Thursday, December 24, 2009

Did You See The Size Of That Yule Log?!

This was originally posted last December, but you should read it because it was the last time I was funny. Take a look back and have a joyous Noelle!

There are so many reasons I love this photo, that I am going to have to make a little list here to cover them all.

1. Okay, let's start at the start: Flashing is just classic! Kudos to all who can go out there and get bare. You really can't go wrong. Any reaction is going to be the right one. Mission Accomplished. Every time. We salute you.

2. Check out Mom on the right. Awesome Reflexes. Looks like she just did an insta-swoop move to not only lean the child away from said yule log, [think Robin Williams stand up here when he is impersonating Adam cautioning Eve on the occasion of the first erection, "Stand back, we don't know how big this thing is going to get!"] but she also got those eyes covered damn quick too. I have heard of ovarian acts of heroism from mothers, but this one is stellar. Good job Mom! No therapy necessary in the future for little Billy on that one. Whew!

3. Now let's move to the left. These two make me both sad and furious at the same time. Shame be upon them for their reaction to this special moment. Seriously, what the hell party people?! Two adults. One flasher. This guy just gave you the gift of spontaneity and you are blowing it [Poor choice of words perhaps; let's not blow anything.] And finally, let me just dust off my feminist hat here and slap it on...Homeslice is not actually covering her eyes for her is he?! Oh no he deh-ent! That's a bunch of crap. Let me underscore my point with a quote from the great Pretty Woman, "I say who, I say when, I say who!" Get your damn hands off her eyes! Street berries and dangle should always be in the safe viewing zone. Relax buddy, it ain't like she paid for it.

4. Center stage is that kid on the bike who looks like he is late for an audition of A Christmas Carol with that red hair, hat, and wreath or whatever slung over his shoulder. He is going to have a great story to tell the Greater Metro Gay Men's Choir when he gets there!

I am going to start praying to Santa today that this season be as blessed as this for me and all those I love.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Racism Is Always Unacceptable...



Stereotyping though? That's coolio. Have at it.

Let's start with the stoopid dolt of a road crew dude. Of course he has to be Caucasian. Why, you ask? Because that is the only group of people who are racist. Everyone knows this.

That pretty much explains why Betty Crocker back there is yucking it up at his antics. When she isn't throwing burritos at Mexicans, or making weave jokes to the Black women in the office, she is laughing her ass off at just how funny Eber is.

Really now, isn't he funny? Such a comedic innovator. Who would have ever thought to mock eye shape. Very sharp, that guy.

And then we have our Miss Oppressed right there, front and center. A chop stick using, rice eating Asian. Nice. You can tell they are serious about championing her plight by the sheer in-your-face way in which they undermined the whole scenario with the stereotyping.

Lame.

If employees really need posters like this one in the workplace, to guide them about what is an act of racism, and what isn't, then perhaps Obama doesn't need to work on that 10.2% unemployment rate as much as we thought.

It may just be Darwinian office weeding at it's best.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fritter

I wish I had a lime green glittered out, street-legal bumper car. How sweet would that be?! Low but not slow baby!

Can you ask for that kind of stuff for Chanukah? If so, I'm in!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bless Mahself!

Even though I am not longer a practicing Catholic, I was raised pretty devoutly and some of the traditions I still like.

One of them is the little dainty finger dip you take in the holiest of holy water on your way in and out of the church. Then you make the sign of the cross with those newly Holy Spirit empowered finger tips, touching yourself right there in church! Oh blessed be!

Do other Christians do this? Being Catholic is far superior as you all know, so no time was ever wasted studying other "faiths".

Anywho, I haven't done this little ritual in years, because as I mentioned, I....ugh...well...am not really a Catholic anymore [insert Catholic guilt here].

Well all of that is going to change! Well, not really. I am still headed to hell for not being in church every week and sucking down communion wafers, but I can bless myself at home now!

One for every room in the house - OCCD, here I come!

These are from Italy! Hand painted! Aren't they beautiful?! In fact, but not really, I read in a real fake article somewhere that Jesus wanted to be Italian, but his dad told him he had to be a Joo. You know the rest of that story. Rough stuff. I wonder if he had a stylist when he got here though, because he looks pretty Italian.

Now, I need to find holy water....


For complete product information, please click here

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Xerox Is Doing The Heavy Thanks Lifting For You



Xerox is extending this awesome way for all of us to thank the troops again this holiday season! Simply pick out a card, add a greeting, and they do the rest by printing your card and sending it to a deployed service member. How coolio is that?! And is there any better time to reach out than the eve of our national day of Thanks? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

As I sit here musing about how many people across our great land yack every Turkey Day from not pushing away from the dinner plate soon enough, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!

I'll let you go now, so you can hop on the Xerox site and thank a brave Soldier serving over this holiday season.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bourbon: Not just a breakfast drink anymore

I am having so much fun using bourbon in the kitchen! I follow a bunch of different food blogs, and bourbon just seems to be popping up more and more in their recipes.

Bourbon, like Bruce Springsteen and Velveeta, is made in the USA. Named for the Bourbon county region of Kentucky, this amber colored love is made primarily of corn and has been around since the 1700s.

You might remember the Bad-ass Bourbon Banana bread I made a few weeks ago...well there's more!

How about Bourbon Cranberry sauce? If that doesn't float your Thanksgiving gravy boat, I don't rightly know what will! And you don't have to wait for Turkey day or even turkey to enjoy this dish. I am going to be serving it as an appetizer this weekend, spooned over a brick of cream cheese with mini toasts on the side. Oh yeah - you know that is going to be all about the yum!

Need a helping hand this Thanksgiving to get through another one of Aunt Myrtle's agonizing old folk's home bingo tourney blow-by-blows? How about bliss-buzzing out while she drones with a nice fat wedge of Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake?

"But Daniella" you say, "what in the french toast am I going to do for the rest of the year when my bourbon hankering is-a-ragin? My friend, you will wait for the summer sun to kiss those peaches, and then you will commence the making of Bourbon Peach Hand Pies

Perhaps you have signed a contractual agreement with the devil to be on Atkins for the next 10 years, so you are trembling in fear by now that all of this carby bourbon fun is going to pass you by. Well, it is, and you should be crapping meatballs over that travesty! Everyone knows that cutting out carbohydrates entirely is the first level of hell. I am sad for you. However, you can ease some of your misery by adding some vitamin bourbon to your beef with this recipe for Beef Tenderloin with Bourbon.

I think bourbon might just be one of my new heroes!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Up Yours!

I have had ringing ears and mild dizzyness for about 10 years now. Usually more pronounced on my right side, chronic nasal drip [that is an equally sufficient description of my personality for my Match.com profile too, by the way] my Eustachian tubes swell up and trap fluid, causing on the ear canal chaos. It's as fun as it sounds.

Now all the rage is for Neti pots. The Ayurvedic idea behind the Neti is that regular saline irrigation of the nasal passages is the key to new cars, fur coats, mad cash, and taco flavored kisses. Sometimes it doesn't do all that and you just end up with less allergy and sinus symptoms.

I figured even without the taco flavored kisses, I could still use calmer booger troughs, so I bought one a couple of days ago.

