Thursday, December 28, 2006

At home

Ah to be home again. The hearty, healthy meals. The heat, water, and electricity for free. The tree blazing away in a slightly off balanced nature. The long afternoons to read and the evenings devoted to dusty board games and old, classic films. The unwavering distrust parents have in computers and debit cards. I even found myself in the den one evening viewing via VHS circa 1985, videos of Christmas past, another post entirely.
Ah yes it's good to be home.

From the living room, the view of my parents in the kitchen affords many delights. On Christmas day it was to my enjoyment to witness the excitement with which Mom and Dad carved the turkey with an electric knife -- a technology first introduced into the United States in 1950, and first discovered by my parents in 2006.

On the adventures around town, I see familiar faces either in town for the holiday, or those lucky few who have finally made it home to stay. Lucky to be back before the rest of us, lucky to have found a job. Strangely, so many of us yearn to come home. Yet we live from Idaho to Seatle. From Portland, to Pheonix. From the Carrolinas to New York, Pennsylvania, and overseas to Britian, Iraq, Germany, Japan, and Australia. Some are in the army, some in college, some just working. But those who come home for Christmas all talk about the day they will return for good.

Among the other joys of being home is the embarrassment of holding up the line at Albertsons while your parents write a check for their $30 worth of groceries. Oh, how I love that one. The cashier requires a phone number, a driver’s license number, a lock of hair, three cc’s of blood and your first born. As the first born, I flatly refused to hole up at Albertsons while the bank confirmed the check was good. You may ask why they insist on using checks. I have a headache from attempting to explain a debit card works the exact same way and that it’s perfectly acceptable to write your purchases in the check register just as if you had written a check. But they laugh, shake their heads at me (as if I’m the dense one) and calmly submit their DNA for further investigations.

I think the best thing about home, though, is the games. We’ve always been a game family. Winter weekend nights provide some of the most fertile times for inventing entertainment. As kids, my brother and I were exposed to every board and card game in existence. We would listen to oldies on the radio, make some sort of treat from scratch, whether it be ice-cream, caramel corn, or suckers. Then we would round the table sweets only a nearby distraction and argue, laugh, taunt, and joke for hours over Monopoly, Pictionary Junior, Sorry, Clue, Outburst, Scattergories, Candy land, 21, Shoots and Ladders, Life, Yahtzee, Junior Scrabble and so on.

Now all grown up, sorta, I find that not much has changed in the game department. We’ve added a few, and I convinced the parents to try Risk last night. As we set up our little armies on the world map, my Mom pouted that she didn’t understand the game. My Dad re-read every instruction I’d already read aloud. Then the game began. Mom more and more upset over the rules insisting that Dad was cheating, Dad suspicious and relatively vindictive in attacking my Mom’s armies. Of course, Mom won the game. Then, oh, then it was fun as she played the ‘blond’ card of “oh you mean I win? Gee wiz? Really?” Ha-ha Mom.

We took a quick tour of Sorry after that, then Mom and I hung out watching an old Liz Taylor film from sometime in the 1940’s.

Yes, it’s good to be home.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!!

Well, I'm off tomorrow until the 7th of January! yay! If the flight is on time, that is. I'll be flying to Montana for a nice long vacation. Christmas, skiing, and did I mention, my birthday? We're heading to Fairmont hotsprings for my birthday to do some skiing and soaking, I can't wait! Then New Years with my friends in Bozeman, hopefully more skiing there too. It'll be an adventure! I'll try and get some pictures to post. I'll be around, but kinda busy, so everyone have a great holiday!!!!

picture courtesy of

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pico de Gallo

So Roommate's Friend moved to the UK with her 4 yr old daughter last summer. Of course all their family is still here, so as Christmas rolled around, they made plans to hop back over the ocean. On their way to Virginia, they paused here in grand old New York and stayed with us.

My cat, Stormy was a champ. He dealt with the 4yr old's attentions admirably. He was petted and patted, hugged and cuddled, slightly suffocated and tugged on. But he didn’t yowl, meow, scratch or bite. He just looked at me with that perfect cat look of “I’m NOT happy.” I’ve never been so proud.

