Monday, October 31, 2005
Frankly, I knew it was going to take something of this magnitude to get a certain Mr. Patrick C. to comment on the LRHS. Now we will expect to hear from you more often!
The choosing of the name is probably going to be the hardest part, since Kev and I are the world's worst decision-making duo ever. It takes us over an hour just to decide which take-out place to order from (and there are only about three choices). Kev's plan is that I am to make my list, and he will make his "name spreadsheet," and one day we'll just sit down with them and "have it out." Doesn't that sound like fun? We are doing much better on our list of names we will NOT choose, which includes Potsie, Skipper, Bender, Helmut, Wally, and Beaver, just to name a few. It's much easier to name a sock monkey, I tell you what.
Took my new work pants to the tailor down the street last week, because let's be honest, I'm never gonna hem them myself. Went to pick them up just now.
"Sorry. They not ready. Be ready tomorrow," said Master Fu, the tailor.
I have to leave for work soon and I have no pants. I guess I am going to have to wear the old brown cords I wore last time I went to work. I hope no one notices.
And my pants problems are only going to get more complicated over the next few months.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
- I am 8 weeks along, and young Satchmo is due to arrive on the 9th of June.
- Yes, we are planning to find out, as LarryFeathers puts it, which kind of a kid it is.
- I am feeling mostly fine other than tired and indigestiony at times.
- No, we haven't thought of any names yet, and we plan to keep that a secret once we do.
- No, we are not naming it Satchmo. Although, if - I mean when - we ever get a dog...
So that's our big news. Some of you are probably thinking, "But Tara, you are the biggest wimp I know. How ever will you pull this off?" And it's funny, I never thought I could do it either, but yesterday for the first time in my life, I let a lady sick a needle in my arm and I didn't even really flinch. So I reckon this will be nowhere near as bad as I have built it up to be in my head over the years. I am going to be brave and try not to complain too much and make everyone proud of me.
Meanwhile, the blogging will continue, and I will try not to beat you down with too much baby talk.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Now in case you don't know what Heifer International is, let me tell you. Heifer International is an organization that provides farm animals to people of the world, as well as training in how to use said farm animals to better their lives and the lives of their families and communities. Through the holiday gift catalog, ordinary people like me can purchase animals, or if that's too expensive, shares of animals, in the names of people we like, as a holiday gift. So, if I wanted to get you, for example, a gift, I could purchase a couple shares of a goat ($10 ea.) to be given to someone in say, Uganda, in your honor. Then, once there are enough shares to make a whole goat ($120), the Uganda person receives the goat and learns how to care for it and milk it and so forth. And if they get two goats, they can raise more goats to milk or sell or give to extended family members. It is like the whole "teach a man to fish" thing. Not only can you send people goats, but also cows (obviously), llamas, sheep, buffalo, HONEYBEES, and more!
Before you start rolling your eyes, think about it for a minute. I think it is a really nice idea. And Heifer International isn't rinky-dink either. It is endorsed by such people as Susan Sarandon, Ed Harris, the moms from Malcolm in the Middle and Everybody Loves Raymond, Ed Asner, Walter Cronkite, and the great President Jimmy Carter. It has been around since 1944, and has won several Humanitarian awards. This may be the year I finally get my brother a goat for Christmas.
If you would like to get a farm animal gift for someone you like, or just learn more about heifer International, you can go to:
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
- Walk to more places in the neighborhood.
- Go to the Make store and make stuff
- Incorporate more orange into my life
- Cook one or two new soups each month
- Sew some stuff, starting with hemming my work pants*
- Plant some bulbs
- Participate in the band more often
- Keep the blog a happy place
* I finally got some work pants, but they are way too long. Since I have failed to get them hemmed yet, I almost had to wear the dreaded Johnny Cash pants to work yesterday. Crisis averted when I found some old brown cords. Phew!
