Monday, January 31, 2011

The Notice I Did Not Receive:

Dear Geewits:
This is to inform you, in case you have been in a coma or locked in a closet for the past month, that there will be A SUPERBOWL! YES! There will be a Superbowl in that giant stadium that is 8 miles from your house. Therefore all local news will be suspended for some time so we can spend all of our time talking about THE. SUPERBOWL. Because it's a SUPERBOWL! We are HAVING a SUPERBOWL. We will still have a few minutes of weather on every broadcast because weather is something that we can relate to the Superbowl, as in, "It's nice right now but some nasty weather is coming on Tuesday and lets talk about HOW THAT WILL AFFECT THE SUPERBOWL."
You may also notice that all local advertising will be Superbowl Related. Car dealerships will have a SUPERBOWL SALE. Even pest control companies. Because we are having a SUPERBOWL! Yes we are.
Local news will most likely resume two to four days after THE SUPERBOWL because we will have lots of stories after THE SUPERBOWL about things like:
-How many pounds of nachos were sold
-How many napkins were used

-What were the most popular souvenirs
We will also have touching stories of families that drove for four days from Wisconsin because they had car trouble SIX times! As well as many "exit interviews" of out-of-towners describing their WONDERFUL Dallas/Fort Worth SUPERBOWL EXPERIENCE. And don't miss the roving fun videos of TAILGATE PARTIES!!
We know you understand that our "news" broadcasts will be fully SUPERBOWL related for some time. Because we are having A SUPERBOWL. YES WE ARE.

Maniacally yours,
All of your locals stations (YES! All of them!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Should I Feel Bad?

I got up and turned on "The Today Show" and they were showing video of people digging out of the snow and meanwhile I have this:
I guess I should feel bad. But I don't.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates...

I had an easy day planned. I had an appointment to get my hair colored at 4:00. Then I was going to go to the grocery store. I did my normal Wednesday chore (the bed sheets) on Tuesday just to make things easier.
My mother's second bladder cancer procedure went well and was easier than the first one. The doctors were all thumbs up. I couldn't reach my mother at home at first and was concerned that something bad had happened and they were held up at the hospital, so I called my step-dad's cell and they were at a restaurant! For lunch! No catheter this time. All was good.
I got my hair colored and afterwards was sitting in the parking lot in my truck drinking my mocha and having a smoka. I was supposed to go to the grocery store next but had no list and no ideas. I called my best friend and we discussed some food ideas. I was in no big hurry because My Sweetie has class from 5:30 to 7:00 and it was just before 6:00. We hung up and I pulled out of the parking lot onto Harwood road. My phone rang. I generally don't do phone and driving but Harwood road is an exception. It's a simple road. No twists, no turns, no heavy traffic with a 40 mph speed limit.
I answered the phone and it was My Sweetie. He asked "Where are you?" I answered, "On Harwood heading to the grocery store. Where are YOU?" He told me he was at the QT (a convenience store near our house) and he was waiting for a tow truck. He has had terrible luck with his car all month. First the battery died, then the cables weren't properly connected and it died again and then he got new tires and then one of the new tires went flat because "it wasn't properly seated." So here he was again.
I got to the QT pretty quickly and he was one big frayed nerve. This new car bullfrack had happened on top of a bad day at work. I did the job I was born to do and got him calmed down and in a way better mood. As we followed the tow truck to the dealership, which was fortunately still open, we discussed all the positives: IF his day at work hadn't gone poorly he would have made it to class and come out at 7:00 with a dead car all the way down in Arlington. I would have had my house clothes on and would have food going on the stove. As it was, he was right by the house, close to the dealership, I was dressed and in my truck and on the road already, and on top of that, the weather was way milder than it has been in ages. (And the reason he stopped at the QT was to get me beer and I had a small ice chest in my truck because I always take beer to the hair salon, so I had cold beer for all of this.)
So I didn't get to the grocery store but I had the stuff to make a pasta carbonara. We ate a little later than usual, but it ended up seeming like a regular night and everything was okay. He'll take my truck to work tomorrow and we'll find out what's going on with that stupid car. Then we'll go from there.... You never know what you're going to get.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Got Greased!

