Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Helping the economy

Over lunch I bought two bottles of champaign  at the grocery store for a total of $12.67. For  two bottles of champagne. From the grocery store.  You can't buy champaign at a liquor store in NC, you have to go to your grocery store. Do you have  any idea how bad grocery store champagne is? But not mine , on accident I picked up one bottle of not-so-bad.
Where everybody knows your name

The vet finally got back with me late in the afternoon about the test. The Kitty did not do well on the test, he failed the test. The Kitty has a sick liver. The liver is not dying, but it's still not a healthy liver. There is hope though, it's treatable in some cases, and in involves feeding the cat... And pills, lots of pills. The Kitty needs to eat to live. This is an animal that up until say, Friday, lived to eat. He stopped eating and a couple of days later was looking down liver failure. In a healthy cat individual there is a liver value - that is supposed to be between 10-100, The Kitty's value was 516 .

Well, what can I say. What's it like to have pets that aren't  sick? I mean, what is it like to not have a wing named after you at your vets office? One of the vets in the practice has a boat called the  S.S. Dogger .  I would really like to know what its like to only take your pets to the vet once a year for vaccines. I think at this point I would be happy if the office staff didn't greet me by name when I walk in - Totally charming in your favorite bar, totally not charming at your doctors office.

The vet wanted to do an ultrasound to see what's happening in the liver you know to see how much is viable and  to look for well,  tumors. His eyes and gums are not yellow and I do not want to look for tumors.  I think that ultrasounds are very fab for pregnant women with insurance, they are not fab for kitties with no insurance. I'm willing to forgo that expense and spring for maybe an x-ray or another blood test. Speaking of blood tests. Kitty all ready gets blood tests multiple times a year. Between the twice yearly blood draws for the pred and his thyroid - Not at the same time, No we go in four times a year for blood draws - That one of those visits  might have noted elevated liver values? Like the one we had done in NOVEMBER. I can't believe that his numbers got as bad as they did as fast as they did and no one noticed. He didn't eat for two days and he suddenly develops liver disease?

Deep breaths. Part of the treatment, along with food and antibiotics is an expensive pill that he can only take on an empty stomach - A condition I am supposed to be working to prevent.  If I am doing my job right, he shouldn't ever have an empty stomach! Arrgh. In the interests of getting him to eat without the application of force, the vet sold me some sexy  wet  cat food and The Kitty predictably was very turned on. He ate about a third of a can (small) all by himself and then I applied some force so he could have a half a can. I think I'll give him the empty stomach pill in the AM -  But he's still on his thyroid med and the pred, both should be taken with food so I'm not exactly sure how this is all going to work. More arrgh.

Did I speak with a vet about this? Did a vet speak to me? Oh hell no. I'm just supposed to figure it out. The tech who did speak to me had not a clue and when the vet called earlier she was not familiar with his chart. She was all about his acute issue and I had to remind her that there is more than an acute illness in play here, he is  chronically ill as well. He's got a chart like a phone book, you would think reading it might have occurred to someone there.

So I'm scared to death and in deep denile as to what is going to happen. I read a lot of literature and feeding the cats seems to be a huge part of the cure. In my mind if I feed my kitty I can save his life.

Oh yeah. HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kitty II

Fatty Liver Disease

All of a sudden he’s so little. I feel like I can hold him in one hand. He’s shrunk.

At first I thought he was just mad at me because barfing and leaving cat bombs out of spite is not beyond him. I ran out of his food right around Thanksgiving and had to use a allegedly gluten free substitute.. I would argue it’s gluten freeness. It seemed kind of gluten-y. I switched back to his old food and then I thought he was mad at me because I was making dog cookies and spending a lot of time in the kitchen with Dogger. The Kitty is all about his grudge. Time passed. No more cat bombs!

 But then little barfy bomb-lets began to appear again, these coincided with a visit by Mini Kitty and I naturally blamed her. But there were bomb-lets where there was not Mini.  I thought then that he was the source and he was being grudgy that there was this other cat in his house. I kept them separated and thought this would help - And it did, until it didn’t and The Kitty was spending a lot of time in his foam house.

Then there were the Kitty unfriendly changes. I now new ginormous area rug in the living room. The thing about beautiful floors is that to keep them that way they must be kept out of sight. I also scored a very lovely dresser for the upstairs and that provoked me to move the heretofore unused futon from the upstairs to the office. I The Kitty was being hidey because he was unhappy about the changes. He had loved the futon.

I was away from the house a lot. I left and he was fine, I came back and he was not. Very, very not. When I left he was eating. When I came back he was not. Days late, I jumped into action. He was listless, weak and flat. Also, after he threw up on me, he threw up on the floor and then fell into it. I gave him his second bath ever, he had his first bath ten years ago. 10 years! I’ve had my kitty for ten years. The last time he fought me, hard, ten years later, he just lay there, flat. I decided he was listless because he was dehydrated. I hydrated him. He didn’t fight having a syringe forced down his throat. Flat.

Saturday night we curled up and watched War Inc., John Cusack does not approve of the Iraq war and he hates Dick Cheney and Haliburton. A lot. I also finished up Woof, a book of essays about peoples love for their dogs. Mostly their dead dogs. Looking back I probably should have stuck to my double issue of Entertainment Weekly. Sunday he was not improved but he was a little annoyed by the involuntary hydration program I had instituted. Monday I called the vet and $216 later we knew his bladder was full while his bowels were empty. I was shocked since he hadn’t eaten in DAYS and I had been forcing water down his throat. The vet took $140 worth of blood and will let me know Tuesday why The Kitty is flat.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Good Sign

The Kitty voluntarily nibbled some food! and then walked unaided to his dust box and then after he utilized it, he climbed out by himself!  Lets keep thinking happy thoughts!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sick Kitty

I hope your holidays were as great as mine! Did you all get neat stuff? I did!  Did you shop the day after? I did! Did ya'll save a lot of money? I did!

The only sour note would be that The Kitty seems to be having another health crises. He has one year, unusually while we are a fifteen-hundred miles from his vet. This year he must have decided  that since we had access to a good vet in Marquette,  he would chose  to up the stress factor by side-stepping vacation and going instead with The Holidays as his target crisis time. He's so special. (He is, he really is! Best. Cat. Ever. He's my baby.)

He had been having his trademark lower GI problem but then that symptom went away and he started to vomit.  A lot. He had been stable for a few days but all of a sudden he isn't eating or drinking and he's listless and seems really weak. The not drinking is a real worry and I've been shooting water down his throat with a syringe since Saturday night, the first few times I did that he was so weak that he didn't even complain. He's complaining a little now. Yay.

Monday morning we are making a visit to our vet to get this sorted out. Please think happy, healthy, easily treatable thoughts for my baby kitty.
HAPPY  SUNDAY   !!!!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


Thursday, December 25, 2008



Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I made more dog cookies. I wasn't going to make more cookies until, oh, Spring? but I went into Doggers cookie tin and came up empty. I entertained the thought of going and buying her more cookies, maybe some fancy ones with carob, but to get  those mythical fancy carob cookies I would have to go outside and  it's really cold and I didn't want to go out in the cold more than I didn't want  to make more cookies.

