Musing on food and cooking ...

Friday, April 27, 2007

I Am Not a Dumb Woman,
You Sexist Bastard

So, I have been in the deapths of moving over the last two days. Last night, around 8:30, I hauled in the second to the last vehicle-full o'crap and then proceeded to change clothes and suggest to mia madre, who is down helping, that we go somewhere for steak. About to head out the door, I said, "Do you smell something hot?"

Indeed, something was hot: the slightly defective oven that I knew had to be replaced within the next month. Somehow, it was turned on. And, even when we moved the knob back to "off," it stayed on. And got hotter and hotter. And neither of us could find the gas turn off, not that I had my toolbox available to get a wrench and turn it off, anyhow.

So, I ran next door to the neighbor's to see if I could get the number for the gas company. I knocked on the door and saw that the person inside could see me, and he just ignored me. Looked right at me and then looked away. So I ran to another neighbors, who despite the fact that I don't speak Spanish well and they didn't speak English well, managed to understand and get me the number for the gas company.

Well, the gas guy showed up and fiddled with the knob and goes, "It's off." I said, "No, it isn't. It will come back on. We tried the same thing - it seemed off but then it popped back on." He gave me this look like I was a stupid female and repeated himself. I asked him to disconnect it from the gas line. Which he did, but somewhat sulkily.

So, tonight, instead of relaxing after two exhausting days of movage, I will be going to Sears and getting a new range. And since I need a new gas dryer, I will be getting that as well. Joy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Giving up on dating

So I am giving up on dating. What between the closeted gay guys who think if they can get married, their gayness will magically disappear to the those searching for a mommy who looks like a Playboy Bunny and will shag them silly on demand to the liars and cheats to the desperate jerks to the boys who are still babies at 44 to the asshats who think any fat woman should kiss their ass and give it up because they are the only ones who would stoop low enough to have you - well, frankly, it is just too damn exhausting and pathetic.

Honestly, it is beginning to look like the best path would be to find a good woman and go together to Lovers' Lane and pick out our favorite penis for $19.95.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Greedy Capitalist Bastards

I just found out that my cats have been eating one of those cat foods that was just recalled for having illegal pesticides and additives used to make plastics incorporated into them. As some of you may have read, these illegal substances were incorporated into these cat foods to increase the protein content artificially and, thus, lead to higher profit margins. These substances can lead to permanent kidney damage, kidney failure and ultimately death.

Now, my cats have been eating a special prescription diet for almost two years because my youngest has severe IBD and protein allergies. If he does not it a special hypoallergenic food, he screams in horrible pain and has the worst diarrhea ever. I have been feeding them this special food so he doesn't die and here I may have been killing him all along.

I am angry and disgusted and I hope these bastards who took this shortcut in the name of the almighty dollar burn in the lowest levels of hell.

Unforunately, every other hypoallergenic food available also appears to be tainted by this filth. The food he has been eating is made with soy protein - no animal protein at all (yes, I have vegan cats). And he mostly eats dry food, because the wet food is very touch and go with him. Almost every other cat food out there is made with chicken, lamb or beef, which he is terribly allergic to. I am about to try Leo on this Wellness brand food made with salmon, turkey, and herring - all of which I believe to be proteins he can actually eat. I am a bit worried, as it has some chicken fat in it and chicken is a protein he can't eat. I'll let you know if the screaming starts again.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Well, closing has happened, I started painting, and have been packing and moving small loads over to the new place whenever I can. I have been taking pictures and will post as soon as I get a bit more recombobulated. I have been spending the last couple of days finding new homes for my koi as they are now too big for their tank. I will not be able to do any moving this weekend because of a wedding (dammit).

Pray for me!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fluff Posting

Well, the big push is finally here. Over the next few days I am going to be completely crazy what with the walking through, documenting, signing, packing, and moving type activities. Nevertheless, here is a fluff post to tide you over...

1.Who was your first prom date?
I didn’t go to prom. High school was hell for me.

2. Who was your first roommate?
Some stuck up snotty bitch named Alison. She was very monied and I was completely fraeked about everything.

