Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays

I'm getting ready to spend 4 days with my favorite daughter (but, Mom, I'm your only daughter) and most of our planning is around food. We know we'll eat out once or twice and sushi will be one of those meals. We also want to make some food at home.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Bellagio Days

This weekend Cheryl and I went to see the holiday display at the Bellagio. As usual it was beautiful. After walking around the displays we went back outside to watch the fountains. This has to be the best free show in Las Vegas. In fact, even better than some you have to pay for. If you go here and click on the video tour you too can watch them. It's a nice video but I think the Bellagio should have a live cam.

If you come to Las Vegas over the holidays, the Bellagio is a must see destination.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

If my mom were alive, she'd be 92 today. She was born on December 7, 1917 in Niagara Falls, New York and she died September 21, 1998 in Las Vegas, Nevada. I don't think my mom and I were close in the same way my daughter and I are close but I know that she loved me unconditionally and I loved her. She was as good a mom as she could be and I have so many great memories of times with her. She and my brother and I share a history that no one else does.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Letters Never Sent

Verbatim recently discussed the proper forms of address for letters and it reminded me of the days, long ago, when I used to write letters. When writing to friends, I didn't worry too much about the forms of address or the correct format of a letter. But writing to my grandmother was a different story. She was very conscious of social norms and so my mother made sure my brother and I knew how to write a proper letter. We also learned about the art of letter writing in school. The salutation (Dear ), the body (blah, blah, blah) and the the closing (Love, Me). 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

In the darkness of the night, Tiger Woods ran his car into a fire hydrant. Or tree. Or both. Everyone - well at least the media - is wondering why he was out at that time of night and how he lost control of the vehicle at a speed so slow that the air bags didn't deploy. Tiger isn't saying much.

And I hope he keeps saying nothing. It isn't any one's business. He wasn't drunk, he didn't hurt anyone and I'm pretty sure he'll pay for any damages. So, Tiger, just keep golfing and don't answer any questions about your personal life. Maybe you'll start a trend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Please Correct Me, Let Me Know

Today I was rereading a older post and found a glaring error. Not just a typo but a sentence with one word left out and another one just dropped in that didn't belong. I'm not a good editor - self or otherwise. I need two or three people to review reports before I publish them at work. I don't have a blog reviewer (anyone want that job which pays nothing?) and I'm always in a rush to publish. I usually remember to run the spell check but spell check is limited when it comes to scanning for coherence. So if, in the future, you notice typos or just incomprehensible sentences please comment or shoot me an email. I'll thank you, I promise!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Salmon and Ginger

Today I made two different ginger items. The first was pickled ginger and the second was maple-ginger marinated salmon. I love pickled ginger and decided I wanted to make my own. So I checked around the Internet and found this recipe. The hardest part about the preparation is peeling the ginger. The recipe says to rub the skin off but that didn't seem to work so I used a knife. Ginger has lots of odd shapes so it's hard to get all the skin off. Next time I may try just rubbing as best I can and leaving the skin - it might soften up a lot when pickled. I sliced the ginger thinly - not as thin as the ginger you get in the restaurant but I think I like my slices better. I didn't wait a day to try it and it tastes great!

The maple-ginger salmon is a recipe I got from a friend. I had about a pound of salmon. For the marinade, combine 1/2 of grade B maple syrup with 1 TB each of soy sauce, grated ginger, and lemon juice. I also added a little salt, lemon pepper and a touch of grated lemon rind. Then I tossed the fish and all but about 1/8 C of the marinade into a plastic bag and left it in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour. I preheated the oven to 400 and then wrapped the salmon loosely in foil and baked it for about 25 minutes. I topped it with the reserved marinade and served it with fresh green beans and some pickled ginger. It was YUM!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Nudes Is Good Nudes

This post over at Woulda Coulda Shoulda sums up my thoughts pretty well. I'm all about freedom but I really don't care to see your naked body parts, in action or not. The post reminded of a time, long ago when I held lingerie parties. Kind of like Tupperware parties but with nighties. It was a part time job to bring in some extra money and, for the most part, I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Serving 101

I completely agree with #7, #8, #32, #34, #36 and #47. I agree with #17 unless I've indicated the plate should be taken.

I don't mind #10, #43 or #37 (when invited).

The rest seem pretty reasonable to me.

100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Scary Halloween Post

It's only scary because I can't think of anything pertinent to say. And don't tell me most of what I post isn't that pertinent! :-)

I wish I could post in my sleep. When I am half asleep I can always think of something I want to say on my blog. Then in the morning, I've either forgotten it or I wonder why I thought "that" would be interesting.

My blog list (over there on the left) is thinning out a little too. People just aren't posting as much. I guess facebook and twitter are the in thing now. Writing a post takes more thought and time.

My brother has kept up with posting pretty well. Probably because his blog has a point of view - funny.

This will just have to do until I think of something to post again.

Have a Happy Halloween!

P.S. I grabbed that picture from Deb's fb page because I bought her those Mr. Potato Head accessories for her pumpkin. Isn't that the cutest idea? I should have bought one for myself.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Sweet Deal

In August, when my niece was visiting me, we went to the newest mall in town to shop. While we were there, we visited the Godiva shop where we joined the Godiva Rewards program. As a member, you can get 1 free piece of chocolate every month. Hey, it's free so of course we joined. We also bought some candy - see how marketing works? When we were checking out, the cashier told me I was .83 away from a $10.00 purchase. This was important, because a $10 purchase would qualify me for a free 2 piece box on my next visit. So I bought more. Of course.

Ready For My Close Up

This past weekend Deb was in town because she was a bridesmaid in a wedding. There were many, many events over 4 days and she has returned home so she can 1) rest and 2) get some work done.

I attended the after wedding brunch on Sunday where there was GREAT food and, more importantly, Bloody Marys. It was there I got to see the the very cool photos taken of the wedding guests in a photo booth setting. There were feathers and hats and glasses for people to wear. The resulting strips were put in a scrapbook and the guests signed their pics. It looked like it was great fun. Something like this. So next time you have a party, you should rent a booth!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


My brother
had this Poky Little Puppy picture on a puff piece he wrote and it just reminded my how much I used to love the poky little puppy. He was off enjoying the world and missed dessert. Or fooled his brothers and sisters and ate their dessert. Or something. I'm not sure. I think I have the book somewhere and should go read it. But the picture takes me back to my childhood immediately. When Deb was little I don't think she liked the poky puppy as much as I did. I refused to buy the later editions where like Poky Puppy Rides the Bus or Poky Puppy Gets His PhD. The sequels are never as good as the original.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Wynning Day

Yesterday was a good day. I started it out getting my car washed. It had been weeks and weeks since my car had a good cleaning. I'd run it through the wash at the gas station but that didn't help the inside of the car. Now it is all shiny inside and out.

Then I went off to the Wynn to use my weekly $10 stipend. They put $10 on my player card every week but I only access it about once a month. I'm lazy and don't usually drive from my house to the strip in order to take advantage of the $10. Yesterday I did because I also had a free buffet award on my player card. I enjoyed the $32 brunch buffet for free. The Wynn brunch is very nice and the food is good though I'm not sure it is $32 good. It is an excellent meal for free. I like this buffet because the servings are small and I can try lots of different things. After breakfast, I gambled my $10 and won $20 so I was happy about that too.

On the way home, I stopped at Target for a few items where, on the way out, the cashier told me I could take a short survey and get a $10 Target gift certificate. The survey was indeed short and I left with my $10 card. You can't go wrong with a gift card to Target.

All in all, it was a great Sunday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

M Is For The Many Ways I Miss Her

There are some days when I really miss my mom. Today was one of them. She was on my mind from the moment I woke up. All day, I wished she was still with us. I could come home and spend a nice evening with her after work. We'd have some dinner and then watch TV. She'd read or work a crossword puzzle and I'd be on the computer. We'd talk about the day's news or what was going on in Deb's life. Nothing exotic, no deep conversations, just a comfortable evening at home. The cat would sit with one of us, or maybe in between us. Around 10 or so, we'd both head to bed.

That would be nice.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Of Cabbages and Kings

Only a week since my last post - hopefully I'll improve.

Today I will tell you about my yummy meal made entirely with Trader Joe's ingredients. I discovered that TJ's finally, finally carries shredded cabbage. I'm so happy about that because I love cabbage and ever time I've needed it, I've had to (horrors) go to the regular grocery store.