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Last night we went to a funny party at our neighbors' house (Hank and Ana). It was Hank's birthday so he grilled fajitas which were very tasty. Parties at their house are always interesting. Ana is from Venezuela, so there are always many Spanish-speaking people there. They sit in the driveway. Hank's friends sit on the deck near the grill. His most notorious friend, Bleeding Roy, is always there with his very scraggly dog. Roy is pretty much on the fringe. He looks a little like Dennis Hopper, doesn't seem to care much about cleanliness, has questionable teeth, and is very political. We call him Bleeding Roy because the first time we met him at a Hank party, he had blood running all down his leg, which he didn't seem to mind or even notice. Last night, he suddenly threw his arms into the air and shouted, "Bush sucks! Right everybody?" No one really responded, but I don't think he cared. Kev wants to write a song about Bleeding Roy, but I don't really want to have to think about him that much. I do want to write a song about a girl that Kev used to ride the bus with because her name is Francine Canteen, which I think is funny. But I don't know how far you could really take a song like that. Kev told my brother and I about Francine at lunch yesterday. He also suggested that my brother wear a cape to testify in court on Monday. He said something else funny too, but I forget what it was. He's been on quite a roll lately.
When we got home from the party, Kev was lying on the couch with his eyes closed, and then suddenly he became very animated, which if you know Kev, is a little unusual. "What is it?", I asked. He held up a finger for a moment, then said, "What is special about this sentence: Tara saw Bob was a rat?" I said, "Oh, it is a palindrome!" Kev was very happy, because apparently he has spent many hours trying to come up with a palindromic sentence. Mission accomplished! So, good for Kev. Later he changed his palindrome to Tara saw Otto was a rat. Then he looked at some guy's internet palindromes and got all defeated because they were really complicated.
This morning we went to the Garden Cafe on Junius for breakfast. It is my new favorite breakfast place. The food is great, but here is a warning: You will get food that only closely resembles what you order. I ordered a whole grain pancake, bacon, and a side of cheese grits. I got a buttermilk pancake, ham, and a side of cheese grits. Kev ordered a mushroom omelet, whole wheat toast, and a hash brown. He got a omelet with no mushrooms, a biscuit, and a hashbrown. That's OK though, it was all good. I think maybe the lady at the counter must have been hearing impaired or something. At least I got my grits, which was what I wanted the most, and I got to try Kev's biscuit, which was one of the best biscuits I've ever had. So, go to the Garden Cafe on Junius if you can, and call me if you do cause I wanna go.
It's COLD!!!!! At last. Tomorrow I will wear my Nepalese daisy pancho.
Friday, October 21, 2005
PS: If you go there, request one of the Bean songs. He can play the banjo. Plus, I didn't know this, but he can sing pretty well, which you can hear on his song Blogger Man. You won't get the jokes, they are very inside, but it's still good. (Warning: There is at least one really bad curse word in that song.)
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Also in Paris, we watched Spanglish, which was more my speed. Three 1/2 penguins for that. Adam Sandler can be good when he stops being Mr. Annoying Man.
All this movie talk reminds me of this dude named Chris Arnold who used to have a bad show on the sports talk radio station and then he did some stuff for Mavericks TV which was also bad. Chris Arnold was famous for being a germophobe, so instead of shaking hands with people, he would present his fist to be tapped as if playing "one-potato, two-potato, etc." I am not very street, but I think this is called a "dap." I met Chris Arnold at my friend Gordon's wedding because they used to work together, so I did an experiment and stuck out my hand for him to shake, which he did without the slightest hint of repulsion. So either the germophobe rumors were exaggerated, or Chris Arnold made a b-line to the church bathroom to wash off my handshake immediately after. Chris Arnold is a bad broadcaster, but he may be on to something with the dapping. I am not a big fan of the handshake in these days of SARS and bird flu. So let's all bring back the dap. Mmm-hmm.
Most of what I know about eggplant, I learned from Kev, except the above recipe which I learned from the internet after I got comfortable dealing with eggplant on my own. Baba Ganouj (click above link for recipe) is a delicious dip that you can use like hummus. It is good on skewered chicken, pita bread, vegetables, whatever. The recipe says the yogurt is optional...I used it and it made it nice and creamy. It is a very easy recipe. And it is really delicious. Since you will have to buy tahini, you can make hummus too.
