Tuesday, November 30, 2004


I failed at NaBloWriMo. When will I ever learn to stop changing my goal halfway through? I don�t know. Possibly never. But I had fun while I was still actually trying.

Disgruntled housewife.

In addition to being the name of a website I am rather fond of, the above describes me right now.

It is quarter past nine. I have not seen my husband since just before eight-thirty this morning, when he left for a breakfast meeting with his boss and an agent. He had drinks (and I hope dinner) with a writer after work and is not home yet.

I am super stressed out because he deserves a pretty major promotion at work but may be overlooked for the position. At the very least he ought to get a fat pay raise, but that isn't looking good either and DAMN IT, it is almost Christmas. And I don't have a job, still, because I am too picky, for one thing, and too lazy for another. But I do have an idea for a business I'd like to start. Of course, those tend to not involve, you know, profits, at least not at first, so I am not feeling very optimistic about it.

I just want him to come home now! Other than the stuff I mentioned above I am pretty darn happy these days. I mean - Christmas! Friends visiting! Et cetera! But I am feeling kind of lonely right this second.

BlogThis failed me.

Lazaro Bridal Collection

I used BlogThis! yesterday to link to this dress. As best I can remember, my post read:

Can we get married again? I mean, we had the Best Wedding Ever, and I LOVED my dress, but this one is so pretty!

Monday, November 29, 2004

buy me toys

With Christmas, my favorite holiday on earth, rapidly approaching, I have been a busy little bee. Not, alas, a terribly productive little busy bee, but I have been engaged in one very important - I suppose one might even say vital - activity: Making a list and checking it twice.

We have figured out gifts for about half the people on our list. We have not yet made the list of folks who we will be sending cards to (so if you want one, speak up now), though we have bought the cards themselves. I have not yet started on any of the gifts that will be home made, but we have purchased a fair number of the boughten (it is so a word, I read it in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book) gifts.

I am working on another list as well. The list, of course, of Stuff I Want. I've posted part of it on the WD, in an effort to work out my female troubles; part of it has not been previously posted; and I expect to update it often, removing and adding items at whim (and my whims are strange).

You most certainly do not have to buy me anything unless you are my husband or immediate family. But let's be honest, I won't be sad if I get a present from pretty much anyone. (This list was started for my husband's use, so if you do feel like getting me something, you may want to consult with him.)

So, the list, as it stands currently:

girly bath/body/facial junk

girly clothing
And, of course, anything on my Amazon wish list (please sort it by priority, as there are some things on there as reminders, or that I want to borrow from the library first, which now that I think about it is just exactly like a reminder).

Oh my god I am so embarrassed.

I had my Christmas countdown set for noon instead of midnight. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I am so very sorry. I shall go watch White Christmas in repentance now. Thanks to John, who always points out my errors.

movie review (signs)

Bally/Lucas-inspired one sentence review: I liked it a LOT more than I expected to, but still managed to make fun of it.

I can't remember the last time I liked Mel Gibson in a movie. Of course, I also can't remember the last time I tried to watch a Mel Gibson movie that wasn't Braveheart, which bored me to death twice. Oopsie, not death - sleep.

The only M. Night Shyamalan movie I have ever seen is The Sixth Sense, and pretty much all I remember can be summed up thus: "That's Donnie Wahlberg?!" [an hour and a half later] "Oh my god I cannot believe I didn't see that coming." But I'm fairly certain I enjoyed it.

It has become understood in my house that We Make Fun of the M. Night. Not necessarily for any good reason, but Will did figure out the twist of The Village from watching the freakin' trailer, so we are not so impressed with him lately. But we had only seen one of his movies each - Will saw, and somewhat enjoyed, Unbreakable a few years ago.

So Ludek loaned us his DVD of Signs and we watched it last night. I think it was actually a lovely story, but the storytelling was somewhat flawed. I have noticed an irritating habit in certain directors of using flashbacks to make what could be a straight drama into a suspenseful thriller. That trick was entirely unnecessary here, and took away somewhat from my enjoyment of the final product. I am also not crazy about some of M.'s use of cinematography, though the painfully long shots of nothing happening (suspense again) are a far cry better than the thirteen-billion cuts in five seconds method employed by most action-y directors. I think M., like many directors out there, would be better off without final cut. (Isn't that awful of me?)

The performances were wonderful, particularly those from the children, one of whom is a Culkin which makes that statement pretty astonishing, coming from me.

Here, without explanation, are the notes I took during the movie:

"Do you think the music could be more heavy-handed?"

"Written, Produced, Directed and Masturbated Over by M. Night Shyamalan."

"They're growing a lot of weed."
"Ohhhh, no. It's corn."

"Egyptian hieroglyphs for 'Aquaman is a fag.'"


And this morning when I woke up, I told Will there was a monster outside my room and he brought me a glass of water. Hee!

Whatcha Watchin'?

With the exception of the Olympics, I have not watched television (in my home) since June, or whenever it was that we got the new television. And I only watched girls' gymnastics anyway.

On Thursday, I made a HUGE concession for my beloved friends and had Jenn bring over her supercharged TV antenna so that football could be watched.

It's still here.

So this morning I conducted a highly scientific experiment: I turned on the television. Wow! That was different. I watched about half an hour's worth of reality-type home make-over sort of shows before realizing that my brain hurt.

I'll try again this afternoon, but I think I'm just going to unplug it and live in happy TV-free bliss again.

Things I have learned lately

On Saturday morning while Will was in the shower I learned that he likes the smell of nail polish remover. This is a Good Thing, as I had quite rudely decided that it was a good time for me to attempt to remove the pale pink pearly color that was chipping on my fingernails. This was, it turns out, a Fight To The Death - either my nails liked having chipping polish on them, or the polish had decided that it was comfy right where it was and just not going to go anywhere. The latter seems unlikely, given the chipping, but at the same time I know my hands fairly well and I don't think they cared for the polish. Anyway, I was furiously rubbing away with a cotton ball while Will dried himself off from his shower, and I apologized for the smell. To my surprise, he said he liked it. And that's really all there is to that story - I just found it so incredible that I had to mention it.

That is actually the only thing I've learned lately...or at least, the only thing that stuck...

Friday, November 26, 2004

Moon River...

Will is in the bath. As soon as he informed me of his intention to have a soak, all I wanted in the whole world was a bath of my own. I am so easily suggestible. I had two pieces of buttered toast and a slice of chocolate chess pie instead, and later I may climb into the tub with him (but probably not, because I am somewhat greasy and ought to take a shower first).

I looked at the Ikea catalogue earlier, hoping for storage ideas. I was not planning on buying anything from them, as I've given them up for Lent (I mean, for good), but I thought surely they would have some decent ideas. I can't say whether they do or not, because halfway through the catalogue (and that's halfway counting all the pages of linens and soforth that I skipped over) I felt rather ill just thinking about that dreadful place. Sadly, I want to buy a mate for a chair I have from them. I will have to send a friend. And I still need some storage ideas.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. I roasted a turkey, mashed some potatoes, baked rolls and corn muffins, made a stew of okra, tomatoes and corn, baked the dressing (stuffing that hasn't been stuffed up the bird's arse), made gravy, and generally ran myself ragged, and it was wonderful. I didn't have a single drink all day, because by the time I was able to relax enough to pour one it was meal time, and I don't like wine with hot food. Jenn roasted a ribeye, Elka made a gravy for it, and there were pies made by Jenn, myself, and Meghan. Everything was delicious, except for my rolls which just didn't come out right (though Will liked them).

