Saturday, May 31, 2008

It's Hot In Here!

So, what happens when a bunch of foodie friends come over to watch old movies? A food and film fest! And it's tonight! The rules: bring something to eat and no movies made after 1965.

I have no idea what food will walk thru my door, but I know what I'll be serving. I've spent my morning roasting pecans and baking chicken. I'll use the pecans in my cookies and in my chicken salad.

Guess what? I'm serving chicken salad, Orange Cappuccino Cookies, bacon wrapped crab, and white sangria. Coffee, of course, and sodas. Popcorn. Should I put out cheese and olives? Maybe not. Seems like overkill.

But I am burning up, working on my third glass of iced tea. I need to clean up the kitchen and bath and vacuum before my friends arrive.

I'll post pictures and recipes later.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Buzzz, Buzzzz, Buzzz

I don't understand all of the buzz and anticipation regarding Sex and the City The Movie. I never cared for the show. I didn't find it funny. I won't be standing in line to see it opening night.

I am on a quest to find the perfect front closing bra. I'm wearing one today wit a racer back that is okay, not great. Unfortunately, I need a front closing bra because it has become so painful to hook and unhook my existing, back closing, bras. Some days I sit and cry because of the pain caused by simply dressing or undressing.

Today is a co-worker's last day and everyone brought snacks. We had a veggie dip that was outstanding, zuchini muffins, Sausage Stars (I made myself sick on these), deviled eggs, brownies, lemon muffins, Boston Creme Pie, fruit tart, assorted fruit, pasta salad, donuts, chips and salsa, chocolate banana bread, angel food cake with a fruit topping, and more that I can't remember. I made bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese and Paula Deen's Symphony brownies. Both are gone.

I love Ina Garten...I really do. But I get very tickled when I read her recipes that refer to "good chocolate", "good olive oil", "good mayonaise", "good vanilla", etc. You know, if I'm going to cook a special meal, I won't slight on the ingredients. It's not like assembling a casserole from the Baptist church cookbook with a can of this and can of that.

Miss Priss has a boo boo on her back. I have to treat it with ointment and keep it covered. Hmmmm....dressing a wound on a cat is no fun. I tried with gauze but she kept getting her claws snagged. So I put a gauze pad over the wound and wrapped her in an Ace bandage. She looks like she's wearing a body cast.

Oh, well, back to work.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

INDIANA JONES and Hillary Clinton

Zowie! Went to see Indy on Sunday evening. It sucked pond water. I don't regret seeing it, but it still sucked. The dialog was horrendous. Trite and not funny, and delivered with little enthusiasm. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Shia LeBoef (sp?)gave the second best performance of the film. Kate Blanchett gave the best.

Afterwards, the girls (tee hee hee) and I went to Carrabba's for dinner. It was good to see K and had been a very long time. I was starving and ate every bit on my plate. I had the sampler...lasagna and chicken parm with a ceasar salad.

Sunday morning I found out that Hillary Clinton had created a controversy on Friday. Am I stupid, or what? I assumed she meant that Bobby Kennedy was still campaigning for the nomination when he was assassinated in June of 68. Now I found out that it was a subtle plea for a crazed supporter to assassinate Barrack Obama! Wow! How did I miss that?

And, I spent yesterday watching the NCIS marathon. And napping.

Oh, well! It's back to work today and I'm very glad of it. I really like my job. Of course, I like sleeping in the afternoons like I did yesterday, too.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Odd Hours

I should have taken my time and savored it, reading it slowly over the long week-end. I wish I could say that I did. But I didn't. I consumed it in one sitting. Curled up on the couch, TV off, cat in my lap, I read Odd Hours yesterday afternoon.


Friday, May 23, 2008

I Can't Help Myself...

This is funny!

more cat pictures


I stopped in a Kroger this morning on my way to work. I needed something for breakfast so I ran in to pick up some muffins. There, on a table, was Odd Hours by Dean Koontz, the latest in the series about one of may favorite fictional characters..Odd Thomas.

Guess what I'm doing this three day week-end?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

American Idol

Well, by now the planet knows that David Cook is the new American Idol and I am quite happy for him. I've loved him from the beginning.

