Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.


Well, shit.

I may be made permanent at the Big Assed Hospital. Which is good. more on that later on, when I know more. But they're very interested in possibly buying out my contract with the Temp agency.

One of my favorite residents died Monday. Her viewing's tonight, so I'm going to that. Another resident I kinda liked died last night, my car's being retarded, and the news from the gulf coast just keeps getting worse and worse.

Please, consider making a donation (time, money, blood, airline miles) to the Red Cross or to help the animals through Noah's Wish
Thank you Jo for the link!

Ok, It's later- Here's more.

The viewing was nice- the family was really upbeat, and I went with a bunch of other folks from the retirement home. She was a nice woman, and her daughters are sweet.

My car is being stupid, and I'll be catching a ride to work tomorrow. The "low coolant" light came on, and blinked at me, but then went off today on my way home, but my antifreeze is ok, so I don't know WTF is happening with it. Pa is taking a look at it.

The Earth Shoes are comfortable, which is good. My heels are still revolting in all senses of the word. I'll have to stock up on gauze and neosporin tomorrow.

AND... what you've all been waiting for- or not...
The job skinny.

Well, the secretary who is training me, and at least one of the head honchos I'd be supporting seem to think I'm swell. The one guy (the one who may some "special favors") is tough to read, but he's also super independent, so... whatev. Anyway, SuperBoss asked me what I wanted to do with the organization, and found out "Stay right here" was my game plan, and put in a call to HR to see how they'd go about getting me onboard. There's talk of either buying out my temp agency contract or letting me serve my 300 hours and taking me then. Either way, I'm happy (though I'd prefer the former). I did my online application this evening, so we'll see. They've had crappy interviews so far.


Disaster Relief Efforts

If you are able, please consider making a donation to aid diaster relief efforts on the Gulf Coast. Here are a few places you can check out.

Mennonite Disaster Services is an excellent organization, based in my county, which sends volunteers to aid in cleanup efforts. Financial contributions are used to aid in volunteer efforts.

The Red Cross will take anything you can give- money, blood, airline miles or your time. It is probably going to be a few days till lists of needed items are provided, so your best bet is to send money, or give blood.

The Salvation Army- can also use your money or miles right now to aid in general disaster relief efforts.

The Network for Good can also provide you with additional relief organizations, and information about their background.

Please be careful when donating to an organization you don't know much about, check out their history and full information. As repugnant as the idea is, some "fake" charities spring up in the wake of a disaster in order to scam people out of money. Also, your local news station or radio station may set up fund drives of their own, which you can contribute to, and the donations will be forwarded.

If anyone else has additional links, please leave them in the comments, so we can all benefit!


The Porn Star Story

Ok, as most of you guys know, G. Monkey went with Mr. G. Monkey to Los Angeles a few weeks ago. (That's why I was babysitting the perpetually-bed-humping Diesel.) By all accounts, Mr. & Mrs. had a great time toolin' around, checkin' up on some new bands, and generally having a blast.

One of the first nights they're in LA, they decided to check out a local bar, and relax a bit. As they savored their $19.00 pitcher of Bass (I know, I know, that's not bad for LA, I'm sure, but we're used to cheaper beer here in the sticks.) they can't help but overhear this conversation taking place behind them.

What caught G. Monkey's attention? The phrase "Yeah! Can you believe I got kicked off the set today because I couldn't deep throat right?"

Now, no matter where you are, that's going to make your ears perk up. Girls are thinking "Gah, can anybody?" and guys are thinking "Hmm, you can practice on me!" as soon as the phrase is uttered.

So G. Monkey starts to eavesdrop, which apparently wasn't very difficult. And this conversation goes on for around an hour and a half, with each woman offering commentary and ideas...

"...it was so embarassing..."

"gee, have you tried tai-chi? It really relaxes you..."

"...I mean I could do this (picture someone fellating a beer bottle) but just not on camera..."

"well, that producer's a jerk anyway..."

"he said I wasn't convincing enough!"

And on, and on, and on, in the manner of two best friends. And after the hour and a half was over, the pornstar gets up, hugs, then kisses her companion on both cheeks, and uttered a phrase that will live in infamy among our friends...

"Gawd! It was, like, so GREAT to meet you! We should Totally Get together again! Thanks for all your advice!"

That's right, boys and girls. This woman spent an hour and a half discussing her deep throat issues with a total stranger.

Only in LA, eh?

And by the way-

I had this really odd dream last night.

Nah, just fuckin' with you. AJ's riffin' on dreams today at his place, and I wanted to play too. Except not. Oh, you know what I meant.

So work is fine. The job is definitely a permanent one, in theory. they've tried 3 candidates, and the first 2 didn't make it past HR- didn't have the mad skillz needed to do the post, and one was a BSW, who "want[ed] to be a secretary because it was 'mindless'". Also? Working on her MSW. Wouldn't you want to... I don't know... work in your field? Enh. That remark sorta pissed off the interviewers, so no go.

So, in theory, as long as I continue to demonstrate mad skillz, a perky demeanor, and promise to fellate the guy I'd be primary secretary to (ok, that last part may be optional, but he is rather attractive, and I wouldn't object... His fiancee might, though) I should get the position at the end of my term. Cross your fingers, y'all, because if I do take it? They've got health insurance (and it's GOOD insurance) after 30 days. Also? Their benes rock it hardcore. So... Yeah.

Invites from the event Former Bosslady is "throwing" came in the mail yesterday. Late. (They should have been in the mail no later than August 16, if they went by the timeline I gave them before I left.) And? POORLY proofread. Missing capitalization, missing punctuation, and extraneous appostrophes are rampant through the thing. Thank Elvis my name is not on this thing anywhere. I wouldn't want to be associated with such a shitty product. (Not that I'm the end-all/be-all grammar goddess, but I know how to freakin' spell.) AND? They used the wrong mission statement. I'd LOVE to know how they got that, because it was changed long before I left.

And I returned my keys to the office today. Gave them to Stoltz-a-ma-fus. Apparently Bosslady lied to some other poor soul, and has gotten them to do all her crap for her. Funny part? He was totally at the same party I was at Friday night, and has NO idea who I am. Heh. Stoltz-a-ma-fus keeps telling bosslady that he has no idea where I am. Heh. Heh. Heh. Yes, it's considered being a weasel, but honestly, if I get this job at the hospital, I'm going to stay there long enough to accumulate enough other skillz to remove her from my resume anyway. (Please, I was only there for 6 months anyway.)

P.S. Check out the swell new link to AJ's Piece o' the Web!


If only I had a digital camera...

Because if I did? I'd show you exactly why it's bad for a certain Sauce to wear closed-heel shoes. The really cute, yet really evil Earth Shoes didn't even make it out the front door this morning- they were cutting in at a really weird spot. So I donned the ouchy shoes. Oouchy because they're heels, but they're reasonably comfortable otherwise.

Today? They were little meat grinders.

The backs of my heels are hamburger. Entire hunks of skin? Gone. So I'll return the Earth Shoes of Doom, and get some infinitely more comfy shoes instead. In the meantime, I think I'll wear my lone brown mary janes tomorrow, being sure to bandage the hell out of the backs of my feet.

