Follow-Up Friday: Clumsy Momma in MS Paint

25 02 2011

Beh. I knew I should have done more scenes… Falling over the cords was one incident, then this:

(Yes, the cart/trolley wheel is supposed to be wonky)


(now, not that my store is that disorganized, but I didn’t feel like drawing 97000 cans/bags of cat food)

(and it’s not that Buffy & Kali eat THAT much, but Bailey has taken to snacking from their bowls, making us go through food 200% quicker)

Better now?

Wordless Wednesday: Clumsy Momma in MS Paint

23 02 2011






9 02 2011

Think Local, Act Global:
For the LONGEST time, I was all poo-poo on chain restaurants (well, I’m still no Olive Garden fan… there was that one time when I was 7 months pregnant…) “Support the little local guys!”, I’d tout and wait an unreasonable 7 minutes for my chai latte at the tiny place rather than waiting 2 minutes at Starbucks; though this problem has been entirely eradicated since I fell in love with our Tassimo Brewbot. I digress.
I’m not quite sure what short-circuited in my brain recently, could be the addiction to, but I realized something.
Who sorts my packages at the UPS hub? Who delivers my mail? Local People. Who runs the register at Wegmans when I buy Jamine Rice?  Who sorts shirts at the mall? Who opens the Smithwicks tap at the pub? Local People. Who serves my sushi? Immigrants, but (hopefully) legal, local ones.
I’ll be. So, even if I’m not totally supporting “the little guy” I’m still keeping some people in jobs.
Now, if I could find reasonably priced American made toys for a baby who like to stick EVERYTHING in his mouth, I’d be happy to have the Fed Ex guy deliver it.

YOT is now, er, YOT.
Ye’Olde Trailblazer’s lease was up, so I had to get a new vehicle. Well, not HAD to, I could have chosen to pay off the balance… regardless, I ended up getting a GMC Terrain.
Ye’Olde Terrain.
The name reminds me of the Canyonero.

Stop Bitching About the Weather:
It’s winter people. It will be cold. It will snow. People will be stupid and drive when they’re not supposed to and get stuck in snowbanks.
Unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case you’re complaining about the heat.

High on the list of  “Stupid Ideas”:
Reading “The Shining” during an epic snowfall winter.

No Way to Wake Up:
MiniMak’s monitor has a temperature gauge on it to alert us if it’s too hot or too cold. His monitor also measures motion (respiration and movements) and alarms if he stops moving about.
That being said, being startled out of sleep by a monitor alarming is bad, even it was for a “‘s chilly in here!” alarm.
Doubly upsetting when your childhood friend’s son passed the night before.


15 08 2010

Clue 1)
“Wait, are you saying that you tried to open a can of paint with the wallpaper removal tool?”

Clue 2)
“Don’t worry, I’ll use the scissors…”

Clue 3)
“I’ve got some tape downstairs.”
“Is that hockey tape?”
“Same thing.”

Clue 4)
“I don’t know what hurts worse, my pride or my finger.”
“Probably your pride.”

Clue 5)
“Damn it, if only it were two hours later, I could have just stuck a testing strip in there.”

Wordless Wednesday: <110 & <140

28 07 2010

Fun in N’awlins, Circa 2003

30 03 2010

Back in 20-aught-3, I was working on Titanic*.
For some reason, which I to this day do not understand, I was The Corporate Trainer. This job sounds much more luxurious then it was.
Anyway, in the early fall, Titanic needed me for two weeks to train a group of nutria in the fine art of customer service. I refused.
1) I knew by my training, I’d be eliminating 15-20 jobs locally**
2) Steve had just purchased the house. We were closing the day before they wanted me to come down.
3) I’d miss Steve’s birthday.
4) I was not fond of New Orleans
5) My ex-boyfriend worked for said company.
They dangled a carrot in front of me (we’ll fly him down your last weekend and treat you to a night on the town***) and I accepted.
The other times I had traveled, they put me up in a nice place. This time, it was a dump and I had to bring my towels to the front desk if I wanted new ones. Yes. I’m serious. And it was right next to I-10. and a drive-through-alcohol-slushy-place.