If you are doing a recipe that calls for an "aubergine", that just means eggplant. You will see it that way in European and Indian recipes.
One good thing to do is grill eggplant. It is very good and easy. You just slice it and brush it with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper or whatever you want. Before you cook eggplant, here is a secret: It is a good idea to slice it ahead of time and sprinkle both sides with salt and let it sit for about 20 or 30 minutes. The salt will make the eggplant "sweat," and that makes it much less bitter. When you're ready to cook it, just rinse off the salt and pat the eggplant slices dry with a paper towel.
If there is anything else that I left out, Kev will comment. He is the eggplant man.
Tonight, the show Good Eats on Food Network was all about eggplant. Isn't that weird? Anyway, Alton Brown demonstrated squeezing the moisture out of the sliced eggplant slices after you rinse the salt (see above tip)...that helps keep it from becoming all mushy when it cooks. He had a good marinade recipe for grilled or broiled eggplant, which is probably on foodtv.com. The eggplant parm he did, though, couldn't hold a candle to Kev's.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Friday we did indeed go to Daddy Jack's with our 10 dollar coupon for a great dinner of lobster bisque (they weren't kidding about the velvety!), and I had the sauteed redfish with a delicious lemon butter sauce. Please go to Daddy Jack's if you are looking for good seafood. Warning: It is cold in there and the waiters could use a little work on their tired jokes.
Saturday morning Julie picked me up and we headed north-east to Paris. It was a nice drive up through Sherman, Bonham, and Honey Grove, and we saw one little maple tree with red leaves which obviously mistook its location for Vermont because it was in all of its autumn glory. Good for you, maple tree!
When we got to Whitney's, we decided to go to Chiggerfest which is in Cooper, Texas. When you say "Cooper," you must pronounce the "oo" like in "hook," NOT like in "toot." Chiggerfest was perhaps the saddest Fest I have ever attended. There wasn't much going on in the little town square except 3 bounce houses, a so-so band playing classic rock covers, a food booth which had run out of nachos but had plenty of fried twinkies for all, people selling the ever-popular be-spangled sequin purses, and some volunteer firefighters with a couple of smokers selling hot dogs and hamburgers. So we each had a hot dog and hit the road back to Paris. The t-shirts were not at all cool or even campy, so we passed. (Sorry, Marty...you wouldn't have wanted one of them though, they were lame).
After going to three different stores only to find out that they had already put away their supply of charcoal for the "winter," (it was 90 degrees yesterday) we finally found some at home depot, and Whitney used it to grill us some tasty grilled chicken for dinner. We did some arts and crafts and watched a movie about pants, and went to bed at midnight! I never stay up that late. It was big fun all around. Thanks to Whitney for hosting and Julie for driving (and not talking on her cell phone while doing so!).
Got home this afternoon, and guess what happened! Kev surprised me and made me my very favorite meal: Eggplant parmesan, which is one of his specialities. He is very nice, and an excellent cook. I wish you could all have had some, but you'd have had to fight me for it had you been here. There are at least two more meals worth of Eggplant Parmesan, and it is even better left over than the first time around. So lucky me, and thanks to Kev.
Busy week doing hearing screenings this week...a little extra money, but a little less time to blog. Hope you all had a nice weekend too.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Thanks, Shannon Kay!
Tomorrow morning, I am off to Paris with Julie for an overnight visit to Casa Whitney. We are going to grill chicken and watch movies and do arts and crafts, and there is talk of driving to Cooper for Chiggerfest 2005, but it may be too hot. The main reason Whitney wants to go is so she can have a t-shirt that says Chiggerfest, and who can blame her for that?
Speaking of Whitney, she was nice enough to visit the bee-keeping supply headquarters in Paris and had them send me a catalog. I can now order a bee suit if I so desire. I think the whole bee-keeping thing is pretty complicated judging from all the various supplies you need to have in order to do it. Perhaps it isn't the hobby for me.
