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.


Ding Dong The Bitch is Gone (almost)

I keep forgetting to mention that the drug dealing bitch next door is moving. Yay! The kids are with their grandparents, and she's off for points elsewhere. I think a friend of hers is taking over the lease though.

So it's not a total victory, but it's better than nothing. And it gives my mother a new set of license plates to record in her retirement. How kind and thoughtful of them...



Good News/Bad News

Well, the good news is that I've officially been accepted to one of our state's fine institutions of higher learning. I will indeed be a Land Pirate in the fall. However, I've only been accepted to be a part-time, adult continuing education (yet still a Psych major) Land Pirate, till I can prove that I'm not a complete and total jackass.

...I think I can do better than the kid in the Incomprable C's bio class who drank so much the night before class he still couldn't feel his face when he showed up that day.

If only my mother wouldn't have decided to crap all over my happy moment, by getting all "Yeah, but don't they accept everyone?" *sigh* No, Mom. It's not community college. Land Pirate U's degree actually is worth something when I graduate. Sure, it's not the Rich and Snooty Ivy League school down the road, but it'll do.

Anyway. So. Good news is that I'm in. Bad news is that I'm on double secret probation. But I think it'll work out, because I can still work my existing job for a semester, then see what I need to do to work around a fuller courseload, if I can handle that.

I think I've earned a beer for that.


Yeah. About that...


It was a good/interesting day at work today. On one hand, it turns out that they're offering an additional director position to someone who shall be henceforth referred to as Moodswing McBitchcakes. Interesting. More interesting still? She's now my responsibility. (To be fair, I offered, because I'd be an asshole if I made the new girl* take her.) Not bad. But now I've got 3 directors. Yay. I asked that it be remembered come annual review time (jokingly) but there's a VERY SLIGHT possibility it could be noted before then. That? Would make my day. We'll see. I'm not going to get excited yet.

Good, because I got to talk to the big/bad director today, and we had a great conversation, and made some headway. She's also going to bat for us on a few things, which is cool. Also, she said I could get a flatscreen monitor. That? Kicks it.

Better, because I got the directors on board for helping out FTG who is moving into her new apartment sans douchebag baby-daddy on Wednesday. The unit sups may pitch in too, which is wicked cool. It makes me happy to know that I work somewhere that people are willing to help each other out even outside of work. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, it do.

Now, I think I am going to enjoy the evening away from all other responsibilities and obligations, and do another pattern repeat on my stole. And gear up for tomorrow night's Former Borders Employee party. Hee.

*Ok, the new "girl" is really 46ish, but I can't help it. And I know it's sexist. But I can't call her the "New Perimenopausal Person" because it's too wordy.


*This* Is the Man I Love.

Yes. Really.

This is what happens when hospital property is misappropriated. Thank you, Size 8 Biogel gloves, for providing an entire weekend's worth of amusement.

Our Monkey Love Weekend was actually ridiculously sweet and fun. For those with strong stomachs read on to hear what happened. Everyone else- tune in tomorrow, I'll have more stuff then... Heh.

So Friday night I went over before he got home from work (and thank goodness his neighbors aren't nosy like my mom, as it took me 4 tries to get the garage door to close- I couldn't get out of the way of the sensors in time. Then I figured out I could have closed it from the back door. Oh well.) Anyway. I get there, and the #1 song that reminds me of him is playing. He set his computer up to repeat it. Was very sweet.

Saturday we slept in, I made the hummus, and some tasty greek chicken sandwiches, took a nice drive (during which I got car sick. Go figure.) and when we got back, I got my Monkey Love Day gift. A nearly 2 hour long massage, on the massage table, relaxing music, candlelight, and all. It was *awesome*. Ma and Pa turned up their noses at this ("What? Nothing Tangible?") but I think it was exceptionally sweet, and it was exceptionally relaxing. (And one of the many perks of dating a massage therapist. Seriously.)

