Monday, February 28, 2011

James Franco Get Off Your Phone and Go Get a Big Mac

Did anybody else notice how much James Franco was on his cell phone during the Oscars last night?  I love my phone and am on it way too much, but somehow I think if I were hosting the Oscars I’d take a phone break.  Mostly, because I would be engaged in some show-stopping musical numbers involving exaggerated jazz hand movements, high-tech wire acrobatic routines and expensive pyrotechnics.  Additionally, what the hell was up with Annette Bening’s hair and clapping technique? 

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about my new hammock.  The entire time I was cleaning the kitchen this morning and doing laundry I kept thinking about it.  I would look out the window and wave to it.  It’s my new best friend.  We are going to get along famously.  We’ll be like Tom and Jerry, Abbott and Costello, Fred and Ginger, Lenny and Squiggy…we’ll be forever locked together in people’s imaginations.  Spring, a book and a hammock – that is what it is all about.  That and a nice spring martini, of course. 

Put sugar on the rim of your martini glasses, fill a large martini shaker with ice and add:
5 ounces of coconut rum
2 ounces of lemon flavored vodka
2 ounces of pineapple juice
1 ounce of cranberry juice
Shake and strain into martini glasses

Checking out vintage commercials earlier, I found this gem.  Naturally, I immediately felt compelled to share.  Bet it makes James Franco get off the phone to keep going back for a Big Mac.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Oscars and Big Foot

TONIGHT IS THE OSCARS!  Not sure why this always gets me so excited.  But my excitement level should be indicative of receiving an invitation to host at one point.  My plan tonight is to order a pizza.  I will order the pizza in an overly excited manner like Cuba Gooding, Jr.  Then before the delivery driver gets to my house I will do push-ups like Jack Palance while wearing Bjork’s swan dress.  Then when the delivery person gets to my house I will open the door and kiss this person like Adrien Brody did to Halley Berry.  Then I will Sally Field style scream, “You like me.  YOU REALLY LIKE ME!”  But in the end though, because of the negative depiction of Native Americans on television, I will gallantly refuse the pizza like Sacheen Littlefeather did for Marlon Brando. 
We just got back from a weekend with friends.  It was quite a good time.  We stayed in a cabin in Helen, Georgia.  It is in the mountains, surrounded by Alpine Village.  Alpine Village is basically a mini Bavaria with the typical southern tourist flair…which always means go-carts, putt putt, old time photo shops, funnel cakes, cheesy t-shirt shops and pancakes – always pancakes.  In town, however, there are also some pretty amazing places with good beer, traditional German food and nice shopping opportunities.  And, of course, you can’t beat the view.
There is something, for me, about vacationing in the mountains that always inspires me to look for Big Foot, must be that movie that scared the crap out of me as a kid.  On this trip, I believe I did get some photographic evidence that will once and for all solve the mystery of Sasquatch.  Additionally, I took my usual funny sign pictures.  I mean honestly why take pictures of beautiful mountains when you can get snap shots of jacked-up signs and other oddities.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup, Chicken and Vegetable Skewers, Some Really Freaking Good Recipes

This week I made a couple of very good, fairly healthy and surprisingly inexpensive dinners. Additionally, I planted broccoli, lettuce, onions, potatoes and strawberries in my garden.  I can’t wait to plant the other stuff later in the spring.  It has been a pretty productive week.  It is amazing the stuff that will keep you busy when you are jobless.

So back to the dinners, both were made for under $25.00 and both yielded enough leftovers for a few meals later in the week.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chilies, drained
½ cup 99% fat-free chicken broth
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (15.5 ounce) can of great northern beans
If you want you can also add 2 tablespoons for fresh chopped cilantro.  I don’t use it because it tastes like soap to me so instead I get one of the cans of diced tomatoes with jalapeños .  I prefer spicy to soapy.
Bag of blue corn tortilla chips
Sour cream
Monterey Jack cheese
1 avocado, peeled, diced and tossed with lime juice

Place chicken in crock pot.  Combine tomatoes with juice, chilies, broth, onion, garlic and cumin and pour over chicken.  Cover; cook on low for six hours or until chicken is tender.  Add great northern beans and shred chicken with two forks about an hour before soup is done.  Top your soup with desired amount of chips, cheese, sour cream and avocado and eat the hell out of it.

