows wandering off somewhere
They won't make it home but they really don't care
They wanted the highway
They're happier there today, today

The children woke up
And they couldn't find 'em
They left before the sun came up that day
They just drove off and left it all behind 'em
But where were they going without ever knowing the way?


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I can feel it in my veins. There is a time for staying home and taking comfort in the things that are familiar. Then, there is also a time for venturing out and having an adventure. 

I'm looking forward to two grand adventures that loom on the horizon. 

First, the husband turns the big 3-0 this September and in honor of that auspicious occasion we have decided to take a trip. We're going to go to California. We'll fly into LA, rent a car, drive up the coast stopping at various locales and fly back from San Francisco. We've got a few ideas in mind for things to do (Big Sur, San Francisco, Napa Valley). We booked our flight and car rental tonight. We've still got a lot of planning yet to do, but I'm looking forward to it!

Second, in August I earn my 5-year sabbatical at work. What would you do with a paid vacation anywhere in the world? 
I was thinking about taking it next summer, but after talking to my friend JR, I may be leaning towards next May. I haven't finalized a location yet, but right now I'm thinking possibly Prague. I want to go somewhere that has plenty of history so I know there will be plenty for me to do for 3 weeks. Then, all the other European countries are just a train ride away. 
I think I'm going to put in my request at work pretty soon. 

Half the fun of these things is working out the possibilities and planning what you are going to do. Things are looking up. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How I was almost good, but then I wasn't

At Christmas, my work hands out holiday cards with crisp $100 bills inside of them. Usually I hand mine over to the husband. This year (with his approval) I kept it. I've been thinking about what I would spend the money on for the past 5 months.

Makeup? Clothes? Jewelry? A new purse? A new vanity for the bathroom?
The possibilities were more enticing than actually spending the money. 

Today, I finally spent my $100. 
I would love to tell you I bought something completely fabulous. 
Nope. Instead, I spent the money on some new bras. 
Sexy bras, at least?
Sure. You'll never know if I'm lying anyway.
It was long overdue. I needed some that actually fit. Too much information? Suck it up. 

I bought three new ones and I could have paid for it out of our joint account, but I had the cash and since I didn't technically need them it seemed fair to pay for it with my own money. 
So, I was a good little girl and did not put my purchases on our bank card. 

THEN. Then, I went to Sephora. Just to look. 
Um, would it help if I said that one of the things I bought was on sale?
No? Oh well. 
I tried. Kind of.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I like thunderstorms. 
I always have. 

When I was a kid growing up in Dallas, a substantially bigger city than where I currently reside, what I was afraid of more than anything was robbers. Not spiders or snakes or even winged monkeys. Robbers. 

The very idea of someone coming into my home, into the place where I should have been safe, was T-E-R-R-I-F-Y-I-N-G! Lil-C was afraid of them, too. I'm not sure if I did that or if she came to that conclusion on her own. 

She slept on the floor of my bedroom for years because of it. 
I would love to tell you that she did for the safety and security of being near her big sister. That is laughably untrue. If we were robbed, she hoped any ne'er-do-wells would step over her (thinking someone had accidentally left a blanket on the floor, perhaps?) and "get" me instead. I wasn't much better. I hoped that they would think I fell out of bed and "get" her and not notice me. Ah. Is that sisterly love or what?

Dallas sits right in the middle of a big, fat plain. There is nothing to break up a storm once it gets rolling. Often those thunderstorms would be accompanied by flash floods. What I'm saying is we had some big, bad-ass storms.

My childhood logic went something like this:
Thunderstorms are big, scary and dangerous. Why would someone want to commit a crime in such foul weather? Better to wait until the weather is good before breaking and entering.
Lame, but true. Thunderstorms equalled safety. 

We had a plantation style front porch that extended along the length of the house. I remember standing there with my dad during a thunderstorm. We were protected from the storm, but had a fantastic view. Lightning lit up the sky like fireworks. Thunder crashed and shook our bones. I remember feeling completely and totally at peace. 

Now, I'm all grown up. While I wouldn't enjoy being robbed and would probably freak the fuck out if a thief actually came into my home, I don't live in constant fear of them. Still, when the storms start, I breathe a little sigh of relief because even though it may not make sense anymore, I feel a little bit safer for the duration.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


The rule on Mother's Day is that the husband and I pick a Mother's Day brunch to go to and Mom gets to decide what we are going to do for the day.

The husband and I picked the New Glarus Hotel, which was lovely. 
She picked Star Trek.

It was fucking awesome.
It's not William Shatner's Star Trek. They were pretty much kicking ass and taking names. I'll admit I had a private little geek out moment to myself when they read the line. 

What line?
Either you like Star Trek and you already know or you don't and well, it would really matter if I explained it to you 'cause you wouldn't understand anyway.