I bought some wild King salmon and some shredded cabbage. I grilled up the salmon and then tossed the cabbage with a mix of wasabi mayonnaise and white wine vinegar. I toasted a corn tortilla and then piled it with my coleslaw and salmon. I topped that with some roasted tomato salsa and then feasted. It was so delicious, I think I'll do it again tomorrow. Tomorrow I may add some avocado. From Trader Joe's, of course.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What's Going On

This two week lull may be the longest time I've gone without posting. I blame facebook because it allows me to keep in touch without having to come up with a post. Also, during the past two weeks I've been to Santa Barbara to see Deb and she's come to see me here in Las Vegas. We've tasted some great wine, eaten some great food and spent quality time together. We also got to spend time with my aunt who drove down from San Francisco to go wine tasting with us. It's been a fun two weeks.

Now I'm back to normal, waiting for my next visit from Deb in mid October. She's coming to be in a wedding so I won't get to see much of her but just having her in town is always great.

So, I'm back and will try to post more often.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Save Traditional Marriage

This guy has the right idea. If people are so intent on saving traditional marriage, they should back his proposition to ban divorce in California. John Marcotte is the author of the 2010 California Protection of Marriage Act. Here's an interview with him.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Love, Love, Me Do

If someone loved me very, very, very much, perhaps to the moon and back, then they would buy me this. That would be heaven in a box. Here's a review.

You know what? I think I love myself very, very, very much.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure

I found this article about Goodwill donations very interesting.
My favorite section is:
Oh, and grenades. When warehouse manager Kandy Miller interviewed for her first job at Goodwill seven years ago, she happened to come in on a day someone donated a live hand grenade. Her job interview took place in the parking lot while the bomb squad did its work. Seven years later — to the day — somebody turned up another grenade (a dud, as it turned out) while Miller was on the job.

“I said, ‘Oh, you remembered my anniversary.’ ”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Crispy Sir, AKA Las Vegas: The Sequel

According to the William Sonoma chef, a croque is the French version of a panini, or a crispy sandwich. For the demo, she made Croque-Monsieur or "Crispy Sir". This is a crustless bread sandwich, consisting of expensive French mustard (available at William Sonoma), Mornay sauce (white sauce with cheese added), ham and Gruyere, which is toasted in the panini/croques pan (available at William Sonoma). So, basically, a grilled ham and cheese with a fancy name.

The technique class did have it's interesting points and I might go back for a couple of the upcoming classes. Allie and I did not stay for the whole demo and we didn't get any tastes. As it turns out, the people attending were quite inexperienced in cooking - or maybe reading and paying attention. The chef was informative and had a good sense of humor and I did get a few helpful hints - such as learning we need to let crepe mixture rest at least a couple hours ( or use the already rested mix available at William Sonoma).

Our demo mates asked strange questions. One woman asked if leaving out the 1 tsp of sugar would reduce the carbs. This set the chef off on a funny rant that basically explained that if you want low carb, low fat, don't make crepes. Another woman asked why the basic recipe in our class materials (a 4 page brochure) didn't include sugar. The answer, because it is the BASIC recipe. Please note the recipe immediately following the BASIC recipe, has sugar. One woman wanted to know where to buy Gruyere cheese. Answer: the store. And everyone WANTED everything the chef demo'd. I understand why William Sonoma runs these classes. People were demanding more mix, more mustard, more equipment. Can I buy a special crepe pan? A special hunk of wood to nudge my crepe? I'm surprised WS doesn't start selling specially packaged flour and eggs because our classmates would have bought them.

Allie and I decided to leave shortly after one woman repeated a question asked by another woman only 1 minute before. Besides, the demo crispy sirs had been sitting on the counter while we were learning about crepes and were probably cold. We headed off to our real breakfast at The Cheesecake Factory. As usual, my breakfast was really two or maybe three breakfasts all on one plate. I got the California Omelet and Allie, in keeping with our French theme, got the French Toast Napoleon - French toast slathered with fresh strawberries.

After breakfast, we were just lazy and we got another movie, Sunshine Cleaning, and went home. We watched our movie, ate chocolates and took naps. Dinner was leftovers again and we watched TV. In the telling, it sounds boring, but Allie and I had a good time.

Yesterday we tried a new restaurant in my neighborhood, The Cracked Egg. This time I had the French Toast and Allie had the South Shore Scramble - eggs with Swiss cheese, bacon and avocado (hold the chicken). My French Toast was really Elvis' French Toast, stuffed with peanut butter and covered with bananas and honey. It was delicious. Again, enough for three. Leftovers for both of us. After breakfast we went to the Forum Shops, a traditional stop on a visit from Allie. News to me, the shops have expanded. OMG! We walked, and walked, and walked. And went upstairs. YES! The Forum Shops has levels now. We didn't buy anything. Not even chocolate.

We had a very, very late lunch of sushi at my neighborhood sushi bar. Our favorite was the roll with tempura shrimp, tuna, cucumbers and spicy garlic sauce. It was all good. We then stopped to get another movie and headed home. We rented My Cousin Vinny because I couldn't believe Allie hasn't seen it (she's too young I guess) and I love it. Unfortunately Allie will never know how funny it is because she fell asleep about 5 minutes in and didn't wake up until Marisa Tomei saved the day. I love that movie. Speaking of movies, Sunshine Cleaning was well done and entertaining but won't be one of my favorites like My Cousin Vinny.

Today is Allie's last day here and I'm not sure what we're doing. We've just finished breakfast and now we can plan.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fun In Las Vegas

My niece is visiting me for a few days which is always fun. It's been three years since she was last here and I've missed her. She arrived two nights ago and we've packed our days with shopping, movies and food.

She arrived in the evening so we stopped at Trader Joe's for supplies and then headed home. We ate pasta and salad and watched TV until the pièce de résistance of the evening: Project Runway. Yay.

The next day we had a leisurely morning and then headed out to The District for window shopping. Then we had Rubio's fish tacos and some Cold Stone ice cream before heading off to the movie. We saw Post Grad which was entertaining and fun. It got pretty bad reviews and I can see how it was a little sloppy in parts but overall I agreed with Roger Ebert's take. I liked the characters and was happy when things worked out for them.

After the movie, we stop at Ethel's (It will always be Ethel M's to me) to get some treats for dessert. Then on to Blockbuster for a couple rentals. Finally, back to Trader Joe's to get pizza fixings. We relaxed a bit before making our pizzas; garlic herb dough topped with pasta sauce (tomato basil for her, spicy Arrabatta for me), fresh basil and fresh mozzarella with grated Parmesan on top when they popped out of the oven. We munched our pizzas while we watched Duplicity. Meh. It was just okay. This time I didn't really agree with Roger. The plot was so convoluted I had a hard time catching up. And when I did catch up, I wasn't impressed. Both main characters were lackluster and there was zero chemistry between Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. A little snack of Ethel M's helped me get over the disappointment.

Yesterday, we headed over to our newest mall, Town Square. It is another outdoor mall which I find strange in Las Vegas. The shade from the buildings, along with the misters, helped but it was still pretty warm for shopping. It is bigger than the District and took us a few hours to see everything. We ate lunch at Cadillac Ranch which is new to LV and which was quite tasty. Allie had ribs and I had a portobello mushroom burger. We also had the onion rings. Not the best onion rings in the world but certainly tasty. We took a lot of food home with us. Oh, and we made a stop at Godiva, just to make sure they were still making chocolate. Then it was back home where we took naps and then watched our other movie, I Love You Man. This was much better than Duplicity and there were some laugh out loud moments in Paul Rudd's quest to find a best friend. Roger liked this one best. A tad too much sex humor for me and especially for me while sitting with my 19 year old niece. Aunts don't like to think their nieces know anything at all about sex and I'm sure nieces don't like to think their aunts know anything either. But it was fun. No fancy food, just leftovers. And chocolate.

Today we're heading over to William Sonoma for a technique class in crepes and croques. Neither of us know what croques are, we're just hoping they aren't crocs. I'll update you all later.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Movie Weekend

This weekend I saw two movies, one in the theater and one at home. In the theater I watched Julie and Julia which was exactly what I was hoping for. It was fun and entertaining; I enjoyed the intertwining of the two stories 50 years apart. Meryl Steep was a great Julia. My one complaint would be that there wasn't quite as much food as I would have liked.

The movie I watched at home was Milk. I know, I'm a little behind on that one. It's been sitting at the house for at least 3 weeks because I had to be in the right mood to watch it. I knew it was going to make me angry and sad. Angry at the bigotry and sad at a good man's life cut short. Knowing the ending didn't keep me from hoping maybe Milk wouldn't die. But he did. The movie did a great job of recreating those times in America - so well that I was just as angry as I thought I would be.