I have two day of happy Neti-ing under my nose and I am really getting into it. It's a pretty simple routine. You want mildly warm, not nasty water [ie, if your tap shoots out chlorinated chemical soup -- go bottled]. Most of the pots seem to call for about 1/4 of a teaspoon of noniodized table salt. Mix those two up, and you are ready to Neti!

It's quite the efficient apparatus, if I do say so myself. The shape of the spout creates a nice little seal in your standard issue nostril, and just moves the warm saline water right on through. For shoving something up your nose, you really do walk away feeling pretty refreshed.

If you don't thumbs up yourself while doing it, like the guy in the photo, you for sure won't be getting the mad cash and fur - just so you know.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Your Dirty Lies Are Starving My Dog!

I've got some liars in my life. Now don't get me wrong, I know we all lie - myself included. None of us are really exempt from those occasional "oh, I wish I could but I have to wash my hair and get a liver transplant that day" moments.

I am talking more about the giant, chronic, drama queen, ass-face liar. They use their lies more than they tell the truth. In fact, their tale spinning is second nature to them and they pretty much believe they are hiding well behind the camouflage of it.

I got a call recently from a pretty accomplished liar I know. As soon as I answer the phone my ear is under attack as the rapid-fire Armageddon victim story unfolds. One horrific occurrence after another has allegedly befallen this poor person.


It goes something like this:

"Okay, you're never going to believe this...I was superglued to the toilet by Somali pirates in the wee hours of the morning. They left me there in my own bathroom for dead! In my last-ditch effort to save myself, I managed to bite down on the toilet roll hanger bar and tear my butt cheeks from the toilet.

Once the massive bleeding subsided a little, I went outside to throw the toilet seat away (everyone knows that ass skin sticks like a mothersmucker to those seats, so I didn't doubt this part of the story) and I was attacked by a troop of ground squirrels. I guess they had been waiting for me on the side of the house, because as soon as I rounded the corner, they launched right at me! Before I could do anything, they had me face down and wrist cuffed with one of those zip ties. Then they sodomized me with a Star Wars toy light Saber they claim they found in the neighbor's recycling bin. They weren't gentle. And If you have ever heard a ground squirrel snicker....it was evil.

They left me face down ass in the air, but were kind enough to chew through the zip tie before they took off. I managed to get to my feet. I staggered back in the house and my cell phone was beeping with a voice mail. Apparently I had missed a call during my anal invasion. It was my boss. I got fired. Apparently he didn't believe me yesterday when I called in and tried to explain to him that I was having trouble getting to work because this chimp had chewed off my thumbs in the 7/11 parking lot the night before. Have you ever tried to start your car without your thumbs?! I was only asking for a little time to get transplants, but I guess he didn't want to deal with me. People with disabilities are so often discriminated against, ya know?

Anyway, as soon as I hung up the phone, the doorbell rang. When I answered it, some ski-masked punk threw a flaming bag of dog shit into the house, and it slid right across the hardwood into the living room. I limp-scurried my sore ass over to it to stomp out the flames, and I fishtailed in dog shit, fell, and broke my right hip. The fire spread and I only managed to save myself - the house and all of my worldly possessions inside, are gone.

When I got to the hospital the doctor examined me before the hip x-ray. Bad news -- they found this giant mole under my left nut that they think is malignant Melanoma. So I am probably going to die which is why I am canceling our plans at the last minute like this. Sorry."

Yeah, you're right -- I don't believe you.

I did however get pretty distracted by the whole pile of bullshit slung at me over the phone lines. So distracted in fact, that I forgot I was in the middle of feeding The Ru when I answered the phone. I didn't remember this for three hours after the call ended. Three whole hours. My dog could have died of starvation. There is no better reason than that to always abide by the Honesty Is Always The Best Policy rule.

The truth would have taken a fraction of the time.

It goes something like this:

"Hi there - I'm a fucking tool. I am calling to cancel last minute on our plans for today. I don't have a good reason, I just don't like planning. Flaking teaches everyone not to engage in scheduling things with me in the future. Sorry. And I say sorry because I know that is just one of those things I am supposed to say. I don't actually give a shit or I wouldn't be such a tool in the first place."


So much easier, right? And I would have had the brain power to feed my poor pooch afterward.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Doll" Dungeon

Adults do creepy shit to kids all the time. It's a horrible, heartbreaking, damaging reality. I have lived through some of it.

That's right, I come to you now as an adult who carries a very traumatized little kid inside. But then again, by now you have probably already guessed this Crazytown 'n down action ain't coming from a well-adjusted place.

Like any other trauma survivor, often times different things will spark flashbacks of my original horror. These snippets of the past are rough my friends. They strike almost as much dread in my heart as the time I dreamt that aliens stole all of the planet's dougnuts. Yeah, that scary.

And you never know when they are going to strike, these flashbacks. One got me out of the blue just a couple of days ago.

I was checking out this design blog, when I unwittingly scrolled down into a picture that took me right back to a dark place in my childhood.I was five all over again. Lying as still as I could in my narrow little metal framed twin bed. Trying not to twitch and call their attention to me. All of them there surrounding the perimeter of the room. Surrounding me. So many eyes fixed upon me in that dark room. Always watching. Never blinking. Waiting. Always.

My maternal grandmother was my torturer. Unlike the picture shown here where the little freaks are nailed to the wall, she had her miniature porcelain minions in eight foot tall glass cases around the room. It was at her hand I was forced to endure the night with them.

Would they break the glass and stab me in the neck with a spork stolen from the kitchen junk drawer? If I accidentally fell asleep, was I going to wake to their little cold dead hands wrapped around my neck? Or maybe they were just going to start whispering horrible things to me like, "You will never get a chance to ride Papa's go-kart" or "You are too retarded to use an etch-a-sketch" until I went insane?

Night after night, I would focus on my survival. Each dawn bringing another chance to get out of this nightmare alive. Just needed to make it through one more night.

Eventually I was able to escape that hell, and after decades of therapy as an adult, I became strong enough to confront my g-ma. I did this on the one condition that they stayed in the other room. She claims that she had no idea that the "Doll Room" (nice syrupy sweet name right? They always try to sugar coat their shit.) as she called it, would be scary for me to sleep in.

Of course this was an outright lie. How could she not know? After all, she had been the one to hand pick all of them. You could tell they were chosen specifically for their powers of fear and intimidation. And she was the one to line them up into battalion formation in their glass barracks once they enlisted with her. Oh, she knew.

I didn't really expect her to own up to the abuse anyway. In fact, she had the nerve to laugh off my confrontation. In the end, all she would say is that she loved me and that she thought I considered it a real treat to spend the night in the Doll Room. When I mentioned other victims such as my brother and other cousins close in age, she just dismissed me again, stating that she was sure they had enjoyed staying in her Dungeon Room as well (I call it like it is people.) as I was the only one complaining about it.

I wasn't complaining anyway - I was speaking out. If finding my voice about this issue helps even one other child out there, then all of my work to get better has not been in vain.

This is some sick shit people! If you know of an adult who is making a poor defenseless child sleep with tiny replicas of dead babies, or "dolls" as the abuser will often call them -- speak out!

