Friday, August 22, 2008

The Next Food Network Star

Oh. Em. Gee.

We thought you were dead.

No, dear Reader, but in living up to the name of this blog, my short attention span has taken me in crazy, new directions and sadly, I've ignored you all like the cat box in desperate need of some love. Or at least a good scooping. So, what's the dealio? Can I tell you that my food allergies have absorbed all my time? Can I tell you that I've had a birthday and have been way too preoccupied with Oil of Olay products? Can I tell you that "The X-Files, I Want To Believe" is a genius movie that I have seen more times than any movie in the last several years? Can I tell you that it's summertime and the livin' is easy? I can. All of these things are true. It's been a busy summer between re-learning how to cook, counting wrinkles, blowing out candles and over & over again seeing the cinematic masterpiece of our time.

I'm sure you've been busy, too. Tell me, friends, what did YOU do on your summer vacation?

So now I'm feeling fall coming around the bend…the first chilly evenings have settled on Los Angeles. I have lit the oven and not sauna'ed myself into a smaller dress size. Yankee Candle Company has sent me their Back To School catalog. Plaid Mary-Jane's are on sale at Nine West. White Wine takes its annual step back to allow Red back into my life. Ah, fall…

What else happens in the fall? The new TV season, of course! How many of you, like me, waited with bated breath for the TV Guide New Fall Season to come in the mail? How many of you, like me, took pen to paper and calculated, with the war mentality of Napoleon, what your perfect tv week would be? Or, more accurately, what you could cajole your parents into letting you watch? The excitement was palpable!!

Huh? No? You had lives, and boy/girlfriends and better things to do? Oh. OK. Well, imagine you had none of those things and the best thing in life was trying to figure out how to get Mom & Dad to let you watch BOTH Moonlighting AND Scarecrow & Mrs. King without sacrificing their Hill Street Blues or Dynasty. What? They were all on different nights? AH HA!! Caught ya!!!

I digress. My whole point is that with the new tv season comes a whole new round of reality shows promising to humiliate anyone with enough balls to show up past the first audition. And this suggestion is what my friends are thinking I should do with one month of my life: namely, go to NY and try out to be The Next Food Network Star. Their logic is sound: This whole allergy thing has opened up a new world for me – I've had to completely re-vamp my cooking and eating habits (pretty successfully, though I say it myself)…and they're sure I'm not the only one. This would be a clever and inventive angle to get noticed. They also think that the visual of Stroke Girl Meets Drunk Girl would be precious on national television. While imparting my wisdom on the masses sounds initially tempting – and the whole "TV Star" thing sounds fun, do I really want to put myself out there like that? While I love the idea, the reality of 14 hour days and panic-stricken pressure-cooking give me hives. Besides. If Alton Brown doesn't like something I make, I know I'd cry. I'm way too delicate for criticism.

Though…fame and fortune is a tempting lover…and it would make winning the lottery instantly "Plan B"…I don't know…who's to say they'd even like my idea? Right?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Quinoa, Part Deux

Wowy, wow, wow. Just when you think the Universe can't get any weirder…just this moment, as I'm reviewing my post to correct any errors, I scroll to the bottom of my page and looky what The Vancouver Sun has as an article of interest today…TODAY!

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=656d91e6-1acf-48c0-a157-a1a482a79c11

Strange, yes?

Quinoa

It's pronounced Keen-wa, not Queen-Noah I've just learned. I've never paid attention to it before because, frankly, I never had to…to me it was weird, hippy-grain that was an odd man's risotto. Or an allergic woman's… who knew? I have now been educated and apologize to any of the hippies that don't like quinoa and to the quinoa who aren't fond of hippies.

Don't worry – you'll all be sick of my allergies l-o-n-g before I am, I promise!!!

So here we are…allergy watch – end of day 2. Only 28 to go and already I'm feeling super healthy…NOT!!! So far I feel pretty much the same as I did on Sunday – minus the hangover, of course. My environmental allergy symptoms have not abated, and my insides, to date, are still inside. Good!

A trip to Whole Foods this evening proves to me one thing – no one is allergic to everything. Except, seemingly, me. There are breads and pastas and cake mixes and flours up the whazoo – but all have at least one of the following ingredients: wheat, yeast, gluten, rice, potato, soy or sunflower.
I want to cheat, but can't fake it. I'm trying to be good and follow the rules. Anyone can do anything for 30 days, right? Shows character and stick-with-it-ness. Like college – minus the hangover, of course.

There is hope, says my doctor as he shines a bright light into my dark, carb-free room. Quinoa. The one grain I am not allergic to. YIPEE!!!! I'm on it… I have no idea what it takes like (probably chicken) but am hopeful that it's good!

Question: what the hell do you make with this stuff??? All the recipes I've found so far have at least one of the "bad" ingredients in it…I am hoping that I can cook it up like rice or cous cous, but no luck with recipes so far…can anyone help me out with a recipe that is both good and good for me?

Here's hoping you won't find me keeled over in a huge vat of quinoa when it probably would have been healthier for me to eat some s'ghetti on occasion.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Maintenance Squared

Ah, Hollywood (probably Los Angeles, in general)…where nothing is ever shocking. Where , in other parts of the country, conversations usually confined to a quiet corner bistro on girls' night after a few cosmopolitans are discussed casually over a non-fat decaf double shot with a twist at 7:00 a.m. This is my home. Where I live and love. Where I get my hair and nails done. Work on those love handles. Groom the chin hair. Chatting with my pal Kate, I've been enlightened to the existence of such strange grooming "maintenance" as vaginal rejuvenation and anal bleaching. Dear Lord…!!!! Really!?! http://katedating.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html These things to me are like Mikey from the Life Cereal commercial dying because he ate Pop Rocks & drank a Coca Cola at the same time…and the Ban du Soleil gal dying of skin cancer…rumors, but surely unfounded and untrue.

Tomorrow promises to be one of the warmest days of Spring. Ergo (that's Latin!) (I watched Rome on HBO!) I decided that I will probably want to put on a pair of shorts – maybe a bathing suit if I have enough wine – so I place an emergency 9-1-1 call to the person that knows more about me than my priest and manicurist combined….Lottie, the gal that waxes my unmentionables. And Lottie, understanding gal that she is, says yes, Bubbula, come in, we'll fix that embarrassing mess tout suite. Thank God, because the pasty white skin is enough to scare anyone away…I don't need the Fay Rae Stalker Hair to go with.

So I tottle in, disrobe & wait. And Lottie comes in with Someone Else following behind her. "Is it ok that Lily practices on you? She's new, but she's good and I am here, too. She'll do one side, I'll do the other. OK?"

um…"practice" ?????

If you've ever had your unmentionables waxed you know that this is not an enterprise you take up lightly. There is a comfort level that (for me, anyway) that needs to be achieved. I can't just have any Jane, Sally or Mary maintaining my hoo-hoo. Is it too late to dress & leave?

But Lottie rocks and what can I say? I got a last minute appointment that I was told was a 'squeeze in' because I'm me (yep. Thankyouverymuch) so I wanted to return the favor. Besides, Lily seemed sweet, if a bit nervous. Which is never good when you're holding a hot wax wand & a cloth.

