Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to help tornado victims with donations and other aids



Here is a relatively complete list of ways you can help the victims (human and animal) of the April 27 tornadoes.  The Birmingham News has compiled and is reguarly updating this list.  How to help tornado victims with donations and other aids 

Some of these sites are on the list above, but if you are a one-click type of person, I'll list them again.  The Governor's Relief Fund, Birmingham Mommy Tornado Relief List, The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.



Friday, April 29, 2011

Freaky Friday Favorites

I decided to express some of my thoughts today with a few photos.  I took the time, however, to make a few changes.  I hope everyone has a great Friday and that you enjoy this week’s Freaky Friday Favorites.












Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 27, 2011 Tornadoes

Growing up in Oklahoma, I have always been prepared for tornadoes.  We had regular drills in school and my parents stayed on us about knowing what to do.  However, no amount of preparedness or practice ever gets you ready for the destruction a tornado can leave in its wake.  My heart goes out to all the victims of the April 27 tornadoes.  It is just so sad and humbling.  The only silver lining is the spirit and generosity of people when a tragedy occurs.  An unselfish act is the greatest gift you can give someone in their time of need.  That is the beauty of the golden rule.  How nice would it be if it didn’t require a tragedy to bring about the best in the human spirit?

I mentioned growing up in Oklahoma.  Ironically, the only tornado that ever did any damage to my house was in Nashville, Tennessee.  I was three.  The tornado blew off part of our roof, did tons of damage to the side of the house and the yard and cracked several interior doors right down the middle.   It was very scary.  The things you never ever forget when you are in a tornado are:  the sudden stillness, silence and darkness followed by what sounds like a freight train overhead;  the scared looks on everyone’s faces; the screaming; the wind; the sound of things breaking and then silence again and finally sunlight.  I will never forget that or how lucky we were. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Santa Fe Fajita Stuff and Red Lobster Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

I’m now on day 3 of having less than 20 carbohydrates per day.  Traditionally, this is the worst day for me.  Carb withdrawal can be vicious.  I normally imagine myself breaking someone’s neck (international secret spy method, of course) for a warm roll.  My mood is bad.  The only joy I can muster today is yelling obscenities at the television when something else comes on about the damn upcoming royal wedding. 
Speaking of international spies, we went to see the movie Hannah last night.  All I know about that movie was it wasn’t very good.  There just seemed to be a lot of running, bad accents and Cate Blanchett scrubbing her gums to bleeding.  Additionally, during the movie all I heard was the crunching of carb riddled popcorn.  It seemed everyone, but me, had a jumbo bucket of popcorn. It was more tortuous then the endless running in the movie.  It was like a full-on crunching carb attack. Bad accent, crunch, crunch.  Running, crunch, crunch.  Gum bleeding, crunch, crunch.  Ugh it was horrible. 

Clearly, I won’t be having popcorn today.  The first recipe is what I will be making for dinner.  The next recipe is what I will imagine I am eating for dinner.


Santa Fe Fajita Stuff

Ingredients
A tablespoon or so of canola oil
Clove or so of garlic, minced
Handful of Tyson Grilled and Ready fully cooked chicken breast strips
Handful of yellow onion, peeled and sliced
Handful of red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
Handful of green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
Large spoonful of Philadelphia Cooking Crème Santa Fe Blend
Large Spoonful of salsa
Handful of shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation
Heat the oil in heavy skillet; add the garlic and onions and sauté over high heat for 2 minutes or so.  Add the bell peppers and chicken; cook over high heat for 4 minutes or so (until peppers have begun to have a blackened look around the edges).  Reduce heat and add Philadelphia Cooking Crème and salsa, heat for about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, plate, throw some cheese on top and serve.