I think seeing the upbeat J&J helped me deal better with Milk. Yes, there are are bigots and haters but there are also joyful people and happy times. And there is hope. "Without hope, life's not worth living."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cutest Puppy Ever

I stole this picture from my brother, who probably stole it from someone else. Isn't the Internet great? If this is your puppy and you don't want his picture on my blog, just let me know. Or, if this is your puppy and you don't want him, just let me know.

He is the cutest puppy ever born. And it reminds me that my ex (the nice one) had the biggest puppy dog eyes ever and could get me to agree to just about anything by looking at me just like this puppy is looking at you. How could you say no to those puppy eyes?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Charity Redux

This week I got notification that my very first Kiva loan has been repaid and so the money I lent is now available to lend again. I think it's great. At Kiva, you can browse through the list of people who would like a loan. You pick someone and loan them the amount you choose. Kiva distributes the money and takes in the repayments. I think it is a great way to help out. My first loan helped a woman in Brazil start her own juice business and my second load is going to a woman to help remodel her home in Nicaragua.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Proofreading Is A Dying Art

I love crazy headlines and my SIL sent me these. It is especially nice because I haven't been good at posting lately and this makes it easy to have an entry today.
Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

Miners Refuse to Work after Death

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

War Dims Hope for Peace

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Monday, August 10, 2009

It 's All Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt

As my brother reminds us, it's been 40 years since the infamous 1969 which just goes to show that all those people who say you'll never use math are wrong. In his post, John uses the running joke of Paul McCartney being killed - for those of you born after 1970, just think Kenny. Please note, I just went back and added Paul's last name in the last sentence because it occurred to me some readers might not know who I was talking about. In 1969, I could have referred to 'Paul' and everyone would understand. No one really knows if people actually thought Paul was dead and that some impostor who looked and sounded exactly like him had taken his place, but the rumors persisted.
The first known printing of this urban legend was in the Drake University paper, the Times-Delphic, on September 17, 1969. The rumours surrounding McCartney began in earnest on October 12, 1969, when someone telephoned Russ Gibb (a radio DJ on WKNR-FM in Dearborn, Michigan serving the Detroit market). Identifying himself as 'Tom'(allegedly Tom Zarski[1] of Eastern Michigan University), the caller announced that McCartney was dead. (via wikipedia)
No matter how often the Beatles repudiated the rumor, no matter how often Paul appeared in public and sang, the rumors persisted. Today, I think most people believe Paul is alive. Still.

The modern day version of a silly rumor that won't quit is perpetrated by the birthers, who insist on pushing their theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and, therefore, is not qualified to be President of the United States. It doesn't matter how often their silly stories are debunked, actual people who have been elected to Congress and others, who are supposedly credentialed journalists, push this nonsense. And it would be funny if they were making up stories about a rock musician but instead they are taking away from serious discussion about how to improve health care, how to fix the economy and how to end wars. And they need to stop. I find myself reading the news and yelling, "Grow up and stop playing around or pretty soon some one's gonna lose an eye."

Friday, July 31, 2009

What Cats Want

Cats boss us around.
I believe it: "cats deliberately and cunningly domesticated themselves and so they could persuade people to give them free food and shelter"

My Zodiac used to do the same:
"And Cecile Moore put up with acts of extortion from her cat Henry who regularly sat on the top of the bureau of her Athens, Ga., home and scooted a bottle of perfume toward the edge until she got out of bed."

Diva tells me when it is dinner time but she's more mellow in the morning than Zodiac was. She definitely lets me know when she wants to be petted by sticking her head under my hand. She often comes over by my feet and then humps her back up so I'll scratch her.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Be Careful What You Ask For

I stopped watching Grey's Anatomy two seasons ago; it got a little too soap opera like for me. I watch medical shows for the medical stuff not for the personal drama. I've heard Grey's has dead people walking now and affairs right and left. So be it. They have a huge audience and I don't begrudge them.

I see now that the character George is leaving the show. T.R. Knight is not happy with the management and he feels his character isn't going in the direction he wants. Fine with me. Apparently fine with the producers too.

If you view T.R. Knight's career information, you'll see he really didn't have a career until he was on Grey's Anatomy. I think perhaps he should have considered that people love the character George and not necessarily T.R. Knight. It might have been smarter to get some other work during hiatus, ala Katherine Heigl and test his staying power before quitting.

I wish him well. I loved George. I hope I love T.R. Knight too. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tomatoes In A Tube

I made spaghetti squash primavera again today and it is just so, so good. I will confess I didn't follow the recipe exactly. I usually follow a recipe once or twice and then just do it my way afterwards. Today I sauteed some onions, tossed in some red pepper and a little garlic. Okay a lot of garlic. Then I opened a can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos and added that. I like jalapenos but don't like cutting them up so the tomatoes with them already added is great for me. The finishing touch is the tomato paste. Is is thick and sweet and just makes the sauce. Today I squeezed some in because I just bought a tube of paste. I bought it because I hate using part of a can of tomato paste and then putting the rest in the refrigerator only to toss it a week later. Or a month later when it has fuzz on it. According to the tube, my new tomato paste will last indefinitely.

The paste in a tube costs more per ounce than paste in the can. I wonder if the can version should last indefinitely too. Or are there extra preservatives in the tube? I should check that out.

In the meantime I'm enjoying my delicious spaghetti squash.

Monday, July 20, 2009

To The Moon

40 years ago today, I rushed home from my job at Ladera Taco to watch a man walk on the moon. We sat in our living room watching the landing and then that famous "one small step". We went outside to look up at the moon where a man was walking. A man was walking on the moon!

Today we take space travel for granted. There is a space station that people travel to and from without much notice from us. Space shuttles take off and land while the rest of us go about out business. We only pay attention when there is a disaster or the possibility of a disaster. But I still remember the awe I felt in 1969 when, for the first time ever, there was a man on the moon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Freezer Find

I'm still in the midst of cleaning out the pantry and freezer before doing any major food shopping. Yesterday I discovered some frozen leftovers from P.F. Changs which I had forgotten about. I took them home from a monthly girl's night out a few months ago. In it was the left over stirred fried eggplant. This is SO yummy, I intend to figure out how to make it for myself. The menu says it is stir-fried eggplant, tossed with scallions in a savory chili pepper sauce. It isn't hot spicy so I might add some heat in my own version. Once I get the recipe down, I'll post it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stay-cation Dreams, Retirement Wishes

Over the 4th of July weekend which nicely coincides with my birthday, I took some extra days off work and had a 5 day stay-cation. I didn't do anything strenuous. I read, played some penny slots, cooked and enjoyed some wine. It was a wonderful, restful time.

The down side is that I just can't get back into the 9-5 routine. I go to work, I do my best, but I really, really want to just spend my days doing what I want to do. Unfortunately, because of the economy, I won't be able to have a permanent stay-cation for several years.

I know it sounds whiny but I'm not miserable. I do like my job. I enjoy the people I work with and the work I do - technology and customer service is a great combination. I just would like my schedule to be my own. I've been working pretty much straight since I was 14 years old. That's a lot of years to be bossed around by other people.

Okay, I have that out of my system. I have to go to bed now so I can get up for another day of 9-5.

Friday, July 10, 2009

United Breaks Guitars - UPDATED

Thanks to chele for this link. Musician Dave Carroll traveled on United and his guitar was broken by luggage handlers. His efforts to get reimbursed for the damage were unsuccessful and so he wrote this song. I'm betting he still won't get his money back. As you know, I'm a big fan of writing letters of complaint (or praise) to companies. A song is even better. A viral web video is best.

You can read more at Dave Carroll's site.

UPDATE: It appears I was a little behind the times and United had already responded to the song and offered 'hush' money. Which Dave declined.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I went to see Public Enemies this weekend and it was a good choice - action packed and good acting. I don't think it will be up for any Oscars but it was definitely worth the price of admission. Lots of violence and breath holding while Dillinger is being chased. And Johnny Depp is such a great bad boy. And, OMG, he is good looking. And as my movie buddy said, "the only thing better than Johnny Depp in a movie is Johnny Depp with a gun."

I admit I had a hard time with liking John Dillinger. He was a bad, bad person who killed people. But he was loyal to his friends and he really loved Billie and I felt torn. I didn't want him to die. That isn't a spoiler because, of course, going in, you know the he gets killed. You just wish things could be different.