Neither here nor there.

If you've ever had ANYTHING waxed in your life, you know it's not a pain free experience. But, have you ever had your hairs ripped out from the belly button south, you know it's an exercise in zen. Remember the beauty that comes after. No shave-rash. No Shave Rash. So I lie down. And then I'm thinking, I'm getting waxed tag-team? Oh. My. God. I can't even begin to tell you how weird and painful and strangely clinical the experience was. It was definitely a teaching session. "No, you missed here. Don't be afraid to just pull. It hurts worse when you don't". LOL! Small fumbles aside (no shave rash. no shave rash.) I was done lickety split (no pun intended) which was the really good part of it but when I got to the car I let out the primal scream of all primal screams. OWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!

And only then did I take two seconds to consider the oddity of the appointment. On one hand, everyone has to learn, but why was I chosen as the human guinea pig…or Rhesus monkey? Clearly lots of material to work with. On the other? Weekend beauty, worth the price.

Happily Mikey and the Ban du Soleil gal and the aforementioned fringe grooming practices are still a mystery to me.


 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Allergies and the Art of Gastronomic Maintenance

Unbelievable! It's been about three weeks, but the irony still makes me laugh.

Allergies. These are the things that make you sneeze when Fluffy or Butch or Floppy come into the room. The invisible floaties that make your eyes water and nose run when Spring begins to spring. The mistaken anaphylactic reaction that sends Scully to the floor – interrupting The Kiss not seen 'round the world in the first X-Files movie.

Allergies. I've had them my whole life. Cats, pollen, dust, cheap perfume…they've been as much a part of me as the brown hair and perfect pitch. All right. The brown hair.

As recently as two years ago, Happily Ever After and I had become convinced that I've developed an allergy to avocados. A food allergy. I've heard of them. Poor little children that can't get peanuts at the ballpark because they're allergic. My nephew is allergic to mangos. I pretended to be allergic to spinach simply because I don't like it. But I've never had a food allergy in my life. Then we arrive at that one fateful Cinco de Mayo: I made a vat of guacamole and proceeded to drown my corn chips in the green yummy goodness. Then the rash started. The tingling swelling I felt around my mouth was only slightly less scary than the tightening in my throat that was beginning to occur. EEK!! OK. Not to be paranoid – and because I dig me some guacamole – we decided to try again another day – another batch of guac made with different avocados. This time with the Benadryl insta-tabs at the ready. And once again, the rash & swelling begins. When I awoke from my Benadryl nap, we decided that avocados were something to avoid. I mourned. But it was ok. There were moments that I was sad, sure. Something you ate your whole life is now verboten. It sucks. A pal makes guacamole, you have to content yourself with just salsa. You're at lunch with your gal pals, request no avo, but somewhere along the line the request gets lost, everyone's lunch comes, and yours has to go back. Making you late. You content yourself with chips & salsa, but you feel bad for dragging the lunch on when everyone (including you) has work to return to. We're all grownups, but still…ya know?

But just to be sure, I made an appointment with the allergist. And for laughs, let's just test everything. (Thanks, Blue Cross!) I knew I was allergic to everything out- and in-doors in the Western New York area, but CA? The land of the allergy-free? Surely I'd be spared.

First the news we already knew. Cats are cats – West or East coast. Apparently their allergic magic works on both sides of the Mississippi. Pollen? Dust? Tree spores? Yep. Still allergic. (Thanks, Zyrtec!)

Now the good news (yay!) NOT allergic to avocados! Not at all! Not a whit!! Tested twice just to be sure!! Oh Happy Day!!!!!!!!!

Now the not-so-good news. Apparently I'm allergic to the corn chips I was woofing the avocados down with. HUH???????? Corn? Oh, no, boys and girls…not just corn. Baker's yeast, wheat, potatoes, rice and soy. All Nature's starchy goodness. All of it. Why, Dee, that doesn't really sound TOO bad…Aren't you indulging in a bit of self pity?

Let's quickly take a look, shall we?

Baker's yeast – anything that rises…cookies, cake, bread, brownies, everything along those lines. Everything.

Wheat – cookies, cake, bread, brownies, pie crust, pasta, four tortillas. PASTA!!! What kind of Italian girl is allergic to pasta!??!?!??!

Corn – those guac'ed out corn chips…corn on the cob, corn bread, corn tortillas, popcorn.

Soy - Every. Processed. Food. In. America. EVERY. Besides soy sauce, tofu & edamame, the dreaded "partially hydrogenated soybean oil" which happily makes an appearance in things like salad dressing, mayonnaise, jarred pasta sauce, many processed cheeses and lots & lots of other things. LOTS.

So my friends console me…"That's ok – you can't have pasta, but you can have gnocchi"…no. potatoes."You're allergic to gluten…easy! There are lots of gluten free products on the market now." Yep! They're all made with rice as a substitute. "At least you're not allergic to avocados!" Tru Dat.

When my results came back I asked the doctor how I could possibly be allergic to foods that I had no idea I was allergic to? I've never ever had a reaction to these foods. He very ominously replied, "Not that you're aware of. We don't know what these foods are doing to your insides."

YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The game plan is to put me on an allergy diet – take me off everything I'm allergic to for one month then slowly reintroduce speisen
verboten back into my diet one at a time to see how my insides are reacting. Dear Lord. Again I ask: how can a gal that can honestly say that she hasn't had a meal in her life that hasn't included one or more of the above foods, abstain for a month?

Apparently I have to look at bread & pasta like pre-marital sex…

Hail Mary, full of Grace…

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mental Vacation

Well, I'm sure you were all convinced that I've won the Mega-Millions and run away from it all – living scandalously, surrounded by fun-house thin-mirrors, sipping on domestic sparkling wine (come on – you know you like it better than real champagne, too), eating Alaskan crab and Maine lobster and mocking the corporate servant I used to be. Sadly, no. I'm still here. I've just been on a mental vacation, trying to figure out some of the larger questions in life, not the least of which are as follows: why is it that I don't know (or care about) the words to the top 20 songs on the radio like I did when I was 15? Why are all my friends feeling the same way? Relatedly (is that a word? spell check says no), why does Madonna sound like Olivia Newton John (pre-"Physical") compared to some of the lyrics I DO understand? Didn't she used to be scandalous? I mean, the 80's weren't THAT long ago – were they? Also, what's up with the frosting in Twinkies?? Didn't the frosting used to be less sticky, more fluffy? It's keeping me up at night.

And purpose. Do we need purpose? Not in a genuine cause and effect kind of way…just in a "why" kind of way. Because the idea of purpose, or reason, if you will, for our (my) actions was laid at my feet too long ago – about a month ago – about the time of my last post, actually. Here's the tale:

I was asked recently, "Why blog? What purpose do you have in doing this? Do you want to be famous? Get a movie deal?" (For the record, I'm not hoping to get a movie deal by doing this. I couldn't script a scene if I tried. And paparazzi annoy the fuck out of me.) "What is it about blogging that has given you this bug? Do you all of a sudden have this need to tell secrets to strangers?" After stammering around a bit (because not surprisingly, my oral skills suck) I thought of all kinds of things to reply, but this is what I came up with: that this was more or less just an exercise to get me writing everyday – practice, if you will. It was akin to an on-line diary. "Practice to what end? And, if it IS just practice, why blog it? Why put it out there on the internet? Why not just write & save it on your computer?"