I was not particularly excited about last night's finale, so I had it on in the other room while I was on the computer. But I caught Donna Summer singing with the girls and I have to say that Donna looks and sounds amazing. Then there was filler. And more filler. And more filler.

And then I heard the boys introduced, out to sing as a group, and they started with Summer of 69. I screamed and ran into the other room just in time to catch Brian Adams. I was bouncing up and down in my chair and squealing like a 10 year old at a Jonas Brothers concert. I tried to call my friends V and R because I knew that they could share my squeeee, but neither was home.

Back to the show, filler, product placement, filler. And then David Cook sang with ZZ Topp. A friend said that while she was cleaning the kitchen her kids were in the other room watching AI. One came in and said it was boring because a bunch of old guys with long bears were singing about a guy with nice clothes. You have to be of an age to really appreciate the laziest men in R&R. How can they move so little and produce so much sound?

But the true highlight of the evening was the clip of Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr auditioning for Gladys Knight. If you missed it, or just want to see it again...enjoy.

Monday, May 19, 2008


The smoke coming out of my ears? I am so angry about something that happened at work that I actually dented my car! Yea, yea...I know it's my fault, but I was so distracted by my anger that I wasn't paying attention and ran into the barrer protecting the pumps at the gas station.

We had a regular meeting in which we received kuddos for a job well done and then received a verbal spanking. A rudely worded, hostilely delivered verbal spanking.

A little back-ground.

We have been swamped and have been adding new people on a regular basis. Management has also decided to re-arrange some personnel responsibilities. One co-worker who had not been there for long was told her job had been terminated. She worked for two weeks after she was notified. A new employee started one week before she was advised of her upcoming termination. I don't pretend to know the whys and wherefores of this decision. As long as it doesn't effect me or my ability to perform my job, I don't care.

The lady who was dismissed was a smoker and had bonded with the other smokers. I think this may be important. Again, not sure.

The new employee did not seem to be a good fit. She exuded superiority and self-importance. She refused certain training. Her previous positions had been in human resources and she had never worked in a call center environment. She came to work last Friday, quit, and went home.

She made the following complaints:
1. She felt hostility being directed toward her because of the (involuntary) departure of the smoker.
2. She felt that she did not receive the respect she deserved in the workplace.
3. She felt she was never accepted as "part of the team".

My response to this:
1. Wha...Huh?!
2. Uhhh, I always thought respect is something you earned.
3. Again, WTF?

In a meeting today we were told that our department leaders determined who stayed and who went by performance and by observation and we had no right to question those decisions. (Huh????) We were told that we were responsible for our fellow employee's recent departure because we never treated her fairly. And we were told that there plenty of people out there willing to jump at the oportunity of filling our positions and that if we did not straighten up, we would be reprimanded, financially punished, and/or let go.

That's right. That speech was delivered immediately after being congratulated for performing above expectations.

This kind of thing should have been addressed individually and in private. I dont' feel that I did anything wrong. I treated D the same way I treat all of my co-workers. I joked with her, asked about her health, and asked if I could be of any assistance. She never got the jokes and would respond when questioned but never initiated a conversation. Did my co-workers behave badly? Possibly, but this is something that I never witnessed.

The more I think about this, the more it seems to me that this person knew the buzz words to use (as an HR professional) and I expect that she is either expecting a financial settlement or unemployment. The point is, we are a group of people all between the ages of 30 and 60 and should never be spoken to like errant children!

I feel like filing a complaint myself.


Macaroni and Tomatoes by Alyssa

Mu Mom puts some water in a pot and boils it on the stove. she pours the noodles in and lets them cook for 15 minutes. Then Mom strains the water off and puts 1 can of tomatoes and 1 can of tomato sauce in the noodles. She mixes it up and the we can eat it. I look to put some salt on mine to give it more taste.

Chicken Taco by Zach

Mom gets some chicken and she cooks it in a pan on the stove for 50 minutes. The she puts the flat tacos in the oven on about 7 degrees for 12 minutes until they get hot. Mom puts some chicken on the tacos and we eat them! I like to eat 5 or 10 by myself.

