Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Great Snow Hysteria of '09

I'm sure we will have more snow hysteria this winter.
But seriously.
I really can't stress this enough.
There are about a million people in Milwaukee.
And I'm using Milwaukee collectively.
As in outlying areas and suburbs.
How is that you all FREAK OUT at the mention of an impending storm.
All the weather teams go into snow apocalypse mode.
Here are the facts, kids.
We live in Wisconsin.
A state that has a football field that is affectionately known as the Frozen Tundra.
We get snow.
We get ice.
We get rain.
We get sleet.
We get frozen rain.
We get temperatures that are below zero with and without the wind chill factor.
Or windshield factor as I used to say as child.
Sometimes it's a lot of snow.
Sometimes it's not so much.
Sometimes people have off of school/work because of snow.
Sometimes people drive like dickfaces in the snow.
We have to shovel.
We have to dig cars out of the snow.
We slip and fall on the ice because assy people don't shovel.

These are the facts.
Unless we are getting 5 feet of snow, i.e. the second ice age.
There is no need for all of this hysteria.
The streets will get plowed. It might take a while.
You might have to cancel an appointment.
Or go to work late.
The bottom line is, the freakouts need to stop.
And this is all people are talking about.
I feel like I'm in the movie Groundhog Day every year.
Because EVERY YEAR this happens.

Storm of the Century!
Storm of the Centruy!
And I wake up this morning to find that I can still see blades of grass through the snow in my backyard, the roads are wet, but I was still able to drive the speed limit.
And that was it.
Sure it's supposed to get a bit colder (like tonight!) and then the wet roads will freeze and it will be a little dangerous to go out. But most likely this will happen tonight, when we are sleeping.
And most likely roads will be plowed/salted/drive-able tomorrow when we all have to go to work and do it again.

Has no one read "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder? If the Ingalls can get through white-out snow (they had to have a rope from the house to the barn to find their way!), we can get through our first real snow fall.
Icy roads and all.

As a side note, it is snowing heavily right now.
Nothing that would stop me from going anywhere.
Mostly because I know how to drive and dress for the snow.

And while we're on this topic.
Can we please, PLEASE stop complaining about the cold.
And can we please stop making comments like "Where's the global warming here?"
If you don't like all four seasons, please move.
There are other states that are warmer and I would love to not hear you complain incessantly from October to April about the weather.

In other news.
Tiger Woods isn't Jesus!
How is this a shock to people?
Really?
Really?
After EVERYTHING we know about celebrities, nay, celebrities that are in the public eye and idolized, how is this a shocker?
I love the comment, "It's not that he had an affair. It's the amount of affairs he had."
Really.
So you think when a celebrity gets caught, it's just super unfortunate bad luck.
The first time they would ever cheat and they get caught.
I'm gonna go with a no.
The comment I really did love, however, was written by a former call-girl (writer for the Daily Beast) who stated that Tiger's problem was that he slept with star-fuckers. Okay so she didn't use the term star-fucker, but she stated he slept with people who wanted to be on his arm. If he would have chose a classy call girl, this wouldn't be an issue (most likely) because call girls don't stalk their clients, cause problems at home. Because, apparently, there is a call girl code of conduct, which is protecting the client at all costs.

Which makes me think Tiger is an even bigger narcissist, because he wants to be with ladies who actually WANT him, not just pretend to want him.

And since I love segways (the literary device, not the motorized device), at one of Obama's town hall meetings, a kid who looked as if he were about 16 asked the president if he's thought about decriminalizing gambling, prostitution, marijuana, and other non-violent victimless crimes. And while the whole crowd laughed at this idea, "Silly child" they were most likely thinking.

But.
Why not?
To quote E, "It would be political suicide."
Would it?
Would bringing us out of the recession be political suicide?
People need to think out of the box for this. We are no longer an industrial country.
And what makes money?
And has been around since biblical times?
Gambling, prostitution, and drugs.
I've been saying it for years and I'll say it again.
I think if you legalize marijauna, tax the shit out of it, and donezo!
Economy fixed!
Is it that simple?
God I hope not, because if it were that simple we should all be kicking ourselves for not doing this 24 years ago.
But it is something I think needs to be looked into.
Even the police chief on Law and Order smokes pot for her cancer!

And prostitution, why not have it be legal?
I don't understand that at all.
Because it's sex?
Because it's sex out of marriage?
We're still up in arms about this?
Seriously?
Bah Humbug.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why I love Don Draper

Maybe I was in a weird place night, drinking boxed wine and eating homemade tostadas (I really don't think I will ever buy pre-made tostada shells again!), E was in the other room and I settled in for a night of catching up on my favorite television shows.

I should preface by saying that while by and large I do love Mad Men, some shows are kind of hit or miss. But this episode.
This episode drew me in.
It was almost like a movie, complete with happy-ish ending.
I loved it.

And.

I'm gonna say it.

I love Don Draper.
I love his character, even though everything in me as a feminist says I shouldn't.
But he's dreamy!
He's a bad boy!
Sometimes he likes his kids!
He's successful!
He's good at his job!

So while my love of Don Draper is unabashed, I can't help wondering why I like him. Do his looks trump everything? It's similar to the movie High Fidelity.
You're rooting for John Cusack.
But why?
He's a horrible horrible person.
And even though you know this about him, something still draws you in.
Is it cos you know deep down John Cusack=Lloyd Dobler?
I don't know.
I can't explain it. I have no such history with Don Draper.
Nothing in the show indicates that he will eventually be a good person.
He continues to drink and smoke like a banshee (but who looks better doing it? eh? Eh? EH?)
He continues to have mistresses.
He has started taking a more active role in his kids' life, which I guess is a bonus, but could also be related to him effing the teacher.
Yet there I was enthralled in this season-ender.

So.
This last episode got me thinking.
Do I hate Betty simply because she's with Don and I'm a jealous viewer?
She gets to look at Don the whole time the tv is off and I'm relegated to just viewing him for 44 minutes on a Sunday night?
I will be the first to admit.
I'm a totally jealous person, being a perpetual have-not, it's really REALLY easy to do.
But then it hit me.
I don't like Betty's character because she's a thank-less whiner.
She's weak.
She lets thinks happen TO her rather than just doing them.
Even her affair is/was passive.
There is no depth to her, unlike the other female characters on the show.
Rather than moving up, like every other main woman character on the show, she's moving laterally, or stationarily (is that even a word?).
It's like a friend that just keeps making the same mistake with a different name.
Except she's not my friend, but yet I have to hear about it constantly (or at least every Sunday for 44 minutes).
I know!
It's like my annoying co-worker who is a total martyr for EVERY effing cause in the world, and you would never talk to this person otherwise, but there you are, trapped on a lunch break and you have to hear all of her "Woe is me" tales, except you could give two flying f-bombs about her life.
That is exactly how the Betty Draper situation is.
Except I can turn Mrs. Draper off.
I never do, but the option is always there.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Never-Ending Recession

And I'm back.
I wish I had lots to say.
What I've been up to.
What's the latest news from Joe.
Unfortunately.
Unemployment is now in double digits, and I have to say.
I feel kind of left out.
Because technically I should be part of that scene, you know?
Ooh!
Ooh!
I DID make the realization that I am probably one of the 9 million UNDERemployed today.
So thank god for that.
This blog is not for naught.


It turns out that people still love to party during the recession.
We still have beer and boxed wine left over from Halloween!
SCORE!
And as an added bonus we spent less at the grocery store than I expected.
Hizzah!

The party, after much internal worrying (why I do these things to myself, I will never know) was a smashing success.
And by smashing, I mean everyone was sufficiently smashed by the end of the night.
And we were performing smash hits of every era.
Without the karaoke television.
Because apparently that tv was another victim of the recession.
We don't know why it doesn't work anymore, but it doesn't.
JT had the brills idea that we should just sing without the tv, because this is what the party derails to anyway, and since I was lit from the delicious sangria M&Z had served at the party of the first part, I was all in for this.

I got to catch up with old mates, my house was full of dogs for part of the party, and all my besties were there.
Well.
Almost all of them:
My mom couldn't make it because of my aunt's party.
LN couldn't make it because there is a recession and gas is expensive.
MG couldn't make the party of the second part because she had KG duty.
Being a parent sure cuts into the fun having time.
I know this much is true.

In other news.
E and I are still broke, but I think we're getting better at it.
The party was hard to finance but I don't think people even realized we didn't have the ridick spread we usually do, and I have to give M&Z major props for having some of the most delicious food ever served at a party. DELICIOUS!
SCRUMTULESCENT!

And in frugal gourmet news:
We learned how to can.
Aww yeah.
Color us thrifty.
Or possibly poisoned with botulism.
We don't know!
While we don't have a pressure CANNER, we have a pressure COOKER.
A pressure cooker with no gague. So we really have no idea what pressure things were cooked at, or how long REALLY things should be cooked for.
We found out our pressure cooker (most pressure cookers, really) cook at about 15psi.
So we're hoping this one does too.
We then found a recipe similar to the one we were making and copied the cooking time.
And then we canned.
Awwww lawdy did we can.

