• a variety of fine pickles •

...has MOVED to http://redhotjezebel.typepad.com/




the shiner, the spammer & the humdinger

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all i wanted was a damn piece of candy.
werther's, to be precise. michael had them, and he sits four desks away from me. i said "cookie! (i call him "cookie".) throw me a werther's!" i'm a very good catch.
he threw me a werther's, and i caught it like an outfielder catching the would-be homerun to end the world series. it was beautiful. okay, so maybe that's a little dramatic, but it was a damn good catch, and truly a thing of beauty. michael must have been impressed, because he kept throwing them to me. two, then three, then uh-oh.
the fourth one was a little low, and would have landed in my neighbor alisa's desk if he'd thrown it any shorter; instead, it ricocheted off of the outside of her cubicle, and imbedded itself in the soft, fleshy part of my face just under my eye and my eye socket. it made this horrible noise when it hit me and i swear for a split second, i thought my eyeball was going to shoot out of it's socket. it did this "bouncy" thing, and although i couldn't see it, it felt like it bulged out just a little bit.
so, naturally i have a black eye now. my right eye. black in the inner corner, following the contour under my eye to about 3/4 of the way to the outside of my eye. pretty.
poor cookie; he felt horrible. i milked it for all it was worth. it's alright, really. my eye is fine. nothing more now than soreness, a little swelling still, and a burgeoning shiner.
i was supposed to go to cookie's going away party tonight but i have been getting a horrible headache for the last couple of hours. i came home after work today at 4, and laid down for a little nappy, dozed off and woke up with the beginnings of a splitting headache. i've done everything i know to do: caffeine, a loading dose of tylenol, accupressure; nothing has worked. i'm not sure if i'm going to cookie's party tonight or not.
i got SPANKED by spammers today on my blog. damn spammers! they hit most of my recent blogs at least twice, and there's no way to remove specific comments from blogger posts, just to hide the exising comments and disable future comments. i had to turn on word verification so if you comment on my posts in the future, sorry for the hassle.
oh my god, somebody please hit me over the head with a mallet and put me out of my misery. a little concealer would be nice as well.


it's true it's true

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james blunt. he's cute. i'd go so far as to say that he's sexy, in a scrawny, pasty english sort of way. i've always had a weakness for scrawny pasty english boys. i'll also admit that he's talented, and may god bless him in all of his artistic endeavors.
but for the love of crap, SHUT UP. okay. she's beautiful. we GET IT. if i hear that damn falsetto warbling "you're beautiful" one more time i'm going to shoot myself in the face.
on one of my days off this week, i woke up really early - like 4am, and couldn't go back to sleep, so i turned on the tv and in lieu of watching some infomercial about something that i probably already have, i made the mistake of turning the station to VH1. i kid you not, in an hour and a half, they played that damn video FOUR TIMES. the end of the video dipicts him jumping into the water from a high cliff; about the third time it came on, i started wishing i'd see his lifeless body bobbing at the surface of the water after he'd jumped. no luck, they played it again about twenty minutes later.
it's storming here right now - thunder and lightning, pouring rain. about 65 degrees. the windows are open, and i should be in bed right now as i have to wake up at 5 tomorrow morning to go to work.
i had two bowls of cereal with 1% milk on my days off and now my ears itch. i shouldn't be drinking milk due to my allergy, but damn it, i love milk, and i love special k with fruit & yogurt. it's awesome, so the itchy ears are worth it. sort of.


sweet melissa & kabuki drag queens

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ay dios mio! i don't want to go to work tomorrow. it's midnight, and i'm as awake as i've ever been, and i'm going to regret it come 7am tomorrow morning.
scratch that. this morning.
i feel like i got a lot accomplished today, though. i bought and potted a bunch of herbs for my side porch; can't plant them in the ground as the squirrels will dig under them to bury pecans from all the pecan trees in my yard.
i planted lavender, lemon thyme, lemon bee balm (sweet melissa, or melissa officionalis), sweet basil, chives & something else that escapes me at the moment but i'm too lazy to get up and go to my porch. i also planted the six rosemary bushes alongside my driveway, and two hydrangeas in big pots on my side porch. gorgeous.
i framed two vintage european advertisement prints, hung one in my bedroom and the other in my kitchen.
drank a dirty hooker martini and watched "i shot andy warhol", one of my favorite movies starring one of my favorite actresses, lily taylor. i love her. i have a s.c.u.m. magnet on my fridge that i got the day i saw that movie when i lived in dallas, watched it at the inwood theatre.
after my second dirty hooker martini, i got the bright idea to do the self portraits i meant to do on tuesday, as seen above. the others can be seen here or on flickr. i um, experimented with reds on my eyes; i won't try and fool anyone into thinking that i applied anything other than lipstick to my eye lids - who has red eyeshadow? not me. i do have tons of red lipstick though, so i went with what i had.
after all the red on my eyes, two sets of false eyelashes and a generous application of lip gloss, i ended up looking like a kabuki drag queen with greasy pork chop lips had mated with one of the vapid guitar-playing bimbos in a robert palmer video.
i'm okay with that.
if i've said it once, i've said it a thousand times: sometimes a girl just needs to get painted up like trash. it does wonders for the self esteem.
and martinis don't hurt, either.



why would you call someone you're not certain if you know or not, and when they answer, ask "who's this?" don't do this to me, because you'll only be met with "well, who were you calling for?" i'm not so dumb as to tell you with whom you're speaking. especially not if you sound like some dirty old man with four teeth in your head.
and when i do say "well, who were you calling for?" if you decide to get lippy with me, expect to be hung up on. and when you call back repeatedly and ask every time "who is this?" expect to be told "it's the person who's about to use her connections with phone companies and the police to arrest your stupid ass for harassment."
and when you call back again and tell me in a not-so-pleasant voice "quit hanging up on me, bitch!" expect me to tell you "stop calling me then, you asshole." and when you tell me "i ain't no asshole!" you should always expect me to laugh at you, berate you for being a fifty-year old drunk prank caller with nothing else to do while you're waiting for your welfare check to come in the mail and why are you at home anyway? did somebody steal your 'will work for food' sign?"
that's when the phone calls stopped.
how the hell did it get to be thursday already? i have to go to WORK tomorrow. how badly does that suck?
spent all morning on my hands and knees in my front yard pulling weeds and errant grass out of the flower bed that separates my driveway from my yard, and i planted the rosemary bushes i bought the other day. yay! i love rosemary, and it's so hearty here in texas. we need plants like that that grow under almost any circumstance or climate. any weed that cleverly disguises itself as a "plant" or better yet, and "herb" is perfect. i'm going to go herb shopping this afternoon i think, and plant a bunch of different varieties in clay pots on my side porch because it gets great sun and great shade. i love my porch. i'd really like to get rid of the porch-swing-of-death and replace it with a lovely bistro table and chairs as well. that's a perfect spot for coffee in the mornings because of the indirect sunlight.
nobody cares about my plants so i'll stop.
although i did fire my lawn guy today after waiting for TWO WEEKS for him to show, calling him countless times and leaving voicemails and actually speaking to him and being assured time and again that he'd be out to do my yard.
made a lovely roast chicken last night with perfect baked potatoes. baked a homemade apple pie with a lovely streusel topping. from scratch even! had apple pie for breakfast this morning. good 'n good fer ya.
off to the nursery for potting soil, clay pots and herbs o'plenty!