Poor Dogger. She didn't have any cookies and here I still had flour and bacon and all the while I was debating going out and buying store bought cookies! I felt bad. I had made home made cookies for just about every dog I know and my dog was looking down bag-o-store-bought-cookies If everyone else gets home made cookies, why should my dog settle for store bought? Also, the Kitchen Aid was scheduled to go back to its house. Tonight, however was still in my house... I decided it would be easier to clean the mixer a second time and make the cookies myself than to go out in the cold to buy some strangers cookies.

In honor of Christmas, a Christmas quiz

Monday, December 22, 2008


I just want ya'll to know that Friday  it was 71 degrees and now it's Monday and we're at 26 degrees.
Christmas Carols, in Latin and the one in German, for you.

Because if I have to hear The Christmas Shoes one more time, that welps Mama ain't the only one "...gonna meet Jesus"

1. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!

Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute heilige Paar.
Holder Knab' im lockigten Haar,
: Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh! :

2. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
: Jesus in deiner Geburt! :

3. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn,
: Jesum in Menschengestalt! :

4. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Wo sich heut alle Macht
Väterlicher Liebe ergoß,
Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß
Jesus die Völker der Welt! :

5. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Lange schon uns bedacht,
Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
: Aller Welt Schonung verhieß! :

6. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
 "Jesus der Retter ist da!"

AQUAFOLIA ORNATIS Deck the Halls (Translated by Stanford Miller)

Aquafolia ornatis Fa la la la la, la la la la Tempus hoc hilaritatis Fa la la la la, la la la la Vestes claras induamus; Fa la la la la, la la la la Cantilenas nunc promamus Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Jingle Bells:

Nives, glacies, nos, pueritia! Risus decet, nunc decent carmina! Laetos iuvat nos ire per agros! Traha fert velociter, et cachinemus nos!

CHORUS: Tinniat, tinniat tintinnabulum1 Labimur in glacie post mulum curtum! Tinniat, tinniat tintinnabulum! Me nuper miserum temptavit lunae lux!

Mox assidebat mihi puella facti dux! Vecti subito in nivis cumulos -- Caballus est perterritus et tunc eversi nos!

CHORUS. Solum scintillat, nive candidum, Repetatur nunc concentus carminum! Canities absit morosa omnibus! Puellulas cum pueris delectat hic cursus. CHORUS.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

HAPPY   SUNDAY   !!!!!!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

HAPPY   SATURDAY    !!!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


In honor of having no more shopping, cooking, wrapping, decorating, addressing, stamping, sealing and mailing to do. Ever. Until next November... I took Thursday night off; Except to post this link about Burger Kings newest product Burger King scented cologne . For real.

Hopefully, this will bring down the rate of teen pregnancy.  There's nothing like the odor of old grease and undiluted bleach to really turn a girl off. Perhaps it will help young, inexperienced girls learn how to tell the wrong guys from the right guys just by scent. Hopefully  fewer teen girls will end up giving birth in Burger King toilet stalls.

Oh and to post this The Throw a shoe at Bush Game .

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good girl.

Wrap Star

I decided it was time to wrap gifts. I had all ready done the monster portion with the wrapping of Tiny E's gifts so it would have appeared that I wouldn't have that much more to do.

Appearances can be deceiving.

First were the gifts to the people at work. I had planned ahead and had little gift bags at the ready to hold my little gifts. This took longer than I had expected because I also had to take care of cards at the same time. I still have to take care of a few other people in the building but the gift wrapping portion of the evening for people at work was over. Yay.

Feeling pretty awesome after getting though that group, I decided that I would wrap the gifts of a family member. I hate wrapping. Really. I hate it. I'm not very good at it and it takes a great deal of effort to make a package I've wrapped look attractive like the fake gifts wrapped under the trees in the displays at the mall . It's hard to make a package I've wrapped look likeit was wrapped like an adult or someone with arms.  To be honest, it' s hard just to cover up the package, it's not going to be attractive. One year I found a charity that was wrapping gifts and that year everyone knew I had let someone else wrap the gifts for me. My packages looked like they were wrapped by someone with two usable arms and some muscle control.

This year I didn't have that luxury.

My plan was that I would wrap Family Member #1 gifts and then I would do something else, like pay attention to my pets or watch TV. After pet attention and TV, I would wrap my Giftee's gifts and and then tackle Family Member #2 gifts the next night and go on from there with Family Member 3, 4 and etcetera. It would be time consuming and drag the whole process out but I also wouldn't be as likely to end up in a rocking back and forth under the dining room table trying to treat my countless paper cuts with adhesive gift tags.  Happily, it didn't end that badly! I got Giftee and  FM#1 taken care of and then moved on to FM#2.

I had my fab new bows and rolls of tape and paper and I was on a role.

I went out and bought special new paper so that I wouldn't have to face my last years paper which was also the year befores paper and some of it dated prior to even that. I had begun to hate my Christmas paper and blame it for not just going out and taking the initiative and wrapping the gifts on their own. What were they waiting for my permission? They weren't new here, they had a good idea how to accomplish the task. Lazy. I also think that giving human qualities to wrapping paper  is wrong. No gift paper is so necessary to the plot that it has to be saved year after year. No gift paper is so cute that it should be bought in 300 foot rolls either. Think Ahead! Is the Peanuts and Pooh papers going to still make me smile next year? Most likely but maybe not. Maybe I should have bought them in smaller rolls, maybe next year it will be all about fairies and  pirates. The market in wrapping paper futures must be a very volatile one.

When I was wrapping Tiny E's gifts days ago, my project was to wrap each gift in a different paper. I liked this, I mean, I would also like to wrap everything in the same paper and have some sort of decorating scheme when it comes to wrapping but I never do. I think it would be kind of Martha Stewart to have all the packages under the tree be in the same color pallet, I associate that kind of thought as being very grown up. If  were a grown up I would not have ended up with Pooh Bear and Peanuts paper.

Speaking of new paper and color schemes. I bought new bows as part of my plan to make gift wrapping an enjoyable experience. I bought the paper at Wallyworld and the bows at Poverty Barn. Big Mistake! The paper was  New for 2008 and the bows corresponded to the "old" colors of 2007, that is the only way to explain why my bows were lime green or turquoise or brown and my paper was a slightly less saturated lime and not-at-all-turquoise with only a hint of brown. Who decided that lime green and turquoise and brown were Christmas colors? And even worse, because I bought my paper at Wallyworld the colors are more Red/White/Blue than Red/White/Green. I mean, Snoopy and Pooh aren't carrying flags or killing terrists but both would be appropriate for sale at the PX. I hadn't noticed because I was blinded by the glare of of Charlie Browns bald head.

But. I got the gifts done. All of them.

I think the real reason I put off wrapping, is that once the gifts are wrapped it means to me that everything is over.  All the effort and energy and time devoted to Christmas is almost over. It's also about the passing of time and getting older and everything too. I haven't been as good at doing my Advent calender on a daily basis either because I'm not happy with how fast time is moving.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


All the dog cookies are now gone. Slow boats to across town,  Michigan, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania. Hopefully the boats will dock sometime before Christmas. The post office suggested that if I were to pay for first class passage that they might arrive before New Years but since I opted for steerage they couldn't make any promises. They did however make it clear that the US Postal Service thought that I was a cheap cow who clearly didn't care about the people she was shipping things to; I could have pointed out that for  the $28 they wanted me to pay to send  just one of my small, light weight boxes to its destination, one way over night on a truck, that I could fly my not small not light weight self one way almost anywhere Southwest Airlines flies and I would still beat the cookies to the finish line... but I chose to not go there. And the "people" I was sending the boxes to were dogs who are fully liberated from calenders and other abertrary constraints and Phhhht anyway  and staleness only improves dog cookies.

