Friday, August 29, 2008

Now we're making Pwogwess!

Hey folks .... not much time to write and I'm still not feeling particularly creative, so here's an update on the "to do" list:

1.) Clean house -- check. I figure it has about another 3 hours before all hell breaks loose (aka arrival of parents) and then all bets are off. I can't wait to see them though, so bring it on!

2.) Hair cut and color. Check. I must admit, I look fabulous. Well, I will look fabulous as soon as I shower and get rid of the mess I made of myself last night. My sister arrived, and we went out for a big evening in the 'hood. I guess that's an appropriate send off for my thirties.

3.) Ponder the new cast of Dancing with the Stars and analyze it to death with Schue -- check. I'm interested to see Kim Karsizedassian, Rocco Dispirito, Ted McGinley, and yes, Cloris Leachman.

4.) Mani and pedi -- nope. My feet look like they were painted by a blind person ... with their feet.

5.) Shop for party -- half check. I need to finish groc shopping and hit the Italian Market for some pork roast. The menu will feature sloppy joes and pulled pork sandwiches.

6.) Make a CD or two -- half check. I have everything downloaded from iTunes, but need to put it on CDs. I really need to get an iPod and docking station with speakers so I can just hit "play" instead of burning CDs. But technology has never been my strong suit -- hey, at least I'm not still listening to tapes!!

7.) Prepare wig collection -- check. The blonde, Mrs. Roper, Wonder Woman and cleopatra are all ready to go. Not to mention the mummer hats and my shamrock cowboy are awaiting some pumpkinheads to adorn them!!

8.) Buy two lamps and some spare pillows for my spare bedroom -- Nope. These things are still at the store. BUT, I did get new bedding and decorative pillows, so the room looks better. I guess that's a half-check.

9.) Find a cute outfit for the party -- Nope. I will have to find something in my closet. boo hiss.

10.) Find a dress to wear to a wedding, a wedding gift and a hostess gift -- No, no and no. (And for those of you who commented on my embarrassing experience at my bosses house -- I didn't poop in the toilet knowing I couldn't flush .... it was a girlie issue. Even worse. Welcome to a day in the life of me.)

Alrighty .... still lots to do, so I'm outta here. Happy Birfday to me!

Monday, August 25, 2008

To Do

My creative juices are stifled, so I give you this ....... my "To Do" list for this week. I figure it I post it here, then I have to get everything done.

1.) Clean my house. It looks like dust and suitcase bombs exploded. I took Wednesday off work to get everything done, and this is the biggie that will take most of my time.

2.) Hair cut and color.

3.) Anxiously await cast list of "Dancing With the Stars", to be announced this morning. Discussion with Schue immediately to follow.

4.) Mani and pedi.

5.) Shop for party. Am still trying to decide on a menu, but whatever it is it'll be simple. Am leaning towards grill stuff and maybe a crock full of sloppy joes. I thought about baked beans, but I'd rather not have a houseful of bean-eaters ... seriously. I'm also going to make a small vat of sangria.

6.) Make a CD or two. My collection is way outdated, and I've been lax on the iPod updates.

7.) Prepare wig collection. I know people will wear them, so I may as well have them looking their best.

8.) Buy two lamps and some spare pillows for my spare bedroom. It's not a total necessity, but I wanna fix the room up, so why not now?

9.) Find a cute outfit that makes me look 10 years younger, but not one that makes me look like I'm in an outfit that's too young for me. It also has to make me look svelte. If it repels mosquitos, that would be a plus too.

10.) Find a dress to wear to a wedding in Kentucky next weekend. And buy a wedding gift. And a hostess gift for my boss who invited me to stay at her house with her and her husband. Last time I stayed there, she told me not to flush the toilet if I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night because it would wake up her husband. Now, I never get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom .... wouldn't you know, that night was an exception. AND .... I really needed to flush the toilet when I was done. What would you have done? Flush and piss them off .... or leave the bowl as is? I swear I'm not drinking or eating anything after 3pm knowing about the no-flush rule.

Anyway, that's my list for the week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Do Dumb Stuff -- Part Two (The Twentysomething Years)

OK, so here's another list of dumb stuff I've done. This isn't a list of absent-minded events, but stuff I planned ... schemed ..... did with full consciousness. It is probably safe to assume that intoxication and my friend John are a common denominator for 90% of the list.