Chicken and Vegetable Skewers

Soak four boneless, skinless chicken breasts in Mojito marinade (I just buy this from the grocery instead of making it myself) for a few hours before grilling.

Slice up zucchini, squash, tomato, red onion and mushrooms.  I make a marinade for the vegetables out of olive oil, chopped up oregano, basil, white pepper and Emeril’s Original Essense and let it soak for an hour or so before putting on skewers and grilling.

Uncle Ben’s 90 second rice pilaf is really good and easy with this, too.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Freaky Friday Favorites

Unbelievably, it is Friday again!  Which by now, you know, means more Freaky Friday Favorites!

More images from my road trip to Oklahoma...

I must have watched this video 600 times this week.

This is exactly what the unemployed want to hear over and over again from a 5 year old.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yes, I did in fact film a soap opera starring my dogs...AND HERE IT IS!

Well I’m not sure if it’s the four cups of coffee or just completing my magnum opus…but I’m excited.  I completed Volume 1 of my dog soap opera, As the Tennis Ball Turns.  Because it is Volume 1 that does mean that there will be a Volume 2.  I know, I know…you’re unsure I can recreate the magic of volume 1.  I’m the type of person who likes to set the bar high, reach for the stars, push myself to the limit, go for the gold.  You can’t run away from who you are…you can only embrace it and stick it on your blog.  Please enjoy.  *quietly bows and slowly walks away backward and humble*

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Floor Care Made Easier with Big Wheel Technology

I sat down in the backyard earlier today.  The dogs were playing and I wanted to sit in the grass.  A moment of redneck hippie Zen never hurt anyone. Naturally, I did a thorough poop check of the area before doing so…you only need to learn that lesson once.  I ended up lying down in the grass for maybe an hour. (I don’t really concern myself that much with time anymore.  I’m nearly just like Einstein, only not Jewish, male or a genius…other than that though; we are pretty much the same.) I nearly fell asleep in the grass.  My outdoor almost nap got me thinking.  Mostly about the great weather, but also about how much I missed my Big Wheel.  If you grew up in the Seventies you know exactly what I’m talking about. 
I can never forget the feel of the wind in my hair while racing around the cul-de-sac where I grew up.  The thrill of pedaling as fast as you could, turning quickly, jerking up on the side brake and immediately tipping (or tumping if you live in the South) over and skinning the flesh off your arms and face.  Such fun!  At that time, I had a daschund named Baron Von Maxwell.  He used to stand on the seat of the Big Wheel with his paws on the handlebars, while I pedaled, he navigated.  It is a memory that has stayed with me…which I guess is why it is actually a memory.  I loved that Big Wheel.  I’ll never forget growing up and marking the transition by moving the seat back to the next slot of holes. That is a memory I remember, too.

The thing about the Big Wheel now is I see some serious cleaning potential in its design.  I have hardwood floors.  This involves lots of vacuuming, swiffering and mopping.  What if the Big Wheel had all these features?  A built in Dyson, side-panel swiffering lever and a pull the break spin mopping system.  Think not only of the fun it would bring to everyday floor care, but just imagine the fitness potential of such an apparatus!  I’m certain I am on to something big here and it isn’t just a big front wheel.  So maybe Einstein and I do share that genius thingy ma bob deal after all.  The Big Wheel Wood Floorminator…watch for it.  Cher and Joan Rivers, no doubt, will host the infomercial.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Celebrating President's Day with a European Breakfast

