Sep 29, 2008

sticks & stones...

you can do a lot of things to me.

you can call me fat.
you can call me ugly.
you can say i have no fashion sense.
you can tell me my hair & makeup looks like crap.
you can even tell me my breath's bad. my feelers will not be hurt.

but -

accuse me of not doing my job, and i will go medieval on you, and go straight to the top if i have to.

i don't want an apology.
i don't want a 'oh, my bad.'
i don't want anything from you.

but don't you ever, ever try to lump me in with those in my group who have no effing clue about what they are doing - or even care about what they do.

and while i realize what i do isn't curing diseases, saving orphan children or even fixing the nation's financial woes, i do take a certain amount of pride in what i do.

get rid of the vendor, or give me the clearance to pull work from them so i can do my job.

and don't EVER point your accusing finger at me.

Sep 26, 2008

a girl's gotta eat...

from my sweet Susie....and of course i'm playing because no one knows foodies like a fat girl!

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

The Very Great Taste Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea (what IS this?)
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare (just in case you didn't know i was a freak...i totally love raw hamburger, and beef...with a little salt...oh happy, happy tummy)
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue (heck - we have a chain of restaurants out here i'm dying to try called The Melting Pot....face it: cheese is good food.)
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho (i didn't like it at first. B loves it. but as we've tried different restaurants, and with Little Saigon only a few miles from our casa, there are PLENTY of choices!)
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses ( OMG - i'm starting to think i is from da backwoods)
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream (how about green tea?!)
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans (in a place where Mexican restaurants & taco shops are more common than gas stations, oh yeah. i've had 'em a few times)
25. Brawn, souse or head cheese (Crazy Aunty Kay LOVED head cheese. i could take it or leave it and generally leave it)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche (OMG. one of life's bestest pleasures!!)
28. Oysters
29. Baklava (yum-o. even though it has nuts and i'm SO not a nut fan)
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas (bleah. but i tried 'em)
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut (Crazy Auntie Kay's husband, Uncle Jimmy, was of German heritage; grew up in a heavy German town in Indiana...we ate it quite a bit when i was a kiddo)
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (does a Michelob with a Benson & Hedges when i was 19 count?)
37. Clotted cream tea (a damn fine excuse for high tea, if you ask me)
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (yum. i cried bitter tears when the closest Krispy Kreme store closed)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer (probably, but i didn't know what it was called - we used to have friends from India...before they got divorced, then divorced us)
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (shocking, but no. momma doesn't like Big Macs.)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini (eeeeh)
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips (eyep.)
61. S’mores (heck - i'm 46 years old...and i STILL make 'em)
62. Sweetbreads (i can think of two things wrong with that name)
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (OMG - i first met the joy of beignets when we went to Disney World a few years our hotel, there were different food stations, and one of ;'em made beignets fresh. every.dang.morning. i gained at least ten pounds eating there. THEN they had to open a little beignet store in Downtown Disney....oh joy. and i do love any baked good...but i gotta say, the BEST funnel cake comes from Knott's...a little stand across from the Log Ride...made fresh...';scuse me, i need to wipe my mouth.)
68. Haggis (not a chance.)
69. Fried plantain (in Florida. yum. finally, we found a Cuban restaurant around here that serves 'em...)
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho (Delicious!)
72. Caviar and blini (can NOT get over the whole fish egg thing)
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (cherry's my fave)
78. Snail
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (it's OK. B loves it)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef (tasty - but not any tastier in my mind than an Angus steak!)
86. Hare
87. Goulash (Kay made the BEST)
88. Flowers
89. Horse (what?! eat Trigger?!)
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam (i have the best recipe for spam sammiches...ground with onions, olives, tomato sauce, cheese...then broiled...)
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish (i know - food from the Land of my People, but not that crazy about it!)
95. Mole poblano (molemolemole)
96. Bagel and lox (yum)
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta (again, i have a killer recipe for fried polenta with sausage & onions & peppers!)
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake (i've seen several i'd like to kill and some i've dated, but never eaten one)

your turn. have a good time!

ah - the glories of one sentence bursts.

  • and the wonders of fall, especially when it's 88 freaking degrees out! what the heck is that all about?
  • it would be great that it's Friday, except that i gotta work tomorrow.
  • still nothing on the job horizon. it sucks to be my boy.
  • i feel like my shoulder has been surgically attached to my ears.
  • hell begins tonight...literally. the Haunt opens over at Knott's, so for the next four weekends, we will endevor to stay the heck away from this area...which does make for creative ways to get home while avoiding all the traffic of the Haunt attendees.
  • man - i SO love movies like 'The Right Stuff' and 'Apollo 13.' i could watch 'em on and on....
  • i could use a massage.
  • Albertson's makes a dang fine frozen pizza. quite nice for a Friday night.

hope your weekend rocks.