More importantly (but what could be more important than food?) we had a lot of truly wonderful people here. Besides Will and myself, Jenn and Elka, we had Cassie, Meghan and Mark, Henry and Roxanne, and Andy, who was stag for the holiday, which I think blows (his wife, Erin, was down in San Diego with her family, but he was working and couldn't go with her).

I am thankful for many things, but most of all my husband, who loves me, seemingly no matter what, and with whom I have the most fun I have ever had.

And now I have had this composer open for about a year and it is really time to take a shower.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Boy, am I embarrassed.

I was so upset. "Why is no one commenting? WHY?"

Well, because they can't see your posts if you inadvertently save them as drafts, you nincompoop.

I thought of eighty billion things to blog about earlier, while I was in the car running around getting last minute stuff for Thanksgiving. Now I forget.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


I forgot to mention that we watched Laurel Canyon at Jenn's house on Saturday evening. What a disappointment! I was so excited by the cast (except for Kate Beckinsale, who I only liked in Much Ado About Nothing) that it never occurred to me to look into the plot. Which wouldn't have helped, since there wasn't one. That is, not a very interesting one. It was very true-to-life, even if I don't know anyone whose life is actually like that, and frankly, I don't watch movies for realism. Sure, I complain about unrealistic shit, but I'm talking about Every Last Detail. The pacing, the dialogue... It was like watching a reality show that was actually realistic, which, by the way, is a bad idea, so anyone who works for Fox and is reading this: the crap you put on the air is actually better than this, because at least it is entertaining to someone. Oh, but I checked the imdb message boards (not on purpose) and it turns out that there are people who adored the movie, who dissect it, who talk about the characters like real people. It's as if there were entire communities of people, obsessed with fictional worlds and discussing them with people they don't know.


Anyway, I like my movies to be more escape, less uncomfortable realism. And also, it was kinda weird. But Frances McDormand, Christian Bale, Allesandro Nivola, and even Kate Beckinsale were all wonderful.

I also watched Mean Girls recently. Just now, actually. And I was totally not offended by it. I mention this because I expected to be. I have a deep suspicion of anyone who portrays homeschooling in pretty much any way, because it always looks bad. But this movie was OK. More on it later.

Monday, November 22, 2004

I want one of these.

2004 Weblog Awards: Nominations Archives

Mind you, I'd have to actually, oh, update my blog occasionally in order to deserve one.

I took the weekend off.

I know that I sort of invented NaBloWriMo, and I know that I said two posts a day, and I know that I have the option to backdate, but screw it. I had a lovely weekend and spent hardly any time at the computer and I LIKED IT. My new plan is to meet my word goal and nevermind when the posts get posted as long as it's in November.

Mike came over for dinner Friday evening, and since he's never been here before I went totally insane getting the place cleaned up. This is most excellent, because now I have less cleaning to do for Thanksgiving, which gives me more time to cook, and dick around on the internet.

On Saturday Will and I went to the dreaded Grove, a shopping mall, and began our Christmas shopping. I know, even I am disgusted with our forethought and efficiency. (What's worse, I began wrapping today.) After that Jenn and I went and got manicures and pedicures, furthering my effort to be more girly. And it should be noted that I wore a SKIRT and jewelry all day. Then we went back to Jenn's place where Will joined us and Elka brought barbecue. Lovely evening, though it was pouring when we left and I was still wearing a skirt and flip-flops. Yeesh. In a charming attempt at chivalry, Will threw his shirt over my head to keep me drier, but that resulted mainly in limiting my line of vision. Still, it was pretty funny.

On Sunday we went to Meghan and Mark's, met up with Cassie and their friend Jenn, and all went out for Indian food. Yum! Then we did more Xmas shopping. Disgusting! It isn't even Thanksgiving yet. Will got a massage, I played with puppies, and there was much killing done via XBox. We went home and watched about half of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments, which Cassie taped off Bravo for Will. I was rather unimpressed, and fell asleep.

Today our toilet got fixed (thank goodness - nearly a dozen people expected on Thursday) and I plan to take a bath. These items are only related in that they're in the same room.

In other news, HOT! I'll take one in each color. This will go quite nicely.

And I think it's time for that bath.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Click this link!

The P@rix: Blog Challenge #2: CAST Away

Pat is so creative. He is always coming up with Blog Gimmicks. Some of them work and some don't, but they are always clever. His latest is a variation on something he did a while ago: Continue A Story. He wrote the beginning and asks his commentors to keep it going. It sat without a single comment for almost a week, until inspiration struck me this morning and I was able to reply. And I think my part of the story is pretty good, even if nothing much happens. What? Nothing much happens in anything I write.

Go check it out! Continue the story if you're able!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

One week from now...

...we will be fat and bloated from the feast I am cooking.

Turkey, roasted.

Dressing (which is the same as stuffing minus the stuffing it up the bird's ass part).


Cranberry sauce.

Mashed potatoes.

Dinner rolls or biscuits or cornbread (I haven't decided).


Corn, roasted.

Pie, pumpkin (and maybe apple).

Also on the menu is a roast with appropriate dressings (appropriate = whatever Jenn deems nice) and whatever other goodies I am inspired to make in my fever of excitement.

Christmas Christmas Christmas!

I told Will that I wanted some girly stuff for Christmas. He asked me to be more specific and the best I could come up with (two days later) is that my sneakers come in baby pink. Which is very exciting and I want them but that isn't exactly what I had in mind. I just am not certain what I did have in mind.

He suggested a gift certificate to Origins, which is an idea that I LOVE, but I want stuff, you know? (Note to everyone not my husband: a gift certificate to Origins would be lovely; Sephora will do just as nicely.)

I told him that I could either give him a list of general ideas or a list of specific requests which would mean Christmas was ruined, and he wisely selected the former option. (My god, I am so dramatic.)

Will is a very romantic guy, but not so much with the romantic gestures. I get flowers, because I buy them (though he did bring me plants last Valentine's, which I promptly killed - but not on purpose). I picked out my own engagement ring (though I wouldn't have had it any other way). And, um, don't throw me out of the girls' club, but I don't really like chocolates that much. On the rare occasion that I crave chocolate, I eat semi-sweet chocolate chips from the pantry.

The problem is that I am only girly in theory. I think socks and underwear make great gifts! I like kitchen appliances and would really like a cordless drill! Electronics are so neat! A new bookshelf would make my day! So I'm having a teensy bit of trouble making that list.

I want things that will make me feel sexy.

I want things that will make me feel like a Girl.

I want pink stuff.

I want goodies of a girly nature.

But I also want an official Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing that tells time!

Please help.

I am denying myself pleasure.

Last night, in Whole Foods, I spotted a magazine rack. I grabbed the latest (Holiday!) issue of Martha Stewart Living, clutched it to my chest, and ran to Will. I said, "I have to have this or there will be no Christmas!" He, remarkably, forgave me and bought the magazine.

