Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Scarecrow and Twin Baby Boys Having a Conversation as Col. Jessup and Lt. Kaffee

I decided to go slightly non-traditional with my garden scarecrow.  Thank you Frontera and Living Social for pairing up so I could get a really good deal on my scareflyingpig.

And if you aren’t one of the millions who have seen the twin baby boys having a conversation, check it out here.  If you are, check out my A Few Good Men version below.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Squashing Dunderheaded Spending, Broiled Lamb Shoulder Chops and Cucumber Yogurt Sauce


I mentioned several weeks ago that my computer was acting up with a weird purple tint.  Well to follow up, it got progressively worse.  Now, had this happened before I got laid off, we would have immediately purchased a new computer at the very sight of a purple tint…regardless of how small and insignificant.  Hell just saying “purple tint” might have sent us to the store. That’s just what we did.  Looking back on it now our spending habits can only be defined as dunderheaded.  It was amazing how much we spent on crap.  Other than regaining my sanity, the best thing about getting laid off was a complete overhaul of the way we spend money. 
Old habits die hard, so as the purple tint got worse, we took the computer to the Geek Squad at Best Buy.  Naturally, we did not take the receipt.  The lady at the counter looked at the computer for about 2 minutes and said we needed a new one.  Diligence to the dunderhead spending philosophy dies slowly, so off we walked to the back of the store to look at new laptops.  After doing this for a few minutes, it slowly came back to us that this computer was less than a year old and buying a new this quick was, well…dunderheaded.

Once we got home, we located the receipt.  Duh…the computer was still under warranty.  Now I don’t mean the warranty you buy extra at the register - even in full dunderheaded mode you can still tell that is a stupid purchase.  We called Toshiba.  They went through a few things and no luck on fixing the laptop that way.  So they sent us a box and we mailed it to their “headquarters” (I’m sure there is a control tower there BTW).  Obviously, the 10 day separation from my laptop was traumatic, but we are wise spenders now and it isn’t like we don’t have a desktop, too. 
I got the computer back yesterday.  It is better than when I first purchased it.  They gave me a new palm rest, retooled everything and the keyboard that once didn’t light up completely lights up when I start to type.  I was totally impressed with this experience from Toshiba and taking the time to not be dunderheaded cost us exactly $0.
Naturally, we had a laptop coming home party.  The dinner I made was completely purchased with coupons and store specials.  It was easily 50% to 75% less than what we would have spent pre lay-off.  Well hell we wouldn’t have made dinner.  We would have taken our just purchased laptop out to dinner.  Dunderheads.

Broiled Lamb Shoulder Chops

Marinade
½ cup orange juice
1 cup white wine
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation
Blend marinade in blender, just a few pulses until well mixed.

Place lamb chops and marinade in a plastic bag.  Squeeze as much of the air out as possible from the bag and seal.  Marinate for several hours in the refrigerator.  Remove the lamb from the bag at least an hour before cooking to help bring the lamb closer to room temperature.

Broil on high 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients
1 ½ cups plain yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Stir all ingredients together, cover and chill.

Greek Salad

Spring mix salad
Feta cheese
Greek vinaigrette dressing

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Just melt some bittersweet chocolate and dip those berries in there!

Another bottle from Laithwaites Wines!



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bronx Zoo Cobra: A Movie Pictorial

I had to interrupt today’s installment of “True” History Tuesday with a breaking news story. There is an Egyptian Cobra missing from the Bronx Zoo.  The missing cobra appears to have time to log on to Twitter and tweet because you can follow him at @BronxZoosCobra.  The missing cobra prompted me to take a closer look at some very distinctly New York movies.  I was agog by the results…as I’m sure you will be, too.









Monday, March 28, 2011

Wonder Woman Cocktail and the Laundry


I found the best way to really get focused before you tackle the laundry is to watch a little bit of Wonder Woman.  I think it honors the spin cycle and nearly makes you feel like a superhero, as well.  This especially works if you dress exactly like Wonder Woman when you do the laundry or when you go to the store to get detergent and softener. I’ve noticed you can get the same effect from watching the Bionic Woman, but this mostly only works when you need to dust and the sound-effects are obviously mandatory.  This particular clip (click here to check it out on You Tube) got me thinking about a few things: 

·         If you are going to blow up a military army base, shouldn’t you actually blow up the base and not the oil drums a hundred yards away?  I mean, yes they are clearly dangerous judging by the FLAMMABLE signs, but still aren’t they a little far away from your actual target?
·         Just because someone is wearing an MP uniform doesn’t mean that they are really MP.  They could be villains in a jeep.
·         Where does Diana Prince’s blue uniform go when she spins and transforms into Wonder Woman?
·         Lyle Waggoner is completely useless in an emergency situation.
·         These villains are really bad shots.  They can’t hit a damn thing - except for a really precise target, like say a bracelet.
·         You can obviously be rendered unconscious by being thrown 12 inches.
·         How many actually control towers were there in the seventies?  In nearly every show everyone always had to get to “the” control tower.  With so many control towers, how would you know if you were at the right control tower to avert the emergency you were trying to avert?
 So much to ponder, but alas the laundry awaits.  I better get to the washer and dryer control tower. *cue music, spinning and transformation explosion*

Wonder Woman Cocktail (from http://www.happy-hour.com)

Ingredients
1 ounce melon liquor
1 ounce peach schnapps
1.5 ounce orange juice
0.5 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce cranberry juice

Preparation
Carefully layer ingredients, in order over ice.  Serve unstirred and garnish with a cherry.
 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pitching a Tent for Viagra


On this day in 1998, Sildenafil (Viagra) became the first treatment for erectile dysfunction approved by the FDA.  Folks have been standing up and taking notice of the little blue pill ever since.

I decided to celebrate this day by PITCHING A TENT last night under the stars.  The sky had a beautiful BLUE STEEL look to it.  I fell asleep reading a few poems by John Henry BONER and a magazine article about WOODY Allen. I knew once the sun ROSE, being outside would help me to GET UP early.  ARISING at dawn, I went outside my tent and gave the sun a FULL SALUTE. It was a perfect springtime morning and I knew I wanted to plant some MORNING GLORY.  Did you know those flowers are native to the Florida PAN HANDLE? The first thing I needed was lots of HARDWOOD…for new planters.  Going to the store, I bought some WOOD from a CHUBBY salesman.  I also got some breakfast.  Even though I had a THROBBING toothache and the bacon was full of GRISTLE, the breakfast was good.  I was surprised how HARD it was to make the planters.  I was BONE tired after and I know I will wake up STIFF, but the chore was well worth it.  Everyone will be HARD-pressed to not stare at my new MORNING GLORY filled WOOD planters.



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Garage Sale Rules and Blueberry French Toast

Today was garage sale day. We started at the crack of dawn and by noon had sold out nearly all our stuff…which to us meant time for chicken, biscuits and a nap.
This entire transaction can only be described as interesting.

Santa Claus during the off season.
The sale prompted me to think of things you shouldn’t do when having a garage sale:
1.      Eat anything sausage or bean based the night before.
2.      Sell your “exercise” striper pole – you can fetch a much better price putting it on Craigslist.
3.      Hire clowns to create a circus-like atmosphere to entertain the children…clowns will steal your shit.
4.      Follow people around telling them the history of all your junk…they are paying a quarter and they don’t care.
5.      Sell your used underwear – if I have to explain why then you are clearly twisted.
6.      Forget to wear deodorant – this rule applies to more than just garage sales.
7.      Not include a disclaimer that the sale is over when you are sold out.  We advertised the sale was until 2:00pm and failed to put “or until all the stuff is gone and the garage doors are closed.”  I’m currently writing this blog hiding in the closet because people keep knocking on the door trying to buy more of our stuff.  I came out of the closet years ago, so the hiding now might cause me to have an emotional episode. 
8.      Forget to put a big sign that reads "Yard/Garage Sale Here"– an older gentlemen got on to me earlier regarding this issue.  Apparently having rows of shit in your yard/garage and people milling about buying stuff is not a big enough set of clues to indicate you have arrived at said yard/garage sale.
9.      Look obvious hoarders in the eye – NEVER MAKE DIRECT EYE CONTACT WITH THEM.
10.  This is totally something you should do for a garage sale.  Make this recipe to enjoy some quiet before the storm.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast (www.allrecipes.com)
Ingredients
12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups fresh blueberries
12 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter

Preparation
Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish, and top with cream cheese cubes.  Sprinkle 1 cup blueberries over the cream cheese, and top with remaining bread cubes. 

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and syrup. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the bread cube mixture from the fridge about 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cover, and bake 30 minutes.  Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.

In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Stirring constantly, cook 3 to 4 minutes.  Mix in the remaining 1 cup blueberries.  Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst.  Stir in the butter, and pour over the baked French toast.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Freaky Friday Favorites

I’ve been spending this week getting ready for our Saturday garage sale.  I’m excited about getting rid of some stuff and making some money.  But I’m really really EXCITED about the garage sale people watching potential.  I’ve got my camera and flip video ready!  Hopefully the footage I get will be as great as some of this week’s Freaky Friday Favorites.
I was so thrilled when I noticed this truck had parked next to me!







80s Kids Movies: The Tragic Epilogue -- powered by Cracked.com

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Free Birthday Stuff and Steve Perry




I woke up this morning thinking about a couple of things.  First thing, I’m still enjoying free stuff for my birthday.  The second thing was a picture I saw of Steve Perry.  I’ll start with former Journey lead singer, Steve Perry.


I few days ago, I ran across this picture of Steve Perry and Sherrie Swafford (yes that’s the Sherrie from “Oh Sherrie”).  I don’t remember what I was actually looking for but this picture stuck with me.  Let me illustrate the reasons why:

Now I know I’m not the first, nor will I be the last to mention Perry’s beak, but honestly the resemblance between Perry and a baby Peregrine Falcon is stunning.  The other reason(s) this picture stuck with me are:


So birthday freebies!  I cross referenced two of my favorite sites to sign up for free stuff on my birthday.  Hey It’s Free! and The Frugal Girls.  Trust me go to these websites.  I got free ice cream, free burritos, free burgers and on and on.  It is worth the time and you’ll get more than just free birthday stuff for signing up with many of these places.  Check it out and feel like a queen, king or both on your birthday!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

There really is no other way to spend the day than watching Elizabeth Taylor movies.  Of course, any Elizabeth Taylor movie day needs to start with National Velvet.  Naturally, this will rekindle my dream of having my very own horse and Mickey Rooney action figure.  Then I will change direction completely and watch, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  I seriously doubt that Elizabeth Taylor ever looked hotter than she did in that movie.  I will never forget being a young kid and watching that movie for the first time…I actually slowed down my crushes on Kristy McNichol and Joe from the Facts of Life, long enough to have a respectable crush on Elizabeth Taylor.


Now comes the cocktail making part of the day.  If you don’t have cocktails mixed for the next two movies, there is something very wrong with you.   It really is depressing that Cleopatra was not made at a time that could include a reality show along with it.  Anything that nearly bankrupts a movie studio, and is a historical drama that has nothing to do with the actual history of the event, is worth watching…at least once.  The strongest cocktail (by this time, I will be completely covered in White Diamonds perfume, toasting Elizabeth Taylor to the dogs and calling Tiffany at work to cry about her death), is reserved for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  In fact, I won’t even have a cocktail; I will just drink scotch straight from the bottle.  If you haven’t seen this movie, it is well worth watching.  It is like seeing a train wreck, or a complete family breakdown and argument over Thanksgiving dinner.  This is Elizabeth Taylor at her best as an actress. 


And that’s how I will spend my day, because that is the best way to remember Elizabeth Taylor.  But before I start the movie marathon, I’m going to honor her by contributing to what is actually her best work and her finest legacy, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Ides of March – “True” History Tuesday

The Ides of March was how the Romans said March 15, but now the meaning is more sinister.  On that day in 44 B.C. Julius Caesar Popeye (“JCP”) was killed.   “JCP” had been stirring things up with lots of changes, including establishing a new constitution, redistribution of public lands to the poor, changing the calendar and dictating that everyone eat their spinach.  “JCP” also had an affair with the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra Olive Oyl (“COO”).  They had a son together and they named him Caesarion Section (“Swee’Pea”).  Roman senators were growing increasingly concerned about “JCP’s” power trip and they feared he would take away their lands.  The senators, lead by Alice the Goon (“AG”) got together and decided to kill “JCP.”  One of these senators was Marcus Junius Brutus (“Bluto”).  “Bluto” had at one time been close to “JCP”, but his affection for “COO” led him to take part in the conspiracy. 