Spaghetti by Wyatt

My Mom puts the noodles in the pan with some hot stuff and lets them cook for 5 minutes. The she gets another pan and cooks the sauce for probably 1 minute. Mom puts the noodles on our plate and some sauce on top. We get our drinks and then we eat!

Pepperoni Pizza by (another) Wyatt

My Mom opens the box and puts the pizza on a pan. Then she puts it in the oven for 20 minutes on about 10 degrees. Mom brings it out and lets it cool off. Then she cuts it up into triangles and we eat it. I always eat three pieces.

Family Reunion...

I went to the family reunion yesterday and we had a very big turn-out. I hadn't seen my cousin Bonnie Jean in more than 30 years. I asked my mom about the big guy talking to my cousin Ronnie and she said, "That's Dennis." "Nuh-unh" was my less than scholarly response. But it was! We had a blast gossiping and reminiscing.

My cousin Cathy told me how hard it was to see Mom as she is and remember how she lived for the re-unions and cooked for days. I remember that, too. And if anyone ever told her they liked something she made, she would remember and make it just for them. My cousin Rex loved a blueberry dessert that she made and she brought it every year.

My theory on the large turn-out this year is that we have had two deaths since the beginning of 2008. My Dad lost a sister and a brother just two months apart. We are down to two sisters and two brothers. It used to take a wide angle lens to get a photo of the siblings. Now you have to zoom to get a good shot.

I took the roasted vegetable and orzo salad and came back with a bowlful. Guess what I'll be eating all week? I also made the PB&J bars...those got gone. And I took Ebbie Simpson's Squash Casserole...Sis's favorite. That was gone also. We had a porkfest with four hams, pulled pork, and pork chops. There was chicken and dressing and meatballs, and of course, the Colonel was well represented.

There were starches in every form and fashion...corn, potatoes, pasta...salads and slaws, and veggies. And lots and lots of sweet tea.

And, to top off my week-end...
I went to Publix Saturday to do my shopping and discovered they had Big Sexy Hair products for less than anywhere else. I don't need shampoo and conditioner right now, but since it was $3 a bottle cheaper than I paid two weeks ago, I pickes some up. It won't go bad.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Two subjects we each hold dear because they are a part of the core that forms who we are. So why does it seem, in this election year, that we are far more tolerant of different religions than we are of political views. Seriously, I may not understand the intricacies of LDS, Buddhism, or even Wicca, but I will willingly listen the tenants of those religions.* I will read and explore the philosophies. I may not be swayed in my opinion of those religions or religious sects, but I will not condemn those who believe.

Of course, if you get on national television and make a fool of yourself regarding your religion, I will make fun of you.

My father has had a few bad experiences with members of the LDS and therefore considers it a "cult" and tends to disdain its members. However, I admire the discipline and purity of the lifestyle. I will not, however, give up caffeine.

So the question remains, why are we so impolite and angry over politics? Of course, I think there is the frustration of knowing that millions of people, both politically savvy and uninformed, will determine our future. I am less frightened of the informed, well read liberal or conservative, than I am of the uniformed voter who makes a choice based on slick political ads, friends opinions, or (sadly) looks.

I know charisma counts. We are drawn to attractive, warm, inviting faces and pleasant personalities. But that cannot be the final, determining factor on who will run our country, our state, our city.

But we must not condemn and harangue those with whom we disagree. We need to remember that courtesy is never unappreciated.

* Yes, I know that LDS is Christian.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I've been eating all week on the left-overs from Monday night. The chicken is now gone. The salad will be tonight. I took the dessert to work...gone.

Unfortunately, the air conditioning is out at our office. You would think that rainy days in which the temperature outside never climbs above 70 would not be so bad. This is not the case. It is currently 82 degrees in here with fans blowing and lights off. Combine the heat with my lovely lefft-over lunch (I'm a sucker for alliteration), and noon feels like naptime.

One of my co-workers received a cookbook for Mother's Day compiled of recipes presented by 5 year olds talking about how mom makes dinner.