The last weekend came along, as did Steve.
He got in way past bedtime on Thursday and I had to work Friday.
For dinner, we went to Fox and Hound, mainly because they had Abita AndyGator, an 11% on-tap brew.
While we’re sitting at the bar, we strike up a conversation with the two gentlemen next to us.
Ends up, they worked for Pepsi.
“Hey, Barkeep, whatever these two are drinkin’ for the next hour is on us!”, says Suit. Steve switches to Guinness.
An hour passes.
“Barkeep! These two are drinkin’ is on us!”, says Suit.
Another hour passes. The Suits get Steve to try a couple fingers of Markers Mark. By now, we decided we need food. The Suits decided they need tail.
“Barrrrrrkkeeeep! Wazzever deess twoses wants zz on us!”
And so on.

Saturday morning found us in rough shape.

I still have the Pepsi guy’s business card in my wallet; memoir of a lucky time.

* A company which started out cool, but then got purchased by, and I’m not making this up, some 20-somethings who made a fortune selling TRADING CARDS and subsequently wanted to close the local operation down. After putting the local operation out of business (about 50 jobs over the course of the take over) the company got flooded in 2004. Karma Bitches.
** And I was right. “Fire all those people in Buffalo!”, was the battle cry from the VP after training was complete.
*** which roughly translated into, “We’re not showing you anything. Submit your receipts.”

(inspired by “please don’t eat with your mouth open“)

Defining France

8 03 2010

It’s only fair that I justify my lament of The French, Not France.

Incident 1)
While on the umpteenth train en route from Venice, we were on a high-speed train from Nice to Paris.
Famished from running around all day, the dining car opened and we bee-lined.
Looking at the menu and trying to be courteous* we approached the French Lunch Lady (FLL).
I ordered, in French, a salad combo. All of the items were prepackaged. The combo was a  salad, choice of side, choice of beverage and choice of dessert. Having requested an animal-free salad, fruit cup, mousse and lemonade, I felt good to go.
FLL, however, had other ideas. Shouting over the rail noise, she informed me, a francais, there were no salads, only club sandwiches.
In French, I agreed.
In French, she tells me they have no fruit cups. I can have two desserts.
In French, I agree and opt for the apple crisp and mousse.

At our seat, I remark to Steve, “You k now what would make this sandwich AWESOME? MUSTARD.”
“Well, go up and get some.”
Meanwhile, FLL is in a tizzy and had garnered the attention of one of the conductors.
In French, she asks if she can help me.
“Moo-stard?” I ask, racking the memory bank for French-for-mustard.
“Moo-stard? Um, Dijon?”, I ask, nodding.
She claps her hands, in understanding, and pulls out some salt and pepper.
“Non.”, I shake my head. “Moo-stard, dijoin, ketchup et…”
Once again,  she acts like she knows what I’m talking about. She approaches me with a large brown bag and picks out…. a roll. And hands it to me, as in “take it! take it!”

Retreating to my seat, Steve asks just how I ended up with a roll.
“Well, did you pay for it?”
“Um, no…”
“You should probably check to make sure you don’t have to.”

So back up to FLL I go.
“Excuse-moi? Un pain, c’est gratis?”… damnit, What’s French-for-Free….
She tells me, in French, that the bathrooms are free and through the doors.
“Non non. Un, um, baguette… c’est baguette.. c’est gratis?”,  I ask her.
In French, she tells me that we overpaid for our sandwiches.
“The bread you gave me. Is it free?”, I ask in English, just to be sure.
“Que?” (French for “what?”)
At this point, I knew she was Fucking With The Tourist and I go sit down.

Steve goes up and while ordering beer (ewwwww, 1664!) asks, in French, if we owe for the the roll and he gets the same treatment
*1) you’re in someone else’s country, the least you can do is try to speak their language.
2) Even our elementary level French should allow us to order the essentials: Food, beer, hotel room.

Fondue In France

5 03 2010

Yesterday, I touched upon American Fondue and French Fondue.

On Real-French-Crepes-Louvre-Eiffel-Tower-More-Crepes-Day in Paris, it was round about 10pm before we made it back to the area of our Hotel.
We had walked a good 15 miles that day (from the Grand Opera section, to the above  mentioned P.O.I., Metro back) and were famished.
By this point, my tolerance of the French had diminished greatly*.

Settling on a cafe around the corner from our hotel, we pushed through as much of the menu as two-Americans-who-hadn’t-really-used-French-since-1995 could.
On the menu, I saw bourguignonne fondue, which I knew from Melting Pot to be yummy.
Not feeling de poisson ou de poulet, I opted for something I knew. And some French Beer.
In about 10 minutes, the waiter brought out a plate of meat and veggies.
Steve’s salad came and went. No fondue.
Steve’s entree came.
Excuse-moi, fondue?“, I asked the waiter.
He looks at my plate of raw meat and the empty table, “ils n’ont pas d’être fini?” (they didn’t bring that over yet?)
And shortly there after, I had a bubbling pot of hot oil.  Said pot damn near caught the table on fire- FLAME ON.