We can't just stand by and allow this to keep happening. The next generation is depending on us.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11/11



It's Veteran's Day -- "happy" doesn't sound quite right to put with those words. I think these are much better:

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.”
~ Rev. Denis Edward O’Brien from the US Marine Corps

Thank you to all of the brave men and women, past and present, who have answered the call and served our nation.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Corps Is 234! (that rhymes party people)


Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps! Oorah! I don't think two hundred and thirty four has ever looked more stellar!

Since learning more about the Marines after starting OAP, I will admit I have had a little bit of a crush. The discipline, the rugged Leatherneckedness, the uniform, it just all works for me. I have also had the honor to get to know a few Marines OAP reached out to during their deployments, and they were each and every one some pretty special people.

What's that, you want to know more? Well, let's start at the start, shall we?

Brief Wikipedian History Lesson:The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States armed forces responsible for providing force projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States. In the civilian leadership structure of the United States military, the Marine Corps is a component of the Department of the Navy, often working closely with U.S. naval forces for training, transportation and logistic purposes; however, in the military leadership structure the Marine Corps is a separate branch.

Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as naval infantry. Since then, the mission of Marine Corps has evolved with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. The Marine Corps served in every American armed conflict and attained prominence in the 20th century when its theories and practices of amphibious warfare proved prescient and ultimately formed the cornerstone of the Pacific campaign of World War II. By the mid-20th century, the Marine Corps had become the dominant theorist and practitioner of amphibious warfare. Its ability to respond rapidly to regional crises gives it a strong role in the implementation and execution of American foreign policy.

The United States Marine Corps includes just over 203,000 (as of October 2009) active duty Marines and just under 40,000 reserve Marines. It is the smallest of the United States' armed forces in the Department of Defense (the United States Coast Guard is smaller, about one-fifth the size of the Marine Corps, but is under the Department of Homeland Security). The Marine Corps is nonetheless larger than the entire armed forces of many significant military powers; for example, it is larger than the active duty Israel Defense Forces or the whole of the British Army.

The Marine Corps is highly cost-effective. The cost per Marine is $20,000 less than the cost of a serviceman from the other services, and the entire force can be used for both hybrid and major combat operations, that is, the Marines cover the entire Three Block War.


I love military uniforms. The elegance and pageantry of them is not only inspiring but also a rather traditionally feminine trait of such a traditionally masculine field.



Remember earlier in the post how I mentioned getting to know a few Marines personally? Well one of my favorite memories on that subject is about Gunnery Sergeant Moncibais. He was only with us for a month or two when I put out an email to him and few others requesting a group Marine photo to gift to a very special donor we have who is a retired Marine. He literally rallied the troops and organized this this wonderful photo!

Boy did we have one happy Marine birthday boy when he received this framed photo with a note from GySgt. Moncibais. I have heard that this gift ended up in a place of honor in the middle of his "Marine Wall"
He and his Marines went out of their way [even made the nifty birthday sign, yo!] to do this when all along we were supposed to be helping them. A perfect example of a Marine's discipline of service.

And a colorful people too, those marines are. Their vernacular is one of my faves. Some of my favorite Marine sayings, or as I like to refer to them, truisms:

Semper Fidelis (Latin, meaning Always Faithful)
Marine Sniper -- Visualize World Peace
USMC IS Part Of The Navy -- The Men's Department
Pain Is Weakness Leaving The Body
Heaven Won't Take Us and Hell Is Afraid We'll Take Over
Death smiles at everyone. The Marines smile back.

Speaking of colorful, there have been a few memorable quotes about the Marines throughout history:

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem." -Ronald Reagan

"I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all." -Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders

"I want you boys to hurry up and whip these Germans so we can get out to the Pacific to kick the s**t out of the purple-pissing Japanese, before the Godda**ed MARINES get all the credit!" -Lt General George Patton, US Army 1945

Books about the Marines I have really enjoyed:

Jarhead by Anthony Swofford

Shooter: The Autobiography Of The Top-Ranked Marine Sniper by Sgt. Jack Coughlin and Capt Casey Kuhlman

Making the Corps by Thomas Ricks


Are you one of those "movies are better than books" people? Fine then...

A Few Good Men - if you have never heard of it then I am speechless, and quite frankly, disappointed.

Jarhead - based on the book by the same name. Very well done account of one Marine's experience during the Gulf War. Added bonus -- it stars the yummy Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx

Making the Corps - documentary series done by the Discovery channel that takes you from the disorientatingly dark parking lot bus drop off at Parris Island Recruit Depot to graduation day. There is a serious amount of ass-kicking training in between.

I will wrap it up here. I hope this posts inspires you to learn more about our military. Where would we be without all they do for our nation?!

Happy Birthday to corps - all you guys and gals out there who have done so much to protect and serve us all! Oorah!

Monday, November 9, 2009

M O W

You know that stoopid (I like to spell it that way) saying "food is love"? Well, I think I have just caught myself spoon-handed trying to love up on people with stuff from my kitchen.

I do it because it makes me feel good. Big surprise that their is a personal payoff in my motivations huh. Luckily, this particular loverly thing usually makes other people feel good too (big sigh of relief from everyone who endured my crank calling and pantsing phases). And it's fun. If I only had me, myself, and I with which to share all the things I want to cook, we would be wasting some serious amounts of food. That doesn't go over too well in my psyche.

So out of all these things, my mini-scale Meals On Wheels was born.

Last week I made these.

Next up on the roster before Turkey day hits, are these.

I don't just bake mind you; and good thing because I am fairly craptacular when it comes to all things flour, eggs and butter. Most cookies I can pull off while steering clear of complete disaster though. They also tend to be pretty MOW friendly for traveling.

MOW menu dinner items extend to things like a completely cooked pasta dinner with homemade sauce and spicy Italian sausages to a friend. Or Salmon Wellington with a side of rice and breaded zucchini spears.

Pretty soon here I want to add rice and tomato sauce to my Sicilian meatball recipe and stuff it in bell peppers. Will be leaving two of those on someone's porch like abandoned twins at the back door of a church. Just heat and eat! - The peppers of course, not the twins in my analogy. NOT advocating that you warm children in your oven and then eat them. I want to be clear about that because the government is watching me. I already have to wear a special helmet to block out the GAMA rays they have aimed at me. I don't want to have to tin foil my windows too.

Anywho, feeling a little hungry over here. Not sure what to eat... NOT those twins - I know that much! Okay -- we are clear on that then. Good.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An Evening In Small Bites

A friend came over for dinner last night and I didn't want to be distracted by the chaos I can sometimes impose on myself in the kitchen. The last minute little detail things always seem to catch up to me, well...at the last minute. Then I find myself scrambling around trying to juggle several dishes and get hot yummy food on the table, not crap burnt food all while feigning attention to the conversation.

I also currently don't have any kitchen chairs. It's a long furniture swapping story that involves my brother - and my kitchen chairs.

So in planning a little menu for my very special friend, I took all of these things into consideration and came up with a coffee table appetizer picnic of sorts. My master plan would not only cover the "yummy food" base, it would also give me a chance to prep most of the plates ahead of time, to lounge on the couch munching and chatting.