Finally, as I look back over the list before I hit the "Publish" button, I realize these all occurred during or shortly following the college years. The fact that there's nothing in this list from life after 30 probably doesn't mean I haven't done dumb stuff in my thirties, but the opitomy of my dumb-ness clearly came in my twenties. Perhaps another post will be in order to showcase the dumb stuff I've done after surviving the list below.

Enough babble. Who cares. Here goes:

  • I've already told you about climbing out of a car window while riding down the highway, and clinging to the luggage rack in my skirt (and big 80s hair). But, I just told you again in case you missed it the first 3 times.
  • I bought (and wore) (a zillion times) (and in lots of pictures) a floor-length, bright purple winter coat. With all the friends I have, why didn't someone stop me? I looked like Barney!
  • The night before my friend John's college graduation, I put my hand through a window in the hotel room (I was trying to knock ... oops). This resulted in all 8 of us to get kicked out of the hotel -- just as he was supposed to be graduating. Try finding a hotel room for 8 at Penn State on graduation weekend ... and explaining it to his mother.
  • I once pretended to be one of the famed Jamaican bobsledders (a la "Cool Runnings"). This resulted in me breaking my middle finger when the "sled" crashed at the bottom of my friend's steps. It turned out to be quite a realistic re-enactment. Ironically, I also had to explain this to John's mother.
  • If you ever eat long stringy noodles and then feel nauseous, do not throw up in a bush. First-hand experience has taught me they are invisible in the evening and look like noodle tinsel in the light of day. Bad idea. Make it to the bathroom.
  • I got a perm ... on purpose. I can't believe that after cringing through years of my mother giving me Toni home perms that I actually did this to myself. This tragic perm was followed up with a very short bob haircut, and was supposed to make me look cute for my first semester of college. Instead,my head looked like a big penis with a curly helmet. I proceeded to grow my hair down to my butt crack over the course of the next 4 years.
  • Pool hopping over a barbed-wire fence is a bad idea, especially if you're not athletic (and even if you are). I have the scars to prove it.
  • Now this one wasn't my idea, but my friend John coaxed me into it -- We drove my parents' lawn tractor all around the yard at 3am after returning to their house (where I still lived at that point) after a night on the town. I'm just thankful the house was built well and withstood one particularly large crash into the side of the house near their laundry room.
  • I tried to double dutch (jump rope, for you non city-slickers). Once. My feet got so tangled up in the rope I fell on the ground and knocked myself unconscious.

OK, my brain is worn out for now. If I think of more, I'll add to the list tomorrow. In the meantime, let me know what dumb stuff you do.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Do Dumb Stuff - Part One

This morning when I was getting ready for work, I was piddling around the bathroom (literally and figuratively) when I noticed I did something really stupid.

I threw my underwear in the trash.

Now we've all had pairs that we've had to get rid of for one reason or another, and I'm not gonna go into that. But in this case, I meant to put them in the laundry basket but threw them in the garbage instead.

It got me to thinking about absent-minded things I do. Like:
  • Making coffee with no coffee grinds in the little basket.
  • Putting my keys in the freezer.
  • Driving past my exits or going somewhere I'm not planning to go.
  • Microwaving aluminum.
Actually, one time I inadvertently microwaved an empty glass bowl. Um, I've never seen a warning about what happens when you do this. It kinda looked like a micro-mini scale nuclear explosion -- and that was the end of my microwave.
  • I've brushed my teeth with hair mousse.
  • Covered my whole face with blush instead of foundation -- so I looked like a had a big rash or bad dermabrasion, instead of a nice soft glow.
  • Went to work without my bra. (Anybody else ever walk through the parking lot thinking something feels weird, only to figure it out just in time to turn around and go home?)
  • Lots of make-up and grooming disasters -- forgotten mascara, dirty teeth, no deodorant. The list is endless, but thank God it doesn't happen often and I've learned to stock my office with products to compensate for the vacant space in my head.

I'm sure there's more, but I've gotta get to work now. Tomorrow ... dumb stuff I've done on purpose.

So what dumb stuff do you do inadvertently?

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Yesterday I returned from a 4-day biz trip to Chicago. What a great trip!! I had only been to Chicago once before about 10 years ago, but I'd forgotten how much I really loved the city.

My hotel was right on the Magnificent Mile, and the weather was absolutely beautiful the whole time .... I even got to get out and enjoy it despite spending several hours couped up in a conference room.