Scratch the needle off the record. GOOD QUESTION. And one, honestly, I had no answer to. I was a bit embarrassed – OK, a lot embarrassed. I got caught. Or caught up. Or seduced by the (real or imaginary) Potential of The Blog. And then it got me thinking: why DO I want to do this? Besides the "all my friends are doing it" thing. What did I truly hope to get out of this? I really ruminated. Thus my mental vacation.

Secrets are definitely not it. Again…the window to my life is pretty curtain-free. If it was about secrets, you'd be getting charged a very hefty per-minute fee. I had to stop and think about it for a good long time: What is it that makes me believe that blurting out one's every thought (or at least the ones that we think are clever) to an unseen audience is not only OK, but also desirable? Is it arrogant of me to think I am so damn interesting that these others actually care what I have to say?

I lost my mojo. I couldn't write a thing. I had gone from being pertinent to silly in one short hour. I had no direction, no "plot", no purpose to any of this. Even the name of this blog is non-definitive…on one hand, I am the wind, shapeless & free formed; I have unbridled potential to talk about anything, and on the other hand, I am the wind, shapeless & free formed; really all about nothing and very quickly gone. Therefore, to what end, this?

So, like my old friend Winnie the Pooh, I sat. And I thought. Think, Think, Think.

I'm not sure if I came up with a solid answer, but here is what I have come up with:

I am certainly not speaking for the hundreds of thousands of other people out there that blog, I can only speak for me, but I think that there is a little piece inside all of us that secretly wants its 15 minutes of fame.

Another reason might be shyness. I am incredibly, ridiculously, cripplingly shy. People are shocked when I tell them. The expressions on their faces are akin to what I imagine they'd look like if I told them I had been born with both male & female body parts (see hefty per-minute fee, above). They don't believe me. But my mask has been honed & shaped lo these many years, so now no one would guess that being in front of people is so terrifying that I try to avoid it if at all possible. This is why I could never be a movie or tv star. Writers are rarely chased for their autographs. Hardly anyone knows what they look like. Now, I know that you get your Stephen Kings & J.K. Rowling, but mostly, writers can blend into the world unobtrusively. And blogging can be even more anonymous: perfect for a shy gal like me. I get to write, people can know what I have to say, but not in a way that scares the Halloween out of me.

And perhaps the most important factor is the dream factor: location, location, location. Not only do I live in the United States where a peanut farmer can become President, but also in Los Angeles, where there are no waiters, only directors and actors in training. Where one conceivably can be seated next to Mr. & Mrs. Spielberg at dinner, or Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore really could be sitting next to you at parents' night. As a result, I think that somewhere floating near the surface is the belief that if our light shines brightly enough, that someone very influential will notice, and the fame and fortune will closely follow. In Los Angeles, this belief feels almost tangible.

I've been told that I write well…but that is within the safety of the Hundred Acres Woods in which I live. Maybe outside in the real world I'm not such a hot ticket. Has anyone read Orangette's blog?? www.orangette.blogspot.com Her blog is about life and food: two things I know about and love a lot. The blog is lovely and well written and I think, "I can do this too!" So I try. And it's OK. But she? She makes her food articles sound like Harlequin Romances for the Hungry. Frankly, I'm jealous. She's good. Really good. And The Universe has rewarded her talent and hard work with a cookbook and a monthly article in Bon App├ętit. Well done, her. And I think "I want one, too!!!" But do I really aspire to these lofty heights?" If we're being honest, sorta, yeah. As I said, I think it's pretty normal for one to dream about being famous in some capacity. But it's the level of commitment to that fame that sets us apart. And if we're being honest, I'm not trying that hard.

So round and round and round I went, trying to existentialize then internalize then rationalize my blogging. After all that – a month of pondering - did I answer my question? "What is my purpose in doing this?"

I think the bigger and more accurate question is, "Do I need a purpose to do this?" The answer is no. I don't. I do it because it's fun and I like it and if you, Kind Reader, keep reading, I'm thrilled.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Who the Ef is Sarah Marshall?

It started near the end of last week. I'm driving my usual 3 blocks home from work and I see a poster that says "You Suck, Sarah Marshall http://www.ihatesarahmarshall.com/" and I laughed! Oh, Goody! Summer movies starting early!!! I gotta look this website up!! In one eye and out the other, I completely forgot about it.

Two days later, I'm at the video store. I look up, and there's this HUGE billboard that says "My mother always hated you, Sarah Marshall!" HA!!! HILARIOUS!!! This is gonna be GREAT!!! I have GOT to remember to look this up when I get home!!

…long story short: 3 more billboards, an exercise in memory retention gone awry and one week later I STILL have not remembered to look up this movie when I was anywhere near a computer. Until tonight. In a nod to the spirit of this blog, it was, as most things are in my life, a classic A.D.D. moment…clicking randomly around the Yahoo! Home page I notice that most popular search #8 is – you guessed it: Sarah Marshall! OOOH!! Thank God! 'Cause this movie will be on video before I remember to look it up!

Click…click… http://www.ihatesarahmarshall.com/

click…

Oh, Boy. This is NOT a movie…this is a high velocity train wreck…This poor schmuck, Peter Bretter starts a video log and blog about how much he loves his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall, and how he can't wait to marry her and in one month his story goes from "Happily Ever After" to "Where's the warm bath, pills and razor blade?"

And I'm thinking the billboards really are all about telling off Sarah Marshall! HOLY CRAP!! He took the engagement ring back and spent the money on a bunch of billboards, taking his pain public, and trying to exorcize his demon! WOW!

And as I'm feeling all kinds of pain and pathos for this guy, my poor heart bleeding for him, remembering the pain of an unexpected breakup, etc., I click over to another (looks like related) website "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" - and lo and behold - it IS a movie - coming to a theater near you - soonish - and the guy - Peter - looks a helluva lot like Poor Schmuck Peter and the girl - Sarah Marshall - looks a helluva lot like SuperBitchBreakUpGirl Sarah Marshall and the lightbulb goes off...and I feel like the schmuck.

One one hand, kudos to my gut instincts! I watch enough E! to have heard of these people, this breakup - Ryan Seacrest never said anything about this! I know these things!

On the other, to be totally manipulated by the machinations of fiction gives me pause. Am I that much of a sucker? At my age? Shame on me. High five to them.

I guess clever is as clever does...

Porn and the art of 20/20 vision

The Easter bunny was VERY good to me this year…he came hippity hoppity across my lawn with a new high-def satellite dish, and now I'm sitting at home with the remote in my hand watching Food Network in High Definition…it's porn for foodies – everything looks so clear! So wonderful! So decadent! All in glorious 16:9, 1080p! How did I ever watch Ina Garten crush peanuts or see Alton Brown's sock puppets with just plain old, regular tv before? My eyes have been opened! I can see every sprinkle of salt, every glistening piece of bacon, every shiny piece of chocolate in a way that harkens me back to putting on my first pair of glasses. Yes, really.