wednesday morning carnage


i must have missed a nest, or maybe there was another bluejay massacre committed by a jealous father bluejay. or a serial murdering cat. i don't know.

all i know is that hank has been dragging dead baby birds up on my deck again this morning. it's just now 10am, and he's already brought two onto the deck. to my horror, hank had, shall i say, been playing with them.

chewing on them is more accurate.

this is my pennance for poisoning the rats.

it's been two weeks since i've seen a rat, dead or alive. i'm assuming they're dropping like flies and when the weather turns warmer my attic is going to reek with dead rodent stench.
still, no rats is good. so now i have dead birds.

i had to move into a house with a thousand pecan trees in the back yard...


cs, stamps, knife fights & baby birds

11 comments



day 1 of 3 days off of work. glorious.
i woke up this morning, on my day off, not at 9am, not at 10am. i woke up at 4am. seriously, 4am. what is this, a getting-older thing? i woke up from the craziest dream about my friend sara in new york. i dreamed i went to visit her in new york and suffice it to say, hilarity ensued including screaming matches, knife fights, driver-less cars and name calling. it was wacky to be certain.
took a nap around 11am. showered. went out and bought stamps. bought a galvanized dogfood can. grabbed a salad from wendy's. came home and hung my head in shame because i could not figure out why the program i attempted to install last night would NOT install. talked to my friend ed.
problem solved. program running. ed ROCKS.
i've been waiting for jesse the lawn guy to show up since saturday. still nothing. in the mean time, my grass is getting taller and taller, making me look trashier and trashier. i've even talked to him twice, and he assured me he'd be here today. mentiroso!
i've been playing with my new program all afternoon, thanks again to ed. editing a photo order and am nearly finished with some beautiful photos for my friend jann. planning on using it tomorrow afternoon as well; i've been toying with the idea of revamping my website again. i do this about every six months or so; i completely renovate the page, sort of like rearranging the furniture. all the same elements will be present, just a little different. don't have any idea what i want to do to it yet, but i would like to update my portrait on the site as well, and will probably do that tomorrow. i'm thinking something a little more bold. there might be false eyelashes involved, but at this point i can't make any promises. i may end up looking like a drag queen. i'm okay with that.
i let my dogs in the house this afternoon from being outside for about an hour. ever since i found the dead rat on my deck that my dogs had apparently been playing with, i've been eyeballing the deck pretty well whenever i let them in the house. so far, since i found that rat a couple of weeks ago, i haven't seen anything out of the ordinary until today. there was a dead baby bird on my deck. no feathers except on it's tiny wings, eyes were still closed, couldn't have been more than a week old. poor pitiable little thing, probably got kicked out of the nest, and my dogs found it and schlepped it up onto my deck. i disposed of the tiny bird and went about the rest of the day.
this exact event happened two more times with two more dead birds ending up on my deck. the other two birds were a little less mangled than the first, and it was clear that they were baby bluejays. i decided to take a walk around the back yard to see if there was a bird's nest that had been upset. maybe a cat had gotten to it. i can't imagine a mama bird kicking three of her young out of the nest, but i remembered reading somewhere that male bluejays after having fathered a clutch of eggs will often upset the nests of other bluejays if the mother is away. that must be what had happened, because i found a total of six dead baby birds in my back yard; one all by itself, and then three within about a foot of each other under a different tree, then two more that looked like they'd been moved by one or both of my dogs.
i dug a good-sized hole and had a little baby bird funeral. i marked it with a rock.
things like that always remind me that none of us are bullet proof.


fireflies! now available in plaid!

3 comments

the installation started out like a dream - quick, click-click, done. click here to install. sure! "please wait while the shared components for xxx are being installed. this may take several minutes."
that was an hour and a half ago, and it's still installing. call me psychic, but i get the distinct impression that somethin' ain't goin' right. i looked in my file directory, and it looks to be there - but i'm not a complete idiot; i do know that looks can be decieving. the proof is in the pudding. it'll all come out in the wash. a stich in time saves nine. never put anyting in your ear larger than your elbow.
why why WHY can't things go smoothly? because, melissa, that would be too damn easy, that's why.
on a brighter note, while i was waiting for this damn program to install, i went outside and watered the plants and flowers that i spent part of the day planting yesterday. i turned the corner to the side of my house and caught something out of the corner of my eye; it was green, and bright and very familiar. it was a firefly; the first firefly i've seen this season.
i love fireflies. they make me feel like a child, although i don't recall ever having seen a firefly until i was in my twenties. i saw the first firefly i can ever remember seeing in the front yard at my friend leilani wilma odell's house after we'd spent the day at scarborough faire. i was exhausted, sunburned, and couldn't wait to wash the dirty hippie stink off of me. a few years later, someone told me that fireflies aren't always greenish-yellow; he said "did you know fireflies come in different colors in different parts of the country?", which cracked me up. it sounded like they were available for purchase in the color of your choice, depending on your region; subject to availability and participation.
i ran in the house tonight to grab my camera, but by the time i got all the way back out the front door, they had moved on to a neighbor's yard. the elusive firefly. i love them so.
i'm off work for the next three days, tuesday, wednesday and thursday, and i could not be more excited about it. plans? none. i'm taking it eeeeeeeasy for the next three days.
or installing this damn program.


raw brownie batter and a PSA

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this is not a PSA about the gastronomical dangers of eating raw brownie batter.
quite the contrary.

