Friday, September 28, 2007

Skip Bo

I'm wondering when it is going to feel like fall here in New England. I have two friends coming to visit soon, and would very much like to be able to show off our spectacular folliage in the CT River Valley. But this hot, dry weather is preventing it, and all we have is green!

I'd like to skip right past this into reds and oranges and brilliant blue skies...

Is That A Wallet In Your Pocket?

Nope, he's not just happy to see me. It's an actual wallet in his pocket. His front pocket to be exact, and I am NOT impressed.

To the men of the world who insist on storing your wallet in your front pocket-PLEASE STOP! It is unattractive and awkward. It looks like you have a huge goiter on your body and that, my friend, is prit-ty freakin' gross.

Do you really fear for your wallet every day of your life? Do you honestly think that while walking down your middle class, low crime neighborhood that someone is going to jump you Chinese Ninja style and leap away with that wad of leather and plastic?

Get real Mr. Lumpy Pockets. For the most part, your wallet is safe.

Perhaps it is because, like George Costanza, you have too much in your wallet and therefore, it is cumbersome to sit on it. Perhaps it makes you lean to one side or prevents you from squeezing through tight places. If this is the case, I beg of you, GET RID OF THOSE RECEIPTS! There is no need for you to keep a record of that lone egg roll you scarfed down at the mall, nor is there reason to have documentation of the full body waxing you got the other day. (In fact-destroy that immediately so that hot girls won't every find it.)

There are times, however, that I will give you that require the extra protective measures you use for your wallet everyday. These include:

1. When attending any large event such as a concert, sports game or the circus. Your wallet could easily fall prey to the bump method of pick pocketing (where the bad guy bumps into you while taking your wallet out of your pocket, stopping you from feeling the void because of said bump). So, go ahead and stuff that sucker in the front and buy me some Cracker Jacks!

2. When taking the subway or T in any foreign city where you may appear to be out of place. Locals do not need to worry about this because the bad guys will focus on YOU-with your fanny pack and camera around your neck, you are a prime target. When in a foreign city, bad guys might not be so subtle as the bumpers, they might just knock you over and take shit from you. Putting your wallet in your front pocket will confuse them, giving you an opportunity to go Kung Foo on his ass.

3. And last but not least, wear your wallet in your front pocket when selling things door to door in a bad section of town. (If you're selling items that you are carrying however, your wallet may be safe, depending on how cool the stuff you're selling is.) While you are optimistically ringing the door bell, any Thug, Pimp or Harry could sneak up on you and pull your wallet from you, leaving your broke and without ID in a bad part of town. Not a good combination, my friend, not a good combination at all. Fo'shizzle.

Any infractions found outside of the preceding three scenarios is unacceptable and will result in extreme social shunning and maybe even a kick in the shins. Now go, shred some receipts or something.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Thank you to all of you who gave me ingredients to work with! I will have recipes for you in the next couple of days. Normally, it will be the day after, however tomorrow I will be in a training class from 8-4:30 and won't have any time to be at a computer...

I have Sandee, Greg, Colette & one other (that I can't remember right now) pretty much done and still have Danielle (and again, one other that I can't remember), bear with me and it'll all get done.

Many of you have asked about my cough. I went to the doctor, as you know, and he gave me that cough medicine to try to give my lungs a rest. It works most of the time, but isn't really today. He listened to my lungs and he doesn't believe it is pneumonia or bronchitis but if it persists, he will make me go for a chest x-ray.

