Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday's Random 10

I'll comment on this later, but for now here's my list:

The Only Mistake - Joy Division
Store Bought Bones - The Raconteurs
Emenius Sleepus - Green Day
I Want a New Drug - Huey Lewis and the News
Three Sunrises - U2
Subculture - New Order
I Believe - Chris Isaak
Dusty - Soundgarden
Ring Of Fire - Johnny Cash
Flip Flop Rock - Outkast

I might have been able to write another vignette with these song titles if it weren't for Green Day's monkey wrench. But anybody else who wishes to is more than welcome.

Hmmm, there's an idea - Flash Fiction Friday meets the Random 10?

I'm off to consume cheap Mexican beverages.

Tomorrow I get to give stinky Sasha a bath and pick up poop in the backyard. Envious, aren't you?

Sunday, ski-o-rama.

Hasta la vista, baby.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Exercise musings

  • Why would you come to a step aerobics class if you don't want to use a step? That's kind of like ordering a quesadilla and asking them to hold the cheese.

  • Chocolate scented shampoo is fabulous in the shower, but regrettable when you are breathing like a phone perv, light-headed, and sweating profusely.

  • Do real hippies do step aerobics? Wouldn't they rather be out communing with nature (or if they are in Boulder, begging on the Pearl Street Mall so that they can put gas in the Range Rovers their parents paid for)? And why do white people think they can pull off dreadlocks? It just looks slovenly.

  • Are fake boobs as annoying when exercising as real ones?

  • People actually still go to jazzercise studios. I wonder if they still wear legwarmers.

This couldn't be the original video, but it's amusing in a bittersweet, state-of-denial sort of way.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Too much tech-mology

I was reading Chelene's post about getting a Crackberry and it reminded me of taking the picture below.

This was taken on the same trip where we took the Empire State squiggle photo last September. We were loitering in Central Park, and the spousal unit decided to test out the special effects options on our camera.

There was a woman sitting the next bench down from us. She had her laptop out but I don't think she was using it. She was punching away at her Blackberry with her thumbs. And I'm not sure, but I think she might have had a regular cell phone too.

Me? I was happy to sit back and enjoy the scenery. It's hard to beat nature and people watching in Central Park.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Introducing....Sasha Woo

Background - I'm a big dork who can't stop making up nicknames. I've affectionately dubbed our 2 dogs Ripley Poo and Roscoe Roo. And since Sasha makes the most adorable woo-woo noise in lieu of barking (they actually call it wooing, all Huskies do it), she's earned the moniker Sasha Woo.

She's feeling much better after coming home from the vet. She's eating, we've played, and shortly we'll head out for a run.

I'm too sexy for this picture!

This hotel has really crappy pillows.

Jamaican nummies

Even novices like Tanya can make these. We had a vegetarian shepherd's pie made with Caribbean seasonings that was also super tasty, but I don't have the recipe electronically and I'm far too lazy to type it in.

Mango Salsa
2 mangos chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered or smaller
1/2 small red onion diced
3 jalapenos, diced (check for hotness before adding all the seeds)
handful of cilantro chopped
Juice of 1 lime

Mix together, chill.

Jerk Chicken skewers
6 chicken breasts cut into thin strips
Jerk seasoning
Juice of 1 lime
Skewers, soaked in water for 2 hours

Put chicken strips on skewers
Squeeze lime juice over chicken
Put jerk seasoning on a plate and roll each skewer in the seasoning covering all sides
Grill 2-4 minutes a side depending on thickness

Fried Ripe Plantains
1 ripe plantain
1 tablespoon cinnmon or nutmeg
Peel plantain by making 2 incisions on opposite sides of the plantain skin and then peel.
Slice the plantains into 2 in the middle (width not length - like breaking a banana in 2).
Cut up both pieces of plantains into 1/4 inch slices longways.
Heat skillet filled with just enough oil to cover the 1/4 inch slices.
Fry plantain slices until golden brown on each side.
Each slice needs about 45 seconds to a minute to cook.
Be careful not to burn.
Place cooked plantain in a dish layered with napkins so as to drain/soak up the oil.
Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg to taste.
Serves 4

Monday, March 26, 2007

Post weekend update

Sasha came home on Saturday, still dopey from surgery. We spent the morning with her and crated her alongside the other kerpupples while we went out for a few hours. She wasn't eating much and slept alot.

Yesterday morning I took all three kerpupples for a walk. Sasha is remarkably easy on a leash.

Sasha slept most of the day yesterday and wouldn't eat anything except a few small bites of ham. She had a couple of accidents in the house, but was very good about finishing up outside when we caught her in the act. Everything was very runny. She was lethargic - not at all the dog who bounded into our house last weekend to cruise countertops and play with our other dogs.

