Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Appetizer: oyster on a half shell and oyster in a shot glass with tomato juice, both halves of a small, six inch lobster tail, two jumbo shrimp with the red sauce, a lump of crab meat and tuna tar tare with an avacodo salad
Salad: maui onion, ripley tomato red and yellow, cubed cucumber, generous wedge of blue cheese and a roasted garlic viniagrette
Entree: Veal chop breaded with a lemon butter sauce and two asparagus, with a generous portion of lump crap.
Dessert: creme brulee
Worth every risk to high cholesterol and diabetes. Words fail me to describe the deliciousness of it. It was a soft opening for a new restaurant at work and the managers and above got to go. I missed my seating time and ended up sitting alone. I really don't have that many friends at work and the ones I have are going tomorrow night. But when they sat the salad down in front of me, with that wedge of blue cheese on it, I knew I didn't want anyone around me anyway. I focused very carefully on how to eat that delicious salad in order to maximize my private blue cheese experience.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The priest told a story this morning. My mom is the church secretary, and a lady named Claudia works part time to clean the rectory (that's parsonage to you Baptists), the church and the parish hall (fellowship hall, to you Baptists. In this case, a separate, detached building). The rectory is a two story home, probably built in the early 1900's. The first floor provides space for the business offices and the then-den & dining room act as space for small parish council (deacons) meetings. The second floor is the private living space.
The priest was looking for a screwdriver this week, and Claudia left a flashlight on his desk. Why he didn't just ask Mom to bring one back from lunch, I don't know. But anyway, he spent 3 days in that two story house looking for a screwdriver. After Claudia left him the flashlight, he used it to continue searching in all the nooks and crannies, drawers, doors, cupboards and closets. After spending 3 days looking for a screwdriver, a toggle on the flashlight fell open. Inside was a tool kit with screwdrivers. He had it with him all the time.
As he talked about how you can have G-d's love with you all the time, and not even know you have it when you're looking for it, I can't help but think of things in my own life that, looking back, I knew He put someone in my path (or in my way), without my even knowing it.
Many years back before I moved to 'the big city', I was introduced by a work friend to several people who would be attending a conference in Portland. I was going there, and it was my first time on my own and so far away. So she took me about a few weeks out to a meeting where she knew I could meet people who would be out there.
To one guy, John, she said, "He's going to ABA too." A few weeks later, we struck up a bit of a travelers friendship and I found his company enjoyable. One night I had gone to his hotel and we were leaving from there headed out on the town and he kept talking about the bars to which we were going to go. I figured out he meant 'gay bars' and I said, "I don't think I've ever been to the kind of bar you're talking about." He kept on talking and I repeated it twice. He stopped and said something like, "I heard you. Don't worry. It'll be fine." Turns out, it was fine. For the most part, a bar is a bar. There's beer and people looking to drink and smile. Not that big a deal. But he became my friend and I would sometimes call him from work and plan an outing, to spend a weekend night with him to go to a gay bar. All so new and experience to a young man who had just barely ever kissed a guy. He said to me one night a comment like, "I won't go far" and I said, "Why?" He said, "You're new to this. I'm not leaving you alone." Little did I know at the time, that it was in my best interest. Sure, a bar is just a bar, and I was well over 21. But I was in a new place and very naive. He knew best.
Some years later, I only half-heartedly was searching for a church home in this big city. Every thing seemed to be the same kind of option - very Baptist and unforgiving. Even the enlightened "modern service" church didn't feel particularly warm and inviting. I had been to one church with my friend Chaz, but it seemed incredibly gay and not so much a church as a social event.
Then two friends invited me to their church, and after several months of visiting, I finally just joined, without knowing what had taken me so long. It was within walking distance of my home. Literally, it would take me longer to get in my car and drive there than to walk there. I could see it clearly from the courtyard at my apartment. It had been there all the time.
Funny, sometimes, how He works.
I've thought about this part, only because I know they read the blog, and sometimes I understand how Noodle feels about blogging when people know you.
Just before I moved to Memphis, a lady was hired to work a one night gig on stage where I worked. I didn't see the point in it - we already had one emcee, plus me, and I didn't see the point. But there she was, just the same. I had dinner with her and her girlfriend and hit it off. She knew the part of town into which I was moving and offered to show me around if I drove up. So on her invitation, I drove up one night and had just missed the dinner with all of her friends at her favorite Mexican place. But true to her word, she and her girlfriend showed me the apartment building, and then we drove around looking for a new rug for her home.