The rest of the job? AWESOME. I am working in the Nursing Administration office, and today I was the only one there (besides one head honcho) because the girl who was training me had a childcare emergency. (She came in, with her baby, for a few hours to get me set up, and then split.) It looks like the opening I'm filling is one for a permanent job- so lets hope I can impress the hell outta them.

If it came down to a contest between me, and the other guy who was in my orientation group this morning, from the same agency I'm from... I'd win hands down. He apparently had more notice than I did, but managed to screw EVERYTHING up.
1. Late to the 9AM meet with the HR rep
2. Parked in the visitors garage (pay) not the shuttle lot (which we were assigned)
3. Didn't bring his $5.00 deposit for his ID badge (crucial for getting anywhere, and clearly stated in the email we received)
4. Dicked around about his PPD test. (Dude, pick a time to come back and get it looked at. Not. That. Hard.)
5. Hadn't taken his drug test yet. (Fucker, I was up at 05:30, and at the testing lab by 07:00. You want a job? You MAKE time to do that shit.)

Heh. Too bad he's working at a different branch.

Tomorrow's another day!

(And to any of the nurses out there who wouldn't mind giving advice- is the arm that you had the PPD injection in SUPPOSED to ache the rest of the day? I can't remember from the last time. Also, anything exciting I should do to these heels, other than bacitracin, gauze, tape, and better shoes? There are no blisters, just open wounds.)


Oh, this doesn't bode well...

So I tried yesterday and today to get my "net training" for the hospital. No dice. The login they gave me doesn't function. I'm supposed to have this done by Monday at 9AM. So I call my temp rep. Can't get through to leave her a voicemail because their directory's fucked. Tried to email my rep. She's on autoreply, because the office changed locations on Friday. Called the HR gal at the hospital, and at least got through to her. Lets hope this doesn't foreshadow the rest of the time at the job, eh?

I've been through the training once before- it's basic stuff like "Wash your hands thoroughly, and try not to suck on the business end of syringes, mhmkay?" Luckily, I won't be in a patient-contact environment. Hooray!

And the drug test's tomorrow at 7AM. Lets hope I don't sonnambulistically smoke a gigantic bowl of rock, or something, tonight. Because frankly, if I do anything to fuck this job up, it's rather likely that I'll be shot (dragging into the street is optional).

In the meantime, I was exploring the old hard drive today, and found some fun stuff.

Ham, anyone?

I really, really wish I could remember the name of this dog. I know it was ours, but I don't remember anything about the dog otherwise. Drat.

My grandparents (mom's side) on their wedding day. This is one of my favorite pictures of her- she looks happier there, than in most I've seen. The scuttlebutt is that we look a lot alike. I'll let you decide for yourself. (Though apparently there are other picture pairs that show the similarities better. Oddly enough? Granddad looks like Odie. (At least as children, they did) Creepy.

Anyway. The excitement. She's barely contain-able.


Oh Mama!

So, massive, humongous, colossal shout outs to my Maa. Because after the whole "Doesn't do your arms any favors" incident, she's been trying to point out clothes that WOULD look good on me. And now that I've been "hired" at the hospital, I was a bit dismayed at my shoe selection, as open toed and open heeled shoes are verboten. I? Have one pair of non-open toed/heeled shoes that are comfortable enough to wear to work. (And maybe a pair of flat mary janes, perhaps.)

Maa? Said "Fine, why don't we go to (schmancy shoe store known for their vast selection of ridiculously comfortable, yet unbelievably expensive shoes), and get you a pair of decent shoes." I was thrilled- and out we went. Within 5 minutes I had these bad boys. I will need the assistance of a shoehorn, but they're actually rather neat. Of course, they're made for pants, and I? Own no pants. (Seriously. No dress pants.) I figured I'd get away with wearing them with skirts, no problem. However in the parking lot she says "Do you want to go to the fat store?" (Not being mean- that's just what we call Lane Bryant.) "Because if you try on what I ask you to try on, I will prove that you look good in pants, and I will even spring for it."

Shit. With an offer like that? How can a girl say no?

So we went. And shit was on SALE, yo. We found a pair of brown, and two pairs of black pants, a nice skirt, 2 sweaters, a white blouse, a nice cami, and The. Coolest. Shirt. Ever. A chocolate brown sheer tunic, embellished with turquoise embroidery and subtle (not scary whory) sequins at the neckline, sleeves, and back of the neck. And score of the day? A brown blazer with lace trim for NINE DOLLARS. Marked down from 69. NINE. Even the buttons were more than 9.00. Mixing and matching with other stuff I own, I've got enough stuff to look very smart, professional, and downright cute, for a minimum of 2 weeks now. Seriously, I'm gonna look like a million bucks.

Who'da thunk it. ME. In pants. And I look GOOD. heh.

And on to the rest of yesterday- namely, the par-tay. Damned fine time. Madame Pop Deluxe was absolutely thrilled, and very much surprised. At least one of the gentlemen from the Martini Brothers was there, and a few from The birthday girl's old band, and they were packin'. Guitars, that is. We were delighted with an impromptu concert (Rockabilly!), and someone brought a karaoke machine.

I got to spend the entire evening hanging out with The Erics, The fabulous Miss Jenny, and The. Hot. Guy. who has yet to have a nickname (and it very well might be Umlaut, just because.) Ahem. More on that as it develops. (If it develops.)

So now I'm waiting to see what happens- all this good stuff is bound to be topped off by something bad, but for right now I'll deign not to think about that. Whee!
Hope your weekend's going well too.



(picture me doin' the cabbage patch)

I got a jo-ob!
I got a jo-ob!
I got a jo-ob!

Granted it's only temporary (1 month), BUT it's at the hospital I worked at before, and there's a possibility that if they love me, they'll keep me on. And before? They LOOOOVED me. So. Keep your fingers crossed that the love, she continues.

I also got a long-awaited email today, complete with phone number, AND a surprise party to go to tonight (for which I am making chocolate pastry cream filled chocolate cupcakes topped with ganache, because it is not every day that your friends turn 40.)

So this day? Has been really fucking awesome. Getting a regular paycheck? Even more awesome.

*mixin' in a little white man's overbite, and a little polka too*


Short & Something...

I spent 90% of the day so far rearranging furniture, and organizing my closet. Guh.

The good news, is that I now have a full-length-mirror that's not spiderwebbed with cracks. Why? Because I moved the big, lovely dresser from the storage unit sale into my room. Why should you care? Because I am no longer using a K-Mart tote as a dresser! HOORAY! Of course, there's an entire bureau over in the other room, which has most of my sweaters and fall stuff, and I need to go through it all, but let me have my fun.

I also went through my yarn, and got rid of (meaning, put in a pile for goodwill, or some other organization) all the crappy acrylic yarn, novelty eyelash stuff, and stuff I purchased for reasons I can no-longer remember. That said, I still have a purloined shopping basket, and a tall kitchen trash can full of yarn I'm keeping. Including a metric assload of sock yarn. So, no yarn buying for me this year. Best find? 2 more skeins of the pretty tomato-y striping yarn I am using for the multi-directional diagonal scarf I started LAST year, and will eventually finish for this year. I was going to have to improvise, but now I can make it as long as I want to.