Last night we crated her for bed. I awoke about 3 1/2 hours later to find that she'd somehow escaped from her crate and had another accident. Poor baby.

I slept on the couch for the remainder of the night with her on the floor by my side. I held her leash while I slept so that if she got up to go again I'd wake up and could take her out.

This morning we were very worried about her not eating so I took her to the vet. No disease that they could find, thank goodness. She's dehydrated, so they are keeping her today on an IV in hopes that it will also help her appetite.

The vet said that she was likely purebred Siberian Husky, about a year old. Oh, and it's the sweetest thing - she follows me around everywhere. The crush appears to be mutual.

I'll post pictures as soon as she's home and feeling better.

On the social front, I went to a newly-formed cooking club last night. The theme was Jamaican (hey cat, shall I post some recipes to whet your appetite?). I thought I was awfully clever by deciding to bring fried plantains. Little did I know that the other person bringing a side dish thought the same thing. Combined with a banana dessert, we all got our share (and then some) of starch.

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's a girl!!!

It's official. My crush is going to be the newest member of the kerpupples. I paid her adoption fee today. They kept her until they can give her all her shots and spay her - and then I get to bring home a new baby girl!

The shelter said she's been really scared. Normally they give young dogs shots as soon as they take them in but she was too afraid to let them do it.

We had a visit today. I asked her if she wanted to come home, and she gave my face a big slurp.

The spousal unit is not entirely convinced she's a good choice of pet for us, but I have a feeling it won't take long for Sasha to win him over. On the off chance that it doesn't work out, I found a local Husky rescue organization that I can work with and foster her until we find new owners for her.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Name that squiggle

Here's a fun puzzle for you.

What's the subject of this photo?

Where was the photo taken from?

I know that one of you out there might be able to answer at least the first question. Have fun!

UPDATE: This is the Empire State Building and the surrounding skyline. The spousal unit took this photo when we were walking back from Brooklyn across the Brooklyn bridge. The constant vibration of the bridge and holding the shutter open created the squiggly effect.

Check out my other favorite picture from this trip. The green blur on the right? That's me. Didn't know I'm a ghost, did you?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My new crush

OK...previous picture was just a sample of the breed. Here she is in the dogflesh.

Evil red camera flash eyes notwithstanding, ain't she purrrrrrrrrrdy?

Look at how clever and curious she is! There could be a thought bubble above her head that says, "What are you doing with that contraption? Why aren't you petting me instead?"

UPDATE: Tanya was kind enough to remove the red eye. Here's a much less scary picture:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Save the rainforest - eat a McNugget

Did you know that the Quarter Pounder has competition now in regards to wiping out the Amazon? Yep, these days it's being cleared at an alarming pace for soy farming. I wonder how many tree huggers out there don't realize how they are contributing to the problem with their tofu? And with slaves to boot! Check out the stats - it'll make you think twice about ordering edamame with your sushi.

Dammit - now I'm craving edamame!

Another threat is the illegal harvesting of trees for valuable hardwoods such as mahogany. Not that I own anything mahogany, but if and when I do, I'll be sure to check out its source carefully.

See? I think about more than just dogs and Paris Hilton (oops, sorry for the redundancy).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Critter Cribbin'

I got my annual e-mail today from the US Humane Society about preventing the annual seal hunts in Canada. I think this is apalling. If you've got the time, please let Canada know that we want this practice stopped.

Yesterday, I fell in love. With a dog.

I awoke to the sound of barking in front of the house. This was unusual, so I peered out the window. Our neighbor's basset, Abby, appeared to be getting attacked by a coyote!!!

Then I put my glasses on.

The coyote actually turned out to be a Siberian husky, and a playful one at that. The spousal unit suggested we check her for tags, having gone through the agony ourselves of losing a pet. I opened the door to go do so but turned back around, realizing that shoes would be a good idea. Apparently sensing our intentions, the husky saved us the effort by trotting into the house through the open front door.

A quick examination revealed a collar but no tags. She was somewhat thin, but very friendly, so we figured she hadn't been on her own long. We decided to drop her at the shelter so her owners might have a chance at retrieving her.

While we gathered ourselves to do so, Roscoe swooped in to establish pack dominance. Ripley took the opposite approach and retired to our bedroom closet.

The husky, who we determined to be a female, was quite skittish initially but did warm to the spousal unit and me. She also initiated play with Roscoe using an arrestingly cute yodling sound. And after getting her into the car to go to the shelter, she promptly slurped the spousal unit's ear.