I would soon move there, and she would be my first new friend in Memphis. Followed closely by one ~ ahem~ lady friend of hers sometimes called 'G'. Somehow, G turned into my running pal and she was on-call every time I got lost. "I'm at a corner with an Exxon and a Walgreens." Not much help, since they're on every third street corner it seems. But my favorite was discovering there was a gay bar "practically just down the street." And they had week night specials like karaoke and such. To which G replied, "Yeah, and you have to be at work at 9 in the morning." Mygawd she sounded like my daddy!
And for every single break up to come soon there after, there was G. Somewhere around here, I have a photo with First New Friend in Memphis and G and me on a patio celebrating the time when I saw Married-ExAffair-Guy and it didn't bother or upset me. It was cause for a celebration. I'll have to find that photo and scan it.
Anyway, they will probably cringe at the thought, and I probably shouldn't tell them, but I believe they are just another one of many examples of how He puts people in your life, maybe even in your way, when He knows you need them the most.
* I would ask John sometime later how he knew I was gay. He said, "Kim said, "He's gay too." I laughed and replied, "She said 'He's going to ABA too.'"
Friday, April 25, 2008
I picked her up at her place and we rode over to a favorite joint of mine that has a fabulous patio. Tammy hadn't been there before, and we settled on a shared thing of onion rings, and would equally split her order of a bbq chicken quesadilla and my order of homemade chicken salad (with celery and pecans and all kinds of stuff) on a toasted croissant. There was a pleasant breeze and we settled in for some conversation. Ate the onion rings. And then he walks up and apologizes because, uh, her food is ready to come out. Mine, the kitchen just tells him, well, they're out of chicken salad. A deep breath later, I'm determined to have good karma. It's o.k. But there's nothing else on the menu striking my fancy and her quesadilla comes out and it's huge, covering the plate. So we share it and move on. Besides, the waiter has pretty hair and gorgeous eyes. He's not particularly over good looking, but he ain't bad. And there was puh-lenty of quesadilla.
It was a deep breath but I had to let it go.
So then I decide to run to Home Depot. You see, G, my # 1 lesbian dyke, her birthday is Monday.* And this past Monday, I saw just the thing for her birthday. A man at work was showing off his "professional" version. The kind the maintenance men use. They got him one so he'd quit calling them. Anyway, I just knew there had to be a Black & Decker version out there. Well, there's not. It's some line I've never heard of. But it's within my current budget-cutting price and it is sold by Home Depot, so it ought to be decent enough. But as I was reading the package, it says: Safety instructions: Failure to follow warnings may result in bodily injury.
I am going to admit to you, I don't know the first thing about most Home Depot items. I don't know the first thing about construction (except I am often turned on by men in work boots and blue jeans and t-shirts). I don't know anything about renovation. In fact, when my G does a home project, our friends have been known to say that my version of helping is being there to make her a glass of iced tea. But even with my very limited knowledge of construction, I am having trouble fathoming how this tool can result in bodily injury.
I'll let you know how it turns out. Because if anybody will fail to follow a warning, it'll be her boys.
*G sometimes reads this blog. So if you're reading this and thinking, "He knows I don't like birthdays." Get over it. Oh, and uh, you're gonna love your birthday present.
Employees who have volunteered at off-site events to support community charities (and we do a ton of them) get a door prize ticket, one for each charity event at which you volunteered. I got three this time, which I think is the wrong count, but there's really no one there with which I can argue. I only accidentally skipped one old folks home, and we do two a month. Plus I volunteered to help set up for some dinner thing in Memphis.
But anyway, nobody else at my table has tickets and I've got three. The girl to my right takes two, keeps one and passes the other to her right. The person to her right happens to be my boss. The ticket in my boss's hand wins and she gets an envelope. Now, she's grinning and walking and I'm thinking, 'How fun. She gets to walk and I get a prize.' uh-no. She opens the envelope and it's one gift certificate to the hotel, 2 each gift certificates to the spa and the steakhouse (2 for $50 for a $100 value). She picks what she likes and passes them out. So I end up with one gift certificate for $50 to the steakhouse.