Now, we'll see how long all of this cleanliness lasts.



Thanks to Annie Modesitt's fabulous book (Confessions of a Knitting Heretic) I have finally learned how to cable.

In fact? I have learned to do braided cable.

That high-pitched joyous squealing? That's me. There was/is jumping up and down, too.

So now I'm working on this sampler bag from Annie's book, mine's in pretty purple Araucania Nature Wool yarn (Shade 29- varigated purples)I'm also doing braided, instead of the cable shown, and a little bit larger, because otherwise the bag is suuuuuuuuuper teeeny.

(note, this pattern is available in Confessions of a knitting heretic, the bag photo is from Annie's site, hosted here, to save her bandwidth. I did NOT knit this bag.)

(This doesn't mean I've abandoned the quilt. It means it's going slower. Football season=knitting season.)


Gather round! It's story time!

New readers (thanks again Jo!) may not be familiar with the background here, so I'll get you up to speed.

My house shares a driveway with a rental property. Right now, I have drug dealing (allegedly), redneck, trashy neighbors. The kind that is impossible NOT to know every intimate detail about their lives, because they insist on dragging their business outside, generally conducting it at the top of their lungs. Lovely. Even when they're inside their house, I can usually still hear them over my TV. In short, they're loud, they're obnoxious, they owe me ten bucks, and I hate them.

Queen Neck (The main resident) asked my brother if he wanted to rent her garage out (which is not hers to sublet) to which he said (politely) "Oh HELL no!" Well, about a month or so ago, 2 guys came over in their Cletusmobile and unloaded a humongous amount of STUFF into the garage. Mattresses, Televisions, Go-Karts, and other household items. Apparently, they were going to take over the lease on the house when Queen Neck moved in with her boyfriend du jour. So they moved their stuff in, anticipating her imminent departure.

As near as I can figure it, Queen Neck had a falling out with her boyfriend/dealer, and wasn't moving out after all. So she decided she was going to sell the go karts and tvs out of the garage. Mind you, these items? Not hers to sell. They don't belong to her. Never did. She offered to sell the items to my father, AND to my brother. Both of them declined. She sold the items to someone else she knew, and he picked them up last week.

Which brings us to today. The guys in the Cleetusmobile came back. And they were rather pissed to find their most expensive shit wasn't there anymore. They were also dismayed to find Queen Neck nowhere around. So they called the cops. Queen Neck came home, and said "Oh! I was at the beach for a week, and I figured y'all came and got those things! Maybe Dumbo was around last week and took 'em? He's up in Harrisburg now! Ask him!"

And I, in my kitchen, gleefully waiting for the fireworks to start sat there saying- "Oh NO she Di'int!" (Hey, I was cooking supper, they were outside my window, and besides, the guys came to ME to get the number for the cops in our township... I had eavesdropper's rights.) So Odie came home, and instantly knew what was goin' on (what with the police car there, and the Cleetusmobile and all) and snagged the number to get the cops to call HIM back after they'd left. (Because despite the fact that we hate hate HAAAAAAAAAAATE our neighbors, we also don't want to be all dancin' in the driveway saying "You're full of shit, and here's why. By the way officer, want some license plate numbers?" because there could be serious repercussions if they find out WE ratted them out. So...

Cops called Odie, he told them about her offering to sell him the stuff, and told the cops to call Pa. Pa confirmed, and said he witnessed the sale of the items. Long story shorter... They've got enough at this very moment to bust her for a probation violation (false statement to the police- I guess), but the county jail's super crowded at the moment, and they'd probably leave her at home for the 4 months till it would come back up for trial. So instead, they're going to aim for getting her for selling stolen property, in addition to the Probation violation.

And a side bonus? The guys in the cletusmobile are the ones who had tried to get custody of her eldest daughter. (Eldest daughter's father was killed in a motorcycle accident. These guys are the father's nephews.) And if this will send her to jail, they'll be more than likely to press charges, so their mom (I believe) could sue for custody again, and likely win.

Honestly- that's a win-win situation. The aunt actually cares a hell of a lot more about the daughter than her own mother does (she's in it for the check) and the daughter KNOWS it. The youngest Daughter would probably go with her grandparents (again, they care more too) and we won't have scumbags in and out of the place at all hours. (Gee, and if they keep her till her lease is up, maybe the neighbors on the other side will finally buy the property, and we'll never have to deal with douchebags again!)

Do I *LOOK* Like a Vacuum Cleaner Salesperson?

I didn't think so.

So I wasted a morning (including nearly an hour of driving time) to do this stupid mass interview, and you want to know what their product is?

Fucking vacuum cleaners.

Suuuuuuure, they don't TELL you they're fucking vacuum cleaners, but that's pretty much exactly what the thing is. And of course they're "Only hiring entry level demonstrators" and "we do all the scheduling for you" and yackity schmackity, but what the whole thing boiled down to is "You're selling fucking vacuums".

No. Thank you.

So I informed the people on my references list that they can tell this company ANYTHING they want. They can lie. They can say I just got out of jail, that they were my pimp, that they're suprised I'm out of the psych ward/rehab unit so soon, and that they're glad I'm no longer a danger to myself and/or others. Because I? SOOOOO Do not want this job.

I think it's a scam, and I'm not getting mixed up in it.

So lets hope for something ELSE to come rollin' along, as a result of my resume drop...

Keep your fingers crossed, eh?


Oh Wow-

Heapin' Helpin's of "Hey, Thanks!" to the Head Nurse for linking to my blog today. I kept meaning to put her in my links bar as a daily read, and have finally done so. She's funny, swell, has some damned good recipes, and is all-around-awesome. (And reminds me of a cardiology nurse I used to work with.)

So if you happen to be visiting today because of Jo's blog, feel free to hit up the archives (March and April of this year are gems, as far as psychotic employers go) and say hi!

edited to add: On the job front- I have an interview tomorrow with the place that could very well be a scam. However, it doesn't look like it's sales. Working with "class II medical equipment" They didn't ask me anything except if I could show up in the next county over at 10:00 tomorrow morning, and did I have my own transportation. They're claiming they'll pay 16.75/hour, permanent, no layoffs. It'll be interesting to see what happens.



I don't know which agency is responsible, but the new Dish Network commercials really crack me up.

"What's that breeze?"
"Oh, that's our TV. It sucks."
"Your TV?"
"Yes, the Cable sucks, the selection sucks, and the bill sucks too. It sucks bigtime. Doesn't yours?"

Heh. Any commercial (that isn't for a vacuum) that uses "Sucks" that often? Funny.

They're on a par with the Citi "identity theft" commercials, for amusement value. Kudos.

Job stuff

So I found some stuff in the paper today, and faxed 2 sets of resumes/cover letters out this morning. The others will have to wait until tomorrow (agencies, and one's a call only place that I'm sure is a scam, but I'm curious.)

One of the jobs I faxed to this morning? The local girl scout council. How effin' cool would THAT gig be? Sure, it's secretarial, but I'd like to work for the people who totally rocked my world as a kid, y'know? That'd be all kinds of cool.

We'll see!