The pics (from my pre-historic camera) actually turned out quite mahvelous .....

across the street from my hotel ... a view of the river

beautiful architecture

a mirrored sculpture in Millenium Park

There was a very interesting series of garden sculptures up and down Michigan Avenue. Various artists were sponsored to created busts using materials you wouldn't normally find in a garden. I was completely fascinated by these things and took pictures of every single one of them (probably 15-20 total). My plan is to make a photo collage to hang somewhere ... maybe in my kitchen or office. Here are a few of the garden sculptures .....

These were called "Bubble Girls"

Made from keys

More traditional garden materials, but stunning nonetheless

Leather and hair extensions

Coke and Diet Coke cans

I definitely won't wait another 10 years to return!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Surf and Turf Roll--Ups

I made up a concoction the other night that I have to write down so I don't forget it. It was delicious and pretty too, which you know is most important to me. (Next time I make it I'll take a picture.) As a bonus, it's also healthy and inexpensive to make, so it's going into my weeknight menu rotation.

This was an after-work dinner on a Tuesday night, just for DD and I .... but it was dinner-party quality. I'm even thinking I can turn it into an appetizer for my Christmas party. Hmmm ... will have to think about that. Anyway, I made this up as I went along, so I'm sure I'll tweak over time. But for now, here's the creation:

* And of course, I'll give you my usual disclaimer: I never measure anything, so quantities are my best guesstimate.

Surf and Turf Roll-Ups
  • Marinate a pack of round steak for braciole (the stuff that's pounded very thin) in soy sauce, fresh-squeezed lime juice, fresh garlic, a teensy bit of extra virgin olive oil (notice I shun the Rachel Ray acronym ... God she's annoying!!!), salt and pepper. Let this soak for hours ... the longer the better.
  • There were 3 pieces of meat in my package that were kinda the size and shape of an oven mitt. I halved them lengthwise and then cut each strip in half to make them shorter. I ended up with 12 strips that were about 6x2.
  • By the way, 12 roll-ups were enough for dinner (DD ate 4, I ate 2) and leftovers for lunch the next day.

For assembly:

  • Butterfly 24 shrimp.period. (2 per piece of meat). I know this sounds like a pain in the ass, but it really isn't if you get the cleaned and deveined shrimp.
  • Get a big bundle of thin asparagus. If you want to use the thick spears that's fine, but I think thick asparagus is tough and kinda gross. I guess I'm an asparagus snob. Cut 'em in half, so they're about 4 inches long.
  • Lay the strip of meat flat. Put the shrimp on top. Put a small bundle of asaragus (I used ~8 thin halves per bundle) near one end.
  • Start rolling!!
  • Toothpick that baby so it doesn't come undone. Now I know toothpicking automatically raises the hassle factor to the highest level, but be not afraid of a recipe with toothpicks. It'll be okay, and the end result is worth it.


  • I cooked the 12 rolls in a glass baking dish. I add a concoction of beef broff (low sodium), some more soy, a little more lime juce, and a dusting of corn starch to thicken things up a bit. (It didn't make gravy, but it kept it from being too watery.)
  • The baking dish was filled about halfway with liquid. This serves two purposes: 1) it helped steam the rolls 2) it kept them from drying out while they cooked.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until the shrimp and beef look cooked, but not like shoe leather. Chances are, as soon as the shrimp is done (completely pink), the beef will be done too and you're good to go. Turn these over after 20 minutes.

While the rolls are cooking:

  • I carmelized some onions for the top. I just think it's wrong to eat meat without carmelized onions --- I don't know why, that's just the way I like it.

Voila!!! That's the recipe. Let me know if you try it out.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Crazy Eights

Today's the lucky day ..... 08-08-08!!!

You know I'm a kook-a-doodle-doo when it comes to the number 8. I probably should've been born in China --- they are also quite enamoured with the number 8. In fact, many Chinese people go out of their way to find a way to incorporate our beloved number into their lives -- either on a specially crafted license plate, requesting it in their phone number, or whatever. I guess they don't name their kids "8." I've never heard of someone named Eight Ng.

Anyway .... I'm really not all that into numerology, and I can count on 2 hands the number of times I've ever played the lottery. I'm more on the realistic side of life's equation and don't generally believe that numbers hold any real meaning. However ...... I'm a lil stupid about my favorite number and have been doing dumb shit all day because it's 08-08-08.

Here's a sampling of my lunacy:

1.) Everything cooked in the microwave is timed for x:08.

2.) I actually played the lottery .... and I WON!! I bet an 8 in my number and it came out!!! yahooey!!!

3.) I got out of bed when the alarm hit 5:48.