3. What was your first alcoholic drink?
Apparently, I had a wine cooler when I was about 16. I don't remember so maybe I had more than one....

4. What was your first job?
Not including lawn mowing and babysitting, my first job was as a summer janitor at Colfax High School. I haven't chewed gum since.

5. What was your first car?’
89 Dodge Omni

6. Name of 1st grade teacher?
I honestly have no idea…. It’s been so long ago! Did I go to 1st grade? I vaguely remember a lot of Farmer in the Dell and Frog Went A'Courtin' and kicking Ricky Hanestedt and not wanting to take a nap in kindergarten and I remember refusing to go to 2nd grade because "everyone hated me" but I remember nothing about 1st grade at all...

7. What was your first computer?
I had an Apple IIe. It spoke in the voice of Patrick Stewart.

8. Where was your first spring break?
I went to West Virginia on a service trip. I did a pseudo-Native America ritual one morning and freaked all the fundy kids out!

9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?
From Chicago to Minneapolis for a conference at Carleton College.

10. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
I never did this.

11. Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them?
Probably Michelle Hanson. We still chat once in a while, but our lives are incredibly different and we have little in common now.

12. Where was your first sleep over?
At Judy Mizer’s house. I got homesick and puked everywhere.

13. Who is the first person you talk to in the morning?
the cats. Yes, they are people. Don't give me any lip.

14. Whose wedding were you in the first time?
My aunt Nancy’s… I was a flower girl.

15. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
trip over a cat. Which is why I usually talk to them first. I am busy cursing them out…..1

16. What was the first concert you ever went to?
Peter, Paul and Mary (folk) and The Moody Blues (rock).

17. First tattoo or piercing?
I got my ears pierced when I was about 5 as a reward for being a good girl during my allergy test. The ear piercing was horrible. I cried and hid behind a toilet after the first hole was punched.

18. First celebrity crush
Probably River Phoenix. I remember reading about him in Vegetarian Times. Why we had a Veggie Times at my house, I have no idea…..

19. First crush?
Gary Evanson. Jerk! I think he is in jail now.

20. First girl crush?
Oh, I have these all the time.....

21. When was your first detention?
I was a goody two shoes. No detention for me. Although I did get a demerit once for kicking Chad Lee after he teased me so bad and threatened to push me down the stairs.

22. What was the name of your first pet?

23. First Kiss?
was disgusting...

24. Who was the first person to break your heart?
Kavan Peterson, but it was good that it happened because it made me jaded and cynical so when my heart got broken again, it was hardly a big deal.

25. Where was your first date?
All my dates have been terribly casual, usually involving coffee or dinner. I had one date that was brunch… that was my personal favorite

26. Who was the first person you dated this year? I have given up on dating, thank you. I am going to be a spinster aunt.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Words That Describe Yours Truly

A friend sent me a fun little game to play yesterday - the One Word Game. This is where you ask all your friends to describe you in just one word.... thus far here are the descriptions I have received of me:

What's terribly funny is this: how people see me is totally related to our relationship. My intimates (family and lovers) see me as kind and companionable while my friends see me as eccentric. smart, and socially engaged, except for Blaise who believes me to be akin to a kindly otherwordly messenger somewhat like an angel but slightly more sinister.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Loves Me Some Surveys

