Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
charcoal gray yoga pants hemmed (unevenly) with scissors
pink cashmere socks
navy Bean boots
moth-eaten, 9 year-old black cardigan with non-functioning closures
hair pulled back in rubber band from the newspaper
And only an amateur would be satisfied with watering the plants, or unloading the dishwasher, in such an ensemble. A woman with real panache would wear it proudly through the drop-off line at school, waving like a pageant queen at everyone she knows.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Angela is on the phone trying to figure out where our friend Rhonda is.
Answer: in the ER with her son. [He's fine, but she missed the party.]
It was a really nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Letitia made The Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese bread, as well as chocolate fondue (chocolate soup!) and oatmeal cookies (and the flower arrangements). I set out some grapes, strawberries and pretzels, and made Granny's Lemon Pound Cake (which I overbaked, alas). There was also some chèvre with Letitia's cranberry-ginger preserves and crackers. Best of all, our friend Sophia made the best Sangria I've ever had, ever ever ever. [It's really light and almost floral. One should not underestimate its effects, however. You know who you are. (And you are very cute when you are drunk.)]
The soups were:
Chicken Corn Chowder -- Angela P.
Taco Soup (1) -- Biz
Mrs. Bernice's Beef Vegetable -- Claudet
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo -- me
Santa Fe Chili (aka Taco Soup 2) -- Katie
Peanut Soup -- Letitia
Sunshine French Onion Soup -- Letitia
Pumpkin Soup -- Lisa
Taco Soup (3) -- Patty
Italian Sausage and Kale Soup -- Sophia
Black Bean Soup -- Sophia
Tom Ya-- Veronica
So I'll try to post some of the recipes, but here's the most important one:
It's adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe.
2 large oranges: 1 juiced; 1 cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 large lemon, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup sugar
1 (750-ml.) bottle Pinot Grigio
6 - 8 ice cubes
Optional: 2 tablespoons triple sec
1. Add orange and lemon slices and sugar to large pitcher; mash gently with wooden spoon until sugar dissolves and fruit releases some juice but is not completely crushed, about 1 minute. Stir in orange juice, wine and triple sec (if using). Refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 8 hours -- the longer it sits, the mellower the drink.
2. Before serving, add ice cubes and stir briskly to redistribute settled fruit and pulp; serve immediately.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I did not know that life could be this good.
Let's just see what Mr. Keith has dreamed up for our gentlemen to wear.
What a terrific collection! Thanks, Toby!
*Oh, the stories I could tell. Here is a good one: my other (idiot, slightly-less-sleazy-but-with-more-felonies) ex-brother-in-law, Marc, had picked up a few arrowheads and was showing Jacob (Toby Keith doppelganger) his collection. Jacob asked, "So how did you find those? Did you use a metal detector or something?"
Couldn't make it up if I tried.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I was trying to think of a poem for today, and I found this one by Victor Buono, from his book, It Could Be Verse.
When flowers doze upon their lonely beds
And oaken sentries nod their noble heads
And piney cushions snug the cuddled fawns
And dewy gems bejewel the dreaming lawns,
I sit and wait in patience born of pain
For some sweet sonnet to ignite my brain.
And as Aurora lifts her rosey veil
My muse approaches - haggard, had and pale.
Fetid, fingered, rancid, rank and frowzy,
No wonder all my poetry is lousy.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
My friend Christy posted this on Facebook about her other half, and I thought it might serve as an introduction to the wonder that is Papi Chulo:
1. He's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen?
Lost, Heroes, or some other shitty sci-fi. Really, there is no sci-fi depth to which the man will not sink.
2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
3. What's one food he doesn't like?
Swiss cheese. Result of a one-time overdose in high school.
4. You go out to eat and have a drink. What does he order?
Bourbon or diet Coke; possibly both.
5. Where did he go to high school?
Bridge City High School, with all the cool people.
6. What size shoe does he wear?
Size 12. I'm a lucky lady.
7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be?
8. What kind of sandwich does he like?
9. What would he eat every day if he could?
Bacon. And why can't he?
10. What is his favorite cereal?
His answer was "cheese grits."
11. What would he never wear?
A Speedo. Too much sexy, you know.
12. What is his favorite sports team?
Bridge City Cardinals! Or the Astros.
13. Who did he vote for?
14. Who is his best friend?
15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do?
He wouldn't admit to anything, but the answer is probably "spend money."
16. What is his favorite color?
17. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake?
Tres leches, except I would buy it at El Bolillo.
18. Did he play sports in high school?
19. What could he spend hours doing?
Playing video games; laughing at the previous question.
20. What is one unique talent he has?
He can flap his wrist until it hits both his hand and his forearm. It's quite a sight.
Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Papi Chulo!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
A little something to help you forget that you are back in the office, slaving away for The Man again this morning:
To use it, you input the name of the item you want to buy, the URL where you found it, and the price you found. BeatMyPrice searches the Internet for better deals. There are a few other sites that do this, but I think this is the "smartest" one I've seen -- it doesn't come back with a lot of unrelated items, and it automatically searches for any available coupon codes. I really like the feature that lets you remove items from the list they generate with a single click (and no page reload). Check it out and see what you think.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The anti-Valentine, from that old sap, Robert Browning.