I'm pretty sure I've been ruined. So forgive me if I start to need more & more alone time, ignoring friends and family, isolating myself from the world, taking meals in my room. I'm having a moment (or a few) with my plasma and the Food Network in HD. I'll be done in a bit..!

Although I imagine real porn in high def must be a bit disturbing…does anyone want to see it THAT clearly? I'm just sayin'…


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Needing a Spring Break (Part 2)

...The Big Kahuna – Easter Sunday…lilies, eggs, bunnies, the resurrection of Jesus…all good stuff and personally my favorite holiday of the year! What? What do bunnies and eggs have to do with Jesus? I could give you an answer in all its Technicolor glory, but really Matt Parker & Trey Stone answered it best (and funniest) in the “South Park Fantastic Easter Special” (season 11). Run, don’t walk, to a computer near you! http://www.southparkstudios.com/

WHEW!!! Five out of seven days of celebrations!! At least next year, Easter is in April – we won’t have all our Spring fun days all bunched together! In the meantime, enjoy your week…!

I need a nap…

Needing a Spring Break (Part 1)

Happy Party Week, everyone!! Is it just me…never mind, it probably IS just me – and maybe a few of my family members…but I'm thinking this week is just chock-full of fun-party-good-times!! Follow along with me, if you will…

Monday was St. Patrick's Day…and a wee bit o' the celebratin' was going on all over this grand nation – though not in Ireland, incidentally – but we all know that. This is an American holiday invented by Americans to get rid of the excess stores of green beer and corned beef that magically appear in storerooms sometime late February.

Tuesday we got a break – unless you count Hangover Recovery Day…shhhhhh….and pass me the aspirin…!

Wednesday was St. Joseph's Day. An Italian holiday celebrated on March 19th every year by lots of real Italians and my immediate family. It's a groovy holiday with a nice premise (see below), but I always feel a bit like the Jewish kid at a Catholic school near Christmastime when St. Joe's Day comes around. Everyone's all hopped up like a spider monkey on Mountain Dew about St. Paddy: wearing green, pinching people, faking a brogue, puking green beer…and I come around two days later wearing red – talking food - and I get looked at like I'm a foreign exchange student that missed the boat by about 48 hours. In my family, it's the first phone call of the day: "Happy St. Joseph's Day!! YAY!! What are you making for dinner??" and we all get into a long discussion about the 10,000 different possibilities we could make and it's a big deal and we love it! Even my sister's Confirmation name is Joseph – really! It is! Then I arrive at work. And all I hear is the cricket's chirp…nada…and I wish friends happy St. Joe's Day and they humor me - thanks, guys! But overall, St. Joe doesn't get nearly the hub-bub that his Irish heavenly roommate receives.

At this point I usually make a silly comment about St. Joe being the red-headed step-child in the family of holidays, but in this day 'n' age, if you only have ONE set of parents, you're the odd man out – you're the weird one – red-headed or no, so I leave that part out now.

Here's the premise of St. Joseph's Day: Because the humble but obedient Joe (Or Giuseppe as my mom knew him) was such a swell guy and took the unwed, yet expectant Mary into his home without fear of the neighbor wives gossiping, the Italians celebrate him on his feast day by opening their homes to anyone that passes by and offering them a meal or drink or rest. Anyone. Neighbor, beggar, priest, politician, friend or foe – we all emulate Giuseppe on that day and give respite to the passers-by. Pretty cool, huh? I always thought so...it's nice to be nice. So if you're in the neighborhood next March 19, there's a fork waiting at my house with your name on it!

Enough good-deeding!! On to Thursday – today - the First Day of Spring!! YAY!! Celebrated by Celts and farmers for centuries. You know – rumor has it that you can stand an egg on end on the first day of Spring (the vernal equinox) and the first day of Fall (the autumnal equinox) – go ahead – give it a try! It'll drive you to drink more than you did on Monday (then wish it was Tuesday again!).

And now we move from super-pagan to super- religious. Tomorrow is Good Friday. Not necessarily a day to party – unless you're a hardcore Jesus fan. But even then it's partying on the inside. When I was a kid, no Good Friday was complete without a few (or 14) Stations of The Cross – yipeee!! Now THERE'S a fun way to spend three hours! I was never in my life so happy for 3:00 to roll around as I was on Good Fridays. The bonus? Friday means fish fry - and if you grew up in the Eastern side of the U.S., you know what I mean...oh yeah....underneath all the yummy, crispy, greasy, tartar saucy goodness a fish gave his life to be your supper. Good for him. Better for you! And yes! Yes, I will be having fries with that! And a beer, thank you! (shhhhh.....! this is called a "lenten sacrifice" - don't tell anyone how much of a sacrifice this isn't!!)

Saturday…ahhh…Take a Breather Day…relax – color some eggs (you know, the one that wouldn't stand on its end on Thursday) – buy a ham…get ready for...(drum roll please)...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oh Look! A Chicken…!

I don't know why I think this is so funny, but I am laughing my ASS off…!!

http://video.yahoo.com/network/100000086?v=2175996&l=100000085

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Want To Be Good

Really. I do!! I don't believe we should peek at what's in Mom's & Dad's closet anywhere from around Halloween until around, say, December 26 or 27. That wouldn't be sportsmanlike…it wouldn't be fair. Not to your folks – not to you. There is something really lovely and exciting and fabulous about anticipation. Remember? WAITING for Santa? Waiting for summer vacation? Waiting for that first date or first kiss or anything??? Am I the only child-like oddity in a world full of instant gratification?

For all of you not very familiar with me, my Christmas comes on the 25th. This year it happens to come in July. Yes, Santa still has white hair, and yes, his name is Chris, but he doesn't say "HO! HO! HO!"- he says "ummm." A lot. But I love him dearly as he is still, after all this time, the mysterious bringer of joy to my little world. He is, of course, Chris Carter. And this year Santa is bringing me, and all my brothers and sisters a Very Special Present – FINALLY!! X-Files 2 – Done One or something like that…anyway.

Here's the thing, X-Files brothers and sisters of mine: I KNOW where Mom & Dad hide the pressies. I know!! Which is PRECISELY why I go nowhere near the closest for a long ass time before Christmas! I may PRETEND I don't know so they'll keep hiding them there. This is a calculated move – if the presents get moved, I may stumble on them unintentionally someday. And that would suck. Because then I'd know what I'm getting for Chris-mas. Which I don't want to know until Chris-mas Day when I open them. Popcorn in hand. Sweaty palms. Not being able to sleep at all the night before but KNOWING that I have to sleep or Santa won't come.

This is fun!! This is exciting!!

So please – though I say it in vain – please don't open up the closet and put all the presents in the middle of the living room floor. Please?? I don't want to know until July 25, but I don't want to walk around the house with my eyes closed for the next 3 ½ months, either. It'd be funny watching me bump into things, for sure…but it wouldn't be nice.

You better watch out…you better not cry…


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Curses!