Oh, and for those wondering about the saga of  Cookbook Search for my Giftee : She's loving them! She gets all excited about them, especially the older books because she's all about antiques and today when she opened her gifts said Wow. Someone really knows me. I didn't think anyone here really knew me...  I was standing there trying not to get all weepy from the sweetness of it and give myself away. In reality I didn't think about her love of antiques, I was just looking for cookbooks that might have recipes with  funny ingredients like lard or brain or more than one egg.

Speaking of old, weird recipes. I have my own veryold cookbook and I was flipping through it today and I ran across a recipe for Mashed Potato Cake.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sweet butter, creamed well
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 square melted chocolate
2 teaspoons baking powder sifted with 2 cups of floor
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs beaten lightly

No further explanation of what you do with all this and no directions as to temperature of oven or how long to bake it, but I would imagine it would be until you could stomach eating chocolate flavored potatoes.

If you would like a sandwich, try a Dried Beef

For a dozen sandwiches soak a half a pound of dried beef in cold water for half an hour; then take out and press out all the water. Roll in flour and fry in butter, place between thin slices of butter bread. Wrap in oiled paper.

Have any curiosity about what goes into Thousand Island dressing? Wonder  no more

Thousand and One Island Dressing

First Part
1 Tablespoon flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil or butter
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
4 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 egg

Second Part
6 mushrooms
1/2 cooked beet
12 green olives
1 canned pimento
1 or 2 teaspoons of chives or onions
1.3 green sweet pickle
1 hard boiled egg
dash of pepper
1/2 pint heavy cream

Mix chopped mixture with cooked dressing, add cayenne pepper. Then add cream and hard boiled egg riced.

If you are more of an oil-and-vinegar  person

1 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon each of flour and butter
salt and pepper
1 egg

Cook in double boiler

Want the recipe for "ideal" salad dressing?

1 egg
4 pounds vinegar (yes , see page 77 The New Home Cookbook, 1926)
1 pound flour (ibid!)
1 pound sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup thick cream
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons pepper
1 onion the size of a walnut
1 pimento
8 ripe olives

Apparently in 1926 as an average homemaker had very strange ideals and knew what to do next with six plus pounds of goop in her kitchen and didn't need any further directions. If I found this mess in my kitchen I would  invest in a slip and slide  and sell the whole lot on Craigs list to the first group of consenting adults that would have it, but I doubt Mrs. Homemaker 1926 would have found that "ideal".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You know there is a two-year-old in your life when...

Have you ever tried to wrap an elephant? It’s not at all as easy as boxing up a monkey. That? That was easy,  I shared my thoughts with him, he agreed and I popped the little guy in the box then patted his head and taped the box up and it was a wrap. Monkey is happy, I’m happy and I didn’t even waste any paper - which for me is practically a miracle as I can waste paper mailing cards. Win-win-win.

Use gift bags! I hear you saying Save time and paper! Bags make it easy! No muss no fuss no waste! Okay, are you two? When you were two would you have been satisfied by unbagging your gifts? No., No you would not.Bags would have made you sad.

I do not want my two-year-old niece to be sad. So I had to figure out how to wrap an elephant. First I tried to box it up, like the monkey. That was easy, win-win-win! I thought so I assumed that Mr. Elephant would also obediently curl up. Elephants are co-operative aren’t they? Elephants live to serve, right?. No, no they aren’t and they don’t. In reality they are willful, uncooperative, obstinate and quite passive aggressive to be honest. First I pulled too much paper off the roll, then not enough. The box would not be wrapped. I tried it on every possible angle. My problem remained the same, no mater how I positioned the box I had either too much or too little paper. I then said Okay. I won’t wrap the whole box. I’ll slip cover the box! Eureka!. It soon became evident that I am not an upholsterer.

!@#$%^&*((!! We started out on the wrong foot. I decided to shake it off and try again. I freed Mr. Elephant from his box. We both took a deep breath and we sat down to try to come to a solution we could both work with. First, we decided we would forgo our attorneys and work it out elephant-o- A- woman-o.

Regardless, Mr. Elephant  speaking through his legal team expressed some concerns when I balled up the used paper and disposed of it. He felt I was using it to express feelings of dissatisfaction with him. I assured him through my legal representatives the timing of the disposal, while unthinking on my part was not in any way an expression of any dissatisfaction with him or his contribution thus far.

We had some coffee, talked about our families and shared individual holiday memories - True fact, elephants don’t really have a great memory. Mr. Elephant shared a humorous story regarding his Mother and a misplaced fruitcake that had us both rolling! But it wasn’t all small talk. We had work to do and an agenda to stick to. We didn’t always agree. I felt that a tidy box approach would be the best, while Mr. Elephant brought forth the suggestion that he may need some sort of custom box solution. I countered with the idea that we might just be able to get by with a festive bow.

Negotiations broke down at this point. After some heated words and some last minute interventions from our attorneys, we came to a solution.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cutest Doggy evah

Cookie Crumbs

The cookies are done  and more importantly,  I am done with the cookies. The final count was 981 cookies in bacon/cheese, peanut butter, milk and bacon.  I was going to stick with just bacon/cheese but then I got very tired of bacon/cheese and needed to change it up. Also? my house was being to reek of bacon and cheese, which you would think wouldn't be a bad thing, I mean who doesn't like the smell of bacon? Live with it non-stop for a few days and then get back to me.

So then I made the peanut butter which made me feel bad because Dogger can't have peanut butter ( bad, bad, evil potassium does not work for Addisonian doggies) so I then had to make the milk batch because Dogger can have milk and then I ran out of cheese so I made the just bacon batch. I made small bones and large bones and teeny bones and two different sizes of stars and if I could have found a small enough Santa I would have made Santa's in small, medium and teeny too.