1. Can you cook? Yes
2. What was your dream growing up? To be a T Rex or the benign dictator of a small country
3. What talent do you wish you had? The ability to transport myself hither and yon
4. Favorite place? Big Falls County Park
5. Favorite vegetable? Tomato. Wait, that's a fruit. Um, cabbage.
6. What was the last book you read? Firethorn
7. What zodiac sign are you? Pisces
8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? None anymore. I let my ear holes grow shut
9. Worst Habit? Playing with tweezers
10. Do we know each other outside of lj? I have no idea. What is lj?
11. What is your favorite sport? To do or watch? To do: walking in the forest. To watch: men's backstroke and women's volleyball
12. Negative or Optimistic attitude? About what?
13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me? Who are you? Don't come near me! 1
4. Worst thing to ever happen to you? Hmm, lots of things that seemed like the worst thing ever have become not so bad in retrospect.
15. Tell me one weird fact about you: When I was a little girl, I was convinced I was really an alien and that my real family was going to come and get me …
16. Do you have any pets? Here kitty kitty
17. Do you know how to do the macarena? No.
18. What time is it where you are now? 3:00 on the nose!
19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary? They're kinda stupid.
20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? How long do you have
21. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience? Who are you again? And do you have any criminal talents?
22. What color eyes do you have? Gold hazel, but they are more green now than they were three years ago
23. Ever been arrested? No, but I should have been
24. Bottle or Draft? yuck
25. If you won $10,000 dollars today, what would you do with it? goodbye, student loans.
26. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew? I don't chew gum. When I was 16, I worked as a summer janitor at Colfax High School chiseling gum off the bottom of desks. Gack!
27. What's your favorite bar to hang at? Um, hell no.
28. Do you believe in ghosts? Oh yes. 2
9. Favorite thing to do in your spare time? Cook, feed people
30. Do you swear a lot? hehehhehehehehehehehehe
31. Biggest pet peeve? People who are always late 3
2. In one word, how would you describe yourself? bratty

1. Where did you take your default pic? I will never tell.
2. What exactly are you wearing right now? Sweater, pants, socks
3.What is your current problem? I am feeling a bit tired and dizzy, and no, it is not because I am blonde.
4. What makes you most happy? Happiness is a process.
5. What's the name of the song that you're listening to? Nothing right now. I have the radio off. I listened to “Rabbit Bites” earlier.
6. Has anyone you've been really close with passed away? Depends on how close…
7. Do you like MTV? Not at all. It totally sucks now.
8. Name something that's really annoying to you? Liars. People who are never on time.

Chapter 1:
1. First name: Heather
2. Nicknames: HB, Earth Woman
3. My room... Won’t be my room for too much longer
4. Eye color: gold hazel, although they are greener now than they were three years ago

Chapter 2:
1. Do you live with your parent(s)? Um, hell no.
2. Do you get along with your parent(s) Usually
3. Are your parents married/separated/divorced? Divorced, thank god

Chapter 3: Favorite
1. Ice Cream flavor: I don’t really like ice cream
2. Season: Fall
3.Color(s): I go through phases. I am currently in a green phase but I think I am moving into a blue phase

Chapter 4: Do You..
1. Write on your hand? once in a while
2. Call people back? often but not always
3. Believe in love: no, it’s all endorphins
4. Sleep on a certain side of the bed? yes, strangely
5. Have any bad habits? hehehehehehehehehehehe. Yes.
6. Any mental health issues? I have seasonal depression which can be treated with Vit D supplements

Chapter 5: Have You...
1. Broken a bone?: I broke my tail bone. Worst pain ever!
2. Sprained anything? My ankles, many times over. Worst pain ever!
5. Taken painkillers? Yes, I had a shit load of Oxycontin but I hated it cause it messed with my dreams
6. Gone SCUBA diving or snorkeling: No, but I have gone body surfing
7. Been stung by a bee: I don’t recall ever being stung by a bee, but it could have happened when I was little bitty
8. Thrown up at the dentist's office: Not at the office, but I got kicked in the head once and had a concussion and puked multiple times in the emergency room.
9. Sworn in front of your parents? Yes, my mom was so proud the first time I openly cussed.
10. Had detention? Nope!
11. Been sent to the principals office: Yup

Chapter 6: Who/What was the last...

