Sunday Confessions Link Up aaaaaaand a special birthday!

First things first!  A very happy birthday to Michael Nesmith, who is turning 70!!  He shared a birthday with Davy Jones, who would have been 67 today.

From R.I.P. Davy Jones

And now, it's that time of the week!  If you're interested (and you should be), link up with the lovely Alyx and publicize your sins, baby.

1.  I woke up at about 3:30 p.m. today.
I have been sick for over two weeks, my sleep schedule is weird, and... um, Adrianne Curry was doing a live chat last night.  I know it's weird, but I think that she and I have a lot in common -- nerd stuff, being from the Midwest, etc.  Thing is, the chat was just full of boys going "HEY TALK ABOUT BOOBS" and she would then actually talk about boobs.  The whole thing gave me a headache.

2.  I received Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas, and I'm in love with the pages.
Seriously.  I just run my hands over the pages.  They're all soft.

3.  I'm currently upset because David is going to a party tonight, and I'm not "allowed" or whatever.
Apparently only David's co-workers are invited, even though they're going to my favorite bar/restaurant (The Checkerboard), and with David going out to eat, I'll have to make dinner for one tonight, which is depressing, and I'd much rather go out and have some of The Checkerboard's broccoli (which I'm obsessed with), but I'm not allowed.  :(  So if I do go and get dinner there, I'll have to like, pretend not to notice David, having fun with his party.  

4.  I'm seeing Les Mis tomorrow night, and I'm afraid I'll cry during the movie in front of my family.
That would be embarrassing.  I am, however, looking forward to this annual tradition:  On New Year's Eve, I go out with my mom and her sister (and spouse) (and now David) (and sometimes a boy I'm dating, if applicable... not applicable this year) to dinner, exchange Christmas gifts, and see a movie.  So far, we have always managed to pick a movie that later wins an Academy Award!

5.  My cats provide me with hours of entertainment.
Sometimes, I seriously just sit in the living room and watch them being stinkers.  They chase each other around, play with ping pong balls, take naps in funny poses.  Right now I'm watching Micky trying to awkwardly sit on a comforter -- she doesn't quite fit into one area of it, but she wants to be there so she'll make it happen.  Bellatrix is on the other side of the room, doing her "lying on her side and not giving a fuuuuck" position.  They really are just too funny.

Yep.  I'm a crazy cat lady now.


So I used to be in a band.

The other night, I was wandering around the Internet and found an old MySpace page dedicated to a band I belonged to back in 2008 -- The Funky Transactions.

I'm in the background
We were actually pretty good.  I listened through all the songs that we'd uploaded on MySpace, although we had like 20 more songs than what was on there (hmmm... do I have my old song notebook?); I watched our videos, and even though the A/V quality was poor, I was able to remember the notes; I looked at the pictures, which a couple of friends had taken of us.

Sigh.  How exciting it was to be 23.

Kiley and I met in middle school -- I remember playing with my mom's face masks with her and a mutual friend, laughing as we peeled them from our faces in front of the bureau mirror in my parents' room.  Years later, we ended up in the same sociolinguistics class at Purdue, and while we were catching up, it came up that we both played musical instruments.  At some point, one of us exclaimed, "Dude!  We should start a fuckin' BAND!"

Taken by Sandra
After class, we went to the study area in the union's soda shop with our notebooks and worked out a game plan -- how often we'd rehearse, what kind of sound we'd have, how many instruments we could each play.  I'd never been in a real band before, other than tinkering around with friends growing up, but Kiley had, so I was happy that someone actually knew what she was doing.

Then suddenly, we were at my house, which I rented with my then-boyfriend in downtown Lafayette, practicing chords and covering Regina Spektor songs, with Kiley on acoustic guitar and me on my grandmother's piano (which I had to buy at an auction because my sociopath uncle sold all her stuff).

Here's us just fucking around early on -- this was an unfinished chorus and bridge, and it became a "real" song later:

Our song-writing strategy was simple:  I'd never written a song before, and Kiley wrote songs in her sleep.  She'd come over for rehearsal with a new idea for a song, complete with most of the lyrics, and then I'd make shit up on the piano to the chords she already had.  That was probably the one area where I was solid:  I knew chords.

Kiley knew some of the chord names, but mostly she just played what sounded cool and didn't really know how to communicate what it was (and that's not a bad thing -- Paul McCartney couldn't read sheet music either, and I suppose he did okay with himself).  I'd studied music since I was a kid, learning chords and scales, being in the school band for eight years, taking a music theory course at Purdue, performing with the Lafayette Citizens Band, etc.  I was able to figure out, with relative ease, the chords Kiley was playing on guitar and then match something up with the piano.  It helped that she kept her guitar tuned really well.

Before I knew it, Kiley was talking about playing live, which naturally freaked me the fuck out.  We did end up playing some live shows, and she was so cool with all of it, but my hands shook the entire time, and the shows are a blur to me now.  I don't remember making any big mistakes, but I do remember us starting a song over at the Knickerbocker after a couple of measures because it didn't sound right.  I don't know what we changed the second time, but it sounded fine after that.

Taken by someone I don't know.  Both my now-ex-fiancé and my father are in this picture. OOH GUESS THEM!

At the Skylight Coffee House.  Peter Tork played on this stage two years later.
Kiley had a friend who owned a recording studio in what used to be... I think a furniture store?  Or a school maybe?  We went in and recorded some songs in there.  I was less nervous about this part, because it wasn't live, and no one was looking at me.  Plus, I mean... the attitude that comes with, "yeah dude, I'm in the fuckin' studio, layin' down some fuckin' tracks, y'all."  Some of the songs we recorded are on the MySpace page still.  We also had a photographer friend take pictures of us one of the times we went to the studio.

Recording.  Photo is by our friend Angie, but I don't know if she's interested in consulting as a photographer right now.  If she lets me know, then I'll link to her stuff in this caption later.

Hallway in this school-furniture store place where the studio was.  Also, I was pretty uncomfortable with having my picture taken.  I still am.
We ended up going our separate ways after several months.  I don't blame her -- I was about to graduate from Purdue, I was career-oriented, wanted to work in a cubicle.  Which, I know now, is... well, not at all what we'd been aiming for.  Kiley ended up traveling, I think, and then she settled down to start a family (and out of all the babies I see on my Facebook newsfeed, he's one of the cutest -- and those who know me well know that this is actually saying something).

I'm glad I found those songs and videos, though.  Lots of good memories.  She brought me out of my shell -- when I first thought about performing on stage or recording music, I wanted to shit myself.  Now, however, I know that I did something that terrified me, and I enjoyed it.  And, I hope, other people got something out of it as well.

