Saturday, December 02, 2006

Restaurant Quote of the Weekend

"Now I just feel cheap..."

Said by me after I proclaimed how happy I was that people are treating me like I'm one of them.

This deserves further discussion:

Picture it...Sicily...oh, wait...I'm too tall to play that part. Picture it, an upscale Italian/Eclectic restaurant. People hug, kiss, flirt, and basically break every "rule of boundaries" there is.

But not to me. I am the new girl who was too nice, too new, and possibly working under cover. It could happen, I'm slick.

So...I blogged that I was starting to fit in because I now am greeted with a kiss and given a goodbye kiss. Now it's progressing.

Hugs are given now, which makes me feel nice. Who doesn't love the hug? I certainly love it, so bring 'em on, I say! I even got a back rub last week.

And then...today...I thought I'd crossed the ultimate barrier when someone walked into the kitchen, put their arm around me and slapped my ass.

Now, I haven't had my ass slapped (in that manner) since high school. It was a little weird, but hey-it's how they are. I wasn't as offended as I thought I'd be, which is probably wrong, but I'm not worried about it.

In any case, when said slapper walked away, I giggled (b/c that's what I do) and said, "You know you're one of the crowd when you get your ass slapped."

Everyone stopped.

Everyone.

They immediately asked who slapped my ass. When I told them, I followed it up with, "But he slaps everyone's ass-that's how he is."

Apparently not. Apparently, I'm the only one.

Insert Restaurant Quote of the Weekend: "Now I just feel cheap..."

>8-/

The Green Stuff

My Nana is the hardest person in the world to shop for. You can't buy her clothes because your selection is inevitably too short, and if you pick a longer version the next year it's too long.

She doesn't like candles-unless she bought them at a tag sale for $1 and then they are her favorite and she shows everyone, including the butcher. But when you bring a new, lightly scented candle into her home, you are excommunicated.

The same goes for lotions of any kind. They send her into a tizzy or a rant about the last time she got lotion she didn't use it and it's sitting downstairs in the playroom for her next tag sale.

Once, when I was younger, I overheard her telling my aunts that she'd been searching for a tissue holder for her newly renovated bathroom. She wanted it to match her wallpaper, and couldn't find anything. So, I did what any left handed, right brained doting granddaughter would do: I made one. And let me tell you-it was magnificent-truly. It even had the pearlesque characteristics of her ugly-ass wallpaper.

2 weeks after I gave it to her, she put it downstairs in the playroom because she wanted something that contrasted with the walls.

That was the last time I gave her a "real" present. Ever since then, I've given her gift cards or a check-something that goes against my very being. (Unless I know you really want one)

This year, I think I've found the perfect gift. She's a gambler (I've already given her 2 gift cards to Foxwood's and Mohegan Sun) and loves scratch offs. Instead of giving her tons of cards to scratch without guaranteeing her win, I'm getting her
this.

Here's hoping for that $50!

Also, I want to gush so badly about the wonderful deals I've been getting on Christmas presents but I can't because everyone I shop for reads my blog. So, let me just say, I'm one savvy shopper. ;)

I will share this: tonight I got one small item that should have been $4 for $0.98! So far, this is one lucky season...don't fret mon ami's...those savings are passed on to you.

Now...for that Christmas tree...anyone have a saw?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Cold Feet

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His feet were cold.

"Why can't they give me a pair of my God damned socks?" he muttered to himself. "This fucking place..." He struggled to get up, but his muscles were weak, and so he remained laying down.

"My feet are cold you fuckers! Give me my socks!" His voice, scratchy and harsh, bounced itself off of the stark white walls, but went nowhere else.

With cold feet, a weakened body and no nurse in sight, he sunk back in quiet defeat.

It wouldn't be long, he knew, before his son and his wife had enough-enough of his complaining, enough of his doctor visits, and enough of his inability to be happy about the fact that his time was running short.

How could he be happy? His beloved wife was long gone; the memory of her laughter dissipating with his every breath. 3 of his 4 children were scattered all over the country and called only when they had to. For them, the memory of their mother hadn't yet gone away, and hearing his voice reminded them that it was he who should be gone.

No, there wasn't much left to be happy about, and now he had cold feet.

7 days he'd been there, but it felt like an eternity. The food was bland, the nurses were fat, and the man next to him farted too much. Sometimes he was afraid that his last breath would be taken just as his roommate passed gas. "My fucking luck." he grumbled.

It's not that he had a bad life, but rather not the life he imagined. In his version, there would have been two rocking chairs, and his world would have revolved around the quiet click, clicks that they made. And he would have gotten to see her hair turn gray, her features soften.