The deadline for no cough is Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Top Chef

A couple of weeks ago I eluded to the fact that Top Chef is getting too expensive for me to handle every week, and mentioned that I will be tweaking it a bit in the near future. This is the week of the tweak...
Here is what I have decided to do:
1st week: What's in your pantry?
Readers have the opportunity to leave 4 ingredients that are currently in their pantry in comments and I will then either create a recipe or find one that works.
2nd week: What's in MY pantry?
Readers will vote on which ingredients from my pantry I will use in my next meal. I'll create a recipe and share it with you, as I have in the past.
Once a month: Top Chef, classic style.
Once a month I will splurge on ingredients and create a recipe like I have before. Readers will vote on which ingredients I will buy and use.
How does that sound? I'm sorry I can't keep up with the original version as I know you all enjoy it. But now, you have a chance to tell me what you've got and I can create something just for YOU!
So...that being said....
What's in YOUR Pantry?!?
Leave up to 4 ingredients in comments

Thursday Thirteen: Things

Thirteen Things...

1. I miss my chefs really bad. I talked to 2 of them yesterday and it made me sad that I don't still see them every week. They really made an impact on my life in a positive way, and they all mean so much to me. Plus, they are funny.
2. It is amazing how different people thing differently of you. Because you are the same person. Weird.
3. 8 MORE DAYS!!! I can't wait!!!!
4. I am catering the largest party I've ever done this December. It is a sit down dinner for 50 people including passed hor'dourves, drinks and dessert. It also requires me to hire 2 servers, a bartender and a prep cook. This is really feeling like professional catering now!
5. Cough medicine is still making me tired and loopy. If I don't take it, my couch still remains.
6. I'm still trying to figure out how my house gets so trashed when I'm the only one living there. Every room in my house is in disarray and I just don't know how it got that way!
7. I am having a realtor come over next week whether my house is ready or not. I need to get out of this deal soon!
8. It makes me so very happy to see my co-worker walk by my desk and grab a cookie each time because he loves them so much.
9. I don't think it matters that I've graduated from culinary school and am an adult. My father still treats me like I'm just guessing at what I do. "Don't forget to ad money in your proposal for labor and set up." No duh, Dad. No duh.
10. Everyone in his company is excited that I am catering their Christmas party because they loved my food so much at the seminars. Now that's what it's all about.
11. Because I have so much time at work, I feel like I don't want to blog when I get home. That makes me sad because I don't want to start getting sick of blogging.
12. I'm going to a fair on Saturday night and I have mixed emotions about it.
13. Does anyone want to buy a ukulele? Seriously-I have one that has only been strummed once and is handmade. $60 takes it all, shipping included!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Um....hello? Does anyone know where fall is? Today it was about 90 degrees in Connecticut, and I don't like that one bit! This is the time of year when we are supposed to be thinking about hot apple cider, chilly nights and the first smell of fireplaces.

Thick blankets are supposed to be making their first appearances in a year, and flannel pj's should be smiling as they are pulled onto cool, fall legs.

My AC is on. I came home to an 85 degree house.

This. Is. Not. Right.

I pout...


A local psychiatric hospital in Connecticut may be in financial trouble quite soon if they can not prove that they are actively trying to resolve problems that violate their contracts. Hospital officials are worried, saying that loss of federal funding could very well close the hospital for good, displacing the largest number of residential mental-health patients in the state of Connecticut.

The infractions are indeed bad, and are said to be an immediate threat to the patients of the hospital. Problems with nursing staff, record keeping and the condition of the patient wards-which holds about 600 beds-are a few of the problems that need to be addressed. The hospital has until October 4th to come up with a written plan of action.

They are still able to accept new patients, however.

From what I understand, the probe initially began because a patient was found dead after he committed suicide by hanging himself. He was the 4th suicide since 2003. Once inside, the federal agents noticed things that were amiss, and began a full fledged investigation.

First things first: Closing down a psychiatric hospital is not the answer. Displacing adults who can cause harm to themselves as well as others should not be let go, unmedicated and without therapy. Crime rates, poverty levels and homelessness would be on the rise, and the city in question would no longer be viewed as one that is rebuilding and renewing itself, but instead a dangerous place to walk around.

Now, I know-not all patients in a mental-health facility are going to kill you or light themselves on fire while walking past you on the street. However, there is potential and I have seen and felt first hand what someone without psych meds in them has the capability to do. Compound that number by 600, and we've got a real issue.

