Wednesday, May 27, 2009
What are these little blobs of fabulousness, you ask? These gently oil bathed orbs of sugar-coated delight?
They are pizza dough doughnuts, and they are friggin awesome!
I used store bought plain pizza dough and tore it off into small clumps. A let them warm up a little bit on a cutting board while I heated some oil and then the fun began! In batches of two or three at a time, they blossomed into all sorts of shapes as they cooked. It didn't take more than a couple of minutes to do each batch. After I set them on a paper towel for a minute, I just rolled them in a bowl of cinnamon and sugar and grabbed a big cup of coffee.
Crispy and sweet on the outside, warm and slightly chewy on the inside, and yummy all over!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Settled in the 1700's, Alviso's golden era was between 1849 and 1864 as a major shipping port for San Jose.
With the growth of the railroad system, the use of Alviso's ports declined, and by the 1970s the community was largely overshadowed by the growth of San Jose.
Now what greets you when you pull into town are a few established restaurants, a smattering of maintained homes amongst several dilapidated residential areas, and a tiny harbor with many of the boats stuck in their places by the low water and high reeds.
If you jump over to one of the roads that run the outskirt, you will come upon the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge. Don wasn't there when I arrived, but there was a little bit of small town animal action already in progress. In true well-prepared douche fashion, I only had the camera on my phone with me so apologies in advance for the following photographic crappiness.
Just before the refuge's parking lot, I encountered a waterfowl road block. Two geese and their three little fuzzy goslings were apparently taking a cue from the chicken they heard about, [Sorry -- I know that was awful, but I couldn't resist] and were crossing the road. Everyone makes it, but only two of the dark gray and neon yellow babies can seem to get over the curb to the embankment. Due to their strict No Gosling Left Behind policy, a very challenging parenting moment ensues.
I guess it doesn't matter what species your kids are, they are going to melt down when there is an audience, as there are three cars watching now. The first approach Mom and Dad try is the ole "Bye - we're leaving. You better hurry up if you want to come with us." as they waddle up the dirt shoulder of the road. This tactic leaves G-3 peeping his head off and jumping against the curb without making any real progress in getting over it. Everyone stops and turns back to see if G-3 is bluffing, but he means business and is not happy. Now Father Goose realizes something must be done so he heads back out to the road to stand by G-3 while Mother Goose hangs in the shade on the embankment with G-1 and G-2.
At this point I think Father Goose pretty much leans in over G-3 and through clenched beak tells him to peep down, or he is going to get the beating of a lifetime when they make it to the marsh. [Don't judge -- Geese have to do what they have to do to get their kids ready for the rough and tumble avian life they have ahead of them.]
The talk seemed to work because G-3 shut the hell up, but his tantrum exhausted him. He ends up just laying down right there in the street next to his dad, who is begrudgingly protecting him from the mini-traffic jam of voyeurs.
Once Mother Goose sees G-3 go down from sheer flopsweat exhaustion, she hangs it up. There will be no trip to the marsh this afternoon. No doubt she was questioning some of the decisions she has made in her life as she walked G-1 and G-2 back down to the road to be with their Father and dim-bulb, lazy sib.
Back out on one of the side roads from the refuge, was our next bird buddy. I think he said his name was Larry but I am not positive, because quite frankly, homeslice was pretty jumpy.
When I caught sight of his lunch, I realized why he was so nervous about giving any identifying information about himself.
I will be honest with you, the encounter with Larry was pretty draining and I just wanted to be out of there and heading towards a cocktail.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Animal slaughter, and even more specifically, horse slaughter has been one of my latest points of ponderment (making the English language work for you people!).
For several years now I have been aware of/and researched somewhat the American animal slaughter market. The injustices (both to animals and humans), corruption, and downright filth, are way too broad of a topic to discuss here. However I do think I can scratch the surface on the horse slaughter issue, and that has been the focus of my musing lately.
It all started several months ago when I admitted how much, and how long I have had a crush on horses. It started as a kid with the Black Stallion books and an uncle who let my brother and I ride his Quarter Horse, Sugar Foot. As I got older, I just admired them, and the people who got to ride them, from afar. With this admiration came the knowledge that somewhere between calm, sweet Sugar Foot and the present, I had developed some fear.
My brother now has three horses and every time I get around them I feel anxious I am going to get stepped on and the notion of riding one of them fills my head with ugly fall scenarios; complete with broken bones. Yikeys!
Anywho, back to the crush*. I decided to seriously consider getting my own horse (under my brother's tutelage) and wanted to educate myself before making any final decisions.