More Football Rambling

For those who hate football, feel free to scroll on down to the stealin' post. Because right now? I'm talkin' 'bout the Steelers. There's a possibility I may do a separate football blog this year, but no guarantees. You may be stuck reading football in with the rest of it all...

It's always interesting to watch preseason games, because you get to see players you may not normally get to see during the regular season. The second and third stringers are great to watch, because they're trying So. Very. Hard. Great stuff. Plus you get to have a bit more interview action with the players. Monday night, ESPN got to get a little more in-depth with Troy Polamalu.

Troy Polamalu plays like an absolute demon on the field. He's everywhere. He'll knock you flat, soon's look at you. That's how he plays, and damnit, he plays well. But then you talk to him. And it's amazing how soft-spoken and articulate he is. He is not your stereotypical "urg. smash guys. get ball." guy. He's the kind of guy you'd totally run into at the local organic/health food store, and he'd give you the skinny on what's good, and give you the heads up about a yoga class. He rocks it. Bigtime. And I hope to see more from him this year. (On and off the field.) And Awwww! He was "Teacher for a Day!" hee!

Hines Ward. Much has been made this year about T. Owens, and what a douchebag he's being about his contract. His "holdout" has been compared to Hines Ward's holdout. It's kind of like looking at the old Goofus & Gallant cartoons in Highlights Magazine. Hines Ward? Totally Gallant. Terell Owens? Goofus all the way.

Hines Ward held out because he felt he wasn't being taken seriously enough at the head office. He's on the last year of his contract, and he WANTS to come back. He wants to retire a Steeler. His teammates want him to retire as a Steeler, and by all reports, the Coaching staff wants him to stick around. He is consistently nominated for the pro bowl, and is an asset to the team. He did what he felt he needed to do, and when the head office said "We're not negotiating with anyone not in camp, and we never have" what did Ward do? He got his ass into camp. He apologized to his teammates and coach, and he meant it. (And frankly, if you saw him smile? You'd forgive him, even if he killed your mom, your puppy, AND your best friend. Because that smile, just makes everything OK. And he smiles a LOT. Why? Because he loves the game, the fans, the town, and life.)

Owens pulled dick move after dick move. He played his petty games in the media, he totally jacked his coach, and acted like a douche at every turn. He wants a new contract, after being an Eagle for a year. Man's already making upwards of 10 million dollars a year, and he was HURT for a good portion of last year. He's finally back in camp and.... HURT again. And wants more money? Stuff it, Ter-RELL.
As much as I hate the Eagles, I wouldn't wish you on ANY team, and I think management is correct in letting your contract stand. You play, or you pay them the money you owe. That's just how it goes, y'know, as a Grown Up and all. So shut UP, Ter-Rell.

I have to say that this is one of my favorite parts of the year. Football season starts up, and the world cools down a bit. The Tuesday Morning Quarterback column comes back to NFL.com, and all is right with the world. There's just something about being in a bar with a bunch of other fans (and generally they're strangers), cheering your team on. It's just a great feeling.

Total Cheater Post.

I'm stealing this from Stephee's blog.
I worked all day, and came home to make delicious homemade salsa. If I were alone, I'd probably eat the entire thing in one sitting (it's supper, 'k?), but having other people in the house forces me to adhere to some shred of propriety.

Anyway. Here's the active theft...

First Name: Special

Were you named after someone? Actually, I was named (IRL) after a woman my mom knew in High School. She liked the name, and here we are.

Do you wish on stars? Of course! I also throw salt over my left shoulder, and wish on flying milkweed fluffs too.

When was the last time you cried? Last week, watching coverage of the release of the 9/11 audio. I wept like a little kid.

Do you like your handwriting? It does what it has to, and more and more looks like my mother's, which is amusing and confusing for the people we work with. (As we already sound alike on the phone, and over the walkie-talkies.

What is your favorite lunch meat? Smoked Turkey

What is your birth date? August 5, late seventies.

What is your most embarrassing CD? Tie: Polka/Duran Duran (several of 'em.)

If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? Depends on the mood I'd be in that day, but probably.

Are you a daredevil? Devil, yes. Dare? No.

Have you ever told a secret you swore not to tell? No, and Magicdude, you STILL owe me for that. (You know what I mean.)

Do looks matter? Not always.

How do you release anger? Making something/Being a bitch on my blog.

Where is your second home? G. Monkey's House

Do you trust others easily? I tend to trust MOST people till I'm given a reason not to, most of the time.

Favorite high heel plastic shoes? My round toe, button trim, vintage looking black pumps, otherwise known as the ouchy shoes. (They're pleather.)

What class in high school do you think was totally useless? Algebra.

Do you have a journal? I have a pink diary with a unicorn on it, does that count?

Do you use sarcasm alot? Me? Surely you jest.

Your nicknames? G., Sauce, El, Eeeeee!, "What's your name again"?/Diane's Girl (retirement home only)

Would you bungee jump? No, thank you.

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? I try not to wear stuff that ties, so the point's moot.

Do you think that you are strong? Physically, yes. Emotionally, not so much.

What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Depends on the day, but I am rather fond of Coffee Heath Bar and/or New York Super Fudge Chunk.

Shoe Size?
7 1/2 wide.

Red/pink? Surly is the new pink.

What is your least favorite thing about yourself? How much time you got?

Who do you miss most? My old friends from Borders, and the folks in KW.

What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Ugly-assed khaki work skirt with apple butter stains on the pockets, and shoes? What shoes.

What are you listening to right now? The computer fans, and people walking around upstairs.

Last thing you ate? Homemade salsa, Utz tortilla chips (rated best by Consumer Reports, made by local folks!)

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Do they make a color called "Tired?" If not, probably "Pasty, borderline albino pale"

What is the weather like right now? Stifling, with a tinge of ass.

Last person you talked to on the phone? G. Monkey

First Concert you attended? NiN/David Bowie

Last Concert you attended? Gaaah... I don't remember, but probably the All Mighty Senators or Hank Williams III?

Celebrity Crushes? William Petersen (I'll fight ya, Stephee), Hugh Laurie (who doesn't?), Chris Meloni, Jon Stewart, Timothy Hutton (as Archie Goodwin), Christopher Kimball, Alton Brown, I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.

The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? It varies, usually eyes and profile...

Favorite Drink? Non-alcoholic: iced jasmine green tea, no sugar. Alcoholic: Strongbow. Barring that, Vodka (non smirnoffian) and cran.

Favorite Sport? Football! Football! Football! Football!

Favorite TV show? No supreme favorite, but I like the L&O franchise (except the non-Briscoe current L&O and that trial by jury crap), the original CSI, House, Monk, & the Daily Show.

Favorite Movie? Desk Set

Last cd purchased/burned? Odie got me The Autobiography of Reinhold Messner for my birthday.

Hair Color? Born with dark brown, currently sport dark auburn

Eye Color? Greeneyblueygrey-ey

Do you wear contacts? yep, 2 of em'

Name of Pet(s)? Fat Elvis, Silent Bob

Favorite Food? Right now? Fresh tomato anything.

Last Movie You Watched? Shadow of the Thin Man

Scary Movies Or Happy Endings? Stupid Scary stuff, so I can make fun of it...