Now, to be honest, I'm trying to have good vibes in my heart. It's not like I lost anything I had. And I did all of my volunteering on company time anyway. It's not like I spent hours and hours of my personal time. But here's my deal ~ with $100 in the spa, I could get something. With $100 in the steakhouse, I could get something. With $50. . . . uh, not really. And not to sound whiney about my personal life, but I'm sort of a point with my own economics where. . . . $50 is a carefully chosen expense. I'm not interested in giving back $50 of my own money to the employer when I've already chosen to make my money stretch by giving up cable and some other things. With $100, I could have had a nice perk. With $50, it's a certificate in my drawer.
Now, I really really don't think anyone at my table intended to take from me. It was really all over in less than 3 minutes with everyone having fun. But somehow, I feel really jipped.
I think I'm gonna make up for it by taking off early today. Go sit in the sun somewhere.
At the end of the day, I think it might have gone down differently. I was carrying a bit of bitterness over an issue with a peer manager. A very minor conversation but it hit on a nerve that dealt with some of the volunteer work I've been doing. And there was a sentence where I thought she had a rather snarky voice. I think that a few minutes later, I actually passed the tickets out, trying to spread happiness, fight my own bitterness. Not really dreaming I would win, and win something I would want and not want to share. As I drove home today, I was thinking about the volunteer issue and how it's got me kind of ticked off. I think that may have colored my day some. OK, a lot.
Maybe the sunshine can wash it all away.
We were a set up, a friend playing matchmaker. She flew with him on Northwest and had worked with me some years earlier. (There's a post about her somewhere but I never figured out how to link back to posts.) She had called me and talked to him and played matchmaker. We met one night after work at a casino. It was an easy drive down for him, and since I still lived in my hometown, it was an easy way for me to meet him.
I don't remember how long we romanced. I remember him coming to my apartment some, and I remember driving to his roommate's house some, and I remember seeing him in his new apartment. My last memory is him at my house, getting a call-out and leaving. He just disappeared after that. Completely cold. No break up. No return call. Just gone.
Well over a month later, I got a letter from him. It was delivered in an envelope that was sort of like an overnight express package, but it didn't actually say overnight express. It was some kind of off brand envelope. Not USPS or UPS or anything. Inside it was an envelope with a letter and he had written, 'I have moved to Alaska.'
Yea, I didn't believe it either.
Nor did I see the point in the odd delivery package. You wait over a month to write a letter with a lie, and then disguise it in a delivery envelope? Bizarre.
A couple of months later, Marilyn told me she had flown with his roommate. Typical he said/he said conversation ensued, without any 'he said' from me, because I just don't recall saying much about it. The roommate said that he said that i said some stuff about them or some such. It's hard to remember, it's been a long time. But the way I remember it, the roommate confirmed he had not actually moved to Alaska. A few years later, Marilyn flew with him.
I guess in the spirit of his oh-so-jr-high-break-up-letter, I kept the first card he gave me, the break up letter, and the one gift he gave me. Sealed them up in a box and hid them away. Everything else, I burned ala 'Waiting to Exhale.' Not quite as dramatic in the backyard of my then-apartment. But it made me feel better.
I've never seen him. Once or twice, I thought I might have seen him in a crowd, but I really thought the person only reminded me of him and wasn't really him. In the stands at a baseball game or something like it. Well over ten years have passed, and it's just a funny memory if I have to get on that road to bypass Union Avenue traffic, pass that duplex where, as a young man I kissed with him one night. And think of the then-drama where a supposedly grown man broke up with me a month after the fact with a letter that started with, 'I have moved to Alaska.'
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Still the one -- that turns my head
We're still having fun, and you're still the one
Anybody remember that song from Orleans in 1975? If I remember it right, the local Channel 13 used it in their commercials that year, or a year sometime soon. In '75, I would of been six? Seven? That's consistent with the emotion it draws up for me, the sound of the t.v., the feel of neighborhood nights and playing, being called in at dark.
