Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I am so excited about the mouth-watering, delicious turkey sandwich I am going to have tomorrow! Screw the dinner. Somebody give me a sandwich! Once all the tryptophan activates I'm going to slowly fall into a deep sleep.
Hopefully I'll do something hilarious. Dan usually regales me with some silly story about something I said or did while sawing the logs:
"Don't tell me what to do!" Yelled out in the middle of the night.
"There, there panther." Said soothingly as I smacked his face twice.
I've also poked a finger up both his nostrils in my sleep.
There was a night we got into normal sleep/snuggle position with him spooning me. His hand was just hanging across my stomach. He got a weird twitch, or something, and I about ripped his arm off because I thought it was a spider. Obviously.
I should have been writing these down. I'm sure there are a hundred more I can't think of.
My brother loves to recount the time we were sharing a hotel room in Hawaii. We went to sleep. Apparently I sat up in my bed, opened my eyes, and started blathering gibberish. After his initial shock, he realized I was still asleep. "Go to sleep," was all I needed, and I did.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Okay. Imagine a choir. Scratch that. Angels are singing. I love this cleaner. It's usually less than $3 at Target. It's a four-in-one all purpose cleaner with bleach. Be really careful around fabric, it will absolutely leave bleach spots. I keep one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. I just really love this stuff.
Scrubbing Bubbles are usually a good call in the shower. I don't like the idea of the contraptions that stay in the shower and clean "automatically." This spray foam is fast acting and tough on the funk that grows in the shower.
Comet with Bleach. This is a staple that every house should have. It is great for tubs, sinks, and even floors. I don't go through this very fast so I will go to the 99Cents Only Store and buy a couple at a time. I also get the one with bleach. I am very much an advocate of the bleach.
Lysol usually makes me laugh. It makes me think of my dad when people had colds he would spray everything in the vicinity. OCD. I use this on doorknobs when I'm in a completely neurotic cleaning mode. More often I spray the inside of the kitchen trash can when I take the garbage out. It controls the smell really well.
Keep an eye out for this to go on sale at Target. At around 2 bucks regularly I like the grapefruit smell and if you can see in the photo, it hasa the bleacha! Most of the other dishsoaps don't have bleach.
I have mixed feelings about the Swiffer stuff. The only thing I don't have is the Vac. We have massive amounts of pet hair and dust bunnies. This means I usually end up vacuuming on the hardwood floors with the Hoover, then go over it again with the Swiffer Sweeper, and again with the Wet Jet for hardwood floors. The Dusters just straight rock. You can't get easier than that. I chose this brand because it was cheaper than the Pledge.
They don't call this the Magic Eraser for nothing. I'm not going to think too hard about how it works but use it on weird things that you just can't get out with anything else. Stove top, marks on the walls, scuffs. It seems to vaporize pretty quickly as you use it though, so maybe it's not such a great idea for a big project.
And finally, I love this Arm and Hammer Cat Litter Deodorizer. It smells really great and controls the stink. 'Nuff said.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I started by taking out the racks. The directions on the back of the oven cleaner didn't say anything about them so I felt it best to take them out. All I need is some melted oven racks in a puddle on the bottom of my rented oven. So here they are.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Conflict has arisen from a sensitive subject. It may be difficult to maintain the excellence you have provided in the past. You may be tired, overworked, hungry, grouchy, or any number of other things that might lead you to the idea of faking it.
We've all done it.
Tonight I shall fake it. As, I've done before.
Let me explain.
So, some friends of ours are coming over to dinner this evening. When company comes and I'm pressed for time I like to make fish tacos. They are really easy, and much of the toppings can be prepared ahead of time. I'll post the recipe and photos once I figure out what the hell is wrong with my camera (other than the operator). Normally I make my own pico de gallo or salsa. Lately, though, my heart hasn't been in it.
So I've been faking it.
I take the Casa Sanchez mild salsa from the deli case at the grocery store and put it in a new bowl. I have flat out lied to guests before that it was mine. So wrong. I know.
The last time we had guests they positively raved about "my" salsa. They wanted the recipe. I tried to conveniently forget but was reminded a few days later. I sent my actual salsa recipe and just kept my mouth shut.