I mean seriously, I should probably be ashamed to even post these pics. The excitement over talking about the food has blurred my sense of dignity and decency I tell you! So, keeping in mind that I am a craptacular photographer,(oddly enough my skills and magic don't get any better after a glass of Chardonnay and the food being seriously picked over) let's take a photo food journey from last night, shall we? Alrighty, let's get started....



In the bottom right corner there is a sneak peek at Peppers Agrodolce. The literal translation being sour/sweet, Agrodolce is a Sicilian method of reducing sweet and sour elements in cooking. Traditionally this is a combination of vinegar and sugar. It's believed that the Arabs originally introduced this cuisine style to Sicilians.

This was a new recipe for me actually. I was able to cook it ahead of time and serve it chilled. The little balancing act the sweet and sour do on bell peppers and onion is pretty damn tasty. I think Agrodolce will have to go on my repeat hit list.

Next up, above that is the postively decrepit little remains of the cheese board yummyness. I just sliced some Fontina cheese and a Mozzarella/Prosciutto log and paired it with some pepperoncini and sea salt pita chips. Amongst the dwindling carnage is a representative of each though.

Beyond that you will see a blue fish head deadpanning just out of reach of full photo recognition. That my friends was some of the tastiest smoked salmon I have had in a while. Smoky and fresh smelling, very tender - I could have made a meal of just that platter once I got started on it. I simply flaked it off of the main piece I bought, sprinkled it with some cracked black pepper, flanked it with some lemon wedges and bread cubes, and set out a little cream cheese along side of it.

On the right in the white oblong platter is what I like to call our little ballish baker's dozen. The top half of the platter is Arancini. Another Sicilian treat, Arancini were the original invention born of the necessity to use up left over risotto. There are many variations on the recipe, but you are basically talking about a rice ball covered in breadcrumbs that has a little chuck of Fontina cheese nestled in the middle. You then fry these bad boys and sit back and pop them in your bocca. Tasty, tasty!

After telling you all of that, let me say that I did not make these Arancini. I found them at the store and was pleasantly surprised at how good they were. Since I don't understand the concept of leftover risotto, nor do I like to get my hands egged and breadcrumbed, I will gladly buy these again.

Sharing the platter are Sicilian mini meatballs. I Frankensteined these myself a few months ago by blending three different recipes I liked for different elements they contained. I have made them twice now and I am pretty happy with them.



Last but not least are the butternut squash ravioli in that greenish/gray plate there. My stepmom made the ravs and I had a couple dozen of them in the freezer. I looked up a brown butter Sage sauce to go with them. It had a great blend of Fall spices to compliment the squash. The richness of the butter went so well with the warmth and sweet of the rav filling - absolutely fabuloso!

Oops - I almost forgot the olives! See that little green bowl with the varied color bumps peeking out at you back there? Those are orange scented greek olives. They were super simple but so worth the extra step. I simply took a container of prepared Greek olive medley, drained them, zested the orange over them, added half the juice and a splash of olive oil. You will get the most out of this trip to flavor town if you do this to your olives the day before you plan to enjoy them and then pop them in the fridge. The next day be sure and set them out at least an hour before you serve. Orange you glad I remembered to tell you all of that?....Sorry.

My food coma flooded my senses towards the end of the evening and I didn't even remember to take a picture of our dessert. I made a Bourbon Banana bread, cubed it, and then kissed the bottom half of each piece in semi-sweet chocolate. Always nice to end the evening with a little kiss, right?

Recipes, anyone?


For Peppers Agrodolce from the Julia Child of Sicily (Eleonora Consoli) you can click here

There are quite a few recipes for Arancini. Here is one to get you started.

Click here for the Maple Sage butter sauce I used on the ravs.

Below is my recipe for the Sicilian mini meatballs (neck bolts not included)

Meatballs are a universal dish, but are more popular in some areas than others. In Italy, for example, they're more common in the south than the north. These grilled meatballs are a delicious Sicilian specialty. To serve 6, you'll need:
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:

* 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) ground pork or veal
* 5 ounces (125 g) ground pecorino, ideally the Sicilian variety that's made with peppercorns
* 1 cup bread crumbs, soaked 3 minutes in milk and the excess squeezed out (it should be loose and in small pieces)
* 3 eggs
* 2 tablespoons minced parsley
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon allspice
* pinch of crushed red pepper
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* Currants
* Optional: grated lemon zest, or lemon or orange juice
* Optional: ricotta

Preparation:
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the currants and breadcrumbs. Squeeze out excess milk from the soaking bread (it should be loose and in small pieces) then add it to the meat mixture and mix everything with your hands to combine. Then form slightly flattened meatballs, roll into mini balls - 1 1/2 inches across - placing one or two currants in the center of each. Arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degree F for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm and lightly golden.

The Bourbon Banana bread is from the Smitten Kitchen blog and you can get that recipe here (chocolate kiss dip not included -- that's a Daniellaland original variation right there folks!)


I hope you enjoyed the trip around my coffee table!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yellow Ribbon Lightning Bolt

I try not to get too obnoxious about supporting our troops on this blog. If you have read my madness for a while, or go back over postings, you will not see a lot on here about OAP.

Sure, I have had my moments but if you were inside my head and knew how much I thought about it in contrast to posting about it, you would think I was downright disciplined!

I try not to make people uncomfortable. As the saying goes, war is hell and I have found that trying to talk to people about it isn't always much better.

You aren't going to find many people in social settings that want to sip their cocktail while you tell them about John, who spent a freezing winter in a tent with 7 other dudes in the middle of Iraq because they didn't have housing units for them. How all we could afford to send them at the time was coco packets, coffee and eight goody treats bags, but they loved it. When you launch into Capt Ellis' story too about his isolated base on a dangerous border area where everyone wanted to creep out of the mountains and kill them. They were just looking for condiments and salt to dress up their MRE rations. Or Tom, who upon finding out about our waitlist thanked us for the email, and asked if anyone could just write to him once in a while. He he lost friends. More important to him than snacks and toiletries was a link to the outside world that didn't involve the war and his role in it while stationed in Afghanistan. Yeah, just call me Captain Buzzkill.

So I try to temper my shiz. Afterall, there is a fine line between a passionate person and a fanatical freak. ASPCA and PETA. Small town pastor and Jim and Tammy Bakker.

So I am telling you all of that in order to negate it all by making this post about the troops. Hello, self-contradiction my old friend. Have a seat; I have a story to tell you.

This morning I sat down at the computer with a piping hot cowboy size mug of this new-to-me brand of Stash tea (it's a mix of Green and White teas -- it was pretty decent) to get my voyeur Facebook Devil Machine fix. While creeping along the news feed, I came across this video.



The washer was rattling away behind me when I hit play but I like to get the full Youtube experience, so I turned up the volume on the video. The music starts and off we go. As far as troop support videos of the last five or so years go, this one is pretty upbeat. It's a nice little social experiment/outreach effort. People look happy. It is uplifting. Was even filmed on a sunny day. There's smiles and hugs and high fives even. Nice. These are not always common to the military support world.