Summer Or Winter? Spring and Fall, actually.

Hugs or Kisses? There'd better be both, if ya know what I'm sayin'.

What Is Your Favorite Dessert? Something involving a butter yellow cake and some whipped cream, somewhere.

Living Arrangements? Embarassing.

What Books Are You Reading? Cold New World, by William Finnegan

How Many Candles Were On Your Last Birthday Cake? Actually, I didn't put any candles on, but there would have been 28.

What's On Your Mouse Pad? Some cheesy advertisement for a girl's magazine website. It was free.

What Did You Watch Last night on TV? Monk.

Who Was the Last Person You Kissed? Mister Bawlmurr. *sigh*

Favorite Smells? Cooking, cinnamon, lime & cilantro

What's the furthest you've been from home? Living? Key West.

What's your biggest indulgence? Right now? Enzyme shit for my contacts. When I'm making money? Books

If You Could Be Anywhere Eight Now, Where Would You Be? Probably kickin' it in Irish Kevin's, listening to Jared Michael Hobgood, then waitin' for Matt Avery's set to come on, and/or chillin' with Tioti & Heather and the gang up at the Garden. (With large quantities of Strongbow) Or possibly in bed. Preferably not alone. Not necessarily to poke. Preferably with a bipedal hominid, and not my cat.


There's an Andy Warhol joke in here somewhere.

What did I do today?

Well, I spent most of my morning up to my elbows in tomatoes. We canned mum's tomato soup, and some diced tomatoes. We got some REALLY nice small tomatoes for six bucks a box at the Mennonite farm this morning, and some bigger ones for 8 bucks a box at the Amish farm last night. All told, we put up 16 pints and 4 quarts of soup (with a nice big tupperware thing full left over for just eating) and 4 quarts and 4 or 5 (I forget) pints of diced tomatoes. Not Bad.

I've also got some left over peeled tomatoes (8 or so) so I'll make some homemade salsa tomorrow after work. Yum.

I'll put the recipe for the soup up on the foodage site, and I'll even put up cheater directions, so you can bypass the whole "start from fresh tomatoes" thing. (if you must)

I'll also probably wax rhapsodic about the actual process over there, so you've been warned.

And a very big....

Loyal readership of five-ish, (sorry for stealing, ET) please do me a favor, and go wish Stephee lots of love. She's havin' dude problems she can't really blog about, because dude reads her blog. (So Stephee, if you want a guest appearance over here, since he isn't reading this one, just let me know. I'll even come up with funny pseudonyms for all involved.)

Because we've all been out there in limbo, and it sucks it hardcore.

It DOES, however, get better. Eventually. Either all parties reconcile, or the party in the wrong gets beaten to death with their own limbs. Convenient, eh?


Post Somethingorother Wrapup

So, G Monkey's back from vacation, and all is right with the world. Well, pretty much, anyway.

She had a fantastic time out in Los Angeles, and did lots of "research" for our upcoming business ventures- all of which is supposed to be reasonably hush-hush for the time being, but suffice to say, it involves a lot of writing and design work again, which would make me the happiest camper. I spent most of yesterday over at her house, first helping to move in two MASSIVE bookcases my dad built for her (and has 3 more to go). These bad boys are 4' by 8' behemoths, and are stained a beautiful reddish brown. (If it was hair, it'd be deep chestnut, with auburn highlights.) One is going downstairs in her front room, and the other four are going into her library. (And i have to tell you, trying to get those cases up 3 flights of stairs, through a narrow hallway, and into the room? Priceless.)

What else did I do yesterday? Paint the library. What colors? The walls are "Oriental Silk" which is a 2 step base & glaze that really does have the shimmer/sheen of a nice sunset colored piece of silk, and the woodwork looks like moonlight (also shiny, also 2 step) and the effect is beautiful. Well, what we could get done between when we started and 1:00 this morning, which is when I went home.

Once the cases are done, her books* will go up, opening up the front room for a project room, and we can begin in earnest working on some of the things we've been planning since last year**. First project? Window treatments, table toppers, and padded seat for a corner bench in the library. Hee!

In other news, the temp agency rep trying to get me a job at the hospital? IS someone I went to Jr. High with. Mercifully, she was one of the people who actually was a friend (few and very far between at that school). We reminisced a bit about stuff on the phone today, and while she hasn't heard about the billing job I'd kill for, she DID have a lead on another job with the hospital in the nursing support dept. They need a unit secretary. Works for me- I pretty much did that before when I worked there, and loved it. This job would be for a month, and if they liked me (how could they not?) there's a possibility of more work. So... cross your fingers. Also? It'd be a dollar, to a dollar fifty an hour more than I was making for Bosslady. That WOULD be nice.

And if you're out and about, Congratulate GoddessAradia on her new bunnies, and have you wished ET a Happy Birthday yet? And if you're out there Stephee, how did your interview go?

*G. Monkey's grandfather bought her grandmother the entire contents of a used/antique bookstore, back in the day. G. Monkey has all of the books, and there are some AMAZING finds in there. She also? Has a lot of books to find space for.

**We took a trip to fabric row in Philly, and have accumulated vast amounts of fabric to make aprons and other fun "vintage with a twist" projects. Now that she has a portable sewing machine (once it's serviced) and I have a backup portable (once I get it serviced) we can set up shop at her house, and go to town. (And this is only part of the great conglomerate we're envisioning. But I want to flesh it out a bit more before I spring it...)



Dear Sandra Lee,

Your show is such a train wreck, but I can't stop watching it. Part of me watches because I want to see what crazy-assed drink you're going to come up with, but the other part? Wants to see you go up in flames, Michael Jackson Style, because you insist on wearing excessively long sleeves in the kitchen.

Yep. You heard me.

Bell sleeves, floaty shirts, hair with enough spray to destroy three ozone layers? Yeah, they don't belong in a kitchen. Billowing synthetics and open flames don't mix.

Maybe I'm catty because I'm jealous, because I cook the way you do (only better) and I could do your show (better than you) with my sleeves rolled up, an apron, and a sensible hairdo.


And Happy Birthday ET! Five Squared is a GOOD year!


And while I'm at it....

Donovan McNabb, take your chunky soup eatin' ass back to Filthadelphia, because you got OWNED in the first 2:05 of the game against the Steelers.

Oh HELL yeah, am I glad football season is almost here. Preseason or no, I'll take any drubbing the Eagles get, ESPECIALLY at the hands of the Steelers.

Bring on the Kielbasa and Pierogis, the Iron City beer and the annual donning of the Black and Gold, Y'all.

So there.

Thought everything was swell yesterday when I went to bed. Diesel went out for a potty break, of her own volition I might add, around 9:45. She was tearing apart her bed, but everything was swell.

And then I woke up to a small pile of damp, regurgitated kibble, a puddle of pee, and a big old stack of doggy soft serve. (At least THAT she did on the wood floor, not the carpet, or you'd have heard me screaming in Memphis, Nashville, AND Las Vegas.) Which wasn't as awful as it could have been, but definitely screwed my breakfast plans for some peanut butter on an english muffin. The good news? Her mommy comes home tomorrow morning!