Sep 22, 2008

did you hear something fall?

sorry, couldn't resist.
fall is here. arrived @ 8:44 this morning.
i love fall. the feel of it. the difference in the air. the ever so slight chill that starts, grows and blooms into winter.

well, except for here in Mostly Smoggy So. California, where we have two and a half seasons. spring/summer, then winter.

i had no idea that leaves actually change colors in parts of this great land. here, the grass just gets a little less green and the hills hereabouts go from brown of the summer to green as the rain comes. one year, the Husband decided that i needed to see the leaves change color. so we made plans to visit friends in Michigan in October, just when the magic would happen.
which was great - except that the leaves had changed about a week or so before we got there. also, our trip was in October 2001. right after September 2001, where my underwire bra stopped traffic leaving Michigan but that's another post.

ah - California. a land of conflicts...and not just the ones about our state budget.

in other news...

i had no idea i could enjoy a class sooooooooo much. love, love, love this photography class.
tomorrow is all about f-stops and such and i have no doubt that my notebook is going to be chock-full of notes...some of which may be legible.

i'm already planning on signing up for the instructor's intermediate class next semester.
y'all have said some very nice things about my photos, and i appreciate every one. i just want to be really, really good. not necessarily talented, but at least better.

nothing new on the job front for the Husband - and i think it's starting to really get him down. today was a pretty sad boy moving around here.

he really needs to work - not only for the monetary gain, but it's got to be a downer, only working 2 months from the year.

speaking of the Husband, yesterday, we drove out to the Chino airport, a municipal one out about 35-40 minutes from our palatial estate. they have a 'Planes of Fame' museum there, and we were going to go...until we saw the admission fee...heck. at that price we can have a yum-o dinner out.

but, having never go anywhere without my little black precious, i got completely excited about this, right across the street from the airport.

stop laughing, Linda. moo-cows are a rarity in the city.

this one was a little cranky.
and if you look carefully, you'll see she's very drooly. must be the thought of getting her picture taken. i feel the same way every time i get to play with my precious.

moo, indeed.

Sep 20, 2008

do quirk your pinky as you read, won't you?

today, i went to a tea-slash-fashion show with my madre. i'll give you all a minute to get the laughter out before we continue.

you good?
OK then, moving on.

it was one of those mother-daughter-let's-bond-because-since-you-got-married-you-never-do-anything-with-me-anymore(insert heavy sigh here) moments. and i figure not only does my mom have a touch of Jewish Mother in her, i have enough Catholic Guilt to fall for it.

the funny thing is, we are Baptist. go fig.

so, off to the tea. it was sponsored by the church that my mom's quilting group rents space from for their monthly meetings. and of course there was more blue hair in that room that at the Blue Man Group show in Vegas.

stretching, i know. but i came up with that today and had to spring it on you, Gentle Reader.

the tea was served by several men, all wearing food service gloves and looking a little uncomfortable being surrounded by that much estrogen and estrogen replacement. and it was tea, with an assortment of bags (tea bags, not the attendees. sheesh!)and foofy little cucumber and cream cheese sammiches.

and, at the table across from ours, were two little girls...with Happy Meals.

'hey, kid, i know you're not supposed to talk to strangers, but i'll give you $20 if you give me your chicken mcnuggets. what? no, you can keep the toy.'

money well spent, in my opinion. except that i didn't have $20, or $5 or even a bloody dollar bill, because i didn't go to the ATM in my hurry to get to the church and not be late.

have you ever noticed how freaking wonderful Mickey D's french fries smell? manna from heaven, my friends...especially when all you have are foofy cream cheese sammiches.

anywhooo...i'm sure i made quite the impression with my mom's friends, trying to be charming, but ended up being my usual somewhat sarcastic self...starting with the one who, after looking me up and down said, before my mom could make the introductions, 'well! and who is this little miss?!'

listen, honey - there hasn't been anything little on me since 1968. let's not be too patronizing, shall we? i happen to know you've got kids and underwear older than me.