Today we slept in again, and made the infamous Mad Elf Cake Which is, in a word, BANGIN'. Speaking of bangin', I also made the best, simplest, fastest marinara sauce ever. The recipe is in the April issue of Cooks Illustrated, but because I like y'all, it's here for you too:

(probably not as succint as they are)

2 28 ounce cans of WHOLE tomatoes, packed in juice (NOT packed in puree, yes, they must be whole.)
1 medium onion, smallish-mediumish dice
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through the garlic press
a teaspoon or so of oregano
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 1/2 cups of reserved tomato juice
1/3 cup of dry red wine OR a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons or so basil, fresh, minced

Salt, Pepper, Sugar, and another tablespoon of olive oil to finish

Break up and drain the juice off of the tomatoes (save 2.5 cups, and you could use the rest for rice or something else later). You can let them sit in the colander for a little while to drain fully, or if you're impatient like me, you can squeeze them in your hands to get the extra liquid out- not bone dry, but not sopping either. In the meantime- heat up a 5 quart not non-stick saucepan, or a nice big frying/saute pan. Put in your olive oil and saute the onions, when they're soft, add the garlic and oregano, stirring until the garlic smells good. (maybe 30 seconds?)

When the garlic smells good, put in all the drained tomatoes except for 3/4 cup (you'll put these in at the very end of cooking) and cook over medium-high heat, stirring about every minute or so- until the tomatoes give up most of their liquid, and begin to form a nice brown fond on the bottom of the pan (about 8-10 minutes). When that happens, either add your wine (if using) and cook for a minute or so- till thick, or add in the reserved tomato juice, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the good bits up. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and let the whole shebang cook for about 10 minutes (if that) till the sauce thickens. When it's thick, take the sauce off the heat, add the uncooked tomatoes, and puree the whole thing with a stick blender until it's as smooth as you like.

To finish the sauce, add the fresh basil, salt, pepper, and sugar. This is where I added the balsamic vinegar, because I didn't use the wine. This sauce? ROCKS it. And it's inexpensive, and takes less than an hour to put together. IT whips the pants off any other sauce. Yay.

Anyway, my weekend was swell, and I couldn't have asked for a nicer way to spend Monkey Love Weekend. Hope yours was great too.



Yarrr. I had a nice, semi-funny post ready to go yesterday, and Blogger ate it. So now you get this instead.

1. Monkey Love Day... I have officially stopped being freaked out, as the monkey love I gave (or spilled forth in P's MLD card) was indeed reciprocated, albeit in a delayed fashion. So all is well, and he didn't throw up at all when he read it. Not even a little.

2. Cooking. See also: zero. I haven't had time to make anything fun, but ET Chicken IS on the agenda. I may try my had at Fat Elvis soup, if he doesn't stop getting into fights with the other cats at 2:00 in the morning, though. (It's a damn good thing he's so damned cute and affectionate.)

3. Cukoo Camp (Or, as everyone else calls it, Support Group) was fun last night. Well, not "I'm going to the circus to get some salted peanuts and watch the monkeys" fun, but it was informative, not at all Kumbaya (lets all hug one another!), and not a lot of whining about the situation. G. Monkey wants to go back, so do I.
(And we went out for food afterwards! Real! Food!)

4. Well, really, there isn't any number 4.

5. There's not really a number 5 either, I'm just trying to pad the list.

That's pretty much it- it's been busy and quiet, if that makes sense at all. So I'm hoping tonight I can work on my Land Pirate essay, and my wrap. We'll see.


Ehm, yeah.

Happy Monkey Love Day, everyone.

My official day of reciprocated monkey love will be Saturday, as it is the day after which the loot is replenished. Anxiety levels will remain high until that date, as I was officially possibly excessively smushy in the card P got. Anyway.