We're hoping we'll be fine as there are many other ways to get botulism that I just read about and since I haven't gotten botulism yet, I'm thinking I might have an immunity.
Jk folks, jk.
But seriously.
8 pints of tomato sauce later we are stocked for this winter!!!
False.
We are stocked for like 2 weeks.
Maybe.
But we are very exicted (already) for next summer to can salsa, and more sauce using super fly and super fresh ingredients.
PLUS! Since we now know how easy it is to can, I think I will ask for a REAL canner from Jolly Old St. Nicholas. And then my mind will be free of botulism worries.

Frugal fall gourmet:
Made my annual batch of pumpkin-curry soup.
So delicious and it really makes a lot.
I WOULD can it, but darnzoes, I made it with butter.
And I have no idea if pumpkin soup would can well even if I made it with olive oil.
Things to think about people.
Well if you're poor anyway.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recession Part III; Week One

Where have you been?
Why haven't you posted.
By now, I would hope that the readers of this blog are used to my sporadic postings.
You bloggers with real jobs and families that blog everyday just for the "love of it" amaze me.
Actually people with real jobs amaze me.
"The pay phone outside always amazes me"
If you can tell me what move the above quote is from, you will win a prize!

Well I can tell you what I have been up to:
  • saving the neighborhood from fire
  • making and freezing soup
  • taking part in neighborhood activities begrudgingly
  • getting my foster dog adopted (this weekend!)
  • closing Miller Park
  • reading a pretty bad book from the library
  • recovering from a two phase sickness
  • being a dance-dance-dance-dance-dancin' machine (watchyagetdown, watchyagetdown)
  • getting keys at my job (looks like somebody's a for-real employee!)
  • planning my annual halloween party--co-hosted this year by my CSPBFF, MG!
  • being text-stalked on the MCTS.
So it's not as if I've just been lazing about. Well the recovering part of sickness, yes, but for the most part even my last Brewer games (sigh.) were listened to/watched while cleaning our incessant mess of a house.

Before I delve into the details of what has been going on, I should say why this is the third (but let's be real, most likely not final) part of the recession. For October is the month that we start with our budget. Our for-real, make or break budget to get us out of debt. Not all debt, but at least credit card debt. I've asked you once, and I will ask you again. Please bear with us as we deny activities because we're picking up extra shifts, or if we can't go out because we blew our going-out money for the month (oh yes, we have a wee bit budgeted for) on strippers and cocaine.
That last part was a joke people. It would be whores.
Stripper+coke=whores
Or, you know, we blew our going out money on dog food. That is probably a little bit more likely.
On to bigger, less depressing things.

We don't need to water, let the mother fucker burn. Burn mother fucker, burn.
I had a wee bit of cash left over from my cousin's wedding and I decided I really liked the way nail polish looked on my fingers. However, it kept chipping and chipping. After two days of wearing it I looked like a hooker.
So I called the one who knows all about beauty and glamour.
David Bowie.
Jk jk.
PO.
She advised me that a base and top coat were necessary.
So off I went to Target to find a base and top coat (PO advised to not get the 2-in-1).
And that is when I see a fire down the alley.
In a garbage can.
In a plastic garbage can.
For a split second I think about not calling 911 as I am tired.
But then the whole, saving-the neighborhood thing kicks in.
So I call 911.
After 4 rings they pick up and I inform them of the fire.
Within about a minute, the fire truck is there putting out the fire in the alley, then a girl comes running down the alley to inform us all watching the action, that there is another trash can fire.
So the group of us that has amassed goes down the block to look at the other fire.
And this fire was alot bigger than our pesky fire in the alley.
My one neighbor then continued talking about how if he would have seen the arsonist he would have popped him.
These are the people in your neighborhood.

Soup is good food!
It's true it is, and E and I have been getting really good at making it.
Weekend days= bread making and soup making.
Not to mention, homemade soup is so so good for you.
Currently frozen in our freezer; cabbage-beer stew (surprisingly delicious!), carrot-dill soup (okay, would add a thickener next time...maybe a turnip or rutabaga?), homemade mac-n-cheese (okay so it's not a soup but freezes just the same!)
This weekend I plan on making the Comet tomato soup which everyone agrees is actually better than Comet's tomato soup.

Won't you be my neighbor?
As some of you know, I serve on the board of our neighborhood association.
And this year, I am serving begrudgingly.
Maybe it's the weather, or maybe it's because I've lived here a while and just see the same stuff all the time.
Or maybe it's because most people only seem to care about the board when a road isn't paved to their liking.
Oh yes. This really happens.
I am thinking I might just not have the You-Rah-Rah CSP attitude.
So we plan this event.
Fall Fest.
And it's a big event. Mostly it's for the neighborhood kids to take part in some free activities and it's a good internal marketing for the association. I get that. I really do.
It's just SO full of kids, and not quiet church kids.
But loud, and let's be real, sometimes rude and sassy city kids.
Now there were plenty of behaved kids, a surprising amount in fact. But few parents, and literally one of the parent's was wasted. So while it is a good, there is also a twinge of sadness to the event.
Anyway. So E had to back out of his previous commitment to volunteer as he picked up a shift for two hours (see above regarding recession part III), shitty? Of course, but it's not as if the event rested solely on his shoulders, and I had alerted the board that I would not be able to help until 1-ish as I had to work that day.
So I get this email chastising me for backing out and blah blah blah. Not addressed just to me, but to the whole board. I then air our dirty laundry saying exactly what I've told you; we're broke, we come first, we need the money, etc. NOT TO mention that I told the board two months ago I had to work.
I then get an email, addressed just to me, of course, saying "I do remember you saying something about that."
Of course you do.
Now.
And I suppose it might help to mention that there was a board member who didn't show up to the event.
At all.
And as far as I could tell he didn't get any emails.
And if he did, they weren't addressed to the whole board.
In spite of this in-fighting (ha ha ha) the event went well, a scant amount of money was raised, and kids got free food, games and prizes.

Logan
The weekend prior to Fall Fest was our annual Greyhound Gala, which, much to our dismay we were unable to attend due to weddings and film festivals. According to everyone, he was going to get adopted at the gala.
He is currently napping in our t.v. room.
BUT!
He IS getting adopted this weekend.
YES!
While we have enjoyed Logan's stay with us, I truly feel he will have a great home with his new family, complete with greyhounds who actually want to play with him!
Logan has also cured me from ever thinking I could handle a puppy of any kind.
Working at the WHS has also helped me with this.

It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.
Yeah that's right.
I'm breaking out the Boyz II Men.
Because who doesn't love/hate that song?
So my dear friend AA accompanied me to the final Brewer game of the o9 season at Miller Park.
It was, like so many other games I've seen there this year, a loss, but we had fun. And I have to say, as cheesy as it is, it was a good feeling that although the Brewers were totally out of any playoff race, and most likely finishing under .500 at that point, and there was a Packer game on, the stadium was pretty full.
Nice work, Crew.
Now comes the off-season guessing game.
Will we trade Fielder?
Who should we trade?
Who can we get for who?
Boring to most people, but interesting for people with theories.
So I will say it here first.
Fielder doesn't go UNLESS we get two ace pitchers for him.
Not two Dave Bushes.
Not two Jeff Suppans (which only one year left on his ridick contract!)
Two CC's.
Two Sheets, but healthy Sheets.
Then, and only then, will I support a Fielder trade.

Arabian Jazz
While I'm almost done with this book, I don't recommend it to anyone. While the writer has some pretty passages, as a whole the book doesn't work and is wholly unbelievable. Nurses wearing white caps in the 90s? WHAT?!? Skip it.

Sick.
And not the way skaters say sick.
Literally.
I *kind of* had a cold two weeks ago. But I shrugged it off, got a little more sleep than usual, and plowed through. Then Saturday night came and I had a sore throat.
Sore throat?
I haven't had one of those since my tonsils were removed in the 4th grade. I painted my nails, watched some recorded television, and called it a night.
The next day I felt a little worse, but stayed in my jammies all day, cleaned the downstairs, and went to bed early.
Monday, Monday. Can't trust that day.
I sounded awful, and felt worse.
Buckets. It was bad.
I went home and even though the game of the century was on, Favre-less Packers vs. Favre-full Vikings, I went to bed.
At 6pm.
And didn't wake up until the next day.
While I didn't feel completely better.
I felt a helluva lot better.
And today I'm up at 4am, blogging.
My throat is still a bit scratchy, but all in all, better? You bet!

Dancin' Queen
Not even drunk at my cousin's wedding, but I was a dancing fool. At one point it was just me and my cousin EB dancing and singing to love shack together. After interprative dancing to "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green, my aunts told me I should be an "entertainer."
Because that is a real job.

Keys.
Yep I'm a key holder now.
This doesn't really mean anything, except I don't have to wait for people to get there, and I will be able to come in whenever I want. I also got glowing reviews, but reviews don't really mean all that much to me when no pay-raise is involved.
True.
I take some pride, but not THAT much pride.