You can barely hear Kiley in this last video, but I liked this song.

And us live -- sorry for the poor quality... it's from my ex's phone:

Anyone else out there have a band, or were you ever in one?  Ever been terrified on stage, or are you totally comfortable?


Nigel Barker is a bit pervy

What I do on a Thursday night when I have a bad cold and we're expecting snow:

  • Make five little cups of Easy Mac
  • Eat them, slowly and sadly
  • Watch America's Next Top Model
  • Ibuprofen, nose spray, vapor rub... in that order
  • Look at my copy of Les Misérables as if I might actually read it again before I see the movie, but I know that I'm just going to skim the Wikipedia page instead
  • Fuck, that was the last tissue
  • I'm not done Christmas shopping, and that freaks me out, because as an atheist I'm supposed to be all like, "lol wut holiday"... but I don't want to be offensive by not buying things for people to celebrate something religious, or something?  Unless you're one of those weird people that deny any Pagan influence on Christmas and say phrases like "war on Christmas" and "reason for the season," and in that case I'm just going to tell you to get a grip and read something that's actually non-fiction
  • Tyra Banks is kind of a psycho, but all she does is work... at some point, girl, just go have a nap... take a vacation... relax your smizing 
  • This turned into more than a to-do list
Anyone else been sick during a holiday?  Is it as miserable as I'm expecting it to be?


"Terror starts at home"

Both of my parents were school teachers for 35-40 years each. Never once, not even after Columbine, did I think to ask them if they were afraid to go to work. Now I'm wondering if they ever were -- if they ever looked around their classrooms and worked out a plan for if anything horrible was happening -- "Where can I hide? How many students can fit there? Do these windows open? Who's the bravest kid in each of my classes? ... who's the unhappiest kid in each of my classes?"

I was stressed about work this week.  I was stressed about chores at home that need to get done.  

I don't have kids, but I understood when I saw that one of my Facebook friends, who lives here in Indiana, left work in the middle of the day today to grab her toddler out of daycare... just because she wanted to hold him.  Her son was in no danger at daycare, but the people at an elementary school in a sleepy Connecticut town assumed they were in no danger either.  

At work today, we all stopped for a while to watch real-time news online.  We still went to our meetings, sent our emails, etc., but for about ten minutes, we were just silent and sick to our stomachs.  

These were children.  I first said "innocent children," but everyone who is a victim of one of these acts is innocent.  I don't want to take away from the adults today that were victims -- parents, educators... servants to our society... and in the end, all we can ask is "why?"  The cliche exists for a reason, I suppose.

As an atheist, there are times when you wish you could pray -- then you'd actually feel like you're doing something.  But also as an atheist, you wonder how people can believe in a god at a time like this.  

I don't really know what else to say.  


Sunday Confessions!

It's time for...

Sunday Confessions!  If you're interested, link up with the lovely Alyx!

1.  I still haven't finished my Thanksgiving post.  Or any posts on the two Monkees concerts I went to.
I have pictures and everything -- the pictures are even on Picasa right now -- but I'm just Thanksgiving-ed out.  I just don't think I could ever adequately document something like this.  I was testy all day, and in the end everything was great, but I've just been in vacation mode since.

As for the Monkees concerts, Picasa won't "accept" the pictures from my phone for some reason.  It's total bullshit, I know.

2.  Sometimes I like to be public... sometimes I don't.
There are times when the (15) on my Facebook tab doesn't bother me.  But sometimes, I don't like to put it all out there -- and apparently, someone is keeping an eye on what I post on my blog -- I know that to be a writer means having to cringe occasionally, so I'm working on this.  As for the person that is scrutinizing everything I write and attempting to censor me (yes -- someone used the word "censor" pertaining to my blog):  Dude.  Get a fucking life.  If I point out that someone is being stupid, what do you suggest I do?  I don't make people look bad.  Those people make themselves look bad.  Nothing has happened to make anything better.  And I am not deleting this post for you.

I write what I think.  I send it "out there."  Get fucking over it.  If you don't want to be represented poorly, then don't be a fucking idiot.  

OH.  And I use curse words.  Fucking oops.  

3.  My nails look like shit now that Kate is gone.
She had this whole trendy thing of painting her nails one color, then painting a glittery polish on her ring fingers.  I started to do the same, but I painted the glitter crap on my middle fingers.  I just thought that I could show people something shiny while I'm flipping them off.

Now that she's gone, my nails are bare and bitten.

4.  Why does Candice Bergen get all the bitchy roles these days?
I just watched "Sex and the City" back to back with Sweet Home Alabama.  They have Ms. Bergen playing the ball-buster man-hating career woman both times.  Has it always been this way?

5.  I don't know what the fuck to do with my hair.
It's blond on the bottom.  It's dark brown/red on the top.  The red is from my dad's side, I think.  It's at an awkward length, and an even more-awkward state of damage from... let's see... cutting it all off, being unhappy with the length, then perming it, then bleaching it blond, then trying to dye it dark again (with only semi-permanent dye)...

I want my long, dark hair back.  


This needs to be said

I'll post about Thanksgiving later, but for now:

Vinny the Kitty

I met this cat tonight, who has a hematoma on his ear from some type of trauma.  His rescuer is very close to her goal for the cat's operation. She also had the cat neutered.  I can't very much afford to contribute; I just wanted to get the word out.


And now Thanksgiving, i.e. "Gourmet Thursday"

12:36:  The last handful of ice that I put into the brining mixture must have worked, because it's finally cool enough to DO ITS STUPID JOB.

I cut open the turkey's packaging and removed all the inside stuff -- those things went into a Tupperware for the fridge.  I also removed several chunks of ice, but that's pretty normal.  My hand, by this time, was red and not really functioning.  It... was pretty cold.

David held the brining bag while I rinsed the turkey off a bit.  I then placed the turkey breast down into the bag.  While I poured the brine mixture into the bag over the turkey, David thoroughly scrubbed the pan in which the turkey had thawed.  We sealed the bag, placed it back into the pan, and put it into the fridge.  I was so concerned about logistics that I forgot to put any more herbs into the bag first, but seriously -- who's going to eat my turkey tomorrow and think, "Oh wow, she obviously brined this with fresh rosemary and Turkish olive oil."

I might get up at some point during the night to rotate the turkey, as the brine doesn't cover the whole thing.  It is, however, breast side down, so I'm a little torn on that.