This morning I had to first go downstairs to see the manager and make sure our rent was paid (after all the bank cock-ups I am not taking any chances) and once that was done I had to play around on the internet for a while. Now (or at least soon) I am going to go downstairs, fix myself a second cup of coffee, and straighten up the house a bit for Friday's dinner guest. I also need to clean up the kitchen, which is rather horrifying, and plan dinner for tonight. Oh, and soak some beans for tomorrow. And I still have not had breakfast. Then I have to take care of at least one load of laundry.

And once I've done ALL that, I will allow myself to read Martha.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Actually, there IS a correct way to do that.

I love Whole Foods. I don't shop there terribly often, because I can get a lot of the same foods for less money at Trader Joe's and our butcher, but sometimes you just need the Whole Foods produce section. And while you're there, the cheeeeeeese is worth looking at, and most stuff in between.

We spent $200 there tonight.

I always have a good shopping experience. The occasional traffic jam, but nothing like going to the regular grocery store, or Trader Joe's when it's crowded (for those unfortunate souls without TJ's, the stores tend to be very small). The cashiers are always very nice and efficient, the guys at the butcher counter are great and always funny, and once I ran into Debi Mazar at the deli meat counter and made faces at her daughter.

Tonight started out well. I had a very friendly produce man insist on getting me better potatoes from the back. The butcher was funny, as expected. We moved through the store quite quickly. Everything was going so nicely.

Now, for the sake of fairness, I should mention that we had not yet eaten dinner. But I wasn't really that hungry, and we had hot deli food in the cart.

We got into the fairly short check-out line and I ran over to the health and body area to pick up some more arnica. When I got back, the cashier was ringing us up and a young lady was bagging our groceries. And this is when the bile started flowing.

First, she did the paper-in-plastic thing, which infuriates me. Yes, let's deplete all of our natural resources in one go AND make the bags harder to carry, thank you very much. But far, far worse was the way she was bagging. Rather than try to describe her mistakes, I will make a rough outline of the proper way to bag my groceries. Considering how much I was spending and the fact that I have to eat this food, I do not think it is unreasonable.

  • Perishables and non-perishables are to be separated.
  • Heavy items to go on the bottom of the bags, no exeptions. It is especially unacceptable to throw three bags of potatoes on top of my perfectly ripe on-the-vine organic tomatoes, at $3.99 per pound.
  • Meat to be wrapped in a plastic bag before placed in the main bag. Even if it is well-wrapped in deli paper. And no potatoes on top of this, either!
  • Produce should be kept together, likewise dairy products and especially any frozen items. It went into my cart in this order, which means it went onto the belt in this order, please put it into the bags in this order. I would like to be able to unpack the frozen items first, then dairy, then produce, and leave pantry items for last.
  • DO NOT THROW MY FOOD INTO THE BAG WITH NO REGARD FOR ITS SAFETY. See above, re: I have to eat this stuff.
  • And for the love of pete, be nice to my husband's dinner! He is hungry.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to joke and flirt with my husband (honestly!) but only if you can simultaneously DO YOUR JOB.

There. Is that so much to ask?

Gaming geeks, unite!

Boston.com/News/Boston Globe/Opinion/Op-ed/How 'Dungeons' changed the world

I'm not a D+D girl. It doesn't really interest me, and actually turned me off gaming for many years. As everyone knows, Deadlands is the only game for me. But it's an interesting article.

Link found at Positive Liberty, which you should check out. Very intelligent posts, and he is blogging his NaNoWriMo novel, making this NaNoBloMo for him. I can't speak about his novel because I haven't had time to read very much of it yet, but I've read some other fiction he's posted and he's really a terrific writer.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Dear Real Estate Agents,

Seriously: a condo is not a 'Single Family Home'. A condo is a glorified apartment. A single family home is a freestanding building. Got it?

Oh, and by the way: don't tempt me with your chef's kitchens and promise three photos of the house only for me to find that all three pictures are of the front yard. And by the way, what was that thing in the yard, anyway? Part of a car? Part of the house?


Happy Monthiversary!

Will and I have been married for 31 days. And together for six years, 10 months and three days. Though the three days are debatable.

In other news, I have dusted an entire bookshelf today. I am SO productive.

Monday, November 15, 2004

How to make Monday better

Mondays are typically a bad day for Will and for me, so I try to do something nice for him when he gets home after his 10 hour work day.

Today it was food. I mean, what could be better than a nice meal at home with your wife? Going to a screening of Rob Schrab's short films? Nah, we had that option and decided that staying at home was better. (I know. Oh, the pain of choosing.)

We had a pork tenderloin and I wanted to do something nice with it. I haven't been to the store lately, so I had to use stuff that was already in the pantry. Here's what I came up with (it doesn't have a name):

1 pork tenderloin
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
end of an onion, finely sliced (long, thin bits)
2+ tablespoons butter
1/8-1/4 cup good scotch

I butterflied the tenderloin. This sounds fancy but is incredibly easy. Cut the tenderloin not quite in half lengthwise (essentially, cut it all but about 1/2 inch through) and spread it out flat. I used a small roasting pan lined with tin foil and lightly sprayed with oil, but in retrospect I think I could have skipped the oil. I was making it up as I went along. Spread the sugar over the top then sprinkle on paprika. Throw the onions on thop of that and dot it with butter. (OK, when I say dot it with butter, I used thick slices and covered the qwhole thing. I'm sure I used more than 2 tablespoons, but I'm trying to make it sound healthier than it probably was.) Pour scotch over top and bake in a 400° oven for about 20 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, it should read between 150° and 160° when the pork comes out of the oven. It would be helpful to baste once about halfway through cooking.

I made plain white rice to go with it, and poured this vidalia onion relish we bought over it. Yummmmm. Oh, and I tried to figure out a Jess-friendly way of doing this, but realized that I would have to eliminate the pork as well as the sugar, so it totally isn't worth it. I'll post some veggie food soon.

BlogShares - Scratching at the 8-ball

BlogShares - Scratching at the 8-ball

OK, I've heard of BlogShares but never paid any attention. Can someone explain the whole thing to me, please?

Sunday, November 14, 2004


I cannot write a proper review of this movie because I am still shivering from our immediate reaction to it (if you have seen it, you will understand; if you are my mother, don't see this movie or think about how Will and I might have responded to it).

Van Helsing

It is with a great deal of surprise that I give this piece of fluff two thumbs up. Mind you, both thumbs are shaking like crazy because I cannot stop laughing.

After working myself up to hate The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with a violent passion, I rather enjoyed it. I think this was because no movie could be as bad as I expected it to be. So when it came time to watch Van Helsing I assumed the same would be true, and I was right.

I confess, it made very little sense. That is, I understood the plot perfectly and it was stupid as fuck. I tried to explain some of it to Will and Jenn and they stared at me like I had two heads. (That could have been the booze, of course - vodka tonic for her, ginandtonic for him.) And Kate Beckinsale should be banished from all movie sets ever, and her highlights should be banished twice.

It's possible that I was able to enjoy the movie as much as I did because I went into it with the intention of treating it like a comedy. I don't know if it was intended as a comedy, but that is how I watched it, at John's suggestion.

But whatever the reason may be, I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. And I must say that I think the first fourteen minutes were actually brilliant and would stand up to much higher standards than the movie as a whole.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

More on the Winter Blues

Interactive post!

