There's been a lot of stupid going around these last few weeks. The back of my hand itched to smack someone. If only I had a cattle prod...
I had every intention of pointing out on this blog the dumb-ass crap I've witnessed lately. I've written this post over and over, then finally saved it under another title.
I decided not to post it.
Feelings would have been hurt. Blogs I don't like would have been given more traffic, and I'll be damned if I give these stupid mommybloggers my four reader's clicks. People would have dropped me as friends on Facebook.
So I'm keeping these feelings to myself. UNLIKE those stupid mommybloggers, I won't share some very personal feelings with the Interwebs. I wrote it down- I can read it in my posting list- and I'm feeling much better that I got it off my chest.
So I cancelled that order for the cattle prod with Tractor Supply. Good thing, too. Shipping was way too much!
Speaking of feeling better, this cold/flu/sore throat knocked me on my ass the past four days. I feel foolish getting sick. I haven't been sick like this in a few years, and I've been bragging about that. It's hard to stay healthy- even with all the precautions I take- when a sick Zombiegirl sneezes right in your face while you're tickling her.
I'm better now. Physically and emotionally.
We could always blame those emotions on....MENOPAUSE!
*The title of this post is actually a quote by Anton LaVey. He's the founder of the Church of Satan. I don't agree with his religious views, but I definitely agree with his view on stupidity.
When I take the LIRR home (which has been pretty much every day the last few days) I usually take the 5:01 to Ronkonkoma. I don't live on the Ronkonkoma line, but that train is pretty much empty every day, plus it leaves three minutes before the 5:04 so I can get out of Dodge faster. My connecting train is usually at Jamaica when I get there so I don't have to wait outside or battle the hordes on the 5:04 to get in to get a seat.
The only thing I don't like about the 5:01 is when I get to Jamaica and the doors open the people waiting don't let you off. I've shouldered plenty of people out of the way so I can get off the train. I've exchanged words with a few people crowding to get on this virtually empty train. Whatever. I get my knocks in- do you know how heavy Stephen King's new book is? Hidden in my bag, it's a formidable weapon.
Once I get on the 5:04, it's about 25 minutes to my stop. Sometimes, it's the longest 25 minutes of my life. Especially if one of my favorite characters is on board that day.
Character #1- Smelly Lady. This heavy lady is very nice- I've heard her speaking to other people on the train, but one has to hold one's breath when passing her. She doesn't smell like unwashed flesh, or body odor but like sweetly rotting organic matter. Like a compost heap. She looks clean but she smells dirty. Earthy dirty. I can't describe it- I just know I feel like gagging when I walk past her. So I try not to.
Character #2- The Stalker. I'm not alone when I say Dan is disgusting. I met him previously when I had the party place- he came to a kosher party with his daughters. We talked, realizing we both took the same train home. I would like to say that he stares at me because I made such an impression on him when we met that day, but no. I've caught him staring at other women on the train. With his hand down his pants. One time vigorously rubbing. Yeah, I know. Gross.
He's slick about it, too. Once he finishes his card game with the other commuters, he'll stand in the doorways or in seats facing the me and use the reflections in the windows to check me out. I've woken up with him standing in the doorway peeking out behind the advertising signs. Staring at me. One time Diane, a fellow commuter and friend of mine, confronted him and told him he had to stop gawking at the pretty girls* riding the train. He feigned ignorance and went on his merry way. To stalk me and stare at me. Diane and I compared notes the next morning.
MR sees him walking to home when the train leaves and swears he's going to follow him home or run him over. I haven't seen him in a week or so (thank goodness) so I guess he's safe. For now. Bwahahaha!
Character #3- The Bombay Nightingale. Lordy. When I see this Indian lady on the train, I know now not to sit in front of her. She rides the train from Brooklyn and she's totally plugged into her MP3. And she sings. Indian music. Not the whole song, but the most annoying parts. And she's LOUD! The other day she kept bursting into song and startling the whole car. I made eye-contact with several of the other riders and they were as pissed off as I was. Granted, I did have a splitting headache so that didn't help.
As the train neared my stop, I got up and went to stand in the door area. Another woman joined me and we rolled our eyes together whenever the Nightingale screeched another song. We exchanged "pleasantries" about her singing and rolled our eyes again when she joined us in the door area. I shot her a really dirty look and she had the NERVE to ask what's my problem?
Oh, no. You didn't.
I told her that her singing was disruptive to EVERYONE in the car and that she was singing for the whole ride. "Am I disturbing you?", she asked really snottily.
"Yes, you were. You were disturbing everyone." At this point the other woman agrees with me.