 
Red Lobster Style Cheesy Garlic Biscuits (http://www.bisquick.bettycrocker.com/


Ingredients
2 cups buttermilk baking mix, Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ tsp garlic powder


Preparation
In mixing bowl, mix together baking mix, milk and cheese until a soft dough forms, then beat vigorously 30 seconds.  Drop from spoon onto ungreased baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Mix together butter and garlic powder, brush over biscuits and serve hot.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

“True” History Tuesday – Anne Boleyn’s Head

Clearly, most people know the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.  Who cannot be impressed with her ability to hold out and not only get her man, but also spark the start of the English Reformation?  Pretty impressive stuff.  Of course, the ultimate outcome was not so impressive for Anne…getting your head chopped off just never ends well for the beheaded.  What most people don’t know is what actually happened to Anne’s head. 

After Boleyn’s execution on May 19, 1536, Jane Seymour (Henry’s new hottie) sold Boleyn’s head to a strange woman named Dr. Quinn.  All that is really known about Dr. Quinn was that she was a medicine woman.  After Dr. Quinn, the head nodded off into obscurity for many many years.  Oddly enough, the head resurfaced again around 1764.  It was a favorite piano display for the eight year old, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  How Boleyn’s head ended up with the Mozart family is unknown.  What is known is that Wolfgang died at 36.  His family was so distraught that they sold Boleyn’s head to the highest bidder on EBay. 

The highest bidder was the well known headhunter, Ichabod Crane.  Crane was very proud of his collection of heads.  He had a special lighted, rotating display case.  The case contained the head of Goliath, John the Baptist, Mary Queen of Scots, General Holofernes and Kathryn Howard.  Naturally, Crane gingerly placed Boleyn’s head next to Howard’s.  He was big into theming his collection.  The head has remained in the Crane family for centuries with some additions, including the special French Revolution Collection.  Although repeatedly pressed, the Crane family has refused to allow the public to see their collection.  Thankfully, the family has promised to give the press a heads-up if they ever change their minds.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The "Non Diet" Diet

One of the things I’ve been doing in abundance since getting laid off is eating.  Ok I’m lying; I’ve pretty much mostly always done that.  I love food.  I love cooking it, growing it, buying it and eating it.  I love the way it brings people together.  Think about it…I bet a bunch of the good times you can remember in life revolve around food.  Sex is even better with food.  Nothing beats enjoying a savory vegetable lasagna, buttery garlic bread and creamy tiramisu at the same time you’re getting your freak on with the one you love…sure it’s messy, but good things come at a price and you can always repaint the walls.  That being said…I’m seriously starting to look like a cross between Boss Hogg from the Dukes of Hazzard and Sheriff Buford T. Justice from Smokey in the Bandit

When I look in the mirror, the old Joan Rivers joke comes to mind, “She’s got more chins than the Chinese phone book.”  It is time to shed a few pounds.  It isn’t because I want to be thin.  I’ll never be thin.  I do, however, want to physically feel better and I’d like my white suit and sheriff’s uniform to fit less snuggly around the middle.  I’ll torture myself for two weeks with a carb divorce and then I’ll do this really crazy weight loss plan called…eating less and actually going to the gym.  I’m never going to last on something called a diet.  I’m not stupid, I know I just need to change my ways and make better choices…like not mixing my vodka with a milkshake or putting chocolate chip cookies on my cereal in the morning.  I can do this.  I will do this.  That is all…you bunch of SOMS A BITCHES*.

*Disclaimer – I was in no way calling you, the reader, a son of a bitch.  I was merely bringing the Boss Hogg/Sheriff Buford T. Justice comparison full circle to complete this blog entry.  Both of the characters frequently cursed at their nemeses or is it nemesi (pluralization can be tricky) with a loud SOM BITCH.  The nemeses/nemesi I’m referring to would be: in the case of Boss Hogg, Bo and Luke Duke and in the case of Sheriff Buford T. Justice, Bandit and Cledus.  You, the reader, are not my nemesis, nemeses or even my nemesi.  I would never call you a son of a bitch, SOM BITCH or SOMS A BITCHES.  I will, however, often refer to you, male or female, as bitchez, BITCHEZ or my bitchez.  When I do that it is a term of endearment.  Thank you and that concludes this disclaimer.



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Caruso

Two things for today:  Happy Easter and David Caruso seriously gets on my nerves.  




Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kid Rock and Nicolas Cage

So I was reading this morning about Kid Rock.  He just turned 40 and he is really regretting the name “Kid Rock.”  Seems like a relatively slow news day when this is the opener on MSN.com.  I mean can’t you just privately regret your name seven or eight times like Sean Combs (Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy and whatever else) and just keep changing it without it making the news?  I mean seriously I’m way more interested in the latest with Nicolas Cage.  Getting arrested in New Orleans for having a drunken argument with you wife over if the house you are standing in front of is yours or not, is just good reading with your morning coffee.  I really am not a Nicolas Cage fan…although I think Raising Arizona was brilliant…I can’t forgive Con Air or basically just the sound that comes out of his mouth when he talks.  Also his facial gestures, I’m just not comfortable with them at all. 

At any rate, as I was reading I noticed some animal similarities to Kid Rock and Nicolas Cage.  If you remember, awhile back I analyzed how Steve Perry looked like a Peregrine Falcon.  Well…he does.  It dawned on me this morning that Kid Rock also looks a lot like a Screech Owl and Nicolas Cage resembles a Bull Mastiff.  Obviously the Bull Mastiff would have to be incredibly intoxicated and yelling at the police to really resemble Cage, but either way I think it is a little close.






Friday, April 22, 2011

Freaky Friday Favorites

Happy Friday and Happy Earth Day!!!!!  I hope you day is filled with pancakes and good times.  I also hope you enjoy this edition of Freaky Friday Favorites.










Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fisher Nutty Bacon Cheese Ball, Honey Basil Grilled Cheese and Red Velvet Cupcakes


It is really saying something when you are too full to write.  Lately, if it is food and it close enough for me to reach without making much effort, I’m going to eat it.  This particular party needs to come to an end soon.  I keep imagining myself as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man on Ghostbusters. I gotta take a food break, which is pretty hard when you LOVE food.  Somehow I’ll find a way, but before I do I should share these recipes with you.  Mmmmm food.
Fisher Nutty Bacon Cheese Ball (courtesy Paula Deen)
http://www.pauladeenridingthings.com/
Ingredients
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
½ cup of milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup (1 ounce) blue cheese
¼ cup finely, minced green onions (white part only)
1 jar diced pimento, drained
¾ cup pecans, divided
10  slices of bacon, cooked, drained, finely crumbled and divided
Salt and pepper
¼ cup minced parsley
1 tablespoon poppy seeds


Preparation
Place cream cheese in mixer bowl.  Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer.  Turn to speed two and mix 1 minute.  Stop and scrape bowl.  Turn to speed two and gradually add milk, mixing until well blended about 1 minute.  Stop and scrape bowl.  Add cheese, onions, pimentos, half of the bacon and half of the pecans.  Turn to speed four and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap.  Form into ball and wrap tightly.  Refrigerate at least two hours.  Combine remaining bacon and remaining pecans, parsley and poppy seeds in a pie plate.  Then, remove the plastic wrap and roll the cheese ball lightly in the bacon/nut mixture until evenly coated.  Wrap it back up in plastic wrap and refrigerate again until ready to use.

Honey-Basil Grilled Cheese (from http://www.yumsugar.com)

Ingredients
Multigrain bread
Strawberry tomatoes, thinly sliced
Part-skim mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Fontina cheese
Basil leaves
Honey to taste
Butter


Preparation
Spread one side of each slice of bread with desired amount of butter.  On the opposite side of the slices, spread a generous amount of honey, just enough to cover the surface.  Layer tomatoes, mozzarella, fontina and basil and fry sandwich evenly on each side.


Red Velvet Cupcakes (courtesy Paula Deen)

Ingredients
http://www.pauladeenridingthings.com/
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
http://www.pauladeenridingthings.com/

Ingredients
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar




Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 (12 cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer.  Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.  Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled.  Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through.  Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness.  Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the cream cheese frosting

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.  Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated.  Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.