I love books. I mean, duh. But I really love re-reading my favorite books. They're my security blanket. If I'm grumpy or sad or tired or whatever, I just take an old favorite (the worse the mood, the younger the reading level) and sit out on the porch with it (weather permitting) and it always helps a little. In fact, the bookshelf nearest the door to the porch is full of children's novels. At least once a year I read the "Little House" books, Harry Potter, the Bagthorpes, and of course Oz and Narnia. I also read To Kill A Mockingbird once a year, but that is a little bit different and anyway I do it in summer.

So, if you are a re-reader please tell me your favorite books to read and your reasons to re-reading. If you are not a re-reader then I suppose you should jsut tell me your favorite books in general, or make up something else that you think I'd like to know.

Liquor in the front...

I enjoy playing poker. I have no delusions about being any good at it. I still cannot remember the order the hands go in, so often have no idea whether I've won. (For the record: usually not.)

Rian hosts Wednesday night poker. We originally decided on the day because we all watched the series finale of Angel together and didn't know what to do with ourselves the following week. It has since become its own beast. Will and I don't go very regularly anymore, because of a combination of lack of money and lack of time (in a way - we have plenty of time but don't manage it very well). Meghan and Mark have just started a Saturday night game. This may prove problematic since they have a 50" TV and an X-Box, but we shall see. Surely the thrill of Halo 2 will wear off someday. It left Will shell-shocked, so I think we will stick with our PS2 and the GTA games (and Tenchu).

The biggest problem I've noticed with having a large group of friends who all enjoy getting together and all (except Will) enjoy playing poker is that there aren't enough seats or chips for everyone. I never mind sitting out so that everyone else can play (it saves us money and I still get to hang out) but it is still awkward. Maybe this is why we don't host games, though I still want to start doing Horror Game nights.

I forgot what my point was.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Light as a feather, stiff as a board.

I have back problems. I have always had back problems. I've had four chiropractors in my life, and need a new one. (My last was the Best Ever, but I am hardly about to travel to Woodstock, NY, every week for an adjustment.)

We've arranged for weekly massages from Meghan, taking turns, but it is sadly not enough.

We have a $1500 mattress and another couple hundred dollars worth of nice bedding and $150 pillows. But I think that the Tempur-Pedic mattress is actually exacerbating the problem, because it conforms to my deformed shape (my hips are so far out of alignment that I think I am an inch shorter than normal). So my body is actually being trained to stay unstraight. Poop.

My muscles are not just tense, but also sore. Last night I took a two hour bath in Epsom Salts, salt butter (which just makes the water soft) and some sort of bath bomb thingy (no, not from Lush) for sore muscles. It helped for about half an hour after I dried off.

I've been in several car accidents in my life. The last, four and a half years ago, pretty much destroyed me. My ribs pop out of place regularly and I have very little strength in my back - though that is my fault for not exercising to strengthen it.

I just needed to complain. Thanks.

Mark, Matthew, Luke and John

From my father I inherited the Winter Blues, which is a euphemistic name now that I think about it. Every year, and it isn't always in winter either, I get slow and sad and just unable to do anything. It's quite inconvenient, and it always worries Will.

On Wednesday evening we combatted my latest attack of malaise by going to the ACME Comedy Theatre for a live performance of What's My Line?

OK, I pretty much wanted to go because two of the panelists were Wil Wheaton and Nellie Olson Alison Arngrim. But by midday I had decided that we oughtn't go, on account of the bank issues we've been having (which, by the way, are still not resolved!). But then I realized that the only way to shake my mood was to get myself out of the house. Will, being the Best Husband Ever, insisted that, despite his exhaustion from work, he wanted to do whatever I wanted to do. So he picked me up and we drove to the ACME (which is only two blocks from his office). We easily found street parking and bought our tickets. With time to spare we wandered into the restaurant next door to the theatre and I bought Will a beer. When the doors opened we found good seats. It's a small theatre with stadium seating, so any seat would have been a good seat. A young man played piano music on a nice keyboard, prompting Will to say that if he played an instrument he hoped he'd look as happy to just be playing music, and me to say that I would buy Will a Casio for Christmas (one of the ones with only 40 keys and the god-awful settings that make it sound not at all like other instruments). This later became a genius idea for Casio-treadmills, to learn piano and exercise simultaneously. I will make millions.

Then the show started. It is completely improv and follows the format of the television show pretty closely (as best I could tell, never having watched the show). The host, J. Keith van Staatan, worked well with the audience and was quite funny. The other panelists were Ann Magnuson, who is incredibly gorgeous and a nice throw-back to Old Hollywood, and Andy Zax, who is less annoying than I believed him to be from the few times I watched Beat The Geeks. The guests were Conny [something], the Registrar-Recorder; A trio of chimney sweeps; Richard Sherman; and Jose Conseco. Richard Sherman told stories about Walt Disney, and came down to play "Chim Chim Cheree," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," and "It's A Small World," which he encouraged everyone to sing along with. (Most folks sang along with "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" too, and yes, I have typed that out each time.)

Wil Wheaton is my favorite celebrity. Not because of his work, specifically, but because he is such a real person. When Richard Sherman was revealed, his jaw dropped open, and while he was playing the songs I could tell that Wil was near tears from happiness. And the look on his face when he took off his blindfold and saw Jose Conseco...I can't describe it. Hero worship obviously came into play, but it weas just this look of disbelief at being so very lucky. I know just how he feels.

And I think I've beat back the Winter Blues for a while.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

I hate Bill Gates.

My browser, which is not made by Microsoft, crashed twice today, because of products that are made by Microsoft. I am too tired to reconstruct the really long post I had half written at the time of the second crash. Will try to get it done in the morning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Wow. Oh, wow.

Not only was What's My Line? totally awesome, but one of the guests was Richard Sherman! John, I am prepared for you to tell me that you hate me and will never speak to me again, but first I should tell you that he played Chim Chim Cher-ee, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and It's A Small World. Live. Ten feet away from me. The Mystery Guest was pretty awesome too - Jose Conseco. You know, the Baseball Legend. And the Panelists all rocked my socks off. (I was not wearing socks.) Wil Wheaton, Ann Magnuson, Andy Zax (the guy with the long hair from Beat The Geeks) and Alison Arngrim. Nellie Olsen! OhMyGod!

Anyway. Full report after I sleep.

Wil Wheaton has a posse.

And I'm off to join it.

What's My Line? at the Acme Comedy Theatre, tonight at 8:00.

I'll try to post about it when I get home. Oh, let's be honest. I'll post about it tomorrow and backdate it to the time I got home. (I am talking about the future like it is already the past. Where is Michael J. Fox? I had a crush on him even before I had a crush on Wil Wheaton!)


Excuse me.

I just need to flip out and kill people.

I deposited a check that was returned for assorted reasons, all the issuing bank's fault. The person who wrote the check wired the amount to my account and will make restitution for the overdraft fees we incurred because of it, so that's all good. But the fucking wire transfer has not gone through yet. Her bank verified that it went into the Federal Reserve (which sounds terribly ominous - they need a jollier name) and my bank has no way of tracking it. So I have no access to real money, because even though we have a positive balance at the moment I can't access any of it because there is a hold on an out-of-state check that I deposited (a wedding gift from my step-mother). So our credit cards are all at their limit because we've been using them as money while all this nonsense is resolved. Did I mention that the wire transfer was in town? And it's been well over the 48 hour estimate for wire transfers? Come on. I've had out-of-state wired money go through in less time. (It sounds like I get money wired to me all the time. This is not the case - it is now twice, ever.)