You know what they say about the squeaky wheel, right? Remember all that bitchin' and moanin' I was doing with the cable company last month? Well, yesterday we got our latest bill and it was for:


Yep. Three dollars and thirty cents. This squeaky wheel got the grease!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Murking My Brain

We saw Black Swan today and I wish I hadn't. And don't take that the wrong way. It's a good movie. It's just that it's a good movie I shouldn't have watched.
I couldn't wait to see this movie because I had somehow gotten the notion that it was a ballet movie and I love ballet. I have taken many, many ballet classes. I went into college as a dance major. (Are you laughing too?) And I thought this was going to be a ballet movie.
It's not a ballet movie.
Black Swan is similar to Roman Polanski's 1965 film Repulsion. You get trapped inside the head of someone that is going insane and, well, trapped is a good word. When we left the theater we were both all heeby jeeby. I wanted to run home and watch Meet Me In St. Louis or something to clear my brain. But I had to run in the grocery store to grab three things on the way home, and just being in the grocery store helped.
When we got home we watched "The Simpsons." And then some stand up comedy. Jim Gaffigan was hilarious. I'm okay now.

Friday, January 21, 2011

What Does My Ego Know?

My daughter brought the wedding video over for me to watch Thursday evening. To be quite honest, although I was looking forward to seeing it, I was alittle disappointed knowing I would not be in it much. See, this video was made by her dad - the man I left in 1988. But I was wrong about it all.
After I finished watching it I realized that I was able to really enjoy it without being self-conscious about seeing myself. It made it more like being there as an observer. I mean I wasn't completely left out, but let's say I did not get a lot of screen time. I thought about that later and realized that if someone in my camp had made the video, I'd be all over the place. I'm glad I was not. Now I can watch the video and just enjoy it. I don't know why I thought I would miss myself. I mean really, I'm always here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mixed Signals

Yesterday I went out to the garage and stepped off the rugs to look at Barney. (We bought a little radiator for him and set up a little box with a towel in it so he can stay warm out there.) As I stepped onto the cold garage floor I thought I had stepped in water. I looked down at the floor and it wasn't wet so I checked the bottom of my sock to see if it was wet and saw that there was a hole in my sock. I thought it was funny that my brain registered "wet" instead of "hole in sock."
That reminded me of something that happened years ago. In the early 90's I had a terrible ache in my upper left jaw and went to the dentist. The dentist examined my mouth and told me that my teeth were fine. He said that I probably had a sinus infection. He also told me that the same nerve is used for sinuses and upper back teeth. I did not know that. So I went to the doctor and yes I had a bad sinus infection and my doctor fixed me up with meds.
About 3 or 4 years later I got the same thing and went to the doctor. The doctor examined me and told me my sinuses were fine and that I probably had a tooth problem. He told me that the teeth and sinuses use the same nerve. I knew that. So then I went to the dentist and he told me I had a bruised tooth nerve caused by biting onto a bone chip or something hard. I had never heard of that. Anyway I was thinking about all that and wondered what I would do if I ever had that pain again. Would I go to the doctor first or the dentist? I guess I'd just flip a coin.

Monday, January 17, 2011

At Almost 50 (first of several)

Maybe this is strange but I love to find pictures of Mom when she was my age. I'll be 50 in April and this is Mom two days before she turned 50:
It was easy to date the picture because it was taken at my second wedding. Sometimes we look a little bit alike and sometimes we don't and I'd have to say at 50 we do not look very similar:
Maybe if my eyebrows hadn't disappeared on me. (I've been meaning to do a post about that but haven't dug out all the pictures.) We have never looked a whole lot alike but every once in awhile...
I guess the only similarity is maybe neither of us looks 50. That's good enough for me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Goofy Hypothetical Question