That's what almost a thousand dog treats look like.  Then it was time for gift bagging and over thinking. I had thirteen names on my list and dogs of various sizes. This year I wanted to make small cookies for the small dogs, so I made small cookies in all but the milk flavored, I so I could add a layer of pain-in-my-ass later on.  Differentiating between the two sizes didn't seem like it was going to be as complicated as it turned out to be.  I thought I made it easy for myself but it just added a second additional layer of  pain-in-my-ass. And this year I didn't even stress myself about the individual cookie counts per bag and making sure they were all the same. I mean, I made sure every bag got sameish number of cookies, I just didn't stress too much on how much of each variety each bag ended up. In the past I've spent a lot of time dumping out bags and counting and all but weighing bags to make sure they were all identical. Having two different sets of cookies put an end to that. I chose not to worry on how many big cookies verses how many small cookies and all that attendant bother, i.e Oh no! This bag has fourteen bacon cookies while this other bag has thirteen! Oh No! the same bag has six large milk stars and it's only supposed to have five! Now I have to start all over!.  Everyone ended up with a nice bag of cookies. End of story.
I wasn't finished. Some of the cookies need to be shipped and they won't let you ship plastic bags! Imagine! My plastic bags kind of suck too, so I don't blame them. I've had two burst because they suck, they are cute, cute, cure but not made to stand the test of time. So, more stress, more time at Wallyworld and another layer of  pain-in-my-ass. The thing is? I actually enjoy all this work because people seem to like the cookies and I know their dogs do and its a gift they can use. Tomorrow I'm taking the folks at work their cookies so all of them will be out of my life by Tuesday at lunch at the latest. Then I can turn my attention to taking care of the humans on my list.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

HAPPY    SUNDAY   !!!!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Guest Cat Blogging

I don't often go cat blogging shopping, but this little sweetie just needed to be cat blogged!  I stole her from

Dog-As-Canvas . All of a sudden my putting costumes on my animals doesn't seem as weird does it?

Happy Friday

Lets see, Thursday night I made even more cookies, peanut butter this time plus a dough ball of milk flavored on deck for Friday.  I took a nice shower and  I went upstairs where I was trying to decide which holiday shirt to wear to work when I stepped in something I hoped was cat barf.

It wasn't.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

 2008 Golden Globe Nominations

Best Picture, Drama

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"


"The Reader"

"Revolutionary Road"

"Slumdog Millionaire"

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy

"Burn After Reading"


"In Bruges"

"Mamma Mia!"

"Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Best Actor, Drama

Leonardo DiCaprio, "Revolutionary Road"

Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"

Sean Penn, "Milk"

Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"

Best Actress, Drama

Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"

Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"

Meryl Streep, "Doubt"

Kristin Scott Thomas, "I've Loved You So Long"

Kate Winslett, "Revolutionary Road"

Best Actor, Musical or Comedy

Javier Bardem, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Colin Farrell, "In Bruges"

James Franco, "Pineapple Express"

Brendan Gleeson, "In Bruges"

Dustin Hoffman, "Last Chance Harvey"

Best Actress, Musical or Comedy

Rebecca Hall, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Sally Hawkins, "Happy-Go-Lucky"

Frances McDormand, "Burn After Reading"

Meryl Streep, "Mamma Mia!"

Emma Thompson, "Last Chance Harvey"

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Cruise, "Tropic Thunder"

Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"

Ralph Fiennes, "The Duchess"

Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"

Heather Ledger, "The Dark Knight"

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, "Doubt"

Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Viola Davis, "Doubt"

Marissa Tomei, "The Wrestler"

Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

Best Director

Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"

Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"

David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"

Sam Mendes, "Revolutionary Road"

Best Screenplay

Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire"

David Hare, "The Reader"

Peter Morgan, "Frost/Nixon"

Eric Roth, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt"

Best Original Song

"Down To Earth," "Wall-E"

"Gran Torino," "Gran Torino"

"I Thought I Lost You, "Bolt"

"Once in a Lifetime," "Cadillac Records"

"The Wrestler," "The Wrestler"

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Clint Eastwood, "Changeling"

James Newton Howard, "Defiance"

A.R. Rahman, "Slumdog Millionaire"

Hans Zimmer, "Frost/Nixon"

Best Animated Film


"Kung Fu Panda"


Best Foreign Language Film

"The Baader Meinhof Complex"

"Everlasting Moments"


"I've Loved You So Long"

"Waltz with Bashir"

Best TV Series, Drama



"In Treatment"

"Mad Men"

"True Blood"

Best TV Series, Comedy

"30 Rock"



"The Office"


Best Miniseries or Movie

"A Raisin in the Sun"

"Bernard and Doris"


"John Adams"


Best Actor, Drama Series

Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"

Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"

Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"

Hugh Laurie, "House"

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, "The Tudors"

Best Actress, Drama Series

Sally Field, "Brothers & Sisters"

Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

January Jones, "Mad Men"

Anna Paquin, "True Blood"

Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Best Actor, Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"

Steve Carrell, "The Office"

Kevin Connolly, "Entourage"

David Duchovny, "Californication"

Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"

Best Actress, Comedy Series

Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?"

America Ferrerra, "Ugly Betty"

Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

Debra Messing, "The Starter Wife"

Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds"

Best Actor, Miniseries or Movie

Ralph Fiennes, "Bernard & Doris"

Paul Giamatti, "Kevin Adams"

Kevin Spacey, "Recount"

Kiefer Sutherland, "24: Redemption"

Tom Wilkinson, "Recount"

Best Actress, Miniseries or Movie

Judi Dench, "Cranford"

Catherine Keener, "An American Crime"

Laura Linney, "John Adams"

Shirley Maclaine, "Coco Chanel"

Susan Sarandon, "Bernard and Doris"

Best Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie

Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"

Denis Leary, "Recount"

Jeremy Piven, "Entourage"

Blair Underwood, "In Treatment"

Tom Wilkinson, "John Adams"

Best Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie

Eileen Atkins, "Cranford"

Laura Dern, "Recount"

Melissa George, "In Treatment"

Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers & Sisters"

Dianne Weist, "In Treatment"
No Entry

I would have written an entry but instead

I wrote Christmas cards. Lots and lots of Christmas cards.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What do you want, a cookie?

Tuesday morning I took the dog out and it was cold, not a biting cold but certainly a gnawing cold.I went to work in my huge down coat and gloves. Okay, work, work, work. I leave for lunch, I put on my huge down coat and gloves and head out the door, taking a moment before I stepped outside to prep myself for the slap in the face to come.

A caress. I was not cold. By the time I got out to my car I was warm. In December. Yesterday I went out to my car and it was cold and nasty and totally in character for December. It's just really strange. I left my coat in the car after lunch.

In the afternoon one of my co-workers looked out the window and said Is it cold out, it looks like its cold out, like it could snow... She was right. It looked cold, it wasn't but it did look really cold.

Funny story? my group is having our annual Christmas lunch on Thursday and Monday our boss sent out a notice about making phone numbers and other materials out so that the people standing in for us while we are at lunch won't be totally lost. Among her directives was that the intake people make their handsets for the phones available because the head sets might not be what our stand ins are interested in using. One of my friends came into my office and asked for help. She had looked everywhere in her office and she couldn't find her handset anywhere. She asked if I knew where her's could be because she had looked everywhere for it. I walked in to her office and glanced at the desk. Her handset was on her phone! I laughed. She ordered me to not tell anyone. I didn't tell anyone at work.

Time passed and I came home. Still warm. I made more cookies!

Larger cookies

I still have at least one more batch to make but I'm feeling a lot better about the cookie project than I was. I'm getting a little over bacon/cheese/garlic but I am out of cheese and garlic so now so the next batch is just going to be bacon . I'm thinking of making a parsley batch. I would make a  peanut butter batch and a batch of molasses but due to Doggers' Addison's she's not supposed to have extra potassium and peanut butter and molasses are both heavy with it. Sucks for Dogger, win for the other dogs that won't have to share.