My history with Star Trek isn't something I normally confess. I wouldn't call myself a "Trekkie", but I have more than a passing acquaintance with the Star Trek franchise. I'm pretty sure I've seen all the movies. I've seen most of the original series. I've also seen parts of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. The only one I haven't seen was that short lived Scott Bakula one, Enterprise

You can call me a nerd if you like. A bigger person would probably say Live Long and Prosper. 
I'm going to go with fuck you instead. 

I likes what I likes...

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Exhibit A

Exhibit B

The title of this exhibit is "I am an idiot."

Today, I had my weekly meeting with my semi-new team lead, the Queen of All (QoA). It was a gorgeous day, so we decided to have the meeting outside. I sort of remembered that I hadn't put any sunblock on my arms, but since the meeting was only supposed to be a half-hour I didn't really think anything of it. 

I am an idiot.

It was just the two of us since everyone else is out this week and we ended up chatting for a really long time. About an hour and a half really long time. 

At some point, I knew I was getting burnt, and I still didn't manage to get out of the sun. 
Why? Why would I be so fucking stupid and allow my arms to turn an attractive lobster red?

Because I am incapable of ending a conversation. I have no idea how to get out of a conversation that I want to be over. It's sort of a chronic problem. I have no concept of the graceful exit. 

It fucking sucks. And (I hope!) I've learned my lesson. I don't care if I'm forced to use my fall back plan (the awkward exit) it's not worth getting sunburned. I'm 28 years old and I need to figure out how to end a fucking conversation when I want to, awkward or otherwise. 

It should be noted, it wasn't so much that I wanted to be done talking to the QoA, so much as I wanted our conversation to be in the shade.

I am an idiot.

Ouch. Aloe anybody?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Churning Around

Growing up, we had a pool in our backyard.
It's not that uncommon in Texas, but since you asked, Yes, it totally kicked ass. 
My sister and I spent most of our summers soaked in chlorine. We were such water babies. We loved to swim and play around. We had tons of games we would play, underwater tea parties, gymnastics competitions (she cheated, just FYI) and ice cream parlor to name a few. 

Then, we moved up north and BLAMMO, no more water. Oh, I know. There's water here, but I don't really have access to it like we did in Texas. 

So, I was looking forward to trying this water aerobics class I signed up for at the Y. At worst, I figured it would be fun, nostalgic even, for me to spend an hour splashing around. At best, it would totally kick my ass and I'd be sore and barely able to finish, plus all that nostalgic, fun junk. 

As it turns out, water aerobics at the Y equals social hour for middle aged women. Sure, they splash around. Perhaps they aerobicize, I can't really tell what anyone else is doing in the water. But mostly, it's social hour. They all know each other. Apparently, there is also a water aerobics class on Mondays and Wednesdays that they take together. 

Maybe if I was a social butterfly, I would enjoy this and make a whole gaggle of friends. But, it's better to have a more than passing acquaintance with reality, so I think we can all admit, this just isn't going to happen. 

Plus, if they spend the whole time talking, do you think this class has been kicking my ass? Let me answer that for you. No. It isn't. At all. It's ridiculously easy. I've been still doing my regular Tuesday night workout after it because it just too damn easy. 

I may finish out the rest of this class, I did pay $10 whole dollars for it, so I may as well get my money's worth out of it. But, I don't think I'll be back. In addition to the downsides already mentioned, I've seen way too many completely nude middle-aged women today.
It's not pleasant.

It's disappointing because I was really hoping this might be something I could add to shake up the routine a little bit. As it turns out, if you go to the gym and do the same thing over and over (and over and over) again, eventually you get bored. Who knew?

I've been thinking about checking out a yoga studio near where I work for a little lunchtime yoga. And I'd like to drag the husband to visit the climbing gym on the east side. But, I'm not sure what else to do to keep it interesting. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

When I Grow Up...

My mom and I went to a tap dancing performance at the Capitol Theater last night. It was called the Soles of our Feet. A part of the performance was a tribute to Arthur Duncan.

This guy:

You'll understand why they call him the "King of Taps" around the 1:15 mark. 
It wasn't just a tribute to him, he was a part of the show. 
When he first came out, he tapped and sang. 
I leaned over to my mom and said, "I want to be him when I grow up."
He's about a billion years old (really I think he's about 76 according to IMDb), he still doing what he loves and singing and tap dancing. 
That pretty much kicks ass.

THEN! Then, there was the second part. The rest of the (much!) younger cast came out and they tapped together. And not some slow, piddly tap routine. It was insanely fast. And he was right in sync with the young kids. 
Did I mention he's about a billion years old?
He was doing things with his legs at 76 that I'm pretty sure I could not do at my tender age of 28. 

That's when I leaned over to my mom and said, "I think I overshot. I think I'm going to have to settle for being maybe about as half as cool as he is. Possibly one-third." 

It's something to shoot for, at least.