My dad (!) came through in typical unexpected fashion, and bought me (me!) a dozen of my favorite roses (Sort of a fire and ice style, but lighter- like so)

Probably, he heard I was being a bit whiny today. I'm going to take them to work, so I can enjoy them a bit longer- at home they'll just get eaten by the cats.

So yes. I will be that girl. Bite me.

In other news, I highly recommend making the Cilantro & Jalapeno hummus from 28 cooks (follow the handy link over there) and prepare to slap your mom. It's that good. I took some to work, thinking "Oh, I'll give some to P tonight." Ohhhh no. I took some out just to have a taste, and it was like gull-feeding time at the beach. Everybody wanted some, and within nanoseconds, there was none left. It is that good. Seriously.

I just made a double batch. One to share at work, and one to put on my morning toast, slip into a pita with some tomato and salad greens, and some to just eat by the spoonful. Seriously. That good. Awesome, even.

Otherwise, no time to cook "real" food. Maybe tomorrow, maybe this weekend. Soon! Soon! Tonight, though, I will knit. Because I finally stopped effing up the pattern I was working on. Yay.

Hope your monkey love day was equally thrilling.


Ridiculously Decadent

So I spent the day in bed (OK, until 1:45). That was ridiculously decadent. I napped, daydreamed, and poked* at P till he had to get up to go to work. Had I been at home, I'd have felt ridiculously guilty for not getting up by 9 and accomplishing something, anything. As it was? It was marvellous. As I was leaving, the snow started to fall- still is, for that matter. We're supposed to get a huge-assed storm. Bring it on- I don't have to go anywhere tomorrow.

To continue the decadence, there's a chocolate lava cake (it was from a box, big whoop)cooling on my stove, and a batch of CLB's polenta crackers in my oven. I'm looking forward to doing nothing tomorrow but look at the snow, knit, and snack on fresh tasty things.

Hope your weekend is equally decadent...

*Poking is the new hugging. Get your mind out of the gutter.



Well, I just applied to my preferred institution of higher education this evening. That was fun. More amusing? Realizing I have no idea what my high school class rank/GPA were, and knowing that I have zero clue what I scored on the SATs. Now I figure I've got about 4 weeks to study my ass off for the CLEPS (and save the dough to take them) and life will be jolly.

Have I mentioned that I'm scared as shit?


So, that was my day. Hope yours was just as peachy. I'm off to look at what classes I might test out of, and what I'd try to take for next year.



Steelers win! Steelers win!

Really, do I need to say anything else?

I don't think it has fully sunk in yet, but it was indeed the perfect capper to a really wonderful weekend. I won't bore you with all the details, but P was off, and it was quite nice. Watched the game at Odie's, and there is nothing, and I do mean nothing, more frightening than an interview with Mick Jagger in HD.

He looks like a dried out sponge that has been partially/unevenly rehydrated. Aieeee.

The beginning of the game sucked it, but the final 3 quarters were quite interesting, Bettis is retiring, Ben kept his word (and got him to the big game), and Hines Ward was the MVP. In all, I couldn't have asked for a better night.

And on that note, I'm off to bed- more smack tomorrow, after I'm slightly better rested.

Ok, now that it's about a quarter to seven, and I'm a bit more well rested, here are my takes on the game:

1. We got really lucky. We had one TD that really probably shouldn't have been called a TD (Ben's diving across the line). He actually did probably break the plane, but it was really, really hard to tell. Mercifully, we won by a large enough margin that even without that TD, we were OK.

2. We played for shiiiiiiiiiit in the first half. Luckily? Seattle played for shit during all four quarters.

3. I'm a little sad that we couldn't get Bettis into the endzone during this game. It would have been an even sweeter sendoff.

4. Always underestimate the number of people my brother says will show up for a wingding, because there will be enough food leftover to eat for a week.

