Thursday, December 20, 2007

Over the river and through the woods

Can I just say that if I hear Rachael Ray exclaim, “I always have like a million bags on hand!” one more time, I might slit my wrists. I don’t know if you guys have endured the same barrage of Dunkin Donut ads as I have, but seriously, I can’t take it anymore. Between her and Beyonce offering to upgrade me, I’m done with these two women. Also, is there anything Beyonce won’t be a spokesperson for? That woman has no standards, and also I can’t handle her jelly.

No transition paragraph here.

I got my hair cut and colored yesterday, except my hair is made of some sort of color rejection protein, because my hair lady tried to dye it twice, and it never took. Seriously, I was at the salon for 3 hours yesterday, and while I like my hair, it wasn’t what I was hoping for because I was hoping for low lights that stood out, and instead I have mousy brown dim lights. At least she didn’t charge me for it. Also, I found a fantastic new hair product, which probably isn’t new to any of you, but I have never been a hair product user. I am much more of a wash, half-assed blow dry, hate my hair all day because I can’t spend more than 5 minutes getting ready, kind of girl. But this shit, this shit is the shit.

No transition here either

So we’re off to Minnesota tomorrow. We’ll be there for a whole entire week and Brett is a saint for his willingness to spend so much time with the lunatics I call family. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that my father has a very fine liquor cabinet, and we maybe will spend most of Christmas thoroughly sauced. Isn’t that how most families get through being together?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hi. I don't want to get any work done today. Do you?

This post is for Laura (who I cannot link to for she must not have blogger, Laura, when you read this, let me know if you have a blog or some such because I’d like to visit it).

Laura wondered how I got here from Billings, since my crazed deletion of past entries, there is no historical data available for her to peruse. The truth is that I don’t think I really ever explained that, so here we go:

(in the third person, just for shits and giggles)

Flibberty was born and raised in Minnesota. She graduated high school and went to college in Wisconsin, where she learned to appreciate the delicate differences between Pabst and Old Milwaukee. She always loved kids, so she decided to major in developmental psychology. She graduated cum laude, which she thought was a good thing, until she couldn’t find a job that paid more than $8 an hour. So she went to law school. In law school, she advanced her palate by learning the subtle differences between Miller lite and Bud Lite. She also worked a lot, and did pretty well, and landed a job in a successful law firm. Then her hair started falling out, and she stopped sleeping, and THE STRESS of the job was killing her. So she up and moved to Montana, where the offer of a quiet, low stress job awaited her.

Flibberty spent three years in Montana. Her job was indeed quiet, but it wasn’t exactly stress free. Saying that any job is truly stress free is a LIE. Flibberty loved Montana, but she didn’t love some of the folks she worked for. She also didn’t love the fact that some of the folks she worked for didn’t think so highly of women, and routinely asked her to do things that an attorney wouldn’t do, like get coffee. But she persevered, because it was a job and it was a decent job and she liked the life she had in Billings. She also managed to meet her future husband, who was a wind farmer in Judith Gap Montana. He had a beard, and was funny and she fell madly in love with him after their second date. She also let him get to third base on their second date, which was so hoochie of her.

Anyway, Flibberty sometimes talked with another co-worker about wanting to move up in her career, and feeling that she wasn’t going to get anywhere in Billings. This co-worker had a connection with someone very high up in the entity-that-must-not-be-named, and he called this high up person and a few months later, Flibberty was offered a job in Chicago. She took it, and despite some misgivings, she was excited. Her partner was too, but they both had moments of “are we doing the right thing?”

So they moved, and now here they are, six months later. They got engaged and Brett went back to school and they miss their friends and also miss affordable housing. Flibberty learned that she’s not as career motivated as she thought she was, but she also learned that it might be okay to be this way. Every place seems to have it’s own good and bads, and Flibberty learned that you just have to make sure you do good work and sleep soundly at night. Sometimes you gotta take some risks and get out of your comfort level to learn some stuff about yourself. The rest will soon be history.