I don't know why I think of weird things like this, but the other day I was thinking, What if you could have a free maid Monday through Friday but for only 20 minutes - what would you have her do? So take this as an easy rhetorical question and don't start thinking about strangers in your house stealing your watch or whatever. Just stay with the free 20 minute maid concept. She doesn't steal or drink your wine or eat your cheese or make copies of your bank statements. She won't even accidentally let your cat out. She just does housework for 20 minues. And she's FREE!
I had fun thinking about this. 20 minutes isn't a very long time. For instance, she could not do a load of laundry or fill the dishwasher and let it run and empty it. And I started thinking about the chores I hate that take 20 minutes or less. I kept changing my mind, but I've narrowed it down to this:
Monday: clean the toilets and sweep the bathrooms
Tuesday: clean My Sweetie's bathtub and sinks
Wednesday: Vacuum carpets (although I'm not positive this fits the time frame)
Thursday: sweep kitchen, entryway and hardwood hallways
Friday: clean the toilets and sweep the bathrooms
I think that would work for me although I had a hard time ruling out dusting. I hate dusting but you have to move all your stuff and she probably wouldn't put it back exactly where I want it.
So what would you do with your 100 minutes a week of free maid service?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Plans Are Always Subject To Change

I was going to spend the afternoon of my birthday in New York at the Met, but I just found out that the rooftop bar is not open in April. So now I am going to spend the afternoon of my birthday in New York on one of those cruises around Manhattan. I love boats and I think this will be a fun and different thing to do.
Also tonight I downloaded the logos I will need to make my sign for The Today Show. I'm not a morning person but I am going to get up on my birthday and walk to Rockefeller Center and be one of those loons holding a sign at The Today Show. I think it will be fun. If it's not fun, I won't be there very long. My goal is not to be on TV - I've been on TV. My goal is to do something goofy, strange and funky.
Anyway, I have my flight, hotel, cruise booked. The rest is gravy.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Unheard Consumer

If you've been reading here long enough you may remember that 4 years ago I got on the web page for a company that makes scented things to offer a suggestion and they responded by sending me a 4 page legal packet telling me I had to have a patent and whatnot. It was ridiculous. I had simply asked, "Can't you make something that smells like cedar?"
Recently I got on a web page for a company that produces frozen vegetables. I think I said something like: I wish you guys would make fire roasted corn. I think it would be very popular here in the southwest as it could be used in lots of different recipes.
Unlike the scent company, they were not paranoid. They did not send legal documents. No sir. Just the opposite. It was one big thank you note for contacting them. They appreciate having me as a customer and they realize the importance of providing customers with the highest quality vegetables, blah blah blah. And they sent me not one, but three coupons for a free package of their vegetables. I will certainly use those.

You'd think I had complained and they were trying to placate me or something. I guess they assume all e-mails are complaints and therefore do not read them. They just send out a nice thank you note with coupons. There was not a single word about fire roasted corn. Well I'd like to buy a bag of frozen fire roasted corn to put into some of my recipes and I'd also like a little cedar spray for my house. Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Eternal Funtimes of the Spotted Mind

Lo sent me a text today asking where I was. As I started to text back an answer, I got all creative and typed:
gross restore
I thought it was hilarious because I hate being at the grocery store, so the word gross made sense. And the word store also can mean "things stocked." And to restore is close to restock and it made perfect sense to me and I just really thought it was the funniest thing in the whole solar system. I was walking around the grocery store having a fine laugh with myself when she texted back:
Are you in Durham? That one's really gross. What you looking for?
I didn't understand that at all. Later I found out that she didn't get the joke. My wonderful wizard of joke. She understood "restore" to mean a store that sells used house things like sinks and toilets and windows and whatnot and apparently there is a gross one in Durham. Who knew?
Speaking of goofy words and phrases, I heard the 1961 Regents' song "Barbara Ann" the other day and had a good laugh at myself. I was remembering that when I was young I thought the song was "Bob A Rent." And that's the way I sang it.
Bob bob bob, bob bob a rent. Don't even ask me why I thought that made sense. I never was much of a lyrics person.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Random Early 2011 Thoughts (and collards)

