Saturday, November 29, 2008

How Bad Can The Economy Be?!



This guy has a job....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

What can I say? .....We aren't all in to turkey -- too dry. Now puppy...that's different. Mmm, mmm moist!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ancient Water Crackers

What I am about to share with you is one of my fave little life lessons. I love stuff like this -- instances where people learn they are the same person they have made a passion out of mocking.

Perhaps I particularly enjoy it because I have caught myself in these ironies a time or two. My latest is the uncomfortable realization that I am one of those freaks about my pets. I always held myself up as a staunch non-anthropomorphiser......wrong! As I scrolled through some posts on this blog the other day, I had to suck my teeth when I realized it. Dog is in love with cat, cat is a premeditated fecal terrorist.........riiiggghhhhtttt. I'm a tool about my pets. Damnit!

Enough about me.

Let's instead talk about BF. He loves to endlessly tease his mother about ignoring expiration dates on foods. Trepidation over Thanksgiving dinner at her house the next night thoroughly set in as he described finding scads of rotten food in her fridge. Yikes! Is there ever an instance where stomach pumping can be considered holiday festive?

BF and I told his mom we would bring appetizers for Thanksgiving, so Wednesday evening we were firming up our recipe choices and making a shopping list. As some of the ingredients were basic staples, I was browsing his fridge and cupboard as we compiled the list.

Bonanza! As it turns out, the Rotten Food fairy comes to BF's house too!



Can you read the Mar of 98, 15 Apr 97, and Sep 03 99 on these bad boys? Yummy!

And for the record, I didn't photograph the Boursin cheese that died in the back of the fridge in 2002, the dozen or so cake mixes that were 24 - 36 months past, or the Prosciutto in the meat drawer that had actual rigor mortis from being about 8 months over it's flavorful life with us here on earth. R.I.P. guys.

BF's defensiveness about all of this is almost as enjoyable as finding all of this stuff in his kitchen.

We laugh because it's funny, we laugh because it's true.

May all your food be fresh and flavorful for our big day of thanks tomorrow!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Are You A Drip?


Over the weekend, I got through a quick read titled "How Full Is Your Bucket?" It is basically a condensed compilation of research and studies, outlining positive strategies one can use to improve relationships.

The premise is that each of us has a "bucket"; an imaginary reservoir that fills when we received individualized, deserved praise and empties when that recognition is missing from our work and personal relationships.

At the end of the book a website is mentioned where you can log on and take the Positive Impact Assessment. This 15 question test instantly grades you, so you can see how good you are at filling others' buckets.

One a scale of 0 to 98, I scored in the bottom "low impact" tier at a whopping 24. Unlike aerobics, low impact is not a good thing in this case.

"Although [I] might not be actively bucket dipping -- taking from other's positive emotion -- [Iam] probably not doing much to make things better."

Umm yeah, let's just be honest here: The diplomatic bucket runneth over duo that wrote this book are telling me I am a g.d. Dipper!

I honestly thought I was a Medium High Impact type, giving in to the urge to dip when some flopsweat really deserved it, but overall I was filling other's buckets with great pleasure and abandon.

Damn!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Continued Adventures In Cat-Butt


Umm....there is really no delicate way to put this: My cat has diarrhea.

Have you ever walked in on something like that? Yikeys!

First it was the smell. As I opened the door, a wave of stench hit me like a bread truck going 90mph. No question as to the source. When you are catching even a whiff of that much cat crap, there is no doubt. The brain does not go, "Hmm, is that poo I smell?". Oh, you know.

I half expected the cat to be dead. A visual flashed across my mind of her getting up to use the litter box when her little cat guts lurch (you know, the 30 second heads-up lurch). Then suddenly, she just explodes from behind and is actually propelled around the room like a balloon losing air, spraying my whole house with liquid poo in the process.