In addition, this hospital is still able to accept new patients. If it is in such disarray, perhaps they should have a closed door policy where no one is admitted until the plan is in place. Taking in new patients only to let them go before they are ready is ridiculous. The nursing staff is already under a magnifying glass, and is obviously overworked (due to the fact that a patient was not being monitored and was able to hang himself) so why give them even more patients?

I've had the unfortunate experience of having to bring 2 different people to mental-health facilities on several different occasions and I have seen the conditions of our states hospitals. The nursing staff and doctors were always caring and attentive and would generally be sympathetic to us when we needed them to be. But they were overworked and understaffed, and a typical check in would generally last about 5 hours. 5 hours! That meant me sitting in the lobby while the people I brought in were laying in a bed somewhere not getting any treatment, not being watched and having all the time in the world to think about how they could hurt themselves. Luckily, neither person did, but it could have easily been my people who ended their lives instead of the recent man in the article.

So, after all this mumbo jumbo above, what I am trying to say is that taking away these hospitals is not the answer. If there are deficiencies, decreasing funding will only make it worse. How about INCREASING funding to hire more nurses, continuing education and equipment. Or perhaps a monitor system where high risk patients can be watched remotely. It just seems to me that by decreasing money but allowing an increase in patients (being allowed to take new patients) is a never ending battle. One that will only hurt the patients, their families and our communities.

Wordless Wednesday: My New Favorite Shoes

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Toosdae ?'s

HAPPY TOOSDAE EVERYONE! Last week we missed these questions because I was hung over and flying home. Naturally I was in no shape to think up questions...but I'm back, and hopped up on codeine-so the weirder your answers, the funnier they will be to me today! ;)

1. If you had a club, what would your first rule be?

2. What amount of money would be the perfect salary for you to live comfortably and be able to have a little fun?

3. If you're a fan of __________ don't talk to me.

1. If I had a club the first rule would be that all ugly feet have to be covered up. I know it seems petty, but seriously, some toes are just not meant to be seen, and I hate feet.

2. I think a realistic amount of money per year for me would be $70K. I make about $50K now and it's tight-with $70K I could have enough to pay bills and to also put some away for later or for vacations. I would like one year of a bigger salary however so I could start up a catering business. Maybe like...$150K.

3. If you're a fan of saying the word greasy like "greazy" don't talk to me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Wild Thing!

Random photos from the zoo...
How could you not love this face?
Proof-Flipper gets on a camel!
Some stripy things that we saw a lot of
Gorillas-there is a baby sitting on top of it's Papa up top

Peacock in the Parking Lot
We have to tell the Zoo Keeper!

Sweet Girl

No tiger pictures, I'm surprised at that...get got so close! This is the best I can do folks, sorry!


No, this isn't a recipe post. This is a post about how Maggie Moo was prescribed cough medicine with codeine in it and is feeling a little loopy at work.

I've had a cough for about 2 weeks now, yet I feel fine. I have no other symptoms associated with a cold or flu, I don't have pneumonia or bronchitis either-I simply have the coughs. Dry, barking, not so attractive coughs that make my throat soar and my sleep interrupted.

Last year this happened (or the year before?) and they gave me an inhaler. They told me that a cough is like an itch and that once you scratch it (or cough) it itches (or makes you cough) more. It's a vicious cycle, the doctor said.

Today, he gave me codeine. Beside the fact that I have trouble taking liquid medicine (it makes me gag) this stuff is potent! He said, "Take the full dose today and see how it effects you. If you're really sensitive to it, take half a dose."

Gee, thanks doc. In the meantime, I'm drooling at my desk, laughing at every little thing and hiccuping at various times during phone calls.

But hell, my cough is gone.

Manic Monday: Kits

Monday's are MoMoLicious

Though I was a girl scout until 6th grade, I only went on a camping outing once. The reason, embarrassingly enough, was because I still wet the bed. In fact, I wet the bed for a lot longer than that, apparently due to the stress of having an alcoholic father. But that's another story. Back to camping...