This is Halloween!
As I'm sure most of you know. I will be throwing the annual Halloween bash this year.
BUT!
Added bonus!
MG (writer of Gerni in Mke) will be hosting part one, which is a classy-costumed potluck.
Part II is the usual debauchery and mayhem that takes place almost on a monthly basis at my house.
It is recession style so BYOB to part II, although some beer and wine will be provided.

Jeepers Creepers, where'd you get those peepers?
So I am pretty sure I was texted about incessantly on the bus yesterday. It's very rare that I ever think people are paying attention to me, but this was a little strange.
First of all, the dude appeared out of nowhere, I think he may have moved to sit closer me.
Second, either my timing was amazing, or he was literally giving somebody a play by play of everything I was doing: turning pages in my book warranted texts, tapping my foot to my ipod, yawning--kind of creepy right? Or am I just totally full of myself? Either way, I like to think of as the official start of the halloween season, creeped on on the bus.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recession Part II; Shorty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low

Apparently, much to my shock and awe.
People read this thing.
They miss it when I don't post.
They always ask when more posts are coming.
They ask if it will continue since I am now employed.

So I will soldier on.

You may have been wondering, "What has blogger Jj been up to?"
Mostly.
I've been in a facebook war.
A facebook war with the anti-healthcare reform people.
And by anti-healthcare reform people, I mean my brother, some of his friends, and my aunt.
Mostly the argument consists of this:
If you can't afford healthcare it is because you spend your money on useless crap (extra cars, vacations, designer clothes) and really everyone should be able to budget for healthcare.
And that if we become a socialist country (I love that single payer= socialism, and I love that socialism is still a bad word), we won't get to pick which doctors we see, or what procedures to have done, and abortions! Death panels!
When a liberal like me brings up the fact that lots of things in 'Mrrrka are socialist like the fire and police departments, the USPS, the public school systems, they then bring it back to a family-budgeting issue.
So I gave up.
But I would like to say:
E and I only have one car (and it's almost paid off!), live in a place we can afford, don't buy designer clothes (hells we can't even get haircuts!), and WE haven't taken a vacation since 2002, and the $800 we spent on that vacation isn't going to help much if I needed to fix a broken leg.
I guess it's just painful to hear that people think I shouldn't have healthcare.
Because that is the bottom line.

In addition to the argument with my aunt, I have also been victim to my first facebook snub!
Can you believe it?
Aunt KB, the super anti-choice (she sends web videos!), Nobama, refused me as a friend.
Or ignored me.
I don't know.
All I know is this:
Friendship was pending, and now, I have to request all over again.
Now some of you might be saying, why would even WANT to be friends with someone like that?
Who cares?
We love Obama!
But.
She is family, number one.
I do like her, and she is pretty funny.
Sure her political alignments are all out of whack (I still don't understand how so many "Christians" are against helping the poor and un/der insured, but I decided I wouldn't play that card), and she just sent my cousin an email telling her how important it was to repent before her wedding so she can be pure for her wedding and tell her children (yep, two kids out of wedlock), that although they're here, she was still pure before god.
People, you don't even understand this, until it happens to you.
So.
I totally called her out on it.
I emailed her and said something along the lines of "Why no friend add? Thanks alot, jerkzoes." Then added something pertinent.
Bonus?
I get to see the WHOLE lot of the anti-choice Nobamas this weekend at the said non-pure wedding.
I hope they play "Low" by Flo-Rida:


Because I've had this song in my head for the past three days.
I'm a ridiculous white person.
I will probably learn the lyrics.
Yep.
I'm thinking this will be the jam for Halloween 09.
And Logan, the foster dog really seems to dig it.

Also, I may have said it before, but Bill Maher and I are of one mind.
Just sayin'
I'm very glad there is somebody famous sharing my points of view with the world.
Well done, Mr. Maher.
Well done indeed.

And who doesn't love T-Pain?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Recession Part II; Week ???

I'll figure out the week later and edit it.
And then I will have to erase this whole introduction.

But.
Back by popular demand.
It's as if the fates had this all lined up.
First the CSPBFF tells me I need to right this blog and write this blog.
Then JV, one of my old corporate coffeemates tells me she misses me.

You guys!
You really do know how to make a kid blush.

So here I am, with the grand return of VOTR.
I have to say you haven't missed all that much.
Still working, although things are starting to irritate me.
Which probably means I'm a bit too invested.
It's the midwestern in me, what can I say?

Things that have happened that I've been thinking about.
E and I are probably going to consolidate our debt, which would enable us to get out of pesky credit card debt alot sooner than if we didn't.
While we were both worried about his option at first, I realized we could keep our budget for booze/going out pretty much the same! And if we take home-booze out of the grocery budget, well. Who needs to eat when you have a box of Franzia to drink.
So I'm asking all my friends to bear with us as we navigate the waters of having (and sticking to!) a budget.

Another thing that happened that I have been thinking about is Obama's speech to Congress.
And the ridiculous outburst of Joe Wilson.
What I was REALLY excited about is there was a man being interviewed on NPR who basically said my thoughts exactly.
It's not only a ridiculous lack of respect, but if you compound this with the birthers' movement, the death panels, the nazi-sympathizers, etc, it's not just a difference of opinion. There is a deeper issue.
And I think we all know what this deeper issue is.
Color!
If this were a white male democrat, I don't think we would be having half of these issues.
Yes, we would still have those calling us libbies socialists.
But I'm convinced there would be no name calling, no birthers' movements.

And since we're on the topic of racism in American.
Serena Williams had what the press is calling a "meltdown" but what I would prefer to call "outburst" or "how I talk internally."
After missing match point at some tennis match (E will be divorcing me shortly for not knowing this), she said to the line judge, audibly "I will take this expletive ball and shove it down your expletive throat."
One of my favorite games to play after an incident like this is to think of the most ridiculous swear words:
I will take this shit ball and shove it down your ass throat.
I will take this dickie shiner ball and shove it down your thunder cunt throat (those ones actually make sense!)
What can you come up with?!
But back to the race issue.
I found this interesting because, I don't particularily like the Williams sisters.
I'm still stuck on Jennifer Capriatti.
But the fact that this was the HUGE news.
Was it because it was tennis?
Was it because it was lady tennis?
Was it because it was black lady tennis?
Most of me thinks it's because it's tennis, as John McEnroe also got alot of media attention for his "meltdowns."
But I don't think they were called meltdowns for him.
He was just an angry dude.
But ladies, or maybe just black ladies, can't be angry.
We have to have a meltdown, an emotional freakout, for us to use language that way.
Just some thoughts.

In television news:
The True Blood season finale was fantastic.
I heart that show.
And I wish vampers were real.

The Brewers are still playing baseball, and I have to say, I kind of enjoy watching baseball when every strike/hit/play doesn't mean we will/won't go to the playoffs. Now I just watch/listen for fun. And it's great.
Which I like to think makes me a True Blue Brew Crew fan.
Rhyming is fun.

I would also like to take this time to apologize to my readers for letting this dear blog fall by the wayside.
I was fairly depressed and/or sick the past couple of weeks and was in no way prepared to entertain the masses with my pithy remarks about what's going on in my world.
But you guys still love me.
Just like Jesus.

This weekend was E's film premiere.
And apparently I made a faux pas by telling the director of said film, when asked what I thought about the film, "It was better than I thought it was going to be."
Oops.
E will most likely never work in this town again.
I would like to defend myself by saying that E said this to EVERYONE he saw that night.
Everyone, except the director apparently.
Would have been nice to know that.
In more defense, I thought that having been trapped in a 40 minute phone call with this dude about film theory (after meeting him once), also entitled me to this answer.
Apparently not.

And if I ever made a film?
I would like all of you to be brutally honest with me.
Just an FYI.

My hair is getting ridiculously long, but I kind of like the side swoopiness of my bangs.
It's very Mandy Slade post-Maxwell Demon.
Which is actually a science term regarding paradox.
I learned that from Carl Sagan.

In other news, I made a delicious cinnamon-raisin bread which I had to give to my grandmother as part of her 12 month Christmas present.
But rest assured some of you will be receiving this for Christmas.
See above regarding budgets and bearing with me.

The bad news?
Summer is almost over.
But my tomatoes are growing and they are constant and delicious!
Plus I still have to harvest my carrots!
Gardening is radical.

The good news?
With summer ending comes everyone's favorite time of year.
HALLOWEEN!
Stay tuned for details.

Love is kind of crazy with a spooky little thing like you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Recession Part II; Week Three

Well I still haven't gotten fired.
Or "laid off."
But I did get two wee reprimands!
Yep.