My Last Duchess
My Grandpa Oliver used to eat watermelon with salt. He also ate cornbread mashed up in a bowl and covered with milk and sugar. His favorite dessert -- the one he requested every year for his birthday -- was Pineapple Upside Down cake. And this is the drink he always ordered at The Pompano Club:
1.5 oz. Scotch
.5 oz. Drambuie
Pour the Scotch and Drambuie into an old-fashioned glass almost filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with the lemon twist.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The resulting cookies were subjected to a rigorous blind-tasting. By that I mean I gave them to my blind co-worker. Anyway, I think the universal favorites were the crunchy PB/ milk chocolate ones. The milk chocolate was also much easier to handle than the semisweet, although the crunchy PB was slightly trickier than the smooth. [A piece of advice: buy the brand-name Ritz crackers. They're less crumbly than the generic version.]
Now a few notes about technique: unlike the Girl Scouts' version of this cookie, I used a Ritz cracker to sandwich the PB. This made for a much easier chocolate dunking. Furthermore, while you can melt the chocolate in the microwave, I prefer to melt it in a bain-marie. I think this gives me more control, and more even melting. The microwave tends to overheat some areas of the bowl and under-heat others.
Finally, I found this the easiest method for coating the PB crackers: drop entire cracker sandwiches, up to 4 or 5 at a time, into the bowl of melted chocolate. Then fish them out of the bowl with a fork, shaking them a little bit to get rid of excess chocolate. Put them on wax paper to let them set. You'll probably want to store them in the refrigerator. And have some milk on hand.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Well, obviously, any place I go is cool, up to and including the Walgreens, but this place is supposedly cool even when I'm not around.
Little Big's is a new burger place. It has a nice patio. They serve what they call "sliders," but I think the burgers are rather too bulky to actually qualify as White Castle-style sliders. The burgers are good, though -- great buns, and the fries are nice, too (they're salted with sea salt). I didn't try the milkshakes, but they are probably good. There is a White Russian milkshake that I wanted to try, but I decided it wasn't worth braving the line twice.
They were having some service issues, and it was really crowded with two types of people: 1) people who desperately want to be hip, and 2) adorable boys from St. John's who will be pledging Pike at Texas in September. Plus me and Uncle John, and a few other fat old people who just wanted to sit down and eat our food within, say, an hour of arriving.
So I'd give them a few weeks to iron out the service issues, but they're worth checking out. FYI, we were at the Westheimer joint; the place at Hermann Park isn't open yet.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
2:20-- Seriously, WTF?
2:21-- What can I wear tomorrow that will allow me to sleep until 4 minutes before I have to be at work?
2:22-- Are my children really aliens?
2:35-- DUDE, WTF WITH THE CAR ALARM? THIS ISN'T PHILLY.
2:35-- I think the lamppost in the front yard is a symbol of everything I've always wanted.
2:37-- What can I do with the puff pastry in the freezer?
2:37-- Am I a bandwagon fan if I like Elizabeth Peyton?
2:38-- Has any car alarm in history actually stopped an auto theft?
2:39-- I really need a pair of black patent flats.
2:44-- And maybe a pair of burgundy ones.
2:45-- They can't get the alarm to stop.
2:46-- Where is Papi's gun?
2:49-- Why haven't I ever achieved anything in life? Have I always taken the easy way out?
2:50-- What can I eat for lunch tomorrow?
2:53-- What is the French word for sprezzatura?
2:55-- Dude, revving the engine isn't helping; think of something else.
2:55-- Why does Coldplay piss me off so much?
2:57-- If Emmet is sick again tomorrow, can I stay home with him and sleep in?
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
On Friday afternoons now I go to estate sales. My partner-in-crime wasn't with me, which is too bad because there were some really cute tin boxes there. I'm pretty sure she could squeeze a couple more into her house if she really tried.
So I got this silver paper doily -- perfect for a Valentine's box, no? -- and the two giant antique keys. I thought the kids would get a kick out of them. Emmet looked at them and said, "But what do they open?" THAT'S NOT THE POINT, BOY. Oh well.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I love the Love Bug and Butterfly boxes here
Some ideas for boys' Valentine boxes (good ideas -- no pictures, though)
And here are some actual Valentines, in case you're making those too. I'm sure your "Mother of the Year" sash is on its way to you right now.
Flickr Group: "Paper Valentines Swap"
Flickr Group: "FF's Snail Mail Valentines for Charity"
Flickr Group: Hearts from "The Magic of Nature" Pool. (You could just print these out on card stock and call it a day)
If you're satisfied with being Runner-Up to Mother of the Year, you could also use these free printables. [Each site has several designs.]
Skip to My LouShe also has a whirligig Valentine that a boy would like
This is the easiest Valentine craft of all, and, obviously, the one I will be attempting:
Finally, here's a link to Parenthacks' archive of Valentine hacks. Enjoy.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I guess some of you didn't get to see this ad during the Super Bowl -- apparently it only aired in Texas. Well, now you know: there is a dating website for married people. Shocking, no? I mean, shocking that people are willing to pay for it; isn't Craigslist free? Anyway, clutch your pearls, because here it is:
Monday, February 2, 2009
I think I've lost all patience for teenager movies.
Watching this one just reminded me of how long ago Heathers was.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
In honor of the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia, who were lost during re-entry on this day in 2003.
A Noiseless Patient Spider
by Walt Whitman