Mean Girl to the Rescue!

How'm I gonna save the world when the world ain't ready?

Friday, December 30, 2005

My Wayward Mom

My mom, bless her stony heart, brought a boatload of crap over to my house on Christmas. One of her armfuls of trash (I kid, but only somewhat) inluded a bag of these awful mints you see pictured.

Are these things not exactly like chunks of toothpaste chipped off the sink after they've dried? Perhaps Aquafresh, specifically, since it has that revolting gel and paste combo and has the additional minus of being manufactured by evil drug giant GlaxoSmithKline.

Give me a packet of York Peppermint Patties: chocolate and mint in combination trumps dried toothpaste mints any day of the week. Posted by Picasa

Special Chili

Here are the promised photos of the "special chili" I made the other day. I promise it tastes better than it looks (which is sort of like dog food, though I guess most chili looks that way).
Secret ingredient: canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, !muy delicioso!

The cornbread was from a box (Jiffy) and I don't recommend it, it was rather dry. The plus was it took about 2 seconds to mix. Next time I'll try to make the jalapeno cornbread that TB mentioned in her post. Ahhh, comfort food!

Ornament exchange

Finally, I seem to have mastered (ha!) the camera, and am happy to show you the beautiful ornament that Wordgirl sent me for our exchange (she also included a very sweet note).

I hope we can all do this again next year! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tagged (finally)!


Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.

Planet Alien

Where am I going...and why am I in this handbasket?

Pickled Beef

Trattoria Breve

Mean Girl to the Rescue!


What were you doing 10 years ago?

Slogging away in a retail job, and meeting the clown-suited, but lovable ass who would become my husband.

What were you doing a year ago?

Appearing relaxed but inwardly freaking out that I had agreed to get married (I'm kinda gun-shy).

5 snacks you enjoy?

  • Jamoca ice cream (or any variant of coffee chip)
  • Jalapeno potato chips
  • chocolate-covered raisins
  • Wasabi peas
  • Toast and tea

5 songs you know all the lyrics to:

  • "There is a Light That Never Goes Out," The Smiths
  • "Don't Dream It's Over," Crowded House
  • "Two Step," Throwing Muses
  • "You Do Something to Me," Cole Porter (Sinead O'Connor and Ella Fitzgerald versions)
  • "Absolutely Cuckoo," The Magnetic Fields

5 things you would do if you were a millionaire:

  • Buy a house with enough land to have a large vegetable garden
  • One word: shoes
  • Make donations to a short list of charities
  • Sock away money in a coffee can or under a mattress, because I'm weird like that
  • Buy people things anonymously

5 bad habits:

  • Chewing my cuticles
  • Swearing. A lot.
  • Not flossing
  • Leaving clean clothes in the laundry basket for, literally, weeks
  • Letting my temper get the better of me

5 things I like doing:

  • Cooking
  • Thrifting
  • Singing (though I am god-awful at it)
  • Painting my toenails
  • Reading

Tag 5 people:

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

No photos, but lots of gyno and chili!

Needless to say, I have not yet learned how to upload my photos from my camera to my computer yet. However, I have been taking some photos and yesterday I taught myself how to take little movies with the camera! So I think I can possibly promise a short film of my cat rubbing himself orgasmically all over my purse in the near future.

Today I am going thrifting (I got very little clothing for Christmas and now, of course, I despise all of my outfits), and I expect to have some good blog-fodder there. I'm a little nervous about taking the new car into the bowels of the area under the El, so I might plump for the cavernous Village Thrift in Pennsauken, NJ instead. Wish me luck!

Tomorrow, my lucky ass is going for a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG. Hopefully it will be less painful than the endometrial biopsy I underwent a couple of weeks back. It was disconcerting, to say the least, to see chunks of my uterus lining tissue floating in a specimen cup (the first try was a no-go, so they had to do it 2 times. The pain wasn't awful, but it wasn't fun, either). This time I have been advised to pre-medicate for the "mild cramping" that "some women may experience." Well, at least they don't call it "discomfort," which everyone knows is code for "Oh, my god, get me a morphine drip!"

Also, I am making my special chili today. When I first met my husband, he had a chili recipe from a well-meaning woman friend that was maybe the worst I have ever tasted. I'm not sure if it was the recipe or his rendition of it, but the instructions didn't mention draining the cans of beans. This chili was like a thin, clear soup with beans in it, along with the occasional glob of tomato sauce (sauce! not diced tomatoes or even tomato paste, but sauce. >Shiver!<). No onions. No peppers. Just beans, and sauce. And some chili powder. I had to make him my chili, just to show him how it's done, and since he's pretty food obsessive (maybe even more than I), he was fully won over. It might be safe to say that I plied him with food for the first year of our relationship. That story about the way to a man's heart being through his stomach is true, in this case, which is just how I like it.