It's still warm.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ace of Cookies

  •  Dog Cookies

So many dog cookies. Lots and lots of dog cookies. Hundreds probably. And many more to come. Probably not hundreds to come, but at least dozens. The first batches were smaller cookies so now I have a small mountain of small cookies

Tuesday I will make larger by comparison cookies and I'll have small hills of larger by comparison cookies and then I'll have a mid-sized, yet still towering mountain of dog cookies. And at that point I will count them and  separate them  and bag them up and my  veritable mountain of cookies will morph into manageable mole hills. And then I will take care of my Christmas cards, I could have done that job first, but  then after thoroughly over-thinking the whole thing that involved an argument with myself about the cookies sitting around, separate from their cards, which disturbed me greatly, Gawd only knows why, I don't even know why -  I could have done  the cards and mailed the cards but then I would have to make cookies and mail the cookies and wouldn't it be more  efficant if I could mail the cards with the cookies?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Checking her list

I had a huge list of things to get done over the weekend and shhh don't tell anyone, I got them all done! I mentally made out my to-do list Friday night
  • Shop for giftee
  • outdoor decorations
  • Dogger to Santa
  • Dog Cookies
  • Flea Market
  • Leaf Blow Yard
  • Gas up Minnie
And said, Yeah. Right.

I knew there were some things I really needed to get done sooner rather than later, my outside lights for example was a job I wanted to get done  before Christmas. True, I put up significantly fewer strings up but I did haul out the Tomato Brace Tree and I had said I wasn't going to pull it out this year. it won the display lottery because it has LCD lights on it and I decided it wasn't going to cost as much to run  as some of my many non-LCD strings. I was afraid the front of the house was going to look bare but with two trees inside, a spot on the door, the air-blown in the yard and the Tomato Brace Tree, I think it looks pretty full.

Lets see, before I could decorate the front of the house I had to blow the yard again. It was funnish, but I still can't believe that someone stole my rake, it just really pisses me off! Who would steal a rake? It's not like the street value of a rake is worth the stress of me screaming bloody murder and setting my dawg on you if I were to catch you doing it. I really do not think there is enough copper in a rake to make it worth stealing one right now, I don't think copper is actually worth stealing in it's purest form. Things suck all over, even for thieves. But anyway, yard blown, decorations pulled for attic, extension cords pulled from corners and inside the deep holes where they hide.

But even before I could work on the yard Sunday, I had more pressing business to attended to : Dogger needed to see Santa. Again. I took her Saturday to Petco and had her picture taken but it was really lousy. They tried real hard but it was just not a good picture. The scenery was on the wrong side of the lame set and most of the picture was of the adopt-a-cat crates and boxes of kitty litter, and Dogger wouldn't smile, she did rawk her green velvet jingle bell collar though.

a picture of the picture.
She did do really well in a strange place  and a new situation and  lots of people and lots of other dogs  I worry about her since the Addison's as stress is very bad for her and new situations and other dogs are very stressful. It was a good trip though and many people told her she beautiful, she and I both like to hear that. Later on Saturday Alphagal and I went shopping and I was able to pick up some new cookbooks for my Giftee and I got a skirt, later Dogger and I went to the gas station and passer by gave Dogger a bad vibe. She didn't take her eyes off  him until her was out of sight. There is a big difference between Dogger paying warm and fuzzy attention to you and how cold her undivided attention is. I bet Mr. Passer-bys' skin was crawling and he didn't know why.
Sunday I went to Petsmart for yet another Santa picture. Dogger was again the belle of the ball and everyone loved her. She had a great time too. She is going to be impossible to live with now, every-time I take her somewhere in the car she is going to be expecting to get treated like a princess and plied with cookies.
And? I started on dog cookies! Alphagal loaned me her incredibly awesome mixer and so far I have two batches in the dough stage. Yay! Two down and two or so to go.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

HAPPY   SUNDAY   !!!!!

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the day everything changed for everyone forever. Life in the world was never the same.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

HAPPY    SATURDAY   !!!!!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


OJ is finally going to jail, not for killing two people but for being an asshole. The penalty for asshole behavior in 2008 is  "at least 15 years" . The dumb shit could have just played golf for the rest of his life and gotten away with murder.
Ms. Clause

And we have Secret Santa! it only took nine emails back and forth to get the dates figured out! Seriously, after email number five I was getting really stressed out about it. We decided among ourselves, i.e without the boss’ input, last week what the price limit was going to be and I don’t think that took any emails at all.

The good news is that I know my giftee! I was afraid it was going to be either the boss herself or the one intake person I don’t really know and her office is of no help whatsoever as it is decorated solely with pictures of her young daughter and herself. Nothing helpful about favorite colors or decorating schemes or collections . I was afraid it was going to be five days of progressively more cutesy I Luve My Mommy photo frames.

My giftee is an active, devoted Democrat, which is great and I can think of several suiatable items right off the top of my head but I’m not sure who else knows that about her and we aren’t supposed to give away who Santa is too early and I’m pretty sure I am the only one who knows that. So that’s a bust, I know she has a lot of older, home made looking tats, but I don’t know what kind of gift giving opportunities that makes available - She’s an RN so I don’t think she really needs a copy of Hep and You and she doesn’t decorate a tree so that knocks out suitable ornaments as gifts and she doesn’t seem to wear jewelry. She lives alone and doesn’t have pets, her kids are grown and away.

That covers the things she does not need or want. I do know she’s a good Democrat, that she’s diabetic, not real religious, she likes motorcycles, she’s into body art and has an interest in cooking and cookbooks and drinks a lot of water. I know for a fact she’s really devoted to giving to others at the holidays and does a lot of very generous but low profile holiday wish granting and meal supplying. I think I’m going to go with the interesting/antique cook book angle and look into Heifer International.

Ya’ll got any ideas what I can get for this lady that could be in my hot little hands between December 12-19?

My theory of decorating is Go Big Or Go Home

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My cousins' husband works at the Tilden Mine.

December 4, 2008

Cleveland Cliffs announces layoffs

MARQUETTE - Cliffs Natural Resources announced today more than 300 layoffs are likely in January and production at the Empire and Tilden mines in 2009 will be substantially reduced due to the downward spiral of the world economy and a reduced demand for steel and iron ore.


Cliffs calls off merger

CHARLESTON, W.Va.—Cliffs Natural Resources' proposed $2.7 billion takeover of coal producer Alpha Natural Resources has been called off, the companies said Monday.

Terminating the deal is in the best interest of shareholders due to the faltering U.S. economy, uncertainty in the steel industry and other factors, the companies said in a joint news release. Cliffs agreed to pay Alpha a $70 million breakup fee. In turn, Alpha agreed to drop a lawsuit filed against Cliffs for unilaterally delaying a shareholder vote on the proposed acquisition.

July 16, 2008

Cliffs gets bigger with mining merger

St. Paul, Minn. — Cleveland-Cliffs says it's merging with Alpha Natural Resources, A Virginia-based coal operation with 57 coal mines and 11 coal preparation plants in four northern Appalachian states.  The $10 billion cash and stock deal makes the new company, to be called Cliffs Natural Resources, a major player in iron mining and coal production. The coal mines give the company ownership of a key resource for making steel, and another product to sell.
Pretty, shiny things

Well another evening another Christmas realted  task off my list. I put together my Christmas cards! Woo! Now all I have to do it sign them and address, stamp and mail the lot of them! So really, I only started the whole project and it is a project. I got the dull part of the project finished so still, Yay me!