i relish my time in the shower.
i look forward to it, and am no stranger to showering three times a day just to indulge in beautifully scented bath & shower products. i'm a whore for good bath products.
my favorite of all time is prescriptives' calyx shower gel. that is the cleanest i ever feel, after a shower with calyx.
i may be a whore for good shower products, but i'm certainly no snob about them. i'll just as soon use a shower gel that cost five bucks as one that cost four or five times that amount. just so long as the scent turns me on, that's all i care about.
that being said, i'm not one of those sun-ripened raspberry shower gel kinds of people. while there are a few scents at bath & body works that i really like (my favorite is their peony) all the fruitiness sort of gets to me. the sweet-fruity is what i like the least, although i am currently nursing a bottle of peach-mandarin that was given to me for christmas, and i just love it. i can't detect even the slightest hint of peach in it, or mandarin for that matter. it's much more like ruby-red grapefruit; heady, brightly citrusy, nearly bitter. i love it.
as i was paying the receptionist yesterday after getting my hair cut, i was nearly overwhelmed by the array of scented goodies at the receptionist's desk, most notably a display for "fresh baked", a line of shampoo & body wash with interestingly chosen bathing scents.
the scents were cinnamon roll, apple pie, chocolate brownie and one more that i don't recall. i was skeptical about these scents for the shower; maybe a candle, but stepping out of the shower smelling like a brownie seemed a little... over eaters anonymous.
it was right up my alley.
i do love chocolate. as a soapmaker i used to make a lovely chocolate soap, heavy with cocoa butter and with cocoa powder. it was delicious, and had that unmistakable cocoa butter scent. i expected this "chocolate brownie" to smell similar to that, as nothing ever smells like a chocolate brownie when it's marketed as such. it just doesn't happen.
it didn't happen this time, either. i opened the lid and lowered my nose, then inhaled... the scent definitely wasn't that of a fresh baked chocolate brownie, as the label claimed. no, not at all.
it was better.
it was precisely the scent of chocolate brownie batter. when i say "precisely", let me make clear that i mean exactly. it smells exactly like chocolate brownie batter smells, and i would certainly know what chocolate brownie batter smells like. rarely do i make brownies that are any higher than an inch after they're baked, because i've eaten most of the raw batter. brownie batter is one of my favorite "secret eatings", and it's long been tradition in my family amongst the women who bake in the kitchen: we all sneak batter before we bake anything, and licking the beaters is cook's treat, as my grandmother and mother both say. i go a little farther than that, and break out the silicone spatula and scrape every molecule of batter off of every surface of the bowl after i pour the intended amount into the baking pan. let me also say this: i get the bowl clean.
i purchased the bottle of chocolate brownie scented bath gel, and i have to admit i was a little embarrassed at the thought of actually buying it to use it. i know that's silly, but i really did. i had to stop myself from saying something like "my sister will love this! her birthday's coming up." but realized that would just be stupid, and completely over-compensating for no reason at all. i shelled out the cash for it, and left to run the rest of my errands. it sat next to me in the passenger seat the whole time, and i think it was actually calling to me. the urge to cancel the rest of my appointments was very strong, but i resisted, and kept all of my engagements.
when i got home though, i was stripping down from the second i locked the front door and was naked by the time i got to the kitchen. i walked straight into the bathroom and turned on the shower, unwrapped the bottle of glorious brownie batter scented goodness, and stepped into the shower...
by the time i got out, the water had been running cold for several minutes. i scrubbed each and every inch of my being with my new shower gel. when i emerged, my bathroom smelled just like the empire baking company in dallas. it was unbelievable.
as hesitant as i am to shower with food-scented bath products, i have to recommend fresh baked chocolate brownie wholeheartedly to anyone with any sort of chocoholism. be prepared for your water bill to triple.
BONUS! my post about squat lobster is now officially a PSA! i received an email today from someone who found my post to be most informative:
"I was googling "Squat Lobster" for recipes and came across your blog. Thanks for the heads-up, I try not to serve guests hermit crabs. Thank god the store took them back after I brought the bag and a printout of your blog! I was able to trade them in for fresh muscles[sic] and salmon. I love living in the Pacific Northwest!Anyways, thanks again."
my work here is done.


day of beauty, id est "feet of mass destruction"

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BONUS! grody new photo of dead rat from previous post!

in a good shoe, i wear a size 6. but an 7 feels so good, i buy a size 8. (name that movie!)
it's amazing what a little spackle'll do for a girl. every once in a while, it just feels good to get all painted up like trash. pretty = feels good. it's a fact, jack.
after long having neglected my vanity and appearance due to work, photography et al, i decided that today was the day to patch a few things up. i had an old fashioned day of beauty. a girl absolutely must take time out to pamper herself, and that i did.
i started out by taking care of business, having the oil changed and the fuel injectors cleaned in my car. i then drove myself to the first of three beauty salons where i got my hair did, my eyebrows waxed and had a nearly two hour pedicure.
two hours? you ask. yes, two hours. why two hours? you ask. well, i'll tell you.
i had a two hour pedicure because unlike normal people, i don't have feet attached to the ends of my legs; i have hooves. like a damn goat.
everybody gets a callous every now and then, that's just natural. i on the other hand don't get callouses every once in a while; i get callouses on my callouses. i can get a callous by walking to my car from the pedicurist's station. no kidding, i have the crunchiest feet in all the land. on the rare occasion that i walk barefoot on my hardwood floors, you'd swear someone was tapdancing.
i have two teeny-tiny extra bones in both of my feet, right in the ball of the foot. i'm some sort of mutant. apparently, according to the witch doctor who diagnosed me with these chernobyl bones, (he actually did use the word "mutated" at one point in the conversation) it's a "condition" that's not all that rare. one in every two million people have these crazy bones in their feet.
our last census revealed a population of 295,734,134 in the US. now, i'm no wizard, but if my calculations are correct, this mystery-bone anomaly isn't exactly rampant if you get my meaning. what a freak.
i'm referring to myself of course, and well, also that fruitcake doctor.
these little bones cause me to have extremely wide feet. like, landbarge wide. pair that with an extremely high arch, then top it off with really slendar heels, and you have yourself a first-rate shoe-shopping nightmare. it's always fun going shoe shopping. heh. i remember that time a few years ago; i went shopping for a pair of heels and i got so lucky! i found a pair of medieval torture-devices that almost fit me after only seven shoe stores! ha! what a fun day that was... good times.
seriously. when i find a good pair of shoes, i buy them. if i have to prostitute myself for the money to buy them, i'm alright with that. i'm not proud. i buy them. i have about twenty pair of shoes in my shoerack, and i wear about 3 pair of them. the others? pipe dreams. beautiful, insanely expensive pipe dreams.
the two hour pedicure today was spent mostly removing the callouses from the bottoms of my feet. they hack those things off with razor blades. it looks like they're planing a wooden plank; by the time she got done with both of my feet, i swear i could have built another whole human foot with the dna that was laying on the floor. then the scrubbing block action started. they've actually broken one of those things on my foot before from scrubbing so fervently. that's humiliating.
"how'd your pedicure go?"
"i broke the equipment."
"again?"
i am currently enjoying baby's-butt-smooth feet, and will continue to enjoy them for the remainder of the time they'll stay smooth and callous-free. i've got about twenty minutes left.


former hundred-aire : the melissa mcgee story

5 comments

this has indeed been a very freaky friday.
i woke up early - and by early, i do indeed mean stupid early - to catch up on email, finish a slide show for a photo client, purchase some badly needed software for the new laptop, and drink copious amounts of very strong coffee.