You don't have to see it on the big screen but, if you're wanting to go to the movies, this is a good choice.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dry Scallops

I was whining to BFD, chef extraordinaire, about how I can't seem to sear scallops the way restaurant chefs do. She told be that is because my scallops have too much moisture and she told me to buy 'dry' scallops. As you know, I'm eating up the food I already have in my freezer and pantry and so I did not allow myself to buy new scallops. I did have a bag of frozen Japanese scallops from TJ's though. So I thawed them and then dried them very, very well. I patted them with paper towels until I couldn't detect any moisture. Then I sprayed them with olive oil, salted and peppered them and tossed them in a very hot pan. It worked! They were brown on the outside and tender on the inside. I served them up with some jalapeno rice - rice I cooked in water that I had added one diced jalapeno to. With a some soy sauce it was perfect!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pasta With Wine Sauce

Yesterday I cooked myself some pasta with viognier sauce. I melted some butter, added a little bit of olive oil and chili oil. After I added some wine, I let it simmer over a low flame while I cooked my pasta. By the time the pasta was cooked and drained, the butter was light brown. I tossed the pasta in the butter and served it up with some of the Thumbprint viognier that was in the sauce. Along with a tossed green salad, it was an almost perfect meal. To make it perfect, I think I'll add garlic next time.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Shrimpy Meal

Yesterday breakfast was easy, toast and eggs. At lunchtime I grabbed a bad of TJ's stir fry shrimp out the the freezer and added some slices of TJ's savory tofu along with a few red pepper flakes; I improve a lot of my meals with those flakes. I hadn't had the stir fry before. The veggies were great; pea pods, broccoli, sprouts and water chestnuts. As most frozen meals, the broccoli was more stalk and less floweret. The seasoning was pretty good (once I added the flakes). It was plenty for two meals along with a nice green salad.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me

This year is starting off great with a 5 day stay-cation here in LV. I don't plan to do much besides read, play penny slots, eat sushi and relax. There is the small item of having a new water heater installed tomorrow but that should be pretty simple. Other than that, I have zero appointments. It's all me, all the time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Freezer Bowl

No, not a football playoff in Alaska, just my evening meal from the freezer. Tonight I made a casserole from meatballs, peas, and brown rice. I tossed it all in spaghetti sauce and added some red wine and red pepper flakes. It was quite yummy. If I do it again, I'll make sure to saute some red onions to add to the mix. I made a small, green salad to start my meal with and I accompanied it all with a glass of Barbera - the same wine I put in the sauce.

All of the ingredients, except the wine, came from Trader Joe's. The sauce was the Arrabiata sauce which is spicy on its own but the red pepper flakes pumped up the heat. The meatballs were the TJ Meatless Meatballs which I absolutely love. Peas were frozen petite peas and the rice was the frozen brown rice; both are great things to have in the fridge for quickie meals.

Monday, June 29, 2009

What's For Dinner

After taking a good look in my refrigerator freezer this weekend, I've decided that this week will be a no food shopping week and I will make all meals from what is in my pantry or refrigerator. A possible exception will be fresh veggies. I can't live without my veggies.

I have a bad habit of putting things in the freezer without dates and without identifying the contents so I could be having some interesting meals.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Don't Cry For Him, Argentina

It seems like every other day we're learning about some politician having an affair. First the senator of my state confesses he had an illicit relationship with one of his wife's best friends who also is the wife of the senator's long time, close friend. What a soap opera! Now the governor of South Carolina has admitted to an affair with his 'dear, dear friend' in Argentina. And we can even read his sappy emails to her.

To be honest I just don't care about the drama in other people's lives. When it comes to politicians I'm much more concerned with how well they do their job. Of course, it's got to be hard to do your job if you're busy sneaking around, hiding from reporters and your wife. But, seriously, I'd rather just not know.

It also doesn't work for me when someone like our senator, John Ensign, wants to judge the life style of everyone else and then wants a pass on his own behavior. Speaking out for the 'sanctity of marriage' while conducting an affair with his friend's wife is hypocrisy, plain and simple. Bleh!

I just wish we could all stop worrying about what other people are doing behind closed doors and pay some attention to more important issues, like maybe the economy.

I've Got Nothing

Ever since I got back from my conference in San Diego, I've been blogless. I work, come home, eat, sleep and then do it all again. I need some inspiration!

I did have a lovely time in San Diego; the weather was beautiful and the hotel was luxurious. Deb came down to visit with me and we just relaxed. Well, I had to spend most days at the conference, but I relaxed afterward. We spent an extra day and went to the San Diego Zoo. Most of the animals were napping in the sun. The Pandas were adorable and the monkeys were monkeying around.

We went to Old Town to get home made tortillas and we stopped at Extraordinary Desserts for treats. On our way out of town, we had breakfast at Perry's Cafe, one of the best places for breakfast.

While I was gone, Las Vegas finally heated up and it's been close to or just over 100 every day. Not that I should be surprised. It's Vegas and it is summer. Duh!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Room With A View

It's a hard, hard life. I was required to attend a conference on Coronado Island in San Diego. Here is the view from my balcony. Yes, balcony; my balcony where I can sit tonight, sipping my glass of wine and enjoying the ocean air while looking across the highway to the ocean. The ocean that I can get to by the private walkway from the hotel Life is hard.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Jest's On Me

I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into. Urged on by verbatim, I've agreed to participate in the Infinite Summer. Between June 21 and September 22, I will read Infinite Jest. 981 pages in 92 days means I have to read about 10.5 pages a day. No problem, I hope.

I had never read anything by David Foster Wallace before. After reading about the challenge, I requested A supposedly fun thing i'll never do again from the library. The book has 7 essays and so far I'm impressed with Wallace's writing. I love words and he puts them together well, drawing great pictures.

Most people in Philo didn't comb their hari because why bother. Ladies wore those plastic flags tied down over their parlor-jobs so regularly I thought they were required for a real classy coiffure; girls on the East Coast outside with their hair hanging and tossing around looked wanton and nude to me.

The people I know from outside it distill the Midwest into blank flatness, black land and fields of green fronds or five-o'clock stubble, gentle swells and declivities that make the topology a sadistic exercise in plotting quadratics, highway vistas so same and dead they drive motorists mad.

ASFTINDA is all non fiction and IJ is fiction so I'll be hoping Wallace is as good at plot as he is with words. I requested the book from the library but they will only let me renew it twice - 63 days. I suppose if I can't finish it by the time I have to return it, I can just pay the fines. Or buy it. I don't typically buy books anymore unless I think I'll read them again so we'll see.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

15 Books

This was really a facebook challenge but I decided to do it here instead. List 15 books that have stayed with you. 15 books in 15 minutes - don't spend a lot of time thinking about it:
Gone With The Wind
The Wizard of Oz
Charlotte's Web
Stranger in a Strange Land
Wuthering Heights
Tristram Shandy
White Oleander
Eat, Pray, Love
Dream Park
The Source
Bleak House
Another Roadside Attraction
East of Eden
The Hobbit

Okay, that wasn't really very hard. I did try not to repeat authors and these are the ones that pop, without a lot of thought. I love to read and there are lots of books I've enjoyed. What books come to mind for you?

Monday, June 8, 2009

0 for 2

Yesterday Deb and I watched Benjamin Buttons and Slumdog Millionaire. I was not overly impressed with either movie. I hadn't expected to be crazy about BB, I thought it would just be some light entertainment for the afternoon. Instead, I was pretty bored by it and almost turned it off but decided to stick it out. The last half was slightly more intriguing than the first half, probably because it had the real Brad Pitt at that point, and he's pretty darn attractive. Overall, I just wasn't captivated, even by the growing backward premise. The characters just didn't speak to me and the plot was predictable and too slowly developed.

I expected to like SM much more but was disappointed by this one too. Maybe it was not a good movie day for me. I know better critics than me loved this one, but I just wasn't awed. I wasn't attached to any of the characters and the story of poverty and struggle, along with the love story, dragged on for me. I anticipated much of the storyline and just wasn't overwhelmed by the acting.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Talkin' 'Bout My Generation

Listen up. Demos is coming out tomorrow. Just one reason my generation is so great.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Roasted Grapes

Well, really, they are grape tomatoes. To roast them into sweet, yummy goodness, spray the bottom of your pan with olive oil - I use Trader Joe's. Then pour your tomatoes in the pan. I use Trader Joe's Add 3 or 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, cut into 2 or 4 sections. I use Trader Joe's. Season with some salt and lemon pepper. I use Trader Joe's. Then spritz again with the olive oil. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Let them cool before you eat them. They taste great alone, with rice or on sandwiches.