1:15:  #ReplaceSongTitlesWithTurkey is trending on Twitter, and I did my part (I was very clever, of course), but the more I read through the trend, the more the word "turkey" looks misspelled and... just increasingly weird.  I remembered that there was an actual explanation for that, so I'm now on Wikipedia while I take a break from nagging David and peeling eggs:  Semantic Satiation

1:19:  Also, Jamais vu.  The word "turkey" is so fucking weird.

11:35:  Taking a quick break to update.  I got up around 8:30, showered, and started getting the turkey ready.  And damn, that thing was heavy.  I put it in a pan, surrounded it with some veggies and broth, chocked it full of butter, garlic, and onions.  It's now in the oven.

I've got green beans in a crockpot instead of a skillet -- my mom gave me the idea when she said she was bringing asparagus with cream in a crockpot (which I'm really looking forward to).

David's home for lunch right now, and he's tidying up a bit (YAY THANK YOU) before heading back to work.

Everything is pretty relaxed right now, actually.  I do expect this to change.


Oh, and it so changed.  With David at work, I simply did not have enough hands.  I waited way too long to update for the rest of Thanksgiving, but I was extremely exhausted.

All the food, however, turned out delicious.  The turkey was moist and tender, all the dishes people brought were wonderful.  My green beans actually didn't do too well, but I didn't really care, because I was totally winging that dish.

That's my brother, being silly.  His eight-year-old daughter set the table, and I think she did a great job.


Thanksgiving Wednesday

I took the day off work to prepare for Thanksgiving. Our Internet keeps disregarding our service, so I'll just keep updating on my phone.

Tomorrow, I am hosting Thanksgiving for up to 16 people. omfg.

Yesterday, my dad took me shopping. I got ingredients for the following dishes:
- Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing (which I guess is technically "dressing" because I'm not stuffing the turkey with it)
- Cranberry Spinach Salad with walnuts and ingredients for the salad dressing
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes (red)
- spinach dip
- deviled eggs (my phone wanted me to say "devolved" eggs...not sure which is more true)
- green beans, which I'll whip up in a skillet
- rolls
- stuff for The Turkey That Ate Indiana. I got a 20.25 lb. turkey this year. I'm a bit nervous it might kill me in my sleep.

So today, David just went to the store and spent more money on alcohol, cleaning products, and tobacco than what my father spent on the food. I haven't lifted a finger yet, other than to watch Monkees episodes on YouTube and make some Easy Mac.

When he gets home, we're going to have lunch and then start cleaning, going from upstairs to down. I'm making some dishes today: the spinach dip, deviled eggs, salad dressing, and brine for the turkey (to be implemented tonight).

6:12:  Taking a break from cleaning.  Just brushed about ten pounds of cat hair off the dining room chairs.  Just realized we don't have anywhere near 16 chairs.  Some people will just have to sit on the table.  I never did get my act together enough to make a centerpiece that someone on Pinterest probably made from scratch.  Thing is, the only time I feel like going to Hobby Lobby is on Sundays.  OH and I didn't feel like it.

The only other thing I've done now besides clean (and watch the latest "My Drunk Kitchen") is drink a Rock Star and then fall out of commission for about twenty minutes because Rock Stars and Red Bulls make me hilariously sick to my stomach.  I say "hilarious" because even though I feel like puking, I'm still running around crazy-eyed and talking in half sentences, spraying Windex on random furniture (none of it made of glass).

Also, after David finished tidying up with the front porch, he walked in with a big yellow bag containing the phone book and was like, "What the fuck is this?"

7:12:  Did not deliberately try to update exactly an hour after my last one.

We've started cleaning the kitchen, because I don't think eating something from a stove that's covered in cat hair and dried marinara sauce is very appetizing... could just be me?

I've also started on some food:  I'm thawing the spinach for spinach dip (by putting the package in a bowl of warm water), and I've got the eggs in a stockpot, heating on the stove.  When that starts boiling, I'll remove it from heat, cover it, and let it sit for 17 minutes.  Boom, hard boiled eggs.  The difficult part is removing the shells from those bitches.  Not looking forward to that.  Last year, I had eggshell in my hair nearly all day.

Once the spinach is thawed, I'll need to drain the crap out of it.  I do this by wrapping it in paper towels and wringing it dry.  This process makes my sink look like a swamp.

I think I'll do the brining part last, because that works out practically with our cleaning schedule, but I know that it's really important to let the turkey brine for as long as possible.  I really should also check to see if it's thawed all the way.  But... but "Into the West" is on...

9:08:  I was boiling salt water to prepare the brine, and this happened:

The water boiled over, despite me using olive oil.  Oh well.  Another thing to clean.

David has been watching Avatar for a while now... I'm going to need to start nagging to get the living room, dining room, the rest of the kitchen, and back deck clean.  He has to do it tonight while I'm doing food prep because he has to work tomorrow.  HE HAS TO FREAKING WORK TOMORROW.  From 8 to "2-ish."  Son of a bitch.

I'll have to do everything myself all morning... which is okay, I guess, because that's how it was when I hosted my first Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, the spinach dip is made and chilling in the fridge.  The hard boiled eggs are also chilling in the fridge for a while, because I just saw an article saying to chill them for much longer than I have in the past.  I'm hoping this will make them easier to peel.

I've gotta let the brine cool for a while.  Like reeeally cool.  I should've started it hours ago because of this, probably.  This is because you can't put a raw turkey in a warm brine.  Unless you want you and your guests to get sick, and in that case, you're kind of a twisted bastard.

Will start on the salad dressing soon.

11:05:  Salad dressing done.  BRINE STILL HOT.  I've put ice in it and everything.  House still not clean. :(

12:12:  House is much cleaner because I told David I was getting "nervous."  BRINE IS STILL FUCKING HOT.  WHAT THE FUCKIES.

I suppose I should now start a "Thanksgiving Thursday" post.


Bundle o' nerves

I have been freaking out all day because of this:  I'm going to see The Monkees in concert TONIGHT.


I haven't even posted about it because... hell, how do I even put it into words?


Veteran's Day and Sunday Confessions!

First, I'd like to say Happy Veteran's Day to my cousin/room mate/best friend David, who gets uncomfortable when people thank him for his service, but I like seeing a grown man squirm.

Thanks and whatnot, cuzzie
I also want to address the explosion that occurred on the south side of Indianapolis late last night.  They don't really know what happened, but apparently people felt the shockwave for miles (as far as Greenwood, I saw on Facebook).  I hope the survivors are doing okay, considering.

And now, my second ever Sunday Confessions!  This is super-fun, so if you'd like to do it, head on over to the lovely Alyx at Every Day is a New Adventure.