I started with several books about horse care and "horse people" relating their experiences at all stages of equine knowledge. At the same time I added a few horse blogs to my morning lineup; including Fugly Horse of the Day and NorCal Equine Rescue. Lately both of these blogs have had several posts on the issue of horse slaughter in this country. I am sure it comes as no surprise that they are both staunchly opposed to horses being slaughtered and their meat being eaten. No shocker here either that many are for the slaughter and meat use of horse, and so the grand debate begins.
Currently in the US (and these could be rapidly changing in Montana) horse slaughter has been banned in most states sine the 1990s. Most of the horses purchased at livestock auctions in this country, are sent to Canada or Mexico for slaughter.
I do not regularly comment on blogs (other than my own) but yesterday I did weigh in at Norcal's blog on the slaughter issue.
Daniella said...So there you have it. Not the most eloquent comment in the world, but hopefully I got across my point that if we have dominion over an animal, it is our duty as humans to make sure that our time with them does not include inhumane or unnatural treatment.
I think the work Nor Cal is doing is not only amazing, but wonderful. I have great respect and admiration for all of the work to help as many horses as possible.
The animal slaughter issue in general is a difficult one. Who are we as a nation to decide which animals are to be eaten and which to be spared, or made into pets?
We routinely, and by vast majority, inhumanely slaughter thousands of animals a day in this country alone for their meat. No, we do not currently slaughter dogs and cats for food in the United States, but is that to say other animals like cows and pigs and chickens are just plain more deserving of this fate?
Does that also mean European markets for horse meat are somehow wrong in comparison with our meat consumption?
I don't think it is about how many animals are killed and what we are doing with them.
I think we need to shift our thinking to one of a unified intolerance of any animal being inhumanely treated/slaughtered; no matter their human labeled status as "pet" or "food".
As humans, we have chosen to overlap our existence with many different species. If we respect that choice by making sure every animal we deal with has a dignified, peaceful life - and death, then I think we will have brought some much needed humanity and grace back into our interactions with these animals. That is what they deserve.
May 20, 2009 11:50 AM
Did my cheery look at such a lighthearted topic stir you to the point where you just have to know more?
Here you go:
Legislation information from the Animal Welfare Institute
The Montana chapter of the Quarter Horse Association jumps into the slaughter ring, but maybe not on the side of the issue you would think...
A surprising look into the horse meat black market in Miami
A Pro-slaughter article from the NY Times
A Fugly Anti-slaughter post
* Afternote: My equine education really showed me that I cannot afford a horse at this time. It didn't wipe out my crush though, so we shall see!
Friday, May 15, 2009
I have no idea why Sal signs up for this, but of course my cousin instantly angles the conversation into "Tell your favorite Sal moment" stories, for the benefit of this girl -- and of course we all love to torture Sal. My uncle Joe goes first and we all know he is going to tell the Bedke story.
The Bedke's are this ranching family in Nevada and all the boys in our family go out there every October to hunt. Soooo..... the Sal/ Bedke story is a fabulous tale about how Sal had too much whiskey at the little bar in town, walked the wall to the men's room to poo, and then was too drunk to get himself off of the toilet. He starts yelling from the stall to my cousin Victor to help him up so he can wipe his ass (sidenote: we believe Victor told Sal to fuck off when he asked him to hold him up and that when Sal did manage to make it off the toilet, no real ass wiping took place). But Sal insists he wiped his ass (with Victor's assistance) and then someone threw him into the truck and he passed out.
Either way, it's pretty funny and we love what a tool Sal can be. Everyone is laughing their asses off and his g.f. is now saying she is not going to ask about Sal stories anymore (Whatever! We got me where that came from sister - don't be shy!). Shortly after this, I notice Sal is rubbing his stomach.
He heads down the hall and disappears into the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later he comes out and is looking all over until my uncle asks him what's up. He needs a plunger. That's right -- on the heels of Sal Toilet History telling, he just made some more by plugging up the toilet -- again! We are all just sitting in the kitchen laughing our asses off as he keeps looking for the plunger grumbling that "this house has fucked up plumbing" But we know what's fucked up -- it's Sal's ass!
My uncle then reveals that Sal has plugged up the loo at least four or five times at his house already. This alarms me -- not just for my uncle's future house values if all of the damn toilets blow out, but also for Sal. How many other toilets has he plugged? How many lives and pipes shattered in his colonic aftermath? Something had to be done.
But what to do, what to do? In an effort to assist everyone involved, my cousin Ruth and I suggest a pocket plunger. We are summarily flipped of by Captain Turd himself. Not very nice when people are trying to help...sheesh.
*My dear Shannon, this was not a recent trip to the Roy. I don't want you thinking I would be rolling into town after all of this time without seeing you!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I have yet another reason to hate Santa Cruz........even though this really has nothing to do with the actual city. This is about my lame neighbors. But still....they're in Santa Cruz.