I will miss Kev this weekend, but I think he will enjoy some quiet time around the house. I think he is still recovering from going to the fair last weekend. I felt sorry for him because his feet hurt so bad and his car got pooped on, so I told him I'd go to Guitar Center with him sometime if he wants me to. Sometimes when the Rush Dude is at it, it is like we LIVE at Guitar Center. Maybe he'll take the weekend off from practicing his 3-song repertoire. No more sign of the cops, so I don't know what that was all about yesterday.
Well, have a good weekend, everybody. Tales of Paris coming soon...
By the way, if you are lucky and get to go to Maine, you can visit Mount Desert Island, but it is pronounced like "dessert."
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Howdy folks! I am going to tell you about our trip to the State Fair of Texas on Sunday. For those of you who don't know, the above fake cowboy is the legendary Big Tex. He is tall and creepy and top-heavy, and he has an animatronic chin which moves up and down throughout the day as he makes announcements about what time to see the pig races or what's going on at the Chevrolet Main Stage or whatever else is happening. Trivia: Big Tex has on the world's largest blue jeans. (You can click on any picture to make it big!)
When we got to the fair, we sat down because Kev's feet already hurt. Then we went to the classic car corral and saw a bunch of cool old cars including my favorite, a 1963 sea green and white Rambler station wagon with sparkly green interior. Then we tried to go to the pig race, but it was full, so we went to the Bird Show! Yay!
The bird show was good as it is every year, but Kev is right, they need some new schtick. The jokes are always the same. But we got to see this cool eagle up close as well as the owl below, and some various hawks and other birds. So I didn't mind the recycled jokes.
At the end of the bird show, I made a contribution to Bird Conservation by giving this raven a five dollar bill to put in the box. Ravens are cool and very intelligent. I am NOT pinching the bird show man...Kev just snapped the picture at a rather unfortunate moment.
This is the Texas Star Ferris Wheel which we didn't ride this year. It is fun because at the top, you can see for miles since North Texas is flat. We DID ride...
...the FUN SLIDE! It was bigger than the Dutchess County Fun Slide, but sadly a little less fun because I was so tired from the climb, I didn't fully enjoy the sliding down part. Oh well, live and learn.
This is a sculpture of Elvis made of butter. It was also very creepy, and frankly didn't look much like Elvis, but it was funny. Speaking of Elvis, below is a food booth selling one of the King's favorite snacks:
If you can't read the sign, it says "Fried peanut butter and jelly and banana sandwich." We didn't eat one of these, but my dad did the other day when my parents went. He said it was pretty good. We had corndogs instead (my one corndog for the year) and later I had pizza and Kev had tamales. I wish I had tamales because the pizza wasn't very good, but I wanted something different since I have tamales every year, plus my brother's Mexican friend said tamales have pig face in them. The fair has just about every kind of food you could want, except, unfortunately, fried mushrooms and milkshakes.
At the end of the fair, we decided to stay for the TXU energy extravaganza light show and fireworks. It was lame and we left before it was over. I do not recommend it. We got the shuttle (which almost crashed!) back to Kev's car which he had spent the morning washing and polishing with great care, and found that it now had lots of bird poop on it, so Kev wasn't very happy. So we came home and cleaned off the poop and thankfully Rush Knucklehead was taking the night off because I think Kev needed some quiet time.
So that is about it, except for the stuff I left out. I had a great time as usual. Can't wait until next year!
Saturday, October 08, 2005
This morning we were talking about all that jazz with the inflatables, and here's the deal. I think the reason I hate them so much is that they represent, in a very in-your-face way, the commercial-ness of the holidays, which is what I really don't like. Target already has Christmas stuff out. World Market had ornaments out in SEPTEMBER! It just makes me mad, because by the time Christmas gets here, everyone is sick of it.
My cousin Brad said we should make giant inflatable politians at election-time, or giant inflatable Brads which would be really funny. Or LarryFeathers in every yard. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Kev wants to revolutionize holidays. He reckons we should get rid of lame holidays like St. Patrick's Day and Valentine's Day and invent some new ones. I said, "Like what?" He suggested Dog Day and Cheese Day. I am in favor of both. (Think of the giant inflatable potential there!)