His world without her was always empty and cold, no matter what, or who, tried to keep him warm.

"I'm sorry we're late. There was traffic on the freeway." Like a tornado, his son blew in. "Shit, Dad, let me get you some socks."

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Day Off

I took the day off from work today mainly because I couldn't sleep last night. I kept having weird dreams about someone. Even though I know it was supposed to be them, they looked like someone else. We were watching a play/musical, but we were watching from the rafters above the stage. Lots of weird things happened and it was a good dream overall, but I kept waking up to see if it was real.

In any case, it obviously was not real, but I woke up very sleepy and warm and cuddly and didn't want to get out of bed. So I called my boss and took a vacation day.

My new boss is very cool like that. I needed to leave an hour early the other day to pick up a book at school and when I asked him he said, "I don't care about that sort of thing. Just work enough hours to make it up. You don't even have to tell me." Talk about a 360 from my other boss. What they don't realize is that bosses like mine are the ones I want to go to work for, not the one who counts my minutes...Anyway.

(I realize I'm rambling. It could be because I haven't talked to one single soul in real life today. Not one.)

A dear friend of mine works for a local college and raffled me off to teach some of his students to cook. While I was thinking of things to do today, I decided to do a run through of the menu to see where it needed tweaking, and also to test the one recipe I hadn't made before:
Crispy Potato Skins w/ Blue Cheese and Bacon
Like I told him earlier in email, when I die and go to heaven, I will be eating these like bon bon's. They are so delicious! I love crunchy, gooey food, especially potatoes. Yummy!
Also, the chicken came out good. Because these are college students, I didn't make it with "real" wine, but cooking wine. The flavor was a little less prominent than I'd like, but it will do. Instead, I'm changing the wine from white to red, and that should do the trick...We'll be making home made rice pilaf with the dish, but I didn't make that today, so it's just chicken on the plate!

Chicken Chasseur

I also made our dessert, Panna Cotta, but I didn't take a pic of that. It's so good, I just gobbled it up.

Overall, it was a lovely day off. I got to cook a little, made lots of leftovers for lunch/dinner and I got to rest...

Oh, and no school tonight-so it really is a day off!

Chow.

(Yes. I spelled it that way on purpose..food...chow...get it?)

Thursday 13


Thirteen Things I Have 2 Do Before Christmas

1. Buy my Nana a present
2. Finish buying Greg's present
3. Finish buying Megan's present
4. Find THE wrapping paper, tissue paper and ribbons
5. Decide if I am sending Christmas cards or not
6. Act on that decision...or not
7. Take decorations out of my attic/shed
8. Purchase a Christmas Tree
9. Decorate til my little heart explodes with glee
10. Wrap presents & place them perfectly under the tree
11. Sit in the dark and watch my tree with music playing
12. Drive around looking at Christmas lights
13. Decide what cookies I'm making this year, who's getting some, and act on that decision.




Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Catching a cute boy looking at you twice is fun. Especially when he's not a creep with a wedding ring, and especially when he's wearing a tie. And especially when you're having a good hair day.

Having a Christmas gift you ordered arrive for pickup is exciting. Especially when it corresponds with your day off from school, a gift card and a return (so you can afford to pay for it) and the fact that you remembered to bring all of these things with you. And also when it corresponds with extra bonus coupons that were emailed to you....I might just be able to get 2 presents!! (Oh how I love buying presents for people!)

Sometimes something clicks and it makes things less gray.

I think someone hates me.

In order to make a point in class last night I stretched the truth a tiny bit to include myself in the story. However, I remembered half way through the story that I had already told the "true" story to my classmates without myself in it. I then tried to make it seem like it was a similar story to the one I told. This is why I don't often lie. My memory is too bad.

Ass F*&^%$ still continues to make me laugh.

When you spit cake out of your mouth in a guffaw moment, it really sticks.

Being bored at work really makes you think about where your life is, where you want it to be, and how you can get there. Sometimes, this is good....sometimes, not so good.

For someone with a small amount of friends in CT, my calendar for December is filling up fast. This makes me smile.

MySpace typically makes me feel like a loser, but recently, it made my day when I was contacted by one of my favorite people in high school. True compatibility is the ability to fall right back into a joke, even if it's a new one. That may not make sense, but it sure does make me smile. (But why does everyone have to live in Florida?)