Also, all of the idiot sub-contractors from my wedding are calling me non-stop demanding payment on disputed charges that have nothing to do with me. I am seriously considering throwing away my telephone.

AND I still haven't written any more Thank You notes. We sent out about 15 on Friday and I wanted the rest done by yesterday, but oh well. I comfort myself in the knowledge that my bed is still awesome.

Also, ninjas make me feel better.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

How you spell your name?

The post title is a question I used to ask everyone when I was (correct me if I'm wrong, Mom) about four years old.

I've noticed that, particularly in his Live Journal, Will tends to refer to me interchangeably as Annika or bettie. Sometimes when he writes "bettie," I raise an eyebrow in a "that's my internet name" sort of way. But the name came before the internet. (Oh, no. That's like saying that I'm older than the mountains, or that Al Gore invented the internet, when everyone knows it was Tipper. God I hate her. What I mean is that he called me bettie before I used the name online.)

As a form of kicking myself in the pants, I submitted a name change to my credit card. They're mailing one in my new name in 1-2 business days. Granted, I am using my maiden name as my middle name, and requested that they spell it out on the card, but I figure this will be a good way to force myself to go to the Social Security office and the Dreaded DMV and change my name there. Which pisses me off, because the lady at the Marriage License window told me that when they send the Certificate, they send paperwork to fill out and then they contact the SSA, but there was nothing in the envelope with the Marriage Certificate and I am not going to sit around and wait for the County Clerk to get off their collective ass and take care of me. I'm a Mrs, damn it. But anyway, if my credit card has my married name on it, I should really get a driver's license to match. And so I shall. Eventually.

Where is my pizza? I call it pizza. And I am hungry.

Oh wow!

The internet is so amazing. I just stumbled across this post from a blog I have never heard of before. I'm not making any sort of political statement here, but I think the maps are really, really neat.

Sorry I've been so quiet today. I am plotting [SPOILER! Will, do not read this!]Will's Christmas gift[/SPOILER] and it's been keeping me busy. Also Saria came over earlier. Plus I have so much fucking housework and I am trying to get it done without freaking myself out. What this means is baby steps, which are good for me psychologically but aren't really getting the place clean and organized. Stupid baby steps.

The good news is that we put the new down comforter on the bed and I am now even more in love with bed than before (which should be humanly impossible). Also, earlier I lay down on top of the made-up bed, and I think that it may be possible to improve upon the world's greatest mattress by adding a feather or fiber bed. I'll have to give this some thought.

I have to finish writing the goddamn Thank You cards for the wedding. OK bye.

Monday, November 08, 2004

My house smells so good!

I roasted a pumpkin this afternoon. Of course, I managed to burn myself on the roasting pan. But the olfactory party makes up for it! The plan is to puree the meat (isn't it funny that a squash has meat?) with sugar and heavy cream and spices and put it into the pie crust I made earlier. Oh, and I think an egg, too. I don't know. I have a recipe. I've never used it before and intend to make a few substitutions, so if it works I will post it. I need to partially pre-bake the crust, because I expect the pie filling to be a bit runny. This is all an adventure! I've made pumpkin pie plenty of times before, but it's been a while, and in the past I've always steamed the pumpkin or used canned. I have a second pumpkin that I haven't cooked yet, so if it works well, I'll be able to make pie #2 quickly tomorrow, and if it doesn't quite work, I can adjust my methods. Or possibly, based on the smell, just roast it and eat it with butter and sugar. Oopsie, I just drooled all over myself.

In other news, I have been sucked in by the Sharp Aquos campaign. I would say completely sucked in, but I am looking at the forums and I doubt these people sleep. I am a far cry from obsessed. So far I have discovered three websites - More To See, linked to above, More Was Seen, and Steinitz Puzzlers. More To See has three important subdomains: Natalie, Peter and Mike. The subdomains are the blogs of the three main characters in the story. Steinitz Puzzlers gives a great deal of backstory. More Was Seen recaps everything to date. And the blogs are rather realistic. More To See is primarily a commercial; it has three actual video ads included, though there is much more than that to explore. The forums are here on the Steinitz page.

It is totally insane. I'm sorry I can't explain it better, but I only stumbled upon it via Natalie's blog, so you already have a headstart.

Awkward wedding gift problem.

According to our registry at Bed Bath & Beyond, someone purchased the down comforter we asked for. Yay! It's been really cold at night lately. The thing is, it showed as purchased on the list weeks before the wedding, and we've seen neither hide nor hair (nor feather) of it. I don't want to be all bitchy, because it's a gift, but I'm worried that it might have gotten lost. The other possible explanation is that someone was looking at my registry and then bought the same item for themselves, and the computer got confused. I have no way of knowing who purchased it, so if it was you or you know who it was, you'd better track that package (or, if you bought it for yourself, just let me know so that I can put it back onto the registry in hopes of Christmas pressies).

Also, it isn't rude to tell people we want the rest of the dishes we registered for, is it? I mean, if they ask what we want for Christmas, we can ask for wedding registry stuff, right? I was kind of surprised that we didn't get many of the dishes, because that's what you're supposed to register for and all. And we can totally just get them for ourselves (bank balance willing) but, well, you know.

I think it's really unfair that I avoided being Bridezilla but now I'm all wedding-obsessed after the fact. I'd like that to stop now. If there's a pill, I'll take it.

EDIT. I've decided that there really is a God. I know it's true because I can hear him laughing at me. Man, is he ever enjoying this. Short story is: FedEx just dropped off the comforter. Long story involves conspiracies between God and Bed Bath & Beyond and is best not gotten into right now.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


Here's a crappy photo of our gorgeous new barstools along with some clutter. I know they don't really go with our apartment, but they go with us, and someday we'll have a house to match. Us, not the barstools specifically.

Don't make me watch scary movies.

Tonight we decided to finally watch the American version of The Ring, which has been sitting on top of our TV in its Netflix envelope for about two weeks. I'd kind of put off watching it because I figured that, being American and all, it would be full of jump scares, which I believe to be bad for my complexion. So we put it on, and got through the opening, and pretty much as soon as Naomi Watts showed up, the DVD started skipping. Not the way a record skips, but so that it would jump ahead a few seconds. Or maybe the movie was just really badly edited... Anyway, we only got about 13 minutes in before we gave up. Not because of the skipping, actually, but because the sound went out at about 12 minutes, and that was only amusing for 60 seconds.

So then we put in Pumpkinhead. WARNING: Do NOT watch this movie if you love little children and don't want to see anything bad happen to one. Now, that said, while the movie really upset me, it was also very good. The central theme of vengeance was dealt with very nicely, and Lance Henriksen is possibly one of THE BEST living actors. I've seen him in a LOT of movies, and this one impressed more than any other. I'm really torn about the movie itself. It was very good and quite effective, but I really question whether they had to introduce us to the boy and make us like him before taking him away. Sure, it worked (see how wound up I am?), but the whole movie centers around a father's grief and I don't think we need proof that a father loves his son. I think we can just accept it without question.