Not the case. As I am staving of dry heaves, she meets me at the door meowing and looking absolutely fine. Not at all bothered by the smell I might add, thus proving the theory "whoever smelt it first, dealt it"

I have to go in there. I have to go in the bathroom where the litter box is kept. There is no way around it. How bad will it be? Where is a damn Hazmat suit when you need it?!

So I gear up with gloves, a dish towel wrapped around my nose/mouth, goggles, and a fly swatter (to use as a slotted spatula, of course). Alright, alright -- I didn't use the goggles or fly swatter, but go visual -- it's pretty damn funny, right?

So, I put my head down and go in. It's bad. Real bad. The thought crosses my mind that it might be better if I just demolish this bathroom and start over. We are in a recession though, so I flip the fan on and start with paper towels and lemon scented Pine Sol.

I manage to get it all cleaned up without puking. Victory......or so I thought...

Sidenote: When you can't wipe your butt AND you have diarrhea, chances are you are going to drip. I'm sorry. Simple facts here.

I point this out because my cat dripped. As I walked out of the bathroom and took a deep, relief filled breath, I see them. Out the door and across part of the living room is a series of little brown reminders of the carnage that took place in the room behind me. They are reminiscent (in a demented, fecal way) of Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumb trail. Even if I am wiping out the cat's way back to the litter box, these have to go. More Pine Sol.

It would be wrong to seal the cat with Wacky Glue so I don't have to go through that again, right?

Can you believe people who write this kind of crap -- about crap – yuck!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunshine Go Away Today!


The damn sun is making me feel guilty as hell today. I just want to vege in my sweats, spending the bulk of my day sitting on the couch doing my favorite tri-tasking of laptop whateves, reading, and watching junk TV.

Just like tea and snacks accompany this kind of day perfectly, the weather you need to top it all off has to be cold and overcast, preferably even rainy.

But no, despite my mad craving for a storm so I have the perfect excuse to stay in, it is sunny. Really sunny. 77 degrees. Damnit!

When you try to pull off this sort of day in Indian Summer weather, it isn't cozy, relaxing and mellow. It becomes the hermit like behavior of an agoraphobic tool.

I feel mocked. I feel like the sun is just blaring down judgment on me for not being outside right now. You know how holier than thou stars can be....

Alright, off I go -- gotta Google rain dances and turn this craptacularly bright day around!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Butthole!


Butthole is my pet name for my brother Sal. He turns 35 today.

Before you go off thinking I am an awful sister, please know that he has equally rough sounding nicknames for me as well. I will not list them here as I do not want to change the setting on this blog to 'Adult Content'. Anyway, it's all done out of love, so it's coolio.

Sal and I are only a little over a year apart, so much of our growing up was done side by side. Over the years, that has woven a lot of great stories into the fabric of our sibling history together.

To commemorate Butthole's big 3 - 5 birthday, I think it is only right and good to tell the Fishtailing On A Chicken Chunk Into A Vomit Puddle story.

Every winter when Sal and I were elementary school aged, it seems we would get the stomach flu. Of course, once one of us had it, it was not long before the other was to fall victim. This particular bout had beaten a path to my GI tract a day or two before Sal's. By Sunday evening, I was feeling better and ready to eat dinner. As my dad makes our plates, Butthole sits down at the table claiming he feels better too. Forgive me for not remembering everything that was on the menu that evening. As the title of this story states, there was definitely chicken, and you are about to find out why I haven't been able to forget that.

Sal starts shoveling food in his pie hole in his usual sloppy, too fast fashion. He then stops to open the cranberry juice. We were one of those families that didn't get soda unless it was a special occasion. Even juice was semi-rare, but my dad believed in cranberry juice so it would grace our table from time to time, when the grocery budget allowed.

Now there is a little blur in my memory here.......but next thing I know Butthole is yacking all over himself -- at the table!! His weepy, pitiful puking has apparently immobilized him and he is stuck in his chair. My dad is aggravated, asking him why he didn't get up if he didn't feel well. He just sits there, whiney and yacks again, covering the edge of the table in front of him and the cap to our beloved cranberry juice. That relegates us back to milk until we can afford non-puked on juice. Jerk.

My dad finally carts Sal off to the bathroom and I help my grandmother start to clean up. As she clears the table, my dad calls to me to get the bucket and the mop.

I don't know if I was supposed to take that instruction as my father telling me to clean up the puke puddle Sal made on the floor next to the table, or if I was just supposed to get it out for him to do. Call me an over achiever, but I thought my dad was peeved enough and I better had just clean this mess up, so I filled the bucket and started to mop.

It looked like Chicken A La King and seemed to have spread everywhere. I was trying to attack it from the sides, and soak it up with the mop. This is my first foray into puke mopping, so I have no idea how efficient I was being. I do know I had my fire engine red highwater school pants on. Shut up -- it was the 80s you haters!

Here's where it gets really messy: My shoe caught a lone chicken chunk off to the side of the puddle and I started to slip on it. Before I can even figure out what is happening, I am in a slow motion slide, doing the splits towards the Chicken A La Puke my brother made. I am using the mop to try and stabilize myself against full contact, but it's no use. The leg sliding on the chicken chunk goes right into the vomity depths of the main part of the puddle, while my back leg ends up kneeling in an outer edge of it. Good times.

All cleaned up and in his jammies, Butthole comes back into the kitchen just in time to see me trying to lift myself out of the mess without getting more puke on myself. Of course, there is no greater elixir for GI health than seeing your sibling thoroughly humiliated.

I survived. Despite picking up some chicken chunks in the aftermath, my bad ass red pants pulled through too, and I think we went in to another school year together.

Obviously Butthole survived, and we will celebrate his birthday Monday.

Good times. We laugh because it is disgusting. We laugh because it is true.

Yo Bro -- you make 35 look fabulous! Much love to you!

Happy Birthday!
d.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honoring All Who Served


Today is Veteran's Day. Please find a way to remember and honor all of the brave Americans, past and present, that have risen to the call of duty to serve our country.

Serving in our military is one of the toughest jobs this nation has to offer. As someone who has dedicated the last couple of years to reaching out to as many service members as we can, I can tell you how selfless and humble they are about the work they do for us.

They deserve our acknowledgment and respect on this, and ever day.

And a special shout out to Google for observing Veteran's Day with a graphic on their homepage. Rather surprising after they unceremoniously blew off Memorial Day for several years in a row. Good times.

Officer Douchebag

I loan money to friends, and on one occasion, a family member. I know, I know -- worst thing in the world to do. Ruins relationships, right?

Right! This last one has come full circle to bite me in my ample ass. I hate when that happens...

Reader's Digest version: A few years ago I loaned a sizable amount of cash-ish to someone I was currently dating.

Let me digress here: Loaning money to a person you are dating is the coup de grace on stupid money moves. Take the emotionally charged environment already existent, and flame it up with some good ole cash now being open between you two, and voila! You got yourself a nice hot financial mess! Yummy.

Anyway, back on track here.... Not long after said loan, we break up. Whateves. It happens. Officer Douche Bag [name has been changed to protect even the not-so-innocent, but I will provide a pic so you have an ass to put with the story.] signed a legally binding promissory note at the time the loan was made. Built in to that note, is an agreement that monthly payments will be made.

Within two months, checks are bouncing and I am getting every lame excuse ODB can extract from his ass.

The real ass in this story is me though. I let him get away with the theatrics, and the use of my money for about two years.

Last night I talk to ODB and he runs the gamut of ridiculousness throughout. He starts off all business, then he swings to being under the impression that he could keep the money (yeah, that is what signed promissory notes are for) after that he goes on to claim he is a victim of big bad me, then he tries to buy time by saying he is newly married and has to discuss all of this with his wife, and then.........and I love this part........you are going to love it as well...........wait for it..............he thanks me.

I shit you not, he tries to express gratitude for my loaning him the money in the first place -- when he needed it.

Hmmm....

I may be a bit slow, but trying to steal my money doesn't really shout out 'thank you'. It's more screaming of 'I'm an a-hole!', don't you think?

You have taught me a great lesson though ODB, never again will I be able to walk into a situation where I think I can help someone, and do it without a little doubt of their sincerity.

Thanks for that you ass!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Self Proclaimed [and named] Literphiliac

I am a big-time book lover and recently me and a few of my cousins decided to form a small book club.

Anyway, I got to choose this round's selection and I thought I would share what I came up with, here.


1. Let's get it started here with a winner: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz is 2008's Pulitzer Prize winner in Fiction

Review:
The titular Oscar is a 300-pound-plus "lovesick ghetto nerd" with zero game (except for Dungeons & Dragons) who cranks out pages of fantasy fiction with the hopes of becoming a Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien. The book is also the story of a multi-generational family curse that courses through the book, leaving troubles and tragedy in its wake. This was the most dynamic, entertaining, and achingly heartfelt novel I've read in a long time. My head is still buzzing with the memory of dozens of killer passages that I dog-eared throughout the book. The rope-a-dope narrative is funny, hip, tragic, soulful, and bursting with desire. Make some room for Oscar Wao on your bookshelf--you won't be disappointed. --Brad Thomas Parsons


2. Throw food and anything Italian (this one has a Sicilian focus) in a book and you are going to get my attention, and La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture did just that!

Review: Sumptuously appointed, celebratory and sensuous, this debut novel is a mouth-watering blend of commedia dell'arte and Greek tragedy. Prior cooks up a cinematic yarn full of characters so rich you'll fear they're fattening, but readers will be sure to splurge on this saucy tale chock full of sex, recipes and murder. Born in 1915, Rosa Fiore grows up on the family farm in the Sicilian village of Castiglione with six older brothers and her younger Siamese twin siblings, Guera and Pace (war and peace). Rosa spends most of her time in what is really the core of the family, la cucina, the kitchen, which is the outlet for all Rosa's passions except one, her lover, Bartollomeo. ... Ironic humor, fantastical subplot twists, attention to touching detail in setting and tone and a delightful gift for characterization make this sexy black comedy an award-winning recipe for pleasure. The combination of sex and food will undoubtedly invite comparisons with Like Water for Chocolate and 8Y Weeks. Add a dash of Goodfellas, and there's something for everyone.


3. They put locks on diaries for a reason -- because they are so fun to read! A sneak peek into this one looks like a unique perspective into one woman's experience in the wild, wild west: A Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd

In Brief: Based on actual historical events, One Thousand White Women is the poignant story of May Dodd's journey west. Committed to an insane asylum by her blueblood family for an affair with a man beneath her station, May finds that her only hope of freedom is to participate in a secret government program whereby women from the "civilized" world become the brides of Cheyenne warriors. She soon falls in love with John Bourke, a gallant young army captain, even though she is married to the great chief Little Wolf. Caught between two worlds and two men, Dodd is forced to make tough decisions that will change her life forever.

Happy page turning!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Amazing

We just elected Barack Obama the 44th President of the United States. Wow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

High Paid Ho

I hate to even give this woman any more space in my brain, but she and her bullshit story are bugging me.

Looking for background noise while working from home, and taking a chance that the Tyra Banks Show wasn't going to result in my developing an aneurysm, I let it run yesterday.

Natalie Dylan was the guest. This 22 year old recent graduate of Sacramento State now has her degree in Women's Studies from the school. That sounds benign enough, right? Well, here is where it gets good -- no wait -- stupid and contrived is more like it.

Natalie, [Ms. Dylan if you're nasty] is auctioning of her virginity. She has taken [and passed] two lie detector tests in regard to her vestal state and is also willing to submit to a medical exam if asked. But to all you possible bidders out there: Do not ask about what she has actually done sexually because Snow-not-so-white has been down for everything but The Deed. That might not be exactly what one is in the market for when buying a fresh stab at a girl.

Anyway, since this is prostitution, she will be giving it up at the Bunny Ranch which is a legal brothel in Nevada. Apparently she has gotten bids so far topping $3 million.You go girl! Seriously, can you go somewhere? You are making me ill.

Why? Dont get me wrong, I don't really care about the auction itself. I care about what she is saying. One storyline is that she is doing this to pay off school loans since her stepfather cleaned out the family's bank accounts. Then she has this other scenario where her degree in Women's Studies inspired her to do this to show that women can be empowered by choosing whatever it is they want for themselves.

Okayyyyy........so which is it?

And furthermore, what message are you sending to young women and girls in this country? Grow up, get a college degree and then sell your ass -- very empowering!

So empowering in fact that Natalie Dylan is actually a pseudonym our enterprising little buddy chose for herself. Coward.

Too legit to quit is also the fabulous commission the owner of the brothel is getting -- 50%! I bet handing over half the cash wad your hymen pulled in to some fat dude makes a girl feel 10 feet tall. Pimping -- now that is feminism at it's best right?!

The least little bit of respect for "Natalie" that can be gleaned from all of this can only come from sister soldier owning her choice. Use your real name, admit you want as much cash as you can get for this stunt, leave feminism out of it since you have no clue what that is, and get on with it!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Easy Like Sunday Morning Cat-Butt

Sunday mornings are fabulous (so is the word 'fabulous', by the way). I always try to carve out a few hours to do whatever I want, with coffee in hand. You know, just have a little time to unwind and relax. I love 'em.

Well, apparently my dog does too. She has a little different idea of what a relaxing Sunday morning looks like though. She likes to spend hers smelling the cat's butt. That is actually the everyday morning ritual around here, but I only really have time to be disgusted by it on Sundays. I will stick with the coffee under my nose, thank you.

I don't get the attraction, but the two animal train with the canine cat-butt smelling caboose has just made it's third trip through my living room this morning.

The whole thing is gross I know, but I will tell you that I have some respect for it on a dedication level. It may not be the healthy, well adjusted love Peck talks about in The Road Less Traveled but it is committed. I mean this has been going on for over 8 years! There are a lot of marriages that haven't lasted nearly that long, even if they did include butt smelling!

Here's the thing though: The cat shows no sign of appreciation or acknowledgement for what looks like quite a task. Instead, it seems to me that she has developed a pretty snooty sense of entitlement about the whole ritual. That doesn't seem right.

I don't know -- I just have a little bit of what I am sure is poorly placed admiration for sticking to something for that long -- even if it is an unappreciative cat's butt (you know you saw that coming).

I just blogged about my dog's fetish and my cat's butt. That's probably not ideal.


happy Sunday!
d.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Corn Palace

If you ever find yourself in Sunnyvale California and looking for a produce bonanza, go check out the Corn Palace.

This place is awesome! From the yummy variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, to the 5' dynamo of an owner Mr. Francia, it is virtually impossible to walk away without enjoying your visit.

Originally started in 1926 by Joe and Ben Francia's parents, the acreage now stands out as a reminder of the way the area used to be, with orchards flanking the property and the current expressway once being a dirt road.Ben is the surviving brother, and pushing 90 is still running the place. He is fiesty and chatty. He will tell you about the old days, he will tell you what he thinks of this election, and damn straight if you rub him the wrong way, he will let you know what he thinks of you too. I love that about him. He always has a smile on his little, round fleshy face and I love to chat with him a bit when I am there.

And let me own up to playing the race card here and admit that as a fellow Italian I feel a special affinity to Mr Francia and the Palace of Corn. Every time I stop by to pick up a special ingredient for a recipe, I want to bring some of it back to him to try. I lost my courage when I used some of his Roma tomatoes for my maiden voyage on the journey of Bolognese sauce and again when I stuffed zucchini.

Upon leaving there a little while ago, I promised myself (in front of a witness to keep me honest) that the persimmons I bought were going to go into cookies and make their way back to my paisan Ben.

Vivere lungo il palazzo di granoturco!