September, last year, Tiffany and I took the “trip of a lifetime” to celebrate our 40th birthdays and 15 years together.  We stayed in Barcelona for a few days and then went on a Mediterranean Cruise.  It was fantastic.  It was especially incredible that it was before I got laid off…otherwise not sure we would have done it.  I’m telling you this because of our breakfast yesterday.  It seemed fitting to celebrate President’s Day with a European breakfast…or at least our favorite breakfast from Barcelona.  Vive El Presidentes de Americano!
We stayed in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.  It was AMAZING.  There was so much to see we opted to do an open-air bus tour.  These are great because you can ride around in the bus and snap pictures of the architecture and people doing weird European things.  As they say, when in Rome (or in this case, Spain) act as the Romans do when they aren’t in Rome.  In other words, act like a tourista.
At any rate, before we went on our open-air tour of the city with all the other Americanos.  We stopped to have breakfast.  There are sidewalk cafes everywhere.  You can see in the windows and when we see pastries we stop.  In fact, I have a tattoo on my back that reads, “I Brake for Pastries.”  It was the 80s, I was in the Merchant Marines, seemed like a good idea…you know everyone has a tattoo on the back story.  Anyway, we went inside and promptly ordered a completely French breakfast in Spain.  We didn’t care.  I had a fanny pack full of one dollar bills and we were going to eat what we could actually say without sounding like las Americanos stupido.  Pretty sure we fooled them.  We had French press coffee and croissants with thinly sliced ham and baby Swiss cheese. (Isn’t that just like the Swiss to horn in on our French breakfast in Spain?) Don’t worry we did eventually have chocolate con churros, but we weren’t inclined to mess up our breakfast in Spain with a traditional Spanish breakfast just yet.  Our croissants and coffee were so good!  If you haven’t had French press coffee….you are really missing out.  And the croissants, holy light dough creations – it was the best roll I had ever put in my mouth and I am a lifetime connoisseur of carbohydrates. I even have a tattoo on my ass that reads, “I Back Up for Carbs.”
When we got back home, Tiffany was set on getting a French press coffee maker.  She got one for Christmas.  So from time to time, I like to surprise her with that so good breakfast we had in Spain.  You MUST get the right croissants for this.  The typical grocery story variety will not do.  You have to find a really really good bakery.  You are going to spend more, but some things like croissants are worth it.  I get mine at Continental Bakery in Mountain Brook.  I also get very thinly sliced ham and baby Swiss from the grocery.  You really only need one slice of ham and one slice of cheese per croissant.  Americanos like to pile that on…resist the urge.  You also need good coffee (preferably grinding your own).  We use Café du Monde coffee.  We never use this coffee in our regular coffee maker…it is special for the French press.  Once you have all this you are good to go.  Trust me and my fanny pack…you won’t be sorry.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Swarm of Unchecked Star Wars Reckless Mercenaries

I have a bad feeling about this. It started with roguish blaster fire and has escalated to full blown scruffy-looking nerf herding (and I don’t mean the punk geek rock band from the 1990’s). You can spot them when the lights are suddenly turned on in a darkened room.  Unbelievably, it has now gotten to the point that the damn things don’t even care if it is light or dark or if the room is occupied or empty.  They are brazen and I fear multiplying.  Experts say it starts with a few and left unchecked can turn to millions.  You can hear them scurrying.  You can hear them smuggling. I don’t know how this happened, but I feel certain that I have a full-blown infestation of Han Solos. 

Here I caught a 1980 Bespin Han Solo trying to get in the window.

Although prized and adorable, it is still scary to find a 1977 original Han Solo creeping out from under your TV stand.
That’s right.  I have an influx of according to wookieepedia “one of the best smugglers in the galaxy.”  Oh sure, I know you are thinking lucky me, how cool, thank God it isn’t Jabba the Hutt or God forbid Jar Jar Binks…but no it isn’t all it is cracked up to be.  In these huge numbers, he is dangerous and downright annoying.

Amazingly, I caught this 1997 unnecessarily buff Han Solo running away after I caught him trying to climb in the toilet.  I assume he was attempting to hydrate.

Here is another 1997 gratuitously muscular Han Solo in Endor gear hiding in my romaine lettuce. 
Now don’t get me wrong a few of them…that’s a good thing.  Who, in moderation, doesn’t enjoy their wit and swagger? Too many, however just leads to trouble, a funky smell and chewed wires. It just can’t be ignored anymore.  I’m going to have to call a professional.  What if one crawls into my mouth and lays Corellian eggs in the middle of the night for Christ’s sake?!  I know this will be hard to overcome, but honestly I prefer if you just never tell me the odds.
I was horrified to discover not only 1980 Hoth Han Solo, but his stinky (on the outside as well as inside) Tauntaun in my freezer.