Reprimand #1:
Passive aggressive in nature, said in front of almost the entire staff:
"Having a time issue, are we?"
Which I replied honestly, "Yep, I guess I can't seem to figure out the traffic."
Which is true.
The biggest thing about this job that I don't like is that it's 20-30 minutes away.
Which isn't a huge deal, I guess. The whole "beggars can't be choosers" adage.
But christ-on-a-cracker do I hate traffic.
I wouldn't hate it so much if it was the same everyday. If I could leave at the same time and get to work at the same time. But this doesn't happen in my world.
So I continue to hate traffic with a passion.
I hate it so much that I've resigned myself to getting to work 15 minutes early so I don't have to deal with it.
I hate it so much that I've decided to skip the freeway altogether and take the "backroads" there. Which adds about 10 minutes to my drive time, but I don't have to deal with multiple d-bags cutting me off only to slam on the brakes because there really was a reason I wasn't tailgating the person in front of me.
I would also like to note that with this many people currently out of work, I would really hate to see traffic when the recession is over.

Reprimand #2 was done privately, and in a friendly tone.
I found this reprimand quite hilarious, because it plays right into my whole "Homeless Barbie" routine.
As I'm sitting at my desk-ish area, the practice manager (PM) says to me, "Do you know the sole of your shoes is coming undone?"
"Oh that? Yeah, I guess." Then I pause and maybe shrug my shoulders, as I flip the part of the sole that is coming off of the shoe, not extremely noticeable in my opinion, but whatevs. PM keeps kind of looking at me and my old old shoes.
"Is that I problem?" I ask. Thinking she's going to say something about slipping and falling, or a health issue.
"Well, it just looks kind of scruffy."
"Oh, alright. Well I will just wear other shoes then."
Because let's be real, it's not like I don't have other shoes. But I thought the way she went about it was just really funny. Like I almost had to control myself from laughing.
And to be clear, the rest of the staff, well most of them, wear CROCS.
Because THOSE are the epitome of class and non-scruffiness.
Even E was like, you should just wear your crocs.
To which I replied, "I don't want to be seen in public with those things on."
And he laughed.
Because it's true.
I will admit to owning crocs, but I wear them for their intended use, around the house and gardening.
And going into our gross basement.
Kind of like a rubber house-shoe.
Not to mention, the faux-sherpa lined ones are PERFECT for the winter-time and letting the dog out.
But we don't wear them to the store.
We don't wear them to bars.
And, I refuse to wear them to work.
At least at this point.
I have a super cute pair of pink and olive KangaRoos that I will be rocking at the Vet office from now on.
But that doesn't mean I will look any less homeless.
Just a fair warning.

Recession food:
Homemade black bean burgers made by E.
I have since deemed him the official BBB of our household.
They were delicious and will go excellently with the gazpacho that I whipped up today.
If we ever have expendable income, I think one of my first purchases will be a food processor.
Hand chopping the gazpacho veggies has deemed this necessary by my account.
But the gazpacho is delicious, especially for the first time ever making it! Here is the recipe, take from "The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook" by Karen Brooks, a cookbook picked up after our neighbor couldn't sell it at our neighborhood rummage sale. This recipe turned out great and I have to say, it ain't just for vegetarians! Not to mention, this recipe is vegan and requires no oven! And let's be real...it's been warm lately.

Gazpacho (cold spanish soup)
  • 4 tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 green pepper, chopped (I used a HUGE red pepper cos that is what we had)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 c. tomato juice (in true recession fashion, I didn't have tomato juice, but I thinned about a 1/2 c. of pasta sauce and made it into tomato juice!)
  • 1 1/2 cloves of garlic, crushed (I used about 3-4 cloves of garlic as it wasn't the freshest garlic around)
  • 1 tbsp. parsley (I have fresh basil so I coarsely chopped about a 1/3 c. of it)
  • 3 tbsp. oil (I used olive oil)
  • 3 tbsp cider or wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
  • salt and cayenned pepper to taste (I sprinkled a liberal amount of each)
  • 10 pitted black olives (I left these out, because while I love to draw olives, they are on the food I hate list)
In a large bowl mix all ingredients. Blend half of mixture and mix with unblended mixture. Add olives if you're using them. It says to serve with croutons, but I think it's delicious all on it's own.

In other news.
Tonight's tv schedule is looking to be tops:
True Blood
Mad Men
Hung
Entourage.
Although, I have to say, Entourage is kind of getting lame. Ari isn't as funny as he used to be, and all his friends just seem to be lame. I gues it's still better than network, but it truly is a mind suck and doesn't offer too much in the way of entertainment...but maybe something exciting is bound to happen. Whatevs.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Recession Part II; Week Two

Well I made it.
I've been gainfully employed for two weeks now.
Still haven't gotten fired, feel like I know what I'm doing a bit more.
But most importantly.
My first paycheck!
Without delving too much into the dire financial straits E and I seem t constantly be in (I really don't know how two people can be so bad with money, but voila!), the UI was getting hard to live on. Upon accepting this job, I was told it would be part time averaging 30 hours a week. When I worked this out with my hourly wage I was getting, subtracting out the taxes (well, an estimate of the taxes), I wasn't terribly excited at the weekly paycheck I would be getting. I took the job mostly knowing that it would EVENTUALLY get me out of the UI hole, plus eventual free vet care for the Super Code.
But Friday rolled around, and with great trepidation I logged into our bank account.
But to my surprise, my paycheck was almost $100 more than I expected!
Joy of joys!
My secret hope is that they "forget" they told me I was only supposed to get 30 hours a week, and keep letting me go at full speed.

In other news.

The 5K is COMPLETED!



The day begin wet, but by the time we got to the Sausage Haus it had stopped and it looked like I would be able to run my first 5K after all.
But then there was thunder.
Lightning.
The way you love me is frightening.
And the 5K was postponed for a half an hour.
We all huddled in the Sausage Haus, listening to the sounds of De La Buena, and eating our free snacks and coffee provided by Alterra.
After my second cup of coffee, my hands were sufficiently pruned and were losing feeling, as I was soaked to the bone and it was kind of cool out. I knew, however, that once I started running the blood would beging flowing again.
Finally they announced the race would start at 9:20.
So two hours after arriving, picking up my goody bag and free t-shirt, I finally took my place next to other soaked people.
And then we were off.
As predicted, I forgot about the cold, wetness of me, and focused on heating myself up, so I may have ran faster than usual trying to get the blood flowing to all of my digits. But with ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" playing, how could you not run fast?!
Towards the end, I did get tired, but there was something exhilirating about running with a huge group of people, knowing that E was waiting for me at the end, and as cheesy as it sounds, having people clap when you finish.
Not to mention, the endorphin rush was perfection and lasted until about 3 pm that day!
Official time:
31:37
I was 462 over all.
34th out of 53 in my division.
150th out of 316 for my sex.
So I completed a goal!
5K-check.
Ran the whole thing-check.
Ran it under 45:00-check.

Next on the list, training for an 8K in October.
Which I think will be alot harder than training for a 5K, but I have two months to do it.

In dog news, it appears that we will be fostering a greyhound mix puppy.
Yep.
You heard right, a puppy.
I think by the time we get him he will be about 8 months old.
We've been told he has ADD, and has an insane level of energy, but with my training getting a little more intensive, we (okay maybe just me) thought it would be a fun challenge.
His name?
Logan, soon to be Detective Logan (Chris Noth's character from L&O):




I will let you know how this Adventure in Fostering goes.

In other L&O news, it turns out that our CSPBFF's M&Z are going to a wedding which will have Jeremy Sisto featured as a groomsmen. I have asked them to report back on his height, because he is a tv bf of mine, and he seems really tall. Plus he's beardy!
This has made me realize that E and I really don't know enough people.
*SIGH*
M&Z also alerted us to a Pick-n-Save on the southside that has beans in bulk! For cheap!
And how to make said beans in a slow cooker! Thanks guys!

On the docket for next week:
Brewers v. Padres, the ol' Castraburch rivalry.
Me pops' b-day/tailgate party.
E's dad and "step-mom" will be staying at the Castraburch B&B.
And perhaps the most important of all:
August 13 is National Left-Handers' Day!
Know a lefty?!
(and if you're reading this blog, you most assuredly know a lefty!)
Thank them for being so awesome.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Recession Part II; Week One

As you can see from the title of this blog, I have divided this recession into parts.
According to my calculations we are in the second stages of the recession.
The job part.

As I stated before, my new gig will most likely be quite comparable to the unemployment I was getting. So while it's not exactly a step up, hopefully I will do this job well and get my scheduled raises, and then it WILL be a step up. Not a huge step. But a baby step...and soon I will be able to say:




And to keep the nautical theme going, the first week of the new gig just sailed on by.
As most of you know, I hate being the new kid.
People who know me find this to be shocking, as most people say I'm outgoing.
But this is true only in situations where I feel comfortable.
So if I don't know anybody AND I have no idea what I'm doing.
It spells critical uncomfortability for Jj.
However, if we were allowed to drink on the job, this might change.
I'm just being honest here, folks.

With that being said. By the end of the week I was at least treading water. I was able to take some phone calls, schedule some appointments, answer some questions, etc. So I'm hoping by the end of next week things will be better.

I haven't been fired yet, so that is a plus.