Sunday nights often bring back that odd sort of emotion. "Is all my homework done?" "What time do I need to go to bed tonight?" "But I've had such a good weekend, I don't want it to end." My dad used to say "Six o'clock comes early, son." It would always annoy me, but what annoyed me the most was that he was right. I hear it all the time in my head when I'm doing that thing I do - procrastinating, putting bed off. Puttering around. Flipping channels and now surfing for that one last post or Myspace message. I even tell myself "Six o'clock comes early" in a sort of humorous homage to him. Gosh, he always went to bed early. I think his shift started at 8a.m. and he's one of those morning sit and drink coffee guys. Still does. (thankfully Dad is still very much alive ).
So it's after 9p.m. now. I've got two big meetings tomorrow and one is at 9a.m. I intended to do a couple more things around the house before bed, but I let the computer take up my time. But it's all stuff that will still be here tomorrow. Besides, it was for a good cause ~ I scanned some old photo's and sent to some friends, for the fun of it. Photo's from high school years. Things I think they'll appreciate.
But I still sometimes miss summer nights in my cul de sac neighborhood. And I still feel, not so much Monday morning sneaking in on me, as Saturday & Sunday slipping away. And I still think Channel 13 has never had a better jingle than "You're still the one."
My friend Bubbles said to her husband recently, “I don’t like Midtown. You don’t like Midtown, you just like to say you like Midtown.” With basic understanding of the English language, and understanding what Midtowners like to believe they are, I understood what she was saying. But today, I lived it.
Aside from the fact that Midtown apartments like mine have “charm”, which loosely translates into built 1970’s and prior (mine has two windows sealed shut and one repaired with plexiglass). Here are two examples of “Midtown.”
It’s the patio at my favorite pizza place. Is that really somewhere that your dog belongs? Should a waitress really have to bring you water for your dog? If it’s against the health codes to have your dog inside the building, why is it any different on the patio? You have the dog – keep it the fruck at your house or take it somewhere that is generally considered animal friendly – like a big open park. But not to a restaurant.
And speaking of the park, my bad for not realizing today is Earth Day and there would be monster sized crowd there. I get that the place will smell like incense and patchouli*. But do you really think that no one notices that it’s pot you’re smoking because after you take a drag off of it, you hide it behind your back? Hello? What about all those people behind you? Do you think it’s a natural pose to have your arm stuck that far back? Do you think the patchouli scent of the unwashed person 6 feet down masks the scent of your burning weed?
I’m beginning to wonder if I really like Midtown, or if I just like to say I do.
On a slightly different, yet similar note: In the slow moving traffic of people driving out of the park, why did it bother the blonde girl that the passenger in the car ahead of hers kept opening his door? They were going slow enough he could of stepped out and walked. The next car in front of him was just as slow, so it’s not like he was slowing anything down. And did she think at that speed, yelling “SHUT YOUR DOOR RETARD!” was really polite, or keeping in the spirit of Earth Day, or even smart considering he looked like a thug who wouldn’t be scared of her?
And how about the guy in the left turn lane in front of me, who decided he really wanted to go straight. Which wouldn’t bother me except, with all the traffic in the going-straight lane next to us, I lost time when I could have turned left, just sitting behind him, waiting. Dork.
You know, I just had to cut short my walk, my attempt to do a 20 minute brisk walk
to see handsome shirtless guys to help my health in the park. I think all it did was raise my blood pressure.
On a happy note, I ran in Macy's today to use my Goldsmith's gift card (oh, remember the post from a couple of months ago?) I decided that, after my party last night where I was practically cookware-less, I could use that money to get some cookware. Uh - wrong. Have you seen the price of cookware at Macy's. That stuff ain't cheap. Even the cheap stuff is $100. So I had decided on a set of stainless steel mixing bowls. Because you know, I really don't have any mixing bowls either. But then on a lark, I asked the lady if "those sets over there ever went on sale." She said, "They just went off sale yesterday." aaaaawwwwww. But she checked the flyer for the sale this Thursday, and the stainless steel starter set goes on sale for $30. I think a starter set sounds just fine, since I'll just be starting to cook! So I can buy that and the mixing bowls with the gift card. She said I can come after work, they never sell out. I'm quite excited.
Now to think of what to get MyFella when he graduates in two weeks with his Associates degree in I.T.
* A favorite bumper sticker seen a few years ago: Patchouli is not a substitute for soap.