The adult humans of the crowd made the executive decision early on to feast on Chinese seeing as delivery is an attractive option after flying overseas with 4yr old and luggage in tow. While the place wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, it did turn our conversation. I nearly dropped my spoon into my delicious hot and sour soup when I heard there is no decent Chinese to be found in London! What?! While R’s Friend admitted the spicy beef was OK, she also informed me of no soup, and a mint sauce condiment to which I replied that the British were trying to curry their Chinese. She nodded and slurped on her own soup. Well, with a shake of my head, we turned to the abomination the British have made of Mexican food. R’s Friend said she’d tried a few different places, to no avail. They had bad salsa, as if they took old canned tomatoes and threw them in a bowl without adding peppers and onions and garlic. What decent Mexican place has bad salsa? Actually, even the bad places have good salsa ensuring that you can fill up on chips and salsa when the quesadillas or enchiladas aren’t up to snuff.

Well, this was all news to me. I mean I realize the UK isn’t known for it’s cuisine, but really, this is bad. Truly, curry is a blessing, but there are days when you just need some greasy Chinese takeout, or some filling Mexican. Luckily I know how to make a lot of Mexican dishes, mostly from a lot of experimentation. The kind of experimentation that ends in watering eyes, because inevitably after finely chopping the peppers, one somehow manages to touch an eye sending the once useful ocular apparatus into a reddened, watering hell of sorts.

But Chinese? I’ve done some experiments following recipes given to me with explicit instructions and yet I’ve failed. Again and again the flavor escapes me.

Oh I will still move to the UK, one way or another, but yes, yes, I will morn the greasy Chinese food, I will morn the take-out. But at least, at least I know how to make Pico de Gallo*.

*Pico de Gallo is NOT salsa, may look it, but is not.
picture courtesy of:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

bread and butter

Sorry I haven't been around for a couple days. I've been in baking and reading mode! I've made banana bread, pumpkin bread, cookies...and we have visitors from England staying with us tonight, so I did a little cleaning too! Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow on how the breads turn out:-)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Office Christmas

I attended my first office Christmas party on Friday. It was - ummmm - interesting? There were those earning brownie points with the boss and fighting for a moment to chat up their project to the board leader. There were those there for the free food and open bar. There were those all about the after party, and there were those just there to hook up with someone in the office.

The funny thing is, that those there to hook up took the attitude that they were in the sixth grade employing friends to chat up the hook in question, and creating all sorts of drama. I went to the party for the free food, and avoided the juvenile play.

It's not to say I didn't have fun, though. I did eat free steak, and I did drink free wine, and I did nibble on free chocolates. I also attended the after party, and one lucky office member found himself under the mistletoe with the roommate and I;-)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Dissapointment is...

the train pulling away from the station without you on it

no more sweaters of that color in your size

getting into work early only to find the boss has taken the day off

finding out Cookie monster has been replaced with a Vegitable monster

old milk in the fridge

returned Christmas cards with the wrong address

wrong numbers!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

That time of year

It's the Christmas season around here all right! We've had office-decorating competitions, raffles, and drives for Toys for tots, food, coats, old cell phones and our party is on Friday. The neighborhoods are decked out in glowing snowflakes on lampposts, the local restaurants filled with colorful lights and the old brownstones with front rooms glowing with candles and sparkling Christmas trees.

The corner stores are selling small trees; the big trees are around the corner all along one block stocked with pine and cute boys from Montreal. Rotten TV has turned into cheesy Christmas movies and stories. I watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" last night; you've got to admire a man who can rocket to fame on a purely inventive vocabulary.

Only one thing remains before I fly out home, and that is to expose my roommate to "The Christmas Story." She's never seen it. How? One might ask. How is it possible to live your entire life in the U.S. and never see that movie? Well, I'll tell you, one might reply, with a pause and a thoughtful look. I have no idea.