History of Christmas Cards

I also put my breakable ornaments on the top third of the tree. The tree was creeping me out all lit up and naked, it looked funny so I fixed it. The new tree is pre-lit, it's lit all over it, the whole tree, top to bottom. This is a new thing for tree's in my house. I have a cat, so it's been my habit for oh the last 10 years to not decorate or light the bottom several feet of tree. I learned this the hard way. Big tree, little kitten. Massive head ache. I learned my lesson and The Kitty seemed to learn his.

The tree has been up for a week but only now lit up regularly and covered with interesting shiny things. Thus far The Kitty seems to not be terribly interested in it yet. We shall see once the non-breakable ornaments go on the tree this weekend.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No! Ho! Ho!

I had to take The Kitty back to the vet to pay my quarterly bribe in order to keep The Kitty's pred flowing - And they thought they had me, they think I feel bad about The Kitty making a lot of noise and being in general a bad patient, But I don't. I bought him a muzzle! He can't hurt them and they can't hurt me! That little piece of poly-ester is like a magic Guilt Shield!   pre-muzzle, I felt really bad about his behavior and they were threatening me with Kitty sedation every time I had to bring him in, Now? Granting that  they are fluent in catese? The only thing getting hurt is their feelings and they get paid well enough  to sooth that.
 They brought The Kitty out to me and I was visiting with the vet tech  and she casually suggested that this time we run the pricey full blood panel instead of whatever cheaper test we normally run and I, not so casually said No, maybe next time. I credit a day spent listening to The Kenny G Christmas Album for this burst of aggression. I In honor of spending the whole entire day listening to The Kenny G Christmas Album, I bring you a real Christmas carol.
Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk

At our Christmas party

We were drinkin' champagne punch

And homemade eggnog

Little sister brought her new boyfriend

He was a Mexican

We didn't know what to think of him

'Til he sang Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad

Brother Ken brought his kids with him

The three from his first wife Lynn

And the two identical twins

From his second wife MaryNell

Of course he brought his new wife Kaye

Who talks all about AA

Chain smokin' while the stereo plays

Noel, Noel, The first Noel

Carve the turkey turn the ball game on

Mix margaritas when the eggnog's gone

Send somebody to the Quik-Pak store

We need some ice and an extension cord

A can of bean dip and some Diet Rite

A box of tampons and some Marlboro Lights

Hallelujah everybody say cheese

Merry Christmas from the family

Fran and Rita drove from Harlingen

I can't remember how I'm kin to them

But when they tried to plug their motorhome in

They blew our Christmas lights

Cousin David knew just what went wrong

So we all waited on our front lawn

He threw the breaker and the lights came on

And we sang Silent Night

Oh Silent Night

Carve the turkey turn the ball game on

Mix margaritas when the eggnog's gone

Send somebody to the Quik-Pak store

We need some ice and an extension cord

A can of bean dip and some Diet Rite

A box of tampons and some Marlboro Lights

Hallelujah everybody say cheese

Merry Christmas from the family

Carve the turkey turn the ballgame on

Make Bloody Marys cause we all want one

Send somebody to the Stop 'n Go

We need some celery and a can of fake snow

A bag of lemons and some Diet Sprite

A box of tampons and some Salem Lights

Hallelujah everybody say cheese

Merry Christmas from the family
Oh, and I came home and got most of my interior Christmas decorating done. Thank You Kenny G!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All that glitters...

Yesterday morning I wanted a coke. I Really, really wanted a coke, I needed a coke. The kind of Coke-want that drinking water or even eating something is not going to smother.

I have two lines of defense against these moments.

1) I don't carry cash and no cash means no change which means no coke.

2) The coke machine is right outside my bosses office.

These have worked for me. The machines thus far (Thank Gawd) don't accept plastic and I don't really need my boss to see me slacking off and getting sodas all day every day. If I really need a soda I walk to other side of the building and take the elevator down to the basemment and then go to the machine and then take the elevator back upstairs, walk back across the building and go back to my desk. It's a lot of work for a coke. But Monday, I wanted a coke and my boss was not in and I had change, but I didn't have exact change so I took three quarters and went down to the machine.


I put my money into the machine and punched the coke button. Nothing. The machine spit out one of my quarters. Bitch, I said. I tried again, this time putting the money in quickly and immediately hammering the coke button. Nada. Now I was really pissed. I tried again - Take it! Take it! Take it! and nothing happened. I don't know why I kept trying. But I did. Over and over. I put the quarters in different orders, I put them in slowly, I put them quickly, I pushed the coke button as I was putting them in.

I was waiting for a new machine gremlin to come on duty and maybe one that wasn't such a stickler and then my quarters would be acceptable and I could get my coke. With coke machines and their gremlins, it just depends on who is on duty when you come through, some are real bastards and some don't care. I was willing to wait for a shift change.

It did not occur to me to go get a dollar bill, even if it had, that would have been tantamount to bending to the machines will and I wasn't going to let it get the upper hand. Eventually I got tired of this and the urge for a coke passed. I went back to work and eventually went to lunch where I got a Mr. Pibb.

Time passed. I needed a Coke, a real coke. I wanted it and I wanted it now and surely, there had been a shift change in the machine and by now I should be able to get a coke. So I went back and fed the machine my quarters. Whatever gremlin was in charge of quarters was still on duty! This time I didn't give it another chance and on my way out I dropped one of my quarters. It sounded funny when it fell. I picked it up and looked at and  it didn't look right either. It was not the right color and the edges were wrong. I dropped it again and I dropped one of the others. the dull quarter sounded like a quarter,  the shiny quarter didn't. I went to my computer to look up Mr. Shiny 1964 quarter. No wonder the machine wouldn't take it. it didn't taste or feel right.

Maybe someday some one who doesn't know their history will decide to corner the silver market and I'll be able to retire. I'll buy stock in coke.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas is now in 24 days

Man, I need a few days at work I’m bushed! . There’s nothing like a few days off in a row to really leave you wrung out! I'm going to need a few days of R&R at my desk to recover.

I don’t think I stopped moving the whole time. Three malls, four melted credit cards, six bags and one pair of busted shoes. I did my part for the economy. The mail man is going to put his back out bringing my credit cards bills home to roost but I did finished all my shopping. Knock wood. I’m done with all the family gifts but I’m not entirely done because we haven’t started Secret Santa at work yet, and I haven’t started my dog cookies yet or wrapped anything or even started Christmas cards and I have one friend who is still gift-less, but I’m calling it “finished” because the hard part is finished. Now I have to figure out how to wrap an elephant.

Secret Santa is either going to be very easy or very hard. I have a pretty good idea of five days worth of gifties for just about everyone who is going to participate but there is a wild card who I know nothing about, I know she’s a Master of Social Work and has a young child but that is the sum total of what I know about her. I’m hoping I get someone else, any one else but I know I’m going to get her because that’s the way it works, I know I’m not going to get one of the three women I could Secret Santa in my sleep, because that would be too easy and  Gawd forbid Secret Santa be easy.