Mostly because the people I've totally lied to don't read my blog.
I thought I'd feel better clearing this up but I don't. I feel like having some chips. And salsa.
Until tomorrow Masterminds!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Last night, I had a decision to make: should I write my blog or go to bed. For the benefit of your eyes and hearts, I decided to meander back to my bed.
I spent about 3 hours cussing at my laptop, Snapfish, and the world in general. It all started very innocently at about 7am yesterday morning:
I received an email from Snapfish; I could get 100 free 4x6 color prints with any $5.00 purchase until 12 midnight.
Sweet! I have hella pictures I wanted to print and Dan had said he wanted some New Years cards to send out. How hard could it all be?
How hard could it all be? Haha. Hahahahahahaaahhhahahahahahahah.
It actually isn't that hard, but when you have an ancient laptop computer that is ridiculously stupid it becomes an insurmountable task of immense proportions. Think Sisyphus.
I spent an hour saving photos from my Facebook account to my travel drive only to find out that they were saved in an incompatible format.
By the time Dan came home I was completely unreasonable. I was hitting things, grunting and groaning, I was threatening to throw my laptop against a wall. Oh how close I came to making laptop art for you all. Hmmmm.
However, by 11pm I had finally uploaded my 100 photos, I did the layout and order for our cards and I was not about to press one single surplus keystroke even for you Masterminds. I was being a world class brat.
A brat with 100 free prints. Mwah hah ha ha haaah.
A little evil streak never killed anyone, Masterminds, and neither did a discount.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I would like to formally blame the recent time change for my general lack of oomph. In my complete and utter spazziness, I have a list of no less than 62 items to write about, but still I can't decide.
It's not my fault.
I made a pot of iced tea. I cleaned the house. I snuggled the kitties. Yet, I am blank. And completely embarrassed!
It's not my fault?
My aunt and uncle had a beautiful dinner for Dan and I last night. She has given me the encouragement to try my first fried chicken, so keep an eye out for that experimental recipe and photos.
Other than that, I've got nuthin'. Be patient, if you be so kind, and I will be back tomorrow. And until then, I am big enough to acknowledge:
It's totally my fault.
Only a true Mastermind could admit it. :)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
My Ma recently told tale of an office potluck that featured a Crockpot cake. Yup. A coworker made a cake allegedley using only a box of cake mix, a can of Dr. Pepper and a Crockpot.
I said incredulously, "You're full of it Ma."
But no, she wasn't. So, here I am to show you the evidence of my experient.
Crockpot Cake Revealed
1 box cake mix
1 12 ounce can of Dr. Pepper
1 can of cherry topping
Put cake mix and Dr. Pepper in Crockpot.
Scoop out servings and top with cherry topping.
I was imagining a gooeyer, syrupier masterpiece, but was presented with discolored Bing cherries and a watery pink sauce. To be honest, the cake is so moist it almost doesn't need a topping. Maybe just a little Cool Whip, and voila.
I ended up with a uncooked part, you can see it on the bottom of the photo above. It didn't even taste good. So beware.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Yeah, pizza. Homemade pizza is way easier than you think and hella good. That's right bitches, mama's from Nor Cal!
Sorry, I'm back on track.
What's cool about homemade pizza is you can have the ingredients just around for the most part. You can get super gourmet, but I keep it simple, and haven't seemed to have gone wrong, yet. The following recipe is from the Instructions and Recipe book that came with my Kitchen Aid 6 Quart Stand Mixer, the third best appliance I own (my washer and dryer are first followed by my gas powered vibrator).
Crusty Pizza Dough
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 and 1/2 - 3 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add salt, olive oil, and 2 and 1/2 cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.
Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 2 minutes, or until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down.
Brush 14-inch pizza pan with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough across bottom of pan, forming a collar around edge to hold toppings. Add toppings, as desired. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings (1/4 pizza per serving)
Pizza for a Crowd
Double the ingredients and prepare in the 6 quart mixer bowl.
Yield: 8 servings (1/4 pizza per serving)
A few things: This recipe is obviously for lazy asses like me. Hand kneading dough, while satisfying, is work. If you don't have this fancy ass mixer, or a Ma to steal one from, you can hand knead the shit out of it (around 8 minutes). I don't own a pizza pan. I have too much stuff already. I just use an old cookie sheet, remember when they had edges? Yeah, that kind. I use butter because I'm lazy and not going to make another utensil dirty just to brush oil.