On March 15, “JCP” passed the seer known as The Sea Hag (“ESP”).  She grabbed his really large forearm and said “Beware the Ides of March.” To which “JCP” replied, “Well, the Ides of March have come.” This prompted “ESP” to say, “Ay, they have come, but they have not gone.”  “JCP” blew that off and kept on his way to the Theatre of Pompey.  Just before he got there, he passed Wimpy (“W”) who said to him, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”  “JCP” blew that off, too.  Fall for that once, shame on Wimpy, fall for it twice, shame on you.   When “JCP” arrived he was directed to the east portico where Poopdeck Pappy (“#2”) presented him with a petition.  Suddenly “JCP” was surrounded by senators, who stabbed him.  “JCP” was stabbed 23 times and only one of the wounds was actually fatal…proof that the senators should have eaten their spinach.

Speaking of Popeye...you should know that tomorrow Popeye's is running there 8 pieces of mixed chicken for $4.99 special!

You should also try this shot...

The Popeye (http://www.mixeddrinkworld.com/)

Ingredients
½ oz Bacardi 151 rum
½ Hpnotiq
½ oz Midori
½ oz apple juice

Preparation
Pour all ingredients over ice, shake and pour in shot glass.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Murphy - The Extra Terrestrial Bird

For the record, you can really find some interesting stuff when you go looking on the internettes.

I clicked on the TV this morning and found E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on HBO.  Naturally, after watching the movie for the 300th time, I am emotionally spent.  I barely have the energy to write today.  I love that damn little alien.  I think the reason why is because he reminds me so much of my adorable bird, Murphy.  Ironically, when first meeting Murphy, most people even have the exact same reaction that Drew Barrymore had when she first met E.T.


Now Murphy can’t bring plants back to life, make me fly around when I’m on my stationary bike or light up his toe so I can find the remote control in the dark.  He won’t ever ask to phone home for a big alien ship to pick him up. Government officials won’t show up in astronaut suits to seal off our house with ridiculously long, yet cool, giant dryer hoses.  No, we just get to hang out, eat peanuts together and watch crazy crap like that unfold on TV.  So sure, he looks like an alien.  Yes, he is completely crazy.  But he’s my sweet little extra-terrestrial bird and I love him.   



Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rosemary Parmesan Shortbread, Cream Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Proper Care of Your Llama's Teeth

I’m proud to be a child of the seventies.  Stuff was weird then and when you take the time to look back on it, you really appreciate the oddness.  Case in point, would be this video.  I actually remember watching this for the first time at my grandmother’s house when we were on vacation.  She lived on a farm in Tennessee.  She walked through the living room on her way to do something farmer’s wife-like and scoffed at the television and said, “Typical New Yorkers walking down the street with something like that.  Stay away from those people.” Let me apologize before you watch it….this dumbass song will get stuck in your head.  Sorry.


Often when I cook, I think about two things: 1. “what goes good with wine;” and 2. “is it time to take my llama back to the dentist.”  These two recipes go with wine and llamas like crack goes with a crackhead.  So good.
Rosemary Parmesan Shortbread (Claire Robinson’s 5 Ingredient Fix on Food TV)
Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely grated parmesan
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon water, if needed

Preparation
Put the flour, sugar, rosemary, salt and parmesan into the bowl of a food processor (I just old skool style stirred it) and pulse until combined (that sounds dirty).  Add the butter and pulse just until a soft dough forms; the dough should hold together when squeezed with your hands (that sounds dirty, too).  If not, add the water and pulse until combined.

Spread a large sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface and transfer the dough onto it.  Using the plastic wrap as a guide, form the dough into a loose log along 1 edge of the long side of the sheet.  Roll the dough log, twisting the plastic gathered at the ends in opposite directions until the log is tight and compact, about 2 ½ inches in diameter.  Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Slice the dough log into 1/3-inch thick slices and arrange on the lined sheets, about 1-inch apart.  Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. 


Cream Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich (from GRILLEDSHANE all things grilled cheese)

Ingredients
Cream cheese with Thyme and Chives
Heirloom Tomatoes
Seeduction Bread (from Whole Foods)

Preparation
Make it like you would any other grilled cheese…DUH!



Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Cleaning, Graffiti and As The Tennis Ball Turns Volume 3

The last few days have been devoted to getting the yard ready for spring.  I decided it was time to repaint some of my patio furniture.  Obviously this required spray paint, cardboard and beer.  There was this odd thing about putting the furniture on the cardboard. (It was handy that we had purchased boxes for our move to Shreveport that didn’t happen. It was like we knew we’d eventually need cardboard.  We are clairvoyant…except then I guess we wouldn’t have purchased the boxes in the first place.  Well whatever…WINNING!  BTW Clairvoyant would be a good name for a daughter, if you are considering baby names right now.)  The odd thing was all four dogs felt compelled to pee on the cardboard.  Apparently, they felt the cardboard was their property and everyone including the wrought iron furniture should be aware of this.  At one point, Harpo even came up to pee on it while I was painting.  It was tempting for me to pee on it, as well, but I resisted.  I peed where God intended us to pee…in the neighbor’s flower bed. 



All the spray painting got me to thinking.  I should be a renegade graffiti artist.  My spray-painted artistry would always include a giraffe and a toffee muffin somewhere in the masterpiece.  It seems reasonable if you’re going to do something that is spelled with two fs than the outcome should also be something with two fs.  I wouldn’t be your average graffiti riffraff ruffian; I would appreciate the double use of the letter f.  I’d also paint in the buff. My art would be so popular that people would raffle off my works.  I’m not bluffing, it would have that effect.  Other graffiti artists would be baffled and in a kerfuffle.  They would shuffle off in a huff. Sniff. But you’d know my work wasn’t fluff.  Okay wow that was pretty stupid…sorry.  I hope I didn’t offend.  Too much coffee and taffy, maybe.

I discovered after I wrote this and went looking for a picture that there was a graffiti artist who painted giraffes!  http://www.ohmanclothing.com/blog/?p=292

Speaking of stupid…I finished another volume of the dog soap opera, As the Tennis Ball Turns!


Friday, March 18, 2011

Freaky Friday Favorites

So I’m not totally sure what it means, but I’ve passed the 5,000 mark for page views on this blog.  I know if I saw 5,000 bottles of beer on the wall, had 5,000 people come over for a barbeque or just did 5,000 loads of laundry, I’d think that was a rather large sum.  So I’m gonna be proud of it.  I’m also a little proud of the fact that I have stuck to my resolution of posting to this blog every day.  I’ve done that now for 86 days straight.  That makes me both crazy and diligent.  It also makes today Friday and that means Freaky Friday Favorites.


Imagine my delight at looking up and seeing this!


*CLASSIC MOMENT*







*ODE TO STAR WARS*

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/9Zaqz9/designerscouch.org/view-log/Chipmunk-Adventures-1768




Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Token Irishman, Guinness Milkshake and St. Patrick's Day Wish for a Primordial

Nothing makes me want a Primordial Dwarf more than Saint Patrick’s Day!  This holiday was made for these adorably proportionate little buggers.  Now any other day, I’d clearly dress my primordial up as a Marvel Superhero or cowgirl, but today would be a special costuming day!  I’m sure you are thinking leprechaun, but that is just too cliché and quite frankly too Achondroplasia-like for my dwarf.  No today…it would be a Vegas showgirl costume!  I’m talking full feathers, glitter and sequins.  My primordial would, of course, be female, because that’d just be weird if it were a guy.  Naturally, the costume would also include roller-skates, for me and for her.  It just saddens me that another year is going to pass without my own primordial.  Oh additionally, I would let her pinch everyone today.  What a grand time we’d have.  Boo.  Maybe next year will be the year of the primordial, because, eventually dreams do come true.  In the meantime, perhaps you’re interested in some St. Patrick’s Day drinking options other than cheap green beer.
The Token Irishman (from Drago Centro)


Ingredients
2 ounces of Jameson Irish whiskey
3 drops Fee Brothers Mint Bitters
5-6 springs of fresh mint
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup (1 cup sugar combined with 1 cup water)
Splash of soda water


Preparation
Muddle the mint with the simple syrup.  Add the rest of the ingredients, shake and strain over ice in an old-fashioned glass.  Add splash of soda water and garnish with mint sprig.
  
Guinness Milkshake (from 25 Degrees)

Ingredients
3 jumbo scoops of premium vanilla ice cream
3 ounces chilled Guinness beer
2 ounces chocolate syrup
Preparation
Add the beer and chocolate syrup to the ice cream.  Mix just until blended; the mixture should be very thick. Drizzle inside of a glass with chocolate syrup and pour shake in. 
Both recipes make 1 drink or if you are making it for your primordial it makes 4 drinks.  Enjoy and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!