I have the day after Christmas off. I did not know this until yesterday. This makes me extremely excited, though it's quite possible I may leave the country and never come back. (I am off from school for 2 weeks)

I paid for my breakfast in change today. The change I found around my house. Maybe I'd be less poor if I stopped losing so much damn money in change. ($4.09 found this morning alone!)

We may be down to 4 students.

It's Wednesday. Sweet, sweet Friday can't come soon enough...

The Songs of Life

I'm tired, ok? Lame post below...

You can play too, if you want. These are the "Songs of my life"...go to ITunes and put it on shuffle. Write the name of the song that plays under each category (You'll have to hit Fast Forward unless you type wicked slow) Don't cheat to make it seem more ironic or fitting.

Opening Credits
Everyone’s Gotta Learn Sometime, Beck

Waking Up
In Da Club, Assassin
(You know me, I’ll be in the club…trying to get money, trying to get laid…yuppers…that’s me!)

First Day at School
Catch Your Wave, The Click Five

Falling In Love:
Sky Is Falling, Beth Hart
(There is a light that shimmers like the diamond in the night, a fire that is powerful and strong, and I call it home)

Fight Song:
Overkill, Colin Hay
(Especially at night, I worry over situations. I know we’ll be alright, perhaps it’s just imagination)

Breaking Up:
Lie To Me, Daniel Powter
(Tell me once again why would you lie to me?)

Prom:
Everything About You, Steve Poltz (Notting Hill)

Life:
Track 6 Jars of Clay
(Don’t try to reach me, I’m already dead…I try to make you proud, but for crying out loud, just give me a chance to hide away. Exhaustion takes over…)

Mental Breakdown:
Girl Next Door, Saving Jane
(Yup...No way to deny she’s lovely…she’s Ms. America, and I’m just the girl next door)

Driving:
When You Say Nothing At All, Ronin Keating (Notting Hill)
This song always brings tears to my eyes…the smile on your face lets me know that you need me, there’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me, the touch of your hand says you’ll catch me wherever I fall….sigh….

Flashback:
Nothing Else Matters, Bif Naked
(So close no matter how far…forever trust in who we are)


Getting back together:
He Wasn’t, Avril Lavigne

Losing Your Virginity:
Put It Behind You, Keane
(You’d better put it behind you now, too much to hold on to...he wishes!)

Wedding:
Te Busque, Nelly Furtado
(I needed a reason to live)
Birth of a Child
If I Ever Fall in Love, Shai
(Ew)

Final Battle:
Something More, Sugarland
(I’m running out of gas and out of time.)

Death Scene:
Don’t Say it’s too late, Waltham

Funeral Song:
Arms of a Woman, Amos Lee
(Um…this would not be the time to come out of the closet)

Extra Credits:
Favorite Things, Beth Hart
(Laugh until it pisses everyone off, kissing until my lips are ready to fall off…yes, this is a good one for me...it fits)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

You Should Really See A Dr. About That...

I know I'm a culinary arts student, and also an adult, but Cock-A-Leekie soup will always make me giggle.

Toosdae ?'s

Sorry I'm a little later than normal guys-I learned the hard way that staying up until 1am talking means I'm a sleepy Mags the next day!! And then I spilled coffee beans (fresh ground) all over the counter....ugh. Happy Toosdae.

1. What is the longest you will wait in line for something? Does it matter what the "something" is? For instance, a cup of coffee versus new shoes or toilet paper? Are you the type of person who will leave the line without buying the item?

2. Do you have a "life list" of things you want to do or see before you die? If so, what are some of the things on it? If not, why does a list not exist?

3. What are 3 things that you look forward to every week?

1. I will typically wait as long as it takes to get something unless I see incompetence behind the counter-if the employees are milling around and slacking off, I am less tolerant than if they are simply slow. I will always walk out of a Duncan Donuts without coffee if that happens, even if I've been waiting in line for 10 minutes. Toilet Paper on the other hand...if you need it, you need it!

2. I don't have a specific list of things I want to do or places I want to go, but rather a general idea of dreams and destinations. They include: wanting to learn to play the piano, becoming a successful chef, traveling to Greece and Italy, and having a child with someone who adores me as much as I adore them.

3. My easy answer could be Wednesday's, Friday's and Sunday's b/c those are the nights I'm not in school or working. But I will keep those days off as 1 answer, and add watching The Office on Thursday's and talking to a friend.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Saucy

I continue to study...and am realizing I didn't do enough. I study by writing notes and lists and creating a "test" for myself to fill in. Or by writing sentences out of the answers:

Piccadilly Circus Got So Urban=Prime, Choice, Good, Standard, Utility=Grading for Veal.

or

People Can't Stand Seeing Cats Under Cars=Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter=Grading for Beef.