Friday, May 29, 2009


via my favorite daughter

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More Reading

My summer reading list just got longer. Oh why, oh why do I have to work for a living?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Love Is All There Is

Last summer marked the point at which I had lived in Nevada for as long as I had previously lived in California. I realized then that it will never matter how long I live in Nevada, I will always think of myself as a Californian. And today I am profoundly ashamed of my home state. I will never understand why some people are so bent on denying civil rights to gays and lesbians. I don't understand why anyone cares who marries whom. Nothing about gay unions harms anyone. The sad thing to me is that so many of those anti same sex marriage people claim to be Christians and want to use the Bible to justify their position. The same Bible that exhorts them to beware of casting the first stone, to love their neighbors, to judge not and to turn the other check. As as practicing agnostic, I sincerely hope there is a God and a heaven where these same people will finally learn that it is not important who you love but only that you love.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Demotivate Me

Caption contest at demotivators. Enter by midnight Monday, May 25th. My entry: "UPHEAVAL. It is not important how you face the upheaval in your life, only that you acknowledge your powerlessness against it."

Share your caption in the comments - and at the website, of course.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer Reading

Check out Stephen King's recommendations for summer reading. I like the list because I'm a mystery, thriller, suspense fan but also because I'm a huge Charles Dickens fan and any list that has him on it is fine with me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Coming Soon

I enjoy the preview part of going to the movies. Which is funny because when I rent a movie I skip all the previews.
This weekend, my trip to the theater was full of previews that made me aware of a few movies I'd like to see.

Public Enemies
has Johnny Depp playing John Dillinger. Good old time shoot 'em up that will be action packed. Timely too since (according to reviews) the public liked that fact that Dillinger was going after the evil banks that had plunged the country into a depression. Oh and did I mention it has Johnny Depp in it?

Julie and Julia
. BFD will love this movie I'm sure. Julia Child is her hero. I think this will involve a summer trip to L.A. so we can see it together. And then maybe she'll cook for me.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. I never saw the original so I'll have to rent it to watch before going to see this remake. John Travolta is the bad guy and he makes such a great bad guy (see Pulp Fiction). Denzel is the good guy and, while he also makes a great bad guy (see Training Day), he makes a great good guy too.

It all makes for a great summer movie season.


A: Angels and Demons: For the first time in a very long time, I went to see a movie in the theater. This used to be a regular weekend event for my BFF in Nevada, Cheryl, and me but we lapsed about 3 years ago. The movie was action packed and a good choice for the big screen experience. We were shocked at how expensive the matinee has gotten though. Even so, we had a great time and decided this summer will be big screen summer for us.

B: Bank innovations: I stopped at the ATM this morning to deposit a check. A rare occasion for me due to automatic deposit and inter bank transfer. Our ATM has a new feature that allows you to put the check in a scanner. No envelope needed. The machine couldn't read the amount on my check which was hand written but typically can. Since the amount wasn't clear, I just had to type it in and verify it. Easy, breezy.

C: Coffee: It is now officially ice coffee season in Las Vegas. The temperature hit 100 degrees this past weekend and that is just too hot to drink hot coffee. Though co-worker Brian and I typically walk across the campus to get coffee, iced coffee is about $1 more than hot coffee* and so we're attempting to make our own to save $5 a week (more money for penny slots). Brian will bring the shots and milk and I'll bring the ice. I know, it looks like I got off easy but, believe me, Brian will calculate the value of the coffee and bill me. But it will be cheaper than Starbucks so I think it will be fine.

*the iced is more expensive because I insist on espresso for iced coffee. I like it strong and the ice waters down regular coffee too much.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Name That Cup

I may have commented before in this blog how it amuses me when the Starbucks clerks ask for "a name for your cup." I always like to give some other name besides mine, or say something silly like "Rainbow". I mentioned that point recently on a discussion group I belong to and someone suggested using phrases instead of names. Maybe political causes such as "Indict Bush" or "Ban Torture". Now I'm intrigued. Next time I have to name my cup, maybe I'll say "Vote for Choice" or "Hug A Tree" just to see if the barista will call that out when my coffee is ready.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pasta Not

I am a big pasta lover and that is a problem because pasta has a lot of calories and because it makes me feel full and draggy after I eat a big bowl of it. I've tried spaghetti squash before, baking it and adding marinara and have not been pleased. That is until Debra made me a big dish of spaghetti squash for dinner. It was delicious. So the first thing I did, when I got home, was to make dinner from spaghetti squash. I didn't find the recipe Debra used but this one is just as good. Basically you bake the spaghetti squash and then stir in the sauce. It is yummy, yummy goodness.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Technology Puzzle

The wireless router at my house has been flaky for some time. Debra complains about it every time she visits. Since I seem to be able to steal connectivity from some one in my neighborhood, I've put off fixing the problem. My router worked sporadically so just wasn't motivated to do anything about it. When I got a new laptop from work, I decided I should also get a new router and stop fussing around with the problem.

Imagine my surprise when the new router didn't fix the problem. I decided that maybe it was my provider and that made me mad that I hadn't called in about the problem sooner. Because I knew the technicians would make me reboot the modem and router and connect, I moved my computer into the bedroom where the modem is. As I got ready to call, I decided to check all the connections one more time. That is when I noticed I had splitter cable coming off of the the main cable. It was there because there used to be a TV in the room along with the modem. Since the TV is gone, the splitter isn't needed anymore so I removed the extra cabling and hooked everything back up.

Now my new router seems to be working perfectly. I guess the old one would work too. Oh well. At least now I have a secure router installed. My old one was open to the world.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I had a blog all ready to explain how I fixed my router problem in which the router keeps losing connection to the Internet and causes me consternation. But sadly, it is not fixed and I am still consternated.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What's Going On

There just isn't that much going on around here besides work and the animal-that-shall-not-be-mentioned flu. Not that I have the ATSNBM flu or know anyone with the ATSNBM flu but it does seem to be the only thing in the news. Currently I'm supposed to be forming an ATSNBM flu plan in the event everyone in my department contracts the flu and doesn't come to work. Or the city declares an ATSNBM pandemic and no one can leave their house. So far my plan is to punt. If anyone has some suggestions on what to do if everyone gets the ATSNBM flu or we all get quarantined, just leave your comments and I'll give you credit in my report.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Scallop Goodness

This weekend I had dinner at Brian's and Atsuko's. Atsuko made yummy, yummy appetizers of seared scallops, spinach and ginger butter. Delicious! It turns out she got the scallops at one of my favorite stores, Trader Joe's. Frozen Japanese scallops. I bought some today and made my dinner of seared scallops with roasted baby carrots and green beans, also from Trader Joe's. I thawed the scallops with Alton Brown's method of putting the fish in a bowl of lukewarm water with the faucet slowing dripping into the bowl. The scallops are ready to go in about 15 minutes. I spayed them with TJ's olive oil, salted them and then seared them. The carrots and green beans were also sprayed and salted and then put in the 400 degree toaster oven for about 20 minutes. I piled the cooked items on my plate and sprinkled them with soy sauce. Viola, a great dinner.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Honey, I'm Home

I've been tagged by verbatim to post about the Dancing Deer Baking Company "Sweet Home" initiative:

Dancing Deer’s Sweet Home Initiative raises money for scholarships to help educate homeless women and end family homelessness. As a part of this initiative, our CEO, Trish Karter, will be riding her bike 1,500 miles from Atlanta to Boston, visiting family shelters in each city to raise awareness about this issue. She’ll also be recording stories from the women she meets along the way, asking them about their experiences. One question she’ll ask them are what foods remind them of home.(See more here.)

I love home food, aka comfort food. Potatoes and pasta, though not together. Making cheese fondue with Deb is always fun; served with wine it is even yummier. I make a GREAT shrimp fried rice and I know because Debra says so. Salmon is a big favorite for me and so easy to grill or bake. If I'm not feeling great, a nice bowl of tomato soup with toast or oyster crackers is happy food. Hmmm. So far not much green stuff. I do like a nice green salad with lots of ingredients and some blue cheese dressing. I actually do like veggies but just don't think of them immediately when I think comfort food.

To spread the word farther, I'm tagging my brother who loves food, especially free food, chele who, if her blog is any indication, sounds like a great cook and JennySmith who is caring and likes to help families. If I didn't tag you, you should still spread the word.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Go here to read about my wonderful new wine glasses.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Taking Things Out of Context

I keep coming upon snarky comments on the internets that Obama has offended the Christians in this country by announcing the U.S. "is no longer a Christian country." Most people are responding as if Obama has kicked Jesus out of the United States and revoked the right to practice religion.

What Obama said was, "Although ... we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, or a Jewish nation, or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.."

In other words, Obama is inclusive and acknowledged everyone in this country, pointing our we are not EXCLUSIVELY Christian. And I think that is a good thing. I, personally, am getting pretty annoyed with Christians who think their beliefs should be imposed on everyone. Go to church, practice your religion and even share your religion with others who are interested but stop thinking the rest of the country should be bound by your precepts.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Did You Guys Know About This?