Photos of chili TK, too, maybe!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Season's Greetings!

It has been, so far, a very rewarding Christmas, and one full of high tech gifts courtesy of Booby. I now have a wonderfully tiny digital camera with which to take photos and post them here, instead of making him take them and email them to me (gawd, am I lazy or what?).

Sometimes technology intimidates me. I'm working on it.

Christmas dinner went off without a hitch (except for that damn pop-up thing on the turkey taking for frigging ever. I hate you, Frank Perdue). Word to the wise: make as many things ahead of time as you can. It will keep you sane.

Weirdest gift thus far: a suction-cupped plastic watering can-shaped "vase" meant to attach to a window and hold flowers. Um, thanks, Mom. (She means well.)

Hope you all are relaxing and enjoying the day. In a day or two, I'll take photos of the watering can monstrosity, the beautiful ornament that Wordgirl sent me in the ornament exchange coordinated by Mignon, and probably one of a cat or two, for my own amusement.

Oh, and completing the meme I was tagged for by Arabella! Though I think everyone in our little group of Blog Chicks has received it by now, so I will have to send it further afield ...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Innocent citizenry be damned!

The other night Booby was watching the Ben Affleck movie Daredevil on TV while I wrapped presents (nice division of labor, huh?).

"Would you still love me if I were a superhero, honey?" he asked.

"No fucking way. That would take waaayyy too much time away from me."

East Coast represent

I've been on a technically-induced hiatus for what feels like a long while, due to internet outage at my place of business (lunch hours are prime blogging time), and will-to-live outage at home (work exhaustion coupled with Christmas exhaustion; all I want to do is lie in front of the TV, eat chocolate and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas).

But now I'm back! And ready to tell you all about meeting Arabella! I wasn't so much worried that I wouldn't like her as I was mildly apprehensive that she wouldn't like me. It's true that meeting a fellow blogger in the flesh after chatting with her on the Interwebs is not unlike a blind date, and anyone who's dated online knows how fraught with horror that can be - will we have good chemistry? Will she be appalled at my sailor mouth? Will I think she's a snob? Fortunately, the answers were yes, apparently not, and not at all. I was pleased to encounter a lovely, petite, dark-eyed, smartly-dressed woman wearing a friendly smile.

I really enjoyed, in a weird way, being in this unique (to me) position, of knowing intimate facts about this person (and she about me) without really knowing her at all. I suppose it gave us both a lot of conversation starters. We began by talking about cooking, wherein I discovered she was definitely not a snob, because she began to recommend slice 'n' bake cookie brands to me! That was when I knew we would probably get along.

Talk turned to cycles, pregnancy, and the customary two week abstention from alcohol between ovulation and the (seemingly inevitable) onset of one's period, both vowing not to abstain any more, given that she is a lightweight (she claims, but she was far soberer than I when we hugged goodbye!) and I try to limit myself to 2 drinks per week anyway. I had more like 3 or 4, though, over the course of the afternoon, and while our husbands really did talk about architecture and bicycling ("I probably bored him with all my bike talk," fretted my bike-enthusiast husband), we discussed (among others) anti-depressants, suicide and people I went to high school with (courtesy of my high school pal, Matt). I remember whooping with laughter (a sure sign I am comfortable and having a good time), and loud as I was, Arabella was cool with it! It was very liberating to be so at ease with a new friend. And all this in the time-has-stopped gorgeousness of McHale's, a place you really should visit before it closes, if you can. But you should probably skip 2 or 3 meals beforehand, because the bacon cheeseburger I ordered was bigger than my head, and the bacon aspect was about a full rasher (so delicious, though).

I raise a bottle of Original Sin cider to the giddy prospect of more Philly-New York meetings and the eventual B-List Blog Chicks (TM TB) Meetup 2006 (maybe?)! Cheers!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Other cats are full of the Christmas spirit.

And will get lots of extra catnip in their stockings this year.

The middle one will be our Christmas card this year.

The third cat would probably have a heart attack if we tried to dress her as an elf or a reindeer - she has a low threshold for such tomfoolery and is extrememly skittish. Maybe the fact that we were messing with the other two freaked her out, because when I got upstairs to go to bed, I discovered that our duvet had been peed on. Fun!

Please note that my floor is that filthy looking because our tree has been dropping needles like a junkie on the run. No amount of water seems to make it happy. I welcome your suggestions.

Some cats don't enjoy being dressed up as reindeer.

Originally uploaded by chris_mckenna.
And this is one of those cats.

The headpiece was originally intended for a human head, so I was forced to do some jerry-rigging (i.e. taping a rubber band from a bunch of broccoli to the band's sides so it would stay anchored on a feline noggin).