Jamie has had a nasal drip and a rattling cough. Trying hard to remind myself that he's not mine, I wondered why his mother hadn't taken him to the doctor yet. "It's a productive cough" MyFella said was her response. Yeah, productive enough that Friday night/Saturday morning he woke at 2a.m. and 4a.m. gagging/throwing up from all the bile in his belly. Saturday night/Sunday morning at 5a.m. he couldn't break the hacking cough.
We cheated and did what I think you should almost never do - gave him my prescriptions. My doctor gave me Allegra and a script for a cough syrup for the same symptoms a few weeks ago. The cough syrup seemed to help him have a good day yesterday, but wasn't enough last night.
Given his tendency for these sorts of things to turn into a hospital stay, I would say again to the world, "WHY hasn't his mother taken him to the doctor yet?" Perhaps when she sits up tonight with him, she'll reconsider just how productive his cough is.
According to the blue I can see through my window blinds and the constant chirping from the birds, it may be a pretty day outside. I think we're going to go to church and then possibly a bite of lunch before they go home. I've offered to take Jamie to church and let MyFella work on his homework for that hour and a half. He swears he'll have time when he gets home, though I see his assignment and some pencil sketch here next to the laptop.
On unrelated news, he wants a laptop with his economic stimulus, and I'm urging him to consider putting it towards an Apple. They're so supposed to be "all that" for some of the most astute I.T. types. And you know how I feel about peer pressure and marketing. "If the commercials say it's good, it must be." or "If all those other people are jumping off the bridge, maybe we should too."
I think I wish I had gotten one, though I've been happy with my little Acer here. But I just think it's something to consider, something 'a notch above' for someone like him.
Did I mention my meeting tomorrow afternoon with the big wig at work? Can't get much higher than him. All to talk about my little ol' department. I've been worrying about what to wear for nigh on a week now. I think I've settled on dark blue docker style pants (practically brand new) and a contrasting solid blue shirt. Or perhaps blue and white striped. I fear I'll end up wearing one and taking another, lest I spell a Diet Coke this one day. I feel pretty good about the meeting, and I know it's part of the reason I've had the two prior meetings with my director and her boss. They have been so positive about my knowledge and understanding of the decline in my numbers ~ not accusatory and blaming. I've got my information together, have little folders for take-away if they want them. So I feel a bit nervous but good.
Yesterday we went to the Farmer's Market downtown. Wasn't very big, but they tell me the first day wasn't supposed to be until May. A wee bit windy, but still a fun and free outing. Lunch at a little place called the Happy Mexican and even MyFella admitted it was pretty good food. Though I still don't know why I constantly subject him to Mexican, knowing he doesn't particularly like it. Then the afternoon at the zoo. Beautiful day for it. I was comfortable in jeans and a short sleeved tee. We couldn't get Jamie to touch a huge boa they had on the ground. But then again, I didn't touch it either. It was quite the afternoon walk for us.
I wonder if perhaps we wore out Jamie, and it was part of the reason he was grumbly last night. MyFella said he said a couple of times something about 'going to town' so he thinks Jamie got it in his head we were going somewhere. And he does love to go. I don't know. He's just not usually so grumbly. Oh well. Guess we all have our moments.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I've got on the menu:
Sweet tea. (even with the advances of diabetes and obesity, you still wouldn't take unsweet tea to a home of the bereaved)
Green bean casserole.
The chicken spaghetti is not my Mother's recipe. I tried to reach her today. My Dad said "She's not here. She's gone to W-M." I said, "Did she take the cell?" (because they share one) and he said "No, it's on her desk at work. Maybe I can help you." "I need her recipe for chicken spaghetti." "No, I can't help you." So I found a couple of recipes on the internet and loosely matched one. Very loosely. It could be a hot mess o' cheesy chicken noodles for all I know.
Those comments are courtesy of MyFella's little brother, Jamie. As I was saying, I have never before made green bean casserole or ad hoc made chicken spaghetti. I know my Mom has a real good recipe that calls for actually cooking a chicken!
Ah, they're here. Catch you later.
later . . .
Party's over and I think everyone had a good time. Jamie was a grumbly grouch and I think he upset the Urchins some. He's usually very social.
The movie is quite funny, very enjoyable. We'll rate it pretty high on Netflix.