…as in "…foiled again!" Or "the Mummy's…" or those goodies passed out by witches or angry Voo-doo chicken-killers on Halloween…

Currently, my definition is a swear word of the G-rated kind rather than the amusing expletives I'm so renowned for: I've been chain mailed. And not in the fun-lovin', harmless, medieval way!

I've just discovered (I know – call me slow) there is something going around (not unlike the flu) in the blog world called Blog Tag. Sources tell me it's like a chain letter of secrets…or "secrets" depending on whether or not your memoirs already have a book deal pending. If you've been tagged, you're supposed to give 7 pieces of information that relatively few people know about you then you tag forward 7 others to do the same.

Here's the rub: I've just been Tagged. EEK! I feel like a sullied cement wall on the side of an inner city cyber-highway!!!

Here's the culprit: http://katedating.blogspot.com/2008/03/blog-tagged.html Happily for Kate, she knows A LOT of bloggers – so say I and thus it shall be true (hee!)! I, on the other hand, don't know that many people, let alone people that blog!!! I'm panicking that I may have to make random hits – Ding Dong Blog, if you will.

What if I ignore this chain letter? Will there be a curse? If I don't forward properly in the next 15 minutes will my phone NOT ring?? (Oh, please gods…please! A Night Without Phones!) Will my deepest wish NOT come true in the number of minutes that correspond with the number of people I didn't forward my blog tag to?

Let's say I DO manage to scare up seven other people. Do any of them care enough about my alleged secrets (no book deal pending) to read on? Think me interesting? Take the tag seriously enough to forward to friends and families? Or, do they curse (there's that word again!) me even as they blog away about their own new misfortune, typing away into the night about the secrets only they and the Nanny-Cam know?

And then part two: Seven things that few people know about me…I dunno about that one. My life isn't exactly an open book, but it certainly isn't locked tight either…I can't say there is too much in my life that most don't already know. Getting inside my head is like looking through a sliding glass door.

Well, let's try part two first then worry about part one:

  1. I am a 1970's AM pop-music, Top-40 junkie – all the classics – Helen Reddy, Mac Davis, Barry Manilow, Roberta Flack, that guy that sang Wildfire – you name them, I love them…you know? Let's expand that - pretty much all AM Top 40…the 50's right through to about 1989 – the bee-boppin' makes me feel good – I won't deny it!
  2. I thought an Epilady was a good idea until I bought one and tried it. Once. Then I immediately threw it out before I finished paying for it and never looked back on that evil, male-invented, torture device. I'm very good at not looking back once I've decided something or someone isn't good for me – but not so good when I still believe in something (or someone) …people call it mental illness, I call it stamina.
  3. Cheese Whiz!!! I LOVE IT!!!! It's a disgusting, orange-ish, pressurized, partially-hydrogenated can of cheese-like substance, but the anti-gourmand in me just can't say no to the Whiz – especially on deviled eggs…oh yeah…that's livin' my friend!
  4. The last guy I dated before I met my Happily Ever After told me (after he had given HIS order to the waiter and said "that will be all") that he didn't think I'd be eating that evening because it looked like I needed to lose weight (Seriously. He really did. Asshole.)
  5. Though I pretend to hate them, I really enjoy "guy" shows, like Modern Marvels and Mega Structures
  6. I've been to a Star Trek Convention……but really wished I'd "saved myself" for an X-Files one
  7. I'm a sucker for a Man's Man – normal, strong, smart men who act like men and are not ashamed to be manly – guys like Harrison Ford, David Duchovny, Sean Connery, Josh Holloway, Jon Hamm, Brian Williams (yes!). Men who can fix things and look good doing it while lighting my cigarette and mixing my martini in a tuxedo with no shirt on, sporting a 5:00 shadow, calling me Sweetheart. These are my kind of men. Sensitive? Sure! But because it's hot, not politically correct.

How's that?? Are you enlightened and/or horrified?

Now back to part one: What am I supposed to do? Blog It Forward? I think if I randomly tagged bloggers I don't know, I'll get virtual flaming poo on my virtual doorstep – Unwanted! Unwanted! I understand the concept. I understand the purpose. But I really have no idea who any other bloggers are. I'd seriously have to Google blogging even to find out where to begin looking! And if I tagged them, doncha think it'd be rude? And a little weird? "Who is this person and why are they spray painting all over my website?" I can hear it now!

So here's what I'm going to do: I'll tag back the tagger that tagged me, then tag the tagger that tagged her, then I'll tag her tagger (really! I will!) until someone somewhere tells me whether it's REALLY OK to tag random people I don't even know. And hopefully they, or someone they know, will give some advice about tagging etiquette or Blog it Forward on my ignorant behalf. I know I'm new, but I also know that is no excuse. And I am sure that once you offend someone in cyberspace, you're screwed forever.

So be kind, Bloggers! And HELP!!!

www.katedating.blogspot.com

www.danielletbd.blogspot.com

http://www.davechung.com

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Day Belly Laugh

It may be silly, but this puts a smile on my face like puppy dogs tails and sunny days…

http://www.angryalien.com/0504/pigeonkam.html

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What the…?

I can't not write about this. I can't ! This is probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard – no wait – government grants to study cow farts is more ridiculous – but this is very close AND, coincidentally, along the same thought process.

Mr. John Coleman, the guy that started the Weather Channel, wants to sue Al Gore – yeah – THAT Al Gore – to "put some light on the fraud of global warming".

WHAT THE …?

Notwithstanding the insane grasp for his second fifteen minutes of fame (you only get one, buddy), this is (where's my thesaurus – I'll be needing LOTS of synonyms for "CRAZY") crazy!

And, so what? So what if the former Vice-President pitches Global Warming? The globe IS getting warmer. I grew up near a very famous honeymoon destination in the east. Right near a lake that used to freeze over every winter. So frozen that idiots in hot rods used to play "chicken" and drive across. Smart? No. Safe? Definitely not. But it was a feat that could be accomplished. Now, today, if those same idiots took their hotrods out and tried the same stupid trick they'd be mud flap deep in bottom slime. The lake hasn't frozen over in years. Is it Global Warming, or a warming globe?

Is it all us? Can we really be that arrogant and think it is? I'm no scientist, but I do have an ounce of common sense. I've seen his movie. My recollection is that Al Gore isn't saying that there aren't cyclical weather patterns – he's not saying that YOUR PORCH LIGHT will kill all the polar bears – he's saying that we need to pay attention to how wasteful we are! That we need to cut back – That we can't keep raping and pillaging the land without consequences. That perhaps we are accelerating the natural progression of weather changes. Why would we want to do that? What -we don't care because we'll be dead by then & future generations will have to deal with it? Excellent. Nice way of thinking.

Listen. I'm no tree hugger…I love me some Styrofoam and disposable diapers. I eat meat & wear leather. I drive a big car with a big engine. I don't have far to drive in my little area of Los Angeles, however, a V-8 is a V-8 (engine – not veggie drink). But I believe in doing my part. I eat organic & sustainable. I recycle. I walk to work (no. no I don't – but I do walk to the market!) and I turn out the lights when I leave a room.