The only time he's been less happy is when he was bathed.

Wednesday is Recipe Day!

Every so often, I cast through my site visits and I feel strangely guilty that my blog failed to provide that which the referred visitor was seeking*. So this one goes out to you, Mr/s. "Show Me How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs**":

Holiday Meatballs
Makes 60 appetizers

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chili Sauce
  • 1 cup grape jelly

Combine first 8 ingredients. Form into 60 bite-sized meatballs using roundedteaspoon for each. Place in shallow baking pan or jelly roll pan sprayed with cooking spray or brushed with oil. Bake in 450 F degree oven for 12- 15 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to plate covered in paper towels to absorb grease if using beef. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine chili sauce and grape jelly. Heat until jelly is melted and there are no lumps. Place well-drained meatballs in fondue pot or chafing dish. Pour chili sauce mixture over; stir gently to coat.

Tip: For a zestier sauce, substitute hot jalapeno jelly for grape jelly, or add a generous dash of hot sauce.

Another tip: If you are using Sterno or similar canned heat item to heat your fondue pot, partially cover flame to keep temperature down and prevent meatballs from cooking right onto the bottom of the pot.

*Except when the search terms are something like, "torture girls," which has, in fact, happened. Ew!

**OK, they're not really sweet and sour meatballs, but they're spicy/sweet, and they are delicious (not to mention EASY). Plus they give me an excuse to talk about food some more.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Family ties that chafe

This weekend was spent, for the most part, lying around sick, in between bouts of last-minute shopping. I must have picked up a cold bug at the office party or something. I don't like thinking too hard about the transmission of germs (I get off the El and wash my hands with hot soapy water at the first opportunity), but a lot of people at work have colds, so the odds are good that I got the cold from touching the bathroom faucet there -- oh, bitter irony!

I did have bursts of energy, thank god, so I was able to do things like make Boilo and take my first stab at making good chicken stock. I've made stock before, but this time I used Mark Bittman's recipe and followed it pretty closely. It was a success, and I used the chicken parts as cat food (Booby is not a leg man, and I've been wanting to experiment a bit with fresher food for the kitties, as I have been reading lots of articles about how terrible a diet of mostly kibble and canned foods are for them).

Today found me inadvertantly screwing up my sister's life by misspeaking during a phone call to my mother: to keep it simple, my mother viewed the two of us trying to cement plans for Christmas Day as trying to decide who would be stuck with her and my father. As the years pass, my mother becomes more and more histrionic about these matters; she is unwilling to compromise or see reason, and even me speaking directly and frankly ("Please don't play the martyr. We are trying to arrange it so we can both see you!") does little to deflect her. Part of the trouble is that she has some friends whose kids spend every precious golden nugget of time with them and them alone - no distracting, tiresome in-laws to take away from the holiday cheer. We have pointed out that these wunderkids also seem to have no real friends and live literally a short golf cart's ride away on the same plot of land (but a separate house), but it doesn't compute. The son-in-law refers to the husband of this couple as his best friend. It's sweet (er, I guess), but it's also not usual (I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want my dad to be my husband's best friend. Get along well, yes. Best friend, no).

We decorated the tree yesterday as well. The holidays are starting to annoy me. Hopefully later I will have a photo of a 3-legged, 21 lb. orange cat to post.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Favorite Thing of the Week, December 7th

And while we're talking about delicious beverages (and when are we not?), here is my favorite thing of the week: Jamaican Roast Yogi Tea. This stuff is great because it satisfies my burning desire for (caffeinated) chai, but is completely caffeine-free. Oddly, I can't find it on the Yogi Tea website, but I strongly suspect that DeCaffe` Roast is rather similar in taste and ingredients.

I think I have Mignon to thank for reawakening my interest in tea. I have long been a Celestial Seasonings girl, but somewhere along the way I fell back under the spell of coffee (I blame my husband). It was always decaf, though, much to Booby's chagrin - though he only realized that was the case by accident. In any case, she commented about a red bush tea she tried that was delicious, and it sparked a neuron in my brain. "Tea? Yes, tea! Tea is good!"

Since then I've been all over the orange pekoe decaf, the lemon ginger, and the occasional cranberry apple (although that last is rather disturbingly red). And check this out: Mother-to-be tea. How great is it that there seems to be a tea for everything from "moon cycle" (i.e. PMS - but what a very interesting terminology, no?*) to nursing to fasting. Now, fasting cannot be a good idea, but I guess fasting while drinking herbal tea certainly makes it a slightly better one than just fasting alone. I myself am a proponent of the "grazing" style of eating, in part because I'm a big snacker. As I speak, there is a box of wheat thins taunting me from the corner of my desk (shamefully, I've already ingested several handfuls).

