Sunday, September 30, 2007
The farmer's market was great again. The rain and cool temps kept away a lot of people and baby carriages but only a few vendors. The market completed its transition to autumn with great mounds of gourds, squash and pumpkins. I picked up a few squash- a kuri (bright orange in the butternut family), a splotchy white-orange-green acorn and some other round green squash in the butternut family. I also picked up some buckwheat honey to drizzle on the squash with some melted butter during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Yum.
I also grabbed some tomatoes and fresh cilantro. Immediately after, I grabbed a latte and a pumpkin bar(cake) with cream cheese frosting. When I brought the bar to my mouth I got the scent of the pumpkin and some cilantro scent from my fingers. It was heavenly.
After the market, I came home and did a little cleaning. Then I was off to the Massage Retreat for a 90-minute hot stone massage and a 60-minute facial. Aaaaaaahhhhhh. Let me say that again. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh. Even better because the 90-minute hot stone thingy was a freebie when I signed up and the facial was included in my monthly membership. Relaxing and cheap. Could it get better?
After that, I bought some socks, watched the Vikings lose and folded some laundry. Now I'm about to heat up a piece of peach pie, smother it in whipped cream and see what Curt is up to. All in all not a bad day.
So how big is your head??
Thursday, September 27, 2007
WE GOT TO WATCH AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL!!!
Okay, that's not the only reason I was desperate for the power to stay on, but it was in the top 10.
1. Young women (and maybe older ones too, somebody please advise) are MEAN, MEAN, MEAN to each other. Holy crap. I don't recall young men being that mean to each other, unless of course, you are the nelly gay boy next door, then you get the crap beaten out of you.
2. The autistic girl, Heather, whom I will refer to going forward as Heather (autistic girl) didn't seem to have as bad a computer neck this week, which is good, but was awkward with the other contestants. And what did the other contestants do? Talked smack about her within ear shot. Hags.
3. When it came time for judging, the girl who told Heather (autistic girl) she should have tried harder during the photo shoot, got a little figurative bitch slap from the judges. Heather (autistic girl) took a fabulous photo and came in first. Critical hag came in about 7th. Go, autistic Heather, go!
4. Why is Miss Jay dressing as a boy this season? We liked his girl clothes better.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
This week was a recap of the auditions and selection of the final group of young ladies who will compete for the coveted(?) title of ANTM. Highlights:\
1. One gal was a brainiac type from Yale. She was asked why she wanted to be in the competition. She said something like "Because I am a strong, smart, confident woman like the rest of the finalists." Mr. Jay asked her this, "So being from Yale, you must think that the rest of these girls are pretty stupid." To which she responded, "No....okay, well, yeah, a lot of them." I love this girl already.
2. Another gal was a professional waxer. Tyra asked her to show her how she does it. So, the gal had Tyra get up on the judging table on all fours with her butt in the air and proceeded to simulate a wax. Miss Jay looked horrified at the giant ass in his face, but maintained some composure. When the girl left the room, Tyra said, "Any girl who can give me a simulated kitty cat wax is alright with me." The girl made it to the final group. Amazing.
3. Tyra was stumped as to what to do with one of the finalists who wasn't big enough to be a plus size model and wasn't small enough to be a high fashion model. Mr. Jay finally suggested calling her a real size model and asked what would be so wrong with that. Tyra loved the idea as though it was the first time a thought like that had entered her head and hence forth wanted to be known as a real size model. In truth, she's plus size, but I'm not telling her.
4. One of the finalists has Asperger's syndrome- a mild form of Autism- and not only is socially awkward (to put it mildly), she also has computer neck and walks with her neck stuck out about a foot in front of her. She's a really nice gal though and we were rooting for her. So when it came time to take her pictures, Curt and I were thinking "Oh shit. Here comes the disaster." However, right on cue, she took a fabulous photo. Now, if she can learn to stand up straight, she might go far as long as she doesn't have to talk. GO AUTISTIC GIRL GO! We will be rooting for her!
From left: Checker Board Pigeon, Leopard Snakeskin, Golden Sunrise
Saturday, September 22, 2007
"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now."
So, everyone in the country is going nuts on her. She got censored when the show aired. Christian groups are flipping out and taking out full page ads in USA Today. What the hell??