I think that bringing the issue to light in the manner that Mr. Gore has is smart. People rarely pay attention to anything unless we are at the extreme end of our collective ropes. If your doctor told you that eating just ONE MORE cheeseburger would raise your cholesterol some & your weight some and your blood pressure some, you'd probably avoid cheeseburgers for a bit, then rationalize – "it's just ONE" and go ahead and have it. Same scenario, but this time, your doctor told you that if you ate just ONE MORE cheeseburger you would DIE, my dollar is on the bet that you'd cut those out of your menu immediately and forever. Am I close?

Which brings me to my second thought. Al Gore is no scientist, either. Now, I know what you're going to say: pay someone enough and they'll tell you whatever you want to hear. True. There are facts that back up the Global Warming thing and facts that back up the warming globe thing. But why take any chances? Al's passionate about what he believes and he's telling us about it and backing it up with a nifty PowerPoint presentation. Even if it is a bit alarmist, maybe that is what we as a people need to hear so we can put down that cheeseburger? Even if it IS total crap, isn't conservation a GOOD thing? Isn't making sure factories at least try to be more eco-friendly a step in the right direction?

And you, Mr. John Coleman, you want to sue him for what? Scaring us into being better global citizens? Really? Or did you just want attention?

I guess it worked.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day

What is with all this originally posted business?!

Well, let me tell you – it is A LOT easier to delete your whole blog than you think!!! Yes, indeedy!!! In trying to re-vamp this blog in the hopes of showing how it really reflects the all the random nuttiness inside of me, I, in one of my more classic A.D.D. moments decided (in a bad way) to do way too many things at once…and wandered the mouse over "Are you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY SURE you want to delete the email address linked to this blog and everything associated with it (meaning the blog istelf) Forever, EVER? Forever EVER?"

Then clicked "YOU BETCHA!" without even looking...not my wisest moment.

So the originally planned: "Welcome To My New Address - Thanks For The Casserole" blog has turned into one big, giant OOPSY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In one of my brighter moments, I remembered that I had saved all my posts elsewhere on my computer and after some wrangling, I'm up and running again!

So, Welcome!!!

I guess as long as this only happens once every four years…?

Meanwhile, Back at the Empire State Building…

(originally posted 02/27/08)

Peer pressure. I don't care what your mamas told you: it never gets old. You never outgrow it. I don't care how cool you think you are, or how secure you think you are or how aloof you think you are. It's always there. Looming. Taunting. Killing your calves.

No, no, no…your Holsteins are safe…

I'm talking about the ones between your ankles & knees. THOSE calves. Write this down in your collective diaries – no pen? I'll wait…no really – you'll want to commit this to paper, I promise. Ready? OK – I've been working out. VOUS?? Oui, moi!! And not just once to say I'd done it & thought it overrated, but on a rather regular basis!!

I know! It's Cuh- RAZY!! Previous to this current bout of mental illness the most exercise I got was walking from sofa (living room) to fridge (kitchen) to refill the wine glass which on a good day merely negated the caloric intake.

But now, my uh, "friends" have gotten this WACKY idea in their heads that this activity called "working out" would improve the weight loss experience.

Improve? I'm pretty sure they are using that word pretty loosely. Today after our workout my whole body felt like green Jell-o melting in the sun (The green was an alien reference – as in "I'm such an alien to this world of exercise!") and I'm sure I won't be able to move at all tomorrow.

Huh?? Oh!!! You caught that…."OUR" workout…yeah…well, this is where the peer pressure comes in…unless guided by the gentle hands of those around me, I'd be sitting around like Jabba the Huttress waiting for my froggy lunch to be brought to me…

And wouldn't THAT be pretty???

So even though this exercise thing is certainly not easy, I must sum up by saying:

free gym at work membership? (did my lazy ass mention that?) Free
water, towels, gym locker, shower? Free
making sure you don't embarrass yourself in the gym alone? Priceless


Oh yeah. And I'd better lose some damn weight.

Desperately Seeking Jane

(originally posted 02/21/08)

Flattery is the sincerest form of imitation…wait…or is it the other way around? What is it about seeing, hearing, watching, reading something that someone else has done really well that makes us think that we can master it just as easily, if not more easily than the master him- or her- self? How many times have you heard this one: "My KID can do better than that!" Yes, your little Jenny Genius probably could…but then if that were the case, you wouldn't be going to work tomorrow, you'd be out exploiting your child on Oprah.

Not-so-slightly-veiled immature neener-neener aside, I've just re-read (for the umpteenth time) Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice and I wonder (amazement, not curiosity) at the complexity of this seemingly simple story. Good people are good – simple, clear, easy. Bad people are bad, but not so prematurely defined: reasons are given, excuses made, but in the end, overall verdict: not-so-good. Humor and tragedy are played out in the seemingly simplest way possible. And I think, as we all have at some point, I can do this! I can say "not very pleased" to mean "really pissed off" and I can make the cruel and mean look silly and ridiculous if viewed with a clear heart…but no. Within the space of an hour a girl that never left home, never experienced ¼ of the things in life that women of HER time, let alone mine, have experienced, a woman that died at the age that I am now has left me awkwardly flailing in the ditch of the English language, drowning in banalities, grasping desperately for a metaphor that hasn't been already trampled to death. Well done, her! Back to short, witty…uh…written…um…things for me.

Perhaps if I wore a muslin gown instead of a fuzzy robe & bunny slippers?

Be Still My Heart

(originally posted 02/14/08)

I just received the BEST Valentine gift a gal could hope for…from the man of my dreams…my heart's all a twitter and I think I may be a bit faint! He's come back into my life after so many years and as much as I wanted to be angry for making me wait so long, I understand, and when I see him, the years seem to have washed away in a blink.

Be still my heart - Indiana Jones is back. And I am enraptured again. I just watched the trailer and I am pretty sure I'll be watching it over and over all day long…

http://www.indianajones.com/site/


Happy Valentine's Day, Indy…welcome back!

The Grass is Brown All Over Town

(originally posted 02/13/08)

I know. I have no room to speak. I have no right to complain. I should shut my cake hole or better yet, use it to loudly thank the goddesses that I actually have something to celebrate on the Relationship Holy of Holies.

I honestly debated whether I should post this at all. Would I be struck down by mysterious and unearthly forces? Or human ones? That is yet to be seen...I actually felt guilty writing about the flip side of this evil holiday…YES! I said evil. There. It's out. I say this loudly to you all! Valentine's Day SUCKS!!

Don't hit me with cherry filled candy and black roses. I get it! The only people that are allowed to bitch are those that can rage against the heavens (and its corporate sponsors here on earth: Hallmark, Godiva, every South American rose farmer and Jared's) that they have no one to impose this 'holiday' upon – no one to impose it upon them. And I've been there – truth be told more often in my life than not.

Remember kindergarten when you had to send a valentine to everyone in your class? First grade, too? But then by second grade, something happened. Most teachers felt that you had developed friendships already and besides, parents do most of the work, so why torture them, too? But you fill out your 30 valentines because YOUR mom said that it wouldn't be nice if some kids didn't get any. Then you realize the next day that only two other moms besides yours felt that way. Which sucked. Because you only got those two valentines in your little doily decorated pouch. Then you realize in your 7 year old horror that you are expected to gloat in the lunch room so you fake an asthma attack so you can go to the nurses office instead. Which really sucked. And you panic every year thereafter. It's not always about not gettin' the love, though.

