Sweet sweet Maddie just shoved my crochet out of the way, forced herself up onto my lap and fell asleep like this. She’s just the sweetest little girl ever.
I have an eyeball headache.
I finished Watership Down last night and then dreamed I lived with Hitler.

ways in which I am retarded (or really fat…probably just fat)

Yesterday, as I was getting ready to leave for work, I discovered a rather large monstrosity in the driveway. Seems that my neighbors were having work done on their gigantic white pine. Though I had hoped they were having it removed, they were just getting it trimmed.
It’s not that I don’t love trees, it’s just that the neighbors on either side of my house each have these 80 feet tall, 80 billion year old white pines. All year long they spray sap, drop preemie pine cones that look like maggots, spray sap, fill the gutters with pine needles, spray sap that the dogs get between their toes and there is NO getting it out so they go nuts and chew their feet, dump pine cones everywhere. Oh! and they spray sap all over the place.
There was this large truck with a bucket on a lift and those big extendo stabilizer feet and it was all set up and there was a dude way up high in the tree. I didn’t want to be a dick and make them disassemble everything just so I could get my car out so I grabbed David’s keys and took his car to work.
I think I can officially say I know how to drive a manual transmission.
The thing about David’s car is that when he bought it, the previous owner had had to replace the driver’s side door, but he never got the lock changed to match the key. This really isn’t an issue, in fact it makes things very chivalrous because David always unlocks and opens the passenger door for me (then I get in and open his door for him. Easy). When I got to work yesterday I parked on the street as the ramp was full.
After an exciting and emotionally fulfilling day at work, I left and went to the car. I parked on the street next to a snow bank. To be more accurate, it was a dense, flat faced snow cliff. Anyone who has grown up with real snow knows that come february, all the snow is concrete. It’s been there forever, it’s warmed and refrozen and dried out enough to become especially solid and unyielding. Those of you who envy us and our snow are actually just envying that early fluffy Norman Rockwell snow, not reality. February snow is the leading cause of hiding under the bed and weeping.
And so, the car is there next to the snow and I have very few inches between the two. I try to squeeze into the passenger side so I can unlock the driver door and it’s a no go. I try different tactics, butt first, backwards, eyes closed, swearing, laughing, farting. I’m not getting in. I have to just accept that I’m too damned fat for this job. There are any number of skinny people on campus with whom I am friends. I could call one of them and have them come help me. “Hello, you are skinny and I am the human dugong, can you help me get in the car? yes, please bring some lard and a hydraulic jack….and some cupcakes too!”
I don’t have my cell phone with me! Dammit! I forgot it at home again and I don’t actually know anybodies phone number. I could go back to my office and call David and ask him to drive over in my car and work this out, he’s remarkably thin and agile, but I know he’s tired from work and I don’t want to be a stringwiener. I had to call him once and ask him to bring gasoline to me because I was playing fast and loose with my gas gauge. Nobody likes an irresponsible girlfriend! Especially one that can’t even get into her car because she has a deep and abiding love for the four basic dairy groups, The Frozen, The Aged, The Spreadable and the Chocotastic.
Okay, fine, me and my gargantuan ass accept that this problem is ours and ours alone! Using sheer force of will and pretty good upper thigh strength I literally forced myself into the car. It was like shitting backwards in public. once I was in I realized I wasn’t going to be able to just unlock the driver door, get out and go around I decided to just clamber over the seats and drive away.
I had considered going through the hatchback, but I figured that was a real emergency sort of move. A billion years ago the door latch mechanisms on my tiny Geo Storm froze solid. No amount of swearing or force could help you. We were forced to climb in and out through the hatch back. That car was much smaller than David’s and I was way way fatter then, but I still wasn’t going to do it unless a mecha-godzilla was coming directly at me and it was my only escape route…and even then I’d have to think about it.

helado con tres salsas

As I mentioned before, I was tasked with bringing dessert to my sister’s superbowl party. I brought ice cream and 3 original, Mexican-ish themed sauces.
Sauce 1:
Citrus-mixed berry

24 oz frozen mixed berries – thawed (could have gotten away with way way less, say 12 oz)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 orange, zested, peeled, segmented
in small pan mix sugar, water, orange zest. Bring to rolling boil (does not stop boiling when stirred), boil for 4 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Smash orange segments over pan with hands and drop in. Bring to a rolling boil, boil for 2 minutes. Let cool.
Pulse mixed berries in food processor, add orange syrup. pulse some more. enjoy.
Sauce 2:
Spicy Mexican Chocolate

2 disks Ibarra chocolate (abuelita will do, but it is much sweeter), chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp chipotle powder (more or less depending on the strength of what you have and what you prefer)
Mix spices and chopped chocolate together. Set aside.
In small pan over low heat, slowly heat the cream while stirring frequently. Heat cream until small bubbles/foam forms around edge of cream. Pour hot cream over chocolate and whisk briskly (but not messily). EAT.

Sauce 3:
Coffee-banana caramel

2 tbl light corn syrup
1 cup less 2 tbl sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 shots espresso or 1/2 cup very strong coffee
1 ripe banana
Please, PLEASE be careful making this recipe. If you have not made caramel or done any candy making or sugar work, use caution. Sugar boils very hot, it is also very sticky. It’s like lava you can’t get off your skin. I’ve had a number of jam related burns, but nothing compares to a sugar burn.
in a medium sauce pan combine corn syrup, sugar and water, bring to boil stirring frequently. Once sugar is dissolve do not stir anymore. Carefully swirl the pan over the heat as the sugar boils, this will help keep the temp even in the mixture, brush the inside of the pan with water occasionally to wash down the sugar crystals. Do not stick the wet pastry brush in the boiling sugar. Your sugar will start to turn amber at about 8-10 minutes, as you swirl watch carefully. Once it hits a good deep amber (don’t let it burn!) turn off the heat and add the cream. Do this carefully, your sugar is very hot and will bubble furiously at the addition of cream. When the mixture calms add your coffee. Whisk until all caramel bits dissolve (the addition of cooler cream to considerably hotter sugar will cause some of the boiling sugar to immediately freeze up and harden, these bits will dissolve as you whisk).
Once everything is smoother and cooler, say 20 minutes later, pop the banana into the food processor or blender, add caramel and blend until smooth. Do not add the caramel until it is cooled, it is very dangerous to attack hot caramel with angry blender blades!
Pour all of this goodness into a bowl. Sneak out the back door. Eat every bit of it until you pass out.

ha ha ha I’m gonna say annals!

From the predictable annals of “I’m getting all old and shit” come the regular, super bowl morning after post…
“I ate too much and now I don’t feel good. I used to drink too much and not feel good, but I’m getting all old and shit”.
Super bowl party at April’s means not just munchy snacks but really dense munchy snacks that YOU JUST KEEP EATING!!! There was alcohol, but I’m getting all old and shit and I take the crazy pills and it’s just not conducive to drinking anymore. So I had one weak margarita, a diet orange soda and lots of water. My college-self would not recognize this old lady. Actually, my college-self is probably too damned drunk to focus her eyes at the moment.
I was tasked to bring dessert, something appropriate to the Mexican theme (April….brats with curry ketchup, not so mexican! But delicious and so I say “OLÉ!”). I decided on ice cream sundaes with a trio of homemade sauces. The first was a mixed berry and citrus sauce that was lovely but nothing to write home about. The next a spicy Mexican chocolate sauce with a chipotle afterburn and my masterpiece, a coffee-banana caramel sauce that made me shit twice and die. Seriously, I’m dead right now from that sauce. Hell, I’m just dead thinking about the amount of heavy whipping cream that went into the sauces.
Recipes will be posted later, you will enjoy them.

The hippo has fangs

A few years ago David bought for me a handmade leather hippo from the French Market in New Orleans as a Christmas present. He bought it the day before I flew down to meet him there. When I got there he took me to the French Market for some shopping or whatnot and INSTANTLY I saw the table with the hippos! I fondled and caressed them, I engaged in bad touch. I really wanted one. In some inexplicable moment of magic (responsibility), I decided that with all I’d spent on Christmas and flying to NOLA and upcoming expenses, I would forgo the awesome hippo.
Of course, a couple days later I unwrapped the hippo that David had already bought for me. We’d only been dating a few months at the time, but it was pretty much the sign I needed.
I have 3 hippos on the end table next to the sofa, he’s the biggest. He’s all lovely and handcrafted and everything, but his teeth…not so right. The teeth are just very cheap plastic and they are shaped like fangs or sabers. They’re insane, they are not hippo teeth in the least. They are completely wrong,, but somehow, completely perfect in their awesomeness.
In completely unrelated news…
I wrote up my first real pattern (a cowl) and sent it off to pattern testers. Pattern testers will save your life. They all found the same giant mistake! They also gave some really valuable feedback on the project and gave me more confidence. I will have the pattern available for download in a couple weeks. If you would like me to make one for you I’ve settled on $30 plus materials.
Speaking of…
A coworker saw me wearing one of my awesome pirate skull hats and told me her grandson would like one (she’s done this before to me). I offered her the pattern, she asked if I could make one. I said I could but it would probably be $15-20 plus materials. She tsk-tsk’d me and said “oh come on”. This is something that I find HIGHLY IRRITATING. She’s a knitter, she is aware of how much time and effort goes into a project. This is a custom/adapted pattern (adapted from knit to crochet and then broken down and rebuilt to be shaped differently) and it is hand made. I was being generous at $15-20. $35 to $40 would not be outside the realm of reasonable for the item. Yes, yes you can buy a winter hat for cheaper, but I am not competing with machine made store bought hats. It’s an entirely different product, sure, both keep your head warm, but they are not the same.
I do not make these items in exchange for money to support myself, so I do not have to be competitive. I do not have to undercut myself in order to sell. I do not have to hire chinese orphans in order to stay in business. I make my items and price them according to what my time is actually worth to me, not the ‘market’. Someone either appreciates the item or doesn’t.
Of course if I was trying to make a living selling them, then it would all be polluted factories and orphan slave labor and a document titled “basic human rights” that I would pee all over. To listen to any corporation talk, this is the only way they can survive! It seems they are always on the verge of going under! Without their billions in profits they’d go out of business! Thank god for orphan slave labor to keep our struggling economy afloat.
Am I a little skeptical of the motivations of big business? yeah, sometimes.
My kitchen is still clean, my living room is clean but not entirely organized, the dining room is halfway there and the bathroom is next.
we got a new water heater the other day! We also got a gas leak from it but they came out and fixed it right away. That was pretty good. No one died.
By the way…
Which one of you recommended I watch “Year of the Dog”? Because I would like to kick you in the knees. First, I really did not need to see a movie about a dog dying. Secondly, the rest of the movie? insane! I only watched about the first half hour, David watched the rest. BAD PERSON!!! Do not recommend these things to me!
And I’m…
off like your mom’s prom dress. Awesome? like a 12 pound possum.