I sent 3 emails to possible owners I found on PetHarbor. And her people have until Friday to get their act together and pick her up from the shelter. If they haven't by then...well, our 2 kerpupples just may become 3.

Are we ready for a 3rd dog? Probably not. Did we consider getting a siberian husky? No, never have, and they can be difficult to train. But...what can you do when you fall in love?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Random 10 - Paradise, where are you?

Kiss Off - Violent Femmes
The Outlaw Torn - Metallica
Free - Train
Time To Get Ill - The Beastie Boys
Don't Leave Me On My Own - Chris Isaak
Lost In the Supermarket - The Clash
Walk On Down - Aerosmith
Rhymin & Stealin - The Beastie Boys
Fucking In Heaven - Fatboy Slim
The Long Day Is Over - Norah Jones

Kiss off, responsibilities - we jetted to Aruba.

Tropical paradise. Where we were free to lounge the day away in the sun and drink until it was time to get ill. Where time was meaningless and we could get lost in the supermarket with no consequences whatsoever. That's right, we were fucking in heaven.

Our one bad experience involved a vagrant in a parking lot. The dude was rhymin' and stealin', trying to hustle us out of some money. The spousal unit stood his ground, and the outlaw, torn for a moment, opted to move on to easier prey.

The poker tournament was grand. The spousal unit went out first, and though I pleaded, "Don't leave me on my own," he opted to walk on down to the beach bar until my time too was through. Alas, I won no money.

And finally, we had to return home. After long, depressing flights away from Utopia, the long day is over. Back to the grind.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


We had a fantabulous time.

Aruba, albeit fun and very relaxing, isn't an overly photogenic island.

The sea is, of course, the Caribbean - turquoise, clear, calm, and very shallow on the leeward side of the island.'ve seen one picture of the water itself and, well, you've seen it. The impact of actually experiencing it is much headier.

The island is arid, and its vegetation consists primarily of cactus and divi divi trees. Here are a few shots.

It was windy. Bloody windy. Permanent trade winds. But not unpleasant windy. The island is hot and relatively dry, so it helped to cool us down.

Snorkeling was great at Boca Catalina (pink, yellow, and blue shades of many different types of coral, sponges and anemone, as well as parrot fish, squid, sea urchins, sargeant fish, and many unidentifiable little swimmers in shades of blue and green).

After Boca Catalina, we got to check out the Antilla - a wrecked German WWII freighter. It was covered in coral and surrounded by schools of thousands of tiny fish. The ship itself was large and awesome - we'd have loved to be real divers and go exploring. Next time!

The food was wonderful. The Caribbean is pricy, but this wasn't quite as bad as I expected. The spousal unit especially recommends Cuba's Cookin'. They made the meanest mojito I've tasted anywhere, and my lobster enchilada was delightful, as was the spousal unit's plato mixto.

I got a wicked tan. And the spousal unit didn't burn.

The Marriott was crowded, but gorgeous. Rooms were huge, and the pool and beach were the best you could ask for. I highly recommend ordering the Razz-berry Mudslide at the swim-up bar.

Here's a cool beer bottle chandelier we found at Moomba, the beach bar frequented by locals that became our haunt.

We also took a jeep and explored the north side of the island, which is too rough for swimming. We didn't expect to encounter these myriads of cairns, whose purpose Google has yet to unearth. Here's some shots of cairns, the rough sea, and the only wildlife we encountered on the excursion.

Oh, and they have casinos! The only gambling we did was at a poker tournament where I made it to the final table but, alas, didn't finish in the money.

Good times!

Back to Life, Back to Reality...

And I must say...reality sucks. I want a permanent vacation.

More soon on the pleasures that are Aruba. I have to take care of this pesky little thing called my job first. Shudder.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ajo, mis dushis

Papiamento for "Goodbye, my sweethearts."

Must pack for Aruba. Today we fly to Chicago, and tomorrow morning to paradise. I'll return bearing photos and good cheer!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A fashion travesty

I can't tell you how frustrated I would get at my old job seeing people wearing these stupid things to the office.

Personally, I think they'd go fabulously with the pants I just made (see previous post).

Seeking Position: Circus Wardrobe Consultant

So Sunday I decided to attempt to move beyond my wildly successful first attempt at sewing (yes, I know, I still owe you a picture of my curtains - as soon as I get them hung, I promise), going from the relatively simple arena to the more difficult realm of clothing.

I picked out a nice, stretchy aqua fabric to create a pair of gaucho pants to wear as a swimsuit coverup. The result was to look like this green pair:

Mistake number one: the pattern has distinct cutting lines for each size. Thinking that I could use it in the future to create gifts for friends who do not wear the same size as I do, I decided not to cut at my own size but rather cut so that the pattern would accomodate all sizes.