"Oh, now you're disturbing me. Why are you disturbing me. I don't disturb anyone."
W. T. F. Okay, lady. you're nuts.
She followed the other woman off the train complaining the whole time that she's not disturbing anyone and that we're the ones disturbing everyone. When we (the nice lady and I) crossed paths at the bottom of the station platform, I told her some people just don't get it.
So now I have to contend with crazy singing lady when I ride the 5:04.
I think I'll start taking the bus home. I may be the only one that speaks English on that ride, but at least no one breaks into song.
*Clarification...I am certainly not pretty, and certainly not the only woman this guy stalks.
Then I remembered where we were. We all took the day off to go see the latest addition to our family- little Hannah Kate, born to Paula and Ray, MR's sister and her husband. We were all in the car driving up to Putnam with a three-foot hero and baby gifts in the back.
The cuteness! All six pounds of her! She looks a little like her big brother Ray, and a little like her older sister Lily. But on a much smaller scale. She was so small her sleeper was swimming on her. Her little arm got swallowed up in all the soft, pink folds of her clothes and her blanket. We dug around for awhile but still didn't find her hands and feet. We didn't want to wake her just to see her toes.
Paula and Ray- they know how to make gorgeous kids.
So I'm Aunt Soo to the 4th.
So writing about my gorgeous little niece, the dam burst and now I have a bunch of things to blog about! Stay tuned for:
- The stupidity of humans
- Why I'm giving up Facebook
- My first recipe- with pictures!
- Trouble on the 5:04
- My take on Avatar
- My new Droid
- Squirrel Vision- now in IMAX
There. I'm committed. Same bat time, same bat channel.
I hate fucking winter.
Probably because it hates me.
I work in midtown Manhattan. I walk six blocks from the train station to my buildings. By the time I get to my office, my already ruddy cheeks are stinging, my sensitive eyes are streaming tears and the poor circulation in my toes are making them even colder.
This morning this skinny bitch in high heels, short skirt and coat open traipses past me crossing Madison Avenue. We walk a full block and a half together- her in front, me observing behind. She has on no hat, no gloves, no scarf and…NO PANTYHOSE. She looks like she stepped out of a Vogue ad.
My nose is red and I can't see straight because my eyes are watery. I'm bundled up in my kitty hat, gloves, scarf and coat. I have tights on under my pants. I'm wearing two pairs of socks. It's 2:17 pm and I'm still cold.
Am I not wearing the right winter gear? With all my natural padding, I should be as warm as a polar bear. But no, I'm shivering all day long.
How do people in Fargo, North Dakota deal with this? Why on earth would one live in Minnesota? I heard two people on the elevator this morning saying Boston was 10 times worse with the wind coming in from the ocean. Why would you live there? Why am I still living in frosty New York?
I didn't always hate winter. I loved to ski when I was younger and I was always out making snowmen and having snowball fights with my friends. And back then we didn't have ski gloves or Thinsulate. We had hand knit mittens that stretched out when they got wet and the snow formed a crust between your fingers because of the wool. I wore jeans with thermal long johns and socks and sneakers. Or rubber boots that had to be put over your shoes with bread bags so they would slip on easier. Fleece and Under Armour were a thing of the future. Did I complain about the cold back then? Probably, but it certainly didn't affect me like it does now.
Maybe it's MENOPAUSE!
Maybe it's seriously time to look into moving. Z-girl would adapt, especially if we threw in a pool. Or a pony. Even a bigger room.
Either that or I invest in some Under Armour.
It's too freaking cold.
Wait- back up. What did I just say?
Dad came over for dinner? Yes, yes he did. We went out for Burger Bite. I really like that place. A lot of thought went into this tiny little restaurant that replaced our beloved Rita's Italian Ices. From the "build your own burger" to the funny "Screw You" sign to the little sticker on the umbrella stand that says "Umbrella ella ella." Unfortunately I did get a little sick from the veggie burger. Yes, you CAN under cook a veggie burger. It was really mushy. One strike, Burger Bite!
Oh. You didn't want to hear about dinner. Okay. So yes, I did de-Christmas the house. And just in time, too. The side of the tree facing the radiator was brown and gross. I organized the Christmas trunk, too (the trunk I keep in the basement with all the decorations in it) and got rid of a lot of the decorations we didn't like or never put out. I was able to put all my Christmas Fiestaware in the trunk, freeing up more room in the liquor cabinet for more booze! Yay! Now if we could just get the mirror marker decorations Z-girl drew off the mirror.
Um, you didn't want to hear about Christmas either? What? The molding? No? Must be the All-County Concert then.