Here we go!
1.  I haven't been to the gym in way too long.  I busted up my knee about three weeks ago, and since I realized that the pain wasn't going away, I haven't been to the gym.  The doctor fitted me with a brace, and while the brace has since come off, I still can't put much pressure on my knee or bend it at a significant angle (e.g., sitting Indian style) without it hurting or feeling like it's "too stretched."  It's still pretty bruised.  My knee is also popping, and it feels so weird.  Mostly what I do at the gym is running on a treadmill and step class, which I obviously need my knees for, so I'm not sure what to do.  I'm considering using the pool, which is usually what David does -- something low impact but effective.  However, in the meantime, my exercise regimen has gone to shit.  

2.  Knowing that my exercise regimen has gone to shit, I still had pizza on Friday night.  But oh, come on!  It was my Friday night!  It's been friggin' grilled chicken Caesar salads all month!

3.  I don't like it when people call my ex-fiancé a dick.  Yes, he did some dick things, but so did I.  Yes, he ended the relationship and called off the wedding, but I didn't exactly run after him.  Yes, I was the one that had to call up all the vendors to cancel, tell the guests, deal with the dresses -- but he also paid half the mortgage for two months when he wasn't staying at the house, and he made sure I was left with my fair share of the savings account.  It's been over two years, and I do still have some feelings about the matter and him, but it doesn't help that every time I bring him up (which is going to happen occasionally, as we were involved for like 6-7 years), someone calls him a dick or a douchebag.  He isn't.  

4.  On that note, I don't mind when people call all my other ex-boyfriends dicks.  They deserve it.  (There are one or two over the years that we remember fondly, mostly from high school.  You know who you are.)

5.  A "friend" from high school messaged me out of nowhere last week, saying that I was a huge bitch to him and that he hates me, and I was so upset that I cried while making dinner that night.  Just when I'm starting to be more social and make new friends, this happens.  Have I really burned that many bridges over the years?  But I then posted about it on Facebook, and apparently this "friend" has done the same thing to a few other people for little to no reason!  I also got messages from other people from my high school class, saying that they had my back and to not worry about him.  It was nice to see people sticking up for me -- I felt a lot better about my previous misanthropic nature.  :)  (It's also comforting to know that my nature is changing for the better.)  


A day of voting

12:13pm:  I'm at a church near my workplace to vote! I'm so excited. It's my third Presidential election.

12:40pm:  I voted!  I feel such a high right now.  I love voting; it's such a great feeling.  For the record, I voted for President Obama, and Donnelly for Senate (Mourdock dug his own grave by saying that rape was "God's will")... I don't remember much else, except that I always vote for Sheila Klinker as State Rep.  :)  I voted a mostly straight Democratic ticket except for the Republican politicians that didn't have an opponent.  It's an Indiana thing.

3:50pm:  I am ridiculously proud of my "I Voted" sticker on my sweater.  People that intrude on me are silenced by my stone cold stare and a pat on my awesome sticker.  This is hereby known as the "fuck you, get away from me if you don't have a sticker" sticker.

6:00pm:  Indiana polling places close.  I'm glued to Google's interactive election website.  I'm disappointed in Indiana, but over time, I'm happy to see that Vigo County, Indiana (which has only been wrong twice in Presidential elections) eventually goes blue.  :)  Several Indiana counties are indeed blue, which is nice.

10:02pm:  I get sick of projections, opinions, primary colors in general, pundits, interviews.  I get lost in Reddit and let David watch some show with terrible actors.

About 11:15pm:

11:51pm:  I won't relax until the projections are over and the President is officially announced.  But I'm damn glad I voted.

12:26am:  Still nervous.

12:37am:  I officially have heartburn.



What do I do when I know there is a blogger out there that is plagiarizing?  I discovered this yesterday, and I tried contacting 20sb.net, and their messages were helpful, but in the meantime, this person is getting more and more followers.

She has ripped off a video from Jenna Marbles AND from foodnetworkhumor.com -- both are almost verbatim.

I have been a writer for as long as I can remember, ever since I could write, and it makes me so pissed that someone would pass off someone else's intellectual property as her own.

I noticed that she deleted the post where she completely copied a Jenna Marbles video, probably because I kept commenting about her idiocy, but she still kept the post where she ripped off foodnetworkhumor.com on the show Cupcake Wars.  I don't know what to do.

EDIT:  Found another post of hers where she takes an excerpt straight from the book John Dies in the End.  Also, I'm outing her:  http://www.alliefghijk.blogspot.com/

DOUBLE EDIT:  She's now trying to claim that she was hacked.  Right.


Sunday Confessions Link Up

My very first Sunday Confessions!

First, I want to thank Alyx from Every Day is a New Adventure, who hosts the Sunday Confessions Link Ups, but she also took the time to email with me earlier today, showing me how to do this.  I really appreciate her walking me through the process, and I would suggest her blog to anyone.  She's funny and refreshing.

(my inner voice:  "Okay, Susie, so don't fuck this up.")

So my confessions:

1.  I didn't do anything this weekend.  Usually, I'll tidy up the downstairs or try a new recipe, but this weekend, I sat around, played Angry Birds on my phone, and watched movies in my pajamas.  I did, however, join my dad in visiting a historic landmark near my town.  Which brings me to #2...

2.  There is a battleground 15 minutes from where I live, and before today, I don't remember the last time I visited it.  It was the Battle of Tippecanoe, in November of 1811.  There is now a monument, gravestones, and a museum on site.  It was really interesting to see everything and read about it, especially now that I've seen Into the West.

We're assholes. 

The sign outside the museum
The monument

Trees in the battlefield.  Something I noticed:  Almost all the trees, about 3/4 of the way up, were curvy somehow, like they'd been damaged about... oh... 200 years ago.  It was fascinating once we noticed that all the trees in the battlefield had this going on, but none of the trees around the museum (outside the battlefield) did.

3.  I'm one of the biggest feminists that I know, but one of my dream jobs is to be just like one of those perfect 1950s housewives.  Really, I just want to know how to use hot rollers.

4.  I don't get the appeal of the song "Call Me Maybe."  David's confession would be that he loves that song.

5.  Sometimes I use frozen and canned vegetables.  Please don't judge... I know a lot of my blog has been about food...but... it's just a momentary lapse in judgment... but... OH GOD WHY


Socially awkward Susie

I met a guy last night that actually pronounced "America" as "MURRICA," and he wasn't trying to be funny.  Oh Indiana, you so silly.

