Thursday, September 25, 2008

Having a bad week. Here, Let's make fun of a-holes

I had to run to CPK at 7th and Figueroa to pick up a large lunch order. I was alone and drove around to find a spot near the elevators. Behind me was a silver car that rode my ass the whole time and whose driver got annoyed when I slowed at a blind corner. There were two spots open. I chose the one on the left side, and a silver car behind me chose the other. I saw the position of the car when I walked past and assumed she hadn't finished parking. See exhibit A below.Please excuse the blurry image. You get the idea. See how half, nay, most of the car is sticking out of the space. There is no driver in that car. That's how she parked it. She was in all kinds of a hurry to get to the gym. She impatiently jabbed at the elevator buttons. I thought to myself, "Maybe the spot was too tight to fit her car. She wouldn't have been able to get out." Then I saw this view on my way back to my car. There is plenty of room to fit her whole car in the spot. There is plenty of room to exit her car without hitting the other car, especially since she was a tiny little thing about 3" wide. Nope, she was just impatient and decided she didn't need to park properly. But you know that if some car whipped around the corner and hit her car, she'd be up in arms and never take responsibility for it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More kitchen disasters

I tried the flatbread recipe I found on a blog after consulting the ladies of SnB for advice as to how much baking soda to use. Apparently I still got it wrong. Too much baking soda makes for a really disgusting, salty, bitter mess. But they look nice, don't they?My camera was on "no flash" mode which makes photos a little blurry. The recipe called for grilling the bread under the broiler, but I baked them instead. They looked good and had a good texture, but Oh My God they tasted awful. I could not spit it out fast enough or drink enough water to wash away the taste.

My 3am brownies sucked too. I am being to doubt my culinary abilities. I used to make kick-ass brownies. Cookies too. And these peanut butter eggs for Easter (Mom's recipe) that practically melt in your mouth...I'm drooling just thinking about them. But now? I'm afraid I'll ruin even my tried and true favorites. I need to get back on the horse, I suppose. Maybe I'll make some of those eggs--I'll shape them like ghosts or bats and call them Halloween candy--just to make sure I haven't lost it.

I did manage to make some darn fine Cheaters Guacamole (avocados and store-bought salsa). I had to do something with the extra avocados. Perfect with Fritos Scoops and bad TV.
I gave up trying to be a kitchen wizard and took up knitting. The newest Berroca newsletter has some neat gift ideas. Unfortunately, I don't have a printer at home, so I sat in front of the computer. This is the one I'm knitting.
It's a cover for a Sigg-type water bottle. I'll knit up a bunch and buy some Siggs for my friends.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

If you're going to use a real place, do your homework.

I'm not a regular viewer of "The Office," but I catch it occasionally just to get a kick out of the references to the Scranton area. Like the time they did the booze cruise on Lake Wallenpaupack. Or when Michael was obsessed with Boston Market and sent Dwight all over town looking for whipped yams and said, "Did you go to Stroudsburg? They always have the yams in Stroudsburg." You see, it's funny because who would drive an hour to get whipped yams. I thought that was genius. Plus, I'm from East Stroudsburg and it's always fun to hear your little hometown mentioned on a big show.

Now, I think maybe the writers just pick names of towns in northeast Pennsylvania to be relevant. See, I just watched the last season cliffhanger and Jan tells Michael she's going to a Lamaze class in Allentown. Allow me to illustrate how silly that would be.
Why would she drive through five counties, an hour and 21 minutes away according to Google, for a Lamaze class when they have any number of perfectly good Lamaze classes happening in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre* area? A quick search online provided not only a list of hospitals but a discussion board in which several women discussing Lamaze said Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton was very good.

I know they portray Scranton as kind of a podunk place, but it's actually a fairly big city with AAA Baseball, AHL Hockey, several colleges, large concert venues and a zoo. It's the 7th most populace city in Pennsylvania. Poor Scranton--brunt of a joke since 1965.**

*pronounced "wilkes barry," although it sounds more like "berry" when I say it. (shrugs)
**A "Green Acres" episode features a hairdresser that is being blackmailed by Lisa to open a beauty parlor in Hooterville. No one knows what she has over him, but every time he balks at an idea, she says "Scranton" and he gives in.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tales of mischief, maalox and Claudette Segear

In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day, I give you the following exchange between my famous nephew Roy and I:

2:31 PM me: Arrr, shiver me timbers, it be cold as a kracken's heart in here.
2:32 PM ('s talk like a pirate day)
Roy: Arr, I here there be titties pert as the whitecaps off of Maine on this fine afternoon
2:33 PM me: you win

I told Roy that my former roommate and I pioneered Pirate Day back in 1993 or so when we drove around town defacing the campaign posters of our county treasurer, whom I'm sure is a lovely woman. She ran unopposed every year and yet her team campaigned vigorously, placing posters far and wide throughout Monroe County. One night in a fit of mischievousness Bruce and I, dressed in black and armed with giant poster markers, drove all over drawing eye patches, beards and moustaches on poor Claudette's posters. At one point while we were pulled over about to do the deed, a cop pulled up behind Bruce's car to see what we were up to. Bruce dropped to his knees and pretended to be doing something to his tire, explaining to the officer that he heard a funny noise and thinks a rock was under the hubcap. The officer drove away and Bruce sprinted up the small slope, did his best Daffy Duck, and was back behind the wheel in seconds. We laughed ourselves silly until we found the next poster. The local DJ mentioned Ms. Segear's makeover on the morning show the next day which just made us giggle conspiratorily. Perhaps my favorite piece of art was the one I passed every morning on my way to work, which looked a bit like this:And we were never caught...until now. Although they don't know our last names. Hey, family, you'd better keep your mouths shut. Bruce, if you're out there and you find this and know it's me, I had the best time that night and pretty much all the time we lived together until, you know, the end. You always made me laugh and smile until my face hurt and I miss you for that.

In other news, Dessert Day was a rousing success. We had peach cobbler, pound cake with black raspberries, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, cookies and cream cake, strawberry shortcake, strawberry cream pie, chocolate covered strawberries, red velvet mini-cupcakes, lemon bars, my brownies (which sucked, btw. I'm so embarrassed), the chocomole (which didn't suck and everyone loved, thanks J), and ice cream. I didn't get a chance to have lunch before the sweets were unveiled so I sit here with a tummy full of sugar. I could have gone for lunch afterwards, but I want spaghetti with fresh homemade tomato sauce and nothing else will do. Guess who's going to the store after work?

Why am I baking at this hour?

Why? Because I sat down when I got home from Stitch 'n' Bitch and promptly fell asleep on the sofa. When I woke up, at 3am, I realized that I still hadn't made a dessert for tomorrow's (well, today's) Dessert Day* at work. I debated my two dessert choices--brownies or Chocomole. It was 3am--I took the easy way out (and Ellen's advice) and made brownies. They smell lovely. I didn't have vegetable oil so I had to use the Coconut oil that I bought for the (not so) failed Chocomole I made yesterday. I'd tell you how they taste but I already brushed my teeth.

Now, about that Chocomole--maybe I didn't fail after all. I put the bitter batch in the fridge last night with the intention of taking it to work for some brave souls to taste. I forgot it. So, after I put the brownies in the oven, and before I brushed my teeth, I tasted it again. It wasn't bitter anymore. It was (and still is--I didn't eat it all) pretty darn good and really rich. Like super rich. I'm still serving up the brownies for Dessert Day, but I'm taking the Chocomole for Terry and Truitt to taste. Plus I still have avocados left so I can make more.

*Our organization is launching a Health & Fitness Campaign next week. Some of our staff thought it would be great to have one last hurrah before all the healthy eating.

Appropo of nothing--OMG! The rollerskating guitar guy from Venice Beach is in the Toyota of Pasadena commercial. I'm willing to bet that guy makes more money a year than I do. I should have learned to play the guitar.

And spellcheck offered "chuckhole" as an alternative for Chocomole. What the hell is a chuckhole? It sounds dirty.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Really, I know how to follow recipes, but...

Dear Bloggers who post recipes:
I love that you are kind enough to share your recipe for yummy goodness with the world. I love when you post photos of the steps along the way because I'm a visual learner and I need the reference. If I may make one tiny suggestion it would be to please put the actual measurements in the ingredients list. "A spoonful of X" isn't helpful unless you tell me what kind of spoon you're using. I'm talking to you, handsome fellow, with your spoonful of raw cacao and your warning that "too much will make it bitter." Is that a teaspoon or a tablespoon in your photo? Judging from the bitterness in my finished product, I'm going to assume it was a teaspoon and try again tomorrow.
Also, I wanted to try a flat bread recipe I saw on a blog but I'm not sure how much baking soda to use. The blogger said "a few teaspoons." How many is a few? Please, for the lesser chefs out there, be a little more specific.
Thank you and have a tasty day,
Laurie Ann

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is it Tuesday? knows the answer.