What I find humorous about the job is how BUSY/CRAZY everyone says it is.
Obviously they have never worked at a coffee shop when you have a line out the door.
So it doesn't seem that crazy (knock on wood). But maybe I just don't know enough about anything yet.
Which could totally be the case.
This is what I do know:
1. We get lots of birds.
2. The dr's, thus far, have been incredibly nice and approachable, which is a nice switch from other mecial practices I've worked at (vet and human).
3. The people seem pretty nice, I suppose. Lots of moms. I think I will get along with the other receptionist quite well as she reminds me a bit of my mom in her demeanor and how she relates to people. Plus she has a huge St. Bernard mix that I got to see. So so cute.
4. It's already 100% less depressing than the WHS. PLUS!

I will keep you posted as to how week two goes.

In other news:
The 5K training is coming to an end!
I run my 5K on SATURDAY!
I'm not looking to win (obs), just to run the whole thing. This could be quite the task as I totally slacked on training this week, due to E's wonky schedule. But this week we should be good to go. Upon completion of the 5K, I'm considering keeping the training going and training for the Al's Run, or I think now it's known as the Brigg's Stratton Corporate run for Kids or something.
For us native Milwaukeeans, it's Al's Run.
This would be an 8k in October, which would mean two months to add another 3Ks.
We'll see.
We'll see how the 5K goes.

Farm Share news!
Well E and I have been very successful eating most, if not all of our farm share during the week.
Most of the time we both enjoy what I prepare.
I'm not afraid to try making new things, knowing that usually E or I will end up eating it.
I've also learned I don't like beets, but at least I did try them.
Yesterday was a fail and a half for me:

Upon receiving our farm share and divvy-ing everything up I realized we had a lot of carrots. Upon looking through the vast array of cookbooks I have acquired, I found two recipes that looked interesting.

The first was a carrot salad, taken from the cookbook PO got me for my birthday:

This is a vegan recipe and while I thought it was interesting, and I will eat it, E didn't like it at all, and I probably won't make it again, although it was incredibly easy:
  • 1/2 lb carrots
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 sm. clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
  • salt to taste
Peel carrots; grate on the large holed side of a four sided grater. Transfer to a bowl and stir in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, chives and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Like I said, the recipe is incredibly easy, but there was something about it that seemed "too much." We couldn't decide if it was the lemon juice, or if it was because I used fresh-from-the-farm-super-punguent garlic. I should also note we did not have chives, so I skipped those. That may have helped. This was the half-fail recipe. All though now that I think about it I may try it again but with the chives. We'll see.

The epic-fail recipe I made was a dish called Carrot Timbales, which I had never made before. And although the process seemed rather long, it wasn't anything we could handle...I thought we would be making mini-quiches as the recipe called for this egg/milk mixture to be mixed with the carrots and onion. Except then in got weird. Then it instructed us to put ramekins in casserole dish, fill with hot tap water (the casserole dish) so only a 1/3 of the ramekin wasn't in the bath, and then cover with foil. They cook then you open the oven door, loosen the foil and cook for another 10 minutes. Then you let them sit for ten minutes and invert them and eat them.

After putting the casserole dish/ramekins in the oven E became enlightened with some information:
E: Jj I don't think you're going to like this recipe.
Jj: Why?
E: Well I think the reason we have to do the water thing and cover with foil is that we're steaming the eggs.
Jj: Ew. So they will be like poached eggs?
E: Yeah, I think so. But I could be wrong.
Jj: I'm totally not going to like this.

So we waited. We followed the instructions and.
E was right.
It was like five little poached eggs meals.
And if you know anything about me, it's that I only eat eggs dry.
Scrambled hard.
Quiche baked well.
There cannot be a hint of ooze from the eggs.
And these were the ooziest of ooze. Steamed eggs.
Whoever thought of such an idea?
Ga-ross.
However, if you like steamed eggs, and vegetables, this could be the recipe for you.
Email me and I will email you the recipe if interested.

Another Epic fail?
The Brewers. My team is slowly bleeding out and there is nothing I can do. First we lose to the Nationals. Now the Padres.
To clarify:
The Nats have the worst record in ALL of the MLB.
The Pads are in LAST in the NL West.
The good news is that E is a Padre fan, so there is at least that.
But still.
Ugh.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 139

NEWS!

Now I know some of you may find this hard to believe but...

I GOT A JOB!
(throws confetti, shakes noisemakers, cheers)

It's true.

Here are some FAQs regarding my new employ:

What will you be doing?
I will be working as a receptionist/assistant at a vet clinic. This clinic also sees snakes, which I'm not terribly excited about, but I will cope. It also sees some wildlife which will be pretty cool, I think and will take me back to my Junior DNR Ranger days.

When do you start?
I start this Monday!

Are you excited?
Yes, I suppose one could say I'm excited. I hate the beginning stages of any job because I don't like not knowing what I'm doing.

You're still going to blog aren't you?
Yes, unfortunately the job pays *basically* the same as unemployment, for now. So the recession is still in full swing! Not to worry. You will still get to hear about how the recession-filled life is going, among other things.

The funny thing about this job, is I got basically via networking.
I know, I know.
I hate networking.
I truly do hate it.
I think it's entirely not fair to people who don't have an in.
This is especially true in the entertainment industry, which E has toiled in.
It's truly not about talent, it's about who you know.
And I'm finding this is true not only in the entertainment industry, but in life.
It's all about luck, not necessarily hard work, but luck.
The New York Times magazine had a great article about this such fact.
A former drug addict, now New York Times reporter.
Ask him how he got where he is today?
Luck.
Ask any Holocaust survivor how they survived.
Luck.
Just so you don't think I'm this eternal pessimist.
Although I kind of am.

So I get a phone call one morning from a fellow greyhound adopter who tells me her vet office is looking for a receptionist and while she was currently happy with her work, she did think of me and gave them my name, and said if I was interested to give them a call.

Later in the day, I called had a phone interview right then and there, and then set up an interview for later in the week. Easy-peasy as some folks would say.

I then discussed the prospect with E. Unfortunately the job is not technically full time, although I think there is potential to make it such in the future. And unfortunately, the job doesn't pay "great." But I think, as mentioned above, it will be a wee bit more than unemployment.

We decided since we have become quite awesome at being poor, minus the parts where we don't get to do anything that involves money, that if offered the job, I would accept it.

Another perk I learned of during the interview was that they offer discounted vet care to their employees! Which is definitely great. Not that Super goes to the vet all the time, but once a year (or more for various other issues that come up) that will definitely save us some $$. So it's not all bad. And, if ever want to get another dog, this would surely be helpful.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 133

Perhaps it's because my day began with a little Christian rock from my childhood...White Heart's Fly Eagle Fly (posted so you can know what my childhood music scene was like):


Maybe it's because PO has continued the tradition of us watching True Blood together.
And in doing so we talk about how much we heart vamps then and now.
I think I can quote a lot of that movie.
It was truly one of my faves.
And began my love affair with Kiefer Sutherland.
Hearts.

Or maybe Don Henley does it to me everytime.
After dropping PO off I was driving down Vliet, which has a certain old school charm about it, and "End of the Innocence" comes on the radio.



Now as you know, I used to be what the kids call a hippie.
Except, I never, repeat NEVER liked the Grateful Dead, Phish, or reggae.
But I have always had an affinity for Bruce Hornsby.
Not Phil Lesh & Friends Bruce Hornsby, but 80s Bruce Hornsby.
My first thrift store 45 was Bruce Hornsby and the Range, "Mandolin Rain."
You don't know what you got 'til you lose it all...

So on the radio they say how Bruce Hornsby co-wrote the song with Don Henley, and as I'm driving down Vliet, looking at the neat early 60s font of Highland Lanes, and the cute barber pole outside of LA Barbers, not to mention the working class charm of the Wonderbar! and other countless establishments.

It made me think what a nice little plot of Milwaukee that is.
Clean.
Old and new melding together.
And at that moment I wished I was a photographer.
And let's be real.
Lots of people say they're photographers, or would love to be one.
But I'm not one of those people.
I know all too well that I have zero visual artistic ability.
My brain is meant to hold trivia and quotes.
And that is about it.
I have no spatial reasoning.
But I would love it if SOMEONE, someone with photographic talent would take like a series of pictures of the business establishments along Vliet.
Just an idea I have.

Usually this nostalgia thinking doesn't hit me until fall, but with my unemployment, my emotional seasons are all over the place.

Sappy?
Totes McGotes my friends.
Totes McGotes.
It happens.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 132

I realize the last couple of blogs have been kind of downers.
So today I'm going to show you the best parts of the recession!

1. Way way less junk mail.
No more pesky credit card offers. The junk mail that is received now is mostly from area schools trying to increase enrollment. I have no idea how I got on such a list, but alas. Anys, they are easy to recycle as no shredding is required and they go directly into the recycling box in the foyer!

2. Chocolate chip cookies!
I'm not a big sweets person, but every so often I can't resist a delicious homemade chocolate chip cookie! On a side note, I believe it should be spelled c-o-o-k-y, adding the i-e only in plural form. This is how it is spelled in numerous 19th century novels and I think I am going to try to bring it back.

3. Reading!
Cheap and easy and travels well. Not that I'm going anywhere, but if I had to go on the lam, I would have some entertainment.