Here are some of my favorites:

Macaroni & Cheese by Ashley

Mom gets out a big pot and puts the macaroni in it. Then she puts in a whole pack of cheese and cooks it on the stove on the medium side of heat. Mom puts in 1 cup of milk and 1 scoop of butter and tirs it all up. Then I get to eat it all!!!!!

Lasagna by Breanna

Mom cooks the noodels in a pot of boiling water on the stove for about 7 minutes. Then she puts the meat on the stove in a pot and stirs to cook. Mom takes a big pan and puts the noodles and then the meat and lots of cheese on top. She cooks it in the over for about 6 hours on probably 7 degrees. Then we can eat it. My brother and me like the meat the best!

Hominy and Brown Beans by Brooke

Mom buys the cans at the grocery store and she keeps them in the refrigerator. When we are ready to eat them Mom opens the cans with the can opener and purs them in a bowl. She covers the bowl with a paper towel and puts in the microwave. Mom lets them cook about 13 minutes and then I get to eat th em with some chicken. (Now doesn't that sound tasty?)
More to come....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Book Group Prep

I am hosting book group tomorrow night. We will be discussing The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. I've spent my week-end getting ready.

I shopped Friday night, having to go to three different supermarkets to get everything I need. Then yesterday, I began cleaning house. I did some deep cleaning, scrubbing a stain in the carpet, wiping down baseboards, dusting the ceiling fans. I re-arranged my bedroom and put on completely new 600 thread count khaki sheets (a gift to myself), a new comforter, pillows, and shams that my sister gave me for Christmas. It is a lovely golden taupe with turquoise and khaki. I decided to not use the dust ruffle because my bed, a lovely antique, has 8" wooden side rails that I decided show off.

I started my dinner this afternoon, after cleaning the living room and kitchen (an ongoing project). So far I have perlini mozzarella marinating to be served with olives, grape tomatoes, and crackers. I've made a roasted vegetable and orzo salad.

I will make the dessert this evening, a fruity version of tiramisu called berrymisu.

Then I intend to clean my bathroom before going to bed.

My plan for tomorrow, then, will be to set the table before leaving for work. After work I will vacuum. Then I will prepare my entree, a chicken dish. I will have the coffee ready to perk before I mop the kitchen and bathroom. Next I will set out my appetizers. I should be in good shape, especially if I can keep the television off.

I called my Mom to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. It was one year ago that she first became ill. I asked if she had gone to church today and she said, "All three of us." This left me baffled because I didn't think they would take the cat to church. When asked, she said "Your daddy, Paula, and Brenda."

This statement takes interpretation. Paula who? And, Brenda (me) was not there. I determined that my sister and brother-in-law went to church with my parents. BIL's parents also attend the same church. Fuzzy math.

Anyhoo, I must return to my cooking and cleaning. BTW, I really enjoyed the book and hope to have a lively discussion. The problem is, however, that if we all like the book, we have very little to discuss. The one person who would, I think, really enjoy the book will not be in attendance. It's okay, though, she probably didn't read the book anyway.

In review...Happy Mothers' Day. Clean house.
Tomorrow's menu:

Marinated perlini mozzarella
Grape tomatoes
Drunken Goat cheese

Main Course
Chicken Lombardy (Southern Living)
Roasted Vegetable and Orzo Salad (Ina Garten)


Iced tea
Pinot Grigio
Sparkling water

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Not because of the seemingly endless regular season. Not because of the over-priced athletes. Not even because of the fact that the play-off last as long as the full season of a regular tv shows.

Nope. I hate the NBA because of a song. Day After Day by Badfinger. They are currently using it in advertising the eternal play-offs. And. I. Can't. Get. The. Song. Out. Of. My. Head!

I remember finding out about you.
Everyday my mind is all about you.
Looking out of my lonely after day.
Bring it home baby make it soon...
I give my love to you.

Please make it stop!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

50 Greatest Sitcoms

Last week, AOL published a list of the 50 Greatest Sitcoms of all time. Hmmm...I wonder who determined what shows and in what order?