Here's a tip: one set of curtains does not a successful seamstress make.

Mistake number two: attempting to cut this slippery, slidey s!@t on our hardwood floors. The pattern had nice, straight lines. My lines looked like this:

The mistakes listed above manifested themselves in two separate ways when I sewed the two pant legs I had created together. Not only was one pant leg about 3 inches wider than the other, but the waistline on one side was about 2 inches shorter than on the other.

Was I disheartened? Somewhat, but I kept going. I evened up the widths (they could just be a little less gaucho-ey). Cutting down the waist would make the pants extreme hip-huggers, but hey, it's cute for your bikini to peek out above your pants, right? Right?

I pressed on.

My next task was to create the yoke (guy translation - waist) for the pants. This went smashingly until I hit the stage where I was to attach the yoke to the pants. There was no way this could work! Brow furrowed, I perused the instructions and realized they were written so poorly that I had entirely botched the first step in creating the yoke. Resisting the urge to shred the pants to pieces, I attempted to fix the issue with a seam ripper, but knew at this point that the pants were likely no longer wearable.

Finally, I attached the yoke to the pants. They were looking much better than I'd expected, and I began to hope I might wear them yet. But when I turned them right-side out, I discovered that I'd attached the side waist seams of the yoke to the center of the pants. For you gents, try imagining that the button and zipper of your jeans is on your hip.

Then, there's this. Don't ask me how I did this.

The spousal unit insisted I model the pants, and we both had a good laugh.

Have I given up on making pants? Hell no. I spent $8.50 on that pattern, dammit, and I want something to show for it. But the swimsuit coverup? I'm heading to Old Navy today at lunch.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Songs that should never be remade

I'm streaming Z100 from NYC at the moment - their new stuff is newer than our new stuff. Not that I know what new stuff is right now, as I usually only listen to the radio in my car during my work commute. My commute these days consists of stumbling downstairs into the office, so....I'm out of touch with the pop tunes.

Have you heard of Lumidee and/or Tony Sunshine? Yeah, me neither.

Well, some dipshit producer decided it was a good idea to remake Patrick Swayze's She's Like the Wind. You know, the really crappy song from Dirty Dancing? Yep, that one - it's been rerendered as hip-hop.


What are some other songs that should never, ever be remade?

I submit the following:

Afternoon Delight
The Starland Vocal Band

Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight
gonna grab some afternoon delight.
My motto's always been; when it's right, it's right.
Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night.
When everything's a little clearer in the light of day.
And you know the night is always gonna be there any way.

Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.

Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite
looking forward to a little afternoon delight.
Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
and the thought of rubbin' you is getting so exciting.

Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.

Started out this morning feeling so polite
I always though a fish could not be caught who wouldn't bite
But you've got some bait a waitin' and I think I might try nibbling
a little afternoon delight.

Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.

Please be waiting for me baby when I come around.
We could make a lot of lovin' 'for the sun goes down.

Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.

I found one!!!!!

A new link on the left.

She looks like she could be a keeper!

I'd love to comment on her (or anyone else's) blog, but this crap website isn't displaying visual verification words for me.


Random 10 - Girls Rule

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - The Eurythmics
Not the Doctor - Alanis Morissette
Cell Block Tango- Chicago movie cast
Pride - U2
With Teeth - NIN
Love is Blindness (Live) - U2
Zero Chance - Soundgarden
Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage
Roxie - Renee Zellweger (again, Chicago)
Fortunate Fool - Jack Johnson

OK, so there aren't more female singers on this list than men. But the gals here all have powerful voices. Well, Renee doesn't, but it comes from a powerful female-dominated musical. Good 'nuff.

Post yours here.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Freaky photos

OK, first, there's this funky growth coming out of one of my plants. 2 different funky growths, actually - the tiny little pineapple looking thing (a seed pod, perhaps?) on the right, and the weird little doohicky with hands on the bottom. Ideas, anyone?

UPDATE: the stem with hands is the beggings of a blossom! I didn't know these guys bloomed. And the pineapple is a seed pod. I may as well give propagation a shot. How about it, James - want a croton seedling if I'm successful?

I have a huge monstera that I moved into the office to give the croton above some company. I'm hanging the curtains I'm making (yes, remember those?) in the room the monstera was in and it won't get enough light in there when they are up.

Second, I'm going to do a before-Aruba and after-Aruba comparison of my skin so I can gauge my tan.

I went to the tanning bed last night, (you know the saying, fight cancer with cancer), so it's not an entirely fair comparison, but close enough.

So here's the before:

To try to keep it as accurate as possible, I'll take the after photo in the same room at the same time of day.