4. Gardening!
While not necessarily cheap, it does provide some fun, watching my veggies grow from seeds (yeah that's right, bitches...SEEDS!) and now hang with soon-to-be-ripened fruit. It will be much cheaper next year as all I will have to buy is dirt and maybe some more seeds. Maybe.

Okay so this isn't an exhaustive list, but I was just trying to perk the ol' blog up a bit.

In other news.
After a two hour rain delay, the Brewers DID indeed win. And yes while there was a home run involved, the other runs came on small ball. Here's hoping they can earn some runs for Gallardo.

During the two hour rain delay I watched Mamma Mia, the musical based on a musical based on ABBA songs. I just wanted something light, and who doesn't love ABBA?
Okay, so lots of people claim to not like ABBA but you put on Dancin' Queen and the dance floor is packed:


I'm just sayin'.
But instead of a light-hearted romp, it was just dumb. Boring. Not very many hijinks. And to be fair, I wasn't expecting a lot from this movie. I actually kind of wanted to see it when it came out, now I'm dreadfully thankful that it just bided my time until the rain delay was over.
So I do not recommend this film. DISLIKE!
I'd stick with Grease or Hairspray or Tommy or Jesus Christ Superstar or Rocky Horror Picture Show.

What else did I do today, you ask?
I read 90 books.
Sort of.
I read:
90 Classic Books for People in a Hurry.
I found it at the ol' libes.
I know, I know, I'm technically supposed to be reading the book MG loaned me, but this one just called to me...AND I finished it in the car.
True.
It's great!
It takes 90 books and breaks them down into 3 graphic boxes, effectively giving you the beginning, middle and ending of each book.
Don't get me wrong, you won't be able to talk intelligently on any of the books mentioned, but you could at least nod along knowingly.
I highly recommend this book, PLUS it opened my eyes to a couple of books I haven't read/didn't know were books and I now want to read those (Who knew so many books written before 1980 were so desparate and suicidal?)
LIKE!

In other news:
I plan on watching Twin Peaks.
I've never seen it, and am not the hugest David Lynch fan, but I do love Kyle McLachlan (especially in Showgirls...wait, what?). And I remember all the buzz when it first came out, when I was a wee lass.
I will definitely let you know if I get caught up in it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 131

You wanna know a fun game to play?
Why your life is better than mine.
Today is a prime example.

While the day began okay, I couldn't shake an inexplicable exhaustion.
I didn't go to bed so late.
I thought I slept okay.
But upon waking up at 8-ish to let the dogs out, it became quite apparent that I wasn't going to be able to stay awake.

3 hours later I forced myself to wake up, fiddled around on the internet, and made myself go on a run, no less tired.

The good news, is the run was a success. I completed all parts of the run, no matter I was "jogging" at a snail's pace for the last two songs. But I pulled a Kate Bush and did not give up.

Upon entering the house I see crimson splatters on the ground, along with assorted trash strewn about.
Supes.

Upon further inspection it appears that Super escaped from the guest room, although she's been having slumber parties there with Sandy each night. Apparently she couldn't take yet another game of dog Truth or Dare.
And apparently pulled the butter and the accompanying dish off of the microwave (which is about chest high on me, a five-nine or ten-er). And she had apparently cut herself somewhere.
As luck would have it she cut (probably more like a scrape) on her muzzle, no stitches, no pricey trip to the e-vet.

E gets home and is preparing for his tennis tournament, when we hear a loud pop. Upon looking out the window we see nothing unusual, perhaps a garbage can, as our block has amassed a ridiculous amount of them, fell over.

E leaves and shortly after returns.
The sound we heard was our tire blowing out.
Again.
And.
As you know, it's not like we have extra money to throw away on things like tires.
Okay so a tire is a necessity, but it's not like we have extra money to throw away on ANYTHING.
Not to mention most tire places only take cash, which for us is at a premium.
Not like I'm ever thrilled when forced to use a credit card for anything.
Maybe I should just turn to drug dealing.
Mary Louise Parker seems to be doing okay for herself.

Anyway.
The tire will be replaced, hopefully E won't miss out on his tennis tournament, as those cost some skrilla as well.

I'm not an optimist at all, but I have to assume that things are going to turn around?
But then I think, why should they?
Homeless peoples' lives generally don't turn around.
I think this is the point that most people find religion.

In other, more frivolous news:
I actually started the sitcom!
YES!
Even if it turns out to be super lame and just a webisode, at least it's something!

And.
I checked out Scarlet's Walk by Tori Amos from the library. I used to have this album, and still have all the packaging, but somehow lost the cd in the move. Anyway.
I absolutely loved this album when I had it (this was during my Ryan Adams' "Gold" and Decibully phase--these were the three albums I played almost incessantly). And upon listening to it again, I still love it!
Which for me is weird cos I'm kind of done with the whole chick singer thing (okay so that is a bit of a lie, I did just recently check out a Keren Ann cd and liked it). But Tori Amos is very freshman year of college, but this album still brings me bliss.

I've also finished reading "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thanks CSPBFFs for loaning this to me! It wasn't nearly as scientific as I expected, but that could be for the ridiculous in-depth Psych 101 class I took at Northland College, which I actually did well in. Who knew Jj and science could ever mix?

I'm currently reading another book on loan from the CSPBFFs "The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori" by Robert Barnard. It's a mystery, which I've decided I enjoy reading because they give me a sense of accomplishment, but tend to always be a let down at the ending. So I will give this one a go.

Recession news!
I've interviewed for a receptionist position at a vet clinic.
While it's not copywriting, it SOMETHING that I would at least be okay at (I think) and the perks are pretty good (basically comped vet visits and discounted vaccines and such!). So I have to take that into consideration as vet care is an expense.
Plus there really is nothing else out there.
I should find out by the end of next week if I get it.
Obs I will keep you posted.

Also, does anyone eat beets?
Yesterday, in a great recession moment, I made a beet salad.
This particular beet salad called for beets, pineapples, lemon juice, honey and salt.
I've never eaten beets before (but I've danced to beats, and I've read beats), I thought I wouldn't let these pretty vegetables go to waste.
It was a good feeling having my hands stained red.
I felt like a real farmer.
Especially since...
My tomato plants have green fruit on them!!!
My plants that I raised from seed are sprouting real, live tomatoes!
YES!
Anyway.
Back to beets.
So I've never had beets before, but these taste really, EARTHY.
Is this normal?
I would say they taste dirty, but it's not that.
It's like an earthy taste.
I'm just wondering if this is normal.
I can't say the salad was fantastic. It's okay, but the earthiness of the beets and the sweetness of the pineapple and honey seem like a weird combo to me.

It should also be noted that as a belated birthday gift PO, who has basically become my recession benefactor, gave me a fabulous coffee table/cook book about fresh vegetables from farmer's markets (Fresh From the Farmer's Market)! This week we get fennel and I can't wait to use the recipes listed as I have no idea how to use fennel..
PO you are awesome, and thanks for buying me drinks when I only have $2 in quarters (AA you helped in this one too).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 130

During my blog hiatus, I'm not gonna lie.
A lot of television was consumed.
I mean.
I read and stuff too.
But after 100+ days in this recession, the fact that I am:
1. still unemployed, with no "real" prospects.
2. becoming even more poor than I ever thought humanly possible
3. trying not to go even further into debt due to my awesome non-job getting skills

I had a bit of the recession depression.
E is extremely capable of not worrying about finances, but I don't have that talent.
Maybe it's because I do the bills, but almost daily I go over our finances and almost daily I have a mini-anxiety attack.
Will it ever get better (knowing E's and my track record, not effing likely)?
When will it end (see above parenthetical statement)?

So rather than sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I decided to sit around and feel better about myself.
Yep.
I can't afford real therapy.
Well, let's be real. I can't afford much of anything at this point.
So I decided to enlist the help of television.
And I took to watching shows that would make me feel better about my own life.
I should note: By "watching" I mean I took in an episode or two (sometimes even less than this!). These aren't shows I DVR or even advocate watching, unless you like train wrecks or are going through a bout of recession depression yourself.
These shows were:

Clean House--ridiculously messy houses full of junk, and then a spunky team comes and de-clutters and re-models. I watch this because I am a messy person. One could say slob-ish. But I am not as bad as these houses. Yay!

Animal Cops--okay so the episodes I was watching dealt mostly with animal hoarders. And because animal hoarders are crazy people, their houses are/were even worse and MORE disgusting than the Clean House people because there is always animal feces/urine everywhere.
GA-ROSS. So while I may think it's gross when a foster dog pees on the floor, I always clean it up. And we don't have so much garbage that you can only see the top of the couch. One of the houses was actually like this.