NERD alert!

Until I met Brett, I had never seen Star Wars. I know, it's like blaspheme or something, but my parents never let me watch it becuase they thought it would be too scary. They were probably right because I was afraid of EVERYTHING as a child, especially Darth Vader. However, now that I've watched Star Wars with Brett, I can safely say that I'm no longer that scared (except for the ice monster and maybe the sand people, they just freak me out).

Brett and I played hookey yesterday and went to the Star Wars exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. It was pretty awesome, aside from the fact that the exhibit kept trying to teach us stuff, you know, sciencey stuff.




I love Chewbacca (actual picture of the Chewbacca costume used in the movies)









There was a picture of me with Darth Vader (conquering my fears obviously) but my boobs looks ridiculous in the picture, so I left it out. For real, it was basically a picture of my boobs, with a side of a man/machine dark side devotee. Not good.
P.S. Our new blog will feature actual culinary success stories very soon, but it's just been a terribly busy week, so for now, the failed muffins will have to suffice. My apologies.

NEW BLOG!

Hi

Brett and I have a new blog, which we're doing together. It's all about food and cooking, so just be prepared for that.

Come visit us!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

and what did this test tell me? absolutely nothing.

Since I know you've all been on pins and needles, waiting to hear the next installment in a continuing series entitled "The Days of Flibberty's Bladder," I shall provide excruciating detail about an excruciating procedure I underwent Friday last. Wait, you haven't been waiting? Oh well, I'm still gonna write about it.

Have any of you ever had a catheter, ever? I do believe it's pretty much de rigueur when you have a baby, no? If you have, then you know how incredibly weird and uncomfortable said catheter can be. If you don't know, I shall tell you that it feels incredibly weird and uncomfortable, and sort of like someone is slowly placing a small tube up a very small whole and poking at your bladder with it's needle like end, because that is exactly what they are doing. To add insult to injury, I got another catheter, with a condom over it (seriously, I think it was a Trojan) up my back end. To further humiliate me, I was seated in a chair that contained its very own toilet that was hooked up to a computer, and it had stir-ups such that my knees were up toward my ears. I'm sure I looked hot.

They attached electrodes to the back end catheter, and also grounding wires to my butt cheeks. I did not know that butt cheeks could serve as a place to ground electrical current, but helpful knowledge next time my car battery dies.

They also instructed me to pee into the chair toilet, while a doctor and two nurses monitored the computer for my flow rate. Sometimes I have trouble peeing in my own stall if there is someone in the stall next to me, so you can imagine how difficult it was to pee when there were actual people in the room with me, eagerly anticipating my flow. They kept looking over at me, like, "why aren't you peeing?" and that's when I started sweating like a deranged monkey.

After I finally "voided" they started refilling up my bladder with saline solution, and instructed me to tell them when (1) I felt like I could go to the bathroom; (2) I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom; and (3) I felt like I would explode into a thousand tiny pieces if I didn't go right NOW.

The liquid started flowing into my bladder and it was a very strange sensation because the saline was very cold. It actually felt kind of nice for a second, until I reached stage 3 when my eyes started to bug out and I actually grabbed the nurse and informed her that critical capacity had certainly been reached. But no, no, they wanted to push me as far as I could go. And that's when I exploded. The end.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Guest Post: Potato(e) preparer pontificates politely

I am certainly glad that it is called tater tot hot dish and not potato(e) hot dish. Ever since that Dan Quayl(e) incident all those years ago I can't remember how to spell potato(e). So I just put the e in parentheses and hope everyone remembers the historic event and then laughs at my joke, even though it is not a joke, it is me trying to cover up my lack of knowledge of potato(e) spelling, all thanks to the damn media making a federal case about the Vice President not knowing how to spell potato(e). I mean it isn't like he invented the internets or shot someone in the face or something.

Anywho...

