Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hey Sgt

This was what I brought to my neighbor's - salmon and baby corn on the left, veggie in the middle, shrimp and cucumber on the right. It probably cost me about $20 to make six rolls - plus an hour or two of time. Typically these are best eaten the day they're made (the rice gets a funny texture the next day.) Don't forget the duck sauce and soy sauce!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Two years?

I've wasted two years blogging??? Not time wasted, just time entertaining (mostly myself, from my sitemeter stats.... Steff wrote a great piece about how "I write for myself" and I can't find it now.)

I'll give you some of my favorite quotes while I ramble on a bit here...

When you meet someone special you'll just know. A real relationship can't be forced.
It just comes about effort-lent-less-ly. (Michael Scott)

I started blogging because someone (name concealed to protect the guilty party) sent me a link to Waiter Rant, and said "You'd like this" and b o y were you right!! Plus it was a slow day at work, and well.... you know.

I guess if you don't jump you'll never know if you can fly. (Miranda Lambert)

So tonight I am making sushi rolls and I will hang out at my neighbor's retirement party (except I think we're not supposed to know that's what it is....)

I am going to use smoked salmon and baby corn for one or two rolls, and some others will have (cooked) shrimp and some cucumber, and then I will do a third one with baby carrotts and the other two veggies. Yummy. The rice is cooling now.

Speaking of parties... are you going to make resolutions? I'm not. I break them. I do think about goals this time of year. Like learning to play the piano with TWO hands. And I have to figure out what my next adventure will be, now that I checked off "parasailing". (No JV, I am not going to skydive.)

I believe that we form our own lives, that we create our own reality, and that everything works out for the best. I know I drive some people crazy with what seems to be ridiculous optimism, but it has always worked for me. -- Jim Henson.

Have a great 2007.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I just want a stove

Among the many things I apparently have to consider when purchasing a new stove (thank you, Santa, for bringing me a benefits check giving me back about 1/2 of what I've put out for braces this year!!!) is...

certified sabbath mode.

As Tim the Toolman Taylor would say, "Uuuhhhghhh?"

for me it's just a feature I'll never give another thought to, kind like that top row of buttons on my microwave. I think too many consumer products are loaded with "extra features" that go unused because people forget/don't know the feature exists or can't recall how it works.

But back to the topic at hand, isn't a mode that lets you still use the oven on the sabbath kind of like a little white lie? I mean no disrespect. But if you wish to adhere to certain customs, you can't bake your cake and eat it too. Or can you?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I hope I never looked like this

I am on a mission to clean out my grandmother's hutch, which sits in a corner of my kitchen. It has been stuffed full of cake decorating magazines and random cookbooks forever and I am going through and throwing away anything I don't want. This includes tearing out the 3 recipes I might try in any given cooking magazine.

As proof of my packrat shame I found a Womens Day Low Fat Meals magazine. The cover said "display until September 1, 1994". Yeesh.

(Funny, I was expecting then and I don't think I wanted to even LOOK at a cookbook then. I was sick my whole first trimester and lost 10 lbs, and then ballooned up at the end to have a 9lb 3 oz baby)

Anyway, the recipes in it were crap - nothing I want to try (salads with a "satisfying portion of cheese... hellooooo!)

However it did contain this little gem:

Kinda looks like the Cheesecake Hor who I realized is NOT on my links, sorrrry, and has some type of pan cookie feud going on. No?? Well, maybe not but that's one hot little workout outfit, huh? Grooooovy.

PS: if you want a Vitamix 5000, go make that wish come true.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

It's Beginning look TOO MUCH like Christmas around my house.

My husband does the decorating, with the kids. Every year, this year in particular, I have said things like "do we really need TWO big trees?" and every year they look at me like I just ran over Rudolph with my SUV.