5. The commercials this year were alright- my favorite spots were the "I'm going to Disneyland!" one, the Beer ones were pretty good (i.e. "Streaker") and the "I work with a bunch of jackasses" one rocked. I wasn't enthralled with the stupid toyota ones, the GoDaddy ones, or the Coke "full throttle" stuff. I have mixed feelings on the Dove campaign ads, but I'll discuss that later.

6. Did I mention that we won? Because- YAAAAAAAY! We won! Hee! We really, really won! I just also hope that we don't get the curse, and suck dog dick next year, as seems to be the case with teams that get to the bowl.

7. The Pro Bowl is not a real football game.

That is all, for now.


Who's a little bit hyper?

This guy.

Aside from the fact that the Steelers are going to play in the Superbowl in less than 2 days, and the fact that they are sooooo going to kick some ass, and that I finally get to see P tomorrow, and I got to have a slammin' veggie quesadilla, a martini, AND a little bit of Magic Hat #9 (which seriously. Just go. Find some. It's apricot-y, and honey-ey, and a little spicy, and it is so unbelievably good, it's ridiculous) BUT...

I just did an assload of stuff designed to get myself back into school.

Yeah, you read that right.


Which scares the shit out of me, but is wholly necessary. But now is the time to do it because:

1. It's fucking TIME. I'm almost 30, I have no education. This needs to change.
2. Because I look like I was practically panhandling on last year's income tax return, I can totally score AWESOME financial aid.
3. If I can show that the field of study I'm electing to pursue (Psychology, I believe) is related to a position at the Giganto Mega Hospital (and yup, that qualifies), there is a sweeeeeeeeeet-assed tuition reimbursement program. I'd be an asshole not to take advantage of that.

So, As I'm perusing my intended institution of higher learning's website, I realized "Dude, I can totally take the CLEP tests, and maybe get out of taking some of these basic classes." So after the Martini/Quesadilla, but pre-Magic Hat, G. Monkey and I zip to our alma mater and snag a Clep Test Prep book. And go to the bar to take one of the sample tests. I picked my poison- Humanities- (and I'll be modest) and nailed it. Which gives me hope. I think I'll do fine on the English Comp, and probably the soc. science too. I can test out of up to 15 credits, so we'll see what we can do...

Anyway. This is me, freaking out. And signing out. What a day.


Happy Groundhog Day!

Hooray! It's Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil (the only genuine prognosticating rodent, accept no substitutes) saw his shadow, and there will be six more weeks of winter. However, if we continue to have the weather we've been calling "winter" I'll be quite pleased. 50 degrees in January? Sure. I can take that.

In other pleasant news, I found a great present (ok, 2) for my goddaughter- a new Shel Silverstein book, and a book of Hand Art, from Klutz. So, I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Couldn't find anything nice and red for "Go Red For Women" day tomorrow, so I'm contemplating just opening a vein and asking "Is that red enough for you?" when someone asks... (don't mind me, that's just the tired crab talking) But I should be in swell spirits tomorrow, as it is both "The Day On Which The Loot Is Replenished" (aka "payday") and "The Day On Which I Get To Go Have Drinks With CLB & G. Monkey Immediately After Work." Which is most excellent indeed.

On the G. Monkey front, she seems to be doing better, after a scare a few weeks ago. They changed her pills, and while some stuff is a bit "not so much with the goodness" (eating, disturbances) there are some things that are improved (sleeping, outlook) so this is good. Also, she found a support group for one of her particular diagnoses, so in 2 weeks we're going to go check it out (and totally play "OK guys, guess which one of us is the nutter*?") Should be interesting.

And yes, there really will be Steelers Content coming. Probably tomorrow. In short: Seahawks suck it, Steelers are going to whip some ass, and perhaps I'll need to go to work in black and gold, and screw the American Heart Association... Heh. After all, Go Red day happens every year, Steelers in the superbowl? Not so much.

* And lest someone dings me for using the term "nutter", you can bite me, as it's meant with affection, and the "Guess" idea was G. Monkey's in the first place. So suck it.