it rained all night long, and it seems a window in my car wasn't quite closed. okay, wasn't closed. the rear passenger window. the floorboards of my car were full of water, and by full of water, i mean about 2 inches. what a grody mess to clean up when you're already running late for work. how the hell do you get that much water out of your floorboards? well, you start by filling up cupful after cupful of rainwater and slinging it into the unsavory neighbor's yard. hey, they knocked a branch off of my tree; i can sling scrummy rainwater into their damn yard.
then, when you are sick and tired of bailing out your floorboards you break down and drive to the car wash, and try not to let anybody see you vacuuming the water out of your car like a ninja. you wonder if you're about to be electrocuted or if there's going to be a poster with your crudely-drawn likeness crafted with a sharpie, headlined with something like "industrial vacuum wrecker!". if it were spelled "wrekker" i would laugh and be proud it was me.
in a twist of irony, after draining lake floorboard, i dropped off my water bill payment. i derived strange satisfaction from that for some reason.
i stopped by my ATM machine for a little mad-money style cash, and drove to starbucks. when i got to work, i still had about 15 minutes to spare, so called the cable company to make an automated payment, where my DEBIT CARD WAS DECLINED. what? um, i just used it about 5 minutes ago, not to mention that i checked my balance this morning before i left the house - and unless i inadvertently purchased some swampland, i have plenty of money - i just got paid.
in another twist of irony, or maybe it's coincidence, preciesly as i was listening to the automated lady-bot tell me "YOUR CARD IS DECLINED YOU ARE A LOSER STOP CALLING US", i heard the voicemail notification beeping in my ear - so i hung up and called my voicemail, where i heard someone called mark in a state of utter confusion; he was saying "ms. mcgee? are you there? ms. mcgee?" over and over - apparently i am his first experience with voicemail. i didn't know you could still pop a voicemail cherry in 2006. then i heard where he was calling from:
"i'm calling from bank xxxxxxxx ATM card fraud department. i guess you're not there. i'm terminating the call." (card declined + credit card fraud = my irony.)
well, HELL YES i freaked out. the whole declined card thing started to make a little sense when i heard that, but it did nothing to un-freak me out. i had these visions of sitting in a halfway house drinking cooking sherry and wearing men's shoes while watching a lifetime television for women movie about my life story after somebody stole my identity and took me for everything i had. that would be hundreds. starring delta burke, of course.
i got on the horn and contacted my friendly banking customer service representative who hadn't the foggiest idea of what the hell to do with this panicked woman in a near tizzy, spouting off about credit cards, checking acounts and suzanne sugarbaker. i was transferred, probably 400 times, and then landed in the lap of a lady who asked me about 10 quick questions, for which i had all the answers (and i didn't even study!) who informed me that due to unusal activity they had frozen my card and would now be re-activating it. unusual activity? i made about 5 purchases totalling close to $150. okay, sure it was in the space of about 2 hours - but where the hell was this freeze-happy fraud hound when i spent 2 grand ON MY LUNCH BREAK once? or for that matter, any number of the times i go depression-shopping and end up having to cool the card down in an ice-water bath because it's getting so much action? where is he then? HUH???
seriously, i am very grateful that somebody's watching out for me. it's nice to know that if some dim-witted idiot decided to steal my debit card, maybe i'd get tipped off before he realized that he ripped off somebody with no money, and blew my tens of dollars at monkey ward.
it was exhausting, and then it was over. no fraud, no identity-theft, no lifetime movie starring delta burke... thank god.


do i even WANT to get married?

6 comments

before there are any conclusions hastily jumped-to, no, i'm not getting married. that's the whole point of this post. i'm not getting married; maybe i'm never getting married.
despite the severe lack of a requisite significant other, i've been thinking a lot about getting married lately. not so much the act of getting married, but the state of being married. the older i get, the less i think that a) being married is for me and b) i'll ever get married. honestly, i don't think i'm the marrying kind.
i think there are too many things i want to do in my life to be able to rationalize being married to someone. hell, if i could marry me i wouldn't do it; that's just way too much of another person, even if it's the person i know the best in the world. i like being single. i like not having to adhere to anyone's schedule but my own. i like not having to answer to anyone but me if i leave the cap off of the toothpaste. (which, incidently, i would never do. especially my fabulous marvis toothpaste.) i like decorating the way i want to decorate and not having to humor someone's tackiness of taste for the sake of a relationship. how many relationships have suffered stress due to a horrible hand-me-down chair or a black velvet painting of dogs playing poker? thank you, no. and of course, i like standing at my kitchen sink at 3am wearing nothing but a tshirt, spoon in hand, devouring an avocado liberally sprinkled with kosher salt. yep, eating it right out of the peel. i like doing that, and i like not having to explain it or secret-it away from anybody. my friend matt understands that.
the truth is this: i am surrounded on all sides by people ending bad marriages, regretting their recent marriages and still reeling from horrible relationships that ended eons ago. that's quite a dose of reality, really. i know very few married couples who are truly happy, and who truly want to be around each other when they can. what's to say that the person i marry would want to be around me when he was able to? or, that i'd want to be around him for that matter?
i've never been married, but more importantly, i've never been divorced. i know that i would have a very hard time dealing with a divorce, only because i know myself so well. i'm certainly not begrudging anybody's relationship; maybe i should clarify that earlier when i mentioned that "i know very few married couples who are truly happy" that i actually do know a few couples who are happy. i don't mean to imply that it's my opinion that a happy marriage is a myth; my parents are a perfect example of a happy couple, and they're not the only couple i know who are truly happy being married.
is marriage really a sacred bond? is it really just a piece of paper? is it really something that should be legal to heterosexual couples only? honestly, i don't think so. marriage is love is two people is forever is blind to gender in my opinion, but that's a whole different post, and i haven't the fortitude to go into that right now. suffice it to say: if you don't think gay people should get married, don't get married to a gay person. no harm, no foul.
i am set in my ways. i'm something of a creature of habit, and seriously, i'm okay with that. if i never find "the perfect man" to share the rest of my life with, well, i'm becoming more and more okay with that, too. i was certain once that i had found the perfect man, and could NOT have been more wrong. if i had tried to be wrong, i still couldn't have been more wrong. i'm a pretty good judge of character, but that asshole somehow got right under my radar. i no longer trust my judgement when it comes to the character of a potential partner. at this point in my life, it's more important not to feel that way ever again than it is to risk it just to be married, or at the very least to be in a relationship. it's not worth it.
if he happens to come along, great. if he wants to marry me, well, maybe.
he, of course, being the real perfect man. the genuine article, if he still exists.
there's nothing that says i have to get married to him, right?

well, nothing except maybe my mother.