Tomorrow is the day I've been waiting for since last October: The day we go to the State Fair of Texas. Woo-hoo! So get ready for tales of mild adventure with birds and ferris wheels and corn-dogs coming soon to the LRHS.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
However, not everything that goes along with fall is great. (Snobbery alert) There are a few things I don't like, and one of those is the sudden appearance of the giant holiday inflatable yard-art. First comes the inflatable ghost/pumpkin combo. Not scary ghosts and pumpkins, but smiley cutesy ones. Yuck. I hate them. I want to deflate them all, and I must not be the only one, because inevitably, that's how they end up: a giant pile of shrivelled white and orange nylon lying helpless on the lawn. But that's OK, because by then it will be time for the giant inflatable lawn turkey, and then to complete the trifecta, giant inflatable Santa. These things are bad. You mostly see them in the suburbs, but they do appear in my neighborhood. Interestingly, they are generally at the newly constructed McMansions. Hmmm...
Anyway, sorry. I guess I shouldn't try to tell other people how to get themselves into the holiday spirit, but personally I prefer the old school holiday decorations of my youth. If you happen to actually LIKE holiday inflatables, well then inflate your heart out. I will stick to real jack-o-lanterns, turkeys made by tracing my hand on some brown construction paper, and those little plastic hollow porch-Santas with the light inside. Ah, yes.
So welcome to fall, it seems to finally be here.
Well, my mom just called and told me that Albert went out and got himself skunked again last night. Dangit. Will he never learn? Then she lectured me about using curse words in a public forum. So I lectured her back about talking on her phone in the car. But that's another blog. Anyway, I am on my way over there to do some work, but if it seems like there's any chance I'm gonna catch the skunk smell, I'm getting outta there. Poor Albert.
I wonder why there are so many skunks in suburban Garland.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
So I'm driving to work going north in the right lane on Central, when this JACK-ASS in a giant black SUV not only cuts me off, but then slams on his breaks so he can make the exit because he almost missed the exit since he was DIALING his damn CELL PHONE. I could see him dialing, holding the thing up in front of his face. I swear to God, I have had it with these people. I had nowhere to escape in either direction, so I had to slam on my breaks too and hope for the best. I got lucky this time. But because this asshole is so damn important that his call can't wait, he almost caused what could have been a pretty bad accident. Nothing pisses me off more than stupidity behind the wheel.
That is all. I am going to go do some deep breathing in my happy place before my 4:00 kid gets here.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
If you like popcorn (and who doesn't?), click the link above. There are recipes and fun facts and pictures you can print and color and more!
By the way, I know some people that even have a popcorn dance which I really hope to see someday.
Monday, October 03, 2005
All has been quiet across the way for the past few days. Maybe Rush Knucklehead has gone on tour with his band, Bad Fake Rush. Or maybe his downstairs neighbors went up there and did him in.
I now have received 5 or 6 soup recipes. If I can get to 10, it's book city.
We went to see A History of Violence on Sunday night. It was disturbing and violent and gorey, and had one of those "ha-ha we're not giving you closure" endings, but it was nice to get out of the house and I always enjoy the BBQ chicken wraps at the Studio Movie Grill. They come with DEE-licious sweet potato fries.
Tara Fun Fact: Here is something you may not know about me. I used to watch the WWF. I even went to a live event once with my brother. It was really funny. My favorite guys were Mankind/Mick Foley and The Rock. I don't watch it anymore. Is it still on? And I haven't seen any of the Rock's movies, but I bet he's actually a pretty decent actor. So there you go. Fake wrestling. One of my many short-lived phases.
Hoping to go to the Fair on Sunday, maybe it will be cool out. My cousin asked what is so great about the SFofT, and I will blog about that after I visit it this year so I can include some photos.
Kev is in the other room putting the finishing touches on the un-named jazz song. Nothing is on TV. I think I'll go read a book...almost finished with the Kinky Friedman. Pretty funny stuff. I think he'll make a good governer.