*insert jig of glee here*

Figuring this day can't get much worse (granted, it's only 8:30 in the morning) I decided to hit up the website for the Little Temp Agency That Could (damned well get me hired somewhere, please?) and see what they had available. They called me last week with tempting information about two positions, but hadn't followed up, so I emailed that rep, and gave her my interest for 2 additional jobs. Then I did the same for 3 other reps, and 3 other jobs. I hope I get an interview out of ONE of them this time. Luck is with me, because the "humongous job partnering with the local hospital I like" is still posted- the one that I skipped on because I thought I had a hard lock on the state gig. So, I sucked it up, and emailed the rep I had before, and let her know that my state job fell through (I assume so, it's been a month since my interview.) and I would be available for a six month placement, or even longer. I think with long term, you can get insurance (through the agency) and direct deposit- so I'd be all up in that.

And the pink suit I love so much? I am not wearing it to a job interview again. I think it's cursed. Three times I've worn it, and three times I've either blown the interview or gotten skipped over. I will have to find something else dressy, but less formal, or less cursed, or something.

Anyway. Keep your fingers crossed, and keep em extra crossed for ET who is having her own employment-type-woes, and for Stephee who is doing her second interview, and will most likely be headin' out to sunny Santa Monica by the end of next month.

And keep 'em crossed because my father is home from work all week. Let us hope there is no "SAUSAAAAAAAAAAAGE!-Gate" this time around. (And I have pre-empted his "get off your ass and get a job" rant, by actually seeking gainful employment- because I don't like this any more than he does.) I'm sure he'll have some other form of Dad-Fu ready, but I won't have to deal with it till tomorrow. (Lets hope things go his way.)

edited to add: 3 of 4 reps have gotten back to me, one had extra jobs that she could put my resume in for. AND the hospital gig is still open, plus, I think it's being repped by someone I used to hang around with in Junior High. Will have th check with her the next time I hear from her- her name is really, really familiar. And if it is her, well, I have incriminating photos of us from a trip to Williamsburg, VA, involving ridiculous clothing, shower caps from the hotel, and an attempt to look like a lunchlady... Muha. Muha. Muhahahahahaha.


The plot, she thickens...

I went home this morning to pick up the mail and newspapers, lest the neighbors discover nobody was home, and clean the place out. (Not likely to happen, but one never knows.) In my mailbox was a postcard from the creepy hair salon that creepy bosslady gets her creepy hair done. I went there once, hated it (for this was the place that gave me an overpriced mullet) and vowed never to return. On it was handwritten "Happy birthday! Please use this card as a coupon for $10.00 off any service with me. Hope to see you in our new location" and was signed by someone I've never heard of.

1. How the hell did they get my birthdate? (I know I filled out a form when I went there the first time, but don't recall that info being on there.)
2. Have they not noticed that I have not gone BACK there since June of 2004?
3. I still couldn't afford them, even with the $10.00 coupon and a really, really good job.

So.. yeah.

Also, had an exceptionally bizarre dream this morning about Paul (of the Esoteric Science Resource Center) and his fabulous wife, the Czarina. Somehow, in the dream, Paul got Harlan Ellison to come speak/socialize at some event- sort of like a con, but not quite- which was really quite nifty (and Mr. Ellison was charming). Then a brigade of loyal ESRC readers played volleyball with one of those pilates ball things, and worked on a comic strip for the Czarina. I tried to work on it but kept screwing it up, and frustrating the Czarina to no end. Also, somewhere in there, my mom was teaching a cake decorating class, and I kept eating the frosting (it was really, really good frosting). I keep saying it- I don't remember my dreams often, but when I do, they're truly out there.

Diesel has been remarkably well behaved today, no surprises on the floor, nothing mangled, and she even got off the couch promptly when I came down the stairs. She even played with me for a bit. Elvis, however, is getting jealous. (I did snorfle him today, but not for an extended period, because it is hotter than the devil's nutsack out there, and G. Monkey's house? Has air conditioning. Beautiful, glorious, penguin-sheltering air conditioning. If it weren't for the cats, I'd never leave.

(And if it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college.)


And the horse you rode in on.

Dear Jerkwad,

I don't know if you're aware of it or not, but this is Saturday. And I don't know if you were aware of it or not, but it was 6:42 AM when you called this domicile. As in, before seven AM. On a Saturday. Perhaps you are aware that normally the residents of this home keep rather odd hours. Mr. G. Monkey often works until 3:30, or even 4:30 in the morning. Rarely is he awake voluntarily at a quarter to seven in the morning. G. Monkey? While she is an early riser, most certainly would not be awake at 6:42 in the morning on a Saturday. And when you called this morning to wake me up, I was considerably less than thrilled.

After the first five rings, I resolved to ignore you, thinking you'd go away. After the tenth ring, I figured you were bound to give up soon. By ring twelve, I realized this was not the case and got out of bed, and by ring 16 I was down the stairs and within arm's reach of the phone. There was no ring 17.

Why did you violate the "no calls before 9:00 rule", especially on a Saturday. (When really, it should be moved to 11:00, on that day. Not because I sleep until then, but because normal people might.) It would be 3:45 in Los Angeles, so certainly the Monkeys wouldn't be phoning, and certainly it wasn't the codger corral calling, because the general population does not have the number to the Monkeyphone. (Also, they did not call my cell phone, nor my home phone, as far as I can tell.) All of our mutual friends adhere strictly to the "no consciousness before 10:00" rule of thumb, so I am perplexed and more than a little irritated at your choice of calling times. Need I mention that I have not been able to return to the sweet, sweet bosom of sleep?

In short, I hope you choke on your own tongue.

Very truly yours,

Special Sauce

P.S. Diesel, get off the damned couch, and don't think I don't know it was YOU who peed on the floor downstairs, as it certainly wasn't me.



So I think somehow Bosslady found out where I am. She called my cell phone today, and someone (damn the fact that there is no caller ID here) has been calling the house all day. I blame Stoltz-a-ma-fus. She's probably been riding his ass about the event invites that should have been done 2 weeks ago. (Not my fault. She had the timeline before I quit. She could have planned ahead.)

I? Am not answering, the phone. Because everyone who counts, knows that G. Monkey is on vacation, and all of our friends have my cell phone number.

So I'm already entertaining paranoid fantasies about her. She's coming over. She was behind me in traffic. She's got the house staked out. Gaaaah. Fuckin' a. Damn mind.

And the continuing saga of the dealin' neighbors progresses. Apparently the cops are getting the list of license plate numbers today. Odie was a bit pissed off that the cops wouldn't pay him any mind when HE reported this a week ago. My father played the guilt card, apparently. He said to the female officer "Well, my conscience is clear. Even if you guys don't do anything and the toddler finds and eats their stash, and dies, my conscience is clear, because I told you guys. It's on you now. " So, we'll see what happens. I haven't gone home yet today,

The Muppet Show DVDs Odie gave me were most awesome indeed. Steve Martin, Gilda Radner, and Carole Burnett comprised DVD 1, and George Burns, Dom DeLuise, and Bob Hope comprised DVD 2. It was great to have a bit of my childhood back. And if I ever have any chillin of my own, they will indeed be raised on the Muppet Show. After watching them at this age, I now understand why my generation grew up as demented as it did. (And thank Elvis we did.)