the importance of eye contact

2 comments

i had terrible, horrifying dreams last night, and tossed and turned and generally didn't get a lot of sleep; still somehow when my alarm clock went off, i felt more rested than i have felt in weeks after "a night's sleep", a phrase i use in the loosest form.
i actually surprised myself by being in such a good mood this morning, even before the requisite two cups of coffee before showering. the morning ticked on without incident, and at around 8:50am, i was driving to starbucks, as i do every single morning of every single workday. there was an unusually long line in the drivethrough, my normal m.o. for starbucks, so i parked and went inside.
i was greeted by the happy, caffeinated faces i'm accustomed to, and didn't even have to verbalize my order, just greet everyone and answer "yes! thank you!" to the question "quad espresso & pumpkin loaf?" and within about 2 minutes, they were handing me my white paper cup full of nectar of the gods and a little slice of pumpkin loaf heaven. i thanked my favorite morning people and turned to go, accidently bumping the arm of a lady passing in the opposite direction.
since she was already behind me, i said "oh, pardon me." and kept walking when i heard her say "excuse you, bitch!"
it didn't take but a second or two to deduce that she probably hadn't heard me say "pardon me" at all, beause she was deaf. i would hate for this to come across as a generalization, so if it does, i apologize ahead of time: i could tell she was deaf by her speech.
instantly, after realizing that she hadn't heard me, i felt horrible. she must have thought that i hadn't cared enough to apologize after bumping into her. i turned around after having heard what she said and for a brief moment we made eye contact, but it was after the fact, and didn't matter any more. my expression must have been befuddled confusion, and hers was certainly anger. it was an accident. still, i felt horrible.
driving to work, the good mood i'd been fostering so preciously all morning was all but wrecked. thank god i had some espresso. still, something was eating at me: just as i had assumed she must have heard me, she had assumed that i hadn't said anything in apology.
in fairness, i suppose i shouldn't assume that my apologies never fall on, pardon the pun, deaf ears. in the same vain, wouldn't it be prudent for a hearing-impaired individual not to make the assumption that just because they hadn't heard an acknowledgement of some sort that said acknowledgement never occurred? does that even make sense?
sure, i'm totally over-thinking the entire thing. maybe she's forgotten about it completely by now. maybe she didn't give it another thought after she cast "bitch" at me like she did. maybe she's accustomed to being pushed around and had finally had enough. maybe i was her breaking point.
whatever the situation was that caused her reaction, i did learn a valuable lesson today: a little eye contact never hurt anybody. i'll definitely make eye contact next time, no matter how big a hurry i think i might be in.
and now for something completely different: this is hilarious! i did it over and over and over - and it always got my songs right! you tap your spacebar to the beat of a song, and if you have any kind of rythym, the results are amazing - it gets it right every time! save it for a pleasant work diversion...


h-o-t.

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it's going to get up to 97 today. that is all.


heaviness and light

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things are sort of heavy right now. every once in a while, everybody has a little bit of extra heaviness in their life; mine is right now. lots of things going on, and i can handle it, but it's just sort of bearing down on me as a singular weight that keeps getting heavier and heavier.
there are a few things going on in my family right now and, although i'm not going to go into detail, suffice it to say that they're extrememly heavy. everybody's fine, really. there's just this outside influence that is making everybody completely miserable. it goes so much deeper than that, but i haven't the energy to expound, nor do i want to give any credit to this pox by even mentioning it's name. what's that saying? something about naming evil and giving it strength. i won't do that. pox works for me just fine.
the job hunt has yeilded a few very exciting nibbles and some signifigant interest in my resume, which is definitely good; as i mentioned a few days ago, a little scary in a thrilling, exciting way. i'm coping with it well, though. that's stress i can definitely handle.
i realize that i just had five days off in a row last week, including the weekend, but damn it, i need a vacation. a real, honest-to-goodness vacation. i'm hoping to be able to take about two weeks off between jobs to clear my head, find myself a little bit and reeeelaaaaaaax. i don't think i know how to relax anymore; relaxation is usually me in bed, stiff as a board, all clenched up trying to force myself to go to sleep. that's not relaxed. i'm not really a drinker, or i'd have one of those old fashioned night caps to knock myself out. i have a cocktail every now and then. i'm not a big wine drinker because i get wicked sulfite headaches. beer is wonderful if i'm drinking it with friends, not dogs.
i don't sleep well. i have never slept well. my grandmother and i both routinely go through bouts of insomnia, not sleeping for days at a stretch. night after night after night, no sleep, even with the help of a sleep-aid. sleeping pills are tricky for me; you have to take them at just the right time, and you've got scarcely little room in that window. if you miss it, it's too late and you'll oversleep or feel all drugged the next day. i really don't like taking any sort of sleeping pill, over-the-counter or prescription, but when it gets desperate, i'll break down and rish oversleeping just to get some shuteye.
i'm not at that point just yet. i'm getting just enough sleep lately to be able to function pretty well. i can tell i'm tired, and i can tell i look tired, but apparently it's not completely obvious to everybody else.
on top of everything else, it was hot today. not just mildly hot. not warm. it was hot. nearly 100 degrees. am i crazy, or is this only april 17th? i mean, this is texas - but it's rarely this hot this early in the year. that tells me that summer is going to kick my ass this year. i have no pigment in my skin; if you hold me up to the light, you can see right through me. i'm the color of typing paper. and i'm a redhead. double whammy. i do not fare well in the heat. i don't burn - i just burst into flames.
i did get to see my princess grace this evening though, which perked me right up. she always perks me up. i love her so much i think my heart might just burst. she had been swimming today, and apparently she loved it! she sat on my lap and i fed her corn, which she just adored. that child i definitely a mcgee woman; she is food aggressive. if i got a little too slow with the corn, she'd start to grunt and growl at me. wow! pace yourself, gracie...this was no ordinary corn, either; this was creamed corn my mom made for dinner tonight. the creamy base was what i was feeding her. it had bits of corn in it; not the hulls, just the meaty part inside the hull. she loved it! that's gonna make one interesting diaper change later on for krissy.
she's so smart, my little gracie. she's started waving! she's also mimicking noises we make to her, and she's starting to figure out peoples faces. i sat with her on my lap tonight for a good fifteen minutes while she played with each and every facial feature i have. eyes, nose, mouth, chin... she would grab them and twist and pat and just touch. it was like she had just discovered all of the things on someone's face and wanted to learn all she could about them. she's so smart.
tonight when i was kissing her goodbye, she gave me a kiss back on my face. it's the sweetest thing i've ever seen; right on the face, between my mouth and my cheek. she made this little cooing sound when she kissed me.
then she grabbed my nose. i made a honking sound, and she laughed. so of course, i kissed her. she's the light in my heart.
ah, everythings just fine.


Καλό Πάσχα

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happy easter to everyone. Christos anesti!
Felices Pasques - Joyeuses Pâq - Frohe Ostern - Buona Pasqua - Καλό Πάσχα - Felices Pascuas - Glad Påsk - честит Великден - Hyvää pääsiäistä - A' Chàisg sona - शुभ ईस्टर - С праздником Пасхи - สุขสันต์วันอีสเตอร์ - Happy Whissunday - schöni Oschtere & happy easter
Χριστός ανέστη εκ νεκρών,θανάτωι θάνατον πατήσας,και τοις εν τοις μνήμασι,ζωην χαρισάμενος!
Christos anesti ek nekron, Thanato thanaton patisas, Kai tis en tis mnimasi Zo-in charisamenos!
Christ is risen from the dead, Trampling down death by death, And upon those in the tombs Bestowing life!


the beginning of a beginning?