Anyway. Question for my readers! Which do you find more horrifying: monsters or people who do bad (monstrous) things?

What's that word?

At least, I think there's a word for it. Basically, what do you call it if you really want something, but once you get it you don't want it anymore?

See, Will's parents are treating me like part of the family now. Which is nice, but I'm kind of mad that they had seven years to decide to treat me right and didn't do it until we got married. Also, they're boring me to tears with the conversations they suck me into on the phone. I don't know these people you're talking about! I don't care! Here, talk to your son.

Obviously, I feel extermely guilty. I mean, I'm annoyed that I'm getting what I wanted? I am such a bitca.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Wait. What?

We had a very productive day. And it was really fun, too. What the fuck?

First of all, the Marriage Certificate came in the mail Friday, so we went to the bank to change my name on the account so that we could deposit the checks we got as wedding gifts that are made out to my married name. Yay, money! Except that we can't access it for a while due to assorted bank cock-ups and the fact that one of the checks is out-of-state so there's a 5 day hold on it. Grrr.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we started out the day hungover from an evening spent with Meghan, Mark, and the puppies (during which time Will got a massage, which becomes important to this story later), so I drove to McDonald's and bought a delicious greasy breakfast that I'm sure destroyed our good health but ask me if I care. The answer is no.

Anyway, after the bank we met up with Jenny and loaded four boxes of give-away stuff (mostly clothing and housewares) into her truck. We dropped it all off at Goodwill, where the nice man tried to congratulate Will and Jenn on their marriage (hee!) and then got on the highway and headed north.

We had lunch at the Mexican restaurant in Littlerock and then drove to The Outpost, a little trading post type place with lots of found objects (jewelry, Native stuff, scorpians the cat dragged in) and Native art, both cheesy and not, and handmade furniture, and bought these amazing bar stools. I can't even describe them, so I'll take a picture later.

While we were doing that, the sun set (what I saw of it was amazing), so we drove to the Devil's Punchbowl but couldn't really do much because the park closes at dark (and we didn't want to be on the trails after dark anyway - scaaaaaaary). Then we drove back to LA, stopping in Burbank at the Dreaded Ikea for a bed frame. I feel very conflicted about the whole thing because we are trying so hard to get rid of our Ikea furniture (the new bar stools replace a very uncomfortable set from That Place), but we can't find the kind of frame we want for under $1200 and we needed the mattress off the floor and this frame was only $130. I think Mindi might have the exact same one, but ours is not stained yet. It's pretty, but the plain pine is kind of an eyesore in our bedroom. Doesn't go with the other furnitures AT ALL. Oh well. I think I'm going to wax it.

Unfortunately, Will ruined the positive effects of his massage by putting together the ridiculous thing. It's a nice enough bed, but the instructions were awful by even Ikea standards, and none of the holes were drilled properly, and he is back to being sore and unhappy now. I hate you, Ikea! That is the last of our money you'll be getting, I guarantee it. (If I try to buy anything else from those fuckers, somebody lock me in my apartment.) Poor Will. I should run him a bath or something. Ahh, nevermind, he's playing Vice City. The nicest thing I can do for him is leave him alone.

While Will was putting together the bed (and I was attempting to help but possibly doing just the opposite), Jenn made tortilla soup. It's so good! Last time she made it I ate three bowls and then was horribly sick. This time I only let myself have one bowl. Crisis averted!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Sure, some unpleasant stuff is going on. And guess what? It's all money-related, and for once not my fault.

But nevermind that.

Starbucks' Gingerbread Latte is back on the menu! Oh god I love the Christmas season. And this year I am going to remember to ask if I can buy a bottle of the flavored syrup, so that I can make these babies at home.

Friday, November 05, 2004


Will and I are being harassed (it remains to be seen if this is true in the legal sense, but I think it is). I am spending my blog-writing time trying to deal with a ridiculous mess. Also, I'm in a lousy mood about it. And hungry.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Delicious Food, Part IV

Both of these recipes are from Julie Sahni's cookbook Savoring Herbs and Spices. They would probably be lovely together, but I am only posting them at the same time because I have the book in front of me.

Saffron Pilaf with Peas and Almonds

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 T water

combine these in a small dish and set aside.

1 c basmati rice (I have used other rices, such as sushi rice, and the substitution works well)

Rinse rice and cover with about 2 cups water. Set aside to soak for up to 30 minutes.

1 T canola oil
1 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 whole cloves

Cook in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are well cooked and golden (5 minutes or so). Add rice (drained) and 1.75 cups water or chicken broth. Bring to a boil and stir well. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, the saffron/water mixture, and 1/2 cup frozen peas (no need to defrost).

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about ten minutes with the lid part-way on, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and is covered in steam holes. Cover the pan tightly and reduce heat to low. Cook another 10 minutes then remove from heat and let sit, still covered, for 5 minutes.

Stir before serving, and add 2 T sliced almonds, which is totally optional and I usually skip.

Brussel Sprouts with Fennel

Look, I know everyone says they hate brussel sprouts, but you're crazy. They're really, really delicious. Just try this, OK? Even Will likes it.

1 T canola oil
1 t fennel seeds, slightly crushed (I use the back of a spoon or a mortar and pestle)
3 T slivered almonds
3/4 pound (1 pint) brussel sprouts, trimmed and scored*
1/4 t crushed red pepper, or more to taste
salt to taste
1/2 c water
juice of half a lemon

Heat the oil in a frying pan (one with a lid is ideal but not necessary). When it is hot, add the fennel seeds and almonds. Stirring, cook until the fennel seeds let off their lovely smell. This will only take a few seconds - you do not want to let anything brown. Add the brussel sprouts, salt and red pepper. Stir to coat everything with oil, then add the water and bring to a boil. This all happens really fast, so be sure you've got your ingredients ready to go next to the stove. As soon as the water's in the pan you can relax.

Lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed and the brussel sprouts are tender. If you do not have a lid you may have to add more water, and will have to watch closely while the dish cooks. To serve, sprinkle with lemon juice and toss with more salt if desired.

*To trim and score brussel sprouts: cut the stem very short and remove any gross outer leaves. Take a sharp knife and cut a cross shape into the top end. Ta-da!

A perfect day, part 2

It is absolutely gorgeous outside. Chilly (for Southern California), sunny, with wispy clouds over the Hollywood Hills and dotting the sky overhead.

I started my day (after Will successfully navigated his way out of my tight embrace and got out of bad, the rascal) by washing two loads of laundry and changing the bedding. Chores, yes, but the prospect of sleeping on clean, nice-smelling sheets makes up for it. If I can bear to be in the basement for much of the afternoon, I will wash the rest of the dirty clothing and the towels. If not, it can wait until tomorrow.

I must change the water in my flowers. They are holding up beautifully and I would like to always have fresh flowers around, especially if they are going to last this long. They are Peruvian Lilies. I don't remember the Latin, but I believe Jenn knows.

I'm in a good mood.

A perfect day.

Oh it's such a perfect day
I'm glad I spent it with you
Oh such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging
(Perfect Day, Lou Reed)

it's a perfect day for letting go
for setting fire to bridges
and other dreary worlds you know
let's get happy!
(Doing the Unstuck, The Cure)

"Don�t let go," Sybil ordered. "You hold me, now."

