I’m Sure He’d Kick an Ass or Two (FMM)

I was actually productive on Saturday because of the threat of Snowpocalypse (which turned out to be valid).  I did my laundry and went to the grocery store along with everyone else in a 20 mile radius.

This morning, I was debating whether or not to risk driving to go to work. I turned on the shower, and ONCE AGAIN, the cold-water tap wasn’t working.  This particular symptom preceded the epic flooding when the pipe burst a month ago.  There is still a gaping hole in the wall where the pipe was repaired, which I have had blocked with a rubbermaid tote lid and a hamper so that Zooey quits thinking it’s the entrance to Narnia.  I removed the tupper-lid and spent 10-15 minutes with the hairdryer on high thawing out the pipe, and just used an empty hamper with plenty of ventilation holes to block the opening in the wall.  I’ve also had the faucets dripping.  I’m just hoping our upstairs neighbors’ pipes don’t freeze.

So today, since I decided I was not going to risk life and limb going to work when all the courthouses were closed and the roads suck, I was surfing Amazon Instant Video.  I watched a few episodes from Glee Season 4, and then turned on a Cirque du Soleil movie and um, well, must have not been that interesting because I woke up for the closing credits.

Anyway, that leads us into this week’s Friend Makin’ Monday, hosted by Sarah, which is movies. If you’re playing, link up in my comments and Sarah’s; if you’re not playing, leave me a comment anyway because I like them.

On to the questions!

1. What is your all-time favorite movie?

Asking me to pick one favorite anything is just dumb. I am not capable of this. However, top 10, and why:

Shadowlands – I have seen this movie at least 20 times and it makes me fucking bawl every time. Anthony Hopkins at his best. I saw this in the theater by accident – my friends and I were late, or the other movie was sold out, and we just went to this one. So many Kleenex.

The Shawshank Redemption – The only movie ever that’s as good as the book. The original is Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth & Shawshank Redemption,” which is part of a four-novella compilation called Different Seasons. Three of the four have been made into films. Some changes were made to the story when it was made into a movie, but they actually bring out things that, when I read the story (granted I was probably 13 or 14), I just didn’t get. This bombed in the theater but has developed a following on video.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut – Brilliant. And just try to watch it without singing “What Would Brian Boitano Do?” the whole next day (well, that or “Uncle Fucka”). This pokes fun at almost every musical ever, including but not limited to “Oklahoma,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Les Miserables.” Satire with a point.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory – Okay fine I first developed a fondness for this movie when I watched it stoned out of my mind. But I like it sober, too. Gene Wilder’s slightly creepy performance makes this movie. The remake with Johnny Depp was probably truer to the original book, but Gene Wilder nailed the character because he was a better balance of loveable and creepy.

Music & Lyrics – This is just charming. Also features very catchy 80’s type songs.

Clerks II – Sick and wrong but I almost peed myself laughing.

History of the World, Part I – This was high on the high-school afternoon viewing list. “Did you bullshit last week? Did you TRY to bullshit last week?”

Erin Brockovich – Every paralegal’s dream come true.

Fahrenheit 9/11 – A critical look at the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath.

The Princess Bride – A classic. Another movie I have watched a zillion times and can pretty much recite. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

2. Who is your favorite actor and actress?

Actress: probably Robin Wright Penn. She disappears into roles the way Meryl Streep does, but hasn’t received as much critical recognition. You almost don’t realize it’s the same person. Actor: Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Same deal. RIP.

3. What was the first movie you ever saw at the cinema?

I think Cinderella, but it could have been Superman. I do remember my parents not taking me to Star Wars because I didn’t pick up my toys. I also remember Sleeping Beauty scaring the crap out of me, but I think that one was later.

4. Did you watch the Oscars last night?

Mostly. Lando was switching off with a basketball game for part of it, and I was kind of playing Facebook games and listening. I started paying more attention about halfway through.

5. How many of the Best Picture nominations did you watch and which did you enjoy the most?

None. I didn’t watch that many movies this last year. I am hoping the nominees show up on Netflix soon, as I do want to see several of them. The theater closest to us also just lowered their prices, so we might see more movies in the theater. It’s a lot easier on the wallet to sneak in some candy and pay $8 for 2 people for a matinee.

6. What did you think of Ellen hosting The Oscars?

I like her as a host, but the Oscars seemed a little too low-key this year. They need more musical numbers.

7. If you had the chance to play a part in any movie, what would it be?

Well, when I was 7, the answer would have been the lead in “Annie.” Now, I don’t really care what movie, unless I get to be the villain and/or completely nuts and/or sing a lot.

8. Is there a movie you have watched that was so bad that you have either walked out of the cinema or turned it off?

I don’t remember ever walking out of a movie, but I fell asleep during Captain Ron. I demanded a channel change on one of the Jackass movies when they were giving themselves paper cuts. Finally, I almost walked out of Dumb and Dumber when they started squirting ketchup and mustard in their mouths. I almost barfed. The thought of it now makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

9. What do you think of 3D and IMAX movies? Are they worth the extra money?

Sometimes 3D is fun, but I haven’t seen any movies where it’s really NECESSARY since Captain Eo at Disney World when I was 8. I think it’s kind of a gimmick and it sorta gives me a headache. IMAX is different – we have the IMAX dome at the local science museum, and that is worth it. I saw a Cirque du Soleil one, and the Everest one. The latter did make me kind of motion sick, but it was good. What really gets to me are a lot of the 3D effects in most new video games. Some of those make me nauseous.

10. What was the last movie you saw at the cinema?

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, Part 2). I’m really looking forward to Divergent. I just hope they don’t fuck it up. The casting looks pretty decent, so I’m hopeful.