And, if so, why didn't you tell me? P.F. Chang's had a 15% off on tax day promotion. I got to take advantage by accident because a couple of co-workers and I stopped there after work. And we got the discount on our wine orders too. Speaking of wine, have I mentioned P.F. Changs has a great wine flight deal? 3 2.5oz glasses of your choice of any wine on their list. Yesterday I had a pinot noir, a zin and and a cab. Once three of us each had our own flights and then split one flight between us because we wanted a little bit more wine but not a whole glass more. It's perfect. Add some P.F. Chang's appetizers and it's a mini wine tasting. Apparently, other companies got in on the fun and had their own deals. So mark your calendars for next April 15.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Red Light, Green Light

Yesterday while driving home, I realized I wasn't sure if my new proof of insurance was in the glove compartment. I reached over and pulled some papers from the glove compartment and was waiting for a red light to take a look through the papers. And I hit every single green light. Usually I'm stopped by at least 3 or 4 red lights on the way home but not yesterday. What are the odds? Of course, today on the way home when I just wanted to get home, I was stopped at almost every red light. Figures.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Samantha Who?

The first season of Samantha Who? was fun and innovative. This season is ridiculous, unbelievable and annoying. I'm giving it up.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Desperately Seeking Blog Entry

I've definitely been lax with my blogging and I have no excuse, I've just been a lazy bum.

I did make a trip to Northern Nevada a week ago and that was a great trip. I drove up to Reno with NBF (Nevada Best Friend) Cheryl. The trip is really just one long strip of desert and so it's great to have company. We chatted and ate and listened to a book on tape. Once in Reno, Cheryl went to stay with her son and I met up with my friend Scott. We had dinner at the 4th Street Bistro, a new food adventure for me. The next day we headed off to meet up with our wino buddies in El Dorado Wine Country for Passport Weekend. We spent the next two days going from winery to winery, enjoying food pairings. The wine and the food were great, as was the company. I didn't buy a lot of wine on this trip; I did buy a few bottles of my beloved Oakstone Apple wine which had been missing on my last trips. The wine wasn't really missing, it just wasn't up to par. This year it is all apple goodness again.

After two days of food, wine and fun, I picked Cheryl up on Monday morning and we headed back to Las Vegas. Same road, different direction. Same book on tape. The Sleeping Doll by Jeffrey Deaver. It was really intriguing and I'll give it a 4 on my goodreads account. Unfortunately for Cheryl, we hadn't finished it by the time we arrived in Las Vegas so she doesn't know the ending yet.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Back

I am back from my annual wine trip in El Dorado County, CA. We had a wonderful time enjoying wine pairings at 12 different wineries. More later.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You're Probably Old If

You're probably old if you prefer this:

To this:

And so yes, I admit it, I'm old. Surprisingly, I also preferred Adam Lambert's singing this week. Then again, The Tracks Of My Tears is just a great song.


Apparently, Obama has upset some of the grammar nannies in the country. Here it is pointed out, Obama uses "I" when he should use "me" and here, Safire takes on Obama's misuse of several words. In this article, Safire implies perhaps it isn't a good idea to use big words when speaking to the American people anyway, since it just confuses us. :-)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yummy Broccoli

I got pointed to The Best Broccoli In Your Life by freakgirl. I have to say it is yummy, yummy though I'm not going to say it is the best in my life since I really like broccoli pretty much any way. The amateur gourmet says she omits the pine nuts and the basil; do not do that, those things help make the meal. I don't always add the garlic though. Here's my version.

Preheat the oven to 425. Empty one bag of broccoli florets on an aluminum foil covered oven proof pan. Spray liberally with Trader Joe's olive oil. Toss and spray some more olive oil. Grind some TJ's lemon pepper and salt on the broccoli and mix. Put in the over (or toaster oven). Mix again after about 15 minutes. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Toss in some pine nuts and cook 5 minutes longer. Put the broccoli in a bowl and pour in about 1T olive oil. Toss in some chopped basil and grated Parmesan. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and grate some lemon rind over the dish. Toss. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Moving On Up

PurpAnd had a recent entry about his favorite home and then John followed suit with more emphasis on the number of moves he'd made. I had been contemplating Andy's question about my favorite home but had only gotten as far as listing my moves until I saw John's post and decided I must copy him. Because he spent most of his life copying me (a whole other post), I figure payback time is good.

I started counting my moves and then realized I'm not sure where my first home was. I *think* it was on Reading Avenue in Los Angeles. And I *think* that is pronounced 'red-ding' but I'm not sure about either. I've sent a query to my father since he is probably the only living person who will know the answer, at least about whether that was my first home; I'm sure there are others living who could respond to the pronunciation question.

If the house on Reading was my first home, I've lived in 16 homes, counting my college dorm and sorority as one college experience; really most of my 'stuff' was at my mom's during that time. My shortest stint was probably about 6 months and my longest has been at my current home where I've lived for 23 years now. This house is probably my favorite house since it is where Deb was raised - and because I've been in it so long. My favorite childhood home would be the one in Westchester where I lived between the ages of 5 and 10. I have very fond memories of playing with my brother and neighborhood kids. I also enjoyed school at Cowen Avenue.

When I was 10 we moved from that house and had a series of moves until we settled into the Fairview house when I was between 7th and 8th grade. I liked that house, too, because of the memories with my family and friends. I lived there until I left for college.

I don't like moving and I'm glad I've lived in the same house for so long now, though I really have accumulated a lot of 'stuff' and I'm hoping to pare it down considerably before I ever move again.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

So Glad I'm Not President

Most of you are probably pretty relieved I'm not the POTUS. Though I know Diva would love to be First Cat and, in fact, she may believe she is.

Today both of these news articles were on CNN. The first one: Democrats to Obama: Hurry up and fix the economy. The second one: Commentary: Slow down, Mr. President So what's a poor President supposed to do? Hurry up or slow down? Which is pretty typical for a President, I'm sure. You can't win because, no matter what you do, some people are going to think you should have done the exact opposite of what you did.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Religion

I think everyone who reads here knows I'm a proponent of choice so it won't surprise you that I'm appalled at this news about a doctor being excommunicated for performing an abortion for a nine year old rape victim.

I'm not that upset about the excommunication for the doctor. I believe in choice for the church as much as I believe in my own and every one's right of choice. The church has a right to decide who can and can't belong to their organization. What strikes me as hypocrisy is that the rapist was not excommunicated. According to the church: "A graver act than (rape) is abortion, to eliminate an innocent life." What?

First of all, I don't think it has to be a case of either or; why not both? Second, the stepfather certainly did "eliminate an innocent life," the life of a 9 year old he'd been raping since she was six. That little girl's innocent childhood has been destroyed and the church ought to acknowledge it by excommunicating that man.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thoughts on Twitter

I have a twitter account and you're welcome to follow me although be forewarned I don't tweet much. I follow about 40 people and enjoy reading what they have to say but don't have much compulsion to tweet through the day about my activities. If I did, it would look something like this:

SueBeeLV: Awake, headed for coffee
SueBeeLV: At work, trying to get motivated to work on employee evaluations
SueBeeLV: Headed to a meeting
SueBeeLV: Time for lunch
SueBeeLV: Wishing we had siesta time in America
SueBeeLV: Off to another meeting
SueBeeLV: One more eval and I'm done
SueBeeLV: Headed home
SueBeeLV: Playing some online scrabble
SueBeeLV: Relaxing with Diva, watching TV
SueBeeLV: Bedtime
While I'm not a frequent twitter, I don't resent that others enjoy tweeting throughout their day and I do often find the comments fun and interesting. I also like reading corporate tweets like Zappos and Starbucks and also learning about promotions.

What I do find curious is opposition to Twitter. After all, no one is forced to use the site and I don't see anything to be upset about. Some people like this woman seem overly concerned. Don't like it, don't use it. Or at least parody it in a funny way.

Speaking of parody, my other thought today was about how Twitter might be fun if you tweeted the classics. How about Ishmael, tweeting from the Pequod. Or Romeo tweeting about his romance with Juliet. If I were a high school teacher I think I'd make my students twitter the classics.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Barbie Turns 50

Barbie will be 50 in a few days. I hadn't realized I am older than Barbie until I read the news. She sure has stayed in better shape than I have. But then, I've never been a plastic person.

I got my first Barbie when I was about 8 or so. I spent hours playing Barbie with the girl across the street, Kathy Root. The funny thing, is Kathy wasn't my best friend on the block, she was mainly a Barbie friend. We'd set up elaborate "homes" in her front yard, creating furniture out of boxes and using wash cloths for beds. I eventually had two Barbies and one Ken. Not like my daughter who had a Barbie for every event; Shopping Barbie, Disney Barbie, Malibu Barbie, etc. It seemed like every time we had to buy a new outfit for Barbie, we just got a whole new doll.