First of all, I thought this was hilarious. She was being flip and outrageous which are her trademarks. There is nothing in her statement that bashes Christianity. It might be borderline offensive to tell someone's diety to suck it, but have a sense of humor people. I personally believe that if dieties exist, they have a sense of humor about themselves. After all, they're just sitting on their asses watching the world go by anyway, so they should have some entertainment.
Second, obviously this is not polite tea talk, but is it wrong to talk about what you don't believe? Yeah, it mocked the folks that were up there thanking Jesus for everything, but so what? Listen to that hog Bill O'Reilly on Fox to hear mocking of my beliefs. I know he is a stupid hog, so I'm not wasting my money on a full page ad or stamp for that matter. If a neo-pagan got up and thanked a pantheon of gods by name, wouldn't Christians have gone just as crazy? Screw their intolerance, double standards and hypocrisy. Oh, and suck it, (insert your favorite diety name here).
Once the worst of the storm had passed, it was still pouring rain and producing grape size hail. During all this, we discovered that the downspouts on our eaves troughs were blocked on the back of the house. Rain water is POURING in to one of our window wells and filling it up fast. Too late. The water reaches the bottom of the window quickly and starts coming in. Aaarrrrgggghhh!!! So what do we do? I go out on the deck with a long metal spoon, then clear away the debris that I can reach. Curt, meanwhile, goes out in the elements with a bucket and starts bailing out the window well. On the other end of the house, we need a tall metal ladder to reach the eaves. And, yes, we go out with a tall metal ladder to clean the eaves troughs. Looking back it was really, really stupid and we knew it while we were doing it, but we would not have any more water in our lower level. Not having it.
By the time we were done clearing the eaves troughs, the worst had passed, the hail had let up and we were ready to head back in. Now, I forgot to mention that in storms like this we almost always end up losing power- once for five days, a day or so on other occasions. So, at the point that we went outside with the ladder, we were thrilled that the power was on. When we got back in with the ladder, the frickin' power was gone. AAARRRRGGGHHH! Curt and I are kind of big whiny babies when the power goes off, as if we have no other means of entertaining ourselves. We're sad.
Typically, losing power for a day or so is not a giant deal. However, the next day, Curt was staying home to take delivery of 6 juvenile discus fish that he had ordered from San Francisco. These are expensive fish and pretty sensitive to water conditions that are slightly off. So, Friday morning, I run to Home Depot and buy a generator big enough to power to whole house if we needed it. A little overkill maybe, but considering how often we go without power, it was about time. We got everything up and running by about 8:30. Curt's fish arrived at about 9:30 and I was off to work by 10:30.
Today, the power is back and we're going to spend the day chopping up the part of the tree that is down, hauling it to the curb, then figuring out how to take the rest of the tree down. Considering the size of the tree and the mighty mite size of my chain saw, this could take a while.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Fall produce beats summer produce hands down because later varieties of veggies are superior to the flavorless uber-hybrids that mature earlier in the season. The sweet corn is tastier, the heirloom tomatoes are ripe, the good green beans are ready and it is leek season. Hooray! I bought some leeks, a loaf of potato bread, some green beans and a cauliflower. I bought the cauliflower because I was impressed that the guy grew it locally and it was huge and perfect. Good job!
I couldn't find any rosemary for the potato leek soup that I had in mind, so ended up stopping by Whole Foods. I try to avoid Whole Foods for two reasons: 1. It is so freakin' expensive and 2. I leave with too much cheese. It happened again: Australian Cheddar, a nice Gruyere and a baked something or other cheese, along with some peaches and fresh figs.
Got home, pulled out the crock pot, added some stock and cream, diced potatoes and minced rosemary, then browned some leeks, garlic and pepper in butter. YUM! I love the taste of slightly caramelized leeks. YUM again. All of this while listening to Speaking of Faith on MPR.
Now I'm having coffee and dinking around on the computer before getting to some cleaning. The perfect Sunday morning.
My two hospitalized friends are coming along nicely. My old high school pal may be going home on Tuesday after a 3 week stay. My neighbor, who had an aneurysm burst during surgery to correct 2 of her 5 aneurysms, is coming along really nicely considering the hell her brain has been through.
After the hospital, I drove through Mabel, MN to drop off some of my aunt's favorite hand soap (C.O. Bigelow's Lemon Hand Soap) and some old quilting magazines.