Anywho, in the middle of all the dryer noise, video music, and yellow ribbon rainbows in my heart, I didn't realize that my cell phone rang. I picked it up and listened to the voicemail. It was from a corporate contact I hadn't heard from in over a year. She was calling to verify that none of my company info had changed because her regional manager was organizing several of their store locations to donate items to OAP.

How tripper-roo is that?! Of course it wouldn't even take that big of a skeptic to say it was all just a coincidence. And perhaps they are correct. What the wouldn't know is that for months now I have been feeling sorry for OAP. I have been feeling blown out and tanked on moral over OAP. No one loves OAP. I haven't done enough for OAP. Maybe it is time to just hang it up. Apologize and go home. Failure.

Then this. Maybe the troop support gods are trying to tell me something. As one friend put it when I reached out for feedback, "Give that gal a call girlfriend - I think the universe is saying your work's not done yet!" My brother was perhaps a little more...er....blunt when he offered, "You are an idiot if you let OAP go - call her"

Okay, I will make the call. I'm dialing with absolute gratitude for both an encouraging sign post on the path, and the opportunity to serve.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Am I Supposed To Push?

I'm feeling all blocked up party people. Not in an "eat more fiber" kind of way, but upstairs. Mental Constipation. It has happened to me before.

When this sort of thing sets in, my first inclination is always one of cooperation. I will just shut the hell up until I have something good to say. Who knows how long that could take though! In fact, you wouldn't have to really be a master debater (Don't you love how those two words bring you right up to the edge there? Don't worry though - you didn't say it.) to assert that I have never had anything all that good to say, so why seize up now?

So let me drivel here a bit.....

I got to see Anne for the first time in way too long. We have a history of suffering dead people together, for some reason. She is fabulous though, and we both had on the same shoes which I thought was also fabulous.

Anne got caught in the middle of this three girl pileup. Back then, we used to wear same patterned skirts. We worked up to the shoes.

I made some Pizzelle - Italian for "Star", these cookies are pretty popular in my family. It is a pretty simple batter-dough that is usually anise flavored. I was too busy screwing my batch up royally to snap any photos, so this is a star body double from the Sur La Table website.



I am bummed that the weather outside is not even a little bit frightful. I am craving some cold temps, some rain. All I am getting is breezy five day forecasts with highs in the 70s. Who knew Al Gore's global warming induced Armageddon was going to be so Springy?!

I am almost finished with Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell. She is an awesome writer! I recommend picking up anything she has written and taking it for a spin. She makes me wish I could go back to school and have all my history books rewritten by her. It might end up being a bit of an eclectic mix of material, but it definitely would have grabbed my interest and stuck in my brain better.


I met Stella this weekend. If she were any cuter, my head probably would have exploded all over her and blood spattered all of her cute little liver spots. Don't you love the little swatch of brown she has on the left side of her top lip? She even has freckles on her nose. I know, I know -- she's crazy cute.


Well friends, I promise I am going to do my best to get flowing again. Even though I haven't opened my church yet, I still treasure my precious followers. Every time I see someone new on the list, I get a pretty big, possibly semi-maniacal smile on my face. Thanks for stopping by, and being so patient. Hang in there and I will pull it together soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Six Word Memoirs

I am loving the library lately. I just recently discovered that I can request books online from the main catalog and the kind folks at the library will deliver them to the branch I specify. No running around the city looking for the one copy of the latest read I want to read. I just wait a few days and book fairies leave them where I want them. Ummm -- yea!!!

This has allowed me to make a sizeable dent of late into my reading list without pulling a second mortgage just to pay off Amazon.com charges.

Anywho, one of those books is Not Quite What I was Planning, Six Word Memoirs By Writers Famous And Obscure. SMITH Magazine launched an online campaign back in 2006 for just what their title specifies: Six word Memoirs.

I love the whole idea. I think the Vanity Fair review of the book sums it up perfectly by stating that it "will thrill minimalists and inspire maximalists" As someone who often over words (and over thinks), I really like the notion of being tied down by six little words - like, "Come on, spit it out already!"

Genius, fun idea right?! So I thought I would share a few with you.


Some SWMs I really like

I thought I was someone else. ~ Tysa Goodrich

Anything's possible with an extension cord. ~ billySIRR

I hope to outlive my regrets. ~ Bob Logan

Life was but a dream, merrily. ~ Paul W. Morris

Fight. like. hell. for. the. living. ~ Susie Bright

The shit invariably hits the fan. ~ Ashleea Nielson

You are all in my imagination. ~ Becky Weinberg

Hope my obituary spells "debonair" correctly. ~ Gregg Easterbrook

Woke up, fell down, exited sideways. ~ Jim Clupper

Mistook streetlight for the moon. Climbed. ~ Zack Wentz

When all else fails, start running. ~ Dean Karnazes

Like an angel. The fallen kind. ~ Rick Bragg

I inhale battles. I exhale victories. ~ William Heath



SWMs that made me LOL

The psychic said I'd be richer. ~ Elizabeth Bernstein

Bad brakes discovered at high speed. ~ Paul Schultz

All night phone calls complete me. ~ Harry Manning

Slightly psychotic, in a good way. ~ Patricia Neelty

Hillbilly does right by his teeth. ~ Jason Snyder

Mom, Dad have dementia. Got gun? ~ Carol Belding

Asked and answered, Asshole, next question ~ Joe Lockhart

Shot my penis in photo booth. ~ Jeffrey Zeldman

Dad wore leather pants in Reno. ~ John Falk

Let me in, you narrative whore. ~ C. McClosky




Some celebs find their inner SWM

Brought it to a boil, often. ~ Mario Batali

Danced in Fields of Infinite Possibilities. ~ Deepak Chopra

Soul'd out so I could prophet. ~ Gotham Chopra [Deepak's son]

Was big boy, now little man. ~ Chris Cooper

Secret of life: marry an Italian. ~ Nora Ephron

Well, I thought it was funny. ~ Stephen Colbert


SWMs that took the words right out of my mouth

I am trying, in every regard ~ Lionel Shriver

Anything possible - but I was tired. ~ Cheryl Family

I recognize red flags faster now. ~ Barbara Burri

Happiness is a warm Salami sandwich ~ Stanley Bing

Can't read all the time. Bummer. ~ Rina Bander

It's pretty high. You go first. ~ Alan Eagle

She read too much...into everything. ~ Jessica Reed

I always took the joke too far. ~ Thomas Hamill

Tried not believing everything I thought. ~ Beth Linas

I told you I was crazy. ~ Michaline Babich


GIANT Law Breaker of a SWM!

Fact checker by day, liar by night. ~ Andy Young


I love it, but how in the hell did a seven word memoir get in the six word?! Logic to hell right there! I love the irony of that particular one being the rebel memoir.


I heart this concept so much that I think I will have to post again soon with some Daniellaland SWM originals. In the meantime, I think you should ask yourself: One life. Six words. What's yours?

I would love to hear the answer you get back!



Photo courtesy of Leo Reynolds as posted on Flickr. Click here for link.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Signs

She never completely believed in them. She wanted to I suppose, but after all, how could you ever be sure? She craved concrete, clinged to tangible; the consummate fact checker. Signs were such subtle bastards and she just couldn't get behind that whole way of thinking - most of the time.