When I was about 12, I decided I was too old to play with dolls and I gave away one Barbie, Ken and my Barbie House. I regret that now. I do have one Barbie left - the bubble head brunette - and I've bought her some of the old outfits I used to own. She is on a shelf in my entertainment center. I don't know if she misses Ken or not.

UPDATED: Now that she is 50, Barbie is allowed to have tattoos.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Shrimp Sliders

Today I made Shrimp Sliders using ingredients from my Trader Joe's trip:
  1. Frozen Argentinian Shrimp
  2. Wasabe mayonnaise
  3. Small hothouse tomatoes
  4. Cheddar cheese
  5. Mini wheat bagels

Thaw the shrimp. I use Alton Brown's method of tossing the shrimp in a bowl and filling it with lukewarm water and then let the faucet dribble into the bowl for about 15 minutes. Toss the shrimp with olive oil and salt and pepper. Heat your pan. Split the bagels (1 bagel for every 2 shrimp) and put them the toaster oven to toast. Grill the shrimp about 1 minute on each side. When the bagels are done, spread each half with mayo, add a slice of cheese and a slice of tomato. Put a shrimp on top and enjoy. I would have taken a picture but I was too hungry to wait.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sick Kitty and Missed Fun

I was supposed to be spending the weekend in Mammoth with my best college buddies but the night before the trip, Diva decided to throw up around my room several times, waking me up in the process. I took her to the vet early Friday morning and then decided I should stay with her. My friends (and I) were disappointed.

The vet said Diva may have a hairball that is blocking digestion. Or she may have become allergic to her food. So I've been feeding her hairball medicine twice a day. I tried changing her food out but, after an initial trial run, she has decided she's not impressed and won't eat it. If she continues to ignore the food, I'll have to let her have some of her old stuff.

I had taken two annual days for the trip and when plans changed I didn't go into the office. It is kind of nice hanging around the house. And I think Diva is happy I'm here too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Toast Or Men

I have not read What Was I Thinking: 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories though it sounds like it might be entertaining. The interview with the authors made me laugh:
Why do the women settle for these men if they know they aren't the right fit?

Barbara: That's the thing, I don't know. You don't walk into a store and see a broken toaster and go "Aww, well, when I get it home it will start working." You don't go "Oh, that dress — the sleeve is falling off. But I can fix it at home."

Monday, February 23, 2009


Microsoft laid off 1400 employees in January and gave them a severance package. Unfortunately someone made a mistake and miscalculated the amount of payment. Some people were underpaid and some were overpaid. The people who were overpaid got a letter from Microsoft requesting a return of the overpayment. They threaten to sue the people who don't send the money back. The article doesn't mention how quickly Microsoft will pay the people they under compensated.

I agree that, ethically, the people are obligated to return any overpayment. And, most likely, they signed papers agreeing to the severance terms and are bound by that. On the other hand, I'd love to know the total amount of the overpayment. If the amount is less than a million or so, I think Microsoft might have been better off forgetting the whole thing. Partly because the public sympathizes with the newly unemployed people and partly because Microsoft has to admit they made a mistake even though they make software that should have helped with the calculations. Just put the formula in Excel and let it do the math.

Also, what do you want to bet that at least one of the unemployed will sue Microsoft claiming undue distress caused by the lay off and then the letter demanding return of the money. So Microsoft will be out a bundle anyway and might as well have just let the laid off employees keep it rather than spend it on lawyers.

UPDATED: Microsoft decided to let the people keep the extra money. With about 25 people getting up to $5,000 extra, the overpayment cost MS $125,000.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Still Tasty After All These Years

I am loving the Still Tasty website (via freakgirl) which is going to help me this weekend when I clean out the frig.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Speak No Unknown

I do feel bad for the man who was attacked and robbed but that isn't why I'm posting this article from our local paper. I just find the writing amusing. The "man spoke an unknown language that wasn't English" according to the police. Which man? The victim? The robber? And shouldn't the proper adjective be foreign and not unknown? Also, telling us the unknown language "wasn't English" is redundant.

Interestingly enough, the robber "fled out of the casino in an unknown direction." Probably so he could be with people who speak his language.

I'm including the text from the article here just in case the Sun editor's change the wording.

Metro Police are asking for the public's help in finding a man who robbed another man of his wallet inside a casino bathroom.

The man followed the casino customer, who was over 60 years of age, into a bathroom of a casino in the 4000 block of West Flamingo Road off the Las Vegas Strip, police said. Authorities declined to identify the casino.

Once in the restroom, the man knocked the victim to the ground and continued to punch and kick the victim, police said. He then took the victim's wallet and fled out of the casino in an unknown direction.

Metro detectives recovered the man's wallet, but the cash was missing, police said. No weapon was seen during the crime, police said.

Since the victim was in his 60s, police said they will enhance the robber's charges.

The man spoke an unknown language that wasn't English, police said.

The robber was described as 5-foot-8-inches tall with a shaved head and stubble on his face. He was last seen wearing a tank jacket, dark pants and white tennis shoes.

Anyone with information about the man is asked to call the Metro Police Robbery Section at (702) 828-3591, or to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Don't Divorce Us

A great video that says it all.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

I think it is time for this country to recognize that marriage can be between two people who are committed to each other. Yes, historically, in the United States, marriage has been defined a relationship between a man and a women. However, word definitions can change. Here are a few word definitions that have changed through time:
  1. meat meant any food

  2. awful meant deserving of awe

  3. brave meant cowardice (as in bravado)

  4. counterfeit meant legitimate copy

  5. tell meant to count

  6. girl meant young person of either gender

  7. hag meant old person of either gender

You'll find more examples here and here.

If people do want to limit the definition of marriage to one man and one woman who are joined for the purpose of producing children and creating a family then I think we need to invalidate a lot more marriages in this country.

Alternatively, how about letting churches define marriages however they like and have the states get out of the marriage business and let them recognize domestic partnerships instead?

I predict one day people will be as appalled by prohibitions to gay marriages as people today are appalled by those old laws preventing woman from voting.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Home Sweet Home

The one where I talk about my trip.

  1. I like to travel but I like coming home too.

  2. I really enjoyed my college buddies.

  3. I want to learn to travel light. It would be great to just throw some things in my big purse and get on the plane.

  4. The conference was interesting and I'm glad went.

  5. There was way too much food at my conference. And I ate a lot of that food.

  6. Hotels shouldn't nickel and dime you for every little thing. I had to pay a "porterage fee" which means for bellhop fees. I told them I didn't use the bellhops and they told me it didn't matter it is a standard fee.

  7. I miss my kitty when I'm traveling.

  8. I DVR'd over 13 hours of shows while I was gone.

  9. Thank goodness with DVR I can skip over the commercials.

  10. I'll be very happy to sleep in my own bed tonight. And I hope I do sleep.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Praising Arizona

I had a great weekend in Phoenix with my two college buds, Carol and Ann. We ate and laughed A LOT, just like in college. We also went to a casino, not like in college. The casinos in AZ are not like the casinos in Las Vegas. The slot machines are all very close to each other and the machines are all packed. There are no penny slots and very few 2 cent slots. There are lots of dollar slots. We found room at a couple of 2 cent slots and then later were at some nickle slots. Needless to say, we didn't stay long. But we did have fun.

I also played some real life Scrabble which is different than our email games because there isn't as much time to play with the letters and find good words. I'm using that as the excuse for being beaten 3 out of 3 3/4 games. We never finished the 4th game but I was ahead.

The weather in AZ was not typical of the desert. It rained a lot of the time. It seemed a lot more like California than Arizona. It didn't stop us from having fun though.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Font

I enjoy using this font in Word but I'd be a lot happier if I could figure out how to use it in my gmail account or my blog. I'll do some research and let you know what I find. Or if you know how to do it, you can let me know.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

There's Still Time To Make It

You have until 2:00p.m. today to get to your local Denny's for a free Grand Slam breakfast. According to CNN, people are lining up for the free meal. I'm sure there are some people who don't often get a good breakfast and who can't afford to eat out much and were happy to wait in line for some food. I count myself lucky that I don't think saving $6 on a breakfast is worth getting in a long line for.

I wonder if people are tipping the servers?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Random Things

I posted 100 Things About Me when I first started blogging. Yesterday I was tagged to do 25 Random Things About Me for my Facebook account. I didn't check out my other list before making the new one.