I have attempted to capture some of the mirth and madness in a modest Flickr show. I don't know if I've done it right, but... here:

Let me give you some of the highlights:

  • Five trees- (in a really small house) ... I like the front one, with the Beleek Irish china ornaments, red balls, candy canes, etc. Plus under that we have the lighted houses from Rockwell's painting of Stockbridge - I would be happy with this one tree. But no, my son has one next to his nativity set and his Yankee lamp, on his dresser. My daughter has TWO... (this is where I start to feel like Seuss... one tree, two tree, Red Tree, Blue.... the blue one pays homage to her wall mural of the beach, and the palm trees) The last tree is the one in the family room, with all of the Hallmark/home made type ornaments. It requires rearrangment of too much furniture AND the deconstruction of the scrapbook corner I've carved out. This pains me, greatly. It too has a lighted village underneath. Of course. You can literally stand outside of my house and watch the dials on my power meter spin this time of year.
  • Santas - we have a bleached Santa, one who makes me think about sodder and wonder if he would melt in the flame of a... anyway, we have an Irish one (or two, I think I forgot to photo one), a Santa busily doing taxes, and coundown Santa. Plus a few others I've forgotten to photograph, now that I look around.
  • We have nativity scenes in each of the kid's room along with the figures from when I was little (Good old Gloria, still hanging around above the manger.) Christmas pictures, of course. (Although my Mom made that victorian one so I do really like that.)
  • Candles... I didn't photograph all of the candles but they're everywhere. I usually don't have 90% of them lit.
  • Wreaths... lots of wreaths, on every door in the house. EVERY door. And the bows in the bathroom - well let's just say that every year I call up Suzy and complain that "...they're baaaaaaaaack"
  • The grand finale... the lights above the kitchen cabinet. A few years ago we re-did the kitchen and added on the family room. It was pretty much an ordeal that lasted from the beginning of October to Christmas Eve, literally. (Linoleum issues I don't care to specify) Well when he decided to DRILL A HOLE in the brand new cabinets over the microwave, so that he could plug in his lighted garland, I lost my mind. I literally left the house.

It won't be long until it's all packed away. THIS is why I have a full attic.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

So many of my friends are having a difficult time this Christmas. John, I wish I could take you out for a cup of coffee and just listen to stories and help somehow. Beth, my heart aches for you and your family, beyond words. Mark and Anne, my thoughts are with you. K, I hope you sail through your medical stuff this time around - you know you have a special place in my heart.

I have one or two truly TRULY close friends who mean the world to me. Do I count Suzy? She's my sister. We are lucky to have the kind of relationship that a sisterhood can be. I can lay all my junk on the table (figuratively, no, I don't have junk JV...) and say "here". She doesn't always just rush to say "you should do this" or shy away from the problems where there might not be an answer apparent right now.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for a person is to just hear what they have to say, and acknowledge that yes, I know you feel this, and it sucks, and I would give anything to change it, but even though we both know I can't, I will still listen any time you need to talk about it. You can tell me anything, let your guard down and take the mask off, and I won't be disappointed in you. I am blessed to have a couple of people in my life who let me take off my mask when I need to, and even more blessed to be able to do the same thing for them.

There are people who give me hope. Little Nolan, and the happiness I feel for his parents. Also, knowing that across the ocean, a good friend of mine will marry and start to really attain the career he's been hoping to have in 2007. Sometimes things really DO have a happy ending. In the new year we will be able to spend so much more time with Suzy since she's rejoining the world of the daytime shift-ers. The kids are just THRILLED.

I wish for you all, PEACE in your family gatherings, the comfort of a close friend that you can open your heart to, and hope for a better day in 2007.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Nifty Gifty

If you have lots of current digital pictures, or can scan some old ones, click on over here and check this out.

I made a gorgeous linen-cover book (if I do say so myself) with photos belonging to my mother and father in law, for $30. Their parents, cousins, grandmothers. Many faces that are no longer here.

I made paperback copies for $10 apiece. Fairly easy to do and it will be a showstopper.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Driving Kids Crazy 101

So, I have this thing about the supermarket parking lot being too much like an Indy car race. I insist that the kids keep one hand on the cart while I'm walking to the car because people are whipping around in every direction. I frown on those needless trips to the E.R. (Suzy doesn't like to go there on her day off)

Okay, my kid is 12 now and she probably doesn't NEED to do this.

Today when she sort of rolled her eyes at me I started rapping (yes, rapping) "Put your hand, put your hand on the cart." The next line was pretty funny but of course since I'm senile I've forgotten it now. Dan got into it with part of the Scranton rap song.

She's no slouch. She never missed a step, just started talking aloud. "So, I'm adopted. At least I know for sure now. I wonder where my real family lives."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Caroling, Caroling we will go

... with 30 children from an elementary school choir? Aaaieeeee.

Dear Mommies that strolled along behind the pack and chatted away, while I was sprinting ahead, trying to keep your kids from running out into traffic: thanks bunches.