I could just go to Poverty Barn and pick up five seasonal thingies and leave it there. That would be easy and fast and cheap. But nooooo! I can’t have that! I want to get them things they may actually want and to be honest, how many Christmas thingies does anyone really want? December 26 that stuff goes from cute to trash really fast. I mean if you are a Snowman person you don’t want Santas and if you are an Angel person a Penguin is going to leave you cold. And does anyone actually want napkin rings? I mean really? It’s a paper napkin world people! And how about kicky place cards? I see them all over the place in stores but I don’t think I have ever seen them in person except at very fancy wedding receptions and you know, those weren’t “kicky” if memory serves.

I guess they are marketed as hostess gifts but do you really want to eat dinner with some one who would actually use them? Hi! There are four of us and four chairs! Find your place! NO! You can’t eat there, you eat there, that is your chair! You? You are here! Not there, No!. I think I’d worry about why it was so important that I ate in that chair...

Speaking dog cookies. I did a little prep-work on them and finally settled on a container for them. It’s a big step, trust me. I looked at catalogues, I shopped online and I looked through stores. I finally found a good candidate I, brought them home and took them out. It turns out they are too small and the first one tore when I touched it. No, I don’t have the receipt. Why would I save that? Gah. But on the upside, Alphagal is going to let me use her super-duper high end electric mixer and that is going to make a lot of difference in the time it takes to put the cookies together and I bet I get a better quality dough in the process. I’m very stoked.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Saturday, November 29, 2008


Friday, November 28, 2008


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Have a safe and happy holiday!! from all of us in Thedianaverse to all of you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!

In honor of Thanksgiving, as a public service   Food Network Turkey Tips ,  also in honor of Thanksgiving I am posting two Key Lime pie recipes. One easy, one hard. The hard recipe does produce a better pie but the easy recipe is easy and still produces a fine pie.

The Hard Way

6 egg yolks
5/8 cup of sugar
5 ounces Key lime juice ( I suggest the juice from the plastic lime)
Zest of two real limes
32 ounces of whipped topping
pre-made graham cracker crust,maybe two, recipe makes one large pie and one smaller.

Heat egg yolks, 5/8 cup sugar and key lime juice in double boiler. Stirring occasionally. Once mixture has achieved  the consistency of pancake batter remove from heat. Chill in refrigerator for two hours until it gels. Combine lime zest and whipped topping, then with a hand mixer beginning at medium speed and increasing to high speed until overly thick. You can not over beat the topping. By hand fold in lime gel, deposit in graham cracker crust. Let rest in refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

The Easy Way

1 pie crust
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice ( go  with plastic limes)
3 egg yolks

Mix all the ingredients and pour into crust, bake at 350 for 10 minutes, then chill.

I like my Key lime pies to have a hint of green, in it's natural state it has a tinge of yellowness to it. You have gone too far with the food coloring when the finished product  is  so green it tastes like food coloring. Key lime is not supposed to be khaki. It's scaring

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Staying Strong

With some of the house in order and the lawn picked up and no dog cookies made or cards organized, I thought it would be a good idea pre-holiday to get myself tidied up. I mean, it was getting down to the wire and really, how many years worth of pictures of yourself do you really need to be haunted by where you look like Bozo and Brook Shields love child? In my case? Too many.

Since I had been there last there has been a change in management. I liked the last management. I never had to wait and all conversations were conducted in pantomime as they didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Korean. I walked in the door, fluttered by fingers around my eyes and they took to the back to do their thing. It was fast, easy and convenient to work. I would pop in there at 11:30 and could be sitting down eating lunch before noon. I liked that. This time, under new management I walked in at 4:30 and did my fluttering and they asked me to sit down and sign in, in English! I was aghast. My first thought was They are totally going to charge more! . I pay very little for very little and part of that is no conversations and no reading the magazines, this time I read an entire Glamour and half a Self before I got called back and then I sat there too. I was not happy. I’ve been the victim of too much poor customer service lately and this was making me feel picked on.

Finally, a woman came back and my wallet relaxed. She spoke a grand total of four words of English and they were gibberish! She did her thing and I went to pay where I discovered she knows another word of English: Tip .

I have been trying to DIY the brow waxing because they make tweezers for a reason and it is not to fix glasses frames or pull pennies out from air-conditioning grates. I have been trying spend as little on “want” items as I can. It’s about Need v. Want and I’m trying to remember what is and is not important and to concentrate on keeping my Needs filled. Wanting something is natural, but its not a Need for a reason. No one “needs” another plastic plate, not even a really heavy one with a neat image on it. Also, no one needs black noodles, even if they are really, really, really cool and you want them right now... But you must keep in mind that for the same price you could get toothpaste and butter and tea you need those.

Right now for instance, Dogger is helping out the home team by eating a catalogue. This is a good thing for her to do, the downside is that I don’t really want her to eat my catalogues but I need her to eat as many as possible as quickly as possible. so I can’t find more things I need. To drive my point home and in the spirit of being consistent , I separated Dogger from her catalogue toy and now she is sad. She won’t even speak to Ninja Hamster and she has completely forgotten about Bone! She’s known both of them for months and now she doesn’t love them anymore.. It’s very sad to see old friends grow apart.

I wish I could explain to her that while eating unwanted catalogs is Okay, eating the similar papery utility bills is not. It is very hard to make that distinction with her.

Now Dogger, this envelope comes from AT&T, this is not to eat, but this envelope comes from Publishers Clearing House and it is okay to eat. Mommy’s explanation of Benefits from her Insurance Company is not okay to eat but this booklet from Hover-Round is. This catalogue from Thomas Kincaid is okay to eat but this Signals catalogue is not. Can you see the differences? Good Girl.

Right now Dogger is crying at the door so that I will re-unite her with her catalogue. It is her best friend and she misses it very much.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I hate Alltel

Me and 136,000 others and that doesn't count the 249,000 who think they suck or the 383,000 who think they offer bad customer service.

Raleigh Christmas Parade   . Sorry no Santa picture but  I hadn't been able to feel my feet in an hour and I decided that if it was between waiting for him and getting frost bite, I didn't want to have to ask him for toes. I think he understood.

After I could feel my feet again I went to the book sale  and spent money, on the upside,  I saved $357.37!  I went with the idea I was going to stay away from the more expensive $2 hardbacks and stick with the .50 paperbacks... I ended up with fourteen hardbacks and nineteen paperbacks, plus a handful that didn't have any prices listed.

Oh, I also did the most decadent thing evah. I needed to rake my yard, actually, I needed to rake the yard a while ago but I had other things on my plate that I actually wanted to do, so I had put it off . I looked for the rake and when I couldn't find it ( some one took it, bastards) , I thought I was out of business. And then I remembered the blower. Oh. my.gawd. Rake? what rake?

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Saturday, November 22, 2008


Also, today is the anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


And we have snowfall. According to the guy who delivers my paper it has been snowing since 3am. It's not sticking as yet. but it's real snow... It was real snow. AS soon as it got light enough to enjoy it, it stopped.

Woo-Hoo! Cheap-er books at the fair! Woo! Also?  as of November 19th my garden finally died. actually, it froze to death. My peppers and large tomatoes really held on like champs, but they were too tall to cover and nature took its course. My baby broccoli are still short so covering them was easy and I did. I  just realized something about myself,  I am an ageist. Young and cute?  I go out of my way to make sure you stay warm at night  but work for me all summer, sweat in the heat and produce your little heart out for months and I let you freeze to death when you get old. I am a mean person.