So I've been on this quest to be more open to new friendships and use more energy in my current friendships because I'm afraid of no one coming to my funeral at some point, remember?  I've received many wonderful messages from my lovely readers (all eleven of you) -- some of you are in the same boat as I am, and some of you had some great advice that I plan to follow.  Some of that advice included joining clubs and being more active in the community, and I think that's an awesome idea.  I love to volunteer but haven't done it much since high school (we actually had a volunteering club in high school called S.T.R.I.V.E. -- "Students Teaching and Reaching In Volunteering Efforts"... kind of a stretch, I realize, but maybe someone REALLY wanted to call it S.T.R.I.V.E.).

My sister-in-law, for her birthday a couple years ago, did not ask for gifts but instead organized a Habitat for Humanity day where many of her friends and family painted a house in Franklin(?), Indiana.  I should be able to remember if it was Franklin, since that's where David was born, but whatevs.  I asked her at one point during the day what made her think of doing this, as it was a really cool birthday idea, and she shrugged and said, "I don't need any more 'things,' but other people do."

Maybe I'll do that for my birthday next year.  It doesn't even bother me that Habitat for Humanity is really a Christian ministry.  It used to, in my more militant days, bother me that organizations like that (and Alcoholics Anonymous, the larger organizations that do AIDS research, etc.) were religion-based, but then I was like, "dafuq, they help people," and I got over it.

Anyway, on to what I actually wanted to post about:  last night.

I discovered that, after years of not really trying to make friends, I may be completely socially inept.  Like a muscle that has atrophied after years of negligence, I have no idea how to talk to people.

I was at Kate's going away "party" (I put "party" in quotes because only a sadistic bastard like Kate would party at the thought of moving away) at a bar last night, and once my co-workers all left, I sat at the bar and waited for a cab, since David took the car home when he left pretty early on.

Last night, before I let my nerd flag fly

I decided to try to make friends, so I started talking to these guys next to me.  I'd noticed that they'd been kind of whispering to each other and... actually, to be honest, they seemed like they were a couple.  They said they were students, and I asked about that, and only one of them really talked to me, but he seemed uncomfortable most of the time.  So I stopped and watched the TV behind the bar instead, but right as I did that, the guy that hadn't been as social was all "bye" and then did that little pinched face that says "wow, you are reeeeally uncool."

So they left.  Apparently I was keeping them from something.  The bartender actually walked over to me when they left and said, "Don't take it personally.  I think they're a couple."  I wasn't trying to hook up with either of them, so that isn't what I would take personally -- it's that I was trying to just have a conversation with both of them, and that was some major uncoolness apparently.  Whatever.

But earlier in the night, I was talking to the wife of a co-worker about making friends.  She said that she, too, has a hard time finding people to hang out with and that she and her husband are constantly on the lookout for friends.

So what happens to me?  Socially retarded explosion.

"YOU GUYS SHOULD COME OVER SOMETIME!!  I can cook!  And we might have a badminton set in a closet somewhere!  AND WE HAVE A FIREPIT IN THE BACKYARD!!" I screamed at her, as her eyes got wider and wider.  And then she meekly replied, "Oh... okay."

Anyone seen the episode of How I Met Your Mother that describes how Lily and Marshall try way too hard at their dinner parties?  Yeah... I turned into the creepy "try the gouda!!!!!!" guy.


Better late than never, right?

I have a friend whose young daughter sounds like a broken record at social gatherings:
Her:  "The other kids don't want to play with me."
Us:  "How do you know?  Did you try playing with them?"
Her:  "They don't want to play what I want to play."
Us:  "Why don't you play whatever they're playing?"
Her:  "I triiiied.  They won't let me play with them. :( :( :("

Now, considering one of the kids that she's talking about is one of my nieces, who will play with just about anybody, I kind of doubt the accuracy of this little girl's story.  My niece is still human, and little kids can be mean, but I'm doubting the story because this conversation occurs every.  single.  time.  It even happened when there was a babysitter for the kids during the party, and this babysitter was literally having them all play in a group:  she was either telling a story to all of them at once, or she was saying "let's all play this," etc.  I'm saying absolutely no kid was left out, but this little girl left herself out.

The adults try the best they can to encourage her to go play with the other kids, but nothing ever seems to suit her.  So what ends up happening is she plays by herself with a pouty face on, the other kids do their thang in a group together, and now the adults have to keep an eye on both her and the kid-group in different places because the little girl asks the adults to play with her instead.  And the adults don't want to play with her.  The adults want to drink.

Over the last several days, I have realized that I am that little girl.  A whiny, pouty 28-year-old that complains about no one ever inviting her out, no one sitting with her at lunch, no one ever doing what she wants to do; when that's not happening, she's shitting all over everyone else's plans and acts better than everybody.  I used to think that it's because I don't have anything in common with people my age.  But now I just think that I'm not trying hard enough.  I actually haven't been trying at all -- my attitude was like, "Why should I have to try to make friends?  I'm awesome.  They're just dumb.  I wouldn't want to be friends with them anyway.  We're nothing alike."

Plus, I'm kind of a misanthropic bitch while I'm at work.  So even if they were like me, I wouldn't want to be around them anyway.

So I'm turning over a new leaf.  I'm going to put more effort into making friends.  I'm going to be.../cringe...nicer.  More outgoing. 

I'd start by going to my co-workers' weekly Happy Hour tonight for the first time, but I don't think they're having one this week.  Kate's going away party is tomorrow night, so I'll have to begin there. 

I'm still a little stuck, though.  I haven't tried to make friends in 20 years -- you know, when the prerequisite for friendship was, "Do you like vanilla pudding?  I like vanilla pudding!"  What is your advice for making friends as an adult?


On "nice guys"

If you're a guy and you have ever uttered the phrase "nice guys finish last," I'm going to ask you one final time to get a fucking grip. 

I've been wanting to write about this for a while, but I wanted to wait for some drama to blow over before I did.  In the meantime, Jenna Marbles actually ended up YouTubing the subject, and she probably said everything better than I ever could.  But I'll try anyway.