I got a phone call at 9:00 on Sunday night from the property manager of my condominium complex. [I was not in Santa Cruz at the time.] Her voice mail informed me that the police had been called and were out in front of my house because a neighbor called about a loud beeping noise coming from my unit. I called the property manager back within fifteen minutes of her message, but I got her voice mail. Being disturbed by the fact that the police had been called, I didn't feel like just waiting for her to call me back, so I called the Santa Cruz Police non-emergency phone number to try and get some information. They informed me that one of my neighbors had called them about this beeping, and that they claimed it had been going on for three days. Apparently the police checked for smoke or any other obvious issues, found none, and then left. Shortly after this call, I did speak to the property manager. During the call I told her that I suspected it was the smoke alarm, and that there was a key hidden if someone wanted to go in and check on my house. Now don't let the title of Property Manager fool you, this woman had no intention of setting foot on the property, or managing anything. No, she just suggested I let it go another twelve hours or so and send someone over tomorrow to look in on the situation. Nice. Happy ending to the story came when DS Man self-motivated and got a hold of my celly and called me [my guess is that he was the one who called the property manager when the police showed up.] He was more than willing to locate the key and check on everything for me. It was indeed the smoke alarm making the noise, and he disarmed it. Thanks DS Man. Who would have thought he would be the hero in this story, but life likes to throw you those curves sometimes.
So there you have it. I left all of my massive irritation out of the background, but I am going to mad-dog infuse it into the next section.
Why in the fuck would you let the damn thing beep for three days?! Three days! Are you kidding me? Idiot -- I'm sorry -- that is sheer stupid right there.
Smoke alarms are pretty distinctive sounding. I am going to guess that if anyone went near my front door they would be able to determine that that was probably the culprit for the noise. Why would you ignore that -- for any reason?! Fires can spark and smolder for days before becoming full blazes. Smoke alarms are designed to detect that. Ignoring the alarm makes no sense to me. I am fortunate that it was not sounding for an actual fire because State Farm's motto don't apply at my place apparently.
So okay, shared walls and all, you don't care if my house burns down, but you do want some quiet. It's been three days, it's the end of the weekend, you're over it already. The beeping has got to stop. I get that. What I didn't know, but should have seen coming, is that dumb people employ dumb problem solving choices. They called the police. It is a condo complex with a circulated phone list of, and for, residents (one I should have been traveling with, by the way), and a property manager (I have her number in my phone, but it didn't do me much good.) and Brainiac calls the police. Don't they know that the police are not sanctioned by the city to slay the Beep Monster? I think only Captain Common Sense can do the killing.
And why in the world would you wait until Sunday night to contact anyone about resolving the issue? That is just another layer of Stupid on the already Stupid filled Stupid with hard Stupid shell. Even still, if it has to be Sunday night why wouldn't you just phone the property manager and have her call me?
If it were me, this is how three days of noise and possible danger could have been condensed down to about one hour of resolution and quiet. If we count backwards, the beeping started Friday apparently. I am waiting no more than a few hours, and that is after I have rung the bell and made sure I do not notice anything wrong while I am standing there. After that, I am calling the owner of that unit. If I do not get a hold of them, I am calling the property manager. Between the two, it would be reasonable to expect a call back as soon as possible and then we are on Resolution Road party people. No sitting on the mystery of the beep for days, and no complaining to the police who can't do anything about it. End of story.
I hate Santa Cruz.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Holy crap that was funny, right?!
* This is the kind of wacky shit that goes through my head at 3:00a.m. when I can't sleep and then lay there long enough to feel hungry. Cheezits sounded good at the time, and I obviously had too much time to say the word over and over in my head......and then things went a little sideways.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I joined Facebook earlier this year, and I think it can be solidly categorized as one of my Best Choices For 2009.
As an avid people watcher, and someone who derives no better enjoyment than just watching someone being themselves, FB just simply hardly ever disappoints.
The best stuff seems to come from people I do not know very well. People who have found me after years of non-contact, or friends of friends that are more acquaintances. They throw it all out on FB and I just can't be more grateful!
I have tried to showcase here a few of my favorite kinds of stuff. Names have been changed lest a FB "friend" decides to try and sue me. I would hate to lose Lil Ruthy in a take-all lawsuit.
Okay, let's dig in......
Lord Help Meh!
"Mios Dios" wrote as a status update: "I need a vacation with my husband and Jesus I think the beach sounds good"
Really? A vacation with Jesus? What makes you think he would be such a great travel companion? Was it not his idea to spend 40 days and 40 nights in the desert?! Does that sound relaxing? Is that anywhere near -- or like -- a beach? I don't think so. Just because his year-round wardrobe was sandals and a toga doesn't mean he is going to be up for a party. And remember the little incident with the money changers? This makes me think Mr. J might be anti-The Man and looking right at you when the tab comes at the end of your big Funship with Jesus and Hubby Cruise. Rethink this and let Jesus get back to what he does best (I don't know what that is; I didn't know the man. Leave me alone.).