4.) I DVR'd the opening ceremonies to the Olympics because I know there'll be some tingly sports moment that people will talk about and I don't want to miss it. I'm excited to watch all the crazy sports that you never get to see .... you know I'm weird like that. It has nothing to do with the number 8 except for the fact that the Chinese have a love affair with lucky 8s and so do I ... and they're hosting the big sports shindig.

5.) I had egg rolls for dinner in honor of my Chinese friends who share my love for the number 8.

6.) I actually backdated the date on this post so it would show up with 08-08-08 ... despite the fact that I'm a lazy ass with insomnia and didn't post until 2(:08)am on August 9.

7.) Whenever I get a new phone number, I always ask if I can choose one. They give me options and I pick the one with the most 8s in it. Ending in 8 is especially good karma.

8.) I've got a small like for gambling, and whenever I get a chance to gamble on a number ... you know what I pick. Roulette ... block pools ..... horses .....

Even though 08-08-08 is over, this is a month full of big numbers. All month, it's 08-08 ..... and the month is going to end with an even bigger number. This one doesn't have any 8s in it, but it begins with a 4 and ends with a 0.

Damn I'm weird.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Party's Over ... boo hiss

Well troops, we survived vacation!! The weather was perfect, the water was warm, the house was great, and the company even better. Here are some of the highlights of our trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina:

Dixieland!!! --- I know, I keep harping on how much I love this gas station. There's a picture of Davey Dogs and I under the sign on Los' blog. (To see it, click here.)

Hanging by the pool --- The house had a private pool and hot tub. We spent a good bit of time floating around with fruity drinks, doing cannonballs, and re-filling the pool. The hot tub was a little more complicated. We couldn't figure out how to operate the temperature control, so it was either 85 or 185 degrees.

Fishing -- One day we chartered a fishing boat. We got off to a rocky start due to some confusion over the pricing and somebody being a little freaked out by tales of water moccasins and alligators; however, once we got rolling it was awesome. In fact, they gave us the boat all to ourselves. Everyone caught fish, and there was quite a variety. Karl caught the biggest fish ... Davey Dogs caught the most (even though the largest was only about 5 inches long). I was the most difficult to get off the boat -- I loved it and didn't want to stop once I got going.

The Beach Road Grill -- Ahh, this is our favorite spot to hang. It's situated right on the beach at Mile Post 10.5 on Beach Road, and is owned by 2 sisters who sound like Paula Dean Y'ALL!!! The food is cooked by "Mama" and is mmm mmmm good. The drinks are equally as tasty, and I wasn't shy about ordering my share of "Luscious Lisa's." The great thing about this place is that you can take all your crap to the beach, sun yourself, play in the water, then when you need a pottie and a drink you can zoom right into the Beach Bar for some AC and indoor comforts. I think we may have made some friends -- the sisters invited us to come stay in the cottage and eat crabs with them sometime. Warning: Be careful when you invite us somewhere, we might just show up!!!

Stuff White People Like -- I've been to the blog, but Los brought the book on vacation which we ended up reading aloud by the pool, in the car, on the beach, in the house. This is some hilarious stuff people!! If you haven't checked out the site do it .... it's good for hours of entertainment!!!

Karaoke -- A staple on vacation (and anywhere, for that matter). You probably have to know our friend Johnnay to appreciate the rarity and comedy of his karaoke routine, but let me tell you ... it was some good stuff. He was actually pretty good singing, and the dancing topped it off. I hope somebody took video ..... it needs to be shared.

Jimmie's Seafood -- Here's a place to avoid. We should have known that a seafood buffet would suck, but we were lured by the promise of 12 different kinds of crabs and decided to take our chances. End result: Christa got food poisoning and was sick for 3 days. If your tempted, resist the temptation and either catch your own or go somewhere for takeout seafood -- that's what the locals advised us to do.

The best beach day ever! -- The Friday before we left was one of the best beach days I've ever had. The ocean was calm, warm, and clear. The water was blue and teal -- very Caribbean-like, which I think is not the norm for this area. We played football, floated, laughed ... it was one of the most relaxing days I can remember.

Saturday we drove home. The car ride downright sucked .. all 9 hours of it. But Los was a trooper behind the wheel, and despite the traffic and backseat bitching he got us all home safely. Thanks for driving Los!!

So that's the vacation scoop. If you've never been to the Outer Banks, I highly recommend it if you want a beach vacation with a nice combo of stuff to do and nothing to do.

Now it's back to the grindstone, and time to start thinking about where to vacation next!!