Here's the list:

50. Everybody Loves Raymond....Really, only 50? I guess those silly viewers, reviewers, and awards people were all clueless.
49. Newhart
48. Night Court...funnier than Raymond?
47. Family Guy
46. The Jeffersons
45. Hogan's Heroes
44. Laverne & Shirley
43. The Golden Girls
42. Malcolm in the Middle
41. Gilligan's Island
40. Scrubs...I just don't get it!
39. Green Acres
38. Taxi
37. WKRP in Cincinnati..."As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!"
36. Arrested Development...yeah, well, I never saw the funny.
35. Sanford & Son
34. Family Ties
33. The Dick Van Dyke Show...again, how come so low?
32. Will & Grace...I watched, don't remember ever laughing out loud.
31. Welcome Back Kotter...OMG! You'r kidding me, right?
30. Married With Children
29. Happy Days...funnier than Dick Van Dyke or Raymond or Newhart?
28. do I hate this show? Let me count the ways!
27. Mork & Mindy...yes, I did laugh.
26. Soap...loved, loved, loved this show!
25. Murphy Brown
24. Barney Miller
23. The Brady Bunch...did anyone find this show funny? Now the movie was funny. Not the show.
22. Good Times
21. Sex and the City...Not funny. Never funny. I just didn't get it.
20. 30 Rock...way too new for this list.
19. The Odd Couple'
18. Curb Your Enthusiasm...?????????
17. Get Smart
16. South Park
15. Frasier
14. The Office
13. The Bob Newhart Show
12. The Larry sanders Show...A show that is appealing to people in show business, but the rest of us find baffling.
11. The Honeymooners
10. Friends
9. I Love Lucy...The biggest travesty on the list...#9????
8. Roseanne
7. The Cosby Show...I like it, don't love it, don't see how it gets ranked higher than I Love Lucy.
6. M*A*S*H
5. Cheers
4. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
3. All in the Family...I just never understood the appeal!
2. Seinfeld
1. The Simpsons

Did anyone else notice that two of the greatest sitcoms of all time were missing. The Beverly Hillbillies and Andy Griffith! This alone makes me questiont he judgement of those who composed this list.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dancing With The Stars

I am ashamed to say that I am a fan. Not enough to know about the dancers or the stars. Not enough to fully know the names of people who don't interest me. At best, I know them by first names. At worst, I assign monikers. Down to the last five...I'm okay.

Tomorrow night the judges will present their ten favorite performances. Hmmm. I don't remember ten. From past seasons I know that John O'Hurley is charming, that Kenny Mane is one of the funniest people on television, that Marie Osmond fainted, and that I would kill to have Lisa Rinna's body.

But one dance lingers. Not some soft, sweet, ethereal performance. The raunchy, rowdy free-style performed by Drew and Cheryl to the Big and Rich tune, Save the Horse, Ride the Cowboy. rocked!

So, whatever the judges select, I know my number one.

On a more serious note, I seem to have mangled my glasses and they set at a crazy angle on my face. I will have to find time to visit the eye doctor and have this corrected. I know it wouldn't be so bad if they weren't bi-focals, but they are. And I have a killer head-ache from trying to focus through the wrong part of the lens.

And finally...I'm getting a head start on memory maintenance with my current caffeine consumption. A study last year found that older women who consumed three cups of coffee a day (or the equivalent in caffeine from other sources) stay sharper and have a lower rate of Alzheimer's diagnosis'. So far today I have had two cups of coffee, a 16 oz Diet Coke, and a half-gallon of tea. Yeah me!

Friday, May 2, 2008


We had a party at work today. Everyone brought finger foods and/or dessert. Since I was out late last night at book group, I got up early this morning to cook.

I made Ina Garten's Peanut Butter & Jam Bars.

Now, I had heard from my fellow Ina fans that they can be a little dense, so I did not use the full cookie recipe. I held out enough to make a small sample in a 6" pie pan. And instead of raspberry jam, I used grape.

The pan was empty by 11 this morning and five people asked me for the recipe. And one gentleman swore to me his undying love.

So, I'm calling this a success!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Books of Pretention

Cadged from another bibliophile, Harp and Sword:

106 Books Most Often Not Read (Or Most Pretentious Books)
Bold the books you've read, italisize the ones you started.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose

Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities

The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad

The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian: A Novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum

The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables

The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield