Thursday, June 30, 2011

Adventures in Painting

Every few years, I get overcome with a desire to paint.  It is always a pain in the butt, but ultimately worth the trouble.  I’ve looked at colors, worried over the selections and finally made a decision.  I repainted the ceiling first which is the most horrible thing to paint, in my opinion.  It needs another coat and I’m not sure I really like the color.  I’ll worry about it later.  The ceiling painting yesterday taught me two things:  turn off your ceiling fan and my dog, Saphie, hates plastic drop clothes.  First, I was doing some repairs on the ceiling and thought I should turn off the ceiling fan.  Of course, I didn’t and got too close and got knocked in the head.  Second, Saphie does not like change or anything “weird” to touch her feet.  When we retiled the bathroom floor, she did not step on the new tile for two years.  I put plastic drop cloths everywhere before painting the ceiling.  She paced and danced around in the hallway.  She had this terrible look of worry on her face.  To take her out to potty, I had to clear a path and move the plastic.  She would hunker down and crawl slowly to the door.  In her mind, she had to be vigilant or the plastic would grab her.  This morning, I started painting the walls.  I’m taking a lunch and blog writing break now, but my living room has gone from beige and dark blue to grey.  You can’t really tell much from pictures, but you can see the ceiling fan, plastic drop clothes and look of fear in Saphie’s eyes.
I primed over the dark blue during Hoarders and Intervention on Monday.

I had removed the plastic so Saphie could sit on the couch.

new grey!

Plastic is on the couch...Saphie is nowhere to be seen.

Gray walls and plastic off the chairs.  Saphie is better, but still upset.

Fear the plastic sheeting!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Low Country Smothered Pork Chops - WTF and WOW Recipe Wednesday

Low Country Smothered Pork Chops (
4 center-cut pork chops, 1-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup all-purpose, spread on a plate
2 medium green bell peppers, stemmed, cored and membranes removed, cut into strips
2 yellow onions, trimmed, cut lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 to 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Trim the excess fat from the chops and season well with salt, pepper and cayenne.  Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Lightly roll the chops in flour, shake off the excess and slip them into the pan.  Brown well, about 3 minutes per side and remove them to a plate.

Add the bell peppers and onions to the skillet and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about half a minute longer.  Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet.  Add chops to pan and place vegetables on top of pork chops.  Pour in the broth and sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce.  Cover pan with foil and allow to simmer for 45 minutes or until chops are tender.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

“True” History Tuesday - Rasputin Invented the Ice Schlong

The snow cone was invented by Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin in 1915.   Rasputin is best known for his relationship with the last Tsaritsa of Russia, Alexandra Feodorovna Romanov.  She believed he had the power to minimize her son, Alexei’s (the heir to the throne of Russia) hemophilia. He is also remembered for his murder at the hands of Felix Yusupov and other anti-Rasputin conspirators.  He is remembered for that because he was really freaking hard to kill.  Like a flea.  Have you ever noticed how hard they are to kill?  He was poisoned, shot and thrown in the icy Neva River.  Turns out, he died from drowning.
Rasputin invented the snow cone for two reasons:  he wanted a cold and sugary treat and he wanted to way to control rich Russians by using a cold and sugary treat.  He figured if he could drug the entire country he would forever get to live the good life and mingle with royalty.  Rasputin didn’t have a lot of money.  He was from Siberia.  He knew he could get a never ending supply of ice.  He also had a friend who made sugary syrup for the Waffle House.  Combining these two elements, he screamed, “OY!”  It was good and it was cheap and mind control drugs could be hidden deep within the confines of the ice.  It was his very own version of the babushka nesting dolls…only not a babushka or a doll and made out of ice and sugary syrup
Rasputin decided to call his invention, the Yefimovich Schlong.  He would sell them on every corner and control all of Russia.  The problem was nobody was interested in Yefimovich’s Schlong.  It was oddly shaped and sticky.  People just didn’t want something like that in their mouth.  His plan failed and he was murdered.  His recipe was stolen, revamped and reshaped.  It was well-received with its new name, the Snow Cone.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crazy Rich People

You owe me $750 just to look at this picture of a picture.

I noticed in the news that on Saturday night that the only authenticated photograph of Billy the Kid was auctioned off for $2.3 million.  Holy crap!  I suppose, if you have that kind of money and you’re a collector, a purchase of that magnitude is not such a big deal.  I collect Star Wars toys.  I would probably pay $2.3 million for the actual millennium falcon…if it could fly around to other galaxies.  But, I don’t have $2.3 million.  So I suppose I can’t really say what I would buy if I were super crazy rich.  I feel pretty certain though, that I would not spend my vast fortune on the following items:

A lock of Elvis Presley's hair - apparently one lock sold for $115,000 at auction.  Do you put something like this in a shadow box and shine a light on it?

White lion cubs - these guys sell for $138,000.  Clearly they are expensive, but my concern is they grow up to be lions!

The Spelling Manor - has this listed for $150,000 million.  I wouldn't buy this because it is just ostentatious to put that large of a fountain in front of your manor.

A Bugatti Veyron - This car will set you back $1,700,000 and it doesn't even fly or turn into a boat.  I would not buy this car because I can't pronounce the name.

Patek Phillippe Sky Moon Tourbillon 5002 P watch - This is yet another hard to pronounce item.  I believe this is a trend with ridiculously over-priced things.  Why buy something like this when you can just use your phone to tell you can call people with your phone, too.

Pininfarina’s Aresline Xten office chair - this is hands down (or ass down since it is a chair) the dumbest potential purchase.  This chair costs $1.5 million and it doesn't even recline.  dumb!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Throw Up Dip and The Horror of Publicly Throwing Up

Clearly it is never pleasant to throw up in public.  Most all of us have horrifying childhood stories involving a vomiting incident.  And you’re lying or you don’t drink alcohol, if you don’t have at least one too-much-to-drink puking event.  Sadly, I have quite a few puking stories…mostly because I was an awkward kid and I sometimes drink too much of the alcohol.  There are two incidents, however, that really stick out amongst my throw up stories. 

The first throw up story was when I was in elementary school.  I remember feeling the horror of knowing I was going to vomit.  The teacher sensed it, too.  I’m sure I must have turned white.  I’m sure the panic showed in my wide eyes.  The memory in my head is entirely in slow-motion.  She made a run for the trash can.  As she did that, my mouth watered one last time…there was no stopping it now.  She moved like lightning only in slow-motion.  She made it across the room and back to me with the trash can.  She had saved the day.  Then I puked…and completely missed the trash can.   The next throw up story involved alcohol.  I was 22.  I went with a friend to her 10 year high school reunion.  Why I even went is still stupid.  I had no business being there.  Naturally, she went to visit with all her old friends.  I was left alone…too close to the bar.  I drank way too much way too quick.  I finally staggered my way to the bathroom.  In my mind, I just had to pee, which I successfully accomplished.  Leaving the bathroom, however, things went bad.  This memory, like the other memory, is entirely in slow-motion.  The door to the bathroom opened, someone was coming in and I was going out and then I projectile vomited on that someone coming in to the bathroom.  I have no doubt I looked exactly like Linda Blair in The Exorcist…only my head didn’t spin around.  It was horrifying.  Did I mention I had enchiladas for dinner? She understandably screamed.  I felt so bad and embarrassed.  My friend later made me feel better by saying she was the snottiest girl in high school, but still you can’t undo what has been puked in public.

Throw Up Dip (
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
1 jar of salsa
1 ½ pounds of ground beef
1 bag of plain Doritos

Brown ground beef and drain.  Mix in cream cheese and allow to melt.  Add salsa and let simmer, stirring frequently.  Put in bowl and serve with Doritos!

Vomit Cocktail Recipe (


Puke in glass

Thursday, June 23, 2011

As If Going to the Gynecologist Isn’t Weird Enough…

If you haven’t seen this…check it out!

Yesterday my partner and I went to the doctor for our annual exams.  It is a necessary evil and quite honestly, just weird.  Talking about the weather or movies you’ve seen with the doctor while they are messing around in your junk truly falls into the uncomfortable category.  Yesterday, however, there was an added element of odd…no electricity. A storm, the night before, had knocked down some trees and took out all the power in the area of our doctor’s office.  We tried to reschedule, but the doctor was adamant about keeping her appointments.  For the record, peeing in a cup in total darkness is not easy…even if your partner is trying to help out in an examination gown and sheet holding your cell phone for light.  We found this very funny and freaking weird.  Then off she went back to her exam room and me to my room.  The exam table faces a window and the blinds were wide open for light.  I closed the blinds because I mostly didn’t want the lawn care crew working outside to see my business splayed out.  Then in came the doctor and her nurse with a giant flashlight.  One of the other nurses had gone to Walgreens just a few minutes before to pick up the flashlight and some mountain dews for the front desk crew.  I knew this because I watched the transaction go down in the waiting room.  I’m a big vagina fan, but let’s be honest they aren’t the prettiest things in the world and really shouldn’t be spotlighted by flashlight.  It was just WEIRD!
Once that was finally over, I got dressed and moved on to having my blood drawn.  The nurse who performed this relatively easy procedure was not happy about the no electricity situation.  She was trying to figure out where she would spin the specimens.  She kept talking to herself, but staring me in the eye while she went over the plan out loud.  Her frustration was apparent when she put the needle in my arm and then kept moving it around as she went over possible spin locations. I’m sure my eyes were wide with horror and pain, but she didn’t notice…3rd Avenue became the best location for the spin.  I nearly ran out of the office when it was over.  My coochie and veins felt more violated than usual.  If you are a lights off kind of person, trust me it isn’t a good idea when going for your annual exam.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blueberry Coffee Cake - WTF and WOW Recipe Wednesday

Blueberry Coffee Cake (

Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup (45 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (56 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Cake Batter:
1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (56 grams) (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
2 cups fresh blueberries

Blueberry Cake Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).  Butter, or spray with a
nonstick vegetable spray, an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) square pan or an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake
For streusel topping:  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and ground cinnamon.  Cut in the
butter with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside while you make the
cake batter.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.  Add the sugar
and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Add the flour
mixture, alternately with the milk, and beat only until combined.  Spread the batter onto the bottom
of the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. 
Evenly arrange the blueberries on top of the cake batter and then sprinkle with the streusel topping.
Bake for about 40 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out
clean.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly. 
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

“True” History Tuesday – Lizzie Borden was Bewitched

118 years ago yesterday, Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the brutal murders of her father and stepmother.  What “true” history shows is that she actually was the murderer.  This happened as a result of the spinster being bewitched by overindulgence in the licking of cane toads.  The 1890s in Fall River, Massachusetts just weren’t all that exciting.  Borden was bored and licked a cane toad to pass the time.  She began having unusual hallucinations.  In her mind, she was no longer a spinster, but married to Darrin Stephens.  Stephens was an ad executive and had an overbearing boss named Larry Tate.  Oddly, her husband sometimes looked like a completely different person.  Her name was no longer Lizzie, but Samantha.  And strangest of all, she was a witch.  She could wiggle her nose and make things happen.  Her husband was not a witch, but a mortal.  The psychoactive effects of the cane toad licking set up this zany scenario in her head and hilarity ensued…hatcheting of father and stepmother aside, of course.   
Lizzie eventually became addicted to the cane toad licking and the mock reality she had created in her head.  She liked being a witch pretending to be a mortal.  What annoyed her though was her nosy neighbor, Gladys Kravitz.  Gladys was going to blow her cover and let other mortals know she was a witch.  Thank the stars, Gladys’ husband Abner thought his wife was cracker jacks.  Another sense of comfort was Dr. Bombay.  Bombay was a warlock who specialized in emergency situations.  Even though he thought her husband was a bit of a square, she still called on him for assistance when needed.  She also had her nutty maid, Esmeralda.  This was really helpful since cleaning of any kind made her mad enough to swing an ax. 

The problems began with Lizzie/Samantha’s mother Endora.  Endora had no use for Samantha’s mortal life.  She could not stand Darrin, who she referred to as “Durwood” or “Dum-Dum.” Additionally, Samantha’s kooky cousin, Serena was a source of frustration.  Samantha and Serena always had to appear on split screen when they were in the same room.  This was confusing, but quite innovative for television in 1892.  Serena also hated Darrin and Samantha’s fake mortal life.  Too frequent toad licking made the visions of Endora and Serena more violent and convoluted.  Ultimately, in an effort to receive a daytime Emmy, Endora and Serena convinced Samantha to take an ax and destroy her mortal life.  Lizzie awoke one day to find she had given her father and stepmother 40 whacks.  She was obviously horrified by what she had done while high on the viscous milky-white venom of the cane toad.  She knew it was time to leave her betwitched world. When she was unbelievably acquitted for the murders, she vowed to never touch another cane toad or ax and she also swore off nose wiggling of any kind.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Painting the Living Room

I get painting urges every now and again.  I was struck with one recently.  I want to re-paint the living room.  It has been several years and in my mind, it is time for a new color.  When I was twenty, I worked part-time as a house painter.  I worked with the weirdest people I’ve ever worked with there…and for the record, I’ve worked with lots of weirdos, so that is really saying something.  My boss normally hired ex-convicts who had been let out and put in a half-way house.  He liked the cheap labor.  So there I was, a sophomore in college who was also cheap labor, working with ex-cons.  They were actually really nice and I was never in any danger…I’m pretty sure I was like the ex-convict mascot.  At any rate, I was painting one day and one of the guys named, Rodney told me about this dream he had.  Rodney was like 7 feet tall.  He sort of looked and acted like Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride.  He also never used soap. He said he dreamt that his mother was miniature with fangs and that she had crawled up his leg and screamed in his ear.  Now, I’m no expert, but I’d say he had some mommy issues.  The lead painter, liked to shut all the doors, close all the windows and turn up the heat when we were painting with oil-based paint. You could actually hear brain cells popping in your head.  It was a crazy job, but I needed the money to pay rent.  I have lots of good stories from that job and I learned how to paint.  Which now brings us back to painting my living room.  I picked up some paint samples yesterday.  One was from Behr Paint and the color choices are from their Trends collection.  Like the weirdos I used to paint with, this collection as some of the oddest paint names ever.  I’m thinking there was some closed door, high heat, oil-based paint meetings that generated these names.  Obviously, this will be the collection from which I will pick my new living room color.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Dad

My dad is the very traditional kind of dad.  He is a man.  He worked, while mom stayed home. He likes sports.  While I was growing up, he was pretty ungenerous with compliments, which made them worth all the more when you got one.  He called me his pumpkin eater…even though I really don’t like pumpkin.  He’s a good man.  I’m lucky he is my dad. 
My mom, sister, dad and me at my brother's college graduation. 

The things I know I got from him are:  a sense of humor, a trend toward being the life of the party, an amazing work ethic, my flirty nature, an entrepreneurial streak, the ability to be a really good party host, a good business head and a natural beer gut that stays even when I don’t drink beer.  I took on a lot of these characteristics very early.  I had a very profitable mowing and babysitting business when I was 13.  I started hosting parties when I was a teenager and used my entrepreneurial tendencies to secure adult beverages.  I purchased my first home at 25 and sold it for a profit.  I’ve done really well in business which, I think over time, will come to include being laid-off.  I know he’s proud of me, because he has said so…and he doesn’t say so unless he means it.  Before we moved to Birmingham, he took my partner aside and said, “take care of my little girl.”  He loves her as much as he loves me. I think I love him most because of that. No matter how old I get, I know I’ll always be his pumpkin eater and this makes me happy…even though I don’t really eat pumpkin.
Golf with my dad a few years parents are shrinking btw.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Spy

I’m super excited about seeing Super 8 today.  I used two supers in that sentence.  I’ll change it to this:  I’m supa excited about seeing Super 8.  I think that just reads better and puts a nice emphasis on how excited I am. 
I got my hair did last night by my good friend, Colt.  I love it and he is the best ever.  Let me change that though to evah…he is the best evah.  Better emphasis.  You should go see him at GeGe’s Salon.  You won’t be sorry.
I have a game for you kind of like Where’s Waldo only this is where is the chicken and where is the dog.  The first picture is obviously of a chicken.  The next picture is of me after a walk (walking with the dogs can be stressful...I often need a cocktail) and my dog Celie.  Ok, Go…find the chicken and dog!

I know that is pretty hard.  Here is the key.  I'm not about leaving people not feeling successful in a game.  Holler.  Or better would be Holla!  Better emphasis.