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it's always a little scary to me when i hand my resume over to someone for their review. perhaps i'm not alone in this slight fright, but it strikes me as i write this that i don't believe i've ever discussed this scaredy-catness about resumes with anyone else before.
i'm very proud of my resume; it's beautiful and concise and really showcases the diversity of my talents and my assets and my value as an employee no matter where i go. and yes, i'm very proud of that. and can you believe - no fudging!
i submitted my resume today. not just once. i submitted my resume a bunch, to several prospective employers. one of the employers is based in new york city, and i think that's the company for which i'd like to work.
why is it so scary? i imagine it's the prospect of all of that newness that comes with phone calls, meetings, interviews, first impressions... after giving it some thought, i nearly changed my mind about using the word "scary" in lieu of a word that seemed more fitting, "exciting". i can't discount scary altogether though, because along with all that excitement is a modicum of scary. i guess the only amendment i need make is that it's the good kind of scary; it's thrilling.
even more thrilling would be the "we're interested" conversation.
i have a crazy-busy weekend: working 7am - 4pm tomorrow, have to rush to rehearsal (which starts at 4pm, so i'll be a few minutes late) then performance until somewhere around 11am, two photo shoots on sunday, and of course, easter. somewhere in there i have to schedule a little sleep, so i'm going to get a head start right now.


a quick rat tale

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last night when i got home, before i opened up my wonderful birthday package from sara, i left my dogs outside for a wee, like i always do as soon as i get home.

after i opened up my package and fawned over the wonderful goodies inside the package, i let my dogs back inside, only to spy what appeared to be a dead rat laying on the deck outside my back door. it was about 9:45 when i saw it, and it was dark outside, but the evening sky was illuminated by a brilliant full moon, and that dead, bloated, rigored rat was glistening in the moonlight. he was glistening because he was covered in boxer slobber.

gross.



thanks, boys, for the gift. they've taken lately to cleaning up the back yard and schlepping trash the previous residents of this house so kindly left in the back yard and under the deck; toilet brushes, motorcycle parts, beer & soda cans, toothbrushes, old stuffed animals... clearly these people were classy. i can't blame them for the dead rats, but possibly for providing a rat haven with all that crap lying around. nonetheless, my dogs dragged that damn dead rat up to the deck like they would anything else they found in the back yard...

last night i disposed of my very first dead rat, ever. all by myself. oh, i've had other dead rats to be certain, but this was the first one i disposed of. normally, i would call my sister's boyfriend, the strapping and not-scared-of-rats kirk, and he would willinging come over and fish the rat out of the toiled, or out of the closet, but i did it myself. i'm 35. i can do anything.

almost.

i just heard a rat trap go off. i've never heard one go off before, but i knew instantly what it was because of the location it came from, and it is, i understand now, an unmistakable, gruesome sound. it was the one rat guy bobby left on top of the hot water heater in the a/c closet. as horrible as this sounds, there's no way i'm going to go near that one. i can't. i tried to psych myself up to do it, and couldn't get close enough to the door to open it. i just can't; it's a physical impossibility. i'm going to have to call rat guy bobby to come do it. and worse, it's going to be after work, which is 6:30.

and that rat ain't gonna stay fresh.

I HATE RATS!!!


very good things

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what a wonderful thing to come home to; a package. a package with a handwritten address label. a package from a friend.
long day over, i came from my parent's house from celebrating my dad's birthday and arrived home to find a brown kraft paper-wrapped box on my front steps under my mailbox. i'm expecting a photo shipment, but this was the wrong shape for photos altogether; this was a narrow rectangular box. the address label on the box was hand-written, and very familiar. this label was written by my friend sara, and the box came from new york city.
sara wrote me last week that i "should be expecting a little something in the mail" this week; i was expecting something card-shaped. this was a box. this was a birthday gift!
i wanted to desperately to just tear the brown paper wrapping off the box in grand savage style, but thought it over as i was letting my dogs outside, and decided to sit down and open it like a grown-up-person. i'm glad i did because i was able to enjoy the opening even moreso.
removing the brown paper from the box yeilded another layer of paper, lime greem tissue paper. hehe. double wrapped. like pepperidge farm bread. that was, i supposed the actual wrapping paper on the gift. the brown paper was the overcoat. smart. i removed the green tissue paper to find a converse shoe box! jack purcell low tops! in a SIZE 9! HEY! that's MY SIZE! WOOOO!
then i found a note handwritten on business letterhead: "I DID NOT BUY YOU SHOES." this made me laugh outloud; so loudly in fact that i sort of freaked my self out a little.
the box was taped with clear packing tape. it was taped well. it was taped so well that there was no way i was getting into this box without some sort of blade. i broke the seals sara had made (wow - i mean, REALLY good taping job, sayra.) and very carefully opened the box...
it dawned on me as i was so carefully opening the box that if anyone had been watching, i must have looked a bit like an orphan child opening their one and only christmas gift. when i got the box open, the aroma hit me; i couldn't quite make out one specific scent, as there were so many beautiful scents mingling together. the first thing i saw was a card.
i opened up the card to find a lovely hand-painted "happiness" in chinese characters on red rice cloth with a chop-stamp and some gold leaf glitters on it. lovely! the inside was hilarious as sara had scratched out the words "the holiday season" and written "your birthday", then explained how she'd missed that when she bought the card, and this was definitely not a recycled christmas card! hahahaha!!
then, i saw all the candy...
about a billion tiny boxes of japanese meiji candies! coffee flavored, chocolate, strawberry, grape, these little strawberry-flavored chocolates, and some other candies that are undescernable yet highly delicious! honestly, that would have been enough to tickle me pink, but there was more.
there were four little boxes wrapped up in decorative paper. the first one i opened was a wonderul box containing an aluminum tube of dr. hunters rosewater & glycerine hand creme. an elegant preparation for softening of the skin. indeed! it smells absolutely sublime, and sara can now claim the title of "enabler" as this will quickly become a part of my hand cream addiction.
the second little package i opened was immediately recognizable as some sort of soap. i can sniff out a good soap from 10 paces, and this... this was definitely a good soap. fig. actually, figue. so i shouldn't say it's soap, but savon. the scent is absolutely heavenly, and secretly i want to eat it. i won't, because i've made that mistake before. but still, fig + soap = my kind of savon.
the third was a heavy, nearly square rectangular box which didn't take but one rip of the paper before i was hit with the most incredible fragrance; something slightly citrusy with something round and warm as a top note. as i removed the paper enough to see the label, it was a votivo candle - as sara knows, one of my favorites, and the fragrance was vanilla grapefruit. it is instantly my new favorite, and as i write this, it's burning next to me, filling all corners of my bedroom with the most lovely, brilliantly calming scent.
by the fourth and final wrapped box, i had recognized a pattern. it took me this long because i'm a little slow on the uptake after a good day, and this day had been longer than most. i digress.
opening the fourth box, i have to admit, i wished that it was something very specific that sara and i had discussed, and as i got the paper off of the box, i realized my wish had come true. how often does that happen?
it was toothpaste! i know that might sound weird to anybody but me or sara, but it wasn't just any toothpaste, this was the most wonderful toothpaste - marvis toothpaste. marvis makes the most unbelievable toothpaste flavors - and this was my favorite, jasmine mint. don't knock it until you've tried it; it'll put you off of colgate forever. and the other best part about marvis toothpaste is that it comes in the most gorgeous, chichi shiny aluminum squeeze tube, accented with colors specific to it's flavor - and mine, jasmine mint matches my bathroom perfectly! it goes with my toothbrush, which is lilac, which goes with the wall, which is lilac... silver, white and lilac all on one fabulous tube of toothpaste? shut up! it's perfect. perfect.

i can't wait to brush my teeth before i go to bed tonight with my beautiful new marvis toothpaste! but i can't just yet - i still have more japanese candy to eat...
and that was the best way to come home after a long, hard day at work. thank you, sara. that was the most special thing.
and now, i have to go get the dead rat off of my deck. apparently the bait blocks are working.


mi famiglia è fin da sardegna!