46 and still a smart ass. yep - i've still got it.

after the tea was a fashion show. and yes, it was every bit like you imagine. very flowy, soft fabrics, lots of sequins and sparkles and hats...oh kids, every.bloody.outfit had a hat accessorized with it. all of which looked like they would be perfect for a wedding...or Ascot. not, though, for a 'night out on the town,' as the owner of the dress store putting on the show said.

not unless that night out on the town included a drag show. then again, i used to know a drag queen and i'm not even sure he would wear that.

my favorite, which was painful to watch, BTW, was a teenage girl, wearing clothes that very few self-respecting teenage girls would wear...unless they were looking for ridicule and mockery at the hands of their peers. she looks uncomfortable. i felt for her, poor baby.

but when they came out with some Red Hat Society outfits, let me tell you, my mother about lost it.
there was a purse. red in color, sequined (DOY.) with gold accents and a bird shaped clasp.

i thought she was going to need oxygen. turns out she just needed that purse.

after the show, many of the ladies headed up to the area where the shop owner had her wares. bedazzled earrings with HUGE fake stones were being snapped up, along with the garden party hat the owner had accessorized with, not a scarf, but a belt.

my mother, cane in hand, was ready to battle her way to the purse. she stopped short when she saw it.
'it's teal.' she said.


'teal. it has teal in it. i don't want teal. i don't like that one, i liked the one she carried,' she said, frowning.

'well,' i said, 'let's either find the model or the owner and get it.'

'oh, i don't want to be a bother...'
'i want to be a bother,' i said. 'i'll get that dang purse if it's the last thing i do'i thought and, as i was starting to make my way through the hungry throng of blue hair shoppers, here came the model, who apparently knows my mom.

'Carolyn - did you really want this?' she asked, holding out the Holy Grail of Red Hat Purses.
my mom almost purred as she took it from the lady. and happiness was once again restored at the mother/daughter tea...especially when my mom slapped some cash down and made that purse her bitch...i mean her own.

driving home, and giggling to myself over all the blue in the room, i realized a few things.
first - that in spite of the strange history my mom & i started out with, (thinking my mom was my cousin and all) that it's amazing we have a relationship as good and as strong as it is.

second, how lucky i am that i do have her. i have friends that don't have a great one with their moms...and some that don't have theirs any longer...and would give an eyetooth..or a Happy Meal...for what i have with mine.

third, how sad it makes me that she is getting older and feeble. she never was a scamperer, but it was cool going to Disneyland or Knott's as a kid and having someone to snuggle with on the big scary rides. now, i'm the one that the Cutest Kids in Hesperia and Reno want to snuggle with - and it makes me sad she won't have that with them, or her great-grand kids.

my mom's pretty cool.
sometimes it takes a cucumber sandwich to remind me.

Sep 18, 2008

someone out there wasn't on board with the snake oil.

no such luck for the job.
now he's incredibly cranky because of the economy, and the bail-outs and all.


prayers again. that he finds a job soon, and that i don't lose my mind before that happens.

Sep 16, 2008

prayers, por favor.

whether you believe in prayer or not, light a candle, say one, or sacrifice a virgin - good thoughts would be oh so appreciated today. the Husband has an interview @ 10 am today...

he needs a job. and i need to stop being the man about the house.

Sep 13, 2008

i *heart* field trips.

last week, the Husband mentioned that the Navy was offering tours of one of it's ships at the nearby Seal Beach Naval Weapons of the very few since 9/11.

i immediately got all tingly. you mean a field trip? an honest-to-goodness field trip?
great googly moogly. let me sit down and catch my breath.

i've always loved field trips. we went on several a year, right up to junior high. imagine my horror when the Sis-in-Law said that the schools only do one maybe two a year. budgets and all.

as a kid, i remember going to the local Wonder Bread bakery...gaaaaaah - the aromas from that heavenly place still haunt me to this day - and, i believe is one of the reasons i'm a 'pretty plus.' i have no willpower when it comes to fresh-baked goods.

we went to the local missions - the ones Fr. Junipero Sierra started all up and down California. even now, at 46, i really, really want to do a road trip and visit all the missions.

we visited local tide pools - where i was terrified i was going to fall on my bum and be laughed at.

klutzy then, klutzy still.

heck - we even went to the Star Kist tuna processing plant. the smell's memorable there as well, but for all the wrong reasons.

so when the Husband mentioned this tour, heck, i was at the door with my dang camera, wagging my tail; arewegoingforawalktellmewe'regoingforawalkilovegoingforawalkcanwegonownownowNOW?

i even had it all planned out: i had to go in to work for a couple of hours, and my Salt Mine is right up the road from the Weapons Station. Husband can come pick me up, we head on over, tour the dang thing, i risk National Security by taking pictures and we all go home, happy as larks. after all, who's gonna be interested in touring a Naval frigate?

how about enough people to make an hour and half line waiting to get on board?
oh effffffffffffffffffffffff.
i love Disneyland. i don't wait an hour to get on a ride there, i'm sure not gonna for a ship.

after a brief confab, we decided the best course of action would be to get there first thing Sunday morning, be there when the gates opened and slaughter anyone who got in our way.
it's a little harsh, but remember: i drive Southern California freeways.

the plan worked perfectly. we waited maybe 15-20 minutes before we got on board, and the whole thing took about an hour.

and i of course, risked National Security.

they do like things shiny.

he likes things that makes noise.

and i liked the fact that i crawled both up AND down two of these without falling or otherwise embarassing myself.

i love field trips.