"Miss Carpenter. Please. I know my business," the young man said. "You just keep your eyes open for any bananafish. This is a perfect day for bananafish."

"I don�t see any," Sybil said.

"That�s understandable. Their habits are very peculiar. Very peculiar." He kept pushing the float. The water was not quite up to his chest.

"They lead a very tragic life," he said. "You know what they do, Sybil?"

She shook her head.

"Well, they swim into a hole where there�s a lot of bananas. They�re very ordinary-looking fish when they swim in. But once they get in, they behave like pigs. Why, I�ve known some bananafish to swim into a banana hole and eat as many as seventy-eight bananas." He edged the float and its passenger a foot closer to the horizon. "Naturally, after that they�re so fat they can�t get out of the hole again. Can�t fit through the door."

"Not too far out," Sybil said, "What happens to them?"

"What happens to who?"

"The bananafish."

"Oh, you mean after they eat so many bananas they can�t get out of the banana hole?"

"Yes," said Sybil.

"Well, I hate to tell you, Sybil. They die."

"Why?" asked Sybil.

"Well, they get banana fever. It�s a terrible disease."

"Here comes a wave," Sybil said nervously.

"We�ll ignore it. We'll snub it," said the young man. "Two snobs." He took Sybil�s ankles in his hands and pressed down and forward. The float nosed over the top of the wave. The water soaked Sybil�s blond hair, but her scream was full of pleasure.

With her hand, when the float was level again, she wiped away a flat, wet band of hair from her eyes, and reported, "I just saw one."

"Saw what, my love?"

"A bananafish."

"My God, no!" said the young man. "Did he have any bananas in his mouth?"

"Yes," said Sybil. "Six."

The young man suddenly picked up one of Sybil�s wet feet, which were drooping over the end of the float, and kissed the arch.

"Hey!" said the owner of the foot, turning around.

"Hey, yourself! We�re going in now. You had enough?"


"Sorry," he said, and pushed the float toward the shore until Sybil got off it. He carried it the rest of the way.

"Goodbye," said Sybil, and ran without regret in the direction of the hotel.
("A Perfect Day For Bananafish" by JD Salinger)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Another political post.

I just called my mommy, but she wasn't home. This is irrelevant except that part of the reason I called her was procrastination of household tasks, and everyone knows that the internet is way more efficient as a procrastination tool than the phone, especially when you have a cordless phone and so could conceivably clean and organize while chatting.


I was thinking. And I guess this is kind of related to the phone call after all, because my step-father answered the phone and when he asked how I am I told him I voted Democrat and then laughed and said, "It's no worse than yesterday." Which is the point I wanted to make here.

My personal feelings toward Kerry this morning aside (I think I am allowed to be emotional on my blog), I am not angry about the outcome of this election. Disappointed, yes. I am disappointed that basic civil rights mean so little to the Moral Values Brigade. I am disappointed that Bush will almost certainly be President when my children are born. (Will: stop hyperventilating. He'll be president for four years and a few months. That gives us plenty of time to get ready for babies.)

But. Bush won the popular vote. I think that is really important. If Kerry had won the popular vote and Bush the Electoral College, I would have been furious, as I was four years ago. The fact that he was reelected legitimately makes this much easier for me. The Right has just as much, er, right to have their voice heard as I do. And they were a little bit louder. Their numbers (at least at the voting booths) were stronger. And I think I can accept that this is the majority. I just hope that the rights of the minority will be protected. Isn't that what our country is all about?

The issues that I am outraged about (and I am outraged) are the same today as they were yesterday. And they'd be the same today if John Kerry were the President Elect - I'd just be a little bit less worried. But only a little bit.

I see a lot of bitterness. And it's depressing me. So I think that everyone who is unhappy with the election results should do what I am doing tonight: go to a friend's house and get high. (Mom: KIDDING!)

Delicious Food, Part III

Enough nonsense. How about some fish?

Yummy Salmon

Nigella adapted this recipe from someone called Neil Stuart, and I adapted it inasmuch as I fudge the ingredients and made up my own side dish. Well, decided on my own side dish - I don't think I can get away with claiming to have invented rice. But I will tell you how I fix it:

1 cup short-grain white rice, preferably Japanese (sticky)
1.5 cups water
1/2 onion (or 1 small)

Finely chop onion and sauté in butter in a small or medium sauce pan over low-medium heat. You may, optionally, lightly salt at this stage. When the onions begin to lose their color, add the rice, stir, and add the water. Turn the heat up to high and cover the pan. As soon as the lid begins to rattle, turn the heat down as low as possible (if you have a heat diffuser, you can use it). Let cook 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your stove and variety of rice. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, five minutes. Stir and serve.


For two servings of salmon:

1/4 t each:
cayenne pepper
sugar (1/8 t Splenda if sugar verboten)
hot mustard powder (Colman's)

All ground, of course.

Mix, then dredge fish, both sides. You can get away with using whatever spices you've got as long as they resemble the list above - for example, I used cardamom last time because I had no ground cinnamon. Also, I believe the original recipe included cocoa powder as well, which would probably be delightful.

Heat a flat griddle or non-stick frying pan. If you have neither, you can use any frying pan, but you'll need to get it very hot and a flexible, thin spatula will be almost indispensable.

Cook the fish at least 2 minutes on each side for rare and brightly colored, longer if you like it well done and flaky. Flipping it over and removing it may be difficult. Don't fret if the fish falls to bits - it will still taste good. Just avoid making this for anyone you wish to impress unless you've done it at least once before, so that you know what to expect.


Mix together 1.5 teaspoons each mustard powder and sugar (or 3/4 t Splenda) and 1 teaspoon warm water. Pour over fish (and rice, and a small green salad if you like - no further dressing necessary). If you like this spicy sauce as much as Will and I do, double the recipe.

NaBloWriMo Update

I know. Only one post yesterday. But on Monday I said:

I will allow myself one exemption for general exhaustion
And while it is not exactly exhaustion, I took that exemption yesterday for emotional distress. Anyway, I will make it up. And I know I could have fudged the time stamp on an entry today, but I didn't feel like it.

More important: I have noticed that a number of my friends are also blogging through the month of November. Any or all of you are welcome to use the icon I ripped off from made in loving homage to NaNoWriMo. See:

You may direct link to it at my PhotoBucket account: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v31/noirbettie/blog/nablowrimo.jpg
If you use it, I must require that you give credit to NaNoWriMo, whose icon I altered and idea I stole. (If there are any bandwidth issues, I will figure out what to do then.)

And in other news, Will and I are considering moving to Mexico and possibly raising Chihuahuas. I really ought to learn Spanish.

Election. Argh.

Dear John Kerry,

In the middle of the night I dreamed that I was watching television. The House of Representatives was being polled. I thought, "a tie!" I knew when I went to bed that such a thing was so close to impossible that I shouldn't even think about it, but I have no control over my dreams. And it was a nice dream.

I'm sorry that you lost this election. In fact, "sorry" doesn't really cover it. I am far closer to heartbroken.

You won my vote because my moral values are more important to me than any other issue at stake. Yes, my moral values - family values, if you will. My values tell me that my body is My Body and that although I am not a huge fan of abortion, to have the right taken away is to legalize the slavery and murder of women. My values tell me that every single human being deserves equal rights, and that if I can be married there is no reason that ALL of my friends, gay or straight, should not have that same right. And while I know that you are personally opposed to the rights I demand, I am convinced that you would not impose your beliefs on our country.