1. Movie you saw? Zodiac - it creeped me out!
2. Person to text? no one.
3. Person who called you? A chem. Prof wanting to schedule a meeting
4. Person to tackle you? um, not certain… maybe while playing football as a 6th grader. I did have someone drag me to bed. That was fun.
5. Thing you touched? My water bottle
6. Thing you ate/drank? chopped veggie salad
7. Last thing you said outloud? I can’t wait to get the hell out of Lake Forest.
My Bad

I usually can admit when I am wrong, and wrong I have been. yesterday, I went off on Home Depot for discontinuing the Earth Elements paints and replacing it with craptacular Ralph Lauren stuff. Well, the Ralph Lauren stuff is still awful, but it turns out that Earth Elements is actually a Lowe's paint, which make since as Lowe's is my preferred home improvement store of choice. So, Lowe's still has the line and this coming weekend, I will be traveling to Kenosha to pick colors (Kenosha is the nearest Lowe's).

It's actually a good thing I didn;t pick colors this last weekend because my book "Bungalow Style" just arrived through interlibrary loan and it has a section on choosing paint in bungalow homes and how you can update your colors while still staying true to the Arts and Crafts style. So, earth tones it is - but my choice will be jeweled earth tones. They are darker colors, which might make the space seem smaller, but they are rich and inviting. Yum!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Weekend of Nincompoopery

We all have bad weekends once in a while. Mine normally involve the idiocy and apathy of checkout children at various retailers. But this last weekend, everything went badly.

Everything started off well enough Friday night. I got 75% of the dishes and 50% of my laundry done, made a pot of chicken noodle soup, and went to a series of student-written plays here on campus. After the plays, i came back to eat dinner and realized that I am just souped out. I normally love chicken noodle soup, but I guess I have just had too much. It just sat in my frig all weekend. I will try again to eat it tonight, if it is still good, but I suspect I will be flushing it.

So, I went to bed to the sounds of student partying, which will be a constant now that the weather is nice. Woke up Saturday morning and headed out the door a little before 10, only to be flagged down by my neighbor. "Are you going somewhere?" she asked. "Yes, I actually have plans today." "Can you hold on for a few minutes and take me to the train station?" Umm, well, ok. This isn't the first time this last-minute trip has happened, and I normally don't mind, but I actually did have stuff to get done on Saturday, stuff related to my move and to my mortgage and to my attempts to find a wedding present for my cousin who is getting married one week after I close on the house.

Well, it turns out we both needed to go to the bank, so we did that, and then she walked to the train and I headed out to check out the HOBO store in Waukegan. HOBO stands for HomeOwner's Building Outlet. For those of you from the MA, it's kinda like a Bargain Outlet - part Ocean State Job Lot, part Home Depot, part Building 19. I had never been to the HOBO, but as a new homeowner, I figured I had better check it out and see what was there. Besides, the local advertisement said they had handcarts for $25, which I will need since I am moving most of my stuff by myself. So the HOBO was cool. Lots of stuff, most of it decent quality and cheap. I purchased a handcart and a cushion set for the nice wicker furniture mia madre has passed on to me for my new home.

Then, I headed off to Ace Hardware, where I wanted to get the paint chip booklet for their new "cultural tapestry" line, as featured in a newspaper article. I got there only to be told that despite the article and despite the website information, they didn't have the booklets yet. Come back Tuesday. Um, hell no.

So I headed south to the Home Improvement Show at the Lincolnshire Marriott. It was actually quite small. I was surprised. I wandered through while several unscrupulous contractors attempted to interest me in their services. I did connect with three that seemed good and had info from the Better Business Bureau that they are legititmate and were more interested in my needs than in selling me some $30K project. One designer I talked to told me she had the same problem in her condo as i have in my new house, i.e., a kitchen smaller than a postage stamp. She was actually somewhat excited about the possibilities but basically said that if I can't afford to be knocking out walls and totally reorienting the kitchen right now, there are some things that can be done sooner rather than later.