When Zombie-g got picked for All-County for playing the flute, we were ecstatic! She was the only person selected from her whole band! Mohammed was selected from orchestra, and Hailey D., Lauren, Ciara, Dana and Nicole were selected for Chorus. There were three 3-hour rehearsals last week and unfortunately, she had to miss the soccer tourney for the last practice. The concert was yesterday. MR, Beena and myself went- with trepidation, because you know how these sound. They are in Fifth Grade, after all.
The Nassau Music Educator's Association puts together this concert every year with the top students in the school districts throughout Nassau County. The students have to be recommended by their school's music teacher. There are five divisions broken down by age group, with Fifth Grade being the first. And that Division was so big they had to further break it down into two divisions- East and West. It's held at the Tilles Center at CW Post every year for two weekends- it's all very professionally run.
Well, shoot me in the foot, were we surprised! They were AWESOME! You'd never guess they've only been playing for really only one year! We totally enjoyed the concert, and I told Z-girl I want to go to this concert every year for the next seven years. I want her picked every year…wherever she goes to High School!
Okay, okay. We got new chairs for the living room. We're getting rid of the Nana Frances couch- the one Spencer sleeps on. He'll either have to act like a dog and sleep on the "sleepy" (dog bed) or he can use one of the chairs. They've already been tested by both dogs, and meet their high standard of approval. Thank you, UBS. I don't know why Ms. Faye got so paranoid about us picking them up- they were going to be thrown away anyways. Geez.
No? Not what you're waiting to hear about? You want to hear about the tickets, don't you.
Yes, both MR and I got tickets. Me for running a red light (damn cameras) and MR for "blocking the box." And both were pretty bogus, if you ask me.
My red light running occurred on Old Country Road going into the Roosevelt Field Mall the night we saw Santa. I made a right on red (legal everywhere except NYC) and we saw a flash. According to Beena, I panicked. I asked her if I ran a red light and she concurred that I didn't. According to Nassau County Police, I did. The notice and the fine for $50 came three weeks later. I paid it, then realized I should have fought it. We drove by the scene of the crime and there was a turning lane (I was in it) and NO sign prohibiting a right on red. Stupid me. I should fight authority more often.
MR got a ticket for blocking the box in NYC the day he came to pick up the chairs. He stood there for two light changes and nothing in front of him moved. He moved up on the third green light to let the people behind him make their turns and he got caught by the cop standing on the corner. Doing nothing. Not directing traffic- nothing. She waved him over and slapped him with a $115 ticket. He argued and asked what he was supposed to do? Make a right turn, she said. He didn't WANT to turn- why wasn't she handing out tickets on the next block for blocking traffic? Because he was an easy catch, and easy mark. She didn't want to lug her fat ass up the block to investigate what was wrong. MR was furious! I won't post his rants because he might on his blog. Needless to say, we're not very happy with police these days. Case in point- we saw a cop driving while on a cell phone this very morning. Are they there for our protection? Probably not. I think they're around just to drum up revenue.
And….[drumroll] I became an aunt again! My sister-in-law Paula and Ray had their fourth child, baby Hanna Kate! She weighed in at 6lbs., 1/2 oz. Mom and baby are doing great. Big brother Raymond and big sisters Sammy and Lily have to wait until she comes home to see her. We're going up this week to visit, since Zombiegirl won't be able to get into the hospital either. I can't wait to hold this little peanut in my arms! If I get sick between now and then I'll scream!
Popping the vitamins and sucking down the Neti pot!
So that was my week.. Mostly good things, which we need right now!
Of course, anything animated by MR and Jim is a fave...
Another one by MR and Jim...
Queen and little water guys rock!
Another one from Evian...
Our house LOVES Parry Grip...
An oldie but annoying video...
(Love those badgers....0
I love the video itself, too, not just the "translation!"
Another "translation" - Zombiegirl will be sitting on the couch and suddenly blurt out some of the lyrics to this video. Totally random.
And we quote from this one ALOT.
The blogging world concurs.
While waiting for my routines to run at work, I visited a few of my favorite blogs, as well as a few of my least favorite. I scouted around the Interwebs looking for new voices, new laughs, new snark. I found a few keepers, some I want to explore more. I found a few space wasters, and no, I won't link and drive traffic to them- they really don't deserve it.
But a common theme running through most of them the last few days? That many of them were ready to move on to bright, shiny new 2010.
And I'm joining that throng that wanted to throw 2009 to the curb. And kick it while it's down.
So I already did my whiny, crybaby post about how melancholy I was going into the new year. I sulked on Sunday (maybe it was the bourbon, maybe it was MENOPAUSE!)