And yet, I am most regretful that I voted for you. Regretful because it turns out that you do not even have to be our President Elect to start breaking your promises.

What happened to "every vote counts and every vote counted"? To concede before every vote has been counted, even when defeat was certain (as it was, which I accept) shows a lack of care for your supporters, a disregard for your promises, and a charmingly pessimistic attitude. I do not personally think that you were wrong to concede the election, until you take that promise into consideration. I am disgusted with you.

I hope that John Edwards runs for President in 2008. I will not only vote for him, but I will volunteer my time if I have to. He seems to give a fuck about me.

Keep up the good work in Massachusetts. They need you.



Note to my readers: I am having trouble accessing my blog. I can read it, but updating is not happening. I managed to circumvent the problem this morning by using BlogThis!, but am not sure whether I will be able to continue posting regularly. I will write my posts in Notepad and post them as possible."

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Will this madness never end?!

And no, I am not talking about The Dreaded Election.

I'm talking about wedding pressies. They are still arriving almost daily. THIS IS GOOD. KEEP IT UP. But I am starting to feel overwhelmingly guilty. Let's see - I dressed myself up all pretty and pranced around to Queen and said some things in front of a bunch of people that I usually say in private, and then I had some nice food and hung out with people before going to stay in a really nice hotel...and I am being rewarded for it?

Crazy, man.

And as if all of the Stuff wasn't enough, a couple of people sent us gift cards and several others sent checks so we were able to buy some stuff we wanted that hadn't been purchased from the registries, and pay off part of the credit card mess and still eat. And we ought to be able to get ourselves Something Nice when we have five seconds to figure out what. Probably the rest of the honeymoon and maybe a tattoo (we intend to get them to commemorate the occasion but have not even had time to look for a reputable shop).

Time. (Or thyme, which ought to make Jenn laugh.) We don't have any. Well, technically I have some, but I am wasting all of it worrying about what I don't have. Will's job has increased three-fold and he is really stressed out. No, that isn't even the right word, though it's somewhat accurate. I'd say he's more tired than anything else.

Before we know it, April will be here. I am already looking at flights to the east coast for Sarah's wedding (that would be Will's sister). Why does the internet not understand that I want ONE carrier and I want to ARRIVE AT and DEPART FROM the same fucking airport? Short layovers? Not a problem. Best time to eat, since they only give you cat food on the plane and to add insult to injury they make you pay for it. Flights under $300 per person would be nice too. I know I can always call Crystal for assistance but we have an Orbitz credit card and while we have not yet earned enough points for money off these flights, we will get double points if we book them there.

Thank goodness my sister does not have a boyfriend, let alone fiancé. I mean, I would be very happy for her if she did, but I'm not sure I could handle the stress.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Delicious Food, Part II

OR: I'm not dead yet.

Part I: Mother-in-Law Pizza

By the way, Ringu only has a few hours left to kill me. I'm not worried, though. We had it from Netflix and since we sent it back, it ought to follow the renter's equivalent of copying and passing along. Don't read that last sentence if you hate spoilers. Oh, nevermind, I tagged it.

Cuban-style Black Bean Soup

I got this one from Nigella and barely altered it at all, so if you have How To Eat, just skip this entry and read page 81 (in the American paperback edition).

2.5 cups dried black beans
2 bay leaves
plenty of water (Nigella says 2 quarts; I say, who the hell has a quart measure?)

Sort through the beans and throw away any stones or other gross bits. Put good beans in a large pot with bay leaves and cover with water. You want at least an inch of water above the beans. Bring to a boil, cover partially and turn down the heat, simmer for 1.5 to 2.5 hours, until beans are cooked but not too soft (they should not be falling apart, nor should they hurt your teeth).

While this is happening, assemble the following in a large saute pan or sauce pan:

1 cup olive oil
2 medium-large onions, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 shallots, chopped (these are optional but Will and I both like the soup better with)

Sauté over medium heat until everything is softened and the onions lose their color - about 10 to 15 minutes.


8 cloves garlic, minced
1 T dried cumin (freshly ground if possible)
2 T dried oregano
zest of 1 lime

Continue sautéing for 5 minutes, remove from heat. When cooled, purée in a blender and add to beans (when almost done, as described above).

Also add:

2 t brown sugar
salt to taste (approx. 1 t)

Cook until the beans are tender (this will take about half an hour depending on how soft you want them). Taste. At this point you can add more salt if you want to, but it shouldn't be necessary.

Add 2 tablespoons sherry.

Note: I have never used the sherry. It can be eliminated altogether, or you can do what I do and substitute any amber liquor you already have at home; I tend to use bourbon, rather predictably.

To serve, chop up a red onion and some fresh cilantro, and quarter a lime (or several, depending on how many people you are serving). Offer these as well as sour cream and a good, flavorful hot sauce (I like Cholula) to your guests/family. Everyone can add the amount of their choosing. I really recommend using all of the toppings, but your tastes may vary. And by the way, this really is a soup for several people; I made it for just Will and myself a week ago and there is still plenty in the fridge. I think this serves about 8 as a main course.

Optional addition for the carnivores: A nice spicy Polish Kielbasa is, according to Will, delightful in this soup. They come pre-cooked, so you need only heat it up. If no vegetarians will be eating, you can add it when you add everything else to the mostly-cooked beans.

A little bit late, My Endorsement for President.

It has come to my attention that John and John are on the ballot. I think it would be TOTALLY AWESOME to have a great garage band in the White House, so I urge you to vote GIANT tomorrow.

If you are not American or do not understand my sense of humor, please accept my apologies for wasting your time.

Welcome to National Blog Writing Month.

It's National Novel Writing Month! And I will not be writing a novel. This is not because of my miserable failure at last year's attempt (I'm rather proud of myself for cocking it up so spectacularly), but because I lack motivation and had no time for preparation and besides which would rather be baking. Or, as the case may be, blogging.

NOTE: The cutesy icon above is a shamefully manipulated version of one of the NaNoWriMo participants' icons. I hope the good fellows over there can forgive me.

So, here's the deal: Stephanie plans to blog every day in November; Blogger recommends NaNoWriMo participation - while blogging your novel; I make my own rules.

I am going to write an entry twice a day, every day, for 30 days (hath November). I will allow myself to pre- or post-date entries, as long as I end up with a minimum of 60 for the month. These will be real entries, with real content, but I will allow myself one exemption for general exhaustion, presumably turkey-related (no, not tryptophan - I can't stand fowl). I will post more recipes, observations on married life, book/movie reviews (assuming that I read or watch anything), politics (if the election doesn't kill me - in which case, NaBloWriMo is canceled) and all the other stuff I post anyway. The only difference will be the frequency and - hopefully - length of the posts. I plan to use my last few entries as inspiration for length (with apologies to Matty, who is illiterate).

Of course I make no guarantees about quality. That would be ridiculous.

In closing, a note about health care: Will's employer can add me to his health insurance (medical only) for a staggering $676 a month. Yes, I'm afraid you read that correctly. Blue Cross will give me slightly less coverage for $65 a month. Does anyone else see the problem here?