Friday, February 27, 2009

Blue & Gold Banquet

Gotta go set up the Cub Scouts' Blue & Gold Banquet tonight, so I'll leave you with this:

via. Buy his book; it's good.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What mamacita is ...

This was maybe the fourth time I tried to watch it.
Why is this movie so bad?

You can download Amazon's Stax Sampler for free right now.
"Buns O'Plenty" for everyone!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Admit it, you can't get enough

This is a test to see if my feed is somehow publishing each post twice.

How Crazy People Get Dressed in the Morning

Expect to see more of this picture.

embroidered red Mexican dress purchased at grocery store
no bra
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

Pancake Day

I've had this song in my head all day. We're off to eat pancakes (and the world's greatest bacon) tonight.

(video length = 2:22)

Soup Swap!

This picture makes it look like we weren't having fun. But we were, I promise.
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.]

On Sunday, Letitia and I hosted a Soup Swap! for some of our friends. Everyone brought 6 quarts of soup, and left with 6 different quarts of soup. We set all of the soups out and took turns choosing. We got the idea from a swap her sister Julie went to, and from Apartment Therapy.

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:
Sophia's Sangria

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

Bears in Captivity

I did not know that life could be this good.

Toby Keith has a fashion line. Yes, that Toby Keith: the one who reminds me of a down-low version of my idiot sleazeball ex-brother-in-law.*

Nice perm.

Let's just see what Mr. Keith has dreamed up for our gentlemen to wear.

You better work, Covergirl.

Hott. Flaming, even.

Just in time for the Right Said Fred Reunion Tour.

What a terrific collection! Thanks, Toby!

Note shaved armpit.

Hey, Toby, can you spell overcompensating?
I'll give you a hint: it starts with an "O."

*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

Poetry on Sunday

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

Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen

For the most part I like living in the big city. There's so much to see and do, and there's so much good food. But when I go to the grocery store and can't find a pound of andouille, it's a cold and lonely place, y'all.

Bitch, gimme back my crown -- I am the andouille queen.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Estate Sale Haul

One day you're gonna need three cut-glass deviled egg plates and you're gonna think, "Why, oh why, did I mock mamacita for them?"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Paper Dolls

Becca and I made 100 paper dolls for the 100th-Day Parade at school. These were the simplest instructions I found, if you're interested.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sick Day Cinema

All About Papi

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?
Comic books.

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?
Mamacita (awww)

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!

Sad Vader

sad vader.jpg, originally uploaded by beerorkid.

The first two days of this week have sucked pretty hard. Do you think anyone would notice if I hid under the covers until Saturday?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What mamacita is ...

Disappointing, so far.

Also disappointing.
Note to self: figure out how to use closed-captioning
so I can understand limeys who refuse
to pronounce their consonants.

Listening to
Always good.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mondays Are For Internet Shopping

A little something to help you forget that you are back in the office, slaving away for The Man again this morning:

You know how very much we all heart RetailMeNot? [Briefly--it's an aggregator for coupon codes; always look there before you check out with any online retailer.] The same folks have now come out with BeatMyPrice. It just saved me $4 with 30 seconds of effort on my part. This is what I bought:

In an alternate universe, perhaps. This is what I really bought.

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

Poetry on Sunday

The anti-Valentine, from that old sap, Robert Browning.

My Last Duchess


That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now; Fra Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
“Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek; perhaps
Fra Pandolf chanced to say, “Her mantle laps
Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat.” Such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart—how shall I say?— too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech—which I have not—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse—
E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretense
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

Drink of the Week: Rusty Nail

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:

Rusty Nail

1.5 oz. Scotch
.5 oz. Drambuie
lemon peel

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

What mamacita is ...


Sorry to say, it really wasn't good. I lost track of what was going on, and I expected the giant mechanical spider to show up at any minute.

Listening to

Seems like there was a theme this week...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Further Adventures in Gluttony

Do not eat this many. You will hate me, and yourself.

This weekend I made the homemade version of the Girl Scouts' Peanut Butter Patties. For those of you unfamiliar, the peanut butter patties are essentially Ritz crackers topped with peanut butter and coated in chocolate. For this project, I experimented with the peanut butter and the chocolate: I made some with crunchy PB and some with smooth; some with milk chocolate bark and some with melted semisweet chips.

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

I Went Someplace Cool

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

Daddy's Birthday Present

Anybody can wear a pocket protector these days. Show your true Nerd Quotient with the PencilPull.

via Cool Tools

What I was thinking about at 2:17 this morning:

Douche patrol

2:17-- WTF? Why is the neighbor's car alarm going off?
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-- 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

It Turns Out Today Is Not Yell-At-Your-Kids-and-Clean-Up-Cracker-Crumbs Day.

Today is Read a Book in the Bathtub Day. Who are we to argue?

[Pictured: me. Totally.]

These Are Ranunculus

Wouldn't they make a terrific Valentine's bouquet?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sick Boy

He is almost unbearably cute when he's sick.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


This big, fat camellia is now the first thing I see when I wake up every morning. Thanks, Momma.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Estate Sale Haul

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

Valentine Inspiration

In case you will be spending your weekend making a Valentine box, here is some inspiration; go forth and make the other mothers feel like complete failures. Mwa hahahahaha.

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

The Toymaker
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

What mamacita is...

I think I've lost all patience for teenager movies.
Watching this one just reminded me of how long ago Heathers was.
[Don't look.]

Listening to
You can download "Motel Blues" for free on Amazon right now.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Still the Best Super Bowl Commercial Ever

Terry Tate, Office Linebacker:

Poetry on Sunday

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

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.