So I will search and I will scramble.
I will not lurch, I will not amble.
I will find that story,
in one little flurry.
Then we will watch, and we will chuckle at the furnace,
the tire, the boy and his Red Red Rider!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The boss

So as I'm sure many of you have noticed, the Christmas season is upon us. With that comes gifts, cards, fudge making. Now I've got the cards covered, made some cookies and fudge

- We interrupt this post for some breaking, semi-interesting news: Someone in this office has a phone that sounds like a bird chirping when it rings. There it goes again. Last week we were all looking for a bird. This week we are looking for the owner of the phone. -

Sorry for that interruption folks, anyway as I was saying, I've done some baking and filled out most of my Christmas cards. I've purchased gifts for my close friends and family, but now, now is the dreaded moment of looking for a gift for the boss. I need suggestions! I was thinking a bottle of wine, but who* are we kidding? I don't make enough to buy a nice bottle. I mean, we're looking at a range of $15-25 - tops. So that's more like a cheap bottle. That's all I've got. That's the only thing I can think of. Worse? I'd like to get something for the human resources lady who hired me. Now, what to get her!?

So if any of you guys have some thoughts I would really, really appreciate it!

*Ok, is that 'who' or 'whom' I can't decide...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Full of air

My mattress is full of air. Well, not so much by the morning. If you're just tuning into this snowflake's life, I've been sleeping on an air mattress for a couple reasons. One: I thought I'd only be here for six months, you know as a seasonal thing. But then I got more money to stay longer, and aw hell, it's hard to say "no" to earning a steady wage for a few more months.

Two: I'm waiting to hear on a job in London. So what's the point in buying a nice, comfy mattress then abandoning the poor thing? I'm resigned to wait it out and continue to re-inflate the air mattress my sweet-little-pain-in-the-ass-cat put a hole in, each night.

But fear not! This snowflake will be fine!

And on the upside, the faster the air mattress deflates, the earlier I rise in the morning for work. Honestly, as much as I love to snuggle in my blankets and freshly washed sheets, I'm none too pleased with cuddling the wood floor beneath me. I'll just keep my eye on the goal here. Job across the pond, and a dear relationship with a brand new pillowy* dream of a mattress.

*think I made up a new word as the spell checker is confused as hell on this one - though I swear I’ve heard it before.......

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Is that grasshopper looking at me?

Why yes, yes it is! Eeeek - go away you mean old thing and bother another bug er snowflake!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The poop palace

I finally splurged and bought a luxury litter box for my cat. Truely, a palace in all it's plastic wonder. Completely enclosed, with a lovely filter vent on top. Shiny in gold, this palace also sports a revolving door for the little guy to revolve through.

It's a tribute to modern architecture.


My roommate has an interesting theory. She believes that the reason young, 25 year old men are hitting on her is because all the 25 year old girls out there are dating rich older men. So since the young guys are not rich or old yet, the only women they're left with are the older, rich women.

It's an interesting theory....

cold in here

It's cold in here! Our drafty appartment has just been given a plastic makeover. No, not as in plastic surgery. No not as in looking better. No not as in much warmer. But really a little more like plastic over the super drafty windows. Sadly, the plastic isn't working all that well to deter the winter drafts. But it does make a lovely plastic scrunching noise at each gust, which is, uh, nice?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Vending Lunch Part I

Oooooo, Ahhhhhhh, hmmmmmmmm...the choices leave me baffled as I gaze in a mixture of wonderment, indecision, and slight revulsion. The vending glass mocks me with a distorted reflection of my pensive and frightened face.

My eyes cast downward toward the selection of M&M’s, candy bars, and Twizlers. My mind shouts no, and reluctantly I pass over those choices pausing only slightly on the glittering wrapper of Grandma’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies.

The Fritos chortle in my direction knowing I don’t dare select their greasy salt slathered, synthetic ribbons. The Doritos ignore me choosing instead to carry on a conversation with the Cheetos to their left. I ignore them as well and mock the Cheetos manufacturers and their lack of calculating abilities.

The dried fruit blinks imploringly at me and I stare back feeling sympathy for the package, which clearly belongs in a home for aged individuals. For a brief moment I fantasize setting free the fruit, but I’ve been there before and gagged on the first, dusty piece.

So again I count the coins in my palm, when suddenly a voice, taunting, alluring, causes me to look up in alarm. And there, perched at the top of the case, leaning toward me in glorious shiny black is one last bag of Smart Food Popcorn. Years of a love/hate relationship has taught me that only the small bag is allowed in my presence. I know only 100 calories rest in that bag along with a taste sensation to carry me through the long afternoon.