Here is yet another 1977 original Han Solo missing his blaster sneaking about behind an original Clint Stone painting.

You know when you discover a Han Solo in carbonite under your sink, it has been there awhile.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Building Garden Boxes

One of the things I have always wanted to do is gardening.  The thought of growing and then cooking your own food just seems so appealing to me.  So pioneer chic. I just never had the time because of the 50+ hours per week I used to toil away at my job.  But now that I’m a bum…time is not an issue! 
I decided the best option for our yard would be to create a box garden.   We have a weird three-tiered yard, so I chose the second tier for my garden area.  Apparently you need six hours of sun per day, so this was the best spot.  I then measured to determine the best sizes for the boxes.  I decided one 4’ x 4’ box and two 4’ x 2’ boxes. Then it was off to Home Depot. I got some premium studs (premium studs…hahahaha) mostly because they were on sale (discounted premium studs…hahahahaha) and long galvanized screws (because you have to screw the premium studs…hahahahaha).
Other things you’ll need:
Saw (I used a jigsaw) unless you get the store to cut the wood for you
Measuring tape
Favorite music
Landscaping fabric for bottom of garden boxes
Potting soil
Garden fencing (this will be trial and error as far as wild animals, but at this point I’m mostly hoping to keep our dogs out)

blank slate

Sam Adams Noble Pils is a very good garden box building brew...of course pace yourself you are using power tools.

Improvise when you don't have saw horses!

I just made this up as I went...

Presto first box done!

That damn thing was really heavy so you'll need help getting it to your location.

I drilled holes in the top of the box to place the garden fencing. 

Done!  Time for more beer!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hunting Dogs and the Death of a Fly

Apparently a horse fly got into the house.  I noticed it while drinking my coffee this morning.  It sounded like a super tiny Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter was evacuating refugees around my head.  That was annoying, but it really took a turn when the dogs got involved. 

My overweight terrier Saphie, who happens to be afraid of her own shadow, channeled her inner wolf.  Years of domestication has altered a dog’s genetic predisposition to effectively hunt.  While certainly serious about her prey, she lacked the stealth of her ancestors.  She knocked over pictures, candles and a light.  And still the fly eluded capture. 

As this was going on, my other three dogs thought it was some sort of glorious game.  All four were running in circles while the fly flew…flipping them off, I assume.  Then in an attempt to save the living room, I too got involved.  We were all running fast, but not really going anywhere.  Invariably, my coffee got thrown into the mix…all over the floor.  And then in one splendidly magnificent bound toward the couch, Saphie caught the fly.  It was the most graceful thing you could observe while sliding in a puddle of spilt coffee.  I was so proud.  In that moment, she was a wolf.  She ended up spitting the fly out and one of my other dogs ate it, but she did what she set out to do.  She is a true huntress.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Freaky Friday Favorites

Today’s big plans include a job interview and getting propane.  The job interview is just the first step and actually just a phone interview.  This is fantastic because I can wear my beloved house shoes and no pants are required!  The propane is for grilling out tonight.  It is going to be a sitting outside, drinking beer and spying on the neighborhood kind of night. I need to plan this evening’s menu, clean the grill, change the bulbs in the search lights and dust the winter gloom off my neighbor-watching binoculars, because tonight’s gonna be a good good night.  In the meantime, check out this week's Freaky Friday Favorites.