Here is how I made this last batch of my hot dish. I make it different every time, not only because time and space have changed and new cosmic rays are striking the foodstuff that have been traveling through the void for millions of years (the rays, not the foodstuffs), but because I use whatever is taking up space in the fridge and freezer.

Prior to the first thing you do is garlic smashing. Alton Brown said that if you smash and cut up the garlic cloves very first it will release its oils and juices allowing the secret powers of garlic to mingle and transmutate into the life giving nectar that it is. Supposedly if you always do your garlic crushing/cutting/smashing very first and then let it sit for 15 minutes the chemical reactions will take place. You will be able to live forever if you eat exactly the right amount of this, combined with the other ingredients.

For tater tot hot dish, I just roughly chop about 3 cloves. Then put them off to the side and move on to the real first step.

First some ground meat. A pound will do. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, whatever.
I used beef this time. It was 1.99 a pound cuz it was about to expire. It was still good though, so don't worry. Brown the meat in some canola oil, which has those good fats in it that will also make you live forever. I did not use onions this time, in consideration of bladder fortitude issues. Normally though, I would start with onions in the canola oil, once they were carmelized I would add the meat, then salt and pepper to taste, (once again, no pepper on this batch cuz of the delicate UT) then sprinkle in oregano and thyme, or basil, or whatever sounds good. I usually limit myself to two or three complimentary herbs so as not to make the flavor ugly. Like mixing a ton of colors and getting an ugly brown/gray, you know? Then add mushrooms if you want, and cook them too. Sometimes I put alcohol in, just whatever I happen to be drinking-a word of caution though, don't add to much alcohol to the food, you might be thirsty later.

Once the meat is cooked, get out a casserole dish, 9 by 13'ish, then shake out a can of cream of mushroom soup. It will make that suction sound but if you shake hard enough it will all come out in a can shaped pile of mushroom creaminess. It is my favorite part of making this meal. Add not quite an equal amount of milk. Cow's milk is preferable, I haven't tried it with any other kind, but I suppose anything would work.

Then get out your frozen vegetables, I like peas, corn, broccoli, or the vegetable medley works, whatever you like. One really good thing (my favorite) is pickled artichoke hearts. Though we had none for this batch. The veggies need to be no larger than a tater tot. Hopefully you will have some to reference for purposes of approximation.

Mix the meat, vegetable and garlic all into the cream of mushroom soup/milk. If you like sour cream you could add some now too.

Smooth it in to an even sea of meat, veggie, and creamy goodness. NEATLY arrange the tater tots on top. It is critical that everything is symmetrical otherwise you could hurt nature.

Exclaim "ala peanut-butter sandwiches!"*

Cover the casserole with tin foil and put in the oven you should have preheated to 400 degrees. If only I had told you earlier.

I usually cook for an hour then see if it is bubbling, take the foil off and put back in for 10-15 minutes so the tater tots get crispy.

Let stand a few minutes when done, serve.

Some people like ranch, some like Tabasco, try things out.

There. I think I have just overcomplicated a very simple, delicious hot dish. What I lack in clarity and conciseness I make up for in bamboozlement and befuddleation.

Somewhere I read a quote "A flood of words rarely contains a drop of reason." Hopefully that does not apply here.

Anywho...

The main thing is: use a can of cream of something soup, some filler ingredients: meat or meat substitutes and vegetables or vegetable substitutes, and top with well placed tater tots, it will be good.

*If you tried using spices appropriate to Cajun cooking, replace "ala peanut-butter sandwiches" with "BAM!"

Also, the earlier post eroniously stated that I, Brett, purchased 4 GALLONS of ice cream. I love ice cream, but that would be ridiculous to try and fit in the freezer. We could keep it outside, as it is 15F out right now, but squirrels would probably cart off with it. I bought 4 quarts of ice cream. And only cuz it was buy 3, get one free. I only wanted two, but that is how they get you. Get the third one they say, then you can get the fourth free. Commence with the holiday pounds. Alas, I end with wise words Homer Simpson once said while loosening his belt.