But after awhile I realized that a lot of good came out of the sadness and insanity of 2009. Such as...
- I've forged a closer bond to Dad. Since it was him and Mom for so long, it was hard to get close to one or the other. Dad relies on certain stuff for me (computer crap and recipes) and we've made a point to get together often- not just for holidays.
- My layoff from the bank resulted in getting my debts paid off.
- The $13,000 screw up resulted in getting household projects started as well providing us a very nice Christmas.
- I got a tattoo.
- My current consulting job with the bank resulted in a very nice bonus and a raise. Working directly for the bank got me diddly at bonus time the past few years, so this year was a nice surprise.
- I started going to the gym and haven't gained any weight since August. Plus my bingo wings are firming up.
- The family crisis back in April has brought the rest of us a little closer to each other. We appreciate each other more.
- I've found some true blue friends who stuck with me through crisis. I've made a bunch of new friends this past year. I'm no longer wasting time on one- sided relationships.
Most importantly, I've explored my Inner Pieces inside and out and have come to the conclusion that although I have things in my life I'd like to change, I'm basically happy. That suckish year is behind me, and I only have good things (and night sweats) to look forward to.
And to finish what I've started, here's the rest of the cookie recipes from the cookie party!
Irene's Lemony Crisps
1/3 cup Oil
1/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2-3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
Colored Sugar for decoration
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl combine cake mix, oil, and eggs. Stir until thoroughly moistened. Shape dough into 1" balls; place 2" apart on un greased cookie sheet (line cookie sheets with parchment for easy removal). Place sugar in shallow dish. Dip the bottom of a glass into the sugar and then flatten the cookies to 1/4" thickness. This gives the cookies a nice sugar crunch topping.
Bake at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over cookies and sprinkle with colored sugar before icing sets. Yields 4 dozen cookies
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired. Yield: 2 dozen cookies
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Combine butter, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour. Beat, scraping bowl often, until mixture leaves side of bowl and forms a smooth, soft dough. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into 6x2-inch round log. Wrap each log in plastic food wrap; refrigerate at least 2 hours. Heat oven to 375°F. Cut logs into 1/4-inch slices with sharp knife. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned on edges. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheets. Meanwhile, combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Roll warm cookies in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Yields 3 ½ dozen cookies
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
Chocolate Frosting (recipe below, canned will also work)
Cover 2 cookie sheets with heavy brown paper. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes, do not underbeat.
Heat oven to 200. Fit decorator's tube with plain tip, with 1/4 inch opening (#10 or 11). Fill tube with meringue, hold tube upright, pipe out about 55 mushroom caps, each 1 - 1 1/4 in. diameter. Sift cocoa over the caps. Bake until firm, 45 - 50 minutes. Remove from oven immediately turn caps upside down and carefully make an indentation on the bottom of each cap, wooden spoon handle is ideal size. Brush off excess cocoa with soft bristle brush.
Using same tip, on 2nd cookie sheet pipe out about 55 stems, about 3/4 inch diameter. Stems should have peaks that will fit into mushroom caps. Bake until firm, about 40 - 45 minutes.
1 squares (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoons butter
1 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoons hot water
Heat chocolate and butter until melted. Remove from heat. Beat in powdered sugar and hot water until smooth and of spreading consistency. If necessary, add more hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
Assemble the Mushrooms
Turn over each cap, spread a small amount of frosting in the indentation, insert stem, carefully place upside down to dry. Store uncovered at room temperature.
Must be the dreaded mood swings of MENOPAUSE!
MR assured me I'm not a bad cook. No need to go to cooking school. I just got overwhelmed and maybe a little lazy (should have sifted that lumpy baking powder...) But I am a good cook. I've inherited the baking gene. I can pipe frosting with the best of them.
There. I feel better.
In fact, let's explore my awesomeness, shall we? No, just kidding. Number 43 of my 101 in 1001 was to make 50% of my Christmas gifts. Now that all the gifts have been given, I can safely blog about them without giving away the surprise.
For my nieces and nephew, I made the puppet theater, as well as these adorable hooded bath towels. I found the tutorial here. They were super easy and they turned out so cute. My Mother-in-Law paid me the highest compliment when she saw them...she told me I COULD quit my day job. I won't, though. Not yet.
Unfortunately when I asked Sammy and Lily to model their towels, Sammy got scratched several times by a pin I had left in the towel. I hugged her and kissed the boo-boo, but she went and tattled on my anyway. TO EVERYONE. That Aunt Soo left a pin in her towel and it scratched her. HARD.
So NOT awesome.