Then it was on to Decorah. My dad, who complains about never leaving the house but is out of the house far more than I ever get out, was, you guessed it, out on an errand with my brother. So, I ran down to see another dear old friend, who happens to be the sister of one of my blogging pals. We had coffee and visited for about an hour. As I was leaving, my friend is standing on her porch talking to me and starts letting rip some championship farts that actually echo off the house across the street. She was completely unphased, but I am still stunned by just the fact that we're comfortable enough with each other to do that. When did that happen? I guess when you know someone for for 37 years, its just a given. In my house, we have a farting double standard- when I toot, it is disgusting, when he toots, it is funny. *sigh*
So, anyway, I end up going out to my brother's to pick up up my dad, take him back home, visit for a while, clean some floors, visit some more and head out after a few hours. As I was getting ready to leave, my dad, who thinks I am dating said farting friend (I've never come out to him- very long story- but everyone else in the family knows), asks me if I am going to take my girlfriend out for dinner. I tell him again that she is just a friend and that it would be like dating my sister and she farts too much. He just sort of cocked his head at me, which was my sign to exit.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
If I were reincarnated as a chicken, which somehow seems likely, this is how I would want to look. I might work a little harder on the dry skin around my mouth, but this is a pretty chicken none the less. And I would do just what this chicken is doing- sit and wait for food to fill my dish. When I was done eating, I would sit around looking pretty, nap, then wait again for food to fill my dish.
This little girl and her pumpkin are just about to set a new fair record. Something like 1161 lbs. That's just a bit smaller than a SmartCar. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see just how cute she is. After she won, her dad, who was also kind of cute, was on hand to pick her up in a big bear hug. It was a sweet moment.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
A clip from "Female Trouble" featuring Divine as Dawn Davenport
Okay, Moms, watch the clip then ponder my question to you:
Does every mom have a little Dawn Davenport lurking somewhere beneath their calm, soccer mom exteriors?
If you haven't already seen Female Trouble, it is my all time favorite John Water's flick and possibly the most quotable bit of cinema ever made.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
This is a picture of me in a gazing globe at Butchart Gardens. Can you see me? This is the geek equal of our friends Pete and Tami having their family picture finished to appear as though they and their baby are in a brandy snifter, only thiers was really cool and classy.
Monday, September 10, 2007
A very dear old friend recently had a ruptured diverticulum and required surgery resulting in a temporary colostomy. After several rough days, she is doing much better. She happens to be possibly the funniest person I know with a great ability to laugh at herself. So, what I was thinking was that I would sew her some colostomy bag cozies with different themes: An Evening Out (gold sequins), Trailer Park (holds a pack of cigarettes and lighter), Holiday (Halloween, Hannukah), etc.
So, the question is, am I completely twisted, or would she think this is as humorous as I do?
Sunday, September 9, 2007
The reason I got sentimental in the first place was that my mom used to freeze about 40 quarts of corn at the end of every summer as far back as I can remember. I froze about 8 pints today from the 24 or so ears I picked up today. My mom did a lot of corn by comparison. I used to help her take the husks off and stood by when she cut the kernels off after blanching the ears. Now, as back then, the coolest part is when you're cutting the kernels and get 3 or 4 intact rows of corn in a slice, then pop it in your mouth. It doesn't taste any better or different than the rest of the corn. Its just fun. So that's me, missing my mom today. Tomorrow, I'll miss her for something else. She was pretty great.
Yesterday, we got home earlier than expected because we took a standby option to get on a 12:15 flight instead of our 3:30. Standby is great except for two things: you now have to pay $25 for it (bastards!) and you almost inevitably get seated in the lousiest spot on the plane. Curt got seated in a center seat a row in front of me next to seemingly normal people. The woman to his left was one of those airline princesses who doesn't think the announcements apply to her. Ever been next to one of those? She didn't think that she needed to have her seat in an upright position for take off or landing. She didn't think her things needed to be stowed in an overhead compartment- then told the flight attendant to do it for her. You get the idea. I was seated in a window seat next to two really large women, which is not a problem, except that the one next to me kept gradually pushing her way in to my seat. She was really warm too. The guy in front of me kept bouncing back hard on his already reclined seat and nailed my left kneecap once so hard that I yelped. By the end of the flight I was curled into a crabby ball on on the window ledge.
Getting home early was worth the irritation though because the dogs were so thrilled to see us. Both Louie and Claire were beside themselves pretty much until we went to bed. We love our dogs.