In 6th grade our troop decided to going on a camping trip and I decided that I wanted to go. I was sick of missing out on things and my best friend was going, along with lots of other girls I was friends with. And we all know how I love Little House on the Prairie and the "roughing it" kind of thing...

It was decided that Jenny and I would share a tent. She knew about my problem and liked me anyway. In fact, one time, we slept downstairs on the sofa bed and I had an accident and Jenny lifted her huge adult golden retriever up onto the bed so that it looked like Taffy did it. Now that's love. Jenny & I set up our beds in the middle of the huge platformed tent. Everything was placed just right because we were trying to win the "neatest tent award". We felt way cool being out in the woods in a tent by ourselves, even if we were scared when a raccoon almost came in.

After our first night, we woke up and cooked breakfast for our troop-bacon & eggs over the camp fire eaten in our compact mess KITS. Everyone ate until they were full and then, for some reason, we were made to clean the latrines.

Girl Scout camp wasn't what I thought it would be. I thought it would a bunch of us canoeing on a lake and sitting around the fire singing Kumbaya while passing oozing s'mores around until we couldn't eat anymore. Instead, it was sweeping, cooking, cleaning latrines and learning how to knot things.

Though Jenny and I won the award for having the cleanest tent, we dubbed the trip as a failure and vowed to never go back. Jenny moved away that summer anyway, and being in the Girl Scouts in 7th grade was lame.

And I made new friends but kept the old...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Oh My!

What a long day! I drove down to my parents house around 9:30 and we left for NY around 10:30...after getting lost once (YOU'RE GONNA GET SOMEBODY KILLED!) we finally made it to the Bronx Zoo.

Rye Bread (Katherine-it's my niece) and Flipper rode a camel while we sat under a table of pigeons and got shit on. Not really, but almost.

The zoo is not how I remember it. Of course it seems smaller, but it's also a bit...confusing. Most of your time is spent walking on wooded trails until you get to the exhibits which wind around and confuse you. And, most of the animals were supposed to be outside, but were not.

We did get to see the Chimpanzees and Gorillas, which was fun. When we first walked in, there was a black monkey with a white stripe down the center and I exclaimed to my niece, "Look! A Skunk Monkey!" Almost immediately about 3 other people started saying the same thing, and everyone was calling them that. I didn't know I could be so influential!

The tiger exhibit was also nice-I've never gotten that close to a tiger before so it was very cool. The one thing I wanted to see most of all though-the elephants-we somehow missed. Signs pointed to the trails leading to them, but we never ended up finding them.

When we got to the parking lot, a peacock was strolling around casually, just taking a little walk around the people. I took a picture with my phone, but it didn't come out very well...sorry.

After the zoo, we went to Via Appia, an Italian restaurant in White Plains, NY that my family has been going to for over 30 years. They have really good food, and their pizza is wicked good. It was a nice treat also because my Nana met us there and had dinner with us. It's always nice to see my Nana, so that made me happy.

She talked to me a little bit about my wanting to move to Boston and she commented that I was very brave-in a good way, she said-for being able to move to places (like Florida) where I didn't know anyone. I suppose she's right, but in my head, I actually think of it as me being kind of a coward. If I move to new places, the people there don't know me, and I can essentially start over.

It's running away, in a sense, though this time I am really trying to move there for a fresh start, new career opportunities and a little more culture. Ah well...

Overall it was a nice day-it never ceases to amaze me how much energy a 5 year old has! Oh, to have that vigor again.

Lions & Tigers & Bears!

I'm off to spend the day at the Bronx Zoo in New York with my family. I'm actually pretty excited about it-I haven't been to the Bronx Zoo in about 5 years and it's a pretty good one. It's supposed to be a beautiful day today, and my father is treating us all for the entire day, and Rye Bread will be there-what more can I ask for? there are some other things I would ask for, but let's forget about those for the day...