"So long toes, see you in the spring"

Tater Tots: How to make them delcious (soon to be revealed)

Brett is the maker of the Tater Tot Hot Dish, so I asked him to do a wee guest post/recipe. So check back later for his post, because truly, T-T Hot Dish is the best comfort food EVER.

Also, blogger has decided to no longer notify me when I get comments, which is annoying because I LOVE your comments. Is anyone else having this issue or is it particular to me?

Finally, communication training isn't so bad really . . . in fact I dare say it's been a fun morning. Who knew that corporate training could be useful? Go figure.

P.S. I love you all for saying nice things in your comments! I wish you all were around in real life, because I would totally bake you cookies or babysit your children while you go have fun or buy you a beer.

sex and coffee

Well, still feeling sad. I’m touchy about it too, and I’m just generally far too sensitive these days. I’m so convinced that I made the wrong decision moving here, but I so don’t want that to be the case, that any inkling of “not happy” makes me jump around in a crazy defensive dance. It sucks, and it’s a lot of emotional work.

Also, I have to undergo something called “urodynamics” tomorrow morning. This test involves inserting catheters in two areas that are generally used only for evacuation. This makes me want to hurl. Adding to the high hurl factor is that I’m pretty sure that the test will reveal nothing, and the doctor will say, “well, everything looked find, so . . .” So indeed. I’m becoming a case for House.

If this test shows that nothing is wrong with me, when clearly there is something wrong with me, I don’t know what I’ll do except go insane. It sucks because I can’t have coffee, which I love, and more importantly, I can’t really have sex. I can live with no coffee, but sex is rather important. I hate my body for doing this to us.

However, I made brownies last night, and Brett brought home 4 gallons of delicious ice cream and we had brownie sundaes and they were good. Tonight we will go out for drinks with a couple of my coworkers and I hope we have some laughs.

I’m really not so mopey on the outside, but this here blog gets to see the ugly innards. Someone has to (besides Brett). It helps.

Now I get to go to “Communication Training.” I’m sure it will involve “dyads” and “active listening” and I maybe should have brought a flask to work today.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Some more whining that only Tater-Tots can cure

I’ve kind of sad for the past couple of days because I miss the life we had in Billings. I miss our house, because it was nice and comfortable and didn’t fall apart. I miss having a garage where the cars didn’t get caked in ice and I miss the ease of living in a town that took 30 minutes to traverse. Everything here is more difficult. Then I feel guilty because it was me and only me who wanted so badly to leave Billings because it was supposed to be better here. I feel horrible for telling Brett it would be better here, and then it’s me who is sometimes the most homesick.

I’m upset because it seems that whenever I get comfortable, I leave. What is that? I’ve done it my entire life, and I’ve moved more times than a girl should. Sometimes I think it’s best to be slightly uncomfortable, because if you start getting too comfortable you stop growing and just become blah. But some comfort is good. In Billings we had people who cared about us. Here, we have no one. Man, I’m having trouble even writing about this because it’s just cutting too close.

It’s just that moving made me realize that I derive absolutely no satisfaction from my profession. I mean, I left Billings in hopes of being in happy in my job, because I thought (in my own delusional way) that it was the office, not me. Now I realize, the office was fine, it’s just me who hates the profession. In fact, sometimes I feel like it makes me a bad person (not all lawyers are bad people, but the kind of law I practice is not warm and fuzzy). Then I get pissed because I think I knew this in law school (like on day 2) and I should have quit. I should have stopped and thought about things before spending HUGE amounts of money on an education that I don’t think I ever truly wanted. Hindsight is 20/20 though. Also, I’m not dead or dying, so I can start making tracks to a new path, or just learn to be okay with my choices and recognize that the job does not make the person. I’m just mad, mad, mad and MAD at myself because I could have stopped this and (don’t think I’m shallow) wouldn’t be spending more money on student loans per month than rent.