As for toppings, we usually put around 8 ounces of tomato sauce followed by turkey pepperoni, olives, and lots of mozzarella on the very top. In the pictures below my friend Mick was my helper and we made a vegetarian pizza too, simply by substituting the pepperoni with thin sliced Roma tomatoes.
Above is the dough before rising.
You can see that the vegetarian is a little over cooked, this was my fault. My oven's heat isn't quite regulated to cook two pies in so I probably should have switched their positions halfway through the cooking time. It still came out delicious even though it looks a little done.
This is a far cheaper and handier way to have pizza! Yum! Bake away Masterminds!
Television is full of excitement. National Geographic will be searching for Amazon Headshrinkers and I saw an article about a contributing photographer who thought he was being attacked by a leopard seal but it was really trying to feed him. People travel the world testing their limits, eating beyond their societal scope, meditating, tromping and the like.
You want to test your limits? Start thinking about kids.
Dan and I have talked about having some loin fruit in the future. Little, crazy ass, Dans and Jos running about quoting Auntie Mame and writing software before they can tie their shoes.
Hey, don't get me wrong, I LOVE just the Dan and me time we have. It's so awesome staying in bed late and eating weird things for dinner. We are only responsible for ourselves and making sure the house doesn't burn down when I'm using frying pans.
But, my friends, it's fucking raining babies. They are everywhere. On the bus, in friends' wombs, at the grocery store, toddling around cooing and looking cute every-fucking-where.
They are in my garage. Well, not physically. My dear friend gave me some hand-me-down kid stuff, 'cause the baby bomb already went off at her house. She probably thought we were closer to b-day than we are. Hell, to be completely honest, it changes from day to day. But there it all is, the cutest stuff you ever saw, sitting ever so innocently in my garage. It mocks me, whispering your uterus is useless.
Then there are the irrational fears. What if the plumbing doesn't work? What then? Will I be a failure of a woman? Will I just have dogs? Will I adopt. Foster? Buy a ranch in Montana and kiss a cow on its wet nose?
Then, inversely, what if I do become with child? Where will we live? Will I breast feed? That one nipple is messed up from the nipple piercing gone wrong. Will I have one giant breast and one empty sack? I don't want a C-Section! I don't want to drop a deuce in front of strangers to squeeze a new life into the world. Am I waiting too long? Is it too soon.....
I'm back. I needed a few moments just me and a paper bag. It's all good.
So you see my dears, this issue is everywhere and nowhere for me. Here's a good Virgo's list of things to do before I let Dan fertilize me:
Lose 100 lbs. (seriously)
Stop taking all drugs
Stop fucking cussing
Relax some more
Seriously, fucking relax. God damn it, I fucking cussed again! This blows!
I'm going to go play some Rock Band and think about this some more.
Hope you all had a great day. Tomorrow, homemade pizza!
Too many days have gone by without logging in to regale you with my insanity. I apologize. However, it could be construed that I was gathering research to entertain and instruct you fellow Masterminds.
Yeah! That's it! Research!
We've had guests. In fact, with any luck they should be fast asleep in our little office/guest room. All the alcohol, ahem, I hope they are still breathing. Either way, I hope they're comfortable.
So my friends, a husband and wife, took Dan and I out for a belated wedding dinner at the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco. Quite delicious! Dan and I had been before, but this trip was markedly better than the last. Again, it could have been the pre-dinner libations, but I like to think it was the good company.
But here we are, as usual, I can't sleep. My insomnia is good for the blog because this is when, I would like to think, I do my best writing. So here I am on the floor of the bedroom, as the office is occupied, trying to decide if I should risk the streak. A root beer would be so fabulously thirst quenching right now. Maybe a pudding cup. I'm smiling to myself at the thought. Hey, I deserve these treats, I cleaned the holy hell out of the house. The problem is I have no pants. Think pants in the British sense here. I don't know, it seemed appropriate to fling them off in our room when we got back from dinner. And though I had the energy to grab my rickety laptop, throw a pillow on the floor and begin a rambling story, I don't feel that I have the energy to put on appropriate bottoms.