Sometimes love comes with a lot of expectations:

What about those poor gals ('cause let's face it – how many guys complain about being ignored on Valentine's Day?) that have to cajole their man into celebrating? Or the ones that get a small teddy bear holding a heart that says "Luv ya!" purchased with reluctance at the last minute at (insert gas station here)? Or the Really Nice Gal with the Evil Bay Mate? Our R.N.G. gets some flowers sent to work – she beams – so happy! But then Evil Bay Mate gets a HUGE bouquet from P.W. Boyfriend (and we all know that the W stands for 'whipped') who has to mortgage his house to pay for them. R.N.G. gives a watery smile & compliment (because she's Really Nice) and also because E.B.M. is gloating like the evil bitch she is…then giggles dismissively and pretends to be oh-so-sweet about the teensy bouquet sent with love and a human budget but she's really just a bitch and not-so-secretly happy that her man is more whipped than R.N.G.'s. "Ah! Mah! Gahd! And he's taking a second on the house and we're going to Santa Barbara for the weekend and he's treating me to ALL the spa services!!! Isn't he just the most whipped of all??" Yeah. Gag me. Call me when you're divorced. Better yet? Don't.

Here's a few for the gentlemen…how about those $400 dinners that cost $39.95 every other day of the year?? Or the $150 flowers that cost $12.99 February 13th or 15th? Or the $99.99 necklace you bought at Jared's but because commercials suck, she knows exactly how much you paid for it? And GOD FORBID you come over with just a teddy bear holding a heart…

And the evil high water mark of all…dreaded by both normal men and women alike: The Engagement. Every gal secretly wants it – every man secretly dreads it…is THIS the year? No? Maybe next? Or with the next guy? EVIL, I tell you! EVIL!! I'm convinced that this holiday has mutated into something meant to make you feel inadequate no matter WHO you are.

Expectations and commercialism have absolutely killed a little holiday that I believe that was started with noble intentions – tell someone special in your life – no matter who that is – that they are special. That's it. No flowers or stuffed animals or cards or dinners or any of that shit. Just an honest heart-felt word or two. Or action. Or anything. You feelin' me?

Most importantly, Love yourself – in the end that's the only thing that matters…

Oh Look! A Hen!

(originally posted 02/07/08)

I love to cook. I love to eat. The combination of the two is extremely dangerous to my waistline. It's a good fight – and one that I tend to often lose…thank VISA for late night diet medication commercials!!! "Melt the fat away while you sleep! Diapers not included; serious side effects may include…" Uh….I'm no doctor, but my guess would be that the new necessity of night diapers might be included on the list of "serious" side effects…

Sorry…I'll move along…

As a foodie, I've always been disappointed that the elite and ubiquitous "They" have said for years that I live in a city void of cuisine. How could they?! Los Angeles? Void? The land of Tommy burgers, Gloria's tacos, and Stan's donuts? These are local joints that will never get a Michelin star, but have kept locals standing in line for decades. This is good stuff, people! OK – perhaps up until recently we may have had only one Food Network star open a restaurant here – but you gotta admit, Wolfgang Puck is one hellauva "only one" kinda guy…Spago, anyone?

But the gourmet tides, they are a-turnin'! As much as I love Mario Batali, I'll not sing his praises here tonight – that's another entry - I'm here to talk about my newest and previously mentioned addiction: the food at Craft, Los Angeles – specifically the pan roasted Hen of the Woods mushrooms.

For those not yet aware, Craft is the Garanimals of fine dining. I say this because every dish mixes and matches with every other dish on the menu. Perfectly and yummily – is that a word? All menu items are ordered high-end family style – that's right – you share – something many haven't felt comfortable doing since grade school. As a result, every dish should be (and is) harmonious with every other dish, so all guests in your party enjoy a cohesive dining experience. It works. Really freaking well. Master Genius Chef Tom Colicchio has converted me…mushrooms were the enemy from my earliest memory – more on that later – but he has, in one magic moment, changed my palate forever. This exquisite dish of mushroom, garlic, shallots and thyme is burned on my brain and taste buds so completely that I make it at home – acceptably, but not perfectly – at least twice a week. In the wild they look like little chicken feathers. So Pretty!! My guess is this is where the name originates??

If I may say, eating them is to-die-for goodness! I'm a bit of an obsessive food geek, so you'll notice, but trust me on this: if you live anywhere near a Craft restaurant in this country – go quickly towards the light. You will be rewarded. If not, the recipe can be found online…hunt it down! You'll be so happy you did!

Off to the kitchen…

Spelling and Grammar and Diction, Oh My!

(originally posted 02/06/08)

Dating: How hard can it be? A boy meets a girl and voila!! Nature has built a primal urge right inside us – like a teensy auto-pilot – that screams "reproduce!!" and once it goes off, you'll have a hell of a time putting that genie back in the bottle! I've come to discover, though, that it rarely says "…and once I've knocked you up, let's hope you turn into Kathryn Heigl and we'll get married and I'll be dopey but devoted to you for the rest of my natural born days". Um, no…

There was a time that I was intimately acquainted with what it is like to not date in LA –but this is not that story and I'm no expert. If you want to REALLY sink your teeth into single, check out one of my favorite blogs over there to the left – your other left – there you go… "Dating in LA and Other Urban Myths". It ROCKS, y'all! Check it out!

Today's rambling is about the other side of the dating coin:

Some people really do get to date in this city: A good friend of mine has gingerly dipped her toe back in the dating pool after a very long relationship and marriage. And being unsure of how to dip, she thought, as we all do at some point in our single lives, "online dating…is it for me?" So she gave it a shot.

A quick lesson to the single gentlemen out there that are considering, or have already subscribed to, an online dating service: It is super easy to not date you when you can't compose a literate sentence.

"Whatever do you mean? I can write." Yeah, no. You can't. Or maybe you are doing your best and that just made a whole lot of women's jobs a whole lot easier! Just pay a bit of attention – HOW you put yourself out there is just as important as your photo. Seriously. Sure, we know you lie about your age – that's a given. We love your big strong guns…those arms can hold us for whatever reason (PMS counts – get used to it), and those eyes could melt chocolate in the wintertime. Your hair, those tats, a torso that goes on for days...whooo doggy! But please, please do a re-read before you click "send":

"There" is a location – "My pickup is over there."
"Their" is possessive – "This is their hemi."
"They're" is a contraction – "They're a nice couple."

All gals like a guy that can communicate with them in writing – you don't have to be Shakespeare, Shakespeare, but you'll have a better chance getting a gal's phone number if you can ask her for it without making her decipher what you're (a contraction v. possessive: which is 'your') trying to say. And use Spell Check, for God's sake!

Just a thought…

Jerusalem Artichoke Man – Bless You!