 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Babysitter Torture


Am I the only one who got really excited on Friday nights when Love Boat and then Fantasy Island came on television?  Sure it was like thirty years ago, but it still is sort of thrilling to remember.  That was the night my parents usually went out and we had a babysitter.  This was BIG fun for me and my sister.  We had this game we played called “dinner.”  We wouldn’t go to bed until the babysitter ate the “dinner” we made for them.  We’d mix all sorts of awful things together.  If you imagine something like fruit loops, pepper, garlic salt, raw pasta, mushrooms and mustard all drenched in orange juice, you’ll get the idea.  We were mean. I would also try to scare them by saying stuff like “in 1890 I sang in a piano bar in Nebraska after surviving the cattle drives.”  I’d say it really serious with a far off look in my eyes. I would stay in character for hours. It was like my way of making them think I was having a past-life regression.  I was also Houdini a lot…that usually rattled them because they couldn’t find me.  I was normally hiding in a trunk. When the sitter opened the trunk, I would be in a trance-like state attempting to free myself from the ropes my sister had placed around my wrists, ankles and throat.  When I was kid, I read our World Book Encyclopedia as a hobby. Therefore, I had tons of information and a large pool of historical characters to regress and morph into.  We were so mean.  We never had the same babysitter for very long.  I should be more ashamed. 


Anyway, back to Love Boat and Fantasy Island.  When those shows came on, the poor hapless teenage girl who took the babysitting gig got a break.  These shows were just too important to continue whatever torture we were imposing.  Now don’t get me wrong, I had my “past-life regressions” during the regular commercial breaks or my sister might pull a Barbie doll head off with her teeth in an evil menacing gesture at the sitter, but otherwise Love Boat and Fantasy Island got our full attention.  The special guests arriving on the Pacific Princess or disembarking from the plane, the plane to meet Mr. Roarke and tattoo, were always so enticing.  You might have Charo and Kristy McNichol one week and then John Amos and Loni Anderson another Friday!  Eventually, babysitters stopped coming for obvious reasons and we were pretty sad that our torture capades were over, but the fun of watching Love Boat and Fantasy Island never waned until we matured enough to watch the shows and think WTF?!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Swimming in Beer


I love beer.  I’ve always loved beer.  I love free stuff.  I’ve always loved free stuff.  Finding a combination of beer and free is well just plain exciting.  When I looked up things to do in Tampa so we can have something to do before the Lady Gaga concert, I found the Yuengling Brewery tour.  It is a tour of the brewery plus two beers after the tour…ALL FREE!  Naturally, it was the first thing we did when we got to Tampa.  Inside the brewery the over powering smell of beer was heavenly.  It was very difficult to not jump in the brewing tanks and go for a swim.  If I had, I would have done it up right like Ester Williams and incorporated a synchronized swimming dance number while singing an appropriate beer song.  Clearly, I’d also be gulping beer with each perfectly timed leg lift.  I suspect if I had done that, they would have asked me to stay on board and swim daily for tour guests.  I’d learn to sew so I could make my own colorful aquatic costumes.  I’d be the number one beer tank synchronized swimmer in the world!   My picture would replace the eagle on the Yuengling bottles.  Generations would envy my abilities in the beer tank.  That’s what would have happened…if I had jumped in for a beer tank swim.


See I could have just jumped right in...


If you wanted to drink your way through one of these tanks you'd have to drink a six pack a day for 51 years.  I really need on of these for my backyard.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lady Gaga and My Six Month Laid Off Anniversary

The Lady Gaga Monster Ball was amazing!   I seriously have never gone to a better concert.  She performed her ass off.  She even called one fan in the audience on his mom’s cell phone (he was like 10) to invite them to meet her after the show.  Apparently, the little boy loves Lady Gaga and wearing his mom’s high heel shoes.   She didn’t lip synch and danced her way through every song.  It was awesome.  The thing I love the most about her though is how “different” she is and how her show/career is about accepting differences and being proud of who you are. 