Saturday I'm going to take my big plants out and prep the soil for the winter. Maybe I'll manafest my ageism and show the baby brocs some love. Or I'll just tidy the plot and wait for the leaves to cover the dirt and leave it at that and still show the brocs a little love.  I could go out and buy something to cover the garden for the winter and I know they sell pricey garden mulches that are all organic and natural but why bother? Nature makes it's own additives for free and if they sit there long enough it gets organic as hell. I like free. Speaking of free, I think I may have a little volunteer cucumber growing in my back yard shrub. Maybe I'm not the meanest person ever?

Speaking of things that were not free, My Tree Arrived! Yay! It's standing there in my entry way  all ready for me to take it out and put it up! Yay! Christmas Tree! Deck my Halls! LaLaLaLa!  But in November? before even Thanksgiving? I'm not sure, I mean. Gee. You know? That just seems like I'm rushing it. I haven't touched my cards yet and I think I should prioritize getting those ready before I do the tree. I don't know, I'm going to be busy over the weekend with the gardening and the house cleaning and the laundry I never really did last weekend and I will be at the book fair a lot...

Maybe, maybe I should put the tree up.I Mean, it's the first time and it may take me a while and I may need help and my family will be around later in the week but I could try...My family is staying with me for the holiday and it would be a good bonding activity and then there is the  shopping and of course all the cleaning before hand and the cooking, I am going to be  really busy. Maybe, I should just put it up, save time later on... I don't have to to park it in front of the window or anything. I don't have to display it or anything...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The operative words are books and sale

I went to the  book sale. I went with the plan that I would just make a quick (!) pass though, scope out what was there make a note of what I wanted and come back after the prices g down in a few days and pick up what I need, going with the idea if whatever it was had been sold by the time I got back, well, I didn't need it anyway. I decided with an eye towards Pushing Daisies, that I could spend about forty-five minutes wandering around  and then I would  leave without buying anything (!).

And that plan worked out real well for me. Not. The place is the size of an aircraft carrier and its covered wall to wall with row upon row of banquet tables covered with layers of books!  To get an idea of what I want I would still have to look at everything on every table and this can not be accomplished in forty-five minutes. I also wasn't going to get out of there without spending some money.

I decided that while it would be all right to buy something if I saw something that caught my eye, I could not buy something no matter how eye catching for myself. Buying gifts would be fine. I need to buy gifts and books make good gifts... Have you ever tried to buy books for other people? Everyone says they like books but which books? About what, by whom? Right now come up with the favorite author of a friend or family member, can you do it? Genre is easier but  not all murder mysteries or non-fiction social commentary are created equally. And you can't just wimp out and buy a gift card because there are no gift cards for a library sale! It's all about Carpe-ing that Tony Hillerman right now  And taking a chance on that all cabbage cook book on the off chance it might be a winner. For $4 its hard to lose. And once you made that bet,  it seems perfect? Is it too perfect? Do they have this book on their shelf  right now? It's a gamble.

Not a gamble? Dave Barry books. There were  hundreds! You couldn't get away from the damn Dave Barry books. Non-Fiction Travel section? thirty four copies of Dave Barry Goes to The Grand Canyon, eleven copies of  Dave Barry Goes To Hungary. Biography? five copies of Dave Barry Talks About Other People,  Non-Fiction Computer? fourteen copies of  Dave Barry Fixes Your PC, True Crime?  two copies of Dave Barry found Three Dead Bodies, Non-Fiction Gardening? sixteen copies of  Dave Barry Grows Tomatoes. I on purpose didn't spend a lot of time in the kids books but I'm pretty sure I saw three copies of  Dave Barry Rides a Firetruck.

Oh, Alphagal! I have two words for you: COOK BOOKS. Row upon row, table upon table of cook books. All the cook books! Really kewl,  fun-just-to-look-at cook books, five-cups-of-what? cook books.  Cook Books full of pretty pictures and interesting illustrations! Food you would never make and probably wouldn't eat, but just reading the recipes can make you feel full. All. The. Cook. Books.

And I was good. Mostly. I found two gifts and a single damn-it all-$4-hardcover for myself. Saturday and Sunday I'm going back to play for keeps.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wake Book Sale Returns Nov. 19-23, 2008

The annual Wake County Public Library Book Sale will be held November 19-23, 2008, at the former Super Kmart, 4121 New Bern Ave., located between New Hope Road and Corporation Parkway in Raleigh. More than 350,000 books will be available for purchase.

Book Sale Hours:

Wednesday, November 19, noon to 9 p.m.

Thursday, November 20, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday, November 21, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday, November 22, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sunday, November 23, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Book prices Wednesday through Friday will be $4 per hardbound book and $1 per paperback. On Saturday the prices drop to $2 hardbound/50 cents paperback. On Sunday, the library will provide bags and boxes for customers to pack at $2 per bag and $5 per box. Cash and checks will be accepted, and patrons are encouraged to bring hand trucks or book carts to use as they find great bargains.

Only cash and personal checks are accepted for payment.
She’s Saucy!

In honor of our first real cold snap and our first “snow” of the season. It wasn’t so much snow as it was like pollen from a snow tree, it wafted around in a very unsnowlike way. Also? For much of the time it was “snowing” , the sun was shining. I know what it means when there is rain and bright sun - it means that the devil is beating his wife, but what does snow and sunshine speak to?

I decided to “make” some spaghetti sauce. I use quotes around make because my Mother makes spaghetti sauce from scratch. I just added ground meats and frozen pre-chopped peppers and onions to a jar of Prego and dumped garlic into the pot. I don’t think utilizing jar sauce meets the definition of “making”. I did however brown the meet and sauteed the peppers and onions and added spices to give it taste. Prego on it’s own has no taste. I also boiled the spaghetti. I don’t know what got into me, but it was cold and kind of snowique-ing outside and the thought of standing in front of the stove for a while sounded very seasonal and I had this ground chicken in the refrigerator that wasn’t getting any younger.... It was all about synergy.

Did you know that even the smallest jar of Prego is a huge amount of Prego? Would Prego-for-one make someone somewhere to depressed to live? Is it written somewhere they can only sell Prego in vats? So now I have a lot of spaghetti sauce. Lots of sauce. Lots and lots. Enough I should never have to make sauce again. Too bad for Prego, now I never have to buy spaghetti sauce again. Great marketing strategy there.

I would have rather bought any size of Newman’s Own I bet Paul Newman didn’t believe in marginalizing a whole segment of the buying public!  whatever market research they did for my Kroger must have uncovered that “ the community” did not respond to charitable spaghetti sauce, no matter how twinkly and good of heart or it could just be simply that Kroger sucks.  If I had sucked it up and gone to a grocery in North Raleigh, I would still be standing there trying to decide which variety of which brand to take home. I think the last time I looked for sauce at Poverty Barn I had more of a selection than at my store.

The woman in front of me in line was buying her whole Thanksgiving dinner while the guy behind me was picking up a carton of smokes and enough 40s for a crowd. Holiday in the Hood.