Seriously, these folks entertain me daily. Where else can you get posts about Solar Awnings, environmentally harmonious furniture, and wacky British comedy in one day. Today's posts gave us a better view of the infamous Bigfoot film footage, jewelry with real grass growing in it and this little gem. As diversions go, this site is time well spent.

Here are just some of the things you'll find on

It's a cat lamp.
Grass knuckles
part of the Peace Alphabet
and this

Bookmark the site and check back often. They have multiple posts daily, so there's always something new.

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Commercial Commentary

When will the woman in the Glade commercials realize that no one is fooled by her "it's french" or "I cleaned all day" act. Why is she so ashamed to admit she uses Glade products? And why is it so hard to believe that yes, it is indeed Glade. The company has been at it for a very long time so it stands to reason that they have mastered the art of scented candles.

How disturbing is that Pasta Dude in the Dominoes commercials? Why is Pasta Dude a rapper? They have the whitest white kid in the whole world and then make him use urban slang that sounds so uncomfortable. If we are to trust Urban Dictionary, and why shouldn't we, "tight" means "cool, hip, fashionable," which hardly describes pasta. One must go five definitions deep to find "Modern use: describes something particularly enjoyable or awesome." If that's what they're going for why not just have the pasty faced white kid say "awesome." It would sound so much more natural. And did they have to use a ziti noodle with its pointy extension between its legs? In case you can't tell, this commercial annoys the bejeezus out of me.

Okay, I love the AT&T rollover minutes add with the "milky minutes." I love the kids snickering. What I don't love is that the dad wipes the spilled milk into the trash can (which is sitting next to the table?) and then sits there. He doesn't get a paper towel or dish cloth to wipe up the rest of the milk or wash his hands. He just continues what he's doing. It bugs me. a lot.

That's all I have for now. It's late and "Poker After Dark" is on (it still makes me giggle). There's a 12 year old player (okay, he's probably 20-something) with disturbing blue eyes and a player actually named Huckleberry Seed. What were his parents thinking?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Can I get a cot near the drumkit, please?

Sleep was not my friend last night. I missed my alarm, so Shower and I missed our rendezvous this morning. Washcloth and I had a quickie and Hair went to it's happy place in an elastic at the crown. Makeup? Well, it never even crossed my mind until my first trip to the ladies room and then just theoretically. What caused such wanton disregard for personal hygiene? CNN (shakes fist angrily in the direction of Larry King Square).

I have to preface this story with some quick background. My alarm clock is a Big Ben Moonbeam which wakes one with a flashing light (unless you ignore it and then it beeps). I could sleep through a Motorhead concert but shine a light in my eyes and I'm wide awake. Even with my back to the clock the flashing fills the room and wakes me. Conversely, I don't like a pitch dark room because (don't you judge me) I'm kind of afraid of the dark. I like a little light from outside, like streetlights, shining in my window. Let me repeat that for emphasis--a LITTLE light.

I went to bed late last night because I was working on a project and was cranky tired when I hit the pillow. The CNN signs at the four corners of the building used to be your standard white lights behind red plastic covers. Recently, though, the signs have changed. Now, they start as a solid red sign and a white light that burns with the power of a nuclear reaction starts at the top of the C and traces the letters, holds that position, and then goes back to red. It's bright. Seriously bright. And even from two blocks away it lit up my whole room. I felt like Kramer in that Seinfeld episode with the Kenny Rogers restaurant. I turned away from the window but the flashing still reflected off my white walls. It was killing me. Okay, I can see you don't believe me. Here are some photos. This one is taken from my bedroom window at normal power. It's not clear, but you get the idea.This one is zoomed a bit. The red hook looking things are lights around the top of the building presumably to warn aircraft which are not necessary as clearly those signs are visible from space. I tossed. I turned. I cursed the sick bastards who installed those signs (I get a view of the back sign, too, but the trees block most of it). Finally fed up, I reached for a velvet eye pillow that someone gave me once. I never use it because it's filled with lavender and the scent is overwhelming but what else could I do? [This is the part of the story where, if this were a movie, the audience would say "oh no...don't do it.] The soft velvety pillow which finally blocked out the evil flashing sign also blocked out the good flashing alarm clock. The beeping woke me eventually and I rushed off to work.