Brett is a trooper. He said I made a good choice in wanting to move here. I think in the long run, I did too, but right now, it’s still too hard to see the forest for the trees.

I just keep repeating my mantra, and it helps, it does.

You know what else helps? Knowing that you’ll soon be devouring Tater-Tot Hotdish courtesy of your soon to be husband who makes it okay to be mad.

Also, it just started snowing. Assuming my drive home doesn’t kill me, I will be happy if we get a few inches to make the world quiet and new.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A list of a different sort

I had a dream on Friday night, that was most intriguing. You see, I dreamt that Alton Brown and Brett Favre were actually the same person. This would be strange enough, but wait, it gets weirder. Unfortunately, Alett, or Favown were in danger! Yes, someone was out to kill them, and who was the only person able to protect the quarter back of good eats? Me. Obvs. So, in a dream sequence that most resembled the Beastie Boys video for Sabotage (don't ask) I thwarted an attempt on his/their life/lives, and also determined that I am mostly insane.

HOWEVER, this got me thinking . . . you see, I love Alton Brown because he explains cooking. He doesn't' just throw together some random meal that you are to repeat, he teaches us all how to cook by showing us the science behind it. He is brilliant and I love him. I also love Brett Favre because he seems like a good guy, a hard worker, and a family man who happens to have to crazy ass talent. Also, I love the Packers because they are the only publicly owned team in the NFL (as far as I know). But then I started thinking about other "famous" figures that I like and admire (we're not talking about folks like Gandhi here, for I think that' s another category, just to be clear, but more like folks I'd like to have a beer with and shoot the shit with) and I came to realize that there aren't too many, but there are a few others.

So, let us see my list:

1. Alton Brown - host of "Good Eats"
2. Brett Favre - GB Packers QB
3. John Krakauer - writer and mountaineer
4. Mike Rowe - host of "Dirty Jobs"
5. Neil deGrasse Tyson - astrophysicist and host of "Nova Science NOW"
6. Jon Stewart- host of "The Daily Show"

Why are there no women on this list? Also, maybe I watch too much T.V. Hmm . . .

Do you have such a list, an I'd-like-to-have-a-beer-with-that-dude/ette list?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The past few nights I've been up around 3am. WIDE AWAKE. I hate not being able to sleep, it's so frustrating and truly one of the things that will make me cry like a baby. I have a number of assistive drugs, prescribed to me in the past, but I hate taking them because I'm convinced I'll get addicted and never be able to sleep without them again, or I'll become some some sort of suburban junkie who steals Ambien from unsuspecting neighbors, and I'm not interested in either of those options. However, my doctor reassured me numerous times that trazodone was not addictive, and in the low dose she prescribed me, it would be nothing. I may take one tonight, because I feel like crap and I have been so moody and sensitive today that I'm pretty sure even the dogs hate me.

Also, we had an ice storm yesterday, which didn't stop us from going on a 7 mile hike. This was a blast, actually, because we went with a group of folks we didn't know. I love meeting people, and that has been the worst part about moving out here . . . we have met about 3 people in the 5 months since we moved. I don't get it. However, we were reassured by a really nice, normal guy that he too has found it impossible to meet people. Then he gave us his digits. Score. Yes, making new friends is eerily like dating.

Brett just asked me if it was approaching that time of the month (shouldn't he know this?). See, that's how bad my moodiness is today. Just to let you know that I'm not joking around. One should never joke around about PMS.

Speaking of which, I never thought there was anything to PMS. I always had easy cycles, no cramps, no discernible change in mood. But then, then I went on the pill, and now I'm ferociously moody for at least 3 days before and during my period. It sucks. Also, I've gained about 20 pounds since I've been on this particular pill, and I did not need any assistance in that regard. I hate the pill, but also, there is no alternative form of birth control that I'm willing to try, so what to do? Complain, obviously.

I'm off to take a pill and go nigh nigh. Wish me luck.