Tonight the thought of receiving a sign hadn't even dawned on her. Her only awareness as she rang the doorbell and waited out on the expansive dark porch was that of utmost gratitude that she had had a couple of glasses of wine before arriving.

A kind face greeted her with a smile at the door as she introduced herself. "Is this a bad time?" she asked the woman, who assured her, "No, come in. He's just sleeping"

She found him in the dimly lit master bedroom, in a hospital bed that had been rolled into the same spot his wife's bed used to be, when she was alive. Asleep he was, his mouth open in an O of mock surprise that stood out in contrast to the rest of his emotionless features. His breath came in quiet, efficient little exhales.

She was grateful for the veil of privacy his slumber provided. She hadn't known what to say to him for years and nothing had come to her now either as she stood by the side of the bed. Instead of searching for failing words, she simply tucked her hand around his and marveled at the warmth. What an amazing amount of heat for a dying body to generate! As she rubbed her hand along his forearm she noticed his skin, sallow and smooth like the ivory paper of Chinese lanterns that adorned twilight garden parties.

She heard the woman enter the room behind her and come around the bed, facing her. "You know he is ready - he's 91" Yes, she knew but what to say? What to do? There was no way to tie up their loose ends now. Neither of them had bridged that gap and now the time for such things had passed.

The woman gently roused him and asked if he wanted water. He half swallowed the small spoonfuls as they touched his lips, without opening his eyes. She continued to cradle his hand in hers as she watched the gentle way in which the woman dabbed his mouth after each sip.

Then it came - the sign that is. His hand, still in hers, started to tremble slightly with the intent of his action. Slowly he brought the top of her hand to his mouth and placed a kiss upon it.

There it was -- for all the markers along the path she never saw or chose not to believe in, she snatched this one up. She needed this. She wanted this. No questions asked, no moment lost on skepticism, she was taking it.

Off the hook with this small, tender gesture of deference and affection. There was nothing left to do. No need to say a word. She brought his hand to her mouth then, softly returning.

All was well now, the sign that was borne in with a kiss. Gratitude.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fritter

Last night I pooped. In a Psych ward. Twice. Awkward.

Would have been even more awkward if they hadn't had that little toilet in the broom closet to the left of the TV. The one with the door that opens right out into the community visiting area. Good times.

What in the french toast is a Fritter? Click here

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Moldrid's Bologna Has A Middle Name - It's Guilt

I have this friend; her name is Moldrid. Whenever people tell Moldrid that she is a nice person, she always tells them they are wrong. "Oh, no no no" she insists, "I'm not all that nice." Don't we all do this? Poked in the ribs by modesty, humility, propriety -- whatever, we will be first to argue against our virtue right off the bat.

My friend Mol though, she goes another step further, in her head anyway. When on the receiving end of this particular compliment, she inwardly squirms as she becomes even more aware of how many "nice" things she does out of guilt.

She flashes on all of the times in the past she has put up with requests she had no real desire to accommodate, but did so anyway because she felt she should. Often times, she ends up trying spread generosity with others out of what is essentially a place of depletion from over doing in general. I have even seen her put up with barely decent behavior from some people in her life, while giving them 110% in return.

By now, you must be wondering why she is like this. Why wouldn't she just learn how to say no once in a while, fortify boundaries, and cut the cord on the jerks?

Well, according to Mol, guilt fuels her to continue in this manner. She would actually rather torture herself by overextending to please others, than to risk looking "not nice". Imagine that. She chooses the fatigue, frustration, pressure, and discomfort of throwing boundaries and self-care to the wind, over enduring that terrible sniggly little worm of an emotion: guilt.

You know sometimes I think she confuses feeling guilty with connecting with her conscience. She will be faced with something that goes against her grain at that moment, for whatever reason, and with a desire to say no comes a wave of guilt. I think that guilt kicks her Should Drive into gear and then she is off and running again, doing too much, being too nice.

So now you are probably wondering what in the french toast she is going to do about it. Hell if I know! I don't have these sorts of issues. My reward for being so solid is that I get to sit back and judge good people like Mol whose tragic downfall is that no matter what the motivation, they are out spreading some nice in this big ole world. Yeah, they probably should [There's that word again. I will have to be sure and tell Mol she absolutely should go easier on herself - that ought to do the trick.] find more balance but they are still way ahead in the Karma game than people like ChickenLover.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Multiplicity

Cheesy shit just makes me moist sometimes. I saw this today on the devil machine that is Facebook. Make sure you have your sequence glove and your speakers on before you play it. The last minute or so is especially Moon Walk worthy so be ready. All the same guy, by the way -- video magic. Neat.




A little Journey anyone? Another musical trompe l'oeil from the same guy; only cloned himself 5 times this go around though.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Chef Padre!

Thinking that I was going to start a separate blog, all about my adventures with food, I wrote this earlier in the year as the maiden post. Since then, I have come to believe (humbly, I might add) that Daniellaland is at it's best when it incorporates everything that goes through my head, which of course is going to include a lot of foody thoughts.

Today is my father's birthday, (you know you are taking your Italian heritage seriously when you have the fetal forethought to make sure you pop out on Columbus day!) and I thought this post would be a perfect way to celebrate the occasion at Daniellaland.

I hope you agree......and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Sal!



I come from a Big League lineup of incredible Italian-Sicilian cooks. However, my father Sal, is my earliest and most lasting culinary influence. His love of food and cooking was passed down to me from a very early age (please note that I deliberately made no claim to inheriting his actual cooking skills!)

Believing that a good meal and a warm clean bed ensured that all would be well, feeding us was how my father showed his love.

Food was a big part of our day. I think perhaps I was the only child to hit the books every morning in class with a full breakfast in my tummy. I'm talking anything from pancakes and waffles, to eggs and bacon with toast. At the very least, we would have a bowl of hot cereal with warm milk. It is the most important meal of the day after all!

I remember many Sunday afternoons starting with my Dad bringing us home from church and then getting dinner started. Throughout the rest of the day, he would slowly build all the flavors for dishes like Chicken Cacciatore, Pasta sauce or Chile Verde and then we would get to feast on them that evening.

I cannot compete with any of the wonderful chefs in my family, but I was regularly recruited in my dad's kitchen to be Sous Chef #1. He would show me how different ingredients should be handled and prepared; with my fondest memory being Breaking Down A Whole Chicken 101. I specialized in cleaning and prepping all of the produce that would go in our salads. I also knew how to make my dad's occasional cocktail that he would sip while making our dinner. (Please don't panic! I am not writing this from an Al-Anon lockdown clinic or anything.)

Food was a large part of our family celebrations as well. Holidays and birthdays were always centered around our meals, and boy were they incredible!

I owe my lack of a finicky palate to my Dad too. When it is time to shed some pounds, I am not always thrilled about this, but overall I owe him big time! He exposed us to a variety of foods and flavors from the very start, and it has made me the food adventurer I am today. By the time I was 7 or 8, orange salad, beef tongue, roasted peppers, olives, calamari salad, and mustard greens were all foods I loved and would regularly enjoy.