If you can not get to the list it is because you are not on Facebook or you are not my friend on Facebook. If you get a Facebook account, I will be your friend. Or if you are on Facebook but are not my friend, just ask and you can be my friend. Aren't I the friendly one?

I did not think I would use Facebook much. I joined so I could play online Scrabble with my daughter. Now I have 36 friends. That isn't really a lot but I'm very selective. Well that is I was selective until I put out a casting call for new friends. I love reading my friends' status reports and I'm happy to have gotten in touch with some friends from the past. I also like saving the world from global warming with the green garden and blue cove. And I like racing my environmentally friendly car in order to get carbon credits. Very silly, but fun.

So come read random items about me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

I started the weekend with great plans but then lazed away the weekend and wasn't nearly as productive as I should have been. I did manage to buy the Diva cat a new bed. For some reason, she had scratched a hole in her old bed. She'd claw in one corner of the bed before lying down, perhaps thinking she was out in the wild, creating a bed in the dirt. Instead she was making a hole in the foam and also was leaving little bits of foam throughout the house when they dropped off her fur. Now she has a sack bed that is soft and fluffy. She's not sure yet if she likes it.

I also caught up with America's Best Dance Crew. Those kids are amazing. The dancing and the choreography are just fabulous. The teams are all so good, I hate to see any of them lose. Speaking of dance, I also watched some episodes of Superstars of Dance. I don't like this show much but love the U.S. team, The Groovaloos. Some of the other dance teams are worth watching but a lot of the shows bores me and the moderator Michael Flatley definitely bores me. Makes me almost (almost) long for Ryan Seahorse. Flatley is aptly named because he has the flatest, most monotone manner I've ever heard in an MC. You could fall asleep listening to him. I tape the shows and fast forward through him and the judges so I just watch the dances. I fast forward through a lot of them too and, believe me, some of them are better for it. But The Groovaloos are worth waiting for!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Via verbatim: A tool to track Obama as he fulfills his campaign promises. It's great because you can click on any category to see the detail.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blog For Choice

It has been one of those days when I don't get much time for myself and so I didn't have a blog post ready. But I did tell my daughter that I would join the Blog For Choice event.

I don't intend to start a political debate but I will declare that I believe every woman should have control over her body. The decisions she makes should be between her and her own conscience. And I vote with that opinion in mind. I'm too old now for those issues to impact my own life but I will help in any way I can to make sure that right is preserved for my daughter's generation and future generations.

UPDATED: And I'm so glad our President agrees.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just Because You Have The Blues, It Doesn't Mean You Can Sing

Before I start first let me admit that I am powerless over my American Idol addiction. I'll get help - maybe next season.

That being said, WTF are the judges thinking? I admit the show has done a better job of showcasing people who at least have some minimal talent; they aren't focusing on the William Hung types. There are still some instances where I thought they mocked people who have some mental issues. Hopefully next year they'll stop that.

This year, however, they've succumb to sending through people who can carry a tune better than I can, but not by much. People who have a sick mom, were raised in poverty or who have 1000 children. People who beg and plead saying the WANT this MORE than anyone or those who promise they'll practice really, really hard get through. It is just ridiculous! And Simon has approved a couple of so called singers whose implants apparently rendered him brain dead.

I do admit I haven't witnessed any great singers getting rejected so I guess it will all work out, but I'm still annoyed. You'll probably just tell me I can stop watchig it if is so annoying but, as I already told you, I'm powerless to stop.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's A Great Day For America

All I have to say for today is that I am thrilled Barack Obama is now our President. I look forward to the future and am hopeful for America.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder - UPDATED

About people.

Case 1. Carl's decided to have promotion with a contest at a Laker's game. 200 plus lucky winners were texted a passcode and URL to claim a coupon for a free Carl's burger. The code was good for 48 hours. Think about it. What do you think those people did? Of course, they got the the coupon and then they shared the passcode and URL. Carl's was taken by surprise and then stopped accepting the coupons because they were overwhelmed. Duh!

Case 2. When I was watching the news this morning, they read letters from viewers. One viewer ranted about how irresponsible it is for the government to pay for the inauguration in these bad economic times. Dear Ranter, do you not understand that people will spend lots of money flying to D.C., staying in hotels, eating at restaurants? Thousands of people will be employed in security and service jobs. Do you think everyone should stay home and not spend money? Duh!

Case 3. I wonder about myself because once again I'm watching American Idol. But mostly I wonder about about people who can NOT sing and yet think they can. There was one guy who looked so confused when they said he did not make it. Randy said, "you just don't hear what we hear." If I were going to go on the stage in front of millions, not only would I tape myself and listen to it but I'd find a group of people to sing to and have them tell me what they think. These people on AI are either tone deaf, or delusional or they want the 15 minutes of fame. Duh!

Case 4.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Get Toasted

Someone on a list I belong to sent a recipe for toasted ravioli. It sounded so good, I just had to try it. I bought some spinach and ricotta ravioli and some mushroom ravioli from Trader Joe's. Just dip the ravioli in milk and then in bread crumbs. I seasoned the breadcrumbs with some oregano, garlic seasoning and onion seasoning but you could by seasoned breadcrumbs. Put the coated ravioli on baking sheet and spray both sides with olive oil. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, turning once. Dip in marinara. Delicious!

The person who sent us the recipe explained toasted ravioli are commonly found in St. Louis. Now you can have them where ever you live. The recipe on the wikipedia page has you make your own and uses an egg mixture for dipping. They also deep fry them. I think the deep fried would be too greasy plus I don't like to deep fry at home. The baked ravioli were perfect for me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Green Leftovers

Yesterday BFN and I went to brunch at a local deli. Our favorite meal there is the Farmer's Market Hash which consists of 2 eggs served on a bed of vegetable hash. The hash is made with home fries, cheese, broccoli, onions, broccoli and peppers;I pass on the peppers. The meal comes with toast or a bagel; I take a toasted bagel. It is a lot and we usually only eat about 1/2 of the food on our plates and then request a take home box. Yesterday, the server dropped one of the boxes she was bringing to our table and so she gave us the one box and went back for another. They are the big square Styrofoam boxes and so BFN and I were commenting what a waste that is. When the server came back I asked if they'd mind if next time I just brought my own Tupperware. She looked at me a little weird but said, "Sure, why not?".

I think from now on, I'll take Tupperware every time I go out to eat. Just like taking bags with me to the store. Or taking my thermal coffee cup with me to Starbucks. I may get some funny looks but I'll be saving the world.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Love At Last Bite

Whenever I have a meal, I like to save my favorite food for the last bite. This doesn't apply when I mix all the food together for an impromptu casserole. Tonight when I had broccoli, salmon and potatoes and didn't mix them together, I had to decide which item would be the last bite. I chose the potatoes. Mashed. Yum. The other day on the way to work, I picked up a breakfast protein pack at Starbucks. It had some grapes, apple slices, cheese, a hard boiled egg and a mini bagel and peanut butter. That made for a hard choice. It came down to choosing between the grapes and the bagel w/ peanut butter. I finally decided on the bagel.

When I was about 5, I had a disastrous experience which may have contributed to my need to save the best for last. We were having lunch at our daycare center and they served some horrible green mush. I think it may have been creamed spinach which I love now but was appalled by as a 5 year old. None of the kids liked it and they were avoiding it. I was a rule follower and knew I had to eat it so I made a point of eating it all first so I could move past it and enjoy the rest of my lunch. As I finished the last bite, the lunch lady said, "See, Susan likes it, and she's eaten her's all up so I'm going to let her have some more." As she spoke, she dumped another huge helping on my plate. I still remember how devastated I felt. I don't remember finishing the lunch but I'm pretty sure I ate the extra glop but saved it for last to avoid getting more. And now I do my best to make my last bite the most tasty bite of the meal.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

Last month a group of co-workers in Ohio won a $207 million lottery. Apparently, every week for the past 5 years, 19 people have pooled their money to buy lottery tickets. Sometimes money won from one week was used to buy the next week's tickets. On the day of the big win, 4 people were not at work and so didn't contribute to the pool. However, they claim their winnings from the previous week had been used for the pool. The group of people who were at work that day want to exclude the 4 who weren't. The 4 want their share.

So guess where this disagreement will end up? Yep. In court. And guess who'll end up the big winners? Yep. The lawyers. How dumb can people be? Forget the basic idea that these are friends you've been pooling money with for 5 years and the money isn't worth the friendship. Just do the math. Give the four others 4/19ths of the pot or give the lawyers a third. Silly people. These people are so short sighted. My bet is they'll lose whatever they are left with after all the lawsuits are over.

The love of money is the root of all evil.