"Lacey Prayer" wrote as a status update: "I will not lose my joy today. I will not let Satan win."
Well that sounds like a good strategy, and I am all for it. Why should Satan win anyway? Doesn't he already have countless souls, the Mortal Sins, and all of the underworld?! Why should he get Lacey's day too - no way! I say Lacey Prayer - 1 Satan - 0 I'm rootin for ya girl! Where are my fire-proof ankle socks and Pope anointed pom-poms?
On another day Lacey had some potty training woes and lamented on her status update. It wasn't really all that riveting...until...one of her friends comments.
"Potty training is always a stressful time, especially with a baby in the house. Today in our Bible time we were talking about how Adam and Eve's sin affected all of mankind. I'm convinced that potty training ranks up there with pain in childbirth."
Okay, let's pull this crazy train back on the track here -- what?! I think childbirth hurts because one human is passing another human. You mean to tell me that process would tickle under more holy, sin-free circumstances? Hey lady, Do you tell that to everyone who has ordered one of those burritos that is newborn sized, or some poor soul who lost themselves at a cheese party? They are feeling the pain too. I say sin is going to have to suck it on this one.
Just plain TMI
"Trixie Chatterton" posted this as one of her status updates: "do not i repeat do not let hubby take naked pictures of u it will ruin your week!!!!! this is a warning do at your own mental health risk....."
I always love these people. The "Look at me! Compliment me!" peeps are always the first to come undone when they are jonesing for a "You are Fabulous!" fix. Praise thirsty = Endless entertainment. It would probably come as no surprise that Trixie has many home modeling self-portraits on her profile; complete with bikini shots and lots of boobage. And God love her, she has several hundred "friends" on FB from literally around the world...um...even though she has not traveled outside of the Western US. Good times.
"Toasted Pubes" wrote as a status update: "holy crap!!!!! lap top's should be called burn ur crotch tops....ouch!!!!"
Actually I think the burn is to alert you to the fact that you need to get the fuck off of Facebook and get a life! Yeah, I think that's it.
"Fake Fido" wrote "hey can someone tell me how to change my pet in pet society..."
Pet Society? How about real society? How about work society, as in -- get a J-O-B!
Um, What The Fuck Are You Talking About?!
"Jibberish McJibber" had this status update: "my cat, Taco, just wrote her first sonnet and, after considerable review I'm happy to report that it's perfect - 5 iambus per line for 14 lines. quite proud."
Seriously, what the fuck are you talking about?!
Apparently anyone with a FB account can create a quiz or some other silliness and then circulate it around faster than herpes at a rave. The applications have presets to post your quiz results or application uses on your profile so everyone and their uncle can see how many different lame ways you will resort to when wasting five to seven minutes of your life that you can never get back. Never get back.
The Best of the Worst:
"Appy Crappy" took the Ladys whats your best body part? quiz and the result is BUM
"Quiz Queen" just took the "What Beverly Hills 90210 Character Are You?" quiz and the result is Kelly Taylor.
"United Notions" completed the quiz "THE INNER NATIONALITY QUIZ: WHAT ARE YOU REALLY?" with the result You are Russian. .
"Swal Low" completed the quiz "Which of your Chakras is most open?" with the result Throat.
"Without A. Point" completed the quiz "What Random Object Are You?" with the result Dryer Sheet.
"Spring Chicken" took the What's your old lady name? quiz and the result is Ethel
Thanks to everyone who let me sit in my Captain Voyeur bucket seat on the USS People Watch and sail the FB seas.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Why the hostility Daniella? Why the anger? Why the throwing of people skills to the wind?
Because I am still a bonafide fucking wreck, that's why.
The psychologist I am talking about was supposed to help me be human. She was supposed to help me be more flexible, less driven by worry, anger and phobia. She was supposed to help me build the tools needed to be open and ready for a well rounded life full of all different kinds of experiences.
Yeah, well I want my fucking money back.
If I had put all of her fees on a charge card, these are the highlights of the itemized list I would submit to the credit card company when disputing the charges.
- Cardholder still worries about food poisoning on a daily basis; to the lifetime banning of the McDonald's Fillet-O-Fish sandwich, and numerous other neurotically deemed high-risk foods.
- Continued angry Tourettes-esque outbursts while driving are experienced by cardholder, accompanied by hand signals directed towards other drivers.
- Both romantic relationships subsequent to visits have proven cardholder is still a complete idiot.
- Cardholder still firmly believes dead grandmother is alive and well in grandfather's morbidly obese, wheezy Pug.
- To date cardholder is still overly interested in/fascinated by prison documentaries, Christmas lights, and donut sniffing.