Accustomed to how we roll in the US, I popped the pieces of meat into the oil.
The Nice French Lady next to me nearly choked on her salad.
“NON! NON! NON!”, she exclaimed, laughing. “Pousser la vache! Pousser ici! Ici!” (“Push the cow! Push here! Here!”, she really did say “Pousser la vache”. t’was awesome.) as she skewed my beef onto a tong and placed it in the oil.
Eyes wide, “OOOOOHHHHHH! je vois! C’est tres different! Merci!” (“Oh, I see! This is very different! Thanks!”)

After filling up on fondue, the Very Nice French People next to us had fun playing “who can extinguish the hellfire of this fondue pot!?” with us before we put a plate on the flame and laughed, knowing we were out of danger.
* Upcoming post, the difference between Nice French People and the Vast Majority of France.

Kick in the Pants?

20 02 2010

Back in the pre-aughts, I dated a Gentleman*, who wasn’t misogynistic, but certainly had critical ideas about women’s places in society.
He was The Boyfriend Who Never Slept With Me, which at the time was end-of-the-world, however in retrospect, it’s one less person to contract HPV from.
To say that TBWNSWM was particular would be the same as saying he was peculiar. He drank more milk then any human being I’ve known since then. His primary source of nutrition came from chicken fingers/nuggets and orange breakfast rolls. He watched movies with reckless abandon. His roommate was hot. While he wouldn’t close the deal with me, he did teach me how to calm the f-down when fooling around and the pleasure of multiples. HI MOM!
Anyway, through the circle of social networking, I found out he got married (more of a “Comment by someone with the last name Reznor? I dated a Reznor! Could it be?” click click click “Spouse: Trent Reznor. I’ll be damned.”), she is, or was, pregnant and they are/had a girl.

Cosmic kick in the pants for being so eccentric around women?
I don’t think eccentric is the correct word here, but I’m running out of synonyms for “weird”.

*Capitalized as the trigger for this post came from listening to the Afghan Whigs CD of the same name…. of which he introduced me to.

The Missing Taco Spoon and The Unnecessary Excess

22 01 2010

Raising the chaos level of Casa Mak to unprecedented heights, we have been without our beloved “taco spoon” since fall.
Steve thinks he took it camping (“There are certain things you’re not supposed to take camping for fear of losing them. The Taco Spoon was one of those thing!”, I tell him) and/or it fell behind/into something. Regardless, it’s lost.
“What’s the big deal?”, you ask… Well, a certain engineer seems to think that all other spoons are inferior for taco beef production (and heaven forbid we make chicken) because The Taco Spoon allowed for proper size beef nuggets and seasoning distribution.
So, giving up the ghost that The Taco Spoon will magically reappear in our service utensil drawer (though he’ll check every Taco Tuesday) I have decided to see about procuring a new taco spoon. The thing is, I don’t know where The Original Taco Spoon came from, less to say it came with me when I moved.
Was it something from when mom worked at Lechter’s? Was it part of a set? Was it something that someone left at my old house and we claimed?
The Taco Spoon is hard to define… slots like a slotted spoon, mix between spatula and spoon (not flat, not totally curved) angled at one end…

In my efforts to find at least what The Taco Spoon is properly named, I searched (in addition to my local outlets)…
Besides not finding a replacement taco spoon thingie, I found the following items which I do not understand:

Breading Trays

(I use bowls/plates.)

Salad Dressing Mixer


A Chestnut Knife

(How much do you have to love chestnuts and/or eat chestnuts to warrant a$16 knife? While I understand you don’t want to bend your good knives…)

Personalized Branding Tool

(Is it still mooing/bawking? No? Down the pallet it go- Oh, wait, this is YOUR steak.)

Salad Sissors

(*looks at hands*)

Trash Bowl

(a trash bowl. Come here so I can hit you with it. Do you not have other bowls? What makes  trash bowl different then say, a bowl?)

I guess my main question is: At what point do you decide that you love something enough to have a dedicated tool? I mean, maybe it’s because I got kicked out of culinary school*, but a knife’s a knife. Well, except the serrated ones. And the butcher… and I guess if you’re worried about cross contamination…

What tool(s) do you use the most?
The least?

I use my fancy-ass-knife set ALL THE TIME, while my zester is gathering dust.