Sep 12, 2008

Alton's coming to live with ME.

me. not you.
Alton Brown is coming to live at my house. in October. just in time for my wedding anniversary.

OK. so he's coming to my Nintendo DS. he's still coming to my house.

just in time - they're releasing a game for the Wii and Nintendo DS - Iron Chef America. you can battle Mario, Cat or Morimoto, while Alton runs commentary.

oh you KNOW i'm getting this.

how old am i again?

what the heck. the game is WAY cheaper than the macro lens i want.


who says you can't buy happiness? you just gotta know how much happiness you can afford.

Sep 11, 2008

well. they'll let ANYONE on the internet these days, won't they?

well, look who's back, kids.

and i think the only reason i AM posting is because the Husband is not currently at our domicile. he's been hogging the damn thing worse-n-a crack whore.

hmmm. crack whore. that's a little strong, isn't it? so - where were we?

after all was said and done, the first job of 2008 gave him the heave-ho. sorry, but we can't afford you. sorry, but i think you should get a clue as to how much money you make and spend before you do anything else and inconvenience anyone else in your current or former employ.

still bitter? you betcha.

he's been looking off and on, now since he's officially out of work, more on. i talked him into driving up to his brother's in Northern California to do some camping with the Bro and Bro's boys. good on them, a little male bonding is always in order. it also gave B a chance to do a road trip with the new wheels.

oh and to not shower for three or four days. gross. OH and to go poo in a hole in the ground. totally gross. once again, the Princess sez i like camping at the Marriott.

he was gone for a week. i missed him like crazy.

back to the unemployment crap - fingers crossed, kids, he got a call from a VP of HR for a company he had gotten a hit on, they want to talk to him next Tuesday. it would do everyone in the family good to have him working again. all i can say is, thank God i'm covering him on my insurance and the car payment. it would be beyond stressful (or more than it is, already) if i had that on my plate.

it's all about me. deal with it.
after all, it is my blog.

needless to say, it's been a little stressful here, and, with no 'net to vent on, well...i remember why i have a blog - it's cheaper than therapy.

last week, i had a breakdown. the kind where you work too late, walk out to your car, start crying and cry the whole.way.home.

yeah. that's fun.

at my work, we've been offloading work to overseas vendors - that sucks. it was hard enough to clear reports when everything was in one house, much less when it's in two overseas locations. so as our vendor commitments grew, so did my job. add to that we have two deadlines for our paging departments - one @ 11am, the 2nd @ 5.

i wasn't making a 5pm cut off, much less an 11am one. i hated my job.
i hated myself.

but after crying for an hour after i got home, i knew something had to give. i couldn't any more.

the next day - we on the reports team had a meeting with the graphics manager. what's going on, why are we having problems, blah, blah, blah. she started out with some other points, then went around the room and asked my compadres what teams they were responsible for, what they did, and did they feel overwhelmed?

girl #1 - oh, i care for one team. everything is good.
girl #2 - me - i care for one team, no problems here!
me - um, i care for 7 teams, i create the schedules we use and I AM COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED!

hmmmm - balance in all things, and there ain't none herebouts. the manager, having pity on me, split up seven of my teams between the three of us, and gave girl #1 one of my schedules to care for.

and yes. i feel better. but, after the meeting, the manager (who also hosted one of my showers before we got married, i've worked for for years and am friends with) came by my desk and says, 'do you feel better?'

well, yes. it's just been so much, and...

manager: i know. you've got too much on your plate, and not only that, i know it's bad when i see you and you look like

well. that's reassuring. not only am i not doing my job, but apparently i look like poop.

manager - you lost your smile. i need that.

i do too. i just wasn't finding anything to smile about.

i am now.
now just give my Husband a job and i'll be freaking hysterical.

i started school Tuesday - a photography class offered by the local community college. 10 weeks of one night a week that's all about me.

i'm so superficial.

we'll be covering f-stops and all the stuff i have no idea how to do. then at the end of the class we go on two field trips - Balboa Island and another location to be named later.

cool, huh?

i'm really excited about it. i cannot wait till Tuesdays.

there you go, Gentle Reader. a way too long synopsis on what's going on in our bloody boring lives.

and to think you waited weeks for this.

it's good to be back.