Oops #1 - Was heading over to school, waiting for the car ahead of me to turn at a traffic light, onto main street. Tapped on horn because It Isn't Going to Get Any Greener, Pal. Realized immediately that I was right behind our town's shiny new, unmarked white police car. Realized next that an ambulance is racing down the main street, toward us, and I didn't hear the sirens because my Sirius radio's turned up too high. Grin sheepishly at Officer McPleaseDon'tTicketMe, as he flashes me a peace sign out his window. Yeah, um... Hi. Doing a great job there buddy - keep at it.

Oops #2 - crack small joke about band to a teacher I know and realize I should shut up, because my kids are in the band and all that. Actually the joke was about the co-instructor who sits in the middle of the band and pretends he's one of the kids, but whatever. Open mouth, insert sneaker. (Glare at infamously smartalec boy who seems to have an interest in my daughter. Don't even think about it, you little twit. I'll kill ya - - - and yes JV before you say it, I know when she is 17 she probably WILL date him. Thanks a bunch.)

Ooops #3 -
Traveling over narrow bridge to take a shortcut home - move over slightly because A BUS IS COMING AT ME... aaaaaa! Remember that The Bridge Really Is Wide Enough just as I hear this heart-sinking scrrrrrrrraping sound. It's minor. I can deny, deny, deny that I have any idea where that scrape came from. Dork.

PS: There is surely a special place in the next life for teachers who teach elementary school students BAND. To be able to patiently keep time, and not wince at the stray notes, that is a talent and a gift.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Cookies of the day

These cookies are sooooo good (if you make them with unsalted butter!!) - my brother in law asks for them regularly every Christmas when we decorate our trees.

By the way, if you double the recipe add one more teaspoon of scotch for the mix, and one for the baker....



I just realized I forgot that Survivor wrapped up last night. Oh well.

It was the end of a REALLY long day and I just didn't make it.

It started at church where I was the ONLY alto. Uh oh. And our first song had - ta dah- an alto solo. But of course. So I begged a couple of sopranos to help me. But it set the tone for the rest of the day... scramble.

I had to buy more gifts so I headed out - stopped by my Mom's to give her the presents Suzy and I bought for my kids (thank YOU Suzy for braving the mall on saturday to buy clothes with them, that I know will FIT and they LIKE !!) . Mom made a uniform for my daughter's American Girl doll, just like what my daughter wears to school. It looks adorable.

I hit Target and somehow fell into a time void. I was there quite a while but got the other stuff on my list, including a snowboard for my crazy little man (he of the newly aquired shirt "remember my name, so you can tell the doctor" picturing a 'boarder)

Same stop off at my mother in law, to give HER the gifts we got for my kids. Hmm. How IS she going to wrap a snowboard? Uh oh. Better go get a big gift bag for her.

Then I had bills to write (ugh) and PTA stuff to do and ...where did the evening go? I know things are crazy when I'm checking my mail in the morning before work and have 3 or 4 new things....

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Too much to dough

It's cookie day... I have (unsalted) butter softening all over the place, and about 15 lbs of flour, along with nuts, sprinkles, you name it. I'm going to bake all afternoon and evening. Or until I fall down.

(What I really really want to do is sit and watch the entire DVD of the British version of the Office, whilst drinking a nice glass of wine.)

I am listening to A Dave Brubeck Christmas (all piano...) and I have my yankee candle going (mistletoe).

The new mixer is being put to work. I'm getting dough all over myself trying to scrape down the sides because then the paddle is in the way.... anyway. Just something to get used to.

Hope you're in better shape with your Christmas preparations than I am! I still have a little bit of shopping AND all of my wrapping to do.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bend your ear this way

So I was talking to Suzy today and I mentioned that I told the kids they could get me a few things and I mumbled what they were - a cranberry Yankee candle, some bath & body works stuff, and a page a day calendar. I can't remember exactly how I phrased it but suddenly Suzy exclaimed "What??!!"

When I repeated myself she started laughing and told me "I thought you asked for a f-cking P. Diddy calendar. I was going to say, WHO ARE YOU?"


I was going to buy the PERFECT gift for my nephew this year. I saw a Polish Christmas Carols karaoke CD in one of my many catalogs. Our part of the family isn't Polish, but his Mom is, so he's really into that and he loves to sing and has a K machine, blah blah blah...

The damn thing is sold out. I procrastinated too long. Then I found it on another website and can't seem to ORDER it on the website. I tried their 1-800 number and it's answered by short silence, then the beep of an answering machine.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I don't think I could bring myself to wear this but my father had one of these and probably still does.