I have heard from so many guys about how the nice ones apparently finish last -- I see it on Facebook, I hear it from guy friends, and I've even heard it from guys that I have turned down.  "Women only date jerks," "she won't go out with me because she can't handle someone nice for once," "do women even have any self respect?  they can't see a good man when he's right in front of her," etc.  To add to what Jenna Marbles talked about, here are my thoughts on the whole deal:

1.  The Scenario Doesn't Even Make Sense, Unless Nice People Have Suddenly Become Unlikeable

You have never gotten rejected for being nice.  I bet it's so easy to just chalk up your failed attempt at a relationship by simply saying you're too nice.  Instead, you're a passive aggressive child who won't own up to the real reasons that she likely doesn't want you.  You are probably not a catch, and you really might not be all that great.  Like, for example, maybe you're needy.  Maybe you aren't trustworthy.  Maybe you're terrible in bed (there are more of you out there than you think...).  Maybe she's just plain in love with someone else.  WHO KNOWS.  What I do know is that no one in the history of anything ever walked away from someone for being a NICE PERSON.

Why would "nice" even be the first adjective you lean on, anyway?  How does that even make sense?  Now, women say things like, "It's hard being a shy girl," because men like women who confidently make the first move, etc.  Women also say things like, "Nobody wants to date me because I've got kids."  And THERE is something that makes sense, because dating a single mom when you have no interest in kids would probably suck.  At the very least, I think it would suck a lot more than dating someone who is nice.  At least find a word that won't make women want to kick you in the face.  Go ahead -- I'll get you started:  "Unemployed guys finish last."  There you go.  "Guys with bad teeth finish last."  Yep.  "Guys with rage issues finish last."  Most times, unless you're good in bed.

Narcissa told me to not have a wall of text

2.  You're Not A Nice Guy Anyway

See, here's the thing -- If you're trying to make the girl look like the bad (or crazy, or insecure... I've heard "nice guys" say all of these) one for not being into "nice" guys, when really all she did was tell you how she felt, that it's not happening for you two, etc.... then you're not a very nice person.  I can't believe the number of times that the phrase "nice guys finish last" is so often followed by, "What a fucking bitch, is she too stupid to know what love is?"  That isn't exactly how nice people talk.

And I'm confused as to your motivation for being so "nice" in the beginning, considering that after the woman says sorry-Charlie, you do a complete fucking 180 on her.  You were nice just to get her into bed, weren't you?  You are such a little shit.

Why don't you just pay attention to yourself instead of talking shit about her?  I know you're busy putting all the blame of your sucky life on "that selfish bitch," thinking of ways in which you're so much better than her new "douchebag" of a boyfriend, and putting whiny messages on Facebook about how nobody sees how amazing you are.  But if you could take a break from all that, for just a sec?  And listen? 

Great, thanks:  YOU'RE A TOOL. 
Bellatrix says, "Look at all the fucks I give!  Look at them, Mommy!"

3.  You Think We Only Date Jerks.  You Think This Because You're An Idiot.

I know a guy who is a bit of a ladies' man, the eternal bachelor.  Think George Clooney, and then add the uncool excitement of being compared to George Clooney.  Now, do you think he was able to bag so many women by being a huge douche?  And by women, I'm talking all kinds -- smart, sexy women -- although I know some stupid bimbos slipped in there, but whatever.  He was at least nice to all of them, and not just to get them nekkid.  He's just a NICE GUY.  He's nice to bank tellers, waiters, his mom, etc. 

And he's been shot down before!  It's rare, but it happens.  What does he do?  "Hey, it's cool.  Enjoy your night."  Smiles at the girl, laughs it off with his buddies when they give him shit about it, picks up another girl later if things work out that way.  What do YOU do??  "OH.  I SEE.  FINE.  I GUESS I'M JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU.  WHAT'S THE MATTER, ARE YOU A LESBIAN OR SOMETHING?  ARE YOU LIKE ANGRY AT ALL MEN OR SOMETHING?  WHERE'S YOUR BOYFRIEND?  IF YOU WON'T GO OUT WITH ME, I'M ASSUMING YOU'VE GOT SOME JERK BOYFRIEND.  I'LL TREAT YOU BETTER THAN HE DOES."  And thennnnnn we find the ladies' man of the room and go home with him instead.  

See how that works?    
Micky:  "Oh, you want your seat back?  Lolzies."
Instead of writing a lengthy conclusion to my rant, I'll just offer a hearty "fuck off" to all the "nice guys" I've ever met.  :)

EDIT:  Oh, and Happy Halloween.  I'm not doing anything for it because I'm lazy and cheap.  Though a gorilla did chase me around my work building this afternoon.  That was enough for me.


Year of the Kate

People who read this blog and are friends with me on Facebook certainly have noticed an addition to my antics over the last year:  A girl named Kate.

Not Katie.  Not Katherine or Kathleen.  Her full name is actually Kate.  I'd like to write about her today because she is moving at the end of the week.

Looking uncharacteristically serious at Bazbeaux on Mass Ave.  She was probably thinking about beer.
Kate moved here in January to work as a co-op (whatever that means) in my company, supplementing her major of some kind of fancy science at some school in Ohio.  The Powers-That-Be sat her across the aisle from me, probably because they knew that I waste absolutely no energy on the co-ops and interns, which should ensure that more work gets done.  However, I discovered during lunch one day that she was laughing at my jokes, so I bothered to remember her name.

A little more about Kate: 
  • Kate is Catholic.  I make fun of her for it constantly.  She also likes to remind me that I have no soul.
  • She's really nice to her friends.

  • We have about a thousand inside jokes, but none of them are funny if I type it out.  Here, let me try one:  "Choo Choo is just the tiniest of all the littles!!"  ... Yeah, not funny.  Or we just quote shit that we hear, like from MST3K or that one video online about what science documentaries would be like if the host knew nothing about science.  Oh, here it is.  Should've figured it'd be on Cracked.com.  We just both have weird humor.  For example, she left this in my cubicle once: 

  • ay mamí

  • She's extremely proud to be from Ohio, even though most people in Indiana consider Ohio to be "that really boring area to drive through," or simply, "pre-Pennsylvania." When she says she's from Cleveland, people give her a blank stare and nod. A few have said, "Oh, like Kings Island?"
  • She has the exact same pose in every picture, unless she's being silly.  Shown here:
Hand on hip, one knee bent, head slightly thrown back.  Certainly makes her look better in a dress than I do.  She says this pose is like a reflex to seeing a camera.  The rest of her sorority apparently does this, too.  "Because this is America," she'd say.   
  • I think she's secretly evil:  She doesn't like animals ("grrr, I'm just saying I never had them as pets!"); she has a bunch of "followers" on this thing called "Twitter" (sounds like a code name for sure); and when we were discussing our shared opinion of Now & Then being totally awesome, I discovered on my phone that one of the actresses from it died like five years ago, and I was all like "OMG :(" but Kate was all "oh, whatevs, kbai"
  • She has a lot of different sunglasses, so I get to try them on and look super cool. 
  • She is obsessed with baseball, especially for the Indians, her home team. Probably the only girl I know who has a few baseball jerseys.
  • She cries at movies really, really easily.  It is hilarious.
    • EDIT:  Not just movies.  She just came up to me and said, "Okay, um, should I read your blog now or is it going to make me cry?"  I was like, "Well, the post is maybe kind of funny..."  Her:  "I'm going to read it later."