Ruby--apparently if you are so fat that you are going to die you get your own television show. I'm not trying to sound super callous here, but she has a team, a TEAM of people helping her lose weight from every angle (psychologically, physically, nutritionally, etc.). I don't understand how she got this show (cos she's so positive? so cute? so southern?) but I find it highly annoying when people who have personal trainers, nutritionalists, etc, are complaining on how hard it is to lose weight. Are you effing kidding me? Is this really callous of me? I know people who have lost weight all by themselves...people who's weight/food has been an issue all their lives and they did it via the library and self discipline. Why no shows about them? Anyway, I only watched half of this show because I found Ruby to be grating and annoying and whiny and I really don't like southern accents. But the whole time I did watch this show, I felt incredibly skinny. Maybe that is why this show is so popular? Everyone feels better about THEMSELVES after they watch it?

16 & Pregnant--Thanks MTV! Way to celebrate the epidemic that is teen pregnancy! I have no idea what this show is trying to promote because it is not "don't get pregnant!" The episodes I have seen have been "Oops, I got knocked up, but I have a family that is supportive of me so this won't REALLY affect my life that much except I'm getting so fat! I'm so tired! My friends don't invite me places with them!" And of course, the end of the show is them with their super-cute baby happy as can be. I did see on an up and coming episode that one teen actually might give up her baby for adoption. Thank god. I would prefer a show about teens that have sex and, garsh, DON'T get pregnant.
Because guess what.
It's totally possible.
It's totally possible to prevent pregnancy.
And seriously, what about abortion? I would assume that on MTV (or my idea of what MTV should be) this could at least be a conversation. But apparently this is too controversial? Unless there was a "very special abortion episode" that I missed. Because honestly, I've only seen one and a half episodes.
Mostly due to the amount of vomit in my mouth.

In other news:
I would like to thank PO for treating me to a very special recession lunch the other day.
You totes didn't have to, and I'm totes appreciative.
And I'm really happy about your academic ways.
And I will help you study.
And by help I mean drink your beer and play with your dog.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 129

The worst part about not keeping yourself up to date on your blog is counting back the days.
Where did I leave off?
What has happened since then?

To sum up:
  • Michael Jackson is still dead. He is not Jesus. Nor is he a vampire. Nor is he a zombie. Of course this does not stop the media from STILL reporting on the legalities of his offspring, music, etc.
  • I still don't have a job. Despite what seems like a blistering amount of resumes sent out, applications submitted, this victim of the recession is still unemployed. In fact, I think I may be getting WORSE at interviews. Mostly because I've become bitter about this whole recession.
  • I've started training for a 5K. I know you runners out there will laugh and guffaw at this, as you most likely run a 5K for your morning run. But slovenly, alcoholic types like me need to train for such an affair. The good news is I don't hate it, and my pants fit better. The bad news? I need new running shoes and most #Ks need a registration fee. Of course the money goes to whatever you're running for, but still. For this unemployed future marathon runner (that is my goal in all of this), it's money that I, quite frankly, don't have.
  • I've been reading. Since my last blog posting I think I've read 3 books. I like to read.
  • I've contacted some grad school people. As it appears that I will never work in this town again, I might as well do something that I really love--theorizing and looking too cool for school. I'm not counting on this, but I think I really would like to go back. And do well.
  • E and I have begun the super-duper beginning stages of writing a sitcom. My goal is to have an episode done by the end of this week. I have had a major case of the ol' writer's block so I'm hoping this will jumpstart something.
  • I still hate the Cubs.
  • Prince Fielder won the home run derby. Say what you will about the All-Star Game, the All-Star Break, but it was pretty cool to see ALL the players in the HR derby go nuts with homeruns. And I'm a small-ball person.
  • I'm still in love with the library.
  • I am now the secretary of the Cold Spring Park Neighborhood Association. Which means I will be taking notes at the meetings. I was doing this anyway, but this also means, unofficially, that I will be making sure people actually do what they say they are going to do. Because I am bossy.
  • MTV has the worst programming ever. Expect posts soon about this fact.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 117

I hope Anberlin wasn't foreshadowing things to come in my library ways.
For today's cd's were quite awful.
Remember.
I'm trying not to judge cd's by their cover, but these two covers did provide adequate warning:




Both were awful in their own respects. I won't go into it here.
But let's just say the covers were a warning.
They were a warning.

Today was spent trying to train Rice how to get in and out of a car a little better. He kind of got it towards the end. We will try again tomorrow.

It also turns out that I will be able to go to a Brewers vs. Cards game, complete with tailgating!
This is exciting, as this could prove pivotal for the NL Central.

Another amazing thing happened yesterday.
Call in liquid courage, but I actually watched the entire Brewers-Cubs game last night.
Even though we were down by 7 runs in the 5th inning, I decided to not fair-weather it.
I'm not gonna lie, sometimes I get a little angry.
And while the expletives were flowing, I only took a break after Lee's grand slam (still grrr-ing about that).
And it was quite heartening to see Brewer fans in the crowd at the end of the game, down now only by four runs, which at least is a respectable number, up and cheering with their rally caps on.
And let's be real, if it were a Cubs defecit, Wrigley would have been half empty.
So thanks Brewer fans.
Thanks for staying classy, and staying at the game.

And I think this is the root of the Cubs vs. Brewer rivalry.
It's not so much that we hate the CUBS as we hate their fans.
We hate that Chicago ATTITUDE.
Chicago spends spends spends.
And we are truly blue collar--working the farm system, making smart picks now in hopes that they will pay off.
Chicago thinks they are "OWED" a series. They're the love-able losers. Curses curses curses!
Are you effing kidding me? I will allow a bad call here and there, hells, I'm still angry about the Braves-Brewers game two years ago that had seriously some of the worst umping I've ever seen.
But to blame curses? And curses not even made by real witches or warlocks! Curses made by a person trying to smuggle a goat into a baseball game, or the black cat. Or Bartman. Well that is what you get for having the world's douchey-est fans. They screw up your game for you. To quote Beyonce, "You've made your bed, now lay in it."
Whereas the Brewers only made it one game further than the Cubs in last year's playoff race, after that oh-so-disheartening loss, Brewer fans stood up and cheered, a final "Let's Go Brewers," a sort of curtain call for the season we had all waited so long for.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 116

As you know I've been fairly lucky with my library selections:
Music I've loved, books/authors I will continue reading, movies that don't suck!

Well the streak was bound to end.
Have you heard of a band called Anberlin?
I hadn't either.
So I decided to not judge cd's by the cover (oh how I wish cd's would come with like little blurbs on the back, "If you like Blippity Bloo, you will probably like this. Their power-pop, blah blah...I would find this helpful.)
So I plop the ol' cd into the disc drive so I can listen while tooling around the interwebs.
And itunes tells me it's "Christian/Gospel."
WHAT?!?!
So I look at the lyrics, and nothing seems over Jesus vs. Satan, or filled with holy love.
So I think, well I will just give it a listen anyway.
Because I do love me some old school MWS and Amy Grant.
But instead it was that awful, like, Fall-Out Boy, icky nasal voices, fake punk/pop crap.
So I didn't hate it cos it was Christian.
But because it was bad.

I stayed on track (pun totally intended) and went for a run today.
It wasn't easy.
But I got through it.
I'm thinking of upping my run portion to 5 songs, rather than just four.
But I don't know.
I just don't know.

After the subsequent shower, we traveled down to Waterford to see my mom who was visiting my aunt.
I also got to see my "sister" Mya.
Mya is a dog.
And was procured after my brother and I had moved out, but before the divorce.
Pops generally has custody of Mya, but Mader was watching her this week while D was out in Colorado working for my uncle's catering company.
Adult Child of Divorce.
Maybe that could be the name of a new blog.
Or at least a band.

Foster news:
It appears my foster dog, Rice, will be adopted this weekend.
We knew he was just a short termer, but he is so good, and he's starting to act goofy with us.
We will miss him, but think that his new life on the road will be enjoyable and that his new mom will be very lucky!

Day 115

I would like to comment on paper applications.
While I DO think the "writer" job at Food Company P would be fun, it's frustrating that I have to fill out a four page application, send a cover letter, a resume, and samples.

Frustrating because if this goes the way of any other paper application job, I will not even receive a phone call.

So I've expended all this energy making sure I don't make any mistakes, making sure my handwriting is legible, etc. It's just frustrating.
It takes alot out of me.
But at least I know I've applied for all the writer-ly jobs out there.

In other news.
I recently checked out Season One of the Sarah Silverman Program.
And it's really freaking funny.
I don't know if you've ever seen it. I don't think it's on anymore, but eff.
E and I were both cracking up.
Here's a quote:
"And I wish the retarded... were re-smarted / That's what I wish. "
PERFECT!
And all thanks to the library.
Good ol' libes.

And the Crew won, securing a series win vs. the Mets.
Tomorrow: day game with Gallardo pitching.
It will most likely be low scoring because whenever Gallardo pitches, we cannot, for the life of us manufacture runs.
But you never know.
The boys have kept swinging recently.