Click on the link below after the ad.
Annual Valentine's Day Stoning Of Happy Couple Held

Picture from: Certified Bullshit Technician

Thank you Lorianne for posting this on my wall. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nest Building, Cheese Rolls and the Sallisaw Exit off 1-40

Wild birds are really fascinating and amazing creatures…until a couple starts building a nest outside your bedroom window.  Then it like listening to a crack induced wacko playing with twigs and speed tap-dancing with teeny tiny feet.  Not to mention the constant peeping.  The whole thing sounds like a sped up much smaller version of my parents bitching while trying to put together a piece of furniture from IKEA.  This is only a sign that the little non-stop peeping and screaming babies will be arriving soon.  Speaking of that, have you ever had to take care of a baby bird?  Sweet Lord they are the ugliest things in the history of ugly.  My God you could throw a Mack truck in their huge yet tiny open mouths.  Horrifying.
When the birds woke me up, I was dreaming about a recipe I saw on the Cooking Channel a few days ago.  I haven’t made it yet, but I plan to this weekend.  I haven’t looked the recipe up yet, but I do remember the ingredients and the preparation.

The I Can’t Remember What They Are Called Cheese Roll Things
Phyllo Dough
Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese

Brush each sheet of Phyllo Dough with butter.
Thickly slice chunk of mozzarella cheese ¼ inch or so
Place cheese on Phyllo Dough with sun-dried tomato on top and roll up.
Cook at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.
You can serve these separately or on a salad.

I had to drive to Oklahoma for a quick family thing this week (not like gay family, but family family).  On my drive back I stopped for gas in Sallisaw.  Just off the 1-40 exit, I found a picture taker’s gold mine.  You think you’d see Elvis in a 1950s Chevy in Tupelo or perhaps Memphis, but no you can also find it inside a gas station in Sallisaw!  And after getting gas, perhaps you’d like to pick up a few Indians to have around the house.  Imagine the luck!  There is also an Indian store right by the creepy mannequin Elvis and transvestite in Chevy gas station! 


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Last Minute Entries to the Westminster Dog Show

I am hoping to get four late entries registered in the Westminster Dog Show:

#1.  I will bite your face off if you keep taking my picture breed.

#2.  The look at my toy.   Can you see it right there?  It is in front of me breed.

#3.  The I hate the camera.  Please don’t take my picture especially with this stupid hat on my head breed.

#4.  The Chupacabra in window breed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We Aren't in Kansas Anymore and The Ode to Tetherball

I have the feeling we aren’t in Kansas anymore…mostly because we aren’t actually in Kansas.  But frankly, I don’t give a damn because I feel lucky and I feel like the force may be with me.  This is a good feeling instead of feeling bad…you know feeling like I could have been a contender.  And I really could have been…at tetherball in third grade.

 I used to play with this kid Sam and we’d always say, “Play it again Sam,” because he was so good at tetherball.  But one day, I went up to him and said, “Show me the money.”  We went at it and I beat him.  He cried and I yelled, “You can’t handle the truth!  And man up, it’s like you see dead people or something.”  He was so still and quiet for a long time that when he finally spoke, we all said, “It’s alive, it’s alive!”  He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Hello…Houston we have a problem.”  I wore a big Stetson hat on the playground so one of the kids called me Houston one day and it just stuck.  I squinted my eyes at him because I knew he was accusing me of cheating.  He wanted a rematch.  He was such a punk and I guess he was feeling lucky.  “You had me at hello,” I said.  And off we went again. 

We must have hit that tetherball for hours, but again he lost.  My strategy was simple…shaken not stirred.  Once it was over I felt like the king of the world.  Sam crumbled to the ground and looked at me with sad pitiful eyes, “why WHY!”  I looked back down at him, playing like I was busy thinking about something else and said, “You talkin to me?”  He said, “well isn’t that kind of elementary my dear Watson.”  So I said, “Here’s looking at you, kid and you want to know why?  I’ll tell you why…because nobody puts baby in a corner, that’ why.”  As I skipped off with my friends, I could hear him yell, “I’ll be back.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Real History of Valentine's Day

What in the hell?  I really have no words.

The history of Valentine’s Day is a bit of a mystery.  What we do know is Saint Valentine was martyred during the reign of Emperor Claudius.  There are several theories has to why he was murdered.  The truth of the story is that Saint Valentine was murdered by a little person called Cupidistic.  Cupidistic was an angry dwarf.  He was ten times angrier than the dwarf in Foul Play…and I’m not talking about the Bible salesman dwarf who Goldie Hawn pushed out the window and hit with a broom. 