In his early 70s now, my dad continues to cook. His new passion is creating menus for his friends and then getting together and cooking for them. I have been to a couple of these gatherings, and they are wonderful! He cooks, we eat, and everyone is happy.

So, thanks Dad! Infusing me with that same love for food has served me well, and I continue to explore new pathways with it. Much love to you for feeding me all those years, but most of all I am forever indebted to you for sharing such a wonderful piece of yourself with me. Moooaahhh!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

One Of Those Girls

The other night an ex and I got into a "why did it end?" discussion [read: fact finding mission on my part] and a whole bunch of unfun stuff was revealed. Among it was his statement, "Well I am totally fine with it, but I have never dated a big girl before."

So okay with it that he apparently just thought he would throw that little known fact in as an irrelevant aside to this convo. Riiiigggghhhhtt.

And knowing what we know about but's (not mine in this instance) that used in a statement like this they negate everything that comes before them, my ex had basically just informed me that one of the reasons we broke up is because he thinks I'm fat!

Nice. And I told you all that to tell you this: I am one of those girls. One of those women that actually heard that statement and took it in and espoused it as a personal negative thing about myself -- I actually cared!

Why? So he thinks I am fat -- whateves. There are a lot of fish in the sea. It is just so flopsweat stereotypical and boring to feel bad about that. With all there is going on in this world and my life, I actually wasted time feeling bad about myself based on that statement.

Even as I write this I am staving off the urge to defend myself to you fair reader; convince you I am not all that big of a Big Girl. What am I -- fucking 15 again?!

Borrowing my flatterer who thinks I'm fatterer Plump Vision lenses, I found a pretty close approximation of myself at People Of Walmart this morning.

Pink is my fave color, and I do endorse the delightful irony of Chunks and diet soda...


So alright Prince Charming, I admit it: The Big Girl thing got to me. And what is in even poorer taste than your comment is my dignifying it by caring....and blogging about it....damn you damn ego!

So from here on out, I am throwing the shame out of my game. I will bask in all of my gargantuan glory.

One of my baby pics....



This is me skinny dipping earlier this summer.

Outdoor events are nice...metal chairs.....not so much. I have special needs.

I excelled in my Tops Optional Martial Arts class over the summer.

Alright, alright - let's get serious. How fat am I? This is me at the computer blogging away.




They call me the Sex Panther for a reason. Click here to get a full view of my massiveness


** Ooo, semi-creepy meaningless yet telling crystal ball psychic occurance: Just as I was getting ready to hit "Publish Post", an email alert popped up at the bottom of my screen. The subject line reading, "Care what people think about you?" That is quite the coincidence, but as I have more than proven, I don't care what anyone thinks about me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Free Magic Wands



This morning a friend sent me a "How are you?" email with this picture embedded. I love it! Free magic wands -- are you kidding me?!

It made me want to run in my room and dig out my white tights, pink tutu, and matching pink sequence belly shirt, but then I remembered I only have a black wig, shoehorn and feather boa in there. Not sure that goes as well, but maybe...

Anywho, the real question here is what to do with my magic wand!

Hmmm.....

No need to wait for the magic of Advil now - definitely going to wand myself in the head and get rid of this headache.

I would also like to wand wave a special chemical-free hot tub into creation that is the perfect temperature when you are in it and then as soon as you step out of it you are perfectly dry. Don't judge -- I hate standing there getting cold while I dry off and then having to deal with my wet hair and chloriney skin.

And even though it is thoroughly enchanting to know that my little shoebox sits on a previous strawberry field, I would like to wand my way back over to the other side of the mountain -- I'm over you highway 17 -- you heard me!

Eternal Youth for The Ru for sure -- gotta have that. I figure if I can remind her all the time that I have the power to put her to sleep, I might as well balance that fun with the wand magic of eternal youth. Who wouldn't want to live with me forever?!

Lots of cash baby! (Come on, you knew that was coming. When has there ever been a fantasy question/wishlist response that hasn't worked in our supposed root of all evil -- Cashish?!)

How about you? What wonderment would you wand up for yourself?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bracing For Tooshoomes With Waves Of Lemon

It's a scientific fact that I am sure we all know by now: California has some of the harshest weather on the planet. Yesterday was a slap in the face reminder. It was cold. And windy. The apocalyptic 20 degree temperature drop from one day to the next called for full blizzard mode to be strictly enforced. What the hell happened anyway? It was clear and 78 degrees the day before and now the clouds are knitted over the sun, and I am having to dig out a sweater and close my window?! What in the French toast is going on?! If this atmospheric disaster could come on so quickly, what else could be on the horizon?!

Tooshoome* - that's what. Don't believe me? The news article is right here. Advisory slapped on the state of California. Things had a slim to unlikely chance of getting ugly and I was bracing for it. I missed a watery grave by only miles of Pacific Ocean people! Miles.

Needless to say, after such a close call, I needed a meal to thaw me out and sooth my soul. Soup was the only the way to go.

I made this and let the sunshine come on in.

Egg-Lemon Soup
Adapted from Food Network online recipes

1/2 cup Pastina or Orzo
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
olive oil
1 small yellow onion
6 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 eggs (and two additional yolks)
zest of one lemon (optional)
cooked, shredded chicken (optional)


In pot, warm olive oil and saute chopped onion over medium heat until soft, but now brown . Add chicken broth, half the lemon juice, Pastina or Orzo, and let cook - stirring occasionally. Beat 2 eggs, 2 yolks and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; whisk in a little hot broth, then stir the mixture into the soup. Cook over low heat until thick. Salt and pepper to taste.

This is stunt soup that I had to borrow because I couldn't find my camera last night and I know how you people are about the whole "eating first with the eyes" thing. I can assure mine looked this mmm, mmm good as well.


Notes (because I can never leave well enough alone): I think there is plenty of latitudes to be taken with the lemony goodness for this recipe. Personally, I can't really get enough of lemon, so I ended up adding almost twice what the recipe called for and thought is was about right. I also made the addition to the recipe of the zest and I added that when I threw in the Orzo. If you are not looking for huge lemony flavor, I would simply leave it out.

Don't have any small pasta on hand? Rice would work just as well.

I added some cooked chicken to make it heartier, but the soup itself thickens quite nicely on it's own from the egg and makes for a fairly substantial meal, so go with your preference on adding meat.

Also, I am a fan of floating in vegetables to these sorts of dishes. I diced up some green beans for a mild crunch and cooked them for the last few minutes I had the soup on the heat. I think something like spinach or kale would have been perfect in there too.

The sun is out, the wind has died down, and the Tooshoome advisory lifted. It's going to be a good day. I fixed everything with one fabulous bowl of soup.


*I am aware of the lesser known spelling for Tooshoome of "Tsunami" but after you have spent a tense night in 2005 under warning on the island of Oahu with your family, and your cousin selflessly volunteers to spend the night on the beach promising, "I'll wait here and if I see anything I will just yell Tooshoome! Tooshoome! so you guys can save yourselves", you just don't go back.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mr. Freeland, Can I Get Extra Credit For Pulling This Number Out Of My Ass?