Noodle brought Sister Schubert rolls with the little weenies in them. I didn't even know they existed! They're wonderful! And she made rice krispy treats ~ wonderful!
Oh - for cheatin' fast chicken rotel.
About 16 ounces of dried noodles, boiled up and ready. (I used two packages left over from something else, so I had two different kinds of noodles)
Half a block of two pounds of Velveeta (yeah, that's just one pound)
One can of cream of onion soup (save a couple of big spoon fulls for next recipe)
Two cans of regular rotel (one just didn't give it enough flavor)
Three of the large cans of chunk chicken. (I told you this was cheating)
I boiled the noodles (MyFella did) separately. We threw everything else in the crock pot like we were making rotel cheese for chips. When it all got melted, threw in the noodles. There you go.
Green Bean Casserole
Two cans of green beans, just sort of dumped in the dish and spooned around.
In a separate container, add a glug of soy sauce, a palm full of dried onions, and a couple of good spoon fulls of cream of onion soup from the above recipe, half a cup of milk and a can of cream of mushroom soup (which is icky thick so you need a bowl to stir it all up in and remember the cheating part? recipe calls for you to sautee a medium sized onion. I just didn't have one or time for it, so I borrowed the cream of onion idea from a recipe Noodle did earlier this week).
Pour it all over the green beans. Pour in a half a cup of French's fried onions and use spoon to just turn it over and mix them in. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes then add some more onions on the top.
Rent yourself a good funeral movie (see above) and have fun!
P.S. If you don't do like I did and walk in your house one hour before company comes, I strongly recommend using chicken breasts instead of canned chicken. It's do-able in a pinch. But I think better chicken would of made a good difference.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
HOW did I miss she was a lesbian the first go around?
Netflix creates odd addictions in television watching.
another quote from B5:
Greatness is never appreciated in youth. Called pride in midlife. Dismissed in old age, and reconsidered in death. Because we can not tolerate greatness in our midst, we do all we can to destroy it.
Lady Morella, played by Majel Barrett
The combination of having the next-door company's garbage dump not far outside my window, and the Monday night 1a.m. trash pick-up is something I dislike a whole lot right now.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
It was a deep fried patty of something. Something without real taste or real substance. Something that tasted only because of the condiments on it. And perhaps because of that tasteless ness, it seemed all the more an affront to nature.
A quick search on the internet turned up some chats about it that seem to define it as made up with hamburger meat and lots of filler, predominantly soy bean but in the past corn meal or potato flakes.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Wearing new underwear makes me feel sexy! It may just be because of the guys on the packaging. But it works. And with two new packages of underwear, that's six days in a row I feel a little extra sexy
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Did I tell you I hacked up and vomited something awful Monday night? You know I spent all that time last weekend with the constant nasal drip. Well, it got the best of me and I spewed in the bathroom at Molly's. It's an odd sort of vomit, when you know it's just because you have so much vile bile in your tummy. So I got a ride home and got home and did it again. Double ugh. Again, just so much snot and mucus. So gross.
So a run to the doctor's office Tuesday morning was in order. He's had me on antibiotics all week plus two shots of something or another. A little case of bronchitis and a sinus infection. It's still lingering but worlds better. And now the snot comes out the front of my nose. I really prefer it that way to dripping down my throat.
Work is going well. I have a follow up meeting in the morning with the V.P. It should go pretty well. I made headway on most every project this week, save one.
Time with Red was well spent. It was good to have her here. Even if I did have to call it an early night Monday.
My friend, the one with the slight housing problem (homeless and jobless) had a job interview Thursday. We're keeping our fingers crossed. I called a favor of a former-work friend in the employment office who helped to get him in front of the hiring manager. He spent a night here, and I think he'll probably come and hang a few nights here this week. If the job comes through, I may offer him like to come and spend the nights for his first week here, so he's clean and freshed for the orientation and stuff. (I think I may have thought 'freshed' as a shortened version of 'freshened up'.)
MyFella and I will end up with two weekends/three weeks without seeing each other by the time we see each other next. He gets a little neuoris type behavior going and it gets worse the closer he gets to the end of a semester. I'm gonna have to be patient with him.
I can't really think of much else that wouldn't be useless chatter.