But they are. They're the cutest little girls ever. They look like little Ewoks.
I made the same towels for JJ and Parker. Their initials were in camouflage and flames. I also made them mustaches. I didn't get a picture of Parker singing arias in the living room mirror with it on, but here's Dastardly Jason wearing his.
I wore one to pick Zombiegirl up at Jodi's. The mother pushing her kid in the stroller down the block did a double take when she spotted me in the car. Now all the kids want one. And a few of the grown ups!
I also made pillows for the soccer girls. Z-girl drew the letters and picked the material and I cut them out and sewed them to the pillows. Embellished with some buttons and some flower patches they looked shabby-chic. I didn't get pictures, but I still have to make Z-girl one. It won't look as girly, though. She wants black and plaid...
Of course she does.
I channeled Mom again and made all the girls angel ornaments using safety pins and beads. Again, Mom made me feel bad that she worked so hard on these in the past, but they were really easy. They're going to show up on the craft table next year.
For my soccer moms, I painted these skinny reindeer. Last year, I was stressing about finishing the cross stitch frames I was making them and Mom gave me four of these reindeer to paint- just in case I couldn't finish. I was able to finish the cross stitch so I saved the reindeer for this year. Mom had cleaned them in ceramics, and had started to paint one of them. I kept that one, and painted up the rest for my moms. Theirs have Christmas lights entwined in their antlers.I gave each one of them a reindeer and a coffee cozy, because I know how much they love their coffee. I have to make more of these- they were super easy!
Okay, I feel better now.
And I'm feeling melancholy. And maybe a little hungover.
Someone asked me if I made any New Year Resolutions. Hell, I'm still working on finishing last year's resolutions. I think I'm going to use my 101 in 1001 days as my resolutions for the next few years. I think they pretty much summed up where I want change in my life.
So why am I melancholy?
I had a dinner last night for 21 people. And two crazy dogs. In my little house. And I was so totally stressed out by the end of the night I ended up drinking too much, and paid for it today. Dinner parties like this are history. Cooking like that is finished. And I can't drink like I used to. And it's upsetting because I love to entertain and I love to cook and I love to drink. Even though I pretty much suck at all of it.
So unless I move (which is not an option according to Zombiegirl) my parties are limited to eight people or less. Twenty-one people crammed into my house, kids running full steam upstairs, screaming and falling down stairs while stupid dogs barked incessantly while trying to escape their confines does not make for a relaxing evening. And I always end up cooking too many dishes so nothing comes out the way I expected (except the eggplant rollatini, which came out awesome, if I do say so myself...) And I use EVERY plate, cup, mug, fork, knife and spoon in the house. Without a dishwasher. Yes, you read correctly. I don't have a dishwasher. It's currently the home to my Tupperware and not usable.
MR and I decided- no more parties and back to cooking basics. Which, for me, is actually reading the recipe all the way through, TWICE, before I actually start cooking. What did I fuck up yesterday? The Croque-em-bouche for the second time, the red velvet cupcakes which had tiny lumps of baking powder in them, the quinoa which turned out tasty, but gloppy (very unappetizing) and the second lasagna. Which I left in the oven while we ate. Which didn't make a difference last night but when we went to eat it tonight it was as hard as a shoe. I was told I don't pay attention while I cook, and I walk away. Literally walk away, says Zombie-G. Yes, she said "literally." So, yeah, back to basics. I'm going to take one dish at a time and perfect it. Over and over until I get it right.
Hey- was that a resolution? Yeah, I guess it was. Back-to-basic cooking skills. At 46 years old.
But... if I'm not having anymore dinner parties...why do I have to perfect my cooking? My family eats everything I make. Who do I need to impress? Hmmm? Yeah, okay, I'll try to cook better for the family. They deserve it. I guess....
I'm hanging up my party platters. I'm putting away the good silverware. I'm packing up the entertainment pieces.
Yeah- these next few weeks I'm cleaning house. No, I'm clearing house. I've said it before- we have too much stuff. So keeping in mind that I won't be having any more of these crazy parties, I'm going to go through all our stuff and either eBay it or put it on Craigslist. Or donate it. Or Freecycle it. I'm going to list here some of the stuff I'm getting rid of. Maybe you want it?
Maybe my crazy cousin's crazy husband has it right. He won't let her buy anything and bring it into the house until she gets rid of something she already has. (Okay, yeah, they are crazy. And not because of that.) I'm NOT buying anything until I've cleared out some of the stuff I don't use. Out with the old. THEN in with the new. New year, fresh start.
So much for not making resolutions!
Yes. I'm rambling. Sorry. Blame the bourbon.