So it looks like I'm going to have to actually make friends soon.  Like, actually put in the effort and time, and I suck at that.  I'm going to have to start being nice to people at lunch, attending little social things, and trying to find things in common with people.  Because I realized -- if I can find things in common between myself and a Catholic, Republican 21-year-old engineering student from Ohio who likes Twilight and Top 40 radio... I think the sky's the limit here.


50 Things

First, my mom started a blog about her awesome childhood in the 1950s:  http://teaberrysgarden.blog.com/2012/10/03/first/.  Check it out -- she has great stories and is a talented writer.  Maybe I'll have her guest blog here sometime, or maybe she'll let me do it on hers.

The topic of "50 things I want to do before I die" is trending on Twitter.  I was inspired.  In no order at all:

1.  Meet Michael Nesmith.
2.  Meet Paul McCartney.
3.  Get that cute LG washer/dryer unit.  The red one.
4.  Have a kid.
5.  Write a cookbook.
     5 (a).  One for comfort food;
     5 (b).  One for campfire cooking; and
     5 (c).  One for healthy, fast cooking on the cheap.
6.  Rent a convertible and do Route 66.
7.  Go on a survival trip.
8.  Throw an arrow at a world map and travel to wherever it hits.  I hope the arrow hits land...
9.  Change the mind of a Young Earth creationist.
10.  Save someone's life.
11.  Be able to fit into this dress again:

12.  Sell that dress.
13.  Write a fiction novel.
14.  Fold and put away all my laundry.  Just once.  All I need is once.
15.  Emerge from financial debt without prostituting myself.
16.  Have a fulfilling career.
17.  Catch a foul ball at a major league game, even though I hate baseball.

(Maybe it's because I hate baseball.  "Hey, baseball sucks.  So I'm taking your ball.")

18.  Watch Paranormal Activity 2 without covering my eyes.
19.  Figure out a hairstyle I like and stick to it.
Not this one.

20.  Have a savings account.  (Again.)
21.  Live somewhere other than Indiana.
22.  Do one of those Tough Mudder challenge things.
23.  Be on Jeopardy.
24.  Sing in public.
25.  Help build a school in a poor area.  Follow up with people who work there.
26.  Finish my master bedroom.
27.  Take a ride around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
28.  Find out who the fuck the "Mother" is in "How I Met Your Mother."  Ted Mosby = worst storyteller ever.
Scumbag Ted Mosby.

29.  Run two miles in 12 minutes.
30.  Hit the front page on Reddit.com.
31.  Teach someone how to play the piano.
32.  Buy my childhood home and flip it.  My mom would have to move out first, I suppose.
33.  Participate in amateur night at a comedy club.
34.  Eat something that sounds disgusting but might not be.  Any suggestions?
35.  Detox from bad food, like my friend Kate did.  First week:  Fruits, vegetables, water only (with supplements).  Second week:  Introduce some proteins.  Third week:  Introduce dairy.  Etc.  (I might not be exact with that calendar.)  No alcohol, no oils, minimum carbs.  It sounds extreme, and Kate felt like shit the first week.  She also sounded like a pregnant woman:  "I want a cheeseburger.  I want cereal.  I want butter."  But I like challenges that are both mental and physical.
37.  Get the muscles worked out in my neck so that I quit having tension headaches every day.  Can I get my insurance to cover massage?  I ask because I have missed work because of these headaches before.
38.  Have a successful veggie garden.
39.  Maintain a pond in my backyard with fish in it, like my aunt Carol had when I was little.
40.  Refinance my house and/or get my ex-fiancé's name off the mortgage and title.
41.  Ride a horse.  Maybe.  I don't know about this one.  I'm a bit scared of horses.
42.  Own a property with woods and a stream.
43.  Run a marathon.
44.  Make new memories in Orcas Island.

Me on the ferry to Orcas Island in 2007.  I kind of... cropped someone out of it.  I've been to Orcas three or four times, and, except for the last time, always had fun.  I want to go back someday.

45.  Visit an Indian reservation.
46.  Have the perfect little black dress.
47.  Kick Ben Roethlisberger in the nuts.
48.  Get a tattoo.  I have some planned out.
49.  Find a message in a bottle and write back.
50.  Write another list of fifty things I want to do because I have completed this one.

For the record, I have a one-up on Twitter, where the #50thingsiwanttodobeforeidie came from.  Twitter says:
1.  Get married (everyone does that)
2.  Meet Justin Bieber (not interested)
3.  Go skydiving (been there)
4.  Fall in love (done that)
5.  Lose my virginity (no comment... but I lived with someone I was engaged to... so let's face it, the jig is up)
6.  Go to Paris (I've heard it smells bad)
7.  Get Kim Kardashian to sit on my face (I'd rather die with no bucket list)

One thing I saw on Twitter that I'd also like to do:
"Throw a party with non-alcoholic beer and see how many people act drunk."  Good luck, my friend.


Rules of Life

Things I've learned... for women:

Smile when answering the phone. 

Never buy generic toilet paper. 

Don't put Neosporin on a facial cut unless you want a visible scar. 

Always pee right after having sex. 

Invest in a Roth IRA whenever you have an extra $200. 

Bleach:  Seriously, a dab will do ya.  No need to waste it.

Treat people in the service industry (waiters, cashiers, etc.) with respect. 

If his friends are douchenozzles, don't marry him. If you're looking for excuses that include, "Well, his friends are douchenozzles," definitely don't marry him.  

Single men in their 40s are single for a reason. 

Quality time is over-rated; it's how the quantity time is handled that counts in the end. 

Your parents are human, yet you will think you make more mistakes than they did. 

Don't salt your food before you take the first bite.  If you're a guest at someone's house, don't salt the food at all.  Unless the hostess is out of the room.

"Sir" goes a long way... "ma'am" slightly less than "sir," but better than "hey." 

The best hangover cure -- instantly -- is scrambled eggs, hair of the dog, and three ibuprofen. 

And, things to never change for a man: Your university, your career, your goals, or your hairstyle... you will regret the change and resent the man.


Just checking in.