I lick my lips and the Smart Food knows it has me. Only 55c and a thin glass shield separate us. Slowly my hand lifts to the coin slot and the quarters followed by an unruly nickel pass from my world into the vending one. I hesitate briefly considering the pretzels one last time, but I know that consideration is only a show – and the Smart Food knows it too. I punch the letter-number combination A6 and hold my breath as the bag is slowly released from it’s wire prison. One tenuous moment when the bag might snag and the Smart Food is free! Lunch is served.

Free Speech is a Bitch

Some people blog to advertise. Some to promote a political party or idea. Some create a weblog as a forum for religous discussion. Most, however, create a blog to spit out the ideas running around in their heads. These ideas range from a favorite movie to tough personal issues to the mundane tasks of day to day life.

My blog is about me. It's about the way I see the world, the things I've experienced, seen or thought of. Sometimes it's light, sometimes not so much. There are only so many posts I can do about the mathematical geniuses at Cheetos so some of my posts are a little more in depth. I'm a writer by nature and putting into words or stories things that are in my head is what I do.

If you don't like reading what I have to say, then don't read it. I read a post awhile back from kill the goat where she addressed a harsh comment of her site basically stating that all she talked about was herself. Well, of course she does! And that's why I love her posts. They're about her, from her. She's a fun, fantastic writer who is also a human being who stumbles from time to time. As are we all.

I considered closing down my site last night. Or at the least, taking off the comment link. But I'm not going anywhere. I'm not ashamed of what I say on this blog, and I'm willing to take the flack that comes with it in the form of comments. I'll appologize when I need to and I'll stick up for myself when that is called for.

I'm naturally a very outspoken, high-energy person. I like to be funny and make people around me happy. Only people who know me very well can tell when I'm depressed. I've been depressed and fairly low for a long time. My divorce was one of the hardest things I've gone through. Add to that five and a half years of questioning myself and my abbilities. Anyone who's gone to grad school can tell you it's hell. Attacking those personal vulnerabilities is wrong. But again, I'll admit, I've put them out there thereby making myself free game to anyone willing to take advantage.

As for the future of this blog, I'll do some investigative work about the misgivings one might have with Cheetos and see how far that'll take me.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Official Apology

Well, I screwed up. I put up a story on the hurt in my heart right now. I didn't realize that my brother and his girlfriend were reading this site. I'm sorry for writing an exaturated silly story. I love you so much, Ben. I am very sorry. I'm sorry for everything I've said. I'm sorry you don't want to be my brother anymore, but I understand. I would take the story down, but it's too late now. There is a Christmas present in the mail. You can send it back if you want. Please don't throw it away, it was expensive.

Again, I officially apologize for the former post. I won't try and contact you again Ben.

Once Upon A Time

there lived a king and queen in a pick castle high on a mountain top. The king and queen were very happy in their little kingdom for many years. One day, however, the king and queen began to feel lonely in their pink castle on the mountain top so they asked the magical stork to bring them a little princess to keep them company.

And so, one very cold morning in winter, the stork delivered a perfect little princess to the pink castle. The king and queen were so pleased! They worshiped their little princess and gave her everything her heart desired.

Then the king and queen decided, without the princess’s permission, to ask the magical stork to bring them a little prince. The princess was very upset about this and when the stork brought the little prince on a hot and sunny afternoon one summer day, she pouted, then cried, then worried that the king and queen would forget all about her. But they didn’t and soon the princess came to love the little prince very much.

And so the little family in the pink castle high up on the mountain top were very happy for many, many years. The princess and prince grew up happy on their mountaintop, but soon became very interested in the wide valley below and the far away shining sea. The princess left first, seeking adventure across the wide valley and eventually found herself at the very edge of the shining sea. The prince then yearned for adventure and crossed the wide valley to find himself far away on a strange mountain.

Both the princess and the prince loved the king and queen very much and trekked back to the pink castle on the mountain top as often as they could to tell the king and queen of the amazing adventures and places they had seen.

But then one day, the princess climbed the mountain top to find the king and queen alone in the pink castle and very sad. The prince, it seemed, had been taken prisoner by an evil witch and would never come back to the pink castle on the mountain top!

Frightened, the princess sent many couriers and doves carrying messages to the strange mountain land the prince was held in. But the evil witch slayed the couriers and captured the doves and told the prince the king and queen and princess were bad and didn’t love the prince at all.