One more quick thing about our vacation. Curt and I travel together remarkably well considering how we're both a little bossy in different ways. The only times that we get on each other's nerves are:
1. When the other person is driving and not accepting of quality navigation coming from the passenger seat.
2. After a long day of walking around when the other person isn't taking quality navigation from the other.
So, one night after a long day of tooling around, Curt is getting ready for bed and says, "Sorry for getting crabby with you earlier. I need to get some sleep so I can tolerate your intolerableness tomorrow." We had a good laugh.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Thursday, we took the ferry from Seattle to Victoria B.C.. This was 2.5 hours of ferry time, which itself is not so bad. However, we were surrounded by a huge group of tourists from Alabama. They seemed like decent folks, a little loud with proudly thick drawls who started drinking the moment they stepped on board. One interesting thing- I did finally figure out who watches the Redneck Comedy Tour because they kept quoting Larry the Cable Guy, and boy howdy, were they howling at that stuff. Fortunately for them, there wasn't a piano wire or anything else capable of providing a good strangling in my hands. Nor could I get enough distance between the ceiling and floor to hang myself, so I suffered silently- or at least as silently as I ever suffer.
From Victoria we cabbed it to The Butchart Gardens- the gardening envy of every gay man on earth only without the plant labels. I'm not even going to try to describe how stunning the gardens were. Let's just say we spent about 4.5 hours strolling around taking it all in. The only slightly disappointing bit was the Japanese garden- this after seeing the Portland Japanese garden. It was still quite lovely, but very non-traditional in its form. After the gardens, we tooled around Victoria for a little while, then sat with our Alabama friends for another 2.5 hour cruise.
Yesterday, we trotted around downtown Seattle. When on vacation, I feel obliged to do at least one stupid tourist thing. So, this time I chose the Space Needle. Yawn. Pretty view, but geez, $16?? After that we ate at Mama's Mexican Kitchen which seems to have the coolest wait staff I've ever encountered. We heart Blithe the waitress. She recommended we visit the Puyallup Fair and so we did. This is a massive version of the Minnesota State Fair that goes on for 3 weeks. The crowds were spread out a lot so getting around was easy. We watched a 12 year old girl win the largest pumpkin contest with an entry that came in at 1161 pounds- a new fair record. The strangest thing we saw was the 4-H cat display. Girls, and maybe some boys, created cat homes from kennels. Strange, especially since the cats were in there too. Another interesting thing- you know how we have lines for Sweet Martha's Cookies? The Puyallup Fair has LONG lines for hot scones filled with butter and raspberry jelly. 3 later I was hooked. Yum. All in all a fun day.
Today, we return the Jeep rental and head back at about 3:00. Goodbye, Northwest! (One day I hope to say that to the airline of the same name.)
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Sunday, we drove to Canby, OR, just southeast of Portland, to visit Swan Island Dahlias for Dahlia Fest'07. Woo hooo! We had a fabulous time and very nearly overloaded on the thousands and thousands of glorious dahlias. There were over 40 acres of dahlias in full bloom, plus hundreds of huge arrangements of dahlias. Of course, all of this was designed to sell dahlias. Miraculously, we got away with buying only 6 varieties. Whew!
After leaving the dahlias fairly breathless, we proceeded into northwest Portland to view the International Rose Test Garden. About three acres of amazing rose varieties all in the lovely Washington Park area. Stunning.
After the roses, we ascended into the Portland Japanese Gardens. I had heard from a reliable source that this garden is considered the best Japanese Garden outside of Japan. It was STUNNING! That word is completely inadequate to describe the serenity and awe inspiring subtlety of the place. I highly, highly recommend a visit.
Monday, we decided to see the coast and fell deeper in love with Oregon all day. We stopped to pick blueberries about half way there and ate them for the rest of the day. The coast was lovely. We were really taken though by driving through the coastal mountains.
Tuesday, we visited my friend Kristin in Corvallis, then drove through Silver Falls State Park on the way home. The South Falls are 178 feet and drop from a thick basalt base into the river below. All this is surrounded by 100 foot pines. Gorgeous.
Today, we set out for Seattle again. We tooled around near the market and scoped out some restaurants for later in the week. Seattle is a beautiful city, but we did notice a high volume of homeless people and sort of wondered why the concentration was so intense throughout the downtown. Maybe it is the temperate climate? Anyway, tomorrow we are going to Victoria, B.C. and will be on our way to Butchart Gardens- another destination garden. Fun!