Cupidistic was really pissed that Valentine didn’t like the new candies he created.  These candies were made from chocolate and they were in the shape of Romulus and Remus.  He wanted to sell them in a heart shaped box along with a matching hollow chocolate she-wolf.  Valentine thought this was stupid.  He actually carved “Cupidistic is Stupid and Wears a Diaper XLVCM” on clay tablets and handed them out.  History shows that he probably put the roman numerals in there just to give it more authority. 

This really sent Cupidistic over the edge.  He was also already really mad that he couldn’t get a dinner reservation on February 14.  He waited too long and his wife was going to kill him.  Cupidistic knew he had to take his revenge on Valentine.  So Cupidistic got some rope and climbed to the top of a pillar.  He tied the rope to the top of the pillar, put it around his waist and jumped off so he was hanging half-way up the pillar in wait for Valentine.  Later reports indicated it looked like he was flying.  When Valentine happened by a little later Cupidistic shot him with a poisoned arrow through the heart (incidentally this is where the 80s band ABC got the idea for their 1982 hit Poison Arrow).  Valentine died, of course, and the rest is history.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chicken Saltimbocca, Harry Balls and the Fine Art of Sharing

Although it isn’t Freaky Friday yet, I figured I really couldn’t wait to share this.  I do what I can.  Also check out this link to learn more about the online voting for the Harry Baals Government Center.

And to keep the sharing going, I figured I would also include another quote from Beyond Scared Straight.  “This is the Shakedown Room.  We call it the Shakedown because that is where you get shook down…butterball naked.  The CO will tell you turn around.  He gonna tell you put your left hand on your left cheek, put your right hand on your right cheek and SPREAD EM!  Then he gonna tell drop and squat.  A grown man looking at another man’s butthole.  DO YOU WANT ANYBODY LOOKING AT YOUR BUTTHOLE?!”
But no the sharing isn’t over, I also included the recipe for the dinner I made last night.  So good!  Hope you enjoy...lawd knows we did!  

Chicken Saltimbocca (from
1/4 cup flour
1 Ib boneless chicken cutlets
1 tb canola oil
4 slices prosciutto
1/8 tsp pepper
4 small fresh sage leaves
4 thin slices swiss cheese
1 cup specialty tomato basil pasta sauce

Preheat large saute pan on on medium-high 2-3 minutes.  Place flour in shallow bowl. Dip chicken in flour, coating both sides, then shaking off any excess (wash hands).

Place oil in pan, then add chicken; cook 3-4 minutes on one side.

Turn chicken; reduce heat to medium.  Place one prosciutto slice on each cutlet and sprinkle with pepper; add one sage leaf and top with one cheese slice.  Cover and cook 3-4 more minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees.

Place pasta sauce in microwave-safe bowl and cover;  microwave on HIGH 3-4 minutes or until hot.  Spoon sauce onto serving plate, place chicken on sauce and serve.

Arugula Salad (from
1 bag baby arugula leaves (4-5 oz)
1/4 cup roasted garlic almonds
2 tb cooked bacon pieces
2 tb pre-diced onions
2 tb Caesar dressing

Place all ingredients (except dressing) in salad bowl.

Add dressing;  toss and serve.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jonesing on Saving Money

I’m discovering that using coupons is probably a lot like using meth…only you save lots of money and have way better teeth.  I actually feel guilty now if I go to the grocery store without my coupons.  I’m sure tweaking on cooked up Sudafed and fertilizer is a real hoot, but hunting coupons and saving money, it turns out, is quite the high.  

Speaking of tweaking, I’ve been super productive today.  So far, I’ve applied for a really choice position in a much respected organization, cleaned the kitchen, did laundry, painted some shelves in the basement and made a lamp (yes a lamp…pictures below).  See what I mean, the saving money energy high is the high that just keeps giving. AND you don’t have to deal with those pesky sweats, darned paranoia and irritating dilated pupils.

Making a Lamp Using an Empty Wine Bottle