Things have just been incredibly boring here.
I've been reading.
Watching mostly bad television and movies.
Oh yes.
Something I would like to comment on:

Anna Faris.
As some of you know, pre-recession I subsribed to various magazines including Bust, Bitch, Martha Stewart and the Advocate. I can only imagine what our USPS-er though.
Although I can't find it (figures) I swear I read an article in Bust (or maybe a website somewhere?) that was like in love with Anna Faris.
And I couldn't really figure it out.
She plays the same role in everything she's in:
The Ditzy Blonde, and not ditzy like Resse Witherspoon in the Legally Blonde series or Cher in Clueless who might have superficial tastes but are smart.
She plays truly pretty but dumb characters.
Using her sex to get whatever she needs.
And I can't imagine why people are embracing her as this like new kind of funny-it girl.
Really?
So while I didn't have high hopes for "The House Bunny" I thought maybe it would be better than I expected.
Usually the lowest of the low expectation result in "Meh."
This time however, my lowest expectations were met.
It was actually worse than I expected.
What's even worse is that this was written by women.
Boozoes.
And the same ones who wrote Legally Blonde in 2001.
How does that happen?
I'm not saying Legally Blonde is the greatest feminist film of all time, but for how popular it was, I thought it sent a pertinent, but also fun message to all the girly girls out there. You can be pretty and girly and not have to dumb yourself down.
And this is an actual issue in today's educational system. Girls' math and science scores drop dramatically when they hit puberty. Because it's not cute to be smart.
And it's not like this ends after Jr. High.
Which is apparently the point this movie is making.
Hopefully you can be cute, because no one likes smart non-slutty-dressing girls.

So I thought the House Bunny might be similar, with Faris' Shelley, teaching the misfit girls' to use their strenghs to advance their cause (in this case their sorority).
But instead there is a shopping/makeover monatage and all they use is their sexuality to get what they want.
And.
Even if I'm overlooking this fact, (the lack of story, or how I don't like the story)--it just wasn't funny at all. And people were comparing her to Lucille Ball and Goldie Hawn? Is this a joke?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 114

That's the sound of the man.
Working on the chain.
Gay-eee-ang.

False.
That clickety clackety you hear is the sound of me sending out e-rezzies/apps to every company known to mankind.

On the one hand I should be thankful that there are actually jobs in my field to apply to.
On the other hand, I will probably just be up against the same 500 applicants that I "beat out" for the job I didn't get at Company Z.

K Publishing is looking for a copywriter. Resume emailed.

C Ad Agency is looking for a part-time copywriter. Resume emailed.

D Ad agency is looking for a Marketing Communications person. Resume emailed.

P Food Company is looking for a writer.
Application pages 1-3 downloaded and printed but then printing paper ran out.
This is my life.
Eff my life.

I guess this isn't the slew of jobs I had claimed, but I do have to search through about 7 different jobber sites hoping something will catch my eye, and/or I will be qualified for.
This is how my Mondays are spent now.
Slogging thru job websites looking for SOMETHING that I won't hate and am qualified for.
Boozoes.

The good news is that I started my running back up today.
And while it was a bit of a killer, I definitely feel better after I do it.
And.
Dare I say it?
I think, THINK it might actually be helping me fit into my jeans better.
I will keep you posted.
Who needs a gym when you got legs?
Eh?
Full disclosure:
I still miss the gym.
But re-joining is way down on the list of things to happen whence I get a job.

Onto other news:
The BREWERS!
Are winning.
And thus, I'm a happy person.

I watched a horrible movie starring Bruce Willis and Halle Berry, "A Perfect Stranger."
I've decided that while attractive, I don't think Halle Berry is a good actress.
At least she wasn't in this film.
Or it was written so poorly it didn't matter, but everyone else was manageable.
So I'm thinking it's her acting skills.
And why does she pick such awful films?
But.
Maybe this one would have been better had she acted better.
One of those chicken/egg quandries, I suppose.

Day 113

BASEBALL STUFF!!!

Due to the fact that my foster dog forces me to wake up early every day, I had time to watch yesterday's game, which was pretty awesome.

Upon finishing that game, I settled on the couch for the live game.
Jason Kendall bobble head.
Which I should have known would prove to be a loss, as it seems they always seem to do poorly on bobble head days.
Plus I'm surprised Jason Kendall even agreed to do a bobble head. I don't think I've ever seen that guy smile.
Even when he does a good job, he's always super serious.
Which I kind of like.
Total gamer, that guy.

Anyway, we had two phone calls asking me whether we were going to the game.
Whlie I think all fan give-aways are a great way to attract crowds, as they are almost always sell-outs.
I really don't like going to those games. Plus let's be real. We are super broke.
1. It's always amateur hour. Especially with day games. So you have people who don't know anything about baseball talking smack. Which is annoying.
2. Super crowded. Which means: lines for bathrooms, lines for food/drink (although E and I have started to bring our own food/drink), and lines make it harder to navigate the concourse
3. Almost inevitable, someone tries to start the wave. Which is annoying, and I hate it. If you find a baseball game so boring that you have to do something that decidedly takes away from other spectators viewing said sport, you should not go to the game.

So I watched the game in the comfort of my own home, where I listen to people who are knowledgeable about the sport make comments, that make me feel smarter because I said them moments before, or I whole-heartedly agree.

Needless to say it was not a game to remember. It was a shut out and I took a nap during inning 2-7. Not like I missed much.

After my nap, I had dinner on the brain and we decided on stuffed zucchini, which was super duper delicious and fairly easy to make. I hope we get more zucchini in our next farm share, as I would love to make it again. The recipe came from the 1952 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, that JT got me a while back from the antique store:


The recipe is as follows:
Pre-heat oven to 350F
  • 6 med. zucchini (we used three)
  • 3 c. bread crumbs (we used 1 1/2 c.)
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 tbsp. parsley (I used a combo of oregeno, rosemary and thyme, but thought the thyme and rosemary were over-powering)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp butter
Wash zucchini, cut off ends; don't pare. Cook in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes.
Halve lengthwise; remove pulp with spoon; combine with bread crumbs, cheese, onion, parsley, salt, pepper and eggs.
Fill zucchini shells; dot with butter; sprinkle with more cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Day 112

Saturday!
In the park!
I think it was the fourth of July!

Just kidding.
But it is saturday.
And while we didn't hang out in a park.
We did get to hang out with a lot of our besties today.
And by alot I mean three:
PO
and
M&Z

M&Z hosted a bbq at their house and as asian slaw is probably some of the greatest recession food ever, I ran to the market to pick up a couple ingredients, plus some juice so I could make adequate hooch to bring to the party.

And I would like to comment at how much I hate Pick-N-Save.
1. I can find nothing there.
2. How do they NEVER have enough checkers?
3. You still have to use one of those swipey savings card things. LAME.

I totally prefer Sentry, at least the Sentry that is by our house.
And by our house, I mean in 'Tosa.

M&Z had said I could bring a friend, and PO and I had previously made plans to watch True Blood that evening anyway. The advent of M&Z's bbq just meant we could start drinking earlier without seeming like alcoholics.

It was a funfun time at the bbq, booze, hookah, fun peeps, PO actually played with a child, and let's call a spade a spade here.
She was really freaking good with Kai.
I'm nowhere near as good with children as she is.
TRUEZOES!

After most people left, the rain started to come down and we headed in for a game of Settlers of Catan.
Which is really fun.
Well, at least 4 of the five people there thought it was really fun.
PO didn't think it was.
But after the game was over, realized that maybe it was because she hadn't played before.
And I'm sure having four people who had been drinking since 3 try to explain a strategy game to you, isn't the easiest way to learn.

We headed back to our house, E disappeared into sleeptown, and PO and I watched the first two episodes of True Blood, good times on the bayou, indeed.

I then drove PO home and realized that I really can't eat veggie burgers whilst drinking.

I checked the Brewer score and saw that it was a game to remember (walk-off hits are always a good time, plus secured the series win!) and fell asleep with a smile on my face.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 111

While I would love to say that today was filled with awesomeness and unicorns.
It wasn't.
I mean.
Don't get me wrong, it was a pretty good day.
Despite submitting my UI claim three days late, it still came on time.
Which, at this point, really just means the bills can continue getting paid.
Is this depressing?
Kind of.
But that is what the recession does to you, folks.

Another thing it does is make you prioritize what you really NEED.
For instance:
E gets weekly tips from his job.
Usually, providing we didn't go crazy the week before, we use his tips to buy groceries.
And since we get a weekly farm share, most of our groceries are super basics like cheese, eggs, and dry goods (rice, pasta, flours, etc.)
And one of the things we have deemed "appropriate" to buy is alcohol.
E usually gets a twelve pack of beer, I usually get a bottle of wine, one could argue that I should be drinking boxed wine, but I always pick a bottle out of the clearance cart.
If we ever get in the black again, I will continue my bulk wine purchasing ways and buy bottles from Trader Joe's. Cos the white really wasn't that bad at all.

In other news.
I had a delicious breakfast of home-made strawberry shortcake.
Although I totally dicked up the biscuit portion, they were still edible.
I also acidentally spilled too much vanilla into the whipped cream, so that was a little too "cool whip" tasting for me.
And I hate cool whip.
But all in all, for my first time making it.
I thought I did an alright job.
Not EVERYTHING I make can be awesome and perfect.
I mean.
Most of it is, but...