Do you see the pickle?
With that, I wish you a good evening my fellow Masterminds. And bid you the courage to try something completely outside the social norms even just for a good story. ;)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
No, I am not drunk. Nor do I wish to be.
I just found out the most awesome news: my good friend and her husband are coming for a visit. She's a busy film editor and we don't see each other as much since that I moved back to the Bay Area.
However, there is a dark side to this... and I am powerless to stop it. It will happen no matter what.
I will clean until I drop.
As it is I'm embarking on my monthly, now I have guests! This means only one thing: drunk as a dog cleaning. Allow me to explain.
You are finally home from a fun night. There were cocktails and inappropriately greasy foods. Perhaps there was dancing and maybe a cigarette or two. Now you are in bed, fully clothed because you don't know if standing is the smartest idea at the moment. The room seems to be spinning and though putting your foot on the floor does seem to slow it down, it does not stop it. Calm down. Just control your breathing. Uh-oh, you're feeling those cigarettes now. Maybe those weren't such a good idea. Maybe a quick trip to the toilet might not be that bad of an idea. Oh crap, standing is bad. Abort. Repeat abort. You drag your sorry, drunk ass to the toilet and begin your homage to that porcelain goddess.
That's when you see the things that put you over the edge.
I like to call it drunk as a dog cleaning because that is the only time, ever, that you see your house from that angle, and oh it ain't pretty. The kitchen and the bathroom are the worst.
So you see, all this estrogen, and now guests! I'll be crawling around for the next three days cleaning like I love the bathroom floor. I'll be smelling sponges and bleaching things.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Dan's LimeadeJuice 2 or 3 fresh limes (depending on how sour you can take) into a pint glass.Put in a teaspoon to a tablespoon of sugar or Splenda (or bar syrup for you debonair folks *wink*).Mix the lime juice and sweetener together.Fill the glass with ice.Pour in soda water for a nice texture.Stir and enjoy.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
GranolaFour handfuls oats1/4 cup brown sugar1 cup coconut1 cup sliced almonds1 cup walnuts1 cup pecans1 cup raisins1/3 cup flax seeds1/3 cup wheat germ2 tablespoons cooking oilHoneyButterAdd honey to taste. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a big bowl, mix it all together. Grease 9x13 Pyrex with butter. Put the granola into the greased Pyrex and bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway. Cool completely before storage.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
It is now officially November, and I would be completely justified in writing a creepy blog post about how I survived October. Mine is a true story that began long ago, okay 2004, in France.
I was just minding my own business, wandering about Paris and its environs when I discovered a weird bump on the inside of my arm. It was too blistery looking to be a mosquito bite and it had a red ring around it. I knew already, it was a spider bite.
I hate spiders. They freak me out. I'm sure this one was a trained spider assasin that was hanging from a tree as I meandered around Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, scared out of my wits.
Of course, it didn't go away but got bigger. They have a service in Paris where a doctor will make a house call. For 60 Euros I had a doctor come to my hotel. He assured me that it was an infected mosquito bite, but he would drain it because it was so large. The doctor's English was worse than my French (and that's saying something) so I was horrified when he gasped and told me that something was in there. Lots of ers, ehs and shrugging later I knew in my heart though he couldn't tell me I'd been attacked by a spider.
When I got back, I told my brother all about my trip. We joked that it was an international resistance of French spiders that were trying to kill me. We even named it: le Resistance Francais de Arignee.
As the years passed, my fear has grown. Now we live in Richmond, which is a wolf spider paradise. They are all out there, looking in my windows, biding their time...
If there is an eight-legged offender in my house, it gets eliminated; immediately. If it wants to live here, fine. But I pay rent, and if it doesn't it gets squished.
I'm okay with ants, snakes, rodents, hell, even axe weilding psychopaths; but I am not a fan of the spiders. I will admit, grudgingly, that my unrealistic idea that a spider resistance has been organized to eliminate me is, well, horrifying. However, I would like you all to know the great lengths I am willing to go in order to entertain you. Even at the possible cost of my sanity... er, I meant life. Yeah, life.
Hoping you are safer from the Resistance, Mastermind out.