From NBC Bayarea.com

Man Sues Bank of America for $1.7 Billion Trillion

Demands an extra $200,164,000 for "miscellaneous fees"
By EDWARD J. CARR


One can only imagine Dalton Chiscolm brought his pinkie finger to his mouth when he said he was suing Bank of America for "1,784 billion, trillion dollars."

Infuriated with Bank of America’s customer service, Dalton Chiscolm decided to do what every other red-blooded American in his situation would do: He sued them.

How much did he sue them for?

Try $1,784 billion trillion, according to Reuters. That’s the number 1,784 followed by 18 zeros. It’s also more money than the world’s 2008 gross domestic product, which was comprised of a measly $60 trillion (that’s six followed by 13 zeroes). To top it off, he also wants an additional $200,164,000 for "miscellaneous fees."

Chiscolm decided he was entitled to the money after he received inconsistent information regarding his bank accounts from “a Spanish woman” during numerous calls to Bank of America’s headquarters in New York City.


District Judge Denny Chin gave his two cents in a written order released Sept. 24.

“The claim is incomprehensible,” he wrote.

Chin previously had the honor of sentencing Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff to 150 years in prison.

Chin gave Chiscolm until Oct. 23 to explain why his case shouldn’t be dismissed.


Honestly folks, I am really not planning to rip on Mr. Chiscolm for this silliness. Why you ask? Well, let's start with coming up with that number. 1.7 Billion Trillion. At first, you're thinking it's a fake. The numerical equivalent to those words that just miss the dictionary target like Fabuloso, Romantical, and Weinis. But it's not. Apparently when you put 18 zeros behind something it's because that shit is real - and coming for ya!

Bank of America is a deserving target too. I can vouch for this after 15+ years of their tyranny. They suck. Officially.


They suck so bad there is already a graphic out there to prove it!


I didn't know that Spanish women were the diabolical force behind the B of A reign of terror, but as his claim states, they are pretty inconsistent. Every ATM has a different posting deadline so if you don't check each machine, your deposit may not post the same business day. They also have more fees for their craptacular service than Carter's got liver pills*, and those seem to change quite a bit. They have shaken me down $4.95 at a time for a while now.

I just hope that when the case is settled and Mr. Chiscolm gets his 1.7 Billion Trillion Babillion that he throws a giant ice cream party or buys me a fur coat.


*Even though I am not 107, I have used the Carter's got liver pills saying for years. And I too thought it was some little know fact about the ex president Jimmy Carter. Desultor cleared up that little mystery, but I am not sure how I feel about it - was really attached to Jimmy as an integral part of the pep behind the saying.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bummer I Can't Get A Boner

I have Boner Envy. I think it started a couple of years ago when I was relating to my cousin how good looking the new dentist was in the dental group where I get my cleanings. When I told her he was much too handsome for me to sit comfortably while he put his fingers in my mouth, she responded, "Why? Were you having trouble hiding your boner?" We both totally cracked up at this, but in that moment I felt a slight tug, not in my pants, but my heart. It was disappointment that boners don't apply to me.

Now let's not misunderstand each other: I am not talking Penis Envy here. I love Miss Puss and she loves me. We're good.

There is just something I love about the comedy of a boner. I suppose it's possibly not all that funny to those who get actual boners, but I feel cheated out of comic potential by being left out of the boner loop.

So now I try to force my way in to the club from time to time. The other day I interrupted my brother on the phone to declare "I've got a boner" and started laughing. All I got on the other end was a few seconds of silence followed by "Sick - shut up Daniella"

I tried it again with a male friend and got a big laugh -- Uh-oh! Now my behavior has just been positively reinforced -- look out!

Oh...wait wait, hang on a second..........oh...oh - yep.......I think I've got a boner. Buuaahahahaha! Come on, you have to admit that's hilarious. Well at least pretty damn funny. A little funny?......Right?

Oh nice! Freakin Kim Kardashian is stealing my comedy now to try and further her celebrity!




Wanna see one of my fave boners? Click here and then click on the red shorts

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fritter

Today's Fritter is hosted by Justin's dad because he just sings to my soul. I am sure he will be making a few guest Fritters actually so that I can share more of his gems of wisdom.

Background on Justin, as related by Justin: I'm 29. I live with my 73-year-old dad. He is awesome. I just write down shit that he says

Yes he is awesome Justin, yes he is.


"I'm sitting in one of those TGI Friday's places, and everyone looks like they want to shove a shotgun in their mouth."

And because I know you are now having a raving craving for just one more...

"Your brother brought his baby over this morning. He told me it could stand. It couldn't stand for shit. Just sat there. Big let down."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Home Alone

When I was a kid, everything was very proper. I was primarily raised by my father, and God love him, he was a man of order. Would have been stellar in the military.

Everything had it's place. The house was too packed with organization to be cluttered. There was a day preordained by the universe for laundry, housecleaning, and mowing the yard. Dishes were cleaned and put away after dinner. Period.

You didn't hit the sheets without first taking a shower, and you didn't run around on Saturday mornings without your bathrobe on over your pajamas. You never went without slippers. Ever.

Beds were always made as soon as you woke. Books were packed tightly on their shelves because they're special, shirts hung in the closet with all of their collars facing the same way, and toilet lids stayed down when not in use so that they won't slam in the event of an earthquake and crack the bowl. Exclusively.

I'm not joking.

So here's the deal and I doubt anyone is going to be surprised: Now that I am an adult on my own, I have spun out in a lot of ways, and don't exactly run my household the way my father ran his.

The highlights of the mayhem and debauchery I regularly partake in over here at my Animal House are:

I haven't made my own bed in about 5 years. I occasionally smooth. I usually just delight at the disheveledness of it all as I fluff my pillow and flop into bed each night.

I still hang up my clothes in the closet, but nowhere near the perfection my father mandated is present in there these days. If I roll the door shut though, who cares?

I have books stacked up everywhere. I ran out of shelf space a long time ago.

I resist bathrobes as if wearing one would turn me into one of the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal.

This is what happened the last time I tried putting one on.


The only time you will find the toilet lid down at my house is when I have either just added bleach to the bowl, or somethin yellow and I am lettin it mellow.

I stick my fingers in everything in the fridge. My dad lives about 40 miles away and I still have yet to double dip into my own damn food without looking over my shoulder nervously as if I am about to be totally busted.

I've even tried shape shifting into a cat to get away with it!

Occasional dirty dishes overnight in the sink have yet to negatively impact my sleep or the sun's ability to rise - over here at least. Who knows, maybe my dad is plunged in to 24 hours hours of night every time I pull that shit.

So did anything my dad teach me stick? Absolutely.

Generally, I like things clean. It makes me feel calm and ordered, just how Dad feels too I bet.

I may not make the bed, but the sheets have to be clean.

I may not have a shelf space for every book but that doesn't mean they aren't like children to me, and again, one of the ways God shows his love for us.
Ooo...Ahh...so pretty.


I also still shower and I love wearing slippers - so there!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Yo Quiero Cinco Libros!

Remember what I said about free books being one of the ways God show's his love for us? I wasn't kidding, and to prove it, another giveaway is getting started at Bookfoolery and Babble.




Check it - ole? I mean, okay?!