I'm still around, but things have been pretty hectic:

(1) Things at work are busier than they've ever been.  I come home every day feeling like I ran around for nine hours but without the sense that I actually got much done.  Those of you that work in offices might be able to relate:  I feel like I spend so much time in meetings that I can't actually DO anything like I would at my own desk.

(2) David and I have started going to the gym every day after work (except for Wednesdays, because that's my hellishly busy work day), and it's taken some adjustment.  For example, running/speedwalking for an hour a day instead of sitting on my ass.  Makes a bit of a difference.  One side effect, perhaps:  My dreams have been crazy vivid.  Am I sleeping deeper? 

(3) David has gone back to work, so I no longer have a stay-at-home roommate.  That means I actually have to help with dishes, trash cans, and crap on the floor (sometimes literally...remind me to thank our cats).

I would really like to get back into writing nearly every day, because I enjoy it and it's pretty much the only outlet I have other than cooking and swearing.

Also, I was at Walmart today at lunch, and I saw this in the checkout line:

I've showed two people this photo so far (and I put it on Reddit), and no one seems to get it at first.  Or they don't think it's funny.  But screw them; it's hilarious.

David's birthday is tomorrow.  I put his gift(s) in a dented cardboard box I found at work.  For anyone who remembers my gift-wrapping skillz from last year...

...that's right.  I'm still the master.


A spell for letting go

I want normal things, damn it. 

I want to dance at my wedding with a ridiculously enormous dress on, and I want many people to be there.  And they will also dance until I tell them not to anymore. 

I want to go to the beach with my kids.  I want their father to put them up on his shoulders.  I want their father to have wanted kids as much as I did.  I want their father to care about himself as much as he cares about me.

I want to tell stories of how I met my husband.  We'd have it as practically a two-person show, with well-timed interjections from the other person of humorous details to the story, and of course a sentence that we'll both say at the same time for emphasis while sharing a knowing look.  We'll ignore our friends as they roll their eyes.

I want a next-of-kin that isn't a parent (sorry guys).  I want to be more than just an emergency contact.  I want to be legally bound to someone who wants to be legally bound to me.  No more joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

I don't think I'll ever get these things.  It sucks.


Top Five Ways to Stay Awake in a Meeting

From vote29.com

I promised my friend Kate that I would write this, as it may or may not be relevant, but I won't be specific to avoid getting dooced.  However, no matter where you work, there will always come a time when you find your attention dwindling... your eyelids get heavy... your head starts bobbing... and before you know it, the VP of Operations is watching you wipe drool from your chin.

So here we go:

1.  Ask a question.
I started doing this back in high school.  When you ask a question about the meeting topic, you become a bit more invested in what is going on.  Plus, if you're anything like me (socially awkward and low on the totem pole, which is a great combination, believe me), your face will flush and your pulse will quicken as you realize all these people are staring at you as if you're a bug.  Therefore, the dumber the question you ask, the more you'll perk up. 

2.  Stand up and pace a bit.
This works really well on me.  Yes, most people sit calmly and professionally during meetings, but it isn't unheard of for people to stand occasionally.  Where I work, there's one guy that always stands during meetings.  As it happens, he's also one of the more energetic people I work with. 

If anyone gives you shit about it, just say you're stretching your legs.  But if you really want to impress the higher-ups, deliver some hyped corporate b.s. lingo, like, "I'm brainstorming," or "I'm trying to actualize/visualize/centralize the workflow."  Or just distract them with #1, combined with #2 (this is where it gets fancy):  "Does proceduralizing this process fall within our defined scope moving forward?"  VIP's minds = BLOWN.

3.  Eat or drink something.  Especially if it burns your tongue.
Bonus points if you annoy everyone by chewing ice cubes, like I do.  But really, any kind of stimulant to your senses works.  A good example is chewing hard candy, especially something peppermint-flavored -- studies have shown (I'm not citing anything here, because Google just told me "Um, duh?  You don't know this?", plus I learned it in psych class several years ago -- thanks Mr. Fitz!) that peppermint, both the smell and taste of it, can make you more alert and make the mind more focused. 

I discovered on my own that drinking hot beverages, caffeinated or not, can help.  See, I don't drink coffee.  Can't stand the taste of it.  I don't even like mocha ice cream.  What I do enjoy, however, is hot chai.  I found that I can stay awake in meetings if I'm drinking hot chai, because at least once a minute I get a nice refreshing dose of "OH HOLY FUCK, MY TONGUE, OW OW OW."

4.  Take a diuretic before the meeting.
This should be self-explanatory.  Not only do most diuretics contain caffeine, but you'll also be getting up every five minutes to go pee.  Your meeting-mates probably won't say anything; they'll probably just assume you have something medically wrong, so they'll gossip behind your back, but it's better they tell everyone that you have incontinence issues than to say you have narcolepsy.  Right?

5.  Text someone under the table.
I don't recommend this, as it's highly frowned upon in most companies.  However, if you have a company-issued phone (which is not most of us), people will generally look the other way.  I only use this in the most dire of situations.  Last time I did this, I texted David, because he has a never-ending supply of stories from when he was in the Army.  It went like this:

Me:  Haylp, I'm bored and falling asleep
David:  So this one time, I was on the Autobahn...

Needless to say, it helped. 

Any more suggestions?  Anyone tried the above tips?


When David goes to Nashville for five days...

...my first order of business was peeing with the door open.

I also plan to make as much seafood as possible in my kitchen.  He can't stand the smell of it, and I freaking love seafood, so I'm thinking crab legs, salmon, salmon patties... maybe I'll try something new.  Oooh, maybe scallops!


Then when I recover from food poisoning brought on by cooking scallops without knowing how, maybe I'll get my ass in gear and finally do some housework I've been putting off.


An odd request, perhaps -- protest food?

What I just posted on my blog at allrecipes.com:

"I'd like to ask the AR community about what kind of food I should make/bring for a protest.

It is a peaceful demonstration, held at Purdue University in Indiana, to protest the appointment of Indiana governor Mitch Daniels as the new president of the university, which is my alma mater.  (I could go into the many reasons why he should not be the president of Purdue, but I won't because I'm lazy, so Google it and it will be obvious.  A brief but more detailed explanation is at my blog -- http://tempuri.org?link=new)  The police and the university have granted permission and compliance with the event, which will ensue under 90+ degree heat.  

I am in charge of bringing the food, both for the activists and the audience.  I've been asked to accommodate vegetarianism, but that isn't my exclusive recipe choice.  

What can I bring that...
(a) will be awesome;
(b) could make almost anyone happy; and
(c) won't taste like in the current Midwestern drought?

Thanks much."

Any ideas?