How I could remember that it was an Underwood, when I can't remember what I did last Friday at work, is as baffling to me as how I could remember all of the Yaz lyrics after (sigh) about 25 years.

(PS, Suzy, I want it someday, but will share)


So Grace over at Have You Met Me mentioned Yaz and it reminded me about some songs I loved in college.

I downloaded my four or five favorites to my ipod (take the four or five most popular, like Only You and Don't Go, but make sure you get Midnight) and was dancing around making an ass of myself while I cleaned up our hovel, um, house.

My daughter looked at me with THAT look and said "what ARE you listening to?" and I replied "Yaz."

The look on her face was hilarious. In a split second I connected the dots, and sheepishly said "No, not the birth control... the band...when I was in college... nevermind" She proceeded to give me an on-the-spot theory about the BCP's being invented by a scientist my age and maybe it was HIS favorite band too. Who knows? That's my babygirl.

Of course, she also pointed out to me (between recorded episodes of Rob and Big, while we were sick and watching tv together the other day - I love Meaty)

... that I am older than the Grinch.

PS: holy crap... is electropop an early precursor to techno? Poly?

Fuzz Navidad

Dear Guy I Barely Know who sat near me at our big office division's Christmas luncheon today:

Listen. You seem harmless enough, as programmers go. Nerdy introverts, I can deal with.

But when I caught sight of your chest hair PUFFING out of the v-neck of your polo shirt, it ruined a really nice prime rib meal* for me. It's one thing if a few stray hairs poke out of there, but really... what you have going on looks like a clog I might pull out of my vacuum if I had 4 persian cats. If you were eye candy I might be singing an entirely different tune. The fact that it's WHITE hair because you are 10 or more years older than me only gives me additional dry heaves. For a moment I wondered if you have a pet sugar glider.

I swear to you, GIBK, start buttoning that polo shirt at least part way, or I will leap over the table at you with my corporate issue stapler and fix the problem once and for all.

Happy Holidays,

(*This was doubly distressing for me because I have not eaten a decent meal in 3 or 4 days due to my little karma issue. No, I didn't get sick at either party, the one I ran saturday or the one I attended today. But I've been sick for almost every moment inbetween. One of those "dear sweet lord please take me now and end this" things. )

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Suzy Got Her Sparkle Back

Suzy has always wanted to skate at Rockefeller Plaza - this year she finally did it!

Just as background, she skated competitively while she was in high school. Meaning every year I was dragged, er, I got to go to on vacation in Lake Placid in the stark, bleak deadness of January winter. (I hate winter. Have I mentioned that? and back then, some 15-20 years ago, it was always FREEEEEZING up there and I was up to my ass in snow every time. Bleahhh.) She even toured with Disney on Ice in the chorus line for a while. (We saw that show several times because they passed through our town. It was a complete blast but I had Peter Pan songs stuck in my head for a week. We're following the leader, the leader, the leader....)

Anyway, this past weekend she took a train to NYC with a couple of friends and checked this adventure off her wish list. She has not been looking forward to this Christmas since she's going to be working ten billion hours and all, so this was just what she needed.

She said the rink is about 1/3 the size of a typical rink. She waited an hour but then was able to skate for about two and a half hours and absolutely had a blast. The weather was perfect - it was in the 50's there this weekend.

Sorry guys, no little skating dress... and you can't see her REAL smile here, because I'm clinging to my delusion that this blog is somewhat anonymous still, but she was grinning from ear to ear. Yay, Suzy!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Post Secret

If you've never read Post Secret, now is a great time to start. Buy a book and help Frank keep the site up and running Ad-free.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Karma hath smiteth me

... NOW it's my kid.

but at least he barfed (repeatedly) in the comfort of our own home, without 500 witnesses. We have to take these victories where we find them.

I'm off to the washing machine... any takers on a bet that I will barf in the middle of my Important Gathering tonight? It would be almost poetic, huh? And messy and embarrassingly inopportune.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I suggest this game.

Friday, December 08, 2006

White Christmas

I'm busy making a cake and counting tickets and talking to newspaper reporters. (No, I didn't get arrested again, and so there will be no file baked into the cake... I am running a social function tomorrow and will be OVERJOYED when it's over.)