1 comments

so my italian needs work. my fried stef in roma should help me translate my title...
i'm an italian. that's something i've known since before i started reasoning. before i was able to understand what italian meant, i knew i was italian; my family, like most italians, was very proud of our heritage and the place our ancestors and family came from, italy. more specifically, an island in the mediterranean sea off of the western coast of italy called sardegna. (sardinia)
sure, i'm a red-head. i can still be italian, right? i do have brown eyes...
when i was twenty-six years old, i visited ellis island for the first time while visiting my friend corey, who was at the time living in hoboken, new jersey. as silly as it might sound, and it sounds a little silly just writing it, visiting ellis island was something of a pilgrimage for me, as i was always told that my great-grandmother and great-grandfather entered the united states through ellis island from sardegna when they were just a young married couple, and settled in new york city for many years where they raised my grandfather and his siblings, then eventually retired to new jersey, where they both lived out the rest of their lives. my great-grandfather augustus guiseppe was twenty-one years old when he came to america, and was several years older than his wife, my great grandmother antoinette. my grandfather was his father's namesake, but everyone called him "joe", the american version of guiseppe, (joseph) and some people even called him "a.j.". my grandfather passed away more than twenty years ago, but even to the day he died, he was a very handsome man with thick, curly black hair and mediterranean-italian good looks.
a friend of mine on flickr recently posted a series of photos to his account that told a story of his recent visit to ellis island, and i was very moved by his images; the images portrayed him, an american citizen, standing in front of gorgeous, large black & white images of immigrants upon their arrival at ellis island through the port of new york, some of them had names emblazoned at the bottom of the image; some did not. i commented to him how his photos had moved me, and how i had wished that my visit to ellis island had been longer. i explained that my visit was the last ferry of the day, and as such, corey and i along with the rest of the passengers on the ferry had been a bit rushed to view the museum as quickly as possible before they closed for the day. i told him how i desperately wanted to visit again to see if i could uncover any evicence of my great-grandparents having come to new york more than a hundred years ago. he responded in kind, and included a web link.
in less than five minutes, i had found the passenger record of my great-grandfather guiseppe that was created on his arrival to america from italy in the early 1900's.

the record stated that his first name was guiseppo [sic], his last name was pippi, he was married, he was twenty-one years old, his last place of residence was ponto torres, he was of italian ethnicity, and his ship of travel is listed as the sardegna. fitting.
all of my life i've wanted to visit sardegna, and now more than ever. i know i won't find my family there; although if there are any members of the pippi family left in sardegna, chances are better than not that i'm related to them somehow. the island is beautiful and green, and swathed in a rainbow of flower species indigienous to the region, and is in the heart of the medeterranean sea. who wouldn't want to visit a place like that? and the food...
if you've never had sardinian food, oh my. i found an authentic sardinian restaurant in dallas called arcodoro pomodoro. to my knowledge, it's one of the only authentic sardinian restaurants in the u.s. and the food was absolutely unbelievable. it's less similar to italian food than one might imagine, but there are undeniable, delicious similarities like the pastas, carpaccios, pizzes i zuppas (she said, waxing italian...) and for the love of god, do your absolute best to eat your weight in sardinian music bread! of course, i grew up eating food very similar to the fare offered at arcodoro pomodoro - albeit much more rustic and informal - whenever my great-grandmother antoinette was in town from new jersey. i called her nonnie; we all called her bella. she made a sauce that was so thick and rich and full of pork so tender that it could make you fall to your knees. i haven't had my nonnie's sauce in more than twenty years, but i can still taste it. nonnie's sauce was so good, it could be a meal in itself, and a satisfying meal at that.
there's a wealth of information on sardegna to be found on this internet super highway, from maps of the region to vacation locales to its history to its cuisine. i highly recommend if you ever have the chance to experience sardinian cuisine that you jump at the opportunity. go for the lamb, it's incredible when it's prepared in the authentic sardinian way. for that matter, go for the veal. or any of the many varieties of seafood. what the hell. just eat until you burst.
i'd also recommend staying away from a sardinian delicacy, casu marzu. i'm pretty food-adventurous, but not even i would go near that.


coffee & cigarettes

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i had high hopes for this movie and was nearly giddy upon it's arrival in my mailbox yesterday in it's bright red netflix sleeve. anything called "coffee & cigarettes"? sign me up! and it's a jim jarmusch film; i loved johnny depp in jarmusch's "dead man", and tom waits in his "down by law", also netflix picks. since coffee & cigarettes was released in select theatres, it never made it to my tiny little city as all we seem to get are huge, obnoxious, overblown blockbusters of titanic proportion, and i usually end up hating these movies after having been dragged to see them, kicking and screaming. about ten years ago, i once accused my best friend corey of being a movie snob because the only movies he would pay to see were indies, eschewing all things mainstream; i don't know when my tastes shifted, but i think i've become just the person i accused corey of being.
coffee & cigarettes was a huge disappointment. it not only made me itchy to hit the fast-forward button on the dvd remote, it actually lulled me to sleep, twice. i so desperately wanted to like this movie, for it to be some eye-opening, gritty glimpse into the seemy underbelly of new york city's late night diner populous who sit and discuss art, politics, mob hits and sex all whilst consuming what else, coffee & cigarettes. i think i wanted it to be a little more documentary-esque than it was. it was far from anything remotely akin to a documentary.
the cast was star-studded: roberto benigni, steve buscemi, bill murray, steven wright, tom waits, alfred molina, cate blanchette, iggy pop... okay, not necessarily a-list star-studded, but definitely my kind of star-studded. it was set in nyc in the mid 1980's, shot in black & white, and that's where the interesting scenarios ended.
it seemed as if the cast were loosely following a script, then improvising the rest of the way; this might have worked with a cast more talented at improvisation, but this lot didn't seem very inspired. many of the scenes ended up seeming stiff and wooden and just, well, boring. it felt like watching someone drag a red wagon after the wheels fell, but without any sparks to make it interesting.
as much as i love a good, wacky indie film, this one just wasn't for me.
ironically, as i sit here and write about how much i disliked a movie titled coffee & cigarettes, i'm drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. i really wanted to love it.


the glory of "as seen on tv"

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for my birthday, my mother & father bought me a beautiful cocktail print to hang in my dining room in honor of my swanky cocktail party, this really cool shower foot scrubber shaped like a foot, three unbelievable body butters scented in milk, olive oil & coconut, and the wonder seen in the photo above, the pasta express.