I had a pretty unusual New Year weekend. I ended up spending around 98% of New Year's eve in the kitchen. In the past I always did a big finger food spread of the usual suspects: cheeses, crackers, meats, fruits, veggies, dips. But because we didn't have the shrimp boil on Christmas day, I decided to do that. And added crab legs just for funsies. Actually you are supposed to add crab legs but I never had a tall enough pot. Then I discovered a nice tall pot in my garage that I had brought from Mom's house back in the summer of clearing out Mom's house.
And it wasn't the shrimp (and crab legs!) boil that kept me in the kitchen all day. What happened was, I had decided to attempt to make collards (or collard greens for those not from North Carolina) for New Year's Day to go with the black-eyed peas, boiled potatoes and ham steaks. And collards are always better the next day. Besides they are a lot of work and "a lot of work" doesn't mix well with a day after champagne drinking.
I had attempted to make collards before. Just twice. Both failures. I spent a lot of time online looking at recipes and tips. And a facebook friend had a gorgeous picture of his big bowl of collards and I asked him for advice. He pretty much said you need to get North Carolina collards just after the first freeze.

Well. I'm in Texas. I have no idea where the collards I had bought had come from and if they had been frostbitten or not. They didn't look frostbitten. But because I had bought two big bunches and didn't have space inside, I had stored them in the garage fridge. That's the beer fridge, which is VERY cold. Many things have frozen out there. When I brought them in on Friday, they didn't look as pert and perky as they had been, so I guess that was as close to frostbite as they were going to get.
Because I don't actually follow recipes, I did my usual thing of looking at lots and lots of recipes looking for common threads. Everyone used red pepper flakes. Many people used apple cider vinegar. Many people suggested sugar to counter the bitterness. One guy made a big deal about collards only being as good as the stock they were cooked in and used smoked turkey necks for his stock. Smoked turkey necks? I'm a ham hocks girl. One lady said she put a little baking soda in the water to wash her collards. Here's what I did:
I put a little apple cider vinegar in the big pot of water to clean the collards. I stripped the stems very well. The ham hocks were cooking away making my stock. I was doing all sorts of rolling of leaves and and slicing when my brain said, "Hey! Apple cider vinegar? Sugar? That's a fermented fruit acid and a sweetener, right? Why don't you pour red wine in the ham hock stock?" And so I did. And the collards were delicious. It was hard to put them away for the next day. But I did. And then I decorated for New Year, took a shower, and it was already time to get back in the kitchen to start the shrimp boil.
On New Year's Day, I made a nice breakfast and the rest of the afternoon cleaning the kitchen from the breakfast and pots from the day before. Finally at 5:30 I said, "Let's watch our Netflix movie and then I will start dinner." It was In Bruges, which is a great film. Then I was back in the kitchen. But I really enjoyed sitting down for those two hours.

We saw True Grit today (Sunday) at the movie tavern and it was another great Coen brothers film. We stopped in at the Chili's before we went and a lady came to sit by me and her voice sounded familiar. Then she said something about her foot to the people next to her and I realized she was one of my MOW people. Oddly, just the day before, My Sweetie and I had a conversation about not recognizing people out of context. And there it was, happening. It was nice to talk to her because she stopped the program about a month ago, but I was sad to hear that her foot has still not healed.
I started looking ahead and found out that the north side of the beach cottage duplex is already booked, so I guess we will be back on the south side this year. And speaking of trips, I found out something crazy. Crazy! It will be cheaper for me to fly to Raleigh/Durham and then fly from there to New York than to go to New York from here. I don't have a problem with that. I'll stay with Lo and then we will fly together from there. I am so looking forward to that. Don't forget to look for me on the Today show on April 20th. I'll be the crazy lady in the crowd with the sign saying: I'M 50 TODAY!

Later today, I'll be de-holidaying the house. It's going to be a lot of work. I decorated for New Year's on top of the Christmas decorations. And I went full throttle this year. But I won't be in the kitchen at all. We're going to order pizza.