Now my original idea was to put the kitchen cart in the dining room and put the nucker-wave on the cart, which is ugly but I can't think of anywhere else to put it. But that takes up a lot of space and wastes a bunch more. And to tell the truth, I don't use the nucker-wave much and wouldn't use it at all if I planned ahead better. So, here's what I might do:

First, I can seek out help to get some of those above-the-stove nucker-waves or I can ditch the nucker alltogether. Second, Mia madre is gifting me her portable dishwasher, which she never uses but which also has a beautiful butcher block top. That will provide me with a nice countertop upon which to do meal prep. It can be situated in a little nook in the kitchen area. The garbage can go next to it. And then I can install shelving above the unit. The kitchen designer suggested having the bottom shelves be able to slide back and forth, so I can put my little appliances like the toaster oven and the coffee pot on the shelves and pull them out as I needed them. I can also use a drapery road and some metal hooks as a potrack, freeing up more space in the cupboards. All in all, it seems like a good temporary solution. As the designer said, if you can't spread out right now, spread up. A trip to Ikea might be in order to check out their kitchen set-ups.

So, that wasn;t so bad and I was feeling ok, so I headed off to HomeGoods to see if I could find my cousin a wedding present. Nothing, not a thing, and it started pouring.

So I went home and was all mopey, and was still all obsessed about picking out paint colors for my house and kicking myself because i seem to have fallen in love with a color called "White Raisin," which is, well, you know, white-ish. And I am not liking the traditional colors suggested by the Arts and Crafts movement (my house in as arts and crafts house) because they are dull and boring and oh so neutral when I remembered that Home Depot has this line of colors called Earth Elements and while they are, well, earthy, they are some richer jewel tones in there as well. So, on Sunday morning I woke up early early and headed to Home Depot, where I waited 20 minutes for a cart, because they had no associates to collect carts from outside and my hands were full and they wouldn't let me leave the store, only to discover, after finally receiving a cart, that, within the last month, the Earth Eements series has been moved out in favor of some crap ass Ralph Lauren paint colors. Which are ugly and require very expensive special equipment to put up and which actually got pretty bad reviews in a consumer review magazine. So I did get rollers and brushes and painters' tape and four nice clematis as well as a bamboo design vinyl stick for that window that is in my shower (window in shower - the neighbors do not deserve such a sight) and headed off to Bed Bath and Beyond, because I wanted to price towels, only to laugh like a mad woman when I found out that the cheapest towels they sell are like $9 a piece (yeah right) and then I head to the TJ Maxx to search yet again for the wedding present.

Why am I making this so hard, you might ask? Your cousin does have a registry. But it is a WalMart registry. I can't do it. I just can't. it causes me great spiritual pain just contemplating it. I mean, if you are going to go through the tremendous hassel of getting married at all and you are actually going to, you know, register for gifts, you should at least go to someplace like Kohl's and get half way decent stuff that won't fall apart next week. Ugh!

Anyway, I wandered through the store and finally found a niec gift that scraemed "Heather gave this to me," a very nice ceramic apple pie dish with a cover shaped like, get this, and apple pie crust. Too cute. I took it to the front and the clerk begins to ring it up and then all of a sudden stops and hands the plate to what I presume is a manager who leaves with it and the clerk starts folding clothing. I just looked at her. A couple of minutes go by. "Um, what is the problem? Why are you not ringing up my purchase." "Oh she has to look up a price." "But the price is on it." "Well, there is an old sticker on the top and she has to make sure you didn't try to scratch it off." I just looked at her, again. Really, a $20 pie plate is not worth the aggravation. About five minutes later, the manager comes back and takes the plate and puts it on a shelf. "I can't sell this to you." "What's the problem?" "I don't believe they go together. I can't find the piece the top goes to." "But the two pieces were together on the shelf." "But I don't think they go together." "Why not?" "Well, the top has an old price tag that is partially removed, so they don't belong together." "But they are by the same maker and they, um, you know, fit together, like hand in glove." "I don't care. I am not selling them to you. We'll have to throw them away." "Did you ever stop to think that the top should never have had a price tag on it and that your worker screwed up and tried to scratch it off? " "That doesn't happen here." "Really? What about the three pairs of jeans I was thinking of buying, none of which had price tags?" And the manager just walked away. And the sales clerk eyed me nervously and said, "I'll ring up the rest of your purchase." I told her not to bother, that their customer service was so poor, I would never come back.

And I walked back out into the pouring rain.... idiots.