i'm something of a sucker for infomercial products... i don't buy the products all that often at all; as a matter of fact, i can't remember the last time i ordered something i saw on television, but fortunately for infomercial-junkies like me, most of the same stuff can be purchased at my local neighborhood bed, bath & beyond. still, i am thoroughly enthralled when an infomercial airs on tv. it doesn't matter if it's melissa gilbert hawking bare minerals cosmetics or that annoying british guy who says everything way too loudly while selling some sort of miracle kitchen knife; i'll watch it. i might scoff at the sheer cheesiness of the product and the low-budget production values, but i'm watching, nonetheless.
so, it stands to reason that the first time i saw the pasta express on an infomercial, i was completely captivated and couldn't stop watching. i thought it to be miraculous; this clear plastic tube with a lid that COOKS YOUR PASTA. no more huge pots of rolling, boiling water!ingenious. inspired. a bargain at only $19.95.
of course i didn't buy it. now, had i seen it on my last venture to bed, bath & beyond, i might have bought it... turns out i didn't have to, because my mom & dad bought it for me!
it's simple: you boil water in a kettle, fill the pasta express with uncooked pasta, then pour the boiling water over the pasta, snap on the strainer lid, and voila! in 7-15 minutes, you have perfectly cooked pasta!

maybe.
i like my pasta al dente, and there's no better way to check pasta's doneness than getting your hands and teeth on it. turns out you can't do that with the pasta express. you have to keep the lid on it until the pasta is done. so, exactly how do you know when the pasta is done if you can't take the lid off?
yeah. you can't. i had to play with it a couple of times to get the pasta right. fortunately, i saw this potential pasta disaster before it happened and made concessions for experimentation. i was on a mission.

the first and second attempts yeilded something akin to polenta; way too overdone and absolutely inedible. again, this wasn't a complete waste because i'd planned for it in my attempt to play mad scientist with my new pasta toy. the trick, i learned, is watching the pasta; i've watched enough pasta in my time to eyeball it for doneness, and this hard-earned, well honed craft came in handy on my third attempt - my penne was perfect the third go-round. i'd gotten a bit cocky and filled the pasta express on this last attempt with enough penne for a dinner portion, and tossed it in fresh basil pesto and shaved parmasean with some toasted pignolis.
delicious.
and, seen on tv!



after six months of living in my house, there have been a few things that i've been needing to get fixed. the side door no longer locked tightly, and could be shouldered open even with the deadbolt locked. the air conditioner didn't work the first time i tried to turn it on; it was working just fine in october when i first moved in, but haven't had need for it since the middle of november. (yes, i was still using the a/c in november, and have begun needing it in april - this is, after all, texas.) i have rats that i could saddle up and ride to work in the mornings, and my bedroom ceiling fan stopped working. all of these things warranted a service call to their appropriate service technicians.
friday, the air conditioning repair technicians came out, a woman named brandy and a man whose name i thought was virgil for some reason, and i kept calling him that. turns out his name was john. sorry, john. i don't know where the name virgil came from; i don't even know a virgil. i don't feel so badly about it because he never took the time to learn my name either and instead just called me "hey lady" over and over. incidently, he had bright red hair in a prince valiant haircut and a total of about a dozen teeth in his head, none of which seemed to be in their rightful place. but i digress. the a/c was fixed, and brandy & virgil left.
also on friday, the rat exterminator came out, bobby. rat guy bobby. that's what it says in my cell phone. bobby was a much older man, and i was so happy to see him. i had these delusions of grandeur that he might be leaving my house in an hour or two with several hundred dead rats all strung together by their tails, saying something like "well, little lady, all the rats are gone." but i was sorely disappointed when nothing like that happened. he came into my house with a small paper bag from which he produced two old fashioned, wooden rat traps and one snickers bar. he baited the traps with bits of snickers, and while he was placing them in their respective new homes, explained to me why it was that he uses snickers bars to bait the traps. apparently rats love chocolate. who doesn't? rats also love dogfood, bread, cream cheese, butter, margarine, newspaper, unopened bills, papertowels, unpopped popcorn and anything else that i happen to leave out on my kitchen counters for more than 20 minutes. so, it stands to reason that rats might just love chocolate. so rat guy bobby baited and set the traps, then left. and that was all she wrote.
well hell, i could have driven to walmart and spent $2.00 on two rat traps and a snickers bar, and come home with change jingling in my pocket. thank goodness i waited around all day on my day off for a professional to do it. sticking a candybar on the end of a wire stapled into a hunk of balsa wood should be left only to the most highly qualified technicians.
he came back yesterday however, and here's where the apology comes in: he told me that when i called him on friday morning for a service call and told him i was having a cocktail party the next night, he didn't want dazed, poisoned rats wandering out in & amongst my cocktail party guests, so he just baited a couple of traps in high traffic areas. good thinking, i mused. maybe these things should be left to the professionals. yesterday, he tossed about twenty bait blocks up in my attic, and said i should start seeing dead or dying rats within the next twenty-four hours for up to about seven days. even though the prognosis is gruesome, that sort of makes it seem like there might be a light at the end of the rathole.
and yes, i apologized.
the ceiling fan man came this morning because my bedroom ceiling fan hasn't worked for months. when virgil the air conditioning guy was here on friday, he tripped one of my breakers and the ceiling fan light started working, but for the life of me i still couldn't get the fan to turn on no matter how hard i yanked on the chain.
perhaps if i'd yanked the correct chain, it might have worked. which, it did, right there in front of the ceiling fan guy. sure, it was a little humiliating; i was embarassed for a while, but now i'm just cool & comfortable.
lastly, but certainly not least is greg the door guy. he came out yesterday and told me the door they'd bought was a 36", and my door needed to be a 32". easy enough to fix, right? nope. i needed a white door. apparently every building supply in the land was sold out of 32" white doors until this morning. so he arrived again at approximately noon today, and he arrived with a bang. literally.
he was backing his truck into my driveway, and smashed into the fence in my driveway - the one in question the other day when i introduced myself to my crappy new white trash neighbors from longbeach. he dented his chrome truck bumper when he hit it, then when he put the truck into drive to scoot forward a few feet, he caught his taillight on some big monstrous metal thing attached to the fence post and smashed his taillight into about a billion pieces, scratched the cherry red paint and dented the body of his brand new truck. he got out of the truck a'cussin, and throwing a little-girl fit; a grown man was throwing a hissy fit, right there in my driveway. throwing tools on the ground unloading a brand new door for my house with a less than gingerly approach...and he's still at it at 2:30. i was sort of hoping that mr & mrs white trash from longbeach were watching and might think i had a crazed boyfriend and then think twice about messing with me again. sure, my door is getting installed as i write this, but he hasn't stopped bitching about that fence since he got here. he's been installing a door while talking on his cell phone the entire time, recounting the story to anyone who'll listen. he even told the crappy neighbor when he wandered over to my side porch to see what the ruckus was all about. so much for the lunatic boyfriend theory.
i don't blame him, really. what a way to start out your workday.
he can cuss all he wants, just as long as while he's doing it, he gets my new door installed. right now, there's a huge, gaping maw where my old door used to be.
but my ceiling fan works.





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About me

  • I'm melissa mcgee
  • From Temple, Texas, United States
  • photographer. singer. soapcrafter. herbalist. dogmom. godmother. fantastic cook. i kiss better than i cook. [all photographs on this blog copyright melissa mcgee unless otherwise noted.]
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