Song of the Day: “Out of the Cold” – Amos Lee
Today’s Time Waster: Disney princesses protest!
What I’m Craving: Some more mini Reese’s cups, but I ate them yesterday.

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I’m just like financial statements – I show up quarterly.

So I was leaving a comment for Hailey, and then I realized that I should probably update more often than quarterly, but seriously, it’s all been so awful and I’m tired of hearing myself talk about it. To sum up: Christmas = Xanax; I should not be allowed outside after three months of pain management for my back because I will fall down and undo all of it and it will actually hurt worse than it did four months ago; one should never trust little baby maintenance dudes about what is wrong with one’s plumbing because they will lie and then your pipe will freeze and burst and flood your apartment and part of the neighbors and the damage will be JUST ENOUGH to cover the deductible on your renter’s insurance and also they give you FIVE — no, SIX — industrial carpet fans in an 800 square foot apartment and it’s like living in a goddamn jet engine for a week. /facepalm

That about sums it up.

Seriously though. Inches of water; cat missing; clothes on the floor because I needed to do laundry and/or I’m just messy, at least 15 loads of laundry; bitchy white trash 5th apartment manager in 4 months acting like I shouldn’t be upset when my house is under three inches of water and I can’t find one of the cats. I have rarely wanted to beat anyone’s ass more than I wanted to beat hers.

Anyway. Let’s move on to Friend Makin’ Monday, shall we? Since Kenlie has been busy, it’s being taken over by Sarah. The theme this week is “Randomly Getting to Know You.”

1. Introduce yourself in under 10 words.

Cranky, Cats, Cohabiting, Chocolate, Creative, Chips, Cheese, Contradictory, Crying, Crampy.

I would have added PMS to the list, but it didn’t start with a C and the alliteration was amusing me.

2. How did you find Friend Makin Mondays?

Through Hailey, I think.

3. Have you ever met any of your blog readers?

You mean other than my friends that I made/make read it? I did meet Lando (my current live-in partner, who doesn’t ever update his blog anymore and therefore I am not linking), back in the day when we were both blogging at Diaryland. I don’t think I’ve actually met anyone else in person, but I am FB/Twitter friends with several readers, and I’ve exchanged mix CD’s with a lot of them.

4. How many states have you visited?

I think 36, if you count the airport on a layover (which is really only two states: Colorado & Utah). I say it counts, especially since the Denver airport is directly responsible for introducing me to the wonders of Crocs, which you can now pry off my cold dead feet.

You disbelieve?

Yes, those are Jack Daniels pajama pants.

Yes, those are Jack Daniels pajama pants.

5. What did you have for lunch yesterday?

Cool Ranch Doritos and Chocolate Chip Little Debbies. I’m not even kidding. See the 11th word on #1, above.

6. How many different places have you lived in?

I think…6 cities (Flint, MI; Houston, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; Norman, OK; Naperville, IL; Oklahoma City, OK), 5 states (Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Illinois). I’m boring.

7. What’s your favorite color?

“She feels like kicking out all the windows/and setting fire to this life/she would paint everything about her/with colors bold and bright…” ~Dave Matthews

But seriously, if I have to pick…red. Followed very closely by bright turquoise.

8. Do you have any pets?

Three cats: Miles, Zooey, and Amelia. They’re being difficult right now and all I’m getting is a curled-up ball of cat, but here are some pictures from the last few months that you probably haven’t seen unless we’re friends on Facebook:

They like to snuggle.

They like to snuggle.

She does not like to snuggle with them and she's not entirely sure about snuggling with us.

She does not like to snuggle with them and she’s not entirely sure about snuggling with us.

9. What would your ideal job be?

Powerball winner/philanthropist. Cat-hugger. Broadway star. Advice columnist. Musician. Writer.

10. Do you have any tattoos?

Not yet…but I might get one for my 40th birthday. I have a whole Pinterest board called “Midlife Crisis.”

That is all. Carry on.

Song of the Day: “Poison” – Bell Biv Devoe
Today’s Time Waster: Pudding Pop. I wish they would bring back real pudding pops.
What I’m Craving: A raise. So we can live somewhere else and I can buy a new car.

Suddenly I’m Bright and Breezy (FMM)

Greetings and salutations.  It’s been a while.  I’ve composed about 9000 half-drafts of things, but I haven’t finished any of them.  Life has been a little shitty-ish lately.

So I’m just going to get right on with Friend-Makin’ Monday, sponsored by Kenlie at All the Weigh. If you drop by, please say hi. Also, if you decide to play, leave a link to your answers here & on Kenlie’s post. This week’s theme is:

Getting To Know Each Other

1. What is your favorite flower?
The white roses with the blood-red tips. Or any other multicolored rose.

2. What is a date on the calendar that you’re looking forward to?
September 11. I know, that’s fucked up, but I’m having a procedure done on my back that will likely alleviate the lower back agony that I have been dealing with for the last 6 weeks. Also September 14, because it’s the Cutest Niece in the World’s first birthday.

3. List at least five characteristics of your ideal mate.
Loyal, intelligent, honest, funny, independent.

4. What is your favorite travel destination?
Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama….

And now that your Monday earworm is planted, of the places I’ve been, my favorites are Disney World and the Oregon coast. But I want to go to a lot of other places.

5. What is your idea of the perfect date?
“I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.”

6. What is your relationship with your family like?
Mostly good, but a little complicated. I think my parents would both like it if I visited and/or talked to them more often, but I have to keep a little distance or I end up turning into an over-involved basket case. There’s a reason my nearest relative is 473 miles away.

7. What time did you wake up this morning?
6:38 a.m. (My alarm is always set for some random time like this.)

8. What characteristic do you like most about yourself? Which do you dislike most?
Like: intelligence. Dislike: also intelligence. To me, it’s a double-edged sword. It makes me learn things quickly, but I also get bored with them quickly. And I tend to get frustrated easily with people who require 97 explanations of how to do something before they “get it.”

9. What is your favorite sport to watch?
None of the above. If I wanted to watch dudes play with each other’s balls, I’d go download some gay porn.

10. Share a few interesting things that you did over the weekend.
Uh, let’s see. Went to the eye doctor because I woke up Saturday and my eye looked all swollen. Turned out to be nothing major, but the eye doctor gave me some free sample antibiotic eyedrops. Wandered around the mall and bought a few things at the Body Shop and a custom box of See’s candy. (Mostly orange creams and butterscotch squares, because clearly those are the best ones.) Went to see “The World’s End,” which wasn’t bad, but wasn’t as good as Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead.

Song of the Day: “I Don’t Care” – Icona Pop
Today’s Time Waster: Meetings suck enough without bad slides.
What I’m Craving: My eye infection to be over so I can stop wearing these idiot glasses. I tried to buy new ones, but none of the “one-hour glasses” shops stock lenses in my prescription, at least not the ones where I can actually see to drive. Aside from not being fond of this pair aesthetically, the prescription is off just enough to give me a headache. I can’t take Advil till after my back procedure on Wednesday (because it thins your blood and makes you bleed a lot).

me-glasses

We’re All a Little Loony (FMM)

I have a lot on my mind at the moment, and a few serious entries are percolating, but in the meantime, I decided to actually do FMM on time this week. I will preface this by saying that I don’t generally watch a whole lot of TV. I do occasionally watch things, but I read way more than I watch TV. Lest you think that this means I am super snooty literary, let me put your mind at ease. A lot of the time, I think of books they way some people think of TV. Lately, I’ve re-read all of the Sue Grafton “alphabet mysteries” up through “K” because they were on sale for $1.99 for the Kindle. I also read some trashy chick book by Kristin Hannah, which was ok but did use a few tired-ass plots (sexual tension between BFF and husband; omg cancer; etc.), and a book called The Velvet Room, which is kind of a YA book but which was actually pretty decent. I’ve got a bunch of other things lined up to read. I am bad about putting books on my “to read” list on Goodreads and then not reading them. Oh well. I’ll probably read that shit eventually, after I get done beating Jewel Quest Heritage and the new levels on Angry Birds.

So, on to the questions. If you answer, please link in my comments and in those of our hostess with the mostest, Kenlie at All the Weigh. Say hi if you’re dropping by! I like hearing from people and finding new people to read. This week’s theme is “Let’s Talk about TV.”

1. Share your current “Must-See” TV shows.

Bizarre Foods America. I tried to get into Big Brother, but when I found out that stupid bitch Rachel had a sister in the cast…PASS. That means that Rachel will make another appearance somewhere and I never ever want to see her again.

2. Do you prefer reality shows or sitcoms?

Depends on my mood. I like reality shows that are of things that are fucked up, like the medical anomaly ones (like the Tree Man or 100 Pound Face Tumors, not the fat people ones. Those are just awful.)

3. Who is your favorite talk show host?

Probably Ellen DeGeneres. Or Craig Ferguson.

4. Which network(s) do you turn to for news?

I really get most of my news on the internet. Sometimes CNN, sometimes BBC. Sometimes one of the awful local stations (but only in inclement weather).

5. Do you have Tivo or DVR? If so, which programs do you have set to record?

I have it set to record What Not to Wear (which sadly is over), Glee, and Bizarre Foods America. My significant other records Dr. Who, Archer, Venture Brothers, sometimes other random movies and shit. I occasionally record a movie or a concert.

6. Have you ever started watching a show simply because you heard so much about it on social media? If so, which one did you watch?

No. Unless you consider my BFF emailing me and informing me that I *had* to watch Big Brother with her (2 years ago) “social media.”

7. List any TV series that you own on DVD.

Oh god. This is a LIST. Some of these are mine, some are his but since we live in the same house they count.

    30 Rock
    Chappelle’s Show
    CSI (several seasons, all pre-departure of Grissom)
    Dead Like Me (which makes me sad that it was canceled)
    Family Guy
    Firefly
    Fringe
    Heroes
    The Guild
    It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    The Simpsons
    South Park
    Mr. Show
    Robot Chicken
    Dr. Who
    Glee
    The Big Bang Theory
    Buffy
    Angel
    Castle
    Six Feet Under
    Archer
    Venture Brothers
    Community
    The League
    Tiny Toon Adventures
    Sherlock
    Lie to Me
    Arrested Development
    The Good Wife

I think there are some more around here somewhere, but those would definitely be Lando’s.

8. Do you have a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, etc? If so, what kind of device do you use to stream it?

I have Amazon Prime, which I use on my Kindle Fire or on my computer. We also have Netflix, which he streams on his computer or tablet or the PS3. I could stream Netflix, but I can never remember the password and Amazon has the same shit anyway. What’s funny is that I don’t really watch much in the way of TV or movies, but I guarantee that Prime has been worth it because of the amount of stupid shit I buy and have them ship to me 2nd day.

9. If you could star in a TV show that already exists, which one would you choose?

I think we had a variation on this a couple of months ago, but my answer is still Glee (even without Cory Monteith, which is just so sad). Second choice: CSI.

10. If you could bring back one TV show that is no longer on the air, which one would you choose?

Dead Like Me.

That concludes this evening’s pointless drivel.

Song of the Day: Tori Amos – “Precious Things”
Today’s Time Waster: Free fonts…I have no idea why I need these, but I find them fascinating.
What I’m Craving: The end of summer.

Hungry Like the Wolf (FMM OK FINE IT’S TECHNICALLY FMW. FML.)

Yeah, okay, it’s Wednesday. I’ve been running behind schedule all week. Monday I was tired. Tuesday I had a flat tire and a doctor’s appointment. Today Lando got up early and messed up my bathroom routine a little. Not a lot, but I have things timed to the exact minute most of the time (unless there is a fashion emergency like mystery stains, leggings or tights that do not appear to be the marked size, broken necklace, etc.). Seriously. My morning routine is thus:

6:35 – Alarm goes off. I usually hit snooze at least once.
6:45 – get up. Give Amelia her snack. Eye drops. Plug Kindle into charger. Bathroom. Turn on coffeepot and computer. Smoke one cigarette.
7:00-7:25 – shower.
7:25-7:45 – Stir Miles and Zooey’s food, because god forbid there be an empty spot at the bottom of the bowl. Swear at the dishwasher when I realize my favorite coffee mug has some nasty crumbs inside even though it’s clean. Scrub crumbs from coffee mug. Make coffee. Drink coffee. Pet Miles because he’s very needy in the morning. Remove Zooey from computer keyboard twice.
7:45-8:05 – Pick outfit, put on makeup, brush teeth, get dressed, etc.
8:05-8:07 – Gather up stuff and leave for work. If I am in the car by 8:08, I usually am sitting down at my desk at 8:29.

Anyway, on to the Friend Makin’ Monday questions. If you decide to participate, please leave comments for me & for <a href=”http://www.alltheweigh.com”>Kenlie</a>, the hostess of FMM. Today’s questions are about food:

1. Do you make grocery lists?
Sort of…I don’t list every single thing I plan to buy, but if we’re out of something (especially things we don’t buy every time we go, like certain spices or light bulbs), I try to jot myself a note. I also make a list if I’m making a new recipe.

2. Do you have a routine when shopping in your favorite grocery store?
I usually hit up the dairy section, then the frozen stuff, then bread, produce/meat, and grab non-perishables as I go. I would probably do things in a different order, but the store layout of my usual grocery store is weird. If I go to Walmart instead, it’s the medicine/toiletry aisles, the pet aisle, then groceries, starting with dairy and ending up in produce/deli. (Dairy is at the back, produce & deli at the front.)

3. What is your favorite seasoning?
McCormick’s Fajita Seasoning. The kind in bottles, not the little packets.

4. What is the healthiest food in your fridge right now?
I think there’s some lettuce and apples in there.

5. What is the most unhealthy food in your fridge now?
In the actual fridge? Probably the bags of grated cheese. In the freezer? I think all that’s IN the freezer right now is ice cream and booze.

6. What is the most exotic produce you’ve ever had?
My Vietnamese friend was always feeding me weird fruit, but he would never tell me what it was. Come to think of it, that’s what he did with pretty much everything food-wise. He would either rattle off a name in Vietnamese or just refuse to tell me. It was all delicious, though.

7. Tell us about your favorite local restaurant.
Big Truck Tacos! Because come on, tacos. Really, though, it’s their queso that is the bomb. I have no idea what makes it different, but it’s seriously scoop it out of the container with your finger when you run out of chips good.

8. What kind of pasta do you prefer (regular, whole wheat, etc.?)
Regular angel hair pasta, although I also like rotini and tortellini. I also like rice noodles…mostly the thin ones.

9. If you could make one food calorie-free for an entire week, which food would you choose?
BUTTER. Think about it – it would make delicious baked goods contain less calories (butterscotch blondies**, I’m looking at you) (Pioneer Woman chocolate cake too); you could use it to make sauces for pasta and saute things and eat it on bread and and and.

10. If you had to choose would you rather give up french fries or chocolate?
French fries. I can deep fry other things to satisfy that craving, but there’s just no getting around the chocolate when you need it.

The recipe for the blondies:

2 cups flour (if you’re using real eggs, it needs about 2 1/4 cups)
2 ½ cups light brown sugar
10 tablespoons salted butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs or 3/4 cup egg substitute

(This recipe was adapted from one on Cooking Light. I’m not really sure what was “light” about it, other than maybe the egg substitute.)

In a skillet or small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. First it will bubble a little, then it will get kind of foamy looking, then it mostly clarifies and starts to brown. You want it about the color of the brown sugar. Take it off the heat and pour it into a little bowl. Let it cool for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, put the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bigger bowl, and mix them together.

Once the butter has cooled, add three beaten eggs (or the stupid egg substitute, but seriously, who uses that shit to BAKE?) to the butter, and stir together. Once they’re combined, pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until combined (no over-mixing). The mixture kind of feels like bread dough at this point…or like chocolate chip cookie batter before you add the chips.
Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. (I actually use a baker’s quarter-sheet pan, which is close, and it turned out better than it did in the 9×13 cake pan.) Spread the dough in the pan. Best strategy: put a glob in each corner and one in the middle and kind of flatten them out. The dough isn’t really “spreadable” like cake batter is.

My oven runs hot, so I cook mine at 325 for 24 minutes. The original directions said 350 for 30 minutes, but 30 minutes is too long, I think. Maybe 24-25.

Try to restrain yourself and let them cool before you cut them into squares….although they are delicious when they’re still warm and you can kind of mush them into new shapes.

I didn’t actually modify the original recipe much…I used real eggs, and salted butter (recipe says unsalted). The first time or two I made them, I just barely sprinkled any extra salt in the batter, but the last couple of times, I added the extra salt, and it really kicked them up a notch. Also, it does need more flour…otherwise, they’re a little greasy when they’re done.

These would probably be good with stuff mixed in them, but they’re also good on their own. I know some of you crazy kids will want to sully them with nuts or something. If you are mixing things in, probably leave out the extra flour.

Song of the Day: Brandi Carlile – “Cannonball”
Today’s Time Waster: <a href=”https://hpwishlist.warnerbros.com/contest”>Harry Potter contest.</a>
What I’m Craving: A Percocet. My back is killing me.

I wish I had a rabbit in a hat (FMM)

The weekend was fairly uneventful. I was tired. I took some naps. I cooked a few times…I made chicken fajitas, and butterscotch blondies (note: I used 3 eggs instead of the egg substitute), and mac and cheese (with bacon and peas). I did some dishes. I wrote an entry about eyeliner. I played a little World of Warcraft and a lot of Treasures of Montezuma 3. I started a book or two but wasn’t into them.

Basically, I didn’t do shit.


Recipe for Mac & Cheese:

Ingredients:
16 oz pasta of your choice
4 tbsp. butter + 2 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
Some milk…maybe about 2 cups?
1 package bacon (I used thick cut)
1 bag steamable peas (I really only used about 2/3 of the bag)
CHEESE! (About 3-4 cups. I used pepper jack, sharp cheddar, and colby jack.)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain & stick back in pan with 2 tbsp. of butter. While the pasta is cooking, steam the peas – go with the shorter end of the suggested cooking time on the bag. Also, cook the bacon…make sure it’s not super crispy. Let the bacon cool.

While the bacon is cooling off, melt 4 tbsp. butter in saucepan on low heat. Add 4 tbsp. flour and whisk until smooth. Let it cook for a few minutes while you crumble the bacon. After you’re done with the bacon, add some milk to the butter/flour mixture. Whisk until smooth. Let it heat up for a couple of minutes, and then dump in the cheese. Add salt, pepper, and seasoned salt to taste. Whisk all of that together until smooth. Dump in the pasta, the bacon, and the peas, and stir together gently.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 300-325º. Our oven is an overheating piece of shit, so I went with 300. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Dump in the mac & cheese, then top with a little more shredded cheese and a few bread crumbs (if you want). Bake for 20-ish minutes.


Time again for Friend-Makin’ Monday, courtesy of Kenlie at All the Weigh. If you decide to play, please leave a comment here & on Kenlie’s blog. Today’s questions:

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Oh god I need to wash my hair.

2. Do you prefer to pay for things with cash or plastic?
Plastic. So much more convenient. Plus, it seems like when you have cash, it just disappears…like you have a $20, and the next thing you know, you have $1.23.

3. What is one word that you use too often?
Seriously. Also “fuck.”

4. Who is the last person outside of your family who said “I love you” to you?
Probably my friend CDA.

5. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone and mailed it?
Uh. I think I sent a card to my gramma for her birthday. Mostly I stick to electronic correspondence.

6. Have you ever been called upon for jury duty?
Yes. It was federal court, and it was for theft. Basically, a bank employee made up fake checks and cashed them. Jury duty was an interesting experience. Since I’ve generally been assisting lawyers in any trial situation, it was educational to be on the other side of the fence and see what works and what doesn’t. It was also kind of nerve-racking, because the defendant was pretty young…she was in her late 20’s, I think. I felt like some of the other jurors were willing to just convict her without really looking at the evidence and making sure. Basically, myself and one other juror made everyone review all the documents before we would agree that she was guilty. It seemed like people were in a hurry to get out of there, and that was shitty. You are dealing with someone’s life and liberty, and if you were the one being charged, you would want to know that the jury took their job seriously and really looked at all the material before saying “guilty.” I actually checked online later to see what her sentence was. I don’t think she actually ended up serving much jail time…it was probation and restitution.

7. How many keys are on your key ring?
A bunch. I have keys to several friends’ houses, and my parents’ houses.

8. List two characteristics that you want to change about yourself.
I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller…

Just kidding. I would like to be less of a procrastinator and I would love to be able to just drop off to sleep at night without the laying awake for three hours part.

9. Do you bring your own shampoo and conditioner when you travel, or do you use what the hotel provides?
Usually, when I travel, I am staying with family or friends, and I sometimes bring them. If I’m going to my mom’s, I just mooch things like shampoo and toothpaste. I used to pack that stuff all the time, but then a bottle of shampoo exploded all over my makeup bag. If I’m going to a hotel, I usually will throw a couple of trial sizes in my bag, just in case the kind they have is icky.

10. What is your birthstone? Do you like it?
An emerald, and I do like it.

Song of the Day: ZZ Ward – “Till the Casket Drops”
Today’s Time Waster: Cuteness for Monday.
What I’m Craving: Chips and queso.

No one likes to be let down. (FMM)

Why hello everyone. This past week was filled with bullshit. One of our kitties, Miles, does not like one of our other kitties, Amelia. Miles is a big, loudmouth boy cat, and he’s normally very sweet and snuggly. He loves our other girl cat, Zooey, even though she’s kind of mean to him, but he sees Amelia as an intruder to be attacked. I have no idea why. When we got him, we had three elderly female cats, and he never started any shit with them, and he adopted Zooey from the moment I brought her home, but even though Amelia is the most shy, scaredy baby, he just goes after her. We keep them separated….Miles & Zooey live in the living area, and Amelia lives in the bedroom. Amelia is fine with this arrangement. She’s a pretty independent sort…she likes to watch the birds and the bugs outside, she likes to play with her toys, she likes us but mostly because we give her snacks.

So anyway. Lando accidentally didn’t shut her door all the way, and Miles got in the bedroom…and tagged her ear, and then she pooped and peed a lot, and then she went and hid in the closet and wouldn’t come out. Miles was not very repentant. Therefore, we had to wash all the blankets and pillowcases and give Amelia lots of snacks and canned food to make her happy again. All seems to be well, but I really wish he would quit being a little butthole. I mean, she’s like half his size and doesn’t even fight back.

Bonus Cat Pics:

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Miles looks vicious, right?

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Zooey likes boxes.

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Amelia is my sweet little derp.

Then, on top of that, my computer monitor decided to quit working, so there’s another $246.99 I wasn’t planning on spending. Grrr. Our “backup” monitor is this tiny 17″ piece of crap that I’ve had for at least 9 years, and I don’t even think I have an adapter to make it plug in to my computer. Plus, I’m used to my 27″. I have bad eyesight, ya’ll. The new monitor is now in place and works fine.

I spent most of the weekend taking naps. Since my insomnia has flared up again, I’m living on too little sleep, which I make up for by over-caffeinating…it’s a vicious cycle. We did go out to dinner for Lando’s dad’s birthday/Father’s Day. The restaurant is one of those vaguely hipster brewpubs…they have classic comfort food, but it’s all served on weird-shaped plates and arranged just so. I had chicken fried steak, and it was ok, but they put like 2 little dots of gravy on it. Bitch, please. The gravy is IMPORTANT. I asked for more gravy and got this little tiny ramekin. Those are for DIPPING SAUCE, not GRAVY. I guess next time I’ll order something more fancy.

Anyway, on to the Friend-Makin’ Monday festivities, hosted as usual by Kenlie at All the Weigh. This week’s topic is “Just Wondering” and is as random as I feel today. If you decide to play, either answer on your own blog and leave comments for me and for Kenlie, or answer in my comments if you’re not the blogging type. Be sure to check out the comments on Kenlie’s site, too, for more people to visit!

1. Do you wear glasses and/or contacts?

Contacts whenever possible, but sometimes when my allergies are bad, I have to wear glasses. I also sometimes get things stuck under my contacts, like cat fur (my cat Zooey is generally all up in my grill) or eye makeup (the glitter liners from Sephora are the worst offenders, but sometimes the Urban Decay shadows or whatever shitty mascara I was forced to buy because they were out of my brand are culprits).

2. Do you have summer vacation plans? If so, where are you going?

Not so far…I just started a new job, so I don’t have any vacation time yet. Maybe in the fall.

3. What is your favorite food to eat for breakfast?

Donuts! (Especially the chocolate frosted kind with cream filling.) I’m also fond of the little sausage rolls they have at the donut place. (There are two independent donut shops close to us, and they both have those little sausage rolls. They also have big sausage rolls, but I like the little ones better.) (That’s NOT what she said.)

4. Do you enjoy window shopping?

Yes, I kind of do. I enjoy buying things more, but sometimes, if I’m having a bad day, I can just go wander around and touch things at somewhere like Ross or Marshall’s. I cannot wander around Ulta or Sephora, though, because I will buy things. I’m also a fan of internet window-shopping…I tend to put things in my cart a lot and not buy them. Note: sometimes if you do this, and leave it for a day or two, the retailer will send you a coupon code.

5. What is your favorite candle scent?

I actually like one from Walmart called Cranberry Mandarin…it’s good for all seasons. I also like the Yankee Candles Buttercream, but it makes me hungry.

6. If you had to choose between going to a zoo or an aquarium, which one would you pick?

Aquarium. It’s inside, and I love watching all the fish. I don’t like outside. I especially don’t like outside in the summer…there are bugs and it’s too hot and you smell poop all day.

7. How many times do you plan to exercise this week?

That all depends…exercise what? Hehe.

8. Do you speak another language fluently?

No…I took French in high school and college, and I wasn’t bad at it, but my skills are not what they were. I can still sometimes read it. I can also generally pronounce things in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Latin…thank you, five years of voice lessons and god knows how many years of choir where singing in English was just not what the cool kids did.

9. What are you currently reading?

I recently finished

    Tiny Beautiful Things

, by Cheryl Strayed, which is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time…it’s just stunning, I can’t even explain. It’s part advice column, part memoir. I am also reading the “Ender’s Game” series by Orson Scott Card – I’m currently on “Xenocide.” I liked the first one, the second took me a while to get into but was good once I did, and the third is dragging ass but I’m trying to get through it.

10. What are you looking forward to most in the coming week?

Not much, really. I need to go grocery shopping and do laundry and my insomnia is back with a vengeance. Maybe I’ll go with “once I go grocery shopping I can make more chocolate cake.”

Song of the Day: Jack Johnson – “Flake”
Today’s Time Waster: Sleepy animals. (Not just cats, for all you dog people…)
What I’m Craving: A maid.

Folks Lining up Outside Just to Get Down (FMM)

Greetings and salutations. My weekend was totally uneventful. All I’ve wanted to do the last two weekends is sleep, which is sad. I’m still trying to adjust to working again, I think. I did make some cake. I also learned that saving 50 cents on bacon isn’t worth it because it burns really easily.

Kenlie is back from her hiatus, so it’s time for Friend-Makin’ Monday once more. If you are not familiar with the rules, answer the questions below on your blog, and link back in Kenlie’s comments (and mine). If you are stopping by, hiya! And please leave a comment, because they make me happy. This week’s theme was “How Do You Celebrate?” and it concerned birthdays:

1. When is your birthday?

May 12.

2. Do you like to celebrate it or do you prefer to keep it quiet?

I like to celebrate, but since my birthday is always right around Mother’s Day or someone’s graduation, my festivities usually either get ganked or happen late.

3. Have you ever had a surprise party?

Sort of. See #6. It wasn’t really a full-on party, but it was unexpected and nice. Generally, though, I’m not terribly fond of surprises, especially if they involve some sort of occasion where I will be photographed.

4. What sign are you? Does it represent you well?

I’m a Taurus, and from what I’ve read – we’re into security, stability, nice stuff, and food; and we’re very stubborn and very loyal. So mostly, I’d say yes, it does. DON’T MESS WITH THE BULL BOY, YOU’LL GET THE HORNS.

5. Do you tell the truth about your age?

Yes, so far…I am 39.

6. Share your best birthday memory.

I think my 16th was probably the best – it was on a Saturday, so I couldn’t go get my actual driver’s license that day. There was a play rehearsal/set building workday all day. It was actually a lot of fun…I remember we did a lot of listening to the B-52’s “Cosmic Thing” album. Towards the end of the day, they brought me a birthday cake. I was really surprised…I didn’t think anyone remembered it was my birthday.

7. Share a few item that could be on your birthday wishlist.

My Amazon wishlist can be found here.

8. What is your favorite kind of cake?

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake, hands down. I also like chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting.

9. If you could be anywhere on your next birthday, where would you be?

Amsterdam. That’s probably not going to happen. But, according to my friend who is turning 50 a month before I turn 40 (ugh I hate even typing that), we ARE going to go to Mexico.

10. Do you make a wish when you blow out the candles?

I don’t remember the last time I got actual candles…but yes.

Bonus: Picture of me looking at my first birthday cakes. I’m not sure if my expression indicates “why is it taking you this long to feed me cake” or “this is inadequate.”

1st bday cakes

Song of the Day: Leonard Cohen – “Famous Blue Raincoat”
Today’s Time Waster: I have played this one for a few days…
What I’m Craving: Probably more cake, because I have problems.

Like the Last Time and the Time Before

So, I started my new job last week. I am not going to make the mistake of saying that I like it or it’s the best job ever NO SERIOUSLY I MEAN IT THIS TIME GUYS HE’S NOT GOING TO HIT ME AGAIN, but so far, it seems to be going fairly well.

Pros:

    Nice quiet office. No asshole lawyers yelling back and forth at each other or yelling across the office at their staff because they cannot seem to figure out how that crazy newfangled intercom works.

    Working with former boss, Mr. Music, who is much more chill than he was at previous job. Also, he appreciates me way more now after his stint with some stupid people. Example of chill: he asked me to make some revisions to a document. When I was done, I e-mailed and asked if he wanted me to print it or just e-mail it to him. His response: “Goddammit Kelly, I’m trying to watch Bieber videos in here.”

    7.5 hour workday instead of 8+.

    Immediate health & dental insurance, 401k after 90 days.

    More money than it really should be for how little work it is.

    Based on co-worker’s new hairdo, I can put colored streaks in my hair and no one will give a shit. Go go midlife crisis!

    Visible ink also seems to be okay, which will come in handy if I decide to actually get a tattoo (I’m thinking about it.)

    Many bars within walking distance, including one in our very own building.

    Beer in fridge. Dr. Pepper in fridge. Hot Tamales in snack cabinet.

Cons:

    It’s still a law firm.

    Less money than making at last job. Which means less online shopping. Lame.

    I’m not sure how I feel about some of my new co-workers. They’re not mean, but I’m not really sure they’re “my people,” either.

    Ugh, filing.

    I only have a cubicle, not an office…I’m used to having an office. Not that this matters. When I did have an office, people were in it all fucking day anyway, and if I shut the door, it was a sign that I had an attitude problem.

    Parking garage kind of sucks…the spaces are small, and people in small-penis-mobiles (i.e. giant trucks) don’t seem to understand what “compact cars only” means.

    Jesus fuck it’s hot in here. I need to go buy a fan. (Offices only have two temperatures: too hot and too cold. Of the two, I’d rather have the latter. Although maybe if more people started getting nakeder at work, the temperature might drop. I just don’t want to lead the revolution.)

    My face has not gotten the memo about makeup every day being okay. I am working on a couple of giant honking zits, one of which is perilously close to the end of my nose. NO I WILL NOT DRIVE YOUR SLEIGH TONIGHT. (PS Dear Neutrogena, your “Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup” is not living up to its name at all. Maybe this is because I have bought into the whole “primer” hype/bullshit. Why do we suddenly need primer to go with everything? Isn’t foundation kind of supposed to be the, well, FOUNDATION for the rest of your makeup? Why do I need stuff that’s like the piers and stem walls of makeup? [I have been reading a lawsuit about improperly constructed stem walls. I guess they hold up the foundation or something.] Seriously. The foundation and eyeshadow and lipstick and mascara all have primers and this is doubling the time I have allotted to makeup. Bitches need coffee and time to surf the internet, damn.)

    Not close enough to downtown to go to lunch with my downtown-working bitches.


Unrelated to work issues, I didn’t think I liked the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But I think I was confusing them with Cibo Matto or someone all this time and they’re actually pretty good.


Also unrelated to work issues, the frosting from the Pioneer Woman’s chocolate sheet cake is also good on yellow cake out of a box.


Finally, what the fuck is up with the headphones with one short wire and one long wire? I like things to be symmetrical. There appears to be no good reason to have one wire longer, except for ease of getting the long one totally tangled up in my hair and/or necklace. They were probably designed by dudes who don’t have long hair and don’t realize what a pain in the ass it is when your hair gets all dreadlocked around your headphones. I wish it was at least adjustable, so those of us who crave symmetry and order can have it.

Song of the Day: “Pretty Girl from Michigan” – The Avett Brothers

Today’s Time Waster: Sad Cat Diary.

What I’m Craving: Key lime pie, now that someone in the office mentioned it.

Top pulled down and radio on, baby. (FMM)

I hadn’t done friend-makin’ Monday in a couple of weeks, so I decided that I’d get back into the habit. This weekend thus far has been fairly uneventful – Lando had to go in to work the last couple of days, since they had a big project going on, so I’ve mostly been doing laundry and playing stupid games on my Kindle like Gem Twist 1 & 2. I also read a little, made some cake, got some groceries, and spent some time dicking around on Pinterest. (My name has an extra “o”…either some jackass ganked my username, or I signed up for Pinterest and forgot the email and password under which I signed up. Knowing me, it’s probably the latter.)

One thing I don’t get about Pinterest: what’s with the “PIN NOW READ LATER” instructions? If I am going to pin something, I want to know what the hell I’m pinning. This doesn’t necessarily apply to pretty pictures, but anything with household tips or craft instructions or beauty tips, I would like to know what it says before I suggest other people look at it. Does it take that long to click a link and skim it? I guess this goes back to my longing for the old days of blogging when people were just randomly talking about whatever instead of everything being all sponsored and themed. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy reading about specific topics, but I also like reading about non-specific topics.

I have read in several blogs lately that people were all methodical about starting their blog, or that they were nervous about starting a blog, and it just seemed kind of weird to me. But again, I think that’s the difference between blogging 10 years ago and blogging now: back then, almost everyone was anonymous. You might get a first name, but you might not. Now, a lot of people are using their actual names. I guess that’s good, in the sense that you don’t get to be a dick behind the curtain of anonymity – but it’s not good, in the sense that people are more guarded about what they share and therefore less likely to post things of a deeply personal nature. One quotation from C.S. Lewis that has always resonated with me is, “We read to know we’re not alone.” I know that I’ve read some blogs that DID make me feel less alone, that made me realize I’m not the only dork-ass weirdo, that made me see that there are other people who suffer with depression and anxiety and feel lost and alone sometimes.

Gosh, this was not the intro I planned for the topic today. Oops. The topic for FMM is “Summer Fun.” (Maybe my problem is that I hate summer. I really think I have the reverse of the usual winter Seasonal Affective Disorder.) On to the questions! If you haven’t played before, this is hosted by Kenlie at All the Weigh. If you’re stopping by, please say hi & link to your own post, if you did one. I love comments. Also, link back on Kenlie’s comments.

1. What is your favorite summer fruit?
Canteloupe. My gramma calls them “mushmelons.”

2. Do you know how to swim?
Yes. I grew up in Houston, and we practically lived at the pool in the summer. I was even on swim team for a little while in junior high. I was never very good at the backstroke, because I would run into the lane markers like every 2 feet.

3. Do you prefer sun or snow?
I will have to go with sun, simply because there are few things I hate more than driving in the snow. I don’t like hot, though. The temperatures are creeping toward 90-something here, and I am not happy about this. We’ve actually had a longer spring than usual this year, though, which has been nice. By July, I’ll be ready to hibernate in my air-conditioned cave until October.

4. What temperature do you like most inside your home?
68. Summer or winter. This makes for cheap-ass electric bills in the winter and obscene ones in the summer.

5. Is it humid where you live?
Not really, most of the time. The people here think it is, but they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. In Houston, it’s so humid and hot in the summer that you can’t even breathe. Sadly, though, my just-naturally-wavy-enough-to-be-annoying hair likes the humidity – it’s all shiny and bouncy when I go visit the family in Houston.

6. What is your favorite food to put on the grill?
We don’t actually have a grill, since we live in an apartment…although we do have a little George Foreman. I love steak. And seafood…grilled scallops, mmm. Also, fajitas never taste quite the same unless they’re made on the grill.

7. Do you prefer to wear a one-piece or two-piece swim suit?
One piece for actually swimming. Two for lounging about drinking things with umbrellas in them, since it’s easier when you have to go to the bathroom. Plus, I have a long torso, so the tankini-like 2 pieces are rarely long enough and I feel like I’m pulling them down all day. One day maybe I’ll get brave enough for a fatkini…

8. What is your favorite summer drink?
Lynchburg lemonade. (Jack Daniels, sprite, sweet & sour mix, triple sec.)

9. Do you prefer the pool or the ocean?
For swimming? The pool. Preferably one that no screaming children have been near, ever. For wading and enjoying the view? The ocean, hands down. I love the ocean, and I miss living near one.

10. What are you looking forward to most over the summer?
Wearing all my fun summer dresses to my new job. I start tomorrow. It’s another stupid law office job, but it’s working for an old boss I actually like, and he swears it’s a lower-stress environment and that my workload will be reasonable. I’ve heard that story before, so we’ll see. It’s a paycheck, which will be good, and it’s getting out of the house, which will also be good. I’m just not very domestic, despite recent forays into baking. (I need to make some bread today. And I am going to try to restrain myself from making more chocolate cake.)

I’m also looking forward to Gentlemen of the Road in September with my BFF.

Song of the Day: “King of the Road” – Roger Miller
Today’s Time Waster: Book suggestions based on books you like.
What I’m Craving: A breakfast burrito.