Speaking of being “different” and proud of who you are…today is the six month anniversary of my being laid off.  It happened on a Sunday at 4:30pm.  Honestly, it seemed quite devastating at the time.  I had worked for this organization for eight years.  I was let go along with three other people.  The “different” part to me is the diversity that walked out the door (well escorted out the door) six months ago.  In addition, to the diversity, the absence of our combined hard work, creativity and fun approach to projects is and will continue to be missed.  The four of us have a shared moment in time and for all the difficulties and life changes, I’m pretty confident in saying all four of us are actually much happier and content then we were six months ago.  Traumatic events are designed to change you and it isn’t the event it is how you cope and morph after the event.  I would never change the eight years I spent with the organization.  It changed me and I changed them.  That chapter is closed, but the book is still in progress and I’m excited to keep turning the page.  In other words, “don’t hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you’re set, I’m on the right track, baby.”

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Villages and Lady Gaga


These last few days we’ve been visiting my partner’s parents in Florida.  They live in the giant retirement community called The Villages or as I like to call it The Republican Village.  It is like a Stepford Wives golfing playground for retirees.  They love it here and I love that they love it here.  We went golfing yesterday with Tiffany’s mom and saw an alligator.  I figure nine times out of ten when you see an alligator in The Villages it has been trained to eat liberals…so I kept my distance, but I did get a few pictures for you.



Today Tiffany and I are driving to Tampa.  We are touring the Yuengling Brewery and then going to see Lady Gaga.  I’m so excited I actually just peed a little while typing that.  I decided in honor of Lady Gaga, I’d show you a video I made about a year ago.  So for those of you who watched my recent dog soap operas and thought, “wow she has way too much time on her hands,” I made this video when I was gainfully employed and really busy.  It goes deeper than a too much time on my hands issue.  It is my art and I can’t help myself.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Freaky Friday Favorites

Being on vacation from your “vacation” from employment, really makes knowing what day it is difficult.  I turned on the news this morning and was surprised to discover that it is Friday.  So Happy Friday Bitchez!!!!!


epic fail photos - Timing FAIL
see more funny videos, and check out our Yo Dawg lols!
funny pictures - Oops.  I accidentally released the Kracken.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!





Law Prohibits Nation's Shawnas From Using Tanning Beds


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh Damn...I Ripped My Pants


Have you ever noticed that when you rip your pants it never happens at a “good” time?  Never will this occur when you are home alone within easy distance of another pair of pants.  Nope, if it happens at home, it will be with a roomful of guests playing Dance Dance Revolution.  You’ll obviously be the one in the front, closest to the television; everyone else behind you has a clear view of your arse. You, of course, won’t know that a major fracture has occurred in your pants as you get your groove.  And naturally, you’d also be wearing your worst granny panties.  Or you’ll be rushing to important job interview, doing what you can to calm your nerves and psyche yourself up to brilliantly answer questions.  Your pants won’t rip while you wait.  The pants will rip just after you shake your interviewer’s hand and sit down.  The unmistakable sound of overworked fabric ripping fills the room.  Time stands still. 


I actually had my pants rip doing an educational outreach at my former job.  It was an animal show.  And for the record, I was pretty damn good at those shows.  The children were enthralled.  I was discussing hibernation and I bent down to give the group of second graders a better look at the ornate box turtle in my hand and….RRRRRRRIP.  I knew what had happened immediately, but what do you do? The show must go one.  Learning doesn’t wait for a new pair of pants.  I continued the show and did the best maneuvering known to man to hide the gaping hole in the backside of my pants.  The school had booked five, back to back shows that day.  The pants ripping happened during the first show.  I sidestepped and spun in ass hiding moves through each of those shows, but I did it.  And when it was all said and done, I left that school and treated myself to a dipped cone from Dairy Queen.  Because clearly consuming more calories is the best way to avoid another precarious ripping pants situation.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Amazing and the Weird of Pensacola

There truly are some amazing views in Pensacola, Florida.  Along with the views, there are some really weird things for sale, too.  I got you pictures of both the amazing and the weird.

A view of the bay = amazing


A giant airbrushed gorilla = weird


The Gulf of Mexico = amazing


A WWII and football Mermen hanging from a string = weird


A school of rays swimming in the bay at night = amazing


Giant airbrushed images of Jack Nicholson, Tigers and Abraham Lincoln = weird


A giant merman serving a martini...a guess making him a mermaid = weird