Don't get me started on the freakin' helicopters. LA, you are officially on notice. I will not put up with this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Still standing

Just a quick note to let you (especially Natalie) know that I survived the cramps. It's been a busy time. Filing got done. America's Next Top Model, Cycle 11 has begun, as has Gossip Girl's new season and the new 90210. (I do love me some CW)

I'll try to have something interesting for you soon.
Love you. Mean it.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

(too illin' to think of a title--deal with it)

I have had soooo much to do at work and I still haven't learned to say, "I have a lot on my plate right now. Is that a priority over these items?" or "I don't think I can get that done in a timely manner. Can anyone else do it?" Because truth be told, the boss kind of intimidates me--just a little, not so much that I cower or anything, but it's certainly not like my Tower boss, with whom I could communicate openly. It doesn't help that this boss is on so many committees and has so many meetings that things just naturally get passed along to me. Great! Not to mention the fact that, like my mother, I'm not much of a delegator and am of the "if you want something done right, do it yourself" frame of mind, so I take on tasks such as cleaning up the storage room to make room for donations (which I could have passed on to the Events Manager's assistant, but I've seen how she puts stuff away and it doesn't work for me). In the process of doing that I (a) smashed a knuckle which is now purple, (b) twisted my knee which now hurts like a #@%^$, and (c) realized I have no strength in my arms anymore as I could not life a box above my head.

So, I have this box of filing that needs to be done. I mean a moving box, not an In Box. It's ridiculous, really. I was going to go in today and just concentrate on the filing. No one else would be there to distract me. I could spread out in the conference room and separate the papers into piles. I would have the file storage room to myself so I could move freely and not bump into the temps. It was going to be great.

Then the migraine hit me. Oh, it's powerful bad. And the playful police officer testing his siren and loud speaker at 7:00 this morning with "shave and a haircut" didn't help. I was halfway down the stairs in my PJ's before I thought better of yelling at the police. I came back upstairs, doped up on the Excedrin Migraine and went back to bed.

Then the cramps came. Oh, how I enjoy being a woman. I am doubled over and close to vomiting. I have a pretty high pain threshold. I can work through a lot of pain before it's unbearable. These make me want to cry. These make me want to take Midol, which I haven't used since I was in 8th grade. NO, these make me want to smoke pot--medicinally, of course, as I don't smoke anything on account of my sad little lungs. I have this nifty heated rice bag that my sister made for me laying upon my nethers and it's not helping. Plus I really do want to vomit. Now!!!!!
[Experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by.]

Phew. So, if anybody needs me today I'll be curled up in bed. Tomorrow, I'll be at the office filing until I can't file no more. I hope y'all have a better weekend.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I didn't wanna play anyway

I'm having one of those "series of unfortunate events" days. Meeting cancelled last minute. Second meeting ran long. Restaurant where lunch was ordered doesn't deliver. Person sent to pick up food decided to order herself lunch causing everyone else's lunch to be late and arrive AFTER the lunch meeting. Lunch order was wrong. And perhaps the worst event of all, I missed the Fantasy Football Draft because the commissioner couldn't wait five freaking minutes for my meeting to end even though we had previously discussed the meeting situation!!
So, Thank You Will and Natalie's husband, Joe, for your advice, even though I won't get to put it to use.

Monday, September 01, 2008

It's Laundry Day!

Holidays are the perfect day to do laundry. No kids, lots of empty washers, plenty of dryers, tons of parking...ah, I love it. Know what else I love? Single folks like me come out to do their washing. I love watching single men do laundry. It's always entertaining. Today's fool used the big washers (at $3.50 a pop) to do single loads. Look at all that wasted space. These washers are meant for 4 loads. And look at how much detergent he used.That is far too much soap for a single load. My washer is on the end. Jam packed to make use of the four load washer capacity. Oh, and he put the fabric softener in during the wash cycle. Doesn't he realize that all the softener will just wash out? Fool. Here's one more in which he used the bigger FIVE load washer (at $4.50) to wash a single load of whites.
It's as if he didn't want to venture further into the laundromat than he had to so he just picked the first machines he came to and these are just inside the doors. It boggles the mind why a person would want to spend $11.50 as opposed to $3.75 but I guess that's his business.

Close encounter with Frau today. It was 10am and I thought to myself, "I'd better trot downstairs with the rent check before the Frau comes a-knocking." I planned to sneak it into the rent box and run back upstairs but--Dang--there she was collecting the checks already. Crimony lady, it's a holiday. Fortunately, she was preoccupied with a man who I am assuming is moving in next door to me since nutty Lori is moving out. I can't remember when a tenant lasted a year in that apartment. Maybe it's cursed. Maybe they just can't handle the gnomes. Wimps.