*I have a friend who dated a Middle Eastern guy years ago, and he was given to saying things like, "Oh, you are on your moon time; we must not be together." His other well-discussed comment to her was less cute: "You would look so beautiful in a veil." But hey, diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, right?

Į sveikatą!

That's a Lithuanian toast. Here, for the first time ever, I am revealing my great-grandmother's boilo recipe.
I make this festive drink every year, usually for my work holiday party. This year, I have slacked, and I'll probably make it for my sister-in-law's Christmas party instead. Notes in brackets are my mother's.

1 qt. inexpensive whiskey [I use the cheapest rotgut in the store.]
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange
1 lemon
1 cup honey
1 tsp. caraway seed
2 tsps. whole cloves
2 tsps. cardamon seed [if you can find it; if not, forget it.]
2 tsps. anise seed

Slice orange & lemon. Combine all ingredients. Bring to a very slow boil in large pot. Simmer 15 minutes.
DO NOT REMOVE POT LID WHILE SIMMERING. Cool. Strain. Serve warm in small glasses that have been run under a hot tap to prevent cracking.

Happy brewing!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Shilling Moment

Need a cool T-shirt for your beau or a cool chiquita this holiday season?

Try Threadless. The designs are awesome, and everything is on sale for $10.

Booby, do not click that link until December 26th.

Three is not the magic number

My husband and I were having a silly discussion in the car about how many kids we should have:

Me: "I think I only have one in me. I'm an old lady - one might be my limit."
Him: "Two is a good number. We already know that three is too many. I have seen three in action, and three is too many!"
Me: "Yes, three is definitely too many."
Him: "It's just like with the cats. When you have more than two, you can't spread the love around. There isn't enough love, and then you end up loving the retarded cat the most. We need to give them all the same amount of love. We have too many cats!"
Me: "Are you insane? What does that have to do with children? I am totally blogging this!"

Monday, December 05, 2005

Friday Nite on the Indie Scene

Booby and I went to see Ted Leo & the Pharmacists at the Starlight Ballroom (now mysteriously renamed Polaris) in NoLibs on Friday. It was a good show, perhaps a little rushed, but man! I felt so old. Ted Leo has a policy of only playing all ages shows, so if you want a beer (or in my case, a Smirnoff Ice, because they had no cider), you have to go into this little cordoned-off bar area, which is not unlike the "restaurant" area of a skating rink, right down to the plastic tables 'n' chairs. I think I saw one guy there older than we are.

Anyway, we walked right by Ted while we were pushing our way through the bar area. He's attractive, in a weird, intense kind of way. Booby was part of the Concerts for Kerry project that coalesced during the last election, and we got to see him play then; I was maybe 5 feet from the stage, and there wasn't a huge crush of people. This time it was hundreds of badly-dressed boys with beards, pumping their fists in the air at meaningful lyrics, and we were nowhere near the stage. That's OK, I think I'm a little long in the tooth for mosh pits these days.

The only thing that's turned me off of Ted Leo is the irrepressible (as usual) urges I feel when reading his blog. Boyfriend needs an editor. Clearly, spell check isn't working for his who's/whose issues, "quotations around every phrase" problems and multiple exclamation points!!!!!!!! Ted, you're a smart guy - I read your lyrics, and they're smart and interesting - please sit down for some quality time with the Strunk & White, or else hire an editor. Maybe you and Morgan Spurlock can split the cost.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

We Are Family

Because I am a black-belt shopper, I am almost done my Christmas shopping, but that isn't stopping me from going to a Girls' Weekend shopping trip to the outlets in Rehoboth this weekend. My sister and her sister-in-law live in/near Delaware, and this will be a nice opportunity to shop, eat out, drink and be away from testosterone levels (and in their case, children) for a day or two. Plus I will get to drive my shiny new car on a big highway!

At some point during the trip, I'll have to break it to my sister that we can't attend the big family Christmas do on the 26th, because my husband's family is having one on the same day, and we missed theirs last year, plus we did Thanksgiving at my folks' house this year. My notoriously anti-social brother is already not attending (the day after Christmas is apparently not a work holiday for him, but this is no surprise as he only gets one week of vacation per year). I feel bad, but I'm hoping that some of the family will come by on Christmas Day, which we've decided we're going to spend in our own damn house. I feel like I have to lay the ground rules now, because otherwise all the family members will bitch and moan - my mother in particular keeps a mental score card of such things and is quick to point out unfair practices. How does one handle these things? I was single for so long that being with my parents over Christmas became de rigueur, and now I worry that they're going to find themselves all alone for Christmas. But that's probably a silly fear - one of us will have them over, and everything will be fine. Right?