(originally posted 02/06/08)

Thank you, Jerusalem Artichoke Man at Whole Foods on National and Barrington in W. Los Angeles! Thank you for restoring my belief that people really DO care out there…that they take pride in their jobs – or – hell, just pride in being a good person. Thank you for being SO DARN NICE! And I didn't even get your name. Shame on me.

For all of you out there that read this (Whole Foods Manager – nudge, nudge) I walked up to a man in the produce section of aforementioned store this evening and asked if they had Jerusalem artichokes. I am newly acquainted with their nutty goodness and wanted to try making them at home like I've had them at my new favorite addiction: Craft Los Angeles.

…ahhh, Craft…the mind wanders, the mouth waters, the wallet runs and hides…talk about a fast track to Ruin – I've decided the fastest way to financial ruin for me is to become intimate with every menu item on Chef Tom Colicchio's fantastic menu…and of course I can't go alone! My friend and coworker willingly gets dragged along with me, having recently decided that she possesses the Thomas' Guide and Speed Pass to Ruin – check out how fun the road trip can be on her blog over there in my favs: Because Life is Too Short. Polish off those Louboutin's & get hoppin'!

Anywho…back to Whole Foods. NOT ONLY, did Wonderful J.A.M walk me over to where they were, when I ashamedly admitted that I didn't even know what they looked like, he pointed my ignorant self right to them. I thanked him profusely and went on my way. I finish my shopping – telling myself on every aisle that I need nothing more than eggs. Period. OK – and MAYBE something meat-like for dinner - <sigh> OK – and Hen Of The Woods Mushrooms (don't worry boys & girls, I'll tell you ALL about those soon enough). But that's it! Nothing more! So I scurry over to the checkout line and I hear, "Miss? Miss?" Clearly the person is calling to someone else because I haven't been "Miss" in YEARS! But vanity grabs me and turns my head. I look over and who is walking up to me with a big box in his hands?

Jerusalem Artichoke Man.

He said that after I walked away he went to the basket where said root veggie was and noticed that they weren't very fresh, so would I prefer to pick out some new ones from this box that had arrived today but not been put out yet?

WOW.

When was the last time that happened to you??? Me? Never.

What a nice guy. Thank you!!!

Traffic Rules Are For You, Too!

(originally posted 02/05/08)

Being new to this whole "blog thing", I don't really know if there are any rules…I'm consistently told no, but, that could just be people being funny…I'm told I can say whatever I want – talk about things that are of global or local or no importance whatsoever…the one thing I have to remember is to just do it.

OK.

This sounds all well & good, but then I peruse some sites that have interaction between fellow viewers…discussions, I believe they are called…or forums – and people "post" their thoughts in a conversation-like-way. So here's the thing I've noticed: someone posts a question or observation and then the Old-Timers With Attitude lambast the poor git for not knowing that waaaaay back in January 2005 the EXACT SAME {emphasis theirs} question has been asked AND answered in the XYZ forum and would you PLEASE take the time to memorize everything there ever was to know about our site before bothering to set your damn newbie opinions in our range of vision!?!

Then the poor newbie skulks back into the corner, contenting himself or herself to just reading posts instead of actually having the freedom to participate in this brave new world. These O.T.W.A. are the cyber-equivalent of every jock and cheerleader and bully and smart-geeky kid and elitist jerk that ever picked on another person. And let's face it folks…I wear glasses. Please don't hit me.

So, if I post a thought that has been posted a thousand times before, frankly, I care, but not that much. Turn the page, change the channel, go outside and play…just don't be mean about it. Or I'll take my toys and go home. I will! And who knows? I may actually say the same ol' thing in an amusing and fun new way! Something that'll make you say "hmmmm…." (see? I knew you saw that one coming…)

That being said:

To all you George & Jane Jetsons out there: you do not drive in space – you drive on the road – with other people – near you – separated by a teensy bit of fiberglass, so please, in the gentlest terms possible: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!!!!!!!!! Put down the phone, mcmuffin, razor, mascara, vibrator and DRIVE!!!!

Everywhere around the globe we must pass a test before we are allowed to operate a vehicle. We aren't allowed to chuck those rules out the window like so much Styrofoam once we do. We need to obey them the whole entire time we're behind the wheel. Novel, I know. The road, as we may all recall in our driver's ed. classes, belongs to everyone. Defined by Webster's New College Dictionary, "everyone" means "every person". All of us. Not. Just. You.

So please – a little awareness that you are playing with others would be appreciated.

Drive safe & have a nice day!

Keeping up with the Joneses

(originally posted 02/04/08)

I can hear my mom's words ringing in my head as I stood in the kitchen – shocking pink lipstick in one hand and gangrene blue eye shadow in the other – "If everyone jumped off the Empire State Building, would you jump, too?" OK – in fairness to her, the "Blind Hooker with the D.T.'s" look I had going on was probably not what my mom expected to see when she turned to look at the fresh face of her 15 year old daughter, but all my friends were wearing makeup and I wanted to, too! What Mom actually was seeing, in her defense, was completely frightening: garish makeup-face and a gray & green polyester 2 piece ensemble hanging on a late-bloomer figure. Together. In the same fashion statement. Talk about groovy, huh?!

What? Polyester was never cool? Really!? Never? THAT'S embarrassing…

Anyway…I digress (you'll get used to it, I promise): back to the Empire State Building…for the record, I didn't jump – I walked straight to the bathroom (after much mother/teenage daughter debating, arguing, temper tantrum-ing) and off with the makeup. For those keeping score – Mom won. For pretty much ever. I have a drawer full of un- or slightly-worn makeup, and not to allude too directly to a certain defunct cable show, but I could own real estate for the amount of unused makeup I've purchased over the years. Not a lot of real estate – and honestly not anywhere I'd like to live, but real estate nonetheless. Who else is with me? What gal doesn't have a ton of colors and shades that look fantastic under the glittering fluorescent glow of the department store or Rite Aid counter but when you get them home they look like a kindergartener's Easter project??

Where was I? Ah, yes…New York. It usually takes me years to embrace what others do in a moment – most of my friends had makeup at 13 - I just got an iPod – and only because it was a gift – and the only thing I load on it is videos; computers? Aren't those for work and online shopping? I DO have a cool cell phone, but only because Man O' Mine would no longer be seen in public with me if I carried the monochromatic-screened portable brick around so he bought me a new one with colors and lights and a fancy ringtone! Txt msg? RU Nuts? LMAO!! (ok – you got me - I really get into text messaging – it's so clever the way you can say almost anything in 160 characters or less!)

Which brings me here, ladies and gentlemen…The Blog. When I first heard of this mysterious new devise I thought another celebrity couple broke up and this is how the press was naming the untimely demise. But then I heard about this gal that writes about her cat…everyday. And another randomly discovered blog talked about how fun and exciting lasagna in a crock pot can be!! (LOVE my crock pot, btw), and then a coworker told me of another coworker's blog. And he is FUNNY! Then a friend of mine started to blog. And she's freaking awesome! Then another! Soon I was surrounded by bloggers!! And dammit, I wanted to blog, too!

So come along with me on my long jump off the Empire State Building…have some wine! Who knows where the fall will land us, but it'll be a hell of a trip!