In the meantime you can watch this. It's only semi amusing until about the middle, but then it's hilarious. Just watch the white reindeer.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Good times

selling raffle tickets at school Christmas concert: (earned) $200

bottle of water: $1

watching a 1st grader* throw up RIGHT NEXT TO the piano player: priceless

*not my kid !!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh no, she didn't

Rachel Ray has a Christmas CD out??? No, she's not singing.... but she did include Dominick The Donkey, by Lou Monte.

(Sigh. Here we go again, my google friends... so here are the Dominic The Donkey Lyrics. )

At least my kids haven't sung it to me yet this year.


Crazy times my friends... crazy busy and running in 3 ways at once.

  • shopping - 2/3 done
  • cards - ditto
  • cookies - not a crumb MADE yet, but the ingredients are in my cupboard... I'm adding a new one, with dried cherries and oatmeal (and tiny chocolate chips, perhaps)
  • school obligations a plenty this week, then things simmer down to a dull 75 mph or so

PS - Marco - guess what I am doing New Year's Eve? My best friend and I are taking our kids BOWLING from 4-6 pm and then we're all hanging at her house (with the fireplace and big screen tv, and plenty of takeout food, natch). Me, bowling. You heard it here first


Monday, December 04, 2006

I got your HO HO HO right here...

So, I never heard of Rick Reilly, but this is cool. (I go for semi-geeks...not jocks... sorry. So who is he, really? I mean I get that he has a column now, but... background??)

I am about 2/3 done with my Christmas cards. Yes, I put the envelopes through my printer. SO what? I have about 10 left to do.

I am also about 2/3 finished with my Christmas shopping, thanks to a new family agreement to buy just for the kids. (I'm cheating a little but not much. I'm making photo books on for some of the grownups with old old family pictures. Check it out. ) The only problem is that I end up buying most of my family's gifts for my kids, but that's a relatively minor problem for me, control freak extraordinaire.

I bought my son the cooooolest toy ever. THIS is going to freak him right out. (Go ahead, go look. I'll wait. If you have lots of time, read the snarky comments. Yes, you, Poly.) Anyway, I bought him the percussion tubes because they're cheaper AND a little cooler.

Next job... deciding what cookies to make. Definitely Oatmeal Scotchies but I haven't decided what else. (Yes, they really do have scotch in them, plus white chips and butterscotch chips... my family demands them every year; they must be available to consume the day we decorate the trees. YES, trees, plural. I'm not really in the mood to talk about why our small home requires TWO trees.)

I like my treadmill, but the klutz key is starting to piss me off. I bump it by mistake with my hand, snag the string, WHAM, the whole program is reset to zero. Can't you just PAUSE? Oy. Otherwise, loving the treadmill. (I sneak out there when I get a phone call - yesterday Suzy thought I was WAY more upset about a problem than I actually was - I had to explain that I was on the treadmill and THAT's why I was hyperventilating. Then I slowed the speed down a little.)

Is it January yet?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

You'll put yer eye out, kid

My son inadvertently helped me with today's entry by showing me this Rocket Fishing Rod.

Um, yeah.

Sure baby, Mommy will buy you a GUN that shoots A FISHHOOK. Uh huh.

This catalog has everything, including this tshirt: (buy here )

Friday, December 01, 2006


I got a brand new treadmill. I know the novelty will wear off, so I have a plan. It involves rigging up some sort of shelf to hold my laptop, not so that I can surf, but so that I can watch my (complete collection of) Sex and the City DVD's while I work out.

Once I get through all of those, I may just HAVE to reward myself by purchasing the boxed set of all of the Friends episodes. Except running + laughing = Carly falling on her ass, so I'll have to make sure I wear the Dorks-R-Us Safety Clip (if you fall on your ass, it pulls a magnetic piece off the dashboard and instantly stops the treadmill. I know. But I might have to wear it anyway.)

Since my son is dying to get on the treadmill I needed to convince him that it is NOT a toy. I did this by turning it on, setting it to 10 MPH, and dropping a sneaker on it. WHAM! The sneaker shot off and hit a nearby wall. My son doubled over with laughter of course, but I emphasized that if the sneaker was his head, it wouldn't be so funny, now, would it?

Point made. I hope.

If this works out really well (pun intended) there may be before and after pictures. Just maybe. I have one particularly horrifying picture of me from Ocean City that would be an ideal "before." Egads. Maybe I need to tape that to my snooze button so that I have to look at it before I roll over and say "I'm too tired to work out this morning."