So Diesel destroyed one of the pillows on the upstairs couch today. A throw pillow, ancient, from Ikea- so it's not excessively valuable- and I'm apparently going to have to take every single pillow-like object upstairs and stash it till her parents come home. (This one? She did while I was upstairs reading. Argh.)

Special shout out to my mom for making me think that I look like ass in every item I own, with her well-timed comment about one of my favorite outfits. Apparently said outfit, which has earned compliments from everyone I have worn it around, is "terribly unflattering" and is "makes your arms look like crap, and doesn't do your boobs any favors either". (mind you, she didn't say it in person, but in an email, when I mentioned my choices for interview wear) And when I wear my tall shoes I look "like an apple on a stick". Thanks for that, Mom. I'm considering a nun's habit or perhaps a chador, but they'd make me look wide as a barn too.

But I ramble, and I'm crampy, and I feel like I'm a giant walking blood clot, so that's not helping matters either. Pfui. I will go read more Rex Stout, and Calvin & Hobbes cartoons, and my crappy arms and my unfavored boobs will enjoy the remnants of today's portion of Toblerone, and sulk (all the while watching over my shoulder for insane former employers).


Sweet Sweet Elvis...

I'm home right now- Ostensibly to deliver a package to someone at 2:00, but really, I'm here for the sweet sweet Elvis lovin'. He's on my lap as we speak... so to speak.

He misses me. Even goes to my room at night looking for me. So, how can I resist coming to visit?

In other news, apparently the neighbors were dealin' under our living room window last night. Nothing unusual, I'm sure, but this time Papa was sleepin' in the living room, and heard it all. Sooooo... that logbook of license plate numbers? (of which there are many) is going to come in handy. More as I get it on this, but it should be interesting.

I've got the mongolian death cramps, and Diesel has completely destroyed her dog bed. (Well, ripped open the zipper and I can't fix it) She's slowly working on the cushion that came with it. Lets hope she can curb her enthusiasm over the next few days or she's not going to have anything left to hump.

Gah, I'm boring.

Hellos and shout outs to Goddess Aradia, welcome aboard!



So, I'm back at my house to pick up some more clothes because I may very well have a job interview this week. One of the Temp Agencies called to say they had 2 similar positions, with similar hours and pay grades that would be a good fit. AND? They don't suck. So I said I'd really like the one where I'd be able to wear biz casual (since I already have the wardrobe) and we'll go from there.

Also? That was the high point of yesterday. I "held down the fort" for the administration at the codger corral yesterday. I was four people. And I was OK until the tour that they weren't supposed to schedule, but did anyway, came in. Grizzly Addams's (Because yes, a cross between grizzly and gomez.) estranged wife & dau. came in to tour over the weekend and toured it, liked it, and wanted to get him a day pass from the hospital to see the place too. All well and good. Shouldn't have taken that long. Right? Uh. No. Took TWO HOURS!!! TWOOOOO HOUUUUURRRRS. And the poor receptionist was going NUTS because the phone was ringing off the hook, and I couldn't help her. Gah. Bad. The rest of the night was kind of downhill from there.

Diesel... well, her parents know that she massacred the cushion, and that she's humping her bed and biting the living hell out of it. They were planning on getting her a new bed before they left anyway, so it's ok. This morning she seems to be done with that. Which is good, because there were chunks of bed all over the living room. I'm going to take some thread and a needle back with me and sew up what she destroyed, just so she can keep using it for the next few days. (She ahs other options too, so it's not dire, but I'd like to keep the shredding to a minimum.)

Elvis is overjoyed to see me, and the feeling is mutual. Really, I am not a dog person. I don't like being bound to having to be home at certain times to let them out, the barking, and that dog SMELL. Guh. Hate. Diesel's a good dog, and doesn't do much with the barking, but I wouldn't want to live with her forever, I don't think. I'll stick to kitties (big, lumbering, hulking ones).

Not much else to report, yet. I'll keep you posted on the job thing...


I am... Perplexed.

I'm also posting this from the incomprable G. Monkey's spacious abode. To my left is a finally sleeping bull terrier named Diesel.
I need your help, because I have pretty much zero experience with dogs, and Diesel and I are going to become really good friends over the next ten days or so.

Is it normal for a female dog to bite the living hell her dog bed, and forcibly require it to become her "special friend"? Because she's been doing that for most of the morning, and it has been, understandably, freaking me out a bit. Not to mention that she apparently decided that one of the couch pillows was to be her "special friend" too, and she killed it. I walked in to the house at 7:30 this morning to find foam guts EVERYWHERE in the front room. Aiee.

Tried walking her, to no avail, tried offering her any number of her toys, which she snubbed. She is just coming off of her doggie period, so perhaps she just really wants to get laid. At any rate, lets hope she curbs this habit really, really quickly.

In other news, I am going to continue to enjoy my afternoon of nothing but Poirot mysteries. As the week progresses, I'll make my way through to the Nero Wolfe goodies too. Being in someone else's house, with their prodigious library is like being in heaven. (And the gigantic comfy chair isn't hurting things either.)

More later on the worst housesitting gig ever (NOT this one), a bit more about birthday madness, and other... stuff.


Did you know

There's a shot called a birthday cake shot?

Oh, there is. And it is miiiiighty tasty.

1 ounce Frangelico
1 splash Vanilla Vodka
Pour an ounce of Frangelico into a shot glass and top with a splash of vanilla vodka. Smother a lemon wedge with sugar. When drinking, first bite the lemon wedge and then shoot the drink.

Other observations:
Shuffle Alley Bowling is awesome.

Loading the jukebox, exceptionally awesome. (Our 7 choices? "Looking Out My Back Door"- CCR, "Whipping Post"- Allman Brothers, "When The Children Cry" By god only knows who, but we couldn't believe the song was in there so we had to play it, because- duh, "You Give Love A Bad Name"- Bon Jovi, "Three Little Birds"- Bob Marley, "Thunder Road"- Bruce Springsteen, "You Should Be Mine" GnR. Oh the fun.)

Nothing tastes quite as good as a waffle house cheeseburger at 1:30 in the morning.

Stoltz-a-ma-fus has a blender, and he's not afraid to use it.

My ex boss? Still crazier'n'a loon, and doesn't have invites done YET for the event in september. Hee. (More on that later)

When it's your birthday, people in the bar will do funny dances for you, and/or yell "HAPPY BIRTHDAY DUUUUUUDE" even though you've never met them before.

My friends (The ones who were in town, anyway) rock hardcore, and we had a blast.

And y'all? Rock it too. Thanks for the bird day fishes! I'm off to do a little shopping with Maa, and get ready for my housesitting gig. (I declare getting to stay at G. Monkey's for a week, AWESOME.) (However, lets hope that this turns out better than my last house/dog-sitting gig. Because that? Was unbelievably AWFUL.)