For awhile the prince didn’t believe the evil witch and he sent a few couriers back to the mountain top. He even traveled back to the pink castle once. But the evil witch came with him, and whispered evil things in his ear and he vowed to never go back to the pink castle again and to stop sending any messages at all.

And as the cold winter blew over the shining sea and the wide valley and snow began to fall on the mountain top, the pink castle began to crumble. The princess knew the snow would fall heavier than any year before, and blast through the cracks in the walls of the pink castle. She knew that the king and queen would cry and that their tears would freeze in the cold and only the prince, born of summer and sun could melt those tears and bring warmth to the old castle.

So she sent one last messenger dove out far across the land to try and trick the evil witch so that the message would get to the prince. And it did. And he sent a message back “you are selfish and self-centered.”

And the princess cried because she was hurt by the mean words and her tears froze by the shining sea and as she packed her bags to go back to the pink castle to tell the king and queen of her adventures by the shining sea, she knew an evil spell had been cast and the prince would never bring the sun back to the pink castle on the mountain top.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Master

On Friday evening after work, the roommate and I left work early anticipating a wondrous experience; we were to see the Master Hobbit Himself at Madison Square Gardens.

The story actually begins far back when we were lamenting the absence of tall men in New York city arriving at the conclusion that the city was populated by young, business-type Hobbits. Shortly after that fateful conversation, previews for a new film began spattering our little, rabbit eared TV of a film staring Jack Black. It was the moment that we first saw his face - his stature in a new light....he is the Master of the Hobbits.

A man of immense popularity, of wealth yet, yet the Master has reached this amazing pinnacle with a complete lack of grace, ripped abs, and suave confidence usually associated to the stars of the screen.

Not only has he achieved the hobbit fantasy, he has become successful where others - Keanu Reeves, Patrick Suaze, Jennifer Love Hewitt - have failed; he has become a rock star.

And so it was with much anticipation that Sooz and I headed into the night on our way to witness the Master in action.

We had dinner at a small French restaurant savoring roasted duck for an unimaginably small price. We drank our wine and mocked the couples in the restaurant. We took the train to an unfamiliar stop. We ran through the small hurricane drenching other Tenacious D fans and entered the venue soaked, bellies full, hearts pounding with excitement. We bought our overly expensive crap beer, booed the annoying comedic rappers on stage and finally, finally stood in awe as Tenacious D took the stage.

The show took on the form of a mock-opera incorporating a homosexual Charlie Chaplin, the Anti Christ and the Devil himself. Jack black and his Charlie Brown look-a-like buddy befriended Chaplin and Anti and took on the Devil in his own fiery territory.

They rocked the Devil out of Hell and even returned for an encore.

The show never stopped - action, comedy. The Master drenched in sweat, the crowd drenched in crap beer and giddy delight.

The Master Hobbit in all his true glory.

Monday, December 04, 2006

For Tod

So I was tagged last week by Tod to do a post on my crushes. I put it off until the trip pictures were up, but I can't delay any longer *sigh* so here goes:

In Kindergarten I had a huge crush on Matt Fowler mainly because of his wit (if 5 year old jokes aren't your thing, just skip the next bit)

"The story of the ghost with the two white eyes: A man moves into a house that is haunted by a ghost with two white eyes. The first night he's there he's woken up by a ghost 'whooo, I am the ghost with two white eyes!' - the next night the same thing, and the night after that, finally on the third night the ghost wakes the man up 'whooo, I am the ghost with two white eyes!!' and the man, tired of being woken up shouts 'yeah? well you'll be the ghost with two black eyes if you don't shut up!'"


Throughout the rest of elementary school I harbored a thing for Kory Johnson, why, you might ask, I don't know. I think he had some jokes too. Anyway, my taste improved after the fifth grade and I expanded my crushes to the big screen.

Christian Slater, Chris Odonell, Will Smith, Christian Bale. Then went more towards the small screen with the hotties of Stargate, Michael Shanks and Ben Browder. Currently, I fawn over a hottie from the far east, John Abraham who just starred in the film "Water" yum.

I'd put up pictures, but the option isn't available for some reason. I think the work computer is just too old to handle it. I'll post the pictures when I get home this evening so you may all drool over the famous and not-so-famous.
And I tag Sooz