It works most of the time.

But now comes time for sauce review, and I'm lacking...so I'm using this format to study. And you always ask for information on food, and so here is some information on food. These are small sauces that are made from the Mother sauce called "Espagnole" or "Brown Sauce".

Bordelaise: Demi, Red Wine, Shallots & Thyme finished with whole butter and beef marrow. To me, this sauce is named well. To me, this sauce seems very warm and earthy and rich, and it makes me feel like I should be wearing a turtleneck sweater sitting by the fire and for some reason, Bordelaise conjures up the same feeling.

Chasseur/Hunters Sauce: Demi, Mushrooms, Shallots, White wine with diced tomatoes. Served chunky. This name is also right on for me. Mainly because of the writer Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales). Perhaps that makes me a geek again, but I think of adventures deep in the woods and not a lot of time to cut things finely. Also, Chasseur means hunter.

Chateaubriand: Demi, White Wine, Shallots, with Lemon and Cayenne. Finished with whole butter and tarragon. This is the last sauce that I feel is aptly named. I think of a snooty woman sitting in her Chateau eating fine foods. This is a lighter sauce. The cayenne is added because the cook is angry she is so mean, and he wanted to add a little kick to her food. I made this up.

Poivrade: Mirepoix, thyme & parsley with white wine and white vinegar. Crushed peppercorns are added before the sauce is strained and mounted with whole butter. Does Poivrade mean Pepper in French? I wonder...

Chevreuil: Poivrade sauce with bacon in the mirepoix. Finished with Red Wine and Cayenne. I can't think of anything to help me remember this. Maybe Chevreuil/Charlotte=Pig because of web?

Perigueux: Finely diced truffles added to Madeira or Port sauce.

Piquant: Shallots and white wine and white vinegar with cornichons, tarragon and parsley, finished with chervil. At first I thought I made up the word cornichons, but then remembered from another note that they are little pickles.

Robert: Onion and butter with white wine. Finished with Dijon Mustard and Sugar.

So...there it is. I expect to get an A now.


Broken Glass & Bright Lights

I sometimes wonder what they thought of us as they drove up the long, dark driveway, with their search lights and suspicions. It was, afterall, a small affluent town in which situations like this were not supposed to happen.

He didn't know they were coming, but when my eyes flickered toward the lights he followed their gaze and ran. Where he was going is still a mystery, but he went out the front door toward the road.

Running after him, I began to realize what my life was to become-always chasing the man who once brought me magic and wonder in hopes that I'd someday find him again.

He was lost, that much I knew. Somewhere between his descent from 275 pounds to 145 pounds he lost interest and it was probably Maryland when he realized that in Connecticut, it would be me who received the attention, not him.

It was logged as a Domestic Disturbance, probably because when they arrived, I had my hands around his arm, trying to pull him to the ground so he couldn't leave. Blood dripped freshly down his arms from the newest cuts-the reason they were there in the first place. He also cut his forehead with a broken beer bottle, but that, I am sure, was for the dramatic effect it had on those who saw him.

As I write this story, I'm not entirely sure what the point is. It comical to me on a certain level, that almost 5 years ago, a wisp of a man ran toward the road, bloodied and broken only to be caught and hauled away.

It's comical because I knew him, not because he was broken.

That night in the psych ward, as he shared a room with a man who stared without blinking and another who rocked without thinking, he begged me to lie to the doctors. If I didn't, he pleaded, he would have to stay.

He wasn't crazy, and he didn't belong, and yet, there he sat, in paper slippers and a hospital gown, with sunken eyes and dried blood everywhere.

I often question my decision to comply and wonder what would have happened if I didn't do as he asked. Luckily my regret has nothing to do with his death, as it easily could have if he didn't later seek help. No, my regret is that I wasn't strong enough to risk my life for his.

The life we once dreamed about was long since gone, and so were the people that made them. But every now and then, a shimmer of our old selves peeked through-in a pillow fight or a spontaneous dance in our dining room-making me hope for a new beginning.

A new beginning I thought that I could get by showing him I believed he could get better and that I could help him get there.

Would we still be married? I doubt it. The damage was already done. But perhaps the suffering that we both endured would have been diminished, and perhaps we'd still be friends.

The scars that we bear are sometimes hidden, and it's not until you are adding to them that you remember they are there. This scar no longer hurts, but it's there, documenting my age, my strength, and the lessons I hope I never have to teach to those I love.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Study Break

Tomorrow I have a final exam and practical in beef. Yes. I know it sounds funny. It's in my advanced skills class which is split up into beef and fish. This mod we've cooked delectables such as Beef Wellington and Osso Bucco (Which is outstanding). To be fair, the instructor is giving us the final in beef now instead of waiting another 6 weeks.

Needless to say, I've been studying for hours, and decided to take a break. Here are some pictures of the things I've baked over the long weekend...


These cupcakes tasted like ass. But they look pretty...

Ginger-Almond-Orange Cake from France. I liked it but didn't care for the fresh ginger taste, as it made me feel like I should be eating Chinese food instead of a cake. In the future I will use powdered ginger for a softer flavor. Also, I will special purchase ground almonds for a finer texture.

Last, my confidence is coming back, as I've found a good recipe and finally made a good yellow cake. I'd thought I lost my complete ability after trying unsuccessfully (3 times) to make Greg a cake/cupcakes. I didn't make frosting so I used powdered sugar and leftover raspberry coulis...it's made for a most excellent study snack.

40 Things That Only Happen In Movies

My favorites are in a different color...

1. It is always possible to find a parking spot directly outside or opposite the building you are visiting.

2. When paying for a taxi, don't look at your wallet as you take out a note. Just grab one out at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare.

3. Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at the precise moment it's aired.

4. Creepy music (or satanic chanting) coming from a graveyard should always be closely investigated.

5. Any lock can be picked with a credit card or paperclip in seconds. UNLESS it's the door to a burning building with a child inside.

6. If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps.


7. All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red digital displays so you know exactly when they are going to explode.

8. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to learn to speak German. Simply speaking English with a German accent will do. Similarly, when they are alone, all German soldiers prefer to speak English to each other.

9. Once applied, lipstick will never rub off. Even while scuba diving.

10. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window of any building in Paris.

11. Any police officer about to retire from the force will more often than not die on their last day (especially if their family have planned a party). (Caveat: Detectives can only solve a case after they have been suspended from duty).

12. Getaway cars never start first go. But all cop cars do. (They will also slide to a dramatic stop in the midst of a crime scene).
13. If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises wearing their most revealing underwear.

14. On a police stake-out, the action will only ever take place when food is being consumed and scalding hot coffees are perched precariously on the dashboard . . .

15. All grocery shopping involves the purchase of French loaves which will be placed in open brown paper bags (Caveat: when said bags break, only fruit will spill out).

16. Cars never need fuel (unless they're involved in a pursuit).

17. If you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts, your opponents will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around you in a threatening manner until you have defeated their predecessor.

18. If a microphone is turned on it will immediately feedback.

19. Guns are like disposable razors. If you run out of bullets, just throw the gun away. you will always find another one.

20. All single women have a cat.

21. Cars will explode instantly when struck by a single bullet.

22. No matter how savagely a spaceship is attacked, its internal gravity system is never damaged.

23. If being chased through a city you can usually take cover in a passing St Patrick's Day parade - at any time of the year.

24. The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. Nobody will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building undetected.

25. You will survive any battle in any war UNLESS you show someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.

26. Prostitutes always look like Julia Roberts or Jamie Lee Curtis. They have expensive clothes and nice apartments but no pimps. They are friendly with the shopkeepers in their neighborhood who don't mind at all what the girl does for a living.

27. A single match is usually sufficient to light up a room the size of a football stadium.

28. It is not necessary to say "Hello" or "Goodbye" when beginning a telephone conversation. A disconnected call can always be restored by frantically beating the cradle and saying "Hello? Hello?" repeatedly.

29. One man shooting at 20 men has a better chance of killing them all than 20 men firing at once (it's called Stallone's Law).

30. When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in you room will still be visible, just slightly bluish.

31. Plain or even ugly girls can become movie star pretty simply by removing their glasses and rearranging their hair.

32. Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their enemies with complicated devices incorporating fuses, pulleys, deadly gases, lasers and man-eating sharks.

33. All beds have special L-shaped sheets that reach to armpit level on a woman but only up to the waist of the man lying beside her.

34. Anyone can land a 747 as long as there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.

35. During all police investigations it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.

36. You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.

37. Most musical instruments (especially wind instruments and accordions) can be played without moving your fingers.

38. In Middle America, all gas station attendants have red handkerchiefs hanging out of their back pockets.

39. All teen house parties have one of every stereotypical subculture present (even people who aren't liked and would never get invited to parties).

40. Trucks use their horns at random (no hang on, that happens in real life too!).


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