So it was 28 years ago tonight

That my 9 month pregnant mother was at the Clearfield Fair. My dad was out on a run, I believe, so she went with her mum instead. She'd just gotten home from seeing the sights, and wasn't feeling so hot. (We'll blame it on a bad corn dog, which would explain oh, so many things.) And then? Her water broke.

This is where things get a little hazy in the retelling. I know my dad somehow did manage to either get her to, or meet her at the hospital (somewhere, a panicked call to my Grammy was made) and at 6:36 AM on August 5, I made my way into the world. Apparently, I was slightly yellowish, but not wrinkly and screaming, according to family legend.

So thanks Maa and Paa for... well... you know. (And as far as I'm concerned, Odie was concieved by divine intervention or something.) And Maa should be nominated for sainthood for being preggers during the absolute HOTTEST time of year. I'm ready to die, and I don't have someone living IN me.


Will wonders never cease?

Odie (official younger brother of Special Sauce) is not a reader. Never has been. King of the Cliffs Notes in high school and college. He's like my dad, in that they'll read magazines (Odie, more than my Dad) but rarely do you EVER see him read a book.

What did I discover in the bathroom today? "Shrub, the Short Political History of GWB" (I'm screwing up the title, but forgive me, I'm excited.) He's READING!

Nevermind that the title in there works on SO many levels... but I think I might cry. Reading. Really.

Kinda makes me proud.

Now if he'd just shave that little patch off his lower lip there....
(Ohhhhh how he hates it when I tell say "yo, missed a spot.")


Who'd a thunk it.

Food. Glorious Food.

I'm all-atwitter that the Amish stands are finally stocked with cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, and Canteloupes. Ecastatic even.

Supper tonight was 2 pieces of cracker bread spread with garlic hummus, topped with slices of freshly salted & peppered tomatoes, still warm from being outside all day.
Tomorrow I think I'll make fresh cucumber salad and have corn on the cob.

I also saw that my favorite stand has canning tomatoes for 8.00 a box (a printer paper sized box), so I think I'll have to put up tomato soup this weekend. (May eschew shopping in favor of this, because I'd rather hit an estate sale or an auction and try to snag a lap frame. We'll see.)

Also, if you're near a book or grocery store, or your local newsstand, pick up the August issue of Cooks Illustrated. It's got awesome recipes for blondies, fruit salsas, veggie burgers, and scads of other delightful stuff.

Today I baked my cake layers, and tossed them in the freezer, tomorrow I'll whip up the pudding, and early Friday, I'll assemble the cake in all its glory. Whee! I love summer cakes. I've also convinced Maa to teach me her mad Wilton skillz. We were looking at their stuff today, and while I will take the class (20 bux, plus the kits for 8 hours of class) I'm lucky, because we've already GOT all the necessaries. :)

Go eat something tasty!


Katie Couric, Kiss My Ass.

Ok, so perhaps that title's a bit harsh. After all, Katie's the hardest working woman in morning-chat-show-business. Right?

There's an interesting article about the morning talk show wars (truly, an insult to wars everywhere) in this week's New Yorker. And surprisingly enough, I learned that the Katester could be tapped to lead the CBS evening news when her contract's up. This could quite possibly be the worst idea ever concieved of. New Coke? Positively genius in comparison. The Edsel? Sheer automotive creativity. Electing George W. Bush to a second term? Rational as the day is long. Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh, but I'd think not.

Why? Because regardless of her actual journalistic chops, nobody is going to take her seriously in a hard news position. If I wanted to watch some chirpy bubblehead in a freakin' spaghetti strapped tank top tell me all about bloodshed in the middle east, I'd turn on my local Fox station, OK? And frankly, when I do elect to watch the national news, I want to see actual news. I want to hear the events of the world in a factual manner. I don't particularly want those events to include what Bea Arthur thinks about the movie they're making about Maude. If there is going to be feel-good news, I'd rather it be about literacy programs we're running in Afghanistan, not some new dippy celebrity diet plan.

Morning chat shows have their place, their format. They're supposed to be fluffy, containing at most, 8 minutes per hour of actual news. That's fine. But they're slowly creeping into the evening news. Surely something of substance happened today. The teaser for the 10:00 news should not be that Jennifer Anniston finally has decided to speak out about Brad Pitt. This is not news! This is Access Hollywood. This is Extra. This is not "My local news" or even "The National News" Ok?

Even CNN has become vulnerable, in the mornings. They're still about 75% news, but with an increasing number of fluffy stories. And I blame Katie Couric. Because the Today Show has been on top of the ratings for so long, everyone else must tailor their shows to match hers. The result? A vapid cesspool of feel-good-ery, nonstop interviews with Tom Cruise, the Runaway Bride, and whomever has the "biggest" movie coming out this week. God forbid we get any bad news with our morning coffee.

There's a bigger rant in here, lurking, but I'm afraid it'll make me look like one of those crazy conspiracy theorists, so I'll pass for now. I'll leave with this, though- The day that Katie Couric is unleashed upon the evening news on a regular basis will be the day that the squirrels on water skis win.


Hot diggety!

As of a few minutes ago, I sewed the final small flower into the border of the bohemoth. (AKA "Dear Elvis, I've only been working on this for two months? Quilt".)

Tomorrow I'll go to the fabric outlet and pick a couple more fabrics up- to fill in the gaps in the border area of what's already there, a plain border or binding, and a backing fabric. If all goes well, I should have the top itself finished by the weekend (and a damned fine birthday present that will be, actually.) I'll machine sew the sashing, and the back, and then? The quilting. Which I hope will not take another 2 months.

I have to say, it looks really freakin' neat. I'm really proud of what I've accomplished so far. 591 little hexagons sewn together, and counting. If I can get it finished in time, maybe I'll try to enter it at the local fair. If plastic canvas birdhouses can get a ribbon, maybe I can too? heh. (Then again, I am smack dab in the middle of Amish/Mennonite quilt central. So...)

Anyway. Hooray!


This is a plate full of whoopie pies*. You may know them as Bobbs, Gobbs, or something similar. They're traditionally a soft chocolate cookie with a big old blob of white icing in the middle. Think of them as oreos on steroids. Normally I scrape out 95% of the frosting and then eat the cookies, but that's just me.

Common variants are chocolate with peanut butter frosting, and the ever-popular pumpkin with cream cheese frosting. I've been thinking I should try to make a german chocolate version, with the coconut/pecan frosting in the middle. Why all the wanking about Whoopie Pies? Because I had the best whoopie pie ever this morning.

Big fat lemon cookies with not-too-much lemon frosting in between. I? Am in heaven, or whatever the terrestrial equivalent is. Because hot damn, that was good. I didn't even scrape any frosting out. Maybe S. Clyde Weaver puts crack in their frosting, but... wow. (And their subs? AWESOME. I could live on their turkey sub with sweet & hot peppers, pickles, vinegar, and pepper relish.)

And in case you'd like to make this treat for yourself, here's a spiffy recipe. Or you could try these peanut butter ones. I haven't found a lemon recipe yet, but I'm betting you could whip one up with the help of a cake mix...

In other spiffy news, I was in and out of the DMV in less than 10 minutes today. My DL photo makes me look slightly (ok, a lot more than slightly) crazed, but I like it that way.

*I only wish I baked these, they look mahvellous.